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No Big, No Small
Jane: Hello, James! I’m not sure where in the world you are right now, but am sure that all is well with you. Thank you for your last mail. Your feedback is always so supportive and very much appreciated.
As I mentioned, Swami Parthasarathy and his daughter were in town last week. It was interesting to hear Vedanta from the mouth of another teacher. The one thing I realised very quickly is how extremely lucky we all have been to be exposed to your teaching, which gives one a complete overview in a very short time. I can see why the Vedanta course at Swamiji’s acadamy is three years long. The teachings were unravelled far more slowly and in a slightly different way, a different way of explaining. Not less interesting (I still went to all of the talks), just different. So yet again, I am very grateful to you, James.
As always, no real questions, just saying hello and writing down things I have noticed of late.
You know that imaginary moment that everyone lives for in samsara, that “one” lottery moment, where you imagine your whole world will change and all your problems will be solved? Well, after many years of working extremely hard (before Vedanta), that moment came for us in our company a couple of weeks ago. It was so, so interesting.
There I was, my business partner screamed with glee, I saw the moment coming, we were in the moment and then it was gone.
And nothing inside of me changed. And then I kind of felt suspended, there but not there. There was no jumping up and down, no feelings of relief, it was like watching something in slow motion. But in some way things are different since then, but in a way I have yet to define (or not). The body felt a little tearful at moments, but for no actual reason – there were no thoughts linked to it.
Life goes on in the same way, moving from moment to moment, with not a lot of thought as to what has gone before. I hardly have any thoughts of the past, unless I have to recollect something for work. And not many thoughts of the future. A LOT of time is spent being a slave to my Vedanta vasana – I have so much information at hand I can’t tell you. We are still doing our Gita study (your DVDs) and I am still reading the Home Study Gita. I listen to your satsangs daily – in the morning, while I’m driving, when I get home, the evenings (am on the Doro ones), I have three audio books by Swami Parthasarathy and several talks by Suddhananda. The information is now so familiar that I can pretty much predict how you will answer people’s questions in the satsangs!! And I continue to listen because there is sometimes such a subtle new understanding that comes through unexpectedly. Looking forward to your visit in November.
The idea of letting things be just as they are is something that is with me at the moment. If the ego gets annoyed or upset, I see these thoughts and feelings as random sounds and watch them go again. I’m really observing more than anything. It’s all very interesting – I find it all interesting! – every day there are things that come into awareness differently – I am just noticing them all, as I find by seeing them they define awareness – and the constancy of awareness. Does that make sense?
~ Wishing you a lot of love, Jane
James: Dear Jane, lovely to hear from you. Sorry for the delay in replying, but I have been swamped with emails, etc., all the stuff that comes with a bit of fame. Yes, it makes total sense. They make it clear, but only because you know awareness. If you don’t know awareness, then they don’t define anything except perhaps other objects. Reality is a duality, awareness and the objects in it. They “define” each other. And then there is you, the knower, the one who sees awareness and the objects, awareness watching awareness.
There is not much to say except that it is clear that you are on the right track and that you are assimilating the teachings quickly. The proof is that moment when your ship came in and nothing happened. The “big” things are not big and the “small” things are not small when you know who you are. As the Bard says, “Life is but a passing shadow, a poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” It is gratifying to hear that you are sticking with the Vedanta. You can’t beat it. Check my blog for some recent posts on the value of Vedanta. In about three months I will be in Cape Town, as you know, and I very much look forward to seeing you.
~ Much love, James