Call and Response Special Edition Conversations with KD November 7 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.

Call and Response Special Edition – Conversations with KD November 7, 2020

“Do what you can do to let go. It doesn’t have to be while you’re sitting down, cross-legged pretending to meditate. That’s not it. All day long, just let go. “I’m doing it again. Ok. Ram Ram.”   Just be at ease. Try to be at ease with life as it is, and then you’ll be at ease in the next moment and the next moment and next week and next month. Right? It’s inner strength. You have to cultivate that.” – Krishna Das


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Hi, everybody. Welcome to the world.

The resolution of any issue or any question that we have in our own minds is always to quiet down and listen to our hearts, feel our hearts, feel what our deepest feelings are. There’s a lot of panic, a lot of anxiety these days, a lot of fear, but that fear does not touch us. It does not touch our true nature. So, the quieter we can become, the less reactive we can become, the better it is, and to keep acting out of unconscious knee jerk reactions is very, it is not a good way to go. It creates more and more suffering for everyone around us and for ourselves. So, in that sense, everything we do for ourselves, we’re also doing for all other beings, because ultimately there are no other beings. We are all one. Maharajji said this, over and over.

“All one.”

There is only one, and we are the cells of that body of one. Everything we need to know comes from within. The one thing that we can share with other people are the techniques of accessing that place within us, techniques to help us release our delusional beliefs about ourselves, that we’re no good, that we don’t deserve love, that we’ll never be okay, that this life is meaningless. All these types of negative atmospheres exist within us. They are not who we are, but we believe them for so long that we take them as real. They’re as real as our ego is. So, our ego is made out of all these delusional beliefs, because the separateness, which we call ego, is also delusional. It’s not true. Ultimately it is not true. And yet, that’s where we live for most of our whole lives. We live in that place of separateness and self-centered actions. But when you recognize the true self, who are you going to hurt? Who are you going to manipulate? And for what reason?

The difference between Maharajji and almost all of the other yogis and saints that I’ve met is that there was no manipulation. He didn’t need anything from us. He didn’t want anything from us. He had recognized his true nature, which is our true nature. And he allowed us to enter into a field of love that was inconceivable to us. And his presence is here. He’s here now. He’s always here, but we don’t turn towards him. We don’t turn towards that place of love, and so we spin and spin and spin and spin and spin around.

There’s no way to find presence or Being. It’s not like something buried in the ground that you can dig and find, but as you release the things that keep us believing the stories we tell ourselves, then the light of that reality can permeate us. It’s always here. We’re in it all the time. There’s nowhere we can go where that is not here, and in these very, very, very, very painful and difficult times, it shows us how much work we have to do to make reality, to recognize that deeper reality, how important it is.

That’s why they always say, “Do practice when you can,” because there are so many times that come in life where we’re unable to even remember what practice is, but when we do practice, we create within us a gravity, like a magnetism that pulls us within and helps us and releases us from the suffering and the stories and the negative emotions, more quickly than not, but that’s the fruit of practice. So, we do practice when we can, and practice is, it doesn’t, it’s not necessarily a formal tense, willful kind of thing. It’s a question of just bringing ourselves back to this moment and releasing the thoughts and stuff that pull us away and pull us out of ourselves, again and again and again, until we actually don’t get pulled out so much.

When I first started chanting in India, when Maharajji ordered the Westerners to chant, I experienced the power of practice for the first time, and I saw the mantra, the name became home, home base, and thoughts just passed through the sky of mind of the space, just like birds flying through the sky, and I didn’t fly with them. I wasn’t trying not to fly with them. I had been trying to pay attention to the chanting, and as that deepened, the thoughts just came through and they didn’t grab me. And this is not, this is the way it is, but we are so habituated to identify and grab the thoughts that we don’t notice a lot.

One time, many, many years ago, when I was still in college, I took a humongous dose of LSD. Which is what I did. I had to take enough LSD to have enough propulsion to get through the lower atmosphere of my neurosis and my fears and all my stuff. So, I had to take a big enough dose to get me out into space. So, I’d been out in space for like two days, and then I was lying on my bed, well, you know, just at ease in my bed, just in this beautiful, open, relaxed space, presence, love, sweetness, everything, happiness, and all of a sudden, I sensed something coming towards me, something coming towards me from the distance.

“What is this? What? What? What’s happening? What’s coming? Oh my God, what is this?”

And it came closer and closer and closer, and then as it crashed over me, like a huge wave. I went, “Oh, no, it’s a thought!” And then I was thinking. And then after some period of time, it was leaving, you know, like just like a wave recedes back into the ocean. It’s just dripping off of me. It was receding through me.

I went, “No, no, no. Don’t leave.”

Back into space. Back into the now. And then, I had no sense of time, so I don’t know how long, but then after some period there was like, “Oh no, it’s coming back. Another one!” It crashed over me, and then I was thinking again, and for some period of time, I was thinking. Then, like I said, you know, like the wave, the water of a wave recedes back into the ocean, it dripped off of me back into the ocean, and then they started coming quickly, more quickly, more quickly, more quickly, and finally, boom, I’m back. I’m thinking. In other words, I was back in the prison of my thoughts. Of thoughts. I don’t even know if they’re my thoughts. They were just thoughts. And that is actually the way it is.

Our thoughts come so quickly. We don’t notice the space between them. There’s always space between the thoughts, but our minds are so gross. It’s like we don’t see all the colors. We only see the big primary colors, the big blasting colors, and that’s all we see. We don’t see the shades and the fading in, fading out, and the able to colors, and we don’t see the space between the thoughts because we think we are who we think we are. Amazing. Just amazing.

So, practice is what we do. Or, that’s what we call what we do to deepen that center of gravity within us that allows us to release the thoughts and come back, again, and again, again.  That’s why we do it, because we want to discover what’s really here, which is our true self, which is love, real love, real joy, real bliss, truth, sat-chit-ananda. That’s one of the names of reality. Truth, awareness,  consciousness and fucking bliss, real bliss, real joy, real Ananda.

So then when I was chanting, I had the same experience that I had on the acid trip, you know, 30 years before. Not 30 years. At that point it might’ve been 10 years before, or eight years, but not quite as dramatic. But still, I saw the thoughts just going through, and I did not think them, so to speak, and I felt wonderful. Not empty, not dead, not nothingness. I felt joy and peace and love, and the thoughts were just floating through that, like a bird through the sky.

Okay. That’s that.

Q: Thank you very much. The question I have, since I was very young, I love books, and the books, for me, have deep meaning in many ways. I collect them more than reading them. When I read them, I reflect, and I have several thousands of books, mostly yoga, Ayurveda, from India. They’re in boxes. And it’s almost like an addiction because, very briefly, I’ll be 62. I never touched a cigarette in my life. I have been listening to Krishna Das with my ears since 1999, and with my heart in the last two or three years, but I don’t have children. I live a good life, but I never owned a car, I never owned anything. I’ve never been drunk in my life. I love to drink with my food. So, the books, to me, are so meaningful. And I know you recommended books, you know, of saints, and I have several of those, but sometimes I just look at them and I feel them in this, you know, language of communicating. They remind me to be a good person. They remind me to look at the highest. So, I would like, after I’m gone, to stay together, if possible, and I’m confused about, since the time of the debt is uncertain, in my life right now, I’m attached to them. I use them as a reference and I, as I said, they create more than just a book on a shelf. I have books everywhere, in my bathroom, in my kitchen in my, you know, it’s almost like an obsession, and there is this relationship with the books which is a little bit unusual than, just to buy them. Like, Robert Svoboda, he recommends two books a month. My eyes and my time don’t have the ability to read, or I have other priorities. I work nine to seven almost every day. I love my work. I love my dharma. But these books, I keep collecting them. Like the Russian Saint you recommended, Krishna Das, I didn’t buy one. I bought all the autobiographies I could find about him, and I still haven’t got, you know, even to read one completely… your own Neem Karoli Baba, all the books. So, to me, this is a little unhealthy. It’s obsession. It’s passion. It’s complex. And I would love them to go to a place where they appreciate them, but I don’t have that much money to ship them somewhere, like, I don’t know, to, you know, Belize or Costa Rica where I believe the books will really be, so the only place I can think it’s, you know, Dr. Lad, because I know Dr. Lad, and I know how much care is in his Institute. But there are also books in, you know, about photography. But 90% are Upanishads, you know, biographies of saints, all of Robbie Svoboda’s books, Freud books, Dr. Lad.  

