30 April 2010


Thank you for creating the "its not real" website, fantastic site. I wont bore you with my background, but I would greatly appreciate your advice. After extensive spiritual practices, twice in the last six months I have experienced an awakening experince that only lasted a few hours each time. The only description I can use it that it felt just like becoming aware of the dream state while dreaming. The moment the experience sets in I laugh almost hysterically at the realization, then settle into indescribable joy that cant not be hidden. The second (and last) experience left an after thought lingering in mind. The next morning I couldnt get the following thought out of my mind: "If these brief experiences had not ended, and I had stayed continously in that state my life as I know it would be altered in grave ways". I am sure my fiancee would think I had lost my mind, my employer would send me packing, and I would be left a lonely soul in bliss or in a mental facility.

So, the question is....should I abort the path Im on, realizing that in todays society there is no place left for the enlightened, or is this state much more workable once mastered?

Thank you so very much for taking the time to read my email.




As Robert would say, "So?" The world is illusion and a joke. Awakening takes you out of the joke, not a better player in the joke. You have to decide what you want, awakening or the world.



Thank you for your response.
I was afraid of getting that answer, yet expected it. I have read many books referring to householders as able to take the spiritual path just as others who renounce all, but after my recent experiences I question the validity of this idea. I no longer feel that I can have both as described. I never had the forsight to consider this years ago when I began the journey....I guess I was more ignorant than I thought.


JP, it is not that you can't do both, look at Rajiv.

It’s just that it can't be both the ways you want it.

You can continue to be a householder, but things will change and the trajectory will change, maybe in ways you don't like--completely different than you expected.

There is nothing like a secure, safe, linear road after you begin spirituality.

Robert was a householder, I am too. Nisargadatta was a householder, but things change radically once you begin changing internally radically. The picket fence American dream becomes something else altogether and you have to adopt.




Its good to hear that you are an example yourself of how this can work.

I think the feeling that the pace of progression has changed has brought this issue to the forefront. I honestly believe that the your website has changed this process for me....somehow it has turbocharged my understanding. I stumbled across the site and was instantly drawn into reading a few of the transcripted conversations. Then the next day I read the rest. Then two days later I actually printed them all out and reread them constantly. Somehow a cord was struck, and since then I feel Im being fast-tracked. Very, very strange. Nothing, and I mean nothing has hit me as hard as Roberts talks. Its seems he was able to deliver a potent version of the teachings that skip all nonessentials.

Thanks for everything


29 April 2010


Hello Sir,

Recently, I've become more aware of the void at the 'background' of consciousness.  It became apparent after the suggestion you posted on your blog where you stated the 'I Am' is in foreground.  By focusing at the foreground I noticed that the sense of 'I Am'  is like a threshold or borderline between the unfolding manifest consciousness at the front and the unmanifest Void at the back.  It is strange because in a sense I have always been aware of the Void, but never as an object.  The consciousness feels like a tiny droplet in comparison to the vastness of the Void.   Come to think of it, when I described consciousness as feeling like a small room this was probably because I was becoming aware of the Void, but now I can really feel it expanding, or at least coming into better focus as an object 'outside' of manifest consciousness.  I see that the subject is beyond this too since it witnesses the Void. 

When people are sad about the death of their loved one, it is not the body they are upset about letting go of, but the consciousness that functioned through it.  Death and suffering is difficult especially in the moment,  but I now see it's place in manifestation.  It is just apart of it, it does not happen to anyone.  However, despite understanding this Sir my desire to help any sentient thing has grown tremendously.  I feel if I were anything it is this consciousness, not the individual I was conditioned to be, and as such, why not help out when I can?  Helping is really only helping yourself.  I now see clearly why you have devoted your life to helping animals and people learn the truth, it is truly the most fulfilling way to function in the body.

Several moments of Oneness have struck me and bliss overflows from the Heart.  These moments are truly special.  Also, often I have felt the desire to ask you a question, but the answer comes immediately in a thought or unfolds in some way where the question is answered.  Some strange coincidences have been happening lately too, which leads me to think the more you work with consciousness as consciousness the more it takes care of itself, there is no need to worry about doing anything or making something happen, all manifests of it's own accord. 

