Asking for Spiritual Support: The Need for External Reinforcement, Guidance, Validation, and Dependence Utilizing a Yogic and Buddhist Perspective

Accepting truth about our "self" as an opportunity to change -- as spiritual progress


"Kunzhi, the base of all existence, of matter as well as the minds of sentient beings, in the inseparable unity of emptiness and clarity. These two are also called clear and light, the same clear light of sleep yoga. (The kunzhi in the Dzogchen teachings is not synonymous with the kunzhi as it is referred to in the sutric Cittamatra school, where kunzhi or alayavijnana describes a neutral but unawakened mental consciousness that contains all categories of thought and karmic traces.)

The essence of kunzhi is emptiness (sunyata). It is unlimited, absolute space; it is empty of entities, inherent existence, concepts, and boundaries. It is the empty space that seems to be external to us, the empty space that objects inhabit, and the empty space of the mind. Kunzhi has neither inside nor outside, cannot be said to exist (for it is nothing), nor not to exist (for it is reality itself). It is limitless, cannot be destroyed or created, was not born, and does not die. Language used to describe it is necessarily paradoxical, since kunzhi is beyond dualism and concept. Any linguistic construction that attempts to comprehend it is already in error and can only point to that which it cannot encompass.

The clarity of light aspect of kunzhi, on the level of the individual, is rigpa, pure awareness. The kunzhi is sky-like, but it is not the same as the sky, which lacks awareness, because kunzhi is awareness as well as emptiness. This is not to suggest that kunzhi is a subject aware 'of', but rather that the awareness is the emptiness. The emptiness is the clarity, the clarity is the emptiness. There is neither subject nor object in kunzhi, nor any other duality or distinction.

When the sun goes down in the evening, we say that darkness falls. This is darkness from the perceiver's point of view. Space is always clear and pervasive, it does not change when the sun rises or sets; there is not dark space and light space. It is only dark or light for us, the perceiver. The darkness takes place in the space but does not affect the space. When the lamp of awareness is lit, the space of kunzhi, the base, is illuminated for us, but the kunzhi was never dark. The darkness was the result of obscurations; our awareness was entangled in the darkness of the ignorant mind."
Geshe Tenzin Wangyal, "the Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep"


Why Support: Who/What Supports Whom?

Support which leads one to an intimate direct connection/integration with living spirit which is lasting, causal, and continuous is true spiritual support. This is the base in which we abide -- where all things, events, and experiences arise and cease. As such it naturally joins, aligns, yokes, or integrates the participant to their true transpersonal universal nature/Self. Anything that supports that "spacious evolutionary view" in thought and action -- in "in"spiration of the Self realization process is worth the effort. It brings happiness and joy. On the other hand, suffering occurs when the human mind dissociates from, ignores, or denies that Reality. Then conflict between what-is-as-it-is on one hand, and the ego's thoughts and actions, on the other hand, arises. Man becomes at war with his true self nature.

Thus from the very beginning, it is important to discern the difference between the need for spiritual support (not that Spirit ever needs support) in the context that human beings can often benefit from being reminded of their true nature and thus find the innate love, wisdom, and happiness which is their birthright on one hand; and on the other hand egoic support, supporting the lies e tell ourselves, support for neurotic compensatory deceits/conceits,. and/or in short pet false assumptions, predictable and safe belief systems, and other temporary crutches which need to be thrown away in the end.

The need for "support" thus assumes a pre-existing separation, split or disintegration from this integrative state of universal integrity -- of an all encompassing implicate wholistic order and fulfilling completion. In short need for support is due to a collapse. Usually it is due to more than dismissal, being shunned, rejection, or childhood dissociation, but an even more deeper disempowerment where our basic connection with the evolutionary power and source has become disrupted, severed, and invalidated.


The Invalidation of Innate Evolutionary Power as a Basic Tool for Disempowerment and Slavery

If we assume that many people are asking for this type of "spiritual" support, then it is crucial to not support compensatory delusions of a separate self (ego) in such seekers (we are all true seekers if we dig deep enough). In short the basic invalidation of the "true self" as an intimate part of the evolutionary process, which is known transconceptualyl and non-verbally creates a gap/void which manifests in neurotic craving (we feel deeply that something is missing and hence we sense need "something". Instead of looking inside (for the innate happiness and good), Westerners most often are told to look "outside" in terms of material possessions, consumerism, identities of status or power over others, systems of comparative self advantage, competition, dominance or exploitation of others. Similarly, instead of aggressive outward compensations, a more passive and relatively more honest response to this split from Self, is withdrawal, sadness, apathy, sadness, or depression often mollified by complacency. What must be recognized is that both the aggressive and passive reactions are two different inefficient coping mechanisms due to the same sense of disempowerment, invalidation, and estrangement, the latter being less destructive and more dishonest.


Aggressive Secondary Modalities of Compensation

If we buy into the former (aggressive secondary coping mechanism, then the world (reality) is judged to be in conflict and threatening, hence fighting , war, violence, greed, competition, and lovelessness become the rule. They also become justified and defended. One becomes addicted to it.

Hence tyrants, totalitarian systems, and authoritarianism uses intimidation and invalidation of the child's innate ability for critical and creative thought -- their innate intelligence and ability to know and act on a deep level as tools to disempower them and hence to manipulate, enslave, and addict them. It benefits the slave holder to have willing slaves anxious to receive "orders", "commands", "order", "instruction", and "structure" seeking and depending upon approval and validation (support) as to their "worthiness", value, or self esteem. Hence Sigmund Freud, Erich Fromm, and Wilhelm Reich rightfully noted that neuroses starts at an early age as a repression of primary urges and instinct. When that inner knowledge conflicts with conventional wisdom (institutionalized ignorance), the society tends to reward further repression/suppression while rewarding those who conform/obey. hence institutionalized ignorance and dysfunction become self perpetuating by parents (who are also victims themselves) further victimizing their own children. Hence conflict, suppression, exploitation and repression become self perpetuated in a world created out of both ignorance, mental strife, confusion, and inner conflict as well as a war with nature, the evolutionary force, and wildness (that which man can not control). Man then fears change and wildness -- nature and unpredictability, while desiring structure, law and order, logical Cartesian systems which appear to him more safe..


Passive Secondary Compensatory Modalities Come Closer to the Truth

So much for the active "adaptive" modality of secondary compensations. In the passive modality, the danger is complacency or apathy, but it is much closer to recognizing/recognition that something is missing/absent -- so that we can wake up. We can heal the wound, after recognition -- after having the strength to grieve the loss, renounce the habit of disconnect, and thus implement methods for reintegration with being an intimate part of the evolutionary power, creativity, and creation.


Support Systems: Artificial and Natural

Invalidation of the Innate Transpersonal Evolutionary Power is Ignorance- It is where one chooses to identify as being apart from nature and creation, rather than being an intimate part of the whole.

This process of spiritual awakening involves neural circuits which work far deeper and more causal than the cerebral cortex or Cartesian brain alone. These dormant and often repressed neural networks can be reactivated and empowered through effective yogic practices, but if one becomes addicted/fixated on the neurotic secondary compensations and adaptations, evolutionary change will be resisted. It is much more difficult to effect change in people who tightly cling onto these substitutes of course. Especially because invalidation of our innate power (as part of the evolutionary force), often triggers a need to find power and validation outside of ourselves (in parents, teachers, peers, societies, authority figures, religious or political leaders), those tendencies may be difficult to release. Nothing can adequately replace by being embraced in mother nature's arms.

In short the desire/addiction to find validation from any external source of acceptance, validation, safety, approval, or instruction must eventually be broken in the true spiritual sense. This is not always clear especially when the habituated estranged ego craves for its own relative and comparative validation or support in things which are temporary, on fire, mistaken as solid, compensatory, or neurotic. Here it is crucial to know our own mind -- to recognize "who/what" is craving support, how that neurotic mental habituation operates unconsciously, and then free oneself from its energy drain. Then when the negative neural circuits are broken asunder, such will energize the evolutionary and life positive healing neural circuitry which serves the process that engages living spirit -- as authentic yoga. For example when someone offers support for some one lost in separation -- in ego delusion, self deceit/conceit -- too often help that temporarily props up the ego is offered, which in the long run may delay the process of transpersonal spiritual transformation (the realization of true authentic Self). Such is counterproductive and dysfunctional in the spiritual sense. When the spiritual sense is served, then the evolutionary sense is served as well. Manifestation occurs in a much more expedient manner in the long run.

