29 September 2013

BODHI-My 2nd Guru

I call Bodhi my second guru because he always seems as gentle and empty as Robert Adams.  He was born a couple of months after Robert died in early 1997, so he is 16-1/2 years old now.

The photo below was taken in 1999 when he was two years old. Bodhi was huge, a good 16 lbs or more, and affectionate, and very gentle.


Here he is next to Robert's photo. Notice the intense stare in both.

About a year ago I took him to our Vet, Dan Reimer at Adler Vet Hospital for eating problems and losing weight.

Blood and urine testing revealed mild but progressive kidney failure. I have had five cats die of kidney failure during the past 20 years, and all but one died within six months of diagnosis.  The other lived 2-1/2 years.


Two weeks ago I took Bodhi for followup testing, as it had been about a year.  Bodhi seemed stable during this year, and I had been giving him SQ fluids (fluids under the skin), and more recently aluminum hydroxide in case he had elevated phosphorous in his blood.

During the past year, Bodhi has taken to lying on my chest, and I had started "running energy" through him, both in a positive fashion of pushing, but also in a passive, yin way, inviting him to harmonize with me. Techniques I knew instinctively, but which were validated by Deeya who is perhaps Quantum Touch's leading instructor.





















This is Bodhi 2 months ago

I saw the lab results today: There was absolutely no signs of kidney failure either in the blood test results or in the urinanalysis!!!

These are extraordinary results as kidney failure is progressive and always fatal unless something else kills the cat first.

Of the 41 blood items measured, only two were elevated: amalase and neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that can be caused by inflammtion, stress, and a few other problems.  The elevated amalase is indicative of some level of pancreatitis.  The elevations on each of these items was only about 5% above normal, and no treatment was suggested.

Now Bodhi also has stomatitis, an inflammtion of the gums, for which his teeth were extracted five years ago as part of a standard treatment protocol, and this 
could explain the neutrophil elevation.  This condition too is now under control also, and no additional treatment was suggested because treatment involves steroids, which Dr. Reimer wanted to reserve as a last resort measure for the future. 

The kidney specific tests for BUN and Creatinine were both slightly elevated mid-range normal.

Cats with kidney disease drink a lot of water because the kidneys are failing to detoxify the blood and more water helps  the weakened  kidneys to flush better.

Yet every one of Bodhi's ten urine functions fell in the normal range.

All in all, the results are extraordinary and makes one wonder whether energy work on animals can really work, or Bodhi just spontaneously compensated for his lost kidney function that had been seriously manifest eleven months ago.

Also, energy work had failed with Lakshmi, my cancer kitty about seven months ago.

Who knows?



Recent Darshan With Bodhi



28 September 2013

NO SATSANG TODAY

NO SATSANG TODAY, SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 28.

FEELING A BIT OF THE FLU TODAY.

25 September 2013

CLARITY OF PURPOSE IN SPIRITUALITY


More than anything else, clarity of purpose is the most important possession of the sincere spiritual seeker.  What is it that you are seeking?

Are you seeking knowledge of something or another, of Self or of God? Or, are you seeking some sort of experience, an imagined “awakening” experience, an imagined enlightenment?

Have you any idea of what “awakening” or “enlightenment” are?  Are you seeking something about which you know nothing?

Or, are you seeking love, and if love, love of what?  Are you seeking to experience yourself as love, or are you seeking an object to love, whether of an abstraction such as God or guru, or love of a specific other?

If you seek knowledge or love, you are in for a tough ride because you can find knowledge and love everywhere, but unless it is the correct type of knowledge, or the correct object of love, you will suffer from the proverbial 10,000 cuts torture.

Ultimately there is only one kind of knowledge that will satisfy the spiritual seeker: knowledge of who and what you are, knowledge of the Self.

But even knowing this does not help much because there are 100,000 books and scriptures all describing Self from one viewpoint or another, and several thousands of teachers selling knowledge of the Self or of the manifest or unmanifest worlds.

But this kind of knowledge will never satisfy you because it is borrowed knowledge learned from someone else.  It is not your own knowledge arrived at by your own efforts and of your own devices.  Such borrowed knowledge, whether it is of Christ, Buddha, Nisargadatta, or Ramana will never, ever satisfy you as long as it is a belief, even a strong belief, so strong we call it conviction.

Worse than that, there is a great divide through all of spirituality between those who say there is no self or no separate self, and those who not only claim there is a Self, but that they experience that sense of self at all times.

I admit, for most of my adult life I struggled to understand not only what others meant by the word “self,” but whether I could detect any Self within my subjective experience.  I almost always fell into the no-self, no-I camp for half a century.  For half a century I struggled to understand not only the many various concepts of self and no-self, but the experience of Self as a state or an event.  For almost 50 years I had no knowledge of Self or self even after seven years of analytic psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, decades of meditation, self-inquiry, Kundalini experiences, study under six Zen masters, Muktananda, and Robert Adams.  For decades I was lost, clueless about Self and no self.

