It’s a question that’s about intimate relationships…
How to live these relationships from this pure love, and not like…
In my personal experience, it’s always coming back to the identification
as soon as I… It doesn’t come from pure love. And in the end, of course,
I’m disappointed, because I have projections… and… I have… ah… yeah;
I need something from the person; and it seems like…
Since I’m disappointed, I go back to this Advaita;
I say to myself, “OK, I withdraw”; and that’s
where I really feel the peace of my true being.
It seems like there is something…
Like, as if I’m caught in some part of life…
I think the Church of England should rewrite their wedding vows.
[Audience] Yes. Yes. Yes. [Laughter]
And instead of…
vowing to obey…
and… and all that…
We should take a vow to…
to love each other unconditionally;
which is simply another way of stating
the prior nature of our shared being.
We don’t actually have to vow;
it’s an acknowledgment of what is already the case;
an acknowledgment of the fact that behind our differing thoughts and feelings and our sometimes conflictual activities and ways of relating are being shared.
That would be the first thing to acknowledge when getting married.
And then the second statement I would have couples make to each other
as they get married, is to look each other in the eye and to say to one another:
“I don’t need you”.
[Audience very sweetly agreeing] Mmm…
Those two recognitions.
The recognition that we share our being, irrespective of
the content of our thoughts and feelings and our behaviour.
That is the essence of a loving relationship.
And then at a more relative level…
If we had to have a single idea
that would give the relationship
the best possible chance of being
an expression of that shared being
in all realms of our experience,
it would be this understanding
that “I don’t need you”;
“I don’t need you for my happiness; my happiness is prior to this relationship and independent of it; I’m entering into this relationship because I want to celebrate this happiness and this love, intellectually, physically, emotionally, but I don’t enter into this relationship in order to get happiness or love.”
In other words, “I don’t need you.”
So many relationships, so much conflict in relationships would be cleared up, if just these two principles were remembered.
I see that the understanding is there, but you know, this whole pattern of behaviour is still present. So how to… That’s why, I think, that’s why it always brings me back to this Advaita path that you… kind of… you observe everything, you don’t touch the world, but…
But that’s only half the path, Anastasia.
It’s half the path.
Because, you see, if the peace of your true nature is only accessible to you when you are not interacting with others and the world, then your peace is… is fragile. It is susceptible to being disturbed by the slightest unkind word from a friend, or gesture, or action, or… That’s a fragile peace. It’s not… unshakable… peace.
So, you’re right, that the… this…
what you call “the Advaita path”,
the Vedantic path, the inward-facing path,
is the direct path to the truth of our own being.
You’re absolutely right about that.
But it is necessary at some stage to turn around again,
and to take that understanding out into the world,
and to… not only express it in the world,
but to have it tested,
by the world;
and in particular test it by relationship;
and in particular, for almost all of us,
test it in intimate relationship, because
these are the most testing relationships.
So, I would encourage you…
This… this pathway to yourself is very well established in you.
You have this pathway; you know where to go to find peace, and fulfillment.
I would encourage you to… to turn around again, and face the world, and go out.
You don’t have to… I’m not suggesting
you have to go right out into the world
and lose yourself in activities and relationships.
You may still choose to lead a quiet life
that is not fully deployed in the world.
There’s nothing wrong with that.
But I would encourage you
to allow activity and relationship to come to you.
Both to express your love and understanding,
but also to test it;
both to express your love, your peace and your understanding,
but also to test it.
you will find
that by testing it,
it will strengthen it.
But see what it’s like.
Experiment, in relationship.
See what it’s like…
–and I’m not just talking about intimate relationship, but friendship in general–
… entering into friendship, where you keep this feeling “I don’t need you; I don’t need anything from you.”
It’s so beautiful, to…
I’m sure you’ve felt it, when somebody approaches you in friendship, without wanting anything from you.
You know what it’s like to be approached when someone does want something from you.
But I’m sure you also know what it’s like when someone approaches you genuinely, with genuine friendship, but not wanting anything from you.
