29 August 2017

Robert said, “Of course you exist, you are speaking to me aren’t you?”

You can never know what you are objectively, descriptively, with attributes described by adjectives.  You are the witness of everything, including the world, your own mind, your emotions, your wants and desires, even your sleep and dreams.  Yes, you do know your own sleep.  You know what is like.  Dark, comfortable, relaxed, even though you do not constantly witness the state of sleep all night long as if you are awake.  You do know what it is like when you are coming out of it and going into it, and it just keeps getting deeper and deeper.

In my awakening experience 22 years ago, I looked inside for the 10,000th time, looking for the ’I’  who is experiencing water flowing from a showerhead.

“Who is it that feels this water hitting my back,” I asked, and peered deeply into my inner emptiness in the area of my heart.  And what I saw, I had seen 10,000 times before, just an unending internal emptiness, space, the Void, and entirely subjective thing in the sense that it was within my experience of self, rather than outside of my skin in the world.

For the first time, after asking that question 10,000 times before over the previous 25 years, I saw that there was no entity to which the word “I” referred.  There was no ‘I’ to which the I thought and I concept referred.  That is, the word “I” referred to an empty set.  There was no ‘I’-entity inside of me anywhere, in mind, body, spirit.  There Was Just the Void, just emptiness, and I realized for the first time I was that emptiness.  That is, the I-sense was illusory.   There was just emptiness and upon it a superimposed feeling of presence, along with the concept that there was some core that the word “I” pointed to.

I was just the Void.  There was no Ed Muzika.  Ed Muzika was a name associated with form, my body, but there was no Ed Muzika inside as an entity, a soul, a being.  I no longer felt like I had a sense of presence.  There is just crystal-clear emptiness everywhere and my mind was silent.  I felt greatly afraid, because there was no me.  It was just emptiness.  This was disconcerting I felt no one was in control.  I think this may have been the same fear that Ramana Maharshi felt before his death experience of his personal self.

I called Robert who had left for Sedona two weeks before.  I said, “Robert, I do not exist, all that there is. is emptiness.  I am scared!”

Robert said, “Of course you exist!  You are talking to me, aren’t you?”  That was it.  That was the solution!  I didn’t exist as the mythical idea of Ed Muzika, as a soul, as a psychic entity of any kind whatsoever.  But I did exist as a physical entity speaking in real-time to another physical entity, using terms and words such that we perfectly understood each other.

 Really, nothing had changed--much.  I no longer believed in Ed Muzika as a discrete consciousness entity, a soul, so to speak, but instead of being a soul, I now used the word “emptiness,” or “nothingness” as a descriptor of who I was.  Yet, mostly I was exactly the same person, but no longer thinking about myself as having a center, or a soul.  I was emptiness, or emptiness was manifesting itself through this body/mind entity.  I had exchanged my apparent soul, my sense of presence, for the experience of nothingness, which felt like a hard, clear, vacuum, devoid of a sense of presence.  It felt like I did not exist, at least as I had felt myself to exist before.

But to call this nothingness “ParaBhraman” or the “Absolute” was out of the question.  At that time, I just would not have thought of re-engaging mind playing with descriptive terms to describe my sense of existence, because I had none.

Many years later, I had quite a different experience, a flip-side type of existence, where I did regain a soul, or a very concrete sense of my own existence, in an explosion of inner energy, light, and bliss, feeling endless love and internal energies flowing in me upwards from my gut, explosively through my heart and into my head and beyond.  I felt a recognition of the divine within me, and also as me, as a separate conscious process witnessing the birth of a God sensation within me, like we were two entities, side-by-side, holding hands working through this body mind apparatus.  Such does time and experience change our ideas of self.  I called this ltter experience the Realization of the Manifest Self.

So many experiences, so many final truths, so many descriptive words.

Then I read Nisargadatta and his teacher Siddharameshwar, who both spoke of the existence of four bodies that constituted our existence with the totality of our consciousness: the physical body; the subtle body of energies, bliss, mind, emotions, aspirations, discrimination, touch, sight, sound etc.; the causal body which was variously called forgetfulness, space, or the Void; and the supra-causal body, otherwise known as Turiya which underlaid the other three bodies, which all together constituted the totality of our consciousness.

Variously described, Turiya was the witness of the of the three bodies, the supporting body of the other three bodies, or as pure knowledge, which itself was described as just being oneself without knowledge of that self.  There is just the knowing that I was the witness of my body, the external world, the internal energies, bliss, as well as the great void, or emptiness, and myself was unseen and unseeable because I was the Seer.

Thus, at the basis of Nisargadatta and Siddharameshwar’s philosophy of being, was a dualistic assumption, that the self cannot see or know itself.  Ultimately, they used many analogies such as the eye cannot see the eye except by means of a reflection in a mirror.  They called this reflective objective knowledge.  But pure knowledge, consciousness without an object, was not knowable, because by knowing it becomes an object, and not part of the pure knowledge of self.

