21 February 2012

Below is a letter received by me from an "old timer" responding to a previous post on the guru/student relationship. Lauditory letters like this from sadhakas who have been close to a guru for many years and who have observed hundreds and maybe thousands of guru/teacher relationships are incredibly valuable.  It is easy for beginners to go overboard about a teacher--for a time--but someone who has lived in ashrams over a decade, and served a teacher all during that time--their feedback is precious.

Dear Ed,

I have read and re-read this document many times... I want to say thank you for taking the time to write this and make it available to all of us part of your Sangha in whatever way we engage in that Sangha.

Having lived in a spiritual community for 13 years that mainly focused on Bhakti, I can say that the traits of Self-inquiry, trust, devotion, maturity, and obedience are essential to maintaining a true and powerful transformational relationship with your growth, yourself, and the Master who is guiding that process. Honestly, Even in a committed, structured format the place was absolutely insane as the buried emotions, pain, hurt, and projections bubbled up in the presence of Truth ... For exactly the reasons that you have put forth...

Let us not forget that the student came to the Master. The Master did not come to the student. The student decided there was something that Master had to offer or else the student would never have been seeking in the first place and the Master could never have been revealed to the student.

"When the Student is ready, the Master appears... and when the student resists, the Master withdraws..."

I understand that the sacred transmission of darshan (often misunderstood) is a Divine initiator to any student who realizes its true nature. Over the years, I have found there are many who have unrealistic expectations about what the Guru is going to do for you. In my experience the Guru can only meet the student where the student chooses to be met.

Therefore that Guru/disciple relationship reflects the depth of that sincere open-hearted intention of the student and that determines what can actually be received and in what manner. In this way, the power to transform your life is, has, and will always be in the hands of the individual student... It is up to that individual student NOT the Guru to "make it happen.." for yourself.  If one focuses on the so-called unrefined traits, or human flaws of that Master then that is what will reveal itself... If one choose to focus on the keys, tools, the presence, and the darshan offered, that is what will be revealed.

The Guru is truly the ever-flowing river of Love constantly revealing itself in the infinite number of ways that the student will allow...

I want to personally express my gratitude to you Edji for offering me the tools, the darshan, and that unconditional love that has helped me to continue to experience the depth of myself in a profound manner that I did not think was possible. I want to thank you for being an awake voice in the midst of the illusion. I want to thank you for the inspiration of your presence, your honesty, your humanity, and your friendship, your patience, and your guidance.

Even in seeing your humanity, which has only made you more real to me, I have experienced the depth of your commitment to waking up, and your desire to assist me in that process... Thank you... 


  1. This is great and much appreciated.


  2. oh your god !!!!
    Absolutely blown away by your website.The accessibility to you is quite unbelievable
    thank you ...and its free !! you can't possible be American - but then You are not.
    I was introduced to Nisargaddatta and sailor Bob by my friend David. I have guided him to your teachings and he is dancing round my kitchen like a lit up Nataraj!!!

    love love love YOU
    thank you

  3. My heart cries out for all the students who left, who struggled, who were disappointed in Ed and the Sangha. I am sad because we glorify the guru but have little compassion for ourselves, for being students in search of our Truth, so lost and so confused. It is a difficult and painful path. So perplexing. If it were only as simple. Having to give up everything is so excruciatingly difficult. Having to tolerate the tension of unresolved conflicts, unknown impulses, the love and hate that come. It is so hard on us. Let us love ourselves a little, just a little. The fear and the unknown will always remain. Just a little love for being human, being lost, being hurt and disappointed. Just a little compassion ...

    Janet B.

  4. Thank you Edji, for making all of these illuminating writings written by both yourself and others available to us for no cost. You are a rare gem, and we are all so very luck to have found you. Thank you also for your compassionate commitment to the discovery of truth and love for all.


  5. i can't do words anymore.
    they make me sick.
    this song squeezes all the agony and
    longing out of me like toothpaste out of the tube.