Thank you for listening. I’m sorry to take so much time, but I’ve contemplated on this for a long time. Any advice? And of course, from you.  This is a story. So please shine, shine on my, you know, little kind of childish way of, I don’t know. I don’t know because I could be dead tonight and I’m attached to what will happen to my books. And that’s the only thing I’m really attached to after my death.  Something I care for very deeply. Thank you.

You’re welcome. Well, promise me you’ll do me one thing, one favor for me. Don’t send them to me.

Not even the Saint one?

I’ve got my whole house full of books. I can’t even walk down from one room to the other, you know?

One thing: I don’t have a house. I rent an apartment in San Diego, but I met you in 1999 and yes, I mean, I hope to be here, but I don’t own a house. I don’t own a car, no storage, so here we are.

Everybody needs something to keep them on the earth, you know. Without any attachment, no body, you know? I really don’t think that’s a problem. I think you should just not worry about it. Worrying, obsessing about it is the only problem. The books themselves are not an issue. It’s your constant engaging in that, the issue about it all the time that is not necessarily the healthiest thing you should be doing or could be. When you’re ready to leave your body, you’re not going to be thinking about your books.

You can not say that.

Well, you better not be thinking that. You’d be born as a book. So right now, in the sense, you could say it’s some type of addiction, but it’s really more of just an obsession, you know? And I love books, too. I love what they represent. Like in this book, there’s wisdom, there’s something in there. There’s, wow, you know, there’s something, but, you know, I haven’t read like more than 10% of the books that I have.

I will sleep quietly tonight.

Very good.

Thank you so much. So, I put my iPod of you chanting on my belly, also. There is a lot of other things, but I will of course leave the forum to you and everybody, and thank you so much. Om Shantih. Great to see you. I see you in other ways, but it’s wonderful.

Take care. Be well. Use a book as a pillow. You know, Ramana Maharshi, He kept a book of Nam Dev. Nam Dev was a great poet-saint from Maharashtra, and Ramana Maharshi, who was fully enlightened, He always kept a book of his poems right by his bed, His bedside. Interesting. So, you know? He didn’t have any problem. He didn’t have a problem with it. So, you don’t have a problem.

Q: These Chai and Chats have been really sustaining.

Great. Yeah. I enjoy very much, talking to people. It’s really great.

And I wanted to say hi, but I also wanted to, it’s not a question, but in one of the Chai and Chats, either the last one or the one before, you told the story about Ravana, the demon, that actually he like, made a deal to play that role.

With Brahma. Yeah. That’s one of the things they say. And what about it?

I wanted to hear that story again.

The reason for an incarnation is that it’s to remove the darkness from the world, from negativity. Otherwise, there’s no reason for God to manifest in the form on this plane of consciousness, of being.

All right, this is all stuff that I’ve heard. This is not from my own experience, but they say that everything we see, think, and feel, this whole world and all the worlds of creation, are created for us to work out our karmic situation, as individuals and as a world, also, you know, the group karmic situation, which is made up of all the different individual karmas of every individual. And so, usually it’s towards the end of an era, an end of one of the Yugas, as you could say, the sun starts to set more further down in the sky, more shadow arises, more negativity. And so, in order to cleanse the world of that negativity, and beings of that negativity, they say an incarnation manifests in this world to do that. And the whole story of the Ramayana, of Krishna’s story, the Bhagavatam, the Mahabharata, Krishna Leela, and you know, the Leelas of all the Avataras,  they say that those stores are actually written by the Rishi’s in order to facilitate the cleansing of negative karmas, and allow people to recognize their deeper nature and merge with the one, so to speak, and work out their karmic situations. So, these dramas are created and all beings participate in them in their own way, with different levels of awareness, of course. Most of us are just completely asleep, but there are beings who are awake.

And so the way that story was written for the, in the story in which Ram would show up, Sita and Ram and Lakshman and Hanuman and the other parts of that incarnation drama would show up, was written and they needed somebody to be the bad guy, you know, because there was going to be a war between the good guys and the bad guys. And this seems, something that seems to be in every age. In other words, Krishna also was part of a great war between what they say is, you know, the forces of good and the forces of evil and in the Maitreya, the coming Buddha, the Kalki avatar to come, the same thing happens again, they say. If you read the Kalachakra Tantra, the story again, repeats where the demons gather their forces and there’s a huge war between the good guys and the bad guy. Every age, it seems to be that negativity increases, increases, increases, and then there’s a relief from it because of the divine incarnation.

And so, they needed somebody to play the bad guy, and the bad guy was not just some schmuck. You know, he had to have tremendous Shakti because he was going to, in Ravana’s case, he conquered the world of the gods, the Indra world, Indra gods, the sun, the moon, the wind, Indra’s you know, he conquered all that world. He was king of all that, as well as the earth. And so, they needed somebody who could contain enough Shakti to do that. And so, there was this yogi. They say that there was this Yogi who, a great, great Siddha yogi who had only three lifetimes left of tapas, that he was doing fierce practices, and then he would be relieved, released from, you know, into enlightenment.

So, Brahma came to him and asked him, you know, “How about this for deal? You take this job and instead of three lives, that’ll be your last life. You’ll be liberated.”

And he said, “Hey, fantastic.”

So, that being took incarnation as Ravana, and they say…

You know, let me recommend something. Roberts Svoboda, a good friend of mine and an incredible being, who’s written up a whole bunch of books about Ayurveda, he’s an Ayurvedic, a Vaidya, and he’s also a Jyotish and he’s written a bunch of books, on his website there’s a four-part retelling of the story of the Ramayana, and it’s exquisite, really exquisite. It talks about all the different forces at work and who is this and that, and I believe, I can’t remember off hand, but there must be a whole section about Ravana, also. But you’ll love that.

So, the demon had to be, had to have the ability to win the battles with the gods, not Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva level, but the Indra level, Indra Lokah, what is many times called a heaven, the heaven worlds, the natural gods, the natural deities, the wind, the sun, the moon, et cetera.

And so Brahma said, you know, “Ram is going to shoot you in the heart. And that’s it, you’ll be liberated, by dying by Ram’s arrows.”

But the funny part of this story is that Ravana was obsessed with Sita. After he kidnapped Sita, he was obsessed with her beauty and he was in love with her, and so he was holding Sita in his heart, so Ram couldn’t shoot him there. So finally, what had to happen is they got Ravana so angry that for one instant, he forgot Sita, and at that instant, Ram shot him with an arrow in the heart, and then he was killed and liberated.

