29 March 2011

A Cartoon polemic against the neo advaita gurus on Facebook and elsewhere:

28 March 2011

Part of our Los Angeles Satsang Family in February of this year.

Question, mirror, mirror on the wall, who has the whitest teeth and shirt of all?

26 March 2011

Tsunami destroyed Japan's whaling industry. 
An end to whaling!!!
AYUKAWAHAMA, Japan — At first glance, it seemed like just one more flattened building in a seaside town where a tsunami had leveled hundreds of homes. But survivors gathered at this one to stand and brood.
Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
Seiko Taira admired a can of whale meat that her daughter found in the wreckage. Whaling remains popular in Ayukawahama.
1 of 7
Status of the Nuclear Reactors
A daily tracker of the damage at the two imperiled nuclear plants.
    The New York Times
    Ayukawahama was close to the epicenter of Japan’s quake.
    They came to what had been the headquarters of Ayukawa Whaling, one of only a handful of companies left in Japan that still hunted large whales. Those who gathered on a chilly recent Thursday spoke as if the company’s destruction two weeks ago had robbed the town of its soul.
    “There is no Ayukawa without whaling,” said Hiroyuki Akimoto, 27, a fisherman and an occasional crewman on the whaling boats, referring to the town by its popular shorthand.
    Japan’s tsunami seems to have succeeded — where years of boycotts, protests and high-seas chases by Western environmentalists had failed — in knocking out a pillar of the nation’s whaling industry. Ayukawahama was one of only four communities in Japan that defiantly carried on whaling and eating whales as a part of the local culture, even as the rest of the nation lost interest in whale meat.
    So central is whaling to the local identity that many here see the fate of the town and the industry as inextricably linked.
    “This could be the final blow to whaling here,” said Makoto Takeda, a 70-year-old retired whaler. “So goes whaling, so goes the town.”
    The damage was particularly heavy here because Ayukawahama sits on the tip of a peninsula that was the closest land to the huge undersea earthquake 13 days ago. The resulting tsunami tore through the tiny fishing towns on the mountainous coastline, reducing Ayukawahama to an expanse of splintered wood and twisted cars. Three out of four homes were destroyed, forcing half of the town’s 1,400 residents into makeshift shelters.
    At the offices of Ayukawa Whaling, only a light green harpoon gun — which once proudly decorated the entrance — and an uprooted pine tree were left standing. Across a parking lot stood the skeletal frame of the factory where whale meat was processed. A beached fishing boat and crumpled fire truck lay on the raised platform where the whales were hoisted ashore to be butchered.
    The company’s three boats, which had been sucked out to sea, washed up miles down the coast with remarkably little damage. But they remain grounded there.
    Ayukawa Whaling’s chairman, Minoru Ito, said he was in the office when the earthquake struck, shattering windows and toppling furniture. He led the employees to higher ground.
    All 28 of them survived, he said, though he later had to lay them off. He said he fully intended to rebuild, hopefully in time for an autumn hunt off the northern island of Hokkaido, though he acknowledged the recovery might take more time. He said the most costly part would be getting the whaling ships back in the water, an undertaking that the company cannot afford without government help.
    Once the ships are ready, he wants to hire back the employees. However, he admitted that the waves might have scared some employees away, from both whaling and Ayukawahama.
    “If we can fix the ships, then we’re back in business,” said Mr. Ito, 74, whose father was also a whaler. “They should not be afraid, because another tsunami like that won’t come for another 100 years.”
    Other residents were similarly undaunted. Mr. Akimoto, the occasional whaler, who came with a friend to see the ruined company, said the town needed to resume whaling as soon as possible to lift its spirits.
    He said the year would be a sad one because the town would miss the April hunting season, during which coastal whalers like Ayukawa Whaling are allowed to take 50 minke whales under Japan’s controversial whaling program, which is ostensibly for research.
    Ayukawahama and the other three whaling communities — among them Taiji, made infamous by the movie “The Cove” — hunt only in coastal waters. Japan’s better-known whaling in the Antarctic is conducted by the government.
    Mr. Akimoto said April was usually the town’s most festive month, especially when large whales were brought ashore. He said he would miss that feeling this year.
    Added his friend, Tatsuya Sato, 20, “We are so hungry that if they brought a whale ashore now, the whole town would rush down to eat it.”

