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The Benefits of Vedanta
Karen: Hi, James. I like your new site very much and it is good to find so many more satsangs to read. It is really useful to hear other people’s questions and to hear the same things again and again from slightly different angles. Since your visit too I have been listening to your DVDs from India and from Switzerland, reading the Bhaghavad Gita (the Swami Sayanand Saraswati Home Study version) and watching your DVDs on the Gita as well with Martin and some others every two weeks. My Vedanta vasana is by far the strongest one I have going at the moment. ☺ Lucky me indeed.
The experience of life and the world has been interesting these past months. My mind is able to accept the teachings of Vedanta without any doubts, as I mentioned before, and I have been using karma yoga although the vantage point that I am seeing things from the majority of the time is the perspective of the self. I know intellectually that that is what I am and so everything else that happens I know is not-me. It has not been too difficult to keep that point of view pretty much constantly, especially as you begin to realize that actually you’re untouchable in this world, nothing from the apparent reality actually ever gets close to the self or even touches it slightly, so yes, I can very clearly see and accept that nothing in the world has any effect. There has been a lot happening in “my” life, but the knowledge and the understanding that what is happening is not what I am and does not add to or lessen “me” in any way has made a mammoth difference to how I meet what comes up. It’s as though nothing at all is happening, everything is quiet. There is a very quiet space all around me (the body-mind entity) which seems to have extended further outward over time, and everything that has been happening is kind of at a distance and not very loud. I guess this space/quiet is the self/me, and has always been there, but now that my mind is less gripped by trying to make things happen it is free to notice it. Things happen and I deal with them in that moment, there is not a lot of thinking going on, thoughts come and go and they are easier to not focus on than before. I feel full and have no doubts and no fear for anything. From day to day I cannot really recall what has happened, because it doesn’t seem important to remember. ☺ The shift has been subtle but profound. I have always observed my actions and myself going through the details of life, in a conscious way, watching the thoughts, reactions, needs and all of that nest of stuff, but the karma yoga realisation has really been the key for me, as it takes the pressure off completely – that and the knowledge that I am already everything. The whole realisation and process has felt seemless and inevitable and there has been no urgency to push through it and force anything. I have not felt the need to do or not do. I can do or not do and watch it and know that neither is real. It’s a funny thing. The teachings have become direct knowledge, I guess. The very best thing with Vedanta is the ability to utilise the teachings in every moment of life. I feel my understanding will deepen further, as all things do once you have lived them for a time, and it’s pretty wonderful. I am extremely grateful for this clarity.
I am very much looking forward to seeing you again in October.
~ Love and much thanks, Karen
James: Hi, Karen. Thank you so much for this wonderful email. It reads like a textbook on the benefits of Vedanta. It seems that self-knowledge has had a practical and profound effect on your life. It shows that you have assimilated the essence of the teachings. Yes, this kind of effect can only be the result of direct knowledge. Good for you. It gives me great satisfaction to read this letter. Thank you for sharing your experience with me. I very much look forward to seeing you again in October.
~ Love, James