22 August 2017

YOU MUST BECOME AS DUMB AS A ROCK!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

20 August 2017

EXCELLENT SATSANG!

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

One of our best, clearest, and most comprehensive Satsangs

Link available after 8pm California time

https://youtu.be/yrF8bZ_DMfg

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

Pranam Ed ji,

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

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

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

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

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

With regards,



ED’s Reply:


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

15 August 2017

THE FOURTH BODY—TURYA—AND EMPTINESS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



How does one enter Turya?

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

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

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

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


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

14 August 2017

Is enlightenment boring?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

13 August 2017

SUNDAY SATSANG IS AT 11 AM ARIZONA/CALIFORNIA TIME, EVERY SUNDAY.

THIS SUNDAY: THE FOUR BODIES AND WHAT DOES NOT REAL, REALLY MEAN?

LINK WILL BE POSTED BLOW AROUND 10AM SUNDAY:

https://zoom.us/s/2950292557?status=success

30 July 2017

Consciousness, the Absolute, inferring the latter from the former, and how Robert and Nisargadatta met their deaths



If you think this video has helped you, please consider donating any small amount to help support Ed's work with his readers and students, as well as over 300 homeless cats in Northern Los Angeles.





28 July 2017

Without mind, you become all things.

Here is a bit of information that will help you understand both Robert Adams and Nisargadatta a little better.  Often they use different terms to signify different kinds of experiences or states.  Nisargadatta talks about two different kinds of consciousness.  One that could be best described as “bare awareness,” which is consciousness that does not move, that lacks concepts, that lacks mind.  He also calls it “BalaKrishna, “or “Baby Krishna.”  Robert Adams refers to the same state of bare awareness, BalaKrishna, as the gap which one perceives when you first awaken in the morning between the sleep state, and the moment that the mind floods into the brain.  This is awareness without awareness of either subject or object or of things.

Nisargadatta describes this well on page 97 of Consciousness in the Absolute:

“Consciousness opens the gate for you to understand consciousness.  There are two aspects; one is conceptual, dynamic consciousness which is full of concepts, and the other is transcendent consciousness.  Even the concept “I am” is not there.  Conceptual, qualitative Brahman, the one that is full of concepts and is qualitative, is the outcome of the functioning of the body.  This consciousness is dead to me; it is gone.  I have transcended that.  So whatever is, is that other consciousness, that one which is without concepts.  I abide in the state where there is no mind.”

This is the same state that Robert talks about.  He was always arguing against the mind, saying either that the mind is not your friend, or the mind is your enemy.  Seung Sahn Soen Sa would say something very similar, and actually describe subjectively, experientially, what that process is like to go from conceptual consciousness, then becoming like a rock with a brain frozen and unable to think, and then the breaking of the mind, entering the no mind state, or Turiya, by way of passing through the state of unknowing otherwise known as the Causal Body, with the inability to perceive, where body disappears, awareness disappears and there is only conscious sleep before the mind breaks and you enter the total space of the unity consciousness where all things are not separate from you anymore.  The entire world perceived by you, is you.  There is no longer a barrier between you as the meditator and the external world.  There is no longer duality between inside the skin and outside.  You are the totality of manifest consciousness.

I described the coming of these states of unity consciousness as I experienced them at Mount Baldy in 1970:

“At some point in a period of meditation, my "brain" would “freeze” and I would feel as if I were going to sleep.  My brain felt like it became hard as a rock and so dense that no thought could penetrate.  I also felt that simultaneously I was going deeper and deeper into myself, towards the center of my awareness, but it certainly was not in any physical direction.  It felt more like ‘I‘ was going deeper, but not somewhere,  such as towards the heart chakra or my gut.  Then I would totally disappear.  My awareness of myself, my I am-ness, my body, the waking mind would all disappear into a kind of waking sleep.  My mind totally disappeared and I could not remember who or what I was.  I could not even remember how to perceive.

