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ZEN ENLIGHTENMENT



IS IT FOR YOU AND CAN YOU DO IT?


continued:

"Losing his forward balance and falling several times because of his speed over the trail's uneven surface, he stumbled toward the hut's rough-hewn wooden door, tired, bruised, and out of breath. The sun was just now beginning to fall in a warm sunrise glow against the irregular flat stones used to form the wall of the isolated cabin, pushing back from the rocks the night's cold chill. Leaning on the wall at arms length in order to catch his breath he turned to see the sun rising above the mountains amongst translucent gray clouds, shining with irridescent glowing edges and allowing curtains of light to cascade in beams to the valley below. He fell to his knees, spreading his arms at length as if in homage. The sun warmed his bare face and hands and he could feel his musty sweater absorb the same tender warmth. There was no longer a just in front in front of him, but a penetrating all-around aroundness all around him...and a strange calmness he had never experienced before. (see)


-----


"After eating and resting, he gathered what few belongings he had and made the trek back to the ashrama. All along the way passerbys and field workers, who always before had seemed to busy tending crops or watching their animals to pay much attention to him, stopped to recognize his presence, be friendly, bow or nod. Back at the ashrama he made conference with the Maharshi, bidding him farewell, and thanking him for allowing him to stay. Gracefully he explained he felt he no longer had need of the venerable one's services. The Maharshi, sitting crosslegged on his mat as he almost always did, looked at him for the longest time and with only a slight smile passing his lips, in a brief gesture of dismissal, calling him now evamvidan, told him that in reality he never did. The following day, after years in India and Asia, he was on his way back to Europe, shortly thereafter, returning to the states.


The Wait:


"I sat mouth agape as I pictured what it must have been like in India, high in the mountains, crisp rarified air biting at your nostrils and filling your lungs to the bottom of the last tiny air sac. The sun breaking the tops of the peaks and having your mind explode, but not explode; to be whole, but not whole. I wanted it, I wanted my mind to explode in a brilliant flash of illumination. When I told the man next door that was what I wanted, he just shook his head and smiled. Day after day I went back and pestered him. Day after day he told me he had nothing to offer.

"Finally, in desperation that I might not ever stop bothering him, and especially so right after I told him of my uncanny experience as a young boy high in the mountains of the Sierras with a man named Franklin Merrell-Wolff that I now began thinking was somehow remotely related to my mentor's experience in India, he began giving me small hints into what one might do if anything were to be done. But nothing. I listened to what he said, studied and practiced faithfully, but still nothing.

One day he told me he would be moving soon and I would be on my own. The pressure of the multitudes were crunching down on him and he sought a more solitary lifestyle. He told me that prior to his departure a highly honored Japanese Zen master would be coming to the U.S. and since what I seemed to be seeking and what Zen is paralleled, suggested I see him. He had taken it upon himself to make the arrangements for me to attend a special week long sesshin under the master. I can still see myself furrowing my brow and shaking my head. Except for a brief meeting with Swami Ramdas, mentioned further down, and taking me to see some Japanese Roshi guy that ran what was called a zendo or dojo out of a cramped little garage in Gardena, California, the man next door never mentioned anybody specific.(see) But here he was suggesting I see someone who was supposed to be a MAJOR Dharma master. I stood looking down rubbing my foot in small sweeping arcs across the floor all the while asking myself what was the matter with what I had been doing, I was uneasy, no afraid to see some master guy.



The Zen Master:


"The sesshins ran from four in the morning to eight at night. About thirty people attended and we sat in two rows of fifteen facing one another across the room with our backs toward the wall.

"In the morning the master spoke to all of us in assembly and three times a day we met with him in private consultation. The rest of the time we sat in the most ungodly, uncomfortable position anyone could think up. The master was a tall, small-framed man they said was in his late seventies, although he looked much younger. He spoke no english and everything he said had to be translated. What he talked about was similar to what the man next door talked about, only in a context that wasn't as easily cross transferable to my experiences. The master had the same calm serenity as the man next door, but in one of the private sessions when I asked him through the interpreter if his mind had exploded, he turned from the translator's eyes to mine with a flash of rage and his body stiffened, quickly retreating to a relaxed manner with a slight sparkle in his eye. After that, for some reason, the man that walked around the room cracking our backs with a stick to keep us at full concentration, spent more time producing extra welts on my shoulders.

