Stages toward the Mastery of Yoga by Vasujimbo Barefootmd@gmail.

com In the midst of life’s endless stream of ongoingness, Is the rudder that harnesses this current, Guiding us down our path, As we choose a way. The momentum of reality limits our choices, Yet our will does make a difference. Most of our limit is defined by the lack of wisdom in the choosing We are more than a leaf falling to earth, Or dust in the wind. There is some choice within this confine. It is possible to fashion the fabric of existence with the resources at hand One needs the insight to know how and why to do such And the opportunity In one's youth, one might play amongst the best and worst techniques, Taking aim with some type of meditation or prayer or mantra or ceremony Striving for some ideal system, naively responding with conditions to conditions Faith guides us towards some perfection, Hope keeps us going when the going gets rough Love is the courage to hold hands while withstanding the pressure of the flow Peace is a symptom of the cultivated harmonious life Taken care to aim towards a journey of fulfillment Unrest, irritability, depression, anger, grief, boredom, A few of the multitudes of distress These are the signs of our wobble As we are shaken off our center When steering down the stream of life The current sweeps us in its grip Yield enough to this force and use the rudder of the insightful will to turn about just right continually returning to the upright; Cultivating principled insight in the midst of a momentary force; Harnessing insight into freedom from distress; Yoga is the ruddering of our way around the blockages towards fulfillment of our insight. Yoga can be defined as the settling of the distressing psychological processes. Controlling the mind allowing the witness to be established with its most essential nature. Otherwise, there is false identification of the seer with the seen. This attachment leads to distress.

This detachment leads to freedom from suffering. The eight limbs of yoga, are techniques of control. They are the categories of discipline that a yogi trains to detach from ways that lend to further distress to remain established in the original mind of Pure Subjectivity, Sentiency, No-disturbance Modifications of the mind fall into certain categories, be they painful or pleasurable: Correct knowledge is based on correct perception, deduction or testimony. Incorrect knowledge, imagination, sleep, memory Obstacles on the path are: Disease, laziness, indecision, carelessness, lethargy, craving sense-pleasure, erroneous perceptions, lack of concentration and unstable attention. They are known by a sense of sorrow, worry, restlessness and irregular breathing Overcome these obstacles by concentrating on their opposites and following the eight disciplines of yoga. The first category of discipline is proper ethical conduct: So that one is not visited by the demons of past karma. These ethical consideration require restraint from: violence, lying, stealing, lusting, and greed. The second is proper moral observances, so that ones future karma remains clean: These include: Cleanliness, contentment, aspiration, self-study and surrender to the inconceivable. Next comes the discipline of posture. Taking a proper posture allows us to be comfortable, to forget the body, and to begin to pay attention. This puts us face to face with our breath. Control of our breathing regulates the force and speed and rhythm of the thought waves of the mind so that concentration is possible. Through stillness of breath comes stillness of the mindstuff. The end of an exhale is very quiet Now it is necessary to withdraw from the senses, or else they will remain a distraction. Attention can now be paid to the source of the light that comes from within. When attention is focused for even a moment, on the source of perceptions or conceptions, This is called being concentrated. When concentration is sustained this is called meditation; This discipline utilizes the mental processes and still has a sense of a subject and object.

This is meditating with seed When there is complete control, and the subject and object disappear. When time and change have no place, Multiplicity comes to oneness. This control is called absorption or samadhi. This is where the seer, itself is reflected in the mindstuff. And there is no distinction between the seer and the seen. From this perspective, one is with the ultimate eternal truth of the Oneness of Reality. Evolution has reached its fulfillment when “i am not i”, but “am”. True freedom is at hand. One who seeks mastery in this path is a yogi. At first, there was darkness no movement, no change, no something, no nothing no awareness No memory, Then came reflexive response to sensed stimulation change and movement ensued something and nothing came to be The scene was still dark and dim and quiet Things swirled about Some light some sound some feeling some sense of movement No big distinction of self and other Then birth The beginning of awakened, individuated knowledge more light and form and shape contrast, brightness, hue, sharpness Loud, soft, soothing, confusing, a lot of feeling and a lot of movement both inside and out taste, smell infinite change Inconsistent, random painful, pleasurable want, don’t wan, don’t care too much peace, much unrest, suffering Mostly self, and others Very aware of body Quality and meaning are attached to objects directly Everything is now, here or else

The conditioning begins More luminosity, more sentiency, more discrimination more meaning and more value names, classes, rules, expectations Thoughts and feelings mixed, options and choice pressured by impulsivity and compulsivity, Not completely ignorant, very naïve, very foolish Trying to please oneself trying to please others Not very good at either Disposition rules Rules are real Conditioning is the way. Choice is demanding and very naïve. Awareness is a state that has equilibrium and disequilibrium Awareness has a field of awareness Objects move on that field in the context of a scene Awareness is the knower of this field within this scene Objects come to the field of awareness with feelings and thoughts conditionally attached to them These perceptions and thoughts and feelings and the memory of such are represented in the field of awareness in a multitude of qualitative distinctions These representations are conceptions One learns language to share conceptions One learns sharper distinctions between this and that and their names And learns to identify the field of awareness and the body and mind as its servant With effort, one learns the mind can control the body and thus the world Strong identification with the powers of the body and the mind Mental process control an imaginary calculator to envision potential future outcomes Feelings impulse thoughts of opportunities Play on words Play with everything express feelings and thoughts, speak, hear I-me-mine A moment of choice, consequences witnessed, remembered Conditioned response tied onto objects and scenes Karma creating, karma patterning, tendencies seeded and already sprouting. Dispositions, habits and tendencies develop into traits Awareness develops ways of responding to identified objects and scenes Judged by want, don’t want, don’t care. Contact with objects gains skill by this and gains a clinginess, a want in the future to attach as such to call in this memory, this way of identifying it, relating it Feel about it, think about it and can manipulate it as well Meta-opinions develop,

