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Changes in Bhakti from Dual to
AYP Plus Additions:
391.1 - Bhakti,
Refining Perception and Non-Duality (Audio)
March 22, 2010
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q: What happens to bhakti in enlightenment? How can one be a seeker or a
devotee in non-duality? Is enlightenment the end of bhakti, just as it is
the end of seeking? I ask because, after some years of practice, I feel I am
so much less the doer, and wonder what this fading sense of being the doer
and the seeker means in terms of the choices that are still occurring in
daily experience. If I am not the one making these choices, while helping
others more and more in the process, who is?
A: Spiritual desire
is the manifestation of the force of divine attraction, that which draws us
inevitably to Oneness, which we call enlightenment. It has also been
called the power of universal love.
sustained desire for something more, is the underlying emotion in all that
we do, whether the expression seems to be divine or not. As our desire
intensifies and becomes more focused on our chosen ideal, a merging occurs.
The principle of meditation is involved, where we become our ideal and
transcend with it into pure bliss consciousness.
Then the two have become one, in stillness, in a non-dual condition,
temporarily at first, and as an all-day experience later on.
becomes of our desires then? First of all, they gravitate toward a wider
expression of Oneness in our surroundings, which means a natural
tendency toward doing for others as we would for ourselves. This is the flow
of outpouring divine love. In this situation, desires do not leave, and
neither does their divine focus, which we have called bhakti. Just as our
perspective expands, so does our bhakti expand in its focus, flowing within
itself with little personal intention required. Paradoxically, the
outpouring of divine love, the most personal experience we can have, is
entirely impersonal. It is its own movement and its own fulfillment. There
is no need for anything in return. It just flows, and we flow with it
"Stillness in action."
Who is doing all that? Who is pumping our blood in this moment, and
attending to the innumerable tasks occurring in nature, within us and all
around us? Who makes the flower bloom? It is the mechanics of life
occurring, filled with an infinite intelligence. This is the nature of life.
It does not need our personal direction. As we become abiding inner silence
and surrender to that, our underlying reality,
everything will go on as it has before, only with much more purity of
intention, with us along for the ride in the awareness that we are not
separate from anyone or anything. There will also be more efficiency in
life. Divine love is not a push-over. What must be done will be done.
The transition of desire is very natural. Bhakti is a play in duality,
and non-duality simply is. When we go from a dual to a non-dual perception,
bhakti does not end. It only shifts from being a personal seeking to a deep
appreciation (love) and serving of all. It is an expansion. It is an
evolution. Bhakti is always present in our service, where we move
spontaneously for the Oneness of all. The miracle of divine flow is
unspoken and ordinary, with no mind assessment like chopping the wood and
carrying the water. We just do whatever has to be done in an unending inner
joy, which is our essential nature. Good things are happening.
The guru is in you.
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Note: For detailed
discussion on the relationship of bhakti to our spiritual evolution, see the
Bhakti and Karma Yoga book
and the Liberation book,
and AYP Plus.