29 September 2011


A Letter from a Shelter Manager - anonymous in North Carolina

I think our society needs a huge "Wake-up" call. As a shelter manager, I am going to share a little insight with you all...a view from the inside if you will.

First off, all of you breeders/sellers should be made to work in the "back" of an animal shelter for just one day. Maybe if you saw the life drain from a few sad, lost, confused eyes, you would change your mind about breeding and selling to people you don't even know.

That puppy you just sold will most likely end up in my shelter when it's not a cute little puppy anymore. So how would you feel if you knew that there's about a 90% chance that dog will never walk out of the shelter it is going to be dumped at? Purebred or not! About 50% of all of the dogs that are "owner surrenders" or "strays", that come into my shelter are purebred dogs.

The most common excuses I hear are; "We are moving and we can't take our dog (or cat)." Really? Where are you moving too that doesn't allow pets? Or they say "The dog got bigger than we thought it would". How big did you think a German Shepherd would get? "We don't have time for her". Really? I work a 10-12 hour day and still have time for my 6 dogs! "She's tearing up our yard". How about making her a part of your family? They always tell me "We just don't want to have to stress about finding a place for her we know she'll get adopted, she's a good dog".

Odds are your pet won't get adopted & how stressful do you think being in a shelter is? Well, let me tell you, your pet has 72 hours to find a new family from the moment you drop it off. Sometimes a little longer if the shelter isn't full and your dog manages to stay completely healthy. If it sniffles, it dies. Your pet will be confined to a small run/kennel in a room with about 25 other barking or crying animals. It will have to relieve itself where it eats and sleeps. It will be depressed and it will cry constantly for the family that abandoned it. If your pet is lucky, I will have enough volunteers in that day to take him/her for a walk. If I don't, your pet won't get any attention besides having a bowl of food slid under the kennel door and the waste sprayed out of its pen with a high-powered hose. If your dog is big, black or any of the "Bully" breeds (pit bull, rottie, mastiff, etc) it was pretty much dead when you walked it through the front door.

Those dogs just don't get adopted. It doesn't matter how 'sweet' or 'well behaved' they are.

If your dog doesn't get adopted within its 72 hours and the shelter is full, it will be destroyed. If the shelter isn't full and your dog is good enough, and of a desirable enough breed it may get a stay of execution, but not for long . Most dogs get very kennel protective after about a week and are destroyed for showing aggression. Even the sweetest dogs will turn in this environment. If your pet makes it over all of those hurdles chances are it will get kennel cough or an upper respiratory infection and will be destroyed because shelters just don't have the funds to pay for even a $100 treatment.

Here's a little euthanasia 101 for those of you that have never witnessed a perfectly healthy, scared animal being "put-down".

First, your pet will be taken from its kennel on a leash. They always look like they think they are going for a walk happy, wagging their tails. Until they get to "The Room", every one of them freaks out and puts on the brakes when we get to the door. It must smell like death or they can feel the sad souls that are left in there, it's strange, but it happens with every one of them. Your dog or cat will be restrained, held down by 1 or 2 vet techs depending on the size and how freaked out they are. Then a euthanasia tech or a vet will start the process. They will find a vein in the front leg and inject a lethal dose of the "pink stuff". Hopefully your pet doesn't panic from being restrained and jerk. I've seen the needles tear out of a leg and been covered with the resulting blood and been deafened by the yelps and screams. They all don't just "go to sleep", sometimes they spasm for a while, gasp for air and defecate on themselves.

When it all ends, your pets corpse will be stacked like firewood in a large freezer in the back with all of the other animals that were killed waiting to be picked up like garbage. What happens next? Cremated? Taken to the dump? Rendered into pet food? You'll never know and it probably won't even cross your mind. It was just an animal and you can always buy another one, right?

I hope that those of you that have read this are bawling your eyes out and can't get the pictures out of your head I deal with everyday on the way home from work.

I hate my job, I hate that it exists & I hate that it will always be there unless you people make some changes and realize that the lives you are affecting go much farther than the pets you dump at a shelter.

Between 4 and 5 MILLION animals die every year in shelters and only you can stop it. I do my best to save every life I can but rescues are always full, and there are more animals coming in everyday than there are homes.


25 September 2011

My Life with Robert Adams and
Further Readings from Nisargadatta Maharaj
Satsang, September 24, 2011

20 September 2011

Once Osho said how many millions of japa do you need to make before you realize 2 = 2 does not equal 5? In the largest sense, enlightenment in the Advaita and Buddhist traditions, has to do with loss of ignorance or miscomprehensions of who and what we are. That is, we lose concepts, desires and our "past." We need to see anew. 

Then the trick becomes, "How do we do that?" One can do it by self-inquiry, looking into our inner emptiness for the entity we suppose is us, and not finding it, realize we are that emptiness, that space. 

But no, there is another step. We realize that even that space we see, is still seen, it is still an object to "ME," who I suddenly discover is beyond all of this phenomenality. 

Nisargdatta invented a way to awakening only loosely based on his own teacher's teachings, and that was to find the I, and the Amness surrounding that I, meditate on that bundle, love that bundle, and thereby please the I-Am so that it releases its secrets to you.

