Months ago you stated my understanding was advanced; yet you were concerned that I remained unhappy.
Before interacting with you,after months of deep, consistent, seemingly effortless experiences I still felt it did not matter (no point, or conclusion); Despite samadhis, daily meditative black-outs, effortless sense of no real physical boundary (pervasive ease), pulsing lights with eyes closed, and giant-sized heavy presence and tilting, rotating movements in meditation, expanded heavy,presences of teachers, awareness behind my body, mind-numbed frozen stillness, etc. I was aware despite other acute experiences of wide-awake emptiness with razor bright light outlining objects, etc that, to me, it still did not matter. It wasn't enough though pervasive and gentle and just seemed to happen though much stillness began to normalize or drop away.
How true, how deep? I don't know. That still is not my concern. As you suggested, I focused on listening to chanting and listening daily to Robert's Satsangs. I continued to live simply and serve my community spontaneously. I practiced self-inquiry in most activities. I also became more socially involved.
Bliss returned to me. First while waking up, eyes still shut: warm, glowing, "inside" with attention toward my chest yet without boundary. I do not feel it was just bodily ecstasy because there was no body high or real body awareness. Weeks later Bliss occurred again while listening to chanting, resting on the couch. While listening I felt intense desire, almost romantic, in my chest, as I do I attended to it, watched it, sat in it, joined in and as typical with thougths/feelings it flushed away but instead of the usual lightness or ease I expect there was deep, rich bliss.
I began to set down my conclusions and dissatisfaction; bliss mattered-- there was something beyond voidness and dead thought. Life conitued to get crazy and at times carry me away. Bliss largely dropped away. I continued to do my best to practice.
At one point while putting on my socks after waking I clearly and spontaneously thought "I do not persist" as Robert said one would though I often was aware I did not clearly feel this way previously.
I remain clueless. Tension remains to push further, yet I could focus and practice much more. It appears wasted effort to try to understand what is occurring and what I should do, if anything, for I can't understand it or necessarily do it. Life occurs.
This is my long-winded approach, Ed, to express my deepest, heartfelt thanks and to ask again for your Grace and Guidance. I could not have managed effort or faith to move further without your guidance. Though I remain lost with a long way to walk I feel deep appreciation and surrender must be the only real way left. Anything else confounds me. So again, thank you.
Your persistence to refocus, to return to some practice, to not get lost in voids and find the real I AM felt difficult and confusing even unnatural; yet it appears to offer the only clear path through no-things to nothingness. So in many ways I started again. I remain seeing neti neti but now have some faith that this need not be my conclusion. That mostly, all is well.
I am grateful for chanting and Robert's Satsang and the Nisargadatta Gita. It is useful to hear questioners grow, to Robert clarify and joke, to sit in the silence of Satsang, to have an opportunity to just sit still without applying effort or intention, falling into myself.
I agree "Hunting the I" is strong; for me, especially the end, for practice is necessary long as there is one who can practice. And no practice will lead you home just the awareness of interacting with practices until you see who truly practices... Thus the importance of consistently practicing until eventually letting go, not knowing, surrendering, dropping attention from form/movement as mind to still awareness, no?
I have a question or two finally. But this email is long so I will save it for some other time. Maybe I won't wait months.
I do consider you my teacher and I still consider helping you with Satsang. We will see I guess.
You have excellent understanding. In most people the bliss leaves naturally. As you say, you realize nothing matters. There is great peace and rest in that.
What is important and what will persist, is peace.
Just keep going as you are going. You understand more than you know.
Conviction and courage will come naturally one day. The sense of being incomplete will disappear.