Creative Status: Episode 47: Sanjivana: Creative Enlightenment & Meditation

Creative Status is a podcast about using creativity as a vehicle for improving your life by deconstructing ego, integrating the shadow self, and designing and manifesting a real life.

Every episode explores how the creative process can help you GROW REAL by moving towards wholeness in yourself by making the unconscious conscious.

In this episode of Creative Status, I had an enlightening conversation with Sanjivana, an ex-monk and meditation teacher who has been deep into the introspective realms of realness and has some lessons to share with us that he brought back from his journey.

One of the main themes of this conversation is ‘enlightenment’ – in particular some of the misconceptions that exist around it when it’s filtered through the ego and seen as a kind of ‘ego augmentation device’ for people that want to feel ‘special’ or otherwise compensate from whatever shame (etc) is driving the ego to ‘exist’ in the first place.

We also talk about a pathway that Sanjivana has learned on his journey and some of the ancient wisdom for helping us navigate the journey from fragmentation to wholeness.

This is a really fun and powerful conversation and I’m sure you’ll get some fuel and insight for your own journey!

Thanks a bunch,

Oli

(Scroll down for show transcript)

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Creative Enlightenment & Meditation (Show Transcript)

Intro

Oli Anderson: Oh hi there, Oli Anderson here, you’re listening to Creative Status. This is a podcast about using your creativity to improve your life by growing more real.

If you don’t know, that just means that you’re basically learning to accept yourself unconditionally, accept life where it can’t be changed unconditionally, the natural laws, etc that you need to be aware of, accepting other people so that you can live without friction, frustration and or misery and do something that actually matters to you.

I’m a creative performance coach, I help people to do that in their lives and businesses, but anyway, each episode of the podcast, I interview somebody who is inspiring, interesting or any other flattering adjective that you might want to throw them about the creative process, about life and the human condition, the lessons we can learn from their experiences about all this stuff that I am currently ranting to you about.

Today’s interview is with a friend of mine, Sanjivana. He’s an ex-monk and a guy who has done a lot of deep meditation, turned inwards and learned a lot of lessons introspectively about the human condition and what it means to be real in the sense that I’m talking about.

This conversation covers a lot of stuff, we talk about enlightenment, what it even means, some of the bullshit that’s out there about being enlightened, how people can chase it as kind of an egotistical identity augmentation device, but we also talk about a pathway, a very clear pathway that Sanjivana has picked up, that people can follow if they want to move towards wholeness, so obviously that’s something I was interested in. So anyway, I’m going to stop ranting and raving, but here’s the podcast, Sanjivana, thanks a bunch for your time, everybody else, hope you enjoyed the episode.

If you feel like leaving a review wherever you’re listening to this, that would be appreciated. Either way, enjoy the conversation, have a great day and thanks a bunch.

Interview

Oli Anderson: Oh hi there Sanjivana, thank you very much for joining me on this episode of Creative Status, I forgot then where I was. You’re a very interesting guy and I feel like we could talk about millions of different things in this conversation, we have a few ideas, but before we start asking you questions and exploring the ultimate reality and creativity and deathtlessness and various other things, do you feel like introducing yourself and can you tell people what you want to get from this conversation?

Like why are you here exploring these things with me today?

Sanjivana: Oh hello Oli, thank you very much for having me here and it’s a great pleasure to be here. So I am, many people now call me Sanjivana and I’m a meditation teacher, so I try to, I have been doing this for like 20 years now, so I really want to help more and more people and along the path also, I was searching for like happiness, peace and the great questions that were in front of me, in life or the path or the journey, so I am, I was seeking answers, so along the way there were good things that happened and then bad things happened, many experiences though, so and along the way I was able to help many people, so I want to continue that and help much as people now also and in the future also.

Oli: Yeah, that’s amazing, so maybe we should start by keeping it simple and talking about meditation and some of the lessons that you’ve learned there, because it seems to me meditation is a very useful tool.

