Poet Laureate Rabindranath Tagore famously wrote, “Where the mind is without fear… Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.”

To the identity, (including the identity of the poet), it would seem that these words suggest that when, some day, the country awakens to be such a heaven, the mind will finally be without fear; phew.

In Truth, it is that when the mind is without fear, when the mind is such that its knowledge is free(ing), when the mind isn’t broken up into fragments, when the mind is clear of the dreary sand of dead habit, when the mind is led by ‘thee’ (the true, divine, infinite You)… when the mind is a heaven of freedom, it is then that such a place will the country (or world) also organically be.

(No, even the poet did not realize this fully, consciously. Link to poem here.)
By several social media reports and discussions, it would appear that if you aren’t seeing and aren’t afraid/fearful that America (and much of the world at large) is becoming a totalitarian and authoritarian regime, and you aren’t telling others to be fearful and to resist, you are ignorant and arrogant.

(By yet other social media reports and discussions, it would seem that if you aren’t seeing that the socialists and scientists are out to take away the fundamental values of liberty and freedom, and you aren’t afraid and aren’t telling others to be afraid and fight back, then too you are ignorant and arrogant.)

But somehow it doesn’t occur to the mind that if you are seeing that America is being razed to the ground, and you are afraid/fearful, and you are telling everyone else to be afraid/fearful, then too you are being ignorant and arrogant.

For to be afraid/fearful of what is (happening) and chronically speak/act from this fear isn’t wisdom; it is ignorance.

For to raise alarm and tell everyone else they are foolish if they aren’t afraid/fearful isn’t humility; it is arrogance.

This is not the same as not having fear and concern arise — fear arising that is witnessed and embraced, is not being afraid. Continue Reading »

When someone transitions or moves on in any other way, and especially if they touched many lives, there are a myriad remembrances.

Who knew them best? Did everyone know them differently? Are there some elements that are all the same? Does it depend on the role or relationship? Or how long, how many years the association was? Or the stage of life in which oneself or they were during the relationship? Can the person be truly described in terms of one’s experiences with them? Or their work? Or their character and qualities?

Yes to all… if it is the image, the person/ality we are talking about. What we know of a person/ality, is the image the mind projects, individually and collectively. (And since mind and time are the same thing, what we know of them depends on time, and all its other ramifications.)

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(This part is the “me” experience…)

Without ever knowing how it is that this knowing came about, I found myself intuitively guided to step away from immersing in “healing circles” of people with shared experiences, or working with counselors who are experts or “know exactly (or a lot) about the trauma you have experienced”… and expecting that these will bring healing. Even if there was some engagement, it quickly fell away.

It was somehow clear that anyone who knows or is “trained” is ultimately conditioned and limited (if not crippled) by their knowledge, and frequently by their own trauma experience that brought them to the work, which functions as unhealed baggage. I organically preferred and ended up being in situations or around those who simply embodied exceptions. I even preferred the clueless friend or acquaintance who asked all sorts of awkward and “incorrect” or “damaging” questions, for especially if there was a trigger, it served as the opening to the healing… to clearly see what beliefs and constructs and mental-emotional patterns the mind was holding, thereby withholding the experience of the wholeness that I am.

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While it is clear that the notallXX type of argument arises from denial (a form of shame), which is indeed integral to the oppression, it can also function as an offer to consider the exception, whenever it is possible to be receptive in that way. If and when it is possible — and certainly not to repress one’s current thoughts and feelings or to gaslight oneself — it is illuminating, from any experiential perspective, to consider the exceptions rather than (yet without denying) the rule.

Have I experienced an exception to this manifest tendency in the world? (Have I experienced an exception to this manifest tendency in this group of people or this specific person?) How does the bodymind feel in those exceptional situations? What else do the exceptions reveal? Is this what a “healed world” looks and feels like?