I thoroughly understand this point of view, but having myself experienced two very different realizations under two entirely different teachers and systems behind those teachers, it just became clear that there is nothing at all that one can say about the self, whether this is the emptiness I identified with the 1995, or the explosive, blissful, powerful, lighted energy that I experienced as myself, and as God, in 2009, or lastly, the Turiya state which was pure knowledge without an object, that pervaded all other objects in new all other objects and bodies such as the physical, subtle, and the Void.

I knew too, that that self that could not know itself, because it was the knower of all other attributes not associated with the self, had no attributes, and no existence in the world.  Thus, anything that said about it would be wrong.  You can call it ParaBhraman, but that would be wrong.  It has none of the attributes associated with that concept ParaBhraman which are listed as infinite numbers in various Hindu scriptures.  You cannot say it is infinite.  You cannot say it is unborn.  You cannot say it is eternal.  You cannot say it is ephemeral.  He cannot say it is without time or is timeless.  You cannot say it is God or anything else because those terms belong to descriptions within the existing universe that you see, hear, feel, touch, taste, and think about.

This is the self we meet when we are just absolutely quiet, when we are resting in our chair, totally relaxed, sinking ever more deeply into our sense of self.  All that we can say provisionally is that self appears to be boundless, it appears to be entirely peaceful, and entirely without attributes, because any spoken attributes belong to the world of perception, not to the dimension of the perceiver, the knower, the seer.  As soon as Nisargadatta opened his mouth, he was telling lies.  He even says so himself, over and over, because words do not fit the ultimate reality which is you, when you are totally withdrawn into you.  There is no room there for words or attributes.  You are too dense for any word to fit in.  You are impervious to having any attribute whatsoever, whether it be eternality, mortality, or immortality, no terms whatsoever for you.  Only shut the fuck up, and be you!

When you are being you, totally, sunk into yourself, there is no room for words.  There is no room for attributes.  There is no room for existence or nonexistence.  These terms just do not compute in that state of being.  Even the terms being and nonbeing do not apply here.  The only terms that remotely touched the state, are “rest” and “peace” and these only fit when you are sinking into it.  When completely in it, you become everything witnessed, the totality of the manifest consciousness.

All the words that Robert Adams spoke were there to make you feel rested, quiet, relaxed, and at peace.  Robert would say, “You do not exist; the world is not real, it is an optical illusion; everything is predetermined; there is no free will; you are peace that surpasses understanding; everything is unfolding as it should; there is a power that knows the way, so just abide there; ignore the world, do not react to it; your mind is your enemy, ignore it!”

All these words were there to get you out of your mind and its preoccupation about planning, thinking, remembering, getting upset, saying basically, “It is out of your hands, just relax and go with the power that knows the way.”  What happens when we practice this, when we progressively detach from the world and refuse to react to it?  Theoretically, we get more and more peaceful.  We discover how much more peaceful we feel we are not constantly distracted and bothered by thinking, reasoning, planning, observing with the intent to understand.  Just observing without intent, without an end in mind, without a desire to understand, just be yourself.  One gets ever more peaceful.  This is what Robert’s messages were about, making you slow the mind down and ignoring the mind and ignoring the distractions of the world, and just more and more sink into yourself, even though you do not know what yourself is, you just sink into your background, into your source.

Of course, nothing is easy as it is presented by gurus and other spiritual teachers.  Hardly anyone has the dedication, focus, and trust that would allow them to just progressively rest into oneself.  The mind always wants to read books, go to workshops, listen to teachers, watch television, have sex, have new kinds of foods, go on vacations in strange places far away.  Almost no one knows that perfect peace, that perfect rest, that comes with resting in one’s own self. 

I do not mean the manifest self of explosive bliss, and feeling the divine within.  Nor do I mean that no self of clear, cold, emptiness or Void that I experienced in 1995.  But I do mean the self that realizes it is not the world, is not the body, it is not the mind, it is not the bliss, it is not the experience of God.  Ultimately, the realization is that everything in consciousness is apart from the self that watches it.  My experience was and is, that the various states of consciousness, to me, wash over me, and I get involved in them, but essentially I have nothing to do with them.  They are a show that I watch.  This is the experience that Robert called enlightenment.  This is the experience that Nisargadatta would also acknowledge as enlightenment.  This is the realization that whatever I am, I stand apart from everything that is experienced, seen, touched, felt.

But that does not mean we can say anything about that self, whether it is eternal, immortal, spacious, or compact.  No attributes that belong as descriptors within consciousness can be attributed to that which witnesses consciousness.  We cannot say it is unborn, by saying that birth is only relevant to something happening in consciousness, such as the birth of the body, but I am not that.  Yes, you can say I am unborn, but as Robert said, “Of course you exist, you are talking to me are not you?”

