If You Really Don't Want to Die,

This is Where You Go



From The Yajna Discourses of Santosha Adi Da, "The Torque of Attention"

Adi Da Samraj

A Gathering "Consideration" with Beloved Adi Da Samraj in the Manner of Flowers on January 13, 1996

Table of Contents

1. Difference between Sleep and the Witness-Position of Consciousness
Awake, No Change, No Death, Prior
The Fourth State - Turiya
First Three Stages - The Waking Stages
The Higher Stages - Subtle Stages
Beginning of the Transcendental Phase - "Not this, not that"
Transcendental Yoga - Beyond the subtle and in the domain of Consciousness
Transcendental Knot - The First and the Last Knot
The Third State - Objectlessness - Attention Itself - Infused by Bliss
Witness Beyond Objectlessness Mind and Attention
Depth of Noticing with a Thread of Attention
Penetrate Objectlessness Bliss - The Last Noticing
Beyond Identification
Transition from Attention to Consciousness - Beginning Perfect Practice
Fundamental Equanimity
Yes and No
First Three Stages and The Witness -
Visiting but Not Established -
How Could You Believe You are Just There by Thinking?
Accomplished Meditation
Your Hopeless Condition
Position of Attention and Witness
The First and Last Place
Close - The Observer
The Prior Place - The Witness
The Contemplation of Consciousness
The Deathless State
The Beyond Place


If You Really Don't Want to Die,

This is Where You Go


Difference between Sleep and the Witness-Position of Consciousness

ADI DA SAMRAJ: What's the difference between the Witness-Position and sleeping (Nidra)?

DEVOTEE: In Your Case, nothing.

ADI DA SAMRAJ: I'm asking you to examine it yourself.

DEVOTEE: Well, when I come in touch with that feeling . . .

ADI DA SAMRAJ: What's the difference between the Witness-Position and sleeping?

DEVOTEE: Nothing.

ADI DA SAMRAJ: And yet you're not unconscious (Vital is Asleep) in the Witness-Position.

DEVOTEE: Right. And you don't have to be unconscious.

ADI DA SAMRAJ: You can be oblivious to the body-mind and such, but there's no unconsciousness in the Well of the Witness, there's no death.

DEVOTEE: And there doesn't have to be any sleep.

ADI DA SAMRAJ: . . . there's no change. Hm? But if you examine it, no matter what is arising, you are the Witness. Just That. What's the difference between That and sleep? Particularly in this moment if you do close your eyes, so that you're not even registering anything visually, just That Prior to the body-mind. Thoughtlessly aware, you see? Consciousness Itself. Well, it's not sleep.

That's why it's called the fourth state (Turiya) It is not unconsciousness. It is not sleep. It doesn't have the general attributes of sleep, as you recall it when you wake up. To recall having slept is different than to recall somehow, or once again re-Locate, the Witness.

So it's not the same as sleep. Like sleep, however, has no associations, no objects. So it's not only the fourth state beyond the three. It is the state immediately Prior to sleep.

So the previous stages of sadhana, in the context of the first three stages of life (Frontal Yoga) and some of the fourth, it's all the waking state disposition. The point of view is always that of the physical body-mind. It's your sense of yourself that's the domain of your experience. And you discount dreaming and sleeping basically as just sort of incidents that happen to happen, but what you are is the waking state character. So it's all, then, waking state Yoga in the beginning, in this sense.

Then there can be another aspect of your experience in practice, or a period within practice, where the gross busyness is quite relaxed, and the exploration of subtle possibilities begins to become expansive.

This develops potentially in the fourth stage of life, particularly when it comes to it's ascending phase, and in the fifth (Ajna Chakra). It's a resort to the dream dimension. The subtle domain is presumed to be Reality. The gross is incidental to it, peripheral to it. In effect what is being affirmed is that the dream state is the state one should be in, or is the state presumed to be the essential Reality with which one is identified - not the gross physical but now the subtle persona, essentially the domain of the ascended mysticism and such. So that's sadhana done from the point of view of dreaming. Whereas previously sadhana was done from the point of view of the waking state body-mind.

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Neti, neti.....not this, not that


So the "Perfect Practice", you see, or the practices associated with the sixth stage of life, are exercised toward or from the position associated with sleep and the transcendence of it - the domain of objectlessness, all objects one way or another relinquished as not it, or merely conditional and so on. So rather than focusing on the body and the mind, there's a focus on the Domain of Consciousness, the Domain of the Witness, and so on, the Condition Prior to the body-mind.

That passage is a transition from the Yoga of the waking and dream states to the Yoga of the sleep state. But that's just the transitional requirement, the "Perfect Practice" itself. In the context of the sixth stage of life, it's done in the mode of what is called the fourth state, turiya, or Consciousness Prior to the body-mind, as sleep is, and yet prior to a particular limitation that is still there in sleep.

The right side of the heart (Amrita Nadi) is associated with anandamayakosha. It is the seat of sleep, the seat of egoity, the first knot. It's also the doorway, or the last place Prior to the Unconditional Domain and the fourth state, and ultimately turiyatita, beyond it.

