19 October 2023


 After about seven weeks of silent retreat, Satang returns Sunday October 22, at noon. Thereafter Satang will happen on subsequent Sundays and Wednesdays at noon. Retreat was necessary because I felt my Satangs were getting repetitive and stiff.

Satang location: 


31 July 2022

 This is a Master Class on both the philosophy and experience of the relation between nothingness, consciousness, and awareness, and realizing your deepest nature as residing totally outside of consciousness, or prior to consciousness, and as such, why you are beyond birth and death.


23 July 2022

Explaining theTerminology of Robert Adams

 Phenomenology of Nothingness


Edward Muzika

 I am both mystified and troubled that modern spiritual teachers do not address the relationship between consciousness and nothingness in any meaningful way.


The way I see it, consciousness comes to nothingness, which causes data from the sensual apparatii of sentient beings like humans, to become aware of an apparent external world. Philosophers and spiritual teachers seem to talk endlessly about that external world, consciousness which causes or relays it to us, and then also “higher” realms of consciousness. But none really address the deep problem of how does consciousness arise spontaneously from within the “prior to consciousness” nothingness, lying before birth and after death, and before awakening in the morning and after going to sleep in the evening?


Spiritual teachers talk about our immortality, and the eternality of consciousness, without addressing the obvious fact is that consciousness is found in that world found in consciousness, is not eternal or permanent in any way. It comes and goes.


Some teachers say yes it comes and goes, but consciousness itself is always there in some temporary being or another. That is it’s always present somewhere in the world or the universe.


But this really doesn’t address the concerns of an individual, who may say hearing the above, “good for consciousness, but what about me”? I has a human and temporary. My body is temporary, my mind is temporary, and I certainly don’t have direct access to the consciousness of beings not yet born or long dead. So from my point of view, consciousness is a temporary thing, just like me. It comes and goes to all sentient beings.


So, I suggest that we investigate the phenomenology not only of consciousness, but of nothingness when it transitions into consciousness, and watch how consciousness arises, and when finally knowledge of the world is born within us. How does that happen and when does it happen?


In deep, dreamless sleep, there appears to be little or no consciousness. Yes, it appears we might be aware of the passage of time while in deep sleep, because we can often wake up before our alarm clock wakes us up, because many of us, much of the time, appears to be aware of the passage of time and sleep. But are we aware of anything else except dreams?


You can see here that were bumping up against the fundamental question of what is the relationship between life and death, existence and nonexistence, and the question of the part of nonexistence is not much discussed in spirituality. Many teachers seem to act as if consciousness were everything, and even my questions about nothingness occur in consciousness, which proves there’s only consciousness. But this is a willful ignoring of the truth that we know, is that we have each of us, long periods of not being conscious. So what do we know about nothingness truly?


Like I said above, I think we can begin to better understand nothingness versus something this, consciousness versus nothingness, if we examine the phenomenology of waking up in the morning and transitioning into sleep at night. What can we find?


Most of us I think, wake up rather abruptly, and are never aware of the phenomenology of the coming of consciousness to nothingness. Here we have to define nothingness, and I define that as a sentient being absent consciousness. I know, technically this definition of nothingness would not apply to the lack of consciousness before birth or after death, because sentient being may not have existed before birth in any form or after death in any form. In any meaningful way, we can only speak about nothingness before we wake up in the morning and after we go to sleep at night.


This limitation makes the investigation of nothingness much simpler and perhaps soluble, then generalizing two before birth nothingness in afterlife nothingness.


For me, I often wake up abruptly coming to consciousness. But there have been long periods in my life when I use to introspect processes of the coming of consciousness in the morning. Observing the disappearance of consciousness at night is a very different experience for me.


For me, observing the disappearance of consciousness into sleep it’s really hard to capture. Initially there’s the feeling one is falling asleep and losing interest in what’s going on around me. I thought slow down. They may disappear altogether. I may lose awareness of my body. But sometimes, just sometimes, I become increasingly aware of the background nothingness in front and all around me. Then suddenly, abruptly, and without warning my mind an awareness totally disappear and I’m asleep, no longer aware of anything.


