Call and Response Special Edition – Conversations With KD April 25, 2020
Taking time to look back and move forward. Conversations With KD episodes are derived from the recordings of KD’s online events from his home during the 2020/ 2021 days of social distancing and quarantine from the onset of COVID and beyond.
“You know, there were people, there were gurus in India, Beings in India that other Westerners went to. They would bounce up and down off the pillows, they would howl like dogs. They would be in bliss and fall over like this.
I sat around with mom Maharajji for two and a half years. Not one fucking thing happened. Except love. Except love that was so deep and so beautiful and so unbearable, so wonderful that I couldn’t pull myself away from that person. Nor did I want to, except when I got pissed off. So, the whole thing is learning to trust yourself.
Take your time. There’s no hurry. You’re not going anywhere. You’re just trying to get here, where you are already. Relax. Let it come to you. Be yourself. Be you. Follow your heart. Trust your heart. Trust yourself. Trust your deeper feelings. But in order to trust them, you have to listen deeply to yourself and then you have to pay attention. You have to honor how you feel. If you don’t honor those deeper feelings, you’re not doing the right thing to yourself, but most people don’t. Okay? But the spiritual path means really following your heart, following your deepest heart. What do you want? What do you really want? Don’t get caught. Don’t spend time getting things that you don’t really need. You might enjoy a little bit, but go after what you really want, which is the same thing everybody wants, which is love. And if you’re not getting what you want from one situation, recognize that that’s the case. That doesn’t mean you have to change anything, but you have to pay attention.” – Krishna Das
So, here we are, everybody here is still here, which is good.
Somebody just wrote from Gangotri? It can’t be. It must be a name of somebody. There’s no wireless up in Gangotri. can go to in India is the source of the Ganges. The Ganga. I don’t think there’s any internet up there.
Q: Okay. I have a little, I wrote it down so I could, yeah. I wrote down my question or just my thought. So, I guess when all this started, I started making choices in my life that felt more safe and secure. I was always doing service work and I needed to quit that I needed to just do service work around here instead, kind of redefining what my thought was on, on service.
Because also, I had all these outer things going on with the world, and also personal things in my life that felt really out of control. So, I wanted to find a little bit of control and I’ve been trying to find that, but there are days where I feel so overwhelmed by guilt or overwhelmed by sadness or overwhelmed by anger.
And I know I should be practicing to kind of get out of my own way, but sometimes. That wave feels so strong. It feels like I’m drowning, and it feels so heavy that it’s kind of like, I know what to do to get myself out of it, but going, getting out of that heaviness is, is so incredibly hard for me. So, I was wondering what your thoughts would be around that. Some, some insight?
I can give you thoughts. I don’t know about insight.
Well, first of all, you’re a human being, I think. So, especially at this time on the planet, it’s a very rough time. No question about it. And not only do we have our own stuff to deal with, but the atmosphere is full of it. Every time we turn on the television or read the newspaper or talk to friends, we’re coming, all that anxiety and fear is coming right into our face, right into us. And it’s floating around all the time. So, it’s, it’s actually the, the atmosphere we live in is very charged right now in a very, a way that disturbs the mind, disturbs our, our sense of okay-ness.
You said you think you should be doing practices to work with that, but you know, that’s that’s just another story you’re telling yourself. No matter how bad the situation is that, or how uncomfortable you’re feeling, you’re still here. And, but you have a fear that you won’t be here. That something will get too strong, too big.
That’s not going to happen. Because if you’re not here, neither is anything else. So, start from there, that’s ground level, zero feet altitude. So, the idea that, you know, but we have our, our knee jerk reactions to things in the way we’ve been programmed in our lives to deal with this stuff. A lot of it comes from the way we saw our parents deal with their stuff, our schoolmates, our teachers, the culture that we grew up in. You know, we’ve got a lot of programming going on, no question about it.
And then we have our individual karmas, which brought us right to this place, with everything in our lives as part of that. So, a lot of the meditation teachers talk about making friends with your negative stuff, you know, like, “Oh, hi, You’re back. Well, have a seat. You mind sitting over in the corner so I can finish my work? Oh no? You want to sit into my lap? All right.”
You know, that’s you know, there’s so many techniques that you can use to recognize that you are not what you’re feeling.
See, you’re not what you’re feeling, but you don’t like it. So, you want to push it away. Unfortunately, that can’t work for more than a few lifetimes, you know?
Then it comes back. So, the trick is to try not to push it away, try to be with it, allow yourself to feel all those feelings there. They’re very unpleasant and can be very painful and they can have a lot of charge to them, a lot of negativity, a lot of heaviness, and they can push all the buttons on all our, our self-hatred and self-loathing and guilt and shame and fear and all that stuff, you know? But what are we going to do? You know… nor will it work to do a practice like this and, and you know, “All right, I’m going to push it. I’m not going to feel this stuff. I’m not going to feel this stuff. I’m not going to feel this stuff.”
That’s not gonna work either. So. Really, what, what are we scared of? We just don’t like it. We don’t like feeling that way. We want to feel good.
Actually, who we are is perfectly fine. Not who we think we are, not who our emotional stories tell us we are, but who we really are when all that stuff, you know, drips off of us and, you know, fades away, or the clouds move on to something else. We’re actually perfectly fine as who we really are already always, and always will be
All the other stuff gets caught, gets clouded over with.
Yeah. It’s like living in a, in a, in a fog and the fog turns different colors according to, you know, it feels like this, it feels like that, you know. So don’t panic, you know, don’t panic. And if you panic, say, “Hello, panic.”
You’re always here. You can always be with it in a different way. You can always recognize that… you know, when I was going to kill myself, because I was how you were feeling, you know, on steroids, you know, and I was gonna kill myself. I was gonna jump in the river in Kainchi while I was with my guru, you know, in the temple. So, he looked at me and said, “what are you going to do? Jump in the river? Ha ha. You can’t die.”
He said, “Worldly people don’t die. Only Jesus died the real death.”
Why? Because he never thought of himself.
What do we do All lifelong is nothing but think about ourselves? “How am I now? I don’t like this. I like this. I don’t like this. I don’t like this more than I don’t like that. I like this more than I like that. That’s good.”
It’s all how we spend our whole lives lost in that, that self-referencing kind of small “S” self-referencing thoughts. “Okay. Hi, self-referencing thought, how are you doing? What’s up? Oh, you’re making me feel like shit. Ah, that’s so nice of you. Thank you.”
Yeah. And we take it so seriously too. I mean, that’s the other quality of those emotions, you know, it’s not, it’s not that we take it seriously. It’s that the emotion itself, when we’re in, it makes it feel serious. Like, they say they say eternal damnation is eternal when you’re in it. But ss soon as the karmas that brought you into that state of mind, dissipate, it ain’t there anymore. So, it’s not eternal, but the quality of the state is eternal.
When you feel like shit, you’re always going to feel like this, this is who you really are. You’ve managed to escape it once in a while to one thing or another, but it always comes back. “This is me. I’ll always be like this.”
And we believe that. We, we trained ourselves very well to believe that. We should get some credit for that. You know, we’ve done such a good job on ourselves. So, you should open a little school, “How to make people feel like shit.” Make a lot of money and you’ll be really helping a lot of people fulfill their real feelings about themselves. And then when everybody feels like shit, then you close the school down and leave everybody with it and then run away with all the money.
Or, have everybody teach everybody how to do it and then say, “do you see what happened here? You see how I in reinforced all your negative thoughts about yourself now, guess what? I was faking it, it isn’t real. Let go of it.”
Because it isn’t, but it feels that way. We’ve been born into this world. What else do we expect to know? We weren’t born in a cave in the Himalayas. We weren’t born to a family of yogis. We weren’t, we didn’t grow up with Saints and Siddhas and the deities. We grew up with fucking Mickey Mouse. You know, it’s a long way from Mickey Mouse to Ram, a long way. But Ram is who we really are. That presence, that divine presence is who we really are.
So regardless of what we’re feeling or how horrible we’re feeling, or even how wonderful we’re feeling, we can, we’re always present there at the same time. We’re always present. There’s no, there’s no second, ever, will there ever be when we won’t be here. So, and suicide doesn’t end it either. That’s what they say. I haven’t, I haven’t died. So, I can’t tell you from my own experience this life, but what they say is that, you know, what you take with you when you leave your body is your state of mind only.
So yeah, you have time, you have space and, and there are even practices where you feed your demons. These are your demons. You could call them demons. These are your negative, your negative stuff. There’s even practices where you, you say, “okay, come on here, eat a little bit here. My arm, take my arm. And the bicep probably is good. Here, bite.”
And because you recognize that no matter what, you’re, there always. They can’t eat you.
They can only nibble on some stuff and actually, they’re the stuff. So, the point is, as I said before, calm your ass down. That’s all you have to do. There’s nothing more you have to do. Just keep letting go. Let the clouds come over. You let the rain fall on you. Let the shit, let your feet step into the shit.
You’re still here. It can’t hurt you. It only feels bad, but it can’t do anything to who you really are. Not in the wildest dream could it ever do that. But we can experience very unhappy, very unpleasant states of mind that we want to get away from. So, what’s the best way to get away from them? It’s not trying to get away.