That is, your body will die, and with that consciousness.  One can say that the self does not die, because death is something that happens in consciousness, such as the death of the body or even the death of consciousness, but one cannot give that attribute to the self.  See you cannot say you are unborn, that your self is unborn, because the term unborn would refer to consciousness, but when consciousness ends, we have no idea about the state of the self, just as we have no idea about the self in you that functions as you presently.  Nothing can be said about it. You cannot call it God, eternal, purity, Parabrahman, etc.

And since nothing can be said about it, just about everybody does talk about it and it’s miraculous attributes, transcendence, spaciousness, sentience, omnipotence, omniscience, etc.  But these are all word games.

For example, often they say consciousness is infinite, because it contains all the stars and galaxies which are vast distances away, yet we can see them, we can contemplate them, we can think about them, and therefore consciousness exists at that point of a distant galaxy.  And since we are witnessing that distant galaxy, we (the self) extends everywhere that consciousness is, therefore we are as omniscient as consciousness, the self is as omniscient as the totality of consciousness is.  But you see, this is only philosophical bull shit.  We cannot speak about that which we do not know in any meaningful way.  If we do we are doing so just out of entertainment because we cannot really describe the self at all, or name, or describe any of its attributes, because descriptions only apply to consciousness.  We cannot meaningfully say or refer to self, as the One Self, or the One Self Of All.  That is purely metaphysical thinking, creating a God so to speak.  We cannot call the self God, because the concept God has many attributes, and the self I have been talking about has no attributes.  We cannot say it is deathless, because even though the word death applies to something happening in consciousness, we cannot apply the attribute of deathlessness to that which has no attributes.  In fact, it may have a beginning and end, and when our body and consciousness dies, that absolute no longer has our personal entity with which to perceive whatever’s to be perceived.  We just make up a truth only say there is just One Self.  This is a concept, wishful thinking.  We cannot say anything about that which we do not know and cannot know.

26 August 2017

Satsang Today, Sunday August 27, at 11 AM California/Arizona time.



22 August 2017


Many times you have heard me repeat Seung Sahn’s admonition, “You must become as dumb as a rock.”  But why, you ask?”

Because it is a state wherein you forget everything you know, you forget you have a body, you forget the energies in your body, you have no thoughts, no likes or dislikes, no judgments, no desires, no emotions.  Attaining this is a precondition to experiencing pure consciousness.

Let me give you a long quote from the book, “Master Key to Self-Realization” by Siddharameshwar Maharaj, to show you I am not just pulling this out of my arse.

“The third step in studying the self, is above and beyond the Subtle Body, and is the Causal Body, or “ignorance.”  The Causal Body That is a state of pure “forgetfulness” where the quality of ignorance (Tamoguna) is predominant.  Here in the Causal Body, there is no thought as to the well-being of or of any relationship with either the gross Body or with the Subtle Body.  The Causal Body means that there is no knowledge of anything.  It is like the state of deep sleep, but is not deep sleep.  The Causal Body is difficult to understand; however, it cannot be overstated that is very important to understand the state.  Those who proclaim to understand the principle of zero, or Nothingness, or the Void, came to this state and turned back saying there was nothing ahead.

“The Causal Body is the state of the unknowable or the Void which is presented in the point of view of Western philosophers.  This state is devoid of all thoughts, imagination and doubts, and is often mistaken and taken by aspirants to be samadhi, and thought to be the same as Brahman without concepts or qualities.  When this Void or state of emptiness is reached, one is likely to get a false satisfaction and say, “Today I saw Brahman.”  

“The interval or pause between where one modification of the mind disappears, and another one does not arise, such as the space between two thoughts or the intervening pause before sleep sets in and waking state disappears, is the state of pure forgetfulness.  This is what is described as the covering of bliss in the Scriptures.  In the Causal Body all chaos, struggle and the infinite number of waves of thought have ceased.  Therefore, there is a sense of peace in this third body that is not found in the other two bodies.  It is true that the aspirant experiences a certain joy, but this is not the ultimate peace or even true bliss.  One must understand this point of view very well.  This Causal Body is the natural state of all gods, demons and every human being.  The state of the Causal Body is the state of forgetfulness.

“The chief sign or indication of the Causal Body is to forget everything.  For example, unless one forgets everything he cannot get deep sleep.  To say I was asleep, but I remember something, is to really say, I never slept.  To really have deep sleep means not to remember a single thing.  Similarly, to forget everything while in an awakened state is to enter the Causal Body.  To be in a state where you do not know anything, is to also come to this state.  This is the natural state of a human being.

