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Mukti: “The Embodiment of Enlightenment”

Interview by Renate McNay

Renate:  Hello and welcome to Conscious TV, my name is Renate McNay and this is another exploration into the feminine face of God and my guest for that is Mukti.  Hello Mukti.

Mukti:  Hello Renate.

Renate:   Nice to have you here.  Mukti is a spiritual teacher herself and she is also the wife of Adyashanti and we already have two programs on Conscious TV of both of them.  And I’m really looking forward to talking with you about that subject.  And I wonder how you felt when I asked you if you are okay talking with me about women and consciousness, what was going on in your mind about that subject?

Mukti:  I felt great!  This is a wonderful topic and a wonderful opportunity to express that perspective. 

Renate:  Yes, it is and I’m becoming more aware…I mean, first when I put the idea out to our viewers that this is going to be what I would like to do and this is also a kind of a personal exploration I got a lot of excitement back from viewers and it made me realise how much we are in a need of stories; stories of women’s awakening and spiritual paths.  There are so many more stories about men but not so many stories about women.  So here we go (laughs).  So Mukti, I know from what I was reading about you on your website that you were raised Irish Catholic. 

Mukti:  Yes.

Renate:  And you felt a love for God and Christ…

Mukti: Uh huh (nods head).

Renate:  Yes, well I was very fortunate in that I’ve had a really positive experience of Catholicism, I’ve had my moments of challenges with it and questions, especially about the nature of hell and damnation and big questions like that even from an early age.  But overall it was really a very positive experience and I think that may be in a large part how Catholicism grew and evolved in Western America and how there was such an emphasis on the loving nature of Christ and forgiveness and service.  So, I had an overwhelmingly positive experience largely due to the story of Christ being very lovingly conveyed.  There are obviously different renditions of those stories in the different Gospels but just the way it was imparted to me through the nuns and priests and the various lay teachers in school and in my family it was a positive thing.  And also just from this feeling of the sense of deep faith and love in my family and extended family who were really quite active in the Catholic Church.

Renate:  So you said you grew up in a tradition of faith and trusting. 

Mukti:  Faith and trusting, yes.  It was very much flavoured by those.

Renate:  Yes and was that easy for you to trust?

Mukti:  It mostly depended upon the setting, you know?  At home I felt very, you know, like I could let down and trust and feel at ease.  Not always, I had three older brothers who tended to like to tease me or beat up on me a bit, but mostly I felt like it was a loving environment.  Yes.  I was shy and kind of reserved, I mean I wasn’t necessarily really, you know, automatically quick to trust and jump in and was quite observant and would hang back a little bit until I felt that a situation was trustworthy. 

Renate:  So already then…you know with this holding back, was more, if you want, the feminine side expressed in you.

Mukti:  Could be yes.

Renate:  Could you see it that way?

Mukti:  Well, I felt like when I was observing, I wouldn’t necessarily call that feminine but I did really like to observe and watch but I know that is a quality in a lot of men as well but…(pauses), I guess I was very receptive and in that way it was very feminine.   You know I was just kind of receiving and taking things in and just getting a feel for them and perhaps that was feminine as well.  I was just kind of getting a sense of things and once I had got a sense of things in my being more, then I felt I had a sense of it and could move with that sense.   In that way it was feminine.

Renate: And later on, how did your spiritual path evolve, did you stay with Christianity or when did that change and through what did that change?

Mukti:  Well I did go to Catholic schooling from the very beginning and through university but my father became interested in Eastern traditions through the teachings of Paramahansi Yogananda when I was pretty young, about age seven so that was my first introduction to Eastern thought and Vedanta and meditation and a path that took some of the Christian values that I had been exposed to such as devotion and prayer and service but really blended them with this sense of…Yogananda’s teachings really emphasis this sense of balance and blending that with the Wisdom traditions and scientific techniques of meditation and some other aspects I’m sure I am forgetting at the moment.  But it was a good transition in the sense that his quality of presenting, (Yogananda’s) really appealed to people with a Christian background.  So it was kind of a good entry point into Eastern thought.

