Archive for January, 2010

This can dissolve only when you experience that you are more spacious than your contraction; see where that leads.
January 26, 2010

Advaita Post, Volume 11 No. 2

“What was my condition, before there was experience? Who was there to answer this question? … that ‘I’ which has no shape and doesn’t know itself as ‘I am’. “

*(See Information below)


Text Satsang

From a  talk in Gouda on August 30, 2009 (Part 2)

Contraction and expansion

Visitor: For me, sometimes there is a constricted situation. Then consciousness is completely closed off and there is even a physical cramp.  Then I notice that I have a tendency to try to run away from it.

Douwe: However it is: it’s always possible to just sit still. See what happens when you sit still and leave the situation as it is. Just leave it.

Look, more space just comes while you remain sitting there so quietly. Notice it. What kind of space? It’s the space of your feeling being-awareness. What’s going on with you in this situation: yes, there is the expansion of your own aware sphere, of yourself. You receive more space than that of the contraction. Great. Keep observing: how is it then with the space in relation to the constriction? The cramp is present in that space. Therefore the energy tension that is there can dissolve in the space.

This process is somewhat parallel to that of ordinary physics. In normal energetics when there are other forces at work an imbalanced situation can arise. If a body is in uniform motion and there are no other forces acting upon it, then that motion will continue indefinitely. If there is to be a change, a force must be applied, there must be an event of energetic force. This applies also to the concentration of energy. If there is no concentrating force functioning, then that energy will dissipate evenly in the space. That’s the law of entropy. There is a radiator, or here is a candle flame, and there is space. The heat spreads itself evenly in the room.

This applies also to the concentration of emotional energy. When you feel tension, it is an emotional energy which is blocked by an external obstruction or by internal forces near to the centre of the tension. As these forces disappear through relaxation, the previously held energies expand and spread themselves evenly in the space, that is dissolving. Somewhere you experience cramps or stress, and there is a much greater space. Within that space a relaxation of the contracting forces happens rather easily. In the space they have less and less hold. The pieces of energy will then expand and dissolve. When you stay somewhat aware of your own space you can see that happen. With small energetic disturbances dissolution occurs very easily. But with serious tensions it happens in precisely the same way.

So where should you look: the space and not the contraction. Of course, it’s also present within the greater space, but because you no longer sit in the centre of tension, the holding power isn’t there any more. So when the internal holding power of the ego isn’t there any longer, all the accumulated tension-energy flies away. Better off without it!

In your consciousness-space you see and feel how much you maintain your own contraction. You can say that it has arisen through a long period of construction. But when you become aware of the whole situation, it’s simply absurd that you let it continue to exist, which is to say that you continue to exert the force to hold on tightly to that energy. Internally there is still the idea of an ‘I’: “that belongs to me”, “I have to hold onto myself”; “I have to keep this whole thing under control”. That’s an illusion. When you see the suffering caused by that illusion, then isn’t it absurd that you still want to hold it all together? You must see how ridiculous that is.

That illusion especially concerns your self-image. You should take a look at how much you have invested in it. It’s an illusory idol. You know how it goes with idols: they eat their devotees.

You see it and see through it, and through that the magic spell is broken. That magic trick you learned to know so well. When you notice that there is still an energy where you are stuck, you say: now that’s enough; now that nonsense of constantly acting so pompous really must stop.

Is the illusion an idea from yourself?

It’s a certain image of yourself that you have, either half-consciously or unconsciously, with the quality: “this is important because this is me”, and even: “this is the most important”. That’s an illusion.

Is the self-image a thought?

No, it’s not just a thought. It goes much deeper. Of course, it’s also a thought, but it exists on all levels of your existence. It works on unbelievably deep levels, so also the physical, and the feeling. You have to see all the way through it to that great depth.

