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No Remedy
An Introduction to the Life and Practices
of the Spiritual Community of Bubba Free John.

Compiled & edited by Bonnie Beavan
and Nina Jones in collaboration with Bubba Free John.
First edition: 6/75

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Adi Da, Ramana Maharshi, Nityananda, Shridi Sai Baba, Upasani Baba,  Seshadri Swamigal , Meher Baba, Sivananda, Ramsuratkumar
“The perfect
among the sages is identical with Me. There is absolutely no
difference between us”
Chap XX,

All copyright materials are
used under authority of the Fair Use statute.
State Code, Title 17)





No Remedy is a manual of basic practices for those beginning real
spiritual life. However, it is not a “do-it-yourself” handbook. To
interpret it as such would be to entirely miss its fundamental point:
Satsang or Divine Communion, the consuming relationship to the
Siddha-Guru, one who lives as very Truth and radically dissolves all
limitations in those who live in his Company and do the sadhana he
offers. The primary purpose of this book is to serve as a practical
guide for those who have already begun to do that, who have come to
Bubba Free John as Guru and joined his community of devotees, The
Dawn Horse Communion


This is not to say that No Remedy is useless to the casual reader.
It communicates specific information about the radical sadhana of
life with this Divine Master that will certainly illumine (if not
undermine) ones knowledge of spiritual practices in general. It is
rich with the humor of a Teaching and a Way that are free of dilemma
and assumed difficulty from beginning to end. And besides outlining
the basic approaches and practices of this life, No Remedy presents
Bubba Free Johns incisive commentary on topics ranging from
homosexuality to dietary fanaticism to the politics of the spiritual


No Remedy is the primary text for new devotees of Bubba Free John,
but it is not a comprehensive statement of his Teaching. Those who
intend to accept Bubbas invitation to live this sadhana, or way of
spiritual practice, as well as those who are simply interested in the
philosophical and spiritual foundation of these instructions, should
read the source books of Bubbas Teaching, including The Knee of
Listening , The Method of the Siddhas , and Garbage and the Goddess .
Also, subsequent study of two other manuals is necessary for those
who are actually developing this practice. These companion texts are
The Eating Gorilla Comes in Peace , a description of the diet and
health practices generally followed by the Community (except during
times of celebration), and Conscious Exercise and the Transcendental
Sun , Bubbas illustrated description of a simple, balanced exercise
system that invites conscious participation in conducting the
life-force from and to its Divine Source

All these texts, including No Remedy deal extensively with various
forms of action in life, such as diet, work, sex, exercise, study,
and service. These basic life practices do in fact serve to harmonize
and purify the body and mind, but that is not their principal
purpose. It is not necessary or even desirable for ones life to
become perfectly pure and harmonious. We are all going to die in any
case! It is better to be happy in God, and that is what life in
Bubbas Company is all about, from the very beginning


This literature is all about real spiritual life, but this does
not mean the way itself is a consoling life of satisfaction for
conventional spiritual seekers. Satsang, or Divine Communion, is not,
in principle, a mystical affair, especially in its beginnings. Its
principle is not the exploitation of subjectivity. New devotees
almost invariably come seeking mystical experience, a “smack” of
enlightenment, a subtle and fascinating form of relationship to the
Guru. But they dont really get what they came for. In the course of
sadhana the individual who seeks fulfillment and looks for progress
or attainment is undermined , not satisfied. He is asked to drop all
his fascination with mysticism and subtlety and return to “Go,” to a
simple, practical, functional existence lived as his relationship to
the Guru. Never mind your visions-get a nine-to-five job and let that
be the expression of your life in Divine Communion. It is all
offensive, unsettling, and really annoying, unless you discover its
true principle-the simple and perfect happiness that Bubba lives to
us all the time. When you can live without straining as an ordinary
human being in God, it is then that all the spiritual and expanded
dimensions of life can blossom in Truth. As an individual matures in
this sadhana, he is given responsibilities relative to the subtle and
subjective life and the extraordinary dimensions of experience. Only
as his relationship to the Guru matures does he become sensitive to
the import of the Gurus higher or dimensional influence and
Condition. And only the mature devotee can throw away what he is
given, fulfilling the Law, which is sacrifice, even in the midst of
the attainment of the illusions he always thought would be his


This way of sadhana is not one you can do on your own. The sadhana
of this work cannot be fulfilled in worldly isolation, the privacy of
your own subjective life. To imagine that it can is to dramatize your
own illusion of separate existence. Regular contact with the living
Guru, in the intimate environment of his community of devotees, is a
necessary mirror in which to see yourself as you truly are, not as
you imagine yourself to be. We all see grotesque self-images at
times, but in the midst of this Satsang, it is endurable, even
laughable. All forms of our self-imagery and the avoidance of
relationship are rendered obsolete through mutual service in the
spiritual community


The realization of Satsang with Bubba is dissolution, not
fulfillment, escape, or cure, but it is not a “heavy” process. One
who turns to Bubba Free John in the unreasonable happiness and prior
Condition of Satsang may go through all the crises of sadhana with
relative ease. It is a conscious process, not a dramatic one; it is a
graceful way of life. It is not a righteous routine demanding
cut-your-guts-out asceticism and bone-grinding disciplines. Devotees
sometimes tend to take on sadhana as if it were a program of
self-denial but that is just more of the traditional approach in
dilemma that must be rendered obsolete in them. Such strategic
approaches are just “hard medicine,” another form of supposed remedy
for the life of suffering. But they do not work


There is, literally, no remedy !

The radical process of Satsang initiated in the Presence of Bubba
Free John only destroys all vestiges of a mans compulsive resort to
remedies, which is encouraged in every cultural “way” of humanity,
spiritual or secular, traditional or contemporary. It exploits none
of mankinds childish or adolescent remedial strategies. It offers no
mediocre solutions to the dilemma of manifest life. This process
requires only the happy realignment of all one has and is to the
living miracle of the Gurus Presence. Thus, it is always full of
humor relative to life and suffering. Life in Bubbas Company and
Community is full of laughter, fluid, punctuated by the unexpected.
It is always moving the individual into the happy crisis of falling
apart in the Divine Reality. There is only God.



Part One

Live With Me

My promise to devotees is the same that all the Siddhas have
declared: I am with you now, as I have always been, and I will always
be with you. My Function is without beginning or end. The work I do
in my psycho-physical form is temporary. It is done in order to
reawaken the way itself. Therefore, my human life is only a moment.
But the purpose of my work while alive is to establish the way of
Satsang, Divine Communion, for the coming generations of mankind.

d* * *d

(1) For the natural devotee, the physical form of the Guru is
sufficient. This Truth is given throughout the traditions. Whenever
the Siddhas speak, they say, dont try to take from me anything to do
by and for yourself. Simply bring yourself into my Company and stay
there. Simply rest your attention on me, sacrifice yourself to me,
sit in my physical presence, live in my ordinary company, yield to me
everything you experience in my company, and I will show you my


(2) That is a simpler form of universal teaching than what is
commonly called the universal teaching in our day, which is the
mantra, or the way of Names. Teachers and ashrams today declare that
for this age the repetition of the name of God is the necessary
teaching. In this age of ignorance, when people cannot take on very
technical responsibilities, it is said the repetition of the name of
God is the simplest way. But from the most ancient times a simpler
way even than that has been communicated by the Siddhas, the
God-Realized. That way is simply to stay and live in their company.
No kind of inwardness, not even any special instruction is necessary.
If you will simply stay in the Gurus Presence, serve the Guru,
contemplate the Guru, lead a simple sacrificial life relative to the
Guru in His obviously present, physical, human appearance, then all
the dimensions of God-Realization proceed from that practice. It is
more profoundly simple even than the way of the mantra, the
repetition of the God-Name


(3) However, in general, people are more complicated than that. So
there is a complication to sadhana that is necessary, useful, and
appropriate because of what a human being is. Most people do not do
sadhana really in those simple terms. Some might perhaps, but
essentially everybody should realize their sadhana in those simple
terms and also be complicated to the degree it is appropriate. In any
case, you must maintain that fundamental Condition of your sadhana,
which is simply to live with me. That is the way of dependence on
Grace, which is God, not on effects and experiences, all of which are
caused, and all of which are ultimately binding


(4) All I have ever been doing in the Ashram is finding ways to
keep people associated with me. Because of their coming and going and
their inwardness and all their complications, I substitute all kinds
of things for my physical form—teachings, dramas, parties,
complicated dharma instructions, practices. All of these are just
ways to keep you in my Company. All I am doing is just keeping you
present while I am present, and that is sufficient. That is the whole
of sadhana. Everything is an elaboration of that


(5) All the “complications” that are extensions of that sadhana
should be applied personally to the individual doing sadhana. They
are appropriate and right enough. But the essential Dharma is very
simple: Live with me. Maintain your attention with me in the
simplest, most direct terms, in whatever form I am present now or in
the future. Essentially, that is the Teaching


(6) Understanding is not even necessary. It is already a
complication. I am sitting here. Stay with me and give me your
attention. Simply live in my Company with your attention. Life may
become sacrifice, it may become all kinds of responsibilities that
are appropriate and generally necessary. Still those responsibilities
are not anything other than this simple condition. That is the whole
of the Teaching, not only the simplest and most appropriate Dharma
for this time, but it has been the simple communication of all the
Siddhas through all time. Even in ages when people were capable of
more technical responsibilities, this was the simple and most direct
form of the Teaching. The most graceful Teaching is the Prasad, or
Gift, of the Guru himself. There are no complications in the simple
condition of your relationship to me. However, if you cannot be so
simple, then you have to fulfill and become responsible for the
karmas of spiritual life, just as you have to fulfill and become
responsible for the karmas of all other ways of life. Nevertheless,
the essential Teaching is simply to live with me.1

d* * *dd[To view a listing below, select the title (in bold)
and click on it with the right mouse button.] d

The Siddhas

The Gurus Law: I Serve Those Who Serve Me

Come to Me When You Are Already Happy

There Is Nothing Cool about It

The Dharma

Divine Distraction

The Community

The Good News of This Satsang

d* * *d


Garbage and the Goddess:d

pages 89-100


pages 101-128


page 136 (BUBBA: Everybody been feeling. . . ) to page 147


page 361 (BUBBA: Yes. The Presence of the Divine. . . ) to page

The Knee of Listening: d

page 262 (Unqualified existence. . . ) to page 271.d

The Method of the Siddhas:d

pages 126-146


pages 148-178.dd* * *d


1. Bubba Free John, “Have I Said It?” an unpublished talk to the
Ashram, January 29, 1976.




Part One: Live With Me

The Siddhas

What is a Siddha?

In its Hindu origins, the term has generally been understood to
mean a man of great magical and arcane powers, a man of awesome
spiritual experience, a human adept of heavenly, secret mysteries


Bubba Free John uses the term in its perfect and sublime sense. In
Bubbas Teaching, a Siddha is not a human being. He is God, Absolute
Reality, alive in or through the earthly form of a man. Not exclusive
God, not an incarnation that is somehow “more God” than all the rest
of existence, but very God, living God, manifest in continuous and
perfect relationship to all that appears and does not appear. A
Siddha is tangible Grace. His mere appearance among common men is
already Divine Grace, the most extraordinary miracle in all the
worlds. His true and absolute expression as Guru is the silent
communication of only God, and that communication is the already
perfect activity of Grace. His relationship to his devotee is the
unqualified enjoyment of Satsang, or Divine Communion, known and
lived ever more perfectly by the world itself through, in, and as the
devotee—and that relationship is already realized Grace.
Commonly, in this world, the Grace of God seems difficult to find,
hard to receive. The appearance of a Siddha is the Divine way of
making the world itself a vehicle of instruction and absorption in


Merely to respond to the Presence of such a One, to go to him and
live in his Company in the simplest, most natural way, is all that is
necessary. So Bubba invites people just to live with him. Already by
doing that we have literally entered the God-world, the dimension of
Reality and Truth. It is very hard to describe, because God is not
what we would imagine. There is no concept or image or sensation that
you can find to describe the immediate transformation that occurs
when you enter into the living Company of a Siddha-Guru. Except that
suddenly, inexplicably, you are no longer living in the same world.
Even while all your worldliness appears and you endure the drama of
its undoing, you are already absolved of your bondage to a life of
gross suffering. You are released. You are free in God. And that is a
tacit, intuitive certainty in you, no matter what transpires in the
theatre of life


Yet we seem to require more. The knots of our ignorance make the
simplicity of that mere life with the Guru impossible for us at
times. The Siddhas communicated Presence and Divine influence are not
limited in any way, not even to the realm or realms in which he
appears. How can it be? Even as he walks, talks, and speaks, he is
living all beings, animating all the worlds. So his mere appearance
is deceiving, if we allow it to be so. And thus his perfect Activity
often goes unnoticed in the world, just as the Divine itself goes
unnoticed. So the living expression of a Siddha also takes on many
apparently conventional forms—his written and spoken teachings,
and the presence of his community of devotees—all of which serve
as consuming influences in the lives of those who approach him, and
as an influential presence in the world at large


Bubba Free Johns work as a Siddha has included these dimensions.
It continues to develop in these ordinary ways. But they are not the
core of this work. Bubba Free Johns Presence is the core of
it—that and the living relationship he offers to all who respond
to his Divine Nature, and turn to him as Guru in God


Many Siddhas have appeared among men in the past. The most famous
among them, perhaps, are men like Jesus, Gautama, and Krishna. Hidden
behind the garb of lesser worldly destinies and apparently more
limited functions are many others, all of whom have come to serve the
same Divine process among men and women in this world.

d* * *d

(1.1) Now the Siddhas, who live in the Form of Truth, are all the
same. There is no difference between them. If you place two sticks
into one flame, when you draw them out you will have two flames. But
they are the same light. Just so, the Siddhas are fundamentally one.
But they are functionally unique, just as all manifest entities are
fundamentally the generations of one Nature, one Reality, but they
are functionally unique


(1.2) When such a being arises in any place and form, such as this
human manifestation on earth, he doesnt come to save the world. It is
not possible to save the world. It is not “necessary” to save the
world. The world is essentially already “saved” by virtue of its
Source and Nature. The Siddha comes at an appropriate time for those
who are available to him. His Teaching appears with him in many forms
in the world. There is the verbal Teaching, which is reported from
person to person, and which can be published in books or other media.
It becomes part of the communication of the world, and as such
influences many, many people. But there are other levels of his
Teaching, more intimate to his life. There are forms of his Teaching
that involve a subtle and life relationship to him. And the closer
the form of Teaching gets with his manifest appearance in the world,
necessarily the fewer there are who can realize the Teaching at that
level. Just so, there are a finite number of those who are alive in
the world at any moment who are likely to respond to such intense
forms of his Teaching, because every entity in the world is active in
a different stage of experience, a different stage of understanding.
Therefore, the Siddha or descended master enters the manifest life
for the sake of those who can live to him directly, for the sake of
those whom he can acquire while alive and draw into the form of
Truth. He comes especially for these devotees although his work is
ultimately for the sake of the whole world.2

d* * *d


People come to the Siddha with all sorts of expectations. We
expect him to heal, to provide marvelous experiences, to create an
instant transformation, to acknowledge each of us as the only beloved
one, the true devotee. And, to the degree we come to Bubba with any
of that, we have to go through the fire of our own undoing! We have
to simply live with him in practical ways and realize that the only
expectation he will fulfill is that he will show us our sadhana hour
by hour


The Guru is a very paradoxical person. He exists to frustrate all
your expectations and demands until they no longer distract you from
a true relationship with him. So he may romance you, befriend you,
ignore you, insult you. He may never speak to you, or he may invite
you to dinner. He may behave toward you in any of these ways, in any
of a countless variety of others, or in a bewildering and rapid
succession of them—but everything he does is to turn you always
to the Divine until you simply live with him in Truth.

d* * *d

(2.1) Guru is not a form of status. It is not some state or
privilege that you acquire and that gives you some sort of special
right to receive the acknowledgment or gifts or belief or any of the
rest that people might tend to give you. Guru is a function. It is a
specific and special activity. In fact there is only one Guru. God is
the Guru, and the function of Guru is eternal. It does not simply
come into the world when some knowable human guru appears, nor does
it leave at the end of a lifetime of such a one. The function of Guru
is always present, always active, always available


(2.2) But men become attached to the principle of their own desire
and limitation, the principle of Narcissus, and forget and deny and
lose the awareness of the functions of God or Reality. So men of
experience arise among men in all times, for various reasons and with
different degrees of significance and genuineness, to tell people
what is really happening, what is really possible


(2.3) From time to time a Great Siddha or Siddha appears, an
apparent individual who is happy with God, to the point where his own
life on every level is constantly realizing the functions of God. In
truth this individual is not separate from the functions of God.
During his lifetime he manifests those functions, communicates them,
demonstrates them to other beings, reminding them, reawakening them
to the conscious enjoyment of the functions of Reality


(2.4) The entire purpose of such a one is to reveal God, to reveal
the functions of God, so that devotees who find God also in such a
human Guru may always live in God, enjoy the great Siddhis, true
Siddhis, that are the Divine itself, while they live, and even beyond
the lifetime of that human Guru. Such a Guru does not appear in the
world in order to create a cult in which he is forever afterwards the
object, the fetish, of mere belief and acknowledgment. There is an
appropriate form of relationship to the human Guru, and it is not the
cultic form. Truly, the devotee must understand in the company of his
human Guru, and he must discover that the one who is his human Guru
and the specific function that is always lived to him through his
human Guru are the Divine activity


(2.5) The Divine must be free to do its work. The Divine is
communicating itself and at the same time is awakening what must be
responsibility in the apparent individual. The Divine is also
creating a purifying event, a transforming event, that must itself
continually be undone through the direct activity and communication
of the Guru. So for that reason, the Gurus life is a paradox, because
the Divine always has the option to assume another position, or to
set aside something that has become obsessive. The Divine must always
be free to communicate the Dharma alive under the present conditions
of Narcissus


(2.6) For this reason the Divine and the Guru cannot be described
according to some fixed notion or some fixed communication. The Guru
always exceeds it. He is always alive. The Guru does not become a
dogma, a holy thing The Guru is a process. He is always alive, and he
is always living in response to the present condition and strategy of
his devotee. He is a paradox because he cannot strictly be defined
and identified and assumed. He is humorous. You should have gathered
that about God by now. Because life has never been black and white
for you. Life is not black and white. Life is very wild, because of
the paradoxical nature of the Divine Presence in the world. The
Divine does not exist over at such and such an address, as a fixed
symbol with a 700-page closed book in front of it. As such the Divine
becomes limited to symbols and forms and cultic treatment, and the
function of the Divine is thereby removed, because as soon as the
fixed principle is assumed by Narcissus, he transforms it through his
own strategy. Any experience or manifestation or symbol of the
Divine, whatever its degree of magnificence, can be turned into
homely and harmless stuff by Narcissus. Narcissus is a magician who
can turn the Pacific Ocean or a sea of galaxies into a backyard pond
or another middle-class vacation spot.

(2.7) So the Divines Presence in the world is a paradoxical one,
and the function of the Guru is, therefore, also a paradoxical one,
in which he is always transforming the quality of his communicated
relationship to his devotee in order to serve his

d* * *d


2. Bubba Free John, The Method of the Siddhas (Los Angeles: The
Dawn Horse Press, 1973), pages 324-325


3. Bubba Free John, compiled from talks to the Ashram in November
and December, 1973.



Part One: Live With Me

The Gurus Law: I Serve Those Who Serve Me

Bubba Free John invites you simply to enjoy a constant
relationship with him, which is to realize the happiness of an
ordinary, pleasurable life in the Company of the Siddha-Guru. The way
of Communion with the Divine Person is exquisitely simple, and,
paradoxically, it is also at times unbelievably difficult. Bubba has
no interest in your search, which is in truth the sign of your
refusal of God. He does not, and will not, now or ever, support the
search in you. His only interest is your liberation in God, and
everything he does communicates and serves that liberation


He means business, and so his invitation to live with him is also
the most absolute and radical demand for responsibility that can be
made of a human being. To all who would come to him as devotees,
Bubba still offers no compromise and no consolation. “Lay it at my
feet. Make the practical, life-level conditions of sadhana a whole
life of service to me. That is the way to realize our spiritual
relationship, and it is the only way.” He will accept nothing less,
even at the beginning.

d* * *d

(1) Satsang is the foundation of sadhana. Until Satsang is
realized, the whole development of sadhana cannot begin. So this
early period is the time in which the foundation of sadhana is
realized, in which your relationship to me is formal. You enjoy a
relationship to me through the form of Prasad, which is not a
ceremony but simply an expression of the nature of our


(2) The individual comes to me on the basis of this Teaching. Then
he is turned over to the Community, and all of my conditions, my
disciplines, are made known to him. He, or she, continues to come to
me again and again, and as time goes on he begins to know this
spiritual relationship as a living, practical matter. His approach to
me becomes sacrificial and full of gratitude, surrender, submission.
His approach to me becomes love, becomes sacrifice


(3) As this relationship develops, then, the whole life of living
my disciplines becomes sacrifice to me. And when his whole life has
become that, when the drama of his life is no longer a question of,
will he live the conditions or wont he live them, will he stay here
or will he go to some “quickie” sadhana center downtown, when all of
that ceases to be the drama of his life, the theatre of his life,
when his whole life becomes sacrifice, when everything he does
becomes conscious sacrifice to me, when that sacrifice is what his
life is all about, then he can come and sit with me when I sit with
the Community


(4) The transition between the new devotees stage and entrance
into the Community (after the second stage of practice, the practice
of the breath of God, is initiated) is a very important moment. It
signifies in practice the transition into the real form of sadhana.
It signifies the development of sadhana. Up until that transition the
individuals whole life in the Ashram has been devoted to the
realization of the principle of sadhana, which is Satsang, this
sacrificial relationship. When that relationship is established, when
his life has become service to me, then he is welcome to come and sit
with me in the full company of the Community


(5) You should all consider whether you approach me in anything
like the sacrificial way I have described to you tonight. I will be
glad to hear about it. If you have not begun to approach me in this
way, then you are as good as just having come to the bookstore this
morning. And seeing that is good


(6) Thus, this sadhana requires everything of you. You cannot
remain a child seeking a dependent and consoling relationship to God
or to me. You cannot approach me as if I were the super-parent who is
employed to make you feel better about everything and to step in when
life is getting heavy for you and throw a party. You are to approach
me on the basis of this Teaching, not on the basis of your usual
search, your childishness. When the Teaching has already made its
point in some very fundamental way, then come to me and the Teaching
will make its point absolutely. You must enter into my service and
establish this real relationship, this sacrificial life. When that
relationship is established, then there is Grace


(7) Sadhana is about breaking through the usual life of tendency,
breaking through the pattern of destiny, not playing upon your
desires, your inclinations, your willfulness, your preferences. This
consciousness, this intelligence awakened through the Teaching
through which you came to me, must become the principle of your life
from this time. And all of the rest of it, every bit of it, flesh and
breath and belongings and husband, wife, children, everything must
come under the discipline of that intelligence


(8) There is no other way. There is no “quickie,” no irresponsible
path that winds up in God. There are only responsible paths and all
of them are the same path. This process of responsibility in Satsang
is the timeless and ancient process communicated by the Siddhas, made
possible through the instrumentality of Satsang. Apart from destiny
and death you have no other choice but Satsang. All your alternatives
are brief. When you realize that, and when you are willing to be
intelligent, to take on this responsible way, then you become capable
of the kind of approach I have described to you this evening


(9) Until this Teaching has made such a point in you, however, you
cannot do it. You will be unwilling to serve me. And if you do not
serve me, you may be able to stay in the Ashram for a while, but you
will only be tested until you begin to serve. This life of service
must become humorous, happy, juicy, living. It is only when you are
viewing the possibility of this life of service from the point of
view of your tendencies that it seems humorless and difficult. But
when you become established in this Satsang, then Satsang becomes the
form of your enjoyment


(10) The kind of responsibility required of you as a new person in
the Ashram is nothing! I hate to tell you this! It is the least of
it. I mean, how much discipline is there really involved in the
conditions you have been given? Theyre all very ordinary. They amount
to just a simple, life-supporting, natural, ordinary, pleasurable
life. But even as ordinary or natural as that life is, as lawful as
it is, it is sufficient to be entirely offensive to a subhuman life,
a life in ignorance. These simple conditions are enough to test and
try every possible kind of complex so-called human condition. The
offenses are there for everyone. And you notice how childish you are
as soon as you get a little offended. As soon as you cannot at will
do a few of the crazy things that you are used to injecting into the
routine of your life over a years time, you get petulant, you get


(11) When I was doing the equivalent of your sadhana, I felt these
inclinations. These tendencies are there to be dealt with, to become
matters of your responsibility. It is not just that you are not
supposed to be aware of tendencies, but there is a higher process to
which you are fundamentally committed, and which you would not
abandon under any conditions. Thus you must pass through the
difficulties created by your tendencies at times. That is what it is
to be a human being. Everything else is just subhuman, the
exploitation of the mechanisms only. Human life is responsibility,
consciousness. You must bring that kind of manliness, whether you are
male or female, to the process of this sadhana


(12) It is not that you have been given a little technique to
focus your attention in some subtle center, in which you can forget
the body and all of its complications and by continuing to focus on
that subtle something-or-other you then drift out of this world into
heavenly wonderments. You have not been given such a process. Such a
process is not true. The real process that is in God is all a matter
of responsibility. It involves a moral transformation of life in
consciousness, a complete transformation, a restoration to the law of
sacrifice of your gross life. You cannot abandon your gross life by
focusing your attention somewhere and thus attain liberation. You can
temporarily change your experience if you focus your attention with
enough interest, but eventually you return to the place where you
have karmas


(13) There must be the moral transformation or the return to
consciousness and responsibility of the dimension in which you are
appearing. On that basis then, there is the appearance of other kinds
of transformations and for the same purpose: to test you to the point
of consciousness and responsibility, not to entertain you or to give
you a thousand-year lifetime in a better place rather than a
seventy-year lifetime here. This sadhana, therefore, requires a great
deal of you, but once you decide to do it, it is very interesting and


(14) In general, to come to the point of maturity takes years.
There must be intense commitment and involvement for years before
there is maturity, not an end-phenomenon of some super state but just
maturity, real responsibility for the spiritual process in the
totality of your life. That maturity goes on and develops eternally,
without time. But to come to that point of maturity, to come to the
point where you are doing the sadhana of a perfect devotee, is
essentially a matter of years, in some cases many, many years, in
some cases perhaps many lives. But since you have essentially begun
it or are willing to begin it, I am willing for your sadhana to be
resolved in this lifetime. I am willing for this sadhana to be
conclusive, not only in this lifetime, but long before your so-called
death in this world. But if it is to be so, you must cease to resort
to your childishness


(15) You must do this sadhana with great intensity, with great and
ordinary maturity, and pass through this process that is entirely
offensive to all your tendencies. It is absolutely true that this
process of sadhana offends all your tendencies, which means it
offends you absolutely, in every way, in every dimension in which you
have existence or in which you may realize existence. You will feel
that offense, you will feel your resistance, you will feel all kinds
of tendencies that are anything but the availability to this Satsang
and its sadhana. And you will be tested by them because you must pass
through them. That is what sadhana is about. There are times when it
is extremely difficult, difficult beyond belief, and you must go
through those times. Those are the most valuable, the most purifying

(16) If your approach to me is wonderful and full of love and
sacrifice, as it should be, then all the karma that must be seen,
that must become your responsibility, can be shown to you easily. I
am willing for it to be shown to you in a dream or in just a brief
moment, some little circumstance that comes and goes. I am perfectly
willing for you to yield that dimension that you must surrender in
yourself on just such an occasion. I am willing for these karmas to
pass in easy ways, in dreams and simple circumstances. But if your
approach is not whole, not direct, not one of service, consciously
lived all the time, to the degree that you do not live such sadhana
in my Company, you must suffer your karmas as they stand. They will
still be awakened in you by the force of this Company that you keep
with me, but they will be awakened in gross ways, as they tend to
appear outwardly in your life, outwardly in the waking state. Then
the process has to be very dramatic and heavy


(17) But the drama is unnecessary. If you are a little
intelligent, a little happy, a little free in my Company then you can
grasp it as a little lesson. But some people have to be beaten half
to death to stop chewing their fingernails! The little lesson they
have to get requires incredible circumstances! This life is just such
a lesson, a lesson that would not be necessary if you were straight.
Nevertheless, it has happened, and by taking on the form of sadhana
in this life, you can make all of the necessary lessons much easier,
much more simple


(18) This is one of the effects of this Prasad, to make it
possible for the entire affair of your appearance in this world to
become a matter of responsibility in this lifetime. Independent of
that sadhana, that Satsang, that Prasad, that Grace, it is absolutely
impossible for most human beings to complete the cycle of realization
in a single lifetime. There are a few who appear at random in the
human plane for whom it all seems to happen very easily, very
quickly. But for the usual man, independent of the real process of
Satsang, the transformation and liberation of manifest life is a
matter of billions and billions of lifetimes, of numberless
lifetimes. This is true!

(19) Now in some sense all of that is amusing, and the dumber you
are, the more likely you are to be amused by it! But there is really
nothing amusing about it at all from my point of view. It has never
been amusing to me. This life as it is commonly lived is insane. It
was perfectly obvious to me that there was nothing to do but sadhana.
There was nothing else in life that was worth the suffering. I havent
become a pleasureless man, obviously, at any point in my life. But I
made life sadhana, and doing that required great discipline and great


(20) And it requires the same of you. The way of the Siddhas is
simple and easy, because it does not take billions of lifetimes, but
it requires a hell of a lot in one lifetime. And yet some day you
will look at it and see that it required nothing at all, that you did
nothing. It all seemed very dramatic at the time, and yet it involved
nothing at all. But you must stop being children. You must be present
with force, with energy, with life! Youve got to kick ass! And lay it
at my feet every time you come to me—in other words, all day.
Eventually you will have laid it all down, and you will have gotten
everything back. But if you bring nothing, if you literally bring me
a piece of fruit, be warned!

(21) The play between us is the theatre of sadhana. It requires
great responsibility, consciousness, and discipline, and on the other
hand it is also amusing, pleasurable, and interesting. I expect you
to do it all and not complain. When I ask you how you are, I want to
hear that you are good. I do not want to see any coming and going and
all that nonsense. Just do what you have to do and get it started.
Then it goes on forever. Everything else is quick.4

d* * *d


4. Bubba Free John, “Lay It at My Feet,” The Dawn Horse, Vol. 1,
No. 2 (December, 1975), pages 11-15.



Part One: Live With Me

Come to Me When You Are Already Happy

This is the outrageous, paradoxical command of a Siddha-Guru. How
is it possible to come to the Guru already happy? What does Bubba

dCome to me when you are already happy. In other words, do not
approach me as a common seeker, but approach me on the basis of the
Teaching, when it has made its point in you. When the Teaching has
made its point, the individual comes to me with gratitude, in a
spirit of self-sacrifice (or self-giving), surrender, and

The Teaching having “made its point in you” does not mean that you
have somehow become intellectually convinced by it. It is not as if,
upon reading Bubbas books, seeing a film, or hearing a tape, you
merely feel that it makes sense, or that it is better than most other
teachings you have come across, or that certain aspects of it answer
your personal questions about spiritual life in a way that really
aids your spiritual development, and you can take it from there.
People have these kinds of responses to the Teaching all the time,
and many of them approach Bubba as Guru on that basis—but unless
an entirely other kind of response arises in them, they never stay
with him for long


That true response, when the Teaching really makes it point in
you, is a spontaneous, humble, and defenseless acknowledgment of the
very core of Bubbas gospel to the common or usual man: that his life,
no matter what form it may apparently take, is entirely literally,
and always a form of suffering. Not simple pain, which is different
from and can be alleviated by pleasures, successes, etc., but a form
of misery and complication that cannot be touched even by the best of
lifes common happinesses.ddThere is only God. Well, how can there be
such God-enjoyment without loss of face? Without sacrifice itself?
Without being undone in God? And how do you begin to realize such
enjoyment? By suffering. No one begins to do sadhana until he or she
has suffered, has begun to observe and know that whether the
circumstances are pretty good or not so good, fundamentally his
destiny is suffering, life is suffering. It is a complication, a
depression. There is a fundamental sense to life itself over time
that is suffering. But you get to know this only by suffering, by
living an ordinary manifest life and doing what you feel like doing,
doing what everybody does, doing what is culturally impressed upon
you, doing what circumstances require you to do by reaction, trying
to make this a heaven world or a utopia, trying to make human life
some sort of perfect vessel, trying to make your own life work out
terrifically. By living a life you will know suffering!

Therefore suffering is the first form of grace. And it is only
when you begin to comprehend your life as suffering, as limitation,
as dis-ease, in some very fundamental way, that you will do sadhana
in its true form. Anybody can want to be consoled, anybody can feel
that life could be better or that life is not really so terribly good
right now. But the practice of sadhana rests in the critical
comprehension of life itself as bondage.6d

This recognition of life itself as suffering can come in the midst
of any apparent life circumstance. You dont have to be failing
miserably and full of neuroses—in fact, most people who seem to
be always getting kicked in the teeth by life generally can never get
enough distance from it to see its inherent limitations. But, at the
other extreme, there are plenty of people in Bubbas community today
who were drawn into that comprehension in the midst of a life that
was apparently successful, full, and happy. So it cannot be
determined, on the basis of outward evidence, in what kind of person
or in what kind of circumstances such a realization may begin to
awaken. That awakening is entirely a matter of the Divine

When this recognition of life as suffering appears, your
perception of the world begins to change, not necessarily coincident
with a philosophical or mental comprehension. Prior to this
acknowledgment of dis-ease, you continue to think of the world as a
something. You objectify it as a place, as a circumstance, as a
material event, just as you do yourself. You imagine that the world
is a massive, solid, physical process and that even your thinking is
somehow produced by chemicals. And you go on living that solid,
muscular life until you begin to suffer, until you cant be blithe and
naive any longer


With this breaking up that suffering produces comes a tacit
awareness that the world is not physical in nature, but
psycho-physical. All of the spiritual and religious traditions
essentially acknowledge that the world is a psycho-physical process,
not a physical one. The world itself, not you only, not man only, but
the world, this stuff, this universe, is a psycho-physical process
whose essential foundation is consciousness. All the imagery of God
and language about God develop within a tradition based on this


You become more and more sensitive to this principle yourself the
more you are released into a sense of your own true existence. When
you cease simply and mechanically to move about and do what you do
and exploit yourself in purely vital terms, but instead you are
opened up through failure, through suffering, through insight, then
the world begins to seem very different to you. The more psychic and
conscious you become, the more obvious it is that the world is also
of that nature. You begin to enjoy a psychic relationship to the
world, not just a physical one. Suffering has released you into your
own depth


The profundity of this awareness varies from person to person, but
the possibility of sadhana exists truly only in that instant. When
the world ceases to be so solid and when you are no longer obsessed,
you may still be moving with your life but no longer obsessed with it
as something ideal and perfect. The entire form of existence has
become loose, its definitions are not so clear, and all kinds of
experiences in which the world becomes like dreams may begin to occur
in a person to create awe and mystery in him, even drive him a little

The recognition of the psycho-physical nature of the world is not,
as you might think, a profound or mystical perception. More often it
may seem merely disorienting, just further evidence of the difficulty
and cramp of life. If the person has been locked into an entirely
materialistic view of his life, to suddenly begin to perceive that it
is not all so linear and solid is very unsettling. But it may also
become grounds for an entirely new form of his lifes search and
exploitation of the arenas of his present suffering. There begins a
period of adventure, of seeking high and low to undo the inherent
complication of life. It may take on the form of the common
adventures of our Western world, the exploitation of money, power,
sexuality, food, drink, and drugs in a most intense way. Or it might
take on the apparently spiritual form of mystical flights and
exploitation of the subtler mechanisms of our existence.

dBut contained within the seed of all that change is the
possibility for real sadhana or for God-Realization. Contained within
that acknowledgment of suffering is the possibility of knowing the
Guru. And when you meet the Guru, then your adventure is halted. . .
. Each individual develops an odd life of his own through this
adventure until that same sensitivity in which the life of suffering
was realized and acknowledged brings him into the company of the
Guru, and he becomes sensitive to the Gurus consciousness and


The Guru constantly indicates that suffering is not anything that
is happening to you or has happened or will happen. Changes of state
are not fundamentally to be equated with this suffering to which you
have become sensitive. Your suffering is your own action. Even what
you call yourself is a form of action. So the Guru draws the
individual into more and more intimate company, the mutually
sacrificial relationship that sadhana involves, and he constantly
serves this realization in the individual, serves this sensitivity to
suffering and the inspection of its nature, serves more and more the
intuition of That from which all of this is arising


In this way the individual begins to adapt to a pattern of
responsibility, whereas before, motivated by his initial sense of
suffering, he wandered. In the Gurus Company his sadhana becomes
specific, a matter of responsibility, not the accumulation of
experience nor the exploitation of the mechanisms of

So the Teaching makes its point in a man in this way: It points
out to him at long last that he himself is the suffering and that no
action he undertakes on his own can undo it. But it is not a gloomy
Teaching, because its source is the Guru, one in whom that suffering
is already and eternally finished, one who lives as very God, the
utter radiant happiness that is the ground of all existence prior to
the creation, the hallucination of suffering in all its forms. So the
Gurus criticism of the self-created life of suffering comes hand in
hand with his announcement of his own Graceful Presence. And there is
nothing modest about that Presence; nothing humble. The Guru may say
things like, “I am empty, the servant of the Divine,” and so on, but
these are not ways of effacing a self that persists in the notion
that it is less than the One it serves. They are ways of distracting
attention from his apparently personal, human presence to his very
Presence, God. The Guru is so perfectly absorbed in that One that he
has no self whatsoever. He cannot find any identity other than very
God, and that is what he lives to people. It is perfect existence,
free of conflict and fear, and the Guru is potent and capable of
absorbing all who come as devotees into his own very Nature


So it is only natural for one in whom the Teaching has truly made
its point to come to the Guru already happy, ecstatic to be free of
the sorrowful, unyielding burden of his own search, beside himself
with the sudden good news that he can completely entrust not only his
spiritual life but his whole life to the Divine manifest in human
terms. It is a great, great relief. For many people the moment of
first realizing that Bubba is alive and available, and that he is
indeed a Divine Master, is itself one of the most profound and
ecstatic moments of their spiritual lives. And that is no accident.
Because in that instant of yielding and surrender, the Guru meets
them with his very Nature, already their own Consciousness. That
Consciousness is what suddenly awakens. The intuition of the Gurus
Presence somehow at the core of your life is happiness itself. It
awakens at the very beginning, and from then on it is simply a matter
of coming to live with him and allowing that life to mature into all
of the ordinary and extraordinary forms of Divine Realization.

Thus it is that all true devotees come to Bubba already happy.
True enough, their search must unwind over time, the sacrifice must
be perfect and complete. We all find ourselves compulsively moving
towards all kinds of lesser, more complicated, often inappropriate
ways of approach to Bubba as Guru. But that simple, initial movement
is sublime, involuntary, and perfect in Truth. It is already
realization. That response is Satsang, Divine Communion, simply
living with the Siddha-Guru in God.

d* * *d


5. Bubbas written instructions to the Ashram, November 14,


6. Bubba Free John, “The Grace of Suffering,” an unpublished talk
to the Ashram, January 18, 1976


7. Ibid


8. Ibid.



Part One: Live With Me

There Is Nothing Cool About It

It is clear that anyone who approaches the Guru through the verbal
Teaching, in its written, auditory, or visual forms, already has
literal contact with the Guru. He has contact with the Guru as
Presence, as Divine Conscious Power, or Siddhi. It is not that the
Guru-Siddhi is in the book or on the tape recording. But the tape is
like the Gurus physical body. The medium is an agent for the Siddhi
through which the Siddhi is brought into life. The intuitive sympathy
the new devotee feels with Bubbas communication is a direct
manifestation of the Gurus Grace, of the Siddhi. Thus, if he decides
to live on the basis of that intuition, he does sadhana in response
to that literal Siddhi. The same Forceful Presence is also alive in
the Community of the Gurus devotees, the living process of human
beings who enjoy relationship with the Guru. Thus anyone who does
this sadhana through the instruments of the Teaching, that is, in
contact with the recorded form of the Teaching and with the
Community, has literal contact with the Siddhi.

dThe Guru is not just a human person who can have human effects on
you. The Guru is active, present as that Siddhi. The Guru is
communicated to you under all conditions, twenty-four hours a day.
Once that contact is established, once that relationship is
established, that Siddhi communicates itself under all conditions, in
all states.9d

Sitting in the physical presence of the Guru is the most potent
confrontation with the Siddhi. It is a grace. However, it is not by
sitting with the Guru that your sadhana is fulfilled. If that were
true, all Bubba would have to do is to give you a “zapping,” and send
you on your way. As a new devotee, your sadhana is realized in
confrontation with the Teaching and the Community. Unless the
Teaching is alive in you, not merely comprehended by the mind, but
lived in relationship, you could sit before the Guru until your death
and not understand. But when the Teaching is alive in you,
confrontation with the physical form of the Guru is a way of
quickening you, of enlivening your sadhana. Therefore, while enjoying
a life of study of the Teaching and engaging in the cooperative life
of the Ashram Community, you should enjoy the physical presence of
the Guru as often as you can.

The simple process of sadhana is one of progressive intimacy with
the Guru, of becoming sensitive to the Gurus Presence, of yielding
your resistance and your concern to the Guru.

d* * *d

(1.1) You cant be a little, frozen, “poor me” creature and not
commit yourself to the Guru, not make yourself known to the Guru, not
live with the Guru, not communicate with the Guru. You cannot remain
mediocre in the presence of the Guru and expect that all the
manifestations of spiritual life are going to be given to you. You
must put yourself in that condition in which the Guru-Siddhi is
allowed to become active in your own case. You must establish that
relationship and live it


(1.2) People do the same thing in relation to the human Guru that
they are always already doing in relation to the Divine. And they
will experience the same effects if they dramatize the life of
Narcissus in relation to the Guru. Nothing will happen. That is what
will happen. They will just become more upset, more dry, more


(1.3) The life of the devotee is vulnerable to the Guru, whereas
Narcissus does not permit himself to be vulnerable to anyone.
Immunity is what Narcissus is all about. But the devotee is
absolutely vulnerable. He has turned himself, opened himself
absolutely to the Guru, surrendered himself to the Guru. So he is in
the same position that you are when you open yourself to anyone in


(1.4) You know how vulnerable you become when you are open,
intimate with another. You become subject to his whims, become
subject to his moods, the circumstances that he creates. So you must
put yourself into that condition of vulnerability in relation to the
Guru. And the Guru puts all of his devotees through changes of state.
He continually works upon the link between himself and his devotees.
He tests that vulnerability to be certain that the devotee will not


(1.5) It is not the Gurus responsibility to go out and pick people
up and fondle them and convince them that he is the Guru. If the
devotee wants to be reserved and immune, that is his business. He is
not a devotee in such a case. And the forceful link with the Guru is
not established in such a case. Neither is it established in the case
of people who overtly act out an emotional, externally devotional


(1.6) The human Guru is brief. The Dharma, the path, communicated
by the Guru during his lifetime, will remain. But that manifestation
of the Divine function is brief. It is the responsibility of the
devotee to make use of it while it appears. If individuals, through
the awakening of true devotion in consciousness, become a sacrifice
through Satsang with the Guru, then the Siddhi that is the Guru will
remain in the form of the Community beyond the death of the human

d* * *d

One of the things that we tend to forget all the time is that this
vulnerability Bubba speaks of is not a hidden sensitivity, a private
subjective emotion that each individual knows only in himself and
does not even see in others. On the contrary, to be true and full,
this openness to the Guru has to be wide open and visible in life
terms. In fact the whole sequence of life routines and occasions in
the Community is geared to enhance that non-private, non-secret
condition of vulnerability to the Guru in every way. For instance, in
a talk called “God, Guru, and Grace,” Bubba pointed out how “there is
nothing cool” about the formal occasion of Prasad in the Community
when everyone comes into the Communion Hall and approaches Bubba
individually in full view of the rest of the Community, offers a gift
symbolic of his self-surrender at Bubbas feet, bows to the floor, and
then receives in return a piece of fruit or a sweet, the symbol of
Bubbas Grace.

d* * *d

(2.1) That is not cool. You lose face doing such a thing. But that
is what the whole of sadhana is, this kind of relationship to me. It
is a spiritual relationship. It is an involvement with Grace. It is
life in God. And there must be forms within the Ashram continually to
remind people and to oblige them to realize sadhana as life in God.
The ways by which people tend to realize their sadhana are
conventional, cool and hip ways in which they do not lose face at
all, in which they are always getting better, dealing with things,
going up and down, going through phases, finding out about
themselves, getting lessons, all that really boring bullshit!

(2.2) What sadhana really is, however, is this relationship. It is
a graceful process. That is what you are involved in


(2.3) You must make every moment an involvement in that process.
Do not merely live these conditions, but make the conditions of your
life service to me. There is a vast difference between the
conventional realization of sadhana, which is to do all the things
you are told to do, and the realization that transforms all the
activities, all the conventional forms of your lives into literal,
direct, conscious, and present service to me. That is sadhana. It is
not being good or doing things right and then feeling that you did
all the things they told you to do but you just dont feel good and
you just dont feel like youre growing and you just dont feel like
youre getting any closer to realizing Satsang! The reason that you
are not getting any closer is because you cannot get any closer. That
realization has to occur in this moment. In this moment, the
conditions of your life must be made into my service, and if they are
not, that spiritual relationship that involves the psycho-physical
being entirely, is not alive. There is no Grace then, no
participation in the Divine process


(2.4) Every moment must be realized in this form of service, every
moment must be realized as the sacrament of Prasad, in which the self
is yielded, in which all content is yielded, and in which Grace is
received. That is the cycle of a truly human existence. Until life is
realized as that there is no human happiness. There is no
transcendental realization or intuitive understanding. There is no
sadhana, there is no Grace, and there is no transformation through
the levels of responsibility that corresponds to the development of
mature sadhana. Spiritual transformation depends on this realized,
ecstatic condition in every moment. Whenever it does not exist, you
are just doing the same old shit. You are just living a conventional
life under the guise of spiritual life. A spiritual life is one in
which you lose face in each moment, in which you are the servant of
God, in which you are dependent upon the services of God. Unless such
a literal and conscious and ecstatic and face-losing affair appears
in every moment as your life, you are not doing sadhana. And every
moment in which you lapse and forget to live your life as that, you
are again not doing sadhana.11

d* * *d


9. Bubba Free John, “Study, Enquiry, and Satsang,” an unpublished
talk given to the Ashram, November 15, 1973


10. Ibid


11. Bubba Free John, “God, Guru, and Grace,” an unpublished talk
given to the Ashram, December 3, 1975.



Part One: Live With Me

The Dharma

The Communication of a Siddha is Perfect in every moment.
Everything he says and does reflects and expresses this Divinity and
serves to awaken its realization in the world. We receive this
Communication only partially and in stages, realizing more as we
mature in sadhana, because we are always tending to assume and live
from a limited point of view. And because we are human beings, we
read the influence of this Divine Communication only in ourselves and
in other human beings. But in truth the Dharma or Teaching of God is
given perfectly and continuously by the Siddha-Guru to all beings
simultaneously. That gift is utterly paradoxical in its nature. There
is no way we can comprehend it. It is the humor of the Divine.

d* * *d

(1) The verbally communicated Dharma is delivered essentially to
beings who apparently have minds, who appear to function with the
mental vehicle. So the communicated, verbal Dharma is usable only by
human beings. The Dharma in Truth, the Dharma that is Truth, that is
the Siddhi, that is the Guru-function, is communicated to all beings
in all times under all conditions. And the Guru in Satsang is in fact
not identical to the Teaching which he gives to human beings, which
stands by itself, and which they can confront. The Guru in Satsang
serves all beings. He communicates a Satsang in which even the frogs
may participate, and in fact many do! All kinds of creatures, even
the walls, participate in that sadhana with the same variations of
intensity that appear among human beings who deal with the verbal

(2) DEVOTEE: Perhaps I dont understand in any fundamental way what
the Dharma is


(3) BUBBA: The Dharma is the totality of this Satsang. Only one
aspect of it is the verbal Teaching, and there are also other kinds
of communications that are considered in the stages of sadhana. But
the Dharma in Truth is not different from the Guru, not different
from the Divine. It is realized as a process in which, piece by
piece, individuals become responsible for the totality of their
existence. In Satsang, the Dharma, which is Truth itself, is
communicated always perfectly, absolutely, without limitation. It is
not that this much of it is communicated today, and tomorrow this
much, and this much the next day, but always all of it is given. The
Truth is fully communicated in Satsang. It is the perfect condition
of Satsang. But you realize it as a process in time. You see its
evidence, its revelation, in stages. But my work with you, in its
fundamental and most perfect sense, is always the same


(4) I do not start with you at the bottom and push you up. I do
not assume your limitation. The assumption of limitation is not the
nature of this Satsang. In this Satsang your perfection, your real
Condition, is assumed, the Divine nature of this life is assumed,
lived and known. You are included in the Divine by the force of this
Siddhi, and you are polarized to it. The very process of your own
life is turned around and repolarized relative to its native
functions. But you do not see your real Condition in Truth, in its
perfect form in this moment. Instead, you see the beginning of
movements, the signs, new things to be responsible for, new things in
the midst of which to understand. But Satsang is the same for
realized devotees as it is for new devotees. Thus, the Dharma is not
other than the Guru, not other than Truth. It is the process of
Reality entirely. But the service I give to those who do this sadhana
is given in stages that speak to the dimension of sadhana that is
absorbing them in the moment


(5) The verbal Teaching, which we also call the Dharma, does have
several aspects, including the stages of practice. But Truth itself
is the Dharma. It is this Satsang. And apart from these times of
discussion, we just come and sit together. There is no speech. There
is no special little thing I do sitting with new devotees and a
really big thing I do sitting with perfect devotees. Satsang is the
same for everyone.13

d* * *d

So what we, as human beings and as devotees in various stages of
sadhana, conceive as the Dharma is always only a reflection of the
continuous communication that Bubba is making to us. How we conceive,
understand, or appreciate this Teaching only reflects our own
capacity to receive it. The perfect or realized devotee sees that the
true Teaching is Consciousness itself, prior to and inclusive of all
the worlds! And he knows perfectly well that this Teaching is not
equivalent to any philosophy whatsoever, not even the philosophical
and verbal statement given by the Guru


Bubbas Teaching has always been a living event. He has always not
only spoken to his devotees but also shown them what he was speaking
of in their very lives. Thus, there have been periods of time in the
Ashram that were characterized by very exaggerated
qualities—times of prolonged and strict living of
life-conditions, times of wild celebrations, times when Bubba was
generating all sorts of extraordinary spiritual experiences to
demonstrate the point of his Teaching relative to them. And Bubba
himself has often seemed an exaggerated man in his behavior, in order
to provide the lessons, the elaboration of the Dharma, necessary to
the various stages of his Teaching. But in fact, as he points out,
his behavior is only a tool of his Teaching, not an expression of any
limitation in his Nature.


What I do is not the way I am, but the way I teach


What I speak is not a reflection of me, but of you


People do well to be offended or even outraged by me. This is my
purpose. But their reaction must turn upon themselves, for I have not
shown them myself by all of this. All that I do and speak only
reveals men to themselves


I have become willing to teach in this uncommon way because I have
known my friends, and they are what I can seem to be. By retaining
all qualities in their company, I gradually wean them of all
reactions, all sympathies, all alternatives, fixed assumptions, false
teachings, dualities, searches, and dilemma. This is my way of
working for a time. Those who remain confounded by me, critical of
me, have yet to see themselves. When their mediocrity is broken, when
they yield their righteous reactions and their strife toward all the
consolations of the manifest self, they may see my purity


Freedom is the only purity. There is no Dharma but Consciousness
itself. Bubba as he appears is not other than the possibilities of

* * *d


12. Bubba Free John, “Frogs and Walls,” The Dawn Horse, Vol. 1,
No. 1 (November, 1975), page 4


13. Bubba Free John, “Thats Magic,” a talk given to the Ashram,
October 11, 1975


14. Bubba Free John, “The Way I Teach,” The Dawn Horse #5, Vol. 2,
No. 3 (1975), back cover.




Part One: Live With Me

Divine Distraction

The function of the Divine Siddhi, its natural force, is not to
fulfill our manifest lives, but to dissolve us, absorb us, redirect,
turn around, and undo us. As Bubba often explains, the true meaning
of the word “sin” is to “miss the mark.” The mark or goal that we
cultivate and cognize is the one toward which we feel directed by
tendency, inclination, even destiny, whether we conceive it in common
human terms or in absolutely Divine terms. But the conception makes
no difference—to assume the mark in any sense is already to have
missed it. Before you even take conscious aim at your “goal in life,”
you have sinned!

