30 December 2013

Letter to a seeker in pain

Dear XXX,

I have to tell you about me and other teachers who have actually self-realized.

First, their blogs are not places where you and everyone else trade ideas and opinions on an equal basis.  Such would be an academic setting, and such discussions would be only philosophy. As such, it would only be entertainment for the mind. and possibly a heart-touching if you felt someone really saw you.  Someone who has realized his or her self, knows only one thing is important: knowing who and what you are.

With any authentic Self-Realization experienced comes that self-knowledge, and when it is there, it is the most certain thing one has ever known.  After S-R there is absolute certainty of who and what you are, and as a human, a sentient being, what they are also. And you want them to have that experience also, that certitude, power and grace of authentic Self-Realization.

Such a person, only out of being gracious, would engage in philosophical arguments about the self, or spirituality.  He or she has realized it and can tell when someone else has not.

So, when you come to a teacher, you must know deep in your heart what you want: philosophy or self-realization.

At 70 years old I have no interest except loving and protecting all sentient beings, and I see most of the teachers out there have no clue; they just lead seekers astray.

So, I dialogue and do battle with some of them.  I did a bit with ZZZ who I saw had the same teachings as I but from a Kundalini perspective.  He did not see we had the same teachings, so I doubt whether we had identical awakening experiences.

Now, you say you felt no love coming from me to you.  So true; and I felt absolutely none coming from you either.  You were expressing your opinions about appropriate ways of communication--teaching me how I should be with you.  I felt no love from you at all, so why did you expect it from me?

The old, old, saying is, If you come to a guru with doubt, you will find endless reasons to doubt him (or her).  If you come with love, you will find it returned a dozen fold. In my case it was returned a hundred fold.

I really don’t know much about you except you feel fragile now and doubt yourself, because maybe you feel you trusted and submitted to one guru too many, and no matter what you did, no matter what approach you took, you ended up being hurt and not realized, and you don't want to make another mistake.  The failures hurt too much.

But your remark that the teachers ............. looked like pouncing predators, told me a lot about you and how on guard you were.

I am sorry you have been hurt so many times and disappointed.  I really am. Life sucks for a lot of people and for most sentient beings. I can feel the injury and almost a sense of hopelessness in you, and I really can’t help you at all.  It is all up to you.

You have tried Kundalini, you have tried Bhakti and surrender.  Maybe now you can try a Jnanic approach.  Get the Nisargadatta Gita by Pradeep Apte, and practice self-inquiry with loving surrender to whatever arises.

With great concern,


Self-Realization and Other Awakenings now available on main website

The book, Self Realization and Other Awakenings is now available for a free download at:


It is over 400 pages long and describes how I had to veer off from my own teacher's methods and teachings, to embrace what I call Devotional Advaita or Re-embodied self awareness, and the absolute necessity of loving and receiving love from others.

29 December 2013


GO TO http://satsangwithedji.weebly.com

Sign in with the password "edji" asked for on two different screens.

Mute your microphone please.

28 December 2013

The Post that has the most readers ever{

My average post is seen by between 150 and a 1,000 viewers.  Occasionally I'll get 2,000 or even 3,000 viewers per post.


The two countries where I have seen zero views from are Korea and China.  This speaks loads.

That photos speaks to people in a way that all the happy face, logical, emotive, and spiritual messages cannot.

The photo, story and petition can be found at the link under the photo.


26 December 2013

A Criticism: I don't respect Robert and Ramana Enough; calls me a moth while Robert is an Eagle. Uses Godman as proof of his opinion.

Do being a guru, by all means, if you feel the need; get the students you want, the friends and supporters that you feel you need, but where is the need or usefulness of invalidating or repudiating Ramana, Nisargadatta or Robert's teachings?

It feels a bit like a moth fluttering about criticizing the eagle in its high flying arc for being aloof and missing out on the splendor of the porch light. what's strange is how you associate with these teachers who were real jnanis when it suits your need, for example to collect donations ("support Robert's work"; your references at being the continuation of the "shared lineage"), but later you attempt to chop their head's off at other times when you're doing being a guru; it's like you're trying to validate your own teachings by criticizing those were really jnanis; ie, the gold standard.

why? i think what you have to say is interesting enough and can stand on its own two legs without chopping off heads.

they (Ramana, etc) were the real thing. to say that they missed out on something feels a bit absurd. you can embrace your feelings, your love, your relationships - en fin, your new approach to the Self without criticizing the greats. the thousands of gurus who claim they have reached some final emptiness or realization of the absolute have not necessarily realized what Ramana spoke of.

the greats never tried to build anything. the people collecting donations and building organizations are attempting to leverage their teachings for the acquisition of some form of cultural, social and/or financial capital. in this context, the legitimization of one's own teachings seems to happen through discounting or, conversely, the teachings of one of the real jnanis. But in the end, as David Godman states, none of these people have truly realized and it's a sort of fraud.

so much better if people would stop doing being gurus and just talk from their hearts without any pretensions of being realized or identifying with a guru status. there's more than enough 'enlightened' people talking now.


Ed's response:

Trevor, how extraordinarily opinionated you are, that having opinions contrary to those of Robert or Ramana is blasphemy. Do you think that Robert would have the same critical opinion of me if he heard my opinions of his way versus a more world accepting type of Self-Realization, a realization of Self in the manifest, in Turiya?

In fact, Robert's own stated realization was within the manifest, not beyond it. He witnessed a light of a million suns, great bliss and energy.  All this was EXPERIENTIAL, in Consciousness.  I just added what I think is a better method, namely self-inquiry with love, vulnerability and surrender.

I have watched many of Robert's students get lost in the Void, dying to life, because they were too analytical, too visually oriented in their inquiry into Self.  I said you had to add love to inquiry, not find it later.

Robert criticized Nisargadatta by stating that Nisargadatta "was "rude" and had added (unnecessary elements) to Ramana's teachings (namely a separate witness)?

If you think those three are the complete measure if truth you are totally mistaken. Even these three disagreed with each other.

Yet you would rob me of my voice to say I disagree with Robert's message of ignoring the world, and using his method of self-inquiry?

I said be aware of the world and your self, and do so lovingly.

Is that such a betrayal Trevor?

I would be betraying Robert even more if I continued to watch more and more people sink into emptiness and sometimes suicide, suicidal ideation, deadness and depression lost in the Void, never having found the bliss.

How dare you call me a betrayer!  If anything I have expanded the technique of self-inquiry to make it far more effective and life giving.