So to move from whatever stage of practice-maturity at stage three, practicing stage three, or whatever, beyond it - to the "Perfect Practice", is through sleep, or first, in other words, to the Position Prior to the body-mind, Prior to objects. That itself, just as a condition, is sleep. But the passage is into That which is the mere Witness. So attention itself without objects is sleep. All of the associations of egoity, all the characteristics of egoity, are there in sleep. This is why it's the third state, not the fourth.

Separateness, corresponding disturbance, contractedness, the feeling of relatedness-these are there at the root of sleep. So it's not an investment in the Infinite Domain of Conscious Being. It is simply a relinquishment of the motion of attention toward objects. Attention comes to rest. But attention is the self-contraction, so it still has the essential quality of egoity. So it is close to Bliss, you see. It is even to a degree infused by it. But it is still dwelling on the self-knot. Through that self-knot, beyond objects - through that self-knot of sleep - beyond that is the Witness. It is the Witness even of attention, you see. It is not attention. Attention is the root of sleep. Mind is the root of dreams, and also of the waking state.

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So attention can proceed toward all those mechanisms, and that's moving from sleep to perhaps dreaming and waking and all around in those possibilities. But the root of it all is the same. Waking, dreaming, sleeping, it is the same. But sleep is the root of the three. It's the root of waking and dreaming, because it is the domain of attention. And when attention relaxes from body-mind, things subtle and gross, it is rested from that disturbance of body-mind, not noticing it, but is still established in it's root-separateness. But in a kind of ease as such. It is simply not Conscious Bliss, without qualification. It is not that. It's a kind of intoxication, so to speak.

So you get up from having slept, but you do not claim to have become Enlightened-as you are not. Unless some remarkable event occurred there [laughter] - as must otherwise occur in your practice, meditation, and so on, in the period prior to transitioning to the "Perfect Practice".

The meditation must achieve a depth. Dealing with gross things first, and then whatever there is of the subtle impulses. But it must become deep by all of that, so that it can rest beyond psycho-physical agitation. So it must become something like sleep, a Samadhi like sleep, just a blissful relaxation of psycho-physical agitation and noticing.

There can still be some kind of thread of attention in it. It's not perhaps like ordinary sleep. So the meditation must go into that depth of fundamental objectlessness, even if there's just a minor peripheral awareness of the body and so forth. It's like sleep, being beyond association with objects.


The Last Noticing


So it's at that point, then, that such meditation can allow for the transition beyond sleep. Because you have to get to that depth first to enter into the Domain of the Witness in this profound steady sense. So you must penetrate sleep, penetrate objectlessness. The only thing there is attention, at rest. So it is the transcendence of attention, noticing it in the formless Field of Consciousness. It's the last noticing of the self-contraction. That's how you penetrate sleep. You move beyond mere objectlessness into the Fullness, the Radiant Love-Bliss-Fullness of Consciousness Itself. Not asleep in attention, and not agitated by all the subtle and gross objects, you see.

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So you must, so to speak, then, go to the Witness through sleep, in sleep. The process of Communion with Me must be such that you can penetrate the limitation of mere objectlessness - sort of resting as separate self, but attention in a profound state of equanimity. There's no Illumination in it, no identification with Consciousness Itself. You're being attention just like you are now with physical awareness. So it must be penetrated, this last, or really first, noticing, or first moment of the event of self-contraction. But you don't do anything in that moment to attention itself. What occurs is, instead of identifying with attention, you are Witnessing it. You suddenly Realize it is in you. And you are Prior to it. It's by that identification with attention relaxes. It's not that you do something to attention itself. So the stand spontaneously transitions from the knot of attention to Consciousness.

When that has occurred profoundly - it may occur briefly sometimes, but when it has occurred profoundly - there's no return to sleep. And that's when the Witness is True. That's when the "Perfect Practice" can begin. Such people are not asleep, then. Their meditation may look something like that, because it has nothing to do with the body-mind. There's no doings with the body-mind associated with the "Perfect Practice", the second stage of the "Perfect Practice".

Some may look to you like they go to sleep, and perhaps they do sometimes, but they are truly Awake. There's no agitated use of the body-mind in their in-depth meditation. So they're fully conscious, but they're not associated with attention and with the body-mind. So it doesn't go anywhere, so to speak. It simply more and more profoundly allows the revelation of Where it is, or more and more profoundly feels it.

So this transition to the "Perfect Practice" is not generally made in actual sleep, at night and so forth, but it does occur however when you've matured in meditation to the point of a fundamental equanimity, where your meditation has depth and is not just trying to relax the body, getting beyond agitation's and preoccupations in mind for something that you're not doing at the moment. It goes beyond that, as well as beyond just checking out all the interior - even interior of the physical - and becomes a Swoon of self-surrender and self-forgetting, without self-referral, and becomes deep, becomes objectless.

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Well, effectively that is sleep already, you see. You are not associated with objects in that Deep, but you are still attentive, still there as attention, doing this practice, but you become so, so to speak, interiorized that you're just not significantly noticing anything of the body-mind. So it's when you've matured enough such that your meditation can have that quality that it's possible to wake up Prior to attention, Prior to sleep.