It’s such a relief.
And immediately the friendship…
There can be so much closeness…
So much intimacy… between you.
But it’s… it’s not sticky.
So I would encourage you to…
You can’t dictate how other people relate to you.
But if you relate to them in this way,
you will send them a very powerful message.
And they will pick the message up.
So you can come close to people,
in whatever form that takes,
but just hold in your heart
“I don’t need you for my bliss;
I don’t need you for my happiness;
I don’t need you for love.”
That will give the relationship, in whatever form it evolves,
the best possible chance of being a truly intimate relationship.
And it will send a powerful message to the other person.
It will, in a way, demand a certain integrity from them.
Rupert Spira transcribed by Leon Hieros
Because what is human, is not an established state.
It is a possibility. It is not a fixed state.
If this possibility has to be made use of,
there is a whole system of understanding
that needs to happen; understanding
the mechanics of how this life functions,
and what we can do with it.
we are referring to
I don’t know 🙏 what types of stuff you’re doing, but my experience in United States, particularly in California… A lot of people believe, yoga started in California. [Audience laugh] Yes? I met someone who seriously believed it was Madonna who started yoga! [Laughter] Yes?
So this mechanics of life, is as simple as this:
I’m sure almost all of you are carrying an instrument, some kind of electronic instrument… A phone at least. The more you know about this phone, the better you can use it. Is that so?
Last year , the cell phone companies in India made a survey.
India is the largest, you know, growing market for telecommunications right now. Every month we’re adding about five and a half million cell phones. Okay. In a year, about sixty million cell phones are being added to the service. Because everybody’s having three, four, five these days. [Laughter]
They made a survey…
[at this very moment, a ringtone goes off in the audience, making everybody burst into laughter]
That’s the second one; you haven’t heard the first one.
[Resuming] …They made a survey, and they found out that ninety-seven percent of the people are using only seven percent of the capabilities that are there in an ordinary phone. I’m not talking about the smart phone; I’m talking about the dumb phone. In the dumb phone, ninety-seven percent of the people are using only seven percent of its capabilities.
So they were contemplating:
If we remove ninety percent of the electronics, still most people will never know… And we can even give them a five-hundred-rupee discount! They will be happy, we will be happy…
You know? Maybe they’ve already taken it off; we don’t know… Only if you try to use all of them, all the functions, then you’ll realize, something is not working.
So, in a little gadget, you’re using only seven percent.
[Opens his arms]
is The gadget.
Every damn gadget
has come out of this.
How much percentage do you think are you employing this gadget? Just make a guess. [Looks around in the audience] Mm? How much percentage?
You’re being very generous to yourself. [All laugh]
It’s well below one percent. Because, for your survival process, to conduct your life in the material world, you do not even need one percent of what this is.
This is capable of perceiving
the whole cosmos.
If you prepare it properly,
if you hold it,
just like an antenna
[slightly shifts his torso],
if you hold it in the right position,
it can just grasp everything in the existence.
It is just that we are doing all kinds of things with it,
because right now, our whole perception of life
is limited to the physical nature of the existence.
Physical, is like the peel of the fruit.
It has no purpose of its own.
In the sense… if you have a fruit, the moment you eat the fruit, the peel goes straight to the trash can. Isn’t it?
The peel is only a package.
Only because the fruit is valuable,
package is important.
Right now as you sit here, this body is very important. You have to feed this, you have to clothe this, you have to decorate this… You have to pamper this, in so many ways.
Tomorrow morning, that something inside, which you never experienced, if that goes away, nobody wants to have any business with this. Yes? Only because the fruit is inside, this peel has become very valuable.
Now, yoga means, not just about twisting your body, not about standing on your head, not about holding your breath… All these things, a circus artist can do better than most yogis. Really. Yes or no? Don’t you think so? A circus artist can do far better than most yogis in terms of twisting the body, doing this, doing that, holding different positions… That is not the purpose of yoga. Unfortunately, if you utter the word yoga, people think you have to be in some impossible posture. Yoga is not about postures. It is just a minuscule aspect of yoga.
in your experience,
everything has become one 🙏
The word yog means “union”.