I know most of this is conceptual and still on the level of the mind, but this is what has been happening the past couple weeks for me.

I cannot thank you enough Sir for your guidance.  Although, I feel I have much further to go, I feel I have come so far so quickly and it is all because of You. I am eternally grateful. 



You are doing well. You conceptual understanding is solid and is based in experience. Keep going as you are doing. Later you will find no need to use terms like foreground, background, manifest or unmanifest. The strangest experiences will come and go and you will be unconcerned and happy.

Your closest companion will always be emptiness, but know that is still not the core of you or all of you.

I am currently going through this "process" up in northern California. I have no teacher but I have practiced a combination of methods for self inquiry for the last 20 years. The layers of perception are quite tricky at times but I see clearly that continued practice will have the result. On the other hand of course, the desired result is not really desired nor is there a result to have or anybody to have it...just so you know what I am saying... thought there is no true "I" to say it. For the sake of argument I use the old vernacular while I send the email that does not really exist.
You are still holding onto a lot of concepts. No need for advaita talk, I understand you.
The issue that comes to me that causes fear is the sense that there is no purpose or meaning to all this if there is no me to enjoy it or be happy. So whats the point then?

Because there is great happiness without an I to enjoy it. That's the point.
Is it up to my relative decision on the point since there is no point...is it just that once the supreme ultimate is gained that the act of being that unmanifested awareness naturally flows a state of compassion and we simply begin to be that grateful loving empty vessel? I suppose that is enough isn't it...to then go on living the rest of our lives as an ego-less compassionate being that helps where they can and needs not the rewards. The rewards are inherent since we are one, since we are empty, since the existence is a convenient way to temporarily fill the void with the illusion that it was empty. A hungry void is a hungry void...and not.

So many concepts are wrapped into your understanding. Leave them alone. Just be the happiness that comes with being nobody. The real trick is to become nobody. After that, there is no problems such as you raise. They all disappear in complete peace and happiness. 

Well I am very pleased to have found your websites. Right now I practice SUBUD, Zen and vipassana along with other methods of lesser illusion that just feel like part of the deal. I am a house holder with a wife and 2 kids so I struggle with the mud coating the lenses as I bounce along making money for the stuff we think we need to live in this multi-tasking basket of modern day suffering billion strong humanity roller coaster.  More and more I look to the garden I am planting...=)

I guess my main question to "you" really is: Is an email correspondence possible with one such as yourself or is that a waste of time (for you)? 

No waste. But I highly advise only practicing abiding in the self. Do nothing more than that for 3-4 weeks. I am sending the Nisargadatta Gita. Download it and print it out. Start every morning reading a little, contemplating it, then meditating on the I Am.

If possible "I" would like to find a teacher to work with soon as "I" feel that these changes in awareness are accelerating to a potentially challenging stage, meaning that it might become a bit difficult to maintain a stable environment for my children. Any help is appreciated, but it is understood if that is not possible. A reference to someone who can would also suffice. 


Just read the Nisargadatta Gita. You already understand the complexities of "Hunting the I." A few pages every morning. Your everyday life will adjust around you, no need for you to worry about how you will control the environment for them. You never did control it; it only appeared that way because your apparent "will" was more or less aligned with the common thought patterns of humanity.

24 April 2010


Dear Master,

I need to clear a doubt.

By abiding in Silence do I run the risk you mention about AWA?

“With the AWA method, the ego may never die because he focuses on the totality of consciousness, the background, while emphasize focusing on the foreground, the sense of I Am. Until that is gone, any silence state, samadhi, or oneness state is temporary. The foreground has to be dissipated.”

Yes you do because the work on the I Am is never done. You identify with the witness, yet the personal and the core of consciousness remain  untouched

In meditation I can evoke Silence at will, just two seconds. It is Silence, not a boring empty mind. Therefore, abiding in Silence is very easy for me and I love it. Silence gradually deletes every concept, everything, and sometime an idea rises within me, ‘I am this Silence.’ I often feel it is like a death, for ego I suppose.