It took him 9 months to locate the I Am and another 2 + years before it released all of its teachings to him. 

Then when release comes, and you see you are the emptiness that precedes even the emptiness we perceive, we are the Great Void itself, each and every one of us, we clearly perceive that no effort that had been made in the illusion of existence could have possibly released us, because we ARE prior to existence and the illusion. Yet, paradoxically enough, that effort was needed for the apparently imprisoning illusion to dissipate. A paradox indeed. But what happiness and peace we feel once released.

But this initial release is only the beginning.  You are now awake, but that only means now the lights are on, the pathway forward is marked and lighted. The enlightenment continuously deepens. Nisargadatta near the end of his life disavowed his teachings as presented in "I Am That" written in the 1970s. The Nisargadatta of 1980 changed and finally transcended consciousness itself.  However, many, many who read Maharaj only see his teachings of I Am, of oneness consciousness, and make him a titular founder of the neo Advaitin school.

19 September 2011

Straight Talk on Enligtenment and Gurus
--Satsang September 17, 2011--

An interview with 
Jean Dunn

Jean Dunn
A Bombay restaurant
19th February 1981
Click for a printable view

Now to start the move Northwards, my work here apparently finished. But at the Bombay station there seems to be little chance of getting on the Rajdhani Express to Delhi — unless there are last minute reservation cancellations. I had arrived at the station in good time to beg my case; it looks hopeless. I wait two hours until the train pulls out, only to find that the night train is also full and that also has a waiting list for cancellations. The official tells me to try again in three hours. I leave my luggage in the baggage room and keep the small case with the recorder and camera.
Stations all over the world are frenetic places; I look for a bookshop as I would like to buy Nisargadatta Maharaj’s book: I am That. Nisargadatta was on my list for an Interview here in Bombay, but everyone has been telling me he’s too ill to see anybody.
I ask a taxi-driver for the nearest bookshop; he says there’s one in Grant Road, five minutes away. Grant Road? I look through my address book — Yes — this is near Nisargadatta’s place! What can I lose as I have so much time to spare?
As I arrive, someone is running down the dilapidated stairway — this isn’t one of the better parts of Bombay.
Yes, yes — Maharaj is up there, he tells me, go straight in.
I find a small gathering at the feet of a simply clad very ill-looking man of about 80. The room is tiny but I manage to sit down on the floor. Nisargadatta is an Advaita Master who has a small but devoted following. He is looking hard at me but appears to be in too much pain to speak. The man I met on the stairs comes rushing back saying: My wife says it’s all right to take the extra dose. This is brought; within a few minutes the pain seems to have receded.
Nisargadatta keeps looking at me, and then through an interpreter — he speaks no English — asks why I have come.
Why have I come? I say: For your darshan.
More silence. He asks why.
I now explain that I had wanted to take an Interview from one of his Western followers but am now on my way to Delhi.
He says: Jean Dunn will give the Interview.
There is some confusion, she isn’t here – not until tomorrow. I begin to understand why I can’t get out of Bombay. I will have to stay – must stay for this Interview.
Maharaj is brighter now and says: Ask a question!
I reply: In front of the saints one can only ask for grace.
This doesn’t impress him. He lets it pass. There is no other talk. We bow and disperse down the staircase.
The man I met as I arrived speaks to me. He says:
If you have nowhere to stay the night you are welcome to a room at my place.
In the taxi he explains it is his first visit to Nisargadatta, his wife is a devotee. I am so moved; here I am being looked after by a stranger. By the time we reach his apartment I learn he is the cousin of my landlord in Rajpur where I lived for six years, and his wife is a doctor and it was she who had advised by phone the extra dose of whatever Nisargadatta takes to relieve his pain.
But even more extraordinary, he explains that he is the chief engineer of Western Railways here in Bombay, which means, he assures me, he can get me a reservation on any train to Delhi!
We talk late into the early hours about the life of the spirit; he wants to hear about my travels, about the gurus I have met, about my own guru. Here is a wonderful example of a devotee living in the world, carrying out his worldly duties, but with his inner attention fixed. I have met many such persons in India. In the West, as we would take up a hobby and pursue it with passion, here there are enthusiasts who give all their spare time to developing the inner spiritual life.