In Zen, which was my beginning point, there is no Self, there is no I, no I Am.  The I and I Am are seen to be just words and when looking within, no thing, no I can be found.  There is no inner entity of Self anywhere to be found.  The only Truth is that there is no Truth, and the closest to truth one can come in words is expressed in the Heart Sutra: form is emptiness, emptiness is form; feeling, thought, and Consciousness itself are also like this.  That is, there is no self-caused enduring substance or entity, for all such ultimately disappear into emptiness, and beyond that into nothingness—no Consciousness.

This is a very insecure place.  There is no certainty except of continually unfolding uncertainty, no self, no truth.

On the other side of the spirituality universe we have the vast majority of seekers who are utterly confused because of the incredible diversity of spiritual teachings, most of which contradict other teachings.  Many teachings are self-contradictory even within themselves, so the seeker franticly reads even more spiritual works to gain certainty rather than to endure the heavy and oppressive uncertainty of the confused. 

What are these people to do?  Read more books or to stop reading and read the only book that is important: themselves.

In 1995 I had two “awakening” experiences regarding who I was and which are described on my website: (http://www.wearesentience.com/my-experiences.html)

The first was that there is no self, there is no I. Subjectively, in my inner world, the word “I” did not point to anything.  There was no I, no Self.  There was only a vast emptiness within, no self, and everything happened spontaneously without an agent.

The second experience and understanding, was to see that “I” (even though there was no I) was not touched by anything in Consciousness, which meant anything in the manifest world or activity and form.  “I” was beyond all, untouched by Consciousness. Consciousness was illusory, a dream that came to me like a thief in the night, unbidden.

Well, let me tell you, this knowledge of no self, or no separate self was not at all satisfying.  I as a manifest entity did not exist in any substantial way.  I was emptiness and form only.  The sense of I was illusory, for no I existed as object to be found.

Thus I lived in this emptiness for 15 years with the profound knowledge there was no I, no Self.  The profound truth here too is that there is no love.  In fact, all human emotion is empty as are all relationships.

Then the most extraordinary thing happened to me: Love came to me, uninvited, unbidden, and in a way and to an extent I had never experienced it before, and with it came an explosion of life-energy that filled and awakened the self-knowledge of sentience within me.  I became aware of of the continual presence of love, bliss and energy that ran through my body and which flowered as a continuous sense of presence within and around me, that most assuredly was “me,” “I,” “I Am.”

From emptiness a bomb of love, energy and bliss exploded in me with incredible intensity that over time revealed who I was with the utter conviction, not of a true believer, but of someone who had not believed he had a self because he found only emptiness inside, or the nothingness of sleep and death, and then to him was revealed the Self of Ramana, as ‘I-I’ where one I is that of the small self, the human we always took ourself to be, a piece of sentience entombed in a bit of flesh, filled with dreams, wants, opinions, etc., but who also was the Self-of-All, which appeared so huge as to be totally beyond being human; it had to be divine, the other half of the I-I.

What had been missing all along, for all those decades and especially in the 15 years after my first awakenings with Robert Adams, was LOVE!  Feeling an unbelievably powerful sense of love ignited my sentience, filled the inner energies with an unbelievable life-force, bliss, energies and a continuous sense of presence of me as being not body, not mind, but as sentience itself.  As knowing.  As self-knowing and self-knowledge.

The key was investigating the inner world with total love so that the inner emptiness is quickened with the life-bliss energies of the deepest level of sentience.

So, you need to see that there are on this path, two self-realizations: realization of the Self as the Witness, the Absolute, unmanifest “beyond” which can never be directly known, and realization of the Self as the manifest, as energy, presence, love, bliss, and the divine.

This kind of realization is never final, because the forms, the manifest world, our manifest selves are constantly unfolding, changing, manifesting.  Only the Absolute who witnesses all this is untouched, and after 15 years of being untouched, the sweetness and energies of the manifest Self elicit such thankfulness for life, gratitude, humility and grace.

So I urge you, become clear about what you seek. What is it that motivates your seeking?  Is it just curiosity that there may be something beyond the world you live in?  Or is there a burning desire to grasp the real?  Or is there a burning desire for love, or have you found all human love relationships wanting from repeated failures?

Assuming you understand what forces are driving you, what do you do then? Read more books?  Seek a guru?  Try to find whatever you are looking for without any guidance except your own?

If you decide to accept the help of a guru, the most important thing to discover is what he or she actually experiences within themselves on a day to day, minute to minute basis.  Ask them what their inner experience is.  Ask them what they offer you. Do just listen to their abstract talks about Consciousness, Self, no-self, or methods.  Find out whether they can give you what you seek.  Whatever you do, don’t just go to a teacher and begin immersing yourself into their books, classes and retreats without finding out what they are offering you and how they plan on helping you find whatever you want.

