"When the Guest is being searched for, it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest that does all the work."
To what are we really devoted? Happiness? Security? Love? If we're serious about living a contented life we need to answer the question: "Where, by being established here, are we always happy, always secure and always loving?" With-out answering this question, we may, like the proverbial dog, chase our tail for years and never wear, in the words of Kabir, "the face of satisfied desire."
My experience through the practice of yoga, meditation and the teachings of non-dualism and tantra, supports the understanding that we must first search for and realize the spiritual core of our Being before we can truly live in the world with satisfied desire.
All great searches begin with the suspension of the statements: "I know" and "I don't know." This orients us in an attitude of listening. In fact, yoga may be described as the art and science of listening, and silence is the ground in which listening takes root and blossoms.
True silence, what I call Stillness, is not the absence of thought, feeling or sound. Stillness is beyond the absence of objective silence. It is the essence of all that is. Like the paper behind the words on this page, Stillness is always present whether objective reality is present or absent. This Stillness is the homeground in which all movement unfolds.
When we live in the attitude of listening, we live as the listening witness of all that arises. At first our search beckons us to examine the nature of the objects that arise in this witnessing; the objective world, our body, senses and mind. When we spend time with these objects with an openness that does not presume to know what they are, their underlying nature begins to unfold. This simple activity forms the foundation of our search for Truth. Living this process brings the under-standing that anything beheld in awareness, without anticipation or expectation, becomes purified of its grosser nature. As the process deepens we may intuit the underlying essential nature of Consciousness which gives rise to all creation.
This truth is embodied in the ancient process of yajña. Often taken to be an external ritual, the fire ceremony is actually a projection of the internal process of purification through awareness. During the fire ceremony objects, which represent the five elements such as butter, flowers, etc., are devotionally offered into the sacrificial fire. Symbolically, fire represents the purifying agency of awareness, flowers represent the distracting or flowering preoccupation's of the mind and ghee represents the mind as it is clarified of its outgoing tendencies which prevent realization of truth.
From the perspective of yajña, we place all that we take ourself to be-body, senses and mind-into the fire of awareness. We then, in the words of Heideger, "wait without waiting" to see what arises out of this process of purification.
Yajña is the process of meditation. This meditation, born out of listening, is a sacrifice wherein attention is constantly offered into the fire of awareness.
Living this attitude of listening, and waiting without expectation, brings a freshness and openness to our life. Our usual patterns of reaction, justification, comparisons, judgments and defense are observed and understood to be what they are: our refusals to be with what is arising in the moment.