From time to time, I ask people who come to my classes, what are they doing there? It is not an unhealthy curiosity, but, it seems to me, what takes places during the classes is a reciprocal nourishment. We all have the same hunger, and I want to make sure that we are striving towards the same direction, which is not just the learning of a technique or the discipline of a practice, but a search for what is essential.

The teachings are a paradox. First, we make time to try to touch a dimension where time doesn’t exist, then we use speech to reach a state of silence, we force ourselves to an immobility that opens a dynamic, and finally we use relaxation to increase concentration. The difficulty is to not slip from paradox to ambiguity. All of this is delicate and relies on something that is in the realm of trust. This trust is born and develops through the relationship. Whether I listen to a teaching, give one, or read an article, I am always in a relationship, an association. “Me” is that thing which makes the connection. I am the link. Beyond the link, unfolds what I call the natural “Linking Process”, a space where all links are dissolved and unraveled. The “me” quickly proves an obstacle to the Linking Process. As such, it is not a question of banishing it, but of placing it, of placing oneself in an inclusive process. The “me” is not an enemy to shoot down, because in the process of inclusion, there is no enemy. Everything is friend. The path can be summed up in this: nothing can be excluded, everything is teaching. Everyone who comes to classes, and myself included, have the same desire for unity. The separation that takes place when one finds oneself in a logic of exclusion, does not only break the external links, it also breaks the interior. When we live in the belief of separation, we no longer meet the real, and it causes great suffering.

Of course, all this may seem theory that is not adapted to our immediate environment. To help us integrate this other relationship into our everyday world, we use practices. That of Nidra consists in recovering energy released through a state of relaxation. When there is less tension, there is less opposition. Oppositions become complementary, like day and night. We have an old habit of saying, “I prefer this or that,” a habit that cuts, weighs, measures, and maintains fragmentation. So, we put the recovered energy at the service of concentration, focusing on more and more subtle objects which aim to allow us to taste the incomparable flavor of the Linking Process.

The practice has only one objective, to move closer to and make incursions into the absolute, in the unspeakable matter of the Linking Process. The desire for the absolute is cultivated. In the same way that I can grow a feeling, I can grow my desire for the absolute, which does not unfold for a love of someone or something but for a love beyond the limits of an object. We have enormous amounts of desire, but it is only the energy of desire that this teaching points to, and not the object of desire. The object of desire is a dead end. We must not wait for the object of desire, a liberated state, it will not happen; it’s energy that liberates. During the practice, we filter more and more meticulously. This is also a paradox, because the energy of desire is most often manifested through the object of desire. By dissociating images or objects from their environment, we learn to differentiate energy from its support. It is an exercise to practice also in daily life. For example, during a situation that provokes a state of anger, one asks to dissociate the reason or the person (the object), from the energy of anger. When one succeeds in making the dissociation distinct, the object immediately dissolves to leave room for the only energy which does not carry then any qualifier. It is no longer the energy of this or that, but simply the energy free of all objects.

The relationship always involves tension, be it anger or desire. We must nourish the energy of desire, but without the relationship, without the tension, without the contraction. Wanting to appropriate the object decreases the desire, appropriation gradually eliminates desire. If we reduce a love relationship to possession, we lose all the immensity, it is no longer a door but a confinement. When you are touched, live the relationship, be it the smile of a child or a car accident, live the relationship to the object. The important thing is only the link, which will allow access to the Linking Process, not the object. We are conditioned to seek objectivity, objectivity is to be reduced to the object, while what matters is the subjectivity, which allows to establish the link. It’s about connecting. Not in order to link, nor to mount an army, but to say yes to its vulnerability, to its subjectivity. Of course, the world is hard and requires an increasingly intense relationship to suffering. But it cannot be reduced to that. Do not expect it to be cake, but also, expect it to be cake. It requires us to desire more the relationship rather than the objects of the relationship. It’s the same with our relationship to the sacred. When the energy of desire has been sufficiently enlarged, a moment arrives where this bare power remains. At the moment when the object (of desire) flies away, the subject disappears too. Because object and subject exist only in their mutual tension. If the tension dissolves, object and subject dissolve in the same movement. There is no one and nothing left! There is no more relationship possible. Only a state of impersonal communication that is the very nature of the Linking Process.

When you go to sleep, this is what it’s about, this dissolution of the subject and its object. We are extremely vulnerable when we sleep. And ultimately, there will be this definitive event called death. But there is no need to wait for its arrival to experience it. The dying and the nascent are there permanently, appearance and the dissolution form the continuum of the life. This is to be considered intellectually first, but it is necessary to then enter the sensation. It is at this level that we will be able to begin to become very attentive so as not to hinder its deployment. To enter the sensation and let it develop, we will have to relax, concentrate and desire. The little exercises put in place during the practice bring us closer to the fundamental. For example, a lot of work will be done on the observation of passing states, the moments when the merging is near. For example, during dawn or dusk, the transition between the waking and sleeping states. When one observes how the passage takes place, one realizes that there is no moment when one can say: “now it is day, or now it is night”. The notion of a limit no longer has a place. The transition is a permanent state, and what I call “me” is part of it. This set of constructs and beliefs that determines and objectifies by saying “this is the day, that’s the night” also belongs to the transition. Yoga makes it possible to realize that the dual differences as they are made, are also linked together: the day is not really the day because it already slides towards the night. The night is not really night, because it’s already slipping into the day. This thing that believes to be me and creates separation, we could call it thought. Only thought which creates separation. In our practice, with the energy recovered during relaxation, we study the thought process, taking care not to exclude it but to give it its proper place. We rely on this thing called “me” to gradually decrease the identification to this observer. Observation takes place with as little effort possible, and little by little, we drop the observer to enter a different consciousness. When the “self” relaxes in acceptance to becoming a transition, it merges with, enters and becomes the flow of the universe. The observer disappears and this disappearance of the center (which is only a contraction), inaugurates an absolute detachment. In this detachment the sensation of the disappearance of separation is born. This is a lived experience which takes place in the body. The detachment instantly abolishes any relationship. Because in order to maintain a relationship, there needs to be two. When this link disintegrates, only the Linking Process remains. The taste of this natural Linking Process is similar to Joy and its nature is that of the divine.

Tasting the Natural Linking Process © André Riehl

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