In order for one to fully understand the state of human forgetfulness, the method of studying the pause is prescribed.  If anything is very difficult, it is to be completely stabilized in the state of forgetfulness, and to know it thoroughly.  To achieve this is very important in one’s spiritual progress, and takes a great deal of effort on the part of the aspirant.  The Saints have put a particular emphasis on this point.

“The pause between two states is nothing but Pure Consciousness.  The state of the “mouni” (a silent one), is such that he does not allow a single word to rise, or even if it did arise, he does not allow the meaning to rise, but simply lets it slip by.  When the word arises, and is allowed to impress its meaning on the inner mind, the world is born.  Ignoring the word, and not allowing it to carry any meaning for the mind, is the eradication of the world.  When the word does not energize the mind, what remains is the pure energy of consciousness.  To experience this state continuously is called the state of silence.

“The Causal Body, which is the nature of forgetfulness, is nothing but a very deep sleep.  However, that which is described above, is the silence within that which is experienced “knowingly,” or consciously, during the waking state.  It is not the deep sleep state that comes “unknowingly,” without conscious awareness.  Nothing is known in the state of deep sleep which comes “unknowingly.”  However, the nature of the self can be known by means of employing the method of knowing “Forgetfulness” which is experienced while awake.  This is the difference between deep sleep and samadhi.”

The above quotes cover about 20% of the description of the Causal Body found in Siddharameshwar’s book, how to enter into it, and the importance of knowing nothing, knowing the Void empty of all objects, ideas, thoughts, because thereby, one knows pure consciousness without objects, also called being in the samadhi state.

Thus, Robert or I might say, “Shut the fuck up!”  While Ramana might say you must learn how to go to sleep while remaining awake by following the I-thought.  On the other hand, Seung Sahn would say, “You need to become as dumb as a rock!”

I cannot over emphasize how important having this empty mind is, empty of all words, all ideas, all questions, all thoughts, all desires, and to feel completely stupid, which goes so much against the grain of everyday life for we seek knowledge in order to gain control or to reach a particular end.  In this state, we give up everything, we surrender everything, and enter silence. But this is not the end.  There is one more step of entering Turya.

if you feel you have benefited from this post, please consider donating to support my work of helping you discover your self. Also, you will help support over 300 homeless cats in Los Angeles managed by Valerie Stark, an 85-year old lady who devotes her life to caretaking their lives, Go to http://wearesentience.comand there is a donation button, in the middle, halfway down.

20 August 2017


Ramana, Robert Adams, and Nisargadatta
Putting them and their methods all together

One of our best, clearest, and most comprehensive Satsangs

Link available after 8pm California time


If you find this video helpful, please consider donating to support my work with all of you to help you find your own deepest self, and also support over 300 homeless cats in Los Angeles.

Pranam Ed ji,

Sharing some experiences...please guide as appropriate..

During last week while I was meditating and sinking backwards towards navel centre .. gone deep into inner space ..and at certain point of time experienced no body above naval ...this state remained for considerable time...

Normally daily morning I sit for meditation for around 45 minutes before going for work....quickly gets engrossed deep in meditation  & 45 minutes  seems to pass within few minutes ...

On other hand at office as per my earlier behaviour during excessive work pressures I still feel anxiousness, worries, restlessness during completion of office tasks...at same time I observe above feelings as witness but not able to control it .....though inner self guides .....pray God & Guru's to give me strength to overcome this...

Sometimes I feel why I am spending so much time in doing these worldly things...but then thinks this is ordinated for me & I shall do my duty with full zeal & dedication ..things do not seems to be happening as per our wish..but at same time  I believe this is my destiny and I shall flow with life & learn from it... overall lot of time is spent in company job and at end of day...feels no major progress happening on spiritual front...negative thoughts still pops up during day to day working ... it makes  me depressed sometimes....

With regards,

ED’s Reply:

Robert used to say that real progress happens when you feel none is being made.  In the end, you will see that this is your mind complaining, and its criticisms are superficial.  Don't place too much emphasis on obtaining spiritual states or experiences.  Just become more comfortable with your own self no matter how mundane it appears at times.  Love your self and its daily, normal experiences.  Don't strive to be in any quiet or peaceful state.  Just keep looking and feeling within.

15 August 2017


I have repeatedly talked about the four bodies that Nisargadatta and Siddharameshwar talk about, but Robert Adams hardly did ever.

The first body, is the dense physical body.  It is the densest of all, and by dense, I mean there is nothing about it that can be considered light or spacious, as is the empty sky, or even water.  It tends to be hard in places and soft and places, but not permeable to air or water.

The next body, the subtle body, consists of all things related to mind and consciousness.  It consists also of the energies that exist and manifest in the body, like kundalini, Chi, healing energies, blissful energies, ecstatic states, awareness of your physical body as an object within the field of consciousness, and the spaciousness of one’s consciousness.  It also consists of memories, images, daydreaming, and dreams.  It consists of thoughts, the mind, language, and discrete forms such as trees or people seen within consciousness.  This body is much less dense, because there is a sense of space within it, and spaces in both the external world and the internal world.

