No Remedy – Bubba Free John – An Introduction to the life and practices of the spiritual community of Bubba Free John

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 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

There 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.

You 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


12. 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.

No Remedy – Table of


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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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