A Cave Yogi's Prescription for Instant Liberation
by
Francis Ananda Love
January, 2002

Of course, there is almost no such thing as "instant" liberation, except for the reality that it actually does occur in an instant·after all the effort (and finally non-effort) which we make on it's behalf to get to that instant! Many people have worked long and hard on their spiritual path to liberation, at times facing personal doubts and despair, often not even understanding the real essence of liberation well-enough to believe it is possible in their own lifetime.   It is a common aspect of the spiritual journey, as we peel the onion, layer by layer. Hopefully this prescription for shortening, directing and easing the process will be helpful, especially during these heightened stressful times in our world.  It is time to make a sprint for the finish line -- the world needs it and so do we.  Here's a marvelous and tested technique to do so, the core aspect being to "zero out".

If your spirit is "climbing the wall to be free" then you are definitely ready for this sadhana.  Liberation does not mean you are necessarily the next Lord Buddha or Avatar of the age.  Don't worry about that -- liberation is for people in all walks of life.  At this stage it simply means at least  we are now free (liberated from) our life of sufferings and  disconnectedness from our own godself·and the belief system that kept us there. After this, onward and upwards!

Format and Preparations
Depending upon what you can create for yourself time-wise; and, how much time you feel you need for this, please commit the 2-3 weeks in front of your birthday for a solo retreat. Liberation is like a re-birth, thus the suggestion for setting this in front of your birthday. Of course you can do this anytime, not just for your birthday.

Most importantly, this entails a personal vow of silence (except necessary contact with your support person), a solitude situation (home or elsewhere) in which all food and other necessities are attended to, minimal or no disturbance,  and no need to leave the premises.  If you are to do this in your own home, you must be alone or at least disturbance, sound and visitor free·and remember to close the blinds.  Telephones, fax and answering machines are best turned off, down, or be out of hearing distance.  Same for the computer (no checking of e-mail!).  Basically it is a 2-3 week holiday from the outside world.

Obviously some prep is involved, such as paying necessary bills, stocking up on food,  completion on other matters that might need your attention during this period, and perhaps putting a message on your answering machine (and autoresponder for email) that you are in retreat mode for the ensueing period of time.  Of course, one must also prepare their meditation and sleeping areas for a disturbance-free situation.  In essence, the entire prep process is a creation of your own meditation cave and support system to enable a complete and ongoing withdrawal into your self for the chosen period of time.

Recommended diet is fruit or fruit smoothies with Rice Protein powder (not a gas producer like soy-based items), twice per day.  For snack and rest break, other lightweight food is appropriate, or simply some tea, honey and dried fruit.  The focus here is not starvation and stress; but high, clean direct energy, which is the nature of a fruit diet.  Food necessities can be delivered to someplace distant from you (kitchen or entry way) by your support person once/week, if necessary.  The bulk of my diet in long-term sadhana is 35 bananas (half green ones) delivered once per week (=2 smoothies/day).

The Sadhana
When you are ready to start, the first step and essential ingredient of this "Prescription for Instant Liberation" is to read Andrew Cohen's book "Embracing Heaven and Earth", from Moksha Press. My belief is that Cohen's book may perhaps be considered the "mind blow" of the century in spiritual literature, especially on the subject of liberation and enlightenment.  After reading this book, the first 2-3 days of your "cave time" should embrace a lot of resting and sleep, in addition to your yoga and meditation time.  Work lies ahead!

During this rest period, absorb yourself mostly with Cohen's first four "Fundamental Tenets of Enlightenment" and the essence of the short chapter "What is the Ultimate Truth?"   At this point, do not dwell on the remainder of the book, for the primary focus right now is to "zero out", and these two parts will facilitate that quite nicely.

Zero Out
The core of the "Instant Liberation" technique is to "zero out". It means reducing as close to zero as possible, all mental and physical activity.  It is in the empty (zero) space that we have an extremely impactful experience of our own pure self·the pure, stripped down, absolutely quiet, clean self.  Such is an unforgettable liberation experience, for it is also an experience of our ego "zeroed out".  We are not talking here of just "touching" this experience, as most people have already done so at least once in their lives or they would not even be on the spiritual path in the first place.  Those touchings are part of the inspirations to keep us going.  What I am encouraging here is a 2-3 week dwelling  in that space, supported by just a few, yet extremely powerful, insights.  The sole purpose is to become, rather than to just touch.

 One must be totally committed to this process to get more than just superficial results.   The "rules" are: no books, no tapes, note-taking firmly kept as minimal as possible, cancel out all thoughts as soon as noticed, and stay put as much as you can.  Spend maximum time (at least 10 hours per day) sitting in meditation.  Gently break it up as necessary to stretch or take 10 minute laying down breaks if need be, yet keep the focus on zeroing out. Determinedly, refuse thoughts and any other input. If you feel a necessity for a music break, limit this to maximum two hours in a day, preferably less·and non-verbal music only.  Remember, we want to eliminate, not create, movement and thought.  Zero out!

Commonly we view meditation as an opportunity to "process" our stuff.  This time, however, that is not the case.  We have already spent "a lifetime" processing and talking to ourselves about our stuff, so this time, we are not going to let that happen. Simply, we are going to "dump the trash can" without looking again at what's inside. As soon as thoughts arise, cancel...trash can is dumped! Keep going. Yes, processing will occur, as such is inevitable.  But this time, rather than getting absorbed in such, just "become the core" quickly, with the least possible mental discussion. Zero out!

 The only invited "mental talk" is a mantra-like awareness of the essence of those parts of Cohen's book mentioned above, PLUS the affirmation that sorrow and doubt must go; joyful living is the only way to live.  Suffering is neither the things nor the events·it is the sorrow and doubt we have wrapped them in.  This must be understood in order to release ourself from those seemingly inescapable sufferings, and thereby gain liberation.

