28 June 2012

Pass this information around; help stop people eating meat. Instead on bringing up issues of morality and compassion, just let people know eating meat kills them!

Study: Too much red meat may shorten lifespan

By Anne Harding, Health.com
updated 10:40 AM EDT, Tue March 13, 2012
In addition, a diet rich in red meat is likely to come up short in other areas, says Robert Ostfeld, M.D.
In addition, a diet rich in red meat is likely to come up short in other areas, says Robert Ostfeld, M.D.
  • A new study is the first to estimate the effect of red meat on a person's lifespan
  • Each additional daily serving was associated with a 20% higher risk of dying
  • Charring red meat at high temperatures can produce carcinogens on the surface
Editor's note: Read this story in Arabic.
(Health.com) -- Want to live longer? Trade some of the red meat in your diet for fish, nuts, whole grains, and other healthier protein sources, Harvard researchers say.
That's the conclusion of a new study, published this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine, that found that the risk of dying at an early age -- from heart disease, cancer, or any other cause—rises in step with red-meat consumption.
Eating too much red meat, which is high in saturated fat and cholesterol, has long been seen as unhealthy, especially for the heart. The new study, however, is the first to estimate the effect of swapping out red meat on a person's lifespan.
Dangers of eating red meat
Is eating red meat bad for health?
Using data from two long-running studies of health professionals, researchers tracked the diets of more than 121,000 middle-aged men and women for up to 28 years. Roughly 20% of the participants died during that period.
On average, each additional serving of red meat the participants ate per day was associated with a 13% higher risk of dying during the study. Processed red meat products -- such as hot dogs, bacon, and salami -- appeared to be even more dangerous: Each additional daily serving was associated with a 20% higher risk of dying.
Based on these findings, the researchers estimate that substituting one daily serving of red meat with fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, whole grains, or low-fat dairy products would reduce the risk of dying in this stage of life by 7% to 19%. If everyone in the study had slashed their average red-meat intake to less than half a serving per day, the researchers say, 9% of deaths among men and 8% of deaths among women could have been prevented.
"Our message is to try to reduce the red meat consumption to less than two to three servings per week," says lead author An Pan, Ph.D., a research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston.
"We don't want everyone to be a vegetarian," Pan says, though he adds that avoiding processed red meat altogether may be a good idea. "It's better to go with unprocessed products and plant-based foods."
Dean Ornish, M.D., the founder and president of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute, in Sausalito, California, says a plant-based diet provides a "double benefit" in that it reduces a person's exposure to the harmful substances in meat while also providing valuable nutrients.
"There are literally hundreds of thousands of protective substances that you find in fruits and vegetables and whole grains and legumes and soy products that prevent disease," says Ornish, who wrote an editorial accompanying the study.
Why is red meat, and especially processed red meat, potentially harmful? In addition to the high saturated fat content, which can contribute to heart disease, charring red meat at high temperatures can produce carcinogens on the surface, Pan says. And processed meats contain certain additives that in high quantities are believed to promote cancer as well.
In addition, a diet rich in red meat is likely to come up short in other areas, says Robert Ostfeld, M.D., a cardiologist and associate professor of clinical medicine at Montefiore Medical Center, in the Bronx, N.Y.
"If you eat more red meat, on average, you may be eating fewer fruits and vegetables, so you're getting the bad things from the red meat and you're not getting the good things from the fruits and vegetables," says Ostfeld, who did not participate in the study. "My preference is for people to have as little red meat as they can, and I think it's ideal to avoid red meat."

A message I received yesterday.  The author wanted to remain anonymous.

Dear Ed,

It’s been a while since I’ve written and thus a while since we’ve spoken.
How are you?... I trust you’re doing well, as happy as happy can be?

So the subject of this letter is love.  Love, as the binding force, is sticky.  The sense of urgency, and the sense of willingness behind all agency, behind all actions, is but love.  This is said to be the truth and yet we don’t see it. 

My thoughts have been on love, for the endeavor of understanding oneself is, in essence, one of love.  Your message of loving unabashedly, with all one’s being, abandoning concepts surrounding an ‘impersonal love’ – because what I would call ‘impersonal’ is but another shade of my uniquely ‘personal’ experience – is unorthodox and probably earns you a good amount of flak.

However what you say resonates: love, truly loving, through pain, through pleasure, through light and dark, continue loving.  The depth experienced in truly falling in love, totally and completely in love, to that extent will the roots of attention take hold. 

It’s clearing and tilling the soil as you say.  

To truly love, abandoning the concept of ‘personal’ vs. ‘impersonal’, is to become totally exposed to life, and thus to become truly alive.  Is it so?  Only through having known love, forcefully putting aside concepts, even ‘spiritual’ ones, is one really ready to go inside.  Is this right?

This whole conversation is just words.  But in truth this word called ‘love’ points to a force, a reality, something that’s totally my own, but it can’t really be approached or handled casually with concepts.  To be able to love, but to really love, appears to require a maturity and depth of understanding usually brought about by searching, experiencing frustration; the highs and lows and everything in between.

Having not known love but attempting to ‘transcend suffering’ by asking ‘who am I?’, is kind of like a child who declares that he’s going to be an astronaut when he grows up.  It’s like wanting the ocean without first sailing down the river.

It’s like wanting to orgasm without even having gone through the intense yearning of connecting with a first kiss, which then leads to making out, undressing garment-by-garment, imbibing her essence through her kiss and the smell of her soft supple neck; all kinds of for-play, penetration, etc.  And only then, ‘kaboom’.

