About Me

Rudy Bauer is a clinical psychologist and practioner of phenomenology and dzogchen awareness. Sharon is a psychotherapist and has practiced and taught meditation for 30 years.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Meditation as Becoming Aware of the Field of Awareness

1. My first meditation teacher, Swami Muktananda,  would  say meditation teaches meditation….so let ‘s begin with a brief  meditation…..since meditation teaches meditation.
Close your eyes and focus within…resting in awareness.  I will give you meditation instructions by Dudjom Rinpoche who was a great Dzogchen Tibetan master .His instructions are so simple and yet contain everything.
By simply relaxing in this uncontrived, open, natural state, we obtain the blessing of aimless self liberation of whatever arises.
2. I am going to read you a poem.  It is called The Song of Awareness…do not worry about the words…let them be in the background of your meditative awareness.
Song of Awareness
I pay homage to the Enlightened Ones of the three times… the past, the present and the future
Who abide in the vastness of the ocean of enlightenment, which is consciousness itself
The qualities of those who practice awareness cannot be measured.
Whoever is able to become aware of the nature of their own awareness, even only for one moment, is so fortunate and on the way to becoming liberated… once they taste the experience of their own consciousness, they can never go back, never again close up so completely… so darkly.
Therefore, experience your awareness in its essence. True enlightenment lies in the essence of your own awareness.
If even for an instant one sees, glimpses, the essence of one’s own awareness field
It is like meeting all of the Enlightened Ones of the three times.
So… who can say you do not know this experience….
It is the same consciousness that thinks, remembers and feels
Just like the miracle of the moon appearing in several bowls of water

Any thought, of all the thoughts that arise, is not something other than that single primordial all encompassing awareness field… so infinite in its horizon
That single state is beyond the limits of a center and its related directions
It is beyond arising, beyond interruptions; it is beyond coming and going, beyond appearing and disappearing
The essence, self originated from the very beginning, is completely pure… completely untouched
The awareness, which is like the sky has no base or root, it is completely pervasive… completely vast
This awareness field is the source of both transmigration and enlightenment
 To be in this awareness is beyond the mind, and so it is very difficult to express in words
 If one wants to explain it, it is like an endless ocean of knowledge
Pure from the very beginning, it is beyond names and explanations
Yet there are unending names and explanations pointing to it
Whomever has not experienced this primordial awareness may think, may really think that each of the innumerable names defines something different and
That all of the scriptures are marvelous, but some are really better than others
If one were to spend their entire life writing, this great subject would not be exhausted and will never be exhausted
This naked state is the clarity and the light of one’s own awareness
Knowing this, tasting this experience, out of oneness one knows the whole of existence and is intimately connected to everyone and everything….out of oneness
Just like the eagle, King of the birds, leaves all the mountains below
When it flies into the sky…the wide open sky
If you can realize the knowledge of your own awareness field, there is nothing else to meditate on, nothing else to do

If one can come to know this experience precisely, knowing this everything becomes
liberated….every thought, every experience, every condition
This all happens in the context of your own life and your own situation… Just As It Is!
Then whatever of the various visions and experiences manifested by your own mind arise
It is like the trail of a bird flying in the sky, or drawing on the water with your finger tips
Without any goal, without any aim, without any target, in the great all pervading limitless state
Remain in the Great Joy, which is liberation from the beginning, beyond transmigration and beyond enlightenment
In that nature of the awareness field, which is innate dharmakaya
Remain in sky –like awareness… remain in luminous spaciousness which has no root and no base
Remain in that nature of the awareness, which is uninterrupted sambhogakaya… that is the experience of the qualities and dimensions of the field of consciousness experienced as the Divine Deities and Divine Dakinis
Remain in the condition of clarity which is the wisdom of recognition of your own state, your own state of being…your own light
Remain in the nature of unfolding awareness which is nirmanakaya, which is this awareness field manifesting in different forms…..including your own form, your own mind, your own body, your own situation, your own karma
Remain in the condition of the great vastness of all-pervading space….extending the horizons
Remain in the luminous clarity that is beyond thoughts and affects and fantasy
Remain purposeless in the completely pure condition…so subtle …so present…so simple …so silent
Remain in this space of self liberation where there is no dualism of transmigration and enlightenment…..remain in this space life after life …death after death

