If once, just once, you actually let go into the overwhelming experience…

Advaita Post, Volume 9, Number 19

A demonstration
Let’s take up the call for the release of the absolute dictates of the ego’s reality-dream



An introduction and talk in Gouda May 14, 2008

The Non-duality of experience, Part 5: Conquest and surrender

I can be overwhelmed by a flower…
When there is just one moment of being overwhelmed with awareness. Then there’s the recognition of where it’s going. Is it there one hundred percent?

When that happens with the flower, there is something of it, but it gets cut off.
Apparently you set yourself back into the everyday personality too quickly. There is the irreducible wonderful experience “flower” and then it’s over. Too bad, because it’s a wonderful opportunity. If once, just once, you actually let go into the overwhelming experience…

How do you do that?
By continually observing, very alert and extremely passive. Then you see what happens when a flower arises in such a magnificent way. Wonderful, even if it’s only a simple dandelion, what comes towards you has the tendency to overwhelm. you can recognize that primal situation in which you find yourself from the inside. Then you know what it means that you’re no longer going to act like a person who judges the phenomenon from a distance. No, you let the flower fully enter and in that ongoing process the awareness occurs.

So you let yourself, you let yourself…
You let yourself be overwhelmed, while you remain internally aware. You can even faint from the beauty and yet remain conscious.

The moment that a tendency arises to judge it … What do you do?
When it goes well, you say: “I’ll stay alert to the beauty and let myself relax even further.” Then there’s the internal clarity, through which the relaxation and the further process can continue. That’s why we’re still talking about it, as far as it goes, so that you can continue to acquaint yourself with all the different aspects. You become familiar with that area and then know its possibilities. You step hundreds or thousands times into the trap of the judge, but gradually you see that it can be different.

In that moment you consciously stop the activity of the mind? 
When you consciously want to stop thinking, you’re already back in the “I do” and “I want”. Rather, it’s much more about an original situation in which an orientation is still possible. It’s somewhat comparable to learning a skill, such as in a sport. When you go further in a sport, at a certain moment you experience that you are able to do things much better than you have ever been able to do from a mental consciousness. That perfection comes from an internal clarity within which the knowledge is “just let it happen.” Then you experience that it develops further by itself. So it’s much more of a “knowing how” on a physical level than “knowing that” on the mental level. That “knowing how” is implicit in the event. It’s an aware knowing, but there is no “I should” and “I do” involved. It is a conscious event that happens by itself. It’s not to be analyzed into basic commands which you could include in a computer program.

So that’s total surrender.
It’s a complete surrender, yes, with internal awareness. For as long as there is a closed ‘I’, that ‘I’ surrenders itself to something that is much greater. And then you see that this ‘much greater’ manifests itself everywhere, even in the ordinary enjoyment of an ice cream or the viewing of a flower. So in every experience it can be recognized. That happens in a situation in which there is no resistance. So emotionally it means, again: experience more from the heart. The love within allows the borders to disappear.

I was on a vipassana meditation retreat, and my attention was attracted towards a beautiful red flower. But we had been given instructions that we weren’t to look at anything. I noticed that I wanted to smell that flower, so I looked around to see if anyone was looking. I saw no one, but when I went towards that flower, suddenly a guard popped up: “Don’t touch the flower.”  I was very shocked, but obviously it had to do with the fact that I had followed with my mind.
The vipassana meditation is a specific type of practice. It is a meditation that focuses on maintaining a distance. So you consistently keep viewing all phenomena at a distance, and eventually label them.  In a certain phase it is useful in order to be less identified with all sorts of things, to break through standardized patterns and experience the “emptiness”.  But if that remains the only approach, you’ll stay in duality.  It’s not advisable to stay busy too long with vipassana. That there is a awareness of the phenomena at a distance is very good, but the process should proceed even further in the direction of non-duality. That means once again that you’re going to be aware of yourself as an observer. Then everything becomes open, so that all phenomena may return in a non-duality. In such openness, there is no separation any more between yourself and the flower which appears.

What about surprise and astonishment?
Then there is an original opening from a relatively closed ‘I’ situation. In the ‘I’ situation the experienced reality is pretty firmly set around the ‘I’ with its interests. When something suddenly comes that breaks the boundaries of that world, there’s a surprise because it’s something new, or even something that seems mysterious. I now speak about the possibility that the situation will develop further. What does it mean that the greatness, the mystery, can totally manifest itself? Doesn’t that mean that the ‘I’ will be swept away?

You have often said to us: “What holds you back from letting this development continue on to its completion?”
Yes, but stick to the question. Keep centered on it in your understanding of the infinite continuity of the process. It lets you become aware of resistances, to the extent that they exist. They will disappear in the sphere of your spacious awareness and relaxation,. That means that the situation of an ‘I’ in opposition to the beautiful things that it has surrounded itself with disappears.
So go along with the relaxation and remain alert. If you consistently find that you close your world off again, then yes, it’s necessary to get to know that mechanism. Apparently. The same holds true for the way in which you experience everything. Then you see that in the experience itself, the distance to you as experiencer disappears, that the experience unfolds beyond any separation between yourself and what you experience. In that unfolding the duality disappears. Then you find that the groundless non-duality is present in every experience, the fundamental mystery in every experienced phenomenon. Then, you see that you yourself are That.


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