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The long term process of meditation: a case study Nixon, Gary 1990

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THE LONG TERM PROCESS OF MEDITATION: A CASE STUDY By GARY NIXON L.L.B., U n i v e r s i t y of A l b e r t a , 1982 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA @ J u l y , 1990 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date 5^  DE-6 (2/88) i i ABSTRACT A single case study research format was used to understand what happens when Western people are involved i n meditation over a long period of time. This research examines what problems are faced i n integrating meditation into a modern Western s t y l e of l i v i n g . In t h i s single case study of the long term process of meditation, the co-researcher was interviewed for h i s account of his twelve year experience of meditation. Additional data was obtained from friends and family members as well as from the co-researcher's l i f e l i n e . The co-researcher's account of h i s involvement i n meditation highlighted several problems. The problem of obsessively t r y i n g to become enlightened and s p i r i t u a l materialism was i l l u s t r a t e d by the co-researcher's experience. Other problems illuminated were the problems of i s o l a t i o n and withdrawal i n re l a t i o n s h i p , developing psychological b l i n d spots i n s p i r i t u a l p r actice and dealing with intense kundalini awakening phenomenon. The v u l n e r a b i l i t y of d i f f e r e n t paths of meditation to these problems was considered. i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER I I LITERATURE REVIEW: INTRODUCTION 6 MODELS OF THE LONG TERM PROCESS OF MEDITATION 8 P a t a n j a l i ' s Yoga S u t r a s 8 Zen 16 Krishnamurti 24 Wilber's Spectrum of Consciousness 29 CHAPTER I I I APPROACH TO RESEARCH 37 SELECTION OF CO-RESEARCHER 40 PROCEDURE ADOPTED FROM THE DRAMATURGICAL METHOD 41 CASE STUDY PROCEDURE 42 CHAPTER IV INTRODUCTION 45 ACT I 46 ACT I I 57 ACT I I I 82 CHAPTER V RESULTS 86 BECOMING ENLIGHTENED 87 RELATIONSHIP 93 BLIND SPOTS IN SPIRITUAL PRACTICE 102 KUNDALINI AWAKENING 108 i y CHAPTER VI DISCUSSION 118 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS 118 LIMITATIONS OF STUDY 121 IMPLICATIONS FOR MEDITATION 122 IMPLICATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH 128 BIBLIOGRAPHY 131 APPENDIX I QUESTIONNAIRE 140 REPLY FROM MOTHER 140 REPLY FROM SISTER 141 REPLY FROM FRIEND 143 APPENDIX I I CO-RESEARCHER'S LIFELINE 145 1 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION Meditation with i t s ori g i n s i n ancient India has now surfaced i n a l l of i t s variety of forms to enjoy tremendous popularity i n 20th century Western cu l t u r e . With the Western world's discovery of Zen, Yoga and other forms.of meditation during the early part of the 20th century, the "beatnik Zen" of the 50's, the tuning into a l t e r e d states of consciousness i n the 60's, the "me" generation of the 70's, and the coming of the "New Age" movement i n the 80's, meditation has secured a s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e i n Western society. There i s a mushrooming supply of gurus, meditation centers and ashrams, ret r e a t s and meditation workshops. Thousands of Westerners t r a v e l to India to spend time with t h e i r guru. Others spend t h e i r holidays at meditation camps where they meditate sixteen hours a day. Meditation bookstores are crowded with those seeking the most h e l p f u l meditation s e l f - h e l p book, or the l a t e s t words of t h e i r guru. In psychology, a whole new area c a l l e d "Transpersonal Psychology" has emerged dealing with the inte g r a t i o n of meditation and contemplative t r a d i t i o n s into a Western psychology framework. Meditation has come to have a r o l e i n the l i v e s of a s i g n i f i c a n t amount of people i n Western society. 2 With the e x p l o s i o n of p o p u l a r i t y of m e d i t a t i o n has come an accompanying abundance of p s y c h o l o g i c a l l i t e r a t u r e on the s u b j e c t of m e d i t a t i o n . There a r e thousands of volumes of an e c d o t a l l i t e r a t u r e a v a i l a b l e from " E a s t e r n Masters" on the b e n e f i t s and i n t r i c a c i e s of l o n g term m e d i t a t i o n . There i s an e n d l e s s s u p p l y o f "how-to" meditate books w r i t t e n by Western p s y c h o l o g i s t s and layper s o n s . Western s c i e n t i f i c r e s e a r c h has s t r u g g l e d t o i n c o r p o r a t e m e d i t a t i o n r e s e a r c h i n t o i t s a n a l y s i s with over 1,200 s t u d i e s o f m e d i t a t i o n a n a l y z i n g the p h y s i c a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l e f f e c t s o f m e d i t a t i o n being conducted i n the l a s t s i x t y y e a r s (Murphy and Donovan, 1988, p . l ) . P s y c h o l o g i c a l r e s e a r c h has p o i n t e d out some f a v o r a b l e e f f e c t s of m e d i t a t i o n . Murphy and Donovan (1988), i n a review of contemporary m e d i t a t i o n r e s e a r c h , concluded t h a t the p e r c e p t u a l and c o g n i t i v e a b i l i t i e s t h a t seem t o be enhanced by m e d i t a t i o n correspond w i t h the v a r i o u s c a p a c i t i e s d e s c r i b e d i n the Hindu-Buddhist t r a d i t i o n s . Research i n d i c a t e s t h a t m e d i t a t i o n appears t o i n c r e a s e empathy f o r o t h e r s (Lesch, 1970; Walsh, 1978; K o r n f i e l d , 1979), i s e f f e c t i v e i n a n x i e t y r e d u c t i o n (Delmonte, 1985), and i s an e f f e c t i v e a d j u n c t t o psychotherapy (Delmonte and Kenny, 1987). Research based on s u b j e c t r e p o r t s of 3 m e d i t a t o r s has h i g h l i g h t e d q u a l i t i e s of equanimity, detachment, i n e f f a b i l i t y , and b l i s s ( K o r n f i e l d , 1979; Murphy and Donovan, 1988; West, 1980). S t u d i e s on t h e e f f e c t of m e d i t a t i o n on c r e a t i v i t y and s e l f -a c t u a l i z a t i o n , however, have produced mixed r e s u l t s (Murphy and Donovan, 1988; West, 1980). A r e l a t i v e l y ignored area of r e s e a r c h has been th e n e g a t i v e p o s s i b l e e f f e c t s of m e d i t a t i o n . Walsh and Roche (1979), Lazarus (1976), and Kennedy (1976) r e p o r t e d c l i n i c a l cases where the i n d i s c r i m i n a t e use of m e d i t a t i o n has c o n t r i b u t e d t o p s y c h o t i c e p i s o d e s , severe d e p r e s s i o n , and s c h i z o p h r e n i c breakdown. C a r r i n g t o n (1977) observed t h a t e x t e n s i v e m e d i t a t i o n may induce symptoms t h a t range i n s e v e r i t y from insomnia t o p s y c h o t i c m a n i f e s t a t i o n s w i t h h a l l u c i n a t o r y b e h a v i o r . Maupin (1969) warned t h a t the p r a c t i c e of m e d i t a t i o n produces withdrawn, serene people who a r e not a c c e s s i b l e t o what i s a c t u a l l y g o ing on i n t h e i r l i v e s . P s y c h o l o g i c a l r e s e a r c h around the " k u n d a l i n i awakening" m e d i t a t i o n experience p o i n t s out t h a t t h i s e x p e r i e n c e i n most cases i s very b e n e f i c i a l t o i n d i v i d u a l s but i n some cases can be very d i s t u r b i n g ( S a n n e l l a , 1987). Because of the p o t e n t i a l l y mixed i n t e r p l a y of p o s i t i v e and n e g a t i v e e f f e c t s of m e d i t a t i o n , models 4 i n c o r p o r a t i n g the contemplative t r a d i t i o n s a re b e i n g proposed (Brown and En g l e r , 1986; Wilbe r , 1986). These models propose a spectrum of p o s s i b l e development and pathol o g y . Because these models accept the t h e o r e t i c a l framework of the contemplative t r a d i t i o n s , a gaping h o l e i n m e d i t a t i o n r e s e a r c h i s l e f t . What i s m i s s i n g i n m e d i t a t i o n r e s e a r c h i s an understanding of what happens when Western people are i n v o l v e d i n m e d i t a t i o n over a long p e r i o d of time, an understanding of how m e d i t a t i o n i s i n t e g r a t e d i n t o a modern Western s t y l e o f l i v i n g . By f o c u s s i n g on the changes i n an i n d i v i d u a l ' s l i v e d e x p e r i e n c e , t h i s case study r e s e a r c h attempts t o h i g h l i g h t the problems, c o n t r a d i c t i o n s , and i n s i g h t s t h a t a long term Western meditator can e x p e r i e n c e i n or d e r t h a t some of the p o t e n t i a l problems can be acknowledged and brought out i n the open. The case study approach i s being used as i t i s a s e n s i t i v e approach t o complex phenomenon (Yin, 1989). T h i s r e s e a r c h i s conducted by s e l e c t i n g a c o - r e s e a r c h e r who has the experi e n c e of being i n v o l v e d i n the long term p r o c e s s of m e d i t a t i o n . The c o - r e s e a r c h e r ' s account o f the e x p e r i e n c e i s obtained. A d d i t i o n a l data i s o b t a i n e d t o i l l u m i n a t e the experience as i t i s l i v e d . F r i e n d s and f a m i l y members are co n t a c t e d t o p r o v i d e 5 a d d i t i o n a l information. Other techniques such as a l i f e - l i n e are used to e l i c i t a d d i t i o n a l information from the co-researcher . This study begins with a review of t h e o r e t i c a l models of the long term process of meditat ion. In comparing the d i f f e r e n t models of the long process of meditat ion, the issues i l luminated by the l i f e s tory of the case study w i l l become apparent. This w i l l lead to a d i scuss ion of c e r t a i n key problems that have been encountered by our co-researcher i n h i s long term process of meditation and the impl icat ions of these problems i n terms of counse l l ing . 6 CHAPTER I I : LITERATURE REVIEW INTRODUCTION In t h i s chapter, models of the long term p r o c e s s of m e d i t a t i o n are examined. Three major models of t h i s p r o c e s s are examined: Yoga, Zen, and K r i s h n a m u r t i ' s ' C h o i c e l e s s Awareness. These models are examined because they r e p r e s e n t a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e survey of a spectrum going from a very d e t a i l e d , c o m p l i c a t e d , s t e p by s t e p model of the process of m e d i t a t i o n a l l the way a c r o s s t o a p e r s p e c t i v e which argues t h a t t h e r e a r e no methods, no s t e p s , and no long term p r o c e s s of m e d i t a t i o n . These models are a l s o presented because the c o - r e s e a r c h e r i n t h i s study has had s i g n i f i c a n t exposure t o these models or s i m i l a r v a r i a t i o n s i n h i s m e d i t a t i o n l i f e s t o r y . A f o u r t h model of the long term p r o c e s s of m e d i t a t i o n , W i l b e r ' s Spectrum of Consciousness, i s a l s o p r e s e n t e d . T h i s model r e p r e s e n t s a s i g n i f i c a n t d e p a r t u r e from the other t h r e e models i n t h a t t h i s model attempts t o merge the contemplative t r a d i t i o n s w i t h Western developmental thought i n the form of a h i e r a r c h i c a l developmental model. I t i s p r e s e n t e d as i t i s the l e a d i n g theory of t r a n s p e r s o n a l psychology's 7 e f f o r t t o i n t e g r a t e s p i r i t u a l f u l f i l l m e n t i n t o a framework of human development. Washburn's dynamic-d i a l e c t i c a l t h e o r y i s a l s o presented as i t r e p r e s e n t s the most s i g n i f i c a n t a t t a c k on W i l b e r ' s t h e o r y . 8 MODELS OF THE LONG TERM PROCESS OF MEDITATION P a t a n i a l i ' s Yoga Sutras There are many forms of yoga i n c l u d i n g p h y s i c a l yoga (hatha), d e v o t i o n a l ( b h a k t i ) , s e r v i c e or a c t i o n (karma), p h i l o s o p h i c a l yoga (jnani) and l a s t l y what i s c a l l e d the r o y a l path ( r a j a yoga). Raja yoga r e p r e s e n t s a comprehensive and s c i e n t i f i c system f o r d e v e l o p i n g awareness (Rama, B a l l e n t i n e , Ajaya, 1976, p.2). Raja yoga, developed by P a t a n j a l i who wrote the Yoga S u t r a s over a thousand years ago, teaches the s c i e n t i f i c psychology t o c o n t r o l our mind and body, and t o c a n a l i s e a l l our b o d i l y , mental, and s p i r i t u a l , powers towards a c h i e v i n g "samadhi" i n e c s t a t i c u n i o n w i t h "Purusha, the U l t i m a t e R e a l i t y . " ( E l l e n j i m i t t a m , 1974, p.17). T h i s path i s known as the " e i g h t - r u n g l a d d e r " s i n c e i t i s a s y s t e m a t i c eight-phase approach t o mastery over a l l aspects of our f u n c t i o n i n g . I t begins w i t h h a b i t s and behavior, then proceeds t o work on the body, and ends with mental f u n c t i o n i n g (Rama, B a l l e n t i n e , Ajaya, 1976, p.2). The purpose of the Yoga Sutras i s t o p o i n t beyond the l e v e l s , or l a y e r s , of psyche and cosmos f o r the e s s e n t i a l nature of the human being, the " S e l f " , which 9 i s h e l d t o be an u t t e r l y t r a n s c e n d e n t a l r e a l i t y ( F e u e r s t e i n , 1989, p.176). T h i s yoga p h i l o s o p h y p r o v i d e s the meditator with a map t h a t a l l o w s him t o t r a v e r s e the d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of e x i s t e n c e u n t i l a t the moment of l i b e r a t i o n he leaves the o r b i t of n a t u r e a l t o g e t h e r . The i d e a l of yoga i s l i f e i n the e t e r n a l p r e s e n t i n which one possesses a witness c o n s c i o u s n e s s which i s pure l u c i d i t y and s p o n t a n e i t y ( E l i a d e , 1970). F e u e r s t e i n (1989) observed t h a t the y o g i c path t o s e l f -r e a l i z a t i o n has two main a s p e c t s . The f i r s t a s p e c t i s d i s p a s s i o n toward t h a t which i s not the s e l f . The second a s p e c t i s the p r a c t i c e of i d e n t i f y i n g w i t h the s e l f through repeated m e d i t a t i v e a b s o r p t i o n and e c s t a s y . P a t a n j a l i ' s system i s s e t f o r t h i n h i s Yoga S u t r a s , a c o m p i l a t i o n of one hundred n i n e t y - f i v e aphorisms spread over f o u r c h a p t e r s . The f i r s t t h r e e of t h e s e s u t r a s g i v e the g i s t of the whole system, " I . l Now the e x p o s i t i o n of Yoga 1.2 Yoga i s the r e s t r i c t i o n of the w h i r l s of consciousness 1.3 Then the 'Seer' appears." ( F e u e r s t e i n , 1989, p.171). C o s t e r (1934) w r i t e s t h a t these aphorisms e x p l a i n t h a t yoga i s b a s i c a l l y a matter of d e v e l o p i n g v o l u n t a r y c o n t r o l and r e g u l a t i o n of the thought p r o c e s s e s . When t h i s i s accomplished, t h a t consciousness which u n d e r l i e s the 10 thoughts becomes apparent. O r d i n a r i l y a person i s l o s t i n h i s or her own confused thought and f e e l i n g but when the p e r s o n a l consciousness becomes s t i l l e d , i t i s then p o s s i b l e f o r the embodied s p i r i t t o know i t s e l f as a p a r t from the m a n i f e s t a t i o n s t o which i t i s accustomed, and t o become aware of i t s own nature. P a t a n j a l i uses an e i g h t step path f o r g a i n i n g s e l f - m a s t e r y . The f i r s t f o u r steps are r e s t r a i n t (yama), d i s c i p l i n e (niyama), posture (asana), and b r e a t h c o n t r o l (pranayama). These f o u r s t e p s are t h e s t e p s of hatha yoga (Rama, B a l l e n t i n e , Ajaya, 1976). The f i r s t two steps, yama and niyama, h e l p reduce unwholesome v o l i t i o n . The t h i r d step, asana, i s e s s e n t i a l f o r the i m m o b i l i z a t i o n of the body-mind. The f o u r t h step, pranayama, i n v o l v e s e n e r g i z i n g the body-mind through the p r a c t i c e of b r e a t h c o n t r o l . The p r a c t i c e of p o s t u r e and breath c o n t r o l l e a d s t o a p r o g r e s s i v e d e s e n s i t i z a t i o n t o e x t e r n a l s t i m u l i . When con s c i o u s n e s s i s e f f e c t i v e l y s e a l e d o f f from the environment, the f i f t h step, sense-withdrawal (pratyahana) i s obtained. T h i s step has been l i k e n e d t o a " t o r t o i s e c o n t r a c t i n g i t s limbs" ( F e u e r s t e i n , 1989, p.191). On mastering the f i r s t f i v e s t e p s , a m e d i t a t o r i s ready f o r the l a s t t h r e e important s t e p s of P a t a n j a l i ' s approach. C o n c e n t r a t i o n , the s i x t h s t e p of the e i g h t f o l d path, i s a d i r e c t c o n t i n u a t i o n of the p r o c e s s o f sensory i n h i b i t i o n , the f i f t h s t e p . In t h i s s t e p , t h e mind i s h e l d i n a m o t i o n l e s s s t a t e by the f o c u s s i n g of a t t e n t i o n t o a g i v e n p o i n t which may be a p a r t i c u l a r p a r t of the body or an e x t e r n a l o b j e c t t h a t i s l o c a l i z e d . T h i s one-pointedness or f o c u s s e d a t t e n t i o n i s a whole-body experience and has an e x t r a o r d i n a r y dimension of p s y c h i c depth ( F e u e r s t e i n , 1989, p.192). The Yoga Su t r a s (1.30) l i s t s nine o b s t a c l e s t h a t can a r i s e i n the attempt t o p a c i f y the i n n e r world, i n c l u d i n g i l l n e s s , doubt, and i n a t t e n t i o n . Y o g i c c o n c e n t r a t i o n i s a high-energy s t a t e and the p s y c h i c energy m o b i l i z e d can e a s i l y b a c k f i r e on the unwary p r a c t i t i o n e r . Prolonged and deepening c o n c e n t r a t i o n l e a d s n a t u r a l l y t o the s t a t e of m e d i t a t i v e a b s o r p t i o n , or "dhyana," the seventh st e p . J u s t as one-pointedness o f a t t e n t i o n i s the mechanism of c o n c e n t r a t i o n , "one-f l o w i n g n e s s " i s the u n d e r l y i n g process of m e d i t a t i o n ( F e u e r s t e i n , 1989). C l a r k (1983) c h a r a c t e r i z e d dhyana as a "method by which a person c o n c e n t r a t e s more and more upon l e s s and l e s s . The aim i s t o empty the mind w h i l e , p a r a d o x i c a l l y , remaining a l e r t " (p.29). The purpose of y o g i c m e d i t a t i o n i s t o i n t e r c e p t the f l u x of 12 o r d i n a r y mental a c t i v i t y as w e l l as thought p r o c e s s e s a c t i v a t e d i n c o n s c i o u s e c s t a s y and s u p r a c o n s c i o u s e c s t a s y s t a t e s ( F e v e r s t e i n , 1989). The e i g h t h step, the e c s t a t i c s t a t e (samadhi) ensues when a l l the " w h i r l s " of the waking c o n s c i o u s n e s s are f u l l y r e s t r i c t e d through the p r a c t i c e of m e d i t a t i o n . P a t a n j a l i e l a b o r a t e d a phenomenology of samadhi t h a t was d i s t i l l e d from c e n t u r i e s of y o g i c e x p e r i e n c e . He d i s t i n g u i s h e s between two major s p e c i e s of samadhi, namely conscious e c s t a s y (samprajnata-samadhi) and supraconscious e c s t a s y (asamprajnata-samadhi) ( F e u e r s t e i n , 1989). Conscious e c s t a s y has a v a r i e t y of e x p e r i e n t i a l s t a t e s i n which the ego-p e r s o n a l i t y i s p a r t i a l l y transcended whereas su p r a c o n s c i o u s e c s t a s y c o i n c i d e s w i t h temporary s e l f -r e a l i z a t i o n which i f maintained over a long p e r i o d of time can l e a d t o e c s t a t i c u n i f i c a t i o n i n which the l i b e r a t e d b e i ng abides i n p e r f e c t aloneness ( k a i v a l y a ) , "a t r a n s m e n t a l s t a t e of pure presence and pure awareness" ( F e u e r s t e i n , 1989, p.198). I t i s by c o n s c i o u s r e a l i z a t i o n of the t r u e r e l a t i o n between s p i r i t , mind and e x t e r n a l phenomenon t h a t the y o g i g a i n s h i s g o a l of l i b e r a t i o n (Coster, 1934, p.125). Here, a l l attachments are broken, even t o the e x p e r i e n c e of b l i s s , and the h i g h e s t p i n n a c l e of pure c o n s c i o u s n e s s i s reached (Rama, B a l l e n t i n e , A j a y a , 1976, p.213). P a t a n j a l i ' s Yoga Sutras are d i v i d e d i n t o f o u r books. The f i r s t book d e a l s w i t h the s u b j e c t of samadhi and the nature of the g o a l t o be aimed a t . The second book which r e f e r s t o the e i g h t - f o l d path, g i v e s r a t h e r d e t a i l e d d i r e c t i o n s intended f o r those who wish t o a t t a i n the g o a l but r e q u i r e p r e l i m i n a r y t r a i n i n g . The t h i r d book d e a l s with the l a s t t h r e e s t e p s of dharana, dhyana and samadhi. The term "samyana" i s used t o denote the t h r e e c o l l e c t i v e l y c o n s i d e r e d . The bulk of t h i s chapter d e a l s with the s p i r i t u a l powers t h a t can accrue t o a y o g i . The f o u r t h book d e a l s w i t h l i b e r a t i o n ( k a i v a l y a ) (Coster, 1934). F e u e r s t e i n (1989) made the o b s e r v a t i o n t h a t as opposed t o the experience of e c s t a t i c u n i t y expressed i n the Upanishadic t r a d i t i o n , the r e a l i z a t i o n of a l l -embracing u n i t y i s more d i f f i c u l t t o accommodate i n P a t a n j a l i ' s d u a l i s t i c framework. P a t a n j a l i seemed t o r e c o g n i z e t h a t t h e r e can be no u l t i m a t e s a l v a t i o n w i t h i n nature and t h a t t r u e l i b e r a t i o n means go i n g beyond a l l of nature's dimensions i n c l u d i n g i t s t r a n s c e n d e n t a l laws t o the r e a l i z a t i o n of the t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s e l f . S e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n i s c o n s i d e r e d t o be awakening t o one's e s s e n t i a l being which a b i d e s 14 f o r e v e r beyond the o r b i t of nature. Thus the u l t i m a t e g o a l f o r P a t a n j a l i i s not an e c s t a t i c union which overcomes d u a l i t y but a process of s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n o f a t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s e l f beyond nature. A v a r i a t i o n of c l a s s i c a l yoga i s k u n d a l i n i yoga which f o c u s s e s on a r e s e r v e of s p i r i t u a l energy l o c a t e d a t the base of the spine which when aroused t r a v e l s up the s p i n e through s i x c e n t e r s or "chakras" r e a c h i n g a seventh a t the top of the head c a u s i n g the m e d i t a t o r t o f e e l a s t a t e of i n t e n s e e c s t a s y and union w i t h God (Goleman, 1988, p.78). A modern v e r s i o n of k u n d a l i n i yoga i s Siddha Yoga as taught by the l a t e Swami Muktananda (Amma, 1969; Muktananda, 1970). While Muktananda used t r a d i t i o n a l yoga p r a c t i c e s , he emphasized the g u r u - d i s c i p l e r e l a t i o n s h i p through a pr o c e s s c a l l e d " s h a k t i p a t d i k s h a " i n which the guru i n i t i a t e s the devotee by look, touch, or word and t r a n s m i t s a d i r e c t , instantaneous t r a n s c e n d e n t a l e x p e r i e n c e t o the devotee (Goleman, 1988, p.80). The process of p u r i f i c a t i o n through " s h a k t i p a t " i s s a i d t o take t h r e e t o twelve years u n t i l the devotee a t t a i n s a sense of "oneness wi t h a l l - p e r v a d i n g Cosmic I n t e l l e c t . " Muktananda (1970) wrote t h a t d u r i n g " s h a k t i p a t " the meditator may experience a wide v a r i e t y of i n v o l u n t a r y r e a c t i o n s . These i n c l u d e powerful moods 15 of j o y , d u l l n e s s , or a g i t a t i o n ; strange b o d i l y p o s t u r e s , g e s t u r e s , tremors or dancing poses; f e e l i n g s of wonder or f r i g h t ; a p e r i o d of p a i n i n a l l p a r t s of the body; spontaneous deep m e d i t a t i o n ; v i s i o n s o f l i g h t s , d e i t i e s , or c e l e s t i a l p l a c e s accompanied by g r e a t j o y and b l i s s ; and an e x p e r i e n c i n g of a " d i v i n e l i g h t o f i n d e s c r i b a b l e l u s t r e . " A d i s c i p l e of Muktananda, Amma (1969) observed t h a t t h e person who has h i s k u n d a l i n i aroused and then s t a b i l i z e d i n the topmost chakra, "has n o t h i n g t o do and n o t h i n g t o a c h i e v e " (p.11). In t h i s s t a t e , one has become a "siddha", a name denoting the supernormal p s y c h i c persons which i n c l u d e s the c a p a b i l i t y of r a i s i n g k u n d a l i n i i n others (Goleman, 1988, p.81). Thousands of westerners became d i s c i p l e s of Swami Muktananda i n the 1970's i n c l u d i n g the c o - r e s e a r c h e r of t h i s case study. W i l b e r (1986) p o i n t e d out t h a t p r a c t i t i o n e r s of both Raja Yoga and Siddha Yoga are s u s c e p t i b l e t o what he c a l l s " p r a n i c d i s o r d e r s " (p.122). The problems stem from a m i s d i r e c t i o n of k u n d a l i n i energy i n the e a r l y s t a g e s of i t s a r o u s a l , u s u a l l y caused by improper v i s u a l i z a t i o n and c o n c e n t r a t i o n . Dramatic psychosomatic symptoms may develop, i n c l u d i n g b a r e l y c o n t r o l l a b l e muscle spasms, v i o l e n t headaches, and 16 b r e a t h i n g d i f f i c u l t i e s . The awakening of k u n d a l i n i can a l s o be p s y c h o l o g i c a l dynamite. Zen Zen i s a development of the Mahayana branch of Buddhism, the " l a r g e v e h i c l e " which h o l d s t h a t a l l men can a t t a i n s a l v a t i o n c o n t r a r y t o the Hinayana s c h o o l which h o l d s o n l y a few are capable of i t . The h i s t o r y of Zen begins about 520 A . D . when the 28th p a t r i a r c h of the Buddha, Bodhidharma went t o China from I n d i a . Out of a mixture of Mahayana Buddhism, and p r e - e x i s t i n g Chinese Taoism, Zen was founded ( L i n s s e n , 1958). L a t e r , Zen was t r a n s p l a n t e d t o Japan which proved t o be f e r t i l e ground f o r Zen with two s c h o o l s of Zen b e i n g e s t a b l i s h e d , the Soto s c h o o l and the R i n z a i s c h o o l . In the 20th century, Zen was almost brought s i n g l e -handedly t o the west by D . T . Suzuki (1949, 1958) who i n h i s l i t e r a r y p r o d u c t i o n touched on almost a l l the important aspects of Zen. Zen i s n o n - t h e i s t i c , and has no dogma t o a c c e p t . Ogata (1959) e x p l a i n e d t h a t Zen's a t t i t u d e towards s c r i p t u r e s i s t h a t they are onl y a f i n