Aja Blog



Welcome to Aja's online blog - an ongoing expression of what is arising in Aja's consciousness... random writings, musings, and more on the nature of consciousness, awakening, reality, non-reality, stupidity....

Each entry is chronologically dated with the most recent first and older stuff later.  Feel free to start wherever you want.  If you have questions or comments, you can email them to atma@atmainstitute.org

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September 24, 2006

Triggering the Enlightenment Virus

For some years now, I have had this thought that re-emerges in my head from time to time - "Trigger the 60's virus". Now, to be honest, I'm not sure if this is something that came through me, or if I picked it up somewhere else. Ultimately, it doesn't really matter. In fact, if it came from somewhere else, perhaps it's symbolic that the idea is working...I now have the virus. For those of you who might be old enough to have lived through the 1960's, the summer of love, and all that, there is a recognition, that it was an unprecedented period in history. Although very embryonic at that time, still, there was a sense or foreshadowing of what was to come, and seems to be happening now. The 60's represented a period in history where the existing memes were being deeply questioned. At that time, the principle one was, of course, Viet Nam, however, there were other ideals arising of love versus hate, collectivism versus extreme individuality and independence, return to rural and agrarian versus metropolitan life, etc. Even the idea of Enlightenment was first to really emerge here, with the Beatles going to the Maharishi and the budding of the TM movement, George and his sitar studying with Ravi Shankar, the Hare Krishna devotees chanting on street corners. But in many ways, like pre-pubescence, it was short lived, and we entered into the late 70's and 80's and onward into even more massive materialism, and domination by the media, government, and the various ills that weigh upon society on a much grander scale today.

Now, we are at a new point. I am totally convinced of it. I feel it to the core of my Being (or perhaps better from the core of Being). I see it echoed by spiritual teachers in all traditions. Suddenly, it was as if we turned around, and it was happening. In Joseph Chilton Pearce's recent book, Biology of Transcendence, he speaks of research which points out that the brain goes through very specific changes at certain ages in early life - around 3 or 4, again around 12 to 15, and once more at around 18 to 22 (I may have these ages wrong by a few years), where the whole chemistry changes; certain synapses are created, others destroyed, specific things are sought (primarily meaning in life), and so forth. It takes a certain maturity for these things to happen. Similarly, globally, as a species, we seemed to have reached one of these points. We are evolving to the next stage, potentially a stage that may be occurring for the first time in human history. It is an age of Global Awakening, an Age of Enlightenment.

As someone who has been teaching about Enlightenment and Consciousness for nearly 20 years, for most of it, there wasn't a whole lot of interest. Suddenly, you see people talking about it on talk shows, on the street, on buses. Perhaps not in a deeply serious way, but still, it's in the air. But it's a little like talk about a cure for many diseases - something of a remote possibility, but not taken too seriously. It's time to change that!

Trigger the Enlightenment Virus!!!
Our culture, our world, has been deeply infected with a virus. This virus has been going on for quite some time, and its hold is insidious and pervasive. It is the virus (or viruses) of egoism, narcissism, materialism, fragmentation and divisiveness. Whereas we used to have tribes and families, we now have billions of independent entities, each vying for personal fulfillment and even supremacy. Even the so-called nuclear families of the 50's and 60's have passed on, and a huge percentage of children grow up in single parent households. Our culture has become terminally ill. If you watch TV, you see that half the advertisements are for things that no one needs, while the other half are for medications to cure them from the diseases they have acquired from those very things - many of them for obesity, depression, and anxiety. What we essentially have is a virus of anti-Enlightenment, in all its various forms. We need to trigger the Enlightenment Virus!

What does the Enlightenment Virus look like?
First, it is an understanding of what Enlightenment or Awakening is. It is the recognition that we are not the ego-based individuals we think we are. The spiritual teachings of a wide variety of traditions essentially tell us the same thing - You are Absolute Consciousness - the sense of an individualized and localized self is part of this Infinite and Absolute Consciousness. When you inquire into the thing you call "I", it is not the body or the mind or the emotions, although all of those things are occurring IN Awareness, you are in fact that Awareness within which the personality 'you' is arising.

Secondly, it is the recognition that this is not something for some 'Special' people only - the Jesuses, the Buddhas, the Mohammeds (or any other well known, living or dead, spiritual teachers) - but is in fact the normal reality, which we have simply missed because of our infatuation with the phenomenal reality. It's like looking in the mirror and completely identifying with the person IN the mirror, rather than recognizing you are the person that is gazing AT the mirror. It only requires spending some time to look at the 'looker' and realizing that behind it all, the 'BIG' looker is the real, impersonal, and ever-present YOU.
Thirdly, it is spreading this virus. This is the most important part, and, for now, perhaps the most difficult. The Anti-Enlightenment Virus is SO pervasive, that it literally drowns out all other ideas. It's like trying to find a needle in a haystack. And to make matters worse, for many, they don't even know there is a needle. But Enlightenment is a reality, and it is possible to spread it. That's what teachers have been doing for centuries. But commonly, the virus has been mutated to a belief system, which is another type of Anti-Enlightenment virus. Real Enlightenment has nothing whatsoever to do with belief systems. It is an actual and concrete recognition of Who One Is. What's more, this virus has a tangible effect on deeper layers. It has an advantage. Unlike traditional memetic viruses, which need to be spread AS a belief system, the Enlightenment Virus is spread not only through mental and intellectual understanding, but also by 'resonance'. Most people who have spent time with a deeply Enlightened being recognize that there is more going on than simply seeing and hearing; there is an energetic influence taking place. This is what Alan Lithman in his ground-breaking book, An Evolutionary Agenda for the Third Millennium calls Evolutionary or Integral Activism:

