Thursday, February 27, 2014

Chakras in the Body by Ram Dass

If you think in terms of chakras, or energy systems in the body or connected with the body, there is the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh, which are called the muladhara, sradhishthana, manipura, anahata, vishuddha, anja, and sahasrara. The first one is in the bottom of the spine, the second is sort of below the navel, the third is at the navel, the fourth is in the heart region, the fifth is at the throat, the sixth is between the eyebrows, the seventh is on the top of the head. These don’t necessarily have any physiological correlates. They’re just psychic localizations of psychic energy, let’s put it that way, in this Hindu system, a Sanskrit, Hindu system I was talking about. Now, instead of doing an MMPI or a Rorschach you could also do a chakra chart, just like you could do an astrological chart. And these all tell you certain things. An astrological chart is like an MMPI one level back in abstraction. In the same way, a chakra chart tells, in a way, where the energy is fixed or localized in a person, where it’s stuck.

For most people in the Western universe, in fact most people in the world, almost all of the energy is located either in the first, second, or third chakras. The first chakra can be characterized crudely as being connected with survival and the survival of the individual as a separate being. It’s like we’re in the jungle and there’s one piece of meat and who’s going to get it, you or me? It’s a survival-of-the-fittest type model. It’s a Darwinian assumption about the motivations of beings. When you’re at that chakra, your motivation is to protect yourself as a separate being, your separateness. And the channel up which this is all going is called the Sushumna – think of it as a big river. You go in the river from Africa and the next stop is like the Riviera. See, you’ve got your security under control and now you start to go into sensual gratification and sexual desires and reproduction. You can’t be busy reproducing if you’re protecting your life, but the minute your life’s protected a little bit, then you can concern yourself with the next matter, which is reproducing the species. So the second chakra is primarily concerned with sexual actions, reactions, and so on – at the reproduction level. Procreative. Sex.

The third chakra, that’s like Wall Street and Washington and London. It’s primarily connected with power, with mastery, with ego control. Most of the world that we think of is connected with those particular centers. All the energy’s located there. People justify their lives in terms of reproduction or sexual gratification or power or mastery. And it’s interesting that pretty much any act we know of in the Western world can be done in the service of any one of those energies. So that a man can build a huge dynamic industry or we can say, “Aha, phallic,” meaning second chakra. Or a person can seduce many women in order to have mastery and power over them and we say, “Aha, concerned with power and mastery,” meaning third chakra. Doing sex in the service of third chakra.

Jung is primarily concerned with the fourth chakra.
I would point out that there are still the fifth, sixth and seventh chakras, and these are in terms of other kinds of psychic spaces and ways of organizing the universe and understanding what’s happening. There are many theories that are nonmystical and there are theories that are mystical; there are theories that deal with transcendent states and there are theories that don’t. And when Jung starts to deal with his archetypes, collective unconscious and so on, he is starting to deal with the fourth chakra, which is the same thing as Buddha’s compassion. He is still in astral planes and he himself is afraid to go on, that’s quite clear. He goes just so far and then he stops, because he’s afraid that if he goes the next step, he will no longer be able to do what he does as Carl Jung. That’s a very tricky place, to be able to surrender to your game which you have certain mastery in, in order to go for more. But I’m afraid that everybody is driven to go for more until they can, in the depths of their inner being, say, “This is enough.” And they can only say that when it is. So the press of evolution on man’s consciousness is inevitable. There’s nothing he can do about it. He doesn’t really have much choice in the matter. He’s just got to wake up at the rate he’s got to wake up.
- Ram Dass, 1970

Friday, February 7, 2014

Are you on your way to Bodhisattva?

A Bodhisattva is someone who says from the depth of his or her heart, 
       “I want to be liberated and find ways to overcome 
         all the problems of the world. 
         I want to help all my fellow beings to do likewise. 
         I long to attain the highest state of everlasting peace and happiness,
         in which all suffering  has ceased, 
         and I want to do so for myself and for all sentient beings.” 
According to the Buddha’s teaching, anyone who makes this firm and heartfelt commitment is a Bodhisattva. We become Bodhisattvas from the moment we have this vast and open heart, called Bodhichitta ( is a compassion for all beings, accompanied by a falling away of the attachment to the illusion of an inherently existing self.) , the mind bent on bringing lasting happiness to all sentient beings.

