Drukama RadioTM Episode 42 – Direct Experience and the Path
Today Daishi and Eali discuss the importance of direct experience on the spiritual path. What is direct experience? How can we develop foundational meditative skills to facilitate these experiences? What are the benefits of understanding through direct experience?
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Episode 42 Extract
Direct Experience and the Path
~ Daishi Nagiyah
Full Transcript of This Episode
Eali: Hello everyone, hope you’re having a wonderful day and welcome to Drukama Radio. I’m your co-host today, Eali. We are very happy to have Daishi with us again today. Daishi, how are you?
Daishi: I’m doing well, nice to hear from you. Excited to go forward with this conversation about experiences.
Eali: Yes, today we are going to be talking about direct experiences. So to start with, what do we mean by direct experience?
Daishi: Well, that would be any perception we have when we’re in the state of meditation, typically, but a direct experience can happen any time. It can be when we’re in our waking state and also in our dream state. So we can have experiences that would go beyond the physical, dreaming, in our sleep states, whether that’s lucid or not. We could have experiences in our waking state that seem to transcend the physical tactile senses and we can also have and most commonly have direct experiences in our seated meditative states.
Eali: So would you say that direct experience relates to intuition at all?
Daishi: Depending on how we define intuition, I think intuition is a part of that driving force that leads us to the area we call spiritual perception so intuition is a huge part of that. There may be more to it than just intuition but intuition, I think, is a tool or a kind of instrument that we use in order to touch or connect with that divine or spiritual or other dimensional place that we seek on the path.
Eali: So, it seems from what you’re saying that, direct experience doesn’t necessarily have to be something so grand. There are many different shades of it but there is a series of direct experiences that we are looking for, as we cultivate.
Daishi: I think most people think of direct experience as a visual thing. They think that they’re going to see something or perceive something through a visual kind of context, but I think more importantly in the path is the sensation of that beautiful kind of clarity and compassion that comes with the spiritual path. So I think that’s more important in terms of our perception of that direct experience, to feel and sense something that goes beyond the normal routine of the tactile senses. That becomes that part of the spiritual aspect that is really important because when we’re blissful and joyful, when we’re experiencing that kind of divine connection, it’s much easier for us to be patient, kind, courteous, considerate, unbiased, and impartial in our compassion and that’s really important. That’s really what we want to get to, a place that we’re not divisive in a dualistic kind of mindset. So when we touch this space, for lack of a better word, we experience or sense this space, we leave the dual or binary mind behind, the normal mind-stream, thought-stream kind of space and that allows us to perceive in a new way or in a different way, and that way is really important for a spiritual practitioner to attain. Everything else in terms of direct experience is important too. The visuals and the sensations that come along with deepened waking and meditative states because they help us experience things that go beyond the physical but inevitably I think, to touch that divine space of compassion and clarity is the key to our attainment.
Eali: So, since this is such a deep topic, I figured it would be helpful to kind of look at this from the perspective of the three keys that we teach in our school. And so, how does Will factor into the cultivation of direct experience?
Daishi: I like to say- I think there’s three ways we can look at it. We want the power of mind, we want the clarity of mind, and the purity of mind. And those are three kinds of different ways of perceiving the mind space. Will is definitely the power, it’s the driving force in some ways that allows us to connect with the object of contemplation in such a strong and pure way that we can actually eventually unify with it. This is one of the key instruments that we teach in our school which is Samyama, the ability to not only be meditative and single pointed in our object of contemplation but to penetrate it and become one with it, because once we become one with something, once we unite with something even in a partial way we really only truly begin to understand it and relate with it. We have to take on its attributes.
So in order for us to connect with each other, we have to unite with our attributes together, and then we can only at that point realize what it is those attributes are about. In the same way if we take a worldly example of that, you can say ice cream as an easy example, so you can discuss the chemicals of the ice cream, the way the ice cream is made, the process by which you put the ice cream on the cone and all these things, but it’s not really the experience of ice cream which is completely different. So the moment we merge with it and take a bite of that ice cream or get to understand it in that way, we realize ice cream in a whole new completely different way than just the chemical composition and the way that it’s made and how it’s served. So, in the same way all of our experiences have to be some unification in order for them to be real, for them to be really truthful and honest and clear and understandable.
