Meditation of Understanding

Franklin Jones,
Bubba Free Jones, Da Free Jones, Adi Da Samraj

p. 161 – 170 Knee of
(original version). Copy write, Dawn Horse
Press, 1972.

– Bubba Free John’s
1974 lessons on the Knee of Listening


Real meditation doesn’t do anything
for you. It has no purpose. When a person begins some form
of seeking, he immediately turns to an effective, remedial
technique that will get him quickly to his goal. Thus, when
a man adapts to various kinds of religious and spiritual
effort, he begins almost immediately to meditate in some
way. The Christian and the devotee begin to pray and adapt
to religious forms. The spiritual seeker begins to
concentrate and internalize the mind. Others use drugs,
study, critical thought, relaxation and poetry, pleasure,

But real life, the way of
understanding, is not another form of seeking. For the man
of understanding, meditation is not adopted for the sake of
something else. He does not pursue understanding or reality
or any kind of experience through meditation. Real
meditation is already a radical activity. It is

In the logic of Narcissus, the
separative mentality, all things are seeking. But the man of
understanding perceives the logic of reality and lives as
it. Therefore, he is not concerned about meditation. His
business is understanding, not ascent, vision,
transformation, liberation, or any other goal. The way of
understanding belongs to those who recognize the
fruitlessness of seeking.

I do not recommend that you
meditate. There is only understanding. Therefore,
understand. And when understanding has become observation,
reflection, insight and radical cognition, then the state of
consciousness itself is meditation. When understanding has
become a radical process, and the avoidance of relationship
has become an inclusive and sufficient recognition, when you
have understood that seeking is all a function of dilemma,
and when you no longer are voluntarily motivated by the
physical, mental or spiritual problem, then you are already

Meditation is simply understanding
as a radical process in consciousness. It is what
understanding is when it has become necessary and profound.
There is no right motive for adopting it. There is only the
discovery that you are already doing it.

Thus when understanding has become
founded in you by observation of your life, and you have
truly realized the radical process of avoidance on every
level of your being, then you have ceased to approach life
without intelligence, simply reacting, becoming motivated,
and seeking various ends. Instead, you have begun to
approach all experience with a simplicity in consciousness,
a presence you bring to all things, which is

When you have begun to approach life
with understanding, knowing the radical truth of
understanding, then you have begun to meditate. Then
understanding, the logic of reality, can be extended as
itself to conscious or real meditation.

Real meditation is not purposive. It
has no effect that it seeks to produce. It has no dilemma to
solve. It has already become understanding, and
understanding is conscious knowing. Understanding is in fact
the knowledge that is consciousness, non separation,
reality. Therefore, it is that to understand is already to
meditate, to contemplate consciousness itself. And it does
this not by an act of concentration on consciousness, or any
form or center of consciousness, but by understanding
experience, the action of consciousness.

Where there is understanding in
life, what is actually being known is consciousness,
unqualified reality. Thus, the understanding of experience
by observation leads to the recognition of the avoidance of
relationship as a radical activity. And even where this
recognition arises it will also cease to be the fundamental
object or activity of conscious life. It will simply give
way to the fundamental perception prior to avoidance, which
is reality, unqualified relationship,

Thus, understanding first becomes
actual in the mind, and then it is extended as enquiry.
Enquiry is the approach of understanding to experience. And
enquiry is meditation. It is in the form: “Avoiding

As enquiry continues as the radical
activity of life, even enquiry becomes occasional. Even in
the beginning it is not repetitive, like a mantra. That
which is identified and enjoyed in consciousness through
enquiry does not need constant enquiry to reduce the
tendencies of the mind and life to prior understanding. That
reality which is the source and realization of enquiry
eventually becomes the ready object of the mind and life,
and one tends to return to it easily and naturally. Thus,
when understanding becomes radical knowledge, there is no
constant enquiry, no special meditation. Knowledge becomes
consciousness itself, which is unqualified, which is
“no-seeking” in the heart and “no-dilemma” in the

The first form of meditation enjoyed
in my life was the “bright.” It is also the ultimate one.
But the “bright” of my childhood was not fitted to
understanding. It was not supported by real consciousness. I
perceived it, but I could not control it. And at last it
disappeared against my wishes. Thus, I became devoted to a
path of seeking, but it was aided by my earliest intuition
of reality, the “bright.” I was required to pursue the
faculty of my own consciousness. And I needed to understand
before I could finally create, sustain and control the
“bright,” the Form of Reality.

