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Chapter 21: Vagabonds of the Soul

These are the three satoris, three samadhis. First, accidental stumbling; second, becoming more deliberate, conscious in reaching to the door; and third, becoming attuned so deeply with the door that you never lose track of it, that it is always there, always open. This is the state called satori in Japan, samadhi in India. In English it is translated as ecstasy. That word is beautiful; literally it means “standing out.” Ecstasy means standing out, standing out of the mind.

Atisha’s last sutra: Train as though cut off, is exactly the meaning of the word ecstasy - so cut off from the mind that you are standing out, that mind is there but you are not it. Some people have also started translating samadhi not as ecstasy but as instasy. That too is beautiful, because it is not standing out; it is standing out of the mind if you think of the mind, but if you think of consciousness then it is standing in.

As far as mind is concerned ecstasy is the right word, but as far as consciousness is concerned instasy is far better. But both are two aspects of the same thing: standing out of the mind is standing in consciousness. Knowing that “I am not mind” is knowing “I am consciousness, aham brahmasmi.” That is the meaning of the Upanishadic saying, I am godliness, I am consciousness.

Enough for today.