No, because eventually you, you recognize that everything that’s, that’s here right now in your life, including all this unpleasant stuff is a result of our own past karmas. It’s a result of all our own experiences with other people, with ourselves, with you know, with the environment, with your car, with your kids, with everything, all of that’s a result of everything that happened up to right now. How are we going to meet it right now? If we blindly react and with our knee jerk reactions and our, you know, automatic responses, we’re simply giving it more energy and creating it again in the next moment. So, to whatever degree we can observe and make a move to just calm down in the midst of it all, that allows it to move through without creating more and it allows us it’s releasing process.
You can always let go. You can, and it’s very easy. It, it may not last more than a millisecond, but that’s practice. You keep letting go again and again and again. And then when the, the shit doesn’t go in it and so “fuck off, I’m finished with this. I’m going to watch the TV, then you get back to it later.”
So, if you really look also, you’ll see that these states, they’re not always there. They’re there when you… they’re there for awhile. And then you say, Oh, I’m going to go make a sandwich. And you forget about the state. Where’d it go? And then you finished your sandwich and it’s back. So, if you, if you really pay attention, you’ll see it.
They’re not always there. They come and go. Everything’s changing all the time, but they keep coming back because we’re used to it. It’s like home base for us, really, for our, our emotional reality. You know, so try not to think of practice as a, as a willful fighting against this stuff. Okay? Try to think of practice as, allowing it to just flow through you, flow in and out of you without grabbing onto it. Grabbing onto it means reacting. Okay. You reacted. Okay. And then you get back into it. Okay. Short periods of practice, really. Five minutes where you turn the phone off and you say, “this is for five minutes. I’m just going to sit here and I am not gonna try anything.”
When you catch yourself trying, let go. Trying is just more bullshit. That’s more “I should, I have to.” You don’t have to. You don’t have to do anything. Just relax through it and things will change and you won’t be so affected by it all the time.
And as practice ripens us, we don’t, we naturally, we don’t react so strongly. Like somebody gets mad at you. And instead of like, you just kinda go like, “What?” you know? “what is that?”
And you just like, look at it and it doesn’t eat you alive immediately. Later on, when you go back to your room and you realize what that son of a bitch said, then it eats you, but then you let go.
So it’s just life, sweetheart, you know, get used to it. You know? There’s nowhere to go. You can’t go anywhere even if you wanted to. There’s nowhere to go.
Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you very much. Take good care. Keep breathing. That’s the main thing.
Q: Good morning, KD. I’ve got a couple of fairly quick questions, at least I think so. What mantras did you sing while you were with Maharajji in form, besides the Chalisa and Hare Krishna?
“Don’t send me away. Don’t send me away. Don’t send me away. Don’t send me away. Don’t send me away. Don’t send me away. Don’t send me away.” That was the main mantra.
Okay. Okay. Question two is, I watch your Thursday satangs.
And they’re wonderful. And I am so grateful for that. Thank you. But I’m learning to play the harmonium and I wonder why you cover the holes on the top of the harmonium.
It’s just for the sound now. Yeah, the harmonium so loud that because of the way we’re transmitting the sound to the internet. If I didn’t cover that up, all you’d hear is the harmonium. That’s all, it’s not, it’s not a secret. It’s not like, you know, the secret teaching or anything, you know, and if it was, I wouldn’t tell you.
Okay. And this is the third. Now, this is one might be a little longer. I love singing the Chalisa and I love your version of the transliteration and I wonder how you and other folks were able to do that in India. You know? Where everybody speaks Hindi and back in those days, there weren’t a lot of English speakers.
Yeah. There were a lot of, there were a lot of, a lot of them. Remember the English owned India for a long time. So English was, is like the second language of most of India. Mostly in the North, they speak a lot of English, many people speak a lot of English, enough English, of course. Many people don’t, but we learned Hindi. We learned the Hindi alphabet. We learned the letters. We went through the Chalisa letter by letter by letter until the whole thing was written out. And then we, you know, started trying to say the words properly. And then we got some help from friends and it was just one of those things. It just happened.
How long did it take?
What time is it? It took us, to get to a point where we could actually sing it even while we were reading it, it took much longer to actually memorize, but it was like a whole rainy season, about four months, three and a half, four months of doing it every day. You know, there also wasn’t any TV, nothing else to do. So, it took, it took about that long to really be able to, you know, see, sing it through.
So, basically you did it letter by letter then. Wow.
When I started. Yeah. Yeah. That’s how we, that’s how you had to learn it. Ja-ya Ha-nu-man. It’s all it’s, you know, it’s written out.
Okay. Do you recommend any other transliteration dictionary where you can, I could look up each word of the Chalisa and other things I read?
You know, it would be difficult because first of all, that, that transliteration is, is it’s really not a hundred percent correct in terms of the actual letters in Hindi. For instance, in Hindi, there are four “T’s,” Okay? Did you hear four T’s? I didn’t, but they do. And there’s four D’s. So, yeah. And there’s all kinds of nasal sounds and half sounds and stuff. So, we’re working on, so I, what, what that is, what you have is, is what I felt is a happy medium for Westerners to be able to at least get close, pretty close in most cases to, you know, to what, to what it actually is so that an Indian person could actually know what you’re singing. You know, that’s kind of, that was the idea.
So, no, I don’t think there’s a dictionary where you can actually that you could plug in and find a transliteration that makes sense to you because most transliterations are done in special characters that you then would have to learn with those mean, too. So just sing, just sing. The second CD in the flow of grace book; that has every word separately slowly with semi correct pronunciation. So that’s a good way to go back and forth and listen to yourself. The main thing with the Chalisa, I found with people, is mixing up the long “a” and the short “a”. The “ah” and the “uh”. So that people “Haanuman”, it’s not “Haanuman.” It’s “Hanuman.” A short “a.” So that’s, that’s, you know, but you know what, mostly, it mostly depends on, on the sincerity of your offering.
You know, God doesn’t give a shit about how you sound that much. Because God lives within us and is hearing from within anyhow and hearing our hearts. That’s the main thing. But if you want to, if you need something to do while you’re saying at home, knock yourself out.
You bet. Thanks KD.
Namaste. Maharajji gave you, Ram Dass and Lama Surya Das the opportunity to bathe in his light and love, ultimately sending you each on your own unique path into the world to reflect these into the hearts of seekers, to help guide us home.
Are you at peace with the path he sent you on? Do you feel it has cleared out some of the dark places you have often referred to? And then secondly, if you had been allowed to stay under his blanket, so to speak, do you think you would have accomplished as much as you have on your spiritual path?
There’s no place that’s not under his blanket for me.
So, it’s all under His blanket. And as far as what… I haven’t accomplished anything. I’ve managed to stay alive so He could accomplish things. So, it’s quite extraordinary, really.
And you know, I’m a work in progress like everybody else. So, there are times I’m happy. I’m okay with it. And there’s times I’m pissed off about it, but most of the time I’m okay with what’s going on. And certainly to be able to chant with people is a great blessing for me. So…
Yeah, for us as well.
So, anything else? Are you still there?
Thank you so much,
Q: Hi, I’m good. Thank you. So yeah, I just… shame… and I know that the question’s sort of been answered already with being with it. But I find the story around my shame or the shame is it runs so deep and there’s all the time that’s feeling that it’s so very true, and I’m practicing with it, but it’s like, I can’t feel anything different. Or it’s like, I’m living for other people, you know, on them. It’s been with me so long and I just, it’s like, I can’t really get over it. Stemming from, just a not very nice childhood, you know, and like, the suffering continues. I think I get sort of caught in the karma conversation, you know? What have I done, or am I continuing to do something?
But something happened when I was really little. How was it, how can I be to blame for something?
Who’s blaming you? I mean, is it, I’m asking you, is it somebody outside or another person who blames you or are you blaming yourself?
Yeah, I feel the separate, it’s like the shame voice, the shame voice in me. Yeah. It’s sort of, you know, yeah. It’s like taking all this information that I’m hearing or reading or listening to, and it’s like, oh, I’m so inclined to take all the negative all the time. Yeah.
Are you doing any, what kind of practices are you doing these days? Anything?
I sing kirtan. Yoga. I ride horses, I walk my dogs. Yeah. Yeah.
I love horses. Spend more time with the horses.
Hmm. Yeah. Okay. Yeah.
Find what makes you feel good and do it. Spend more time with the horses. Find the things that help you, you know, not help you not participate in the ongoing obsessive beating up that you do of yourself. You know, the horses don’t care. They love you. They, they don’t want to beat you up. So, spend more time with them. And little by little, really, when you’re with the horses, look at your state of mind and you’ll see that you’re not beating yourself up at that moment.
No, it’s the opposite. I feel like a different person.
So get used to that and recognize it though, and really enjoy it. Allow yourself to feel it. Don’t just take it for granted. It’s a great blessing to have that. Many people don’t have anything in their lives that released them from their stories, many, many, most people, and they spend their whole lives in this story and they die.
You know, you have something that just does it for you, for whatever reason. It’s not necessary to understand it, but what’s what would be really good is to just kind of really be with it, you know, and enjoy it. And really enjoy it. Let yourself enjoy it as much as you possibly can. It won’t be hard.