Remain in this space beyond observer and observed, beyond subject and beyond otherness
Remain in the Oneness of the energy field
Remaining in the condition where there is no doubt
Through the power of this text, the Song of the awareness field as the nature of Existence, may all beings obtain the benefit of natural enlightenment
The meditation practice of becoming aware of awareness is found in many traditions, including Dzogchen Tibetan Buddhism as well as western Phenomenology. Namkai Norbu, a contemporary master, says Dzogchen does not belong to any religion, it is the very nature of human awareness to become aware of its own self (both within our self and within the self of others) This naturalistic and experiential understanding is expressed By Dudjom Rinpoche this way although hundreds of thousands of explanations are given, there is only one thing to be understood; know the one thing that liberates everything…awareness itself, your true nature.
4. To become aware of awareness you must suspend your mind a little and free your awareness to rest within its own self…Often we are located in our mind so we pause or suspend our mind or a function of the mind in order to refocus awareness within awareness itself. When you begin to become aware of your own awareness, you may experience and discover that your mind is not your awareness; there is a difference between being in your mind and being within awareness. Awareness is not a thought; awareness is not an affect, or a sensation.  Awareness is not a fantasy or a memory, but rather awareness is simply open knowingness….a non conceptual knowingness…a gaze of direct perception, gnosis.
5. Often our first step is to shift out of our analytic mind, and by suspending being located in the mind or specific function of the mind, we can become aware of our mind. We gaze at thoughts, gaze at feelings, gaze at sensations, gaze at memory, gaze at otherness, and the world.   At this moment we are experientially near, closer to experience, to the felt sense. We are not in the mind but are aware of the mind .This very powerful practice is the basis of many experiential therapies and meditations.
6. But if you wish in time you can make one more suspension, you suspend your awareness of the mind and objects of the mind, and turn your gaze back on itself, you gaze into the gaze...You gaze into awareness itself. And in so doing, you enter into awareness and even become awareness itself, you embody awareness...In gazing into awareness, the qualities of awareness begin to manifest; including the quality of

spaciousness or openness or emptiness, the quality of the energy or qi or shakti, vibrancy, the quality of the light - clarity, radiance, lucidity, the quality of oneness, the oneness of the field, the oneness of great compassion. As the qualities of awareness manifest , you may discover that this awareness is a field and awareness has field characteristics, it opens and closes, contracts and expands, it has depth and breath, and goes beyond the body. It fills the in between.
7. This awareness field has power. The first power of the awareness field is that it becomes the base of your experience, rather then the mind or even a particular function of the mind. The awareness field and the qualities of the awareness field spaciousness, energy, lucidity and oneness become the base of our experience…the container. The mind and the functions of mind can be integrated into this base of awareness, this base of oneness. And so our mind begins to experience itself in the oneness of the field, and the functions of the mind are infused by the awareness field. You begin to live in and through the field. This is a Path of natural liberation.
8. The second power of the field is that a person can more easily dissolve negative states of mind and negative states of experience into the awareness field. The field has a metabolizing or dissolving capacity or assimilation of experience. This allows a person to enter into various experiences and metabolize them. When one has little awareness, the metabolizing capacity is greatly limited and one lives with much unresolved experience and much unresolved unformulated experience. Unthought but known.
9. A third power of the awareness field is the field can become not only the base within a person; the field can become a base between two people or even a group of people. When the field of awareness is between two people, the field gives a base and support for the relatedness of the two people. The field assists by providing base and support for conflict resolution, the dissolving of negative states of mind, and just as important, the offering of potential space for new experience, new views and new contactfulness. In essence, the awareness field is potential, potential space.
10. A fourth power of the awareness field is awareness can be given or extended or transmitted. There is great statement by the ancient Buddhist master, Bodhidharma, who says, “beyond words and letters, there is a transmission that does not belong to any tradition, it is the very nature of human awareness, and that is the Buddha.” Human beings consistently and relentlessly transmit their minds to each other, from person, to person, from generation to generation, from group to group. Human beings are also able to transmit their own awareness field to each other…This is the great compassion.
11. The great compassion or the bodhichitta, is not simply sympathy, or simply empathy or the internalization of others pain and suffering, but is our capacity to transmit or

extend the inner heart essence which is light, and energy, the pure love of awareness itself. This capacity of extension or extending into others and into this world, both to those whom we love and those whom we do not love is the power of healing and transformation. The bliss of compassion dissolves suffering.
12. The source of primordial awareness is within the human heart. This extension brings forth the bodhichitta (compassion) within ourselves and within others. In meditation when people extend the field to each other, the field grows in intensity and in light. Two awarenesses are really better then one and the field is never bound by locality.
13. Let us practice extensions…..the art of the inner heart essence.

14. I would like to describe one more important and mysterious quality about the nature of becoming aware of awareness. Primordial awareness  is ultimately  our personal awareness. As Husserl said, “What is the wonder of all wonders? Pure consciousness and the doorway is our own subjectivity.” As you and I experience the innate dimension of the awareness field, we will find that we are both in duration (in time) and at the same time (timeless). The primordial innate awareness field is both in time and also in timelessness. Awareness is in duration and is in timelessness. We can experience timeless awareness.
15. When you and I are in the field, deeply in the field of awareness, we can experience both duration time and within the background of the meditation field is this vast unbound timelessness, pure presence, timeless awareness without reference without boundaries, infinite in its horizon. This experience can be stunning and not easy to hold.
16. This sense of timelessness is an unbound stillness and this timelessness can infuse our sense of time…from the immediacy of the moment, to the immediacy of a day, to the immediacy of a year, to the immediacy of a life time. Timelessness is the base and source. Within this timelessness of our own awareness is a grounded stability and grounded continuity of awareness through time.
17. This timeless awareness provides for the person a large and vast universal sense of ones being in the world, a world that is both in duration and beyond duration. Timeless awareness opens for the person the sense of unbound potential space of manifestations ready to come forth….timelessly.

