“One Such (and Early) Incident Of Heart-Awakening Occurred
Quite Gently (but Most Profoundly), In a moment In which I
Was mindlessly Regarding My Right Hand, Observing The
(Apparent and, Suddenly, Revealing) Contrast Between The
Natural or Open and Functionally Relational Attitude Of The
Hand and The Unnatural or Contracted and Functionally
Dissociated Attitude Of The Clenched Fist.”
PRACTITIONER: Heart-Master Da, this discussion about the self-contraction reminded me of the section in The Dawn Horse Testament in which You mention the insight You had, while looking at Your hand, that it is the natural state of the hand to be open.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: That was a very important, simple, tacit insight. It did not occur in an extraordinary moment. I was not doing anything unusual. I was simply sitting in the room, perhaps in a chair, when I noticed my hand closed up in a fist at my side. I was not clenching it, it was just in a fist, and suddenly I understood something. The observation happened to coincide with the physical observation that the hand is not naturally turned in on itself. The hand is for relationships. The hand is to touch things. It is built to pick things up, to touch things, to move around. It has no function when it is closed, and yet it was tending to be closed.
This observation of my hand became a total observation of myself, of the body-mind. All of it was showing the same picture to me, as something turned in on itself, even going inward for “Spiritual” reasons. This inward-turning gesture suddenly appeared to me to be false and not the Way at all.
The Way is not about turning inward toward some abstraction within. Turning in is another form of seeking, another form of the self-contraction. In its natural state, the bodymind is inherently related, not even necessarily doing something. When the hand is just open, it is not grasping anything, and when the whole body-mind is in that disposition, the motive to seek within is released. Likewise, the motive to seek without is released. In the simple, natural, native Condition self-understanding is complete.
The Condition of conditions is not strategically separating Itself from phenomena, nor is It merely identified with phenomena. The Condition of conditions is prior to phenomena. It is the Native State of Absolute Self-Radiant Freedom. This realization awakened in that moment in a flash, in that observation of the hand. There were many such moments in my own case, but this was a very important one—not an intellectual experience, not a thought, but a tacit awareness, an awakening, also associated with this observation of the hand.
Throughout the years and, in fact, on the cover of The Knee of Listening, you have seen me making the gesture of the clenched fist and the open hand. I was not holding a microphone or pointing to myself with my thumb. In that moment I was making the gesture of the closed fist and the open hand, and I happened to be photographed at the moment of using my fist. I have always used this gesture, or these two mudras, as a sign, a Teaching Communication. The entire Wisdom-Teaching is summarized in this (clenching His fist) and this (opening His hand). This is an absolute mudra. Inside the book I am shown with the open hand. That was a Blessing moment. I do not Bless you with my fist raised! The raised fist is another gesture, a gesture of a fight, of beating the enemy. The open hand is the hand of Blessing and of Freedom and of Happiness. Therefore, I have used these gestures throughout the years as a way of communicating a metaphor or an understanding you could grasp just by observing the clenched fist and the open hand. The message communicates itself tacitly, you see. I have also used the concept of pinching oneself. These are a couple of the instruments I have used to communicate to you.
Thus, the transition to practicing stage 1.3 is the transition from the closed fist to the open hand, or the capacity to release the self-contraction, to stand prior to self-contraction in the condition of relatedness. This is the capacity that is awakened in the event of hearing.