Teams are joined and left and new ones identified with Peers are the source of wisdom The elders and others are the source of the oppression. To obey the rule or not that is the question Feelings are enough, beliefs follow feelings and conditioned memories Choice is limited to these Opportunities abound The mind is quite contriving Sneaking to skew the outcome Distorting the real into its real Projecting, avoiding, justifying, complaining Seeds of times past brew forth into decisions Reasons and attachments guide our choices Choices that steer our karma forth Further disturbing the mind-field Every neurosis is a clever trick To justify our karma Steering the wake of our own mind-field Bringing filter to comprehension The filter further skews the present mind-field By attaching the karma to the now This moves the now forward As an impulse to become as such This suchness goes forth in a spectrum of ways As a disturbance upon our resonance This disturbance stems forth from Previous clever tricks of the mind At some point in a person’s life Perhaps it is an instant Perhaps it was a phase or an outcome of an experience For whatever reason, for whatever twist of fate This being destined to be a yogi, opens up to the notion that THERE IS AWARENESS, (usually initially conceived as “I am aware”) Awareness is glimpsed as the most precious and essential aspect of our experience Awareness is the dimly recognized as seer of the seen, knower of the known The toucher of the textured contact of the assemblage point the insight itself and not the object of insight The peaceful fulfilled, undisturbed, The aether of awareness remains undisturbed by the medium that occupies it… Unless, of course, it attaches meaning and value into an implication and desire brings the karmic cling This give weight to the mass, curving the apparent field of awareness as it accommodates or assimilates or ignores the object

The stronger the attachment, the stronger the skew of the apparent field Awareness is fooled to believe that it is the objects it beholds, Awareness is essential for consciousness of the body, perceptions and conceptions and comprehensions At last, the yogic path begins by seeing that awareness is awareness and the field of awareness and its objects are not awareness Clarifying this confusion is the path of yoga Yoga is the establishing of awareness as essential, wisdom as substantial, and freedom as the way These are many stages of the path towards mastery of yoga At first, one may mock or ignore or discount the way of yoga Through naivety, doubt or stupidity or foolishness one ignores the cause of everyone’s discontent and thus remains preliminary to yoga Yoga is the sincere discipline to cultivate a truthful relationship between awareness and the objects that occupy it. The path of yoga begins by aspiring toward yoga, towards being free of distress. The early aspirations are full of ideas and feelings and attempts to gain skill Attachment still has a clear stronghold on the contact The assemblage points of awareness remain fixed to the preconditioned karma, the aspirant begins to see that karma has repercussions and this karma needs cleaning Feelings still prevail, thoughts are opinionated, beliefs are held, and a path of yoga is conceived. This conception is misconceived, but still a pinhole of insight into a vast opportunity Same old story, told in a different way, But this particular way towards yoga still feels unique. False belief of right and wrong, good and bad, truth and untruth, yoga and not yoga Yet the aspirant holds onto the thread of illumination and sees a source of light The golden flower of the source of awareness shines and the aspirants sees into knowledge Meditation opens the opportunity to witness with less distraction, when really paying attention, Objects and the witnessing of objects with attached feelings and thoughts and implications Aspirants remain caught up in the whirlwind of the mind Mental processes catch the attention towards a verbal construct, an image, a memory Back and forth between distraction and oblivion, the aspirant has moments of peace, of insight, of freedom from conditioned attachments to objects Then is swept back into the momentum of the karmic currents Objects come and go at their own will. There is desire for liberation The aspirant conceives that the mission is to control awareness’s reactive attachment to objects Plenty of opportunities As the yogic aspirant matures, it becomes clear that this particular aspirant is a certain way, has certain tendencies and capacities and talents Learning some techniques are manifested easier than others The Path of Discipline begins with the commitment to dedicate these talents to fulfilling the most enlightening way for this particular being. The aspirant becomes a disciple when the skills are developed and matured And can effectively subdue the conditioned tendencies to allow the tranquil and encouraging field

