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TOPIC: Gary Weber thread

Gary Weber thread 21 Aug 2013 15:14 #14172

Here it is, folks, a Gary Weber thread, which I am purposely posting as a general forum topic so that everyone can read it. My own perspective: I have tended to shy away from practices that claim to end thoughts, feelings, or other such aspects of humanness, yet I can't say I am the last word on anything. I have read his interaction with Kenneth very closely (I should look for that and get a link--stay tuned) and sided with Kenneth ("My guru can beat up your guru!"). I have also not read the book yet, but it's on my to-do list. I am starting this thread mainly to prompt others to chime in, like Mike, for example, who was particularly vocal in the break-out session with Gary.

I myself was nonplussed when he claimed that his attachment to his daughters was no different than to anyone or even anything else. Yet I also know that egoic identification with one's spouse or child is not a good thing.

Link to thread where link to Gary's discussion with Kenneth comes up: awakenetwork.org/forums/103-general-dhar...y-weber?limitstart=0
Last Edit: 21 Aug 2013 15:17 by Laurel Carrington. Reason: adding link
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Gary Weber thread 21 Aug 2013 16:16 #14173

A lot of what Gary Weber says seems a bit inconsistent to me but I see that he has a very awakened mind and I do not in any way think he is lying or making anything up. I sat next to him and had a lengthy conversation at lunch on Sunday and what I noticed most is how intelligent he is and how very normal and human he appears to be in person.
Last Edit: 21 Aug 2013 16:17 by Chris Marti.
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Gary Weber thread 21 Aug 2013 16:41 #14177

"I myself was nonplussed when he claimed that his attachment to his daughters was no different than to anyone or even anything else."

That, to me, actually seems consistent with most schools. If he has indeed attained to some high level of "enlightenment" then he would have compassion for all living beings equally. Not more for his family and less for others. Just my 2 cents.
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Gary Weber thread 21 Aug 2013 17:05 #14179

Did I hear my name mentioned? B)

Seriously, thank you Laurel for starting this discussion topic. I would have done it if you had not. So you saved me the labor, and I am always appreciative of that!

Gary Weber is what the Hindus call a jnani, which is a Sanskrit term for one who is Self-Realized. I grabbed a short list (from vedabase.net/j/jnani) of how that term was used in Hindu and Buddhist literature, part of which list I am pasting below:

jñānī — one who knows things as they are; BG 7.16
jñānī — one in full knowledge; BG 7.17
jñānī — one who is in knowledge; BG 7.18
jñānī — one who has realized knowledge of Me; SB 11.18.36
jñānī — a learned transcendentalist; SB 11.19.3
jñānī — wise man; CC Madhya 19.147


Since the term jnani does not exactly role off my English-speaking tongue, I prefer the term Sage. (BTW, it's no coincidence that I gave my first-born child that name! Sage is now 28 and he has led a charmed life.)

The difference between a Sage and other spiritual practitioners is in aims more than methods. The aim of one aspiring to become a Sage is to Realize (or become one with) the Ultimate or Absolute. Which is an exceedingly abstract way to put it, and thus of no pragmatic value. Better to express this in terms of the esoteric anatomy of the human body and the phenomenology of experience.

A Sage is not particularly interested in the jhanas. In terms of the esoteric anatomy, the jhanas are associated with structures in the brain core and with non-physical energies with an apparent locus above the head. Brain core is the jhanas of form. Formless jhanas are above the head. There are other energies in the body, but they are not salient to this discussion.

The jhanas are just wonderful. They feel great. But as you know, they exhibit the 3 Characteristics of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and non-self. The shamatha jhanas are good times, but not forever kind of things. This is why the Progress of Insight does not focus on them.

Gary Weber is following the path of Ramana Maharshi, his greatest source of instruction (and blessing, which he mentioned in the break-out; but I'm getting ahead of myself). Ramana taught within the Hindu tradition of Advaita Vedanta. The goal of that path is called Self-Realization. In terms of the esoteric anatomy, Ramana pointed to a locus in the chest, to the right of the mid-point, which is known by a variety of names, but I use the one I first heard, which is Amrita Nadi (literally, the nerve [nadi] of immortality [amrita, which is linguistically connected to the Western esoteric term ambrosia]). My own Sat-Guru, Adi Da Samraj, said that the Amrita Nadi begins in the sinoatrial node (heart-beat pacemaker) and connects through an energy channel to the brain core and then crown chakra.