“Then, all of a sudden, it felt like my mind had been flushed down a toilet and a whole new reality appeared. I would disappear as a body mind and awaken into a world of unity consciousness, where I was totally empty space and filled with all the sights and sounds of the world.  I would hear the sound of a bird flying overhead calling, and I would become that bird.  I felt my body in motion along with the bird, simply flying.  Then I would hear the sound of the wind, and I became the trees blowing in the wind.  I became my experience of all things around me, but I did not feel like I had a body, because there was nothing separate from me such as a body, or the world.  I was immersed in everything, the so-called totality of consciousness.

“As Ken Wilbur would say, there were no boundaries. This must have happened three or four times a day for the entire time I was at Sasaki’s Zen Center during the winter of 1970-71. I never knew what to make of these experiences of unity-Consciousness, except to enjoy them.  It felt wonderful to have such freedom to be all things rather than locked up in one small body.  I was utterly free, utterly spontaneous being-ness.  These states did not last; they took maybe five minutes to get into, and lasted 15 or 20 minutes, then I returned to the human world. I asked myself was this the true reality revealed, or just a special state-experience that meant little or nothing.”

But you see, it was just this state of no mind, of being one with everything, that Nisargadatta points to.  There is no longer an individual.  There is no longer a personality.  I identified, if one can say I identified with anything, with the totality of everything that I experienced.  Thoughts would come sometimes, but mostly rarely, and they were simple thoughts like, “My God what is this?”  I was so stunned by the change from every day human consciousness, to this wondrous state of absolute freedom from my body and my mind and unity with the world.


Nisargadatta goes on to state that the consciousness that moved and was filled with concepts, otherwise known as the mind, was dead to him.  He lived and endured as the total functioning of consciousness.

To experience this no-mind state, this non-conceptual consciousness, the gap in its fullness, one must be willing to be absolutely stupid, absolutely know-nothing.  One’s brain feels heavy.  Thinking becomes more and more difficult until it is impossible.  Within the darkness of the causal body moves into awareness and you disappear as does the world.  And then you drop through into Turiya, which is the sense of I Am before the mind arises.  Then you dwell in the utter happiness of the no mind state as long as you can in order to imbibe its flavor and formlessness from a universal viewpoint, rather than as stuck in or pasted to a physical body. 

It is not easy for most Westerners to let go of understanding, to let go of concepts and knowing, because people take such comfort in all of their wisdom and knowledge gathered in books and from reading, and from television.  And you feel utterly stupid before the mind drops out, and you wonder what is happening to you, because you are no longer in control, the totality of consciousness is everything.  As long as you hang onto any knowing, any knowledge of the external world of your own self as a psychological or physical being, you cannot enter the state.


More about this later.

If you have found this post valuable, please donate to support Ed's work with feral cats, and all of you out there who ask questions regarding your own life or practice.
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr

23 July 2017

EXPANDED VERSION OF IT IS NOT REAL

What does "It is not real" mean for Robert Adams, Ramana 

Maharshi, and Nisargadatta?  July 10, 2017

Robert Adams:

All I can do is tell you about my own personal experiences, not what I read. I can tell you that nothing exists the way it appears. Everything is an appearance, and we get pulled into these appearances. We react to them as if they were real, as a result of falling for a false premise, and the false premise is that the world is real.
In fact, the world is not real and neither are you. What we have to do is stop reacting to anything. And the only way to do that is to discover who you are. When you discover your true nature, when you awaken to your true nature, everything becomes perfectly clear. You're at peace. Your feelings have been transmuted. You no longer feel what human beings feel. The world comes and goes. One day the world is like this, the next day it's like that. But what does it have to do with you? Nothing, you are free. You are not the world. You are not your body, you are not your mind.
--August 30, 1990

Ramana Maharshi:

The world is a totality of the five kinds of sensations, namely sounds and the rest, and nothing else. All these are only mental impressions. Hence, the world is nothing but the mind.  Only when their minds are functioning does the world appear to men. Therefore, the world in the waking state is mental, as it is in dream.
The truth that the world is unreal is taught by the sages only to him who aspires to attain the highest state by the quest of the Self. It is not addressed to others.  (Editor:  That is, it is a teaching device used to help the seeker become aware of that which precedes and succeeds his body and the world.)
All the divisions experienced in worldly life appear as real only in relation to the body.  (Editor: the world is real if one accepts one’s body as real; from that viewpoint alone is the world real and the objects therein.)
Ramana Paravidyopanishad, unknown date, paragraphs 120 through 126.