You know, I was never intelligent enough or self-confident enough to ask any of my teachers to discuss their continuous self-experience, and what they had to offer me as a consequence of spending time with them.  In retrospect, I was so na├»ve and truly unquestioning.  In fact, it is incredibly difficult to extract such self-revelations from a teacher, as they tend to hide behind whatever expectations or projections you have of them, which brought you to them in the first place.  You imagine that he or she has something in their conscious experience that you want and they can give it to you.  But they do not want to talk about their own experience or what they have to offer because in such clarity, they will lose many students who want what they cannot offer.

Do you want bliss and energies?  Do you want love beyond anything you have ever experienced before?  Do you want to know who or what you are?  Do you want to escape from life and emotional intensity by abiding in the Absolute, the Witness?  Or do you hunger to know and experience everything?  This is the highest aspiration: to hunger to know both God, yourself as a human, and That which lies beyond everything.
         
If you plan on doing everything yourself, you have a fool as a client, because it is almost impossible to see through the filters and blinders you have been raised with.  You will continually go around in circles, never able to leave your box.










23 September 2013

Beward of the Mind: It is Blind--Osho

To Osho: Do I have to know and understand the roots of my old patterns in order to be able to drop them or is awareness enough?

Osho: Deva Suparni, this is the dividing line between Western psychology and Eastern mysticism. Western psychology is an effort to understand the roots of your old patterns, but it does not help anybody to get rid of them.

You become more understanding; you become more sober, you become more normal; your mind is no longer a great mess. Things are settled a little better than they ever have been before, but every problem remains the same – it simply goes dormant. You can understand your jealousy, you can understand your anger, your hate, your greed, your ambitions, but all this understanding will remain intellectual. So even the greatest psychologists of the West are far away from the Eastern mystics.

The man who founded Western psychology, Sigmund Freud, was so much afraid of death that even the mention of the word ‘death’ was enough to throw him into a coma; he would become unconscious, the paranoia of death was so great. It happened three times. He was so much afraid of ghosts that he would not pass by the side of a cemetery. Now, a man like Sigmund Freud who has tremendous intellectual acumen, who knows every root of the mind, who knows every subtle functioning of the mind, still remains confined in the mind.
Awareness leads you beyond the mind. It does not bother to understand the problems of the mind, their roots, it simply leaves the mind aside, it simply gets out of it. That is the reason why in the East there has been no development of psychology.
It is strange that for ten thousand years at least, the East has been consistently and one-pointedly working in the field of human consciousness, but it has not developed any psychology, any psychoanalysis or psychosynthesis. It is a great surprise that for ten thousand years nobody even touched the matter. Rather than understanding the mind, the East developed a totally different approach, and their approach was disidentifying with the mind: “I am not the mind.” Once this awareness becomes crystallized in you, the mind becomes impotent.
The whole power of the mind is in your identification with it. So it was found to be useless to go unnecessarily digging for roots, finding causes behind causes, working out through dreams, analyzing dreams, interpreting dreams. And every psychologist finds a different root, finds a different interpretation, finds a different cause. Psychology is not yet a science; it is still fictitious.
If you go to Sigmund Freud, your dream will be interpreted in sexual terms. His mind is obsessed with sex. Bring anything and immediately he will find an interpretation that it is sexual.
Go to Alfred Adler, the man who founded another school of psychology – analytical psychology … He is obsessed with another idea: will to power. So whatever you dream will be interpreted according to that idea – it is will to power. Go to Carl Gustav Jung, he interprets every dream as a faraway echo from your past lives. His interpretation is mythological. And there are many other schools.
Te East simply bypassed the mind. Rather than finding out the causes and roots and reasons, they found out one thing: from where does the mind get its power? From where does the energy come to feed it? The energy to feed the mind comes from your identification that “I am it.” They broke that bridge. That’s what awareness is: being aware that “I am not the body, I am not the mind. I am not even the heart; I am simply pure awareness, a sakshi.”
As this awareness deepens, becomes crystallized, the mind has more and more a shadow existence. Its impact on you loses all force. And when the awareness is a hundred percent settled, mind simply evaporates.
I will not tell you, Suparni, to make an effort to understand the roots of your mind and its patterns; it is simply a useless wastage of time. Just awareness is enough, more than enough. As you become aware, you come out of the grip of the mind, and the mind remains almost a dead fossil. There is no need to bother from where the greed came, the real question is how to get out of it. The question is not from where the ego arose – these are intellectual questions which are not significant for a seeker.

21 September 2013

Link below is to all the chanting files used for online satsang


https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=825d2cf346821ecd&id=825D2CF346821ECD%21314&authkey=!AMh5k9dvnnCepe0

Satsang Today, Saturday, September 21

At 6 pm California Time

Go to: http://satsangwithedji.weebly.com

Use the password "edji" for two different entry screens.

Put audio on pause.

TOPIC: Self-Realization 

Who Am I?

I ask my students to practice loving, accepting “abidance” into one’s sense of I Am, often first grasped as energy in one’s chest, in the area of the heart.  Finding it, concentrating on it, wondering about its nature and how it arose, then lovingly abiding in the I Am sense will lead eventually to Self-Realization.

Self-Realization is a discovery outside of the mind and thinking about who you are.

