22 December 2015

What if there were no path?

What if there were no path? What if there were so many paths and none of them led to a “final” state or ultimate understanding?  What if thousands of lost souls had not followed Buddha seeking an end to suffering?  What if Buddha at 25 had seen death, disease, starvation in the world, and instead of seeking a way to end the anxiety in himself caused by such scenes, he sought instead ways to alleviate starvation, disease, and suffering in the world by direct action?

You see, all wisdom schools, all paths, all spiritual experiences already exist in you in a nascent state just waiting to be experienced depending on how you direct you attention.  Kundalini resides in you whether you are aware or not.  Emptiness, the Void, resides in all of your experiences whether you are aware or not.  Great love resides in you whether you are aware of it or not.  Peace resides in you whether you are aware of it or not. Each has its roots in you waiting the be sprouted by attention.

You can deliberately seek to awaken your Kundalini.  You can deliberately seek love, or to be aware of the love in you.  You can meditate on emptiness or sit in Shikantaza to become aware of states of being aware of awareness itself, the Void, the container of all experience.  You can walk down all these paths of energy, love, meditation, chanting, Shaktipat, Voidness, healing, crystals, koans, pranayama, or…..   You can just be aware of your own self in the world in a balanced inner-outer awareness welcoming whatever arises.

Instead of a directed awareness aimed at awakening in you an awareness of experiences others have said they have had by practicing certain pranayamas, chakra meditations, mudras, herb ingestion, yoga poses, emptiness meditations, worship the guru, Christ, or God, what about just be completely open to everything occurring within you and without you?

If the desire to find ultimate states arises within you (the Absolute, Parabrahman), instead of seeking such through reading Nisargadatta, Ramana, or Robert Adams, and then practicing self-inquiry, what if instead, we open to that within us that is propelling us to seek the Absolute?  What if we can be open to that which propels us to seek?  What is that within us that drives us to seek a Kundalini awakening, to seek the Absolute, to seek love, to seek God, to seek Turiya, or emptiness?

What is that within you that drives you to seek, which prevents you from just being in yourself as you are in the world?  What is its form?  How does that feeling actually feel like?  Feel it!  Own it!  Be it!  Bring whatever it is entirely into your sense of self.

What is it that drives you and makes you seek something you think you want but which you have not yet experienced? What drives you down one spiritual path after another, from one teacher to another?  What makes you a seeker?  What drives your seeking?

Buddha did not question his own seeking, and he went down one path after another to extreme degree before he found his solution, which was to end desire.  Nisargadatta followed his teacher’s words, looked within, found his sense of I Am, an attended to it until he experienced both the manifest and unmanifest selves.  He did not question his path.

J. Krishnamurti, so far as I know, is the only famous teacher that asks you to explore that which makes you seek, but really offered no way, no path, to explore one’s own self.

You do not find your inner world merely by looking within, because looking implies separation, a witness and an object.  It separates.

Instead, feel within, be aware of all tactile and emotional sensations within your body.  Accept those sensations.  Feel them, absorb them.  Feel the impetus to seek.  What is it for you?

As an aid, read Eugene Gendlin’s book entitled ‘Focusing’.

10 December 2015


Over the years I have been contacted hundreds of time by people with addictions asking for help. I have not been of much help, because I didn't know much about opioid addiction to pills and heroin.

But here is it, a long, 78-page article on Huffington Post that explains why abstinence, or willpower-based self-attempts, or those found in 12-step programs of abstinence, fail 90% of the time, and cause tons of overdose deaths by addicts that are clean, but return to heroin at there former dose level, a dose level they can no longer tolerate.

The new paradigm is medical assistance using opioid partial agonist medication such as Suboxone, Naloxone, or Buprenorphine used alone. the relapse rate of programs using medical assistance is only 10% compared to 90% in programs based on abstinence, along with a very, very low rate of overdose death.

For the last few months I have been doing some research in this area, and found almost unanimous agreement about the success of medically assisted recovery and without the need for painful withdrawal. However, there is still much bias against medical assistance since recovery in the U.S. has always been associated with faith based, 12-step, or institutionalization of enforced abstinance, and the political clout backing this $12 billion dollar industry.


09 December 2015

Buddy Died Today

Buddy died this morning at his vet's clinic.

When I awoke this morning he was crying out in pain. He crawled up onto my lap and cried out.  Then he ran away and cried some more. Then he laid on the floor on his side, motionless, with rough breathing.  He had been getting fluids daily at the vet's office because of severe dehydration, but began to retain fluids about a six days ago ago.

Dr. St. Clair long suspected cancer, because his blood tests had been normal except for severe anemia, for which he was treating, and Buddy was too fragile to survive exploratory surgery.  His blood vessels just kept collapsing and he was retaining fluids. X-rays showed nothing of a tumor, but lots of gas and retained fluids. Buddy's decline was very rapid.

Buddy spent the last three weeks glued to me, on my lap, on my chest, following me around the house when he could manage it, and following me with his eyes when he couldn't.

But today the pain was just too much for him, so I gave him a large dose of Buprenorphine to calm him down because he looked panicked, and to ease his pain.  The unusual breathing made me know it was time.

All the staff at Grand Paws were very sympathetic and kind.  They all knew Buddy well as he came almost daily for fluids.  They were all very kind and several came in to say goodbye to him before he passed. I offer special thanks to Shannon, Joe, and Jeff, and the many, many, techs who gave Buddy fluids, enemas, pills, and who endured blood-lettings in the process, and also Dr. St. Clair who performed a perfect euthanasia.

Buddy's death for me is heartbreaking. I have not had anyone's death hit me so hard except for my father's, and another cat named Satchitananda (Satchi) who died in 1987.

It is so great to be able to feel this deeply again, to fully feel the sorrow, the emptiness, the loss, and to be able to cry freely.  I know after Satchi died the same year Robert died, I went into a three year depression, and finally came out after medication. But antidepressants also can blunt all feeling, so I stopped it after a few years.

Don't let anyone tell you that awakening means you are immune from attachments, loss, mourning, even fear, because if you are immune from them, you are also immune to love, bliss, and happiness.