Temporal secondary support may be offered for example in a situation where a bicyclist needs some air for their tire, and one offers the use of their air pump. There may exist a myriad of such examples. Band aids may be given out, and in some cases where people are not ready/open for spiritual transformation, then a smile or simple hand of support may be comforting and alleviate mental or physical pain. But as in the example, in situations where there are ever increasing demands for air due to flat tires which in turn are due to myriad nails on the roadway which are tearing apart the tires, then a more expedient method is best undertaken for example by removing the nails in the long run.

This analogy is likened to the classic story of placing one's finger in a leaking dyke that is springing more leaks faster than can be plugged. Such is never sufficient. It is a waste of effort and is most often counter-productive (delaying the inevitable spiritual awakening), rather one must address the causal forces in order to become effective. That is what is meant not to confuse secondary causes with primary causes or even better never to forget the connection that secondary causes are the results of primary causes. Awakened activity can be the natural spontaneous expression of compassion and wisdom where we assume one must have ascertained basic awareness of the law of cause and effect first and then pierced to some extent the realm of unconditional happiness. Even though the intent is compassionate; e.g., to help or serve (which is one essential element), the other essential requirement which must also be present and married to that compassion, is wisdom. When these are married then expedient results manifest. Primary is the innate motivation; i.e., we all desire to wake up, but not all of us are consciously in touch with that seed desire. Without that motivation consciously recognized, operating, or "alive", our efforts to "support" others will be fruitless, but we can prepare the stage for such awakening as long as we keep in mind the connection between primary and secondary causes.

Temporal services may be expedient when it is placed in perspective toward eliminating ego dependencies in the long run; i.e., patterns of alienation/separation, aversion, neurotic desire, pride, jealousy, anger, greed, and other obscurations (kleshas in Sanskrit) are seen in terms of primary causes. At the very best temporal aid may serve to provide some basic platform for the eventual support of spiritual integration, but one must be wise in distinguishing between the two. For example one may require a requisite amount of air, water, food, shelter, time, as well as physical health in order to engage in spiritual practice. The best spiritual practice we can offer is to help people move into their own connection with creation/creator (evolutionary power connected to primordial source without discontinuity). Such does not come from analysis but via recognition. So in the least we make our stand in the middle of the heart and widen it -- as an open doorway to ultimate timeless unconditional happiness all the time. MAy we never lose sight of this deep heart felt presence.


What do we Support? Support of a Dead and Alienated Dysfunctional World View or Support of Life, Living, and Being?

So here we will address the situation of how we serve those who are seeking to regain "connection" with their innate spiritual center and thus are willing to let go of ego self deceit, conceit, false prideful identifications, afflictions of asmita (lack of self worth), and desire for compensatory ego "self" aggrandizement/validation. Those who seek the latter (ego desires), then must not be served, but rather what must be served is the process of spiritual integration (which includes death to the delusion of separateness (ego). .

People who live in a materialistic dualistic ego driven and confused world are necessarily insecure. They often crave support, validation, and help in that sphere. The trick for them is to recognize their state first, then they can crave liberation and integration. Those who are firmly fixated upon the surrogate identify as a separate ego, perceive those who give ego support as friends/helpers (as pleasurable experiences), and those who do not as enemies (as experiencing aversion or pain). Here one is lacking in basic awareness of their situation -- of cause and effect, not knowing why they seek support nor what will liberate them.

Out of compassion one may naturally desire to help some one who is thus in need, but the helper must be clear on what will help and what will simply placate, give temporary solace, or worse reinforce the ego's delusion and dependency. For the helper, one trap to avoid is to not accept the role of giver/helper or fixer, but accept the role as service (seva). Another common trap is to avoid the risk of creating dependence, because too many people confuse the support with the supporter, rewarding the giver and punishing those who do not. The idea of service (seva) may be of use in this regard; i.e., that one is serving spirit in giving support. Actually any perception of an outside source of support is best destroyed, as it ultimately displaces the innate universal teacher for outer dependency which is often is a source of abuse and manipulation, dysfunctional social contracts, unrealistic expectations, let alone addictive type dependence; while conversely it can be a source of disappointment, disillusionment, hatred, and a sense of betrayal/abandonment unless the provider of the support, points out the true source of support -- the inherent love/wisdom which always is accessible from within and which when is recognized can be seen in all as universal spirit.

The physical support of the physical body is called the muladhara, so when one is not grounded in the body or not connected with mother earth/nature, this is where one should seek or should be pointed toward. When one is not grounded in their heart/core center, then that is where the pointer should be directed. In Tibetan the word, Kunzhi, is used to connote the ground base or foundational support of all. In yoga it is the true Self or swarupa. It is because one is out of touch with these innate supports that one craves such compensatory direction from others. The true guide/teacher thus points the seeker back inside the Self toward these inner palaces of the heart which have become abandoned or displaced. The supporter thus should never be seen as a habitual substitute for the support itself.

In other words, if one person depends upon support from another person or any other external thing, then at any moment that support can be withdrawn. Then what happens -- more dependency and need. Mostly when some one desires or asks for support, they mostly are saying, "play my game" or "massage my ego". If you do I will be happy, but if you do not, I will be unhappy with you. In every case such people are seeking ego validation, not true self actualization/self realization.

If they are not ready, it can not be forced. Such people will not recognize or understand our motives. It is far better then to not get involved with such people at that stage -- not forming a co-dependent relationship. that way one is free from the ego games of praise or blame, contractual ego relationships, or dysfunctional co-dependence unless one can prepare the ground in wisdom. Some one may be asking for a ego band-aid, but providing a band-aid may be easy, but is it harmless? Such activities can become the basis of needy pre-occupations and dysfunctional co-dependent habits. The largest tragedy is that such activities of catering to the ego delays spiritual growth because it it inauthentic (catering as it were to ego delusion/self deceit). In that sense it is better not to give these people what they desire, but rather perhaps what they need. Here wisdom and compassion must be carefully integrated in effective action.

Thus it is far wiser to ask "who" and "what" is asking for support. Is it the ego who is asking for support, praise, or adulation and acceptance in being right, better, good, or in need of moral support, while making another as wrong, bad, or worse. Is this emanating from an old need or hurt for being consoled, acknowledged, loved, accepted, or right? What is a true friend’s role in this? Does a true friend give loyal obedient support catering to this syndrome or is it best to tactfully attempt to provide clarity and reality without feeding the ego's need? In other words is the relationship based on ego delusion, flattery, and consolation, or is it authentic -- based on cutting through ego self involvement which must be dropped in order to move toward spiritual realization. The ego may resist the truth, but the liberation of the soul requires it.

Spiritual support is, of course, the noble path -- spiritual practice. Ultimately authentic and lasting emotional/psychological and spiritual support NEVER comes from outside, but rather within, where the person is supported by being returned to their true heart/center. Dependence upon others or external means for spiritual support should thus be discouraged be it from guru, church, group associations, books, parents, or friends, etc. Although spiritual friends and aids can help point us to that core/heart center, it must be made clear AT ALL TIMES that the actual support is within. Thus the pointer-- points one back to their inner core. This is a very common confusion that should be removed in human relationships; i.e., the tendency to crave validation, identity, and order from the world. The ego craves ego support and resists the universal unbiased truth, but Universal Boundless Spirit requires truth in order to fly.

The "need" for external support comes from being split from one's spiritual center/innate authority in the first place. Such is the basis of dualistic confusion. In that case the potential danger of a temporary ego fix must be avoided. When one finds oneself off center, being confused, then one is vulnerable to temporary ego compensation, for ego support, or false support -- that which will satisfy and reinforce one's ego pride, arrogance, delusions, righteousness, and self deceit. Thus sometimes the best spiritual support from a spiritual friend, is to help us abandon the ego as the sinking ship, while signaling us toward the further shore and foundation – onto the fearless eternal land that never dies -- where the ego has become utterly demolished. Many dark nights of the soul have so been forestalled and with that people have become re-attached to their prisons of falseness, delusion, and grief.