states and insight Discipleship is liked to the talented musician who decides to master the violin. In her life, she may master many instruments, but this primary commitment is a disciplined phase of mastery. The disciplined yogi chooses a focused path that clearly distinguishes the most fulfilling way Unfortunately it takes much skill to see clearly and much effort to work hard and much of early discipleship is spent trying on ways. The path of discipleship is established once this choice is made and the skillful path committed to. The being achieves more skill from purity of intention, sincerity and common sense. Personality begins to conform to the intended expression of the deeper insights Condition tendencies remain in the form of skilled capacities to learn A tool to see clearer, not an end A thought is recognized as a thought and a feeling as a feeling, body as body, breath as breath and awareness is different than these. Meditation can be of various types, but will be defined here to include the techniques involved in inducing samadhi on subjective reality, sentiency and fulfillment Samadhi is the successful state of absorption into a concentrated state. Samadhi can be a result of concentration on an object Samadhi can be the result of concentrating on the process of concentrating and its disturbances Samadhi can be on the undisturbed state of awareness but still with a sense of self Samadhi can have no reflection, no discrimination, no attachment, no sense of self Space and time is witnessed with no boundary; there is no change; no causal induction. This samadhi has no karmic repercussions, the yogi is thus free from self-induced stresses Yoga requires samadhi, like the painter needs a ladder to paint the top story. At some point the ladder is a means to the end and in itself is not an essential to the painted though causally interdependent. Once causation ceases, supporting objects are unnecessary. Objects support insight Insight support wisdom wisdom supports becoming free and once free, freedom needs no further support There are many objects for the focus of meditation Objects can be gross or subtle, concrete or abstract, substantial or insubstantial, formed or formless Objects can have distinct boundaries or not Objects can be a feeling or state of consciousness like bliss Objects can be on a process or pattern of mental processes An object can be a physiological process like breathing, heartbeat, pain, pleasure, muscle tension An object can be an object directly or through reference as an symbolic image, sound, word or concept “I-amness” can be an object “I am not” can be an object An object can be “no object”, the void, emptiness, nothingness, “that” which is not, zip The state of the field of awareness is experientially correlated with the relationship with objects and scenes in this field The state of awareness transgresses through nebulous, yet distinct stages of progression into samadhi and eventually to wisdom and its freedom

There are many ways to appreciate the stages towards mastery One can appreciate the “Nine Abidances of Mind” to achieve samadhi These are stages the distracted mind finds peace and satisfaction A first stage is the stage of “inner abiding”, purposely attending toward an inward chosen object Second is “continuous abiding”, which maintains a sustained attention for an useful integral of time Third is “calm abiding”, which appreciates finally, a settling of the restless mind, at least momentarily Fourth is “near abiding” brings a taste of serene tranquility through the greater control over the wandering mind Fifth stage of samadhi, “well-adjusted abiding” achieves the ability to remain undisturbed by externally sourced objects The six stage is “abiding in stillness”; Now the mind remains peaceful and undistracted; Objects and scenes are now accepted without personal projections upon the object/scene. Still some karma and some sense of self. The seventh stage is “abiding in deep stillness”, when there is no recognition of any stress, disturbance, pain or suffering. “Abiding in single-mindedness” is the eighth stage when the absorption in clear minded focus. No projections, no disturbance, calm, serene, clearly reflecting the object and subject at will. Skilled in remaining undisturbed as part of personality in all cognitive dimensions. All objects are objects, and the subject is the subject. There is awareness and awareness remains as awareness. The nine stage is “Abiding in samadhi without effort”, when full absorption is the way of the being. And the stage of non-abiding with wisdom and freedom; Freedom even from abiding; this way is fully effortless Samadhi is a ladder to other stages of freedom from further suffering and distress. Any attachment, any clinginess, any sense of self, any lack of appreciation for causal interdependence, for the vastness can perpetuate further karma. Freedom from any result from any action can come only as samadhi is achieved, for the ability to sustain this resonance frequency demands the skill of samadhi. The skill of Samadhi can be appreciated in other ways as well Samadhi can be conceived to have two distinct phases, samadhi with a seed or without a seed Samadhi with a seed is characterized by the stages of samadhi in which the mental process are still present, being utilized and chooses an object of focus. A seed is that which carries a potential of attachment for this particular being and can thus generate karma Samadhi with a seed uses an object like a mantra, a image of a respected teacher, the breath, etc. Desire and avoidance remains, as the mind wanders into memories of conditioned reflection. “This object means this to me”, “ I feel this way about his object”, “I am this object”…., ”This reminds me of that…” are typical distracting styles of mental processes that still cling onto objects as seeds to future distress. At least there is reflection, at least the attempt at control is being made, at least the disciplined effort is at hand. What a blessing to have even come to this point. With discrimination, awareness makes distinct the properties of an object and the mental processes

