27 September 2009


Much is coming together
So it began with seeing that something is aware of thought
How can I be thought when I am seeing these thoughts??
Really contemplating on that for awhile
Then realizing there was a bigger awareness watching the witness to thought
So then it seemed that what was watching wanted, was waiting, to be noticed
Like two awarenesses
Ok so now it seemed that this smaller witness was now aware of the bigger witness
It seemed strange that now the attention was now on the big watcher instead of the thoughts of which it was accustomed,
like looking backward at myself instead of outer looking
Like the attention was turned in the complete opposite direction
Then seeing something big
Awareness as big
Encompassing the entire world
So, then noticing that what I am is “consciousness”
That word kept coming, over and over
Then ah ha!
And then yes…I am consciousness
And then aaaahhhhhhh!       aaaahhhhhhhhaaaaaa
So, now unfolding even more
This consciousness is one!
Not two
So then realizing as I am in the store tonight, seeing others, that there is only ONE because….the content of what others are aware of is not an identity
It is one consciousness….with thought forms moving through “others”…only appearing to be separate
And seeing quite oddly, and quite humorously, that there is only one
And so also seeing that I am space…
I am not this body as I am the awareness of it
And seeing that there is no self
As I am formless, seeing this, no self
And also seeing that I am love
That this consciousness sees with a “behold” not just void seeing…seeing with a beholding of all as beloved
All meaning all…such as wall, garbage pail, floor, cat, plant, knob
And seeing others as same self
I am mostly aware that I am consciousness…the “no self” slips in and out…haven’t seen that as permanent reality but saw in a flash insight. 
How can I be anything arises in awareness
So finally
Seeing that there is no meaning to this world, life
Not in a bleak way but that all is just appearing as something out of nothing
Out of one
Out of energy, vibration, one source
Seeing that nothing is happening, no meaning, no purpose
Signs along the road, just words, just appearing with no substance
No life
Wondering if all a dream
Feeling that all is dream, having that texture to it
Will investigate this more
The end for now…


Your understanding is excellent. Now just stay there as you already
are doing as often as possible.

The silence and understanding will both deepen and eventually the
understanding will be discarded as unnecessary because you will be

Thanks to readers of this blog, as well as people who have followed this story from all over the world, almost 1,000 people have signed a petition to stop Los Angeles County from killing feral cats. However, the main media still is not carrying the story, and County officials still refuse to talk to members of the Los Angeles animal community.


Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
The Los Angeles County Department of Health has contracted with the Carson Animal Shelter to trap cats at various locations across the county.  Hundreds, maybe thousands, of vaccinated, spayed, healthy cats will be killed.  Feral cats are not adoptable. These cats are no more of a threat to human health than the pets that walk through our neighborhoods every day.  This will cost the struggling taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, based on calculations from previous mass trappings.  Now is not the time to be spending, and killing is not the answer.The Los Angeles County Department of Health has contracted with the Carson Animal Shelter to trap cats at various locations across the county.  Hundreds, maybe thousands, of vaccinated, spayed, healthy cats will be killed.  Feral cats are not adoptable. These cats are no more of a threat to human health than the pets that walk through our neighborhoods every day.  This will cost the struggling taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, based on calculations from previous mass trappings.  Now is not the time to be spending, and killing is not the answer.
goal: 1,000

26 September 2009

Hello Ed,

I'm reading a Robert talk called "Stillness."
I'd like to clarify something if you don't mind. He says that the world is not real, that it does not exist and came out of nothing.

Does it includes only the mental projections that we make on our perceptions,
or it includes the perceptions themselves as well ? I'm a little bit confused by
this statement.

I perceive a lot of objects, colors, people, sounds around me, in a quite unconscious manner, and unless the question "what did you perceive ?" arise, to some extent, if I don't use my memory, there was nothing indeed. Is that the meaning of Robert's statement ?


There are no objects without concept. There is no significant difference 
between perception and conception. Even less are there objects that
stand behind perceptions as "reality."

All concepts are part of a verbal mapping of the universe, with an I
thought center around which the conceptual world is constructed. When
you see the I does not exist as an inner entity, the world as an external entity,

as objects, also disappears, and it becomes you, or you it. 

You alone exist; you are the totality of consciousness, with
apparent objects or without, as pure consciousness. Only you exist, nothing 

is external to you.