"Near noon on the next to the last day I was surprised to see the man next door come into the sesshin. He was quickly ushered in to see the master and they were together in the master's room for a long time. When he left the master walked with him. They seemed as one. There was no interpreter. By the final day our numbers had diminished greatly and though the master spoke in private with the others, he refused to have private consutation with me. When the last day finally ended and we were leaving, thanking heavens we even survived, the interpreter came to me and said the master wished to speak with me. The master told me three of the our group had realized Kensho and berated me for not being among them. He said I had vast opportunities in my daily existence far beyond most and had not fulfilled the expectations of either him or my Mentor. I thanked him, bowed, and left.


THE ZEN MASTER

YASUTANI ROSHI


"Going home my mind was in a whirl. I was sore, I ached, I had welts all over my back and some shrimpie little jerk was telling me to realize my growth. Three people had Kensho. Big deal! Nobody's mind exploded. It wasn't India. For seven agonizing pain filled days I had sat inhumanly contorted under the aegis of a certified Bodhidharma successor, beat with a stick like a dog, nearly starved to death on nothing but turtle food, and probed ceaselessly day after day to practice into the wee hours of the morning...and nothing! I quit my job to practice full time. The summer quietly slipped by. The man next door, as he said he would, moved, seeking more solitude from the multitudes. Somewhere along the way I took a road trip through Mexico with a buddy, driving as far into the country as the Mayan Ruins in the Yucatan before returning. Then, as expected, I received a draft notice and by the end of October I was in the army. It wasn't until after I was discharged that I met up with my Mentor again. Before he moved, however, he did come to me and recount his meeting with the Zen master and how the discussion involved me. He said the master had told him I was close, very, very close, and any little thing could break the bottom out. The master had said it wouldn't be little Kensho either. Some at the sesshin were like dog bowls being tipped over, but I was like a dam ready to burst. Water is held by both, but the results are quite different. Pondering for awhile, thinking of my draft notice, the man next door said it was probably good that nothing happened, although he was curious how a person with such an experience would handle a military situation.

"After a stint in the military along with doing months of hard time in a Zen monastery (see), I sought out my mentor once again with the intention of at least a semi-return to practice. What he saw he didn't like, saying the military brought out a beast in me, plus all I really wanted to do was use my college time to party and chase girls. He agreed that my unsuccessful foray under Yasutani should have ended somewhat differently and was unsure why it didn't. By spring he had pretty much mellowed and so had I. Thinking I needed something in between Yasutani and his own teaching he arranged for me to go to Connecticut and visit a nearly invisible man of great spiritual prowess by the name of Alfred Pulyan. Just as spring was reaching its final count down I showed up at Pulyan's wooded rural compound and began a most unsual almost non-study study --- the visit growing through to well past the middle of summer because, I'm sure, of my mentor as well as Pulyan's own graciousness. Inturn I was introduced to Pulyan's Teacher, a woman of extreme attainment who lived close by and the person fully responsible for Pulyan's transformation. Before I could return the following year Pulyan died. I never learned if my mentor knew him personally, however he was visibly set back on news of his death."

[end of 1972 typed notes]

Onus Probandi:


After an intermittent slow start as a teenager, followed by twelve years of serious practice, in the month of May of the year 1969, at age 31, because, for the lack of anything else to call it, a Collision of Infinities occurred and the bottom of eternity consciousness literally broke through --- which refers to Awakening in the classical sense and what Sri C. R. Rajamani refers to as well in The Last American Darshan about my even earlier experience under Sri Ramana Maharshi. Rajamani says, speaking of me, "Within an hour of his face-to-face meeting with Sri Bhagavan, his mental barriers were reduced to nothingness" --- and thus therefore, the equivalent of Inka Shomei, the Seal of Approval, at the Fourth Level (ken-chu-shi), was graciously accorded me by the person from which I sought guidence; he himself, having experienced full realization under the grace and light of Sri Ramana Maharshi some thirty-nine years earlier, also at the age of 31.