The Spiritual (True) Friend: Who Supports What?

Of course this does not mean that one should ridicule, degrade, demean, or purposely hurt/torture anyone. That doesn't fit the frame of being centered/connected in the heart -- of the marriage of compassion and wisdom. The above is not a license to maim or tease, or purposely make people upset or disturbed, to act act arrogantly, aloof, superior, or indifferently to the plight of others, but only a license to not feel compelled to feed the ego even if it appears to us to that it is hungry, nor should we react in either aversion (dvesa) or dvesa (aversion). Rather abiding in the happiness of our heart center is always the best place to be.

When a certain amount of open heartedness is reached, then a true spiritual friend is able to rest continuously in the sphere of undisturbed pure listening and seeing, acknowledging mental suffering from abiding in seat of the core/heart. From having the courage to acknowledge suffering fully as-it-is without aversion or bias, compassion and wise action (upaya) naturally arises. Such is innate to our embodied state when the neural pathways are open. From that state of open expansiveness, comes wisdom in action. From that, true guidance is effected. A true spiritual friend thus, attacks our false identifications and ego attachments wisely and does not buy into them, rather they align steadfastly with the intent that our authentic self will become potenized and develop.

That loving intent coupled to wisdom is recognized as the causal motif (the compassionate bodhi-mind). In this context it should be recognized that when some one asks for support or validation, they are stating that they have become extracted from their primal base and thus spiritual support must lead one back HERE -- to All Our Relations -- to breath, spirit, integrity, and innate wholeness, other wise we run the spiritual risk of reinforcing chronic neurotic coping mechanisms, delusion, ignorance, bondage, and suffering. Thus the loving compassionate intent must be first, then the wisdom can come in its manifold forms out of that heart/core center -- as love loving love is expressed. If it can not lead toward that end, then it may be best that nothing is said or done. We will do no one a favor, by leading them astray.

So discernment must be made not to cater to people who are asking for “support” or ego validation, by asking "supporters" to take their side in defensive ego oriented battles and struggles or to reinforce their preexisting delusions, bias, and prejudice, which is most often the very thing that they need to look at objectively and surrender. Certainly compassion is most definitely called for, but also the wisdom to not conform to their ego predilections or preferences in these matters. This is done by listening to the deeper wisdom which serves the more causal long term benefit -- as liberation -- by acting from that deep innermost core/heart experience -- on that deep marriage and profound of wisdom and compassion. Similarly this is how addiction to social conformity, authoritarian figures, religion, peer approval, status seeking, privilege, control over others, greed, and personal comparative power are completely overcome. This requires great skill (called upaya in Sanskrit).


Swami Krishnananda (speaking about the Mundaka Upanishad) said when specifically addressing the authentic Self.

“The Purusha is Divine, formless, existing inside and outside, unborn, free from Prana and mind, pure, and greater than the great unmanifest.

Purusha is one who fills all space or who resides in the cavity of the heart. The Purusha is immaterial, and therefore, divine in nature. For the same reason it is inside and outside. It is unborn because it is causeless. It does not undergo any process such as of life and its experiences.

The Universal Self knows without the ordinary Pramanas or proofs of knowledge. Its knowledge does not consist in perception, inference, verbal testimony or any kind of commonly known proof. Worldly knowledge is relative and mediate. There is no necessity for the cognitive or perceptive organs in the highest Self, because in it knowledge consists in Self-realisation or realisation of Itself. Even the distinction which is ordinarily made between the sheaths of a person, cannot be made in the true Self. Virat, Hiranyagarbha and Isvara are of the nature of Pure Consciousness.”

That in general is the yoga view which we will discuss later where all external theories, proofs, scripture, or testimony from others most become surrendered and supplanted by our direct core/heart experience. When that is realized then there is no mistake about going outward for support or validation, yet support is everywhere -- non-local.

Analogies always fail, but with that caveat here are a few examples. For example taverns often serve as depots for external validation or support groups for men, just as social activities and female support groups act as such for many women. A bunch of guilt ridden and bigoted men (may be carpenters, loggers, miners, hunters, soldiers, business executives, religious advocates, or other) are sitting around telling each other how great they are while trashing the opposition (anyone who would disagree with their ego’s need for delusion). Then some one walks in and tells the truth and is attacked because these people may not be willing to let go of their fixated beliefs about “self’ feeling attacked personally by the truth. The very fact that these people feel hatred, aversion, fear, anger, or contempt toward the “outsider’ is usually a sure sign that they are preoccupied with kleshic (afflictive emotional needs) attachments and need to bolster their ego/pride delusions (asmita).

Therefore those people in this bar example who reinforce their own group delusion are actually causing each other eventual spiritual harm by reinforcing their kleshas, delusions, ignorance (avidya), and hence suffering (dukha). More so even more bad karma will be generated. Such is the wheel of samsaric delusion, until one desires to get off of it badly enough that they one becomes one pointedly directed toward the truth. What holds them back is their desire to feel comfortable with their past ego configurations – with their dysfunctional deluded “self’ and illusory "reality" which is seeking support, justification, and reinforcement.


The Universal Unbiased Context: Reality

Another example may be internet forums as well as other support groups based on common predilection, common interest, or shared context. Many people give emotional support to some people who are grasping onto the same things that they would be better off letting go of (vairagya). They often share the same attachments and bias. They will thus contribute to that person’s bondage in that way and expect the same in return forming a co-dependent contractual relationship. They commonly tend to laud themselves and denounce their common detractors as the enemy/ or devil.

An "outsider" may not support that person’s deluded drama, but that same "outsider" who may be offering context or perspective of not knowledge is then judged by the group ego (who is seeking support) as representing the enemy, as being threatening, or as being hurtful to the ego's false sense of pride (truth necessarily destroys deceit and falsehood). Thus the authentic person is demonized, disliked, hated, or punished by the ego. This dramatic mechanism is unfortunately very common, where ego oriented people demand support from so called "friends". Such people do not desire the truth at all costs, but conditional truth in a contractual sense. They may not even be interested in truth at any cost, rather they may be just seeking flattery and ego support. They may not even believe that the truth or reality exist, being nihilists or cynics. Such are not seekers in the spiritual sense, rather they are only seeking support for their delusion (ego). Spiritual friends will not support delusional thought, ego self involvement, nor reinforce mechanisms self deceit.

Sometimes we ask or demand “good friends” to see us as we want them to see us according to our preferences (desire). We ask then to play my game and I'll play yours on a contractual basis. All that is at the risk of "reality". We ask them to reinforce our pride, delusions, wishful thinking, and even unrealistic hopes and dreams. A true friend really will not do that. It's better that our sacred cows and external dependencies all be let go. If the emperor Is not wearing clothes, that should be acknowledged. Only dysfunction is served when we ignore the truth or fear or flee from it. When the Mind is open/Boundless, then the true support/base is known -- the Kunzhi. This speaks then toward discerning ordinary culturally or even anthropocentric context (which is always biased) from that of a universal context which has no such boundaries or limitation.

For those who are locked into limited mind fields (citta-vrtti), they will hold tenaciously upon their "view" as self -- as if their very existence depended upon "it". We have all seen it. Some one asks for our moral support, but do they really want spiritual support -- do they really want to hear the truth? Some one is hurting in pain, grieving. That is not the time to reinforce their ego, yet how many people in that situation want to hear only that they are right, good, better, etc. These people crave praise because they are subject to blame. It is time for them to get off that roller coaster. If one is upset, hurting, in need for support, then THAT IS THE TIME FOR HUMILITY if not ego death. It is not the time to seek out an ego doctor who will tell you more lies, yet it is not the time to receive disparagement either.

