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Priya: I am finding the ongoing practice of nididhyasana to be totally miraculous. So many previously unquestioned beliefs and ideas are just dropping away. Some put up a little fight (mostly the infamous VODs), but they have no chance to flourish as before, because the ground for them is no longer fertile. Even if I have what in the past I would have termed “a bad day” or a strong emotional reaction, I know it doesn’t matter at all. It makes no difference to me. It is grist for the mill of Self-enquiry but nothing to worry about, because I, the Self, am never touched by any of these apparent objects (gunas, vasanas) passing through. Identification can only ever be with the Self, with love, which is my true nature and never with the apparent jiva that I used to think I am.
I have been reading your book. OMG! You are bold indeed to have tackled this topic, which must be one of the most challenging for all human beings – I don’t think anything like this has ever been attempted before, to my knowledge! Thank you! It is a very stimulating, thought-provoking and inspiring read, and for me it contains some real gems – phrases or ways of describing the teaching that resonate in a very fresh and clear way and illuminate specific aspects. I appreciate the way you weave back and forth from the so-called normality of dualistic relationships with all of their apparent problems and how to skilfully manage them, to the goal of dissolution of all relationships into love itself. How to solve this paradox?! So insightful! I am going to read it again and get out my highlighter! Franco and I now live for the most part in affectionate acceptance with very little agitation between us. I have gradually dropped my expectations for anything to be other than it is and so I am no longer troubled by our apparent differences and I am grateful for his presence in my life and for the good fortune to have a partner who deeply appreciates Vedanta. Karma yoga is the key to successful abidance, along with the knowledge that I am indeed whole and complete love itself, needing nothing.
On another note, I had a wonderful conversation with my eight-year-old granddaughter. She said to me randomly that when he closed her eyes the whole world disappeared. I asked her if she also disappeared. She thought about it and said no she was still there. I asked her if she was always there no matter what she was seeing or hearing, and she said yes, she was. We laughed together. It was deliciously simple and spontaneous! She is a kid who thinks deeply, so I figured it would be good to help her think about the most important aspects of life sooner rather than later.
Sundari: I love the little vignette by your granddaughter and your response to it – brilliant! I would not be surprised if that stays with her all her life, lucky kid! I so adore spending time with my granddaughter, seeing how that pure little mind develops and how it responds to Isvara. Such a blessing.
I also love your account of how nididhyasana is working for you, way to go! It can be brutal for the ego, but if you are doing it right, it should be miraculous. To be free as a jiva means you must understand the jiva and the world it inhabits. The thing is, once you have understood jnana yoga, nobody can help you very much from there. You must learn how to manage the gunas, that is not the job a teacher or anything anyone can do for you. It sounds like you are doing it perfectly and gaining the fruit.
Thanks for the feedback on my book – it is a seminal book because it tackles the topic in a completely different way to how it is usually done. And of course the hard part was trying to make it understandable to non-inquirers while keeping the interest of those who are inquirers.