Satsang in Utah

As regular readers know, I occasionally give talks in various venues like a conference or a church.

Michael Speight, a fellow BATGAP interviewee, has invited me to give a 2 part-satsang near Ogden, Utah later this month.

It’s scheduled for Friday evening April 26 and Saturday morning April 27 followed by a potluck lunch.

If you are in the area, you’re welcome to join us. Contact Michael for details and directions through the Contact form on his website.

[Update] We’ll be recording the talks so I should be able to share them later.
Davidya

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32 Responses to Satsang in Utah

  1. Andoni says:

    Please record it David 🙂

  2. James says:

    This is wonderful, David. Can you give me a sense of the extent to which Michael will be also interacting with the participants? Thanks! ~ Jim

    • Davidya says:

      Hi James
      As far as i know, he’ll be the MC and I’ll be the main speaker. Normally, it’s his satsang but about once a year, they bring in a guest speaker.

  3. Bojan says:

    Hi David
    Oh to bad i live so far away! Hopefully you will record it…
    Safe journey

  4. Lanny says:

    I’ve heard that Michael meets regularly with a bevy of Brahman Consciousness ‘sangers.

    • Davidya says:

      Hi Lanny
      We’ll see. I have gotten a question from one of them that is. And there is the tendency for people in advanced stages to gather as it enhances the presence. We’re each an amalgam of emphasis, with certain laws prominent and others less so. Others balance and fill things in.

      I mention this in some posts like:
      https://davidya.ca/2009/10/01/being-together/

      And of course, birds of a feather… same thing in my community.

  5. Jim says:

    Congratulations, David! 🙂

  6. Guru says:

    Hello, I am happy that your wisdom is being shared. you deserve it, you share so much. All the best and wish you get many more platforms.

  7. Jake says:

    Hey David, just curious, have you even thought about doing an article(s) on the Zen 10 Ox Herding Panels and maybe relating each panel with each of your Stages of Development? Like panel 8 could relate to Brahman and 9 seems like it could tie in with what you describe as Parabrahman. Or who knows? Lol. I just feel like it would be a fun article and interesting to see how your stages would would tie in with the various panels.

    Also, I’m really enjoying your content. Thanks!

    • Davidya says:

      Hi Jake
      I’ve touched on this in a prior article. The 10 Ox (or Bulls) depict the stages of ego subordination in a specific approach of Buddhism. Put another way, they are stages in an approach to Self Realization.
      .
      While Buddha originally spoke to more of the stages I describe, that understanding has largely been lost. Buddhism today largely speaks of a single awakening and then high qualities of very enlightened beings with little connection between them.
      .
      This is one of the issues with comparing models. Many people assume they’re covering the same territory when often they don’t.
      .
      ParaBrahman is very rarefied and spoken of in very few places – even in Vedanta. I’m not sure it’s even been present much for a couple of thousand years due to the dark age we passed though.

      • Jim says:

        “ParaBrahman is very rarefied and spoken of in very few places – even in Vedanta. I’m not sure it’s even been present much for a couple of thousand years due to the dark age we passed though.”
        *
        Hi, Yes, it is a bit of a catch 22. ParaBrahman, or Brahman fully realized is exceptionally powerful, as it is a direct established conscious relationship with the real movers and shakers, the Heavenly Host; Divinity.
        *
        As such, abilities far beyond those of even the most capable individuals come on line, and can rectify huge amounts of karma without really breaking a sweat, even globally.
        *
        Conversely, with an extended period of darkness, we can rest assured that the fluid relationships we have with the Heavenly Host are unavailable. So the spiritual environment reflects that too.

  8. Jake says:

    Hey David. I always thought it had to do with both ego, Consciousnes and even beyond? I ask because another guy who I also enjoy reading did an article on his site covering panels 7-10. And it seems that it related to all of it. He said in panel 7 when the Bull(ego) is transcended one merges with what he also calls God/Consciousness/Atman. This is where non-duality starts to really unfold. “One is full of compassion and love at this stage.” He said the end of this stage is full Self-Realization. And even a lot of people consider it Enlightenment. But one has a hard time moving past it because one still clings to life/God/Atman at this stage preventing further progress and realizations.