So, you know, all of this, and I think Robbie goes into it also, the inner and the outer Ramayana, the inner story and the outer story. I mean, did that really happen? I don’t know, but there is an inner Ramayana where the same thing is going on. For instance, Ravana had 10 heads, right? And each head represented one of the senses and the object of the senses, of that sense. There were 10 heads and yet Ravana was, you know, had the awareness of all the 10. And in fact, that’s how he got all his, how he reclaimed his powers in his life as Ravana. He did Puja to Shiva. He did incredible puja for like, millions of years, and at the end of a million years, he’d cut one of his own heads off and offer it to Shiva. And when he was about to cut off his last head, Shiva said, “All right, all right. All right. What do you want?”

And Ravana said, “I want to be immortal.”

And Shiva said, “Sorry, can’t do it. What next?”

And he says, “Well, if I can’t be immortal, I don’t want to be able to be killed by this and this,” and he named everything in the universe, except men and monkeys. Because he thought, “Humans, what can humans do to me? Monkeys? Come on. You know, they’re so low. They’re so beyond, you know, below me, there’s no problem.” He mentioned all the gods. He couldn’t be killed by this one, but he left out men, which is why Ram had to incarnate as a man and Shiva had to come and manifest as Hanuman, to serve, to work with Ram and accomplish the destruction of the negativity in the world.

So, that’s more or less a basic story, according to my own delusional capacity. I’m sure there’s people with better, you know, a more accurate story, but that’s the basic, as far as I understand it. But recognize it’s all happening within us, also. Our own senses and the awareness of the senses, through the senses and our own inner reality needing to be freed from the obsession with the sense information and the identification with that information and thoughts based on what we see, think, and feel, et cetera.

So, the Ramayana is going on within, as well. And Robbie talks a lot about that, Robert Svoboda. Anybody who listens to that will love it.

So that’s the story. That’s as best as I know it, you know. Have you read the Ramacharitamanasa?  Tulasi Das’s Ramayana? You will love that book. That book is going to blitz your brain right out of its socket and your heart will open and the tears will flow. There’s nothing like that book. It’s a retelling of the story of the Ramayana as a devotional text, and it was written in the 1600s by Tulasi Das, who they say was a reincarnation of Valmiki, and it was written in the local Hindi, or Avadhi, in the local language, so that poor people could read the story because the original is written in Sanskrit and only the priests could recite it. So, nobody, they had to pay to hear it, and so Tulasi Das rewrote the story to bring this devotion into the lives of the world, where it wasn’t getting through because it was in Sanskrit. And it’s incredible. Maharajji loved the Ramacharitamanasa, and every Tuesday, wherever he was, they read Sundarkand, which is one of the chapters about Hanuman, mostly, that chapter.

You’ve been reading that chapter sometimes?

Every once in a while we read it. Yeah, sure. Yeah. When we were in India, we read it every Tuesday and Sunday we read the gospels because Maharajji loved Jesus so much. And so yeah, there it is. There’s your homework.

Yeah. Okay. I just wanted to say one thing, to the woman about the books, because I was just thinking that my father, his spiritual teacher was Edgar Casey, and he had a lot of books about dreams and he just wrote in his will that he wanted all of those books to go to the Edgar Casey center in Virginia Beach. And he just took care of it like that.

Alright. Maharajji loved Edgar Casey. Somebody told him about Edgar Casey and he went, “Ah, he’s good. Very good.” Which is very rare for Maharajji to say any teacher is good, because he knows everything. But he loved Edgar Casey, and somebody gave him, we had rubbed his feet with Aura Glow oil you know. I don’t know if they still make it, but it was an Edgar Casey kind of formulation of peanut oil or almond oil or something. It was called Aura Glow.

My father had it in his house.

Absolutely. Edgar Casey was very far out. Yeah. Very beautiful. Very beautiful being.  Be well. See ya.

Q: Ram Ram. Hi KD. So, I have one question. Many times you have described this incident. Once you are in India, and I think you had a great realization when you saw Maharajji was there with you all the time in all periods of your life, and all the Saints. It just came into your mind as you are just watching them, past, present and future.  And then you had, I think, some kind of a cleansing.  All the time, you were just crying, crying, crying for some time. I was just trying to ask, is that, that was only a one time experience or has it happened to you like multiple times? It was just once or you have gone through those experiences, like after, after that incident happened?

No, it was it was a very, very, very powerful experience for me, and I never had that experience again. I had a number of other experiences, but that was one of the most, that was part of one of the most powerful experiences of my life, yeah, when I was in very, very bad shape. And that’s when Maharajji came back to me. Not that he ever went anywhere, but I had closed myself off to him, because whatever my stuff was all about, and that’s when he came back to me. That’s when he forcibly broke down the wall that I had built between us and showed me that he was always with me. So that was, that was the beginning of the beginning of the rest of my life, really. And that was in 1987.

Okay. So, I think it was the beginning of this phase, whatever cleansing had to happen, it happened at that time.

It saved my life. Let’s put it that way. That was what he did to save my life, yeah. And Siddhi Ma was a big part of that. She was right there.

Oh yeah. Okay. Thank you for sharing that. That incident, when you describe everything, and you’ve said it many times, it’s like awesome. Because sometimes I feel, I’ve felt that something was happening, not exactly that far, but some things similar kind of things, I also experienced, that’s why I thought of asking you. Ok, thank you.

Very good. Yeah. Now just remember, don’t get stuck trying to compare experiences from one person to another, you know? Your way of opening has to be different than my way of opening. It can’t be the same because you’re you and I’m me. So, one must truly trust and really get into one’s own path, and not be comparing what happened to another person because it’s, it’s another world. Your feelings, your reality, your life is going to unfold the right way for you, and so is mine, but that won’t be the same. It couldn’t be the same. It might have the same effect, but the details of that will be different. So don’t be thinking, “Oh, that didn’t happen to me.” That’s just the ego, the eurosis taking over to put yourself down and that’s not useful at all. It’s very self-destructive. Okay?

Yeah. Thank you. You.

Q: Hi, Krishna Das.


Yesterday afternoon, with the long wait that many of us have been in, at around five o’clock I’m like, “Oh my God, I hope Krishna Das has a Chai and Chat, because I don’t think I will survive another day without hearing some advice.”

Anyways, here I am. But I’ve been following you for, I think, 21 years, and this is the first time I asked a question, or, actually I’m going to make a comment instead, and it’s because of the deep gratitude I feel today for the triumph of good over evil. That’s what I’m going to say. Maharajji has been my God, my higher power, my spiritual everything. All the good things that have happened in my life has happened to me because of my connection with him. And I’m deeply grateful to you and for, in some way, putting me in contact with him. I really connected with Maharajji during a workshop or a kirtan you had at Garrison, in Garrison, New York several years ago. And I just felt the deep connection and that has stayed with me. I have visited the ashrams. I had the huge boon of meeting Siddhi Ma in Rishikesh in 2007, and then going to Kainchi in 2010 and I’ve been following you for many years, but frankly, since 2016, I have felt that all these evil forces have been ruling the world, and although I heard you say that many of these evil characters are no schmucks, I guess I beg to differ. We’ve had a real schmuck brain and he is going to go, and anyways, I don’t want to talk politics, but I’m just want to express my deep gratitude because when in Kainchi and when I was in Rishikesh, Ma received me with such unconditional love. I’ve never felt that before or felt it since, but I have it from her and from Maharajji, and being in this Chai and Chat today is quite intense for me. And I just want to thank you and yeah, and that’s it, and I thank you. Thank you for doing these Chai and Chats and all that you do.

Thank you.

