Call and Response Ep. 22 Meditation and Moping
I don’t like the outside silence leading me to the stuff in my head. But when I feel it with the chanting, I feel like, movement, and I process things. So I’m wondering, is there a difference for you between what we call meditation and now I think mindfulness and I’m wondering if you think there’s a difference between like, mindfulness, meditation, mantra chanting, like all the words?
“I sit down and I start singing and once I start singing, it doesn’t matter. Nothing matters except the singing and that, I don’t even know what to call it, that reflex, almost of paying attention, as soon as I’m gone, I wake up, I remember and I come back to the Name. Again and again and again. I don’t analyze what I was thinking. I don’t analyze how I’m feeling, you know? I just let it go and come back. It’s not important. I am not important.
The reason I mope around less is because I and how I feel and all my emotions and “how am I now? How am I now? How am I now? Is it good? Is this good? I think this is better if I do it this way. A little Vaseline over here will make it easier…” becomes unimportant. It’s just not about that. So, be unhappy. It’s ok. Enjoy. “ – Krishna Das
Q: Going back to the moping, I realized I’ve become so good at moping that it has turned into
KD: Your spiritual practice.
Q: Thank you for saying that.
KD: You’re welcome.
Q: And thank you for mentioning it, too, because literally, right before you said that, I was wondering “Well, what’s his deal and where does he struggle.” Because if we’re all human, and in relation to that, the advice, suggestions, whatever I always get, is meditation and going back to what you said about the thoughts, like, I do feel like the moping leads to, I create really good thought prisons. And I’m starting to pull out of it and I realize just even being here for a little bit that this has done a lot and that I don’t feel the same weight or I don’t, I might be impatient, but I don’t feel the same way during meditation, which I know means a lot of different things and I’ve been saying that chanting and kirtan is my meditation because when I hear what people talk about what meditation’s supposed to bring, I get that from this and I honestly, I hate meditation. Like, absolutely hate it. So I’m curious as to what, the thing is, I don’t like the silence. I don’t like being completely…
KD: Don’t worry. It’s never silent in your head.
Q: That’s what I’m saying. I guess let me rephrase that. I don’t like the outside silence leading me to the stuff in my head. But when I feel it with the chanting, I feel like, movement, and I process things. So I’m wondering, is there a difference for you between what we call meditation and now I think mindfulness and I’m wondering if you think there’s a difference between like, mindfulness, meditation, mantra chanting, like all the words… I hope that’s a question.
KD: Sure. Well, the best meditation is the one you do. Meditation is a very big subject. There’s a lot of different techniques of meditation. My guru said, “From going on repeating these names, everything is accomplished. Everything is brought to fulness and completion.” That’s what He said. You know, there’s ashtanga yoga, the eight limbed yoga, you know? All that shit. But Maharajji used to say that the westerners were qualified only for the five limbed yoga, which means, “Gossiping, drinking tea, eating, wandering around and talking.” Gossiping, wandering around, eating, drinking and sleeping. That’s what we were qualified for. I believe Him. That’s why I chant. That’s what I’m qualified for. I don’t know what… you know, I’ve done a lot of different practices with a lot of different teachers and wonderful Beings, but the thing that works for me, the thing that I feel I have to do and want to do is the chanting. And one time I asked Siddhi Ma, who was Maharajji’s great devotee, I said, “Ma,” you know, “Should I sing or should I meditate?” She said, “Well, what do you like to do?” I don’t know if you can understand what that question did to me. “What do you like to do?” You mean, something I like to do could be good for me? Oh my God. I had never imagined that in my wildest dream. So, don’t worry about it. Do what you like. And you know, if you mope, be aware, that’s all. Mope. Don’t try to not mope. Just mope. Because if you’re aware of what you’re doing, you’re not doing, you’re not asleep in it the same way. So that’s a big thing. You can’t always change your behavior, but you can be aware of being stuck and if you’re aware of being stuck in something, it’s very different than really being stuck and asleep. Awareness doesn’t try to make anything happen. Awareness is always here. But we’re not paying attention. So, it’s very hard to fall asleep again completely once you wake up a little bit. Even when you try, like me. Just try to fall asleep. Try not to be aware. It’s very difficult.