Renate:  and then you met Adya (Adyashanti, Mukti’s husband) 8:33

Mukti: Yes, I met Adya through Adya’s sister, when I was sharing with Adya’s sister who I knew first.  That I had been meditating regularly, and a lightbulb went off in her (clicks fingers) and says the only other person I know who meditates every day is my brother and she thought, why don’t I put you two together?  So it was that commonality that she saw as bringing us together.

Renate:  And it was really (that) you caught fire when you married Adya and you felt that you wanted to have a spiritual marriage with Adya.

Mukti: Yes, I started to catch more fire before I met him.  And I had heard something of Yogananda’s that I need to paraphrase but it was something along the lines that in a sense be the person spiritually that you would like to attract.   Yogananda also emphasised the importance of a spiritual marriage being that each person really had spirituality and realisation as a key interest.  So I was really in a sense looking for that in my dating life in my primary relationship and so I really wanted to attract that.  I really decided to dedicate myself to that spiritually.

Renate: and what did that mean to you Mukti?  You need to live the life of a spiritual person to attract the same, what did that mean?

Mukti: I have to tell you that I don’t know how deeply I contemplated it on a conscious level because I had had these teachings of Yogananda that I had access to I really took it on faith some of the things that Yogananda was suggesting.  So at the time what it meant to me was following what he’d suggested and so what Yogananda suggested was to meditate daily and do some Hatha yoga, Pranayama exercises daily and when was able to journal and to be of service and probably many other things but those were what I felt I could concentration on.  And so it really meant just a deeper dedication that was backed up by my attention and my time, that I felt I wanted to offer to that, I stepped that up.  I made it a bigger part of my daily life and ongoing life.

Renate: And did you also do some psychological work, did you enquire into your thinking patterns and…

Mukti: I did a lot of introspection internally. 

Renate: Yes, introspection meaning what?

Mukti: It’s kind of my nature, especially at that time, it was my nature to review my day.  And through my inner personal relationships and sit with what felt like in alignment and what felt like out of alignment, what felt like a weak point of mine that I felt like I wanted to develop and what I felt affirmed in.

Renate: Did you have any difficulties with anything?  It seems everything came so easy to you (laughs)

Mukti: I did, I was really lucky especially in the family I was born into.  I did have difficulties.  I mean I have to say that having spoken with many people especially in the role I am in now, I have a much better vantage point I think, to see the difficulties in humanity and what people go through.  I realise more and more, just how incredibly fortunate I have been but at the same time I have had difficulties and I was not a person to kind of fear challenge, in fact I was drawn to challenging myself almost like it was a sense that it was the next frontier of development, personally.  So, I did put myself into a lot of situations that made me reach deep and worked in a lot of situations that were challenging…you want some examples, maybe, I can see in your face (laughs).

Renate: (laughs) I was just looking at you and trying to see, I mean, I wouldn’t have thought that you would put yourself on the hot seat for some reason.

Mukti:  I didn’t go into any cockamamie situation but I remember for example when I worked in hi-tech, out of university I worked in hi-tech for a good number of years and one of the companies I worked for was a start-up company and aside from the group of founders, I was the first employee then it grew to fifty people.  I was just the person that they gave everything that no one had ever done before to and they would say figure this out.  And so I would constantly be trying to pioneer the way for the company in some area that none of us knew how to do and I would just be willing and I would have this sense that this could be done and I’ll find a way.  So there was a lot of things I figured out.  But it was challenging I was the only woman for quite a while with a whole group of men and many of them were from another country, so it took a while to get the lines of communication running smoothly and working with their feedback.

Renate: And when you married, Mukti, how was the relationship?  What was your role, what was difficult for you?

Mukti: Ok…

Renate: …I’m just asking because…

Mukti: That’s kind of another area in my life where I am super-duper lucky (laughs).  I don’t know that I have a lot of great stories about difficulties but I have some, so you go ahead.

Renate: (laughs) No because I am asking that I know women who say to me, you know, I am on my spiritual path and I find it so difficult having a husband, having children, having a job, I don’t know how to deal with all that.  I don’t have time to practise, for example.  I don’t know how that was in your life and if in the work you are doing and if you are also confronted with women who have a similar problem.