g e r p o i n t i n g t o the moon. The f o l l o w i n g statement a s c r i b e d t o Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen i n China, i s c l e a r on t h i s p o i n t : A s p e c i a l t r a n s m i s s i o n o u t s i d e the s c r i p t u r e s ; No dependence upon words and l e t t e r s ; D i r e c t p o i n t i n g t o the s o u l of man, Seeing i n t o the nature and attainment of Buddhahood (p.13). The t h i r d p a t r i a r c h of Zen, Seng-Ts'an, l e f t a poem e n t i t l e d , ,Hsing-hsin-ming , , which i s thought t o r e p r e s e n t the essence of Zen. Below i s a p o r t i o n of the t r a n s l a t i o n p u b l i s h e d by D.T. Suzuki (1960): I f an eye never f a l l s a s l e e p , A l l dreams w i l l by themselves cease; I f t he mind r e t a i n s i t s a b s o l u t e n e s s , The t e n thousand t h i n g s are of one Suchness. When the deep mystery of one Suchness i s fathomed, A l l o f a sudden we f o r g e t the e x t e r n a l entanglements: When the t e n thousand t h i n g s are viewed i n t h e i r oneness, We r e t u r n t o the o r i g i n and remain what we ever have been. F o r g e t the wherefore of t h i n g s , And a t t a i n t o a s t a t e beyond analogy.... The u l t i m a t e end of t h i n g s where they cannot go 18 any f u r t h e r , I s not bound by r u l e s and measures: In the Mind harmonious (with the Way) we have the p r i n c i p l e of i d e n t i t y . In which we f i n d a l l s t r i v i n g s q u i e t e d . There i s n o t h i n g l e f t behind, There i s n o t h i n g r e t a i n e d , A l l i s v o i d , l u c i d , and s e l f - i l l u m i n a t i n g . . . . In the h i g h e r realms of True Suchness There i s n e i t h e r 'other' nor ' s e l f ' . . . . (pp.79-82) In the journey t o "the h i g h e r realms of True Suchness," Zen m e d i t a t i o n or "zazen" s t a r t s w i t h s i t t i n g m e d i t a t i o n but attempts t o broaden t h e f o c u s t o the m e d i t a t o r ' s whole range of l i f e s i t u a t i o n s (Goleman, 1988, p.87). A wide v a r i e t y of c o n c e n t r a t i o n t e c h n i q u e s are employed from c o u n t i n g the b r e a t h , m e d i t a t i n g w h i l e walking, and the use of "koans," a p u z z l e impervious t o s o l u t i o n by reason. A more advanced method of " j u s t s i t t i n g " i s a l s o used i n which the m e d i t a t o r marshals a heightened s t a t e of awareness w i t h no primary o b j e c t . In t h i s method, the m e d i t a t o r 19 j u s t s i t s , keenly aware of whatever goes on i n and around him or her, and i s free from points of view or discriminatory thoughts. This watching can be c a r r i e d into every action with t o t a l attention and c l e a r awareness. Suzuki (1958) warned that "Samadhi," a state of oneness i n which things dissolve so they appear to the meditator i n the aspect of "sameness" i s only an intermediate stage on the path toward Zen's f i n a l r e a l i z a t i o n . "When t h i s state of great f i x a t i o n i s held as f i n a l , there w i l l be no upturning, no outburst of s a t o r i , no penetration, no insight into r e a l i t y , no severing the bonds of b i r t h and death (p.135). Deep absorption i s not enough. Zen teachers stress the need to open i n i t i a l " s a t o r i " experiences through further meditation u n t i l i t f i n a l l y permeates the meditator's everyday existence. Suzuki (1949) described the f i n a l state of mind as one i n which there i s no need f o r further practice as a l l events of d a i l y experience come into the meditator's awareness and are received with nonreaction. B l o f e l d (1962) wrote that t h i s nonreaction does not mean trance-like dullness, but a b r i l l i a n t l y clear state of mind i n which the d e t a i l s of every phenomenon are perceived, yet without evaluation or attachment. Thus the experienced p r a c t i t i o n e r does not depend upon s i t t i n g i n quietude on h i s c u s h i o n as s t a t e s of consciousness a t f i r s t a t t a i n e d o n l y i n t h e m e d i t a t i o n h a l l g r a d u a l l y become continuous r e g a r d l e s s of what ot h e r a c t i v i t i e s the m e ditator i s engaged i n . In t h i s f i n a l stage of "no mind," Goleman (1988) d e s c r i b e d how the c l a r i t y of s a t o r i m a n i f e s t s i n a l l one's a c t s : Here means and ends c o a l e s c e ; the p o s t u r e of m i n d f u l n e s s i s b u i l t i n t o the m e d i t a t o r ' s c o n s c i o u s n e s s as f u l l awareness d e v o i d of s e l f -c o n s c i o u s n e s s . Having experienced the impermanence of a l l t h i n g s , t h a t " l i f e i s p a i n , t h a t a l l forms are ku, empty or v o i d n e s s , he ceases c l i n g i n g t o the phenomenal world y e t c o n t i n u e s t o a c t " (pp.91-92). L i n s s e n (1958) wrote t h a t i t i s i n t h i s awareness of the f a l s e n e s s of the " I - p r o c e s s " t h a t the nature of t h i n g s i s r e v e a l e d i n i t s p l e n i t u d e of r i c h e s . The person who r e a l i z e s S a t o r i " i s a t the h e a r t of the beings and t h i n g s of the whole U n i v e r s e " (p.182). Zen aims f o r t h a t moment of i n s t a n t enlightenment but r e c o g n i z e s p r o g r e s s i v e steps of awareness l e a d i n g c l o s e r t o t h a t i n s t a n t moment of enlightenment (Reps, 1957). In c l a s s i c a l Chinese Zen Buddhism, t h e r e developed a s t o r y about the journey of Zen. In the t w e l f t h century, the Chinese master, Kukuan, drew "The Ten B u l l s of Zen." T h i s was the s t o r y of Zen p l a y e d out i n t e n p i c t u r e s w i t h accompanying comments i n v e r s e and prose f o r each p i c t u r e . The B u l l i n the s t o r y r e p r e s e n t s the t r u e profound s e l f (Dumoulin, 1979, p.155). The s t o r y i s about the seeker and the b u l l who are a t f i r s t s e p a r a t e but become u n i t e d i n the course of the way (Hixon, 1978). The s t o r y s t a r t s out i n the f i r s t p i c t u r e w i t h the seeker alone, l o s t i n the v a s t j u n g l e . In the second p i c t u r e , he searches and c a t c h e s s i g h t of the t r a c k s of the b u l l . These t r a c k s are the wisdom t e a c h i n g s t h a t a l l phenomena are the l i g h t o f the o r i g i n a l mind. In the t h i r d p i c t u r e , the seeker g e t s h i s f i r s t g l ance of the b u l l . No l o n g e r i s the answer thought t o be somewhere out i n the j u n g l e . With f e r v e n t e f f o r t he catches the b u l l ( f o u r t h p i c t u r e ) , and tames i t ( f i f t h p i c t u r e ) through zazen p r a c t i c e . By the s i x t h p i c t u r e , the s t r u g g l e i s over and the seeker r i d e s the b u l l home. The two have become one. In the seventh p i c t u r e , the seeker f o r g e t s the b u l l and stands a l o n e . He f o r the f i r s t time regards h i m s e l f as the f u l l e x p r e s s i o n of t r u e nature. A l l s p i r i t u a l p r a c t i c e s and concepts are i d l e as the c o n t e m p l a t i v e way has become u n d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e from d a i l y l i f e . In 22 the e i g h t h p i c t u r e , both b u l l and s e l f are f o r g o t t e n , t h e r e i s o n l y the embracing nothingness of a c i r c l e . In the n i n t h p i c t u r e , form reappears. Enlightenment i s simply the b l u e l a k e and the green mountain. In t h e t e n t h and f i n a l p i c t u r e , the e n l i g h t e n e d one e n t e r s t h e marketplace w i t h h e l p i n g hands. He c a r r i e s a wine gourd, a symbol of h i s e c s t a s y . The c h e e r f u l one who f u l l y m a n i f e s t s enlightenment has come back t o the marketplace. Rajneesh (1977) argues t h a t t h i s i s an important c o n t r i b u t i o n of Zen i n t h a t o r i g i n a l l y b e f o r e the Zen p i c t u r e s t h e r e were T a o i s t b u l l s but o n l y e i g h t . Zen's unique c o n t r i b u t i o n i n adding two p i c t u r e s i s the seeker i s brought f u l l c i r c l e back i n t o the world t o f u l l y p a r t i c i p a t e . One t r a d i t i o n t h a t uses a stage approach v e r y s i m i l a r t o P a t a n j a l i ' s Yoga Sutras (Goleman, 1988) but whose g o a l of m e d i t a t i o n i s very s i m i l a r t o Zen m e d i t a t i o n or zazen i s the I n s i g h t Buddhist p a t h as r e p r e s e n t e d by the c l a s s i c work of Buddhaghosa, the "Visiddhimagga," the Path of P u r i f i c a t i o n " (Nanamoli, 1976). L i k e P a t a n j a l i ' s Yoga Sutras, the Visiddhimagga s t a r t s w i t h p r e l i m i n a r y stages of p r e p a r a t i o n , and then moves on t o the path of c o n c e n t r a t i o n . The t h i r d s tage begins w i t h mindfulness ( s a t i p a t t h a n a ) , proceeds through i n s i g h t ( v i p a s s a n a ) , and ends i n n i r v a n a 23 (Goleman, 1988). M i n d f u l n e s s e n t a i l s b r e a k i n g through s t e r e o t y p e d p e r c e p t i o n so t h a t the meditator can witness t h e random u n i t s o f mind s t u f f from which h i s r e a l i t y i s b u i l t . The p r a c t i c e of i n s i g h t c o n t i n u e s when mi n d f u l n e s s c o n t i n u e s without a l a g . In t h i s phase, the m e d i t a t o r i s a ttempting t o know each moment t o be impermanent, p o i n t e d , o r without s e l f . A l l mental phenomena i s seen as l i m i t e d and devoid of d e s i r a b i l i t y . A c o n s c i o u s n e s s begins t o a r i s e of the non-conditioned s t a t e , " n i r v a n a " , which i s taken as the " s i g n l e s s , no-occu r r e n c e , no-formation" (Goleman, 1988, p.30). In n i r v a n a , d e s i r e , attachment, and s e l f - i n t e r e s t a re burned out. When the me d i t a t o r ' s i n s i g h t f u l l y matures, a l l remaining f e t t e r s t o l i b e r a t i o n a re overcome and the meditator i s now an "arahant," an "awakened b e i n g . " The arahant f i n d s "by immediate knowledge t h a t when one's h e a r t was c l e a n s e d of the d e f i l e m e n t s of the o r d i n a r y ego-centered i m p u r i t i e s and d e s i r e s , n o t h i n g was l e f t t h e r e t o c l a i m i t s e l f as ego-residuum" (D.T. Suzuki, 1958, p.293). L i k e i n Zen, the I n s i g h t Buddhist meditator ends up wit h no " s e l f " l e f t . W i l b e r (1986) has observed t h a t m e d i t a t o r s on the Zen and Vipassana Buddhist m e d i t a t i o n paths may develop a problem which he c a l l s "pseudo-duhka" (p.121). While m e d i t a t i n g on the very nature of consciousness i n an e a r l y phase of awareness t r a i n i n g , a m e d i t a t o r may come t o a growing r e a l i z a t i o n of the p a i n f u l n ature o f m a n i f e s t e x i s t e n c e i t s e l f . T h i s r e a l i z a t i o n may become so overwhelming t h a t the meditator goes sour on l i f e . T h i s may be a d i f f i c u l t problem as more m e d i t a t i o n may be e x a c t l y what i s not needed. >• Zen i n a d d i t i o n c a l l s the m i s t a k i n g of i l l u m i n a t i o n s , r a p t u r e s , e c s t a s i e s , and a b s o r p t i o n s f o r f i n a l l i b e r a t i o n as the "Zen s i c k n e s s . " W i l b e r (1986) p o i n t e d out t h a t t h i s i s not a s e r i o u s problem u n l e s s one i s p u r s u i n g the u l t i m a t e l e v e l of c o n s c i o u s n e s s . K r i s h n a m u r t i The work of J i d d u K r i s h n a m u r t i r e p r e s e n t s a much more r a d i c a l approach t o m e d i t a t i o n and the quest f o r enlightenment. Born i n I n d i a i n 1895, he was adopted i n t o the T h e o s o p h i c a l S o c i e t y by C.W. Leadbeater. He was t r a i n e d by l e a d e r s of the T h e o s o p h i c a l S o c i e t y t o be the new "World Teacher" or "New Messiah." While i n i t i a l l y t r y i n g t o f u l f i l l h i s new emerging f u n c t i o n , i n August of 1929 he renounced t h i s f u n c t i o n , and s t a t e d t h a t , " T r u s t i s a p a t h l e s s land, and you cannot approach i t by any path whatsoever, by any r e l i g i o n , by any s e c t . . . T r u t h , being l i m i t l e s s , u n c o n d i t i o n e d , unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be o r g a n i z e d " (Lutyens, 1975, p.272). K r i s h n a m u r t i spent c l o s e t o the next s i x t y years c r i s s - c r o s s i n g t h e e a r t h g i v i n g t a l k s t o develop h i s " p a t h l e s s " approach. K r i s h n a m u r t i suggested t h a t the very s t r u c t u r e of quest, which p r o j e c t s i t s own f u l f i l l m e n t i n t o some d i s t a n c e time or s t a t e of consciousness f u r t h e r b i n d s human nature (Hixon, 1978, p.17). The r e s o l u t i o n t o the problem of s p i r i t u a l becoming and see k i n g f o r K r i s h n a m u r t i i s by c h o i c e l e s s awareness of "what i s " and f r e e i n g o n e s e l f from "what should be", f o r " i f you begin t o be aware, c h o i c e l e s s l y , t h a t i s without condemnation, without j u s t i f i c a t i o n , without i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , which i s extremely d i f f i c u l t , then self-knowledge becomes extremely c r e a t i v e " ( K r i s h n a m u r t i , 1947, p.45). Self-knowledge t o Kri s h n a m u r t i i s the o n l y p r a c t i c a l and e f f e c t i v e approach t o the problem of e x i s t e n c e . T h i s i m p l i e s t o K r i s h n a m u r t i a r e j e c t i o n of the p o s i t i v e approaches t o t r u t h . The r e l i a n c e on a guru i s seen by Kri s h n a m u r t i as a problem i n i t s e l f . The g u r u - d i s c i p l e r e l a t i o n s h i p i s very d e s t r u c t i v e as, "To f o l l o w another, no matter who i t i s , i s t o deny t h e under s t a n d i n g of y o u r s e l f " (Krishnamurti, 1950, p.170), "The o n l y t h i n g another can do i s h e l p you d i s c e r n f o r y o u r s e l f whether you are esca p i n g from a c t u a l i t y i n t o i l l u s i o n " ( K r i s h n a m u r t i , 1935, p.57). In a d d i t i o n , K r i s h n a m u r t i r e j e c t e d the use of methods, systems and te c h n i q u e s as the r e s u l t i s o n l y a p r o j e c t i o n o f the mind towards the i d e a l (Shringy, 1976). K r i s h n a m u r t i (1958) saw the u n d e r l y i n g problem as the whole pr o c e s s of self-improvement: E s s e n t i a l l y self-improvement i s m e d i o c r i t y . S e l f -improvement through v i r t u e , through i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h c a p a c i t y , through any form of p o s i t i v e o r n e g a t i v e s e c u r i t y , i s a s e l f - c l o s i n g p r o c e s s , however wide...The mind can never be g r e a t , f o r what i s g r e a t i s immeasurable. The known i s comparable, and a l l the a c t i v i t i e s of the known can o n l y b r i n g sorrow (p.241). In K r i s h n a m u r t i 1 s view, the a c t i v i t y of s e l f -improvement i m p l i e s comparison which i s an avoidance o f "what i s " w h i l e s t r i v i n g f o r "what should be." K r i s h n a m u r t i saw knowledge as a hindrance t o d i r e c t e x p e r i e n c e as understanding i s o n l y p o s s i b l e w i t h a s i l e n t mind. In having experience, a c o n d i t i o n e d mind o n l y strengthens i t s c o n d i t i o n i n g and thus p e r p e t u a t e s c o n t r a d i c t i o n and misery. Sorrow, t h e r e f o r e i n K r i s h n a m u r t i • s eyes, must not be overcome through p s y c h o l o g i c a l escapes of one s o r t or another but i t i s o n l y when the mind f a c e s the f a c t o f sorrow, of e x c l u s i v e n e s s , of l o n e l i n e s s , without t r y i n g t o escape i t , o r overcome i t , t h a t the t r u e s i g n i f i c a n c e of sorrow, the ego, the whole s t r u c t u r e of the " I " pr o c e s s i s d i s c o v e r e d and the cause of sorrow e l i m i n a t e d (Shringy, 1976, p.181). For K r i s h n a m u r t i , the j o y of m e d i t a t i o n i s i n d i s c o v e r i n g the f u l l s i g n i f i c a n c e of each thought as i t a r i s e s . K r i s h n a m u r t i (1950) argued t h a t the whole p r o c e s s of the long term process of m e d i t a t i o n as an i l l u s i o n as he saw freedom as the f i r s t s t e p : Freedom can never come through d i s c i p l i n e though we t h i n k we must d i s c i p l i n e o u r s e l v e s i n o r d e r t o be f r e e , the beginning determines the end, and i f the mind i s d i s c i p l i n e d a t the be g i n n i n g i t w i l l be d i s c i p l i n e d a t the end; and t h e r e f o r e i t w i l l never be f r e e . But we can understand the whole pr o c e s s of d i s c i p l i n e , c o n t r o l , s u p p r e s s i o n , s u b l i m a t i o n , s u b s t i t u t i o n , then t h e r e w i l l be freedom from the very beginning; f o r the means and the ends are one, they are not two se p a r a t e p r o c e s s e s , e i t h e r p o l i t i c a l l y o r r e l i g i o u s l y (p.38). To K r i s h n a m u r t i , the means and the ends are the same. An a d d i t i o n a l aspect of many people's s p i r i t u a l endeavors i s the process of r e n u n c i a t i o n i n which one g i v e s up the normal r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h i n g s , and t o people i n order t o f i n d God, happiness, and freedom. K r i s h n a m u r t i (1936) f e l t t h a t understanding cannot be a c q u i r e d by i m i t a t i n g the outward forms of l i v i n g a " s a i n t l y l i f e " as he thought what i s needed i s the und e r s t a n d i n g of the s i g n i f i c a n c e of r e l a t i o n s h i p : You t h i n k by going away from a c t u a l i t y , from everyday e x i s t e n c e , you are going t o f i n d t r u t h . On the c o n t r a r y you w i l l f i n d r e a l i t y o n l y through everyday l i f e , through human c o n t a c t s , through s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and through the way of thought and l i f e (p.45). Thus, f o r K r i s h n a m u r t i , self-knowledge and s e l f -u n d e r s t a n d i n g o n l y takes p l a c e i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s as i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s "through o b s e r v i n g one's r e a c t i o n s , thoughts and motives, one can see, n o n - v e r b a l l y , what we a r e " ( K r i s h n a m u r t i , 1973, p.110). K r i s h n a m u r t i p o i n t e d out a unique approach t o s i l e n c i n g the mind. He argued t h a t the mind can o n l y modify i t s p a t t e r n of thought, i t cannot a c t t o awaken i t s e l f as any change sought by the mind i s a change from what i s . A person t h a t understands t h a t t h e r e i s no method t h a t s i l e n c e s thought awakens the a c t i o n of i n t e l l i g e n c e . The c h o i c e l e s s awareness o f what i s r e v e a l s the f a l s i t y of the d u a l i t y of the t h i n k e r and thought, the process of c r a v i n g , and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , and the i l l u s i o n of d u a l i t y (Shringy, 1976). In K r i s h n a m u r t i ' s view, i t i s i n c h o i c e l e s s awareness t h a t the problem of e x i s t e n c e i s r e s o l v e d . T h i s approach i s r e v o l u t i o n a r y i n terms of the l o n g term p r o c e s s of m e d i t a t i o n i n t h a t the approach o f " c h o i c e l e s s awareness" i s not o n l y the means but a l s o the end, the f i r s t s tep and the l a s t s t e p . K r i s h n a m u r t i i s a l s o unique i n d e s c r i b i n g g u r u - d i s c i p l e r e l a t i o n s h i p s and m e d i t a t i o n techniques as b a r r i e r s t o m e d i t a t i o n . Others have argued t h a t K r i s h n a m u r t i seems t o advocate an end s t a t e only and i s of very l i t t l e h e l p f o r someone t r y i n g t o get t h e r e (Goleman, 1988) . W i l b e r ' s Spectrum of Consciousness The developmental-stage approach i s one of the most w i d e l y used t o o l s i n Western psychology as i t has been f r u i t f u l l y a p p l i e d t o psychosexual, c o g n i t i v e , ego, moral, a f f e c t i v e , o b j e c t - r e l a t i o n a l , and l i n g u i s t i c l i n e s of development (Wilber, E n g l e r , Brown, 1986, p.5). These models i n most cases c l a i m t o be l a r g e l y i n v a r i a n t , c r o s s - c u l t u r a l , and q u a s i - u n i v e r s a l . The same type of developmental stage approach i s e x e m p l i f i e d i n the world's contemplative and m e d i t a t i v e d i s c i p l i n e s (Brown and Engler, 1986). The Mahamudra from T i b e t a n Mahayana Buddhist t r a d i t i o n , the Visuddhimagga from the P a l i Theravada Buddhist t r a d i t i o n , and the Yoga Sutras from S a n s k r i t Hindu t r a d i t i o n appear t o be models t h a t are s u f f i c i e n t l y s i m i l a r t o suggest an u n d e r l y i n g i n v a r i a n t sequence of st a g e s , d e s p i t e v a s t c u l t u r a l and l i n g u i s t i c d i f f e r e n c e s as w e l l as s t y l e s of p r a c t i c e (Brown and E n g l e r , 1986). The q u e s t i o n remains what i s the r e l a t i o n s h i p between " c o n v e n t i o n a l " and " c o n t e m p l a t i v e " stage models. Aurobindo (n.d.) i n t e g r a t e d t h e s e two ranges through h i s o v e r a l l l i f e c y c l e model which i n c l u d e d the f o l l o w i n g stages: l ) Sensormotor; 2) V i t a l - e m o t i o n a l - s e x u a l ; 3) W i l l - m i n d ; 4) Sense-mind; 5) Reasoning mind; 6) Higher mind; 7) I l l u m i n e d mind; 8) I n t u i t i v e mind; 9) Overmind; 10) Supermind. W i l b e r , E n g l e r , Brown (1986) found t h a t Aurobindo's f i r s t s i x stages seem s i m i l a r t o some of the s tages i n v e s t i g a t e d by c o n v e n t i o n a l psychology, i n p a r t i c u l a r P i a g e t (1977), Loevinger (1976), and Kohlberg (1981). Almost a l l c o n v e n t i o n a l stage-models, however, stop around Aurobindo's stage 6 y e t Aurobindo's v e r s i o n g i v e s a seventh account of t h i s t r a n s i t i o n between the t y p i c a l stages (1-6) and t h e t r a n s p e r s o n a l stages (7-10) (Wilber, E n g l e r , Brown, 1986). E n g l e r (1986) and Wilber (1986) have taken a s i m i l a r p e r s p e c t i v e i n t h a t they p o i n t out t h a t c o n t e m p l a t i v e stages of development are not p a r a l l e l t o the normal, t y p i c a l , or c o n v e n t i o n a l s t a g e s of development but r e f e r t o h i g h e r stages a l t o g e t h e r . In l o o k i n g a t the contemplative stages of development, Brown (1986) d i s c o v e r e d s i x s t a g e s of p r a c t i c e , two p r e l i m i n a r y , two c o n c e n t r a t i o n , and two i n s i g h t stages, these being: "I P r e l i m i n a r y E t h i c a l T r a i n i n g ; I I P r e l i m i n a r y Mind/Body T r a i n i n g ; I I I C o n c e n t r a t i o n with Support; IV C o n c e n t r a t i o n w i t h o u t Support; V O r d i n a r y I n s i g h t M e d i t a t i o n ; VI E x t r a o r d i n a r y Mind and Enlightenment" (p.223). Each of t h e s i x stages was f u r t h e r broken down i n t o t h r e e substages. Brown (1986) demonstrated how a Hindu, Theravada or Mahayana Buddhist meditator can p r o g r e s s through the d i f f e r e n t e ighteen stages of m e d i t a t i o n and y e t have d i f f e r e n t experiences along the way because of t h e d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e s taken. For example, "the Hindu sees the v i c i s s i t u d e s of mental events as a l l m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of the 'same s t u f f , ' whereas the B u d d h i s t s see each d e f i n i t e l y observable event i n t h e u n f o l d i n g s u c c e s s i o n of mental events as b e i n g 'momentary" 1 (p. 225). E n g l e r (1986) argued t h a t m e d i t a t i o n d i s c i p l i n e s e f f e c t a transcendence of the normal s e p a r a t e - s e l f sense, but the developmental p r e r e q u i s i t e f o r t h i s i s a s t r o n g , mature, w e l l - d i f f e r e n t i a t e d psyche and a w e l l -i n t e g r a t e d s e l f - s t r u c t u r e with a sense of c o h e s i v e n e s s , c o n t i n u i t y , and i d e n t i t y . W ilber (1977, 1983, 1986) has attempted t o develop an o v e r a l l spectrum model of psychology which i n c o r p o r a t e s these two areas of human development. T h i s model i s developmental, s t r u c t u r a l , h i e r a r c h i c a l , and systems o r i e n t e d . I t draws e q u a l l y on E a s t e r n and Western s c h o o l s . The model i s unique i n t h a t the spectrum of consciousness t h a t i t d e s c r i b e s i s a l s o a spectrum of p o s s i b l e pathology. W i l b e r (1983) d i v i d e d the p r i n c i p l e p s y c h i c l e v e l s i n t o p r e - e g o i c , e g o i c , and t r a n s e g o i c l e v e l s . An account of the p r i n c i p l e p s y c h i c l e v e l s and t h e i r c o r r e s p o n d i n g b a s i c s t r u c t u r e s i s l i s t e d below: WILBER'S HIERARCHICAL PSYCHE P s y c h i c L e v e l TRANSEGC U l t i m a t e U n i t y C a u s al S u b t l e EGOIC V i s i o n - L o g i c R e f l e x i v e / F o r m a l Mind Rule/Role Mind B a s i c S t r u c t u r e s LEVELS Complete part-whole, i n d i v i d u a l - r e a l i t y i n t e g r a t i o n : u n i t y o f sac r e d and profane, samsara and n i r v a n a . U n i t i v e c o n s c i o u s n e s s ; contemplation of u n i t y o f human and d i v i n e ; r a d i a n t a b s o r p t i o n i n godhead. Paranormal p s y c h i c a b i l i t i e s ; a r c h e t y p a l , v i s i o n a r y i n t u i t i o n ; spontaneous d e v o t i o n a l and a l t r u i s t i c f e e l i n g s . LEVELS H o l i s t i c - s y n t h e t i c t h i n k i n g ; mind-body, t h o u g h t - f e e l i n g i n t e g r a t i o n ; e x i s t e n t i a l wholeness and a u t h e n t i c i t y . Formal o p e r a t i o n a l (Piaget) or secondary process (Freud) c o g n i t i o n : a b s t r a c t , a n a l y t i c a l ( i n f e r e n t i a l , h y p o t h e t i c a l , e t c . ) t h i n k i n g . S e l f -c onsciousness combined with a b i l i t y t o assume p e r s p e c t i v e of o t h e r . Concrete o p e r a t i o n a l t h i n k i n g ( P i a g e t ) ; i n i t i a l command of b a s i c laws of the l o g i c o f