In the morning I am taken to Nisargadatta’s minute house; I am to pick up my reservation on the night train at Mr. Malik’s office at the station later. Upstairs there is the same small gathering, but now Jean Dunn is present.
Nisargadatta seems to be better, so much so that he begins by attacking me:
Why are you writing this book?
I try to explain.
Do you think — he yells — that you will succeed where others have failed?
I say the outcome is not in my hands.
He makes dramatic, hostile gestures with his arms. He wants me to ask questions.
I repeat what I said yesterday…one can only ask for Grace.
There is more yelling. His disciples laugh. I keep silence but am extremely surprised, uncomfortable.
He shouts: Say something!
The power — I reply — that brought me here yesterday appears to be turning me away this morning.
He is now laughing at me.
Someone then asks Nisargadatta a question.
He replies. I am hoping the provocation-scene has passed and I am spared more embarrassment.
There’s a brief pause, but then he comes back to me again:
What did you make of the answer?
I have been thrown into the most unexpected of situations. What can I make of anything now?
I reply: My intellect is telling me that what you have said must be right, but as I haven’t attained enlightenment it is still a concept.
I am deeply disconcerted. I try a weak reply by saying:
I am begining to think it is probably far better to be shouted at by an enlightened person than to be ignored by him.
He manages a quarter smile, waves his hand, we all rise, bow and struggle down the narrow staircase.
I am desperately trying to disappear, evaporate as quickly as possible. I am physically very very tired…this is not the perfect time to have to cope with Sufi-Zen situations.
But Jean Dunn is behind me, and to add to my bewilderment says:
We’ll go round the corner, I know a quiet restaurant where we can do the Interview (she must be - MUST BE - joking!).
No, no, he wants us to do it — it’s only his way, just follow me!
Only his way? I still can’t believe what is happening. I need time to reflect on what has just taken place, probably of more significance than I am able to even begin to understand at this moment.
But we are indeed now sitting in a quiet restaurant where the interviewee has seen fit to take over; she has ordered coffee, and is poised bright and ready to start.
I breath deeply, unpack the little black case I have been holding onto since yesterday like an unmasked conspirator cornered awaiting the coup-de-grace.

