30 January 2011

Dear little Dustin died last night of kidney failure after a nearly four year struggle with cancer (small cell lymphoma), irritable bowel syndrome, and stomatitis. He had most of his remaining teeth removed 2 months ago because he was not eating. His oncologist was at VCA West LA and suggested an internist there, Dr. Bruyette, to determine why Dustin was not eating.

Dustin's kidney functions were just about normal with a slight elevation in his BUN, which Bruyette discounted as reflecting kidney disease, because his other and related blood values were normal. So he recommended a third dental examination, cleaning and extraction to better manage his stomatitis, which began about 14 months ago.

Well, it wasn't stomatitis that was bringing him down, but kidney failure, which Alan Chinn, a psychic, had diagnosed two months ago.

While I was away in Pheonix for 15 days, Dustin deteriorated. When I returned I took him into the West LA VCA to Bruyette to find out the source of Dustin's severe weight loss. Dustin had gone from 7 lbs 4 ounces in late November, to 5 lbs., 3 ounces when I returned.

I had noticed Dustin was drinking more water even before I left for Phoenix, but his blood values had been near normal just 3 weeks before.

Dustin was hospitalized for 4 days at West LA and put on an IV. His BUN was 147 on entry (hign normal is 28), and his creatinine was 9.1, with anything over 2.1 an elevation.

This was an enormous and sudden decompensation.

Anyway, the 4 days of hospitalization cost over $2,800, which followed almost $1,000 for an unnecessary dental just 2 months before.

I also want to point out I never saw a doctor at West LA VCA. I could not get an appointment and had to drop him off. I talked to Bruyette for 5 minutes on Friday (Dustin was hospitalized on Thursday afternoon), and I talked to another internist on Sunday for 15 minutes.

Nor did anyone from VCA West LA call to find out how Dustin was doing after he returned home. 

Avoid VCA West LA, they have gone totally over to the Darkside of rapacious and unrepentant Capitalism, as did the human medical model years before. What is worse, VCA now owns Antech Diagnostics, which is one of the leading veterinary labs, and which has drastically raised its fees for tests submitted by independent vets----because they can. They selectively charge higher rates to small practices with low volumes, and much lower fees to large practices or VCA clinics.

In any event, Dustin did not eat after he got home even though his creatinine had dropped to 3.9, and BUN to 71. So we force fed Dustin with a syringe for alomost 2 weeks, up to 130 cc a day of Science Diet AD, as SD KD cannot be syringe fed. He even gained weight. I took him to his usual vet, Adler, now also VCA, and his weight had increased to 6 lbs. 2 ounces. However, blood tests taken 3 days ago there showed creatinine had gone back up higher than even when he went into hospitalization at VCA, West LA. His creatinine was now 10.1, and BUN 156.

Last night (Jan 30) I went to get him for his 6 pm feeding, but he was under the bed and I could not get him. Two hours later Kerima and I got him out, and found he was already in a borderline in a coma despite doing well the previous days except for not eating.

My nickname for Dustin is my tumor, as whenever I lay down, within minutes he'd be on my chest, looking into my eyes or sleeping.

So I put Dustin on my chest. He was ever so quiet and his eyes were open. Then he seemed to revive a little and began looking at me. He laid there for about an hour, and I picked him up and carried him to Kerima in another room, and put Dustin in her lap. He was there for about 20 minutes then began a series of coughs, about 15 or 20, that gradually got weaker, then he died with her holding him.

All of our other cats were very disturbed. They knew something was happening, but not what. Dustin is now lying in an open box for them to see and say goodbye however cats do during this night. Sometime today, Cal Pet will pick up his body and cremate it, just as they have done with 8 other cats over the past 21 years.

Kerima was heart broken, holding tightly onto Dustin and crying profusely. I tried to tell her to let go and be more peaceful for Dustin's sake, as when most of us feel really sick or are dying, we like to be left alone.  But she got lost in her emotions and wanted me to sympathize with her holding on and crying, but I could not. I wanted Dustin to feel peace while passing, not us holding onto to him.

Daisy, Dustin's sister, had died 1.5 years before of kidney failure at home also after 4 days of hospitalization at Adler's Vet Clinic, which at that time belonged to a different corporation. That hospitalization, with the same treatment mostly, for the same diagnosis, cost $720, of 1/4th of Dustin's hospitalization at VCA West LA. She died peacefully at home also. This shows you the moral corruption and greed VCA-Antech has brought to the entire veterinary industry who are following VCA's  pricing practices.

I will tell you more later, but there is a crying need for quality veterinary care, such as we received at Adler VCA in Reseda, even after they had sold themselves to a large corporation, versus the 4 times as expensive VCA West LA just 1.5 years later.

In fact, this will be a mission of our Ashram: to establish a low cost, non profit, veterinary clinic charging less than half VCA rates. This would be a not for profit vet clinic. We are beginning exploration of this concept at this time.

There is no way an 80 year old on social security can afford the usurious rates charged by current vet practices. Something must be done to help pets of rescuers with dozens or hundreds of animals, as well as the animals of the elderly and poor who are now going without care. More about this later.

29 January 2011

Anyone who lives in the Los Angeles area, and who is interested in getting together for an informal Satsang followed by dinner at a North Valley Thai restaurant with good yet inexpensive food, please email me.

I was thinking of a Saturday evening, once or twice a month.

Unlike Robert who held Satsang twice a week, I don't have that much to say unless moved by a hiccuping consciousness. But I can just hang out with the best of them. Anyone with private issues will be able to address them to me privately also.


