"Vision of A New Culture"
The Great Learning

Q & A 3
"Heaven and earth"

HMS: Tonight we will start this celebration with a Moment of silence.

HMS: Maybe using a mantra will help. While breathing in you whisper „part", while breathing out „of the Whole". „Part of the Whole" is reflecting our existential situation, in which „part" stands for your I and the Whole for the Ultimate. You feel the tension in the breathing in, while letting go in the breathing out. Mind the turning point somewhere (deep) down in your pelvis. At the same time you feel the contact of your feet, your legs and your behind with the floor.

HMS: Now, turn your attention to the inside of your eyelids. Watch them as if watching TV. Once you discover „you are here" and your „thoughts are there", investigate the quality of your watching.

HMS: Good. Now the third and last step of the exercise: repeat gently and consciously „Who AM I"

HMS: Okay. Please finish the exercise by opening your eyes, rubbing your face with your hands, while deeply breathing in and out. What did you feel?

A: The first part was the most spectacular for me. I really experienced my I dissolving into a bigger Whole, a limitless space which extended all around the lower part of my body. I got a vision of sitting in a wreath of lotuses. A deep peace took possession of me.

A: When I was watching the inner part of my eyelids there was quite some stress in the beginning. But as I relaxed more I understood your point of „inner distance". Suddenly my watching completely separated from its object. There was a clarity and space I have never experienced before.

A: Doing the last part I suddenly started laughing. I understood this was a joke. The question was irrelevant for me, because I already surpassed that stage. I knew Who I Was without exactly being able to put it into words though. You played fool with us, didn’t you?

HMS: The Ultimate is so subtle, that unless you „become equal", you will never be unified with IT. On the other hand, once your innermost core becomes empty, it suddenly dissolves into the Great Emptiness. Usually thinking doesn’t bring you there. It belongs to a different layer, the periphery. Moreover, thinking is a rude energy, miles away from the delicate quality of the Whole. The paradox is, that the most earthly part of you - your body - appears to be the vehicle of the spirit. Through bodycontact thinking is curbed and replaced by feelings. Feelings are more subtle than thoughts, they are more close to your Center. The next step is to watch your feelings. Here the motto is: watch and feel, feel and watch. They appear to be related to each other. The more intense your feelings, the clearer your watching and viceversa. It is the key towards understanding the universe, e.g. the cosmic play between Emptiness and energy.

Q: For me this is a little confusing. I have always understood, that the body belongs to the world of maya, that in essence it doesn’t exist. Could you explain?
A: You should never make the realizations of others as your starting point. You are not yet Enlightened. The spiritual path is to connect to your own reality. Most people have to admit then, that this reality is one of alienation. Because of your identification with your mind, you are cut off of everything else: your body, your deeper Self, your fellow human beings, nature and the Divine. The paradox is that you first have to become the body (the world) in order to transcend it.

Q: It sounds like going back to zero.
A: All „achievement" without roots is useless. Sooner or later it will collapse. But what did you loose, after all? Connecting to the body, its feelings, sensations and energies, its feedback with the clarity of awareness, the inner distance and the extension of your body into its immediate surroundings is going to give you a quality of life you may not have experienced before. It is so fulfilling, that all longing for the „other shore" has dropped off. The „other shore" appears to be the Here and Now, living in the Present.

Q: Feeling the body makes me feel miserable. It confronts me with my pain, stress and discomfort.
A: Right. It means your awareness has not developed enough yet. Without the quality of an expanded awareness isolated parts keep dominating you, they appear to be stronger than you.

Q: What about illness. Does it interfere with body-awareness?
A: Awareness and the body have nothing to do with each other. That’s why you can be aware of your body. So, „ideally" having an illness doesn’t make any difference. However, in practice it certainly could interfere. For instance in times you suffer from great discomfort and pain.

Q: My mind easily slips out of the body. It is how I experience liberation. I fly around in space without any obstructions. What is the difference between my and your approach?
A: I am the Space in which you fly. My identity shifted from my limited self to my unlimited Being. Your identity didn’t change though. While flying in space - whatever blissful, cool etc. it might be - you have remained the same identity, the same thinking entity. Slipping out of the body or transcending it are two opposite ends of the spectrum. The first is being stuck in delusion, while the second is the staircase to Heaven.

Q: So trying to have „out of the body" experiences is not very recommendable?
A: You have never been the body and you want to get out of it?

Q: To me this kind of talk is much too esoteric. Let’s return to the starting points. I have been doing satsang, t’ai chi, zen, deep coaching and lots of other things. Why am I still sitting here?
A: Because you already have achieved, but you don’t realize IT. THAT is always here, that isn’t the problem. The problem is, that although THAT is Omni-present, and despite its uninterrupted invitation, you have managed to keep your separate identity.

Q: How to overcome it?
A: Self-investigation has a big disadvantage. It tends to make your self-identity stronger. Having discovered that, there are two options left. To go on until you (the mind) gets crazy or choosing another method, e.g. the direct and the indirect approach. You have to find out what suits you best. Generally, the more desperate you become, the closer to the Truth.

Q: Osho always talked about the way of meditation and the way of surrender. Is that what you also mean?
A: There is only one way, but different types of people. In meditation you surrender your periphery, while in surrendering your Center is born. Your temperament will decide, which path has to be followed. Both are beautiful, both have „dangers". In meditation you might become obsessed with yourself, in surrender you might become obsessed with the object of your devotion. The „path towards" liberation is like the eye of a needle, hence it is better to forget about it all.

Q: I would like to live in forgetfulness, but how to achieve it?
A: It is the same like trying not to think. With every trying you only think more. This is because the mind is effort. It comes out of effortlessness though. So, move there where everything is spontaneous, natural and easy-going.

Q: You often talk about being rooted in „Heaven" and earth. What point are you trying to make by it?
A: There are three major illusions. One is that you think you are what you are. Secondly, that you are a separate entity and thirdly, that you are a mortal human being. Restoring the Wholeness includes three initiations. The second one is most crucial. Once you have discovered that your spirit is part of „Heaven" (the Great Spirit) and your body is part of nature (the earth), your existential problem - of alienation and isolation - is solved. To fit in in the Whole appears to be the greatest freedom possible.

Try the effortless path, mmm?

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Last revising: 08/15/04