Raghu, Ram Dass and other devotees travel to Kausani and rent a house overlooking the majestic Himalayas to do a meditation retreat. By cutting through the veil of illusion, one realizes they are not the body or the mind. In fact, we are seduced into the appearances of reality. The game is to get free from attachments to the senses by using the witness.
Raghu: Hi, I’m Raghu Markus. So, from Maharajji’s temple and that incredible atmosphere, we all boarded a bus to a remote Himalayan town called Kausani not more than a hundred miles as the crow flies to the 29,000- foot Himalayan peaks. It was an absolutely amazing place where very few Westerners had been and there I was with Ram Dass and four other fellow travelers, all of us, except for Ram Dass under the age of twenty-five. That was a mighty leap for me from the streets of Montreal to rarified perch in the Himalayas and so we arranged for a cottage to stay in on top of the hill that looked on to these mountains and we set up house. I think there was about five of us dragging buckets of water from the well way down the hill and food from the town below and meditating many hours a day which was the purpose of this retreat and that was a new thing for me. I mean, I had done TM meditation and so on but we were practicing a Buddhist meditation called Vepassana, basically insight meditation using the breath to get one-pointed.
In those surroundings, actually, those surroundings included meditating in a cow shed which had been used, we were told, by Hare Baba; this incredible siddha who lived in that area and died in the twenties. So, it was in this sacred space that I started to have real meditative experiences for the first time; and all the while in the evenings Ram Dass would sit with us and relate stories of his journey through psychedelics and consciousness. It was such a rich experience and very other-worldly.
I remember in the mornings we’d get up at 6:00 to meditate and Ram Dass would come along and gently wake every one of us up and say, “Good Morning Brother Mitchell”, which was my name at the time. Now, at the same time, way back up the road in Kainchi, Maharajji started sending Westerners to this little town saying to them, “Why don’t you go meditate with Ram Dass?” Well, that was the last thing in the world that Ram Dass wanted; a growing group of needy groping Westerners.
So, as this drama unfolded, we realized we needed a bigger space, which lead us to take over the Ghandi Ashram Facility across town on the other hill. It was there that we had a sort of had an official ashram with about fifteen or twenty people in this sacred space where Ghandi wrote one of his books. It was quite a scene. I remember one of the things that went on was that each of us sat with Ram Dass. He was the teacher, obviously and he would say just looking directly into your eyes, “If there’s anything that you are afraid to say, that you can’t tell anybody, say it now”. And so, people would blurb out all of their thoughts that they were afraid of. Now, we were in this ashram and the walls were like paper-thin so everybody on either side and even below could hear everything that was going on in this little interview that Ram Dass did with people. So, we all got to know each other’s crazy thoughts and they were all pretty much the same; usually based around some sexual hang-up. So, that was a fun thing and after a while you got to see that these thoughts had no substance. It was a great exercise.
So, there we were perched on top of the world. I mean, we could walk out of our room and sit on a stone parapet that actually looked right out into the, ah, you know, those 29,000 foot peaks. I mean it was just, the mist would break and you’d see the peaks. It was just incredible, incredible.
It was a dream come true for me to be in a place like this and to have Maharajji, his blessings on all of us, sitting in this place and doing this work together with Ram Dass. It was a dream I never even knew I had.
Ram Dass: It’s interesting that in India all marriages are planned by the Astrologer in the villages because they know that the information you’re going to get through your senses has nothing to do with your long range compatibility and therefore, they’ll work it out.
Alright now, you’re then born into this; you get born. You go through the fetal stage and you get born and you’re a neonate; a seven-pound neonate. Now a seven-pound neonate; you, if you knew at that point; if you were fully conscience, you would know that you were still fully conscience and you were just in a seven-pound neonate, however, the seven-pound neonate gets hungry and it cries; there’s hunger and crying and so on and everybody around you treats you as if you were that neonate. It’s just as if you came off the assembly line in Detroit and you drove the car off the line and then everybody treated you as if you were the car, because you were a Chevrolet you had to drive down roads a certain way; you had to park in a garages a certain way and you developed a whole concept of the Universe based on using a Chevrolet, while in fact, it was merely the illusion you caught in the desires, in the entrapment of the natur..; of that part of nature that you were in. It now then may take you all your life time or many life times to wake up to the realization that this particular bizarre circumstance had happened; that you got caught in this thing, in this wrong model of who you were and it’s called the veil or the dust in the eyes or the veil of ignorance or your samscaras or whether there are thousands of words to describe, the thing that made us think there was a mistake that I was that body so when I lost the body in that first drug session, I got frightened. I mean, if I get out of my Chevrolet, I’m not going to get frightened even if the Chevrolet goes over a cliff if I’m not in it; even if I think I’m my body because I don’t think I’m a Chevrolet but I didn’t realize I was in a rent-a-body; you know, not only a rent-a-body but a rent-a-mind; a rent-a-mind, everybody!
