Join us! Regular Non-Duality & Spirituality Meetings Online and In Person

tom-das-meetings-heart-flower

Why not join us? We meet in person (London, UK) and online most weeks to discuss non-duality and spirituality. All are welcome, no prior knowledge is required.
Click here for more details or click on the ‘meetings tab above.
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The Heart Speaks

All is well.png

The minds says:
There are problems in the body,
There are problems in the world,
There are things I need to do,
There are things that need to be done.

The Heart says:
All is well
Be happy,
Be well,
All is well.

Namaste and peace

Question: Jiddu Krishnamurti used to say that ‘Truth is a pathless land’. What are your thoughts on this?

Krishnamurti young

Question: Jiddu Krishnamurti used to say that ‘Truth is a pathless land’. What are your thoughts on this?

Tom: Thanks for your question and sorry it’s taken me a while to respond. I’ve just re-read J Krishnamurti’s original ‘truth is a pathless land’ speech (see www.jkrishnamurti.org/about-krishnamurti/dissolution-speech.php) and it seems to me that the thrust of what he was saying was that truth is not to be approached by following an authority. The key word is following.

In the later part of the speech he says ‘But those who really desire to understand, who are looking to find that which is eternal, without beginning and without an end, will walk together with a greater intensity, will be a danger to everything that is unessential, to unrealities, to shadows. And they will concentrate, they will become the flame, because they understand. Such a body we must create…

So it seems to me Krishnamurti was saying that you cannot find freedom through following another, but by looking for yourself, which ultimately means to free yourself from beliefs and dogma.

I read Krishnamurti for many many years, and he did have a teaching that he kept on coming back to. In a way this was his teaching, or one of them. Here’s a post from 2015 which I ironically titled ‘Krishnamurti’s Method’, to drive the point home to people who are familiar with Krishnamurti’s writings:

https://tomdas.com/2015/11/01/krishnamurtis-method/

Let me know what you think

In peace

Tom

Satsang at the Druids Head Pub, Kingston upon Thames, London

kingston football london druids head

I’m lucky enough to hold satsang at an amazing venue – The Druids Head.

The room we meet in is about 300 years old and is often visited by historical tour groups to observe its original features, including a poem scratched on a glass cabinet panel by Jerome K Jerome.

Below is a picture from 1846 of an annual ‘Foot Ball’ match that used to be played every shrove Tuesday just outside the Druids head in the Ancient Market Place, Kingston upon Thames.

So we meet regularly on Thursdays at 7pm, the next meeting is this evening. Please do come along if you feel inclined to. Register at this link to join:

www.meetup.com/Non-duality-Kingston-London

Best wishes

Tom

Do mental health issues resolve with enlightenment?

Hi Tom,

I was wondering what your views are on the relationship between enlightenment and mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. My understanding – which I suppose is the commonsense view – is that while awakening does not eliminate emotions and thoughts per se, it takes away their “stickiness”.

So while an awakened “person” does experience momentary fear – triggered by some outward circumstance – he won’t feel the nagging psychological fear that we call “anxiety”. Likewise, there could be sadness due to some event, but it won’t take the form of the prolonged dark hopeless mood generally described as “depression”.

I always thought that the underlying default psychological state of an awakened “individual” is one of effortless tranquility. However, lately I have come across teachings that seem to imply that awakening does not quite eliminate such conditions and one could very well be awakened and clinically depressed! To me that sounds a bit incredulous, given the association of spirituality and inner well-being which is not only made in the traditional teachings, but also in the writings of modern masters like Ramana Maharishi and Nisargadatta Maharaj. Moreover, but also makes enlightenment seem somewhat pointless – if it does not remove inner suffering, then how is it even relevant to our lives.

Your thoughts ?

Regards

Tom:
Hi, thanks for your question which is very relevant to this topic. As you say, if this teaching does not remove inner suffering, then how is it relevant? There can be an initial insight into Freedom being already here and present, and with that much suffering can fall away. The core belief being exposed and seen through in this insight-realisation is the belief in a separate doer-entity, although there may be a few other pivotal insights for some seekers.

However, quite often, various deeply ingrained habitual psychological tendencies (vasanas in Sanskrit) can still continue under the force of habit. This means that if you had a tendency towards depression, to use your example, this tendency may still continue post-insight. Similarly if you had a tendency towards anger or suppressing your emotions, or even for something like eating chocolate, these tendencies may all continue post-insight/realisation.

This is where a second aspect of the teaching comes, in, namely that of purification. If a teaching does not address the addictive vasanas (habitual tendencies) that may continue after realisation, then it is, in my view, an incomplete teaching. The essence of purification is habit modification, and it can take various forms depending on the psychological make-up of the seeker.

I go into a bit more details in my article ‘Roadmap to Enlightenment’ and into even more details in the teachings I share in my online and in-person meetings. The most common form is some kind of surrender or letting go practice, but there are other methods too.

I have also found that of the people who have woken-up through what I am sharing, quite a few of them have seen a counsellor or psychologist alongside interacting with me, and that has helped them clear up a few ‘sticky issues’ and allowed this Freedom that already is to become directly apparent. I therefore recommend seeking psychological support for any difficult or distressing psychological issues a seeker may have.