Until you fall asleep and then you don’t know you’re asleep until you wake up.
It’s very interesting.
And more than that, the amount of time you spend asleep is karmically determined. And the amount of times, how long it takes you to wake up, is karmically determined. The other thing Siddhi Ma said, She said, “In 40 years with Maharajji, not once did He ask me to meditate.” Not once. He asked Her to do japa, to repeat these Names, because that’s what He did. And then He said, the higher, the more subtle states of mind, of consciousness can’t be created or can’t be brought about by the use of, by personal will.
By your, in other words, “I’m going to meditate myself into this.” Our personal will does not bring about the more subtle states of mind, the more open states of consciousness. Very interesting. It’s a really subtle subject. And I don’t really know that much about it compared to some people but I’ve slogged around in it for almost 50 years so I picked a few things up. That’s about it.
So just sing and be happy. Or sing and be unhappy. It doesn’t make any fucking difference.
Q: Thank you.
KD: That’s what I do. See, the thing is, once you say, “Ok, I’m going to chant now, I’m going to chant for 10 minutes. “ So, you’re making a deal with yourself that no matter what happens, your job is to let go of it and come back to the sound of the Name. That’s what you just… you signed a contract with yourself. “Ok, I’m going to sing, that’s the deal.” Of course, you wont’ be able to sing. You won’t be able to pay any attention for more than a second before your’e gone. But you’ll start to notice that. And every time you come back, you’ve created a deeper pathway in the brain, actually. They’ve proved that. That movement back to the, to wake up, to home base, when you recognize that you haven’t been paying attention. Oh, ok. That “oh,” that’s a big thing.
And every time that happens, it makes the next time one millionth of a billionth of a thing easier. It happens more easily again and again and again. So, people ask me all the time, what do I feel when I chant? How do I know?
My whole thing, when you’re chanting, I don’t care what I’m feeling. It’s not about what I’m feeling. It’s about remembering. I don’t feel good. I don’t feel good all the time. Sometimes I just do not want to sing, but there’s a thousand people coming so I’d better get my ass together. So I sit down and I start singing and once I start singing, it doesn’t matter. Nothing matters except the singing and that, I don’t even know what to call it, that reflex, almost of paying attention, as soon as I’m gone, I wake up, I remember and I come back to the Name. Again and again and again. I don’t analyze what I was thinking. I don’t analyze how I’m feeling. You know? I just let it go and come back.
It’s not important.
I am not important.
The reason I mope around less is because I and how I feel and all my emotions and “how am I now? How am I now? How am I now? Is it good? Is this good? I think this is better if I do it this way. A little Vaseline over here will make it easier…” becomes unimportant. It’s just not about that. So, be unhappy. It’s ok. Enjoy.
KD: Same to you.
Q: Thank you very much for coming to LA. You saved me a plane ticket to New York.
KD: Oh, really? Ok.
Q: Every time I hear your voice when you’re chanting, I feel, I guess its Maharajji since that is who you’re channeling or whatever you call it, but it’s tremendous and thank you for that. Thank you for being available to let that come through you. And I enjoy your Chai N Chat so much and I’ve hear each one of them four or five times. And are you going to please do more?
KD: Yeah we’ll do more. Yeah.
Q: Oh, great. Ok. I watch them while I’m riding the exercise bike in the morning.
KD: Wait a minute, I have to go down to this fucking studio and sit there all day on my ass, sweating and you know, you sit at home, on your exercise bike?
Q: On my exercise bike, yeah.
KD: I’m going to do the next round on an exercise bike. That’s what I’m going to do.
Q: Now so my question is though, I go to sleep at night with my headphones and I listen mostly to the “Live Ananda”.
