Monday, July 03, 2006

2006 07 03, Monday.

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2006 07 03, Mon. Dreamed that I was at this Amma program. Amma was giving darshan on some stairs like in a stadium. On either side of Her were rows and rows of chairs with people like in a stadium. It seemed to be a sunny day. Amma was giving darshan to someone and I was next in line. Then the scene changed and Amma was returning to Her darshan chair and I was next. I was eagerly awaiting my darshan. Amma stopped for a moment behind Her chair to discuss some issue with some Indian women. It seemed that one of the women was Sushama (an Amma devotee I know in Springfield, VA). Then Amma sat in Her chair and I was preparing to kneel down for my darshan. As I was getting onto my knees I noticed that there was an Indian snake charmer to my left and in front of him was a small dark green cobra coiled up in a little small basket with its head waving up about 3 inches. Around the cobra there was a slight yellow glow. The cobra was somewhat close to my left hand and I was nervous. Then I thought "Well, Amma is here and She won't let anything happen to me." So I joyfully leaned into Amma's embrace and I was softly saying "Amma, Amma, My dear Amma." I thought Amma would whisper the usual things into my ear. Instead She whispered "Give me all your money." I was surprised! I leaned out to look at Amma and now she looked much older and Her skin was white and all wrinkled. She looked like Mother Teresa. In my mind I was thinking "Did I hear Her right?" Amma looked at me and whispered again "Give me all your money." Then I felt honored that Amma would take the time to give me a direct request. I stood up, stepped backward and happily gave Her a full prostration on the stairs. I also felt nervous about giving Her all my money, but I thought "Well, I gotta obey the Guru."

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I see Amma later on this month in Toronto and perhaps I'll ask Her what the dream meant. I'll have my checkbook handy, just in case... (smile)

Its interesting to note that after this dream later in the same day my spiritual seeking came to an abrupt and surprising end. Since 1991 I have been practicing Buddhist meditation and various other spiritual practices. In 1997 I encountered the "Advaita" teachings also known as the "non-dual" teachings or the "path of direct pointing". Well known modern teachers of Advaita are Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadhatta and Papaji, among others. Nisargadhatta and Papaji and have spawned many western Advaita teachers who are active in the west. The basic teaching of Advaita is that everything is consciousness and this consciousness (or aware emptiness) is no thing, and everyone is "That". I have met a number of these teachers over the years. Like many, I could kind of intellectually grasp the teachings, but the "understanding" or "knowing" didn't penetrate my fixation on and identification with my mental activity. In July 2002 I met Amma and She became my beloved guru. Recently I've been living near Miami and helping my parents (one of whom has Ahlzheimer's). Living with my parents, I've had some extra free time so I took the opportunity to search the intenet for MP3 audio files of Advaita teachers to load onto my MP3 player. There are lots of these files on the web (a great resource). In my internet searching I found the web site of an Advaita teacher about 4 hours away near Tampa (James Braha). I was feeling the urge to speak directly with an Advaita teacher rather than just listening to their recorded talks. I emailed James asking if he ever came to the Miami area to teach. He said he didn't, but he gave me the phone number of a friend of his (Emmett Walz) near me. James said that Emmett a few years ago had also ended his spiritual search with the realization that he is "That" (pure awareness). After some hesitation and a little nervousness, I called Emmett around 1 or 2 pm on the day I had the dream noted above. Immediately in our conversation we seemed to "click". Emmet spoke eloquently and with passion about the truth that everything is pure consciousness and we are That. I also got the feeling Emmett was an honest, regular, down-to-earth guy with no pretensions. Emmet said he would be running some errands later in the afternoon and we arranged to meet at around 6pm at a location near Ft. Lauderdale. I was feeling something shifting inside of me as a result of our phone call. We met in the parking lot of some strip mall next to a bank building. Just like my impression from our earlier phone call, Emmett was a totally regular, down-to-earth guy. For the next hour or so, standing in the shade of the bank building next to a busy road, we had a wonderful, lively conversation about Advaita and livng the Advaitic truth in this world. The conversation began with me asking him some questions about what life was like living with the realization that there is nothing but consciousness. Emmett replied that "stuff" happens as always and sometimes he gets "caught" by mental activity, but the everpresent fact or knowing of his pure awareness remains rock solid. He said that no matter what, we can't deny that we exist and are aware. And that simple, ordinary, everyday empty awarenss is who we really are. All the thoughts and experiences are just forms of consciousness arising from the infinite ocean of unmanifest consciousness. As we spoke it all become crystal clear for me. Yes, I am That and have always been That. How can I be anything other than the pure awareness in which all thoughts and experiences arise? "I" really got it. There was and is no "I" other than a bundle of transient thoughts. And thoughts (like everything) are just little swirls of consciousness arising from the infinite ocean of awareness. Toward the end of our conversation my questions were complete, and we just talked in celebration of That. I felt within Emmett a solid integrity and honesty. Those qualities helped me be receptive, open and available to the truth he was sharing. So called "awakening" is just a simple understanding based on seeing what is stupendously obvious: I exist and I am aware. Nothing more. Emmett spoke of how he had numerous spiritual "experiences" on his path. But the awakening is just a knowing; nothing to do with any experience. That knowing or understanding is now clear for me, so the search is over. Looking for some spiritual experience is a way of not looking directly at who we really are right here and now. The truth of who we really are is so simple! As we were saying goodbye I offered Emmett an orange (its traditional to make an offering to one who gives authentic spiritual teachings). Emmett laughed and graciously accepted the orange.

Postscript: Usually before my beloved guru Amma gives a public talk She says "Amma bows down to all Her children who are the embodiement of Divine Love and the Supreme Consciousness". Now I know Her words are absolutely true for everyone.

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