13 December 2017

I think I will need to simplify my teachings in the future to focus on finding the Void, throwing oneself away so to speak, so as to find your true self through love.  Finding the Void is relatively easy, but is entirely preparatory to making you open enough to experience divine love through having your heart’s fire kindled by another.  Thus the chant, “Kindle my Heart’s flame with Thy flame, O sudguru, kindle my flame with thine.”  This is why we will begin to sit in silence after Satsang, and I will become the Void for you to feel and open to.

WHAT IS SELF?

 Recently I posted a comment stating that I did not have a sense of self until I was in my 60s.  People responded incredulously, asking that I experienced before I experience myself?  Before I answer that, I would like to ask a question to all those incredulous questioners.

Look inside yourself.  Look inside that internal darkness, that internal emptiness, that internal void and ask if you find a self therein.  Then I ask you, what is your sense of self?  Who are you?  How do you describe your experience of self?  How is your self different from the rest of your world of experience?

Now try this for a few days or a few weeks, perhaps a few minutes each day. Then tell me what is your experience of self. 

I think like all of the neoAdvaitins point out, you will find no sense of self within, you have only suspected that there was a self, but you cannot find one.

Are you emptiness?  Are you a sense of energy?  Are you your body or are you your mind?  Are you that which watches all of this?  Or are you the throbbing, glistening, moving, Lifeforce within?  This is what I call my sense of self: the divine within who cognizing’s the world around me. 

The world around me, I do not experience as me, like some who claim that that self is everything.  I experience the world around me as “other.”  I experience other people around me, not as me, or as no person, or as an appearance in consciousness, but as another sentient being, another bag of flesh within whom the Lifeforce looks outwards, feels outwards and acts outwardly, but is also intensely aware of its own existence within that bag of flesh, as the Energizer the creator of all movement, all loving, all actions, and all wisdom. 

Yes, although the Lifeforce is the same in all of us, so very few people actually know firsthand from their own experience the Lifeforce within, that which I call myself. This recognition came to me because I loved someone, and she love me back with all of her heart and soul.  We loved each other and in that love, myself was found.  It exploded out of my own emptiness.  But few people even know this emptiness, this Void within, the container and sustainer of the entire universe.

This is how I know without question that you cannot love yourself until you have completely, and deeply loved another.  When you find a so-called “soulmate,” one to whom you can completely surrender in utter and complete devotion, in complete and almost desperate love, which afterwards leaves only love in you, as you, you become love itself, only then will the Lifeforce reveal itself to you, as you.  In a sense, you as a separate bag of flesh with consciousness, becomes aware of the universal Lifeforce within, and you identify with that, you are the divine dynamo within that awakens your flesh, gives you life, and allows you to love both yourself and another.

Before this time, no matter how long you look within, how deeply you go, how much you witness yourself, how much you practice self-inquiry, no matter how much psychotherapy you get, you will never know that self within.

So those who ask what was your experience of yourself and the world like prior to your experience of the self through divine love, I only suggest look at your own life now, in this moment, in your own experience of your body and yourself and in relationships.  Can you tell me with complete conviction who and what you are?  Can you tell me about your own self versus everything else in your experiential universe?  I doubt it. 

I doubt you will find anything you can call yourself.  You may call the I thought yourself but it is not.  It is only a thought.  You may call the sense of I-ness inside of you yourself, but it is not, it is only a sensation that can lead to recognition of yourself through love.  But it is not self itself.

You have assumed that you have a self within, but you cannot find it, you cannot feel it, you do not know it.  Therefore, how can you say with any degree of certitude, that you cannot love another without first loving yourself? 

Come, let me take you into that void, a place where you are absent to yourself but not consciously so, that will allow you to be open to that external love which will awaken the self within you in an explosion of light, energy, bliss and love, and you will know your own divine origin.  We will go into that void every Sunday after the talking part of Satsang, and there you can know the God within.

12 December 2017

There is an old saying that has gained a lot of believers in the West that you cannot love anyone until you first love yourself.

Not only is this overly simplistic, but from my experience, it is just wrong.

How does a toddler learn how to love him or her self?  Easy, by being loved by the mother or father.  At about age three, the toddler has reached the developmental stage where it can differentiate itself from its environment, from its mother, father and siblings.  Once this differentiation takes place between me and others, and we feel both the love from others and our own sense of self at the same time, then we can love that self-sense, our self.

Very often in this world that toddler does not receive sufficient love during this formative stage, or the love is expressed in a way the toddler can not receive and incorporate it, then that toddler may not even develop a sense of self, let alone appreciate its existence. I know that I never experienced a sense of self separate from the world until I was in my 60s through the love I received then.

If as an adult we do receive the love of a peer, a man or woman who we respect and love, then, for the first time we can both experience a sense of a separate-from-the-world self, and also we can actually let that love in, so to speak, realizing that someone “out there” in the environment loves us in a most spectacular way.

If either or both lovers are ready enough, deep enough, empty enough, the mutual love can explode into an experience of the divine within as the life force, and the life force itself becomes us; it energizes, purifies, and elevates one’s own sense of self, as well as for the other, to a realization of God within.  At this point we realize that we are God incarnated into a fragile and impermanent body of flesh loving the life force incarnated into that other fragile and temporary body of flesh.  We both become self-realized and incarnate, which brings utter humility and utter, utter surrender to the other, and we can both rest in a unified emptiness, a stillness, filled with life and love. 


This is the greatest healing possible.  But this cannot take place unless the ground is laid for such a relationship and such love.  You must be aware of being empty of self, and if one looks within, one sees/feels only emptiness, silence, the Void.  This is one’s sadhana, to empty oneself of pseudo selves through meditation, self-inquiry, and prayer, for the deepest love, divine love, seeks those who are empty.  If you are not empty, all the best you can experience is a normal, human, love affair, which is body-oriented, sensual, and manipulative.  This is pre-personal love, reactive-love, for the person has not yet realized his or her self.