Nisargadatta:

The “I” which appears is unreal.  How unreal it is I have proven.  The moment the “I” is proven unreal, who is it or who knows that the “I” is unreal?  This knowledge within you that knows the “I” is unreal, that knowledge which knows change, must itself be changeless, permanent.  You are an illusion, Maya, an imagination.  It is only because I know that I am unreal, that I know you also are unreal.  It is not like this: because I am real, you are unreal.  It is like this: because I am unreal, everything is unreal.
—Consciousness in the Absolute— May 1, 1980

The concept that your experience of your body and your experience of the world are illusory, is a very complex subject with many different ways to explain it.

The simplest explanation is that stated by Raman in the quote above.  Without mind, there is no body, no world, no existence.  When mind functions, the world is discovered as is your body.  In sleep, when the mind does not function, there is no you, no I Am sense, no body and no world.  When you awaken, at first you are only aware that you are awake.  Then, some fraction of seconds later, you become aware that you are a body, with an existence, with a name and form, living in the world. Once awake, we accept the reality of name and form, that I exist as a body in the world.  Not once do we think of investigating that I-thought or I-feeling in an effort to “unpack” it into its various components in order to see if any of those components exist in any way, or are just words that point to nothing.

As long as people identify with their bodies and consider themselves solid and real, they will also experience all the objects in the external world as equally real, meaning substantial, objective, solid.  Until a person through meditation, self-inquiry, or listening to the words of a self-realized person, has experiences of transcending both body and consciousness, the phrase "neither I nor the world are real," will lead him to try to understand the phrase "not real" as some variant of negating the reality of one’s body, such as by coming up with the analogy of a dream body.  “My physical body is like a dream body, existing only while aake.” Or one might think in terms of space, that the space that contains the body is more real than the body, and that the body is unreal in comparison.  The same holds true for the concept of consciousness, where we conceive of the body as being an appearance in consciousness, but consciousness itself permeates all appearances and is greater than any appearance.  That is, consciousness is everywhere and eternal, and is the substance within which objects appear.

But until one has examined all levels of one's own experience of oneself, from experiencing the physical body, to experiencing the mental body, to experiencing the subtle energy body, to experiencing the great void within, the emptiness that pervades everything, and even the experience of not experiencing, will he or she understand how these three gurus use the terms real and unreal, because then they will have the same exact knowledge as the teacher.  The same exact knowledge is available to all who study the self.

In the short essay below I will try to cover all the different approaches or ways to explain what is meant by the term unreal applied to experience, to the body or to the world.

I want to most forcefully and explicitly state they do not mean you should stop eating, or deny yourself shelter, or deny yourself clothes, or not own a car, or not have a job because they are all unreal.  They are not saying the world or your body are not real, therefore live like a zombie totally bereft of feelings, reactions, or needs relevant to sustaining your body.  It does not mean that you should not protect yourself financially and avoid scammers.  It does not mean you should not have insurance if people depend on you.  It does not mean that if someone in your family or others in the community have desperate needs, you should not help them because they are not real, that they are some sort of fake news.  They do not mean that if there is a dire political situation, such as a tyrant arising that will destroy the nation, you should not insist that they be stopped.

By "not real," they mean that all external and internal forms, such as your body, your sense of presence, your thoughts, your emotions, your house, the tree outside your door, are all temporary, are all ephemeral, all pop into existence, exist for a while, and then cease to exist.  No appearance is permanent.  Therefore, every situation in your life is temporary, a brief appearance that will pass, so do not get too involved in relationship to them, for you, the perceiver, are always there, outside of consciousness, outside of the world, outside of your body, existing only as an observer, while your mind fills in the details of the situations surrounding you, giving it meaning and drama.  Without the mind making up stories about your situation and your body, you would be unperturbed by all internal and external events.

