Da Articles

Edited and
complied by Beezone from various talks and essays
(1971-2008) by Adi Da Samraj (1939-2008)

The Search, the
Seeker, the Mirror and the Crisis

Adi Da

“My advice to you is not to
undertake the spiritual path. It is too difficult, too long,
and it is too demanding. What I would suggest, if you
haven’t already begun, is to go to the door, ask for your
money back, and go home now.” He said, “This is not a
picnic. It is really going to ask everything of you and you
should understand that from the beginning. So it is best not
to begin. However,” he said, “if you do begin, it is best to

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche –
Zag Zen
– p.55

the point of view of the search
the seeker
can get very philosophical. He can begin to come up with a
philosophy of life. There is a God, there is NO God, drink
this tea, go to this shaman, recite this mantra, do this
yoga. The seeker starts to get a glimpse of the craziness of
things. He says, “Yes, we’re all sort of crazy”. We’re all
wavering, we’re all missing the mark. We’re all sinners or
we’re all just rocks and dust. We’re all this or that. he
begins to tell people about his discovery. He beings to
refine his search, his seeking. His discovery begins to
become his message. His discovery and philosophy starts his
transformation. In a way his discovery justifies his
search, his method. It looks to him to be the exact opposite
of the search or the exact opposite of what he was
previously or ordinarily up to.

The seeker then begins to
clean up his
, get on with it or
restore it. He begins to get to back to zero and start over
again, start fresh like new baked bread. He may begin to
make himself lean and strong and sweet smelling. The seeker
very often is a revolutionary. He makes dramatic changes in
his life, he has a new philosophy.

But from my point of view this is
just a refinement of the search that was already in place.
It’s a bit more jazzed more subtle, but still has a basic
flaw a subtle error that his enthusiasm does not

What I have realized and am now
moved to teach is from the point of view of understanding.
Understanding that ordinary life nothing but the search for
solutions to a basic problem. And no refinement or answer(s)
is going to change this basic search. It’s not a matter of
refining what’s going on in the world and making it a little
leaner and turning it towards some scientific or spiritual
ideal that is going to clear up this matter. We’ve painted
our selves into a corner and there is no magical way out.
Polarities are intensifying and it’s not a matter of just
changing direction in any revolutionary or mediocre way that
is going to save the seeker. It’s a matter of a radical
turnabout because the only thing there is in life ordinarily
is the search, “the world is seeking. Nothing

In The
Knee of Listening
I define
seeking itself as “All seeking is suffering and separation
as conscious creations.” This is the nature of the activity
of the search, the product of this inherent delimia. The
seach is always motivated in dilemma. This felt sense of
delemia or suffering is not what is happening to the seeker
and that’s why he is seeking. Suffering is what the seeker
is creating. If the seeker were to examine his own search,
his suffering, examine the adventure of his life, he would
discover that his seeking, his separation, his isolation, is
his own creation, moment to moment. He’s doing it just as
deliberately as any physical act.

The search is then motivated by this
unconscious suffering and separation which are created by
the perpetual activities of
differentiation and desire
Seeking manifests in the forms of suffering and separation,
isolation and dis-ease.

Identification is this whole drama
, in its subtlest
forms, not just as self-imagery. That self-imagery has more
to do with the quality of differentiation or mind or
thought. This self-sense prior to thought and imageries is
an activity in consciousness. The
at one level of
consciousness is this separate self-sense just as at the
physical level it can take the form of a
a cramp of some sort
in the
psyche it takes the form of the separate self-sense. That is
why Maharshi says the “I” thought is the first

The next activity is the activity of
differentiation. Distinction, difference, other. Wherever
there is an other, there is fear. This whole process of
differentiation or thought. It is the consciousness of the
sense of differences, either between two or more things.
This over against this. Thought is always in the form of a
distinction. So the separate self-sense or what we commonly
call ego and now differentiation or thought.

The third mentioned here is desire,
which is generated by these two. What is the activity of the
entity, separate one, in the midst of his endless activity
of differentiation or thought. It is movement, motivated,
desire, always motion. Movement is always directed. It’s
always in the form of desire. So, the ordinary life from
moment to moment is the separate self-sense involved in the
qualities of thinking or differentiation. Moving,
particularly motivated, living as desire. Seeking something,
looking, avoiding, needing.

This is the activity from moment to
moment, of the ordinary man and he’s not doing anything
else. This is the waking state. This is what individual life
is in this plane of existence. It isn’t anything else. So
all that is accomplished by the life of seeking, which is
the only thing that is going on, is suffering and
separation, limitation and distinction. This is the
continual accomplishment and this is all that is
accomplished and all activity is of exactly this same
nature, and that is all that is ever done. Nothing else is
ever done and nothing is ever realized except this
fundamental quality that I am describing, of limitation,
differentiation, distinction, separation, isolation. This is
the only cognition. This is the only form of awareness. This
is the one quality of conscious existence that we say beings
enjoy, so-called, in this realm of life.

