27 June 2012

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!


  1. You posted several days ago asking people if they knew what awakening is?

    I know now.

    Awakening is when you realize that you are nothing but a pile of shit that has been accumulated over a period of time, stored in the toilet called mind. There never was a flush, just more and more shit piling high.

    One day you notice a smell and wonder what the hell it is.

    It's your own shit that you never recognized as such beginning to burn.

    Somehow and by an act of something that you call many names, (grace, god, consciousness - just more dung that must burn) a fire has been ignited beneath your pile of shit.

    Yep, that's awakening and no matter what, you can't put that fire out and you have no idea or control over what direction that fire will go or with what intensity it will fry your ass.

    It is the navigator of itself and burns everything for the joy and sake of itself.

    And it keeps burning as long as there is something to consume.

    It rests in and as itself when there is nothing left to burn.

    Awakening is about being 'shit free', even the shit in this post.

    1. Yep, here's to 'shit free.'

      I cannot lie...at least half the reason I read replies here is to enjoy your excellent prose. No that's not a come-on...pun intended.


  2. " 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?"

    Actually, in all honesty, I can, "Yes" to these two questions.

    I realize now that the image I had of Jesus when I was fully immersed in Christianity was a way to suppress and keep locked away many aspects of my nature that I did not wish to embrace, mostly due to the shame that comes from not being 'good' and fear of rejection. Many years later when I stumbled into spirituality I projected onto Ramana and Robert and other teachers this same image.

    I would often watch Nisargadatta and U.G. Krishnamurti, awed at the myriad of affect that would play through them. I wondered if they felt guilty afterwards, if when all the people left they felt like shit. I wondered this because it is often how I would feel when I didn't 'play the part' as I should, as I was taught.

    As a Christian I was taught that if I really loved God that I would always be loving, kind, soft spoken, and would only say things that would make people feel good about themselves and whenever I failed at any of these things I had God's spokesman, my husband, right there letting me know that there was something wrong with me.

    After 27 years of hearing this, I believed it. But lately, lots of stuff is coming up, the field of play has enlarged and is more inclusive of various feelings and emotions and their expressions. To say that this is creating lots of problems is an understatement.

  3. Joan I am noticing more and more that when I have had my say (often with an angry mind) It doesn't stick like it used too, it feels stupid and I think why did I just say that ? It stands out whereas before it was just normal. It stands out enough to create a sort of subtle shock at what I'm hearing. If noticing this kind of shit is what you mean I can only agree.

    When I first Maharaj and his apparent anger it was very powerful. I see him as wrathful deity. At the root of his anger and apparent venom is love. My eyes filled with tears at this display of com(passion).

    Mark U.K.

  4. My own association when experiencing irritation, anger, impatience, etc. in myself is that it is the exact opposite of happiness. I project that onto the teacher and wonder, if they are so enlightened, why aren't they happy? Maybe for them, they don't experience it as separation from happiness, as I do. But I think it just also brings up all the associations with a critical parent, unhappy with some aspect of one's behavior as a child, and the child's desire to avoid those moments and seek the moments of calm approval, or if not that, at least a level of being ignored or left alone.

  5. The only reason anything exists is because "I" stamp order on a chaos. "I" manifest everything. I manifest Ed, I manifest this website and everything in the world. Ed and other teachers are my own manifested pointers to escape hatches within the dream. I am writing to myself right now, I am just writing feelings as they come to me. The realizations which come through the words of my "Ed in the head", are pointing me away from all which is happening in this dream. I see so clearly that "I" is the dream and the world is a consequence of that. But then I am consumed back inside. Back inside a world of gurus, awakening and shit being manifested for me to suffer in. Ha ha.....I manifest my own suffering. Ed tells me Im a fraud, talk shit and know nothing........when he tramples on other "students" I have manifested, a little more of me falls away. I never realised that till now. Go on Ed give it your best shot....