You have to understand, this is only a conceptual truth and thus too is misleading
until you are able to step outside of concepts.

I have returned from Dresden. I was again there for other 10 days. From one hand they were stressful; from the other hand  being close to death, seeing how my father and mother died has detached me from the apparent life even more than before. My thought goes almost exclusively towards liberation.

Since I experienced myself as awareness, my practice has become about like that described by M. Langford (AWA). Moreover, I am trying to practice the Tibetan yogas of dream and sleep. I have two good texts about them by Tenzin Wangyal and Namkhai Norbu Rimpoche. What I don’t like about the Tibetan sadhanas are the preliminary practices. For example, Tenzin Wangyal suggests to get a close relationship with the dakini Salgye Du Dalma (a goddess) who favors and protects the sleep with rigpa (the non-dual consciousness). I am not inspired at all to create a dual relationship with Salgye Du Dalma; I am inspired by rigpa, non-duality, awareness with no support of any object! Therefore, I think if I go on with AWA, I will be able to go beyond the three states of wake, dream and sleep one day.

Always accepting and respecting your free choice to answer or not my questions, I would ask how you are about these three states.

With love,



None of the 3 states have anything to do with you. Non dual
consciousness has nothing to do with you. States of mind have nothing
to do with you. Sadness has nothing to do with you. Happiness has
nothing to do with you.

All that you are talking about are experiences. Experiences have
nothing to do with you.

You are beyond all that and therefore playing around with these types
meditations only take you further from YOU.

Only seek YOU. That is, seek the sensation of I Am if you can. Immerse in awareness of I Am. That is the beginning and end of practice. Abiding there eventually brings quietness and happiness too as well as the ending of doubt.

24 September 2009


Thank you for the info. on your web site. I am not sure if this is meant
to be "Stump the Guru" question, but you are welcome to use it there. As
a practicing Tibetan Buddhist, I have been "steeped" in the Two Wings,
Emptiness and Bodhicitta (Compassion) . So, the concept "Sudden
Enlightenment" is quite new to me. I have been pleasantly surprised by
what I have learned recently in the Zen world of Buddhism. I have two

1.  I certainly can see the Emptiness side of Zen. What I do not see
(and probably because I do not know where to look) is the Bodhicitta or
Compassion emphasis in Zen teachings. Can you explain to me or direct me
to explanations of how Zen approaches and incorporates Bodhicitta in its

2. In Tibetan Buddhism, the Tulku concept is quite interesting and
appears to be quite useful for its potential to identify those, if
nothing else, with high probability of great attainment and therefore
(if so) ability to guide others to Enlightenment (or Bodhisattva-hood).
(Being a "human" process, I am aware that the tulku process has its
problems, too.) In reading many biographies of Zen masters, I find
little to no teachings (yet) on what is occurring to these Masters
during or after transition. I find it impossible to believe that they
have no further interest in helping sentient beings but see no
systematic teaching to that effect. Is there such a thing in Zen
teachings or is that pretty much a "your karma may vary" thing, looking
at it from the point of view of us schmucks still in samsara?

You can edit the above questions as you see fit if you want to use them
in your "Stump the Guru" blog. Thank you for your time.




Zen in literature has little to do with compassion.

By Tulku you mean reincarnated teacher?  No such thing in Zen or Advaita.

When you go from one tradition to another you should not expect the
same concepts to exist in both. That would defeat the whole
idea of different traditions. In fact though, most Zen masters I
have known were good guys and some kind. But it is not a universal
character trait.



Yeah, perhaps I am just trying to have my cake (Tibetan Buddhism) and my
icing (Zen Buddhism) and eat them both (without desire, of course). If I
might ask a couple more questions: (If you don't have the time or prefer
not to address the questions below, I still appreciate your website and
writings. I think they are very, very helpful.)

1. So, what is the difference between Zen and Advaita? (I know little
about Advaita at the moment. Read Sri Ramana's bio and books recently.
Very interesting. Found your site from within the Wanderling Awakening
101 site.) What makes Zen a Mahayana thing and Advaita non-Buddhist, as
opposed, say, to Theravada or Hinayana? There are quite a few
similarities in those three traditions.

