30 June 2013

Tough Times in Northridge

I should have listened to Deeya and just waited for her healing powers to help my hips  Instead I listened to the doctor, David Feingold, who made it sound like an easy operation with little risk.

But now, five days after the operation, there have been several setbacks.

First, it is almost a painful now to move that leg as 5 days ago. I have made little progress.

The leg is swollen 40% and hurts.  I can feel the new metal hip within me.

My hospital room is quite noisy for 18 hours a day and is in an old section of the hospital.  The heating system is having problems dealing with a 107 F temperature.

I am hot, sweaty, hedydrated, dizzy and constipated.

My pre-diabetes has turned into out of control diabetes with insulin.

Now they want to send me to a rehab facility for more physical therapy, but I only want to go home.

I have only had 3 visitors over the past 5 days.

Everyone implies with my poor ability to walk, it would be dangerous to go directly home

27 June 2013

Feeling Fine!

Lots of screw ups yesterday at the hospital. Four people were scheduled for total hip replacements  that day using the frontal approach.  But there was only one table available for that procedure, which is not a standard table. So I laid in pre-op from 7:15 AM until 2:30 PM. Seven hours!

I was given ample opportunity to practice my own recommendations of just staying still while emotions and pain went through me.

The last thing I remember was talking to the anesthesiologist prior to the spinal anesthetic. He had put some other anesthetic into my IV and at some point, I went unknowingly into medical samadhi.

I woke up at about 4:30 PM with a mild pain in my right hip that went away after about 2 hours and went to sleep at 10 PM.

Next morning I awoke at 5 AM with no pain, and absolutely glowing well-being thanks to all of you out there sending good wishes and energies.

I am on a pain pump, but surprisingly, almost totally without pain, which is very unusual, and not a drop of blood on the dressing.
They may try to kick me out on Friday because I am doing so well, but asked for Saturday for an additional vacation day.

Thank you all out there for your emotional and financial support, healing energies, and love. 

25 June 2013

A Word of Warning

I have heard it said that 71 people awakened under Ramana during his 50 years of teaching.  Considering that he had tens of thousands of students over that 50 years, we are talking of a “success” rate of maybe 1 or 2 out of a thousand.

Papaji, on the other hand, turned Raman’s teachings upside down, completely lowered the criteria for claiming awakening, and declared hundreds as awakened or teachers.

Robert was even stricter than Ramana, claiming that you could count on the fingers of two hands all the enlightened beings in the world.

From my experience, I have seen very few students with the openness or fortitude and courage necessary to become an actual teacher, rather than just awakened.

So many are just totally adverse to feeling negative feelings that they will never awaken.

Many, even teachers, want to wrap themselves in peace, or love, silence, or emptiness and wrap their students into this same bubble, which gradually becomes an absence of any negative emotion, and they feel this is an awakening of some sort.

It is not.  It is an Advaita escape into silence or emptiness with a bit of forced love, and Facebook lovespeak.

For you will never find God’s love, the hyper-human, all encompassing, all-liberating, explosive love, that is true freedom, without owning the flipside hell of hate, anger, jealousy, possessiveness, fear and periods of deadness known as the various Dark Nights of the Soul, where one loses God and love.

Now, no one under a real teacher has an easy time unless, like Robert, they were already awakened.

Real teachers, those who can shock you into awakening are not placid Ramanas who you sit around for 40 years until 1/10th of 1% awaken.

Real teachers are tigers, even those who appear loving, accepting and open on the surface, to the general public and casual satsang goer.

People ran from Robert because he burned them.  Students wanted to be around his quiet, peaceful exterior, thinking this is where they should be and this is the goal. 

But Robert was always in the background stirring up dissent between people and denying whatever they believed was true.  He burned students.  He always referred to Yogananda, who asked him after he had been with Yogananda for a while, “Will you still love me and stay with me no matter what I do?”  Robert said yes, even while wondering what Yogananda had in mind of doing.

Yogananda would treat each student differently, depending on circumstances and what they needed to get a bit more humble and loving.

Other great gurus that I have been around were the same.  Everyone close to Muktananda was terrified of him, of his explosive personality, yelling, berating and apparent anger at one moment, and then the blissful, laughing guru of another moment.

