31 January 2012

Bad news.  Lakshmi's stomatitis symptoms are progressing even while her cancer is fully under control.  Despite taking Alpha Interferon, an antibiotic, and a steroid combo, her gums are increasingly inflamed and bleeding.  She is also taking Leukeran for her cancer. She is not eating despite trying baby food and various meat and fish combos using a food processor.  She is receiving fluids every other day which make her feel better, as well as a morphine derivative for intense pain, and ciproheptidine to increase her appetite.

Her oncologist, John Chretine, now recommends surgically installing a feeding tube through her abdomenal wall, so that nothing has to pass through her mouth: food, medications, water, giving her mouth a chance to rest.

Then we can try all kinds of medications that she can not now tolerate through her mouth.

Given her state of health and of near starvation, and a mild heart murmur, there is some added risk.

This is Lakshmi's only hope.  Without the surgery, she'll die in a few weeks of starvation.

Dustin, who had an identical cancer and also stomatitis, also had a feeding tube installed 5 years ago.  In six months he went from 5.5 pounds to 11 pounds, and Chretin said he was getting too fat.  Dustin loved the tube.  Four times a day I'd bring the feeding syringe to the huge cage he was in, and give him breakfast, lunch or supper.  He would see me coming and turn his left side to me, for easy access to the tube, and he'd purr and purr.  No more pain for him.  He lived almost three years on his own after the tube was removed.

If you are inclined to help, the surgery and immediate subsequent medications will cost a bit over $1,000.  You can donate towards covering her surgery and care by using the Paypal donation button on the right, or go to wearesentience.com, and use the buttons there.  Thank you. 

26 January 2012

Dear Sangha,

On January 1, 2012, Jo Ann and Alan Chinn  left our Sangha with no warning, sending one or more emails to all Sangha members they were leaving due to personal reasons which were unstated.  

I have heard this has had a ripple effect throughout our Sangha, as people wondered what has happened and have only heard from Jo Ann for her reasons if she is asked.

So, I want to set the record straight.

Jo Ann and Alan joined our Sangha during the middle of 2010, and rapidly took over the task of building an online Satsang from Janet Beier and Chris (Harrison).  

Both felt pushed aside because Jo Ann had the time and energy and technological experience to make it happen immediately, and I let her do it.  Also, Matthew Brown, who was working on other projects, found she had taken those over too.  Again, Jo Ann’s dedication, energy, and full-time focus allowed her to accomplish miracles in a short time.

However, I then learned that Jo Ann was spending many hours every week “working” with our Sangha members as a quasi therapist using Byron Katies’ “The Work,” as well as Levinson’s “The Release Technique,” to help people overcome whatever problems they had, while Alan was doing “energy” work with those who had illness or pain.

I did not know this.  Apparently many people in our Sangha thought these were my teachings as Jo Ann was at the center of everything done on the Internet.  In fact, our Sangha was as much hers as mine, since she built it and maintained complete control over every aspect.

Then during approximately early January of 2011, I confronted her on her teaching The Work and the Release Technique to our membership as these methods are completely alien to the teachings of Robert Adams and Jean Dunn (Nisargadatta), my two teachers.

Ultimately there was a rupture, which involved another Sangha member, and they left.

I am not organized and I am lazy.  I let people run the show who get things done, which alienates the people closest to me, who really come for the teachings.  This is my personality defect.  I like to let things unfold rather than take charge, therefore it appears others are in charge, and those others are always take-charge personalities who have their own separate agendas from that of spreading Robert’s and Nisargadatta’s teachings.

On December 31, 2011, I heard that Jo Ann was widely touting a book by Peter Dziubian called Consciousness is Everything, telling me and others than in reading it she had made more progress than in many months with me. 

          In fact, during this time, both Alan and Jo Ann were warning some of my students not to get too close to me for unstated reasons. I heard about this, and thought it was because they did not want others to get close to me who were not also close to them.  In fact, Alan stated directly to me that I was too much favoring certain students and he felt left out.