People ask what leads me to believe that my next door neighbor come Mentor was also the same person Maugham used as a model for his novel in the first place --- thus then Enlightened to such a degree under the grace and light of Sri Ramana that he inturn could officially grant, sanctify, recognize or know the level of anybody's transformation, let alone mine?(see) Since Maugham never said nor the man, except for a couple of instances (cited below), never told me himself, most of what I have come to know has come from observation, overheard conversation at the time, and what I have been told by what few people I met that knew him in the past.

Sometime in the early-mid 1940s my Mentor had a vague connection with the Pasadena Playhouse. There was a dowager patron of the arts that contributed to the Playhouse and in the process of that support she and my Mentor became friends. She lived in a California community above Pasadena called Sierra Madre' and had an avid interest in things Indian and Asian, of which my Mentor had some knowledge. I met her ten years later, sometime in the mid 1950s, she having visited the man next door various times during that period. Also, since he didn't drive, but loved riding around in my wooden Ford station wagon, he requested I take him to her house on occasion. It was she that told me that in 1944 or so, a famous English author had come to the Playhouse to talk with him about a 'sequel' and that in 1945 or 1946 he had joined the author on a one or two week trip to San Francisco and Lake Tahoe.

The dowager also told me something regarding the Maharshi. My Mentor had never mentioned him by name, only that he had studied at an ashrama in the south of India between the wars. Maugham called him Shri Ganesha from Travancore. He was actually Sri Ramana Maharshi from Triuvannamalai. In anycase, prior to my Mentor buying the house next door he had been living a semi-ascetic lifestyle on one of the Channel Islands off the coast of California. He related to me he had left the mainland taking with him nothing but a toothbrush, staying seven years. The dowager told me that in September 1946, after his trip north with Maugham, my Mentor left for the island on the occasion of 'his holy man's Golden Anniversary.' Later research revealed that devotees of the Maharshi gathered at the ashrama in September 1946 for a great celebration honoring the fiftieth anniversary of the Bhagavan's arrival at Tiruvannamali.

In connection with the same, the man next door told me in passing he had arrived in India sometime around mid 1925 or so and that the year before he arrived his teacher, that is the Maharshi, had been beaten and robbed one night by a group of thugs. He was trying to impress on me that even a revered holy man was not immune from such daily tribulations. Again, later research revealed that the Maharshi had indeed been set upon by ruffians. According to his biographers, on the night of June 26, 1924 several men broke into the ashrama, beat him and several of his devotees, along with stealing several holy relics.

My Mentor had a number of odd quriks that I thought were unusual at the time and didn't really understand, but were basically, I learned as events unfolded, primarily the outcome of his perception and relationship to the world. One time I took him to Disneyland. On Main Street there are trolly cars that are pulled up and down the street by horses. He refused to ride the trollys because he would not participate in any endeavor that placed animals into a position of being beasts of burden. As a teenage boy growing up in the southern California beach culture, not only had I never heard of such a thing, I had never thought of such a thing.

Earlier I had mentioned he walked everywhere and was almost always barefoot. I also mentioned he didn't drive, but seemed quite comfortable riding around in my wagon. I thought it extremly odd that a one time World War I fighter pilot refused to drive. True, he had been on an island off the coast for seven years and didn't have a drivers licence, and true the traffic conditions had changed dramatically in those seven years in the basin, but he wasn't interested in obtaining a licence nor in driving. It became clear to me years later. Interestingly enough a woman by the name of Suzanne Segal, wrote along a similar vein in her 1996 book "Collision with the Infinite when, refering to her Enlightenment, she presented the following:


"I suddenly became aware that I was driving through myself. For years there had been no self at all, yet here on this road, everything was myself, and I was driving through me to arrive where I already was. In essence, I was going nowhere because I was everywhere already. The infinite emptiness I new myself to be was now apparent as the infinite substance of everything I saw."



