Q: This love for truth brings me to you or to another teacher. To really dissolve, is it the only way to be around you or another teacher? I met this other master. When I asked this question to him, he said “you have to meditate”. And when I asked what it would mean, he said he initiates people with a mantra, which for me is like staying with what I know is true being, and that created a lot of conflict because I felt I couldn’t really make it a discipline.
John: That’s good. There is a living mantra, but you won’t hear it in words. The living mantra is the rhythm of your being and you being content enough with less that you can feel it. It doesn’t originate from the mind and the mind cannot find it. It is only your heart – the one that knows to be gentled and quieted and stilled – it is only this one that can know of this rhythm of being and feel it. That rhythm is your mantra. As soon as there’s something that is given to you, that your mind can seize upon and do, it’s not a living mantra.
A living mantra, the rhythm of being, is impossible for you to seize upon. You cannot grasp it or find it. You can bend to it. There are many techniques that help, but to the degree that it helps it also stands in the way. The more techniques there are, the more help there is, and then the more difficult it is. The easiest is where there is not a single technique. Then all that there is, is the rhythm of being that moves you.
Q: So isn’t then being here also like a help to be in the rhythm of being? Which has also advantages and disadvantages, so to speak?
John: Only if it is viewed as a help. The one that comes here for help is the same one that doesn’t really want it. If you’re here because there is a pull within your being, and that you’re just simply more delighted with that pull of being than you are with yourself, then your being will be helped, even though you’re not needing it.
I’m not here helping people. If I was here helping people, then I would give you something to do. I am merely openly being with you. And that may help you. And that may also ruin what you have put together in trying to help yourself.
The only way that works is the way in which nothing is being done and the way in which there is nothing to do, and without anything being done, without anything to do, it is purely alive and it resonates with your whole being. Anyone that gives you a mantra and tells you to meditate is not completely home, because being home is easier than meditating.
One can be greatly awakened and not completely home, and as long as one is not completely at home, regardless of the awakening, then there is still something to do. One who gives something to do is still doing, and there may be an awesome awakening within such a one but there is not the same amount of surrender as there is awakening. If there was, there would be no doing, and nothing would be needed to be done.
A master of truth is one that is mastered by truth, mastered by non-doing. It is only purity of heart that takes you in. Meditating and mantras or any other kind of technique will help, but it does not take you in. It only takes you closer … always closer … and never there. It is only a pure heart that is let in.
Meditators are not let in. Meditators can catch a whiff of it. They can get a taste of it, but to be let in, the meditator is then left out, the mantra is left out. It is only purity of heart that is let in. A pure heart is one that is wonderfully naked and unsupported being as is. Meditation is support for being, and being doesn’t need support. Going to the toilet is a natural meditation. You cannot even do so without dropping into your body and you’ve done so thousands of times, and it still has not taken you home. (laughter)
Q: I understand about the meditation but the other part which is actually quite traditional Indian for many different lineages is the devotional singing. This is for me the closest to compare with what you say the purity of the heart. Well I just feel to mention if this is somehow the other leg which is again coming from a different tradition.
John: Traditions don’t work. None of the traditions work. None of them. They all help, because in all of them there is truth. But none of them work. Singing doesn’t take you home. Singing even what you know doesn’t take you home. Singing what you know enables you to feel some of home. The traditions are wonderful for play but they are not at all usable to do to be.
The shortest way home is where you take absolutely nothing with you. The greater the tradition, the deeper and the longer you’ll do it. Being kept busy with something. Any part within your heart that gravitates toward something to do, it is that part that does not yet want to be. It hungers for it, but it doesn’t want to be it – yet.
What traditions do is they dress up the invisible, putting on it something visible, which enables you to see some kind of form, and then you’ll be matching that form instead of matching something that is invisible, something that is not visible to the mind. It helps because it gives you an idea of what it’s like and it is that very idea that keeps you out. Every tradition touches something within, and at the same time that very same tradition separates us from what it is that touches us. It’s the same in every religion. They all help and they all keep you separate. As you let in the very essence of eastern mysticism then you’ll lose sight of its tradition. The essence of any philosophy has in it truth. When you take in its essence then you are left without the philosophy itself.
Meditation is only for those that are already home. It is only one that is home that can be in the midst of anything and navigate in this being without doing something. For one that is home, meditating is like love play. For anyone that’s not completely home, meditating involves some degree of work and that keeps you out.
First go home, then meditate as you please.