    24 March 2011

    Hi Edji,

    I hope all is well with you and your family. I have a philosophical/theoretical question that I have had for a number of years about the location of awareness. I have tried to just ignore the question as it is of the mind and follow your advice of just keep going. The question keeps arising for me and I think it is because for so long I was so much into theory and reading everything I could and my mind likes to rationalize everything.

    A few years ago before I knew about you and your website I asked a supposed awakened person about the illusion of the locality of awareness, he replied that this cannot be answered by the mind. Maybe this is correct because the further I probe into myself and the sense of self the question along with others disappears and I am left knowing that everything happens automatically, all thoughts and doings. When out of meditation the question pops up again. I have not asked you the question because I feel like it is such a beginner's question and I am embarrassed that I have let it bother me. Therefore, since I trust you and feel your love and have thrown out everything besides your teachings I would like to ask you.

    My question is if everything is one and the notion of others is an illusion why does it seem like I am looking out one pair of eyes that is only aware of all that it can see and feel and I am not able to be aware of what others see or feel? This question is about the illusion of the location of awareness. I intellectually understand that others are really me and I project my world. Yet this question still haunts me because awareness is looking out of other eyes as well and other senses of beingness. I am not sure if this question is too confusing or too much mental masturbation but I feel like I needed to ask you. Thanks so much for your help and time. (Robert's Satsang recordings are amazing, thanks again).



    Yes, a lot of misleading concepts here.

    That everything is one, is only a concept. You must investigate for yourself what it means or if is means anything. It does not mean anything. Just a useless concept as is EVERY CONCEPT IN SPIRITUALITY. You need to go beyond concepts and the confusing conclusions one draws when speculating about the implications of such concepts.

    A better understanding of that phrase is that consciousness, at the base, is the same for everyone. That understanding is that it is universal, just like the stainless steel in separate forks is the same, or is universal, it does not mean that the 2 ounces of steel in fork 1 is exactly the same steel as in fork 2.

    Each of us has separate body/minds, but we are all life. In that sense we are all one. We all share the same sentience, but not exactly the same at the same time. There is no telepathic connection or mystical connection between one fork and another, and the same with us.

    You will be pestered with questions and doubts until you realize your only escape is to turn within and go deep into your consciousness. You only questions should be about how to go deeper and get ever further away from the mind.



    20 March 2011

    Satsang will soon start on a bi-weekly basis in LA.  The Satsangees are such a fun group and all caring so much for each other while still practicing going deep inside to find their true self--the source of the universe.

    Below are photos of some of our Satsang family and one location recently photographed.

    In a few weeks we will be scoping a location for a five day meditation intensive.

    Charlie and Liz's Home in Malibu--Future Satsang Location

    Andrea and Cary Brokaw

    Oliver--Otolaryngologist (Nose specialist)

    Satsang's Angels--Karen, Liz, Samantha, Andrea

    Charlie and His Angel, Liz

    17 March 2011

    Hi Ed,

    Over the past few days there has been quite a shift.  The attention has moved from the 'stuff' of life and has moved to the reality that the "I" is always right there with the 'stuff'.  It is being seen that thoughts, feelings, suffering, birth, death, this so called existence...good and bad are for the 'I'.  Everything is attached to the 'I'...so it seems.  When I try to hold onto the 'I', really hold onto it...it dissolves as well.  Then there is emptiness, nothing, but the seeing of this leaves such a sense of excitement...almost uncontainable at times.  Just the seeing that 'everything is for the 'I' seems to open a channel of bliss somehow.  I am wondering, do I also question, 'who is this bliss for?'  There is a sense that it is also for the 'I', for the obvious answer would be 'for me'.  Then it follows, "who is the 'me', and the whole thing starts over and over again. 

    Edji: Don't think, question and interpret.  Get rid of thinking.  Just watch and abide in the I-sense. Love the I-sense. 

    Also, for a couple of days there was such a strong irresistible pull coming from within...pulling the mind inward.  It subsided somewhat, but what seems to have been left or been deposited in its place is a love that seems not of this world. 

    Edji: Yes, perfect! 

    The sense of me as a person seems very flimsy at times...
    Just wondering if you see any thing in this testimony that needs correction or is there anything that needs to be redirected.

    Edji: Yes, just keep watching and melting and stop all the wondering, analyzing and interpreting.  See it all unfold with fresh eyes and no thinking. 