Mukti: Oh yes, yes.  Well, I could relay a little vignette of my life that may flavour this a little bit.  Let me just take a moment, let’s see.  Well when I was in a situation where had a tremendous amount going on, and I don’t have children, so I don’t know what that’s like but I do have a really quite a large family, extended family, with a lot of children in it so I have some idea of what it is to care for children for a week or whatever and be the sole parent for that time but when I had a period in my life where I was really involved with family, not only my own but Adya’s family and I had a fulltime attending of acupuncture school, it was a full course but I also had a couple of different jobs.  I had an interning job as a herbalist and I also had a part-time job to fund my education.  And then I was also helping Adya start Open Gate Sangha which is the organisation that has supported our teachings but at that time it was supporting his teachings.  Really there was very little time for breathing, it felt like, and I would pretty much wake up in the morning and be on all day until midnight in these various roles.  And what helped me in my spiritual practice was the spiritual enquiry that Adya had been speaking about and I was newly his student at the time, so I was also internally going through a lot of putting out of energy to sort of transition from some of the traditions I’d come from and opening to Adya’s teachings. 

Renate: That was after you were already married?

Mukti: Yes, this was after we were married, yes.

Renate: So you became his student after you were married.

Mukti: Yes, I became his student after we were married.  That just kind of…I didn’t know that, I didn’t see that coming but that did happen.  So at that time all of this was happening within me and externally.  So what I did for my spiritual practice was I took an (self) enquiry question, and the question I chose was what is rest?  And I just lived with that question throughout the day and throughout my days and even though I was very, very active but my intention to hold that question was very strong and I was motivated to engage in that question because I felt so tired, so busy and so active.

Renate: It was kind of a mantra.

Mukti: It wasn’t really a mantra actually, it wasn’t something that I repeated, it was a question that I dropped into my being into my system like from my mind down into my body.   Right down in front of my spine and into my belly.  Just this sense of what is rest?  Just like opening to it.  Opening to the revelation of that question.  How that might present and Adya had given this image of dropping a question into the lake of your being, like a stone was carrying the question and I just sat with what – is – rest? 

Renate:  And what did you find?

Mukti:  What did I find (laughs)?  Well, the one that would want to find anything would just relax and my system would open, the question would serve to open my system to any sense of peace or quiet, or stopping that was available to me in any given moment.  And it could be a very busy moment, it could be a moment where I am you know whatever, like filling my bags with all the things, to take today or washing the dishes or getting ready for the day.  And I would just hang out with the question.

Renate:  and did you feel through the question something starts to change and you become more settled in you and life became slower?

Mukti:  Life in the external realm probably became faster but on the interior it became slower, yes.

Renate:  It’s wonderful. 

Mukti: and what was really interesting about what happened with that particular question which I lived with for probably the better part of a year is that I thought I was kind of in command of the question and this wasn’t the instruction Adya had given regarding the enquiry but it was the way that I was internally working with it was that I knew that personally I really wanted rest.  You know it was something I very much desired and I felt my system needed, so I was really motivated to be with this question but I was asking the question really with the idea that I would get something that I wanted.  That I had an idea…like I thought I kind of knew what rest was, and that I was opening to just receive what I expected to be there, what I didn’t really realise was that the question would start to take me and take me on a journey in a way that took me beyond the limits of what I could guess rest is.

Renate:  Can you share that with us (laughs)?

Mukti:  Well…

Renate:  Where did it take you?

Mukti:  …like for example, I might be really busy during the day and know that I had “X” number of things to do but just want to feel relaxed while I was doing them, not wanting to feel so driven, or ragged, or depleted.  And so I would be living with this question as a way to kind of nurture myself in the midst of all that and nourish myself with a sense of peace and quiet.  But I still had every intention of doing absolutely everything in the day that I had planned to do, you know (laughs)?  But what I realised with the question was there were times when the question would bring me to a really deep place, where maybe my mind would become quiet and I might forget the next thing to do.   And what I learned over time was that maybe I didn’t have to have it all figured out in my head.  And maybe life could kind of flow and move in a way that I couldn’t guess.  Those times of quiet were often seen to really be a direct contribution to the day.  I mean, it could be that all of a sudden I was late for something else that I hadn’t intended to be late for but maybe it just worked out because the other person was late and we were there at the same time.  It somehow seemed that life had its own way of orchestrating.   