c l a s s e s and p r o p o s i t i o n s . A b i l i t y t o assume r o l e 34 P s y c h i c L e v e l R e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l Mind B a s i c S t r u c t u r e s but not p e r s p e c t i v e of other. Highest l e v e l of p r e o p e r a t i o n a l t h i n k i n g ( P i a g e t ) ; i n i t i a l c a p a b i l i t y f o r language and concept f o r m a t i o n . PRE-EGOIC LEVELS Phantasmic Emotional-Sexual S e n s o r i p e r c e p t u a l P h y s i c a l Rudimentary i m a g i n a l c o g n i t i o n ; the autosymbolic p r o c e s s . B a s i c o r g a n i s m i c dynamism (bioenergy, l i b i d o , prana) and i t s b a s i c i n s t i n c t u a l modes of e x p r e s s i o n . Simple sensorimotor s k i l l s (as d e s c r i b e d by P i a g e t ) . B a s i c p h y s i c a l substratum of organism (p.271). W i l b e r has made a unique c o n t r i b u t i o n by p o i n t i n g out some of the unique problems of these t r a n s p e r s o n a l l e v e l s . For example, Wilber (1986) d e s c r i b e d how i n the " t r a n s e g o i c " stage, p o s s i b l e p s y c h i c p a t h o l o g i e s i n c l u d e unsought e n e r g i e s , p s y c h o s i s and " s p i r i t u a l c h a n n e l " psychoneurosis, p s y c h i c i n f l a t i o n , s t r u c t u r a l imbalance due t o f a u l t y p r a c t i c e of s p i r i t u a l t e c h n i q u e , "dark n i g h t of the s o u l , " and s p l i t - l i f e g o a l s . More advanced " t r a n s e g o i c " problems i n c l u d e i n t e g r a t i o n - i d e n t i f i c a t i o n f a i l u r e , pseudo-nirvana, pseudo r e a l i z a t i o n , an i n a b i l i t y t o accept the f i n a l death o f the a r c h e t y p a l s e l f , and a f a i l u r e t o i n t e g r a t e the m a n i f e s t and the unmanifest realms. W i l b e r (1986) has made the important o b s e r v a t i o n t h a t v a r i o u s treatment m o d a l i t i e s or t h e r a p e u t i c i n t e r v e n t i o n s w i l l be a p p r o p r i a t e f o r each of the major l e v e l s of psychopathology. M e d i t a t i o n i s c o n t r a -i n d i c a t e d f o r the e a r l y stages of development, but can be h e l p f u l i n the l a t e r stages of development. Washburn (1988) r e p u d i a t e d W i l b e r ' s s t r u c t u r a l -h i e r a r c h i c a l paradigm of a step by step c l i m b through ascending p s y c h i c l e v e l s as he sees t r i p h a s i c development as proceeding by way of a d i a l e c t i c a l i n t e r p l a y between two p s y c h i c p o l e s , the ego and t h e Dynamic Ground: 1) The ego f i r s t emerges from the Ground and i s s t i l l under the dominating i n f l u e n c e of the power of t h e Ground (the p r e - e g o i c or body-egoic s t a g e ) ; 2) The ego d i f f e r e n t i a t e s from the Ground and develops the s t r u c t u r e s and f u n c t i o n s of the e g o i c p o l e , but o n l y by d i s a s s o c i a t i n g i t s e l f from the Ground (the e g o i c or mental-egoic s t a g e ) ; and 3) The ego undergoes a r e g r e s s i v e r e t u r n t o the Ground f o l l o w e d by a h i g h e r s y n t h e s i s w i t h t h e Ground, which s y n t h e s i s i s a t the same time a t r a n s c e n d i n g i n t e g r a t i o n of the two c o r r e s p o n d i n g p o l e s of the psyche along with t h e i r c o l l e c t i v e p o t e n t i a l s , s t r u c t u r e s , and f u n c t i o n s ( t r a n s e g o i c stage) (p.10). The two paradigms see ego-transcendence much d i f f e r e n t l y . The s t r u c t u r a l - h i e r a r c h i c a l approach sees t h i s as a d i r e c t p r o g r e s s i o n t o a hi g h e r plane, whereas t h e d y n a m i c - d i a l e c t i c a l paradigm h o l d s t h a t ego transcendence i n v o l v e s a re-encounter w i t h nonegoic p o t e n t i a l s through a s p i r a l i n g movement c o n s i s t i n g o f r e g r e s s i o n , r e s t o r a t i o n , and h i g h e r i n t e g r a t i o n (Washburn, 1988). These approaches a l s o see the u l t i m a t e end much d i f f e r e n t l y i n t h a t the s t r u c t u r a l -h i e r a r c h i c a l paradigm f o l l o w s Buddhist t h i n k i n g and sees the s m a l l s e l f as an i l l u s i o n t h a t must be d i s p e l l e d whereas the d y n a m i c - d i a l e c t i c a l approach p r e s c r i b e s a transcendence of the e g o i c s e l f " t h a t would r e u n i t e and ' a l c h e m i c a l l y • bond the e g o i c s e l f w i t h i t s m i s s i n g , s u p e r i o r h a l f " (Washburn, 1988, p.39). The c h o i c e between these two models i s the g o a l of r e a l i z i n g t he i l l u s i o n of s e l f h o o d of the s t r u c t u r a l - h i e r a r c h i c a l approach and the u n i t i n g of t h e two s e l v e s of the d y n a m i c - d i a l e c t i c a l approach. 37 CHAPTER I I I : APPROACH TO RESEARCH The purpose of t h i s r e s e a r c h i s t o c l a r i f y some o f the p o t e n t i a l problems t h a t can be encountered when an i n d i v i d u a l embarks on the long term p r o c e s s of m e d i t a t i o n . Because of the complexity of t h i s s u b j e c t , the case study format has been chosen as i t " a l l o w s an i n v e s t i g a t i o n t o r e t a i n the h o l i s t i c and meaningful c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of r e a l l i f e events" (Yin, 1989, p.14). Stake (1978) d e s c r i b e d important a s p e c t s of the case study which are r e l e v a n t t o t h i s case study r e s e a r c h . F i r s t l y , the demands f o r t y p i c a l i t y and r e p r e s e n t a t i v e n e s s y i e l d t o needs f o r assurance t h a t the t a r g e t case i s p r o p e r l y d e s c r i b e d . Readers e s t a b l i s h the b a s i s f o r n a t u r a l i s t i c g e n e r a l i z a t i o n by r e c o g n i z i n g e s s e n t i a l s i m i l a r i t i e s t o cases of i n t e r e s t t o them. Secondly, the case need not be a person or e n t e r p r i s e , i t can be whatever bounded system i s of i n t e r e s t . By g i v i n g g r e a t prominence t o what i s and what i s not "the case" the boundaries are kept i n f o c u s . As a r e s u l t what i s happening and deemed important w i t h i n those boundaries i s v i t a l and determines what the study i s about. T h i r d l y , the b e s t use f o r case s t u d i e s appears t o be f o r adding t o e x i s t i n g e xperience and humanistic understanding. 38 Stake (1979) a l s o r e c o g n i z e d t h a t the examination of a s i n g l e case i s advantageous as i t a l l o w s the r e s e a r c h e r t o d e a l w i t h complexity, i d i o s y n c r a s y , and r i c h n e s s of d e t a i l . Data can be c o l l e c t e d from m u l t i p l e sources t o be a n a l y z e d i n d u c t i v e l y t o f i n d p a t t e r n s of meaning. Two p r i n c i p l e s i n doing case s t u d i e s as s e t out by Y i n (1989) have been f o l l o w e d . F i r s t l y , m u l t i p l e sources of evidence which converge on the same s e t of f a c t s have been used. T h i s process of t r i a n g u l a t i o n a l l o w s the f i n d i n g s of the case study t o be more c o n v i n c i n g and a c c u r a t e as they are based on s e v e r a l d i f f e r e n t sources of i n f o r m a t i o n . Secondly, a case study data base has been kept which i s d i s t i n c t from the f i n a l case study r e p o r t t o h e l p i n c r e a s e the r e l i a b i l i t y of the case study. C o l a i z z i (1978) a s s e r t e d t h a t human exp e r i e n c e i s an e s s e n t i a l and i n d i s p e n s a b l e c o n s t i t u e n t of human p s y c h o l o g i c a l phenomena and t h a t a phenomenologist must b e g i n by c o n t a c t i n g the phenomenon as people e x p e r i e n c e i t . A s i m i l a r a t t i t u d e i s taken here i n t h i s r e s e a r c h i n t h a t the g o a l of t h i s r e s e a r c h i s t o understand the long term p r o c e s s of m e d i t a t i o n as i t i s a c t u a l l y e x p e r i e n c e d . The focus i s not on c a u s a l e x p l a n a t i o n s but t o " u n d e r s t a n d i n g l y d w e l l " where o b j e c t i v i t y i s taken t o be " f i d e l i t y t o phenomena." " I t i s a r e f u s a l t o t e l l the phenomenon what i t i s , but a r e s p e c t f u l l i s t e n i n g t o what the phenomenon speaks of i t s e l f " ( C o l a i z z i , 1978, p.52). In a d d i t i o n , t h i s r e s e a r c h r e c o g n i z e s t h a t experience i s not merely an i n t e r n a l s t a t e but t h a t "The person and h i s or her world c o -c o n s t i t u t e one another" ( V a l l e and King, 1978, p.14). Thus, i n t h i s r e s e a r c h , o b s e r v a t i o n s and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of f r i e n d s and f a m i l y members ar e used t o h e l p understand the r e l a t i o n s h i p i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r ' s experience. As t h i s case study covers events over time i t uses a c h r o n o l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r e i n which the sequences of s e c t i o n s f o l l o w the e a r l y , middle, and l a t e phases of a case h i s t o r y (Yin, 1989). In p a r t i c u l a r , a format from Cochran's (1986, 1985) d r a m a t u r g i c a l approach i s used i n which the c o - r e s e a r c h e r ' s s t o r y i s e l i c i t e d i n the form of a s t o r y w i t h a beginning, middle, and end. The s t o r y format i s used because of i t s power t o i l l u m i n e human r e a l i t y (Cochran, 1986, 1985; Polkinghorne, 1988). Hardy's (1968) statement, "we dream i n n a r r a t i v e , daydream i n n a r r a t i v e , remember, a n t i c i p a t e , d e s p a i r , b e l i e v e , doubt, p l a n , r e v i s e , c r i t i c i z e , c o n s t r u c t , g o s s i p , l e a r n , hate, and l o v e by n a r r a t i v e " (p.5) i s p a r t i c u l a r l y r e l e v a n t i n understanding t h e l o n g term process of m e d i t a t i o n as t h i s i n v o l v e s t h e s t o r y o f an i n d i v i d u a l t r y i n g t o become " e n l i g h t e n e d . " P o l k i n g h o r n e (1988) e x p l a i n e d t h a t "We a c h i e v e our p e r s o n a l i d e n t i t i e s and s e l f concept through the use of the n a r r a t i v e c o n f i g u r a t i o n , and make our e x i s t e n c e i n t o a whole by understanding i t as an e x p r e s s i o n o f a s i n g l e u n f o l d i n g and de v e l o p i n g s t o r y . " In making our e x i s t e n c e i n t o a whole, the use of the n a r r a t i v e format a l l o w s the c o - r e s e a r c h e r t o not onl y be a p a r t i c i p a n t but a l s o a s p e c t a t o r i n s e a r c h i n g more b r o a d l y and dee p l y f o r the meaning of events (Cochran, 1988) . As "human e x i s t e n c e takes p l a c e i n and i s f i g u r e d by l i n g u i s t i c m i l i e u , with n a r r a t i v e being the primary form- through which humans c o n s t r u c t the dimension o f t h e i r l i f e ' s meaningfulness and understand i t as s i g n i f i c a n t " (Polkinghorne, 1988, p.155), t h i s r e s e a r c h uses n a r r a t i v e t o h e l p understand the e x p e r i e n c e o f the lo n g term p r o c e s s of m e d i t a t i o n . SELECTION OF CO-RESEARCHER The s u b j e c t i n v o l v e d i n t h i s study i s r e f e r r e d t o as a c o - r e s e a r c h e r ( C o l a i z z i , 1978; M i s h l e r , 1986). T h i s i m p l i e s the s u b j e c t and the r e s e a r c h e r a re working t o g e t h e r i n a search f o r the t r u t h of the co-r e s e a r c h e r ' s l i v e d experience. In s e l e c t i n g the co-r e s e a r c h e r procedures from the e x i s t e n t i a l -phenomenological approach t o r e s e a r c h were employed ( C o l a i z z i , 1978). The c o - r e s e a r c h e r was s e l e c t e d a c c o r d i n g t o two main c r i t e r i a : 1) the person must have had the experi e n c e i n q u e s t i o n ; and 2) the person must be a b l e t o a r t i c u l a t e the experience. Numerous people were r e f e r r e d t o the r e s e a r c h e r from h i s network of p e r s o n a l c o n t a c t s . Only one of these had the t a r g e t experience of being i n v o l v e d i n m e d i t a t i o n f o r a t l e a s t t e n y e a r s . A l e t t e r was s e n t t o t h i s person and was f o l l o w e d up by a phone c a l l . T h i s person agreed t h a t he had the t a r g e t e x p e r i e n c e of bei n g i n v o l v e d i n m e d i t a t i o n f o r over t e n y e a r s , he was a b l e t o a r t i c u l a t e the experience, and he would l i k e t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n the r e s e a r c h study. PROCEDURE ADOPTED FROM THE DRAMATURGICAL METHOD The f o l l o w i n g procedure was adopted from Cochran's (1986, 1985) d r a m a t u r g i c a l method: The c o - r e s e a r c h e r was requested t o g i v e an account of h i s ex p e r i e n c e of being i n v o l v e d i n the long term p r o c e s s of m e d i t a t i o n i n the form of a s t o r y w i t h a beg i n n i n g , middle, and end. The be g i n n i n g of the s t o r y was a t the p o i n t t h a t the c o - r e s e a r c h e r began t o become i n t e r e s t e d i n m e d i t a t i o n and committed h i m s e l f t o t h e lon g term p r o c e s s of m e d i t a t i o n . The middle was t h e account of the experiences and t u r n i n g p o i n t s of t h e time spent committed t o the long term p r o c e s s o f m e d i t a t i o n . The end was c o n s i d e r e d t o be the p r e s e n t time. CASE STUDY PROCEDURE A f t e r the i n i t i a l c o n t a c t by l e t t e r and teleph o n e , a meeting was h e l d a t C's home t o e x p l a i n the case study procedure, t o o b t a i n h i s consent t o p a r t i c i p a t e , and t o be g i n the taped i n t e r v i e w i n which C gave an account o f h i s long term process of m e d i t a t i o n . Three more meetings took p l a c e , t o t a l l i n g approximately e i g h t hours of i n t e r v i e w i n g . C was a l s o asked t o c o n s i d e r what o t h e r sources might be u s e f u l t o i l l u m i n a t e h i s pr o c e s s such as j o u r n a l s , and o b s e r v a t i o n o f f a m i l y members and long time f r i e n d s . C's s t o r y was e l i c i t e d i n d r a m a t u r g i c a l form i n which the phenomenological method f o r i n t e r v i e w i n g was used. As much as p o s s i b l e the r e s e a r c h e r t r i e d t o "bracket 1' h i s own p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s about the phenomenon and allowed C t o t e l l h i s own s t o r y . Empathic l i s t e n i n g and par a p h r a s i n g were used t o f a c i l i t a t e C i n t e l l i n g h i s s t o r y with c l a r i t y and unde r s t a n d i n g . A s p e c i a l e f f o r t was made t o a v o i d e s o t e r i c language by f o c u s s i n g on a d e s c r i p t i o n of the experi e n c e u s i n g o r d i n a r y E n g l i s h . The tape was t r a n s c r i b e d , d e l e t i n g i d e n t i f y i n g i n f o r m a t i o n and i n i t i a l s were s e l e c t e d f o r the names of people mentioned i n the account. Two of C's f a m i l y members and a long term f r i e n d were asked f o r t h e i r o b s e r v a t i o n s of C over the twelve y e a r p e r i o d t h a t he had been i n v o l v e d i n m e d i t a t i o n t o h e l p h i g h l i g h t the problems C s t r u g g l e d w i t h . They were asked f o r a w r i t t e n response t o the f o l l o w i n g : What are the most s i g n i f i c a n t changes t h a t you have n o t i c e d i n C over the time t h a t he has been m e d i t a t i n g ? T h i s can i n c l u d e changes i n p e r s o n a l i t y , a t t i t u d e , r e l a t i n g t o people, or any ot h e r s i g n i f i c a n t changes t h a t you have observed. I t would be h e l p f u l i f you can g i v e c o n c r e t e examples t o make your p o i n t more v i v i d , g i v i n g examples of s i t u a t i o n s which t y p i f y the changes i n C's stance over the l a s t twelve y e a r s t h a t he has been m e d i t a t i n g . A l l t h r e e people r e p l i e d w i t h w r i t t e n accounts of t h e i r o b s e r v a t i o n s of C. T h e i r r e p l i e s have been i n c l u d e d i n the appendix. To f a c i l i t a t e the understanding of C's s t o r y , a d e c i s i o n was made t o use a l i f e l i n e . C was c o n s u l t e d and the l i f e l i n e graph w i t h i n s t r u c t i o n s was l e f t w i t h him t o complete a t h i s l e i s u r e . The i n s t r u c t i o n s g i v e n t o the c o - r e s e a r c h e r were the f o l l o w i n g : U s i n g the attached graph, draw a l i f e l i n e which d e p i c t s your experience over the l a s t twelve y e a r s w h i l e m e d i t a t i n g . L a b e l the peaks, v a l l e y s , p l a t e a u s , o b s t a c l e s , and breakthroughs. T h i s graph became a u s e f u l t o o l i n h i g h l i g h t i n g major e x p e r i e n c e s , i n s i g h t s , r e a l i z a t i o n s and t u r n i n g p o i n t s i n C*s s t o r y as w e l l as o r g a n i z i n g t h i s m a t e r i a l c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y . A copy of .C's l i f e l i n e i s reproduced i n the appendix. The t r a n s c r i p t , l i f e l i n e , and the q u e s t i o n n a i r e s were then examined very c l o s e l y t o examine major areas of problems t h a t C s t r u g g l e d with over h i s twelve year p e r i o d of m e d i t a t i o n . A s y s t e m a t i c a n a l y s i s was conducted on a l l of the data c o l l e c t e d . A l l statements s i g n i f i c a n t t o understanding problems encountered on the long term p r o c e s s of m e d i t a t i o n were noted. These statements were then s o r t e d i n t o major c l u s t e r s based on c e n t r a l themes. These problem areas were then d e s c r i b e d i n terms of t h e i r t h e o r e t i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s i n Chapter V. 45 CHAPTER IV: INTRODUCTION The purpose of t h i s chapter i s t o summarize t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r ' s s t o r y of h i s involvement i n the l o n g term p r o c e s s of m e d i t a t i o n . T h i s i s done i n t h e form of t h r e e a c t s t o r e p r e s e n t the beginning, middle, and end o f C's s t o r y . The c o - r e s e a r c h e r ' s own words have been used where a p p r o p r i a t e t o h i g h l i g h t the co-r e s e a r c h e r ' s experience. I t i s hoped t h a t t h i s summary w i l l prove h e l p f u l i n examining the major problems of the c o - r e s e a r c h e r ' s experience i n Chapter V. ACT I Much l i k e other a d o l e s c e n t s , b e g i n n i n g a t age twelve, C became very i n v o l v e d w i t h e x p l o r i n g and experimenting w i t h a l l k i n d s of new worlds t h a t seemed t o promise g r e a t e r awareness, and a l t e r e d s t a t e s of c o n s c i o u s n e s s . He t r i e d pot, LSD, and m e s c a l i n e . He r e a d books on Zen, Yoga, and E.S.P., and he experimented with Hatha Yoga and hypnosis. Looking back, i t s u r p r i s e s C t h a t he became i n t e r e s t e d i n s p i r i t u a l matters a t such an e a r l y age as t h e r e was no i n f l u e n c e i n h i s f a m i l y t o d i r e c t him toward a r e l i g i o u s or s p i r i t u a l l i f e . C remembers the years between when he was twelve and seventeen as being a time of f e e l i n g confused and i n s e c u r e . P a r t of t h i s time was spent a t a p r i v a t e s c h o o l which he had won a s c h o l a r s h i p t o go t o . Near the end of t h i s time, h i s f a m i l y moved t o Vancouver and C began t o spend much of h i s time p l a y i n g and p e r f o r m i n g . C d e c i d e d t o leave home and h i g h s c h o o l a t seventeen "with the urge t o t r a v e l and see the w o r l d . " T h i s was a chance f o r C t o f u r t h e r h i s e x p l o r a t i o n of new ways of being i n the world. C spent h i s time wandering on the road, h i t c h h i k i n g a c r o s s North America, " f e e l i n g g r e a t j oy and l e a r n i n g about d i f f e r e n t ways of l i f e . " D u ring C's t r a v e l s he had h i s f i r s t m e d i t a t i o n e x p e r i e n c e , an experience of which C c a l l s "the most e c s t a t i c m a g i cal new experience" of h i s l i f e . He was s t a y i n g a t a farm w i t h what he c a l l s " c l a s s i c a l h i p p y type o f commune pieople." He had p i c k e d up a book by J . K r i s h n a m u r t i , the mystic p h i l o s o p h e r , and was l a z i l y r e a d i n g i t l y i n g out i n the f i e l d d u r i n g a b e a u t i f u l sunny C a l i f o r n i a a f t e r n o o n . He came a c r o s s a passage i n which K r i s h n a m u r t i t a l k e d about s i t t i n g i n a c a r w i t h some oth e r people going t o a l e c t u r e and how thes e people were l o s t i n t h e i r p h i l o s o p h i c a l d i s c u s s i o n w h i l e K r i s h n a m u r t i was j u s t s i t t i n g t h e r e b e i n g c o n s c i o u s of the experience of r i d i n g i n the c a r . K r i s h n a m u r t i n o t i c e d the c o n t r a s t between the o t h e r people who were absorbed i n t h e i r i d e a s v e r s u s h i s enjoyment of the presen t moment. C was s e i z e d w i t h the thought t h a t "I c o u l d l i v e f r e e i n the p r e s e n t moment, become absorbed i n the always v i b r a n t new p r e s e n t moment, not being weighed down by the p a s t and the f u t u r e . " C d r i f t e d o f f t o s l e e p a few minutes l a t e r and when he woke up from h i s nap awhile l a t e r , he found h i m s e l f i n a new mental s t a t e . H i s mind was s t i l l w i t h no mental a c t i v i t y . I t f e l t l i k e he had a g r e a t sense 48 of d i s t a n c e from h i s u s u a l ego s t r u c t u r e . C d e s c r i b e d h i s e x p e r i e n c e t h i s way: I t was l i k e a sense of spaciousness, s t i l l n e s s , emptiness and j u s t e x p e r i e n c i n g s e n s a t i o n s of my body, and t h e r e was a v i s u a l change: l i k e the c o l o r s of e v e r y t h i n g I was s e e i n g were v e r y v i v i d : and a l s o I had a sense of awareness of p e r i p h e r a l v i s i o n , much more. I was walking - i t was as though I was i n s i d e a body and the body was j u s t w a l king around, as though I w a s . . . l i k e i t was a though I was d r i v i n g a c a r or something, what I f e l t i n r e l a t i o n t o my body. And t h e r e was j u s t a s t i l l sense of g e t t i n g up and movement and t h e r e was j u s t t h i s a b s o r p t i o n i n p r e s e n t moment phenomenon. I c o u l d f e e l my l e g s move, and I c o u l d f e e l a l s o movements of my mind s a y i n g - some thought may come up and i t would be v e r y d i s t a n t t o come up and then pass away. And I remember go i n g t o do d i s h e s - l i k e doing d i s h e s on the farm was l i k e the most e c s t a t i c magical new e x p e r i e n c e of my l i f e . I t was l i k e every moment of i t was f i l l e d w i t h - w e l l j u s t f r e s h n e s s . . . I e x p e r i e n c e d a sense of joy, I experienced a sense of freedom, t h a t the sense was a l l my l i f e I'd somehow been bound t o my mind and t o my p e r s o n a l i t y and suddenly i t was a sense of being blown f r e e o f t h a t : and t h a t I c o u l d l i v e s o r t of e c s t a t i c and spontaneously, u n f e t t e r e d by past worry and f u t u r e w o r r i e s . And i t was a very e x c i t i n g f e e l i n g and t h a t s t a t e stayed w i t h me f o r I don't know, maybe two o r t h r e e days a f t e r t h a t . T h i s experience n a i l e d down one t h i n g f o r C and t h a t was t h a t the nature of h i s own happiness o r unhappiness had t o do with h i s own mind. He i n t u i t i v e l y sensed t h a t being i n the s t a t e of g r e a t freedom t h a t he had j u s t experienced was where he wanted t o be. E v e n t u a l l y , a f t e r a few days, C l e f t the farm t o h i t c h h i k e t o New Orleans with a woman f r i e n d t o v i s i t t he Mardi Gras. C began t o experience the ve r y u g l y a s p e c t s o f l i f e . T r u c k e rs raped h i s companion w h i l e C l a y l o c k e d i n the back of t h e i r t r u c k . To C the Mardi Gras f e s t i v a l "was l i k e a b i g drunk" w i t h drugs, a l c o h o l and guns everywhere. A f t e r f o u r or f i v e days of t h i s p a r t y i n g , C became extremely d i s s a t i s f i e d . C remembers t h a t he " j u s t became fundamentally d i s s a t i s f i e d w i t h the nature of e v e r y t h i n g , " t h a t he had "some urge t o experience happiness and fun through t h e s e a c t i v i t i e s " and t h a t he "got a d i s t a s t e f o r the sha l l o w nature of a l l of t h i s s t u f f . " A sense of r e n u n c i a t i o n s e t i n f o r C i n which he f e l t t h a t he d i d not want t h i s l i f e anymore. He wanted t o e x p l o r e t h e K r i s h n a m u r t i experience more. So, a f t e r f o u r days he d e c i d e d t o l e a v e town. Because of h i s r e c e n t bad experience h i t c h h i k i n g , C d e c i d e d t o c a t c h a bus out of town. He met a woman K coming back from C e n t r a l America on the bus and had a romantic f l i n g w i t h her. They both got o f f the bus around San Diego. C promised t o look her up a t B e r k e l e y where she l i v e d . In the meantime, C c o n t i n u e d on h i s way h i t c h h i k i n g up the c o a s t t a k i n g h i s time. E v e n t u a l l y , C made h i s way up t o B e r k e l e y t o r e k i n d l e h i s romantic r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h K. Soon, C moved i n w i t h K and they l i v e d t o g e t h e r . K had some experience i n s p i r i t u a l endeavors. She had been through the EST t r a i n i n g and had done some m e d i t a t i o n p r a c t i c e . She i n t r o d u c e d C t o the s p i r i t u a l p r a c t i c e o p p o r t u n i t i e s a v a i l a b l e a t B e r k e l e y . C was i n t e r e s t e d i n p u r s u i n g m e d i t a t i o n and yoga p r a c t i c e , so he j o i n e d a Hatha Yoga group r i g h t near the house. He a l s o s t a r t e d t o do a mantra t o h e l p him focus on the p r e s e n t moment as w e l l as s t a r t i n g t o do a t e c h n i q u e which he had read about i n one of C a r l o s Castenada's books of becoming aware of p e r i p h