10 December 2017

FROM THE VOID TO DIVINE LOVE--VIDEO

FROM THE VOID TO DIVINE LOVE 

I can speak about the Void and tell you how to find it.  I can talk about one's sense of presence, bliss, the subtle body, your emotional body, the light of consciousness, and I can help you find them.

But now only want to speak about divine love nd how to attain it.  This love comes to you from  the Void and brings you entirely back into your body and you become "re-incarnated" after years of trying to transcend your body. You become like Christ before his Passion on the cross--vulnerable, humble, but steadfast.

Satsang December 10, 2017  LINK:

https://youtu.be/wxbNJNS87ik

09 December 2017


SUNDAY SATSANG DECEMBER 10, 2017, 11 AM ARIZONA TIME. COME EARLY, SIT WITH ME AFTER 10:30 am
https://zoom.us/j/2950292557?pwd&status=success

He warned, this past Wednesday I had a Ble Light treatment for Actinic Keratosis on my face.  The chemical and Blue Light destroy these pre-cancerous lesions as well as sun-damaged cells.  But I will look like I have chicken pox for another ten days.

07 December 2017

The video below was of an interview I had with Ernesto of Yosoy Tumismo.  Ernesto is the leader of a Robert Adams Satsang in Spain.

Here I speak about my life with Robert, some of my realizations while with him and afterwards, but I also speak of the weaknesses of a strictly Jnan path of introspection on the I-thought or I-sense, and the overwhelming and constant need for a seeker to foster a sense of devotion and love during his or her search.  I also speak of the need to find someone to love deeply as part of one’s spiritual process, especially after finding and dwelling in emptiness, A.K.A. the Great  Void, for the love that arises from the Void is not ordinary human love, but is divine love, a love of total absorption, devotion, and surrender which gradually reveals deeper kinds of love, a path of endless worship, awareness of the internal energies of the life force, almost endless bliss, and marks a beginning of the Jnani’s return to his or her body.  Only love and surrender to another can lead the devotee to leave the Void and re-incarnate as a body with all the human vulnerabilities that entails.

When one is originally born, the original incarnation, it was not from choice. Life spontaneously appeared out of an impersonal matrix of elements and processes which becomes one’s original self.  But when one is born again out of the Void, it is done with joy, love, a sense of service and continuous worship, and totally by choice, knowing what one is getting into, even as Christ accepted his Passion.


05 December 2017

A SOMEWHAT EMBARRASSING, BUT VERY WELCOME DEVELOPMENT!
I had my first hip replacement operation four years ago in 2013 in June. My right hip had been hurting for four or five years until the pain was unbearable, and I reluctantly had surgery. The surgery itself was terrible, recovery was very slow and minimal physical therapy was covered by my insurance. And while the right hip gradually recovered functioning with no pain, the left hip was becoming more painful.

I had originally asked the surgeon whether both hips could be done at the same time, but he said the left hip had another three or four years before it had to be replaced.
But from about 2009 to the 2013 surgery, my aerobic functioning suffered as I certainly could not run and I was having more and more difficult time walking, and even use those electric carts when in supermarkets, and my weight ballooned to 235 pounds.

By 2014 when I moved to the Phoenix area, I could walk a mile a day even with my left hip hurting, but by 2017 I could barely walk 100 yards, although my weight had dropped to 210.. On October 10, of this year, 2017 I had my left hip replaced in almost miraculous surgery that had no post surgical pain at all except from physical therapy. I received physical therapy at home for eight visits and made some gains, and then my treating doctor signed me up for what turned out to be six more weeks of progressive physical therapy on an outpatient basis. As of my recent seventh session, I was doing four times the exercises as on my first session.

My God, what a change this is caused in just 3 ½ weeks of outpatient therapy.

Imagine, my lower body had not been fully mobilized for eight years, and I lost a lot of functionality in every way imaginable in my lower body, including ability to walk, get down and up from the floor, crawling under things, even I lost the ability to walk on uneven ground. My lower body effectively died including sexual functioning as well as experiencing some urinary incontinence.

However, after the second surgery, and seven weeks into recovery with physical therapy 2 to 3 times a week, and a very intense exercise program my lower body has come alive. I can feel every muscle fiber in my quadriceps in the various gluteus muscles, which has increased not only my ability to walk, bend, crouch, etc. in terms of movement, but made my bowel movements more regular and eliminated any urinary incontinence that I used to feel because that area sort of dead.

In addition, my sexuality has come alive, after not being able to have an erection for six or seven years. I would hardly recommend bilateral total hip replacement as a male aphrodisiac or ED treatment, but I did laughingly suggest the surgeon that he advertise as such.

What this has caused me is to realize identity with my body once again. The surgery, physical therapy, has reenergized my whole body and it is so difficult not to identify with it as opposed to identifying with my sense of presence, the energetic body within and without or with the totality of consciousness, but I still find it relatively easy to shift my identity any way I want.

Still, this surgery and therapy is helping me reclaim my human hood, and my identity as an ordinary human being that has explored so many rooms the spiritual mention that is my life, from the basement value of the Great Void, to my sense of presence, to experiencing the Life force, or the divine within me, to my mind and thoughts, to my various emotions, my personality and identity as Ed, to my heart center in love, to the place of bliss that spreads between all the molecules in my body, and lastly, my homeroom, my identity as Ed Muzika sitting in a chair dictating this report on my state of being.

