Whole Bodily Enlightenment

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Moderator: A participant in Quebec asks, “How can I deepen my identification with consciousness?”

David: Just watch it happen. Just let yourself stay idle and free, and be receptive to the spiritual current and the radiant atmosphere that will be generated in your vicinity, spontaneously. Spontaneously means, obviously, with no effort.

Moderator: From a participant in San Raphael, California, “My practice is to put my attention on what is where and try to abide there. Is there anything else you could suggest that I do?”

David: Get rid of “try to abide there”. Just let your awareness be free, not bound, not bound by a method, but simply guided by the process of loving observation. Loving observation is observation without judgment and implies no force placed upon the rest of the body-mind, unless of course you are performing practices which call for various forms of precise effort, such as what you see in certain schools of yoga. But when we are talking about awareness, here, in the context of my teaching, we’re talking about the freely arising Bliss of pure Being or the Self. There’s no need, actually, to do anything to apprehend that, except to bring loving observation, delicate observation (which is no observation), into your own mind. The key is to just learn to relax in the blissful, radiant current that spontaneously exudes.

Radiation of Consciousness is the essential teaching here. It’s a transmission-based teaching, it’s not a “how to do”. Methods are valuable, “how to do” methods are fantastic. When you perform them, perform them with love, delicacy, and depth of perception. But here, for a short time, come out of your practice and just be with me. Just make yourself available energetically, which means just sit inside your own awareness as it is. Just sit inside your own being without doing anything in particular. That will help you begin to feel a relationship with me in Consciousness. Once you feel that relationship and you accept it as a divine relationship, then surrender commences and a deep form of relaxation follows, one in which you feel that your sadhana is being done automatically. Your sadhana here, of course, is an internal form of sadhana, not external. Nevertheless, it is offered in a spirit of no-doing. Just relax and feel the current, be blessed by the radiant feelings that it brings and then let it be. Don’t try to hold on or presume any kind of independence outside of that realization. Each person’s journey will be unique and different and that’s part of the beauty of the unfolding of awareness in each individual. It cannot be replicated. It cannot be turned into some kind of pattern. It has to be embraced in the arising moment as pure consciousness.

Moderator: From a participant in Brooklyn, “Is there not always meditation? So, it’s not something we begin or end. So then, isn’t it individuality that we begin or end in the existing meditation?”

David: Meditation is as deep as is the evolution of consciousness in each particular case. We can’t say meditation is always the case if that has not been recognized or realized. If we do say it and it has not been recognized or realized, then it’s just theoretical, it’s just a statement of assertion. But to realize that meditation is ongoing requires an opening into Consciousness, otherwise there’s no basis to make that statement. Again, it would just be theoretical, merely assertive, a form of conjecture or theory. Here, we actually refer back onto our own state of Being before making such statements or even such conclusions. Let Consciousness be your teacher, look directly inside and see what’s there. In the meantime, avoid broad statements like “everything is meditation,” until that becomes the living reality for you. But then you should confess it as such, that it is your apprehension that that is the case. Not that it is a fact that meditation is always the case, that’s meaningless.

The divine current is a sign of whole bodily enlightenment. When you gather inside of this atmosphere that is created when we sit together, you will notice the emanation or feeling of divine current, of Kundalini-shakti. That reverberating energy, that profound current is part of the structure of the Absolute itself, part of Consciousness itself. The Absolute aspect of consciousness, turiya, which is the fourth, the fourth state, which is non-dual, has no attributes in it, no activity. Its realization therefore is always conditional. It’s conditional until one permanently snaps out of the waking state and begins to identify with the Self, the big Self, the Atman. After realization of the featureless Absolute due to profound meditation, sadhana, study of scriptures, right diet, and so on, there is a further movement into consciousness which can be initiated by the divine current. That movement resurrects the feeling process and even the physical and sensory being into the Absolute consciousness, the formless Being. The arising of the Shakti inside of the Absolute, will form the basis for an experience of whole bodily enlightenment, one in which there is implicit and total self-transcendence and yet full embodiment on the level of horizontal play, or you could say in the play of nature, in the play of the opposites.

So, when we are sitting together, it is this state or condition which is emulated as the highest state: whole bodily awakening, not mere nirvikalpa samadhi, not mere Self-realization. Self-realization is just a stepping stone to this higher level, in which the Mother, the Mother current or divine Shakti comes into the nervous system and opens it into divine Being, even in a relative sense. This is the permeation then of the Absolute into all aspects of the body-mind. It’s a very exalted condition, a very ecstatic condition, inherently ecstatic and full of Bliss. It’ll take time, obviously to establish such a state. But, just being here will create some momentum into that condition. For each person, that movement will vary in terms of intensity and so on, just as it should.