The only way that this constant activity of missing the mark can
be undone, and life and consciousness restored to their prior rest
and position in very God, is through the potent, graceful activity of
the Divine Siddhi itself, operating through the Guru. The vehicle of
that process is the love relationship between the Guru and the
devotee. It moves not by any kind of action the devotee performs on
himself and his “sinful” tendencies, but by an increasing distraction
from all such self-meditation and absorption of attention into the
Divine itself.

dSatsang is absolute attachment to the Guru in God. It is
maddening attachment, totally distracting attachment, love of the
Guru that distracts one from the whole course of conventional life.
And if that attachment is not there, if that glorious, ecstatic kind
of happiness and distraction by the Guru is not present, sadhana is
not possible.15d

The ancient legend of Krishna and his gopis illustrates, through
allegory, that the attachment of the devotee to the Guru is the
principle of spiritual life. The gopis were women who tended and
milked the cattle in the fields where Krishna wandered. In spite of
themselves they fell in love with him and completely forgot about the
cattle. All they wanted to do was to look for Krishna every day. They
would wander away and forget to go home, forget to cook for their
husbands. They were completely distracted by their love for


Eventually Krishna established them in palaces of their own. He
would see that each one had everything she needed, and then he would
leave, saying that he would return in forty years or so! And of
course the gopis wept and suffered and lost weight and had emotional
breakdowns, but they did not fail in their attachment to him. His
absence was a kind of theatre he created in order to intensify their
attachment. He did not reject them. He played upon their attachment
to test and intensify it, to make it more absolute and consuming


These ordinary women were madly involved in an absolute attachment
to Krishna, or the Divine manifest in human form, the Guru in God. As
a result of this attachment they became more and more ecstatically
absorbed in the God-state. And the foundation of the sadhana of
Satsang with Bubba is exactly that same attachment. It is attachment
to the Guru in God, not a cultic attachment to one who appears in
human form, but Divine attachment to the Guru. And if that attachment
that overwhelms the life completely and distracts you from the
conventional destiny to which you are fitted by your desires and
inclinations and circumstances, is not present, then not only is it
impossible for sadhana to be fulfilled, but it does not even exist in

d* * *d

(1.1) The cattle that the women abandoned represent the force of
all the tendencies of life. The husbands they left are the
fundamental attachment to separated existence, to existence in form,
to bodily existence, individuated existence, egoic life on its own,
motivated toward survival and distinct from the Divine in
Consciousness. Thus in the allegory of the relationship between
Krishna and his gopis, we see a fundamental description of the
principle of this sadhana. Sadhana is not about bearing down and
being motivated by problems in your life, by some sort of
philosophical detachment or inclination to have yogic and mystical
experiences. Nor is it about doing what you have to in order to
produce the changes that you desire. This sadhana is about
distraction from the life of tendencies. It is a distraction from
that life. It is not a motivated kind of detachment from your life of
tendencies or an effort relative to them or the taking on of
conditions to stop tendencies from arising or lifetimes from
occurring. It is not a method of the ego. It is not characterized by
any kind of effort relative to tendencies—for such a path is
completely hopeless


(1.2) There are innumerable conventional paths that involve
self-conscious efforts or hopes to produce changes, high and low.
These efforts and hopes are themselves forms of tendency that may be
realized and suffered in human and other terms. They are not
liberating in the fundamental sense. They are not God-realizing. They
are themselves expressions of the movement toward fulfillment. The
way of sadhana, the way of Truth, is the way of complete distraction
from the current of life, from the tendencies that produced your
birth and that produce the drama of your existence from day to day.
Only when there is complete distraction by the Guru, by the Divine,
from the way of life that is producing your experiential destiny, do
your tendencies become obsolete. They do not become obsolete when you
direct effort against them. It is only when that distraction appears
in the midst of the affair of your life that another principle,
another process is established


(1.3) The gopis simply left the cattle. They did not say, “Im not
going to tend cattle anymore! Im not going to submit to my desires,
my tendencies, my job!” They did not make any such decisions. They
simply forgot about the cattle. They were so distracted, so in love
with Krishna, so ecstatic, that they just forgot to go home. It never
even occurred to them to go home. They never worried about “Should I
go home or should I stay here? Should I watch the cattle or should I
go look for Krishna? Should I discipline myself?” They did not create
a problem out of their sadhana or their relationship to God


(1.4) Anybody who approaches me is obliged to involve himself or
herself in just this kind of ecstatic spiritual relationship. When
that becomes the condition of their conscious existence, fully,
through all the conditions of life, then the force of limiting
tendencies is weakened, not by doing anything to it, but by virtue of
the fact that you are no longer even involved with it. If your
relationship to me is essentially ordinary, mechanical, mediocre, not
Divine, not a form of contemplation, then you are not doing this
sadhana. You are intending to do some other kind of conventional
sadhana perhaps, but you are not doing this sadhana. And you are not
involved in the sadhana of Truth, you are not involved in Divine
sadhana, you are not involved in that opportunity that is made
available in human time through the agency of the Guru


(1.5) The Guru is not simply present to rap out a philosophy or
distribute techniques that you may apply depending on your
intelligence. The Guru is present to enjoy a Divine relationship with
all those who are willing to assume such a relationship, with all
those who have the capacity for distraction by the Guru in an
absolute love relationship that is more and more distracting. But if
that distraction is not present, if that love-desire distraction is
not present in an individuals life, then the form of this sadhana is
not initiated. It cannot begin. There is no point in even discussing
the technical and abstract aspects of the development of this sadhana
until the individual has begun to enjoy an ecstatic relationship with
me, a spiritual relationship, not one that is in the air, but one
that includes the whole of life, that draws the emotion, that awakens
the love, that awakens the heart. That distracting relationship that
is the principle of this sadhana must be established. On its basis
the individual may begin to assume life-conditions, turn them into
service to me, and realize that service in more personal and complex
ways over time


(1.6) The foundation of this path is the distraction that is
described between Krishna and his gopis. You must flee to me from all
your life, from all your tendencies, not from your
obligations—that is not what that allegory is all about—but
from your tendencies, from the foundation of distraction by yourself,
by your own thoughts, your own conditions, your own belongings, your
own relationships, your own hopes, your own beliefs, your own
thoughts, your own reading, your own mystical intentions, your own
philosophical presuppositions. You must flee to me from all that. It
must be completely uninteresting to you. It is certainly not
interesting to me!

(1.7) You cant argue a woman into loving you, and you cant argue
individuals into the Divine Satsang of distraction. Satsang can be
offered and a circumstance provided in which people can approach and
become sensitive to that communicated Presence, that Siddhi. But
apart from making it available openly and providing a way of
approach, there is no argument whatsoever. I am completely without
argument. There is nothing I can do to convince you of the Truth of
this path, nothing I could do outwardly or verbally that could in
itself fundamentally convince you of the relationship you must enjoy
with me in order to fulfill this sadhana. It is like falling in love
with someone in conventional terms in life. It is not something you
argued yourself into doing. It was initially a form of distraction,
of absorption, without any reasons, and perhaps if you examined it to
find a reason for it, it would seem unreasonable to you, not
justified. You know, your lover doesnt look the way you wanted him to
look. And in many ways I dont look and act and talk like the
conventional, cultic guru is supposed to! . . . Im not even pretty! .
. .16

d* * *d

This allegory of the gopis “Divine distraction” in Krishna is
indeed a perfect symbol of the way of sadhana with Bubba Free John.
People have spent months, even years, in the community, concerned
about their lives and their tendencies, always trying to get it
straight, to make themselves perfect, to live the disciplines with
great intensity, but always remaining fundamentally unhappy and
confused, because they were missing the point. They were still
curling inward upon themselves, minding their own cattle and their
own limited associations instead of allowing themselves to be
distracted by the Divine.

The process is not the same as becoming unconscious of your
ordinary responsibilities and existing human relationships. It is
just a matter of seeing your concerns drop away; you find yourself
simply dwelling on the Guru more and more. You think of him, you want
to be with him. You find that the only true pleasure you derive from
all the ordinary moments of your life arises when you live those
moments in service to him. Not to him as the super-guy who has the
ultimate status in the community, but to him as the Divine Master,
whose personal presence is the perfect medium of the Divine itself.
The intuition of Bubbas Presence is an undeniable connectedness at
the heart. It is humor, lightness, clarity. Each devotee reads it
through his or her own mechanisms differently than the others, but it
is always itself enjoyment and happiness and love. And it gets to the
point where you find that nothing else is worth living for. You
simply lose interest in whether or not you are living the conditions
of spiritual life perfectly, and thus you begin to live them with
ease and without concern as handy, tangible expressions of your love
for the Guru. To perform any discipline nominally becomes
intolerable, even painful, because you have forgotten him


And the Guru, of course, plays the theatre of this distraction to
the hilt. Krishna does not merely satisfy the gopis longing for
him—he plays with it, drawing it out, coaxing and teasing them
into more and more mad and ceaseless distraction in him. Bubba works
the same way. He lures all who come to him with feeling as devotees,
into deeper and deeper longing for intimacy with him. Then he plays
on that constantly, So the love-desire we feel for him very often
does become painful. When the Guru doesnt invite you to dinner, when
he doesnt acknowledge you personally, when he doesnt treat you with
apparent kindness, it is painful. As Bubba puts it, the theatre he
engages with his intimates is “emotionally effective.” There is no
way you can defend against it. And in truth you dont want to, because
that would amount to a denial of the love that is growing
spontaneously and of the increasingly distracting intuition of his
true and prior Presence and Divine Nature


So the whole process is radically unlike any form of self-applied
technique, or even any conventional relationship to a mentor or
teacher. It is the high theatre of absorbing, wrenching, ecstatic,
disorienting, offensive, delicious, and joyous relationship to your
own Divine Nature and that of the very world, manifest in familiar
human terms and apparent “otherness” as the human Guru, the living


The sadhana initiated in the Company of Bubba Free John is from
the beginning a humorous play of Grace and fire. It marks the “easy”
transition from a life of suffering to the inclusive, ordinarily
remarkable life of Satsang. Grace is the vehicle, and it is given
spontaneously and appropriately when sadhana is lived as loving
service to God in the form of the Guru.


Of course, we do not always appreciate this theatre of the
relationship with the Guru in its true terms, so there are very
natural and automatic liabilities that we must take into account in
the midst of our lives in Satsang with Bubba. Each of Krishnas gopis
was at some point convinced that he loved her, her alone, and her
absolutely, but each in turn also had to be weaned of that notion.
Just so, the sadhana of life in the Company of Bubba Free John very
often will entail that necessary weaning process for you, when you
begin suspecting and hoping that you, personally, are the “beloved
one,” the chosen devotee, the hidden true companion. Anyone who gets
even the least attention from Bubba cannot help but feel such
thoughts and impulses arise. What is necessary is to do sadhana
relative to this obsession, which means that you must act on another
basis entirely rather than these rising, exclusive, and limiting
emotions, which are actually ways of denying the Gurus real Nature
and Work. Rather than expecting attention from the Guru, you must
sacrifice your attention to the Guru


The opposite impulse is what Bubba refers to as the “bhakti cult.”
This is the tendency to make a cultic figure of the Guru, to very
deliberately or intentionally behave toward Bubba as if he were
literally some kind of spiritual super-guy.

dThe Guru knows very well that individuals will, by tendency, try
to create this cult around him which will make him essentially
obsolete in his Real function. But he doesnt make a law, bring down
ten commandments and say, “Dont do that anymore.” It is not fruitful
to make a law. He creates a demand, a condition over against which
this tendency in individuals is reflected, and that serves life in
consciousness, in which there arises not the bhakti cult, not this
cultic exploitation of the Guru, but the genuine relationship to the
Guru via sacrifice. So the relationship between the true devotee and
the Guru is quite a different thing from the cultic bhakti
relationship, which does not include any understanding whatsoever,
which is just an expression of the need of the individual to become
ecstatic through means, to change his state, to exploit his
functional life processes to the point of absorption, of
self-forgetting. That is only a temporary affair and it doesnt
represent the process of Truth at all. It is a lie. It is a form of

There are signs by which you may know your own tendency toward
this kind of distraction from Satsang. One of these signs is overt
emotionalism in the Gurus presence, which, because it is extreme,
distracts you from Satsang. Because these feelings of love for the
Guru are so pleasurable and consoling, you may begin to feel that
love for the human Guru is equivalent to sadhana, and you may
righteously abandon the disciplines of the Gurus demands. The bhakti
cult also manifests in the enthusiastic “selling” of the Guru as a
cultic figure when talking to others about this work, rather than
making Satsang available to them in natural, ordinary conversation.
Or you may find yourself acquiring rituals to invoke the blissful
feelings of love for the Gurus human form, by staring at his body or
at his picture, for example, or by obsessively concentrating on his
human form through secret methods which seem “devotional.”

It is natural for these tendencies to arise in Satsang. But, like
everything else that arises, they must be understood. If you indulge
these tendencies toward the cult, then you will be forever distracted
by your search, even in the Gurus presence. But if you observe them
as they arise and surrender them through real attention and service
to the Guru, you will enjoy the true relationship with the Guru which
is Satsang, Divine Communion.

d* * *d

(2.1) It is not a matter of taking on some discipline or other and
cutting it all out. It is a matter of doing sadhana. So in the midst
of all those qualities arising in you, you must study the work, live
these conditions, literally serve individuals, and continually return
to the position of the Teaching. All of that will act as an offense
to your tendencies, and it will produce real symptoms—emotional
symptoms, physical symptoms, psychological symptoms, all kinds of
symptoms. At the same time that these symptoms are arising, they are
themselves representations of self-reflection in consciousness, so
they serve the breakdown of the usual trend of conscious life


(2.2) So when we get something like a true devotee, we dont see
somebody who is just fascinated with the human form of the Guru or
involved in an emotionalistic game in which he becomes absorbed in
various functions of the life-process. In a devotee we see one who
has truly yielded what appears in the form of all his functions to
the point of the dissolution of that common principle, of that
ordinary activity. One who understands, in other words, is the
devotee. And his self-sacrifice or surrender is spontaneous,
coincident with his conscious life from moment to moment. That is a
very different thing from the mere ecstatic, who does not represent
the principle of consciousness in his ecstasy


(2.3) The phenomena of bhakti, like the phenomena of yoga, and all
things that arise in the process of this sadhana are valued from the
point of view of the spiritual traditions as somehow the fruits of
sadhana, somehow its attainment. These phenomena represent in some
sense the acquisition of the phenomena that are equated with Truth.
But in the way of sadhana communicated in this Ashram they are not
seen in that way at all. They are seen as symptoms, as
representations of this crisis. They are a condition in which
understanding is appropriate, and that is what makes the sadhana of
this Dharma quite another matter than the usual traditional approach
to spiritual life


(2.4) Those kinds of attachments that originate with ones first
approach, ones ordinary human fascinated approach to the Guru, are of
the same nature as ones attachments to the aberrated forms of ones
functional life in general. So the demand for insight into this
simple bhakti movement that has no involvement with consciousness at
all, the demand for the understanding of that, the dissolution of
that as the principle of ones spiritual life, is not really different
from the demand that you enforce dietary restrictions, that you have
a job, that you limit your sexual life to a relational condition. All
these conditions are of the same nature as this demand to understand
the mere and transient impulse to this bhakti cult of the Guru. It is
of the same nature. That original and psychological attachment to the
Guru is not the spiritual relationship to the Guru at all. It is a
form of self-indulgence. It is of the same nature as love of some
movie star or sports figure or your parents. It is a form of
enthusiasm. It has nothing whatever to do with consciousness. It has
nothing whatever to do with real spiritual life or life in

d* * *d

Bubba has said that there are some who could not realize their
sadhana without the grace of an intimate, personal relationship with
him. Others, and these are more numerous since he can be intimate
with only a few, have not the capacity to tolerate the fire of that
personal contact, nor does the realization of their sadhana require


The theatre of Bubbas play with his intimates serves to intensify
everyones attachment to him, no matter how much personal contact you
may have with Bubba. That play is a living demonstration and
enactment of the relationship Bubba offers everyone and of the
demands that relationship represents to both the eager and the
fearful. So the disciplines and gestures of friendship that Bubba
bestows on those close to him intensify the sadhana not only of those
to whom they are directed but also of those who may be witness to
that special theatre or who even hear about it later. No matter how
central a participant you may be, in that theatre you experience the
undermining of everything conventional in you that is an obstruction
to Satsang, or the enjoyment of your true and spiritual relationship
to Bubba. You will find yourself becoming jealous, disdainful,
superior, full of self-doubt, fawning, and so on, obsessed in one way
or another with the extent of your intimacy with Bubba. Thus the play
between Bubba and his friends reflects the quality of your own
sadhana and serves the realization in you of your prior, fundamental,
and always happy relationship with him


Intimate contact with Bubba is itself a condition for sadhana. It
is not merely a conventional pleasure to be enjoyed for its own sake.
Bubba has provided specific instructions relative to the sadhana of
those who live in his personal presence.

d* * *d

(3.1) Any individual whose relationship to me involves personal
intimacy, who spends time in the relatively conventional atmosphere
of my personal company, is obliged to realize that intimacy as one of
the conditions of sadhana. The special circumstances of his or her
relationship to me must not be grasped for their own sake. It must
all be lived in Satsang, as sadhana. If it is not so, then the
individuals relationship to me, at least relative to our intimate
circumstances, becomes a conventional and karmic occasion. Then,
while living in my company most intimately and personally, that
individual will inevitably become distracted by intense and arbitrary
vital, emotional, and gross level patterns of desire and opportunity.
Such people become self-meditative and offensive in my company, and
they vacillate between the pursuit and the rejection of me in a
constant theatre of desires. Others who, because of their functional
obligations to our community, must spend time in my ordinary company,
but who engage that company as a conventional occasion, become
similarly distracted, self-indulgent, and irresponsible in their
relations with me, and the whole of their lives becomes aberrated to
that degree. In the end, all of these apparent intimates begin to
adapt to a life in the Ashram that skirts the fundamental Condition
and conditions of sadhana. Some may even leave the Ashram. Others
must be established in conditions of life in the community that are
more ordinary, and which allow a formal but not an intimate approach
to me


(3.2) Therefore, those who are presently or at any time in the
future involved in any kind or circumstance of personal intimacy with
me should constantly inspect the quality of their living in my
company. The Law is fulfilled only if they accept and presently live
the special conditions of their intimacy with me as the spiritual
discipline and obligation of service to me in person. They, like all
others who come to me more formally, must realize their lives as
service to me. If it is not so, their relationship to me becomes
conventional and obsessive, driving them into forms of karmic
theatre, either toward me or away from me. And I will not tolerate
their company


(3.3) Those who live or at any time work in my intimate or
personal company must do so as service to me personally. In that
case, they will all the while remain turned to me, under all ordinary
conditions, and the glamour of their conventional and born existence
will have no force in them. Neither will theatrical circumstances
that arise awaken conflicts in their personal relations with me. Such
individuals may live with me and serve me without end. They will
entirely cease to make demands upon me, or to commit offenses to me,
based on the conventional or karmic patterns of their desires. I am
the only destiny of those who love and serve me


(3.4) Those who truly serve me while engaged in most intimate
contact with me will not demand or require personal attention from
me. Nor will they become aberrated and confused with frustrations if
I do not give them such attention, now or ever. Their attention is in
service to me, not to their own circumstances, desires, and the
subjective complexes of their minds and lives


(3.5) If anyone fails to do such sadhana in my intimate company, I
will send him away. I will no longer keep anyone close to me who is
not doing this sadhana of personal service to me. Only those who
demonstrate the real maturity of sadhana are permitted to fulfill the
functions that require even the least personal contact with me. In
the past, I kept many immature and irresponsible individuals near me
in order to serve, test, and instruct them. Now I expect the Ashram
to serve such individuals, and I will tolerate intimacy only with
those whose sadhana is founded in service to me, those whose
spiritual relationship to me is secure and conscious, who no longer
look for me within themselves or anywhere in all the worlds, who find
me always in Satsang and serve me with their life of love


(3.6) There is a fire in my Company that you will come to know.
The Teaching, the Community, and the formalities of a right spiritual
approach to me are the way for all who would do this sadhana. Let no
one come to me in any fashion that does not conform to this. Let no
one approach me in the common way again, for I have renounced the
common life, even in this Ashram, to tend my fire in secret. My fire
consumes the man, and even, in Truth, the soul. My devotee is
enlightened by my fire. The fool and his beloveds are only

d* * *d

Bubba makes himself available to us under all kinds of
circumstances in the Ashram, both formal and intimate, for one
purpose: to test and perfect the quality of our approach to him.
Every occasion in his Company serves that purpose. The Guru is always
offering his gift of Prasad, which is himself, fully and openly.
Therefore he is always extremely sensitive to the quality of the
approach we make to him. And he demands that we be responsible in our
relationship to him under all conditions.

dAll devotees should approach me formally, whether in the Satsang
Hall or in any moment of the day. Everyone should be mindful not to
assume an irresponsibly familiar attitude toward my company. No one
should touch my physical body unless I indicate the familiarity
first. And no one should approach me, verbally or physically, all of
a sudden, but approach calmly and direct themselves to my attention
in a conscious and self-controlled manner.20dd* * *d


15. Bubba Free John, “Divine Distraction,” an unpublished talk
given to the Ashram, December 16, 1975


16. Ibid


17. Bubba Free John, “The Bhakti Cult,” an unpublished talk given
to the Ashram, October 29, 1974


18. Ibid


19. Bubbas written instructions to the Ashram, November 29,


20. Ibid.



Part One: Live With Me

The Community

I am incarnating as the Community of my devotees. Those who live
in constant Communion with me are the living manifestations of my
Presence and Power. I send them into the world and make myself known
through them. This is the secret of my spiritual work. My Devotees
are the way to me.21

d* * *d

(1.1) During my life in this human form I am busy drawing devotees
to myself by exposing them constantly to the Siddhi and Person of the
Lord. I am only showing them the Lord in all the forms of his
marvelous and ordinary Activity and in the very Form of his Presence.
Bubba Free John is nothing and no one. He does not acquire anything
or anyone for himself. He is only an instrument for the revelation of
the Siddhi and Person that is God. This Siddhi and Person is always
being revealed to my devotees. They see this revelation in the
theatre of their lives and in my own form. They see it thus because
they are my friends and lovers. Because they are always turning to
me, I am always showing them the Lord and communicating his demands,
favors, and enjoyments. The Lord is eternally Present and Active, and
I am making him known. When this life of Bubba Free John is
abandoned, the Person and Siddhi of the Divine will continue to be
manifested to my devotees in exactly the same way I have made known
to them while I live. And the Community of my devotees will remain in
the world as my very incarnation. It will continue to serve as the
fundamental and living instrument whereby my work will be extended
beyond my lifetime. . .


(1.2) It is my expectation that I will not leave behind me a
specific individual who can assume conscious responsibility for my
work as a whole. Rather, the total Community will share my complex
functions at the level of life, and the spiritual functions will be
performed through the Community as a whole by the action of the
Divine Siddhi which I have regenerated here. . .


(1.3) I am always working to yield all responsibilities to
devotees and to make all my devotees perfectly available to the
Divine Work. Therefore, know that your responsibility must at last be
perfect. At last this Community must be me and assume all my
life-functions. For this reason I have asked for your lives in total,
so that you may be assumed by me totally and live only in God to one
another. If you accept my demands truly and with humor, then the
Siddhi and Person of the very Divine will remain Active and Present
in and through this Community throughout the coming age and

d* * *d

Life in Satsang is mutual sacrifice. It is not only the devotee
who yields himself, but also the Guru. The Guru is continually
yielding all that he is to all his devotees. To whatever degree he
finds them assuming responsibility, whether in life circumstances or
in their spiritual work, Bubba yields himself to them. As he put it
recently, “I replace you.” This is not the “I” of any individual,
even some super-individual, but the very and paradoxical “I” of God,
the Divine Lord


Thus, the Community of those who come to Bubba to live in his
Company has a very specific and truly sublime purpose: to embody all
his functions, both human and spiritual, for the sake of all others
and mankind in general, that this appearance of the Divine in human
terms might not merely die out a few years or decades after Bubbas
passing, but might continue to expand and blossom in the human
community at large


Now there has never been, before this time, a true, full, and
ongoing community of devotees. By “devotees” in this context Bubba
doesnt mean the general group of all those who come to him, but more
specifically that group among them who have realized the fullness of
his Teaching and matured perfectly in sadhana. Such people will, like
Bubba, live only God. They will know no obstruction in life or
consciousness, but will abide continuously in the perfect Radiance
and Happiness that is the Divine


The appearance of a Siddha brings with it no guarantees. In the
past other Siddhas, like Jesus and Gautama, have tried to establish
living communities in which the Siddhi of the Divine could flourish.
But they have never succeeded in the perfect sense. At best there
have been lineages of Gurus within the various traditions, in which
one Siddha passed the mantle of his work and the Siddhi of his
Presence to another individual. But Bubba has no intention of this
limited form of continuance. He has said many times, not just in the
statements above, that no single individual will assume his
responsibilities after his psycho-physical death. All of his work
with us has had two purposes: to establish his Teaching; and to
generate the qualities and functions of his own Presence throughout
the Community by yielding himself broadly into the lives of his
devotees, so that the Teaching is not only known but lived and
fulfilled. When these purposes are accomplished, then he may feel
free to withdraw his physical presence, because that Form of
existence which was served by his human form will be perfectly alive
in the Community at large


That process is already well under way. No Remedy represents a
culmination of Bubbas Teaching work, with its outlines of the
foundation sadhana of the way of Divine Communion and the special
Teaching of the way of Understanding, each established in the prior
and simpler context of Bubbas fundamental invitation to all, to
merely “live with me.” More than that, Bubba now has a small but
growing group of disciples in whom the Siddhi of his work is securely
active. He has said recently that even if he were to die
today—and that is a real possibility, because the world is a
spontaneous event that he does not manipulate to any apparent
ends—the Siddhi would continue its radical work in this group
and, through them, in the Community at large. So the eventual
appearance of true devotees is assured now in this Community


In very practical terms, the Community provides an arena, a
theatre, for the quickening of sadhana and the dissolution of all
limitation and suffering in devotees. The Community exists to
communicate the Gurus Teaching and the Condition of Satsang itself,
but it does so not as an organization in the world whose aim is to
perpetuate itself. It is the community of beings who have come
together to do sadhana, who live cooperatively and in mutual
dependence, who represent a righteous and happy demand to one another
for humor, energy, love. It is one thing to study the Teaching and to
perceive in your hidden subjectivity the strategies of avoidance and
suffering as Bubba describes them. It is quite another and daring
thing willingly to become vulnerable to others so that they also see
your strategies and openly demand that you surrender them totally and
live this devotional life all the time. By entering into a
functional, whole life with other members of the Community, you will
naturally begin to see and sacrifice all that you represent in
limitation. In the Community, devotees not only serve one another in
outward or conventional ways, but also, because the Guru has invested
himself in them, they spontaneously and without effort or knowledge
bring to one another the potent Divine Siddhi that is at the core of
this work. So the more your life is spent in contact with others who
are living this work, the more intense, potent, and easy will be your
own sadhana


The following excerpt from a talk about the Community of devotees
was given by Bubba on July 7, 1974, the date which marks the
fulfillment of the initial and foundation phase of his Teaching work
in the world and the fundamental securing of his Community.d* *

(2.1) The Siddhi of our work is perfect. There is no obstruction
in the earth, no obstruction in the cosmos, no obstruction in a human
being that can stand up to it. Anyone who submits to the Teaching,
who lives the discipline of Satsang, will pass through it in a happy,
essentially ordinary way. He will have his difficulties, because
sadhana requires heat at times, but it will be easy compared to the
traditional passage. It is nothing


(2.2) It is just a ride. It is very simple. It doesnt have to
involve extremes of any kind. It is a natural life in this Community,
living the Teaching relative to the stages of your own conscious
transformation. The way of the Siddhas is very easy. The traditional
seeker must try to pick himself up by his bootstraps and attain the
state of God, but when the Siddha appears in the world, he manifests
that complete and perfect Realization directly, to all living beings.
He asks only for their attention, their surrender, and he becomes
them. So they dont have to pass through all of the artifices of their
own search for transformation, for release. They live the happy life
of present relationship to the Divine, or Satsang, Communion and
Non-separation in God. In the midst of all of that, this radical
transformation occurs. It appears as all these phenomena, but without
the concern and self-cognition of the individual. So the way of the
Siddhas is a happy, easy way. It is Divine Grace in the world


(2.3) It is also uncommon, because wherever it has appeared, it
has been undone in a relatively short time. The Dharma of the Siddhas
has never been fully communicated in the past, never totally pictured
in its fullness. It has always been adapted to the point of view of
the search in dilemma. Because of this, the Community of Devotees was
never established in the world. No medium was created for the ongoing
realization of spiritual life in the form of the Dharma of the
Siddhas. At the end of the lifetime of such a Siddha, there was
nothing left to do but resume the path as it always was, and the
influence of the Siddha who had appeared gradually ceased to be
effective after his death. Perhaps he left a few who were close to
him, but they didnt truly know what he was about. All they could do
was talk about their experience and radiate a certain quality. Others
might experience that radiance in little arbitrary ways, and so
create another path out of it, but the Siddhi did not last. The
Dharma has never been perfectly communicated in the past. This is the
first time.

(2.4) It has never been done before, so now that it has been done,
the one thing necessary is made possible. That is the Community of
Devotees, who are the living incarnation of the Guru. That alone
makes it possible for the Guru-function to exist perfectly during the
lifetime of the Siddha, and to continue afterward perfectly into
time. Only if the devotee can be awakened in the Gurus Presence, and
made identical to him in Consciousness, can the Teaching be


(2.5) Merely to come and teach philosophy and some methods does
not pass on anything that is alive. There must be that living
transformation, that contact with the Siddha in which the
overwhelming Divine Process is initiated. When that occurs in a group
of people who live with one another and are responsible for that
common experience, that common enjoyment, then the Teaching can last.
This is the first point in human time in which that possibility has
existed. But it is only a possibility. It will come to nothing again
unless you become responsible for it in the midst of your own sadhana
and responsible for its communication in the world


(2.6) DEVOTEE: Bubba, we have been meeting in groups, and more and
more I have begun to see the intensity of the Siddhi being manifested
through them. Is this the way the Teaching will spread in the

(2.7) BUBBA: Yes. It will occur through devotees meeting others
and taking others into their households and spending time in groups
together and sitting in Satsang with them. That is how it will grow.
Whenever possible, I will personally be with those who come, but I
want also to work through the agency of those who are already with
me. When you meet in these groups there are always people there who
just came in today. Others have been in the Ashram a couple of
months. There are some who have been here for a short time, but who
have realized a great deal. There are many degrees of this enjoyment
represented by these groups. That is why they are groups, not just


(2.8) The Siddhi is literally alive in my devotees. When some
individual comes to me and I contact him, there is a living
connection established, not just, “Hello, Joe, be my friend.” There
is a Great Spiritual Process. It literally exists. If I have an agent
in a person, I can work with him twenty-four hours a day, as long as
he maintains his sacrificial attention to me. Wherever these
individuals gather with others in the ways I have told you, this
Siddhi will be radiant. The same process will be awakened in whatever
centers or groups you create. Wherever individuals do sadhana in the
Community, the same process will be awakened


(2.9) There will continue to be the same literal contact, the same
literal transformation, because this work is not involvement with
“Bubba Yogi.” There is only the Divine, and that is all Bubba is
showing. Because that is so, it is not limited to Bubbas
psycho-physical form, his limited mind, and what he can show you in
human terms. The Divine work is present here, and it is eternally
available to all who become devotees in Satsang with me. The Divine
Siddhi is available wherever devotees live, wherever the Community is
established. That same process is awakened as long as people do this
sadhana and become my devotees. As long as it is done with that kind
of simplicity, you will always see these same phenomena, these same
states. Everything that I have told you will be exactly the same


(2.10) The Community is in itself a form of meditation, a form of
devotion. Therefore, when devotees get together they tend to turn one
another quite naturally to the Guru, to Satsang. Individually, they
tend to become associated with their dramas, their changes, their
limitations. But as soon as they enter into one anothers company, it
is as if they were reminding one another of Satsang, even though they
might not outwardly be saying it. That reminder in itself is
meditation, so you naturally feel it more strongly at those times of
gathering. Also, you are entering into the company of many others in
whom this Siddhi is active, perhaps in different ways than it is in
your own case. Limitations that may be yours may not be active in
some of the others, so you feel the Force of the Siddhi more purely
represented to you at those times, because your own limitations are
transcended by the Force as it freely appears in others. Just so,
there may be areas in yourself that are not obstructed, but which are
obstructed in others, and those others feel the Power of Satsang more
intensely because of your presence, or the presence of several like


(2.11) When I send people to present the work of the Ashram in
public, it will not be one person going out and showing a movie
somewhere. I will always send groups of two or more, in order that it
be the Community that is going, not just a single person who can get
involved in his private number. It is the Community that must move,
and there will not be any single individual who in himself represents
the work. There wont be any replacement for me. I cant imagine any
greater liability than trying to load it all on some person. I lay it
all onto the Community, but the Community is very large. There are
many qualities in the Community


(2.12) What is truly great is the existence of a Community of
individuals who will submit to the discipline of living with one
another, of loving one another, of creating a common life whose real
principle is the absolute Presence or Present Nature of the Divine.
Compared to that, the random transformation of a few individuals is
nothing. The significance of the Community is absolute, because it
means the movement into human terms and human time of the Divine
Process. Without the Community, that movement cannot occur. It can
occur in however many can have contact with me during my lifetime,
but it cant go beyond that if there is no Community. So you must all
maintain living contact with the Community as well as with me, and
when you have to go out and do things in the world in general, you
must understand your limitations, you must do sadhana. There will be
difficulties created by that, but that is good.23

d* * *dNotes

21. Bubba Free John, Garbage and the Goddess (Lower Lake, Cal: The
Dawn Horse Press, 1974), pages xii-xiii


22. Bubbas written instructions to the Ashram, June 7, 1974


23. Bubba Free John, “This Siddhi Will Be Radiant,” The Dawn
Horse, Vol. 2, No. 1 (January, 1975), pages 33-35.



Part One: Live With Me

The Good News of This Satsang

The form of your relationship to me is the matter that is
significant at the beginning and always. You must approach me as a
devotee. That is a communication absolutely necessary and absolutely
obvious. When someone comes to me in the form of sacrifice, my body
opens up. I dont tell it to. I respond to that spiritual being and
presence. That is how this Siddhi works. If there is no sacrifice of
self, no devotional approach, regardless of all the social niceties
that may be there, then this [tapping his chest] does not
open. You can come to me for years with your fruit, and there will be
no sadhana, no Grace, not even a lesson grasped, because there is a
law alive in our relationship. It is mutual sacrifice.24

d* * *d

You cannot “just” live with Bubba Free John. In other words, you
cannot just hang out with him in the conventional way, even if you
treat him with the deference and respect you might maintain toward
any ordinary or even extraordinary human teacher. To live with the
Divine itself implies sacrifice, yielding, turning, softening. Your
heart must melt in his Presence. It is not difficult. All you have to
do is let your head truly touch the floor one time, and he will touch
your heart. It is unreasonable, inexplicable. But the fact and truth
of it makes reasons unnecessary. When a man falls in love with a
woman, he suddenly forgets to figure it out. The same process occurs,
only with maddening and world-dissolving intensity, when he falls in
love with the Guru and begins to live his life as yielding and
surrender to already present God


What follows in the final sections of No Remedy is an elaboration
of the “complications” that Bubba has gracefully allowed his
devotees, all of whom are indeed very “human” and find it difficult
to simply and formlessly maintain their direct, sacrificial attention
to him in love. The purpose of this first section has been to lay
that foundation—to show the core of the gospel of Bubba Free
John in its naked, heart-rending simplicity


The fundamental condition of Satsang is the same from the day you
begin it. It is the same then as it is when you are a perfect
devotee. The condition of Satsang is what is significant. All the
conditions that change between the time when a person enters the
Ashram and the time when he is a perfect devotee are just change.
They are factual, they do happen, but they are not the truth of the
process. Satsang is the truth of it and its principle. It is not the
goal or the end-phenomenon to be attained. It is the prior
realization of one who does sadhana.

d* * *d

(1.1) All the changes that in any way look like attainments are
secondary. They are factual enough but they are not the Truth. The
Truth is the Condition of Satsang that must be realized in every
single moment. That constant realization is happiness. Therefore, the
new devotee, if he is realizing Satsang as the condition of life, is
just as realized, just as happy, just as much fundamentally
established in the Divine intuition as the greatest of all perfect
devotees who could possibly exist. The only difference for the
devotee is in the conventions, the working out of the conditions that
manifest as the theatre of his life. But conventions are not what its
all about anyway. Happiness is what its all about. Satsang is the
Truth and Satsang is the foundation of sadhana, and all those who
live such a Condition are already realized in God


(1.2) That is the gospel, the happy news, the good news of this
Ashram. That is what is communicated, not self-help—do
such-and-such and you will be consoled, feel better, change your
condition, not feel so threatened, not believe you are mortal. That
is not the message at all. That is a cool message. Any hip devil can
feel better. But the condition that may be realized today, in this
moment, is Truth, is happiness, entirely non-dependent upon changes
and conditions of existence. And that is very good news, it seems to

(1.3) All the ways of seeking are bad news, communications to
people who are suffering in dilemma, who are motivated by dilemma.
Bad news is, “Well, if you do such-and-such, you can escape this, you
can feel happier in the midst of it, you can get perfect, you can
have some visions.” That is bad news! From the conventional, hip
point of view it sounds like good news. Thus, religious and spiritual
communications tend to be identified with that kind of “good” news.
The gospel tends to be associated with “good” news of that kind,
promising that things can get better, Christ will come again, or
something sublime will happen on down the line


(1.4) The real good news is that none of that is necessary—it
is all bullshit! Of course, changes are good from a conventional
point of view, even appropriate. But the good news is that none of it
is necessary, that the Condition that is happiness is free of this
dilemma and all motivated existence, the endless service to your
suffering, the endless self-meditation and progress, that all of that
is completely unnecessary and can in this moment be side-stepped,
obviated, undermined, and completely by-passed in the way of real
sadhana. The real or true way of sadhana is to assume the Condition
that is Satsang, to live that Condition constantly, now, in this
moment, and now in this moment. Secondarily, sadhana also makes all
the rest of the bullshit obsolete and creates all kinds of changes of
state. That is factual. But the Truth is this Condition, and thats
the good news.25

d* * *d

(2.1) In the “Introduction to the Gospel of the Siddhas” I have
written: “While the Guru lives he teaches that Satsang which can be
enjoyed by all even after his death, not in the special form it may
be enjoyed by a relative few during his lifetime, but which could
have been enjoyed by all prior to his lifetime. He acts to help his
disciples and devotees to realize this form of Satsang even while he
lives in the world.”26 My psycho-physical form is mortal, a function
of the worlds. It is the instrument whereby the way of Satsang is
being communicated at this time. I welcome all my disciples and
devotees to come and be with me as often as possible while I live.
But it is impossible to enjoy that form of Satsang twenty-four hours
of every day. And this mortal one will come to rest some day. This
psycho-physical form in which you recognize me is the fundamental
instrument for the initial communication and generation of our work,
but it is in fact only a secondary instrument of Satsang. The
fundamental instrument of Satsang is the Siddhi that is eternally and
radically Present. While I live I will be active in this
psycho-physical form for the sake of this Siddhi. Therefore, it is
appropriate for all devotees to come into this mortal ones presence
whenever possible. But my work is to help you realize this Siddhi
that is my true and eternal Function. I am here to establish a
perpetual community of devotees who will live in perfect Satsang, the
condition of my eternal Function. The Guru is an eternal Siddhi or
Function of the Divine Reality. The human Guru is the demonstration
of that Siddhi, whereby men are renewed in the true condition of
life, which is Satsang


(2.2) Since it is this eternal Siddhi that my devotees enjoy,
there is no fundamental limitation involved in the fact that no one
can be in my psycho-physical presence twenty-four hours of every day.
Indeed, most of you see me only on occasion. After my death, no one
will ever see me, but my work will continue in the community of my
devotees, those who know me as the Siddha beyond conditions


(2.3) Thus, I want you to know how to live the true form of this
Satsang, that form of Satsang which pertains before my life, during
my life, whether or not you are in my psycho-physical presence, and
after my death


(2.4) “Sravana” or hearing the word of the Guru is the beginning
and ongoing necessity of the way of Satsang. Therefore, always study
the written and spoken Teaching which I have given among devotees. Do
this each day


(2.5) The fundamental response of one who listens to the Gurus
word and knows him as Guru is surrender. Therefore, moment to moment,
surrender to me all your seeking, the very sense of your separate
self, all thoughts, all desires, every circumstance, even your body.
The true devotee surrenders all of this always and turns to his Guru
as the Present Divine Reality and the Siddhi or Function of Truth. To
surrender the whole drama, content, experience, and destiny of
Narcissus to the Guru is not to be concerned at all with these things
themselves, or even the effects of the surrender. Rather, it is to be
turned to the Guru constantly, without concerns for what is always


(2.6) The surrendered disciple and devotee of the Guru is
responsible for abiding always in that Satsang or unobstructed
relationship to the Guru. Therefore, he must maintain the appropriate
psycho-physical conditions which the Guru requires in the case of all
who turn to him. Do this always, freely, and with humor


(2.7) Live in conscious Satsang always. All of my devotees (all
who turn to me) live with me. All of my devotees serve me, and I
serve them. This is what I mean by Satsang in life. Even those who
cannot often be in my psycho-physical presence while I am alive still
live with me always. But while I live, come into my psycho-physical
presence whenever possible. After my death, my outer or worldly
functions will be the responsibility of the Community of my devotees.
In those days, come and be in that Community as often as possible. My
Community is my outer form and function. And after my human death,
come to my samadhi site and other places I have designated for
Satsang and meditation as often as you would have come to be in my
psycho-physical presence


(2.8) My promise to devotees is the same that all the Siddhas have
declared: I am with you now, as I have always been, and I will always
be with you. My Function is without beginning or end. The work I do
in my psycho-physical form is temporary. It is done in order to
reawaken the way itself. Therefore, my human life is only a moment.
But the purpose of my work while alive is to establish the way of
Satsang for the coming generations of mankind. And the special
inheritance of my devotees, those who are restored to Truth, will be
the Community, the Teaching, and the Living Places I will create and
reserve among you.

d* * *d


24. Bubba Free John, “Dont Waste Any Time,” a talk given to the
Ashram, January 11, 1976


25. Bubba Free John. “God, Guru, and Grace.”

26. Bubba Free John, The Method of the Siddhas, page 314.




Part Two

The Complications of Sadhana: The Way Of Divine Communion

The Lord of all the worlds is Radiant before you. If you will
simply direct yourself, with whatever power or capacity you can find
within yourself, to the remembrance of the Divine in my Company, the
Services of God will be given to you.

d* * *d

When a person lives in Satsang, over time the force of the Gurus
Presence begins to fill him with lightness, radiance, a humorous lack
of concern for the stuff of his own life. And he begins to realize
that Bubba is merely stating the factual truth when he says that the
moment Satsang begins is itself perfect God-Realization. It is
literally true, because that moment is the simple, conscious
regeneration or intensification of the happiness at the core of all
existence. It may not necessarily, and certainly does not
immediately, transform the whole quality of our psycho-physical
condition. God-Realization itself has no implications for the
conventions of our lives. It is simply life in God, and life in God
is already life as God


But because we tend always to remain convinced and confused by the
binding force of conventions, of earthly, personal, human, even
spiritual events and conditions, we do not assume Satsang to be what
it truly is. We do not assume that it is already Divine Realization.
We assume that it is less than that, and so remain prey to the force
of our own habitual distraction by the conventions of existence


Thus, the Guru not only lives with his devotees in God, he also
yields to them prescriptions for forms of action and intelligence
that will serve their realignment to him in God—that will serve,
in other words, their realization that in Truth no such complications
to life in Satsang are or were necessary from the beginning! It is an
entirely humorous event. He has already assumed their realization in
Truth, he knows it is already the case—there is only
God!—but he is willing to concede to their lesser assumptions.
So he gives them sadhana to do, functional disciplines to perform in
relation to him, to aid their remembrance of him in God


Bubba Free John spent the first five years of his Teaching work
communicating a special and unique Teaching among men, which is the
way of Understanding. From the beginning Bubba founded this radical
path of intelligence in Satsang, or Divine Communion. More recently,
once that path of Understanding was secure in a small group of his
disciples, Bubba felt free and was moved to offer a different path of
approach to devotees, a path of action called the way of Divine
Communion. The way of Divine Communion is a direct path of radical
reliance on Grace in Satsang and surrender of all one has and is to
the Guru, without the severe and critical necessity for intelligent
insight that characterizes the way of Understanding. It is the
foundation approach for all who enter into relationship to Bubba. The
way of Understanding is an adjunct to that path for those who are
particularly (and karmically) inclined to the qualities of inspection
and intelligence that characterize the conscious process of
understanding. So the way of Understanding is a possible, but not
necessary, development of the way of Divine Communion. There are and
will be devotees who pass through all the crises and realizations of
spiritual life without ever taking on the explicit practices and
technical responsibilities of the way of Understanding, but who only
continue to perfect a life of submission and sacrifice to Divine
Grace through the way of Divine Communion


In the following brief essay, Bubba distinguishes the two
fundamental ways in which his devotees come to enjoy real liberation
in his Company.

d* * *d

(1) You are not suffering what is happening or has happened or
will happen to you. Your suffering is your own activity. And you are
suffering from what you are doing. Thus, you also suffer from what
happens to you. Release comes by Grace in the Company of the Guru in
God either by radical, discriminative insight, wherein you abide in
the prior Condition or Only God, or by absorption in the true or
God-Condition via a new or true action which tends to make the old
action of suffering obsolete


(2) Since suffering or ignorance is not itself a matter of your
conditions or what has happened, is happening, or will happen to you,
but a matter of your own present activity, which is contraction,
self-definition, the avoidance of relationship, release is not a
matter of a change in your conditions or circumstances. Liberation or
salvation involves not a change in your conditions but a
transformation of your relationship to or participation in forms of
action. Bondage or suffering is identical to a form of your own
activity. Liberation or salvation is release from the force and
implications of all action


(3) There are fundamentally two ways in which an individuals
relationship to his own action is transformed in my Company. In the
way of Understanding one moves by a process of critical insight
toward the intuition of the Divine and prior Condition. In the way of
Divine Communion one duplicates from the outset a form of action
which is perfect or true by design, and it is, by degrees, made
perfect and true by Grace. But both ways are essentially founded in
this true action or Divine Communion from the beginning, since all
must via an intelligent, intuitive, heartfelt, and practical
response, become my devotees in order for sadhana to begin and to be


(4) This true action is devotion, or continuous return of self and
all its contents and circumstances to the Divine Condition. Such
realized devotion is itself Samadhi, Bhava, perfect Intuition, Love,
and Bliss. It is the perfect fulfillment of the Law, which is


(5) Each must turn to me, making the constant natural effort of
self-giving and loving service, and I become his servant in return.
And each, in the due order of his appropriate sadhana, will realize
his sacrifice more and more perfectly as God-Realization


(6) The way of Understanding involves critical insight and
technical responsibility for the action that is suffering and
ignorance. The way of Divine Communion which is the foundation and
ongoing principle of the way of Understanding, involves a
counter-action or other action, wherein the action that is suffering
is made obsolete by non-use. In both cases, the action that is
suffering and ignorance dissolves at last and there is only the
no-action of Bhava Samadhi, which is prior establishment in only God
or Real Consciousness. Salvation or liberation is not, then, itself a
kind of action in the conventional sense. It is not identical to any
“act” of devotion. In perfect devotion there is no actor (no defined
self or self-position) and no Object. The Condition that is Satsang
itself must be realized from the beginning by such intuitive
devotion. The course of sadhana involves forms of action or
conventional responsibility. But the realization itself, which is the
Condition of Satsang or Divine Communion, is prior to action and
re-action. Realization is not the action of love, but the intuition
that is Love, or Conscious Bliss, the Condition of all conditions


(7) Such realization becomes your enjoyment in this moment not by
exclusion, separation, and escape into some other condition.
Realization or release in Truth is not any solution in conflict with
the whole of what arises or any condition that arises. Rather, it is
a matter of realizing the true nature of whatever presently arises.
All that arises is only a modification, not other than your present,
real, true, and eternal Condition. There is only God. In this
realization in the present there is no conflict, no fascination, no
separation, no self, no knowledge. There is no interest in any
implication or alternative or condition in itself. One fulfills the
conventions and even lives with great intensity, but there is only
God, and attention is dissolved in Consciousness.1

d* * *dd[To view a listing below, select the title (in bold)
and click on it with the right mouse button.] d

The Way of Divine Communion

I Am Willing

The Practical Discipline

Approaching the Guru: Prasad and Darshan

The Four Stages Of Practice

My Company

d* * *d


Garbage and the Goddess:d

pages 173-202


page 208 (I have said. . . ) to page 230


page 330 ( . . . in the life vehicles) to page 349.d

The Knee of Listening: d

pages 39-54 ( . . .I had never known before).ddpage 196 (The
ultimate and simplest meditation . . . ) to page 197 ( . . .is real
life).ddpage 199 (Understanding is always beholding Bhagavan. . . )
to page 200 ( . . .unqualified adventure).ddpage 217
(Self-indulgence. . . ) to page 218 ( . . .powers of suffering).d

The Method of the Siddhas:d

pages 49-92


pages 320-344.dd* * *d


1. Bubbas written instructions to the Ashram, January 15,



Part Two: The Complications of Sadhana


The Way of Divine Communion

Because Bubba had spent the whole early phase of his Teaching work
developing and communicating the radical way of Understanding, it at
first came as quite a surprise to his students and disciples in that
path when he announced the new path he was making available, the way
of Divine Communion. But very quickly they came to perceive this
gesture of the Guru as a boundless act of Grace, a way of opening his
arms to all who may be moved to come to him as devotees, no matter
what their karmic limitations. Here is the original letter that Bubba
delivered to his Community on December 1, 1975, announcing the way of
Divine Communion.

d* * *d

(1) For more than five years I have been at work with individuals
in intimate company to communicate, demonstrate, and awaken in them
the sadhana of the way of Understanding, which is described in all of
the previous literature of my Teaching work. This way is the special
form of instruction which was implied in my own birth and sadhana.
Only recently have I found, in the case of a small group, the
evidence of maturity which is the necessary foundation for the
realization of this way. I have given this group of disciples all
essential responsibility for the future management and general
instruction of my Ashram. I have completely put into writing all of
the necessary instructions relative to the final and technical
realization of this way of Understanding. Therefore, except for the
actual instruction of mature disciples and devotees, my special
Teaching work is, in its essentials, complete. My special Teaching
work has been a service for a few. The way of Understanding is not
itself a saving gospel that can affect the world at large. It is a
way for the special few who were given to me in the spiritual planes
above this world before my present birth. Those few were with me
then, and, because their karmas obliged them to be born on earth
again, I have taken the present birth to continue my work with them.
The way of Understanding has thus been established as a path on
earth, and it will remain here, through the responsible services of
my devotees, for all future individuals who have attained the
spiritual status above this world of those whom I have presently been
born to serve. Apart from such individuals, for whom the karmas of
the lower planes are weak, there are relatively few who, even by
virtue of sheer sympathy and persistence, will be able to adapt to
this difficult way. It requires an intelligence that constantly
exceeds the power of lifes theatre, and an attachment to the
spiritual intimacies and disciplines of my Company that cannot be
attained by mere effort or conventional inclination


(2) But I am willing to serve all beings in this place. My special
work has been for a few, but I am an incarnation of the Divine Form,
and my special work, now fulfilled, can stand by itself in my
Presence. I have become willing to assume a more general role for the
sake of the spiritual life or salvation of men


(3) All who come to me may participate in the eternal Grace of
God. It is not necessary for every one to belong to the special class
of individuals whom it is my unique obligation to serve in the way of
Understanding. For those few, sadhana in my Company is like the
resumption of a course of study after a period of recess. Such
individuals are already used to my discipline, my wildness, and the
special character of my appearance and play. But others cannot
identify me in this manner, and they are sensitive and available only
to the most direct expression of the universal and unqualified Divine
in me. For these many, who are only now becoming available to sadhana
or life in Communion with the Divine Person, I am willing to do
service in another way, which is the simple way of loving submission
and attention to God


(4) Therefore, many will come to me, and all are welcome, who are
simply suffering the common failures of life. To all of them, I
simply say, come to me happily, with the urge to happiness, to peace,
to love, and to a better realization of your born life. The Lord of
all the worlds is Radiant before you. If you will simply direct
yourself, with whatever power or capacity you can find within
yourself, to the remembrance of the Divine in my Company, the
Services of God will be given to you


(5) It is not necessary or even possible for you to “believe” in
God or know the Character of the Divine Person. But if you can see
that you do not exist by your own creature power, and if you can
begin to consider the alignment of your life with the unspeakable
Source or Condition that is truly responsible for and ultimately
identical to your very existence, then you can do the sadhana or
spiritual practice of Communion with God. I urge and welcome all who
can manage such sympathy, and who feel the contact with Grace in my
Company, to accept the simple and pleasurable disciplines I will
recommend, to visit me in my Ashram or any place where I come, either
in person, or in the form of my disciples and devotees, and to live
with me in my Community


(6) For those who would thus adapt themselves at least with a
little of their lives, I recommend a way that is easy to conceive and
fulfill. Simply turn to God through me. Submit, surrender yourself to
God through me. Love and receive God through me. I am not what I
appear to be. I am a Presence you will come to know. That Presence is
only God. If you will devote or sacrifice yourself to me, I will
transform your knowledge, and you will realize me at last as your
very Self and the Condition of all that appears


(7) You should assist this process of Divine Communion through two
natural disciplines, one which is practical, based in ordinary
action, and one which is spiritual, based within the heart or
boundless psyche


(8) The practical discipline which assists this turning or
Communion is the practice of minimizing the degree and kinds of
exploitation of life in your own case and bringing your life into
coincidence with the special psycho-physical laws of manifest
existence as well as the great Law or Principle, which is sacrifice.
This involves, to whatever degree you are able, participation in a
life of devotional service to Guru in God through all your actions,
including devotional singing and personal attention to me for my
Darshan, my Prasad, and my Teaching; the study and simple listening
to teachings about God and Divinely realized individuals; the
maintenance of a productive work life; the keeping of a clean,
orderly, healthful, and pleasurable environment for yourself and your
companions; the adoption of a healthful and “harmless” diet (an
essentially lacto-vegetarian diet that involves, to whatever degree
possible, non-killing of higher creatures, who possess the sense of
independent existence); the confinement of sexuality to a single
partner; and a continuous, active orientation toward human community
and energetic, compassionate, and loving service to the common life.
This practical discipline should be fulfilled by you to whatever
degree you find the capacity in yourself. To whatever degree you fail
or find yourself unable to fulfill this discipline at any time,
simply observe yourself, be easy, be full of enjoyment, make your
actions at least an indulgence that does not harm others, and
continue to turn to God through me and in the form of my Presence
with feeling, from the heart. The more you mature in my Company, the
more you will fulfill this discipline. The more you fulfill it, the
more you will see of your turning from the Divine Condition. And the
more you see of this turning away, the more responsible you will
become for your turning to God through me


(9) The spiritual discipline that should, at a later stage, begin
to accompany the practical discipline of this way of Communion is a
voluntary exercise of the remembrance of God from the heart that
coordinates the body, the life-force, and the mind with the breath.
Thus, sit with me, or in privacy, as a formal responsibility, once or
twice a day. Remember me, surrender to me with love, yield your life
and circumstances to God through me, and, at random, breathe the
Presence of God, with attention to the Divine as the Reality or Real
Person which is prior to or beyond the body, the mind, and the world.
Breathe with your heart. With random exhalations surrender your self,
your mind, your life, your desires, your body, and all the conditions
of your existence from your heart to God through me. Then, with
random and following inhalations, with your heart and your whole
being, receive, draw upon, and become full of the Presence, Power,
and Consciousness of God through me. Whatever you yield from the
heart will, over time, be replaced by Divinely transformed conditions
and/or by intuitions of the significance of any limitations you must
bear in time and space


(10) The spiritual practice may, at a later and mature stage of
your meditation in my Company, when you know me clearly in the form
of constant Presence, be expanded at times to include heartfelt
remembrance of God through the Name or Mantra of God. I ask that you
use the Name “God,” and not any traditional mantric Name, such as
Ram, Krishna, Jesus, or Om. “God” is the Name of God with which all
men are familiar and to which they are naturally attached through
body, breath, mind, spirit, and soul. Therefore, at random, with
surrender in exhalation, inwardly or vocally, and with feeling and
love in the heart, breathe the Name “God.” Likewise, with random
inhalations, feel and breathe the Divine Presence with the heart with
the Name “God.” This is the spiritual practice of the “God-Mantra” or

(11) These represent the essential disciplines of the way of
Divine Communion, which is the foundation of sadhana in my Company.
The spiritual practice of the breathing of God from the heart will,
over time, show itself to you as a process in which you are breathed
and lived and loved by God. The spiritual practice and the practical
disciplines should both be exercised more and more under whatever
conditions arise in life. The spiritual practice itself need not be
reserved only for those occasions when you sit with me or sit in
private, but it should be exercised at random, at any time, while
awake, or even while dreaming or asleep. Allow it to develop and
reveal the Divine to you according to its own pace. Simply use the
spiritual exercise and the practical disciplines as a way of
Communion with God through me under all conditions. When your
devotion is perfected, you will find no self, no world, and no other
God, but only God.