e r a l v i s i o n . Soon, C was e x p e r i e n c i n g t h a t k i n d of freedom aga i n which he was l o o k i n g f o r . The mantra r e p e t i t i o n and the p e r i p h e r a l v i s i o n technique seemed t o h e l p him s t a y f o c u s s e d i n the presen t moment. With t h r e e o r f o u r weeks C reached "a h i g h peak p i t c h of i n t e r e s t i n the p r a c t i c e , " so from the moment he f i r s t woke up i n the morning "bang t h a t d e s i r e or i n c l i n a t i o n t o s t a r t r e a l l y t r y i n g t o be conscious was r i g h t t h e r e . " He re a d Ram Dass's Be Here Now which n a i l e d down f o r C the "magical n a t u r e " of h i s e f f o r t s t o be i n the moment. . He read about Ram Dass's d e s c r i p t i o n of the e n l i g h t e n e d s t a t e of h i s guru, and he wanted t o experi e n c e t h a t s t a t e . I t was a time of excitement f o r C as he says " I t was s o r t of l i k e d i s c o v e r i n g the key t o l i f e a l l o f a sudden, I'd got r e l i g i o n i n other words." C wanted t o work towards enlightenment. He c o u l d not p o s s i b l y imagine ever g e t t i n g i n v o l v e d i n a r e g u l a r l i f e i n the world. During t h a t summer, C and h i s g i r l f r i e n d heard about a two day workshop i n the begin n i n g o f September a t an Ashram i n Oakland. The a d v e r t i s e d purpose of t h i s workshop was t o experience a K u n d a l i n i awakening. From C's re a d i n g s , he knew t h a t t h i s c o u l d be a v e r y i n t e r e s t i n g experience. He s a i d t o h i m s e l f , "Wow!, That's what I want t o do." He r e g i s t e r e d f o r the weekend workshop a month ahead of time. Then he r e a l l y 52 i n t e n s i f i e d the p i t c h of h i s p r a c t i c e because he f e l t t h a t t h i s seminar was going t o be a peak e x p e r i e n c e and he wanted t o devote h i s h e a r t and s o u l i n t o e v e r y t h i n g i t c o u l d be. He i n t e n s i f i e d h i s mantra p r a c t i c e , became completely c e l i b a t e , d i d a l o t of f a s t i n g and stopped smoking. He wanted t o be "as good of a v e s s e l f o r l e t t i n g t h i s experience happen" as he p o s s i b l y c o u l d . By the time the workshop came he was ready. The morning of the s t a r t of the workshop came and C and h i s g i r l f r i e n d K went t o the Muktananda c e n t r e i n Oakland where the workshop was t a k i n g p l a c e . The workshop was put on by some s e n i o r Western monks of the I n d i a n Siddha Yoga guru, Swami Muktananda. Three or f o u r hundred people showed up t o do the workshop. The r o u t i n e c o n s i s t e d of cha n t i n g and m e d i t a t i o n from n i n e i n t he morning u n t i l f i v e i n the a f t e r n o o n . C immediately immersed h i m s e l f i n the m e d i t a t i o n and c h a n t i n g . As a c e n t r a l aspect of Siddha Yoga i s the t r a n s m i s s i o n of energy from the guru t o the devotees, one o f the s e n i o r monks' r o l e was t o a c t as a c o n d u i t a n t of energy f o r the guru Muktananda who was not a t the c e n t r e , but a t h i s ashram i n I n d i a . C n o t i c e d the s e n i o r monk c i r c u l a t i n g around "with much t h e a t r e " he c a l l s i t now, to u c h i n g the m e d i t a t o r s ' heads w i t h peacock f e a t h e r s . C, with an a i r of expectancy, meditated q u i e t l y a w a i t i n g h i s t u r n . A f t e r awhile, the monk came up t o C and put h i s thumb between C's eyebrows, on what i s known i n Yoga as the " t h i r d eye" and then he bopped C s e v e r a l times on the head w i t h the peacock f e a t h e r s . Nothing very much happened t o C a t f i r s t . He j u s t f e l t h i m s e l f d r i f t i n g o f f . But then, suddenly, C switched t o deep b r e a t h i n g . C d e s c r i b e s what happened: And then I broke spontaneously i n t o deep b r e a t h i n g , t h a t type of b r e a t h i n g s t a r t e d t o take p l a c e spontaneously with no c o n s c i o u s c o n t r o l of my body. I t was l i k e i n v o l u n t a r y movements were s t a r t i n g t o happen. There was v e r y - s t r o n g b r e a t h i n g l i k e t h a t , and t h a t went on f o r q u i t e awhile. At the same time, t h e r e was t h i s sharp p a i n a t the base of my s p i n e . I was w i t h eyes c l o s e d now, and I was j u s t k i n d of absorbed i n t h i s e xperience of the b r e a t h i n g . I t was v e r y powerful and i t j u s t k i n d of absorbed me. And I s t a r t e d t o have other movements i n my body l i k e swaying, and movements of s t r e t c h i n g the neck, l i k e my neck would move around - and I always had k i n k i n my neck f o r a number of y e a r s . And I s t a r t e d t o have these spontaneous movements t h a t appear t o do w i t h t r y i n g t o loosen up t h a t k i n k . 54 And f o r the next 45 minutes a v a r i e t y of m e d i t a t i o n phenomenon I experienced - s t r o n g shaking and s h i v e r i n g - I broke out i n sweat -l i k e r e a l l y broke out i n sweat. I s t a r t e d t o exp e r i e n c e a f o r c i n g of a s e n s a t i o n up the s p i n e - l i k e up the back - up my back...pressure and heat moving up what I would c a l l the s p i n e , t h e middle of the back t h e r e , and r i g h t up through my neck and i n t o the head area. I ex p e r i e n c e d v i s u a l l i g h t s i n s i d e . I experienced a d i f f u s e d s o r t o f white l i g h t i n s i d e of my head...and o t h e r l i t t l e l i g h t s w i t h i n t h i s d i f f u s e d white l i g h t , l i k e sparks of r e d or blue or t h i n g s l i k e t h i s would a r i s e . And t h i s b r e a t h i n g c o n t i n u e s t o go on and the shaking of the body.. I f e l t absorbed i n the ex p e r i e n c e . I t was j u s t l i k e i t overtook me completely, and I c e r t a i n l y f e l t happy. Because i t was f a s c i n a t i n g what was happening - i t was f a s c i n a t i n g - I was f a s c i n a t e d by the energy phenomenon t h a t was o c c u r r i n g . And then the m e d i t a t i o n ended, and the l i g h t s go on, and I open my eyes, and I remember s o r t of l i k e s t a g g e r i n g t o my f e e t because i t was a very p h y s i c a l e x p e r i e n c e . C had read a l i t t l e about K u n d a l i n i phenomenon and he r e c o g n i z e d t h i s as probably K u n d a l i n i phenomenon. C 55 was v e r y e x c i t e d , " T h i s r e a l l y profound t h i n g was happening t o me, and my f e e l i n g was of g r e a t excitement and a c o r r o b o r a t i o n of my b e l i e f system a t t h a t time." A f t e r t h i s experience, he d e f i n i t e l y b e l i e v e d i n t h e e x i s t e n c e of K u n d a l i n i or i n n e r energy i n the body. He f e l t v e r y encouraged by t h i s experience and wanted t o e x p e r i e n c e i t more. A f t e r the f i r s t day of the workshop, people were i n v i t e d t o s t a y behind f o r evening c h a n t i n g a f t e r d i n n e r . C d i d t h a t . C p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the t r a d i t i o n a l I n d i a n Hindu d e v o t i o n a l c h a n t i n g . As they were d o i n g t h e s e psalms, C remembers "I f e l t a g r e a t opening of my h e a r t , I f e l t a g r e a t sense of l o v e , and a l s o a g r e a t sense of p r i m i t i v e n e s s . I t had t o do w i t h the drums, i t had t o do w i t h never having experienced d e v o t i o n a l s i n g i n g l i k e t h a t before, and I remember being t h e r e and weeping i n e c s t a s y . " C r e c o g n i z e d t h i s as the s t a r t of a i n t e n s e romantic phase of l o v e f o r the guru Muktananda, "The opening of the h e a r t e x p e r i e n c e and the c h a n t i n g j u s t k i n d of melted me or opened me t o f e e l i n g l i k e . . . i t was l i k e e n t e r i n g i n t o a romantic l o v e r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h a s a i n t or something l i k e t h a t i n the C h r i s t i a n t r a d i t i o n or with C h r i s t . " C had j u s t e x p e r i e n c e d a powerful k u n d a l i n i awakening e x p e r i e n c e due t o the grace of the guru a c t i n g as a channel f o r d i v i n e energy and now C began t o see Muktananda as a god. A powerful guru image was begi n n i n g t o form i n h i s mind. During the workshop, C had been very impressed by the Muktananda monks i n t h e i r orange robes, b a l d heads, happy demeanor, and t o t a l commitment t o working on themselves. C d e s i r e d t o be l i k e them. On the Monday morning a f t e r the workshop he a b r u p t l y gave h i s g i r l f r i e n d the news. He was moving out t o go l i v e a t the Muktananda c e n t e r . Looking back on t h i s now, C i s ashamed a t how i n s e n s i t i v e he was t o the needs of h i s g i r l f r i e n d K and has s i n c e t h i s time made amends t o her f o r h i s i n s e n s i t i v i t y . But a t the time, he was t o t a l l y p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h moving on i n the s p i r i t u a l path, so he simply bade h i s g i r l f r i e n d goodbye. 57 ACT I I C was now a devotee of Muktananda, so he was welcomed t o move i n t o the Muktananda c e n t e r . As C was " t o t a l l y surrendered t o being f l e x i b l e " i t d i d not take him long t o f i t i n t o the ashram and be p a r t o f the s p i r i t u a l group. C remembers the d a i l y schedule was one "of a r i s i n g a t 4:30 or 5:00 i n the morning f o r an hour of s i t t i n g m e d i t a t i o n , and doing an hour and a h a l f d e v o t i o n a l c h a n t i n g . And then the morning work p e r i o d of an hour and a h a l f or two hours f o r p r e p a r i n g food. And maybe another m e d i t a t i o n b e f o r e l u n c h ; most of the a f t e r n o o n f r e e , and then d i n n e r and more m e d i t a t i o n c h a n t i n g and then bed." C lov e d the l i f e o f bei n g t o t a l l y immersed i n s p i r i t u a l p r a c t i c e . He had more s p i r i t u a l e x p e r i e n c e s . C had the ex p e r i e n c e o f h i s whole f i e l d of v i s i o n b u r s t i n g i n t o s p a r k l i n g l i g h t . A couple days l a t e r , w h i le i n m e d i t a t i o n , C had the e x p e r i e n c e of f a l l i n g way back from h i s senses t o a p l a c e of deep s t i l l and calm. C l i k e n e d t h i s e x p e r i e n c e t o t h a t of " p r a t j a h a r a , 1 1 the withdrawal o f senses i n P a t a n j a l i ' s Yoga S u t r a s . C was f e e l i n g v e r y p o s i t i v e about h i s s p i r i t u a l p r ogress as so many p o s i t i v e and e x c i t i n g t h i n g s had a l r e a d y happened. C began t o f e e l h i s deep i n t e r n a l emotional 58 c o n n e c t i o n w i t h h i s guru, Muktananda, r e a l l y b e g i n t o i n t e n s i f y . In co n n e c t i o n w i t h t h i s guru, he had a v e r y profound k u n d a l i n i awakening experience and thus had cemented i n h i s mind t h a t Muktananda was a v e r y p o w e r f u l and e n l i g h t e n e d being. T h i s f e e l i n g of t o t a l d e v o t i o n t o the guru was encouraged by people a t t h e c e n t e r . I t was e m o t i o n a l l y a honeymoon phase f o r C, " k i n d o f l i k e mushy l o v e . " T h i s e x p e r i e n c e of f e e l i n g v e r y much i n lov e with h i s guru f e l t v e r y good t o C as he f e l t i t would be very b e n e f i c i a l t o h i s s p i r i t u a l f u t u r e . C r e c a l l s : What 1 1d got i n t o was the view t h a t through my •intense f e e l i n g s of love f o r t h i s person and some surr e n d e r of my l i f e t o t h i s person, my s p i r i t u a l f u t u r e would be grand. And I would e x p e r i e n c e wonderful s t a t e s and a f t e r some time become e n l i g h t e n e d . T h i s a l s o l e d t o an a n x i e t y phase f o r C as he was r e a l l y keyed up e m o t i o n a l l y , f r e t f u l and anxious sometimes about whether he was e x p e r i e n c i n g the r i g h t s t u f f . The problem was f o r C as he r e c a l l s "the p r e s c r i p t i o n i n c l u d e s not j u s t t e c h n i c a l s t u f f , say a p a r t i c u l a r way of m e d i t a t i n g or c o n c e n t r a t i n g , but a l s o a t t i t u d e s and f e e l i n g s , l i k e you know t h e r e i s the promotion w i t h i n t h i s type of t r a d i t i o n t o s u r r e n d e r t o 59 the t e a c h i n g s and word of the guru." F e e l i n g s o f doubt c r e a t e d tremendous c o n f l i c t i n C which he t r i e d t o d e a l w i t h through what he now c a l l s r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n . "In my mind I would do a r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n t o r e i n t r o d u c e f e e l i n g s o f f a i t h i n my l i f e , r e f l e c t i n g upon t h e m e d i t a t i o n e x p e riences, the energy phenomenon of t r u t h e x p e r i e n c e s t h a t I'd had, and by r e f l e c t i n g i n t h i s way I would support my f a i t h , and e r a d i c a t e doubt." C sees now t h a t h i s whole mindset was i n a "good/bad" dichotomy i n t h a t he was stuck i n e v a l u a t i n g h i s thoughts i n terms of good and bad f o r the path t h a t he was on. I t would be many years b e f o r e C c o u l d p u l l h i m s e l f out of t h i s mindset. Over the course of the next month a t the c e n t e r , C co n t i n u e d t o experience new m e d i t a t i o n developments such as being thrown i n t o automatic body p o s t u r e s w h i l e m e d i t a t i n g as w e l l as o c c a s i o n a l l y b u r s t i n g i n t o d e v o t i o n a l songs. C was t r e a t e d very s u p p o r t i v e l y by the people a t the c e n t r e as he r e c a l l s : Some of the people l i v i n g a t the ashram s e e i n g some of these phenomenon happening t o me thought t h i s must be r e a l l y wonderful, and so they thought i t was g r e a t : they thought my sense of s t a r r y -eyed i d e a l i s m was cute. And I t h i n k they c o u l d a l s o sense my youth or n a i v e t e about t h i n g s and 60 perhaps t h e y were somewhat p a t r o n i z i n g , maybe n o t q u i t e t h e r i g h t word, but as one would t r e a t a young c h i l d . And h a v i n g t h e s e e x p e r i e n c e s t h e y would t r e a t me w i t h g e n t l e n e s s and k i n d n e s s and perhaps t h e y would t h i n k I was spacey. Not everybody, however, s h a r e d t h e same e n t h u s i a s m f o r t h e developments i n C's l i f e . C r a n o u t o f money so he w r o t e a l e t t e r t o h i s mom t e l l i n g h e r about a l l of t h e s e w o n d e r f u l e x p e r i e n c e s he was h a v i n g and a l l o f t h e s e p r o f o u n d r e l i g i o u s s p i r i t u a l t h i n g s he was t r y i n g t o s e e. He asked h e r t o send some money so he c o u l d s t a y down t h e r e . She wrote back e n c l o s i n g a one-way bus t i c k e t back t o Vancouver. C d i s c o u n t e d h i s mom's r e a c t i o n as b e i n g t h a t o f someone not "plu g g e d i n t o t h e t r u t h " b u t n e v e r t h e l e s s because he had r u n o u t o f money, he t o o k t h e bus back up n o r t h t o Vancouver. The g r o w i n g s p l i t between C's new emerging w o r l d and h i s forme r l i f e was e x e m p l i f i e d by C's a c t i o n s when he g o t back home. C remembers: We go back t o t h e house, and one o f t h e f i r s t t h i n g s I d i d was I brought o ut a p h o t o g r a p h o f my guru' s f e e t , w hich i s c o n s i d e r e d v e r y good i n I n d i a - t h e guru's f e e t , t o p n o t c h , and d e v o t i o n t o t h e guru's f e e t , t o p o f t h e l i n e . So w i t h t h i s p i c t u r e o f my guru's f e e t and w i t h g r e a t l o v e and 61 a f f e c t i o n - the f i r s t t h i n g I do i s take i t out and I show i t t o my mother and I t e l l her how wonderful t h i s i s . C d i d not stop t h e r e . He dropped h i s o l d f r i e n d s l i k e a "ton of b r i c k s " so he c o u l d devote h i m s e l f t o f u l l t i m e s p i r i t u a l p r a c t i c e . He maintained a s i m i l a r s chedule t o the one a t the c e n t e r , up a t 4 o ' c l o c k i n t h e morning, c h a n t i n g and m e d i t a t i o n , work around t h e house and then more c h a n t i n g and m e d i t a t i o n . C remembers how independent and s e l f - c o n f i d e n t t o the p o i n t of arrogance he was as he q u i e t l y worked away at h i s s p i r i t u a l p r a c t i c e i n h i s mother's house. "You c o u l d plunk me i n the middle of the North P o l e and I would become a beacon of s p i r i t u a l r a d i a n c e . To e v e r y t h i n g around me I had g r e a t s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e and arrogance about my own a b i l i t i e s . " A f t e r a month, i t became c l e a r t o C t h a t i t was time t o get a job and s t a r t making some money. C went out and got a job as c l e r k a t a r e c o r d s t o r e . H i s days became a combination of working a t the r e c o r d s t o r e and c o n t i n u i n g h i s s p i r i t u a l p r a c t i c e . H i s s o c i a l l i f e c o n s i s t e d of twice a week s o c i a l g a t h e r i n g s a t a l o c a l Muktananda c e n t e r where f o l l o w e r s meditated, chanted, and shared s t o r i e s about t h e i r guru. T h i s p a t t e r n continued u n t i l March of the 62 following year when C decided he needed to go a l l the way and go to India and meet Muktananda at h i s ashram. C r e c a l l s how excited he was to act u a l l y a r r i v e at Muktananda 1s ashram and meet Muktananda: We go inside and af t e r a few hallways and whatnot one enters upon t h i s big courtyard, an open courtyard, with many mango trees and marble f l o o r s and up i n the front i s l i k e a throne type of thing where the guru Muktananda s i t s . And people go up and bow to him and h e ' l l h i t them with a band of peacock feathers, and so he's s i t t i n g there and I remember i d e a l i s t i c a l l y my f i r s t glance at him. I remember noting, wow my f i r s t look at the master, the profound moment. And we a l l l i n e up and go and bow to him, and I did that too. And I was fe e l i n g , now,...a f e e l i n g of tremendous awe, i n r e l a t i o n to him. He wasn't a human being. In my mind, I'd set him up to be an extraordinary human being, and so I couldn't r e l a t e to him...I couldn't r e l a t e to him i n a natural human way. I t was l i k e a god-figure. He was l i k e a pedestal i n my mind and um...ah we exchanged glances when I f i r s t went up to bow to him, and he smiled...and I thought that was a good man. C could f u l f i l l h is complete fantasy of "being l i k e a c a v e - y o g i " as the ashram was completely s u p p o r t i v e of spending one's whole l i f e i n s p i r i t u a l p r a c t i c e . The whole day was taken up w i t h group c h a n t i n g , m e d i t a t i o n , work p e r i o d s and s i t t i n g w i t h the guru. C l o v e d t o s i t c l o s e t o Muktananda d u r i n g Darshan p e r i o d and f e e l the i n f l u e n c e of h i s guru's energy: I would experience r e a l l y profound e c s t a s y s t a t e s . I would get very, very high, and t h a t meant b e i n g extremely s t i l l of mind, f e e l i n g f e e l i n g s of g r e a t l o v e and e c s t a s y , and f e e l i n g s l i k e t h e r e were no problems. So f o r example, i f I had any c o n f u s i o n or problem being p h y s i c a l l y c l o s e t o him, t h e r e was a sense of t h a t j u s t m e l t i n g away...a f e e l i n g of deep peace and profound j o y . T h i s energy e f f e c t of Muktananda r e a s s u r e d C about the powerful enlightenment nature of Muktananda. At the same time, however, C s t r u g g l e d w i t h the r a m i f i c a t i o n s of the overwhelming e f f e c t of thousands o f d i s c i p l e s wanting t o be p h y s i c a l l y c l o s e t o Muktananda. The p a r t y atmosphere of Guru day i n which between f i v e and t e n thousand people crowded around Muktananda t o c e l e b r a t e , hearkened back t o C's f e e l i n g s of b e i n g i n New Orleans a t the Mardi Gras. I t seemed c l e a r t o C what was important was not the workshop or 64 c e l e b r a t i o n of Muktananda, but the a f f i r m a t i o n of h i s own d i v i n i t y , " J u s t as Muktananda i s God, so am I . " C began t o r e c o g n i z e a g l a r i n g c o n t r a d i c t i o n : On the one hand, the guru Muktananda would a c t u a l l y encourage t h a t p h i l o s o p h i c a l p o s i t i o n i n h i s t a l k s sometimes...about t h a t the p o i n t o f s p i r i t u a l p r a c t i c e was t o r e a l i z e one's own d i v i n i t y , and not j u s t be hanging around w i t h a guru. And y e t the support of the environment and the encouragement from the whole s o c i a l i z a t i o n p r o c e s s was q u i t e d i f f e r e n t . A l l of the devotees of the guru and the way the whole s t r u c t u r e was s e t up, was r e a l l y encouraging l i k e b e i n g w i t h the guru, and r e a l l y j u s t g e t t i n g i n t o l i k e a p e r s o n a l i t y worship type of t h i n g w i t h the guru. C was a l s o d i s t u r b e d by se e i n g a K i r l i a n photograph of Muktananda's f e e t which was not the white c o l o r of a f u l l y e n l i g h t e n e d s p i r i t u a l master, but was an i n t e n s e blue c o l o r . T h i s d i s t u r b e d C deeply over a p e r i o d o f t h r e e t o f o u r days u n t i l once a g a i n b e i n g p h y s i c a l l y c l o s e t o Muktananda washed away h i s doubts. T h i s time Muktananda a c t u a l l y c a l l e d C t o come c l o s e t o him, and Muktananda h e l d C's hand and looked i n t o h i s eyes. C found " to look i n t o h i s eyes was k i n d of l i k e l o o k i n g i n t o a galaxy, i t was bottomless." C found 65 t h i s a v e r y t o u c h i n g moment. He was s t r u c k by how Muktananda seemed t o be able t o respond t o h i s confused s t a t e , and j u s t be with him f o r t h i r t y seconds or so. L a t e r t h a t same day, while r e a d i n g i n the l i b r a r y , C came a c r o s s a passage t h a t s a i d e n l i g h t e n e d beings w h i l e a l i v e have t o operate from the s i x t h chakra and t h a t seemed t o C a l o g i c a l e x p l a n a t i o n of Muktananda's blue f e e t . C s t a y e d a t the ashram f o r t h r e e and one h a l f months b e f o r e he ran out of money. C f e l t he had t o do something w i t h h i s l i f e . He asked Muktananda whether he s h o u l d get a job or go t o s c h o o l . Muktananda, through a t r a n s l a t o r , recommended s c h o o l . Having r e c e i v e d t h i s " d i r e c t d i r e c t i o n " from h i s guru, C came back t o Vancouver i n August w i t h the g o a l of g o i n g t o u n i v e r s i t y t o study computing s c i e n c e . C was accepted i n t o SFU t o study computing s c i e n c e i n t he f a l l . He began a p e r i o d of combining h i s s t u d i e s w i t h m e d i t a t i o n and c h a n t i n g p r a c t i c e b e f o r e and a f t e r s c h o o l . C experienced s e e i n g a b e a u t i f u l e l e c t r i c b l u e dot i n m e d i t a t i o n a t the time and f e l t t h i s was a p o s i t i v e s i g n p o s t of pro g r e s s as h i s guru had w r i t t e n about the importance of t h i s b l u e dot on the path t o enlightenment. C's s o c i a l l i f e , once again c o n s i s t e d o f g o i n g t o the l o c a l Vancouver Muktananda m e d i t a t i o n c e n t e r . In a d d i t i o n t o t h i s , C presented a few seminars on m e d i t a t i o n p r a c t i c e up a t SFU. C presented t h e s e seminars "with a g r e a t sense of i d e a l i s m t h a t i t would be a wonderful t h i n g f o r people t o e x p e r i e n c e m e d i t a t i o n but i t d i d not go f a r . " A f t e r t h r e e semesters, C went t o work f o r a co-op term as a programmer. He moved i n t o a house w i t h two o t h e r people from the t r a d i t i o n of Siddha. C found h i s d e v o t i o n a l c h a n t i n g p r a c t i c e seemed t o cause a g r e a t s o f t e n i n g i n h i s c e n t r a l c h e s t area. The c h a n t i n g p r a c t i c e appeared t o be b e a r i n g f r u i t t h a t whenever he chanted he would have a quick opening i n t o the e x p e r i e n c e of the s o f t e n i n g of the h e a r t and the e x p e r i e n c e of l o v e . C experienced an a d d i t i o n a l r e l a t e d p s y c h o l o g i c a l i n s i g h t d u r i n g t h i s time. One of h i s f r i e n d s made the comment t o C t h a t C's p a t t e r n of f i g h t i n g w i t h the mind was s e l f - d e f e a t i n g as when you f i g h t w i t h your mind i t s very nature i s t o r e b e l i n the o p p o s i t e way. C was s t r u c k j u s t how t h i s p a t t e r n of f i g h t i n g w i t h the mind was so " s e l f - d e f e a t i n g " and he eased o f f on b e a t i n g h i s own mind wi t h the " s t i c k of yoga." A f t e r a couple of months, a group of people d e c i d e d t h a t they wanted t o open up a m e d i t a t i o n c e n t e r r i g h t i n K i t s i l a n o . C became i n v o l v e d i n r u n n i n g t h i s m e d i t a t i o n c e n t e r . At the c e n t e r , C began t o use h i s S a n s k r i t name t h a t he had g o t t e n i n I n d i a i n s t e a d of h i s r e g u l a r name. He hoped t h a t the people who came through the m e d i t a t i o n c e n t e r would exper i e n c e the i n t e n s i t y i n which he was l i v i n g h i s l i f e and h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Looking back, C f e e l s t h a t he was " j u s t u n c o n s c i o u s l y m a n i f e s t i n g behaviours of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and p r i d e and c o n c e i t and t a k i n g on the r o l e of b e i n g a g r e a t y o g i . " C s t a y e d a t the house f o r a year and a h a l f , a l t e r n a t i n g semesters of s c h o o l and work. The f o c u s of h i s l i f e , however, was h i s yoga p r a c t i c e , and w r e s t l i n g w i t h the n o n - s p i r i t u a l i t y of h i s s e x u a l i t y . Muktananda, i n h i s w r i t i n g s , had p o i n t e d out the i n a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s of sexual behavior and how much b e t t e r i t i s f o r the y o g i t o be c e l i b a t e . C wanted t o remove