10 September 2012

      Three years ago Rajiv and I came out with a new book entitled "Autobiography of a Jnani," the story of his classical awakening via the "old way," of meditation and knowledge. Siddharameshwar's Master of Self-Realization is the classic text for this approach, it is just that Rajiv made it personal, by stamping his own, human flavor on the path.

      A lot has happened to me and to many Sangha members since then, and we are getting close to publishing a new book that emphasizes love and personally owning every experience as self.

      Waldo, Lila, and I will be scouring through the last year of writings for material to edit and include. If any of you found particular writings in the past to have helped you, let us know. 

     Yesterday the substance and scope of the book came to me out of nowhere, which is usual, and it is included below as the introduction.  


Forty-five years ago I left my job as a demographer in the Midwest to begin my journey looking for the true thing, whatever that was. I had studied both Easter and Western philosophies, had practiced meditation, had read extensively in Zen Buddhism and decided finally to stop wasting time and to emulate the Buddha who left his home in search for the meaning of life and death, in my own search for the “quantum” of truth, the basic “particle” or idea around which all others revolved.

After study with six Zen masters, Muktananda as comic relief, and after having met every famous Zen Master and High Lama that came to the United States during the 60s and 70s, I found my guru, Robert Adams, who led me to discover the “God Particle.”

The God-Particle, the central core concept behind everything, was the I-thought, and it pointed to Nothing!!!  What a discovery!!  There was no I-entity that the I-thought pointed to, and without an ‘I’, there is no ‘Thou’.  That is, neither an inner entity existed, nor an external world opposed to the inner witness of that world.  Both were mind-stuff that the brain turns into a representation of the underlying “real,” which is ineffable, unknowable, as is the subjective witness itself.

However, I was to make even greater discoveries later, which led me to reject all spiritual ideas and philosophies as distractions from self-discovery, and to reject all concepts such as enlightenment, awakening, liberation, which are purely subjective and personal.

That is, no two teachers, even from the same tradition, had the same concepts about what enlightenment is, what an awakening experience was, and what a “perfect master” or “Mukta” was.  Everyone argued with each other about concepts and opinions.  Was Krishnamurti totally enlightened, was Muktananda, was Nisargadatta?  Did Ramana Maharshi trump all?

I saw so much arguing about these “rarified” states and speculated perfect masters, and perfected enlightenment. I saw so many claims of perfected wisdom, and concepts of spiritual evolution, from gurus who styled themselves as finished avatars, to writers such as Ken Wilber and Dan Brown who talked about transpersonal psychologies that took off from where Freud and Jung finished.

Gradually it became more and more clear that none of these people knew what they were talking about.  As the ancient Zen masters had attested, they were only flapping their lips and there was no truth anywhere to be found. As the Sixth Zen Patriarch had said, “The only truth is that there is no truth, and beware even of this truth.”

It was all bull, much about nothing, dwelling with energies in the head regarding words and experiences of others, that ALWAYS led the readers away from the direct experience of their own selves.

To me, the only truth to be found anywhere is one’s own truth as found in one’s own, uninterpreted, experience left unexpressed, for as soon as you open your mouth, you have lied.  You have told a falsehood, which someone else will interpret in their own way, and then tell a different lie to someone else as a new truth.  Only when you are silent, with mind quieted, living from one’s heart, only then will you live in truth.

This is so very, very important.  You do not live in truth as long as your attention and energies are focused in your brain, dealing with images, concepts, ideas, communication, and doing.

As long as you look to perfect yourself, to “kill the ego,” to become more “pure,” to become enlightened or more loving, to become what you think you should be, instead of honestly being who and what you are, you will always be unhappy, dry and incomplete.

O.K., here is where I lay it on the line.  The only spiritual concept that means anything to me is “Self-Realization,” gaining knowledge and acceptance of who and what you are, and you are so very, very extraordinary.

You have no idea of how extraordinary you are until you start looking within yourself instead of outside into spiritual books, poetry, the various gitas, Bibles, Koran, and all the gurus in the world.  None can show you how extraordinary you are, because your inner and outer worlds are unbelievably rich far beyond your present imagination, once you begin to explore all levels of your existence with an open mind and heart.