As Joan Burtner said:

This also explains why Alan turned more and more against me as I got closer to you.  He began to make nasty comments to me in front of others.  As this was happening I began to feel a sense of coldness from Jo-Ann as well.  I wasn't their 'project', couldn't be controlled so it all began to turn nasty. 

“Which also explains the often subtle warnings they would give to me about 'not getting too close' to you.  This happened often.  If they couldn't control whoever got close to you, they found a reason to turn them away or chase them away.

“So, when you began to give them less and less attention and they found out how much time you were spending with me they almost immediately turned me away.  But their turning me away didn't make me leave and this was threatening to their need for 'control'.  OMG, this is exactly what happened. ”

Joan was not the only person they chased away. They chased away Chris, calling him insane and exuding “dark energies,” Janet, who they deemed as a dangerous  manipulator, and even they tried with Mathew Brown, who refused to budge.  They also attacked Ruby as having “dark energies,” as well as others.  When both Rajiv and I said no one should be excluded from Satsang because of “dark energies,” the Chinns gave in.

I also found out that for months prior to her leaving, Jo Ann had been spending a lot of time with John Grenafege on skype, as well as with many other people in our Sangha discussing Peter’s book.  Jo Ann represented John as a “deeply enlightened dear friend,” who had been in hibernation after an awakening he had 3 years ago, and now wanted to come out into the world and teach.  Jo Ann never told me why she thought John was deeply enlightened, except that he appeared to favor this book by Dziubian. This I heard from another three other Sangha members just before January 1, and since.

This book they were recommending by Dziubian is pure neo-Advaita, exactly the kind of teaching and philosophy that I had been talking against for over two years, as it presents a totally conceptual view about consciousness, just words and concepts and definitions, such that after people read it, they feel as if they really understand the nature of Consciousness and their own true nature, but they really lack an experience of awakening.

Categorically, you cannot “get” awakening from a book.  You get concepts that convince your mind that you know that which cannot be known.  As Hui Neng said, “The only truth is that there is no truth; beware even of this truth.”  In other words, concepts can never provide an awakening. U.G. Krishnamurti said all concepts have to be shrugged off, and Robert said much the same to me.  For Robert, one goes in surrender to the guru to receive teachings, not with a book of concepts about consciousness.

Despite my constant warnings against such teachings, Jo Ann was pushing this book and these teachings within our Sahgha.

I sent an email to Jo Ann on January 1, 2012 stating these kinds of teachings were dangerous because they put concepts before experience, and can delay one’s awakening for a long time.  I stated that because of her high visibility in the Sangha, people assume that much of what she is saying is authorized by me, or that she has an elevated understanding because she is at the center of everything in our Sangha.

To which she replied she was not going to stop reading the book, nor stop talking to whomever she wants, when she wants about anything she wants.

Jo Ann writes:

You are reading from the Tiger's Cave, which makes absolutely no sense to me, and telling me how good it is.  

But when I find a book that does make a great deal sense to me and is having a profound impact, you quickly discount it as neo-advaitan???

I'll not bother you any more about this book, but I sure as hell am going to keep reading it!

Jo Ann’s inability to understand the teachings in the Tiger’s Cave indicates she had not yet gone deep.  Those teachings require a subtle and nuanced understanding, living from the heart and not the head.

In other words, Jo Ann had found teachings she could understand and with which she felt “progress,” as opposed to the teachings I was presenting, which took concepts away, making one more open, vulnerable, and in one’s heart. Jo Ann did not want vulnerability, she wanted something her mind could grasp and which she could teach.

The next day I, and several others, received an email from her saying she was leaving, calling me a liar several times, as well as a manipulator. 

After that, a whole bunch of people left without even a note, and I assume either because Jo Ann spread negativity gossip about me, or just because they suffered shock from the sudden break up.