Interview 50
I am just a normal person of 59 who has been searching all her life, until ten years ago, when she heard of Ramana Maharshi. She visited his Ashram, went back to the States, then returned to India where she has been living for the past four years. Two years ago she met Nisargadatta Maharaj, and he became her guru.
Did he give you some form of initiation?
He gave me a mantra and initiation.
How did you first hear about him?
At Ramana Maharshi’s Ashram many people come to see him — there seems to be a tie.
Is it because of the similarity of self-enquiry?
It’s no longer that. Maharaj has had cancer of the throat for the past year, so his teachings have been polished; he is now saying he is no longer the consciousness, he observes the consciousness – he’s the Asolute. His teachings are now on that line.
Can you tell me something about his book: I am That?
It’s in the form of questions and answers. The fifth edition is just coming out. It came out in two volumes in 1973 having been collected and edited by Maurice Frydman who in late life became a disciple of Maharaj. There has been no further book published. Last year I askedMaharaj — I had been recording all his question and answer periods — if he wanted me to put them together for a book. He said yes. So Seeds of Consciousness will come out this year. Another volume will appear later: Beyond Consciousness.
In spite of his illness he gives darshan every day?
He is in much pain at times but manages to talk twice a day. He is one of the hidden saints so he only draws a few people at a time. His teachings aren’t for the general public — we are blessed to listen to him.
He himself arranged yesterday for you to give this Interview. Can you say why he was so rough with me just now?
No, I can’t. No one can give a reason for what he does.
How does he usually teach?
Up until his illness it was by questions and answers. Now he will no longer teach the ABCs — he doesn’t have the physical strength — he tells us the position, then it’s up to us.
He seemed to insist that I ask questions.
He wants questions to come out, then there will be silence so that remaining questions will be answered within yourself.
His following is mainly Western by what I saw.
Westerners are in predominance — thousands have seen him; some for a few days, some stay months. Some he makes leave at once. He says he doesn’t know why he sends people away although they want to stay.
Are you living in India on a permanent basis?
Yes, I have a residency permit. I have finished work on the second book: the work is complete… everything he has to say has been said.
Do you ever miss Western society, your home life?
Can you say something about your personal relationship to your guru?
There are no words to describe that…
Do you have an aim in life? For instance, to become one with him?
My aim in life is to lose an aim in life — that’s his teaching: there’s no purpose to this life, it’s just entertainment. That’s all.
That sounds rather Krishnamurtiesque.
Many of Krishnamurti’s followers come here — ten came recently.
How did Maharaj attain enlightenment?
You will find that in the first part of I am That. I can tell you this: the first time he met his guru— his friend insisted on taking him and even had to buy the garland to present to the guru — he never wanted to go.
Was he very young then?
He was in his thirties. The bidi(1) shop at the corner belongs to him: his son runs it. He had eight shops, but when his guru died he left everything, his family and business. He wandered for months all over India until he met a fellow disciple who convinced him it was better to live in the world. He returned to Bombay but all the shops had gone except this one. He didn’t want anything; all worldly ambition had gone. When people started coming to him, he built that upstairs room.
It’s minute. What are the dimensions?
Oh, about 9 by 12. I’ve seen that room very crowded, mostly by Westerners. He says Indians are not ready for his teachings.
Do you think it was because he didn’t want personal publicity that he appeared to be annoyed with me?
That’s correct. I feel sure that was the idea. He doesn’t want disciples — if they come, it’s fine; if not, that’s also fine. He gains nothing. He has reached the peak because he isn’t enamored of anything the world can offer.
Does he ever talk about other gurus and their methods?
He talks about the self-styled gurus who propagate their own concepts.
Does he admire any living teachers?
As far as I know, J. Krishnamurti. In the past Ramana Maharshi. The other day he said: Krishnamurti, Ramana and myself are one.
Does he advocate a vegetarian diet?
That pertains to the body; he doesn’t teach anything to do with that. All he wants you to do is find out who you are.
His followers can drink and indulge in free relationships?
Whatever comes naturally to each person he should do.
He gives no ethical guidance?
No. As long as you think you are a person and this world is real, then you live by certain rules. Once you understand the complete thing, your life lives itself…there are no rules, no good, no bad: I should do this, I shouldn’t do that. If you think about it, all this is taking place in this life span, in this span of consciousness, and when this consciousness goes, what difference does it make?
Does he not advise detachment from worldly activities?
This comes naturally. The main and only thing he teaches is to find out who you are. The closer you come to this, the more detached you become from the world; that will happen naturally. You can’t do anything to make that happen. This idea of doing something is an ego idea: “I” can accomplish. Maharaj says the consciousness drags you there by the ear because it wants to know about itself, your true nature.
What has he said about leaving the body at physical death?
For him it will be a great festival — he’s looking forward to it. For those thinking they are the body it will be a traumatic experience. For an enlightened person it’s a joyous time(2).
When he gives you meditation does he ask what you see inside?
There has to be somebody to see something (laughter)… No, he doesn’t. Visions and experiences take place in consciousness, they have no meaning whatsoever. Before you were born, did you know anything about this world? When you die, will you know anything about this world? You didn’t know you existed — you exist as the Absolute, but you aren’t aware of your existence. When this consciousness comes, spontaneously you know “I am”. You grab a body and become identified with that. He wants you to go back, back, away from this into your true nature. Right now it’s consciousness: the longer we abide in that consciousness only and observe it, we see that everything we see is not ours – there’s a “you” seeing this.
But what does he teach about God?
Without “me”, there’s no God.
And he’s teaching that?
Yes. Was there a God before you were? Without you is there a God?
What brought me back into this body?
Do you remember a previous body?
Many people have that recollection. Are you saying we have never taken birth before?
There’s no “we”, there’s no entity; there’s universal consciousness which is continually expressing itself through these bodies.
Maharaj doesn’t believe in karma and reincarnation?
Ramana Maharshi taught that, surely?
They will talk to you on this level if this is your level. But if you understand what I’m saying: there’s only universal consciousness expressing itself, there’s no individual, then he will bring you there. He will no longer speak of this. If you die with concepts these concepts take another form; but they will not be you — you don’t know what that form will be. Concepts will come again and again until they are exhausted.
What does Maharaj teach about selfless service, helping others?
On their level it’s good. But his teaching is that there are no others, no individual entities: everything happens spontaneously, there’s no doer. He teaches: Let this life live itself and understand you are not this.
If we aren’t “this”, we are “that”. What is “that”?
“That” is consciousness right now.
Right now? What will it be when we leave the body?
The Absolute.
Then what comes back?
Consciousness is continually renewing itself. You throw a piece of food into a corner, within a few days worms will come — life, consciousness. The same consciousness in that worm is in you. It’s not “my” consciousness, “your” consciousness; it’s one universal consciousness, and that universal consciousness is you.
At our level of understanding, aren’t all these concepts? Didn’t you find these theories confusing at first?
The first day I came to Maharaj he said: My beingness is a product of food… and the same consciousness in the donkey was in Sri Krishna. I went to get a reservation back home; none was available, so as something inside knew this was true, I went back. He had jerked the rug from under my feet and he kept on doing this until I lost any place to put my feet. He forces you to let go of all concepts.
Does he often send people away who come to see him?
Often. He never knows why, though. Every moment watching him is like a spectacular movie: every person’s need is taken care of — I’ve watched that happen. You can sit quietly but questions you have inside will be answered. Everything happens according to your need. There’s no him, he has no pose of his own… that’s why this can happen. There’s no ego there to bump against.
Living so close to an enlightened being can’t be easy.
It’s not easy if you have any ego left.
Can you say something about the positive side?
There are no words for it; everything is taken care of automatically. There’s no “you” to thank God for anything anymore. You let go of everything. There’s no you, no separate entity, everything is happening spontaneously. It’s like there’s quiet space where you are yet everything is happening round you.
What work did you do in America?
I worked on newspapers.
Is there a reason why people get involved with imperfect teachers?
We as human beings think there’s a reason for everything; there are no reasons, no causes — it’s a causeless happening. As long as we are on this human level and think there’s a cause we will be able to come up with one. If some people are taken for a ride by false gurus, you can say this is happening to them to get rid of something — whatever happens is perfect. We are just to understand there’s no personal consciousness, everything is impersonal, you see.
But when we meet a perfect teacher it’s our consciousness which recognizes that, surely?
Then our lives change.
That’s the new life?
That’s part of the divine plan requiring no effort?
No effort.
To round off, could you say what are the benefits gained from coming into contact with your guru?
I’ve gotten rid of the idea that there’s somebody going to benefit from something… (much hearty laughter). But let’s now have more coffee, right?