22 January 2011

The Final Truth
December 21 Satsang #6 (Better Video to Follow)

Many of you have come to Satsang after intense study of some of the new spiritualities based on Indian and Buddhist traditions. Some of you have  actually studied with a master from an original Indian, Buddhist or Taoist tradition. But, you have to realize that almost all of these traditions are filled with as much nonsense as born-again Christianity.
Basically, all of these traditions are just 2000 and 3000-year-old Indian or Chinese folklore, just as Christianity is based on 2000 and 3000-year-old Judaic folklore. If you believe in the divine birth of Jesus you really don't belong at this Satsang. If you believe in reincarnation, karmic balance, and the spiritual evolution of the soul, you will really have a hard time in this Satsang, because we have no beliefs, or at least you will have no beliefs if you want to go free. Part of going free means going free of all words and concepts.
Even some of the mind states and concepts written about in Rajiv’s and my own book, Autobiography of a Jnani, are not real in the sense of being absolute truth or universal experience. The concepts of a causal body, the subtle body, and Turiya were mentioned in that book, and those concepts and associated experiences helped bring Rajiv to freedom. His background was Kriya yoga. He was familiar with similar concepts and easily experienced the various states to which I gave names and explanations. Doing this he obtained freedom.
I have to tell you, I played no part in this. Consciousness was speaking through me to him. There was no planning or fore-thinking on my part. What I said to him was purely spontaneous, the speaking of consciousness through me to the deepest levels of consciousness within Rajiv.
It is through this teaching and experiences that brought Rajiv to freedom and this now conditions how he teaches. I had both similar and different experiences, which condition how I teach, and how consciousness uses this apparent Ed Muzika.
Most of the time, the problems and dilemmas I see in students are easy to remedy, but sometimes consciousness takes over completely. Almost all of these Satsangs are not me, but consciousness speaking through me. I am aware that I have nothing to do with the words I say. They arise deep in me and make it out through these loose lips. They are consciousness speaking in a way to help you wake up. Therefore, don’t blame me for anything I say; consciousness made me say it!
But I want to make clear: absolutely nothing is true and absolutely nothing is real. All experiences, all concepts, all states are not real, even though at times consciousness makes me speak about states and experiences because It feels that is what needed at the moment.
Take a look all around you now. Look about your room. Look at your hand. Look at your belly and your toes. Look at the computer monitor and all the letters and images on it.
None of this is real. That is, what you think you see is not real. It is a play, a show, a drama created by your mind superimposed on the underlying but chaotic phenomenology. You do not see the “reality” underneath the appearances that the mind creates to allow the false you to function in the world. The "real world" is nothing like what you see now, and itself, it is not real either in the sense of being autonomous and self-existing.  It depends on You for existence.
Even when you gain freedom, you do not see the "real world,” of formless phenomena, but you thoroughly understand that the world you live in is a projection of your mind; it is all consciousness as is the mind itself. The underlying flux of phenomena always has an interpretive layer of mind between you and it.
This interpretive layer creates a very dull and boring world and life. With meditation the interpretive layer can nearly be eliminated, and the world becomes very vivid, colorful, immediate and with no boundaries. But this is not awakening, this is only seeing the world as a child sees it before the "I" is born. Going free is quite different.
When you go free for the first time, what happens is you no longer identify with the body. You see clearly--I should say you understand clearly--that you have nothing to do with your body. It is only an appearance created by mind superimposed on the “reality” you perceive with your eyes, hear with your ears, smell with your nose, taste with your mouth, and touch with your hands.
Your body is still there, as well as all the other objects you have ever seen in the world, but you no longer identify with the body. You identify with the space that permeates the body and all other objects.
Everything, everything becomes like a hologram. Everything becomes an appearance permeated by stillness and emptiness, by the Void which captures and interpenetrates all the worlds of appearance.
Then you laugh the loudest laugh ever.
You see that all the drama you've committed to for the last 20, 30 or 50 years is completely wrong. Your body is just another object in the room--a hollow prop. Your identification is now with the totality of everything that is seen, heard, smelled, tasted or touched, but most especially with the void which contains it all, and which does not move. The void is a part of the appearance that does not move. The void is everywhere as a constant. Sometimes there are two or three voids, one representing the emptiness of the ego and concepts, the other the emptiness of all phenomena.
The body is a joke. Given that the body is seen as a joke, not being real, only a hollow appearance, the ego no longer fixes YOU as attached to the body. The whole drama is over for you. You float free. You feel unending happiness.
Now if the body and the world are not true, and they are only appearance, where does that leave science? That is easy. Science is not true either, it is only a commentary on appearances within emptiness, and itself is empty no matter how functional it is within the appearance that is the world. It is a science of the hollow.
Our apparent world is like a dream. Imagine you are dreaming that you are great scientist, and you have made marvelous discoveries about the nature of the world of the dream. You have created the equivalent of Einstein’s field equations about gravity in your dream, merged that with quantum mechanics, cosmology and String Theory. This allows you to predict all sorts of things in your dream, including how to make a nuclear reactor and H-bomb, as well as passenger airliners that can fly 500 people at 600 miles for 11,000 miles.
All of this you do in one night in a dream. Maybe you even win the Nobel Prize for being the most brilliant scientist ever.
But the next morning you wake up, and all that wonderful scientific theory that you created vanishes. You may remember one equation, but that whole world melts away and you laugh, because all your great discoveries were bogus, mere mental creations within the larger mental creation of the dream. Some people may even hold onto that one equation and search all over to find it or something like it in some cosmological theory.
Sometimes manic depression also appears this way. One week you feel brilliant and creative, and perform wonderful works in your own mind. Then, a month later all of that goes you feel nothing or else you feel depressed. Sometimes that manic activity really was brilliant, but a month later it feels empty with no substance to you.
This is how the mind works. Whenever and wherever there is consciousness, the mind creates form and meaning. That is its function. Form and meaning of the mind creating functioning.
Now, the same is true of all the Eastern mysticism that you have studied before you came to Advaita. All that has to go down the tubes. You can't believe any of that understanding, because it is about the waking dream, just as science is about the waking dream. Eastern spirituality and science both disappear once you go free, and you are happy and complete, knowing nothing except that the world is unreal, and you are unreal, and in fact, you are nothing at all.
Since the body is not real, none of the so-called chakras or energy centers in the body are real either. They are just part of the dream, and belief in them and concentration on them just nails you ever more closely to the body. Rather than freeing you from the body, they nail you ever deeper into the body because you believe the centers really exist within the body. If you believe that these spiritual centers in the body exist, you can not accept your ultimate freedom, that the body does not exist at all, and you are not the body, that you are entirely beyond all of that.
Believing in even part of the illusion prevents you from seeing through the entirety of the illusion. So you have to drop all of those spiritual concepts as totally bull. All of them!
All those ideas about spiritual evolution, rebirth, spiritual causality, chakras, heaven and earth, all have to go, because as long as you believe in them, you cannot be free from your earthly coil. The same holds true for all the myriad of samadhis and special states one attains through meditation and self inquiry. You may experience experiences that are similar to Rajiv's with the causal and subtle bodies and Turiya, which means you are close to going free, but you have to go beyond these experiences, totally into the unknown and unknowing. Totally let go of concepts.
But more importantly, you have to recognize that ground state around which all other states revolve. There is a core state one might say, which is really nothing at all, which we give various names like the witness, the ultimate, pure awareness, which is really YOU. This is what you remain after the body drops away. It is this that you must learn to identify with over and over again. It is the center of gravity of the universe.
Existence and nonexistence and all the states, and all the experiences, and all the people, and all bodies, are only appearances that the fundamental YOU experience and know. Your true existence has nothing to do with any of this. Your true existence is sentience, knowledge of the existence of YOU as the center of the universe, the absolute.