    Then he said as one continues on, Consciousness starts to dissolve and so “the identity moves to Brahman, the totality of all existence. Atman and Brahman are seen to be one. This identity is way beyond the manifested consciousness, it is unmanifest.” And this is also the “non-Being” of your ego and Atman. “There is no doer, things just happen.” He said it corresponds with panel #8. And that “it is sometimes called The Absolute, but it is not The Absolute. There is still a subtle clinging to non-Being, to infinity, and to death at this state.” He also has mentioned before how Brahman can be seen as the “deepest stage of non-duality, but also beyond non-duality at the same time.”

    Anyways, he then goes onto say, “but that’s not all, because the identity of Brahman is also a false identity. Once it is seen, Being and non-Being, manifest and unmanifest are seen to be one. There is no more clinging to life as one has truly accepted death, and there is no more clinging to death as a subtle hope that some experience of Brahmanic bliss lies beyond it. This is The Absolute. The Source. It corresponds to #9. In Hinduism they sometimes refer to this as ParaBrahman. Euphoria of existence and emptiness of non-existence merge together. Nothing can be said about this state.”

    Then “one become completely and utterly ordinary again. There’s only life, exactly as it is, in its absolute such-ness. The identity finally moves to where it belongs – to the body. One is simply his body as all other animals are. The human condition is transcended. This is the end of non-duality and infinity, one becomes finite again. Nothing that doesn’t exist in the physical world, including Brahman, exists anymore. Mountains become mountains again, not Consciousness, not Brahman. One becomes the doer again, just rid of all the illusions of life. This is what the last picture in the Ten Bulls, “Return to Society” is about. This is Enlightenment. There is nothing spiritual about this stage. It is strictly impossible to recognize someone at this state, because his identity is his body and everyone has a body. Even people at various stages of non-duality can’t relate to such a person, and he appears completely ignorant to them.”

    So to me it seems like, yes, it definitely relates to ego subordination like you said, but it also seems like it can tie into the stages of Consciousness, Brahman, etc. Maybe it’s just a matter of how you look at it? I love how you present your Stages of Development so I couldn’t help but to be curious to hear your take on it. Sorry it was so long. Lol.

    • Davidya says:

      Hi Jake
      Over the years I’ve seen a number of interpretations of the 10 bulls/ Ox panels. If you see the bull as the ego, it’s clear there is a process of taming then transcending the ego. We may then equate panels 8-10 with further stages. However, the qualities of those panels don’t equate with stages post-Self Realization. They make more sense if seen as stages of integration.
      .
      Keep in mind that Buddhism doesn’t define Self Realization by Self, they call it no-self as in no personal self. The panels show transcending the bull, then transcending into no-self.
      .
      When someone becomes established in no-self, they then recognize source aka consciousness. (panel 9) This is a bit different from someone who becomes Self in the first place.
      .
      The last panel then becomes taking this inner awakening into the world.
      .
      Zen does recognize Unity in some of it’s writings but I don’t see that described here.
      .
      Perhaps it would be worth doing an article on. There’s a bit of backlog though. 🙂

    • Davidya says:

      To review the other comments…
      .
      Brahman is beyond consciousness and known by itself alone. It sees the world as uncreated so would not be framed as “source”.
      .
      Non-duality doesn’t unfold with Self Realization. It is a dwaita or dualistic state as Self is still distinct from the world. However, neo-advaita has mixed Buddhism with Vedanta and the idea of one waking has permeated the thinking, placing everything on Self Realization.
      .
      I would also suggest God is much more than Atman. Compassion and love relate to an opening heart, much easier post-Self Realization but this is distinct from it. It’s a different process called God Consciousness.
      .
      Curious framing. I think the issue is clinging to concepts of being done, etc rather than Self. Self doesn’t have a need to cling to anything.
      .
      He’s also missing the Unity stage in there which is when non-duality begins. Oneness is prior to Brahman, not after it.
      .
      Brahman is not the totality of existence. It is beyond the duality of existence. Existence is a function of consciousness being self-aware. If it is also non-Being, there is a contradiction in the description.
      .
      Non-doership is a quality of Self Realization, well before Brahman. That is standard understanding & experience.
      .
      Ordinariness is also a quality of Self Realization. It’s often one of the first things people notice when they wake up.
      .
      Brahman is about coming back into form, undivided. But thats not the same as there only being physical again.
      .
      If you’re sharing what they said, it would seem it’s a muddle of concepts and not a reliable source.