If our mental world comes crashing down, then this is a auspicious sign for a spiritual seeker, just as the "dark night of the soul" signals the dawn and rebirth. We must welcome these changes and have spiritual friends who lead us through the suffering of delusional "reality" quickly and with the least amount of pain by not catering to conceit, false pride, arrogance, and ego delusions. Rather only truth cuts across the falsity and only reality save us from the folly of our illusions. Here we welcome spiritual friends who abide lovingly in the truth and not lie to us telling us flattering and flawed fantasies. So when we ask for support, can we think of it as asking for the truth about our "self" -- so that we may free from deceit and then see the light -- be enlightened. What better support can there be other than to reflect that truth? By reflecting it in action -- in All Our Relations we then and share it.


Eternal Support: Dependence upon that which is temporal and Impermanent versus that which never Dies

One can spend much effort in trying to heal every body's physical ills and material wants and desires. Such activities based on material/temporal support of other's needs comes from a noble innate urge, but it is endless. Once some one becomes healed from one illness, soon there arises another. Eventually they die in any case, not to say that alleviating pain and suffering is useless. That is *not* to say that empowering our fellows, even physically, does not accrue benefit. Rather it is more causal to point out that through true awakening then functional activity in All Our Relations occurs naturally from that. A tree can be nursed from a seed, but in the long run it will topple and/or burn. The joy is in living fully now in the natural unconditioned embodiment of Universal Reality and not fearing the future nor regretting the past as an integral part of evolutionary power.

Above we have shown that spiritual support should be aimed at this end. To the extent that physical health, nourishment, shelter, and environmental conditions aim at helping people abide in their spiritual heart/core center, then temporal support may be a valuable activity only amidst this context. The role of a teacher as a spiritual supporter of this process can attempt that kind of aid, only if the student supported does not confuse the one who provides the support, with the spiritual support itself; i.e., no confusion or attachment to the guide as distinct from the path is established. Just so, any temporal or external support dependency should be suspect, not only in the form of external teacher or supporter, but also in the form of external temporal "things". In other words a mature practitioner should be clear on what the spiritual support looks like, feels, like and tastes like. A worthy teacher then feeds that spiritual hunger.

A mature practitioner on the path, is seeking the truth which liberates them from samsara (suffering). It can not be achieved through delusion or dependence upon impermanence. Ultimately this freedom is to be known as a state of mind, unconditional, unfabricated, and natural. Such is vast and free from all or any elaboration. Being independent from subject/object duality, this boundless mind never changes. It's essence is imperishable. Although it is contained in all form and things, it is expressed as one thing. This is true support underlying all of existence -- all created things.

"The tao that can be told 
is not the eternal Tao. 
The name that can be named 
is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real. 
Naming is the origin 
of all particular things.

Free from desire, you realize the mystery. 
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

Yet mystery and manifestations 
arise from the same source. 
This source is called darkness.

Darkness within darkness. 
The gateway to all understanding"

Lao Tzu, "Tao Te Ching", Chapter 1, translated by Stephen Mitchell, HarperCollins, 1988


Meeting with Resistance

Unfortunately many people are not ready to receive true spiritual support. They may arrogantly "think that they already know everything. Their preferences, attachments, delusions, and self deceit mechanisms may thus be very strong. Although they may be asking for help or support, they are not ready to receive it causally. As above they are merely asking to have their pre-existing preferences reinforced -- their conceit and delusions massaged. They are looking for ego strokes (false or compensatory pride) due to an inner split, need, lack and discomfort -- due to a fundamental lack of self esteem -- which is due to that heretofore mentioned inner lack, separation, or hollowness.

Being locked into, fixated fascinations and hypnotized to that which is holding one back (old conceptual dysfunctional patterns, vasana (past habits), karma (negative programming), samskara (past imprints), and kleshas(afflictive emotions), then truth and awareness will be resisted by these pre-programmed conditions of ignorance (avidya). Most often our problems persist because of being attached to the limited context or view point in which we state our situation. When we are "lost', we are always lost in the head -- in concepts and pramana, which stem from the same frozen frames held in stasis by those past habits, tendencies, impressions (samskara), afflictive emotions (kleshas), beliefs, and karma to which we grasp upon as life boats, but are in reality the anchors which drown us in suffering (samsara). They are the anchors that support the Wheel of Life and Death (samsara) not liberation.

When we do not validate "the others" illusion or ignorance, such may appear to the needy ego as an attempt to invalidate them or attack them. It may be interpreted as anger, as an attack, as condemnation, scolding, blame, control, or intimidation. Such relationships are best avoided. A student must be ready, open, humble, and unattached, other wise both the teacher and the student create more grief.

In the end, a true seeker on the spiritual path is seeking TRUTH; not something that reinforces a personal bias. preference, prejudice, or predilection, but a universal unconditioned TRUTH. Such is the nature of true Dharma. This quest for TRUTH requires unwavering dedication, devotion, and concentration. Here one can not be successful if they are are swayed by ego delusion or self deceit. One has to abandon resistance in order to embrace the truth at every juncture or else one becomes stuck.

Thus bringing one's demon world, delusion, shadow world, or illusions into the light of awareness may be resisted by the ego's strong attachments to self deceit, preference, predilection, or conceit. It may also be recognized as a threat to the ego and hence the messenger is perceived as the enemy or bringer of ego pain. Such is too common to those lost in delusion and denial. On one side there is the token statement; "I want help/support", but there is the unstated implicit condition; that one does not want to change one's "reality", life style, identifications, graspings, or delusions. So here the spiritual friend's (benefactor) heart/wisdom must be consulted -- patience must be exercised so that even more pain, hurt, or guilt is not created. That does not mean that one needs to look the other way or otherwise reinforce the ignorance. It is a disservice to either scold on one hand or deny the "reality' of the situation according to one's truth, but in such situations where resistance is met, then simply the loving intent beyond the words may be as much as can be given at that time. An inner smile can be the best remedy until the conditions ripen.

When the person is "ready" then more can be offered. When the time is ripe, then the wise spiritual friend (benefactor) can communicate the necessary awareness that is being offered. In this sense support comes from awareness -- from waking up, not catering to some one's game, drama, preferences, attachments, or such ego needs. Here a mahayana buddhist practitioner simply generates the bodhicitta -- the mind of enlightenment to one's spiritual friend as well as to all beings within that greater context where we are all kin -- In All Our Relations. Certainly many more elaborate visualizations can be generated toward realizing spiritual transformation. There are numerous visualization healing practices for example found in the tantras, but none are so profound or as powerful nor as safe than the generation of bodhicitta for there there is no separate benefactor and receiver -- no ego and no separation. Love is the transmitter and the receiver.

Similarly in Theravadin Buddhism, one finds an analogous practice of loving kindness (maitri) where a practitioner surrounds other people with loving intent (past enemies and friends a like). Such practices are found in the "Yoga Sutras" (Pada 1) as well. A guide, benefactor, and/or spiritual friend can thus point us toward that beginningless stable base which is always HERE and which is never changing, but the friend can not do the work for us, they can only help us do our own. We can generate and channel the bodhimind toward others and they can receive its benefits -- it can light up the path, but the other must walk it themselves.

The point here is that although we may wish everyone happiness and the end to their sorrow, all living beings are restricted to old age, sickness, and death. Since it is the clinging/grasping onto temporal/impermanence (that which is always changing by nature) which causes pain and suffering, one does not wish to reinforce dependence upon temporal "reality", but rather effect the realization of the stable base underlying it. Thus the bodhisattva is determined not to further addict other people to such dependence, nor does the bodhisattva waste their time assuaging people's temporal needs, their ego needs, nor support people in that way. Rather the bodhisattva extends lasting happiness free from the causes of suffering to all beings, they help to bring us into that fullness where the mind and happiness is not dependent upon any external object, person, or event. Knowing that Natural Mind free from conditions, then one is free to communicate it in action freely, spontaneously, and naturally.

In other words once one is centered in their core/heart, then they embody this love. The bodhicitta as enlightened action or embodied love flows naturally as the creative expression of beginningless source. Only from that universal stable eternal base as our sole support, all things are known as kin HERE in All Our Relations.

When people see some things as beautiful, 
other things become ugly. 
When people see some things as good, 
other things become bad.

Being and non-being create each other. 
Difficult and easy support each other. 
Long and short define each other. 
High and low depend on each other. 
Before and after follow each other.