any hindrances t o the experiences of h i g h s t a t e s of s p i r i t u a l consciousness and h i s s e x u a l i t y appeared t o be a b i g o b s t a c l e . In coping w i t h t h i s , C developed an a v e r s i o n t o women j u s t t o a v o i d t h i s whole problem. Women became " l i k e f i r e , something you don't t o u c h . " C, n e v e r t h e l e s s t o h i s dismay, experienced s e x u a l d e s i r e and masturbated. He had a hard time f i g u r i n g out what t o do. E v e n t u a l l y , C d e c i d e d t h a t he would 68 a l l o w h i m s e l f t o masturbate once a month, and t h a t would be i t ! C found t h a t a f t e r d e a l i n g w i t h s e x u a l i t y i n t h i s way f o r s i x months, he s t i l l was uneasy. He r e a l l y wanted t h i s b a r r i e r t o h i s s p i r i t u a l p r o g r e s s out o f h i s l i f e a l t o g e t h e r . A f t e r much thought, C decided t h a t the o n l y s o l u t i o n was t o take a vow of l i f e l o n g c e l i b a c y . He de c i d e d t o w r i t e a l e t t e r t o h i s guru i n f o r m i n g him of h i s d e c i s i o n . T h i s turned out t o be a moment of comic p r o p o r t i o n . C used the mainframe computer a t work t o w r i t e h i s d e v o t i o n a l l e t t e r t o h i s guru. The l e t t e r p r i n t e d out i n the p r i n t i n g room. When C went t o p i c k i t up, t h e r e was a group of people around the p r i n t o u t paper " k i l l i n g themselves l a u g h i n g , " c a l l i n g p eople over, "hey look a t t h i s . " C experienced overwhelming embarrassment. He went home t h a t n i g h t and shared h i s embarrassment with h i s house-mates. He went ahead and ma i l e d the l e t t e r o f f t o h i s t e a c h e r . A month l a t e r he r e c e i v e d a l e t t e r of acknowledgement from h i s guru. Even wi t h t h i s vow, however, C c o u l d f e e l h i s l o n g i n g f o r a r e l a t i o n s h i p . There was a woman who was ver y i n t e r e s t e d i n Siddha yoga p r a c t i c e who spent a l o t of time a t the c e n t e r . C got t o know t h i s woman q u i t e w e l l . C remembers d r i v i n g her back t o her house from the m e d i t a t i o n c e n t e r and v i s i t i n g w i t h her a t her 69 house and f e e l i n g "a g r e a t sense of poignancy or l o n g i n g f o r t h a t k i n d of r e l a t i o n s h i p , and y e t b e i n g v e r y confused about i t a l l . " N e v e r t h e l e s s , C "soon was i t c h i n g " t o go back t o I n d i a . He had saved up h i s money t o a l l o w him t o s t a y f o r a l o n g time. C remembers with r e g r e t an i n c i d e n t t h a t happened w h i l e he was l e a v i n g f o r I n d i a . H i s mom was upset w i t h h i s p l a n s t o go away f o r a long time as she d i d n ' t know when she would see him a g a i n . While d r i v i n g i n the c a r out t o the a i r p o r t , they were t a l k i n g about the needs of people. C's mother s a i d , "Well, I f e e l l i k e I need you i n my l i f e and you need me." C d e c l a r e d , "No, I don't need anybody and I c e r t a i n l y don't need you." These were harsh words C spoke t o h i s mother and C f e e l s very uncomfortable about i t now. C d e l i b e r a t e l y went t o I n d i a even though Muktananda was i n America. In t h i s way, he avoided the p e r s o n a l i t y worship, the people, and the p o l i t i c s . A t the ashram i n I n d i a t h e r e were onl y 10 t o 15 westerners. C shaved h i s head, wore a c l o t h around h i s w a i s t , and went Indian, p l a y i n g the r o l e of the simple but s e r i o u s y o g i . C's days got back i n t o a r o u t i n e of m e d i t a t i o n , chanting, and work. C found these times a "very sweet, very p e a c e f u l e x i s t e n c e . " One morning j u s t b efore lunch, C had a po w e r f u l m e d i t a t i o n experience t h a t he always w i l l remember. C r e c a l l s : In t h i s s t i l l n e s s and l i k e j u s t absorbed i n the sense of amness, the sweetest b u b b l i n g e c s t a s y s t a r t e d t o a r r i v e . I'd experienced j o y i n m e d i t a t i o n before, m e d i t a t i v e j o y . But t h i s was an order of magnitude g r e a t e r . My h e a r t was l i k e b u b b l i n g w i t h e c s t a s y and ah, I was j u s t f e e l i n g l i k e waves of sweet j o y e c s t a s y - l i g h t and f l o w i n g f r e e l y and j u s t f l o w i n g out of me. I remember having t o breathe deeply... j u s t t o be w i t h the e x i s t e n c e of t h i s sweet joy...and h a v i n g t r o u b l e keeping from b u r s t i n g out i n l a u g h t e r , j u s t i n l a u g h t e r and l a u g h t e r . To C i t f e l t t h a t he had touched the core of d i v i n e e c s t a s y . He stayed absorbed i n t h i s s t a t e f o r about a hour. T h i s experience was the "deepest most profound l o v e , j o y , peace" C had ever experienced i n h i s whole l i f e . He f e l t t h a t t h i s experience had shown him t h a t our t r u e nature i s "fundamentally e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y d i v i n e and b e a u t i f u l . " For C, i t was t h i s l o v e and j o y and not the development of i n s i g h t and wisdom t h a t m o t i v a t e d him t o keep m e d i t a t i n g . D e s p i t e t h i s experience, C had some m e d i t a t i o n problems t o cope w i t h . He began t o ex p e r i e n c e a l o t o f p a i n i n h i s buttocks w h i l e doing s i t t i n g p r a c t i c e . A f t e r a number of months the p a i n was so bad t h a t C c o u l d no lon g e r s i t i n proper f u l l l o t u s p o s t u r e . C had t o g i v e up most of the time devoted t o t h e s i t t i n g form of s p i r i t u a l p r a c t i c e . T h i s was q u i t e a shock t o C as h i s whole l i f e was a d r i v e towards enlightenment and t h i s seemed t o C t o be c o n t i n g e n t upon b e i n g a b l e t o s i t i n the f u l l l o t u s p o s ture. C began t o f e e l a l i e n a t e d from the o t h e r s i n t h e ashram who c o u l d s i t more p r o p e r l y . Around t h i s time, Muktananda a r r i v e d with a " c i r c u s of a thousand p e o p l e . " C began t o have a c y n i c a l s a r c a s t i c bent t o h i s humor, a sense of being an o l d - t i m e r . He was amused by the thousands of naive young westerners i n the ashram who reminded him of h i m s e l f 3 or 4 y e a r s ago. In a d d i t i o n , he began t o study t e a c h e r s o f o t h e r t r a d i t i o n s , whose focus was not on the guru d e v o t i o n path but upon mindfulness of the sense t h a t "I am." Rather than c u l t i v a t i n g mind s t a t e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h mantra r e p e t i t i o n C was now f e e l i n g c l o s e r t o the p r a c t i c e of moment t o moment mindfulness. Sannyasin p o s i t i o n s became open a t the ashram. C d e c i d e d t o apply d e s p i t e a l l of h i s doubts. A l l c a n d i d a t e s were t o be i n t e r v i e w e d by s e n i o r s a n n y a s i n s . A t h i s i n t e r v i e w , C was shocked how nervous he was. The i n t e r v i e w was a d i s a s t e r ! H i s a n x i e t y and nervousness were apparent s i g n s t o the swamis t h a t he was not ready. C found the r e j e c t i o n of h i s l i f e - l o n g dream of becoming a monk very hard. A couple of weeks l a t e r , however, w h i l e walking around d u r i n g h i s e a r l y morning s e c u r i t y work, an important r e a l i z a t i o n h i t home. To C i t seemed t h a t he had been very hard and ve r y r i g i d w i t h h i m s e l f f o r so many years i n d r i v i n g h i m s e l f t o become a monk and i n l i v i n g a very hard i s o l a t e d yoga l i f e . In t h i s mind s e t , i t seemed c l e a r t o C t h a t he was r e j e c t i n g people, r e j e c t i n g f a c i n g a s p e c t s o f h i s p e r s o n a l i t y and e x c l u d i n g h i m s e l f from i n t i m a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n which he would have t o g i v e up and expose h i m s e l f . H i s work towards the d i v i n e was coming out o f a sense of hardness and toughness. C simply saw t h a t "the path was not a path of hardness, but a path of s o f t n e s s . " C c r i e d deeply. C remembers how, "There was a sense of emotional r e l i e f and a sense of g r e a t l i g h t n e s s . " Before long, C found a new sense of s e n s i t i v i t y and s o f t n e s s i n being w i t h people, an i n t e r e s t i n k i n s h i p and f r i e n d s h i p and a r e c o g n i t i o n of the community of man. Very s h o r t l y a f t e r t h a t , C decided i t was time t o r e - e n t e r the world, leave the ashram l i f e and become " l i k e a r e g u l a r householder." I t seemed l i k e i t was time f o r a new phase i n C's l i f e . He would become married, have a r e g u l a r job, and buy a c a r . I t d i d n ' t take long f o r C t o f a l l i n l o v e w i t h a woman. In f a c t , he was s t i l l a t the ashram. During c h a n t i n g , C p l a y e d the drum and a l o v e l y Western woman J , d r e s s e d i n a b e a u t i f u l s i l k s a r i , would p l a y the harmonium. Thoughts of i n t e n s e l o v e f o r t h i s woman f i l l e d C's mind. J was s i x years o l d e r than C and was l o n g i n g f o r a r e l a t i o n s h i p with someone who was r e a l l y i n t o Siddha yoga l i k e her. C expressed h i s romantic l o v e f o r J which captured her h e a r t . They e n t e r e d i n t o a c o v e r t romantic r e l a t i o n s h i p a t the ashram, g o i n g f o r long walks t o g e t h e r . At the same time, C became very s i c k w i t h stomach p a i n s so t h i s a c c e l e r a t e d h i s p l a n s t o l e a v e . C f l e w back t o Vancouver, and waited f o r the a r r i v a l of h i s b e l o v e d . J came i n a couple of months and i t was as C r e c a l l s " l i k e Romeo and J u l i e t . " C broke h i s c e l i b a c y vow i n g e t t i n g i n v o l v e d s e x u a l l y w i t h J . I t was not lo n g , however, be f o r e C was c o n f r o n t e d w i t h i n t e n s e f e e l i n g s of j e a l o u s y about the time J spent not b e i n g a t t e n t i v e t o him but t o the Siddha Yoga o r g a n i z a t i o n . T h i s r e a l l y i r r i t a t e d C because he had s t a r t e d t o see a l o t of c o r r u p t i o n w i t h i n the Siddha Yoga o r g a n i z a t i o n . C's f e e l i n g s about the c o r r u p t i o n of the o r g a n i z a t i o n were heightened by a sc a n d a l t h a t had broken out i n the ashram s h o r t l y a f t e r C l e f t I n d i a . The guru, Muktananda, was seen by one of the n i g h t s e c u r i t y guards making lo v e t o a woman. Muktananda had taken a vow of l i f e l o n g c e l i b a c y , and spent h i s time p r e a c h i n g about c e l i b a c y so t h i s was q u i t e a shock t o the people of the ashram. C heard from sources t h a t Muktananda was most l i k e l y i n v o l v e d s e x u a l l y f o r 5 t o 10 y e a r s w i t h a whole v a r i e t y of women. T h i s new i n f o r m a t i o n c ut t o the core of C's i d e a l i s m . Even though he had developed a c y n i c i s m f o r the movement, he s t i l l had a gr e a t reverence f o r Muktananda. But now C had found out, "the guru, the world's g r e a t e s t d i v i n e l e a d e r l i f e l o n g c e l i b a t e , master of the u n i v e r s e " was having sex w i t h the women sanny a s i n s . C remembers i t was l i k e f i n d i n g out, "Santa Claus doesn't e x i s t ! " C t r i e d t o r a t i o n a l i z e i t a l l , s a y i n g h i s guru was beyond good and e v i l , o r t h a t i t was t a n t r a yoga. But t o him i t a l l seemed l i k e t r y i n g t o deny p l a i n f a c t s , l i k e the " f a c t t h a t t h e emperor had no c l o t h e s . " D e a l i n g w i t h the r e v e l a t i o n s about h i s guru was not a simple t h i n g t o r e s o l v e as C c o u l d not deny the f a c t t h a t Muktananda was e x t r a o r d i n a r y as he "exuded an e x t r a o r d i n a r y s u b t l e power from which one would f e e l g r e a t e c s t a s y , j o y and peace." T h i s was a paradox f o r C. Muktananda was an e x t r a o r d i n a r y being y e t he was i n v o l v e d i n a l l of t h i s a c t i v i t y . Back i n Vancouver, J & C q u i c k l y got m a r r i e d . C r e t u r n e d t o SFU t o computer s c i e n c e but o n l y l a s t e d one semester because he was so s i c k t o the stomach from a "bug" p i c k e d up i n I n d i a t h a t he c o u l d not c a r r y on. J went t o work as a t r a v e l agent. Because J wanted t o s t i l l be i n v o l v e d w i t h the Siddha Yoga movement, they l i v e d a t the l o c a l m e d i t a t i o n c e n t e r . S p i r i t u a l l y , C was now f l o a t i n g i n o u t e r space. H i s whole s t r u c t u r e had evaporated. The o l d b e l i e f system had been destroyed but i t had not been r e p l a c e d by a new one. C missed the sense of i n n e r s a f e t y and s e c u r i t y t h a t h i s p r e v i o u s b e l i e f system had g i v e n him. Yet, he c o u l d n ' t go back and he was alone as h i s w i f e was s t i l l v e ry connected t o the Siddha Yoga o r g a n i z a t i o n . A f t e r a year and a h a l f , the l o c a l c e n t e r was c l o s e d down on o r d e r s from Muktananda's s u c c e s s o r s who were now running t h i n g s as Muktananda had d i e d . J and C moved i n t o a house of t h e i r own. C d e c i d e d t o go t o 76 B.C.I.T. t o get h i s diploma i n computer s c i e n c e . He dropped a l l connections with Siddha Yoga. The s p i r i t u a l c o n f l i c t between h i s w i f e and him, however, was deepening. I t s p i l l e d over i n t o o t h e r areas so they g r a d u a l l y were l i v i n g separate l i v e s w h i l e s t i l l c l i n g i n g t o the s e c u r i t y of being t o g e t h e r and t h e i r s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p . Some p a r t of C was c a s t i n g about f o r some o t h e r s p i r i t u a l path t o get hooked i n t o . C graduated from B.C.I.T. w i t h top marks, and got a j o b r i g h t away. He wanted t o save money and e v e n t u a l l y buy a home and r a i s e a f a m i l y but found p u r s u i n g these g o a l s hopeless as he was l i v i n g w i t h a woman who wanted t o spend her money on going t o be w i t h her guru. Over the next t h r e e years C worked as an a s s i s t a n t a n a l y s t , had no l i k e minded s p i r i t u a l f r i e n d s except M, a f r i e n d i n V i c t o r i a and co n t i n u e d t o be i n v o l v e d i n a very tenuous r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h h i s w i f e , based on a l a c k of mutually shared g o a l s . Two years a f t e r being i n t h i s c y c l e , C d e c i d e d t h a t he would t r y t o surrender, be s u p p o r t i v e t o h i s w i f e and get i n v o l v e d i n the Siddha Yoga o r g a n i z a t i o n . So t h a t summer, C deci d e d t o go wit h h i s w i f e t o New York f o r a couple of weeks t o be with the new guru. In New York, a t the c e n t e r with a couple of thousand people, C found the whole unque s t i o n i n g mindset and 77 p e r s o n a l i t y worship very d i s t a s t e f u l . A f t e r t h r e e or f o u r days, C, f e e l i n g t h a t he c o u l d not take i t anymore, d e c i d e d t o leave the ashram. A f t e r t e l l i n g h i s w i f e t h a t he was l e a v i n g , C rode a couple of m i l e s on a bus, but "a profound sense of sadness and c o n f u s i o n " overwhelmed him. These f e e l i n g s became so s t r o n g t h a t C d e c i d e d t o get o f f the bus and go back t o the ashram. He got back t o the ashram and h i s w i f e and o t h e r people t h e r e s a i d t h i s s u r r e n d e r i n g was a g r e a t s p i r i t u a l t h i n g . But C knew i n h i s h e a r t t h a t i t j u s t wasn't r i g h t . " I t was not a surrender t o wisdom. I t was a s u r r e n d e r t o not wanting t o d e a l w i t h the c o n f l i c t anymore, and e s s e n t i a l l y a s u r r e n d e r t o the s i d e t h a t I d i d n ' t fundamentally agree w i t h . " Over the next few days, C f o c u s s e d on the c h a n t i n g and the m e d i t a t i o n and was a b l e t o have a good time as he was not r e s i s t i n g . Then he and h i s w i f e l e f t . For a c o u p l e of weeks back i n Vancouver, C thought, "Now, I've got a new guru, j u s t l i k e Muktananda i n the o l d days." But the c o n f l i c t was s t i l l t h e r e . The u n e t h i c a l behavior, the d e v o t i o n c e n t e r e d approach, the p e r s o n a l i t y c u l t , the c o r r u p t i o n c u t deep and would not go away. A f t e r a couple of weeks i t became c l e a r t o C t h a t he was f i n i s h e d . He wanted t o drop the whole Siddha Yoga t r a d i t i o n f o r good. 78 To b r i n g t h i n g s t o a c l o s e , C d e c i d e d t o w r i t e a l e t t e r t o the new guru. In t h i s l e t t e r he s a i d he was ending h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p with t h i s t r a d i t i o n f o r e v e r ^ He was e n t e r i n g i n t o a new phase, by s t a r t i n g t o connect w i t h the Buddhist Vipassana m e d i t a t i o n t r a d i t i o n . He wished her g r e a t success i n b r i n g i n g p eople t o the experience of d i v i n e l o v e and asked f o r her b l e s s i n g s i n moving on t o h i s new l i f e . He s i g n e d the l e t t e r and mailed i t . To C t h i s "was a c l e a n p o s i t i v e ending i n h i s mind p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y w i t h the t r a d i t i o n . " C was now f r e e t o move i n t o a new phase of p r a c t i c i n g i n the Vipassana m e d i t a t i o n t r a d i t i o n . The f o c u s of t h i s t r a d i t i o n was on being m i n d f u l . The emphasis on the p r a c t i c e of m e d i t a t i o n was a r e l i e f t o C. C a l s o l i k e d the f a c t t h a t t h i s t r a d i t i o n d i d not take a l o t of emotional investment. C began t o o c c a s i o n a l l y s i t a t v a r i o u s Buddhist s e t t i n g s and s t a r t e d t o f e e l connected. C went on a nine day i n t e n s i v e Vipassana m e d i t a t i o n r e t r e a t a t C o r t e z I s l a n d and had a very p o s i t i v e experience. He n o t i c e d a t t h i s V i p a s s a n a r e t r e a t people who were having k u n d a l i n i phenomena experience, and other profound m e d i a t i o n e x p e r i e n c e s . C laughed t o h i m s e l f because f o r so l o n g he had been c o n d i t i o n e d t h a t you got these g i f t s from your guru. At t h i s workshop, i t became apparent t o C t h a t t h i s phenomena happens i n many m e d i t a t i o n t r a d i t i o n s and i s a " f u n c t i o n of s i n c e r e s p i r i t u a l d e s i r e and e f f o r t r a t h e r than b e l i e v i n g i n a p a r t i c u l a r guru." During the Vipassana r e t r e a t , i t became c l e a r t o C t h a t he had a fundamental c o n f l i c t w i t h h i s marriage. He d i d not r e s p e c t where h i s w i f e was a t , and c o u l d not be s u p p o r t i v e t o her and n e i t h e r of them were moving i n t h e i r p o s i t i o n . A few weeks a f t e r he got back from the r e t r e a t , suddenly, over a two t o t h r e e day p e r i o d , i t became c l e a r t o C t h a t he c o u l d no longer be i n t h i s marriage. The double b i n d of the c o n f l i c t was so deep. C had no c h o i c e but t o d e a l w i t h i t . He typed a l e t t e r on the computer a t work. In t h i s l e t t e r , he wrote t o h i s w i f e t h a t i t was too p a i n f u l f o r him t o be a b l e t o support her s p i r i t u a l l i f e , so they had t o s p l i t up. He went home d u r i n g the afternoon, dropped the l e t t e r o f f and p i c k e d up h i s c l o t h e s and went t o be w i t h h i s mother f o r a few days. C remembers h i s deep sense of r e l i e f : S i x y ears of t h i s deep double b i n d , f i n i s h e d and i t ' s a c u t t i n g of the r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h Siddha Yoga. I t ' s a c u t t i n g of our r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h i s deep double b i n d . And a t the same time 80 f i n d i n g the courage i n s i d e of me t o d e a l w i t h the f e a r o f going through the p a i n of s e p a r a t i o n , the f e a r of an c o n f r o n t i n g l o n e l i n e s s , and s e x u a l i t y , and not having someone t o lov e , and wanting t o be lo v e d beyond you know j u s t the i n s e c u r i t y s t u f f i n the b r e a k i n g up of a r e l a t i o n s h i p . F i n d i n g the courage t o d e a l with t h a t and move on, i t f e l t r e a l h e a l t h y . I t was such a g r e a t r e l i e f . C e x p e r i e n c e d l o n e l i n e s s and d e p r e s s i o n d u r i n g the d i v o r c e p e r i o d . He d e a l t with these emotions by t r y i n g t o be m i n d f u l i n the presen t moment of these emotional s t a t e s . In t h i s way, he found t h a t the he a v i n e s s o f the e x p e r i e n c e would d i s s i p a t e . He found t h a t h i s o c c a s i o n a l s i t t i n g p r a c t i c e helped him f e e l more calm, more s t i l l , and gave him a sense of s t r e n g t h and optimism about moving on. A f t e r a couple of months a f t e r b r e a k i n g up, C s t a r t e d t o long f o r some k i n d of r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h a woman and a s p i r i t u a l t r a d i t i o n . He began t o s i t r e g u l a r l y w i t h an i n s i g h t m e d i t a t i o n group t h a t met on Sunday n i g h t s . He began t o connect w i t h people i n v o l v e d i n the Vipassana m e d i t a t i o n . He made some good f r i e n d s h i p s , one even with a woman who a c t u a l l y l i v e d i n Muktananda's ashram i n the e a r l y 70's f o r many y e a r s . 81 C began t o mix other t r a d i t i o n s w i t h h i s V i p a s s a n a m e d i t a t i o n p r a c t i c e . He went t o a two day S u f i workshop and enjoyed the S u f i s i n g i n g and dancing. Next, a t a Vipassana m e d i t a t i o n r e t r e a t , he was encouraged by the m e d i t a t i o n t e a c h e r t o go deeper than m e d i t a t i o n b l i s s , and s t i l l n e s s of mind, t o an i n v e s t i g a t i o n of each moment. A couple of months l a t e r , C went t o a two day d e v o t i o n a l workshop w i t h a woman from I n d i a , who spent her time c h a n t i n g and hugging people. For C i t was l i k e "being i n Hindu heaven." A l i t t l e w h i l e l a t e r i n June, C hosted t h e l e a d e r of the S u f i Order of the West f o r a c o u p l e o f days. C sees t h i s l a s t year as one i n which he has had fun w i t h s p i r i t u a l experimentation. 82 ACT I I I O v e r a l l , C sees h i m s e l f today as r e a l l y e n j o y i n g h a v i n g a l a c k of i n h i b i t i o n about being w i t h a p a r t i c u l a r s p i r i t u a l group or meeting a p a r t i c u l a r s p i r i t u a l t e a c h e r . He can meet other s p i r i t u a l groups i n a s p i r i t of openness. In meeting w i t h d i f f e r e n t groups of people, he looks forward t o o b s e r v i n g the s i m i l a r i t i e s i n m e d i t a t i o n and energy phenomena. He a l s o enjoys a p p r e c i a t i n g the d i f f e r e n c e s of how people approached s p i r i t u a l i t y . C's r e c e n t p o s i t i v e experiences have h e l p e d h e a l i n C some of the h u r t s t h a t he has e x p e r i e n c e d on h i s s p i r i t u a l journey. T h i s has g i v e n C a sense of renewed v i g o r , a more o p t i m i s t i c outlook on l i f e . R e c e n t l y , w i t h i n the l a s t month C went t o another e i g h t day V i p a s s a n a m e d i t a t i o n r e t r e a t on Cortez I s l a n d . Here, t h e r e was a r e e x p e r i e n c i n g of t h a t deep e c s t a s y t h a t he had e x p e r i e n c e d back i n I n d i a . Touching t h a t deep e c s t a s y a g a i n f e l t very s a t i s f y i n g f o r C. The r e l e a s e and j o y and c o o l n e s s of t h a t experience i s something C wishes o t h e r people c o u l d touch. For C " I t ' s almost l i k e the u n i v e r s e i s c a l l i n g me i n a g e n t l e way t o be as a l i g n e d w i t h s o f t n e s s and l o v e and do m e d i t a t i o n p r a c t i c e on a r e g u l a r b a s i s as I can i n some l i t t l e way 83 c o n t r i b u t e p o s i t i v e energy t o the u n i v e r s e . " As f a r as s p i r i t u a l p r a c t i c e r i g h t now, C i s not d e f i n i t e l y committed t o one p e r s p e c t i v e . He u s u a l l y does the Vipassana m e d i t a t i o n of s i t t i n g p r a c t i c e but i s open t o S u f i dancing and even t o psychotherapy f o r as C sees i t "anything t h a t b r i n g s i n t o c o n s c i o u s n e s s those p a r t s of him which are b l i n d " i s h e l p f u l . C sees h i s work as " t o become f r e e of b l o c k s , and b e i n g i n tune w i t h s o l i d l o v e and c l a r i t y . " As C l o o k s back on h i s journey w i t h some sadness," I am sad t h a t I bought i n t o s p i r i t u a l m a t e r i a l i s m or I bought i n t o b e l i e f s t r u c t u r e s so deeply and had t o go through the experience of the s h a t t e r i n g of those b e l i e f s t r u c t u r e s , ah, which was a p a i n f u l e x p e r i e n c e , but I guess unavoidable." But through t h i s p r o c e s s he f e e l s "some inward k i n k s have been s t r a i g h t e n e d out" and i n a deeper way he f e e l s "more wholesome and l e s s c onfused." C r e c e n t l y a l s o has f a l l e n i n l o v e w i t h a woman L, who has a c h i l d and they have p l a n s t o become m a r r i e d . C sees t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p as an important arena i n which he can become conscious of those a s p e c t s of h i s p e r s o n a l i t y which c r e a t e c o n f l i c t or p a i n . Through t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p he wants t o grow p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y , as he sees i t as a way t o grow i n c o n s c i o u s n e s s . I t i s 84 q u i t e i r o n i c f o r C t h a t what he now sees as "the most meaningful and e s s e n t i a l a s p e ct" of growth was a t one time c o n s i d e r e d t o be the most meaningless and u n e s s e n t i a l aspect. An a d d i t i o n a l area of emergence i s a growing sense of community r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . C l i k e s t o g i v e money t o c h a r i t i e s r e g u l a r l y , he has a f o s t e r c h i l d i n I n d i a , and he i s s t a r t i n g t o t h i n k about how he can c o n t r i b u t e t o our s o c i e t y i n some way. Looking back over the years, C a p p r e c i a t e s h i s i n t e n s i t y , but wishes he had worked i n a s p i r i t u a l t r a d i t i o n which was more p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y mature and h e a l t h y than the one he worked i n t o o r i g i n a l l y . C a l s o sees the v a l u e of not r e j e c t i n g western p s y c h o l o g i c a l t e a c h i n g s . " I t would be very good from the b e g i n n i n g of p r a c t i c e i f people were aware of t h i n g s l i k e p r o j e c t i o n , or not w i l l i n g t o f a c e i n t i m a c y . " I t seems l i k e t o C t h a t i n d i v i d u a l and group c o u n s e l l i n g i n combination w i t h i n t e n s i v e m e d i t a t i o n p r a c t i c e c o u l d have hel p e d him and other people become p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y mature more q u i c k l y . C f e e l s now t h a t "sacred cows should not be h e l d s a c r e d , e v e r y t h i n g should be questioned. R i t u a l s and p r a c t i c e s are means and not end." One should have a h e a l t h y s c e p t i c i s m about a l l gurus and s o - c a l l e d g r e a t 85 d i v i n e beings who impose themselves upon s e e k e r s . Looking down the road, C i s p l a n n i n g t o marry L and have a c h i l d . So he sees h i m s e l f moving i n t o a phase of f a m i l y l i f e and having r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . He sees h i m s e l f as c o n t i n u i n g t o be i n v o l v e d w i t h the Vipass a n a m e d i t a t i o n t r a d i t i o n but not so much as t o i n t e r f e r e w i t h L and the f a m i l y . He wants t o make sure t h a t L f e e l s secure and t h a t he i s not p u t t i n g some i d e a l i s t i c monastic p r a c t i c e ahead of g i v i n g l o v e and support t o h i s w i f e and c h i l d r e n . C sees h i s l i f e now as i n t e g r a t e d " s p i r i t u a l f a m i l y l i f e . " He i s aware t h a t he needs " t o be c o n s c i o u s of not j u s t h o l d i n g some new p o s t u r e a g a i n . " He sums up the purpose of h i s l i f e r i g h t now t h i s way, "Being f r e e from the experience of p a i n and s u f f e r i n g and e x p e r i e n c i n g the h i g h e s t e c s t a s y p o s s i b l e . " C i n h i s " s p i r i t u a l f a m i l y l i f e " i s s t i l l r e a c h i n g out f o r enlightenment. 