25 June 2006
You have a great site! Thanks.
I had the opportunity to see Robert once only, at a satsang shortly before his death. At that time he could hardly speak, but did manage to recite 'Freedom' over and over into a microphone.His words just kept pealing like a clear bell for the following few years, over and over. Very lovely. Freedom, freedom, freedom.
He was quite weak. Very difficult for him to speak. From having watched my father-in-law die of Parkinson's, it was clear that the end was near. I loved the way it both touched him and did not. Was very glad to have had the opportunity to be there for an hour. Robert stared hard at me for some minutes, so I closed my eyes. Everyone stood up at the end as he left. But as I was um, absent (how else to say it?) after hearing 'freedom' repeatedly.
I failed to notice until some somewhat angry looking person nudged me rather forcibly several times to get up and stand out of 'respect'. Ha! Perhaps being (much to my surprise) absent, was insufficiently respectful.
Got some ugly looks too from someone whom I found out later was Robert's wife. Ho ho - what a giggle!
Where do you live?You are in LA? Peter
I'm reading "Silence of the Heart" for the second time now, and it's strange how entirely new meanings/insights come up the second time around . . .
Anyway, I focused today on the "I Am" meditation that Robert recommended as "very powerful." He said: "I can guarantee you this. If you can practice I Am for one day, just one day, all of your troubles will be transcended." Wow! Quite an endorsement! So I'm giving it a shot.
What are your thoughts about this practice? I note that a student questioned the practice as one of "using" the mind instead of "getting rid of" the mind, but Robert responded that only a few students were mature enough for self inquiry.
A related question: at one point you state that everything is preordained, except we have the freedom to look within. But it seems odd that there's this little corner carved out of existence where free will still reigns, while everything else is preordained. And who is the one who will exercise this free will, anyway?
Very glad to have discovered your site!
Regarding the I-Am meditation, just try it for a day--100% trying. Set aside a day and see what happens. No need to ask me. He is not asking for a three year commitment.
Regarding free will. There is no free will. But the apparent person has apparent suffering and can make what appears to be effort.
So as long as you see yourself as a person, do the practice.
Cool -- just the answer I needed. Been doing the meditation today -- admittedly with less than 100% effort -- but something clearly is shifting. A while ago I went on a laughing/crying jag triggered by something I read in "Silence," but could be the meditation sort of set me up for it.
Anyway, I plan to keep plugging away at it. (And since the "person" sense is still with me, I think I can actually make plans.)
21 June 2006
I wrote to you a while back, couple of months ago. You gave me the boldest replay and it was a shocking relief. I couldn't believe what you wrote at the time but I took it to a great... what is the word... well it was the best thing any one had ever said to me. You said
“None of this is happening to you; what I am is untouched, and that it is my mind that is embroiled in the pain, which is only a concept, and that there is no me to do anything I am already complete, perfect, beyond the world and existence.
This was very helpful. I still read it time to time.
O n your site you speak about the importance of a teacher ( I thought to be impossible for me to find in this city). shortly after being emerged in your site for awhile I found a site that welcomed me to telephone sessions Spiritual Healing Fellowship so I've been doing The Course In Miracles since I already had it and read Joel Goldsmith.
I find the Christian terminology difficult at times but this has been a help towards transcendence, I think. Sometimes I have felt so afraid and have felt extremely depressed. Is this usual to experience such confusing lows on journey to freedom?
Truth is truth I know, but why is it coming from you feel warm and cozy, and his feels like much work is to be done. It doesn't feel good or comforting but I think it's a help. How does one know they've found the teacher suitable for them? Is it the dying daily that is so uncomfortable?
He's assured me it's okay and the ego is stronger than ever now. I know he has awakened though it may be an issue of being incompatible. Geez even talking about it makes me tense, should I walk from this teacher??
Anyway, I feel more crazy than ever, but meditation is good, though it's starting to feel like a pressure compared to before. I don't enjoy it as much as the beginning, I'm sorry to have become so negative all of the sudden.
I am.wanting that peace again. Now I am a "seeker". Listening to The Cosmic Joke... I love. Really needed to hear it, I was really beginning to take things way to seriously.
Thank you thank Ed! Thanks for your web site! it has brought much much comfort!! Thanks for reading my story, it became quite a letter.
I am sorry you feel so much confusion. This is normal if you have no teacher or if you have many teachers and are caught between their varying concepts. Many teachers, like many books, will lead you nowhere.
If you felt comfort from what I said, this might be the teaching style for you. It will take you to the place of ultimate peace and happiness.
I am not familiar with the course in miracles, but from what you say, it is a low form of teachings that will never bring enlightenment. If your present teacher says you ego is stronger now that ever before, he does not understand and cannot help you at all. You have a spiritual friend so to speak, not an enlightened teacher.
I’d like to suggest to you to get Robert’s first book, Silence of the Heart. If that brings you some peace, then you know the way of Jnana is your way. If this is true, get his second book and read Ramana Maharshi little book, “Who am I.” By this time you will know.
When you find your true teacher it may take some time before you know whether he is yours or not. It took me a couple of years with Robert, but I had known my true path was Jnana from 1968 until the awakening in 1995. I was particularly dense. It may not take you so long.
In the meantime, tend to your child, he or she is your teacher for now. Whatever meditation you are pursuing now is probably incorrect unless it is to turn your attention inward instead of outwards into the world. This is best accomplished by asking yourself, “Who am I,” and looking inward to find the source of the I thought.
In fact, looking inwards to find the source of any thought is a proper way, but the “I thought” is the beginning and end of all thoughts.
