Mailbag 2 “Carry Water, Chop Wood” – Drukama RadioTM Episode 10
This week Daishi goes through another mailbag tackling ideas like “Carry Water, Chop Wood” and what to do when you “see red” in anger.
Episode 10 Extract
Mailbag 2 “Carry Water, Chop Wood”
“The awareness we perceive is progressive in that the more the ‘noise’ of the mind-stream diminishes (over time and through diligence), the more the awareness illuminates and brightens.
This is important to remember. Sometimes practitioners get a moment of clear light and mistake that for full Realization and then shrug their shoulders thinking ‘what is this fuss about, it’s just a moment of quiet’.
If it was that dull, millions of pages of texts wouldn’t have been written about it.
So hang on and reinforce the Essential Nature until mind-stream vanishes.
It’s worth the ride.”
Drukama™ podcast extract – EP10
Full Transcript of This Episode
Adam: Welcome back to Drukama Radio. We are thrilled to have you join us today and so fortunate to again be joined by Raz this week. Raz, how are you doing?
Daishi: Very good, nice to talk to you. Thanks so much!
Adam: Yeah. I’m excited to do this. We’re going to do some more mailbag. We got a ton last week, even more this week so we pulled out some that were triplicate or asked 4-5 times and these are to some degree a little bit more broad questions and we’re just going to kind of see where you go with them. Are you ready?
Daishi: I am ready, let’s do it!
Adam: Okay! This first one I thought was interesting, because I never would’ve thought of it myself personally and it deals with the idea of being conscious, being present and so it says: how conscious and present am I when I eat and also about what I eat?
If we think of it as fueling a body, how important is that? The act of it and also what goes into it.
Daishi: Okay, so, the importance of awareness on the path is to act as a tool that helps me to unhinge or detach from my inherent, unconscious entanglement to self. So we can talk about that and break it down, but basically the more present I become in my thoughts, emotions and actions, the more, in other words, the awareness is actually watching that process – the faster I can become unhinged from my unconscious entanglement to all of those things. And that’s very important on the path, because most of our suffering comes from the unconscious entanglement to that identity, so being aware of it is one of the very first steps we take on the path. We have to start to watch how we think, what we think about, how we feel about it and how we act and talk on it. We don’t need to coerce it or do anything about it, but we need to watch that and become aware of that process, because that will inevitably lead us to understand that most of that is done automatically and in a reactionary way and while we’re unconscious to that reactionary process, we’re creating massive chaos in our lives that comes back like a boomerang and creates terrible rhythms.
Adam: What I took from this and the part that I was curious about is the actual idea of fueling the vessel here. How important is it to take that into account, you know, the spectrum of eating at McDonald’s, up to eating almost pure whatever it is, you know?
Daishi: Absolutely understand, you’re talking specifically about vitality. Well there’s two ways to look at this actually, you can talk about the expense of vitality, where vitality is just the word we will use, which is the fuel tank that keeps us able to get up and down and talk and walk and think and feel and so on. But when I eat something, how much energy is in the thing I’m eating, as opposed to how much energy is it going to take me to digest that food. So, in other words, on the one hand it’s the nutritional content, on the other hand it’s the amount of energy it’s going to take to extract that nutritional content and in this case, when we say nutritional content, we mean prana, right, or energy, cause at its core, the body is breaking food down – why? To get what we call nutrients out of it, so that we can keep fueling the machine. So, if we’re eating junk food, it takes a tremendous amount of heat, digestive fire and work in the stomach, the gastrointestinal track and the stomach enzymes and so on to break that food down and extract what little prana is in that junk food. So, it almost takes as much if not more to break it down than it gets in return in terms of food. If we’re eating something that we just picked off a tree, then it’s full of life and it’s easily digestible, like an apple for example. When we eat that apple, we’re getting massive amounts of energy and nutrients from that apple, with very little digestive expenditure and you always have to look at those two things.
Adam: One final piece, and I did not think that the food portion of this was going to go this deep, but I’m going to ask you. I’ve been kind of toying with myself, the idea of ingesting more shakes. So like – taking fruits and vegetables and blending them so that, theoretically, my body wouldn’t have to break them down as much. Is that something that is actually possible, or is that completely off-base?