Spiritual practice can leave you without feelings and detached as are so many spiritual teachers.  Be glad you can still feel.

05 December 2015

Richard Wolff explains why life as we have known it in the United States is over. The economic collapse of 2007 marks the beginning of the great decline, of a self-destructing economy abandoned by capitalism to make more money in rapidly growing Third World Economies.

It is over for us. Richard explains in painful and very clear detail, why we are slipping into oblivion.

I saw his 2 hour video on Link TV called Alternatives to Capitalism which was breath-taking in its clarity of explaining the decline of the U.S.

23 November 2015

When it comes to Self-Realization and enlightenment, for all intents and purposes, your mind is the enemy.  The mind replaces “realization” with knowing, which is head centered rather than heart centered.  Heart-centered should not be romanticized and transformed into the idea that it means love-oriented.  Actually, heart-centered awareness means that it “feels” like your center of gravity has moved a foot downwards from the middle of your brain into the region inside your body around where the physical heart resides.

The center of your beingness, your existence moves downward into your chest, or with Zen, even lower into your gut.  You “live” rom those areas as opposed from your thinking brain.  Thinking can go on and on, but it becomes just background noise unless you need it for some functioning.

People who come into spirituality inevitably begin by reading books and later going to teachers, but all of this head-learning has to be let go of in order for your center of gravity to drop into your heart.  This is the first step into enlightenment, realization of deeper bodies than the one created by your brain, including the energy body, bliss body, emotional body, one’s sense of the divine, the knot between the divine and the personal known as the Atman, or the I Am sensation.

To dwell here you need to let go of ALL understanding, realizing that accumulated knowledge keeps you in your head, locked into various concepts, spiritual ideologies, and the known, not spontaneous, but studied., and instead “FEEL” within your chest for the I-Am sensation. 

When found, dwell there, abide there is the I-Am feeling, the core of your awareness.  Listen to sacred music, chanting, as often as possible.  Practice loving-kindness to all beings, human and animal.  

Using this base, start loving your sense of Self.

What causes this strategy or method to fail, is reading too much, taking ideas and sayings from Osho, Nisargadatta, Krishna Menon, Ramana, Jean Klein, etc., then thinking about these ideas, criticizing and judging others too much, keeping yourself in your brain and mind.

21 November 2015

“Experts” on terrorism, especially Jihadist-style terrorism, are now stating that somehow we have to create an anti-Jihadist ideology to counter ISIS and other such organizations.  They say ISIS recruits by bringing in youth who have no identity and feel rootless and lost, and give them an identity of being part of a religious crusade or world-wide stretch.

These experts say the problem is a lack of identity among the young who feel lost, confused, and see the utter inequity and injustice of life, and see ISIS as bring the world to justice under the one God, one faith, and one flag of ISIS.

I see one “correct” anti-ISIS “ideology” being one not of an opposing philosophy so to speak, but a turning away from thinking and identification in a conceptual way, with using a “feeling” introspection of our inner worlds in order to discover God within, Christ Consciousness, which is no more than an awareness centered in our spiritual hearts.

I call this realization of the Manifest Self, one’s own heart-center, which changes everything.  No longer caught in mind, concepts, ideas, one lives from the heart in total, open acceptance of everything that arises from within and without.

The problem is that there are so many conflicting spiritual paths with so many contradictory ends, definitions of enlightenment or self-realization, that this simple path and end, without the garnishment of complex spiritual philosophies and definitions of inner states such as Turiya, Samadhi, Sahaj Smadhi, Nirvakalpa Samadhi, Causal Body, Parabrahaman, etc.

If an ideology is to be grafted onto this style of self-realization, it can be simply described as realizing one’s divine self, Christ Consciousness, Krishna Consciousness, or one’s true self, deeper than mind, and within which mind is submerged.

That is, we replace an ideology of war, a religious war/crusade to fight injustice, with one directed towards self-understanding, self-realization as an affective-feeling-awareness rather than a murderous “thinking” identification with radicalism.

07 November 2015

TWO NEW EMAILS FROM MY FAVORITE FAN Swami Chetanananda once said when you become a spiritual teacher you walk around with a target on your back for receipt of all kinds of projections of hate, insanity, despair, and disappointment. MESSAGE #1

“Back to your self degrading ARROGANT SELF BEHAVIOR. Attacking other teachers, judging the neo's as if your an authority on everything. Whose on Facebook you are ,your addicted to it, you cannot exist without your arrogant, demented view of those that don't agree with you. Your no doubt are bipolar and should see a psychiatrist for some help. I don't buy a word you say.Hate just emanates from your ARROGANT SPIRITUAL EGOTISTICAL MINDSET.You only know how to attack.DESTROY and manipulate. The women 's groups also attest to this with your attitude toward your remarks IN PRINT THAT THEY ARE TO BLAME. ALL NEARBY WOMEN ORGANIZATIONS WILL BE NOTIFIED. YOUR A ARROGANT CON ARTIST. YOU PUT YOUR NAME WITH OTHER TEACHERS THAT YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO, TAPING NICOLE 'S phone call.breaking up marriages. Your so so HATEFUL WITH NO REMORSE, A PIG, I TAKE THAT BACK A PIG IS BETTER THAN YOU.you have no idea ,only expirence,s and how to destroy, consciousness will NOT GO AWAY IT WILL KEEP ITS DILIGENT AND WATCHFUL EYE ON YOU. TO PROTECT THE INNOCENT PEOPLE YOU HAVE DESTROYED WITH YOUR HEARTFELT ARROGANT. BEHAVIOR.” MESSAGE #2

"That was spontaneous, consciousness at play.you ed the snake oil salesman of the century. The most ARROGANT SELF RIGHTEOUS, WOMEN GET WHAT THEY DESERVE PSEUDO GURU .NAH YOU GIVE GURU A BAD NAME.GO TO A DOCTOR AND GET HELP LET THE WORLD ALONE, BELIEVE ME IT WILL DO JUST FINE WITHOUT your ARROGANCE" bo szendel Email: jerrypesh@aol.com

Even worse from my point of view are former students who previously confided in me their deep and abiding love and devotion. Then one day they feel disappointment, or maybe feel ignored or even demeaned, and suddenly they flip, and to them, you have become the worst person in the world, maybe that has ever lived. Then they share their hatred to other students who are friends of their with exaggerated stories of how they were wronged, and a whole bunch of people respond believing the accusations.