The mechanism by which we do that on a spiritual path is to use a connected will which is a powerful way of tuning into whatever it is we’re contemplating, we’re focusing on. And so will has its special flavor. The moment we get caught into the object of contemplation deep enough, there’s an overwhelming and beautiful kind of connection that allows us to transcend the I-ness, the selfing-ness, and to become the object we’re connected with, and in that we understand a whole new way of appreciating that object of contemplation.
Eali: Since these keys are so deep, how does intention factor into the cultivation of direct experience?
Daishi: Yeah and all of these terms as you know already but the people who are listening, these terms are very deep and they actually have to be experienced by the person in deeper and deeper ways so they can understand that depth. But on a surface level, just to explain it as a conversation piece, intention is “What’s the aspiration I’m bringing to that connection with the object?” So am I just looking to merge with it and take on its attributes? Am I looking to merge with it and give it some attributes? Am I looking to merge with it and bring it to a higher state to understand a certain point of it? Am I looking for just the certain aspects I want to take from it? Some of the intention and aspiration I bring toward the union is in and of itself a whole different thing than will. So will is my ability to connect with it and to harness my direct and unimpeded single-pointed focus with the object and my intention is what to do once I have that union. And it may not be anything, it may just to be open. My intention is to allow the object to dictate to me what I’m going to experience, or my intention may be to cause the object to change or to manipulate the object in some way, or to receive from the object in some way. So intention is my underlying, driving aspiration toward my process of unification.
Eali: So someone could have the will to unify with an object but if their intention wasn’t for anything in particular then that might be what we call a Samadhi, and that intention aspect is what bridges the gap between Samadhi and Samyama?
Daishi: Very true. Once you bring the intention with you toward the unification, then at that point you’re dictating how you want that unification to act out and what you want to accomplish through that unification. And of course this is occult practice we’re describing. If somebody is…Typically intention is just to allow the object of contemplation to leave you with an impression and that impression hopefully is a better understanding and less barrier. So typically a normal practitioner just wants to understand the object on that level so the intention is pretty vanilla in that regard, it’s just to break barriers and to create a more close-knit relationship with whatever object I’m contemplating. Now the object, for the sake of the listeners, could be a thought, a physical object for example, it could be an internal object, a wind, a channel, a dew, a drop, a center etc, a meridian, whatever. And it could be feelings and sensations, emotions, tactile senses, it can be any of those things.
The point is, once I unify, typically what I want to do is break barriers if I’m looking just to accomplish Stream and move on to what is known as that liberating factor or self-realization prior to that. But if I’m in an occult mood or process then I might bring an intention to the object in order to manipulate it. So when I say manipulation and not a negative connotation, I mean manipulation in a way that may be helpful for me on the path in other ways, like manipulating the way that I work with reality here in this dimension or in another dimension. As an example, as I finish this idea, if I’m laying down and I look to get the winds in a certain place in my body, if I’m going to bring the upper and lower winds together and drive them into a certain Nadi or meridian within the body, I’m looking to leave my physical body and go into what’s known as the magic or illusory body.
That intention is totally different than one of just being in authentic emptiness or breaking barriers toward the all-space etc, so one we typically call an occult practice. As soon as intention veers away from just becoming selfless and compassionate and having clarity of wisdom and thought, when it moves away from that we usually call that occult practices because now you have an intention to do or to utilize barriers and chakra centers and dews and winds and so on and so forth in a way that is different, typically, than your traditional self-realization path. But those two things go together and Samyama definitely has an intention within it, because you’re looking to awaken in that Samadhi state and hold an aspiration toward that object. When we look at that, intention is a key component and it’s key both in realization and it’s key in occult, so it’s a powerful practice and it’s a powerful part of that toolset we need to move forward on this path.
Eali: So just to bring this all together with will and intention, how does our experience of energy allow us to dive into deeper aspects of direct experience, or does it? Is there any part that that plays in direct experience?
Daishi: No it does for sure, absolutely right. It does for sure and vitality is something that we seek to harness. We need energy. We need energy in the vessel that we walk around, in this vehicle that we walk around and we need as much energy as possible because if we lack energy, we lack the ability to generate joyful compassion at all because that takes a certain kind of energy, not just to produce that because the natural state of realization is that, but it takes energy to break through the things that are stopping that from becoming a reality for us in our everyday and every moment present awareness.
