In my prior post, I took shots at a meditation teacher who begin stating that it is impossible to stop the monkey-mind. In summation, if you believe that it is impossible to subdue the monkey-mind, then I say rather bluntly, "you should not be teaching meditation". That doesn't mean that one should not share what they have learned, especially if it is something that works in one's life. Rather, the problem arises when one tries to pass themselves as renowned, a master, etc. That becomes an issue in the Western world, where one's livelihood is based on teaching. Marketing comes into play, and as I've seen with many attorneys, one may need to "fake it until you make it" in order to attract the clients, etc. Hence, the need for westerners to add "certificates" or scholarship to their resume, as if "gurus" and "swamis" hand out awards and licenses. This is an issue when spiritual practices become commercialized. Though, on a positive note, some people are only ready to relieve stress as opposed to witnessing the greater possibilities of one's own spirit. Hence, such teachers can be a stepping stone, but also a distraction from the truth.
The same sentiment applies by those who dawn a spiritual robe, take the oaths, and may even live and breathe the spiritual environments. As I've seen, we're all to quick to bow to such individuals, especially in the East, though such individuals may hold valuable information for our own development. On some level, we're all each others teachers, as the Universe is reflected in each individual. However, many fall prey to the "expert phenomena", where our own diligence, rationality, and intuition are subdued to individuals considered "experts". In such circumstances, our power is given away to other individuals with think we can trust. In witnessing the current state of India's politics, where many "gurus" are putting on the political hat and pushing the Hindutva movement, I fail to see the greats like Sri Ramakrishna who found Brahman in every religion, even Islam. Though susceptible to traditional/cultural programming, I'm learning more and more that wearing an orange robe with a tilak doesn't render one enlightened or even holy, as compared to the standards of the greats that have walked this Earth.
You should not say, “This is my guru. What guru says I must follow.” That’s totally wrong! Buddha himself mentioned, “You must examine my teaching”. Similarly if one particular lama says something, you examine whether this goes well according to Buddhaʻs teaching or according to the circumstances in society. Then you must follow. If the lama says something; if you investigate and it’s not proper, then you should not follow the lama’s teaching. Even Dalai Lama’s teaching; if you find some contradiction you should not follow my teaching. -Dalai Lama
Spirituality breeds arrogance. Especially when paranormal experiences come into play, one tends to jump to conclusions and feel they have the truth. I've definitely fallen victim to those sentiments, which has become a continuous pitfall for my meditation. When an expansive thought arises in my mind, one that I feel should be shared to help others on their journey, I'm starting to realize that is only me ego that is attempting to pull me out of the absolute/Para-Brahman state back into my egoic-material-expression. The ego would rather be in the material world and thinking, even if it is expansive spiritual thoughts. However, that's what the monkey-mind does, it tricks you into thinking you're enlightened, when really, it pulls you out of the absolute state and back into the egoic. Too many people in the spiritual community have these experiences, are quick to jump to conclusions that are fanatically parroted out into the world, when really the goal is to become an empty vessel for higher expression. The empty vessel isn't destroying the ego, but liberating it from its bondages, moksha. This includes myself as I teach and similarly follow teachers/teachings.
In studying the esoteric writings of the Gnostic Christians as well as the works of Henry Spencer Lewis of the mystical organization AMORC, who claims to have texts on Jesus not readily available, it appears that Jesus was prepped for his position knowing the greatness of who he was from his birth based on his astrological sign (the reason why the Magi sought after him). Unlike others in the Essenes, including John the Baptist, Jesus was an open vessel who was fully filled through his initiation in an Egyptian pyramid. In other words, it appears that Jesus held very little egoic-programming where Higher Self was capable of being fully realized in the vessel that was Jesus. As part of his unfolding, Jesus needed to be further trained in order to be ready to teach at the highest level, where Jesus didn't begin his teachings until he was thirty (30), though he was being prepped since childhood.
Though we are all in this together, where we mirror information and are stepping stones to greater truth, the problem arises when people began to dawn titles and hold a superior conclusion that is propagated into the world, soley based on an "expert" title or clothing. Resonance is first and foremost important, where it seems extremely important that we do not get trapped into giving someone else our power, especially when it comes to broadening our perspectives that help us navigate our own spirituality.
When it comes to seeking and learning from a master, set your standards impossibly high. The highest is the absolute, where all else is simply an egoic illusion.
It could be my arrogance, but instead of studying the works of students, I would choose to pursue their masters. One of my major paradigm shifting points in understanding what could be possible, was when I read "Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramahansa Yogananda and "Black Elk Speaks" back in early high school. Both individuals spoke from a place of experience, they captivated their audience not only with their spiritual growth, but their flowering. You're not getting second hand teachings with these masters, but witnessing first-hand the footsteps that breath the teachings.