What is the union? What can unite with what?
As you sit here, your idea, and your sense, and your experience of who you are is very strong. You’re here, as an individual!
But what the trees are exhaling right now, you’re inhaling. What you’re exhaling, the trees are inhaling. Or in other words, one half of your lung is hanging out there. [Laughter] Yes or no?
This is not just in terms of breath. Today modern physics is proving to you that as you sit here, every subatomic particle in your body is in constant transaction with everything else in the existence. If this transaction stops, you will cease to exist.
So yoga means
to know it by experience.
Modern science is proving to you,
the whole existence is just one energy.
The religions of the world have been screaming for a long time that God is everywhere. Whether you say “God is everywhere”, or you say “Everything is one energy”, are we talking about the same reality? Or a different reality?
“God is everywhere”, “Everything is same energy”;
are we talking about the same reality or different reality?
It is just that a scientist has never experienced this;
he has arrived at it through mathematical deductions.
A religious person has not experienced it; he believes it,
because it’s written somewhere, or it’s said by somebody.
If you are a hard case,
that you’re not willing
to settle for deductions
or belief systems, then
you become a yogi.
Yes, if you’re a very hard nut,
you want to know it yourself.
Then you become a yogi.
You want to know the union of the existence.
You want to know the oneness of what it is.
Not believing it.
Like you experience the five fingers of your hand,
if you can experience everything around you,
then we say
Sadhguru transcribed by Leon Hieros
What is the nature of my mind,
prior to the arising of a thought, sensation, or perception?
Don’t work this out rationally.
We are experiencing the continual arising and disappearing of thoughts, sensations and perceptions.
What is the nature of the medium, or field,
in which your thoughts, sensations and perceptions
are arising, existing; and vanishing…
In order for an e-mail to appear –relatively speaking– there must be some medium present, prior to the e-mail, upon which it can appear.
In order for a cloud to appear, there must be some medium, or field present, in which the cloud can form.
In order for a thought, or an image, or a feeling, a sensation or a perception to appear, there must be some medium, or field present, in which that object of experience can arise; exist, and vanish.
What is that?
Don’t answer this question with a word.
Just become aware of the medium or the field,
within which, your experience arises.
What is its nature?
Notice that we cannot find this field or medium as an object of experience.
Any object of experience could be something that arises within this field.
Whatever the medium or field,
within which our thoughts, sensations and perceptions arise,
it must be inherently empty
of thoughts, sensations and perceptions.
Just like the screen of our laptop is inherently empty of e-mails, images and videos. If the screen were not empty, there would be no room on it, for an e-mail or an image.
If the sky were not empty, there would be no room within it for the clouds.
If the medium within which our experience arises, were not itself empty of all objective experience, there would be no room for experience within it.
It is on account of the emptiness of this field –emptiness of objective content, that is– that the fullness of experience can arise within it.
Notice that all possible thoughts, images, feelings, sensations and perceptions are able to arise in this field.
Not just particular types of thought, or feeling, but all possible thoughts, feelings, sensations etc.
In other words, this medium or field is wide open, without preference, or discrimination, or resistance.
It is, as such, like empty space that does not have the ability to resist whatever appears within it. However good or bad, or pleasant or unpleasant, that appearance may seem to be.
Notice that this open, empty field or medium within which all experience arises is not an inert field;
it is a knowing field, or an aware field.
Whatever arises within it,
is simultaneously known by it.
Understand and feel that
you are this open, empty, aware field,
and into which,
To refer to a medium, or a field, or a space, in which our experience arises, is not quite right. It is a concession to the mind that wants to explore its experience.
