I am not a teacher. What a relief. If people think of me as a teacher, they relate with me as stubborn and rebellious students. They think in terms of doctrine and doctrinal disputes. I do not. I am not a teacher.
I share silence, and the practice that brings silence. My Guru, Swami Muktananda, lived this and shared it with all of us. I share the practice he taught me. There is no rhetoric or concepts. You are either practicing or not.
People looking for nothing more than teachers want their sense of self to be enlightened. Their shrunken self is going to take the instruction and get all the goodies; it’s going to win the grand prize. And the truth is, what’s going to happen to it? In order to win the grand prize, what has to happen? The shrunken self has to go. So everybody’s going to hit that point where they either want to hold on to their shrunken self or they want the prize. You want that pot of gold? Then let go.
And now you’ll understand why Baba used to tell the story about the monkey with the bottle. The monkey would put his hand in—there’s a banana in the bottle—and he’d hold on to the banana because he wanted to get it out. But if he held onto the banana, he couldn’t pull out his hand. The only way the monkey could be free was to let go of the banana. You can’t have your banana and eat it. You can’t have your cake and eat it. You can’t have it.
And if you think your separate self is going to be the winner, you’ve missed the whole point of sādhana. And if no one else is making that clear, so be it. Most “teachers” will tell you that you can be a better version of you. That is not the goal, that is not the pot of gold, and that is not spiritual practice.
The one who is chasing after teaching and doctrine is not going to be there at the end. So whom is the doctrine for? For the shrunken self. The doctrine is for our narrative, to steer it in the right direction. It’s a beginning stage. It’s the wedge we use to drive out a wedge. And if all you want to do is keep putting in that wedge—“Let me put the wedge in again! Let me read that doctrine again! Let me study another doctrine!”—and you think you’re going to accomplish something, you’re crazy. That is not what doctrine is meant for.
Remember, the one who’s following the doctrine is not going to be there when you actually get to the Truth. This is a joke on all of us. And we’re all supposed to get it. And it isn’t as though the world doesn’t show us this.
Thank God I’m not a teacher. As a teacher, my commitment would be to getting through to my students, no matter how recalcitrant they might be. All that I do is share silence, and the practice that brings silence—which brings us to Love.
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