28 October 2010

Dear All,

We have evaluated a number of web conferencing programs, including TokBox and GoToMeeting, and have determined that WexEx is the most suitable for our particular requirements.
GoToMeeting does not have the video capabilities we require for the Satsangs.  That is, Edji would like to be able to see everyone, and to interact with the person asking the question.  WebEx gives us this capability and a number of other attractive features, including excellent customer support.

We have had a number of test Satsangs with Rajiv, and while we have more than 25 people registered, the maximum number of people we have had for a Satsang is 17. As the Satsang is worldwide, it is very difficult for some people to make the Satsang time due to school and work commitments, so the cancellations each week are currently more than enough to accommodate our waiting list.

Satsangs will be Thursdays at 6 p.m. Pacific Time. We expect that some who had registered and attended regularly before, will not be able to attend now, and those who weren't able to attend before, will be able to do so now.

Once we get a few Satsangs with Edji under our belt, we will be evaluating the demand and how to best accommodate everyone who would like a Satsang.  

We do have a few contingency plans we are working on, including another Satsang with Rajiv at an alternate time, or purchasing more spots in WebEx, so we ask that everyone please bear with us as we move forward and see how things unfold.

We also have video and/or audio files of the past Satsangs on the Satsang website for everyone, and are now beginning to add transcripts as well:  http://www.WeAreSentience.org

The transcripts are being made possible by the outstanding response we have had from people volunteering for this task and we'd like everyone to know that the final transcript will actually be more than just the verbatim text of the talks.  

Edji is doing the final edit of each transcript and expanding/clarifying the talk, as he feels appropriate.  This makes the transcripts a wonderful companion to the video/audio files and a standalone teaching in themselves.

We hope this addresses any concerns anyone may have, but please feel free to email us if you have any questions.  I sometimes don't get an opportunity to check the Blog so email is better if you have any concerns or questions.  You can reach myself, as well as other team members, at:  Edji Satsang Administration <satsang@eastlink.ca>.  The emails come into me and I forward them as necessary.

How very blessed we all are to have this opportunity with Edji and to have Rajiv available to us help us as well!

Please  'stay tuned', we will do the very best we can to get Edji's teaching to all who wish to hear it.

With Love and Blessings,


27 October 2010

Jo-Ann Chin transcribed and edited the talk called Philosophy Versus Realization which was posted a week or so ago as a video. I edited it a little further and now it stands well on its own talking about the experience of awakening.

Philosophy versus Realization

What do I mean when I say you’re not real and that you don't exist, and the world does not exist?

Basically, I am not talking about philosophy. 

I am not arguing Advaita philosophy versus Buddhist philosophy of emptiness, and I am not talking about the philosophies of the past, such as about Bishop Barkley and his idealism, versus Kant’s idealism, versus the naive realism of Locke and DesCartes.

I’m talking about my experience. 

My experience is that, at one point in my life when taking a shower, I looked inside, as I had hundreds of times before, thousands of times before, doing self-inquiry to find the I.

I asked, who is it that feels the warm water against the skin of my back?

This is the pure self-inquiry that Ramana talks about, and Nisargadatta talks about, and Robert talks about, and that I talk about. 

And that day when I looked inside, I saw nothing.  There was just a vast emptiness with no center, no I.  The word ‘I’ had no thing that it pointed to.  There was only emptiness. I did this meditation thousands of times before. Only emptiness was there. There was no ghost in a machine making the body go. There was no I sense. There was no I-thought even at that moment.

And suddenly and irreversibly I recognized my true nature as emptiness.  And I also recognized that the ‘I’ had never existed.  It was just a thought form.  My identity shifted from being a body entity to identifying with the totality of my experience, no longer confined to a body, but including anything I could see or hear as well. I was no longer centered in the body, but in and on the space between all former objectgs, which now were like shadows and now appeared unreal.

If you take a look at thoughts (pause) and you can actually look at thoughts; you can actually see thoughts; they have a cloud-like existence, like what some nearsighted people call floaters—little tiny semi-opaque clouds, that once you get close to them, take over and activate the mind and create an object. It is all very interesting to watch,  but it is a subject for another talk.

