Lay it at My Feet


Lay It At My Feet

November 15, 1975



Way or “Method” of the Siddhas, as presented in the radical
Teachings of Bubba Free John, is Satsang. Bubba describes
this affair of Satsang as a graceful passage,” graceful in
the sense that “life as it is commonly lived is insane,” and
for the usual man, independent of the real process of
Satsang, the transformation and liberation of manifest life
is a matter of billions and billions of lifetimes, of
numberless lifetimes.” The Way of the Siddhas, Bubba says,
is simple and easy, because it does not take billions of
lifetimes but it does require a helluva lot” in one

Living Satsang is not just casually
involving yourself with the Guru’s disciplines or
approaching him with your search, as if he were a magician.
It is a matter of truly realizing and living a life of
service and sacrifice to the Guru under all

The pre-student stage is a specific
time of preparation and testing in which the necessary
foundation for real sadhana is communicated and established.
During this period the Guru’s disciplines are revealed
through various forms of media and participation, including
formal involvement with Bubba through giving gifts and
receiving his Prasad. Over time, the individual’s approach
to the Guru and his Teaching must become one of gratitude,
love, and service. It is at this point, and only at this
point, that “the real process that is in God” begins to come
alive in the individual.

In the following talk Bubba
describes the importance of the transition period from
pre-student life to actual membership in the established
student Community, and the beginning of “the real form of
sadhana. “Bubba assures us that it may not seem easy and
that we definitely will be tested, but also that it is
absolutely Grace.


DEVOTEE: In a recent letter to the
Ashram, you said that a student’s meditation is service to
you and to the Community until he begins to enquire. Does
this mean that until enquiry is alive in a person, he
shouldn’t sit in formal Satsang with you?

BUBBA: No. When your life of
conditions has become service to me, then you can sit with
me. Enquiry has not developed at that point. Enquiry matures
from that point. The whole process of self-observation and
insight that becomes enquiry only begins at that

The one thing you should grasp from
these recent communications is that what up until now has
been called the pre-student stage, for want of a better
name, is a specific period in the whole process of
understanding, of sadhana. It is not just a time when you
take a few courses and learn how to use the diet and so
forth. It is that time in which the foundation for this
sadhana is realized. It is the period in which Satsang
becomes the principle of your life and therefore of your
sadhana. Satsang is the foundation of sadhana. Until Satsang
is realized, the whole development of understanding cannot

So this early period is the time in
which the foundation of sadhana is realized, in which your
relationship to me is formal. You enjoy a relationship to me
through the form of Prasad, which is not a ceremony but
simply an expression of the nature of our

The individual comes to me on the
basis of this Teaching. Then he is turned over to the
Community, and all of my conditions, my disciplines, are
made known to him. He, or she, continues to come to me again
and again, and as time goes on, well, he begins to know this
spiritual relationship as a living, practical matter. His
approach to me becomes sacrificial and full of gratitude,
surrender, submission. His approach to me becomes love,
becomes sacrifice.

As this relationship develops,
then, the whole life of living my disciplines becomes
sacrifice to me. And when his whole life has become that,
when the drama of his life is no longer a question of, will
he live the conditions or won’t he live them, will he stay
here or will he go to some “quickie” sadhana center
downtown, when all of that ceases to be the drama of his
life, the theatre of his life, when his whole life becomes
sacrifice, when everything he does becomes conscious
sacrifice to me, when that sacrifice is what his life is all
about, then he can come and sit with me when I sit with the

The transition between the
pre-student stage and entrance into the Community is a very
important moment. It signifies in practice the transition
into the real form of sadhana. It signifies the development
of sadhana. Up until that transition the individual’s whole
life in the Ashram has been devoted to the realization of
the principle of sadhana, which is Satsang, this sacrificial
relationship. When that relationship is established, then he
is welcome to come and sit with me in the company of the
Community. Once the foundation of Satsang is established,
then the process of understanding begins to develop. It
becomes self-observation, insight, and eventually

When an individual first comes to
sit with me in the Satsang Hall, established in his life of
service to me, he simply sits with me in the Satsang Hall.
That is what he does. And he does not enquire. He does not
turn his eyes up into his forehead. He does not manipulate
his psycho-physical being for various yogic purposes. He
does not ask me for visions. He may in fact get involved in
these things but they are not what he is asked to do. They
are simply things that could arise and interfere with our
relationship. So in the beginning he just comes and sits
with me. He sits there. We spend time in one another’s
company. That is what sitting in Satsang is, while living
this life of service to me. He comes and spends ten or
fifteen minutes just sitting with me, aware of me. We are
just sitting together. And then he leaves and continues to
serve me.