And, my rational thought process was in nature as well; that was part and parcel of the whole trip I bought when I got born into this thing, see, but it’s certainly been seductive and I certainly thought I was thinking and that my thoughts were me. I’m a thinking being; Right? Now, it is for these reasons that I say that the problem is getting free of nature so that when you; like I’m up in New Hampshire in a little cabin, see, up in the woods up in Franklin on my father’s farm and all around are beautiful trees and they got red leaves and golden leaves and yellow leaves and always in the past, I came up to New Hampshire in the Autumn to dig the leaves so I’m sitting in my cabin and the shutters are all down and I’m sitting there and somebody comes in and says, “How can you be in here when the leaves are so beautiful?”, and I say, “Because I am not yet free enough to be able to be with the leaves without being caught in the beauty, getting caught in the beauty”.
Now this business of being caught is the critical matter is the first step that people undertake on the road to becoming liberated. It is the technique which Gurdjieff so exquisitely enunciated in his model of self-remembering and Gurdjieff says it in one way and Rodney Collins the disciple of __________says it in a slightly different way. Gurdjieff says, your problem is that you identify; you learn to identify as a child with your body; then you identify with your mother’s concept of who you are so you develop social roles and you identify with the concepts of the Universe all around you so you become a thinking rational being in a rational system and then pretty soon when you’re angry, you say, “I’m angry” and you identify with the anger and you are anger and you identify with being in love and you identify with desires and you identify with your lust and you identify with everything; just go from one thing….you identify with other people’s opinions of you.
Rodney calls it fascination. He says, “We’re like bees”. We are just so fascinated by everything. We’re just like going from flower to flower. We, like, if you are listening to me and just hearing my words and aren’t conscious at this moment that you are listening to me and hearing my words, you are fascinated. You are trapped. That’s where you’re at. That’s what it comes down to because all the time I’m talking to you; I’m going OM MANI PADME HUM, OM MANI PADME HUM, OM MANI PADME HUM, OM MANI PADME HUM. That mantra is going on and on inside of me and from that place which is completely outside of this game of lecture and our visiting together, I’m watching this whole drama unfold; just like I’m one of the actors on stage; no fascination at all. I’m in the same place as if I am saying OM MANI PADME HUM in my cabin in New Hampshire or in the ashram in India; same place. There’s no place to go. There’s no place you ever go. You’re always in the same place or you begin to realize there’s nowhere to go; its, you know, quite shaky, shaky at first. You are driving and driving and there’s nowhere to go. You’re not getting anywhere cause you’re there; you’re here.
Now, the fascination or identification, if you understand that concept; that is the attachment to your senses and that is the game, is to get free of that and the process of self-remembering is the process of developing the witness or in Ramana Maharsi’s terms the Eye Thought; that is that place from which you observe all of your desires, all of your attachments, all of your feelings; just like Bhagwan Dass said to me, “The feeling’s a wave that’s disappearing off into the distance”. Well, in the same way, when, first what happens is, is, you, those of you who have studied the Gurdjieff system know, you say, “Alright, I’m going to self-remember”. There I am self-remembering and then something comes along and you start to get angry and you so forget you’re self-remembering because you’re so busy, “Why that son of a ….I’m gonna….grrrrrrr” and about two days later you wake up and say, “Holy Mackerel, wasn’t I self-remembering at that point?” and you completely forgot you were trying to do it, see, so you say, “Okay, I’ll start again” so you start again and this time you only fall asleep for a day and a half and if you keep at it, if you really work at it as hard as you work to learn how to drive a car, for example, pretty soon you get down so that you get to the point where you keep falling asleep just as often but you wake up very quickly and then you get to the point, where like, what happens to me now is I start to get angry and the starting to get angry is the cue, the stimulus that pushes me back into the self-remembering and I say, “There I go starting to get angry”. The minute I say, “There I go starting to get angry”, I have now identified myself with the witness and I am no longer the angry. I am now the person who is observing the angry and by doing that, I have just extricated myself from going through the attachment to that emotion through that whole cycle. Do you see how that works? Am I getting through to you?
