The following is an edited (see White and Orange Project) excerpt from "The Torque of Attention" and The Brightening Way Talk Series, The Yajna Discourses of Santosha of Adi Da Samraj, (1995-1996), Volume 1, Number 8.
A Gathering "Consideration" with
Beloved Adi Da Samraj
in the Manner of Flowers on January 13, 1996
Keep Focused and Become Less Interested in the Baggage
Hearing - Fundamental Organs or Centers Associated with Each Stage - Frontal Yoga - Fourth Stage - Egoic Yoga - The Spiritual Process - Relaxing, Balancing, Opening and Purifying - Discrimination - A Constant Consideration - You Could Try and Do This On Your Own - Subtle Experience - The Search - Waiting for the Prince - Close but No Cigar - You're Always in the Right Position - Traditional Practices - The Way of The Heart - No Struggle, Equanimity - The First Stroke - Secondary Effects - Body Building and Spiritual Experiences - You Have to be Serious about Your Situation
DEVOTEE : Beloved?
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm.
DEVOTEE: I've just felt over the last several days, as a result of Your Work and Revelation of Your Self to us in these gatherings, just this profound attraction to the "Perfect Practice", and even though I know I'm still in the listening position, and not capable of practicing that, I feel profoundly drawn to that. Even at the level where I feel like maybe I'm making the error of not wanting to stay with the matter of Your similar Admonition and Revelation of the hearing process itself.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Hearing?
DEVOTEE: The hearing process itself. I guess it's more of a confession that I feel inclined to bypass that matter of hearing, because, even though I know it's not in any way....
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, perhaps you imagine somehow in yourself that you can bypass it.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And that's your sense of the "Perfect Practice" and of the Witness-Position and so forth, insofar as you have located all of that in this "consideration", you may imagine that it is of the size required for the "Perfect Practice". But even if you made these two presumptions, if you try to do the practice, you'd quickly find that you just weren't doing it, you see. So you do have to examine your real practice.
Even so, what you're suggesting could be an aid to that real practice, keep it focused toward what you're being prepared for and less interested then in adding baggage to it all. That's it?
DEVOTEE: I just wanted to say that in Your description of the hearing process that You've Given us in the intensive, just the fact that You would make the simple flip - at least in my understanding - to the fact that the hearing process itself, or the listening process to the point of hearing, can be very focused and brief. In other words, the dominant thing that you've been Revealing to us about the practice is that it's about Ishta-Guru-Bhakti Yoga and that once the basic foundation disciplines are in place, and the detail is in place, it's not a matter of spending a lot of time focusing on that. It seems to us, by Your Grace, we can be drawn quickly into the matter of hearing.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, well, it is a reasonably short period of time. But we've covered that also.
As I was suggesting on the phone, we could talk about something entirely different. Everything comes around to the Great "Consideration" ultimately, but we don't have to confine ourselves to specific notions, or whatever, that relate to hearing or to the "Perfect Practice". We could talk about something entirely, apparently, apart from all of that, that is just something you have energy for, or some question about, or whatever it may be. Because if you just fasten on this particular matter we've been "considering", without anything further in yourself from which to generate questions or participate in it, then it tends to be reduced to subject matter - and even repetition, without any usefulness in the repetition.
DEVOTEE: I did have a question from the other night that - I don't think I ever even asked the question or conveyed my interest in it.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm. What?
DEVOTEE: This matter of the evolutionary structure of the body-mind, and the "consideration" of the fact that, as you grow in the process, literal organs actually grow - a process in which You have said the growing being identifies with principle sources of pleasure and fulfillment, in the first three stages of life and then . . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And the same on from there.
DEVOTEE: Right, and that the ultimate organ that becomes the focus of your absorption and pleasure is Amrita Nadi. And I was just wondering if You could speak about the organs in terms of the development of the process in the five stages.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: I could. [laughter] I believe you brought this up the other night, and just focused on some organs having to do with the first three stages of life -neurosis.
