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My room at the monastery was kind of like a suite with a bathtub. It had 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 from Orange county 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 from Orange county 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.

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The following comments are for "Harvest of Gems: Meeting Swami"
by gamblerman

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