Therefore the Master 
acts without doing anything 
and teaches without saying anything. 
Things arise and she lets them come; 
things disappear and she lets them go. 
She has but doesn't possess, 
acts but doesn't expect. 
When her work is done, she forgets it. 
That is why it lasts forever.

Lao Tzu, "Tao Te Ching", Chapter 2, translated by Stephen Mitchell, HarperCollins, 1988

It is not a law of human nature to crave recognition, acceptance, or validation from others, then sadhus in the Himalayas, yogis, and true seekers, whose only concern was their sadhana as a quest for truth would not be human. yet it is a human need in my opinion to ask questions and to wonder. When that openness and wonder becomes stepped on, inhibited,, repressed, suppressed, and blocked, then all sorts of compensatory neurotic diseases can arise as a result. All these neurotic needs/desires and fears (raga/dvesa) syndromes come from a primary split, from the core/heart which will be described.

So I am suggesting that to crave validation/recognition or external acceptance as a symbolic representative replacement for Loving Wholeness is simply a statement of an individual illness that holds true for an estranged being, but not for the human race (not human nature). That illness state should not be prolonged or encouraged. That is not medicine or healing. Rather it is the secondary result of a pre-existing split/trauma or just call it a compensatory desire from a prior estrangement from the Source of true love. What is helpful is entirely different medicine for that condition/conditioning (dysfunctional neural program).

We must learn to be more than humble and surrender the false identifications joyfully moving into Wholeness and Completeness which is completely fulfilling. we must learn to open up the neural pathways (nadis), heart, and mind in All Our Relations. Half way never feels good. If we can't learn and never admit an error (always must be perfect and validated), then that really indicates a even a more severe affliction. So being validated or recognized for what other people may agree with as being "good", can and does for many people take them to an extreme need of craving to be always accepted/validated by others, but we recognize that trait of conformity in our society of course do we not. Taken to the other extreme (of radical non-conformity and non-validation) could be the orange hair, punk movement, and other "anti-social" activity until they become "popular and conformist or "in". Similarly fear of being not accepted, approved or belonging is a another result of this neurotic desire which is spawned from that primary split/inhibition and dissociation.

There exists a huge psychological syndrome built around validation, conformity, and acceptance. That is not a new subject in psychoanalysis which is usually framed in terms of the superego, parental authority, social norms, and issues of conscience and self worth. But we will not be able to go deeply into such mechanisms of guilt and estrangement here, albeit they show up and are very common in terms of everyday control mechanisms, social dynamics, motivational research, marketing, and Madison Avenue dictated political policy making.

The most misused perversion of talking in generalities (and commonly used in the justification of war, rape, plunder, and exploitation) is that it is "human nature to be competitive" which is an inappropriate social misapplication of Darwin's biological observations, while negating the necessity of social cooperation in nature such as found in species of bees, ants, and many other species. One can go on with such examples, but I think that this gets down to (imo) that we are suffering (imo) from the lack of a caring/loving community/society in general -- the lack of other people being in their hearts and expressing that love and/or at the same tome us being able to hear/see or recognize that potential). In a reverse way I observe/recognize the lack of that love in social manifestation . By recognizing that as a lack, I bring attention to the absence of the sacred and hence to its potential. If I do not recognize it, I ignore the lack of the sacred and hence the sacred itself.

This syndrome as a neurotic need or craving often appears pathologically in reverse, as a manifestation of that lack of love. In that state of dis-ease people often resent/hate other people even more than their need for acceptance (which is always the result of not being "in love"). When we do not reside in our hearts or fall victim to external circumstances, where we are drawn out even more out of our core/heart center, we resent even more those who do not give us what we crave/desire even if it is in the form pf psychic support. Although vicious syndromes are often formed in that way, in either case it is our responsibility to rest in the heart/core as our home - always and allways. And so forth.... As you see this subject of love or "lack of" can be talked "about" endlessly, yet the core of such seems to be the discursive around the essential primal spiritual split.

So to get to the core, we are not reinforcing (compensatory/neurotic) carnal love, but rather the opposite, that connection/union with essential Self -- the Universal Self or Boundless Mind, which is widely ignored/obscured in the conditioned external culture. When this essentially transpersonal primal unity is broken (through negative conditioning) and thus ignored en masse, then subject/object duality and all it's neurotic desires (seeking unification with objects or similar compensatory substitute desires) become nourished/fed. Such is the basis of dissipation, diversion, and dissolution (imo) which is addressed by yoga (as a reversal of such). Some of those well known substitutions are a craving for ego pride, flattery, praise, ego validation, comparative ambition, competition, acceptance/recognition given by others; and on the other hand, as a result an [b]aversion[/b] for not receiving such, an aversion for condemnation, rejection, sense of abandonment, being an outcast, or non-conformist, and so forth like that.

I think we can if we are conscious step out of that vicious cycle, but most of us have to make a conscious effort to do so. It starts by beginning to recognize where our needs for validation come from and who/what is desiring validation; i.e., is it the neurotic ego by desiring status symbols, privilege, control, comparative power, symbols of political correctness, and/or satisfying the standards of our peers, authority figures, priesthood, parents, or superego; or on the other hand can we give that neurotic craving up and concentrate more on affirming that Divine Self or true/valid Self which has become obscured via the negative conditioning process from early age and thus reclaim our birth right?

That is where yoga, Self, and self worth, and residing in well being/self acceptance is re-discovered. With that the yearning for external validation and support is totally defeated. That is where we should always direct our intention/awareness. When we are feeling totally connected, the ego is dissolved, and we feel no lack, no need, deeply fulfilled to our toes, interconnected and beyond validation. Only love and bliss and the pouring forth of such spontaneously without dependence upon results. Actually for a yogi this is a very common feeling in Sat Chit Ananda.


Moving into the Heart/Core


From the Chandogya Upanishad


"Within the city of Brahman, which is the body, there is the heart, and within the heart is a little house.

This house has the shape of a Lotus, and within it dwells that which is to be sought after, inquired about, and realized.

What, then, is that which dwells within this little house, this lotus of the heart? What is it that must be sought after, inquired about, and realized?

Even so large as the universe outside is the universe within the lotus of the heart. Within it are heaven and earth, the sun, the moon, the lightning and all the stars. Whatever is in the macrocosm is in this microcosm also.

All things that exist, all beings and all desires, are in the city of Brahman; what, then, becomes of them when old age approaches and the body dissolves in death?

Though old age comes to the body, the lotus of the heart does not grow old. It does not die with the death of the body.

The lotus of Brahman, where Brahman resides in all his glory — that, and not the body, is the true city of Brahman.

Brahman, dwelling therein, is untouched by any deed, ageless, deathless, free from grief, free from hunger and from thirst.

Seeking validation, approval , or support from others is part of the sickness. It is a reflection of not being in our core/heart, not being in love, and in a secondary way as a reflection in living in a society where the core/heart values are not amplified -- where they are subjugated for materialistic values and hence one then NEUROTICALLY feels validated by fancy cars, money, status, privilege, power, titles, clothes, fancy large homes, and other accumulations of more worthless "things".

That kind of latter need for validation/sanction or approval thus is a sickness. I'd just like to differentiate between that neurotic craving and the context of the end of the need for external validation; i.e., when we feel complete, whole, fulfilled, and connected -- when the inner validation has become completely satisfied despite having experienced the negative conditioning which severed the primary connection with that innate original wholeness.

In even a less obvious way when we reflect that the whole is absent, then we are still pointing to the whole, but if we ignore its absence, then we also ignore its presence. Thus pointing out the absence of the sacred, reminds us also of its presence.

Maybe this might be a different way of saying the same thing? If we are in a learning mode, then like being instructed in the university of living spirit, what do we truly want validated? Is it our prejudice, previous ignorance or are we really open to learning something beyond that – to wake up?

Thus "what" we desire for validation is crucial because many people just desire fairy tales, pats on the back, support for their pre-existing position, kind words, or solace being told that they are "right" and "good" even when they may be making a mistake. We have all witnessed that, so do we encourage/feed or cater to that? Although such is common is that not a counterproductive/dysfunctional trait that precludes learning? Does that really do anyone a favor in the long run? Yes, perhaps if the person is not ready to wake up. How does anybody learn if we do that (pretend that they are wearing beautiful clothes while in fact they are naked)?