Despite the use of the term "Self" which is taboo for Buddhists of lesser understanding, the goal of Advaita Vedanta and the goal that the Buddha taught are one and the same. Self-Realization and "supreme, perfect, unexcelled Awakening" (annuttara samyak sambodhi) are one.

I know this is not immediately apparent. Driving to Denver airport after the Unconference that followed after BGeeks13, Chris Marti asked me why Dan Ingram and I seemed to agree with one another, and yet used apparently incommensurate terminology. I said a bunch of stuff, but I won't repeat it here because it took us nowhere. I simply could not adequately explain it then. Although I'm not sure I can do better now, let me try by taking a different tack.

Dan Ingram said or wrote (I don't remember which) that the root of self-identification (what I am calling the Amrita Nadi) is easily overlooked. This is true. It is not the source of beautiful, blissful jhana experiences (although it is not antagonistic to them, either). In fact, it is like a teeny, tiny pin-point of light, like a small seed. Very unspectacular. And in practice it is not usually even perceived by internal vision at all. So what is one's "experience" of it (and "experience" as I prefer to use the term is inappropriate here, but I'll got with it because most people use it)? Mostly like, if the Amrita Nadi is known (experienced) at all in the intermediate stages of practice, it will seem to be the great void, Emptiness. A very cool emptiness, to be sure! Not scary. In fact, not other. It is YOU, baby! It is also not-other than all worlds of experience.

This is my "experience" which I've mentioned before here and there. So I'm not going to re-tell the narrative of the Awakening event in my case. But I need to refer to it here because, before the break-out session with Gary, I was at lunch with him and a dozen others in what must now be called the BGeeks' official restaurant, The Sink. I had asked him several questions, which he answered in his own no-nonsense, yet compassionate way. Then he asked me about my practice background. I gave him a nutshell account of my seeking over 3 decades, and then described in more detail the event of late August, 2007 which was an Awakening to the Self (but not of the same quality and strength as Gary's, I must hasten to add).

When I finished speaking, Gary leaned back in his chair, widened his eyes, then reached out with his right arm and cuffed the front of my left shoulder with the back of his hand. It was a male-to-male gesture that my father also used with me in a very positive way. It was affirmative. Gary and I locked eyes for a few seconds. Neither of us smiled or said a word. In truth, only one Presence existed--then or now.

Later, during the break-out session, as Laurel noted, I asked Gary about Amrita Nadi (and other things). Did you notice that he was somewhat vague about "receiving instructions" for "working with" it? He reported having done some practices with regard to Amrita Nadi but gave no specifics. I suspect that Gary was reticent to say more because nothing he could say would be in the least helpful to his listeners, and almost certainly would have confused them. Or, even worse, it might have caused them to doubt him and perhaps dismiss the other things he was teaching. Sometimes the experiences of a very advanced practitioner are too outlandish or subtle to be worth trying to talk about with anyone but another person of that degree.

Now back to Gary's connection with the late Raman Maharshi, who died when Gary was 7 and whom he never met. In his book and in his talk, Gary mentioned that the practice of surrender is very powerful. He said that when he surrendered a little, he found he was supported. He surrendered more, and was supported more. Gary also said that his ego got smaller and smaller, until it was extremely small. Yet the last little bit of ego refused to let go. So Gary asked the late Ramana Maharshi to remove the final bit of his ego. In other words, Gary surrendered to his Guru, Ramana, who was no longer in the body and whom he had never met in the flesh. And Ramana did as Gary asked and removed the remnant of Gary's ego. (Thus my quip in the Unconference "Gary Weber isn't Gary Weber".)

In the break-out, Gary remarked that he felt Ramana's Presence right then and there more strongly than he felt the existence of the room we were in. What I am about to say may seem to make no sense, but I'll say it anyway: That is Self-Realization par excellence!