Buddhist literature defines three types of bodhisattvas: 
the kinglike bodhisattva, 
the captainlike bodhisattva, 
and the shepherdlike bodhisattva.

A kinglike bodhisattva is like a good king who first wants everything luxurious for himself, like a big palace, a large entourage, a beautiful queen, and so on. But once his happiness has been achieved, he also wants to help and support his subjects as much as possible. 
Accordingly, a kinglike bodhisattva has the motivation, 
“First, I want to free myself from samsara and attain perfect enlightenment. As soon as I have reached buddhahood, I will help all other sentient beings to become buddhas as well.”

A captainlike bodhisattva would say, 
“I would like to become a Buddha, and I will take all other sentient beings along with me so that we reach enlightenment together.” 
This is just as the captain of a ship crosses the sea, he takes his passengers with him, and they reach the far shore simultaneously.

A shepherdlike bodhisattva is inspired by thinking, 
“I want to help all sentient beings to reach enlightenment and see the truth. Only when this is achieved and samsara is emptied will I become a buddha myself.” 
In actual fact it may not happen this way, but anyone who has this motivation is called a “shepherdlike bodhisattva.” In the old days, sheep were not kept in fenced pastures, and the shepherds had to bring them down from the mountains to protect them from wolves. They would follow behind the sheep, guiding them into their pen and lock them in. A shepherd would take care of his sheep first, and only then would he go home and eat.

The Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara developed this shepherdlike motivation and is therefore considered to be the most courageous and compassionate of beings. He vowed, “I will not attain complete enlightenment until I have led all sentient beings to liberation without leaving a single one behind.”

Ringu Tulku Rinpoche

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Words of a Tibeten master

"Masters of the Oral Tradition, victorious buddhas and bodhisattvas,
Powerful Avalokiteshvara and precious Tara, hold with your compassion
One who, forgetting death, thinks only of the business of this life,
Squandering his freedoms and favorable conditions!

This human life is fleeting as a dream:

Whether it is happy or unhappy,
May I, without caring about joys and sorrows,
Sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

This human life is like a flame exposed to the wind:
Whether it is long or short, may I,
Without letting my ego tighten its grip,
Sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

The reasonings of the intellect are deceptive illusions:
Whether they are right or wrong, may I, disdaining them
As the trifles of the eight worldly preoccupations,
Sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

Companions are like a flock of birds perched on a tree:
Whether they be united or dispersed,
May I, taking the reins of my destiny,
Sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

This body is like an old ruin:
Whether it is robust or decrepit, may I,
Unhampered by seeking clothes, food, and medicines,
Sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

As for knowledge that is useless in time of need,
Like a deer's antlers, never mind if I know it or not.
May I, without placing my trust in ordinary knowledge,
Sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

The trappings of a lama make me look 
Like a dog turd wrapped in brocade.
Whether I have them or not, may I,
By seeing the rottenness of my own head,
Sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

Friends and relatives are like visitors to a market:
Whether they are friendly or hostile, may I,
Cutting the ropes of attachment from the bottom of my heart,
Sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

Material goods are like a treasure found in a dream:
Whether I have them or not, may I,
Without seeking profit by flattering those around me,
Sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

Social rank is like a baby bird landing on the top of a tree:
Whether it is high or low, may I,
Without yearning for the cause of my own problems,
Sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

Quickness to analyze is like the snout of a pig:
Whether it is sharp or blunt, may I,
Without vainly spouting the foam of anger or enthusiasm,
Sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

Meditative experiences come and go like a summer torrent:
Whether they increase or decrease,
May I, without being like a child chasing a rainbow,
Sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

These freedoms and favorable conditions are like the wish-fulfilling gem:
Without them, I would be unable to apply the instructions.
May I, without wasting them while I still have them,
Sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