As an example, I've read a little of Deepak Chopra and seen some of his lectures. No doubt he's built a spiritual empire, a power-house that will only keep expanding. He is a phenomenal stepping stone, a catalyst for people to pursue more from their spirituality. But for me, his work has always fell significantly short. You can't go from Nisargadatta Maharaj and have expanded experiences of Self, and then read Deepak Chopra, unless Nisargadatta went over your head. However, Mr. Chopra is a great place to be an entry-point to higher teachings. I carried a personal preference of Mr. Chopra's colleague, Dr. Wayne Dyer, who would not only disclose/cite to other teachings, his teachers, etc., but he would bring us along on his personal spiritual journey to help us reflect on our own lives.
As my own intuitive abilities are expanding and experiences are deepening, there's something more in studying the works of masters. In the Hindu tradition, we would call this Darsana, I presume. Though defined simply as auspicious sight of a deity or holy person, I've come to believe Darsana to be a telepathic exchange of energy, one that noticeably alters consciousness. Nisargadatta's texts are ones that I feel I'm constantly being thrown out of my body, in reading the words of a man whose consciousness has dissolved personal ego for infinity. I've found the same with channeled material, especially the Seth Speaks writings, where The Nature of the Psyche left me consciously feeling funny and having long movie-like dreams though the night. I share similar sentiments with devotional Tantrik Mantras, particular to the Shiva-Shakti (Parvati) dynamic, the divine couple who taught the world meditation and yoga. Such mantras energetically envelope the physical body, causing the practitioner to feel and experience heightened states. Practicing these mantras is like going directly to the original masters, who will continue to guide you on your spiritual journey.
What seeded this post is due to the vast amount of information that is now arising due to the popularity of these subjects. It's great that more and more people are attempting to dive deeper, and many of these new teachers are stepping stones to greater learning, but I feel that many are teaching subjects for which they lack experience. Should the subject be pure logical knowledge based, it's great and more information can be used to create differing perspectives, which I found to be useful in studying differing esoterica. But when it comes to meditation and experiences derived thereof, I'm finding many lack the experience but make up for it by citing to the tradition.
This morning, I watched a youtube video where a western teacher attempted to synthesize meditation with sex. The video was under the banner of a spiritual company I've somewhat kept my eye on, has over 300k views with plenty of positive comments, and had an overall professional appeal as if it were Ted-Talks. In addition, the teacher is elevated with high credentials including "Vedic", having spent numerous years in India. Excitedly, I gave the video a go hoping to find just a few tidbits to broaden my practice. However, the video simply went downhill until it crashed and burned for me.
The teacher immediately began with a statement somewhat stating that it is impossible to stop the mind, where then she somewhat further alluded to the purpose of meditation is not necessarily stopping the mind. Just because she hasn't been able to do it, doesn't mean it can't be done. I should have stopped the video then, but decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. What she then thereafter presented was numerous logical-scientific reasons for meditation, relieving stress, and even gave a quick meditative practice in being mindful to the senses as a way to turn on the sixth sense. In summation, what I saw in this video was a meditation teacher who stated that it's impossible to turn off the monkey-mind, and then given me numerous reasons of why she herself can't successfully do that. If you're engaging the logical-scientific aspects of meditation, and attempting to be mindful to your senses, it's going to be difficult in moving beyond (transcending) the logical-mind and the bodily senses that keep us limited within our egoic expression. It's like when the Dalai Lama was asked about the meaning of Om Mane Padme Hum, where he simply responded with, it's really not about the definition or meaning, it's what arises within you and the shifts that occur from doing the practice.
The teacher did bring up the two schools of meditation in India, one for monks, the other for householders. Though, she didn't present much more than that other than the householder one may be more powerful. I'm not sure if she understood that the householder meditative practice is known as Kriya Yoga, which is what Yogananda and his Self-Realization camp teach. The techniques appear to be similar to Mantak Chia's taoist techniques, from my studies of both Chia's work and Stevens work Kriya Secrets Revealed.
Though my sentiments on this teacher may be harsh, it's something that appears to be arising very rapidly in the western world. I've seen what the western world has dangerously done with the concept of tantra, where many are quick to enjoy heightened sexuality, but without facing their demons/blockages held in their light-body/chakra system. The same appears to be done with meditation, especially if you're doing techniques beyond calming the monkey-mind. Through meditative practices, such as Kriya Yoga, one develops an inner awareness and the ability for inner engineering, so that one may handle the kundalini fire, which clears the way for Higher Self, which is found through transcending the monkey-mind and bodily senses. These teachings are not just found in India, but all throughout the world, though hidden in occult and spiritualist settings. However, a lot of these western meditation teachers do not fully dive in to truly unlock the inner potential that meditation is capable of accomplishing. Again, I'm not trying to be harsh, but there's a lot of information being presented, and to a very large audience, which may be a result of misunderstanding.