This timelessness is the state of potential spaciousness that opens up possibilities of manifestation for bringing forth that which has not yet come forth in duration. Timelessness is the state of potential space, the unbound voidness of creativeness. Being in timeless awareness helps dissolve the fear of death, the fear of annihilation anxiety and the fear deprivation anxiety.
Let us meditate and discover this timeless dimension of our own beingness.

Written by:  Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D.
Edited by:   Mimi Malfitano

The Phenomenology of the Healing Power of the Awareness Field

1.  Welcome to our study of the phenomenology of awareness and the power of the awareness field.  Edmund Husserl, who was the father of phenomenology, would always say at the beginning of each lecture… “What is the wonder of all wonders? Pure consciousness; and the doorway is our own subjectivity.”
2.   As we know from our last meeting, phenomenology influenced both western philosophy and western psychotherapy.   Western phenomenology is very similar in both view and method to Dzogchen meditation which is a form of eastern meditative practice.  Both phenomenology and Dzogchen are interested in the power of becoming aware of awareness itself…where the object of awareness becomes its own self. Moreover, in both phenomenology and Dzogchen, when one becomes aware of ones own awareness, the person experiences that their mind is not their awareness, awareness is not a thought, or affect, or sensation, or fantasy or even memory, but rather awareness is  simply open knowingness….a non conceptual knowingness….a gaze of direct perception.  And if one is able to stay with this knowingness of knowingness there appears the next discovery…when one becomes awareness of awareness itself. This awareness is a field……this field goes beyond the body boundaries…goes beyond the mind.  
2b. The methods of both western phenomenology and Dzogchen are similar in that both at times use the epoché or the reduction or to use English “suspension “……suspension of the mind as method of entering into awareness field.  What does one do…One shifts out of the analytic mind, thinking about the problem by suspending the mind or suspending being in the mind or mind functions….after making the suspension one is then in the awareness state (mindfulness) and one can be aware of the mind functions by gazing at  thoughts, gazing at  feelings, gazing at sensation, gazing at memory or gazing at the outside, gazing at otherness…the environment…the world.  A person is experientially near, or experientially closer to the experience. This is very powerful and is the basis of experiential psychotherapies…
2c. Then if one wishes, or if one desires, the person can make one more reduction, or one more suspension and one suspends the inside and outside, one suspends their awareness of objects of mind or objects outside the mind, one suspends everything  and one turns the gaze back on itself, one gazes into the gaze…one gazes into awareness itself...and in doing so one enters into awareness and even becomes awareness itself…in gazing into awareness the qualities of awareness begin to manifest…including spaciousness, energy, light and oneness….the oneness of the field…One discovers that this awareness has field characteristics, opens and closes, contracts and expands, it has depth and breath and the perception of this field can be extended and extended and this field is completely multidimensional. Ultimately, this field is direct perception, perception of the manifestations of awareness…manifestation in ones own self, manifestation in the other and also the manifestation of the field of awareness in this world.
3.  This field has great power. The first power of the awareness field is that it becomes the base of experience, rather then our mind or a particular function of the mind. The awareness field and the qualities of the awareness field which are spaciousness, energy, lucidity and oneness become the base of our experience, and the mind and functions of the mind can be integrated into this base of oneness. Thus the mind or ego begins to experience itself in the oneness of the field, and the functions of the mind become infused by awareness field. One begins to live in and through the field.
4.  The second power is that besides having the power to integrate ones mind functions in the awareness field, a person can more easily dissolve negative states of mind and negative states of experience into the awareness field. The field has a metabolizing or dissolving capacity or assimilating. This allows one to enter into various experiences and metabolize them…when one has little awareness, the metabolizing capacity is greatly limited and one begins to live with much unresolved experience and much unresolved unformulated experience.
5.  The third power of the awareness field is that the field can become not only a base within a person; the field can become a base between two persons, or even a group of persons. When the field is between persons then the field gives both a base and support to the relatedness of the two people. The field assists by providing a base and support for conflict resolution, the dissolving of negative states of mind, and just as important and just as necessary. the offering of potential space for new experience and new views, new contactfulness. Without this newly formulated base, then the base between the two people will be the mind of each, or the group minds of the groups of people. The dilemma is that it is the mind itself of one or both parties is the problem. One mind talking to another mind and each mind with their own different and difficult generational fields behind each mind, often has no base other then some intention often implicit in the speaking.
6.  The forth wonderful power of the awareness field is as one becomes aware of awareness and becomes more skillful in becoming aware of awareness one begins to completely embody the awareness field. In the beginning, one learns to hold the awareness field, or then enters into the awareness field and then one becomes the awareness field…aham ah I am becoming what I am.  In embodying awareness, one begins to truly embody direct perception and direct experience of the immanence (a permanent abiding within; indwelling) of ones own beingness of being.