I just watched a movie, called Wild River, about a hunter whose daughter had been murdered years before, when he was helping an Indian whose daughter was just murdered, to find the perpetrators on an Indian reservation. It is a very well-acted movie and I will see it again. But at one point, the hunter addresses the Indian whose daughter had just been murdered, telling him, that he was not going to say that the pain eases with time. He tells him, your daughter is dead, and it is a great calamity, your life will never be the same again, but do not avoid the pain of her loss and cover it by thoughts of vengeance and anger.

He tells him, “Feel the pain; feel the pain all the way; cry as long as you need to. But unless you feel the pain as fully as possible, you will never be able to remember the love you gave your daughter and the love she gave you back. Without going through that pain, you will never remember the happiness she gave you, and you gave her.”

This would be my teaching now. Human, remember your humanity, remember your mortality, remember that you will die, and live your life accordingly in a middle way, with passion but also with compassion, with humility and not arrogance, with love not anger.

All the other things that you have gained in spirituality will still be there with you: the sense of the great Void which contains all, and can rob suffering of its bite, but would also take the meaning out of joy; the light of consciousness and the feeling of the divine within you, and that God lives through you as God; a sense of grace and a quiet happiness; as well as the knowledge that everything is consciousness being sensated, being examined and witnessed also by you on a different level. All of these things remain true, all of these places in the great spiritual mansion can be explored again and again, but always you can return to that one room that is special to you and your life, the room of your personhood, the room of your life lived in compassionate passion for all of life as well as your own.

This is what Sueng Sahn Soen Sa meant by his 360° circle. He said he started at 0° and quickly advanced to 180°, which is the experience of nothingness, emptiness, the Void, and from there through to 360° you pass through a whole legion of spiritual practices and enlightenments, Satoris, and Awakenings, but eventually returning to exactly where you started 0°, in this body, in this room, in this life, but totally changed and transformed, the same yet different, having coffee, and playing with my cats.

Now I feel so empty, so humble, so un-spiritual, so unenlightened, just being me, with my partner Kerima, our seven cats, in a home on a golf course with very green grass, lots of rabbits and birds and coyotes, and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. I have no teachings to give now, my teachings are my lifestyle. I can talk about self-inquiry, I can talk about awakening of the internal energies which turns into a recognition of the Life force within and builds a sense of presence, I can talk about loving another as a way to awaken to the self, I can talk about overcoming any addiction or vassanas by certain meditation techniques, but deep down inside I realize that 50 years of self-exploration has been an exercise in entertainment.

Some people watch movies or television, some become astronomers, some become astrologers, some become master auto mechanics, some become thieves, while others explore their inner worlds to discover all that is there, and in doing this, there is always a danger of losing touch with the outer world around us, the physical world, and also the world of life and death. But we have to feel the pain, otherwise we miss the joy.



02 December 2017



SUNDAY SATSANG DECEMBER 3, 2017, 11 AM ARIZONA TIME. COME EARLY, SIT WITH ME AFTER 10:30 am
https://zoom.us/j/2950292557?pwd&status=success
My background is psychology, Zen, and Advaita for over 40 years. Because of my psychology background I emphasize feelings and expressing emotions as part of any serious search for self realization.
One can find many experiences, many states of mind and consciousness, and many kinds of emotions and emotional blockages when looking and feeling into your sense of self: Emptiness or the Void; the inner light of consciousness; internal energies such as Kundalini, Chi, energy centers or chakras; one's own sense of presence, which feels like and energy field within and around one's body; experiences of the divine arising within; great experiences of surrender and of merger to God or to another; self, as universal consciousness; emotions; finally, the most important thing, being able to love completely, totally, with abandon.
It is about all of these issues and areas that I teach. Come, we will explore these together. This way is not so much about teachings, but learning how to experience your self on all levels, to discover and manifest everything that you are, from the divine, to complete nothingness, consciousness, all of which is embodied in a physical/mental bundle. You are incarnate.

29 November 2017

THE PERILS OF NOTHINGNESS AND THE VOID

I recently received several messages from a person who stated she was captured by the Void, and life had become empty and meaningless for her, and she could not manifest any energy to get on in life.  There followed a dialogue which addresses some of the issues she raised.  I have written a much longer version than this one, which will be included in a book I am writing. The following is just the dialogue.

THE DIALGUE:

I have made up a name and call her Elle.

Elle:  Hi Edward. I was wondering if you could share your insight about something. I am not even sure how to adequately explain without sounding like a fool. I'll try my best.

I know there is something else. I don't know what that something else is, but IT is everything. I believe I don't really know anything at all and I believe everything may just lead to a void. For a long time, Robert Adams words were the only thing I could turn to, but now even that is no more. I sometimes experience great panic because I believe this void that has created me, my consciousness, my mind, etc. may not even care about me or anything. After all, how could it? It's beyond emotion and the mind. Can you see how terrifying this can be? I sometimes look around the world and see the most unimaginable things happening to people and this just seems to confirm that an emotionless void has created it all...

Ed: The Void is just part of your experience.  The person is another part.  Emotions are another part.  The Void permeates everything, but you don't have to identify with it, nor a length of the concept that it is the creator and destroyer of everything.  You can think of the Void and your world of personal experience as being entirely separate worlds of existence, one having life and meaning, and the other not.  Do not focus on the not; focus on the life.

The void has always pursued me too.  What has saved me each time is falling in love.  Someone comes to me who loves me and all I have to do is love back.  That love takes me out of the void.

Elle:  Thank you for your response. It just helps to know there is at least one person (you) in this world who understands what I am talking about. I have shut out a lot of the world and have isolated myself from many, many, others. It's not out of depression or anger. Knowing that everything isn't what it appears to be makes me very uninterested and quite frankly disgusted in most of the things and happenings in this world. I never asked the void to pursue me. It just did. I followed it for years and it led me to a literal void. There are a few things I love and I just hold on to those. What else is there to do I guess? Thanks for your reply.