    There is no sense of desperation to become 'Self Realized'...there is a gentle peace and patience pervading all practice.  Yet, I'd have to say that I'd like to wrap it up.  I do not want to be deceived. 

    What is your take on the necessity of a 'living Guru'?  I don't know how more alive you and Robert could be to me...you are alive to me as me.  Yet, I'm wondering if there comes a time when the actual physical presence of a so called Guru is necessary.  I don't worry about these things for I know all will unfold as needed.

    Edji: If you get into trouble, just think of me.  Otherwise just watch yourself. There is no difference between the guru and you. You create an appearance of difference by thinking.

    A long time ago I studied under Zen Master Seung Sahn Soen Sa when he lived in the states. I also stayed as a guest at his temple in Seoul when I visited Korea in the late 90s.

    Seung Sahn had a pet peeve, it was students who attained Nothingness and saw the void nature of all things, even that time was empty, and then they stopped there. They became “rogues” and did just as they wanted without consideration for others, because they saw themselves and others as non existent, so whatever actions came from them was considered alright, even while not resolving the illogical inconsistency of no longer feeling like a person, yet continuing to act in the same old ways as before. (For I might ask the question, "Just because you no longer feel a personal, or that you exist, does that mean the personal or ego is not still there?")

    He would say, “You now know Empty; is that all?”, implying there was something to discover beyond Nothingness and the Void and oneness, and which was a return to living as a human in the world lived in by all others, the apparent world of life and death, and to do so with a sense of compassion and integrity.

    He gave students many koans relating to life "after" the initial awakening to nothingness, which he considered half way, or 180 degree awakening, versus a 360 degree return to the marketplace.

    Robert too spoke of those who only understood that nothing ever existed, and they did not exist, yet who continued to live in the apparent world, either not caring, or deliberately exploiting it without caring how ones actions affected others. He called them “cold fish.”

    I am afraid several famous Jnanis fit into this category, but I am not going to name names because I'll get comments from a dozen defenders.

    I have mentioned that there are two stages to awakening.  The first was to see that you do not exist and never have existed.  Seeing that, you see the world too has never existed, and you are free.  It is all a matter of mind and the mind is only a collection of thoughts, which aren't really your thoughts anyway, and which one might call a collective or cultural network of thoughts. I write about this as my first awakening experience.

    The second awakening is when you see that all of consciousness and the states of consciousness are not you and have nothing to do with you.  You are that which notes the coming and going of consciousness and the forms of consciousness. This I have thoroughly explored on the blue site of http://itisnotreal.com as well as on the link called my second awakening experience. This knowledge or awareness has no attributes and really no existence as an entity of any sort in this world.  It is utterly beyond phenomenology.

    However, there is a third awakening too. The third is an ever increasing love for all sentient beings, wanting them to be safe and prosper, and also wanting to create a better world. This can come instantly, or over a period of time, knowing that the world is unreal, a creation of mind, but beginning to see the suffering and pain of others as real after all, and it causing a rise in you of a need to end that suffering. This is the Mahayana ideal of the Bodhisatva, versus the Hinayana ideal of the Arhat. The second Bodhisatva vow: Sentient beings are numberless, I vow to save them all. The Bodhisatva relinquishes the peace of Arhat "blowing out" until all beings are saved from suffering.

    Those who have only mastered the first one or two awakenings laugh and scoff at this, saying it is dualistic thinking, saying who is there to do anything? But they can only say this as long as their hearts have not opened.  They still exist only in Jnana, they remain Jnanis rather than returning to the world as Bodhisatvas with love and compassion. Look at Rajiv; he he has mastered both, Jnana and Bhakta. 

    This marriage of both is the final goal, and it is far more fulfilling than just Jnana or Bhakta. When your heart opens, dualism and non-dual are reconciled in the same person. Nondual, you might say is a visually based understanding, while dual is visceral.

    I prefer to transcend this limitation of non-dual and find the powerful thread of love everywhere, holding and permeating the universe. You see, every teacher has a different message. Robert used to say his was closer to Ramana's than Nisargadatta's, but each realized being has his or her own. So, if you like this message, you feed feral cats and the homeless and prompt politician's not to cut Social Security or Medicare. You adopt a homeless cat off the street or go into a shelter and adopt a dog.

    Draw a circle of compassionate action around yourself, as big or small as you care to make it, and within that circle, create a kinder world.