Surrender, which can be to the Sat-Guru or the Divine in some other aspect, is the most powerful, most direct, and most difficult (for the ego) of any path. Conceptually simple, but very hard to do. The ego--or the process of self-contraction and wrong identification--is the tent pole problem or source of ALL suffering. Get rid of that, and the whole rickety structure of blah-blah-blah and ouch-ouch-ouch simply vanishes.

But the ego is NOT on board with this! It prefers blissful experiences. Or at least money, food and sex!

To sum up: I love Gary Weber. I am so grateful to him for spending time with us and for his low-key, no-nonsense, straight to the bull's eye teaching.
Last Edit: 21 Aug 2013 17:15 by Mike LaTorra. Reason: corrected typos
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Gary Weber thread 21 Aug 2013 17:36 #14182

Mike, thank you for the detailed post. This was eye-opening. Can you recommend any introductory and intermediate books describing this kind of practice?
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Gary Weber thread 21 Aug 2013 21:30 #14185

Mike LaTorra wrote:
Despite the use of the term "Self" which is taboo for Buddhists of lesser understanding

I'm a bit troubled by this in that it's put as a blanket truth-claim pejorative to other practitioners, rather than a particular perspective...

I'm interested to hear everyone's take on GW in person, because I have found his work sometimes interesting (I haven't gone deeply into it) but also I find his combative style really offputting (and, like Laurel, saw Kenneth's perspective as the one that rung with me in their 'debate' or whatever it was). And I find myself unsure that, in and of itself, thought is the problem. But it's the combative thing that is really the issue - not that I'm saying that someone can't be awakened and have a combative style, rather that these days I look for in a practitioner someone who's 'got what I want' and that approach isn't it. But from what people are saying he's not like that in person!
Last Edit: 21 Aug 2013 21:33 by every3rdthought.
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Gary Weber thread 21 Aug 2013 22:11 #14186

He was very personable and a pleasure to speak to. Like I said in the other thread, most of what I talked to him about had nothing to do with practice. We talked about business and meetings etc.

I actually think he enjoyed the engagement without having to explain his 'state' or talk about practice.
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Gary Weber thread 22 Aug 2013 10:12 #14190

I did make a truth claim. I stand behind it.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Yours is apparently at odds with mine. That's not my problem, you know?

So now I must seem combative. Sometimes I do seem that way. Not typically, however. Which was why Chris Marti was surprised at the Unconference during the "tag-team, good-cop/bad-cop" interaction between Justin and the team of Dan Ingram and myself. Online, Dan is often combative, while I'm generally not. In that personal interaction, he was at pains to explain that he was restraining himself from acting combative. Since he wasn't being combative, I instantly assumed that aspect, figuratively whacking Justin with my invisible Zen kyosaku [stick].

We play whatever role is needed in the process of pointing out the obvious (i.e., helping people awaken to what is always already the case, otherwise known as Reality, Buddha-nature, etc.).

Gary Weber is good example of how awakening barely budges the personality from what it had been. During his working life, Gary was a materials scientist with a PhD in the field. This means that he had to work very hard to do original research under the rigorous constraints of natural science. Nature accepts no excuses and excuses no mistakes. Try to talk a chemical reaction into being kinder and gentler. Ow, that acid burns! :woohoo:

In his career, Gary rose to a high management position, in which he oversaw 5 research labs with a combined workforce of 1,000 and an annual budget of $250,000,000. That's a lot of pressure! You've got to be tough to take the pressure and tough with underlings who screw up. Being brusque is practically a job requirement.

Perhaps all of that was exactly the sort of hard school needed, at least in Gary's case. Spiritual life is not all bliss cakes and moon smiles. It is a fiery ordeal quite often. The "Dark Night" in the Progress of Insight indicates this clearly.
every3rdthought wrote:
Mike LaTorra wrote:
Despite the use of the term "Self" which is taboo for Buddhists of lesser understanding

I'm a bit troubled by this in that it's put as a blanket truth-claim pejorative to other practitioners, rather than a particular perspective...