So at first, and all through the path to a certain extent toward liberation, that vitality is essential in breaking through and being able to achieve and accomplish stronger will, stronger aspiration or intention, so vitality is key. Now how is it experienced? Now we get into flavors and different kinds of vital energy because we can experience kinds of Shakti, for example, that are electric and they have wild experiences in our body that feel very fiery and so on. And we can feel it very magnetic, very watery and those are two distinct different feelings of the vital energy as they course through the body. And then of course they can bring up imagery in our third eye, even sounds, and they can bring up smells and tastes and touch, and all kinds of things as they relate to how we experience them.
So vitality has a very broad range of direct experiences and this is where we get into differences from each person one to another, because the way that we have our karma and the way that we play out our mental obscurations and our iterations are different from one person to another. So there is a set of direct experiences that we look to achieve on the path at some point but typically people have wild varieties of how they experience vital energy and it’s all pretty much unique and different to each person, so it’s hard for one spiritual practitioner, typically, to relate to another one while we’re expressing all this vital energy because what I’m feeling and seeing and what I’m experiencing is probably going to be different than what you’re experiencing on some level. There might be a common ground for sure but it’s usually radically different when it comes to vital energy coursing through the vehicle itself.
Eali: So since there is such a wide range of energetic experiences, it seems like if you’re going to go on a path that involves energetic cultivation, you need a master to help you through that since you might not know what you’re doing. If you’re just talking about this with other people, it’s kind of like taking a shot in the dark and you need someone to help you through that.
Daishi: That’s right, you’re right on. The problem is that if I start to experience these otherworldly sensations, or at least we can say sensations that I’m not used to experiencing, I’m not sure what is helpful and what’s not helpful and how to utilize some and not utilize other parts of it. I don’t know what’s leading me astray, what’s leading me to more karmic imprints and egoism and all sorts of things and what’s allowing me to get away from those things. So it’s good to have a good driver, as I say. I mean if you’re going to go to a far-off distant land, you want to know that the guy driving your cart is going to get you there as fast and as effectively as possible. If you’re just sort of hoping that you’re going to drive yourself or that your friends going to drive you across the world, that’s going to be a hard long trip and you probably won’t make it at the end of the day. So the idea is to have somebody that can say, “This is okay. Experience this if you want to but let this go or watch for this or don’t get off the trail here.” Sort of somebody to guide you along that map and that’s really essential, yes.
Eali: So for a beginner on the path, since all of this seems so grand, what are the objects of contemplation that we need to first work on to gain insight and break through those barriers within ourselves? So for instance, earlier you mentioned that there were a set of experiences that we were looking for. Is there a beginner set, and then an advanced set of those direct experiences?
Daishi: That’s a great question. This is a great way to phrase it because there are two kinds of sets of experiences. We have a foundational process and a more advanced adept process. And I’ll predicate this by saying, as we went into this Kali Yuga, this Dark Age, what was a massively beautiful and expansive spiritual journey was constantly reduced down to more simplistic understanding for the sake of the people who were receiving it. So in order for somebody to grasp the path at all at some point during this darker age of ignorance that we have gone through, we had to reduce the path to something really simple. You know, just being mindful or just watching your waking states the best you can and most of the esoteric or mystical aspects of the path went away underground and were hidden and for good reason. Nobody could really grasp all of it. It was too much, too big and this is why we see 22 volumes of the Zohar and huge volumes of sutras and tantras. I mean it’s enormous.
If the path is really just, for example, being momentarily present, why all this excessive writing? What is all this about? So you have the occult esoteric side of it which is utilizing these aspects or these tools as they’ve been built up and then you have the basic foundational process that’s a breakthrough process. So in order to start that, the main thing we’re looking for is actually the opposite of what people think. When we start the path, we’re looking for disaster and this is really not marketed this way because if it was, nobody would come to the path but we really want to see rhythms come up and we want to struggle and go through our aspiration to get out of the box or the chains that bind us to the egoic prison.
I say prison because what we believe we are is just a conglomeration of impressions that have happened to us over time and that’s why when we start as a small child, we’re not considered John really, we’re considered an infant that knows nothing and is just pure and looking around the world. But as John becomes influenced and is taught laws and conditions – and I don’t mean so much directly but I mean through the responses to his desires and aversions – then John becomes trapped in this kind of cage that’s built by societal influences, by family and by government and by the people around John through his development. And then John just believes that I’m this thing, this is what I am but in fact this has nothing to do with what John is.