DEVOTEES: Right. Only two.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: He couldn't remember the genitals. [laughter]
DEVOTEE: I said that it seemed like the middle heart would be the next organ that would awaken.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, if you notice in The Dawn Horse Testament, particularly, elsewhere as well, I do describe the stages and the process in terms of such things - particularly fundamental organs or centers associated with each stage, and also including then the first three stages of life in their natural development. In the fifth stage, for instance, the brain core, the Ajna door to the crown and so on.
The frontal Yoga is associated with the left side of the heart, but also the middle. We've talked about the organs associated with the pot-shaped, the lower body as a Yogic mechanism, in which the bodily base is all connected and intact. But there's a kind of a pressure of living energy in the lower body that makes it feel almost just like a skin-empty inside otherwise, and somehow inflated with energy, and it even feels like the air in your lungs goes right down to the base of your body, you see.
So those are matters related to the organs of the body. In this case, I was merely talking about the physical features. When the Spiritual Yoga is done in the body from the egoic seeking point of view, for the achievement of effects of one kind or another, then there's the focusing of received Transmission in the body-mind itself - not only the gross organs, but the subtler dimensions also. So that, in effect, the Spiritualization of the various organs in the Circle and so forth, is cultivated, and results in all those areas are pursued, and held on to, and mulled over, and so on. Things like visions and such become cultivated also - subtle phenomena. Perhaps even abilities in the physical that come from the energization of the internal subtle mechanisms.
So when there is that cultivation of Spiritual Energy by the body-mind for the sake of egoic or psycho-physical development, then of course especially you see the various potential organ and body changes and all the rest of it associated with those developments. You see them in My Case of course, but in the case of devotees, it's not necessarily going to develop like that because the Spiritual practice is founded on hearing, and therefore the process is always about direct ego-transcendence, rather than seeking or otherwise clinging to phenomenal appearances, even the kind of things that are generated by Spiritual "conductivity".
So if those processes are not themselves cultivated, then the effects associated with them are not going to be developed. Each devotee is different. The mechanics are set up differently, and so on, so there will be some people who will show evidence of more involvement in the effects of My Spiritual Transmission, and some more of those developments in the body-mind may occur then.
Generally speaking though, or in the general case, even though there are various kinds of effects in the body-mind that would be experienced. It is generally the case with devotees that there's some of that, but it's not cultivated, it's not the purpose of the practice. Always in every moment it is direct transcendence of egoity in Communion with Me, rather than focusing on the effects. That's the sadhana.
The Spiritual process then is basically finding Me, recognizing Me Spiritually - being, through the hearing exercise and Ishta-Guru-Bhakti Yoga, altogether fully entered into Communion with Me, not fascinated with effects and so forth, although some things are purified and there are some noticings. So the Spiritual process is really this: See Me, and take up the "Perfect Practice". You see, it's very direct. If you are entered into direct locating of Me, Communion with Me, rather than registering the effects, you find you are drawn to My Position, you are Attracted into My Position. Not just standing off and getting Shined on. You are Absorbed in Me. You become right-heart directed, spontaneously.
That being the case, then, speaking generally of devotees, the process is a simple one. Some purifications, some this and that, but fundamentally it is a matter of simply relaxing, balancing, opening to some degree, as necessary, purifying the Circle, rather than developing it, rather than dwelling on any center and so forth as a fixed intention of practice. There is simply this Attractedness into Samadhi, Spiritual Communion with Me, founded on self-transcendence through hearing.
So yes, there will be Yogic signs in the body, since there is that Force associated with the practice and you are breathing Me. But compared to how it could be if you developed it intentionally, the actual development of the organs in remarkable ways won't in general be the case. I mean, you could do all that, like you could go to medical school tomorrow and get a degree and become a doctor. You could do all kinds of things that you're not doing now. But as My devotee you're here to exercise your discrimination, you see. "What is fruitful, what is Happiness, what is the Way that supports it, that serves its Realization? Is this a wrong course or right course? Is this distraction, is this something to follow?" It's always discrimination, always a profound sensitivity to the self-contraction and its effects, and the whole mechanism of bondage. Sensitivity to all that is fundamental to the Way of the Heart. So it's not just a gleeful good feeling, "come and get your Kundalini", just feeling energies and letting it rip-without any fundamental focus in ego-surrender, ego-transcendence, without any true discrimination relative to what you're up to.