On the other hand, often when I wake up, I have learned how to play with that transition between sleep and awakeness, and also to watch consciousness arise within me, apparently from my belly and chest, rising slowly as light so to speak, lightness, which when it reaches my head, explodes into the world, and I’m immersed in the world.


When I say I observe consciousness coming to me, is different than I would observe my cat coming towards me. When my cat approaches me, I am fully aware of the world around me, and things triggered by one of my cats coming to me, like a feeling of love. I can talk about how the cats coming is observed and how it affects me emotionally and all the other kinds of things that are very subtle. But when I speak about consciousness coming to me, it is a very different experience altogether. That is, I don’t see anything like an object approaching me. It’s more like feeling terms, that it feels like something like a fog bank appearing cloud of sentience is approaching me, and when it gets very close, suddenly I am within it in the world appears along with my body, my sense of presence, and my mind.


However, I noticed that the rising of the world within me that consciousness brings itself is staged. First I am aware of sense data such as seeing the room around me, feeling the mattress, etc. In this moment of non-mental awakening can last a second or two or three, until my mind suddenly pops into existence, and I recognize where I am and who I am, and what situation I’m in, and memories may arise as to what I have to do this day.


I call this transitional state “the gap.” This is how my teacher Robert Adams referred to the state. He told us to try to as much as possible become aware of this gap and to rest in it as long as we could, and it we would find ourselves.


But even before this gap state, I .in consciousness. It’s more like a fog bank of light that’s not very bright, but which is very welcoming, approaching towards me, but mostly it appears to becoming from an area below me, which when I was awake, I would call my belly or chest. But it sleep I don’t have those words were even that sense of location my body. But consciousness feels like a benevolent sentience is coming towards me the observer or witness, who myself is no sense of location or time. I am just observing this arising of sentience within me that has a quality similar to that of light, but also of well-beingness.


That is I, in nothingness was totally unaware of anything until I began to become aware of the sense of this consciousness coming to me and nothingness. I had no location and no time, then when consciousnessfinally reaches me, nothingness disappears in the world, my body mind explode into existence and I am born anew along with the world.


Now, I need to find out whether this is a universal experience, would all people experiences same if they took the time to practice being aware of the waking process happens to them every morning. Do they experience or will they experience the sense that consciousness comes to me, the witness of consciousness, residing in nothingness with no awareness of myself until consciousness comes?


If this is the case for a large number of people, I would assume that this would be proof of the concept that consciousness is a very temporary sort of thing, and what is really aware is something that resides in nothingness, something that is not aware of itself until consciousness comes. We could call this mysterious function “sentience” or the self as Nisargadatta calls it.


Truly this is the mysterious subject. Even those who studied Nisargadatta for years are unaware of how important that which is prior to consciousness was to  Nisargadatta’s teachings. For him, anything that happened in consciousness, or any teachings about consciousness were unimportant, they were only serving as entertainment for that unknown sentience inside. And that sentience could never be known, because it lay outside of consciousness, we can only speak about things in existence meaning only those things in consciousness. Talking about things outside of consciousness would be merely speculation. That’s why I chose to examine the transition between consciousness and objects into nothingness and no knowledge because the latter is a big part of our lives and mostly unexamined.


Such a point of view as many important conclusions. First, there is no witness within consciousness, it lies prior to consciousness in nothingness. But nothingness is not a state of existence, but a place where all existence arises from and disappears into.


Somehow, the world arises when there is a peculiar conjunction of living body, the nervous system, the presence of the mind, and that apparent entity comes into the presence of consciousness. At that point, I am revealed to myself as a body and a human being, living in an apparent external world, with other entities, trying to make sense of that world. And here, it is very rare for me to look inside and to find my root so to speak, into the relatively eternal nothingness.


