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

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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.

My awakening does not last. Why?

A flash of insight alone is not enough for most. It results in an ‘awakening’ that may stick around for a while, but eventually it flickers, coming and going, switching ‘on and off’ and causing its own suffering.

In order for the insight/enlightenment to become stable, a process to weaken and remove the habitual tendency to identify as a ‘self’ is usually required.

And even that may not be enough. Even the book reading and understanding of the path may not suffice. Why? Because the mind is ridden with ignorance, this sense of ‘me’, it often trips itself up unknowingly, despite its best efforts, perpetuating suffering for many years to come.

Hence the potential importance of a teacher who embodies the teaching. Here doubts and methods can often be cleared up in a flash (or maybe a fizzle!).

My next satsang/meeting is in Kingston upon Thames, UK tomorrow (Thursday) 7pm. Please come along if it feels right for you. See link below for how to join.

The week after will be an ONLINE meeting which is open to people who live both in the UK and elsewhere. Details are on the same link.

Wishing you peace 🙏❤️

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

Manifesting awakening in everyday life: purification and insight

buddha leaf

Question: In my experience, waking up is a preliminary step. The real work happens in manifesting that awakening in everyday life, and that is the most difficult part. Otherwise, there is a disconnect between the awakened state and everyday experience. What do you think?

Tom: In my experience it depends on the way awakening happens. I think what you call awakening, I call insight. What you call manifesting in everyday life, I call purification post-insight. Insight refers to seeing through the illusion of separation and doership and no longer believing happiness lies in gross or subtle objects. Purification refers to a process in which the habitual tendencies that are based on ignorance (ie. a lack of insight or belief in separation and seeking to derive happiness from objects) are let go of and removed.

The essential insight(s), once realised, doesn’t change, but the habitual thought patterns, behaviours and felt levels of suffering do change, and they change gradually over time for most people. Insight is like seeing something that is already here but was overlooked. It can occur like a flash, and when seen, it is realised that things were always this way but it just wasn’t acknowledged or understood to be so.

Purification is different. It is a process, one that takes time as the body-mind catches up with the insight. Purification can occur both prior to and after insight, but is generally only able to be complete once insight has occurred. In Vedanta this process is what is usually meant by the Sanskrit term nididhyansana.

However, purification is not necessarily the most difficult part – that varies from individual to individual, depending on how purified their minds were prior to insight occurring and the context of the awakening. For some it can be a very natural unfolding of the insight that occurs by itself and without prompting. For others it can be quite a difficult process in which a more formalised sadhana has to be continued in order to weed out the vasanas/habitual tendencies that are based on the root ignorance of separation and looking for happiness is objects.

This purification can also be seen as a process by which morality is instilled into the body-mind and through which ethical behaviour manifests. When the egoic I-centred tendencies fall away or are rooted out by post-insight sadhana, then what results is a naturally more ethical body-mind entity.

Either way, I do acknowledge this post-insight process is an important part of the spiritual path, and without it, in my view, the awakening/enlightenment is not complete.