Saturday, November 25, 2006

Satsang Reports
Been there, done that, from our non-partisan roving reporters ( * )
This page is from Jim Carruth
See also the Adya report from Bobby Meizer

Adyashanti June 26, 2005

I got to the Tustin Unity Church about a half hour early. I didn’t really expect to be allowed in, but I felt it was worth a try. I had my neck in an Aspen collar brace and a story to tell about my being on disability and having no money due to being out of work for the last six months.

The truth is, my wife and I have been trying to dig ourselves out of the debt we’d accumulated over the last six months while I was having my neck operated on, and the subsequent healing from the neck surgery.

Because of these pressures, my wife and I had recently begun fighting over money - something we rarely do. Even though the admission to see Adyashanti was $70, and under any other circumstances I would have been happy to pay, I was in a bit of a dire straight financially. Here I was, wanting something that wasn’t terribly expensive, but simply couldn’t afford at the time. I had no idea when Adyashanti would be visiting Southern California again. I figured I’d throw myself at the mercy of the Tustin Unity Church, and accept their answer whichever way it went. At least I could drive home knowing I had made the attempt, rather than sitting home and wishing I’d at least tried. You don't ask, you don't get.

“Hold on a moment,” the smiling woman behind the bookstore counter said to me. “Let me ask.” She came back two minutes later with a ticket, and another lovely smile for me. “Enjoy,” she said. Immediately I felt humbled and deeply grateful. For years I’d read on ads and flyers for spiritual events words to the effect that “no one will be turned away due to lack of funds,” but those events were usually only $25 or less, and I’d never really had to put it to the test until now. Asking someone for a $70 admission to be waived was a tad humiliating, but after six months of being ill and learning to let other people do things for me, I was becoming familiar with humiliation, and a kind of acceptance that goes with it.

The bookstore woman's gesture moved me deeply, and along with the feeling of humiliation came a deep feeling of gratitude. Still, it was not a humiliation of the ego. More like a feeling of awe. It was a good, cleansing kind of humiliation. After all, I was being let in to see Adyashanti, which I wanted very much. And the smile on the woman’s face in the store had spoken to me, saying “You belong here today. We want you here. Welcome.” Whew! And I hadn’t even stepped inside the door to the sanctuary yet!

Bright day, beautiful flowers and grounds surrounding me, my sun hat on my head, the Tustin Unity Church has a beautiful aura of peace and healing that I can’t really describe. It’s like the whole place is saying, “We’re here to help you along your path to become enlightened, in as beautiful and as peaceful a setting as we can possibly provide.” I had been here twice before, once to see Andrew Cohen, and once to see Leslie Temple-Thurston. I got in line and soon took my seat in the sanctuary where they regularly hold their Sunday church services and special events.

Adya took the stage and welcomed us. He seemed genuinely pleased to be there, instead of the slightly ill-at-ease feeling I remember getting from Andrew Cohen. I don’t remember word for word what he said. I don’t think I want this Satsang Report to go that way. You know those jeans ads that never once show a pair of jeans in them? That’s how I want this report to go. I suppose a good city desk editor, in the parlance of old journalism, would call this report a “side bar.” Either that, or he’d kick me out of his office and tell me to come back with a story with more about the jeans.

I rarely ask questions at these events, but with Adya I felt comfortable and he felt approachable. I decided to ask since the subject came up, about his realization story. It had been published in his “Emptiness Dancing,” book and he was now discussing it with the group. I asked for the microphone, stood up, and asked, “In Emptiness Dancing, when you said ‘Oh my God, I’ve awakened out of Zen,’ was that moment a shock to you, or more a feeling of liberation?”

He said it had been more liberating than shocking. “All these things we do, these practices to become enlightened become superfluous and fall away after realization,” he said, “But somehow help us get there before we’ve had that realization experience. It’s a mystery, really.”