You have to realize that every time you ask a question about how to practice self inquiry, you are asking it within the illusion that you are a body mind, and you want an answer that fits that within that illusion.
For example, you ask “How do I sink within the body, how do I sink into the background, how do I sink into the heart or abdomen? How many hearts are there? How do I manage kundalini? How do I quiet the mind?”
All these questions about how to practice are asked from within the illusion that you are a body mind. I try to tell you the fundamental truth, which is that you don't even exist, but deep in your heart you know that you do exist. You take the existence as real, rather than the witness of existence as real, because you don't know the witness of existence as YOU. You identify with the appearance, not the witness.
This is my dilemma. How do I answer your questions which I see from outside of your illusion, but which you accept as reality? How do I reach YOU, within the world-appearance that you have created and accept as real, and help YOU escape, by helping you see through the illusion?
Part of the process is to keep repeating to you that you are not the body, that you do not exist, and that the world is unreal. This teaching is like a medicine for your disease of identification with the appearance of the body. You must understand and accept at some deep level that both you and the world are illusion. This will lead you to questioning all of your concepts and beliefs, so that you can become completely stupiod, like a brick.
Then self inquiry will reveal ever more subtle and empty levels of consciousness and allow the space for you to see that all phenomena, including the most fundamental, which is the coming and going of beingness, all happen to YOU, but none of it is real. The world is like a dream, is created by the imaginative-creative function of mind, which twists the underlying phenomenal chaos into a mechanistic world of cause and effect, time and space.
That is my dilemma. How to show you the way out of the illusion from within the illusion? How do I convince you that the world is not real, that you are not real? How do I convince you to stop thinking as if the world were real, and science is real, and Eastern mysticism is real, and Santa Claus is real? Maybe by now you know that Santa isn't real, but even that might have been a stretch for you to understand at one time.
But what about the world? How to understand that the world is not real? One can only see this when you see that you—as a person, a human, a phenomenal entity--are not real; you do not exist. Then everything becomes hollow and empty, because everything was created by mind, which is insubstantial with no substance. You are seeing the emptiness of your concepts, which is the emptiness of the entire world, including the existence of your body and mind itself.
The only reality lies in that principle which witnesses all this, whether we call it the witness, the absolute, or awareness. And it has no quality that one finds the world. It does not exist in the world. It is entirely beyond the world and any property of the world. It is entirely beyond existence and non-existence.
That can only be understood when your mind drops out of the appearance of your head, deep into your body, and then your appearance of consciousness will spread through and penetrate everything. It is so easy, and yet so hard. Merely drop your attention deep, deep, deep down within the appearance of your body. Consciousness will begin to spread everywhere, and the void will be revealed as a self illumined emptiness which interpenetrates everything.
The easiest way to do this is to look at the I thought and also the sense of I. They are different. Watch where the I-thought arises, and with your tactile emotional being, feel the sense of presence which is associated with the I thought, which Nisargadatta calls the I am. They are not the same, but they are closely associated in the mind.
A harder way, but a more direct way, and a more frightening way, is just to dive inwards and downwards into your inner darkness, which after a time becomes an inner emptiness. Just hour after hour, day after day, look within, look into the emptiness, look into the darkness hour after hour, day after day, week after week until the void nature of phenomena is revealed as well as your nonexistence as a being. This is true self inquiry, not mindlessly repeating the question "who am I?"
None of this understanding comes easily to most. You need to persist and recognize that it is your thoughts and thinking which prevent you from going free. You can deliberately try to silence the mind, but that is putting the cart before the horse. Instead be aware of the I thought, and where the I thought arises out of the inner emptiness. Be aware of the sense of presence, and also that you are witnessing the sense of presence, you are witnessing the I am.
Most people cannot tolerate such an austere practice. They want to utilize their busy mind, make theories, make connections, and gain a complete understanding of the whole process before they commit even 5 minutes to meditation.
The mind has totally subjugated them, and it becomes the "host" of your beingness, instead of the guest of the absolute, which is YOU.
You must have courage, determination, perseverance and trust in the teaching and the method. Most of you have that trust in me or in the method. You need to develop that trust in yourself, and accept that is within your power to discover who and what you are. It is this kind of confidence which is really important to successfully going free.
You can have faith in me, you can have faith in the method, but you must also have faith in yourself. You get faith in yourself by throwing away all concepts, all science, all Eastern mysticism, all rebirth fantasies, all spiritual evolution fantasies, and just look closely within at the nature of your inner world, towards that which witnesses that inner world.
Don't be in a rush. Don't look for immediate results. Don't keep second-guessing yourself asking whether you're doing it right. Just turn your attention completely around, from looking outward into the world, to inward towards your inner darkness and emptiness. That's all that you have to do. Just as a scientist observes phenomena of the world, you must observe phenomena in you and find out that which is really you, and what is not real. What you think you are is not true. You don't exist in the way that you think you exist.
Once you own the "state" which Nisargadatta calls the absolute, or the witness, then you will realize that all the steps that you took to escape the illusion, and which were done within the illusion, were never really taken. You never moved even one inch. You never practiced even one minute. You never practiced self inquiry. All of this happened within the unreality of the waking dream, and is fundamentally unreal. There is no you to have ever practiced or become realized.
Many of you interact with me frequently, and I joke with you and you joke with me. You wonder about what I like to eat what movies I like to see, and what I think about the world, etc. But you see, you are trying to identify with me as a human, rather than with that reality which is beyond existence, which I cannot show you directly. I can only talk about it and the method to get there.
So I may tell you jokes to keep you entertained, in a sense to make the world more real to me also, so I can function in it, but fundamentally I've nothing to do with this world. That which continues to function in this world is a vestige of the past. It is like a spinning top that keeps spinning  even though no longer is anyone making it go faster and faster. Yet I identify with none of this.
I have seen through the illusion. I don't care what happens to my body. I don't read books, not even spiritual books anymore. I don't listen to music, except sacred music once in a while. I don't care what kind of home I own or the car I drive. If I had three or four boiled vegetables a day I'd be very happy. Robert always said don't pay much attention to the body, just take care of it, but don't be too concerned about it. If I had my druthers, I would never move from my couch. I'd be lying on my back experiencing total happiness of being and doing nothing.
But something in me still keeps me in the world. Perhaps it's as a spinning top. Perhaps it's my habit of feeling all too deeply the suffering of all sentient beings, and wanting them to be safe and free. Many of you feel the same way, that's why we are a spiritual family and growing.
So, you need to bear with me. I'll try to wake you from the illusion, even while I continue to act as a human because doing so built a bond between you and me, so that eventually you can see in me the deeper levels of self that exist within you, and vice versa.
In the meantime, as we grow as a family, each of us is finding new ways to exercise compassion and a deeper understanding. Jean Reilly will be moving in with my mom in Phoenix, and will be in close association with Ryan Altman, also in Phoenix, who is taking over the editing function of the LA animal watch.com blog. I am confident that he will become a new powerful voice for animal freedom and no kill animal sheltering. It is almost miraculous in the way we are coming together as a family in compassionate together-action.
Now, let us dive deep within our self, the one and only self. Let us dive deep within the darkness and emptiness that is within the appearance of your body, and seek the origin of your existence. Dive deep within, going downwards and outwards into the ground, to the great darkness and emptiness that is the background of consciousness. As you do this, consciousness becomes bright and self illumined. This illumination is the substrata upon which the mind builds the world. By seeing this illumination, you're seeing the deepest level of the appearances of consciousness, but you are beyond even that. Now let's go down deep.

