Swami-G & David Spero in Conversation, Part 4: May 17, 2010

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Swami-G: “you know, and you better damn well fit my idea of what I want a guru to look like.”

David: Isn't it hilarious?  Really, the way to approach a teacher, and I don't mean this in an authoritative sense, is that the teacher is the Self and should be regarded as such, not as a human being, not as a peer, not as a contemporary of someone who is non-realized, but someone who is in a very radicalized state of realization, if indeed the teacher has attained that, and to understand that you are meeting the Self, and how many times has Ramana said this essentially, to understand that the guru is the Self, without any conditions.  That itself is the beginning of the right approach.

Swami-G:  Yeah that means, you know, you come with some sort of humility, you come with some sort of openness. A cup can't be filled unless it's emptied and you've gotta empty yourself of all the nonsense and drama.  This doesn't mean that you come here and we want people groveling at our feet or any of that other nonsense, absolutely not.  This is not what we say when we say, “Come being humble.”  We say be open, be open so that you can get something.  You can't give something to somebody that's not open, that's defensive, that's closed, that says, "You've gotta prove it to me." You know, you have to be willing to have that openness to feel something, to be willing to accept the transmission that's taking place without reservation.  And that's what we mean by saying, “Come in humility.”  We don't expect people to grovel at our feet. We don't want anything, you know, and we don't want to come and hear your big drama about it.  

There's nothing you have that you can give a realized being. Really there is nothing, no advice, no experience that's going to do anything for the gurus.  The gurus are here to give what can be given. To give an opportunity for you to find the self. What I am, you are. This is why we say that. What I am, you are. Guru's not higher than you, and you are not lower, but it doesn't mean that we're equal peers when it comes to consciousness, that I just have another opinion, and I'm here to shoot the breeze about what you think spirituality should be or what your idea about it is. So, understand what's being said with this. Yes we're all equal, we're all equally the Self. We're all equally that, in the ultimate sense, but right now you've got all the coverings and that's being occluded and you're not seeing. So, the job of the guru is try to help you to remove those coverings so you can find what has always been. But, don't assume you're already that with the coverings, you're not already that with all the covering or you wouldn't be in suffering. You wouldn't be seeking. You would have no need to seek anything. You would no longer be in the suffering mind. So, be honest with that. You're in the suffering mind and you don't know the way. If you knew the way, you wouldn't be coming in the first place. 

David: In hearing the teacher's words, the student may begin to get the conviction that they are the Self. That confidence will be exuded through osmosis in a particular environment which is the nonverbal aspect of the teaching. So, the teacher can speak. The teacher can explain things, do hands-on type of stuff, but when it comes to the most crucial aspect of realization, it's the teacher's consciousness that catches the students consciousness, and they become identical. That's in the field of transmission. That's what I call it. 

Swami-G: Right, but they have to be open to receiving that transmission. Either that, or they can block it because they have free will. One has free will to accept it or to not accept it. So, there has to be some sort of an openness and willingness to accept it without just fighting and fighting and fighting and arguing and debating and, “Prove it to me.” If they can relax into enough, then that Grace starts to emerge.

David: That's what I'm talking about.

Swami-G: Yes, the Grace then begins to emerge and then starts to break through all the drama. But, you have to relax enough into it and give enough space and give enough genuineness for that Grace to be able to make an appearance. 

David: When people are stuck to the degree that they can't relax, I give some radical advice. I say, "Leave yourself alone and look at me. Just look at me. Just look at my form," because this is that, and you can get it right through the eyes. You can acquire it through darshan or diksha, whatever word you want to use, transmission, radiation and that, for some people, will work better than them even repeating to themselves, "Who am I, who am I," as though you can mechanically produce the state of realization through that kind of activity. 

Swami-G: Right, right. 

David:  Sometimes the guru's form is more special and more precious then any aspect of personal endeavor on the part of the student.  The student only gets further drawn into samsara through their own efforts.  So, there comes a point where they simply are shocked into seeing right now. Forget even about a path. Forget even about your sadhana for a minute. Just relate to me when we are together, and there's nothing higher than that teaching when you consider the self of the guru, the body of the guru to be an outer manifestation of the Self, the Atman, then that itself will teach. It will enlighten, not just teach.

But I don't know how many people are ready for that. I don't know how many people have progressed to the point where they can surrender into that kind of authenticity, which is non-authoritarian based.  To see the guru as the Self is not a statement of, as you said earlier, I am on top and you're at the bottom and grovel up toward me. It's that you are capable of the same state that I am capable of, but with the following consideration. Are you approaching with absolute distinction and purity

Swami-G: and openness,

David: and love and respect, and adoration?

Swami-G: Yes, right.

David: No one talks about adoration, because adoration gets confused with fanaticism, but every teacher I had, I adored with every fiber of my being. It was total love. It was bhakti. Never did I presume that I had to somehow restrict that feeling or pretend to be somebody else, pretend that, “Oh, I need to appear a certain way before the teacher.” What was unleashed in me around realized Beings was something that could not be postured in any way.

Swami-G:  I think that comes in time. That comes in time.  Now when we have the retreat, that comes up a lot for the sadhakas and some go into spontaneous pranayam, you know, nothing asked for and it just spontaneously takes place and they break out in tears and this jubilation and this adoration, whatever comes as one is experiencing that darshan and that transmission takes place.  When that transmission takes place then, all of this begins to open, and the more that they spend time for darshan, the more that this grows and the more transmission takes place.  The longer they're there and the more they open to it, the more beneficial and the more spontaneous and the stronger the transmission becomes. Like today, I just called one of the students here, and the minute we got on phone he said, "Oh, my kundalini just went up." And at the retreat, he kept saying, "When am I going to get it, when am I going to get it?" So, he's wonderful, he's wonderful. So today, just in the call, he got the transmission, very good.