17 September 2011

My River of Love
As you know, my background was with Robert. His was a very dry approach of atma vichara, Self-inquiry; and then later on of abiding in the Self, abiding in the ‘I Am.’  But Nisargadatta came along, and added a whole new dimension to advaita.
While Robert and Ranjit, Nisargadatta’s dharma brother, are sort of dry, Nisargadatta himself is very fertile.  Very wet.  Very juicy. His way is so powerful. 
So powerful, because it combines both jnana [the path of wisdom and insight] and bhakti [the path of love and devotion.]  In a sense, I have been emphasising bhakti for the last six months. Part of that approach is allowing yourself to be enchanted by the music. Feel the power of the chanting, feel it in your heart.
Allow the energy of love to arise, or any other energy in your heart. So, can we start the chanting? Let the chanting take over you. Pretend you are not there anymore. Just listen to the music and let it take over you. Go deep, deep inside.
Cancel the second chant, will you?
Sit in the stillness. Feel the power of the emptiness that is you. There is the emptiness you can experience—the void, the outer emptiness, the space that contains all objects.  And your presence can spread throughout that space, the entire space of Consciousness.
But there is another void, a great void.  This is not experienced. You only know of it by being it, and you are being it every moment. Spirituality is not a progression of states, because the great state is always there.  The great void is always there, and it is you. What happens is concepts drop away, boundaries drop away, preconceptions drop away, revealing your primordial state.
You know, I came to you as a jnani-style teacher several years ago when I started the “It is Not Real” website. But as my friend David said, during the past six months I have become a bhakta, uniting knowing and knowledge with the power of love, the movement of shakti.
In a sense, this is a whole new path for me. I am taking you along with me. I want you to know it like I know it, as I know it. I have already been teaching you about the Absolute all the time. I read Nisargadatta and talk about the great emptiness, the great void that is you.
But last week I talked about the human brokenness and the emotionality.  By being broken, you are broken to the deepest levels of the personal and impersonal self where it melts into the infinite, the transpersonal aspects of consciousness, closest to the true void that is you.
For the last three days I have been sort of incommunicado, because of the states I have been going through. I just wanted to tell you about how I experience them and perhaps looking into yourself, you can feel them yourself.
These states are not so important in themselves. In a sense, they are part of the illusion of the ‘I Am’. But so many teachers exalt these states, and in a sense they should be recognised. Ramakrishna had these states, and the others.  Made a big deal of them.  But the real big deal is when you drop all concepts, all preconceptions, all ideas, and you become the great void, the utter peace, and recognise yourself as the totality of beingness and non-beingness.
I want you to go along with me. I am going to talk to you about this state that I experienced. Normally when I look inside myself, I feel the outer void—that is the sense of experiencing space, inner space which extends into the outer space that contains all the objects in the world. This space is utterly vast and contains everything, and my sense of presence, of being ‘Ed’, of being an entity, spreads throughout this inner space and outer space, and I become everything.
I absorb all objects. All objects are in me. And sometimes when I talk to someone I love, or for whom I care, I feel a movement of love from my belly going upwards through my heart into my neck, my throat, my mouth, my eyes, my head, through my shoulders, through my arms and out my hands into the world.
I first experienced it maybe five or six months ago.  First, as little holes of love. Sometimes just energy which could be seen to be love, moving from below my diaphragm into my heart. Sometimes it got blocked, sometimes it did not, but usually the blockage built up and there was a pressure there, and there was some sensation of being stuck in the heart.  Sometimes pain, or a blockage.
Over a period of weeks this movement, this flow of love expanded, deepened. Maybe you can feel it inside of yourself, starting a few inches below your diaphragm, maybe lower. It is an energy that trickles upward constantly inside the body, inside your own emptiness, inside. Sometimes it seems like electricity—or just energy.
Sometimes it has the sweetness of love.  And it enters the chambers of the heart.  Stays there for a while, before moving upwards. Eventually it does move upward into your mouth, your head, and sometimes it stays there and your brain gets hard, and you cannot think.
Over a period of time this flow increased in size, and went from being a small hose to being a fire hose, and then eventually a river—a river of love that arose within me. Sometimes as low as the genitals, through the stomach into the diaphragm, into the heart, and above, and then the entire width of my body; and then even expanding beyond that so it was a movement within Consciousness itself, centred in my sense of presence and in my sense of my body.
It was like a river.  A river of light air, of love, moving upwards and outwards into the world, into my beloved, or just into the world in general—whoever appeared before me. Can you feel that? Can you feel that river of love within yourself?
And over a period of months, that changed. Sometimes the river stopped flowing and it built up inside of me.  By stopping and building it gradually turned into bliss, and then into ecstasy, such sweet ecstasy I did not want to move. I did not want to function. In effect, I could not.
I did not want to.
All those medical records dropped away. No more medical records for Ed! God took me beyond that, into ecstasy, into bliss.  That ecstasy filled up my inner void like the outer void, the one that I could see that held all the objects. Just ecstasy! Total love turned into ecstasy. There were no objects anymore, everything was one—and just ecstatic bliss.