He said that he had been very hard-headed and stubborn during his sadhana, so all that mental struggling he did on his meditation cushion was a battle he was fighting with himself to become awakened. Once he became spontaneously awakened, he no longer needed practices to maintain it. No robes, techniques, or ceremonies anymore. He was free of all that. Liberated from them, you might say. From then on, he eschewed mental or spiritual manipulation of any kind, in favor of this spontaneity he had found during his awakening experience.

Paraphrasing from his teachings, I would say that according to Adya, there’s nothing we can do to induce or prevent awakening. It’s a purely spontaneous event. One of his teachings I particularly like is the idea that awakening can be gradual, incremental, instead of or in addition to being the classically overwhelming event that we've always been conditioned to expect. It doesn't have to be only one way. If awakening comes with a soft "oh my," instead of a big, mind-blowing "wow," don't overlook the possibility of the "oh my" in favor of waiting for the big "wow." I don't think I've ever heard a spiritual teacher put it this way before. Maybe that's why so many of us are waiting for the big wow, the implication being that we are missing the awakening that's going on right here and now in front of us, because it is so soft and subtle. We've been conditioned to look for it in only one kind of package, and miss it when it comes wrapped differently, because it doesn't look to us as expected.

There are two things I have observed about Adyashanti that I consider unique among teachers:
1. He makes a distinction between being free, and enlightenment/ enlightenment experiences. Many people can merge - by this I take him to mean being able go into Samadhi at will - but are far from being free or liberated. So liberation and enlightenment are not one and the same, according to his teachings.

2. He says to hold onto no fixed ideas, and he really means it. Therefore, if you slouch or begin snoring during meditation instead of sitting up dutifully straight and attentive as we’ve all been taught, he says it absolutely doesn’t matter. Why? Because sitting up straight and meditating as traditionally taught is simply another fixed idea. Besides, he’s known many slouchers who’ve awakened, while many meditators with perfect posture have continued to remain asleep, in spite of their proper technique.

And that, my friends, is what makes him a maverick, to my way of thinking. With this, he has seriously broken away from the pack of all the other spiritual teachers.

During the satsang he spoke at length about suffering, and that our identification with the body and its personality as the basic cause. There were a few stories of suffering offered by members of the audience, including one from the church’s minister, who’s son had died.

It was hard to hear of such sadness among such seemingly nice spiritual people. Spiritual or not, however, we all suffer. It was the original question that set the Buddha out upon his path.

After the talk I went up to Adya to introduce myself. He tried shaking hands with me with a bandaged hand, but I said I didn’t want to risk hurting him further by touching his injured hand. “Adya,” I began, “I know you are fond of quotes. Do you know Shinzen Young?” He said yes. “Well, I wanted to contribute this earlier when we were talking about suffering. It’s sort of an equation. Suffering equals pain plus resistance.” He smiled and said that’s a good one. I patted him lightly on the shoulder as an alternative to the handshake, some need in me to make contact, and thanked him for being there. I couldn't even conceive of not being there with him on this day, and yet I was so full of doubts about my being able to even get in the door just a few hours beforehand.

Once outside I met up with Joe, a friend I met through a meditation group, and we traded impressions about Adya’s satsang while it was fresh in our minds. I could tell by the way his eyes were lit that he had been seriously impressed, as had I. He told me he had seen Adya once before in Santa Monica.

I told Joe that I thought the one quality that stood out during the satsang was Adya’s impeccable manners and incredible politeness and sweetness. I’ve attended satsangs with other teachers who did not exhibit these qualities, but it didn’t occur to me at the time as a lack in them until I became aware of it so fully present in Adya. Only then did the comparison become obvious to me. He was gracious, generous, kind, a good listener, funny, friendly, very sweet, and never once introduced any kind of negativity into the discussions of the audience’s questions or concerns. I believe he brought out the absolute best in us, simply because he was giving us his absolute best. I also believe that behind that polite exterior, intentionally or not (my guess is that he would probably say “spontaneously”) he was quietly flooding the room with love.

