Search & Read
How to Practise FYFY
Stan: The identification with the jiva just jumps right in. I can catch it sometimes, but in relationships, it is so damned strong.
Sundari: This is covered in the book, but yes, because as long as duality still conditions the mind, you will have problems in relationships because you think you are transacting with “another” when there is never anybody “out there,” only gunas conditioning the mind “in here.”
Stan: I am interested to pursue the idea of “practising karma yoga every moment of every day, with every thought, word and deed before you act on them.” I do this a lot, but not nearly enough. Can you give me some examples and advice on how to do this consistently?
Sundari: The only way is through mind management, understanding the different types of thoughts that the mind conditions to and why – the gunas from which they arise. There is actually no need to dig into your psychology if you understand the gunas. If you do, you act to remedy the way the mind is thinking instead of trying to correct the situation you find yourself in – i.e. to get what you want.
The joy is always there, even if the jiva does not feel joyful. It cannot not be, because it is you. Ramji, in his inimitable way, says practise the FYFY – “fuck your feelings yoga”! While we honour our feeling nature as a jiva, as long as feelings are running the intellect, you are in trouble. Ignorance never gives up without a fight, it is the only thing that never dies a natural death, as does everything else in mithya. Only Self-knowledge kills ignorance. If all the roots are not pulled out, it will sprout again, you can count on it.
Stan: Christ, don’t I know this! It sprouts and sprouts again! On a practical level, how do you practice the “fuck your feelings yoga”? I think that is just the one for me. I guess it is really triguna yoga? For example, right now I am tired, and my partner is irritable, and I am sitting in the bedroom feeling anxious. There is an uncomfortable feeling in the chest. I am the witness to that feeling and the thoughts around it. If there is no identification with the feeling, then there is no problem and there is peace. I am guessing that when strong feelings come they need to be identified and that the thoughts need to be observed and my true identity asserted?
Sundari: Correct, see above. Managing the mind through guna knowledge is the only way. I have attached a version of the requirements for inquiry and enlightened lifestyles to this email.
The only way you get to enjoy the jiva or any object is when you are free of dependence on it and attachment to it. The jiva is loved wholeheartedly the way it is, but you are not free of it until all its programs no longer cause agitation or denial, i.e. do not modify to the gunas.
Stan: By this I presume you mean that no matter what is running – fear, desire, depression, fantasy – I just remain as the Self and refuse to get involved?
Sundari: Yes, taking a stand in awareness as awareness and practising the opposite thought, with the karma yoga attitude. It takes practice and it feels like hard work, and “clinical” at first, but what price freedom? Total freedom from the jiva means you are not bothered by it anymore, because all its emotional agitation has been converted to devotion to the Self (see the last stage of Self-inquiry in the attachment).
The last stage of Self-inquiry (nididhyasana) can take a long time to complete, but don’t be put off by that. Just keep consecrating each thought word and action to Isvara on the altar of karma yoga. I think I said this to you in our last exchange, but it bears repeating: when the need samskara arises, if you get hooked by the turbulent thoughts and emotional patterns inherent in being the small, limited, needy jiva, even in seemingly small day-to-day issues, you will never be free of it. The ever-changing and limited idea of who you are trying to keep alive as the person is just a memory, a guilt/shame-inspired thought. For the most part, it is a toxic program. Get rid of it; pay it no heed!
The first step is to see the program for what it is, where it originates from (beginningless ignorance/the gunas/Maya). There is no blame. The next step is to say NO! to the VODs [voices of diminishment]. Just do it. There is no law against this, because they do not speak the truth about who you are. Be vigilant and keep doing it, no matter how long it takes, one thought at a time. Never give up and do not defend or protect the little ego-self. That will only strengthen the samskara.
Satya and mithya is duality if you think the jiva is as real as the Self. Taking a stand as the Self means the jiva is as good as non-existent. You are Self. You are not The Self and the jiva, although the jiva is you. So, when jiva appears, dismiss it through understanding. It does not require you to change your relationship with your partner or anyone else. All it requires is changing your attitude to the attachment to them – to the idea of who you are to them, and they to you.
Stan: Thank you for all your advice so far – I have had enough of suffering – all I want now is freedom from it. Whatever will be will be – just going to keep doing the karma yoga and the Self-inquiry – what the hell else is there to do?!
Sundari: You are so right. When you have got to this stage, you know that there are no other options – and the best news is you have the road map out of the quagmire of duality, Vedanta. It works, trust it.
~ Much love, Sundari