None of these thoughts are yours.  No thought, including the I-thought is yours. They are borrowed. They were here when you were born, they are added on to you.  They are, as a network of thoughts, the background knowledge of the human race, as well as the specific background knowledge that you’ve gotten since you were very small. 

All of this accumulated knowledge forms your world.  And when you see that the ‘I’ does not exist, and that you see that the ‘I’ was merely a thought form, then you see that all other thoughts connected to the ‘I’ thought, the network of thinking, has that same insubstantial existence as the ‘I’.  It’s seen as a cloud that’s moving through your perception, through your emptiness.

I don’t exist, and all the words that make up the external world don’t exist.  There only becomes oneness.  There’s no longer any separation between inwards and outwards, it’s all one vast emptiness everywhere. Since I don’t exist, neither do you. The world does not exist. What I thought was an external real world is just a network of cloud-thoughts that are not mine.

In this vast emptiness, thoughts come through, and the thoughts form the external world. They also form your internal world, your fantasy process.  Your dreams, your thinking.  And all of this disappears in one momentary, enlightening experience.  And you see there’s only emptiness, and there’s only thinking, and the space between thoughts and apparent objects in the world. Just one big emptiness containing inner and outer, and I am that.

Thinking has given existence, or apparent existence, to world objects and to yourself. 

None of it is real.  The only thing that is real is your emptiness.  And you can feel it around you, it’s the Consciousness.  The totality of Consciousness. 

And the objects come and go, and thoughts come and go.  The only reality is the emptiness which stays, which contains all, which is inner and outer, which has itself a different kind of existence from the objects.

But as your inner vision matures, at some point you see this too is not true, that the totality of Consciousness is something that comes to you unsought.  The waking mind comes to you, unsought. (pause) With its objects. With its emptiness.  With its oneness.  With its totality.  It comes to YOU, and you are not touched by it.

So too does dream.  So too does deep sleep.  They come to you and they leave you.  And you are untouched, because you are beyond, totally beyond the world.  Totally beyond the waking mind.  Totally beyond the sleep mind.  Totally beyond the dream mind. 

You are a mere witness. 

Now, not a witness in the sense of being an object mind you, but a witness in the sense that it is happening to you.  And all else can be seen or interpreted as objects; but, in fact, that dichotomy is not helpful in understanding the experience.

The I Am has two aspects. The amness, which is that sense of presence, and the I, which points to a non-existent subject.

Spiritual teachers aren’t using words to convince you of a philosophy, but to try to share with you their own inner experience of the universe and of themselves. 

The act of attempted verbal clarification of terms like “real” or “unreal,” of “independent origination” or “dependent origination,” or “emptiness,” is just philosophy.

You can clarify terms endlessly and get nowhere, as they have been doing in philosophy for hundreds, and thousands, of years. 

Philosophy does not make you wiser.  Philosophy makes you more facile at the use of words and concepts, so they fit together and become more and more subtle, and more and more lost in thinking and distinctions and drama. 

What I am trying to do is to show you a way OF SEEING that is entirely beyond the drama of words and concepts, of philosophies and distinctions of real and unreal. To show you a direct perception of a different way of a different “reality,” one where there is no inner and no outer. 

One where you do not exist, and the world does not exist, and only Consciousness exists.

And after a while, you see even Consciousness doesn’t exist.  It has a different quality from YOU, who is unchanging, who is the subject. 

But, once again, these are just words I’m saying, and talking about the difference between subjects and objects creates a false duality. 

In fact, all of these distinctions have to go.  And you have to experience the world totally without any knowledge whatsoever.  Any understanding whatsoever.  Totally helpless.  Totally open. 

And this is something that can’t be taught in words, and has to be done by self investigation: taking a look at who you are, looking inside of yourself and feeling that sense of I, and following that sense of I until it either appears or disappears... and then what happens?

Then what happens to all the other thoughts?   What happens to all the other ideas? 

All of this has to be followed, and attended to, and attained, until you understand COMPLETELY your inner experience, from alpha to beta to omega--the whole thing, until you get rid of the whole thing and you shed the whole thing and you see that EVERYTHING you’ve known, until you’ve done self-inquiry correctly, is wrong.

