The Primary Sensation – Adi Da Samraj


The Primary Sensation

A Discourse Given by
Sri Avabhasa (Adi Da Samraj)
on March 10, 1993, Adi Da Samrajashram

edited and adapted by Beezone


“practice…requires the capability of feeling the primary sensation of the self-contraction and feeling beyond it.”


ADI DA SAMRAJ: In every moment when you are motivated to seek1, the root of the motivation is a sensation. That root-sensation is the self-contraction. It is the avoidance of relationship.

Therefore, there are two aspects to your practice… there is the primary process. The core of the primary process is self-understanding, or the awareness of the sensation that is characteristic of every moment and that motivates every kind of seeking and that makes the moment complicated, stressful, and difficult. Even in pleasurable moments, the sensation is there. It is this sensation that must be located, or observed, and felt beyond. And observing the self-contraction at its root is the core of this knot.

However, you tend to ride in the periphery of your search for experience and knowledge and in the emotions associated with it, and in the objects, others, ideas, whatever, that you are pursuing or to which you are attached. Therefore, you are only dramatizing no matter how good it looks, instead of locating the primary sensation and dealing with it. You remain embedded in these peripheral activities, which are only the results of the sensation, the original knot, which can be observed directly in any moment, in every moment.


“There really are no impediments to discovering this core or primary sensation.”


The core of self understanding is to locate and surrender that motivating sensation, not to be wandering in the reactions, the desires, the search itself, the objects, and the others, and becoming more and more complicated and dramatic as a result.

There really are no impediments to discovering this core or primary sensation. I mean this in practical and day to day terms. Life circumstances do not impede this understanding. Life circumstances are practical matters that must be handled. They are job oriented, cultural, relational, practical, whatever – to be dealt with responsibly and they can be dealt with in the disposition of self-understanding and feeling beyond the knot, or the sensation, of self-contraction. If you try to struggle with the so-called “problems” themselves without this understanding, or this capability, you involve yourself in an endless search, an endless preoccupation and diversion.

If you identify with the problems you are at the periphery of the issue. You are living in your peripheral emotion and the seeking is associated with it. You are dallying with all that and never getting down to business. This is why you have complications. You do not understand that you are avoiding and seeking, and you are not responsible for what is motivating you. So called ‘problems’ are clearly able to be dealt with if you will deal with the root-motivator and transcend it. Then there is just a creative life-circumstance to be addressed in a simple and sometimes disciplined fashion.

Those emotions are the fuel, the energy, for seeking. They lead you toward objects, others, thoughts, ideas, plans, complications, problems. Every moment of ordinary living without real self-understanding is fueled by a particular emotion. In each moment a different emotion seems to be overriding, but all these emotions, these extensions of the self-contraction, register in each moment in a different fashion, depending on the complex situation, internal and external, of the body-mind. You are fueling your life of seeking with these peripheral emotions.


“The reason you do not understand this is you are are not in touch with the root-sensation.”


The way that I teach requires that you understand yourself, understand the motivator, the primary sensation that is motivating you to be involved in the urge that eventually makes things difficult for you. You are always trying to improve the circumstance of your life relative to this, that, or the other thing. By itself, such is just life-manipulation. It is seeking. It is trying to make life workout on top of a core problem.

I Call you to address the motivator, the sensation of the knot, the sensation of self-contraction, which is the reason that you are seeking, the reason that you have a problem, the reason that you want to be involved in whatever is problematic. When you understand and transcend this contraction, this root-sensation, everything is simplified.

The reason you do not understand this is you are are not in touch with the root-sensation. You are still the effect of it, motivated by it, with all its desires, reactivity, pursuit of objects, others, ideas, all its complications. The thing to be responsible for, the responsibility for which changes everything and simplifies everything, is the root sensation that you are threatened in every moment. In every moment of pleasure or pain, high or low, the sensation is always present. And you do not realize this.

What makes this so amazing it that it is not happening to you, it is something you are doing. It is something for which you can be entirely responsible. It is not caused by anyone else. It is not caused by any past events. It is not caused by any present events. It is your own action. You are the cause of it, nothing and no one other than you is the cause of it. It is right there, as you, to be dealt with.