On the way out to my car I stopped to say hello to the church’s minister, and thanked her for her staff’s kindness towards me. I also told her that I thought Adya was such a perfect gentleman with impeccable manners. She just beamed at me. I guess we were all just a little bit crazy from the love, or the sun, or the beautiful day it had turned out to be. Or perhaps it didn’t matter why. I just accepted my gift of a perfect afternoon without questioning it and went home.

* – This is an expandable set of pages. If you've been to see any of my listees and would like to offer an "objective" report, ie from one not already "attached" to the teacher in question or full of ideas based on attachment to a "competing" teacher, send it in (Feedback) and i'll be happy to put it up. Other Reports

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Pray for Iraq...Cuz we all deserve peace
(all the videos displayed here have MATURE CONTENT, so viewer's discretion is advised)

both sides have lost their integrity, its not about being right or wrong, it's about working together, because if we could accept others as parts of ourselves which is what is true for reality's sake, then there is peace.

but as with everything, there's the good, the bad and the ugly

Another beating snuff video shames coalition of the killing, You Tube censors it

British troops punch, beat and kick pleading Iraqi children as a sadistic comrade films the brutal scenes of torture, laughing, screaming, growling and frothing like a serial killer filming a snuff movie. This is why the Iraqis hate us.

Iraqi children throw rocks as they flee from running British troops, are grabbed, brought inside a gate and beaten half to death. Watch the video below. The censorship spies at You Tube rejected it 2 minutes after upload so I re-named it "Fluffy Happy Poodles In Heaven," to try and bypass their keyword filters and it was still rejected. I even renamed the actual 'wmv' filename but it was still blocked for "terms of use violation." I finally managed to get it posted on Google Video. If it disappears again, here's the Windows Media link on our server.

November 19th: Google removed the video too! So here's an old copy the censors at You Tube missed.

"Oh yes! Oh Yes! You're gonna get it!" snarls the cameraman.

"Yes! Naughty little boys."

He laughs as they boys begin to scream out in pain, "Yes!"

He then takes on the tone of a demented serial killer, grunting and growling, "Yeeeeeesss, yeeeeeessss," as troops punch and kick the children.

He mocks the cries of the boys, "No please don't hurt me," laughs again and then proceeds to begin frothing in some kind of insane carnal bloodlust, "Motherfuckers, you little fuckers - die!"

Adult Iraqis are brought in and similarly assaulted - the video ends.

A probe of this video led to the arrest of the cameraman, Cpl Martin Webster, but after that the investgation seemingly went nowhere and was swept under the rug.

Originally leaked in February this year, this is just the latest in a long line of "trophy videos" that expose the true face of what the troops have been trained and ordered to do in Iraq, dominate, brutalize and enslave the population - and it's why nearly 3,000 have come home in flag-draped coffins.

This is why the Iraqis hate us.

- A CNN clip from the early days of the "liberation" shows U.S. troops finishing off an injured Iraqi. The tape cuts to an interview with one of the soldiers who states, "Like, man, you guys are dead now, you know. But it was a good feeling. I mean, afterwards you're like, hell, yeah, that was awesome. Let's do it again."

- In another clip the soldier exclaims, "Hell yeah bitches," as he audibly orgasms as the scene of carnage before him - a missile slamming into a nearby building. "I got all that shit on camera."

- U.S. troops in a convoy drive vehicles down an Iraqi highway and bemoan the fact that they are not allowed to gun down children who throw rocks at them.

- Bloodthirsty security guards and contractors hang out the back of trucks and randomly execute Iraqis driving in vehicles behind them.

- An Iraqi taxi driver who stole some firewood gets his vehicle crushed by an Abrams tank as U.S. troops cheer and holler.

These are just some of the videos that have been leaked onto the Internet. Now we know that the policy to abuse and torture innocent Iraqis just to show them who the bosses were was implicit, how many more of these kind of incidents have happened over the past three and a half years but not been videotaped by salivating zombies?

This is why the Iraqis hate us.