John’s just conglomerating those experiences and saying this is what I must be and quite honestly it’s just the thing John’s working within. John’s somewhere way beyond all of that. And so the idea at first is to get that way beyond that essential nature that isn’t tied in to all that stuff out and to rip that out requires a huge amount of intention and will, right? We have to be focused, we have to have the right aspiration to continuously pull ourselves from the programming that’s been besieged on us every moment of every day of every year since we’ve been in the womb. And so that process, what we’re looking for there, is the rhythms and the dark and light moments.
So sometimes we get troubles where we’re not sure why we feel a certain way or why we perceive a certain way, and we have to remind ourselves and be awake and aware that I have to get away from this reactionary kind of emotion, a reactionary kind of thinking because this is binding me down back into that “John” thing. And so that part of the path is strewn with difficulty. And so there we’re looking for, in that foundational stage, we’re looking for these rhythms and that means we’re doing good so the opposite is true there. The more trouble we get, the better we’re actually doing because we’re causing the prison bars to bend and push outward and the reaction we see from the outside world and from the vehicle is trouble when we start to press against the shell that encases our little chick essential nature. It’s reaction is pushing and prodding and pushing us back into the small confines of the prison. As we start breaking and bending out of that, that’s actually a good thing. It shows that we’re doing good work, so there I say the opposite is true.
We’re actually feeling bad but we know that’s good, and that’s really important because you need a good guide for that space because when our normal egoic mind says, “If I don’t perceive it well or good positive, it must be bad,” but it’s not true in the beginning. So we have to reinforce the correct way of seeing that, the correct way of perceiving that which is when we do have a rhythm, and it does feel bad, that negativity we’re feeling is because the ego is fighting back and pushing back and we need to be clear about that. And eventually those rhythms become perceived correctly so we don’t really notice them as such a bad, terrible thing at the end of this foundation we see them as just a way that we’re making progress and we flip the scales a little bit and when we feel something a little negative we actually perceive it as a positive. We say, “Oh, this is good. This negativity is good.” So we’ve turned the darkness into light in that regard. In the beginning, those are important as just one aspect of what to experience in perception.
Now once we break through a little bit and we get to that Stream condition where we freed ourselves to be in this space that goes beyond notions, conceptualizations and general thought-stream, when we move beyond that, we enter into a freedom and then this freedom allows us to operate within the system in a whole new way. The direct experience from that point forward is quite different. At that point, we’re looking to achieve states that are cleaner, clearer, out of body, out of world, those kinds of things and having energies that are running in wild ways and blissful ways so we start to experience and we transition from that crazy rhythm havoc slowly over to a new way of perceiving and then enter into a new way of appreciating the reality and beginning to work within the reality and understand that the reality is sort of like a plastic dream bubble. We can kind of play with it and have fun with it and then we enter into the leela of it, the play of it, the joy and excitement of it and then we start to understand our purpose, and we start to have fun trying to mould the life the way we want it to be, rather than the way it’s imposed on us.
We go from being a slave and being under the control of that initial condition set, to becoming free of it and absolutely having an infinite kind of experience in our essential nature that says, “Take the vehicle and do whatever you want and experience life the way you want and don’t be chained down by the kinds of imprint that you thought you were before. Let that go, now you’re free of it,” and experience there becomes quite different and quite intense.
Eali: It seems then, that as we break into this space, that we have a lot of options available to us. And in Buddhism, we see two different kinds of paths after this stream space.One is a liberating path where we awaken from the dream entirely and the other is more of a Bodhisattva path where we awaken in the dream and we make it more fun and enjoyable. Is this the case?
Daishi: Absolutely and the beauty of it is that, from where we come from on our particular path, we want people to have freedom, true freedom. The freedom to decide in all of those conditions whether you want to be free of the dream entirely or whether you just want to play in the dream in a different way. Opening up that freedom is important and that’s really what the path, our path at least, is about. It’s about giving you the options. So whereas before you didn’t realize you even had an option, we want to introduce the fact that you can have options in any way whether you’re sleeping, waking, or seated. So the point is that life can become what you want it to be, but we have to understand in order for that to truly be correct, we have to get out of the idea of what we’re not. We have to get away from the false representation that we tie ourselves down to. So that’s an important essential beginning of the process.
If I cannot get away from that false sense of identity, the idea of me that’s incorrect, then I’m never going to create the right kind of environment. I’m always going to be tied back with an inevitable suffering because I can’t work for that false sense of self and ever create any kind of satisfaction so I have to remove myself from it. This is the part of the path that most people skip, they just don’t go into. They want to jump into the ideas of magic and all kinds of manipulation of the reality and themselves and all these ideas to find some temporal satisfaction in it, and I’m telling you that doesn’t work. You have to first break away completely from the egoic aggregates which are the identity and the memory and so on, so that, not that they’re gone but that we’re not entangled with them.