Q: Hey, Krishna Das, I’ve been following you. I’ve been listening to your music for, I don’t know, seven, eight years now, have had some very beautiful moments in times when I’ve been listening to your music, just bursting out in tears, driving, bursting out in tears. That’s how beautiful this has been for me. I used to live in the south of India, in Chennai until a few years ago, and I was always wishing that I would get to be in one of your satsangs, in one of your chanting sessions, and I think back in 2016 or ‘17, I finally got that opportunity, where I think you were traveling down to Tiruvanamalai, Ramana Maharshi’s Ashram, and I was like, “I have to be there.” And I was up at like 3:00 AM in the morning. It was like a five, six hour drive to be there, and I was like, “You’re coming in such a remote part of India, the South India, deep, right?” And like, I was hoping it would just be like, I don’t know, 50 people. And I show up over there, and it’s like 300 people.

300 inside and 500 outside.

Yeah. It was amazing.

It was amazing. I was completely shocked, but again, it was, it was a fantastic session that I had, and I don’t know if you guys can see this, but this is a picture that I was able to grab with you.

Are you sure you didn’t Photoshop that?

No. I’m not a collector of photographs like that. This is something that’s been very close to me. So, I will always hang onto this, but anyways I have tons of questions, but I’ll stick to one for now. My question is, when you’re on the path and you know about these different beings, right? Maharajji and other beings as well, and you learn about them. You read about them, you read about their teachings and guidance and wisdom, right? When you come across, you know, teachings which are kind of contradictory to each other, right? How do you work through them? Okay? And I’ll give you one very simple example, right? Like I have read about Maharajji always saying this quote, that truth is the toughest tapasya. Right? I think I read it in Ram Dass’s book, “Be Here Now.” Right? And he’s like, “Always say the truth,” right? No matter what. And then I am following another, you know, another spiritual master, who would always say that, you know, “Follow the truth, but also, you know, use your common sense.” Right? “You live in the 21st century,” right? Like it can really hurt you at times. That’s just one example. I don’t want to stick on to that, but I just had these many situations that the conflicting contradicting parts kind of confuse me. So, I don’t know how to work through them.

There’s a few different things. First of all, there are many different types of people in the world and they all, they all respond to different stimuli to open their hearts and to get them moving in the right direction. So, a real guru, or a real teacher, or an enlightened being will, will use different techniques for different people, because it’s not the same. It’s not like the same medicine is going to work for every disease. Right? You have to have the right medicine for the right illness. So, a lot of times what we think, what we perceive intellectually as being different teachings, really turned out to be the same in a deeper way.

And also, with Maharajji now, he was not, he didn’t write books, he didn’t give lectures. He didn’t make universal pronouncements that everybody in the world should be… And he said, “Tell the truth,” but he lied all the time. You know? He didn’t lie about spiritual things, real things, but he would say, “Well, I’m going, I’ll be back next week,” and he didn’t come back for three months. So where is that at? But you got to understand, those teachings are designed usually for the person He’stalking to, but then we hear them and we apply them as best we can to the rest of our lives. It’s the spirit of the teachings that are important, not necessarily the words. For instance, when he says, “Tell the truth,” you don’t walk up to somebody and say, “You know, I think you’re a stupid piece of shit and I wish you were dead.” Just because you feel that way, you’re going to tell that person that? why would you do that? That would be hurtful. And besides that’s not the real truth. Anyway, that’s your subjective emotional reality. So, you have to use your own discursive ability to understand the teachings and you take the ones that you feel are helpful for you. And the true, the real saints, it’s all the same thing. Give up selfishness. You know, treat other people with kindness, compassion, and consideration. It all comes down to that. How you could do that is very difficult. How you can achieve that means you have to overcome the delusion that you’re a separate being, you know, that you’re an ego, but we all think we are who we think we are. So how are we going to be freed from that? There’s many different techniques for that. Sure. And you use the ones that you relate to. And so ultimately, doesn’t it come down to trusting your own feelings?

“Yeah, this, this teaching, I like this.” So, you try that. If it’s not working, once again, you’re listening to your heart. So, whatever allows you to become a better person, that’s what it comes down to. We’re in society. We live with other people. Our whole lives are filled with relationship to everything. You have a relationship through those electric plugs on the wall on the back. Somebody put them there. Somebody is generating electricity. They didn’t come from nowhere. You’re dependent on that. So, everything is interrelated. How do we live in this world without creating suffering for ourselves or others? That’s what it comes down to.

And so, we each have to figure out what works for us? How are we going to achieve that kind of humanness that is so important.  God is not somewhere out there in the sky. God’s looking out of your eyes right this minute, but you don’t know that. How are you going to figure that out? Well, you have to find a way. So, you read about these teachers. You try to meet some teachers that seem to be okay. You try their teachings and you try to try to find a way to become a better person. And everybody I say that to has a different image of what a better person is, right? So how can you tell that person, “Okay, push this button that will make you a better you”?

No, it’s a different button for each person and that’s the way it should be. That’s the way it has to be. But on the other hand, the divine reality in each person’s heart is exactly the same as every other person, but we’re stuck in the level of differences. So, whatever’s going to help us overcome that selfish, self-centered way of living. But that doesn’t mean denying yourself and denying your own desires. That’s not reality. That’s that stupidity. You know, then you’re denying who you are. You have to find out how to be who you are in a good way, not to chop pieces of yourself off to fit some version of what you think might be holy. That’s bullshit. You have to be you, man. Nobody else. You’re it. There’s only one of you in the universe. And that piece of light wants to reunite with the Supreme light, and eventually it will, as soon as you get out of the way.

But how to get out of the way? Only by becoming a good human being, caring about ourselves and caring about others and getting the strength to be kind and generous and compassionate. Most people think they’re going to sit down and meditate themselves into some blissful state that will never go away. I guarantee you that will not happen.

Ramana Maharshi had no idea about what was happening to him when it happened, but from the moment it happened, when he was 16, he was never changed after that. His reality never changed. He was fully enlightened, fully freed at that moment. He didn’t sit down in order it to be that way. That experience was the fruit of his own tapasya in previous lives. It didn’t come from nowhere. Nothing comes from nowhere. Everything has a cause. So, if you want the effect to be that you are happy and free and loved and loving and kind, you have to plant the seeds for that. And that’s the deal.

I understand. And if I may, just one quick, it just hit my mind, I read, in your book that you wrote about meeting a particular Yogi in some jungle of India, in the forest of India, who was like 300 years old.


  1. What does that story about? I know about yogis and I’ve heard about, but actually knowing somebody who has met somebody, what was that story about?

You know, these are advanced yoga techniques where you can actually, when the body dies, when the body’s worn out, you can take your atma and it can enter into another body, a young body, which is, which has been just vacated by its own atma for some reason, maybe it got sick and died, and at that moment you can enter into another body. And then there’s also yoga techniques for bringing life to the body and rejuvenation. This Baba was on his third body or second, second or third body  when I met him, and this is way above our pay grade. You know, and it doesn’t guarantee that this being was enlightened either, by the way. The path is long and arduous and all we can do is the best we can do every life. And you know, there are things that are just so far beyond our ability to understand and conceive them, just let’s try to become good people, and then from that, a lot of things can happen, because when your hungers are not driving you all the time into getting them satisfied, there’s a lot of different things that happen inside, when we’re freed from all those obsessive behaviors and habitual behaviors. So, in order to become a caring, compassionate being that takes others into account, it takes tremendous inner strength to do that. And once that happens, you start living in a much less obsessive world, where you’re actually free and you’re happy, regardless of what’s happening in the outside world, regardless of whether you have too much or too little. It makes no difference to you. You’re at ease in the world as you are. And this is something that’s very deep and powerful and this is why we do practice, to try to ripen ourselves in that way. It’s already in there. We just have to expose ourselves to the sunlight of love, of truth, in order to ripen our hearts again. Okay?

 Thank you. Thank you so much. Namaste.