7.  This sense of the immanence of the beingness of one’s own being is a source of great pleasure and happiness. We might say that this sense of the beingness of one’s own being is the sense of self. As one feels the ongoing continuity of beingness…this ongoing continuity of beingness protects one from fragmentation, protects one from states of psychological collapse and even the profound and ever present fear of death lessens….coming and going, absence and separation, oneness and separateness no longer have the same existential drama and trauma that these experiences once invoked. As the sense of the beingness of one’s own being grows, the sense of the beingness of being in others becomes more apparent, more visible, more real, more present. And so, oneness and a sense of the non-duality of the beingness of being begins to arise slowly but surely.
8.  This subtle and initially implicit sense of oneness is not a function of sameness in the sense of likes and dislikes, same beliefs or disbeliefs, same tribe or same customs, the sameness of history or the sameness of attraction, but this sense of subtle oneness reflects the oneness of the beingness of being….that the same beingness of being is within all beings….all of the beings that one sees, and can touch.
9.  As this oneness of beingness of being arises, the knowledge that awareness and beingness are in some way the same phenomena….knowingness and beingness are in oneness, are oneness. This experience, this awareness, is beingness and beingness is awareness becoming vivid, even for the most ordinary of persons. A great freedom and completeness arises from within as one realizes out of one’s own experience that one’s own awareness, one’s own consciousness is the beingness of being itself…and in these moments one becomes much less of a psychological person and more of a cosmological human being…the view and experience becomes much wider and has much more depth and breath then that of our own historically based psychological or mental viewpoint.
10.  So we have spoken about the nature of the awareness field, the powers of the awareness field and some ways of entering into the awareness field. We have spoken about the importance of spaciousness, open spaciousness, the usefulness of the energy, and the necessity of lucidity and innate luminosity. We have emphasized the power of oneness of the field, oneness of body, oneness between therapist and client, oneness between couples, oneness within a group, oneness within conflict…within ones self or between others. We have spoken about the power of direct perception, knowing awareness in one’s self, knowing awareness within the other and even knowing awareness or consciousness within the phenomenal world.
11.  I would like to describe one more important and mysterious quality about the nature of primordial awareness. As you and I experience the innate dimension of the awareness field, we will find that it is both in duration (in time) and at the same time (timeless). The primordial innate awareness field is both in time and also timelessness. Awareness is in duration and is in timelessness…we may speak about timeless awareness.
12.  When you and I are in the field, deeply in the field of awareness, we can experience both duration and within the background of this vast unbound awareness timelessness, an eternal presence. The same description can be said of our  awareness counterpart which is the beingness of one’s being…in experiencing the beingness of one’s being, one will feel both the time bound quality, the here and now quality in duration and also one can feel the unbound timeless quality of the beingness of one’s own being.
13.  This sense of timelessness is an unbound stillness and this timelessness can infuse our sense of time….from the immediacy of the moment, to the immediacy of a day, to the immediacy of a year, to the immediacy of a life time. Timelessness is the base and the source…Within this timelessness of our own awareness is a grounded stability and grounded continuity of oneness.
14.  This timeless awareness provides for the person a large and vast universal sense of ones being in the world, a world that itself is both in duration and beyond duration…timeless awareness opens for the person the sense of unbound potential space of manifestations ready to come forth…forever and forever and ever manifesting.
12.  This timelessness provides the sense of this unbound potential spaciousness that opens up possibilities of manifestation, for bringing forth that which has not yet come forth into duration. This dimension is of the utmost importance in healing events and experience. This is not a mental hope. A hope based on probability and improbability. This timelessness is the state of potential space itself...it is the dharmakaya…the unbound voidness of creativeness.
14.  You and I are in time, we are in duration and yet the beingness of our being is timelessness…time and timelessness are that close…they are in oneness…just as the nirmanakaya dimension is in oneness with the dharmakaya.
15. Time does not exist separately from beings…from entities…you are time, and I am a time…the manifestation of beingness becoming particular beings in time…unmanifested beingness is timelessness. Timelessness is completely immanent in all of us and is manifest in all of us as time. Time is the manifestation of timelessness. Time is the manifestation of awareness, the bringing forth of awareness in time…
16.  The Dzogchen understanding of the three kayas brings forth some understanding for us…the knowing of awareness or consciousness or gnosis has three dimensions….from the unmanifest to the manifest…from timelessness into time, from no appearance to appearance of phenomena.
17.  First dimension is pure knowingness without appearance, pure consciousness, the void, the unmanifest, potential space ready to bring forth itself….the second dimension, the manifestation of energy and light and the configuration of vortexes, and spiraling, luminous creative energy, this is the dimension of the cosmological archetypes, and then the third dimension, the manifestation of earth, embodiment, humans and human minds and generational fields. Timelessness infuses all the dimensions of awareness both the unmanifest and the manifest. There is no fragmentation within timelessness; there is stability and continuity of beingness.