18 January 2011

Short Notice: Satsang this Friday at 5 p.m. Los Angeles time. Contact Jo Ann through the wearesentience.com website for info.
Many of you do not know that I also maintain Southern California’s leading animal blog, http://laanimalwatch.blogspot.com, and have done so since March, 2006 after a new General Manager of LA’s Animal Services was appointed. Unfortunately, because of increasing pressures on my time due to Satsang issues and my mother’s health, I have spent little time maintaining this voice for the animals.

Now a solution has been presented. Ryan Altman of our spiritual family, lives in the Phoenix area and is a 24 year old college graduate in philosophy. He wanted to move to LA to be close to me and help LA’s cats. However, at this time Jimmy and Marie are taking care of most of the colonies that were overwhelming me a few years ago, and I immediately thought of Ryan, with his training in critical thinking and writing to take over the editorial function of Animalwatch.

Ryan’s meditation is quite advanced and he will be close to Jean Reilly and my mom in Phoenix, even as he develops as a new voice for the animals.

I will introduce Ryan to all the animal rights people and government decision makers in Los Angeles as he gradually takes on more and more of the functions of becoming a prominent voice for No-Kill and animal rights.

Thus our family is already expanding into a missionary role of saving all sentient beings, much more rapidly than anyone has anticipated. 

15 January 2011

Janet was right on with her comment about our spiritual family, Satsang and a possible--soon--ashram.

Some of my happiest (pre-awakening) days were living in various ashrams, such as Muktananda's in Santa Monica, and various Buddhist centers. There is something wonderful about sharing a common practice and vision. I am impressed by how much we are already functioning as a real, and ideal, family.

Perhaps we can create one or more little oases of gentility and compassion while the world seems to go to hell around us.

Each of us seem to be finding our roles within our community. I am impressed.

Very soon our online community, now limited to 25 people, will expand to where we can have 200 online with two-way video, thanks to the untiring dedication of Jo Ann and Alan Chinn.

Rajiv and I will expand Satsang in the sense of having more frequent guided meditations online-perhaps weekly.

Many changes are coming very quickly, and I'll keep you informed as our together-future unfolds. I think Robert would have been very happy with our family.

12 January 2011

Thankfully I am back home in Los Angeles  after 15 days in Arizona.

My mother is recovering slowly in a skilled nursing home in Sun City Arizona.  She will be going directly home in 3 or 4 weeks.  I had thought that she would have to go into a group home, or an assisted living facility somewhere in the Phoenix area.  But due to our wonderful spiritual family, she will be able to go directly home and stay with a full-time caregiver. Two people in our Satsang volunteered to drop whatever they were doing and to move in with her to take care of her.  How can I imagine such kindness?

The first person who volunteered is a wonderful young man with very deep meditations and understanding. But my mom was not comfortable with him because he is a man, rather than a woman.  This young man has a great spiritual future.  Already his meditation (self-inquiry) is very deep, as is his compassion and devotion.

Better for my mother, another member or spiritual community, living all the way across country, decided she needed a radical change in her life, and taking care of my mother would be it.  This wonderful person is Jean Reilly, of our own spiritual family.

Everything came together with surprising speed and ease.  Edji I, a Toyota Prius, was piloted by two other wonderful members of our Satsang, Andrea and Cary, who drove me to and from Phoenix.

After viewing several group homes and assisted-living homes in Phoenix, Jean volunteered to caretake my mom. Our spiritual family is coming together. Hopefully Jean will be able to school my mother somewhat in our spiritual tradition.

