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Discussions out of Prison
Wayne: Just a quick email to let you know that I did actually get out! Life is looking pretty good at the minute, though no less challenging, he he. I have patchy internet access at present, but would be keen to discuss how I can help with the ShiningWorld forum.
Sundari: What a wonderful surprise to hear from you via email! Congratulations for making it through and out, and mostly well done for converting your prison time into such a fruitful sadhana. I am very happy for you and wish you a safe and peaceful re-entry into the crazy world “outside.” As you say, it’s no less challenging. Prison must have really brought home to you that the world exists only in the mind. Still, that’s easy to say when you have not had your physical freedom taken away. It can’t have been easy being in there. The world can be a brutal place, in or out of prison. Thank God for self-knowledge!
Your email arrived while we were travelling from South Africa to Dubai. I am here for a few weeks with my daughter’s family, who live here now, and I am a proud grandma to the sweetest little granddaughter. James went straight on to India, as he has a huge job ahead of him. We had to hire a bigger hall, as we have almost 200 people signed up for the seminar in Tiruvannamalai. It’s going to be amazing.
I received your last letter from prison only two weeks ago, thank you. Sorry I did not have time to reply, we have been so busy with organizing India, on top of much else. I was going to reply in writing from Dubai but am very happy to hear we no longer have to write to each other and can email again. There is not much to add to your letter. I know you will face your life now with a different mind and I pray the karma that put you behind bars has been cleaned up and stays that way. You need to live the knowledge outside of prison or it is useless to you. I have no doubt that you will.
I will put you in touch with Stan Kublicki, who runs the forum, very soon. I need to chat to James and Stan to set things up, but am sure Stan will be very happy. In fact it was Stan who suggested we involve you in the forum. It would be great to have your participation and support.
Wayne: I got an email from Stan, and I have just joined the forum. Life is great, I have my own house, and it looks like a job in the new year possibly. I have also got a girlfriend, a lovely, respectable woman named Tracy. We are actually about to go on a date to the Titanic Museum in Belfast within the hour.
Sundari: I am glad you have been in touch with Stan and have joined the forum. Use it wisely. Stan is positive about your involvement and happy to work with you on the forum. He is a wonderful man, self-realised, clear, dispassionate, and uninclined to mince his words. He is a great help to us.
It sounds like you are getting your jiva life together in the “real” world, as they say. Good news about the possible job next year – what will you be doing? I hope it works out for you and life finds a new and healthy normal.
You did nor waste time finding a girlfriend! Isvara sends us what we need – and remember – Isvara does not save us from what we want. You can (and often need to) say no to Isvara. Keep your karma on a very short leash, like a little dog, right at your feet, always in sight and in mind.
We never asked and you never volunteered what put you behind bars, but whatever it was, if you have not cleaned up your karma, it never goes away. A bullet shot from a gun to a target cannot be diverted, even if it seems like we can dodge the bullet if we are lucky. You can bet your life, Isvara will find another way for that bullet to find you. That’s Isvara’s job, delivering our karma – and Isvara never fails or gets it wrong. So be sure you have full cognizance of the vasanas behind your karma. Do what you can to make reparation with those you injured, and where you can do nothing except acknowledge, forgive yourself totally. Forgive yourself and everyone for everything even where it seems like you were the injured party. Thank Isvara for the opportunity to work out your karma and then man up and say BASTA!!, which is Italian for “enough”!!
Wayne: I was in prison for a violent altercation with four other guys. One of them is my ex-wife’s fiancé, though the issue was that he was prohibiting me from contact with my kids, not for anything to do with my ex-wife per se and he being together. I am not allowed any contact with them, so there is no option for personal forgiveness. However, although I was myself also attacked, I bear no grudges to them. Really, I am thankful for the opportunity that was gave to me by Isvara.
Sundari: Thank you for sharing this, Wayne. I feel for you and what you have been through. I am glad you say that there is no need to forgive anyone or for personal forgiveness. It is tough karma you have, and you can only deal with it correctly with self-knowledge and karma yoga. Knowing what you do, that no one is doing anything, that everyone is a programmed robot dancing to the tune of their vasanas without self-knowledge, and knowing that as this is a non-dual reality, there are no others, who is there to forgive? Everyone is blameless. In fact blame Isvara if you must blame!
I don’t mean to give you a lecture, Wayne, but we went out of our way to help you with your self-inquiry in prison and this is where the rubber meets the road, as James says, and you get to live the knowledge. You are not safely removed from the danger zones, behind bars anymore. This is where you walk the talk. Watch those vasanas!