Subsequent to their leaving, I have had people from all over the world tell me Jo Ann had been promoting these teachings, and her “Dear enlightened friend, John Grenafege” in intense Skype sessions lasting many hours, and had been doing so for months. I knew nothing of this.

I have recently heard from three different sources, one in Australia, another on the East Coast of the US, and another in Great Brtiain that the Chinns plan on starting a new satsang with John Grenafege.  My speculation, if this is true, is that John will be easier to control.  He has no nearby family or loved ones as opposed to many dedicated students who have opposed the Chinns grip on Satsang.

I had let the Chinns become the center of our Sangha rather than the teachings or my own contribution.  They interacted with everyone on an intense basis, with far more contact than I had with you. They had their own Satsang within our larger Sangha, and they were even warning people not to get too close to me.

This is my failure in every way.  I failed to take more direct control of day to day operations.  I failed to spend as much time with my students as the Chinns did.  I failed to present the teachings better, and I failed to warn people more about the dangers of reading too many books, especially neo advaita books.

Online Satsangs will return soon if the demand is there for them. Few have contacted me directly that they are wanted or needed. Usually fewer than 15 or 20 people ever showed up for online Satsangs.

I am continuing to work with Rajiv and some other students to establish an ashram.  An ashram setting provides for the kind of constant contact an ashram affords, that the synergistic energy for breakthroughs develops.

If anyone is interested in starting something in Los Angeles, please contact me.

Please contact me directly at satsang.online@gmail.com.

With Great Love,


Below is a review of Dziubian’s book by Joan Burtner.  This is included as a warning.  This book can convince you that you are awakened and slow real progress of opening your heart; so read it at your own risk. I am taking this step as it appears that the Chinns have told many people in our Sangha about it, and this cannot go unopposed.

About a year ago I read a book by Peter Francis Dziuban, titled Consciousness Is All.  The purpose of this writing is not to make a critique of this particular book in any detailed way, but to simply point out the overall conceptual nature of the book; conceptual, meaning that it is heavily laden with definitions and meanings of words and meanings about those words ad Infinitum.   It is a theoretical, conceptual masterpiece to be sure.

The purpose of the book, at least from my perspective, is not to invite the reader to ‘look within’ to discover their own nature, experientially, but rather to inform or rather precondition the reader’s mind as to what he or she would find if and when they did look. Even when the reader is directed to notice his or her own experience, the author goes on to postulate the outcome of that investigation.   Thus the investigation is already polluted by the mind.  And mind, through the power of words has the potential to create certain experiences.   

In Silence of the Heart, Robert Adams said this about Consciousness.  “Everything is Consciousness – everything.  When you ask, ‘What is Consciousness?’ there is no valid answer.  When someone asks me to write a book or give a lecture, then I have to explainConsciousness in about fifty different words, and each word has another fifty words to explain that, then those words have another fifty words.  So your volume of the book is written.  What does it say?  “Everything is Consciousness.”  I could have written one page.  And in the middle of that page I would say, “Everything is Consciousness,’ and the rest would be blank.  This is the reason I do not write books, because there is nothing to say.  See how confusing it is?  You read so many books during the week.  Usually you do not remember what you read, and if you do, it’s intellectual.  You are using somebody else’s words and not having your own experience.”

And yet, Peter manages to write a 327 page book about what Consciousness is.  It’s mental madness, but this is just my opinion. Here is but one tiny example of this mental madness. “If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?  Hint:  “Answer not a fool according to his folly.”  The real issue is not whether or not such an event occurs.  The issue isentirely a matter of identification.  The issue is whether the one to whom the question is asked, identifies as Present Consciousness, Infinite Being’s pure Isness – or with finite senses and time, is-not-ness.  In Truth, there is no choice; the Absolute Present One being All, leaves no finite time-sense to identify with or as.  Who is the only One present, existent, aware, alive?  Changelessly Present Consciousness.  It completely precludes such a finite time-event of a tree falling, and any questions being asked about it in Reality. To attempt to answer the question on its terms would imply there is time.  There isn’t.  That’s the answer.”  