The next body, the causal body, is experienced as the mind and awareness disappearing, and that the self, the I am also disappears, and one goes into “unconsciousness” or “unawareness” of anything, anyone, any thought.  There is no self-awareness, and nothing to be aware of.  It is entirely forgetting all the qualities of the physical body and the subtle body, leaving them behind, allowing one to enter Turya as something entirely new.  This third body, the causal body, feels more dense than the subtle body, as its darkness and forgetfulness envelops both gross body and the subtle body and dries it away.  It is not unlike sleep, but not quite as dense as sleep, it is like being asleep, but just barely as after the loss of consciousness, but remaining near the surface.

The fourth body is difficult to describe.  I can say without any doubt that each of my readers is experiencing Turya even now contained within the entirety of your everyday mind and experience.  Once you experience Turya as the only state, after coming out of the causal body into Turya, and once you have done this any number of times, so that you, really know what the state is like, when you are awake, and fully returned to the world as a person, you can become aware of the Turya state already existing in you, underlying your ordinary mind of everyday affairs.

A bit it is like this.  Even now, when you think about it, you know what the experience of sleep is like.  You can remember what it is like at night to slowly drift off into sleep and into unawareness.  There is a darkness.  There is increasing relaxation of the body, and there is the disappearance of consciousness, a snuffing out of consciousness, and a complete letting go into the dark wetness of the sleep state.

You can also become aware of what sleep is like in the morning when you awaken.  At first, coming out of sleep, there is a gap, where there are no thoughts, and you are aware, without being aware of the world, or of yourself.  This is what Krishnamurti calls bare awareness, which is awareness without thought, or without a central focus of I am as a separate being. 

If you want to, if there is any volition available to at this point, you can turn around and go back into that darkness with no problem, and return to full sleep.  After you do this many times, you know what the state of sleep is like by memory, and by feel.  In fact, if you explore your everyday experience, when you feel rested uncomfortable, you can detect the sleep state within you, permeating your waking state or perhaps pushed off like into another room, always available, but not yet while the waking state is in ascendance.  Just so, after you realized Turya fully, you can equally find it as an aspect of your experience of everyday life.

The key to understanding what Turya is like, is to understand the phrase “not real,” because you will discover that compared to the waking state, all the objects names and forms and language of the waking state take on an entirely different appearance in Turya.  In Turya there is no me and you; there is no I and thou; there are no objects, but there is spaciousness.  There is no distance between you and any appearance that appears, such as of a window or the sky or bird.  There is no separation between you and any appearance within your experience in Turya.  You and everything else are of one substance, and yet despite having no separation, the experience of Turya is of immense emptiness, and within that emptiness, no objects exist, only appearances that are constantly changing, changing, changing.  Colors are more vivid.  Sounds are more potent.  Nothing is adulterated by the intervention of the mind that imposes concrete forms on the ever-changing appearances, and the concrete forms themselves are nothing more than concepts based on words and other concepts.  One sees, hears, tastes, touches, and smells all of consciousness directly without the intervention of thought, and without the mind, no objects exist because no concepts exist.  No forms exist because no names exist.  In no mind you become everything, but everything is no longer an external world or objects.  Everything is you.  Everything is I am.  All boundaries have disappeared.  And one is happy, deliciously happy.  One is free of concepts, mind, obligations, restraints imposed by the physical body.

How does one enter Turya?

In order to enter Turya, your mind has to stop completely, because the mind cannot penetrate either the causal body or Turya.  The mind is limited to witnessing the gross physical body and the events and processes within the subtle body.  Its function is to be a tool or in aid in living life as a physical entity, is a physical body with senses in mind.  It is powerless beyond the subtle body level to know anything. The mind disappears entirely in the causal forgetting state, and stays absent entering Turya, which is the banishing of the last elements of the causal state.  The causal state itself, falls away, falls out of the brain, revealing the unity state of Turya which is experience without form, which is spaciousness filled with ever-changing appearances, and none of it has the reality or solidity of the objects created by mind and concepts and what we call the everyday waking world.

The easiest way to enter Turya is through a very formal, Zen-style sitting meditation, where you sit crosslegged as best you can, in formal meditation posture, with an erect spine, facing a wall, and with eyes half open, facing a wall, with a candle between you and the wall.  The half opened eyes will prevent you from going to sleep, and you will go into the causal body instead of sleep.  You will feel your head growing heavy.  Your brain seems to be freezing up, and becoming like a solid rock.  There is no room for any thought to penetrate your brain.  You feel stupid.  You feel lost.  Then suddenly, the bottom drops out of your mind, and a totally disappear,  leaving you in Turya.  The causal state itself has gone.  And is also taking your mind and body with it for you no longer experience yourself as having a body.  You are everything.  In formal meditation your body entirely disappears and you are not even aware of it.  As Douglas Harding would say, you have no head.  That is, there is no experience of having a body at all, let alone ahead or shoulder or torso or legs.  You are now everything, and not localized to a body.  This is how I learned to enter Turya hundreds of times, and to know it well.