Everything is concepts that you’ve gotten from somebody else. 

I’m speaking to those few of you out there who have always felt that there was something wrong with the world, and you’ve listened to philosophy, you’ve listened to teachers, and it doesn’t make sense.

The world doesn’t make sense.  The way people live doesn’t make sense.  The materialism doesn’t make sense.  The killing doesn’t make sense.  You see and know something’s desperately wrong, and you don’t know what it is.  And you keep looking to try to find the real substance, the reality that would make it have sense.

But you can’t find it in words; you can’t find it in politicians’ words and philosophers’ words, in Buddha’s words or Shankhara’s words.  You have to look within and find it within yourself. 

And that’s what I am trying to teach, and that’s what Robert tried to teach, and that’s what Ramana always taught... self-inquiry: looking into your sense of ‘I’, following it all the way. 

Watch the world disappear. Watch you disappear.  Watch the ‘I’ disappear. 

And what is the final arising, what is the final understanding, when you go beyond any understanding whatsoever?

This is when you are beginning to approach absolute Truth, which is no truth whatsoever; and anything I say would only be some added-on experience for you, rather than showing the way to your own experience of nothingness.  This is your way to complete freedom for yourself.

So this is my answer to Peter, and to other people who are trying to gain spiritual knowledge by reading books and understanding of Advaita philosophy and Buddhist philosophy, rather than practice self-inquiry and finding out for yourself: what is truth.

Thank you.
From Jo Ann, et al.

Announcement - Online Satsangs

We are nearing our tentative start date of Thursday, November 4th at 6:00 pm Pacific Time for Edji's Online Satsangs and would like to thank everyone for the tremendous response we have received from all over the world.

The online Satsangs will be held using the WebEx Video Conferencing program and, as a courtesy, the 'doors' will open one hour before Edji starts his talk to ensure everyone has time to get their headsets and video webcams set up properly, and to make sure everyone is 'seated' and ready for when Edji joins us.

This means our WebEx Meeting Room (http://satsang.webex.com
) will open at 5 p.m. Los Angeles Pacific Time (8 p.m. Eastern Time) and you can enter the meeting room anytime after that by using the password you are emailed for the Satsang.  You can find your equivalent time zone using the World Time Clock at:  http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/

We ask that you try to show up at least 30 minutes before the Satsang starts (no later than 5:30 p.m. PT) to ensure you have no audio or video problems.  You can then mute your headset and pause your video to do something else until the actual start time.

As with all Internet technology, we have had 'glitches' along the way, and have discovered that some emails that were sent to us were never received, or emails we sent were never delivered... particularly when we had the Yahoo Group.  If you have not been receiving emails from us about the WebEx training sessions and test WebEx Satsangs with Rajiv, then you are not on our Satsang email list.  

We would like to ensure we have everyone's name who is interested in attending a Satsang so if you have not received emails from us, but would like to be on our Satsang email list, please contact us at:  Edji Satsang Administration <satsang@eastlink.ca> and we will put you on our Satsang email list and arrange for you to be trained on the WebEx Video Conferencing program.  

Note:  We already have more than 25 people registered to attend each Satsang so are developing a 'waiting list' to fill any cancellations that will enevitably occur each week.

Please do not worry if you cannot attend a Satsang:  we will be video recording all sessions and posting the videos, and related mp3 files and transcripts, on our official Satsang website at:   http://w

Thank you again to everyone for the tremendous response, and to Edji for making this possible!

Edji's Satsang Team

Janet, Jo-Ann, Tina, Chris, James & Nathan

26 October 2010

Jo Ann Chin is a spiritual workaholic who has been doing all the work (lately) setting up online satsang, setting up sites to download videos and MP3 files. There are no openings for Satsang now, but you can get on a list by contacting her at: jnanamarga@eastlink.ca.

The new website for all video and audio files is WeAreSentience.org.

This will be the website of any nonprofit organization we might set up for animal rescue work or having an ashram in the future.

