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.
I really love you all so much.