My Mentor's guardian was an agnostic. I remember because it was in connection to him that I first heard the word. My Mentor however, flirted with Catholicism on and off a good part of his life and there is a slight ring of Catholicism in The Razor's Edge. Maugham even weaves a thread to that effect throughout his novel. The one person most responsible for my Mentor making the decision and actually going to India in the first place was a Benedictine monk that Maugham has given the name Father Ensheim in his book. In later years the man next door told me a very interesting story regarding the Zen master he sent me to study under. The master was adopted. At age five he was sent by his adoptive parents to a Rinzai sect temple to begin study. He was sent in honor of a request by his birth mother. Apparently while she was still pregnant she decided if the baby was a boy he would become a priest. Earlier a nun had given her a bead off a rosary and instructed her to swallow it in order to ensure a safe childbirth. When the baby was born, tightly clasped in his left hand was that same bead. My Mentor liked the story, and even though priest, nun, and rosary may not have been Catholic related per se', it was related.

In his novel Maugham pretty much focuses on 'Larry's' travels in Europe and India. However, in the spring of 1931 'Larry's' former fiancee' 'Isabel' mentions she knew the bank manager in Chicago that handled his account and he told her "...that every now and then he got a draft from some queer place. China, Burma, India." My Mentor told me he had been to China, Japan, and the Philippines, even mentioning he had a son in the Philippines. Also, when I was at the house of the dowager I saw an intricately hand carved glass-covered wood coffee table he brought back from Japan that he gave her, that had been at one time, a lid to a trunk. It is my belief it was during his travels to Japan in his continuing search for the truth that the then twenty-three year-old met the thirty-eight year-old Yasutani Hakuun Roshi. In relation to all of that, many months after my experience with Yasutani I ended up doing what I call "doing hard time" in a Zen Monastery high in the mountains along the southern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. While there I met a Zen master that lived alone in a rock-hewn hut along a river. One day the master took me to a dilapidated shelter down stream and showed me, carved into a trunk of a tree, the year 1926 along with the initials of my Mentor.



Jousting With Dragons:


Another thing was his World War I adventures. He really didn't discuss it much except telling me that at age seventeen he was a fighter pilot flying for the British through Canada and that his best friend had died in front of his eyes. However, when I was growing up there was an 'old' man that tended the oil derricks not far from where I lived. Every year on the Fourth of July he would take a bunch of us kids to the top on one of the derricks to watch the fireworks being shot off in the surrounding communities. He lived in a combination caretakers shack, repair shop near the wells. One day I took my mentor to his place just for the heck of it. On his wall were several framed photographs of biplanes with men standing around in front of them dressed in WW I flight regalia. Come to find out the oil well man had been a pilot fighting for the French in the Lafayette Flying Corps and was one of the men in the photos. Next thing I knew my Mentor and the oil well man were swaping war stories about everything from pulling thousand foot long Zeppelins out of the sky using Twin Vickers armed with tracers to R & R in Paris. My Mentor flew Sopwith Camels, the oil well man Nieuport 11s. I learned more about WW I in those few hours than all my years in school.


-----

"JOUSTING WITH DRAGONS"


Around the same time as the meeting above between the oil well man and my Mentor, I saw a burn mark about the size of a man's hand on my Mentor's shoulder. When I asked what happened he simply replied, with no further explanation, "Jousting with dragons." Many years later, while staying at the compound of the American Zen master Alfred Pulyan, I figured out jousting with dragons meant bringing down the giant hydrogen filled airships in air-to-air combat --- the burning hydrogen being the fire breathing breath of the dragon.

Athough my Mentor and the oil well man had not met before, they did discover they had a few mutual friends, one being the somewhat notorious Charles Nungesser, a rather flamboyant World War I French flying ace. At one time or the other both had spent time with him while on leave in Paris. In an interesting turn of fate, sometime after the war Nungesser married a woman by the name of Consuelo that was the traveling companion to Mercedes De Acosta, a woman that, totally unrelated to any of the events chronicled above, ended up herself on a self-determined trek to meet Sri Ramana Maharshi. She wrote a book called Here Lies the Heart that outlines that quest.