As an alternative, I can look for the ultimate witness. But this is not easy for me, because I perceive an ultimate witness that implies a contradiction in embryo: another witness is watching the so called ultimate witness. Then I don’t know what to do.

Turn your visual sense inward onto the looker. Then don't think one is relative and the other absolute.  Don't attach labels. But this is te hard way. If you dwell on the I Am, the foreground, eventually the mind becomes crystal clear and you become the background.

Please, is correct I go on abiding in Silence? Do I run the risk you mention about AWA practice?

Should I look for the ultimate witness? If I do, how can I go beyond the phenomenon of an ultimate witness appearing as an object?

Again, you make the witness an object. 

You look for the subject as an object. Turn the visual sense upon itself without interpreting as subject or object. Again, this is the hard way. the easy way is to feel the energy of I Am, I, Me.

Yes, silence before awakening is a deadly trap for many. 

You need to understand the mind is a marvelous thing. It has a thousand faces: emptiness, the void, bliss, samadhi, everyday waking mind, sleep, dream, Turiya, the world, subject, object, oneness, many.  All are you, so you have to explore like hunter--a mind phenomena hunter attempting to know all the faces of God and mind.

Then awakening comes when you least expect it. All boundaries and concepts disappear, instantly, totally.

At this point many stop practice and gradually the old ways and mind divisions return. So practice is necessary for a long while.

Then, at some point you realize that even this vast oneness, silence, unity consciousness, is itself also false, a fraud, and then you are free of the whole thing.

But do not stop at just one station--silence. Keep moving, exploring until awakening takes you.

23 April 2010


I appreciate what you are doing with your website. Reading the Nisargadatta Gita combined with your direct insights into the experiences of those who write to you, has a unique precision and benefit that is lacking anywhere else I’m aware of.

I am still with it, reading the Nisargadatta Gita and meditating in the morning. I am at verse 148. Following the “feeling of being” wherever it arises in the body, but almost always observing it from the space atop my shoulders. Sometimes I am able to sink down into the warm radiance below my navel, or maybe it is expanding to encompass me up in my head?

Sometimes in meditation my understanding is: The fact that I exist IS what I AM. I AM the fact that I exist. Instead of being an instrument of perception, my body or subtle energy in the shape and position of my body, is just radiating the fact of my existence. Other times I momentarily feel that what I am is a wrinkle on the emptiness that is otherwise still; or something like an interference pattern made by this standing wave of vibration I am aware of, bouncing back on itself; or like a slight thickening of the electromagnetic spectrum. These are just ways of trying to describe my experience, I don’t know if they are true or not.


Any of your descriptions are excellent. I know exactly what you mean.

You are doing well.

I AM is a two-way street. It is the means by which I as the Absolute experience the finite, and the way for the finite to turn around and see it is already always the Absolute. I AM sits on the edge of a thin blade, it can see to one side or the other, or both at once.
I AM sings all notes all at once constantly, it is only perception which moves along picking out individual notes at different moments to make a melody out of it. I AM radiates constantly, with no pulsation or fluctuation, a standing wave that doesn’t really move.  I AM is local and non-local at the same time, like atoms.
I AM roars out of a floating point in my chest, creating the world and my perception of it simultaneously. I want to sit in this all day long, forever.

With gratitude,

21 April 2010


Hi Ed!

How are you? I feel like I would like to share with you recent events.

Ive reached a point, where I now observe even myself and see that 'Riaan' with all his searching, fears, etc is also one with thoughts and any other perceivable. There is alot of silence and I am simply observing. I know that there is nothing to achieve, so its more a matter of 'lets look and see what is already right here' without any sort of expectation (i observe that expectation rising).

Also something I feel very important to mention, a deep sense of trust has arisen in this "I" (or atleast what is 'observing'). I find myself reverting back to 'it' and abiding in 'it'. I dont even read anymore, and its like I know fully that this I is all I need to abide in/listen to/trust.

This is more like a conviction or intuitive knowing than a belief. Its like I feel I dont even need to really share this with you, though in a sense I would still appreciate
any opinions you might have!