For a few months after reading this book, there was a sort of intellectual bliss as my mind reveled in its ability to give an explanation about what someone else said about the nature of Consciousness, at least what I could mentally grasp.   I took great delight in being able to hold my own amongst my peers as we mentally masturbated as a group.  But the intellectual bliss wore off and the deep longing that had been numbed by it resurfaced.  There were no life changing experiences to speak of.   

I often hear New Agers and Neo-Advaitans speak of how it is easier to awaken now than it ever has been.  I cannot say.  Maybe it’s easier than ever to ‘imagine’ that one is awakened due to the abundance of material in the spiritual market place that makes such hype out of initial experiences.  These initial awakening experiences seem to be redefining freedom as a whole.  Robert Adams said, that there was probably never more than a handful of truly liberated beings on the earth at any one time. 

24 January 2012

I posted the following in a group on Facebook called Enlightenment Now, which tends to have some very "stressed" people.  I did it as a joke:

My post:

Are you burning up from love for your guru? Try Preparation H, thinly spread over the affected areas, every 12 hours.

A lot of people laughed, including AysheGul, but look at the thread it started:

Top of Form
AysheGul Ashki Kaan An-Nur i am burning, burning, burning up with this love of my beloved beloved guruji, my sheikh, my all-in-all, whom i love so very much, for whom i can give my life without hesitation...this great love... i won't change this.

Himanshu JM i think we need to call the fire brigade for youAysheGul Ashki Kaan An-Nur :)

AysheGul Ashki Kaan An-Nur no no don't call any one... i love burning in this love...

Ed Muzika AysheGul, you are a lucky, lucky woman. God sent you a sheikh! Or vice versa.

AysheGul Ashki Kaan An-Nur i burst into the flames of love... i become drunk with the mystery of love...dervish lover circling the great guruji banquet of love in the paradise of love...

AysheGul Ashki Kaan An-Nur the light of essence shining from the great guruji merges me with the Sultan of Love

AysheGul Ashki Kaan An-Nur lost in the gurujiiiiii beyond external form my body is consumed in the radiance of love...

Ed Muzika Yes, I know of what you speak. The sense of utter surrender, of becoming dust at His feet, of becoming nothing, but filled with His grace and love, a love that feels like a dynamo, that fills your beingness and spills out into the world. Yes, and ecstasies that start with a roar, gradually becoming lighter, yet deeper, and have a sweet fragrance and leaving a sweetness in your mouth. In Him you feel the breath of God breathed into you! Yes, I know this well, and you are not lucky, but graced by God.

AysheGul Ashki Kaan An-Nur yes beloved yes yes forever yes one-in-love timelessly

Me:  you see, such a one aflame, will go far and create ripples for a long time.  This appears to be 100% opposite a direction from a Zen monk or Advaita Chela, but in fact both are lost in the ultimate pursuit both of the Infinite and themselves. One is lost in the search for truth, the other in an absorption in the other.  Both become empty, useless to all but God.
Things gurus don’t tell you

Robert used to embrace uselessness. He used to embrace leaving your job and dropping out.  He would say don’t worry about bills, payments, medical insurance, obligations, etc., just leave the world behind. Don’t worry about the pragmatics of day to day life.

The John Wheelers and Parsons of the world really don’t talk about life during the awakening process or afterwards as all of your cherished beliefs and concepts are blown away.  One day you are ignorant of yourself, the next day you are awakened, self-aware and all problems have disappeared and are resolved.

This is bull.  The process of awakening, losing beliefs, attachments, concepts, and even the belief you are the body causes tremendous changes in your day to day life.  This is a sign you are really changing and awakening.