However, most people do not experience it through formal meditation.  What happens is after years of being interested in spiritual matters, they have spent a lot of time investigating all aspects of the subtle bodies, the energies, the meditation experiences, bliss, happiness and unhappiness, emotions, relationships, etc. and they get filled up with these experiences.  They no longer seek out new experiences.  They are done with exploration of spiritual states, or even human relationships, and they want to go deeper.  Thus they begin to experience life as if going into the causal state, forgetting about all that has gone before, all their previous interests and hobbies, all that has become meaningless and no longer an object of desire.  They may naturally go into the various samadhi states, to the no mind states of the causal body.

But beyond all the samadhis is Turya, and the samadhi states have led to the destruction of the primacy of mind in your life, and you drop the mind as the lead actor in your life, and instead you let life act through you.  It is a losing of the primacy of will and of mind.  It is a total relaxation of body and mind.  You, as an entity, are dissolving into emptiness in the totality of consciousness.

Bernadette Roberts has called this process that of losing everything, losing the unity consciousness of Christ consciousness, and snuffing out of the mind primacy, letting go to live out the will of God.  This is an everyday life process which consists of continuously letting go.  You might say it is a constant Sedona-method-like letting go of everything.  It is a dying to your previous life as a normal human being caught in the world, and it is a liberation from the trials and tribulation of that world.  All those things that were important to you disappear in the causal body, and the emptiness of the causal body, and the forgetfulness of the causal body, and are not resurrected in Turya state.  The Turya state is a new world of utter rest, utter delight, utter peace, and the guide to continuous unfolding of the Lifeforce or the divinity through you.

14 August 2017

Is enlightenment boring?

During a 1970 winter Dharma talk as Mt. Baldy Zen Center, Sasaki Roshi said, “Enlightenment can be very boring.”  I do not remember anything else from that talk except that one line.  Sasaki was infamously a womanizer, whose exploits caught up with him during the last few years before his death at age 106.  During 1970-71 when I was there, everyone knew it and talked about it, yet it never got beyond amused talk for over 40 years. He died amidst a major scandal in the Zen world, pummeled by numerous male and female moral scolds, and even resulting in a Buddhist call to found an international ethic board.

About seven years after the above talk, Maezumi Roshi was similarly involved in a scandal regarding his sexual relations with multiple female students.  I remember a very famous psychoanalyst, Harry Brickman, one of Roshi’s students, who said to Maezumi, “What can be expected when so many young women are throwing themselves at you?”  I should note that Maezumi was quite handsome, young, and very, very intelligent, which came across    He openly admitted drunken angry outbursts and repeated apologized for his behaviors. through all of his talks.  On top of that, Maezumi was incredibly sensitive and humble, which endeared him further to his students.  I found his attitude quite refreshing compared to most famous teachers who tended to hide everything from fear of losing students.

When directly asked why he was involved with so many of his female students, he made no excuses and took the entire responsibility himself stating that he had disgraced Zen by his actions.  For example, in one of his bi-weekly Zendo talks, his non-excuse was, “Because I could.”  That is, the opportunity was there and he took it, and thereby disgraced Zen.  

This points to something deeper.  The experience of enlightenment can become boring, and as a result, a bored human being can turn to open sexuality as a stimulus, and perhaps as an attempt to reenter human hood after leaving it behind entering the Void.

I think it was about three years later when Maezumi gave a talk in one of my Zen classes at the UCLA Extension. He said, “One’s attention ought to be in the world; that is where all problems arise, and can be solved.”  I think Maezumi was kind of bewildered by the amount of criticism and scolding he received, even within the Board of Directors of his own organization.  He once said to me, “Why me?  Sasaki is 10 times worse than I am.”  I think Maezumi viewed sex with his students as something naturally flowing out of the relationship between them.  He was a good-looking guy, and women did seem to be taken by him.

Another example is my own teacher Robert Adams, who became “enlightened” at the age of 14, and spent many years in India deepening that enlightenment, or as he said, “To make sure I had not missed anything.”

Robert to was a notorious womanizer.  I remember that during one of my Thursday lunches with Robert, one of his female students, Samantha, showed up at Follow Your Heart, and pretended to accidentally bump into us there, and sat with us for lunch.  She said, “I just happened to be in the neighborhood,” Even though Follow Your Heart was 40 miles from where she lived.  Every Sunday during Satsang,  Sam would sit by Robert’s feet with her arms wrapped around his left leg, head leaning on his knee, facing outwards towards the sangha, as if saying, “He is mine.”  Most of Robert’s students back then knew of his inclinations, and only Mary Skene was constantly upset and openly voiced her criticism to Robert.   After Robert died, she could not wait to find another teacher who comported better with her morality.