Anyways, thanks for your time =)



No need to share at all, though I am glad you did. You already understand the full benefit of this approach. Yo are doing exceedingly well.



 But, if you are young, why don't you continue with it for a while before declaring it a dead end. 

37...  I already feel like I started in on this road very late!  But yes, with your blessing I may experiment a little more just in case something of value comes of it.   Thanks for the warning about the insomnia. 

> However, I do not hear from you about how your practice goes with the Gita and I Am meditation--that is the broad road that is so successful for most.

Yep, and it's the road I intend to travel.  Nothing much to report over and above what I said about the I Am being this thing perceiving the lack of thoughts vacuum which is disturbed with thoughts.  This I Am I'm identified with right now also notices input from the senses, but non-judgementally.  'Judge Mentally' - I never thought about that word like that before. :-p

When trying to immerse myself in the I Am, I try to frame myself as if I had just popped into consciousness for the first time, having no language skills and no memory of prior experiences, basically a dumb 'new arrival' observer.  I tried to remember being 3-4 years old, but I don't have memories that go that far back.  The frame may well change as I continue with the NG.  If this is a wrong kind of context for I-Amness please let me know.

An aside on the method of thought: I thought non-verbally until I was in my early-mid teens.  I distinctly remember being part of a conversation with my friends where the subject of the representation of thought came up, and I was amazed that they used words internally.  I don't remember converting to verbal thinking at any specific point, but I do remember that I had no real anxieties at all prior to that - I approached the world with fearlessness and lived from second to second, probably as most youths do. But I remember that time with fondness, as now I have some anxieties and I am reasonably convinced that internal verbal self talk created and nurtured them.  For example I developed a habit of replaying past conversations/situations (with different outcomes, or with specific investigatory interest in what so-and-so might have meant, or how I came across, etc), and rehearsing future ones (trying to lock down the future into a known quantity).  If you do this for years you get really quite neurotic.  Thankfully my neuroses are now diminishing, and it does correlate with me actively trying to wipe out verbal thoughts (I've been doing that for about a month now).

> Once you "see" the void you will know it. It is seeing the clear empty inner space that contains everything, objects, thoughts, the body, the world.

Wow! :-)  I will try not to look for it and hope to just come across it.  I am wary of possibly creating false experiences based on conceptual understanding.

I'll continue to meditate (usually say 1.5 hours a day, in total) and bring myself back to wherever the I Am is throughout the day.  As and when interesting things happen I'll email.  I am really trying not to think things like 'how can I tell how well I'm doing' and 'how fast can I do this'. :-p  If there's anything I can do that will maximize my chances of a more rapid progression I'm all ears.  I'm contemplating quitting my job (gracefully, in 4 months, with some saved cash) which will allow me spend a block of time on 'doing nothing' in the most constructive sense.

I'm attending a 10 day vipassana meditation retreat in May, in Sweden (I live across the sea in Estonia) - I booked it before I had committed to the I-Am path.  Do you think this might help or hinder?  It's the kind where you meditate for something like 8hrs per day, and no talking is allowed.  I think it should be very interesting, even if it doesn't translate to any progression on the I Am path (mind you, it occurred to me that I could hijack the time for I-Am study :-D


The "quickest" way is to focus on the I Am, play with it, abide in it. Right now that does not sem too interesting to you so you are experimenting. You will find more change towards awakening if you follow the I Am, see the relation of it to the I thought, abide in the feeling, I Am, etc.

But I like your experimenting mind. It is just such a way that one learns all the tricks of Maya.

By the way, you cannot "look" for the void. It is always there and it sounds like your experience of 'I Am' is an intense experience of the void. The difficulty is that it is very, very difficult to communicate about internal subjective phenomena, as no matter how articulate one is, one is never sure that inner state has been communicated well, especially if the other person has not had a similar experience and described that similar experience in the same way.

However, the sense of I Am is always personal, the feeling I exist, I am here. It sounds like that is not your experience of I Am, but you have a voidness sense of I Am.

I don't know. But, I am interested in your experiments. So few experiment, and those that do can blaze a new trail.

20 April 2010

Dear Ed,

Thank you for your generous website. You wield a sharp sword and use it with precision. I have been visiting online for the past couple of years but have never written with a question on practice.