05 November 2015


It is always interesting to read books of talks of great spiritual teachers like Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta, Robert Adams, Ramakrishna, the Platform Sutra of Hui Neng, etc.  But you have to realize that what you are reading is usually their final teachings at the end of their lives.  You strain and strain to understand what they are talking about when they talk about the Witness, Parabrahman, Consciousness, awareness, Turiya, the Causal Body etc.  Finally, maybe after five or ten years you understand their teachings and you become a Facebook teacher, or start your own Sangha.

You don’t realize that true spirituality is not a matter of understanding, but of being, resting in an area of your awareness “deeper” than the thinking mind.

The absolute first step in any deep exploration of your Consciousness, your first step towards self-realization, is to discover the emptiness within your self, the so called Void nature of the mind and of the world.  You do that by cultivating the light of Consciousness, and also by “looking” with your mind’s inner vision, inwards, into the darkness you find within.  That inner vision coupled with cultivating the light of Consciousness is the essential first step towards enlightenment, especially towards understanding any aspect of Buddhism or Advaita Vedanta.

The easiest way inwards is to look inwards for the sense of I or I Am, usually eventually located in the heart area of your body.  Just do it twice a day for 30 minutes at a time in a formal sitting position with a straight back.

The other practice is to look within for any source of inner light, often first found in the area of the Third eye, behind and slightly above your two physical eyes.  This too is an “inner vision,” part of turning your attention inwards rather than outwards towards the world.

Now rest your attention in that spot of light and daily it will get larger. In your imagination you can begin to “push” the boundaries of that inner light and expand it into your inner Void, so that the emptiness of your inner world becomes visible.  Gradually expand the light everywhere within until you can “see” the entirety of the Void.

Going inwards is the essential step towards a real spirituality prior to and beyond any understanding of the mind. No effort to look within, even without a method, is ever wasted.

Going inwards reveals the complexity of your inner world, the Void, the Light of Consciousness, and later inner energies, Kundalini, one’s sense of presence or the energy body, the Causal Body of Consciousness without an object, Turiya, where the sense of I originates, and then the place beyond the I, beyond Consciousness, beyond, or better, “prior to” the Manifest Self.

These are also the areas within which you find experiences of the divine within you, of God within, the Atman, of your sense of Self being equivalent to the experience of God.

Here to you acquire the experience of the totality of Consciousness without a sense of I, having no identification of anything, without a sense of separation, of witness versus the world and one’s own body.

It is also the area where you can find bliss washing your body and sense of Self for day after day, month after month performing a kind of inner purification.

Read the stories of the great spiritual figures and their practices and experiences.  They tread a long path, but any meaningful path begins with uncovering and becoming aware of both the Void within and the emptiness of phenomena, and also discovering and cultivating the Light of Consciousness which illuminates that Void.

With this step completed you will be able to understand the most essential Suta of Zen Buddhism, the Heart Sutra, which is chanted at least twice a day in all Zen temples and monasteries. 

This is why a true teacher is dto discover, because they speak of experiences and understandings entirely beyond the world most people know, an inner world of joy, light, expansion, bliss, and the divine.

You really won’t discover these worlds by reading Robert Adams, Ramana, or Nisargadatta because they spoke from one end state, from a position of having experienced a 50 year path of inner exploration which will be entirely opaque unless you experience similar states in baby steps  by looking within.

Almost all that read Ramana, Robert, etc., never discover the necessity of meditation.  They do not emphasize it, or  may refer to self-inquiry of following or finding the I-thought, from where it comes, and where it goes.  But this is just one way of practicing self-inquiry.

Instead, you need to read the books and learn of the experiences pf those who write or speak of their paths and their experiences along the path, such as Muktananda’s book, the Play of Consciousness, and learn about the astral worlds within through Autobiography of a Yogi, and read my book on discovering the Manifest Self of inner energies, bliss, and discovering the divine within in my book, Self-Realization and Other Awakenings.

Do not listen to anyone who says there is nothing to do and nowhere to go; you are already divine and perfect.  This understanding will mean nothing to you until you have spent a long time in self-discovery.  This is a kind of end-teaching that really is misleading until you better know yourself.  But it is this sort of end teaching of doing nothing that is so popular in spirituality, because it frees you supposedly of a life-long path of inner investigation.  You find so many of these kinds of teachers on Facebook, or giving Satsang throughout the western world. Beware of these teachings because they are only of the mind, and not even an “inch” deep in terms of your inner world.



There are inner senses and outer senses. When it comes to the inner senses most people are only aware of the usual internal objects such a thoughts, memories, images, and feeling the muscles and organs when they hurt, from the inside.

But the inner li
ght and the Void it exposes is an internal visual sense that all long-term meditators are aware of.

Later, one develops a deeper and more refined "feeling" of one's own subjective world and Void, which reveals a more refined awareness or emotions, moods, internal energies, one's energy body or sense of presence.

These are preliminary to going even deeper. There is a spectrum of one's inner awareness that coexists with one's experience of the world.

31 October 2015

Consciousness, its nature, whether it is Universal in any way, or just limited to bodies, and the interplay with Shakti and the Unmanifest is the subject matter of Rishis, avatars, gurus, and teachers since the beginning of recorded time. There are so many answers, so many systems from Advaita Vedanta, to Tibetan and Zen Buddhism, each with many schools, Sufism, Kashmir Shaivism, each having a complete set of answers, some of which can be mapped onto other systems, and some not.

When you find simple answers, sweeping answers, you have the central teachings of one school or another, and to each school is added the life experiences of generations of saints, each amplifying and expanding on the insights, stories, and methods of their exalted predisessors. Thus we have 28 generations of Buddhist Patriarchs, a thousand years of Shaivite and Tibetan masters, etc. We have the Nath tradition of Nisargadatta, the school of Kashmir Shaivism founded by Nityananda, the lineage of Babaji to Muktananda, and tens of millions of students arguing which we self-realized, or enlightened, and who were not, based on their subjective criteria.