You may not find this suitable for you ate this point because of your untrained mind. If this is the case, practice the opening of the third eye meditation or the microanalysis meditation. Even this sort of mediation you may not think possible, but it is the final mediation, so why not start with the final meditation. I assure you will have doubts and confusion along the way and this will persist until your mind becomes focused. It is not easy, it will be a chore. Then sometimes it will feel extremely easy and no chore at all. It will feel like you have done this exercise all your life. The experience changes, but who you really are is beyond the experiences.
I cannot really advise you too much in an email, because I would have to see you and talk before I had a better feel for your “presence.”
I would suggest walking away from your present teacher unless you are terribly spiritually lonely. If you want, you can call me from time to time. I will give you the number in a separate email.
20 June 2006
I am still not getting all communications directed to me. The "Contact me" button" on my main website: http://www.itisnotreal.com, appears sometimes to work and sometimes not.
The best way to contact me is at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep a close eye on the main website as I am adding new talks by Robert and other updated information on a weekly basis.
If I have not responded to your email within a day or two, resend to the email@example.com address.
Did Robert ever say how to behave with daily living? Should we just stay in the Self and eventually there will be joy? Thanks. Susan
He said "Leave the world alone, it is not yours to take care of.” Only be yourself; rest in yourself. Enlightenment is an add-on.
So if enlightenment is an add-on and I take it I can't do anything to force it, then how do you stop the cycle of birth and death?
Birth and death are only in your mind. A philosophical concept.
Not even you exist, so how can you be born or die? That's what liberation is all about; not becoming immortal, but knowing you are not mortal because you are not a thing--a body that lives and dies.
Oh. Thank you.
Ed,I've been enjoying your site for Robert Adams! Thank you!
My question is:'Who' is the one that does the 'practices' that are being suggested in his and your writings?
This is precisely the question to ask. Who am I who is doing practices?
It is for you to answer, no one else.
As Robert said to one of his disciples in a dream:
"Only you can know your true self, no one else can do it for you . . . nothing else matters but this!"
I just found your website last night and I'm really enjoying reading it.
Thank you for sharing your experiences and the insights you have gained over
your years of searching.
I met Muktananda in 1980 and remained in Siddha Yoga for 17 years. I did
experience a great deal of good stuff around Baba, but in latter years I
went to centers solely for the chanting. The CoEvolution Quarterly article
about Baba had a lot to do with my distancing myself, and I just despised
the politics of "the Foundation."
The chanting, though, was blissful, and I miss it a lot. I was a drummer,
and believe me when I tell you there is nothing quite like drumming for
rockin' out during the chant. :-)
It's interesting -- having Baba for my guru is a lot like having a beloved
father who you later find out is a rapist. I still love the guy to pieces
and feel that we were "meant for each other" in this life. But jeez-o-man, I
wish he could've been better behaved! I have a mundane hate for the way he
treated his devotees (esp. the females) and for his idiotic power games.
Thankfully I have always felt close to Bhagawan Nityananda, and that has
helped a great deal.
I have been trying to regain my spiritual "feet" for the last nine years,
and I think things are moving along for me. I was thrilled to see your
recommendation for a translation of the Ashtavakra Gita -- Ashtavakra
So my silly question (after such a long intro, please forgive) is: Do you
have a similar recommendation for a translation of the Bhagavad Gita?
Byrom's work is so lovely, I'd be very happy to find something similar.
As an aside, I entered the SY Ashram in Ann Arbor just after Shanks left,
have heard many, many stories about him, and have met him once. He called me
a "bliss bunny", which could be because I was giggling madly when we
met...Anyway, just another little link that makes me want to find out more
from your website. I look forward to (sort of) making your acquaintance!
Thanks for your time,
What area do you live in? I want a chanting Satsang too. Robert loved chanting.
I love Baba style. Thought he was a spiritual lightweight though. Shanks and I go back to his 1978 Center on Mariposa Ave. in LA. We were quite close for many years, especially after the breakup of Chid and Nit. There was war going on here in LA between the two. Harassment, stink bombs, being followed, threatening phone calls, etc. Greta stuff, I loved the drama.
I don't know which translation is as good as Byrom's of the Ashtavakra Gita.
I haven't read much traditional advaita in years either, just Nisargadatta and Ramana. But as Robert said about Nisargadatta, the latter added his own touch. Which is somewhat different.
That was why I went to Satsang too--the chanting. Baba was a fool.
Write often. Come here, have Satsang with us.
Tell me more about yourself, what you do and where you are.
I look forward to meeting you too.
Hi Ed,I enjoyed browsing your webpage. As an avid collector of Siddha Yoga history, I've always had a great interest in the succession period. Like you, I believe that those of us who would be involved with this path should see the whole truth, or, at the very least, see what Muktananda wanted everyone to see.
Unfortunately, as I'm sure you know, Siddha Yoga recalled most copies of "The Passage of Power," and so I have never had the chance to see it. Which brings me to the main point of this email: Would you be willing to sell your copy of "The Passage of Power"? I'd understand if you don't want to part with your only copy, but maybe you'd be willing to make a copy of your copy? I'm not looking to pay an outrageous fee for this, but if you're willing to sell it for a reasonable price, I'd be interested.
Hi Daniel,> >> > Where do you live? You can come see it but can't buy it. It is a > > third maybe fourth generation copy anyway, and very hard to see. > > Also, I am sure the tape has degenerated even more over the years.> >> > Shanks and I were quite close during that period when he was in > > SM. At the time I was head of security for both Chid and Nit.> >> > You might wan to TRY to get one from Indira Dawson, known now as Josey. She set up the Santa Monica Ashram after Muktananda left LA in 81. She is a good friend.