Relationships fall apart, you no longer love your husband or wife, the idea of being pinned to a 30 year mortgage creates nausea.  The struggle to maintain payments on your BMW, $700,000 house, and student loans becomes too much. The belief in the benevolence of friends and the government go out the window.  You know the wealthy are trying to take more and more from you.  The health care system is rigged to extract the most money from you.

Fox News and MSMBC are both mouthpieces for a partial perspective.  No one speaks to you honestly, they lie a little each word they say so as not to drive you away.  Sometimes they smile and you can feel their hatred.

Strange energies awakening in you and you can’t sleep or you sleep too long.  You don’t talk to the kids anymore because you are immersed in indecision about everything.  You just want to be alone, or you just want to be with someone else or be somewhere else.

All your self-told lies disappear and you are exposed to your own truth more and more, and that which is not part of your truth falls away.

Things no longer unfold as they did before, but unfold in a new and frightening way as your entire past is seen as a lie and yet you still do not see your own truth clearly.

In other words, your daily life goes from a boring certainty, to an insecure emptiness, yet an incredible and frightening aliveness,

Intense practice, or intense involvement with a free teacher creates situations with a lot of out of control emotions, matched at times with an inner deadness, followed by periods of intense self-doubt and self-inquiry.

Do these gurus tell you of this?  Do they warn you of this?

You see, Robert did and incorporated this inevitable collapse of your belief systems and lifestyle, and made it a part of leaving the world behind.  When your whole lifestyle and thought structures are deconstructed due to self-inquiry, self-abidance, or watching one’s thoughts in emptiness, radical changes to one’s outside life are inevitable, as well as to one’s emotional composition and self-boundaries.

In other words, the walls come tumbling down, and chaos reigns for a long, long time. If there is not a bit of chaos, then there is no real change happening on a deeper level. This must be obvious is it not?  One cannot continue in the old lifestyle with the beliefs you had before when everything is being radically questioned and whole new worlds of perception and cognition are opened.

I warn my students of this.  Robert incorporated this falling apart into his teachings and made it a goal, the goal of becoming good for nothing, meaning really not good for anyone or anything in your previous lifestyle.  And, you will be good for nothing until you live your own truth, rather than society’s, your spouse’s, your children’s, or your employer’s “truths.”

Intense practice or intense involvement in the movement towards freedom has to produce such external chaos. Is it not obvious?  Freedom means freedom from your past conditioning and the known.

What Krishnamurti missed however, are all those states and understandings beyond mere recognition that there is no separate ‘I’ or separate doer.  He did not talk of the ecstasies, the awesome Void, the feeling of the sacred, the feeling of surrender to the divine, to one’s own Beloved.  Nor did he speak of rivers of love that move through one’s body and one’s sense of presence.  Nor did he talk of a love so deep that you disappear into the other, or of a void so vast that you fall to your knees in awe and sometimes fear.  He did not talk of the awesome power you feel sometimes when you feel aligned with your own destiny and feel its inevitability.  There is so much that teachers do not tell you, both of the richness and the sadness and desolation you will encounter.

It is like the Matrix Trilogy.  When you take the Red pill, everything changes, enlivens, collapses, becomes chaos, reorders, and you become alive.  But sometimes you crave the Blue pill, to let you return to your old life and its security.  Once you really take the Red pill, you have a tiger by the tail and you cannot let go because he will eat you.

21 January 2012

There is a terrible illness of dispassion and greed in China.  Zen Master Seung Sahn said it was no longer a case of bringing Zen to the West, but of returning Zen to its roots in China.  There is a spiritual illness there.

The Voice of Stray Dogs

Photo of the day on The Voice of Stray Dogs: 1137 dogs rescued from ONE truck destined for slaughter for the Chinese New Year in Chongqing.
 — withJo-Andra de Cuba.
Message to me:

Hi Ed,

Water flowing through water, as said Mooji, consciousness flowing through consciousness.

In place of my body there is emptiness, and when someone comes close, or something, I become it.