Daishi: No, I think it’s a great idea, you’ve done a lot of the work, your body would’ve had to do to break it down. I think it’s a fantastic way to save yourself a lot of vitality, if you’re just going to drink the meal. In some cases it’s really healthy to have your body digest some food some times. You do want to keep the muscles strong, but no, drinking a shake or having shakes every day is an excellent way to give your body a break and give it the nutrition it needs without expending a lot of energy breaking down the food.
Adam: Alright, and we’re going to spin from that to something that’s a little bit deeper, but equally as important. We got a ton of questions that deal with losing temper. I wanted you to take a couple of minutes with the idea and just riff on how to deal with the anger that comes from losing your temper – that moment where you blow your top and we all know what we’re talking about, when you see red, right, and you’ll sometimes say things or people will do things that you would never normally do, but at this point you’ve been pushed, the needle is pegged on the speedometer and you are just tunnel-vision-focused on, you know, fire and wrath.
Daishi: So, this is exactly now going back to the beginning of our conversation. This is the place where our awareness has lost control of the vessel and the vessel is reacting on its own. So, we always fly off the handle, you used a good term I like using – seeing red – so seeing red relates to the muladhara chakra, that lower first chakra in the body that the mystics have told us resides at the base of the pelvic floor, and that is basically that area of survival, fear and in the old ancient texts they tell us that’s red, right. Seeing red is that activation of that lowest part of us, that base part of us. But really what happens when we “see red” and we lose control, what do we lose control of, really? Of our body, of our vessel, our vehicle and that’s why after we “see red” and we go nuts and lose it, we start screaming, yelling and hopefully not being physical, but once that happens, we always say later: “I’m really sorry, that wasn’t me.” You know…and what are we apologizing for, we’re apologizing because we didn’t have the strength to control our own vessel. In other words, the vessel overcame me. The egoic identity reacted so strongly that I could no longer control what was happening and now I’m back to a steady, controllable space and I’m apologizing for what I allowed to happen.
We’re basically unconsciously agreeing that whatever awareness was in the vessel, had nothing to do with that event – that event was a reaction of the identity, ego vehicle itself and not really me, the awareness and I apologize for it. “I’m sorry, I couldn’t stop it.” So – that’s a problem, because if we can get to that area that we lose control of our vehicle. I mean, think about it this way: if we had a car and every once in a while I lost control of the car and ran over a bunch of children, right? Whoops, sorry guys, my bad! It was the car that hit the children, not me, so, you know, I wanted to just apologize. We would be in jail, right, we would lose our license and we’d go to jail for doing a terrible thing. And we’d see this happens with our body too, some people can go to such an extreme that they lose it so badly, they actually hurt other people and they do end up in jail for that, right? But it is a scary thing to think about the fact that this body-mind has the ability to overcome me, that I can say things, or it can say things, it can do things, it can feel things, it can think things that I don’t really want it to think. We call it negative, right? I just had the worst dream, thought, feeling. I just said the worst things, I just did the worst thing. Well, who’s doing that? So it leads us in the spiritual direction of trying to figure out: are there two things here? There’s an awareness and then there’s a whole functioning vehicle? And…what is this functioning vehicle and how do I ensure it doesn’t control my life experience, which is what is happening to the majority of the people on this planet – the vehicle is controlling their life experience through this unconscious reaction and that’s the beginning portions of the spiritual path itself – is really to start understanding what’s happening there, within each person.
Adam: Good stuff. We’re going to pivot from that – this one we got a few on and we’ve gotten questions about it for a while and I’m curious as to kind of which way you’re going to take this. So – you’ve used the phrase in shows and lectures before – the idea of someone saying: what is missing in this moment? And we got several different variations just asking for clarification about what exactly you mean, when you’re talking about that.
Daishi: I do repeat that phrase: “What’s lacking in this moment?” That’s an old, very old phrase that’s been used through the ages in the spiritual, mystical communities, because it’s such an excellent way of reminding yourself that, the trouble that’s happening in the mind or the stories that are being created in the mind and the emotions that are backing them up, are typically caused by an illusory situation. In other words – something we believe has happened or something we believe will happen, but it isn’t something that’s actually happening, right now.