When the identity with that particular image is no longer there, life can continue in a free manner. Then there is the normal course of things: every organism grows, becomes adult, moves off and disappears again. Take a look at Schiermonnikoog [an island off the coast of the Netherlands]: you see gulls there in all different stages of decomposition. It naturally belongs to them. When you see that, isn’t it absurd that you attach such great importance to your corruptible body, that you give yourself so completely over to it, that you hang yourself up there?

 In relations with other people there are all kinds of crosscurrents. Then shouldn’t you do something?

Don’t close off the space. Stay in the infinite self-space.  Nothing else really needs to be done. Everything happens by itself.  Heartbeat and breathing, seeing and hearing, walking and talking, getting things ready, washing things up, it all happens by itself.

As you look back in your life, you can see all kinds of events. Then you can also directly confirm it:  all the things in this life are events that happen by themselves in the great space. So then do you still need to identify with the person there in those photos? No, you survey everything afterwards from a distance and say: that’s naturally how things go in that great space.

How is it with yourself? All the things of life are very temporary: they appear and disappear once again. If you live for over one hundred years – what is one hundred years now – there is nothing more to find of this little person. Maybe somewhere there is still a grandchild or so that has heard something about that grandfather or grandmother. But that’s nothing. So your life is principally relative: a piece of life that flares up and then that piece dissolves again in the great whole. So do you still need to make it more important than it really is? By making things in the world and in your life personally important, you preserve something of your personal self and directly that means that that constitutes a part of your ‘I’-identity. Which directly means that everything that happens to all those things, happens to you. If you identify yourself with your life, you know that when you die, your life will end.

When you have returned to your Self a little bit, you say: that’s nonsense. When you are free from personal constraints, you are everything.

Keep it very simple and very pure. Imagine that you are free from everything which is temporal, which exists under conditions. Apparently it is so.

When a conditioned energy pops up again and you have the tendency to make it very important, just immediately turn back again and experience that you are more and much larger than the phenomenon so that the contraction can dissolve therein. Do this constantly, constantly! See where it leads.

It is directly clear and very simple.

Is there anyone who doesn’t find it to be like that?


* Information

The dust cover pictured above is from the new book containing previously unpublished dialogues of Nisargadatta Maharaj from 1979-1980: De bron van het zijn [The source of being] (ISBN 978 09 77194 07 2, 162 pages, 15.95 Euros).  Next week the book will appear from Advaita Uitgeverij  (in Dutch).  For further information and possibilities to order see the website: Nisargadatta Maharaj, De bron van het zijn


When you let the expansion of ‘I Am’ continue, then at a given moment there is nothing more to say.
January 13, 2010

Advaita Post, Volume 11 No 1

Where’s the snowman? Where’s the image of yourself, the image of the teacher, the image of others?


One of the last words is Goodness

referring to the loving embrace

and acceptance as yourself.

It is being space without resistance,

letting everything enter,

just being open.

Everything that enters will be illumined,

others become open in

Goodness as Nothing.


Text Satsang

From a talk in Gouda on August 30, 2009

Expansion, worry and indifference

Everyone has the capacity to be aware of themselves in the situation in which they find themselves. Let it happen now. You see yourself sitting. With this reflection you become aware not only of the situation, but also of yourself in the greater space of consciousness. And that is the prerequisite ground on which the process of expansion can continue. Your conscious viewpoint is once again a situation in which you become aware of yourself. It’s directly within your own self awareness: becoming spacious. Experience-wise it’s very simple, when you go along with it. You become aware of the relaxation, the silence, the expansion while also continuing to be aware of yourself. The relaxation continues, the release continues, the space continues, but there is always the greater space of your own being-awareness. That is the condition or the motor by which the process of expansion continues. It just goes on.

Take a look and see where it goes. Your horizon becomes increasingly expansive, more spacious, until at a certain point you find that there is an infinite cosmic space. Then you immediately confirm it: apparently my own awareness-being is infinite. This is a very simple observation.