25 October 2010

Satsang is starting soon. I felt a need to practice before a camera. The below video is an expansion of the previous body-emptiness meditation into self inquiry within the Void. Watch and participate just once. In the future, play it as an MP3 audio file and have it repeat three times for a full hour of lying or sitting meditation. Later, we'll redo this meditation showing students in half and full lotus doing these meditations.

If you want, have a second CD or MP3 player playing kirtan or bhajans along with the audio instructions quietly in the background.

In me, this always produced various levels of ecstasy and deepening meditations. While quiet you are watching all aspects of your inner experience, especially the I-thought, and the I-Am sensation. Some describe it as amness alone, but the experience has both an I and an am, which can be separately recognized and then found as one. Amness is the sense of beingness or "presence," while I points towards the non-spatial aspect of the subject.

Of course, the most dynamic meditations are the Zen meditation retreats such as at Mt. Baldy. We may organize one there some day. Now that is an entirely more advanced level of practice nearly impossible in everyday life in an urban environment.

This exercise however, gives you a direct insight into having no self while still having a practicing mind and ego. It introduces you to the Void.

With this video, only pay attention to the voice instructions. Be relaxed and sitting or lying when you begin to play it.

23 October 2010

New video coming tomorrow. It is a 20 minute guided meditation that starts with investigating the emptiness of the body, and progresses into full self-inquiry.

20 October 2010

Conversation with Pradeep Apte

A few hours ago, Nisargadatta Gita author Pradeep Apte called me from San Diego where he is visiting his daughter until Friday. He had been sick since he came to the States two weeks ago. He had been planning to come to LA, but because of his illness he is bypassing LA and going directly to attend a conference of some sort in Northern California. We talked for the first time today. I can only say that neither of us saw even a hair's breadth of difference between how we saw the world and spirituality.

He bemoaned how the neo Advaitins had turned spirituality into a money making business. We agreed upon the need for practice and the essence of practice was emptiness. We agreed that the best quality one can have going into the attempt to realize truth was humility. He also stated that one has not attained anything if one has not developed compassion and love for all others.

19 October 2010

Below is a guided meditation on the emptiness of the body. The body cannot be experienced as a totality. You are aware of the body with the tactile senses, only where it touches something, or when there is some pain or dysfunction inside, such as sore muscles or joint pain. Looking within with eyes closed reveals mostly emptiness in which some tactile sensations are loosely positioned, and which do not in any way create the outline or form of the body.

In fact, the body is mostly a visual artifact, that works together in the mind to create a composite body image which we usually take to be ourselves. With some practice you can simultaneously experience both your own inner emptiness and the historical body image you take to be yourself; the image will be seen as floating in the inner fantasy world of empty void filled with other insubstantial forms.

With the eyes closed, we take a look at how we experience the body in the below video. I was aware of the time limitations of the Youtube video format, so rushed the meditation. It should take twice as long. However, even in this rushed format you should be able to get a taste of the emptiness of some of your "inner" experiences.

Meditation on the Emptiness of the Body

It is fairly obvious that Peter never intended any polite conversation. All of his comments from the beginning were derogatory and angry. However, we are going to start Satsang soon online, and this gave me the idea I should practice a response with only a camera to talk to. This is a very different experience from writing answers. I do notice there is a lot of latency in this video with the sound lagging the video by a fifth of a second. Anyway, the first, very boring talk by Edji:

Philosophy versus Realization

I just saw this you tube video of Rajneesh where he talks about philosophy and knowledge very similarly to what I said above. He says he is not a philosopher and he is not about philosophy, words or knowledge, but about direct seeing. However, he still takes the world of consciousness, which he calls reality, as "real." Is is a rather superficial interpretation, but one Robert was also frequently guilty of because he was not talking to advanced students.

18 October 2010

I don't know where the recent influx of philosophers has come from, but I want to emphasize the "ultimate" truths  of Advaita do not flow out of a more accurate analysis of words, concepts and definitions. This only changes the area of argumentation and makes spirituality a subset of philosophy. But awakening has nothing to do with correct analysis of terms such as real or unreal, which is only using the intellect. We are talking about an entirely different way of perceiving reality and ourselves. As long as we think we are real, we are trapped in a real world and in concepts. I am saying you have to go beyond the mind altogether. 