It’s like practicing self-enquiry to avoid pain.

It’s like praying to God for deliverance without having taken a hard look at yourself, your deepest yearnings and your pain (For that pain needs my love).
Maybe this is why you insist on me being clear when saying the verb “to Awaken”?  Perhaps this is why you criticize teachers’ concepts (or my dependence thereon)?  Such concepts (even the most lofty) stunt my growth because I rely on them instead of relying on me.  Is this right? 

Therefore, to abandon all concepts (including spiritual ones) is tantamount to and synonymous with learning how to really love.  Love can only flow when unobstructed, and holding on to those ideas that protect me most, obstructs love, ironically.  To learn to love is, in itself, turning away from concepts and embracing that ever flowing deluge or current??

I felt it reading your words.  There was a sense of understanding opening up.
So, go deep into love through whatever shape that divine force assumes.  Love.  And then… and then.

So, love is sticky.  I’ve always thought that spirituality was the art of staying “high and dry”; but now I’m seeing that I was mistaken.  It’s really about how drenched in it you can get.

I feel incredibly lucky to have heard of this teaching; incredibly lucky that Maharaj’s words, and more recently your words, fill my heart and make That ‘visible’.

Over the past months sitting has become so easy, so simple, and intensely interesting (although very ordinary at the same time, if that makes sense).
It’s like a mooring has been cast.  The mooring could be quite long but sooner or later the dock will be reached.  I feel this way.

27 June 2012

Of Energies, Ecstasies and Orgasms

Many of the readers of this blog or Facebook have noted that several students are continuously speaking of energies they feel, currents traveling through their body or sense of presence. Sometimes the energies are extremely pleasurable, turning into bliss as the currents move, and then into ecstasies once the movements stop and the body/presence is “filled.”

The most common experience with these energies are intense love and orgasms in women, either of the genital sort, or most often felt in the heart.  Then the orgasms spread to the entire body and become so intense that one feels they are going to explode. See, you who have dwelled in your head, are now becoming intimately aware of your bodies and sense of presence.

These energies have a million manifestations and are always accompanied by feeling ecstatic love and grace at some point. One just wants to surrender to God or Guru or to another person who is an external representation of your own Self.

Sometimes the energies flow intensely for days or weeks (or years) at a time.  One becomes incapacitated.  Feeling the bliss and orgasms, one’s attention to the external world ceases. The inner world work of the energies and bliss is so captivating that one becomes useless in the world.

Chores do not get done.  Children and spouses are ignored.  One’s ability to maintain employment is severely compromised.  One is beginning to be aware of the bliss of the Self.

Then the struggle begins to continue to remain in the external world.  One feels guilty for ignoring the children and fear arises for their continued employment. One begins to do all sorts of things to bring these energies and “attachment” to the ecstasies and orgasms under control, but to no avail.

Once you have been bitten by the ecstasies and orgasms, they will stay and bug you until you stop trying to control them.  Just let them pass through.  Force yourself to work and pay attention to the kids when you can, but other times, go off by yourself and let the energies flow.

Along with the energies and orgasms, comes the arising of all kinds of intense emotions, from anger and hate, to the most sublime forms of love, surrender, and peace.  One begins to oscillate between poles of pleasure, love and peace, to outrage, hate and destructive breaking.  It is as if you had become two years old again.

So, what do these ecstatic states mean?  Why are they there?  What is to be done with them?

First, you have top recognize they do not happen to all people.  Really, only a subset of highly emotional and sensitive people encounter these experiences during their Sadhana.  These people often are healers and empaths, highly sensitive already to their inner states and the inner states of others.  Also, they occur far more often in women than in men.  Often too, these people have had “broken” childhoods that have left “fissures” in their personality structures that allow easy access to unconscious movements in the “Id,” the pre-egoic unconsciousness.

Secondly, you need to recognize that the ecstasies are always there, but when you begin practice, either by going deep inside and finding, then loving your sense of self, or by loving someone else as an object-substitute for your own Self, maybe for the first time, your attention, your energy leaves your brain and thinking, and you become aware of these energies that are always there and moving and “playing” within you.

You have become aware of a deeper part of yourself, a deeper level of consciousness, and this is good.  The ecstasies and bliss mean you are escaping from the mind.  It turns your attention towards your heart, your gut, and your genitals.  Really, it is quite liberating.  You become alive again.  You have escaped the poverty of mental life and also quietism of superficial meditation states. The pleasure of the ecstasies turns your attention away from thinking, doing, planning and performing, towards just being inside yourself.

But, you will soon learn that all these experiences are just temporary, and they are not YOU.  They just happen to you, just as do thoughts and thinking.  They are separate from you and do not really affect YOU, the witness at all.

However, they are also harbingers of the event of Self-Realization, where the Self reveals itself to you, the little I, as the big I.  Then you will fall to your knees in worship of God and guru, who are really you.

This whole area of energies can be immensely fascinating, but at some point you have to move on.  It is not you that moves on, but your attention moves on.  You see the energies and orgasms for what they are, just another set of phenomena, and they really have nothing to do with you.  Nor are they really in your body.  They are really in your sense of presence, and as such, you move beyond a body-identification towards an identification with consciousness itself.