Ed: Tell me more about yourself.  I am intrigued because it happened to me that way too.  Who are you?

Elle: I truly appreciate your interest. It seems like no one understands. I'll be honest. It's hard to tell my "story" because I don't talk about it. Either no one can relate to it or if you follow the teachings, it will tell you just that - it’s just a “story” and not the truth….so I feel foolish for even talking about it. I used to be 100% atheist. However, over the course of almost 20 years now, I have come to realize that there is something that created and permeates everything we perceive through our senses. I call it the void or simply IT.  Nothing is mine. All my thoughts, emotions and my consciousness came from this void. The astonishing thing is that the path to this “realization” and it’s accompanying experiences almost exactly follows what Robert Adams talks about in his lectures.

I stumbled upon his talks years after going through many spiritual/unexplainable experiences. I finally came to the realization that even the teachings, Robert Adams himself comes from this void I’ve been referring.  That being the case, everything literally is coming from nothing. This is the reason why I can’t even turn to the teachings for comfort. I have nothing to hold on to and at times, I panic and wish I had someone to talk to who understands.  Thank you for listening.

Ed: You have to distinguish the Void from nothingness.  They are very different.

The void is experienced.  It is real.  It is a kind of mental space that permeates all experience.

Nothingness, on the other hand, is no experience, no consciousness, no life, no death.  It is what one has in deep sleep.

Even the Void comes from nothingness.

Both take all meaning from life, including tragedy, suffering, and happiness, sex, love.

Elle: I think I understand what you are saying. It is difficult for me to accept that everything including the void comes from nothingness. To me, it seems like everything is purposeless. I don't want to come across as a person who sits and thinks and talks about this stuff all day. However, practically speaking, I still have to live this life. What makes it difficult at times is that I know there is something else behind everything so life can feel like a big fat joke. I feel like if I react too much to it, I am just fooling/humoring myself. Compounding all this is seeing other people go about their life. They appear gullible or ignorant to me. Also, I feel I guess you could say, for a lack of better words, a psychic/spiritual connection to everyone and have had some pretty bizarre/unexplainable experiences with others. Paradoxically, instead of exciting me, this has served to make me suspicious of everyone. People are surely not what I once believed they were. Taken together, I have lost interest in making and having friends. I am not trying to say I am better than anyone. That's not the case at all.

I know I am nothing. I was created out of nothingness. Nothing is mine. This is a bit difficult to write out. I think maybe why I decided to write to you is because I am in the middle of a career change and it feels very surreal. I am taking all these actions to find a new career, but I know at the end of the day, my actions don't really matter at all. If I am meant to get a certain job, the nothingness will create the sequences of events that will make it appear to happen.

I could appear to go through many years of effort and searching or I could get a job overnight without really any apparent effort at all. Knowing this can be disconcerting and no one gets it. Like I said, I know that everything comes from this invisible thing yet, I still have to live my life. I am not really looking for any answer from you. I guess I am human and just wish maybe someone else could see things the way I do. It's hard to believe no one else does, given that this nothingness is truly everything. How can no one see it? Maybe the joke is all on me and everyone is just playing their part. I’m afraid you will think I'm nuts

Ed: Far from it. Don't forget your humanity.  Fall in love if you can.  It is the only escape from the Void being all-powerful.  But that is not easy to find either.  That has to come to you too.  But don't think there is a master plan behind it all either.  The Void is not a God creating fates and paths for people.  Don't think the will is useless because we can’t see all or know all.  Just because we don’t have perfect knowledge or control doesn’t necessarily mean everything is pre-ordained or totally out of our control.

Robert’s teachings were meant to take suffering away, but not to make people bumps on a log.  Most of the people that came to Robert, came bearing heavy suffering and even terminal illness, and they were seeking relief from that suffering, so his teachings were slanted to take the sting bite out of the suffering and allow the person to live a more peaceful and quiet life.

The pitfall is that the experience of emptiness and nothingness while they remove the sting of suffering, they also remove elation and ecstasy out of joyful experiences also, making all experiences equal.  Both Nisargadatta and Robert went a step further than just describing the Void, emptiness and nothingness in stating these were the ultimate states, they also wanted to remove the sense of being a person, being an individual, being a human.  Both Robert and Nisargadatta are very clear about that, the need to remove the personal.  They also use the concepts of the Void, or emptiness, and nothingness, to take all meaning out of life, as it has for you.  Now you are stuck in an entirely senseless, purposeless, meaningless universe, and instead made the Void and nothingness the all-powerful God’s that create and destroy everything and you are merely a helpless puppet.

However, I think Robert and Nisargadatta both are wrong here.  I think you have to take the void in the world of experience, and I mean all experience as completely separate.  The Void is not the only reality, nothingness is not the ultimate reality either as Nisargadatta claims.  I think insofar as you are alive and want to remain alive, you also have to take your everyday life as a real also, and within that acceptance, except your own self as an arbiter of your own faith.  Yes, it is probably true, that most often all of us, most often all of the time are mere puppets acting out urges, habitual patterns, and abiding by the common concepts in order of things at all accept as true.

But that does not take away the apparent reality of your everyday life.  That is, it has the meaning you give it, for your purposes, and for your use, within your personal context and complex of experiences and relationships.

You say now that you do not trust people.  I fully understand that.  You find that people are acting according to impulses, motives, and stories that are not how they represented themselves, leading them to act in ways that you do not understand that all, and leaving you feeling but none of external reality makes any sense because it does not abide by your principles and patterns.  You have judged that all people act in the way that you act and for the reasons you act this way, and have found that not to be the case, and do not trust them.

But I tell you, it is my own experience, that the only sure way out of the void, and other your sense of meaningless, is by having a deep and abiding love for another human being that beckons you to come out of the void and live in the relative world of humanity and concepts.