But all is well. Just turn your attention around, look and feel inside, and find riches beyond belief within your inner world.

But you will find so many here on FB that wrap their minds around one teacher, one method, one school, which they understand with their minds, not their hearts, and they become the haters of other schools, other experiences outside of their experiential universe.

All teachings are only concepts. All distinctions are only concepts. That is why we have to dig deep into the nature of our own experience, and only then check it against gurus, present and past.
Nisargadatta, Robert Adams, and Ramana are the big three of traditional Advaita, and the principal guides of my entire Sadhana.

But I want you to take a look at what they say, feel what they say, and what do you feel?

Really they only talk about Turiya and, at least in Nisargadatta's case, That which lies beyond it.

I knew Robert first hand. I spent severn years with him.  Most that claim his as their guru spent not one minute with him.

Robert was fun to be with only because he was my guru. Lost in himself, he really had nothing to do with the world which he considered a joke.

I just wanted to be around him all the time, trying to get a taste of where he was subjectively, and finally in 1995 had several experiences he acknowledged as "enlightenment."  But let me tell you, the experience of and knowledge of the experience that I did not exist as a human and that the world was illusory produced no joy, but only 10 years of dwelling in emptiness, which was very dry indeed.

When Shakti came to me and awakened me to the joys of the Manifest Self in 2010, everything changed because at this point Consciousness itself became alive as Shakti and has remained so until now.

You cannot identify with the Absolute as you cannot experience the Absolute as some thing, as an object; you can only be is as the subject, and when you do so, the totality of existence is laid out before you as Consciousness, but with the identity gone.

However, when this happens, the principal of identification is absent and you cannot accurately say, "I Am That," because the ability to relate to objects is gone.  You cannot even any longer say, "I am not That," because there is no longer a That.

Subject and object as a distiction evaporates.  There is only Consciousness, but you cannot even say that.  The distinction between Consciousness and the Absolute disappears too.

You body is no longer experienced as separate from the world.  The I Am is no longer experienced as separate from the world. All become merged in with one experience of all that there is.  You are part of all that is, but cannot articulate that as no time and no movement exist in this totality.

With t comes great peace--unbelievable peace of nothing to do nowhere to go.  As the totality of Consciousness you are complete and immovable. Yet, you cannot even say, "I am complete and immovable" since no I-sense exists anymore.

30 October 2015

All the published books of Nisargadatta taken together are probably less than 1,200 pages.  Three of them by Jean Dunn, are less than 500 pages.

If you notice, published talks are always less than 5 pages, often less than 3 pages.

This means his published talks are all heavily edited, and what you are reading is the editor's POV regarding the talks selected, and what portions of those talks the editor chose to make a point.

Robert's talks covered three years from 1990 to mid 1993, three years. He talked twice a week for maybe 30-45 minutes. The book of his entire talks is over 2,100 pages long.

Nisargadatta talked six or seven times as much, everyday, twice a day. Most of the talks published after I Am That occurred between 1979 and 1981.  This would mean a book of all his talks would be over 14,000 pages long excluding the earlier I Am That from his 1974 and 1975 talks.  So we are reading less than 10% of what Maharaj spoke of during those three years.

I had a long talk one time with William Powell who himself wrote three books of Maharaj's talks.  He asked me why the talks published in other's books, like those of Jean Dunn were so short.  Powell said Nisargadatta spoke at great length each day, and authors only captured a small part of what he said.

His two newest books, Beyond Freedom and Nothing is Everything are different.  These were random, previously unpublished talks that had not been cherry-picked by previous editors as among his best talks. They have not been carefully edited to reveal the diamonds mixed in with the dross, and you find a very different Nisargadatta here, one that seems terminologically challenged, inconsistent, and very confusing.

The Nisargadatta in Jean's books is polished, powerful, eloquent, in the last two books, almost like someone with not enough sleep and who was very, very careless with examples, stories going nowhere, and highly inconsistent, and, in fact, not much worth a bother.

Now if you want to try to reframe Maharaj's work between lower and higher teachings, we have a problem.  Some like the concept of that which lies prior to Consciousness, the Absolute that apprehends Consciousness, as opposed to the teachings found in the last two books in question that focus on the "truth" that everything is Consciousness, a unity of the totality of an undifferentiated oneness, or wholeness, within which the I-sense, one's body as a percept, one's breathing, the entirety of the external world, all merge in oneness without identification of any sort.

Those who try to shoehorn Maharaj into just those two positions almost never talk about where those teachings come from experientially out of Maharaj.  He says the teachings come out of him spontaneously, not by thinking or memory. with nary a word about the experiential states he talks about.  Without some sort of support, his words have only the power you give them, and I know many, many people, including Ramesh Balsekar who swears Maharaj did not talk about anything existing prior to Consciousness.

There are so many who think they have entirely grasped Nisargadatta, and are very insistent on their POV, and argue I am wrong or presenting a minority of Maharaj's teachings.

Actually, I have a different view.  I want to free people from a slavish dependence on what they think Maharaj said, which is solely their own POV based on their spiritual history, their education, their meditations, and their reading of Maharaj, and quit insisting that others don't understand him as deeply as they do.

Be open to all he is saying, not to just your beliefs about the totality of his teachings, and purported levels.  Yes, I find him intriguing still, but the primary authority with who I abide, is myself, my own experience, my own knowledge, not Nisargadatta.  I am telling you to cling only to your own experience, not to Ramana, Maharaj, or Robert.

29 October 2015

Beyond Freedom, Chapter 6 by Nisargadatta, with commentary

Beyond freedom--Nisargadatta
Chapter 6: identify with the body, suffer with the body.
Maharaj: While the knowledge is getting established, you will be in a sleep-like state—even witnessing will not be there.  You will feel as if you are asleep, but it is not sleep.  It is called Udmani, which means “above the level of mind.”  The yogis and sages are in that state above the mind.  It is a state that transcends the mind.  When I talk, I am talking from the Udmani state—from nothingness.  It is a restful and relaxed state.