Our mother of Satsang, Jo Anne, has continued in communication with Web Ex, and the program is improving.  So  many people are coming to Satsang, we may need to change programs to make it only one way video, which would allow one hundred people to attend satsang rather than just 25 as we have now with two-way video.  Previous talks can be found at http://wearesentience.org.

Tentatively we are looking for a place to do a retreat.  I would like to do it in Sedona in the not too distant future.  After a 6-day retreat we would shoot up to Grand Canyon for a day or two of R&R.  This certainly is not set in stone. If some others can suggest a location and specific facility as well as offer reasons why he would be a good place, please communicate.

The best location of the world probably a small Baldy Zen Center, but it is quite expensive to read all of the separate facilities that would be needed. The play should be open, mountainous or by the ocean, with great scenery and quietness.

There is also the possibility that in the near future we could have an ashram in Texas.

06 January 2011

Dear Ed,

 I really saw that the stillness of the mind has nothing to do with effort or concentration.

There is nothing I can do. It comes, when it wants to, and takes all over.

So dear EDji my question is:

Is the wordless "I am" some kind of a state where all my concepts are gone, where I dont know whether I have a body or not, where there is only seeing and being?

If it is so, this state comes very fast when i dont do anything in sitting meditation.
Because when I try to find the I sence, there is the feeling that the I sence is somewhere in the head area. And ten there is a kind of struggeling.

But when I dont do anything in sitting meditation(like not trying to find the I sence), then very quick I feel that I sink down to the heart or abdomen area...and then there is absolute silence.

Can you please tell me what to do in that case?

Continue to find the I sence, or just doing nothing and allowing me to sink to the heart?



You need to realize you would not have reached this state without the practice of following the I Am.

Sink to the heart, or better, the abdomen.

Good going.

The I Am is not a state. It is an object to the real you. You have gone deeper than the object.

Stay there as much as possible.


04 January 2011


As most of you know, I am in Phoenix trying to arrange for my mom's future care after she fell and broke her hip. This is my second week here.

Things finally appear to be shaping up.

Many people wanted me to put her in a group home and she sort of liked that idea as she is afraid of being left alone. However, my wife who is a director of social services in an LA retirement community thought assisted living would be better as did my mother's former caretaker who retired from my mom's caretaking at home a few months ago. She thought assisted living would be better also. Also, the head of social services at the skilled nursing center where she is staying now agreed.

In the meantime, I have been visiting various group homes and assisted living facilities, and well as doing my most pleasurable activity--taking care of my mother's very, very friendly cat, Purrs, who lives up to his name.

It appears that we are on the verge of an even better care solution, which might be to have my mom return home when she is better able to weight bare with live in help.

02 January 2011

Proofed December 23 Satsang Transcript:

On the Importance of One Teacher, the Unimportance of “Energies” and A Guided Self-inquiry

(Method – Part 2)

Before I talk about the method of Self-inquiry, and this would be the second Satsang devoted to the method of Self-inquiry, there are two items that need to be discussed concerning happenings in our own Satsang.

Rajiv and I both noticed that many of you are asking each of us separately the same questions, and seeking answers to those questions separately.

This isn’t a good idea, for two reasons.

During a previous Satsang, I mentioned a preconception that many people have, and that is that all Jnanis are speaking from the same playbook, so to speak. That is, many of you believe that we all have identical knowledge, and the answers to any questions from any two separate Jnanis will not be inconsistent, and in fact might be identical.

Generally, our answers will not be identical and may even be inconsistent. Rajiv and I have very different spiritual backgrounds and awakening experiences. You are likely to get different answers to the same question about almost anything from us, meaning you'll either be confused, or you'll choose the answer you like and ignore the one you don't like. This is not unlike a child going to each parent separately and asking that parent a question, or asking permission, and getting a different answer from each parent, and thereby using one parent against the other. That is, if you don't like the answer from Rajiv, you can use my answer, and vice versa.

It is best to pick one source for your spiritual answers, otherwise you can grow quite confused. Even the answers you get from me over a period of time will be inconsistent. This is the nature of words and the mind, time and place. What was true one day may not be true two months later because the situation is different, you are different, and I am different.

Emerson once said, "Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Yet, spiritual students often try to make every statement of every spiritual teacher throughout history consistent, and get confused if they're not consistent. Context is everything; the specific phrasing is almost irrelevant.

For example: Many people ask me what Robert meant when he said “so-and-so.” You have to understand that each teacher has a different message, from a slightly different viewpoint. Robert’s experiences were different from my own, and although I listened to him for seven or eight years consistently, after 1997 I went my own way and developed my own teaching paradigm and style. When you ask me to explain what Robert meant, I have to leave the paradigm I'm teaching from, and shift however slightly to Robert’s paradigm, however well I may remember it, and explain a phrase from that paradigm in terms of my words here and now. This is not fair to me or to Robert, because my best teaching comes from my own paradigm, not Robert’s, and his best teaching came from his own paradigm, not mine.

I tend to be far more analytical and emotional than Robert. Therefore I would explain a phrase of his differently than would he, if he were to elaborate on what he meant. It would be far better for you to try to understand Robert’s concepts, or Nisargadatta’s concepts, or Ramana’s concepts within the context of the Satsang  that phrase occurred in, rather than to ask me twenty years after he said it, what the phrase meant to Robert when he said it in that context. I won't be able to do a very good job of explaining Robert compared to the job Robert did of explaining Robert, at that time, in that Satsang, in the context of that Satsang, and the Satsangs  immediately before and after. Context is everything.

The same holds true of someone asking Rajiv what Edji meant when he said "so-and-so," or when asking questions about the mind, or about practice.

We have different teaching styles. Rajiv likes to talk in terms of stages or steps. I don’t. In my teachings there are no steps, no levels, no progressions. Rajiv talks about dissolving in the heart. I don’t. To me, the “heart center” does not exist. Rajiv talks more about love, while I talk about knowledge. He talks about beingness, while I talk about the “I” and the “I-sense” which point within. These are quite different approaches. Neither is more right or wrong than the other; it’s just that they’re different approaches. Nisargadatta’s teacher was into stages. Nisargadatta wasn’t. It’s just different styles.