It is not a transcendental experience outside of Consciousness, but a recognition by Consciousness of its own nature within the confines of an embodied being—you.

Self-Realization is simultaneously an experience and an understanding, both of which are difficult to describe because any words used are words of the world and worldly experience, and thus when heard, will convey different meanings to the Self-Realized, and to the non-Realized.

Yet, somehow I am required to point towards that state/knowledge of Realization even if just to give the seeker encouragement that there is more to an awakened Consciousness than to one that has not awakened.

One of the first realizations that flow from Self-Realization is that you are not your physical body.  Instead, you are no thing, you are Consciousness itself which contains everything but is not a thing itself.

Your first identification after rejecting your body as the totality of you, is recognizing yourself as a Subtle Body, an envelope of energetic presence that arises from long-term meditation on the I-Am sensation. This subtle body is the energetic “presence” through which all of the individual’s energies flow as healing energies, bliss, ecstasies, heat phenomena, vibrations and internal sensations of all sorts. It permeates the entire physical body and extends into the physical world as an “energetic body.”

The Subtle Body is the home of all imaginations and imaging, thoughts and mind, memories and all emotions.  The Subtle Body can affect the physical body and vice-versa, but really is a whole different level of existence. It is also home to the experience of emptiness or the various Voids of the Buddhists.

I will not say much about the next level, the Causal Body, except that it is the place of awareness without self-awareness.  You are aware, but not aware of the world, or even aware that you are aware.  There is no self-awareness, and no world-awareness.  It is pure awareness with no object or self-awareness of being aware.


The deepest level of Consciousness is a “state” wherein you are aware that you exist, that you are consciousness, and you rest in light and bliss.  Your “nature” at this level of experience is of being light, energy, and bliss.  This state is always present permeating the gross and Subtle bodies, in the waking state, in dream and in deep sleep.  It is always here, but you need to experience it in exclusivity of other states in order to recognize and hold onto it while in the gross, Subtle, or Causal bodies.

Not everyone will experience these four bodies or any such progression.  There are other paths to several different sorts of Self-Realization.  This is a guide to the kind of Self-Realization of which I speak, as sentience embodied in an individual existence with divine roots.

Many people complain that by providing such a model, I doom students to a fixed path. I have not found this to be the case.  I have found that those not suited for this path, drift away to someone else teaching experiences and a path they better understand.  This is a very subtle path not given much to simplification.  Everything I say, everything, is not Truth, but a pointer to different kinds of spiritual experiences and interpretations.

As another pointer, I’ll state what I experience now, which is more or less my prevailing experience.

I do not NEED to look within, because always part of my attention is fixed inwards towards the Subtle, Causal and Turiya “bodies,” which are really just aspects of an embodied Consciousness.  But if I do, when I look “within,” I “see” and “feel” a vast emptiness, an illuminated inner world of vast spaciousness that extends inwards and backwards into a background of ecstatic bliss.  When I feel this bliss, I find it extends everywhere inside and outside, but “vibrates” and deeply affects the area near my physical heart, but it is not in the physical heart, but the sense of presence that penetrates my physical heart.

The more I fix on that bliss, the more it grabs me and the more powerful it feels.  That bliss then flows outwards through my hands and head into the world, and downwards into my legs and feet into the ground.

In the background, as I “feel” and “see” deep inside, I see a wall of light, bright white light, which when I focus on it becomes pure ecstasy.  My presence and body becomes gripped in an ecstatic embrace and I can hardly move for fear of ending that state.

Washing through me during all of this is the knowledge that I am home.  This is me, ecstatic Consciousness as a localized sentient being. This is what I am: Consciousness, existence, bliss.  Everything else is secondary to this primary experience and recognition.  There is complete delight in one’s own self experience.


There is much more than this, but I thought it enough to describe this base state without going into more nuances, such as the interplay between the “divine” and the individual, the descent of grace, and love as the key to Self-Realization.

18 September 2013

JU;Y 22, 2013 SATSANG VIDEO

Edji Online Satsang July 20, 2013 from Edji Sangha on Vimeo.

Will you come to a live Satsang In Northridge on Saturday?

If enough are interested, we will have a live Satsang at my house again next Saturday at 6 PM alongside online Satsang.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED, STAY YOUR INTEREST IN A COMMENT BELOW OR EMAIL ME.

14 September 2013

LIVE AND ONLINE SATSANG TODAY, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013, 6 PM

Satsang is live from Los Angeles and online.

Go to http://satsangwithedji.weebly.com.

Sign in with the password "edji" used twice.

TOPIC: There is more to self-realization and being a good teacher, than just spiritual experiences of awakening. There is experience, character, compassion, and methods to be taken into consideration.



13 September 2013

3 Day Self-Realization Retreat in October=Los Angeles

THREE-DAY 

SELF-REALIZATION RETREAT

IN LOS ANGELES

IN HONOR OF ROBERT ADAMS

OCTOBER 18-20, 2013

AT: FOLLOW YOUR HEART

WITH ED MUZIKA AND DEEYA


     Deeya has generously donated her teaching space for a three-day retreat at Follow Your Heart, the yoga studio annex to the restaurant used by Robert Adams and his students from 1989-1995 in Canoga Park, Los Angeles.