I meditate at least three times a year, sometimes more and it seems like on the internet there’s a lot of misinformation about what meditation is, like it seems like some people think if they start meditating they’re instantly going to become enlightened, they’re going to have no more problems, everything is going to be just magical and amazing all of the time and maybe that’s not necessarily true, because in my experience, so maybe I’m wrong, it seems like meditation is really just about changing the way that you experience your experiences, so you can still feel bad things if you’re a meditator, but they just won’t be quite as bad because you’re a little bit less attached to what’s going on and your ideas about yourself and all that kind of thing.

So anyway that’s my thoughts about that, but how do you see meditation now after 20 years of teaching it and doing it, and what are some of the common misconceptions that people have?

Sanjivana: Exactly Oli, it is like climbing a holy mountain. So each step counts, right? And you have to climb and climbing up a mountain is not a simple thing. So you need the perseverance, you need the continuity, and you need the proper direction. And then before that you should have proper map for that matter.

And if you have some things to carry around and to get some energy of your thirsty, that will be much more helpful. So yeah, there are many many misconceptions for myself. So I went to many detours, wrong turns, pitfalls, and sometimes I was even enlightened at some points.

But luckily, yeah really. And I also for some extent believed because we were trying very hard. But luckily I was like always comparing with the ancient teachings.

I read many many things. And in those things when you compare and after some time, because when you try very hard also, your mind comes to a stage that all these kind of things like anger and like greed or delusion, these are the main three culprits. And they seem suppressed and suppressed for long periods. So people actually think they are enlightened even. But if we can have a proper path and a proper practice, and the continuity is direct experience. So since you ask like what is meditation and all, it is a process we do.

Like all the things we do in day to day life. When we were born, we didn’t know any of these things, right? So we had there was a process that we had to learn everything from eating, even standing up, cleaning, even the movement of our eyes.

So in day to day life also we are able even the things we are doing, even the topics we are talking now, even the school times and everything, even crossing a road, right? But and over the years what we did was we did in a way, that is also kind of mindfulness. But in the end of the day or after many years what we realize is we continue this pattern, but it doesn’t bring us true peace or happiness.

Or it doesn’t last. So now that’s why we are trying to find a pattern or a direction or we are starting to work upon something that can bring us more permanent happiness, permanent peace. So it is like the wheel was rotating and it started rotating after some time and it was touch and go, you keep rotating this wheel. But later at some point it could be in your young stage or middle stage or even when you are an elder, you understand, maybe this is not the way. Then you want to rotate it to the opposite.

But for that first you need some effort because you have been turning this wheel all these years in your life. And some people think it is something like an effect that you take some intoxication or some things. And then you have this wow effect, you take some drugs or something but this is not because when you take something like that externally you have to depend on that and you need more higher dosages of that. But here what we are doing is we are using because the mind has positive and negative things already installed.

It has so ample capacity. So all from the past life, there are special people but they had already done, if you believe in past life, the hard work before. So for them it is like a simple thing. It is like asking a genius to solve a math problem because they had done it before, right?

Maybe thousands of times. But for somebody they also have to start and go in their journey or we never know where they are on their journey because all this stuff is covered by the things we do in day to day life and in this life. It is like a layer of dust covering a huge treasure. So if you can dust it off, that is the main reason we are trying to do the meditation. Dust it off. So all this potential, all this capacity, all this positivity, love, kindness, you name it.

All the good things can re-emerge.

Oli: Wow. Okay. So you have said so many interesting things there and I think that final metaphor you just used is a very quick way to understand what meditation actually is, right? So ultimately it is not a tool for just relaxing.

It is not a tranquilizer to hide from all your emotional pain. It is a way of clearing out the dust so you can raise awareness and see clearly. And when you raise awareness and see clearly, that is when you can put yourself on this path that I am always talking about on this podcast of moving from a state of fragmentation and disconnection to a state of wholeness where you have awareness of what is real, you accept it and you can move with it instead of against it because the dust or the veil or whatever isn’t stopping you from flowing in the way that you need to. So based on what you said, I have, I think, three questions for you now, right?