Maugham doesn't mention it in his novel, but my Mentor, either before or after his stay at the ashrama of Sri Ramana, and I believe it was before, traveled to Bijapur to meet with an Indian holy man called Siddharameshwar Maharaj. The Maharaj taught that the only way one can reach Final Reality is through what he called Vihangam Marg, the bird's way. For me, at the time, of course, I knew nothing of such things. I only know who the holy man is now because I was able to put together bits and pieces of information such as time and place with such clues as "the bird's way." The holy man had related to my Mentor that only by hearing and practising from the teachings of the Master and thinking over it, just like the bird flies from one tree to another, can one attain Awakening very fast. This is the shortest way to achieve the Final Reality. In that initially I had made little or no progress toward Enlightenment my mentor told me of Siddharameshwer's method. (see)

In connection with the above, that is, my "little or no progress toward Enlightenment," is the first of the only a couple of times my Mentor ever really spoke of anybody or anything concrete about all of this. Once or twice, in a foretelling of the future, he mentioned a little known Indian holy man named Totapuri and each time suggested I learn everything I could about him. He also told me about a young man, not much older than my same age when I started, that had arrived or just arrived at the place of my Mentor's teacher around the same time he did. My Mentor specifically called him by the name Annamalai Swami, telling me that he built things, buildings and such, for the Maharshi. My mentor told me, although others were known to have attained Enlightenment under the auspices of his teacher in much shorter periods of time, Annamalai Swami took ten years. Totapuri took forty years.



Annamalai Swami



Prior to my Mentor's encounter with Sri Ramana, Siddharameshwar Maharaj, or Annamalai Swami, he had met another holy man of VERY GREAT and MAJOR significance. Maugham writes in his novel that Darrell "was down south at a place called Madura" and that one night while he was paying homage in the temple someone touched him on the arm. Turning to see who it was he saw it was a "holy man." The holy man tells Darrell he was making pilgrimage on foot to the holy places of India. During the ensuing conversation he suggests to Darrell that he go and see Shri Ganesha, that is, Sri Ramana in real life, relating that "He will give you what you are looking for." Years later, my Mentor, in telling me how he met his teacher, said when he was in the south of India he had met a holy man not unlike his teacher and that the holy man told him that he had lived and meditated in a mountain cave near a highly revered teacher. The holy man suggested that it might be beneficial for my Mentor to seek out the same teacher, which in fact my mentor did. It is my opinion that when he told me the holy man was "not unlike his teacher" he meant that the holy man was Awakened to the Absolute "like Sri Ramana." In searching back over time and place as to who that holy man may have been in the temple that night, all clues indicate that he was actually Swami Ramdas, a highly venerated Swami that met Sri Ramana and had been traveling on pilgrimage, visiting various shrines and temples throughout India at the exact same time my mentor was. Regarding the Swami's initial experience with Sri Ramana the following has been written:

(Meeting Ramana) a thrill of inexpressible joy coursed through the frame of Ramdas, his whole body quivering like a leaf in the breeze. In that ecstatic state he left Maharshi's presence and went to spend nearly a month in a cave on the slopes of the holy mountain Arunachala in constant chanting of Ramnam. This was the first occasion that he went into solitude. After twenty-one days, when he came out of the cave he saw a strange, all-pervasive light: everything was Ram and only Ram (God).

He travelled all over India many times during the next few years and finally settled down in a small ashram built by one of his devotees at Kasaragod, Kerala. Eventually God's will caused him to leave Kasaragod and settle down in Kanhangad, where the present Anandashram was founded in the year 1931.


In a nearly lemming-like rite of passage and almost to the second, six months into my 15th birthday I scrambled down to the Department of Motor Vehicles to obtain a driver's permit. The permit allowed me to drive legally, but ONLY if a licensed adult was in the car with me. Six months later, on my 16th birthday, again almost down to the second, I received the most important southern California teenage-boy ultimate crown jewel, a regular license. Somewhere in there, between the time I got my permit but before I received my regular license, is when I first met my Mentor. In that he seldom rode in cars and he himself did not have a license anyway, AND we barely knew each other in those days, it did not impact the two of us in our early relationship us one way or the other. However, several months after I received my regular license --- and no longer required a licensed adult in the car --- my Mentor, who was still in the early stages of becoming my Mentor, came to me saying a longtime friend of his from another country that he had not seen since his youth was on a world tour. His friend was going to be in the Los Angeles area for only a couple of days and it was most imperative he caught up with him. In that that my Mentor had no expedient means to get to his friend on such short notice, he asked if I would drive to him there.