I'm interested to hear everyone's take on GW in person, because I have found his work sometimes interesting (I haven't gone deeply into it) but also I find his combative style really offputting (and, like Laurel, saw Kenneth's perspective as the one that rung with me in their 'debate' or whatever it was). And I find myself unsure that, in and of itself, thought is the problem. But it's the combative thing that is really the issue - not that I'm saying that someone can't be awakened and have a combative style, rather that these days I look for in a practitioner someone who's 'got what I want' and that approach isn't it. But from what people are saying he's not like that in person!
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Gary Weber thread 22 Aug 2013 10:39 #14191

Matthew Horn wrote:
Mike, thank you for the detailed post. This was eye-opening. Can you recommend any introductory and intermediate books describing this kind of practice?

Hi Matthew,
I can made some recommendations. I will name some names and book titles. But first, a few words about the need to distinguish real gold from fool's gold (pyrite).

Any reasonably intelligent person can read various self-realization texts and parrot the style. This is what my Guru, Adi Da Samraj, calls the "talking school" of Advaita Vedanta. Those folks can talk the talk, but they cannot walk the walk. That is to say, their behavior and their responses to queries from people with some genuine understanding will simply not measure up. I've encountered some "talking school" blowhards on the Internet. Their verbal cleverness impressed many. Not me. (I could say more, name names, but I'd rather not embarrass further someone who admitted defeat in our online debates, or who went off in a huff.)

Now to the real gold. First, in the non-tradition tradition of a Sage who Awakened outside any lineage of direct teaching transmission, I recommend most highly Franklin Merrell-Wolff (FMW). Begin with his Wikipedia entry here.

Then go to the external links. You can order his books on Amazon (in new and sometimes combined editions from State University of New York Press).

FMW's books Pathways through to Space and The Philosophy of Consciousness-without-an-Object are pearls of great price. These two works are now available in a single combined paperback volume titled Franklin Merrell-Wolff's Experience and Philosophy: A Personal Record of Transformation and a Discussion of Transcendental Consciousness. Each work has its own unique value.

The unique value of Pathways is that it is a personal narrative, a sort of journal in the form of mini-essays and daily reports that were written DURING the process of his multi-stage Awakening. I love this book! (BTW, the book was written in the middle of the 1930s. It had been long out of print when it was re-discovered by Dr. John Lilly in the 1970s. Lilly was instrumental in getting it republished.)

The unique value of Philosophy is that it essays (meaning "attempts" in the original meaning of "essay") a coherent, logical philosophy of Awakening that would be persuasive in term of Western philosophy. FMW admits that in this he did not succeed. Nevertheless, the book is a gem. The heart of the book is a set of 56 aphorisms upon which FMW comments. What follows (and concludes this post) are the aphorisms themselves (courtesy of the Fellowship foundation established to preserve and propagate FMW's work):

