There is something I want to draw your attention to, in order that you can see, testify that. We all have just one science, one common verification, one common observation: we are here. Wherever you are, and this is common to all, you are here! This is indisputable, unquestionable, it does not enter into debates, it does not depend on opinions, on beliefs. We cannot agree with this and we cannot disagree with it. It is the only certainty; it is the certainty common to all: you are here! Any other experience, any other experiential thing, perceived, verified, felt, is within this indisputable and unquestionable reality. The reality is: you are here!
The only real thing, right thing, is: I Am! Everything revolves around this "I Am". All experiences, at all levels, in all their forms and expressions, appear in this "I Am." I intend in this speech put before you a key for you to open that door. If you close your eyes for it, ignore it, okay. If you do not have the key or if you close your eyes to the key, turn your back to the key, okay. All sleep is happening because we ignore this, because we do not assume the truth of this: "I Am" remains here, and everything else revolves around this "I Am"! All experiences, all incidents, happenings, events; the whole story, the story of this character... There are many characters! They are debatable, they are different, each one has its individuality, particularity, but this "I Am" does not have it. That is the certainty!
I am placing for you now, before your eyes, this key. What is Awakening? What does this mean to you? Awakening means to remain in your True Nature, in a complete, unique, definitive and irreversible way – not getting confused anymore, with what appears around this "I Am."
One cannot talk about Awakening for having an intellectual understanding of this subject. If this is not complete and irreversible, if there is still this identification with the egoic mind, with the belief of this "me", of "someone" present in that experience, if there is this possibility of identifying with what the thought says, there is no Awakening.
Awakening, as I put into this speech, is the end of the sense of separateness. Every experience is outside this "I Am." The experiences of the body, the experiences of the mind, everything appears in this "I Am", but it is not this "I Am." This "I Am" is here and now, regardless the state of the body, the mind; regardless external events, from whatever is appearing. I AM here and now! This "I Am" stands out above any idea of an "I" present at that moment; of an "I" who has experienced something in the past and who can experience something in the future.
The egoic mind - that which is charged with this sense of an "I" in its experiences - is in contact with the external world, with the objects, with people, with places... It was yesterday, it is here today and it will be tomorrow. The egoic mind sets up an external world and an inner world. Its outer world is full of objects, in which it seeks to fulfill itself physically, emotionally, intellectually, sensorial. And, internally, the egoic mind is seeking to fulfill itself through the imagination. This is a very interesting subject to investigate. Most part of your life happens on your imagination. The image you have of yourself is in the imagination, and everything that this image can get, or will be able to get, is in the imagination.
This movement of thoughts happening inside your head works by keeping that sense of an “I” - which I have just called egoic mind – it keeps that settled in the imagination. You are here and now, but the egoic mind has no interest in what You ARE. It is its nature to be blind and unconscious of what You ARE. You are here and now, but it is not. It is in the past or in the future; or it is in this present searching for the future or the past. This is imagination.
You spend most part of your life, most part of your existence, careless of this "I Am" here and now. Why? Because you are lost in this identification with the imagination, internally, and in this identification with experiences, with external objects, through the body. The movement of the senses attracted by colors - at the service of the egoic mind - to distance oneself from that moment, in which the "I Am" remains completely unidentified, completely free, completely full. You are full in your Being.
In the mind, either you are in the imaginary world, or you are in the illusion of an experimenter, in the experience of an external world. As long as there is some vestige, some small shadow, this chance to lose yourself from this "I Am" to the thought, to the identification with the body, to the idea "I am the body", or to the idea "I am the mind "- there is no Awakening.
No matter how many words I know about This; no matter the mastery of my speech, the beauty of my writings; no matter the power of my charismatic influence; no matter if I give names to my meetings; no matter how powerful I am to influence others with my wisdom... Borrowed knowledge. Mere theories, mere concepts!
If your interest is to discover the real meaning of Awakening, then it is not the lexicological, philosophical, verbal, mystical, esoteric, advaita or neoadvaita meaning, but the experiential meaning; that which is only found in your Being, in your True Nature.
If your interest is in realizing This, go beyond the mind, in a complete, total and irreversible way. Disidentify yourself from this inner world of imaginations. Stop imagining! Stop it! Stay here and now. Your work in this direction begins right here: stop imagining. Stop configuring inside images about how things are, or how things were, or how things will be.
The second step is: welcome the outside world, in its appearances, as it is. If it is raining, that is a fact. Do not you want to get yourself wet? Get an umbrella. The rain is out there and do you need to get out? Open an umbrella and get out. Do not make this situation, this event, this mere incident, a personal calamity. Do not turn it into a personal drama. Do not build your story around rain.