If I walk along the river, in Bangkok, while on the solid ground, my all inside is moving like if I was on a boat on that agitated river. My stomach wants to throw up, my body looses balance, my heart feels ecstatic.

When I walk on a bridge my all body is sucked down like if I was falling.

If a person comes close to me I start to talk with the same accent as that person, and I feel as if her presence/field takes over the empty space of my body.

When I sit to meditate on the beach, my head becomes filled with the water, I feel I am sitting at the bottom of the sea. So beautiful, so dreamlike.

Ed, what a wonder world you brought me in ! 

Several days before the big realization, exactly 1 year after I started to follow you, you worked on me so much, I would see your face leaving my head several times a day, especially on waking up from nap/sleep.
Without you nothing would have been possible !

And without your teaching of loving every expression of consciousness I would be still lost in the emptiness, not willing to interact anymore with this stupid world.

How lucky I met you, the most complete freedom Teatcher !
And no need to go and catch a parasite in India ! What a saving in flight tickets :)

BUT please, don't stop with me now, I feel I have so much way to go ahead, and it might take the next 20 years or so !

I'd add that a way to love you is to support your help to your helpless kittens, and I think that generosity is a door to open in our heart, through where consciousness can flow in.

What else to say, why even taking time to right this message ?

May be for your love, for your grace Edward. 

The show must go on !

Muzika ! Muzika ! Bhajans ! Bhajans ! Freeeedom !!
Recently people have complained that some weeks I sound like student A, then student B, and wonder where Ed’s central thread went. They ask, “Where is the Jnana, or what happened to the lover?”

I can only say I am much moved and influenced by conversations of those who I am close to and who are burning.  Their burning catches me on fire and I write from my heart whatever comes up.  Each of my “lovers” is in a different place.  One is shedding concepts and conditioning, another is learning to love herself, another has gone entirely beyond the world into the Absolute, and yet another is lost in unending bliss, a rapture from which her body is forgotten.  Another begins to burn brightly in the Rocky Mountains, another is half a world away who always feels my presence.

When they talk to me, I am blown away.

I used to see this with Muktananda.  When someone came to him and spoke with clarity and passion, it was as if he blew in the wind, he bent and surrendered to their shakti, and this juice then became his truth of the moment.  Teacher and student were equal, and he was like clay bent and wriggled into a new form for a moment.  Then moments later someone new came, and if they came with passion, energy, he was transformed again.

Such happens to me.  People come to me and when they burn I see their truth.  I feel their truth.  One is becoming a new Krishnamurti, another is becoming Kali, another becomes Krishna, and there is room in me for each for that moment.

Then I write, and when I write, I express their truth as it unfolds and it appears my central thread is lost.  There process and truth inspire me.  There expressed truth will be of some help to someone, somewhere. 

But the truth is, I have no central thread. I have no truth.  I am there for them, not for me. I feel like I take on the clothes of whomever I talk to at the moment.  Those I talk to most, those are the clothes I wear at the time.

Of course in the center is the untouched, the origin of the manifest world.  All the rest is mind including all the writing that spill from these fingers.  And a few are always with me, inside me, sharing my emptiness, sharing our mutual purpose in the world.  Above all is Robert and Nisargadatta smiling downwards.

Email to me:

It's a noble fight, to try to bring advaita and love together.

I don't know how much you seen of what's out there, but
there's a robotic, forced vibe from many, many teachers.
Even well known ones like adyashanti, for example.  it's
someone who jammed themselves into an advaita model.
took a very human, juicy soul and stuffed it into
a theory on how to be spiritual.

Where's the naturalness?  the ease?

Why don't even the most famous teachers look like
they are comfortable in their own skin?

It's as if one looking to mix advaita with love, with
feeling is leveling with people, saying "c'mon, you're still
a person, whatever level of 'attainment' you've
Achieved."  why arent' more teachers talking about jealousy, anger, sex?

Christ edji, you're on your own.  That's why i say it's a noble
fight.  it's far too easy to be a statue of perfect advaita
purity, whatever the hell that is.

