You Are the Self, Identify with Awareness
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2012-10-23
Find the right balance in the world that you can sustain. Purify, quiet the mind, transcend externalities. See what's always been the core of you; relax into the inner Self. In English we think of ourselves as "I" - ego. In Shum we're trained to identify as awareness. Experience the absence of the experiencer, Imkaif. Awareness goes away temporarily, Parasiva remains. "Self and Samadhi: How to Realize God."
Good morning everyone.
Last week we started reading from our new book "Self and Samadhi" which is officially going to be released on Gurudeva's Mahasamadhi next month. Started on the Chapter called: "How to Realize God."
"Look at a child standing before a mirror for the first time, feeling its nose and ears, eyes and mouth, looking at itself reflected in the glass. Feeling and seeing what has always been there is a discovery in experience. Parasiva is the same. It is always there in each and every human being on the planet. But involvement in the externalities of material existence inhibits their turning inward."
You're all exempt from that, right? Not at all concerned about what's going on in the world, just totally oblivious. Just living in bliss inside yourself, right.? So that's the point is, we need to pay attention to the world, it's not saying ignore it but it's saying find a balance. You keep to spend all your time concerned about the world then you won't be able to turn within. You'll just have so much going on in your mind that you can't slow it down. Whereas, if you don't pay enough attention to the world then things go wrong and cause even more grief. Have to find the right balance that you can sustain.
"The clouding of the mirror of the mind -- that reflective pond of awareness which when calm sees clearly -- or the ripples of disturbance on the mind's surface distort seeing and confuse understanding. Without a clear mirror, the child lacks the seeing of what has always been there -- its own face."
Or the analogy, similar to the analogy I use of the pond of water, you remember? On the water has the gold nuggets at the bottom. But it has some mud in it and the surface is moving. So, if we look from the top down we can't see the nuggets. The mud is the subconscious mind; we haven't purified it enough. The remnants of unwise past actions. And, the surface moving is our thoughts. We're not holding them still. We're too concerned about the externalities of the mind.
So, when we can accomplish these two things, purify the subconscious mind through karma yoga, though bhakti yoga. And we can quiet the mind through raja yoga, quiet our thoughts, then of course we see what's always been there. So that's, it's an important perspective and it's one that's kind of not in the natural western default. Perspective, natural western default perspective is: I have to do something for something to happen. I have to work hard, create something. But this is saying it's already there. We just kind of have to relax into it. Relax into finding our inner Self. We don't have to strive in a way we're, it's like walking up a steep hill. We don't have to strive in that way; we have to strive in the way of just trying to calm our self down to see That which is already there.
"Parasiva is an experience that can be likened to the hand feeling and the eyes seeing one's own face for the first time. But it is not experience of one thing discovering another, as in the discovery of one's face. It is the Self experiencing itself. Experience, experienced and experiencer are one and the same. That is why it is only registered on the external mind in retrospect."
So that one's pretty deep but it's useful to reflect on the three components there: "Experience, experienced and experiencer are one and the same."
So experiencer of course is awareness, right? That one's easy. Our awareness. Experienced is what awareness is experiencing. So we're all involved in this book; we're all listening to the talk. Giving the talk. So, that's what we're experiencing and that is being done right now so it's the experience. We're not in the present. But experience, what's going on in the present, involves experiencer and the experienced. And as we know, experiencer usually forgets about himself and gets all involved in the experience. I am happy, I am sad, I am bored, I am this, I am that. Instead of just being the "I am."
So, when we transcend all of that, that's the realization of the Self. We talked a little about that last time so I won't try and repeat that cause it's kind of deep.
"Most people try to experience God through other people. Disciples see a guru as God. Wives see their husband as God. Devotees see the Deity in the temple as God. But all the time, behind the eyes of their seeing, is God. The Self, Parasiva can be realized only when the devotee turns away from the world and enters the cave within as a way of life through initiation and under vows. We know the Self within our self only when we fully turn into ourselves through concentration, meditation and contemplation and then sustaining the resulting samadhi of Satchidananda, pure consciousness, in hopes of finding, determined to find, That which cannot be described, That which was spoken of by the rishis, Parasiva, beyond a stilled mind, Parasiva that has stopped time, transcended space and dissolved all form."
One of the challenges is where we're dealing with language. And language has its way of causing us to think inaccurately. For example, in English we have to call God he or she. You know, it doesn't work to call God it. We don't have a way of talking about a living being without calling it he or she. Everything is gender based. But that's a distortion to call God he or she. God is simply a being, not a he or she. Similarly, when we use the word God, how to realize God, the language concept of God is God's separate from us. So it created a false concept right there. Just like he and she is a false concept.
I want to realize God. How to know God. Where the language is causing us to think of God as separate from us. Just like God's a person. So, I want to realize the Self, that's a better word in English cause it doesn't seem as separate as God does. But the basic point is when it comes to realization, we're just trying to go deeper and deeper into our Self. Everything's already there. Parasiva's already inside of us. The core of us. And then, outside of that is Satchidananda or being omnipresent. They're already just sitting there inside of us but we're so wrapped up in externalities we don't go that deeply within ourselves. So, and the, realizing that the language is causing a barrier there is useful. We've overcome that barrier.
That's one of the beauties of the Shum language because you're trained to identify with awareness. When you think in Shum you think of yourself as awareness. You don't think of yourself as "I." "I" is conscious and subconscious ego as Gurudeva would say: ing and ming in the Shum language. I am this, I am that. In English we're trained to think of ourselves as the "I." But, in the Shum language we're trained to think of ourselves as awareness. Awareness, I am awareness. As awareness where do I want to travel today. Why don't I travel into the inner light? That's a nice place to be. We think of ourselves in that way, differently. It's so much easier when we identify as awareness. We move around in the inner mind.
For those who are familiar with Shum and being awareness, the idea of imkaif or awareness going away temporarily is a way of describing Parasiva that seems clearer than we find in another language. So if we can hold awareness long enough, intensely enough, it'll disappear for a brief second. And that's when Parasiva remains. Self alone remains is what Gurudeva says. So, it's just the absence of awareness. Like turning on and off a light, turning on and off a light just for a split second. Is off for a split second. So get absence of the experiencer is what imkaif means.
And then that experience of the absence of the experiencer, experience, experiencer and experienced are all the same is what Gurudeva's saying. So if you understand that, get an A plus on your test. But anyway, I'm sure you got something out of it.
The point is we make these things harder than they are by language. We need to reflect on that and make it easy.
Yogaswami had as a simple statement: We tend to think of Satchidananda as being outside of us but as something way up there. That he says: "Bliss, bliss, bliss! Here, there everywhere am I." He's not even using the term Satchidananda. It's just who he is. He's so identified with being omnipresent he doesn't say: I am experiencing Satchidananda, something like that. No! His language shows you how integral it is to who he thinks he is. Here, there everywhere am I. He just takes it for granted. I am here, there everywhere. It's just: I can hear, I can see and I am everywhere. It's just a natural faculty. That is, you can see from the way he expresses it.