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Note: For the Original Internet Lessons with additions, see the AYP Easy Lessons Books. For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books, Audiobooks and more, see AYP Plus.

Lesson 332 - Darshan, Shaktipat and the Global Web of Awakening  (Audio)

AYP Plus Additions:
332.1 - What is Initiation?
  (Audio)

From: Yogani
Date: May 20, 2009

New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"


Q: I've been on this trail for a few years now and, besides meditating, have attended events with Eckhart Tolle, Adyashanti, plus a few others, and am working my way through Nisargadattas "I AM THAT" for the third time. My co-workers see me reading it on lunch break and ask, "What is THAT?"

When I was with Tolle, and then Adyashanti, I had peak experiences (huge inner expansions), but with big letdowns after getting home (ugh). After each letdown, I found myself more or less back where I started, stuck in ego, except all the more determined to break through. Can you offer me any advice on where to go from here? Should I keep going back for boosters from those who gave me the jolts of insight before? Or should I go to an Indian guru for shaktipat? 

A: It sounds like you've got the bug and are going for it. Keep going. Bravo!

There is no doubt that sitting with those who are awakened, and masters of the art, is a good thing. Even better is having a stable and effective meditation practice to do at home every day. In the long run, what we are doing at home in-between our retreats will exceed the effects of the retreats. No doubt people like Eckhart Tolle and Adyashanti can give some great boosts, but I think even they will tell you that what you are doing about your enlightenment will far exceed what they can do. They may point to the moon, but they are not the moon. Likewise, reading Nisargadatta, or any realized sage, will point the way and be inspiring and instructive. There is energy in all of these, according to your own dedication, and it helps to draw from the resources that resonate with you. But in the end, you will find it in yourself in your own way. No one else can do that for you. For lasting progress to occur, it is essential to understand this. 

Traditionally, receiving darshan (seeing) from someone who is awakened has been the standard formula for those who wish to experience their own awakening. This tradition continues in modern times. The few who have become seriously enlightened continue to be magnets for the multitude who hunger for salvation. How it happened for them may be a mystery, and often they can offer little more than their presence and information about the circumstances of their awakening. While there may be no question about the "what" (the enlightenment and energy flow), there will often be questions about the "how" (reliable methods that can work for everyone). So the darshans go on, and the efforts to achieve enlightenment by osmosis continue as they always have. It's not a bad thing, but not very effective when used as a primary cause of our awakening.

Now we are in a new era when lots of people are awakening. See Lesson 93 from five years ago on "Changing Times." In the 20thcentury there was a clear turning point, and now we are seeing the fruit as many are finding their toes dipping into the enlightenment experience everywhere. Rather than being the product of darshans, the current global awakening is the product of millions of practitioners around the world engaging in meditation on a daily basis. This has not been limited to any particular tradition or method, but has been represented by all traditions and methods, including in the mainstream religions where the awakening is beginning to happen also. So the prodigies of enlightenment are finding much more company these days. There are lots of people to help get over the hump, needing support and advice about what this awakening thing is all about. 

The awakening itself comes from within you, and from your own efforts in that direction. There are methods to it, known causes and effects, and the application of these methods is what makes the difference in terms of the increasing numbers of people who are waking up to the presence of the witness within, and the long term implications of this in everyday living.

Methods... 

This is why the focus in the AYP lessons for all this time has been on practices rather than where to go to get that next boost. It is not primarily about who can do it for you. It is about how you can do it for yourself. So, the advice is to do both as you see fit continue seeking darshan and satsang (spiritual company) with those you resonate with, and build a sound daily practice that fits into your lifestyle and can serve you over the long term. In this way, those peak experiences will become more steady and lasting, and the letdowns will become much less. In the end, there will be little fluctuation at all, and it will feel like home whether you are sitting in darshan on retreat with a teacher, at home on your meditation seat, busy at work, or shopping in the marketplace. It will all be the same Oneness, your Self reflected everywhere you go and in everything you do. 

Regarding seeking shaktipat, it is the same thing as darshan, only more targeted and, depending on the source, there can be a more lasting effect. Nevertheless, the greater impact will continue to come from your daily practices, and from how you integrate the inner silence gained into your daily activities. You may or may not find yourself drawn to this kind to energetic support. It is a tricky business. See Lesson 146 on Shaktipat. There it is pointed out that with the changing times, and the rise of spiritual energy from millions of practitioners around the world, we are all receiving a constant infusion of evolutionary influence that is quickening our purification and opening in every moment. As a result, spiritual practices are becoming increasingly effective. What used to take an hour in meditation can now be accomplished in a few minutes. This is why "self-pacing" has become so important in the application of the AYP methods, and in all other approaches to spiritual awakening, including darshan and shaktipat. Increasing attention is being given to this by students and teachers everywhere. It is no longer a matter of if the whole of humanity is awakening spiritually. For anyone who has eyes to see, there can be no doubt that something profound is happening. Now it is becoming more a question of how it will be managed. So we have a lot to do on both sides of those peak experiences you mentioned before and after. 

"Breaking through" is not necessarily the best way to look at it, though enthusiasm and dedicated effort are certainly assets on the journey. But no one really "breaks through." It is more about "falling through" letting go, particularly of our inner hanging on to our identified awareness. 

In the AYP approach, it is a two step process. First we cultivate abiding inner silence, the witness, in daily deep meditation. And then, through gentle inquiry, we gradually release our identification with our thought processes that bind us to the mindset of "me and mine." The whole thing gradually unwinds, with a vast pillow-like foundation of inner silence underneath to catch us hence, fewer letdowns. There are many additional methods and steps we may bring into the process along the way, but that is the basic scenario. It is getting easier to fall through all the time. At the same time, we have new challenges in stabilizing the awakenings that are occurring everywhere. 

A global web of awakening is emerging. Not primarily a physical web, though is has its physical components which give rise to an energetic web encompassing the entire planet. There are increasing numbers of teachers everywhere, many who transcend traditional knowledge systems by direct experience. There are the unlimited communication capabilities of the internet, which make it possible for extensive sharing of knowledge and experiences, and the creation of simultaneous group meditation practice sessions spanning the globe. So, in addition to the individual daily practice sessions of millions following the clock in an energy wave traveling continuously around the world, we also have periodic time-synchronized sessions occurring when many are dipping deep into inner silence at the same time. The power of global group practice is palpable, and its importance cannot be understated. If you are interested in participating in global group meditations that are occurring every weekend, visit this AYP Support Forum topic.

The global web of awakening is getting stronger each year. Every practitioner and every teacher is a node in this vast energetic network. No one is alone. Everyone contributes in each daily meditation and in every spiritual gathering, and everyone benefits from the continuously rising energy field. So carry on as you see fit, and all the best on your path!

The guru is in you.

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Note: For detailed instructions on building a daily practice routine, and the profound implications of large numbers of practitioners around the world, see the Eight Limbs of Yoga book and the Retreats book, and AYP Plus.


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