Take care. You’re still in Chennai?

No, in fact, I’m in Texas right now.

Oh my God. You left Chennai for Texas?

Yeah, a little, but for three years, I’ve been trying to see if you’re going to come down here, but you refuse to.

No I didn’t refuse. The people who brought me had many changes in their agendas. So, they weren’t able to bring me, but as soon as I can, I’ll be down there.

Okay. I look forward to that. Thank you.

Ok, Ram Ram.

Q: Namaste. I need your help. So, I have a scenario here. After 12 or 13 years in this lockdown, I have been with my parents, my brother, sister-in-law and their son for like last 8 or 9 months, and you know, sometimes I have losing patience due to anything that goes in family.

Only sometimes? That’s very good.

So, yeah, I am, right now, 31, and when I was like 21, I started following a guru of mine and his program used to come in religious channel of India. It had your intro music, “Om Namah Shivaya.” So, you know, that’s how I got connected to you.

Yeah, I saw him on that Indian TV thing.

So, yeah, so that’s how that good thing happened that I came to follow you. And since then, you know, since last nine, 10 years, I have been listening to you. And so, this is one question that, you know, how, how can I, I mean, I don’t want to hurt them, but then at times it happens. For example, I say, my father is like, you know, listening to news, current affairs in a loud volume all day long, and I want to stay away due to some reason. So, you know, debates happen between us and all those kinds of things, and then he stays calm, but then I do not stay calm. So, what can really help me here to stay peaceful with them?

You have to recognize that this is your spiritual practice, and you should be grateful that the situation is showing you your own issues, showing you that your lack of love, your lack of openness, your reactivity, the way you tryto hold onto one particular feeling that you have. You think this is holy and anything that interferes with that feeling is bad. No, it’s not like that. You have to just be with what is without reacting, and if you see yourself reacting, you have to, you try to talk yourself down, you know, relax.

“I got stuck again,” and you breathe for a few minutes and then you go back. Let your parents be who they are. This is a very difficult time for everybody. Everybody’s on their worst behavior now. Everybody, all of us. Because we’re faced with our minds. All day long. And you with yours. It’s not their problem. It’s your issues. And you don’t have enough love. That’s all.

And love doesn’t mean, “Oh, I love my family. Anything they do is okay.” No. Love means letting them be who they are. And it also means letting, allowing, working on the things that close you down, and it’s not easy. This is big time stuff. You don’t expect this. This is your spiritual practice right now. Don’t expect to push. All of a sudden, it’s going to go away and you’re going to be happy forever. This is your life right now. This is the life of everybody in this world who’s locked down and dealing with their minds and no place to go to get away from themselves. It’s brutal, really brutal. And so, you’re in the game. That’s great. You know, feel good. You haven’t completely, you know, jumped out a window yet. That’s okay. That means you’re doing good.

Sometimes I’m on the verge of thinking that the house just beside me is, you know, vacated so I should be shifting, and then I explained to myself that, you know, you know, this should not be the reason to escape. And you know, this is an institution that I have to, I have to learn something from here, family as an institution. But then, when I’m in that thought process that, you know, I need to be right now and just don’t be so far from them, but still just the next two. So, when I’m in that thought process, it’s just like, I would take that action right now. You know, right now it’s easier for me to speak that, you know, I explained myself, but when I’m in that thought process in that extreme, it is very difficult for me to stop myself.

I understand. We get stuck trying to find a solution to the issue. Like, “If I do this, okay, I have to do this. No, I shouldn’t do this. I should do this. No, I shouldn’t do this.”

This is very normal obsessive thinking about things, trying to work things out, but bottom line is you need to do what you have to do for yourself. Only you know what that is. Nobody can tell you. I don’t know what it is. And if it means moving out of the house and staying with some friends or something, as long as you’re, you know, this is between your family and yourself. You know what you want to do for you, what you think you have to do, what your family wants you to do, and what you think you have to do for your family. Only you know what it is. There’s no quick answer. The real point of it all is going through all this processing. That’s the spiritual work. It’s not like the spiritual work is later when you get to this place where you finally can close the door and be quiet. Your mind will be just as noisy, guaranteed. Yeah. It will be less quiet in your ears, but your mind will be the same messages right now. There’s nowhere you can go where it’s not going to be like this. So, but even so, you just listen to your heart and see what’s the right thing for you to do, and then do it and see how it works out. If you alienate your family, you know, Indian family things are, it’s very different in America, you know, very different. So, I have no advice to give you other than find out what the right thing to do is.

Look at  Tarun, he left Chennai all the way to Texas? He left his family and Chennai to move to Texas? Not that there’s anything wrong with Texas. But now, you know, he has long phone calls to his family and all this, the middle of the night, he just created different suffering for himself. It’s always going to be suffering wherever you go, whatever you do. So, you have to just figure out what is it you really feel you have to do, but the worst thing you can do is think that this is a waste of time. This is not. This is good. This is real spiritual work. And every day you’re getting lessons. Every day you’re working on yourself. Every day you’re seeing your stuff. This is a very powerful time and you’re not failing. Nobody’s failing. You’re not failing. So, feel good about that. And then do what you have to do, and then you’ll have to deal with the results of whatever you do also.

So, don’t think that, you know, you move over here and all of a sudden life goes away and it’ll all be okay. No, there’ll be a lot of other results from moving your ass over here. So, you have to, you know, just play it by ear. Every day. Be with it. Don’t fight with it. Be with it. See what it is. It won’t always be like this and see how you can make it better for everybody in the best way you can. The worst thing you can do is think that this is a mistake and that this is a waste of time. No. This is really good work. And whenever you can, just sit down for two minutes and let it all just seep off of you.

I know Indian people don’t go swimming in the ocean, but if you’re at the edge of the ocean and a wave comes over you, then the water seeps down and goes back into the ocean. So just sit, a couple of times a day, just for two minutes. Don’t try to do anything. Just like, “Ah,” and just let that wave just recede for a minute, because that’s mind training. That’s meditation. But if you try too hard, you hold onto the wave. You won’t let it go away. Just let it drip off of you, all the worry, all the thoughts, all the anger, just two minutes. Just let it be. And then as many times as you think about that in the day, just sit for a short, short period of time.

Anyway, that’s the deal. So good luck. All the best. Namaste. Bye.

Q: KD, during the COVID quarantine, we spent a lot of time in a small apartment in Bogota. The place was very near to the military hospital, and there were times where the atmosphere of collective fear was very intense and palpable around the neighborhood. Several times we sat down and sang Hanuman Chalisas, and that really helped us all. Then other nights, we used to gather in darkness and listen to Sri Bajarang Baan. That tune specifically had unique resonance during that time when fear was around so intensely. Can you share with us a bit more about the story behind the Sri Bajarang Baan?

Well, Bajarang Baan is one of those great mantras, long mantras to Hanumanji, and they say that the Bajarang Baan is what the Sadhus sing in the jungle when they get scared from wild animals or whatever. They’ll recite Bajarang Baan. “Baan” means “arrow” or “weapon,” and “Bajarang” means “Hanuman.”   So, it’s called the arrow of Hanuman, the weapon of Hanuman, to destroy fear and all those things. And it’s a very powerful practice. Very powerful, and there are some very powerful bij mantras in it also, which should be pronounced correctly, if you can. I tried to pronounce them the way I was taught and I hope they’re correct.