      • Jake says:

        Hey David. Thanks for the detailed reply. You said Buddhism defines self-realization as no-self. I get that. So Wouldn’t transcending both the bull and self have to do with Brahman? Like transcending the ego leading into self-realization and then transcendig Atman leading into Brahman?

        *
        You said “Brahman is beyond consciousness and known by itself alone. It sees the world as uncreated so would not be framed as “source”.”

        Well he also said in here that Brahman is beyond consciouness. And in other articles he mentions that Brahman is not self-aware and that “from the Absolute perspective nothing has arose.” But in regards to the article, he called ParaBrahman the Source, not Brahman. And I thought you also called ParaBrahman “the source of the source?”

        *
        You said “He’s also missing the Unity stage in there which is when non-duality begins. Oneness is prior to Brahman, not after it.”

        In what I wrote to you he says that non-duality really starts to unfold in the Consciousness/God stage. So he does say it starts before Brahman. He said that Brahman can be seen as both the deepest stage of non-duality and also beyond it.

        *
        Also, you said that what he said about Brahman being the totality of existence and non-Being at the same time is a contradiction. Yeah, I thought the same thing, but I think he’s saying that it’s just the totality in general. Like there’s nothing beyond it. He seems to imply that Brahman is beyond existence in that he says it is i unmanifested. And that it’s way beyond the manifested Consciousness.

        *
        Maybe I’m just trying to reconcil your model with what he’s saying here. And yeah I agree, it does seem a little muddled. I don’t think it was meant to be a clear cut model but just an article briefly addressing a couple of the stages. Obviously nowhere near as in-depth and clear as what you describe. I always appreciate your feedback. Thanks again, David!

        • Davidya says:

          Yes, Jake, it can seem 2 transcendings = Brahman. However, what is described after that doesn’t fit the picture. And theres other steps between awakening and Brahman.
          .
          There’s a few ways to see the 2 steps, like my-ness and I-ness or as ego and jiva. But what it comes down to is it depicts the steps resulting from a specific approach and practices. They make a big difference in how the process is experienced subjectively.
          .
          Yes, I consider ParaBrahman the source of the source, consciousness.
          .
          And yes, many of the points are very tricky as Brahman is both beyond all existence and inclusive of both existence and non-existence. Saying one thing suggests it’s not something else that it is also. And yet it is no-thing.
          .
          This is not to disparage what anyone has written. i debate some of these points with others very awake and we don’t always agree how best to frame it. Additionally, my perspective has changed over time, such as recognizing Brahman may not be consciousness but it is conscious of itself.
          .
          As Lorne Hoff said, don’t try to understand it as the mind can’t meet it. Even someone in advanced Unity can’t make sense of Brahman. Parabrahman is even more so.
          .
          It is interesting they’re referring to ParaBrahman though. I’m only aware of one other person who’s written online about it.

        • Jim says:

          Hi Jake, If I may:
          *
          (for purposes of discussion I personally make no distinction of Brahman vs ParaBrahman. One is just the full expression of the other, and so I refer to both as ‘Brahman’).
          *
          There is a sacred geometry that comes with Brahman and is the key to other relationships. Consciousness stands on one side of Brahman, all three worlds contained, then Brahman has access to all of consciousness without being a part of it, as it is Totality.
          *
          Here’s the tricky bit. Using the above model, Brahman is seen as source. However, once one is living Brahman, the source of the source is recognized. This is the Divine Mother, the progenitor of everything, Yugas, Universes, the three worlds and all of Divinity. So Brahman stands between consciousness, and the Divine Mother.
          *
          Once this sacred geometry is plainly evident, then one is said to live Totality/Brahman. However without this clarity and defined relationships, the whole thing appears poorly connected and muddy.
          *
          The practical value of enlightenment is only realized in Brahman. Before that is growth and purification, though not Totality.