Thanks for your quick reply. I live in the Greater Boston (Mass.) > area. Is that anywhere near you? I appreciate your offer to let me > come see the tape; hopefully, we're in close enough proximity for > that to be realistic.> > It must have been quite a trip being head of security during that time! :)> > Daniel
Sorry Daniel,> > I live in the porn capital of the US, San Fernando Valley just North of LA.> > Indira (Josey) and Shanks are your best hope.> > It is an o.k. tape, just shows a usual ritual. It is of very poor > quality.> > Yes, being head of security was a wonderful experience: > intrigue, greed, personality conflicts and thousands of worshipers > of two who did not deserve worship.> >
Shanks was a buddy during that time. I saw him stalked while I > was driving him. Satsangs were cancelled because of threats and unknown people were filing in for Satsang, and there had been previous disruptions. > Hanging around with the swamis was a great show, but utterly illusory. I learned nothing but continued to go for the chanting. I have stories about it somewhere on my > site, but sometimes links are broken.> > Ed
Hi Ed,Oh well, so much for viewing it at your place. I will try contacting Josey and Shanks. By "Shanks," I take it you mean Swami Shankarananda?
Yes.Since you were so intimately involved during that time, maybe you can tell me a few of the things I had hoped to learn from the tape (and probably many things I WOULDN'T have seen on the tape!). After Muktananda gave Nityananda his name, it wasn't until several months later that he designated Chidvilasananda as co-successor, right? Did he ever publicly say, "She will be my successor," the way he said it of Nityananda, or did he only mention it after a group of swamis asked him about it?
Although both were ordained at the same time, Nityananda alone was named his successor. She bitched and moaned to Baba until her conceded. He did mention it in a public ceremony later. Of course, since she was his translator and de facto spokesperson, most everyone assumed, as did she, that she would be a successor. There were many, many of his 100+ swamis that were very disappointed they were not named his successor, or at least be given their own fiefdom around the world.
Another thing you have to realize is that Siddha Yoga or SYDA is a family business. Chid and Nit were more or less adopted from one of Baba’s close friends. Thus, he passed it on as a family business. At the time of the transition, it was obvious to everyone that their understanding, despite his years of badgering them, training them so to speak, their “knowledge” of the Self was still just words-philosophy. With Chid it seems this holds even today.
Nityananda is far more of what one expects as a guru. He was—when I knew him—sort of bashful and under-spoken. As a matter of fact, Shankarananda appeared to be Nityananda’s spokeperson at most events—Shanks, of course, being an intellectual and not-bashful.
Several years ago, SYDA released a "history and theology" of Siddha Yoga called "Meditation Revolution." That book made it sound as if Baba had always indicated (in private, at least) that Gurumayi would be his successor, and Nityananda was more of an "add-on" later on. But the way you describe it on your website makes it sound like it was the other way around. As far as you know, was Gurumayi also being talked about as a successor prior to ~1980, or was she really just added on at the last minute?
Everyone knew Nityananda was Muktananda’s teacher the moment he gave him that name. He had never given anyone the name of his beloved teacher. Chidvilasananda was not only not an add on, but was given equality by her alleged extortion.
I wasn't around during that time, but I've visited the ashrams of both Gurumayi and Swami Nityananda. I see what you mean about SYDA being illusory, with all the expensive bookstore items, putting celebrities up front in the programs, scripted "experience" talks, etc. However, I did not get that impression from Nityananda's ashram, and I found Nityananda himself to be very sincere.
Yes, the difference between the two are as night and day; Nityananda being the day. As I write, Robert tunrnd Muktananda down when Baba wanted to make a pact that they’d work together to build a world-wide organization.
Just out of curiosity, how did you get to be head of security? I thought SYDA did a better job of keeping the non-"die hards" out of their inner circle!
It took them a while to realize I was a Siddha Yoga fake. I had had a lot of celebrity bodyguarding experience before Muktananda. I also was on Muktananda’s original security staff when he was in LA. Therefore, the powers that ran the LA Center at the time they came, figured I was best for the job. In fact I loved it. I was enamored with power at that time and Siddha Yoga had unbelievable and palpable power. I was a Kundalini junkie. Besides, because I was close to power, I got the perks of power.In other words, I was 16,000,000 miles from self-realization at the time and was there for strictly for emotional fulfillment.
19 June 2006
I just read through all the questions and answers on "Stump The Guru." Besides enjoying it very much, I noticed that the last date on the list of questions was May 26/06. Today is June 10/06. I was going to ask you some questions but I was thinking that perhaps you were too busy. I mean, this site came known to me, here on Vancouver Island, and you've got your own life, etc, how could you possibly answer my questions? So, let's make this simple: are you still available to answer questions?
Hope you are well,
I have been pretty busy dealing with animal stuff; however, I am now getting back to my real business of teaching about Robert and reality.
From now on, Stump the Guru with be posted on http://www.itisnotreal.blogspot.com
By the way, there is a new post on an entire Robert audio talk on my site entitled "Cosmic Joke."
After much seeking, in one form or another, over the years it seems like I haven't gotten anywhere. I can see that maybe I've made progress in some arenas and in other arenas it's debatable. In the spiritual arena, how does one take the measurement? Am I supposed to suffer less as I approach the truth, the real Self, Nirvana, or whatever? Is there even a sense of progress? Is it like mastering a musical instrument, where it is quite clear that one's abilities gain in clarity, strength, technique, interpretation, etc? And it's easy to measure - a piece that I could play not before, I can now play well.