However, the most difficult “annoyance” that occurs to most who are experiencing sensitivity to these inner movements, is the arising of some extremely painful emotions and often terrifying hallucinations, and great fear. Fear of being destroyed, fear of going insane because these experiences are so unlike anything you experienced before.

There is often jealousy as you associate the love or ecstasies you feel as having an object source outside of you, a lover, a guru, or God, and you feel your ecstasies and orgasms can be taken away if that external representation of your own true Self, even looks at another person, or does not pay enough attention to you.  There is an intense regression to being a two or a four year old level of personality.

Now you are even less engaged in the world and you feel more guilty for being  so child-like and dependent.

But you see, you are being prepared for a new life, one centered in your own beingness and heart as opposed to living from a role and concepts.

Utilizing the spontaneous sexual energies, and non-sexual energy flows within the body and one's sense of presence, triples the benefits of just turning within and focusing on the I Am. It gives self-abidance practice real juice, a wetness that Ramana-style self-inquiry lacks. It leads to loving the apparently external other with such passion and abandon that you lose the small self, who just wants to surrender and die in that other.  Then comes the big surprise one day in a recognition that the immense love and surrender you feel is really you.  It is your true nature, and the love just flows and flows, coming from a directly perceived Self that absorbs and swallows the small I, leaving one living from the heart. 

Now, some remarks on managing the processes. 

Don’t take these energies or sexuality too seriously.  All this stuff will pass.  Just enjoy these preparatory processes while they last.  If your husband or wife leaves you because you can pay enough attention to them, so be it.  They were not meant to stay longer in your life.  The same with your job.  Maybe you were not meant to be a V.P. of finance or Information Technology.  Maybe you want a simpler employment, or maybe you want to become a teacher yourself by mastering all levels of the teachings, the Dharma.

Also, the energies are exacerbated when you don’t eat or go on a fast. Don’t fast in an attempt the enhance or decrease the energies, they will only get out of control this way.

Eat three or four times a day.  Try, try, try to get some sound sleep even if you have to take medications to do it, because good sleep is usually one of the first victims of the arising energies.

Try to repress nothing. Just let the energies and emotions flow through you.  In fact, if you try to impede them in any way, you will soon see your powerlessness to stop the volcano.

Do not do any Kundalini or tantric exercises while this is going on.  The energies will get out of control this way.  Do not do too much meditation at this time.  This level of your beingness needs to be fully explored and integrated before you do deeper. Just go out on the back porch, or to a park, sit quietly and let the energies and emotions race through you.  Just watch, see how they are not you.

I am really against engaging in any sort of practices to manage or control these energies, because you will likely get even more attached to them and utilizing them.  Let them spontaneously flow through you.  Trust that the Shakti knows the way to self-realization as it is unfolding through you better than any teachnique you might learn to modify or control it.

Just realize that soon all these states will pass in the sense that it is your attention to them and the pleasure of them that is sustaining them.  They all will pass and you will sink lower into even more silent and peaceful levels, not so jarring or enthralling as constant orgasms.  Take them only as being a sign of progress.  Nothing more. But even more importantly, relax and enjoy them as much as you can.  Get passive and enjoy them. Take them as a movement of the divine Self within you.
The "True" Teacher! 

Below are six short videos from YouTube of Nisargadatta. He was Jean Dunn’s teacher, and I think, the clearest and deepest of the 20th Century Jnanis. His personality is entirely, 180 degrees opposite that of Ramana and Robert Adams. The latter two are the “presentation molds” that many of you accept as signs of a “true” guru. Quietistic, smiling or at least vacant, always loving, always beatific, gentle, with a quiet, non-inflected voice. 

Take a look at Maharaj. He appears agitated, smoking like a chimney, he eats meat, and his movements are jerky, chaotic, and awkward. He is irritable with his students and not at all patient. He seems to be in a great hurry all the time. Often he kicks people out of Satsang for no known reason and plays games with some of his students, just as Jean Dunn, in order to make them uncomfortable. In all ways, he is an anti-Ramana and an anti Robert. 

Even Robert said he did not care for Maharaj because the latter was “rude.” 

Yet Nisargadatta, almost as much as Ramana and Robert, created the face of Advaita we now see in the West. Even most the neo-Advaitins claim him as a progenitor. 

Now, I also studied closely, for a long period of time with five Zen masters, including Seung Sahn Soen Sa. Seung Sahn too was a 20th Century powerhouse that transformed the face of Zen in the United States and in Europe. He must have had at least a dozen centers teaching his style of Zen when he died. He may have had 30 or 40 for all I know. He published a half dozen books and had thousands of students. 

I was lucky. I had a lot of contact with him in the mid 70s when his base of operations was in Los Angeles. Seung Sahn too, always appeared to be in a hurry. He was a dynamo. AND, his anger was legendary! Often we would hear S.S. on the phone to someone in Korea or in Providence, shouting at the top of his lungs. He went ballistic when someone presented him his oatmeal one morning with raisins in it. He screamed, “I have diabetes; I can’t have raisins.” One of his monks told me that if anyone fools around with any of his major donors, he almost tears their face off. 

Thus, I am curious. Why are so many of you out there convinced that a “true” teacher always looks and acts like Ramana? Please tell me, what is it that you get out of a teacher that has a quietist presentation like Ramana, rather than having a rich, dynamic, and energetic delivery with a full range of affect? Is it that you too have a “rich and overly energetic” presentation which you find painful and you seek respite from yourself in creating an illusion of peace? 