The glorious master illuminates the path of liberation:
Without having met him, I would have no means 
To comprehend the ultimate nature of things.
Not jumping into the abyss, now I know where I'm going,
May I sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

The supreme teaching is like a panacea:
Without hearing it, there is no way to know what to do or not do.
No longer swallowing deadly poison, now I can distinguish the beneficial from the harmful.
May I sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

This alternation of joys and sufferings is like cycle of the seasons:
Without realizing that, how could I get tired of cyclic existence?
With the certainty that suffering will again be my lot,
May I sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

Like a stone in water, one sinks to the bottom of samsara:
Now if I do not seize the rope of compassion
That the Three Jewels offer me, later it will be impossible.
May I sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

The qualities of liberation are as precious as an island of jewels:
Without knowing them, there is no way to arouse one's courage.
Recognizing the unassailable gains of the conquerors,
May I sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

The life stories of enlightened beings are like ambrosia:
Without reading them, one cannot develop faith.
Knowing where lies victory or defeat,
And no longer buying my own suffering,
May I sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

Altruistic aspiration to enlightenment is like a fertile field:
If one does not develop it, there is no way to attain buddhahood.
Without abandoning through indifference the accomplishment of the noble goal,
May I sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

This mind is like a turbulent monkey:
Without taming it, there is no way to correct the negative emotions.
Ceasing to indulge in foolish pantomimes,
May I sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

This belief in an "I" accompanies me like a shadow:
Without getting rid of it, there is no way to reach the land of bliss.
Never fraternizing with the enemy once it is captured,
May I sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

These five mental poisons are like a fire smoldering under the ashes:
Without extinguishing them, one cannot rest in the unaltered nature of the mind.
Ceasing to harbor venomous snakes in my breast,
May I sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

This rigid character is like the old leather of a butter bag:
Without softening it, I cannot mix my mind with the Dharma.
Not letting my own child do whatever it likes,
May I sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

These inveterate bad habits are like the flow of a river:
Without interrupting them, I will always do what is opposed to the Dharma.
Ceasing to supply arms to my enemies,
May I sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

These perpetual distractions are like endless ripples on water:
Without renouncing them, I cannot stabilize my mind.
Ceasing to give birth to samsara while I am free to choose,
May I sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

The master's blessings are like the heat that warms the earth and water:
Unless they enter me, I cannot recognize my own nature.
While this shortcut is possible, without following a thousand detours,
May I sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

This solitary place is like a summer valley of medicinal herbs:
Without staying here, I cannot develop spiritual qualities.
Now that I"m in the mountains, without wandering in the sad villages,
May I sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

This desire for comfort is like the demon of poverty living in my own home:
Without separating from it, I will always find ways to create suffering.
By not making offerings to a hungry devil as if he were a god,
May I sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

Attention and vigilance are like the door-bars of a fortress:
Without them, the comings and going of illusions will never stop.
Never leaving the latch undone in the presence of thieves,
May I sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

The natural state of mind is like immutable space:
Unless one discovers it, efforts to apply antidotes will never end.
Instead of putting fetters on my own legs,
May I sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

The nature of pure awareness is like a stainless crystal: 
Without realizing it, one does not acquire the certainty that it has no root or foundation.
Not seeking elsewhere what is already within,
May I sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

The natural simplicity of mind is like an old friend:
If its face is unfamiliar,
Any practice is just deceptive illusion.
Instead of groping my way with my eyes closed,
May I sincerely practice the supreme Dharma!

May the two aspects of the mind of enlightenment arise in my mind
Thanks to the Buddha's essential instructions transmitted by Atisha
And practiced by holders of the oral lineage.
May all my actions be in harmony with the supreme Dharma!

Our ordinary actions are as useless as wandering in the desert,
Our efforts only make the mind more rigid,
Our thoughts just reinforce delusion,
And everything that ordinary people claim to be Dharma is a cause of entanglement.

Multitudes of activities that never succeed,
Crowds of thoughts without any meaning,
Thousands of needs with no time to cater to them:
May I abandon all this agitation and practice the oral instructions!