attached to it. “This is actually the object or scene at hand” is comprehended, as opposed to the physiologic and karmic projections onto that object/scene. Still, feelings and thoughts and judgments, and a sense of self are still present, but the tool of discrimination discerns, like a compass, the awareness, As distinct from the object of the mental processes within the field of awareness. With skill in reflection and skill in discrimination the opportunity comes to see the difference between self and object. Awareness uses this distinction (between subject and object) to help detach from the seed. This is still samadhi with seed, because there is subject and there is object and they still have karmic (prepatterned, conditioned, impulsive) relationships At a certain point of concentration, the absorption let’s go of the subject-object duality and there becomes no object, no sense of self. There simply is awareness. This awareness is experienced as boundariless, as timeless, as formless, as objectless, as subject, aware. At some point there is no subject, simply awareness with insight; fulfilled and secure. This is now samadhi with no seed, seedless samadhi. Here-now and for all now-here’s, awareness does not cling to objects. Free at last. The seeds of potential karma have already reached their fruition and the seeds are fulfilled In young meditation, there is access to the assemblage points and reflection that there is assemblage Then the discrimination of object properties Then discrimination of subject-object-scene relationship Then effort to purify intention of letting go of all pre-conceived notion The end of exhale achieves the peace, inhale and more impulsive distractions, attractions then, subject is known as subject, object as object. Tranquility ensues for a moment The state remains fluctuating until skill is established to maintain the state of equilibrium of clear illumination. Serenity is reached. Here-now, one pointedness is possible. Skill brings the one-point, and with sustenance, karmic purity to leave this one-point alone The harassment is over, no more bullying from the glamour of objects Equanimity has freed the way from conditioned response. Samadhi has succeeded. Now the opportunity for freedom. Awareness is not enough to secure wisdom and freedom Awareness imbued with the insight of wisdom is Yoga. The stages of samadhi scales the path of discipleship into the wisdom path as this level of concentrated skill is necessary to secure the stability of the field of awarness as it is expressed into the world. One thing to sit in meditation and be wise with objects another to live ones life wisely and being free. The objects of the world are incredible teachers, powerful and oppressive, seductive. The yogi must deal with these objects as well and this is where wisdom comes in. Every thought, every feeling, every worldy aggression and attraction gives opportunity for samadhi, temptations to stir us from the one-pointedness

And samadhi the opportunity for further freedom from distress, for awareness to be well-established and wise. And for wisdom to manifest the opportunity for compassion to truly help others be free from their particular distress So many opportunities, unless the mind is preoccupied and narrowed, biased, pressured. Samadhi establishes the secure skill in maintaining a resonant, karma-free field of awareness This allows insight and the wisdom that ensues. Wisdom requires that the discipline be aligned with the proper principles The four noble truths and eightfold path outline those principles Many lessons have come down and this one seems so true: All sentient beings seek to avoid suffering and seek a peace that is permanent. First we must see the fact of birth; the fact of aging; the fact of illness; the fact of the inevitability of death. The first noble truth recognizes these facts and realizes that there is distress and suffering. All things have their cause. The second noble truth recognizes that suffering, like all that exists, has a cause. The body is fleeting; Feelings are fleeting; Perceptions and memories are fleeting; Ideas are fleeting; Even awareness, itself, is fleeting. Believing that these are less than fleeting is the cause of our suffering; Desire to find fulfillment through these, engenders this suffering The third noble truth recognizes that the cause of suffering is the false identification and craving for that which is impermanent. The fourth noble truth recognizes that the there is a way to end suffering. The end of suffering requires putting an end to the cause of suffering. Freedom from suffering comes from successfully seeing our false identification with the impermanent. This requires higher training in ethics, concentration, compassion and wisdom. Proper ethical conduct helps us to see the impermanence of our actions, and allows us to work out our karma to begin the higher trainings. Compassion helps us to see the impermanence of feeling, and to witness clearly, suffering. Wisdom helps us to see the impermanence of our thought,

and to correct the ignorance of mistaking the impermanent for the permanent. Samadhi helps us to sustain the application of the higher trainings. Signposts of freedom from suffering are the eightfold path: Right Understanding Right Thought Right Speech Right Action Right Livelihood Right Effort Right Mindfulness Right Samadhi Freedom from suffering tunes us with a Peace that is permanent; No further distress. “What will it be like when I achieve samadhi?” are the words of an aspirant “Finally, some peace and clarity and insight; This is why, and how to…. Aha; This needs done…” are the words of a disciple “As it is, so it is, and so much more to do; I am not doing, I am not; nothing needs to be done, nothing is…, nothing is not….Aaaahhhhh…………...oooooooo……….mmmmmmm” are the words of the master The “Jnana” are a way of conceiving the stages to freedom as going through eightfold jnana. The first jnana includes a concentrated effort that includes vitakka, vicara, , piti, sukkha, ekaggata. The goal of these is to counter the five hindrances of sensual craving, ill-will, laziness, restlessness and weak conviction. “Vitakka” is the applied thought about an object. It is the turning of awareness to attend to an object. The holding of the object in mind on purpose for more than a few moments is “Vicara”. “Piti” is the tranquil rapture resulting from the quieting of the mental processes. This rapture may be momentary and fleeting or prolonged and maintained, it can bring instantaneous joy or bring repercussion of joy; the joy can be thoroughly transforming or partly so, convincing or not. Piti is the enchantment of seeing the way of peace. “Sukkha” is the bliss that follows from being thoroughly enjoyed and sustained in peace; no want, at least for more than a moment. “Ekaggata” is the one pointed state of mind that comes from full absorption onto an object. No other objects are considered at that moment. Only that. The first jnana has all five modes. the second jnana utilizes piti, sukkha and ekaggata The third jnana uses sukkha and ekaggata The fourth jnana uses ekaggata and Upekkha –{ “equinmity” –objects are objects} These four stages are “with form”, the last four stages of jnana are without form. Form means within object boundaries. Has characteristics, properties, qualities. With seed. Without form, means no objective boundary, no qualification or discrimination. Without seed. Each stage,except the last, is marked by a skill in consideration, a skillful contact, a skillful holding on, a skillful letting go, a skillful reflecting back In the fifth jnana, the yogi enters the experiential realm of space with no boundaries. No sense, no dimension, no extension, no movement

