In 1995 I had a classic Wisdom School enlightenment experience of being entirely beyond the world, beyond consciousness and all experiences, yet myself, I was unknowable as an object or process. I saw that even consciousness itself seemed like a joke, as were all objects within consciousness.
For 15 years I dwelt in a kind of emptiness, the Void, where any sense of self was lost, and I would only “stare” into the void.. There was little emotion during this period of time and just the mundane activities of everyday life. This was the kind of awakening that Nisargadatta and Robert Adams talked about, where one realizes one self, awareness, as noumena, outside of the realm of existence or experience, as outside of the manifest world.
It had taken me 27 years of arduous training to come to this realization. I had studied under six Zen Masters, Swami Muktananda, Dhyanyogi, Robert Adams, and many others.
In 2009, I had an entirely different awakening experience, this time not to the absolute, the noumenal self, but to my existential self, the self that felt like I, me, mine but not as the body, but as spirit within and around my body. This was the experiential side of the noumenal knower or witness.
One day I awoke feeling very happy, and I became happier and happier throughout the day. I had been feeling energies circulating within my body for many months. The circulating energies often had color, and also circulated around and between various energy centers within what I called my sense of presence, which was experienced as an energy body within and around my physical body.
But this day something different happened. While feeling ecstatic bliss within I began to feel a great power arising from my umbilical area, slowly surging upwards towards my heart like a ball of light in a lava lamp. The feeling I had was of utterly immense power accompanied by intense white light, rising like the plasma in a lava lamp, but rising within my gut.
It arose higher and higher into my heart and exploded with the light of a thousand suns and unimaginable power which coursed through my body, my psyche and my sense of presence. I felt deliriously happy, and was wrapped in ecstatic bliss of the most profound sort.
This power continued upwards through my head and brain and out into space above. For me there was nothing else but this ecstatic, blissful, power and light, whose power and peacefulness “enslaved” me to its presence, and made me bow to its magnificence. In full worship I dropped to my knees, then to the floor in full supplication and surrender to this power, this apparent “Other.” I was in the presence of God and was washed by his golden light of grace. I had become totally purified, empty of any doubt or sin, washed clean worshipping this other.
This “Other” I later was to realize was none other than myself, not in the transcendental sense of the noumenal self beyond consciousness and experience, but as the core of my being as a sentient being, as a living and feeling being, as an incarnation of the divine, of God. I gradually realized over the next few weeks or months that this “Other” this divinity within me, was no other than I am, my sense of being alive and existing. I was life, pure spirit, incarnated into the flesh, and God was I, the divinity I perceived was my own as life. Borrowing a term from Nisargadatta Maharaj, I called this experience coming to know the Life Force, coming to know the divine within, and that life within me was God-incarnate.
The interesting thing was that the realization of the noumenal self was so difficult to obtain. It had taken me literally tens of thousands of hours of meditation and studies under at least nine different gurus before I found this experience, and it was utterly life-changing. But the second experience, which I call realization of the Manifest Self really took less than a year, and was such a delightful and exciting path compared to the previous path of 27 years and the 15 years of aftermath dwelling in peace and the void, that I knew without a doubt, that this path was one best suited for Westerners in this day and age of instant gratification, and utter confusion and lostness within society as a whole and more so, in the spiritual marketplace.
Everyone had become totally confused by their minds, overwhelmed by all the incoming data and stimulation, and almost all had lost their ability to FEEL deeply. This is where the universal confusion and loss of self-sense laid: loss of contact with one’s feeling core.
The Manifest Self was so easy to obtain compared to the dreary path of Advaita, or the no mind state of Zen where nothing is ever understood by the mind, and which takes a lifetime to master. The problem with Advaita and Zen was the lack of respect paid to emotions and to the movements within everybody’s energy bodies, which were not even acknowledged in Advaita and Zen, and were considered illusory by Zen monks.
But what delightful illusions they were! To feel every moment of the day of bursting of happiness within one’s heart and gut, feeling the various energy complexes within the subtle body that lies within the physical body, feeling the flowing of energies, constant sates of bliss, and for women, almost continuous orgasms which many experience as part of becoming acquainted with their subtle bodies. They discover that orgasms really have little to do with physical sex, when liberated from the concepts that they are always tied to physical sex. Indeed, they are more tied to the opening of one’s heart.