     The retreat is dedicated to learning methods for Self-Realization, from Ramana's abiding in the Self to Nisargadatta's loving focusing on the I Am, to exploring Subtle Body energies as an antechamber of Self. We will explore levels of the Self and the nature of Consciousness and why these techniques work.

      There will be intensive chanting to still the mind and open the heart, meditation, both silent and guided, talks, and question and answer. 

     We will walk in Robert’s park as he walked with his students, to feel his lingering presence.  

     The EVENT IS FREE, BUT A DONATION TO COVER COSTS  IS APPRECIATED.

     Each evening we will have a late dinner at Follow Your Heart.

     email: satsang(dot)online(at)gmail(dot)com

                   devoteddeeya(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk

Address: 21825 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, CA 91303, United States

Friday 18th 10.30am-6.30pm; Saturday 19th 12.30pm-8.30pm; Sunday 20th 12.30pm-8.30pm

VIDEO OF JUNE 22, 2013 SATSANG NOW AVAILABLE

Edji Online Satsang June 22, 2013 from Edji Sangha on Vimeo.

12 September 2013

The Guru

There is far more to a guru than the spiritual experiences he or she has had and the interpretations given to them.

There are so many spiritual experiences that everyone has during a lifetime of seeking, ranging from the spectacular, but meaningless, to the usual crowd of experiences that most everyone has over many years of training: various sorts of inner emptinesses or Voids in one’s inner, subjective world, bliss experiences, awareness of one’s sense of presence as being separate from the body, various kinds of love experiences of Consciousness itself as well as of objects, experiences of God, awareness of flowing energies within, sometimes with attending colors and emotions, devotional experiences, surrender experiences, initiation and Shaktipat experiences, etc.

In my traditions, Self-Realization experiences of two sorts, of the manifest self of an embodied, energetic being with a full range of affect and humanity, associated with a divine aspect of witnessing the dynamic power core of the universe which is the divine.


Then there is the realization of the Self as beyond Consciousness, the Absolute, the Witness, ParaBrahman, untouched by anything in Consciousness, beyond even immortality.

Then there is the Self-Realization of Zen, as a human being immersed in the world as an energetic being in existence, but also being a “man of no rank,” untouched by the world, untouched even by love or death, totally at home with his or her life, no matter how mundane or outwardly grand.
                               
THERE ARE ALL THESE KINDS OF EXPEIENCES A GURU OR TEACHER MAY HAVE, BUT THERE IS MUCH MORE TO THEM THAN JUST THEIR SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES. THERE ARE THE INTERPRETATIONS AND EXPLANATIONS THEY GIVE THESE EXPERIENCES. THIS IS THE ATTENDING PHILOSOPHY THAT EXPLAINS WHAT THEY MEAN.

There also are the methods he or she uses to bring their students to realization of their realization, ranging from an infinite number of meditations and techniques, from the Just Sitting of Soto Zen, to the Koans of Rinzai Zen, to Vipassana of the Theravadins, to the meditations on the various kinds of emptiness of some Tibetan schools.

Other teachers focus on the energy body, or Subtle Body awakening the internal flows of energy and visualizations, Kundalini, the use of love of the Guru or another as an awakening device.

The more experienced teachers use “cooking,” to help awakening students by frustrating them, or acting in ways contrary to their deep beliefs as to how awakened being should act, or by exposing their inner conflicts, rage, anger, jealousy, and pride that prevent their free-flowing manifestation.  There are so MANY people posing as teachers or healers that have not been cooked enough.  They remain fragilely self-defended, and ill at ease with themselves.

Lastly, the Guru is much more than any and all of these.  He or she brings 30, 40 and even 60 years of training to the table in his role as spiritual teacher with students.

There are so many current “teachers”  who have had a couple of awakening experiences and immediately become teachers, traveling the world with tip of the iceberg awakening experiences, and extremely shallow understandings of various spiritual states, the human mind, and of human emotions.  I am talking about the entire current crop of spiritual teachers who have had five or ten years of self-inquiry, or have had a few experiences, and set themselves up as teachers.

You see, a real guru is someone who has actively explored his or her beingness for 30 years or more and who has studied under one teacher for many years, and who has met and studied under many other teachers.

This person has seen it all, so to speak, and embraces spirituality as a life-style, not just one or more awakening experience.

This person has lived with and seen Gurus, great and not so great, famous and not so famous, and has no illusions about how a Guru will or should act.

The teacher has been cooked by many gurus and has penetrated at least one tradition very deeply as a devotee, a student open to learning, and who has interacted with hundreds or thousands of other seekers through the years, practiced decades of meditation, chanting and Mantras, Kriya Yoga, pranayama and other yogic practices.  He or she is not stuck in the after effects of a single awakening experience, but has had many large awakenings, and maybe dozens or hundreds of small awakenings.