I believe Zen incorporates the Bodhisattva vows into the Esoteric form
of Zen. I have interest in "leaving samsara permanently", of course, but
have more interest in helping others, such as my family, do so, too. I
realize that we are just rehashing samsara every second, but dropping
everything, including family, to "get 'er done" seems counter-productive
for them.

2. I recently read a note on your web site about "Kundalini experiences"
where you noted that, for more info., one should search your web site. I
have not been able to locate that area. About 5 years ago, when I was
wondering which path to take, I had an amazing vision/dream/experience,
which I can only describe as being "touched" (or nearly overwhelmed) by
a female "goddess" or female Buddha, or dakini (whatever that is) or
something. (No idea who it was, but she was BIG and looked like the
Pre-historic goddess carvings of "The Witches of Eastwick". LOTS of
femininity.) I am still curious as to what happened or whether there was
or is any significance in that event. (Or whether this is just another
game played by my ego.) It certainly energized my practice so to that
extent it has been helpful.

Other things have and do still occur in my life that keep my practice
energized to the extent that the experiences are "new". Practically
every night for the last 30 years, I have had and continue to have
dreams of what I interpret as "other lives" experiences. Often, these
dreams include experiences of dying, of existence in the Bardo, and the
heading for the re-birth. Often, a large or significant GURU figure is
leading the way. Mostly, the dreams are just of me continuously making a
fool of myself. (Bah-ha-ha!) I have only been practicing Buddhism for
the last 5.5 years so these started happening way before I ever knew
anything about Buddhist cosmology. Ah, well. Life is weird.

Thank you for any and all assistance. I am grateful for your website and




All your questions are about philosophy, experiences, ideas,
comparative religion, etc.

None of this has ANYTHING to do with who you are.

Forget about goddesses, gurus, teachings, compassion, going beyond,
these are all head trips.

Your only concern should be to understand who you are which can only
be found by you through self-investigation.

I attach only one book.

Download it and let it be your guide to self-exploration. Read it
every morning for a half hour. Sit in silence after that and let it
and your pondering sink in.

Slow down your mind and reflect only on your own self-teaching. You
can know all about the subtleties of Buddhist philosophy and be even
further away from self realization than a Wall Street stock
manipulator. All concepts are your enemies.


Thank you. Very much.

I will do what you suggest. I hope you don't mind if I modify your
instructions a bit. I will do the reading and the sitting,  prior to
work every morning and after work every evening. (Got two kids in
college.) Interesting. Last night and this morning, I read a couple of
chapters of a book about Sri Ramana. (Book link at home). His definition
of Happiness is interesting. wow.

I know that this body is not "Me" or the "I am". I know that this mind
is not Me or the "I am". (Nor these feelings, etc.) I have understood
that for a few years. I have only "known" that for a few months. I know
(the word "know" is all I have. perhaps "feel" or simply understand)
that my universe is "Me" or at least my perception of it is completely
created by this current body and mind, and the karma or my previous (and
current) mental actions. I originally thought this was (or is) the my
holy guru as (I reasoned) how could someone like me provide me with the
universe, body, and mind that I have. 'Course, my Karma "could" be my
part of the deal. I guess I don't know.

Last Spring, during my morning practice, I "saw" or "became one with",
for a very short period of time, "Me". I was a perfect diamond-like
essence. It was every color of light, forever. I was very sorry to see
that recede.

Again, thank you. I look forward to following your advice.



You need no further advice at this time. Just gently begin the practice of gaining acquaintance with yourself as just consciousness, awareness.

You are doing well.

These are good experiences, but remember being one with I Am is only
an experience, and you are not that; you are the knower of the experience.


Questions sent to me by a reader with my answers. Actually, these are exactly the right questions rather than dwelling on special experiences, progress, or "What is the state like?"

1. Are you happier now than before the awakening? YES, YES, YES! This is the only real criteria of whether the whole search was worth it.  

2. Do you wish sometimes that you are in the stage of non-awakened people? Absolutely not. Too much noise, lack of clarity and a degree of barbarism.  

3. Do you find life worth living? I make do. It no longer matters to me one way or the other. Life really has nothing to do with ME.  

4. What motivates you to do things - if anything? A strong sense of justice and compassion. Feeling the suffering of others and animals.

5. Is there love in your world? Do you love life or people or yourself? I love every living thing and want to protect every living thing from suffering.