18.  The more the innate sense of timelessness is lost and disturbed then duration itself fragments more and more, splitting within splitting, part breaking into more and more parts, oneness of experience dissolving. The mind itself without the base of awareness field becomes more and more fragmented, and the innate continuity of persons and relatedness itself breaks into bits and bittles.
19. Working within the Field of Awareness in Psychotherapy and Consultation:
How to create a first phenomenological reduction
The required necessity of the therapist being in the state (awareness) and in being in the (awareness) field
Different positions for different experience
How to create the second phenomenological reduction
As a person has entered into the awareness of awareness itself and the field phenomena has manifested itself (spaciousness, energy, lucidity, and oneness) the next step is to have the person explore and articulate their experience of being in the field. This representation of experience of the field allows the experience to be entrained and remembered and even brought forth more easily and consistently…this articulation of the field begins to teach integration of the different ego functions or mind functions in the field. One will discover the difference of being in the mind, being in the awareness state, and being in the awareness field. This step of integrating the mind functions into the awareness field dissolves some primary dissociative experience and the bringing of the mind into the oneness of the field allows one to think, feel, remember, and have imagination and sensation in and through the field of spaciousness, energy and lucidity. Also a more pervasive sense of oneness pervades the body and mind.
There will be a co-emergence of the field between the two people and the corresponding experiential base that this provides for participates in individual, couple and group psychotherapy.
This co-emergence means that the more I am in the field the more you may experience the field out of resonance. And the more you are in the field the more I will be in the field…as we both are in the field, the experience of the field will be amplified. If you are in the field and have a strong field, the co-emergence of the field may be limited by the limitations of the other who is in the field.
The capacity to extend the field is most important for the therapist and the capacity to resonate to the other is equally important. The more one can sense the field in the other, the more probable the field will emerge in the other. The sense of recognition is most important.
Recognition is not simply a cognitive experience but is somatic and is a function of resonance which is a feeling, although not an affect…a bhave…
In certain situations, and everything does depend on the situation and ones own skills and capacities, one may utilize the body to help bring forth the field, and often using the hand can be most effective...however, one’s own body must be activated by one’s field …the activation of the field pulls forth the field.
One must have a sense of activation and pacification or how to intensify and pacify the field so that the experience is assimilated and usable.
12.  For some, simply entering the field is enough and then one can integrate the mind functions in order to work within the field experientially…namely by focusing in and articulating experience of the difficulty or problem or goal… a narrative of the situation. Then one can work by amplifying the experience of the narrative in the field in an experiential manner. Sometimes having discussions in the field is extremely powerful ….the more one is skillful in being in the field and invoking the field then the less one has to work in a formal manner…everything becomes naturalistic.
 13.  By being in the field the intensity of the field brings forth both problematic experience and resources to solve the experience. We focus in a solution oriented manner and a resource oriented manner with the sense of the field which is the beingness of being becoming manifest as powerful source. Yes, two people can participate in the beingness of being…that is intimacy.
14.  The sense of intimacy is the sense of inside to inside, of knowingness in a relatively direct manner and even unknowingness in a direct manner…both knowingness and unknowingness are both manifestations of awareness and can be known directly…inside to inside.
15.  One will work with the different dimensions of the field, in other words, spaciousness, energy and lucidity of the experience unfolding.
16.  For some, one will work with being in the intensity of the field and embodying of the field in different degrees and dimensions of embodiment. The embodiment of the field becomes more and more subtle…the energy proceeds from gross until luminosity.
17.  We do not worry about the chakras or the mythology of the energy channels…rather we focus on the expansion, stability, intensity of the field of luminosity….light becoming flesh.
18.  Not everyone can enter the field but will primarily work in the awareness state which is classical experiential psychotherapy.
19.  Dissolving of negative experience is the bringing of the negative states into the awareness field…sometimes amplifying them…EMDR and other methods can be utilized…presenting a narrative in a strong field is working within luminosity and dedensifies the reified narrative. The strength of the field is in metabolistic function….the dissolving of energy cathexis (charging an idea or emotion into significance) to stories, memories and narratives.
20.  The potential spaciousness of the field is completely excellent for the manifestation of new stories, narratives and actions.
21.  There is a polarity of the unfolding of the light and the falling away of darkness. The falling away of darkness does involve the falling away of representations of oneself and others, and the falling away of connectedness to context that reflects darkness. This is very painful and so one may not want to move. This does not mean leaving everyone physically but there is a psychic transformation wherein you and the other no longer share the same psyche or the same beingness of being. The other may be family, groups, etc.