For several years, I merely "looked" at the darkness/peace behind the head and body, and so remained unwittingly separate from it. Now, the darkness seems to be "moving forward", somewhat diffusing the mind and sense of self. The experience is deeply restful and all-encompassing, like feeling pleasantly sleepy but not groggy. The words that best describe it are "forgetting" or "unknowing".

An inner injunction has been coming up: "Don't look"– not in the sense of avoiding or suppressing perception, but rather not crystallizing the position of separate observer or knower. "Not looking" has deepened the resting in unknowing. Is this approach in line with your advice that 'The looking "for" is the problem; the looker is already complete and at rest'? Or am I describing the resting in the background you warn about?

Persistently, "I Am" always returns in a different guise. One day, the heart exclaims "I Am!"; the next, it's the head space and above; another day, it's the total body energy, then it's the whole perceptual field; and the day after that, it's the bodily core. This shifting is confounding and always associated/localized with energetic or bodily sensation. As soon as it's seen as an object, "I Am" goes underground, only to reappear in a different configuration. Your comments or advice on any of this would be most welcome.

Your teachings are truly rare. Again, thank you for your many offerings and for your time reading this email.

With gratitude,


Yes, it appears you clearly see the difference between the background and the I Am foreground. True, resting in the background, by "backing" into it rather than objectifying by "looking" is a practice that leads to great peace.

However, the real battle or effort is to stay with the I Am in the foreground, sometimes watching it, sometimes identifying with it, sometimes merging with it until it becomes you, and sometimes watching it come and go. Eventually the I Am settles down as does your abiding in it. Leave the background alone for a while.  

The background is complicated. It is actually a pseudo conceptual state of a passing awareness of the unmanifest self. It is the boundary between being and not being, but cannot be cognized, and is best experienced by doing nothing. But leave that alone for now.

This raises another issue. There is an even higher state that is not contained in concepts about the foreground, background, I Am, Void, etc. All of these are experiences which we attach Advaita meanings and ontology to. Rather than understand or have everything explained, it is better to live in complete ignorance of what these states "mean," and instead, sit back and enjoy them all in a kind of wonderous awe.

However, most Adavita-Jnana type people feel a need to understand their universal experiences in terms of universal, cognitive arguments or concepts. In the end, you should end up knowing and wanting to know nothing. That is why I have difficulty with people that just want to know concepts, because they haven't even transitioned into placing an emphasis on inner experiences instead of concepts.

You have to realize all concepts are mistakes, and sometimes we call these mistakes "pointers" or ways to escape bigger mistakes.

In the end, the highest human state is resting in a sense of awe and love.

19 April 2010



I know you have already said this. But now I discovered it by my own direct experience.

One can get all the most deep spiritual experiences – I am thinking of many friends of mine. But if he/she doesn’t dissolve the feeling ‘I Am’, after those sparkling experiences, he/she will just return to be an ordinary human being!

The unique thing which prevents us to see we are the Absolute is this stupid feeling ‘I Am’. I often, while contemplating the ‘I Am’, I see contemporarally and clearly, I am the Absolute.

It is interesting the fact that Langford is not sure his ego is ended definitively and suggests keeping on with practice until the body dies. Why have you not this doubt?

It is such a stupidity this matter of ‘I Am’, but it seems it is the difference which makes the difference.

I am very exited. I see all the cases of people who have practiced intensely without results. It is incredible... just for that stupid impression of ‘I Am’. Well, I stop now.



With the AWA method, the ego may never die because he focuses on the toitality of consciousness, the background, while I emphasize focusing on the foreground, the sense of I Am. Until that is gone, any silence state, samadhi, or oneness state is temporary. The foreground has to be dissipated. He is rightfully doubting that his I Am is gone. However, even when gone, it still pays to sit in totaly silence in formal meditation as often as possible, because maturation of the awakening process goes on for years and it is best matured in silence.