Beginners, of course, will face bodily and mental resistance; experienced meditators should have little or no difficulties with this process. Breath awareness is perhaps the simplest and most direct meditation technique to accomplish this task. Everytime a thought is recognized, be determined to cancel that thought immediately, and return to breath awareness and body awareness.  On the outgoing breath, let-go of mind, emotions, body tensions, and so on...the "stuff"!  Zero out!

The Breakthrough
Zeroed-out, one experiences emptiness, dwells in it, and makes the breakthrough. Zeroed-out, we realize all the stuff we have been clinging to has existed no place other than in our own mind and emotions; and thus, in reality, neither did any of that stuff exist nor was there anything "wrong"-- as we have heavily programmed ourselves to believe throughout life. This is one of the most integral and powerful points in  Cohen's book.  For some folks, their breakthrough will come immediately upon reading the book.  Congratulations! For most, however, still some time and effort will be required, and thus this power-packed direct shot to the core!!

When we actually dwell deeply, repeatedly and continously in the sensations of emptiness, nothingness, "zero", eventually we realize that all our "stuff" is gone, and never was who we are anyway.   Ego is now "zeroed out" -- and here we sit, alive and peaceful.  It becomes rather obvious that there is no need or wish to let all that stuff back in -- and then bang, we're free!

Now, most meditators have been here before -- nice quiet space, free of one's "stuff" for awhile, etc. so why did it not liberate us at those times?  The answer is because we did not believe in it's totality, only in its temporariness.  We got up from meditation feeling and thinking things like: "oh, that was so nice; I feel so much better, and certainly got rid of some of my stuff;  I'll be glad when it is all gone -- I wonder if that will ever happen."

This exercise is not a one-hour nice morning or evening sitting such as that. This is steadily ongoing for 2-3 weeks, repeatedly creating, and dwelling in, that emptiness as often as possible; so it is no longer just a fleeting experience, but rather something we are actually absorbed in throughout our entire being, at a seemingly cellular level. We now experience and feel that this liberated sensation is actually our own self, because for 2-3 weeks we have done just one thing -- steadily, firmly, repeatedly, and quite silently -- let it all go. The resultant sensation is sorta like "Wow!! I did it -- the stuff is really gone -- it's out, it's finished -- hey, I'm free -- my true "I" is free!!"  This is one reason why yogis in all religions and traditions eventually seek solitude in such places as a cave, forest, desert, or mountains -- for ongoing continuity right to the finish line!

Another big reason why we do not get to this point so easily, or remain there for very long when we do, is once again due to our absorption in sorrow and doubt. We are not accepting the perfection of the universe and all of creation, but instead feeling sorry for ourselves·and to do so is a denial of the mystery of creation itself. In depression, one cannot "dance" -- literally and figuratively -- except to the blues. Notice both of those emotions in such comments as: "I'll be glad [=now in sorrow] when it is all gone -- I wonder [=doubt] if that will ever happen."  Basically, we have been postponing our own liberation until utopia, just like the entire world postpones world peace until utopia -- which is that time in the distant future when all will be glorious.  The history of humanity has been fighting wars in an effort to get to utopia!  When will it stop postponing it's liberation?  When we do.

How to end the sorrow and doubt? Cohen puts it so nicely in his book·nothing is, or was, ever "wrong". If that point troubles you, then please read Cohen's chapter: "What is the Ultimate Truth?" When we understand and feel  the truth of those words, when we genuinely drop into this sensation, then we become free of sorrow and doubt.  In this manner, we are not just thinking, believing and praying about the perfection of the universe·but actually feeling and then living it.  Liberation is definitely all about experience and sensations, not  just reading, thinking, believing and talking.  Sensations are the nature of our life; so now we have just given ourselves a solid couple weeks of dwelling in the sensation of freedom from all our sorrows, doubts, and other sufferings; in the sensation that nothing was ever "wrong" in the first place; and thus in the sensation that all of it no longer exists.  We only thought so, because we "hurt".

When we feel emptiness, then we understand liberation; but it is when we grant ourselves such a sadhana of ongoing absorption in those sensations, that we actually dwell in and become that liberation.  Such is the result and core of zeroing-out, and maintaining its continuity for a solid, lengthy, undisturbed period of time.

In that moment wherein our entire being is totally absorbed in the perfection of all things, then we have actually become that truth -- and it is in that moment, in that instant, that our liberation is in hand -- and  everything is sacred.

The End
The "end" of course is just the beginning.  Hopefully you have achieved all the above prior to the 2nd day before your birthday, so on that day, please re-read Cohen's book and gift -- "Embracing Heaven and Earth".  For the balance of "cave time" until your re-birthday, dwell blissfully absorbed in your liberated space, the meaning of it all, what you will do with your life now, and so on.  The re-reading of his book will also help to understand what it means to maintain this new state of being.

Now that you are all feeling warm and fuzzy, you might like to go outside and sit in the garden for a bit -- sort of like when Lord Buddha attained his enlightenment, he then sat for awhile in different places in Bodh Gaya, in the area of where he sat under the Bodhi tree, which was his "cave" for 7 days and nights.

After leaving your "cave" and re-entering the material world, I suggest for at least a week a 2-3 hour meditation dwelling in the gut and heart chakra in the morning hours before starting your day; and again in the evening before sleep, dwelling in third eye and crown. This will help solidify your "new existence" as you re-enter the world. Don't be in such a hurry to get back out there in the world, that you bypass this important step. After that, life is yours -- as it always has been anyway. Enjoy the Bliss!

P.S.  When there is no longer anything "wrong", there is no longer anything to control or "fix".
May all beings enjoy such peace, gentleness, freedom, bliss and love.  Om Shanti.

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