The world you will discover is like a mansion with a thousand rooms, and each could take months to explore.

There are vast riches inside, many, many kinds of emptiness and Voids that act as containers for all inner and outer experiences.  There is love and self-love, so deep, so vast, yet so ephemeral and so sweet that you will drop to your knees in awe and utter shock at the grace someone or something has bestowed on you.  You can feel love as grace, as healing, as an all-filling sweet fragrance that then dissipates into objectless samadhis and utter devotion to God or Consciousness, whatever interpretation you bring to that experience.

You will have experiences of yourself as the rising of a deep power and energy from inside your torso and heart, that arises and shows you, the human you, the splendor of your true deepest self, the I Am, the so called Fourth State of Turiya that Ramana and Nisargadatta talk about.

You truly will experience love so deep you feel like you no longer need to breath and you have become as light as a cloud, totally complete and fulfilled, and this experience will fill your life and body with such bliss that you will feel you cannot tolerate it any more, that you will explode in ecstasy.

You will fall in love again like you were 20 again.

You will discover an aspect of self, one’s sense of presence, or the ‘I Am’ that permeates both body and mind, and fills us with energy, love, and the life force itself.

Finally and gradually, all the great spiritual sayings, all the works of all the masters will become increasing clear to you after you have let go of the need to understand, for you will be dwelling in your heart, operating from the heart, with a silent mind that is the heart’s perfect servant.  One will “reach out” into the world from your heart, feeling it, touching it, loving it, and others, and yourself, totally, tenderly, compassionately.

This is what this book is about, it is a manual on how to escape being the servant of your mind, to find your true self in the heart as well as all the other mansion-rooms of existence that are also you on many different levels.  You are a very, very complex entity, with many levels of existence.  Yet, the paradox is, the more you know you, the less you appear to exist! 

You become an empty drum upon which both the inner worlds of you, and the outer worlds of the other, each message the other in perfect harmony.

As wondrous as these discoveries are, I am not saying the “path” is easy.  In a sense it means a radical falling away of all ideas and self-concepts, of all beliefs, and of the conventions which are your life.  I am not saying you will lose everything, but you must be ready to lose everything, and much will be lost, such as ignorance, pain, and a numbness to life, and with it, you will also feel more deeply the sorrow of the world and an awakened sense of compassion and the need to be your brothers’ keeper, along with the power to actually make changes in the world.  Yet, some of you will find so much peace and happiness at discovering who and what you really are, you will not be able to move to change or perfect anything in the world.  You will be at peace and at love.

You may not experience all of the above, but you could, or you could experience an entirely different sequence. So much depends on you, your dedication, your openness, your willingness to take risks, and the people with whom you travel your path, your teachers, your lovers and your Sangha.  All together create the context for your own self-realization. 

So, this is a spiritual book probably unlike most you have read before.  It urges you to study yourself, find you sense of core existence, the ‘I Am’ and to love it.  Also it teaches you to find someone or something in the world to love, to awaken the ability to love in you, watch the love grow until it is almost unbearable, and then you will discover that love is from you, you have created it, YOU ARE LOVE ITSELF!  That is one of the major rooms one finds in that inner mansion.

With that discovery and many others like it, you will become complete, whole, loved, find that your essence transcends even life itself, that all of existence is only your plaything. Not that you can always change any of it, but the bite, the sting will be gone from your own suffering, and one finds a profound self-courage, self-belief, and self-acceptance, along with an acceptance that the path never ends.  Each new step becomes as breathtakingly magnificent as the last.

Please, come walk with me.


  1. Sufi poetry is about all in many ways, and even it doesn't express the humanity. Otherwise so much of this stuff is about the impersonal, and lord knows I got sucked into that. That's the key to what you're doing, reinvigorating the impersonal with the personal. What makes it hard is that you have to confront the stuff that made it impersonal in the first place. I notice that some say that I couldn't understand "impersonal love". What a crock of shit.

  2. I love this introduction Ed.

    It has taken me almost a year to come to the realization that words such as enlightenment and awakening are merely words that carry inherent meaning only according to what someone else says that they mean.