What about this spiritual path? Should I be able to say, for example: hey, look, before I couldn't resist giving in to my anger now I don't give in. If that is the case, I'd be hard pressed to say that I've made progress. And if I can't see progress, where do I get the will to continue? I wish that I could be like you or like Nisargadatta in having faith. He had faith in his teacher as you did in yours. That seemed to make all the difference in the world. I don't seem to be able to rest anywhere, doubt seems to arise all the time. I haven't been able to find that faith that can persist through adversity. Any suggestions? Thanks so much for this website.
You are not there yet, but are getting closer to where you can Begin to surrender.
When you know without question that you cannot attain, you'll be ready.For that which is seeking, is exactly the one unable to attain, because That (Your True Nature) is far beyond the mind. The mind cannot grasp it. The mind is a wisp that flows from it. IT cannot be attained through efforts of the mind.
Only when the mind rests, such as in surrender or perfect meditation, will "you" get it. Then you will realize there is no you, never was, and the apparent seeking of you, perpetuated you.
Wait. It is all unfolding the way it should.
What you write feels right to me and if you were here you would have heard a sigh of relief.
That line in the Heart Sutra, "there is nothing to attain," has always jumped out at me when chanting because it seemed incongruous. Here I was sitting and chanting - to be honest - in order to attain something, something I thought I didn't have.
Is there a pathway to surrender that you could recommend I practice?
Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to me.
Well, we are talking on two different levels. Robert used to ask us and go out and give things to people, especially homeless people or help animals. The latter is my particular practice. It builds momentum. In other words, practice compassion and kindness. He said, in the end that was all that mattered. Nisargadatta says mostly the same thing in the little booklet I have up.
The more important sense of surrender is doing exactly what you will be doing soon: Take a very close stock of yourself. Settle down. Ask yourself, “What the hell am I doing?”
"Obviously, it hasn't worked. I have done everything I can and I am even more confused and less at peace." At some point, you give up. It happened before I met Robert, but much more profoundly after I met Robert.
But really, slow the mind down and take a very objective stock of yourself and what and why you are doing. Question it. What do you want? Has anything worked? "What the hell am I doing here?"
You'll see. Maybe a teacher will come, maybe not. It really does not make that much difference because you don't exist. Whether you know you don't exist or not, is sort of a moot point.
17 June 2006
First I must thank you for your website. It takes a lot of compassion and patience to do what you do, but again, I guess we are not the doer and only the means for the doing. I also apologize if my words are obscure and not clear. I was never good at putting things in words especially what comes from within.
I don’t really know why I am writing to you for I have no specific question and have dropped all mental effort to understand. I don’t know where I am on this so called path, but there is surrender to what is, and the way it is, which also includes my spiritual understanding. I am only left with a will to continue expanding, to go further and that seems to be enough to create a movement towards it. These few sentences are not meant to gain gratification from others either, for the need for that seems to be fading as well.
I was listening to Robert Adams voice on your web site tonight and it touched my heart the way his book did. I too seem to see the world and my physical body as only superimposed images. Form seems to be noticed by the formless within. This form, to me at least, includes the physical body and its movements, sensations and thoughts, and other physical bodies. When there is identification to the form, the clarity of the formless subsides under a veil, but the veil is not a result of thoughts but only identification to those thoughts, and to me that points to some desire underneath. The form and the formless don’t seem to be separate but are rather joined and is one, both playing their part in this divine comedy. And then, there is without a doubt, what can not be put to words or described which is prior to form and formless, and all arise from it. Is this what some call Consciousness? When there is complete stillness, there is a presence, if it can be called that, just prior to it. Is it possible that one can merge in to that presence? Do I make any sense or am I really off the track?
I realize how busy you must be, but I really appreciate a response and if not I still thank you for your compassion towards seekers. Funny, I started the letter with saying I don’t have any questions and I just realized I am throwing a bunch of them at you.
That presence you perceive is not you. It is still an object within consciousness, and even consciousness it not real. Nothing. No thing. Even when it appears to be an unchanging absolute, it is still an object.
Nothing, not even God touches you.
16 June 2006
Have you ever had a time when you had no ambitions, weren't happy and weren't unhappy either? That breathing seemed even a chore? If so, how did you come out of it? My friends joke that all I seem to do is breathe and meditate. My family doesn't speak to me much because I just can't seem to get too interested. I am a complete introvert who has always been spiritual since I was a kid. I do care about people, I just don't get involved. One of my friends says I'm tamasic. (Ayurveda's term for too much water in the body). I just don't seem to feel too much progress inside. I applied to Yogananda's Fellowship to get the lessons. Maybe they'll help. What do you think? Susan
Again there appears to be a mixture of questions and feelings.
Have no ambitions and being neither happy nor unhappy seems like a good things to me, that is, withdrawing from the world. Good for you.
But when you say even breathing seems a chore, that sounds like depression. I don't know. I'd have to see you and talk to you to see if I see depression there. Depression is best treated with medication, far more effectively than psychotherapy or meditation.
The withdrawal, not speaking, being an introvert; all those sound great to me.
As to Tamistic, screw that; that is someone else's theory and they don't even exist. They are your fantasies.
Feeling no progress is good because where is there to go? You already are you, and that's all you have to do, abide and rest in You. That is what you are doing, going inwards.