If we just want to feel good about ego or sense of comparative self worth, then we can buy into the best story -- the best flatterer or cajoler or liar -- the best fantasy or illusion – self conceit/deceit just as well as anything else which appeals to the ego’s insatiable need for self worth; i.e., pride (asmita). That is why there is a scarcity of awakened/liberated beings on the planet, because the focus toward satya/asteya – the pursuit of truth, honesty, and self study is not dominant -- is so vulnerable toward seduction, corruption, diversion and dissuasion.

So to remember the inescapable fact that if we crave and become subject to, or dependent upon, external or social validation processes, then we are subject/dependent upon external invalidation processes just as well, unless that external social validation points us to Self by freeing us eventually from the social need. Only then will social interaction will become less neurotic/needy, but rather really healthy.

Some people prefer to be told who they are and enjoy the social approval situation. Indeed it may seem more solid and real for them as it has an external basis. They desire external structure and order, and feel secure there like little children given safe and definable boundaries. But not everyone is like that.

The other extreme may be the validation that comes from practice -- direct core experience, where say for example one meditates in a cave, or forest, or practices yoga in a less artificial or conditioned setting seeking Self realization/recognition in terms of a universal community/family devoid of social mores or temporal manmade norms. I think the advantage of the latter however is that it is not dependent upon the vicissitudes of others -- of approval, recognition, invalidation, aversion, or craving, but is perhaps more liberating -- not that I am suggesting that experiencing a meditation retreat or the engagement upon internal practices are for everyone.

However I suggest that once one intimately experiences yoga as one’s core experience then one can contribute much more to the community of living spirit more expediently/functionally. Then I imagine that the celebration of Spirit will get in full swing!

So what do you think? “Real” friends would not contribute to our bondage, our ignorance, or suffering, right? Rather true friends are the sangha (spiritual friends) -- All Our Relations -- those who reflect back to us the truth, the dharma (the true teachings which liberate), and the Buddha (the guru who dispels the shadow world of ignorance, delusions, suffering, bondage, and affliction). Those are called the three treasures and are thus are the traditional noble objects of refuge in Buddhism. More on that later.

Rather the more common unfortunate plight is that people who are suffering from one particular bias, prejudice, and disease take refuge in each other's similar mind-sets, predilections, bias, and prejudices, thus reinforcing and amplifying the very disease that they need to release – the very lesson that they need to learn. That type of support group is more like a cheer leading team -- but it creates dysfunction as we will see. Only a moron would surround themselves by dishonest obsequious "yes men", but such is the ego's need for self gratification and reinforcement. They too often act as mutual inhibitors easing the ego pain of self recrimination which is merely a symptom forestalling of letting go and surrender to the truth. Hence one becomes comfortable in having their symptoms treated while confusing that as friendship, support, and well being to a point where some one becomes addicted to chronically seek out their bondage to chronic disease, rather than its cure.Such structure, being ordered, well defined, and familiar offer a false sense of security. It is false because it is slavery. The bars may create an aura of safety, but one finds them on the wrong side of the bars. Unfortunately for those who are frightened out of their wits, at least slavery is the best that they feel that they can cope with. Of course it is far more functional to receive the feedback and dialogue with creative thinkers who are capable of critical thought.

Demagogues and tyrants take advantage of man's confusion, fear, anger, guilt, and hatred where man's internal diseases, fears, tensions, conflicts, inner wars are not resolved. These confused minds unconsciously externalize -- seeing in the world through a biased lens caused by a semi-opaque lens and filter. This externalization of man's unresolved inner war spiritual war which is really fought on the spiritual planes, thus plagues the earth until man wakes up. It is really based on denial of the truth, by the ego (delusion). The ego having disowned the reality of his authentic self, disowns/denies the disowning, and then disowns/denies that he is disowning the disowning, and so forth fabricating defense lines that insulate the ego from the assault of truth upon its dearly beloved delusion. Thus to an ego oriented person who is trapped in that cycle, nothing serves his devious purpose better than an evil enemy. Being the foe of evil, one automatically is elevated to being good and righteous. That is why elite demagogues are so successful because they know how to manipulate people's inner afflictions, estrangement, grief, and lack of self worth. This error in thinking is coming to its logical conclusion as ego oriented people, their institutions, and leaders are self suffocating and self destructing.

In modern life this group self sabotage has been become reinforced through the group delusion and derision fed by national and international television which repeats the same illusions/delusions around the globe simultaneously to billions of human minds. This new delusional afflictive mechanism is new to humanity. Since so many people “tune in” and are so affected, this accounts for the widespread dysfunction, self imposed affliction. Mass delusion, and shortsighted bondage found in the world today. Of course people have been deluded en masse for thousands of years, but such has never been heretofore orchestrated en masse effectively through a wide reaching technology previously.

Unacknowledged reinforcement of our predilections, prejudice, bias, and ethnocentrism does not serve us, rather it serves asmita (arrogance, pride, bigotry, contempt, self importance, sense of separateness, aloofness, and the like). In short it reinforces the ego, verses the ever freshness of the boundless transpersonal non-dual Mind which is our primary base providing our sense of wholeness, security, well being, and support.

It then depends on who it is that we call the Self. If it is that innate Love and beauty inside us that is seeking permission to be, then yes some people or things can bring that out, and help reveal it in grace; but it is in the last analysis, that some thing inside (as Self Realization) has to click. Although some people can go to gurus, nature, classes, or holy books for that possibility, in the long run one has to be pointed back inside, and that is why Self recognition as a self validation (in the spiritual sense) is never found outside (at least not exclusively). In fact that is the opposite direction where people remain chronically externalized and misguided, of course. In other words the best teacher/teachings bring us into Self Realization and liberation – “Self” recognition.

So it depends on not only “where” we are looking and “who” is looking, but “how” we are looking. For example we can find “the true Self” in dhyana (as sitting meditation) or even in asana if we are using yoga as a spiritual discipline without going to a human guru/teacher. That is indeed the purpose of yoga sadhana (to find the true innate infallible self inside). Again that does not mean that external teachers can not help point that out to us as long as they point us back inside removing the veil of ignorance, allowing eventually the authentic innate teacher its dynamic activation and expression. Indeed a deep sense of interconnectedness brings about all the self worth and validation that anyone needs. This is experienced as resting in our dynamic core/heart experience. This is found in our practice and as a palpable experience. Indeed yoga does work if we allow for it sincerely and completely!

So just the “need” for support or external validation means that we are not centered in our core heart. We are not deeply residing in who we truly are -- inside the pulsating palace of living spirit where no outside validations are necessary. That is Sat Chit Ananda -- True Being and Existence -- Pure Consciousness and Bliss all rolled up as one. That is who we really truly are -- the authentic self in Tat Tvam Asi -- We are That. That is who we truly are as in our true identity when the yoga is completed as swarupa. Hari Om Tat Sat. There is no other.

Can we really get support from outside? Only if the outside helps us find that inner support – only once we KNOW that individual others can not be the base of our support, but rather the all inclusive all taken together as the whole includes the Self -- Brahman and Atman are truly one, but only we were diverted by its clothing (Maya).

Patanjali says in the Yoga Sutras:

II 46. sthira-sukham asanam

Asana should be self supporting, balanced, (sthira) and joyful (sukham). Asana should be balanced and hold itself up by itself. Our stance and position in life (asana) should support us raising us up joyfully.

This can also be interpreted as we rest upon our stable seat (asana) in steady joyousness. Here asana means seat which is the the physical seat of spirit. As such when aligned properly asana brings in the steady spiritual joy.

II 47. prayatna-saithilyananta-samapattibhyam

This profound state of balance and synchronicity (samapattibhyam) is accomplished through progressive and continuous relaxation (prayatna-saithilya) by aligning within the great self existing, self supporting, and self animating (ananta) endless Flow and Intelligence which always awaits the true seeker as the Great Continuum (Infinite Mind).