Robert used to say of his dog Demetri, that he kept Robert stabilized in the world.  I think even more so, Robert’s relationships with women also kept him in the world.

I could go on and on about gurus and women, from Osho, to J.  Krishnamurti, to Franklin Jones, to the Siddha yoga swamis of Muktananda’s lineage, and many others.  All are notable for their multiple sexual relationships with female students, and probably between female swamis and their male students, but no one hears about them.

Almost all of these people are dead now so I feel no reluctance to discuss these matters.

Karuna Dharma, my ordination teacher’s Dharma successor, used to say to me, even regarding her own teacher, Thich Tien-An, “Why is it that Zen monks cannot seem to keep their penises in their pants?”  Yet Karuna herself, a lesbian, had a female lover that lived with her.

Why is this?  Is it merely because they can, being surrounded by many women who want to sleep with the guru, even just to see what it is like, or based on some suggestion that they might benefit spiritually by the experience?  Or is it there is something in sexual bonding itself, in romantic love, that is such a powerful experience, such a moving experience, that it brings renewed energy and life to an otherwise orderly but empty existence?

From my own experience, falling in love with a female student filled me with divine energy, which brought me out of the continuous experience of emptiness, which had descended on me years before after my first awakening with Robert. I had felt dried up and spread this throughout the Void.  By divine energy, I mean I felt the explosion of the Life force within, that exploded from my gut, shot upwards to my heart into my brain and upwards beyond my body into the universe beyond.  This was experienced as an almost infinite power moving through the light of a thousand suns, exploding within me and around me, feeling divinity, feeling God within.  And through this experience of love for another, I felt an overwhelming love for myself, as well as an identification with that Life force, with that divine energy in me. I call this experience, and the understanding it brings, realization of the Manifest Self. 

Identification with my body was transcended and 'I' identified instead with the energy within me, the divinity within me, the Life force within me, and lastly the sense of presence that is now always with me, as me.

I had spent perhaps 14 years in emptiness, being aware of the emptiness within, the imaginal emptiness within, which was the same as the speciousness without in the world.  And within that emptiness, all movement became discounted and dried out by the vastness of that inner space. When realization of the Manifest Self came, the inner energies came, bliss came, the Life force came, enlivening me, filling me with energy and knowledge of the manifest level of self.

I do not imagine that all spiritual teachers with their female student consorts, experienced\ an awakening of the manifest self through that experience, but I know some for whom it did.  But I know, the quiet inactivity of attention turned inwards, towards one’s sense of self, towards the sense of I am, or of watching the I thought emerge from and return to the great void, can bring one perilously close to a living death, and as Sasaki said, to boredom. One needs love of the world to keep one's practice moist, else one dries up.

Currently there is an enervating feminist, and actively anti-male, anti-authority-figure attitude that pervades spirituality as well as Western society.  As a result, Gurus and spiritual teachers have been constantly under attack for the merest suggestion of impropriety either sexually, or in any other way.  In 21st Century, Western spirituality, we find that the feminine concept is being worshiped, the divine energy is being worshiped, and sex and love are being worshiped, while the introversion of Zen and self-inquiry of Advaita are relatively ignored.

It appears that the new morality and spirituality is for the female to take the lead in the spiritual development of men.  I certainly do not disagree with this trend; I find it quite agreeable.  But I do find it hypocritical of the audiences that this new trend plays to, to find that men taking the lead in sexual relations now crosses a line, and can be described as sexual abuse, and raise a hue and cry and a desire to punish the man involved, whether teacher, or other authority figures.  To this audience, sex should always be between equals in terms of class, social position, and there should never be any teacher-student or employer employee sex, because if there is, the teacher or employer are at fault, whether man or woman, because it is an unequal relationship, and as such, there may be an element of coercion. 

But take a look at our civilization.  Male celebrities get inundated by followers of the opposite sex, whether they be male football or basketball players, actors, or celebrities for the sake of being celebrities.  Female celebrities, actresses, singers, an athletes, are subject to the same sort of adulation by men, and propositioning by men.  I think one famous basketball player, Wilt Chamberlain, bragged that he had bedded 10,000 women.  Why is this?  Why do so many women throw themselves at celebrities and authority figures, including spiritual teachers?  And why is it, that when sexual acts occur, male gurus are looked upon as fallen teachers, while male celebrities received little or no criticism for the same acts?  Are spiritual teachers supposed to rebuff sexual advances by female students, unlike celebrities such as football players?

