Satsang with Dustin on a variety of Vedanta topics, 10.12.16.
Dustin: From the perspective of Vedanta, what do we do if we do not feel whole, complete, and good?
Eaden: By feel, I assume you mean not know or lack confidence in the knowledge, that you are whole, complete and good? Our thoughts, and beliefs which are also thoughts, give rise to feelings.
Not knowing who you are is an ignorance or knowledge problem. This is what Vedanta is designed for, it’s a valid means of knowledge that removes ignorance which then reveals your wholeness, completeness and goodness – which is called self knowledge.
Many people are not ready to assimilate the knowledge of their true nature. The words go in one ear and out the other. They are simply not fully qualified. Vedanta offers a list of qualifications, per-requisites if you will, that are practices unto themselves. Three examples of qualifications: discernment, dispassion and a burning desire for freedom. Without these three qualifications, it would be next to impossible to gain self knowledge.
Then there are the various yogas which prepare the mind to assimilate self knowledge.
Karma (Action)Yoga, Bhakti Yoga (Devotion), Jnana Yoga (knowledge/Vedanta), Yoga of the Three Gunas and Meditation.
These yogas are designed to neutralize the binding nature of our vasanas (likes and dislikes, desires and fears) – the result of past karma. These yogas also reduce the predominance of rajas (projection) and tamas (denial) and increase sattva (clarity and purity of mind). Which also prepare the mind to assimilate self knowledge.
Vedanta also includes an analysis of the koshas (sheaths), the three states (waking, dreaming and deep sleep) as well as an in depth discussion of values, which all work together to break the back of ignorance.
So as you can see, there is a lot to do, which is a contradiction in the sense that there is nothing you can do to be more of who you are. You are already whole, you are already free, you are already the light. The yogas prepare the mind so that you can assimilate the knowledge that you are already THAT.
Dustin: Does Vedanta talk about being in the heart? I find that focusing my awareness within the heart brings me into the experience of wholeness and connection to life. It is a very simple practice that would be useful in helping people to awaken to the knowledge you are sharing here?
Eaden: Practices are absolutely good if they still the mind so that the jiva (embodied soul) can see the reflection of self. The key with practice, as it relates to moksha (freedom) is extracting the knowledge of self (limit-less, conscious existence)) from the experience. The more still (sattvic) the mind, the greater the potential to extract the knowledge.
The question with practices which give a glimpse into non-duality, is… can you stay there? No. And if you leave, do your vasanas reset? In most cases yes. So including practices, yogas, that reduce vasana (karmic) load, is essential for moksha.
The heart is a thought occurring in the mind, where all thoughts occur. The heart also has physical and energetic attributes, also thoughts, which occur in time and space and are therefore limited.
In Vedanta, heart simply means essence, it’s not a place. A place, by its nature, is limited. Awareness is always free of limitation. If by heart you mean essence, then yes the heart is your true nature but it is not relegated to the center of the chest, our essence resides everywhere.
Practice or no practice, you are always shining and never affected by what you shine upon.
The self animating all practice and experience. Remove the thought, remove the practice, remove experience and what remains is the self, awareness, you.
If you have a practice that facilitates connection, understanding and or reduces your vasana load, then by all means go for it! If it just provides another non-dual experience, there is nothing wrong with it, it just won’t lead to moksha (freedom).
Dustin: yes, essence = heart love it. what you are saying is that everything in time and space is not consciousness or is within consciousness but all attempts or practices to reach moksha are only more vasanas even if they seem to give experience of moksha, everything is only a thought existing within consciousness, so any practice only get us close to Self moksha, in the end it is only negating everything that we enter the moksha that we always are? is there never a plus to consciousness only negation and pure beingness? why be in physical form?
Eaden: Consciousness is purna or full. You can’t add anything to it, you. That’s the reason for negation. We negate the not-real, the apparent reality, which reveals the real – consciousness.
No one knows why we are here in physical form. Vedanta lets go of this question and focuses on freedom for the jiva. That’s all Vedanta is designed to do – provide knowledge that removes ignorance, revealing the shining light of true self.
We begin by negating the not-real, everything within maya, including time and space. Once we have dissolved our attachment to the not-real, i.e. relinquished our suffering, we then welcome the not-self as self.
Once we fully realize the limitation of all form, resizing it can’t complete is, and have neutralized our binding vasanas (fears and desire), we are free to enjoy this apparent creation. And a big part of this enjoyment is playing the role (dharma) we were born to play.
Dustin: yeah, I see that. It feels like a constant practice you might say – release vasanas, return to pure consciousness, new desire gets activated – vasanas create tension and suffering in many ways – release the vasana return to source Self awareness – every is perfect – I am – then around we go again – constant forgetting – constant remembering – the mastery practice then becomes one of being dedicated to this moksha and refusing to become identified with the jiva and its vasanas. And as Donald so simply put it – being centered in self and relating from our own truth,
Eaden: yes, you create a satya/mithya vasana, a good vasana, a moksha vasana, where you discriminate the real from the not real all day long and simultaneously, practice dispassion or non-attachment, where you know that you are whole and complete and no object or experience can give you lasting happiness.
In time that vasana grows momentum until a tipping point is reached and you become a jivanmuktah or liberated soul.
Vedanta offers a time tested methodology for supporting this freedom through knowledge because you are already free.
Only I would say it’s not our truth because until we are free, our truth will have some level of ignorance within it, but the truth. That which never changes, you, the self.
Dustin: Nice. This is what I have been asking for many years now, is there a point – this jivanmuktah – where limiting vasanas are no longer experienced, to this point I have only been able to experience that I have a choice to choose to be pure source awareness consciousness – I know you would say I am already am that – I agree – but I experience identification with vasana – then I release it and experience the freedom of pure self, then the return of vasana, it appears that this jivanmuktah is not a choice but a direct shift of consciousness into its purity where vasana will never arise again? and that this would be possible by never letting go of the satya/mithya vasana of the burning desire for freedom that somehow crosses a threshold at some point of no return to the land of vasanas?
I would call this being rooted in consciousness – when we maintain this root of pure consciousness it is a vasana that is rooted in love which burns away all false ideals – it is the light of truth that burns within, but once again I find that as awareness I must choose to maintain this root – or false idols of vasanas and desires arise – I would love for this root to always stay within this pure consciousness for it is endless bliss and love – it is pure awareness and freedom – what you are saying is that this a time thing or dedication thing, to maintain this root until a tipping point is achieved?
Eaden: When the light of consciousness, you, shines through the jiva, not-you, you can’t not think or do. It’s inherent with the machinery of the jiva. Your parabdha karma (that portion of your total karma chosen by Isvara for this lifetime to balance with all the other jiva’s karma) will be present throughout this lifetime until this present iteration of the jiva dies. You don’t have a choice in this. What changes is your identification with the vasanas, whether or not you suffer them. The greater the satya/mithya vasana becomes, the less you are limited by your apparent vasanas or karma. Through your practices, you are dissolving ignorance, not buying into or taking action based on fear or desire but rather dharma and values and through this, revealing your true essence, which is always here, shining through this jiva and all creation.
It’s up to grace when liberation will be fully actualized and grace is earned through action in the world.
Dustin: Thank you – I feel that – grace comes in the more I am aligned with the energy of pure source within – so simple really 🙂 love you
Eaden: Yes, and we can see this unfold moment to moment in what we value, what we pay attention to and how we spend our time. When our actions align with what we value, the grace of love can’t not shine. I am learning this anew every day. Love you too.