This is a daunting task, but WTF, let’s climb up this mountain. Got your Gear? Food? Blankets? Tent? Backpack? Patience? Courage? Time? Energy? Resources? Hiking Shoes?
Got it? Ready?
Oh- and this is a solo trip by the way. Say goodbye to your family and friends. Goodbye to your comforts- big ones, small ones. Goodbye to your wealth, name, fame, and identity. Goodbye to your life. Say goodbye to everything.
Ok? Now. Ready?
You still wanna go?
Okay, let’s go…
Strange things happen in grocery stores… At least they do for me. Awakening has transformed what was once a prosaic, piddly, and pedantic activity into a euphoric and charming escapade. How so?
I will describe the experience, but first you should understand it. What I am going to describe here is a type of samadhi (Hindu word roughly translated: blissful experience) that more frequently than not, occurs to me when I go to public places with lots of people. This is not my usual state, however as an awakened human being it doesn’t take much for me to fall into it. Additionally, I have very little control over access to this state, but it is definitely one of the perks that has accompanied awakening. This would also be a good place to say this: Awakening is not a constant blissful high; Awakening is not even a constant good feeling; Awakening under most circumstances, just feels plain and normal. Plain and normal is good, considering the years of existential depression I went through to arrive here. Trust me, I wish grocery store enlightenment was a permanent state, but it’s not. Sometimes it does last for extended periods of time (days or weeks), but I’ve been through it a gazillion times and know that the euphoria always subsides.
Today I received an email… from one of the many sat sang teachers who are running around America selling their wares. I have absolutely no problem with any of these teachers and as you’ll find out, this is the school I graduated from. I have read this teachers’ books, watched his videos and seen him in person. This teacher is awake. But damn that was one cheesy email. The current sat sang modus operandi is becoming the music industry equivalent of Duran Duran. Upon opening the email, there splayed out like porn on a background of slightly out of focus bluish mountains is this:
Like the imaginary lines created between countries,
we create separation in our minds.
All our distinctions are like lines on water.
The mystery of Intelligent Love brings us together
regardless of the lines we imagine.
Huh? I’m confused.
If I were a serious student of the violin and had thousands of dollars at my disposal and could have any teacher in the world, I would seek out the most well-known violin master I could find and beg him to teach me.
If he said yes, and before I actually shelled out the big bucks, I would ask him: “Sir, are you or are you not a great violin master? For I pray that one day I too will be a great violin master. I would like to be assured that I am learning from the best. Is this not the case?”
Naturally I would hope for a quick response. I would only need to hear him say it once. Just once. Then, I would know.
“Yes, my child, I am the greatest violin master who has ever existed.”
Let’s take a look at your odds here.
About 15 years ago I was hosting a fairly well known advaita vedanta sat-sang teacher in my home. I was helping him organize public meetings and a weekend work shop at a local Unitarian church. I had a private session with him. During this private session he uttered one of the most sobering and powerful statements about enlightenment and spirituality I had ever heard. It went something like this:
Thousands of people came to visit Papaji (awakened Indian dude) in India during the early eighties. Probably tens of thousands. How many of them you think got it? Really? How many?…(pregnant pause) ….Only a handful. Just a handful- walked away with the truth. The rest- well, the rest are still seeking.
Jeff- if you don’t get serious about this business you’re gunna be a seeker- the rest of your life.
After he told me this I broke down and cried. That was the tipping point in my seeking adventure.
That was the point where I realized-
Here’s what I think happens to you after you die:
If you do not awaken in this lifetime then the same part of you that believes and holds onto the “you” continues post mortem. After dying you will immediately be transported (just like in Star Trek) to the pearly gates of heaven where St. Peter will tell you this: “Good job chap…close, but not quite-now try again.” He then, will push a button, upon which you will be immediately transported back (just like in Star Trek) to the womb of some poor unsuspecting mother.
If you have awakened in this lifetime then no part of you continues post mortem because there is no you to continue- and when you’re dead- well uh, you’re dead. End of story.
Doesn’t this make sense? I mean this is why all separate egos are scared to death to wake up.
This is why all separate egos are offended by, avoid at all cost, and deny-every step of the way- anything that has to do with authentic enlightenment: Because it is indeed the death of the separate you. People who free-climb Mt. Everest without oxygen bottles are pussies compared to someone who consciously meets his own existential death. So, if you are day dreaming about awakening, and you really want to go through with the thing, there is one ingredient you might do well to stock up on: COURAGE. Yep, in order to wake up you must meet death consciously while you are alive.