17 November 2016


I have to rethink my teaching methods and style. I often forget that my spiritual life began at age 11, some 63 years ago. I was initiated into Kriya Yoga via the Self-Realization Fellowship at 14, and spent a number of years as an academic trying to figure out what to do with my life.

My formal, institutional meditation life began in 1968 studying with Phillip Kapleau in Rochester New York for two years, quickly followed by a winter at Mt. Baldy Zen Center.  I then moved to the International Buddhist Meditation Center where I studied with five different Zen masters: Thich Tien-An; Maezumi Roshi; Kozan Roshi; Seung Sahn Soen Sa; and Song Ryong Hearn. 

After that I was with Muktananda and his monks, including my friend Shankarananda, Dhyanyogi, and finally Robert Adams and Jean Dunne.

I have had tens of thousands of meditation experiences, been in close associations with dozens of masters over six decades, and had many massive and small awakenings over those years.
But I realize now, as a teacher, I have had a wrong attitude.  I have always tried to convey final teachings without taking students through the baby steps necessary to realize the deeper truths.

For example, even before I went to the Rochester Zen Cener, I had already opened my “Third Eye” to the inner light of consciousness, which revealed an inner world of emptiness.  This took less than a year to accomplish, by looking within my head to find an inner light, then gradually expand it downwards into my body and upwards into the space above.

Then I spent a year or two, either before or after this emptiness phase (So long ago I don’t remember which came first.), struggling with the rising of Kundalini energy in my spine, that felt like a six inch long pointed pencil arising through my spine.  It kept getting stuck at the heart chakra level, and gradually, and very painfully penetrated that level, rising to the top of my skull, drilling a hole there, then descending again into my face, throat, and disappearing into my heart and gut. With this phase were all sorts of energy phenomena described in my book, Self Realization and Other Awakenings.
Then, when I went to Mt. Baldy already aware of my inner emptiness, it was very easy to enter states of no minded oneness with the world, where I and the world were one, with no separation. Later, I was to realize this joyous, vivid reality I entered each meditation session, was called the Manifest Oneness of Nisargadatta, the Atman, the Manifest Self.

Later, with Robert, I entered that non-dual consciousness totally, in everyday life, with no centered self experience, and even saw the unreality of consciousness itself.  And a few weeks later, recognizing that ‘I’ was separate from all of consciousness, the manifest world and my body, all parts of consciousness.

Ten years later, after falling deeply in love with a woman, out of that inner emptiness arose a different sense of self altogether, and that was of an inner self of light, energy, love, devotion, and surrender, altogether as an experience of the life force within me manifesting through me.  Shakti, God, the divine, as bliss, light, and energy in me.  This was a new and different manifestation of the Manifest Self, at once totally divine and removed, but at the same time, the most powerfully personal manifestation of the sense of I Am.  I felt the reality of Muktananda’s book, “I Have Come Alive!” as a personal confession.  After that the energies and bliss manifested through me until they left, leaving me in increasing peace, and deeper experiences of consciousness disappearing into consciousness.

The trouble is, how does anyone convey the totality of 60 years of spirituality? 

Everyone is in a different place when they come to me.  Trying to convey everything at once is just overwhelming, confusing, and maybe a bit frightening.  I tend to mix it all together, various disparate experiences combined with differing levels of teachings.

How to convey all of this?
  I didn’t know.  I tried always to teach from what spontaneously arose within me to whomever was in front of me.  But this is a mistake.  Using this method, if I spoke to 100 people, perhaps I was reaching only one or three people.  The others had no idea of what I was talking about because maybe they didn’t know the inner light or the utter reality of emptiness, or perhaps they did not know self-inquiry, the life force, bliss, etc.

However, a few caught on immediately, like Rajiv Kapur and a few others.  But most just looked, listened, and then moved on overwhelmed by all the information and experiences thrown at them.

Satsangs that I have led were the same.  I spoke to many but only a few stayed.  I think people were utterly confused or overwhelmed by the sheer complexity of my teachings. The only thing that kept many around was the energetic phenomena that arose in many who attended Satsang. This is what attracts many people to teachers, but this is not the teaching or the end of teaching.
I think I have to teach in stages and not necessarily the stages I passed through.  It depends on what the student wants.  Do they want to know themselves? Do they want bliss?  Do they want to know the inner light and emptiness?  Do they want to know directly the life force within, inner energies, and bliss?  Do they want to learn how to heal using inner energies?  Or do they want self-realization without knowing what that means, and be willing tp listen, learn, and practice based just on trust and faith?

All of this knowledge fits together for me, but certainly will not for a beginner or someone curious about inner work and its potential. So how do I break up my teachings into steps, each with an outcome?  Some steps require previous steps or outcomes and some don’t.

In this approach, much more is required of the student.
  They must know what they want and be prepared to persist in their efforts to explore different aspects of their inner life, an endeavor that ultimately has no worldly usefulness, but only, ultimately to deliver self-realization at all levels and peace, complete relaxation.

And, I have to relax and not try to convey the entirety of 60 years experience all at once. I need to give small bites at a time.  Make sense?  But how to do this?

After 60 years I know that the Advaita teachings of Robert Adams, Nisargadatta, and Ramana are the core teachings that should never be ignored, and self-inquiry in its various forms from psychotherapy, so sitting in silence, to diving deep within to understand all level of consciousness and beyond, are all part of an open and wide path that will ultimately lead to self-realization.  But I know only a few, a small percentage of all seekers, are interested in this topic or are destined to finish their course within its arms.


  1. I don't know, perhaps very thorough interviews with prospective students as difficult as it might be since you wouldn't know until later just how sincere they could turn out, even if expressing an apparently serious inclination to devote themselves and your instincts might tell you they're qualified? In other words, it's a gamble since anybody could jump ship once they know it requires more than they bargained for.


  2. Its kind of funny that I thought the overwhelming and never endinding breath of information and lack of a clear step by step map was on purpose because well you know... the mind is my enemy. lol. I think its a facinating privilage to be witness to development of method and teaching from someone who has seen so much of the inner world. Thank you for not abandoning us Edji.