Conceptual and Perceptual Mind



The Yajna Discourses of Santosha Adi Da (1995-1996)

A Gathering “Consideration” with Adi Da Samraj

Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, California

December 29, 1995



DEVOTEE:: It feels as though, Beloved, that when you relax the conceptual mind, the perceptual mind is felt at heart.

AVATARA ADI DA: Mm? And that’s a perception.

DEVOTEE: But it also shows you the deepest place to relax into.

AVATARA ADI DA: Yes, well, what if you do that?

What if you relax that perception, too? In other words, where there is no contraction whatsoever.

If there’s no contraction, then you’re not merely experiencing but in some inherent sense Realizing What Is , because you’re not adding anything. There’s no “you” in the active sense affecting What Is. So you’re not experiencing What Is through any kind of medium of thought or sensation.

it’s just It.

If you feel It utterly, then the perceptual mind that is even aware of your own physical form relaxes and there are no boundaries. And no separate self. [pause]

There are levels of emotion in it that follow, rather formless-positive emotions, negative emotions. That’s just another modification of Energy.

Feel through each of those.

Add absolutely nothing to What Is. [pause]

There’s a kind of anxiety at the root of it. That’s the ego knot. Feel through it.

[very long pause, several minutes]

Now do you see how much further you’d have to go to allow it completely? [Devotees answer that they do.]

So you have to do the sadhana, you see. [long pause]

DEVOTEE: Beloved, that was a very extraordinary experience, because I felt like it began with the conceptual mind relaxing to begin with, as we have talked about.


DEVOTEE: And now all kinds of perceptions when we were just silent there. And then even those perceptions kind of all being just eliminated down to what felt like was the contraction at the core here. And at the same time I was seeing You, just Witnessing You. It was like I could simply see Who You Are. And I felt like there were moments when I would just evaporate into That in some sense, that this knot was forgotten for a split second, but then it was right there.


DEVOTEE: It was so strongly there. And I felt, apart from conceptions and perceptions and so on, that that was simply going to be there until completely purified by sadhana. There was no way of thinking it through or perceiving it through. It was simply there. And I felt what needed to be surrendered in order for that to be transcended.

AVATARA ADI DA: Yes, if you really feel that knot, you don’t want to feel it. Hm? But it is the ground of your ordinary life. You try to distract yourself from it constantly, through seeking and self-indulgence and whatnot. But if you really find out about yourself, find this knot, find what your real experience is, then you won’t want to put up with that. It will oblige you to do sadhana, to feel constantly more and more beyond it.

DEVOTEE: Beloved, I feel this. I feel this need to go beyond that, what this illusion is, very strongly now. it’s something that You Gave me this year.


DEVOTEE: I feel that it’s such a profound vision to see life as an illusion. The Beauty of What is other than that, you know, is just Shining more and more to me.


But to Realize It you must utterly relinquish your self-position. So that doesn’t make life a negative. That just means that that’s what life is about. Life is inherently, by Law, sadhana, God-wardness, going beyond separate self.

Generally, people don’t seem to know anything about that. So by Grace you may become aware of it, and no longer be willing to be distracted by your cover-up, to keep yourself somehow or other unaware of it and becoming very, then, superficial, peripheral, in your mind, your body, your feelings. But all the time you’re motivated by it. You re always seeking something or other. You even forget what the hell you’re seeking. Or in one moment or other it’s this, that, or the other particular thing, but always avoiding the knowledge, the discovery, of your own action that is producing all of that.

So it is a Grace to find it out. But it is not in itself Graceful. In other words, it’s not a mere pleasure to find this knot, you see, if, having found It out, you must do sadhana. Otherwise, well, maybe you’ll forget a little bit again by getting very superficial, but you’ll give up the opportunity to deal with it.

DEVOTEE: Beloved, I feel that everything in the world is about that. That is all it’s about, is avoiding that.

AVATARA ADI DA: Avoiding this knowledge of this knot. The whole worlds avoiding this knowledge of the knot.