One sees into the infinite vastness of time and space One sees the vastness, hears the peace. Sitting on the edge looking over. still a sense of self and space. Something else is and is not. The sixth jnana enters the realm of awareness with no boundaries So called, “Infinite consciousness” Awareness is everywhere, here, now, then, there, was, will be Consciousness of boundariless extension, minute, macro, instantaneous, forever, Infintesimal, infinite, the source of all knowing and not-knowing. The seventh jnana enters the experiential realm of no-thing there is no object no dimension no extension no thought, no feeling, no memory, no image no sensation, no perception, no conception, no comprehension, no doing, no subject-object distinction Witness of I-am not am The eighth jnana is the realm of awareness neither of something nor no-thing simply aware of being, simply aware, Sentient Skillful ability to neither categorize nor uncategorized neither to perceive nor not perceive neither conceive nor not conceive neither comprehend nor not comprehend neither do, nor not do I neither am nor am not Neither disturbance nor no disturbance Neither aware, nor not aware or something, nor nothing am and am not All is, is not. All –nothing neither all, nor nothing Full of potential Empty of everything These jnana or “knowledges” are important, and like samadhi, do not ensure the final freedom The Jnana describes for awareness, the topography of knowledge it travels, on the way to clarity and illumination What the yogic disciple does with this knowledge – jnana -- determines the wisdom of the yogi Wisdom is the right skill applied to the right end. Wisdom is the capacity to transform sentiency into wisdom, not just with oneself but with all other sentient life. There is awareness and there is awareness of suffering. Awareness is not enough, skillful awareness, skillful desire, skillful beliefs, skillful application of

resource, sincerity, disciplined cultivation of meditation and achieving samadhi and bringing the freedom from clinginess back to the world and mastering the skill in helping others tame desire, thought, feeling, memory, and causes of further distress Upon the mastery of samadhi, objects are now comprehended as sensations, perceptions, conceptions, comprehensions. And awareness as awareness. And those objects as objects on the field of awareness Awareness is aware of being aware There is no self, no object, no change There is awareness Full of potential, real, sentient and satisfied. Objects have their fullest potential with an awareness that is functioning at its fullest potential Wheares when giving in to desire and avoidance, awareness was plagued by many conditions, mostly overwhelming conditions A lot of ignorance, clumsiness, and the ensuing wounds Many obstacles, many hindrances, many ways to stagnate the flow and suffer distress Eventually, awareness strives to harmonize negative thoughts and feelings and intentions mental processes are asked to harmonize habits, beliefs, opinions and behavior from unwholesome conditions Thus continues aspiration. Skill in harmonizing the mental processes from overwhelming distraction; skill in settling the restless mind; Hope of peace; hope of freedom. Committed conviction that yoga is the way of skillful insight, skillful mental processes, skillful behavior, skillful contact, holding on and letting go of objects. Thus continues discipleship. Still clumsy, still confused, still unclear, and still not fulfilled, but striving to become full and clear and bright And clear that a particular dogma, at least, is not the way. The way becomes clearer, which is especially important as the power is stronger Especially when really skilled in yogic techniques, the energy must be disciplined with the proper principles If misguided or lost or confused or arrogant or ignorant, the energy is displaced and proper principles not fulfilled The principles of yoga require the continual returning to the next level of freedom Giving up and letting go to the obviously right way is most of it Control of impulses and compulses; maintaining the equilibrium through one-pointed equanimity Dedicated use of the insights into achieving the way of samadhi and jnana Personality and mental faculties are tamed to being valuable capacities Peace is experienced. Sentiency is experienced Overwhelming satisfaction is experienced This way is secured and used as a valuable resource for all sentient creates in contact Thus continues the way of the master of yoga. The symptom of when the higher mastery is achieved is when there is a more freedom from karmic repercussion. No disturbance is emanated from this creature.

All is at peace with no personal issues, No disturbing thoughts, feelings, words, actions, intentions Others come to rest, the resonant vib is uplifting, illuminating and encouraging. Wisdom is proven in the harmony and enhancing way of being. Yogic mastery into freedom from distress can be conceived through the words used to delineate the stages of insight lining the yogic path. Remember, yoga is the joining of the forces of personality with the intentions of the essential awareness. For success in yoga, one must be established in one’s original mind Day after day Month after month Years on end Cells turn over Thoughts and opinions change Feeling move on to others Here, there With him or her On and on and on…. To and fro we go Back and forth continuing between oblivion and distraction, as if that were the right way. Mindful of the center, Remains the watchful eye Spacing out, gone, oblivious Caught on an idea, past, future, distracted Mindful of the balance point Remains the undisturbed Unmindful of doing, distraction Unmindful of being, oblivion Mindful of the equilibrium Remains the “thusness” Penetrate to the “thusness” To “that” which remains Be the original face Centered between oblivion and distraction Experience depends on open eyes Perceptions need a perceiver to be perceived Perspectives change the eyes of the perceiver From here to there With this or that On and on and on… Memories and learnings filter experience