Gradually the bliss and the ecstasy became lighter, and sweeter. From the heaviness of initially tasting like honey, it became more like a sweet wine... with a gentle fragrance attached. The bliss transformed, the love transformed, and became sweeter and gentler and lighter.  More refined. I could tell there was a kind of purification process going on in my body and my sense of presence.
And then three days ago, something happened.
While I was talking with someone, that river of love transformed into a river of light. It was no longer affect, but light arising within me.  And the ecstasy was there—a very heavy ecstasy that gripped my whole being. But instead of love, it was the light of the consciousness that is normally there that lights my inner space—I should say my outer space, because I make that distinction between them—that lights the void that I can see, and that I live in.
It became ten times brighter, filling my inner emptiness with light and ecstasy. The light of Consciousness.
My body shook.  My entire being shook from the power of the ecstasy and the light and the love no longer felt, but I knew it was there. My whole body shook with the power and the process of purification. My entire beingness was unable to function. I did not want to function.
 I guess I could have shook it off and functioned, if I wanted to do a medical report or something absurd like that.
But I want you to go within yourself, and look in your heart. See that movement upwards. Is there a movement in your heart, a feeling of love for me or for someone else, flowing upwards into your neck and head, so strongly it stops the brain, makes it heavy, and you no longer want to think?
It is there for everyone to take. The movement is there. You just have to be aware of it, to know that it is there. And I am telling you it is there, and you can feel it in me. Just tune into me and you can feel it. I am giving it to you now.
Then something else happened, something so classically out of Ramakrishna and the other bhaktas of the past, saints. I saw a vision of Kali, the goddess Kali. Light was coming out of her forehead, the third eye, light was coming out of her mouth, out of her chest. She was beaming light, an inner light was shining through her, everywhere.  I fell at her feet and worshipped Kali. And I felt so happy. There is nothing to do any more, nothing to see.  
Nothing to see, nothing to feel—only my delicious Kali.
Oh, if only you could understand this, you could feel this—and I know some of you do, I know some of you do! I have talked to you. The arising of bliss and love, the transformation into light, the seeing—some of you see this—you see Rama, you see Krishna, for the women. One even sees Nisargadatta’s teacher Siddharameshwar Maharaj bathed in light, and you fall down and worship the image that you have created in your own mind.
It is a representation of your own love, your love for your Self.  Because Kali and Krishna are no other than your beloved, your Self. You are worshipping your Self when you worship Kali, you are worshipping your Self when you worship Rama or Krishna—the blue Krishna or the baby Krishna. Such subtlety, such sublimeness that we can feel!
Does anyone feel this? Can anyone feel what I have been talking about? Do you feel the void?  Do you feel the movement in the void? Do you feel your chakras electrified by the rising energy?
In essence it means nothing though, these states. They are still part of the maya. They are still part of the I am, and the I am is temporary, perishable, passing, a limitation on you and your infinity.
And I do not mean Nicole’s Infinity, but your infinity.  [This play on words refers to the Infinity Institute started by Robert’s widow, Nicole Adams.]
When you look within and you see the infinity within you, is it dark or light? If you can see the light inside, that light of consciousness, it can become a thousand times lighter.  More bright.  Terrifyingly bright.  But it takes you home.
In a few minutes, I will read a passage from Nisargadatta that describes this exact thing, and shows you that these teachings that I am teaching you now arise in advaita. It is mainline advaita. It is nothing bizarre. Ed has not gone mad. The teachings are there, just not so much emphasised by Robert or Ranjit, Nisargadatta’s dharma brother; but very clearly so organised and stated by Nisargadatta himself. Implicit in his writings is this love, this juiciness.
Stay with this a few minutes. Go deep into yourself. Find that love, that current of love. Listen to my voice. I am enticing you; I am calling you to love me. Feel the love coming. I will love you back.
Can we have “Jyota se Jyota” now?
I love you all—know that. Come to me. For a few minutes, come to me.
[CHANTING – Jyota se Jyota]
Here, she [the singer of the chant] was calling both her external guru, Muktananda, and the internal guru, the sadguru, the deepest part of the Self, saying “Kindle my heart’s flame with thy flame. Kindle my heart in love, and search for truth with thy love and thy truth. Kindle my heart’s flame with thy flame, Sadguru, kindle my heart’s flame with thine.”
It is a begging.
“Please God, awaken in my heart thy love, thy truth, so that I may be with you.”
Now, you know everybody uses Nisargadatta Maharaj and points to him as an exemplar of whatever approach they have, from the neo-advaitins who quote him as one of their gurus, to the classical advaitins. He is a monster amongst traditional advaita gurus.
People who think I have gone astray need to read him because he says the same thing that I am saying now. Listen to this. This is from Prior to Consciousness, page 25:
Questioner: Will there be no continuation of memories after death?
Maharaj: Only if there is sugar cane, or sugar, will there be sweetness. If the body is not there, how can there be memories, the beingness itself is gone.
Questioner: How does one know what remains?
Maharaj: There are twenty people in this room, all twenty people leave, then what remains is there, but someone who has left cannot understand what it is. So in that Parabrahman which is without attributes, without identity, unconditioned, who is there to ask?