No one is suggesting that U.S. troops should roll over like a poodle if someone is shooting at them - they have every right to shoot back no matter what your view on the war is. The rubicon is crossed when petty thieves, children who throw rocks or completely innocent people are brutalized without recourse and the one thing that betrays the true nature of it all is the sadistic reaction of the protagonists who enjoy the torture, the beatings and the death.

Most of these individuals were brought up on a steady diet of first person shoot-em-ups, and they have overlaid the mental perception that the video games taught them on how to treat death. Distanced and emotionless, the troops see random slaughter and torture as a stress reliever, a means of letting off some steam - and it's all sanctioned from the very top.

This is why the Iraqis hate us.

The assumption that Iraq is now liberated and that its people have suffered for the glorious opportunity of seeing democracy and freedom flourish throughout their country is the last thread the Neo-Cons are hanging onto as claims of weapons of mass destruction and Al-Qaeda ties evaporated long ago. Yet to claim Iraq is liberated is the most absurd of any of the justifications for going to war or "staying the course."

Every cornerstone of what one would consider to be basic rights in a free society, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, right to fair judicial process, right to be secure from unlawful searches and seizures in one's home, have been abolished in Iraq. The occupation makes the regime of Saddam Hussein look like post-revolution America.

This is why the Iraqis hate us.

I guess the Iraqi children should feel lucky in that they got their retaliation in first by throwing rocks, many are simply arrested, hooded and taken to the torture camp for refusing to show ID at checkpoints. It's good to see that the authorities are not hypocrites and that the same kind of law enforcement techniques are practiced here at home, as Mostafa Tabatabainejad can attest to, the student was tortured for refusing to show his ID to UCLA police in a campus library.

The fun will continue when the same kind of barbarous fiends who get orgasmic pleasure from watching children being tortured come back home and become our police.

K's Flight

K's Flight, originally uploaded by aqui-ali.

Just be open to everything...

Sunday, November 19, 2006


It makes me think about respect for life. ive struggled with depression quite a bit, and only recently gotten a grip on it by that sense of surrender,acceptance and deep breathing. i think of those dark nights and wonder,''wow, that was pretty bad'' it doesnt even seem real, cuz i think logically, if i was in that much psychological pain, maybe i shouldve just ended. but just a sense of responsability, and remember my friends who've struggled with it as well gave balance to my perspective. my meditation certainly gives a good support to trials like that. and i still remember a preacher man, t.d.jakes saying in one of his sermons, that if you want to get to high spots in your life, you have to bear with the deep lows that come along with it.

meher baba after a certain realization through meditation, had trouble trying to stay grounded. he had a very peculiar act of bringing himself back down to normal consciousness. in his room, he would spend quite some time , banging his forehead on the floor. and it just makes me think of his great determination to unite his spiritual consciousness back with normal consciousness, so that he could properly communicate with others and help them efficiently. and then there was simon of the desert, who lived on a pillar above the sand. he didnt have any protection from the elements and would get lots of wounds, from the desert winds. after a while the wounds didnt even have time to heal before the maggots would start to eat the substance from the puss of his wounds. when others were disgusted by this and perplexed by his behaviour, he just said plainly that the bugs themselves, are also the children of god, and thought nothing of it. and THATS the humility of life that i want to establish. not to make a show of it. but if necessary, i am able to endure tremendous pain of body, but for the sake of the spirit of god, endure it nevertheless. well, i should get going to work. peace everyone. one love.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Day 6

Day 6, originally uploaded by stephcarter.

When in doubt or worry, just pray.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


The sages just tell you simply what the nature of the mind is, forget the details. forget the beliefs, forget the karma, just knowing it now is enough.