We met with a woman he knew, a former ballerina turned dance instructor, by the name of Ruth St. Denis, who inturn took us to the man my Mentor wanted to see.

After a brief introduction we went in separate cars to a place that appeared to be a dance school or studio of some type. While the three of them and another man talked I basically sat some distance away down a hallway in as much sun as I could find with my hands held together between my knees and looked out the window.

The man he went to see was Swami Ramdas. All I really remember was he was "old" and I was cold, hence my hands between my knees and looking for the sunlight. For the most part I have never counted the meeting between us as a real meeting --- at least in the classical sense --- because the encounter was so brief. But I did meet him. Ramdas asked me if I had ever been to India, almost as though he knew me or something.(see) When he asked, looking into his eyes I had the strangest feeling come over me. Much later in the scheme of things I came to know why, but at the time I was way to naive to understand or grasp any significance.


In 1974 another of the few occurrences where the man next door mentioned someone specific transpired, only this time, unlike above, how I downplay the extent of my meeting with Swami Ramdas, I actually met the person involved. My Mentor sent word requesting I pick him up along the California coast and take him to one of the marinas in the Bay area to meet an old friend visiting from India. It had been at least twenty years since he had been on the mainland, so it was quite clear something important was up. Plus, except the brief encounter with Swami Ramdas as I have described it above, with me being brand new at the time I had never really met anyone from his past. Now, with some experience under my belt I was most anxious to do so.

Before the oncoming summer of 1974, and somewhat early for the arrival of my mentor's friend, I headed north up California slowly wending my way toward Sausalito, all the while crossing paths with a few friends along the way. One of the people I stopped to see was an old high school buddy who lived in San Jose and worked at IBM. Typically he and I would never have been friends or even known each other in high school because we traveled in such different circles. However, we had established a strong tie and friendship because he was like an artist when it came to working on and having knowledge of old Fords, of which my early 1940s woodie station wagon was one. While I restored the wood, except for twin carburetors that had been installed by famed race car mechanic Joe Landaker, my buddy was the only one that worked on it, spending tons of hours on the mechanical end of things just for the heck of it, and because of his endeavors, it sang when it ran because everything mechanical was so in sync.

Other than our high school days and working on the woodie wagon in our past we really did not have a whole lot in common, so staying at his place for a couple of days we did things more to his liking than what I would have otherwise have done. He, having to work on one of the days I was there, suggested I visit the Winchester House which was located not far from his apartment. It wasn't long before I was off on my own wandering around both inside and outside the rather bizarre complex, eventually ending up leisurely strolling around the Victorian gardens that surround it. While in the garden I was approached by three or four monks in full Buddhist regalia. We spoke for a few minutes and they went on their way. A somewhat intense, disheveled, and bearded young man in his late teens or early twenties who seemed to have been following and observing the monks from a distance came up to speak with me when they departed. He asked if they always acted that way as they seemed to exhibit some sort of reverence toward me. After several more questions I told him I had studied Zen under Yasutani Hakuun Roshi and had as well been to India and the ashrama of Sri Ramana Maharshi. As the afternoon passed in conversation he continually wanted to know all about the the difference between the Indian side of things and that of Zen. After awhile, he stood up from the bench we were sitting on and said as soon as he had the money he was going to go to India. Later I learned the besheveled young man did just that, actually traveling in India for seven months. His name Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple.