And those bij mantras are very powerful in themselves. “Hanu hanu hanu Hanumanta Haṭhīle.” Those are mantras to really overcome inner reaction and fear and stuff like that. Very powerful practice. It’s a practice for Hanuman the Protector, who protects us from negativity, you know, outside and inside. Of course inside. So, it’s a very powerful practice. The old Baba and the jungle had me recite that, and Siddhi Ma also asked me to recite that every day. So, that’s a part of my practice every day. Just like the Hanuman Chalisa. In fact, Ma said to me, she said, “No doubt Hanuman Chalisa has had done so much for you, but don’t forget Bajararang Baan.”

So it’s a  very important part of our practice, our lineage practices to Hanumanji. And so that’s it. Keep chanting.

Q: I think you may have answered my questions when you were speaking with Tarun and Sumit. I find myself hooked by this feeling of betrayal in a particular relationship. Otherwise, my friendships are pretty sweet, and at one point you had mentioned betrayal’s lesson is trust.

The lesson of betrayal is trust.

And the way in which I initially interpreted it was, that if I were in a situation in which I was feeling betrayed, it’s that ultimately, I had betrayed myself. In this situation, I’m not quite sure how to see it and I wondered if you could speak further on that teaching.

You know, a lot of times in our relationships, our relationships are based on “You watch my back, I’ll watch your back.” You know? “You support me, I’ll support you.” So, it’s a business relationship after all, isn’t it? And then somebody finds somebody else to support or doesn’t like something you do, and you feel betrayed. But the relationship was put together as a business deal. Not that there wasn’t affection there. Could be friendship, but it was also, “You watch my back, I’ll watch your back,” and then the person gets too busy to watch your back and then you’re betrayed. But you were giving yourself away in the first place. That’s the betrayal of your heart, your own self. You were giving your own feeling of wellbeing. “I’ll be ok as long as you watch my back. I’m not going to watch my own back, but you watch my back.” So, by not watching your own back, which allowed you to not expect that person to always be there for you in the way you need them to be, which nobody can ever be.

The expectations we have on other people are ridiculous. “You be just who I need you to be all the time, or I’m going to freak out, be angry and then I’ll come get you, God damn it.”

You know, one thing leads to another. You know, one negative emotion feeds them all, like watering a whole bunch of different flowers. So, you learn. You learn to trust your heart and you learn not to give yourself away like that. You put your wellbeing in somebody else’s hands in that sense, you know. I mean, that’s a very quick generalization, but yeah, that’s basically it. And you see how much did that teach you about yourself? So, the lesson you learn by the betrayal, the so-called betrayal by another person, was that you really weren’t trusting yourself. You didn’t trust yourself, even in the beginning of it all. So, it taught you so much. You learn the most important thing is to trust ourselves. We give ourselves away so cheaply, to anybody for a quarter.

You know, I just remembered something very funny. It doesn’t really apply to this, but there was a really wonderful, a celebrity named Merv Griffin, who was a host, you know, and he had been, his sexuality was a little bit here and there. So, somebody asked him if he was bisexual and he said, “No, no, I’m quarter sexual. I’ll do anything for a quarter.”

We give ourselves away so cheaply. That’s the point of what I was saying. I thought that was great.

That’s very helpful. Thank you. And like what you said also to Sumit, that it’s not a waste of time, these  painful things.

Absolutely not. There’s no waste of time. The more we can pay attention to what’s going on, the better it is. This life is teaching us every moment, showing us every moment what we need to work on. And we don’t have to pay attention, but it’s still not a waste of time. We’re getting the message somewhere.

Yeah. Thank you. Namaste.

Q: Hello.


So, as we have been talking about family struggles, books and ethics, I think my questions relate. In fact, what I want to know is, I know a lot of dreaming interpretations according Jungian psychology, Freudian psychology, but I would like to know a little bit more about dreams on this path because when I was 15 years old, I lived in the countryside of Brazil and I had never heard about Hindu deities, gods and religion and philosophy, not even yoga. We didn’t have the internet. And I had a dream. I was spending my vacation with, in the house of my brother and I dreamed that my mother had died, and she came to the house of my brother in my dream, and she wanted to let me in. She wanted me to let her in the house and my brother would say, “No, don’t let her in, because this is not our mother. This is something else.” And in the end, I opened the door to her. I opened the door and then she opens a book in front of me and she told me, “Look, you just have to remember this. You just need to read these words and remember this.” And the word was “Mahabharata.” Only two years later, I saw the word for the first time in my life because Peter Brooks had his movie, “Mahabharata.” And when I had the dream, I called my mother on the following day, because I was very worried about her because I had dreamed that she had died, and she just told me that she had been to the doctor and she was diagnosed with a benign tumor. It was okay. She would have an operation and everything would be okay.

During my life, I forgot about this dream, but I clearly had two revelations about the dream. One is that, first I married a man named “Krishna.” So, I found a Krishna in Brazil, which is very difficult. People have difficulty with his name. So, the first thing is I married Krishna, right? That is related to the Mahabharata. And the second thing is that when I went to live in India, five months after I was there, I was diagnosed with the same benign tumor that my mother was. I had the same condition, and in a week, I had to have an operation in India. It’s obvious, the connection, but I still think that this isn’t very superficial for very strong dreams, especially because I woke up, I remembered the words. That is so strange, so long, and it took me so many years to see these words in real life and to connect to it.  But I never hear about dreams when I read philosophy, Indian philosophy, or Hindu religion. I never hear about dreams. So, I would like to know a little bit more about the role of dreams.

Well, unfortunately you came to the wrong place. I don’t know anything about dreams from a spiritual point of view. No, I don’t. I know that when you see a Saint in your dream, a real Saint, it means that they came to see you, because they say that you can’t manufacture the form of a Saint by yourself, especially in a dream. But if you see like, Maharajji or Krishna or Hanuman or Ram in your dream, it means you’ve had, you’re having darshan and they’ve come to see you in your dreams. In our dreams we’re much more available to those higher beings.

The Tibetans have dream yoga. You might want to look that up, Tibetan Dream Yoga, and maybe you’ll learn something about dreams. “Conscious dreaming,” they call it, which is like, they say that this world, this life, like right now, is a dream. We’re dreaming this. And when you’re in a dream, it doesn’t feel any different than this. It feels real, like this feels, and then you wake up out of it and, “Oh, this is real.” There’s ways to dream consciously, like where you can, most of the time in a dream, you’re just kind of watching the dream unfold. You’re in a story, but you can actually enter into a dream consciously and do other things in your dream. Just like you can make choices in this world, but I don’t know anything about that. That’s not my area of, well, I don’t have any areas of expertise, but that ain’t it either.

I used to upset my mother when I was a small girl telling her that she was not my real mother, because I felt I was dreaming. And one day we would all wake up. You helped. You gave me something.  Maybe I have to look into that.

Well, obviously you’re very you’re very sensitive to the dream world. So, you might want to be interested in trying to find out about how to work with that in a good way.

I will do that. Thank you so much.

Q: So my question is, I just did a Vipashyana retreat for a week and found it like very irritating in the beginning. I know you’ve described a story in the past where I think you did one and found it powerful, but I found it, you know, as it went on through the week, my mind became more quiet, and I felt an inner calmness. And I guess my question is a question around that. So how do you approach it when you go into such a retreat? Like, have you ever felt that before? That sort of irritation or frustration in the beginning?

Every day. Yeah, sure. I mean, you’re seeing your mind, and your inability to do anything about it, the way you usually think you could do something about it, which you can’t anyway, and that’s very frustrating and very painful to see how helpless we are, how helpless we seem to be. But as the practice goes on and you do what they ask you to do and you pay attention to it, and you start to feel the effects of calming the mind and disentangling yourself from your thoughts, from the identification, with your thoughts, you bring awareness to the thinking, and it’s no longer just total reaction, unconscious flow of thought. You’re actually with it. You’re seeing it. And our first reaction is probably frustration and no a sense of, “Yeah, II can’t do this. This is bullshit. I can’t. I can’t. I’ll never be able to do this.” But that’s just another thought, isn’t it? And you were caught by that sense of frustration, which you took as real, and at that point in your practice, you weren’t present enough to see it clearly. It got you. Now, if that thought arose again on the ninth day, it would have been a very different situation, because you were calmer, more aware, and you had got better at the technique that you were being taught. You were practicing the technique and the technique was doing its work.