This is to be understood, but not by someone: the experience and the experiencer must be one, you must become the experience.
This is really important too, just this point. There is not a watching of experience and distancing from experience. You become the experience, merge into the experience, surrender to the experience, whatever it is.
Maharaj (continued): What is this Parabrahman like? The answer is, what is Bombay? Don't give me the geography or the atmosphere of Bombay, give me a handful of Bombay.
Give me a handful of the Parabrahman.
Maharaj (continued): What is Bombay? It is impossible to say, so also with Parabrahman. There is no giving or taking of Parabrahman, you can only be That.
In other words, you cannot have knowledge of the Absolute, you cannot have a knowing of the Absolute. You can only be the Absolute.
You are the Absolute at all times, but it is your conditioning, your beliefs, your thought structures, society, your names, your upbringing—all of these have created an illusion of your existence, and this illusion and these concepts have to fall away before you see yourself as what you truly are, which is the Absolute, the inner void, which you cannot see, but can only be.
Questioner: We want the state which Maharaj enjoys.
Maharaj: The eternal Truth is there, but for witnessing it is of no use. You give up this study in the name of religion or spirituality, or whatever you are trying to study. Do only one thing, that "I Amness" or consciousness is the Godliest principle; it is there only so long as the vital breath is thereit is presently your nature.
The ‘I Amness’, the vital breath, is presently your nature.
Maharaj: You worship that only. That "I Amness” is something like the sweetness of the sugar cane.
And that is how it feels. It is a sweetness—so light, like the wind, a puff of air blowing against your heart.
Maharaj: That "I Amness” is something like the sweetness of the sugar cane, abide in the sweetness of your beingness, then only you will reach and abide in eternal peace.
Questioner: I feel the life force energy polarized and intensified in my body in the presence of Maharaj.
Maharaj: In practicing meditation the life force gets purified, and when it is purified the light of the Self shines forth, but the working principle is the life force. When this purified life force and the light of the Atman (Self) merge, then the concept, the mind, the imagination, everything is taken away. The life force is the acting principle and that which gives sentience to the person is the consciousness.
So he is saying there are two things: life force, which is activity driving the body, the energy that keeps us alive, and consciousness, which gives us sentience, awareness of what is.
Questioner: This is what the tradition of shiva and shakti signifies?
Maharaj: Shiva means the consciousness and shakti is the life force. People go by various names which have been given, and forget the basic principle.
In other words, you have a name—Jo-Ann, Alan, Edji, Shane, Joan—but you forget your basic principle, the life force and consciousness. You are not a body, or consciousness.
Maharaj (continued): Merely sit in contemplation and let the consciousness unfold itself. What have you understood?
Questioner: This consciousness starts to get a greater sense of itself, and the prana and the body's energy becomes intensified and polarized, it seems to be part of the purification.
Maharaj: When this consciousness and the prana shakti (life force) merge, they tend to go and become steady in the Brahma-randra…
I think that is the one above the forehead … no, it is above the thousand-petaled chakra, above the head.
Maharaj (continued):…become steady in the Brahma-randra, and then all thoughts cease.
A lot of people experience this as the head getting heavy, the brain getting heavy like a rock and all thoughts cease, and the brain and the whole head feel so heavy, so dense. Stupid like a rock. As Seung Sahn Sunim [Zen master, formerly Edji’s teacher] used to say, “Dumb as a rock”.
Your head seizes, your brain seizes, and that is when shakti combines.  The life force and consciousness merge in the brain. 
And Nisargadatta Maharaj says:
Maharaj (continued): This is the start of samadhi. Then one comes back again and the life force starts its normal activities.
In other words, the brain becomes like a rock. You go into samadhi, and that has many different forms... either where you become thoughtless and nothing happens and even consciousness is lost, or else it drops away and you see the world and it is so bright and beautiful and close and the distance between you and the objects has disappeared totally, and you are in awe of how splendid the world is that you have created.
And then the samadhi goes away, and the shakti begins to do its normal activities of day-to-day life.
Maharaj (continuing to following session from July 9, 1980): Understand that it is not the individual which has consciousness, it is the consciousness which assumes innumerable forms. That something which is born or which will die is purely imaginary. It is the child of a barren woman.
In the absence of this basic concept "I Am" there is no thought, there is no consciousness.
This is very, very important. He is saying, the ‘I’ itself, the core of the ‘I am’, is not real. It is a figment created by the word ‘I,’ and by the repetitive use of ‘I’—I do this, I do that, I feel this, I should do this, I am this, I am that.  We use the ‘I’ a thousand times a day, or at least a hundred times a day, and we assume that there is something in us that this ‘I’ word points to, the core of the ‘I am’ concept.
Everything gets wrapped around this word ‘I’. Our sense of presence gets wrapped around it. But when we see the ‘I’ is only a thought and it does not refer to anything, the boundaries between inner and outer disappear and we become one with Consciousness. There is no inner–outer, there is no I-thou.
And even then, once the I disappears, the sense of presence can disappear too, because it is no longer limited to ‘I’. The sense of presence is throughout the entire universe.
Maharaj (Edji skipping ahead to page 27): What is the Self? If you want to expand, the entire world is the manifestation. At the same time it is very tinythe seed beingnesslike an atom, a pinprick of "I Amness."
