The reason I started down this path was that I had to. I knew that what I wanted to know was there, wherever “there” was. What did I want? Happiness and peace. Knowing the Truth, the bottom line of life, I knew would give me lasting peace and joy.
Thus began my treasure hunt. From science back to my first love of dance. From dance to Tai Chi Chuan. From Tai Chi Chuan to the five excellences. From the five excellences to Swami Muktananda. The truth is, the search was more about the teacher than the activity. The outer activity was only the occasion for the teacher to drive me further toward my goal.
Annelise Mertz used dance to bring me to the freedom of vitarka samādhi. For her we were not dancing unless we had discipline and were in the zone—conscious, clear and without thought of any kind.
T. R. Chung demanded that we surrender to what was beyond the form of Tai Chi. Being an internal practice did not mean being inside the body; internal meant letting go of the body and moving the chi. The body was required to be disciplined, but this was not the goal. It was not the body that provided the force, but the energy within and beyond that moved everything.
Though I loved both of these expressions, neither Mertz nor Chung could give me what I was looking for. Frank Pierce Jones further supported my direction, as did Dr. So, my acupuncture teacher. They all willingly gave what they had to offer, but I was not satisfied.
I was having powerful experiences but did not understand them; nor did I have a good context to put my mind at ease. It was then that I encountered Swami Muktananda. He was the Teacher. He knew the answer to my question, and he could show me how to get there.
It is now forty-six years since I started consciously walking this path. Muktananda left his body in 1982. Since that time I have been working to embody what he taught me.
What did he teach me?
He did not teach me that the goal of sādhana is a happy small self that has supernormal experiences.
He did not teach me to remain limited and okay with that.
He did not teach me to then limit God so I could contain and understand Him in my shrunken idea of myself.
He did not teach that the Witness is the rudimentary awareness of my emotional and thought constructs. I did not take nearly fifty years to achieve an ordinary sense of objectivity.
Baba spoke of the Witness in the turīya state.
He spoke of the Self in the Heart beyond the waking, dream and deep sleep states.
He taught that the Witness is the witness of the three states because It resides in the fourth state, outside the other three.
He taught that God is in fact everywhere at all times.
He awakened people’s spiritual energy, known as kuṇḍalinī. Once someone is awakened, divine Grace will assist them if they put forth right effort with determination and devotion.
If you have a kuṇḍalinī awakening but no experience of the Witness, then you will believe your experiences belong to the small self. Every experience then only feeds and expands the small self, which thinks it owns everything.
The goal is not to have supernormal experiences and an expanded idea of who I think I am. If that were the goal, then I could just take hallucinogens.
The goal is not to think of myself as a good person. It is not to like myself as I construct myself to be.
The goal is not to feel powerful. People want to prove that they are more powerful than anyone else. They want to be beyond anyone else’s control, including God’s. This is just idolatry.
The goal is to experience that God is within you as you, wherever you go. To experience at every moment that you are not the doer, that God is the doer, that God is All—not as a concept, but as a Reality.
To arrive here, you must give up your identification with who you think you are, with all the thought constructs that make up “you”.
This sādhana is active, not passive. If you want misery, just remain passive. If you want bliss, give up your pain, along with your pride in your pain. The spiritual warrior kills his own misery and comes out triumphant by surrendering and going to God.
All my prior teachers paved the way for Baba. He then taught me this. And this is what I teach.
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