Regarding Yoganada. Forget it. Robert left Yogananda when he was 18 because Yogananda wanted him to go to Ramana, because both had awakened when very young, spontaneously. Robert said Yogananda couldn't wait to get rid of him because Robert knew al the exercises Yogananda recommended were at a very low level. I too found SRF rather empty after two years or so.
These are lower teachings. Forget them. If you are attracted to Robert, go for it. Jnana and pure Bhakti are the two highest ways.
Besides, you can't be that withdrawn. You got married didn't you? You may be withdrawn in that relationship, but you did get married. Lots of withdrawn spiritual types never get married.
Don't forget singing either.
OK. I just wanted your opinion on this because I get scary quiet and my friends find me boring. I'm not depressed however, I do like to sing and take care of elderly people. That's what I do for a living. But, I have been known to sit still for as long as I can get away with it. Maharishi told all of us to stop taking medication because it prevents you from transcending. On another note...none of my spiritual practices are bringing me any joy any more. I just enjoy quiet, solitude, sunshine, flowers and animals. My husband wants me to get my Siddhi initiation next month and I don't want them. I guess breathing becomes a chore when I get aggravated I can't be quiet for as long as I want. Thanks again for your help. Susan
Well you are boring. So what? Robert was extremely boring to anybody but the rare ones who got what he had to offer.
If you want, take the initiation to please him/them, then don't bother with it. It's no skin off your back.
Being quiet is the key. Most people have to struggle to get quiet.
Ok. I practice Transcendental Meditation. I sit quiet for 30 seconds then I say a mantra. The next thing I know it's two hours later. I just snap back into body consciousness. The TM teacher told me that it was a black hole in my consciousness that consciousness was trying to heal. That doesn't feel right. Whenever I come to I have this great urge to go back to that place. I actually look forward to it.
Black hole, schmack hole. He is full of crap. This is a much lower teaching on the level of body-mind. Dump the Mantra too. It can lead to a temporary Samadhi state, but not the lasting one where the mind becomes absorbed in the self.
Thanks. Ed, you have helped me so much in the past few days I would like to send you a donation. You cannot imagine how much stress you have relieved me just by talking with me and reading your web site. Please send me your address. I won't take "No" for an answer!
Please let me know if ever you hold Satsang. I will fly out. I live in NC right now. But, I don't care where you are. You are the only one who has been able to make me understand many things that have been ailing me the past ten years. I feel this is a blessing from Robert. I have been with a few saints and had a horrific experience with Sai Baba. I have always had an affinity for Robert's teachings. I'm not much into prayer or trying to will myself out of karma. I am quite uninvolved in things (that's a nice way of saying lazy!) and like things simple. Once I was told by Sri Karunamayi that this is my last lifetime. I couldn't stomach the thought of having a body again. So... I hope she is right. I don't have much faith in people unless I can experience their teachings for myself. Robert has always pulled through for me. Once I went to California to be in Satsang with Nicole and his daughters after Robert died. It was the funniest thing, but I saw the tongue on his picture stick straight out at one of his devotees. I thought the poor thing was going to pass out. It is sometimes good enough for me to know there is a Being who loves and cares. If there is anything that you need or I can do for you, please let me know. I'll try my best to get it.
Hello, Ed ...
I found my way to your Website vial a post on a Google group, "AdvaitaNow" which I enjoy ... I also have a website and just linked you. Your _expression of That which is utterly inexpressible rings the bell here :-)
A question? I sense from some of your writings that you feel there IS a place for "practices" on this path of non duality ... I was with Wayne Liquorman for 2 years, and since have been with "Sailor" Bob Adamson and spend time listening to his and Tony Parsons' CD's ... before that I was on a "traditional" path (TM, Siddha Yoga) and had a Guru (Baba Muktananda, then Nityananda, then Gurumayi....) I see that we share that 'connection'!
I suppose though my experience is my practices help a lot in reducing suffering where the "Who Am I" inquiry seems to just be a mental looping back on itself, I don't really know what or who to trust! Can you say any more about the practices and the final dissolution of the false sense of a separate "me"?
I like the honesty I feel on your pages.
Good to hear from you!
Right now I have some documents to get out but I will look at your site.
Ramana and Robert had only one main practice, the who am I. I did that for 18 years without attaining although it was necessary.
Practices depend solely on where you are and what blockages you have in your practices.
Tell me more about your practices and who you are as an apparent individual; i.e., your biography.
The even better practice, from my point of view, is the sitting, doing nothing, except staring inwardly to the empty self, the self-luminous Void.
If you cannot see that, you should practice opening the third eye. Directions on my site.
If you were in a center or monastery, things would be easier; with diligent practice of who am I, you could attain the first glimpse of your true self in six months. Of course, I was practicing Who Am I in sitting meditation 8-10 hours a day and most of the rest of the day while trying to function in the world.
Read my practices section as well as my biography section and pick a practice that seems right.
Robert and Ramana attained without practices so they do not speak of them—much.
Take care and write,
You said, "The even better practice, from my point of view, is the sitting, doing nothing, except staring inwardly to the empty self, the self-luminous Void...."
Yes ... sitting quietly, Being no Thing. Lovely. Then questions arise and subside in the empty Space-Of-Awareness
The question of Practices can also be answered for a mind by the inquiry, of course ... (Who asks the question?)
So: As you asked about "me", though there is a knowingness that there ain't none such, there still appears a questioner and a seeking some "final Bang!" and so it goes.
The Understanding is clear. But still a persistent sense of an "I" that seemingly OWNS the Understanding persists ... a subtle feeling, inchaote yet undeniable, a very faint thread of "Two-Ness" seems top persist ... hence the continuing investigation! ... Mu ...