21 December 2013


One myth of the spiritual marketplace is that a seeker gets the guru they need.  Another is that they get the guru they deserve.

This is magical thinking, that there is some divine guidance or infallible inner guru that no matter how stupid, uneducated, uninformed, or tortured a seeker is, God or the totally obscured inner guru will inevitably guide you to the right teacher for you at that moment.

In real life we lack in depth knowledge about any teacher, as well as an economic or family ties freedom to seek gurus far out of our neighborhoods.

Often the “truth” about a teacher does not come out until some supposed, politically incorrect action is exposed or a scandal breaks out, such as with Osho, Muktananda, Adi Da (Franklin Jones), Jim Jones, the Hari Krishna organization, Amma, or most any Zen master. 

Then we judge the teacher based on the common morals of the time as well as his or her books, newsletters and Satsangs.

There is no perfect information, there is no equal access to all teachers.  Even the most famous teachers with a dozen ashrams have limited access to getting the feel of the teacher because he or she is rarely seen.

Then too there are common trends in the spiritual marketplace that tend to last ten to twenty years, such as Zen in the 1970s and 1980s, followed by Vipassana and Tibetan Buddhism in the 1980s and 1990s.  Now the fashion is Advaita and neo-Advaita.  

These fads dominate the spiritual marketplace’s “airwaves,” and cultural artifacts, such as the spiritual choices of Tom Cruise, Oprah, Richard Gere, and like create waves of imperfect, filtered information.

Actually, it is a completely random crapshoot as to the teachers you end up with.  Were they available to you when you were seeking at age 16, 20, 30, 40, etc.?  Did you have any idea of what you were seeking at any of those ages? Are you lazy and not too intellectually bright and you jump to the do-nothing teachings of the “pointers” or neo-Advaitins?  Are you meditation inclined, so flocked to Zen or the Tibetan Emptiness meditations?  Have you a Christian background and therefore buy into the ways of sacrifice and prayer, and then into, for example, into Bernadette Roberts, and then into Zen from there?

Having no clear idea of that which you seek, from undefined terms of enlightenment or awakening, wandering from teacher to teaching that is available to you at the time, how can you expect that you always have the perfect teacher for you or the one you deserve?

In actuality, you have the one you have.  In other words, you have what is.  No more can or should be said.

As general guidelines, I would avoid very famous teachers because a seeker will have very little access to the teacher.  At best you will have direct access to the organizations leaders, who are not the reason you came to that teacher.  Osho and Muktananda had tens or hundreds of thousands of students who rarely saw either of them, and in fact became embedded in the vagaries of the organizations and the many sub teachers.

I would avoid like a plague any teacher who toots his or her own tune too much such as Da Free John, or those who claim to be the voice of God.  Here you are dealing with manic depressives, schizophrenics, or potentially malignantly narcissistic personalities, and you will potentially fall under their sway and follow them all the way to hell.

I have met very few teachers that I would consider “worthy” who made excessive claims for themselves.  Most were down to earth, accessible, friendly, and truly loving.

Also, you really need to know what you are seeking.  If you seek peace, rest, “transcendence,” there are a myriad of ways from Vipassana, to Ramana’s and Nisargadatta’s Advaita, Tibetan Zen, Buddhism and Taoism in general.

If you desire true Self-Realization I recommend a Bhaktic path that emphasizes feelings, emotions, and other inner movements, but without the hard analytic mind of Vipassana or Advaita.  I think Christianity and Sufism based on service, devotion, love, etc., can end in Self-Realization and finding the unity of one’s inner Self with the divinity of God.

By Self-Realization, I don’t mean the rather dry transcendence of Ramana or Nisargadatta’s final state, but the Self-Realization of the early 1938 Nisargadatta that was filled with devotion for his guru, chanting Bhajans, and loving introspection of his own inner Self through resting in his I Am sense.  

This results in an explosive eruption of pure Jnana, knowing truth, and at the same time, an explosion of “divine” energy within you, that is the Life Force, or Shakti of all sentient beings.

With this kind of awakening, there comes a knowing of who and what you really are for the first time in your life, and a feeling of having the centeredness and immobility of a mountain combined with a flow of love that totally dissolves your chest and being in utter relaxation and surrender to that inner power.

Here is a well-hidden secret: The good teachers don’t want to have many students because it kills access.  Also, a real teacher will cause you a lot of pain, sometimes deliberately, but mostly because he has to destroy your illusions, emotional attachments, or lifestyle choices, which will cause pain.  He will cook you in many ways, and he only wants those who will stick with him (or her) to the end.  He or she seeks those who join in a spiritual marriage, which is sexless, yet a permanent bonding.  You will know this teacher and he or she will know you instantaneously.

20 December 2013

Incarnational Spirituality: Conversation with Francis Bennett

I had a long talk with Francis Bennett yesterday, and was much moved by his articulation of what he calls incarnational spirituality. He argues that so many people on the spiritual path are preoccupied with attaining special and mostly transcendent states that they lose sight of the fact that no matter where their attention is focused, they still are embodied human beings that appear hell bent on escaping their flesh.

Others make so much of the states they have obtained, that for them there is only a transcendental ‘me’.

I agree totally with those who explore the Consciousness that they are. The states achieved clearly demonstrate that we are not who we thought we were before the spiritual search overtook us.

To me, the experiences of the divine are especially valuable, as they bring humility, grace, self-acceptance and redemption.

BUT, as Francis points out, many of us lose sight of the fact we are still human and no matter how we may try, the body is still there, incarnating the divine into the worlds of sentient beings.

Yes, we are all incarnations of the divine, whether we personalize one or another aspect of God, such as Christ, Krishna, Shiva, or Shakti that supposedly we are. However, even recognizing this, we need to realize that EVERYONE is an incarnation of some aspect of the divine, and in loving others, we see the divine in them, which allows us simultaneously to recognize and worship it in ourselves.

So, Francis goes on, why not spend some time serving other sentient beings as a way to realize your own divinity? This, he calls incarnational spirituality—manifesting God while realizing the Godhood within ourselves.

There is one person who I know personally that perfectly embodies Francis’ incarnational spirituality: Deeya Gair whose website is kindlemyheartsflame.org.

Deeya spent six years working in a hospice. She was giving the nickname “Morticia” as she was the one always taking the lead of being the person on call when someone was on their deathbed. She would look into the eyes of those breathing their last breaths to feel their souls as they passed beyond life.