The perceiver is conditioned by previous experience In the midst of all the change is a sense of sameness An identity that is unconditioned, a non-identity A preconceived conceiver, preconceiving conceiving The original mind Untarnished by past or future experiences Unmuddled by the screen of consciousness and the mental modifications Unfiltered by our notions Not trapped by words Not imagined Not thought Not felt Simply being the being of our being Simply being the original mind The original mind remains free Words are not the thing, And are certainly not, no thing. Pointing to “that” which is, We use words to go beyond words. I pluck the petals from the flower, I pluck the stamen, leaves and stem; I dig up the root, What remains of that plant? What remains of “I” What is here today is already both yesterday and tomorrow. “I” am just a piece, a spec of aggregate, yesterday, today and tomorrow. This aggregate is interdependently meshed with the rest of the aggregate. “I” have already passed, as has everything, into the impermanence. Impermanence is permanent. “I”, here, now, this aggregate, am a projection onto the aggregate. Empty of this projection, “I” am not here, now. I am not what “I” am projected to be. I am not “I”, but merely labeled that. “I” am not I. I am not, but there is awareness The seed depends on the water, air, sun and soil. Conditions that determine a dependent co-arising; The flower is not the seed, Dependent on so much more. Cut off air, food, water, love, Our aggregate also has this dependency, Pluck off a hand, replace the heart, Our self, like the flower, can be plucked to nothing.

All that is, is not. Projections of coherency, but devoid of independence; Remove the aggregate and what is left? Emptiness. The mind is just one thought following another, The self, a refraction of the aggregates into coherency. Both dependent on so much more, Both can be plucked away into emptiness. I am not what I think I am No-mind, no-self, no I am, no I am not. What is there to cling to, without a self. Suffering has nothing to stick to, Empty of self, there is no one to suffer. Still one thought follows another, As one moment of form follows the next, Leaving emptiness to be filled by the moment, Empty of the torment of the past Potentially free, potentially tormented Freedom follows from this insight, this choice, this effort be free of the fears and the worries and the stresses and bad decisions be free of the concern of death be free of any attachment, any want or no want that is unwholesome be free of all personal issues Imagine having no issues Imagine the body aligned, healthy, strong Imagine the mind happy, clear and settled Imagine the heart true and fulfilled Imagine getting along well with others Imagine flourishing on the earth and the earth flourishing from us Imagine enlightenment, peace and harmony Imagine manifesting these imaginings Imagine having no issues about manifestation Imagine having no issues Hanging on to moments past, Attached to things bygone, A sense of ego lingers on, Keeping us from what is. Watching memories With feelings attached, Ideas and fantasy take precedent, As we stumble down our path.

Unless we can be like an empty vessel, Ready to be filled, With the substance of the moment ; Then we can deal with what is. Otherwise we drown in the worry of the morrow; Or in the guilt of deeds done past. Demons and goddesses and whatever could be, Distract our attention from what fills us. Stumble no more, Be filled with the void of the present, Put to rest worry and guilt and all those disruptions of attachment. And become an empty vessel. Looking in, if we have patience and courage, We can see our world anew, Full of possibilities, Fresh light coming in on our darkness. Welcome the Great Eastern Sun. Peaking over the horizon, The Great Eastern Sun allows us to see; Allows us to uncover the world Of our innate wakefulness, Of our internal radiance shining forth. Being with the dawn of the Great Eastern Sun, Awakens us to our inherent goodness; We can appreciate ourselves and the world For the good that we are. This takes bravery. Bravery to behold also the darkness, And to not get caught up in the fear of the setting sun; Death is inevitable, Yet so much of our life is spent in fear, Choosing to identify with the possibility of darkness. Be brave, like a warrior, And go forth with that, which is already available, Our radiance is here, now, Available to shine forth. Return to the primordial goodness, the original mind Enliven this knowledge Continually returning, To shine the Great Eastern Sun.

The entire universe, science confirms, Is expanding and contracting; Inflating and consolidating; Radiation wrestling with gravity. Energy has its plus and minus, The minutest of particles repel and attract; The earth gives forth life, Then calls it back. Amongst all the transformation, Remains the great interconnectedness; Cause is based on dependent relationship, Synchronistic movement within the change. Even in our own lives, We go out and come in. We expand our person in the world. And contract our awareness to our own self-awareness. We can expand our consciousness, And contract our bodies, We can focus our mind, And move forth into the world. All elements are subject to change, Only the great void goes beyond expansion and contractions, Only nothing remains the same. What is to know nothing? What is it to know something”? What is knowledge? What is it to know? Knowledge is that which we know Knowing is the apprehension of a meaning of that which is known What is meaning? What is apprehension? Meaning is an idealize form of a concept Apprehension means to grasp the realness of the meaning of that conception What is an idealized form of a concept? What does it mean to grasp the realness? An idealized form of a concept is the essential characteristics of that which is conceived Grasping the realness is the beholding of the essential characteristics

How does one behold? What are the essential characteristics? One beholds by paying attention to what is The essential characteristics are that without which we would not know what we know What is “what is”? What is “that”? Being is what is That is what we know To be is to know, To know that is knowledge Pay attention Be Behold what is know that as knowledge Ideas are great, so is the imagination Dreams are fantastic As are hopes, wishes and aspirations Intention is a blessing Manifestation is even more important Making sure our hopes and dreams come true Early on we manifest our instincts, our whims and drives Soon comes our aspiration to do something purposeful To become an active participant in reality Later we become disciplined and skilled in our manifestation Like a craftsman mastering ones trade Creating something precious from a plan Molding matter into life with meaning and purpose Ensuring our preciousness into life Manifesting our destiny towards our fate Making something of nothing. And using something to realize nothing Is nothing really nothing? Or is it really something? Does the Great Void have a place? Is mindfulness no mind? Is Enlightenment a hopeful dream, Freedom from all pain? Can desire be put down,

