027. David Spero

From http://davidspero.org/about/index.html

In the winter of 1996-1997 (the actual date remains vague), I was sitting in an ordinary motel room in Palm Springs, California. On this day, meditation went into unfathomable depths, penetrating into and beyond the very core of existence. My thoughts evaporated and my head went from a spherical, physiological casing to an ocean of divine light within “seconds”—an ocean still and deeply active. This Light shone from the inside, outside and from the beyond itself. “I” and “the world” dissolved forever into this immensity of warmly translucent, incandescent Light-Oneness. I then began to feel the palpable manifestation of the primordial energy of the universe (Shakti). It was brilliant, active, sparking. This Shakti had simultaneously been born in the Being of pure light. How strange, though, that “I” could “fit into,” and “as,” this Immensity. I was, without question, That, and in the most profound sense, That alone. I had come home. Sharing this radiant energy was a natural capability, a radiation without circumference, effort or knowledge. A spiritual magnificence, a superabundance of Being, a transmission of radiant awakening, that which has been written about in every religious scripture, was born within that ultimate meditation. Primordial Bliss was now free to enjoy Its Own spontaneous play in the world.

David’s main site

David’s book: Beyond the Place of Laughter and Tears in the Land of Devotion

Interview recorded 6/27/10.

Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

14 thoughts on “027. David Spero

  1. I recently visited with David in Larkspur, CA. The shakti in his presence is remarkable. I have been with many contemporary sages in the east and west. David’s presence is as strong or stronger than any I remember. Even his videos convey a strong shakti.

  2. Brilliant! This interveiw rocked!! So much to chew on… David mentions experiencing himself as Golden Light which is indicative of our transcendent Cosmic Self. He then goes on to say as a young person Christian doctrine didn’t substantiate his experience. I wonder being where he is now if he could see that Light as the Eternal Son/ Sun/ Christ…the morning Star in the eternal cosmic womb of Mother God…. That eternal point of Light that is the alpha point to the descending creation of the material world and the omega point of ascending consciousness’ return after evolution and realization of Self. Here an avatar would recognize himelf as the alpha and omega One with all things manifest and unmanifest within human form. Just an ordinary person in an ordinary world with an extraordinary mind : )

  3. I’d like to add something to David’s characterization of avatar. My understanding is that the vedas have laid out 16 points that an avatar may have. Lesser avatars have a portion of those 16 and may consequently add more in the course of their earthly experience. A “Full Poorna” Avatar is born with all 16 points. There have been only two full poorna avatars of whom Krishna was the first. As to whom I consider the second to be I’ll refrain from listing to avoid a ton of negative feedback. Lastly, in the overall scheme of things these distinctions are not that important. All avatars are a great boon to civilization.

  4. Bart:

    Oodles of energy/shakti do not necessarily the genuine Master make.
    There are so many examples of charismatic gurus who on the one hand, somehow oozed shakti, could give shaktipat, likely had siddhis, and on the other, found themselves embroiled in all manner of controversy like sexual abuse, rape, fraud, manipulation, etc;

    Given this fact, one can only surmise, however much we may not want to believe the two can co-exist, that one should not look to lots of energy, shaktipat ability, siddhis, all manner of experiences in their presense, meditative experience, as signs of authentic realisation and certainly liberation.

    Seekers want to believe, beyond all reason, that this or that guru is the real thing. Sadly, there is no manual to follow. Many get dooped, badly hurt emotionally, taken for a lot of money, disillusioned, or worse. And you also may have noticed, nobody thinks they are in a sketchy situation. Naturally, who wants to be a part of a sham, who wants to admit it. Seekers want to be with a good teacher, the “best” even. Who wants to give their heart, time, money, and help (seva), to a second-rate guru, or a cheat. Even though anecdotaly we can say there are many fakes out there. But of course, no seeker is with ‘that’ teacher.

