Harvest of Gems - Two

01 - 02 - 03 - 04 - 05 - 06 - 07 - 08 - 09 - 10

Harvest of Gems - Two

I had about five-hundred dollars in my pocket. It was the rent deposit from the land-lady. That's about all I had. I had stopped the night at Pismo Beach. I could no longer afford a motel. So I sneaked into a trailer park and slept in my car. It wasn't too bad really. The next morning I kind of meditated in the dunes near the beach. I felt really happy. I wasn't afraid too much. I mean a new adventure had started and the prospect of going to Nepal really jazzed me up.

When I got to San Rafael, my cousin was busy preparing food for Passover. She was already engaged to go somewhere else for dinner and I was given the address of a Rabbi who always welcomed the curious on Passover. This fellow was a member of a Jewish sect that had once been heavily involved with Jewish mysticism. These people were possibly crazy, but less so than before. My step-mother couldn't stand them.

At dinner, I asked the Rabbi what if any significance did the Biblical parables have. He gave me a pretty cool answer. These events were a state of mind; and were more than just the literal things that had happened. I mean when the Jews left Egypt what was important was the idea of being free. That concept was just as critical. To reinforce this Rabbi started singing and dancing. Rabbi was into the spirit of things; and not so hung-up on ritual like my step-mother. This was going to be an important theme as I wandered around northern California for the next six months. I mean I was now looking for the very essence of spirituality. The forms were just forms.

My 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.

I 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.

I 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.

I 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.

Swami 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.

Swami 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.

I was back on Tantra island. I was going to stay a week. As soon as I got there I set up my tent and watched the daily fights. The Austrian woman was determined to use me as a shield and as long as I was around she insulted her boy-friend on a daily basis. Shouting and even physical blows occurred everyday. But I couldn't help noticing that that there was an element of ritual theatre in all this. I mean even when the Austrian girl was thrown into the pool with all her clothes on. This was a really tough couple. I tried to keep my composure. There was no other choice.

I mean this guy was a great encyclopedia. He was. By the time I got through we had twelve audio-cassettes. We covered everything there was to know about tantra and the Vajrayana path. And this guy besides having an impressive amount of knowledge was downright funny and really hip in his delivery. I mean the Buddhist lingo was mixed with a lot of sixties American slang. This guy was not only really hip to tantra, but could rap at the speed of light. I as a Yopi really appreciated this.

We talked a lot about sutras and how the chanting of them absorbed your psychic sludge so you could release it. But it seems only you could benefit from this exercise. It was ONLY clearing you. That wasn't good enough. Tantra cleared you and others simultaneously. The mantra was the main Tibetan tool for mind cruising in other subtler realms. This cruising cleared the mind and also burned karma while simultaneously clearing other beings. Pretty far-out stuff. It was sure, the hairiest sight and sound show available and my karma had brought me to it and to someone who could explain it to me.

Besides the mantra you had the yidam. This was the visualization of the deity. You engineered a hallucination in order to blast into other mind realms. That's were the great guides were. When you called them, they helped you; and this freed you and others at the same time. That's how it all worked.

We did a lot of sight and sound and it was pretty trippy. We then did Manjushri and Amitaba. I saw a yellow Buddha flash by while we were doing this. We then sealed the gig with silent meditation on emptiness. I was flying! BEEP! BEEP! Images just got bigger and bigger on the mental radar screen. We saved the best for last. Kalachakra and Vajrakilaiya. I had the empowerments for these practices. This tantric cruiser not only gave initiations, but also instructions. Which were hard to get and great to have. I mean the lamas were kind of tight-fisted in America and with good reason. This stuff was dangerous. I mean it was like a sacred circuit.

You made offerings and prepared the runway for the heavies to land. They shined on you their radiance and bliss. You offered it to all beings and then got it back and then re-offered it to the great guides. I mean it was a sacred loop and the more you did it, the more you just glowed. And the more things just kind of happened. They really did.

The week went pretty fast. The tantric guy was living with his mother who had Alzheimer's and was always kind of walking in circles a lot. The Austrian gal would pick fights and sometimes walk around the house in the nude. It was hot and the sun would beat down everyday. It was good to have a pool around. I noticed that the mother's bedroom was occupied. A tall thin kind of guy would come in and out late at night. I was told that he was a Vietnam vet and that he had a lot of guns and lot's of rounds of live ammunition inside. So I kind of kept to myself. I mean this was tantra!

01 - 02 - 03 - 04 - 05 - 06 - 07 - 08 - 09 - 10

All contents of this site copyright by Michael Arthur Finberg