And if we paid attention to how stupid we are every day, we’d be frustrated all the time, but we don’t pay attention. We’re lost in other stuff. But if we were trying to pay attention, we would be amazed at how out of control we are and how we have no ability to calm ourselves down, no ability to quiet our minds, no ability to open our hearts, and we’re always looking for something outside of us, a button to push to make it okay in there. So, once we see that stuff, it’s very humiliating to ourselves, because we think we’re so on top of things and we’re not most of the time.

So yeah, you know, the fruit, the seeds that you planted by doing that practice are with you all the time. They will influence your devotional practices. It stays with you. It’s not like it’s something else in a little room over there on one side of your head. No. It’s part of your life now, and the quietness  you felt in the mind and the way you were able to do that, that’s with you. That’s there, no matter what practice you do. It’ll give you a better ability to not waiver when you’re doing a devotional practice. You’ll be more present because you just cultivated that.

We did five 10-day courses in a row in Bodhgaya at first, in 1971, 70-71, and that’s when I met Sharon, at my second course. She arrived. Sharon Salzberg. And Joseph Goldstein had been there for like 300 lifetimes already. So, it’s a great, a very powerful practice. It’s an excellent, powerful technique that you can always use to calm down. It cuts through any kind of bullshit you’re telling yourself about yourself, at any time.

Sometimes with our devotional practices it’s, “Oh, I’m not feeling any love. This is just terrible.” And then we just go, “Yada, yada, yada.” But sometimes you do one of these Buddhist meditation practices, it cuts right through all the nonsense very quickly. And that’s a great ability to have.

Did the teacher sit with you when you were doing it?

Well, the first 10 days was Munindraji, and then the second, the next four days were Goenkaji, and I don’t know if he was there for every single session. I can’t remember, but mostly he was there, yeah, sitting with us at that time while we were practicing.

Guiding you?

No, I don’t know about that. That wouldn’t be his reality. He’d be just doing his practice, you know? And in doing that, possibly vibrationally or on, you know, beneath the surface, there’s some kind of guidance going on, opening a space for us to enter into, but if he had that, yeah, I can’t even say that. I don’t know what he was experiencing. I don’t know what his reality is at all… was, is. So, all I know is that it was a lot of sitting.

Yeah, we were all there because Maharajji had disappeared and we ran away and I was traveling with someone who brought me to Bodhgaya, me and Danny Goldman, and yeah, it was really beautiful there. Bodhgaya in those days, very quiet, small little village.

His book really helped me at the beginning, The Meditative Mind, because he gave a description of this Buddhist practice.

Who’s book?

Danny Goldman’s, the Meditative Mind. I was reading that at the beginning. It really helped set the stage, because I hadn’t done a meditation like that before. And I just want to ask one other question. Before I did the retreat, I read something. So, when I was in high school, two people I know were killed and I felt like her ghost, one of the women’s, the girl who was killed, came to me when I was in grad school to write a letter, to keep the person who had done it still in prison, you know, from getting parole. And so, I did write a letter and it’s always been in my mind, you know, again, thoughts, but you know, what if he gets out? And so, I felt guided by her spirit before this retreat, to read what had happened since then, and I think I’ve come to the conclusion that, well, I mean, one of the perpetrators was executed, but the other one was released. And it’s just been in my mind, you know, like, I feel like for some reason, and I guess my question, one question is like, if God is in all of us, right, the Antarayaami inside looking out, why would something so terrible be allowed to happen? And I know this happens in the world, right? There are atrocities everywhere, but for some reason, this particular, because I know them, it keeps coming into my mind, and I asked one Swami, who said that, “Oh well, Anandamayi Ma said that anything you suffer in this life it’s because of past karmas coming to fruition.”  Like you took this birth, you knew what you were getting into.

Maybe. It might not have. But the level that you say that “known” isn’t the same level that karma functions on. It’s a much deeper level. Like people say, “Oh, you took a birth to work this out.”  You didn’t take the birth to work this out. Your karmas created this birth for your soul to take this form, to work out some karmas. It wasn’t your decision. That’s a mix up of levels. Just set that straight. You understand what I said? There was no Jennifer before you got born. Your soul was here, and your karmic package was here. Jennifer was created from your karmic package to, for this life, to be you and work out whatever you can work out. And when you die, your ego, Jennifer, will be gone. But your soul is still here, and so is your karmic package, and whatever’s left will create the next manifestation for itself until there’s no karma left and you merge into the one. The soul is never born and never dies, but it puts on different suits of clothes on its path back to itself, so to speak. That’s what they say. Personally, I don’t know, but that’s what they say.

So, I guess mentally, just how does one deal with that? There are these things that happen to people, you know, like, all I can find in my mind is just that there, maybe there are demons, or maybe there was past karma they had to work through.

Yeah. Very easy. You know what Metta meditation is?


That’s what you do. You can’t figure it out. There’s nowhere you can possibly understand the why of it. All you can do is open your heart and offer that kindness, compassion and caring for all beings, for the ones who suffered because of this, and the ones who suffer because of that, and the ones who have suffered from the actions they’re creating right now, the way they will burn for lifetimes. We don’t want them to burn, because ultimately, they’re a part of us. Ultimately. Right now, “Fuck them. They screwed everything up. Let them fucking suffer.” But that’s not the best place to be in for yourself. Because that anger destroys your own heart. Loving kindness practice is the best way to deal with that issue in you right now, because that will cleanse your heart of its judgements about the situation. It will cleanse your heart about your fear about the situation, and your obsessive, trying to make it all fit in a way that works for you. It’ll cleanse your heart and release you of that, and they say that that vibration that will, precipitated by the love coming out of you and the calmness coming out of you, will help those other people move on in their incarnations as well, wherever they are.

You know, as Bob Thurman says, there are no dead people. There are no dead beings. Bodies come and go. And that’s a very extreme thing to say because everybody’s, you know, we’re all identified with our stuff and our bodies and our thoughts. But he’s pointing out that, you know, just because the body goes doesn’t mean you’re dead. No beings die. You never die. The soul is eternal. It doesn’t come. It doesn’t go. Can’t cut it. Can’t wet it. It’s here. It’s reality. And it puts on different suits of clothes to work out the karmas that the suits of clothes have created  over the millions of lifetimes and to try to figure out why, it does nothing but fuck yourself up, plain and simple. No Saint will ever encourage you to figure out why. Ramana Maharshi would say, “Who’s thinking this?” Maharajji would say, “Just do Ram Ram.” Buddha would say, “Offer all loving kindness.” So those are the three options that are open to you. Anything else is just mental masturbation, which will just hurt you, and is hurting you all the time. Not just you, everybody. When we try to think, “Why does this happen? Why is this person doing this?” It’s above our pay grade. When you’re God or enlightened, maybe we’ll know. Maybe we won’t, but who knows?

So, our job is to remove the selfishness, the greed, the anger, the judgmental mind, the fear, the anguish. That’s our job, and that’s more than we can handle. You know, that’s a big job. Let’s do  that first, and then we’ll see what happens. You know, what we need to know or do, if there’s an after that, who knows, but right now, no matter how much compassion and caring we have for others, are we going to let that destroy us? Are we going to let that ruin our day? Are we going to let that create suffering for ourselves and then everybody we meet? Which is what we do. People do that, and that’s not healthy.