It's phony, it's forced.  And people like me starve to death
around teachers like that.

18 January 2012

A note relevant to the previous post about going naked before God.

Some think there is a geat distance between Bhakta and Jnana.  Only in the outward form.  Though Robert is called a Jnani even in the Ramana Ashram, remember his famous story of meeting Ramana.  I don't know whether it occurred when he first met him, or later when walking around Arunachala.

Robert said this story with great passion.  I was there at this Satsang.  He was electric.  He sat on the edge of his chair perched somewhat forward and looked upwards and into the distance, as if he were again seeing Ramana.

He said Ramana and a group of people walked towards him and suddenly he felt complete surrender and devotion.  He felt utter humility and wanted nothing more than to touch the guru's feet and surrender.

He said he took off all of his clothes and dropped at Ramana's feet, totally surrendered.  Totally loving and devoted.

At this point Robert said, "This is how you have to be," as if the story was self-explanatory as to the need for surrender.

Ramana supposedly either grabbed him or told him to arise, I don't remember the story exactly and said, "I have been waiting for you."  I'll bet Ramana did not specifically mean Robert, but he had been waiting for any of the  devotees that showed such devotion and surrender, because these people, these devotees already were close to God and felt the ecstasies of being with the infinite. 
Can you go naked before God?

Some have asked, “Where is Robert Adams in your current teachings?”  Others have been more sarcastic, and have remarked (of me) “Some have ears but do not hear; some have eyes but do not see,” intimating I was around Robert for years but never understood him as deeply as my critic obviously thought he or she understood him.

I will say something here that they will not hear.

Robert taught freedom, not about the absolute, God, Brahman or even Consciousness. His last words at his last Satsang, was only one word, repeated over and over: Freedom;  Freedom; Freedom! But he used concepts and situations to affect the direction a student was heading in, and at Sunday Satsangs, he was pure Ramana.

On Thursday evenings he sometimes went much deeper.  Sometimes someone would ask a question and Robert would go on a roll.  The words that poured out were pure truth, insofar as truth can be expressed in words.  A few of us close to him and maybe a few visitors would be stunned.  Our minds would become weak and then wash away.

For a few minutes he stopped talking about karma, love, the guru teacher relationship, or anything else we could remember.  It was more or less about the Infinite, going altogether beyond knowing and unknowing, going beyond Brahman even.  We were transfixed.  There was a transmission of some sort, an energy, a grace descended.  These were Robert’s true teachings, golden words about that which is beyond concepts, the world, and ANY experience, no matter how transformative or transcendental.

Then he would return to earth and be Robert again.  But we were changed.

The concepts Robert taught about karma, God, oneness or Consciousness itself, would be untaught during a Satsang a week or two later.  He knew all concepts, especially spiritual concepts, were illusory, empty.  Once in a while he would give an entire Satsang talking about the Four Principals, Three understandings, or something like that, and at the end of Satsang he’d become silent for a moment, then announce that all he had just said, all the knowledge and concepts were bullshit.   He didn’t use that term of course, that is mine.  He’d say, “I gave you a story and concepts because that is what you like to hear.”  Robert considered Satsangs, especially Sundays’, to be pure crowd entertainment.

Besides some of those hot Thursday night Satsangs, a few of us met with him weekly or even more frequently on a personal basis, for lunch or a movie.  Here quietly Robert would work on us to help us win our own freedom, either by setting up a situation within the Sangha to make us let go of certain ideas, conditions, desires or ambitions, or by offering concepts opposed to those we held on to.

Robert taught many different methods of meditation, and each in the audience was free to select whichever method they liked most.  But the method he taught most was self-inquiry in its myriad of forms, and self-abidance.  He taught us to go inwards, into our inner emptiness where dwelled the mind, images, emotions and everything we called subjective. There we were to just watch. Watch for the I-thought and find its origin.  Watch the other thoughts come and go.  Look for the subject.