It is so astounding for the spiritual practitioner to learn that liberation comes not from rejecting one’s body and sensual experiences as being something to be transcended, but by becoming ever more aware of experiences and energies within one’s physical body, the so-called “subtle body,” which I also call one’s sense of presence, because it feels like you, like your source, like your manifestation. With these experiences of the energies within one’s sense of presence, for the first time in your life you know who and what you are, all doubts flee, and even though you feel great excitement and happiness and bliss, there is a sense of completion of having finally attained an understanding of who and what you are, and with that the blockages to accurate actions and accurate discrimination begin to disintegrate.
The http://wearesentience.com website was originally designed in 2006 to present the teachings of my final guru, Robert Adams, as well as my other teacher, Jean Dunn’s understanding of Nisargadatta as presented in her three books and during my personal relationship with her. However, after my experience of the Manifest Self I had no choice but to change my teachings, because I saw the realization of the manifest self was far easier to obtain, and could be obtained by a much larger audience than those discovering their selves as the absolute, the Witness.
I was to discover later that the transcendental experiences and knowledge of being the noumenal witness beyond all manifest experience, becomes more easily available to someone who is awakened to their Manifest Self. The manifest world is perceived as a play which one can participate in, even joyfully, and at the same time recognizing that you could die at any moment and not feel the slightest consternation or fear.
Therefore, I am in the process of reorganizing this site and opening it up to more of a Tantric approach of using emotions, love, developing ongoing experience of internal energies through various methods, and listening to sacred music to develop devotion and surrender as a way of life, not only to the God within but towards others, because I found by finding the energy core in and other, and loving it in another, I was able to discover it in myself, and when I discovered it in myself, it revealed itself to me in its full stature and glory as the Manifest Self, as the Life Force, as God.
The Ghost in the Machine
I am writing an introduction to a path to enlightenment by means of becoming aware of one’s subtle body processes. In this document I am speaking directly to the intelligence of your subtle bodies, but even deeper, to you who are beyond all of this.
The subtle body inaccurately can be said to be located within one’s physical body. This is only true because one first tends to perceive Subtle body processes by “looking inwards,” by imaginatively turning one’s external visual seeing inwards, at the third eye center located near the middle of the four head , or downwards towards the heart, or even further downwards towards the gut.
At first almost everyone sees nothing just darkness but with persistence, one begins to be able to visually see within what appears to be the inner darkness of one’s body. What has happened, is that you are beginning to perceive with an alternative imaginative visual sense, the inner workings of the Subtle body, especially its energies, how they flow, have direction and intensity.
You might say the essential character of the Subtle body consist of four components: an inner light called the light of consciousness, which illuminate an inner “space,” or Void, and “energies,” of many different sorts that flow in and around the Subtle body because these energies are at first perceived to be within the physical body, and lastly, FEELING all these energies, emotions, tactile sensations, in movement, such as walking, or breathing.
Growing acquaintance with the inner body will result in the realization at some point that you are not the physical body, but instead are this feeling body within which feels energies, emotions, experiences thoughts, perceives inner lights, and which feels the body, its tensions and pleasures, but most significantly, you become aware of all the various energy patterns within the Subtle body that are only loosely associated with the physical body’s nervous complexes.
One could say that when one enters one’s Subtle body, you are entering into an area of fantasy, of images, sensations, bliss, energies, sexuality, feeling of the physical organs, seeing inner light, witnessing thoughts, feeling moods and emotions. In a sense the whole process becomes like a very deep and nonverbal psychotherapy because you are experiencing emotions and energies that flow and morph into each other in very complex ways and patterns, but there is nothing “real about any of these processes as they are not manifest objectively in the world for all to see. They are subjective in similar to fantasy processes, and fantasy processes can be used to awaken one’s awareness To Subtle body processes.
The Subtle body and deeper levels are whole new world to a person who was only aware of their minds and their physical bodies, and to a lesser degree of emotions. A whole new world is opened up of ever-changing space and flows of energies and emotions within the space. In this space is felt to be far more real than your physical body, because you begin to see and understand the physical body is merely perceived and made real by the Subtle body and its connection to the physical body.