          • Davidya says:

            Yes, and I do. There is actually 3 things in there: Brahman, Refined Brahman, and ParaBrahman. The second isn’t usually a very distinctive change if the refinement has been ongoing. It’s more the qualities of the qualityless become apparent, like the origins of consciousness.
            .
            But almost always, ParaBrahman is a distinctive shift, much as clear transcending. It’s a shift from no-thing to pure Divinity.
            .
            I also don’t frame some of the other points the same way. Here, it was clear that while alertness rested in Brahman, it was not caused by it. The cause was not yet unclear. I’ve never seen Brahman as source. But I’d bet you could find a classic text describing it that way. (laughs) I’ve seen texts referring to Brahman and the Self interchangeably, something I found annoying.
            .
            The big advantage of Brahman is that it is inclusive of everything and resolves all paradoxes and even the subtlest of dualities. This means we have reference to all stages whereas before we lived only in the current one.

            • Jim says:

              Thanks – very helpful. Yes, I do recall Brahman being what it is, an intellectual realization (after reading the first 42 pages of Conversations on the Brahma Sutra, Vol. 1, specifically…lol) when the machinery can support such a structure. And Divinity came on later, with its own process of integration.
              *
              Thinking back, I do remember such a ‘blank’ phase too, when I wondered what shape Brahman would take in the world and vice-versa.
              However being focused on practical benefits, I paid little attention to this transition, since the original structure of Brahman remained. So just a slight difference in emphasis, though honoring the same supreme reality; Brahman, for short 🙂
              *
              Yes, the assumption that the (so-called) unbounded, (so-called) infinite Self is comparable to Brahman, is ludicrous.
              *
              Usurpation born of ignorance. Like the ‘dark theater’ effect – after spending so much time in there, we can be blinded by normal daylight as we emerge. That can lead to all kinds of errors regarding the true nature of the light, and where we are relative to it. 🙂

            • Jake says:

              Hey David. I agree this would be pointless to try to understand with the mind. I do enjoy talking about it though with someone like you who understands it beyond the mind.

              *
              Yeah, you, Lorne Hoff (if I remember correctly he calls it the “Supreme Reality”), Nisargadatta Maharajah, and this guy that I’ve been referencing are the only people I’ve heard that actually give attention to ParaBrahman. He’s explained some possible reasons why virtually no one talks about or has even realized ParaBrahman and similarly why most have not made the whole journey back around to what he calls Full-circle Enlightenment. He said something interesting, which appears to be true after hearing just how much more there is to this whole thing than people think. He explains how most people who find Consciousness think they found Brahman or even The Absolute. Because when one is at this stage it can seem like it is all there is. He said “one lady told me she was staring at The Absolute for months. That’s laughable, one can’t even stare at Brahman, let alone The Absolute. She was merely perceiving Consciousness. It’s a beautiful stage, but if you’re still seeing Consciousness you have much further to go. All waves must dissolve into that Consciousness, then Consciousness itself dissolves.” And similarly, most people talking about The Absolute reached Brahman. He says this can be one of the reasons why very few truely reach Parabrahman/The Absolute because people genuinely think there is no further to go, or they cling to stages and aren’t willing to let go of what they’ve “accomplished” and go through more pain and ego dissolution—going from embodying the stages of Consciousness/God to leaving all of that behind and letting go into Brahman/Pure Nothingness can be very painful for a lot of people and not something many are willing to do he said. People can even fool themselves into thinking that they’ve “arrived” as ego loves to think it’s farther along on the path than it really is. He also mentions how most people “transcend their ego” but “very few fully dissolve their ego” because they don’t think it’s possible and they think Enlightenment is just about transcending ego, but he says this is false. “In Full-circle Enlightenment and for one to fully realize The Absolute beyond getting “glimpses” of it the mental body, emotional body and ego all must be completely dissolved. The Absolute (ParaBrahman) is the lack of ego, Atman or Brahman, any identification at all. There’s nothing that can be said about The Absolute.” He goes on to explain how “it’s very rare because it takes a megalomaniac amount of dedication, surrender, and a willingness to go through all of ones pain and tears without exception while clinging to nothing on the way. Most people just aren’t willing to do that and that’s okay. Most people want Spirituality, not Truth.”