You have to understand that words are almost useless when it comes to conveying spiritual knowledge. True spiritual knowledge comes from looking within and understanding yourself within your own time, place and context. You have to become the parent, rather than asking a parent what your experience means. You have to find your own meaning. You have to do the exploring, and it’s best not to ask anyone else what your experience means because your experience is your experience, not mine or Rajiv's.

This is important. If you ask us to comment on your experience, you might get the wrong advice for where you are here and now, because neither of us may have had your particular experience, or we had a similar experience a long time ago, which I may poorly remember, and when I try to elucidate yours from our perspective, or Rajiv’s perspective, or my perspective, either of us could make a mistake and lead you astray.

I practiced Self-inquiry for over forty years.  I have no memory of a lot of the things I went through over that period of time.  And people sometimes ask me what their experiences mean and I have no idea, not unless the experience is quite clear and stable, but random experiences mean almost nothing.

When it comes to spirituality, words and concepts are best avoided altogether. One should just look within and greet whatever you experience with open arms of love and acceptance, and from that stance, everything will be revealed. Too much external curiosity, too much questioning, means you will continue living in your mind and never escape it at all. The way to escape the mind is to turn it off and just watch your sense of “I.”

There are many teachers like Ken Wilber and some of the other ones he loved that just have theory, after theory, after theory, and they’re spellbinding, in terms of all the theories and concepts they bring together, but this is not spirituality. This is philosophy. This is poetic philosophy. And it may sound great, and it may make you swoon in terms of all the concepts, but there’s no Self-realization in this kind of knowledge.

The beginning and end of spirituality for those who practice Self-inquiry is to find the sense of “I,” the feeling that arises when you use the word “I.” Just say the word “I,” and the feeling of “I” arises momentarily. Find that sense of “I,” get into it and stay there. Follow that “I” wherever it goes. This is called “abiding in the ‘I’,” and I'll talk more about this in a minute.

The second reason not to go back and forth between the two of us is that it doubles our work and the things we have to do. Already Rajiv’s business is suffering, because, unlike me, he has not yet learned to say “no” to requests on his time.
I hope this is clear. Please just choose one of us to ask questions about your own spiritual practice and what to do. It’s okay to attend separate Satsangs, but choose one of us as your primary source of questions and answers about you, rather than going back and forth. Already many of you are too distracted by non-spiritual things, and will really just suffer by creating further distractions because of different teachings.


I have recently posted on my blog that far too many New Age spiritual people spend altogether too much time worrying about the health of their bodies or minds. The more time you spend worrying about your bodies or your minds, the less time you are exploring your self – which has nothing to do with your body or your mind. As long as you are worried about your body and your mind, that sense of “I” will always be rather trivial and secondary. If you are to awaken, you must make that sense of “I” your primary point of investigation every moment of every day, until the “I” sense, the subject, pervades all of  your mind, and you are abiding in your self always.

In our own Satsang, we have a related problem, and this is an emphasis on “energies,” whether it be healing energies, dark energies, light energies, kundalini energies etc. Focusing on these energies, again, takes you away from your self. These energies occur in this world, which we are trying to take you beyond.

You are beyond all of these energies just as you are beyond the world, but the more you fool around with these energies, concentrate on these energies, develop these energies, and use these energies, the more you’re moving away from your true Self and just re-involving yourself in another aspect of this world, some of which you may consider spiritual, but it’s still of this world.

Really, don't worry about these energies so much. If you want to use them to heal your body, or someone else's body, realize this is a worldly activity, and is going to keep you pinned in this world unless the healing is done 100% from compassion for another’s pain rather than as an exercise of your talent.

Rajiv and I are trying to take you entirely beyond this world, beyond the relative, beyond the mind, to the Absolute; and you can't find the Absolute if you're hanging around light and dark energies, healing energies, and other dimensions of energetic projections. Leave this stuff alone unless you're forced to involve yourself in it, or you do it with a total selflessness. If it’s done with total selflessness it’s okay, if not done too much or too often. I want to take you entirely beyond both your normal, everyday world as well as beyond these energies, which are still in this world.

I would say the same thing about any interest of yours, such as your job, your family, some talent you have. They should no longer be your priority interest. Investigating your own self must take priority if you want to go free. Of course, if you are merely curious, you can do anything you want. Most people who get into spirituality, however driven they feel at first, generally are just curious. After a few months or years, the curiosity fades as well as their practice.

I became very involved with various energies and states during my first three or four years of sadhana. I could feel the energies everywhere, emanating from trees, from the moon, from electric wires buried in walls, from the magnetic currents of the earth. I was incredibly sensitive to all of these energies, but thank God when I went to Mount Baldy and learned correct meditation from Zen Master Sasaki, all of the energies disappeared, leaving me in samadhi. Those energy sensitivities never came back, and no longer diverted my attention from the most important aspect of my sadhana, namely me, as the subject, as the Source.

SELF-INQUIRY – Method (Part 2)