So, when you take a minute and say, what’s lacking in this moment – it allows us to step back and say, “okay you’re right, there is no fire alarm, emergency, there is nothing for me to be worried about or to have anxiety about right now. I’m safe, I’m in a good place, there’s no bear here that’s about to attack me and my life’s not in danger, etc, etc. So, I can now let go of a lot of the nonsense the mind is creating, which it loves to do, it loves to create scenarios and have you stress on them and let those go and say, okay, right now I’m okay.” And, again, nothing’s wrong with planning, we have to plan and we have to strategize and look at our lives and understand all those things about what we need to do from day-to-day, but there’s a difference between handling a challenge and suffering through a mentally created delusional scenario. Those are two completely different things.
A challenge comes up and we face it, deal with it. A mentally created scenario is something where the mind says – what if this happens? You know, and it usually paints them very dark and then we stress about…wow that would be terrible. Well what if you lose your job and your house and your wife or your husband or your girlfriend or you get kicked out of school or you get cancer. It’ll come up with all those crazy scenarios and place them in front of your feet and say: what are you going to do when this happens? When we see that come up, that idea, especially in the beginning parts of the path, is to step back and say: okay…stop, I don’t need to deal with this, cause it’s not really happening, it’s an illusion of the mind – it likes to be busy.
If it’s busy, it has a role, it’s role is to create problems that you use it to solve. If there are no problems, then you don’t need to use it at all and therefore you can back off from the ideas that it generates to drive us crazy, moment by moment. It’s a neurosis actually, it’s a neurotic behavior to think about something that’s never happened or hasn’t come to pass. I mean, there’s a difference between planning something – by tomorrow morning, I’d like to get up at 9 and head to the airport – and then creating a scenario where I’m not going to get up at 9, I’m going to miss my flight, I’m going to freak out, I’ll probably get fired from my job, etc. Two different conditions of the mind. One is a neurotic kind of behavior and the other is just a good strategic way of planning your morning out. You’ve got to make the distinction and that’s what that statement does.
Adam: We had another statement that we’ve heard and that would be the: “Carry water, chop wood.” and I wondered if you could go into specifically how to apply that to someone who is beginning on the path. Because in a vacuum, you understand what it means, but being able to actually apply that is not something that I think is always effective.
Daishi: It’s very difficult at different stages of the path, because the practitioner will go through different levels of identifying themselves and finding a lot of junk in the dark closet of their unconscious mind. And while they’re dealing with those things, it’s very hard to interface and interact with your job and your friends and your family. Especially in that initiatory area, where you are looking so much within, that you’re having trouble identifying, and you’re also not sure, who you are anymore. You’re kind of thinking – well, geez, you know, I was buying into this story that was given to me by my parents, that I was John Johnlinson and I had these tendencies and I liked this music and I liked this food and now I can see that all those things are fabrications, because they change constantly, none of that is static, except my name. And so, who am I really? And so you start to question really, “where am I in all that?” That changes the way you interact with people and it makes it very difficult to chop wood and carry water. That saying comes from an old Eastern philosophy, it’s a very old saying, that means – once you reach an openness, a connection between the conscious and unconscious mind has been bridged and there’s a fluidity there and the identity is now used in the world to enjoy and have peace. It means, once you find that kind of realization or that realized state, you are right back into being part of the world without any problem. You’re just part of being part of everything and it’s okay. You go about your work, you go about your life, you go about everything, but you are in a completely different space than you were prior to beginning, obviously.
Adam: Awesome stuff. And we have one more for you Raz – if you have time – and I thought this was a particularly good question to end on and I’m kind of excited to see where you’re going to go with this. We had someone write in an email and it was a very nice email, a very flattering email. Talking about how impactful this is with them, so that’s great. So we thank you for that. The question basically centered around – as we become more aware of things and distractions, how does one not end up viewing these distractions negatively. How do you not look at the things that make up your life, and once you are seeking a more spiritual experience, not start kind of shirking these off, as negatives. You know what I mean? And I guess this could apply honestly all the way up to even family, because they can be a distraction too, to some degree, you know what I mean?