              *
              So I just thought it was really interesting to hear someone else talk about ParaBrahman and I wanted to share it with you as I’ve seen you mention a few times how practically no one talks about it anymore. It seems like most of the teachings and information out there stops at Consciousness and maybe goes into Brahman at the most. Why do you think ParaBrahman is so rarely talked about? I can understand that virtually no one makes it this far, but how about all of these Masters, hardcore Yogis, modern day teachers like Adyashanti, people who wrote the spiritual texts, etc, have they most likely not realized ParaBrahman or could it just be they refrain from talking about it for certain reasons? I remember in a book by Roy Eugene Davis (direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda) he asked Yogananda “how many saints or great Yogis move beyond God?” Yogananda said “Not many. They get stuck in the bliss state and don’t move past it.” Roy Davis said Yogananda knew there was something beyond God. But he realized that mankind could only cope with so much understanding at once and that very few people would be ready for it. So he only discussed it with certain disciples and would lightly touch on it in a few public teachings/books. I know he talked about Spirit as being beyond God/Consciousness, but I’m not sure if he ever address ParaBrahman.

              *
              As far as you and Jim referencing ParaBrahman as “the source of the source” I was never sure if the other “source” was Consciousness or Brahman. It seems as it can depend on the unfolding of the individual. So couldn’t ParaBrabman even be seen as the source of the source of the source? Lol.

              *
              You said “it was clear that while alertness rested in Brahman, it was not caused by it. The cause was not yet unclear. I’ve never seen Brahman as source.”
              So does that mean when you realized Brahman you knew right away that something was beyond it, just not sure what, because it was clear that Brahman wasn’t the cause of alertness?

              *
              And you said that Brahman “resolves all of the paradoxes and subtlest dualities.”
              I thought in one of your articles you mentioned that Conscioisness and Brahman still have unresolved paradoxes that ParaBrahman resolves?
              Does ParaBrahman resolve the paradoxes even more so then? Lol.

              • Davidya says:

                Ah interesting. I didn’t know Nisargadatta had spoken of it. One of the reasons people have not talked about it is there was no one who could hear it. Also and related, we’ve been rising out of a darker age where it was much less common. And yes, some get stuck part way along for various reasons.
                .
                At one time, I could count on one hand the number of people I’d heard of who were beyond Self Realization. Now theres more in my town.
                .
                Consciousness by itself can be described as absolute. I don’t tend to use the term for Brahman because its a dualism. (absolute and relative) But there is a great deal more depth possible. I talk about it because there are people living it and people need to know there is more to keep going. It’s like feeling the infinity of space and thinking that’s the biggest infinity.
                .
                I know a jyotishi who’s been tracking people who have moved into advanced stages quickly. They all have certain things in their birth chart. So there may be a karmic element at play too.
                .
                That said, as consciousness rises, it’s getting easier for everyone.
                .
                hmm – don’t know i agree with that. It’s necessary for the ego to be unidentified with but not destroyed. If there was no ego, they wouldn’t be able to function in the world. This is called “the remains of ignorance” and I’ll be touching on this in an article about three forward. Same with the mental and emotional bodies. We don’t do away with thoughts and emotions, we clear up attachments and contractions. And even there, it’s a question of enough. Perfection not required. Otherwise, you wouldn’t see people in Brahman acting out.
                .
                Another factor is sufficient sattva. ParaBrahman is a coming together of both the steps of consciousness and the steps of Shakti. If there has been little development of refinement, it can’t flower. Thats been less common in the west.
                .
                Adyashanti has had the Brahman shift. He calls it the second no-Self stage after Unity but isn’t being real clear about the difference between that and the first no-self stage. There’s a lack of language in Zen to cover it.
                .
                (laughs) There are a variety of ways you might frame it. This blog has explored a number of perspectives over the years.
                .
                On Brahman, no. Here, Brahman was quite flat for awhile. I was more aware of what had fallen away that what was here now. I was also in a grad school intensive with classes 6 days a week.
                .
                It was later i became aware of the source of consciousness. Details continue to unfold.
                .
                All of the later stages resolve different paradoxes and unfinished questions. For example Self realization demonstrates I am not the doer but who then is? Or Brahman resolves the dualities of consciousness and existence – even ones that may not have been obvious until resolved. 🙂
                .
                It’s also worth noting that most people I know who are quite awake don’t explore the details to this degree. They simply watch the unfolding and see the changes.