17 April 2010


Dear dear Ed,

I’m a rooky as you know and it’s only after reading the messages of long time seekers that I feel the importance of your work. I am blessed that I found you after only a few months of “interest” in knowing if I am anything. Despite the glitz, the monthly videos, the live meditations etc etc,  I have abandoned all sites and any reading, only the two sources you advise................and you know what? I feel great, I am not searching anymore, you have told me everything I need to know. No more words, insights, videos, live meditations , chat boards, wisdom etc can add anything to what I have already been told by you.................thats a relief. I have received the guidance and pointers and now it’s up to me. I feel blessed that you told me ( us) the truth, the true journey, the journey which everyone has to make alone, there are signposts, and you have spent a lot of time and effort helping people negotiate those crossroads. I only hope that when ( if) the time comes you will also be there for me, to help me weave my path. Ed, what you have given me is priceless: I don’t need to fill my head with anymore spiritual crap because the truth is within me, I am it, all I have to do is unlock it, I have to un-learn, I have to create the space to let my true nature emerge. So after all that , one question: I live in an incredibly noisy place, the booms and bangs bring me back from meditation. Should I be able to maintain during this commotion or should i move house......................sorry for the beginners question

Thank you Ed



 Yes, seek a quieter place.

I will always be there for you.

I am glad you are doing well and have come "home."

TO ME. I had given initial meditation instruction and told him to practice for 2-3 weeks and then write back his experience:

I could not wait 2-3 weeks as you asked to write again. Couldn't. 

So much of the time now I can hardly stand the ecstasy that I am being
lived by. Tears crashing down as the Swoon of Ecstatic Adoration of
all things, each and every thing, each and every one, as my Beloved,
is my experience so much of the time now and now and now and now. Any
thing and every thing sets it off from remembering my sweetie mini min
pin DoggieBoo and facing the knowledge that she and I will die and
vanish forever from one another's sight, to discovering an unexpected
swath of gorgeous green grass jutting out from a field blanketed with
snow, to beholding a magnificent private jet lifting off and
retracting its landing gear as it returns my embrace, to a parade of
images of your and Robert's and Nisargadatta's and Ramana's faces that
appeared before me last night as I lay down and could not sleep.

By grace and with this Heart's Remembrance as my inspiration I must
and I will continue diving deep into the Source of all that is and
abide there as my Self, the Self of all. The real and true sum and
substance of all the forms I now hold dear as my very own...

David (#2)
Again, from my friend David:

In North America alone, Eckhart Tolle has sold three and five million copies, respectively, of The Power of Now and A New Earth.  The books have been translated into 33 languages, so international sales figures are surely in the tens of millions.  One of his Internet broadcasts with Oprah attracted over 11 million viewers.  He is a very wealthy man, but still charges $99.95 for six months access to his Internet broadcasts.

There is nothing wrong with mass market spirituality.  I am sure it makes some people feel a little better for while.  It's just important not to confuse the relationship between a for-profit spiritual teacher and a his or her audience with the relationship between the satguru and his devotee.  They are completely different.

When a teacher charges people for satsang, he turns a sacred union into a commercial enterprise and makes it impossible for the bond of trust and surrender that is necessary for the guru-disciple relationship to form.

When someone gives money in exchange for access to something, he expects tangible benefits.  If he gets them, he says (or thinks), "I got my money's worth."  If he doesn't, he says, "This was a waste of my money."  It is impossible to surrender to the guru when you are evaluating the financial merits of his teachings instead of opening your heart to him.  It's like trying to form a loving relationship with someone you are paying for sex.  It just can't work.  Any truly enlightened teacher would be aware of this and would never, never, never charge devotees money to be with him.

It is the emanation of grace from the guru that sets people free, not the words he speaks.  If someone else speaks the same words, they will not have the same effect.  Unrealized teachers with a profit motive who repackage and re-disseminate teachings of jnanis do not have the power to set people free.  The current of grace grace that flows through the jnani does not flow through them, and even if it did, by charging money for satsang, they are making it impossible for students to open themselves to receiving that grace.


16 April 2010

Hello, :-)

I came across 'Hunting the I' and the rest of your website at the beginning of the week, and it's had quite an impact.