As soon as were not entangled with the vehicle itself, we’re able to operate in a whole new way, we’re able to perceive in a whole new way and from there we can make right choice because we have the power to use things like Samyama in the right way which is the single pointed focus with meditation in the Samadhi state. We have the ability to utilize that the right way and we have the ability to utilize it in a way that we’re not invested in so it just changes the inherent way we look at cause and effect. We can say this would be fun to experience this so I’m going to go ahead and see how this is but if it doesn’t occur or doesn’t come forward, I’m not invested in it and whatever does manifest from it, that’s okay too and this is a whole different paradigm. Whereas before I would say I want this to happen in my life and if it doesn’t, it will be soul-crushing. And then through that confusion and suffering I’m going to catapult myself into an area that’s worse and worse and worse and eventually become nihilistic or depressed, or have anxiety or stress or tensions, and that will emanate to the people around me, because I’m not really getting what I want when I want and so we have to change that arrangement and go into a new paradigm. That new paradigm has to happen first and when it does, we realize that the things we’re wanting can be fun and exciting, but because I’m not invested in getting them so much because the outcome isn’t as important to me and I don’t have so much riding on it, in fact I have nothing riding on it, those things can manifest much cleaner and faster in more quantity and quality all around and that’s sort of the weird conundrum.
It’s sort of like the less you really want outcomes, the more you can manipulate outcomes. And so this is the whole process and this is the reason why the mystical or occult path was so intense and had so much information because there’s a myriad of things you can apply your intention, will, and vitality to once you’re outside of the box of ego mind-stream or ego mind, and that has to be there first in any solid or authentic practice.
Eali: So you’ve brought up so many great points, but I wanted to talk about how, you know if I go online right now I can find a ton of things from people who say that they have insights, or have had direct experiences into the true nature of reality. And the truth is they’ve really just been reading a book and so they end up confusing the idea of a direct experience with the reality of it and as a result of that, they become bound to an intellectual realization rather than the real thing. And so if someone was in that kind of position you know, how should they take stock with themselves and begin to reflect and understand, you know, do I have this? What does that look like? And where do I go from here, rather than just developing a spiritual ego?
Daishi: It’s true. I mean you’re right on it, but I would say 99% of practitioners unfortunately today fall into that grouping and it’s not their fault, it’s really not. There are a lot of beautiful seekers that really want to attain they just don’t have the right way. And this is the biggest problem, it’s the reason why we have our teachings up because things are incomplete. And it’s a pity to see it like that because you have a bunch of people who earnestly and honestly want to get into a better state, a better understanding of the reality around them and how they function, and we’re limited to practices and teachings that are very weak and do not cover all these bases well enough. And so you have people who have fallen into the state of saying well, I’m woke now because I understand how my government or my school or my family, or you know, another country operates. That’s not being woken, that’s just understanding as a civil community living person how your surroundings operate.
What awakening really means is to have transcended the box that the ego has kept you in and convinced you that you are part of and you’re not. Every one of us has an infinite essential nature that goes beyond all of our experiences and all of the flavours of our reactionary emotions and our mind-stream, our thought stream, how it pours out – all of us go beyond that. Those are just things that the vehicle provides to us and sort of asks us, “Do you want this? Is this interesting? How does this feel? How does that look? And it gives us these options, you know. And we typically unconsciously just say well, this must be me, my thoughts must be me, my emotions must be me. In the same way you’d get into a car and drive it down the street and say well, you know if the car is driving, well you say – I’m driving well, I must be, you know, having a good day. The car is not you.
And so our vehicle body, our brain, our emotions and our reactions and our thoughts and all these things are not really who we are, we have to go back and find who we really are behind it all and from there, and that’s a process, from there we can begin to be clear about how to enjoy our lives the right way. How to help others enjoy their lives, and how to you know find our purpose and be fulfilled, because if we’re going to be here and if we’re going to be on this Earth together everybody should have a purpose. They should understand what it is they want to experience and be able to experience it. And they should have the ability to have the compassion to allow others to have the same thing – to experience the way they want to and to be free. And it’s not the way it is today. And so we fight for all kinds of religion, ideologies, you know, politics, we fight over the way that our communities are run, the way that our households are run, we argue almost over everything because we feel like those things we argue for are who we are or we’re connected to them in some way. And I always tell people, you wouldn’t know about your religion if someone hadn’t pushed it on you, hadn’t told you about it and dragged you into it. If it didn’t exist you wouldn’t hold God or the world or other people in that light at all. So someone else had to indoctrinate you into a way of thinking, and then you just adopted that as your way. But it’s not your way. Your way can be unique, and it should be unique and individualistic toward how you see reality not how someone else tells you to see it.