"Motivated by an evolutionary Force... this integral activism (i.e. Enlightenment Virus - ed.) effectively reunites the once-polarized paths of peace and power;invoking an invincible evolutionary dynamic that acts directly, vibrationally upon the body, cellular and terrestrial; not simply overpowering from without but setting up a resonance that "agitates" the "particles" of consciousness in the surrounding material field. In effect, this "agitation" awakens and quickens that same power locked within each crystallized form; setting in motion the consciousness equivalent of a nuclear chain reaction; catalyzing and releasing this truer power and potential lying dormant (i.e., unconscious or half-conscious) within each being and form; freeing that power to consciously transform the instrumental vessels it inhabits; out-sustaining the counter-reactive resistances through an inexorable takeover from within...in effect, "radioactivating" the particular field through which one acts; shaking it (i.e., vibrating it at an accelerated rate) from its present status quo trance; provoking in the most positive and profound sense a mutation of consciousness."
This is the mission of www.OneMillionAwake.com - To spread this enlightenment virus around the globe; to document and assist 1,000,000 people in their Enlightenment, so that this all-important Enlightenment Virus can infect the world, eventually overcoming and wiping out the Anti-Enlightenment Virus. Remember, at first it is a joke, then it is possible, than plausible, then inevitable. Be a part of this Virus!


July  19, 2006

One Million Awake

Most of everything I will be doing for the time being will not be here! (So to speak)

The new website we are working on is: http://onemillionawake.com

And the new BLOG is  http://onemillionawake.blogspot.com

Please visit us there.


June 23, 2006

What Does an Enlightened Teacher Look Like?

The story is told of Sri Ramakrishna walking with, I believe it was his cousin, and the question of what does a knower of Brahman look like. Ramakrishna pointed to what appeared to be a homeless street person, who was fighting with a dog for some scrap of food and said, "He is a knower of Brahman." 

The cousin said 'no way!' but Ramakrishna insisted and told him to go ask him.  He approached to man, still fighting with the dog, and inquired, "Are you a knower of Brahman, sir?" To which he stopped fighting with the dog, turned to him and  said, "Sshhhh!" and went back to fighting with the dog.

In the west, particularly, people have no clue what enlightenment is, and thus, for the most part confuse it with something that their ego wants, i.e. power, mastery, influence, or as something that will bring these things to them as a person. This is their whole reason for even having an interest in enlightenment - as something that will benefit their ego. So, when they look at teachers, (if they even bother to do that)  they look for that one who most resembles what it is they think they want - powerful, or disciplined, or humble, or sexy, or rich, or whatever. It never occurs to them that their shoe salesman could be enlightened, or the garbage man, or their president, or whoever.  They know (in their minds) what an enlightened individual looks like. While it's nice to have a teacher that fits your bill of how a teacher should look, it's stupid. If you knew what enlightenment looked like, you'd probably be enlightened.

Two relatively recent teachers are good examples. Ramana and Nisargadatta. Ramana was often extremely quiet, appeared to be reserved, and simply sat. Nisargadatta, on the other hand, was extremely loud, apparently offensive, and was said to have an extreme 'potty mouth' (i.e. He swore like a sailor). Some very well known teachers were vegetarian, while others ate meat. Nisargadatta smoked and owned a bidi shop. (He even smoked during his satsangs.) Some are celibate, others are married, some have had sexual affairs with students. Some wore robes, some wore suits, and some wore nothing whatsoever. Here political and spiritual correctness is so severe, that it (and not truth) dictates what enlightenment looks like. 

So what does an enlightened person look like? He (or she) looks exactly like you. The only difference is they don't exist in the way you think you do. They are infinite emptiness, infinite fullness, they are the pure moment that is expressing in the moment. What does that look like? Right now it looks like someone reading something. It probably looks like words appearing on a computer screen. It looks like this moment right here and now, with no Seer or Seen, just the present happening.  Simply Awareness, infinite pure awareness, right Here, right Now! And nothing else ever.