Renate: so it seems your ability to trust…

Mukti:  My ability…I guess the trust was there but it was really earned by just observing how does this work and oh look at that, that actually worked out and sometimes I didn’t perceive (had) worked out, many weeks later I would realise that they had in some way that I could never have guessed.  Maybe even someone would even say “You know that one time,” I’m just making this up but let’s say it was something like, “that one time when you didn’t show up, I felt this way and that way” and then I really looked at why I felt this way and that way and it really revealed a lot to me.  You know it was really a good thing for me that that happened, so I would hear about things, and sometimes I’d never heard about things and I don’t know that they went well or not because I’m not saying they always go well but what I realised was that I was opening to giving it a chance and just continuing with the question.  I almost couldn’t help it at that point, the question really had already become so beloved, so that a few things not working out were not enough to deter me.

Renate: Okay, you stayed for a long time with this question and then was there another question?

Mukti:  At a certain point what happened was the sense of me personally directing the question and moving to an experience that I was looking for; this experience of rest, that began to change.   And that sense of quietude and stillness started to become stronger in me because I had been attuning to it and then that quiet kind of started to pull me into it more in a way where it had the lead.   You know, I wasn’t really the one so much at the helm at this point.  It wasn’t like so incredibly dramatic it was just kind of quiet, it wasn’t necessarily some big, huge, mind-blowing spiritual experience but it was just the sense that this quietness is not just a commodity to be had it is this whole intelligence, it’s this whole kind of dimension of being.  And then what happened was, I heard Adya give a talk on the subject of stillness and I recognised that I didn’t really truly know what that was, like really, really truly, like through and through and then my question morphed from what is rest to what is stillness.  And that took my interest but I don’t think that question would have taken my interest the year before because I had so much to get done, why would I ask what is stillness, I mean, who has the time for stillness?  But I think once I realised that oh this atmosphere that this dimensionless intelligence that is kind of quiet and isn’t predicated in a kind of unfolding according to how my thinking mind believes this experience should unfold, could that be stillness?  Could that be the stillness he is speaking of?  And then I began more to ask this sense within myself almost more like what are you, what is this stillness and there wasn’t much in it for me personally, because the question what is rest was really about me feeling better, feeling more rested, feeling less crazy, feeling less stressful but the question what is stillness there’s not a lot to grasp there, to gain, to get and so it really became an enquiry of a different order, it wasn’t and enquiry really related much to experience, the realm of experience, it was really a sense of something that’s prior to experience that drew me to be with that question.

Renate:  and it was leading you to your awakening.

Mukti:  yes

Renate:  but I am curious is how that was for you being married to Adya and at the same time being his student.  How was that for you?

Mukti:  It was pretty, pretty almost like compartmentalised or something.  It was like, part of that is because of who Adya is as a person and who I am as a person and that we were together for several years before he became a teacher so we already had this sense of being equal contributors in the relationship.    And having deep love and trust of one another so when Adya began to teach I initially had no intention of being his student I was kind of there to support him in that role but I was surprised to realise that it brought a light in me and how it resonated and how alive it was for me, more alive than any spiritual teachings had ever been.  And so…but when I would listen to him I was really listening to him in his teaching role and not so much as my husband, I was just right there, he is teaching now and now I am learning and now I’m a student and then when we left that setting where he was playing that role we would just be husband and wife again.  I would sometimes ask him questions but mostly we kind of knew when we were in that role and when we weren’t in that role, it had a different feeling.  You know, he wasn’t playing teacher to me when we were in our home life.

Renate:  you know one thinks, isn’t she lucky, she is married to this wonderful teacher, it’s almost like a twenty-four-hour private session (laughs).

