The Fresh Waters of Life – Dada Gavand

My greetings to the citizens of Sonoma town. It’s nice to be with you this afternoon to talk little more closely about the life. I am coming from India, the East, and I am interested in talking to the people of different cultures, different traditions, with different lifestyles. I am here not as an Indian but as a person who is living on the same planet.

So let’s see if we can talk together to find out what living is. If there is any significance in living. If there is any purpose. We would like to find out the story of life, the process of living, not through any science, or technique, or any philosophy but if you can find out actually by knowing and experiencing what living is. We generally try to know about life through the books of psychology, or some philosophy, and sometimes through religions. I wonder if we really know anything through any science or through the opinion of any other person. To know anything, one has to go a little close to it, to observe, to watch, to see, to ponder, to find out exactly [what] the thing is. We can’t find out the reality of anything through the descriptions written by other people.

So to know and find out about life, this living energy, we are to come close to it. Do we ever do that? It is very easy to read the descriptions written by others, by experts, and perhaps that is how we are guided, by the opinions of the experts in all walks of life. Perhaps all our understanding and our opinions are the result of the statements of other people. We hardly know anything directly. Is there any direct experience of life? If we don’t have the opinion of others, we create our own opinion, and we always look at things in life and nature through our own opinion which is some kind of conditioned attitude of the mind. Opinion is positive and negative confirmation and that’s how we look at everything. Our relationship is, even intimate relationship, is based on our ideas, on our concepts which are mostly imaginations in the mind. So there is hardly any way of getting into a direct experiencing.

So if you want to find out about the life, this living process, the energy that is moving, living, pulsating in each moment – what is living for us? What is living in us now? Isn’t mostly a thought activity? Ceaseless movement of thought? That is living through its ideas and through its actions. It is a thought which is a mind that is living constantly through its projections, through its ideas, opinions, fears, planning, anxiety, worry. This whole process is operating all of the time. And it is existing; it is living. And we meet everything through these ideas, through this mind. Mostly our understanding is intellectual, through information and ideas, we live the life. That’s one way of living. Now I am questioning this process that we call living through the mind, through the ideas, through the concepts.

The first thing, do we experience anything freshly in the moment through these ideas? Is there any fresh contact with life? Idea is a concept which were formed on the basis of past information. We had some past information from some past experience and that experience has been retained in the mind. And that experience is an opinion, a concept, and through that experience we meet anything in the now, in the future. If you are to meet a person, we have a memory about the person, and it is the memory that meets the person. So [it] is [the] other way, and there is a meeting of two experiences, two memories, two concepts. Is that the way of meeting or experiencing any person? If you want to see a sunset, don’t you look at the sunset completely with your total being? But sometimes it’s the mind that chatters and talks about the sunsets it has seen previously. Or expects something other than what is in front of his eyes. “Oh, I wish there was no cloud like this.” “I wish it was a little more red than blue.” But he hardly sees that scene completely in that moment with his total attention.

There is a possibility of seeing the sunset or experiencing the sunset. We generally see it, but do we experience it? So is the case with other relationships. Do we experience anything, anyone? That kind of experiencing is quite a different thing, much more vital, much more alert, much more in the now, in the present. And for that one has to be a total personality, utterly, totally in the present, without any bias of the mind, without any idea in the consciousness.

Do we experience anything in life so viscerally, so profoundly, so totally? There is the only way of experiencing anything, maybe your child, maybe your dog, or in a flower, or any person to have a contact, a direct contact with the energy, with the other energy. There is a meeting; there is a communion. Otherwise, it is just a gossip of the mind. Many of us have created this habit, this pattern, through mind. That’s why there is not vitality, no energy. This is a dimension of life where one is vital, alert. And in that vitality, there is a blessing of life. You can have your own interiority. And that interiority can work as a reflection of the eternal energy. In that state, there is no room for any opinion, any movement of thought, any imagination.

We are meeting everything through our own imagination, through our own conditioning, through our own prejudices. Negative or positive, but they are all the same conditionings. Do we have to have this conditioning to meet anything freshly in that right moment? There is a new way of living and that is the only living. Otherwise, it is all a continuity in time. It is the past that continues in the hope of a future. That’s why we live by our hopes, create fears, and then face frustrations. Life is a series of planning and hopes unfortunately. There is a way of letting life live, letting this energy function without any hindrance of the ideas, then the life takes its own care. The life is, that energy is fullness in itself; it’s rich, it’s intelligent. And we need to discover this kind of life, otherwise there is not much fun, just a constant burden of thought and mind. There is a ceaseless activity which creates fears, creates planning, problems, conflicts. And we’re beginning to live with all these things without trying to see what the life is, what this living is.