At this point, what you had called real before, your external world, your home, your spouse, politics, your career can begin to seem unreal in comparison to the aliveness and intense presence of one’s experience of one’s own subtle body. The external world can begin to feel like a dream in comparison to the new dynamic reality of the inner energetic processes and bliss. Hence Ramana and Robert Adams saying that the world is like a dream in comparison to the depths you are now plumbing within.
Now, there are many ways to gain entrance to the Subtle body. Traditional methods involve breathing exercises called pranayama, combined with visualization’s and focusing one’s attention on various places within the physical body where supposedly Subtle body Complexes or Chakras are located, and then imagining energies and lights traveling between or within a Chakra. This is the traditional way, and I might say the most boring way, and a way that is or can be filled with danger for those who do not have an ever present teacher. Kundalini awakenings can be quite frightening because of the experiences one is subject to, none of which appear to be under one’s own control, therefore inducing fear of insanity her death.
However, I have a very different way. I get people to be able to experience their Subtle Bodies and their energies by having them open their heart towards me as I open my heart towards them. It is a Subtle body process wherein one feels like one’s heart and beingness are opening to another person. One feels very vulnerable, very open, very accepting, and very loving. This causes in some cases, a similar spontaneous opening to the person being addressed, whether face-to-face, online, in Satsang, or by some other connection such as a phone or even in an email.
On a deeper level, I am speaking to you, the ultimate knower, telling you about part of your own phenomenology that you can become aware of. Part of what I am doing is directly manipulating your subtle body energies to awaken them, but also to you as knower to become aware of a deeper you.
Now, there are two powerful complexes in the Subtle body that almost automatically respond to such a heart opening: the heart center in the other, and the sexual center in the other, because they are the two most powerful centers normally available to uninitiated people, and their energies can be closely related. Where there is an opening in one, there is often an opening in the other simultaneously or shortly thereafter. But neither appear real in the sense of being objective for everyone to see. These are purely subjective, even though they appear to the person more powerful in real than anything in the external world while they are being experienced.
I want to make one thing very clear. The work I do can be called a complete fantasy process by using words, images, metaphors, tone of voice, to induce openings in the other person or in many attendees at Satsang. It is a process remotely similar to hypnosis, but only in the sense that there is a conscious and unconscious process of locking the Subtle body of two people together in a kind of resonance. I become a broadcaster, they become the receiver, and by resonance they feel a heart opening and often similarly a sexual opening, which is reflected back to me and I react to it, and often there is a building of these energies in each person. Other openings come later. The heart center and the sexual center are only two of the myriad of inner experiences of energies, bliss, openings, the Void, utter silence, and the sense of being alive itself, which Nisargadatta called “I am.”
One’s identity shifts from being a physical body, to being a Subtle body, then dropping further and identifying oneself as Void or emptiness or nothingness, and lastly, all of these are dropped and one recognizes that he or she is that to which all these appearances appear, all of these bodies appear in awareness, your awareness, and this awareness, like life itself, is a universal phenomena. Everyone has awareness, everyone is life, and you begin to take on this identification. But the identification is mediated by exploring one’s Subtle body, the complexes of energies and bliss, of silence and Void within that so few people know.
I do want to make clear that very strong sexual feelings are set off in this process spontaneously, without any physical sex taking place at all, and often even without a thought of sex. One’s body begins convulse in full-body orgasms not connected to one’s sexual center. Orgasms can feel originating in many parts of the body, or the entire body. But these orgasms are really not attached to sexuality itself in the physical body. They are kind of earthquakes of energy that show that the body, both the physical and the Subtle, are waking up to subtleties of deepening perception to which the person had been previously unaware. The strong sexual earthquakes are kind of ways that God entices us as physical beings to become aware of the Subtle body within. There, orgasms, especially female orgasms, are more a measure for them of the perfection of that moment of being alive. Sometimes orgasms feel like that at that moment, they are feeling or perceiving or hearing truth, and the orgasm is experienced within the subtle body as the perception of truth or perfection in the moment.
The physical orgasms one has in physical sex our almost nothing like the spiritual orgasms one has opening the spiritual body, yet the term orgasm, as well as sexual centers, immediately convey or cast the most prurient shadow over this whole process of becoming alive to your deeper self. Some people will just read this or hear this and want to puke because it sounds dirty in some way or goes against their grain of speaking of spirituality and sexuality in the same paragraph. Or is one swami put it, some people go bad shit crazy when speaking of spirituality and sex in the same breath.