Mukti:  It would seem like that, it would but it wasn’t.  Maybe you could get a sense of what I described.  It would be like, I would be so active in the world, when we were together it was often like what’s the booking for this room, and have you put these people on the database, or did these people…at that time it was cassette tapes…did we mail these cassettes out, did you pick up the groceries?   It was just like so busy, our time together was often related to practical matters.

Renate:  And when you found out, over time, that actually true nature or reality started to manifest through you as a teacher yourself, how was that for you?  Could you jump right into it?  Was there a process you needed to adjust to?  Were there some doubts you could do that?

Mukti:  To adjust to the teaching role I am in?

Renate:  Yes.

Mukti:  Well, I felt like my life in many ways had been preparing me for it, you know?  And I had a direct experience related to the question what is stillness that brought about a stillness at the sense of personal self, and an awakening of our true-identity that was realised…

Renate:  …can you say a little bit more about this experience.  I know this experience and I think we spoke a little bit…

Mukti:  …we did speak a little about this in our last interview (turns to camera) so if you want to look at the other tape (laughs), but I really meditated on the question what is stillness, and like many of the really, truly powerful self-enquiry questions there is a way that the powerful question delivers the questioner to direct realisation of truth, such that the questioner, the person asking the question and the question itself dissolve and reality alone remains.   And so I was really sitting with this question what is stillness and just entering the question as I dropped it into the lake of my being and my attention and my being went with the question.  There was a kind of merging with the question and the sense of separate-self fell away in that and initially it was fairly ordinary in the sense that I hadn’t received any realisation that anything had changed; I was just walking around and going to bed and doing things, and it hadn’t hit me when it happened because all sense of self wasn’t really there to reflect or realise anything but upon being with this question really deeply not only internally but also when everything went kind of internally my attention went to the outer world and enquired into stillness in the outer world.  And when I felt those questions were taken to the extent they could be taken then something in me just got up from my meditation cushion and went to bed.  It was like something never got up from the cushion that had merged with that stillness, that had dissolved into that stillness.  And then the next day when I woke up, it was several hours later, that, actually what happened was at a retreat of Adya’s, at a silent retreat, it was his first silent retreat, a woman started bowing to me and it was her bowing to me that brought about this sense of a self.  Just enough self to realise that I was in relation to this woman bowing.  There was just enough sense of reflection that came back that I realise who I had always taken myself to be, wasn’t there.  There was just enough sense of self to come back that realised that what was looking at her and what was looking out at the world was emptiness.  It was the Infinite.  And, that was what could be called the moment of realisation as an experience but what was known was not an experience.  It wasn’t of time or of reflection. 

Renate:  I just love this story...

Mukti:  oh, you do, you do, yes (laughs).  And then maybe…this is a piece that wasn’t so much on the last interview but what happened was when, throughout that day, what I realised was the Infinite that was looking out at the world.  It was just like something in a moment (clicks fingers) of me, my senses going out into the outer world.  I realised that the whole world was myself and the realisation shifted to emptiness, being the Oneness of everything.  So, that was how that happened, yes.

Renate:  And did it stay? 

Mukti:  That sense definitely stayed.  What came to join it was more of the construct of the person I had known myself to be, started to layer back upon that, that realisation.  The realisation did stay but a lot of the ways that I viewed the world through certain lenses or certain behaviours, you could say ego-structure started to return but there was also, in the midst of that, the sense of that which recognised like wow that was so peculiar!  You know, all of this is coming back.  I’ve seen that this isn’t what I am but there was a way that I could see it from a different perspective at that point.  

Renate:  You see, and we spoke earlier about that, I believe that we have to have this experience to know who we are in order to come back to this world with this perspective and start balancing the male and the female within us, so consciousness can live its full potential.   I believe in learning about the female expression; what that means, how that manifests and the male.  It can reach more of its potential, or its full potential (Mukti nods positively throughout this), but you said earlier to me it can also go somewhere else. 