          • Jake says:

            Hey Jim. Thanks for the feedback, it’s much appreciated. I enjoyed your explanation. When you say “the practical value of enlightenment is only realized in Brahman. Before that is growth and purification, though not Totality.” Can you explain what you mean by that? I feel like I’ve heard something strikingly similar before.

            • Davidya says:

              I’ll let Jim speak for himself, but I’ll note the prior comment about Brahman is coming back into form, of the descent reaching the root. It becomes the most practical, applied stage.
              .
              At first the enlightenment is only within but then it moves progressively forward into all the layers of life itself.

            • Jim says:

              Hey Jake – Sure. We as human beings have a spectrum of possible spiritual experience ranging from almost zero to full integration, Totality/Brahman.
              *
              Just as in school say going for a medical degree, one can be hugely invested in the process, and gaining knowledge and experience along the way, but this will only come to practical fruition once the MD license is obtained.
              *
              Brahman or ParaBrahman signals that the spiritual process is complete for a human being. This provides the advantage of containing and having access to all human experience. All of it. It has an additional advantage of a natural relationship with all of the Heavenly Host, Divinity.
              *
              This second piece is what allows us to live our full identity as human beings. Because such fluidity is easily confused by other intermittent experiences of the Divine, it goes unrecognized as a crucial element of Brahman.
              *
              However to truly live as a complete human being, this everyday relationship with the Divine is necessary, and only possible when living Totality. It provides a unique mechanism to fulfill our larger more global desires, instead of making excuses or feeling infinitely frustrated. Hope this helps 🙂

              • Davidya says:

                Here’s a quote I have in an upcoming article 🙂

                “Paradoxically, enlightenment is both all-at-once and incremental. Enlightenment is simultaneously infinite but ever-expanding, complete but never-finished, an accomplished reality but simultaneously an endless work-in-progress.”
                – Jerry Freeman

                • Jim says:

                  Yes, so true, and at the same time I cannot help but be focused on our global job at hand, in spacetime.
                  *
                  Unlike the barely visible progressions of spiritual growth on the planet in the fairly recent past, now we can accomplish so much, directly, and for all. Go for all the marbles, and that can most quickly be accomplished by understanding the span of our spiritual capabilities.
                  *
                  I don’t mean to diminish that first pinprick of light seen from beneath a canopy of darkness, nor the second stage of bringing our eye to the resulting pin hole, and glimpsing Reality in its fullness.
                  *
                  However to get where we want to be as a world, it is imperative to recognize our full span of ability too, while granting credence and honor to first steps. I recognize too that even the ParaBrahman of a human being is in some ways another first step into another progression.
                  *
                  Does this mean anything need change regarding our ongoing efforts? Certainly not, though I felt compelled to add this emphasis.
                  *
                  Thanks 🙂

                • Davidya says:

                  I agree, Jim
                  Divinity isn’t going to descend into the surface world unless we go deep and live full.

  9. Davidya says:

    Michael plans to mic and record the talks so I should be able to share them here.

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