Free Awareness- Conversations with Bentinho & Karen at Thiru

I had the fortune of meeting Bentinho and Karen at Thiru in Feb. It was a very moving experience which interestingly was about moving beyond experience ;-).

I shortened my stay at Auroville to be with them. I noted some amazing insights that emerged out of the chat. There was such sincere energy of people who were there. There was a profound simplicity of Bentinho sitting in his shorts and vest smiling effortlessly and laughing often, matter-of-fact, no-big-deal which for me is so characteristic of consciousness.

Am just sharing in bullets what I captured without ‘refining’ or structuring it in any way. It is too precious to postpone this any longer to make it more perfect for presenting here 😉

– Observer and the Observed are sensations arising in Consciousness
• What’s the purpose of life? To wake up to what is beyond causality and duality. Purpose is optional since it is a thought.
• When you see the nonsense/ ridiculousness of the entire game, you will spend more and more time in laughter. It can be great fun.
• Reality doesn’t think about anything. It just is. Though thoughts are a part of Reality.
• Bentinho’s journey to awakening:
Being torn/ conflicted between instinct and the various structured practices like the Yoga Sutras as a 17 year old boy. Till he surrendered to his instinct and saw that awareness was always already there. He found himself more peaceful outside the meditation room. Gradual increase in residing in that and increasing vividness of that. If you have made a story that awakening is a big one point event then that’s how you will experience it.
• The sense of the self appearing and disappearing is also an experience. Something is seeing that.
• “The ‘I’ casts off the illusion of ‘I’ and yet remains ‘I’. The seer and the seen are one in life experiencing itself”
• Enlightenment is also another idea just like Illusion.
• Reality becomes translucent as Awareness becomes more vivid.
• The thoughtless state cannot be found/ held but it is always there. Beneath all that is seemingly happening.
• There is no Manifestation. It is all a perception. Like in a dream it seems as if things are manifested.
• Recognising your true self moment to moment is the only ‘practice’ – it seems like a practice. It isn’t.
• Any practice maintains the mind. Who you are is already fully awake.
• Life is revealing itself to itself.
• Try to stop thinking of the current story or at least thinking about the story.
• You don’t need to ‘arrange’ things.
• You don’t have to ‘do’ anything to increase or decrease awareness. It just IS.
• The vividness of being as you experience it will make the story crumble automatically. Naked being viewing it all. Slowly as you see it, the allegiance shifts from the story to that.
• There is no ‘obligation’ to be aware. There is no need to ‘maintain’ awareness. It is.
• Where is the ego when you don’t think about it?
• Where is the power of thought when you recognise that which sees thought.
• Liberation is an event in the future is another thought.
• Thoughts have power because of other thoughts.
• The only problem is that we doubt that we are always already present.
• Awareness rules without thinking
• Within imagination, there is a process.
• What is aware of Ignorance?
• It is not possible to be totally unaware. Try it!
• Opening window from inside the dark house. What if you stepped out of the house and saw clearly that you are the light.
• Something ‘knows’ – as you develop trust in that consciousness, ideas will fade by themselves
• Thoughts which describe the ‘process’ of awakening come in the way .
• Distraction is another concept in awareness
• Descriptions seem very Real. They are only descriptions.. thoughts.. ideas.
• It is very very simple. So simple that the mind cannot grasp it!
• How objective is the pain when you don’t label it? Is it there?
• Can you have a sensation/ experience without labelling it?
• No label is also a label.
• Notice that which sees vs that which is seen.
• ‘What you are looking for is what is looking’ – St Francis of Assisi
• The Art of Teaching is.. To use description to evoke recognition of that which is beyond description.
• Reality doesn’t need any description/ label.