So speaking of asana as the seat or base support mechanism, Patanjali in the yoga Sutras says that it is the result of an inner balanced synchronicity and continuous release of any outward grasping.

We do not get support from other people – they can only point us back to Self or remind us of the Boundless Mind. At other times we become dependent upon “others” and are subject to their praise or blame or fickleness. It is not "the other" that is causal here (although they may act as a trigger, but how the body/mind processes the stimuli or information -- what we make out of it that is certainly worth looking at. Any thing that creates tension, stress, or conflict diverts spirit from its true seat.

II 48. tato dvandvanabhighatah

Asana resolves opposition.

This way the polarities (dvandva) support each other (creating ascension in the central channel-- holding the spine erect by itself). Here lightness is achieved and gross heaviness and coarseness is replaced with increasingly more subtle qualities of levitation and timelessness until the never-ending absolute is touched.

Commentary: A literal translation is: From such asana practice as described above (tato) one becomes invulnerable from the assaults (anabhighatah) of duality (dvandva). Here Patanjali is saying that in successful asana practice there is a mutually uplifting self supporting balance which is realized where the apparent conflicting dualistic energies are harnessed and synchronized effortlessly acting as harmonious team or whole so that the position becomes self supporting, self sustaining, and self animating. One becomes balanced and sattvic and radiates this harmony in HERE in All Our Relations

II 49. tasmin sati svasa-prasvasayor gati-vicchedah pranayamah

[After establishing a firm foundation or seat -- balance with freedom from duality in asana] then (tasmin) the foundation for the next stage is established (sati) which is called called pranayama or the bringing forth and extending the life energy in this embodiment (sati). Pranayama is accessed through breaking down and analyzing (vicchedah) the procession (gati) of the individual aspects (vicchedah) of the dynamic motions and energetic processions underlying the heretofore unconscious (gati) processes of inspiration (svasa) and expiration (prasvasayor) [as these dynamics operate and flow through the body/mind matrix].

Commentary: A more succinct translation is that from success in asana there (tasmin) is established a firm foundation (sati) to observe and analyze (vicchedah) the processes (gati) of inhalation (svasa) and exhalation (prasvasayor) in order to effect the flow of prana more extensively (in the body/mind). But what must be emphasized here is that prana means energy, not breath, so at best we can see that the observation of the breath is a coarse method to get us more in touch with the more subtle energy and wholistic neurological processes underlying the breathing process. In short pranayama is to proceed from this steady joyful self supporting non-dual base.

Simply and concisely this sutra describes a yogic practice called pranayama where one starts off by first taking asana as described immediately previously, then placing one's attention upon the inhalation and exhalation of the breath in order to extend and refine (ayama) the prana. Here Patanjali is explicit that pranayama is an awareness/observation practice, not a mechanical willful practice.

Here one helps some one who is asking for support, by bringing them into that breath with supports and upholds them. Once pranayama is effected, then one is self supported.

II 52. tatah ksiyate prakasa-avaranam

From that (tatah) [successful practice of pranayama] the obscuration which is the veil (avaranam) of the inner light (prakasa) is dissolved (ksiyate).

Commentary: Eventually liberation is gained through conscious awareness or grace. HERE the yogi communes with the infinite Source of prana, and thus, simultaneously, the heretofore suppressed inner light which has been covered (avarana) by the veil of ignorance is released into spontaneous self effulgence. Here the cit-prana is no longer dissipated and extracted outward, but rather the practitioner is firmly wedded to the path -- the pathways are opened and energized. As a result of pranayama practice, the heretofore obscured or latent potential of inner light is disclosed as the embodiment of shakti kundalini -- the evolutionary power. Through the activation of our innate creative evolutionary power (kundalini) the dormant circuitry including the chakras (wheels of light) are activated. From here, the innate power and intelligence of the life force (prana) as it flows throughout our embodiment is acknowledged, starts to take over, and instruct spontaneously, freely, and naturally in the expression of that eternal union of spirit and nature. Nature is never separate from spirit, in Reality.

In short, there exists a great deception that is being promoted world wide. To support that deception is one way of gaining a sense of identity and security. But it is based on delusion, falsehood, impermanence, duality, greed, control over others, fear, pride, and all the other myriad afflictions (kleshas). The opposite support base is eternal, absolute, universal, and real. Truth reveals it. Few men know it and live by it. A true friend acts as a true spiritual teacher who destroys our delusions/illusions while elucidating the truth. Rather than catering to compensatory prideful needs of the ego, a true friend does not feed such, but rather points the way to the authentic "self" -- one's highest evolutionary potential.

In beginning Buddhism one is taught how to take refuge in the three gems or treasures, the Buddha (the innate awakening one), the Dharma (eternal truth), and the Sangha (the community of truth and light holders of the path). At first, to most, it may seem like one is taking refuge in externals, like another person called the Buddha, the dharma teachings such as the sutras and tantras, or the community of dharma practitioners such as monks or nuns or other practitioners on the path. Here one may think monasteries with golden buddhas, gurus, libraries, ceremonies, prayers, practices, and faithful practitioners, etc. Or one may think of the vatican, the pope, the cardinals, bible, choir, and congregation. Or one may think of a sheikh, golden mosque, the Koran, and the faithful. But no, that is only the superficial gross and material interpretation for those who need tangible physical hard "evidence". That has been a difficult impenetrable trap and addiction for many. Supporting students on that quest may be likened to fraud or betrayal. Best not to reinforce this error in thinking. Although the original teachings of most religion were genuinely aimed at liberation, these teachings have become perverted, corrupted, and self serving.

The inner meaning is that the Buddha is inside you and all beings, albeit mostly dormant. By taking refuge in that you are recognizing that innate potential in All Our Relations. In turn through that you are activating it, recognizing it, bringing it forward, allowing for it to blossom in the light of day. That is excellent medicine! That Buddha nature inside is inside true being (pursues) which is also universal in nature. Buddha here is the primordial Buddha (vajradhara is one name for him). As such he/she resides in the dharmakaya (formless timeless realm) and is always teaching dharma. At the same time,but perhaps far removed from any intellectual grasping is that all beings and things act as open doorways to that simultaneous Buddhaverse/multiverse where Infinite Creative Potential merges HERE in All Our Relations . When all beings and things are known as kin and we abide in solidarity with that Great Family of all beings (not separate or apart) then the worlds of nirvana or samsara, the relative or absolute, form or void, become non-dual metaphors. HERE in the sacred NOW presence all universes and dimensions meet and from HERE WE reside as the Ongwhehonwhe, the Zaddick, or the selfless Bodhisattva.

The inner meaning of dharma is taking refuge in the truth (the uncontrived natural union of relative and absolute truth) -- the true teachings of Buddha which are beyond words, ineffable, indescribable, always available if one knows the language beyond human language, beyond sound, beyond human eyes, and form, but which encompasses and interpenetrates all form. "It" (such as-it-is) is both contained inside of form and is its containerless container. is-what-is as-it-is without bias or distortion. It is universal truth not limited by time, place or condition. Dharma is to be experienced now always, but few people are counted among its lovers or dedicated devotees.

Sangha means the community of those on the path. In a sense every being is on the path to some extent and as such it best to see everyone's buddha nature in this context, rather than just in the monks or practitioners. More so however the sangha are those who reflect the dharma, honor and acknowledge it HERE in All Our Relations. They reflect the mirror for us to see ourself in the light of truth -- thus they remove the darkness. In the larger sense, then since we all have Buddha nature, the sangha is the enlightened community of All Our Relations. The living sangha includes All Our Relations and is All Our Relations although some may call it the gurukula or the Ongwhehonwhe.

The search for external support structures which support the spiritual growth parallels the search for a perfect society -- one that nurtures happiness and our creative potential. Intentional communities, spiritual communities, the Essenes, Ashrams, churches, monasteries, gurukulums, religious states -- all have been tried. When a society is based on the awakening of the transpersonal non-dual heart/core which is all pervasive and holographic in nature, then a lasting peace and happiness will be supported. Perhaps the true worth of a society, nation, or institution is to be judged on such criteria. As long as the inner spirit is nourished and present, man's activities will reflect that. Nothing should pervert that process or stand in its way. Learning requires a certain amount of humility while arrogance and pride resists it.