We never come close to see what is happening. We have taken this kind of life for granted. Our education, our culture, our history has sanctified this kind of life. And what is life today? Personal life, or social life, or political or international life, what is it now? Is it all sane? Is it all orderly? We are always trying to create some sanity but it doesn’t happen. We’re trying to build some order in our personal life, family life, or international life, but there is no order at all. It is all a chaos and so filled with fears.

See anywhere and you’ll find these fears, doubts, violence, conflicts, and there isn’t at all disease or war there. We are sowing the seeds of war in our mind itself, through our own conflicts, through our own fears. There is enough violence in ourself, also in the mind, and whenever it gets a chance, it just comes out through angers, hatreds, fears. We are actually at war with ourself, within ourself, through different thoughts, wants and non-wants, good and bad, whether I should be here or I should be there, whether this is good or bad, all this kind of conflict, indecisions. There is never a smooth sailing in the mind, in this consciousness. There are ceaseless ripples going on and on, day and night. Should one live like this? To be in doubt? To be in conflict? To be in worry, anxiety, fear?

With all this plenty around, with this kind of good standard of living, should this consciousness remain like this? Why are we accepting this kind of living? This kind of our own self? If you come close a little and find out and watch, you will see what a picture it is. But we don’t dare come near to see it all that is why we are all the time out, planning, doing something outside, neglecting this inner, refusing to see what it is inside. So, we are to come a little nearer to us, to see, to take a close look at it. What is happening? What is moving? What is living? Not accept all these things blindly because somebody else has told. It’s our own life. We have to see it; we have to understand. We have to experience that. And do something, if it is necessary to do anything there.

So the first thing is to come a little close. To watch, to see, to wait and ponder about it. We never do this. We are all extrovert, planning, doing things outside. Of course, that is one aspect of living we have to do some of these things, but not all the time, all the way. We have lost the capacity to be with ourselves, to stay with ourselves, to look into ourselves.

It’s easy to be out with the thrust of a thought and an idea. From childhood, we are trained to do that, to live with the thought, to polish your thoughts, to have more and more thoughts. And we do not know how the thought is generated. How it takes its root. What happens there at the root? Why all these different thoughts, ceaseless thoughts, contradictory thoughts? It’s very necessary to see that breeding ground of the thought, that where the thoughts are generated ceaselessly. Perhaps many of the thoughts may be just mechanical, but they’re there. We shelter them, and we live with them. We act upon them to give the continuity.

The mind is the only hindrance. This conceptual activity is the only hindrance. It keeps you bound to its imagination. And to reach God, one has to be free from this limitation of thought. Thought is always a condensed energy, a crystallized energy. It cannot experience that profundity which is God. Thought is such a limited consciousness. So to experience that eternal, that timeless, that profound, you have to be free from this limitation, this thought, and the time.

You can’t experience the timeless through this time, which is a thought, the mind.

So see the limitation of thought. The binding of the thought. It’s binding us everywhere, on all the levels of living. So the first thing to understand is the limitation and the bondage of thought itself. It is good on some levels, but it has captured the mind, captured the consciousness, captured the man. Everything is just thought. That’s why there is no room for any newness, for any creativity. We have made it a pattern of life. And we are caught up in that pattern; only it’s the pattern that is moving, not you. See the grief of this habitual pattern.

So the freedom from this pattern is very much necessary, to discover that ecstasy in living, that beauty of love. Love cannot flow through thought. Love is such a force, a creative beautiful force that it cannot move through thought and ideas. So for the sake of that at least, to experience that love, to experience that sanity of life, that intelligence in living, you have to see the limitation of thought, and transcend the thought, so that you can meet with the beauty and the orderliness of life. That kind of experience is awaiting us, but we are denying it because of our constant association with thought.

Thought has taken a full grip of our life. You can’t do a thing without thought. There is always a thought present in any of your action. So, see the whole circus of thought that is going on, which we call our living.

Perhaps we don’t have this capacity of seeing anything as it is. We can’t see anything without this projection of the mind, without the interference of the mind, the thought. So we are to begin to learn this new way of objectivity, to see anything as just the witness. The witness and the judge has no opinion, he just sees things as it is. So we’re to begin to look at ourselves, to look into ourself as we are, as we are functioning. That seeing and sensing is important. To sense, to feel, to see that, without any opinion, and for that we have to come very, very close almost into ourself, to see this whole game. And that is the beginning of this new understanding.