And that itself will, will release a lot of, it’ll fill a lot of the space that your thoughts have been stealing from you in a way, you know? And is that a dog back there?
I don’t think she blames you for anything.
No, she loves me.
Joseph Goldstein, one of the great Western meditation teachers, a good friend, he was telling once that he was doing interviews during a meditation course that he was leading and this guy comes in and he looks at Joseph and he says, “ah, I just want to be the guy my dog thinks I am.”
And we are, actually, just as much as we are anything else.
I love that. Thank you.
Yeah. Well, and then, like I was telling our earlier friend, don’t be afraid of the emotion so much. They’re not going to do anything to you except make you feel like shit. They can’t hurt you. They just, for a while they’re there, they make you feel like shit.
When you’re with the horses, where are they?
So it can’t be you if they’re not there all the time. It can only be something that comes and goes, which is not who you are. So, but there’s a very large part of us that really clings to those stories for so many reasons, you know. We all have our version of the story.
You had your parents and your life. I had mine. It’s the same story with different characters. It’s the weirdest thing, you know, so everybody has this stuff. And so don’t, don’t, don’t let it sting you so much that you have it. Everybody has it. Everybody’s like this. Everybody has these stories. Everybody has their own particular ways that they torture themselves, or that torture goes on. Let’s forget about doing it to ourselves. But it’s just there, right?
Just talk to it when it comes to you, you know. Say, “what do you want from me?” You know, “where do you come from? Go away. Okay. No. Stay here. Let’s hang out. No. Talk to me.” Ask it, ask your emotion to talk to you. What does it tell you? And then have a conversation with that. Like, “excuse me, where did you get this shit from?”
“Explain yourself or fuck off,” you know? I mean, come on. So, and the reason and what practice does, what spiritual practice does, is little by little, it gives us some space between the input and the reaction. Okay? Just maybe a little bit. So, we might get, learn to get a little bit of a vote.
“Okay. I can let go of this.” You know, “I can just be with this. I can stay with my breath.” Not, not with this kind of, you know,… but just “okay. Yeah.” Where you keep breathing and you know, just like I said, when you go to make a sandwich, it won’t be there. You know? So, paying attention is really a very big thing.
Not asking “why?”, but just noticing that things aren’t always here. We think they’re always here because when we’re in them, it feels like they’re always here. Just keep saying, eternal damnation is eternal when you’re in it. When you’re not in it, it wasn’t eternal, was it? But the quality of the state of mind is that it’ll always be like this.
“It’s always been like this. I’m no good. I’ll never be any good. And all the thoughts that come from that.”
But nobody in our lives taught us to give ourselves a break, you know? Because they didn’t give themselves a break. And when you start to recognize that the shit that we have, to a large extent, came from our elders, our parents, and it hurts us so much, they also must have been suffering terribly, taking it out with anger or many other ways, you know, hurting other people, but it came out of their suffering.
So, if it’s so hard for us to deal with it, how much harder it must’ve been for them. And they got it from their parents, you might say, to simplify it. And their parents got it from their parents. So, we’re here now. We can actually have some, we can be with this in a different way than our parents and our family and our, our karmic situation was, with it. We have a lot of wonderful things within us, you know, that we can discover they have no clue about. We have clues and that’s a great blessing, you know. It’s not so, it’s not like this, you know, but pay attention. You’ll see. It’s not always like it feels, like it always will be.
Yeah. So, you know, the hardest thing for me was, was learning how to give myself a break. You know, nobody gave me a break. I mean, I never learned how to give myself a break. My parents, I knew them very well, especially later in my life and their lives. And I could see how much they just… Like, I spent a lot of time with my mother at the, towards the end of her life and I was sleeping in the living room and her bedroom shared a wall. Her bedroom was… and she’s, she couldn’t sleep. So, she spent all night listening to the radio at very loud volumes because she was deafer than I am, about money markets. What to do with your money and what to do with this and that, you know, all night long in, in a despair and panic state about money.
And I lie there in the living room and I was just crying. I couldn’t. That this woman has so much fear and so much anxiety and has no way to deal with it. And she spends all night worrying about money when there was no reason to actually have to worry at that level. But she had no way to deal with that.
It was, it was so painful, and it was an insight into who she was, you know, and how she lived and what, what hurt her and what beat her up and how it just went on for so long. It was… so the point is that when you start seeing your own stuff a little bit differently, that’s when you start to develop compassion for other people, you start thinking about other people. You see, “Oh, even though they hurt me, it wasn’t aimed at me. It was really just exploding out of them towards me because I was there. It didn’t have anything to do with who I am. It had to do with who they are.”
And then you say, “If I’m having such a hard time with this, Jesus, they must have really been fucked up.”
You know? And what that does, it changes our relationship to our own self.
We see where you’re not the target. We may look like the target even to ourselves, but from, and they may have even thought we were the target, but it was only coming out of, exploding out of their own pain and suffering and how much they’re going to suffer and did suffer. It’s just a whole new way of kind of inhabiting your states of mind, you know?
And, and it’s a way that leads to being able to release it more and not identify with it so much.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Anyway, more time with the horses.
Okay. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Q: Hi. Nice to see you. This is really fun. Thank you for doing this. I have, kind of a simple question. I’m wondering, I know Maharajji taught you about the spiritual body. I’m wondering…
He did? Wait a minute, wait a minute. What was that? I missed it.
I’m wondering about the physical body. Did he give any suggestions for diet or exercise or how to take care of the physical part of our body?
He told us not to do headstands if we didn’t eat a very pure diet, because all the impurities in the food were going through our, into our brain actually.
Yeah. Seriously. There was a woman there from who, who was doing a headstand somewhere where he saw, and he told her not to do it. And he said, if you’re not eating a very pure, I guess, pure in this case meant very sattvic diet, then the impurities in the food will go into your brain. So, he told us not to do headstands. So as a result, I didn’t do an asana for 50 years.
I think for the most part, you’d have to say he didn’t talk much about taking care of the physical body so much. You know, we’d been doing a lot of things. I was doing Asana practice, meditation, pranayama and all this stuff. But when I met Him, those things fell away. I, I just didn’t do them anymore because I was, I was sunbathing, you know. I was out there in the sun of love and I just wanted to bathe in it, absorb it and be with it. And there was no nothing else I wanted to do. And I, in some kind of way, and He used to say you can get everything from devotion. He said you can get everything from, everything will come, can come from devotion. Everything.
You know, as time went on, I realized that I do have to take care of my body because if my body is messing me up, if I’m in pain and not healthy, then it’s very hard to actually do any practice or kind of not be obsessed with what’s going on in the body. So, you want to keep your body as calm as you can, you know, Be at ease, as much at ease as you can,
So, He didn’t promote like veganism or, you know, not eating meat…
He was vegetarian. He didn’t eat too much, actually. Yeah. He was vegetarian, as many Indians are, most Indians used to be anyway. And as far as yoga goes, for them you know, vegetarianism is very important in a way. He did, I think he said some things about, you know, he alluded to… You know, the thing is, he loved us as we are, loves us as we are. That was, that preempted any kind of thoughts about what should I do? We were bathing in that love. And he didn’t really, it was all about that. It was all about our hearts being open and, and really ripening in a certain kind of way.
But yeah, I, I’m a vegan. I’m vegan basically, and I used to make fun of vegans, but then I stopped being able to digest milk products. No male on my, on my father’s side of the family, ever had milk products for like, lifetimes. I was the only one and now that’s gone. So, but they say that it’s, that it helps calm the mind, but, you know, I don’t know. They say that, but I don’t know.
Well, some people say that meat, I eat meat, but some people say the fear and the pain and whatever the animal went through, you’re absorbing that energy. So, I just, I just kind of wondered.
Yeah, well, it’s reasonable because if an animal is in fear when it’s murdered then all the adrenaline and all those hormones are in the meat that you’re eating and that’s gonna definitely affect you.
The Tibetans eat meat because you can’t, there are no vegetables at 20,000 feet. So, but they have special, there are special people who do the butchering, who are also, offered prayers for the, you know, for the, for the deceased animals. So, it’s not just, it’s within the philosophical matrix that they live in.
With us, it’s just, you know, eating meat.. We don’t… Yeah, I’m hungry. So we eat. So there’s no, there’s no interdependent awareness of who that being is. And the other thing they say in the East is that all, of all the beings, every incarnate being has either been our mother or father at some point. So, if you really have, if that pushes a button for you, then you can’t be, you know, not very comfortable eating your parents.
You know, there’s a great story about one of the Buddhist elders in the time of Buddha, just after I think Buddha left the body. His name was Mahakashyapa and he came out of the jungle to beg with some of his disciples, and I should get this story, right, I’m always fucking up, but I get the basic thing. So, he comes out of the jungle and they walked towards this village and He stops and he smiles when he sees, when he comes to the edge of the village. And one of his disciples says, “Oh, great one, An Arhat does not smile without a cause. What could be the cause of this smile?”
So he says, “Oh, tell me what you see.”