Below is a comment from a philosopher who wants to challenge my use of unreal. I then follow with my explanation of the defects of his argument from a spiritual point of view as opposed to a philosophical point of view.


I think false problems arise when a teacher uses the world "real" without explaining clearly what they mean by this word. In the Indian philosophy of advaita, the word "real" means that which is permanent, which does not change. In this sense, the world is not real.

But the common Western meaning of the word "real" is entirely different. It simply refers to objective experience, something perceivable and verifiable by the senses. In this sense the world is "real" -- we have an actual "real" experience of it, even if we haven't yet fully investigated the true nature of that experience.

Similarly with the notion of the dream. Upon awakening from an ordinary dream, we are aware that the objects that appeared in the dream have no existence independent of our own awareness of them. In this sense, the dream objects are not "real". But our experience of these objects, the experience of the dream itself, was real in the sense of being a "real experience", or a "real dream". We really did have an experience which we identify as a dream. In this sense, the dream is "real", while the dream objects clearly have no independent existence.

It is more useful to use clearer, less ambiguous terms, such as "independently existing" (which is not true of any apparent "object"), or "not having independent existence" which, upon deep investigation, is the case for all apparent objects of experience.

Thus the main problem with the whole "real"/"not real" dichotomy when it is discussed is that people mean different things by the world "real". If clearer terminology is used, the whole so-called problem disappears.

When the world "real" is used in the context of a discussion of advaita, the most essential thing, from the very outset, is to define clearly exactly what is meant by the world "real".



That which is real and unchanging is what? The subject? The totality of consciousness? What is this unchanging you are talking about?  You have just changed the focus from the word real to defining that which does not change. What is it? Is there anything in the inner world that does not change? Is there anything in the outer world that does not change?

"Common western meaning" of real is different, meaning perceivable to the senses, perceivable and verifiable? What does that mean? Again, you have shifted real to a new set of concepts of perception and verification. A chair verified by a second perceiver? A tree falling in the forest with no witness at all? Was that a real experience? Is the tree real? Parental love I feel for a child, for whom no one else feels. Is that real because it is subjective and not verifiable to a second person except indirectly? Is an atom real? Are subatomic particles real? I can't verify them directly, but only indirectly through very complicated experiments and mathematics and analysis of vapor trails? What about string theory?

Neither of these two shifts help clarify anything.

Are you suggesting all percepts, experiences, concepts are real from a western viewpoint, and that is the framework a teacher should use when talking to Westerners? Shall we say the "common" western viewpoint that all objects are real if verifiable, but the advaitins don't take that as reality? How has that helped a deeper understanding except by explaining there are different ways to use the term real?

You say we wake up and say we had a dream, but the dream objects were not real? I think we are saying something different. We are saying the dream world is of a different quality of consciousness and existence than what we perceive in the waking world. We give a higher quality of reality of the appearance of the waking world. What about deep sleep? What is your experience during deep sleep? Are you saying the deep sleep state is unreal because we do not remember experiencing anything in that state?

Is it helpful to use a less ambiguous term such as "independent existence?" I think not, as that is certainly not unambiguous as a term; what does it mean for an object such as a chair? That is does not exist without a witness? This is naive idealism, and certainly most westerners would say the chair existed even if not perceived by anyone.

So constantly shifting explanations and clarifications to different sets of concepts you feel are less ambiguous, really hasn't helped anything. You are merely delving more deeply into philosophical explanation, which gets more and more subtle and further away from the root experiences of spiritual awakening which has no dependence on concepts whatsoever.

I do not see any "real" verses "not real" dichotomy disappearing, so much as shifting to different concepts using your "less ambiguous" terms.

To understand what Robert, Nisargadatta and I means by "the world is unreal," and "You don't exist" you have to have an awakening in the sense that your mind disappears, and YOU, then see that all of the objects in the world depended on the existence of concepts to make them so.

One "sees" that all forms are empty, and the emptiness or void is the primary percept within which objects no longer exist. The forms disappear. You shift identification form the world of appearances, to the Void nature of everything which is an "internal" or subjective state. The outer state is seen as false. The inner void is also seen as false because there is no longer a distinction between inner and out worlds. The is only one consciousness with no inner and outer, no me and no world.