Q: And sometimes I fall asleep somewhere in the middle, somewhere at the end. Do you even know, if you’re asleep and the chanting is going on in your ears and in your brain, is that, does that count towards the… I’m still working on learning the chalisa. It’s really hard but I’m getting there and I’m thinking, “Well, maybe if I just listen to that every night, will that count?
KD: Would that count? What a question, eh?
Q: Or do I have to be conscious, you know, in doing the bringing back?
KD: Hare Ram.
Q: I know.
KD: No, I’m just teasing. Yes, it counts.
Q: Because when I’m, before I fall asleep, I’m chanting with you, not out loud, obviously…
KD: That’s you? We’re all there in bed together.
Q: Well, first of all, having you in my ears now keeps me from hearing the machine that I love.
KD: Wonderful. So you can’t hear mine where you are?
Q: When I’m chanting, obviously, I’m not chanting out loud. Does that count too?
KD: Sure. You don’t have to chant out loud. Even when you’re chanting out loud, the reason you chant out loud, well, there’s two reasons, but one reason is so that you can hear it in your mind. It’s your mind. It’s your awareness that’s, in a sense, taking the shape of the Name, or moving to that field. So, that’s… awareness is the important thing. Not out loud or not out loud. And there’s nothing wrong with putting the headphones on and listening to it while you’re sleeping, because it’s still going in there. Just because part of you is asleep and not conscious doesn’t mean you are unconscious completely. There’s still awareness but you’re no longer aware of the awareness so to speak. But the Name is still planting a seed in you in one way, a certain kind of way.
Q: You mentioned somewhere along the line that Maharajji said, “If you chant Sita Ram the right way, you’d be gone.”
KD: No. Not exactly. He said, “Go on, sing your lying “Ram Ram. One of these days you’ll say it right, once. Boom, the real Ram will come and you’ll be…” So what does that mean? Who knows what that means.
Q: Well yeah, I wondered because I also listen to you in the car and I’m going along the freeway and every once in awhile, the thought comes into my head, God what if I say it the right way while I’m on the freeway and I’m gone. Not good.
KD: I don’t want to disappoint you, but there’s very little chance of that. Yeah. That reminds me of this story I read once. What do they call it when all bodies are supposed to go up into heaven, you know?
Q; The rapture.
KD: The rapture. So there was a woman down in Georgia or Alabama who was riding on the freeway and the person in the car in front of her had a convertible with a bunch of balloons shaped like people, balloons she was taking to a party, and the string broke and all these balloons went up into the air, and the woman thought it was the rapture so she just jumped out of the window of her car and was killed. This is what happens when you take things too literally. So, don’t worry.
Q: One last thing. About 30 years ago I had the pleasure of going to a Ram Das lecture and the feeling I got there was incredible and I know you mentioned it, He was your first experience that led you to Maharajji and it’s kind of funny because it took me this long to get from that experience with him to find you and to get that feeling now from you and it’s just like how things go around. 30 years. 30 years.
KD: It’s ok, it could have been 30 lifetimes.
Q: Thank you.
KD: You’re welcome. So, since you mentioned it, I’ll just tell you, when I, the first time I met Ram Das, He was living at his father’s place up in New Hampshire. It was like a little estate and he was living in the room above the garage. A very simple, cold room and when I walked into the room, I had heard about him from some friends and I finally drove up there. When I walked into the room where He was sitting, without a word being spoken, without eye contact, I just walked into the room, all of a sudden, I knew that whatever it was I was looking for was, it was real. It existed. It was in the world and you could find it. It was a life changing moment. It was really extraordinary. And so, then we got to know each other and at first I thought it was him, you know? And then I realized it was Maharajji. But what does that mean? Who’s Maharajji? Who’s Him? Who’s are we? We don’t even know. So, let’s find out who we are. This is what we should start with. Don’t think about those, I mean you can if you want to think about the deities, the so-called deities, they’re just Beings like us, but a little older. Like, millions of years older. Let’s… how could we know what anything is until we know who we are? What we are? What’s real in there? If there is anything. Let’s find out. That’s the direction you have to go, one way or another. It’s the ripening of the soul, so to speak.
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