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Those Pesky Vasanas
Seeker: Dear Ramji, how are you doing? Just wanted to send a message to say I hope you are recovering well from your surgery. You were in my thoughts and prayers during and after, and I really hope you are feeling back to your old self again. In fact “old self” doesn’t sound right – timeless self! I’m really glad the operation was such a success from what I heard. Must be good to have the “meat tube” patched up and in working order! ☺
The October retreat was amazing on so many levels. I found it immensely helpful. I deliberately took several days out when I got back and went over the teaching again and again, scribbling on a notepad to help piece it together in my head. I wrote pages and pages as I worked it all out in my head, posing questions and finding I was easily able to answer them. The effect was quite profound. For several weeks after I was in a very sattvic state, feeling quite blissful a lot of the time, with spontaneous samadhis quite often. It was different to previous epiphanies I’d had. It wasn’t so much a random occurrence that I didn’t understand but was based on the knowledge of myself as awareness, which I kept in mind as much as I could. Thanks to your book, I’d become quite clear on knowledge versus experience and had long since stopped chasing after experiences, not least because they never last. But I felt a subtle but noticeable experiential shift of identification from jiva to awareness. The jiva and its thoughts/subtle body activity were still there ticking away but it receded to the background somewhat. It was beautiful… I took out as much time as I could to enjoy it. It felt like “new territory”… there was a strange sense of not always knowing what to “do” with myself because there was nothing TO do. So I kept studying the teachings and watching your videos.
Then the wind shifted… things got a whole lot busier and Isvara obviously decided to test things a bit. November churned out a number of turbulent things in the maya field: family dramas, a death, financial uncertainties and unresolved karma from an old relationship. It was like a stone thrown on still water – the sattva was displaced by rajas and the recognition of myself as awareness somewhat faded as the gravity of the vasanas pulled the jiva back to the forefront. It was like that for nearly a month. Now that things have settled down the rajas is back to manageable proportions and I’ve stripped everything down to facilitate more time and energy for inquiry. The knowledge is still there, it maybe just needs more time to assimilate… I can understand the need for a quiet, sattvic lifestyle for this to work. The desire for moksa is very strong now. It’s not like I’m seeking to really gain anything by it… it’s more like something I just have to do, something Isvara wants me to do before “I” can get on with “my life.” I’m amazed that although I don’t have a regular job as such and by all accounts should be struggling Isvara has been providing and setting up the circumstances to enable me to devote the time and energy needed for self-inquiry and study.
I knew I wanted to be able to go to the Spain retreat in January and it turns out Isvara has set it all up perfectly. ☺ I’m very much looking forward to it as I love the Gita, and being away nearly three weeks will give me lots of time to focus on hardcore Vedanta, ha, ha. I really look forward to seeing you then! It was an honour to meet you before and I truly appreciate all the tireless effort and energy you put into sharing this teaching. I’m profoundly struck by just what an amazing gift Vedanta is and, indeed, your teaching of it. Thank you for everything. Finding Vedanta was like coming home, in more ways than one.
Anyway, no need to reply as I imagine you’ll be busy or else still resting up and recuperating. I don’t know if you celebrate or not but happy solstice, Christmas and New Year to you and Sundari – and see you soon. ☺
Love, gratitude and very best wishes.