(12) Those who would do this sadhana or practice of heartfelt
Divine Communion should do it in my personal Company or Presence as
often as possible. They should come to me in my Ashram frequently,
and also sit for instruction in the company of my disciples and
devotees, who will at times travel about or present themselves in the
places of my Ashram in order to serve those who are interested in
living this practice


(13) My Ashram Community will, in the future, be composed of all
who come to me. Some will approach me solely and simply through this
way of Divine Communion and mature entirely through this practice in
my Company. Others will, after a time, build the sadhana of
Understanding upon this devotional foundation. In any case, I am
Present always for the sake of anyone who comes to me, and I yield to
each the Grace or consideration he or she requires in God.2

d* * *d


2. Bubbas written instructions to the Ashram, January 15,




Part Two: The Complications of Sadhana


I Am Willing

In the letter describing the way of Divine Communion, Bubba
announces that he is willing to receive everyone whose approach to
him is made in the spirit of sacrifice, since that approach fulfills
the Law. Divine Communion is the mutually sacrificial relationship
between the Guru, or the Divine Person, and his devotee, the process
by which the devotee realizes that everything, even existence itself,
is sacrifice.

dEverything is yielded. Everything becomes this meal. When you
have realized that principle, only then do you realize your real
Nature, which is prior to all appearance. There is great blissfulness
in that realization because it is not dependent on anything.
Everything can be eaten then. Everything can be undone because you
live in that Condition that is not touched, that is not part of the
process of the worlds. Then you are truly happy. There is nothing
that needs to be held on to any longer.3d

We tend to view life as a process of attaining, acquiring, and
grasping, but in its true form, lived in God, all life is a constant
yielding and sacrifice. Sadhana is simply a realignment with the
process that is sacrifice. Thus, sacrifice is already your destiny.
It is already the lawful affair of reception and release, of birth
and death, of inhalation and exhalation, of the sacrament of

d* * *d

(1) All life forms are essentially systems of life-force,
including those that are visible to us on this earth plane, from
human beings to plants and animals, and also including those we
cannot see. All systems of life-force have the same source, the same
foundation, and are fundamentally of the same condition. They are
part of our process and can be consciously so. We are mutually
involved with all of them. We limit them, we suffer them, and we seek
to fulfill ourselves through them, even through those we cannot see.
Similarly, they seek to fulfill themselves through us, through the
communication of force, the mutual sacrificial activity. This truly
is life


(2) The whole scheme of cosmic existence is a vast sacrificial
system of mutuality, mutual exchange, transformation from one state
to the next. While you are alive in this apparent form you live as a
continuous process of transformation of state. Death is just another
form of that same sacrificial process. We are the meal of this
universe, and all beings are food. There is no living entity that is
not food, perhaps for some other living entity, but ultimately for
the vast cosmic process of energy transformation. Everything
terminates, everything is transformed. This is the law of life, not
of death. By taking creatures or plants for food we are just
involving them in that sacrificial process. We are also being used,
devoured. We may be butchered if we arent conscious, and so become
domestic fodder for some invisible race or system of energy, some
life-system. Or we may become conscious and live the sacrificial
process that is our humanity with absolute awareness of what it


(3) In that sacrifice we are endlessly renewed and enlivened,
because that process is the spiritual process. We arent properly the
meal of some invisible race of giants, but we are properly a
sacrifice into the Divine Light. Despite this, we are continually
being sacrificed to our own unconscious and subconscious life and to
subtle, invisible influences of various kinds. The unconscious man,
Narcissus, is like a sheep. The conscious man lives the sacrificial
process, lives the universe itself as this great sacrificial process
in every moment proceeding from the Divine. Every moment. And in
every moment he makes the sacrificial return to the Divine. You
become consciously a participant in that endless cycle, descending
and ascending life, in which life is manifested and returned again to
its source


(4) That is not the law only of death. You dont only return to God
when you die. In every moment you are returning to God. This
sacrificial process is going on in every moment. Our human, physical
death is simply an incident of that sacrificial process. Those who
live that sacrificial process while alive lose the common fear of
death, which is maintained by our social magic, our experience, our
conscious, unconscious, and subconscious life


(5) In one who is truly conscious, life is no longer a mystery. He
breathes the very Light of God. He sees the alchemical transformation
of the Divine into life in every moment and sacrifices himself in
return. He only lives in God and everything is obvious to him. His
life is not the search for God. Life isnt intended to be a mystery
that leads to the discovery of God at the millenium, at
enlightenment, or at any other point in the future. Life is founded
in God, and is meant to be lived in God, happily and without


(6) The evolution of man, if that is something actual at all, isnt
going to be achieved gradually from eon to eon. It will be produced
by mankinds becoming conscious, living already in the Divine, so that
the Divine process can be fully realized in life. It isnt by going
toward God that we evolve but by standing in the Divine already,
already happy. It is not yogic bliss that we are seeking to attain,
some psycho-physical manipulation of the life-force. It is to be
already and presently happy regardless of the apparent condition. All
the manipulation of the life-force is Gods concern. Life in Truth is
to be already happy without any reasons whatsoever, not to be hoping
to be happy by moving into samadhi.4

d* * *d


The principal quality of the sadhana of Divine Communion is
action, but it is not the action of search and acquisition. It is
constant sacrifice. You do not yield because you want to attain
Divine Communion. You yield yourself because Divine Communion is
already your very Condition, prior to the distraction that your
“self” represents! Because you are already being held by God, you can
relax your compulsive graspings and rest in the Radiance of Truth


Mutual sacrifice is the nature and expression of the relationship
between the Godman, the Siddha-Guru, and his true devotee. The
devotee gives his life, all that he has and is, to the Guru; and the
Guru gives the gift of his very Nature, Satsang, the Divine gift of
Truth and Light, to his devotee. That gift of the Guru is a miracle
beyond the most far-fetched hopes of a man. But that is all the Guru
is alive to do, to give that gift to all who are capable of receiving
it. From the beginning the Guru looks only to establish and secure
this relationship with the devotee through which this transforming
Grace can move. Thus, life with Bubba Free John is truly a Graceful
process, and at the same time by definition a Lawful one. You cannot
receive the Gift that is always offered unless you yield your hold on
your self and open your hands.

dThis way is a way of action. Of course it involves intelligence,
but not as a specific development of a way of sadhana. It is also
founded on insight, on a maturing process of insight, essentially an
insight relative to action. The beginnings of sadhana are the same in
everyone—a sense of the failure of life, of the inherent
suffering of life. But then, when the individual comes into my
Company and lives with me as a devotee, he or she begins to see how
action and experience are forms of turning away from me. Insight
arises relative to your life-action, to your life-experience, to your
relationship to me in living terms. What you see as turning from me,
you can yield if you turn to me. Turning to me is the yielding of it.
Therefore, there is intelligence at the foundation of that way, not
developed in the apparently complicated elaboration of the way of
Understanding, but a similar intelligence. You see the turning away
and you turn to me. That is the simple action.5

“I will serve those who serve me.” That statement communicates the
nature of the Law, of the Divine Process. It is not a matter of your
lying back while everything happens to you and you become
enlightened. There is a participation that must be alive in the
individual and that fulfills this law of sacrifice. Then my own work
can be known. It cannot otherwise be known or truly felt.6d

The way of Divine Communion is a necessary and compassionate
offering. It is a way of action, but not a way of motivation or
seeking of any kind. It is founded in the immediate Presence of God
in, as, and through the Guru, and not in any form of dilemma or
assumed lack of the Divine Presence. The real action here is the
Gurus action, it is Gods action—and it is Grace. The devotee
accomplishes nothing with his sacrifice. It is not a form of
righteousness that wins him some kind of Divine voucher for Grace. It
turns him, renders him wide open, and leaves him dependent and
defenseless in the already present Intensity of God. Therefore, the
Guru considers the action of his devotee to be fulfillment of the
Law, and the devotee is served and gifted with Gods Grace
instantaneously. The Guru assumes responsibility for the devotee and
gives of his Grace completely. It is a radical devotional approach
that is already fulfilled and complete in God


For all who would live with Bubba Free John there is one demand
that must be met, one factor that assures the fulfillment of the Law,
and that is the realization and continuing maturation of a devotional
life of service to Bubba, honoring, enjoying, and feeding upon his
Presence as Guru. No Remedy provides a basic introduction to the
principles that inform the awakening of such a way of life. The
following section, on “The Practical Discipline,” outlines the basic
forms of life action undertaken by all who do the sadhana of Divine

d* * *d


3. Bubba Free John, “Real God,” a talk to the Ashram, January 11,


4. Bubba Free John, “Guru as Prophet,” The Dawn Horse, Vol. 2, No.
2 (1975), pages 40-41.

5. Bubba Free John, “The Grace of Suffering,” a talk to the
Ashram, January 18, 1976


6. Bubba Free John, “Have I Said It?”, a talk to the Ashram.
January 29, 1976.




Part Two: The Complications of Sadhana


The Practical Discipline

(1.1) You should assist this process of Divine Communion through
two natural disciplines, one which is practical, based in ordinary
action, and one which is spiritual, based within the heart or
boundless psyche


(1.2) The practical discipline which assists this turning or
Communion is the practice of minimizing the degree and kinds of
exploitation of life in your own case and bringing your life into
coincidence with the special psycho-physical laws of manifest
existence as well as the great Law or Principle, which is sacrifice.
This involves, to whatever degree you are able, participation in a
life of devotional service to Guru in God through all your actions,
including devotional singing and personal attention to me for my
Darshan, my Prasad, and my Teaching; the study and simple listening
to teachings about God and Divinely realized individuals; the
maintenance of a productive work life; the keeping of a clean,
orderly, healthful, and pleasurable environment for yourself and your
companions; the adoption of a healthful and “harmless” diet (an
essentially lacto-vegetarian diet that involves, to whatever degree
possible, non-killing of higher creatures, who possess the sense of
independent existence); the confinement of sexuality to a single
partner; and a continuous, active orientation toward human community
and energetic, compassionate, and loving service to the common life.
This practical discipline should be fulfilled by you to whatever
degree you find the capacity in yourself. To whatever degree you fail
or find yourself unable to fulfill this discipline at any time,
simply observe yourself, be easy, be full of enjoyment, make your
actions at least an indulgence that does not harm others, and
continue to turn to God through me and in the form of my Presence
with feeling, from the heart. The more you mature in my Company, the
more you will fulfill this discipline. The more you fulfill it, the
more you will see of your turning from the Divine Condition. And the
more you see of this turning away, the more responsible you will
become for your turning to God through me.7

d* * *d

You are asked to live this practical discipline to whatever degree
you are capable. Hopefully, you will live it absolutely and in the
spirit and humor of Satsang. But there are people whose physical and
emotional karmas are such that if they tried, at least in the
beginning, to live the practical conditions of Bubbas work
absolutely, they would forget Bubba completely! They would become so
obsessed with trying to get their lives together, and so gloomy with
their continual failure, that they would effectively shut themselves
off from the simple happy communication of his constant spiritual
Presence. “Would” is the wrong word—this is what many, many
members of the Community did do, to one degree or another, during the
early years of Bubbas work


But it is better to be happy in Satsang than concerned about
anything whatsoever. So Bubba is willing for people to maintain their
lives in his Company even while they may be enduring a necessary
period of maturing relative to the affairs of life itself. As long as
their approach continues to be appropriate, direct, and free of
repetitious cycles of doubt and antagonism, Bubba welcomes them to
keep his Company. Over time all are expected to mature beyond their
initial capacity, or incapacity, to fulfill the practical


Even that maturing process is not in itself a form of success or
attainment. As you adapt to the conditions or practical disciplines,
you will naturally see the ways of your turning from the Guru, your
inability to meet his requests, the futility of your own strength and
intelligence. But hopefully you will also begin to “use” the Guru, to
need him. This is a crucial point in your relationship to Bubba.
Before you began doing sadhana, your life had begun to fail. But now
you find yourself failing even at sadhana! From the conventional
point of view that failure implies a weakness on your part that
undermines life in Satsang. Such failure can appear negative or
“wrong,” but actually it is simply useful. You have entered the Gurus
Company, and you have heard his plea, “Let me live you!”

d* * *d

(2.1) When you have gotten tired of trying to get free or find
God, when you have gotten tired of being motivated in that way, then
you may begin to feel your game. Then you may become available to the
Guru, first perhaps by coming across the Teaching in some form. You
begin to see something about it all by considering the Teaching.
Finally, you enter into relationship with the Guru. In fact, he
enters into relationship with you. The process of Satsang is not one
in which you are given a remedy for your problem, a cure that you are
supposed to perform on yourself, but one in which the fundamental
Condition is that prior relationship, that Divine Communion. It is
not a matter of meditating yourself to the point of realization. The
actual Siddhi of the Divine is activated in that relationship, and
that Siddhi does the meditation. That Siddhi is the meditation


(2.2) The Guru assumes your enlightenment. He doesnt mechanically
enlighten you, or give you something to do to enlighten yourself. He
absorbs you. He is you to begin with, but the Guru in human form
consciously assumes your Divine state in every function in which you
appear. He assumes it in your very cells and literally, actively
lives you. The Guru literally meditates you. He is in a position to
do so, since he is you. The mystery of that process is how this kind
of spiritual life is generated and fulfilled. It is fulfilled from
the beginning. That Satsang is perfect. The devotee, a piece at a
time, begins to become aware of the perfection the Guru has already
generated in his case.8

(2.3) You only submit more and more. You cant do this absolutely.
It is a process. Its not, “Well Im beginning the way of Divine
Communion today, so I will submit absolutely.” It is a form of
approach, its not a form of success. And clearly there is a maturity
that will be demonstrated. More and more responsibility for the
conditions of life will be in evidence in your case. Thats why you do
sadhana, to mature in the realization of God.9

d* * *d

So the principle of sadhana is the love-relationship between the
Guru and his devotee, and from the moment the Guru initiates it, it
is already fulfilled in Truth. The Guru himself is always already
finished in God. He is perfectly coincident with the Law of
sacrifice. He weeps for his devotee, provokes his devotee. He will do
anything to serve the realization of God in his devotee, but it is
all mad play from his point of view, because there is only God. The
devotee, for his part, enjoys no such sublime knowledge—at least
not consciously—but he is continually being turned to love and
service to the Guru. Sadhana begins when the devotee has lost
sympathy with his own destiny, when he is no longer completely
entranced by the glitter of his own image, when he has begun to
sacrifice in love everything he considers his own. Only then does he
approach the Guru with gratitude and devotion.

d* * *d


As you begin to take on the disciplines of the way of Divine
Communion, you will see things about yourself. You are not asked to
focus specifically on the process of self-observation. That is not
the activity that you must be intentionally responsible for as a
devotee. But it will occur naturally. You will see that your life
does not amount to service, that you do not by tendency live in
relationship to Bubba, that you are simply full of self-obsession,
negativity, inertia, and so forth. And that is fine. You are supposed
to see all these things. People tend to become guilty or discouraged
about sadhana when they begin to see their own meanness, as if they
were finding out for the first time that they are not angels after
all! The point is not what you see, but what you do about it. In the
way of Divine Communion your discipline, to whatever degree you are
capable, is to yield your revealed tendencies and qualities to the
Guru. No matter what arises, the way is to surrender all karmic
conditions to the Guru and to receive his Presence in your life, to
act on the basis of Satsang itself, rather than your own

dTo whatever degree you fail or find yourself unable to fulfill
this discipline at any time, simply observe yourself, be easy, be
full of enjoyment, make your actions at least an indulgence that does
not harm others, and continue to turn to God through me and in the
form of my Presence with feeling, from the heart. The more you mature
in my Company, the more you will fulfill this discipline. The more
you fulfill it, the more you will see of your turning from the Divine
Condition. And the more you see of this turning away, the more
responsible you will become for your turning to God through

So ultimately you will see and become responsible for everything
in you that amounts to turning from Guru and God. For this reason
Bubba emphasizes that everything you do is a form of study. When you
are living this process of yielding and reception in life, even
tangible, practical disciplines become media for your study. You very
naturally see this turning away, and to the degree you are able, you
should adjust your action to appropriate forms of behavior


Although the life conditions we are about to describe seem to be
fixed and universal, each individual must learn how to apply them
with greater and greater intelligence to his personal life. For
example, you have to experiment within the confines of the described
diet in order to learn what quantities and kinds of foods are best
for you. You should apply that same intelligence to all the other
conditions and discover their appropriate and most life-supporting
forms in your own case. These are not the Ten Commandments, you know!
So the whole prospect of living these conditions must be approached
with humor and energy, as a form of study. To assist you in realizing
these conditions more fully and responsibly as service to the Guru,
and to help you further realize the condition of study itself, you
are asked to record your observations frequently in a personal diary
and to complete a life report regularly. Your diary is to be simply a
private record of observations of how this graceful process is
working out in your own life. It is a way of becoming consciously
responsible for what has been revealed to you, and it can provide an
opportunity to express your enjoyment of this Divine Communion. By
using the diary intelligently, over time you will be able to see
clearly the Grace that this Communion represents over against your
born tendencies.

Dont write excessively—but dont just skim the surface with
superficial, brief, and infrequent notes, either. A few paragraphs
every day or two should suffice. The diary is simply a way to express
your relationship to the Guru in words


The life report is a summary of your observations over time.
Reviewing your diary will help you write it. Life reports can thus
serve to bring clarity to your relationship to Bubba and your
appreciation of the quality of your sadhana. Unlike the diary, the
reports are given to others in the Community who review your sadhana.
That does not mean they should be treated like confessionals! There
is no praise, no blame in this way of life. If something is troubling
you or you are finding difficulty living one or several of the
conditions, feel free to report that simply and with humor. There is
no curse. At the same time, feel free to sing ecstatically in your
reports of your relationship to the Guru and the happiness you enjoy
in his Company. That is what must be discovered and developed in
sadhana, not how to become a perfectly disciplined being


The forms to follow in writing these reports and specific
instructions for their use are made available through the
Correspondence Department of The Dawn Horse Communion.

d* * *d


Devotional singing is an important part of the daily life of The
Dawn Horse Communion. In study groups, at meals, during occasions of
formal Prasad, and at other times specifically set aside, Ashram
members enjoy singing songs in praise of the Guru and God. It is an
outward way of establishing conscious relationship to God through
Guru, of projecting your life-force and feeling in song. This real
devotional singing must be done with energy and real force. It
releases us from our ritual patterns of self-conscious life and
projects us through our emotions, our life-force, our breath, and our
mind to Communion with God—all very naturally. It is not like a
Sunday school service where people sing the songs because that is
what they are supposed to do. Such an approach is just mechanical.
There must be real expression of the living of this Divine Communion.
That is why people feel awkward doing it—particularly the more
heady types. They get self-conscious and think, “Well, its not
necessary, I already feel the devotion,” and so forth. It is
obviously difficult for them to communicate outwardly a kind of
irrational loving energy. But it is useful. Devotional singing from
the heart undoes the conceptual mind, and through it one becomes open
to and participates in the ecstatic relationship that is always
communicated in Satsang.

d* * *d


Study and simple listening to teachings about God and Divinely
realized individuals is a primary practical discipline of this way of
Divine Communion. It is not to be approached in anything like the
usual formal, mentalized, academic approach to study, by which you
would take care to comprehend the major points of Bubbas Teaching and
commit to memory a few salient facts about his life. If this kind of
study were asked of you, you would need to read only one book
perhaps, and then you might read it only once


No, the study you are asked to undertake is the continual, daily
remembrance of your relationship to the Divine. If you are
approaching it properly, it will become for you more of a
refreshment, a delight, a feast, than any kind of arbitrary
discipline or task. Each day, with energy and interest and for as
long as possible, you should consider Bubbas Teaching on the way of
Divine Communion as well as other God-literature. Such study will
align you more and more completely in mind and heart to the intuitive
happiness upon which Divine Communion rests


The way of Divine Communion is a radical, as distinguished from a
traditional, devotional path. The traditional paths of devotion begin
from a conventional or limited point of view, rooted in the
assumption that the Divine is presently absent or independent from
life. Thus, their way of spiritual life invariably proceeds through
some form of seeking for God. But our way of Divine Communion takes
its stand in the living Presence of God in and through the Guru. It
is not a way of search, but of yielding to the Divine that is already
present in living terms. It is a way of celebration, fullness,
communion already and right now. However, we must take our own
liabilities into account in sadhana. And regardless of the extent of
our involvement with any traditional path prior to coming to Bubba,
we are all unconsciously full of the social, mystical, and archetypal
influences which permeate the traditions of all cultures. Thus,
studying the best of these traditions, specifically in the light of
Bubbas Teaching, helps us distinguish our own way of life and sadhana
from traditional devotional dharmas—while never preventing us
from truly appreciating and delighting in them for what they are.
Study is thus made a purifying activity that reestablishes the
devotee in right relationship to the Guru


Devotees in the way of Divine Communion participate in a regular
study program, meeting together formally both in San Francisco and at
Persimmon, as well as reading and reviewing Bubbas Teaching and great
traditional spiritual literature on their own. The specific materials
and recommendations for study may be obtained through writing to The
Dawn Horse Communion.

d* * *d


The following is a list of works of classic and traditional
spiritual literature which Bubba himself compiled for new devotees in
the Community


This reading list contains some of the most extraordinary books
ever written. I recommend you study as many of them as possible. By
“study” I do not mean you should read them merely for entertainment,
but with intelligence and respect, and examine them from the point of
view of real Communion with God. Such study is an appropriate
expression of sadhana. It will help you become more sophisticated in
your approach to spiritual life and can free your mind of sophomoric
and arbitrary prejudices. Also, the more you know of traditional
spirituality, the more you will be able to comprehend, critically and
exactly, what is “radical” about Communion with God.d

1. Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge, by Arthur


2. The Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi in His Own Words,
by Arthur Osborne


3. Sri Ramana Gita, Dialogues of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi


4. The Heart of the Ribhu Gita, edited by Bubba Free John


5. Avadhut Gita, by Mahatma Dattatreya, translated by Hari Prasad


6. The Song of the Self Supreme (Astavakra Gita), translated by
Radhakamal Mukerjee


7. The Sutra of Hui Neng, in The Diamond Sutra and the Sutra of
Hui Neng, translated by A. F. Price and Wong Mou-Lam


8. The Zen Teaching of Huang Po on the Transmission of Mind,
translated by John Blofeld


9. Bhagawan Nityananda, by Swami Muktananda


10. Sai Baba, the Saint of Shirdi, by Mani Sahukar


11. The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, translated by Swami
Nikhilananda. (You should read this book to familiarize yourself with
Sri Ramakrishnas writings, but it is not necessary to read it in its
entirety. It is available in both unabridged and abridged versions,
and we recommend the abridged version as adequate for the study of
the work of this 19th century saint.)

12. The Bhagavadgita, translated by Radhakrishnan.*

13. Raja Yoga, a translation of Patanjalis Yoga-System with a
commentary, by Swami Vivekananda.*

14. The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence


15. Gopis Love for Sri Krishna, by Sri Hanumanprasad Poddar


16. Gita Sandesh, by Swami Ramdas


17. God Experience, by Swami Ramdas


18. Narada Bhakti Sutras, translated by Tyagisananda


19. New Testament, any good translation (perhaps The Jerusalem
Bible, or Amplified New Testament).d

*The text of this book is what is important, and it should be read
in its entirety. However, it is not necessary to read the complete
commentary, only those sections that may illumine your study of the
text itself.

d* * *d


Devotees in the Community meet each week in study groups to share
experiences of what they have come to know about Communion with the
Guru. Often marked with singing and ecstatic praise of God in
personal, almost “testimonial” terms, they are a devotional occasion.
Study groups are not “encounter” groups where everyone deals with
each other to resolve some dilemma. The groups come together in the
happiness of this relationship to Grace in Satsang and serve in each
other its fuller realization.

d* * *d


The discipline of maintaining a productive work life is another
practical form of devoting your life to Bubba as Guru. The ordinary
affairs of human activity are the arena in which the devotional
relationship and love for him in God are initiated and realized.
Sadhana cannot begin in the clouds! Working requires you to bring
your energy and presence into life in this world, hour by hour and
day by day. It engages your hands, your eyes, your speech, and your
guts in the active remembrance of the Guru and the yielding of your
existence to him. When you make your work a way of living with Bubba
in Satsang, you become grounded in him in the most human, vital,
tangible ways.

Bubba spoke of the new devotees relationship to work in The Method
of the Siddhas:

dEither he must work for his own support, and in most cases that
is necessary, because most people dont have the money to live without
work, or he must do so simply because it is appropriate to work. Work
is a peculiarly human activity. It is the means for transcending the
limitations of “lower,” elemental conditions. Thus, it is not
appropriate for people who come to live in Satsang to remain
irresponsible for their own survival, or irresponsible for creative,
supportive action in the human way.11d

You are expected to be occupied every day in some form of work.
For most, this indicates a full time job—so if you do not
already have one, you should find suitable employment immediately.
There are some devotees, however, who may have other work than a job,
such as a student engaged in full time study or a parent who manages
a home and children


As you mature in your sadhana, you will see that the condition of
work implies more than simply submitting to the discipline of having
a job. If you look for the simplest, least engaging form of work that
you can find, you are missing the point of this condition as a form
of your relationship to Bubba. Your job should require great energy
and represent your optimal capacity for real functioning. It should
not merely reflect arbitrary or illusory preferences. It may be
difficult at first to find such a position. In that case, take
whatever work you can find for the time being, but you should
continue to find well-paying employment which allows you to develop
your skills and your capacities for human responsibility


Bubba has often pointed out that the Community is neither a work
camp nor a resort, but an Ashram, a Spiritual Community. That also
should be kept in mind as you look for a job and as you become
involved in your work. Your work should demand a lot of you, but it
should leave you free to participate fully in the life of the
Community. You will find that your life in sadhana will be fullest if
you are free on week nights and weekends to be with the Community. It
is best to find a job that allows you to spend time regularly and
often in the Gurus company and the company of others living this
Divine Communion.

d* * *d


The process of Divine Communion amounts simply and entirely to
yielding your life to the Siddha-Guru and receiving his Grace. But
you cannot do it straight, you cannot do it intensely, and you cannot
do it happily on your own


In other words, the process is best tested, served, and quickened
in you by a full life within the Gurus Community of devotees. By
tendency each of us is always finding ways to cop out of sadhana, to
rationalize our turning away, to ignore the Guru, to forget God. This
is what we are doing all the time, not just in dramatic moments of
life but, perhaps even more often, in the mediocre and simple
instances of ordinary life


That is why members of the Community generally live together in
households of eight or more people. Aside from being an enjoyable and
mutually beneficial environment, in which the Gurus Presence is alive
in everyone, the household situation creates a mutual dependence in
which the theatre of the sadhana of relationship—which is what
Divine Communion is after all—can be played out in most useful
terms. Bubba urges everyone to move into such a Community household
in order to share life, love, work, and effort with one another, to
live this Divine Communion in every action, and not to seek some
illusory “spiritual” life that excludes the world in principle and in
fact. Living in such a household is simply a way of allowing your
home environment to become permeated with the Gurus demand for
surrender and the Gurus radiant Presence


If you live alone now, you should at least find a roommate with
whom you can share intimacy and mutual dependence. If you live in an
area where there are correspondents or in San Francisco, you should
consider joining others in a living situation in which you can share
this process as soon as you become grounded in it


If you share a household with someone who is not a devotee of
Bubba Free John, you may encounter difficulties, which, while no
greater in fact than those encountered by any other devotee, may seem
to be more problematic, because they cannot be approached under the
condition of mutual sadhana. It is very possible for someone whose
mate is not a participant in this path to do the sadhana of the way
of Divine Communion, but it may be difficult. Nevertheless, if you do
this sadhana to the best of your capacity as Bubba has described it,
directing your energy to the loving service of those around you, then
this path will truly serve you and the members of your household. But
you must be very intelligent in maximizing your contact in other
situations with Bubba and the Community


The remembrance and service of the Guru is furthered in your
household, in your office, wherever your surroundings may be, by the
keeping of a clean, orderly, healthful, and pleasurable environment
for yourself and your companions. As you become more of a devotee of
Bubba, your house will become his house, your life his life. The
pleasures of keeping it as a place of God will become more and more
obvious, and should become a real expression of the gratitude this
Grace will naturally awaken in you. In very real terms Bubba lives
with all of those who live with him, and you will over time want to
keep your environment in such a way that he would enjoy visiting you
wherever you are.

d* * *d

(3.1) It is a certainty in me that, fundamentally, a person must
do this sadhana in relationship with other people. And to assume the
condition of a household with others with whom you have mutual
dependencies is the proper form in which to do this sadhana. The
traditional isolated man, making it on his own, surviving against
odds, is typical of our culture. But the household situation of many
individuals, not just a husband and wife, is the most appropriate
situation for doing this sadhana


(3.2) I do not recommend that people move into a household
situation until they have studied the work to the point of testing
themselves and knowing that they can do this sadhana, and also
knowing what this sadhana is. When a person enters into your
household, your survival as a household partially depends on his
participation. If he just found out about this work yesterday, he may
want to leave next week, because he did not quite understand what
this sadhana was going to involve. Somebody might hear that you are a
bunch of good guys and then be welcomed into your household
immediately. That is entirely your business. You can manage your
household in any way you like. But, in general, I think you ought to
recommend to people that they study the work privately until you are
satisfied that they can stably be present in your house and
contribute to it


(3.3) DEVOTEE: Developing households with one another so that our
livelihood is interdependent is different from mere communal life,
which does not ever become intense. Our sadhana itself almost becomes
interdependent, like we never imagined it before


(3.4) BUBBA: Right. Household situations are not just communes. If
they were, I wouldnt care in the least about your living that way


(3.5) The usual man conceives himself in isolation and dramatizes
his life in those terms. What is the image of the good life in this
country? Having your own castle, your own husband or wife, your own
kids, your own everything. Everybody having his “own” same thing. His
own car, his own house, his own TV set. Every guy conceives himself
as that archetype repeated again. It is Narcissus


(3.6) As a result, we do not make use of what we have gained after
hundreds of thousands of years of struggling at the vital level,
which is the possibility of a truly human culture, a culture in which
we do not have to live on an emergency basis relative to the
life-process anymore. We can pre-solve the life situation,
essentially. There will always be things that arise, and we will have
to deal with them, but essentially we can pre-solve the
life-condition. We do not have to be operating on an emergency basis,
we do not have to be searching for private survival in the idiotic
struggling way that people are always doing in this world at the
present time. We can share the life-force, the responsibility of
life, and we can survive without adventure. By doing that we can make
our energy available for the perfect life, the great activity, the
creative process. We do not have to be meandering in this salt of the
earth bullshit all the time


(3.7) It becomes possible, by adapting to one another as a
condition, to see the undoing of vital shock as the principle of
life. We can even out the vital, so that we do not have to resort any
longer to the principles of peculiarity and solidity and mere
vitality. That affair can only be done when we relinquish
intelligently, not through motivation but through understanding, the
urge toward private realization in the simple terms that life itself
represents. We can assume a mutually dependent condition as soon as
we see that there is something intelligent about doing that


(3.8) You run into a lot of difficulties, of course, because your
entire life (not just externally) below the conscious mind is devoted
to this private destiny, this affair of Narcissus. And it is just
filled with all kinds of equipment and strategies devoted to that
end. So as soon as you assume the discipline of relationship as your
condition of life, you are going to see manifested in you all of
these other urges and principles and strategies and demands. You will
have the option every hour of the day to buy out for some level of
craziness. That is exactly what this sadhana is all about: First
there is the assumption of a real condition (especially the perfect,
ultimate, and prior condition of Satsang) as a discipline based on
understanding, followed by the observation in your own case, under
those circumstances, of this theatre of Narcissus. Then there is the
living a life of service (especially in the company of others who
serve, who also serve you) on the basis of that observation, to the
point where you can assume perfect and humorous responsibility in the
form of real sacrifice relative to your own dramatization.12

d* * *d


The Ashram is not an “organization” from which irresponsible
individuals may rightly buy or gain various services. The Ashram is a
community in which each member is a responsible participant, in
constant communion with the Guru and all his devotees. All who take
on the conditions of this sadhana and become regular members of the
Ashram of Bubba Free John are responsible for their personal sadhana
and for the general obligation to make his Teaching available in the



All members pledge a minimal regular tithe (ten percent of income
before taxes), which is submitted weekly or monthly. Beyond this
tithe, each one contributes a larger share of his income based on his
personal and household conditions. This greater share is also his
responsibility, but the amount is determined by consultation and
agreement with other members of the Community. The same is true of
more occasional special contributions or gifts


Communion devotees in the mature stages of practice are, in
general, expected, as a condition of sadhana, to become regular
members of the Ashram Community. Every aspect of life then, including
ones financial position in the world, must be integrated with the
Ashram Community and released from the usual principle of individual
and private survival against odds. Therefore, each one is expected to
yield the greater portion of his personal income and property to the
condition of community. This demand is an offense to the program of
self-survival locked into the vital, and anyone with substantial
income, fortune, or property will find it extremely difficult to
fulfill this demand unless he is clearly committed to this Satsang
and understands its principles of sadhana. In general, no member of
the Community retains more than 25 % of his assets, income, or
property for free personal use. His financial responsibility thus
represents a real and material commitment to the Ashram Community and
to the support of Bubbas Teaching work in the world


The income from regular contributions and special gifts goes to
further the educational work of the Ashram and to provide both
permanent endowment and necessary facilities for Persimmon, the
principal location of the revelation of Bubbas Teaching, so that his
work may go on here undisturbed by any temporary circumstances.
Persimmon is intended for the regular and full use of all members of
the Ashram Community.

d* * *d


Adapting ones life to Communion with Bubba Free John can be
assisted practically and regularly through the maintenance of a
healthful and “harmless” diet. Eventually we come to know that our
bodily existence and vitality have no use in themselves but to serve
God and to be vehicles of his Grace. Our lives become service to the
Lord, and bodily health is not viewed as something to be sought or
indulged, but is simply enjoyed as a vehicle for living our life in


Practically, we begin with an essentially lacto-vegetarian diet
that involves, to whatever degree possible, non-killing of higher
creatures who possess the sense of independent existence. As we
mature in our fulfillment of this discipline, we take responsibility
for the harmonization of bodily or vital functions through the
intelligent management of the whole affair of diet, health practices,
breath, and exercise. Much has been written in these
areas—health involves a search for so many people, as if organic
apples or juice fasting were a means to the realization of Truth!
That is a lot of nonsense, and it has nothing to do with the
appropriate management of these factors in our sadhana. It is simply
that our vital lives are most enjoyable and useful when their
condition is harmonious, free of disease or at least service to
disease, and lived consciously in Divine Communion without our having
chronically to put attention on them


Bubba has outlined for the Community a system of diet and health
practice, including exercise, which serves the adaptation to the laws
of manifest existence. This system covers every area of diet and
health and represents a real alternative to the vital craziness and
obsession we find everywhere in our so-called “culture.” However, you
are not expected to take on all these recommended practices at once.
To the best of your capacity you should engage these principles and
only over time realize them naturally as real service. You are
expected to live them only to the degree you are able, without
getting upset or fanatical about them


Not any less than that degree, however! Dont allow yourself to
start approaching the Guru in a pattern of random or regular
self-indulgence. When he spoke in his first letter on the way of
Divine Communion about how to approach these practical disciplines,
Bubba said, “Be easy.” He did not mean by that, “Take it easy.” So
you should do your practical sadhana with humor, and also with great
intensity, with as much energy as you can muster.

The most complete description of the diet and health
recommendations are found in the Ashrams book, The Eating Gorilla
Comes in Peace. You should read this book soon, applying its
practices to your own life as fully as possible


The diet and health regimen Bubba describes is not a prescription
for eternal life or eternal youth, or for attaining God-Realization.
It is merely appropriate. It is designed to bring the body into a
state of maximum health, based on ones karmic condition in general,
and to maintain and improve that health based on the process of
sadhana, or life assumed in the Conscious Principle that is always
senior and prior to karma (destiny based on tendency, or established
motion). People tend to become fanatics about food, and to become
obsessed with what they put into their mouths, so that they use food
as part of their spiritual quest. This tendency must be understood.
Therefore, the diet is designed to define what is appropriate to eat,
so that you can eat it and then forget it, and not use food as a part
of your search


The basic diet is facto-vegetarian, which means we use some milk
products, but do not eat meat, fish, poultry, or, generally, eggs. We
avoid killed food, not because it is “sinful” to eat it, but simply
because it is not necessary or, in general, healthful to eat flesh
food. The diet is a low protein/high natural carbohydrate diet with
three basic food groups:

1. Grains, nuts and seeds (the backbone of this diet)

2. Vegetables

3. Fruits

Food should be eaten in as natural a state as possible, and raw
food should comprise much of the diet. Refined foods, i.e. sugar,
white flour, and so forth, are prohibited, because these toxify and
enervate the psycho-physical being. And alcohol, tobacco, coffee,
tea, and other toxic stimulants, as well as drugs, are also


The diet is followed by everyone in The Dawn Horse Communion,
except at special celebration times, which are not decided upon by
individuals under private circumstances, but which are openly
declared for all in common. The diet is life-supporting, and, beyond
that, it is lawful. It turns you away from self-indulgence and
exploitation to the intelligent, sacrificial practice of life


The health practices of The Dawn Horse Communion, as outlined in
The Eating Gorilla Comes In Peace, simply represent an appropriate
approach to health. They are not a response to the problematic mind,
the life in dilemma, nor do they serve the search for “cures.” They
are a way of neither exploiting nor denying the vital laws of
psycho-physical life.

dPeople want to take on spiritual life as a conscious, mystical,
and philosophical affair, and of course thats what its all about. But
there are karmas below consciousness in the psycho-physical entity
that have to be accounted for, and you have to be dealing with them
consciously. Otherwise they filter through in the form of symptoms
and problematic assumptions at the conscious level, which you tend to
think have a psychological or spiritual basis and goal, when actually
what you are responding to is perhaps organic and closest to the
physical itself.13d

In order to understand and account for your particular
liabilities, you will need to sharpen your observations of your
physical and mental states. In The Eating Gorilla Comes In Peace, the
section on histories and physical exams gives examples of the kinds
of questions that may help you become aware of your unique
psycho-physical patterns. As soon as you take on the practical
disciplines, you should begin making notes of how the various
disciplines affect you. After about two months, when your body has
had a chance to purify itself and stabilize under these conditions,
you may wish to have a complete physical exam. Prepare a detailed
personal history, using the guidelines provided in the book, and
select a doctor who will take the time fully to discuss with you all
that he is discovering. Ask your doctor as many questions as you
wish. This process of self-observation and professional examination
should help you avoid the problematic assumptions Bubba cautions us


Specific questions about health matters may be directed to Dr.
Bill Gray, The Dawn Horse Communion, Star Route 2, Middletown,
California 95461.

d* * *d


Toxicity and enervation are the primary factors in all the kinds
of physical and nervous disease. An irresponsible and self-indulgent
life is one which exploits and in one way or another fails to control
and realize the principal functions of the relational life process.
Thus, the functions of money (or relational life-force at the common
or social level), food, and sex are the instruments of disease and
failure in the usual man. The usual man is moved by tendencies,
motion without intelligence or real consciousness, because the
principles of his life are desire, thought, and ego or separate self
sense. And the theatre of his suffering is composed of his peculiar
functional drama of money. food, and sex


The various life-conditions communicated by Bubba to those who
live in Satsang with him are all forms of the appropriate functional
management of life in relation to its principal functions: money,
food, and sex. The natural, humorous, and responsible fulfillment of
these conditions is necessary for all who would live in the condition
of Satsang. And those who manage their lives in these appropriate
ways will also enjoy a life free of toxicity and enervation caused by
misuse of primary functions.

However, Bubba has continually reminded us that the appropriate
management of the life-function is simply that. It is appropriate.
And thus, such a way of life is free from moment to moment of
spurious and dramatic functional programs that are the unconscious
armor of Narcissus. The Guru wants his devotee to be free of
functional strategies, the whole pattern of a self-indulgent and
irresponsible life, that are the life-manifestations of his
compulsive turning or contraction hour to hour. Secondarily, the
fulfillment of the Gurus conditions also manifests as relief from
toxicity and enervation, insofar as these are caused or intensified
by misuse of life-functions. However, in communicating these
appropriate conditions to the Ashram, Bubba has no intention to bind
us to alternative goals, such as those that arise in the traditional
spiritual search. He has no intention to bind us to goals of
artificial celibacy, immortality or physical perfection, or in any of
the social and economic goals of those who strive in the usual world.
Nor does he intend for us to become trapped in the lesser and even
more obnoxious states, wherein we feel righteous and pure, somehow
relieved of a superficial sense of guilt by virtue of the fulfillment
of disciplines. Bubbas conditions are simply appropriate, and they
serve the primary condition of Satsang by allowing us to witness the
tendencies, the searches, and the felt dilemma of our own lives in
functional terms. All that we gain in the form of righteousness is an
obstacle, and all that we gain in the form of positive changes of
state is to be understood


Even so, whenever individuals adapt to any formal use of the life
functions, the limiting force of the strategy of Narcissus finds a
way to manipulate them. Purity and impurity are forms of functional
status in life. They are not themselves identical to or identifiable
as qualities of either Truth or illusion. Status of any kind is a
condition to be understood. Satsang is the prior condition of all
men. And it is consciously assumed and lived in the relationship
between the devotee and the Siddha-Guru. But even such a way of life
requires the force of understanding or real intelligence in the
devotee. Otherwise it is only another condition in ignorance, and a
ground for childish motivations. Just so, the secondary or functional
conditions of money, food, and sex must also be realized in


Bubba expects all who turn to him to realize their functional
lives in the spirit of freedom and responsibility. Only in a
conscious life of understanding can both of these qualities,
responsibility and freedom, be realized. The seeker is always caught
in the dilemma of these two qualities. It is the common experience of
those who adopt a pattern of life that also promotes health, purity,
and well-being that they tend to acquire the quality of righteousness
as well as a loss of freedom and humor in society with the greater
world. The fulfillment of the appropriate and secondary conditions in
relation to money, food, and sex tends, after the period when
resistance is largely overcome, to become the ground for a cult of


Bubba has often spoken of this “lunch-righteousness,” which comes
over devotees after they have managed to overcome their initial
resistance to the discipline of their functions. The cult of
lunch-righteousness always tends to appear in the Ashram, just as
also does the cult of self-indulgence. For this reason Bubba has
often in the past appeared to act in paradoxical ways among his
devotees. On one occasion he took a bunch of righteous vegetarian
devotees on a fishing trip and then served up the catch at a feast!
At times he would shock those present by enjoying a cigarette or a
cup of coffee! He has been known to take a little wine, to dance, and
to laugh aloud! All such actions of his own were determined to
counter this “lunch-righteousness” in his devotees.

d* * *d


Bubba requires that all devotees do a reasonable amount of
deliberate and conscious exercise each day. Conscious Exercise and
the Transcendental Sun describes the basic approach to exercise as
well as the specific exercise program which Bubba recommends


As the title of the book implies, the purpose of exercise, as
Bubba defines it, is more than the mere strengthening of muscles or
loss of weight, although these and other changes may occur as side
benefits. Conscious exercise is “a process which vitalizes and
intensifies ones life.” Ideally, exercise is a way of participating
in or cooperating with the transference of energy from the Uncreated
Light above the world into the Vital realm of manifest existence


Bubba recommends two short periods of exercise each day, 7-10
minutes of calisthenics in the morning and 7-10 minutes of yoga in
the afternoon or evening. The correct way to do these exercises is
described and illustrated in Conscious Exercise and the
Transcendental Sun


As with all conditions of this work, exercise is merely
appropriate. These exercises are designed to help keep your body
healthy, not to make you a super-yogi, nor to alter your state of
consciousness in some extraordinary way, as if changes of state
somehow led to Truth. With this approach to exercise in mind, you
should exercise regularly, with intensity and concentration.

d* * *d


As a devotee of Bubba Free John, you are asked to manage sexuality
in an appropriate manner, one that is functionally true. You should
simply surrender all promiscuity, including masturbation and
indulgence of the “sex-game” approach to life. You should either
confine yourself sexually to a single partner in a responsible
household setting, or else engage in the natural and general play of
relational life, without actual sex contact, until such a
relationship is created. The recommended observation of this natural
discipline may be relaxed on occasions of general celebration in the
Ashram, but even on such occasions, as at all other times, sexuality,
like all other functions, should be realized in relationship, and
relationship always implies responsibility and genuine intimacy. So
you should maintain this discipline as closely as possible, and live
it in the happy spirit of your life with the Guru. As that devotional
life matures, and the quality of your life with friends and other
devotees becomes more clearly a form of real intimacy, you will find
that you are much less willing or even interested to engage in
sexuality under any circumstances other than profound intimacy and
genuine love-desire


The following essay on sexuality was written by Bubba especially
for new devotees in the Community.

d* * *d[To view the following Essay, select the title (in red)
and click on it with the right mouse button.]d

On Sexuality

an Essay by Bubba Free John

d* * *d


Sexuality, in human beings and all others polarized into two
sexes, is essentially and originally a generative function. Its
function in this sense is reproductive, the simple and organic
generation of new human lives. But human beings are capable of a
higher, intelligent, and consciously intimate enjoyment of their
sexuality that transcends and often bypasses entirely this merely
organic generative function


However, very few of us live our sexuality as a transcendent
enjoyment. In fact, even when we are using it for the purpose of
reproduction, almost all human beings always engage their sexuality
in a degenerative manner, usually as a way of throwing off
life-energy through the self-obsessed gratification of mere desire
without love. Nearly all the influences alive in our society
reinforce such degenerative sexuality. It is one of the principal
vehicles of our mutual degradation and bondage to the lowest
dimensions of our conscious existence


But the true, natural, and full use of sexuality, whether or not
reproduction is involved, does not degenerate but regenerates our
humanity at every level. Bubba says in the following talk that this
regenerative sexuality is the natural expression of both love and
desire when they are full and unobstructed. It involves such a
consuming turning to your intimate partner through all of the
vehicles of body and life-force or emotion that the mind is
overwhelmed, and there is none of the usual coolness,
self-manipulation, or essentially pornographic thoughts and imagery.
This intensely turned condition is “love-desire.” It is regenerative
because sexual activity in such a case does not empty you of
life-energy, but fills you, and returns body, mind, and emotions to a
naturally harmonious condition


This may sound like a form of profound spiritual
realization—and, in fact, to realize love-desire fully does
depend on a realized life of Divine Communion. But Bubba does not
expect his devotees to found their sexual activity in love-desire
only when their spiritual lives have become full. He expects it from
the beginning. Thus, no one in the Community is to engage in sexual
relations at any time with any person unless he or she is already
established in intense love-desire in that relationship. Under almost
all circumstances, members of the Ashram enjoy sexual intercourse
only with their partners in marriage—but Bubba insists that the
convention of marriage not be used as an excuse for degenerative
practices and habits. If either aspect, the profound force of love or
the overwhelming movement of desire, is missing from your intimate
relationship at any given moment, then, as Bubba says, you must “keep
it in your pants!”

