If I am detached, won’t I become a selfish entity…uncaring about others?

Who is this “I” that will become selfish and who are the “others”?  This question comes from an egocentric mind that is trying to grasp concepts it encounters.  The enlightened are not attached to people, places, things, etc.  So the ego incorrectly concludes this would mean selfishness and not caring about others.

The enlightened know that there are no others…there is only the Self.  In this way, the enlightened care for “others” just as much as the Self.  The enlightened know that to help others is to help the Self.  To love others is to love the Self. Continue reading If I am detached, won’t I become a selfish entity…uncaring about others?

I’d like to Awaken, but I don’t want to lose my interests or friends.

As long as you are setting conditions on Awakening or Enlightenment, it will not happen. What you are saying are really conflicting statements.  “I’d like to Awaken, but…”, as soon as there is a “but” in there…what you are really saying is I don’t want to Awaken.  You are saying – I have these attachments and I don’t want to let go.  What if letting go was the only way to Awaken?

Your effort to remain what you are is what limits you.  Also, the unknown is often scary for people, but there can be no assurances given.  You have to be willing to take the chance…come what may.  Otherwise, fear will always stop you at the edge of the cliff…unwilling to jump into the void. Continue reading I’d like to Awaken, but I don’t want to lose my interests or friends.

Why do my old habits of thinking I am a separate self keep returning?

There is a distinction I want to make between thinking you are a separate self and believing/feeling deep down that you are a separate self.  Only you can say for certain which it is for you.

Thoughts of a separate self may always return.  Thoughts are not you.  Thoughts are largely not controlled by you.  Thoughts just happen.  The brain/mind creates most of the thoughts in relation to a “me”.  The brain/mind is trying to protect this organism from danger and to continue living.  And so thoughts about “what could happen to me” may arise…even after enlightenment.  Awakening just means you have seen through the illusion of “me” and so although the thought “what could happen to me” may arise, it simply is not believed.  You do not suffer from worry after the initial random thought. Continue reading Why do my old habits of thinking I am a separate self keep returning?

Can enlightened teachers help ‘others’ to awaken; and if so, how?

Yes.  By just being around them…and/or pointing at the illusions of the mind.

The whole idea of a “guru” is about an enlightened one helping others to awaken.  The whole idea of “satsang” is about sitting with an enlightened one to help awaken.  For both ideas, the top person (i.e. the enlightened one) is called a teacher.  In this way a hierarchy is created – teacher and students…the have and have nots (of enlightenment).  The trick that the enlightened one has to pull off is getting you to realize there is no difference between you and the teacher…and that you too are already the Self.  This involves seeing through the illusion of “me”. Continue reading Can enlightened teachers help ‘others’ to awaken; and if so, how?

I do self-inquiry and what I am is obvious. How will that realization sink in?

You want to know how that realization will sink in and how to keep the knowing when the body/mind is full of fear or suffering.  You say you have awakened (per ‘what I am is obvious’), but I must tell you that you really don’t know who you are.  Maybe on some intellectual level you are trying to believe something, but in your heart and bones you “know” otherwise.

The same kind of thing happened when (for example) a devote Christian told me he was absolutely sure that when he died he would go straight to heaven and enjoy everlasting bliss next to God.  And yet he was terrified about his own death.  Why?  If death truly is going to a “better place”, then what is the problem with death? Continue reading I do self-inquiry and what I am is obvious. How will that realization sink in?

Are there partial or incomplete awakenings?

The idea of partial or incomplete awakenings is a refuge of the ego by creating progress.  It feels good, egoically, to say I partially awakened.  I have taken another step to “full awakening.”  No, that is just being stuck in a new illusion…a new set of chains.

How can there be a partial or incomplete awakenings?  It is like saying you can partially know that 2 + 2 = 4.  Can you incompletely know 2 + 2 = 4?  Both versions are really not yet knowing 2 + 2 = 4.  You either know 2 + 2 = 4 or you haven’t quite figured it out yet.  Or it is like saying you can partially or incompletely see a person entering the room.  You either saw a person enter or you did not see a person enter the room.  If you didn’t see, you are not sure a person is in the room.  If you did see, you know a person is in the room.  Partially seeing doesn’t exist. Continue reading Are there partial or incomplete awakenings?

Don’t you have problems? If not, why not?

I often say that upon awakening there is a ceasing to have problems.  Problems are really fictions of the mind.  They are judgements and opinions about what is happening, what has happened, or what might happen.  We are the ones that make things problematic.  Put another way…the only problem we have is that life is not going the way we think it should.

Awakening is also a seeing through the fictitious “me.”  Who has problems?  Only the fictitious “me.”  If you really don’t identify with the fictitious “me” and realize there is only the Self, where can the problem arise?  It is like saying “I have a problem with myself.”  There is only the Self…why do you see the Self as problematic and who would see the Self as problematic? Continue reading Don’t you have problems? If not, why not?

What is the human journey to you post realization?

The human journey (post self-realization) is simply playing and enjoying what is happening.

As I am a house-holder yogi (as Indian philosophy would call it).  I do have the roles of husband, father, employee, etc. to play. I play at working as a recruiter during the day so I can play at paying the bills every month. Playing the role of recruiter keeps food, shelter, clothing, etc. readily available in the grander game of life. The game of life is an amazingly intricate game played on many levels…and I am having fun playing it. I enjoy what is happening…whatever is happening.  A few years ago, I played the role of unemployed person…and that was fun in its own way as well. Continue reading What is the human journey to you post realization?

Please describe the path to enlightenment. How long does it take?

There is no path…there are no steps. How long does it take – that is a question assuming a path and steps. It assumes a process and progress. Enlightenment is not a process…it is realization…Self-realization. A realization regarding who/what you really are and seeing through the misidentification and illusions of the mind (especially those that create division). Enlightened can be described as seeing through the illusion of ego. Therefore, you can not willfully do anything to become enlightened. What can the ego do to see through itself? Any willful action (which is ego) only reinforces the apparent reality of the illusion. This is why some have called enlightenment a grace…it happens to you. Continue reading Please describe the path to enlightenment. How long does it take?

Don’t we have to practice in daily life what we have realized?

With realization / understanding, there is no need to practice…it is just lived automatically.

For example, there is a Tibetan Buddhist saying that goes something like – “if a problem can be solved there is no use worrying about it. If it can’t be solved, worrying will do no good.”

Now you could try to put this saying into practice to overcome your worries…every time worry comes up you could remind yourself about it.  You lose your job and worry arises, and then you can say to yourself the saying and look for things you can do about the situation.  If there is nothing you can do about it, you can try to practice accepting the situation and not worry about it. Continue reading Don’t we have to practice in daily life what we have realized?