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By paul 8 years 9 months ago

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David's full quote on page 13 of his book, Beyond the Place of Laughter and Tears in the Land of Devotion is:
"There is a kind of spiritual madness that is known only by the greatest Lovers of mankind. For, them, the accomplishments of worldly life are like toys in the playpens of children."

I was reading David's book prior to the September 22nd event at the San Fransisco Zen Center and that quote it touched me deep down inside.

After considering the quote for a few moments I realized two things:
1) I am profoundly caught in the daily demands, temptations, delights and terrors we call life.

2) David's heroic spiritual strength is unfathomable not only because he has cut though the phantasmagorical display of his own life to find the Truth, but, I believe, because he also freely gives the power for us to do the same (have we the courage to accept that power).

In those reflective moments, I saw the thick illusion of my life and all its contents as a heavy "crowding in" of stuff into the space of my mind. In the middle of all this crowding was a spot or thread or doorway of empty vastness (hard to explain really). This empty vastness was a "punching though" of the crowded room of my mind by David's Luminous Consciousness. This luminous empty spot had kind of an easy "falling intoness" quality which was activated simply by placing my attention on that empty area. It was a lifeline in the midst of a stormy and chaotic ocean.

It was all very subtle but had a powerful effect. I've been considering that quote all day as I'm working away earning a living trying to accomplish something in this world. Life is demanding and loud but thinking about my accomplishments as "toys in the playpens of children" has reminded me of what is really important and as I did this remembering I noticed, stronger and stronger, that my heart had been aching to see David again.


By michael ortega 8 years 9 months ago

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There are some images I wanted to post with this text but was unable to, so you may look them up online, or go to the link below from wikipedia, which contains the image I am referring to below.


The image I am referring you to is of Vishnu resting on Ananta-Shesa, with Laxshmi massaging his "lotus feet". Most specifically, I am drawing your attention to "Adi-shesha, the king of all nagas one of the primal beings of creation, and according to the Bhagavata Purana, an avatar of the Supreme God known as Sankarshan. In the Puranas, Shesha is said to hold all the planets of the Universe on his hoods and to constantly sing the glories of Vishnu from all his mouths. He is sometimes referred to as "Ananta-Shesha" which means "Endless Shesha" and as "Adishesha", which means First snake."
-Quote taken from wikipedia page on Shesha (see link above)

It is this multi-headed serpent rising up out of, or behind the head of Vishnu, or Buddha, or Patanjali, that reminds me of the revelation of David's True Form, or Darshan when he sits with us. I felt this reality of Revealing, and Recognition on tuesday night meditation with David. For me, Recognition is involuntary, like a flower recognizing the sun and automatically opening to it. Adi-shesha is David revealing That Ultimate, Transcendental and fundamentally, immanent Reality of Consciousness in unbounded glory.

I have a small statue at home, of Buddha sitting on Adi-Shesha's coils( probably taken from the protoype image of Patanjali sitting in this manner) and Shesha is rising up behind and over him. When I contemplated this icon, I felt that this was what I was experiencing during a recent meditation. For me, it was an awakening, a real Recognition, that previously I had not fully had. I felt David's gift of Revealing to be like the arrival and opening up of Adi-Shesa, the full manifestation of the Kundalini-Shakti. The gift of Revealing provides the sacred occasion of Recognition, and this reciprocal process is Transmission of the most primal Reality of the Divine, rooted in the most primordial tradition, which is what the nagas are representing, and Adi-Shesha is the king of the nagas. I don't know how else to explain it. I perceived this magnificent form to be the Esoteric Reality of what he is offering/sharing. Paradoxically, it is not actually seen with the physical eyes, but rather, It is recognized, felt, understood, known, and perhaps, seen on the inner planes. Darshan is a true unveiling, a Revealing and an opportunity for Recognition, of That which is Revealed. Ananta-Shesha is that indication, that primordial sign of Revealing, that the true most primordial Darshan is now fully manifesting.