And here is the most important thing I have found: love born from out of the Void is of a different sort altogether from the love that one experiences prior to realization of the Void.  Pre-Void love is ordinary human relationship love and romance.  It is what makes the world go around, creating babies, families, and society.  Love That Is Born from the Void is divine love, it is dozens of times more intense, more ecstatic, and reveals a new sense of self entirely beyond the I-thought, or I-sensation, that one riddance one self of through one’s first awakening experiences.  A new personal self is revealed which has a dual nature of being both divine and godlike and at the same time human.  You are an incarnation of the divine meeting both the life divine, and the life of a human.  So, I bid you, I ask you, be open to the love of another.  Temporarily at least drop your distrust of others enough to allow being captured by someone who loves you.  If you do, and someone comes to you, leap at the opportunity, for then you will live in the life divine, as both God and mortal at the same time.  Live this way for a while as both, and then once again be able to totally return to being an ordinary human.


However, I think the Void may always pursue you, and you have to be vigilant to stay open to your own humanity.b


25 November 2017

SUNDAY SATSANG NOVEMBER 26, 11 AM ARIZONA TIME. COME EARLY, SIT WITH ME.
https://zoom.us/j/2950292557?pwd&status=success

My background is psychology, Zen, and Advaita for over 40 years. Because of my psychology background I emphasize feelings and expressing emotions as part of any serious search for self realization.
One can find many experiences, many states of mind and consciousness, and many kinds of emotions and emotional blockages when looking and feeling into your sense of self: Emptiness or the Void; the inner light of consciousness; internal energies such as Kundalini, Chi, energy centers or chakras; one's own sense of presence, which feels like and energy field within and around one's body; experiences of the divine arising within; great experiences of surrender and of merger to God or to another; self, as universal consciousness; emotions; finally, the most important thing, being able to love completely, totally, with abandon.
It is about all of these issues and areas that I teach. Come, we will explore these together. This way is not so much about teachings, but learning how to experience your self on all levels, to discover and manifest everything that you are, from the divine, to complete nothingness, consciousness, all of which is embodied in a physical/mental bundle. You are incarnate.
I see by my statcounter that there are six people visiting this blog from the Phoenix area.  If interested in a local satsang, please email me at  satsang.online@gmail.com.

MOMENTO MORI—REMEMBER YOU WILL DIE


Is not most, if not all, religion and spirituality either an attempt to escape death, or at least come to terms with it?

My father died when I was 14.  He died in bed in the arms of a woman who was a stranger to my mom and I, while supposedly on vacation with some of his airport buddies in New Jersey.

I remember being in the front yard of my house when a man dressed in black with a reversed  collar, carrying a black leather briefcase, walked past me heading towards my house.  He glanced at me for a moment and I knew he was the messenger of death.  A few minutes later I heard my mother crying out and sobbing from inside the house and I knew my father was dead.  Such horror I felt, like a black veil coming down around me cutting off all air and light.

I remember every morning I repeated the same process.  I woke up, happy and unburdened, for maybe a second or two, and then I remembered that my father was dead.  Suddenly the dark gloom once again descended all around me, cutting off my Life force.  This period of severe grief lasted the longest time, and I hardly dare remember how long.  What is going to happen now that my father and protector was dead?  What will happen to all of us?  These were my constant ruminations.

I remember getting the Tibetan Book of the Dead from the library, reading it, and talking to my dead father about the Bardo states he would pass through on his way to rebirth.  But inside, I myself was dead.  I felt no Life force, no ambition, no hope for the future, no hope for the present.  My mother, who was always somewhat depressed, became despondent for a time, before finances forced her to get a job working as a retail clerk in a hardware store where I later worked as a stock boy.

My father’s death tore a hole in my soul.  There was no peace anymore, the thought of death, the thought of impermanence, and the constant state of feeling unbearable loss changed my life forever.

Aristotle, in his Nicomean Ethics stated, “We ought not to listen to those who counsel us, mortal remember your mortality.  Instead, in so far as In us lies, we should put on immortality and act in such a way as to always act in the highest, so as to elevate our soul.”  But is this not also with religion and spirituality are, an avoidance of confronting our inevitable death?

In most forms of Buddhism, we escape death by attaining Nirvana, which is the state of release from all desires, all needs, all caring.  We can do this either by looking into our desires and do practices to end them, or go to the root, and end our identity as a mortal human being, as a spirit encased in a physical body.

This is precisely also the aim of Advaita Vedanta, especially as taught by Nisargadatta Maharaj.  First you disidentify with the body and reidentify as consciousness itself, then you see, feel or apprehend the total extension of consciousness which contains everything in our inner and outer worlds, and finally you disidentify with consciousness, leaving only the knower, which cannot itself be known, and therefore cannot be identified with.  This is exactly the same mechanism or maneuver of the Buddhists, forget your mortality, and reidentify with that which does not change and is immortal, and thus gain freedom from death.

Huang Po, the Sixth Patriarch, stated, “if you die, before you die, then when you do die, you will not die.”  This means if you die to your identity as a mortal being, then when you do die a physical death, you will not fear it, you will have beaten death to the punch.

This is how I see all of spirituality now really, an inability to accept one’s own mortality, and the driving need to disidentify with the body, and with mortal spirit, substituting universal consciousness, the absolute, or heaven as escapes.

But there is a different way to deal with death, and that is by embracing it, knowing at every moment, the next moment may not come.

What happens when you first think this way?  Well to me it means becoming incredibly vulnerable, realizing I have very little power in this world or even over my own body.  What happens then?  Well, instead of seeking the absolute, or seeking universal consciousness and identification with it, and realizing how essentially helpless I am being carried along by the forces of life, and the ebb and flow of the Life force within me, just accept it.  Just accept your own inevitable death.