Are you by any chance the guy who told Ramesh Balsekar that you meditated 8-10 hours a day at Henry Dennisons' place? I digitized all of Ramesh's talks for Wayne Liquorman at one time as a "seva..." amazing stuff ...
I also knew and loved Nityananda, who gave me the name Ishan ... lived in the Santa Monica Ashram 2 years, Jan 1983 - March 1985. We must have met! :-)
But there is little desire here to focus on any story ...
My website and blog have a lot of my favorite teachings and Links, perhaps if the spirit moves you to, you can explore and offer your comments and insights ...
I will do the same on your pages as you suggested. Though I am quite happy with the Ishayas' Ascension, I am open to all pointers...
Much Love and Respect,
Yes, abiding in the awe of the Void. This is preparatory. I knew there was no I for 19 years before I really knew there was no I. I practiced both Void seeing, doing nothing and Self Inquiry. But, like you, I found following the I stupid as I knew there was no I.
Then, one day, it happened, and that subtle sense of self disappeared. But it was not so subtle. It blew me away. The clouds of thought dissipated and I was awake from the illusions of thought-like entities, as the sense of mental sleepiness with the I-thought was destroyed.
I do not know what blocks you, except, probably, like me, you think too much. Robert said I was too smart (stupid) and had a hard time not having the mind come back.
Umm. OK ... i have NO idea what is going to come out ... tap tap air blows TV Golf in BG well ... go Tiger ... yay Mickelson ...
what is the block to "final Seeing?"
I can think of two: looking for final seeing; not looking for final seeing. The latter is th ignornance of normal people, the former, of the abnormal seekers. I had stopped seeking and was just hanging with Robert. NO SEEKING AT ALL. My fate was put in his hands. I had complete faith.
Could it be as simple as the thinking there is a block or any "final seeing"?
Yes. This is part, as you are still seeking because you know you are not, but know that you know not.
I don't know.
All I REALLY know is that. I don't know. And then there is at times a sort of quiet malaise ... not really what i would call suffering ... i went through pleny of that, though, until Ishayas' Ascension came along i had serached the internet for safe and painless methods to kill this organism ... and I still have a preference that life end sooner rather than later ... hope seems like a really bad idea, that the notion that there could be a better future is SO out of mental ignorance that it rarely gets entertained. For a long time I was in a deep despair. Now the worst that happens is a short few moments of anger or sadness ... or a subtle sense of hopelessness. That hopelessness might be a GOOD thing :-)
What you call malaise, I call wisdom. As Robert said, who wants to live a thousand years brushing the same teeth, eating the same food, etc. I am a living dead man and so are you. Yet, so far it has not brought you peace, maybe you have not had the I thought exploded. Reobert saiud looking at the I thought makes it stronger. Find the source. The source is emptiness, the Void. Yet, there is no Void nor Not-Void. Both are appearances associated with the I-thought.
One day I looked and the I-thought had blown up. Maturity???? The result of 19 years of Who Am I practice???? Robert's grace??? Not giving a shit anymore because I knew it was not mine to attain???
Sometimes there is longing for final release from the mortal coil still ... and yet I honestly don't have the balls to kill myself. I part of me still wishes I could do that ... I wouldn't mind living a while longer but I do NOT want to eb around when the money runs out; I canot work (too physically run down, lots of ailments, somke serious) and Soc Security does not begin to cover bills even for a frugal life style.
Robert said old age is when things begin to get interesting.
BTW if you want to use any of this rant please feel free
Anyway, let's see if there is more to rave on about.
I am Nothing. I know that I am nothing. No Thing.
And has THAT become a subtle NEW "me" ... a "spiritual identlty...?"
Yes. Precisely. The knowledge is your new identity. But that is not the GUT EXPLODING Experience of No-I-thought. Give it up. Pet your faith in Robert if you will. I still feel his presence. Faith brings relaxation and a mind uncrowded with seeking.
Tony Parsons repeats that there is no hope, because, it is not there is nothing that will ever bring forth the Big Bang ... it is worse. It is that There Is No One.
"Sailor" Bob reiterates, "There is no person." That is clear as a bell. Look for a me and all I find is Absence. An Absence of the Presence of a sepaRATE "ME."
But as yet there is NOT that "Absence oF THE ABSENCE of that Presence" ... as Ramesh pointed ... to The Absolute Stateless State ...
This feels done for now.
Thanks for asking that I write.
Well said, Ed ... this feels right on
there is Resonance ... with Bob, Tony and now Robert ... I too feel his presence permeating all you express ... it's lovely ... many thanks!
I was reading your online satsangs. Some are quite invigorating!! (i.e. Eric's)
Here is my question: If the presence with me is still an object in consciousness then I can only conclude that no matter what "I" perceive in my pursuit of the Self, it is not obtainable because it is not perceivable? Or....the gap in between sleep where there is no perception is something that will awaken in this body/mind? Help!! After I really felt like someone was watching me yesterday, something happened to really scare me. I got scared that no matter what I did, I couldn't become Self-realized and that I will have to just be quiet and dissolve. I'm terrified of not existing. Susan
You will need to articulate your questions more clearly and in detail. There seem to be three questions jumbled together.
Here is what I think you mean. No, the Self is not attainable because you are the self, always have been, always will be, before and after life. You should just rest in yourself. Then, one day, the I-thought disappears and you become the totality of consciousness.
However, consciousness is still perceived; the self-luminous Void is still perceived. Who is perceiving. If you seek this, you will reach the no I thought state--maybe--definitely if you persevere. But, it will come unexpectedly.