This teacher is recognized by a teacher by masters because of his or her stability, seasoning, ability to tolerate disasters and munificence equally. He or she may be legendary of outbreaks of rage, such as Muktananda, and to a degree, Seung Sahn Soen Sah, or a paradigm of calm acceptance of whatever arises, like Thich Thien-An.

What they have that is different from lesser teachers is a long lifetime of experience dealing with other teachers, other traditions, and with hundreds if not thousands of students.

It is rare to be able to study under someone like this, like Robert Adams with 55 years of post-awakening experiences and 17 years of traveling in India studying under dozens of other masters.

It is rare to be able to study under a Maezumi with 40 or 50 years of study and practice as a sixth generation Zen master in his own family.

It is rare to get close to a great teacher like Muktananda who was a master of cooking thousands of students and awakening them with Shaktipat and other methods.

Being with a master is not only with a person who can help you “awakening” to aspects of who and what you are, but who can provide exposure to an entire lifestyle of living.  A Guru is not only someone who can help you discover yourself, but also gives you a way of living and being with others that is entirely different form a conventional life: a Guru also gives a lifestyle model, whether you totally accept it or not, a lifestyle of self-assured, grounded, manifestations of the power of a realized, embodied living truth of a tradition.

So many of the new teachers never had a teacher, they just read books and “realized” who they were from books or a chance exposure to one or two teachers. They have not been cooked or tested.  They have not been stressed by a teacher to their limits and beyond.  They have not had their “realizations” matured by adding decades of life and teaching experiences.  Some of these older teachers never trained under teachers, feel their life experiences along with their own, solipsistic cogitations, make them a guru, although they avoid that label like the plague.

If I were to choose a teacher though, and just beginning, I would pick someone at least 50 years old who has had at least 30 years on the path, and who is well-received by other mature teachers.  Then stay with that teacher a long while.  Imbibe everything.  Soak up what he or she has to offer before moving away.  Don’t waste your time with immature and self-proclaimed teachers unless you accept them only like you would a college instructor, as someone just a step or two ahead of you.

Real teachers may be very hard to live with because they constantly expose things in you that you are terrified to see: rage, fear of annihilation and death of self, jealousy, vulnerability, feeling clumsy and inept.  All these things you will feel around a good teacher, one who presses you, tests you, fries you in your own arrogance and self-proclaimed specialness.

Do you have the courage?  Good luck!  



11 September 2013

Even More on Self-Inquiry, Self-Realization, and Love

Just because your mind is a constant companion, does not mean it is you.  By “you”, I mean your fundamental state.  The mind is added on.  How many times have you caught yourself doing things and there was nothing on your mind?  No thoughts, images, or feelings?

Remember, mind is witnessed by you, or can be when you make an effort to watch the mind.  Is the witness merely a split off part of the mind as Jiddhu Krishnamurti claims, or is it an entirely different functioning within Consciousness, or is it beyond Consciousness altogether as claimed by Nisargadatta and Immanuel Kant?

Here is a question to ponder:  Who is the seeker looking for the Self?  Is it the Witness itself, the subject, the Self, trying to understand its own existential nature?  Or, is it the mind who has read many spiritual texts that say you must try to understand or discover who you are?  Is it only a big trick foisted upon us by mischievous gurus? That is, is the whole self-realization by self-inquiry trip just a joke?

Or, is the mind first made aware by these teachers, that you do not know who you are?  You have been too busy with the world to ever turn that intelligence inwards to find out who and what you were?

All of self-inquiry is aimed precisely at self-discovery, discovering the subjective aspects of Self that one grasps after your attention is turned inwards.  Self-inquiry is JUST about turning inwards, turning your attention into your inner world instead of the external world, because eventually you will find that the entirety of the external world is just a projection of your internal world and your ideas about the external world. 

You will eventually discover first hand, not as an idea offered by some guru in a book, that the world you perceive “out there” is really created by internal, “in-here” processes you never were aware of before.

What a discovery!  The world you perceive, the world you see, hear, taste and touch, is totally created in your subjectivity!  You are, so to speak, King of your world, not merely a pawn.  Change your subjectivity and you change the world you live in.

This is easier said than done, but when you know this key, you no longer feel small, finite, easily killed, injured, or otherwise destroyed.

I am not saying an external world does not exist.  I am saying that the external world that you live in, is an illusion and has nothing to do with the external world you have never really seen because of your ignorance of the “real,” or noumenal external world.

The world you live in is a co-creation of the real world and the world you lay on top of it with your senses, based on a lifetime of being taught about what the world is like by parents and schooling.

Have you ever taken a class at any level of school that questions what the external world is really like?

Maybe if you studied ontology and epistemology in college in a philosophy course, but even then, was more than a month of reading of idealist-leaning philosophers ever explored?

Physics classes turn the “real” world into a conceptual world of emptiness, atoms, electrons, sub-atomic particles, quantum phenomena, and invisible curved space.  None of this is observed through the senses.  It is speculation back by repeatable experiments which conjecturally “prove” the existence of invisible phenomena based on inference.  The world of science is not directly observable.