Opening of the sexual center in the Subtle body, leads to sharing the intensity of that Subtle body sexuality to the entirety of the Subtle body, such that all of the energies within the Subtle body become coordinated, balanced and one pointed only after sexual energies have been transmuted into total body energy balancing.
Again, the entire methodology is based on fantasy, imaginatively seeing within one’s physical body, feeling openings in various parts of the physical body, which are really openings in one’s Subtle body, in the heart complex, the sexual complex, the gut complex called Hara by the Japanese. When the third eye complex opens, above and behind the physical eyes, by imaginatively turning one’s vision inwards, results in the perception of inner light, the light of consciousness, where in the movements of energies are seen as colored flows or streams within and between various complexes in the Subtle body.
The natural result of the opening of the Subtle body is the arising of bliss, at first very lightly, and it is felt like low current electricity, but does not have the stark feeling of electric shock, but as far more gentle and somewhat more pleasurable. At first it is like one’s leg waking up after being asleep, but more pleasurable.
Over a period of days, weeks or months, the intensity of the bliss grows until sometimes one is so enthralled by the intensity of bliss one cannot even move for fear of destroying the state. Living in these energies, manipulating them, feeling them to become ever more subtle and refined, and teased apart by one’s own awareness, is the most lovely process of self-exploration imaginable, especially as it is rewarded by an ever increasing opening of deeper and deeper levels of self and leaving behind the mundane world altogether, and sinking into the ecstasies of light, power, bliss within.
Yet, for all intents and purposes, for Westerners, it can be presented as being a fantasy process only, and that no physical contact is necessary and is really not possible. I know some teachers use touch for Shaktipat, but it is not necessary. A teacher can radiate his internal field and allow those who can to feel it in him, and by resonance, in their own selves. Some spontaneously begin to feel orgasms at this time others heart openings, and others feel both. This is the beginning result of a fantasy process of speaking, tone of voice, words used, images used, metaphors brought out, as well as speaking from an open heart.
One of the most amazing things one discovers through this process is that everything is made out of these energies. The physical body is not as it seems before the subtle body is open. We only perceive the physical body within as tactile sensations in the sense data from the physical organs. Gradually these are seen or understood as being another form of energy that can be transmuted by the explorer/practitioner.
Also, emotions are another form of energies. You might say that emotions are unstable packages of these energies which when teased open through awareness dissolve into bliss. For the explorer who has developed one pointedness and persistence, every emotion, positive and negative, when perceived and brought into one’s sense of one’s heart and held there, can be seen to dissolve into the bliss body of the subtle body having been transmuted out of the so-called emotional body and transmuted. The same can be done for sexual feelings, for emotions such as fear, for depression, for grief and sadness, and even for jealousy. As such, it becomes a very advanced psychotherapy, but it is not successful unless the practitioner has become one pointed and very subtle in their observing of these emotions and can stabilize and rest in them. This takes time and practice.
My ultimate aim is to make this method of opening others to the Subtle body, to energies, etc., is to help them realize that there are so many levels of you, your life, that are more real than your body, and that altogether, we can call them divine, making you an incarnation of God even while occupying and using a human body. You, as life and consciousness, are divine. You as an incarnation are able to realize the God within who is you, and who is beyond life and death, and who is you. Also, you have that divine power to awaken the divinity in others after you recognize it in your own self, and can help others to couple this way, and divine incarnation of god and goddess, Shiva and Shakti and rest in eternal bliss, and you do it in a natural way, through love, devotion, and surrender to your Beloved, and both of you equally awaken to the divine through resonance.
YOUR OPENING HEART AND SEXUALITY ARE NOT IN YOUR PHYSICAL BODY, BUT YOUR SPIRITUAL BODY. A WAY TO TRANSCENDENCE.
I do not teach self-inquiry the Robert Adams or Ramana taught. I do not ask “Who am I?” and wait for an answer. That is totally in the mind level.
I ask you instead to feel within. Feel for your sense of being alive only, not look for who you are theoretically. Start by feeling for your emotions. Do you feel any? If so, feel them and gently bring them into your heart. I have explained this method in detail elsewhere many times and I call it eating emotions.