This place is as close as we can come to our true nature in consciousness, but from time to time, he’d say we were beyond even that.  AND SO WE ARE!

You know, so many students say they want that, complete freedom, enlightenment, but in fact they don’t.  They hang onto concepts and exploration of concepts and new experiences. Many, many came for a year or two and thoroughly understood what Robert was saying, took those concepts into the world and the experiences they had with Robert, and became teachers.  Some just left and looked to a new teaching thinking Robert’s teachings lacked something.  Eventually the fire of seeking dies out, and maybe after 10 or 30 years they come to peace and stop seeking.  But in most, even after 30 years there is a hunger to find the real, a final resting place of truth, which is so hard to find because they use the mind and “teacher of the day” to find ultimate rest, which is really discovery of their own true nature which is always with them.

The problem is they have accumulated so many spiritual systems which remain as contaminates of their pure nature, that it is impossible to ever find their Self unless there is some life crisis that shakes them and their belief systems to the core.

To use an analogy, through the years, people accumulate a wide variety of spiritual clothes which gives them some warmth and safety in a cold and harsh world.  But to see the Self, become the Self you are, you need to shed all those clothes. You have to undress and shed all of those hard bought spiritual clothes, the koans, prayers, beliefs in karma, the I Am, the Beloved, concepts of family, guru/disciple, spiritual progress, compassion, and even concepts of transcending. 

This is what I am trying to do with you as Robert did with me: Undress you until you become naked, exposed for you and all to see clearly.  Nothing is hidden, no private treasure is kept in the closet not to be touched by self-inquiry.  Everything is thrown away.

But this often brings terror.  “I have no clothes, no security, no stability, what am I to do?  I am frightened and terrified.  I need someone, something to hang on to.  I need the warmth of soft teachings and maybe a father or mother figure as a teacher.  I need to feel safe.”  This is the dilemma of the sincere student.  He comes looking for the Absolute and finds only that the teacher wants him to become naked before God and his own Self.  

The teacher says, “I am here.  I can take you, but can you receive? Can you stay by me and walk into Nothingness without all your clothes, books and concepts?  Are you courageous enough to drop the mind and tolerate the cold harshness of the world in order to discover who you are?”

So few are. Robert knew this and dished out Advaita concepts on Sundays and maybe deeper concepts of no concepts on some Thursdays.  He sold a lot of spiritual clothes, because for some, that is all they could take.

Even I failed with Robert. I failed to move to Sedona to be with him through his last days.  I was terrified and even got deathly ill when I got close to Sedona.  My mind and my entire beingness rebelled and failed me, the Self.  I could not take Robert’s cooking anymore, his “games,” his created situations, and the lack of security I felt going there.

Robert, on the other hand was fearless.  Before he left he told me he would be betrayed by all the people who were trying to seduce him to leave Los Angeles with promises of financial support, and support of Satsang. 

One by one these people came to me and told me how they were going to help Robert and also me to get settled and find a job.  I reported what they said to Robert, and he frankly told me that they would never keep their word.  He told me that every one of them would betray him, yet he went to them knowing this.

This turned out to be truth.  They did not support him as they promised and finances were always desperate.  Robert often called me or I him just to talk, and he continually wanted me to come, but I could not.  I was afraid because there was nothing there for me.  The people there made it clear I was not wanted.  They wanted Robert all to themselves alone. All the former promises disappeared once Robert was their captive.  Yet he went into the unknown, knowing this, and out of fear, I did not follow.

So I ask, do you trust me to take you to an unknown goal of freedom?  I won’t even take you to the safety of the “Absolute,” or “Brahman,” or “God,” for these are just words to give comfort.  Are you willing to shed all your concepts, beliefs and security to enter the unknown?  Or like most, are you more interested in the excitement of buying new clothes, and shopping at the niche shops of Advaita, Sufism, mystical Christianity, Taoism, Jainism, or being with an energy guru?