India is known for having many teachers. My understanding is that you can probably find one in every corner. It's a blessing in that there are so many individuals willing to dedicate themselves to this practice, to look for truth and experience. However, the problem isn't finding the right teacher, it's more-so, how far are you, as the adept, willing to take this. Many people are complacent with relieving stress so that you can better manage their egoic life, some may even dabble in concept of siddhas to help shift their egoic lives in certain ways. But you attract the teacher based on your intent, relevancy to your blue-print, and your sincerity in seeking. In other words, you don't have to go to India, especially living in the age of information. Even if you do go to India or anywhere else, law of attraction will put you before what you are ready to handle. It's understanding the whole "when the student is ready, the teacher will come" based on the law of attraction. However, it seems many are not attempting to attract Self-Realization as their utmost goal.
In the Sri Tantraloka, Abhinavagupta discloses the search for a proper teacher. Essentially, the teacher must be so elevated, that he must be none other than Lord Shiva himself. For an individual who believes that enlightenment is far away, who is simply attempting to manage their day-to-day egoic life, use these teachers as stepping stones to greater information, when you're ready. Use the law of attraction to put yourself before the teacher/teachings that will take you the highest to reach your own full-potential.
For the sincere seeker in search of the highest, look for Shiva (infinite consciousness). As Abhinavagupta further states, if you can't find such a teacher in human form, conjure his Shakti, the Goddess of Wisdom. Conjuring Shakti through mantras is the path I took, which has brought me before numerous teachers/teachings and dissolved density for heightened awareness, all of which have pushed me further in expansion than I would have dreamed possible.
When it comes to spirituality, it behooves you to only settle for the best based on your resonance. That someone may not necessarily be someone with a large business, ashrams, titles, a large resume, etc., but may be a simple householder like Nisargadatta Maharaj.
The Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine have taken different meanings based on the numerous spiritual teachers, all attempting to understand the human dynamic. Society, religion, and therefore our parents have all played a major role in shaping what it means to be "masculine" or "feminine", where certain colors, interests, emotions, are often given a gender dynamic. It seems that there was a masculine and feminine archetype, and humans based on their gender have sought to embody solely their own genders archetype. But such may have evolved into the shadow aspects of both the masculine and feminine, pushed forward by patriarchal leanings.
Religion is at the forefront of creating this programming, where individuals are to play the roles of their gender archetype. The whole "god made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" comes into play, with a deeper meaning stretching so much further than just simple sexual identity, yet these connotations pervade in every society-religion that takes issue of anything blending the male and female dynamic. In other words, this programming isn't just found in the Abrahmic traditions.
In the esoteric works, before there was Adam and Eve, there was Adam and Lilith. Lilith being the first female, created at the same time as Adam, and wishing to be seen as an equivalent. Adam wanting to be superior denies Lilith, forces others to do the same by crafting her as the mother of demons, and thus patriarchal superiority is born. The same is somewhat found in Hinduism, where the embodiment of shakti herself, Sati, is denied by her father, Daksha, as the creator of Hindu Culture. Daksha is a devotee of Visnu in opposition to Shiva, where Visnu's feminine counterpart is often depicted as passive and in support of Visnu. Whereas, Shiva's feminine, Sati-Shakti, will stand on Shiva when need be as Ma Kali. The smoke arising from Sati's sacrifice at Daksha's yajna creates the Grandmother form of Ma Kali known as Ma Dhumavati, the Mother of misery and bhutas, ghosts. Like Lilith, Dhumavati is somewhat in opposition of the patriarchal culture where those in these religions have often been told to stay away from such beings.
As a male, we're taught to deny these "feminine" emotions, pursue the Marlboro Man alpha male strength, where the only option in dealing with these "feels" is some form of intoxication. From my experience, this isn't just a programming that males hold, but one that is also similarly pushed by many females, all as part of the societal-religious programming. I know my ex-girlfriend called into question my masculinity when I couldn't always be the "rock", and similar dating profiles have held the metaphors of being an "ocean" looking for her "mountain". Many may say they appreciate a masculine willing to dive into their own depths, but let's just say actions speak louder than words, when really, the archetypal male/female programming describing what each gender should embody runs deep in humanity, as has been pushed for eons.
Given the significant amount of time that I've spent diving into meditation these last few years, where much of my external life has been at a standstill, I've come to understand that what is on the other side is more real than this physical delusion. Goddess mantras to fierce tantrik deities that dissolve my programming to crystallize Self, has brought an influx of feminine energy where such possessive energy has made me "feel" feminine when I meditate. In fact, under deep meditation, I would sometimes identify more-so with a feminine form, which has helped me come to understand that consciousness is unlimited in its capabilities where we ourselves subject our consciousness to the limitations we place upon it.
Overly educated and continuously exploring and revealing more behind the veil.
"It cannot be too highly emphasized that the mystic swims in the same waters in which the psychotic drowns."
-James Wasserman, The Mystery Traditions