Ama, the supposed perfect guru terrifies her own monks. I remember one talk by her right hand monk, given maybe 25 years ago.  He said something like, “You people out there who only see Ama once a year, or maybe come to satsangs weekly, see only peace, love and compassion.  But try being around Ama every day.  She burns you with emotionality and demands of physical and emotional endurance that few can tolerate.

Seung Sahn Soen Sa, perhaps the most famous of the first generation of Asian Zen masters was really ruthless and unconcerned with many of his monks.  He would scream at monks, supporters, abbots and lay people insiders as much as speak softly.  When I was in Korea, I was told that one who interfered with any of his major supporters would have their balls cut off.

Of course one needs only to look at one photo of Nisargadatta to see what a no-nonsense guru he was, and how intolerant he could be with casual seekers or those full of themselves. He ate students alive.

Yet most of the students that have come to me, except those who were true bhaktis, were runners.  They would run at the slightest sign of what they considered “disrespect,” or anger, calling me abusive. Rather than face and express and “process” their reactions, they would run.  Often they ran to Rajiv because of his “respectful silence,” or they ran to Deeya, because of Deeya’s uncanny ability to radiate peace and love.

A few found a new book to read which suddenly made sense to them after being around me, because being around me, nothing made sense any more.  The new book gave them something secure to hold onto, and then they began arguing with me based on their three years of experience, as to whose teachings were better, more universal, or truer.

Now, if you really want to feel positive and even happy for a period, perhaps even be blissful for long periods of time, go to Facebook with its ever flowing hearts, soft-speak, pleasant-speak, and beautiful, uplifting poetry, and sometimes even uplifting poetry about struggling.

But you will NEVER find awakening in such shallow emotionality.  You see, most people in spirituality are running from emotions, whether of anger, fear, jealousy, paranoia, either towards emptiness, silence and peace, or towards internal energies, bliss Kundalini, and love. This is what Facebook teachers mostly talk about.  A few talk about the need to do shadow work concerning your own hatred, judgmentalism, jealousy, authoritarianism, etc. But not many talk about the plain day to day pain or the suffering they feel, the deadness, depression or anger.

You see, the way I teach is to own that anger, depression, sadness, hatred, jealousy, feel it 100% to incorporate that emotional energy into your practice which makes you come alive.  And on the other side of all strong emotions is a river of bliss.  Pass all the way through the emotions you are rejecting and you will find increased life and bliss.

You are either a sticker or a runner. Runners may become stickers once they are fed up with running, avoiding, and superficial kindness, acceptance, and good feelings, and are ready to dive into the darkness and pain inside.  Don’t fear the pain. Don’t fear depression.  Don’t fear loss.  Don’t fear separation.  Don’t fear your own anger and hate.  Dom’t fear jealousy and neediness.  Fully accept your complete humanity, not just a fragile, good feeling emptiness or forced positive self-talk.

THEN you will be able to feel the real depths of transformative, divine love.  This kind of love is rare and very scary at first.  I have heard it said that most people never allow themselves to feel even 10% of the love for another they could feel from fear of the intensity of this kind of love.

In addition, you have to abandon any idea you have ever read about in spirituality and fight the urge to read new books looking for new teachings and concepts. You know, it is the hardest thing to escape past spiritual learning, and even harder to cast off the personal opinions you have had as to who and what you are.  These are best lost by dwelling in emptiness for a while, seeing no purpose, no meaning, no truth in any concept.  The old story of coming to a teacher: come with emptiness; come with an empty cup, with receptivity, and not as a challenge.

I hope all goes well for you, Edji, and that your hip pain will soon be gone.
I felt close to you at the last satsang, vey empathetic with the issues of love and loss.  Strangely, whenever your mike was on, when you were speaking, your heartbeat was softly audible in the background!   That was interesting and sort of sweetly intimate -  to be aware of the throbbing of life we all share, and our physical vulnerability.

I have been following you for two years now, through the chaos and changes in your sangha.  Even though you don't communicate with me directly,  I have understood so much!  Especially important was and IS the effect of living without concepts.  Amazing.  Please carry on. 

I hope to be able to talk with you some day.


Me:  Beautiful!   We can skype if you want.  I'll have wifi in the hospital beginning Thursday.

24 June 2013

I will be in the hospital and thus out of touch for three of four days beginning Wednesday, June 26.

Surgery is on Wednesday.