This is it.  This is their message.  Do not be too concerned about the external world, because everything in it is just momentary.  The real you, to be discovered through self-inquiry and meditation, is the ultimate observer, the witness, the principle of knowing, of sentience, of cognition.  You are the ultimate knower, seer, hearer, smeller, taster, feeler, and ultimately of all knowing and sentience.  As such you are beyond the physical and mental worlds altogether, so turn your attention within and find this, which we give the name That.  That is the only real because it is beyond all appearances of consciousness which are effervescent, ephemeral, and passing.  The Real, is that which cognizes the unreal, the not real, the play of consciousness.

But if you take "it is not real" literally, from the viewpoint that you are human body, a thing, then “not real” means there are no things, every-thing is only a dream, or a passing nightmare of consciousness, and you could easily become a zombie, a homeless person, not eating any meals because your body is not real, your hunger is not real, your need to pee and to take a crap, are all unreal.  Your wife is unreal, your children are unreal, your mother and father are unreal, therefore pay them no heed, no attention whatsoever.  Ignore them and their problems, because they are not real.  And the na├»ve seeker then expands this attitude to all things, shouting aloud “Nothing is real!”  Like a crazed Facebook guru.

There is no need to buy insurance, because nothing is real.  Robbers are not real.  Murders are not real.  Tyrants are not real.  Trump is not real.  Hitler was not real.  They are all just passing appearances, just as is your hunger, or your thirst, or your feeling chilled or too hot.  None of these are real, so just sit in one place and observe the world, observe your body, observe your emotions and thoughts, and take no heed of them.  Just turn your attention inside and find your true self, the only real, the only permanent.

The next important thing you have to understand with regard to investigating your self-experience and its reality is: “it is not real” is a teaching message from the teacher to the student who has not yet realized who or what they are, or for other persons in the audience who may be suffering from the loss of a loved one, debilitating physical disease, or psychological or physical pain.  This is a message to look within instead of without into the world, and by looking within one can find your own permanent truth of who you are.  However, after you discover who you are, the journey inwards has essentially ended, because the division of inward and outward disappears, and you discover you are the source of everything and that everything rests inside of you including the world and your body.  That is, the message “it is not real” is meant for a student, or someone suffering.  It is not meant for someone who has realized themselves as Self.  That person is fully aware of the rather trivial nature of the external world and the body compared with the direct apprehension of one’s own self and its eternal existence.  But after realizing the self, one just cannot continually turn within, because the division between inner and outer is dead.  One is everything. By this I mean, wherever consciousness is, I am aware of what it is showing.  Whatever appears, I am there as its witness, whether it be  my body, something felt by it, or a nebulae seen through a telescope.  I am the witness of it all.

 Let me go into this a little more deeply. After realizing through meditation or self-inquiry, that the boundary between the external experiential world and one’s internal and experiential sense of presence within an all-pervading emptiness no longer exists, you become immersed totally in the vastness of consciousness: the Void.  That empty void is the background or container of all experience, external of the world, and internal of the various states of consciousness within.  This Nisargadatta calls the totality of the manifest consciousness.  This is everything.  This is all cognitions, all thoughts, of all sentient beings with no separation into apparent individual entities.  This is the life of the universe itself, everything experienced by every sentient being everywhere, throughout time.  Identity within individual body or an individual personality is lost.

Yet there is one more step that needs to be taken before one becomes a Jnani. 