The next step, recognizing that everything, including the screen of consciousness is unreal, happens when you pass from consciousness, to sleep, to dreaming and find these states are only thought stuff on you. YOU, cannot be perceived.
So the best practices are either self-inquiry to find no-I-thought, or to do nothing except rest in yourself without seeking.
At this point, this is only philosophy for you. Don't think about this stuff because it is a distraction. Just abide in yourself and all will become clear. If not, you will become a not-self-realized philosopher.
Thank you. You cleared everything up for me.
15 June 2006
Good to hear from you. No plans for travel this summer. I plan to go back to Arunachula for a longer time – maybe 6 weeks -during Jan and Feb. My plan is to spend the summer getting my house ready to put on the market so that by winter I am out of the house and into some cozy apt that is easy to leave. I do not know how to explain my strong desire to return to the mountain, but it is certainly there.
By all means return to it. It sounds like you are not done there yet. Of course, Ramana was never done.
Thanks for the heads up about the new transcription. I am eager to read it! I continue to listen to the other 2 CD sets frequently. My hour commute gives me a lot of opportunity! What can I say in response to those CD’s? Every single thing that is thought/felt/spoken/ believed/perceived etc., is illusory. The world is only the mind’s interpretation. Minus the interpretation, there is no separate one, no world.
The world is not the mind's interpretation. The mind IS the world. The world is thought only. That is why it is called a dream. There is not something the mind interprets which becomes an illusion when interpreted. You might say mind obfuscates pure awareness.
With the seeing that there is no separate one, there is the seeing that there is no control. Somehow, when there is a slipping into what feels like a direct seeing of this Truth, as opposed to an intellectual understanding, there is such immense peace, stillness, love, joy – beyond words. And yet, there is (mostly) a barrier to the direct experience of Truth and a frequent falling into bouts (short but intense) of despair and depression, seemingly out of nowhere. There is a pulling into deeper and deeper stillness in meditation and an unshakeable disinterest in “the world.”
Yes, yes, good, good. Abide in yourself as often as possible. Self inquiry is only inverting attention to a hypothetical source; but even that is misdirection. There is no source and no manifestation. No inner, no outer. That is mind only, and mind is not real.
My draw to Ramana, years ago, was so profound. Connecting with Robert, and you, and more with Robert through you is beautiful. It feels like such a gift.
We gift each other. Robert would be happy.
A couple of weeks ago I had two dreams on back-to-back nights that really had an impact. In the second dream I was milling around with a huge number of people getting ready to run a marathon race. I decided I had better use the restroom before the race started so I looked around and located one just a few yards away. I asked a couple of people whether they thought I had time and they assured me there was more than enough time. So I jogged over and as soon as I had closed the door to the restroom, a woman started to pound on the door wanting in. I hurried and was pulling up my pants as she was shoving her way in. When I got outside, I couldn't’t believe it; there was no one there. The race had started without me. I looked down the road and could just barely see the last runner.
There was this rock solid knowing that instead of running the marathon, I was supposed to go find a spot to sit and not move. The feelings in the dream were devastating -- deep hopelessness and helplessness. There was no way to compete, much less even catch up to the other runners. And how could it be that one moment you think you are running a marathon and the next moment you know for certain you are supposed to sit still until, who knows? And what good is sitting still, and all by yourself?
Anyway, I am telling you all of this because, “It’s All A Cosmic Joke!” is the perfect answer to that dream. Something heavy carried from the dream lifted in the reading. There has remained some level of attachment to at least limping along in the marathon; and that lessened. I love Robert’s directness and humor. His words were just perfect. And so are yours in the Introduction. Thank you!
PS In the last email I didn't really mean that the mind interprets something that becomes an illusion when interpreted. I meant that the mind interprets that there is something when there is nothing . . . and therefore obfuscates pure awareness. (If this clarification of what I meant is not accurate, I would love to know!)
Your ego sees its own end but does not comprehend that it is liberation.
When I was at Arunachula I slept, at best, half the hours I usually sleep. I was always meditating by 3:00 am. There was this energy that seemed to replace my need to sleep. Last night I read your email a few minutes before I went to bed. I woke up in the middle of the night with the same energy I experienced at the mountain and was up the rest of the night. It’s still with me. Ramana spoke through Robert, Robert speaks through Ed. I feel much joy in hearing that you will begin Satsang! How perfect that you are the vehicle for this transmission in ever growing ways!
As for the dream I wrote about in the previous email, I did have a sense that there was a specific place I was supposed to go sit. My sense was that it was on the ground under a tree . It was a pretty vague sense though. My resistance was so great in the dream, I did not move; I just kind of stood in place, paralyzed.
It is like this. When you wake in the morning and the dreams begin to disappear, it feels like cobwebs in your mind are leaving. Same with daydreaming. You come out of it and it feels like you were coming out of a mental fog.
So is it with awakening. It feels like the clouds of sleep, of mental fogginess, of ignorance are lifting. In all cases, that fog, the conceptual mind so to speak, is the apparent objects of dreams or of the world.
There is nothing except these thought forms or thought like forms. They are the beginning and end of existence. There is nothing in existence except for thought.
But, there really is not a mind. There are just thoughts, mental space cloud forms of ignorance which are the objects of dream and of the waking dream world.
To say anything about pure consciousness is a speculation of the mind, which itself does not exist. Even consciousness, pure awareness and all that are just concepts before you attain.
Then you see that ideas, concepts, images are all that anything in "reality" is and therefore, everything is unreal and mindstuff.