And he points to this hut. Some people sitting around. And the disciple says, well, I see a hut.And in front of the hut, there’s a young woman sitting on a chair, nursing her baby, eating a piece of meat and kicking the dog to keep him away from the food. And the elder said, “Just so, the woman is nursing her enemy, eating her ex-husband and kicking one of her children from a previous birth, to keep it away from the meat.”
Yeah. Well, it’s funny, but unfortunately probably true. So anyhow, you do what you have to do for your health. I think that’s main thing. Like I’ll take, if one of my physicians recommends a supplement that he says I really need this to take this and it might have animal products in it, I will take it, because ultimately I need to be, I want to be healthy enough to keep doing what I do to the best of my ability and, and serve Maharaji and serve myself and others. So, if this is what it’s going to take to keep me healthy, then I’ll do it, but I won’t do it for , you know, that’s the only reason I would do it.
Good. That was really interesting. Thank you.
A little long winded, but okay,
That was so good. Thank you. Namaste.
Q: Hi KD. It’s amazing to share this in this virtual space with you and with everyone. Namaste. I think for most of us, we’re approaching at least the sixth week of this staying at home business. And so, first of all, I wanted to ask how you’re doing. And then also, have you found that your practices have shifted in this time period where all of this stuff, emotional or whatnot is coming up for a lot of us?
Well, thank you. I’m doing very well, I think, you know. I don’t have to think about what to pack. I don’t have to think about carrying clothes for three different climates in the next month or two on the road. So, and as far as six weeks, you know, there are people who go into the three-year retreats voluntarily. So, this is an involuntary retreat we’re doing here. So, yeah, I think as I kind of slow down, I feel like some of the crust around my heart is kind of falling away a little bit and you know, there’s always deeper to go. It’s always, more opening can happen. There’s more, there’s, you’re always able to relax more into yourself if you allow yourself that space to do that.
So, when there’s so much disturbing situations happening in the world it becomes really urgent to remember to calm our asses down, you know, and it’s the intensity of the, of the craziness that, that we experience that actually will force us to do practice, because otherwise we get eaten alive by our minds, by our thoughts and our emotions. So, there’s really only one thing to do that’s gonna help us in a real way, and that’s some kind of, some kind of a practice, you could say.
And that’s, you know, it’s funny that many of the saints that I met in India and many of the saints that I’ve read about, and many of the saints that the saints talk about, they say that the repetition of the names of God in this age is not just the easiest practice to do, but the only practice that will save us, so to speak.
And if you think about it, this, even when there isn’t a Corona virus around, the world is still pretty screwed up. So, there’s a lot of suffering and that, that’s why they call this the dark ages, the Kali Yuga. So, in the Kali Yuga, in these dark ages, they say the repetition of the name is very efficacious because we can just do it. You know, you don’t have to understand it, you don’t have to study it. You don’t have to be initiated. You can just repeat the name and you can go deeper into yourself that way. So, it’s the level of suffering that creates the opportunity to overcome that suffering as well. So, if any real change is going to come to this world, or if the world, if the people in the world are going to actually recognize that change has to happen in order to continue to live in a good way, it’s the suffering that’s going to force us to do the practice, that’s going to allow us to change.
Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you. Love to you and to everyone.
Q: Namaste KD. I’m joining you from Copenhagen in Denmark.
Oh, one of my favorite cities. Thank you.
So I became very unpopular today because I forgot my, me and my wife’s wedding day and the only thing in my calendar was Chai and Chat with Krishna Das. So that was not so good, but okay. My wife was loving and forgiving, so everything is good again.
So, yeah. So, so thank you so much for doing these online gatherings. And thank you for transmitting that love and that light from, of your guru to all of us, it means so much. And I was actually lucky to meet you last year in August when you played in, in Hamburg and somehow I don’t know what happened, but I ended up on the stage together with my close friends, and we watched the kirtan from the side of the stage it was very magic magical for us.
So yeah, they were the first ones to bring me to Copenhagen.
Yeah, I know. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
So yeah, a really funny thing happened to me in Copenhagen.
Okay. Maybe the second or third time I came there to sing, a friend of mine was walking down the street and coming the other way was a guy she knew who had been living in India for like 20 years. And he had the hair and he was walking around with the dhoti and he, you know, ashes on his forehead and then, you know, so she goes up and says to him, guess what? Krishna Das is singing tonight. Are you going to come?
And he says, “Krishna Das? He’s in just an American burger with Indian ketchup.”
I love that.
Who was that? Was it, who was the guy saying that?
I have no idea. It was a friend of a friend. Yeah.
Okay. But I have many questions, but one question I would like to ask you about this is about music and it’s, Rick Rubin produced two of your albums, Breath of the Heart and Door of Faith, which is just amazing albums and as a producer and songwriter myself, these, you know, these albums have just been very, very inspiring to me and has, you know, yeah, they go very deep, I think. And so, my question really is, have you guys ever talked about doing a third album?
Oh yeah. He’s open to doing something or he was last time I’d spoken to him, but I got comfortable working in New York, recording in New York.
One of my good friends, Jay Messina, he engineers all the CDs and helps produce them. David Nichtern, another close friend helped produce a couple. So, I just got real comfortable here in New York. And Rick really doesn’t leave California. Yeah. Well, that’s not to say I wouldn’t go out there at some point.
The Hare Krishna CD, All One, which was right, the next one, after the ones we’d done with Rick, I wanted to do that with him originally, but he didn’t want to come to New York and I didn’t really feel like going to California. So, that’s you know?
Yeah, because you did. Yeah. Yeah. You have been in touch. You did, you were featured in the documentary that he did.
Yeah. The documentary on Showtime. I think it was right about his recording studio called Shangrila.
Yeah. Yeah. I haven’t seen it because it’s not available here in Europe.
Get a VPN, a VPN and you can rip it up. You can.
Nice. Can I ask one more question? I, is it okay? I haven’t, I’ve been seeing some videos of you singing together with, with Shyam Sundar Das Baba, the jungle Baba
You mean in the jungle? Yeah.
Yeah. I was just wondering, what is the connection with him? If there’s anything you could share about that and what, you know, is there a connection with Maharajji?
There’s no direct connection with Maharajji at all. But a friend of ours had met him and had a nice time with him and told me about him. So, I went to visit him and after a couple of days, then I kinda got happy. It was weird, you know, so not my normal state. So, he’s, I think he’s on retreat now in the jungle. I don’t think he’s meeting people much now for a while.
Okay. Yeah. Okay. Nice. Okay.
It’s nice to see whether, you know, we wouldn’t know an enlightened being if we stepped on him in the street. So, it’s not a question of really knowing intellectually where somebody is at. It’s a feeling. Do you like? Do you enjoy or not? Some people didn’t feel comfortable with him and some people do, you know? It’s just question of taste.
Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Okay. But I think that was it for me, so. Okay. Thank you so much. Namaste.
Namaste. Take good care.
Q: Hi, do you remember us from Mexico city? We interviewed you and Jeff.
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Hi. Hi, on the porch, right? We were out on that porch. Great. Are you there now?
No, we came back to LA and kind of got stuck here, but what’s kind of my question, my mom and my best friend both have Alzheimer’s and they’re in Mexico and we’ve been overseeing their care for some years now. And my friend, especially has early onset and she’s like, you know, she can’t eat or walk or go to the bathroom, but she’s conscious. She can’t speak, but she’s there. And my mom is there and there’s been, my friends are really into assisted suicide. So, I asked another teacher here about that and it was more like, you can’t interrupt their karma.
So, no matter how much a person is suffering, you are interrupting their karma if you do that to them and my friends are giving me a lot of blow back about this. This is hard. This is not what I want to do here, but I kind of think that’s why I didn’t, I don’t know. What do you think about that?
Well, my father left the body with complications from Alzheimer’s. He had Alzheimer’s and
he wasn’t suffering. We were suffering, which was okay with me because some people get sick, they get very sick, they suffer terribly, they’re in terrible pain that can’t be alleviated. There’s nothing that can be done for them. They have to lie there. And there, you know, that’s, and though, if those people decided to, if they decided that they wanted to end their life, there’s really not much you can say about it, but for some, for me to have decided that, “Oh my dad’s losing it, You know, let’s, let’s give, let’s do that to him.” I don’t think that’s the right thing. I think a person, whether cosmically or not it’s okay, I don’t know. But if a person makes that decision, then that’s also their karma. So, but to make a decision for somebody who can’t decide that’s, you know, You’re the one who’s suffering. Your mother and your other, they’re not, they have no, their consciousness isn’t, isn’t, there’s no connection between this moment and that moment. Like I would, my father would wake up in the morning and his wife would come in and he’d have a big lump on his head. And she said, what happened? He said, “what do you mean?” You know, he had no memory of falling. He had no pain. That even the pain sensations didn’t go from one moment to the next one mind moment to the next. So, I always felt, let us suffer with this, that this hurt our hearts. He’s not suffering. God bless him. I don’t know, you know, there are so many issues involved, you know?
So, at one time my sister was with my father at the Alzheimer’s ward at this place that he finally had to go to because he couldn’t be cared for anymore by his wife, who’s just too, she wasn’t sleeping. She was, she had, she was getting autoimmune diseases because of the tension and the stress.