Looking closely and consistently at exceptions keeps the mind open and unattached, and allows it also to organically and inevitably locate and magnetize more and more of those exceptions. And suddenly, just like that, the perception shifts of what is, as well as of what is possible. And if what is possible shifts in/as the mind, it verily shifts in the manifest.
गुरु आज्ञा में निसदिन रहिये
जो गुरु चाहे सोही सोही करिये

Guru aagya me nisadin rahiye
Jo guru chaahe sohi sohi kariye

These are the first couple lines to a beautiful composition in Raag Sindh Bhairavi, by param pujya BadeGuruji, Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj. I have long loved it, and it is much loved and lovingly and devotedly sung by all disciples and hundreds of students.

Literally, the lines can be translated as,

Abide every moment by Guru’s bidding
Act in alignment with Guru’s asking

Also at a literal level, the guidance is obvious. Continue Reading »


It is said that Gautama the Buddha declared that his next avatar will be as Maitreya.

This is commonly interpreted literally, as a reincarnation in time.

Yet the essence is that in the timeless Now, in the complete surrender of me-ness, the Buddha — the Realized One — appears in the form of Friend. That the SatGuru, when reflected without, is ultimately the closest Friend.

To find Friend in Krishna (Self/consciousness), “you” must be Sudama, the surrendered. Else, if not surrendered of me-ness, you’ll be Judas, betrayer to Christ (Self/consciousness).

Continue Reading »


In physics, we understand that if we push and bang against a heavy, solid, gross wall with our bare hands, the wall only pushes us back. It is “strengthened” in experience and only ends up hurting us. Whereas if it’s merely a wall of feathers, a nudge with a finger drops it.

In metaphysics, the mind’s perception of the solidity and grossness of something creates the same experience as the solid wall when we push and rail against that something. If we perceive something as historic (time-based), layered with meaning, entanglement, complexity and toxicity, a heavy and gross problem, there’s no way to push against it and achieve anything but the experience of its pushing back, and hurting and trapping us further. (Any “progress” is either a negligible dent or a morphing to a “changed” wall.) Yet the moment there’s seeing through the grossness to its subtlest, feathery, sheer, near non-existence, a mere nudge suffices to clear / clarify the way.

Always unsee the problem having acknowledged and seen it fully. Then see it disappear. This is your superpower (as consciousness). Not to gather more and more gross “knowledge” and rail against, but to allow the vision to shift, relax, (en)lighten. Not to solve but to dis-solve!


गुरू गोविन्द दोऊ खड़े, काके लागूं पांय।
बलिहारी गुरू अपने गोविन्द दियो बताय।।

Guru Govind dou khade, kaake laagu paye;
Balihaari guru apne Govind diyo bataye.

This doha is often interpreted as saying that a person, the guru, is more worthy of our salutations than god, as s/he shows the way to God.

Yet, in essence, it is not about either a person or a god separate from OneSelf at all.

It is ultimately about expansion (guruttva) revealing God (Self) Realization. Guruttva may appear to be embodied as person, and to that guruttva (and guru tattva), surrender the separate identity — “you”! Surrender limitation to expansiveness. Surrender the gross to the essential. Surrender mind to pure Awareness. This is the “lagu paye“ being suggested.


“Just as the rope seen as a snake does not really die, because it never actually existed, so our mind will not really die, because it has never actually existed. Its death is real only relative to its present seeming existence. Therefore though in figurative terms the experience of true Self-knowledge may be described as the death of our unreal self and as the birth of our real Self, in reality it is the state in which we know that our real Self alone exists, that it has always existed, and that our mind or unreal self has never truly existed.”

— Ramana Maharishi


The rope-and-the-snake is a common metaphor in Advaita. In total unconsciousness (darkness), nothing is seen. But in ignorance, which is objective knowledge, what is only a rope is mistaken for a snake. In illumination, it is seen for the rope (illusion) it is. Experientially, the “snake dies,” but not really, as the snake never was. And neither was the rope; the rope is only the means to refer to an illusion. And so, ultimately, in Realization, there is neither rope nor snake, just like in total unconsciousness. (Except, this is realized.)