She is now working setting up a children’s clinic in India. Furthermore, as a student she deliberately took jobs where she would be exposed to the most horrible sights imaginable, such as working in slaughter houses. Most people, including me, could not stomach such service, such a spirituality.

Yet very few people have experienced the internal states of bliss, emptiness, rapture, or the subtle states of the Subtle Body as has she.

This is incarnational spirituality. Not only has she played in and with Consciousness as have few others, but her life is dedicated to service to others and serving the God in others.

She will hate that I have publicly raised her up in this way because she is shy, which is another endearing quality. She does not toot her own horn like many who have experienced transcendent states of bliss, ecstasy, surrender, and grace. She shies from public recognition.

I must say that to a degree I have repudiated the spiritual states achieved by Ramana, my own teacher, Robert Adams, and that of Nisargadatta attained later in life where all dwell in the subtle embrace of blissful, resting Witness. As Robert said, the Jnani is “good for nothing.” There is nothing in the world he or she is good for except themselves. They just teach others to ignore the world and its problems and go within to find their “True Selves,” whether the blissful self of Shakti or Turiya, or that of the impersonal witness.

My other old teacher, Zen Master Seung Sahn, would ask these people who dwell in the emptiness of beyond, impersonally witnessing the world: "Is this all? You have nothing more to offer than this?" That is, he'd say there is much, much more to the spiritual journey than pure, spiritual transcendence, as would EVERY OTHER Zen master who I studied with.

What I have been teaching for some time now is coming back into the world bringing whatever insights and power they have acquired through their inner explorations, and using it to help others.

I tell people, ignore those who say the world is unreal, or merely a reflection of your deepest beingness, for they have only traveled half way to the finish and have not joyfully reentered the nitty gritty of being human again.

Those who have explored their own consciousness deeply, who have discovered and embraced the infinite, Emptiness, the Void, but also God and the divine Shakti, have something special to offer others upon their return to the world: compassion, love, and the recognition of their own best parts in others.



GO TO: satsangwithedji.weebly.com.



17 December 2013


Christmas is here, but the donations have not yet arrived.  This is a request that you remember Los Angele’s street cats and send a generous donation via the Paypal link below.

Until a year ago I was working part-time writing psychiatric rebuttals, but this work has dried up as Workers’ Comp is gradually destroyed in our state by lawmakers who do not want to compensate for psychological injuries.

My sole support as well as that of We Are Sentience, the animal support and rescue, is Social Security and donations, which have gradually faded towards nothingness.

In addition to cats, We Are Sentience has gradually become a small ashram of five people.  It works wonderfully, but we need to expand, and only one of the persons living here works.  All the rest are dedicated to propogating Robert’s teachings and caring for over 300 street cats in the San Fernando Valley.

As you know, this blog and its messages are free. Weekly Satsang is free. The two retreats have been free.  We exist totally on your generosity.

As you may know I am preparing a new book that more fully explains the methods of Devotional Advaita, of unknown title as of yet.

For those who donate $50 or more I will send an electronic copy of my current book, Self-Realization and Other Awakenings. For those who send $100 or more, I’ll also send the new book when it is finished.  The text is mostly done, it just needs editing and illustrations.  It should be ready during mid to late January.

Happy Holidays to all of you, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.


Please Help Homeless Cats

11 December 2013


One of the most confusing concepts one finds in the current Advaita and neo-Advaita literature, as well as that of the Kundalini and other energy gurus is, What is Self?

Most tend towards the conclusion that there is no Self (separate self), or that the Self is everything, or that the Self is an impersonal beingness, or it is basic awareness.

Most also equate the I-sense, I feeling, or I idea, as being an illusion, a bunch of concepts that we believe in but when we introspect, we find no self or Self that we can point to as I or me.

This may be true on a superficial basis.  That is, many of us have a concept that we have a spiritual core, some sort of objective entity that is me ultimately, but we find it almost impossible to find it.

Why?  Because it is the I that is searching for I.  You might say the I as searcher or “looker” is the unmoving Subject that is searching for an object that is self, but which will never be found, even by looking inwards, because it is the looker, the subject, that is the Self.

This subject, the Self, cannot be found as an object, but one can realize that one is already oneself, which changes everything, for there is no longer a search for what I am.  That search for what I am is replaced either by dropping the search altogether and living life knowing that you are, or for those who loved the search because of the inner miracles revealed, the search turns into an inner exploration of all internal phenomena and the wonders found within, such as endless bliss, endless peace, or through searching the Shamanic entities, growing abilities to change the world through “magic.”

Also, that person that looks within, either before or after this discovery, will find not only a looker who is the exploring subject, but a diffuse sense of “I-Am,” or “me.”

Now Nisargadatta calls this sense of I Am the “Self.”  This sense of I Am, this feeling of knowingness of my own existence, he calls the Self.  This I Am is the energetic core of our manifest beingness and is certainly there no matter how much the neo-Advaitins and Zen people deny its existence.  It is there for those who look and who have become sensitized to their inner world.

Nisargadatta, February 9, 1981—Consciousness and the Absolute

M: Who is employing the body and the name given to it?
Now, understand the subtle difference, what are you and what do you understand to be you? The body is not you, the name is not you. The body is the food you have consumed, the taste of it is the knowledge "I Am". That is Self, the feeling "I Am", that is the love to be.

How amazing, how incredible, it has no name, but you give many names to it. 
It is the Self, the love to be. That love to be is all-pervading.

Heaven, hell, countries, houses, these are all concepts. There were rock and earth, a concept was employed and buildings were built. Before you conceptualize anything, you are, even before the knowingness, you are. You have only to apperceive this knowingness, the love to be, the Self.

Who will be listening to such dialogues? Only the Self in the body has the urge to understand. People hasten to this place, traveling from distant countries, leaving their families for the time being, because the Self wants to know itself.


I have to emphasize that this feeling of A-Amness is real and universal, but it is not available to all if they deny a self or Self exists.  If they have been polluted by the knowledge that there is no Self, they will not find the sense of self-existence, of I Am.

For Nisargadatta, the aspirant must search with love and devotion, immersed in the I Am sense, for that I am sense has its roots in a level of Consciousness that is very “deep” and “subtle” within, called the Fourth State, or Turiya, and whose characteristic is a feeling of great knowingness (chit) of your existence (sat), and with it a sense of exhilaration, energy, and bliss (ananda). And along with this discovery of one’s Self, Satchitananda, is a great sense of love of being, of living and the Life Force manifesting as me.