Written by: Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D.
Edited by:   Mimi Malfitano

Phenomenology of Timeless Awareness as Vajra Kumara

1. The Guhyagarbha Tantra is a source in Dzogchen Nyingma tradition. Its essence is that all awareness is awakened awareness and all phenomena are awakened phenomena. Awareness is enlightened, and all phenomena are enlightened. The divinity of awake-ness-- awareness… primordial awareness-- is within us as us and within the world as awakened phenomena. As Shaivite sutras declare, “The bliss of samadhi is the bliss of the world. The bliss of the world is the bliss of samadhi.” There is no separation between being and the phenomena of all the infinite beings. All beings are the manifestation of pure being-- pure awareness. Pure awareness is being and being is not a being. All beings are the manifestation of pure awareness as awareness. All phenomena is awareness-- luminous awareness.

2. Or as Swami Muktananda would say: “God dwells within you, as you;” “See God in each other;” “God is not an entity;” and “God is within you as you. Not hidden within you. Not a seed (garbha) within you, but you.” God is pure awareness as your own awareness, as your body and as your mind. In the Guhyagarbha tantra, the aggregate of the function of your mind is divine. The dakinis are the aggregate, divine functions, and the elements are the Buddhas. Elements are the lights of awareness.

3. Of course you may not experience this, and so you do not think it is true for you. This awaken-ness is the openness of being itself. Awareness is openness. Being is openness. Being is the dharmakaya. Being is Shiva. All human beings are openness. This openness of awareness, this openness of awareness, is manifested as our very own subjectivity itself-- our consciousness itself. This openness allows us to know and experience both within and around us, to know directly (gnosis) and also indirectly through symbol, words, letters and even gestures. This awareness allows us to communicate directly-- awareness knowing awareness within one’s self and others. This openness is the great expanse.

4. This dynamic is both microcosmic and macrocosmic. This dynamic is of awareness becoming aware of awareness. In Shaivism, Shiva, who is not a blue guy with a blue girl named Shakti, is awareness-- pure awareness becoming aware of awareness. This is-ness of being is not a thing. The sense of being is awareness-- invisible awareness is being (openness) and is maha sukha (bliss). This process of awareness becoming aware of awareness is infinite and infinitely creative. I am that and that I am… as Shiva becomes aware of himself, awareness, the experience is ahum (I am) and continues in spiraling vortexual-ness. “I am,” “that I am” and self-recognition creates worlds within worlds.

5. In Buddhist language, the dynamic is the same. The dharmakaya, which is pure self-awareness, manifests the worlds as sambhogakaya-- rapture, luminous rapture-- and nirmanakaya-- luminous desire.  The dharmakaya is not a thing. The dharmakaya is not is-ness alone, as some would think, but awareness alive-- awareness intrinsically knowing itself as knowing-ness. This is the great compassion that generates out of the radiance of self awareness as us… an us that is a given-ness, which is the same as the giver-- there is no difference whatsoever. This dharmakaya is pure potentiality, and the same potentiality is you-- that which manifests you is you. Of course you do not have to believe this and probably do not think it. You do not think that your very own awareness is completely pure openness and timeless in time.

6. The Dzogchen masters say your awareness is the vajra kumara… indestructible youthfulness. You simply have to experience what is there already. You simply have to become aware of your own awareness and you will experience the protection of the great compassion, which is actually the only protection. THIS GREAT COMPASSION IS RADIANCE AND THE GENERATIVE RADIANCE WHCH IS LOVE, WHICH IS GENERATIVITY…EXTENSION. THE GREAT COMPASSION IS NOT SIMPLY RECEPTIVITY TO THE PAIN OF THE WORLD, INTERNALIZATION OF PAIN AND THE ATTEMPT TO TRANSMUTE PAIN THROUGH OUR OWN BODIES. COMPASSION IS NOT THE INTERNALIZATION OF MISERY, AS SOME SUGGEST. IT IS ACTION THAT TRANSMITS LIGHT AS LOVE…RADIANCE. COMPASSION CREATES TIME AND CREATES THE WORLD.

7. You really do not have to go far, as even Husserl the philosopher of phenomena would say: “What is the wonder of all wonders? Pure awareness and the doorway is our own subjectivity”.

8. Of course as time passes you may experience with your awareness the sense of timelessness, vast spaciousness, and pure presence. But I bet you think you’re getting a vision-- sort of peeping through a key hole and having an experience by chance or by luck, or because the gods are really being good to you. But actually, as you experience timeless awareness, that timeless awareness is you, and time is in timeless awareness… the time that you are, the phenomena that you are, which is time, is in timeless awareness.