That's a religious self-indulgence of a kind, because it's ego-based, just as much founded in the self-contraction as anything else you might do. So you could take a long time in the Spiritual stages - bit by bit, yes Communing with Me, but dwelling on all the effects, and letting them build, and becoming exaggerated with them, and carrying on with all that, even right on through the fifth stage of life. You could do that. All of those things occurred in My own Case, you see?
But in My own Case, it was a constant "consideration" - Is this it? Is this fruitful? Constantly examining it, seeing its limitations. And after all, when it came down to it, I didn't spend any years or extended time in the side trips. It was all very direct. I had to examine everything to establish that direct Way, but devotees need not - as if they have no Guru, no Revelation. They need not, or they should not, just blithely enter into developing experience.
So if you wanted all kinds of Yogic signs, body signs, psychic signs of a Spiritual nature, all that - well, this is of course possible. There's many requirements even to do that - ultimately requires someone exceptional for all of that to be developed fully, and exceptional Grace, or Transmission altogether. But it would take a lot of time, you would be totally occupied with it - which is making use of the ego-method, indulging in experience. Fundamentally it's not any different indulging in experience in the subtler domain of possible experience than it is in the gross. Yes, different objects, but it's the same bondage, it's the same structure of bondage. You see how readily you've all not only gotten bound in the gross dimension of existence, but have even continued to develop it further in My Company, become distracted by all kinds of things, essentially gross, over the years. And you see how years later you're still working on the same foundation.
Well, the same kind of thing happens when the subtler dimension of experience is opened and magnified hugely. An intense desiring motive occurs there, a kind of subtler counterpart to lust, you see it's very distracting. You get distracted by pleasurable associations in the physical - what makes you think you wouldn't likewise be distracted in the subtle? The subtle is basically the subtle side, the energy side, of the senses, and of the faculties generally. So it's still about the same structure of existence, it's just on a subtler, so to speak more interior, level of it. And certainly while alive there's still some physical associations.
There are, therefore, pleasures associated with the subtle tour of body-mind, but you feel the same as you do in the gross tour. I mean, you have extraordinary days where you feel extraordinarily well in the gross dimension. So there are those days in the subtle search, where you have a good day, you know? [laughter]
DEVOTEE: A good trip today.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, some really delightful visions and you feel good, and you go into Samadhis perhaps a little bit. But the next day, you're in there grinding away at it, trying to get up enough Shakti to even make your breath even. [laughter]
So in other words you're always working on the mechanism, on its limitations, you're always possessed by your search, your dis-ease then. And sometimes there are breakthroughs, but they're always temporary. Altogether the course is another version of struggle like what you do in the gross play of the world. And, yes, there are high attainments in it certainly - they are not eternal. But there are such things, other planes. There is transition to such planes - while alive and after death. This is certainly possible, but it is not that the Truth has been Realized. It's temporary, as I said. It has certain kinds of limitations of it's own. It's still fundamentally rooted in the dis-ease of the ego, which must constantly be gone beyond. Contemplative states are achieved, this and that is achieved, as a temporary matter.
But all of the beings there, thus more sensitized, long for release in their celestial palaces. They are like brides in a tower, waiting for the Prince. Therefore, they don't exactly luxuriate in their situation. Their motion toward Contemplation is profound, a profound tapas. Even having done what was necessary to achieve a plane of delights, their longing is so profound, it's all ashes in their mouth. It's all nothing to them, you see. It's only to those who have not yet arrived that this looks like paradise. When you get there so unsheathed, so sensitized to the Divine Potential -and yet still sitting on that knot of separateness? So it's in those high planes where the greatest longing is, and the least distractedness. Whereas from the lower dimensional point of view you think, if you could only get into that situation - you know, like politicians say, "If you could just give people food and housing and so forth, then they will live the happy life," and so on. More is required.