    14 March 2011

    An experiment in kindness

    I wish we could try an experiment. Create a small country where people took care of each other instead of finding reasons not to pay for Medicare, education or the poor. A country where they did not eat meat and kill 10 billion farm animals a year for food,  as in the United States, or kill hundreds of thousands of people in two wars based on presidential lies of weapons of mass destruction, or hunt whales nearly to extinction, kill dolphins for fun, harvest fish until the seas nearly become lifeless, like Japan, or eat cats and dogs and skin them alive for their pelts, as in China, or beat them to death as in Korea so they would be more "tasty."

    Perhaps that country would have no earthquakes and tsunamis, tornadoes or hurricanes, or killer snow storms. Perhaps we wouldn't have mass murderers shooting 25 people attending a congressman's meeting. This would be an experiment testing the truth of karma and also of God's grace.

    Where did Japan's latest disaster came from? The sea. In the second world war it came from the sky. America is always having natural and man made disasters, as is China, including invasions by the Japanese. Now China represses and kills Tibetans and treats animals worse, perhaps, than any other country. No learning there.

    What would happen to a nation that did not kill any sentient being and where every citizen felt diminished when any living thing had to suffer and die, and the only wars fought would be in self defense?

    I would say that even if God (or Consciousness) decided that that nation had to suffer disasters too, that its citizens would still be very, very happy.

    Perhaps we can try such an experiment ourselves, one family at a time, one ashram at a time, one city at a time, here and now.

    11 March 2011

    I feel like a rock star.  I got almost 50 happy birthday emails.

    Thank you all, but as my mom said, I don't feel a day older than 29.


    I know you were never born :) However, it is customary here to wish Happy Birthday to those who were born on this day, and as you (thankfully!) appear to be here and are in fact one such a person: Happy Birthday!!  

    Perhaps, this day is of the same or no value (or maybe even less, perhaps you even curse this day!!), but for your students it is truly a celebration!! 

    I am truly grateful that you have stuck around in the muck of the world to help those of us who truly wish to know themselves. Who knows where I, or the many of your other students would be without your guidance... Personally, I would probably still be in the thick of the world, dating a crazy girl, and entirely bound by the mind (although, I am still working on that last one :P) I would also like to thank you and wish you Happy Birthday on behalf of the hundreds if not thousands of animals you have saved from sickness and starvation - they too would celebrate this day if they could.

    In all honesty, without your example, consciousness would be lacking.  You are a rare example of what it means to be compassionate, humorous, loving, and most importantly, real, in the truest sense of the word.  You are unforgivingly true to who you are not only as a person, and teacher, but as Reality itself!!  You shine inside and out, whole, harmonious, Reality -- F bombs and all!  I would imagine this would all sound like a bunch of mushy flattery if it weren't all true... but it is!   Thank you for all your efforts Master, and I hope you enjoy this day!!!  

    Happy Birthday, Edji! 

    My Love,


    10 March 2011

    Hello, Ed. 
    It is strange, but sunbathing has always sent my attention inwards automatically . And a few hours ago I was just enjoying some time on the beach looking at the sun with my eyes closed and my mind focused on the "I am" feeling. But not as a practice, since, as I told you a pair of months ago, I´m 100 % sure that there is no "one" inside of me who could practice (or stop doing it intentionally).
    And the results have been surprising. I don´t know if you´ll agree with me, but I came to a different conclusion to the ones I used to have when I "watched" the I am in the past as a practice. 
    What´s different? This afternoon I had the conviction that the "I Am waking feeling" is not just a normal manifest "feeling". Rather, it is the result of the intermitent attention of the mind towards its unmanifest source. 
     I have always despiced the "waking I am feeling" since I considered it the ultimate identification and slavery, the source of all concept, spirituallity included, and the last thing a spiritual seeker is willing to get rid of. And, of course, this waking state´s "I am" feeling is intermitent. It comes and goes without touching me, so it definately is not what I am. 
    But today, when I allowed it to shine without interfering, I deeply felt that it is the reflection of the Absolute  on the waking mind. It is not just one more feeling. It is more like putting a mirror to get a reflection of the Sun rays. Yes, the reflected ray (the waking state´s "I am" feeling) is not the Sun (the Absolute), and it is also true that the reflection will last only while the mirror is there (while our body is alive and in the waking state) , but that reflected ray is the nearest the mind can get to the Absolute. 
    I felt that I am completely out of this world, unmanifest and formless, without  the slightest need of a mind that confirms this, but also felt that  the "I am" feeling is the reflection of that which I am on the "manifest plane". It is like an intermitent taste in the manifest plane of that which is not intermitent and not in the manifest plane.
    I don´t know if this makes sense, Ed.
     Thank you very much for your time.