Now, when I practice introspection, more specifically the way Robert Adams presented, as diving deep within, ever deeper, it seems like I can go downwards forever and never reach bottom, or the root. Try it for yourself and see if you can reach bottom. For me, I could not reach bottom even after 40 years. It always felt as if I were going inward sin downwards into myself lower and lower. But then I noticed that suddenly many times, my diving would stop, and it’s like I would turn around and wake up to my body in the world. It’s as if all my attention was directed downwards and inwards and I dove and dove into going through endless layers nothingness, and when I reached bottom, I would no longer be looking inwards, but would suddenly be thrust into the world of man looking outwards at all of creation.


Gradually I came to realize, that I had reached the root, I had become the witness witnessing the entirety of my consciousness laid out before me.


Now, what I want to do is to throw the discussion open to a discussion of this topic of the origin of consciousness in the relationship between consciousness and nothingness, and our place as humans within it.



19 July 2022

                                  The  Great Realization


Edward Muzika


Recently, I received a request for help message as follows:


“I have been a seeker for many many years. I live in the UK. I have journeyed to Sedona many times in the past to attend courses with Hale (Dwoskin). I have also spent time with Pamela Wilson and Laura in the past; and many others.


“How is it possible to transcend the false self delusion that I exist as an entity separate from the all? Thank you.”


My response was:


Sorry, I’m not bunch aware of what Hale or Pamela teach, but it’s probably deeper and more subtle than merely to transcend the small or false self. But I note that some neo-Advaitin teachers teach exactly that.


I think it’s sad that these teachers believe that enlightenment is so simple as realizing you are not a separate self but are instead part of the whole, which would mean the whole of existence or the whole of consciousness. Sadder is that they pass this on as the supreme truth. This is a severe limitation and restriction of understanding of what enlightenment really is. Enlightenment is far, far more subtle and dramatic than what is portrayed above.


For me enlightenment includes several separate major realizations obtained through direct awakening experiences and then by filling in the resulting understanding with secondary experiences and reasoning later. Enlightenment is much more than accepting that a concept of oneness is true. This is just conceptual understanding without an enlightenment experience to back it. Without that experience, the concept is no more than hearsay.


First, you must understand that you and everything around you, all objects in consciousness as well as consciousness itself, are completely empty. They have no substance, although they appear to have substance.  In fact they are just phenomena. The underlying real is not experienced or realized because it is beyond consciousness, existence, and the world, thus beyond knowledge or expression, and you are that real existing prior to consciousness and the world. To really know this, you  have to have the experience, or awareness, of consciousness as coming to you, who yourself has no prior self-aware existence.



Even more than that, there is a third class of experiences and knowledge or understanding you must attain separate from the above. I call that the realm of Shakti, of which the most important happening is the realization and experience of God within. You and God coexist in your life; he is a companion but also is living through you as the life force. You are never alone. 


His presence as the life force is always with you from the time you become aware of God in a God realization experience, which I also call realization of the manifest self. After that point your life is automatically guided by the divine and you leave the world of the mundane entirely behind. Although you live in the world of the mundane and apparently live in it quite easily, in fact you no longer live in the mundane world but in the divine world and both worlds touch in a way that your actions in the divine world appear to be actions in the mundane world also. Thus you can go unrecognized by anyone as different.


Of the three experiences, that of the emptiness of all things, and that you are ontologically prior to consciousness, the most important is the third, God-realization which gives birth to the life divine and allows you to progress into understanding deeper levels of self like emptiness, and your separation from consciousness. Yet even in the vast emptiness you experience, you are still extremely happy, despite the fact that you appear to live in the same world of mundanity as everyone else. In fact, you now live in the divine, no longer human, no longer mundane.


Attaining all three types of experiences means you have entirely gone beyond the human world, and perceive the real nature of existence as emptiness, energies, consciousness, etc., all of which you are beyond. They all come to you unbidden, such as when you were born which happened to you without your request. You are forced into it. And with the realization of the divine, you inherit a degree of spiritual energies which influences others and allows you to become teachers of freedom. The degree of such energies you obtain is based on  how pure you have become, how empty, humble. When you are empty of past knowing and desires, you perceive more readily emptiness and that you are beyond consciousness and existence. Then you revel in your own selfless self.