If I want to act, I will take the words of the conqueror as my witness.
If I do something, I will mingle my mind with the Dharma.
If I want to practice, I will read the lives of the masters of the Oral Lineage.
Indulgent habits, what else can I do with you?

Taking the most humble place, with the wealth of satisfaction,
Freed from the shackles of the eight ordinary concerns, courageously engaged in practice,
Receiving the master's blessings and achieving realization as vast as space,
May I enter the lineage of the Oral Tradition!"

~ Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye 

*Translated by Matthieu Ricard in 'On The Path To Enlightenment'

*Image of the living embodiment Mingyur Rinpoche, sitting in a retreat cave, September 2013. Photo by Lama Tashi.


"As soon as you think of meditating, immediately enter the flow of mindfulness of the present moment of awareness. If you maintain that continuously, there is no risk of the slightest mistake, the slightest confusion, or wrong direction. It is unawareness that leads to wandering in the cycle of suffering.

If you recognize this mindfulness, your mental confusion will disappear of itself. Whatever thoughts arise from within that mindfulness, simple remain in the recognition of the observer that notices that a thought is happening without following the thoughts or rejecting the arising of thoughts. In that way not only are thoughts liberated by themselves, but they become a support of the path.

Undercurrents of thoughts that go unnoticed are as if set in stone. They establish repetitive patterns that solidify to perpetuate the endless cycle of existence.

Thoughts recognized by mindfulness are like drawings on the surface of water, which disappear as soon as they are drawn. They vanish without contributing to the creation of proliferating tendencies and do not reinforce the cycle of suffering."