Now I want to talk about the method again of Self-inquiry, as set forth in “The Path of Sri Ramana” (Part One,) written by Sadhu Om. I highly recommend you getting this book, as well as “The Nisargadatta Gita.” You can buy them both, either from LuLu.com, or from an ashram in the Carolinas, AHAM.com.
The essence of the Self-inquiry practice, according to Ramana, is to raise the sense of “I,” namely the feeling that accompanies the word “I,” cultivate it, and continually rest in it until it pervades your universe.    
“I am…”
Say that to yourself.
What feeling arises?
Stay there.
Staying in that “I” and looking for the source of that “I” will open up one’s inner world revealing the empty space that contains everything, internal and external. That open empty space gradually is revealed to be oneness. There is no difference between the void emptiness within and the empty space without. Then the “I” will disappear and you will become everything — and nothing. You will become everything by becoming nothing.
Many people ask me about their experiences, and whether they are experiencing the “I.” It's as if many people cannot find an “I” to experience. I can only believe this is true because they’re looking for something exotic or blissful, or expect that seeing an “I” is an end-stage experience, not easily available without practice.
But everyone experiences this “I.” If somebody asks you how you're feeling, you respond, “I feel so-and-so.” Immediately as soon as you use the word “I,” there arises that first person sense of being the subject, “I” – that which everything happens to.
The “I” is nothing extraordinary, it is just that feeling of “I” that arises at the moment you say “I.” Don’t look for some mysterious transcendental “I.”  Just look for that feeling that you are – “I am,” “I.” All mysteries lie in unveiling that very ordinary “I” feeling. Don’t be in a hurry to get to the end. Just stay with the “I;” or alternatively, look for the source where the “I” arises and disappears, which is emptiness, nothingness, the Void.
There is an apparent difference in Self-inquiry as outlined by Nisargadatta, who states you have to find the “I,” or the “I am” experience, and just stay there, as opposed to Ramana Maharshi, who advises you to find the “I-thought”, or the sense of personal “I,” and to seek the source of the “I” sense and the I-thought, which is the Void.
This is partly due to their separate belief systems, and how they use the word “I.”
Nisargadatta considers that “I” sense in the same way that the Self psychologists do, or Self psychoanalysts I should say, like Kohut and Kernberg and the others, and this would be as a sense of presence associated with both conscious and unconscious images and memories, as well as the I-thought.
So, there are three separate parts to the “I” for Nisargadatta:
·        The sense of presence or existence (and Jean Klein talks about presence);
·        The images, both conscious and unconscious of the memories, which form a complex which the Self psychoanalysts call the “Self objects.” These are internal processes and internal dreams, internal images which coalesce into a form which we call “I,” the “I” sense;
·        And then the I-thought itself, which is thinking associated with these images and this complex which is associated with the sense of presence.
So, you have 3-in-1: The I-thought; the images and memories; and the sense of presence. And he wants you to get in there, and just stay there until it all evaporates and reveals its inner structure by destroying itself.
For Maharaj, the correct practice is to sink into that sense of presence, or the “I-ness,” and by staying there, learn all about the falseness of this “I”, which at some point disappears leaving emptiness, and the knowledge or knower of emptiness, as the true Self.
The knowledge of emptiness is the true Self. Knowing is the true Self. You are knowledge, and as such, have no existence in this world as an object. You’re pure knowing.
Ramana, on the other hand, regarded the “I” sense and I-thought sort of like street signs showing you the way to the deepest levels of the Self, the Atman, and eventually to the Absolute, or Brahman, which again is emptiness, but even beyond that, you as the knower or knowledge of emptiness. You are pure knowledge, and nothing more. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!
This is quite different from any kind of Western philosophy whatsoever. All that you are is knowledge, and some say you are the knower, which again is creating a kind of object. But you’re not any object; you’re the subject.
Therefore, Ramana’s and Nisargadatta’s Self-inquiry methods are somewhat different.
Ramana recommended that you ask yourself the question, "Who am I?" Being dumber than the average person, I took that to mean that one mucked around inside of myself searching for an “I,” whether looking for some entity in the inner Void, looking for where the I-thought came from or went away to, or generally just searching throughout my inner experience for an entity that was me.
This is exactly what one should do. Be dumb, and just look without checking and thinking. Go deep inside. Find the “I,” and find out where it points towards, the “I” source, where it arises and disappears.
Once again, I recommend reading chapters 7 and 8 of “The Path of Sri Ramana” (Part One) by Sadhu Om. This explains everything you need to know about Ramana’s form of Self-inquiry.
In this form of Self-inquiry, you raise the feeling of “I” as the first person, as the subject, as the core center of yourself to which everything happens.  The I-thought, along with the sense of presence, which is like a cloud of knowingness that interpenetrates everything, is the ego. And then you look for the source of this ego complex. Where does it come from? Where does it disappear to? Where does it arise from? First you find it, then you look for the source. And by that, I mean where it arises from, and where it disappears to. And it arises for everybody when they get up in the morning, and it disappears every time they go to bed at night.
You then ask yourself, “Who experiences such-and-such?” Whatever you’re doing, “Who’s doing this?” Turn your attention around and look for the “I,” the subject. The phrase “Who am I?" automatically turns your attention inward, towards an apparent source somewhere inside of an inner nothingness. You must become very familiar with that feeling of “I,” or “I am,” as well as the act of turning the attention around from outside of the skin to inside the skin, into the imaginary space where all thoughts and subjective images reside. That imaginary space inside has to become as clear and translucent as the external space that contains all of the world, until they are one.
Turning the attention inward looking for the “I,” the feeling “I am,” the sense of presence, and looking for the source of this, gradually opens and expands the inner world until it contains everything, inside and out.
One does not simply repeat, “Who am I?” over and over again like a mantra, but you should ask the question with a deep inquiring mind once, and then follow the attention inwards, towards the apparent source of “I-ness.” You will feel an “I-ness,” and that “I-ness” will point in a direction – inwards – and you just follow that direction inwards. Like for Ramana, it was a street sign saying, “That way…” (pointing inwards) “That way…” “That way…” Just follow that direction. Just keep your eyes on that direction, keep your thoughts on that direction, keep your hearing on that direction.
“Who’s the hearer?”
“Who’s the listener?”
“Who’s the feeler?”
“Who’s the sentient person?”
As an adjunct to this practice, when you go to bed, gently probe inside yourself for that sense of “I” and where it comes from. Just stay there resting in this emptiness, and watch one's sense of existence, and watch to where it disappears when sleep comes and destroys consciousness. Watch the “I” slip away.