(Comment: he is probably talking about what Siddharameshwar called the causal body.  Above, Nisargadatta states that in this sleep-like state, even witnessing is not there.  So where is the Witness?  According to Siddharameshwar, we have to pause through this sleep like causal state before we realized Turiya, a deeper level of self, and in fact the origin of the I-Amness according to Siddharameshwar.)

Visitor: is it a state of deep sleep?

Maharaj: Although it feels similar to sleep, it is not sleep, because there is awareness or consciousness deep inside.  You will not have this experience unless you are stabilized in peace and stillness.

Visitor: when I am reading, sometimes there is an identity, and I see myself reading.  Is that differ from the state you compared it with?

Maharaj: while dreaming, you observe the dream do not you?  At that time, the whole dream world is in front of you.  You simultaneously watch what is happening while also taking part in the dream world as one of the characters, one of the actors.  But here, you are purely a Witness.  You are not acting but are merely a Witness, whereas there you are also a participant in the dream.

(Comment: Very strangely he contradicts above, where he says you are in a sleep-like state were even witnessing is not there.)

Some gurus give disciplines which only engage the mental aspect that activity.  They get their disciples involved in the play of the mind by referring to the concepts that appeal to them.  They concretize their preferred concepts in the form of activities for their disciples.  Leave all of that alone—there is no question of effort and no question of elevating yourself to a higher level.  Where will this spark or flame go?  Where will my vital breath or prana go?  There is no question of it going anywhere.  You only have to be aware as the Witness and you will merge with the five elements. 

(Comment: What does the “you” in the above paragraph refer to?  What does it mean that “you” merge with the five elements?  What I believe he could mean, is that you as witness merge into, or disappear into the external world experience.)

If you identify with the body-mind, you will have to undergo all of it suffering and misery, while facing its effects.  If you identify with the body, you will suffer with the body.  A swimmer, when caught in a whirlpool, has to go down deep beneath the whirlpool, then swim beyond its diameter before coming up to the surface.  If the swimmer struggles, he will become exhausted will be finished.  Similarly, with this whirlpool of the body-mind, before you become panicky dive deep down underneath—do not get entangled with the body mind.  Go deep beyond the thoughts and come into the thoughtless state.  I tell you to ask me questions because I want to find out the depth of your understanding.  The questions are of the mind, but you are not the mind.

First there is the desire to “Be.”  From this “I am,” the air came first and the earth last.  Then from the earth came the vegetation and the many forms of life, each having this “I-Amness.”  Because of the five elements you have the body, and in that body is the “I-Amness.”  What you call death is when the vital breath goes back into the air and the body merges into the five elements.  When the vital breath separates from the body, the “I-Amness disappears.

(Comment: again a bit of confusing discourse.  When the body dies, it merges into the five elements.  Later he states that if you just dwell in the I-Amness, the I am sensation, you will merge into the five elements.  In one case he seems to be talking about the five elements as objects: fire, water, earth, air, sky.  However elsewhere, he appears to be talking about the five elements as what we observe as the entirety of objective world.)

If you come to me as a man you may get something for your livelihood, but that will be your only gift.  However, if you come to me understanding that you are God, that knowledge will manifest.  For example, if there is a vacancy in an office offering a salary of 10,000 Rupees a month, only a suitable man will get the job as an unqualified man would not be able to last.  Similarly, only people who consider themselves as Brahman can get that knowledge.  Other people, who identify with the body-consciousness, are not fit for it.

You must have maturity and you must be worthy of the knowledge that you want to gain.  By chanting “I am Brahman” you become subtle and escape the sense of body-mind.  If you go to others so-called gurus, they will tell you something relating to your body-minD sense, and tell you that if you follow certain disciplines they might grant you   something.  But you will not be able to attain Brahma-hood.  You must first accept that you are without a body-mind and that you are subtle.  That sence must be instilled in you.

I look to this Brahma state, my beingness (I-Amness), and observe my body—like an incense stick with a spark on it.  That chemical, or seer, is here in this instance stick and is being burnt by that spark.  You must become initiated into the understanding of what I am expounding to you.  I am telling you about the seed of Brahman.  You have to understand that I am planting the Brahma seed in you.  That Brahma seed is your beingness (I-Amness), which sprouts into manifestation.  That Brahma state does not require anything to eat.  It has no hunger, because Brahma alone embraces everything it all manifestation is Brahma.  I am trying to raise you to that state.  Do not think you can become a realized-soul only by listening to a few lectures here.  You have to forget everything and merge with Brahman.

(Comment: again the apparent contradiction.  Nisargadatta states he is talking about the seed of Brahman.  He states my beingness, my I-Amness, is your Brahma seed.  He says that Brahma state does not require anything to eat.  It has no hunger, because Brahma alone embraces everything; all manifestation is Brahma.  Yet several places earlier in this book, he states that I-Amness, beingness is dependent upon the body and is a manifestation from the food that the body consumes.  Yet he goes on to state that everything is Brahman, everything is you.)

Visitor: what is the difference between worldly knowledge and knowledge about Brahman?

Maharaj: You will not realize it less the difference within you goes.  If you think you are the body you cannot gain this knowledge.  Who wants to know about Brahman?  Find that out first, then change the identity of that I from the body consciousness to “I am one with Brahman.”  Focus on that Brahman instead of on the body-mind.  You must understand yourself correctly.  You think I am a man, and being a man means being conditioned by body and mind.  How can you understand the Brahma state from this standpoint?

Visitor: does that mean that Brahma knowledge merely comes from the fact that “I am?”

Maharaj: Who is it that needs to understand this the most, the knowledge that “I am?”  If you listen carefully and imbibe the principles, you will get rid of this body-minD sense and dwell only in the “I Amness” (beingness).  I am the love of beingness, and beingness is itself love.

Visitor: the “I-Amness” precludes the aspect of “I am not,” does not it?

Maharaj: you want to know the link, the bridge between “I am” and “I am not,” is that it?  First of all only hold onto the “I-Amness,” without any words and just Be.  When somebody hails you, you respond, but before you do there is somebody within you who becomes aware of the call and will need to answer.  That being is the “I am,” and has been there even before that awareness appeared.