May 21, 2006

Write on

Do you find yourself reading incessantly - trying to 'find' answers that perhaps do not exist? What's more astonishing is that even though you have read or seen most of these answers, many (if not most) of which conflict with each other, still you read on. Perhaps there is some thought or hope of a definitive knowing - something that ultimately the mind can grasp on to. But this is definitely not so. In the end, the mind cannot understand the truth, but only grasp a few relative truths, which are not really truths at all, but rather only ideas. The nature of the mind is to continue to seek. It will never be satisfied, because that is not the nature of the mind. You can read and read and read until you are blue in the face, and, although you will find some beautiful things there, and certain things will resonate very deeply, another option, rather than reading, is to write.

If there is a topic that interests you, particularly on the nature of consciousness, the Self, Awareness, God, Love, and so on, write about it. Explore it yourself. Pick up paper and pen and begin writing. Write what you know, write what you don't know, and then just keep going deeper and deeper. Write what you know to be true; write what you suspect to be true; explore what you suspect isn't true, and gradually more and more actual truth and recognition will become apparent as you see through that which is untrue and become more cognizant of what IS true.

So Write On!



Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Stop And Be Presence (And much ado about nothing)

Admittedly, it took quite a while, but somehow or other, blogging again is arising. I must admit, that also occurring is a certain sense of guilt. This life, Aja's life, is really about one thing only, and that is awakening humanity (those two words can be taken as a noun or verb, depending on how you look at it). So, why stop the blogs? There's no particular reason, except that at some point words seem to run out. It appears that everything has been said, and said again, and said again. As much as people say they get a great deal from the writings, a part of you says, "How can they? It is the same thing over and over, and still, lives don't seem to change." In other words, there occurs a subtle sense of doership and attachment to results. But if Aja IS Enlightenment (as opposed to Aja is an enlightened person - which is definitely NOT true) then Truth must be expressed. So for now, blogging will again occur, and we make no promises for how long! I suppose I could say the best way to keep them going is to call, email, write, send telepathic messages, come over, etc. and say, "This is really helping me to recognize who I am. Please, if it is Divine Will, keep it going." Or even better, is to ask questions. What is arising for you in this search for ultimate understanding and recognition?  What obstacles arise? This is what we are here for, as we evolve together into this deepening expansion of Awareness.

Phenomenally, much has happened in the last four-plus months. For those in the Portland area, the biggest change is that we have now opened a small center in Southeast Portland. It is at 3430 SE Belmont, just above the Tao of Tea. At present we have two evenings a week there: Thursday evening from 7 to 9 PM with Aja, and on Sunday night, also 7 to 9 PM, but with Aja's friend and student Jnanacharya (aka Ben Wilcox). These evening programs are entitled "Enlightenment Talks" as they specifically are about the nature of waking up, and also because of the recognition that is is not Aja or Jnana that speak, but in fact Enlightenment Itself. All are welcome to come, sit, ask questions, etc.

We have also had one half day Self Inquiry Intensive, which went quite well, and we hope to have more very soon. (If you're not on our email list, send us your email and we'll make sure you hear about any upcoming events. Let us know if you are IN Portland, and/or if you want to receive all Portland event listings.  Also, if you think you should be receiving emails from us but haven't, make sure that your ISP, domain, or email program is not blocking us, since we often send out bulk emails. Check through your spam mails, black lists, quarantined emails, etc. for both atma@atmainstitute.org and atma@comcast.net and get them both on the 'acceptable' mail list or 'white list'. We use both to send out announcements.)

 On to more relevant information. Some weeks ago, spending much of the day 'meditating,' a phrase came into awareness. The simple phrase was, "Stop and be Presence." Always, there is a sense of how to get people to recognize who they are, and simple 'techniques' or 'pointers' that will facilitate this. 'Stop and Be Presence' is an exceptionally powerful reminder.

STOP - Moment by moment, throughout the day, we are pulled in a nearly infinite variety of thoughts, sensations, feelings, memories, and so on. This first instruction simply says 'Stop!' Stop associating with those thoughts and feelings. Stop identifying with them. Stop following the train of thoughts into an endless loop of stories that simply bolster your sense of ego and individuality. Just STOP!

AND BE PRESENCE - This can be looked at in several ways. First, when you simply stop, you may become aware OF presence, that sense of peace and quiet, that underlying field of quiet and contentment. This is a good beginning, but it is still appears to be a subject (you)  being aware OF an object (presence). As you recognize deeper, however,  you find that you ARE that Presence. (This could also be termed Awareness, Consciousness, Is-Ness, 'I Am' etc.)  The Presence that you are aware of is the same presence that is being aware. There is no separation. In fact, this Presence is simply infinite awareness happening, in which all of those other things are similarly occurring. Resorting to, or identification with the mind always brings duality or multiplicity. When you simply stop this identification and recognize where it is all happening, that is the field of Presence or Awareness, which has neither subject nor object, but is the non-dual substance in which it is all happening, from which it is arising, of which it is all a part. Either you can simply 'stay' here in and as Presence, or every time you find your self distracted by the mind. Simply Stop and Be Presence.