I do not get it. For many of you, a “true” teacher never gets angry or agitated. He does not participate in life. He lives in a different world, a world of peace, gentleness, no anger, no reaction to the world, desireless, sexless, and not a hint of judgment? Are you that needy of escape from your own humanity? Robert himself was not the way he came across is Satsang. 

Even in Satsang his sarcasm came across, but when you were with him, his sarcasm, which is a judging, became sharper, and behind people’s backs, he would be judgmental. Never in public mind you, but personally he would express his judgments about people, including who to trust or not trust, who was advanced and who was not. 

Look, I am 70 years old. Maybe I have another ten years of teaching. I am in a hurry too. I hate watching people cling to their ideas of what a “perfect” teacher is like, or how they should express themselves, or what their inner state is like. 

These concepts prevent you from realistically seeing yourself as you are and becoming yourself, because these concepts are filters by which you judge, and thus accept or reject, the teaching being offered, and also accept or reject the energetic impact of the teacher on you. 

It is really, really difficult to come to a teacher empty of concepts and judgments. And, this is precisely what a teacher is trying to teach: How to become empty of concepts, completely open. This is why I attack your concepts about spirituality and gurus. 

Move past your rejections and your limiting concepts, and behold Nisargadatta the Terrible!

26 June 2012

25 June 2012

So many of you talk about awakening, saying so and so is awake. Or, you have awakened. Or, you want to awaken.

What the fuck does that mean to you?  Is it an experience?  If so, of what? 

Is it an understanding?  If so, of what?

Is it both?  Is it neither?

Have you ANY idea what you are talking about, or are you just repeating words you have heard other students or "gurus" use?
Rajiv and others, please listen clearly. I am not bashing gurus or their methods.  I am bashing the words they use.  It is words read 100 or 1000 years later by someone in Buffalo N.Y. that can trap that person into an idealization of both Ramana, the picture painted of him by many disciples, and his teachings about consciousness.  This poor guy or girl may have nothing else to go on for years but being trapped in these concepts and projections flowing out of a need for security and projected onto this idol. 

Then later, he or she discovers the spiritual marketplace and finds it overcrowded with competing visions, teachers, workshops, paid skype sessions, and more than anything else, the concepts gurus teach, concepts about everything from love, to awakening, to “full-realization,” the need to be in Nirvakalpa Samadhi for 12 years with a guru until you awaken, Turiya, awareness, and a trillion other concepts and methods.

I knew Robert really, really well.

He used concepts to entertain and keep people coming back to Satsang to be in his presence.  It was not his words that that changed me or anyone else, it was his presence.  In his presence I was transformed.  It was his stillness, his lack of teaching that transformed me.  He was not of this world and I felt an intuition of that world when I was with him.

Therefore my teaching has nothing to do with any concepts, even those from my beloved Nisargadatta, and even less so from Robert or Ramana.  I worship Nisargadatta, and I have taken Robert into my heart and he is I.  I feel their grace constantly, and do not feel they would have felt betrayed because I say they often spoke bullshit.  I think they would smile to hear me say that.

If they were alive, I would tell people, “Go to Nisargadatta and Robert.  Just sit in their presence and listen.  Don’t judge or form concepts. Just listen and try to feel them with your beingness, with your heart.” 

I do not bash them, I bash their concepts.  I do not bash their methods, I embrace them and expand on the process of meditation on the I Am, and even use the concepts of the four bodies as a heuristic tool. 

But what I see in almost all of my students is being stuck in their everyday, personal life, trying desperately to get unstuck by following gurus, doing practices, and mostly reading books, which just crowd their minds with additional concepts which even more hide the truth of emptiness.

So my message is “Do not get even more stuck by becoming captured by a tradition or set of concepts that are not relevant to that which you know for certain.  What is it that you know without doubt? Is there anything you know without doubt?”  This will take them immediately to the conclusion, “I know nothing for certain.”  What does this get you?  Fear? Insecurity? A sense of loss? What does this give you?

It allows you to be open to your own truth. What do you know with complete certainty?  Don’t you see, this has plowed the field of your mind to be free of all conceptual weeds and allows space for your own truth, verbal or non-verbal to sprout and grow.

At the deepest level you need to trust the guru—if you are to follow that path—with your life.  You turn everything over to him or her.  You see he only wants your freedom and exhaults in your success every time you break a little more free, whether from a sickened family situation, to freedom from some guru or guru-teachings which are not helping you.

The guru/chela relationship is extremely close, personal, and painful for both the teacher and the student as you well know Rajiv.

Take Lila.  Her way started in Christianity and about three years ago she discovered Robert. She listened to him, every talk, many, many times over two years.  She listened to all 245 talks many times, and even listened to them through the night on her Ipod Nano. She practiced self-inquiry incessantly.

The result? She became suicidal.  Her whole world had lost its juice and she saw the emotional poverty of her life locked in a loveless marriage.  This made her even more depressed.  At that point we became closer and I helped her see through the concepts that trapped her in that dead marriage as well as the truth behind Robert’s words, which were really meant just for public dissemination, and surely are not the words a living guru would give to you if he or she were guiding you in everyday life, real time.

AND she began to flower!  She began to take control of her life and not stay a doormat to an overly controlling husband in a loveless marriage.  She began to experience intense love and intense emotions for the FIRST TIME IN HER MEMORY.  