DEVOTEE: Everything that I’ve done, even in Your Company and the practice that You’ve Given us, I’ve had to come to see that everything I do, everything I do, everything I do, …


DEVOTEE: … is intentionally keeping me from feeling that and going beyond that.

AVATARA ADI DA: Well, truly, you’re only willing to feel that knot that motivates you when you simultaneously, Gracefully, discover What Transcends it and are Given a Wisdom that communicates itself to you so that you know how to go beyond it. In other words, individuals will automatically dissociate from this depth unless they can somehow come to terms with it through the Graceful discovery of What Transcends it and the finding of Wisdom to deal with it.

So when all those things coincide, and all of a sudden you find you’re able to feel this thing that motivates you, this knot, this disturbance, because you know that there’s something you can do about it, then there is the What to Realize that’s beyond it.

But still the sadhana is a matter of actually dealing with this dis-ease. In other words, the religious life, this Way in particular, is not about consolation merely and distraction and so forth, in the conventional sense, or ego-supporting sense. The process, moment to moment, goes beyond the self-contraction, particularly as hearing awakens. that’s when there is most profound understanding, knowing of this self-contraction, and that it is your own activity. But even the sadhana from the beginning is about going beyond this knot and not avoiding it through conventional-mindedness and consolation and such.

So the actual process is to stay in place, in this place of separate self, surrendering to Me, to the point of self-forgetting Communion with Me, true going beyond it. Its that from the beginning, not merely after hearing. Even from the beginning it is so. But you have to understand that that’s what the sadhana is about, or you will miss the point and think the religious life is about consolation or mere behavior and so forth.

You are to stand in that position of that knot, feeling your own dis-ease, motivation.

DEVOTEE:: it’s so painful just to feel that, though.

AVATARA ADI DA: But it’s there anyway. [DEVOTEE: Yeah.] So you must embrace this Way and actually go beyond it.

But that means you have to endure it over the period of your sadhana. There’s not only the fundamental knot itself. There are all of it’s reflections in the body-mind, tendencies of one kind or another, and so on. You have to endure the purification of these things by standing in the knot-position, sensitive to all the limitations of your disposition, and surrender to Me to the point of forgetting it, relinquishing it, keeping the faculties all focused in Me, in this Communion Only then do you make this knot obsolete.

You initially go through a process of purification where the resultant knots, the different kinds of behaviors, attitudes, and so forth, that bind you appear. These must be purified through the initial stages of sadhana, even up to the “Perfect Practice”. So the initial sadhana is purifying, and it’s necessarily, then, a matter of being in touch with this knot in life-difficulties and so on, all tendencies that would make life difficult. Instead of dramatizing them, maintain the discipline of this Way and practice this Communion every moment.

In this manner you will be purified by this Communion with Me in all those areas that are relaxed, forgotten, disciplined. So that more and more the practice becomes extraordinarily concentrated, not in peripheral matters of experiencing and so on but in the root itself. And then the “Perfect Practice” can begin. So, once sufficient purification has occurred, that there is this extraordinary concentration, then suddenly My Instruction about the Witness becomes inherently Obvious and is thereafter not something that can be forgotten.

it’s not a something that can be forgotten. it’s not merely a thought. it’s a noticing that you never forget. Its a noticing even beyond the mind.

Now, you can notice it, of course, for a moment, if I Call you to.

[Beloved Adi Das Voice becomes quiet.] I mean, isn’t it true, right now? No matter what is arising, you are the Witness of it? [Quiet assent from devotees.]

But to Stand in the Witness-Position Itself, truly, requires purification of attention, and therefore of the bondage signs in the body-mind altogether, and in life, experience.

So sadhana is tapas. You must be in the place of the knot, sensitive to the limitations in your own disposition, but in every moment-instead of dramatizing that-disciplining it, surrendering it to Me, entering into Communion with Me by forgetting the content that is simply the garbage result of not living in Truth in the past. So it has to be made obsolete. All the modifications of the fundamental Reality must be purified and transcended. What there is to Realize is the Unconditional Reality, the Reality that is Always Already the case, even now.

