12 July 2012

You see I am presented with a dilemma.  My students are spread out all over the world. This is not the classical ashram situation where a teacher lives close to his students.  What do I do?  How do I help them awaken?

There are really powerful impediments to awakening, such as lethargy, lack of energy, lack of focus, lack of persistence. What do I have to do to give students energy, motivation, focus, and persistence?

Rajiv was easy.  He awakened in the classical way.  He had 12 years of progressively powerful meditation experience and maturation prior to coming to me. He awakened the classical way, with the touch of a feather.

But what about a female student who lives 2,000 miles away, with two or five kids, an unhappy marriage, who feels unloved?  What has to be done to get them to awaken when they are really searching for love, divine love in their minds? How do you motivate such a one?  How do you shake them out of their ennui and lethargy and anger?

Like I said, most people who come to a guru are just curious.  Intense practice to them means reading books, Advaita, Ramana, Sufi, Buddhist, or Osho.  They are dilatants. There is no concerted effort to use their will and determination to awaken.  They read in order to find concepts that will break their mind.  In the meantime, the mind is strengthened because they have a million ideas about what awakening is and how a teacher should be.  Most of these people, in fact, none of them, will ever awaken.  They are lost in their minds.  They even feel themselves beyond practice and become neo-Advaitins, and a whole class of gurus spring up to serve them.

Education and dependence on mind is a very strong obstacle to overcome.  One must become simple, uneducated, letting go of all concepts, or as I say, become stupid as a rock.  How to convince an intellectual to give up intellect, ideas, reading?  Nearly impossible.  Knowledge is so arrogant.

I only have a few local students.  These I see, and we transmit each other the energies needed to progress without a lot of artificial games.  However, even with Robert, I doubt more than three or four who had even a tip of the tongue awakening during the nine years I knew him.  And being near the guru is one of the most powerful practices.  This is because Robert was sort of low key and low energy.  His body was weakening with Parkinson, and his talks were often just superficial entertainment because so few students really went deep into their true nature while with him.  They kept on the surface by asking questions rather than having the courage to drop everything and go within.

So, I ask myself, what do I do?  How do I create the intensity needed to give someone the energy and motivation to persist?  Tell them to meditate when they insist they do not have the time, or mess with their ideas, concepts, and conventionality?  So many of my students want to remain so conventional and they point to Rajiv who awakened while being a householder.  Yet they did not have years with a master as did Rajiv or a dozen years of experience.

Most want instant awakening while sacrificing nothing.  It does not work that way.

Maya has each of us in a deep trap and it is so very difficult to escape.  Almost always there are great fears and struggles and lots of drama.  I find almost no one ready to make the effort or encounter and overcome the obstacles that will confront them.  Then 40 years of desultory seeking pass and still they have not awakened, and we encounter literally dozens of Facebook frauds who claim they are awakened and no effort was needed, or we encounter dozens more who claim we need to purify ourselves of vasanas in order to awaken.  Neither is true.  But who will trust this message? Very, very few.

So, once again what do I do to awaken someone when awakening is so very, very rare?  Use the classical model of progressive meditation, or to create intense pressure from within and without that prevents anyone from growing complacent?  Most cannot stand the pressure or have inner obstacles too intense to overcome in a short time.  They walk away: Jo Ann, Andrea, Janet, Ryan, Liz, Karyn, Jean, Alan, and many others.  This is always true. After 8 years around Robert, only three of his original students remained.

You see, awakening is at least as difficult as becoming a championship golfer or pianist; that is years of practice and a degree of inner skill are required.  People want to escape from the trap on Maya which is a dozen times more difficult than learning championship tennis without doing anything.  They want the teacher to wrap it up and hand it to them.  Some think they finally find it with some guru or another as the visions and intuitions come fast and furious.  But six months later, all the great experiences pass and they are not awakened. Time for the next teacher.

Janet was a special case.  I loved her, but her obstacles were endless.  She was an intellectual who trusted what she read rather than her own ability to see directly, or trust what I told her.  She would rather trust her friends opinions, or a Sufi teacher who wrote a lot of books on a lot of topics, but she refused to practice meditation because she did not have time and found the states it produced caused functional incapacitation and guilt about being a bad mother, and sexual feelings she had towards me made her feel guilty as a committed wife.  She wanted to be able to function as the perfect wife, perfect mother, and an adequate employee and still get enlightened without much practice, so she just read Sufi materials. I tell you, I give her so much ink because I love her and wish her well.

