Interview with Rahasya
I love that– especially the "metaphor" of the breath. I was reflecting on my last question and actually cracked myself, thinking of an idea for an article entitled "The Benefits of Enlightenment". In many of these interviews, those who meditate appreciate the levels of awareness they manage to bring into their daily lives. Obviously there are those who meditate to calm down, relax, etc. and then there are those who seek a certain "culmination" or "awakening" of sorts.
On my path I was always highly motivated, but not necessarily by particularly pure, high or noble intentions. When I was at school, it was an escape. Later, married, it was sometimes a matter of competition, sometimes a matter of just trying to keep up. I don't recall ever having any urge to the enlightened condition. Towards the end, sitting silent just felt as necessary as food. A person can take attitudes, methods, and techniques from Tantra for many reasons. No matter. These things will reveal their lessons, and the reasons for the pursuit will vary. Just, there will be reasons.
You write that you are completely lived by existence. We all are, are we not? The difference is in our ability to let go and enjoy it. Do you feel you still have issues connected with this level of surrender?
Of course, retrospectively, it is obvious that this has always been the case for me and all things. Nonetheless, my experience was that I was, for example, doing the letting go of something. It is a tiny but total difference, being unambiguously lived by existence, from breathing happening to thoughts and action happening. Very different indeed from having an intellectual understanding of the situation, no matter how liberating that may feel.
Naturally, the events, practices and esoteric experiences around the pinnacle of Mount Spiritual are the most interesting to seekers. Unfortunately, insights from the lofty heights are not of that much use. By the time you touch what they refer to, you have already covered much harsh terrain. Basically, it is good to have guidance that takes notice of where you are and what you are facing. For most seekers, even Antony Robbins is more useful than E Tolle. By the time you could benefit from Tolle's elegant/eloquent view, you see almost as much as he does. Tony, at least, can start an inquiry into your own psychopathology, even though he expresses nothing much deeper than the mechanics of basic self manipulation.
I very much appreciate how grounded your view is in the every day and ordinary. The chop wood and carry water parable works here. You have coined a few phrases that I really have enjoyed, such as "Mount Spiritual" and "Esoteric TV". I want to ask you about your relationship to thoughts and thinking in your meditative practice.
Thoughts and thinking happen much as walking or eating in my life. My living is in no way distinct from my meditation. Sure, sometimes there is more emphasis on one thing happening than another. Probably moments like now, putting words down with a keyboard is when there is the most thinking happening. I enjoy my mind these days, much as I enjoy my body. It seems to be in better condition than the body, but it does not always appear so.
For sure, my mind is not at all busy with most of the things that keep most people entertained– partly because most of what passes for thinking is just a pointless exercise– partly because my whole being is in support of an agenda few can understand. I seem (at least, to me) to have an unusual degree of awareness of and access to my mind's working. I am interested in this, and enjoy letting it play, just as I enjoy my body loving or dancing.
I update my mind on cultural movement, some aspects of technology, some modern physics, partly because it likes exercise and partly to keep up with the kinds of things my students are interested in– helps with teaching by analogy. I do explore unusual areas of consciousness, but not with any drive, or much interest. Mostly, it seems more useful for me to engage with people in ways they can understand, using senses they are familiar with.
And, of course, it can be a bit different with Dakinis and some students. I exercise the mind-body as a unit too. Right now, I go to play hitball, which requires the mind and body to handle a pretty good simulation of fighting. Note this tatty old site at www.hitball.org.