Interestingly, Shesha is also said to be the son of vision(1). Again,this suggests Recognition as the offspring of Revealing, that which bestows vision, or Seeing. Patanjali is said to be an Incarnation of Ananta-Shesha. He incarnated as a man
in order to reveal that which is the remainder(another definition of Shesha), or that which remains, The Self unmoved, when the vrittis, the modifications, or whirls of consciousness subside. It is then that The Great Shining One, Ananta-Shesha, the kundalini-shakti, Reveals Itself. This Revelation-Revealing, when bestowed by a Master, is Transmission, Initiation, shaktipat and produces many wonderful Bhavas or Divine Moods of Recognition; Bliss, Ecstasy, Bhakti/Devotion all can arise in this Sahaja-Samadhi of the Great Shining One who is flashing Ultimate Reality. Ananta Shesha is a symbol, but more than that, He is an actual Esoteric Reality that actually occurs in Recognition.


1. From Alain Danielou's 'Hindu Polytheism', pg. 163

By michael ortega 8 years 10 months ago

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"You can drink with the Devil, but you must use holy cunning and leave him to pay for the bill."
-G.I. Gurdjieff

During David's recent Intensive in San Francisco, the moods, or bhava's during various sessions seemed very different, and I'm sure it was different for everyone. For me, the first meditation session was like deep sleep, or relaxation. I was being removed from the picture, so the Shakti could work through "me." During the next session, there was a huge infusion of Light/prana wafting down through the top of my head in no pattern and there was tremendous bliss and santosha. Then, afterwards during David's talk, he quickly changed from a sattvic bhava to a more fierce one, and he instructed us in the fierce fire of Tantric energy, where all aspects of existence are Divinized - even fierce states. There is a Divine Wrath that dispels confusion, or even the tamas/inertia of too much sattva/equanimity. During this time, I felt an intense transmission of powerful Shakti radiating in the space, as if exhorting us to use all means necessary to undermine ego. David spoke of Lions getting together just before the hunt and roaring together, to get each other fired up and in the spirit where killing is permissible, and this was clearly suggesting we do the same as we go out and hunt the fast deer of Ego, which will attempt to outmaneuver primal consciousness at every step. He spoke of doing whatever it takes to trick ourselves, invoking whatever might work to that end, and that in that domain of ego, morality is absent, and that by whatever means necessary is the order of the day ( of course, this needs to be understood with discrimination and in this specific context). This was useful and necessary to rattle our little cages of sattvic bliss that The Divine Mother as David sensed we had become complacent within, and it was energetically enlivening and inspiring. I was left reeling and felt the full force of the Kali in her scrimtar brandishing, ego-decapitating, fire-filled aspect!

MahaKali or Devi Gayatri

Om Adyayai vidhmahe
Paramesvaryai dhimahi
Tanno Kali pracodayat

May we realise the Primordial Energy. Let us meditate on that Paramesvari, the partner of Siva. May that Goddess Kali illumine us!

By ari.meyer 8 years 10 months ago

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The shakti was so strong at the SF Zen Center satsang on July 14th that I felt like I was melting back into primordial energy. The shakti seemed to be gently opening holes in my material being so that spirit could shine through. It was almost like earthworms working their way through hardened soil, making it fertile again. David was just radiating light like the sun god on his throne. It is impossible to describe in words just how rejuvenating this was.

After having spent many years of what seemed to be relatively consistent growth on the spiritual path (if one can speak in such terms), for a long time I felt that I have been somewhat inexorably devolving back into a "normal" human, material being. I know that may smack of spiritual elitism, but after experiencing your being dissolving into light on so many occasions, there is a certain horrific sensation if you start to solidify again. We are energetic beings, and a part of us burns with a desire to return to energy. When stagnation sets in and you feel yourself hardening into a "muggle", wherein your primary concerns are base and physical, your spiritual side becomes malnourished, and it feels like a slow death. Some have mentioned this as a type of "dark night of the soul", and it's a night that seems to never end.

I remember reading the story of Milarepa, who was given a special message by his guru Marpa just prior to Marpa's death. Milarepa was told not to open the letter until he underwent a major crisis. For years he held onto the letter like a sacred relic, at times keeping it on his head while meditating. At one point, though, despite his intense, unrelenting sadhana, he was no longer able to meditate. When this happened, he finally felt like all hope was lost. At that point he opened the letter, and the timely instructions helped him make the final push to self-realization.

I had likewise hit a wall where it seemed like I could no longer meditate effectively. My sadhana was just not happening. Thanks to David, I feel like I've been given a new lease on life. Thank you, David!

By davidspero 8 years 11 months ago

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"On Meditation," an edited talk by David Spero,
Given on December 1, 2007, Palm Springs, CA.