    I held to these meanings even though I found contradictions between this teacher and that teacher; this system of thought and that system of thought. Who was right? Which one should I go for? States of confusion would prevail.

    I suffered such intense feelings of failure, often to the point of being suicidal because I could manage to experience what others were speaking of.

    What a relief to no longer need intellectual understanding of all these concepts. What a relief to finally be able to trust my own inner experience. What a relief to finally begin to be able to trust my Self.

    Ed, I would not have made it this far without you. You have been merciless in ripping these intellectual treasures from tightly closed fists. Your own life, how you live, how you act and react, how you love...has been the best book I've ever read. This living book has been full of contradictions and paradoxes, often leaving me speechless. I can hear you chuckling now...You, Lila, speechless. HAHAHAHAHA. OK, that's enough.

    In all seriousness, you have cut short so many of the journeys that I almost took to various spiritual camps, by always pointing me back to my Self. The gratitude I feel knows no bounds. I am honored to have you in my life.

    The seekers of this world could use a strong hand to pull them out of the quagmire of the religiosity of spirituality. You are just that hand.

    With Deep Gratitude and Respect.

  3. "To me, the only truth to be found anywhere is one’s own truth as found in one’s own, uninterpreted, experience left unexpressed, for as soon as you open your mouth, you have lied."
    what blissness to have found you in the immensity of the web ! ...
    when reading you a thing is coming back to me : it was about a zeb monk who had spoken to explain what is meditation in a great yoga meeting where many people from many spiritual traditions were gathered to tell what meditation was in their one . And i was tired to hear all those masters speak and speak so and so ! the meeting was on five days and the last one it was this zen monk who was speaking and i was very desappointed because i thougt he didnt' speak but we would have meditation practice with him ! So i went to him and says how i was desappointed by him . But he did not answer and i do not know what it happened but it was like he has made me very tiny in his hand and take over in the sky where it was so beautiful ,so light and so delicious love . And after that i was crying and crying during several hours without it was possible to stop it !
    when i read you i remember that and it give me a so great wish to walk with you on this path of love : just open his heart and be true ! when i see how i am feeling so changing in my heart since only one month i meet you it is with great pleasure that i say i am with you Edj ! i love you so much ...

  4. Yes,I am walking with you Edji and ll keep on walking with you.I have fallen many a times ,but you have always bestowed your grace on me.I have this to share here: I have felt the lightness that you talk of,it comes to me and then leaves.When this happens,i go utterly soft inside,everything looks very fragile n alive to me,i feel ah! and i start acting in a way not to harm anything,its like everything looks so precious n vulnerable.

    Waldo,i agree. “reject all concepts such as enlightenment, awakening, liberation, which are purely subjective and personal.” ,infact everyword of the article.I ll share more in a message.You have resurrected the devotee in me.,Edji. Many bows and pranams.

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  6. Ed, I love this introduction and feel you so directly through the words. There is a new life, a more intimate 'power' in your expression of this essence that is the truth of what we are.

    Where you wrote, "...with a silent mind that is the heart’s perfect servant..." it struck a deep chord in me. I know this place!...this beautiful flowering recognition of who I Am, that is full of peace and free of want or need...without splitting off, or vilifying mind itself.

    This I Am does not really reside in some location in the body--though it is initially felt there--perhaps because it is more intimate than my next breath. It SEEMS so personal, because it excludes nothing.

    It is to see and feel the utter lack of separation from life and apparent 'others,' not as an idea, or words and concepts, but as a most direct and living recognition.

    That is what you engender, and because of it there is no longer an anxious need to cling to feelings of joy, in order to prevent their opposites. Such feelings may come; it can all be allowed. I Am cannot be lost because it is just me, right here, regardless of what might appear.

    For 35 years, two Gurus, temporary awakenings--plus the burning of a lot of shit--this direct access to my own Heart still eluded me.

    What IS significant [now] is that it all led me to you, my true Heart-friend. Instead of just projecting my own idealized beliefs about "God" and "Guru" onto you, I was invited to accept and embrace my broken-ness, to just sit with it.

    Not only that; the love and acceptance you give me is made transformative by the fact that you continually lay bare your own humanness. And that is the most precious and potent demonstration of all.

    With much love and gratitude,