86 CHAPTER V: RESULTS In t h i s chapter, the problems of the long term p r o c e s s of m e d i t a t i o n t h a t the c o - r e s e a r c h e r i n t h i s case study has encountered are d i s c u s s e d . The problems d i s c u s s e d stem from the c o - r e s e a r c h e r ' s commitment t o the l o n g term process of m e d i t a t i o n so he c o u l d become " e n l i g h t e n e d . " T h i s o b s e s s i v e d e s i r e t o become e n l i g h t e n e d has l e f t the c o - r e s e a r c h e r C s u s c e p t i b l e t o ot h e r problems such as withdrawals and i s o l a t i o n from human r e l a t i o n s h i p s , p s y c h o l o g i c a l b l i n d s p o t s i n s p i r i t u a l p r a c t i c e , and d e a l i n g w i t h unusual symptoms of h i s s p i r i t u a l p r a c t i c e . Each of these areas w i l l be d i s c u s s e d i n t h i s chapter. 87 BECOMING ENLIGHTENED Kr i s h n a m u r t i (1960) observed t h a t "The motive of s e a r c h i s of g r e a t e r s i g n i f i c a n c e than the s e a r c h i t s e l f . The motive pervades, guides and shapes the s e a r c h " (p.35). While the o b j e c t of s e e k i n g may be t o f i n d enlightenment, i n K r i s h n a m u r t i 1 s view the seeker i s r e a l l y i n v o l v e d i n a process of s e l f - e x p a n s i o n and s e l f - p e r p e t u a t i o n as " l i f e i s a process of continuous expansion of the ego through power, wealth, a s c e t i c i s m or the c u l t i v a t i o n of v i r t u e and so on" ( K r i s h n a m u r t i , 1946, p.81). Thus the seeker i n v o l v e d i n m e d i t a t i o n i s r e a l l y d e s i r i n g g r e a t e r , wider, and more s i g n i f i c a n t e x p e r i e n c e s . A f t e r C had h i s f i r s t i n t e n s e e x p e r i e n c e of the "here and now" on the farm i n C a l i f o r n i a he s e t up the g o a l of enlightenment, "You know i n a romantic way I p r o b a b l y thought t h a t w e l l I ' l l now go t o I n d i a and work r e a l l y hard l i v i n g i n a mountain Himalayas and meet g r e a t masters and i n a couple of years I ' l l be e n l i g h t e n e d and I ' l l l eave my body." C had r e a d about Ram Dass and h i s guru and he wanted t o e x p e r i e n c e t h a t " s t a t e of freedom and magic." At the time, C was proud about "what a wonderful t h i n g I was doing and what a wonderful commitment t o p r a c t i c e I was making." The 88 p r o c e s s of s e l f aggrandizement through s p i r i t u a l p r a c t i c e had a l r e a d y s t a r t e d f o r C. C was very e x c i t e d when he had h i s " k u n d a l i n i awakening experience" as he had read about the p r o c e s s i n books by Muktananda and so h i s f e e l i n g "was of g r e a t excitement and a c o r r o b o r a t i o n " of h i s b e l i e f system. H i s guru, Muktananda's t e a c h i n g was based on the importance of the awakening of k u n d a l i n i so t h i s was a v e r y s i g n i f i c a n t s i g n of s p i r i t u a l p r o g r e s s f o r him. A f t e r spending s i x weeks i n the Muktananda c e n t e r i n Oakland, C ran out of money and came back t o Vancouver. He was f e e l i n g s e l f - r i g h t e o u s about b e i n g on the path t o t r u t h . C d e s c r i b e d h i s s t a t e i n t h i s way: "A sense t h a t most everyone i n the world d i d n ' t know the t r u t h : most everyone was i g n o r a n t of t h e s e profound t h i n g s t h a t went on i n s i d e me i n meditation, p r a c t i c e . The awakening of K u n d a l i n i , the types of v i s i o n a r y experiences of the immanence of god; and t h i s type of t h i n g which was so t a n g i b l e t o me, I thought b a s i c a l l y everyone i n the world was i n a s t a t e of profound s p i r i t u a l ignorance." By the time C had been t o Muktananda 1s ashram i n I n d i a f o r t h r e e and a h a l f months and was back i n Vancouver h e l p i n g s e t up a m e d i t a t i o n c e n t e r , he had a s e l f - i m a g e of being a "great y o g i . " He enjoyed i t when 89 people came t o the m e d i t a t i o n c e n t e r and commented on the i n t e n s i t y i n which he was l i v i n g h i s l i f e . L a t e r , when he was i n I n d i a f o r the second time, he had a m e d i t a t i o n s e s s i o n of e x p e r i e n c i n g the "deepest most profound l o v e , joy, peace" t h a t he had ever e x p e r i e n c e d i n h i s l i f e . I t was thus q u i t e a shock t o C when he a p p l i e d t o be a Muktananda sannyasin t h a t he was t u r n e d down. I t i s o n l y now, s i x years l a t e r , t h a t h i s next phase as the i n t e g r a t e d householder i s s t a r t i n g t o bear f r u i t i o n . But now as he i s moving i n t o a new r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h a long-term commitment where the r e l a t i o n s h i p i t s e l f i s seen as the most o p p o r t u n i t y f o r growth, C w o r r i e s t h a t he i s h o l d i n g some new " s p i r i t u a l " p osture again. Ram Dass (1987) a f t e r many years of e x p l o r i n g the E a s t e r n t r a d i t i o n s t a l k s about the s u b t l e ways the ego p o s t u r e s i t s e l f : To go back t o the p o i n t where I s a i d I s t a r t e d out f e e l i n g v ery s p e c i a l , I was busy h o l d i n g on t o a myth about myself, a s c e n a r i o about myself: 'Dick A l p e r t thrown out of Harvard, drugs, yoga, guru games...,' what w i l l happen next? I t ' s v e r y 'somebody-ish.' Then I decided t h a t r e a l l y the game was t o become 'nobody.' So I went i n t o nobody t r a i n i n g , g i v i n g l e c t u r e s , 'Nothing New by Nobody S p e c i a l 1 . . . So I was going t o be nobody s p e c i a l l i k e the b i g boys. But t h e r e ' s a sneaky 'somebodiness' i n t h e r e (pp.147-148). L i k e Ram Dass, C l o o k i n g back i n h i s y e a r s w i t h Siddha Yoga sees now how s p i r i t u a l p r a c t i c e can support one's ego t e n d e n c i e s , "Through a s t r o n g i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h t h i s s p i r i t u a l t r a d i t i o n and a l l of t h i s p a r a p h e r n a l i a and r i t u a l t h e r e was a r e a l s p i r i t u a l m a t e r i a l i s m and a thick-headedness and a s p i r i t u a l p r i d e t h a t grew up around a l l of t h i s ; and I was r e a l l y l i v i n g a f a n t a s y of my own ego." Trungpa (1973) w r i t e s t h a t walking the s p i r i t u a l path p r o p e r l y i s a very s u b t l e process i n t h a t "We can d e c e i v e o u r s e l v e s i n t o t h i n k i n g we are d e v e l o p i n g s p i r i t u a l l y when i n s t e a d we are s t r e n g t h e n i n g our e g o c e n t r i c i t y through s p i r i t u a l t e c h niques. T h i s fundamental d i s t o r t i o n may be r e f e r r e d t o as s p i r i t u a l m a t e r i a l i s m " (p.3). Our v a s t c o l l e c t i o n s o f knowledge and exper i e n c e are j u s t p a r t of ego's d i s p l a y , p a r t of the g r a n d i o s e q u a l i t y of ego. Beneath our s p i r i t u a l m a t e r i a l i s m , Trungpa (1973) p o i n t s out i t i s our d e s i r e t o secure o u r s e l v e s , r e a s s u r e o u r s e l v e s t h a t we are a l r i g h t . To do t h i s we are c o n s t a n t l y l o o k i n g f o r something s o l i d t o hang onto. We can f o r c e o u r s e l v e s i n t o the e x p e r i e n c e of b l i s s , "We would l i k e t o get drunk, i n t o x i c a t e d , absorbed i n t o the e n t i r e u n i v e r s e , but somehow i t does not happen. We are s t i l l here, which i s always the f i r s t t h i n g t o b r i n g us down" (p.71). The whole p r o c e s s of c o n t i n u o u s l y b u i l d i n g r a t h e r than coming t o an understanding of anything c o n t i n u e s i n Trungpa's mind " u n t i l you r e a l i z e the f u t i l i t y of attempting t o ac h i e v e s p i r i t u a l i t y " (p.71). C l o o k i n g over h i s years of m e d i t a t i o n f i n d s t h a t i t i s the profound m e d i t a t i o n experience t h a t he had i n I n d i a t h a t motivates him. "I'm not r e a l l y p e r s o n a l l y i n t e r e s t e d i n i n s i g h t , I'm i n t e r e s t e d i n the e x p e r i e n c e of l o v e and j o y t h a t I touched i n t h a t m e d i t a t i o n , t h a t ' s what motivates me t o keep p r a c t i c i n g . " So altho u g h he r e c o g n i z e s the " s p i r i t u a l m a t e r i a l i s m " behind the years he p r i d e d h i m s e l f i n being a " g r e a t y o g i " he i s s t i l l hoping t o f i n d a profound s t a t e through h i s m e d i t a t i o n p r a c t i c e . At the end of h i s i n t e r v i e w , he summed up the purpose of h i s l i f e as "being f r e e from the experience of p a i n and s u f f e r i n g and e x p e r i e n c i n g the h i g h e s t e c s t a s y p o s s i b l e . " C seems t o have been caught i n what Trungpa (1973) c a l l s "the h e r o i c p l a y , " " I f you i n v o l v e y o u r s e l f w i t h t h e h e r o i c way, you add l a y e r s or s k i n s t o your p e r s o n a l i t y because you t h i n k you have a c h i e v e d something. L a t e r , t o your s u r p r i s e , you d i s c o v e r t h a t something e l s e i s needed. One must remove the l a y e r s , the s k i n s " (p.97). The open way begins when we r e a l i z e the f u t i l i t y of t r y i n g t o get somewhere wit h a g g r e s s i o n and speed. While C i n h i s e a r l y morning s e c u r i t y rounds i n I n d i a , had a g e s t a l t r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t h i s yoga p r a c t i c e had been the path of hardness and he needed t o open up t o s o f t n e s s , s p i r i t u a l ambition of f i n d i n g some s p e c i a l s t a t e of " e c s t a s y " s t i l l remains. Trungpa (1973) says t h a t we must become wary of our ambition as "The i d e a i s not t o regard the s p i r i t u a l p ath as something very l u x u r i o u s and p l e a s u r a b l e but t o see i t as j u s t f a c i n g the f a c t s of l i f e " (p.89). Washburn and Stark (1979) wrote t h a t common t o many E a s t e r n r e l i g i o n s and p h i l o s o p h i e s i s a d i s t i n c t i v e c o n c e p t i o n of the s e l f and i t s p o s s i b l e transcendence. The E a s t e r n view holds t h a t "(1) attachment t o a separate s e l f or ego i s one of the main r o o t s of human misery, ignorance, r e b i r t h , e t c . ; (2) t h i s ego can be transcended; (3) t o t r a n s c e n d i t i s t o awaken t o the i l l u s i o n t h a t s u s t a i n s i t ; and (4) c o n s c i o u s n e s s thus d i v e s t e d of the ego i l l u s i o n i s e x p e r i e n c e d as 'empty' or 'void' and f o r t h a t reason open t o attunement with God, r e a l i t y , the Tao, and so f o r t h " (p.74). C appears t o be caught i n t r y i n g t o a f f i r m h i s ego as he i s s t i l l l o o k i n g f o r the u l t i m a t e s p i r i t u a l e xperience. To Kri s h n a m u r t i (1950) t h i s i s a v i t a l mistake as " I t i s only when the mind i s f r e e o f the d e s i r e t o become something, t o achieve a r e s u l t , and hence f r e e of f e a r , t h a t i t can be u t t e r l y q u i e t ; and o n l y then i s t h e r e a p o s s i b i l i t y of t h a t c r e a t i v e n e s s which i s r e a l i t y " (p.21). RELATIONSHIP Leshan (1974) p o i n t e d out t h a t a f r e q u e n t t r a p i n m y s t i c a l s c h o o l s has been the i d e a of withdrawal from r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h others and from a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t he world i n order t o develop one's own s o u l . T h i s i s s i m i l a r t o the viewpoint h e l d i n p s y c h o a n a l y s i s f o r many y e a r s t h a t a l l s e r i o u s d e c i s i o n s should be put o f f u n t i l the a n a l y s i s was f i n i s h e d , a grave e r r o r when one c o n s i d e r s how important a c t i o n and d e c i s i o n making are t o a h e a l t h y emotional and mental l i f e . " S i m i l a r l y , one's own i n n e r development, which e x i s t s i n r e l a t i o n t o o t h e r s and the cosmos as w e l l as t o the s e l f , i s not f u r t h e r e d by a r e t r e a t from t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p . To t r y t o advance p a r t of your development a t the expense of othe r p a r t s o n l y fragments you more and makes you l e s s r a t h e r than more complete" (p.91). As he became i n v o l v e d i n Siddha Yoga, C began a p a t t e r n of g i v i n g up on and withdrawing from h i s human r e l a t i o n s h i p s . When he was e i g h t e e n years o l d , a f t e r the k u n d a l i n i awakening weekend at Muktananda's c e n t e r , he announced on Monday morning t o h i s g i r l f r i e n d t h a t he was l i v i n g with, t h a t he was moving out t o l i v e i n the Muktananda c e n t e r . Looking back on t h i s C f e e l s t h a t he was extremely i n s e n s i t i v e t o h i s g i r l f r i e n d ' s f e e l i n g s . Not o n l y had he g i v e n up a s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h her but now he j u s t up and moved out of the house. When C moved back t o Vancouver a f t e r h i s i n i t i a l phase of involvement i n Muktananda's c e n t e r i n Oakland, he dropped h i s o l d f r i e n d s " l i k e a ton of b r i c k s , " as they were a p a r t of the whole " w o r l d l y l i f e " t h a t he wanted t o drop. C knew at the time h i s o n l y i n t e r e s t was enlightenment. H i s l i f e r e v o l v e d around h i s p r a c t i c e . He had no time f o r any s o c i a l l i f e except w i t h t h e those people a t the l o c a l Muktananda c e n t e r . By the time C had been t o I n d i a f o r t h r e e and a h a l f months and back, h i s i s o l a t i o n and withdrawal from normal l i f e r e l a t i o n s h i p s was i n t e n s i f y i n g . He had from the moment of k u n d a l i n i awakening dropped a l l p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s but now he entered i n t o a new phase. He a c t u a l l y developed an a v e r s i o n t o women. The t e a c h i n g s of h i s guru and the s o c i a l i z a t i o n around C was t h a t s e x u a l a c t i v i t y i s r e a l l y i n a p p r o p r i a t e f o r y o g i s , a c l a s s i c a l Indian view t h a t can be t r a c e d back t o P a t a n j a l i ' s i n s i s t e n c e i n the Yoga Sutras on the importance of "brahmacharya," the a b s t e n t i o n from a c t i v i t i e s r e l a t e d t o the sexual a c t . C d i s c o v e r e d i n the I n d i a n y o g i t r a d i t i o n many s o r t s of d e n i g r a t i n g s t o r i e s o f women, and t h e i r a b i l i t y t o p u l l down a y o g i i n t o s e n s u a l d e l u s i o n . C d e s c r i b e d h i s a t t i t u d e t h i s way, "I r e a l l y bought t h a t s t u f f a t the time and so then women became f o r me l i k e f i r e , something you don't to u c h . " I t was a l s o a t e a c h i n g of h i s guru t h a t the d i s c h a r g e of semen reduced m e d i t a t i o n potency. Muktananda (1972) i n d e s c r i b i n g the command of the Siddhas warned about the ways of the West: Increase your r a d i a n c e . J u s t as you save each penny, save each drop of semen. A l l of you sh o u l d remember t h a t one drop of semen can produce a r a d i a n t human being. Hence remain aware of i t s immense v a l u e . I t i s the seminal f l u i d t h a t imparts l u s t r e t o you. I f you l o s e t h i s n a t i v e glow, not even the best rouges, powders and creams can b r i g h t e n your s k i n . T h i s f l u i d i s the v e h i c l e o f C h i t s h a t k i . You purchase C h i t i by i t , as i t 9 6 were. I t i s a necessary agent f o r a c t i v a t i n g K u n d a l i n i and the h i g h e s t means t o s t a b i l i z e t he samadhi s t a t e . M i n u t e l y examine the c o n d i t i o n o f one who has wasted away h i s semen (p.180). C allowed h i m s e l f t o masturbate once a month. A f t e r s i x months of d e a l i n g with h i s s e x u a l i t y t h i s way C wanted t o be completely r e s o l v e d about t h i s i s s u e , so he wrote a l e t t e r t o h i s guru s t a t i n g t h a t he wished t o take a vow of l i f e l o n g c e l i b a c y . T h i s r e s o l v e d f o r then h i s s t r u g g l e with sexual d e s i r e , h i s m a s t u r b a t i n g and f e e l i n g g u i l t and h i s w o r r i e s about d e p l e t i n g h i s energy through sexual p r e o c c u p a t i o n . T h i s p e r i o d was t o l a s t f o r over a year and a h a l f o n l y t o be broken when he r e t u r n e d from h i s second t r i p from I n d i a t o s t a r t h i s romantic r e l a t i o n s h i p with J , a woman who e v e n t u a l l y became h i s w i f e . C's hardness t o r e l a t i o n s h i p s and women i n the time of h i s i n t e n s e involvement i n the Siddha Yoga t r a d i t i o n was e x e m p l i f i e d by a memorable i n c i d e n t t h a t happened on the d r i v e t o the Vancouver a i r p o r t w i t h h i s mother, when he was going t o I n d i a f o r the second time. C remembers h i s mom t e l l i n g him t h a t she needed him i n h i s l i f e and she f e l t t h a t C needed her. C d e c l a r e d t o h i s mom, " I don't need anybody, and I c e r t a i n l y don't need you." Looking back on t h i s i n c i d e n t , C f e e l s t h a t 97 he was ve r y harsh and immature with h i s mother. T h i s i n c i d e n t was symbolic of h i s a t t i t u d e towards r e l a t i o n s h i p s a t the time. Both C's mother and s i s t e r i n responding t o the q u e s t i o n n a i r e commented on C's withdrawal from r e l a t i o n s h i p s f o r the f i r s t few years of h i s m e d i t a t i n g . H i s mother wrote: When C f i r s t s t a r t e d t o meditate he was q u i t e removed from h i s f a m i l y e m o t i o n a l l y . He had had a s i g n i f i c a n t r e l i g i o u s experience which I t h i n k s t a r t e d him on the road t o m e d i t a t i o n and such an overwhelming one t h a t he seemed remote from the r e a l world. I t was only a f t e r being back home f o r a p e r i o d of time t h a t some of the i n i t i a l t r a n c e l i k e appearances disappeared. S i m i l a r l y h i s s i s t e r remembers: I n i t i a l l y , he was q u i t e s e l f r i g h t e o u s about h i s s p i r i t u a l quest t o t a l l y detached from a l l t h a t he had p r e v i o u s l y known and been i n v o l v e d i n . I t wasn't d i f f i c u l t t o f e e l unsupportive of h i s quest when so many profound and negative ( i n our ( h i s f a m i l y ' s ) eyes) changes occ u r r e d . A b r o t h e r whom I had always d e a r l y loved but always been a l i t t l e out of touch with, (due t o age/maturity) was, i n my h e a r t , almost b e t r a y i n g me - a t a p o i n t where 98 we would have n a t u r a l l y s t a r t e d growing c l o s e r and g e t t i n g t o know one another b e t t e r (our l a t e t e e n y e a r s ) . I know t h i s wasn't C's i n t e n t a t a l l , but f o r s e v e r a l y ears i t was tough t o r e l a t e a t any l e v e l . I t was o n l y much l a t e r a t the end of h i s year and a h a l f s o j o u r n i n I n d i a t h a t C's a t t i t u d e towards r e l a t i o n s h i p changed d r a m a t i c a l l y . C had j u s t f a i l e d h i s o r a l exam t o become a s a n y a s s i n a couple of weeks e a r l i e r , and was i n the middle of making h i s e a r l y morning rounds of s e c u r i t y a t Muktananda's ashram, when suddenly what he c a l l s a " g e s t a l t r e a l i z a t i o n " broke i n s i d e of him: I had been very hard and very r i g i d w i t h myself f o r many y e a r s . I had d r i v e n myself f o r t h e s e p a r t i c u l a r types of s p i r i t u a l g o a l s of becoming a monk and l i v i n g a very i s o l a t e d hard y o g i l i f e and the p s y c h o l o g i c a l dynamics around what had d r i v e n me i n t h i s mind s e t were around a sense of r e j e c t i o n and a sense of e x c l u s i o n . And I saw c l e a r l y , t h a t I was r e j e c t i n g people. I was r e j e c t i n g f a c i n g aspects of my p e r s o n a l i t y and r e j e c t i n g with having t o d e a l w i t h t h i n g s l i k e an i n t i m a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p and an opening up and exposing myself; and I had been r e j e c t i n g t h e s e 9 9 major p o r t i o n s of myself and t h a t my work towards the d i v i n e was coming out of a sense of hardness and toughness...as opposed t o from s o f t n e s s ; and t o sum i t up, very simply I saw t h a t the path was not a path of hardness, but a path of s o f t n e s s f o r me now. With t h i s g e s t a l t r e a l i z a t i o n , C's whole a t t i t u d e towards r e l a t i o n s h i p changed. He had a sense of s e n s i t i v i t y and s o f t n e s s t o being w i t h people, a renewed i n t e r e s t i n k i n s h i p and f r i e n d s h i p , and a r e c o g n i t i o n of the community of man. He had an i n t e r e s t i n i n t i m a c y and s e l f - e x p o s u r e . Soon a f t e r t h a t , he d e c i d e d t o leave the ashram, and become what he r e f e r s t o now as "the i n t e g r a t e d householder." B e f o r e he l e f t , he became r o m a n t i c a l l y i n v o l v e d w i t h J , a woman s i x years h i s s e n i o r and soon was "madly i n l o v e . " T h i s romantic phase was t e m p o r a r i l y i n t e r r u p t e d when C came back t o Vancouver a couple of months ahead of h i s g i r l f r i e n d , but resumed when she a r r i v e d i n Vancouver, c u l m i n a t i n g i n marriage s h o r t l y t h e r e a f t e r . Over the next s i x years of marriage, C e x p e r i e n c e d what i t i s l i k e t o be i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h someone who i s h e a v i l y i n v o l v e d i n a r i g i d s p i r i t u a l group. C dropped Siddha Yoga but h i s w i f e was t o t a l l y committed t o Siddha Yoga. He found i t a deep double b i n d t o be a t t a c h e d t o a woman who r e p r e s e n t s a l l of t h a t which he had j u s t dropped. A f t e r h i s f a i l e d h a l f - h e a r t e d attempt a couple years l a t e r i n New York t o get i n v o l v e d w i t h the Siddha Yoga movement again, and d e c i s i o n s i x months l a t e r t o f o r m a l l y t e r m i n a t e h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the Siddha Yoga movement, C began t o get i n t e r e s t e d i n the Vipassana m e d i t a t i o n t r a d i t i o n . The s t r e s s of r e l a t i n g t o someone i n v o l v e d i n Siddha Yoga e v e n t u a l l y was a s i g n i f i c a n t f a c t o r i n the marriage's demise a couple of years l a t e r . I t was i r o n i c t h a t C experienced from the o u t s i d e the r i g i d i t y and e x c l u s i v e n e s s of the Siddha Yoga movement w i t h which he was once a p a r t o f . Over the l a s t year C has become i n v o l v e d w i t h a woman who has a c h i l d , f a l l e n deeply i n l o v e , and i s engaged t o be married. He sees h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p as the most meaningful and e s s e n t i a l way t o grow i n con s c i o u s n e s s . Through h i s emerging r e l a t i o n s h i p he wants t o become aware of those aspects of h i s p e r s o n a l i t y which c r e a t e p a i n . I t i s i r o n i c now t h a t C f i n d s b e i ng i n v o l v e d w i t h h i s f a m i l y and h i s work a ve r y meaningful s e t t i n g t o i n t e g r a t e h i s s p i r i t u a l p r a c t i c e as f o r a long time he c o n s i d e r e d t h i s area the most meaningless and u n e s s e n t i a l aspect of s p i r i t u a l growth. 