Thus engaged, sexuality becomes not only a fully human enjoyment
but also, in time, a transcendent spiritual practice. In the disciple
stage of the way of Understanding and the second and third stages of
the way of Divine Communion, responsible members of the Community are
instructed in the esoteric relationship of sexuality to the spiritual
process. As Bubba often points out, no genuine and full
God-Realization is possible for human beings without a perfectly
unobstructed relationship to sexuality.

d* * *d

On Love-Desire

(From a talk given by Bubba on February 15, 1976.)

d* * *d


Twice each year members of the Ashram celebrate the dissolution of
the conventional approach to life, which is bondage to the cult of
the body


The first celebration, which occurs from March 15 to April 15, is
a time of radical purification of the body. The subject of this
occasion is regeneration, the supra-rational celebration of life.
Ashram members are urged to undertake a 7-10 day fast during this
month, following the practices for fasting which are described in The
Eating Gorilla Comes In Peace. The diet should also be strictly
aligned with the purifying dietary practices described in that book
(moderation, mainly raw foods, etc.) for the remainder of this


In addition to purification through fasting and right diet, this
period is also an appropriate time for celibacy, in order to allow
the body to regenerate its sexual and general vitality. During this
period of celibacy (or at least extreme moderation) the effects of
sexual patterns may be observed, thereby helping to refresh ones
mastery of the vital functions


This is a celebration of freedom from concern about the bodys
accumulated and karmic demands. The purifying practices engaged
during this time are undertaken simply as necessary and practical
means to enable the body regularly to harmonize its functions. They
are not approached as a means to Truth, nor as a substitute for
sadhana (the conscious process). They only serve the general and
ordinary health and well-being of the psycho-physical


The second celebration or period of celebrations begins on
December 15 and ends on New Years Day.”: This celebration
commemorates the communication of the way of Divine Communion to the
world. It is a time for setting aside the strict dietary and other
personal conditions which may occupy us during the rest of the year.
This is a period of celebration of freedom from vital solemnity. The
subject of this occasion is life itself, or generation, the
non-rational celebration of life


During this time the accessories to the diet that are avoided on
all other occasions may occasionally be enjoyed by those who choose
to do so. Even so, you may find that you cannot tolerate certain
accessories to the diet without ill effects. Some people, for
example, cannot drink alcohol because it causes them to sink into the
mood of the vital and to abandon their sadhana. Such people should
not drink, or they should at least do so in moderation. Others may
have had an addiction in the past which arises again during this
celebration, such as a heavy smoking habit. Such people should
understand the liabilities of these addictions in their case and be
responsible for them under the conditions of celebration


However, during this time members of the Ashram may generally
enjoy the occasional and pleasurable use of all the dietary
accessories. Such are simply traditional social practices designed to
be used on occasion, as a kind of life-celebration. Therefore,
members of the Ashram may make use of eggs, killed food, tobacco,
coffee, tea, alcoholic drinks, and even manufactured and traditional
food and sweets at the various parties and other social gatherings
called during that time. (However, hallucinogenic drugs, marijuana,
and the like should not be used during celebrations or at any other
time by members of the Ashram. Nor should anyone engage in any
illegal acts or other forms of public and private disturbance.)

General relaxations of the personal conditions of sadhana are
permitted during these celebrations, but the conscious life of
sacrifice remains as the premise. It is not to be a period of
yielding to the negative karmas hidden in life, but of the
celebration of life itself. Personal behavior during such celebration
is to be tempered by the spirit of celebration itself, which is a
relational force of pleasure and love with ones friends rather than
an exotic or abusive personal movement toward private intoxication,
delusion, and unconsciousness


You should know that this liberal and occasional viewpoint toward
the dietary accessories and other conditions is not itself a kind of
law or demand. It is simply that those who are living as members of
the Ashram Community may, if they choose, feel free to enjoy the
common social celebration in appropriate ways on the occasions when
the Ashram gathers to celebrate life by temporarily abandoning the
“face” of apparent disciplines of diet, life routine, and the
self-conscious or cultic management of their sexuality and general
human energy. Some may be unable, for reasons of health or tendency,
to make use of certain of the traditional dietary accessories. Others
may be unable to make use of any of these traditional enjoyments, or
may discover they must at least limit their use. All of that is fine.
It is simply that you must discover your own natural and pleasurable
discipline, with humor, free of all righteousness


The Siddha-Guru is a paradox, a presence of humor, a free
manifestation of an ordinary, pleasurable life.

d* * *d


Service is the free and humorous expression of the life of Divine
Communion. It requires a new form of action relative to the world and
others. The practical discipline is to engage in an active
orientation toward human community and energetic, compassionate, and
loving service to the common life


Traditionally, service is done to get realized or to attain
spiritual “merit.” However, the true life of service is not involved
in self-dramatization, self-meditation, contraction, avoidance. It is
simply appropriate, relational life, done in loving devotion to the
Guru, as is the case with any of the practical disciplines that
assist sadhana. To whatever extent that you have the capacity, you
should embrace this condition, bringing the sacrificial life you are
living with Bubba to fruition in all your relationships with


In this service each individual assumes every form of his action
during every day as a form of intense life-communication to others.
In this way we fulfill our appropriate function as life-source, or
source of principal food, for others. If you spend any time in the
Community, you will very quickly—and without any kind of
mysticism—discover that love itself, free life-energy, is what
human beings really thrive on, what they in fact require of each
other for very survival. As we mature in this sadhana, not only
should we perform all our actions as service, but we should create
various specific functions in life wherein we can intensify our
service to the Guru, to other individuals, to the Ashram Community,
and to the larger community of society in general


The following is excerpted from one of Bubbas talks in which he
elaborates on the importance of service as a practical life

d* * *d

On Service

from a Talk given to the Ashram on December 22, 1974

d* * *d

In the most practical terms, this condition of service requires
that you observe yourself in relationship and begin to serve,
literally serve, those with whom you come in contact. At the most
obvious level, service takes the form of doing something for someone
else, not in a smiling and gleeful way, calling attention to the fact
that youre a wonderful guy, but easily, without self-reference


You may have particularly strong resistances to certain people, in
whose company you feel anger, righteousness, or other strong and
negative feelings. Serve those you have conflict with, rather than
engaging in gossip, complaint, and righteousness in their company,
all of which are forms of withdrawal or contraction-reaction. And
really serve, that is, direct your being and energy to their good and


When you have conflict with someone, it will not help you to try
to identify and analyze the reasons for your difficulties There are
no reasons, there are only justifications for withdrawing the
life-force. And it is not simply a matter of not loving that person.
Observe yourself in that relationship and you will see that you are
actively manufacturing non-love toward him. Your appropriate
activity, then, is not to try to create love for him, since what you
create will be self-consciousness and not love. You do not have to
love him at all. Simply direct your energy to him, serve him,
sacrifice your refusal to share the life-force with him. The more you
understand under the conditions of such service, the more such
service will itself be revealed to be love


Fulfilling the condition of service requires you to realize in
your own life your appropriate function as conscious life-source for
others, to observe in relationship your strategic tendencies to
obstruct this function, and to find very specific and practical ways
to increase your useful service to all other beings



As you can see, these practical conditions do not represent feats
of ascetic self-denial. They are very natural, appropriate,
life-supporting ways of managing our humanity. In fact, to live this
way is not really difficult, and it feels good! But in this Community
you will never, never! have a chance to really get your vital life
together as a perfect or near-perfect performance of these
conditions. If eventually you find yourself adhering strictly to the
conditions, without effort, it will happen spontaneously long after
you have lost every kind of interest in such an existence. Because
this way of Divine Communion is a humorous way of life, in which you
are always being undone, and in which everything you do must come
alive as a form of turning and service to the Guru. So all of your
attainments, in health, work, you name it, will sooner or later be
upset and your attention to them dissolved again in the simple
happiness of your relationship to the Guru.ddYou are required to turn
to Bubba and serve him through these conditions. That is what they
are for. The sadhana of the first (practical) stage of the way of
Divine Communion is not fulfilled or mature until you have begun to
live all of the ordinary conditions of your life as conscious service
or sacrifice to the Guru in God. If the Guru were not here as a
living miracle of Grace, if Divine Communion were not our present
possibility, we all might as well eat, drink, and orgy ourselves to
death, blow our brains out, or cruelly mistreat each other, because
life in itself—even radiantly healthy, full, and loving life in
itself—simply does not avail. But Bubba is here. God is Present!
And it is the turning that counts.

The following is a conversation between Bubba and one of his
intimate devotees on just what this turning amounts to:

d* * *d

On Turning to Me

from a Talk given on January 29, 1976

d* * *d


7. Bubbas written instructions, January 15, 1976


8. Bubba Free John, Garbage and the Goddess, (Lower Lake, Cal: The
Dawn Horse Press, 1974), page 138


9. Bubba Free John, “Two Ways of Approach,” a talk to the Ashram,
December 3, 1975


10. Bubbas written instructions, January 15, 1976


11. Franklin Jones (Bubba Free John), The Method of the Siddhas,
(Los Angeles: The Dawn Horse Press, 1973), page 65


12. Bubba Free John, “I Prefer to Be Free,” a talk to the Ashram,
January 20, 1975


13. Bubba Free John, “Gnosis,” a talk to the Ashram, November 26,



Part Two: The Complications of Sadhana


Approaching the Guru: Prasad and Darshan

All I am doing is just keeping you present while I am Present, and
that is sufficient. That is the whole of sadhana. Everything else is
an elaboration of that.

d* * *d

Spend time in the Gurus Company—it is that simple. Bubba is
always creating ways to bring people into contact with him. He is
very jealous of his devotees attention! If someone is away, Bubba
wants to know where. If a devotee has not come to Persimmon in some
time, Bubba will want to know why. Much more, perhaps, than they are
aware of it, the Guru is interested and actively inquires about his
devotees welfare. Should someone decide to abandon Satsang and leave
him and the Community, Bubba feels it, literally and painfully. To
him this relationship is absolutely the living core of his spiritual
work with us, and thus the only purpose of his existence on earth. He
is always drawing us close to his physical presence, and through
that, into his very Presence


There are several formal occasions on which all members of the
Community enjoy Bubbas physical presence. He usually sits with us
during formal presentations by members of the Community and often
takes questions at that time. Whenever he intends to accept questions
he will indicate it to an attendant or to everyone present. If you
have a question, raise your hand and Bubba will acknowledge you if he
wants to receive your question. Any genuine question is appropriate
at those times. You may feel your question is of a particularly
private nature, but keep in mind that almost any question can provide
a forum for Bubba to make replies that may interest all members of
the Ashram. And all replies Bubba makes to questions delivered in our
group gatherings are recorded on tape for future interest, whereas
private conversations are not. Be sure always to ask your questions
audibly and clearly, so everyone may understand


There are other, even more formal occasions when the Community may
come to enjoy Bubbas Presence. These are Prasad, Darshan, and formal
Satsang or meditation.

d* * *d


The formal occasion of Prasad is very moving and beautiful, and it
is a perfect image of the nature of this process of Satsang or Divine
Communion. The Guru sits in his seat in the Communion Hall, merely
Present. One by one, members of the Community come forward to bow at
his feet, leave a simple gift of flowers or fruit, take Prasad, and
return to their seats. Prasad, literally, means “the return of a gift
to the giver.” The fruit that people take from trays or other
devotees near Bubbas feet in the hall is charged with the radiance of
his Presence. It is not specifically intended to have a mystical
effect on people. It is simply the reminder of his Presence and the
visible sign of his Grace. Bubba is always there to meet us. When we
turn to him, we find him already turned to us, always giving the gift
of very God


A true devotee is always approaching the Guru with gratitude for
the Teaching and his Presence, always laying his life down at the
Gurus feet, always offering his service and surrender in the form of
his simple gifts. When you approach Bubba, whether in your home, in a
place you have set aside for the private recollection of the Guru, or
in the presence of his human form, you should never come
empty-handed. Empty hands imply that you have already surrendered
everything and all of you, which is a lie and an offense to the Guru.
And anyone who comes as a devotee, not a seeker, already knows full
well that he has hardly begun to surrender! So Bubba says, “Always
bring me as much of yourself as you can carry in two hands.” In other
words, let your gift truly represent the yielding of your entire
separate, unhappy life. The most appropriate gifts are flowers or
fruit. Their quality and your intention are most important. Bubba has
recently spoken of how people tend to give offerings as if in church,
as an obligation, and then take Prasad as if selecting bananas in a
fruit stand!

All gifts are forms and signs of sacrifice. Give to Bubba with
your heart, not to satisfy a demand for self-gratification, but as an
expression of the quality of your life of turning to him. You may
choose to give Bubba an uncommon gift, more than the traditional one
of fruit or flowers, but even then do not let either the choosing or
the giving become an attempt to gain his special attention, to
entertain him, or to fulfill some feeling you have that you must, on
special occasions, present him with something unusual. The giving of
material gifts to the Guru should be a test and a demonstration of
your relationship to him in God.

dA man should not approach his Guru in order to carry on his
search. He should approach his Guru with devotion, as one who has
found, and put his search down at his Gurus feet. The true disciple
is a devotee who simply lives with his Guru. That is the spiritual
practice or sadhana of Satsang. Every bit of seeking, dilemma and
self-obsession that you lay down is your true gift to the Guru. All
gifts symbolize that true and inner gift, and make it visible. A man
may bring a flower to his Guru. The flower is very fresh and
fragrant. When he smiles and puts it on the ground or in a vase it
may all seem like a pleasantry. But what is represented by that
flower could be the most difficult crisis of his life. The truth of
that flower, of that gift, is the crisis itself.17d

“Prasad Day” is held once a month at Persimmon. Prasad Day is a
special community celebration of the sacrament of Satsang, or Divine
Communion. On Prasad Day, Guru-seva, or the function of service to
the Lord in the form of the Guru, is celebrated and made visible in a
special way. It is the time when each of us comes to Bubba with a
special offering, usually of fruit or flowers, symbolizing our most
significant gift, which is the search. On Prasad Day each of us
acknowledges Bubba as Guru, the discovery of whom makes all seeking


Several times every year Prasad Day is held to commemorate some
special spiritual event, such as the realization of the Heart, or
Bubbas birthday, or Guru Day, which is a traditional annual
celebration of the Gurus Presence. Those special celebrations are
themselves unique versions of Prasad Day, just as Prasad Day is a
unique version or celebration of Satsang itself


One reason for the formalities on Prasad Day and at other times is
to show one another that the Guru is not just a human form to be
worshipped in ignorance. Bubba is not an idol or a cultic image
intended to fascinate and subdue disturbed people. He is a function
for the Ashram of all his devotees. The same Guru who serves you in
human form serves you also after the death of that form. He is the
eternal Guru. If you are not always aware of this, you become full of
doubt, contemptuous, and envious, thinking that Bubba is enjoying the
show business of cultic life in the manner of a spiritual
entertainer. So we must not deal informally and commonly with the
Guru simply because he is present in human form. We must serve the
human Guru as the living function of the Divine. It is not the human
limitation of the Guru that is the initiator of Satsang. It is the
eternal Guru, the Maha-Siddha, the Lord, the Divine Form. The
greatest sin of all is to approach the living Guru as a limited form,
separate from the Lord


But when we approach Bubba as devotees, in Divine Communion with
him, then even the most informal and apparently droll, human moments
with him are charged with our intuitive acknowledgment of his Divine
Nature and our gratitude for the Prasad of his Presence. This makes
for a profoundly different quality of life than you may have
experienced in the world. You may be trading puns with Bubba,
laughing with him, watching TV or even drinking uproariously with him
at one of the occasional Ashram celebrations, but if you are always
turning and yielding your self-possession to him in Satsang, then you
will constantly and only be standing in the Presence of God, which is
radiant, sublime, silent, solemn and awesome without being somber,
full of humor and sheer delight, independent of the qualities or
circumstances of life at the moment.

dI am alive as Amrita Nadi, the Heart and its spire, the Bright or
Conscious Light. This is always so. When I come to you I intensify
the field of Brightness, the field of uncreated Light that rests
above your head and which is drawn down into the body when the mind
lies formless in the Heart. Whenever I have been with you I have done
this from the Heart. The communication of the Heart and its Light are
my constant practice. Therefore, such is the constant realization of
those who always live in Satsang with me, who know I am always
Present with them, even if I do not appear to them. This is why the
various phenomena of your spiritual lives have arisen or been
intensified, purified and made intelligent whenever you have been
mindful of me. I am always offering this Prasad. When you come to me
you should come with the appropriate attitude. You should come
prepared to give me your gifts, the surrendering of your seeking. You
should come to turn to me, to accept my Prasad, and to use it in life
and service to me. If you make your relationship to me the condition
of your life, if you make Satsang your sadhana, I will give myself to
you entirely, and the Life, Light and very Existence that is Amrita
Nadi, the Form of Reality, will thus be communicated to you while you
are alive.

dPrasad is my gift to devotees, my help to disciples. Prepare
yourself. I want true devotees, not seekers. I am the Siddha-Guru,
the Prasad, the Object and Process of Meditation for my devotees. My
teaching is this: Turn to me and Understand.18dd* * *d


Like Prasad, the occasion of Darshan is a traditionally well-known
and sacred occasion of honoring and enjoying the Gurus Presence. At
Persimmon Bubba regularly gives Prasad and sits for Darshan, usually
several times a week.

dDarshan—literally, a seeing, a vision, a sight of. The term
commonly refers to the blessings granted by Guru or God. The Guru
gives “his” blessing by making his appearance, by allowing himself to
be seen, meditated upon, or known. God gives “his” blessing in the
same way, especially by appearing in the form of the Guru and his

So formal Darshan is a very important and significant event in the
Community. It is a time when the Guru literally appears in front of
you and gives his blessing to you simply by being there in physical
form. The extent to which you make use of this occasion, then,
depends upon what you do when you are with him at the time.
Everything is shown in Darshan, absolutely everything. Merely by
making his appearance, the Guru is showing you very God. And all that
is necessary is for you to sit with him and contemplate his Form.
Darshan is not a time for you to make yourself visible to the Guru,
or for you to get involved with your subjective notions about him. To
do that is to turn away, to avoid what is sitting right before your
very eyes, which is only God. Thus, the occasion of Darshan—and
in fact every moment in Bubbas physical presence is
Darshan—directly expresses the whole principle and core of the
Divine work, the miracle of Gods appearance and life with us through
the paradoxical Presence of the Guru


Bubba makes himself available for formal Darshan on weekends,
usually Saturdays, and especially invites new devotees and those who
do not otherwise have much personal contact with him to enjoy his
Company in this way. New devotees tend to feel a little
self-conscious around Bubba in any case. And when they come to him in
a situation in which he perhaps does not acknowledge them in any way
whatsoever, it becomes more disorienting and unsettling. Bubba has
had this to say about contemplation of the Guru:

d* * *d

(1.1) People have traditionally used paintings and images of the
Guru or Saints or symbols of the Divine. They have looked at these
images and fixed on them as objects of meditation in order to quiet
the mind. They would either look at a physical image placed in front
of them or recollect its duplicate in the mind. They would constantly
return to the repetition of a name, a word, a mantra in order to
quiet the mind, to continually interrupt the tendency to become
involved in the flow of thoughts and reactions. Some of you think
that you are supposed to be doing that when you are sitting with me
in the Ashram Communion Hall. You think that by fixing your attention
visually on my picture or my body you can stop the flow of


(1.2) If a man takes out his wallet and looks at his wifes
picture, does he do this in order to stop his thoughts? Where does
this motivation come from? A person doesnt look at pictures of his
loved ones in order to stop the flow of thoughts. People look at such
pictures for the enjoyment of it, as a recollection of those they
love when they are not physically present with one another. The
picture is not an end in itself. You dont fix your attention on the
picture. The picture just reawakens your attunement with that one. So
the photographs that we carry of those we love are expressions of our
relationship with them. When we enjoy our relationship with one
another, we are not concerned about whether we have thoughts or not.
Our concentration on the one in the picture is natural at that moment
because we fully and spontaneously enjoy that person himself. We look
at these photographs for fun and pleasure, in order to enjoy this
loving contemplation. That is natural recollection and


(1.3) But when a person contemplates the Guru or the Divine,
suddenly this contemplation must have all kinds of other qualities.
It must stop his thoughts! That expectation is just a sign that he is
not naturally inclined to his Guru. Just so, enjoying formal Darshan
(in the Gurus physical presence, or through the instrument of his
photograph or recollected memory) is an expression of your
relationship to the Guru. It is not a meditative technique. It is
simply a natural way of recollecting this attunement with the Guru,
with the Teacher and his Teaching


(1.4) The relationship between the devotee and the Guru must be as
natural and as simple and as spontaneous as the relationship between
lovers. It is only because people are not inclined to the Guru that
they expect something else to happen. Sitting in the physical
presence of the Guru should be simple and natural, just as if a loved
one has walked into the room. When it becomes natural, simple, and
open-hearted, without self-consciousness, then the Divine process has
room, it has a function


(1.5) The man who is still stuck with his thinking, his
tendencies, his distractions, is unwilling to turn truly to the Guru.
He uses the Gurus appearance as a method for quieting his thoughts,
instead of simply living openly as the devotee of the Guru, available
to the Gurus argument, discipline, and person. If you live in
continuous relationship to the Guru, you will also begin to observe
this whole process of thinking and of action. You will begin to feel
in yourself the strategy that you are always up to. Therefore,
Satsang involves living in conscious relationship to the Guru, not
just fixing attention on him. And living in the presence of the Guru
becomes more and more fullness and devotion.20

As this sadhana of Divine Communion matures in you, the Darshan of
the Guru will take on increasingly profound dimensions. Bubba points
out that to be capable of such contemplation in its most mature
expression requires a realized life of sadhana:

d* * *d

(2.1) The Guru in the world, the Guru who is physically present,
is a direct manifestation of Amrita Nadi, the Form of Reality. He is
alive as That. He is That absolutely. His visible human form is an
absolute reflection of the Perfect Form, and a perfect communication
of it. Therefore, to contemplate and become completely absorbed in
the Form and Life and Presence of the Guru is to be continually
attentive to his ultimate communication, the communication of his
ultimate Nature which is also your own. Thus, to become capable of
contemplating or meditating on the Gurus Form is the ultimate
capacity of a devotee. And the Gurus Form is his simple physical
form, his subtle appearances, his cosmic, universal, and perfect
manifestations. But, first and last, it is Very Form, Amrita Nadi,
the Form of God, Guru, and Self which stands forever in the Heart


(2.2) True meditation on the Guru is nothing you can successfully
try and do. It must awaken in you in the midst of a life of Divine
Communion. It will be the fruit of your sadhana. But, certainly, from
the very beginning, some form of this meditation can be the case for
you. Whatever the latent or chronic quality of the individual, there
is from the beginning some capacity to become absorbed in reflection
on the Guru, on his physical form, on his words, on his entire
communication, on all his forms, in every way it is possible to be
aware of him. In every case it is possible to think of the Guru, to
contemplate the Guru, to be with the Guru, and to serve him.21

d* * *d



You should prepare a place in your household where you can give
gifts to the Guru and receive them back as Prasad, a place where you
can sit in quiet recollection of the Guru and the arguments of his
Teaching. The place should be kept clean and attractive. Keep the
Gurus picture there. The best place is one in which no other activity
is carried out, if this is possible. It is also preferable that you
do not use a part of your bedroom for this purpose, if possible,
since the qualities of sleep linger in the room even after you are
awake and may be a distraction, however subtle, to your naturally
conscious activities there


Whenever you come and go from your place of formal Satsang, bow to
Bubbas Presence, touching your head to the floor, as you would if you
approached him in the Communion Halls of the Ashram. Whenever you
pass by that place, acknowledge Bubba briefly with a slightly bowed
head and with hands pressed together in a respectful gesture at the
level of the heart, just as you would do if you passed by him
casually in the Ashram. These are the simple formalities of Satsang,
of acknowledgment of the Divine Guru with whom we enjoy the happiness
of life in God


It is important that you harmonize the bodys posture when you are
sitting with the Guru, whether at home or in the places of the
Community. The half-lotus (the “easy” posture) and the lotus posture
are perhaps the best for such sitting. (Sitting “Japanese style,”
over the shins, with the feet touching, is a possible alternative.)
In these postures the legs are crossed and the circuit of energy in
the body is closed. If the legs (or the feet) are apart, the current
of force in the body is broken and turned toward the waking world of
ordinary activity


If you cannot yet sit in one of these cross-legged postures, you
should practice daily, using Conscious Exercise and the
Transcendental Sun as your reference. But do not try to sit this way
in formal Satsang until you can sit in these postures comfortably.
You should be comfortable in the Gurus Company, so that your
attention is not on the body, or your physical, vital life


Not only the position of the limbs is important, but the general
stability of the entire body. Therefore, you should generally not sit
in formal Satsang directly after taking food, but you should wait
until the digestive processes of the body have quieted. In addition,
if you are constantly shifting or getting cramps in various areas of
the body, that is a sign there is constriction of force. Postures
such as the lotus help to stabilize the body, so that it is firmly
and comfortably seated, with the circuit of body energy closed. In
such a case the body cannot sway or rock, nor will you feel
constantly moved to change its position.

d* * *d


When an individual comes in contact with the Siddhi that is alive
in this work, he may experience various yogic and mystical phenomena,
all of which are a common, though not necessary, sign that his
psycho-physical vehicles are being purified. Such experiences may
occur in formal Prasad or Darshan, or at any time of the day once you
have begun to enjoy a spiritual relationship to Bubba. Bubba
discusses these phenomena and the appropriate response to them in all
three of the source books (The Knee of Listening, The Method of the
Siddhas, and Garbage and the Goddess). In the Company of the Guru you
may become meditative, you may experience visions, lights, sounds,
intuitive insights. You may experience kriyas, or spontaneous
purifying movements, which manifest as abrupt jerking in the spine,
gestures with the hands, heavy breathing, great heat in the body,
growling and other vocalizations, feelings of great bliss and joy,
and many other movements in the body


Some people are especially susceptible to various of these
experiences. Others rarely experience them. They are a natural result
of the purifying force of Satsang, but not a necessary one. Kriyas
and visions and other extraordinary experiences are not the
end-phenomena of Satsang. Therefore, it does you neither good nor ill
to experience them or not to experience them. They are simply to be
surrendered from the heart, like everything else that arises. If you
do not have kriyas or visions, do not be concerned. Rather, apply
yourself to sadhana. If you do experience such things, do not be
deluded by attachment. Apply yourself to sadhana


Many spiritual paths value these phenomena as equivalent to Truth
(with the corresponding implication that if you do not have or value
such experiences, you cannot and do not know Truth). They prescribe
methods whereby one can acquire these experiences, and therefore, it
is believed, become enlightened. But these movements are signs of
purification and functional change, not enlightenment. They are
merely experiences, not Truth. They have nothing to do with Truth. As
you will see, it is far, far better to be already happy in Communion
with God than to be distracted by any kind of secondary spiritual


To the common man, the possibility of such experiences is bizarre,
absorbing. It seems to promise all kinds of adventure and very
salvation! But to a devotee of Bubba Free John in this Community,
such experiences are simply a part of ordinary experience. Because of
our tendencies, we are inclined to get distracted by them, but
because of our foundation in Divine Communion, we also find the easy
capacity to yield them and to begin to appreciate them as very
ordinary phenomena indeed, no more enlightening than breakfast.

d* * *d

(3.1) Experiences in themselves are just a way to become attached.
The experience that you have at any moment represents a unique moment
in your own case. The events in themselves, which are possible
elements in the spiritual process, are not to be exploited, held on
to, nor are they to be prevented. Either one of these strategies is
false. If you hold on to the experience, it ceases to be a lesson and
becomes a form of bondage. On the other hand, when I make a lesson
out of someones experience and he deliberately sacrifices that
experience, surrenders it, very often he turns into another mode of
living in which he prevents experience. He lapses into mediocrity, a
ritual and strategic ordinariness, and holds on to that


(3.2) The fundamental process is in consciousness, not in all of
the functions with which consciousness tends to be associated. You
may have experiences of changes in the body, experiences of movements
in the vital and in the nervous system, visions in the psychic or
subtle dimensions, and insights in the mental dimension. These are
all modifications of your life-functions. The fundamental event is in
consciousness, and consciousness is continuous, itself unmodified.
The real spiritual process is an ongoing present conscious affair for
which you must be responsible


(3.3) The real spiritual process doesnt just happen. It isnt a
fixed event, after which everything is groovy. Events happen, but
consciousness is never modified by them. Experience is just an
exaggerated modification of ones functional state. It does not
produce illumination. It does not produce anything of ultimate value.
The only value experiences have is relative to consciousness itself.
Your surrendering in the midst of experiences of all kinds leads you
to the life of a true devotee, and the life of a true devotee is one
in which the force of real Consciousness, the Divine intuition, is
brought to life from hour to hour


(3.4) Life itself is just change, limitation, so the true
spiritual process does not begin with the initiation of experience.
The spiritual process is only begun when consciousness becomes the
overriding factor of continued existence. It is a force in life. It
is brought to us. Consciousness in itself masters and creates the
ultimate transformation of life by making life responsive to the
Divine. Experience itself is just a modification of life, a
modification of functions. You could have a vision every five seconds
for eternity and it would not produce the ultimate event of conscious


(3.5) Experience in itself only modifies conscious life, makes you
subject to change in itself, limits you, binds you. All these
modifications are not producing your transformation in Truth, because
they themselves are not lasting. They are themselves a demand, an
argument for the enactment of a conscious existence from moment to
moment. Living that conscious existence is a creative, ongoing,
present affair. It never comes to an end. There is no end phenomenon
in this process, because Consciousness in itself is the ultimate
Reality. That very Consciousness must become the Presence as which
you live, in which you represent yourself. Consciousness itself must
become the Principle, rather than the experiential drama of life,
high or low, to which you tend to make very Consciousness subject


(3.6) All your experiences are just a meal, just fertilizer. They
themselves are always disappearing, becoming obsolete. But the true
force of spiritual life, or life in Truth, is implied in their
existence. They are themselves a demand to one who understands.
Because they are temporary, because they are dying, they themselves
serve the ultimate realization or mastery. We have so many functional
areas to which we are tending to retreat that spiritual realization
seems to be a long, agonizing affair. But as soon as you begin to
catch the thread of that process, as soon as you begin to live this
conscious life of Satsang, then the complexion of it all is
transformed. Even so, it is only to the degree that you yourself, as
your very Nature, move into life, in the midst of experiences, that
the true spiritual process is awakened. The phenomena of experience
are not to be excluded, but they themselves, if they appear,
represent only an argument, a demand for Satsang, for conscious life.
They are not a path


(3.7) People are continually tending to become bound by the force
of events. They begin to assume that the cosmic process, the process
that they know only in ordinary life terms, or that they know through
super-cosmic visions or experiences, is itself spiritual life or life
in Truth. But it is not. It is another form of slavery, it is just
Shakti manifestation, the cosmic display, none of which leads to


(3.8) Nothing that occurs in the entire, infinite affair of the
cosmos leads to realization. It is only change. So mere involvement
in the apparent influences of the Guru-Siddhi in terms of
force-manifestations is not meditation. It is not true spiritual
life. It ultimately represents only an argument for real meditation,
a demand for Self-realization, for the conscious process


(3.9) People enjoy varying degrees of sensitivity to the
force-manifestations. The play of life, gross and subtle, is
reflected in different ways on an experiential level in each person,
but in every person real enjoyment of the Divine can occur with the
same kind of intensity. The manifestation of force, of cosmic energy,
light, and mind, differs in each individual according to his karmic
disposition at any moment, but the Power and Condition of
Consciousness is absolute


(3.10) I dont care what vision or movement you had last night. It
is gone, and we are sitting here today. Are you more conscious? Are
you living the force of your conscious life with more intensity at
this moment than you were yesterday? Or are you more involved in your
bullshit, in more demands, more fascinations, more inclinations, more
mediocrity, more low energy, more stupidity, more insensitivity? Is
that what you are involved in? If that is what you are involved in,
you have missed the point. You have been sucked in again. You have
turned again to your own dilemma


(3.11) The real sign that the spiritual process is taking place is
not your experiences, insights, knowledge, your change of life state,
or anything else you have acquired in the process—the peculiar
ritual you are involved with when you wake up in the morning. All
those things are themselves modifications, changes. The peculiar sign
of the awakening of the spiritual process is in a form of action of
which you were previously incapable because the strategy you were
enacting prevented it. That action is the process of Consciousness
and of sacrifice, senior to life, sound, mind, and light.22

d* * *d


16. Bubba Free John, “Have I Said It?”


17. Bubba Free John, The Method of the Siddhas, page 58


18. Ibid., pages 321-322


19. Bubba Free John, Garbage and the Goddess, page 375


20. Bubba Free John, “Guru Day,” a talk to the Ashram, July 15,


21. Bubba Free John, The Method of the Siddhas, page 340.

22. Bubba Free John, “Let Me Live You,” a talk to the Ashram,
April 25, 1974.



Part Two: The Complications of Sadhana


The Four Stages Of Practice

(1.1) Sadhana in our Community is based on a very simple
principle: simply to live in the Gurus Company. That is basically it.
Abiding always in the Gurus Company becomes sacrifice and
God-Realization. This principle or simple Condition becomes quite
elaborate in the actual life of a person because he is complicated
with all kinds of assumptions. By tendency he reflects the force of
the Guru in various ways. While he enjoys this simple continuous
relationship with me, he also takes on various levels of
responsibility, depending on his character. In principle, everyone
does sadhana in this simple way that I have described. However, in
practice sadhana is developed in essentially two ways in the Ashram.
One way, the way of Divine Communion, is fundamental to all. The
other way is a special development of the way of Divine Communion
that appears in the case of those who have the capacity it


(1.2) The way of Divine Communion is the simple living in my
Company, but it also involves, first of all, responsibilities at a
life-level that minimize the exploitation of life, the indulgence of
life, to the point of stably maintaining a kind of discipline. This
discipline develops over time as control of diet, control of
sexuality, and control of the life-process in general to make
yourself fit for work and service to others


(1.3) The responsibility of the way of Divine Communion is simply
one of beginning to act in a new way. In this Teaching suffering is
regarded to be a kind of action, not a state, not something happening
to you. Suffering is seen to be your own activity, a contraction that
is dramatized in life as the avoidance of relationship. Therefore, in
relationship to me, in constant remembrance of me, in constant
service to me, the individual engages in a new form of action that is
the opposite of what he tends to do. It is not a form of action in
the conventional sense, by which you cut things away from yourself or
discipline yourself with a fierce self-conscious energy. It is simply
a way of moving the functions of life into relationship, performing
them as service to me, and conforming them to the natural laws that
they should truly represent


(1.4) This action is itself fulfillment of the great Law, which is
sacrifice. When this humorous, loving, devotional life begins to
become stable and the individual becomes sensitive to my Presence, my
spiritual influence, then he also moves his subjective functions into
my service. Thus, there are responsibilities of a subtle kind that
involve the use of internal mechanisms relative to the subtle being.
This stage of his practice is just an extended form of the same
responsibility by which he was obliged to turn his ordinary life to
me. The subtler stages of practice (the breathing of the
Guru-Presence and the practice of the God-Name) develop further in a
higher devotional form of contemplation of the Guru, the installment
of the Guru as ones own consciousness, and the natural sacrifice, not
the burdensome, self-conscious sacrifice, but the natural sacrifice
of the ego, of the mind, of desires, of the body, of the world
perception. When the individual becomes more responsible for his
spiritual relationship to me, when his subjective life has become a
matter of responsibility in my Company, and he shows the evidence of
a kind of living intelligence, the ability to observe what arises, to
understand, and to use the process of self-observation as a
discipline, and when he demonstrates the ability to inspect
critically the content of life and enjoy control over its phenomena
as an activity that is fundamental to his existence, then his sadhana
may develop in the way of Understanding. In that case, he will add to
the principle of new or right action the principle of intelligence,
or the comprehension of the nature of all action and the restoration
of Consciousness to its natural, intuitive state


(1.5) The complications that we call sadhana represent kinds of
responsibility relative to ones action in ones conscious life in my
Company. But, fundamentally, sadhana is simple in concept for
everyone in the Ashram. The Condition that we call Satsang or Divine
Communion is the principle of sadhana for all. They continually
return to it, even though they may live it as all kinds of
responsibilities. That simple intuitive relationship to me that is
just a matter of living in my Company with attention is the principle
enjoyed from the beginning and is the sufficient form of sadhana in
the Graceful form in which it is made available through the agency of
the human Guru


(1.6) Therefore, the unique possibility that this sadhana
represents and which has been communicated by all the Siddhas in the
past does not depend on strategic and self-conscious application of
yourself towards some superior goal or change of state. But through
the immediacy of the presentation of the Guru, through attention to
the Guru, the realization of the Guru becomes that of the devotee.
This is the spiritual possibility that has been communicated by all
the Siddhas.23

d* * *d

So far in No Remedy we have considered the foundation of sadhana
with Bubba Free John, and we have outlined the practical disciplines
and formal enjoyments of life in his Company. Now we need to consider
the unfolding of more mature stages of sadhana with him—not to
present you with esoteric practices that you may “try out” for
yourself, but to show the process in its fullness, and to indicate in
concrete terms the all-inclusive form of realization that Divine
Communion with Bubba Free John amounts to for all who live it with


The way of Divine Communion includes four specific stages of

1) The first stage is primarily the foundation of a devotional
life in which ordinary, human actions become realized and are enjoyed
as service and remembrance of the Guru. This is the life of the
conditions that we have discussed earlier. It is the humanizing stage
of this life


2) The second stage is the beginning of the spiritualizing process
that awakens in Bubbas Company. It involves the voluntary exercise of
the Guru-Presence of God from the heart that coordinates the body,
the life-force, and the mind with the breath. It is at this point
that the devotee begins to become sensitive to and responsible for
the subtler functions of his existence, again through sacrifice of
self and submission to the Gurus Presence. In this second stage, you
will begin very consciously to enjoy spiritual intimacy with the


3) The third stage is a continuation and elaboration of the
second. It involves the further awakening of profound and subtle
dimensions of life and consciousness, and the devotees sacrifice of
them to the Guru. It is at this point that you begin to use the Name
of “God” along with the practice of the breath of God


4) In the final stage of practice the Guru is “installed” in the
very being of the devotee as the Form of his own conscious existence.
This ecstatic and maddening contemplation of Bubba in Truth proceeds
through three distinct phases, and matures in the third phase as the
progressively more perfect realization of God. Now, having realized
and sacrificed both his humanity and his spirituality, the devotee
becomes literally identical with the Divine. He becomes a true

d* * *d


There remains only one thing to be said about the first stage of
this life of Divine Communion: It is no mean or small event for ones
human life to be truly turned over to the Guru. As Bubba said
earlier, we all represent chronic movements of self-limitation in
space and time. The karmic forces that we engage without
consciousness in order to appear in this earthly realm are no more
free than the qualities of our lives themselves. According to Bubba
and all the Siddhas, we have been suffering this same condition, this
whole morass of difficulty, confusion, and misery, for literally
eons. That is what the karmic process amounts to, and that is what
each one of us represents as a living being, no matter how holy or
powerful we may appear. So to make the transition from a life of
karmic action to a life of sacrifice to the Divine as and in the Guru
represents already a profound transformation of the quality of our
existence in this world.

d* * *d

(2.1) In most cases the first stage of sadhana is the most
difficult stage to realize. It has the most theatre associated with
it, and it involves a most profound transformation of the content and
condition of life that the devotee has always lived with, that he
most identifies with. It is his sense of identity that is implicated
in that first level of practice. To turn his whole ordinary,
self-obsessed life into service to God is the most profound turnabout
that can be made by a living being. Therefore, it is not a mickey
mouse level of sadhana at all. If it is truly realized, with great
energy, it is the most significant stage of sadhana, it is the
foundation stage, it makes everything else much easier, much
simpler—simpler in principle, simpler in conception, simpler to
manage practically


(2.2) To the degree that that foundation stage is not fully
realized, is mediocre, the other stages are much more difficult,
because they lack the strength that must be their support. All of the
energy that is available to the second, third, and fourth stages of
that sadhana is released on the basis of that foundation in the first
stage. So that clarity and strength and commitment and intensity at
the first stage must represent the essential available energy
required to fulfill these later stages. People want to get into the
later stages as quickly as possible, because they want to move on
down the line. And they neglect the condition that must be realized
in that first stage. They think sadhana is like Cub Scout training,
but it is not. In fact there are people who have been in the Ashram
since the day it formally existed who have not yet realized the
maturity of the first stage of the way of Divine Communion.

(2.3) DEVOTEE: That wanting to realize your sadhana right now is a
fundamental obstruction


(2.4) BUBBA: It is not even realization that is wanted right now.
It is status, it is the “face” that they can save. People want
extraordinary things, but certainly not realization! They do not even
know what that is. They want it in name. They want all the effects,
all the entertainments, all the holy man/holy woman games to play.
They want to be made believers by effects. And they want to be known
as having a certain kind of status. They want to have face in the
Community. So all kinds of motivations appear and cause people to
neglect the responsibilities of that first stage of sadhana that in
itself is the foundation, that is most important, that is most
difficult, and that can truly take a long time


(2.5) You have got to become a man, man or woman. You have got to
throw it down every day! You have to bring me your energy, the very
force of your life. You have to be doing it every moment. You cant
lay back and be full of doubts, wondering about yourself, being
negative, going through all of your bullshit numbers. That is not
sadhana! Sadhana is coming to the point where you can lay it down
every moment and be present with that open face, that open body, all
of that energy, all of that life. It takes a while, certainly, to
develop that in most people—they do play their games. Even
though I can use their games to teach them for a period of time,
after a reasonable period of time it is basically self-indulgence. At
any rate, there is no reason why it should take so many years to
fulfill this basic foundation sadhana.24

d* * *d

Realizing ones life and all conditions as conscious and true
service to Bubba may sound like Divine Realization, but in fact it
means that the devotee who has matured in the first stage simply is
no longer overwhelmed by reactions to the conditions of life here. He
is not about to buy his inclinations (which do arise!) to abandon
those conditions or the Guru, the Teaching, and the Community. His
service may seem to him motivated, faulty, continually hampered by
the tendencies that grip at him, but it is conscious and therefore
true. The new devotee is very much aware in the midst of it that he
is giving his life to the Guru through living the conditions, and no
matter what upsets, difficulties, and phases appear, there is a
steady momentum to his yielding. It is genuine, it is real. That
service as the hour to hour movement of his life is the new devotees
realization of Satsang with the Guru.

d* * *d


dSit with me, or in privacy, as a formal responsibility, once or
twice a day. Remember me, surrender to me with love, yield your life
and circumstances to God through me, and, at random, breathe the
Presence of God, with attention to the Divine as the Reality or Real
Person which is prior to or beyond the body, the mind, and the world.
Breathe with your heart. With random exhalations surrender your self,
your mind, your life, your desires, your body, and all the conditions
of your existence from your heart to God through me. Then, with
random and following inhalations, with your heart and your whole
being, receive, draw upon, and become full of the Presence, Power,
and Consciousness of God through me. Whatever you yield from the
heart will, over time, be replaced by Divinely transformed conditions
and/or by intuitions of the significance of any limitations you must
bear in time and space.25 d

As the first stage of the sadhana of Divine Communion matures and
the evidence of devotional service to the Guru stabilizes in a
devotees life, he may be given the additional responsibilities that
Bubba describes above. It is the same process of participating in the
sacrament of Prasad with the Guru, the same reception and release,
only now the devotee perceives and becomes responsible for the
process in a different, more esoteric arena of life and
consciousness. This marks the beginning of the second stage of the
way of Divine Communion


This practice of the breath of God, described briefly above,
should not, and in truth cannot, be undertaken by anyone on his own,
or anyone who has not already realized in his life the necessary and
prior foundation, the first stage of sadhana. When a devotees life
does truly become service to the Guru, he will spontaneously begin to
enjoy Bubba as Divine Presence, and it will become very natural to
him to breathe that Presence in the way Bubba describes above. There
will be nothing mysterious about it. So the practice depends upon
prior evidence in the individual, not his mere desire or curiosity.
When someone has matured in the first stage of this sadhana, his life
and his personal reports will very naturally begin to reflect that.
He will then receive more explicit instructions from Bubbas disciples
regarding the use of the breath in Divine Communion, both in and out
of formal meditation, and relative to the spiritual Presence and
Company of the Guru. So the practice is not to be engaged without the
agreement of the Community, and it is given to a person formally by
those in the Community who are responsible for the education of its


In this second stage, the individual assumes responsibilities
relative to the support of the Ashram Community, increasing his
financial contributions beyond the tithe and directing his time and
energy to the support of Community services. As he matures in the
second stage, he may also begin to demonstrate that he is fit for the
sadhana of the way of Understanding. In that case he must assume that
sadhana, while continuing the practices of the way of Divine
Communion. It is not a matter of choice. If he is capable of the
disciplines of the way of Understanding, then he is obliged to
undertake them as a responsibility. A student in the way of
Understanding must also, as a condition of sadhana, become a member
of the formal Community, yielding to the Community all the
paraphernalia of private survival and taking on functions within the
practical life of the Ashram


In the second stage of practice, the form of sadhana remains the
same—it is the surrendering of all of life to the Guru. But now
the devotees body, life-force, and mind are “turned also to Guru in
God through the breath cycle.” The devotees relationship to the Guru
becomes consciously spiritual, and he is invited to sit with Bubba in
formal Satsang—meditation—and to engage this enjoyment of
his Presence that coordinates the body, the life-force, and the mind
with the breath


d* * *d

(3.1) There is one thing that you should notice about that
practice. It is not a form of relationship to the sahasrar. It is not
a yogic process specifically, although you will tend to manipulate it
in that way, to make it a subjective game. It is a process to be
engaged in my Company. It is a specific form of responsibility for
your relationship to me. It depends upon a certain sense of my
Presence here which exceeds this body. And it involves constant
remembrance of me in that form. If you engage it as a yogic process
directed toward a specific center such as the sahasrar, you will miss
the mark! It is surrender to the Divine beyond comprehension. The
Divine is that from which everything arises, of which everything is
the modification, than which there is no other, which is Only. There
is no center for That. Only when you have yielded entirely, when
everything has been sacrificed, will you know that One perfectly


(3.2) So in the case of one who is engaged in that spiritual
practice, there is reception of the Divine Presence without
definition, to be and to do what it does and is. But you must yield,
surrender the specific forms of your existence. You must first yield
and surrender the circumstances of your existence, external and
internal. Then you must surrender your body. Then you must surrender
your life-force or your sense of energy. Then you must surrender the
mind, or thinking, or thoughts. Then you must surrender knowing or
knowledge. And then you must surrender self. All of these forms of
content, of distraction, must be yielded


(3.3) This process, as it is described in this case, has nothing
specifically to do with the spine or the chakras. It is done from the
heart or the great psychic region of your being, but it does not
involve specific meditation on any centers in the descending or the
ascending order of your body for any special purpose. It is simply
reception and release, without all of those mechanics. You will see
when you are instructed that it involves a certain depth, a certain
opening, in which the whole psycho-physical mechanism must yield. But
it does not involve the specific direction of these energies to the
spine, the sahasrar, subtle centers, centers above the body, regions
beyond the gross plane


(3.4) This does not mean that experiences related to all of these
things will not arise. Clearly, they will, but the specific
responsibility of this process is not directed toward any yogic
technicality. As devotees mature in this way through this action that
makes the old action obsolete, the grosser levels of obsession begin
to weaken and attention falls into subtler tendencies. Thus, at first
there is lots of life stuff, life circumstance, struggling even with
leading a relatively orderly life. But later the gross ordinariness
of your life begins to become orderly without great strain. And the
content that arises becomes more subtle. You may very well, and, in
general, you will have subtle experiences of a yogic kind. You may
even pass out of the sense of this body at times into visionary
states, moving into subtle perceptions and all of that


(3.5) Nevertheless, the process you are given is not a way of
aligning your consciousness with those phenomena through various
technicalities and structures that you learn about or perceive. The
responsibility you are given is relative to the Divine. Whatever
arises, you are to maintain this position of Communion, of devotion,
and yield what arises, in general coincidence with the cycle of the
breath, but there will even come times when the awareness of the
breath disappears. When that happens, it is simply attending to my
Presence, receiving me and yielding all this content.26

d* * *d

Prior to the second stage the devotee approaches the Guru during
the formal occasions of Prasad and Darshan. But now he is invited
also to sit in formal Satsang with Bubba during the times of
meditation, along with other maturing Communion devotees and devotees
in the way of Understanding. He continues to serve the Guru through
the functions of his ordinary, human activities, but now he is also
beginning to enjoy the yogic or spiritual dimension of the sacrament
of Prasad


The kind of intensification that usually occurs in a persons life
at the beginning of this stage is a good indication of the humorous
and paradoxical quality of this sadhana of Divine Communion. In a
certain sense it can be seen or assumed to be a success, an
attainment, to have matured to the point of being fit for the second
stage of practice. Now you are instructed in “secret” practices,
welcomed to sit formally with Bubba, ready to enter a whole new arena
of experience. But from this point on, especially at the beginning of
this stage, you are more likely to look like a misfit than a
spiritual hero! Because at this point your sadhana is quickened, and
sadhana is all about dissolution, loss of face, being undermined, not
about success in some conventional spiritual way


What happens? Quite likely, you will suddenly witness a terrific
stirring up of the subjective content of your life, all kinds of
emotions and impulses and notions that you may have thought you
transcended long ago. In living terms, things may seem to get much
worse instead of better! Why? Now that you have realized Satsang as
the very Condition of your life, from which you know you cannot
withdraw, the Guru responds with the intentional and intensifying
communication of his Siddhi. And the influence of that Siddhi tends
to be reflected not only as spiritual experiences, but also as a wide
range of psychological, emotional, and psychic content of your


So life in Satsang may perhaps seem to become more difficult,
rather than easier. That is fine—it is still only worthy of
being sacrificed to the Guru.