9. This is really great because when you know this directly and have some confidence, you will completely lose your fear of death. Rather then being annihilated  you know that timeless awareness, which is in time, and time, which is in timeless awareness, will always be. Timeless awareness is not lent to you. It is not a borrowed shoe. It is you, and timeless awareness manifests in time and in the various dimensions of time. The timeless awareness that manifests as your singularity, with all its quirks and doubts, will continue as you-- ongoing continuity of being different forms, different histories of incarnation.

10. And so Dzogchen is a story of timeless awareness-- divine awareness-- incarnating over and over again in different dimensions and different worlds. In its own way, Christianity is also a story of incarnation over and over again. If you understand that, the Christ consciousness is in you as you.

11. There is a kind of nihilism-- an empty nothing… the great cessation that dominates religious thought— that dominates forms of Buddhism for sure, dominates certain forms of Vedic rigidity for sure, and certain forms Christianity with its insistence on mediation through belief alone and church-ness, rather then the direct perception of your own knowing-ness contemplating knowing-ness itself-- belief substituting for mystic life. Of course, as Des Cartes so well knew, belief and doubt are in oneness... or to believe is not seeing and seeing does not need believing.

Written by:  Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D.

Edited by:   Jasmine Chehrazi

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Muktananda..Transmission through Touch

Catskills.  Shree Muktananda Ashram.  Summer of ’79.  I’m sitting cross legged in the serenely cool and dark Meditation
 Hall waiting for Swami Muktananda to walk down my aisle and give blessings with his wand of peacock feathers. I am surrounded by 1000+ people who have gathered to receive Shaktipat from a true and qualified Master of meditation.  He is about to transmit and awaken the Kundalini energy in each person present.  I soon began to catch a glimpse of a real potential to evolve my understanding, and discover a spiritual connection that I previously had not known.

 I don’t really know how I came to be here in this strangely holy environment.. a 28 year old small town girl from  Pennsylvania, now in the company of a man whose mere presence was so compelling that I was paying several hundred dollars a weekend, of my hard earned money, for three meditation intensives this “Guru” held there that beautiful and very hot summer.  Two long days, 8am through 5 or 6 pm of teachings, chanting and meditation presented by a brilliant, fun and wise holy man from India.  Having never heard of a Guru, I learned that the sanskrit syllable Gu meant darkness, and Ru, light.  It seemed to me that there was a larger meaning in this title, something beyond the man called Baba’s personhood.  If I were to describe what he was like, I'd first say he seemed to be made of a combination of love, light, compassion and devotion all wrapped up in a body of grace.  Gradually and gratefully, I was able to piece things together a bit as the summer and subsequent years of study and practice unfolded.  I did know the instant I saw him that I had much to gain by hanging out with this lovely and most kind gentleman...this exquisite being who taught me about my own true nature and the divinity that dwells within.  He was definitely on a mission to transform everyone’s experience and sought to inspire us to look beyond the “face value” of our lives.

The wand of peacock feathers he carried with him was scented with some deliciously intoxicating oils from India.  As Muktananda approached me during one of these sessions, I could smell the scent become increasingly heavy, and sensed the expansion of the Kundalini Shakti energy.  The whole hall seemed to be encapsulated in a protective cocoon of blessings as Baba showered each person with Shakti.  There was alot of energetic movement, shifting, and loud emotions expressed; laughing and crying and other classic auditory expressions of the awakening Kundalini.  It was a big unnerving.  But, I was glued to my seat.

During the afternoon session of the first day, Muktananda finally arrived and stood behind me. He stroked my face lightly and lovingly with his hands.  After a short while, he moved on to the next person.  It had been an unprecedented caress, very intimate, but pre-personal.   Like, I wasn’t Karen at this point.  As he was standing directly behind me, he couldn’t see my face. I couldn’t see him at all.  I just felt his hands on my face.

It was an incredibly powerful and mysterious experience. So amazingly simple but so other worldly.  I was totally present in my body in a way that I had never felt before. In a state of surrender, my personality was erased momentarily, and something very deep and very healing happened.  In those luminescent moments, my face was sculpted anew by someone who was certain of my true identity, and it wasn’t who I’d thought I was.  As old traces and samskaras were left behind and I was introduced to a love that was empty of concepts and duality, a love whose nature was pure and golden compassion and bliss.  It wasn’t just a sensual, physical or elemental experience but a combination of all of the kayas and realms, of both heaven and earth.  Only the singular presence of the lover and the beloved and the profoundly divine space that existed between us remained.  From that day, my experience of myself in my body has been  transformed and an alchemical process which began to integrate this awakened consciousness, has never stopped. He taught with his word, transmitted through his will, his thought and his touch.  Muktananda not only said “God dwells within you as you”, he masterfully willed this experience to the receiver.