(Comment: here Maharaj appears to be identifying the “I-Amness” with the ultimate witness, does he not?  He states that the “I am” has been there even before awareness appeared.)

Visitor: Does the flash of light come from beingness— “I am?”

Maharaj: the moment the “I-Amness” explodes or appears, all of space is lit up.  The entire sky is the expression of your beingness.  Even though this whole world is an expression of your beingness, you believe that you are only the body.  Your love for the body limit your horizons.  But the moment those walls come down, you are one with Brahman as the whole universe.

(Comment: once again, Nisargadatta appears to be saying that everything is consciousness and you are that.  There is no way here he is talking about anything prior to consciousness.  I-Amness is synonymous with the entire sky, and the whole world is an expression of your beingness, but you identify only with the body.  This love for the body or identification with the body limit your horizons.  In actuality you are Brahman, or the totality of consciousness manifest as the whole universe.  Everything is consciousness.)

Chapter 5, Beyond Freedom by Nisargadatta

Read this carefully.  Most of what he says here seems irrelevant.  Look for the key points and key definitions.  What does he mean  by them?

Beyond Freedom – Nisargadatta Maharaj

Chapter 6--Everything is Conceptual

V: what is the meaning of “I am,” the basic illusion?

M: it means pure, even though you have to provide food for it.  A Yogi had been studying the art of reviving objects after death.  One day he saw a bone in the forest and decided to practice his art to see how effective it was.  He chanted the mantra and suddenly a lion appeared.  He did not, however, create any food for the lion and so when the line was hungry he ate the Yogi.  The moral of the story is that before you create anything, you have to first create food.  The “I am” is sustained by the food body.  That is our body, which is the food for the I am.  Every creature depends upon its food and the “I am” depends on our body.  Will you remember this?

When you recite the mantra relating to a particular God, that particular quality and Consciousness is created within you.  Rama, Krishna, Rama, Shiva are only incarnations of your Consciousness.  The same Consciousness that “you are” is also what these gods, which have been created with various names from your Consciousness, “are.”

V: there is a statue of Nityananda in his ashram.  Muktananda says that it cannot is still alive and that he indicates with him.  What you say about that?

M: I also have many photographs of my guru here.  Because my guru “is” I know “I am.”  You presume that your guru Nityananda is a body-mind and that is a mistake.  I do not look upon my guru like that.  He is merged into Consciousness and I see him as that.  So long as the body is there, Consciousness and memory are there.  Once the body is gone, the Consciousness is unaware of anything.  When the oil is there, the flame keeps burning by using the oil, but no oil is used after the flame is gone.  Whatever is burnt is burnt and whatever remains, remains.  When the child is born, growth takes place.  The “I am is there throughout his or her life even if a person lives for 100 years, but the “I am” disappears when the body is gone.  This is called death.

I would like to know your opinion about what I have told you.  Should I tell you all of this or should I keep quiet?  Somebody came this morning who was always quoting his guru, so I sent him back to his guru.  By listening to me seriously, people could lose all hope and ambition.  Because they want to take action in the world, hope should be there for them.  If they feel that they are not gaining anything here, they should go away.  Why should I talk to these people who want to live and achieve something?  Nityananda hardly ever talkED, but his disciple Muktananda goes on talking and he has created an empire.  Chinmayananda has done the same thing although now he says he wants to stop talking and go away to the Himalayas.  All my expounding will only lead people to a state of inaction, so why should I talk?  Anyway, whatever you have heard here can never be erased and will have its effect.

V: I want to develop my determination to be in the “I am.”

M: did you have any Consciousness when you did not have your body?  You may have as much faith as you want, but even that will be gone when the body is no more, as your Consciousness will not be there.  Where are you without your Consciousness?  There is nothing for you to do.  Everything just comes into being and happens.  Why are you concerned with what to do?  You deal with the world only after having Consciousness, when the “I am” is there.  Once it is gone, everything ends.  It is all spontaneous.

Every nation has had different rulers ruling the country at different times, who are now dead and gone.  Do they come back and ask how the country is being ruled now?  Does Christ come back and ask why would you go to India to listen to all of this trash?  Our Hindu deities are supposed to be very powerful, but did they do anything when Muslim and Christian invaders came to rule over India?  We all had parents.  Where are they once they have died?  You just say they have gone home to God, but are they here now?  Do they common interfere in our daily lives?  We go on looking for a guru to guide us.  What did Ramakrishna say to Viv Yogananda?  He just said, “take the right mango and enjoy it.  Do not keep questioning where the mango is come from, etc.”

The worry about death does not affect me at all.  Why are you worried about reincarnation?  Just experience whatever is happening to you now.  I was asked why I previously told some people that many births are needed before realization can happen.  I have to tell such stories the ignorant people.  When a person describes a memory of his last birth, I asked him whether he remembers who his parents were, animals are human beings?  You are only talking about your dream.  At present you can say who your parents are, but do you know who they were during your last birth?  If you cannot remember anything, just say it is all over and finished.  It is just a dream; forget about it.

What others say about how rebirth is determined by the thoughts you have when you are dying is mere hearsay.  What I am telling you about the merging of the “I am” with the source is the real thing.  This world has existed for millions of years.  Male and female, Purusha and Prakriti, have created so many dynasties.  For which background have you come to this present form?  Did you come from your father’s father or your mother’s father?  From the time of the first couple ever created, which birth is this?  Can you go back and find out?  Why carry that tension around with you when you cannot know or remember any of it?  Do not bother about it.

As you progress and get established in beingness, you will understand that you are above the dreaming and waking states, as those only pertain to your “I-Amness.”  We are only able to observe because of this “I-Amness.”  When the “I-Amness” is not there, the tool required to observe is also not there.  

Once there is self-realization, the whole riddle is solved.  What Krishna preaches in the Gita is correct.  What I am saying is of no profit or loss.  Even a blind person to describe a huge well?  How does he know?  It is just a way of expressing his thoughts.

As life flows, go on doing what has to be done.  However much you run around, without God’s will there is nothing.  Whether it is your dreams or your visions, whatever you see is nothing but God’s appearance.  It is the source, or Consciousness, which is appearing in so many forms.  Everything is conceptual.