We have to understand ourself first, understand this whole living process. Know what is happening. How cleverly we are acting. How mechanically we are acting. With what bias in the mind, we’re acting and relating with people. All our relationship is biased very, very conditioned. There is never a freshness. There is never a newness to relate with anything that’s why we carry forward our quarrels, our prejudices. And the whole life is a series of this kind of prejudices. There is never a release from this thing to enter into the fresh waters of life, the fresh energy of life wherein there is no prejudice at all. It’s pure, free, independent, and intelligent.

There is that source of energy, but we are denying that source because we are all the time busy with this conditioned thought. The whole consciousness is so conditioned, colored. So the beauty of living is seen only when you are unconditioned, free. Then the living is a different moment of life. It’s is free, original, transformed. And there’s a new beauty in living. Then your relationships are different. You don’t carry forward any thought, any memory, but you live in that immediate now, with freedom. That is the freedom of life.

We never try to experience that freedom, that’s why we are busy with the other freedoms, economic freedom, political freedom, individual freedom, all these freedoms. Where is a free man with all this freedom? I would like to see a free person. We talk about all these freedoms, give them all these dozens of freedoms, and yet you live a bounded, encaged person. So the real freedom begins here only, then you will never be caught up in any other bondage.

There is a total freedom of that energy. So, there is that living, a real impulse, a real moment of living begins only there when you are totally free with energies completely unbiased, uncolored. Then the relationships are different. Your vision becomes different. Your life, becomes different. We need that kind of life of freedom otherwise what is life today? We know it. So this is a basic question. It is a very fundamental issue, and all the thoughtful persons in the world are conscious of this thing now. With all these scientific discoveries, and affluence, and productions, and new gadgets, what is the life? What is happening to this living? We may have a few more pleasures, few more conveniences, but basically, what is the state of this mind? Is it really happy, contented, peaceful, loving? Why are we denied all these basic things of life? On the contrary, we have become more assertive, more greedy, more competitive, more violent. Is it the result of this civilization, of this advancement?  So let us ponder over it, for our own sake, for our own children, for the next generation.

So we have to establish this sanity, this order, in our own life first. So this is a challenging thing.

Can we take some questions if you have in your mind?

I have a question. Do you believe in God?

Do I believe in God?

Mmm

I think I don’t have any belief. Belief is a hope of the mind. I think this idea, thought has created this God, and we have different images about God. Because of this opinion, we have different concepts of God, different forms of God. And is God a form, or a concept, or an image created by the mind? If God is there, it cannot be a concept. It is something like a thrill, beautiful energy, consciousness, the intelligence. That Supreme is there, but it would never be contacted through this mind and the concept and images, but God is an experiencing, is a fact. And it is that most intelligent energy, that source of creation, is there. I don’t have to have an opinion, a concept about it. Concept is a denial of that experience. God is that kind of experience. The totality of life is that consciousness, is that divinity, is that eternity, is that God. But we don’t need to have any name to it.

Are you saying take no thought, take no thought of whatever we have of God within us whether it be to know what, that would be it? With no thought, no concept of pinning it into one thing, is that what you are saying?

No thought is the first thing, that’s the beginning. From that no thought, we have to enter into the state and experience of non-thought, which is nothing but the pulsation of a dynamic energy within you. And after entering that state of dynamism, that pure energy, there is no room for any concepts. The mind itself is left out. The mind cannot work in that vitality, in that energy which is so dynamic. It is a different dimension of energy. On that dimension, the thought cannot linger. So, we have to transform this thought energy, this level of thought into that new dimension which is a divine state, which is the divinity, which is the vibrancy of eternity. There is no thought there, but there is a fullness of energy, vital, vibrant, pulsating in the now. There is no past and future, it’s only the thought that has created the past and future to refuse to see that present. So, to enter into that present and to be with that energy, to be with that vitality, is to experience that eternal which you call by any name. So again, this problem is of this naming this moment of the mind. See what mind has done even in the realm of God. In the domain of that eternity, it has created all the images, invented all the names and forms, and it cannot understand anything without the concept, without the form, without the image, and that is the limitation of this thought, the mind. So the mind has to become mindless. To experience anything, maybe to experience God, or to experience even your child, or a flower next to you.

