Friday, August 7, 2009

Spirituality: application in real life sitautions

QUESTION-ANSWER Series between Prem Kumar and Surinder
CLICK on Comments to view the whole conversation

Question from Prem Kumar:

Our mind swings between past and future all the time. The oscillations must be brought to rest if we want to experience spirituality in the moment of 'now'. I think all outside activities have to be brought to zero in mind to see the 'now' moment. I cannot bring all outside activities to zero. How to achieve it ?” Prem

My Answer:

As long as you are identified with your mind, past and future will remain part of you. If you become identified with consciousness, you can develop capability to ‘ignore’ past and future (past and future cannot disappear). Total disappearance of past and future occurs only during the state of *समाधी (Samadhi), when you can become completely identified with the present. The present moment is शुनियाता (Shuniyata)—a state of pure Consciousness. Once out of Samadhi, the past and future spring up again. Yes, you can push them to the periphery of your mind by practice (by साधना - Sadhana), but that capability occurs only after you become identified with the consciousness in the first place. (*Consciousness sees no past or future—consciousness is a pure now; it is a raw thought, therefore, it appears as शुनियाता (as a Void). The past and future are projections drawn from a point of now. All the restlessness of the mind (the regrets of the past, and the worries of the future) occurs in the projected area.

(*Samadhi is a Sanskrit word, there is no equivalent word in English. The closest I could go, is something as follows: It is a non-dualistic state of consciousness experienced by a person who has willfully focused his complete attention on an object or an idea in such a way that the consciousness of the experiencing subject becomes one with the experienced object. It is a state in which the mind becomes completely still (voided) though the person remains relaxed, conscious, and happy.)


To view the on-going conversation (further question-answers), click on COMMENTS


  1. So if I could become identified with the consciousness I would become identified with the ‘now’ moment. But that would be temporary; as soon as I would step out of ‘now’ moment I would be back in the Sansara (the worldly activities), and thus back in the grip of the past and the future. How would I ever get peace?


  2. My reply to Prem:

    Can you get rid of the past and the future permanently?—Never; even if you become a sage (Buddha did not forget Yashodhara, he went to meet her after his enlightenment). It is not possible to forget the past, but it is possible to forgive the past. After forgiving the past, train yourself to ignore it henceforth.

    How to forgive the past—Sit down by yourself, close your eyes and, one by one ask forgiveness from all those people whom you have harmed in the past; then, one by one bring in all those people who harmed you in the past, and forgive them one by one. Then, declare to yourself: I am closing the chapter; may God bless everyone. By doing this exercise you prepare your mind to switch to the state of consciousness.

    The problem is that you are identified with mind/body since birth; therefore, you are conditioned to think yourself as a mind-body. To become identified with consciousness, is difficult, but you can try. Personally, I had started my spiritual enquiry many years ago by posing a fundamental question to my self: Who am I? Am I a mere body-mind, or something beyond the visible human construct?


  3. Even a small stone thrown into mind from outside causes big disturbance. My mind is so used to achieve results; it becomes entangled again in Sansara (worldly activities of ego). And, for me the chances of increasing ego or creating a new Sansara are very high. How should I manage my ego?

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  5. Mind is like a lake. Whenever you will throw anything in it, it will create waves. Therefore, avoid ‘throwing’ things in it. If you become a Drishta (witness) of your own mind, the throwing of things (in the mind) could turn to ‘slowly immersing the things into it’ without creating big waves.

    Can you avoid Sansara (the world web in our head) completely? Answer is no—neither it is possible, nor it is desirable. You have to get Gyana (spiritual knowledge) and stay immersed in Sansara like a lotus in muddy waters. As long as you are alive, you are in Sansara (Nanak, Ramakrishna, Romana Maharishi, Nisargadatta… all got enlightenment from within the Sansara). Those who cannot become Drishta (witness) within Sansara need to take Sanyas (renunciation from Sansara).

    To become a Drishta (witness) of your mind, you need to understand the structure of your mind—every mind has two attentions in it: a fixed attention and a moving attention.

    The fixed attention is the consciousness (Atman). It is the personification of the sentience, presence, and existence—all in one. Conception of an embryo occurs in the ocean of the fixed attention. A newborn baby has only the fixed attention.

    The moving attention is the ego. It is the embodiment of the living, the exploring, and the experiencing—all in one. It creates memory of experiences; it senses the past, and projects the future.

    Sansaric knowing occurs only in the moving attention. There is no (Sansaric) knowing in the fixed attention by itself. The moving attention gives meaning to the fixed attention (over a period of time). If the moving attention goes to sleep, the fixed attention becomes unavailable automatically.

    The fixed attention is a pure consciousness—there is no Sansara in it; it is blissful by its own nature. A newborn baby is a blank slate, as a fixed attention. The civilization would condition the baby in quite predictable ways. Later in life, if you would want to find your fixed attention, you would have to dissolve the worldly conditioning to uncover the base.

    To most adults, there appears to be only one attention. Their moving and the fixed attentions are merged together. They think that there is only one attention (and ego is the owner of the attention).

    The moving attention (of an adult) sits on top of hundreds (if not thousands) of layers of experiences—It is the knower of them all—The fixed attention remains abstract (as a base underneath). The fixed attention does not have senses of its own; it uses (barrows) the senses from the moving attention to become articulate. The arrangement is complex, yet not very complex if you agree to believe what I am saying.

    Gyana (spiritual knowledge) liberates the mind and creates a witness consciousness capability. The Gyana you could get either by own Sadhana (spiritual practice), or by accepting it (as a Prasad- as a gift) from a spiritual teacher.


  6. interesting thoughts!

  7. Thanks for considering it interesting. Next time you might want to sign it by name and email ID at the end of the message.

    For your info: It is not difficult to open goggle account; simply type in your email address for Id, and choose any password (you email ID NEED NOT be a goggle ID; it could be for example)

  8. Question:

    To become a Drishta (witness) is my present endeavor, but I am finding it difficult to achieve it. I can sometimes see that hands are writing or legs are walking or mouth is eating or ears are listening—there is something inside me which notices whatever action body is taking. Similarly, with the thoughts in mind—there is something inside which notices the thoughts that come for a few seconds or even 1-2 minutes and I wonder why thought came even if I did not want the thought at this time. This occurs only for 1-2 minutes, and again the normal life starts.

    This happens only when I have nothing to think or use my brain for any activity, that is when I am completely off the work in the evening or mornings. Suddenly some thing inside becomes active and starts looking at body movements and even thoughts. Thought comes and disappears within seconds and this inner consciousness remains. Sometimes the thoughts stays for 2-3 minutes and this Drishta kind of feeling disappears and returns after 2-3 minutes when the thought is over and a new thinking starts inside. Why this thought came as I did not need it at this time or not needed this at all . Many times these thoughts are useless kinds not of any use to me at all.

    So I do not know whether it is Drishta which is active for few minutes or is it cheating of mind ??


  9. Answer:

    It is good news that you can be a Drishta, no matter how small the period be. The period would increase incrementally and slowly. It is better if it increases slowly and incrementally—sudden capture can be fetal for integral thinking of the mind. Do not forget that the mind got its present conditioning over the period of your whole life; to un-condition it, it would (and it should) take some time (slower the better).