Satsang involves a process in attention. It is not simply to sit
in the Gurus presence, to relax mind and body, and to become
subjectively involved in yielding to energies or states of inward
absorption. Satsang requires attention and intelligence. It is a
demand for these. Thus, when you accept the Gurus offer to spend time
in his company, you must prepare yourself to spend time in his
Company. This is true on all occasions of Satsang, whether in the
Gurus physical presence, or in times of sitting at home, or on all
occasions of ordinary participation in life. All occasions are in
relationship. There is no real seclusion, no true isolation within.
All occasions are a demand in relationship. Therefore, every moment
is a demand for attention. And in every moment the argument of the
Guru requires you to be intelligent, that is, to observe and yield
your tendency to abandon attention, to assume a condition of
separation and isolation in personal and subjective ways


For this reason, formal Satsang, at home or in the Gurus physical
presence, should be approached with energy, interest, and real
attention. You will, in that case, observe your turning away, your
distractions, the present instances of the avoidance of relationship.
Only in that case will you be able to return with attention to the
Guru and, in time, via surrender from the heart, to the Condition
which precedes your turning


Thus, whenever it is at all possible, you should approach formal
Satsang refreshed, awake, and free of obligations that might
arbitrarily require you to engage in some other activity. The day is
a cycle of obligations that produces phases in our available
psycho-physical energy. Whenever it is at all possible, do not
reserve time for formal Satsang at the end or downward phase of a
cycle of life-energy. The immediate end of a workday, for instance,
is such a time of low energy. If formal Satsang is approached at that
time, you will tend to show signs of weariness and distraction. In
that case, you will spend your time fighting or yielding to sleep,
since the psyche and body want to be refreshed. You will find it
difficult to be present with attention, and very little of you will
be available as intelligence. Thus, whenever it is at all possible,
approach formal Satsang after a period of refreshment. In that case,
you will present yourself to the Guru at the beginning or high point
of a phase of psycho-physical energy


It is best, therefore, to approach formal Satsang after a brief
rest from activity. It may be good to take a shower or a meal before
Satsang. (Since the life-energy tends to concentrate in the lower
body immediately after a meal, it is best to time your sitting in
Satsang 45 minutes to an hour after eating. If you have only taken a
light snack, then perhaps 20 to 30 minutes is sufficient.) If you sit
in Satsang on first arising in the morning, wash your face and sit in
a ventilated place. Perhaps take a shower if you sit just before
retiring at night


It is not always possible to reserve formal Satsang to the most
refreshed periods of the day, but, in general, you can refresh
yourself briefly. And you can always be mindful of what Satsang
itself requires, so that you will be better able to observe and be
responsible for the tendencies that arise when the fluctuations of
available energy obstruct attention and intelligence in Satsang


Ultimately, Satsang is realized as a continuous occasion, under
all conditions. At that time, all tendencies will become your
responsibility at all times. But, as this process is growing as a
responsibility in you, you should be very practical in your approach
and see that you are properly prepared for the formal occasions of


Particularly at the beginning, your approach to the Guru is
through the conditions of study, money, food, sex, and service. Your
life within the Community is a form that requires the attention and
intelligence that is your proper response to the Guru. In time,
formal Satsang becomes more and more the occasion of real meditation.
In the beginning you should at least make it a conscious occasion in
which you present yourself to the Guru refreshed and awake


The more attention you yield to the Guru, the more your affection
will keep you awake. Few tend to sleep in the presence of their
loved-one, and one who loves does not rest until he is satisfied.

d* * *d

THE NAME OF GOD (The Third Stage of Practice)

dI look for this service, this loving sacrifice. Only then does
the devotee touch my heart. Such a one is given everything freely,
happily, and in the proper time.27 d

There is yet a third stage of maturity in this way of Divine
Communion. When the devotee begins to be aware of the Guru as a
constant Presence, after a time of meditating in Bubbas Company, then
the spiritual practice may be expanded to include the random and
heartfelt repetition of the Name of God. In general, devotees are
given this responsibility when the force of Bubbas Presence has begun
to produce natural signs of inwardness, with eyes closed, and
attention going up, when sitting with him in Satsang. By constantly
recollecting their relationship to his Presence through the God-Name,
the arising phenomena will cease to be distracting in themselves, but
will be sacrificed to him. Through the practice of the God-Name,
devotees maintain conscious relationship to the Gurus Presence, even
as subtle or spiritual phenomena arise, and even if extreme upward
attention yields forgetfulness of the body and the breath, upon which
the second stage of practice depends.

d”God” is the Name of God with which all men are familiar and to
which they are naturally attached through body, breath, mind, spirit,
and soul. Therefore, at random, with surrender in exhalation,
inwardly or vocally, and with feeling and love in the heart, breathe
the Name “God.” Likewise, with random inhalations, feel and breathe
the Divine Presence with the heart with the Name “God.” This is the
spiritual practice of the “God-Mantra” or “God-Name.” (The
coordination of this practice with the breath of course relaxes when
there is forgetfulness of body and breath, but the sacrifice of all
other content continues relative to the continued sense of the
Guru-Presence. Also, when even the thinking mind comes to rest, the
mental repetition of the Name may cease, but remembrance of the Guru
as Presence and sacrifice to him continues.)28 d

As with all the conventional responsibilities of sadhana in the
Ashram, the practice of the God-Mantra or God-Name is also given by
the Community. It may not be practiced appropriately, nor is its
practice acceptable to the Guru, until the evidence of maturity has
appeared. Communion devotees who have been given the practice of the
God-Mantra may enter the formal Community and participate in its full
obligations. If real responsibilities require an individual to have a
household outside the Community, he must at least support the
Community through participating in its services, taking on practical
service, and increasing his financial contributions.

Like the practice of the breath of God, the use of the God-Mantra
may seem no different from traditional yogic or other meditative
disciplines. In fact it is radically different, because it is engaged
in Satsang, Divine Communion. There is a vast difference between
repetitively and desperately fixing the mind on some Divine Name in
hopes of attaining a glimpse of Divine Awakening, and randomly
breathing the name of God to reinforce and refresh your already
present and fundamentally constant awakening in the Divine.

d* * *d

THE MEDITATION OF THE DEVOTEE (The Fourth Stage of Practice)

In most cases it will take a considerable period of time for the
devotee to mature fully in the second and third stages of the way of
Divine Communion. Even in the quickening heat of the Gurus Presence,
it requires time for a human being to move responsibly into the
subtler dimensions of his existence, and still more time for him to
come to sacrifice all this with great constancy to the prior Nature
and Presence of the Guru.

But, assuming that you have been involved in these second and
third stage practices in Bubbas Company long enough for them to have
fundamentally matured, what kind of condition do you now stably
enjoy? It is a condition already profoundly removed from the typical
experience of the usual man. For one thing, the action of sacrifice
and the transition of your attention to the finer dimensions of
existence have left you completely unperturbed and undistracted by
not only the arising phenomena of gross or worldly, earthly life, but
also the phenomena of your usual mind and all its subtle objects of
higher vision and superconsciousness


But there is more to it even than this calm serenity. You have
also been drawn into a completely different orientation toward the
whole dimension of human life. Whereas previously you witnessed life
from a point of view that seemed to be within your physical body and
you more or less continually and automatically assumed that you were
that body, now you are naturally and spontaneously concentrated in
the brightness of consciousness prior to and, perhaps, felt to be
above the body, mind, and world, enjoying constant meditation on the
Gurus spiritual Presence. You maintain yourself in this sublime
relational Presence through the spiritual disciplines (the spiritual
exercise of breath and the God-Mantra). These are the sacrificial
actions through which you become more and more absorbed in the Guru.
Perhaps, depending upon your own karmic qualities or needs, you have
also been given additional instruction relative to other secondary
esoteric responsibilities. But the Breath and Name of God are your
simple delight in the Divine, constantly, maddeningly, with
overwhelming intensity


In the midst of all this you have also randomly, perhaps with some
constancy, begun to enjoy intuitions of the perfect Intelligence or
Consciousness of Very God, which is reflected as insight into the
various forms of contraction or suffering that you are always
creating in life and consciousness. Many devotees become so aligned
to this natural process of intelligent reflection in itself that they
take on the additional disciplines of inspection in the way of
Understanding long before the third Communion stage matures. But some
will not. And some never will


Assuming for the moment that you are one of those who does not,
what do you do at this point? You begin to demonstrate the readiness
for, and are accordingly given by the Community, the practices of the
fourth and last stage of the way of Divine Communion


All four stages of the way of Divine Communion are forms of
conscious, intentional, sacrificial contemplation of the Guru. They
are all completely dependent on God, Guru, and Grace. The fourth
stage is given only to those who do not go on to mature in the way of
Understanding. It is given only on the evidence of the mature
development of the three foundation stages. And, again, it is given.
Even at this apparently sublime stage of spiritual life, you do not
take on practices and responsibilities on your own, privately. The
Community, in regular consultation with you, assesses your readiness
for such disciplines and yields them to you on the basis of that
consideration. So now you are introduced to and instructed in the
practical matters and principles of this final stage as a specific
form of action or attention to the Guru. This fourth stage combines
the three previous stages and extends them to include formal
responsibilities for the conscious regeneration of Amrita Nadi and
the three forms of God-Realization. It is the “devotees

d* * *d

(4.1) There is a fourth stage of practice in the way of Divine
Communion. It is given only to those who mature in the third stage
and do not go on to develop their sadhana in the way of
Understanding. It is not specifically practiced even by disciples and
devotees in the way of Understanding. It is the practice of the
devotees meditation described in Garbage and the Goddess and it
corresponds to the full devotee stage of the way of Divine Communion.
When the first three stages of practice have matured to the point
where 1) there is stable concentration above in the natural,
spontaneous meditation of my Presence, 2) the arising objects of
life, the gross objects, and mind, the subtle objects, fall easily in
the sacrifice of meditation, and 3) the attentive consciousness has
begun to feel me not so much as a presence over against the being or
the life but as a radiance of consciousness without form, appearance
or content, then this fourth stage of practice may begin


(4.2) The fourth stage of devotional practice is absorptive or
contemplative submission to my Form. It is simple, devotional rest in
the sacrificial contemplation of my Form. It is the yogic or
meditative expression of formal Darshan, just as the second and third
stages of practice are the yogic or meditative expressions of formal
Prasad. Thus, you see, the way of Divine Communion is the realization
of conscious existence through the forms of Prasad, or mutual
sacrifice, and Darshan, or the contemplation of the Divine Form. The
actual practice involves the intuitive installation of first, my
visible Form, second, my spiritual Form, and third, my perfect Form
in the position of Amrita Nadi, between the heart and the crown of
radiance that is both above and inclusive of the head


(4.3) When the devotee contemplates my physical Form standing in
the Heart, he will feel that I rest or stand in the heart totally in
all three of its centers (left, middle, and right—gross, subtle,
and causal—and perhaps especially on the left). When he
contemplates my spiritual Form, feeling me as Presence, he will sense
that I rest or stand in the middle and right side of the heart, and
perhaps especially in the middle. When he contemplates my perfect or
Divine Form, which has no visibility, appearance, or content but is
only intuited as the Very or Radiant Consciousness, which is also his
own Consciousness or Condition, he will sense that I rest or stand in
the right side of the heart


(4.4) The devotee is to realize these three forms of contemplation
in this order, one at a time. Thus, he will come to enjoy perfect
intuition of the Divine. As he contemplates me, he should surrender
or sacrifice all that arises, with his heart, at my feet, which
always stand in his heart. As he does so, his conscious being will
rise up into the contemplation of my whole Form. He should especially
surrender all that is self, mind, and body at my feet with his whole


(4.5) I am not in the physical place of the person, between his
heart and his head, although that is the region through which he
participates in this intuition of my Form, which is without location.
Relative to the individuals intuition of me, that is where I stand,
literally, relative to his own psycho-physical being. Thus, in this
fourth stage of practice, that intuition is acknowledged, known, and
it becomes the form of participation of the individual in my Company.
His own consciousness is then focused in the perfect Form of Amrita
Nadi, in the position of Amrita Nadi, and the force of intuition
native to the dimension of being that is prior to forms and
manifestation, but that also permeates and includes the manifest
worlds, that Divine Communication is known in the position of Amrita
Nadi. This contemplative absorption is not enjoyed by directing the
attention to the various modes of appearance themselves, to the
chakras, to the bodies, to the subtle realms, or to the subtle center
in itself, above. It is only in that recognition of me, that
intuitive recognition itself, in the place of Amrita Nadi, that the
Divine Communication is known directly


(4.6) The contemplation of my perfect Form is the mature stage of
this practice. Those who mature thus in relation to me will be given
the grace of dissolution in the three forms of God-Realization even
while they live. This fourth stage of practice is the fundamental
form of both meditation and conscious existence in the case of mature
devotees in the way of Divine Communion.29

d* * *d


In our discussion of the way of Understanding we will consider
more fully the forms of God-Realization that Bubba mentions here,
which are the domain of sadhana for the true and realized devotee. At
this point we can abandon the technical considerations for a moment
and consider what this fruition of sadhana amounts to. If you are
drawn to this work and assume its forms and practices with intensity
and devotion, you cannot help but come to enjoy this very
realization. What is it? Perfect happiness. It is complete freedom
from all the things that appear, all thoughts, images, desires,
identities, events, realms, beings, everything that would seem to
impinge upon the natural freedom of eternal and present
Consciousness, all the forms of your own assumed suffering or


But this happiness, in very Truth, is not other than the very
happiness that awakened in you the first moment you came into the
Company of Bubba Free John and assumed this sacrificial relationship
to him as Guru. It is absolutely the same. The only difference is
that you have now encountered and surrendered all the possible
objects in all the worlds that used to persuade you otherwise. Now it
is unspeakably obvious that, from the beginning to forever, Satsang
or Divine Communion is itself the Divine Reality, very Truth,
realization of God, or the Only Reality.

d* * *d

(5.1) To be depressed, to be self-conscious—its just
self-involvement, self-watching. But in any moment when you see and
surrender it, it becomes a very simple matter. And you consciously
fall into that Condition that is there just before you created all
your troubles, before you began, in this moment, considering the
fractions of everything and making yourself a something and God a
something else and the world another something. Before you started
imagining a program for your ultimate victory or defeat, by desiring
and creating circumstances for yourself, just before all of that
happens in this moment, just before you believe all of that, you are
happy. And it is better to be happy. That happiness is your
Condition. All the rest of it is an hallucination by which you
program your life. So the matter of sadhana is simple. It is not
complicated, it is not a complicated involvement with all of this
stuff that obsesses you. Wherever that is seen and yielded,
consciousness assumes its own natural, intuitive Condition. That is
Satsang, that is Divine Communion. That is what all of this is all

(5.2) In the devotee it is perfect. It is obvious in the devotee
that there is happiness. That is his Nature, his Condition, his
Destiny. Then everything that appears is Samadhi. The reason the
devotee is called a devotee is because of the Bhava, or Divine
pleasure, that is stabilized in his case. He is not in every moment
figuring it out, seeing the error and stepping beyond it through
processes in consciousness. Whatever he sees is That. So he is only
happy. He cant help but be happy. He cant sidestep it. He cant have
an experience that is unhappy, fundamentally. It is all the same
Condition. He cant find anything that is not that Condition, so he no
longer participates in the reaction of ignorance. And all of his
parts open. His heart opens. All sorrow leaves his being. His mind
stops endlessly manufacturing his false vision, and it becomes
radiance only. The world and his body and all forms become not a
struggle toward some attainment, some immortality, some mortality,
but fullness, blissfulness only. And all of that without benefit of a
single vision! Well, all of that is also the enjoyment of the devotee
who has just walked in the door. Satsang is that Samadhi.30

d* * *d


23. Bubba Free John, “The End of Reflection,” a talk to the
Ashram, February 2, 1976


24. Bubba Free John, “Have I Said It?”

25. Bubbas written instructions to the Ashram, January 15,


26. Bubba Free John, “The Grace of Suffering.”

27. Bubbas written instructions to the Ashram, November 28,


28. Bubbas written instructions to the Ashram, January 15, 1976
and February 6, 1976


29. Bubba Free John, “Have I Said It?”

30. Bubba Free John, “The Graceful Process,” The Dawn Horse #6,
Vol. 2, No. 4, (1975), page 47.




Part Two: The Complications of Sadhana


My Company

This chapter has been edited by Bubba from a talk he gave to The
Dawn Horse Communion on June 28, 1975. It is one of his most precise
and useful descriptions of the relationship between the devotee and
the Guru


(1) The principle of sadhana is Divine Communion. Not life, not
energies, not your psycho-physical form, not shaktis, not mystical
experiences, but Communion. And all the forms of the sadhana of this
work serve the activity by which sacrifice, surrender to God,
reasserts its principal, responsible, and absolute position relative
to everything that arises. Sitting with me in the Satsang Hall is an
extension of the process by which that activity is served. To sit in
Satsang with the Guru is to sit in the Gurus Company, to spend time
in the Gurus Company. But, if you will notice, very little of the
time you spend sitting in Satsang is spent in my Company. You waste
your time in your own company!

(2) A good part of what I have said and written is devoted to the
criticism of what you are always doing. And you are doing it whether
you are sitting in this Satsang Hall or playing ordinary games with
one another. You do not cease to do it simply because you sit with
me. In fact, you exercise it in very complex ways, and, usually, in
very traditional ways, while you sit here. Quite naturally, because
this is an Ashram, and because this hall is devoted to the ultimate
affair of spiritual life, of real conscious life, simply because of
all those traditional associations, you tend to become “meditative”
when you come and sit with me in this hall, you tend to become
involved with watching your subjective experience


(3) Usually, when you are active in the waking state, there are
endless distractions. You are always moving. You are always
gesturing, changing your physical position, changing the direction of
your eyes, speaking, thinking, doing, receiving, communicating and
receiving communications. You are very busy. But when you come into
the Satsang Hall, nothing happens. I dont jump around and dance. I
dont move very much at all. I dont generally wear fancy clothes or
symbolic and fascinating costumes. I generally dont speak, and nobody
else speaks. It is a plain room. Nobody taps you on the shoulder. No
one is about to come and tell you to do something. Functional
distractions are pretty much brought to an end when you enter the
Satsang Hall


(4) Nevertheless, because of your profound commitment to
distraction, when objective distractions are minimized, you naturally
turn to subjective distractions. You automatically turn inward. When
you sit, right away it seems to you that your mind is incredibly
active. Your mind is the only thing left! By tendency you start
thinking about your thinking and watching your thoughts and feeling
your body. You want to move a lot, but you really cant. You want to
have a conversation, you want to do something. As you start shuffling
through all the feelings of the day, the mind usually focuses on the
most disturbing and negative things that are in your psychological
life at the moment, or, at times, on very good things that are
arbitrarily elevating your mood at present. Or you may become aware
of the energies that are generated in this Satsang Hall. Some types
go for the “thinking about thinking” and watching their subjective
content, and others go for the energies. I even think some of the
latter type have never seen me in the Satsang Hall! By the time I
come in, they are already swooning. They never open their eyes in my


(5) This criticism of what you are always doing is something I
take seriously! What are you always doing? I do not believe for a
moment that you are not doing it right now. Right now . And you are
really doing it when you start meditating


(6) Meditation is Divine Communion. There is no meditation that I
am the least bit interested in other than the meditation that I have
described to you. That is Satsang with the Divine Person. Everything
else is distraction with subjective objects. Such is not meditation.
It is watching and following thoughts, energies, images, visions,
feelings, all the modifications of life. None of that liberates you.
None of that is sadhana, none of that is meditation, none of that
becomes consciousness. Satsang, Divine Communion, has become
secondary, secret, hidden underneath everything subjective and
objective. Consciousness comes to the front when you begin to
surrender all that to me. Then Consciousness in this moment is the
nature of your presence here


(7) Therefore nothing is served by your becoming conventionally
meditative around me. Nothing relative to real sadhana is served by
your sitting with me unless you surrender to God through me. Prior to
that time, nothing like real meditation is going on in you. At best,
you will know only traditional or conventional forms of so-called
meditation-subjective distraction, quieting, obsession, absorption in
internal changes-the submission of Consciousness to modifications
rather than the other way around. Real meditation involves the
submission of all modifications to Consciousness


(8) This sadhana that I have described to you is not, in its
origins, a mystical affair. It is practical. It is absolutely
practical. On the basis of an intelligent response to the Teaching,
the argument of the Guru, you enter into the Gurus company and into
his Community. You go to live with the Guru, then, and he asks of you
certain disciplines, which are the present form of your relationship
to him. They are the nature of your sacrificial relationship to the
Guru. They represent, test, and mature your initial understanding of
the Teaching


(9) The practical conditions you have been given are not to be
nominally applied at specific hours of the day. They represent an
entire and constant life of action. These conditions are Satsang for
you. It is by turning to the Guru through these conditions from hour
to hour in the form of service to the Guru that one realizes this
sadhana, that one enjoys this Satsang. This sadhana is real,
practical, and functional. Every moment of such intentional sadhana
serves your turning to God through me and becomes a life of true
devotion and service through surrender and the remembrance of God
from the heart


(10) At that point you may look something like a meditator,
although you are not engaged in the usual subjective orientation of
traditional meditation. Rather, you are present in the form of true
devotion, which is Consciousness itself. Thus, real meditation is
necessarily a very mature form of this very practical sadhana. And it
is this practical sadhana that you are being asked to do, not
conventional meditation, not consolation with subjective states. You
are being asked to live this practical, functional life, which is
intelligent and voluntary sacrifice to the Guru. Intentional
application to the practical conditions, on the basis of an
intelligent response to the Teaching, is itself remembrance of the
Guru. It is Satsang. Such sadhana allows you to see your turning from
God. You must make these conditions the form of your relationship to


(11) Generally, though, you tend to regard these conditions as
something too worldly , not spiritual enough. Everyone is very
willing and often eager to abandon the conditions. Everybody wants to
be free of the conditions. Everybody wants to indulge himself
periodically, because discipline is difficult. The conditions require
you to sit in place. They do not permit the kind of eccentricity that
your obsessive life continually creates, even though they do not
represent a gut-cutting asceticism, but only a natural and lawful
ordering of life. Narcissus turns from what is natural and lawful. It
is the law that Narcissus violates


(12) You must find ways in every moment to realize these
conditions as a practical way of life, as Satsang, as this
relationship and service to me. If you do that, these conditions will
no longer be something to resist. They will become the grounds for
this process that I have described. And your turning to me will
absorb you more and more completely, until you live your entire life
yielded to God through me


(13) If you truly consider these conditions, you will see that
there is not a moment in your life to which they do not apply. But
you tend to think of them in very nominal terms, and so you
compartment the day into times when you fulfill these conditions and
other times when you can sort of fake it. For instance, consider the
condition of service. I hardly see any service in this Ashram at all.
I see people waiting on tables from time to time, doing the practical
things that look like helping others, but the condition of service is
a total condition. It is a condition on your life. It is a condition
that affects every moment in relationship to every being. It is a
demand upon you every time you face another person or live with other
beings. If you become conscious of this condition of service it
transforms the quality of your action. It requires that every moment
become a moment of service in which the option of self-concern is
always undermined. If service is the principle of your relationship
to all beings, including your intimates, you do not have three days
to dramatize some event with someone. You do not have a week for
anger. You do not have even five minutes, because service is your
obligation. The demand for service, then, produces a kind of
attention in this moment that makes you see your turning, your
separativeness. It generates spontaneous self-observation


(14) Self-observation is that natural awakening in Consciousness
that occurs when you devote your life to the Guru through practical
conditions. Self-observation is not sitting down and looking at
yourself subjectively. Self-observation is not a thing in itself that
you do. Self-observation is the natural surrender from the heart that
appears without your trying, without your concern, when your life is
turned in each moment through these conditions to the Guru.

(15) Study, or the continuous consideration of the Gurus argument,
the fulfilling of the personal conditions, and the acceptance of the
condition of service as a posture under all conditions is the nature
of your sadhana. That is it! And your coming to me should be very
direct, very practical, very straight. Do not come to oblige me to
create some sort of subjective experience in you. Come to me on the
basis of the Teaching, on the basis of your real sadhana


(16) Do not come to me to “meditate.” Until this conscious,
sacrificial life is awakened in you, all you will do is meditate in
the traditional and conventional ways. Sitting in the Satsang Hall,
then, becomes the ground for the loss of the thread of ones sadhana.
Whereas sitting here with me should be simple, natural attention and
remembrance, and it is not that until life is moving, awake, really


(17) If this sacrificial life that I have described is awake in
you and you are sitting in the form of the spiritual practices I have
described, with a natural form of attention to me, yielding the
various distractions inside and outside as they arise, then you may
sit here as long as I am in the room. But if this conscious sacrifice
is not alive in this way, and you should clearly know if it is not,
if your tendency is to be “meditative” simply for the sake of
meditation, if you are distracted, pulled away by the energies in the
room, or distracted with what is going on in you, or fidgeting and
adjusting your body the whole time, if you do not have any kind of
real attention that permits you to see what is happening in you, then
you should just come briefly . Take Prasad and leave, and let your
sadhana be practical, functional in nature. I am not telling you to
leave and not do sadhana. Do sadhana! But your sadhana should be
practical, functional, ordinary in the truest sense, and not
conventionally meditative. You should not indulge in yourself the
kind of subjective consolations that have nothing whatever to do with
Conscious life


(18) Any one of you, regardless of whether or not you turned to me
this morning while sitting at home, may, on any given occasion, feel
that you should just come to me briefly in formal Satsang, and then
go about your business in some very practical way. If you know that
you will be sitting the full time, and your reasons for doing so are
genuine, then move toward the front of the room, where you will not
be disturbed, where you will be able to stay the whole time. If you
know that you are just going to be here briefly, then sit toward the
rear of the room. Spend only a few minutes here, and then go and do
practical sadhana, study, serve


(19) DEVOTEE: Should we do the same thing at home?

(20) BUBBA: Absolutely. If, when you sit down in the Satsang Hall,
the activity of true devotion (real attention, real surrender to the
Guru in God) is not alive, then just bring your gifts, take Prasad,
and spend a moment simply to enjoy this Company. But do all this very
practically, very consciously. Dont sit down and start meditating,
unless your meditation is real Communion with the Divine Person. Dont
start thinking about everything in the world, dont start wandering
about inside. Stay with me, and observe the turning that draws you
away from me. If you have a ten-second span of attention, spend ten
seconds here and leave


(21) DEVOTEE: That attention varies. Sometimes I feel very
attentive towards you, and at other times my mind is very vague.
Should I sit longer when I feel most attentive, when I am observing
what arises?

(22) BUBBA: This self-observation does not take place only when
you are sitting here with me. It takes place under all kinds of
circumstances. And it requires attention. If your attention is not
free, you cannot observe what arises. You become what arises. Then
you only exercise what arises and become involved in it. And if that
kind of obsessive involvement is characteristic of your present
state, then you should move yourself into practical, functional
conditions instead of sitting in the Satsang Hall. You should not be
sitting here vaguely trying to generate attention. You should do
something functional, because function always includes your
attention. Function requires attention in ways that are easy to
fulfill. Then you work with your hands or your body or your senses.
You use your mind. So dont sit trying to battle what arises. Move
into functional conditions with real attention, and then you may
also, under such practical circumstances, observe the turning away,
the distraction, the games. Therefore, living these practical
conditions is real meditation, self-observation in the form of
insight, or return to the natural condition of happiness. Such a way
of living is also Satsang, because all these conditions are taken on
willingly, as a response to the Guru and his Teaching. They are
forms, then, of understanding, of acknowledgment of the Guru, of
remembrance of the Guru, of sacrifice to the Guru


(23) Simply because the mind is running, though, does not mean
that the affair of self-observation and sacrifice is impossible at
that time. That is why you must test it in yourself. It is possible
to observe, understand, and sacrifice a very active mind. Attention
to me can appear even though there is very strong subjective
activity. But that process requires free attention, free


(24) You must, through sitting with me briefly on regular
occasions, see the value of what you are doing. And if it is at
present just obsessive, conventional, self-meditative, you will know
it. You will know to spend only a brief time in the Satsang Hall and
otherwise to make your sadhana very practical


(25) Whatever the outward form, this sadhana must be conscious.
And it is initiated in functional terms, in ordinary ways, under
ordinary circumstances. Your first responsibility, then, realized and
accepted in the Gurus presence, is this functional, ordinary life,
described and maintained in the form of the practical conditions, all
of which must be realized and lived as service to me. Through them I
remind you of God. If you do not realize your sadhana in those terms,
then your sitting with me will always be a kind of self-indulgence,
consolation, inwardness, subjective distraction, self-watching. And
as such it is irresponsible, not conscious. To indulge oneself in the
Gurus company does not honor this Satsang. Therefore, staying here
long or staying here short is your responsibility. But if you see me
starting to bring my cane into the Satsang Hall, consider your
decision carefully!

(26) DEVOTEE: Are there any personal conditions relative to your
mind, so that you can be responsible for your mental distractions,
for what arises in the mind?

(27) BUBBA: How can you do that?

(28) DEVOTEE: I dont know. Its disturbing


(29) BUBBA: It is because you are sensitive to the fact that you
are disturbed that you become willing to do sadhana. Sadhana is not
simply taking an aspirin for your disturbance, having a technique to
make you feel better. Real sadhana is a process by which you become
perfectly responsible, perfectly conscious. It is not a remedial
activity. It is not a cure. “No Remedy,” the title of the handbook
for devotees, is itself a description of the whole affair of this


(30) Why should you want to quiet the mind? You are disturbed.
There is this continuous sense of dilemma, of suffering. Therefore,
there is always a subtle motivation to do something, to be
distracted, to indulge oneself, to make the mind stop or to make it
incredibly beautiful. All these motivations arise out of what
fundamentally is always felt as dilemma. And it is only insight into
that whole affair, not indulgence in all the possibilities of ones
motivations, that permits consciousness to become the principle of
ones existence. You must understand, but you need not stop the mind.
The mind is one of the ways by which you picture this sense of
dilemma. Then what if you were to stop the mind? You would still be
the same guy. So stopping the mind has not served anything in that


(31) It is better to be disturbed. It is right to be disturbed. In
your condition, one should be disturbed! To regret being disturbed is
like saying disease is wrong. Disease is perfectly appropriate,
absolutely lawful. And so are all the functional difficulties that
you experience. They are all timed to the second, and all are based
on the nature and purpose of your relationship to things. Therefore,
it is quite correct for you to be disturbed, because, in fact you are
disturbed. To be disturbed and yet not to feel disturbed would not be
appropriate. But that is how most people live. They are suffering
only, and yet, if you watched television tonight, including the
commercials, you would find it difficult to believe, from what they
say, that people are only suffering. There is always some way out,
some product or other, some international solution. It is much more
intelligent to realize that you are disturbed. That is the beginning
of sadhana. At least that sensitivity affords the possibility of
sadhana. To become sympathetic, however, with all kinds of remedies
to remove the symptoms of disturbance is to commit oneself to the
same game that already is ones suffering


(32) This dilemma that you feel constantly, and that seems to be
arising in the mind, is not something that is happening to you. It is
your own activity. That sense of dilemma is a result of ones
fundamental activity. Thus, it is only insight, in other words,
responsibility in consciousness for ones own event, that is the way
of Truth. The way is not distractions, which are the way created in
reaction to your suffering. That way is irresponsible, the
traditional and conventional way. That is the childish way of man.
The spiritual traditions are filled with all kinds of solutions that
men have created in reaction to their fundamental suffering.

(33) It is a better discipline to realize suffering in
consciousness, to know it fully, to see its origin, to see its
creation in every second, to see that it is not only that you are
disturbed, but you are disturbing everybody else. If you just quieted
your mind, you would not be sensitive any longer to the fact that you
are disturbing everybody else. It is ones suffering that is the
material of ones sadhana. It is suffering that is continually brought
to the surface, and yielded to the Guru in God. In this process, real
Consciousness comes to the front and becomes responsible again,
whereas now it is hidden, irresponsible, subject to the way of
modifications only, subject to distraction


(34) Certainly, it is possible to be distracted by experiences
here, in this Satsang Hall, in this Ashram. The year 1974 was devoted
to the lessons of experience in this Ashram. I have spent much of the
time following that concentrated period trying to improve your
understanding of those same lessons. All kinds of experiences, high
and low, were created during this whole time. In the beginning,
people had extraordinary experiences here every day. It was a time of
wild mysticism. But nothing changed, fundamentally. Those experiences
did not themselves serve the conscious life, but only gave more
glamour to the way of Narcissus. That time in the Ashram must forever
serve as a lesson and an argument for the radical way of this
Satsang. And since that lesson has now been fundamentally
communicated, you must be responsible for your approach to me. You
must see if your approach is the traditional approach. You must see
how you do not come with a gift, but with a request for consolation,
not self-sacrifice but self-meditation, self-distraction, demands,
self-presentation. Therefore, you must always approach me on the
basis of the Teaching, grateful for sadhana. Make gratitude the mood
of your coming here. Then go about the responsible affair of your
sadhana from hour to hour, instead of this hallucination that is
traditional spirituality


(35) DEVOTEE: Ive always had the sense of obligation to serve
people in some way that will affect their sadhana, you know, help
them along in the spiritual path. But I feel totally incapable of
doing that, so I feel that on the other hand I should try to serve
them in more practical terms, in the same way that I would try to
live the conditions in practical terms. But I dont find many
practical opportunities for serving people. So I am confronted by
people in the household all the time. There ought to be a way to
bring my life energy to them in a form of service


(36) BUBBA: Right. All these conditions are there to produce this
kind of reflection in you, this awareness of the nature of your game.
The conditions themselves, taken outside of the whole context of the
spiritual community and of Satsang, seem to be the grounds for some
sort of utopian life. But, truly, they are instruments of the
spiritual process. They will show you your limitations and serve this
crisis in you, produce the reflection of failure in you. You will
experience many phases relative to fulfilling these conditions.
Perhaps the strategy of always looking to find some practical way of
serving others, then, is false. Serving others should certainly be as
practical as possible, but it also involves a different orientation
to others. Service is an orientation to others. It is not an
orientation to oneself in the presence of others. And to have some
sort of ulterior motive, then, is self-meditation. The obligation of
service shows you how your presence with others is a form of
self-meditation. It is not that when you are present with others you
must always be doing something, you know, like trimming their
toenails! Just be present in a natural way


(37) When irresponsible people spend a lot of time here sitting
with me, either they close their eyes and get very inward, distracted
from me in some way, or they get stiff as a board and their eyes sort
of bug out and they refuse to turn away from me. In both cases they
are spending their whole time obsessed with themselves, with their
own content, whereas they are just supposed to be here with me, with
attention, not fixation but natural attention, at ease, happy,
sensitive to the Guru-Nature, which is their own Nature and
Condition. Anything else is a technique for being “present” or
“absent,” a ritual of attention to me or else some subjectivity,
wherein really what you want to do is think about yourself, feel
yourself. There may also be some motive to release oneself from that
strategy. But even that motive is self-motive


(38) The demand for service, because it is a demand for natural
attention in the company of others, functional presence in their
company, is a continuous criticism of what you are tending to do in
every moment in relationship. Service is an orientation toward
relationship, rather than an orientation toward subjectivity. It is
in itself a simple condition, but it is a demand, and in every
moment, its reflection in you is different. There may be times when
you are frustrated by the condition of service, when you are very
awkward in fulfilling it, or when you are super-active,
super-inactive, even apparently successful. It is a test in every
moment. It is a demand for relationship


(39) All the conditions are there to serve the alignment of your
life with the Law of sacrifice. The conditions are not ways of
exploiting your potential for intellectual life, your solid
strategies. They are demands in the vital. They demand participation
in life. Therefore, only when the practical aspect of this Satsang
has become intelligence, sacrifice, and real meditation does the
relationship to the Guru become consciously profound, as it is in the
case of a true devotee. The true devotee spends a lot of time in the
Gurus company, because the devotees whole life is an extension of
this devotion to God


(40) DEVOTEE: Is it appropriate for us to have your picture on our
shrine in our Satsang Hall at home?

(41) BUBBA: The place you have at home is simply the extension of
this Satsang Hall, the extension of these occasions of Prasad,
Darshan, and formal Satsang in my physical presence. You should use
that place at home exactly the way you use this one when I am here.
It is perfectly natural, then, to have a photograph there. On the
other hand, there are cultic ways and there are appropriate ways to
use that place, as described in No Remedy . In the beginning, just as
you do not spend a lot of time sitting irresponsibly with me here,
but you bring gifts, take Prasad, and spend a few moments, you should
do the same there


(42) If you anticipate spending an appreciable length of time
sitting with me, you should at least be able to sit here with natural
attention, breathing the Presence of God and turning to me. You
should simply be here with me, able to surrender as it arises any
distraction that disturbs that simple, natural attention. If you have
that much reserve attention in you, then you can sit with me the
whole time, until I get up to leave. It is not that you are given
permission to do it. It is appropriate to do it. It is a natural
expression of your sadhana. But if that kind of responsibility is not
readily present in you, then this moments sadhana should be more
practical. Then go and do this practical sadhana, live this Satsang
in the functional form of the life-conditions


(43) Sometimes. just the condition of sitting here with me,
without all the usual distractions that can occupy you in an ordinary
moment, makes you feel dopey. That is another way of becoming
subjective. Having no distractions makes you go to sleep. Some people
get involved in thinking, or feeling, or experiencing energies, and
some fall asleep. These are all strategies, ways of reacting to the
simple condition of coming here and sitting with me. Quite naturally,
these strategies will always arise until you have realized your life
as service to me. Then, spending more time with me in formal Satsang
will be real. You will be really present. You will spend your time
with me . You will observe these distractions and surrender them, and
you will breathe my Presence. You wont react with some subjective
game, some traditional or conventional strategy, some remedy.
Subjective obsession is just a way of replacing the world with your
own inwardness. When the world ceases to distract you, a radical
process of distraction replaces it. When outward attention fails and
you go to sleep, then dreams appear, or unconsciousness, which is
another form of conventional distraction


(44) There is in fact no unconsciousness, not a moment of it.
There is only Consciousness or the Divine Reality. But Consciousness
is not the realized principle of our conventional presence, and we
are naturally distracted by the modifications that arise. We assume
the quality of these modifications to be our Condition. We forget
that we are only Conscious. So we are asleep. Unconsciousness is a
form of belief. It is a way of forgetting ones real Condition.
However, it is not that when you understand, when you become truly
awake, you will never show any of the ordinary signs of a sleeper. It
is just that your life will cease to amount to ignorance, to
unconsciousness, to an argument for your dilemma and your search.




Part Three: The Complications of Sadhana


The Path of Only God

(1) I dont believe I have much more to say, except that there is
only God. Now, let me elaborate on that for a moment. There is
something you have to understand about this kind of statement. It
sounds like a conventional statement. It sounds like one of those
happy asshole statements that ridiculous mystics make from time to


(2) DEVOTEE: What statement, Bubba?

(3) BUBBA: That there is only God. Only God. Now many people say
that there is God, and when they say there is only God, they mean
there is God. The statement that there is only God is actually a
radical statement, because it implies that there is nothing that is
not God. Nothing! No process, no appearance, no manifestation, not
even this one, not even this homely, little, devilish involvement of
all of us, that is not God. How wonderful that even we poor bastards
should suffer such enjoyment


(4) Now there are reasons within the physics of all the worlds why
all of us, so-called, have appeared here in this time and place, not
knowing anything about it. I mean, just consider it for a moment. We
have the sky and earth and trees and edible things and lesser
creatures who dont think or talk. And we gather with one another and
we carry out great plans and we amuse one another with activities and
arts and all kinds of delicious things, pleasures that we can create
for one another bodily and so forth. But in the midst of all of these
distractions that we try to generate every single moment, as often as
we can, basically no one knows what this is. No one! No one knows
what it is! And on the basis of the dilemma that this mystery
reflects, we carry on our lives in conventional terms. Within the
field of conventions we have all the religions and spiritual
techniques and spiritual teachers and spiritual paths, all the ways
that human beings and those greater than human beings by experience
have created. All of them are the same thing. All of them belong to
the conventional order of life


(5) Literally there is only God. There is only one Condition, only
one Condition, not many conditions, not a condition of which this is
the manifestation. There is one Condition, absolutely only one. How
can I say it? There is—let me put it this way—there is one
Condition. There is absolutely only one Condition, and that is not
other than your own Consciousness.1

We have already outlined in No Remedy the foundation way by which
Bubba asks his devotees to approach him, the way of Divine Communion.
We have seen that it is a way of action, of constant yielding,
surrender, and sacrifice to the Divine, which is already present in
ones life in the form of the Guru himself. And we have seen that, by
holding to the various practices Bubba offers in this way, a devotee
may come to full and inclusive and perfect God-Realization within
this life. The way of Divine Communion is a perfect expression of the
graceful gospel of all the Siddhas: Live with me, surrender to me,
and I will show you God to the point of your own perfect


Within the way of Divine Communion, a devotee may also begin to
enjoy another, very specific development of sadhana: the way of
Understanding. This is the unique expression of the Siddhas way, the
way of Divine Communion, that Bubba came expressly to communicate to
those who were capable of receiving it. It was his principal concern,
for the first five years of his Teaching work, to communicate this
radical expression of the Divine Process. Only when it had become
established in the lives of a small group of his disciples did he
then feel free to allow people to approach him specifically in the
way of Divine Communion, which is the ancient offering of all
Siddhas. He wrote in his letter announcing the way of Divine

dFor more than five years I have been at work with individuals in
intimate company to communicate, demonstrate, and awaken in them the
sadhana of the way of Understanding, which is described in all of the
previous literature of my Teaching work. This way is the special form
of instruction which was implied in my own birth and sadhana. Only
recently have I found, in the case of a small group, the evidence of
maturity which is the necessary foundation for the realization of
this way. I have given this group of disciples all essential
responsibility for the future management and general instruction of
my Ashram. I have completely put into writing all of the necessary
instructions relative to the final and technical realization of this
way of Understanding. Therefore, except for the actual instruction of
mature disciples and devotees, my special Teaching work is, in its
essentials, complete. My special Teaching work has been a service for
a few. The way of Understanding is not itself a saving gospel that
can affect the world at large. It is a way for the special few who
were given to me in the spiritual planes above this world before my
present birth. Those few were with me then, and, because their karmas
obliged them to be born on earth again, I have taken the present
birth to continue my work with them. The way of Understanding has
thus been established as a path on earth, and it will remain here,
through the responsible services of my devotees, for all future
individuals who have attained the spiritual status above this world
of those whom I have presently been born to serve. Apart from such
individuals, for whom the karmas of the lower planes are weak, there
are relatively few who, even by virtue of sheer sympathy and
persistence, will be able to adapt to this difficult way. It requires
an intelligence that constantly exceeds the power of lifes theatre,
and an attachment to the spiritual intimacies and disciplines of my
Company that cannot be attained by mere effort or conventional


But I am willing to serve all beings in this place. My special
work has been for a few, but I am an incarnation of the Divine Form,
and my special work, now fulfilled, can stand by itself in my
Presence. I have become willing to assume a more general role for the
sake of the spiritual life or salvation of men


All who come to me may participate in the eternal Grace of God. It
is not necessary for every one to belong to the special class of
individuals whom it is my unique obligation to serve in the way of
Understanding. For those few, sadhana in my Company is like the
resumption of a course of study after a period of recess. Such
individuals are already used to my discipline, my wildness, and the
special character of my appearance and play. But others cannot
identify me in this manner, and they are sensitive and available only
to the most direct expression of the universal and unqualified Divine
in me. For these many, who are only now becoming available to sadhana
or life in Communion with the Divine Person, I am willing to do
service in another way, which is the simple way of loving submission
and attention to God.2d

If you examine the teachings and paths offered by the Siddhas of
the past, you will see that, in many ways, the way of Divine
Communion duplicates their essential features. The Siddha lives with
his devotees, and he gives them disciplines, both life-conditions and
spiritual practices, by which they may maintain themselves
consciously in his Divine Company. That is what all the Siddhas have
always done, and that is the form of life we find Bubba offering in
the way of Divine Communion


What has always happened, however, some time after the death of
the Siddha himself, is that the generations of his devotees have lost
the thread of that Divine Communion he truly offered. They have
become common seekers again, instead of devotees already living with
God. And slowly but inexorably the Siddhas communications have become
part of the apparatus of the great search of mankind. The practices
in life, breath, and mind, originally offered as natural, functional
ways of staying with the Guru in God, become ways by which men
proceed to seek him in God. And so the radical work of the Siddhas
has always been eventually lost, distorted, and absorbed by the
conventional and ignorant ways of the traditions of man


The way of Understanding is the first communication by a true
Siddha that is not inherently and overwhelmingly vulnerable to such
distortion. If it were only a verbal communication, some form of
philosophy, an abstract system, then certainly over time men could,
with the best of intentions, find innumerable ways to undermine and
make it obsolete as a way of Truth. But it is not merely a verbal
communication. Bubba has established it sufficiently in the very
lives of his disciples in this path so that he is now confident that
“it will remain here, through the responsible services of my
devotees.” So the radical quality of this communication, its perfect
expression of the Divine work as a process in Consciousness and Truth
from the beginning, is guaranteed through the continual maturing of
true devotees in this Understanding


The way of Understanding is peculiar to the life and Teachings of
Bubba Free John. It is the essential form and expression of his
appearance in this time and place, and it cannot be aligned or
compared to any existing or ancient paths communicated in this world.
The way of Understanding is a radical expression of the Divine
Process communicated and realized among men via the perfect Presence
of all the Siddhas. It transcends and includes the realizations of
all teachings in the great traditions of esoteric spirituality
without any resort whatsoever to the ways of seeking. It is the
living path of the very Heart, real Consciousness, and it is
uncompromising. To one who would undertake the way of Understanding,
Bubba makes an absolute and immediate demand. The way of
Understanding requires, immediately and forever, everything a man can
surrender. To be done properly, with intelligence, this radical way
demands of him a certain predisposition to understanding itself,
which is prior to all conventional forms of spiritual consciousness
and action, even the kinds of discriminative wisdom found in the
classic traditions. But it is not a heavy, negative discipline. Real
understanding is Satsang or Divine Communion absolutely realized,
Grace received—it is an utterly joyous, humorous, vibrant
practice. Nor is the way of Understanding a secret path. All are
encouraged to approach Bubba through the free and delightful
paradoxes of its disciplines; this way is available to all. Only,
because of what it demands in life and consciousness, most men are
not available to it.

Perhaps the most telling thing we can say about the radical
quality of the way of Understanding is that, from the very beginning,
it duplicates or maintains the Form of Reality, Amrita Nadi, the
natural, true, and transcendent structure and process that is
conscious Existence, God as the Total Conscious World. Put in the
most direct and simple terms, this way involves the gradual
intensification of consciousness and responsibility in relationship,
to the point of perfect dissolution in the God-Existence. Just what
that entails will become clear, hopefully, as we outline the basic
dynamics of this path


The way of Understanding is perfect. It is sublime, magnificent,
an unspeakably brilliant gem of a way of life and consciousness. But,
from the beginning and at last, it does not involve anything more or
less than the way of Divine Communion. That is its foundation and
eternal mainstay. It is simply the primarily conscious, rather than
primarily active, enjoyment of that very Condition of Satsang. It too
depends utterly on God, Guru, and Grace. Because of our conventional
associations with the word “understanding,” we naturally think it has
something to do particularly with mental comprehension, intellectual
appreciation of spiritual life. This notion is not true. Real
understanding involves the whole life. It is profound absorption in
Divine Communion and dissolution of all ones conventional
functions—body, emotions, mind, energy, superconsciousness,
identity itself—in very God. Understanding is the eternal
enjoyment of all the Siddhas in God, and now, through the grace of
God and the agency of Bubba Free John, it has become available in its
perfect essence to all men and women who have the capacity to enjoy

d* * *d


1. Bubba Free John, “Enquiry,” a talk to the Ashram, July 28,


2. Bubbas written instructions to the Ashram, January 15,




Part Three: The Complications of Sadhana

THE WAY OF UNDERSTANDINGddThe Sadhana of Discriminative

The nature of all manifest existence, simply indicated, is
Consciousness in sacrificial relationship. In the way of Divine
Communion that true Consciousness abides as the Guru, and the devotee
sacrifices all that he has and is to that Consciousness and receives
it as Grace, to the point of perfect submission and absorption in
that Consciousness


But in the way of Understanding, as soon as one begins it, that
same Consciousness is also made the very and active principle of your
own sadhana. The principle of sadhana, then, remains sacrifice. You
maintain and continue to engage the activity of reception and release
and to enjoy the Prasad of the Gurus Presence. But more and more the
activity of sacrificial action relative to all the forms of
limitation you represent is replaced by motiveless inspection of all
that arises and intuitive identification with Consciousness itself.
That inspection, that discriminative insight, is not merely a matter
of noticing things about yourself, of watching events as a mind. It
is an intense fire and demands instantaneous responsibility for what
arises. It is the true action of the Heart itself, very
Consciousness, in which what is seen is immediately, already
sacrificed. You must thereafter, once understanding has appeared
relative to some arising condition, maintain responsible freedom from
the compulsive binding quality of that particular form of your
activity. So understanding involves intense heat, tremendous
discipline and energy. That is why not many of us are fit for this
path, at least not when we first come to the Guru


(1) Discriminative insight in some sense is part of everyones
sadhana. But as an elaborately developed possibility, it only appears
fundamentally in the way of Understanding. The way of Divine
Communion, the way of submission, of surrender, of dependence on
Grace, of participation in the eternal process that is Grace, of
absorption in the Divine, that way is the fundamental form of
approach. The way of Understanding develops on the foundation of
Divine Communion. Those who mature in the special way that makes the
way of Understanding appropriate for them develop this life in Grace
in a special form, via the process of critical and intuitive


(2) Suffering is your own action. It is the action of contraction,
of self-definition, of obsession with what arises in itself,
independent of its ground, its substance, or its true condition or
status. That is what suffering is and that is what ignorance is.
Suffering and ignorance produce the usual life, from the usual
comprehension or failure, as karma, as illusion, as suffering, as
negative destiny, as unconsciousness. The way of Divine Communion
involves a specific responsibility relative to that action that is
your suffering. That way involves a life of counter-action, of other
action. Whatever is not used becomes obsolete. This is the principle
of the way of Divine Communion: a devotional life that is realized in
practical terms and that involves a form of action different from the
action that is suffering, ignorance, turning from God or from the
condition of Truth, Reality


(3) The way of Understanding appears within this way, but it is a
development of the process of critical and intuitive insight. And in
that process this false action is comprehended, seen, inspected under
all kinds of circumstances—gross, subtle, and causal—to the
point of responsibility or no-limitation. In inspection, in
understanding, that action is obviated and undone


(4) In the way of Understanding, the specific responsibility of
discriminative intelligence begins to appear and develop in you, and
that development is served by the Ashram. In that way many technical
responsibilities are given at different stages of sadhana. These
technical responsibilities serve the inspection of specific forms of
events, specific dimensions of consciousness or experience. But that
inspection is for the sake of the same affair that is served in the
way of Divine Communion, which is simply to see or to intuit That
from which all of this is arising. When that insight, that enjoyment,
appears, then the life of the devotee in the way of Understanding
begins. And the devotee in the way of Understanding also moves
through the three stages of God-Realization. Both these paths in my
Company are ultimately forms of participation in the same process and
in the same realization.3dd* * *d


3. Bubba Free John, “The Grace of Suffering,” a talk to the
Ashram, January 18, 1976.d




Part Three: The Complications of Sadhana


ddOnly Then Does the Student Touch My Heart: The Conscious Process
as Prasadd

(1) [Students] also continue to approach me through the
formality of Prasad, and their lives continue to develop as service
to me. However, the formal process of Prasad is not engaged during
our times of sitting. It is done by students before or after I appear
in the Hall. The time of sitting is an outwardly non-formal extension
or realization of the formal sacrament of Prasad. Therefore, the
student engages in an inwardly formal process that essentially
duplicates the outward formalities of the sacrament of Prasad. This
inwardly formal process is what is implied by my invitation to
students to simply sit with me and be consciously involved, along
with me, in the enjoyment of our mutual company


(2) Satsang is the condition of life in which there is constant
and conscious involvement in a total, practical, and mutually
sacrificial relationship with the Guru, or the living Divine
Presence. This Satsang is the foundation principle of the way of
Understanding. It is realized in action in more total, perfect, and
spiritually profound ways as the stages of sadhana develop. The new
Communion devotee realizes this Satsang in the form of the practical
or functional devotion of his or her life as service to me. The
student takes this a step further. When sitting with me in the
Satsang Hall, at Persimmon or at home, the student constantly
sacrifices himself to me and constantly receives the Prasad of my
spiritual influence. As long as he or she can consciously maintain
this activity while sitting with me in the Satsang Hall, the student
may remain until I get up to leave. If distractions begin to hold his
attention too powerfully, then the student should leave the room and
continue his sadhana in the form of practical service to me. (When
sitting at home or under circumstances when I am not physically
present, the student may spend up to an hour each time, twice a day,
in this non-formal process of Prasad.)