So, my sister came and they played a video of me chanting. And in the middle of the video, my father came back from wherever he was and he looks at my sister and he says, “Tell KD I’m chanting with him in my mind.”
So, you know, and another time, you know, whenever I would leave on a tour, I would go to see him because I would be gone a couple of months and who knew if he’d remember me when I came back, you know? So, one day we’re sitting there in the, in the afternoon watching the same reruns of Seinfeld, which he watched over and over and over and over and over. Cause he couldn’t remember anything. I don’t even think he knew what he was looking at. So, in the middle of this television program, he was sitting in a chair and I’m sitting on the couch. He kind of looks over at me and he goes, and he gets up out of the chair, which he usually could hardly do. And he comes over and sits down next to me on the couch, right next to me, you know? And then he looks at me and he says, “What you’re doing is incredible. I can’t believe it. Traveling around the world, singing with people all over the world. It’s amazing. I’m so proud of you.”
He was going on and on and I was like, you know, it was like, “Oh, okay, what is this?” You know? And then after like, it seemed like three hours, it was probably just a good minute, he just, you could see his, just like, and he got up, went back to the chair and back to Seinfeld. And that was the last time I ever saw him fully here. You know?
So, I don’t know. I mean, you know, I’m not one to, I don’t know. That’s just, I pretty much said it all I have to say about it. You know, you have to work with how you feel about it, and live with that.
And you did allude to, not fear of dying, but fear of suffering, which I also have. I also worry about getting it myself…
For who? For yourself, you mean? Or for, yeah…
For myself because it’s hereditary, well, and so on and so forth. And what would, what would I do, you know, like, how am I going to handle it? What if I forget how to meditate? That’s a big fear of mine. It’s stupid.
Yeah. If you, if you, first of all, I don’t even know what to say about that, but anyway let’s see. You know, the hardest thing for me was, as my father’s Alzheimer’s was progressing, you know one day we were in a cab together and we’d been talking about in the city, and we made plans for like the next week to get together. Right? So, as he was getting out of the cab, I said, “okay, dad, so I’ll meet you, I’ll meet you there.”
And he looked at me like, the panic in his eyes because he knew that he had no idea what I was talking about. And he knew that he had lost it, you know? When he was like… that was so painful for him and me, but that in between kind of stage passed, and then it’s very difficult to know what his reality was, but I’m pretty sure I can say that he wasn’t suffering the way we would normally think about suffering and, you know, you can have the genes for Alzheimer’s and never, never develop it. So, as I say, be here now.
And thank you for Thursdays. We’re really enjoying it.
Ram Ram. I’m here in San Diego, Encinitas. We missed on tour. Hopefully you’ll come back and honor your ticket when this is all over. First of all, I just want to say, I think our hearts go out to you in New York for everything you guys are going through.
You’ve taken the brunt of this pandemic. And it’s just amazing to see the New York tough and strength and love of all the care workers there and community and prayers go out to you and, and everybody in that city and everybody across the country.
Yeah. It’s the best of human nature.
Yeah, that’s amazing.
But it comes down to compassion and you were kind of just, you know, talking about compassion where it touched me, where it’s like, I’m looking for, if, if compassion is truly being a, and this goes back to what I was reading about Ram Dass and his work in the hospice kind of work, and I was thinking, well, how could you really have compassion for someone and really truly know compassion if you haven’t walked in their shoes.
So, I kind of got lost there and sat there. And so then I started thinking, well, there, if you can’t walk in somebody else’s shoes to really know and feel compassion for them, is there kind of like a common denominator that every, that’s an in, in a reality, I guess, that you would go to the same, I truly do feel compassion for this person. Because I feel like I feel but at times it’s like, just because I have a certain point of view, for example, someone might look at me like, well, that’s not compassion, you know, and it, but for me it is. And so, I guess I’m looking for a common denominator that I could go to that would go like, you know, just because you see things differently, doesn’t mean I’m not compassionate.
That was my question.
You know, like if you go to a movie and you’re looking at the screen, you see all different characters, right? All different characters. The common denominator in this case is, you could say, the projector. The projector is projecting all of those characters onto the screen. And you’re also a character on the screen.
You’re observing it. So, the common denominator is actually, the same thing looks out of your eyes that is looking out of the eyes of everybody you’ll ever meet. Satchidananda. Truth, awareness and joy. That’s our true nature. That’s what’s looking out of your eyes, pure awareness, pure being.
You are identified with your story, just like everybody else is identified with their story, but the same one inside lives within you that lives within everybody. And that’s the divine presence. The soul of everyone is exactly the same. And we’re all part of the same being.
Why would you not feel bad for your foot if it hurt? You would try to make it better. Other people are just another part of your great body. You’re a huge body. You’re a big body, but we don’t believe that because we are attached to the information that comes in through our sense organs and we’re attached to our subjective conditioned way of interpreting all that information which tells us that I’m in here and they’re out there and there’s really no connection at all. But it’s actually completely inside out. Everyone is inside of your awareness. There is nobody, nothing out there. Everything you see is lit up by your own awareness. And that awareness is the same in every being in the universe.
That’s your true nature. So, when somebody hurts, it’s natural to have compassion. These, these wonderful beings who are first responders, this is the best of humanity. This is the natural state of, of humanity, to care for others at the expense of your own suffering or your own possibility of suffering. That’s thinking of others first. When I was going to kill myself, I told you Maharajji said, “you can’t die. Only Jesus died the real death.”
Why? Because he never thought of himself. All we do is think of ourselves. So, you know, when our hearts relax, when the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves don’t eat us up alive the way they usually do, our hearts naturally go out to everything we meet, everyone and everything, because there’s no reason for them not to. It’s only our stories that are our reasons to protect ourselves from other people, to hoard our stuff, to hide our stuff, all that stuff we do out of selfish interest to preserve our sins, our false sense of separateness.
It’s false because it’s not real. We are not separate beings. We only look like that to ourselves because of our identification with the sense information. The deeper you go into yourself, you can experience that directly. But that takes, what that takes is a recognition of how much pain we’re in, confined to this small little box of me, you know. But we don’t want to face that. So, we don’t do anything about it. We ignore it and we suffer. So, the more we, the more we notice, begin to notice how this, how we’re stuck in this little neat box with all these stories that we tell ourselves about ourselves, that we believe for some crazy reason. The more we’re aware of that kind of suffering, the more, first of all, we see everybody else also is. So, and if it hurts us this much, it’s got to be hurting them that much, too. So that unites us as humans. We’re all in this soup together. We have to figure a way out of here or into here or up there or out of there, you know, who knows? But compassion is natural. That’s what arises when you not, when you’re not obsessing about me, me, me all the time. It’s natural caring for people, but that’s been destroyed and, not destroyed, but that’s been crushed by the way we’ve been brought up in a culture that doesn’t give a shit about anybody else. I want my house., My cable TV, my car, my food, my partner, my kids, my, this, my, that.
It’s fucking horrible. That’s earth. That’s what we have to learn. And that’s school. That’s the school. So, and it all, it all, well, it all centers around… We’ve been programmed to believe that we’re separate from everybody else and the most important thing is how “I” feel.
Maybe, maybe not.
Thank you. I have a quick question.
A double, double dipping here.
I was really looking forward to your trip to Rishikesh in India, New Delhi, for your tour. I was actually thinking about going out there. The whole world is on retreat. But my, I guess my question is I’ve, I’ve spent some time in Kainchi Dham in the mountains, in the Kumaon Mountains with Benji and Heather and David Newman and spent 10 days in the, in the area visiting the temples of Maharajji and it was just so amazing.
I feel his presence there. I, I felt a connection. I would love to experience that with you and some others from back then. Have you ever entertained or thought about doing a similar type of retreat where maybe you wouldn’t have to be with a lot of people all the time, but you could maybe make a, spend a couple hours talking about your times there.
I would love to experience that with you and pay probably a lot of money to do that.
How much, how much, how much?
Well, you know, well, my, the first answer I would give is, God forbid,. The last thing I’ll fucking ever do take the, and if I did take someone to India, you would have to sign a release form before you go that when you drop dead of whatever you drop dead of in India, I could just throw your body in the fucking river in the end of it.
I guess that’s my answer, but you, you, were going to go, you were going to go on tour, so…
You never know. That’s all I can tell you
Anyways. Just thank you for everything and take care.
Thank you. You’ve been an integral part of my life and my spiritual practice for, so you’re very close to my heart. Although you don’t know me, I feel I know Maharajji through you. So thank you. My question has to do with human relationships and…
You’re going to ask me that question? Okay.
There’s an angle to this that I haven’t heard you talk about. Cause I’ve heard some, so many of your talks, but one angle that I haven’t heard talked about is healthy human bonding
Healthy human bonding.
That’s because I don’t know anything about it.
I’m not sure that I do either, but I mean, I I’ve thought about attachment quite a bit and I teach Eastern philosophy. And typically when things come up about attachment and personal relationships, and then I say, well, this is really tough. That’s where the work really comes in, when you’re in a close relationship, but you’re attached in some way, you’re expecting something from someone. And here I am at 58 years old and I’m going through some heartbreak and this wasn’t a physical relationship and it caught me totally by surprise.
And I’m not sure that it’s all attachment either. Now, you know, ultimately, maybe that’s true. I don’t know, but it feels like there’s a connection there that’s like a living, feels like a living being between us. And it seems like that’s not just my attachment. It’s like a connection. And I don’t know that I understand what that connection is. And I’m not asking you to tell me what that connection is, but could you say something about, you know, when we feel bonded to another person, when that person either leaves us or dies, we suffer. And I wonder how much of that is just good or what is there about bonding with another human being.
Well, I don’t know. I imagine I know what you mean by bonding, but when Maharajji left his body, I wasn’t, I was destroyed. I, you know, I thought my life was over because the only place that I ever felt that way was with him physically. Physically. So, when the physical body was not there anymore for me to use, to feel that way, I had no tools to feel that way with, without that. That’s attachment.
So, while I couldn’t, I feel that way without… that, without being in the presence of that physical body. And so, for 20 years, I basically was sinking, sinking, sinking. And then I recognized that I had to find it in myself because he had shown me that love was real. I had felt it, I experienced it, so many things, but then the body was not there and I lost everything. I thought. So…
Everything you’re describing about your relationship with this other, where do you experience that? In the room behind you? inside the cat? You experienced it inside of you, which is where it is. The attachment is having to use another person or another thing to give you that experience. That’s, that’s attachment.
So, without attachment or the without the belief that you need something outside of you to make you feel good, you would feel good. Because the feeling is inside of you. It’s not… Many people fall in love with people that don’t give a shit about them. So, they still feel that love, but it’s not coming from that person. Definitely. So, you meet somebody who seems to respond to you and that makes you feel good about yourself and you allow yourself to feel good then. So, if that person goes away or turns away in one, one way or another, we lose the ability to let ourselves feel good.
So, relationships are for learning because you’ve come up against all the things that close you down when you interact with another person, as well as many other things.
Is there any way to know when like, to work towards maintaining a relationship because it might be helpful for the tool versus no, I can’t do that cause that must obviously mean I’m attached? It seems to me, well…
I wouldn’t say… Why should you not do it because you’re attached? I didn’t say not. I didn’t say you shouldn’t do it, but be aware of what it is. That’s all. And if, once you’re in a relationship with somebody and two people make a pact, agree to relate together, then you’re bringing your shadow and they’re bringing their shadow.
So, if you think it’s all going to be the sunlight merging in the sunlight, but two people have to agree to help each other deal with the shadow. So there has to be honesty, integrity, sincerity, openness, and a desire to be free of the fear and hiding and all that stuff. It’s…. Relationships are work. Very hard work, but that’s how we see ourselves better.
We can see ourselves, where we’re at, with our relationships. So, and, and as far as people going anywhere, you know, if Maharajji went anywhere, then he would still be somewhere else, but he’s not somewhere else. He’s with me all the time. Ram Dass, I feel him all the time. He’s totally available. So, you’re talking about the physical plane, which is because you and I, and most of us identify with the physical body and, but then they got free of that, but that doesn’t mean they’re not here.
So, but that’s kind of, you know, depending on who you talk to, they’ll say, “Oh, that’s just wonky bullshit.” But you know, let them feel that. You know what you feel and you have to honor that. You should honor that. Try to honor that and you have something anyway. Okay. So that’s the short answer.
That’s the big question, but that’s a good one.
Sorry. Okay. Yeah, no, just let me say, let me offer a disclaimer here. Okay?
These are my opinions. Okay? These are, this is not ultimate truth. Okay? You don’t like what you hear? No Problema. Or you don’t believe it? No problema. You don’t relate to it? Fine. This is not the gospel according to somebody, this is my opinions, what I feel like I’ve learned so far, but that doesn’t mean it makes sense to anybody else except me. And maybe it doesn’t even make sense to me. So just remember, this is not the ultimate reality. This is just, we’re having a conversation, essentially. Okay. Take care.
Thank you so much.
Hi, Krishna Das. Nice to meet you. Basically I was wondering if you could give me some of your advice.
There’s nothing I like to do, but give advice.
I’ll try and say the best I can. I’ve kind of been in a forced quarantine isolation type situation for about four years now because I’ve been dealing with a chronic health condition, Lyme Disease.
Me, too. I have Lyme.
Oh, interesting. I didn’t know that.
Yeah. Chronic Lyme. I’ve probably had it for 20 years.
Wow. I didn’t know that. My family is from Massachusetts. I spent a lot of time there and you live in New York. It makes sense. I was just wondering, basically it affects me, the way that it had affected me is, I kind of was high functioning and then overnight was housebound in a lot of pain and fatigue. And I’ve tried lots of different treatments. And I was lucky enough to find Ram Dass when I needed, really needed somebody the most. Cause I was suicidal and in bed with severe neuropathy. And I was so grateful for that because, through him, I feel like I found Maharajji, and I’ve listened to all of his lectures and I found you and it really opened me to a whole new dimension and I, I’ve even been fortunate enough to feel Maharajji’s love and Ram Dass’s love on a very deep level through psychedelic exploration, too. And that, that, they’ve all changed my life. So that’s a blessing from the illness, but my life is still very limited and I just want to be able to, I’m only 26, so it’s really rocked my world. I haven’t been able to work for a long time and I just want to be able to be of service to others and I don’t feel I can do that right now. And I, I, and, and my spiritual practice is deep, but the suffering, you know, the mind still likes to, of course, create the suffering. And some days I deal with that okay and other days I can barely manage getting through the day and, you know, that kind of thing. So, I was just wondering if you had any advice for somebody in my situation and I’d really appreciate it.
Well, as you know, Ram Dass was also in terrible pain every day, terrible neuropathy from diabetes, he’d been in a wheelchair for over 20 years. So many things. He was dealing with blood pressure, blood sugar, so many issues, so many terrible… Yeah, many. He had so many procedures and operations and everything.
He never, he, he accepted it as his karma. He didn’t try to change it. He worked with all of that. I wish it would end. I’ve got to change this. I wish it would go away. Why me? He, he worked through all that stuff and he developed real humility. True surrender. So, your situation is very intense, no question, but it’s your karmic situation. What’s the best way to deal with that is what you need to find out.
Do everything you can to heal yourself physically. But the main thing is what is your, what, what your state of mind is around everything you have to deal with. So, I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but this is, this is what you’ve been given, what it is. So your only option is to deal with this the best way you can.
So, you have to find out what that means to you. And don’t think about trying to serve other people. Not, it might not be what your karmic situation is right now. Right now, serve yourself, you know? Find out, you know Ram Dass really overcame all the, he was able to be with people just like he was with you. Did you have a one-on-one with him or how did you, did you ever speak to him?
No. Yeah, I wish I wish I did, but I didn’t know he was with those.
And when he, you know, when he was one-on-one with people or in a group of people, he radiated, he radiated his truth, his love is real, his true self, his true nature with people and he never allowed the physicality to interfere with that. So, he developed that kind of strength. Now that’s big time. No question about it. I doubt I could do that. If you could do that, that would be wonderful. Any little bit we can do on the way. So don’t try to be somewhere else. And when you notice yourself wishing it was another way, that’s not useful. So, really you’re here. You’re completely here always, but your body is ripping off your consciousness.
Don’t let it do that. Keep coming back. Not with anger or will or force, but in a relaxed way, come back to yourself again and again. And you never know, you never know what the next moment will bring. Pain is, is, pain, it is very hard to deal with. There’s no question about it, but we must. What are your options? You know? You need to find the best way to deal with that since it’s a, it’s a major factor in your daily life and there are ways to do it, it can be done for sure. You know? So, this is your work. There’s no spiritual sadhana, spiritual practice somewhere else. It’s right where you are. This is it. How great?
That’s why I say the illness is the spiritual practice because it’s taken me so much. It can just be so challenging sometimes when you’re forced in bed all day. And you’re in great pain. And the mind tries to like escape the situation. It’s like, I don’t want this. Yeah. Yeah. This isn’t fair. Which is like the worst thing to fail because that just creates more suffering.
That’s absolutely true. On the other hand, you’re not getting the luxury of being stupid for your whole life. It’s a luxury that, that destroys people. We just go living on in dreamland. We never pay attention. We live our lives. We’re hardly ever here for a moment. Your situation is forcing you, just like Ram Dass had to, force you to deal with it. There’s no time off. And that’s the way it is. And someday you will recognize that it was a blessing beyond belief.
So, from here to there, that’s your path, whatever it takes you, whatever you do. When I tell you, you know, I used to tease Ram Dass, I used to say, “you finally become who we thought you were 40 years ago.” He would laugh.
That’s, that’s a good one.
So I’ll say that to you in a few years, too. Okay?
Yes. Thank you so much. It was, it was such a honor to speak with you. Thank you.
Ok. Take care.
Q: Okay. I am a little bit excited now. My English is not so good. I had a few questions, but it’s late now and I think like the essence of all these questions is, did you ever have doubts on your path, on your path with Maharajji? I mean, before?
Okay. And what?
I doubt myself all the time, but I never doubt him.
