16 September 2014


I started teaching meditation and Zen after several years of Zen practice at four University of California Extensions: UCLA, UCIrvine, UCSD, and UC Santa Barbara from 1975 to 1981.  I also taught meditation and led Zen retreats at the International Buddhist Meditation Center under the Venerable Thich Tien-An during all during the 1970s.  There I studied with many Zen masters, including Sasaki Roshi, Maezumi Roshi, Ven. Song-Ryong Hearn, Kozan Roshi, and Seung Sahn Soen Sa. I was ordained as a Zen monk both by Thich Tien-An and later by Seung Sahn Soen Sa.

For several years during the late 1970s I studied with Dhyan Yogi, a Kundalini grandmaster, who came to the IBMC every year for 4 years in a row, as well as Dr. Ed Wortz, a Zen-Gestalt psychotherapist. I also met the Dalai Lama and Shakya Tenzin, head of the Shakya sect, when both were hosted for long stretches, at the IBMC and Thich Tien-An.

During the 1970s as well as later during the 1990s, I was an instructor at the College of Oriental Studies and later, an officer and spokesperson for the American Buddhist Congress under Dr. Ven. Ratanasara.

As a result of this background, I was invited to go to Seoul Korea by the Chogye Zen order, and was installed as America’s First World Teacher of Chogye Zen  which basically allowed to found a lay order of my own anywhere in the world.

In 1978 I met my fried Swami Shankarananda at his Ashram in Los Angeles, and studied with him and Swami Muktananda from then until 1983 with Muktananda’s successors, Sw.  Nityananda and Chidvilasananda.  I was on the security staff for Muktananda when he was in Los Angeles for 6 months in 1980, and was head of Ashram security and bodyguard for the successors when they were in Los Angeles.

During the 1980s I studied psychotherapy, especially that of the British Object Relations school of Fairbairn, Guntrip and Klein while attending Sierra University, obtaining a Ph.D. in psychology, and began treating patients during 1987.  My dissertation was on spiritual bypassing, the use of meditation and other techniques as ego defenses.

In 1989 I finally met my Guru, Robert Adams, and stayed close by him for 6 years in Los Angeles, and two more years after he moved to Sedona.  Under him I obtained awakening first to the no-boundary experience of unity Consciousness, the experience of the interpenetration of Void and all phenomena, inner and outer, and then the realization that I was beyond even Consciousness itself. I was the observer of it and it did not touch me.

From 1987 until about 2003 I worked as a psychological assistant under many psychotherapists, and finally began teaching all that I had learned after tens of thousands of hours of meditation, study under six Zen Masters, Dhyan Yogi, Muktananda, and psychotherapy on a very applied and personal level in a way few other teachers teach.

In 2010, in a very mysterious process, I awakened to the full experience of Self at Atman, the identity of the universal sentience, or awareness as an energy being, with the source of that energy being the Manifest God, Kali, or Shakti. This was a Tantric Self-Realization of the Manifest Self through love, which is the primary point of my current teachings: How to use love to awaken one’s energies, Shakti, leading to realization of the manifest Self in a rather spectacular experience of energies, light, expanded sense of energetic presence, and the experience of oneself as both absolute Knowledge, Love, and energies.

Few are any of any of the army of 30 year old teachers know of this realm and associated experiences because they do not practice meditation and have not accumulated Joriki, or meditation power.


As part of my teachings, I incorporated as a non-profit during 2011 to support both my teachings, as well as the animal welfare work I do caring for over 300 feral cats in the West San Fernando Valley.  We started strong, starting a project called No Pet Left Behind that was supposed to involve Walmart and others to place cats and kittens into homes.
However, apparently the universe does not want this model of free teachings and animal rescue work all done for free, supported only by donations, at least as performed by me.

Part of it is my destruction at Facebook, where there is little or no respect for experience, training, or really, any sort of subtlety or nuance in teachings.  It is flooded with 20 and 30 year old teachers who may or may not have had some sort of awakening experience, and who have decided to capitalize on their awakening immediately, without further aging, meditation, AND HUMILITY.  This group are instant self-proclaimed experts, and the vast majority are of the No-Self, or no-separate-self school of thought where the only qualification is being able to market themselves through gimmicks, such as carrying a “You are Perfect” sign, or writing books about becoming enlightened by believing you are already enlightened and have nothing to do.