This allowed her even more to break free and see the life-freeing value of love. With this, like with many women, she began to experience intense energies, intense emotions, intensely flowing kundalini-like energies raging through her body, burning away attachments and concepts because her intensity and focus made all the conceptual traps in her life, all the assumptions, etc., clearly seen as walls of a prison.  The traps, the beliefs in the nuclear family, HER nuclear family, the belief in Robert’s words, her Christian morality of always being the good girl, the pristine feminine factor, enforced meekness, were all blown away by the energies and freed emotions coursing through her body and through her sense of presence, until she was clearly able to see she was not her body, and the mind was seen to be like a clear bubble filled with junk.

You see, it is this kind of student I look for, someone hell bent for freedom.

Rajiv was different when he came to me. He had 12 years of intense meditation practice before we first talked.  He was almost at awakening.  It took just a little push.  And his awakening process continues as does my own.  It never stops.  There is no end, no final state.  Rajiv’s way had less drama, because basically he was a Jnani.  He is continuing to unfold now on a Bhakti path.  Lila was/is a good mixture of Jnani, as a teacher, but even more so as a Bhakti.  
Thus her way is more painful, disruptive, filled with drama, intense feelings, devotion, and increasingly, ecstasies.

Deeya is another one who is almost totally a Bhakti.  Her awakening is filled with events of strife, mental trauma, fears, but also is a path of deep love and devotion. How many are willing to traverse her path of continuous fear and emotional pain to get where she is?  Not many.

So, really I speak to the rare ones ready to go over the cliff.  For others I say, “Just don’t get caught by concepts, whether those of society, or Ramana.  Develop a clear mind.”  But this message is usually lost on beginners who need to cleave onto some set of beliefs, concepts, or to a first guru who appeals to them.   I am not really speaking to them. 

24 June 2012


Most of you realize by now that I teach a different sort of path, one of winning a radical freedom from concepts, from social conditioning around politics, family, marriage, sex, ideas of progress, and misconceptions about what spirituality, methods, and gurus are.

For most everyone, life is lived from the head: thinking, judging, measuring, calculating, identifying. We do not even have experiences until we can identify them, categorize them, and award a value of good, bad, or indifferent.  All day long we see, judge, chat, and respond to incoming information and sensations. 

But the mind creates everything.  It creates some sort of stability and order to the incoming, ever-flowing and changing world of inner and outer sensations.

My goal is to get you out of your head and living from the heart without thinking, by directly intuiting.

This means getting rid of all concepts, and living with an empty mind but open heart.  These are two separate goals rarely found together: living from an empty mind, and having an open, intuitive, loving and compassionate heart.

The felt Void, the all containing emptiness of the Jnani, the sage, often snuffs out love, connectedness and compassion. One becomes an Arhat, dead to the world and dead to one’s own desires, an impersonal puppet of the movements of consciousness, witnessed, from afar, by the Absolute and final Witness, Parabrahman. One has died to his or her self, to desires, to a sense of mission or goals.  All are gone to live in peace and a breath of continuous bliss.

This is Nisargadatta in his last years.  All emptiness and a cutting mind who had lost his all desires even for life itself.  This is so much the position of many of the neo-Advaitins, living in their crystal bright, clear awareness, with no felt sense of a separate self.  Ramana was a lot like this as are most Zen classics, and most Buddhist schools.

On the other hand, we find the various paths of the heart: Christian mysticism, much of the Sufi tradition, and the various paths of Bhakti, as espoused by Ramakrishna and others.  This path is far different from the quietism of Zen, Buddhist meditations on emptiness, and self-inquiry as described by Ramana and Robert Adams. This path is full of energy, love, passion, anger, jealousy, sometimes violence, sexuality, attachments, and most especially of ecstasies, bliss and movements of currents inside the body and inside one’s sense of presence.

With the latter path the heart opens from the sheer power of the energies aroused.  There is a full involvement of the entirety of one’s being at every moment, while emotions and energies constantly rip apart all one’s beliefs and former attachments, such as to social gracefulness, etiquette, former attachments, etc., and one just madly pursues their true love, which is one’s own self, but is first found in another.

How to get you to transverse both paths, that is my constant question.  Like Nisargadatta and Robert, I constantly appear to contradict myself because all verbal communication is in words, and words are fixed, while peoples’ minds can be fluid.  What I say one day to Rahul, I will contradict the next day responding to Mark.  After a while you begin to see the correctness of the answer I gave to Rahul that day, and the opposite answer I gave to Mark the next day.  Each was stuck at a different place and each required a separate, unsticking answer.

U.G. Krishnamurti stated that as part of the awakening process he called “The Calamity,” he could no longer think.  Words just did not make sense to him.  His mind could not wrap around any word or sentence. He saw a reality that was wordless and could not related the network of thought to that new world. They were two very different things.

He had been wrapped in the spirituality of the Theosophical Society and Jiddu Krishnamurti for 30 years.  He had personally met all the gur/teachers from Ramana to complete impostures, and had had his mind contaminated by all their contradictory teachings for that entire time.  To see who he really was he had to shed all concepts given to him from outside about who he was.  He had to see himself directly.  In order for that to happen, all the concepts had to be washed out of him.  It was like a great enema.  All the concepts, ideas and idealization and identities of himself as a man, Indian, scholar, etc., washed out of him, leaving him empty and constantly transforming. Unfortunately, U.G. at the end, had very little heart.

A similar process began with me 20 years ago. I could no longer read. The words just did not penetrate.  I lost interest in words as I read them because they seem so far removed from the world I lived in.  I saw all others were living in a network of lies, pure bullshit that people accepted as true.

