room was kind of like a suite with a bathtub with two desks and
a little balcony. Huge eucalyptus trees swayed in the wind nearby.
I was already beginning to feel that this was a special place.
It was kind of hard to explain why. I just felt this really strong
vibe. It's like the place was pregnant with this deep kind of
love. I started to swoon and had to lie on the floor. It would
just hit you like a ton of bricks. I couldn't really explain this.
It was so spooky and addictive. It just filled the place. I could
see herds of white deer outside. These herds would run away if
you got too close, but they were neat to look at.
felt so lucky to be here. It was like the more risks you took,
the more the universe kind of protected you. I really felt this.
I ate with the monks everyday. But none of them wore robes,
except for the guy in orange. That's how I missed the head Swami.
He ate at the head of the table, but wore overalls. I don't
know why, but he invited me to his little shed and started talking
to me. He asked me what type of meditation I was doing.
told Swami about the Cobra Breath. He told me to be careful
with techniques that built energy inside you. I mean you did
this long enough and your body got affected in ways that were
kind of hard to feel or understand until it was too late. You
needed a good teacher. He had to be around. The tantric guy
with the videos was a little too fly by night. Swami told me
that developing psychic powers was not the same as going for
the spiritual path. I mean the spiritual path was getting rid
of EGO. The EGO was an illusion and it pretended to control
everything through its limited perception.
looked at this guy. I said to myself, " This guy's a Swami?
" I mean the guy looked like he came out of American gothic.
Where was the pitch-fork? Swami talked on. He told me the Big
Bang and Darwinism were all bunk. I mean this guy was a scientist.
Swami had graduated with a degree in electrical engineering
from UC Berkeley. Instead of equations, he was more interested
in these things called the gunas. It's like the universe was
a collection of mental energies in these three elementary forms.
A divine intelligence manifested this way and it wasn't necessary
to call it God, but you could if you really wanted to. Science
was bumping up against a lot of paradoxes in the twentieth century.
Quantum mechanics had driven my roommates at UC Berkeley right
up the wall. Swami wasn't tense about any of this. I mean the
universe was a mental kind of thing and it was alive and intelligent.
It wasn't dead organic matter. The gunas made sure of that.
told me that consciousness had no beginning and no end. It had
no dimension and no energy. Space and time were just constructs
of the mind. Consciousness was beyond it. It wasn't mental either.
Consciousness had no energy, but could control it. It had no
form, but could generate it. It had no matter, but it could
guide it. Consciousness had no personality. It had no body and
no mind; and best of all it had no EGO. All forms of meditation
tried to control the mind and Ego. And mind had a very keen
survival mechanism. This intense need to control things was
the cause of rebirth. I mean to stop the mind would be its death
and few minds would ever really allow this. Nirvikalpa Samadhi
was a form of mind death; and even avatars like the Bengali
saint needed some help in hanging on to their bodies because
they were needed on the earth plane.
felt the tantric guy made access hard because he wasn't really
ready to teach. I mean teaching was difficult. You took on people's
karma. You could have the knowledge, but you also needed the
love. It's what got you out of trouble. The spiritual path was
a slippery one. You had to be completely honest with yourself.
Money, fame, and sex were strong desires. It was hard to devote
yourself to the inner journey if you had these strong distractions
pulling on your shirt-tails. It was really hard to find good
teachers. Many who were able to teach rarely wanted to. Those
that weren't ready had tons of followers. The karma of their
students would eat them up; and this was the high price they
paid for pedaling their wares. This was all very sobering business.
It really was.