The self-contraction is not caused by the events and circumstances of ordinary life, nor is it affected by them. The heart, the living being altogether, is not caused or affected by them, either. You are always in a position of responsibility for the self-contraction. You are always in a position where you can observe the self-contraction and feel beyond it. Always! No life-circumstance, no state of the body, limits it, because all circumstances and states are peripheral to the fundamental self-contraction over the heart, and likewise peripheral to the opening of the heart when it is transcended.

There is never any impediment to doing so, and this is the practice. It is not a practice, you see, to be done at some time in the future. It is the practice. It is to be done by everyone from the beginning. It is not just that when you finally hear Me, then you will do it, although it is then that it is most summary, and, therefore, most profound or most fundamental, but you can practice that very same thing moment by moment, from the beginning.


“Fear is not the self-contraction”


From the beginning of My Work with My devotees, I have kept Telling you that no matter what you are doing, no matter what you are seeking, no matter what you are seeking in My Company, there is only one thing you are doing – this self-contraction, this avoidance of relationship. This activity precedes the whole search and all the complications of your life. Therefore, the knot of self-contraction must be observed, not only in the form of your general outward activity but in the form of the unique sensation in every moment. I have always Called you to observe just this, you see, and to deal with just this. Not getting that point, all you have is the search, and you want to talk about it forever and perpetuate it.

Fear is not the self-contraction it is a result of the self-contraction. It registers as body-identification and fear of death, all kinds of identification with all kinds of things that you might be afraid of. Fear is a root-emotion associated with the self-contraction, true. It is not the self-contraction itself, however, but the result of it and the self-contraction is located at the heart and all over the body-mind.

It is said to be in the heart, but you must find it. It is not altogether spatial. It certainly is in the heart, in the heart in its totality. It is there in the primary place of your awareness of yourself. It is your awareness of yourself. It is the awareness of separate being, and it registers as a sensation that can always be located.

I Call you to locate that contraction. One of My principal Admonitions to you is to locate that contraction, stay in that focus, instead of in the focus of its results. All the different kinds of emotions, tendencies to seek, reactivity – fear comes under the category of reactivity – all those emotions that are caused by or that are extensions of the self-contraction – these are not the place from which to practice. They are inherently transcended and undone if you observe and transcend the root-sensation and feel beyond it. If you do that, there is no fear, no sorrow, no anger, no difficulty. Even if such emotions persist in the moment, it is because of all the habit energy you have given to dramatizing emotion, all the accumulations of such emotion you have made.

You must deal, then, in summary fashion ultimately, with all aspects of the life-game, and, therefore, with the principal dramatizations. There is no true understanding without responsibility for the principal dramatizations, which are shown through the “Oedipal” strategy, as I Describe it, and through the character signs of “vital”, “peculiar”, and “solid” strategies. However the complex manifests in your case, it is shown as it is, in the unique habit and disposition and tendency that you represent overall, and consistently.

DEVOTEE: It seems that identifying that life-game helps us in many moments, as opposed to just seeing a particular thing that we are dramatizing.

ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, because it is within the overall game that all the rest of the games are dramatized. It pervades them all. It is the key dramatization.

DEVOTEE: It also seems that even though that game may be very obvious to others, it is so mechanical and the person is so used to it that it is particularly a blind spot.

ADI DA SAMRAJ: That is why I have Given you the culture and the community of My devotees, and the service you are supposed to perform for one another. So much of what an individual’s dramatizations are about is not inspected, yet it may be as obvious as the nose on the person’s face to everyone else. Not everything is that obvious, but nonetheless you can do great service for one another, and I am Calling you to do so by making these observations. Then, particularly as this self-understanding develops in a more sophisticated and detailed manner, more and more you must function for yourself in that same fashion. Therefore, you make confessions about your self-understanding, but also others make observations of you. The dynamic of this cultural process is all about right and real growth in My Company.

read original talk: The Primary Sensation


1. Seek – The usual person, unaware of the fruitlessness of his own ultimate motivation, is inherently bound to a chronic sense of dilemma and to a life of seeking for release, completion, or “reunion” via consummate experience and ultimate or complete knowledge. When a person begins some form of seeking, he immediately turns to an effective, remedial technique that will get him quickly to his goal. Seeking is life without intelligence, simply reacting, becoming motivated, and seeking various ends, it is unconscious life. The way Adi Da teaches is understood by those who recognize (or get a glimering) of the fruitlessness of seeking. (return to top of essay)

For more on ‘seeking’ read The Knee of Listening

Excerpts on self-Contraction from Adi Da’s talks 2004-2007