25 June 2012

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. 


  1. You said of Robert, " 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."

    I know what you speak of here, Ed and because of that I feel deep gratitude.

  2. Dear Ed,

    I never know what the day will bring. No work schedule to follow, so lots of time to just observe without judgment. Even the self-judgments and concern for the opinions of "others" have fallen away. That is a very big deal given my history. [It was not magic. I was just concluding some long-term deep emotional self-analysis as I was first approaching you. That it had born fruit was--I feel--what is making me available to the spiritual Gift you offer/and are.]

    What you are--and point me to--is only Presence, only the Self.

    My story/stories are being seen as total bull-shit, as are 99.9% of the conclusions I have drawn from them. This brings a deep relief, oddly enough, perhaps because it is not seen as personal anymore. That is hardly Freedom yet, but it IS a real understanding from my own experience...and that gives it a kind of power and humor that I never found in trying to mimic the teachings or practices of my [past] Gurus as my own.

    That had become its own kind of prison--for real--until the grace of Self brought me to you, so that ALL illusions could be seen and discarded. I inevitably expose them [without guilt] and you throw them out, never read them, whatever. I do not ask. If some other illusion takes its place, that will soon be gone too. The trust is inherent. I cannot explain it...other than to say that the Self recognizes ItSelf. It also has a great deal to do with the amazing depth of your compassion! [I don't pretend that I will never experience stark terror again, but I also do not presume its necessity.] Can trust actually be that strong??

    All of this is PROOF to me of your unimpeachable ethics. Such proof lies in the very fact that you do not worship anyone or their teachings as "The Truth." At the same time, the depth of your love for Nisargadatta and Robert is palpable, as you have realized them as YourSelf; the mere idea that anyone who knows you could think you are disrespecting them is ludicrous, in my opinion. You do NOT play the conventional spiritual games at all, nor do you "kow-tow" to demands for false humility as proof of your Realization. You honor the Self alone! That is what is so beautiful about you!


  3. Victoria, you said, " Even the self-judgments and concern for the opinions of "others" have fallen away. That is a very big deal given my history"

    I can relate to this. I use to think I was cursed to have such a large family, now I can see that there is so much opportunity for freedom here. I can't yet say that the self judgments and concern for the opinions of others has completely fallen away. I can say, that the sting is not so strong anymore. I'm even finding some of it actually quite entertaining. It's been hell lately and I often smell like smoke. LOL There are many voices here that wish me to bow to them. The louder the voices the funnier it all becomes. How could I possibly fit the image each of these persons holds of me. I tried and almost died. Now, it's my turn to say 'no' and 'live' while at the same time trying to have compassion for those closest to me that do no understand.


    1. Joan,

      And you said, "There are many voices here that wish me to bow to them. The louder the voices the funnier it all becomes." The voices all say the same shit whether they come from inside or outside your head, so that is great that you are finding it more entertaining the louder it becomes...when you aren't choking on the smoke, yes?

      You cannot laugh at yourself without considerable detachment. I enjoy what you have to say. You understand there is often an emotional "backlash" after a good juicy opening. All that female programming is yammering away in your head. It says you are either crazy, stupid, ugly, or selfish for wanting to find your own power/freedom. There is such a HUGE taboo against Awakening ...even more so for [ugh] women...going waaay back. Compassion for those who don't understand...yes. But on those days when humor or compassion isn't happening for shit, just remember:

      A Spiritual Warrior does not cringe in her room
      when the demons of her illusions come calling.

      Instead, she jumps out from behind the door,
      plants her feet, spits on the floor, and growls,

      “Bring it on mother-fuckers. Bring it on!”

      See you all on July 28th!


  4. Congratulations to Lila. She is a rare one and a lucky one.

    I wasn't as fortunate - I never made it to Edji's Jnani/Bhakti list of rare students because I misbehaved too much. I was too opinionated, too arrogant, too violent, etc. - full bag of Kali.

    Shame on me.

    Janet B.

  5. Ahhhh... previous rant beautifully put into context. yes. eventually tho any aspirant is gonna have to find that Shakti in them selves, or have to depend on being able to sit next to the "one" until he or she dies and then what?

    1. Oh that's right. They build a shrine to the 'one'. Publish his or her every utterance, revere his lifestyle, start a web page where they can all argue ad infinitum about what the "one" actually meant, offer guided tours of her house or ashram, where they sell the books, CDs,DVDs, and then some of them become "ones" themselves and charge handsomely for faithfully regurgitating everything the "one" said. And so another generation of charlatans is born.

