The life of Paul Rezendes is a compelling story: leader of two notorious motorcycle gangs becomes yoga teacher,spiritually awakens, then lives that through his work as a renowned wildlife tracker, teacher, and photographer. Paul points definitively to the conundrum of the self, the seeker, getting in the way of what is sought. Call its resolution the non-experience of awakening:
What is always here is not an experience, but it makes itself known to thought. Thought, the brain, cannot know it or hold it, but it can’t deny it. It, that which is not coming and going, is being us, being all beings, and it informs thought of this. Thought has to learn how to move with This.
Paul Rezendes has both an intensity and transience about him – like an Aikido master of presence. Continue reading “Paul Rezendes – The non-experience of Awakening”
I’ve known Bob Fergeson for nearly twenty years. For a time we both lived on Richard Rose‘s farm, suffering the inspiration and ego-deflation came with being near such a teacher. We both eventually moved from Rose’s farm — Bob moving to Colorado where he continued his search for truth. Here he is speaking of what happened: Continue reading “Bob Fergeson: The practice of Listening Attention”
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj reminds me of Ramana Maharshi. Like Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj is often described as a simple, humble and enlightened man. He was an uneducated shopkeeper when a friend introduced him to his guru. Simply by following his guru’s advice, Nisargadatta discovered his true nature:
My guru, before he died, told me: Believe me, you are the Supreme Reality. Don’t doubt my words, don’t disbelieve me. I am telling you the truth — act on it. Continue reading “Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj: The unreality of I Am”
Without a doubt, Richard Rose was an enlightened man. He devoted his life to giving people the tools to find their Real Self. I studied his system for several years and even spent a couple of years on his rural retreat in West Virginia. At times, Rose literally exuded profundity. I imagine it was akin to what many felt when they sat with Ramana Maharshi. Only with Rose, I wasn’t blissed out. I felt like my mind was teetering on the edge of an abyss. Drawn to this abyss and scared to death of it, I was sure that in it lay the answer to who I really was. I never made the leap, though. Perhaps I would have in time, but Rose fell victim to the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease and I eventually left. Continue reading “Richard Rose: West Virginia zen”
Without a doubt, Ramana Maharshi is the greatest Indian sage of the 20th century. He lived an utterly simple existence at Arunachala mountain in South India, until his death in 1950. There are no accounts of Ramana Maharshi stealing from the ashram treasury, dressing in fine clothes, having sex with disciples, or engaging in any other ego-inflating behaviors which often seem the norm in today’s spiritual landscape. Instead, Maharshi lived and slept in a small hall where he also received visitors. People were welcomed from all over the world to ask him questions or sit in his presence. Continue reading “Ramana Maharshi: The greatest sage”