This is the old way, the traditional way of the Eastern traditions. Even my own former student, Rajiv, took the book we wrote together and began teaching almost immediately, and now does not even respond to email queries, but charges for Skype sessions, and online classes.

This understanding is a gross perversions of the teachings of Ramana Mahashi, Nisargadatta, Ranjit, and Robert Adams.  Now everyone is an expert of Facebook, because enlightenment only requires holding onto the concept that there is no Self and nothing to do or obtain.


There is also a realization beyond realization of the energetic, manifest Self, and that is realization of Self as the divine witness, Parabrahman.  Full Self-Realization requires both realization of the Self as the Manifest Self of God incarnated in human form, and of Self as the Absolute, entirely beyond the world, beyond even emptiness and form.

The bottom line is that my work is not being and has not been supported by donations for a couple of years now, so I have to change.  It may be I’ll get off the Internet and FB altogether, and just teach a few students that come join me in Los Angeles.  Or I may move to Arizona where  I can live more cheaply.  Or I may stop teaching altogether.  Or, I may join with another teacher who the universe does support as I tried to do with Deeya, who has a magical presence and attracted huge crowds.  However, Deeya hated the pressure of “performing” before large crowds.  As she said, she is from a small city in Scotland, and has a difficult time with massive public exposure, and simply fell apart under the pressure of fame.

I may be leaving the world of marketplace gurus altogether, and continue to focus on learning how to use energies for real healing, way beyond Reiki and other such.  My gut feeling is that energy healing can really work, but the current systems really don't go deeply enough in terms of understanding of understanding how healing works.  Then I can make a living operating a pet health business selling products, as well as healing sessions.

My recent experiences with my cat Charley, dying from an inoperable squamous cell mandibular cancer has motivated me to look more deeply into systems of energy healing.

I am sorry it has come to this, but the universe has spoken.  It prefers teachers that promise instant enlightenment, no effort, no meditation, no spiritual growth or practices, and who are basically self-help salesmen selling an easy way to self-delusion.


  1. It makes a lot of sense what you say Edji. I remember reading about a spiritual teacher who came to America and was going to give free talks. He was wisely advised to charge for it. He realized "People only value something if they pay for it". If it's free, they assume it's less valuable. It's just the way we're wired in the west.

    Like you say, you've been in the game a long time and have a lot to offer. I hope people see that and contribute.

    If not, then like you say, do something else.

  2. Hello Ed Ji. Great Blog post. It is a shame that people of today do not want to put in the time or effort to gain spiritual enlightenment. It is not your fault. No one can blame you for going where your destiny takes you. The Universe created everyone and will balance everything out in the end. Thank you for sharing your posts on Facebook. Best wishes to you.

  3. Good idea(s). May be sale of y'all's place in L.A. can translate to modest digs on a dollop of sweet acreage nearby Sedona — nice little patch just out of town, with an east-west traversing arroyo run through it — for epic sunrise-sunset viewing. Could be just the ticket for an ole Sage? I am sorry to learn of Charley's passing on — away from y'all's days and nights cozied, together embodied. Love, Chris n' Fritzji

  4. I love you Edji for whatever you have contributed to the humanity; I am so much blessed being in touch with you! You have given a new hope to many of the meditators groping in the dark; you have elucidated the brightest path and summed up the whole of the Advaita in your books and writing everywhere; I am gratified with your love and blessings,, Purushottam

  5. Chris, Charley is still chugging along. The cat who refuses to die!!!He just finished his third bottle of baby food and got a bath yeterday. Wish I had LA digs to sell.

    How is Dogpatch Texas nowadays?

    1. Oh so glad to hear that Charley is still gifting himself for y'all — Wow — what love!! I thought you and Kerima owned that house in Northridge? The patch here is sweet, getting much appreciated (much needed) rains, workshop thankfully up n' running now, and Fritz happy to have most all (save my bed) as his own "Dogpatch".