We are here for you and hope your life fully conforms to the truth, and not the other way around, which never works.
Wayne: I take no exception to you giving me a lecture if you wish, Sundari. You are my teacher and are only thinking about the teachings you have so meticulously unravelled for me, which led me to understanding my freedom. I respect your opinion. And I value it. You are only interested in helping me. I really get that. I have stayed stable and clean since I got out. It has been hard at times. Quite hard, though I have done it. The truth has stayed with me. The truth is me. Today I am going to start into the ShiningWorld forum. :-)
Sundari: Thank you for your trust. I do only want what you want and what is best for you – I should have cut you more slack – and as a man, James would have. He thought my lecture unnecessary. In fact if you feel that as a man you would like a man’s input, even though the self is genderless, please feel free to write to James. You have a place in both our hearts, we both care about you and what happens in your life.
We are happy for you. We truly know how tough it is to navigate samsara and all its dreadful desire traps and trappings and can well understand that you have much to sort out in your transition back into “normal” life! We wish you the strong and steady mind and heart of Arjuna under the guidance of Krishna (the self), helping him navigate his chariot (the ego) through the minefield of duality. If anyone knows what this entails, we do. We have faith in you that you will prevail as the self you are.
Wayne: Regarding my relationship: the right person has come along at the right time, a wonderful woman, very sensible and responsible, exactly the kind of person I would have wished for. You are cautioning me in regards to a relationship. I appreciate that and trust you, though can I ask why, please?
Sundari: I apologize if I jumped the gun a bit in my warning about getting snared by your desires. Firstly, if that is what has happened, it is none of my business and, in the circumstances, very understandable. You have been locked up with a bunch of men for a year, and are after all only human – as the jiva! The Vedantic view on romantic relationships is very clean-cut – if you are seeking a relationship as a driving motivation, you are not qualified for self-inquiry and definitely not for moksa. It’s not that relationships are bad or wrong, it’s just that moksa is freedom from dependence on objects, as it is about harnessing and controlling our human desires for them, whatever they may be. Seeking a relationship is the ultimate duality and it conflicts with moksa. However, if you are no longer seeking moksa (or even if you are) and a relationship should come along, one must assess the karma involved and decide if it is in keeping with your svadharma, as either a free or a seeking person. If it is, the relationship, conducted with the karma yoga attitude, becomes part of your sadhana. Only you will know the truth. I know you had a great deal of trouble in your last relationship(s), hence my concern about you having resolved all past karma. I trust you know what you are doing.
We had a look at your Facebook page recently – it seems that you have turned your experience with violence and criminality into teaching others the skills to avoid it. At first, I was a bit taken aback, but upon reflection I can see that this would be in keeping with your svadharma. Isvara gives us all a certain nature and karma, and the skills we need to live in the world. We just have to use them wisely. I know you will because you now understand what true freedom is. Once we know this, it is (almost) impossible to give it up and revert to old ways, although the blades of the fan (the effects of ignorance/prarabdha karma) may take a while to come to a stop. It is certainly not impossible that we can still fall down a few rabbit holes! So, as always, eternal vigilance is the price of freedom – as is nididhysana.
Wayne: There is and has been no requirement for a relationship. Tracy just happened to come along. She is actually a drugs counsellor and a martial arts instructor. I could not help but see the potential significance of this. It did seem to me that Isvara brought along what was needed. Although I am not dependent on her for anything, as the self there is nothing to be dependent on and indeed no need to be dependent, for I am whole and complete. However, as you wrote before, this is where the rubber meets the road now that I am out. My recovery has stayed good. This life is entering a really stable phase. And I can’t help but say, as jiva, that Tracy is contributing to it in a positive way, just by being herself. I have never been with someone like her, Sundari. She is everything that I have never had in a girlfriend: responsible, caring, stable and loving. I am not reliant on her, but because of this as jiva I am able to experience our relationship and love on a more profound, perhaps soul, level.
I totally get where you are coming from though. With something so nice, so beautiful, it is easy to get distracted. Or it may be. Nididhysana is even more important now. So samsara does not wrest back influence. I am aware of the challenge, but I really do thank you for also pointing it out. Also, thank you for the advice regarding what I do professionally. I find it quite powerful and inspirational for myself to be able to share my mistakes in the hopes others don’t. I do feel it is impossible to forget about true freedom now that it is understood.
Sundari: Yes, indeed, living the knowledge is what it is all about or else what is the point of it? Well done to you, we are so happy to hear that things are working out and pray the knowledge is with you every step of the way.
~ Much love, Sundari