Okay, therefore, that method of developing the witness is a tremendously powerful first step of a two-step operation to, on this journey because you begin, what you do is you just observe your, that which is in nature doing its thing. You observe the laws of nature as you are they; as you are they, yeah. Just like you watch a tree drop its seeds and germinate and grow and watch big Oaks out of acorns grow and all that. You watch the laws of your own personality. You watch the laws of your own desires. You just watch them. The witness doesn’t do anything. This is very, very critical. See, a kid’ll come up to me and he’ll say, “I’ll tell ya, I use the witness”, he said, “I’m Catholic and I have ah, sometimes I masturbate and then I say, Oh, damn it, you did it again. Now, that’s the witness” and I said, “No man, the witness says “there I am masturbating” and then the witness says, “There I am damning myself for masturbating”. All the witness is; is a witness. The witness is the non-game place. The witness isn’t at, the witness doesn’t do anything. The witness isn’t witnessing. The witness is just the eye – E-Y-E – eye, the spiritual eye. It’s merely there. It’s always there. It’s always there and it does nothing. It has no vested interest, no morality, no laws, no game going. It doesn’t care what you do. All it does is see it all. Right?
Now, how do you develop the witness? Well there are devices that are designed to help you develop the witness; curistic devices. Rodney Collins says, the problem is that you get so fascinated with things like anger or the candle flame or whatever it is that you become the thing itself and therefore, there are thousands of mes. Like, there is always you and the thing; that’s the relationship. He says, what to do is to introduce a third thing into the system. It’s just like, let’s say, you are doing something that you’ve always done; say you do asans and you are doing your asans and you’ve always done them alone in your room and then suddenly somebody’s just standing there just watching you do them. Well now, what happens is, whether you like to think of it at all is that which is your ego gets called into play and you’re observing how he’s seeing your asans. Okay. Now, imagine that that third person, that person so that there’s you and like the book you’re reading and then there’s somebody else there; there’s somebody like my Guru. He’s a perfect mirror. He’s got no game going at all, no game going at all. He doesn’t care whether I read the book or don’t read the book. He’s just saying, “reading the book”, reading the book”; that kind of a consciousness; alright.
So Rodney Collins says, it doesn’t matter who you put in there as the third person. You can call it the witness. You can call it Buddha consciousness and you can read about Buddha and think about Buddha and keep Buddha with you all the time so that every time you’re anywhere Buddha’s there too; that’s a third person. You can read about Christ and keep Christ there. You can read about the Guru and keep the Guru there. You can read, you can think about the sun, all ye who vanishes from life for who keeps the sun in his heart. There’s the third thing: the sun in your heart. How can I do you in when the sun is in my heart? See, as long as I can keep conscious of that third thing, I’m protected from getting trapped in my own fascinations or in my own identifications. You see how works?
Now, that’s what a device like this is about. You see, that’s what the device like, like a mala and doing japam is about. I mean, people look at it and they think of a priest doing the rosary and they think of sort of a like a mechanical religiosity of some sort. Like, oh, it’s much more sophisticated than that. It works. That works but it’s much more sophisticated than that because what this is constantly doing is taking you to that place where that third person is so everything else is in relation to that other vantage point.
Let us take that traditional one that all the Tibetans use- OM MANI PADME HUM. I’ll give you the Tibetan trans…, enunciation – Aummmm Mahhh Nehhhh Pedmeeee Hhhhuuuuumm. The way it works: Om, Aum , the sound of the Universe, you know, all the sounds of the Universe AAuuummm; starts at the back of your mouth and comes up to your tongue – Aaauuuummmm, Aaauuummmm, Aaaauuuumm. Mani is like a jewel or like pure, or the Atman or pure consciousness; that’s that thing. Om is the jewel, Padme is the lotus, Om Mani Padme Hum, Om is the jewel in the center of the lotus or you can think of the lotus as the un-folding senses or inside your senses. Om Mani Padme Hum becomes manifest in your heart; that is that part of all which is manifest in you is in your heart. Hum, the heart cave, Hum and when you say Hum right, with your nose closed, it reverberates in your chest until pretty soon it reminds you. It keeps that heart cave goin all the time.