My own discovery is a relatively unique contribution to the literature of awakening: awakening to the I Am, the wonder of the I Am sense, focuses the aspirant not on transcending the body, but on consciousness of the body, and with it a recognition that the I Am sense is separate from the body.  Yet, in me the awareness of the body’s inner world, the Subtle Body and Turiya, arose from a great love that fortuitously awakened in me due to love of a woman.  My love of a woman turned my consciousness inwards, no longer towards the Absolute emptiness or nothingness, but to the awakened Life Force in me as it infused my body, my awareness with love and an awakened Shakti.

This is a way of tremendous energy, it is spontaneous once it starts happening, it reveals the energies within, the inner flows of energies, the experience of becoming love itself, and watching the inner energy flows as streams of light or various colors interacting with the world.

But the love required for this sort of awakening was so much more than I had ever felt before.  The love consumed me and touched the deepest part of my “soul” or Self.

Because of these experiences, I became convinced that pursuing self-inquiry from the beginning, instead of from the “head,” but from the heart, with love and devotion, loving the sense of I Am once it is discovered, was a key to expediting awakening to the manifest Self, and prevented the diligent meditator from becoming lost in emptiness, the Void, and the deadness of a transcendent nothingness.

Once one discovers the I Amness within, and it grows into a palpable sense of energetic presence, life transforms totally.  One becomes filled with a sense of knowingness that fills one’s body as a sense of energetic presence, a feeling that I really know who and what I am, where I am and when.  It is a supreme confidence in oneself.  This feeling of knowingness that pervades one’s self, when attended to closely, becomes a feeling of both love and bliss.  One is always either in or on the verge of feeling bliss and love, though the two are separate feelings.

For this reason of the place of love in the methodology, and the identity of the feeling of knowingness with bliss, I call this path Devotional Advaita. Self inquiry is suffused with love, worship and devotion. 

During January of 2014 I will be publishing an electronic book going into great depth about this path. Tentatively it will be called Devotional Advaita, or perhaps “Perceiving the Life Force.” 

09 December 2013








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07 December 2013



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Please mute your mike.

05 December 2013


I wrote this four part essay for two reasons: to wrap my way of teaching into a succinct package, and to warn against the teachings of all the new popular teachers who talk about “No-Self” or “no-separate-self” wherein their universe becomes very impersonal, filled with impersonal beingness, the Absolute, Parabrahman, and their world is perfect, filled with bliss supposedly, and absolute rest and peace.  (That is until you ask them for their day to day experience and they answer with total abstractions.)

This includes all of the neo-Advaitins from Tony Parsons to the huge class of pop teachers who talk of No-Self.

I think this class is just filled with people who have had a brief or extended experience of total, almost infinite emptiness, extending everywhere, inwards and outwards, and which so stunned them, that it completely changed their world-view about existence and spirituality.  They then write about their experience, and lots of readers feel the writers’ integrity, and take on the writers’ truths as their own.

To me this entire branch of no-self spirituality arises from a very common and incomplete awakening experience during which one cannot find one’s sense of self while looking within, and declaring on the basis of that experience, that there is no self or Self.

This is an extremely common experience.  One “sees” there is only a vast emptiness everywhere with no core self to be found.

I went through such an experience in 1995 where upon I too became a no-self exponent, and even later, had an experience that even Consciousness was unreal. I talk about these experiences and the conclusions I drew from them at: http://www.wearesentience.com/my-experiences.html.  These experiences and conclusions were recognized by my teacher, Robert Adams as awakening, enlightenment at that time.

For the next 15 years I dwelled in a state where I spent most of my time just going within to emptiness and just resting there.  I had little to do with the world except as necessary for daily life.

But in 2009 something happened.  I fell deeply in love with one of my female students, and she also did with me.  It was a love of such vast depth and energies that I had never experienced before.  We only met physically four times, and there never was any sexual contact, but we communicated and shared with each other our hearts’ mutual love.

All kinds of experiences then began for both of us:  We became aware of our Subtle Bodies, one’s sense of presence that permeated the body and extended beyond it that was filled with knowingness of the physical and of the strange area of inwardly flowing energies that flowed in regular order, were colored, and awakened us both to new levels of existence, including eventually, the “real” Self.

I had lost my false self of concepts in 1995, but in 2009 I found my real Self, a Self that was both the small me as a human, but also a Self, that was so big, so energetic, so subtle as to be no longer human.  I felt I was being touched by God because of my love for my human Beloved.  It felt as if God were blessing us because of our deep love for each other. Both of us had identical experiences of a vast energy arising from within, that arose from the gut area and associated with a blindingly bright white light that rose through the heart, into our heads and beyond. All we could do then was drop to our knees and worship the divine being revealed to us.

We both felt so graced by the infinite, so loved, so thankful and grateful to be blessed by the divine, with grace descending and experienced as a golden light that brushed away all sins and impurities.

I could go on and on about this new world of Grace, God, infinite power, flowing energies, ecstatic bliss, and a discovery within of our real Selves as creatures of light, love and incredible energy.

In this discovery sequence, we both saw ourselves as totally vulnerable, imperfect humans, with all kinds of faults, rampant and sometimes out of control emotions, and a humility so profound that just the experience of that deepest humility was felt as divine Grace. Humility itself was Grace.

Yet I at least, even while experiencing God and God’s grace as energy, light, a descent of purity, humility, etc., the recognition came that this God, this infinite power and light was also “Me.”  God and I were one.  Even while I felt myself as a human, an Ed Muzika totally feeling myself as I Am, as Self, I felt that my experience of God as “other” gradually change to God and I are one.  The small light of myself, merged with the bright light and grace of God into a unity.

Thus I now teach to not lose the real Self, that which is always in union with God, because of experiences of a vast emptiness, a Void, or a belief that the is no Self.  There is a Self and you are it, but it is not found through meditation, but through Love, Surrender, and remaining as a humble human.

This is why I preach that when you practice self-inquiry or self-abiding, that you do so with great love, acceptance of all that is uncovered, and when some new experience or sensation arises, to invite it gently into your heart to make it your own.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!  Feel love as often as you can, towards humans and animals, relatives and enemies.  Be open to love coming from outside because God is always ready to reward us with a vision of Him/Her when we are ready and open enough to experience God as us.

04 December 2013


In the previous two sections I presented a thumb nail sketch of the Siddharameshwar approach which is almost exactly the way by which I had my first two awakenings: To unity Consciousness, and then to a recognition that me as Witness had nothing to do with Consciousness, just as the body has nothing to do with the Witness, and which itself is insentient.  Consciousness brings awareness of the body and what the body experiences through the senses to the Witness, Parabrahman.