(3) Sitting with me is Satsang, it is always the great occasion of
Prasad, it is mutual sacrifice. The life of Satsang is right
fulfillment of the Law, which is Sacrifice. Therefore, the student
simply sits with me, just as all my devotees simply live with me. But
the living and the sitting must be forms of the Law, forms of
sacrifice in the manner or after the model of the formal occasion of

Since he is already involved in the second or spiritual stage of
the way of Divine Communion, the new student in the way of
Understanding will already have been sitting with Bubba in formal
Satsang. And the initiation of the Guru-Siddhi will essentially
already be active in him. And, in the beginning of his work in the
way of Understanding, the form of his sadhana is not essentially
different from his practice as a Communion devotee. He continues to
witness the stirring up of his whole subjective life in the intense
Presence and Power of the Guru. If he maintains the form of his
sadhana, he will neither indulge nor suppress all this. He will
simply observe it as it arises while continuing in the momentum of
his ordinary, functional life. We all tend to get distracted—if
not horrified—at some of the content that is revealed to us.
Thus, we temporarily lose (actually abandon) the thread of sadhana.
But when the student sees something about himself, he should, like
the Communion devotee, simply take it into account and continue to
sacrifice himself to Bubba through the practical conditions of life.
In the midst of formal sitting, if some sort of content arises, he
should simply turn his attention again to Bubba.

dTherefore, the student should sit in my Company, but he should
constantly and consciously sacrifice or surrender himself to me all
the while. This is not to be a self-conscious effort. It is not a
kind of “working on yourself.” It is simply a matter of the constant
return of attention, with love, to my Presence. In the process the
individual will observe the modifications of his attention. He will
observe distractions and subjective involvements of all kinds. When
these arise, he should simply return and yield his attention to me.
This is his gift of self, his real sacrifice. When this is done, I
return to him my own Gift, my own Presence, my Prasad, my spiritual

dIt is not that your subjective “stuff” may arise in Bubbas
Presence. It is supposed to, so that the conscious process may begin
in you. But if you get involved in that content and distracted to the
point of being unable to return attention to the Guru, then it is
time to get up from meditation and go out and perform that same
sacrifice in more tangible ways. Many students find that when they
actually do leave the Satsang Hall and go serve in some practical
fashion, they feel the Gurus Presence in their lives more powerfully
than when they were sitting distracted in his Presence in the Hall.
Bubba recently wrote,

dThe true sacrificial approach to me, the true turning of self to
the practice of devotion, which is the whole life made to serve me
under all conditions, ensures that our spiritual connection is alive
and my quickening and awakening Siddhi will be effective.6

dWhat Bubba means by devotion is not emotional enthusiasm, but
living commitment. If you are committed to the Guru rather than to
your own transformation, you will always do what is appropriate


The core of the students life, then, is the continued
self-sacrifice that began in the second stage of the way of Divine
Communion. As a student, however, you are beginning to receive the
Gurus Prasad in forms that you perhaps could not fully appreciate as
a Communion devotee. Unless you are constantly reestablishing
yourself in the principle of sacrifice to the Guru, you may not be
able to appreciate these forms of Prasad even now. It sometimes seems
impossible, when starkly witnessing your withdrawal from others, to
recognize and use that observation as Prasad. You have to be
sensitive to the intuitively happy, free quality of all real
observation as a spontaneous event of Grace. And you have to live
your sadhana of surrendering your life, negativity included, to the
Guru. As Bubba says, happiness, freedom from concern, is itself the
discipline. Again, it sometimes seems unnecessarily austere to really
surrender the delicious energies and blisses that may awaken in you
as a result of the Gurus Presence. In that case you have to resort
again to service and sacrifice to Bubba. Those effects of the Gurus
Prasad also must be observed; as a student you have no right to them.
Your business as a student is the comprehension of your entire life
game. In the Community, the way of action that serves such
intelligence will always be demanded of you, again and again, every
day and every hour. And so, in time, as you yield without
dramatization all your preferences, inclinations, and patterns of
avoidance, the conscious process will intensify as real
self-observation, insight, and enquiry


When Bubba speaks of non-dramatization, by the way, he does not
mean that the student must become a perfect human being! To try to do
that would miss the point. The student has to see the failure of his
life, the impossibility of “succeeding” at sadhana. His vital stance
and motion as a separate human being in the world must be undermined
in student sadhana. So the actual play of it does not read like a
story of perfect will, intensity, commitment, and faultless action.
The student is continually seeing his faults, continually being
confronted with his inclinations to dramatize his emotions, his
laziness, his boredom, his cravings—you name it, it all comes
up. And every now and again, he blows it. But the secret to sadhana,
even if youve blown it temporarily, is to pick up again the thread of
your submission to the Guru and become responsible for what you have
seen. As Bubba says, “just dont do that any more.” It is not a matter
of correcting your failings or suppressing your tendencies, but of
allowing yourself to see immediately what all that amounts
to—the avoidance of relationship. If your observation is true,
you may then become responsible in those areas, instead of remaining
automatically subject to your unconscious and subconscious whims.

dThe students service to me, under and as all conditions, is his
only meditation, until enquiry. My service is in the forms of
Teaching, Community, and Siddhi (as Prasad and Grace in every phase
of sadhana)


I look for this service, this loving sacrifice. Only then does the
student touch my heart. Such a one is given everything freely,
happily, and in the proper time.7

As this process of Satsang or Prasad continues over time under all
the conditions of sadhana, the student will see the development of
true hearing, random self-observation, and insight. When these have
matured, then he may also adapt to the responsibility of enquiry.
Enquiry, then, becomes the form of his meditation in Satsang, under
all conditions, the responsible means whereby he abides always,
consciously, and intuitively in my Presence.8


From all this, we can see that the whole development of the
conscious process at the core of the way of Understanding is a
manifestation of the Gurus Prasad. It is all Grace and all dependent
upon your surrender of your life to the Guru in practical terms.
Moreover, once we do become sensitive to its truly Divine qualities,
even the early stages of this conscious process become very happy
events for us. Self-observation, for instance, which sounds a little
dry and often reveals our subjective life in its most grotesque and
nasty forms, is in fact a perfectly joyous occasion of Grace


Now that members of the Community only begin to deal with the
conscious process if they are obviously inclined to it, and only when
their sadhana as devotees of the Guru is mature, it is easier to
appreciate that real conscious joy more quickly and truly than in the
early days of the Ashram. Bubba spent several years laying the
groundwork of the way of Understanding. Because he took such pains to
describe and demonstrate in detail the nature of the activity of
Narcissus and the various qualities of action that we would see in
the course of understanding that activity, and because we tend, due
to our own karmic inclination, to focus upon the content of our lives
rather than to enjoy his Presence with us, most devotees involved in
the early stages of the Community became obsessed with trying to
achieve self-observation, insight, etc. We treated these activities
in Consciousness as if they were activities of mind. We became very
concerned to have it all occur in us, very absorbed in seeing all
kinds of negative things about our own lives and those of our

All of that, of course, had nothing to do with the true dynamics
of the way of Understanding. In this radical way of inspection, you
certainly do see all kinds of unpleasant things about
yourself—there are nothing but unpleasant things about yourself,
from the point of view of real Consciousness! But that witnessing in
Truth is an absolutely ecstatic event


Why? Because self-observation in the way of Understanding, in the
midst of the life of Divine Communion, is simple, immediate, and
instantaneous restoration to perfect God-consciousness. It doesnt
carry with it all the celestial trumpets and miraculous feelings of
expansion that we ignorantly associate with God-consciousness in our
thoughts and imagery. But it is very God-consciousness, nonetheless.
Self-observation is spontaneous, present, uncaused, perfect
absorption in the Guru, who is Consciousness itself


The process of discriminative, intuitive insight is a good
indicator of the simultaneous sublimity and simplicity of life with
the Siddha-Guru. There is nothing extraordinary about it. As an
illumination, it is so quiet and free of dramatic effects that we
quite often miss its appearance or fail to enjoy its true quality.
Self-observation is entirely a Grace—it involves no effort
whatsoever. And it occurs in the midst of any and all of the ordinary
moments of our lives, when we are already founded securely in the
devotional life of sacrifice to the Guru through the practical
conditions relative to money, food, sex, study, and service. It is
completely different from any form of deliberately watching,
observing, or analyzing yourself


(2.1) Self-watching is a kind of solution: you analyze your
behavior, your experiences, your circumstances, your thoughts,
feelings, and all the rest. You assume a kind of abstracted “witness”
point of view, stand back, see it all, and then you get disgusted
with yourself or decide to do something about it, etc. You will
notice that whenever this occurs, you become dull, self-concerned,
very conscious of dilemma, of problem


(2.2) Self-observation is that insight in which what you might
otherwise watch, or notice in yourself, is undone. It cannot occur as
a method, as a kind of practice. True self-observation is not a
matter of putting yourself forward in some kind of witnessing point
of view to see the things that are occurring. Self-observation occurs
when you are not present as a self, watching. Self-observation occurs
in natural, functional moments of self-forgetting in which you are
simply doing things. In other words, basically when you are
fulfilling the conditions for sadhana that the Guru has given you,
when you are living them in the spirit of Satsang, in the spirit of
the Teaching, simply doing it in ordinary terms, at random within
such a process you suddenly see or comprehend something. . . . When
we are seated in the dimension of consciousness itself, not in the
seat of the brain as a strategic position, we suddenly grasp the
entire play that is our humanity. When you are free of all
manipulative exercise, you are like a mirror to your own event and
the process of your life shows itself to you in instant

(2.3) DEVOTEE: Im not sure what the difference is between
self-observation and self-watching


(2.4) BUBBA: The difference becomes clear if you do sadhana.
Self-watching, or conventional self-observation, is itself a
technique, a method. It is not necessarily one that you adopt, that
you devote time to, like reciting a mantra. It is something that some
people do as that kind of technique, but it is more commonly the kind
of method that is a natural strategy, a common strategy, a part of
the accepted notion of sanity. Everybody is engaged in this practice
of self-watching to one or another degree. Thus, you find yourself at
random moments all day long looking at yourself, thinking about it
all. But self-observation, real self-observation, is not something
done methodically as a technique


(2.5) DEVOTEE: It just happens?

(2.6) BUBBA: In a sense you could say it just happens. It is not
an activity of the ego, of your deciding to analyze yourself. This
sadhana is not generated by my prescribing self-observation to you.
Rather, it is generated on the basis of a consideration of the
Teaching, a natural turning to the Guru, accepting his conditions
with understanding, and fulfilling these conditions from hour to
hour, always turning into the form of these conditions, making them
the form of ones relationship to the Guru. This is sacrifice in its
natural form. In the midst of that life there are real moments of
insight from time to time. And when such insight appears, it is not
in the form, “Oh, shucks! Will you look at that!” That kind of
information comes from self-watching. When you find yourself out,
that is self-watching. That is data. That is images that you capture
about yourself. All that analysis is a natural product of


(2.7) But the natural product or expression of real
self-observation is radical insight. Where there is such insight, all
the things that you feel bad about on the basis of your self-analysis
or self-watching are undone. In a moment of real insight, there is no
obstruction, there is no bad guy. The principle of the ego is not
present in the moment of real self-observation, but it is always
there in the moment of self-watching


(2.8) Understand that everyone engages in self-watching. You are
not prohibited from self-watching. However, you are not asked to
self-watch. You will simply and randomly notice yourself
self-watching, and you will begin to understand this strategy in
yourself. You will see what it represents, why it is there. You will
see what it really is. What is self-watching? It is self-meditation.
What is that? It is contraction. You will really see it. You will
know it to be that. And in those moments, that is insight. That is
self-observation, that is understanding.10

(2.9) Essentially, the conditions are preventions of
dramatization. They are simple, appropriate, natural,
life-supporting, and all of that, and from a certain point of view
they are good, harmonious, sattwic things to do. But that is not
their essential function. They are not true in themselves. Their
essential function in the way of Understanding is to prevent the
dramatization that you are always enacting via your functions. When,
in some functional area, you are prevented from dramatization, you
automatically observe yourself. Dramatization prevents
self-observation because it gives you self-enactment through energies
of various kinds and provides you with the consolation of
unconsciousness. The conditions are all ways of frustrating the
intention to dramatize and be unconscious. Therefore,
self-observation arises. It appears as cognition at the plane of the
mind, and thats how you know youve observed yourself. But actually
the root of self-observation is the Heart of Consciousness itself.
That is why this self-observation is tantamount to Self-knowledge,
knowledge of Brahman, knowledge of the Heart or Real-God

Thus, it should be clear that self-observation is essentially an
ecstatic instant of absorption in our natural, Divine Condition,
which is Satsang or Divine Communion. This is not anything like our
usual notion of what ecstasy is. Commonly, ecstasy is thought of as a
great rush of energy, or even absorption in energy or visionary light
to the point of loss of body-consciousness. Real ecstasy, however, is
this very understanding. It involves no loss of consciousness, but,
on the contrary, restoration to the true position of Consciousness,
which is always already ecstatic relative to the plane of life
events. And that is the kind of free, spacious, clear enjoyment that
occurs in a moment of real self-observation.

d* * *d


d4. Bubbas written instructions, November 28, 1975


5. Ibid


6. Bubbas written instructions, November 20, 1975


7. Bubbas written instructions, November 14, 1975


8. Bubbas written instructions, November 28, 1975


9. Bubba Free John, “Hidden Plumbing,” a talk to the Ashram, April
14, 1975


10. Bubba Free John, “My Company,” a talk to the Ashram, June 28,


11. Bubba Free John, “Hidden Plumbing.”




Part Three: The Complications of Sadhana


Crisis and Heat

Truth or God is not a Condition to be realized by willful esoteric
or super-scientific efforts, or any fortunate and religious act of
Divinity. Such Happiness is truly and permanently realized only on
the basis of the complete moral or sacrificial transformation of the
apparently individual and human consciousness. It is not a matter of
merely relaxing life or body and sending the attention elsewhere by
meditation or by grace. It is a master of the undermining of the
whole principle of ones ordinary and extraordinary actions and forms
of knowledge. Few are willing to endure such a process. Therefore,
illusory and consoling ways have been created by compassionate,
clever, and deluded men. But the scheme of all the universes, mortal
and immortal, high and low, with its endless times of birth and
death, and its numberless kinds of learning, is itself the way and
the destiny of all ordinary and extraordinary men. Only those who
weary of the way, as well as every kind of escape from the way,
become willing to engage the Divine process in which their very
life-consciousness is sacrificed in its own Condition and Nature. All
others, high and low, are devoted to their own unending path, from
which there is no perfect relief, except on the day all worlds, ages,
and heavens dissolve in the sleep of God.12

The sacrifice Bubba Free John demands of his students and
devotees, in other words, is absolute. There is nothing consoling
about it. It requires a total crisis of life and consciousness


A crisis, in the true sense that Bubba means, is not, however,
some negative and disastrous event. In the talk “Guru as Prophet,” he
described it as a perfect turnabout in consciousness, the spontaneous
movement into a new principle of existence.

dSimply to go through neurotic episodes and heavy difficulties and
all the rest is not the crisis of understanding. That is simply
meditation on your own suffering. The Guru serves the individuals
capacity for critical self-attention. the possibility to really
observe, to have insight into the quality of his ordinary condition
and activity. He serves individuals by bringing them into that
awareness in a form that is itself transformation. Not dwelling on
difficulty, not being anxious, not being simply upset, they pass
through that underlying condition in such a way that it is illumined
or undermined


The crisis he serves in individuals does not negate. It
illuminates, perfects. In order for that living intelligence to
manifest in individuals, there must be passage through that ordinary
condition which motivates the whole pattern and ritual of life, the
path of Narcissus. That must be known. That intelligence must be the
foundation of life, and it requires a purifying confrontation with
the life of tendencies. The intelligence for bearing it, for allowing
it to become a truly transforming event, is what the man of
understanding communicates. All the instruments of his Ashram serve
that crisis of understanding—not the mere drifting into your
difficulties in the form of neurotic episodes, but the transforming
event of real intelligence, real self-observation. real insight that
becomes enquiry, re-cognition, radical intuition.13

dThere are many “instruments” in the Community by which Bubba
constantly serves this crisis of understanding in his students (or
the crisis of devotion in his devotees—in either form of
sadhana, the crisis is necessary). Bubbas own action, his speech and
behavior and dealings with the individual and the Community, is the
most potent of these instruments. The student finds himself
constantly offended by Bubba in one way or another, even if only by
the simple fact of his obvious happiness. As we wrote earlier, Bubbas
active, personal movements among his devotees are all forms of his
Teaching work. His Existence is absolute, omnipresent, not limited to
his personal form. So he uses that personal form entirely and only to
serve the crisis of transformation in his students and devotees


Another potent instrument of the crisis, of course, is the life of
practical conditions. Bubba has written, “The sadhana of assuming
conditions in Satsang, which awakens a crisis of self-observation and
understanding, is the way of the knowing. Thus, what is studied is
later revealed or proven in sadhana.” The principle of this
functional sadhana is that what is not used becomes obsolete. The
usual man constantly reinforces his karmic tendencies by resorting to
them in every moment—literally, every moment—dramatizing
his preferences and the ritual, unconscious strategies of his seeking
rather than living in God. He can never discard the baggage of this
life of consolation and search, because he has no way of realizing
that it is baggage. He is always using it!

When one begins to do sadhana, the principle of the search is
undone and replaced in us by the Divine Principle. The moment you
enter responsibly into relationship with Bubba Free John as Guru, you
are already saved. There is only God. Your coming to know and live
that Truth involves this crisis of transformation, but there is
nothing riding on it because you are already living with the Guru,
who is living God to you. From this point of view, the practical
life-conditions become a humorous responsibility, a pleasurable
discipline one undertakes as service to the Guru


The conditions themselves are life-supporting, and they serve to
turn you from exploitation of your karmic life to fulfillment of the
natural laws that govern psycho-physical existence. They also have a
larger purpose: to align all your functions to the great and
universal Law of sacrifice. Thus, while they may be undertaken
happily in response to the Gurus Presence and demands, you will
probably not always enjoy fulfilling them. Because they are intended
to frustrate you. All your inclinations toward fulfillment will be
frustrated if you take on the conditions of sadhana with great
intensity. As Bubba likes to say, “Theres something here for
everyone!” Some one or several of these appropriate, harmonious,
natural ways to live in the human world will really get on your
nerves, really test you. You will feel the heat, the tapas, of this
sadhana if you turn to Bubba in the midst of that test and continue
to serve him through the very condition that offends you. That is the
crisis, the turning. That heat brings your suffering to consciousness
and serves your increasing absorption in Satsang itself


The way of Understanding requires that you live the
life-conditions absolutely. You may not opt for relief from these
conditions, because of what they must serve in you. On the other
hand, as soon as you get good and comfortable with them, Bubba or his
disciples are likely to call a spontaneous Community celebration, and
require you to completely ruin your purity with cigarettes and
whiskey! This is an Ashram, again, not a health food store or a
monastery. You are here to be undone, not fulfilled or allowed to
succeed as a separate individual. At those times, the breaking the
practical conditions in one form or another becomes your condition,
and produces the same heat in you through different means. And,
perhaps, just as you get used to parties, suddenly everyone is
returned to an “ordinary, pleasurable life.” The heat generated by
maintaining sadhana in the midst of all these changes, by always
assuming the practical conditions (or their suspension) with
intensity and consciousness, and without self-indulgence, awakens and
intensifies the process of self-observation, the foundation of real



The condition of living in community itself serves this crisis,
this heat. You cannot rationalize your misery or mediocrity in the
company of an unreasonably happy devotee, nor can you avoid the
demand to be happy and straight in God when you are among those who
are truly doing such sadhana. Contact with the Community serves you
by simply demanding that you serve the Guru, by requiring that you
drop all concerns, by showing you your persistent avoidance of
relationship in myriad ways, by refusing to indulge you or to let you
exploit yourself. It is often infuriating to have to put up with such
demands from other people, until you become sensitive and available
to the process of losing face. Such difficult moments, when you come
smack up against your refusal, are the times that serve the most if
you do sadhana and make use of them


Because the condition of community is so potent, a student in the
way of Understanding is obliged to enter the formal Community as a
condition of his sadhana. This means that you share your life in
intimate household circumstances with other students and Communion
devotees, and surrender all the paraphernalia of private survival,
yielding your body, your money, and your very life to the Community.
No one is going to come along and take the shirt off your
back—but, still, you should by this time in your life with Bubba
be prepared to give it! As a student you have no doubt that Satsang
or Divine Communion is your very Life, and the Guru is all that
counts, really. Because you live intimately with others who are doing
sadhana, you feel very directly the Gurus demand for study and
devotional practice, for service, for the lawful and appropriate
management of your vital functions, for the practical maintenance of
your household, for conscious, humorous responsibility in all areas
of your ordinary life. Sadhana with the Guru is a happy affair, but
it is not a lark!

You are also encouraged, as a student, to assume personal
conditions above and beyond the generally stated disciplines of
student life. These should be carefully considered disciplines that
get to the core of some particular pattern of dramatization that is
dear to your heart, some habit that you repeat unconsciously, some
little interpersonal ritual that the stated conditions do not really
handle. If something like that arises or becomes obvious to your
intimates, you should, with their agreement or that of other
responsible members of the Community, assume a personal condition
designed to undermine that strategy. This is how you will begin to
make that area of dramatization obsolete. Taking on such conditions
is simply a way of maintaining yourself in relationship and becoming
vulnerable to your intimates. Like any other discipline, it must be
lived in the happy, sacrificial spirit of Satsang with Bubba. (In
general, by the way, you will find that most personal forms of
dramatization can be redressed by applying one of the already
existing conditions with great conscious intensity.)


In the way of Divine Communion, devotees gather regularly for
devotional singing, discussion of their enjoyment of Satsang,
readings from works by Bubba and others about God and Divine
Realization. In the way of Understanding, students likewise meet in
groups, which can also be devotional in nature, but, further than
that, which are intended to serve the process of self-observation and
responsibility in individuals


If you and your fellow students undertake a sadhana group in the
spirit of analysis and problem-solving, without presently enjoying
Satsang in each others company, you will find it a very unpleasant
and basically useless occasion. Take it from us. Bubbas longtime
students and disciples have been sitting together in so-called
sadhana groups regularly for years, and whenever we have gotten into
analyzing each other and trying to correct behavior, everything has
become dull, grim, and full of tension. When people try to “deal”
with each other without already acknowledging their love for each
other in Divine Communion and their love and present enjoyment of the
Gurus Presence, they commit all kinds of offenses to each other and
do anything but “serve.” If you approach a sadhana group as a
possible remedy, you will in most cases come out feeling a lot

If, however, you live these occasions with humor and love, full
already of Bubbas Presence and Grace, they become another kind of
event entirely. Then you can talk to each other about what you
observe, confess your own humorous pratfalls, even difficulties, in
sadhana—you can say anything and it will not affect the
fundamental communication you are sharing, which is that of Divine
Communion itself.

dYou do not make your relationship to one another a form of your
relationship to me. You do not relate to me through one another. You
relate to one another. Well, what are you going to find if you relate
to one another? You will find more limited assholes, more problems,
more demands, more roles to play, more circumstances, more
fulfillment of life. But if you make your relationship to one another
the form of your service to me, just as living all the conditions of
sadhana, then you will undo the limitations through which you
approach one another. You will contemplate me in your relationship to
one another. You will go beyond all of these limitations and be
humorous in one anothers company. You will then love one another


But if you are not enjoying me in one anothers company, there is
no way you are going to get it straight, no way that a sadhana group
can come to an end! And no sadhana group should come to an end until
each individual is enjoying my Company. If everybody sits down in
some sadhana group enjoying my Company, there will be no dealing with
one another, you know, “You do this and I do that.” You will talk
about me, you will talk about God, you will enjoy one another, and
you will get up, you will study or do some practical form of sadhana.
Sadhana groups can be very brief. It is better if they are brief,
because they are basically annoying!14dd* * *


d12. Bubbas written instructions, November 10, 1975


13. Bubba Free John, “Guru as Prophet,” The Dawn Horse, Vol. 2,
No. 2 (1975), page 38


14. Bubba Free John, “Divine Distraction,” a talk to the Ashram,
December 16, 1975.



Part Three: The Complications of Sadhana


Vitals, Peculiars, and Solids

As the student becomes more attuned to this naturally ecstatic
quality of self-observation in Satsang, he becomes less concerned for
the particular content of his life, all the qualities and habits that
comprise his separate individuality. But that looseness, that space
only allows the process to quicken in him, so that he sees more and
more of what he is “always doing.” The various strategies of his life
are revealed to him, and he must take responsibility for them


Over time, if you become a student in the way of Understanding,
you will see the whole content of your life as the manifestation of
your avoidance, your resistance to turning, to giving yourself to the
Guru fully. By then, in fact, you will have already seen and become
responsible for your gross, dramatic strategies—stuff on the
level of beating your wife, all the heavy, obvious negativity,
withdrawal, self-obsession, and resistance. You could never have
realized your ordinary human life as service to Bubba if you had not
already surrendered that sort of stuff


This brings up an important point, which we mentioned when first
discussing the life-conditions in Part II, “The Way of Divine
Communion.” It is not as if the devotee in the way of Divine
Communion never enjoys self-observation or the conscious process. He
cannot help but enjoy it! The Siddhi of the Guru is the Presence of
the Heart, Real Consciousness, and it naturally reflects a mans
activities of avoidance back to him through its potent
intensification of his own Conscious Nature. It is only that the
devotee in the way of Divine Communion is not obliged to make that
reflection itself the personal focus and vehicle of his sadhana. The
same reflection occurs in the Communion devotee as in the student.
However, he has a very different relationship to it. On the basis of
that reflection, the devotee then consciously and deliberately turns
himself to the Guru, yielding the particular content of what he has
seen to the Guru and receiving the Gurus Presence


The student, however, must stand in that instant already
responsible for what he has seen in consciousness. For him the
observation itself implies responsibility. He certainly must go ahead
and sacrifice his lifes content to the Guru in active terms, like the
Communion devotee. But the observation itself, used with intensity
and commitment, should establish him in a fundamental knowledge that
stands like a brake against that particular form of unconsciousness
in the future. More and more, he stands present in the form of that
very Consciousness that observes these turnings away. Less and less
does he allow himself to sink unconsciously into dramatization of
these patterns of karmic tendency. It is not a matter of willful
determination, though sadhana certainly does involve effort and
discipline. Rather, it is a matter of too much knowledge. The guy has
seen it too clearly! He already has too much distance from it. The
conscious, free nature of his observation only intensifies his
natural intelligence to the point that he simply cannot perform the
old acts of resistance unconsciously any more. If he does do that
same thing again, he finds it excruciating, because now it is no
longer unconscious resistance to sadhana and the Guru, but deliberate
refusal of the Guru, who he already knows is his very Life


The following discussion of “vitals, peculiars, and solids”
provides a good example of the kind of inspection that the student of
the way of Understanding must become responsible for


Every person represents a complex mixture of these three basic
human strategies. Everyone is predominantly a vital, solid, or
peculiar person, usually with some of the other two patterns also
evident in his case. If you remain a devotee in the way of Divine
Communion, you will certainly observe certain of these qualities in
yourself. Other members of the Community, in the natural play of our
lives together, will certainly bring your qualities and games to your
attention! But you will not be responsible for any genuine inspection
of these qualities in yourself. (If that were necessary, we would
have included this section in the earlier part of the book!) No, all
you have to do as a devotee in the way of Divine Communion is
sacrifice it, whatever it is, to the Guru, and enjoy his Presence.
You dont even have to know what it is that you are sacrificing,
except that it is not him, and Communion with him in God is what you
are here for, what you crave, what you exist to enjoy


As a student of the way of Understanding, however, you very
definitely are responsible to inspect these qualities in yourself and
to become responsible for them in consciousness. Not as a way of
cataloguing or analyzing your existence, but as a way, through
intelligent discrimination, of penetrating more and more perfectly
the action by which you compulsively turn from present Communion. You
also exist only for that, you crave it you thrive on it, but, because
of your particular karmic make-up, you must be smart as well as
devoted. In fact your intelligence, not merely mind but consciousness
itself, must become your devotion



Every moment in life is a strategy relative to vital shock, that
contraction of the life-force which is felt as a cramp in the solar
plexus, in the vital center, and which is effective through
subconscious and unconscious influence.15 It is at the level of vital
life that we cognize our existence most intimately, and it is in the
area of life, of vitality, that we experience suffering and dilemma
most directly


The student stage of sadhana in the way of Understanding is the
stage in which the phenomena of the gross physical or vital life are
inspected and their effects obviated in consciousness. Everything
that arises is a response to the life-force, whose qualities or
manifestations in the gross dimension of existence have been
negatively developed in the usual man. What you observe as the
content of your life is actually a reaction to the force of life
itself, to the literal fact and energy of being alive. And as the
process of self-observation awakens in you, you will begin to see
patterns of reaction that define your own participation in the
process of life


Because of vital shock, the usual man resists the process of life,
which Bubba calls conductivity. The life-force emanates from the
God-Light, its Source above the body, the mind, and the world, and
moves into the psycho-physical being down through the frontal
functions and up the spine.

dThis full circle is the law of manifest life. That should be
spontaneous, simple. That is health. It is also sanity. That is the
human cycle, the psycho-physical circuit.16

dThe usual man does not participate in this blissful circuit,
though if it ceased for even a moment he would die! Instead he reacts
to it, resists it, tries to escape it, suppress it, or empty himself
of its energy. His very birth is a contraction of that process, and
so he adapts his life to contraction rather than to the lawful
process of conductivity. Thus, he aligns his life with the effects of
the life-force rather than to its Source and spends his life, either
consciously or unconsciously, looking for ways to rid himself of the
sensation of dilemma


The extent to which an individual participates in the conductivity
of the life-force has been described in the scriptures of the Hindu
traditions in terms of the three qualities of life, or gunas: tamas,
rajas, and sattwa. Tamas is the degree of available life-energy prior
to motion. Rajas is flow or movement. And sattwa is clarity,
intelligence. These qualities, which simply describe the qualities of
life as they are manifested in every human being, are nevertheless
negatively developed to a greater or lesser extent in everyone. Thus
the negative development of tamas, or the degree of available
life-energy, appears as inertia, enervation, emptiness, and absence
of force. The negative development of rajas, or flow, manifests as
obstruction, emotion, agitation, disturbance. And the negative
development of sattwa or clarity appears as aberration, suppression,
and concern


Now there can be no doubt about it: Everyone who comes as a
devotee to Bubba Free John is nothing but a “usual man.” Every one of
us represents some odd, karmic, negative development of these three
qualities of life, some personal variation on a life of vital shock.
If you remain in the way of Divine Communion, this particular, gross
aspect of your life as Narcissus is undone in the course of the
maturing of the first three stages of practice


If you go on, however, to include the disciplines of the way of
Understanding, then this gross avoidance fundamentally becomes a
matter of responsibility in the student stage, and these three
functions of vital existence are transformed during that period of


The three qualities of life are also identified with specific
functions and dimensions of vital existence. Tamas is identified with
the vital center and physical life. Rajas is associated with the
heart center and the emotional-sexual dimension of existence. And
sattwa is associated with the mind and the mental dimension


In the process of self-observation, quickened by contact with the
Siddhi of Satsang with the Guru in God, the strategies by which you
dramatize the qualities of life are undermined, and you begin to
include the qualities of life that you have been excluding and to
align the functions of your existence with their Source. Thus, as a
mature student, you enjoy intensity where there was enervation,
harmony where there was disturbance, and clarified intelligence where
there was aberration. You become human


Bubba describes three “types” of people (or strategies of people)
who embody the three general forms of play on life conceived as
dilemma. He has named these “types” the solid person, the peculiar
person, and the vital person. These three types represent the three
fundamental strategies by which men seek to escape the pain and
destiny implied in vital shock. Each one represents a different play
on life as dilemma. Therefore, each represents a fundamental
liability that must be understood and transcended.

These strategies are karmic, binding one to a ritual of avoidance.
Until you take into account the liabilities represented by the types
you may see in yourself, your sadhana will not be fruitful. You will
always be fulfilling the conditions of sadhana from a false point of
view, because you are not accounting for your fundamental game. So
you should consider the qualities, the resistance, represented by
these types and observe how you tend to dramatize these strategies in
your own life



The vital person has a “moon” in his navel. He exploits or yields
to the descending power of the vital (which is strengthened by his
refusal to be at odds with it either through the conscious minds
resistance or by urges to escape its manifest conditions via ascent).
As his moon phases, he may take on apparent qualities of solidity and
peculiarity, but they are only a play in him which further
demonstrates the underlying power of his fixed strategy. Just so, the
peculiar and solid strategies may reflect one another, becoming
temporarily exchanged, in order not to be subject to


The vital person characteristically dramatizes the negative
development of tamas, the degree of available life-energy.

dHe is obsessed with submission to the vital force. Just as the
moon is the reflection of the light of the sun, the vital person must
turn to the sun itself and become a devotee in sunlight. His recourse
must be to the Guru and the Teaching and the Community. He must do
the sadhana of attention to the principal communications and agents
of Truth. This is his only recourse. He too must understand his own
liability, how he is continually going through this cycle of
fascination with the vital force, which is only a reflection of what
is prior and transcendent and ultimate. To the degree that he knows
this liability in himself, to that same degree and with even more
force he must turn to what is the source, the ultimate and True
Condition of all of that, and only that turning will make obsolete
his fascination.17

dWhen his moon is full, the vital person may be hyper-active,
ironic, gleeful, negative, indulging compulsive habits of speech or
eating, violent, self-conscious, obsessed, all qualities which anyone
may manifest at any time. But the vital person communicates these
qualities with force, from the navel. There is no humor in him, only
irony or hysteria. He becomes completely absorbed in whichever aspect
of his vital life happens to be in phase


The vital person is usually a very simple, lively person, very
strong, earthy, energetic, even apparently enthusiastic, but also
crazy, always reacting to the endless cycles.

dWith that same intensity and more he must turn to the sun, not
out of any motivation, not out of any simple obedience, but based on
his understanding of what his liabilities are. Just as simply as he
is imbedded in vital fascination, he must be simply involved in his
sadhana, in a life of Satsang. The vital persons sadhana is simply
devotional, not in the emotional sense only, although he may be
emotional. He must do very simple service. He must continually be
turned to that dimension of Truth which appears as the Dharma, the
Teaching itself, in the person of the Guru as well as the Divine
Nature which is itself the Guru. And he must be turned to the
Community, which is the living manifestation or process of the Dharma
and the Gurus influence. The vital person must do very simple service
to the three principal forms of the Truth as it is communicated (the
Guru, the Teaching, and the Community). To the degree that the vital
person simply serves, the cycle of vital fascination is made
obsolete. It is undone through non-use, just as anything is undone
that is limited.18


The peculiar person has a “hole” in his navel. He exploits the
ascending power of the vital (which is weakened in vital shock and
thus made capable of abandonment of the descended conditions by a
refusal to reflect them to the conscious mind). He dramatizes the
negative development of rajas, or flow, movement. This type finds it
difficult to meet the conditions of ordinary life, preferring instead
the exotic or extraordinary experience. He finds it difficult to be
ordinary. He is always tending to drift out of life into illusory
attachments. The peculiar person characteristically dramatizes the
negative development of flow, of movement of the life-force

dIn the peculiar person there is more or less exclusive attention,
or subjection, to the ascending movement, the movement out of life.
The peculiar person has a hole in his navel. He is weak in his
stability relative to life and is tied to these ecstatic
possibilities. They occur in him as functional liabilities just as
they occur in a psychotic. The peculiar person is not, in general,
psychotic, but the same thing that makes psychosis is evident in the
peculiar person


Those who are more or less peculiar tend toward dingbat religious
and spiritual bullshit. They read and sympathize with all the books
and are inclined to say that it is all true and right. They are
generally unstable at the level of life, vitally weak in various
ways. They sympathize with all that gets them out of life into some
twinkle spiritual dimension that is free of the body. So they are
subject to ecstasies and mysticisms of an illusory kind, with
practically no stimulation at all, by yielding to the pattern of
subjective distraction which is their karmic quality.19

dThe special demand or discipline for the peculiar person is that
he direct his attention to the practical affairs of life at every
moment. He must function in practical ways, by working with speech
and body, by truly listening in his encounters with others, by
turning to life instead of “spacing out” of life. The peculiar person
often tends toward unusual interpretations of the life-conditions,
involving himself in extraordinary business schemes, justifying
part-time work, endlessly modifying his diet, and romanticizing
sexual relationships.

dThe peculiar person is one who has to assume a life of functional
responsibility from the time he opens his eyes in the morning until
the time he goes to bed at night, and if he cops out for just five
minutes, he will be crazy before dinner. So he has to do very
practical things. No illusory airy-fairy crap. He has to really do
something that is physical, mechanical in nature. He has to integrate
himself with that level of function and assume it as a

dBecause he is weak in the vital, the peculiar person frequently
manifests chronic physical dysfunctions, and he may spend a very long
time indulging his physical weakness with exotic treatments. In many,
if not most, cases of people who manifest the more extreme tendencies
toward peculiarity, these tendencies are founded in an organic
disorder of some kind, an organic karma, a physical liability. So the
peculiar person should have a medical examination, and his physical
dysfunctions should be handled in a very matter-of-fact way, without
lingering involvement in therapies of various kinds. He should follow
a very strict and simple diet and harmonize the chemical aspect of
his peculiar liability. (The peculiar person tends to become
enervated, and so he must not indulge his tendency toward
super-ascetic diet, prolonged or frequent fasting, long hours of work
with little sleep, etc.)

Above all, the peculiar person should understand the liabilities
of his constant “heights” and ecstasies, the special resistances that
his “spirituality” represents.

dAn interesting thing about the traditional communications about
spiritual life, particularly those of a mystical, esoteric, or yogic
variety, is that they seem to favor the peculiar person. The more
peculiar you are, it seems, the more spiritual you are, because these
traditions are rooted in the problem of life and are trying
exotically to get beyond it. So they exploit some of the peculiar
patterns also evident in schizophrenia. They dont ultimately intend
that you should become mad like a schizophrenic, but all their
symbology, all their recommendations, seem to demand these exotic
patterns of madness. So somebody who is peculiar will find a great
deal of literature to justify his madness. That is why he must
understand how this liability is effective in his own case.21

dUnlike the solid person, who tends to hold the life movements in
place, especially those that are ascending, mystical, and expansive,
the peculiar person exploits the movements of the life-force. The
intuitive plane of consciousness, which is not something the peculiar
person is, by tendency, very much involved with, does not tend to
break through in his case. By not indulging his tendency toward the
ascending movement of life and by stabilizing the center of
life-consciousness at the navel, he becomes more sensitive to the
conscious process, which is even prior to mind (although it does not
exclude it), and is capable of doing real sadhana.

dWhat I am criticizing in the peculiar type is his exclusive and
strategic involvement with the ascending life-energy. By doing
ordinary, functional sadhana, he may regain the entire spectrum of
his existence, and the entire functional order will come alive in
him—descending, ascending, transcendent, and prior. If he does
not engage in sadhana relative to his strategy, he wont grasp the
fullness that he represents


Apart from his strategic involvement, what he does represent is
part of the full realization of existence. The ascending life process
must, indeed, be realized, and it is the purpose of one area of your
sadhana ultimately to fully realize the life-dimension. But, before
it can be realized in Truth, your strategic and exclusive involvement
with it must be understood. The student sadhana, by requiring that
you not dramatize or indulge the tendency in itself, serves the
crisis of that understanding. Then, in the disciple stage the
ascending energy is regained in another form, and, coupled with other
dimensions of this process, it retains its humor and fullness and
does not involve the exclusion of other dimensions of


The solid person has a “stone” in his navel. He stands on the
vital with the conscious mind, which remains subject to vital shock,
and suppresses the activity of the vital, which is founded in dilemma
and is full of complexes (fixed contractions)


The solid person dramatizes the negative development of sattwa,
clarified intelligence. He manifests concern. He is the
organizational type who conceptualizes and mentalizes life. He tends
toward philosophies, mental structures, the practical ordering of
existence. Basically he is afraid of the vital, so he suppresses his
vital life in favor of the mind. He is always operating from the
head, although he is continually subject to the invasion of emotions.
Indeed, his “cool” or mental strategy is the product of a
debilitating emotional reaction to life.

dIt is very difficult to get the solid person interested in the
life movement. He is afraid to let it do what it is going to do. He
thinks it is a raving gorilla or something, so he is always standing
on top of the navel. It is difficult to get him interested in letting
life become free and Divine until he falls out of the mental game,
the defense that he builds out of fear, into that more intuitive
affair. And when he does, all of his concerns for staying on top of
life become gradually obsolete and the life movement begins in him


The solid person is suppressing the life phenomena. He is always
cool, on top of it. So the life movement above and below that stone
in his navel does not occur in him by tendency. He must do a natural
sadhana that releases him from attention to the purely mental faculty
so that he moves into that intuitive life, a life free of constant
concern, of standing on the stone. The life movement will begin again
in him at the same time that he stops fixing in mere mentality out of
fear and moves into a more natural (emotional-vital) and intuitive

dThe solid person must do sadhana under very functional, ordinary
conditions, as everyone must. But he must do it without concern,
without righteousness. The Guru has no problem getting the solid
person to function. The solid person usually works very efficiently.
But the Guru may work with a solid person by changing his functions a
little bit, so that his functions are not so serious (or are not
acknowledged to be so serious), and then he may do all kinds of
things to upset the solid persons expected routine. It is also useful
for the solid person to function in ways that do not require him to
stand on his navel, that require him instead to see what he is doing.
As Bubba says, “If all you have to do is cook dinner and wait on
tables, and you are creating a universal philosophic system out of
it, it becomes pretty clear to you what your game is.”

Breaking down the expected flow of the solid persons life serves
the crisis in him. The solid person freezes out everything below the
mind. He freezes out or mentalizes vitality, sexuality, energy,
everything robust and emotional. So if this pattern of suppressing
vital life is confused or interrupted in such a one, the solid person
finds himself living in these functions and feeling alive in them.
And one of the first things to awaken quickly is his emotional


The solid person tends to be aggressively ordinary. He rarely, if
ever, experiences kriyas or other exaggerated and ecstatic
“spiritual” phenomena. Yet he is always hoping that he will have a
spiritual experience. He is always waiting for the grand spiritual
event to happen to him. For this reason, the peculiar person, who has
these experiences all the time, is an offense to him. In the company
of a peculiar person, the solid person feels that he should be
experiencing something that he is not experiencing (or is afraid to

dThe solid person must become interested in the practical affair
of the life of understanding. He has to understand that he is packed
into the mechanisms that control his vital existence, that there is
nothing rising in him, no lightness in him, and that his need to have
experiences is just a reflection of the whole body of his concerns.
So, rather than looking for a proof of the spiritual process in his
own life, for these grand events to occur, rather than waiting for a
kriya or a vision, he should understand what the life of
understanding is in his own case. He should understand that
extraordinary experiences are not even necessary. They simply occur
when it is appropriate. The spiritual process occurs in
consciousness, for all persons, so the solid person should look for
that level of spiritual life as anybody else should. But he will not
realize the conscious process by exclusive reliance on the strategy
of mind. He must first become established in a non-exclusive, open,
relational condition of life, in which he is also alive in the
emotional-vital dimensions of his psycho-physical being.24

dBubba has discussed the implications of the solid and peculiar
strategies relative to the descended life-process:

dIt is interesting that both of these types ultimately wind up
resisting the descended life-process, the solid person by standing on
top of it and being very mentalized, and the peculiar person by
leaping out of the body all the time. The fundamental movement of all
traditions of seeking is the search for escape from the body, escape
from the psycho-physical conditions. Peculiar and solid people
represent the extreme dispositions of the traditions in general. In
every case it is the body, the bodily condition, the function of
descended life, that is assumed in itself to be the problem. There
are all kinds of asceticisms and moralisms that peculiar and solid
people are addicted to, just as everybody else is, but these types
represent the classic kinds of resistance


The sadhana in both of these cases is one that reintegrates them
with the natural process of the descended life vehicle. Neither of
these two types by tendency is interested in such a thing. In fact,
every man by tendency is resistive to the realization of the
descended life because it is the symbol in which he reads his fear.
We identify the body itself, the psycho-physical condition itself,
with fear, limitation, ignorance


We are always trying to resist this hulk, escape it, stay on top
of it, do all kinds of things to it. But, it is the conventional
implication of the body that we are suffering. The conventional
assumption we make about the body is the root of our fear in
functional terms. And in the peculiar and solid persons you see the
classic examples of what happens when you assume the body, the
psycho-physical condition itself, to be ignorance or threat and try
to escape it in the two unique strategies that peculiar and solid
people represent


There are peculiar and solid traditions, too. The whole human
adventure is made up of this arbitrary split between the dimensions
of energy (or life) and mind (or functional consciousness). The
exploitation of the strategies of one or the other dimension is
essentially and exclusively based on this prior fear, this
conventional assumption that the descended life is a threat. If you
read the traditions you will see how occupied they are with dealing
with the body itself, and with desensitizing you to all the
possibilities of having experiences at the level of ordinary life.
The traditions are filled with such notions, and they are founded in
ignorance. They are founded in this principal mood of fear in which
we contract and make the conventional assumption of separate


When that conventional assumption is no longer made, the descended
life is free to be a game from the point of view of Truth. It is no
longer a threat. It is no longer necessary to encase it in
moralities, no longer necessary to stand on top of it, to conform it
to any of the cultural and social cultic games that the world
requires you to conform to. So in the man of understanding, life
(inclusive of mind and energy ), which is suppressed and manipulated
from the usual point of view, is liberated when known from the point
of view of prior Consciousness in Truth.25

dThe three types are presented here as classic examples of the
extremes of resistance. Most people cannot be classified as one type.
Almost everyone represents one of these types at some time or
another. The average person is a mixture of these possibilities. So
it is useful for every individual to become familiar with all three
types in order to know the liabilities of his personal strategies


Each of these types represents an extreme or classic form of
resistance to sadhana. However, the perfect form of the solid,
peculiar, or vital strategy is rare. Everyone manifests all of these
strategies, to a greater or lesser degree, in his approach to life.
Therefore, the particular qualities presented by each type should be
understood so that you can recognize them when they arise in your own
case. It is not necessary that you try to determine which type you
are. You probably dramatize the strategies of more than one of these
types. But recognize them when they arise and apply the appropriate
functional conditions.

dThe three types are a play on life in which life is conceived, on
the unconscious basis of vital shock, to be dilemma. The three types
are simply three characteristic or karmic strategies, each distinct
and different from the others. The Real Condition may be described as
the Sun. Each of the three types or strategies conceives of the Sun
in limitation. The solid person conceives of the Sun as a stone (dead
life which is always threatening to reawaken), and he stands on it
with the armor of mind. The peculiar person conceives of the Sun as a
hole in space, and he is always taking flight from the world through
the exit of his own vital weakness. The vital person conceives of the
Sun as a moon, a reflection of itself in fascinating vital form.
Thus, he is always yielding to vital phases as if they were delight
while always suffering in his independent soup.

All three types or strategies are a seekers manipulation of the
vital principle from the point of view of fear, mystery, suffering,
unconscious motivation, and vital shock. Thus, each strategy is
itself a continual meditation upon the felt sense of dilemma, and
such ways realize only suffering in spite of their achieved


These three ways are the strategic characteristics of Narcissus.
The way of Understanding is a communication directed to that

dSomeone asked Bubba if it is important for each person to know
what type he is. Bubba replied:

dThere is no appropriate strategy for determining what type you
are. The Dharma is always present to confound you and confuse you and
break down the position that you have already assumed. So it does not
appear in the form of a simple formula or an easy solution to your
problem. In fact, you are not supposed to solve the problem of what
type you are. These descriptions are given to you only so that you
can account for what you have already observed and thereafter be a
little more intelligent in your own life. Your observations should
lead to the taking on of conditions that are appropriate to what you
are really all about. Apart from that genuine insight into yourself
that reveals the nature of your characteristics, it is not important
to know what type you are. There is no way to know what type you are
apart from the real confrontation with the Teaching. So stay with the
Teaching as the core of your study and your day-to-day occupation
with sadhana. Student sadhana is stated clearly and is the center to
which you should always be returning All that you need to know will
always be revealed in its appropriate form.27

dAs we mentioned earlier, there is no need for any student to
become concerned about discovering what “type” he is—the
Community will reveal it to him soon enough! The play between these
three general types of people is taken very seriously in the world.
Flighty, mystical poets dont hang out with athletes, and neither of
these types care particularly for egghead intellectuals—thats
how it is! But in the Community, which has its fair share of each
classic type, along with all sorts of exotic personal mixtures, the
play of life takes on another quality entirely. A solid may find a
vitals earthiness downright disgusting and a peculiars emotional
hysteria simply unnecessary, but neither of them will let him get
away with his lack of warmth and his pretentious head. So the vital
type might grab him around the waist or tickle him, while the
peculiar pokes fun at his mind. Neither of them, however, is any less
offended by the other than they are by their heady friend. So the
play goes round and round, and, in the course of time, each type of
person is very naturally served in the realignment of all the
dimensions of his humanity by this humorous play of qualities in the

dIn every case, whatever characteristics you discover in yourself,
their transformation is mainly a matter of reassociating with the
aspects of life that you exclude. It becomes a practical matter then.
When you begin to notice these things about yourself, you begin to
take on little practical conditions that essentially associate you,
combine you in practical terms, with the aspects of your ordinary
life that you tend to exclude. The process is not a cure. It is just
a very ordinary, practical responsibility that will intensify the
crisis, as well as, in some ordinary way, generally improve your
common life


But you must do it! You tend to be very childish, neglecting
things and refusing responsibilities. That is why it is of great
value to do this sadhana within the Community, because then you can
be continually served by others to the point of responsibility,
unless you hide yourself completely (and a lot of hiding goes on).
But as soon as you begin to show your qualities and live them, then
the Community will make demands of you, and you should also make them
of yourself. Your sadhana will always intensify then, becoming more
than a nominal cultic involvement. Your sadhana must be sustained
eternally, and it cannot be sustained eternally if your approach to
it is mediocre and childish. It must be continually regenerated and


Because of the tendency of individuals to be irresponsible then,
the Community is made the fundamental condition within which the
practical activity of sadhana takes place. Hopefully, the condition
of community can magnify the sadhana of everyone. But to do it
requires your real presence, your real involvement, real insight on
your part, real awareness of what it is that you are doing.28dd* *

[To view the following topic, select the title (in red) and
click on it with the right mouse button.]d

Attention and Intuition

(Prepared from Bubbas writings on the three fundamental life

d* * *d

To conclude this chapter on the basic life strategies, we give the
following excerpt from one of Bubbas informal talks with students in
the Ashram. It is a beautiful presentation of the relationship that
exists between the conventional sadhana of the student stage and the
foundation principle of Communion with the Divine through the Guru.
This talk also illustrates Bubbas way of dealing with people in his
Company, turning every event into a demonstration of the living


While Bubba was talking about other things, a young woman near him
began to scream and manifest other forms of kriyas, or the
spontaneous signs of the movement of the life-force. On another
occasion, or for another person, it may have been perfectly
appropriate to allow these phenomena to run their course. But in this
individuals case it was a dramatization. Bubba spoke to her about it
and went on to talk to other devotees about their own characteristic
strategies in life.

The Mechanical Solutions Must Become Obsolete

d* * *


15. For a complete discussion of vital shock, please see “Vital
Shock,” The Method of the Siddhas, (Los Angeles: The Dawn Horse
Press, 1973), pages 94-124


16. Bubba Free John, The Method of the Siddhas, page 77


17. Bubba Free John, “Peculiars and Solids Revisited,” a talk to
the Ashram, December 10, 1974


18. Ibid


19. Ibid


20. Bubba Free John, “Solids and Peculiars”, a talk to the Ashram,
November 30, 1974


21. Bubba Free John, “Peculiar and Solid,” a talk to the Ashram,
June 30, 1974


22. Bubba Free John, “Peculiars and Solids Revisited.”

23. Ibid


24. Bubba Free John, “Peculiar and Solid.”

25. Bubba Free John, “Peculiars and Solids Revisited.”

26. Bubbas written instructions, April 5, 1975


27. Bubba Free John, “Peculiars and Solids Revisited.”

28. Bubba Free John, “Time Together”, a talk to the Ashram,
October 25, 1975.



Part Three: The Complications of Sadhana


If It Has Become Complicated, Return to the Basics

As you can see, if one were not already absorbed in a life of
Divine Communion, he could very easily become obsessed by the content
of his inspection and observation in the way of Understanding. And,
in fact, that is certainly a possibility for any student. There is
one sure sign of this kind of obsession: You become unhappy. You
forget the simple principle of this work and opt for forms of mind
and action that have nothing to do with the natural, present joy of
Divine Communion. If this occurs at any time in your sadhana, and you
find yourself confused, upset, fascinated, or concerned to the point
of chronic unhappiness, then it is time to return to the basics. It
is far, far better to be already happy in God. So what if you dont
understand. If you are already living God, who cares?