22 September 2009


A rogue county agency, LA County Vector Control, is rounding up and killing feral and stray cats as a defense against “terrorist threats” and wildly unproven theories of threats to humans health. Next they will move on to cities, as in the past with Santa Monica.

An email received by me: The L. A. County Public Health, spearheaded by Joe Ramirez, Environmental Health Specialist,  phone (626) 430-5468, has contracted the L. A. County Carson Animal Shelter to trap and euthanize all feral and stray cats within the park area and wherever there is ‘human interaction’.  I spoke with him on two occasions trying to negotiate allowing rescue groups to handle a relocation and adoption effort.  

But he is against relocation of any sort unless in a cat sanctuary or adoption.  He feels that feral/stray cats have become a National Security problem because of the ‘potential’ of spreading deadly diseases, plagues, and biohazards.  His mission is to go from park to park or wherever there are strays and ferals and euthanize them. He told me that Carson said they would euthanize the cats right away. It is a death sentence for all the feral and stray cats in L.A. County and then maybe elsewhere.

This is me, Ed Muzika: Joe Ramirez and his boss Gail Van Gordon are kill crazy and feel they are on a mission from God to cleanse the world or urban wildlife and feral cats when there is, in their minds, even the slightest potential for disease spread to humans. Ramirez bragged to me that the reason there has been no human plague in Los Angeles County is because they so thoroughly monitor and kill ground squirrels throughout the County. They don't even pretend to present reasonable arguments to support the medical/scientific necessity of their killing.

Ramirez told me in the past he wanted to kill feral cats because they can spread pneumonic vs. bubonic plague. Vector Control has been looking for an excuse to kill ferals for years, and now their excuse is terrorism! Over the year Ramirez has spoken to any number of groups about the need to trap and destroy cats. There most recent “reason” to trap is suspicion of Typhoid in the cats. Every month Ramirez has a different excuse or reason to trap and kill cats throughout the County.

Trapping has already begun at Del Aire Park and Imperial School in Hawthorne where a notice has been posted, that cats will be trapped and taken to the Carson shelter where they will be “adopted” out.  Next in line for trapping is PECK PARK and THE HARBOR UCLA MEDICAL CENTERThat County will adopt them is a complete lie. Feral cats are not adoptable. The County kills them after a 3 day hold. In fact, LA County has a kill rate of almost 90% for all cats impounded, whether feral, tame or kittens.

Phone Numbers of People to Call:

MOST IMPORTANT: Jonathan Fielding: Head of County Health,
jfielding@ladhs.org, jfieldin@ucla.edu; Phone: County Health: Direct Line-(213) 240-8117; UCLA: (310) 206-1141

Joe Ramirez, (626) 430-5468—In Charge of Cat Killing

Ramirez’s Boss:  Gail Vangordon:  gvangordon@ladhs.org
            Phone (626) 430-5450. She considers scientific evidence from outsiders laughable.

MOST IMPORTANT: The Supervisors: These are the decision makers:

Gloria Molina: Phone (213) 974-4111


Zev Yaroslavsky: Phone (213) 974-3333 

Michael Antonovich: Phone: (213) 974-5555

Mark Ridley-Thomas: Phone (213) 974-2222

Don Knabe: Phone: 213-974-4444


16 September 2009

Christian Fundamentalism is only technically part of a religious movement. Actually it is a deep pathology, and as such should be and is exposed. This is far from Robert and Advaita, but worth reading.

10 September 2009

Questions from a reader:

1. Does the feeling that is called the feeling of I-am-ness always include a sense of separate selfhood? There seems to be an intimate sense or feeling of presence (or being) that does not however present itself in the shape of an I. I'm not talking about anything advanced-about transcending the "I" or reaching the ultimate subject or anything. I am talking about an immediate, pre-reflective feeling of being. When I reflect on this feeling I can note that it is graspable as mine but the lived experience is not one in which the being of which I am aware is grasped as mine. Now I think there is such a feeling. Does it count as an instance of the feeling of I-am-ness? One reason for thinking that it should count is that the beingness of which I am aware seems (on reflection) to be "mine" One reason for thinking it should not count is that the feeling does not include a pronounced consciousness of separateness. What do you think?