The history of my experience as a
seeker is a course of experimentation in relation to the
forces of life conceived as the problem of existence on
various levels of experience. In college I dealt with truth
as an intellectual problem. In my period of writing and
self-exploitation I dealt with it as a vital and emotional
problem. With Rudi I dealt with it as a moral and psychic
problem. In Scientology I dealt with it as the problem of
the mind. With Baba I dealt with it as a spiritual problem,
the problem of super-consciousness. And when I experimented
with such things as diet, fasting and self regulation, I was
dealing with it as a physical problem.

Of course, these various researches
often over lapped and tended to become inclusive, but for
the most part each was a highly specialized, exclusive
endeavor. And each period was marked by a peculiar method.
The area pursued also determined the nature of the work. The
object created the subject, and the subject reinforced the
object. And in every case the end phenomenon was the same.
It was understanding. It was concentration and observation.
Then insight. Then enjoyment or freedom on the basis of that
insight. Finally, the recognition of understanding itself as
primary and prior to the search.

Until I had exhaustively
investigated every unique area of the “problem,” there was
no conclusive understanding. Thus, each moment of primary
understanding, such as the crisis in college or the one in
seminary, was only a temporary state. It formed only a
moment of transition prior to the next phase, the next level
of the problem. But when every aspect of life as a problem
and a search was exhausted, there was only understanding.
Then I recognized the similarity between each moment of
attainment. And I began to notice in detail the aspects of
the way of understanding itself as a radical path, prior to
every kind of seeking.

Recently there has been a tendency
among spiritual teachers to speak of a path of ”synthesis.”
Sri Aurobindo is one of the leading exponents of this
inclusive mentality. But it is also visible in lesser
teachers of yoga, as well as in the various synthetic paths
of modern Western occultism and religiously motivated
spirituality. Sri Ramakrishna, the great Indian teacher of
the 19th century, perhaps initiated this trend in the East.
And H. P. Blavatsky may be the sign of its origin in the
West, also in the late 19th century.

But the trend to “synthesis” is only
a synthesis of the kinds of seeking. It adapts the various
separate activities of the great search to an inclusive
philosophy and technique. But it remains a form of

In my own case, there was never any
tendency to make a synthesis out of the various activities
of my seeking. Indeed, as I passed through each form of my
experiment, I only came to realize the fruitlessness of
seeking in that way. And at last I saw the entire
fruitlessness of seeking in any form. Thus, the way of
understanding, as it developed in my case, is not a
synthesis of the ways of seeking. It is a single, direct and
radical approach to life. And that approach is itself, from
the beginning, entirely free of dilemma and search. It has
nothing to do with the various motivations of the great
search. From the beginning, it rests in the primary
enjoyment and truth that all seeking pursues. Thus, the way
of understanding is founded in the radical truth that is
fundamental to existence at any moment, in any condition.
And it is also the genuine basis for creative life, prior to
all the magical efforts toward healing, evolution and the
victorious appearance of “spiritual” life.

The more I continued to indulge the
yogic process the more I realized that it only and
continually drew me into the forms of seeking, either for
the Shakti, the Self, or understanding. Thus, at last I saw
that understanding was itself the only radical process, and
enquiry was its activity. Then I abandoned the meditation on
the chakras and the entire yogic process for enquiry. And
enquiry was always epitomized as contemplation in the Heart,
and the meditation of bliss in the Amrita Nadi.