My point is, I think that there is an unrealistic appreciation for what goes on in the inner lives of spiritual teachers.  Although they may have attained realization of ecstatic states, realization of the unity of consciousness, and feel a compassionate connection with all life forms, all of this can become rather dry, compared to the power of eroticism, which is very primitive, and of personal love, which is very grounding in the physical world, and can come as a welcome relief to someone who has been lost to the emptiness within for any long period of time.

For example, once one has realized the causal body, and explored it thoroughly, and then entered the spacious unity consciousness of Turiya, one can stay there long time, and one can have had countless desires and habits melt away through that process, but ultimately one returns to ordinary mind, consciousness with the resurrection of the mind that disappeared in the causal body and in Turiya.  When that returns, once again you are a human being functioning in human world, and even though you may totally understand the entire stretch of consciousness in the mind, one once again has a body and a mind, which may be more or less stabilized or steady, but is still subject to human desires and winds blowing through one’s psyche.

Because it is emptiness, space, the void, and the consciousness that illuminates the absence of objects and space itself, that one can call it the real, or pure consciousness, while all the objects that occupy that space, and are similarly illuminated, are called unreal, or mere appearances, or reflected consciousness.  But this is philosophical. This is merely an understanding, while the reality is that the samadhis and ecstatic states, come and go, waxing and waning in intensity, and gradually receding into the background or even becoming bothersome, and a distraction from one’s own inner peace.  In comparison to the continuous experience of the subtle awareness of space, the power of sex to lend distraction and to bring a physical life back into one’s purview, cannot be denied.

Of course, all that I say can be applied equally to the much rarer female teachers of Advaita and Zen.  Most female teachers focus on sublimating raw sexuality into some form of divine love, which they keep talking about as the divine feminine.  In a sense, this level of practice never goes beyond the subtle body, the second body, while Advaita and Zen go to the fourth body and beyond, to Turiya, where the distinction between subject and object disappears into the unitary experience.

This very brief essay is written with the intent to create an open ended dialogue regarding the subject matter of sex in spirituality, especially the place in Zen, Advaita, and the energy yogas and Tantra, an investigation of male psychology, female psychology, and what each wants out of a relationship, if it can be so categorized as masculine and feminine needs and goals, especially within spiritual processes.  I think it can be, but sometimes I think with this new movement that supposedly dissolves the differences between men and women, this discussion will be ignored.

We should note that the whole concept of the guru student relationship has been so polluted and sullied by endless scandals, because we have not investigated the dynamics that have created the supposed scandals, along with a strong pejorative moral judgment that all kinds of sexual activities and other activities have no place in “real” spirituality.  I think this is utterly wrong.  I think that the teacher/student relationship found in Zen, tantra, Advaita, Sufism, and the energy yogas presents an area of investigation that could reveal untold riches of knowledge about the human condition, the nature of God, the divine, as well as fuel all individuals search for enlightenment or God.

But I will bet, that none of these teachers are willing to be honest and open about their own experiences or their own understanding of the place of sexuality in spirituality and in their relationships with students.  Is it just there because they can, because students of the opposite sex throw themselves at the teacher?  Is it just opportunistic self-gratification and sexual stimulation that makes the emptiness a little less boring?  Or is the sexual drive an integral part of spirituality, and the drive towards realizing the divine and one’s own self?  

My own view is that a more open sexuality, or openly romantic love between a teacher and his/her students, in the right environment, can benefit both parties, at least in terms of actualizing Subtle Body energies, awakening Chi or Kundalini energies leading to realizing greater depths of one's self-experiences, leading to their eventual transcendence.  But, there are always the problems of jealousy, encouraged but unrequited love, and moralism that can destroy a sangha, as has happened so many times.

Every time I post an essay like this, I received broad criticism from people who confuse religious morality, with real spiritual development, and focus almost entirely on behaviors, rather than attain states, and what they teach us about ourselves and the world.  The worst of these seem to be Buddhist moralists basing their criticism on official, Theravdin moral precepts.  These have been almost totally absent in Zen until late in the 20th century.  Zen entirely avoids moralisms on substitutes “appropriate actions,” or right action.  The criticisms are based on the older, far more philosophical, and morality-centered Buddhism of Sri Lanka, Thailand, and other South Asian countries.

For these southern Buddhist countries, spirituality is almost totally of morality, and not self-realization, or no-self-realization, or nirvana.  It is following the moral precepts, the 500 vows of a Buddhist monk.  The monk there is regarded as sort of the Superman because of taking the vows and living up to them, becoming morally perfect, but to what end?  There is no enlightenment, no self-realization, no liberation from following these 500 rules.  But the Buddhist moralists and Christian moralists and Muslim moralists, do not really understand this.  Liberation comes with self-realization, not the pursuit of moralistic perfection in terms of behaviors.