20 March 2012

I just got an email from a friend and student saying he is going to Nepal for 6 months to spend time in a monastery in order to go “deep.”  He plans on doing this even now that his practice  at home got better. Part of his desire to travel was a breakup with his fiance.  He wrote:

I am glad to tell you that my mediation sittings are deepen itself again. This morning I was clearly aware of a changing in the body awareness. My body felt like a thing, a living subtle vibrating energy. It didn't feel like me. It was subtle, spacey and objective. I was only in wonder looking at this phenomena. Thoughts are there but the mind did feel strong and like a rock. And in the background there was a continuum sense of beingness. This all passing by in less then half a hour. I tell you this only to express my joy of feeling connected again with something deeper in myself.“

He wanted me to bless his journey.

Another student wrote from India, writing of an experience of love with a woman that happened there and the sense of I Am that arose from it:

“Then she left and I was utterly amazed how devastated I actually felt. It really was painful and I wondered what to do with that. I started to feel the grief and sadness, really sit with it. Then it transformed into this immense beauty and devotion to existence itself. It was like nothing I ever experienced and I still get chills of bliss right now just writing about it. There was a clearer view, a more FELT view of the "I am". And instead of grief now came a warm gratitude to her for blessing me with this.

He does not realize that this ingoing he is experiencing is partially due to his breakup, and the ingoing of the love energy previously directed outwards to another.

R. left for Thailand from his home after being a student devoted to self-inquiry, “In order to experience life and grow.”  He has been going in and out of happiness since, but then abruptley left our satsang because of a personal crisis and his desire to find a woman and more experiences before enlightenment.

Another student is teaching English in Vietnam and visiting Buddhist temples.

Another dear student abruptly decided to go the the jungles of Peru to take some psychedelic plant with a shaman for a number of complex reasons.

Yet another student just spent a month in India and thinks to go back two more times during the next year.

I just don’t get it.

What you all are seeking is YOU.  YOU are always there. Being with your Sadguru—the human guru who knows who he or she is—can help YOU and you recognize and be YOU, but all the traveling to monasteries, shamans, monks, foreign retreats, jungle visits, etc., all occur on the level of the body and mind, and experiences of the body and mind.

Much of the seeking above is really seeking the love of another human in a romantic relationship, or the result of a breakup of a romantic relationship with all the loving energy of the I Am, now no longer having an external object, and the love turns inward on its own self, but the mind tells the person that can only be found in some exotic land in some exotic spiritual institution. 

You can explore your inner world of visions, energies, archetypes, emotions, “guided finds” also known as impulses, listening to talks, having new teachers, new experiences, etc., and what will you have found?  ONLY MORE OF THE SAME! Anything that happens on the level of the body, or the mind, such as knowledge, experiences such as love, sex, psychedelics, drugs, and meditation experiences, are just on the level of the body and mind.

There is no freedom here.  There is only endless, empty exploration which may seem exciting while you are doing it, but after a dozen years of such seeking, what will you do?

It is only by going deep into yourself that you will find what you seek.  Go deeper than the body, deeper than the mind and thoughts, books, lectures and the next guru.  Deeper into the Void and emptiness, and deeper still into the I Am experience.  Go deeper into YOU.  You can do it alone, but it tends to get boring because everyone wants to go too quickly without exhausting the teachings of each level of the Void and of the I Am.

Being in the presence of someone who knows the Self is the best practice. All of the other seeking is bullshit.


  1. The stillness sometimes comes to visit now without being asked. I need to develop more affection to it and let go of thought more. Either way staying as stillness can make the most ordinary life at home moment very extraordinary. No need to go anywhere. Simply here.
    Love Mark

  2. Why every post YOU write seems so exact like hitting a nail. I haven't traveled a lot on this road, but I have been introduced to self-inquiry from the beginning, and whenever I went elsewhere because "nothing was happening", I had this strong "come back" sense. One day I saw clearly that all circus is on body/mind level.
    Still sometimes world pulls so strong, only immediately imagining Your face and saying "I AM" relieves the vortex of pulling energy. I see You as Absolute and You are my Goal.

    Nowadays society sometimes is called materialistic. Its' main goals is to pursue material goods.
    How about a cup of spiritual materialism? Isn't it the same? Traveling from one place to another and again other, again other, in the context of spirituality is actually same, at least in my eyes.

    I travel from Earth to Saturn. I am in the spaceship. Spaceship is named Ed.

    I don't travel alone. There are people traveling with me. On the same spaceship. This spaceship is very fast and it goes straight to the Saturn.

    I had window near my sit, through that window I saw many spaceships and I decided to go look closer, those spaceships apparently too are traveling to Saturn.

    But spaceships are different. Forms are different. Some spaceship travel very slow, some travel to the Moon and Mars first and then to the Saturn. Some even go to other galaxies before going to Saturn.

    When I saw beautiful spaceship with various vortexes of energies around it I could not take my eyes off and decided to go there. But I had a rope, I tied it tightly around my waist to the spaceship called Ed. The rope was the thing which, even though totally sucked in in beautiful spaceship, still reminded of fast and straightforward spaceship called Ed.

    One day I saw how this beautiful spaceship was just standing, but because of its moving energies around, it seemed that it traveled faster than spaceship called Ed. What a relief, I thought, its good that the rope was still there. I came back.

    Yet, I saw another more beautiful and seemingly faster spaceship through the window....

    And it went on for some time.

    Then I said, Pilot, I understand that those beautiful spaceships does not even lead to Saturn, but the attraction is so strong, please help. And what do you think? The Pilot who is riding spaceship called Ed, just came to my sit and closed the window.
    I am traveling straight.
    Just so simple...