  6. Yes... i too am embracing the Bhakti path after years of dry Jnani-ism. I feel so much more ALIVE and engaged, and i can't stop laughing at the absurdity of all the bullshit (and the beauty)everywhere. i suspect Nisargadatta was a Bhakti espousing Jnana!

  7. I was a Bhakti for brief period. I quickly lost my trust in the guru and down went my love. My past is such that abandonment has plauqued my early life on numerous occasions. This I began to repeat once I fell in love. But it was devastating to lose my love. I have tried and tried to leave. I believe in nothing. Trust no one. Utter helplessness.

    Good luck to you, David

    Janet B.

    1. Yes this may happen to me too Janet. It has before, too many times. But what's different now is i'm not after any"one's" love. I don't crave the approval of a lover or a guru. I had to stop wanting that which my heart most desired before i could have it! Otherwise it was just fake and didn't match up to my expectations anyway. If enlightenment is what the heart most desires there will be no awakening until you don't want it. It's 'counter intuitive' as 'they' say. Love as it's commonly portrayed is empty sentimentalism, and everybody's dying for it! A nod of approval, a pat on the back, a peck on the cheek. LOVE is taking a swan dive into the essence of this being and embracing whatever is found here, regardless of how ugly, and who wants that? Ruthless self honesty, and refusing to blame anyone for one's own predicament, can engender suicidal thoughts, often mis-diagnosed as 'depression'. But my experience was that even that was ok. I stopped wanting to live (and i didn't want to die either). I stopped wanting this precious, dry, gutless 'enlightenment' that I was hanging onto and that had turned me into a complete snob, imprisoned in my ivory tower, doling out smidgens of 'truth' to the "worthy" few. When i gave all that up, the world opened like a flower and I began to BE the love i so desperately craved. That is what i mean when i say Bhakti. My only devotion is to the satguru, and he is everywhere, always, and will never fail us. That i trust.

    2. However you choose to personify him. As Edji, as Robert Adams, as Ramana,as Nisargadatta, as Vishnu, as Krsna, as Jesus or Buddha. I like Rhada-Krsna, or Ardhanari, as they are the personification of the masculine and the feminine energy, beautifully portrayed. All these people and images are focal points for the aspiring Bhakti to meditate on. But ultimately it's about the absolute surrender of the personal self by whatever means. Either in service or through self-enquiry. Good Luck to You too.

  8. Furthermore... you can't fake Bhakti. Just being good and kind won't get yr there (wherever that is!). Advaita is the key that will unlock the door to the heart. It's another of those seeming paradoxes. First you must rigorously examine what you are NOT, before what you ARE can blossom. And what you are and I AM is love personified.

  9. So is there any point to listening to Robert's Satsangs? Is his presence there in the gaps between the words?

    1. Of course there is. But try to read between the lines. Get the essence of what he says, not the literal meaning. Also, beware of the techniques of self-inquiry he teaches. I find that abiding in the I or I Am shifts the inquiry from an act of mental investigation, to one of love.

    2. Roberts presence in the taped satsangs will take you right to the silence if you listen to them with an open mind. It destroys all thoughts and belief in the body-mind quite quickly.

      Just listen to the silence and nothing else.

    3. I find the same thing when read Nisargadatta. His presence is palpable, it's like having a one on one conversation with him...

      The most uncanny thing starts to happen. As the Satguru stirs i find myself anticipating what is going to be said next. Or the next questioner will express exactly what i'm thinking.

      That's the mark of a powerful teacher, when his presence lives on long after the body is no more.

      Thanks again for this forum Ed.

  10. Thank you, Ed.

    That's all I do these days: abide in the I - and try to keep my mind quiet.


  11. Ed, i really like where yr coming from. You play the game as it needs to be played on the day, or more accurately, just now. You are perfectly consistent, without ever falling into the trap of trying to rewrap yesterday's victories.

    And i can understand how that may appear contradictory to some.

    I love that you're not giving anybody some image to cling on to and i know that you are not talking to any 'body', because what you say just resonates with authenticity and without having to think about it.

    I'd listen to people trying to unravel Bob's talks or Nisargadatta's, when what they're saying loudly and clearly, in plain English (or Marathi) didn't require any interpretation!

    It's not the teacher's fault if the student's need to obfuscate the message interferes with their understanding.
    I'm guessing that's yr challenge. To break through that cloud of 'reasoning'? I use inverted commas there because it's another of those paradoxes that the more rational and real the message the more likely people are to fuck it up with their intellects, hahaha.

    I'm learning a lot from you Edji.

    Thank you.