Now, after leaving me, she starts meditating and becomes simple, humble, surrendering with a new teacher, and she is doing very, very well.  She could not take the pressure I imposed, but is now applying it with a new teacher.  At least I provided her a situation where the energies are flowing and she has overcome her dislike of meditation. I bring this uo because she always brings all the issues between us up publically and it poisons how others see me.

Janet is O.K.  I love her and she is O.K. with her new teacher and is doing well.  I will no longer talk about Janet or her path, it is just that her comments on Facebook and this blog were often to paint me in a poor light, and I don’t understand her motivation to do that.
                                                                                                         
I love her and she is always welcome back in the future after she feels failed by her new guru, as she felt failed by Vaughn-Lee who she tried to flee to.

So, what about you?  Are you ready to join a war with confusion, energies, bliss and ecstasies, but also with the classical introductions to the Void?  Or does it all appear too intense or crazy to you?


I really love you all so much.

21 comments:

  1. Intense ? Crazy ? Too late ... I can't go back in a "normal" life .
    what comes to me every night before sleeping is :" I understand nothing".
    Yes it seems that I'm more and more dysfonctional ,I don't plan anymore on a future state .. State of what ?
    It's seemes that there is a big purgation ... And lot of sadness .
    I can cry for insignifinat littles things .
    Ultimately , I don't know .
    I don't know why I was fascinated by usuals life objects ( money , job , art , women ) and why I was interested by inner quest ...
    I always live now with this question :" But what the hell is all this mess ? "

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  2. Ed, thank you so much for all your efforts, and that you never tire justifying yourself. This is true compassion.

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  3. Meditation for me is a joy. Sometimes it can be dry and laboured but it is mostly a homecoming, back into I am. I am not impatiently waiting for my sense of self to fall away but enjoy abiding in and getting to know every knook and craney. I gave up reading spiritual books etc after I first found my sense of self. What book could tell me about that feeling? from that point it was personal, my journey, my thing. Things are being revealed at their own pace and so be it, I'm in no rush. I know where I am and have no idea what being " enlightened" is. I'm told I am doesn't exist...maybe, maybe not. We'll see

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  4. Edji,
    I sense a sadness behind these words. You seem concerned for your "flock", not wanting any to be lost or left behind, yet knowing many will be and have been. Your compassion is palpable. You ask questions I can't answer.
    -"What do I have to do to give students energy, motivation, focus, and persistence?"
    But may I say the operative word here is "I"- you might start by taking your foot off your forehead - from my perspective you are already "doing" the "do" planting the seeds, pointing the way, shining the light,shockin and rockin!! etc etc...

    Next to me is a book it tells stories of elderly people with dementia - Frederick tall distinguished beloved by all, fits in to the facility easily except for one thing, in the corner of his room is an abyss, not there everyday but when it is this dear old man is terrified beyond belief.
    In my fantasy I say to him "come on Frederick let's jump...I am terrified too but let's jump..."
    Your students as far as I can tell do not have dementia they /me have to find the courage the "earnestness" to jump into the abyss.
    With you as my teacher Edji despite or in spite of the tyranny of distance -

    I am ready - let's jump...!

    much,much love
    maggie

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    1. Beautiful, Maggie. Let's all of us who stand at the edge of this abyss, JUMP!

      Or just go on pretending we know what it is we're frightened of...

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  5. Well, speaking for myself, I hope to attend the Satsang in Studio City as I live in neighboring Sherman Oaks and it's been what, about two and half years since you and I had a personal meeting. I'm a committed practitioner for sure but this Satsang could provide me a "report card" on where I am in the scheme of things.

    Mark

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    1. LOL. Yes, perhaps I was remiss in not being specific about that. Would say my daily practice of the "I am" meditation.

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    2. Mark,

      I feel your sincerity; I really do. Even so, you need to stop bull-shitting yourself about being a "committed practitioner." You live in LA and you haven't seen Ed in 2-1/2 years? And you want to go to Satsang to get a report card?