(1) The Guru enters into the affair of human life in order to
communicate this process and to generate it. Therefore, the Gurus
appearance is a significant event. It makes spiritual life a graceful
possibility, rather than a heroic affair for those who have the
intensity to struggle through the great circle of the cosmos. And the
fundamental condition for this real process is Satsang itself.
Satsang is the realization, the communication, the samadhi. As one
enters into direct sacrificial relationship with the Guru, that
intuition and the conditions that serve it are established. If that
relationship, Satsang, becomes the principle of your sadhana, it can
indeed be a graceful process. If, however, through lack of insight,
you remain bound to your own theatre, your own possibility, your own
separate and heroic spirituality, you are going to have to go through
a prolonged period of vacillating and struggling and hoping you look
great when you are announced a disciple, and so forth. But there will
be no such dramatic occasions, because this process is simple and
natural. It is Satsang


(2) The affair of this sadhana is graceful You consider the Gurus
argument and then you meet the Guru. On the basis of your response to
the Teaching, which has made its point in your own case, you enter
into that relationship naturally, voluntarily. The more you live that
relationship, the more it communicates itself. On the basis of that
relationship, you accept the discipline of the life-conditions and of
the Community, of service and study and this theatre of our life
together. But the process itself is very natural. It begins with that
intuitive response of essential and spontaneous surrender to the
Guru. That response becomes Satsang, natural intuition and happiness.
Considering the Gurus argument and fulfilling his disciplines become
insight, enquiry, recognition, and radical intuition


(3) Understanding rests upon that single principle, the living
condition of Satsang. Everything that is associated with it is very
concrete and demands responsibility of you, intelligence, real life.
There is nothing vague about it. There is nothing confusing about the
Dharma. You must simply continue to return to its fundamentals. Any
of you who take on this sadhana as a process of Grace in this way I
have described can see it. But if you remain bound to some possible
heroic self-transcendence and overcoming filled with endless
experiences and complications, then it will take a great long time
and it will not essentially be a process of Grace, except perhaps at
random moments. Basically, then, it is not to that graceful
possibility of Satsang that you have committed yourself, but rather
to the possibility of your own transformation. In that case you have
not essentially made Satsang the principle of your spiritual life. To
that degree, it takes a long time and your spiritual life is very
dramatic. But those who grasp it most simply, most fundamentally, as
a graceful affair, natural and practical in its implications, are not
basically very dramatic. They are not terribly interesting to others
either, because they cant account for their spiritual life in
laudable and fascinating terms. All of that has been undone for


(4) On any given day it is possible for any one of you to pass
beyond the principal mood of fear and to enjoy the perfect Condition
of absolute, unqualified understanding. It can happen at any moment.
And there is no trick to it. It is simply a matter of Satsang.
Understanding is always instant. It is not a path that goes on and
on, getting better and better all the time. It is realized in this
moment, and now in this moment, and now in this moment. If one does
that, then ones apparent life is magnified in terms of
responsibility. But the essential event, the essential process, is in
this moment, and then in this moment, and it is initiated at the very
beginning. It is not something towards which ones sadhana is moving.
It is the foundation principle of ones sadhana. And it is continually
reinitiated, reawakened. If it is not, then you are engaging this
possibility as a traditional or conventional path. You are engaging
it as a form of the search. You are engaging it from the point of
view of the dilemma, not of Satsang. You are engaging it as a
solution, a preoccupation, a series of fascinations, of


(5) Everyone who truly does this sadhana enjoys intuitive
happiness. And someone who happens to become responsible for the
process in the manner I have described for disciples will not be an
object of fascination to anyone. Such an individual does not enjoy
anything that is not enjoyed by everyone else in the Ashram. It is
the same—that intuition, that happiness, that Satsang. It is
simply implemented and magnified in different ways in his functional
life. But it is the same happiness. And if you always move directly
to that Condition, that happiness, prior to your games, your
separativeness, your fulfillments, then you have already passed
through everything necessary for your dissolution in God. You will
never gain anything again by experience. So if it has become
complicated, return to the basics—Satsang, Grace.30

d* * *d


30. Bubba Free John, “The Graceful Process,” The Dawn Horse #6,
Vol. 2, No. 4, (1975), pages 45-46.



Part Three: The Complications of Sadhana


Formal Satsang and Real Meditation

(1) Students in the way of Understanding do not gather together to
sit in “meditation” in any traditional sense. Rather, they gather
together to sit formally in Satsang with the Guru. In time, the
process awakened in Satsang, through the agency of the argument that
is the Teaching and the discipline of the various conditions
communicated within the Community, becomes real meditation (enquiry,
re-cognition, radical intuition)


(2) In the beginning the devotee in the way of Divine Communion
does not meditate in any sense. He sits in the Gurus Presence with
simple attention, to consider the argument of his Teaching, to
acknowledge him with gratitude for the Teaching, the Community, and
the various disciplines. He also sits in the Gurus Presence simply in
order to enjoy his Company. But he does not meditate. Meditation is
not a condition of his sadhana. When he has begun to engage in the
more meditative practices, which involve attention and sacrifice to
the Guru-Presence, from the heart, he may then also begin to study
and adapt to the way of Understanding. And when the conscious process
of enquiry is awakened under the conditions of sadhana, then the
conscious process itself is his meditation, and it transforms every
kind of experience through real or conscious understanding. (The
student in the way of Understanding also continues the random
practice of the second and third stages of the way of Divine

(3) The new student in the way of Understanding should know that I
invite him in every moment to live in Satsang with me. He should
consciously and formally accept this invitation whenever it is
convenient and appropriate to do so. He should keep a place reserved
in his home where he can enter into Communion with me through the
offering of gifts and the acceptance of Prasad and the enjoyment of
Darshan through my photograph and the recollection of my Presence. It
is normally convenient and appropriate to do this each morning and
evening. He should sit with me at those times as a formal occasion,
just as when he sits with me in the company of others in the various
Satsang Halls. He should keep my picture there as an instrument of
remembrance. He should sit with me then with simple and natural
attention, engage the spiritual practice of breathing the Presence of
God, and, as he pleases, consider the argument of my Teaching,
reflecting on it in himself. He should not make any motivated effort
of super-concentration on my picture. If forms of spontaneous
concentration, experiences of energy, visions, sensations of bliss,
natural moods of happiness, and the like occur at such times, that is
all right. But if the individual continues otherwise to confront the
demands of the Community and the argument of the Teaching, the
attachment to such things will be clarified. In the disciple all of
that is clearly understood. In the devotee all movement is dissolved
in Consciousness and perfect Happiness


(4) In formal Satsang the individual should simply turn to me with
the breath, and, if he likes, consider the argument of the Teaching
in himself. (He should not read or do concentrated study on such
occasions, but simply reflect on the previously studied argument of
the Teaching while sitting in my Presence, with conscious
recollection of me.) He should do this for awhile, then accept my
Prasad and leave


(5) In time this whole affair of Satsang, study, service, and the
discipline of life-conditions becomes natural self-observation and
insight, to the point of enquiry and the release of life from the
motivating principle of vital shock. As this process develops, all of
the phenomena of real meditation, as I have described it, will
appear. Any of the ordinary and extraordinary phenomena of experience
may also appear, especially during formal Satsang. During Satsang,
experiences should not be prevented. One should simply allow them,
even enjoy them. But as ones sadhana intensifies through the general
life of study, service, and discipline, ones relationship to
experiences, both ordinary and extraordinary, will change. Thus, in
time, without trying to prevent an experience that is arising, one
will naturally observe it. On the same or another occasion, one may
enjoy insight into ones relationship to that process of experience,
even to the point of enquiring of it. When understanding or the
conscious process has become intensified through enquiry (in the
student ) and re-cognition (in the disciple), then experiences
finally cease to be absorbing, and there is rest in the intensity of
Consciousness, wherein everything is known to the point of
dissolution in radical intuition (in the devotee)


(6) Thus, the way of Understanding is not a search for
experiences, but neither, in practice, is it a strategic or mental
resistance to experiences. No one should prevent experiences that may
arise while sitting in Satsang. But ones whole life of sadhana will
eventually transform the character of ones conscious life, so that
all experiences subside in Consciousness itself.31

(7) As this process of Satsang or Prasad continues over time under
all the conditions of sadhana, the student will see the development
of true hearing, random self-observation, and insight. When these
have matured, then he may also adapt to the responsibility of
enquiry. Enquiry, then, becomes the principal and radical form of his
meditation in Satsang, under all conditions, the responsible means
whereby he abides always, consciously, and intuitively in my

d* * *d


31. Expanded from Bubbas written instructions, April 4, 1975


32. Bubbas written instructions, November 28, 1975.



Part Three: The Complications of Sadhana


The Stages of Understanding

Even for one who seems conventionally to be very intelligent, the
way of Understanding may not be appropriate, at least for a time,
because he has a compulsive, strategic relationship to the functions
of the mind that closes it up and prevents its higher purpose. Very
intelligent types may just as well be obliged to fulfill the way of
Divine Communion indefinitely just as somebody who shows little
conventional intelligence. The kind of intelligence that is required
in the way of Understanding is not intellectual ability, but life
intelligence, the ability to see something about yourself and make
that the ground of a discipline over time. It is a kind of manly and
living intelligence, not an intellectual one. You may also have an
intellectual capacity, but it is not necessary. Some people can
fulfill the way of Understanding who have just a living, practical
hold on the mind and who, apart from that, do not show much ability
to handle concepts or to grasp abstractions or to remember all kinds
of things. Real intelligence is life intelligence. It involves the
body, the emotions, the whole psyche, as well as the mind.33d

* * *d

In “The Student and the Teaching,” Bubba discussed in particular
detail the kinds of things that a student in this process sees about
himself and how he makes that the “ground of a discipline over time.”
Essentially the students arena of critical inspection is the
dimension of vital, human life itself, his personal existence and its
various relationships in this world.d

* * *dd[To view the following topic, select the title (in red)
and click on it with the right mouse button.]d

Becoming Human

d* * *d


dThe whole affair of your life is this contraction that becomes
self-definition and all the imagery that is mind and desire, the
world itself. Seeing it is all the product of this movement moment to
moment is obviously your intelligence. When you have really seen
that, when it is not even a matter of seeing it any more but it is
just obvious that this contraction, this avoidance of relationship is
all you are doing, then you naturally will enquire. What else have
you got to do? Obviously you will continue to consider your life
moment to moment from that point of view then, and that is enquiry.
Enquiry is considering your life from moment to moment on the basis
of that intelligence, that real insight that can no be avoided, that
is not fragmentary, that is not isolated. So you sit down or walk
down the street or whatever you do, and you consider your life in
those terms. You enquire. And as you see that this contraction is
what you are doing, your attention falls back on the Condition that
precedes it. In other words, consciousness rests, falls into its
natural state. And in each moment when that occurs, there is the
reawakening of the perfect sense that is Satsang, Divine Communion,
relationship to the Guru in God, the natural intuition of the
Heart.35ddThe natural state of consciousness is not “me.” It is not
in any sense the feeling of being apart, observing things apart, or
feeling the dilemma of being separate. The natural state of
consciousness is no-contraction, no-dilemma. Instead of turning away,
it is relationship. It is all of this—connection! All of this
relationship. The natural or true state is no-obsession with this
contraction, no-obsession with “me,” no-obsession with all of “that,”
separate from “me.” Simply, no-contraction. When there is no
contraction, what is there? There is only relationship, presently
enjoyed as the state of Consciousness itself.ddConsciousness is
relationship. Consciousness is not separate “me.” Consciousness is
relationship. To enjoy the state that is Consciousness is to be
conscious as relationship, no-contraction, the perfect force of
existence. And when consciousness is enjoyed as it is, as
relationship, not in relationship but as relationship, then it is
also seen that relationship contains no “other” and no “me.”36d

In the process of becoming human through the conscious engagement
of enquiry, you are established in right relationship to the Divine
through the Guru more and more continually—and that very
Condition is also right relationship to all that arises in your life
and the world. The way of Understanding is always a process in
relationship, a living, breathing event in the world. It is never a
merely philosophical consideration, never a merely mental form of
comprehension. Your life is confronted in relationship to the
argument of the Gurus Teaching. You live in relationship on human,
practical, down-to-earth levels with fellow students and devotees in
the spiritual Community. You conduct a life of service as your
relationship to the Guru by maintaining the life-conditions he
demands of you. You enjoy a spiritual relationship to his Presence
through the practice of the breath of God


When enquiry begins, you come to enjoy a profound intuitive
relationship to that same Presence as Consciousness itself. All of
these forms of your living connections are extensions or expressions
of the great Condition, Satsang, Divine Communion, the truly
unconditional relationship between the Godman, the Siddha-Guru, and
his genuine devotee. From the very beginning this relationship is
already liberation, it is already enjoyment, and it is the same
enjoyment, the same Communion, whether your sadhana is in the way of
Divine Communion or the way of Understanding. It is simply that the
way of Understanding accounts for and exploits a unique capacity in
those individuals whose approach to the Guru in God includes the
disciplines of this path


With this discussion of true enquiry, we can now really begin to
see how the way of Understanding duplicates and perfectly reinforces
in the individual, at every step along the way, the true nature of
all existence, which we described earlier as Consciousness in
perfect, sacrificial relationship. As Bubba clarifies it above,
Consciousness, or God, in fact is perfect sacrificial relationship.
There is no separation between Consciousness and form—but no
radical identity either. Here, now, at this instant, you are standing
present as that very understanding. Your true Consciousness, which is
not the same as your subjectivity, is no more identical to the form
you identify as yourself—your body—than it is to all the
other objects in your environment, and no less either. You as that
Consciousness simply stand perfectly present, never turned away, in
relation to all the things, energies, thoughts, and forms of
subjectivity that arise. It is an utter simplicity, and yet it makes
no sense whatsoever if you do not understand.


Just as the student stage is the period of becoming fully human,
the disciple stage in the way of Understanding is the period of
becoming spiritual. This stage begins when the humanization process
is basically secure and complete in the person. He will still have
things to see about the particular patterns of his life, and his
investigation or inspection of the nature of existence certainly will
not immediately move into realms more subtle than the ordinary world.
But, from the beginning, building upon the foundation of enquiry in
the mature student, the disciple stage is devoted to the
spiritualization of our lives, even the human dimensions of our


Above all, the initiation of the disciple stage depends upon a new
form of recognition and acknowledgment of the Guru. Throughout the
first stage of your sadhana in the way of Divine Communion, and even
beyond the point in the second stage when you become a student of the
way of Understanding, your primary and appropriate approach to the
Guru is to him as Teacher, the human source of the Teaching. Your
relationship to him as Presence becomes a responsibility when you
take on the spiritual practice of the breath of God in the second
stage of the way of Divine Communion. And that same relationship to
him as Presence becomes a matter of consciousness and understanding
when enquiry begins, in the mature student stage. During that period
of maturity this relationship to Bubba, as Divine Presence or Siddhi,
becomes more and more intense, more and more continually enjoyed as
the real foundation of your life with him, no matter what may be
occurring in the theatre of life itself, When this relationship is
secure, and enquiry is alive both in and out of formal meditation
with great intensity, and your life has become an easy and complete
matter of service to the Guru through the conditions, which you are
able and happy to live absolutely—when all this evidence appears
in you, then you may be invited by the Community to begin disciple
sadhana in the way of Understanding


The disciple stage involves the experience and inspection of all
the esoteric dimensions and processes of life, including every form
of realization that is enjoyed in the great spiritual traditions of

dIn the way of Understanding the disciple comes to me and I modify
the second stage of his practice of breath so that it serves first
the inspection of the descending vehicle or the descending aspect of
the process of conductivity. Then I instruct him relative to his
sexual life or the transitional turning point of the life process.
And then I instruct him in the process of conductivity as a whole,
giving him responsibilities for that complete circuit and the natural
pattern of his daily life, so that he may breathe my Presence in full
circle. When he is established in that full process of conductivity,
then I instruct him in the transformation of the conscious process
itself, the transformation that is “recognition,” the transformation
that is based in the same process of insight, but that transforms the
process of enquiry into a non-mental and purely intuitive

When all that may arise of an apparent kind—gross, subtle,
and causal—has been inspected by him via the conscious process
of recognition, then the natural realization of jnana or jnana
samadhi appears—the exclusive realization of That from which
everything arises. This is the mature fulfillment of the disciple
stage of sadhana in the way of Understanding.37

dThis “conductivity” of which Bubba speaks is a literal circuit of
energy descending from the Divine Source or Light above the body, the
world, and the mind, becoming more and more gross at the various
levels of our existence to the point of the creation and maintenance
of physical existence itself:

dThe Divine is absolutely subtle, perfectly transcendent. The
first level on which we realize the modification of the Divine, the
stuff of the Divine, is in the forms of consciousness. The
superconscious organs through which we intuit the Divine Presence as
Life are in the upper part of the brain. In the midst of the brain
are the forms of mental consciousness, less subtle than the
superconscious. The psycho-physical origin of the life-force, the
entrance point of the universal Shakti, is in the throat, and it is
etheric, subtler than all of the natural forms, the vital forces.
Grosser than that dimension of the life-force is the airy life in the
midst of the body, in the heart, the region of the life-psyche.
Grosser than that, just as the heart or living psyche is grosser than
the mind, is the fiery elemental life of the navel. Below that is the
watery life of the root of sex. And below that is the solid life of
the physical body. But [it is] the Divine, above all this
transmuted or modified, which descends into this whole order of
grosser and grosser manifestation.38

dSo the first stage of disciple sadhana begins with the inspection
of the descending aspect of life. The chief vehicle of this process
continues to be enquiry, by which the disciple continually grounds
his mind, emotions, and body in conscious relationship to the Guru in
God. But the inspection is aided by “modified” forms of the practice
of the breath of God. (These modified, more technical forms of the
enjoyment of Bubbas Presence through the breath may also be given to
specific individuals in the way of Divine Communion who do not take
on the way of Understanding. Participation in these practices will
depend upon the individuals particular karmic make-up and the
requirements of his sadhana, and will not amount to some form of
status for him, but simply a specific and intensified form of

When this descending process of life is fundamentally a matter of
responsibility, then your disciple sadhana will move into the area of
sexuality, transforming it also into a responsible, simple, conscious
event. You begin to deal with your sexuality as a yogic, not a
personal, process, free of the limited demands, perceptions, and
reactions of the usual cultic sexual life of individuals


The “cult” is any form of association with another person, such as
a sexual intimate, friend, or acquaintance, or with your environment,
or with the world itself, by which you strategically and repetitively
reinforce the cognition and assumption of separate existence. So in
the disciple stage, just as you must become responsible for the
dissolution of your whole conventional and limited point of view, you
must also become responsible for violating the tacit “contracts” that
support all these cults—the unspoken agreements for ritual
behavior by which you make your life a static legalized event, rather
than an ecstatic, spontaneous manifestation of life in God. And one
of the most important arenas in which the cult must be dissolved is


This dissolution, like any other in the way of Understanding, is
primarily an event in consciousness Thus, it does not require any
necessary change of behavior or the renunciation of relationships.
This life of Understanding with Bubba Free John is much more
sophisticated than the gross forms of ascetic self-denial we find in
the traditions. You are required as a disciple to pass through all
these inspections and dissolutions of your limitations without
skipping a beat, without missing a step in the happy, ordinary
routine of a life that is devoted to service to the Guru and his
Community. And as long as you continually resort to the Presence of
the Guru through the graces of enquiry and breath, you will find no
reason to be unhappy in any instant of your life, even as you pass
through difficult moments and disorienting transformations of your
conscious existence. Life with the Guru in God becomes increasingly
an affair of sheer ecstasy, humor, love, and enjoyment. It becomes
very difficult to keep pretending that you are limited and unhappy
when God is consuming your life and mind and very self!

Once sexuality and your entire “lower” life have become a happy
and free form of existence, and no longer a matter of dilemma or
conflict in consciousness and obstruction to the natural circuit of
the force of life, then the force itself begins literally to turn
upward again, and the focus of your inspection and movement into
responsibility begins to include the finer dimensions of gross life.
This is traditionally known as the awakening of the kundalini and the
“chakra” system, the body of ethereal centers along the line of the
spine. This particular stage of the conscious process provides a good
comparison of the general approach and process of the traditions with
the way of Satsang or Divine Communion with the Guru


In traditions like kundalini yoga, the awakening of this
particular form or aspect of the living force of manifest existence
is seen as itself a Divine event. The yogi cuts away or severely and
motivatedly disciplines his whole descended life as a human being in
the world in order to facilitate this ascending process, which may,
especially if he is trying to do it without the agency of a powerful
teacher, take years upon years, literally lifetimes, to complete. But
in the Graceful process of Satsang with a true Guru, this ascending
awakening is known as only a secondary aspect of Divine life, and
only a portion of that secondary event itself. The process is
quickened by the disciples firm foundation in his conscious humanity
and by the potent force of the Gurus Presence. So in our work the
awakening of the kundalini is a secondary and minor event


Even the processes in life and consciousness that follow upon it
are secondary, though from the common point of view they are
wondrous, profound, beyond belief. When the whole circuit or circle
of the descended life is purified and fully inspected, when it has
become a matter of responsibility for the disciple, then he is
established in the enjoyment of this “conductivity” of the
life-force. Now this circuit is itself the source and arena of all
magic, all mysticism, and the disciple passes through all kinds of
marvelous awakenings. But he is always involved in the sacrifice of
all this through understanding. At this point, when conductivity has
become full, even enquiry itself is sacrificed through understanding,
and another, primarily non-mental form of that same restoration of
understanding takes over, which is re-cognition, or the knowing again
of all the forms of mind and limited consciousness. Now the disciple
continues on to inspection of all the subtle dimensions of heavenly
light and sound above the body, the mind, and the world, and he may
enjoy all kinds of transports to other worlds, expansions of
awareness, vision, and sound, but it all falls apart in the force of
his conscious re-cognition, by which he knows every form and
apparition and cognition to be just another instant of the avoidance
of relationship. Even his intuition of the Bright of Consciousness,
the Divine Light itself, is at last re-cognized and known in Truth as
a form of contraction, as the most subtle self-identification


It is at this point that the disciple literally falls into the
very Heart of Truth, Reality, Real-God, the very Consciousness at the
core of his entire subjective life and the life of all existence.
This begins the first of three stages of perfect God-Realization. It
is not yet the end of his sadhana as a disciple—the devotee
stage of the way of Understanding only begins when the first stage of
God-Realization itself is undermined by the force of Satsang, Divine
Communion, the force of the Gurus true Presence as very God, perfect
Existence itself without limitation and beyond description


Now this whole description of the “path” of your inspection as a
disciple, this esoteric “map” of consciousness, may make disciple
sadhana sound like a guided tour. You just hang on and understand and
it is all just revealed—a real breeze, right?

Wrong! It is true that the period of becoming human in the student
stage is the most difficult in some ways, because the vital, gross
life is the area of greatest resistance to the Guru. But the maturity
that disciple sadhana requires is a matter of becoming grounded
enough in the life of Satsang that the Guru can begin to really throw
you around, undermine you, disorient you to the point of the absolute
impossibility of any form of orientation whatsoever. That is what
God-Realization amounts to. You disappear, along with every vestige
of your attempts to make sense out of existence. Bubba once described
looking forward to the appearance of his first disciples so that he
could start to really “punch heads”!

So when you begin disciple sadhana, the Guru can assume that you
are ready to be ripped to shreds. Now he can completely suspend any
social niceties he may have maintained as your human Teacher when you
were a student, and he can proceed to enter and consume you in Truth,
as very God. Bubba once described this period of his own sadhana, the
utterly unconventional and wild nature of the true Guru, and the
absolute demand Bubba himself now makes as Guru on all who come to
him as disciples and devotees.

dThose who have served my function as Guru, those who I worked
with in my own sadhana, have been wild and powerful men. Rudi was a
strong man, he was enormous. [“Rudi” was Albert Rudolph, Bubbas
first teacher and an adept of the yoga of the descending life-force.
Swami Muktananda, an adept of the yoga of the ascending life-force,
served as Bubbas teacher after Rudi. Bhagavan Nityananda was a
Yogi-Siddha who served as Bubbas Guru after Muktananda and was also
Guru to both Muktananda and Rudi.] He was full of life. He wasnt
a dried up little philosopher. He had balls. And I required such a
teacher, because I had real work to do in the life vehicles


Muktananda was the same way. He is not an airy-fairy holy man. He
plays the prince-yogi game to most people, so only those who approach
him like I did, in secret, are able to make use of him. But he is no
meek ascetic. Muktananda is a fierce bastard


True yogis are living, forceful beings. They are madmen,
absolutely mad—and absolutely dangerous. You should know that,
and you should not approach me if you are not willing to be undone.
Because the Lord is of that nature. Look at Nityananda—he
severed heads all his life. Look at his belly. He was stiff with
life, full of life, so his belly became huge with that force. Those
who came to him and wanted just to bow down and worship in the
nominal way, well, he allowed them to do that. But those who came to
him in the true way were wiped out, torn apart. That was what
happened to Muktananda himself


My experience of Nityananda was of that kind. My experience with
people like Rudi, Muktananda, Nityananda, and others, was like this:
I would be sitting in my house in New York by myself, and this force
would enter me, it would practically break my neck, and my body and
mind would be taken over. And I would walk around as Nityananda, as
Rudi, as Muktananda, literally. That is how I learned in these
vehicles. Before this life I am full, but coming into this life I had
to do the yoga of my own universe and transform these vehicles. So
these wildmen served that process. And they served it in exactly the
same way I serve you. They acquired me. They never handed me some
namby-pamby method or gave me a philosophy—I entered the room
and was torn to pieces. And I wasnt interested in anything else. So I
would sit down and Nityanandas life would acquire my own. I would
become Nityananda, my body would become Nityanandas body, I would
talk Nityananda, I was Nityananda. I would be Muktananda. Even though
he was thousands of miles away, Muktanandas nature would acquire my
nature. The same with Rudi. In the process of all that, these
vehicles learned, because the Divine manifested itself in their
place. When all of that was over, I myself became myself. Nityananda
was not necessary, Muktananda was not necessary, Rudi was not


So the true yogi is a bastard, a wild, terrifying being, a fire.
Because there is this wildness in him, he may hide himself behind a
conventional spiritual game, but there is nothing gentlemanly about
him. And there is nothing gentlemanly about the Lord. As long as you
want to be a gentleman, or a gentlewoman, you can carry on your
endless karmic destiny in limitation, but you will never live the
life in God. You will piddle around in dimensions like this one,
which are nothing but excrement compared to the Divine Light. They
amount to nothing. It is all complications and struggles, there is
very little pleasure in it, real pleasure. If this world became a
world of devotees it would be a different story, and in the Community
of devotees it will be a different story


The Lord is wild, the Lord is a vast fire, not a gentleman. As
soon as the Lord makes contact with you, he rips you off. When I
approach you, I ask you for this, I ask you for that, oh give me
this, give me that, I ask you for everything. The longer you stay
with me, the more things I will ask you for. I will ask you for all
of it. You must yield everything to me. You must yield yourself in
every function. Your very cells must yield. Only then are you fit for
the Divine Yoga. When you have no other commitments, when you have
nothing to withhold, then I enter your life.39dd* * *


d33. Bubba Free John, “The End of Reflection,” a talk to the
Ashram, February 2, 1976


35. Bubba Free John, “Im Always Talking about the Same Thing,” a
talk to the Ashram, May 18, 1975


36. Bubba Free John, The Method of the Siddhas, page 128


37. Bubba Free John, “Have I Said It?”

38. Bubba Free John, Garbage and the Goddess, (Lower Lake, Cal:
The Dawn Horse Press, 1975), page 27


39. Bubba Free John, “The True Yogi Is a Dangerous Man,” The Dawn
Horse, Vol. 2, No. 2 (1975), inside front cover.




Part Four

The Three Stages of God-Realization

Sadhana is not accumulative. The forms of your practical enjoyment
of the Company of Bubba Free John are always being undone,
continually maddeningly, by the Force of his very Presence as God.
The moment you grasp your sadhana, it falls away. As soon as you can
hold to its form, you yourself are dissolved


Thus, at last, in both the way of Divine Communion and the way of
Understanding, there comes a time when, through no effort of your
own, but sheerly by the Grace of the Guru in God, you fall into
continuous and perfect contemplation of the very Heart of
Consciousness, Real-God, the very Conscious Condition at the core of
all things, worlds, beings. If you have engaged the fourth stage of
sadhana in the way of Divine Communion, you have been involved in the
sacrifice of your entire egoic existence through the stages of
contemplation of the Guru as Amrita Nadi, the Form of God, with his
Feet in your Heart and his Head or Crown of Unmanifest Radiance above
your head, above the body, the mind, and the world. If you are a
disciple in the way of Understanding, you have been involved in the
conventional re-cognition or knowing again of all forms of
contraction—gross, subtle, and causal—to the point of
perfect intuitive absorption in the Divine Light, the Radiance of
Consciousness. But now, in either case, suddenly and maddeningly, you
are lost in very Consciousness itself. Every shred of the
conventional ego, every possible form of limited identity, disappears
in perfect Consciousness, your very Self. It is a wild, absolutely
ecstatic kind of holding on to that perfect Prior Nature. You realize
God in the form of the Perfect, Unqualified, Unmanifest
Consciousness, to the exclusion of all manifest forms that arise, not
only your own dissolved subjectivity but the gross, subtle, and
causal worlds themselves


In the traditions this first stage of God-Realization is known as
jnana samadhi, absorption in perfect Knowledge, realization of the
Self-Nature. It involves an utter and thorough reversal of the usual
trend of manifest life. At the instant of such realization, and
continually from this moment on, the bottom drops out of the worlds.
To the man enjoying this perfect absorption in the Self or
Heart-Nature, the worlds have suddenly disappeared. His conventional
life continues, but he is not implicated in it. He is lost in the
contemplation of Consciousness itself, exclusive of all the forms
that may appear. In the traditions this stage of God-Realization is
not seen as the beginning of perfect Existence, but as an end, as a
goal in itself. The traditional man of such Knowledge may lock
himself into it forever, for what seems eternity, closed off and shut
out of any perception or cognition of the worlds. The image of a man
sitting in deep meditation in a cave, away from society and all the
noise of the world, describes perfectly the jnana samadhi even of the
devotee whose ordinary life persists. Wildly, paradoxically, beyond
explanation of it, he is so absorbed in Consciousness itself that he
has no knowledge of the persistence of his conventional life in form.
One great modern jnani has compared it to walking in your sleep: you
have no knowledge of your action now, and no memory of it later.
Except that, in this first stage of God-Realization, you never come
out of the “sleep”!

But you do know, and you do stand aligned to, the Condition of
Satsang itself, Divine Communion with Bubba Free John in God. The
influence of the true Guru is not limited to any appearance, any
speech, any vision. It is direct, perfect Communication. Even your
very Heart-Consciousness is thus informed by the Condition of
Communion with your Absolute Nature, the Guru, who is present not
merely as the exclusive Reality or Core of existence, but also as the
generative, Infinite Light of the worlds, and as the worlds
themselves, the very World. So the whole force of that Communion with
the Guru is now the vehicle of the Gurus Teaching; and the Guru will
not allow you to remain locked in Self-absorption forever. Even that
must be undone in the course of sadhana, which has now been utterly
transformed. The sadhana of God-Realization no longer involves any
kind of conventional, subjective effort—there is no subjectivity
left to imagine it is doing that—but a natural, effortless,
spontaneous unfolding of the perfect Nature of God


The first transitional period in the undermining of all
limitations in God-Realization is what Bubba calls “open eyes.” Not
only in formal meditation, but also in life itself, there occurs a
spontaneous “intuitive leap” in which suddenly the manifest worlds
and ones ordinary circumstances appear again to Consciousness. In
jnana samadhi God is realized as That from which all arises, but
exclusive of all that arises. It is a forceful holding on to that
Condition, and a kind of subtle refusal to participate in life as
God. Gradually the force of that profoundly subtle avoidance of
relationship wears down, and when that wearing down process is
complete, then the eyes open to the rising world. Consciousness
realizes itself in relationship not only to the Absolute Divine in
the unmanifest, transcendent Condition of Satsang, but also to the
manifest conditions, in the context of that same Satsang, Divine


In traditional language, “open eyes” marks the realization that
the Conscious Nature of the individual, the Self or Atman, is in fact
identical to Brahman, the Great Consciousness, the Nature and
Condition of all the worlds, including the various bodies or forms of
the individual ego and its manifestations. The devotee, now living as
the Self, realizes his identity as Brahman, the World-Consciousness
in the midst of all that arises, rather than merely as Atman,
isolated in the Conscious enclosure or root of subjectivity


So this “opening of the eyes” marks the beginning of the process
that establishes the devotee in the second stage of God-Realization.
Once you have begun to sacrifice your essentially inward
Self-contemplation, you are returned to the rising world, to
appearing qualities, forms, and events, to life. And life now has
radically different implications for you than it did before you were
drawn into that first and necessary exclusive enjoyment of God as
your own pure Consciousness. Now, you begin to see the world
literally as a dream. You can see that it has no intrinsic reality
whatsoever. All that appears is only a modification of your own
Divine Nature, Brahman, the Absolute Consciousness of Existence. This
second stage of God-Realization, this condition of being returned to
the world in God, is thus a condition of profound, consuming
enjoyment of Reality in the midst of all conditions


But it is not yet realization of Reality itself. You still have to
do sadhana, even in this mad and conscious ecstasy of God. There is
yet more to be undone. In fact, the transition into stable enjoyment
of “open eyes” marks only the beginning of the sadhana of the true
devotee in the way of Understanding


One of the great paradoxes of this process, as it proceeds in
devotees of Bubba Free John, is that they maintain the essential
forms of sadhana that they engaged conventionally and subjectively
before the advent of God-Realization. The devotee in the way of
Divine Communion, then, maintains an essentially active and
sacrificial mode of sadhana, whereas the devotee in the way of
Understanding proceeds naturally through the mode of critical,
intuitive inspection


So what happens next, if you can even speak of this sublime
transition in those terms, is establishment in the second stage of
this Divine life, the realization of God as That of which all
qualities and events are the modifications only. A traditional term
that describes this enjoyment is sahaja samadhi, absorption in the
God-Condition naturally, effortlessly, easily, in all the ordinary
modes of life. This is the initial stage of radical intuition for the
devotee in the way of Understanding. While the devotee in the way of
Divine Communion is engaged in sacrificing all that arises to the
Divine Form as surrender to the Guru, the devotee in the way of
Understanding naturally engages in the critical inspection of what
arises. His sacrifice is intuitive, a form of discrimination in
consciousness. Along with this inspection, he may be given
responsibilities for natural, sacrificial service to the world
itself. Truly, now that he has yielded in consciousness his tendency
to inwardness, the devotee begins to engage in perfect service to the
world. And this service will go on forever


By now the devotee is no longer moved to enjoy Consciousness
inwardly or exclusively, but there remains the tendency to enjoy it
in itself. There is still a felt distinction between Consciousness
Itself and what arises. That distinction is what serves or even takes
the form of his active sacrifice, or his inspection. But at last that
also must be undone. The Guru does not stand present merely in the
midst of the worlds, but as the World. And the devotees natural and
consuming absorption in his Gurus Form, his continuing contemplation
of the Guru as Amrita Nadi, the very and perfectly non-exclusive
Divine, carries his sadhana beyond even sahaja samadhi


Thus begins the establishment in the final and ultimate stage or
degree of God-Realization, which involves the dissolution of all
inspection and all sacrifice that involves any sort of object
whatsoever, even the sacrifice of Consciousness in itself. In fact,
that is what the transition to this third stage of God-Realization
amounts to. It is the perfect sacrifice even of the perception of the
world as illusion, as a dream, over against the Reality of the Great
Consciousness, Brahman. Now Brahman is realized as the World, the
World is realized as Divine. There is no longer any trace of
distinction, no separation whatsoever


It is at this point that the Guru has become his devotee, in Truth
and for eternity. It is at this point that Amrita Nadi, very God,
stands present without obstruction in the form of the devotee. Bubba
calls this perfect realization bhava samadhi, absorption in God to
the point of absolute dissolution, devotion to God to the point of
perfect God-Realization. It is Parabhakti, devotion to the Guru that
has become identical to the Gurus very existence. Nothing has been
attained. The form of the World stands present in its natural and
True Condition, Consciousness as absolutely sacrificial relationship.
God is now known and lived not merely as That from which all arises,
or as That of which all is seen presently to be modification, but as
That Only. There is Only God.

There is a great paradox in this realization. The traditions of
God-knowledge characteristically attempt to realize God by cutting
away the world and all the conditions of life. They attempt to attain
perfect liberation from karmic existence, from all manifest
conditions, by excluding the world and turning to the isolated Self
of God, the Heart known without qualities. But it is only when
Consciousness has risen again perfectly from the Heart to the Light
and come to stand present as the very Life of the World, in the
realization of bhava samadhi, Amrita Nadi, the Guru in Truth, that
genuine liberation has become a mans Condition. Bubba has spoken of

dBhava samadhi is the third and natural evolution of the forms of
God-Realization. It is not supported by inspection of any kind, nor
even by a special action. It is free, independent of any associated
causes and any help. It appears when all the events of the process of
sadhana have become realization, simply, truly, obviously. It no
longer has support then. In that case everything continues to arise,
but there is no medium between the consciousness and what arises. It
ceases to identify anything other than itself. There is no force of
implication in what arises


This world and this body fall away, but that does not mean that
the consciousness enters into the “soup,” into an undifferentiated
state in which nothing arises any longer. Neither may it be said that
things do arise. That destiny, too, is not conceivable any longer,
because the seed that produces the phenomenon of the world and
involvement in it is no longer present. Thus there will no longer be
anything like this present existence in the fullness of the devotees
realization. On the other hand there will be a kind of continued,
formal existence that is generated, so-called, by a process
completely different from any we know under these conditions.
Liberation is utter liberation from all this creativity, this world
phenomenon, this binding, limiting existence. But still it does not
mean that another kind of existence that is equally formal and
individuated in some way may not appear. In other words, a kind of
heaven or God-world Condition is eternal. Neither one form of
existence nor the other may be said to be the destiny of the devotee.
Because his existence is a paradox, he is no longer present through
the medium of the force of functions that would enable such destiny
to continue to appear any longer


So all this will fall. But that does not mean a kind of
annihilation follows. All the worlds that you know by experience,
even subtle worlds, rest upon the karmic principle, the ordinary
creative principle or contraction that simultaneously produces the
ego sense, the mind, bodies, experiences. All of the possible realms
that may be experienced by a conscious being in this world are part
of the same Law that produces his earthly life. Therefore the
principle by which they all arise is undone in bhava samadhi. It does
not mean, however, that there is not another kind of existence that
is eternal, that is not part of the whole creative play or
contraction that produces ego, mind, body, desire, circumstance. It
does not mean that there is not another kind of existence. The
devotees enjoyment is simply not knowable at all under any of the
conditions in the realm of what we may experience. It is a
paradoxical enjoyment. We may not say definitely one way or the other
from the point of view of this world what his destiny is


It is not possible to enjoy any eternal world while existing in
this dimension of worlds—gross, subtle, and causal. In this
dimension it is all caused. Everything that you might experience is
caused. Once bhava samadhi becomes the enjoyment, the consciousness
is lifted out of that principle of creativity that produces the
gross, subtle, and causal realms of experience. Then you may not
discount the possibility of another kind of realized existence that
is independent of creativity, which we might call the God-world, just
to have a word to refer to that paradox of the so-called destiny of
the devotee.1

dThus, the true realization of the devotee of Bubba Free John is
unspeakable God-Realization, liberation from all forms of suffering,
limitation, and ignorance, perfect establishment in Divine existence.
The great paradox of this liberation is that it is the fruition of a
life in which all forms, from worldly life to the most prior causal
dimensions, have been embraced. They have been known and lived. But
they have been known and lived in Truth, in the context of Divine
Communion, so that the sacrifice could be real and intelligent, not
just an anxious cutting away, but recognition in consciousness and
action that no form in the world, and not even the lesser forms of
Divine Realization, is Reality itself


And there is even a greater paradox. This perfect realization is a
Grace, but it does not really occur in the moment when the devotee
realizes it consciously and stably, at the end of his course of
sadhana. The moment of perfect God-Realization occurs when you first
enter into this sacrificial relationship with Bubba, when you first
begin the life of Satsang or Divine Communion.

dThe totality of God-Realization is present in Satsang from the
beginning. So in that sense the fundamental establishment of
everybodys relationship to me, the real force that enables it to
become the principle of sadhana, is in a sense everybodys moment of
perfect realization, not all that happens afterwards. What happens
afterwards is like seeing the significance of that realization
relative to the conventions that continue. You discover the
realization that is already true in you. That is true in Satsang in
principle, from the beginning. But within the conventions of
existence, there must be responsibility for all the forms that arise.
Intuitive senses may appear, but the conventions continue to distract
until the consciousness has passed through the limitations
altogether. Therefore, all these cycles of sadhana and all the levels
of inspection are necessary and do appear in their proper sequence.
The length of time between them, however, can vary from person to
person. In general, the stages that appear in the maturity of the
disciple and then mature in the two stages of the devotee will appear
in everyones case


Until there is jnana samadhi, there is natural, submissive
distraction to everything that arises. But things must arise in that
stage also. Until they do and you can inspect them and see that they
are only the modifications of That, you can have all the intuitive
feeling about this stage that you like, but it is only when it is
coincident with inspection that the realization is stabilized.
Otherwise, the force of the convention is overwhelming


Just so, that process of inspection must go on to the point where
it falls apart. It in itself is binding, a representation of limited
realization. So until mere inspection has undone itself and is seen
not to amount to anything, until the quality of things arising is
literally known to have no force, no significance, until that
intuition is stabilized to the point where nothing arising modifies
it, until that occurs, all kinds of intuitions about the Divine
Nature of your own existence and of the world may occur, and do occur
naturally in people. But they will not have the stable and specific
force of bhava samadhi.2

dSadhana in Truth is not any kind of seeking, but living according
to the Law of sacrifice. It is living the Divine principle in the
midst of all that arises. Thus, the final paradox of the ways of
Divine Communion and Understanding is that only now, in the stable
enjoyment of absolute God-Realization, does true sadhana begin. Now
it only remains to live this perfect sadhana forever, eternally happy
as God, no matter what forms life may take, no matter what occurs.
That is all. There is only God.

d* * *d


1. Bubba Free John, “Another Talk,” a talk to the Ashram, February
3, 1976


2. Ibid.





This Way Is Fulfilled By Grace

There is only one condition under which you may realize true or
spiritual life, and that is to live in the Company of the Guru in
God. You will realize in this Divine Company the true Condition of
all of life: Satsang, Divine Communion, the enjoyment of only God. In
the process, everything you have attained, everything you hold as
yourself, and everything you identify as the world is dissolved. You
are simply awake, alive, and happy


The Epilogue is taken from Bubbas writings on the Great Process by
which men realize God. It is one of his most concise and beautiful
descriptions of the Dharma he has come to restore among men, and it
therefore stands as the concluding chapter of this book.

(1) Ego, self, or separate, defined consciousness is not an
entity, an actor. It is simply a version of the universal activity in
which every form and function of manifestation participates. It is
the activity of contraction, which shows itself as definition,
differentiation, separation, opposition, and contradiction or
dilemma. The ego is not a unique or more primitive form of this
activity. It is simply that, from the point of view of any apparent,
functioning, conscious individual, it is the root action or root form
of all actions because of its intimate and foundation relationship to
his subjectivity. When the fundamental activity, of which the ego is
a species, is undermined in the Consciousness in which all conditions
arise, not only the force of the ego, but the force of every
convention, all experiencing, every world, and even the extraordinary
assumption and knowledge of God, the force of all that arises, is
dissolved and dislocated in the prior Condition or Truth. Such is
liberation, happiness, and true God-Realization


(2) All action in all worlds, all action that is any process, and
all action that seems to be performed by any entity or person is
necessarily a form of this contraction. All action, then, realizes
the sense and condition of inherent contradiction or dilemma. And all
action is necessarily separative in the ultimate, even if relational
in intention. For this reason, all action is, in itself, binding,
limiting, an expression and an agent of suffering. Manifest life,
then, under any conditions-gross, subtle, or causal-is suffering


(3) This realization is profoundly disorienting and disturbing,
since it convicts the being of suffering, disease, and hopelessness,
and it is also profoundly liberating, since it brings an end to the
distraction by any kind of action and experience and allows the
Consciousness to rest in the intuition of its true, real, or prior


(4) The possibility of true spiritual life, or participation in
the graceful process of liberation in the prior, Divine Reality,
begins only when there is conviction in the functions of life and
intelligence of the inherent suffering of manifest existence (its
essential dilemma or self-contradictory condition) and the
fruitlessness of all destiny and action to produce liberation or true
happiness (since all action is separative, self-defining, and a
realization of limitation). This conviction is served by all of the
ordinary and extraordinary results of life and by the stream of
Teaching radiated through realized beings in the various times and
places of the worlds. When life and the Teaching coincide in their
lesson, then the individual has come to a point of availability in
the subjective and objective dimensions of his life to the
Guru-function or Grace of the Divine Reality. When the conviction of
suffering and hopelessness matures to the point of profound psychic
and psychological disorientation from the conventional theatre of
experience, ordinary or extraordinary, so that there is heightened
sensitivity to the intuition and influence of the Divine Reality,
then the individual becomes circumstantially related to the stream of
true Teaching and, at last, to the direct influence of the manifest
Guru (either in his personal form-gross, subtle, or causal-or in the
form of his servant-agents and his incarnate Community)


(5) When the Guru is properly approached, and life becomes
oriented in attention and action to the Guru, the Consciousness
ceases to intend attention and action in the conventional, binding
way. Instead, attention and action become devoted or sacrificed to
the Guru. In that event, attention and action are brought into
conformity with the Law, which is sacrifice, and the Consciousness
comes to rest in the Guru, so that, more and more, the Gurus Nature,
Form, and Condition are intuited as ones very Nature, Form, and


(6) There are two ways in which this process may develop in my
Company. Both are founded in the way I have called Satsang, or Divine
Communion. It involves, fundamentally, the discipline and surrender
of attention and every action to me, and constant receptivity to the
communication of my Presence, my Influence, my Nature, Form, and
Condition. This way is fulfilled by Grace, not by personal efforts.
But the reception of Grace depends upon the responsible fulfillment
of the Law, or sacrifice. Thus, life and attention must be wedded in
the form of every action, so that these become an intentional
counter-action to the action that is suffering. Therefore, the
devotee acts always in relationship to me, making every action, every
moment of attention, every moment of participation in the rising
worlds a service to me. Thus, his existence in manifestation becomes
intentionally (not ultimately and in fact but by intention)
no-contraction, no-self, and a relational activity of sacrifice,
surrender, or service to me. Whenever my devotee intends or moves
attention and action to fulfill the Law in my Company, he becomes
available to receive, comprehend, and realize the communication of
the Divine Reality through my service or sacrifice


(7) Some may extend this way of counter-intention or
counter-action, which is the way of dependence on Grace, in the form
of the way of Understanding. The way of Understanding is simply a
special development of the way of Divine Communion. In this way
special use is made of the faculty of critical intelligence to bring
the Consciousness to rest in its own intuition. The ability to
recognize the events and activities of suffering with profound
insight, responsibility, and discipline is the pre-requisite for this
specific development of the way of dependence on the Guru-function or
Grace-function of the Divine in the world. In the process of this way
in my Company, the whole event in which world, God, and self arise is
undermined in the radical intuition and realization of the Divine


(8) The Grace-function of the Divine appears in the human form of
the Guru from time to time. This special appearance is that of the
true Siddha, who is present not merely to inform, instruct, and
distract the suffering world, but to be a sacrifice for all who
devote themselves to him as the Divine Presence. That sacrifice is
effectively enjoyed by devotees as God-Realization in the perfect


(9) The human Guru is a special combination of the eternal Divine
Process and a human entity in the last stage of its manifestation.
The final karmas of such a human individual are benign and fit for
this service. While rested in the most intimate and profound
intuition of the Divine, the human Guru embraces living beings in a
mutual sacrifice of Divine distraction. The Guru accepts whatever is
yielded to him and, while discarding it in its appropriate realm
through his spontaneous and spiritual power of sacrifice, replaces it
in the life of his devotee with his own Condition, Form, and Nature.
The more the devotee yields in action and intelligent recognition,
the more he intuits the eternally communicated Divine in Truth


(10) I tell you this so that you will know clearly how I
comprehend my own work. The more truly you realize the forms of
sadhana served by my Company, the more you will also see the proof of
this Teaching and of my Presence.




Life or Manifest Existence Is Samadhi

(1) Life or manifest existence is samadhi. Samadhi is not some
inward state or some condition that is an alternative to life as it
presently appears. Samadhi is conscious realization of the Real
Condition of the present moment. Such samadhi is open-eyed, natural,
coincident with all events that arise. Samadhi is stable,
non-dependent, conscious intuition of the Real Condition of the
present event. It is not independent of a happy, easeful, pleasurable
human life founded in the Law of Sacrifice through love


(2) Life is samadhi, but it is conceived as dilemma by the usual
man, and dramatized as problem-solution, the search toward goals of
release. When it is consciously and radically realized as samadhi and
lived as such, life is self-purifying, self-releasing, not binding in
any sense, and the Real Principle or Consciousness is no longer bound
by events. In that case, all binding tendencies fall away
spontaneously, since they depend on dilemma and seeking. Such a one
lives freely, happily, with ease, and also with intensity of being.
He is free of all destiny, even while apparent destiny or life
continues to arise in his own case. Because he is not bound to
dis-ease, the Conscious Force of Reality becomes the present mover of
his appearance, and he is even drawn into sublime forms, after
passing from this present life, without any strategic intention of
ego, mind, or desire. His destiny may not be described, since it is
not other than the Real Condition, but that Destiny is not
annihilation. It is coincident with the Play of all kinds of


(3) This is the happy assertion of Bubba Free John. This is the
realization he serves in the theatre of his play among friends. Those
who come to him are bound to a karmic intention, founded in dilemma
and the search for release. They dramatize this search via the
subjective manipulation of ego, mind, and desire. Such is the play of
Narcissus, the complex avoidance of relationship. The drama of each
life is unique, appearing through a cycle of strategies that ritually
controls the events of life


(4) Therefore, the way Bubba Free John Teaches is to confront his
friends with his argument, both in the form of a theatre of
conditions and circumstances and the instructive lessons he gives by
means of speech. All this becomes natural reflection or non-strategic
self-observation and insight in those who yield their lives to him in
the stable, unqualified sacrifice of attention, intelligence, and


(5) This way is happy, most human, not world-denying, not
fascinating, but simple and full.



Part Three: The Complications of Sadhana


Attention and Intuition

(Prepared from Bubbas writings on the three fundamental life

(1) The three basic strategies (vital, peculiar, and solid)
represent a chronic tendency to fix attention in the gross physical
(as in the case of the “vital person”), the etheric or
emotional-sexual being (as in the case of the “peculiar person”), or
the mental (as in the case of the “solid person”). However, each case
is a play upon all three capacities of the lower life, physical,
emotional-sexual, and mental. Each strategic way is equally a mental,
emotional, and physical reaction to the dilemma found in manifest
life. It is simply that each is generated via a characteristic
emphasis upon one element


(2) The vital person, for instance, is not simply tamasic and
identified with the physical to an absolutely exclusive degree. Some
individuals may appear to be so absolutely identified with the body
that they become extremely dull and even unconscious. We would have
to describe such people as examples of the vital person, but such
people are not truly capable of doing conscious sadhana, unless they
are helped to a point of more human responsibility. The vital person
or type of strategy that appears in the company of the Ashram is one
who is active in physical, emotional, and mental ways (and can, in
the process of conscious and responsible sadhana see the
harmonization of his or her threefold lower life). It is simply that
the focus of such an individuals attention and self-image is the
gross physical, or the whole force of descending life, which moves
toward and is epitomized in the gross physical. Therefore, his mental
life tends to be dulled, or at least undeveloped in the more
intellectual sense, and his emotional-sexual being tends to reflect
gross, worldly, and physical inclinations and moods. Such people
generally do not reflect much of “refined” and aesthetic emotions,
and they phase between superficial “good guy” moods and negative
emotions of frustration, alienation, and self-pity. They generally do
appear to be physically strong and “vital.”

