Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Spiritual Awakening: The Result of an Innocent Heart, not a Clever Mind

Like a moth drawn irresistibly to the light, I have been drawn every other Sunday to the Satsangs which are given by the spiritual teacher Mooji and broadcast live over the Internet. An inexplicable fascination finds me sitting at my computer, connecting in. Satsang is the name given to discourses with a spiritual teacher which are meant to accelerate the process of spiritual awakening by burning everything that we are not. Satsang is a fire that burns away those elements in us that prevent us from emerging.

I have been listening to Mooji for a couple of years now and last year I traveled to London where he was giving these Satsangs because I wanted to ask him a question. Something drew me to him. I only intended to attend one hour of the two-hour Satsang, but even though I put my hand up every time he asked if anyone wanted to speak, he didn't pick me. Because I really wanted to ask my question I stayed for the next hour. Finally, when I had almost given up hope, he saw my hand up and beckoned for me to come and sit on the stool that was opposite him.

spiritual teacher Mooji
The first thing he said to me was, "I've seen you; you have been trying for a while!" I was so focussed on what I wanted to ask it didn't register that he had seen me trying to be noticed. I find speaking in public challenging and this time was no exception. I bent down to take the mic that was on the ground and then not looking at him so that I could formulate my question clearly, I asked, "How do you share spiritual experiences when they are so subjective?" I asked some more about such experiences and when I finally looked up at him, I noticed that he was gazing at me intently.

He said, "First, discover if there is a YOU there to share."

I knew exactly what he meant He was talking about the difference between the you of the mind and the YOU of no-mind. Words that come from the mind are very different in their tone and impact than words coming from no-mind. Often words from the mind are bound in ego and motivated by a desire for results. Words from no-mind are motiveless, they come from the depths of nothingness.

Mooji also said to me, "Don't shy away from sharing, but don't be in too much of a hurry to share." He continued, "Sometimes the mind wants to share and sometimes the deeper power doesn't want to share and then a subtle choice must be made."

I have often thought back to these words, especially when I feel a strong urge to speak, to resist the pull to speak, while examining which part wants to speak and why. And as the times when I have kept silent while wanting to speak and share have increased, so has the degree of peace and contentment I feel with myself and life also increased. That peace has come from the heart and not the mind, which is why I believe that spiritual awakening is a result of an innocent heart, not a trained mind.

It is so easy to train the mind on the spiritual path. What I saw from watching the last Satsang is that the mind grasps something of the nature of spiritual awakening and plays with it in a different way. Except for one person, everyone who asked Mooji a question was aware that the mind and its thoughts was not who he/she really was and there was an urgency, and in some cases a desperate plea, for Mooji to take away their minds. This is nothing more than the mind becoming chameleon-like to avoid being exposed. The mind trying to become spiritually awakened is like a thief turning detective to catch itself — the thief. A game going nowhere.

The innocent heart produces the spontaneous, profound shift of consciousness that characterizes spiritual awakening. Drop the mind and come into the heart.

Jesus said, "Unless you become like little children, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven." He meant "like little children" in the sense of innocence with a heart filled with wonder, not child in an immature way, but childlike as opposed to childish. Spiritual awakening is through the heart, not through the mind, no matter how clever the mind thinks it is.


  1. Nice post. I have loved all the Mooji videos I have watched. He has that unmistakable calm about him that sets apart awakened souls from the others. I totally agree with the child-like not childish comment. I feel like kundalini makes you what you would have become had the painful process of growing into a "serious adult" not intervened. You become wiser and more mature than most adults that are busy playing foolish ego games but you now become a more child-like and joyous individual.

  2. Thank you Vivek for your comment. One concern I have with Mooji is that he doesn't give much importance to Kundalini. I feel that he is missing something major in that it is the energy of Kundalini that shifts the consciousness so it awakens. No amount of trying to figure it out with the mind is going to do it and by not accepting the necessary part this energy plays, is keeping those who sit at his feet trapped in their minds. This is a big concern I have about him. But I completely agree with you when you say about the 'unmistakeable calm about him' and it's even more intense and hypnotic when you are in his presence but his refusal to acknowledge Kundalini just doesn't sit well with me.

  3. One of the biggest mysteries I have not been able to figure out is how people achieve awakening or enlightenment without having a kundalini awakening. The fact that they do tells me that awakening is a separate process that may not require the physical awakening of the serpent energy as a pre-requisite. Osho was enlightened at 21 and he does not mention the kundalini process in his personal story. However, Osho has spoken at length about the seven bodies and their significance and about the kundalini energy (In search of the Miraculous
    He does not discredit it. Krishnamurti did go through a K-awakening. Gurdjieff acknowledged it's existence but called it a hindrance. There is a lot of conflicting information and opinion on the subject. Mooji, even for his exalted status, may not have gone through the physical awakening and if he has not, it doesn't make him any less of an exalted being, it simply proves that kundalini is still one of the rarest phenomena known to man and there is a lot of work ahead for us who have been blessed with it. I do feel that Mooji's devotees are dealt the short end of the stick due to his refusal to acknowledge the energy and it's power.

  4. In this video, he doesn't specifically say that kundalini does or does not exist. He says there is a 'you' beyond the physical energy. I agree with that. In fact, that is what I touched on in the Jnana Yoga post. and your superb post about 'already being what you seek', says something similar. I believe he is aware of kundalini but wants people not to crave it, like JJ mentioned in his post on 'occult powers'. for those that have not had an awakening, it is sure to be a distraction, if they search for the energy, look for the occult powers, without making the search for self the primary motive. I can't speak for Mooji, but I am guessing that tis could be the objective for his reluctance to elaborate on the subject.