The world is not you.

Consciousness is not you.

Your body and mind are not you.

Sentience perceives all of the above.

Existence comes to sentience.

But only sentience, the subject, is real.

Its abode is Nothingness.





Consciousness is a visitor, Nothingness is the host



From nothingness each morning I come


Into nothingness each night I am absorbed


From nothingness I came as a sentient being 80 years ago


And to nothingness I will be absorbed


Each sentient being, each body, each mind is a portal and consciousness through which existence is known


But I the knower cannot myself be no because I do not exist within consciousness


And only conscious things can be known


Nothing is my origin and destination each day of my life and of


And of each life I live  


Through me all knowledge of everything arises


In each sentient being living and dying in consciousness I am the portal to the infinite.


Those sentient beings are infinite, nowhere am I separate, for I'm not an entity, but the functioning of everything

2The Dance Between Nothing And Everything


From nothingness each morning I come


Into nothingness each night I am absorbed


From nothingness I came as a sentient being 80 years ago


And to nothingness I will be absorbed


Each sentient being, each body, each mind is a portal and consciousness through which existence is known


But I the knower cannot myself be no because I do not exist within consciousness


And only conscious things can be known


Nothing is my origin and destination each day of my life and of


And of each life I live  


Through me all knowledge of everything arises


In each sentient being living and dying in consciousness I am the portal to the infinite.


Those sentient beings are infinite, nowhere am I separate, for I'm not an entity, but the functioning of everything.

03 July 2022

A Vignette of my life with Robert Adams and discovering Nothingness

 A Vignette of my life with Robert Adams and discovering Nothingness

                                       Edward Muzika


I was with my teacher Robert Adams for eight years, from 1989 to 1997. I attended Satang twice a week, I also drove Robert to Satang and back on Thursdays. Every Wednesday we had lunch at Follow Your Heart in Chatsworth after spending time walking and talking in Roberts park, called Warner Park in Woodland Hills. Each time I was with him was a special occasion for me.


Robert was a very unusual man. A very quiet and unassuming man. He never talked much but he did listen more deeply than almost anyone else I knew. I know many spiritual teachers now and over the years many Zen masters. Most of these teachers you probably would not recognize as spiritual teachers if you met them on the street. Most of them were quite talkative, and most had many many opinions about politics, life, society, relationships. Most of them, in Satang or in their writings, appeared much more spiritual and elevated than they were in real life. In Satang it was like they put on a cloak of being the master, the teacher, or a mouthpiece for the divine. Many talked about spiritual powers or things that happened around them that were unusual as if to add verification of their claim of being an elevated spiritual teacher. This is not to say they were not interesting people to hang around with. But they had grown quite used to being "the spiritual teacher” in whatever setting.  Robert NEVER spoke about such “worldly”  He told me that if he had not come down with severe Parkinson’s, he would still be living alone in a cabin in Oregon.


There is a video on YouTube that I think is called "The Three Gurus." Here three of my friends, Swami Shankarananda, Swami Chetanananda, and Brother Charles discussed their personal difficulties in living their role of spiritual teacher with followings of hundreds of students. Mostly they talked about being in a situation where they were considered to be above everybody else in terms of spiritual understanding and attainment and try to work into that role without hurting people without being hurt by them. As Swami Chetanananda stated, as soon as you are given the title of "guru", you walk around with a target on your back. And all the shit inthe world was directed at you. I really appreciated this short film because they came across as real human beings who had mastered certain aspects of life, but were put in the situation where they where they were subject to attack on almost a constant basis, including by the general public which held suspicion towards all gurus.