25 Feb 2011

• Try not to be aware.
o Think of a horrible trauma. Can u not be aware? Even for a second?
o See if you can escape to a far distant land and see if You are not there 😉
o You begin to see the ridiculousness of escaping.
o Is there any state of mind when I am not there?
o Is it possible to not exist?
o See inside the body and see outside. Open your eyes and close yr eyes. It doesn’t have to do with visual perception. It is always already there. It is inherent.
o Whether I struggle or not it is present, so I can drop the struggle, the seeking.
o It will merge/ dissolve/ relax into natural seeing which is happening always.
• Don’t separate this from daily living.
• Meditation is ok to do if you enjoy it.
• Awareness is not some abstract concept. You Are that. Awareness.
• It is not about any state of mind. Idolising any particular state.
• There is a subtle belief that Silence is more pure than thoughts/ chaos/ depression. Recognise this as a thought and shift to see to awareness everything is equal. All are appearances.
• Recognising this seeking stops but discovery continues. It keeps becoming more vivid, potent, beneficial, skilful.
• If prior to awakening you try to ‘purify’/ perfect anything, it will fall away when you see it.
• Awareness doesn’t care about ‘purification’. Drop effort and You are spontaneously liberated.
• You can’t help it, you will always be You. You will always be awareness. You can’t not be it.
• An argument with your partner is the same as a Samadhi experience. They are all experiences. No need to sit quiet for hours.
• Natural release of ridiculous attempts to get somewhere happens when you see that it is already here. It is something that can’t go away.
• It is the ground of all experiences.
• There has been no effort to be You.
• Drop the belief that anything needs to change, Bondage is a story,
• Ignorance is completely innocent.
• Keep checking, isn’t it true that awareness is always present. With each confirmation, lose your doubt.
• There was no idea of a spiritual journey before the idea of bondage.
• The idea of liberation in the future is self torture.
• The negative approach is more effective.. Deny your existence.
• You can never have an experience minus Awareness.
• All perspectives are coming and going to Awareness.
• Awareness is different from Conscious Attention.
• Conscious Attention is playing a game called- ‘I am now more aware, now less aware’
• You are missing awareness now if you believe that you will have it later.
• We miss the primordial and get into projection.
• Your attention is drawn to what seems ‘interesting’ vs that which is plain and simple.. always already present awareness.
• There are many interesting projects for the personality. Lose your fascination for these projects.
• We cant understand it by thinking about it.
• Body is a thought. Deep sleep is a thought in Awareness. Idea of waking up.
• There are no divisions or partitions to Reality. It all is.
• You have never left home. You can’t.
• It is more Being that Seeing.
• Whenever doubt arises, use it as an opportunity to stay undisturbed with Naked Being.
• You can either amplify doubt or you can notice that which sees.
• The Gateway of true existence is from the gateway of non-existence. The idea of I has to die.
• Purification after awakening is Spontaneous.