At first you say, now I realize I am not the body, because I can witness it as an experience.  I can also witness Consciousness and emptiness as experience. And, from this point of view, neither Consciousness nor the body is me, although the sense of I-Am is an essential element of Consciousness, and it is that which I am looking for.  It is through that door that I find both the I-Am, and the witness, AKA the subject, the Absolute, Parabrahman.

However, at this point I may feel as if I know everything, except I do not know the deeper levels of my individual manifestation of Consciousness.  I do not yet know the coming and going of states of Consciousness as a direct experience.  That is, sleep, dream and waking have been coming and going all my life, but I have not seen the transition, and therefore I do not yet know I am not touched by any state of Consciousness. Nor have I discovered the root core of Consciousness, the character of Turiya of Satchitananda, existence-knowledge-bliss, also called the love/bliss body.

Now supposedly the Absolute, the subject or witness is unchanging; it is experience that changes, the world changes, my body and mind change, and Consciousness is ever-flowing, never the same from moment to moment. But the Witness is beyond Consciousness and when we witness body and mind, though we may feel states of pain, age-related diseases, anxiety or depression, when we quietly observe them, we do so from a “place” outside of existence and spacetime.  When we observe from the Witness, subjectively we feel timeless, or spaceless, and as ageless.

That is we cannot know the Witness as an object, because it is really the subject, or witness of all phenomena but is itself not a phenomena or thing.  But we ARE the witness fundamentally, and are always aware of our Witness status at a deep level.  It is just that our search of self-discovery makes us consciously aware that we ARE the Witness already, and in that place of being the Witness, there is no space, no time, no change and we “feel” it intuitively.  It is this fundamental state that Rajiv Kapur discovered three years ago as we dialogued.

Let me give you an example.  I just visited my mother in Arizona.  She is 96 years old and in fairly good health. She said, “But I don’t feel 96.”  I asked her how old she felt, and she paused.  She seemed to go inside to feel how old she was.  She said, “Maybe 40.”  We go through this same conversation every time I visit her. Usually she says she feels the same as when she was 18.

I have never felt any older than maybe 15 at any time in my life.  My body may appear to change and age, but I always feel about the same age, whether the body and mind were 18, 40 or 70.  The things I am and was interested in have changed, but I can’t remember my ground-state of awareness as ever having felt different.

Though the body and consciousness change, that basic awareness FROM the witness always feels about the same.  As we “descend” into more basic or “deeper’ levels of Consciousness, the better we usually feel as we approach the most subtle states, like Turiya, but the Witness still is not touched unless IT allows for an identification.

The whole spiritual process involves going within and watching/feeling the various levels, states and phenomena of Consciousness. One discoveries many mysteries and levels inside, including the coming and going of the four states of waking, sleep, and dream, as well as the secrets of the Subtle Body, Causal Body, and Turiya.

What we find is that we have identified or can identify with the various experiences and “feeling” of different aspects of Consciousness or even the Witness.  Self-discovery involves a sequence of discovery, identification, and then disidentification as we move to different levels of Consciousness.

Almost none of the popular current teachers talk about this.  They talk about finding various levels of “conditionings” or conceptual understandings, or “stories” of who we are that are to be let go of to come to beingness in the Now.  This is NOT what Siddharameshwar, Nisargadatta, or I teach.  We talk about various states of Consciousness, awareness and the Witness apart from stories or concepts or philosophies concerning what we are.  Seeing through concepts, conditionings, and stories is still working at the level of mind, memory, and imaging.  It still is only inch-deep into one’s Consciousness.

As we follow the sense of “I-Am” back to its source in Turiya, usually the happier, more blissful we feel, and sometimes more loving. Here we must be single-minded; we only attend to the sense of I Am in order to find its origin.  We do not get too attached to Subtle Body experiences, or ones disappearance in the Causal Body.  We want to get to a pure experience of I Am in the root state, Turiya.

Indians divide the world into spirit and matter, Purusa and Prakritika.  But they also speak of a division between the unmanifest Witness, or Shiva, which is masculine, and the energy of the Life Force, which is feminine, and which is called Shakti. Shiva is unmoving, the Subject and supporter of all experience and supporter of the universe, while Shakti is the dynamic force, energy, which sets everything in motion.

If you practice self-abidance or self-inquiry, and it becomes routine, one can easily get lost by looking for the I Am in the experience of emptiness. One gets hypnotized by looking into the Void.

Robert Adams and sometimes Ramana tell students to practice self-inquiry by looking for the source of the I-thought, but the I-thought is of the mind, and when one focuses on the source of the thought, one does not find the I-Am feeling, or even the seeker or looker, or the witness.  One just gets lost looking deeper and deeper into emptiness for a place where the I-thought arises.

True self-inquiry requires that we focus on the I-Am sensation which takes us to the most subtle and foundational level of Consciousness known as Turiya or Krishna Consciousness.

The essence of that experience is of blissful energies, joy, pure Shakti in the form of pure energy and light which lights up both the internal Emptiness and the external world.

However, it is here too that we find love in its purest form, whether that love is for an object in awareness, or it is love of the Self, that is Consciousness manifest as Turiya.

The deeper one sinks into one’s Consciousness, the more compellingly is one grabbed by one’s own Self.  One becomes fixated on the I Am.  One is enthralled by oneself and stares at the I-Am, while the I Am beguiles you.

Ramana said that once he perceived the Self, it grabbed his attention and he never let go. He could not take his eyes or heart off of his sense of existence. That is, he identified with Turiya, Satchitananda, the love/bliss body, not Nisargadatta’s Witness.

The best way never to get lost in the Void while looking for the I Am, is not to just look for it, but to feel for it in one’s heart and chest. While searching for the I Am and while abiding there, also LOVE the I Am, open your heart to the I Am, to one’s sense of existence. Make it a deliberate effort of lovingness.

Play with the I Am sensation. Love it.  Wonder what it was like if you could get closer.  Invite it into your core, which is really into the Witness by means of the searching mind: deliberately love the I Am, accept the I Am, invite it to get closer to your heart, wonder about it.  Keep the search juicy, not like a dry analytic investigation.  This keeps the effort from stalling and dying.

One ought to read Nisargadatta’s Self-Knowledge and Self-Realization because at the beginning of his search, he was a true Bhakta, loving and trusting his guru, and lovingly nursing the I Am into life by fawning attention.