      What about LOVE?

      Also, do you see that you were utterly vague in answering David's question? If you were as committed to the "I Am" meditation as you say, you would likely have been happy to share your insight or experiences. What is the "I Am?" What DO you experience when you do this meditation?

      You don't need to answer here. I'm not trying to put you on the spot; I am suggesting that you need to put yourself on the spot. Otherwise you will go to Satsang with no vulnerability, and thus no way to actually receive what will be given.

      Please. Go to Satsang--by all means--but not just as an empty cup waiting to be filled.


      With love,
      Victoria

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    3. Victoria......

      No, contrary to what you conclude, I'd want to actually BE more of the "empty cup" in the sense of not arriving with my mind already filled up by a plethora of spiritual "concepts" that keep me from becoming as "dumb as a brick". In fact for me to even say that I wanted to get a "report card" might sound like arriving with an agenda of sorts so you're right to call me on that.

      Mark

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    4. My only intent was to shake up your fantasy just a tiny bit. Apparently I failed miserably, because everything is still all about you, the little I...with its open mouth just wanting to be fed.

      -V-

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    5. V.

      Your "fantasy" arises from the perception that you've gleaned only from what I've written, of Mark, the "apparent" person afflicted with his little "i" but methinks you'd already realize that.

      Mark

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  6. You can help someone who doesn't want to be helped?
    I'm sure of that: YOU through (online) satsangs, your site, your mail, your blog, are really an help.

    - Adriano

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  7. Dear Ed,
    You wrote:
    "So, what about you? Are you ready to join a war with confusion, energies, bliss and ecstasies, but also with the classical introductions to the Void? Or does it all appear too intense or crazy to you?"

    I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Waldo

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    1. Hey, Waldo, that is the part I was going to comment on.

      Not sure I was ever ready for this stuff, but here it is nonetheless.

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    2. I agree!

      Who could be prepared for what is actually required? Fortunately, the Heart that we really ARE opens us, via these bodies, into an overwhelming need to BE love; not just to be LOVED. Ultimately, that is the only real preparation we have or need. Ya gotta love that "preparation"...eh, Joan ;-)

      Victoria

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    3. Victoria, I have only in the past two months come to a place where I could love that 'preparation'.

      I've gone through hell just to get to this point, but it has been well worth it.

      Love ya!

      Lila is a pseudo name for Joan. I will explain soon how Lila came to be.

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    4. PS...

      What I wrote above makes little sense by itself. That lack of "clarity" bugged me, made me feel into what I was really trying to express...so...

      I was not implying that this is all that is needed. Ed made that very obvious in his, "I will be honest with you" post. I have seen what is required, and the mind can neither take it in fully or hold it. [Because it means seeing its own non-existence.]

      That is why the Heart/the Love is the most critical element. Without it there can be no Trust. Not really. There must be absolute and TOTAL Trust, otherwise the apparent mind WILL freak out and there will be nothing to stop it from propelling YOU to the nearest exit.

      Just longing to be loved, to have one's deepest wounds healed is also not enough. That may generate a desire for Freedom, certainly, but the necessary self-acceptance and internal strength will still be severely compromised. [And many of us who have been around the block a few times can attest to that.]

      No, this Fire is not tolerable unless you already see and feel--in some very essential way--that it is not about You, a separate one. But that it is about Everyone and Everything that appears. The Heart opened by loving beyond itself, feels and touches All and recognizes That All AS ItSelf. Only this can create a REAL Fearlessness, and a determination unimaginable for the wounded one who merely longs to be loved.

      The need to BE Love, however, is "magically" Transformative! It means that the Heart already recognizes its own Inherent Freedom. Only then is it no longer concerned about what is required or how long it will take. It has seen that its Source is Love ItSelf. Even one small glimpse is enough for the Heart to re-cognize this!

      And Ed gives this, IS this. No angels announce his presence, no Magi come bearing fragrant gifts. He is just here, in the guise of an ordinary guy. He is you. He is me. The need to Love him reveals your own and ONLY Heart. What a fucking Mystery!!!