Just resting in this experience of thoughtless now-ness, just resting in one’s own sense of presence within the totality of experiential existence and emptiness, is what Nisargadatta ultimately means by resting in your sense of I Am.  After doing this for some time, something begins to happen.  You begin to escape from feeling totally immersed in your experience of your body, the world and the totality of consciousness.  Up till this time you felt yourself to be a little cog within the vastness of the extension of your consciousness.  You begin to be able to grasp or apprehend consciousness as a whole, and all at once, as an object that you are witnessing.  After consciousness begins to transition from self to object, how it affects you also begins to change, because you see you are separate from it; it is not you.  You begin to see that all the vagaries and appearances within consciousness, all the various states such as sleep and waking state, all the thoughts that you have, all the sights you see from mountains, to valleys, to storms, to the ocean, all are not you.  You are separate from all of them.  You are not touched by anything in consciousness, where before you thought you were a body that had consciousness.  Now you see that both are “not-real” in the sense they are not self-sustaining, they depend on you cognizing and being aware of them, both as separate apparent objects, and as the ultimate substratum of universal consciousness.  Everything depends on you, the source, the witness.  Without you sentience does not take place.

Most emphatically, "It is not real" does not imply ignoring injustice or abject stupidity or abject brutality in the world.  "It is not real" means do not take the world too seriously until it hits you in the ass, and you are forced to take stock, just as you would be if you found you had a cancerous tumor, or were having a heart attack, or a potential murderer was threatening your life.

Remember, all the while that Robert was teaching about the world not being real, to take nothing seriously, and to turn all your attention inside, he was in fact living as a family man, raising two children, as well as fostering children.  He had various jobs as a handyman, teaching non-smoking classes, producing pirated audiotapes, etc.  It means that he had extensive dental work done during the last year of his life at age 69 because his teeth were so bad.  He had a whole mouth reconstruction during the last year of his life.  Nisargadatta ran the family business of selling cigarettes from the time he was 36 to the end of his life at 82.  He spent many years speaking with friends and other devotees of Siddharameshwar regarding the nature of reality, of consciousness, of birth and death, while he worked on his final understanding as expressed in his talks in 1978 to 1981, his final teachings, including those of unreality.

To make this a little more real, pardon the pun, we must realize these are the teachings of an 80-year-old man who has seen everything and done everything.  For him, the world had no reality, no meaning.  He had seen and done everything.  There was no more interest in the world for him.  He was through with it.  From that point of view, of being a tired old man that is seen and done everything, nothing in the world was of any value to him.  Even his own consciousness was of no value to him any longer.  He repeatedly says in his last three years, he was waiting to die, and get the whole thing over with, hopefully without too much pain or trouble in the process of dying.  He wanted to throw away the whole world and consciousness because they disturbed his peace which he found in his deepest depths.  Compared to that peace that lay closest to his soul so to speak, nothing was of any value.  And in that sense it was not real to him.  He was selling this philosophy to other people who were suffering, as did Robert.  In this sense, the phrase "it is not real" is a universal solvent dissolving all suffering based on one's experience in the external world including pain in the body, rheumatism, arthritis, heart disease, cancer, poverty, lawsuits, and the scorching heat of the Arizona desert.  They exhort others just turn within and find that peaceful center and take refuge there in the deepest part of your Self.

Q: I really appreciate your continuing efforts to explicate this fundamental issue, which is so misunderstood. I see it as the "form" aspect of the form and emptiness dimension. So many neo-Advaita influenced folks on Facebook seem to (sort of-mostly intellectually) get the emptiness aspect. They then become so enamored of emptiness that there is a "sleep and forgetting" of the real world we all still live in where real suffering occurs and very, very few realize experientially-in the marrow of their bones- that nothing is real.

Ed: Yes, so true. But emptiness itself is still experiential, is still consciousness, and nothingness, the so-called real, is the not knowing of nothingness, not the spaciousness of emptiness or the Void. Robert always said you have to go beyond emptiness, because emptiness itself is still consciousness, and itself is a fraud from an experiential point of view, as a human.