So we will go through them one by one. The first is about the map. So I just said ultimately I think the map for all of us is going from a state of fragmentation to wholeness and meditation is just one creative tool that we can use to do that.

So we will talk about that. Then you mentioned these three things that can get in the way for people which I think are examples of fragmentation. I think you said anger, greed and delusion.

So I think we should explore that a little bit. Then also this idea of enlightenment and how people become attached to that. There are so many people, especially in the self-help community or in the spiritual community or whatever community you would call it, online where their ultimate aim is to become enlightened but it’s actually a goal that they’ve set themselves because of their ego stuff.

So actually that goal is never going to get them where they want to be because it’s always a conceptual thing rather than an experience. So let’s break those three things down right. The map, the anger, the greed and the delusion and then why people are so bothered about being enlightened and they become so attached to it that they’re basically always going to be covered in dust in the way that you were talking about. So what is this map that you were talking about sir? So you said there’s a map – what is it?

Sanjivana: So map means like it is not the journey itself but it’s a clear indication if the map and the details are proper. The journey is much easier.

Otherwise you have to figure your way out. So this is a map or a way or a pattern that has been used for thousands of years or we can say aeons of time actually to be honest and this is like nothing. Some people say like they brought up something but no this had been there and then somebody really discovers but it is the same thing that had been already there. It’s like a road that was covered by the bushers and forest. Some brave guy comes and seeks and he clears the path and he says okay but I cannot carry you.

So you have to go because you are the one who put yourself in the situation right. So the map is there’s a beautiful example over here. I’ll just mention it. It’s a long one but it’s like a king who has to go on a journey. These are ancient examples.

So this king has to go on a journey but he has to use seven chariots. So one can take to one extent and after that he has to get on to the other. So likewise on this spiritual journey are very easy because for myself also I didn’t some places they say you just practice. We were like really practicing hard. One setting was even without any concentration we used to sit for like five hours and then just I’m just telling all the people were there and we didn’t have nothing.

Our knees were sore and so painful. After three hours you would go like into all the pains and after five hours you’ll go into like flight mode but this is not the way and then some places we practice like continuously. I’m being 100% honest like for 12 hours consistently and some days there were days we didn’t even those days we had just one meal but some days we didn’t even take that meal.

We continued and a good day for us was like 12 hours or more continuous practice. So coming back to this map one big issue we had was like oh I had for that matter I didn’t know how far I came where I stood and how far I should go. If you even go into a city you should know right even by sky or walking or on a bike or a car you should know where in the world you are standing upon right how far you came. So the clear and the best part indicates and shows you exactly where you are you are not lost and you don’t have to like rely on some person say okay you are now enlightened I give you this no it’s nothing like that it’s a direct experience because people do this they give written certificate even for money only.

It’s so crazy yeah so because the people are so motivated it’s a very bad thing in a way because people they want something different they are tired of materiality and all this world or the rat race no. So some people market this and they try to like this in many countries or many places you see and when you talk to them oh no no it was a total different thing but the real part is very simple very straightforward and the best thing is you know where you are.

So coming back to that story the seven chariots okay I can just mention you one is like you have kind of morality that’s the first chariot anything like if a man does horrible things like killing stealing sexual misconduct and all this stuff the mind is too dark so you have to have some kind of morality or some sense of decency okay not about your past but the present from now on I won’t do this so that makes a clear way in your mind that is chariot number one.

So number two is we have this kind of it’s like launching a rocket only so when you’re launching a rocket you need all the stuff right you need like a launching pad this all this crew and then you have this fuel fuel rockets and everything just to pass the g-force right you need tremendous power so likewise there is an obstacle in our mind we call the five hindrances these are like blockages they are not so ruthless like greed hatred and delusion they are like the henchmen of those so in our ordinary life as well as meditation soon as or another good definition of meditation is like I spoke to another student also today like meditation is like a microscopic view of our life except yeah it’s like that so if we are a person who get agitated in our normal life you can see this the same habitual pattern in your meditation also so it’s a easy fix from there yeah because it’s like holding a mirror it holds a mirror to you’re like exactly exactly and you can fix it easily from there so coming back to the chariots number two is we have to bring a more stronger force or positive force which we call concentration This is the total opposite.

