“It’s The Greatest Thing You Can Learn, So Why Not Learn It?”

6 Sept 98

Things just keep getting more and more interesting. Yesterday I met the homeless lady with Jesus postcards crumpled on her front seat. Tonight in the store I ran into K., a customer of mine who is this immensely intelligent architect who is a vegan and a follower of Khirpal Singh. He had seen me at the Beethoven Club for that meeting with the followers of Thakur Singh (phonetic spelling), and based on that he began explaining to me in a much more comprehensible manner the benefits of his particular form of meditation.

What it boils down to, for him, is that you relax your body, allow your psyche to relax to the point where the unused sense organs in your brain can flourish and grow. The function of these organs is to act like a receiver for a human radio by tuning into the cosmic frequency. If you use your mantra — which you get from a teacher — to keep yourself tuned in to your surroundings, you will be aware of what is going on around you all the time every day. One of the ways that you can do that is to keep a diary: i.e., “I was so pissed at that lady and flipped her the bird,” or perhaps, “I found myself watching for a reason not to help that homeless woman.” I got the impression from K. that the point of the exercise is not to pass judgment on yourself for not living up to a certain standard but rather to keep up awareness of how you are behaving, how you are interacting, perhaps.

Ultimately, he suggests that energy work is very limiting because if you do it with good intent you build up good karma,and if you do it with negative intent you build up bad karma. The point of it all is to build up no karma because, whether good or bad, accruing any karma commits you to returning to this plane again to reap the consequences of that karma, at least in K’s view.

For him, the realization that he is going to die, that I am going to die, that my parents are going to die, that R. is going to die, that we are all going to die and then our bodies are going to rot away — all of this is very liberating. Once a person realizes and acknowledges that, this is the time to give up all impediments to meditation and use the mantra to transcend the body.

He also got into the idea of personal vs. group or sangha enlightenment. He said that originally the Buddha taught the way to personal enlightenment because he realized that you have to begin with each person singly, to turn each person individually, to show each person the Way and give the tools to follow the Little Path. Then, as people come together and sanghas develop, one can begin to affect group change. Then, also, there are Bodhisattvas, people who once enlightened, volunteer to return to this plane and help others become enlightened. The biggest “problem” of all — and everyone has it whether they admit it or not — is that we are all going to die.

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