Even when I read Nisargadatta’s I Am That in order to have something to talk about at Satsang, more than half the time my eyes glaze over and my brain refuses to let the words in, because they too are bullshit. He talks about consciousness in motion, consciousness at rest, awareness without content, pure awareness, and that he came into being when Shakti and Prakritka had sort of a sexual union in his imagination. Rarely does he talk about his inner state, how he experiences his own life or the world.

But people are hungry for direction and certainty, battered by millions of inconsistent concepts about spirituality and the nature of humanity and the world.  What is real? What is not?  Who really knows the “Truth?” Therefore they seek the teachings of those who appear to know.

Ramana is much, much worse.  He never says anything about his own inner condition, the way he experiences anything.  Instead he talks in generalities, repeating something he read in the Ribbhu Gita about God, Consciousness or the Self.

When I read Ramana’s self account of his awakening, I just have to laugh at his naiveté.  He stuck his fingers in his ears, held his breath, and pretended he was dead, yet he still felt the full brightness of his awareness, and, since he declared to himself that his body was dead, still feeling consciousness must mean he was beyond death.  In other words, he pretended he was dead, but still felt alive, and concluded he was therefore always alive.

The Robert Adams I knew, knew that all concepts were rubbish, but he used them to entertain people.  He often said that. He would say, “I tell you all these things because you like to hear them.” His sangha liked to hear and argue about freedom of choice versus predestination, karma, Turiya, Self, Consciousness, the Four Principles, etc. 

People are always trying, either with mere curiosity, or with desperation, to make their lives better.  Very few actually shut up and take a deep look at their lives, the pain, the suffering, the fleeting nature of all states and experiences. They run from one self help book or teacher to another, or shop for gurus.

For Robert, the final answer was just silence. No concepts, no understanding, and to be good for nothing. But no one could hear that, so he talked about karma, God, Consciousness, unadulterated joy, the Four Principles.  Without these words, he would have had few or maybe no one to talk to.
So, what about freedom?

I am trying to get you to a place where you are no longer asking “spiritual” questions about karma, predestination, Consciousness, the absolute, or how Nisargadatta relates to Ramana who relates to Osho, or why what Edji said differs from what Robert said, or what Rajiv or Deeya say.  Are they not from the same tree?  Should they not all say exactly the same thing as ultimate truth?

I want you to stop looking at books, wandering from guru to guru picking up concepts and teachings, and instead just stop. Just stop and look inside and start with what you know without a doubt.

Is there anything you know without a doubt?  That you exist?  This is what the neo advaitins teach.  Without doubt you know that you exist. 

Bullshit!  Even that you do not know.  Any concept or conclusion is a lie of words.  What does it mean to say, “I exist?”  What is this ‘I’ that I say exists?  Is it “beingness” as the neo-advaitins say?  What the hell then is beingness?  Is it consciousness?  What the hell is consciousness and where did it come from?  Is it permanent or temporary, flowing or still? Both?  Nisargadatta and Ramana talk about this kind of stuff all the time.  So did Western philosophers for hundreds of years before they gave up in the 20th Century after finding no agreement. In the 1950s, the final solution of Western Philosophers about existence and consciousness was epitomized in one sentence of Ludwig Wittgenstein: Of that which we cannot know, we must remain silent.

On the other hand, we have J. Krishnamurti who also said all gurus are talking bullshit and not to listen to any of them, and thousands of people followed him as their guru. U.G. Krishnamurti went even further and said not only have all your teachers since kindergarten been feeding you bullshit, but also your parents, and even J. Krishnamurti has been talking bullshit.  He said J.K. had merely tasted what he, U.G., had fully attained. U.G. never lacked immodesty. 

U.G. radically rejected all learning, all teachers, all concepts.  He said his brain would not let them in. His body rejected teachings.

Something like that happened to me.  No teachings can penetrate my mind anymore. Even Robert, even Nisargadatta.  Every word they said, every word written in the scriptures and the bibles of the world is bullshit. Every principle of morality taught through society and the various Christian denominations and Muslim faiths, is pure, regulatory fantasy, made up over the centuries by the religious leaders and enforced by the politics and laws of the secular society built around it.

It is all a prison designed to keep you and everyone else living in a narrow channel of experience, keeping you dull and suppressed.

This is why I emphasize so much examining and challenging the everyday assumptions you make about yourself, your family, society, the way the world is run, the continued violence to animals in the form of killing billions in just the U.S. every year for food, leather, furs, etc.  I want you to question your own and others’ acquiescence to the constant wars and violence occurring not only in our own society, but in Africa and the Middle East.  Question the easy acceptance of the brutality and corruption of Chinese society where you hardly dare eat any food or medication coming out of that country because it has probably been adulterated.  Look at the corruption of our own politicians who are bought by the wealthy in terms of campaign contributions.

So, I tell you, what is it that you know without doubt?  If you look outside at the world, you see corruption, violence, graft, lying politicos, slanted newspaper coverage, death and poverty everywhere, and everyone trying to sell you something, whether clothes or a spiritual path.

Then, if you look inside, what do you see? Really, what do you see, hear, feel and know? Can you know anything with certainty? Who is the knower? Do you know that?  I mean really look inside beneath the layer of thinking and emotional stories.

I assure you, if you try to verbalize any knowing you might discover, it becomes a lie as soon as it leaves your lips.  Words cannot touch the “pure” existence you see, hear, feel and touch.  All understanding is added onto that more basic experience.