There are many, many qualities,
so-called, or perceived and experienced, from hour to hour.
That is why people continue to think that it’s all leading
somewhere different and they continue to thrive on the
search. But the more sensitive you become, the more you
become aware that there is only one form of cognition or
awareness and that is this structure of limitation. And that
is all that is felt, truly, from moment to moment and it’s
only when consciousness returns to this zero of the one
thing known from moment to moment in the ordinary sense that
this insight that I’m talking about arises that breaks the
bondage. It’s only when you’ve become so limited, when you
have no options truly. When you realize that the one quality
of knowledge and experience and existence from moment to
moment is as far as I’ve described it, it’s at that moment
that you truly are confined. You have no games to play that
you can depend on any longer because you know all games are
essentially based on the same impulse, the same structure
and realize ultimately the same vision, the same cognition.
So when you are truly locked in to this one form of
existence, which is ordinary suffering, the search. It’s in
that entrapment, that isolation of real re-cognition, that
the whole process is undone.

That’s why I continue to stress that
there is a
in consciousness involved in spiritual life, because you
must come to this zero of re-cognition in which you see the
one thing cognized, the one state lived, in which you see
the search as your very condition. It’s only when you’ve
returned to this condition of suffering without recourse,
it’s only when you have fallen into your own limitation,
that the insight can arise as I have described it. So there
must be a crisis. There’s a purifying dis-ease involved in
spiritual life.

It must be a perfect crisis in
consciousness in which this one form of ordinary knowledge
is seen perfectly and known to be your condition from moment
to moment. Knowing that you have no way out of this in the
ordinary way. That the search does not lead outside of it.
At that point all of the hopeful forms of the search, even
the hopeful forms of it, become unavailable to you. Not just
the negative forms. It’s not like a conversion experience
where all of a sudden you are going to become good from now
own. It is a moment of realization in which you know you
have no options, no alternatives, either to be good or to be
bad. Neither to exploit yourself nor to become spiritual.
When you have no turning possible, when no direction means
the Truth, and only when this crisis becomes your actual
condition, when you truly are suffering, not when you are
throwing your suffering away, not when you are forgetting
it, but when you are truly realizing your suffering. And I
mean this in a very literal way. You must realize your own
suffering. You must have the profound vision and conscious
realization of your own suffering. Your own ordinary
condition. It is only at that point can you truly begin to
understand what is going on here, with you, with


1. The search for
Happiness is the basic human convention. It is an effort
based on the problem of un-Happiness. And it is a program
that characterizes the total spectrum of human enterprise,
from the lowest level of physical self-indulgence to the
highest level of magical and technological invention,
psychic ascent, and ascetical inversion. All of humanity is
seeking Happiness and presuming that it is “natural” for
existence to be devoted to such a search.

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I am simply pointing out that the
search for Happiness is based upon a lack of seriousness (or
real understanding) relative to actual un-Happiness. Instead
of seeking Happiness, we should understand un-Happiness.
Then, and only then, are we capable of Wisdom and the Way
that I Teach.




In the ancient Greek myth, Narcissus
is absorbed in an image—but he does not even notice
that it is an image in a mirror. The key to understanding
“Narcissus” is not that the “self”-image
is an image of oneself. Rather, the key to understanding
“Narcissus” is that the “self”-image is
an image reflected in and by a mirror.

The Mirror and the Checkerboard

Your mind is your reflection, the
image in the pond. You are the one who is looking at the
image. You are the one who is deluded. But you are the one
who is posturing. You are the one who is believing in
illusion. Therefore, merely to talk about yourself is not
sufficient. You must actually look at what you are doing.
Narcissus can describe the image in the pond

Drama of the Total Body-Mind



One of the first things to notice
then in the development of real self-understanding and the
first thing to notice is that you are seeking and nothing
more. That’s it. It doesn’t make any difference
what you are doing or what particular this that or the other
thing you are seeking to achieve or associate with, or
enjoy, or whatever it may be, it’s all the

Everything is that, that search.
It’s not only just so. It is painful. It is stressful.
It is agonizing. It knaws at you constantly. And it’s
not just one thing you are seeking. You are constantly
seeking, sometimes seeking many things simultaneously. At
any moment there may be something particular or other that
you are particularly obsessed with, unioning with you see.
Whatever it may be.

You examine your life and you make
this discovery that it is seeking and nothing else. It is
entirely that in every fraction and even coming to me can be
a form of your seeking. The best way to come to me would be
with the profound sense of the failure of your

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Understanding the separate self


You must know that everything I am
doing is a means to bring about this crisis. I desire this
crisis in you.

I do not want it not to

I do not want to console

I do not want you to be contented in
your unconsciousness.

I want you to become sensitive to
your actual state.

I want you to know very well what
you are always up to.

I want you to become capable of
observing yourself under all kinds of conditions.

I want you to notice the machine of
your ordinary activity.

on the March

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The first great crisis of life
occurs in all of us. But most of us simply go on from there
to seek Happiness, or even to despair of It. The second
great crisis of life occurs only in the case of those who
can seriously accept and understand the Lesson of the first
great crisis of life. Therefore, I Argue that Lesson, so
that you may become serious, understand your un-Happiness,
and begin the Way of Happiness Itself. The second great
crisis of life is this process of serious understanding of
un-Happiness and conversion to the Way of Happiness (rather
than the futile search for Happiness). Such understanding is
what I call “hearing” and such conversion is what I call
“seeing.” It is only when such hearing and seeing prevail
that the practice of the Way can begin.

Bodily Location of Happiness

Also so see:

The Garbage and Goddess –
Guru will ruin your life


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