A new look at Advaita through the eyes of the most unlikely of Sages – Wayne Liquorman. Wayne is a former alcoholic and drug addict who shortly after being “struck sober” began a spiritual quest that led him to his guru Ramesh Balsekar and then to Ultimate Understanding. Wayne’s expression of his spiritual understanding is at once irreverent and profound. We laugh sometimes joyously, sometimes uncomfortably, but always with the recognition that we are in the presence of a Master. Edited from Talks at Wayne’s house by Catherine Asche.
Published by Advaita Press 2000
Also available as eBook
Excerpt from Chapter Five of Acceptance of What Is
This body-mind is an instrument. It works the way it does because that’s the way it’s designed! Now, the first sage who suggested that a disciple try to still his mind, probably did so, so that the disciple could see the futility of it. Thus, in that process of attempting to do that there could be some kind of transcendent movement, a seeing that this was not possible. There is a seeing that that which was trying to still the mind, couldn’t still the mind. You see? In that moment, in that instant, with that sage, this may have been an extraordinarily potent teaching tool. And then the next fellow who came after him in the lineage (who didn’t have any understanding at all) could only say, “Sit and still the mind. You must still the mind.” And that, too, is part of the functioning of Totality. That they said that is part of the dance as well.
But the mind is what causes all the suffering. The way the mind is seeing things is causing all this suffering. I don’t know, I think I should stop thinking.
Okay. (Laughs) I’m not stopping you.
I don’t think it’s possible.
No, it’s not possible. It happens. There are points at which your involvement in this thinking process stops. The thinking process is purely a process of the brain. That is what the brain does. As long as the brain has oxygen going to it, and nerves are associated with it, it’s going to do that. Just like the heart is going to pump, it’s going to process thoughts!
Oh! There are reports of people who go into samadhi for long periods, but it seems they can’t be there all the time and be functioning in the world because they just stop. To walk around, they have to come back to normal consciousness. So, it seems that you need this ‘me’ to function in the world.
But samadhi is not Awakening! It is a phenomenal state, in which consciousness of the personal self is absent. That can be induced with drugs. I can hit you over the head with a bat and simulate that experience. So what?!
Well, what I was thinking of was people like Ramana Maharshi. They have photographs of him sitting there, and sometimes he would just spontaneously go into some state, right?
Sure! But lot’s of yogis do that. The fact that one in which there was Understanding did that, doesn’t have so much to do with the Understanding itself, as of the ‘spiritual context’ of that body-mind mechanism in which those kinds of states happen.