As that life continues naturally,
the whole affair of self-observation and summary insight
begins, so that eventually he does enquire. Then when he
comes and sits with me in the Satsang Hall, he sits with me,
but he also enquires at random. And when that process of
enquiry and that life in my service fully mature, then I
welcome him to take on the responsibilities of disciple
sadhana. But he will be human before he will come into my
disciple hall. It is not just a matter of spiritual
gimmickry, of collecting a few of the most official or
organizational types. No. I expect real maturity in the
individual before he is a disciple. When that maturity is
there, then he can take on responsibilities. If he is not
mature, then he must continue to be tested. He must continue
to serve me in this ordinary way.

You should all consider whether you
approach me in anything like the sacrificial way I have
described to you tonight. I will be glad to hear about it.
If you have not begun to approach me in this way, then you
are as good as just having come to the bookstore this
morning. And seeing that is good.

You should also see that there is a
great deal of responsibility required of you in this
description of student sadhana, which, by the way, is not
really new. The whole affair of sadhana is about the growth
of responsibility. And much of that growth of responsibility
occurs at this student level. In some ways it appears to be
the most difficult phase because the conditions of this
service implicate you in the body. They implicate your vital
life, your ordinary life, your human time, your good time.
Thus there is immediate resistance.

The process of student sadhana is
effective in the gross life, in the waking state, the state
in which you believe you really exist. You do not really
believe you exist in the dream state and the sleep state.
They are conditions you drift into from your real state.
Dreams are imaginary, right? So student sadhana deals with
you in the waking state, wherein live the self-image and the
destiny you value. Thus sadhana is difficult until your life
becomes service to me. You experience all kinds of
resistance to sadhana. It seems to require a great deal of
you, and it absolutely does.

There is no such thing as spiritual
realization, enlightenment, or happiness without years and
years and years and years of sadhana. There is no fast,
“quickie” sadhana. There is no “quickie” realization. There
is no realization weekend. All that is nonsense. All that is
TV hype.

You represent a movement in time
and space that does not want to come to an end. That
movement in time and space is always complicating itself,
always defining itself in limitation. It is suffering. Every
bit of it is suffering, every moment of it is a strategic
realization of suffering, of limitation, of unconsciousness,
of irresponsibility. This movement does not disappear by
magic. Grace is not magic. Grace is a response to your
response. Grace is given to a responsible individual. Magic
may be given to everybody, but there isn’t much of

Thus, this sadhana requires
everything of you. You cannot remain a child seeking a
dependent and consoling relationship to God or to me. You
cannot approach me as if I were the super-parent who is
employed to make you feel better about everything and to
step in when life is getting heavy for you and throw a
party. You are to approach me on the basis of this Teaching,
not on the basis of your usual search, your childishness.
When the Teaching has already made its point in some very
fundamental way, then come to me and the Teaching will make
its point absolutely. You must enter into my service and
establish this real relationship, this sacrificial life.
When that relationship is established, then there is

Grace as it is communicated to the
student is not essentially in the form of spiritual or
mystical or magical consolations. The Grace given to the
student is his sadhana and the quickening of the revelation
of his strategic life at the most ordinary level. You have
all reported the evidence that is generated in my Company.
It is not typified by all kinds of mystical and magical
phenomena, though they do occur at random. It is typified by
the awakening of the observation of the difficulties of your
life, what is really at the foundation of your life. The
generation of this whole process of self-observation,
insight, and enquiry is what is served by Grace or Siddhi in
the student phase. The same Siddhi is communicated to
disciples and devotees in the same way that it is
communicated to you, to students, to those whose approach is
ordinary, human, beginning.