Now you are preoccupied with the modifications of that Reality, that Divine Reality, distracted by them and dissociated from the fundamental Reality by this very knot. You must enter into depth, no superficiality, as you did in the first part of this consideration. Ordinarily you are not doing so in the fullest or stable sense, you see. And so as soon as you relax into your just fundamental feeling, you feel a knot there. You don’t simply feel the inherent Love-Bliss of Reality-but you do feel It, Flowing through it, but you’re experiencing this knot in the midst of It. To Realize the Divine Self-Condition, you have to go beyond that knot.

So it’s not really a matter of thinking, accumulating experience, and so on. it’s a matter of being established in that place, surrendering to Me to the point of self-forgetting. And this allows a course of purification and development that becomes the “Perfect Practice” and ultimately the seventh stage Demonstration. It is truly an inevitable process, able to go by it’s appropriate stages and so forth, unless you step outside the process itself and become superficial again. But if you stay with the process itself, as I have Given it to you altogether, then the development is inevitable.

So if your development in this Way is slow, its because you’re stepping outside the process. it’s not that the process itself is retarded.

This is why the hearing matter is so profound and fundamental to this Way. it’s the foundation of the process that must develop, because it’s about finding the self-knot, the self-contraction, finding it as your own activity, feeling it’s disturbed, ill-at-ease characteristic but also even in every moment of such sensitivity enjoying the capability to feel beyond it in this Communion with Me.

So hearing is the first great step beyond the initiation of Ishta-Guru-Bhakti Yoga. In other words, the first dimension of the process is concentrated in the awakening of hearing, because you must enjoy and suffer this capability to stand in the egoic position and feel beyond it. If you don’t do that, then if you faked your way on to level 2 and then beyond and so forth, you’d simply be involved in a kind of evolutionary or developmental ego-game. Whereas the Way of the Heart is about the transcendence of egoity.

DEVOTEE: I saw that, Beloved, when I was Contemplating You. I was feeling this knot of self-contraction and the Bliss of Your Beautiful Form at the same time. I felt Your Current of Energy, and It threw me back into the sense of the descending Current and something like “the Thumbs”. But when that happened, I lost sight of the self-contraction and I also lost sight of the Bliss of Your Form. So there was something about the …

AVATARA ADI DA: You lost sight of that, too?

DEVOTEE: [Laughs.] When that happened, I just noticed that I got absorbed in myself rather than in You.


DEVOTEE: That was an example of the fact that I’m not hearing. Just even that moment of distraction, I could feel it as such.

AVATARA ADI DA: Mm-hm. Because you’re experiencing it as an event happening to You. Whereas hearing is about that unique understanding in which the self-contraction is not something happening to you. it’s something that you do. Only when that is discovered have you discovered the capability itself, so that you can continue doing it. it’s a unique discovery, most profound discovery. And it’s the basis for the rest of the Way of the Heart. it’s what allows it to be a truly ego-transcending process and not merely a developmental or ego-evolving process.

DEVOTEE: There’s never been anything like it, Beloved.


it’s also for this reason that in the general case the transition from maturity at level 3, the transition can be made at that point to the “Perfect Practice”, in the general case. Because the Way is not an evolutionary process, but it’s about ego-transcendence, and that’s the fundamental understanding associated with true hearing. So in general what follows from there is simply the fundamental process of seeing Me, not merely having Spiritual experiences in My Company but “Locating” Me, and then the next step is the “Perfect Practice”.

So hearing is what allows that unique process. It has some features to it for which you can find analogies in the Great Tradition, but fundamentally it is utterly unique.

DEVOTEE: So Beloved, when someone is seeing, that person never loses sight of Your Form.

AVATARA ADI DA: Yes. you’re entered into My Form, not merely having experiences in your own apparent form, or body-mind, you see, but felt beyond that into My Spiritual Person. Then the Force of My Spiritual Attraction will draw you into the heart place on the right, and the “Perfect Practice” can begin.