I should be home by Saturday.  Visitors welcome the following week. You can watch me hobble around the house and bitch about Obama and the coming police state. 

23 June 2013

The Oppressiveness of the Obama Administration--Glen Greenwald

Prior to Barack Obama's inauguration, there were a grand total of three prosecutions of leakers under the Espionage Act (including the prosecution of Dan Ellsberg by the Nixon DOJ). That's because the statute is so broad that even the US government has largely refrained from using it. But during the Obama presidency, there are now sevensuch prosecutions: more than double the number under all prior US presidents combined. How can anyone justify that?
For a politician who tried to convince Americans to elect him based on repeated pledges of unprecedented transparency and specific vows to protect "noble" and "patriotic" whistleblowers, is this unparalleled assault on those who enable investigative journalism remotely defensible? Recall that the New Yorker's Jane Mayer said recently that this oppressive climate created by the Obama presidency has brought investigative journalism to a "standstill", while James Goodale, the General Counsel for the New York Times during its battles with the Nixon administration,wrote last month in that paper that "President Obama will surely pass President Richard Nixon as the worst president ever on issues of national security and press freedom." Read what Mayer and Goodale wrote and ask yourself: is the Obama administration's threat to the news-gathering process not a serious crisis at this point?
Few people - likely including Snowden himself - would contest that his actions constitute some sort of breach of the law. He made his choice based on basic theories of civil disobedience: that those who control the law have become corrupt, that the law in this case (by concealing the actions of government officials in building this massive spying apparatus in secret) is a tool of injustice, and that he felt compelled to act in violation of it in order to expose these official bad acts and enable debate and reform.
But that's a far cry from charging Snowden, who just turned 30 yesterday, with multiple felonies under the Espionage Act that will send him to prison for decades if not life upon conviction. In what conceivable sense are Snowden's actions "espionage"? He could have - but chose not - sold the information he had to a foreign intelligence service for vast sums of money, or covertly passed it to one of America's enemies, or worked at the direction of a foreign government. That is espionage. He did none of those things.
What he did instead was give up his life of career stability and economic prosperity, living with his long-time girlfriend in Hawaii, in order to inform his fellow citizens (both in America and around the world) of what the US government and its allies are doing to them and their privacy. He did that by very carefully selecting which documents he thought should be disclosed and concealed, then gave them to a newspaper with a team of editors and journalists and repeatedly insisted that journalistic judgments be exercised about which of those documents should be published in the public interest and which should be withheld.
That's what every single whistleblower and source for investigative journalism, in every case, does - by definition. In what conceivable sense does that merit felony charges under the Espionage Act?
The essence of that extremely broad, century-old law is that one is guilty if one discloses classified information "with intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation". Please read this rather good summary in this morning's New York Times of the worldwide debate Snowden has enabled - how these disclosures have "set off a national debate over the proper limits of government surveillance" and "opened an unprecedented window on the details of surveillance by the NSA, including its compilation of logs of virtually all telephone calls in the United States and its collection of e-mails of foreigners from the major American Internet companies, including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple and Skype" - and ask yourself: has Snowden actually does anything to bring "injury to the United States", or has he performed an immense public service?
The irony is obvious: the same people who are building a ubiquitous surveillance system to spy on everyone in the world, including their own citizens, are now accusing the person who exposed it of "espionage". It seems clear that the people who are actually bringing "injury to the United States" are those who are waging war on basic tenets of transparency and secretly constructing a mass and often illegal and unconstitutional surveillance apparatus aimed at American citizens - and those who are lying to the American people and its Congress about what they're doing - rather than those who are devoted to informing the American people that this is being done.
The Obama administration leaks classified information continuously. They do it to glorify the President, or manipulate public opinion, or even to help produce a pre-election propaganda film about the Osama bin Laden raid. The Obama administration does not hate unauthorized leaks of classified information. They are more responsible for such leaks than anyone.
What they hate are leaks that embarrass them or expose their wrongdoing. Those are the only kinds of leaks that are prosecuted. It's a completely one-sided and manipulative abuse of secrecy laws. It's all designed to ensure that the only information we as citizens can learn is what they want us to learn because it makes them look good. The only leaks they're interested in severely punishing are those that undermine them politically. The "enemy" they're seeking to keep ignorant with selective and excessive leak prosecutions are not The Terrorists or The Chinese Communists. It's the American people.
The Terrorists already knew, and have long known, that the US government is doing everything possible to surveil their telephonic and internet communications. The Chinese have long known, and have repeatedly said, that the US is hacking into both their governmental and civilian systems (just as the Chinese are doing to the US). The Russians have long known that the US and UK try to intercept the conversations of their leaders just as the Russians do to the US and the UK.
They haven't learned anything from these disclosures that they didn't already well know. The people who have learned things they didn't already know are American citizens who have no connection to terrorism or foreign intelligence, as well as hundreds of millions of citizens around the world about whom the same is true. What they have learned is that the vast bulk of this surveillance apparatus is directed not at the Chinese or Russian governments or the Terrorists, but at them.
And that is precisely why the US government is so furious and will bring its full weight to bear against these disclosures. What has been "harmed" is not the national security of the US but the ability of its political leaders to work against their own citizens and citizens around the world in the dark, with zero transparency or real accountability. If anything is a crime, it's that secret, unaccountable and deceitful behavior: not the shining of light on it.
With regard to Edward Snowden, Hong Kong government tells Obama regime, "Fuck You!"