26 Feb 2011

• We can’t understand ‘that’ by thinking about it
• Body is a thought, Deep sleep is a thought in awareness
• There are no divisons/ partitions in Reality
• If healing is about trying to get somewhere.. I will be whole and complete if… then we are just meddling with the reflection in the mirror. The only true value is in self recognition. What we are is pure. Once we see that we allow life to move and take care of itself.. which it is doing anyway.
• We have got it upside down- Body exists inside the Mind and not the other way round. World – Body inside Mind inside Awareness
• You ARE Life, so how could anything go wrong?
• There is an optimisation of potential as we relax into awareness.
• Pure health is an ‘Idea’
• When we are ‘misperceiving’ there is resistance to what is and stress which creates disease. Recognising our true nature there is profound peace.
• To awareness, all perspectives are equal- Hitler, Osama, Dalai Lama
• Karen- awakening 3 yrs ago. But not to get stuck in the memory of it. But moment to moment being committed to realising it. That is the only ‘practice’
• Recognise that which is beyond experience and equally the inescapability of experience.
• We can recognise awareness by not thinking about it, not by thinking it!
• Anger/ Emotion we see is hollow unlike a planet which is dense. But even that is space.
• Dr Hew Len- Who is there to forgive really. It is all a story, isn’t it?
• Spontaneous forgiving happens since that is the nature of awareness.
• Resting in awareness, as awareness.. from which all appearances arise and dissolve.
• Emotions are already fully allowed – that’s why they happen.
• The room is totally impartial to all.. just like awareness, space- it doesn’t have any preferences
• Allow confusion because it is already allowed.
• Just notice- To what do all states appear – Don’t go looking for it.
• Who you are is what allows everything to be always
• When you see where all questions and answers arise from, do the q& a matter ?
• In terms of human experience, it seems recognition and acceptance of that matter.
• Does Awareness have any question?
• Awareness is another word for You. All that exists is You.
• We cant seem to control whether and what thought arises.. but it seems we do have control whether to follow/ invest in that thought or not.
• Lose interest in perspectives and descriptions…
• We are trying to ‘seek’ happiness by trying to ‘figure this out’ – it cant be figured out! It already is what you are.
• Don’t make allowing into another concept. And bring a ‘should’ there also 😉 Its more like ignoring. Eg The windshield wiper is moving back and forth. If you keep your attention on that then you cant see the road. When you see the road, the wipers may go back and forth. You are ‘allowing’ it, ignoring it.. No interest in that.
• Every moment is timelessly free.
• You cant objectify/ define. Figure out awareness.. it just is.
• A friend told me.. ‘ I got depression but who cares!’
• When you recognise or feel you are not aware, really check if you were unaware. Know that its not possible. Awareness is/ was always effortlessly present.
• If anything is not always already with you, don’t bother to find it – it is not You!
• As soon as one particular experience becomes the goal, there is chaos vs that which sees being the goal.

8 thoughts on “Free Awareness- Conversations with Bentinho & Karen at Thiru

  1. Dear Kiran,
    Thanks for sharing this.
    Yes.And we are also that…NOW. The Awareness that sees these words and watches thoughts like the clouds passing by outside…We are That Awareness NOW!
    Also see for more on Awareness.
    What would it take for all of us to wake up to and remember this Truth?
    Love from Awareness

  2. Beautiful 🙂 Thanks for sharing these Kiran. Choiceless Awareness is always free.

    Also, this line made me want to reflect on it more: “The negative approach is more effective.. Deny your existence.” Perhaps i am seeing it out of context, but words like ‘approach’, ‘more effective’, ‘deny’ make it sound like a formula or method. Also, the small self can’t be denied (as an act of will) and has to be ‘seen’ for what it is. So in that sense denying will only strengthen the denier.


    1. Hi Naveen..
      No, you are not seeing it out of Context. But maybe you are reading too much into the word.
      JK talks of negation. Manasi mentioned she has been touched by JK. Are you familiar with his
      Now see, when I say JK’s thought, its not about ‘thought’ as he says.
      Language is often inadequate. Unless we learn to sense the essence.
      There is a denying that comes from resistance/ opposition and then there is a denying that comes from seeing whats so..
      interestingly, exactly what you say. Makes sense?
      Happy to enjoyed reading.

      1. Hi Kiran, yes i was probably reading too much into the words (esp considering the wisdom they were embedded in all around). However its a choice of words i felt might be misleading. i wonder if Krishnamurti would use a phrase like “more effective”. Atleast i haven’t seen it. Not that we too should merely follow his choice of words, but there might be something important there in his avoidance.

        But yes, most importantly we need to move beyond the language and words to the essence of all that is.

        Also, almost forgot again, yes Krishnamurti has been a strong influence on me and many other friends. Its a life that immensely fascinates and inspires me.

  3. One passes through knowledge to attain simplicity and finds expression through silence or a very few words.That is living and expressing the freedom and action.To begin the best place is where the discomfort is hurting most and then appropriate knowledge and practices will show the way forward till ………

  4. What a sense of freedom to go through these lines! I am in awe and wonder. Life can be perceived so differently without any difficulty. Not to to be stuck with only few practices but also be open to receive other perceptions. Beautiful sense of lightness and brightness in my consciousness. It is.

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