I received this letter from a lady who has been corresponding with me for some time now. I don't think she particularly practices a lot of techniques perhaps meditation but through our correspondence she has always felt awake to the SELF within, and finally has realized this sweetness of the SELF called Bhava. She is letting me share it with you, naturally without her name attached. Afterwards I shall make a comment on it.

Dear Swami,

Some time ago, or in my younger days, I used to write poetry... All my poetry came out of my misery. Misery was my inspiration, or even better, I did poetry and used it as a vehicle to express my misery. Today I am absolutely incapable of writing it. Since I am not miserable my poetry is gone. And now when I look at most poetry it is the same. People get really inspired by misery and unhappiness. Who wants to hear that you are happy and blissful? Nobody... The more miserable you are the more interested people are in what you are saying. And the worse the better, as they feel some consolation that their life isn't that bad compared to yours. You know what I am saying? :-))

So today as I said I am no longer writing poetry. I don't know what it is that now is with me, but I know it is no longer misery. I feel like a women who is pregnant and she is awaiting her baby... She doesn't know what her child is going to be like... So with me right now, I feel pregnant too... but I don't know when this 'child' is going to come or if is going to come... I just feel this joy growing, and just like a baby stirring from the inside. And it is so unknown to me... I am heading towards something unknown... but at the same time it is so intimate to me that it is almost sweet...

I came to realize that all that I know is useless. In fact the more I know the more I have to forget, or drop or go beyond all that... when you look at it Swami, really knowledge just stays in your way to knowing the SELF.

But if you drop all your knowledge which is part of your mind what is left? This is more a question to myself. If you drop everything then there is some kind of innocence. It is like a child who is looking at you without judgment or knowledge... simply looking. But the child doesn't know because it doesn't know, and you don't know because you have left your mind behind...

Does this make any sense? Because this is what is happening to me lately. Simply looking... all is acceptable... nothing excluding... and it is such a joy. I don't know Swami, I don't know. What I thought that I know is nothing. Now I really don't know anything.

Name withheld by Swami.

Joy and the bliss of SELF is not reliant on techniques, but by slowly letting go of everything we have learned and become conditioned by. Of course the more techniques you practice, which by the nature of mind become indelibly fixed in the Chit, and perhaps may even become so well grooved that you cannot get rid of them like a gramophone needle getting stuck in a groove of the record, the longer it takes to arrive at the state of Bhava.

I think one has to constantly remember that it is only by eradicating all mental fluctuation that one can achieve samadhi, thus after practicing many techniques, by many teachers, it may be time for you to sit back and really think just where you are going in this Self Realization quest.

All of the techniques given in Yoga are really nothing more than a method of getting control of your wild and crazy mind, which seems in the beginning to be unstoppable.

So many people have written saying they cannot get to sleep because their mind will not shut down, and sleep only comes after sheer exhaustion. The simple technique of Haung Sau usually fixes that sleep pattern, and is the first technique I like to give in order to allow a person to begin to reign in their mind of wild monkeys chattering away in the forest.

Once a student goes on to higher techniques of mind control, then it is time, once the control has been realized, to just sit in meditation, learning now to let all the techniques go.

It is much like the ego desire to attain self realization acts as a stick to stir the fire of devotion, and in the process, the stick of ego becomes consumed in the fire itself.

So, although we do need the odd technique to get started, once the realization has set in that, yes! Now I can control my thoughts, then likewise the techniques now have to be destroyed, so that one may begin the journey towards Bhava.

From the state of Bhava, diving into it becomes the greatest joy, and like carrying the secret of pregnant Bliss, you are able to carry on your business, your love life, your socializing, yet always with constant remembrance of your pregnancy. It does not leave you.

From this point on it takes astute and contemplative meditation on that Bhava state to finally arrive in Samadhi.

I always hope there are many of you who understand the importance of Patanjali's aphorism: Chitta Vritti Nirhodha. The total annihilation of all mental fluctuation. That also means techniques learned.

Like young children playing with toys, there comes a certain time when they give up their toys and take on the responsibility of maturity.

All of you are already the SELF. There really is nothing to realize. You just have to awaken to that SELF, instead of playing with toys of ego awareness. That awareness is an illusion, and does not really exist. You are still dreaming you are George or John or Mary. So wake up!