HKSAR Government issues statement on Edward Snowden 

     The HKSAR Government today (June 23) issued the following statement on Mr Edward Snowden:

     Mr Edward Snowden left Hong Kong today (June 23) on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel.

     The US Government earlier on made a request to the HKSAR Government for the issue of a provisional warrant of arrest against Mr Snowden. Since the documents provided by the US Government did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law, the HKSAR Government has requested the US Government to provide additional information so that the Department of Justice could consider whether the US Government's request can meet the relevant legal conditions. As the HKSAR Government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr Snowden from leaving Hong Kong.

     The HKSAR Government has already informed the US Government of Mr Snowden's departure.

     Meanwhile, the HKSAR Government has formally written to the US Government requesting clarification on earlier reports about the hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by US government agencies. The HKSAR Government will continue to follow up on the matter so as to protect the legal rights of the people of Hong Kong.
Ends/Sunday, June 23, 2013
Issued at HKT 16:05

22 June 2013

U.K. Mass Surveillance Worse Than U.S.

From the Guardian:

GCHQ taps fibre-optic cables for secret access to world's communications

Exclusive: British spy agency collects and stores vast quantities of global email messages, Facebook posts, internet histories and calls, and shares them with NSA, latest documents from Edward Snowden reveal
Access to the future 3
Secret document detailing GCHQ's ambition to 'master the internet'
Britain's spy agency GCHQ has secretly gained access to the network of cables which carry the world's phone calls and internet traffic and has started to process vast streams of sensitive personal information which it is sharing with its American partner, the National Security Agency (NSA).
The sheer scale of the agency's ambition is reflected in the titles of its two principal components: Mastering the Internet and Global Telecoms Exploitation, aimed at scooping up as much online and telephone traffic as possible. This is all being carried out without any form of public acknowledgement or debate.
One key innovation has been GCHQ's ability to tap into and store huge volumes of data drawn from fibre-optic cables for up to 30 days so that it can be sifted and analysed. That operation, codenamed Tempora, has been running for some 18 months.
GCHQ and the NSA are consequently able to access and process vast quantities of communications between entirely innocent people, as well as targeted suspects.
This includes recordings of phone calls, the content of email messages, entries on Facebook and the history of any internet user's access to websites – all of which is deemed legal, even though the warrant system was supposed to limit interception to a specified range of targets.
The existence of the programme has been disclosed in documents shown to the Guardian by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden as part of his attempt to expose what he has called "the largest programme of suspicionless surveillance in human history".
"It's not just a US problem. The UK has a huge dog in this fight," Snowden told the Guardian. "They [GCHQ] are worse than the US."
However, on Friday a source with knowledge of intelligence argued that the data was collected legally under a system of safeguards, and had provided material that had led to significant breakthroughs in detecting and preventing serious crime.
Britain's technical capacity to tap into the cables that carry the world's communications – referred to in the documents as special source exploitation – has made GCHQ an intelligence superpower.
By 2010, two years after the project was first trialled, it was able to boast it had the "biggest internet access" of any member of the Five Eyes electronic eavesdropping alliance, comprising the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
UK officials could also claim GCHQ "produces larger amounts ofmetadata than NSA". (Metadata describes basic information on who has been contacting whom, without detailing the content.)
By May last year 300 analysts from GCHQ, and 250 from the NSA, had been assigned to sift through the flood of data.
The Americans were given guidelines for its use, but were told in legal briefings by GCHQ lawyers: "We have a light oversight regime compared with the US".
When it came to judging the necessity and proportionality of what they were allowed to look for, would-be American users were told it was "your call".
The Guardian understands that a total of 850,000 NSA employees and US private contractors with top secret clearance had access to GCHQdatabases.
The documents reveal that by last year GCHQ was handling 600m "telephone events" each day, had tapped more than 200 fibre-optic cables and was able to process data from at least 46 of them at a time.
Access to the future 1Document quoting Lt Gen Keith Alexander, head of the NSA, during a visit to Britain
Each of the cables carries data at a rate of 10 gigabits per second, so the tapped cables had the capacity, in theory, to deliver more than 21 petabytes a day – equivalent to sending all the information in all the books in the British Library 192 times every 24 hours.
And the scale of the programme is constantly increasing as more cables are tapped and GCHQ data storage facilities in the UK and abroad are expanded with the aim of processing terabits (thousands of gigabits) of data at a time.
For the 2 billion users of the world wide web, Tempora represents a window on to their everyday lives, sucking up every form of communication from the fibre-optic cables that ring the world.
The NSA has meanwhile opened a second window, in the form of thePrism operation, revealed earlier this month by the Guardian, from which it secured access to the internal systems of global companies that service the internet.
The GCHQ mass tapping operation has been built up over five years by attaching intercept probes to transatlantic fibre-optic cables where they land on British shores carrying data to western Europe from telephone exchanges and internet servers in north America.
This was done under secret agreements with commercial companies, described in one document as "intercept partners".
The papers seen by the Guardian suggest some companies have been paid for the cost of their co-operation and GCHQ went to great lengths to keep their names secret. They were assigned "sensitive relationship teams" and staff were urged in one internal guidance paper to disguise the origin of "special source" material in their reports for fear that the role of the companies as intercept partners would cause "high-level political fallout".
