Call and Response Ep. 67 | Siddhi Ma, George W. Bush and Learning to Trust Yourself
[Photo: Josefine Barrett]
Q: I had an experience in India with Siddhi Ma. I felt very graced to be with Her before She left Her body and Siddhi Ma is a Saint in India and I was just wondering if you would be willing to unpack some memories from your time with Her and just share a quick story or something about Her.
“She was my Ma. She was my Mother. She saved my ass so many times, you have no idea. One time I said to Her, “Ma, should I meditate?” And She said, “Krishna Das, in 40 years with Maharajji, not once did He ask me to meditate.” She said, “What do you like to do, meditate or chant?” Duh. It never occurred to me that doing something I liked could be good for me.” – Krishna Das
Q: Ram Ram.
KD: Yeah, same to you.
Q: My name is Will and I was just wondering, I had an experience in India with Siddhi Ma. I felt very graced to be with Her before She left Her body and Siddhi Ma is a Saint in India and I was just wondering if you would be willing to unpack some memories from your time with Her and just share a quick story or something about Her.
KD: Siddhi Ma was one of Maharajji’s great great great devotees. She was really a great Saint in Her own right and She took care of all of us for 30, more than 30 years after Maharajji left the body, more than 40 years after Maharajji left the body. She was my Ma. She was my Mother. She saved my ass so many times, you have no idea. One time I said to Her, “Ma, should I meditate?” And She said, “Krishna Das, in 40 years with Maharajji, not once did He ask me to meditate.” She said, “What do you like to do, meditate or chant?” Duh. It never occurred to me that doing something I liked could be good for me. You know? Don’t look down… that’s where I grew up, you know? If you like it, it ain’t good for you. So that was mind blowing. Then She said, you know, and here was a really interesting thing. It’s a kind of a deep thing but I’ll share it with you. She said, “The higher states of consciousness,” which is supposedly what we’re looking for, “Can not be created or can not be precipitated by personal will.” So, think about that. You, we can’t make it happen. The higher states of consciousness. She said, She said Maharajji said that. And He said, “When one is ready, they come naturally.” And how does one ready one’s self? Loving everyone. Feeding everyone. And remembering God. Serving. Love, serve, remember. That’s what He used to say. Now, I don’t know about you, but it seems counter-intuitive that thinking about others was going to be good for me, but it turns out that that’s the way it is. Very strange. Because once again, like we started, we’re so stuck in our stories about ourselves. And we think about ourselves all day long. All lifelong. It’s ridiculous. And we never really pay attention to other people. And we don’t treat others very well for the most part. We treat others as they’re something that’s supposed to make us happy. And if they’re not doing that, to hell with them. So, that guy I just spoke about, He had some good ideas, you know? And one of them was, “Do unto others as you would have them…” If we could treat other people the way we, ourselves, want to be treated and do nothing else but that, our whole lives would change in an instant. Think about all the ways you turn people off all day long and look away from people and judge people and hurt people. Just because. That’s what we do. But you think it’s easy to treat people the way you want to be treated? Try. It’s not easy. That’s what practice is for. To help us. Give us the strength to treat other people the way we want to be treated. And then our lives change because it’s not all about “me” all the time. The burden of “me” is such a heavy goddamned thing to be carrying around. It lightens up. We don’t sit at home grinding it out. “What am I going to do? How am I going to get happy? What am I going to do? I’ll take more of this. I’ll take less of that. I’ll get more cable.” I don’t, I don’t, you know, 300 channels is not enough for me. You know, it’s what we do all life long. Trying to squeeze water from a stone. Happiness, real happiness doesn’t come from stuff. It’s never going to come from stuff. I’m sorry. I wish it did. Then I would have been happy a long time ago. But happiness, real love doesn’t come from stuff. It’s who we are. And when we start, when we start looking around, we see that even the people we don’t like, the people who have hurt us, they were acting out of their own pain. Even if we happen to be the recipient of something pretty nasty, still, they were acting out of their own pain. There was nothing they could do to not do that shit to us. You know, so remember when George W. was President? We thought that was bad. I’m sorry. No politics. So, I was watching television, going through the channels, I was going by CNN and they were showing the President, George W. Bush walking down the hall of this school down in Florida where in a room down the hall, a group of the first widows from the Iraq war were waiting to meet the President. There were like 20 women in there. And the cameras are following the President and he’s walking down the hall, “Hey Bob. Hi Joe. I’m the President. Yup. I’m walking down the Hall. Here I go. Hey, Jim.” Walking down the hall. Walking down the hall. I was just about to turn the channel and he goes into the room, he opens the door to the room where these women are waiting. He takes two steps into the room and he bursts out crying like a baby. I couldn’t believe it. He was crying like a baby. Weeping uncontrollably. I was really pissed. I couldn’t hate him anymore. Really. Look at this poor guy. His own actions, there he is, the President, but he’s the pawn of many different interests. He doesn’t have freedom with what he does. He has to make all kinds of deals. By the time you get to the President, you’ve made so many deals you can barely go to the bathroom by yourself. This guy has caused so much suffering for other people. He’s going to have to pay for that. And I have to tell you the truth, when I saw him crying, I didn’t want him to have to pay for that, but there was nothing I could do. His own actions, the karmas he created will come to fruition and he will have to pay for that. That did not make me happy. Before I saw him cry, it made me happy. Sorry. But after that, I saw, “Oh, shit he’s a human being.” And he couldn’t help himself, either. That’s the thing that got me. He could not help himself but do the things he did. He had no vote. Ok. How much vote do we have in our day? How much of a vote do we have as to how we go through the day? As to how we meet people? As to how we greet people? As to how we treat people? How much of a vote do we have, actually? Not much. The whole idea is to get a vote. I haven’t even registered to vote. We’ve got to get a vote. Otherwise we’re just unconscious slaves of our own karma and we get no vote and we keep creating more suffering for ourselves and the people that we say we love, and the people we say we don’t want to see suffer. We’re creating suffering for them, too. That’s why we repeat the Name. We don’t even know what the Names mean. It doesn’t matter. These names have been given to us as a way to find out who we really are, as a way to become a good human being in this world in these days when it’s not so easy. There are other practices, of course, and they all work the same way. Sooner or later, they’re all about calming our asses down, learning, allowing us to be here more, not to be so reactive to our thoughts and our stories that we tell ourselves about ourselves that we don’t like. That’s why we do practice. So we can learn to breathe in this world.
The whole spiritual path is learning to trust your own self, your own heart. If you don’t trust yourself, what are you going to do? When you fall in love, you don’t doubt that. Ah, yeah. You trust that. You also trust when you fall out of it. We’re training ourselves to fall in love with who we really are, which is the same as who everybody really is. So, we fall in love with the whole universe. Everybody’s invited to the party.
We’re very easily fooled because we’re so needy. We’re so needy. That’s just the way it works. We’re really needy. But these practices help us, help us hear our own hearts more clearly as time goes on, little by little. If it happens too fast, they put you away. Little by little.