Water the Roots
That hole
That empty space
In the middle of your church

Honor and recognize that love!

Fill it with your gifts
Our love
Our living Prayers
and Dance

Dance in the Light

For Ever


These places are to be visited energetically and experientially through practice. The ground and core/heart teachings of yoga (should anyone inquire) is exactly relevant to what we have been exploring here, as it is not a belief, it is not conceptionally based, it is not based on ego or ignorance, nor words That ground is what the meditation brings us into awareness of. It is the duality/ delusions, and ignorance that has to be busted up and let go – the ego clinging. How that is accomplished, is what the spiritual aspirant is truly inquiring about.

"Gate gate paragate para samgate bodhi swaha" is the quintessential mantra of the Heart Sutra, which is the condensation of the Prajnaparamita. That is the teaching of emptiness – sunyata which is best translated as boundless openness. In that teaching there is no separate self of person or object rather it is the statement that we are all inter-connected -- interdependent. In simple terms, the wave doesn't’t exist devoid of the ocean. In the same way this is the fundamental text of the Madhyamika or middle way teachings stating quite obviously the ground for subject/object non-duality.

Nagarjuna and Chandrakrti (two of the most well known commentators on the Prajnaparamita Sutra call this the ground of the Madhyamika (middle path) teachings which is an elaboration of the Mahayana. In other words, the basis or ground of the teachings does truly exist, but it is called sunyata (emptiness, empty space, spaciousness, or boundless Mind) which is the basis of non-dual reality. Of course it is to be experienced. The general warnings given in all Middle Path teachings is to avoid the two extremes between nihilism (that nothing exists) and absolutism (that everything exists as separate phenomena. These two extremes are pandemic, I will not go into what is not, but just offer up some clarity on the ground and basis which are considered in the Heart Sutra to be very cogent (sunyata). Later some teachers said that this also could be called the Great Completion (Dzogchen), but we will stop here except to say that the basis is certainly not ego, preconceptions, belief systems, dogma, words, bibles, texts, or words. The relevancy of sunyata or dzogchen to meditation is obvious if we are emptying out the limitations of words, conceptional thought patterns, and ordinary thinking patterns, and going to the place beyond words and other manmade symbolic representations of “REALITY” AS IT IS (swarupa).

The yogis take this realization of the Madhyamika into the central/middle column which they sometimes call Madhyama or Avadhuti but it is the same as the sushumna. Energetically that is where the heart/core resides – when the impurities ad obstructions are emptied).

Thus openness is a better translation for sunyata as no constructed thing has its own reality. The teachers emphasize this very special point, that sunyata is not to be taken as a nihilistic nothingness. So I think it might be best to read and study the Heart Sutra, before taking its mantra, gate gate paragate para samgate bodhi svaha, to indicate an empty groundlessness. Indeed sunyata itself is the true ground and basis as it is essentially non-dual.

Thus it often seems ridiculous that so many volumes have been written on interpreting the Prajnaparamita Sutras where Avalokitesvara simply is saying that no "thing" or self exists separate by itself (no wave without the ocean). When this universal reality is realized energetically, then one is connected very deeply residing in the core/heart center. Sunyata, as such, is a core teaching. It is thus called the ground. Without the realization of sunyata (so it is taught), the realization of true compassion is not possible.

Thus it is one of the tantric vows not to mislead people or confuse them by discussing sunyata except with people who have been prepared -- otherwise preconceptions will be reinforced which will preclude realization when circumstances are ripe.

"The synthetical whole cannot be grasped as knowledge, but it is at work at the ground of knowledge. For a while psychology without a soul (Psychologie ohne Seele) enjoyed a vogue among experiential psychologists who sought to view the soul from the standpoint of knowledge. [But] the soul in its entirety cannot be understood from the standpoint of knowledge. It would be better to say that the soul is not the object of knowledge, but is at work at the ground of knowledge. In works such as the Treatise on the Middle (Chu-ron), sunyata/emptiness is being viewed from the standpoint of knowledge and that is why it appears to be empty; in fact, it is a powerful force in [our] actual existence/reality; [it {sunyata} is] the power of life giving shape to the ground of knowledge. This is the content of our affectivity/feelings, the basis of [our] beliefs. I am unable to explain it but the power of convictions are being forcefully expressed in the real world.

If we think deeply, this could even be the content of [our] life. Our true life is the same as [our] affectivity/feelings, and it is in the form of [our] affectivity/feelings that the content of our life is expressed. [Our] true experiences are expressed in the form of [our] affectivity/feelings."

from Nishida Kitaro


Really this is not realized through thinking. True self awareness is also called the foundational ground of primordial purity (or foundational kathok, Tib.) – this is called the foundational Dharmakaya in Mahamudra in the absolute sense – empty of cognition, the cognizer, and object of cognition. It is also called the Natural Mind -- it is Pure self Awareness. It is also called true self cognizance or clarity. In short, sunyata is not about knowledge in the ordinary/dualistic sense, but rather is the basis of what is known in gnosis. It is rather true self awareness, because it is non-dual. it is empty of cognition or any object of cognition. There is no referent in non-duality. The basis of self awareness is the instrument to realize the true nature of mind. Sunyata (or the true nature of mind) is realized through meditation.

Now this is rather advanced, Dzogchen and Mahamudra being advanced practices, so all one has to do is consider this to be sunyata. By advanced, this means after one has practiced consistently over time, one will be ready to understand the truth of these profound teachings. In the meanwhile, it is sufficient to consider this a result of when the mind has become free of dualistic bias, prejudice, or ignorance.

This should not be thought of as being complex, rather the dualistic mind makes it appear complex. In reality it is very very simple and direct, but it can't be understood/known conceptionally -- in terms of words. Thinking about it is not sufficient, rather it most often makes it seem ridiculous. However, silent sitting meditation practice, does make this all clear, if we practice consistently. In this yogic approach of practice, it is not necessary to think "about" these things at all, rather live it! However to speak about it, may create confusion (it could go on for volumes), yet we can speak about the practice. All that is necessary is to EMPTY MIND -- OPEN HEART!

The ordinary person immersed in ego delusion does not like the direct style and often feels attacked or affronted by it. Thus the effectiveness of a teaching depends on who one is teaching and what the needs and limitations of the teacher are. A teacher as a spiritual friend, is simply SHARING what they have learned out of compassion. Such a teacher can not successfully hoard that or withhold it without causing harm to self and/or others. Sometimes it is best to say nothing (but intend everything), rather than to risk confusion or the possibility of misleading another with words. Indeed bodhisattvas have to sometimes avoid commenting to certain people who consistently become disturbed by authenticity. The ego is nothing at all except self deceit.

I think it's clear that ordinary dualistically enmeshed people are not very spiritually ripened. they can easily feel personally attacked if one gets too deep with them. Their level of spiritual commitment will vary, but certainly there are many people who are new to much of this and are very causal about spiritual practice and yoga, if not schizoid and/or self contradictory. Deluded people will seek reinforcement for their predilections, delusions, and pretension. Will the pretensions and masks win, or will Zion be victorious eventually? How many people are ready for the "direct" approach? Unfortunately, not that many.

If resentful or paranoid egos put up landmine fields because they are afraid of going any further in "uncharted" territories, we should refuse to push them of course. To go any further would to be courageous -- extremely compassionate, but too often it would be mostly misinterpreted within the realm of ego as being imposing, pushy, or too forceful. I am reminded of some great teachers who went out of their way to help me, when others would have given up, because I was not entirely ready at the time. At the same time a teacher can't afford to burn oneself out.

So compassionate teachers of the future, I neither encourage you to give up in desiring to help people (in great compassion) nor continue to waste your energy foolishly. Perhaps if our compassion and wisdom were big enough (skilful means) no one would be left in suffering, but such a bodhisattva task is the great endeavor yet to manifest on Gaia. The skilful means (upaya) here is the result of you/us being truly present in the NOW -- the Heart of Wisdom aligned with the integral truth beyond words -- so we will reside HERE with you in THAT.


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