* The 'I am' that I am abiding in as much as I can right now is a peaceful emptiness that is noticing things in an uninvolved way

* The current 'I am' is fairly easy to abide in (to various degrees) now that I've found it

* Some thoughts, images and emotions are dissolving before even being fully formed

* In the morning a few days ago, waking up felt like having a car airbag inflate in inner space (explosive entry of worldly sensations into an awareness that preceded being awake by a tiny amount of time)

* Behaving 'normally' seems like a challenge since everything seems rather plain and remote, imbuing kind of matter-of-factnessthat doesn't really stimulate a desire for much involvement

* I have had some weird bodily sensations especially around/in the head/face/brain area (feels decidedly weird, heavy and rubbery, flesh feels like it's hanging off the face bones)

* Last night I had an intense feeling that I can just sit around and do nothing forever, there seemed to be no point to anything and nothing to do

* At one point last night when 'just being' felt especially strong, I felt giddy, travel sick.  Like going to sleep in one place and waking up in another distant place (a bit worrying, in fact)

Strangely, until very recently I openly ridiculed spirituality and had bet my entire adult life (I'm now 37) on reason and materialism.  Now, after a few months of dry research into spiritual type things, I've spontaneously but somehow very meaningfully identified with you being my teacher, and I'll be doing whatever you tell me to, either implicitly through what I can see on your website, or explicitly if you decide to respond to me personally.

My plan (in the absence of any over-riding instruction from you) is to just spend as much time as possible abiding in the I-am, and not to read any more literature, apart from perhaps the materials you cite in your response to David on the 14th.

Anyway, many thanks for your website.


Sent to me by my friend David. This is an excellent observation on the student/guru relationship. 

"The great ones do not charge. People are free to give what they will, but it is not a precondition."

Yes, people need to understand this.  Enlightenment is not for sale, and anyone who suggests otherwise by charging money for satsang is just as deluded as the people who hand that individual their credit cards.  The difference between a guru and a for-profit teacher is like the difference between a faithful spouse and a paid escort.  Both may look the same on the outside and may even say the same things, but only one speaks with sincerity, from the heart. 

When a true satguru gives satsang, much more is being transmitted than words.  A powerful exchange of energy, which may or may not be perceived by the devotee, is taking place on at a subtle level.  Just remaining in the presence of such an individual is far more effective than self-inquiry or any other technique.

Reading mass market spiritual books and jetting off to expensive weekend retreats in Maui is very good entertainment for the ego.  For those who want to waste a lot of time and money, I highly recommend these things.


15 April 2010

Good Evening Ed,

I liked Robert Adams’ book.  But the materials you are presenting online seem to go much deeper.

I was particularly interested in Robert’s view (paraphrasing) that the best teachers don’t have a big following. 

I have an opportunity to go to a satsang with a teacher who has an international following.  It will be attended by dozens of people.  And it will end up costing a fair amount of time and money.

In your view, are these types of satsang worthwhile?

It seems that you gained a great deal from satsang with Robert.  But it also seems that you got a number of relatively unproductive detours.

How do you tell if a satsang/teacher will be a help or a hindrance?

Thank you in advance for any comment you care to provide…




You can't tell ahead of time.

But if there is a big cost involved, know it is worthless.

The great ones do not charge. People are free to give what they will, but it is not a precondition.

The spiritual model is not the same as the business model. With the spiritual model, God takes care of you. With the business model you sell as service and get recompensed for the service.

Unfortunately, in the West most of the spiritual teachers have adopted the business model, selling books, Satsang, ebooks, workshops, intensives, lessons, talks, and personal interviews or teachings. Their ads are all over their sites.

On the other hand, the student must realize they have an obligation to take care of the teacher. Indeed, Robert used to say that is the agreement between student and teacher: the teacher takes care of your spiritual life and the student takes care of the teacher's physical life. Unless the student feels that obligation and just partakes of the teachings one way, being spoon fed, that student has learned nothing, and remains just a hungry mouth. 

If people come to me with humility and ask to guide them, I do it willingly, freely. If they come with arrogance, or want only to know about concepts or words rather than self-realization, I have nothing for them.

Personally, I feel I owe everything to Robert and Grace.