With this stance of just being in the present and now, feeling my body totally, every quivering muscle, every passing breeze felt on my cheeks and my hair, every moment of arising bliss or the descent of deep grief is gratefully received as a gift in the moment.  Merely to be held in the arms of someone you love, and to wake up in the morning next to her or him, is a gift.


Watching my cats play or argue with each other, and to be awarded the gift of being able to feed them twice a day, play with them, have them sleep next to me or on top of me, brings momentary joy, even though minutes later I will worry about the health of each of them if they throw up too much, cough, or appear to be walking with a limp.  Every moment is up-and-down, and I can either take the position of being the witness, or of being the affected total owner of this body mind, which itself is not under the owner’s control.  It is sort of like being captain of small ship with no control over the rudder, because that control lies entirely elsewhere.

Every moment is a small miracle being completely immersed in the mortal life.  Emotions become more real.  Hearing becomes more acute.  Body sensations, hunger, sexual pangs, one’s own bowel sensations center one’s attention.  Then there is the recognition of other persons, the one you love, the one you hate, the one you desire, the one you resent, the one you fear.  All become very real to you, although the stories you tell yourself about them, the endless stream of consciousness thoughts, become muted and no longer the center of attention. 

Sensual experiences, emotions, love and the need for love, totally dominate thought, and you sink into your heart, getting away from the brain which has sought escape mortality in the fear of death.  Now that you have embraced it, your center of consciousness drops from the brain into your heart, and you realize everyone around you is in the same boat, and your choice is either to help them, or to help yourself, or both.  And you have to find your own way through this decision.

At the center of the recognition of your own mortality what you find?  The desire to make others happy, or the desire to make yourself happy, or the desire to escape altogether?  What do you find when you look and feel inside?

Do not get me wrong.  In pursuing spirituality and knowing yourself, you find whole new worlds which most people never know.  You get to know the great Void; you get to know the all pervading light of consciousness, with all its shades and colors; you get to know endless bliss and flowing energies; you get to know yourself as the totality of consciousness with no separation between your sense of self, your body, or the world around you; you get to know your sense of presence, as an energy body that pervades your body and extends beyond it; you get to know the great Causal Body, the body of the void and of forgetfulness of body and world.  Most importantly, you get know yourself as love through the act of loving others. Eventually you get to know yourself as the absolute, where the absolute cannot be known because you are it and it is the end of the line of experience.  The buck stops there.  That is you seek the absolute then you get closer and closer to it, until you become it, and when you become it, you turn around so to speak, and become the knower knowing your body and the world, but you have realized you are altogether outside of consciousness. 

Yet when you take the position of a human being is through identification with the body mind, as an incarnation of spirit, of the divine, but in that incarnation, you forget your divinity, and become an ordinary mortal once again.  You have traveled 360°, you have known emptiness, you have known the fullness of energies and bliss; you have known yourself as love; you have known the totality of consciousness, you have known the absolute, and now you know all of that and can set them all aside, and once again become a mortal having coffee in the morning, feeding the cats, and holding your partner close by while you listen to chanting or watch television, and together share a deep silence, a deep abiding in each other’s presence.

23 November 2017

It is lonely being a spiritual teacher.  Really, for a long, long time my only friend was Robert Adams, and he died in 1997.  Since then I can truthfully say my only real friend has been Swami Shankarananda.  We spent a lot of time together in the 1980s and have communicated with each other through to the present.  Another friend of mine, not nearly as close as swami Shankarananda, is Swami Chetanananda, who is retiring at age 69 after being a spiritual teacher for 46 years.  All three of us have spent most of our lives being a seeker, or realizer, and then a teacher.  It is a lonely life.

Please watch the video exchange between three of Muktananda swamis, including Sw. Shankarananda and Sw. Chetanananda regarding the travails of being a teacher.  It is located YouTube on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZrj283rUvo.

For me the problem is in my life, that I have so few people I can talk to.  When you spend 50 years of your life studying one thing, whether it be an esoteric art form, like Myron Dyal, or physics like a long-lost friend of mine, Larry Wojanowski, you tend to get lost in the discipline and your only friends are those in the same discipline.  But once you rise to being a teacher, almost all of your contacts disappear except with your students and the readers of your writings.  There is very little contact with anyone who knows you and knows the things that you do.  You are kind of stuck in a world of conventional thinking and wisdom, even among most of your students, and you--I--feel totally out of place there.

There are so few who have transcended their own minds and have been able to live in their hearts, and when you find someone who lives in their heart along with you, it is a rare, rare,  day in space and time.  And when that person is no longer present, loneliness catches up as does the void which gradually removes all excitement from life.  This is why I emphasize relationship so much.  My greatest awakenings have occurred in relationships, the opening of my heart, the opening to the divine within, the recognition of the soul or life force in another and then through that in myself.  These are the awakenings that occur after the initial loss of the personal self and gaining the silent Void, the gaining of the new self which is life from the heart. The heart wants to love others, especially someone on your own wavelength that is been through all of the spiritual disciplines and come to rest in themselves, at least it is so with me.

That is why I love people that others call crazy or insane or broken.  It is because they have access to deeper layers of self that “normal” people are never aware of.  One woman I knew  a long time ago, stated she wanted to be with someone would be with her while she explored her psychotic core, she wanted to go that deep within.  How rare is that?

When I was practicing psychotherapy, I had the most beautiful patient have ever known, his name was Joel and he was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic.  But he knew God almost in the same way I knew God.  We spoke of such things that way from heart-to-heart and it was so refreshing to be in his world because it was so very different from that of normal” or conventionally “mature” people.  It was a world where people felt each other in the world around them from their hearts, not their minds, or through the mind, it was a very strange and unconventional world.  The world of the schizophrenic is nowhere near as stable, or as organized, or as uncluttered as those who are not psychotic.  The conventional world is boring.  Boring!