As often as possible during the day, while sitting or laying down, look for the sense of “I,” a sense of “I am,” a sense of presence. Just watch it, watch where the “I” arises. Watch where the I-thought arises, and where it passes away. You'll find it arises from emptiness, and passes away into emptiness. You can actually feel it. If you watch the “I” thought, you can observe it coming out of emptiness, and you can observe it heading towards emptiness and disappearing. 
When you wake up in the morning too, after you develop the talent and the concentration necessary, you can watch the I-sense, the ego, your life, the sentience rising out of your heart and into your head and lighting up the universe! It sneaks up from inside from your heart center, through the mouth, and through the throat into your mind, and all of a sudden it expands and explodes into the entire world of phenomena.
Then in the evening, when you're going to sleep, watch the coming and going of the mind and consciousness itself. Watch as the mind and consciousness disappear, and you pass from full consciousness to sleep. Make this a habit. All during the day search for the coming and going of the “I” sense, the I-thought, consciousness.
All of this slips out of the brain and down into the body, into the heart, and the mind disappears and the lights go out and you sleep. It’s very hard to learn how to do this. It takes a long time, long practice and a constant practice of introversion. So you can begin to witness these thoughts, and you can witness the comings and goings of consciousness, and of the self, and of the “I” thought. Gradually, you will recognize that the only thing that seems stable in all of your experience both waking and sleeping is a sense of emptiness, the Void. Yet even that emptiness is not you. The Void is not you. You are That which is beyond all. You are that which has the knowledge of the Void. You are the looker, so to speak, who is watching the coming and going of the “I,” the I-thought, the sense of presence, consciousness, and sleep.
Gradually your identification will change from that of being part of some subjective entity embedded within your brain and flesh, until you identify with the totality of consciousness, which is pervaded by emptiness as a constant, and that consciousness is much larger than your body, and in fact contains all of your experience of the external world, your body, dreams, and sleep.
This is the way of Ramana Maharshi.
The way of Nisargadatta is slightly different. With him rather than finding the source of the “I,” which Ramana calls “abiding in the real I,” in emptiness, instead you find the sense of presence, the “I,” and stay there, abiding in that very primitive sense of the personal “I,” the very rudimentary sense of “I” that arises when a person starts using the words “I” and “me” and identifies as a separate and discrete entity.
Then, over a long period of time of dwelling in that “I” sense, it disappears, again revealing the Void, sometimes the background sense of presence, sometimes a second Void, what Bernadette Roberts calls the “Void of Voids,” the absolute emptiness of the eternal God.
Then again eventually comes the recognition that you’re not the Void either, that the knowledge of the Void is entirely separate from the Void and you are it ― pure knowledge, without form or existence, entirely beyond the world and time.
Let us try this now. Let us try to find the “I.”
Relax. Sit back in your chair. (Try to remain awake, too.  It’s so easy to slip into sleep when you’re totally relaxed.)
Now, ask yourself – "Who am I?"
Turn your attention around and look inward. Look deep within the darkness of your inner space to see what you can see. Merely asking the question "Who am I?" causes the attention to look inward, and towards the source of the “I” automatically.
What do you see? Just stay there. Experience the nothingness, the emptiness. Here nothing exists, only silence and only emptiness. If thoughts arise, watch from where they arise.  When a thought arises, attend to it for a second, and then drop it, and watch where it passes away. Go deeper, much deeper into yourself, into that emptiness, into that darkness.
Eventually the inner world will open up and the emptiness will be a clear, lit Void. It will be brilliantly bright, illuminating everything. The Void is filled with light, but it takes a while to see it. It just takes practice. It takes a long deal of practice! It took me, maybe, six months, but that was because I was practicing ten, twelve, fourteen hours a day. Practice less and then it could take years.
This is the whole of the practice – raising the sense of “I,” the sense of being the subject, the first person, you, and just abide there, resting there, making this your total state, pervading everything else. Just hold onto that state.
From this steady-state experience, you begin to watch the mind come and go, the world come and go, consciousness come and go.   Just staying in that sense of emptiness, watch everything come and go. Soon that will be your primary position – the unmoving center, the core experience of “I-ness,” what Ramana called the “I-I.”
One just learns to abide in that sense of “I,” feeling that sense of “I” all the time, and from that sense of first-person, of “me,” to watch everything come and go, to watch the mind and ego slip away into nothingness, leaving oneself in empty-minded consciousness. It is within the passages between the various psychological and spiritual states that the truths of the teachings lie.
Someone asked me about Robert using the word, the “gap,” and that’s appropriate. It’s the gap, the emptiness that opens up passing between the various states like sleep to waking, from sleep to dream, and dream to awaking. There’s a moment of stillness in there where there’s total emptiness that extends everywhere. So, you have to be already open to that experience to go into the gap and find that emptiness that pervades everything and the light that pervades everything. This is a separate practice.
All of these practices, you can see, fit together. The more formal is to do the “Who am I?” And then at the same time remaining in that sense of “I-ness,” you develop a steadfastness, a power, becoming a mountain from that position, the first position, the center of gravity, your primary sentient state.
One gradually learns of a more fundamental core state of self that remains untouched by these transitions between sleep, dream, waking mind, and the samadhis. This is a usually a sudden revelation, but not necessarily. You notice sleep has come and gone, but you have not come and gone. You were untouched by the change. You did not come and go, the states did.
If the states of beingness and non-beingness come and go, but do not touch you, they are not you. That means you are there always, whether you are conscious of them at this core level of sentience, or not. You are beyond both beingness and non-existence.
These teachings will come to you either suddenly with a specific awakening experience, or gradually, cumulatively, as hundreds or thousands of witnessed transitions without one's sense of self changing at all, until you recognize your immortality and separateness ― all of these experienced states. You are beyond space and time and existence altogether.
Now, let’s go there again, deep into your beingness.
I will ask you, “Who are you?”
Instead of formulating a verbal answer, turn your attention around and look within.
What do you see?
Emptiness? Solid darkness?
Points of light in the third-eye area?
Then I’ll ask, “Where are you?” Turn your attention towards the listener, the hearer, the responder.  When you find the direction to look or hear in, just focus towards that target and hold your attention still.
Who are you? Jo-Ann, who are you?
Andrea, who are you?
Tina, who are you?
Where are you?
Those words should elicit a feeling and a direction to point your attention – automatically – and just follow it.
Who is hearing me?
Follow that direction, follow it.
Who are you? Grasp that sense of “I.”
Nathan, who are you?
Santosh, who are you?
Naturally, in the future, any time you want to do this meditation again, you can just play this Satsang with the questions I ask and just listen to it, then sort of drop out. Let the words take you deep within.