If you practice silence, meditation, or you go into psychoanalysis, whole new inner worlds of experience open up, from matchless love, bliss, ecstasy, samadhis, awakening experiences, which are really blows to the dominance of mind, to an endless unfolding of the tapestry of consciousness.

But after a while, even this wonderment loses its excitement and you begin to return to the world of ordinariness, of chopping wood and carrying water, bringing up a family, feeding feral cats, helping wildlife, opening an ashram, promoting vegetarianism.

You see, there is nothing to grasp onto, no knowing that can be expressed.  You are the totality of your experience and more than that, but even that you cannot express for it is only an empty concept that helps no one.  In the end you just plain stop and remain as you, completely content as you, but with a heart the size of a freight train, and a mind that barely functions, because you live from that very large heart.

It literally feels that way.  You do not feel as if you live in your head anymore.  It feels as if your center of beingness, the place you live, is closer to your heart, but is not even part of your body. You feel yourself as your presence, and that presence, at times appears to have a location somewhere near where your heart would be if you could feel it.  Or, you may even lose that center, and the identification then is with the totality of your experience. 

This is where I am trying to take you, away from “spirituality,” away from family, away from society, away from Facebook into your own sense of presence, and there find “truth” that cannot be expressed in words, peace from resting in yourself instead of rushing around outside or inside looking for something, seeking something, because you know deep down that no matter what you do or where you go, it is always only you.

Yet, this will not happen without one more step.  You must learn how to love with all your heart, with all your being, with complete passion, otherwise, just living in emptiness will leave you living as a person dead to the world, or absolutely no use to anyone, not even yourself.  This is a hard step for a Jnani, for someone who has thrown away all concepts and conditioning, because in their process, they usually have thrown their passion and love away too.

So, as a teacher, this is my task: How to help you shed all concepts and at the same time, to love completely, passionately and compassionately.
Thereafter, every two weeks at various locations

22 June 2012

From M. (Margot)

Wow Ed, what an incredibly sweet email.  Thank you so very very much!  You touched me deeply with your kind words!

Have had this wish to settle down ever since I lost everything in 2006 - but the moving-on continues.  Kept askingwhy, why, why for there exists a longing for a 'stable' life again with some kind of financial 'security'.  Living with absolutely nothing really tears on the system after a while.

The answer to my why, why, why finally, came yesterday.  Have been formulating an email to some people who have asked for my support, since I offered a year ago I would create a support program.  But then, I never got an open door for it.  Would like to send you the email because it has the answer in there and I don't feel like writing it out again.  I hope you don't mind.  Have an interesting observation about seekers at the end of that email.  You might enjoy it - or not?.  But would love your thoughts on the answer that came to me.  Warmest regards, M.

Two days ago helped prevent a murder from happening.  As soon as I heard the calls for help, my body began to shake with an ice cold tremble. Somehow I knew something bad was happening up the hill from where I am presently house sitting in the highlands of Guatemala.  ....have been asking this question for five years:  why is this moving-on happening, where every three to four month am moved to a new place?  There has been this thought present ever since I lost everything in 2006 that I want to have a stable life again.  But that thought is just a thought.  It has no power.  The reality is that moving-on continues.  This morning, it became clear why.  

You have asked to be part of my support program which I have been saying since one year that I will start but have not actually done.  It's because there has been no open door.  Now it seems there is one and so, am trying to see if you are still interested.  It depends a lot on you and if you are indeed wanting to hear what I'm wanting to share with you.  

The impulse is to give you practical, every-day life examples from my life, along with the trip-ups that I have (and still am) encountering to show you how nothingness lives in daily life.  Am hoping to be able to make this whole awakening/enlightenment thing absolutely clear to you, lift all the non-understanding and mystery from you, along with all the hopes and wishes as far as what it is and what it will do for you.

Some people are under the faulty assumption that once they will have an awakening experience, they will be free and clear of problems for the rest of their lives and will be experiencing continuous bliss and trouble-free living.  THIS WILL NOT BE THE CASE!!!!  Programming will continue to surface and will pull nothingness into programming until it's all burned out.  

And this seems to be the reason why I am moved from place to place - to burn out the programming that still is left as part of the Margot Ridler character.  Am continually entering situations which most enlightenment seekers can't even imagine, or will find themselves engaged with only from a great distance via news, TV shows and movies.  Yet, I am living through these multitude of situations every day in my daily life - from living with absolutely no money, no security, no stability, no home, no plug-in any way into any kind of societal structure or safety net, not knowing whereto I will go when the present house sit job is over which will end in three weeks, being attacked with a knife on a lone road, burglars coming to my door at night, people not paying me the money they promised for my work, being around incredible poverty in these third world countries, being directly and intimately exposed to the immense injustice between rich and poor, and many, many, many, may other things, including now even attempted murder.  

How do you think you would react would you be confronted with even just one of these situations?  You can not know, of course!  It can only be known in the moment as it is happening.  But do you think sitting in meditation for hours on end, will clear enough programming so that you would be able to remain in absolute un-reactive nothingness when attacked with a knife?  Or when faced with being homeless in a week and not knowing where to go to?  Or when your husband tells you he has found another woman who is so much more appealing than you?   Or when your child wants nothing to do with you?  Or when your father is dying?  Or when a serious health crisis is catching you by surprise?  Or...?   Or...?  Or...?  Do you see what I am getting at?  