When Ramana talks about Consciousness like he does, it is because people needed something to hang their hats on; that is, using concepts to end concepts.
But, it is not the final truth.
There is only thought and you are not that. Those thought forms comes to you and lie on top of you so to speak, but you are not that. It, the fog of concepts and images cannot touch you.
That final truth comes to you and it is inexpressible because it is far beyond anything revealed or imagined by thought. Thought is but a poor reflection of Self and as such, cannot comprehend that which is far beyond it and greater than it.
I am not sure if I expressed myself well, or if I misunderstand what you are trying to say.
Thank-you for this email. I know what you express is the final truth. I would like to try to tell you something that happened about two years ago. I was driving to my favorite bagel store across town one morning, (thinking of nothing more profound than whether I was in the mood for a poppy seed bagel or maybe a cheese bagel) when, completely out of the blue, there was this feeling like I was in a tiny rowboat about to be completely consumed by a gigantic wave. I wanted desperately to get out of the way but it was totally impossible. There was an inner voice that said something like “You are now going to know what is true – you sincerely want to know, so you will know.” My body started to feel very strange, like it wasn’t really there, and, as soon as I parked in the parking lot (only about a minute or two passed) I completely lost all body awareness. I was taken (for lack of better words) on a journey through “everything” – all of the universes – and was shown that nothing at all was there. An impossible paradox to express but, that’s what was shown. It was like I was traveling through something that was nothing –completely empty sameness -- on and on and on, seemingly at great speed. I was given a tremendous amount of knowledge but I have no memory of the specifics other than nothing exists, despite appearances. When I came back into body awareness, I felt profound despair, depression, fear. At first I had no memory of anything in this life but I knew I was supposed to know. (I have wondered if this is how people with dementia feel.) My mind struggled frantically to find something that would make the world come back. My oldest son’s name came up and then everything in the world came back very quickly. The ego had a memory again and the world was back in place. At some point I got out of the car and walked to the bagel store. I passed by another form and, even though there was this deep confusion and despair, there was also the most amazing feeling of utter love for this form (no memory of any detail of the form). This experience has been the backdrop of everything ever since. I know that this is an experience expressed by an experiencer but, so goes the boundaries of _expression.
The fogginess you wrote about feels very true – just more (albeit fading) objects of mind. To follow this fog analogy – it feels as though there have been breakthroughs when the fog is not there. At these times, there is just awareness – like there is no container – just awareness without a boundary of a separate “me.” Not a “me” perceiving something that is separate and not “me.” At these times everything is exactly the same as it has always been but seen as completely different. But these experiences are always fleeting. Are these truly experiences of the fog lifting – if it comes back, did it ever really go away completely? Is awakening always something sudden and lasting or is it possible for the fog to slowly lift and then be permanently gone?
I just sent you a big email at your other email address. I hope you still get it. It's weird, I'm late for work and was turning off the computer when I was prompted to check email. There you were!
This might sound strange, but does Robert still have the means to communicate with me? I haven't talked/prayed to him for years. But, he is very strong in my consciousness today. Telling me..... nothing is connected, quit smoking, etc. I really need guidance now and have been praying to every master I could think of for response. Robert was not one of the beings I prayed to. Do you think I still have a connection to him and to trust him? I really adored Robert, even though I met him after his body died.
Anything that could give me hope right now, would be great. Thank you again for your site, Ed.
If you place faith in Robert, you are placing faith in yourself. No matter what appears to be happening, it will be as is ordained. This is an external matter, smoking and life problems; Robert was only interested in helping people find themselves. Yet, those who concentrated on him came out alright.
He is always present.
I don't understand. Why would he care about me? I never met him personally. Yet when he told me to quit smoking this morning I knew it was a strong "force" that was responding. I immediately put the patch on. On another note....Do mean to tell me that everything is preordained? I try to follow Yogananda's teachings about asserting my will and nothing ever seems to come of it. It has been so difficult for me spiritually. If I knew everything was already set I would be able to relax. Is this how you live? Can I still place faith in Robert even though he doesn't have a body anymore? I'm sorry. I know these questions sound immature, but I really get confused. I have great moments of bliss sometimes and then I KNOW this is an illusion, yet I can't hold onto those moments. I guess I need some reassurance. I am so grateful for your site. I can feel you really knew him and what he was about.
Yes Susan, everything is pre-ordained. As Robert said, "Everything is ynfolding as it should." He said the only freedom is to turn within.
Robert loved everyone, even though he knew that they did not exist. They did not know they did not exist, so he was trying to show them their true selves beyond existence.
Don't worry too much about not smoking. Robert said to pay little attention to the body. he said only have a non-spicy vegetarian diet, little or no alcohol--only that really helps.
Robert as universal love aspect of Self loved everyone as Self. Do not worry, all is well, all is well.
I cannot tell you how happy this has made me! My conclusion is there is nothing to worry about then. I have enjoyed your web site for the last hour and am quite embarrassed as it dawned on me I was talking to an enlightened being. So thank you for being blunt and telling me the truth. I don't know what happened that I deserved to find you, but I can only say all these years of meditation has paid off today. You are a true blessing. Robert is awesome. I thought he dissolved into non-existence or something. May your days be blessed with more and more bliss!
Did Robert ever tell you what it was that if he told everyone they would beat him to death? Thanks. Susan
That even Consciousness does not exist. What you are is even beyond Consciousness. That is, consciousness, the self-illuminated Void is still something perceived, and by whom? That whom is untouched by anything, including consciousness.