But if you're not allowed to go deep enough, if your practice altogether doesn't become very profound, then you remain in the more superficial position, just of physical life and your motivations in it, and just physically relaxing, a little bit of mental relaxing, that's all that meditation is. You get stuck in the waking state position. You can't be established As the Witness from that point of view. You can relocate it for a moment, if so directed, but you cannot be established As It, because it's on the other side of sleep. It has nothing to do with the waking state.

Then if you give up further and become less physically agitated, and give up the need to keep your eyes open, and become more interiorized, more subtle-interior phenomena in the body and then the mind possibilities - and don't go deeper than that, forgetting that, then that's as far as it goes. Again, you could recollect the Witness, but you can't Stand as It, because you're being the dream state, coupled with waking state motivations as well, otherwise.


You Can't Think Your way 'In'


So how can you be Awake in that sense, in that case? How can you be in the fourth state, when you haven't even gotten to sleep yet, when you haven't become so profound in the deeps of meditation that you are relinquishing objects, and coming to rest, attentive but at rest, not preoccupied with anything gross or subtle.

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So it's only when your meditation accomplishes effective sleep, or objectlessness, that you can do the final noticing that establishes you as the Witness. And for meditation to be thus deep, obviously there has to be much sadhana altogether, to allow the disposition to be changed by these transformations, and be purified at the level of attention-in other words, attention getting to the point of being in a state of equanimity rather than moving toward it's objects fitfully.

You can't be attention, active or not, and Realize Me. You can submit and move toward it, but you can't even be attention, you see, which is the last of the first bit of you. That's where you begin. With a small "y", you know. So, not only can't you be exercising attention and be established in the Native Position, you can't even be it.

When you're noticing attention itself, you are in the Witness-Position, you see. it's just a matter of Realizing that. So you said that seemed to be effective at the moment. But it just points out again that the position of attention is not the Position of the Witness.

The observer is attention. The observer may even appear to be rather active, moving toward this, that, and the other thing, you see. But the observer is attention coupled with root-intelligence and such. And that is not the Witness, but it can feel something like it, because it's standing prior to most of what you usually notice to be objects - just relaxed, observing, not identifying with mind-forms or physical sensations or perceptions. That's the observer, that is not the Witness. That's attention, limiting what it's identified with. it's dropped back to identify just with the attention position, the self-contraction, you see, and basic intelligence, discrimination, discriminative awareness.

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So, some at that particular moment, and some others - sometimes seem to be suggesting that. But the Witness is Prior to attention, and all the objects of attention. The Witness is not attentive. The Witness stands Prior to the body-mind, Prior to attention, Prior to the act of attention, Prior to the objects of attention. You can feel it. Even standing back from the objects of attention, that's the observer. And that may feel something like the Witness to you, as I said, but it's not. You are attentive. You are self-contracted. You are even focused on the domain of objects, anyway.

So that is not the Witness. The Witness is Prior to all, including attention, and in itself oblivious to conditional existence. I mean it is inherently Immortal. Not mortal, not bound, not limited, not conditioned, not changing, not beginning, not ending. it's not merely a Position. It is a Domain. It is the Very Divine Person. So the "Perfect Practice" is to enter into the Domain of the Divine Person, the Very Condition of the Divine Person, without "difference", the Divine Condition Itself, Reality Itself.

So to do that you must transcend attention, the position of attention. You must be able to notice attention, or the feeling of relatedness, in the midst of Consciousness. You see? You must go through and beyond objectlessness, beyond sleep, beyond oblivious attentiveness, and feel your attentiveness in Consciousness, feel it arising there. You're the Witness of it. You're not even attention.

The second stage of the "Perfect Practice" is to allow, relax into, so to speak, That which is otherwise Witnessing, or Standing by.

So that is the Contemplation, so to speak, of Consciousness, the entering into the Well, oblivious to objects, but Profoundly conscious of the Well Itself, the Field of Being.

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The Deathless State


It's inherently deathless, is inherently obvious.

It is not bound to the body-mind.

It's not what dies when the body-mind dies.

It's not what's affected when there are psycho-physical changes.

It is unaffected, utterly Free.

It's Condition and Characteristic, then, must be allowed Most Perfectly.

Attention is the root of the domain of conditional existence. It's possible to notice, then, how attention arises in the midst of Consciousness Itself. But it can easily be relaxed beyond, because one is Standing Prior to it.

If you really don't want to die, this is where you go.

But you have to go beyond sleep, beyond death, therefore beyond objectlessness.

Simply attentive, self-aware, but oblivious to objects - no, you have to go beyond this, Realize that that is arising in you, in the Field of Being.

And has no necessity whatsoever because you are Prior to it.

Attention is the feeling of relatedness, the feeling of separateness, the contraction to a point, rather than Radiant without center.

The Witness is Radiant without a center, not attentive, not focused, just Abiding as Itself.

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Top of Page

Original Talk

Further Reading

"Death is utterly acceptable to life and consciousness..." - Prologue - The Knee of Listening

Three Stations of The Heart

The Spiritual Instructions of Swami Muktananda

The Knee of Listening




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