The source with knowledge of intelligence said on Friday the companies were obliged to co-operate in this operation. They are forbidden from revealing the existence of warrants compelling them to allow GCHQaccess to the cables.
"There's an overarching condition of the licensing of the companies that they have to co-operate in this. Should they decline, we can compel them to do so. They have no choice."
The source said that although GCHQ was collecting a "vast haystack of data" what they were looking for was "needles".
"Essentially, we have a process that allows us to select a small number of needles in a haystack. We are not looking at every piece of straw. There are certain triggers that allow you to discard or not examine a lot of data so you are just looking at needles. If you had the impression we are reading millions of emails, we are not. There is no intention in this whole programme to use it for looking at UK domestic traffic – British people talking to each other," the source said.
He explained that when such "needles" were found a log was made and the interception commissioner could see that log.
"The criteria are security, terror, organised crime. And economic well-being. There's an auditing process to go back through the logs and see if it was justified or not. The vast majority of the data is discarded without being looked at … we simply don't have the resources."
However, the legitimacy of the operation is in doubt. According toGCHQ's legal advice, it was given the go-ahead by applying old law to new technology. The 2000 Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) requires the tapping of defined targets to be authorised by a warrant signed by the home secretary or foreign secretary.
However, an obscure clause allows the foreign secretary to sign a certificate for the interception of broad categories of material, as long as one end of the monitored communications is abroad. But the nature of modern fibre-optic communications means that a proportion of internal UK traffic is relayed abroad and then returns through the cables.
Parliament passed the Ripa law to allow GCHQ to trawl for information, but it did so 13 years ago with no inkling of the scale on which GCHQ would attempt to exploit the certificates, enabling it to gather and process data regardless of whether it belongs to identified targets.
The categories of material have included fraud, drug trafficking and terrorism, but the criteria at any one time are secret and are not subject to any public debate. GCHQ's compliance with the certificates is audited by the agency itself, but the results of those audits are also secret.
An indication of how broad the dragnet can be was laid bare in advice from GCHQ's lawyers, who said it would be impossible to list the total number of people targeted because "this would be an infinite list which we couldn't manage".
There is an investigatory powers tribunal to look into complaints that the data gathered by GCHQ has been improperly used, but the agency reassured NSA analysts in the early days of the programme, in 2009: "So far they have always found in our favour".
Historically, the spy agencies have intercepted international communications by focusing on microwave towers and satellites. TheNSA's intercept station at Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire played a leading role in this. One internal document quotes the head of the NSA, Lieutenant General Keith Alexander, on a visit to Menwith Hill in June 2008, asking: "Why can't we collect all the signals all the time? Sounds like a good summer project for Menwith."
By then, however, satellite interception accounted for only a small part of the network traffic. Most of it now travels on fibre-optic cables, and the UK's position on the western edge of Europe gave it natural access to cables emerging from the Atlantic.
The data collected provides a powerful tool in the hands of the security agencies, enabling them to sift for evidence of serious crime. According to the source, it has allowed them to discover new techniques used by terrorists to avoid security checks and to identify terrorists planning atrocities. It has also been used against child exploitation networks and in the field of cyberdefence.
It was claimed on Friday that it directly led to the arrest and imprisonment of a cell in the Midlands who were planning co-ordinated attacks; to the arrest of five Luton-based individuals preparing acts of terror, and to the arrest of three London-based people planning attacks prior to the Olympics.
As the probes began to generate data, GCHQ set up a three-year trial at the GCHQ station in Bude, Cornwall. By the summer of 2011, GCHQ had probes attached to more than 200 internet links, each carrying data at 10 gigabits a second. "This is a massive amount of data!" as one internal slideshow put it. That summer, it brought NSA analysts into the Bude trials. In the autumn of 2011, it launched Tempora as a mainstream programme, shared with the Americans.
The intercept probes on the transatlantic cables gave GCHQ access to its special source exploitation. Tempora allowed the agency to set up internet buffers so it could not simply watch the data live but also store it – for three days in the case of content and 30 days for metadata.
"Internet buffers represent an exciting opportunity to get direct access to enormous amounts of GCHQ's special source data," one document explained.
The processing centres apply a series of sophisticated computer programmes in order to filter the material through what is known as MVR – massive volume reduction. The first filter immediately rejects high-volume, low-value traffic, such as peer-to-peer downloads, which reduces the volume by about 30%. Others pull out packets of information relating to "selectors" – search terms including subjects, phone numbers and email addresses of interest. Some 40,000 of these were chosen byGCHQ and 31,000 by the NSA. Most of the information extracted is "content", such as recordings of phone calls or the substance of email messages. The rest is metadata.
The GCHQ documents that the Guardian has seen illustrate a constant effort to build up storage capacity at the stations at Cheltenham, Bude and at one overseas location, as well a search for ways to maintain the agency's comparative advantage as the world's leading communications companies increasingly route their cables through Asia to cut costs. Meanwhile, technical work is ongoing to expand GCHQ's capacity to ingest data from new super cables carrying data at 100 gigabits a second. As one training slide told new users: "You are in an enviable position – have fun and make the most of it."