(3) The peculiar person is one whose principal focus of attention
and dramatization is the etheric or emotional-sexual being. Such a
one tends to physical weakness, alienation from gross functions and
requirements of life, and sympathy with egoic satisfactions in
emotional and subtle forms. The peculiar person may reflect the
apparently “higher” and aesthetic range of emotional life and he may
exhibit interests and tendencies in mystical and yogic developments
of experience. The peculiar person is, thus, in his negative reaction
to the gross physical, tending to project himself into the more
ascended or ascending ranges of experience, which move toward and are
epitomized in psychic and psychological dimensions of a subtle,
subconscious, or dream-like variety. Such people phase between
super-spiritual moods of higher fulfillment and negative emotions of
psychological alienation. They are also easily subject to illnesses
and weaknesses in the physical and emotional being. The peculiar
person is usually more capable (by tendency) of intellectual
development than the vital person, but the mind is always subject to
the more intensified emotional being


(4) The solid person is one in whom the mental or willful and
conceptual functions are the focus of life and attention. Thus, he
stands on or chronically controls the emotional, sexual, energic, and
gross physical dimensions of his being with complex mental structures
that rigidify his psyche. Such a one chronically assumes the position
of the mental in the midst of the descending and ascending pattern of
life. He is usually willful, and through the force of the navel
subdues and controls the pervasive influence of emotion, sex, and
physical experience. He phases between absolute rigidity (unreceptive
and uncreative) to varying degrees of emotional and physical
sympathy. He feels vulnerable to emotions, pain, pleasure, and
mortality, and so generally tends toward a rigid, mentally conscious
pattern of self-presentation. The solid persons principal reaction is
to the energic and emotional-sexual dimension of his being, and so he
tends to be constitutionally stronger in the physical than the
peculiar person, but he also tends to be neglectful of the


(5) Those students in the Ashram who have begun to observe the
characteristics of these three strategies (or a complex of them ) in
their own case should, in consultation with their intimates in the
Community, begin to assume conditions that serve the regaining of a
harmonious and complete functional development of the lower life,
including the gross physical, the emotional-sexual or pranic, and the
mental. By the exclusive dramatization toward which they tend, but
which include the functions they tend to exclude, the crisis of
understanding is served in them


(6) Vital, peculiar, and solid strategies evolve on the basis of
chronic tendencies of attention. Vital strategies evolve when
attention in the psycho-physical being (body, life-force, and
discursive mind) tends to rest most basically in the plane of the
body. Peculiar strategies evolve when attention in the
psycho-physical being tends to rest most basically in the plane of
the life-force. And solid strategies evolve when attention in the
psycho-physical being tends to rest most basically in the plane of
the discursive mind. In each case the principal or chronic area of
attention informs the theatre of life, and the two remaining or
secondary areas are manipulated from its point of view


(7) The affair of real student sadhana is one in which the three
planes of psycho-physical life are released from bondage to primary
contraction (dilemma, vital shock, the principal mood of fear). This
occurs through an intuitive reorientation to original and unqualified
consciousness via a process of crisis. The crisis in consciousness is
served by enforcing conditions that prevent or frustrate
dramatization, or the eccentric life of strategies (seeking in


(8) An aspect of the responsibilities given to students is
responsibility, on the basis of random and real self-observation, for
the chronic theatre of self in the form of vital, peculiar, and solid
strategies. Thus, at some point, the student assumes conditions
relative to his special or chronic forms of dramatization, which, in
general, are species of vital, peculiar, or solid strategies, or some
complex of these. Such conditions involve assuming conditions that do
not reinforce responsible control of the entire psycho-physical
being. Thus, they require a conscious balance to be realized moment
to moment between the patterns of the body, the life-force, and the
discursive mind. The responsible maintenance of such conditions,
founded in self-observation and insight, serves, and at the same time
is evidence of, the radical crisis in which the forms of attention
are relieved from the principal contraction or dilemma at the root of
conventional life. The fundamental content of this crisis is
translation of attention into intuition of the Condition of Radiance,
or Real Consciousness


(9) As soon as the responsible realization of sadhana moves from
fulfillment of the nominal conditions to consideration of ones
specific life of dramatization, there is the beginning of this kind
of maturity. You should always remember, however, that the whole
matter of conditions (whether nominal conditions or special
conditions relative to complex vital, peculiar, and solid strategies)
is secondary, a servant of that crisis in consciousness which is
understanding. The conditions are your responsibility, your
obligation, your discipline. Live them as conditions of Satsang, as
the forms of your relationship and service to me. Do not get
“involved” or “concerned” with them. Do it all simply and with
intensity, as a humorous sacrifice, not as a fascinating, obsessive,
or dismal career


(10) The conditions are not themselves a strategy by which you may
bring about consciousness as an effect or a result. In the
traditions, the conventional strategies of life are extended in the
form of methods of attention. Thus, if attention is tending to rest
in body, life-force, or mind, one is directed to turn attention,
through body, life-force, and/or mind, to some subtle or subtler
object. This is the traditional method. But it is itself a
conventional strategy, founded in dilemma


(11) In fact, Consciousness, or the Divine Conscious-Light, is not
an object, and it may not be known over against the ego or defined
self. Thus, the sadhana of understanding does not involve the
re-direction of attention, from a gross to a subtle plane, but the
confounding and radical dissolution of attention itself. When there
is this radical turnabout, it is not that attention has been
projected upon higher objects, closer to some point of creative
origination, but it has been dissolved or comprehended in its prior
Condition, which may neither be identified with nor differentiated
from any plane or object-gross, subtle, causal, or transcendent


(12) Therefore, it is true, as you will see, that you experience
and dramatize life as a chronic limitation via a specific orientation
of attention. But the way of Understanding is not a remedy, a
strategy of attention whereby you may project yourself into some
alternative field of perception and so be saved or realized as a
result. Rather, the sadhana of understanding is one in which you
confront the Guru and, in response to his argument, submit or
sacrifice to him in the form of the conditions of life he demands of
you. That confrontation is itself a disarming crisis, not a
communication of arms for personal spiritual battle. It is not crisis
in the form of a breakdown, but in the form of real self-observation
and insight. Therefore, the life of conditions is not the crisis, but
it is itself evidence of true hearing, in which manifest attention
yields to the intuition of Prior Happiness. Thus, to accept the Gurus
conditions is itself an act founded in understanding, or
comprehension of his argument. Such a way of life already rests in
intuitive sympathy with ones Prior or Real Condition. And to live
with such sympathy under these conditions manifests as spontaneously
intensifying crisis or perfection of that same sympathy. Such a one
sees at first that he is happy, and at last that he is only happy. In
such a case, all the forms of attention are seen to realize only God,
the Condition of unqualified Radiance or Conscious Bliss.



Part Two: The Complications of Sadhana


On Sexuality

(1) The confinement of sexuality to conscious play in relationship
(rather than its spurious indulgence or its suppression, which, in
both cases, is a private, non-relational, exclusive exercise) creates
a condition under which you may observe and surrender your tendencies
relative to the force of sexuality, even to the force of life


(2) Orgasm is the principle when seeking is pursued in the form of
sexuality. Because the ordinary man lives with a sense of opposition
or separation, interpreting life not as enjoyment but as obsessive
desire, he seeks release. He looks for a momentary release through
the contemplation of a distraction, a fascination powerful enough to
absorb him. When his search is conducted through the functional path
of sexuality, release is sought through orgasm via fascination with
sexual objects which he (or she) defines and feels in his own body or
that of another. Physically, he distracts himself in the whole
“sex-game-promiscuity” number. He empties and breaks the circle of
energy, by using orgasm to create the status of relief or emptiness,
emptied of the motivating sense of desire. Sex for the usual man is
not founded in enjoyment but desire. Thus, it attains momentary
emptiness, or release from desire (or release from the energy
sufficient to feel desire, which is pressure created by contraction),
rather than constant or prolonged enjoyment, whose characteristic is


(3) Dilemma is the sense of obstructed enjoyment or attenuated
happiness. Our reaction to felt dilemma is desire, the search. And
the search is always toward the attainment of the goal of release
from desire itself in a restored sense of enjoyment. But the
enjoyment attained or acquired by seeking is gotten by emptying,
suppressing, or transcending the life-functions, the mechanism of
desire. Therefore, it is enjoyment of a negative or exclusive kind,
in which Truth is not realized as Consciousness but identified with
some change of state


(4) Celibacy is another way to dramatize this whole problem of
sexuality approached from the point of view of dilemma. Sexuality
represents a problem to most individuals. Therefore, it is ultimately
not enjoyable, not fun, not intimate and relational, but private and
separative, so that celibacy seems to represent an alternative to
both sexuality and self-indulgence. It is generally assumed as a way
of getting free of sexuality, and it is experienced as a complex and
even neurotic self-confinement, resulting in separation. No one wants
to be celibate. It is natural to be sexual. But the failure of sexual
life and life itself makes celibacy seem like a real alternative


(5) In addition to celibacy and self-indulgence, there are all
sorts of sophisticated structures of seeking built around the
principle of sexuality. There are all sorts of schemes for
psychiatric and transcendent realization via sexuality by means of
suppression, manipulation, or sublimation of the sex-force. But for
one who is living in Satsang, which is prior Enjoyment, life has
become conscious enjoyment, and there is no exclusive or fixed
attention on either sexuality or orgasm as remedy. In such a case,
sexuality evens out, and naturally falls into a condition which is
enjoyable, natural, and simple, without self-consciousness.
Ultimately, in the maturing devotee, sexuality becomes a “yoga,” a
form of conscious conductivity, a Divine Event. All of this arises
naturally, spontaneously, when attention is drawn into the condition
of relationship itself and is not exclusively fixated on sexuality or
the phenomena of release


(6) For those in the Ashram, seeking via sexuality is as
inappropriate as all other forms of the search. A true sexual
relationship or relational realization of sexuality will develop over
a period of time in its natural, appropriate form if one is otherwise
founded in the true Principle of sadhana which is Satsang


(7) Masturbation is a solitary activity. It is a representation in
graphic form of the avoidance of relationship through sexuality, and
should not be indulged but understood as an urge. The compulsive
desire comes from confinement to vital contraction, or vital shock,
the living of obstruction. If there is no contraction, no avoidance,
masturbation is not felt to be a need. Then the conductivity of life
is constant, and the play of sexuality is generated entirely and only
as a play in specific relationship with another. If as a devotee this
implies no orgasms for a year or more, because no partner has
appeared, then merely understand and surrender the power of this


(8) No one in the Ashram should indulge the preference for no-sex
and the strategy of celibacy. That is not necessary for spiritual
life. It is only a mechanical or functional attainment at best and
has no necessary relationship to Truth. The life-process is a
structure of polarization in an order descending and ascending. Each
organism must master its polarization to what is functionally below
it, establish and intensify its polarization to what is functionally
above it, and realize or maintain its polarization with what is
functionally at its own level. Thus, we must remain sexual beings in
relationship, while at the same time we enjoy true functional
relationship with what is apparently above and below. This is the law
of function. If we abandon it, we at least become obsolete in the
areas wherein we abandon it. But whether we abandon or realize
ourselves in the polarized (positive-negative, male-female,
descending-ascending, active-passive, etc.) play of functions has
nothing whatever to do with Truth. Truth is not above, below, within,
or without. It is of a radical nature, the process of Consciousness


(9) Sexual beings are polarized to their opposites. Thus, we have
the play of male and female in the form of various personal and
social roles. It is a creative play, and the roles need not become
fixed, but the polarization must remain if life is to animate the
human game. Therefore, in general, homosexuality must be understood
either as an aberration, like masturbation, in which one turns on
oneself as an object (even ones own pleasure as an object) and so
avoids the complications of polarized behavior, or else as an attempt
to dramatize the role usually enjoyed by ones natural polar opposite.
In the latter case one flees ones natural polar role because of some
trauma or other that makes ones natural role too frightening or ones
natural or polar opposite too threatening. One may be homosexual in
order to avoid ones enactment of the role of male or female, or to
dramatize the opposite role, or else to avoid sexual contact with the
polar opposite while still experiencing sexual release through use of
the secondary possibilities offered by a partner of ones own sex


(10) Homosexuality, then, is essentially an aberrated activity
generated because of traumas related to the fulfillment of natural
and polarized sexual roles. It feeds on vital shock. There may be
occasional rare cases in which an individual is not functionally
polarized in the direction of the natural sexual role to which he or
she seems bodily to be fitted. Such would be the case of one who is
organically developed in such a way as to be inclined toward the
fulfillment of the energy role of the apparently opposite sex. Others
may be so strongly identified with the functional condition of a
subtler and oppositely polarized state (in some dimension above, such
as the etheric) that they tend to take on mannerisms and the
qualities and urges of the opposite role on the gross physical level.
Thus, there are rare cases of genuine homosexuality, in which the
natural polarization of sexual play is engaged but by individuals of
the same apparent sex, or of the opposite sex (but the roles played
by each may be the apparent opposite of their visible gender)


(11) Nevertheless, it is not suggested that homosexuals in the
Ashram abandon their sexual life, since homosexuality does not
represent any greater obstruction to a harmonious and functional life
than the ordinary narcissistic sexuality of heterosexuals. But the
same discipline is given to all. The homosexual must begin to
surrender the urges and resistances represented by his or her
sexuality in a relationship with a single partner, based upon the
same conditions as are described for a heterosexual relationship


(12) In general, the urge to homosexuality should be simply
understood, like masturbation, and the self-degrading or weakening
fear at its core undone, so that the play of sexuality may be
released into its natural form of polarity


(13) Our human realization requires passage through the discipline
of psycho-physical polarization, and, therefore, it also requires
sexual mastery in the form of sexual fulfillment. One who does
sadhana under the conditions of his sexuality and essentially
polarized functional nature discovers that even sexuality is
self-transcending. Union is equanimity (not stasis, emptiness,
solidity, rigidity, or immobility, but resonance, harmony, and
intensity). Such equanimity is the meaning of the traditional term
“samadhi.” The orgasm, like any other specific attainment, is at best
temporary realization of fulfillment or equanimity (whereas, in
general, it is usually only the experience of temporary stasis,
emptiness, or non-desire). But one who is sensitive to his own
process of existence sees that equanimity, or union, is his condition
always and already. Equanimity is not the condition realized upon
release or the fulfillment of a desire. Rather, it is the prior
condition of all relationship. It is the quality of enjoyment or
happiness itself


(14) Some exercise themselves sexually, according to the principle
of desire (search in dilemma), in order to attain samadhi, or
equanimity, or union. Therefore, they make the way of
self-exploitation and orgasm appear to be a way to God (just as
others make the way of non-self-exploitation and sexual sublimation
or retention of sex-force appear to be a way to God). But it is clear
in the case of real understanding that samadhi, equanimity, or union
is the very and prior condition of all relationship. Therefore,
samadhi, equanimity, or union is not attained. It is not grasped by
manipulation of any functional energy or process, high or low.
Rather, it is realized to be always, already, radically, and thus
presently the case. Relationship itself is the union. Existence
itself is enjoyment or conscious and unqualified happiness. Such is
the knowledge of one who understands, and in this understanding he is
free of dilemma, vital shock, seeking, the whole force of dramatized
desire, and the distractions of every kind of goal, high or low.

(15) As long as vital shock, dilemma, and the theatre of separate
and separative self, mind, and desire remain as the motivating core
of an individuals life, he is expected to do sadhana under conditions
that serve the conscious process in his own case. Therefore, devotees
in the Ashram are expected to maintain themselves sexually within the
framework of an essentially conventional and single heterosexual or,
if need be, homosexual relationship. All other forms of sexual play
would be, fundamentally, a dramatization in them, preventing
self-observation, insight, and conscious understanding


(16) It is only in the perfect devotee that it has become clear
that the realization of polarized life is not orgasm (release and
stasis or emptiness) but enjoyment (unqualified relationship,
equanimity, or unreasonable happiness). Therefore, the perfect
devotee may play the polarized and even sexual game of human life
with humor and in freedom. And he does this without manipulating sex
itself, suppressing it in order to attain Truth (as release) or
exploiting it in order to attain release (as Truth). What is either
exploited or suppressed ceases to be a seat of consciousness, and so
it reappears in other or renewed forms. Such is the karmic principle
of rebirth. But what is known in Truth becomes itself Divine
(non-karmic) and no longer binds. Such is the Principle of the human
freedom of the man of understanding.



Part Two: The Complications of Sadhana


On Love-Desire

from a talk given on February 15, 1976

(1) There is a vast difference between eroticism, the conventional
obsessiveness that some couples feel for one another, and the real
process of love-desire which may serve a non-conventional
understanding of sexuality. Love-desire is a play of every
sexually-oriented couple, of every man-woman relationship, of every
kind of sexual relationship. Love and desire are the implications of
these unions


(2) Most conventional relationships are a play upon the failure of
either love or desire. Many couples are very “horny” for one another,
always wanting to make it with one another, basically because of the
failure of love. The more love fails, the more erotic they become.
They are really very cool toward one another, but also very horny at
the same time. Then there are other couples in whom there is the
failure of desire. In them there is a kind of conventional
exploitation of the feeling of love. They are frigid, impotent, and
sexless, but always holding hands and kissing and being very cozy
with one another. Their obsession is the result of the failure of


(3) The true and useful form of mutual relationship that includes
sexuality is one in which both love and desire are positively
present. In that case there is not the usual erotic motivation to
exploit sex with one another. It is undone through love. On the other
hand, there is not the similarly conventional motivation to hold
hands and be children with one another. That motivation is undone
through the force of desire


(4) Where there is the full complement of love and desire in a
relationship, there is not the seedy, erotic inclination to exploit
one another all the time, nor is there the kind of distance where
there is no love. Then, every occasion of intimacy that includes
sexuality is creative, because there is no mind, no imagery. There
isnt the sense that you can succeed at it. When you are horny, you
know you can succeed in sexual relations, because you are basically
obsessed by the exclusive principle of desire


(5) Where there is both fullness of love and fullness of desire,
you do not have the feeling that you are going to succeed at it. You
do not even have the feeling that you can necessarily have the orgasm
on the occasion of lovemaking. Orgasm becomes a possibility as the
intimacy is played out in every particular occasion. And such an
occasion is very new, then, and something that human beings are
generally not familiar with. Human beings are generally familiar with
the exclusive forms of loving or the exclusive forms of desiring, in
which the complement is suppressed. The exclusivity is what creates
the energy around desiring or eroticism or loving or just tacky,
airy-fairy emotionalism. Where there is the fullness of love-desire,
there is no face. There is real attention, real energy, real emotion,
real fullness, without the usual content


(6) Where both elements of the living process of love-desire are
not completely present, you become involved in a conventional
orientation to one another, one of these two kinds that I have just
described. Where both elements are present, there is a natural
commitment to one another that is not a matter of discipline and
decision and “I wont make love with anyone else, just with you” and
all that sort of stuff. None of those decisions come into play. There
is a natural orientation to one another, and therefore, there are
occasions of sexual intimacy which create their own immediate destiny
through the play of sex but which have no guarantees beforehand


(7) Where there is so much love, desire does not become erotic.
Where there is so much desire, love does not become twinkle. Where
both are active, where there is love-desire in a relationship, there
is the motive of real play, and in that case you may begin to grasp
the esoteric aspects of the Dharma relative to sexuality. But as long
as you have only an exclusive desire relationship with your partner,
or an exclusive love relationship, you will never grasp the Teaching
relative to sexuality. You will continue to be a random, mediocre
person, compromisable by the influence of every other human being who
represents sexuality and emotion in some form to you


(8) Where there is love-desire, there is natural commitment,
natural attention, fullness of presence with one another, not the
usual hominess and obsessiveness and twinkiness of a conventional
relationship. On the other hand, most relationships are very
conventional, a play upon the suppression of either love or desire.
You must see, in the case of your marriages, how you are
consistently, strategically involved in the suppression of one or
another element of the life union. You must ultimately become
responsible to the point where love-desire is the form of your
connection with your lover. Then you may understand something about
the higher, esoteric nature of the sexual process, which I have
described to some recently and which most of you will have some
contact with eventually


(9) There is nothing more disturbing than a continuous sexual
contact in which there is no love, in which there is just the
conventional and verbal acknowledgment of loving. But you know when
you are loved by someone. When the force of love and desire is
presented to you through someone, you are profoundly relieved of your
conventional mind. And if you truly respond to it through both love
and desire in yourself, that response is the grounds for a real


(10) Most marriages, though, are just based on either eroticism or
twinkle emotionalism. They are agreements, cults, that support the
suppression of one or another of these two elements of love and
desire. If your marriage is of that kind, and I am certain that all
your marriages are of that kind to some degree, then you must
understand that play and why you got married-in other words, what the
cult is between you. And you must ultimately come to the point where
the fullness of love-desire is the form of your play with one
another. If it cannot be, then either you will naturally divorce one
another eventually, or you will just submit to that limitation and
not fully realize yourself in sexual terms


(11) DEVOTEE: Bubba, I have noticed that when there is real
love-desire, that in itself is the fulfillment. There is no movement
towards any satisfaction because love-desire is the total fulfillment
at that moment


(12) BUBBA: The sexual play is not satisfying except to the erotic
mind. Where there is love-desire, nothing changes through the vehicle
of sexual play. Where there is love-desire between two people, the
orgasm does not produce anything significant. The exercise with one
another does not change anything. The condition of their relationship
is their enjoyment, and it is constant. The ritual of sexuality does
not change it at all. Therefore, only such people, who are free of
the conventional ritual of sexuality that exhausts the life-force,
may begin to understand higher responsibility relative to the sexual


(13) So where there is genuine love-desire between two people,
they are very full, very happy, not always agitated by one another,
not always getting horny and exclusive. The conventional motive to
sexuality is completely eliminated where there is love with desire.
But you are all used to desire without love. You have all seen the
magazines and the movies and been turned on. You know what desire is
without love, and it is the principle of your sexuality. That is why
you get turned on, that is why you respond to eroticisms. And that is
why you require your marriages to be erotic, because you depend on
that loveless connection through which you may have the orgasm and
return to this sense of emptiness. But where you love one another as
well as desire one another, the connection is constant. It is always
a play


(14) Where there is the natural relationship of love-desire, there
is also sex play, not only the actual, typical sexual play that you
all know about. But the life drama between two people is all sexual
play. It is all full of energy. It all brings energy into being.
Where there is love-desire between two people, it continually awakens
the life-force in them and makes them very full. And occasionally, at
random, they engage in actual sexual relations, but not


(15) But you are all obsessed with sex. It is all pornographic.
Pornography is desire without love. It is the specimen of movement
without opening. And you are all involved in this eroticism. You are
obsessed with no-love. The significance of it is not the obsession
with desire and sexuality itself, but the obsession with no-love that
promotes such an involvement. As long as love is not the principle of
your presence in the world, you are completely limited to the force
of desiring, not only of sexual desiring, but of all desiring. All
your life is desiring, without love. It excludes love. It is based on
no-love. It depends on no-love. And therefore everything you are
doing reinforces no-love. But where there is love, then the pattern
of desiring in the world becomes benign and intelligent, no longer a
matter of suffering. Then at least there is the possibility of the
conscious process, the sacrificial process, of Divine Realization


(16) As long as you are simply obsessed with desire and therefore
with no-love, there is no realization, there is no sadhana. And there
is great pain in a life obsessed with desire and its fulfillment
without love. Where there is love there is no obsession. All
obsessions fall where there is love. And there is no hominess in
love. There is great fullness, and all sexual play is fulfilled in
the moment without mind. If you are “making love” and also thinking
or imagining at the same time, there is no love. Where there is felt
love with your lover, there is no pornography. And this is the only
form in which sexuality has any value. Sexuality without love is
terrible. None of you should engage in sexual intimacy without
love-desire. Do not respond to the exclusive motive in yourself that
depends upon the suppression of one or the other of these two. Become
sensitive to it and develop your intimate relationships to the point
where they are realized in this way. And only then engage your
intimacy with one another, not at any other time. Never! That is the
discipline of marriage. Marriage is not the excuse to exploit your
tendencies in a way that society forgives or accepts. The private
ritual is not the thing served by marriage, certainly not in this

(17) When people love and desire one another, they cease to be
promiscuous. People are obsessively involved with trying to control
their promiscuity. They get married, but still they want to make it
with other people. They play around, and they do not actually do it a
lot of the time, but they feel it, they want it, and they dramatize
it just short of sex. There is no real way to control promiscuity.
Promiscuity is naturally undermined where there is love and desire.
And where two people truly love and desire one another, they do not
have to make a cult with one another. They do not have to wonder
obsessively if their partner wants other people and is fooling
around. That concern has nothing whatever to do with their
relationship. It is completely absent, and yet without willful
discipline. The only discipline is that fullness. Satsang is the
discipline, not all the things by which you are motivated to control
yourself. In terms of spiritual life this is true


(18) Just so, in terms of your intimate life, it is the force of
love-desire that economizes the life process and frees it from its
conventional obsessions. If that force is not there, then your
marriage is insane. It is just a porno movie or an intimate, little
hand-holding quietude. Where there is love-desire, there is great
energy between people, and such couples intensify one another
constantly. They are moved always to love one another and to express
their love for one another. They do not feel self-conscious about

(19) Such unions are very rare. Most people marry for erotic
reasons. Some people, who are not particularly oriented to sex, marry
for so-called love reasons, on the basis of the aesthetic emotion of
loving, without force. But people who love and desire one another are
involved in the most intimate and forceful kind of play. In such
people the sexual process may be a matter of instruction at some
point, so that it realizes its higher purpose and not the
conventional one of release


(20) So you must transform your marriages. If you are not married,
you must transform your sexual possibility and be free of eroticism,
impotence, and frigidity. That is the way it seems to me!

(21) DEVOTEE: If the life force is present, then you can truly be
a celibate in that sense. You do not have to be married, because you
are available to all beings


(22) BUBBA: Yes, but there is no call to conventional celibacy.
Theres no genuine motive for actually cutting off the sex process.
That is bullshit. Nevertheless, all of those who are truly sexual in
their orientation are celibates, because they are not involved in the
conventional use of sexuality. Their sexuality does not serve their
emptiness, their descended fixation in the body. They are always
returning the force of life, sacrificing it to its Source. And their
relationship to one another is self-intensifying, in other words,
spontaneously intensifying. Their sexual relations are pure, not pure
by being modest, but pure by being very forceful, very energetic,
even very physical. They do not serve the ritual of limitation


(23) DEVOTEE: This whole culture, because of its orientation,
tends to associate the words “celibate” and “ascetic” with being
empty, but the two words truly mean full


(24) BUBBA: Right. Genuine celibacy is sexuality in Truth. It is
the realization of your human functions in Truth. That realization
does not involve separating yourself from others and becoming
literally celibate, having no sex connection, but rather it involves
fulfilling your sexual obligation. You are obliged, not by society,
but by your body. Your body obliges you to be sexual and human.
Therefore, you must realize your sexuality. You are involved in it in
any case, whether or not you want to shut it off or exploit it. And
so everyone is obliged to realize his functions in Truth


(25) Paradoxically, there is no realization without celibacy.
However, celibacy must be understood in non-conventional terms. So
the pure celibate is also the greatest dancer, the greatest lover,
because he has realized the play of life in Truth, and it does not
surrender him to bondage, to limitation. Only when you begin to love
one another as well as desire one another in your intimacies do you
begin to enjoy in human terms the kind of fullness that I am
describing. All your other strategies are reactions to your
obsessions. And obsessions in most cases are obsessions with desire
to the exclusion of love


(26) Where there is desire there is not any real attention, there
is obsession, scattering of the mind, no real concentration of force,
no love, only all kinds of negative emotions. So people have sex for
very negative reasons. They are beating one another with sex, killing
one another with it. It is a kind of ritual murder in which the woman
gets killed and the man kills her, or the man gets killed and she
kills him, and they get eaten, and all of that. Most sexuality is
very crude, very gross, very obsessive, and belongs to the whole
realm of the orientation to the body idea


(27) DEVOTEE: What do you mean, though, when you say that the man
should overwhelm the woman?

(28) BUBBA: Where there is love-desire, then each individual
engages in the characteristic form that his or her birth implies. And
so the woman is negative or passive in the body, and the male is
positive and oriented toward the physical. So the male penetrates the
woman. Women should not become men, aggressive in the way that men
are, though they can be very active sexually. The male overwhelms the
female, but in doing that he is overwhelmed by the female. The woman
is Shakti to her husband. The more the male penetrates the female,
the more overwhelmed he is with force, the more undone he is in the
body. Not the other way around, which is the way it works out through
the conventional exercise


(29) The usual sex act is not just the overwhelming of the woman
by the male, but the degrading of the woman, her murder, her
submission. And it is all very cool, as you must have observed. But
the true play of sexuality is full of energy, full of force, full of
movement, full of love. It overwhelms both individuals. It is the
medium of the elimination of conflict in the life affair. Sexuality
as it is played out conventionally is an exploitation of conflict.
But the real sexual union undermines all conflict, overwhelms both
individuals, restores them both to a contemplative state


(30) But you all use your intimacies in conventional ways, to
exploit what you are obsessed with and to exclude what you cannot
enjoy. So your sexuality is dead. It is self-meditation. It relieves
nothing, except temporarily perhaps some relief in the lower body.
You are left feeling empty when you exploit intimacy in this way.
Where there is genuine intimacy, the real force of love and desire,
then there is great energy even in sexual play. There is no sense at
all of emptiness, separation, loss, even through the orgasm. None.
You are left with the same sense that you enjoyed before you played
with one another


(31) Well, if your intimacies, your marriages, are not of this
kind, then keep it in your pants until you get it straight! Require
this participation of one another, and when it is alive, then you can
play with one another, but not otherwise. Real sexual intimacy
between individuals in the Ashram is a play with me.



Part Three: The Complications of Sadhana


Becoming Human

The crucial moment in the sadhana of the student is the awakening
of real enquiry, as Bubba has described it in earlier chapters of
this section, “The Student and the Teaching,” and “Formal Satsang and
Real Meditation.” That is when the conscious process becomes itself a
matter of responsibility from moment to moment, rather than a random
and spontaneous affair generated sheerly by the Grace of the Guru


The process of understanding depends upon radical insight into the
very activity of Narcissus as the mechanics of your own life. When
you have inspected and become responsible for all the superficial
forms of your suffering, all your gross turning away and your
personal “face” and self-imagery, you no longer have any distractions
or consolations to keep you from noticing what you are always doing
at the very core of it all. This core activity is simple contraction,
self-definition, the creation of limitation and suffering. When even
this is penetrated by real observation, then understanding has truly
come forward in mind and life. This all-embracing and penetrating
intelligence is now available to you more or less constantly, and the
period of real enquiry begins. By continually enquiring of yourself,
“Avoiding relationship?” you resort to that intelligence, that space
and clarity and humor, more and more steadily, not only in meditation
with the Guru, but also in life. It is at this time that the
conscious process of understanding and the radical Condition of
Satsang or Divine Communion become one and the same, the very Ground
of your own intelligence


This period of real enquiry is the mature stage of student
sadhana. During this time you are constantly and ecstatically
becoming responsible in consciousness for what you previously
disciplined, in the first stage of the way of Divine Communion,
through sacrificial action. The whole arena of money, food, and sex,
the realm of gross suffering that has been your obsession in
ignorance for untold eons, now comes under the intelligent and
humorous discipline of Consciousness itself, through the Grace of the
Guru. Through enquiry you are continually returning to his Presence
at the core of your own Conscious Nature, and thus living all these
once profoundly disturbing functions from the unperturbed point of
view of Truth itself. It is not a matter of becoming
perfect—enquiry continues to mature beyond even this
stage—but in a very basic way, you become happy in the midst of
all the things that used to keep you miserable. You become human.

(1) Human beings are still in the midst of an adventure of
standing up. It may have been done for many thousands or millions of
years by something like a human being, but the full stretch into the
totally extended spinal position is not what we do as a continuous
daily affair. We are still bending over, still looking in the navel,
still looking in the pond for our insight, our resources, our
existence, our life. We are not standing up and appearing to one
another through our human faculties. Thus, in general, truly human
existence has not appeared in this world as yet, even though entities
who possess the functions of humanity have appeared


(2) Truly human life has been, up to now, only a possibility. As
an activity, it has not been realized. The human being is future
time. This period of time is still the experiment, the passage beyond
mere vitality—that endlessly expanding, life-upon-life
number—into a human, conscious possibility. Therefore, by
meeting with one another in this way, we go beyond the limitations
automatically assumed because we have not completed this experiment,
and we serve conscious life in human form


(3) And it is difficult. It requires real heat, real energy, real
attention, real understanding, real responsibility. There is a great
deal of reluctance to do it, because we would rather be amoebic. But
we do not have that choice. We act as if we have the choice to be
animals, but we do not have any such choice. Choose to be an animal
and you are a lunatic. You go crazy immediately. We do not really
have that option, yet our own failure is continually goading us to
become inhuman. So even though we are reluctant, we have the
obligation to realize ourselves as we are, as the entity we are in
this form. Truly we have the eminent possibility to do it, to succeed
at it, if we can use that kind of language, because of the Dharma and
the kind of sadhana that it requires


(4) DEVOTEE: It is our refusal to stand upright. The realization
that seems to be implied or feared is mortality, even though in truth
that may not be so. But at least in our present form, that
straightening up is the realization of mortality in this form

(5) BUBBA: It seems to be the realization of mortality because the
vital is asleep. The vital is not a conscious dimension, and vital
beings are not conscious beings essentially. The dimension of
consciousness is in them but the faculties through which it operates
are lunar, subconscious, unconscious fundamentally. And to become
human is more than keeping your spine straight like a yogi, although
it is also standing up, extending the spine. It involves becoming
conscious in the specific ways for which we have the capacity


(6) In order to become human, then, you must become conscious of
the limitations that existence in a world of this kind represents. So
there seems to be the threat of mortality implied in the possibility
of consciousness itself. But as soon as we enjoy our truly conscious
state we also pass into the intuitive realization of an entirely
different dimension that has nothing in itself and exclusively to do
with appearing in a world, in a form with, you know, ten or twelve
faculties. After passing through the obligation of this consciousness
and assuming in practice a fundamentally mortal existence we come to
the intuitive realization of That which we truly are, That which the
world truly is, and it is not mortal. It is not anything. It is that
absolute, Conscious Light that manifests all forms and that we
functionally represent without form itself being the principle and
end of our existence


(7) It is a threatening and very daring thing to do to become
human. The human is a middle term between what is merely manifest and
solid and moving and what is absolute and transcendent and perfect.
We must go through that middle term. It is a very daring thing to do,
but we are built to do it. We are full of the impulse to do it, and
in fact, even apart from the impulse, we do not have any choice but
to do it. The choice to do anything else involves a kind of suffering
that we will not permit, that we will not endure, that we try to
transcend, undo, pass beyond. But, in general, so-called human beings
try to pass beyond that suffering through artifices that are not
Truth—obsessions, consolations, pleasures, the media of the
vital itself, most generally, or the media of some other process of
energy above the vital, and even above the human, which we then call
God or Truth or heaven


(8) Thus, through the artifices of the usual search, we bypass the
obligation of the human and do not make it the medium of our
realization, opting instead for consolations above and below it. The
search as it has been generated among men is not one that has made
them human. After thousands of years of all kinds of spiritual and
religious and practical designs among men, we have not seen the
appearance of human beings. We still have only the daily news,
because the essential content of our lives is the same old shit that
has been the news for centuries. So an entirely other principle than
has been communicated through the media of the search and the usual
round of so-called human life must be realized. It is the function of
the Dharma to communicate that possibility, and it is the function of
sadhana to implement it.34d

* * *d


34. Bubba Free John, “Becoming Human,” a talk to the Ashram,
December 17, 1974.



Part Three: The Complications of Sadhana


The Mechanical Solutions Must Become Obsolete

This excerpt from a Talk by Bubba Free John is a beautiful
presentation of the relationship that exists between the conventional
sadhana of the student stage and the foundation principle of
Communion with the Divine through the Guru. This talk also
illustrates Bubbas way of dealing with people in his Company, turning
every event into a demonstration of the living Teaching


While Bubba was talking about other things, a young woman near him
began to scream and manifest other forms of kriyas, or the
spontaneous signs of the movement of the life-force. On another
occasion, or for another person, it may have been perfectly
appropriate to allow these phenomena to run their course. But in this
individuals case it was a dramatization. Bubba spoke to her about it
and went on to talk to other devotees about their own characteristic
strategies in life.

(1) You have to relate to me through this body. Relax this body. .
. . You must become completely present in the body with me. Do you
know what Im talking about? As soon as you do this, you will discover
that the pain in the neck goes away. I guarantee it. But I leave this
pain with you as a test, because Im not going to free you from it
until you become responsible


(2) The peculiar type does not want to rest in the body. He has a
strong reaction to vital, gross life and wants to project himself
into an emotional and subtle state, a kind of irrational state that
excludes the body. But rather than indulging or disciplining this
impulse, you must see its root, see the contraction in the vital
life, and relate to me through your emotion. Do not relate to me by
being cool and trying not to be hysterical, but relate to me with
feeling, through the body. You must relate to me emotionally through
the body. Then these solutions that appear in your psyche will not
have such force. The discipline I give you is not to suppress that
impulse, but to understand its root and to approach me in a way that
makes it obsolete. When you relate to me with emotion and with the
body, this peculiar solution becomes unnecessary


(3) DEVOTEE: Bubba, what is real emotion?

(4) BUBBA: Real emotion is a profound fullness of feeling that
includes the body. It is not a rejection of the body. It is not a
breakdown. Hysteria is a kind of recoil, a rhythmic exclusion,
through emotion, of the sense of the body. When you can be emotional
in the body, through the body, then the recoil of emotion, as an
exclusive and special solution, becomes obsolete. It is not
necessary. Typically, enthusiastic religious groups exploit this
solution. They get hysterical, roll around, and experience something
like kriyas. And because they become involved in this emotional
recoil, this peculiar solution, they think that they are somehow
closer to spiritual life, that they are involved in a spiritual
process. But in fact, it is not a spiritual process at all. It is a
special kind of solution that you must become responsible for


(5) DEVOTEE: Bubba, I dont understand


(6) BUBBA: Real emotion is the natural, felt concentration upon
the Guru, upon the Divine, with great feeling, bodily feeling, bodily
emotion, love, or expansiveness


(7) DEVOTEE: It isnt a negative thing, then, is it?

(8) BUBBA: It is not negative at all. All negative emotion is
contraction. There is a single positive emotion called love, or
devotion, sacrifice of self, which is a kind of radiance through ones
bodily life, which rests in the emotions or in the heart. And it does
not involve hysteria or breakdown. Yet it is not “cool” either. It is
a fullness of involvement that turns you out from


(9) There can at times be weeping and so forth, but in general the
hysteria that carries with it kriyas and collapse and weakness is an
expression of the peculiar solution, and it weakens you because that
is its purpose, to get you out of contact with the vital demand.
However, the obligation of sadhana is to turn to me through the body.
Turn to me in my body. And maintain your emotional and life contact
with me constantly. That is the form of this sacrifice. The more your
approach to me is through love, with full attention, through the
body, in living terms—since I am here—the more obsolete
this peculiar solution, this hysteria, becomes. Now it is a
discipline, certainly, but it is a higher discipline than cutting it
off and being solid about it, preventing this hysteria and being on
top of it all the time


(10) The solid person must also first get in touch with the
emotional life, the emotional-sexual life, because he rejects that in
itself and certainly does not engage in hysteria. Basically, he is
preventing hysteria. So he must contact the whole force of emotion
that fills his being, not in its negative and neurotic forms, but in
the sacrificial life that is love, full contemplation of the Guru,
and participation in life then on that principle


(11) The vital person breaks out the other end into the purely
vital realm and excludes emotion, the fullness of feeling or the
dimension of the heart, by being sort of cool and physical and
enthusiastic and untouchable, not in the same way as the solid, who
stays “cool” through intellectual, heady attitudes and roles, but by
being the sort of physical, good guy who loves the body and loves
life and all that. And nobody notices how cool he is or she is and
that basically he or she is excluding the whole dimension of emotion,
and also the whole dimension of the responsible mind, by attachment
to sexual and physical and vital kinds of appearance. Thats his or
her kind of hysteria


(12) Real sadhana begins only when you approach me through the
mind and the emotion and the body constantly, through the act of
loving contemplation or service, with the full feeling in the body in
which the whole mind participates, the whole force of emotion
participates, the whole body and nervous system participate. That is
the approach of the devotee. In such a one, the eternal communication
of the Divine is noticeable. But only in such a one. Everyone else is
missing the point, missing the mark, failing to perceive that eternal
communication because of involvements with solutions that appear
within the mechanics of existence


(13) The peculiar type is very emotional. He can be emotional at
the drop of a hat. However, all the emotion is directed toward this
recoil of life, so emotion is tending toward hysteria always. Thus,
in the body the peculiar is very weak and fragile. You can see the
solid types solidity more clearly relative to emotional rather than
physical life. The solid is very often physically in fairly good
shape and seems able to control and manage the physical life because
he is one step removed from it. The solid person is extremely mental
and in his coolness you see the absence of emotional force, not in
complications relative to the physical body. His strategy appears
relative to the emotional force. In every case it is a matter of real
participation in the three dimensions of functional life—mind,
emotion, and physical being. All three must be concentrated in a
single force of approach to me. Then these strategies become obsolete
over time, but not because something has been done to them
especially. They become obsolete in that natural attention


(14) DEVOTEE: Whenever I get into the emotional aspect of my life,
a very deep, deep sadness comes over me


(15) BUBBA: That sadness is a demonstration of the solidity that
you live with. It shows you why you do not want to be emotional,
because for you emotion is associated with negative, karmic imagery
and feelings. As soon as you get in touch with emotion a little bit,
you feel all that negative emotion and it justifies your solidity.
Emotional life is karmic in the usual man. In other words, it is
fitted to a whole range of emotions that are self-referring, forms of
contraction that appear simultaneously in the body and that are
uncomfortable and disorienting, that destroy his ability to


(16) DEVOTEE: But why the sadness? It is son strong it just
overwhelms me


(17) BUBBA: The karmic development of your emotional life, to
which your emotional life is bound, is associated with losses,
physical difficulties, and unhappiness. Therefore, those are the
images or the concretions of emotion that naturally rise up as soon
as you are in touch with your emotional life. But when you become
responsible for the emotional being, then you know simply the felt
radiance of love and attention. In the devotee the mind becomes
attention, the emotion becomes love, the body becomes a


(18) You must live that principle of devotion. The more you live
it, the more obsolete all these other things become. They will come
up and you will see them. And what are you doing? With a negative
emotion, what are you doing? You may think that it is caused by some
memory or some circumstances, and that is true enough, but what is a
negative emotion? It is not feeling, it is not relationship, it is
not happiness. It is always a recoil from some circumstance, some
condition, some state. Therefore, all the forms of emotion, other
than love or the natural radiance of emotion, are karmic in nature,
forms of contraction, forms of suffering that cause you pain in the
body, reinforce the sense of separate self, and cause you to
dramatize life in separative ways, as a seeker


(19) You must live the force of emotion in its true and
fundamental form, which is not karmic, in relationship to me. You
must make life a continuous sacrifice. The mind must become attention
to me, not wandering arbitrarily in thought. The emotion must become
love for me, not wandering in hate, anger, sorrow, pain. The body
must become presentation to me, not turning upon itself for its own
interest. The sacrifice of all contraction must become the basic
discipline in the devotee. Then all karmic forms, or plays upon the
basic condition of functional life, become obsolete through non-use.
That is the basic principle of effective sadhana.

(20) Thus, eventually distractions cease to arise with any
overwhelming force, with any force of implication, with any
necessity. They just fall away, without insight or manipulation. You
maintain the simple position of attention, with the mind, the
emotion, the body, the whole of life. That simple attention is the
condition of your sadhana that naturally makes all complication
obsolete, not through involvement, manipulation, and victory, which
are the secondary excursions everybody makes in his sadhana, but
through non-use.29

d* * *d


29. Bubba Free John, “Have I Said It?” a talk to the Ashram,
January 29, 1976.



Part Two: The Complications of Sadhana


On Service

(1) Another dimension of what I require of people in the Ashram is
service. There is the study of the path, which is a constant way of
dealing with this understanding at the level of the written Teaching.
There is the fulfilling of the life-conditions, managing sadhana in
practical, personally functional terms. And there is also service.
Service is a form of activity that is not self-referring by nature.
It leads you into a condition in which you do not make the
self-reference, in which you must be directed to others, and in which
you will observe in yourself the tendency not to want to do that. You
will observe the strategic ways in which you are still withholding
even while you are turning towards others and serving them


(2) People often fail to grasp what I mean by service, because
they think they are supposed to be doing it for some good reason or
other. But it is just appropriate, it is relational life, it is
bringing the life-force into the life-game. That is all that service
is. It is to be consciously uninvolved in the unconscious drama of
self-reference, self-meditation, contraction, avoidance. It is a way
of living life in appropriate terms, just as the conditions relative
to money, food, and sex provide a way of living life in appropriate
terms. If people will serve one another, serve life, and serve the
world, if they will bring life into life, allowing life to flow in
life, they will make obsolete all the karmic games that are otherwise
only being dramatized through ordinary actions and forms of


(3) We literally depend on other beings for our continuing
existence in this form, not our ultimate existence, or even our mere
vital existence (except that we depend on the sex play of others for
our birth), but our human existence We cannot exist as human beings
for one more moment without participation in the communication of
life that other beings give to us, and which the whole grand affair
of the manifest world gives to us. If that communication is
withdrawn, we die to what is greater than self and mere vitality, and
we pass out of our humanity into some state that is not realizable in
the way that we may truly experience this moment as human beings.
When you realize your dependence on the conscious communication of
life from others, then you see the reasonableness—or, rather,
the unreasonableness—of love. Then, in spite of what the hell
that guy seems to be, you bring your life to him or her in the form
of real energy, real intensity, real attention. When you do that,
then that person is enlivened literally, he is fed, because the
life-force, particularly in the heightened form to which it is
transformed in human beings, is principal food. The dimension of life
that we communicate through attention to others, unobstructed, is
principal food. The food that we take through the mouth is gross and
secondary. The food that we take through the nose is gross and
secondary. These are also necessary, generally, but they support a
lower organic form of our existence. Many people eat well enough and
breathe well enough, but they are depressed, insane, because they do
not communicate through the eyes and through the heart. They do not
enjoy the life-process in its subtle form


(4) It is merely intelligent, not moralistic, not a matter of
yoga, to be present with life to other beings, and to expect their
presence to us. We are present to one another in the form of a demand
for life, a righteous demand for life. We should absolutely demand
it. And we should finally discover what it is we are demanding of one
another, which is life, intensity, love, conscious energy. We
absolutely need it to survive. And so we should cut through all the
crap that we give to one another and absolutely demand that, settle
for nothing less, and also settle for nothing less in ourselves. We
should submit to that righteous demand in others


(5) That is the politics of life. That is what life is all about,
apart from all the economics, and food, and bullshit. That is
basically what we are here to do with one another. We are here to
communicate life itself through the faculties of our humanity. And
that is merely a natural and righteous discipline. It is appropriate
for you as a discipline to bring your own presence as life to other
beings and to demand it from them. And that is simply appropriate in
the same way that it is appropriate to take a meal several times a


(6) DEVOTEE: It seems like were always demanding life from another
in a childish way


(7) BUBBA: We settle for less than life. A smile, a piece of ass,
a cigarette, that is sufficient. We dont really require life of one
another, and that is what we need. You cannot survive in your truly
human functions without it. If you all were busy truly loving one
another, truly being present to one another without complication,
without making any assumptions about one another or yourselves, you
could live for a long time, and even if you lived for only 20 years,
you would be happy, at least on those ordinary human levels. You
would be feeding one another, and you could die happily if you
happened to have to die some day. Because everybody would be with
you. They would be holding your hand and shooting you full of
conscious life. You would be loved, free, not prevented from Truth,
and who cares then?14

d* * *d


14. Bubba Free John, “Early Morning 4:00 A.M.,” a talk to the
Ashram. December 22, 1974.



Part Two: The Complications of Sadhana


On Turning to Me

(1) You must, through the experiencing of the effects of your
karmic, recoiled life, see that its destiny is entirely negative,
regardless of how you manipulate it. And only then can you become
capable of submitting to the real form, the sacrificial form that is
appropriate relative to each of your functions. Therefore, you turn
the mind into attention. You turn the emotion into love. You turn the
body into presentation or relationship. It is a painful discipline,
but where there is insight or real sympathy with the Guru, it becomes
possible. And wherever it is done, to whatever degree it is done, the
force of contraction becomes obsolete. The functions come to rest.
You rest more and more naturally, contemplatively in the Gurus
Company and begin to intuit his communication, his Nature


(2) DEVOTEE: Bubba, it used to seem that it was so easy for me to
turn to you. I just turned to you all the time, but it is very hard
for me now. I feel very much turned to you now because I have been in
your company for two days. And I know that I could wake up tomorrow
and it might be over. Anyway it seems that it doesnt have anything to
do with me


(3) BUBBA: Obviously this turning to me is a discipline, not
something you do by tendency. It is difficult, so that obligation
must be a certainty in you, especially in those moments and under
those conditions when it is most difficult


(4) DEVOTEE: I dont see that, Bubba. Thats what I wanted to ask
you about. I dont understand it that way. It seems to me that when I
feel that way, all I can do is say, “Bubba, I dont understand

(5) BUBBA: It has nothing to do with understanding


(6) DEVOTEE: I mean that I feel I cant do anything about it


(7) BUBBA: You cant do anything about it, but you can turn to


(8) DEVOTEE: What Im asking you is, I feel that you turn to me
then. You know, I just ask you for your Grace


(9) BUBBA: I am always turned to you. But you can turn to me
regardless of what is happening. You cannot do anything about all
that is happening in you. Doing something relative to what appears in
you is not the focus of this way. The focus is stepping aside from
all the strategies you want to create, positive and negative,
relative to your usual condition, and simply turning to me. You will
notice over time that the tendencies in you become weak and even
disappear. But your obligation is simply to turn to me, without
measuring that turning against what is happening with you. Simply
turn your attention to me, turn your emotion as love to me, make
yourself present to me with your life


(10) DEVOTEE: When I surrender that. . .


(11) BUBBA: Simply do this turning


(12) DEVOTEE: Then I cant surrender it


(13) BUBBA: You can do this turning


(14) DEVOTEE: I mean that when I turn to you, I know you are just
Grace. Isnt that the same thing?

(15) BUBBA: Yes, in a certain sense it is the same thing, but what
I am talking about is very simple


(16) DEVOTEE: I dont understand what you are saying, Bubba


(17) BUBBA: Turn your attention to me and do not measure that
turning relative to whether or not your mind stops and you feel
better. Love me and do not measure that against whether or not you
still feel negative emotions and confusion. Give your life to me,
turn to me bodily, recollect me at all times, whether Im physically
present with you or not, and do not measure that activity against
whether or not you feel pains in your body. Maintain that discipline
of turning to me. It can be done, as long as you do not associate
that turning with the reading of the problems in you. The turning can
always be done. You are never disabled in terms of that turning. It
is only these effects, because you are always reading them and
wanting to manipulate them, that make you doubt your ability to


(18) But you can always turn. That is the principle wherein these
effects become obsolete, not in that moment necessarily, although on
some occasions they disappear immediately. But ultimately they
disappear, because they are not being used. What you are doing is
this turning. They are simply memories presently communicating
themselves as your functions. They are a kind of remembering. But
when your conscious life becomes participation in relationship to me,
then these effects become obsolete. It is not for you to measure that
process, to decide when they should become obsolete. Be willing to
have these things arise in you forever. Make your business turning to

d* * *d


15. Bubba Free John, “Have I Said It?” an unpublished talk to the
Ashram, January 29, 1976.