Or will it always reign? Is emptiness no more than a coveted goal? Is fulfillment more our plight? Even the Dharma of Buddha nature, Could be something, right? Flowers fall and weeds grow up; The wind is forever abiding. Why do we need fan ourselves and strive after something? Because Buddha nature is like the wind: Present but still worth striving; Something is nothing and nothing is something, and we are here, now, and Enlightenment is still worth trying. Be like the Butterfly, Who flies with the wind; Surfing the Buddha nature, sipping the cream from the flowers and weeds. The Buddha nature is the original mind of every sentient creature Void of attachments and the desire to create further attachment, The Buddha nature is “empty” of attachment as the potential for future suffering Buddha nature is the awakened, aware, insightful, wise aspect of sentient experience freed from the nagging distractions of feelings and thoughts and memories and opinions and all that stuff Quickenings are brief, but powerful glimpses aspirants and disciples have of Buddha nature Kensho is the undeniable insight into Buddha nature – the illumination of a way of seeing that now opens the insight into Buddha nature. Still a peep hole and an unsteady field holding the insight Still someone doing something, instead of being with insight The skill in cleaning the karma is not necessarily caught up yet Kensho opens the door to wanting to be skillful in insight The wanting is still there, but now with a clearer insight of an opening of a way of illumination Often these quickens and kensho are mistake for the end of the yogic path; Far from it It can be more like a sailor who figured out how the stars move in the sky and now can begin to navigate through the tides of life. The insight of that the stars move in a pattern in the sky is very powerful to open the door to mastering the implications of this insight. Kensho shows the disciple the experience of profound insight and some of the understanding that follows A disciple skillfully cultivates these insightsful experiences, these quickenings and awakenings and kensho Though the tiniest crack the light can shine through Once it is known, beyond doubt, that there is illuminatory insights, this path can be committed to.

The power of the mind to inject its distraction based on preconditioning remains so impressive that it keeps kensho a committed goal long before it is even decided on consciously to be mastered, let alone mastered These kensho experiences come to a ready state of awareness by grace, and are mastered by the committed tuning in to the kensho of the original mind of Buddha nature “Satori” is the name of a more sustaining awakening of disciples as they transition into mastery. The actual experience can be sudden or eventual, but never by coincidence The personality is now under the discipline of the buddhic mind, intelligence itself. This takes both insight and undivided dedication to skillful control and letting go Satori is the entering into being securely insightful on the obvious path of the obvious way Karma can still be created and karma still to be paid and the higher samadhi’s and “jnana” yet to master Still sentient creatures who are in distress, yet fully insightful of how and why Nirvana is the final letting go of all attachments by the way of skillful freedom Satori enters the disciple into the way of mastery of freedom Nirvana is the mastery of being free Be awake Sit straight Be comfortable Attend to the breath Be aware Perception occurs Not this Watch to the breath Be aware Feelings arouse Not this Encourage the breath Be Aware Thoughts wander in Not this Witness the breath Be aware Will urges movement Not this Atone with the breath Be aware The mind is such that it takes on the characteristics of that which it is focused on Not this Breath in Be aware of the inspiration Breath out

Be aware of the expiration Between the exhale and inhale there is a momentary pause There is quiet Be aware of the stillness of the mind There the seer resides in peace Realization comes from this meditation Go forth and breath this realization Day after day… Month after month… Years on end… Cells turn over…. Thoughts and opinions change Feeling move on to others Here, there With him or her On and on and on…. Each moment flows seamlessly into another Being becomes The drop of an instant Transforms into an ocean of becoming The now becomes the was of is Is was is many times Eternally now becoming then Yet now remains Here now is…. All that was Which is all but what is This all rides the wake Into the ocean of becoming Becoming the is of the here now Masterfully surf the experiential tide of this becoming by balancing on the ups and downs joyfully Experience depends on open eyes Perceptions need a perceiver to be perceived Perspectives change the eyes of the perceiver From here to there With this or that On and on and on… Stop this cycle of excuses, justification, rationalization, cowardness, laziness, excitement, covet; Transform the ups and downs by right effort. Be awake, be aware, be careful… the rest is a footnote for the excuses Memories and learnings filter experience The perceiver is conditioned by experience In the midst of all the change is a sense of sameness