101 Both C's s i s t e r and mother have n o t i c e d the change i n C's way of r e l a t i n g t o people over the l a s t few y e a r s . H i s s i s t e r observes t h a t , "C had l i t t l e t o share w i t h people o u t s i d e h i s s p i r i t u a l c i r c l e f o r many ye a r s but now r e l a t e s w e l l t o everyone. He seems t o have come down from h i s p o s i t i o n of judgement and simply a c c e p t s . " H i s mother has found t h a t s i n c e C loosened h i s t i e s with Siddha Yoga "he has been without q u e s t i o n much e a s i e r t o r e l a t e t o and a much more comf o r t a b l e person f o r h i s whole f a m i l y t o enjoy." K r i s h n a m u r t i (1948) observed t h a t the problem o f e x i s t e n c e i s r e l a t i o n s h i p and t h i s must be understood through involvement and not withdrawal from the world. You d i s c o v e r what you are through r e l a t i o n s h i p and communication w i t h another. Through C's journey, he has come t o t h i s r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t h i s awareness must be worked on w h i l e being i n v o l v e d with the world. O p p o r t u n i t y f o r growth e x i s t s i n the i n t e r a c t i o n s o f the everyday world. Intimate, f a m i l y , c a r e e r , and f r i e n d r e l a t i o n s h i p s p r o v i d e f e r t i l e ground f o r s e l f -knowledge and awareness t o grow: Ram Dass (1987) i n t a l k i n g about the hard l e s s o n s he has l e a r n e d i n h i s s p i r i t u a l odyssey r e c o g n i z e d how he avoided r e l a t i o n s h i p s through a p a t t e r n of t r a n s c e n d i n g which he c a l l e d " v e r t i c a l s c h i z o p h r e n i a . " 102 He found i t easy t o transcend and "go up" i n d e a l i n g w i t h problems of r e l a t i o n s h i p , but t h i s proved t o be i n e f f e c t i v e as a l l of the problems of human e m o t i o n a l i t y and r e l a t i o n s h i p s remained t o be d e a l t w i t h . Others argue t h a t the paths of E a s t e r n m y s t i c i s m f o c u s s e s too much on i s o l a t i o n and withdrawal which r e s u l t s i n a psychology of estrangement r a t h e r than immanence i n the day t o day world (Starhawk, 1981). C i n attempting t o be an " i n t e g r a t e d householder" has come t o r e c o g n i z e the f e r t i l e ground of everyday l i f e f o r s p i r i t u a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n . BLIND SPOTS IN SPIRITUAL PRACTICE Goleman (1985) wrote j u s t as t h e r e are some major b l i n d s p o t s i n our s c i e n t i f i c p s y c h o l o g i c a l world view i n r e g a r d t o t r a n s f o r m a t i o n and t r u t h , s i m i l a r l y , i t i s important t o c o n s i d e r the b l i n d spots one f i n d s i n s p i r i t u a l p r a c t i c e . E a r l y i n C's a f f i l i a t i o n w i t h h i s guru, Muktananda, C r e c o g n i z e d a dichotomy. C became aware of a c o n t r a d i c t i o n between the t e a c h i n g s of Muktananda and what was being encouraged: On the one hand, the guru Muktananda would a c t u a l l y encourage t h a t p h i l o s o p h i c a l p o s i t i o n i n h i s t a l k s sometimes about t h a t the p o i n t of s p i r i t u a l p r a c t i c e was t o r e a l i z e one's own d i v i n i t y , and not j u s t be hanging around w i t h a guru. And y e t the support of the environment and the encouragement from the whole s o c i a l i z a t i o n p r o c e s s was q u i t e d i f f e r e n t . A l l of the devotees of the guru and the way the whole s t r u c t u r e was s e t up was r e a l l y encouraging l i k e b e i n g w i t h the guru and r e a l l y j u s t g e t t i n g i n t o l i k e a p e r s o n a l i t y worship type of t h i n g w i t h the guru. C r e c o g n i z e d t h i s dichotomy c o u l d be found i n many guru t r a d i t i o n s . A good example of a s i m i l a r type of c o n t r a d i c t i o n can be found i n the Rajneesh movement. James Gordon (1987), a p s y c h i a t r i s t s t u d y i n g new r e l i g i o n s , v i s i t e d the ashram of guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh i n Oregon i n 1984. He observed t h a t Rajneesh, i n h i s t a l k s , s k i l l f u l l y d i s s e c t e d r e l i g i o u s p r e t e n s i o n and h y p o c r i s y , a t t a c k e d r i g i d and a u t h o r i t a r i a n p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e s , but he was a l l the w h i l e p e r m i t t i n g i f not promoting what he a t t a c k e d . "To be r e b e l l i o u s i s t o be r e l i g i o u s , he s a i d , but the day-to-day l i f e of those who l i s t e n e d was becoming more and more c o n f o r m i s t , i n c r e a s i n g l y c o n s t r i c t e d by r i t u a l and ceremony, dogma, r u l e s and r e g u l a t i o n s , and p r i e s t s " (p.163). The c o n t r a d i c t i o n t h a t C r e c o g n i z e d w i t h i n the 104 Muktananda o r g a n i z a t i o n and what Gordon (1987) observed w i t h i n the Rajneesh o r g a n i z a t i o n i s what Gregory Bateson and h i s a s s o c i a t e s d e s c r i b e d i n the f i f t i e s as the double b i n d (Bateson, Jackson, Haley, Weakland, 1956). The essence of a double b i n d i s a two-edged message w i t h the obvious meaning c o n t r a d i c t e d by a c o v e r t one. The r e s u l t i s befuddlement as i t i s i m p o s s i b l e t o comply with both messages (Goleman, 1985, p.184) . Gordon (1987) wrote t h a t s i m i l a r bonds have been used by Zen Masters t o help t h e i r p u p i l s t o f i n d spontaneous novel s o l u t i o n s i n which they gained a wider, f r e e r p e r s p e c t i v e . Anthony and Ecker (1987) p o i n t e d out t h a t t h e r e i s a type of s p i r i t u a l p r a c t i c e which they term the m u l t i l e v e l c h a r i s m a t i c approach which i s a process of deepening communion w i t h the master through effacement r a t h e r than advancement. T h i s approach which looks f o r e i g n t o contemporary Western s e n s i b i l i t i e s " r e l i e s on the t r a n s f o r m a t i v e potency of a p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p t o a master who i s regarded as God-conscious" (p.84). The " G o d - r e a l i z e d " master i s assumed t o have penetrated a l l l i m i t e d i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s w i t h matter, energy, and mind and i s f u l l y c o n s c i o u s of being the formless, d i v i n e r e a l i t y , t he i n f i n i t e t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s e l f . The d i s c i p l e 105 attempts t o become aware of the master's presence w i t h i n as a way of e x p e r i e n c i n g the u l t i m a t e s p i r i t u a l r e a l i t y and thus i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r working towards deeper s e l f - s u r r e n d e r t o the master. " S e l f - s u r r e n d e r i n m u l t i l e v e l c h a r i s m a t i c involvements i s not a matter merely of symbolic or r i t u a l i s t i c g e s t ure, but of a c t u a l l y r e l i n q u i s h i n g attachment t o mental, emotional and b e h a v i o r a l p a t t e r n s t h a t make one u n a v a i l a b l e f o r the master's c o n t a c t " (Anthony and Ecker, 1987, p.85). Muktananda with h i s emphasis on " s k a t i p a t " i s a contemporary example of the m u l t i l e v e l c h a r i s m a t i c approach. Other contemporary masters who r e p r e s e n t t h i s form of involvement are Meha Baba, Niem K a r o l i Baba, Da Free John, and S i r Chimnoy (Anthony and Ecker, 1987, p.86). W i l b e r (1987) warned t h a t i t i s almost always a p r o b l e m a t i c s i g n when devotees c o n s i d e r t h e i r master " p e r f e c t , " as p e r f e c t i o n e x i s t s o n l y i n t r a n s c e n d e n t a l essence, not i n manifest e x i s t e n c e . The devotee i n c o n f u s i n g essence with c o n c r e t e e x i s t e n c e p r o j e c t s h i s or her own n a r c i s s i s t i c , omnipotent f a n t a s i e s onto t h e " p e r f e c t " guru such as "The guru can do an y t h i n g ; how g r e a t the guru i s ; i n f a c t , how g r e a t I must be t o be among the chosen" (p.258). E v e n t u a l l y , the guru d i s p l a y s h i s or her human s i d e and the devotee i s 106 d e v a s t a t e d , d i s i l l u s i o n e d , crushed. While C s t r u g g l e d t o r e s o l v e the c o n t r a d i c t i n g messages of h i s guru, h i s regard f o r Muktananda as the world's g r e a t e s t d i v i n e l e a d e r and master of the u n i v e r s e l e f t him open f o r d e v a s t a t i o n when the r e a l i t y of h i s guru's "humanness" c o u l d no longer be i g n o r e d . Muktananda had spent h i s whole l i f e p r e a c h i n g about c e l i b a c y . The day a f t e r C l e f t Muktananda's ashram, b i g news broke i n the ashram t h a t Muktananda had been i n v o l v e d f o r f i v e or t e n years i n sexual a c t i v i t y w i t h a wide v a r i e t y of women. These a l l e g a t i o n s a g a i n s t Muktananda became wid e l y known i n 1981 when one of h i s American swamis sent a l e t t e r t o numerous s c h o o l s and c e n t e r s i n c l u d i n g the Centre f o r the Study of New R e l i g i o u s Movements. Two other American swamis a f t e r Muktananda's death began t o p u b l i c l y d i s c l o s e what they knew. The c e n t r a l a l l e g a t i o n a g a i n s t Muktananda was t h a t he r e g u l a r l y had sex with female d i s c i p l e s i n t h e i r teens and e a r l y t w e n t i e s . Because Muktananda's s p i r i t u a l t e a c h i n g s s t r o n g l y emphasized c e l i b a c y , the apparent h y p o c r i s y r a t h e r than the apparent p r o m i s c u i t y i s what seemed most o b j e c t i o n a b l e i n the t r a n s p e r s o n a l community (Anthony, Ecker, and Wilber, 1987). C d e s c r i b e d h i s r e a c t i o n t o h e a r i n g the news of Muktananda's p r o m i s c u i t y t h i s way, " I t ' s l i k e a major 107 major shock - l i k e t a k i n g , l i k e you know c u t t i n g t o t h e ver y core of your idealism...deep down i n s i d e i t was l i k e SANTA CLAUSE DOESN'T EXIST!...the major c o r n e r s t o n e of my e n t i r e s p i r i t u a l s t r u c t u r e was b e i n g j u s t p u l l e d out from beneath me." C t r i e d t o r a t i o n a l i z e h i s behavior, s a y i n g h i s guru was beyond good and bad, or i t ' s t a n t r a yoga, or h i s guru was i n v o l v e d i n a c t i v i t y f o r reasons we are not capable of unders t a n d i n g . To C, however, these were empty r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n s . He c o u l d no longer "deny the f a c t t h a t the emperor had no c l o t h e s " but t h i s was not an easy i s s u e f o r C t o r e s o l v e f o r "to be i n Muktananda's presence,was e x t r a o r d i n a r y , the man exuded an e x t r a o r d i n a r y peace, i t was a profound experience...and y e t - he was i n v o l v e d i n t h i s a c t i v i t y . That was the paradox t o be r e s o l v e d . " The r e s u l t of h e a r i n g these a l l e g a t i o n s about h i s guru was t h a t C found t h a t a major c o r n e r s t o n e of h i s e n t i r e s p i r i t u a l s t r u c t u r e was p u l l e d out from beneath him, l e a v i n g him i n C's words " f l o a t i n g i n out e r space." W i l b e r (1987) wrote t h a t i n t h i s type of s i t u a t i o n i n which the guru's human s i d e i s exposed, "The devotee then e i t h e r leaves because the guru can no long e r support the devotee's n a r c i s s i s t i c glamor or spends h i s time t r y i n g t o r a t i o n a l i z e the guru's 108 a c t i o n s " (p.258). C t r i e d t o j u s t i f y h i s guru's a c t i o n s but e v e n t u a l l y decided t o leave the Siddha Yoga o r g a n i z a t i o n . Goleman (1985) observed t h a t t o a v o i d a n x i e t y we c l o s e o f f c r u c i a l p o r t i o n s of awareness c r e a t i n g b l i n d s p o t s t h a t apply t o both s e l f - d e c e p t i o n s and shared i l l u s i o n s . The cure f o r b l i n d spots i s s e e i n g t h i n g s e x a c t l y as they are which means a comprehension t h a t i s u n d i s t o r t e d by the d e f e n s i v e urge t o a v o i d a n x i e t y and becoming aware of "zones of i n f o r m a t i o n we might be b e t t e r o f f knowing, even i f t h a t knowledge b r i n g s some p a i n " (p.243). C with the d i s c l o s u r e of h i s guru's s e x u a l p r o m i s c u i t y and h y p o c r i s y , l o s t h i s c o n c e p t i o n t h a t he had the " p e r f e c t " guru, and had t o d e a l w i t h the p a i n of se e i n g the "humanness" of h i s own guru. KUNDALINI AWAKENING In i n v e s t i g a t i n g the k u n d a l i n i e x p e r i e n c e through a s e r i e s of cases drawn from d i v e r s e c u l t u r e s and s p i r i t u a l t r a d i t i o n s , S a n n e l l a (1987) d e s c r i b e d the unusualness of the k u n d a l i n i experience as be i n g " o u t s i d e the c a t e g o r i e s of 'normal' and ' p s y c h o t i c ' " (p.10). K r i s h n a (1973) argued t h a t the k u n d a l i n i awakening experience i s a t r a n s f o r m a t i v e p r o c e s s i n 109 which, "A new c e n t e r - p r e s e n t l y dormant i n the average man and woman - has t o be a c t i v a t e d and a more powerful stream of p s y c h i c energy must r i s e i n t o the head from the base of the spine t o enable human con s c i o u s n e s s t o t r a n s c e n d the normal l i m i t s " (p.15). The awakening of k u n d a l i n i , however, can be a v e r y d i s t u r b i n g experience as overpowering sources of energy are b eing opened up as evidenced by t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of a k u n d a l i n i awakening (Sannella, 1987, p.7): In a darkened room a man s i t s alone. H i s body i s swept by muscle spasms. I n d e s c r i b a b l e s e n s a t i o n s and sharp p a i n s run from h i s f e e t up h i s l e g s and over h i s back and neck. H i s s k u l l f e e l s as i f i t i s about t o b u r s t . I n s i d e h i s head he hears r o a r i n g sounds and h i g h - p i t c h e d w h i s t l i n g . H i s hands burn. He f e e l s h i s body t e a r i n g w i t h i n . Then suddenly he laughs and i s overcome w i t h b l i s s . The r e c o g n i t i o n of k u n d a l i n i symptoms i s important as S a n n e l l a (1987) observed t h a t the outcome of a k u n d a l i n i awakening when handled a p p r o p r i a t e l y was g e n e r a l l y p o s i t i v e and c r e a t i v e but i n some cases a s c h i z o p h r e n i c - l i k e c o n d i t i o n can r e s u l t i f the person r e c e i v e d n e g a t i v e feedback from others or i s r e s i s t a n t t o i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s p r o v i d e d . 110 Greenwood (1990) i n her e x t e n s i v e a n a l y s i s of t h e k u n d a l i n i experience d i v i d e d c o n d i t i o n s observed d u r i n g k u n d a l i n i awakening i n t o seven c a t e g o r i e s (pp.29-30): 1. P r a n i c a c t i v i t y or k r i v a s : i n t e n s e i n v o l u n t a r y body movements, shaking, v i b r a t i o n s , j e r k i n g , and the s e n s a t i o n of e l e c t r i c i t y , t i n g l i n g , and rushes of energy f l o o d i n g the body. 2. P h y s i o l o g i c a l problems: these may i n c l u d e the a c t i v a t i o n of l a t e n t i l l n e s s or pseudo i l l n e s s , apparent h e a r t problems, g a s t r o i n t e s t i n a l d i s o r d e r s , nervous problems, e a t i n g d i s o r d e r s , and p a i n s o c c u r r i n g i n v a r i o u s p a r t s of the body, e s p e c i a l l y along the spine and i n the head and othe r d i f f i c u l t i e s t h a t u s u a l l y prove d i f f i c u l t t o diagnose and t r e a t . 3. Yogic phenomena: the body may i n v o l u n t a r i l y perform y o g i c postures (asanas) or hand movements (madras) t h a t the s u b j e c t has never b e f o r e seen, and the psyche may produce symbolic images or the mind produce chants, S a n s k r i t words, tones and a v a r i e t y of s p e c i f i c sounds commonly r e c o r d e d i n the y o g i c t r a d i t i o n . 4. P s y c h o l o g i c a l and emotional upheavals: t h e r e can be an i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n of any un r e s o l v e d p s y c h o l o g i c a l tendencies and i s s u e s , f e a r o f death or i n s a n i t y , mood swings, and overwhelming waves of a n x i e t y , anger, g u i l t or d e p r e s s i o n as w e l l as i n t e n s e compassion, u n c o n d i t i o n a l l o v e , and heightened s e n s i t i v i t y t o the moods of o t h e r s . 5. E x t r a s e n s o r y experiences: these may i n c l u d e v i s u a l i n p u t ( l i g h t s , symbols, images of e n t i t i e s , the r e v i e w i n g of what appears t o be other l i v e s , and v i s i o n s ) or a u d i t o r y i n p u t (hearing a v o i c e , music or phrase) or o l f a c t o r y (perhaps s m e l l i n g sandalwood, perfume or i n c e n s e ) . 6. P a r a p s y c h o l o g i c a l experiences: p s y c h i c awareness, unusual s y n c h r o n i c i t i e s , h e a l i n g a b i l i t i e s , and p s y c h o k i n e s i s are the most commonly r e p o r t e d o c c u l t phenomena. 7. Samadhi or s a t o r i e xperiences: a b s o r p t i o n of consciousness i n t o m y s t i c a l s t a t e s of u n i t y , peace, l i g h t or energy; l e s s i n t e n s i v e t r a n c e s t a t e s ; t r a n q u i l i t y , joy, and overwhelming waves of b l i s s o c c u r r i n g d u r i n g or a f t e r m e d i t a t i o n or spontaneously a t other times. S a n n e l l a (1987) gave the case h i s t o r y of a male p s y c h i a t r i s t who had h i s f i r s t k u n d a l i n i awakening exp e r i e n c e when he went t o a weekend a t Swami Muktananda's ashram i n Oakland, C a l i f o r n i a (p.80). Upon being touched by the Swami, he went i n t o a 112 deep m e d i t a t i o n . W i t h i n ten minutes, h i s mouth a u t o m a t i c a l l y opened widely, and h i s tongue pr o t r u d e d . A f t e r a few minutes, he e x p e r i e n c e d a b l i s s f u l calm and many inn e r v i s i o n s , i n which Swami Muktananda appeared t o him and h e l p e d him e x p e r i e n c e a f u s i o n with the guru. A few minutes l a t e r , he saw the i n t e r i o r of h i s abdomen, c h e s t , and t h r o a t l i g h t up with a golden energy. Then h i s lower back began t o ache s e v e r e l y . At the onset of the p a i n , a white l i g h t i n h i s head became more and more i n t e n s e . The back p a i n d i s a p p e a r e d toward the end of the m e d i t a t i o n and d i d not r e t u r n . The c o - r e s e a r c h e r , C, a l s o experienced h i s k u n d a l i n i awakening experience a t Swami Muktananda*s ashram i n Oakland, when one of Muktananda'a s e n i o r monks touched C l i g h t l y on the head wi t h peacock f e a t h e r s and w i t h i n a couple of minutes C became aware of a v e r y sharp p a i n a t the base of h i s s p i n e . C d e s c r i b e d what f o l l o w e d t h i s way: I broke spontaneously i n t o deep b r e a t h i n g - t h a t type of b r e a t h i n g s t a r t e d t o take p l a c e spontaneously with no conscious c o n t r o l of my body. I t was l i k e i n v o l u n t a r y b o d i l y movements were s t a r t i n g t o happen. There was very s t r o n g 113 b r e a t h i n g l i k e t h a t and t h a t went on f o r q u i t e a w h i l e . At the same time t h e r e was t h i s sharp p a i n a t the base of my s p i n e . I was w i t h eyes c l o s e d now, and I was j u s t k i n d of absorbed i n t h i s e x p e r i e n c e of the b r e a t h i n g and i t was v e r y powerful and i t j u s t k i n d of absorbed me. And I s t a r t e d t o have other movements i n my body l i k e swaying, and movements of s t r e t c h i n g the neck...and f o r the next 45 minutes a v a r i e t y of m e d i t a t i o n phenomenon I experienced. Strong shaking and s h i v e r i n g - I broke out i n a sweat -l i k e r e a l l y r e a l l y broke out i n a sweat. I s t a r t e d t o experience a f o r c i n g of a s e n s a t i o n up the s p i n e - l i k e up the back...the middle of my back t h e r e , and r i g h t up through my neck and i n t o the head area. I experienced v i s u a l l i g h t s i n s i d e . I experienced a d i f f u s e d s o r t of white l i g h t i n s i d e of my head. L a t e r i n Muktananda*s ashram i n I n d i a , C e x p e r i e n c e d more forms of k u n d a l i n i awakening phenomenon i n c l u d i n g being thrown i n t o automatic body p o s t u r e s . C d e s c r i b e d i t t h i s way: I would s i t i n m e d i t a t i o n , we might s t a r t by d o i n g some ch a n t i n g mantra. I would perhaps s t a r t t o e x p e r i e n c e r e g u l a r l y a f t e r a few minutes t h i s 114 e x p e r i e n c e of p r a t j a - h a r a or a sense of withdrawal or going i n a u t o m a t i c a l l y ; i n the sense of the mind going w i t h i n : and I s t a r t e d t o hear them r e g u l a r l y ; and then f a i r l y s h o r t l y , a f t e r w a r d s . I -would get experiences l i k e automatic b r e a t h i n g and then I would o f t e n experience a g r e a t power i n my body a sense of energy s u r g i n g through my body and I would be taken out of c r o s s - l e g g e d m e d i t a t i o n p o s t u r e , and almost l i k e thrown very p o w e r f u l l y i n t o these d i f f e r e n t asanas, or yoga p o s t u r e s ; and t h a t might go on f o r 15 or 20 minutes w i t h g r e a t i n t e n s i t y . And the types of s t r e t c h i n g t h a t would happen would be very powerful s t r e t c h i n g much more s t r e t c h i n g than i f I was c o n s c i o u s l y p e r f o r m i n g these p o s t u r e s and t h a t was a wondrous e x p e r i e n c e t o see t h i s k i n d of t h i n g happening - i t wasn't under my conscious c o n t r o l , i t was n e a r l y l i k e my body was l i k e on automatic p i l o t . C's a b i l i t y t o handle h i s k u n d a l i n i awakening e x p e r i e n c e s was enhanced by the context i n which he e x p e r i e n c e d them. H i s i n i t i a l experience took p l a c e a t a " K u n d a l i n i Awakening" weekend at Muktananda's ashram i n Oakland so the experience was encouraged and t r e a t e d w i t h r e c e p t i v i t y by those around him. C a c t e d w i t h g r e a t excitement and f e l t i t was a c o r r o b o r a t i o n of h i s 115 b e l i e f system a t the time. When he l a t e r began t o be thrown i n t o automatic postures while m e d i t a t i n g t h i s was r e c e i v e d with r e c e p t i v i t y and encouragement by people a t the ashram. The guru, Muktananda, had w r i t t e n about s i m i l a r types of experiences i n h i s autobiography, and C a l s o had read a book on k u n d a l i n i awakening experiences which d e s c r i b e d these types of k u n d a l i n i awakening experiences i n g r e a t d e t a i l . So C r e a c t e d w i t h a c e l e b r a t i n g a t t i t u d e t o h i s k u n d a l i n i e x p e r i e n c e . In f a c t , a c l o s e f r i e n d of h i s , B, i n responding t o the q u e s t i o n n a i r e , wrote t h a t C's k u n d a l i n i awakening experience was the c e n t r a l e x p e r i e n c e of h i s whole s p i r i t u a l journey. Siddha Yoga as w e l l as some other s c h o o l s of thought h o l d t h a t the s p i r i t u a l l i f e i s dependent on the k u n d a l i n i power. These s c h o o l s argue t h a t the l a t e n t energy of the body-mind must be r a i s e d up t h e s p i n e t o the crown of the head be f o r e a r e a l s p i r i t u a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n can occur. T h i s view assumes t h a t k u n d a l i n i i s a fundamental e v o l u t i o n a r y mechanism u n d e r l y i n g a l l p s y c h i c and s p i r i t u a l phenomenon (Kri s h n a , 1971). Some people argue, however, t h a t t h i s emphasis on k u n d a l i n i d i s t o r t s s p i r i t u a l i t y as i t makes s p i r i t u a l i t y o n l y a matter of the e v o l v i n g nervous system. Da Love-Ananda (1980) argued t h a t most 116 s p i r i t u a l accomplishments are experiences generated w i t h i n the body-mind and are not t h e r e f o r e t r u l y s e l f -t r a n s c e n d i n g . "Our o b l i g a t i o n i s t o awaken beyond our s e l v e s , beyond the phenomena of body and mind i n t o t h a t i n which body and mind i n h e r e " (p.18). The awakening of the k u n d a l i n i and becoming absorbed i n the b r a i n c o r e i s not the u l t i m a t e answer as the r e a l problem i s the avoidance of r e l a t i o n s h i p s , "You have been c o n t r a c t e d upon y o u r s e l f with emotional f o r c e , and no amount of t h i n k i n g , c o n s i d e r i n g , e x p e r i e n c i n g , d e s i r i n g , e x p l o i t i n g , and mani p u l a t i n g y o u r s e l f i n the world can a f f e c t t h a t c o n t r a c t i n g . No awakening of the k u n d a l i n i touches i t " (p.20). S a n n e l l a (1987) observed t h a t "No amount of m y s t i c a l f i r e w o r k s i n the synopsis of the b r a i n can h e l p overcome the crunch a t the h e a r t . Once the v i s i o n or e x p e r i e n c e of b l i s s i s over, the person simply r e t u r n s t o h i s or her s t a t e of emotional d i s t r e s s " (p.121). The r e a l problem i s t h a t most people are " c o l l a p s e d a t the h e a r t . " One must be a b l e t o go beyond the w a l l of the ego" and reach out and embrace l i f e w i t h an "open h e a r t . " Without t h i s open embracement of l i f e " p s y c h i c or m y s t i c a l e x p e r i e n c e s are l i t t l e d i f f e r e n t from orgasms" (p.121). C, alth o u g h he found h i s k u n d a l i n i awakening e x p e r i e n c e s 117 e x c i t i n g , found i t was those moments i n which he opened a t the h e a r t and experienced e c s t a s y , l o v e , j o y and peace and saw our t r u e nature as "fundamentally e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y d i v i n e and b e a u t i f u l " as the most important s p i r i t u a l experiences f o r him. 118 CHAPTER VI: DISCUSSION T h i s case study has focussed on the twelve year journey of the co - r e s e a r c h e r on the path of m e d i t a t i o n . An attempt has been made t o i l l u m i n a t e the major problems t h a t the co- r e s e a r c h e r f a c e d i n h i s twelve y e a r commitment t o the long term process of m e d i t a t i o n . In t h i s chapter, f i r s t l y the problems t h a t the m e d i t a t o r encountered w i l l be summarized. Secondly, the l i m i t a t i o n s of t h i s study w i l l be c o n s i d e r e d . T h i r d l y , the i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r m e d i t a t i o n of t h i s case study w i l l be d i s c u s s e d . F o u r t h l y and f i n a l l y , t he i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h w i l l be c o n s i d e r e d . SUMMARY OF FINDINGS T h i s case study has shown t h a t when the g o a l o f m e d i t a t i o n i s "enlightenment" t h i s l e a v e s the m e d i t a t o r s u s c e p t i b l e t o many p o t e n t i a l problems. Enlightenment i n the eyes of a meditator can be a very i d e a l i z e d s t a t e . The co - r e s e a r c h e r C p e r c e i v e d enlightenment as a magical s t a t e of e c s t a s y and l o v e . C h e l d p r e c i o u s l y t o h i s b l i s s f u l experiences which were s i g n s o f coming c l o s e r t o enlightenment and took a l o t of p r i d e i n these e x p e r i e n c e s . He developed a s e l f - i m a g e of b e i n g 119 a g r e a t y o g i . I t took C years t o r e a l i z e j u s t how s p i r i t u a l l y m a t e r i a l i s t i c he had become and how he was l i v i n g a f a n t a s y of h i s own ego. Rather than g o i n g beyond h i s own ego, C got caught i n a p a t t e r n of a f f i r m i n g h i s own ego. In t h i s case study, the danger of s i n g l e - h a n d e d l y p u r s u i n g m e d i t a t i o n a t the expense of o t h e r a s p e c t s of s e l f has a l s o been shown. As he became obsessed w i t h becoming e n l i g h t e n e d , C dropped h i s i n t e r e s t i n human r e l a t i o n s h i p s . T h i s l e f t him i n s e n s i t i v e and withdrawn from the normal demands and i n t r i c a c i e s of r e l a t i o n s h i p s . L a t e r , t h i s developed t o a f u l l - s c a l e a v e r s i o n t o women as he attempted t o enhance h i s s p i r i t u a l development by becoming c e l i b a t e . I t was o n l y much l a t e r when C soft e n e d h i s p o s i t i o n t h a t he r e a l i z e d how much op p o r t u n i t y , growth, and v a l u e t h e r e were i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s with f a m i l y and f r i e n d s who were not i n the same s p i r i t u a l path as him. He a l s o r e a l i z e d t h a t f o r a long time he avoided i n t i m a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p s and now he has emerged t o see h i s i n t i m a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p as a key c e n t r a l component of h i s l i f e . C made the switch from s e e i n g m e d i t a t i o n as the e x c l u s i v e path f o r s e l f - t r a n s f o r m a t i o n t o s e e i n g m e d i t a t i o n as an important aspect which must be i n t e g r a t e d i n t o a whole person. 