In summary, there is a relationship between psychological suffering, mental health and enlightenment/awakening in my view. Enlightenment essentially leads to mental health and well being. There are 2 aspects of the teaching: insight and purification. Purification can help things to be seen clearly (ie. it can help insight to take place), and insight can in turn facilitate purification and removal of addictive tendencies that may continue to generate suffering after insight has taken place. With insight alone, much psychological suffering can fall away, but many habitual tendencies that cause mental illness and suffering may also continue. With purification post-insight, even these habitual tendencies can disappear and genuine mental health is achieved.

The belief in separation 

river meander advaita

It is the belief in separation
That allows for the belief in doership.
Otherwise all there is is One-Movement.

There is not even one movement:
If we go by the evidence presented to us by experience,
There is only movement happening.

No evidence for a doer-entity,
No evidence for an entity with ultimate responsibility.
Instead there is just life happening,

From the point of view of a person,
A body operating and functioning,
Seemingly by itself,
With all the workings and humanity of the organism manifesting,
However it manifests.

As truth is seen,
Layers of deception and wrong thinking fall away,
And the Freedom that always was and is,
Is revealed.

Like the sun when the clouds parts,
Nothing needs to be attained,
Only the obscuring clouds of wrong notions,
Need to be seen through.

Krishnamurti: the ending of sorrow is love

Continuing the series of Krishnamurti posts this week, the following is written by Jiddu Krishnamurti, taken from BULLETIN 4, 1969:

Desire and pleasure end in sorrow; and love has no sorrow.

What has sorrow is thought – thought which gives continuity to pleasure. Thought nourishes pleasure, giving strength to it. Thought is everlastingly seeking pleasure, and so inviting pain.

The virtue which thought cultivates is the way of pleasure and in it there is effort and achievement.

The flowering of goodness is not in the soil of thought but in freedom from sorrow.

The ending of sorrow is love.

Krishnamurti: to be aware of inattention is to be attentive.

Continuing the series of Krishnamurti posts this week, the following is written by Jiddu Krishnamurti, taken from BULLETIN 4, 1969:

The physical organism has its own intelligence, which is made dull through habits of pleasure. These habits destroy the sensitivity of the organism, and this lack of sensitivity makes the mind dull.

Such a mind may be alert in a narrow and limited direction and yet be insensitive. The depth of such a mind is measurable and is caught by images and illusions. Its very superficiality is its only brightness.

A light and intelligent organism is necessary for meditation. The interrelationship between the meditative mind and its organism is a constant adjustment in sensitivity; for meditation needs freedom.

Freedom is its own discipline. In freedom alone can there be attention. To be aware of inattention is to be attentive.

Complete attention is love. It alone can see, and the seeing is the doing.

Krishnamurti: Out of Silence Look and Listen

sunset evening enlightenment

Continuing the series of Krishnamurti posts this week, the following is written by Jiddu Krishnamurti, taken from BULLETIN 4, 1969:

Out of silence look and listen. Silence is not the ending of noise; the incessant clamour of the mind and heart does not end in silence; it is not a product, a result of desire, nor is it put together by will.

The whole of consciousness is a restless, noisy movement within the borders of its own making. Within this border silence or stillness is but the momentary ending of the chatter; it is the silence touched by time. Time is memory and to it silence is short or long; it can measure. Give to it space and continuity, and then it becomes another toy.

But this is not silence. Everything put together by thought is within the area of noise, and thought in no way can make itself still. It can build an image of silence and conform to it, worshipping it, as it does with so many other images it has made, but its formula of silence is the very negation of it; its symbols are the very denial of reality.

Thought itself must be still for silence to be. Silence is always now, as thought is not. Thought, always being old, cannot possibly enter into that silence which is always new. The new becomes the old when thought touches it.

Out of this silence, look and talk.

The true anonymity is out of this silence and there is no other humility. The vain are always vain, though they put on the garment of humility, which makes them harsh and brittle.

But out of this silence the word ‘love’ has a wholly different meaning. This silence is not out there but it is where the noise of the total observer is not.

Krishnamurti: stillness can in no way be manufactured by thought

Continuing the series of Krishnamurti posts this week, the following is written by Jiddu Krishnamurti, taken from BULLETIN 4, 1969:

Innocence alone can be passionate. The innocent have no sorrow, no suffering, though they have had a thousand experiences.

It is not the experiences that corrupt the mind but what they leave behind, the residue, the scars, the memories. These accumulate, pile up one on top of the other, and then sorrow begins.

This sorrow is time. Where time is, innocency is not. Passion is not born of sorrow. Sorrow is experience, the experience of everyday life, the life of agony and fleeting pleasures, fears and certainties. You cannot escape from experiences, but they need not take root in the soil of the mind. These roots give rise to problems, conflicts and constant struggle. There is no way out of this but to die each day to every yesterday.

The clear mind alone can be passionate. Without passion you cannot see the breeze among the leaves or the sunlight on the water. Without passion there is no love.

Seeing is the doing. The interval between seeing and doing is the waste of energy.

Love can only be when thought is still. This stillness can in no way be manufactured by thought. Thought can only put together images, formulas, ideas, but this stillness can never be touched by thought.

Thought is always old, but love is not.