It's when you actually get into such a situation that that's not enough. And there's great striving there. It's not automatic that they go to God-Realization always. And some just descend again. It's too close and too agonizing perhaps. So these are not final attainments. The planes themselves pass, and change all the while, and the Realization is not satisfactory yet. High, but not finished.
Well, what's the difference between that and, while alive, Realizing conditional Nirvikalpa Samadhi and seeing that it is not finished? You see, it is the same state -achieved temporarily there as it might be achieved temporarily, and on and on again, through effort elsewhere. So all of the wisdom is potential in the human situation. You need not go elsewhere to Realize it. Of course, many do, even using subtle means, serve their purposes in the gross plane, and others serve them in the subtle plane. These are karmic entities doing karmic things. All in need, all seeking. All the planes are dual, made of opposites. They all have their limitations.
So the Way is to Realize the Truth of the world, the Truth of the conditional domain, the Cosmic Domain - rather than commit yourselves to the Cosmic Domain itself. You're associated with conditional things, therefore you're in exactly the right position. You can use those things as means of God-Realization. You need not look for other things. Instead of seeking, you should put your place in order where you are, and enter into this heart-seriousness, going beyond egoity, with Me.
Until you find out and Realize that Truth, you're subject to many illusions and less-than-Truth motives, and you are easily stimulated by all kinds of means. Those who Realize greatly are capable of one-pointed concentration. They are immovable, fundamentally. They don't suffer that distractedness that constantly draws the apparent being into entanglements, adventures without a great end.
Distraction is bewilderment, you see? This is why it is, in the traditions, called "Maya" and such - even called a place of evil in some traditions. It's constantly about bondage. You're bewildered, can't figure it out, it always ends in death - every cycle. It's possible to become so absorbed in your desiring in the indulgences, that you cease to be serious altogether, for a time, and become more and more profoundly degraded, hardly even noticing it.
All desire is seeking. Just as you've discovered about the motions of mind in our conversations here, how they distract you from the Witness and so on. Yes, there are thoughts in life, but there's a lot of action, and action is associated with thinking, but through the medium of desire - or desire is even the leading force in it and mind or thoughts play around it. So you also must notice then how the mechanism of desire binds you, dislocates you from the fundamental Position.
So any indulgence in the motion of attention exploits the same mechanism of dislocation from the Source-Position.
In general, the traditional practices involve the controlling of attention, controlling of all motion from the Source, away from the Source, however that is conceived. Since it's all one mechanism, various traditions engage in their pursuits by exploiting one or the other of the leading faculties - and thereby hope to control the rest. I've talked to you about the four principle faculties to constantly be turning to Me, forgetting content and feeling beyond it in Communion with Me: The body, everything called emotion, the mind, which is epitomized as attention, and the breath. All the traditional Yogas include approaches that exploit one or the other of those, or perhaps a combination of them sometimes, in order to control all of them. It's generally felt if you can control one, you do in fact effectively control the others. So there are many Yogas which exploit one or another of these capabilities associated with these faculties. But, of course, that also tends to become a dead end in itself and develops modifications which then themselves become the basis for seeking.
So in this Way that I have given you, the faculties - the content of the faculties, the functioning of the faculties in the context of the body-mind - are all simply turned to Me, rather than exploiting the content and so on. In each moment of Ishta-Guru-Bhakti Yoga, you're turning these faculties to Me instead, surrendering through these faculties, forgetting the content of the faculties, the distractions of body, emotion, mind, and breath. And, in that forgetting, Contemplating Me, entering into fullest Contemplation or profound absorptive Contemplation. And by disregarding the content, you weaken it, you are less bound to it. It progressively relaxes, it's purified, disappears from non-use - because it's part of that Law I've told you about, whatever you meditate on you become. But if you cease to look on that which you've become, turn the faculties in Communion beyond, then the meditation keeping it in place relaxes. You achieve wholeness, or another kind of wholeness or structural arrangement, not requiring those things which you're disregarding. And you find a fullness and well-being in that new adjustment, which hasn't made use of these binding qualities, and that's how they become thoroughly obsolete.