The Self, as the manifest Life Force, is attracted to love in any form.  If you can love and devote yourself to your guru, you are much ahead, but still the path is filled with drama.

In my case I fell in love with a woman who also loved me, and we began an amazing transformation into Self-Realization purely because of the intensity of our love for each other. Our love was of such an intensity we could not take our eyes off of the love within us, until we recognized the love was us.  We were Love, and that love was us, our fundamental relational feeling.

Love is essential to preventing one from getting lost in the Void, and is essential if one is to have a self-realization experience as an identification with Turiya, the love/bliss body.  Without love, you can miss Turiya altogether and just be “taken” by the witness.

Now those who are taken by the witness, and become identified with Parabrahamn, are many, and their path is not complete until they can identify with Turiya, with Shakti, and action in the world.

Also, it is possible to be so taken with the love and joy of Turiya that the path is also not completed, because they never identify with the Witness, Parabrahman. You have to spend time identifying with both.

But in the end, I agree with Pradeep Apte, in the end there is no longer any felt separation between witness and the witnessed. They are one. The rift between I Am or personal sense of Self, and the impersonal Witness disappears.

There is an explosive recognition of the identity of the Witness beyond Consciousness, with the Satchitananda, of Turiya, of the I Am.  This is what I call true Self-Realization because the personal sense of I Am, of love, bliss, and energy permanently pervades all my experience.

03 December 2013


Let’s take a brief look at my suggested methodology for awakening.

First and foremost you have to turn your mind’s attention inwards and begin exploring one’s inner world of internal sensation and imagination.  This can be done in many, many, many ways.

But I suggest we turn our attention inwards with the intent of personally discovering all that we are, both as the exploring subject, and also all the internal phenomena that “I” will perceive and what conclusions I can infer—if any—from that experience.

The first thing we notice when we turn our attention inwards is that there is an inner world of objects, feelings, images, emotions, perhaps inner lights, perhaps flowing energies and many other things found within, such as bliss and ecstasy after a long while of “looking.”

We also discover that inner exploration involves basically three senses: Inner looking, a visual exploration; inner feeling which consists of feeling the physical and Subtle Bodies from the inside; and inner hearing, listening for any constant inner sounds that may be present.

If you are a visually-dominant person there is one set of phenomena you will first experience, namely an inner emptiness either dark or lighted. If you are primarily tactilely oriented, feeling the physical and Subtle bodies will be your priority experiences, along with many emotional experiences.

In any event, eventually you should know both inner worlds. 

Inner hearing played very little part in my process, even though I cannot remember a time I was not aware of inner tones.  Therefore I will not talk about it.

With inner “seeing,” mostly people will “look” inside and find only darkness.

A few people will look inside and find bits and pieces of light within, especially around the third eye, and sometimes around the heart.

The meditator is now ready to launch an inner exploration looking for all that I am, the sense of self, the sense of existence, also looking for the subject of the search, the searcher or looker, for they are not the same.  The looker, the subject is not the same as the sense of me or the sense of “I am.”  I’ll say no more here.

But over time, with an intent to “see” within, one gradually develops an inner “vision” as the inner dense darkness gradually gives way to seeing an inner, transparent “emptiness” where the darkness becomes illumined from an inner light, the so-called “light of Consciousness.”

For me, when I first looked within, I found a dense darkness except for a point of light between my eyebrows and inside my skull by about an inch and a half, the so-called Third Eye.

Over the next six months I gradually moved that spot of light downwards, expanding it, “pushing” the light downwards into my heart, then into my gut, legs, and then into the ground below and the space above my head until the entire inner space that I witnessed was totally lighted and transparent.  This is key, for when this happens, you experience one’s illumined inner space as being an internal cognate of the external world’s space that we habitually live in. Inner space and out space are “seen” to be the same.

This vast inner space is often referred to by Buddhists as “Emptiness” or the “Void.”  The perception is of a vast inner space that contains all inner phenomena such as of thoughts, emotions, images and imaginations.  This is also where dreams are screened by that who we are ultimately.

We can now add “feeling” to this inner lighted world of Consciousness by learning how to feel the physical body from the inside.  We can feel the sensations where the body touches the explorer’s chair or meditation cushion, and then begin to try to feel one’s arms, legs, feet, and hands from the inside without looking at them.  Then one tries to feel anything in the area of the heart, such as “energies,” love, tightness or a balloon-like pressure.

This “feeling” exploration leads to beginning experiences of one’s Subtle-Body, one’s “energetic” body of flowing energies, flowing streams of affect, experiencing great Love, and also great emotions ranging from joy, to love, to fear, to a sense of the divine within.

Now we are really able to begin self-exploration by looking inwards for the sense of I-Am.  This new exploration takes place within that vast inner Emptiness or Void that contains all subjective phenomena.

You might say that at this point we are now consciously seeking one’s Self.

At this point you will be able to clearly find after a bit, the sense of “I-Am,” floating somewhere, usually somewhere near one’s inner feeling of one’s heart, at first as a little energetic “buzzing,” and gradually as a full recognition of the sense of I-Am, that I-exist and am alive.  Then you can truly say, “I am and I exist as energy, light, and love.” Or, “I am alive.”

You see, we are gradually discovering aspects of our inner world that are aspects of our Consciousness, not our personhood as a unique individual, but the nature of our Consciousness which is the same for all people.

At this point, you can be fully aware of the external world and also fully aware of the inner world.  That inner world will consist of a vast inner light space, Emptiness or Void, which contains all inner phenomena, such as emotions, images, Subtle Body energies, vast Love in the heart, imaginations, dreams, thoughts, etc.

Also at this point, you will be aware of two apparent selves: the I-Am sense which we have been attending to, or abiding in, and the looker, or witness who has been watching this entire process.

t this point you might ask, what should I concentrate on, the sense of I-Am, or on the looker, the witness, the subject?

Here is where we can make the most profound discovery of all:  That which I Am really, is it the sense of I-Am, or is it that which witnesses the I Am as a phenomena?

Here is the solution:  You are both! As a phenomena within the inner world, you are Consciousness with the I Am as the core.  But also you are the witness who has become more and more aware of one’s expanding awareness of the inner subjective world of I Am.  This witness watches Consciousness and is not of it.  It is beyond and separate from Consciousness, untouched by it, as the Absolute, as Parabrahman, while the I Am sense with space and light is the existential reflection of the witness, which we could call “Atman.”

