Friday, July 2, 2010

The Goat, The Meditator and the Sky of the Dormant Mind by Katie Davis, Author, "Awake Joy"

Three Zen monks went to a mountain cave to contemplate the Ultimate Reality.

Three years later, a mountain goat walked by the entrance to the cave.

The first monk said, "Did you see that?"

Three years later, the second monk said, "What?"

Three years later, the third monk said, "If you guys don't shut up, I'm outta here!"

The meditator usually has an object upon which to meditate. The appearance of an object is the reason that the ego-I arises from the Heart in order to grasp or identify with its object. Object meditation can therefore be counter productive for realizing the Pure I that rests as the Heart. It is more likely to perpetuate duality by encouraging objectivity.

Meditation offers the physical body many benefits and indeed helps the active mind to settle into harmony. It also may focus a highly distracted mind into deep concentration with a single pointed, yet objective focus.

However whether the object of meditation is "external" such as the flame of a candle or whether the object is "internal" such as one of the many extraordinary, altered states of consciousness that can be realized through deep meditation, the presence of the object itself may cause the ego-I to arise.

Ecstatic states are indicators of 'progress,' yet trying is also counter productive. Altered states appear on their own accord, when the 'mind' is being purified and as vasanas or tendencies dissolve. The one trying for the beauty of an altered state is ego's desire for attainment of an object and is an obstruction.

The false I arises from the Heart to attach to the most extraordinary object. Those are two reference points which is duality; the witness and the objective altered state. No matter how divine that altered state may seem, it is easily a distraction to Self-realization.

This arising is very subtle indeed. It will be recognized as movement as the dormant mind shifts into activity in order to possess or attach to the ecstatic state. Just be as you are, Being I. It is the mind that moves, not you. In other words, stay home as the Heart. You are there before, during and after every ecstatic state.

Only Self-inquiry deprives all objectivity, that is focusing all of the mind's attention on Being I alone. Again, not awareness of I (two reference points), but rather Being I.

In this, the tendencies of mind burn away and what we are referring to as 'mind' completely dissolves. Once the mind has dissolved, the false I never arises again.

Subsequently, objects are no longer perceived as objects. There is only the Pure I (Absolute) ... AM (the non-objective universe); Self-realization is realizing the Totality as none other than Self.

Meditation cannot remove the reference point of the meditator; the one who is practicing and who needs more time and experience to become in the future what it already is: Pure I shining as the Heart.

Just as in the example above of the three Zen monks, as soon as the meditation is disturbed, the dormant mind will once again become active and the temporary deep peace offered by the sky of mind will disappear. The false I will continue to arise and attach to all objects, rather than resting as the Heart. For three years, the Zen monks enjoyed the dormant mind. Yet the idea of the goat immediately reappeared as soon as there was a break in meditation. Dormant mind is not Self-realization.

The same is true for breath control and breath retention. With breath control, thought does indeed slow and offers the possibility to realize what is 'between' and beyond each thought; in this example, objective space.

With breath retention, we have cessation of thought. Even right now, if you would like to take a deep breath, hold it for awhile and listen within, you will quickly notice that there are no thoughts. The effect however is only temporary. Mind has simply fallen into a dormant state and will quickly become active again as soon as the breath is released.

Likewise, mantras and chanting, while being totally enjoyable and effective in mesmerizing the mind into a calm and blissful state, the effect will only be temporary. Though recommended, it is the same for silent prayer that is free of motivation or what I call adoration.

The point being is that Self-inquiry is direct and will prove to be successful.

The highest and purest 'teaching' of all is radiant silence and this is why satsang appears. Satsang is far more than sitting with a "teacher" conceptually discussing information about enlightenment. A scholar may offer helpful information from a dual perspective, but is not offering satsang.

True satsang is being 'associated' with Pure Beingness and the spiritual power. Whether one is conscious of the spiritual power or not, this radiance burns the tendencies of mind and without even really knowing why, the mind rests as deep peace.

In silent sitting, it is recommended to simply rest, free of all effort to "move deeper" and in complete surrender, allow the radiance. The 'burning' of tendencies happens on its own accord.

Even here, the most profound glimpse during silent satsang or what is referred to as darshan, may be only a temporary abeyance of mind into a dormant state. So persistent Self-inquiry during all that is being done during the day is required.

If you are graced with the opportunity for darshan, there is nothing more powerful and effective than radiant stillness.

Do not be confused however, the sage is not the form. The true guru or sadguru is the Pure Beingness that is already shining within. If a sage is required, one will appear in form; always pointing on the "outside" back to who you really are, with a tremendous attraction from "within."

If words are spoken by the sage during satsang, contrary to what has been said, nothing can truly obstruct the perennial flow of radiant stillness. Wise words dispel ignorance, but indeed might also engage the ego by trying to learn or understand what is being said. Nonetheless, deep within, the radiant stillness is burning. The waves on the surface of the ocean does not effect the ocean's depth.

The power of silent darshan is still the most effective.

So why all these words?

Well ...

If all you heard here were words and concepts ...

You consciously missed the greater silent teaching ...

Nonetheless, the radiance flows ...



Katie Davis Website

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Maren Springsteen said...

Radiantly beautiful post yet again that addresses so many important points that are oftentimes collectively agreed to in Advaita without further exploration.
Thanks so much for always going all the way, cutting through all arisings straight from as, and to Heart-I, dearest Katie!

Love from your Maren xxx

Ciaran said...

I think, and I say this with total respect, you could afford to be a little more ruthless.

The surgeon does not extend his love for the patient to the cancer itself.

The core lynchpin of the unenlightened state is, as you know, the idea of self.

The problem is not that this 'self' is inherently bad, so much as that it is inherently false.

Simply put, it just doesn't refer to anything.

As you know, there's nothing standing outside the stream of life that's causing it, or being effected by it.

All things exist within the timeless and eternal flow of the moment.

As such, the delusion of self arises when people, with the human faculty of seeing things in terms of cause and effect, look at life itself through that lens.

That's where the unenlightened state originates - in that intersection of causality and reality.

This assumption is neither magic nor ironclad. It is, on examination, patently false.

The problem is that because it is such a deep assumption, no-one really examines it.

But, if you do, and you seriously look for the truth of the matter - is there a 'you' in any sense - you will fast see that actually, strange as it is, the answer is no.

This recognition cannot be something you attempt to convince yourself of, or believe - I'm really speaking to the readers of this blog rather than yourself, Katie, I know you know this.

But if you see something, a stable truth, just once - you can never unsee it.

That is the permanent shift in 'states'. Just that one recognition that there is no experiencer, just the experience.

It's not your pain, it's just pain - there is no you.

It's not your fear, it's just fear - there is no you.

It's not your sorrow, it's just sorrow - there is no you.

It's not your love, it's just love - there is no you.

The level of freedom the recognition of the truth of this brings is stunning and total.

That is enlightenment.

Authentic Psychic Readings  said...

The content is great to read. It's uplifting and realizations flood every sentence your read.

n said...

Thank you, Katie. OM shAnti

Barkha Dhar said...

Beautiful Post!

Katie Davis, Author, Awake Joy said...

Thank you all for your lovely and wise sharing ... all lovely pointers.

Om Shanti ~


Georganne Spruce said...

Thanks for the reminder that silence is the center of it all.

Katie Davis, Author, Awake Joy said...

Thank you, Georganne, for taking a moment to comment and rest as stillness. I am happy that you enjoyed the post.

All Love ~ Katie