But Robert was very different. He was absolutely quiet. He rarely talked or spoke unless to respond to something you said. He was quite content to be nobody. In our periodic celebrations where we had Satang with dinner or with entertainment, people would mill around talking to each other, and be very animated. But often Robert would be off alone by himself, either in his speaker's chair, or somewhere else in the room quietly eating without a lot of people talking to him. He just let everybody alone. He waited for people to come to him, engage with him, and then respond in a way he thought most appropriate. I knew from the things he said to me that he always considered where the student was coming from and told them what they needed to hear in order to help them in everyday life and spiritually.


I remember one time we were at lunch in the patio of Follow Your Heart, and he was especially quiet and silent. So I asked him, "Robert, you're so silent today, is there a reason?" And he responded, "I am trying to think of a way to to cook you." This was the lunch about a month or two before we were all to leave for Sedona to start a new sangha there and ending our sangha in Los Angeles. Somehow I felt honored that he was thinking about me, and how to get me to a place I thought of as enlightenment or self-realization. And boy, despite25 years of Zen practice as well as studying other teachers, I really had no idea what enlightenment was.


I really can't emphasize enough how quiet and ordinary Robert was. The only way he was special, was that he never directed any attention to himself and mostly stayed in the background. He did not publicly make waves of any sort, but in the background he was always stirring the pot of Satang in order to cook people, to get them to face sticking points in themselves, so that they become freer of entanglements and be able to see themselves in a deeper way, in a non-world-obsessed way.


Those who have listened to his Satangs or were there in person, often would hear him start Satang by saying, "You don't exist!, or, "The World Is Not Real."  Almost invariably this caused loud chuckling from the audience as they heard these ridiculous words, saying that we did not exist, and our bodies were optical illusions. The world did not exist. He often used the words "emptiness" or "Nothingness" as descriptive of our true nature. Some of his students would copy him, saying I'm nobody or nothing, but really they copied him because the word made them feel good when they said it. But I was never satisfied with that. I wondered what did Robert mean by Nothing, emptiness, or the Void? Was it the same as my own long experience of emptiness and Void in Zen?

I did not move with Robert to Sedona even though I had planned on doing so and even was instrumental in getting Robert to decide to move to Sedona. Nothing worked out for me. It's a long story I'll tell it some other time. I was left behind in Santa Monica, where I felt abandoned because much of the sangha moved to Sedona. I spent the next several weeks doing nothing except lying on a couch listening to various chanting tapes, mostly Muktanananda tapes with a cassette player and earphones. I even went out walking listening to chanting. I felt depressed, but I loved the chanting, the chanting elevated me and at the same time allowed the loneliness to be O.K.


Then one day, I had an amazing experience. I felt that I was awake and yet I was aware of nothing, but I saw what appeared to be consciousness coming towards me across a distance, like a fog bank coming to me on the shore from the sark ocean behind. It got closer and closer, and when it hit me, suddenly the world appeared and I was awake. Before that no thoughts came, there was just this experience of observing consciousness coming to me. For some reason I knew that fog was consciousness, I didn't realize then, and if I were to be asked who or where I was, I would have had to say I don't know, because as far as I was concerned, there was nothing I could identify as me, or a place I was. Consciousness came to me. I was not consciousness, but it came to me where I was and whatever I was. You might say that I was no-thing-ness located in nothingness.


A few hours later I called Robert and Sedona nd told him I missed him and the sangha, and I felt that I had been left behind. He responded, "Ed, you left yourself behind." I told him about my experience, and very suddenly, quietly and strangely Robert said to me, "Congratulations! You are enlightened!" But when Robert said it, he said it so matter-of-factly, that it didn't seem extraordinary at all. So he said I was enlightened, and that was that.


I felt a bit mystified because my preconceptions were that the enlightenment experience would be far more explosive and disruptive than the quiet experience it had been. I could never have guessed that enlightenment was a realization that was so quiet, so silent, and so peacefully nonexplosive.


(I would have a far more explosive experience 16 years later, which I called my God-realization experience, but that is a different story altogether. But it does appear to me that there are different tracks in spiritual development, a Shakti track as taught by Swami Muktananda, in the far more peaceful and outwardly disappearance from the world as the Advaita track of Robert and Ramana. Robert never mentioned anything about the Shakti awakenings, but I’m quite certain they happened to him many years before I met him, and he was teaching the track he felt best suited American students of this age.)