Imagine a character in a dream who wants to explore the nature of the knowing, with which she knows her experience. The knowing with which the dreamed character knows the dreamed world, is of course the dreamer’s mind. And the dreamer’s mind doesn’t appear anywhere in the dreamed character’s world. It cannot be found anywhere in the time and space that the dreamed character seems to experience.
In other words, the dream takes up no time or space in the dreamer’s mind.
Likewise, the presence, the space-like presence, in which our experience arises –that is, our experience of time and space, and all the events and objects that appear within it– does not itself appear in time or space; it has no dimensions.
But as a concession to the mind that wants to think about the reality of its experience, we permit ourselves to visualize the medium within which all experience arises, as a kind of field, or space.
So, allow yourself to understand,
but more importantly, feel yourself
as the open,
or space-like presence,
within which all your experience arises.
See that your thoughts flow through this space,
like birds flying through the sky.
And just as the flight of a bird leaves no trace on the sky,
see that no thought leaves a trace in the space of awareness.
In other words, a thought doesn’t scar awareness; it doesn’t leave a trace of itself. However pleasant or unpleasant, however kind or unkind, however true or false the thought may be, makes no difference. It appears, it flows through the space of awareness, it vanishes. Leaving awareness in its original, pristine, open, empty, luminous, or knowing condition.
Remember, I’m not speaking of some abstract, metaphysical awareness.
I’m speaking of ourself. The very ordinary, familiar, intimate awareness that each of us, is.
If some thoughts stained or scarred awareness, we would have to get busy disciplining, or getting rid of, those particular types of thought. We would have to have an agenda with them. But no thought, irrespective of its content, stains or scars the open, empty, luminous field in which it appears, exists, and into which it vanishes. So there is no need to have any agenda whatsoever with the content of your thoughts.
The sky has no opinion about the quality of the birds that fly through it, or the number of the birds. One of the birds may take issue with the other birds. But the sky itself never takes issue with any of the birds.
Likewise, one of our thoughts may take issue with the quality or number of our thoughts. But awareness itself, never takes issue with anything. That is why it is always at peace. A peace that is not dependent upon the quality or the number of thoughts we have. But a peace that is prior to, and independent of, the existence and the quality and the quantity of thoughts.
Ask yourself the question:
Can I find an edge, or a limit, to the field of awareness,
within which my experience appears?
Remember: awareness is the only one that is aware.
So we are asking awareness:
Can you, awareness,
can I, awareness,
ever find a limit to myself?
Awareness is the only one that is aware, so awareness is the only one that knows anything about awareness. What is awareness, is experience of itself.
If we ask thought: “What do you think about awareness?”, we all know what thought will say. Thought has been trained by our culture to believe that awareness resides in, and is limited to, the body.
But what is awareness, is experience of itself.
to find an edge
to the field of awareness
in which your experience arises.
Imagine empty space, empty physical space,
and then imagine adding the quality of being aware to empty space,
so empty space, empty physical space, is no longer an inert space;
it is an aware space.
Just imagine adding the quality of knowing, or being aware, to empty space.
And now we ask this aware, empty space:
Can you ever find the edge of yourself?
What would empty space say?
Empty space would explore its experience of itself, and if it could speak, it would say:
I find no edge, or limit, or border to myself. In my own experience of myself, I am without limits.
This is what it means in the tradition when it says that awareness is vast; vaster than anything that appears in experience, because all experience appears within it.
Awareness is not really vast.
Something that is vast, is something that is extended indefinitely in all directions of space.
The only reason it is said that awareness is vast, is as an antidote to the belief that awareness is tiny, or small, that is housed in the body.
In relation to the belief that awareness is tiny, that is located in the body, it is legitimate as a first step to consider it to be vast. But in fact awareness is neither tiny nor vast. It has no dimensions.
So having added the quality of being aware, or knowing,
to empty physical space,
so that we now have this aware empty physical space,
now remove this physical space.
That’s what awareness is.
Don’t try to think about that.
It’s not possible to think about something with no dimensions.
It’s not possible to visualize something with no dimensions.