passoerd: edji used two times

20 June 2013

Sex Guru or Love-Emptiness, Advaita Teacher?

Some people seem to be saying that I emphasize sex too much, or that I have become an energy guru, whatever that means.

Absolutely not.

I am truly a teacher of Advaita as were my own teachers, Robert Adams and Jean Dunn.  However, I also was a Zen monk for 12 years and heavily emphasize the knowing or realizing of emptiness or the Void in its various aspects as part of the awakening process. The original Advaitins of the 11th Century never talked about emptiness or the Void, but Robert did as do all Zen teachers and most Buddhist teachers.

Also, Jean’s teacher, my grandteacher, Nisargadatta, emphasized love and devotion both in his method of following and loving the I Am, but he was was almost a pure Bhakta prior to his awakening in the 1930s.  

He talks about his own practice of love and devotion that led to Self-Realization and attaining Krishna-Consciousness in his little book, “Self-Knowledge and Self-Realization” downloadable from the website http://wearesentience.com. He also talks a little about ecstatic energies and bliss.

Combine this background with my third awakening experience that occurred when I fell in love with another person.  That love was not sexual, it was, for me, loving love itself, becoming love itself, worshipping love and surrender and complete devotion to the other, complete surrender to the other. Nor were the experiences associated with it usually explicitly sexual for me.

