Embrace the Desire for Enlightenment
A precis of a two hour phone conversation with Oshana
The search itself has to consume one -- there has to be a 100% desire to wake up, 100% commitment and a willingness to give up everything else, to sacrifice all of which one thinks one is so that IT can reveal itself as what you really are. The desire for enlightenment must be embraced with your whole being -- it is this that will take you home.
I just got off the phone with Oshana. We talked for about 2 hours; hopefully I can put down the basis of what he said to me here. I wish the conversation had been taped as I can't remember every little detail. I will have to paraphrase much of what Oshana said and I hope in doing so I do not misrepresent or misunderstand what he meant.
We talked about many things, but Oshana's main advice was that I should look at that which is seeking. That which is seeking is IT (IT is seeking ITSELF?). That which is doing the seeking and looking is THAT which I AM. It's a recognition (beyond the words of course). It is pulling one back into ITSELF. He emphasized that embracing the desire for enlightenment is essential. Many teachers talk about giving up the search or quitting seeking, but Oshana clearly said that this is not something one can do if the desire to awaken is sincere. One can force oneself to give up the search, but that is artificial and will only result in pursuing other illusions. This really hit me and like most of what Oshana said, validated what I have intuitively realized myself: that the desire for enlightenment must be embraced with your whole being -- it is THIS that will take you. The search itself has to consume one -- there has to be a 100% desire to wake up, 100% commitment and a willingness to give up everything else, to sacrifice all of which one thinks one is so that IT can reveal itself as what you really are.
Oshana also talked about the difference between NO-MIND and NO-FORM. No-mind is not enlightenment and one can experience this and still come back into mind. No-form is that which is indescribable and unchangeable. In no mind you are eventually pulled backed into the gravitational energy-field of the mind, like a satellite which must crash land back onto the planet it launched from. He said the mind is so small compared to THAT and cannot touch IT. He used the metaphor of a series of circles representing the body, emotions, intuitions, mind, no-mind, etc. No-form is that which is beyond, behind or encompasses all of these areas.
When I asked him about the self (little self, not big Ramana Self), he didn't seem to know how to answer, and I silently laughed because I realized that it doesn't exist. He said that he could see in others -- in their eyes -- that they believed this "self" to be there, but it is only an illusion (I think he called it an energy-field made up of thoughts, emotions, etc.). We talked also about so-called "glimpses" into enlightenment and he stated that for him there was either enlightenment or not. One cannot come back from true enlightenment. It is a permanent perspective shift. The mind's understanding of it, or ability to explain it, may be sharpened, but that cannot touch the enlightened state itself. He said there was no process of enlightenment. It's either there or it isn't. He said one can come back into the mind after enlightenment with no problem (Oshana said the mind was "dusty" and not very interesting -- very limiting, restrictive).
Oshana was easy-going, accessible, and funny, yet very serious in terms of my awakening. I really felt he wanted me to get IT. It was more like talking to an old/new friend -- very comfortable -- a guide more than guru (he POINTS). Do I feel anything different? A little lighter mentally for sure. Fortunately, he did not try to cram any more concepts into my head; in fact we talked about how heavy and burdensome they all are, which is the mistake of Advaita. Maybe the concepts are just "things to do while sitting in the waiting room" until real transmission beyond words can take place (and he emphasized the importance of 1-on-1 transmission with the teacher).
I felt like I knew what Oshana was talking about, could almost "see" it, or at least it tried to peek through -- a pull almost. I can only wait and see if this has any profound or permanent effect on me, or if our conversation will catalyze anything. I am probably forgetting some things here, as I am tired, but I wanted to put down what I could before going to bed. Besides, my mind really doesn't feel like thinking that much right now. I should probably sleep on IT (or is that in IT? or as IT?). One day soon I will perhaps wake up and realize what THAT is all about. Then I'll be finished I suppose. Fine by me.