The process of sadhana is a shaking
up of this unconscious and now subhuman life that you
dramatize. But you do not by tendency want to do sadhana.
There is no tendency in you to want to do sadhana or to
serve me or to continue this process forever. Nothing in you
is tending to do that. There is no tendency or desire that
you represent that could possibly do it. Your approach to me
is based on an intuitive response, an awakening in
intelligence, prior to all the mechanisms of your life. That
intelligence becomes the foundation of our relationship. But
that same intelligence must take responsibility for all the
rest of you that does not want to do sadhana, that has
nothing whatever to do with the Divine. That is your
situation, isn’t it? And no yogic consolations or mystical
and magical phenomena can serve you at this

You must go through this
responsible transition from a life of suffering whose only
destiny is death. Nothing is about to happen to any of you
except death. That’s it! That’s your dues for a distraction,
a good dream. And you have no capacity for dealing with the
technology that appears after this life until you have done
sadhana. It is all sleep beyond this life until another
equally ignorant condition appears out of nowhere and you
have the chance to make it or break it again.

Sadhana is about breaking through
the usual life of tendency, breaking through the pattern of
destiny, not playing upon your desires, your inclinations,
your willfulness, your preferences. This consciousness, this
intelligence awakened through the Teaching through which you
came to me, must become the principle of your life from this
time. And all of the rest of it, every bit of it, flesh and
breath and belongings and husband, wife, children,
everything must come under the discipline of that

There is no other way. There is no
“quickie,” no irresponsible path that winds up in God. There
are only responsible paths and all of them are the same
path. This process of responsibility in Satsang is the
timeless and ancient process communicated by the Siddhas,
made possible through the instrumentality of Satsang. Apart
from destiny and death you have no other choice but Satsang.
All your alternatives are brief. When you realize that, and
when you are willing to be intelligent, to take on this
responsible way, then you become capable of the kind of
approach I have described to you this evening.

Until this Teaching has made such a
point in you, however, you cannot do it. You will be
unwilling to serve me. And if you do not serve me, you may
be able to stay in the Ashram for a while, but you will only
be tested until you begin to serve. This life of service
must become humorous, happy, juicy, living. It is only when
you are viewing the possibility of this life of service from
the point of view of your tendencies that it seems humorless
and difficult. But when you become established in this
Satsang, then Satsang becomes the form of your


The kind of responsibility required
of you as a student in the Ashram is nothing! I hate to tell
you this! It is the least of it. I mean, how much discipline
is there really involved in the conditions you have been
given? They’re all very ordinary. They amount to just a
simple, life-supporting, natural, ordinary, pleasurable
life. But even as ordinary or natural as that life is, as
lawful as it is, it is sufficient to be entirely offensive
to a subhuman life, a life in ignorance. These simple
conditions are enough to test and try every possible kind of
complex so-called human condition. The offenses are there
for everyone. And you notice how childish you are as soon as
you get a little offended. As soon as you cannot at will do
a few of the crazy things that you are used to injecting
into the routine of your life over a year’s time, you get
petulant, you get crazy.

When I was doing the equivalent of
your student sadhana, I felt these inclinations. These
tendencies are there to be dealt with, to become matters of
your responsibility. It is not just that you are not
supposed to be aware of tendencies, but there is a higher
process to which you are fundamentally committed, and which
you would not abandon under any conditions. Thus you must
pass through the difficulties created by your tendencies at
times. That is what it is to be a human being. Everything
else is just subhuman, the exploitation of the mechanisms
only. Human life is responsibility, consciousness. You must
bring that kind of manliness, whether you are male or
female, to the process of this sadhana.

It is not that you have been given
a little technique to focus your attention in some subtle
center, in which you can forget the body and all of its
complications, and by continuing to focus on that subtle
something-or-other you then drift out of this world into
heavenly wonderments. You have not been given such a
process. Such a process is not true. The real process that
is in God is all a matter of responsibility. It involves a
moral transformation of life in consciousness, a complete
transformation, a restoration to the law of sacrifice of
your gross life. You cannot abandon your gross life by
focusing your attention somewhere and thus attain
liberation. You can temporarily change your experience if
you focus your attention with enough interest, but
eventually you return to the place where you have

There must be the moral
transformation or the return to consciousness and
responsibility of the dimension in which you are appearing.
On that basis then, there is the appearance of other kinds
of transformations and for the same purpose: to test you to
the point of consciousness and responsibility, not to
entertain you or to give you a thousand-year lifetime in a
better place rather than a seventy-year lifetime here. This
sadhana, therefore, requires a great deal of you, but once
you decide to do it, it is very interesting and

In general, to come to the point of
maturity takes years. There must be intense commitment and
involvement for years before there is maturity, not an
end-phenomenon of some super state but just maturity, real
responsibility for the spiritual process in the totality of
your life. That maturity goes on and develops eternally,
without time. But to come to that point of maturity, to come
to the point where you are doing the sadhana of a devotee,
is essentially a matter of years, in some cases, many, many
years, in some cases, perhaps many lives. But since you have
essentially begun it or are willing to begin it, I am
willing for your sadhana to be resolved in this lifetime,
because I am not coming back here! There are no conditions
under which I would come back to this place. There will be
an Ashram here for those who come in the future on their
second and third time through! I am willing for this sadhana
to be conclusive not only in this lifetime, but long before
your so-called death in this world. But if it is to be so,
you must cease to resort to your childishness.