This awakening led to a tremendous intensification of my experience of inner light and seeing the flow of love as an inner river of different colors, flowing through my “energy body,” an entity within the Subtle Body which has deep roots in Turiya, which also could be called the love/bliss body, a term used by same gurus, including Adi Da and Esmann, though the latter uses it differently.

There was a growing awareness of myself in utter humility, utter surrender to the ‘other’, both in her person-hood, but also as the Self in her that led to an awareness and then worship of the ‘Self of All’ in me.  That is, I first became aware of the ‘divine self’ in her, even before I was aware of it in me.

With this there was a constant state of feeling utterly humble, utterly surrendered to her, to the divine within her and within me, with increasing intervals of feeling smaller than an ant, smaller than a grit of sand, smaller than a dust mote, utterly worthless, wanting only to support and worship God in her and around me everywhere. 

Along with this feeling event or state, I felt a sublime descent of grace as a golden light, falling like rain within me and around me everywhere, becoming like a golden river descending through my head downwards into my heart and body.

This led to the arising of the Self in me as infinite light and power, arising within me and infusing me with divine energy, revealing in utter clarity my small self as the energy-body within and around my physical body, completely separate from the physical body, yet dependent of the body/mind complex for its existence.  That small energy body self, was also just a splinter of the Infinite Self and was energized by the Infinite Self, joined in total oneness, yet as a separate, individualized expression of the Self of All.

On the other hand, the experience of sexual bliss is entirely unlike the bliss and ecstasies that arise as a result of being deeply in love and deeply devoted to an ‘other’, whether that ‘other’ is human, a god or goddess, an animal, guru, the I Am, or “Shakti.”

However, sex and tantra in general are highly useful in two ways: mobilizing the Kundalini-Shakti, and increasing the love-bonding between two people.

On the other hand, the physical expression of sex may sometimes be detrimental to the increase of an intense yearning for the beloved. If the emphasis is on the direct expression of physical sex, the emphasis may shift to the sex act itself and sexual bliss rather than for love of the other. On the other hand, as I said before, it can enhance love and boding between two people.

In addition, as I shall mention later, mobilizing sexual energies is usually a pre-requisite to an awakening of the Kundalini, but I am not a Kundalini teacher.  For me it is about love, and the mobilizing of the various energies within the Subtle and Physical Body will take care of itself automatically given the presence of enough love.

Now, awakening to the internal energies is a mysterious thing. Is it an actual awakening to various internal energies, or a new awareness of energies that were always there?

When I first began practicing meditation in 1967, I did so with incredible intensity, focusing on finding the origin of the I-thought, which took me deeper and deeper into the inner emptiness.  It was like always “pushing” forward into the darkness, pursuing the receding I-thought, going ever more deeply into the darkness, much like a diver going ever more deeply into ever darkening deep waters.

This resulted in the darkness gradually becoming lighted, revealing the inner light of Consciousness, which after a few months, pervaded the entirety of the inner Void revealed.

Along with this came an arising of the Kundalini in my spine, apparently in the wrong channel, the right channel instead of the central channel. It was an incredibly painful experience with all kinds of visions and sensitivities.  

I began to be able to see in the dark and detect electromagnetic currents and fields around me.  I could feel the life energies of plants and animals around me, and had a strange fear of the full moon.  I also had the illusion of being impregnated and giving birth to a divine light infant.  Every afternoon about 2 pm, I felt summoned inside by my deep Self that pulled me downwards into a huge bright light within that terrified me for I knew it meant death.  There were many other happenings and visions.  But there was no bliss at all.

All of these experiences totally disappeared once I went to Mt. Baldy and studied Zen under Sasaki Roshi.  At that point, something else happened.  After 5 minutes of Zen-style sitting in Padmaasana, my mind totally disappeared along with my body. It felt like my mind transited through a period of non-being altogether, then the mind flushed, like a toilet, and the mind disappeared downwards and away from me. 

Even the experience of an inner emptiness disappeared and the boundary between me and the world disolved and there was only oneness.  I and the world were one, but I was not aware of an I. There was just the world and it was me but without announcing I was it.  That came later after I left the state.