written by Karen Ferguson

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Muktananda Retreat

1. Being around Baba Muktananda was a bit like being in heaven, or as yogis say, samsara and nirvana become one.  At times, it was not easy.  Being with Baba was challenging, but nonetheless, it was heaven; happiness within lots of drama, the divine embrace within humanness. How could this be?
2.  Swami Muktananda was a master of TRANSMISSION.  Of course, as you and I know, people transmit all the time.  We can transmit our unhappy minds, unbearable affects, unhappy experience; i.e., what we cannot bear, we send and we discharge to another.  But, we can also place and transmit goodness and well being into the other. We transmit all kinds of stuff, you name it, and we transmit it.  This happens in couples, in families, it happens with children, in groups, in the generational field, in institutions and in countries.  Humans transmit…even to their cats and dogs and birds.
3.  What did Baba transmit so directly and pervasively?  He transmitted his own state, he transmitted his own experience of his innermost awareness, his own experience of consciousness, he transmitted consciousness. Not simply his mind but consciousness itself.  He loved giving this experience to everyone, this experience of luminosity and everyone (all kinds of people) felt this givenness, this generosity.  He could extend his own awareness field into everyone around him, this field of felt spaciousness and unboundedness, this field of light and the field of shakti, the energy.  He could transmit the sense of oneness and bliss.  He was master of great compassion, which actually is the transmission of true love, pure love…the heart essence or Hridayam.
4.  He could transmit through speech, he could transmit through touch, he could transmit through his heart and through his mind.
5. He could amplify the intensity of the field of divine consciousness, so intense at times.  He could pacify the energy; he could magnetize and bring forth this experience from within a person, from within the hiddenness inside a person.  He could summon the awakening of awareness, the awakening of the kundalini.  And, he was person who loved this function and loved bringing forth this capacity in everyone.
6.  Baba was his own person and he loved the guru.  Once I asked him this question. "Baba, I have a problem.  I love you and yet I am cynical about the guru.  Can you help me with this dilemma?"
7. "You love me…you love me….so what? Do you see signs saying,' love Baba' here?  Is that what you understand?  Loving Baba will get you nothing, absolutely nothing." Then, he paused a long time. "The criticism you have of the guru is the criticism of your inner self.  The guru is your innermost self." Then he paused again. "You know, you should get beyond your mind.  You should get beyond right and wrong, better and best, good and evil and even truth and falsity, and then, you will live in the oneness of the self forever and ever, life after life and death after death."
8.  It was a great moment. It was a moment of true empowerment.  I began to slowly come to know that the guru was not a person but awareness itself, divinity itself in me and in others, not simply by what he said, but in his saying, he transmitted the experience.  Just a bit of what he was saying to me about self revelation and self recognition, that authorship became my own. Slowly but surely, one senses the guru in ones self, as ones self.  The guru is within situations and the guru is within others. That is why Baba would so often say, "Wherever I am, I only see only the guru". He also so often would say, "The bliss of samadhi is the bliss of the world.  God dwells within you as you.  See God in each other. Welcoming you is my highest practice."
9. There is a poem from the Siddha tradition that goes like this:
Ah…my own awareness is the guru…
In self recognition I take refuge
The awareness of self liberation is always present in everyone….though momentarily hidden
The primordial guru is always so pure
And this knowingness gives protection in every event and in every moment.
When the widespread purity and oneness of existence and appearance manifest
The blessing of direct perception takes places…direct knowingness…gnosis…jnana.
The differentiation of the meditater and what is meditated upon dissolves
The always existent truth of my innermost awareness being the guru,
Provides abiding stability in the vastness of the all pervading essence of events
My own nature as consciousness purifies and dissolves the very lack of knowingness.
My body, my speech and my mind are the very manifestations of this divine consciousness
Just as they are
And the essence of all events are free of failure and success
And free of rejection and acceptance
In this awareness everything is the play of the essence, the play of consciousness
Repeat the mantra guru om, guru om, guru om
And you will experience the body of light which is the great transmigration guru.
10. One of the great pleasures of being with Baba was sitting in large room with hundreds of people.  In the darkness Baba would slowly walk and touch everyone, saying the mantra, guru om.  In this way, he invoked the experience of the guru, the guru as shakti, the guru as unbound openness, as pure love, pure presence. 
Slowly but surely, over time, one integrates ones mind and body into this experience of the light of awareness.  One integrates thinking and judgment, feeling and sensation and memory and fantasy.
11.  Baba was once asked what realization is like.  He said that it is like you alone exist as oneness itself, in everything and everyone.
So, with this understanding, we will meditate on the guru as our own awareness.
Written by:  Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D.
Edited by:   Karen Ferguson