  5. Regarding Avatar:

    I found it amusing how he is careful to describe his journey in such a way that it paints him as unique and rare – in other words to conveniently adhere to what scripture says of Avatars. But I listen to how he describes the experiences and things in general, and it really isn’t any different from the usual spiritual experiences, awakenings, synchronicities, etc; When I listen, there’s nothing to actually justify or indicate the claim (self-proclaimed?) of Avatar. Not that I believe in Avatars. But just for a moment, think of how rare they are. Let’s say for fun, on par with the number of liberated souls walking the earth today. Which I will say, with no evidence to back of course, there are 10.
    Many say 2 or 3. So this is no small claim of his. And why even bring it into the equation? I don’t know, he strikes me as off-base. That’s my 2 cents.

  6. Hi Rick, at the 51 minute point of the interview approx. David responded to your question as to whether it was worth it with a smile. Can you describe that smile as the video doesn’t show it.

  7. @mind.moving I’m afraid I can’t remember. That was a long time ago. But David has a nice smile in general, so I imagine any of his smiles would give you an idea of what that one looked like.

  8. Observations from an “intensive” with David.

    Claims – Before we sat for meditation he told me I’d need an “astronaut’s suit”, and afterwards claimed that “subtle, deep, precise, powerful psyho-surgery” had gone on within people. I didn’t feel anything like that, nor did I witness anything in others’ sharing that would suggest that.

    Egoism – He used the word “megalomaniac” in reference to his personality. I assume someone described his that way, and I can understand why. He spent a fair amount of time touting his specialness/uniqueness/powers. He used a lot of personal pronouns – not attributing the power to Shakti or something that is within all of us (as Advaita Vedanta asserts), but instead suggesting that it is through one’s trust/ giving over to him that one will attain something.

    I’ve sat with Gurus before. No one put themselves at the center of things like that. And doesn’t suggesting devotion to him, the physical teacher, reinforce the dualistic belief that he’s “got it” and we need him to get it?

    My impression is that he delights in being an iconoclastic, “crazy wisdom” kind of wild yogi who says no one else has what he has. He seemed angry and boastful when he said “only two or three lines” in Chogyam Trungpa’s book were worthwhile, and went on to spoke disrespectfully about (all?) other teachers. It sounds like a lot of egoism, and building himself up by putting others down.

  9. Interesting testimony, WeAreOne. Aside from what David says, I like his smile, like Rick said. Re: Crazy wisdom, this heart here (which is equal to David’s heart or anyone’s) says that one’s actions are *not* independent of “realization”. The rules of society cannot capture true love and compassion, and as such they are crude guide lines. But nonetheless our instinctive deep feeling of “wrongness” is not wholly coming from social conditioning. Rather, I would suggest that the rules of society are themselves informed by that deeper knowledge of compassion and wisdom that we all feel at some level. Of course, one can turn those rules of society or religion into aspects of ego, and that is perhaps why some are inclined to mentally reject them. I say: All “crazy” or harmful action is a remnant of egoic dysfunction. Perhaps the person has disidentified with that egoic dysfunction to some large extent, but not totally; otherwise the dysfunction would dissolve.

  10. Dear WeAreOne, I’ve studied with E.J. Gold, Osho, Frederick Lenz (Rama) and David and my experience is that it usually takes more than one event to truly evaluate a teacher. Also, I know a few teachers who will sense your “buttons” and proceed to display exactly those characteristics that push those “buttons.” Just a thought….

  11. WeAreOne – If you are looking for a manifestation of personality that represents your view of a being liberated beyond egoic attachment in David, forget it! Not because he does or does not manifest ego, but because your critique proceeds from what are, in my opinion, highly questionable assumptions.
    Consider a possiblity:
    1) a human being could be spiritually “evolved” to the point where “I” is fully identified as consciousness which is everything
    2) Even a “complete” realization ~does not~ result in some kind of purified or perfected ego.
    3) it might be a useful teaching tool to simply state what is so for the realizer: for example saying “my shakti”, when in fact the “my” referred to by the realizer is not the “my” of a conventional ego.

    Of course this cannot be “objectively” proven, but if one accepts this possibility, then judging whether a teacher is real or not based on the presentation of a purified ego is pointless. Seeing this, a person comes to the recognition that the only way to know whether a teacher is “real” is to observe the effects of ones relationship with the teacher over time.