It is? How does that work?-Bill

well as far as i know, in response to your question

it's not an act, it is the essence behind your thoughts, something that your thoughts come from

im still trying to release myself into it

it is the home of love and insight. harmony is the natural way.

but one work that i tirelessly try to carry on, is seeing others as part of myself. from the murderers to the saints. the whole spectrum, all of existence is one. being that there is no inherent separation from others, all of existence is empty ( of differences)

for this moment of awareness to be real, and even worthwhile to know it should be natural and so it is said to be uncaused. it doesnt end. the dream of illusions and separation only begins again out of desire.

all fluctuations of time are connected. i know the buddhism explains that reincarnation is like the flickering flame, that infact, it isnt continuous light but constant flashes of light which make it seem continuous, but nevertheless. all of that reality is tied into your perception, which then is anchored into the concept of ''I”

these statements cant be seen as real , if theyre taken out of context, because everything is connected, the way that it works is if and when you are able to see this awareness pervading all of existence, which it does even if you dont notice it consciously

self inquiry , surrender to the moment and acceptance

i hope this does show a bit on how it works. but forgive me i dont really know for real

“The Tao that can be told is NOT the
Eternal Tao” – Lao Tzu

take care
peace and love

A Sadhvi or The Holy Woman

A Sadhvi or The Holy Woman

Hundreds of Sadhus had gathered to visit a temple. I was lucky to have the company of my Flickr friend Captain Suresh Sharma with whom I enjoyed shooting for almost full 3 days. This was our last shooting assignment together on his visit to Amritsar this time.
These Sadhus stayed here for about 3 days and left with some food and gifts. It looked like a sea of Sadhus and Sadhvis sitting all around the streets, singing and praising the Lord. It was an awesome experience to shoot such expressive faces and emotions.

By Raminder pal Singh

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


man from india


Monday, November 13, 2006

livin the simple life...

to explain your worries away by saying ''its complicated'' makes me heave a big sigh. cuz we hear it all the time, a kid comes up to his dad one day and asks “why are they fighting in the middle east?”

“because the people there don't like each other”

“but why dont they like each other?”

the father heaves a sigh, and says “its complicated, now eat your supper son”

this is the necessary procedure, because first the child's intellectual capacity to reason, isnt fully developped so even if the dad, gave us a full explanation of chomsky proportions, by the time the father finished explaning, the boy would already be uninterested in the answer.

but it instills in us from an early age, to just ignore the hard questions in life, saying its complicated. but there again is that 5%. that we're uncomfortable with. the fact of the matter is that we are the 100% of all of existence. the sages have said as long as we can remember and quantum physics is catching up by proving it with string theory experiments and 'what the bleep' exposes.

in an audio talk, osho explained that without death, life would be meaningless (no pun intended). and we can take from that , is that without the uglyness, the struggle, the pain, the heart ache, the circle would be incomplete.

and if it does break your spirit, but then you still keep going on, ''what doesnt kill you can only make you stronger'' in the context that if you can accept your pain, the pain caused by others, and the pain inflicted on others in foreign areas, it only gets transmuted into harmony, because we are all one. when you accept the whole of existence in all its different colours, shapes, and various experiences. somehow the painting is complete. the canvas(the self) feels at peace.

the other thing i want to comment on is about simplicity. i think our life can only be overly complicated and chaotic if we simply want more than we need. the examply for this is that, not trying to be disrespectful but i like to compare modern day philosophers and psychologist books to that of say ramana maharshi or nisargadatta . these philosophers write books so big, thick and heavy that you could use them as medicine balls for exercise. they explain everything in such a roundabout way that instead of learning what their point is , you get lost in their explanation which is just countless variations of the same thing.

the sages just tell you simply what the nature of the mind is, forget the details. forget the beliefs, forget the karma, just knowing it now is enough.

peace and love

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

  • Chuck Norris' calendar goes straight from March 31st to April 2nd, no one fools Chuck Norris
  • Chuck Norris counted to infinity-twice (ya that's right;)
  • Superman owns a pair of Chuck Norris pyjamas
  • Chuck Norris doesn't sleep. He waits.
  • Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants
  • Chuck Norris once finished "The Song that Never Ends".
  • When Chuck Norris breaks the law, the law doesn't heal.
  • There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live
  • Chuck Norris' hand is the only hand that can beat a Royal Flush.
  • Chuck Norris died ten years ago, but the Grim Reaper can't get up the courage to tell him.
  • Chuck Norris doesn't wear a watch; he decides what time it is