And so this is really where somebody on the path needs help and they need to understand that the beginning portions of that path are difficult, and to understand that once we get to a space where we can look at ourselves and say, “Am I more loving? Am I more connected? Am I more patient? Am I less angry? Anxious? Are these things falling away to some extent? Have I made changes in who I am?” That’s the real important point behind the path, is to see that (at least in the foundation), is to notice that, I’m watching my thoughts differently, I’ve never watched my before now I’m watching them and I’m noticing that they might not be me at all, that they’re just coming up and they’re random and I’m noticing the distance between whatever that ordinary awareness is and my thought stream. Same goes for emotions. I don’t have to feel this reactionary emotion, I can step back from it and notice it and say, “Hey, I don’t need to agree to this. I don’t need to agree to poison myself with anger just because the body’s telling me that’s how I react.” And the same thing goes with speech and action. “I don’t have to say these things like I did before unconsciously speaking about however my brain dictated to me I was going to speak. Now I can make a choice.” So these are the basic fundamentals to begin with and then energy starts moving and we can go into the more occult and esoteric practices where we apply the ability to unify with objects of contemplation, whatever they may be, and to get to know them and to be able to really get to what the more advanced process is called – getting to unify and understand with true knowledge about the things that I’m curious about.
So, in that regard that path changes quite dramatically from one side to another and direct experience in that regard changes to. So from a basic perspective, to end this thought, basically I mean if you get on the path you have to be really clear about what the point is and where you’re headed, so if you’re going to start the path now, you’re going to make changes in who you are, you’re going to become a different person because who you are right now is just circumstances and influences. So as you break away from that you’re going to change and you’re going to, for lack of a better word, become more mature toward to what’s happening around you and become more in control of what’s happening within you and therefore with what’s around you as well. And so as those things happen those are the most important things to see. Now everything else whether you’re having more lucidity in your dreams, whether you’re achieving blissful energies within, whether you’re going through heavy rhythms, all of that is really just part and parcel its side effects of the path and it’s not really necessary toward the main goal, which is wholesale change.
The most important thing is to see that you yourself are letting go of the mind-stream, the reactionary emotions, the thoughts, speech and action that goes against or works in conjunction with unconsciousness. So once that begins to happen, you know you’re making strides forward. And then inevitably the idea is to break into, from the ordinary awareness, break into the extraordinary awareness which is a state that isn’t defiled by the underlying habitual energies – of the noise, of the underlying mind. That goes away because it’s not used, it’s not useful, it falls away and then you’re in a state of no thought, beautiful clarity of mind, and again, it’s not like the thoughts gone it just means that it doesn’t have any power or weight and because it doesn’t have weight you don’t really notice it. Sort of like when you’re outside and the winds blowing, when you don’t really care about the wind, when it’s the same temperature as what’s the temperature of the outside space it doesn’t bother you that much. And so the same thing happens with the thoughts, they become weightless and they don’t hold much value and you sort of just move away from them. That quietude, that emptiness, that sets you up to begin to utilize the tools in a whole new way because the interruptions and the distractions are gone and then you can move into the more advanced occult side of the process as well if you’re interested in that.
Eali: So it seems when we start the path, as we’re working through it and we’re reflecting on our actions and our intentions, it seems that at some point when we begin to have negative experiences, it’s not so much that they’re negative experiences but actually it’s more that we’re becoming aware of what was already there. And so it’s kind of like we were sitting in the house and there was everyone screaming in this house, but we had headphones on the whole time, and then one day we decided to take those headphones off and then we noticed wow, everyone is screaming all the time and then someone comes up to us and they are like, “How’s it going?” And we’re like, “Well, everyone is screaming.” And they’re like, “Well that doesn’t sound good.” And so as a result of that, it can seem as if things have gotten worse with this increased awareness but really we’re just becoming more aware of what was already there. And so as a result of that, people can become scared of the path and say, “Well this doesn’t seem right” and then they turn away from that. And they go towards more false paths where they say that it’s easier and they seem to be having a better time at it. But, the truth of the matter is that it can be frightening to notice that our head has been on fire for twenty years but unfortunately, it’s just something that, you know, we have to tackle, we have to deal with.