Its only in your emptiness or dis-ease that you meditate on things, so to speak - desire them or not seek them and so forth, and become entangled in them. But if you can forget about them long enough to establish a new wholeness, a wholeness that doesn't include those aberrating factors, then they're truly obsolete, because you already have that fullness which you otherwise would look to achieve by those involvements. So you don't need them. They're not a need in you. They're not about desiring.
That's what happens when it gets fully that way, but even in the meantime there are degrees of purification and relaxation of the binding tendencies, and you enjoy more discrimination about them and discipline is effective more readily, simply. Eventually it's not a struggle at all. But when there is this true, fully established equanimity, there's also great concentration, freedom of energy and attention, and the previous adaptations that were binding have been made obsolete by non-use, through discipline, through Ishta-Guru-Bhakti Yoga, all of it. So you are full, whole, not seeking, the body-mind in a state of equanimity. You see how you've become disentangled. So that's what the original period of the process is about. And as it moves into the Spiritual dimension of the exercise, it Realizes Spiritual equanimity, a fullness unagitated.
And that fullness, of course, is especially magnified in the profoundest exercise, in meditation and so on. But when you've entered into that sphere of equanimity - no longer agitated such that your practice is undermined - it's then that you are presenting yourself, or established in equanimity and in Communion with Me, such that energy and attention can become directly focused in the right side of the heart. Attention not agitated, attention can be transcended directly.
If attention is simply moving about, you're always noticing its objects. But if that fitfulness relaxes, you can be sensitive to attention itself, because it's steady and doesn't just jump to objects. It has a certain kind of equanimity itself, such that attention can be comprehended. And it's the last thing in the space - everything is epitomized as attention. When it is found in the Self-Condition, in Consciousness Itself, it's something like the hearing matter. You're in the position of that first contraction. In fact it is the hearing matter, but exercised at this later stage. It's like the original hearing understanding, because you suddenly grasp it - the self-contraction and the ability to feel beyond it.
So in this noticing and equanimity, this noticing of attention is the first stroke, really. It is the feeling of relatedness, the feeling of separateness. It is the root-disturbance, but you're feeling beyond it. But yet you notice this is a sensation in the midst of Consciousness Itself, an apparition there. Suddenly you become aware of the Self-Field in Which that primary thought or gesture is arising. So this shift, in other words, is from being identified with attention, by focusing on it, to being identified with the Consciousness in Which it's appearing.
So that is the basic event in which there is a transition to the Witness-Position. It's not that it's just an idea you study in My Teaching, and someday it happens. This is the process, you see. It is simply a matter of suddenly Realizing that attention - yes, anything arising - is simply within the sphere of Consciousness, and that That's Where you are. That's What you are. You have yet to Realize altogether What it is, but it's clear that That is the Position in every moment of experiencing. And all experiencing is of fundamentally the same nature - whether it's gross, at the level of the body and its relations, or deeply interior, or at the level of attention itself.
Instead of that fitful re-identification with attention and the whole cycle that goes beyond it, there's an inherent dwelling in the Position of Consciousness Prior to all of that. And whenever attention and all of its following reappears, the state of Consciousness Itself is clearly the case. Every moment then becomes, so to speak, meditation on this Sphere that is Consciousness, this Depth, this Condition which you're always in. But you are, like a child pressing its face in the window looking into a house, all kinds of absorbed in the sensations of all of this entanglement, and never feel, enter into, profound identification with the State you're already in.