It is at this point that you are truly knowing yourself and have many, many awakenings just waiting to happen, including realization of the no-self of the witness, the absolute separation of the witness from Consciousness which is seen as unreal, and finally, an explosive recognition of the I-Am and the divine Consciousness, AKA Krishna or Christ Consciousness, as one in a traditional awakening experience of a vast and explosive light and energy arising from within.  The arising is so vast it blows you away so to speak, and one feels in the presence of God with power, love and bliss never experienced before, and a sense of great gratitude and humility before the divine energy (Shaki), and a sense of grace descending from above, with the greatest happiness and joy one has ever felt.

At this point the two selves merge as one.  Witness, Parabrahman, is joined the bliss and energy of the I Am sense, AKA as Turiya, the Fourth State (Waking, dreaming, deep sleep, and Turiya), and one is pervaded by—at last—a profound sense of knowing who and what you are. This is an unshakable Knowingness that pervades your entire being, and you feel immensely powerful, as for the first time, you know who and what you are, and what you are has very little to do with who and what you thought you were before you started self-exploration.

For further explication please read:

The Nisargadatta Gita by Pradeep Apte.

The introduction found in the Master Key to Self-Realization by Siddharameshwar.

Consciousness and the Absolute, edited by Jean Dunn.

Self-Realization and Other Awakenings by Ed Muzika.

02 December 2013

Steve hits a speed bump in his Bhakta, Bhakta, Burning Bright Path

I never expected the 'Process' to be up and down, down and up, sideways and fuck-ways. I guess I had this concept like when ya see the damn monks sitting in bliss with a smile on their face not to be bothered with the world again. Yea! what a surprise!

If it isn't one thing its another, flying high engulfed in Pure Love and the next day looking at my body as a piece of decaying meat. Thank God for you Edji, a good slap on the back to bring me out of stupor and back on the Path. When I look deeper I do Love you deeply and don't really have to say that it is the Absolute that I love, in order to avoid intimacy with another man. I would miss you terribly if you passed away. Please forgive me if I ever let you feel that I didn't Love you with all my Heart.

I most certainty know that you deeply Love me with all your Heart. I can feel it and at those times actually go into blissful states, smiling...that smiling monk.

The source of all the happenings is always me, all the feelings, honest or in denial are always streaming out from just around the corner of my arm. I really do not know anything about myself. Anything I say or do just vaporizes within hours. I guess all one's past can not be retracted so the idea would be to just live with it and approach life as spontaneous, alive with gusto and challenges and just 'do it'. Easy to say but near impossible to accomplish.

Love is not a docile pet but I am discovering a wild and ferocious Tiger that can lick her babies with the most love imaginable or sink its teeth, bringing death to running gazelle.

One minute a deep loneliness prevails and the next hour I have no concept of what in the hell loneliness even is or how to define it.

This is no easy path, it is up and around the mountain where unexpected events can happen and also the most beautiful views of the valley below to behold. Parts of me I thought were necessary and important are getting scraped off by the thorn bushes and the jagged rocks, it hurts but it lightens the baggage. And maybe I'll even swear at you.

This must be called an 'opening path'... into what I have no idea. Like a lotus sitting quietly on a pond in deep dark water where beauty/life and ugliness/death exist side by side. Intense is an understatement.

I am afraid to hurt or injure people so limit my opinions and feelings. I can tell you anything Edji as I know you have the capacity to take it all in no matter what without any judgment whatsoever.....but also with that all important COMPASSION that is bottomless. 

Dearest Edji, You are the Love of My Life. 
You are my Dearest Friend
You make life possible.


Steve monks and nuns are people often living very regimented lives and a minimum of stress. It is easy to be peaceful in these circumstances.  But I am afraid you will usually find usual people behind their habits and dress.

Never worry about the inner states of monks, masters, or criminals; only knowing your own inner state matters.

See, love shows you the highs and lows of your own existence; the deeper the love, the deeper are both your good and bad aspects exposed.  Everything comes out in the wash.  It is all exposed because of the depth of your devotion, even the desire to kill me from time to time.

But eventually your love will awaken your own true self--as love and bliss--to show you her true nature, after which you will be content knowing who and what you are. After that, your devotion will be more real, not just effort to attain self-realization.

All my love to you.



The saying, “All roads lead to Rome” does not apply in the spiritual world at all. The paths are different, the techniques are different, the so-called awakenings are different, and the ideas of what constitute a good teacher versus a totally “enlightened being” who may or may not be a teacher, are also different.

The Mind, Consciousness, spiritual experience, emptiness, the Void, devotion, love, grace, ALL VARY FROM TRADITION TO TRADITION.

You will find no mention of the place of love in Zen.  You will find no philosophy in Zen.  You will find no “final truth” in Zen. There is no discussion of the Absolute, and relative versus absolute.

However, you will find a lot said about form and emptiness, and the empty nature of feeling, thought, the sense data, and of Consciousness itself.  You will chant about form and emptiness twice a day in a monastery, and practice many hours either of silent sitting doing nothing (Shikantaza of Soto Zen), or the same number of hours working on up to 25,000 Koans, each “testing” whether you understood elements of the awakenings of fifty generations of Rinzai monks.

Hidden and pervading all of Zen is the Chinese culture and ideas common a thousand years ago, all of which shape your training, your insights, your meditation discoveries and experiences.

There are a lot of hidden rules of behavior controlling your every action, and every action is judged by these hidden cultural artifacts.  In fact, along with enlightenment, you have become a replicate of a Zen man of 900 AD China.

How do I know this?  How can I make this judgment?

I spent nearly 25 years studying with six Zen masters from Rinzai and Soto schools from three different national traditions:  China, Japan, and Korea.  I was named America’s first International or World-teacher of Chogye Zen Buddhism in 1999. And, one of my teachers, Kozan Roshi was very explicit about this, saying, “You cannot understand Zen without understanding ancient Chinese culture.”  Once you have spent 30 years mastering  the insights of 50 generations of previous masters you will have received a total makeover, escaping from your culture of being a 21st Century American or European, the being an integration of that and also of a 10th Century Chinese monk.

I am trying to make myself clear.  You have obtained the wisdom but also the limitations of a foreign culture preserved only in monasteries.  You will have learned one way of understanding concepts, words, the nature of Consciousness, the manifest world and the unmanifest.  You will have learned a great deal about emptiness, AKA the Void, and one’s manifest experiences.