Daishi: Absolutely right and unfortunately that’s why the people who make it through the path are few and far between because when you set out on this adventure, you got to say, “hey, I’m going to uncover a lot of dirty stones and look underneath them and see things that I probably don’t want to see, or they might be scary and I need it in part of it as overcoming the fear.” You know, having the responsibility to say ”hey, it’s time for me to be more responsible about what I think, feel and act – at least when it comes to the outside world and you know I need to kind of put reins on that.” But like you said, I use the analogy you use, the house full of loud noise. I’ll use the same one. If you ever notice anybody that’s in a home when the power goes off, when the power goes off in the city or the house itself and you happen to be sitting there, you’ll notice that there’s a new kind of silence. It’s a completely different kind of silence.
You weren’t noticing the buzzing and humming of the refrigerator and the air-conditioning unit and all the other appliances that are on the router, and the screeching that comes out of the internet, and all of these things. So you don’t notice these things, but the minute that they’re all shut down you realize – wow, what what is this? It is like a new level of silence that you didn’t really realize could be achievable. The same thing happens when we finally break through into that quietude where habitual noise doesn’t have weight and we kind of let it go and realize how deep and silent and beautiful the mind can be. And so when that happens, after we break through, we’re able to utilize the tools, as I said earlier, in a whole new powerful way – the path just opens up in a whole new way. But prior to that, as you mentioned, once I start to just notice the noise in the house I haven’t turned everything off yet, but I just start to notice, “Wow, the fridge is kind of loud and the routers crazy, I didn’t know that was causing so much noise and as I lay here and just become more aware of all this noise, I’m realizing the house is a terrible place to be, I can’t get any rest or any peacefulness here at all and I want to just run out of the house.” So what you mentioned is true when people start to notice that noise, rather than fight to break through it and have the aspiration to eventually kill it all off they typically look at it and run the other direction and try to just go to another house.
That’s not going to save us from anything. It’s a reaction that happens in somebody’s path when they’re not ready to take it all on. But at some point we’ve got to deal with it, we have to overcome it, we have to break through, we got to get rid of our habitual tendencies or at least our entanglements to them it doesn’t matter if they’re there or not. It’s just that the awareness has to be released from them and that part of it is difficult, it’s challenging. Now, the rewards are worth it a million times and anybody who’s ever achieved that Stream condition will tell you, “I’ll go back and do it over and over if I had to.” But without accomplishing that pure state it’s very difficult and it can be disgruntling and it can be very wearing on a person and so you really need to be with a group or a teacher or somebody that’s going to help you through it because it takes time. And you know we’ve programmed ourselves to be holding our hands up to our heads and not wanting to hear at all. Sort of like a little child that just goes “lalalala” and just doesn’t want to hear it, doesn’t want to face it. But we realize if we don’t face it, the entanglements connected to those habitual tendencies will drive us into a hell of suffering, and they do. We’ll chase pleasures and run from pains, and we’re going to treat people incorrectly, we’re going to have regrets and you know, our life is not going to be able to be clean, clear and connected to that intuitive voice and be able to be driven by reason and sound radiant clarity. And so if we don’t achieve that, we’re going to tumble back into this environment again and again and again and it’s just going to get worse, it’s just going to be more suffering from it because it just accumulates. So I say before it gets to that place let’s get through it now, let’s move through it and once you’re through it, it never comes back. There’s the beauty of it. Once you cleave that entanglement or attachment to those habitual noises, for lack of a better word, those tendencies they’re done and you’re free from it forever and your mind is free and pure and clean and you can move on to a bunch of other things at that point.
But that first part of it is really where it takes a hero to get through, it’s very very treacherous and get as much help as you can and be surrounded by positive people and positive energy and stay away from every form of negativity because you’re going to need all the help you can get. And once you get through it, it’s yours to ride as far into the heavens as you want.
Eali: So it seems that a way someone could look at the path, is that the mind has become so overstimulated that it’s basically responding to its own echoes and as a result of that it has drowned out the intuitive voice, the silent intuitive voice of the heart, and so being cut off from that we have all of these issues arising. But whenever we go through the path we end up relaxing that mind so that way we can hear the heart, more and more, and as a result of that we can connect to it and through connecting with that silent intuitive voice of the heart – which is connected with reality – we find that things that were previously problems are not really problems there just what’s happening. And the whole issue was really just the mind dominating the heart.