So, literally, I live in a cave. I can be driving in my car or I can be sitting in the Hilton or I can be anywhere but I am always in the same place. I’m in this very groovey cave, you see, and in this cave are the grooviest people, see, cause their all the same person. They have different forms. There’s Buddha over there in the corner and there’s Hanuman, the monkey and there’s Ramakrishna over there, you know, going into ecstasy and, ah, all these groovey people hangin around. They’re my spiritual community. They’re the people I hang out with. They’re the people that live in my cave, right? ;and I’m constantly dipping into my cave – Om Mani Padme Hum, Om Mani Padme Hum, Om Mani Padme Hum, Om Mani Padme Hum, Om Mani Padme Hum.
So, I’m talking along with you and every time I move one of these beads which since I’m doing the Tibetan mantra, I do it in my left hand, this is a little ah, one of those intellectual cuties while with your right hand, you do Hindu mantras and you don’t use your first finger because that’s the pointing finger, see, you use your third finger moving the, so, you’re doing Om Mani Pa…and this is a Buddhist mala. It is made of the Bodhi tree and this is a Hindu mala. It’s made of the Tulsi wood; these are the two different very holy woods in India.
This mala was given to me by my teacher and it was given to him by the Guru fifteen years ago. When he got it these little beads where all square, flat and a hundred- thousand times a day for fifteen years – Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram. He’s a high Brahmin. He’s very pure. He counts; that’s what keeps you locked in the golden chain –when you count you know; the steps to paradise – I’m ten-million Rams up the steps. It’s the point system and now these are all round and smooth just by the human touch, and you know, like this is invested with so much spiritual energy that when he gives it to me it’s like giving me, the, you know, you understand.
Alright, so every time I move one of these beads, now let’s say I’ve started to talk to you and I’m talking about something that I don’t quite understand I’m really listening to myself talk and I kind of get caught in it. I mean, I’m fascinated by it for a moment and I’m just doing this mechanically and then suddenly, my thumb, I’m aware that I’m doin something and immediately – Om Mani Padme Hum – goes through another time. I go back into that and then that changes my frame of reference and I get un-caught. In other words, this device is constantly taking me back to that place. At the same time, it’s a form of worship, you see, because I am worshipping. This is Bhakti yoga also, you see. This is a form of devotion cause you’re devoted to that third person, that third place cause that place is God, is consciousness, is light, is everything you want to conceive of, is that, is purity, is that pure higher consciousness.
Now, I have not been systematic thus in my talk and I know you’re probably tired and I probably talked too long. Um, let me just say a couple of more words about , um, consciousness and I will leave the rest of it undone cause I can’t really do all the training and teaching you cause it would take many, many hours.
Ah, to understand how the Guru told me my mother died of spleen; I mean, that’s an interesting thing. It would be fun to know how he does that, you know, like what’s up his sleeve? ; or, you know, what’s his game, what’s his game? What’s your game there? Well, my game is this – once you’ve made your mind one-pointed; alright, now here’s the way you work- you get, you get your mind calmer and calmer as the, as the maha mudra vow says. At first, the mind is like a waterfall. Your mind is going in all directions. “It’s like a wild drunken monkey”, Vivakananda says. It’s like a monkey that is moving to begin with but you fed wine to, so it’s drunk in addition and it’s just been bitten by a scorpion; that was Vivakananda’s way of creating what the mind is like, you know, it’s just jumping from thing to thing. I can itch. I hear your word. I’m thinkin about this, “Gee, I wonder, gee it’s dark, you know, like, the seats are hard, I gotta go to the bathroom, you know, like, ten-thousand things and they just, like, all plumffff,plumpfff,plumfff – it’s called free association and there it all is; that’s the drunken monkey.
So pretty soon, what you do-those are called the rittis and the chitta. I won’t get into the terminology tonight. That’s too much. It sounds like double-talk. What you do slowly, is you calm down these waves until pretty soon it’s just like a very fast-moving river, see, and the way you do that is by getting into the witness and watching it all happen; that’s one way of doing it and pretty soon as you’re watching it all happen, you starts to happen less and less because you’re not lost in it as much and you sort of cease to let your mind; you just watched it and it sort of becomes embarrassed. It’s very funny. It’s like your ego gets embarrassed under the scrutiny of this thing; and then, finally, it gets just like an ocean. Your mind is perfectly calm and you’re just perfectly calm.