I find “madness” exciting.  It is bottomless, it is endless, and it goes to their and my heart’s core.  It reveals world’s that other people do not know or see, worlds of energies, of inexpressible feelings, unexpressible knowledge, and unexpressible potential both for good and for bad, for greatness and for failure.

Swami Chetanananda touches on that in the video, as people that are into spirituality are different, and they catch hell from those in the conventional world who do not understand do not see the, who are not able to join them in their specific madness.  Brother Charles states it much more directly, his loneliness when he said, "When you are the teacher, there is no one you can play with."

Of course the world seems to be going mad now, but it is an ugly madness of Trump’s racism, jingoism, chauvinism, and of a vile. despotic temperament that seems to have grabbed at least a third of our country into the same evil mindset.  But I am talking of a different kind of madness.  Madness that sees the world very differently from others.  A world where people feel themselves differently from conventional ways, and have unconventional dreams, and unconventional experiences which are difficult to share.

I have lived with a woman for 33 years.  We shared spirituality with Robert until he died in 1997, and at that point she switched off from everything spiritual, so I have had no one close to talk to or share the void with, or the experience of the Lifeforce, or the arising of energies from within, a sense of the divine, a sense of wanting to be totally devotional and surrendered.  So.  We share a conventional life, seven lovely cats, and the students who have lived in this house.  I brought them to the house to share a spiritual life, but they really cannot do it, they are caught up so much in the conventional world everyone else lives in.  They see the world in those terms, and they cannot feel my world from their hearts.

This may sound awfully arrogant, like “who the hell does he think he is”; but it is true, I have so few that I can share my world with except through my writings, and our Satsang’s, and maybe an email give and take, such as with Steve Eckert and a few others.  This is why I cannot even consider myself as being a teacher anymore, I can only share for my own experience and see who responds if any, and how they respond.


I know there are many out there like me, like Lee Werth, and old friends from the past, Myron Dyal, and many others.  But at my age, and recently overcome physical handicap, I do not feel like traveling.

22 November 2017

There is no fool like an old fool

Spiritual progress is almost an oxymoron.  The only progress is from dis-abusing oneself of one's conscious and unconscious stories, opinions, and transferences.  Most people very unconsciously reenact issues of childhood in any relationship to get into, which is called transference.  That other person takes on the characteristics of both mother and father, and we respond to those images and varied stories as if they were real, and they are not.  One can even spend years with a good psychotherapist and still have many transference issues as well as many holes or weaknesses in one's personality structure.  These are almost impossible to root out.

The strange and ironic thing is, that when one first enters spirituality and begins reading about spiritual heroes such as Ramana, Robert Adams, Muktananda, one begins to learn new stories, new illusions about Shakti, the void, a sense of presence, inner energies, etc.  Soon one has added hundred new stories to the thousand old ones that still live in and through you.  No one is ever finished with growth and development except perhaps by someone who has Alzheimer's who loses all memories and identifications.  Only they are without ties to a tragic past or two ideas about who and what populates this world.

I know this world and myself better than most.  I have been around a long time, studied with many teachers, have a PhD in psychology, practices a psychologist for many years, was in therapy for many years before that.  I have seen hundreds of students, go, including students I was with as a student myself under many teachers, as well as the many students that were with Robert and I for a period of seven or eight years, as well as students I have taught for the last 11 years.

My need for love has betrayed me, and made me wander far from my own truth.  I do not think I am any longer fit to be anyone's teacher, because I have failed myself.  I am weak and have let people control me.  My way of teaching of letting students stay with me, rather than keeping an arms-distance really has not worked, because transference dominates over any spiritual bond, and people that live with me act out their old relationships with their parents and siblings.  Really, nothing of value is learned.  The ones who have benefited most from my teachings have kept at arms length.

So, I will continue to write my blog and on Facebook, and I will probably published another book or two over the next few years, and I will continue to have weekly Satsang as long as I feel the spirit moving through me every Sunday morning.  But effectively, I am bowing out from any more active role of being a teacher.  It is too nerve-racking, to intensive, and too much responsibility is involved, and I need now more to just relax.  I do not have the endurance of the Sasaki Roshi was still teaching at age 106 when he died.

I love you all.  Be well.

20 November 2017


FROM STEVE ECKERT REGARDING CURRENT PROGRESS

Dearest Edji,  Thank you so much for all your help with identifying feelings.

I still listen to 'music' (chanting) every night and much happens which usually is totally unexpected at the way it happens.  I try to disregard the mind’s concepts, but some have been there long-buried.

Anyway last week lying on the couch and noticing all the plants we have around the room....all of a sudden all the plants were connected and living their lives, being alive, a display of the Life Force I guess.   Anyway I don't know how to put this, but it is like a feeling/seeing  so that I could somehow 'see' the Life force through my feelings.  It was just flowing through all the plants and all the different uniquenesses between them.   It was like a mist, a fog of sparkling little dots of Life just moving like clouds in the sky into all the plants....each having individuality.

Even today the Emptiness can be 'seen' through feeling and that feeling has developed because of your teachings Edji.

Still very new to me this method of 'seeing' and 'feeling' at the same time!

This is such a wonderful experience and journey and nearly impossible to relate to anyone.  Everything has become so exciting in day to day life with this body.  This body is just the circuitry that the Emptiness uses and I just love the new happenings, each and every day.

I was always afraid when you explained that in your experience it was like living in a Void for many years and I really didn't want that . 

This seemMys to be completely different.

 Day to day, it is just bright with sparkling life.

If the Emptiness can be called life which I am sure it can....actually it is more full of life that this world has ever seen. It has beauty and bliss beyond imagination and its going to become more so every day.