Daishi: That’s beautiful. That’s exactly right. That’s what they say in the Christian tradition the still small voice that’s inside, it can’t be heard if there’s a bunch of raunchy noise going on through the unconscious habitual energies that are racing through the mind constantly. So once those are broken away, at least they’ve been considered powerless, then suddenly it opens up to this purity. Like I’ve said before I can sit for 15 hours outside or anywhere I want and be happy and contented without needing anything. But most people they have trouble for five minutes if there’s not some stimulating conversation or some tablet or phone or something entertaining them. And that means that they’re a slave to the world outside of them. The world outside will dictate when they’re happy, when they’re not. And that isn’t a way to live, we have to be able to dictate that ourselves. So when I want to be happy, when I want to be contented, when I’m going to be peaceful I just decide. And it doesn’t matter what’s happening out there because I’ve already cut through the energies of the mind.
Now, just to finish that idea, this process happens in a way that’s more involved. There are nadis in the body, there are ways that we can get to them and cleanse them using energies that help us get there quickly. If we’re just trying to fight the mind ourselves it’s a long path. So if we’re just trying to be present, be present, it’s going to take a long time to cut through all of those habitual tendencies because there are many, they’re legion. So there are other ways of getting up into that energy and being able to work with it. So those are where the paths can differ. You can have some paths that are really aggressive and quick as they say liberation in this lifetime, or enlightenment in this lifetime. And then there are other paths that require many lifetimes – you’re just kind of doing a little bit this life and you’re hoping for a better birth, and then a better birth and so on and so forth. So the majority of the paths take a very simplified approach and that utilize that over a long period of time. Our particular path is one that uses energies of the body in order to cut through, sort of backdoor, the unconscious so that we can streamline that detanglement or untanglement process more quickly, more radically.
Eali: Daishi, I could talk to you for hours but we’re out of time, is there anything else that you’d like to say with regard to direct experience and our conversation as a whole?
Daishi: I think that direct experience is, in its ultimate, is the sensation or the perception of a radically purer and purified powerful and clarified mind. Once that’s perceived there seems like there’s an endlessness to it, there’s an infiniteness to it, and possibilities are also infinite and endless. And regardless of what’s happening around you, you can maintain this beautiful kind of shine, and that beautiful shine is exactly what we want to break through into. That takes work and energy and efforts and then one day it hits you from behind and you achieve that kind of mind. But every step you take is one step closer and so the idea is you keep moving, for your sake and for the sake of everybody else on this planet to make within yourself a beautiful divine person rather than a common worldly animalistic person who just follows desires and runs from aversions, and is very predictable and very programmable and controllable. For you to become outside of that is the highest achievement a person can take in this world and it’s really the purpose for being here in the first place, so you might as well take that on and get going because once you reach it, there’s no looking back.
Eali: So I just want to take the opportunity to say that I love being on the site. I love the content that’s available. I love the interactions that are happening on the site. Is there anything that you would like to say about the website, anything new that’s become available?
Daishi: Just that the new curriculum is about to be launched, I’m very happy about that. It’s going to walk people from the basic understanding of waking and seated states all the way through understanding high-end samyama, the application of applying samyama to their path. And so there’s a huge amount of knowledge there that goes step by step all the way through and we walk you through that process pretty intensely. So we’re happy that that’s being released. I know the guys are working on that now and it should be up any time and that will be truly I think a huge aid for anybody who wants to know how to do this process and how to do it from the comfort of their own home, and so we’re excited about that. But otherwise everybody in our group who comes and visits and hangs out with us knows we’re all in this for the long run. Everybody involved is looking to achieve a greater potential and a greater state of being and we invite anybody who’s looking for that to also come and be part of that family for sure and so we welcome you with open arms. And lastly thank you so much for having this conversation, it was very in-depth, very intense. I loved it, and I hope you’re back soon.
Eali: Thank you again for joining us today Daishi. It was a beautiful conversation and I really appreciate it. If you have any questions or comments about the show, please email us at email@example.com. You can also find us in all the usual places on social media. Just search for Drukama Teachings. The transcript for this show is also available on drukama.com. Thanks for joining us for today’s show, we look forward to seeing you next time.