And now, when you work on becoming one-pointed in your thinking; say you’re doing Tratak , which is a technique of working with a candle flame. This is part of; this is one of the arms of yoga which is Pratchi Hare. You look at an external object. Now, most people when they look at a candle flame, they sit down and the candle flame should be up here. It should be right above where your ajana is; your sixth chakra. You look at the candle flame and you try to make something happen. Well, already you’ve lost. The game is, you put the candle there and you’re here and that’s it. That’s all you gotta do. Just sit here; there’s you and there’s the candle. You don’t look at the candle. You just be here and there’s the candle being there. It’s doing its thing and you’re doing your thing and you just sit there with the candle and pretty soon all your thoughts are all around here. They’re like little bugs flying in and around the candle flame. Just the candle and I can look at the candle and I can see your glasses and I can see your shirt and I can see your dress and see all and I can hear the door opening and I can hear myself talking. I’m seeing my hands moving and feel my muscles and it’s just me and the candle; just my witness and the candle as a witness and the rest of it’s just all happening around us and as I do this after a while, pretty soon all this quiets down and I cease to be overwhelmed by all my senses and until pretty soon, there’s just the candle and me. I didn’t do anything. I didn’t try to do anything and then if I keep doing that, pretty soon, I am just there with the candle. Now, that’s one-pointedness of mind; alright? You calm down and you’re able to think of one thing; alright.
Now, the next part of that, the next leg, is called Darana, which means, doing the same thing on something inside, like you take ajana, you take this one point where these three nerves meet up here and instead of looking at the candle, you close your eyes and you focus on that place right behind your brow, right in there and again, you just be there and pretty soon that’s where you are; that’s all you are is just a point of consciousness right there; that’s it. There’s not a body. There’s nothin. There’s just a point of consciousness right there.
Now, when you have succeeded in doing that, you are nearly home; then you hold it longer and longer. It’s called Dianah and you hold it longer and longer and you go into Samadhi. Now, as you go there, there are different levels of Samadhi which is the state where you’ve flipped over and you’re just that place; that’s all. You’ve given up everything else but that place. You’re still in form. You’re still being a candle flame. At that point, you can perform a thing called Samyama because at that point, you see, you have freed your consciousness from your body. In other words, you have over-ridden that veil of ignorance which had convinced you all those years that, you, which is your pure consciousness and that body and mind were one in the same thing and by going down and down into that one place and then going behind right back in there, you get to a place where you are just pure consciousness and then, if you are in the candle flame, that’s where you are and samyama is the quality of getting outside of the egocentric predicament so that when you perform samyama on something, like another person’s mind, you are their mind, literally. I’m not, I’m not; I’m not putting you on. It’s not mind- reading. You are there; that’s where you are, cause you’re not here certainly cause you left your body. You have merged your consciousness.
Here’s what’s happened: You have purified and purified, you have separated your consciousness from the gross- energy body from the finer-energy thought. You get down to this finest energy which is what has been all along which is called the Atman or Bramah or Procritti, rather, and then it merges and it becomes the entire place. It’s like the entire Universe. It merges into everything because it’s all interchangeable at that level. It’s all interchangeable. You see, energy at that level is all interchangeable and that’s all you are so you’re part of it all; that’s what the Hindus mean when they say the place is in Samadhi. You go to SAT CHIT ANANDA – that means absolute existence. It doesn’t mean you exist. It means you ARE existence; absolute knowledge. It doesn’t mean you know. It means you ARE knowledge. Ananda – bliss, doesn’t mean you feel bliss. It means you ARE bliss. You go to that place where you are it all and you reside in that place where you are it all in the formless state and then when there is the requirement for you to come down into some form or bring back something, you merely can go into that form to bring it back. In other words, in that place that he goes to, which I’m gonna recite a little poem in a second about it, that place he goes to, in SAT CHIT ANANDA, there is no time – past, present and future. It’s all part of the warp and the woof of the nature dance. It’s all nature, out there. He’s part of nature. He’s merging. It’s all part of the same thing but he, from this other point of view, it’s all there. He’s, it’s both there and he’s part of it all and therefore since he’s beyond time, he can be anything in any time. So, he is actually my mother’s swollen belly nine months previously in Boston, Massachusetts because there is the requirement of my rational mind to be overridden at that point and that’s the thing that is the vehicle he uses which is the essence-vehicle to deal with the emotional love I have for my mother and the feeling of the spiritual link I have with her and he works with the whole thing and that’s the thing he pulls out of that and brings back into form but it’s all available to him.