120 T h i s case study r e s e a r c h has h i g h l i g h t e d the problems t h a t the c o - r e s e a r c h e r C had i n h i s d i s c i p l e -guru r e l a t i o n s h i p . While C r e c o g n i z e d a c o n t r a d i c t i o n between the s e l f - r e l i a n c e t e a c h i n g s of h i s guru and the d e v o t i o n a l p e r s o n a l i t y worship of h i s guru by devotees of Siddha Yoga, he d i d not see the danger i n d e v e l o p i n g a s p i r i t u a l b e l i e f system based on the p e r f e c t i o n of h i s guru. Seeing h i s guru as " p e r f e c t " and a "Master of the u n i v e r s e " b l i n d e d him t o the obvious human c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of h i s guru. When the news about h i s guru's p r o m i s c u i t y and h y p o c r i s y c o u l d no l o n g e r be avoided, t h i s l e f t C devastated. Seeing h i s guru as " p e r f e c t " had g i v e n C a f e e l i n g of s e c u r i t y t h a t he i s on the "chosen path" and h i s enlightenment i s guaranteed. Once C had abandoned the Siddha Yoga path, he was a b l e t o see the b l i n d spots i n h i s d e v o t i o n a l s p i r i t u a l p r a c t i c e much e a s i e r . The c o - r e s e a r c h e r had some very powerful and i n t e n s e " k u n d a l i n i awakening" phenomenon. Because t h i s k u n d a l i n i awakening was experienced by the co-r e s e a r c h e r C i n an environment which a c t i v e l y promoted k u n d a l i n i awakening, C was very w e l l supported and encouraged d u r i n g t h i s experience. The i n t e n s i t y of the e x p e r i e n c e s t h a t C had, however, p o i n t s out the danger of t h i s phenomenon i f i t i s experienced i n an 121 environment which p e r c e i v e s the phenomenon w i t h s c e p t i c i s m and sees i t being p o t e n t i a l l y p a t h o l o g i c a l . C's k u n d a l i n i awakening experience was an important a s p e c t of h i s m e d i t a t i o n experience but i t remains t o be d e c i d e d i f k u n d a l i n i awakening i s the c e n t r a l e x p e r i e n c e of m e d i t a t i o n or whether i t should be looked upon as a by-product of e v o l v i n g understanding and i n s i g h t . LIMITATIONS OF STUDY T h i s s i n g l e case study r e s e a r c h of the long term p r o c e s s of m e d i t a t i o n can not be g e n e r a l i z e d t o a p o l u l a t i o n . The examination of a s i n g l e case a l l o w s some of the p o t e n t i a l problems of being i n v o l v e d i n the long term process of m e d i t a t i o n t o be i l l u m i n a t e d . The bounded system of i n t e r e s t i s the c o - r e s e a r c h e r ' s e x p e r i e n c e of the long term process of m e d i t a t i o n . No attempt has been made t o t r a c e the c o - r e s e a r c h e r ' s e a r l y c h i l d h o o d experiences t o t r y t o understand what i n f l u e n c e these experiences had on h i s d e c i s i o n a t seventeen t o pursue m e d i t a t i o n . A d d i t i o n a l l y , i t i s acknowledged t h a t the experience of m e d i t a t i o n w i l l be g r e a t l y i n f l u e n c e d by what type of o r g a n i z a t i o n , i f any, a me d i t a t o r becomes i n v o l v e d i n . 122 IMPLICATIONS FOR MEDITATION The c o - r e s e a r c h e r , C, i n t h i s case study e x p e r i e n c e d some d i f f i c u l t problems on h i s twelve year path of being committed t o m e d i t a t i o n . The major problems of becoming e n l i g h t e n e d , r e l a t i o n s h i p , b l i n d s p o t s i n s p i r i t u a l p r a c t i c e , and k u n d a l i n i awakening were d i s c u s s e d i n Chapter V. There would seem t o be some important d i f f e r e n c e s amongst the t h e o r i e s o f the lo n g term process of m e d i t a t i o n such as those d i s c u s s e d i n Chapter I I as t o t h e i r v u l n e r a b i l i t y t o the ty p e s of problems d i s c u s s e d i n Chapter V. Most paths of m e d i t a t i o n appear s u s c e p t i b l e t o the s p i r i t u a l m a t e r i a l i s m and e g o - i n f l a t i o n of the n a i v e m e d i t a t o r . When a beginning meditator has a peak exp e r i e n c e or k u n d a l i n i awakening such as the one t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r C had, i t i s d i f f i c u l t i n i t i a l l y t o b r i n g the e x c i t e d meditator back down t o e a r t h . Over t h e lo n g term, however, t h e r e appears t o be d i f f e r e n c e s i n how the d i f f e r e n t m e d i t a t i o n paths c o n f r o n t the problem of e g o - i n f l a t i o n and s p i r i t u a l m a t e r i a l i s m . Paths such as P a t a n j a l i ' s Yoga Sutras or the I n s i g h t Buddhist t r a d i t i o n which focus on p r o g r e s s i v e m y s t i c a l e x p e r i e n c e would appear t o be s u s c e p t i b l e t o accumulation of s p i r i t u a l experience. The co-123 r e s e a r c h e r , C, was very proud of h i s sense withdrawal e x p e r i e n c e , r e f e r r e d t o as " p r a t j a h a r a " i n the Yoga S u t r a s . He a l s o was very attached t o h i s b l i s s f u l e c s t a s y e x p e r i e n c e s a t h i s Vipassana r e t r e a t s . A d d i t i o n a l l y , the problem of e g o - i n f l a t i o n seems t o be heightened i n p e r s o n a l i t y worship o r g a n i z a t i o n s l i k e Siddha Yoga i n which the d i s c i p l e s s t r i v e t o become d i v i n e and omnipotent l i k e t h e i r guru and i n the p r o c e s s develop n a r c i s s i s t i c f a n t a s i e s as t o t h e i r s p i r i t u a l grandeur. I t would appear the more a path emphasizes awareness of a l l f a c t s , the l e s s s u s c e p t i b l e a m e d i t a t o r w i l l be t o e g o - i n f l a t i o n and the o b s e s s i v e d e s i r e t o become e n l i g h t e n e d . While Zen and I n s i g h t Buddhist m e d i t a t i o n emphasize mindfulness and i n s i g h t i n t o a l l mental phenomena, i t i s the " c h o i c e l e s s awareness" path of K r i s h n a m u r t i where the problem of t r y i n g t o become e n l i g h t e n e d i s addressed head on. K r i s h n a m u r t i r e c o g n i z e d one of the c e n t r a l problems of m e d i t a t i o n as being the meditator's d e s i r e t o a v o i d what i s i n t r y i n g t o reach out f o r the i d e a l i z e d , e n l i g h t e n e d s t a t e . A meditator can drop the o b s e s s i v e d e s i r e t o become e n l i g h t e n e d once the m e d i t a t o r sees he or she i s caught i n a process of s e l f - e x p a n s i o n . A c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of most s p i r i t u a l paths of 124 m e d i t a t i o n i s t h a t each path or group f e e l s t h a t i t s path i s the e x c l u s i v e path t o t r u t h and enlightenment. The c o - r e s e a r c h e r , C, showed how involvement i n a m e d i t a t i o n group which c l a i m s t o have the s h o r t c u t t o t r u t h and enlightenment g r e a t l y i n f l a t e s t he d i s c i p l e . C, as he dropped h i s e x c l u s i v e attachment t o Siddha Yoga, began t o see the l e g i t i m a c y and problems of many d i f f e r e n t m e d i t a t i o n paths. T h i s emerging openness helpe d overcome h i s s p i r i t u a l p r i d e . Thus, i t would appear the more a meditator can a p p r e c i a t e d i f f e r e n t m e d i t a t i o n p e r s p e c t i v e s such as Yoga, Zen, and K r i s h n a m u r t i , the l e s s v u l n e r a b l e a me d i t a t o r w i l l be t o the development of s p i r i t u a l p r i d e f o r be i n g one of the "chosen few." The focus on the e x c l u s i v e n e s s and s p e c i a l n e s s o f the group not onl y leaves a meditator s u s c e p t i b l e t o the problem of s p i r i t u a l m a t e r i a l i s m but may a l s o l e a v e a m e d i t a t o r v u l n e r a b l e t o the problem of human r e l a t i o n s h i p caused by the i s o l a t i o n , withdrawal, and separateness of the m e d i t a t i o n path. The co-r e s e a r c h e r , C, spent a prolonged p e r i o d of time m e d i t a t i n g a t a Siddha Yoga ashram. T h i s i s o l a t i o n removed C from the normal r e l a t i o n s h i p s of everyday l i f e and l e f t areas of h i s human development such as in t i m a c y and f r i e n d s h i p untouched. T h i s would seem t o 125 i n d i c a t e t h a t m e d i t a t i o n paths such as c e r t a i n t y pes of Yoga and Zen which i n v o l v e long p e r i o d s of r e t r e a t from the everyday l i f e of r e l a t i o n s h i p s and c a r e e r s a re p a r t i c u l a r l y s u s c e p t i b l e t o the problem of i s o l a t i o n and withdrawal. In a d d i t i o n , the m e d i t a t i o n t r a d i t i o n s which emphasize c e l i b a c y or brahmacharya would appear t o be s u s c e p t i b l e t o the problem of the meditator d e v e l o p i n g a d i s t u r b e d or re p r e s s e d s e x u a l i t y . The c o - r e s e a r c h e r , C, i n t r y i n g t o f o l l o w the Siddha Yoga t r a d i t i o n of c e l i b a c y , developed an a v e r s i o n towards women. I t would appear those t r a d i t i o n s which emphasize p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a l l aspects of l i f e i n c l u d i n g i n t i m a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p s , w i l l not be as s u s c e p t i b l e t o thes e problems of s e x u a l i t y . I t would a l s o appear t h a t male dominated t r a d i t i o n s f u l l of d e n i g r a t i n g s t o r i e s about the a b i l i t y of women t o b r i n g males down t o s e n s u a l d e l u s i o n need t o be questioned i n t e n s e l y f o r t h e i r s e x u a l d i s c r i m i n a t i o n . Zen, w i t h i t s s t o r y of The Ten B u l l s of Zen, aims a t e v e n t u a l immanence i n the day t o day world. K r i s h n a m u r t i r e c o g n i z e d the importance of r e l a t i o n s h i p as a way of working on o n e s e l f . The c o - r e s e a r c h e r , C, i n s e e i n g the everyday l i f e of ca r e e r , f r i e n d s h i p s , and in t i m a c y as a f e r t i l e ground f o r s p i r i t u a l growth, 126 shows t h a t an i n t e n s e commitment t o m e d i t a t i o n does not n e c e s s a r i l y have t o mean a meditator becomes i s o l a t e d and withdrawn from human r e l a t i o n s h i p s . H o p e f u l l y , most m e d i t a t o r s w i l l not need the years of i s o l a t i o n and withdrawal t h a t C d i d t o come t o t h i s r e a l i z a t i o n . C's journey on the Siddha Yoga path which emphasizes suspension of a n x i e t i e s and doubts i n s u r r e n d e r i n g t o the guru, shows t h a t d e v o t i o n a l guru-d i s c i p l e paths may be prone t o the development of b l i n d s p o t s i n s p i r i t u a l p r a c t i c e . The p o t e n t i a l f o r b l i n d s p o t s i s g r e a t l y i n c r e a s e d when a m e d i t a t i v e path i n v o l v e s an i n t e n s e group t h i n k process i n which the i n d i v i d u a l m e d i t a t o r ' s c r i t i c a l a n a l y t i c a l p r o c e s s e s are asked t o be shut down i n the process of s u r r e n d e r i n g . K r i s h n a m u r t i , i n f o c u s s i n g on the " c h o i c e l e s s awareness" of a l l f a c t s i n c l u d i n g the i n t r i c a c i e s of the g u r u - d i s c i p l e r e l a t i o n s h i p , has an approach which b r i n g s more of the p o t e n t i a l b l i n d spots of the guru-d i s c i p l e r e l a t i o n s h i p out i n the open. I t c o u l d be argued, however, t h a t Krishnamurti h i m s e l f was b l i n d t o the f a c t t h a t he served a guru f u n c t i o n t o thousands of people through h i s s i x t y years of g i v i n g p u b l i c t a l k s . In d e a l i n g with the problem of k u n d a l i n i awakening e x p e r i e n c e s such as the one the c o - r e s e a r c h e r C had, 127 Siddha Yoga proved t o be very h e l p f u l and s u p p o r t i v e . I t would appear t h a t Siddha Yoga and other forms o f Yoga which r e c o g n i z e the chakras and k u n d a l i n i energy are adequately prepared t o d e a l w i t h k u n d a l i n i awakening phenomenon. In f a c t , the p r e l i m i n a r y p r e p a r a t i o n of the f i r s t f i v e steps of P a t a n j a l i ' s Yoga Su t r a s may h e l p g i v e the meditator the s t a b i l i t y and d i s c i p l i n e t o more smoothly i n t e g r a t e k u n d a l i n i awakening phenomenon. Other paths such as Zen and K r i s h n a m u r t i ' s approach do not emphasize the importance of k u n d a l i n i awakening. I t needs t o be acknowledged t h a t a l t h o u g h k u n d a l i n i awakening i s not a c t u a l l y s t r i v e d f o r on these paths, the occurrence of k u n d a l i n i awakening phenomenon s t i l l happens. The c o - r e s e a r c h e r of t h i s study, C, went t o a number of Vipassana m e d i t a t i o n workshops a t which he n o t i c e d k u n d a l i n i awakening phenomenon i n a number of m e d i t a t o r s . These paths, a l t h o u g h they do not a c t i v e l y promote k u n d a l i n i awakening experiences, seem aware of k u n d a l i n i awakening phenomenon. The danger of k u n d a l i n i awakening phenomenon appears t o be i n t e n s i f i e d when i n d i v i d u a l s are m e d i t a t i n g alone or with other i n e x p e r i e n c e d m e d i t a t o r s . Both S a n n e l l a (1987) and Greenwood (1990) 128 i n t h e i r s t u d i e s of k u n d a l i n i awakening phenomenon s t u d i e d numerous cases of i n d i v i d u a l s who e x p e r i e n c e d k u n d a l i n i awakening pheonomenon w h i l e m e d i t a t i n g a l o n e . The danger here l i e s i n a l a c k of s u p p o r t i v e c o n t e x t f o r the i n d i v i d u a l e x p e r i e n c i n g a k u n d a l i n i awakening. I f p s y c h i a t r i c p r o f e s s i o n a l h e l p i s sought, h o p e f u l l y the p r o f e s s i o n a l would be f a m i l i a r w i t h k u n d a l i n i awakening phenomenon as e x p l a i n e d by S a n n e l l a (1987) and Greenwood (1990). IMPLICATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH T h i s r e s e a r c h has h i g h l i g h t e d some important problem areas i n the long term process of m e d i t a t i o n such as t r y i n g t o become en l i g h t e n e d , i s o l a t i o n and withdrawal from r e l a t i o n s h i p s , b l i n d spots i n s p i r i t u a l p r a c t i c e , and k u n d a l i n i phenomenon. Much more case study r e s e a r c h needs to be done on i n d i v i d u a l s l i v i n g i n 20th c e n t u r y Western s o c i e t y who have s u c c e s s f u l l y i n t e g r a t e d m e d i t a t i o n i n t o t h e i r l i v e s so t h a t the problems and i s s u e s t h a t these i n d i v i d u a l s have f a c e d a r e i l l u m i n a t e d . The f o l l o w i n g areas are p o s s i b l e f o r i n q u i r y . One might: 1) conduct other case s t u d i e s t o c o r r e c t , r e f i n e , and e l a b o r a t e on the problems of the long term p r o c e s s 129 of m e d i t a t i o n i n v o l v i n g a v a r i e t y of d i f f e r e n t paths of m e d i t a t i o n . 2) i n v e s t i g a t e the common p a t t e r n of problems a c r o s s a number of d i f f e r e n t cases. 3) i n v e s t i g a t e problems s p e c i f i c t o a type o f m e d i t a t i o n . 4) i n v e s t i g a t e the u l t i m a t e g o a l of m e d i t a t i o n through case study r e s e a r c h of " e n l i g h t e n e d " i n d i v i d u a l s . 5) conduct case study r e s e a r c h on the b e n e f i t s of the long term process of m e d i t a t i o n . 6) i n v e s t i g a t e the e f f e c t s of v a r i a t i o n i n k u n d a l i n i awakening experiences on the long term p r o c e s s of m e d i t a t i o n . 7) examine i n more d e t a i l the problem of i s o l a t i n g and withdrawing from r e l a t i o n s h i p d u r i n g the l o n g term p r o c e s s of m e d i t a t i o n . 8) examine i n more d e t a i l the e f f e c t of g u r u - d i s c i p l e r e l a t i o n s h i p s on the long term p r o c e s s o f m e d i t a t i o n . 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Case study r e s e a r c h : Design and  methods. B e v e r l y H i l l s , CA: Sage. 140 APPENDIX I QUESTIONNAIRE What are the most s i g n i f i c a n t changes you have n o t i c e d i n C over the time t h a t he has been m e d i t a t i n g ? T h i s can i n c l u d e changes i n p e r s o n a l i t y , a t t i t u d e , r e l a t i n g t o people, or any other s i g n i f i c a n t changes t h a t you have observed. I t would be h e l p f u l i f you can g i v e c o n c r e t e examples t o make your p o i n t more v i v i d , g i v i n g examples of s i t u a t i o n s which t y p i f y t he changes i n C's stance over the l a s t twelve years t h a t he has been m e d i t a t i n g . REPLY FROM MOTHER When C f i r s t s t a r t e d t o meditate he was q u i t e removed from h i s f a m i l y e m o t i o n a l l y . He had had a s i g n i f i c a n t r e l i g i o u s experience which I t h i n k s t a r t e d him on the road t o m e d i t a t i o n and such an overwhelming one t h a t he seemed remote from the r e a l world. I t was o n l y a f t e r being back home f o r a p e r i o d o f time t h a t some of the i n i t i a l t r a n c e l i k e appearances di s a p p e a r e d . C has always been a deep t h i n k e r and I f e e l h i s 141 m e d i t a t i o n p r a c t i c e has helped keep him f o c u s s e d on i s s u e s he c o n s i d e r e d important. I don't t h i n k t h e r e i s any q u e s t i o n t h a t i t helped him i n areas o f c o n c e n t r a t i o n i n h i s u n i v e r s i t y s t u d i e s . S i n c e C has loosened some of h i s t i e s w i t h Siddha Yoga he has without q u e s t i o n been much e a s i e r t o r e l a t e t o and a much more comfortable person f o r h i s whole f a m i l y t o enjoy. For a long p e r i o d of time h i s keen sense of humour seemed t o disappear and I am d e l i g h t e d t o say i s now once again p r e s e n t . C i s a h i g h l y i n t e l l i g e n t person and he i s w e l l l o v e d and r e s p e c t e d by h i s whole f a m i l y . REPLY FROM SISTER In the l a s t twelve years s i n c e C s t a r t e d m e d i t a t i o n p r a c t i c e I've n o t i c e d many changes i n him. I n i t i a l l y he was q u i t e s e l f r i g h t e o u s about h i s s p i r i t u a l quest and t o t a l l y detached from a l l t h a t he had p r e v i o u s l y known and been i n v o l v e d i n . I t wasn't d i f f i c u l t t o f e e l unsupportive of h i s quest when so many profound and negative ( i n our ( h i s f a m i l y ' s ) eyes) changes o c c u r r e d . A b r o t h e r whom I had always d e a r l y l o v e d but always been a l i t t l e out of touch with, (due t o 142 age/maturity) was, i n my heart, almost b e t r a y i n g me -a t a p o i n t where we would have n a t u r a l l y s t a r t e d growing c l o s e r and g e t t i n g t o know one another b e t t e r (our l a t e teen y e a r s ) . I know t h i s wasn't C's i n t e n t a t a l l , but f o r s e v e r a l years i t was tough t o r e l a t e a t any l e v e l . But through the years, h i s s p i r i t u a l s e a r c h has he l p e d him t o grow i n t o one of the most l o v i n g , mellow, c a r i n g people I know. In the l a s t one h a l f dozen y e a r s C has been l i k e a bud or blossom coming i n t o bloom. The y e a r s of " f e r t i l i z i n g " h i s mind wi t h i n n e r r e f l e c t i o n and p e r s o n a l c o n f r o n t a t i o n have caused a wonderful product. C had l i t t l e t o share w i t h people o u t s i d e h i s s p i r i t u a l c i r c l e f o r many ye a r s but now r e l a t e s w e l l t o everyone. He seems t o have come down from h i s p o s i t i o n of judgement arid simply a c c e p t s ( T h i s I envy). He i s an i n d i v i d u a l t h a t has grown t o t r u l y c a r e about our p l a n e t and I t h i n k w i l l be one of the ones who makes a d i f f e r e n c e on t h i s e a r t h . I t h i n k h i s c u r r e n t s t a t e of mind can be a t t r i b u t e d t o h i s many ye a r s o f m e d i t a t i v e p r a c t i c e . He seems a t peace w i t h i n h i m s e l f . 143 REPLY FROM FRIEND When C asked me t o c o n t r i b u t e t o your study o f m e d i t a t i o n , I was very e n t h u s i a s t i c . I am a long time m e d i t a t o r myself and t h i n k everyone c o u l d b e n e f i t from m e d i t a t i o n . Not enough "mainstream' 1 people know enough about the b e n e f i t s of m e d i t a t i o n and s p i r i t u a l l i f e and I hoped, i n the moment, t h a t I c o u l d add a l i t t l e v a l u a b l e knowledge. However, having r e c e i v e d your " q u e s t i o n n a i r e " I r e a l i z e I r e a l l y can't t e l l you an y t h i n g about any one e l s e ' s m e d i t a t i o n , C i n c l u d e d . I " r e g i s t e r e d " him f o r h i s i n i t i a t i o n i n t e n s i v e i n Oakland twelve years ago and v i s u a l l y observed he had r e c e i v e d i n t e n s e k u n d a l i n i awakening a t t h i s two day r e t r e a t . He was 18. I d i d n ' t know him a t a l l b e f o r e then. I have know him i n Vancouver f o r t e n ye a r s and have l i v e d w i t h him i n v a r i o u s group s i t u a t i o n s , as w e l l as being f r i e n d s with him and h i s ex-wife f o r about f i v e y e a r s . But s i n c e I don't know what he was l i k e b e f o r e and s i n c e d u r i n g the years I have known him any changes may simply be a t t r i b u t e d t o normal human maturation, I j u s t can't say anything about him i n terms of m e d i t a t i o n . The problem a l s o l i e s i n the q u e s t i o n . In C's case as w e l l as most of the "meditators" I know i s t h a t 144 the changes i n our l i f e are as a r e s u l t of s h a k t i p a t -awakening of k u n d a l i n i ( l i t e r a l l y t r a n s l a t e d as descent of grave) and not m e d i t a t i o n per se - He now wants t o deny t h i s due t o a " f a l l i n g out" w i t h h i s o r i g i n a l path of Siddha Yoga, but we cannot say i f we are even a b l e t o meditate a t a l l without t h i s awakening s i n c e we are awakened. I f you know nothing of k u n d a l i n i and e s p e c i a l l y i f yours i s s t i l l dormant, you c a n ' t r e a l l y understand what I am s a y i n g . I t j u s t sounds l i k e s p i r i t u a l mumbo jumbo. The unfoldment of a person's l i f e and the changes i n them as a r e s u l t of s h a k t i p a t i s a study i n i t s e l f . I am e n c l o s i n g a brochure f o r a l e c t u r e by Joe Pearce which you may f i n d t r u l y b e n e f i c i a l i f you t r u l y want t o understand m e d i t a t i o n . APPENDIX I I LIFELINE GRAPH The c o - r e s e a r c h e r was asked t o draw a l i f e l i n e graph u s i n g the f o l l o w i n g i n s t r u c t i o n s : "Using the a t t a c h e d graph, draw a l i f e l i n e which d e p i c t s your e x p e r i e n c e s over the l a s t twelve years w h i l e m e d i t a t i n g . L a b e l the peaks, v a l l e y s , p l a t e a u s , o b s t a c l e s and breakthroughs." The c o - r e s e a r c h e r ' s handwritten response i s reproduced over the f o l l o w i n g two pages. 1 4 6 147 v -_9 ' CO-RESEARCHER LIFELINE (PART 2) 1 + f £4 ^ i ^ t e r H V1 s4 ^ U ^ " v 

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