Monday, June 9, 2008

Crisis and Illness: Questions and Answers by Katie Davis, Author, "Awake Joy"


I was in satsang for the first time with you last week and felt a deep resonance. I am quite ill and have been for a very long time. At satsang, I felt an uplifting energy, which lingered for a couple days. However, right now, I am once again in a pretty deep crisis concerning this illness and the related depression. Any help that you could give would be very appreciated.


The resonation of satsang is very beautiful and an extraordinary power which is why regular attendance in satsang is important throughout the awakening process. The energy of true satsang stops conditioned thought and if this occurs even for an instant, the Truth of who you really are shines through. The inertia and momentum of thought may continue for awhile, but with regular attendancw and with your willingness to practice self-observation, detachment and Self-inquiry, compulsive thought slows, stops and it is over once and for all.

As soon as the “I” thought arises, we most often identify with the body. You are not this form. You are the Now, totally free of the content of the present moment, including the body. It is truly impossible to be anywhere but Here. The mind may be telling you that satsang was last week and now you have lost it, but it is impossible to lose. It is you. You are Now. Is it possible to detach and inquire who is aware of this crisis? Who is that? No identification=no thought=no space=no time. Only Now and only Here. Time and thought are synonymous.

When you bring attention alertly into the Now, this moment, no other moment, thought cannot use you. Stop and listen right now. Listen fiercely for the next thought. Go ahead. Stop right now and try to find one. The ego disappears when you seek it. Thought needs time. Negative emotion is the body’s reaction to judgmental thought.

Looking fiercely, attentively, alertly for the next thought is very good. When you are alert, you are only Here and Now and there is no thought. If a thought arises, attention has slipped out of the now. Detach from the thought, when you notice. Use it as a signpost to shift your attention to Now.

You can also use Direct Self-inquiry as we did in satsang. When a thought arises, ask to whom does this thought arise? Then ask, “Who am I?” Again, no thought. The question itself removes the thinker. The question is already the answer. Where does this image of I arise from?

When you are observing thought, the thoughts just stream by without identification with them. They are powerless and harmless without your identification. I am not asking you to study the content of thought. I am not asking you to resist thought. Simply be and witness. If the thoughts are too tedious and too annoying, which it definitely can be, turn your attention to the witness instead. Who is that?

Can you unconditionally surrender to this moment without denial, without resistance to what is? Is it possible to be in absolute acceptance of what is? How does it feel to simply surrender? This perceived crisis is your teacher right now. It can be used. You cannot run away from it. There is no escape. Isn’t this so? Even this deep depression can be used. Is there a Heart to this illness? Is there a Heart to this despair? Invite it in fully and see. Go into it, not away from it. You have been trying to get rid of it all these years. Nothing has worked. So stop. Go in. How deep is this despair? Is there a bottom to despair? Dig for the diamond of joy, the tiniest of diamonds, no larger than a pinpoint. Go deeper.

There are no true answers at the level of mind. However, gratitude is good food for the mind. Are you grateful for breathing? Are you grateful for the spaciousness within which breath is appearing?

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