    Of course it makes sense!! This is perfect understanding. First you realize the I Am is not you, then later you recognize it is you in a away, but not really you.

    Keep going as you have been, you are doing well!!


    08 March 2011

    I know lot's of people send donations to help me take care of animals in Los Angeles.  I so much appreciate their support. I am able to do many more things now I couldn't a year ago.

    I help support several feral cat colony managers, including Jimmy, the homeless man frequently featured on this site, Marie and several others. I give out almost 1,000 cans of Friskies cat food a month and about 20, 16lb. bags of Friskies hard food. This helps feed about 160 cats a month on average. Some months I help others on an irregular basis, that may include an additional 40 cats.  

    In addition, I supply medications for cats with infections, and if I can get hold of them, flea medications. Sometimes vaccines also, but this is more difficult to administer as they have to be injected. Together, this costs about $700-$800 a month. If I had the money, I'd feed the cats a higher quality of food, such as I do with my own, but the Friskies canned food is of fairly good quality, although the hard food leaves a lot to be desired.

    In addition, other people help also, and they bring food to this house and I redistribute it as needed.

    The biggest expense is vet bills. During the past three months, I have spent about $4,500 on vet bills. This is quite a bit higher than average, which is about $10,000-$12,000 a year.

    It would really help to incorporate as a nonprofit as I have to pay income tax on donations. Maybe soon, when we get close to having an ashram, someone will get this done for us.

    Thank all of you for your kindness.
    Dear Edji,

    I just wanted to take this time to thank you for being able to sit with you and have your darshan, to soak it all in, to hear from the horse's mouth (not that I think you're a horse).  It has deepened my practice.  I find myself using the question less, per se, and simply dropping within and letting go.  The command to "shut up and go within" has stayed with me.  So much of the explaining is, after all, mental masturbation.

    To be honest with you, when I was driving up I was pretty scared at what I'd encounter.  "Who is this guy?... this armchair sage?... what if this is all just a crock of shit?"  But at the same time I was immensely excited.  I had never met a sage.  Who says he couldn't be a seemingly opinionated and reactionary figure?  I knew coming in that the Jnani could be anything; simply I had my reservations as I approached your door.

    Then I saw you and drew a blank on how to greet you.  My heart jumped into my throat.  Luckily the good grace of simply going up and taking your hand came in time.

    Satsang was a surprise - how many times you let the F-bomb go (not to mention say that all the teachings were bullshit).  But strangely it helped me feel very relaxed, truly in my own element, which I don't know what that says about me.  I was astonished about how concise everything was: the Heart Sutra, Advaita, yada yada... all concepts so the essence is to be imbibed at the heart level and then even the essence is dropped as you become that.  (So shut up and go inside).

    I was dying to say something but it all came out in a jumbled mess.  When my emotions run high, my command on words goes down hill.  You shot me down in a second because what I said was probably mental jerk-off - after all, in the ultimate scheme of things all questions about technique can only lead you to more duality, as the mind always does.

    You told us to rock with the music: is the emptiness affected?... no, it's motionless.  The sounds ... are they outside us or inside?

    These little comments rock me and I don't really know why.

    I can just smile and feel my heart get choked up with emotion because I feel fortunate.

    I enjoyed meeting everyone:  Ryan, Andrea, Janet, the other ladies... everyone.  Sharing food together and chatting was great, too.

    Even leaving was good.  As I was leaving I started laughing and said outloud, "It doesn't matter who the fuck I think he is", and there was just silence, a sense of peace and love sinking into my heart's center.

    I felt movement to stay in California; to settle down; maybe to be close to the Jnani.  I don't know what I'll do in the near future.  For the time being teach; no plans really.  Whatever phenomenology should appear to do, I will continue to shut up and go inside and dwell and as much as I possibly can in that.

    I hope I can attend your satsang again soon.  I hope this mail finds you healthy and happy (which is a pretty stupid formality to say that my heart is with the Jnani).  If I can serve in any way... edit blogs or translate posts into Spanish, I would be happy to help.