28 October 2015

Beyond Freedom, Chapter 1, by Nisargadatta

The following is the first chapter of Nisargadatta’s latest published book Beyond Freedom which are previously unpublished transcripts from 1979 to 1981.

Read this several times.
What is he talking about?  Think carefully before you answer.  Then read it again.

There is nothing here that speaks to Prior to Consciousness.  What he speaks of is that Consciousness is everything, even the I Am, your body, all others, houses, objects, all disappear into Universal Consciousness, the totality of Consciousness without any identification or I, me, the personal, male or female.  All become submerged in the experience of the simultaneous totality of experience without a witness, because a witness requires a witnessed, and that is separation.

Only things, objects, within Consciousness, separated out by concepts and identification, have an “apparent” separate existence. Without thinking and without identification, the is just one, unmoving, unaging, not me, or not, not me, experience.

Beyond Freedom -- Nisargadatta
Chapter 1: What is that which you are searching for? 
Nisargadatta: there is no sense of personality at all when you become the Ishwara principal.  Have no concern about losing your personality by listening to this knowledge, as personality has always been illusory.  In order to even understand me the sense of personality must be absent.  You are the knowledge and you do not have any shape or form whatsoever.  You are impersonal.  You are comprehensive.  You are the Unmanifest, the universal Consciousness.  What would happen if you went in search of that Consciousness?  The seeker would disappear in the search, because the “I Amness” is all there is.
Visitor question: I have a question here.
Nisargadatta: Do not focus on your question.  Focus on what I am saying.  Do not say anything, just listen.
Visitor: You speak very harshly…  It hurts me.
N: Just leave that.  Do not even look in that direction, just focus on what I am telling you.
V: I do not know who I am, that is my reality.
M: As long as you are coming here, your search is not over.  You are here because your search has not ended.  Try to find out why.  What is it that you are searching for?  There is nothing there, only the process of seeking.
You might be anybody in this world, even Brahma or Vishnu, but you do not have the power to do anything.  Your life is your existence.  It is made up of the five elements and it is dependent only on these five elements.
Consciousness is an orphan without parents or source.  It has no need of anyone.  What you understand of the objective world is all duality.  Your objective world is composed of relationships.  You have to depend all the time of someone else, friend, husband, wife, etc.  In the objective world there is only dependence, where is in your true state there is always independence.  Existence without identity, which is your true nature, is independent.
The time is 11:30 at present, it cannot be 12 now.  It will be 12 half an hour later.  We do not have any control over it; the time has to pass.  That means you are always dependent on something.  You cannot live independently of time, space, or the elements.  Everyone is helpless.  Only Consciousness is independent.
The state of bliss or joy is Poornabrahman or Nirvana.  One who does not need anybody for entertainment is niranjan.  The ever-present is nitya.  That state never changes at all.  As long as you are conscious of your body and its needs, you cannot be totally independent.  Consciousness does not need light and it does not need darkness.  It does not need rest.  It is the Truth and there is no change in it.
When I was young, I had the power to squeeze a piece of metal and pull it back into shape.  Now I am old require help from somebody move around.  Where has the power gone?  It is not remain with me at all.
All of these things in the objective world are inseparable from their attributes.  An attribute by its very nature depends upon something.  That knowledge, “I am,” is also an attribute.  Therefore the “I-Amness,” one way or another, also has depend on something.
V: What is the concept of Maya (illusion)?
N: The concept of Maya comes from the “I-Amness.”  The existence of my and the world around you only arises when you are conscious of yourself.  This is a state of darkness and ignorance, which is far from that of knowledge.  Maya does not exist within the state of knowledge.
V: What is Atma?
M: Atma Prem is also due to the “I Amness.”  If you start with Atma Prem, it can distract you and all you will see is Maya, which is a state of ignorance.  If you reach a state of knowledge, then even this Atma Prem will be nonexistent.  The word my I has a different meaning here.  What you are calling love is itself Maya.  Love is playing many roles.  All these houses, etc. have been created out of Maya.  Love or Maya has set up the whole of Bombay.  Love is taking many shapes: mula-maya has created Vishnu and Shankara, but what was there before that?  My is the culprit.  Man has entangled himself in this concept and illusion of love, and because of it, gets trapped in the cycle of life and death.  The feeling of love is a great mistake if one gets entangled in it.  There is love for so many things.  The minute the illusion is created, the entanglement begins.  By imagining male and female, you get entangled in that illusion.
“You are Paramatman.”  This is what my guru told me he was going into Mahasamadhi.  His words had so much force that they were implanted and embedded in me, and I became that.  There was so much power and force behind his utterances that whatever he said came true.
V: Were you constantly doing the sacred mantra, which are guru had given you?
M: I was not doing it.  I was constantly listening to it.  The power of the mantra depends upon the intensity of the faith you have.
V: Is there any cause for this faith?
M: Yes, there is a primary cause, the big cause, which is the knowledge “I am.”  This is the cause behind the faith.  The “awareness of my being” happen automatically.  It just happens.  The sprouting of this knowledge “I am” is prior to the formation of the five elements.  The ultimate Consciousness, the Absolute, is not even aware of itself or of any happening.  Consciousness was one, but two people of different sexes were created in the love between them created this world.  This sound in this awareness are not one, but two.  Consciousness is just a speck, and dissolution has come out of it.
Love is divided into two sexes and the world has grown out of this, but as soon as realization happens the separation disappears.  When you have the realization that “you are, that all is the play of Shiva Shakti, then he will know that this is all an illusion, and you will be free of grief as well as joy.  Self-realization is Shivadatta.  The moment you reach that stage you will not have these feelings of happiness, sorrow and suffering.  When you reach the state of self-knowledge, there will be peace and quiet.  Such knowledge of the self is known as Shivadatta.  If you realize that this is all an illusion, then there is no need for self-realization.
V: Is there no love with self-realization?
M: It is beyond that.  Love is a worldly state.  The very feeling of self-realization will not arrive until you understand what you are.  If you understand the answer then this question about self-realization will not arise.  Ananda, the pleasure of bliss of Consciousness, will arise in you like an atomic explosion, and he will will see how the whole wide world is a manifestation of that.  Chinmayananda means “speck of bliss.”  Swami means the spontaneous awareness of my being.  Through the “I-Amness,” swami Chinmayananda has created a big ashram in as many people visit.  All the gods are coming and going in this Consciousness.  Merely the fact that “you are” is swami, which is pure honey, the proof of the Absolute.  It is always with you and is calm all by itself spontaneously, without asking.  That is swami.
V: And all the other things, what is that all about?