That is the very source of love. Such a potential is there, having provided that love …
I am getting so distracted. There are dogs barking outside, and cats screwing around in the garage outside!  It is very distracting.
Maharaj (continued): That is the very source of love. Such a potential is there, having provided that love to the entire world, it remains in that seed "I Am," the leftover is that "I Am." That pinprick or touch of "I Amness" is the quintessence of all essence.
One must have firm abidance or faith in the words of the Guru. Here I do not repeat or imitate what other sages do. I am not championing any religion. I have no pose or stance for anything, not even that I am a man or a woman. The moment you accept any pose or stance you have to take care of that by following certain disciplines relating to that pose. I abide in the Self only.
That Self is entirely beyond the world.
Maharaj (continued): I do not believe that anybody did exist prior to me. When my beingness appeared, then everything appeared. Prior to my beingness, nothing was. Originally I am without any stigma, uncovered by anything.
The Paramatman is the core Self, the highest Self. Its identity is without any stigma, it is subtler than space.
Why are you dying? Understand the first moment, when you understood that you are.  Due to what?  How?
Once you understand this, you are the highest of the Gods—the point at which everything rises; the source and the end is the same point. Once you understand that point, you are released from that point.
Once you understand Consciousness, once you understand ‘I’, once you understand ‘I Amness’, once you understand your own personalityand this is a growing understanding that comes, naturally maturing, by being yourself, by witnessing yourself, by acting yourself out. It is a natural process.
Maharaj (continued): Once you understand that point... the point of beingness, the basic consciousness, the seed of consciousness…
Maharaj (continued): Once you understand that point, you are released from that point.
You are no longer bound by Consciousness or the I amyou are free.
Maharaj (continued): Nobody tries to understand this happening of the "I Amness." I, the Absolute am not this "I Amness."
He identifies with the mystery inside—the inner void, of which we can know nothing, and we can only be it.
Maharaj (continued): I, the Absolute am not this "I Amness."
In meditation your beingness should merge in itself, a non-dual state. Remain still. Do not struggle to come out of the mud of your concepts, you will only go deeper. Remain still.
That is the bullshit for today.
So I tried, in this reading, to show that what I am teaching now is really not Robert any more, but it is advaita seen through the eyes of Nisargadatta and Ed Muzika. It is not that I took it from him, but we think alike­—our experiences, apparently, are alike.
If you read Self Knowledge and Self Realization by Nisargadatta [the only known spiritual tract written by Nisargadatta himself, originally published in India in 1963; found by Nisargadatta’s student and editor Jean Dunn in a small bookstore in Mumbai and given by her to Edji by in Los Angeles years later, first published by Edji to the Internet in 2005], you can see that love in him every minute.
He talks about the various stages he went through: of seeing the guru and loving the guru, and becoming one with beingness; and then spotting his beloved, his Absolute state. First the ‘I Amness.’  The ‘I Amness’ itself, which some of you still have a hard time feeling.  And then, when you fully understand the point of the ‘I Amness,’ it drops away.
It just melts, disappears. All the concepts disappear, and you are left with That, the Ultimate.  No concepts, just pure pureness; pure beingness, without any sense of ‘I Amness’ even.  Completely resting in your Self, nowhere to go, nothing to do.
This is where I want you to go. This is where I am trying to take you, through this new way.  The old Ed Muzika way was pretty boring. Twenty seven years of meditation on the Self!
This way is so fertile, so loving. So much energy is here. It almost forces you to progress.  And there does seem to be a progression here, while there is not so much a progression in the boring way.  Or else it is so slow. But this is so palpable and rich, so fertile.
Do you feel it?
So we will have another small chant, as an interregnum.
Let us just be quiet for a second, and then we will start talking to each other.
Jo-Ann, how about the Yogananda chant, “Who is in my Temple”?  It is a short chant, and if you cannot find that… can you find that?  Okay.
[Music starts]
Listen to the words too, and go within.
[CHANTING – Who is in My Temple?]
Know the movement of love in the heart becomes ever more subtle and complex the more you watch it.
There are so many theories about the different ways to approach that, but if you look inside and the love is there and it flows, you begin to see that the heart chakra is very complicated. Some say it has many chambers, many aspects to the heart, many flavours, and love itself has many colours and intensities.
You know, I would say you are very lucky to hear these words. I do not hear anybody else saying them. Not like this. And I see that our membership is falling. What, only ten or twelve people come today?
One of my teachers, Sasaki Roshi, said “Listen to my words very closely. I am 65 years old, and I will be dead soon”. That was 37 years ago, and he is still talking. But you never know.  You never know when this truth is going to disappear, so listen closely.
Now, usually I ask people how they are and start a conversation, but I am going to put it on you this time. If you want to say something to me or ask me a question, you have to initiate it.
Be brave! Break your silence. Make a fool out of yourself.
[Private dialogue removed]
Then let us end with “I Will Sing Thy Name”.
[CHANTING – I Will Sing Thy Name]
Goodnight everyone. I love you all.
Try to find that love in your presence. Try to find your own sense of presence, and the richness and the fertility in there.  The wetness in your own beingness. You do not have to look without—it is already in you. I love you all.
Until next week, bye-bye.