You must do this sadhana with great
intensity, with great and ordinary maturity, and pass
through this process that is entirely offensive to all your
tendencies. It is absolutely true that this process of
sadhana offends all your tendencies, which means it offends
you absolutely, in every way, in every dimension in which
you have existence or in which you may realize existence.
You will feel that offense, you will feel your resistance,
you will feel all kinds of tendencies that are anything but
the availability to this Satsang and its sadhana. And you
will be tested by them because you must pass through them.
That is what sadhana is about. There are times when it is
extremely difficult, difficult beyond belief, and you must
go through those times. Those are the most valuable, the
most purifying times.

If your approach to me is wonderful
and full of love and sacrifice, as it should be, then all
the karma that must be seen, that must become your
responsibility, can be shown to you easily. I am willing for
it to be shown to you in a dream or in just a brief moment,
some little circumstance that comes and goes. I am perfectly
willing for you to understand that dimension that you must
understand in yourself on just such an occasion. I am
willing for these karmas to pass in easy ways, in dreams and
simple circumstances. But if your approach is not whole, not
direct, not one of service, consciously lived all the time,
to the degree that you do not live such sadhana in my
Company, you must suffer your karmas as they stand. They
will still be awakened in you by the force of this Company
that you keep with me, but they will be awakened in gross
ways, as they tend to appear outwardly in your life,
outwardly in the waking state. Then the process has to be
very dramatic and heavy.

But the drama is unnecessary. If
you are a little intelligent, a little happy, a little free
in my Company, then you can grasp it as a little lesson. But
some people have to be beaten half to death to stop chewing
their fingernails! The little lesson they have to get
requires incredible circumstances! This life is just such a
lesson, a lesson that would not be necessary if you were
straight. Nevertheless, it has happened, and by taking on
the form of sadhana in this life, you can make all of the
necessary lessons much easier, much more simple.

This is one of the effects of this
Prasad, to make it possible for the entire affair of your
appearance in this world to become a matter of
responsibility in this lifetime. Independent of that
sadhana, that Satsang, that Prasad, that Grace, it is
absolutely impossible for most human beings to complete the
cycle of realization in a single lifetime. There are a few
who appear at random in the human plane for whom it all
seems to happen very easily, very quickly. But for the usual
man, independent of the real process of Satsang, the
transformation and liberation of manifest life is a matter
of billions and billions of lifetimes, of numberless
lifetimes. This is true!

Now in some sense all of that is
amusing, and the dumber you are, the more likely you are to
be amused by it! But there is really nothing amusing about
it at all from my point of view. It has never been amusing
to me. This life as it is commonly lived is insane. It was
perfectly obvious to me that there was nothing to do but
sadhana. There was nothing else in life that was worth the
suffering. I haven’t become a pleasureless man, obviously,
at any point in my life. But I made life sadhana, and doing
that required great discipline and great humor.

And it requires the same of you.
The way of the Siddhas is simple and easy, because it does
not take billions of lifetimes, but it requires a helluva
lot in one lifetime. And yet some day you will look at it
and see that it required nothing at all, that you did
nothing. It all seemed very dramatic at the time, and yet it
involved nothing at all. But you must stop being children.
You must be present with force, with energy, with life!
You’ve got to kick ass! And lay it at my feet every time you
come to me, in other words, all day. Eventually you will
have laid it all down, and you will have gotten everything
back. But if you bring nothing, if you literally bring me a
piece of fruit, be warned!

The play between us is the
of sadhana. It requires
great responsibility, consciousness, and discipline, and on
the other hand it is also amusing, pleasurable, and
interesting. I expect you to do it all and not complain.
When I ask you how you are, I want to hear that you are
good. I do not want to see any coming and going and all that
nonsense. Just do what you have to do and get it started.
Then it goes on forever. Everything else is