Thank you Edji for calling me to you.  My dearest teacher....I Love You!



Ed's Response:

My Dearest Steve,

I am so happy for you.  You have taken to my teachings like a duck to water.  Each month you seem to grow in new dimensions. 

There will still be down days and weeks as you already know and are prepared for, but your marrying of sight and feel adds a new dimension for others to aspire to or at least know it exists, and you articulate it so well.  

I love you too...


RELATIONSHIPS, SPIRITUAL BYPASSING, AND THE TRUTH ABOUT MANY GURUS


Eastern spirituality, especially Buddhism, Advaita, and Zen, mostly entirely ignore teachings about how and why to do relationships.  Relationships, love, bonding are downplayed and dismissed as the most common source of suffering. Robert and Nisargadatta never taught about relationships staying with the position that the world is illusory, people are appearances within consciousness, and Truth is to be found by diving within and exploring the subjective layers of consciousness and Self.

But most Western people in spirituality really are seeking a stable love relationship, or are escaping from a bad one, or are desperately frightened by them from fear of getting their hearts broken.  Thus they are lonely and afraid, and come into spirituality because of loneliness, loss, grief, and fear of repeating a bad relationship, or a divorce. These are psychological problems, problems with handling emotions, love and bonding, not a spiritual problem of not knowing one’s transcendent self.

If your primary motivation is life is seeking human love, emotional connections with others, or being accepted and understood, your involvement with Nisargadatta, Zen, or Robert Adams probably is largely a bypassing of your human wants and needs.  If you feel utterly confused by life and by relationships, the answer is the same, for seeking spiritual knowledge about consciousness, self, the Subtle or Causal bodies absolutely does not address that primary need of yours.

Robert and Nisargadatta address totally different issues and needs, which is knowledge of your self as consciousness and as an energy being and the ultimate witness of all. Their teachings are for those who have entirely given up on the world, or who have completed their human “missions” (so to speak) on this earth and who wat to know what is next?  What is ultimate truth.

Buddha I the prime example.  Because he saw suffering and death was intrinsic in being a living being in relationships in the world, he gave them all up in search for a beyond, the ultimate release from attachments to others and to desires, such as for love and family.

This Satsang Video explores all these issues.



19 November 2017

Almost all self realized teachers agree that Bhakta or love, and the highest knowledge, or wisdom, are in the end, the same.  But what do they mean by this?  Certainly, when practicing self inquiry, doing body scans, scanning the chakras, looking within to find the internal void, watching the thought process, intuiting the different parts of the self, including the Lifeforce, and inner energies, is certainly not the same process as a loving, as worshiping, as surrendering to another.

In fact, it is my understanding that seekers are of differing personality types.  Some find the process of loving another, God, guru, person, and animal, and following that path of devotion, of taking care of, of surrendering to, a more natural path than the inner path of the Jnani, looking only into him or herself, and finding the various subjective worlds within.  One is an outward path of relationship, even if it is loving and abstract entity like God, a statue, a saint, or actively loving somebody in the present.  The other is totally inward.  It is US the watcher or the feeler, the subject of feeling or investigation, exploring one’s inner void, the inner darkness, the inner body energies, bliss, and emotions.


I think in fact they only come together where they both meet, at the end stages of the other approach.  Fulfillment of the Jnana approach, finding knowledge of the self, then naturally turns into love of the outer world.  One has fully explored every aspect of one’s own being, at least the aspects we have learned through long journeys into ourselves, and having done that, our attention turns to the external world and to others.  It is only then that the most intense Bhakta-love relationships possible are given as gifts to you, because after the self is forgotten through knowing it totally, you can love another without restraint, with utter abandon.










SUNDAY SATSANG NOVEMBER 19, 11 AM ARIZONA TIME. COME EARLY, SIT WITH ME.
https://zoom.us/j/2950292557?pwd&status=success



My background is psychology, Zen, and Advaita for over 40 years. Because of my psychology background I emphasize feelings and expressing emotions as part of any serious search for self realization. One can find many experiences, many states of mind and consciousness, and many kinds of emotions and emotional blockages when looking and feeling into your sense of self: Emptiness or the Void; the inner light of consciousness; internal energies such as Kundalini, Chi, energy centers or chakras; one's own sense of presence, which feels like and energy field within and around one's body; experiences of the divine arising within; great experiences of surrender and of merger to God or to another; self, as universal consciousness; emotions; finally, the most important thing, being able to love completely, totally, with abandon.
It is about all of these issues and areas that I teach. Come, we will explore these together. This way is not so much about teachings, but learning how to experience your self on all levels, to discover and manifest everything that you are, from the divine, to complete nothingness, consciousness, all of which is embodied in a physical/mental bundle. You are incarnate.

12 November 2017

SUNDAY SATSANG NOVEMBER 12, 11 AM ARIZONA TIME. COME EARLY, SIT WITH ME.
https://zoom.us/j/2950292557?pwd&status=success



My background is psychology, Zen, and Advaita for over 40 years. Because of my psychology background I emphasize feelings and expressing emotions as part of any serious search for self realization. One can find many experiences, many states of mind and consciousness, and many kinds of emotions and emotional blockages when looking and feeling into your sense of self: Emptiness or the Void; the inner light of consciousness; internal energies such as Kundalini, Chi, energy centers or chakras; one's own sense of presence, which feels like and energy field within and around one's body; experiences of the divine arising within; great experiences of surrender and of merger to God or to another; self, as universal consciousness; emotions; finally, the most important thing, being able to love completely, totally, with abandon.
It is about all of these issues and areas that I teach. Come, we will explore these together. This way is not so much about teachings, but learning how to experience your self on all levels, to discover and manifest everything that you are, from the divine, to complete nothingness, consciousness, all of which is embodied in a physical/mental bundle. You are incarnate.