Tibetan Buddhism is exactly as culture-bound and tradition-driven as Zen, but with a lot more reading of scriptures from the various schools of Buddhism dating back 2,500 years.  Each school has different interpretations of what “reality,” time, space, emptiness, and phenomena “are” or mean.  Tibetans also embrace Tantra, which is utilizing one’s desires to foster awakening.

Then there are the Advaita schools with the current best known historical examples of Ramana Maharshi/Robert Adams and Siddharameshwar/Nisargadatta.

It is by means of the teachings and practices of these two schools that I had my first two awakening experiences many years ago: first of “No-self,” then of the recognition that I was even beyond the emptiness and fullness of Consciousness itself. I was the witness of all that happened in Consciousness, including the comings and goings of the various states of Consciousness, such as the sleep, dream, and awakened states of Consciousness, as well as te knowing ness of the Subtle Body, the unknowing of the Causal Body, and also the bliss/love of Turiya.

Siddharameshwar presents a coherent model allowing the student to examine the various levels of his or her Consciousness in order to find the “location” of the sense of “I,” or “I Am.”  That is, one meditates on one’s own inner experience “looking” and “feeling” for the Self, not the imaginary self that most people believe they are which consists of the idea of an inner, “objective” self, which actually has no referent, and the “seeing-through” of which results in the experience of yourself as having no objective existence, and that what one is, is a unitary oneness state with no inner or outer boundaries; one becomes limitless emptiness shining by its own light of awareness.

This is indeed a deep and profound progressive understanding of yourself, first as a person, then as various levels of Consciousness experience, then as the witness, or Absolute, not touched by Consciousness.

BUT, IT IS STILL A SCHOOL, A PARTIAL LOOK AT THE TOTALITY OF YOU.  It is a system, a method of investigation, and a set of conclusions.

It posits that there is no objective self as in Zen, but also there are “levels of Consciousness” which need to be explored in order to discover who and what I am.

The levels are one’s sensual experience of a supposed external world as a body/mind, the knowingness of the mind, energies, emptiness of the Subtle Body, the non-knowing, or non-existence of the Causal Body, and finally, the bliss and energies of Turiya, which is the basic nature of the most subtle aspect of Consciousness. Turiya is the source of the sense of I Am.

In Turiya we find the sense of me or I Am that pervades all other levels of Consciousness.  Then, one discovers the one who has explored all these levels and found oneself, the I Am, and who is entirely beyond Consciousness.  This witness, the Absolute, Parabrahman, watches and experiences Consciousness, but is entirely beyond it, untouched by it, but the Witness has mistakenly identified itself with the personhood of the sensual physical world, as well as with the I Am of Turiya, and upon this recognition, goes completely beyond Consciousness and has snuffed out all desires and karma keeping one engaged with Consciousness and its apparent worlds, leading to the same state that Hinayana Buddhists call Moksha, or liberation from attachments to the world and Consciousness, leaving one in the most profound peace and happiness, where there is completion and perfection everywhere one looks.

Siddharameshwar and Maharaj consider this witness, Parabrahman, to be the subject, the True Self so to speak, as opposed of the illusory objective self of concepts, roles, and the I-thought, that are initially seen through and called recognizing No-Self, or no objective self, or no separate self. But the feeling I Am of Turiya, is not part of the subject, but is still an object witness by the absolute.  Even those with limited meditation experience early become aware of the difference between the witness and the sense of Self found in Turiya.

However, Siddharameshwar goes one step further than his two students Nisargadatta and Ranjit, admonishing the transcender to continue to worship and devote oneself to love of Turiya, for without that love, one dries up and becomes useless.

My own teacher, and his mentor, Ramana Maharshi missed this aspect of devotion altogether.  And Robert rarely acknowledged that there was a witness beyond Consciousness, and usually held that one was the totality of Consciousness.  Yet, from time to time he would say even Consciousness does not exist and you are even beyond Consciousness. He felt the teachings of the absolute was beyond most of his students.  And, while he talked about love, love was not at the beginning or end of either his philosophy or his methods. Love, you might say, was almost just an add-on.

If you read Robert’s transcripts you hear much mention of love, sometimes as an intrinsic aspect of Consciousness.  But if you actually spent much time with him as I did over 8 years, you will find him rather removed and cold.  He was not a warm, smiling, happy being.  He was indifferent to most every situation.  He felt “cold.”

Yet, in his everyday life Robert actually practiced a search for love in women and a few students.  He had a difficult time staying in this apparent physical world.  His dog Dimitri, of whom Robert said kept him grounded, and when Dimitri died, he would die, which is exactly what happened. But mostly, when not doing something, or seeing someone, or while being at Satsang, Robert would sit quietly by himself, hour after hour, doing nothing.

Yet Robert himself actively searched for the love of a woman including the physical aspects, because he was human, and because dwelling in the peace and completeness of the Absolute eventually results in the need to worship Consciousness and the easiest way to do that is to worship—for Robert—the embodied feminine.

His behaviors towards some of his female students was a constant source of criticism from some critics, but I saw it as a desire to worship Consciousness in the embodied form of women.  It is exactly what Siddharameshwar recommended: worship Consciousness, and the essence of Consciousness is found in Turiya, the experience of which is Love and Bliss. Turiya could be called the love/bliss body as per Jan Esmann.

And, love of a physical man or woman, in the highest sense, is love of the I Am, Turiya, the Love/Bliss Body felt first in another, which then allows the Love/Bliss Body then to be found in oneself as a personal Self-Realization of having the “other,” Turiya, presenting herself or himself to you appearing as “God,” as an experience of incredible love, blissful energies and as the light of Consciousness as bright and pervading as a thousand suns all exploding from within YOU, as your own intrinsic Turiya nature.

However beautiful, consistent and complete is the Siddharameshwar model, you have to understand it still is only one model of Consciousness and Beyond, and does not contain the Zen model or experiences as subsets, nor does it contain God, the divine, nor really does it talk about the Void.  It is one of many snapshots of the totality of all that is.

Each of these traditions can take many years to master, and to do so, you have to stay with one teacher or one method for many years to dig a hole into Consciousness to reveal all that is to be revealed by that teacher or method.  Otherwise, one flits between teachers and books about or by different teachers each of whom has their own model of reality, their own methods from meditation, to Koans, to rituals, to scripture studies, etc.  Without deviation, one needs to follow one method or teacher to dig deeply into the nature of one’s self that has been explored and articulated by whole lineages of teachers.

If you do not persist in one method or one tradition, you will dig, as Osho said, many shallow holes as opposed to reaching the depths of Consciousness.