      So, from where I am lying on the couch, THIS is the real Secret of how to Wake Up. Oddly enough it requires actually being awake...even if you don't realize it yet.

      Ed's Way is the best, especially for us real died-in-the-wool Westerners. Get out of the head...locate the I Am [which is not difficult if you are out of the head, or out of your mind, which many of us here are!] And Love...That-I-AM.

      Victoria

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  8. I absolutely hear you Edji. May I never become the Guru. I can't help you with your dilemma, but is there an element of destiny about who awakens? Nisargadatta thought so.

    I know I farted around the edges of it for 25 years, still trying to have it all my way! My teacher, SB. used to point me out as an example of what NOT to be like!

    I don't blame myself for this now as I didn't know then the handicaps I was carrying around with me. I was barely capable of being human, let alone just 'being', in fact I tried to use the 'just being' concept as another way to anaesthetise myself.

    Luckily for me that didn't work. Because I had had a few "glimpses" of my true nature, I was eventually compelled to get earnest and be willing to sacrifice ALL in service to this that I finally decided I DID want above all else.

    Not that there were any more palatable choices left. The body was getting older, and I was reluctantly accepting that. All my dreams and ambitions had been burned up one way and another and with no formal education, I was looking at spending my latter years in some form of manual work just to survive, until I got too worn out.

    So the 'gift' of desperation was all I had...

    I haven't seen SB regularly for decades (we stay in occasional contact by phone). I have one book; 'I Am That' and one friend in this small regional town that I can even discuss this with! (And now I have the forum of your blog, for which I thank you). My point being that earnestness and some basic information are all that's required, but you'll NEVER instil that in another!

    I guess what I am trying to say Ed is that the seed can have been planted many years ago and many miles away and you may never see the fruit of it! The ones whose realisation you seem to have so much invested in, may never 'get it' and yet someone you'll never meet or even know exists may be realising the self right now because of something you said or wrote months or years ago. How would you know? Why does it matter so much to you?

    I don't think there's anything special "you" can do as a "teacher" (I trust that you don't seriously identify with yourself with that label, not if you don't want the pain and disappointment that inevitably comes with it).

    All one can do is tell the truth as clearly as it can be said, within the limitations of one's abilities. The results are not "yours" or "mine" because THAT, surely is the kernel of the truth we are talking about here. There's nothing to get and no-one to get it!

    And yet it does seem to take (some of us at least!) being dragged kicking and screaming and clinging to all our precious "preferences" (love that term!) rather than accept this free gift we're being promised by those who've been there before us.

    Ironic that we think the 'awakening' we can imagine is so much more worth having than the one that we can't. That is the scam that keeps all religions going.

    That's us. Stupid designing monkeys that can't see beyond our own imaginations. You too Ed. You're no more a Teacher than my cat Yogi, and of course, every bit as much of a teacher!

    So why all the frustration and angst about whether your "students" are "getting it". You sound like J. Krishnamurti on a bad day.

    Just love 'em anyway. They're bound to let you down, most of 'em, If awakening is such a rare and precious thing as you say it is.

    Satsang in virtual reality! The Age of Transpersonal Consciousness (like that?) is already upon us. Can't wait for the next thrilling instalment of 'Tales From The Edge'!

    Love You Cyberguru. Namaste.

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  9. Edji,

    It took two years for me to even begin to slowly die to my little self. You are a great teacher and you worked so hard on me. You did everything possible to get me to begin to let go of my needs and desires for acceptance and approval coming from outside, from you and others. You showed me that what I believed to be love was mostly my human needs and desires in disguise. Only after much torture I began to turn toward myself, to go within. I resisted so much, I fought so fiercely – a slow, painful, and continuous dying. I am really sorry I hurt you so much and am forever grateful to you.

    But even more, your greatest teaching was that of humility when you supported me in my decision to go and see Amma. During my stay at her Ashram in Chicago you stood by me and even encouraged me to go for my second Darshan when strong doubts arose in my mind. Without your work on me I would have probably not been able to recognize Amma for who she is for me when she finally came into my life. You are a great guru and many are blessed to have come to you.

    I have not left you. What if the body is not with you. We were always One. Forever and ever.

    I will always love you,

    Janet

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