Franklin Merrell-Wolff’s Aphorisms on Consciousness-without-an-object


1. Consciousness-without-an-object is.
§
2. Before objects were, Consciousness-without-an-object is.
§
3. Though objects seem to exist, Consciousness-without-an-object is.
§
4. When objects vanish, yet remaining through all unaffected, Consciousness-without-an-object is.
§
5. Outside of Consciousness-without-an-object nothing is.
§
6. Within the bosom of Consciousness-without-an-object lies the power of awareness that projects objects.
§
7. When objects are projected, the power of awareness as subject is presupposed, yet Consciousness-without-an-object remains unchanged.
§
8. When consciousness of objects is born, then, likewise, consciousness of absence of objects arises.
§
9. Consciousness of objects is the Universe.
§
10. Consciousness of absence of objects is Nirvana.
§
11. Within Consciousness-without-an-object lie both the Universe and Nirvana, yet to Consciousness-without-an-object these two are the same.
§
12. Within Consciousness-without-an-object lies the seed of Time.
§
13. When awareness cognizes Time then knowledge of Timelessness is born.
§
14. To be aware of Time is to be aware of the Universe, and to be aware of the Universe is to be aware of Time.
§
15. To realize Timelessness is to attain Nirvana.
§
16. But for Consciousness-without-an-object there is no difference between Time and Timelessness.
§
17. Within Consciousness-without-an-object lies the seed of the world-containing Space.
§
18. When awareness cognizes the world-containing Space then knowledge of the Spatial Void is born.
§
19. To be aware of the world-containing Space is to be aware of the Universe of Objects.
§
20. To realize the Spatial Void is to awaken to Nirvanic Consciousness.
§
21. But for Consciousness-without-an-object there is no difference between the world-containing Space and the Spatial Void.
§
22. Within Consciousness-without-an-object lies the Seed of Law.
§
23. When consciousness of objects is born the Law is invoked as a Force tending ever toward Equilibrium.
§
24. All objects exist as tensions within Consciousness-without-an-object that tend ever to flow into their own complements or others.
§
25. The ultimate effect of the flow of all objects into their complements is mutual cancellation in complete Equilibrium.
§
26. Consciousness of the field of tensions is the Universe.
§
27. Consciousness of Equilibrium is Nirvana.
§
28. But for Consciousness-without-an-object there is neither tension nor Equilibrium.
§
29. The state of tensions is the state of ever-becoming.
§
30. Ever-becoming is endless-dying.
§
31. So the state of consciousness of objects is a state of ever-renewing promises that pass into death at the moment of fulfillment.
§
32. Thus when consciousness is attached to objects the agony of birth and death never ceases.
§
33. In the state of Equilibrium where birth cancels death the deathless Bliss of Nirvana is realized.
§
34. But Consciousness-without-an-object is neither agony nor bliss.
§
35. Out of the Great Void, which is Consciousness-without-an-object, the Universe is creatively projected.
§
36. The Universe as experienced is the created negation that ever resists.
§
37. The creative act is bliss, the resistance, unending pain.
§
38. Endless resistance is the Universe of experience, the agony of crucifixion.
§
39. Ceaseless creativeness is Nirvana, the Bliss beyond human conceiving.
§
40. But for Consciousness-without-an-object there is neither creativeness nor resistance.
§
41. Ever-becoming and ever-ceasing-to-be are endless action.
§
42. When ever-becoming cancels the ever-ceasing-to-be then Rest is realized.
§
43. Ceaseless action is the Universe.
§
44. Unending Rest is Nirvana.
§
45. But Consciousness-without-an-object is neither Action nor Rest.
§
46. When consciousness is attached to objects it is restricted through the forms imposed by the world-containing Space, by Time, and by Law.
§
47. When consciousness is disengaged from objects, Liberation from the forms of the world-containing Space, of Time, and of Law is attained.
§
48. Attachment to objects is consciousness bound within the Universe.
§
49. Liberation from such attachment is the State of unlimited Nirvanic Freedom.
§
50. But Consciousness-without-an-object is neither bondage nor freedom.
§
51. Consciousness-without-an-object may be symbolized by a SPACE that is unaffected by the presence or absence of objects, for which there is neither Time nor Timelessness, neither a world-containing Space nor a Spatial Void, neither Tension nor Equilibrium, neither Resistance nor Creativeness, neither Agony nor Bliss, neither Action nor Rest, and neither Restriction nor Freedom.
§
52. As the GREAT SPACE is not to be identified with the Universe, so neither is It to be identified with any Self.
§
53. The GREAT SPACE is not God, but the comprehender of all Gods, as well as of all lesser creatures.
§
54. The GREAT SPACE, or Consciousness-without-an-object, is the Sole Reality upon which all objects and all selves depend and derive their existence.
§
55. The GREAT SPACE comprehends both the Path of the Universe and the Path of Nirvana.
§
56. Beside the GREAT SPACE there is none other.
§
OM TAT SAT
Last Edit: 22 Aug 2013 10:42 by Mike LaTorra.
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Gary Weber thread 22 Aug 2013 10:42 #14192

As a human being who lives in 2013 and who has strong biases toward information being open and free, I find the idea that some things need to be hidden from others to be problematic, if not just plain silly. Mike, is it possible you may be reading more into Gary's comments than he meant? He struck me as being someone who is exceedingly forthcoming and is so interested to get his message (which is primarily secular) out that he would hold nothing back.
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Gary Weber thread 22 Aug 2013 10:54 #14193

Chris Marti wrote:
As a human being who lives in 2013 and who has strong biases toward information being open and free, I find the idea that some things need to be hidden from others to be problematic, if not just plain silly. Mike, is it possible you may be reading more into Gary's comments than he meant? He struck me as being someone who is exceedingly forthcoming and is so interested to get his message (which is primarily secular) out that he would hold nothing back.