Enlightenment is just a momentary thing whereby Life is seen through for what it really is.  For some reason, all seekers seem to be putting all their chips on this incident.  BUT awake living, operating from nothingness, acting freely in the world is what its all about!!!  And that's not an affair of the meditation cushion.  It's an affair of living daily life.  

My Response:

Margot, you should describe for all not your external circumstances and path, but what it feels like living it from the inside.  Your thoughts or lack thereof, where your awareness centers, or does not, whether you are happy, or not.  You tell us nothing of your internal state, only of your external circumstances and how it is deprogramming you, but do not describe how the deprogramming affects your "internal" state.  That is, you are not providing a carrot that would lead anyone to follow your advice.

21 June 2012

Dear Ed, thank you so much for responding.  Am glad to hear you say that meditation is not essential.  In the book Autobiography of a Jnani there seemed to be only talk about what was experienced in meditation and not how this nothingness is lived in daily life.  None of the levels that you talk about which one can identify in meditation applied with what happened to me.  All was just being dissolved, happening in daily life - until nothing remained.  

It seems here that awakening is of no real use when it is just a state that is arrived at via meditation.  The human programming will still need to be addressed in daily life as there will be many parts of the programming that continue to run even after truth has been seen.  Seeing truth is not the end all - that is what I am experiencing anyway.  Would you say that is correct?

The main question, which seemed to not have come across in my first email is this:  It is a whole other story to live this nothingness in daily life.  Am living this nothingness not only as an inner awareness but also am living this in practical, every-day life as I lost all financial and material safety and security.  Stand truly as nothing and with nothing in life since several years.  

The existential terror and fear that is programmed into the cells of the human body, as well as the mental and emotional attachments with it, will have to be faced in order to truly live from and as nothingness in daily life.  As long as people remain plugged into their lives with jobs, businesses, retirement funds, homes, etc. where that 'security' part of life is not deconstructed, this very base, existential programming will never be seen, faced nor rubbed out.  

Am I getting this correctly?  

And if it does not get touched, how truly free is someone then?  It maybe a knowing that someone has but not an actual lived experience in all areas of material life.  Would you say this is correct?

Am really sincerely asking because am faced with this complete deconstruction on all levels of physical reality.  Because of it, am continually placed in situations since 2006, where I see things that I would never see would I have remained in a stable Western type environment.  Have been around people who say they are awake - but their focus is on money, on their financial and material stability, on how to keep their jobs and their every day life together.  Here, there is no such concern.  That got completely wiped out in 2006.  Whereever this body is moved that is where it goes and there is a complete knowingness that all will always be taken care of.  Live with absolutely no money, no security, no stability - and am 50 years old.  How I live would give most people a heart attack.  Even those who say they are awake.  

So what does awake really mean, when existential fears for one's safety and security are on the top of one's priority in actual lived daily life?

Please help me understand this whole awakening and awake thing as I seem to be seeing something others do not talk about.  Came at it from a whole other angle, having had no clue about awakening or enlightenment.  Slowly am piecing things together on my own, through having read some awake people's writings, through many discussions with Dr. Michael Hall and of course, how life keeps moving through me.  But don't have a handle on it because how things are for me are so completely different from what all other awake people talk about.  Keep being moved every three months to a new place.  Just the other day, saved someone from getting murdered.  The stuff that I seem to be moved to be present for, witness and see in actual life, no awake person has any clue.  It seems that life places this body into these situations, seemingly as a test to find out where programming is still running and how program-less and free its actions really are.  That is the explanation that comes to me but it might be completely wrong.  

If you have any comments that would be wonderful!

Thank you so much in advance for your time in replying.

 Ed:   M.

You are so completely right.

Almost no one who claims to be awake really is.  They cling to conventionality and habit and never see that the world they live in is so illusory, totally a mental creation.  They know it as an understanding, but they do not breathe it, and their "enlightenment" is confined to "Ahaa!" moments of insight, or recurring, but contained experiences of the Void, sighting the Self, or of bliss.  Then they return to making a living in their old way.

Ramana dumped everything.  Robert left his family and went to India at age 18.  I left my job and home to go to the desert to meditate and then to many Zen masters before I settled down again.

This is not to say it is a requirement of awaking that you abandon your family.  Both Robert and Ramana were boys when they left, and I was living alone.

Nisargadatta left his family for a brief time, maybe a year or two then came back to run his beddie shop.

The Buddhist tradition contains both the ideals of being wandering monks, or establishment or monastic monks, and also of being laypersons carrying out one's duties to family and society, and then when the children are grown, to become a monk, dedicated to seeking or to good works for mankind.

Now, I ask, is it you who is seeking to live in emptiness and therefore keep living like a wandering monk, or this is happening to you out of grace?  Are you deliberately creating a world that is falling apart, or is consciousness dishing it out to you?

The other question, is, is this path you are treading giving you happiness or do you feel a victim?  Or neither?

I hope soon this pattern will end for you so that you can really help the world in a  bigger way.

Robert said if it were not for his wife and daughters, he'd be living somewhere in a cabin in the wilderness or a cave.

Me too.  I feel that way, except I feel bound by a sense of responsibility of taking care of my cats and other homeless cats, that I remain in the world. Otherwise, I think I would be living in a tent somewhere in the Monterey Peninsula in Northern California, like an old monk friend of mine did in the 1970s.

I love you and hold you in my heart,