So keep this understanding in the back of your mind,
and permit yourself again to visualize and feel
your self-awareness as a vast, open, empty, luminous space.
Within which all experience arises.
But which itself has no edge or border, or limit.
Be, knowingly, this openness without limits.
If our thoughts could be likened to birds that fly through the sky of awareness,
then our feelings could be likened to clouds that float in the space of awareness.
They are larger than the birds, less clearly defined, and they tend to hang around longer than the birds; they move more slowly.
If we are in love, then these clouds will be light and white and wispy;
if we are depressed, they will be dark and grey and ominous.
But in both cases, in all cases,
our feelings are like clouds that arise within this open, empty, luminous field.
They are suspended in this field. They flow slowly through this field, and vanish into it.
And just as no cloud leaves a trace on the sky, no feeling, however dark or difficult it may be, stains the space of awareness, in which it appears.
If the sky of awareness were harmed in some way, or stained in some way, by certain feelings, then we would have to have an agenda with those feelings; we would have to prevent them, transform them, dissolve them, etc.
But just as no cloud leaves a trace on the sky, so no feeling leaves a trace in awareness. Awareness is always in the same open, empty; pristine; luminous condition.
Remember, I’m not speaking about some
abstract, philosophical, metaphysical awareness.
I’m speaking about ourself.
Not the self that we might become,
if we meditate long enough or practice hard enough,
but the self that we are now.
The self that we have always been.
The self that is intimately one with all experience,
but is never harmed or stained by it.
See clearly that no experience that arises
in this open, empty, luminous field
adds anything to it.
And when the experience vanishes,
it removes nothing from the field.
In other words,
the open, empty, luminous space of awareness,
is never aggrandized or diminished by experience.
And thus it has no vested interest in experience.
No need to reject what is present.
No need to seek what is not present.
Be sensitive to any feelings of irritation, restlessness or boredom.
If we are irritated or restless, we are resisting what is present.
And if we are bored, we are seeking what is not present.
Who is the one that is irritated, restless or bored?
It is not I-awareness.
I-awareness knows nothing of such feelings.
What other self is there, apart from I-awareness?
Can you find another self in yourself?
Keep your attention to whatever sounds are present.
Ask yourself the question:
Are these sounds appearing in the same medium or field, within which my thoughts and feelings are appearing, or do they appear in a different field?
Go back and forth with your attention from a thought to a sound.
Is your attention always travelling in the same field?
Or as it moves from the thought to the sound,
does it leave one field and enter another?
Does our attention have to leave the field
in which our thoughts and feelings arise,
in order to encounter a sound?
Or is our attention always
travelling through the same medium,
the same open, empty, aware medium?
See, in this way, that
our thoughts, feelings and sounds
all arise and exist in the same field.
Now, ask yourself the question:
How much distance, if any,
is there between the field
in which my experience arises,
and any particular experience?
How much distance is there
between any experience
and the knowing of it?
Is the faint sound of the aeroplane
further away from the knowing of it
than our current thoughts or feelings?
And when the sound vanishes,
does it leave the field of awareness,
or does it merge into it?
And when a sound arises again,
is it initiated outside the field of awareness,
and then enter the field, like an actor appearing on stage,
or does it emerge from within the field of awareness?
Allow your eyes to open.
A new perception arises.
Does this perception arise
within the field of awareness,
or outside the field of awareness?
Don’t think about this.
Just refer to your simple, direct experience.
Go back and forth with you attention
from the current thought
to the sight of this room.
Is your attention always travelling through the same field?
Or when it leaves the thought and travels towards the sight,
does it leave one field called “The mind”
and enter another field called “The world”?
Or is our attention always travelling in the same, seamless, indivisible field?
What we think about has limitations.
What we feel has limitations.
What we hear has limitations.
What we see has limitations.
But what about the field in which all these arise?
Does that have any limitations?
In other words, do you have any limitations?
Do you start out as a limited self,
and have to work hard on yourself,
expanding yourself and disciplining yourself,
in order to finally become unlimited, one day?