It is certainly possible that I am reading more into Gary's comments than he intended. He did seem to want his message to be taken as secular. That would certainly be a good strategy for getting more people to pay attention to it, people who see what (exoteric, popular, institutional) religion has done to the world and want nothing to do with that.

But then what about Gary's statements about Ramana Maharshi? Gary asked (the long-dead) Ramana to remove the last, recalcitrant bit of his ego, which then happened. Gary averred that people could take this as being a merely psychological strategy. But then he went on to say that he felt Ramana's Presence then and there as being more real than the room we were all sitting in.

I may also be guilty of imputing to Gary what is in fact something from my own experience. I simply refuse to talk in public forums about certain things that have happened to me. The experiences are too outlandish. And definitely not secular. People would be more accepting of hearing tell of my sex life than of some of the extraordinary events that have occurred in my spiritual life.
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Gary Weber thread 22 Aug 2013 11:01 #14195

Yes, Gary did say that about his daughters. But that was the latter part of what he said about them. He said first that, in his all-out spiritual practice (which he thought might kill him or land him in the gutter, a drooling madman) his biggest concern was that his underage daughters be taken care of. So he delayed the final push until they were grown and out of the house. Then he went for IT!

Also, someone asked Gary about his wife. He said that she was a professional woman who could take of herself. He also said that she was (my words now, since I don't have an exact record of his words) barely tolerant of his spiritual practice. She only came around to giving it some respect when a billionaire visited Gary's house to talk to him about spiritual practice. I guess money talks -- at least to her. ;)
duane_eugene_miller wrote:
"I myself was nonplussed when he claimed that his attachment to his daughters was no different than to anyone or even anything else."

That, to me, actually seems consistent with most schools. If he has indeed attained to some high level of "enlightenment" then he would have compassion for all living beings equally. Not more for his family and less for others. Just my 2 cents.
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Gary Weber thread 22 Aug 2013 12:19 #14197

I've been following this thread with interest, especially as I obviously did not have enough context to appreciate fully the things Gary said in his break-out session. Mike, I'm glad you were there. Since then I've been looking at his website and reading online about Ramana Maharshi. I have a couple of points:
  1. the person who was nonplussed about Gary's attitude toward his daughters was me, not Duane. Duane in fact responded that this is not unusual at all. I need to realize that one's love does not contract with this attainment, but rather it expands. It's something I am not in a position to understand just yet.
  2. It seems that Gary's relationship to Maharshi is similar to some Christian saints' relationship with Christ. There have been some mystics who have realized this attainment, but some of them ended up being killed at the hands of the church for speaking too openly, while others were able to keep to the correct side of the line. It would be wonderful to compare traditions more openly. Difficult, but wonderful.
  3. I would love to have Mike speak openly about his experiences. Maybe on a separate thread? Or maybe privately?
  4. Would it be fair to suggest that Gary's approach is something more appropriate for advanced level yogis, maybe even post fourth path? Or should someone just jump right in and start using his practices? I'm in the process of doing a " just sitting" meditation practice, courtesy of Shinzen Young, and don't want to bounce around from one approach to another.
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Gary Weber thread 22 Aug 2013 12:26 #14198

Okay, I succumbed to Greed and ordered a bunch of books. I hereby commit to reading them and commenting on here about them, for the benefit of all sentient beings.
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Gary Weber thread 22 Aug 2013 12:48 #14199

" I simply refuse to talk in public forums about certain things that have happened to me. The experiences are too outlandish. And definitely not secular. People would be more accepting of hearing tell of my sex life than of some of the extraordinary events that have occurred in my spiritual life."

