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Yoga or Fogger?
Jimi: Dear Christian, I have been reading and rereading your emails. How does one do an inquiry? What are the pieces/procedures? Is it just sitting and thinking into and around some of the topics you have suggested? It seems the mind is too slippery for this casual poking around the edges. How does the mirror see the mirror?
And also, what about smoking weed? It helps calm my body but spins my mind up and out! Is it a yoga? Or is it a fogger?
~ Thanks again for your time, Jimi
Christian: Hey, Jimi, first off, you need the complete teaching. My emails so far have only addressed the motivation, freedom from suffering, so your questions about how you do it are right on. You deeply contemplate what is revealed in the Upanishads, they are the original manual. The best way to do that is by reading James’ books The Essence of Enlightenment and How to Attain Enlightenment, his satsangs, watching his videos and listening to his MP3s.
When I first read HTAE, I was wondering the same thing – and on my second read I realized that immersing in “his” teachings IS doing inquiry. When you follow the logic he presents, you are putting your preconceived ideas about who and what you are to the side and deeply contemplating the truth. That’s “how you do it.”
It works, but you need the whole enchilada, not just a few interesting ideas I’ve exposed you to. As you said, the mind is way too slippery, it will constantly sabotage inquiry with its long-held habitual beliefs. The complete teaching will take care of every single doubt the mind can produce.
All self-inquiry helps you discriminate between what you are and what you’re not. Over time you’ll find specific contemplations that work well for you and those become gems you can concentrate on over and over again.
Smoking weed is obviously a half-ass yoga for you. There’s clarity and relaxation on the front side, and then dullness on the backside. Don’t worry about that right now, just be clear how it serves you and how it hinders you.
Stressing about what you need to change in the person called Jimi does not serve your inquiry, but if you go deep with inquiry, that stuff will work out however it’s meant to be.
Instead of concerning yourself with what to do about weed, practice self-inquiry.
Think deeply on this:
Who is knowing/witnessing the desire to smoke weed?
Who is knowing/witnessing the mind’s conflict about it?
Who is knowing/witnessing the feeling calm in the body?
Who is knowing/witnessing the mind spinning out?
You are, bro. That’s crazy obvious, isn’t it?
But who’s the “you” that’s knowing/witnessing all of those changing experiences, and does that “you” change as the experiences change?
No. You are the same knowing/witness of all of those changing experiences (again, totally obvious).
The circumstances, experiences, thoughts, feelings, etc. do not matter. What matters is that you discriminate them from you, the knower/witness of them.
Let Jimi smoke his weed. Let him be relaxed, spinning, confused, concerned, clear, foggy – you just focus on seeing if you are in fact the observer, the witness, the knower, the pure, obvious, whole, complete, actionless awareness that the Upanishads tell us we are, and all the other stuff will work itself out just fine.
~ Cheers, Christian