~ Jigme Lingpa 


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Who am I? part two

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi
Sri Ramana Maharshi

The next section is a continuation of the answer to the previous question: 'Are there any other means for making the mind quiescent?' 
     Like breath control, meditation on a form of God, repetition of sacred words and regulation of diet are mere aids for controlling the mind. Through meditation on a form of God and through the repetition of sacred words the mind becomes focused on one point. An elephant's trunk is always moving around, but when a chain is given to it to hold in its trunk, that elephant will go on its way, holding onto the chain instead of trying to catch other things with it. Similarly, when the mind, which is always wandering, is trained to hold onto any name or form of God, it will only cling to that. Because the mind branches out into innumerable thoughts, each thought becomes very weak. As thoughts subside more and more, one-pointedness [of mind] is gained. A mind that has gained strength in this way will easily succeed in self-enquiry. Of all regulations taking sattvic food in moderate quantities is the best. Through [this], the sattvic quality of the mind gets enhanced and becomes an aid to self-enquiry. 
     A sattvic diet is one which is vegetarian and which also excludes stimulating substances - such as chillies, tobacco, alcohol - and food that is excessively sour, salty or pungent. 
     Some Indian systems of thought maintain that the mind is composed of three fluctuating components called gunas: 
(a) sattva, purity or harmony. 
(b) rajas, activity. 
(c) tamas, inertia or sluggishness. 
     Since the type of food eaten affects the quality of the mind, non-sattvic foods promote rajas and tamas. The sattvic mind is the most desirable. One of the aims of spiritual practice is to increase the sattvic component at the expense of rajas and tamas
Question: Is it possible for the vishaya vasanas, which come from beginningless time, to be resolved, and for one to remain as the pure Self? 
     Although vishaya vasanas, which have been recurring down the ages, rise in countless numbers like the waves of an ocean, they will all perish as meditation on one's real nature becomes more and more intense. Without giving room even to the doubting thought, 'Is it possible to destroy all these vasanas and remain as Self alone?' one should persistently and tightly hold onto meditation on one's real nature. However great a sinner one may be, one should, instead of lamenting, 'Oh, I am a sinner! How can I attain liberation?' completely give up even the thought of being a sinner. One steadfast in meditation on one's real nature will surely be saved. 
Question: How long should enquiry be practised? What is non-attachment? 
     As long as there are vishaya vasanas in the mind, the enquiry 'Who am I?' is necessary. As and when thoughts arise, one should, then and there, annihilate them all through self-enquiry in the very place of their origin. Not giving attention to anything other than oneself is non-attachment or desirelessness; not leaving the Self is jnana [true knowledge]. In truth, these two [non-attachment and desirelessness] are one and the same. Just as a pearl diver, tying a stone to his waist, dives into the sea and takes the pearl lying on the bottom, so everyone, diving deeply within himself in a detached way can obtain the pearl of the Self. If one resorts uninterruptedly to remembrance of one's real nature until one attains the Self, that alone will be sufficient. As long as there are enemies within the fort, they will continue to come out. If one continues to cut all of them down as and when they emerge, the fort will fall into our hands.
Question: Is it not possible for God or the Guru to effect the release of the soul? 
     God and Guru are, in truth, not different. Just as the prey that has fallen into the jaws of the tiger cannot escape, so those who have come under the glance of the Guru's grace will never be forsaken. Nevertheless, one should follow without fail the path shown by the Guru.
     Remaining firmly in Self-abidance, without giving the least scope for the rising of any thought other than the thought of the Self, is surrendering oneself to God. However much of a burden we throw on God, He bears it all. Since the one supreme ruling power is performing all activities, why should we, instead of yielding ourselves to it, think, 'I should not act in this way; I should act in that way'? When we know that the train is carrying all the freight, why should we, who travel in it, suffer by keeping our own small luggage on our heads instead of putting it down and remaining happily at ease? 
     In the last three sections Bhagavan has used three terms, swarupa dhyanam (meditation on one's real nature), swarupa smaranai (remembrance of one's real nature), and atma chintanai (the thought of the Self) to indicate the process by which one becomes aware of the Self. They should not be understood to mean that one should try to focus one's attention on the Self, for the real Self can never be an object of thought. The benedictory verse of Ulladu Narpadu explains what Bhagavan meant by such terms. It asks the question, 'How to meditate on that reality which is called the Heart?' since that reality alone exists, and it answers by saying, 'To abide in the Heart as it really is, is truly meditating.' That is to say, one can be the Heart by 'abiding as it is', but one cannot experience it as an object of attention. 
     This interpretation is confirmed by the sentence in the last extract from Who Am I? in which Bhagavan equates atma chintanai (the thought of the Self) with atma nishta (Self-abidance). 
     In a similar vein Bhagavan remarks later in the essay that 'always keeping the mind fixed in the Self alone can be called self-enquiry'.