Q2:  Much needed clarification. Edward Muzika could you please clarify whether or not the inward and outward are 'different' in terms of how they are perceived in the statement "the division of inward and outward disappears and you discover you are the source of everything and that everything rests inside of you including the world and your body." I understand that they are both a manifestation of my consciousness, but if I close my eyes and go inward after being fully self-realized, is the inward perception the same as with eyes open or different yet realized as my consciousness. Do you ever meditate inwardly even though you fully realize this fact about the inward and outward?

Ed:  The experience varies over time for most. The initial experience is of total emptiness within, which is experienced as one with the space without. Then, for functional reasons, the boundary returns. But after that, you are always aware of 1. the unity; 1. all objects are permeated by emptiness all thoughts and forms are transient; even consciousness is transient.

Then, later one re-realizes this in other experiences, such as the realization that everything is consciousness, including the I Am sense, the body, the external world, emptiness. Just variations of appearances in consciousness.

Yes, after attending to duties in the external world, I will invert, sink within to utter peace.

Q3:  good post, but this is where i take umbrage with the dead guru's. "all that changes or passes" is also this that sees. this that is aware, this that is. simply, if there is "no other", then even the so-called temporary things in life is also a manifestation of This One. I am the dream, the dreamer, the ever changing play. and even the dream is not "un-real", the old saying: "To say- It is not real, does not mean it is devoid of existence"........ but what I always end these rants with is, "this is what i see so far, subject to change as this path seems endless.”

Ed: I have no idea about what you just said. If I were you, I would focus more carefully and thoughtfully on expressing your intuition as clearly as you can. I think you might find trouble doing that, but when you can, you will understand your own internal confusion, which will allow you to break through.

Q4: Can a pot be real without the clay, the essential substance pervading the pot.. Pot is name and form that makes clay pot...Clay can exist independently.. Can pot exist independently without clay. Can name and form exist independently without the essential substance pervading the name and form...

When world is described as unreal is from this point...World strictly speaking like the pot, is name and form with an essential substance pervading the world, which is the ultimate Truth...

Ed: This is strictly an analogy and is not at all an explanation.  The essence of all is like clay.  So what does that tell me?  This explanation might send me to a beach or a swamp looking for various kind of dirt or clay.

The explanation often given is that everything is consciousness including all the appearances within consciousness.  But this is still just a concept.  You have to first have the experience that everything is consciousness, which is a kind of awakening, rather than using well-worn analogies that really do not help anyone understand anything.

Q5:  I have always wondered why only the permanent is Real, why not the transient and passing also be Real. It feels like a kind of dogma we are told to believe in. Isn't Real what exists whether forever or temporary? Why the duality?

Ed:  Actually, when you :feel" that which is beyond consciousness, all elements of consciousness "feel" unreal. It is an expression about how the world, one's body, and one's emotions and mind feel when you discover the source. Then you are far more interested in the source, and the world seems useless in comparison.

Q5:  useless? not what you said above about caring for cats, opposing Trump, etc. and isn't Compassion what blossoms after enlightenment?

Ed:  You have not been reading my posts and certainly you never really read this post. All is explained here, above. Read it. Go to those before and after. Would you fail to feed cats in a dream? Would you drown babies in a dream? Would you fail to eat or pee in a dream because it was not real?

Q6:  I think it depends on your level of insight. If a revelation has come and you now see the world as a substanceless image like a dream or mirage or even further nothing but emptiness, dark infinity then it would be untrue to yourself not to voice this. With God also, if you believe in God or not, its only a belief, you are really an agnostic. You don't really know. But of you have seen the Oneness in all things then there is a basis to assert the reality of God.

Ed:  It is not really that way. You "see" and apprehend all experiences, all of life and consciousness in an entirely new way, because you can grasp consciousness as a whole rather than being immersed in its hugeness. In a sense, you become bigger than the entire world or consciousness, apprehending it/them as objects depending on you for their existence. Only you are felt to be real, not the objects you apprehend.

Q5:  i have been reading your posts and I know of your humanity. I just was reacting to the word "useless"

Ed:  See, caught by words. React to words and concepts. I am telling you how both Robert and Nisargadatta felt about life and the world. They had no use for it.