When I met Robert Adams in 1989, I was not looking for a teacher. I had had it and was through with all the spiritual bullshit.
I had been with Muktananda, Dhyan Yogi, six Zen masters, met the Dalai Lama, Shakya Tenzin and many other Buddhist teachers from many traditions. I knew Carlos Castaneda from the Anthropology Dept. at UCLA where I worked for a time, and hadbeen with Muktananda for two or three years. I was done, dry, defeated. I had not a clue about anything, espesially the nature of the Self.
Then I met Robert.
The first time I saw him was in a small Satsang of seven people in a micro apartment in Beverly Hills. Watching him and hearing what he said that first time, I went to him after Satsang and said, "Where have you been my entire life?"
I was with Robert for eight years. We were buddies. He said I was not a devotee, but his friend, someone to talk to, to relate to and love as a friend. He said he needed someone to talk to.
Six years after I met him, and after he moved to Sedona, I had two awakening experiences related on my website. The second Robert accepted as awakening, when I saw that Consciousness was everything, but I was beyond it as Witness, as Parabrahman. Consciousness just came to me like a cloud and left, but did not touch me.
Robert eschewed identification with the body. He said always, "You are not real; your body is not real; the world is not real. You do not persevere. Be nothing and be free."
I clung to those teachings for many years, long after he died, and even established my first website totally dedicated to preserving and presenting his teachings. Unfortunately, Robert's wife Nicole, and her chosen cohorts created the Robert Adams Infinity Institute, the vehicle by which they created a lie about she and several others being 40 year students of Robert and his only true successors. Multiple threatened lawsuits over the years forced be to take down all of Robert's photos and transcripts, and in a sense, freed me from Robert allowing me to develop my own teachings.
Since Robert I have moved on. Robert only talked about ignoring the body and the world as unreal in the sense that all objects were always changing, and no object could bring lasting happiness because they all disappeared, whether one's own body, family, wife/husband, career, etc.
However, I saw in myself and in others who had been with Robert, that one can tend to dwell in a peaceful void that gradually grows emotionally colder and colder and more distant. Many of Robert's students who I had known, committed suicide. They dried up altogether and did not want to live in a world of constant comings and goings of people who died or left them. They lived in a void with only a few sparkles of life.
Then in 2009 or 2010 I met a woman and fell in love. Because my body and mind were empty, and I knew the Void well as well as the light of Consciousness that illumined the Void, within less than two years I deeply experienced the energetic Body, AKA the Subtle Body, which quickly led to repeated experiences of the Self. This Self arose within me because of my love and revealed itself to me in unimaginable experiences of joy, bliss, humility, grace, and light, as well as seeing that this Self was firmly rooted in God, and I was the embodiment of God in my sentient form, the body that Robert said did not exist.
I can truly say that traditional Advaitins alive today, and well as most Zen and Hinayana Buddhist teachers are mostly bereft of love. But the love I felt was far more energetic, far more compassionate, far more passionate such that my body, my sense of presence, and my heart were entirely opened and filled with fire and life.
And so it has continued, ever deepening my love and my sense of power, or Shakti, coursing through my body and my sense of presence, bursting me in energy and increasing love until most of my old students dropped away and new ones came that loved Love more than the emptiness of Zen and Advaita, no matter how peaceful. Peace without the wetness of love leads to a total drying out.
About five years ago my friend Swami Shankarananda came to Santa Monica along with two others from Muktandna's lineage, Swami Chetanananda and Brother Charles.
At that time I was missing Robert a lot. I felt a deep sadness at the lack of his presence in my life.
At one point, Chetanananda talked about hos he missed his own Guru, Rudi. Tears came to his eyes and his sorrowful look and soft voice penetrated my heart, and I loved Chetanananda instantly.
Later I saw a video of these same three teachers along with Andrew Cohen talking about the life problems of teachers.
You see, everywhere it is common to hear about the troubles of students with teachers and of alleged student abuse, but it is very rare to hear stories of how teachers "suffer" as a result of having students. Teachers are real people no matter how deeply realized, and learn from students and get cooked by students as readily as students get cooked by mates in an ashram or by the guru.
Two weeks ago I finally met Chetananada face to face along with my student Charlie, who is staying with me.
We had the greatest time together. He is a large man filled with physical and spiritual power. I felt both like a brother and a child in his presence. What immense power and love. I felt I had finally met a man with more spiritual power than myself, which was comforting and relaxing in his presence. Charlie was equally moved.
Swamiji has a large ashram in Portland Oregon on 5.5 acres of land with 80 residents sitting in a community of one to two thousand students living nearby.
As a very successful businessman in other areas, such as founding bakeries, trading in art and antiques as well as Eastern Art and exotica, he does not need any money from teaching. He said making money should be separate from spiritual teachings which are purely a love offering. Such teachings should not be shackled to the artificial structures of money and capitalism. This is exactly what I thought, Robert thought, and as did Ramana and Nisargadatta.
A few days ago Deeya met Swamiji in one of the most touching and enheartening meetings I have ever seen between two people.
At first she was reluctant to leave the car saying the prospect of meeting Chetanananda felt overwhelming; she felt something powerful, incredible was about to happen, and wavered in coming.
So, I went to meet Swamiji who was waiting for us, talked to him a minute about Deeya, and turned around to see her out of the car, walking slowly towards us in the most beautiful orange dress, carrying a dozen orange roses as an offering.
I went into Swamiji's house so that Deeya could have a private meeting with Swamiji in the driveway. Soon I heard Deeya sobbing loudly, shaking, embracing Swamiji for maybe five minutes, overcome with joy at being held by him, holding him with joy and love.
I can't tell you how much I was moved by her beautiful surrender and his gracious embrace.
After a brief minute Swamiji gently led her to the chair next to me, where he gave her an orange shawl because she was shaking slightly in the chill air.
Soon one of Swamiji's own angels, Gretchen, brought us all coffee and later food. He called her the best yoga teacher he ever met and I quickly promoted her to the greatest yoga teacher alive.
The next three hours we were both astounded by his openness, love, and generosity. We both left stunned by Swamiji love and power, as well as encyclopedic knowledge of the Hindu scriptures as well as most contemporary spiritual teachers.
My heart was opened as far as it had ever been. I loved how gently Swamiji treated Deeya, as well as his advice to me which was, "Stop arguing with people on Facebook and elsewhere. Just open your heart to all, be yourself. Those who are ready for you will feel it, see it." Instantly I got the message so many had been telling me over the years. Shut the fuck up! Just love people and relate to them from your open heart.
Both Deeya and I have such gratitude to have such a man as Swamiji in our lives. I have felt an increased movement away from Robert's Advaita to Chetanananda's life-affirming Tantra, exactly what I have been teaching for the last few years since my love awakening, now sustained by my love for Deeya and others in the Sangha, and their love for me.
In Swamiji words, the body is the body of God, His temple so to speak, and the Chakras are His angels. Love God, love each other, love yourself. Everything else is everything else.