No Remedy – Part One – Live with Me – Bubba Free John – 1975

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


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.

(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 Truth


(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


(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

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


page 361 (BUBBA: Yes. The Presence of the Divine. . . )
to page 367.d

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 God


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


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

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


(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


(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

(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 transformation.3

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


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 relationship


(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


(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 crazy


(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


(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 happy


(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 humor


(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

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 mean?

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 submission.5d

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

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 process.d

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 supposition


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 batty.7d

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 influence


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


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 experience.8d

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


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

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, 1975


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

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 concerned


(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 life


(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 withdraw


(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 Guru.10

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

(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

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


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


Freedom is the only purity. There is no Dharma but
Consciousness itself. Bubba as he appears is not other than
the possibilities of men.14d

* * *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 principle.

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


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

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 ignorance.17d

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

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 Truth.18

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 it


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, 1975


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

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


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* * *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 realized


(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


(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 world?

(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 one-on-one


(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


(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 you


(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,


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


(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 me!

(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 arising


(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




Part Two

The Complications of Sadhana: The Way Of Divine

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

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 fulfilled


(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 sacrifice


(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.]

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

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

(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

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 is


(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


(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 mystery


(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 Communion.

d* * *d


3. Bubba Free John, “Real God,” a talk to the Ashram,
January 11, 1975


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 impulses.

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 me.10d

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

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 Osborne


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


3. Sri Ramana Gita, Dialogues of Bhagavan Sri Ramana


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


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


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


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


15. Gopis Love for Sri Krishna, by Sri Hanumanprasad


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


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 world.



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


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

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


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


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 about


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

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


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 period


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


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 others


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 discipline:

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

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


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, 1974.



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

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 unnecessary


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

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

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 activities.19d

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

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 contemplation


(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

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

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 phenomenon


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

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 life


(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


(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


(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


18. Ibid., pages 321-322


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


20. Bubba Free John, “Guru Day,” a talk to the Ashram,
July 15, 1973


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

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


(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 intensity


The way of Divine Communion includes four specific stages
of maturity:

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


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 Guru


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 devotee.

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 members


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


(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


(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

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


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 life


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 Satsang


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

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

d* * *d


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


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 meditation.”

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


(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 heart


(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


(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 limitation


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 about.

(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, 1976


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

27. Bubbas written instructions to the Ashram, November
28, 1975


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


(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 presence


(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


(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


(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 me


(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


(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


(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


(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


(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 consciousness


(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


(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 sadhana


(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 case


(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


(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


(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


(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 time


(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


(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 Realization


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 Communion:

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 inclination


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

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, 1975


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 insight


(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

THE WAY OF UNDERSTANDINGddOnly 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

(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 Prasad.4d

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

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 friends.

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 comprehension.9

(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


(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 self-watching


(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 ultimately.11

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, 1975


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


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


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 understanding



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


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 worse!

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


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


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

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

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 sadhana


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 consciousness


The vital person characteristically dramatizes the
negative development of tamas, the degree of available

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

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

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 (rajas).

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


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

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 existence.22


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


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 again


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 consciousness.23

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 life


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 experience).

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

dBubba has discussed the implications of the solid and
peculiar strategies relative to the descended

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 existence


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 distractions


These three ways are the strategic characteristics of
Narcissus. The way of Understanding is a communication
directed to that one.26

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*
* *d

[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 strategies.)

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 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

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


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

23. Ibid


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

25. Bubba Free John, “Peculiars and Solids

26. Bubbas written instructions, April 5, 1975


27. Bubba Free John, “Peculiars and Solids

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


(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 them


(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 self-satisfactions


(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 Communion.)

(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


(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 Presence.32

d* * *d


31. Expanded from Bubbas written instructions, April 4,


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

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


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 lives


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 man.

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 activity.

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

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

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


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




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


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 Communion


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


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


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


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 it:

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


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

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


(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


(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 Reality


(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 sense


(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 love


(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 strategies.)

(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 physical


(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 dilemma)


(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



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 itself


(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 fullness


(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 function


(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 itself


(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


(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


(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


(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

(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


(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 desire


(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


(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 process


(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


(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 obsessively


(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 Ashram!

(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


(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


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


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


(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

(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


(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


(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 function


(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 presentation


(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 day


(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


(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 this.”

(5) BUBBA: It has nothing to do with understanding


(6) DEVOTEE: I mean that I feel I cant do anything about


(7) BUBBA: You cant do anything about it, but you can
turn to me


(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


(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,


(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 me.15

d* * *d


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





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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,

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