Later, one sees that the entirety of consciousness, the world and I, form and emptiness, are like the dream state that comes and goes to you without touching you, without having anything to do with you. You are entirely beyond and apart from the world of appearance, or deep sleep. You "see" (or better "apperceive") directly, without conceptual analysis of the real or unreal

Until you have experiences like this you are merely arguing Eastern or Western concepts of ontology or epistemology, and there are thousands of philosophers for every awakened being who does not discuss philosophy, but talks about his or her own reality and experience. You must be willing to leave all concepts and understanding behind to enter this world. You can otherwise argue philosophies of "realities" forever, and not be one wit closer to understanding the true nature of you.

15 October 2010

From facebook someone posted:

"I see now that physics is of no importance, that the world is illusion." ~ Heisenberg

Ed's response:

Actually, the emptiness in and around atoms is only a concept in physics. Most of science is just concept. Have you seen an atom? Have you seen the space in atoms? Therefore, what is more real, the illusion of an apple being eaten, or the illusion of an atom? Ditto the "absolute truths" of mathematics. Have you ever touched the concept of a set, or a ring, or a number 17? All are concepts--mind.

At least the illusion of an apple or another person gives the appearance of the personal, unlike scientific concepts, and can feed the apparent body.

Response to Ed:

You can see atoms nowadays, just not the particleshttp://www.insidescience.org/research/first_detailed_photos_of_atoms

Ed's response:

Ed Muzika No, you are not seeing an atom. You are seeing the electronic representation of an alleged electron field around an alleged atomic nucleus, through the magic of an electron microscope. It is an interpreted image, shone on a CRT, not the atom itself. It is still all theory, mind stuff that seems to predict the way the illusional world acts under various conditions. It is still all concept.

Actually look at the two images that purport to be detailed views of an atom.

Both show round black field with blobs of blue in them. One has a larger blue blob, the other two smaller ones. This is supposed to be a representation of possible electron fields around the nucleus, which is unseen, and in that nucleus are supposed to be protons and neutrons, themselves made up of smaller, more fundamental particles, and those, in turn, composed of "strings."

100 years from now we will have a different set of concepts about the unseen world of atoms, which in that future, will be regarded as the correct theory compared to the "quaint" theories we had in the 21st Century.

Everything in existence is conceptual in nature, name and form, superimposed on emptiness, the void.

Form is none other than emptiness, emptiness none other than form. Feeling, thought and consciousness itself are like this. --Heart Sutra
Another awakening Experience:

Hi Ed,
Two nights ago, as soon as I woke up from deep sleep, the sense of I remained the EXACT same. Meaning, when I woke up, I didn’t remember my name or where I was, but the sense of I did not change from sleep to waking up, and there was not even a second that passed where I could feel a transition of the I. Because usually, there is a delay from the time I wake up to the time I start to sink to my usual I. But this time, it was very clear and calm. It is very peaceful. This I, has remained.
During waking state, the I is very clearly ‘felt’. Everything in front of me is happening on their on. I have nothing to do with it.
In today’s meditation, nothing other than joy happened. As soon as I sat, I started sinking. I felt my heart beat faster and faster. Then, all I can feel was joy. The joy was tremendous that I even had tears. There was nothing to see. In the previous times, I was sure to see objects and other things. But this time, there was no effort on my part and nothing to see. It feels like I am or I was ‘in’ my joy. I know it sounds strange. But that this how I can describe it now.
Thank you,
Do you see you are far beyond (or before) anything in the world, your body or mind?  You are untouched, untouchable, the real witness who has no existence herself.


Yes, I definitely see that I am beyond the world, body and mind. Now, I am slowly understanding your words and teachings. And I will try to maintain this and see where it takes me.

More importantly, all this was because of your grace, teachings and love. You have a very strong grace.
Thank you so much for this joy.


Now she needs to maintain it or repeat it if she loses it, until it becomes her identity: the identity of the absolute, or the final and true witness. Even this concept gives way after a while, with no absolute, no witness, no understanding. One has passed through and understood the whole thing completely and dropped it.