Now we cannot directly perceive matter as it is in itself, nor the world of science.  We only know our perceptions and the concepts that help create the world we see.

One method of self-inquiry, and a very difficult and slow path, is to “deconstruct” all the ideas we have about ourselves as humans, as sentient beings, and as the Self and Witness.  As long as we have ideas about any of this subject matter we cannot know the subject matter as directly as possible.

A new path that we have created in the sense that we use phenomena that others have long observed and used to change the world, can also be used to discover who and what the self is, and that is to direct the student of Self to explore various “levels of consciousness” within the complex matrix of Consciousness that is “us” and BEYOND “us.”

We direct such to explore their Subtle Body phenomena, which are all of the conscious and unconscious phenomena associated with being a sentient being, such as: feeling the body from inside, feeling the energetic body or sense of presence, feeling various kinds of energies, intensities and flow patterns, perceiving the inner emptiness or voids and what they are like, emotions, images, thoughts, and most importantly, the feeling of self, of I-Am.

This complex exploration can take many years, or a very short time depending on you, depending on your spiritual maturity, your preciseness of focus and how awakened your spiritual intelligence is.

However, I direct students to explore this Subtle Body with LOVE, because love has an enormous power to focus all one’s energies on the object of love and the experience of love itself.  When one can love someone or something intensely, arousing extremely intense love, one’s total beingness becomes like a laser, self-absorbed by the object, then the love itself in merger, and then the discovery that you are love itself.  That is your one and only property---for a time, that will allow you to go “deeper” into more esoteric and subtle “layers” of your own awareness.

All of this is covered in great detail in Siddharameshwar’s book, “Masters of Self-Realization” available on Amazon.  Really, you only need to read the 85 or so page introduction several times to understand better my approach.  Not that I follow his approach that closely, but he presents a model I use to take people to Self-Realization through love, by practicing self-inquiry with a loving, accepting, open, and wondering attitude towards Self, which because of the laser-like ability of love to focus attention, speeds the whole Self-Realization process.

Also, Siddharameshwar does not emphasize love of another as much as I do as an aid to self-realization, whether it is love of God as an idea or experience, love of guru, or love on another.  Love of an “outer” other is a very natural path in itself, Bhakti Yoga, but it can seamlessly be used alongside self-inquiry to discover who you are.


AMAZING DISCUSSION REGARDING THIS POST ON FACEBOOK BELOW. It explicates various positions more clearly:


·       Susan De Muynck and when that LOVE of another is rejected, then there is the chance to truly dissolve...when the "love " cracks, there is melting, there is just the unknown and heart breaking gratitude to LIFE. and yet that melting and dissolving is ALIVE.......as the breath , breathes......there is endless falling......
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Ed Muzika And when it is accepted and returned, one can experience such ecstasies and enter the Fourth State effortlessly.
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Jackson Peterson If we discover the empty nature of thoughts, we have discovered the empty nature of mind. When we discover the emptiness of the mind we discover our true nature was itself the empty nature of the mind, not a "witness" of it. The energetic and formative creativity of pure Awareness is itself the mind, not an outside influence. By discovering the empty nature of our thoughts as mind, we discover our true nature to be the empty nature of the mind itself. This message is approved by Nagarjuna... 
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Susan De Muynck as long as it is DIRECT experience YES..:)>
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Ed Muzika But not by me. Emptiness is a quality of beingness, of Consciousness, it is an object, nothing more, the container of the manifest world, both "external" and "internal." What you are has two aspects: the manifest and the unmanifest. Nisargadatta and Siddharameshwar point to the unmanifest noumenal witness as our true nature, and it has nothing to do with the emptiness of the manifest world and inner world we experience.

The neo-Advaitins and you apparently think emptiness is your true nature. Actually, you are much LESS than that on one hand, and much MORE than that on the other, the experiential hand.