Shiva and Shakti, divine current and divine silence go together, they merge into each other, they are not opposites. Only in lower level realization is silence pitted against energy or does silence view energy as something suspect. Only lower level, nirvikalpa-style realizations create an antithesis between silence and energy, between Being and action. The marriage of Shiva and Shakti, of divine silence and divine energy therefore, is mandatory in order to move into these higher states of consciousness. Nirvikalpa samadhi forms the bedrock, the foundation for deeper realizations in which Shakti comes to operate. Shakti comes to operate fully consciously, and as if independent from Shiva, as if. So that the full play, or full range of both silence and energy are apparent and tolerated within awakening. Awakening really can’t be said to be complete without the full activation of the Kundalini-shakti. Knowing the Self is not full awakening, it is not full enlightenment, whether you refer to it as “enlightenment” or “awakening”. Full enlightenment, by definition, includes the merger of energy into silence and silence into energy, and their mutual dance, their mutual play in what we call reality, pure reality. Pure reality includes both Absolute and relative, each functioning one hundred percent.

Moderator: From a participant in Venezuela, “After one has gained enough momentum to move into these deep states of samadhi, does the process become automatic?”

David: If grace is recognized to be the doer then it becomes automatic. If an individual is still insisting on effort-based, achievement-based realization then grace cannot flow in completely. Of course, it is possible to practice inside of grace, inside of this knowledge of doing nothing, of resting in Being and that is also acceptable. Each person has to monitor his or her own progress and the various processes of growth that occur along the way and ascertain, within consciousness itself, what is happening. One must learn to recognize and abide in the awakened condition. Recognize it, learn to live in it; it’s all one movement. But we say recognize it, learn to live with it, come to a full understanding of what liberation means. Grace is the key factor when we are talking about perfecting sadhana. The individual can only bring it to a certain pitch and point. That pitch makes the individual available for this revolution in consciousness. So, the deeper practice occurs with love and devotion, informed by energy, the quicker the movement towards this pinnacle where there’s a receptivity toward direct enlightenment, direct awakening.

Moderator: From a participant in Pleasant Hill, California, “The energy is so strong tonight and so informed with love. I feel it as you within. It is so ecstatic tonight.”

David: Let this divine pulsation come up. Let it engulf and saturate. Devotion is very important to help ground the experiences of high Shakti and divine light, both of which can bring the individual awareness to extreme values, to extreme potencies. Devotion is so important because it returns awareness back into the body and to the emotional center, to the human center where integration can take place. The ultimate goal is full integration, not just high experiences of energy or blissful experiences of pure light, although those are remarkable, miraculous, and are to be welcomed. Still, there is this devotional center which is human in nature, it’s profoundly vulnerable. It holds all of the feeling center inside of it, you could say the emotional body. And inside there, there can be a marriage of these high transcendental states with ordinary human living and experience. So that there is nothing but a seamless unity at some point between the most expanded and exalted levels of consciousness and the simple display of human feeling, the simple, connective, radiant feeling that happens inside of human attention during relationship. Relationship not just between humans, but between humans and all other life forms that we see, and all of the aspects of existence.

Bliss is miraculous, Kundalini-shakti is miraculous, to be welcomed, to be absorbed. And later, the integration into the physical structure, the values, the extreme values of what these experiences bring, which is awakening in different forms, different channels or avenues. Eventually there should be a magnificent sense of living in the Bliss of the Self. Not just the Self; the Self by itself is like a dead ocean with no waves. The living ocean has waves in it. Only in a picture book can you see an ocean with no moving waves, it’s not a real ocean. But, when you go to the coast and you see how the ocean behaves, it’s full, settled, heavy, deep, profound, at its depths dark and unknowable, but on the surface it is flashing, moving, spraying, changing color, changing forms. That’s how realization shapes itself through long meditative experience, deep devotional activity, the reception of various forms of spiritual technique and so on.

Darshan sits at the very center. It’s the most profound form of spiritual interrelationship. “Darshan” simply means the sighting of the ultimate reality or the ultimate experience from one human form to another. It goes from an embodied source to other embodied beings. And that’s a powerful, communicative force. It should not be underestimated; it should be valued and adored.

Moderator: Again from Venezuela, “Can one discover conceptual ideas, such as ‘reincarnation is real,’ to be true directly from consciousness?”

David: One would not be interested in validating any kind of conceptual assertion, if one was in a realized state. He or she would be too involved with the momentary reality of what the Self is, not even caring about what’s true or false. Everything else falls away but what you are and in that you will see everything. Not every detail of what the mind wants to know, because the mind has so many demands, there’s so much to know in a particular sense. So, the use of curiosity, even though it’s a wonderful attribute of the mind, does not really come into play when full realization is active. There’s a kind of certainty that creates immovability. It’s within consciousness that this happens. So, the relative theories around transmigration, reincarnation, or other avenues of speculation, they pale in comparison to that radiant field. You can have discussions about reincarnation and so on, but those discussions will be limited by what the mind can conceive and by the laws of logic, the use of rationality, which is all quite limiting. It’s better to have a heart that flies with wings into devotion and feels what love becomes in the case of realization. That’s much more beautiful, much more satisfying.

Moderator: From a participant in New York, “The Shakti is enormously powerful. The phrase “be still and know that I am God” is echoing in my mind as instruction just now. The divine is palpable as light and current.”

The participant from Venezuela comments, “Your words strike me as true beauty. Thank you.”

David: So, stay in this sensation of true beauty. This is more valuable than anything that knowledge can bring. This is the symptom of being transported out of your little individuality into something fantastic, something immeasurable. The feeling of beauty should be noted when it comes. Saturate yourself in that. One moment of beauty is like millions of moments of talking philosophy; it’s better.