We had a wonderful satsang on Thursday here in the UK. Thank you for those who attended. The teachings I share are not scripted, and I do not really have any fixed teachings of my own, so it is always interesting to me what teachings arise from ‘Tom’s mouth’ through the interaction of seeking energy with non-seeking energy.
Here are some points we discussed and some reflections that I hope you don’t mind if I share with you:
1. Most of the popular spirituality that is on the scene is that which benefits the ‘me’ – ie. it makes the ‘me’ happier and makes the me’s life easier. This is also known as self-improvement, self here referring to the limited identity as body-mind. Whilst there is nothing wrong with this – in fact it is actually quite good – this type of spirituality is limited in that it does not ultimately liberate.
Most of us in the group noted that we all spent a period of time in self-help type activities and we indeed found them helpful, and sometimes still do, but there was a point beyond which self-help was no longer helpful in easing our suffering. So, we left that paradigm behind and eventually stumbled onto non-duality and non-dual teachings/presentations which tackle the cause of suffering at its very root.
2. Teachings that are formulaic are for the ego, at least initially, and these are the ones that are easiest to comprehend and spread ‘en mass’, eg. we can create workshops and write books and teach others easily using formulaic methods. Again, without a genuine insight, these teachings alone do not ultimately liberate.
3. All teachings are eventually to be cast aside, otherwise we are bound to the teaching we carry around with us, and this itself becomes a subtle burden and perpetuates the ‘me’ or ignorance and the resultant suffering continues.
4. Are we not all seeking a deep sense of peace? Or a deep sense of fulfilment in which we are no longer burdened with the travails of life?
5. Do we not, each and every night, find this deep lasting peace in deep dreamless sleep, albeit unconsciously?
6. What does this teach us about the nature of peace and suffering?
7. When the egoic mind is no longer active, peace is all there is.
8. Teachings about awareness and consciousness can be very useful and liberating – but only to a point – these too are dualistic concepts that must be cast aside for liberation to be complete.
9. The mind, which is egoic thought, convinces us that the mind is required for our survival. But is this true?
10. It can be seen directly at some point that this ‘me’ which feels and thinks it is needed to survive is actually an addition that is not required at all. It is fear-based and causes suffering.
11. When the ‘me’ is no longer here, then all division and duality ceases. There is only Oneness. Even this concept of Oneness can be a hurdle – even the concept of Oneness is too complex – it also needs to be let go of when the time is right.
12. Trying to get this is more ‘me’, a subtle form of greed and fear which is trying to make life better for the ‘me’, just like point (1)
13. What is there to say? Can this and need this be put into words at all?