31 May 2012

Dear Ed,

I have been "lurking" for several months, after watching a Satsang video on "Broken-ness." You played the "Jyoti Se Jyota" chant then [one of my very favorites] and as soon as my eyes closed, I dropped straight into the heart/void on the right. It was so deep, so fast, that it was shocking. This was a fairly potent sign, IMO. I was with Adi Da for 15 yrs ['76-'91] and a woman Guru, XXXXXXX  [mostly unknown] for the next 15 yrs.

Briefly, even since childhood there have been many Nirvikalpa samadhis, and three "major" awakening experiences [no capital "A".] The shortest was 5 mos, the longest a full yr. The re-veiling is like a steel trap on the open heart...devastating for a time. The last was in '04 and XXXXXXX announced to her small circle of devotees that, "V. is Awake." She was very happy, as was I obviously. We played in the seemingly bottomless depth of our new "relationship" of no-separation. [Her other devotees were left in varying stages of jealousy and terror.] As for "the awakening," the major problem was that there was a someone left over who supposedly awoke.

It took awhile to become obvious. When it did, XXXXXXX was first very sad...and then--a few months later--felt betrayed. Her other devotees were, need I say, ecstatic over "my" misfortune. 

It went from bad to worse. She let them vent on me, I was verbally abused, shunned, nearly spat on by one man, and her husband called me an "abomination," and then was given the OK by S to treat me as though I didn't exist [...it was called an "avoidance clause."]...AND we lived in the same house.
During the next six months [it was a long beating,] I was holding to the understanding which still remained...since even if it is not permanent, you are not exactly the same either. She, herself, eventually used intense shaming and humiliation in front of the whole group...it was not a spontaneous event, she had planned it as I later discovered... and my trust in her died that day. It was meant to humble me, but it FELT so scripted that something in me spontaneously recoiled. It is a very sad day when your trust in your Guru dies. I left two months later, and am not proud of some of the things I wrote to her. At the same time, I felt there was something about the bridge between us that had to be burned.

That was nearly 6 yrs ago. The "miscarried" awakening did leave a deeper awareness of Presence, a real yet still delicate grounding in the "I AM." I moved back to the SF Bay area, continuing to inquire. There have been nirvikalpas still, and a growing humility. I do not pretend to be Awake, nor do I feel like a failure. What I am is serious about this matter of living in the Natural State of Being that I have seen to be the True Reality. There is more work to do...I DO understand vasanas now!...and the mind cannot bring their demise. I have read all you have written...your expression of True Realization is so FULL, that my heart weeps for Joy. I am broken still but the deep love I will always have for my past Teachers has brought forgiveness, and that has brought a humility I've never had...so they did serve me. Because of them, Ed, I am ready for you. 

With love and respect, 

PS...this might interest you. XXXXXXX is/was friends with Sarada and Lakshmana. I met them in '92 at their home. [X had already visited them several times...I have a beautiful photo of X&S together the first time they met...and one of X/S/L also.] XXXXXXX bought Swami a little van so he could resume his daily circumambulations around Arunachala. X said he called her his "spiritual daughter." A couple of years later, XXXXXXX said I was her "spiritual daughter"...it was during my false-alarm Witness awakening. [I imagine she has taken it back though.] Sarada stopped communications with XXXXXXX some years back...as did Gangaji. XXXXXXX felt their awakenings were not as complete as Adi Da's or hers. My educated guess is that she conveyed that to them in some manner...not disrespectfully, but I know she wanted to serve their fullest Liberation [ie, Adi Da's 7th stage.] It may not have gone over too well. Anyway...just sharing a little history on our mutual "lineage" ;-) 

...If you feel that including this in the blog would be of use to "others," then please do so.

V. You and I need to talk about Da and his teachings.  There appeared to be so much concepts in him, especially regarding what his experiences meant.  Yes, the experiences of awakening are many, but more important is to recognize and know the knower.  The experiences of bliss and ecstasy are also near infinite. You appear to have already had those sorts of experiences and thus in a sense, your trip is already complete, because post those awakening experiences, there is a natural unfolding that has nothing to do with V. as a person, or anything you can practice.  I don't think you want to get rid of the person or personal, just the finitude and self-imposed limitations of that apparent person.


  1. Hi Ed,

    Your comment about Adi Da caught my attention and I wondered if you would be kind enough to elaborate a little. I, too, spent time with him, almost 10 years. My experiences were wonderful, life-changing, but in the end left me puzzled and not quite sure what to make of the whole thing. I never doubted his realization, and he certainly employed virtually any and all means to 'cook' his students, along with amazing displays/transmission of Siddhi and Presence and Love. I have never in my life met anyone so free and happy.

    I had already spent time in Zen (including Tassajara), sat with Muktananda, Krishnamurti, Trungpa, and various other 60s and 70s gurus. But nobody in the community gathered around Adi Da(that I knew) really 'woke up'. We all became more 'human' and much more sobered about what the spiritual process really and truly entailed. But he was a one-off, no lineage bearers. Did Robert ever say anything about him?

    Thank you for your site and the wisdom you communicate. It's refreshingly deep compared to the rather shallow pool of new age advaitans.


  2. Fantastic letter. I wish I could meet the person and become friends with her. I have many questions to ask as my brief path so far has been so similar.

  3. Hi Mr. Muzika. I know you've kind of dissociated yourself from Zen, but I was wondering whether you wanted to comment on Case 29 of the Blue Cliff Record? Sorry if this isn't the best place to post this.

    A monk asked Daizui,
    "When the great kalpa fire is inflamed, the whole universe will be destroyed. I wonder if 'that' will also be destroyed or not."

    Daizui said,

    The monk said,
    "If so, will 'that' be gone with the other?"

    Daizui said,
    "Gone with the other."

    On another note, I'd like to thank you for both this blog and your other websites. They've been a tremendously helpful resource over the years. I don't like being melodramatic, but I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you how much I appreciate the guidance you have (unknowingly) given to me.