An identifier that is unconditioned, not identified by any thing or person A preconceived conceiver The original mind Untarnished by past or future experiences Unmuddled by the screen of consciousness Unfiltered by our notions Not trapped by words Not imagined Not thought Not felt Simply being the being of our being Simply being the original mind, the ideal sentiency Let us contemplate, for a moment, The full extent of ideal sentiency. Ideal sentiency includes the ability to discern the real, the true and the good From that which is unreal, not true and disturbing Reality, itself, must exist and be knowable and transformable Conditions must exist for a sensation to be sensed Conditions must exist for a perception to be perceived Conditions must exist for a conception to be conceived Conditions must exist for an insight to be comprehended Conditions must exist for an intention to be intended Conditions must exist for change to occur and intention to induce it These conditions are the resources for meaning and value Ideal sentiency includes the ability to take input and know its meaning So that reality can be mapped This mapping is the conceptual representation of a perceived or conceived input Meaning is the correlation of one representation with another Knowledge is the comprehension of meaning of the representations Truthfulness is the correlation of comprehended meaning with what really is Truth is what really is, whether we know it or not Ideal sentiency includes the recognition of the truthfulness or not of perception Ideal sentiency includes the recognition of the truthfulness or not of conception Ideal sentiency includes the recognition of the truthfulness or not of comprehension Ideal sentiency includes the recognition of the truthfulness or not of intention Ideal sentiency includes the ability to take input and know its value Value is the recognized quality that lends to experiential fulfillment or relieves suffering Ideal sentiency includes the recognition of the value or not of perception Ideal sentiency includes the recognition of the value or not of conception Ideal sentiency includes the recognition of the value or not of comprehension Ideal sentiency includes the recognition of the value or not of intention

Ideal sentiency includes the ability to create meaning and value Creation is the qualitative transformation of resources Resources includes that which is available to be recognized and transformed Ideal sentiency is the ability to recognize the truthful meaning and value of resources Ideal sentiency is the ability to create truthful and valuable transformation of resources And to induce these abilities for all available sentient creatures Ideal sentiency is nirvana Nirvana is the state of awareness that is no state States require fields and objects extending in that fields to be qualified Nirvana is awareness of objects as objects and awareness as awareness untied from past and future implication Nirvana is freedom from any constraints, being awake, aware, free. Ideal sentiency allows one to realize the full extent of the suffering of others. Look around, my friend, See that all that is, is not; Clinging on to what was or what could be, Deludes us from what is. Afflictions arise from this attachment, Suffering arises from this delusion; Believing that we are immune from this process, Only festers the wounds. See first your own existential agony, Your own grasping onto the unreal; See how you too are drowning, Behold your own immersion into the grand ocean of delusion. Recognizing this delusion allows us to see that we were not drowning at all; It was a dream, Mistaken for the real. See the how your neighbor and loved ones, Are also apparently immersed; Caught grasping for a life-raft, They act in fear and insecurity of impending doom. Insight into the nature of impermanence, Allows us reel ourselves and others to shore. Compassion is the life-raft, To free all from being caught up in sorrow. Compassion is the wishing that, All be freed from their misery; Freed from believing we’re drowning,

When we are safely ashore. Our thoughts can create our reality, Insight can take us beyond thought; The greater insight into our well-being’s dependence on others, The greater our compassion will be. Compassion is the steps we walk towards enlightenment; For it allows us to go beyond our self-centered delusions of our own fate; Every sentient creature deserves freedom from suffering, Especially from the suffering of suffering. It is harder to be compassionate to those, Whose delusion appears as wealth or fame; They find it harder to recognize the suffering of change, How all that is, is not. Fear of loss, overconfidence of gain, These cause people a lot of pain. Suffering is also a by-product of “cyclic existence”, Being caught up in negative emotion or thought; These breed sticky karma, Bringing the past to bear its burden. Gaining insight into the nature of suffering, Allows us to see it’s pervasiveness; Compassion is the urge to go beyond this, Into the loving-kindness of graceful karma, The wheel of suffering stops when there is no unwholesome desire; When there is no particular self to desire. Compassion is acting empty of preconceived notions, Kindly urging all life onto the graceful way. When sorting through life’s great lessons, We can get stuck from our most graceful way. Too often we mistake this stuckness, For where we hope to be. We struggle for survival, Motivated by our instinct to survive, We get stuck surviving, We struggle for our comfort, Motivated by our desires, We get stuck desiring All paths have glitches, When walking we will stumble;

To walk well, we must be careful and watch how we are going. Each step requires a cultivated grace, One foot put skillfully in front of another; Destiny provides us with challenges, Challenges that could propel us with grace. To be free from suffering, and all negative emotions, Also requires skillful dealing with these challenges; We can wobble out of these glitches, By cultivating grace as our normal way. How could we have known what life would be, If we had died at some point, not lived? Our life, which has manifested, would not have happened, The here, now, would have been then. So much has happened, Fate has become known; Destiny has led us to here. We’ve seen if our hopes have occurred. Fate and destiny behold new light, As we ponder on our life as if death already happened. It seems death has come too early, Before life is fulfilled. Yet here, now, in the moment, We live as if we will always be. As if consciousness and flesh are immortal. As if our future will exist. As if we can wait for grace. We can appreciate the preciousness of the moment, Secure at least that we are in that; The morrow will be whatever will be; But it won’t be, without the succession of the here and now. So whether or not we end up fulfilling our dreams, And whether or not we’re immortal; Take refuge in the fact that there is now an existence, And a consciousness here to appreciate the multitude of opportunities to be aware Especially to be aware, free from any personal torment, actually enjoying the surf Ideal sentiency can be approached by continually returning to the yogic path, by principled effort, and by grace,

manifesting the effortlessness wisdom of being free Some people wait their whole life Longing for freedom Life itself passes them by Their own freedom unrecognized Freedom comes by being free Peace comes by being peaceful Live life by living fully Recognize freedom Be aware, mindful, harness the wisdom Be masterfully careful and live freely Care Be free THIS IS THE MASTERY OF YOGA!