They are clearly shown in the ancient history. This is for this. And the opposite of this is this. So you build up this factor.

It is clearly shown. For me, I always wanted proof, not just because it was in a book or told by someone or some religion. I wanted to have that experience. So for somebody who is really in, they should get the true experience.

They are entitled for that because of the sacrifice or the devotion or any kind of thing they are offering. So the number three one is like, okay, this will be an answer for your third question or so. We call it ultimate realities. They are the ingredients to seek the reality.

So very simple. Now is the kind of confusion or the entanglement because we have so many things going around. So when we come to ultimate reality, it’s just mind and matter. So wherever we are from whatever age or country or anything gender all these things, they just disappear when you talk about mind and matter. That is so simple. So these are the basic ingredients we are using to go upon seeking this ultimate truth.

Okay. So that is chariot number three. Number four is you start using these ingredients. You get to know these ingredients very well. And then a lot of doubt disappears because you are really feeling them. You are really experiencing them.

So still it is not Vipasa now or any inside deep meditation. Nothing like that. Okay. These are just basics. And then there are some stages you can even trace your past lives.

Anybody can do if they have the requirements. Okay. So number five is the time we can start using these ingredients and then we slowly start using this in we call them inside meditation. Okay. So inside meditation is like really seeing what we are.

Not these outer frames. This is called concept. This is also reality. We don’t deny that. We don’t deny that. But there’s something more to it.

Okay. So then in the number six is the time we really dig in deep. So you can take your mind to very subtle, very minute stages.

And not only that, you can see the real situation or what is really happening. We are not getting involved. We don’t do nothing in that matter. We just let the occurrence or things to just happen. So when you see that you realize that the materiality or mentality, they don’t stay forever.

They arise and they perish. And even the mind is more fast. The mind is the one that says, okay, your body is permanent, your money is permanent, your car is permanent.

Or even if you take it in a subtle way, these four elements like earth, wind, water, fire. You are the eye door, you are the ear door, nose door, tongue door, body door. You are this. This is your soul. But when you see that the mind, it perishes more faster than the materiality.

So that doesn’t make us negative or anything. So here these are like really, really profound and deep stages which we have to go through with very good concentration as well as very, very powerful mindfulness. And then number seven chariot is the time we really reach our destination. People call it enlightenment. Some people call it Mahasamadhi. Some people call it Brahman. They can name it any way you like. But we can say it is total happiness and peace.

Unshakeable. Okay? So this is the map.

Oli: Okay. So the map that you’ve said is obviously it’s better to have a map than not to have a map. And the thing I like about this particular map that you just shared is what you said at the start. It’s thousands of years old. That doesn’t mean that it’s true just because it’s old, but it means that it’s pointing us towards some fundamental thing about human experience that has not changed.

And this is something I’m really interested in. I think there’s a universal truth and a universal way of living that applies to all human beings that have ever lived and that ever will live. Because even though technology changes around us, even though the world changes around us, reality itself never does change. And reality ultimately is that we are not the ideas or the concepts that we carry and attach to, but we are the experience ultimately of life, experiencing itself and expanding towards more wholeness.

So a few questions I’ve got about the map based on that. Is there a difference between the third stage of finding ultimate reality and enlightenment? Because the way I’ve always thought about this is that enlightenment ultimately, like I’m not saying I’m not enlightened, but the way I’ve always thought about it is enlightenment just means we have uncovered, because of increased awareness that we can get from meditation or yoga or being creative or whatever, but anyway, we’ve uncovered ultimate reality, which is wholeness, I would say, and we have aligned ourselves with it because of acceptance, trust, and the action that we feel inspired to take once we’ve reached that state of alignment. So I guess the question is, how is stage three becoming aware of ultimate reality different if it is to stage seven? And what’s the link between ultimate reality and enlightenment in relation to wholeness ideally?