2. You say of Michael Langford's "awareness watching awareness" that it is shikantasa not vichara. Okay, I agree that what he is talking about is shikantasa. But If the self = awareness, why isn't awareness watching awareness a kind of self-awareness, and hence a form of self-inquiry? Perhaps your point is that bare awareness of awareness does not contain the thought "I". That would explain, why on your view, shikantasa's no good for "killing the self." Is this how you are conceiving of awareness watching awareness?

3. One might conclude from (2) that the I-am-feeling requires something like the word 'I'. But Nisargadatta makes a big deal of the wordless I am. His suggestion seems to be that this I am is somehow more "primordial" than the I am that takes the form of mentally voicing the words "I ... am." Is the wordless "I am" different from the wordless "presence" that is not yet the I-am I was talking about in (1)?

4. I take it that: the feeling I am ? the felt experience of the lived body. A potentially confusing thing here is that the felt experience of the body seems to be an experience of being and indeed to disclose my being (= my being as embodied). This might be a reason for describing the felt experience of the body as a form of I-am-ness. Perhaps the sense of my being as embodied is illusory (since the real I is not embodied), but the description seem phenomenologically accurate. There is a lived awareness of embodiment-a kind of bodily consciousness-is there not? Doesn't this consciousness come with a sense of "mineness"? You say: "[m]ost 'I am', subjective first person "feelings" will actually be associated with some form of body identification" - under the rubric of "false selves [that] will deceive all but most diligent." This suggests you think that there is a bodily I am that is distinct from the Advaita-preferred, distinct from the I-am-the-body-idea, I am. Is this your view?

Follow up thought: I had thought of mindfulness of the body (from Zen) as a "good" thing. I suppose that mindfulness of the body ? I-am-body-idea. You can be mindful of the body without identifying with it, can't you? Yet Nisargadatta advocates thinking constantly that I am not the body. This seems contrary to the spirit of cultivating mindfulness of embodiment. Does Advaita say that mindfulness of the body is incompatible with the desired I - consciousness?

5. I can become aware of that which asks Who am I? ("personal" report). Is this "awareness of the witness"? There are places where Nisargadatta associates awareness of the witness with I-am-ness. But this sense (of I-am-ness) seems to be very different from the sense of I-am-ness associated with wanting to be. It doesn't seem connected with a wish to continue existing. It doesn't seem to involve a sense of a separate identity. It may involve distinctness from what is witnessed, but there is no sense of difference from others. Other people don't seem to figure in this form of I-consciousness at all. Is there a witness I am that is different from a personal I am?

All this stuff is tremendously difficult to describe. So I'm not sure that I'm getting the phenomenology accurately. I may be making things more complicated than they need be (occupational hazard). But I've given it my best shot.

Thanks much.


My Reply:

The mind is quite self-disabling isn't it?

Most people avoid real self-inquiry by arguing about terms and
concepts used by one teacher versus another and get lost into trying to
discover how ultimately they agree, or that one guru was full of
crap while th other is the real thing.

Here you are using discrimination to effectively halt practice by
focusing on imaginary distinctions in experience.

It doesn't matter what Nisargadatta said or Ramana said about
practice. They really only, in the end, wanted an ending to concepts
by focusing on practice. But you focus on practice and find the conceptual
imaginary distinctions others find in the theories.

First principal:

All experiences are illusion including the sense of I, the word I, the
concept I, the sense of amness, and the waking and dreaming
experiences as a whole.

Self inquiry is not to find which aspect of the experience is real, or
belongs to Nisargadatta, but to see it is all unreal.

Just watch the I Am sense, sometimes associated with the body,
sometimes not. It changes with observation.

Just listen to Nisargadatta's pointers, but don't obsess over apparent

You want ultimately to submerge in consciousness only in order to find out
consciousness is as much illusion as concept.

Nisragdatta had his experiences which he formulated into an ideology,
which he then asks everyone to abandon. Ditto Ramana and Robert. A lot of what they say is just entertainment. The essence is practice.

Don't depend on them. You invesitigate yourself by inner observation
in the best way you know how to find your core.

Don't be distracted by techniques or experiences. They are for you to
borrow, improve upon or ignore.

Just grasp your sense of self however or whereever you find it and
hang on, or sit doing absolutely nothing, and various samadhi's will
come to you.