  5. the video

    1. It's such a fascinating topic this energy and I am also intrigued as to how people are claiming awakening without reference to any energetic component. I wonder if there are different degrees of awakening depending on which chakra has been activated. Great that you mention Osho as I have read so much of his writing and love everything I read. I have also read In search of the miraculous. I think at the end what is most important is to live like Osho did lightly, without significance, playfully and with wonder. This appeals to me more than trying to work things out....

  6. The sexually sublimated energy is present, even though the individual — Osho, Mooji, etc — does not necessarily have to invoke it through a meditative or mystical practice. Their bodies are perfected such that the energy flows to the brain unencumbered from birth.

    If you think about it, Vivek, that's pretty much what happened with you, although it took reaching maturity before it happened. But you didn't have to undergo any rigorous training; it just happened: the channels cleared and the energy shot up to your brain, and that has been that. Nevermore to regress to your previous state!

    1. I think that some kind of re-examination and re-positioning of one's views and beliefs is essential for awakening. Osho speaks about a time when as a Jain he went on a trip with a friends who all ate potatoes and tomatoes late at night when Jains don't eat. He refused for as long as he could and then gave in and ate the food. He couldn't sleep until he vomited it all up and then he looked at his friends who were all sleeping and realised that they weren't vomiting their food. It was his belief which had been indoctrinated in him that eating late at night was sinful that he vomited. From then on Osho was free of every idealogy and belief, but it took that level of self-awareness to achieve such freedom. It would be interesting to know if Vivek went through any kind of crisis about a strongly held belief before the energy shot to his brain, sorry Vivek, I should have maybe asked you this when I replied to your own comment..

  7. JJ, you are right, the energy worked within me without any active attempt at raising the energy. The energy is present even without giving it a name. In case of Osho and Mooji, I am sure the process worked in the background but was unimportant to the larger work being done on the psyche.

    Margaret, I have read about that incident about Osho having his mindset challenged, about eating after dark and eating foods he had never eaten before. I grew up in a meat eating family so I didn't undergo something similar after awakening. I did have my beliefs challenged but they had more to do with how we are programmed right from childhood to behave in a certain way that is 'Right'

    In my case, I grew up in a house where we all had to obey our elders, mainly my father and have unquestioning faith in his judgement for all things. I was raised in a culture where 'fitting in' and pleasing the community, family, or society one lived in was valued over being yourself. I moved from that culture to one where being yourself was prized over all else.

    After awakening, the first thing the energy did was guided me towards removing these control mechanisms from my life and changed me from an approval seeking puppy to a fully functional individual who saw through the manipulation and learned to distance himself from those that were controlling him.

    Most of the ego adjustment that occurred was to adapt to this reality. It was very difficult at first and it felt horrible to have "let down the family" for being myself and not being a robot anymore.

    After awakening, I received validation for the things I had always felt right but feared trying simply because "it was not done". Old rituals and ways of thinking. The whole conformist paradigm just fell away and seemed laughable.

    Becoming a doctor or climbing the corporate ladder so my father can brag about it to his friends, regardless of how miserable it made me, finally became obvious for the fool's errand it was. Learning to be comfortable in my own skin, not caring about others' approval/disapproval. To me, that was the biggest shift. It allowed me to cherish my talents and work on becoming who I was meant to be and pursue my own interests.

  8. Hi Vivek, your observation about shift happening when you have the courage to be yourself really resonates. I was the rebel in my staunch Irish Catholic family, questioned everything, refused to go to confession to a man who my mother did everything in her power to get me to go. She said he was 'the ambassador of God' and I resolutely refused. All of my life I have looked keenly at what I read and I ask myself one question 'does this fit with my experience' and if it doesn't then I don't rubbish it I just gently let it go. I feel certain that my own awakening had everything to do with me refusing to follow and be obedient to traditions which felt like there was something missing. This view was confirmed by my mother only last week who said to me 'you have only ever done what you want to do'. You could say that I have been extremely lucky that I have been able to just be me, but awakening demands the authenticiy to be YOU and not some pale imitation of something or someone else....

    1. Yup, I know where you are coming from. In my case, as though the rigid hierarchy of orthodox hinduism wasn't enough, my father also sent me to catholic school for the discipline. Think about it.

      All my life i was a rebel and did things differently, but within the confines of those carefully constructed boundaries. When you are unawakened, the desire to rebel is there but you have the invisible mechanism in place that is enforced through fear, shame and guilt. Like taming a lion or elephant a child is "brought back on track".

      Once I was awakened the energy guided me to remove that entire mechanism. Shame, fear and guilt don't work on me anymore, not only because I see more than those trying to put back the blindfold, but also because I don't crave any approval from outside. How I dress, what I eat, what I do with my life is all guided from within with absolutely no need for validation from anyone on the outside. Without your need and expectation at receiving something from someone other than yourself, the whole mechanism falls apart.

      It was that easy. In the days preceding my awakening, I had broken through a lot of taboos, was finally done with a miserable graduate school experience and had the chance to relax and look inwards. Before that, I was trying to be myself but also make others happy. An absurdly contradictory set of goals.

      Now I completely disregard others and their opinions. Having the energy guide me makes it easy now. But you are right, the initial steps towards total independence from "conventional wisdom" (an oxymoron beyond parallel) is what sparked the awakening.

      It is like the divine is waiting for you to take that first step and then eagerly guides you on the road ahead.

  9. Dear Margaret
    I'm finally getting round to writing and thanking you for your articles. Wow they are great, thanks... I'm grateful to be part of this,

  10. Thank you Laila, I am very grateful to be part of this too. I'm looking forward to your next post. All the best Margaret

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