Sanjivana: Okay, so many people mentioned this enlightenment in different ways. Some people even call some kind of like, please enlighten me. They just use this terminology for a simple thing, but it’s quite okay. So when you’re talking about that aspect, we talk about things that are worldly and going beyond worldly. So, because worldly things, whatever they are, how profound they seem, they are still worldly.

So, even some concentrations we call the Jhana, or some people in India know, they call Dhyana. So, these are very, very powerful mind states, but still yet they are worldly. And you can take your mind to the subtler stages, like say for example, like perception or non-perception.

You are in the middle of that. So, it is such a subtle stage, you go beyond all these things, but still that also belongs to worldly. So, in true enlightenment, we can have this terminology of enlightenment in different aspects. So, to get through the illusion of this perception world, we have to go to the ultimate realities. It is like fighting the venom with the venom, you make anti-venom with the venom, right?

Then after that you are cured, right? So, and in another aspect, we take things as whole. For example, these machines or tables or something. Okay, conceptually this is a table, we cannot deny that. But if it is a table and exactly forever a table, it should stay a table, right? But before it was pieces of wood that gathered and made by a person or some machines or anything. And not only that, many things, blue, nails and trees, the forest or the even the climates and the universe all got together in making a table, not just one. But if it was a table forever, then first also it should have been a table, not a tree.

And then later also it cannot fade away, the colors cannot disappear. You cannot break it into pieces of wood. And if the pieces of wood were permanent, you cannot break it or chop it or even make it a powder, no? But it is not. So, anything that can be grounded, broken and made it into a different way, it is not considered as ultimate reality. So, that’s why we are trying to seek the ultimate reality to actually free ourselves of the delusion.

Oli: Yeah, yeah. This is how I actually see things, right? So, I think the main problem in our lives is delusion or illusion, whatever word you want to use, but ultimately for some underlying emotional reason, we attach to fragmented conceptual ideas about ourselves and the world and the way that we perceive reality.

So, it boils down to two different levels, two different ways that life, ultimate life, ultimate reality is veiled and it’s the veil of perception because of the way that our bodies perceive things, but then the veil of interpretation on top of that. And so, if I understand you right, stage three of this map is when we start to become aware of that. We become aware that our perceptions are fragmented, our interpretations are fragmented, that the world is just an idea, a concept that can block the way that we experience truth because we internalize certain stories and so on from the world and then they form the attachments that we pick up and all that kind of stuff.

And then when we keep going all the way down the path and we get to level seven or stage seven where we become enlightened, ultimately what’s going on there is we have let go of our ideas about ourselves, we’ve let go of our ideas about the world and the way that those things cause us to hide from ourselves. And we basically get to this point where we transcend perception and ideas and interpretations even if it’s just for a moment.

And I think that’s, we can call that samadhi as well, right? There’s little moments where we test that, where we feel totally connected to everything and we’re in the flow and blah blah blah blah blah blah. And in those moments, we are just one with everything because ultimately the top of the mountain can only ever be wholeness.

And when we’re in a place of wholeness, all the fragmented things about us, like we just mentioned, our image of ourselves or ego, the ideas, the ideologies, the labels, but it’s all gone and it’s just one big system or one big relationship revealing itself to itself, something like that.

Sanjivana: Wow, okay, very nice. So Oli, I’ll tell you an ancient example.

So, Oli, sorry. And so, they asked this speck of salt, and then it was right beside the sea. So then it was like, because it seemed more solid than the sea water. So it was like telling, I’m so solid, I’m so white, I’m so strong, and you need me for everything.

You need me for like cooking, maybe medicines, but it was right beside the sea. So when the speck of salt, even if it’s used for something, or if you just leave it there, it will dissolve at some point, right? Or it can get just crushed or anything.

So some dust or something can come and wipe it off. So then what happens is the third stage is the time we realize, but this is done in a process, not only logically. Because logics can turn truth into fake and fake into truth.