As Seung Sahn said over and over, you must become completely stupid.
Real hard advice for people used to using their minds. Robert spent 90% of
Satsang providing emotional entertainment, but always ended in talking about self-inquiry's visisitudes, and in the end, silence when all is empty.

You know emptiness from Zazen, but here there is the emptiness as the personal self is lost. That loss is different and more "personal" as you feel it to be YOUR emptiness rather than just a state of emptiness, as in Samadhi, that comes and goes.

As Robert said, "You become totally useless." That is why I like his "Good for Nothing Man" talk best.

It is somewhere on the itisnotreal website and ceratinly in his Collected Works.

09 September 2009

My new kitten. She was rescued from a drainage ditch sceduled to be cemented over soon. Still trying to get her sister, a gorgeous Calico. She is six weeks 3 days old.

Slideshow below:


08 September 2009


Ed one more question. Who is it , first thing in the morning, that would try to catch the I as it rises from the self to the brain? What chases and what runs? There was one instance (or maybe 2), very clear, where I became conscious in this gap between sleep and waking up. I was aware of being, but I did not know who I was - just that I was. Also, I knew, without thinking, that I would know who I was when something reached my brain and activated the memories. Was this imagination? Is this trying to catch the I - just a way of saying - try to become conscious before you hit the brain, like I experienced? For there are not 2 I's One to run and One to chase. Terminalogy is such a trap to understanding.

My Response:

There is no I. Never was an I. I is a concept, a fiction. Same too with Self. These are just all words and concepts pointing to an imaginary existence. I appears to exist because you have the concept that there is an independent subject I associated with the word 'I'. When you see there is no objective you as a separate person that the word and concept I points too, then you see there is no objective external world either. All is you, the totality of consciousness. However, then you will begin to realize that consciousness is quite variable, yet you don't feel variable. You feel independent, free, the ultimate subject to whom waking, dream and sleep come as a show that is not you. You are the unmanifest subject, the noumena. Actually you are the world-show too, but it emmanates from your noumenal, absolute emptiness, and is variable while your true nature is not. So any questions about various I's searching for other I's and other imaginary splits are still the same--all this is just concept. You as an I do not exist. You as the totality that mistaken creates a multiplicity, fundamentally do not exist in existence, because you count existence as that which is perceived rather than that which perceives. It will become clear. Just keep going as you are. You are doing fine. Ed
My True Guru!

As Robert used to say over and over, "Everyone wants to get into the act!"

02 September 2009


"I haven't become aware of my "True Nature" (whatever that is) although I did have a strange experience once but since it involved a feeling of knowing and understanding all within the fake world I don't know what it was. Yet there is this innate sense that it is true that there is no me. I'm currently at the state where I just see my mind as a freaking nuisance and I feel like I don't know anything anymore.

"I can't even explain why it's so important to me- but I have to know because until then, nothing else matters. I've been dealing with this feeling that things weren't what they seemed and that I didn't belong for as long as I can remember."

"I don't know many authors or titles or the difference > between this school of thought or that one and frankly, I don't think > it matters within the context of trying to wake up."


Actually, it matters most of all because it is all bullshit. The only
thing to pay attention to are instructions on how to practice
self-inquiry. That is the core of the two non-Robert texts I sent you:
practice and self-inquiry.

Here is the rub. Spiritual people are looking for something. They know
something is wrong with the world but they don't know what. They
search for something, but they don't know what. So they listen to all
the gurus with all the different philosophies and get totally lost.
The only way you don't get lost is exploring yourself. Hopefully you
get to the point where self-exploration is your own way rather than
trying to recreate the explorations Ramana or Nisargadatta did.

The last 2 chapters of the Path of Ramana Part I are two of the best
on self inquiry as is Pradeep.

Robert is stillness speaking to you through the modifications produced
by your mind and should be considered entertainment though you can
have wonderful temporary experiences as a result. "The Way" is marked by
these experiences. These are what keep people going. But, in the end,
the experiences are not important. The real work is being accomplished
through the silence accomplished through going within, and to an extent, Robert's words, or, as in my case, through listening to sacred music. Both instill stillness, silence.

Eventually you get to a place where you are yourself as You after all the spiritual reading and practices are done. By that time you are fully baked and utterly useless to anyone or anything
except your cats, whom you serve. But, you will be happy and complete.