Ramana Maharshi was seventeen years old. He was sitting in his father’s, his uncle’s study. He was a high school student. He wasn’t even a religious high school student and the kid feels he’s gonna die and instead of calling somebody, he lies down and he feels himself die and be taken to the burning gaut and burned and goes through the whole trip and then he says, well, just like I say, “Who’s minding the shop?”. It’s the same experience. It’s the same experience except the difference between me and Ramana Maharshi was a little difference in samscaras because he never came down. See, he was a fully enlightened being at that moment and stayed that way forever.
So what happened was two weeks later he split from home and he went off to Arudachella, the Holy Mountain in Southern India. He climbed up there and he meditated for the rest of his life and people came by the thousands to visit Ramana Maharshi; beautiful, beautiful Saint and wise pundants would come from around India and they would ask him these technical questions about specific bits of knowledge from philosophy and from, you know, very esoteric books and he would give them answer in chapter and verse though he had never read any of them. It’s the same way in which my teacher knows eight languages, you know, eight is all I’ve ever seen demonstrated. I assume he knows all languages. He must be all languages; just like my Guru could talk to me in English if he chose to but he talks to me through my heart cause he doesn’t have to talk through gross language.
And when I went to In, when I went to Delhi from the mountains in March and I went by bus; a fourteen-hour trip to Delhi and I went to American Express and BOAC and all that and then in the afternoon, I was hungry so I went into a vegetarian restaurant and I had a meal and at the end of the meal I had been like, living very frugally, so I had ice cream and they had two biscuits with the ice cream and boy, I savored those biscuits. They were the first, you know, like, sweet thing I had like that and then I went to the Buddhist monastery I was staying at that night and the next day I got on the bus, drove fourteen hours back to the temple. The Guru had been up in the mountains. I hadn’t seen him for several, oh, over a month.
A few days later, I hear the Guru is back and we all, like, get on the bus and everybody is rushing to the Guru cause it’s that feeling of love. And I get there and I fall dundapranam and I’m down there and he grabs my hair and he pulls my head back and he looks at me and he says, “How’d you like the biscuits?”. And now, you dig, that where his consciousness is, is not only with me and the biscuits, not only with me right here speaking to you and I mean that literally, literally, you see. I don’t know what literal means but I think I mean literally. I know literal means gross senses but if it doesn’t, I mean it literally. He’s not only there but he’s every other place at the same time. Like, at the same moment he’s digging me eating the biscuits, or you know, he could be with his ten-thousand other devotees wherever they happen to be because there’s no requirement that you have to be only one place at one time. When you merge with it all, you are it ALL. You are IT ALL and we can’t, we Westerners, we just can’t conceive of what that means because we are so caught up in the finite conception of the way it all works, of our consciousness.
Ram Tearit, who was a very, very beautiful Indian Saint, very high being. He came to the United States in 1906 or something like that I think, and then around 24 or 5. When he was about 20, no I guess 20 – yeah, 5, he walked into the gunga and just kept walking and just finished his incarnation but he wrote a few lines that are; see, a person like that wrote from inside so what you’re hearing is somebody living in this place and this is the way he described this place he’s living in:
I am without form, without limit. I am beyond space, beyond time. I am in everything. Everything is in me. I am the bliss of the universe. Everywhere am I. I am existence absolute; knowledge absolute; bliss absolute. I am that. I am.
And then he also just said these two little lines:
I have no scruple of change, nor fear of death. I was never born nor had I parents.
Nor had I parents, right?
Wow, we could go on many hours and I will be happy to talk informally through the evening. I feel many of you are probably gotten to the satiation point so I’m just going to end with this very beautiful thing that’s very strange. It’s a; it was found on a sixteenth-century Norman crucifix.
I am a great sun but you do not see me.
I am your husband but you turn away.
I am the captive but you do not free me.
I am the captain who you will not obey.
I am the truth but you do not believe me.
I am that city where you will not stay.
I am your wife, your child but you will leave me.
I am that God to whom you will not pray.
I am your counsel but you do not hear me.
I am your lover whom you will slay.
I am the victor but you do not cheer me.
I am the holy dove that you will slay.
I am your life but if you will not name me, seal up your soul tears and never blame me.
The traditional greeting and parting in India is, Namaste’ which means, I bless that which is the Atman in you, you see, and therefore, Namaste’.
Transcribed by Jessie Senibaldi