But we need a logical mind, or analytical mind, but there should be a practical aspect of it. So this third stage is like this speck of salt really gets to know okay I am not what I proclaim all this time but yet in reality I am a speck of salt and it digs deeper and to know hey I was also part of the sea I was also seawater before though I for a small split in this universal time I looked like this I am not. Then in the seventh stage is the time you take this speck of salt and or six or five or six it’s the time you take this speck of salt and throw it back into the sea.

Yes. And when this speck of salt really dissolves in the sea or the oceans. Okay like just like you say all the ocean water and everything will be one. And it came back to its old form but this is a world example.

But still we can use it but this is the stage that you really and you unite with everything. This can happen in stages this can happen in levels and some like the speck of salt like really dissolving it can happen in the initial stages also. So when you go real like full enlightenment it is like the oceans also really disappeared.

You cannot take anything as the ocean even. Let’s get back to that later in the third question maybe.

Oli: Yeah. Yeah.

Okay. But ultimately what we’re saying this journey is about going from the fragmented state where we think we’re separate we think we’re disconnected starting to start to wake up to the ways in which we are causing that sense of disconnection because of our perceptions and attachments and all that stuff. And then ultimately going back to the ocean in the analogy we just used which is where we were all along like we’re always in the ocean we’re always connected to it. But we just don’t let ourselves let ourselves dissolve and it’s in that dissolution where we can actually find freedom.

That’s what I found in my life right so using salt as an example and the sport you said about dissolving is it just makes perfect sense to me. So we’ll get on to the third question in a second but one thing I want to ask you is about these things that get in the way because I think this process that we’re talking about is an organic process. I think ultimately it’s always unfolding like always actually we don’t have to do anything consciously except stop resisting. But the problem is because of our attachments to our ideas of ourselves and to worldly things and blah blah blah we stop ourselves returning to the ocean which is what actually wants to happen. And this is why I think a lot of people have internal conflicts. It’s why we have to do things like be creative because that’s bringing up things we’ve been hiding from ourselves so we can get back on track with the dissolution process as I like to call it and then return to the ocean and blah blah blah. So the things you mentioned they get in the way you mentioned anger or hatred I think you said as well greed, delusion.

Why do these things pop up in our experience to stop the natural flow back to wholeness which is what we really want anyway even though we don’t know it sometimes.

Sanjivana: Exactly. So this anger, greed and delusion so say the delusion is the coin. So anger and greed are like both sides of the coin.

So when you toss it like heads of tail but it’s the same coin. So and then we can see you know even from normal things the ego and all this hatred in the world and all the greed power all this no rushers even just in a family or even a work environment you see you know even within kids who at school they are like racing to some goal or like they want to put down the other and then climb the ladder. So all the rat race and all this even the wars and everything.

So but coming back to our lives or if a person really wants to go on the journey because these things. Okay for example say as little child. Little child still is like a guest in the new world. But why does this child when he or she grows they change. Why for what reason. So innocent child who didn’t know nothing at all no race no gender even they didn’t know what in the world it was. No politics no views no nothing no they didn’t even know how to eat right for that matter.

I’m just telling about a normal child who doesn’t have any disabilities or anything but after sometime they train then sometimes they can be the worst purple people in the whole wide world right. So for so likewise so it is like a stream. A stream that has mud inside.

So then what happens is when you are first born and all. Unless the times you are asleep the water just flows and it looks clear. But when you take a stick and start poking the bottom of the stream what happens is the mud that is inside starts coming out and then it it how to say makes the water also muddy. And then later on the water that flows also which was like drinkable or washable or anything now it’s muddy. So in a way because of the poking the mud arose as well as not only because of the poking if there was no mud inside there would it won’t be like muddy. So, less like in our minds when we came to this world, there was some deep rooted stuff. This is ego.

You can have the connection. That’s why in like fourth level and all, you really have to check this and see for yourself. Then all these doubts and all, like it is a real practical process. That’s why all your doubts can erase not just because some religious leader or somebody told. So, you really get to see for yourself.