Can you explain better, Mike? Public forums like this one? Because here we actually do talk about our experiences and many of them are outlandish.

Gary Weber was speaking at a Buddhist Geeks conference, to as accepting an audience as there will ever be. So to hold something back implies that he suspects the audience somehow cannot handle, for whatever reason, what he might otherwise say. I just don't read him as being that way. I could be wrong, but that's how I see it.
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Gary Weber thread 22 Aug 2013 12:57 #14200

Laurel Carrington wrote:
I've been following this thread with interest, especially as I obviously did not have enough context to appreciate fully the things Gary said in his break-out session. Mike, I'm glad you were there. Since then I've been looking at his website and reading online about Ramana Maharshi. I have a couple of points:
  1. the person who was nonplussed about Gary's attitude toward his daughters was me, not Duane. Duane in fact responded that this is not unusual at all. I need to realize that one's love does not contract with this attainment, but rather it expands. It's something I am not in a position to understand just yet.
  2. It seems that Gary's relationship to Maharshi is similar to some Christian saints' relationship with Christ. There have been some mystics who have realized this attainment, but some of them ended up being killed at the hands of the church for speaking too openly, while others were able to keep to the correct side of the line. It would be wonderful to compare traditions more openly. Difficult, but wonderful.
  3. I would love to have Mike speak openly about his experiences. Maybe on a separate thread? Or maybe privately?
  4. Would it be fair to suggest that Gary's approach is something more appropriate for advanced level yogis, maybe even post fourth path? Or should someone just jump right in and start using his practices? I'm in the process of doing a " just sitting" meditation practice, courtesy of Shinzen Young, and don't want to bounce around from one approach to another.

Hi Laurel,
Thanks for posting these points. I really like them because they speak to several important points. Allow me to comment.

1) Gary's daughters and the question of loving relatives and loving all: This is a very interesting development in practice/realization. Love expands to encompass all. But there is no generic "all" or "everyone." There are only the various and sundry individuals one meets. Each one of whom is recognized as being both a particular individual whose particular needs in the moment must be addressed AND at the very same time, a manifestation of the One in human form (which the apparent individual almost never recognizes, until practice becomes fulfilled). So Gary had to relate to his daughters in a manner different from how he related to anyone else in the world, because of his special relationship with them as their father and protector. When they reached adulthood, then he could relate to them as fellow human beings. Now it's easier to say that than to do it, especially if his daughters continue(d) to view him as "daddy." The same would hold true with his wife. According to researcher Jeffrey Martin, who has interviewed Gary (and Kenneth and Chris and Dan and me) very few marriage relationships survive if one partner is a serious practitioner and the other is not. Mine didn't.

2) Gary's relationship to Ramana Maharshi and the relationship of Christian saints to Christ: Same thing. And same difference. What those 2 sentences are meant to imply is that devotion is devotion, yet the path of the Saint is different from the path of the Sage. This is a big topic we can come back to later.

3) Mike's experiences: Well, wouldn't you like to know? ;) Seriously, I will only tell what would be helpful to you all, in my opinion. To that end, I will create a new topic and (re-)post something I have already shared a time or two in various fora. I will title the topic: Ineffable Transition - excerpts from Mike's Journal 2007

4) Gary's approach: As his book indicates, his approach is/was multifaceted. I suggest that you keep doing what you are doing, but begin reading up on what Gary has said, and also what Franklin Merrell-Wolff has written. By the way, something I failed to note about FMW is that he is a sterling writer, while Gary is merely a serviceable writer. When I read Gary's book, I'm constantly tempted to re-phrase nearly everything in it. When I read FMW's, I marvel and delight.
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Gary Weber thread 22 Aug 2013 12:59 #14201

"Would it be fair to suggest that Gary's approach is something more appropriate for advanced level yogis, maybe even post fourth path?"

Gary Weber presents his methods in great detail in his book "Happiness Beyond Thought - A Practical Guide to Awakening" and suggests they can be used by anyone. The idea that it is only for advanced practitioners isn't coming from Gary. The book is an instruction manual, basically.
Last Edit: 22 Aug 2013 12:59 by Chris Marti.
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