As to the old friend my mentor wanted to meet, he turned out to be Emmanuel (Alfred) Sorensen, known as Shunyata, a man of great spiritual renown, although much to my chagrin, that I was not totally familiar with at the time. He was European, at the very least in his eighties, spoke with an accent, dressed somewhat like an east Indian, and, as it turned out, truly one of the most remarkable individuals I have ever met. Sorensen, it has been said, was BORN Awake. My Mentor and Sorensen had known each other from the early years when both inadvertently met while travelling in India and had, unlike Upaka the Ascetic on the road to Benares, immediately recognized in each other the aspect of Awakening. The man had remained in India since the early 1930s and had only recently arrived in California for a short stay. For the most part, in that my role was really not much more than that of a chauffeur, after introductions, I pretty much stepped out of the picture as the two slowly strolled along and talked, as did those in the other man's group. On and off I could overhear the two of them recalling events from their early years, discussing the interceding period, and mentioning various friends and others they either both knew or were familiar with, including such major luminaries as Sri Ramana Maharshi mentioned above, Lama Anagarika Govinda, and Terence Gray, known by the pseudonym Wei Wu Wei. The most startling part of the visit for me was within seconds of our brief introductions. Shunyata turned to my Mentor and with almost the first words from his mouth asked if I was the same young boy he had met at Sri Ramana's ashram years before. My Mentor nodded in agreement.(see) After awhile they bid their goodbyes and I returned my Mentor to the marina and the boat waiting to take him back to his island. To my knowledge except for a second brief visit with Sorensen in Palm Springs he never stepped foot on the mainland again.



The Bhagavan Sri Ramama Maharshi was born December 29, 1879 and died April 14, 1950. Yasutani Hakuun Roshi was born in 1885 and died in 1973. Franklin Merrell-Wolff was born in 1887 and died in 1973. Alfred Pulyan was born in 1896 and died in 1966. My Zen Mentor entered Mahasamadhi several years ago. He would have been 100 years old in 1999.


CLICK FOR PAGE THREE



Fundamentally, our experience as experienced is not different from the Zen master's. Where
we differ is that we place a fog, a particular kind of conceptual overlay onto that experience
and then make an emotional investment in that overlay, taking it to be "real" in and of itself.


(PLEASE CLICK)



GASSHO
(please click)



THE MEETING: An Untold Story of Sri Ramana


ENLIGHTENMENT IN THE MODERN ERA


SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI TIMELINE




























"The desire for recognition and to be a guru dies along with the impure ego and Ramana Maharshi states that the jnani affects the world even if he/she goes nowhere and does not attract many followers because the Divine is now in charge, not the ego."



"(There exists) lots of anecdotal evidence from those now considered jnanis that Ramana Maharshi did not publically recognize those who may have Realized with his aid, not that it didn’t happen (i.e, he just did not publically recognize them). In the West, we imagine that when we become realized, we will be the guide to many others. But the desire for recognition and to be a guru dies along with the impure ego and Ramana Maharshi states that the jnani affects the world even if he/she goes nowhere and does not attract many followers because the Divine is now in charge, not the ego. That makes sense to me. Now, a list of those considered today to have been jnanis associated with Ramana Maharshi includes Annamalai Swami, Poonja Swami (Papaji), Sri Muruganar (who stayed with Ramana after his awakening), Sadhu Om, Ramana’s Mother (at her death), Lakshmana Swami, Mastan (a muslim devotee), Swami Ramdas, and Sri Matha (who founded her own ashram with Ramana Maharshi’s blessings after realization in 1938 around age 32). That does not even include westerners like a teenage Robert Adams who went on to teach small groups, or another interesting AMERICAN candidate who met Ramana Maharshi as a child personally according to: http://the-wanderling.com/rajamani.html. Given Ramana Maharshi’s approach to this, and the nature of jnana itself, there is every reason to think there were more we do not know of. None of these adopted the neo-advaita approach. Ramana Maharshi’s “production” is therefore quite respectable by any historic measure, and evidence suggests he was effective with westerners as well."

Contents of said URL elaborated on more thoroughly in SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI: The Last American Darshan. The above paragraph and quote through the courtesy of NonDualityOrg.



























Actually, the Japanese Roshi guy, who my mentor took me to see within weeks of me being drafted (I think I already had my notice) and of who did not mean anything to me one way or the other at the time --- I mean, after all he operated out of a garage and slept on a bare mattress on the living room floor, even more austere than my mentor --- turned out to be Joshu Sasaki Roshi, the eventual head master of the Rinzai-ji Zen Center and Mount Baldy Zen Center. See:


JOSHU SASAKI ROSHI


ENLIGHTENED INDIVIDUALS I'VE MET