Question: What is happiness? 
     What is called happiness is merely the nature of the Self. Happiness and the Self are not different. The happiness of the Self alone exists; that alone is real. There is no happiness at all in even a single one of the [many] things in the world. We believe that we derive happiness from them on account of aviveka [a lack of discrimination, an inability to ascertain what is correct]. When the mind is externalised, it experiences misery. The truth is, whenever our thoughts [that is, our desires] get fulfilled, the mind turns back to its source and experiences Self-happiness alone. In this way the mind wanders without rest, emerging and abandoning the Self and [later] returning within. The shade under a tree is very pleasant. Away from it the sun's heat is scorching. A person who is wandering around outside reaches the shade and is cooled. After a while he goes out again, but unable to bear the scorching heat, returns to the tree. In this way he is engaged in going from the shade into the hot sunshine and in coming back from the hot sunshine into the shade. A person who acts like this is an aviveki [someone who lacks discrimination], for a discriminating person would never leave the shade. By analogy, the mind of a jnani never leaves Brahman, whereas the mind of someone who has not realised the Self is such that it suffers by wandering in the world before turning back to Brahman for a while to enjoy happiness. What is called 'the world' is only thoughts. When the world disappears, that is, when there are no thoughts, the mind experiences bliss; when the world appears, it experiences suffering.
Question: Is not everything the work of God? 
     In the mere presence of the sun, which rises without desire, intention or effort, the magnifying glass emits hot light, the lotus blossoms and people begin, perform and cease their work. In front of a magnet a needle moves. Likewise, through the mere influence of the presence of God, who has no sankalpa [intention to accomplish anything], souls, who are governed by the three or five divine functions, perform and cease their activities in accordance with their respective karmas. Even so, He [God] is not someone who has sankalpa, nor will a single act ever touch him. This [untouchability] can be compared to the actions of the world not touching the sun, or to the good and bad qualities of the elements [earth, water, fire and air] not affecting the immanent space. 
     Sankalpa means 'resolve', 'will', or 'intention'. God has no personal sankalpa. That is to say, He does not decide or even think about what he should do. Though mature devotees 'bloom' on account of his presence, it is not because He has decided to bestow His grace on these fortunate few. His presence is available to all, but only the mature convert it into realisation. 
     The three divine functions are creation, sustenance and destruction. The five divine functions are these three plus veiling and grace. According to many Hindu scriptures, God creates, preserves and eventually destroys the world. While it exists, He hides His true nature from the people in it through the veiling power of maya, illusion, while simultaneously emanating grace so that mature devotees can lift the veils of illusion and become aware of Him as He really is. 
Question: For those who long for release, is it useful to read books? 
     It is said in all the scriptures that to attain liberation one should make the mind subside. After realising that mind control is the ultimate injunction of the scriptures, it is pointless to read scriptures endlessly. In order to know the mind, it is necessary to know who one is. How [can one know who one is] by researching instead in the scriptures? One should know oneself through one's own eye of knowledge. For [a man called] Rama to know himself to be Rama, is a mirror necessary? One's self exists within the five sheaths, whereas the scriptures are outside them. This self is the one to be enquired into. Therefore, researching in the scriptures, ignoring even the five sheaths, is futile. Enquiring 'Who am I that am in bondage?' and knowing one's real nature is alone liberation. 
     In self-enquiry one is enquiring into the nature and origin of the individual self, not the all-pervasive Atman. When Self appears in capitals, it denotes Atman, the real Self. When self it appears in lower case, it refers to the individual. 
     The five sheaths or kosas envelop and contain the individual self. They are: 
(1) annamayakosa, the food sheath, which corresponds to the physical body. 
(2) pranamayakosa, the sheath made of prana
(3) manomayakosa, the sheath of the mind. 
(4) vijnanmayakosa, the sheath of the intellect. 
(5) anandamayakosa, the sheath of bliss. 
     Sheaths two, three and four comprise the subtle body (sukshma sarira) while the fifth sheath, called the causal body, corresponds to the state of the individual self during sleep. 
     The individual 'I' functions through the five sheaths. Practitioners of the neti-neti '(not this, not this') type of sadhana reject their association with the five sheaths in the way described in the second paragraph of Who Am I? The idea behind this practice is that if one rejects all thoughts, feelings and sensations as 'not I', the real 'I' will eventually shine in a form that is unlimited by or to the sheaths. 
     Keeping the mind fixed in the Self at all times is called self-enquiry, whereas thinking oneself to be Brahman, which is sat-chit-ananda [being-consciousness-bliss], is meditation. Eventually, all that one has learnt will have to be forgotten
