03 August 2011

Some people have become upset with my change in teaching style. Some say I am misstating what Nisargadatta said. Some say Nisargadatta never taught a method, only listen to his words. Some say I misunderstand Robert, or I misquote him. Some say Robert never taught X or Y, as they feel I do.

Let me be candid with you. Teachers change their style and their teachings over time. The Nisargadatta of “I am that” in 1974 was not the Nisargadatta of 1980. He admitted as much, and stated only his later talks should be listened to because his viewpoint had changed. Roberts teaching style also changed over the years. When he taught spirituality as M. T. Mind during the 1970s when he was in Santa Fe, teachings were much simpler and less complicated than what he came to LA, when he began to tell long stories and parables to his audiences. He became more interesting.

So to my style has changed. I think far too much is made of the term enlightenment, because everybody seems to have their own version and they deny that anybody else but they and their teacher have it, like the Raman who comments on this site. Some state unity consciousness is enlightenment. Some say having convictions of the absolute before consciousness is enlightenment. Some say staying in one’s sense of presence is enlightenment. Some say having an empty mind is enlightenment. Some say totally manifesting love is a sign of enlightenment. Some say being in the immediacy of the present with no mind is enlightenment. But who cares?

It is like the argument about the debt. Liberals have one point of view conservatives and other. Each pushes for certain policy changes according to their ideology. One is a Keynesian, another follows monetarist theories. But when all is said and done, what does the changing debt ceiling have to do with the man in the street and his family? That is, with you and me this day and tomorrow?

The same with all these theories of enlightenment and experiences of awakening? A seeker can stand amidst this spiritual marketplace with his mouth open wondering who is correct, which is true, which is false, and where he should spend his time. He acquires a belief that a certain end state espoused by his teachers some other teacher is the correct one, tries to understand that state, and tries to arrive at that state. Then he runs into another teacher, who teaches something else, using koans or hitting people with wooden sticks. This confuses the seeker, and he may be driven away to go somewhere else where he will be less confused. Instead, he is more confused. His mind is filled with partial teachings of three teachers, and his own experiences of utter confusion, and he has no happiness or peace.

What if from the beginning, instead of seeking enlightenment, we seek something else, something we know already? No concepts of enlightenment, the absolute, awakening: just one concept, one idea: I want to find out who I am and what I am.

Perhaps someone else says there are too many spiritual paths out there, how can there be peace any truth whatsoever by following any of these paths outside? I'll never be able to find out a true path from all of these, because I don't know where they're going. I hear only their words, and I am afraid of being captivated by the potentiality they teach. That would require trust in a group, and a maybe I am not built to trust anyone, I need to find out for myself.

So, given this state of affairs what to do?

Here is my take. Personally, I am quite secure in the little bit of philosophy I teach about the I AM and the absolute. As strongly as I know that this body that I live in has teeth, I know that I am entirely beyond this world and it has nothing to do with me. I can explain this further and say I identify with the nothingness or the emptiness or the non-manifest side of existence, the other side is consciousness. I do say you are that which you identify with in your experience and you can change that which you call you. You can be a role, such as father, the I Am, the totality of consciousness, or almost anything else you experience. You can be everything or nothing. But how do these identities make you feel? Do you feel happy or complete, at rest or peaceful, or do these experiences still leave you seeking?

I can only speak for myself. I am happy. I am at peace. I love myself and all others that come to me. I am at rest. There is nothing I seek except to keep others safe and help them thrive. There is nowhere for me to go. I can lead you to experience 100 different states from empty mind, the no mind, to love, unity consciousness, all of which would be considered awakening by some. But so what? There is only one mindstate that counts and that is the one you are presented with at the moment, whether of samadhi or the dream state.

Eventually I only want you to be content within your own skin, feel love for yourself, for others, and to know as a steady truth who you are, and that you will be like a Mount Everest in terms of that understanding.

And the method I use, abiding in the I am, which really means abiding in yourself. The I AM has many names, one’s sense of beingness, one’s sense of existence, the movement of energy within yourself and your core, and eventually I am is consciousness itself. It changes as you watch it and love it, as do you in terms of how you are as a person.

One other method is being around a teacher such as Robert, who says none of this matters at all, just look within yourself and love yourself. Reach a place of rest in yourself where you don’t need to wander anywhere or go anywhere. I know that  self abiding, which could be described also as resting in yourself, gradually results in revealing all the truth you ever need, all the understanding you will ever need, and allows you, totally to rest. There's no need to rush, in fact rushing prevents you from seeing who you are.

Don't seek all of those various states that people call awakening. Seek only to know yourself and to love yourself, and come to rest in yourself. Is not this the end all want, the cessation of seeking and being happy within oneself? Is not having complete knowledge as to who and what you are, being able to love all things as you love yourself good enough? Isn't this what we all really seek? Ramana said this was the goal of spirituality, complete, unalloyed happiness and peace. This is what Ramana taught, Robert Adams taught and what I teach. I just borrow the concepts of Nisargadatta because they are so effective at removing blocking concepts.

There are many methods, and many ends, some take you further and further from the self, some take you into endless work with energies, balancing them, adjusting them, sending them up or down or sideways. My way really is of rest. Just look within, look within and see the emptiness as well as the fullness, see one’s sense of presence, see the mind, see emotions, everything is there. All the universe is there. Just abide there, rest there, and you be so surprised at what happens to your external world and in your life.

There are certain requirements though to be successful here. You really have to have a sense of patience, you can't be eagerly looking for new experiences, which is really a spiritual greediness and unhappiness with your own experiences here and now.

In other words, you already have to be halfway there. You need to trust yourself and trust your teacher, otherwise you will wander hither and yon and become exhausted. Just in trusting the yourself, will already find much rest.

In loving the self, loving the I Am, you will find peace. And as Robert says in a previous post in this blog, how can you love the self unless you know what it is? You pick something you already know to love, a person, a cat, a child, and you indulge yourself in that love, focus on that love. It will grow and after time will permeate your whole sense of existence, the I Am will be filled with love. And just staying there, all knowledge will be revealed to you. Peace will come down on you, and settle on your shoulders like a very fine spiritual shawl that will protect you and hold you.

Then again, you don't have to use love as the gate to the I Am. Just turn within and find your sense of presence, beingness, energetic center, whatever you want to call the I Am. Abide there. But it really helps to try loving all that is revealed. It speeds things up as Robert said.


  1. Thank you Edji! Your patience is limitless.


  2. Hi,

    The true fall for seekers is to know what is enlightenment or have an idea about it. If i know what it is, then what is the point? Why i need gurus and teachers? This is subtle point to grasp.

  3. Such a powerful entry, the most straight to the heart teachings.

  4. Its true at a point you dont need gurus and teachers, but until you get there you dont know that.

  5. Ed said, "My way really is of rest. Just look within, look within and see the emptiness as well as the fullness, see one’s sense of presence, see the mind, see emotions, everything is there. All the universe is there. Just abide there, rest there, and you be so surprised at what happens to your external world and in your life." This surrendered heart has whole heartedly followed this advice and am not in the least disappointed in the results. Simply powerful pointing.

  6. I do agree with part of what Ed says "want to find out who I am and what I am."

    But here's the thing you will never know what you are. The who you are is obtainable but as far as what you are well in truth you are the Absolute but as far as what is it it's unknowable. I'm fine with this. I will even go as far as saying I don't know anything which I feel is much closer to the truth than people pretending they actually know something. All really really know is how to lie we think we are telling the truth but in fact all of us Guru or disciple are lying.

    When I came to this insight it gave me great peace as if a burden was lifted off of me.