    You wrote: quote: “This happens only when I have nothing to think or use my brain for any activity, that is when I am completely off the work in the evening or mornings” Unquote. Your observation is correct, because when you have nothing to think or use your brain for any activity, it is the time when your moving attention is willing to take rest in the base of the fixed attention. Close your eyes and say: Auham Sharnum Gachhami—I take refuse within my SELF (the self is the consciousness). Budhha called it: Buddham Sharnum Gachhami. Establish yourself in the SELF and say: I want nothing except the GRACE (Meher) of the God—He created the SELF (Bhagawat Gita Chapter 2, calls it the Purusha). Become Drishta (witness) of yourself seated in the SELF (Purusha). Repeat again and again: I want NOTHING except His grace. Stay in this situation as long as possible; and slowly-slowly stop reciting ‘I want nothing’; stop reciting Budhham Sharnum Gachhami. Become quiet and just ‘feel’ your being-ness; feel the pure ‘I am-ness’ (this ‘I am’ is not the ego). In this ‘I am’, you are seated in the seat of the Drishta. After a while, in voluntarily, the thoughts start forming again. If you must, then think about your own life-story as if it does not belongs to Mr. Prem (you). As if you are not Prem. Watch Prem. Watch him in his true colors; watch his failures and success; watch his fears; watch his good, bad, and the ugly side. Keep reminding yourself: ‘I am not Prem; I am the Atman; I have no form or shape; I am a pure being-ness that is Nirbhau-Nirvair (Free of fear, and free of conflict).


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  11. Comment from M.I.Singh (in Facebook, under Liberal Spiritualism Group discussion):

    I did feel the need to desire, Prem, detach from the past and the present, I once tied my horse to the tree and slept in the shade, I liked it, the journey had been tiring(past), this was good, this was now, the cool grass was far more comfortable than the saddle. The thought did cross my mind to cut loose the horse and settle in the shade (now) for ever. Battled with the thought for long and then got back on the horse again.
    I still ride, and from time to time, I still do long for the shade of that tree and wonder if I did the right thing. I want to see through you if I can get to that green spot where I can get off the saddle and settle for now.

    Going back to Prem's desire to detach from the past and the present, why such desire? what would I attain with such desire. The concept of karma is.........the past carried forth to the present, and the present to the future. All our acts are governed by the thought of the reaction they would bring, and that (reaction) would happen in the future no matter how distant or close in the future. I wonder what goes thru the mind of a person hooked on marijuana, .........bliss I guess? detachment? ...not worried about the future, or where the next drag comes from, live in the present, now is what he has. How far is this state from what we are discussing? To a logical socialy sane mind it sounds absurd, but what exactly is not right with this state? I am obviously not promoting substance abuse as an instant path to moksha, but what stops you and I from going to this path? I guess the reaction in the future by the law, your family and may be your own self........... in the future?

    My reply to M.I. Singh:

    My greetings to you for your thoughtfulness.

    In absolute terms ‘now’ moment cannot be captured except in a state of deep meditation (in Samadhi, the definition of Samadhi is available in the text of my Blog)—it is a state of a ‘voided’ mind. Those who practice on regular basis to attain such state, come to know the taste of bliss which self-effulges from it. Their mind makes a snapshot of the state, and tries to apply the state while doing the daily chores/work. BECAUSE THE SNAPSHOT EXITS IN THEIR MEMORY, THEY DO NOT NEED TO CREATE SPECIAL SITUATIONS. When you got down from the horse, you were tired (of riding) therefore the mind did not want to wander to past, and the shade was a relief (pleasure) therefore mind wanted to enjoy the present and felt no need to wander to future. IT WAS A SPECIAL SITUATION.

    To get the ‘green spot’ on permanent basis, find the voided space in your mind. It is located in the seat of your subjective consciousness. As long as you are identified with your mind, past and future will remain part of you. If you become identified with consciousness, you can develop capability to ‘ignore’ past and future (past and future will not disappear). The past and future are projections drawn from a point of now. All the restlessness of the mind (the regrets of the past, and the worries of the future) occurs in the projected area.

    To address your question: Quote: Going back to Prem's desire to detach from the past and the present, why such desire? What would I attain with such desire? Unquote.

    Answer: You would attain relief from the regrets of the past, and the worries of the future.

    Would a person smoking marijuana blissful, detachment, not worried about the future?

    Answer: Yes while he/she is at HIGH. Can he/she sustain it on lifetime basis? Absolutely not. One, who meditates on Consciousness, does not live in state of HIGHS and LOWS.

  12. Watch out for a new session of question-answers soon.