I cannot disagree with you more Jackson.
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Jackson Peterson Also "no one" enters the Fourth State. The ideas and energetic contraction called "me" is a bundle of concepts only. When that bundle of "me" thoughts are seen to be empty of an inherent self-entity, there is no one left to enter any state. What remains is exquisitely indescribable.
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Susan De Muynck Is this your experience Jackson?
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Ed Muzika Of course no one enters the fourth state; that is a metaphor. The fourth state is revealed is another metaphor. And to say it is indescribable is not true. One can use words, but they are still metaphors, such as used by Ramana and Nisargadatta, Satchitananda, existence, knowledge and bliss, which are characteristics of this stateless state, but the subjective experience itself, like describing the experience of the color "yellow," is not communicable except between two who have shared that experience.
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Ed Muzika Susan, what can you make of someone who claims to experience an experience that cannot be described?
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Jackson Peterson Emptiness is the insubstantial nature of Being. Emptiness is the transparent and impermanent nature of thoughts and mental events. However the empty nature of Being is luminous Clear Light knowingness. Manifestation is the radiance of that empty Nature. Self Nature is empty of all affliction and substance but not empty of its divine attributes. Perhaps the Buddhist model is a bit more precise and accurate as it is free of all reifications of a cosmic Self. The ego loves the notion of becoming a Super Self. That's the flaw in Vedanta and Advaita in general.
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Jackson Peterson Susan, there is "no one" that "has" this experience. It's simply the ground of Being flashing on Itself.
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Susan De Muynck ED, it is a "sense".a "feeling"..........and Jackson " Do you KNOW this for SURE"????
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Jackson Peterson Ed, there is no "subjective" experience in the Absolute knowingness. If there is then it was not Absolute it was some lesser ego state. If you can remember the state clearly then it wasn't "super-consciousness" or Absolute. However one can write down the flash while its happening and read it later and be startled by the beauty of what was written. It's the only way to really know what happens when the mind is completely absent.
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Susan De Muynck I HAVE no idea, and yet there is a softness to this "not knowing", soooo much laughter, and endless gratitude to the endless unfloding.
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Jackson Peterson Susan, have you read my book? I document this and offer a means for others to experiment and find this out as well. The certainty in that moment is invincible clarity.
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Ed Muzika Jackson, I never, ever said you can experience the Absolute. The absolute is entirely beyond experience. One can only be the Absolute.
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Susan De Muynck Jackson, I have not read your book...
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Ed Muzika It is poor taste to advertise your book on someone else's thread, especially I was trying to explain my own points which are completely different and opposed to yous Jackson.
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Jackson Peterson Ed, you were in Zen for years. Zen is grounded in Madhyamaka as Nagarjuna taught as well as the Prajnaparamita. A quote from the Prajnaparamita: "Mind is no-mind, Mind is Luminous Clarity." You are opposed to Nagarjuna and the Prajnaparamita? Am I saying anything different?
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Ed Muzika Zen has no concept or experience of Self. Buddhism in general has no concept of Self, therefore the Buddhist explorer of the inner world has no experience of Self.

Self-Realization is an entirely different path than Zen and most of Buddhism.

Self Realization as I speak of it, is realizing who and what you are as a human being and as the "divine." It occurs within experience. However, there is also another, separate realization of the Absolute as I mention above and in previous posts, as noumenal witness that cannot be perceived as an object in Consciousness, because it is the subject, the missing Indian in the fable of the ten Indians who count only find 9 Indians because they did not count themselves, the tenth Indian as subject, as witness of Consciousness, which is ephemeral.

This is entirely outside what you are talking about because you talk within an entirely different spiritual path, so the Absolute, the Witness, does not exist for you, and cannot as long as you hold onto your worldview.
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Ed Muzika But when you realize your Self, the Self of All, it is a profound EXPERIENCE unlike any Buddhist experience; a path of Love, Acceptance, Bliss, and enormous energetic power that extends everywhere, but also permeates your body and mind as profound gratitude and humility.
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Jackson Peterson That would still be just an "experience" Ed, that implies a separate experiencer" and an experience. For mystics of all traditions they claim "realization" is not an experience, but something beyond all paradigms of experience. The Absolute can't be "experienced" by an experiencer.
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Jackson Peterson Realization is the total absence of an experiencer. That's the experiencer had by no one. The Self is No Self, otherwise its objective.
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Ed Muzika Jackson, precisely my point. I am talking about realization of the Self as Consciousness. This is classical Advaita of 900 years ago, not the Advaita of Nisargadatta. This is realization of Self as the manifest energy and love of Consciousness, as Satchitananda. You have to read what I said so clearly in my post.

Then there is also the other “self-realization,” going entirely beyond the world, beyond the manifest Consciousness. That self you can never "know" in any classical sense of experience or knowledege, although one can "apperceive" the Witness as explained elsewhere.

Other than apperception, one can only be the Self as subject, as Seer. Even there you don't know yourself. All that you can know is the manifest world of Consciousness.
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Rahul Gautam Edji,if I may,that's 1200 years not 900 if we take Adi Shankara, and if we go by the upanishads in Rig Veda,it can be said that it is close to 3500 yrs.
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Markus Raphael Interesting discussion. Maybe all the perspectives exchanged have their validity. That is to say that there is beyond the apparent incompatible describtions is a common ground that is just hard to put into words. The deeper we go the more we become quiet and unable to grasp verbally what we discover.
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Rahul Gautam No perspective is inherently any truer than any other,but why a common ground,escepcially after what Jackson has written,he is plain ignorant and he is selling books? Ridiculous.
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Rk Unmanifest A 'Point of View'......searching for THE ' Point of view'......not finding THE 'Point of view ...realizing A point of view is The point of view,,,:-)
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Ed Muzika What common ground? Consciousness is so deep and profound that it can hold dozens of apparently incompatible paths because they go to different realizations and states. No need to find a common ground; even finding the endpoint of even one path is an incredible success. No need to find the common elements of all.

One can spend 30 years studying Zen and not fathom its wisdom totally, and 30 years being a Sufi without exhausting its depths. Each path is a jewel by itself.
13 minutes ago · Like · 3