Mukti:  Well, there’s a way that embodiment of our nature as consciousness or spirit can be happening throughout one’s whole life and it’s not necessarily the case that a shift of identity out of a sense of ego is necessary for that nature of ourselves, as spirit, to be developing in us, in ways that are balancing masculine and feminine.  Or in ways that feel like spirit is really moving through our personal expression or moving through us as a vehicle of consciousness.  I think that, that gets enormously facilitated when identity is, of the personal self, is seen through, or like an awakening begins to unfold in a really conscious way.  I think it’s tremendously facilitated but I also see that development of our masculine/feminine qualities can happen at any point in one’s life and is.

Renate:  Do you feel it is of more importance in our time, or do you feel the feminine side in all of us is coming more to the foreground?  What is your experience with working with your students?

Mukti:  Well I think that that’s how I can answer it.  I can answer it in my realm of experience because I don’t know that I can say with confidence what’s happening on a larger scale but in my realm of experience, it feels like some of the more feminine pointers, spiritually speaking, pointers that really are about inner touching our humanity in this world of form and entering that and being present for that in a way that’s intimate and tactile, not only with the hands but I mean with your whole being.  Does seem be on the rise and I’ve seen it more in how…in let’s say if I pick up a catalogue of you know like, Sounds True publishing or in the U.S we have like Esalen Institute or Copolla or Omega (institute), places where people come for enrichment in their personal life or in spirituality, there’s a lot more topics relating to this and some of the words that have come from more spiritual cultures have entered the mainstream culture and historically, maybe a decade or two ago you’d hear Zen and Yoga and meditation hitting the mainstream and now you hear a lot more about embodiment and just this notion of being present for the human experience.  And it’s not just spirituality, I mean it’s so many things like psychology and so many things that have come about in this last century that have really seemed to have made our society really ripe for it.  Of course, what’s happening with our earth and this world has really gotten people’s attention in a way, maybe not as much as it could but in some parts really gotten people’s attention of how does our nature experience really touch and manifest in this world and come back for this world?  Not only the human experience but also the experience and environment of our fellow creatures.

Renate:  So, can you say a little bit more on the embodiment, Mukti? 

Mukti:  Yes.

Renate:  So what is embodying?  How does it feel to be embodied?  I know you put in your teaching a lot of emphasis on feeling what you are experiencing and being in the body.  It seems to be not an easy task for most of the people.