The ego does this all the time. If it does not do it with the rain, it does it with other things that are happening. The dish was not taken from the kitchen table, and you have ordered it ten times! No, you have asked a hundred times in this relationship with your husband or boyfriend: "Get the plate and take it to the kitchen." He has never done it! This is a fact. Either he has hearing problems, or he is not willing to be in this game with you, fulfilling your desire. Do not make it a drama.
The work of Awakening needs to be seen by you in the simplest things. You need to realize where the sense of an "I" is being constructed, sustained, in very simple details, being aware of yourself, in a zealous, applied, dedicated way; without losing yourself in imagination, in thoughts about the facts, about the events. Once you pay attention to yourself zealously, you will begin to notice this intricate, malicious, capricious, imaginary movement of a present identity making dramas, making storms in a teacup. The ego has done this.
You ask me what Awakening is. The Awakening is to remain here, now, in this "I Am"! It is to know that what is happening externally, or what is trying to present itself internally, has no reality outside this "I Am", to be able to steal my attention and take me, capture me. What is the meaning of Awakening? Remain in your Being, completely, totally and irreversibly. This as a fact, not as a verbal theory, not as a belief, as all you have ever had. Are you going to introduce one more belief now? This is for no use.
The only certainty is what is real, which is beyond beliefs, opinions, and conclusions about it. There is only this instant! It has nothing to do with the outside world. When I say "this instant," I am not talking about what is happening, because what is happening has already happened... Do you understand? Are you breathing? No. Or you have breathed or you will breathe... Did you breathe? It has already gone. Are you going to breathe? Is not here anymore. Then, neither one thing nor the other is happening. Is someone breathing? Breathing happens, but just like everything else happens, it is already gone!
I am talking about that which is unchangeable. That which is immutable does not happen, it did not happen. Look at your head, what a curious thing: thought has happened or will happen; it is not immutable. The feeling has happened or will happen; it is not immutable.
The future, which the mind loves to create in its imagination, is not a fact, it is a belief, it is just a thought; it is not immutable. Reality is unchanging! The only certainty: "I Am". Remain in That! Work in this direction. It does not matter if you fail many times. You have been without trying for millions of years and do you want to get right at the first time? You have a life ahead. This "I Am" is timeless: it does not happen; it did not happen; it will not happen.
When I say that your life is a fraud, I am talking about this life that the thought projects, positioning itself in the time and in the imaginary space. Now we have touched the fundamental aspect of this Liberation, of this Realization, This what I called Awakening. Now we have touched the key. The key is meditation. Now you know what Meditation is! Was the dish taken to the kitchen? No? Who cares? To whom does this hurt, strike, offend, sadden, bother, depress, cause anguish? Did you get the Christmas present? To whom does it matter? Did they remember your birthday? Whose birthday? To whom does it matter? Who cares to feel loved? Who cares?
In your Being, you are God! What is lacking in God? May someone take the plate to the kitchen to make Him feel good? This happens in this illusion, in this fluctuation of psychological time, the time created by thought. There is no time; this is Meditation! There is no thought; this is Meditation! There is no past, there is no future, there is no present, there is no one!
You cannot get rid of the world on the outside. You cannot give order in the outside world to make everything happen as you want it to happen. It is no use asking the rain to stop. Take the umbrella and get out. It is no use changing the other to feel fulfilled, happy, satisfied, realized by him. All this is on the old foundation of the egoic mind. Why are psychiatric offices full of patients? Answer me? On a smaller scale or on a scale of greater expression, where does your madness stand? This madness is only in the illusion that there is someone there, outside the "I Am."
Awakening is to remain now and here! Just as you open the umbrella and get out; just as you let the plate on the table or get the plate and take it to the kitchen.
Find out in yourself what holds this sense of a present identity in that moment. This is hiding Reality... It is not destroying Reality. It is untouchable. However miserable you may feel, however unhappy, more troublesome, this does not change the fact of an easy verification to all: this "I Am" remains beyond the body and mind.
You have all the energy you need for this Awakening! The key is available, but you are wasting that energy all the time, daydreaming, thinking, imagining, getting identified with the body and its satisfactions, with the outside environment and its events, its episodes, as if this were more important than You. So, this actually becomes more important than You. When that is more important than You, you are miserable. When the other, the world, the shapes, the things, the thoughts, the feelings, imaginations, etc., is more important than remaining in that look, in that hearing, in that feeling, in that experience, without identifying with this, you are miserable. That is it!
* Transcribed from a speech in New Year's Eve Retreat on Dec 2016/Jan 2017 at the Ramanashram Gualberto in Campos do Jordao