There are essentially two ways to meditate. The first method requires outer instruction, and what you are generally taught is how to control or quiet your mind. That is the most common method available and, as you know, there are many traditions and paths that teach this form of meditation.

The second form of meditation happens when the very energy in your own being is spontaneously activated. That can be called transmission-based meditation. In other words, instead of learning “how to do” meditation, you learn how to intuitively feel the activating power of your own consciousness – the shakti. That’s something we can call esoteric. It’s hidden. How this actually occurs remains behind the scenes. It’s not apparent. It’s not a “how to do.” It’s about the state in which you are already functioning.

There are many obstacles that a person has to overcome when performing meditation as a learned exercise. It can take many years to master practiced meditation to the point where there is real and constant illumination – what we call enlightenment or awakening or Self-realization. And that can be a long drawn-out process only because there’s so much conditioning to shed. There are so many layers upon layers of conditioning that have to be, first of all, seen and acknowledged, and then released. And the last sheath is the very one who is meditating; the very identity that believes it is practicing meditation. That’s the most subtle level of conditioning to be penetrated and transcended.

But when you connect with me in my transmission-based context, something radically different may occur, something that cannot be fully expressed in human language. But I’ll try anyway. In the simplicity and naturalness of your own functioning, you breathe. Your heart beats. Your nervous system functions. You take in prana - breath, energy, or light - and then you release the prana. And in that you are already functioning in a natural perfection that was present at the moment you took birth, and that has been flawlessly functioning for many years. The breathing process is rooted in an aspect of your being that we can call the prana sheath or casing.

What I stimulate in my teaching capacity is the activation of great energy or prana in your own consciousness. And that’s because your pranic sheath is being ballooned, it’s being blown up and expanded. So, you see, this transmission-based meditation has to do with you being meditated – not you as an individual, separate person learning something about meditation and then applying it, but breathing and feeling your way into this tremendous power that I have realized, that has been realized. You could say that that power actually is the “I,” which is an impersonal level of cosmic consciousness. So to say “I” realize it, there’s a kind of contradiction or inaccuracy in that. I just want to clear that point up so that there’s no confusion.

So, as you sit in my presence, for a certain time, you’ll find that something genuine starts to happen. You start to cook. Your energies begin to liberate spontaneously and a Transcendental Bliss floods your consciousness. But this is actually a very major event, the cataclysmic event that all human births are pointed toward.

This transcendence of individual attention is the merger of individual energy into something that is cosmic or universal, something that is realized without any effort. When you learn a practical form of meditation, effort is required. Perseverance is necessary in the gradual cultivation of a sacred inner space. But in my teaching we fall into the Bliss spontaneously, without preparation.

Because this is so subtle it will take a certain amount of time to grasp and everyone’s timetable is different. There’s no specific time as to when a full realization of this Bliss will occur, but one could say, generally, that it takes time to blossom into its fullness. You can, from the very beginning, experience this great awakening, but it may take time for the body and mind to actually adapt and learn to function within it comfortably and with full recognition, so that all of one's spiritual dilemmas begin to disappear. Spiritual questions become answered. Spiritual yearnings become fulfilled or dissolved in the inherent Radiance of Being. This is basically what I’m inviting you into, the invitation I’m offering.

It’s not necessary to believe in God, not necessary to acknowledge any traditional spiritual source in my teaching. You can be an atheist; you can be an agnostic. You can be anything because it’s not based upon belief. Your breathing is not based upon your belief system about air and oxygenation of the blood. Whether you believe those things is irrespective to living – you just breathe, that’s all. It’s an existential event and this is the same exact process I’m describing.

So, there’s really no God in this, no external God. You may encounter something within yourself that is, in its inherent magnificence, worthy of the name God, but that thing will not be any different than your own Self. It will be located in your Self, not “out there” somewhere. God, truly, is precisely that which dawns when all “out theres” disappear. So this does cover the territory that religion traditionally covers, most definitely. It does move into those areas referred to as “the Divine,” God, but quite from a different angle. You’ll also find that I’m not directly dealing with the contents of your mind. I’m not going to ask you to change anything about yourself – how you live, what you think. I just welcome you in a kind of innocence, and an innocent approach to realizing what for me is quite obvious, which may become obvious to you too.