Mukti:  Right.  Yes.  Well, I do speak a fair amount about embodiment but I also speak a lot about the body and in some ways they could be thought of as two different things but there’s a way that I speak a lot about the body as an ally in spiritual unfolding in the sense that our physical body has so much information and so many different levels of knowing that are different than the knowing of the thinking mind.   There’s a way that our physical apparatus, of this body, can tell us what resonates, what we feel aligned with, what brings us alight, what draws us in and tells us something significant or important, or to pay attention to.  You know there all these signals that we are getting all the time, and when those signals are paid attention to there’s not only perhaps some valuable information as to how to respond but also some of that information, when listened to, can manifest as clear instincts or intuitions, or clear seeing about something that maybe couldn’t have been available if all that energy was residing up in the thinking mind and really being solely invested in that paradigm of knowing, so the body can be tremendous but also the body can teach us a lot because the body does know what stillness is, in a way that the mind cannot know, or the body knows what rest is in the way that a concept could never grasp.  The body also has these different centres, different capacities.  You know we have this level of mind that in the embodiment process can, meaning when there is a sense of wakefulness that may have initially delivered one to a more transcendent realisation that they are not ultimately defined by thought, ego structure by the sense of time and space, that what initially can be a freeing up of identity from that, can feel to begin to register in this very body and mind that we have, in a way that seems fairly universal in the embodiment that can take place as an expression of realisation.  And so, just to kind of quickly go through it, but enlightenment on the level of mind or awakening on the level of mind, you could say, can present energetically and feel in the body like this sense of clear sky.  It can feel like all this energy that is tied up in to this sense of central someone at the helm, or constantly referencing and experiencing, managing it, finding order to it, tracking it, all the things the thinking mind is equipped for, when that drops out of the centre of experience initially or is seen through in such a way that it is one thing that’s occurring in the midst of this sort of field above the neck, you could say, the sense is that there is clear space, even if those thoughts or that management is occurring; the planning or organising in thought is occurring, it is occurring within this sense of aware space, that can feel clear and open, it can feel freeing, it can feel…hmm…let’s see, it can feel undivided, it can feel present, it can feel quiet, you know, spacious and there’s a way that, that same type of awareness, when it’s very conscious and functioning and alive, when it’s felt in the heart-centre can feel quite, quite different.  You know when that sense of awareness, and even if someone’s kind of referencing that with the thinking mind or the mental mind in a sense of referencing that as vast, or up here or above, or something like that, when those references get quiet and then that sense of awareness is felt almost to descend because when there is quietness, this sense of embodiment can feel like a settling energetically and when that settling of awareness brings the heart-centre alight, there is this way that that awareness is felt through the heart-centre as very intimate with the world and connected and a kind of presence that isn’t just like quiet and open like the mind, it’s a kind of presence that’s almost like a holding of experience, there is a richness to it, it is very palpable.  Even like the channels physically from the heart extend to the hands and there’s just this way that it feels like experience is being touched and held, not just through the hands but through how one listens, how one is speaking, how one is seeing a person and when that centre’s really alive and functioning, the heart-centre, awareness has a certain felt experience in the body, and by others, and then when that sense of presence descends into the hara or the lower belly, sometimes I’ll say the ball of the pelvis and a lot of the energy that would have gone quickly up to be usurped in thought begins to settle and the mind’s more quiet and the heart is at peace, there’s a way that energy tends to settle downward and fill this lower centre and from there, there is a deep, deep sense of resting; a kind of rooting and anchoring and quiet and there’s a way that that’s personally felt in one’s own body which is perhaps where the term embodiment originated but it’s also a place where awareness expresses differently and it’s transmitted differently as a presence in this world.  So, working backwards a little bit, the statement that is sometimes feels most descriptive of this awakening on the level of mind would be this sense that I am nothing.  This sense that myself that was formerly at the centre of experience, who I took myself to be, is no longer.  So the experience that I am someone, and I am something releases and there is this sense that I am nothing but when that awareness drops in the heart and brings it alive and awareness is functioning through the heart-centre and senses all of life, there this sense that the statement would feel more like I am everything; the whole world of form and all that is prior, and all that ever shall be is myself.  And then when that awareness drops into the belly, things become very quiet and very still and sometimes I’ll speak of this region of the lower belly as a Gateway to Stillness and even when watching the belly rise and fall in the breathing when one is very quiet perhaps sitting in meditation, there’s a way that that quiet and the rhythms of the breathing can take us into a very, very still place, a very quiet place.  and from this awareness functioning on this level of feeling very rooted, in a kind of a quiet stillness, you can feel that one is rooted in the Infinite, where time falls away, where any references of anything fall away and from that place, even the reference that would say I am nothing, because the mind looks out at the world of objects and it looks internally and it sees I am nothing, there is no location for myself and then from the heart it sees that it is everywhere.  Down here (places hands around her belly) there’s a way that, it is as if things become so quiet, there’s no reference at all.  It’s prior to nothing, it’s prior to everything, it’s completely outside of either and then there is really no reference for oneself whatsoever.  So there is no vast self, there’s no contracted self, there’s no open self, no closed self, no empty self, no full self, there’s no reference whatsoever, that is cessation, which is often the translation for Nirvana; cessation.

Renate:  Nirvana is experienced in the belly? (laughs)

Mukti: (laughs) Nirvana is not an experience but the belly is a wonderful gateway to cessation. 

Renate:  How beautiful, and as you were talking, I could feel, you started manifesting these centres.  Well that’s a beautiful moment to stop the interview.  What I am so touched about is, that it’s a teaching which is coming from a woman...

Mukti:  Wonderful, yes.

Renate:  …and its brilliancy. Thank you Mukti for being with us and (turns to camera) thank you for watching Conscious TV and we’ll see you again soon.  Goodbye.

Mukti:  Goodbye.

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