Or are you always, already, innately unlimited?
Allow your eyes to close again…
Allow the experience of the body to come to your attention…
Not the memory of the body, not the idea of the body, not an image of the body;
but your current raw experience of the body.
If our eyes are closed
(and I recommend we keep our eyes closed to begin with),
and we do not refer to memories, ideas or images,
our only experience of the body is the current sensation or flow of sensations.
In fact, without reference to memory,
we cannot even be sure that the current sensation or flow of sensations
is a sensation of a body.
It’s just a sensation.
So experience the current sensation
as if it were the first experience you had ever had.
Be like a newborn infant.
You have no memory to refer to,
and no means of conceptualizing your experience.
There is just your raw experience, raw sensation,
but this is not a sensation of something;
it’s just a sensation.
A continuously vibrating or pulsating sensation.
Ask yourself the question:
Does this pulsating sensation appear within the field of awareness, or outside of it?
Is it my experience, that the sensation appears in the field of awareness, or is it my experience that awareness appears in the sensation?
Travel around inside the sensation,
seeing if you can find a location for awareness,
a place at which the knowing of your experience takes place.
Are you located inside the sensation,
or is the sensation located inside you?
Are you a point of knowing, or awareness,
located inside this sensation?
Or is the sensation a pulsating vibration hovering
in the immensity of your openness; your emptiness.
What is your actual experience?
Ask yourself the question:
Does this sensation have a clearly defined border?
Don’t refer to an image of the body.
Just refer to your current, direct, intimate experience;
just the current sensation or flow of sensations.
Does this pulsating sensation have a clearly defined outline?
The purpose of these questions is not to come up with a rational answer for each question, but rather to take us with each question more and more deeply into the experience itself; tasting what is actually there. So don’t allow your mind to answer any of these questions with a word. Just ask the question, and allow the question to take you one step deeper into your experience. We are not trying to change our experience. We are trying to touch or taste the reality of our experience. Having touched or tasted the reality of our experience, we can decide for ourselves whether we think it needs changing or not.
Does the current sensation have an age?
Can you say, from your experience, the current sensation is old, or young, or …?
Without referring to thought or memory, is the current sensation either sick or healthy?
Unless you are in intense pain, is the current sensation either pleasant or unpleasant, if we don’t refer to thought or memory?
Ask yourself the question:
If I don’t refer to thought or memory, do I have any experience or suffering?
Notice that we are not trying to change or manipulate our experience in any way whatsoever. We are simply contemplating it. In a disinterested way. And in our disinterested contemplation, our experience is liberating itself from superimposed beliefs and feelings. Allowing its reality to shine as it is.
Can you find a self in the body?
See that the experience of the body is pervaded by the empty, open, luminous field of awareness, within which it appears, and with which it is known.
But that field is not limited to or by the body. It pervades the entirety of our experience, including the world.
So if we feel “my body”, we should really feel “my world”. Our experience of the world is no less pervaded by ourself, than is our experience of the body.
The appearance of a sensation in the open, empty, luminous space of awareness, doesn’t divide or compartmentalize awareness any more than a cloud divides or compartmentalizes the sky.
The body is a ripple of pulsating vibration appearing in the immensity of our openness.
Ask yourself the question,
without reference to thought or memory:
Does the current sensation weigh anything?
How much does a sensation weigh?
Certain areas of the sensation may have a certain intensity to it.
But without reference to thought or memory, this intensity is not evidence of weight.
How much does a thought weigh, or a sound weigh?
Sensations are made out of the same stuff that our thoughts and perceptions are made out of. They are made out of mind-stuff.
See that there are thoughts, images, feelings, sensations, perceptions…
All floating weightlessly in the immensity of your openness.
But can you find a self anywhere?
And if there is no limited, located self present in our experience, on whose behalf does our suffering arise?
Let’s remain silent till we’re in the dining room.
Thank you. 🙏
Rupert Spira transcribed by Leon Hieros