Nothing superficial. So, then what happens is from our parents, I’m not blaming nobody. This is what they knew. And the first lesson we write or they say we write is myself, which is okay. So, we have to write, my name is Sach. My name is like this. My mother, father, my toys are these.

I live in this center. So, as a tiny, tiny kid, whichever language we write this, right? First, we don’t even know our name, like a little puppy or something.

But later, I remember you had to put this big board with your name, like a name tag. But still you don’t know it is for you, right? Yeah, you’re right. Like a little puppy also, or cat or anything. First you call its name, it doesn’t even care. But later, it knows like, and then when you say like bad puppy or good puppy, it reacts, no? So, likewise, what happens is like our name, so from the things we hear, the things we see, even taste, feel, all these things, it pokes into the mud that we already carried. So, then what happens is later, the factors like ego, then the likes and dislikes, like some children like the milk, when they are fed some medicine, they just put it out, like a natural reaction. But later, they say, oh, can I have some of those?

I don’t want this. Later, it goes bigger and bigger and bigger. For example, think of a dying person. In the past, we saw many people with Corona and all, no? So, they would just want to breathe.

But after some time, maybe they would ask, can I have some water? These are the main basics, right? But later on, oh, I could need something for something. Can I have something to eat? Then later, that doesn’t satisfy a person, no? They want something more, no? Can I have something more nicer to drink?

Can I have something more nicer to eat? So, the thing happens is, like, these are deep-rooted stuff, like in our hard drives, these are like computer viruses, and when they are triggered, they start popping up. So, that’s why in a later part of the life, usually after about five years or so, like these things start popping up. They seem different, even two twins. You can see they look, some twins look very familiar, no? Or like, they look familiar, means like they look close to each other, no? In the features and all. But, like, their characters are totally different. There are some Samis twins, like, they think totally differently, no?

They are combined also. So, likewise, what happens is, this mud or, like, especially the ignorance. Ignorance is the biggest thing. It is like a blind that covers our eyes. So, because of this, our egos and angers and all, or even a person can be taken to the worst of scenarios, worst of situations.

They all, these things like, they would never think of doing can be done because of this ignorance, in the name of anything. And then, later what happens, the greed comes, or the anger comes, and they play their part, and then it branches into various things. It could be jealousy, it could be hatred, anything. And the greed also, from the smallest of likes to lust, and it can become like, very creepy or any kind of situation.

Oli: Yeah, yeah, yeah. All those things, they come down to the ego, I think.

And it’s exactly what you said. When we’re kids, we’re just connected to life, initially. We don’t have a concept, really, of who we are. And then the world gives us this label, which is our name, and it just fills it with all kinds of ideas, all kinds of expectations, all kinds of attachments. Then, something comes along that creates an emotional detachment from ourselves. So, it’s normally shame or guilt, trauma, in really bad cases. That causes us to attach to the ego even more.

There’s a protective device. And then, that’s when we start attaching to all these worldly things. We think that the things in the world are going to fill us, basically.

They’re going to fill the void inside that comes from being detached. But actually, every time we chase worldly things, when motivated by ego, we’re just making the problem worse. And so, actually, the solution, I think, to moving down the path to level seven is to just learn to let go. We let go of any attachment that we have, which is difficult to do, obviously.

And that’s why people like you meditate for 20 years. But that is ultimately what it boils down to. So, if that’s true, and we are getting towards the end of the conversation. So, if you could sum all this up, based on what I just said, how does everything we’ve said, basically, in this conversation, tell us or point us in the direction of what enlightenment actually is when we step away from all these attachments and concepts and everything like that. So, I guess what I’m asking you for is final words of wisdom about this whole conversation in relation to pointing people towards enlightenment based on what you’ve learned. Going through all this stuff that you shared.

Sanjivana: Okay. So, we should know, in a way, like talking about the child, we were kind of conditioned. In a way, we were said, this is what you should do.

This is the path. Some are good, some are good, then it’s the things that should be done. But most of the things we do bring us like lot of, it doesn’t bring us permanent happiness, permanent peace.

So we don’t have to change many of the things we are doing now. Maybe the bad things that really hurt yourself and the others. But within that frame, let us try to seek more permanent happiness. Not relying on anything.

Not relying on some drugs or some kind of external thing. Because even when the external thing collapses, our happiness and peace will definitely collapse with that. And if you are relying totally 100% on your mind also. Or definitely the external things of materialistic things when they collapse.

Or definitely the how to say things, shadowy things like fame and fortune and all these things. When they collapse, you will definitely collapse. Or you cannot take to a next birth or if you believe in one. So let us try. That’s why we seek ultimate really. So for the question you asked about enlightenment and ultimate reality and all. If you want to catch a person, you should not try to catch the shadow. This is like the conceptual reality.

You should really try to catch the real person. Or if you are trying to cure or treat or do something nice for a person, it’s not used to take care of the shadow. So that’s what has happened to now meditation also. That’s why we don’t see proper results. So in some stage, we all have that capability and capacity. Doesn’t matter from which religion or whatever background you come from.

We can seek. One time I remember there was a person who was like really trying to argue with me. But I had no intention of arguing.

So finally this person was like crying and I asked whether it was so boring. But no, no, no. This person said like, I never heard this. I said, you can search for this, right? Didn’t this person said we are not allowed.

I wouldn’t say which religion or anything like that. So then I said, you can think these things, right? Because this is your life, right? And then this person said, no, we are not allowed to think even. So come on, we are humans and we are intelligent beings. And then let us all see something different. This ultimate reality and it’s very simple solutions for many things. And let us spread and bring back like things like loving kindness, kindness, peace, compassion, unity.

These are very wholesome things. It’s not something you get after death. Like some people say, rest in peace. But why can you not live in peace, right? Do we have to kill ourselves and then rest in peace?

No, right? You can rest in peace for sure. But why not live in peace?

You’re with yourself and the others. And there are so many positive and just like only what you asked when the defilements or these dark things or any like greed, delusion, greed and hatred disappears. It is not a vacuum.

This space or it is not a void. This will be covered with things like wisdom, true kindness, true compassion, true unity, all these positive things. And then later at some stage, you will understand you can even go beyond this worldly situation. You see the very most subtlest stages and then you can free even your mind. This is the actual stage your mind actually stops. So this is called Nirvana. So and then there will be a time that you can be totally free from physicality as well as mentality.

And even after death, you can be in. It is not a person or a thing or anything, not even a mind that goes to that stage. It’s mentioned as a stage, but it is like happiness forever. It is peace forever.

So but it’s beyond all worldly, we have to explain it with worldly examples, but there is a stage that is what it like people seek as enlightenment in proper practice.

Oli: Yeah, yeah. Like all of this. It’s about stepping away from concepts. Like even when we relate to ourselves, step away from the concept of who we are. When we argue with other people, we’re not arguing with who they really are, their realness, we’re arguing with our ideas about them, projected out. And in relation to life itself, it’s the same thing.

So that’s all amazing. I think I need to start meditating again more than three times a year. Sanji, if people want to find you, what’s your website and all that kind of stuff? Like where can we learn about your work?

Sanjivana: Now this name Sanji is like in many places on the web. So if you just type this or Google it and we start like we, yeah, I think I’ll pop up.

I hope. And because this is like now this name is also put onto me and this all the things like came up with that, like social media and all that. And we have like this with the same name, but it’s not self propaganda or something. Some guys said like you have to bring your name of your, the meaning of your name.

So Sanji means revival. So we want to do like help people. So like bring because life gives everybody a second chance or third, fourth, fifth, maybe.

So if we can help or even need the word or action, that’s a huge thing. So that’s why this Sanji unit thing came. So Sanji, even a dot com Sanji, even a here there.

Oli: Okay, well, I’ll share a link in the show notes. But Sanji, thank you so much for coming on your time. This has been a really good conversation. And I really appreciate it. So thank you so much.

Sanjivana: Oh, you’re most welcome, Oli, and it was great. Thank you very much for having me here.


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