Then feel for energies within. Start by concentrating on your fingers or toes. Within seconds you will feel tingling. Focusing attention brings forth energies. Keep practicing these each day and hold onto and spread these energies.
You can add a new practice; think of someone you love deeply, now or in the past. Feel within your heart area for an opening, an internal relaxation that will feel like a tenderness, or maybe with gratitude. Hold your attention there.
Feel also into your genitals thinking of this person? Do you feel any movement or erotic sensation? Focus on these feelings and allow them to expand.
There is something a woman can do that most men cannot, which is to learn how to experience continuous orgasms, at first in the vaginal area, or in the womb, but felt without anyone else being present or without touching herself, because orgasms have little to do with the experiences of the physical body. Orgasms of all sorts results from an internal relaxing of one’s spirit, usually initially felt as the relaxation you feel in the arms of your lover. The relaxation leads to openings in the various energy centers and an accompanying sense of vulnerability that can explode into a chain of orgasms throughout the body. Few know of this freeing of orgasm from physical sex to the act of loving and surrender.
Thinking of your Beloved, not necessarily in a sexual way at all, you can feel your heart continuously opening, and along with it, continuous orgasms, perhaps initially centered in your vagina, womb, or heart, without any physical stimulation. With practice these orgasms can be experienced anytime.
Of course there has to be guidance from someone who knows the way to ignite both the heart and sexual complexes, and it involves fantasy processes, but such cannot be described in the context of this short post.
With very little practice you can begin feel continuous orgasms off and on all day, and for many minutes at a time and with various intensities.
All kinds of things will now be happening to your physical, emotional and energy bodies, but even more importantly, you will directly understand and feel that you are not your physical body, but your deeper energy/emotional/love body which is pure spirit and which both inhabits your physical body and also feels it. It is these more subtle bodies that are sentience, not your physical body. The deepening of your awareness of internal energies, your heart, and sexuality are felt as one continuous energy body, different from your physical body which is perceived as an object, not as you, the subject.
This is your initiation to real self-inquiry, real self feeling deeper and deeper beyond your physical body and your mind. From this deeper place in you, the mind is forgotten and you are living from your heart, gut, and sexuality, no longer subject to the dictates of your mind, judgments or morality, but from your entire sense of presence as being a sentient incarnation of the universal life force.
Gradually you will learn more and more about yourself, until your own sense of self seems pleased by your efforts and love you have shown it. Then the life force reveals itself to you in the most amazing displays of energy, light, bliss, gratitude, and love, and you are reborn as a self-knowing incarnation of God, the life force. This is one form of self-realization which I call awakening to the Manifest Self, the experiential self, or the life force.
RENUNCIATION: WHO NEEDS IT?
We have all heard celebrated Advaitic teachers such as Ramana, Robert Adams, and Nisargadatta saying we must renounce the world, pay it no heed, ignore even your own problems, because they have no reality due to their ever-changing, transient nature. Zen masters say ignore emotions, ignore the internal energies that you feel, ignore inner visions, they are all Makyo--illusion.
But many hearing this say that this style of spiritual life is not for me. Why would I want to give up sex? Why do I want to give up love? Why do I want it all to leave this material world? Of course for many these people, their deepest “spirituality” might be the hot yoga of some yoga center, which has almost nothing to do with real spirituality.
Many people feel in a quandary of “how do I quit this mundane lifestyle because I have so many responsibilities and relationships, children to care for, parents to care for?”
Naturally, formulating the problem in this fashion is to leave yourself trapped. So instead, we will take a Tantric approach.
Rather than saying we will drop all attachments to the world, seek and destroy all habits and attachments within the external world, and all relationships that keep us from going within, let us say instead, “We are going to seek the greatest pleasures within, because we know the pleasures of the world and how fleeting they are, and where suffering far outweighs the pleasures.”
Instead, the Tantra teacher or guru who knows that people do not readily take to renunciation, but are easily tempted by new and better pleasures, would say, the pleasures you feel now are so slight, so hollow, and so temporary, but if you turn within, you open to a whole new universe of pleasure that you could not even dream of before. You open yourself to the ability to open your heart fully, feeling completely relaxed in your own beingness, without any problems, obligations, or suffering.