M: Why worry about that?  Let it be there.  Read about the “I-Amness” and forget about the rest.  What the swami’s are doing or what they say is immaterial.  If you have come to the source, why do you want to go back again to the banks of the river?
I am extremely busy right now, with medical reports, mandated gardening to prevent homeowner association fines, sick cats that need daily visits to vets, a renter moving out of my rental house, a visitor who wants to spend time with me, etc., etc.

But I feel driven to start a Nisargadatta discussion using his newest book, Beyond Freedom.  No need to buy it.  I will dictate and post each  short chapter separately.

26 October 2015

The Endless Path


One commentor left a snide remark on one of my posts saying Nisargadatta was easy to understand as he taught on the same subject for decades.


Nisargadatta’s teachings changed dramatically over the years and in the last two years of his life, suggested people not read ‘I Am That’ because those were Kindergarten level teachings compared to how he was teaching in 1980.

His first book that I know of, ‘Self-Knowledge and Self-Realization’ speaks of internal energies, surrender, Krishna Consciousness, chanting, and realization of what I call the Manifest Self.

‘I Am That’ is very different, and his last three years of talks were even more different with his de-emphasis on Consciousness, the I Am sensation, transitioning to an exclusive emphasis on the Absolute.

His teachings changed throughout his life, from his initial awakening in 1936 to near his death in 1982, just as my teachings have changed over the past 20 years.

The problem with Maharaj’s teachings is context. When is he teaching Advaita Vedanta, and when is he using terms and concepts from other schools as his experience reveals new aspects of the Consciousness/Witness transition.

His teacher, Siddharameshwar wrote a very clear 81 page exposition of his Nath school teachings which led to Maharaj’s awakening.  In 1961 Nisargadatta published that exposition along with his notes from 131 of his teacher’s talks, along with his short introduction on how it is necessary to trust his guru’s teachings.

Many, many people have told me that Nisargadatta is easy to understand, but that just tells me they have not understood his teachings from their gut, but rather as a mental construct, a philosophy.  If they had understood him from their gut, they already would have been great jnanis with their own students.

If a teaching comes too easily to you, you probably have not earned it.  You have not experienced their truth from the inside, as experience, whether of the Subtle Body, Causal Body, Turiya, or the Witness state.

Seung Sahn Soen Sah and Papaji all had many, many students that claimed to be “awakened,” or enlightened, or had "Inka," but in my witnessing of their talks and behaviors, I did not feel that to be the case.

My own experience is that the number of new spiritual experiences I have had seem to be increasing in number and depth the older I get.

As I have slowed down externally, I have spent more and more time inside my Self, experiencing circulating energies, the Subtle Body, my sense of presence, the I Am sensation which seems to have a life of its own, the disappearance of the identification principle, leading to the discovery of the truth that consciousness is everything, and being the witness and feeling untouched by consciousness itself at all.  But I have never done this with a system in mind, whether Kashmir Shaivism or Advaita, because I don't trust concepts at all, only my direct experience.

Thus I have experienced that the important thing in developing spiritual maturity is a persistent inversion of awareness exploring my inner world.

What then helps is reading works by spiritual giants such as Muktananda, Nisargadatta, Ramana, Robert, Ramakrishna, Shankara, etc., to see if there is something I have missed. There always is.

This is why I found Shankarananda’s book so helpful as it placed the teachings of many ancient Hindu schools together in a way to provide a context for understanding the experiences of many spiritual giants over the breadth of history.

Ramana and Nisargadatta constantly throw out Sanskrit terms which have no easy translation into English, and Nisargadatta does so in a very spontaneous and “sloppy” way without providing a context.

Very strangely, the part he is most elusive about is the Witness, the Knower, versus the I Am.  For him there is a duality here between the Knower, the Witness, and the witnessed I Am, which itself, for him, is a secondary witness.

Almost all the time he claims that the Witness is unknowable, and unknowable because it is the knower, the subject, not an object, which, of course, introduces yet another duality.  When you subjectively “fall backwards” into the witness, you fall and fall, until suddenly you “turn around” and are experiencing the world from a position of nothingness, having no head, no body, no I.  You have come to the position of the witness and are the witness.

Yet Maharaj also speaks of the fundamental ignorance state which Robert calls “the gap,” (of no I-awareness) occurring after awakening and before we become self-aware.  The awareness state without being self-aware, or aware that what is being experienced is later seen to be external to you after the I-sensation is experienced, and another duality created, and never explicitly differentiates this from his "prior to Consciousness" concept.

Then he also says while speaking to students that he is established in the witness state even while speaking, denying he has anything to do with Consciousness.  To me, this is another duality, denying his own human experience, the I Am sensation, as well as the gap state.

At other times, when asked, he describes the experience of living from the Absolute state as resting underneath the shade of a great tree, where the shade has a bluish color, which appears a place of experience without the I Am, or perhaps the "gap" state.

So for him, the Absolute is both experiential and non-experiential, and his relationship between the “gap” of fundamental ignorance, the I Am, or Manifest Self, the Witness as knower, and the experience of being totally beyond and separate from consciousness is never made clear.

What is clear though, and the reason Robert Adams and others kept reading spiritual books their entire life, is the need to have the feelowship, the companionship of great beings who constantly talk about their self-experiences of God, Self, and the world both as confirmation of one’s own experience, but also as pointers to experiences and understanding not yet held.

When we read the Avadhut Gita, the Nisargadatta Gita, the Ribhu Gita, Robert’s talks, the New Testament Bible, we are receiving the Darshan of great spiritual companions that confirm our divine nature as well as our human roots, and often providing pointers to experiences not yet had and assimilated.