  3. Arvydas! yes, so simple it is! To see it so simply is grace...what else is left to do? You are done in that devotion!
    blessings to you

  4. I miss you, Ed. I need to come visit again. hope all is well!


  5. the only reason I see for going to jungles/monasteries etc... is to cut out all "disturbances" that keep you involved in worldly life and make you procrastinate self-inquiry.

    But I agree it's something that can be done at home without traveling somewhere. Just have a simple life: job, family and self exploration, cutting out all the rest.

    Even Nisargadatta abandoned his work/family after his awakening but later he realized it was pointless and returned to his old life.

  6. Patience and persistence; both so difficult in an 'I want it now' society.

    And when I don't get it now, I assume if I try something different, something new, some new adventure, some new teacher that it will speed up the so called process.

    Thanks Ed for the hard hitting, no bullshit pointing.

    Much Love,

  7. Hi Edji,
    Your pointing is of great importance and impact to me and it makes me reflect on my motivations deeply. It reminds me to the words of Robertji: "You have the choice to go deep within or just being part of this world which is always changing". At the same time Robert himself spent years in India wandering around leaving his wife and children behind. Going within is not depended on India, California or Amsterdam. A real sadhaka is at home wherever he goes. Yes, the path is slippery indeed and it is hard to judge the steps of somebody else. The one who is in the presence of somebody who knows the Self is blesses indeed. But these Self-realized beings are rare to find if recognized at all. Therefore I'll go my way to realize this truth for myself. My heart is open and your words are resonating in me. My deepest respect.

  8. Dennis, Robert and I are giving advice based on lifetimes of experience. Ditto Ramana who never left Arunachala. I have not left LA in 40 years. Robert was not a chela or a sadhaka when he traveled. He was totally self-realized. If you knew his wife, you might understand why he wanted to travel alone. You ned to look deep into yourself as to why you want to travel. Be realistic. Dig deep. Each moment of travel is distracting.

  9. What Robert Adams said on this subject:

    In Advaita Vedanta, the knower is the last to go. What comes after the knower? Silence! There is nothing else.

    Just think how much knowledge you've gathered all these years. Reading so many books. Meditating for years. Seeing so many teachers. Having so many discussions, debates, arguments. Can't you see now this is what's been holding you back? This is what has been holding you back. You have believed that you're the knower and that you have to become a knower to become free.

    Yet no one has to know anything for there is absolutely nothing to know. Why is there nothing to know? Because there is only omnipresence, infinity, absolute reality and there is no name for this.

    In other words, you cannot know absolute reality. You cannot know pure awareness. As long as there is someone who knows about it, it doesn't exist. It's only when you put an end to knowing that you become the Self. The Self has no shape, no form, no identity. It is no thing. Yet you are that. What are you going to do about it?

    When most of you walk out this door you'll start discussions, arguments. You'll start thinking about your outside world. You'll start thinking about your body, your material happiness, or your material suffering. And you'll be back where you started. What I'm saying to you is if you could only learn to be quiet, in your mind. If your mind learns to keep quiet, it will become weaker and weaker and you will notice that all the action you're talking has absolutely nothing to do with you.

    Yet you will do things, go places, experience this so-called life, and you are doing absolutely nothing. For there's no one left to do anything. There's no one left to get sick, there's no one left to be healthy. There's no one left to be poor, there's no one left to be rich. There's no one left to possess anything and there's no one left not to possess anything. There's just no one left, and this is what gives you freedom. And the only way you can get to that place is to keep quiet. To be silent.

    R.A The Knower is the last to go! - 9th January, 1992

  10. Ed, it feels like you are absolutely right. However 2th of April the flight goes of to Kathmandu. I was considering many arguments and sharp analyzes to make you understand that my motivations are sincere. But to be honest I really I don't know what is driving me. Just want to break with 'daily live' and the endless repetition of going out working for money and circling around in the known. Hope to find the right place for a long retreat and wandering around in the mountains but even that I don't know. It seems all fucking bullshit, staying at 'home' or walking around Mount Kailash. I am a bird without a cage longing for the Self.

  11. Ed,

    Back from the jungle - I am the student who went to Peru. I learned what I had intuited - there are experiences and experiences and some experiences are worth traveling to the end of the world.

    There are experiences that have to be experienced before the drive to experience itself is transcended.

    Didn't Robert travel to India to meet Ramana, and even afterwords he continued to meet other gurus like Nizargadatta and another Indian guru.

  12. Jungle person, does it matter what Robert did? He was already self-realized before he went to India. He knew the self and beyond. But he advised those who were looking to stay in one place, one teacher, one teaching, one method and to go deep.

    Ramana never moved from his mountain. Nisargadatta left home for a year and then decided it was useless.

    You just love traveling and experiencing things. You are not yet done with the world.

  13. ... and Papaji traveled until he got too old for that . Ed, traveling isn't necessarily linked with seeking - it can be just another way of living, like the gypsies. I love to live out of my backpack and being exposed to the unknown, sometimes settling for a while, sometimes floating like a leaf on the river. And this has all nothing to do with any spiritual search - it's just the way where I feel damn alive.
    Om shanti


  14. ... and Papaji traveled until he got too old for that . Ed, traveling isn't necessarily linked with seeking - it can be just another way of living, like the gypsies. I love to live out of my backpack and being exposed to the unknown, sometimes settling for a while, sometimes floating like a leaf on the river. And this has all nothing to do with any spiritual search - it's just the way where I feel damn alive.
    Om shanti


  15. Yes, nothing wrong with travel per se, I am concerned about seekers looking all over the world to find themselves.