Namaste dear Ed,
Thank you for your site - it's precious to read the dialogues here and know there are others out there on this strange path.
I hope you can help me with some long held and difficult to eradicate doubt. Please excuse me if this is long - it feels helpful to put it all down.
I was fortunate to be with Papaji (Sri Poonja) in Lucknow during the whole of 1994. I had a major scooter accident whilst there and sustained a head injury that catapulted me right out of normal consciousness. I couldn't speak and had my memory wiped for sometime. I suppose it was a classic near death experience, but it was also an epiphany. There was a feeling 'this is it'. It took a long time to integrate and function normally.
When I found out about Papaji I was 24 and doing intense training to become a yoga teacher. I left all that to go to Him. I did not have a real desire to teach, I just wanted to find 'the answers'. After contacting Papaji's teaching of 'finish sadhana, make no effort' I was sure that that would be the end of the yoga practice. However in the following years I was constantly put into situations where I wound up teaching yoga. For many years it's been my full time profession.
About 5 years ago now I had a phase of extremely disturbing phenomena I can only call kundalini - insomnia due to fiery energy coursing my spine, head-splitting migraines, hypersensitivity, dizziness, a feeling like electricity in my body. I even had a full seizure at one point. This phase of phenomena lasted about 3 years. I have had intermittent phenomena since, though right now it feels stable.
During these times I've only had recourse to the words of Papaji, Ramana and Nisargadatta, and trust that it will pass. What I most want is to continue to focus on Self and to let it do its work. My question is, is there something I'm missing? Is it enough? Will the I dissolve by itself?
Also - several factors are also making me question this profession of yoga teaching, and until now it has felt impossible to find a useful sounding board for what I've been experiencing. Because yoga has always been tied up with notions of truth for me, several times I've found the work becomes a kind of satsang. This became more or less a formal satsang a few times, where I felt a particular space open up with the students and the quality of the communication was completely different. However then it wouldn't feel true - to advise the students to practice (asana) - and to feed this whole concept of process and 'becoming'.
Also physically, the focus on asana - which is generally what I'm expected to teach as a yoga teacher - feels like it keeps me bound and involved with the body. My body has a succession of complaints and no longer feels nourished by what I do. But if it is the service I'm here to do, then so be it... I always wanted to asked Papaji about this.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.
yours in Truth,
Has making no effort all these years resulted in anything dissolving?
Ramana never said do nothing. Nisargadatta never said do nothing. Robert never said do nothing. They all emphasized self-inquiry. This is homework.
In fact, this is what most people do with regard to spiritual work--nothing.
I never read a Papaji book so I don't know what he advised. If he advised abiding in the self, he advised correctly, but learning how to abide in the self means learning what the self is which means digging around inside your subjectivity.
If you are meant to be a yoga teacher, perhaps that is why the feeling of Satsang arises. This has been your accidental life's work to now. If not this, then what?
True, teaching yoga does make you think about the body too much, but it also provides asana that increase mental power for meditation.
To all that you are doing now, I merely ask you as a test, to download the Nisargadatta Gita and Autobiography of a Jnani. Read the Hunting the I section or AOJ, and print out the Gita. Read it every morning, about 4-5 verses. No more. Contemplate it and then meditate on it while in Padmasana for 30 minutes. Do this every morning and report back in two weeks.