083. Zenji

At 28 I moved to New York City, a fulfillment of a childhood dream. Oddly enough, even though I had received what I wanted on many accounts, I felt like I was having a premature midlife crisis. Interest in philosophy and psychology arose in response which brought me to The School of Practical Philosophy where I discovered Advaita Vedanta and was initiated into Transcendental Meditation (TM) three years later. Frustrated over my lack of success in my meditation, I left the school and embarked on fixing myself through psychotherapy. On a local radio station I came across Gangaji and Eli Jaxon-Bear. They were sharing the Truth they had discovered through their master, H.W.L. Poonja, a.k.a. Papaji, who happens to be Mooji’s guru as well.
Then 9/11 happened. I was deeply hurt inside. The towers that I saw burning and crumbling outside initiated the same inside me. In the days and months that followed, old, hidden pain and fear from the past emerged, but, surprisingly, I felt more alive than ever. There was an excitement about it. When no strong experience of past conditioning happened for a day, I was disappointed. How crazy is that? Somehow, something inside knew intuitively what was happening is good, that I needed to face this. As a new year’s proclamation I told friends boldly that this year (2002) I’m going to fall in love with myself. I didn’t even know what that meant. Soon after, I met Gangaji and Eli Jaxon-Bear, not personally, but at their satsangs, and other teachers of the same lineage. After many years with Stuart Schwartz, a disciple of Robert Adams, a strong desire arose in me to be with Papaji. I finally met him in and through Mooji. It was love at first sight.
When I first met Mooji I didn’t know why he says that awakening is not an event. Neither was it clear to me that this Truth we are seeking (if it is indeed Truth we are consciously after) is not anything that is created or maintained. Back then I was still under the impression that realizing Truth meant that we are gaining something new. A few months after my first meeting with my master, Mooji, the truthfulness of his statements announced itself to and in me as intuitive insight when the essence of who I am was also revealed through the power of Mooji’s pointing and presence.
Subsequently, the continuous close association with Mooji in the heart and in person as well as my own contemplation of the Truth by way of self-inquiry brought about the recognition of my true identity beyond the realm of the knowable, beyond even the “I Am,” through which we taste this existence and intuit this unfathomable, unmanifest substratum that is untouchable by worldly phenomena. What is undoubtedly known here is that abidance in this placeless place is synonymous with Freedom, and we are that Freedom itself. The recognition of this as our true Self is appreciated as humanities greatest potential.

Interview recorded 8/14/2011

Video and audio below and as a Podcast.

15 thoughts on “083. Zenji

  1. thanks Rick & Zenji for a very enjoyable interview… was interesting to hear a disciple of Mooji talk about his experiences with Mooji… and addresses the question whether Satsangs lead to awakening discoveries…

    very honest & humble presentation of an ever-changing-life-path that did lead to genuine discoveries of “awareness” of that which never- changes… and also the ongoing “process” of discovery… and checking in… to mature and stabilize “awareness” of awareness… or the unnameable…

    i like Mooji’s… “let the seeking drop off by itself” … and from recent Poland Satsang… “i do not teach no-effort… make effort when needed… do not make effort when not needed…”

    in my view Mooji’s “teachings” were reflected well in Zenji’s talk… in spite of Mooji’s warning ~ “do not make tattoos out of any utterances”…

    perhaps the caution here is that words and “processes”… are often accepted too lazily… as a solution… without the “effort and sometimes pain of inquiry” that leads to discovery…

    would have been interesting to hear more how Zenji’s personal life & behavior has changed … but of course there’s FB… here’s one interesting discovery Zenji could have mentioned… https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=72503014470

    thanks again… both Zenji & Rick…

  2. Hi Anatol,

    Thank you very much for your comment.

    Mooji’s quote I gave about the seeking goes more like this: “Let the seeking drop you.”

    There is an important difference in that from the version I gave. Seeking is to stop one’s erroneous identity with body-mind (ego). The fact that seeking happens, one might say, is due to a deeper knowing that we are abiding in wrong identity and a growing willingness to find out the truth.

    It is not the seeking that is to be stopped, but the solid belief in ego-identity, which seeking is there to expose as a fraud. As one recognizes beyond any doubt that the ego-identity is unreal—because it is not an independent power, its existence depends entirely on the I Am (Consciousness)—naturally the seeking will drop away. But it is not a person deciding this. That person has become the casualty of the seeking, and the seeking died with the person.

    Sometimes we hear people celebrate and proclaim that the seeking has stopped for them. Such remarks only give evidence of more belief in false identity.

    “Give up the search” may have been spoken to somebody for whom seeking became another distraction, where the aim of the seeking to culminate in Self-discovery was lost.

    Much love,

  3. thanks Zenji for the clarification… i love the patience of teachers like Mooji, Amma and others who do not tire in clarifying over & over until … we see what is pointed to… love…

  4. Hi, Rick.
    With all due respect, would you please allow your guests to finish their thoughts before you interject, cut them off, or put words in their mouth? Everyone has a different rhythm to their speech and a different way of putting their thoughts into words. Would you please allow them that space?
    Thank you very much for your wonderful website and for being an astute interviewer.

  5. Mooji’s Poland Satsangs Aug 13-15… were recorded and now available to watch @ http://www.mooji.org/livesatsang/

    i watched Aug 13th … fantastic… little long over two hrs… if you have only 1 hr or so… i would recommend… start at 1hr 10 mins… and watch till beautiful ending…

    also watched part of Aug 14th… wonderful to see so many “awakening” in Mooji’s presence…

  6. Ha, this was rich! “Thank you very much for your wonderful website and for being an astute interviewer…” albeit, one that imprudently interjects, cuts off, and/or otherwise puts words in one’s mouth.

  7. Offering bitter medicine with a little sugar, I guess. I’m guilty of those things. Sometimes one needs to do them, at least the first two, if a person drags on too much. Watch a good interviewer like Larry King or Oprah Winfrey. They do it all the time. But some don’t like it even when they do it, and I’ve certainly been guilty of doing it at times when I shouldn’t have. On the whole, I’d say I definitely talk too much in proportion to the guests’ talking, although some assure me I don’t. But in my opinion, it’s an area in which I need to improve.

  8. Regarding the above highly subjective comments on Rick’s interviewing style, it may be worth checking out the current discussion in the ‘General Comments’ section, on striving for and attaining ‘perfection.’ … just a suggestion :]]

  9. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi once said… if you have to tell someone some bad news… first tell them some good news… or something like that… all’s well… except the order was reversed… haha… in any case… seems Rick’s equanimity is still in tact… perhaps a sign of decades of spiritual growth via TM, marriage, Amma, etc…

  10. I have always appreciated Rick’s interviewing “techniques”. He allows the guests freedom to “wander” and expand and yet manages to bring them back to topic when in many cases the actual topic, I believe, would have been lost. The questions he poses are designed to reveal and make clear the essence of the person’s “experience”. Zenji himself said at the beginning that he had never spoken “like this” before, and, well, at this particular point in time, he probably just wasn’t the greatest person to have for an interview subject. And, as we know, Rick had requested an interview with Mooji. Of course everyone has their own manner of speaking and of putting thoughts into words, and in Zenji’s particular case it caused Rick to have to insert himself in ways that he normally wouldn’t. And I would imagine that Zenji understands this! I think Rick generally does a skillful job of staying out of the way, especially in comparison to some others. There is one in particular who is never not there…………..

  11. “never not there” … know what you mean Marcus…

    yeh… Rick is developing into one of the best interviewers…

    and this being Zenji’s first talk… he did great… answered all questions more to my liking… than some with more eloquence … and his light shines true…

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