I saw there was only a simple
activity and concept manifesting under the form of every
kind of remedial activity. It was always Narcissus, the
logic and activity of separation. I examined all of this
yoga, all of this seeking and performing, and all of its
results, and I asked myself: Why? Why should such activities
be engaged at all? What are the motives for meditating? And
the more radical my understanding became, the more absurd,
unnecessary and impossible it became to justify any of these

All ways showed themselves to be
founded in some problem, some aspect of life as dilemma.
There was the physical problem, the vital problem, the
problem of the mind, the problem of spirituality and
super-consciousness. There was the problem of morality,
love, communication, sex, the problem of sin, suffering, the
problem of powers, reality, truth, and the universe itself.
Even the way of Ramana Maharshi was concerned with the
problem of identity. But I saw that the problem, in any
form, always had the same structure, and the same
fundamental assumptions. Thus, I became concerned with
motivation, the principle of these various kinds of action,
belief, knowledge, etc. I saw that, since all ways were
founded in a problem, real life must be founded in the
understanding of the primary problem that is the source of
all ordinary activity. Only thus do we know and enjoy
reality, even in spite of moment to moment problem

I saw that understanding was itself
motiveless. But everything else was in fact the avoidance of
relationship, and this was their very motivation! Thus, the
longer a man lives, the more complicated, contradictory and
suffering life appears.

I saw that understanding was not
some unusual, miraculous condition or perception. It is the
simplest activity, utilized by everyone in his dally
experience. It was only that men abandoned understanding in
order to exploit the kinds of seeking. But when attention is
drawn to understanding, the whole movement of seeking comes
to an end. The man only understands where he would otherwise
seek. Understanding was simply a matter of observing oneself
in relationship, in action, in life. And if a man could be
drawn to understanding and always firmly returned to it, he
would begin only to understand. Understanding would replace
his ordinary habit of seeking, and his consciousness and
activity would become simplified, free of prior dilemma. And
this very state, when it became the radical premise of
anyone’s existence, was not in any way different from the
primary realization of yoga or traditional meditation. It
was the same knowledge and capacity of fundamental reality,
but radically free of any limitation to certain kinds of
action, mentality or experience.

I saw that men could easily be
turned to self observation. And the process of observation
could easily be maintained by proper guidance or “hearing.”
And that process of observing gradually saw the emergence of
fundamental insight. Men could understand the radical nature
of seeking, the adventure of Narcissus, the whole complex
life of the avoidance of relationship. And when
understanding arouse, men could easily apply understanding
to moment to moment experience. The understanding became the
approach to life, rather than all the automatic, confused
activities of seeking, the drama of Narcissus. In that case,
understanding became enquiry in the form of understanding
itself: “Avoiding relationship?” And the abiding in
relationship with the use of enquiry became the fundamental
activity of conscious life moment to moment or in special
periods of enquiry which might be called

Such a way might automatically
produce the unusual phenomena of “kriya yoga,” or the whole
expanse of intuitive knowledge. Or it might simply realize
the natural existence of no seeking, no dilemma, primary
creativity and freedom. I describe these results as

But the truth of real life is
simply what is when there is a removal of contradictions, no
dilemma, no search. It cannot be described, nor is any name
appropriate for it. There is no motive to name it. It is not
an object, nor a supreme and other subject. It is not
separate from the one who understands, nor can he separate
himself from it. It is simply no problem, no search,
unqualified reality without implications. It is also the
form of reality, which is the most subtle structure of the
world and everything, even the form of consciousness. All of
this is obvious to one who understands and continually

Thus, as I became firmly grounded in
understanding as a radical approach to life, making no use
of any other exercise or remedial method, I saw that it
corresponded exactly to the ultimate truth and reality I had
enjoyed at times in the past. And it was exactly the way
indicated by the highest, most subtle forms of conscious
perceptions that were recently realized in me. Then I set
about to describe the way of understanding as meditation as
I had known and done it all my life.