The mind is the only hindrance. This conceptual activity is the only hindrance. It keeps you bound to its imagination. And to reach God, one has to be free from this limitation of thought. Thought is always a condensed energy, a crystallized energy. It cannot experience that profundity which is God. Thought is such a limited consciousness. So to experience that eternal, that timeless, that profound, you have to be free from this limitation, this thought, and the time.

You can’t experience the timeless through this time, which is a thought, the mind.

So see the limitation of thought. The binding of the thought. It’s binding us everywhere, on all the levels of living. So the first thing to understand is the limitation and the bondage of thought itself. It is good on some levels, but it has captured the mind, captured the consciousness, captured the man. Everything is just thought. That’s why there is no room for any newness, for any creativity. We have made it a pattern of life. And we are caught up in that pattern; only it’s the pattern that is moving, not you. See the grief of this habitual pattern.

So the freedom from this pattern is very much necessary, to discover that ecstasy in living, that beauty of love. Love cannot flow through thought. Love is such a force, a creative beautiful force that it cannot move through thought and ideas. So for the sake of that at least, to experience that love, to experience that sanity of life, that intelligence in living, you have to see the limitation of thought, and transcend the thought, so that you can meet with the beauty and the orderliness of life. That kind of experience is awaiting us, but we are denying it because of our constant association with thought.

Thought has taken a full grip of our life. You can’t do a thing without thought. There is always a thought present in any of your action. So, see the whole circus of thought that is going on, which we call our living.

 Physical patterns can be even more overwhelming than thought patterns. I find myself that I can learn a lot by the physical side, through aches, through feelings. Feelings that are so strong that they make concentration difficult. How would you relate this to thought? Thought seems to be a higher level even than the physical level.

So you think that feelings are more powerful and dominant in you, and you can’t be free of the feelings and the pains that are associated with your body? And you think that thought is much more higher and superior?

Well, it seems to be a different level. If I am really distracted by physical things then it seems even more overwhelming.

Yes, by why are you distracted if there is a pain? If there is any complaint in the physical body? It may have its cause, a valid cause. You are to attend to the cause. Listen to the physical body also. You may have generated the cause because of your attitudes of mind. You know somethings are no good for the body, but yet the mind craves. Many of our physical ailments are the cause of our mind games, the temptations, the greed and the want of the mind. We are burdening our body through this craving of the thought, of the mind, and then we call it a physical pain. All these difficulties, even the physical, have a cause behind it. And probably you will see that the mind is responsible for those causes. Many of the pains and difficulties of the body are psychical. Many of them are psychosomatic effects. So, the psyche, the mind is so powerful. It is ruling everywhere even it tries to dictate body. It doesn’t want to listen to the body also, what it has to say, what it has to complain. Now a thought is so dominant. Medical science has discovered so many things which are detrimental to the body. But what happens? Does the mind listen to all these things? With all our education? With all this means of communication? With all knowledge? Do we listen to all these things? See what the mind is doing. With all these clear discoveries, the mind is not prepared to listen to it. It has its own enjoyable time.

See the domination of the thought in the mind. And yet, we are educated and intelligent people in the society. How much intelligence is really used in life? So again, we’re to see this disturbing factor, this dominant attitude of the mind which overrules the intelligence, the understanding. It refuses to see the medical facts which are so very well established now. We know the harmful effect of alcohol, of smoking, and see what happens? The result of smoking is clearly established by the medical discoveries but still the sales of cigarettes are mounting. There are so many things like this.

The commercial world is so active and it is making you believe things which may be even harmful. This commercial mind is so very dominant with its own greed, and we are becoming a prey to all this propaganda, and the mind is getting caught into this kind of propaganda, because of the temporary sensation, temporary excitement, and that is what the mind wants. There is no much intelligence in this mind, I tell you. It is interested only in some excitement. In some sensations, and that is how it continues in time.

So, the time has come to question the intelligence of this mind. How intelligent this mechanism is? How useful this activity is? For the mind has come to its dead end now. It is refusing to see facts of life, and that’s why we have to discover a new consciousness, a new intelligence, a new order of life which will not be based on this kind of mind activity at all.

The time is very much ripe for this kind of new discovery, and if you are sensitive and alert, you should be able to see the necessity of this kind discovery now. The discovery of that consciousness which is beyond the mind, which is beyond this thought pattern, and then perhaps we will be able to change the life basically. To create a really intelligent, harmonious, holy order of living.

-Dada Gavand

From a talk given in Sonoma, California

Dada with Amido while staying at our Boulder house in 1993.

Here you can listen to the talk The Fresh Waters of Life.

To see more from Dada look here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: