Gangaji Comes to Fremont -by Cat and Ethan
In her early years, Gangaji pursued spirituality via the American
method; through motherhood, relationships, and politics. That is to say, her search for truth was of an outward nature. But after meeting Sri Poonjaji (a disciple of Sri Ramana Maharshi), her search turned inward. Gangaji writes, “As long as you are seeking to find happiness somewhere (out there), you are overlooking where happiness is … in your true
nature.” And what is spirituality but the search for the state of permanent happiness?
Recognizing oneself as consciousness releases us from the heaviness, the
obligations, the stress, and “shoulds” of our physical existence. Only in the surrender to silence, can we glimpse our soul’s true
nature; the freedom, security, purpose and love that is our true nature.
Gangaji says that we struggle to escape from the nightmare of the world (the craziness of violence suffering, and separation), but in effort to escape, we work hard and exert energy to distance ourselves from or to keep this force away from the self, or from experiencing it. Instead of pouring effort in trying to escape from it, Gangaji invites us to “awaken in it” (You are That p. 76), and face those demons whom we’ve been running from. In facing the nightmare, you begin to give it light, give it a name, and through this recognition of how it’s helped, hindered or how it’s contributed to creating who you are today, we begin to know it, to understand it, befriend it, and maybe, understand its initial purpose in our life. Within this acceptance, comes the peace and ease of no longer running away. Awakening to or befriending the nightmare within, gives us the inner tools to awaken to the difficulties of the outside world, and this is a practice (or awareness), that can only be done in the mindset of the present moment. Gangaji say “A particular mindset that is an enormous obstacle to realizing truth is the belief that realization is either something that happened to someone else in the past, or something that may happen to you some time in the future. If you give up both past and future as separate from right now, you can see what is possible in this moment” (You Are That p. 77). She challenges to go beyond the intellectual understanding of the separation we create, to dig up and sit in the awareness of those things we would rather shun or avert our gaze to. She encourages one by saying “Don’t miss this opportunity. What great luck! In your lifetime, in this moment, you have the absolute potential and the capacity to realize who you are. Don’t waste time. Get to the core questions. Expose any latent beliefs in separation between you and God, you and true self” (You are That, p. 77). She also states that we practice for living, imagine our lines, instead of looking at what’s
real in our experience and acknowledging that. Pushing away the unpleasant, ignoring it as if it will go away if not viewed, spoke or contemplated is like ignoring a splinter; you trade the momentary distraction from the splinter, to the opportunity to acknowledge it, an work at removing it fully.