I doubt my ability to let him in, you know, he’s knocking on the door all the time, but I doubt my ability to let him in at all. I do the best that I can to see him everywhere, to see him in everyone, to see that love and everyone, but, you know. I don’t doubt him. I don’t doubt that love. He showed me that’s real. What I doubt is whether I’ll ever be able to really be with that openly. That’s just a program, too. That’s just a program, also. But that’s the one that catches me. It’s one that catches me.
Yeah. It’s like, my spiritual path started like somewhere else. It’s not… in with Hinduism or Buddhism. It started like in, in South Africa, I mean in Austria, but it drew me to South Africa and I like, I didn’t have like, a guru, but it’s also like, like a teacher, and this is a very like, they’re very much praise earth and worship earth. And it was really beautiful because I could make this connection to earth and it was really healing me, like, also opening my heart. And now I feel like, between like, like a child who has to choose mother or father. I don’t know how to. When I, when I say it, it sounds stupid to me because I know that you don’t have to choose, but still there are these quarrels inside of me. And like some somebody would be, if I like, if I go more for this South African path, then, then it’s like, Maharaji would think that I’m doing something wrong and the other way around, I don’t know. It’s, it’s really sounds weird. But this is coming to my mind all the time.
That’s just your own stuff. Maharajji didn’t judge anyone nor did he even encourage people to come see him. So, it’s not an issue. It’s just your program. You know? It doesn’t matter what you do. It’s you doing it. Nobody else. So, don’t, don’t keep it. Why do you… notice how you believe all that stuff. That’s all. If you didn’t think those things, where would they exist in the world? Nowhere, but you believe them. So, they exist. That’s all, they’re not real. It’s just, you’re giving yourself a hard time for no reason. We’re also good at that. That’s all. Doesn’t matter. Follow your heart. It doesn’t matter what you do, to anybody else, but you.
Thank you. I have to live with this doubt.
For some reason that’s what you do. So make friends with it. Don’t try to fight it, allow it to come, allow it to go. When you’re watching television, it’s not there. When you’re taking a shower, it’s not there. When you’re going to the movies, it’s not there. When you’re talking to people it’s not there. It’s not there all the time. It’s only there when it shows up, so allow it to show up and then, you know, allow it to go away. It’s not real. It’s only your stuff.
Q: Ram Ram KD
Okay. So first of all I want to say thank you. Never met you. I’ve always listened to your music. Actually, bought your book and in the lockdown, that’s what I’ve been doing, reading your book a lot and listening
There are two people who actually bought the book. That’s wonderful.
Ah, there you go. So the most amazing thing happened to me this week. In the five weeks of locked down, I’d been doing a lot of meditation and one of the kirtans that really, I listen to when I meditate, well, I don’t listen to it, it just comes into me is, and it just floats totally through my body, and I’ve been getting deeper and deeper into it and sat on a hill this week and reading your book, I thought I’ve got to get through the book then decided, you know, I’m just going to take some time to meditate. As I’ve been getting deeper into it, and I’ve been brought up with practice in Hindu, anyway, I’ve always had people say to me, you’ve got to have a guru. You can’t get anywhere if you don’t have a guru. I’ve got myself, I’ve always felt that, well, I’m supposed to be part of the universe of God, so why do I need to have someone externally?
Anyway, I did the meditation and, you know, this kirtan is going through my body and the most amazing thing happened. Maharajji just came. I went to like a really high level and I do a meditation where my friend always talks about the blanket of love. I don’t know if it’s the connection with that and how you describe it in your book.
And I’ve never had a connection to Maharajji at all, and you know, when you say he’s here all the time, we just don’t believe cause we don’t see the physical body, but yet he was just so present, and in my meditation, I was just absolutely crying. And I have this real, Oh my God, this real abundance of energy for the last few days.
So, my question was, I know in your book, you spoke about that little window of going with Maharajji yourself, you went into that window, how did you, did you feel that overwhelmness when that happened to you as well? And if so, how do you actually keep… it? Cause it’s really just running through my body right now.
I feel so blessed. And for the first time after all these years, I actually feel like I know who I am now. It’s unbelievably amazing.
Isn’t that interesting. You come into contact with what you call him, but yet at the same time you say, now I know who I am, because he is not.. He and you are not different.
He’s that indwelling presence in each one of us that is who we truly are. So that’s a wonderful experience. Why do you want to contain it? Let it go. You can’t hold on to it either. So just be with it.
Oh, it’s really scary. And I’m like, yeah, you’re right. It’s like, what more am I supposed to do with it? I don’t know what to do with it.
It’s not your, it’s doing it with you. Relax. Take it easy. It’s not up to you. You didn’t do this. This is grace. So just enjoy, relax, take it easy. It’s all good.
Did you have the same feeling also when you got through the window? Or…?
Yeah, I probably cut my hand on the glass or something, you know.
Wow. Okay. But I so want to say thank you. I’ve been a passenger there and full of grace.
Q: Hi. Hello, Krishna Das. Hello for doing this. It’s amazing. I’m talking from Barcelona.
I was in your workshop the last time you were here. It was the first time that I saw you. And since then, I started chanting the Hanuman Chalisa and I’m also trying to share with some community that we have at the yoga studio. And I wanted to ask, like you were saying right now in this situation that we are, we’re feeling more well we’re feeling, everybody’s feeling different because of staying at home and not having so much contact with the outside world, so I was wondering if there was any change on what your practice, on what you’re doing in your practice, what you’re chanting in your practice as you also have to stay at home and not being able to chant with people?
Yeah. No, not really, you know, just to have more time. So, I’m able to spend more time singing or being, or reading or, you know, doing that kind of stuff. And, and like I said, I, I feel like there’s a lot of crust around my heart. That’s kind of falling away a little bit, little bit by little bit. Cause I’m having the chance to relax in a deeper way.
I’ve been so busy, moving so fast for so long that it’s just natural that, you know ah, yeah. Okay. Yeah. I, I don’t, I can sit down and I don’t have to get up unless I get up. I mean, it’s not, I don’t have to catch a plane or a train or bus or a car, so it just naturally deepens as I allow it to. So, at least that’s what it looks like to me, but it’s just more of the same stuff, Sri Ram Jai Ram, same stuff over and over.
Is there any difference in chanting the Chalisa or any other mantra?
The difference is that when you’re chanting the Chalisa, you’re chanting the Chalisa. If you’re chatting another mantra, you’re chanting another mantra. The practice that’s best as the one you do when you’re doing this. No, just do anything. It doesn’t matter.
Anything you do feeds your own heart and you listen to your heart and follow what your heart asks you to do, what your heart’s hungry for in terms of practice, what works for you. That’s all. It’s all good.
Thank you very much,
Hi. How’d you sneak in?
So my, my question is about you know, I have a teacher, a meditation teacher, and like some of the things that like, I’ve been, you know, whatever, asked to do, like not share my notes or whatever, it really pisses me off and I know you’re supposed to like, follow the teacher and let go of your ego and whatever, but I find it really difficult.
So, I guess my question is like, presumably Maharajji he asked people, you know, cause he knew everything, right? So, he asked people what was best for them and they may have fought against that. And like, did that happen to you? And how did you deal with it?
You have to… it seems to me that there’s a trust issue here. If you have a teacher that you trust, then you say to yourself, “this is what my teacher wants me to do. This must be in my best interest, even if I don’t like it, or I don’t understand it. That doesn’t mean that it’s not in my best interest.”
So, then you would go ahead and do what your teacher asks of you, but you have to, this has to be based on trust. If you don’t trust that person who is your teacher, you really can’t get much from him other than, or her, other than techniques. If your heart doesn’t open to that person, if there’s fear there or… then that’s the situation and, where there’s love there’s no fear. Where there’s fear, there’s no love. So, having the reactions you say you have, there’s nothing wrong with those reactions. How you deal with those reactions is, is the issue. You can say, this must mean that I’m not trusting this person, or this, you could say, I do trust this person, these are just, this is just my bullshit. I have to drop it and do what, what they say. So, the whole, whole point, I’ve said this again and again, and I think I’ve said it to you before, in my opinion, the whole path is learning how to trust yourself.
It doesn’t matter what anybody teaches you. It doesn’t matter what anybody shows you. It doesn’t matter what anybody asks you to do, you have to trust yourself in order to do that in the right way or not do that. It’s you making the decision or having the reaction inside of you based on all your stuff, if this is the right thing for me or not.
A guru and a teacher are two different things, first of all. A real guru doesn’t necessarily teach at all. They might say a few words here and there. Who knows? They’ll do whatever they want to do, whatever they have to do. But a guru ripens you from the inside out. A teacher shares methods with you and can help you move along according to those methods that that teacher gives to you and has done themselves, one would hope. But when you meet a guru, either inside or outside, not necessarily physically, and your heart will automatically trust that feeling. And then your path is to just try to remain or try to keep coming back to that feeling of love.
There’s not necessarily big experiences. There’s not… I told you, you know, there were people, there were gurus in India, beings in India that other Westerners went to. They would bounce up and down off the, the pillows, they would howl like dogs. They would, they would be in bliss and fall over like this.
I sat around with mom Maharajji for two and a half years. Not one fucking thing happened. Except love. Except love that was so deep and so beautiful and so unbearable, so wonderful that I couldn’t pull myself away from that person. Nor did I want to, except when I got pissed off. So, the whole thing is learning to trust yourself.
