Be awake and stay awake. 

Volume 12 No. 12

What is your body, what is your perspective?


In my view and my longing, I have


to myself as infinite origin.

That is everything.


Patrul Rinpoche:

In Emptiness there is no self-interest,

Self-interest arises as a result of confusion.

Look without letting delusion enter your heart from those who put their own interest first.

Look and persevere without letting yourself becoming distracted,

Self-interest dissolves and turns into emptiness.

Constantly in this empty state,

This is the total cleansing of self-interest.

There is no higher form of selflessness.

How wonderful this is for the yogi who realizes it!



Satsang Text

From a talk in Gouda, March 30, 2011

Self-Reliance (Part 4, conclusion)

Douwe: People try to allay the fear of death, but it is not a matter for reasoning. For example, according to the arguments of Aristotle: every man is mortal; I am a man; thus I am mortal. This is a general given and I must resign myself to it. Or: as long as I am there, death is not; and when death is there, then I am not. Of course, these are fine statements, but they don’t act on the level of reasoning. They function only to the extent that you realize that your center of gravity does not lie on the level of personal thinking and reasoning.

Visitor: Could you say that death is a concept?

As long as you think about death abstractly, death is a concept, a feeling concept that has to do with the disappearance of life from an organism. But then comes: I’m also an organism, so I too can die. Therefore all kinds of feelings, images and ideas about yourself are involved in that concept. In order to rise above such a construction you’ll have to accept them. First you will need to pull this construction back into yourself and let the distance between yourself and death as a feeling construct disappear and let it merge with yourself. You can certainly say that it is a construction and you have nothing to do with it, but very few people can be rid of the fear of death this way. “It is a construction, I can see through it, so I have nothing to do with it” – why is this freedom so difficult to realize? Because they are stuck in a construction that exists not only on a mental level, but also on the whole feeling level. Seeing through it mentally doesn’t mean that the feeling connection disappears. That can only happen by truly accepting it and letting it completely enter into your own sphere. Imagine: you lie in bed thinking about being sick and you realize that you might have cancer. You lie there thinking and feeling and you can’t sleep. At some point, the sleep comes anyway. What happened? When you stay aware of it, you see that the whole level of “I am thinking about difficult things” disappears and then rest comes. Why? Because the problematic world of thought, including the fearful self that corresponds to it, has been absorbed into your own great sphere. That’s how acceptance occurs. When you don’t accept it, you remain tossing and turning. No, let it all slowly dissolve and only then is it quiet. This seeing brings recognition: oh yes, like this.

There is no lucidity in sleep.

You can stay lucid for a long time while relaxing and going off to sleep. Therefore you can be aware of the sphere in which there is no thinking, in which it is total silence, in which there are no images, and no fear. It’s a confirmation, a direct knowing: Hey, there’s absolutely no thought, only a blank state. This confirmation is possible. I did not know that I had it, but it’s certainly true. Then you are on a level that precedes the level of the conflict.

But isn’t it a different kind of sleep?

Becoming aware of the blank state of dreamless sleep is extremely difficult for most people. Why? Because they always associate becoming aware with awareness of something. In Western philosophy, consciousness is always defined as consciousness of something. There is something and I am aware of it; I confirm something while I am lucid. But if you are now aware of yourself as clear consciousness while confirming something, you can remain in this sphere of clarity, while something disappears. Then you are aware that that sphere is not something. And so there’s no focus any more. That can certainly still be there, for example, the focus on an empty space, but that too can disappear. That means that every separation between the observer and the observed disappears. Then there is not an awareness of something, but rather a totally blank internal situation with the quality of being (‘I am’ infinitely blank) and consciousness (‘that’s it’).

Amidst the world of contradictions and diversity, there’s always this basis in which no contradictions and diversity are present. Contradictions must come from somewhere. From where?  From a non-duality prior to the contradictions.

Why do the contradictions have to go away?

Because you have set them up at that level and through identification you create a limited self-being in opposition to the others and the world. This creates fear for your own life, it creates conflict and suffering.

Why do you do that?

You have to find that out for yourself. I don’t understand it.

What kind of answer do you want? For you, the question is a mental question so only mental answers are possible, such as: God has created it like that. But does that solve it? No.

So what’s it about, what do I speak about? About becoming more aware. You see that’s how it works. You see that such questions are not necessary. For you, what are the consequences? To stop posing theoretical questions. You don’t solve anything this way. So stop doing that. Take a look at your own situation and see how it really is.

You become aware on another level, a level on which the duality no longer determines everything. That means you release the limitations of your own self-being. When you position yourself on the level of a conflict, you’re stuck there. Then there is no independence, because you are determined by the other pole. What you do is always related to it, so you can already say in advance what your behavior will be. When you totally confirm all that and see through it, you also see that it can be different. It is a recognition in yourself of something that is much more spacious than that little stand point you hold on to there in that conflict. Also: do you find that the transition is important enough? Then the realization happens by itself. It depends on you whether you stay open to it, in the recognition that, indeed, for you, it is of the greatest importance. So it depends on you, not as a person who must do something, but on yourself at a much higher and deeper level.

Then acceptance doesn’t come from a person?

Acceptance can occur only in a more spacious context than the scope of the conflict. You’re stuck to the situation in which you have a narrow definition of yourself. But, even the fact that in everyday life you’re not stuck everywhere already shows that much more is possible. Take a look. How much is possible there? How far does it go? Infinite! Go see, take a look, recognize it – infinite possibilities. But they can only be realized when you don’t hold on to the old forms of your self-being as an I-person. And there’s the rub. People often see these possibilities, but they immediately define themselves as an ‘I’ with these limiting circumstances and an identity who can do nothing else. So: possibilities gone, independence gone. But then you see that you have defined yourself as a thing.

After death you have the possibility of a ‘return’.

No, stay with your current situation. This idea of a return is just a concept – a fiction. There is  always already a situation of beyond the ‘point of no return’. You don’t  have a leg to stand on.  Everyone knows it, but everyone acts as if there is still a leg and therefore gives his independence away. But everyone knows that there is no real basis, no form on which you can permanently rest. Precisely that creates fear.

Is meditation also an attempt to escape to ‘no return’?

With some people, yes.

Isn’t it then about a constant awareness in order to avoid falling into repetitions? 

Yes, you see it. There is no support anywhere and still there is a confirmation of self-being as groundless openness. Total relaxation, total rest. Whatever happens, your self-being still remains a total-open-being. Thus that means no reassurance on a personal level. No, it has nothing to do with the level of a person who is reassured by a nice story and beautiful images, for example of heaven. It is a fundamental breakthrough of that whole level.

The recognition insures that the process continues, that a realization really occurs. When you just take the recognition seriously, when you just let everything stay open. So stay constantly alert and very sharp in relation to your own situation. Stay with your highest insight, because within it everything will become clear. Take the consequences of your insight and don’t be childish about it.

So let your lucidity prevent it from becoming foggy. It’s about very specific things in the sphere of your own self-being, your own life, very specific. See it, stay alert there. Always compare your situations and look. Take the consequences. This continues on into infinity.

Thus, wake up and stay awake.

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