     One can distinguish different levels of experience in the practice of self-enquiry. In the beginning one attempts to eliminate all transient thoughts by concentrating on or looking for the primal 'I'-thought. This corresponds to the stage Bhagavan described earlier in the essay when one cuts down all the enemies, the thoughts, as they emerge from the fortress of the mind. If one achieves success in this for any length of time, the 'I'-thought, deprived of new thoughts to attach itself to, begins to subside, and one then moves to a deeper level of experience. The 'I'-thought descends into the Heart and remains there temporarily until the residual vasanas cause it to rise again. It is this second stage that Bhagavan refers to when he says that 'keeping the mind fixed in the Self alone can be called self-enquiry'. Most practitioners of self-enquiry will readily admit that this rarely happens to them, but nevertheless, according to Bhagavan's teachings, fixing the mind in the Self should be regarded as an intermediate goal on the path to full realisation. 
     It is interesting to note that Bhagavan restricts the term 'self-enquiry' to this phase of the practice. This unusual definition was more or less repeated in an answer he gave to Kapali Sastri: 
Q: If I go on rejecting thoughts, can I call it vichara [self-enquiry]? 
A: It may be a stepping stone. But real vichara begins when you cling to yourself and are already off the mental movements, the thought waves.(8)
     The following optimistic answers by Bhagavan, on keeping the mind in the Heart, may provide encouragement to those practitioners who often feel that such experiences may never come their way: 
Q: How long can the mind stay or be kept in the Heart? 
A: The period extends by practice. 
Q: What will happen at the end of that period? 
A: The mind returns to the present normal state. Unity in the Heart is replaced by a variety of perceived phenomena. This is called the outgoing mind. The Heart-going mind is called the resting mind. 
     When one daily practises more and more in this manner, the mind will become extremely pure due to the removal of its defects and the practice will become so easy that the purified mind will plunge into the Heart as soon as the enquiry is commenced. (9
     Bhagavan noted that 'thinking oneself to be Brahman… is meditation', not enquiry. Traditional advaitic sadhana follows the path of negation and affirmation. In the negative approach, one continuously rejects all thoughts, feelings and sensations as 'not I'. On the affirmative route one attempts to cultivate the attitude 'I am Brahman' or 'I am the Self'. Bhagavan called this latter approach, and all other techniques in which one concentrates on an idea or a form, 'meditation', and regarded all such methods as being indirect and inferior to self-enquiry. 
Q: Is not affirmation of God more effective than the quest 'Who am I?' Affirmation is positive, whereas the other is negation. Moreover, it indicates separateness. 
A: So long as you seek to know how to realise, this advice is given to find your Self. Your seeking the method denotes your separateness. 
Q: Is it not better to say 'I am the Supreme Being' than ask 'Who am I?' 
A: Who affirms? There must be one to do it. Find that one. Q: Is not meditation better than investigation? 
A: Meditation implies mental imagery, whereas investigation is for the reality. The former is objective, whereas the latter is subjective. 
Q: There must be a scientific approach to this subject. 
A: To eschew unreality and seek the reality is scientific.(10
Question: Is it necessary for one who longs for release to enquire into the nature of the tattvas
     Just as it is futile to examine the garbage that has to be collectively thrown away, so it is fruitless for one who is to know himself to count the numbers and scrutinise the properties of the tattvas that are veiling the Self, instead of collectively throwing them all away. 
     Indian philosophers have split the phenomenal world up into many different entities or categories which are called tattvas. Different schools of thought have different lists of tattvas, some being inordinately long and complicated. Bhagavan encouraged his devotees to disregard all such classifications on the grounds that, since the appearance of the world is itself an illusion, examining its component parts one by one is an exercise in futility. 
Question: Is there no difference between waking and dream? 
One should consider the universe to be like a dream. Except that waking is long and dreams are short, there is no difference [between the two states]. To the extent to which all the events which happen while one is awake appear to be real, to that same extent even the events that happen in dreams appear at that time to be real. In dreams, the mind assumes another body. In both the dream and the waking [states] thoughts and names-and-forms come into existence simultaneously. 
     The final two paragraphs of the essay are taken from an answer to a question that has already been given: 
Question: Is it possible for the vishaya vasanas, which come from beginningless time, to be resolved, and for one to remain as the pure Self? 
     There are not two minds, one good and another evil. The mind is only one. It is only the vasanas that are either auspicious or inauspicious. When the mind is under the influence of auspicious tendencies, it is called a good mind, and when it is under the influence of inauspicious tendencies, a bad mind. However evil people may appear, one should not hate them. Likes and dislikes are both to be disliked. One should not allow the mind to dwell much on worldly matters. As far as possible, one should not interfere in the affairs of others. All that one gives to others, one gives only to oneself. If this truth is known, who indeed will not give to others? If the individual self rises, all will rise. 
     If the individual self subsides, all will subside. To the extent that we behave with humility, to that extent will good result. If one can continuously control the mind, one can live anywhere.