The Cut Off Point

The following excerpt from a talk by Adi Da Samraj published as, ‘Breaking the Cycle‘,  in Crazy Wisdom magazine, Vol 1, No 3, June 1982.

In the process of practice, the Spiritual Master serves
you in all kinds of ways, one of which is to stop the mind
through verbal Teaching, through gestures, through
Transmission of Spiritual energy. Through the Spiritual
Master flow all kinds of instructional means that are
encountered by people who respond to the Spiritual Master
and the Teaching, who are practicing daily, who will use the
spiritual Influence and not merely notice some parts of it
here and there and every now and then while otherwise
basically oblivious to it. Devotees are supposed to be those
who have attention available for the Spiritual Master and
the spiritual process, which is the process of transcending
conditional existence, transcending the body-mind-self,
transcending attention. If you are not oriented or inclined
to transcendence, then, of course, no amount of help in that
direction will be of much use to you.

These little satoris of the momentary stopping of the
mind are not of any ultimate significance either. Much is
made of them at the popular level of the Zen tradition. On
some level Zen is a kind of “pop” Buddhism. Its satoris are
for the common people who are very busy in their minds. The
highest form of Zen is that which is applied by people who
devote their entire life to its practice. For such people
satoris are not sufficient. They are drawn to go beyond the
moments of the stopping of the mind and glimpses of the
space of Consciousness to Realize the Transcendental
Condition of existence. Just so, you must also realize more
than moments of experience, moments in which the mind stops,
moments of meditation.

I know how fierce the mechanics of the body-mind are. I
have had to deal with them all my life. Even though I
possessed the capacity for Enlightenment at birth, my life
became a fierce spiritual practice based on a spontaneous
but profound commitment to Realization. Such commitment is
absolutely essential for spiritual practice, which cannot
fulfill itself without such commitment and which likewise
must be fierce and profound.


“Everybody reaches the point where he or she tends to withdraw from the stream of practice”


You cannot be forced to practice, nor can your practice
be guaranteed. What there is of Awakening in your case
depends on your commitment. You must really practice. You
cannot mechanically repeat yourself. If you are basically
inclined to ordinary consolations and fulfillments, hopeful
of being happy in this world, then when you feel so
fulfilled, you step out of the stream of the spiritual
process. You have bought and signed for consolation on the
dotted line. If self-fulfillment is not sufficient for you,
however, then you keep going. You persevere in the practice
and you move on to the higher stages.

Some may seem to move more quickly to the higher stages
of practice. The fact that they seem to have more talent and
natural ability for it is probably a reflection, not only
perhaps of their commitment during this life, but primarily
of their preparation in previous lifetimes. They too will
reach their cutoff point, the point where they will tend to
stop, the point where practice tends to be sufficient for
them or where further effort is too frustrating and too
offensive. Everybody reaches the point where he or she tends
to withdraw from the stream of practice. Most people reach
that point even before they begin the practice. Either they
are never moved to find anything greater than ordinary
ego-fulfillment in the world, or they are just “fans” of
spiritual life. They like the books, but they basically
resist and even resent the interference represented by a
Spiritual Master and a Teaching and the idea of

The world is not organized around Enlightenment Wisdom,
which is struggling to survive in our time, even though
paperback books about spirituality and so-called spiritual
teachers are springing up everywhere. The Enlightenment or
Wisdom Tradition is struggling to survive. Spiritual life is
mocked everywhere, and the culture of materialism is
dominant. The politics of egos, with its materialistic
force, is in charge in this world and it always has been.
The motive to Enlightenment has always been rare. Although
the motive to God-Realization has traditionally been a
cultural premise and many people have responded to it in one
form or another, more so in the Orient than in the West,
even so, the spiritual cultures have tended to rise and
fall, or become weak or conventional, or be reduced to at
most a fourth to fifth stage esotericism, and the
practitioners within those cultures have tended by and large
to be ordinary people.

Only those who have accepted the discipline of religious
or spiritual renunciation sufficiently to release attention
from the bond of the mechanics of ego or body-mind can
practice the conscious process in its radical form. The
radical process of spiritual practice can be described to
people, and I have written a great deal about the radical
form of the conscious
. It need not be kept secret particularly, but it
cannot be practiced fruitfully by an individual in whom
attention is not fundamentally free. One cannot simply
communicate to people in general a sixth stage teaching, for
instance, such as the teaching of Advaita Vedanta or the
mindfulness discipline of original Buddhism, and expect that
everybody will therefore be able to practice it. Most people
must engage preliminary or supportive practices. Most people
should approach the radical Way through the lesser stages of
life, because one cannot practice the advanced levels
without an increase of available energy and attention.

To realize profoundly the mysticism of the fifth stage of
life, for instance, you must demonstrate a great deal of
free energy. Energy cannot be locked up in the vulgarities
of the physical, outer-directed personality. Only free
energy floating in the brain permits the subtle phenomena to
arise. Likewise, you must realize free attention to invert
beyond the outer-directed mechanics in order to focus in the
phenomena of brain and higher psyche. Just as the fifth
stage is an advance over the lesser stages, likewise the
sixth stage is an advance beyond the fifth, requiring
attention free even of the subtle bond of energies and

Thus, this radical practice that I communicate based on
the seventh stage disposition is not something that people
can rightly, truly, fully, and fruitfully practice without
preparation, without available energy and attention.