Now, when that is clear, it means that no individual limited situation can hold you, in the sense of containment. No, because you yourself are infinity. Can that free-being be enclosed by anything any longer? You are free!

Every situation is finite. You yourself are more than that finitude. So you are not subject to anything that is finite. When you go along with that, then it’s clear. So simple: it’s as plain as day.

Is it wise to be indifferent towards limited things? Yesterday there was a fogginess and indifference.
Continue to take a look again and again: apparently this is my current situation now, with this mood and that feeling. This is a given and you have to accept it. Only then, once again, you pose the question: how is it with me? Oh yes, space; there is a space which is greater than the sphere of feelings and moods, including that of indifference. That means expansion in a vertical sense.

On a personal level you start thinking: there should be something other than indifference. I must do something about it. But no, this isn’t about making a change on the horizontal plane. Just let it stay open. Just take everything as it is. And then it seems that through the presence of space everything organizes itself, flowing on in the best way possible.

You don’t really need to concern yourself with all the psychological states – not with the feeling states, not with the mental states – exactly not. When you come to yourself, you see: everything resolves itself automatically. That’s just great. You don’t have to bother about it!

For example, the body takes care of itself. If it’s cold, then it puts on clothes. If there’s hunger then it finds food. If there’s a need for a chat, then a chat comes. Don’t worry about it! You remain in yourself, in your original state.

Take a look at the ‘normal’ state. It contains so much worry – concern and worry. There’s always the thought: first this, because otherwise … This happens because thinking is ego-centered, the me-import is the most common basis for the feelings and motivations of actions.

But you see how much worry limits your own self-being. The more you worry, the more you limit yourself. The less worry there is the more freedom and joy. Totally no worries … See how simple it is. And precisely because there is no ‘I’-worry, there is an openness for all and everything.

Others are concerned about the fact that I don’t worry any more. How should I handle this?
Now you are worried again, about others who maybe have worries because you have no worries. And then you think that you should do something about it. Do you see the complexity? Keep it simple. You can be sure that that’s also best for the others.

You have returned to an interpretation on a personal level. If a person has indifference, then what do you have? An indifferent person. I’m not talking about things on that level. It’s about becoming aware of yourself as a free-being. This means that there is non-duality, also that you are everything and everyone. From there, everything will develop in a good way.

When someone says: just let everything blow away, then others will be concerned. But if they find that something else is going on and that everything appears to flow in an effortlessly open way, then it’s a very different situation. You are the other, too, precisely in the non-duality. What happens then in the world will truly be the best thing possible, because there is no self-interest any more.

You can think about it up to a certain extent so then it’s logical, too. The less people are stuck in their own self-interest, the better. That’s quite logical. Thus, so far you understand it on a mental level. But don’t stay in the mind, it’s about realizing it.

If just once you have the being-experience of freedom, then you see very clearly how the contractions and identification of the person and the body is a plague on the whole situation, for yourself and also for others. Always this cramping, that suffering … and then you see that it’s totally unnecessary. It’s absurd. It’s masochistic.

If I notice that my contraction creates pain for someone else, then isn’t it good to investigate the contraction itself rather than directly becoming spacious?
If you do that as a person, then you investigate in a psychological way. But then does the fundamental contraction change from which the difficult situation between yourself and the other arises? No, because you are still a person with contractions. At best you get a little more insight into the conditions. But the fundamental problem is not resolved.

There is only one solution: letting go on the level on which the issue arises. The core of the problem is duality, the ‘I’ in contrast to the other, of which the ‘I’ is afraid. When the duality is resolved, it takes the sting out of it and then the contraction dissolves by itself.

So keep it simple from the start. When you say: first this should happen and then that should happen, then you’re not ready yet….

No, see the simplicity directly: I return to myself in relaxation, silence and opening. Just let it continue. Even though there are still failures now and then, it doesn’t matter, when you just let the expansion of the ‘I-am’ continue. At a certain point there is nothing left to say…