29 October 2011

Below is an email I sent to a student who had been practicing very strongly over a period of time. He had many conceptions of what spiritual progress and practice were all about, and one after another was shed.  But he abruptly disappeared for a time giving lifeless excuses.


Where the hell have you gone?

Be honest.



OK, Edji.

The truth is that you pretty much put the final nails in my coffin -- if you know what I mean — and I haven’t been feeling the need for satsang.  To be honest, I’ve been feeling like the crying woman in the Mooji video that you posted.

Contrary to you having done something I didn’t like, you gave me just what I needed whether I liked it or not.  Short as our correspondence was, your insights and “zingers” pushed my buttons to a degree that you may have been unaware.  You pushed me over the edge (no pun intended) and freed me from my dependency on the teacher, which I realized was rooted in a belief, strangely enough, that the Master was somehow going to magically complete my sadhana for me.  Of course, the teachings are invaluable, but the “inner” guru is guiding the ship these days.

I’m sorry that I wasn’t more straight about the reason for my absence, but it felt awkward to confide this to you as if I was making some pronouncement about having attained realization or enlightenment or whatever label you want to give it.  Let’s just say that now I know what has always been so, and the only thing I can do is basically stay the fuck out of the way.

I am forever thankful to you, and I would like to keep in touch.



Explain further please. What is the insight you gained?



Kind of a tricky question.   “I” didn’t really “gain” anything.

But, of course, we are stuck with language as the only means to communicate such insight.

The realization is that there is no such thing as enlightenment (or whatever you want to call it) because there is no one to be enlightened.

I am not.  

There is no “I”.

This thing — the Self -- and this state — Realization -- that I’ve been chasing after, pursuing, searching for all these years simply does not exist.    

All that exists is Consciousness, and I am not even that.

All the seeking and the questions and the experiences and the insights, though made of Consciousness, were only layers, veils, walls obstructing my experience or understanding or awareness (I don’t really know what to call it since no word really does it justice) of the Truth that is prior to Consciousness and essentially served only to keep the “I” alive.

What is weird is how obvious the Truth was all along and yet how egregiously it was missed, overlooked, ignored.

Now there is no more “inside” or “outside”, “past” or “future”, “you” or “I”.  It is everything and It is no thing.

I realize this sounds like a greatest hits list of Advaita cliches.  But how else does one put it?

It is as it is, which essentially is not.

Hope that helps.



Yes, you have had the original first awakening into oneness. No 'I'.

The path is now lighted.

But this is only the first step.  Do not run away so soon.  Why run?

When I had this first awakening, I ran closer to Robert, not away thinking I knew or felt everything. I knew only that I was nothing.

Something in you though chose to feel you had already gotten all that there is to get.

This is just the beginning of your journey.  Everything before this was warm up.

If you are true to yourself, there will be another, second major awakening wherein even consciousness itself, oneness is seen to be fleeting, unreal. It is not enough to know it, you have to feel it totally. You say that you know this already.

Then comes the trip back into emotions and humanhood.  This is the hardest part of the journey.  The trip between second base and home plate. reowning your humanity, feelings, love, anger, jealousy.

This is the trickiest because the belief that there is no self any more can be a complete defense against feeling deeply or believing nothing more is to be done.  As Soen Sah said and has warned, “You have seen 180 degrees, the emptiness of all things, but now what?  Is this all?” This is only half way.

Robert also warned it is so easy having attained identification with emptiness to lose all love and attachment, and to become a cold fish. Don’t allow this to happen to you.

And of course there is an enlightenment. The “real you” has seen through the identifications of the mind.  You can’t find yourself as an object, or an ego.  Your spiritual intelligence has been awakened. But really, when you go deeper, you know that you are the subject, and a reality more real than what you had accepted as true before is revealed.

The next step is of the movement of the heart.  From now on, all the movement needs to be in your heart.