    I have been at David’s events many times over this past year, and here are some things I have learned:
    First, whatever you think you understood about him from the one event you attended would likely be contradicted by sitting with him next week. Numerous times I have heard him insist that he does nothing. Numerous times I have heard him insist that he does everything. Some programs are loving and devotional, while others are fiery and confronting. While David will revisit certain spiritual themes, his explorations of consciousness come from many different angles. He deliberately contradicts himself, sometimes he is profoundly loving and gentle, sometimes sharp and cutting, but never, ever have I experienced what I would term abuse, not even close. On the contrary, my experience of his teaching has consistently been permeated with love.

    Second, “his” transmission is the most powerful and transformative I have ever experienced – and I have sat with a fair number of evolved teachers. If you did not experience this, fair enough but my recollection of that day is that you may have been the only one in the room who didn’t.

    David can speak from a place of deepest humility, and then he will turn around and speak in the first person as universal consciousness. This can be confronting, and there are times when i react negatively to something i hear from him. He has even stated outright that at times he will deliberately push people’s buttons. One may or may not agree with this teaching style, but it is effective in my case. David is not a safe, predictable teacher; and no doubt some people would do well to find a teacher with some other style.

    Each person decides if a teacher is or is not helpful to them and acts accordingly. If you were not experiencing anything other than the content of David’s presentation, by all means find a teacher with whom you do feel comfortable. However, you do yourself and everyone who reads this website a disservice by imagining that you understand David or his teaching based on the one event you attended.

  12. WeAreOne: I must respond to your post, and say that you do not know David Spero at all. I know him behind the scene, and he is kind, gentle, self-effacing to a fault, careful with his words and precise with his actions. His transmission of love and bliss do not disappear when he exits the stage, but follow behind him as he moves in the world in his normal life. I am sorry that you find the need to publicly post your opinions about David without having spent more than a few hours with him. You do not know him at all. You also suggested that people in the audience did not experience his powerful transformative grace. You said, “I didn’t feel anything like that, nor did I witness anything in others’ sharing that would suggest that”. I am offended that you would speak for me in that way. Did you miss the part where he asked if people were experiencing the Shakti energy, and almost everyone nodded affirmatively? My life has been turned around by David, he has actually been instrumental in a spiritual expansion of consciousness which has eluded me in forty years of meditation practices with other teachers. He does this by his mere presence.
    If you were unable to access this, I would suggest that you watch his videos and see if you open up. He never demands anything of anyone. You can watch him for free, safe in your own living room. He has hundreds of video clips on youtube and on his site, davidspero.org.

  13. Weareone:

    It seems to me as though you are trying to negate David Spero’s Realization by analyzing his behavior in one Satsang meeting. In my opinion, realization or lack of it can’t be boiled down to an arbitrary set of behavioral characteristics. Trying to do so, is trying to put conditions on the unconditioned. There are countless examples of powerful teachers with behaviors that were out of the ordinary: Ramakrishna, Trungpa and Adi Da- just to mention a few.

    You also mention that “He used a lot of personal pronouns – not attributing the power to Shakti or something that is within all of us “. Have you considered the fact that for him there might not be any difference between what we call David and Shakti? That he has merged fully with Shakti?

    This is certainly my experience in sitting with David. His transmission power is impeccable and he has helped me immensely in my spiritual journey. As a spiritual teacher, I find him extremely loving, clear and patient – but – if you are looking for someone to fit the “holy” ideals of a spiritual teacher, he is probably not the right one for you.

    I have also spent personal time with David and on a human level he is a sweet and very humble person. I consider him to be a friend, as well as a teacher and for me that says a lot about him. In a world where many teachers distance themselves from their students and create subtle or overt hierarchy, David has always related to me on the basis of friendship and equality.

    I recommend any seeker to check out David’s webcasts which, by the way, are free – or you can check out his public programs. There is a very powerful transmission on both the webcasts and on the public meetings.

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