I know Nina had told me before, you know, that Siddhi Ma said to chant the Chalisa, you know, just keep chanting. And I did that. And you’ve taught that, too. It can reduce suffering, right?

Well, for sure. I mean, what it really does, we don’t know, but when we’re opening our hearts to Hanuman or Maharajji and chanting the Chalisa, we’re certainly not sitting around worrying about who’s doing what to whom. Bottom line, we’re not out robbing banks, we’re chanting. So that’s good. That’s good. Probably. Right? You get hurt trying to rob a bank? You probably won’t get hurtchanting. Unless the house falls on you and then you’ll do it more next time.

Thank you.

Q: Greetings from Long Island, New York. The things that I’ve been listening to today in regards to what I wanted to address, the theme that’s been coming out to me is about trust, and my therapist and I have an ongoing joke. The meme that she says you have to trust people, and the meme shows a door with a cactus on the doorknob, and up top, it says it’s open. And that’s where I’ve kind of been. And I have found myself, you know, I’m teaching in that school, teaching music to special ed kids and by the time I come home, I’m wiped and I do about a half an hour of my chanting practice, and I’m really just like waiting for it to be time to go to bed, and I’ve really kind of cut myself off from other people and, you know, a part of me misses, and obviously with COVID, we can’t have it, but a part of me really misses the energy of the kirtans in person and the energy that goes with that. I mean, I do the Thursday night satsang and I’ve been listening to some of Nina’s stuff and trying to get in as much as I can with that. But I guess what concerns me is the fact that there’s a kind of, I wouldn’t call it a happiness peace, but there’s a kind of peace that comes from not having other people’s stuff all around me, you know? Starting with the simplicity of like, “No, I don’t want to go out because I I’m tired of wearing the mask all day,” you know. It’s like, I just want, in my place I can be free to do what I want and et cetera. But I’m not sure, when we talk about like giving love and service to others, you know, as I separate myself from people, how do I know if I’m doing that out of protection for myself or whether that’s my ego stepping in and separating myself from those people. And I remember you talking in your past when there was a time where you stopped chanting and moved away from everything, and then you found that you had to go back to community. So, I don’t know if I’m making myself clear in that, but that’s kind of my dilemma, is that like, I feel like I’m doing the best that I can do to follow the path and try to reach a level of spirituality, and there’s a peace, I don’t know if it’s a happy peace, if that makes sense, or a serene piece from just not being around others. I mean, eventually we have to take our stuff out of the room and bring it out into the world. And that’s where we know true spiritual quality is. But how can I tell the difference?

It’s irrelevant. What’s relevant is your judgmental mind overworking everything. Just let go of that and everything will be okay, and things will happen as they happen, and you’ll do what you feel like doing. There’s no spiritual life somewhere else. There’s just your life as it is. And you’re allowed to be who you are. You’re allowed to hide yourself in your room and never go out if you want. No problem.

But the problem is that you don’t give yourself any sense of peace. You’re constantly evaluating and positioning yourself and thinking, “Well, what if I do this? What if I do this? What if I do that?”

Just let it go and then it won’t be a problem. Just try. You won’t be able to, but that’ll be your work. There’s no button to push to make it okay. You’re trying to find a button where it’s going to feel okay. There’s no button. You’re you, now. Be with it. Don’t try to change it. Don’t be evaluating it.

This is not the time to be out with people. This is where we should be social distancing and isolating as much as we can, and you’re working with kids and that’s tiring you out for a lot of reasons, but whatever. I think what you’re really missing is the interactions with people that you get lost in, because you’re not able to do that now, and that’s hurting us all, everybody, not just you. This is the world we’re living in right now. We usually go out and we’re talking with people, laughing, joking, having deep conversations, all kinds of bullshit that we do all day long, and right now that’s taken away from us. So, we have to see ourselves. So, you’ve seen your stuff. “Yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, is this enough? Is this real peace? I’m not happy.”

You were never happy. Get right. Be honest. Nobody was happy. None of us are happy. We’re doing the best we can. Now though, you’re facing it and you think you want, “Do I, should I change it? Will that work?”

No. What works is letting go of the judgments, and how do you let go? First, you notice. “This is what I’m doing to me. Why? I don’t know why, but I’m doing it. Let me stop. Okay. Ram Ram. Oh, I’m doing it again. Ram Ram. Oh, I’m doing it again. Ram Ram. Oh.”

You can’t get through one “Sri Ram Jai Ram” without judging yourself. Nobody can, but that’s okay. This is fierce shit. This is in the fire, man. This is really a tough time, but it’s not a waste of time. This can be very purifying, very, very cleansing, but it’s also very painful and there’s no question about how painful it is. It’s really painful. We’re bouncing off of the fucking walls. We’re used to going out and doing things and just being stupid without even noticing it. Now we notice everything because we’re locked up with banging up against the wall. So, it’s all good. You’re not wasting time. The more you embrace the situation and accept it as it is, and not try to change it, not even try to change the way you feel about it and just be with it, you won’t be thinking, “Well is this real peace or should I go out and get hit by a car? Would that be better?”

I don’t think so. Right? So, it’s good. It’s hard, but it’s good. And if you need to sleep, sleep. This is a really tough time. Sleep. Come home. “Sri Ram Jai Ram.” Goodnight. And that’s it. Don’t force yourself to, don’t push yourself past your limits to do practice because you get a rebound, a negative rebound from that. Be kind to yourself, man. That’s all we have to do. Let’s practice kindness for ourselves, and then the way we move into the world will be so different. We won’t be hating everything that bounces up against us, you know, from the inside or the outside. Start dealing with kindness for ourselves.

This this has been my theme this week. This has been coming up a lot. This is a time to really practice kindness for ourselves and not be judging ourselves. But you see the intensity of the situation feeds that part of ourselves that’s always judging ourselves. It’s like on steroids, you know, but at the same time, it becomes more visible. We become much more aware of it, which gives us the opportunity to to let go. Whatever it is, let go. That’s the only option that we really have. Let go.

You feeling this? Let go. You feel it again? Let go. Keep letting go and coming back to something, whether it’s the breath or a name or something. It’s the practice of letting go that that is ultimately going to liberate us. Letting go of the thoughts and the feelings and the judgment and the negative stuff and all the stories we tell ourselves and the unconscious atmosphere we live in all the time, you know, what that’s filled with, with  self-hatred and the judging and, “I wish it was this and I don’t like this,” you know? In this time it’s like we’re getting banged on the head with it all the time. In a normal situation, we only get banged on the head once in a while, when something happens, otherwise we’re just in dreamland and nothing wakes us up, you know? But now we’re getting beaten up by our own stuff. So, it’s tough. It’s very tough.

Do what you can do to let go. It doesn’t have to be while you’re sitting down, cross-legged pretending to meditate. That’s not it. All day long, just let go. “I’m doing it again. Ok. Ram Ram.”

Just be at ease. Try to be at ease with life as it is, and then you’ll be at ease in the next moment and the next moment and next week and next month. Right? It’s inner strength. You have to cultivate that. There’s other ways of getting through the door. You can kick it up, kick it down. You don’t have to grab the cactus doorknob. You’re a big guy. Hit it with your shoulder. The whole house will fucking fall down.

Thank you.

Ram Ram.

Okay. I’ve gotta go. I’m so sorry to leave you like this, but I really have to go. I wish all the best for everybody, and don’t go anywhere. See you next in a couple of weeks. Okay? Love you. Namaste.




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