Daishi: It’s a really powerful question, because it does come up a lot, but it also has a huge impact, because the answer tells us how we should perceive what’s happening around us while we’re on the path, but let’s look at it a little bit differently. Every negative thing that’s ever happened to us in our life, has been extremely positive. Every time we’re challenged by something that we find to be very negative, a situation, a rhythm comes up that’s very negative, or a time in our lives where we felt like all was lost, right? It’s done, it’s over. That big breakup, lost our job, heard terrible news, our father or mother treated us badly, we did something to somebody we can’t forget, it was shameful or some event that happened that we thought – this is the worst, this is the end. That’s always lead to some kind of growth and wakefulness, so what we call negative, has always turned around to be actually very positive. If you really have the right eyes, when you see these situations out to their conclusion, will see that that all these negative events, inevitably have very positive outcomes in terms of our growth, because negativity is simply just the outside world slapping us a little bit to wake up and it does it in a way that seems to be very violent sometimes or seems to be very scary and frightening and overwhelming and ridiculous and chaotic and mean.
And so, when we look at the world and we see it acting this way, we sort of go: how is this possible? How can human beings do this? How could I do this? How could she do this? How could he do this to me, etc. Usually these always end up being something that ends up causing us to wake up and look ourselves and look at others and begin to learn about ourselves very deeply and learn about how we operate, learn about how the world operates. And all of those things are incredibly, powerfully productive and positive. It’s just at the moment we say: I don’t want to deal with this, its negative, I don’t want to handle this, it’s negative, I don’t want this in my life, get it away from me! But in truth, it’s there, because it’s a powerful tool, so we have to see things that way and understand.
There’s an old saying in the Kabbalistic tradition that I’m from and it says: never show an unfinished project to an uneducated man. And what it means is – you cannot reveal the plans for something big to someone who doesn’t have the eyes to understand it all, who hasn’t seen it all, who doesn’t really grasp it all. And when we talk about human evolution and where people are from, where they are today and where they’re going – it’s too big for us to understand yet, that whole scope. So when you say it – man, woman, child – humanity is heading exactly where it should head and it’s doing everything it should do, precisely the way it should do it in order to evolve. It’s very hard to see that when we’re inside of it, when we’re happening it, working in it day to day. But if you took a big 30,000 foot view and saw the whole movie, you would see that there’s actually wonderment happening every moment, even all the things we say are so terrible, still when we see the whole project, when it enters completion, you say “oh! It all makes sense!” It’s all right and was always heading toward the right outcome and that’s really what the spiritual path does. It opens us up intuitively enough to bridge into the unconscious to understand the plan better and to be okay with the plan and all the negative things begin to become positive, because we say: there’s another growth, there’s more growth, that’s more growth. And that becomes incredibly empowering and that allows us to laugh and giggle and have more fun in our day to day lives, because we get it now and that’s really the way we should be living and not the way we are now, which is unconscious and in fear. However, that will end too at some point.
Adam: Awesome stuff, brother. Thank you so much for taking that. I’m sorry, if we didn’t get to your question. Raz and I will put our heads together this week, we have a bout 50 more that I pulled, so suppose it’s possible we may stretch this out and do one more, before we start the series, but at least for now, we’ve got through two of these. I know you’re a busy man, before we get out of here, brother, any parting thoughts?
Daishi: I think the biggest thing we need to do every day, if we can and I know it’s hard to remember these things, but as a parting shot is to remember: am I a more conscious person today? Not better, but a more conscious person than I was yesterday? Have I done one little thing today to become a little bit more conscious of myself, of me, of how I operate, of how I work today than I did yesterday. If we can say that every day, very quickly we’re going to become incredibly illuminated and radiant and clear and we’re going to be able to see things in a whole new way, because that is instituting change and we are the directors of the change. We are the ones that make the change, so when we think it, we back it up with emotional power and we speak it out, we’re actually causing something very powerful to happen and in that way we will become little creators of who we are and how we see reality.
We want to take that role as an active creator and start forming and making our lives the way we want to experience them and the way we want to perceive them and that’s important to remember each day. Wake up a little and say: am I more clear today? Have I aspired to be more clear today than I was yesterday? That’s really enough, you know.
Adam: Beautiful way to end. Thank you everyone for listening. Please rate and review on iTunes and you can get a hold of us if you need to: email@example.com. We will talk to you next week, until then be well.