  1. This was a wonderful exhange thank you Edji.

    As always I have a question. How do you really know what stage a person is in or if indeed their are stages.
    Can you tell simply by reading emails? No disrespect but I feel the idea of first, second and third stage tends to make awakening uniformed.
    Thank you for the reading and your answer,

  2. Interesting post Edji,

    Knowing I am not my mind, not my thoughts, not my body brought tremendous relief but it didn't last. Those ecstatic states when I realized all is one, all is Love, and then experiencing deep peace and detachment from whatever arises were exhilarating but they left too. I continued to experience suffering. But through living in the Heart much depths were traversed and a firm conviction arose within me that knowing I am not my mind was never going to satisfy me. Until I continued to react, until the beliefs that I am not worthy, I am not good enough, I am not seen for who I am, etc., and all the hidden and repressed emotions I so defend against were not fully exposed, lit upon I am not free. It is much work, much dying and resurrecting but I am convinced until my experience is not a purer reflection of the Self - deep happiness which never leaves I will seek. Perhaps this is my trap but so be it.

    Janet B.

  3. Janet, this is the mystery of spirituality. Those who seek knowledge choose Advaita, Zen, or Tibetan or another form of Buddhism. Those who relate by emotions and tactile sensations often choose Christian mysticism, Sufi or other Bhakti approaches. ... There are those who say in the end they reach the same result. This is not true. I believe those who choose the Bhaktic approach are more heroic than the Advaitins, and usually stop short of full liberation. They become saints, which the world needs more than sages. .. Advaitins and Zen can reach what is traditionally considered release more easily, but they are less likely to make the trip back to the marketplace and humanity. ... Yes,the "transcendental" states did not stick with you because your way requires you become completely empty of emotional reactions first. You appear to require being empty of emotion before you permanently awaken. ... However, I see possibly a higher mission for you. Your ability to "feel" people in their depths and to touch them there is a special gift. Unique.

  4. I'm glad 'coming back to the marketplace' isn't mandatory - because I won't be.

    Who would choose to revisit a nightmare after waking up?

  5. Janet, Ed, thanks. I can so identify with what you both shared. More than identify, I can 'feel' and that 'feeling' is like death right now.


  6. Janet, somebody put this on facebook and it speaks of what you shared here.

    "The most valuable practice during our short time on this planet, is to love, love, love and love some more. I don't mean to just love a handful of people, or even all people, but also your own emotions, states of mind, anxiety, depression, as well as everyone else's. Whatever you encounter in your life, let your primary response be to love and embrace it as a significant part of yourself. See that the same Life which enables your existence, is responsible for everyone else's. There is absolutely nothing separate from Life's One Intelligence. Many forms of the same Life. That's why it is safe to fall in Love with everything until there is no resistance, no duality, no 'them vs. me' or 'life vs. me' left in you anywhere. Until that is the case, love your own resistance and sense of separation just as much as anything else. Fall.... in Love. Again and again, until there is no alternative anymore."

    I was constantly bombarded by this fear of 'not making it', 'not awakening'. To 'make it' for me is to give a big resounding YES to whatever form, be it gross or subtle, no matter how long it appears to last, that this present moment takes. This all by itself carries the perfume of freedom.


  7. I see an understanding dawned and freedom felt. But where is the gratitude and love?

  8. Trust me dear friend, the Love, preceded and was the doorway for the 'freedom felt.' There would have been no freedom without the Love, not for this one. Everything in this life in the past few months worth giving lip service to has been because of Love and as a result this heart is saturated with gratitude.


  9. Dear Joan,

    Beautiful excerpt (from FB) - it deeply resonates.

    Janet B.

  10. "Do not run away so soon. Why run?

    When I had this first awakening, I ran closer to Robert, not away thinking I knew or felt everything. I knew only that I was nothing."

    The above says it ALL ....

    From interaction with many on the path, western seekers tend to disengage from their masters at the first glimpse .... They lack loyalty, integrity & trust .... Their realization soon enough becomes a deep rooted conceptualization, where the seeker becomes emptiness & dwells there believing it is over... When nothingness is revealed this is the most critical phase in connecting to the master as the master here will uproot & burn the very last hooks molding & shaping the student to becoming a divine empty free paradoxical being; who is free at an instant to identify as anything within the dimension of forms or formless or the dimension of Nothing & Beyond as He is FREE.

    I don't see how those who are trapped in Nothing are FREE!! If you can't shift with a blink of an eye from nothing to something & vice versa with the knownigness that you are even beyond both be assured that your work is not done & stick to your master ....

  11. Excellent post Faisal!
    Thank you

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