This state happened many thousands of times over the next three or four years along with the continued absence of any further experiences of inner energy states.  Yet, had they really disappeared and were no longer functioning either in my physical body or my small-self, the energy body?  I don’t know.  I was no longer aware of the energy body, inner light, Kundalini, etc.  All these were considered Makyo, or illusory, in Zen, and the Zen style of sitting, and the Zen style or practice seemed to eliminate the energies in any perceivable form.

The reawakening to internal energies that occurred after I fell in love along with the arising of the Self within my experience that became a permanent presence of Self-Awareness-of-Self, made meditation automatic and permanent. The energies and bliss constantly drew the attention of Self to Self.

Now, to bring all this into an Advaita model, or at least the model presented by Siddharameshwar, we observe that he talks about the Absolute as being entirely beyond Consciousness, as what Western philosophy called the 'Noumenal' or the 'Unmanifest'. This is also called the thing in itself and is not as observed. 

We, as the Absolute, cannot observe the Self as the Absolute and make it an object. This is the end of the line of seeking. We cannot witness or make the subject into an object; we can only BE the Absolute, and from that position, witness Consciousness.  

That is, we recognize when we try to witness the subject, that it continually recedes from the witness.  More and more of the unknown becomes known as a growing Void, but one’s own sentient source cannot be revealed.  

Instead we need to relax and fall backwards into the witness, until, very suddenly we become it, and the manifest world appears before us, either as we usually perceive it with a sense of separation, or as I perceived it at Mt. Baldy, as my own boundless manifest presence.

Siddharameshwar warns us that the witness of Consciousness, in order to maintain ‘life’ needed to worship the Manifest, or Consciousness, or else dry up and become dead.

This was my own experience too.  I saw in student after student around Robert and around me, that they “died” to life and as such, became lifeless.  But unlike Robert said, they did not experience increasing bliss or happiness, but only deadness and depression.  

Several of Robert students committed suicide when with him or shortly after leaving him.  Many people have written to me that they too felt depressed and sometimes suicidal after practicing self-inquiry as directed by Robert and Ramana.  That is why I changed the technique of self-inquiry from looking for the source of where the I-thought arose, which as emptiness, to loving the I Am sense, and abiding there with an attitude of openness and wonder about that feeling as opposed to pursuing the I-thought. 

The “lowest level” or “deepest level” of Consciousness was Turiya in Siddharameshwar’s model, also known as the fourth state of Consciousness, whose experience was of “existence-knowledge-bliss,” or pure bliss and happiness.  You have to realize this model is merely a metaphor, and there are no levels of consciousness, but you might say there among all things knowable, there are some phenomena that are more subtle and more hidden by the mind’s illusions.  So Turiya may also be regarded as the our subtle essence, rather than the lowest or deepest level.

You might say that instead of Turiya being regarded as the deepest level of Consciousness, it can also be considered the manifest side of the Absolute, with the other three level of consciousness, the external world of the senses, the Subtle Body, and the Causal Body of the Void, being projections from the Absolute.

However, Zen, Robert Adams, Nisargadatta and Jean Dunn all eschewed such intellectualizations as distractions from the pure experience of the unfolding of our awakenings following a practice of self-inquiry or self-abiding. But intellectual people often require a model in words or images for what they are doing.  Their minds require it, and by dwelling on the knowing, the unfolding is slowed.

None of the real awakening experiences or processes has anything to do with something the mind does, like a practice. In fact, it is the mind that has created all the illusions that prevent us from realizing our deeper Self-nature.  Thus the constant checking of the mind, the constantly revising our understanding of what is happening, continual searching for explanation of what is unfolding or how to unfold better is a continual trap hindering the unfolding.

Thus many teachers recommend going into silence of the mind to allow us to “feel” the Self rather than think about it.

My emphasis is on loving the I Am, which Ramana, Robert, and Nisargadatta point out is the direct highway to the Self, to Turiya, the Mother of Consciousness, Krishna Consciousness.  It is the Self, Turiya, leaking upwards into the Subtle Body and Causal Body, which, in meditation, we can then follow “downwards” to the lowest, or most refined aspects of Consciousness, SatChitAnanada, beingness.

This could be called the manifest side of the Absolute, with the other side being the unobservable subject or witness.

Thus, what I teach is pure Advaita, but with an emphasis of emptiness and love, with an acceptance of using awareness of the energies within, whatever they are called, to drag attention inwards to Self.