When your heart opens, your entire body and mind relax, and you fall into an oceanic bliss. The more you can relax your heart, the more your whole being begins to relax, and with that relaxation all the energy centers within the physical and subtle bodies open up, communicate with each other, and coordinate consciousness and activities. You become totally in touch with what Robert Adams called the power that knows the way.
Now, you find instead of turning within providing experience of only nothingness, or quietness, or peace, that you are becoming immersed in something entirely beyond the physical body and its needs and pleasures. Instead you are immersing in your own sense of beingness, your sense of being alive, your sense of being something separate from your body, and which is witnessing your physical body. You have found what Aurobindo called the psychic body, or psychic self. And in due time you will find that this psychic self has infinite levels which you can explore for the rest of your life, in ever deepening and awe inspiring ways. This new world provides endless pastimes of self discovery and deepnening happiness.
Just a hair’s breath deeper than the opening of the heart experience, is feeling the energies circulating within your subtle body, whether it be of the Kundalini sort, the Chi sort, prana-experiences, or by any number of ways of categorizing the internal energies one begins to feel when one’s attention is on one’s own experiences of self, the experiences of existing as a living, sentient being immersed just in that sensation of being alive and feeling, of being sentient, aware.
Both women and men, but especially women can go deeper easily, and have the bliss of those energies transition from the heart to their womb and vagina, where they will begin to be able to experience spontaneous orgasms without even the thought of sexual intercourse, but in close-conjunction with the general openness of their entire being to ever deeper sensations than those provided by the external world.
What extraordinary motivation to go deeper than to have endless and deepening full body orgasms, or constant ecstatic blissful states of energies circulating in and around the body.
What wonder! Learning auto-orgasm as a way to God realization, through making your inner awareness increasingly aware of the joy, happiness, pleasure, within, and gaining complete self-assurance by realizing your feeling core.
What wonders begin to unfold in one’s life, such as experiences of telepathy, or becoming sensitive to the earth’s magnetic field like birds feel, or being able to watch grass blades trope to follow the sun through the sky morning to afternoon. Some people will be able to see in the dark, while others will swoon with ecstasy under the light of the full moon.
But mostly the feeling you feel most intensely, an ever increasingly, is love, love for your own personal beloved, love for your family, love for your friends and for your nation. Love for animals, love for plants, love for all of existence. In fact, developing an ability to love just by practicing love itself quickens the deepening into deeper “spiritual” bodies within oneself, such as the energy body, the bliss body, the deepening awareness of the various energy centers within the multiple bodies a.k.a. Chakras, which penetrate all the experiential bodies.
One watches the Chakras each open up, each begins to radiate and to speak to the other energy centers within one’s various levels of subtle body, and all of your spirit becomes unified instead of scattered, dispersed, confused, and feeling hopeless.
With an integrated spirit, you gain supreme confidence in yourself, even knowing that the body and even the subtle bodies are transient because for some reason, the fear of death no longer bothers you, and no longer touches you, because you are realizing you are something beyond even all of the subtle bodies as well as your physical body, because you are aware of them in an ever deepening way, and ever more ecstatic way, but the witness is separate from all of these existential and experiential states. Thus the label is given of being Unborn, the absolute, or the noumenal Self.
In this path there is no renunciation of the external world; there is no conscious decision to become a monk or a nun; there is no conscious decision to give up the pleasures of the flesh, but there is a realization that the mundane world has nothing to offer in comparison to the excitement, the pleasure, the bliss, and the quickening of life found once you discover your inner life has vast riches to offer.
Eventually, the life force within you, the divinity within you, becomes pleased as Nisargadatta stated, by your efforts and love, and reveals itself to you in the most explosive revelation you have ever experienced that shakes your being and fills you with all, wonder, surrender, and worship of that life force, which later you discover is really you, you at the deepest level of being an incarnation of sentience, awareness, within the material universe.
This path requires no renunciation, only a turning within to find the wonders, bliss, and pleasure residing within your own being.
Also you find an increasingly intense, ecstatic, orgasmic love for other beings, and other beings walk with you hand-in-hand on this journey of unfoldment and enlightenment without renunciation at any point. And you also find that carrying out your duties in the world regarding your children or parents, your lover or spouse, your boss or employees, is still possible, and is done in a much more fulfilling fashion because you are not really attached to the situation, your real attachment is to consciousness, to awareness, to bliss and to love, but you can function in the world, and also go ever deeper spiritually.