Take your time. There’s no hurry. You’re not going anywhere. You’re just trying to get here, where you are already. Relax. Let it come to you. Be yourself. Be you. Follow your heart. Trust your heart. Trust yourself. Trust your deeper feelings. But in order to trust them, you have to listen deeply to yourself and then you have to pay attention. You have to honor how you feel. If you don’t honor those deeper feelings, you’re not doing the right thing to yourself, but most people don’t. Okay? By the way. But the spiritual path means really following your heart, following your deepest heart, what do you want? What do you really want? Don’t get caught. Don’t spend time getting things that you don’t really need. You might enjoy a little bit, but go after what you really want, which is the same thing everybody wants, which is love. And if you’re not getting what you want from one situation, recognize that that’s the case. That doesn’t mean you have to change anything, but you have to pay attention.
What’s happening here? You know> What do I want? How, how can I live in this love all the time?
So, and the love is not something you get. It’s, it’s what we are, and that doesn’t go away nor does it come. It’s already here. That’s what we are. So, if you feel that your work, your spiritual path, what you’re learning is helping you to be a better human being, to be kinder, more compassionate towards yourself and others, and to obsess about yourself less, whatever it is, this is, this is your work. This is our work. There are teachings. You can learn anything out there. There’s millions of techniques, millions of teachers, millions of paths, but there’s only one love and that lives within you as who you already are, who we already are. That’s where we’re headed.
So, there’s many ways to get there. As long as you feel in your heart that what you’re doing is taking you where you need to go, and you trust it, that’s the key. That’s the issue. Because if you don’t trust your teacher, it doesn’t mean you’re wrong. It doesn’t mean the teacher’s wrong. It just might mean that the karmic connection is not really there the way it should be or, but whatever it is, it’s your, it’s your feelings that count.
That’s why Maharajji never told us what to do. He didn’t tell me to chant, to go forth and spread the seed of chanting all through the world. He never said that, not once, but he changed me from the inside. He created this whole drama of me doing this without… he didn’t ask me if I wanted to do this.
But he, being the inner indwelling presence within me, he knows what I need to do to move into myself. And so, he created this whole drama. He took the guy who wanted to be a rock and roll singer and made him into a kirtan wallah. Because the rock and roll singer would have, would have died from a drug overdose 50 years ago.
So, he changed that karma and you know, so that’s a guru. That’s what a real guru does. That doesn’t mean some gurus can, can’t be teachers. They can teach, too. Maharajji didn’t teach so much like that. As you know, we said, how do we find God? He said, serve people. He didn’t say meditate. He didn’t even say, chant.
He didn’t say, go on pilgrimage. He didn’t say, live in a cave. He didn’t say, be a vegan. He didn’t say, don’t watch TV. He didn’t say, do anything. He said, serve people. Simple. But what do we do? We think about ourselves all day long. The movie of me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me and more me, me, me.
And we think that’s reasonable. That’s how crazy we are. So, trust is the issue and Ram Ram.
Thank you. Ram Ram. By the way I beat Corona virus.
Really? Did you have it? Oh wow. You’re okay. Now. Very good. Good. Glad to hear that. Very good. Yeah.
Q: Hi. Thank you for giving us a, something to chew on in terms of what Maharajji brought and, you know, you take it from whoever was closer and you were there. I appreciate that a lot. And thank you for making the in bad words okay with neutrality. But here here’s the thing. I know that one of the songs that you recorded a while ago when the, the Om Namah Shivaya, I think that is Maharajji at the beginning who was chanting or singing before your…
It’s Mr. Tiwari, my Indian father. A great yogi and lifelong disciple of Maharajji
So there’s an online recording of what they say is Meraji saying “Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram,” and then another recording of him just chatting with other devotees. That would be him?
Yeah. Yeah that’s him.
That’s a beautiful.
That “Ram Ram Ram” thing, a devotee that we knew up in Nainital, up in the mountains, , recorded that on a cassette player, and this is 1970, so we recorded that through the air. We, what we recorded that…
I wasn’t born in 1970.
Good. So, it proves that you’re not my kid.
So, we recorded that through the air with another cassette recorder. So, he played it and we recorded it, you know, with a little Walkman. So that’s how we got that all those years ago. So, what do you think about that in terms of the darshan, like that, the view of the guru, getting some direct perception of what his energy was in his voice?
Yeah. You’re hearing him repeat the name, so that’s wonderful. Ultimately you have to repeat the name, hearing it is good. And of course, when you hear it, you’re actually having the image of the name, so to speak in your own consciousness, but you want to also be able to generate that yourself. It’s, it’s, you could use that as a, as a way to meditate on, for sure.
No question about it.
Why I started with it, I heard him before I met you. And then after that, we were doing a Ram Ram and trying really, really hard for our last couple of years to work with the Chalisa. And you know…
You don’t have to, you don’t have to memorize it. You know, you can just read it.
It doesn’t have to be memorized. Yeah. It’s not a test. Read it, listen to it, play it over and use my CDs or somebody else’s that you like and just be with it, you know, and learn it little by little. It’s not a test. Nobody’s going to grade you on it.
I like it, because it doesn’t create pressure. It just creates the ability to enjoy it a hundred percent the way it is.
What creates pressure?
It doesn’t create pressure, to think that you don’t have to memorize it, a pressure-less experience to be able to do it and then go in at a hundred percent the way it comes out.
Yeah, I’d say so.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you to everyone involved.
Thank you. Yeah, it’s been great working overtime. Thank you.
Q: I have a question about dreams. Did Maharajji ever talk, speak to you about dreams or your own thoughts of dreams? And the reason I’m asking is, I’ve recently had two very close family members who passed away and I’ve had visitation dreams and I’ve never believed in them or had any particular feeling about them.
And that was my question.
What do you mean you don’t believe? You don’t believe in your own experience? Is that what you said?
No, and it’s not that I don’t believe my own experiences. I never considered being… I had a dream where my grandfather was speaking to me in a dream that was not like any other dream. And it was very vivid, very rich. And we were talking about him. I was asking him why he was, he had died. And we were, he explained to me that he wasn’t, that he was still here. And we’re having this dream and it’s very vivid. And I had never, I had never considered… I had the dream on Easter too, which is kind of weird, but…
So, it was Jesus.
Yeah. It was something like that. I mean, the story was too good, you know? And I, I, I don’t, I never had expected to, to have a dream like that. And I wonder if, if you ever, if Maharajji ever talked about…
No, no, I don’t think he, yeah, he didn’t talk much about those kinds of things. From his point of view, I would imagine it was all very dreamlike.
But in our dreams, we can be visited by other beings, for sure, that we wouldn’t let come in our normal conscious state. And if they tell us we’re good little boys and girls, we should believe them. If they tell us we’re bad little boys and girls, we shouldn’t believe them, you know? So don’t take everything that happens in dream as, you know, it’s gotta be true, cause it’s a dream or it’s gotta be untrue because it’s a dream, but it’s the feeling of the dream that really matters, that counts the most, I think. But that’s, you know, those sound very wonderful.
And as far as dreaming about saints, you know what they say? They say this, that if a Saint comes to your dream, if you dream about a Saint, it means that they’ve actually come to see you, because we can’t create, even our creative consciousness, we can’t create the form of a saint. A Saint comes from within to us. So, if we get Darshan of the Saint in our dreams, they say it’s usually because they’ve come to see us.
So, and yeah, that’s wonderful you could meet your grandfather. That’s wonderful. Yeah. And it’s the feeling of it. That’s the essence of it.
Okay. It’s not just, it’s like, “Oh, is it really my grandfather?” It doesn’t really matter. Was your grandfather really your grandfather anyway? What dream was that? So, but the feeling you have, that’s really the essence of it. That you should trust that, or at least recognize that clearly. Yeah.
Okay. Okay. Yeah. By the way, when, I don’t know if you’ve read a Chants of a Lifetime but, you know, I tell the story, one story of my former girlfriend coming to see me after she died. And she was very angry at me and I was flipped out. I woke up and I was like, ah, so I ran to the temple and I told him the whole story.
He didn’t, he banged me on the head and said, “Don’t worry. She won’t bother you anymore.”
I mean, it’s a much longer story, but the point was he, he tacitly agreed that that’s what happened. You know? I mean, he didn’t, he wouldn’t say that. He didn’t say that, but by saying, by blessing me, he said, “don’t worry. She won’t…” that he did, you know, recognize that she came to see me. So that’s an interesting, yeah.
And so, I never doubted it. I always, in fact, a psychic told me, not that many years ago, that she, she pulled that out of my conscious and she said, “Oh yeah, you know that girl, she came to see you after she died? She was very proud of that.” She said that she, that she was able to come see me and give me a hard time, actually. Anyway, Ram Ram best of luck.
Okay. My friends, I’m sorry, but I think we’ve got to go. Well, the good news is that even if we were all together in one room, everybody wouldn’t have been able to ask their question. So, it’s just like real life. Right? Thank you so much for coming today and hanging out. Really. I enjoyed it so much, being with you and being together.