I visited Robert a few times in Sedona before his death during February 1997 and enjoyed the visits thoroughly. He always put me at the head of the table with him, and kept asking me to move to Sedona, but I knew I didn't belong there. Many times before, I was supposed to accompany Robert to Sedona, or go to see Robert in Sedona, but got desperately ill, just like the first time I drove him, and had to stay in Phoenix instead. The Sedona job I had been promised just disappeared, and Kerima didn’t want to leave Santa Monica.


What a startling understanding he gave me! What I am fundamentally is beyond the senses and in fact witnesses the senses, and witnesses the world through my nonexistent body which it senses. Yet I--as the transcendent--lay totally outside of consciousness, and as such not subject to birth or death. From this ultimate viewpoint of being the witness of consciousness, I was separate from consciousness and from anything that happened in consciousness, even though when awake in the conscious I appeared to be a human being living in three-dimensional world. This experience sort of severed the attachment that I felt towards consciousness in the world I experienced in consciousness around me.


Now this is heavy.


I was not saying I was nothing because I had heard Robert say it over and over again, and I liked the sound of it, or how it made me feel, but in fact it was the truth. The primary me, the source, was the witness of consciousness totally separate from it and not within the existence of consciousness itself. Thus I was free from life and death, from birth and death, and from any emotions in the world. They became little things that I observed and not intrinsic to my silence within, with my total relaxation, my total surrender of anything that had been human in me to the infinite. Thus I can finally say, I know what Robert meant when he said I didn't exist and that he was nothing. As Robert would repeat over and over again on his deathbed, “Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!”



                                     Robert and I circa 1994

 All of Robert’s Satsang audio tapes and transcripts are available on the Web at: robert-adams.info. Also, we have Satsang online, at 11AM on Wednesdays and Sundays, Arizona time. You may need to tell your computer to open the following link. The link is:   https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fus02web.zoo







NOTE: You can verify my understanding of consciousness by witnessing it for yourself through daily practice. Try this for a month or so.


When you first wake up in the morning do a scan of your body, it’s feelings, your thoughts, and where those thoughts appear to arise and disappear. Do this first thing every morning until it becomes a habit. This is the most difficult part of the training. Train yourself to become aware of your “first light” experiences. Those experiences that are first in consciousness, but also try to remain aware that you really are interested in finding the origin of consciousness. With a little practice, you will eventually remember to be aware of consciousness even before it comes to you, before you wake up. You already do that if you have an alarm clock because you often awaken just before the alarm goes off because you felt time pass and know when the alarm will ring. Then you will become aware that consciousness is arising within YOU, and when it arrives, the world appears. But you were there first, and are welcoming consciousness coming to you who was aware of it, and with its arrival, the world is born. Then you will understand and feel like you are separate from consciousness because it is a state that comes to you who are already aware and didn’t need consciousness to be aware. You are aware of both consciousness and your body being separate from you, but where you are as awareness cannot be experienced or understood, because you as awareness are totally beyond both. You are beyond consciousness and the world and are not of either. Congratulations, you will be enlightened, and spend the next couple of decades unfolding that enlightenment, but you may not feel like it because you trained for it rather than having it happen to you suddenly in a spontaneous way. But the truth will grow on you.



26 June 2022

What I Am lies prior to Consciousness

I am the infinite Nothingness that lies before and prior to Consciousness. Consciousness is almost an afterthought to me. What I am can not be known because only things of Consciousness are knowable. I am beyond all that, the ultimate mystery. This is the deepest secret of Robert Adams, Nisargadatta, and Ramana. The final truths are known only to those who watch and study Consciousness, its coming and going. https://youtu.be/hH3eeDzx_bs

22 June 2022


 Here Ed speaks about the phenomenology of meditation. Where our thoughts located subjectively? Should we watch them or stop them? What are the goals of meditation? All these things are explored in this video.