So, Realizing the Witness is just at that moment, just beginning, like taking your face off the window. You sort of stand back. It's there, but you're not dwelling on it, not attached to it through the mechanism of attention. And from then you enter deeply into the feeling acceptance of that Well, that Domain, in which I am Non-separately There, Attractive to you, drawing you into that Depth. That's the Nature of the Spiritual process of the "Perfect Practice". And I am that Very Consciousness Itself, which you've Realized non-"differently", by Standing in My Place -in the Transcendental Position Prior to the body-mind.
So that's the nature of the Way of the Heart. The question that was asked about developmental signs in the body-mind, including the very organs of the body-mind and such, well, I've essentially covered it, and this is in My Teaching already. But it is entirely secondary. It's not cultivated in the Way of the Heart. It's not the goal of the Way of the Heart. So it's really about different matters than the Way of the Heart, at least in its fundamental nature, is about.
I mean, you could get a bunch of body-building magazines and see the results and the physiques of the people shown there and decide to start engaging in an intensive program of body-building so that you can get to look like that. There's a lot of development of organs in that. [soft laughter] But you'd have to almost entirely devote your life to it - to do it like it looks in the magazines, you see. And what's - [Beloved chuckles.] what difference does it make anyway? [laughter] It's just something to do, you see. Well, the same with the possible desiring and choosing of things subtler than the gross world, or the gross entanglements of the body. It's the same motive, same mechanism, you see?
You could, by a long course of discipline and preparation and so forth, if you found the right contacts, put the body in a position to be steadily conducting an immense cosmic force, and you could develop every function, every center, every potential for vision and experiencing, potentially. And it would be very difficult, but you could choose to devote your existence to that. And having done so, it doesn't make any difference. So what? It's just like doing body-building. Maybe you can amuse yourself with it for a while, but it doesn't change anything to do it or achieve it, you see. It doesn't change anything fundamental or profound.
So Spiritual experiences are superficial, like body-building, and they're based on the glorification of the ego, the separate person. It's not easy to do, and even if you do it, things quickly start falling apart again. If you don't keep lifting those weights, the body loses its definition. You've got to keep pressing on those subtle exercises there, you know, to develop otherwise. And there's only a relatively small likelihood of any great achievement with it anyway. Just like very few really develop their physique good enough to get in the magazines.
But you have to be really serious about your bondage and the course beyond it and so forth - be really full of the true signs of this Way - to be that direct and clear about it such that you waste no time in the side-shows, gross or subtle. If everyone gets distracted in this or that or the other way through their desiring, in this Way you must practice for real and gain the discrimination and the capability and the Grace of Contemplation to release your search.
You see, there is a certain amount of fun and pleasure in conditional domains. One can enjoy, up to a point-never utterly beyond fear and anxiety and limitation and mortality. [laughter] But you can be amused and take pleasure in various kinds of self-indulgence and so forth. This is why you must exercise yourself more profoundly from the center, at the center, and with real discrimination, real self-understanding -because you can be very easily seduced by your entanglements and associations, and lose the thread.
But you also must understand this is not an ascetical Way that just mechanically dissociates from pleasure or pain. We've compared this Way to the Tantric tradition - could compare it to other traditions too that have, not an ascetical approach, that just cut things away, but an approach full of wisdom and discrimination, that, even while associated with such things, conforms them to the Greater Purpose.
Still, some can choose to do it even more simply. They can be celibate renunciates and such, if they have the disposition for it. It should make things simpler, give more time and energy and attention for the serious core of practice, and the "bonding" entanglements and all the rest are not there, at least as much as they would be in the situation of maintaining intimacy and so on. So that certainly is an option. Some people are involving themselves in that.
A large number of others, I guess the highest percentage of devotees, are disciplining but maintaining ordinary life-circumstances. Of course, when they don't quite properly or effectively discipline it, then their practice becomes mediocre.
The original talk and more "The Torque of Attention" from The Brightening Way Talk Series The Yajna Discourses of Santosha, Adi Da (1995-1996), Volume 1, Number 8.