One on one with Rishi

Early spring last year, during my stay in Tiruvannamalai I heard in a positive way about a man giving satsang whose name was new to me and I decided to go there.

After the second satsang of his that I attended, I asked him if we could have a one on one conversation.

‘Sure, let’s make an appointment’, and from there it went.

I asked him if I could record our meeting, in order to be able to listen to it again afterwards and maybe make a blog out of it. He agreed and we agreed that I would show him the eventual blog before publishing it.

For some reason it took fifteen months for the recording to be converted into the script below. But in the end, here it is.

Two people meeting.
Two stories being told.
Mutual recognition happening.

I myself was very happy with this meeting and I gladly share it with you.

One on one with Rishi.

Tiruvannamalai, February 6, 2019.

My opening sentence: I have no clue where we are heading, but here we are.

Rishi’s first response sentence: Yes, here we are, heading nowhere. And nonetheless talking.

Yes, yeah. Eh, I just speak, okay? And I could ask a lot of questions, but I’ll find that out later. There was a moment, eh, at some point I felt that I wanted to share something about what happened with me during and after that you were working, three days before, with this woman that you will go meet tomorrow, the ‘trauma-lady’.


I was so connected with what was happening that eh, and I know that, I have done that, I have been in satsang forever, eighteen years with one guy, four weeks per year, and I thought about this when you said to this lady we do not have enough time to unravel this. And then I realized,eh, what I have learned forever being with this teacher Isaac Shapiro, maybe you have heard of him,

Yes, I have heard of him,

I have been with Isaac Shapiro for eighteen years and he is a master in this unraveling. And that’s why I thought about him. I realized when you were working with this woman that I was kind of resonating with her. And at some point I even was in tears. And then I realized afterwards, and that was because of the impact you had on me when we met the first time. I saw you once two weeks ago in the Athithi Ashram. And that impact on me had the effect of seeing something new. And then I wanted to share about it. And then I realized, oh that is what I have often done in these retreats. I mean, my most intense social encounter with people was in those retreats. And that was often when they were opened and fell in love with life again by this unraveling that Isaac was doing. Dozens in a day, he really can do this forever. And I would tune in and I would get connections with those people. And I realized that when I was going to share in your satsang what I found out, that that would or could have a side agenda to this lady and I decided not to share about it in your satsang.  And I thought I want to speak with you about it. That’s where I come from.

Okay. Thank you for sharing that.

Yes, and eh, you feel for me like, eh, I also have a habit of connecting to teachers. And so, I am doing it again.

Hahahahaha, in some way.

Yes, in some way. And it’s not a good reason not to do it anymore. Because it is also a way of getting to the point.


And eh, ….. That’s it. And when that grows my spiritual ego, I have to deal with that later. Or, now. That’s how it is, but eh, what I realized, what happened there, was eh, let’s day, eh, by nature I am a big heart. And I have covered that up with a

Big mind.

Yes, with a big mind (laughter). And in the end I thought that i was a big mind.


And, basically I am a big heart. That’s one of the reasons that I don’t get this world. I don’t understand greed and all this stuff. Why not share? And I have shared in this retreats this heart a lot. I mean, I was famous for, eh, I never go to Amma, the hugging lady, because I can do this myself. I even can hug myself. But what I figured out by what you were doing with this lady, and what was observed happening again, like I tune in, and it is really authentic this heart, like oh, I could hug you and what  suddenly became clear is that, let’s say, when this happens totally by itself then it is authentic. But when there is let’s say the longing like oh I would love her to look at me and then I can embrace her. I suddenly found out that there is a wounded heart using this. Or hiding and hoping that it happens, and there is manipulation.

Beautifull, this is beautiful.

It feels like a new stage.

Yeah, this is so beautiful.

And in a way you feel like, like, like the new stage for, for, eh you don’t fall for this bullshit.
I mean, I asked you a question before, before this, and you honour this by, when you are talking about this subtle level and then you know what I am talking about.
And with many teachers I find that I go into a story, but they don’t know what I am talking about. And this pointing, that’s a lot. And you are in a way, I mean you are most welcome, I am happy to meet you, but I’m scared to death. Haha.


I mean, and that is why I have to be with you.


And even now you know what I am ..

Yeah, yeah, yeah, this is so nice, yeah this is so nice, you are most welcome.

Yes, and I leave Monday, what can I do?

Ah well.

This eh,

This will be enough,

This will, eh, this might be enough. And at least there is, well, something happened that is unstoppable because it is seen. Eh, I can see, I can see, but sometimes the door has to be opened. And you, no, being with you, no it’s not even you.

No, not.

I can not say this anymore ‘you did this’. Being with you opened the door.

Yeah, somehow.

Somehow, yes, somehow.

It was light. But this door can’t be opened if you are not ready for it. So you have to understand this is a.., this meeting is the point, not what we think happened in this meeting. Just that this meeting was inevitable and something seems to have happened.

Yeah, absolutely.

Laughter is happening. ;—))

And if you go away feeling a little bit freer, a lot freer, this is great.

Jajaja, ja.

Because this freedom just continues to deepen and grow and spread out and then, now it becomes possible for you to realize the authentic love. That’s your feeling and others can feel that more directly. But you don’t need to have some experience of it going through another in some way.

I have always had the, eh, my, my heart functions through my mind. And I think energetically it is like this, but here was something funny going on. I mean, when the heart expresses and it comes through languages, there is always mind involved. As capacity of …

Yes, but now the capacity that you have is that the mind becomes less and less involved. And the heart becomes more and more obvious.

Jajaja ja.

And the speaking and the languaging and the emotional is coming more and more directly from the heart itself. Not from the emotional heart, but from the heart behind the heart.

Yeah, yeah, there is also a package. Emotion and wounded.
For years I have thought that I was enlightened.


And, I’m, I’m, in that sense, eh, when I sit with you I feel like a little boy being for the first time in a place like this, and I have been here forever. And when I walked in the first weekend with this Isaac Shapiro, the first time I spoke to him, I went there Friday evening, I stayed the weekend, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Monday evening it was the first time I spoke to him. And I spoke to him, eh, ‘I have no clue what happened in this weekend but suddenly I know what this is about. And then he asked me ‘Who are you’? And then I went through the floor. And he, so also I, took that for enlightenment. It is just the initial wake up,

Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

And that’s what, what, eh, for years I thought now I’m enlightened and the rest is clean up. So I have done clean up for twenty years. And there are still complete chapters.
But there is this mental confusion about enlightenment and eh, I mean, eighty percent of the spiritual world is confused about this

Or more.

Oh, sorry.

Laughter is happening. ;—))

If only in what they believe about it. And in a way I am lost in wanting to change that.

Say this again, clarify this

I am lost in the willingness and feeling the need to clear this confusion up by

Ah, this is not your business

But there is something

Hahahahah, but I am telling you, this is not your business. The reason I am saying that is  that that kind of thing is the way in which the mind and the ego spin us away from the target.

This is what is dawning on me.


And this has dawned on me before of course.


And since I spoke to you this goes on and on unravelling. And this about the heart was the first and the clearest that happened before I spoke to you. At some point, I think it is already five or six years ago, I had a meeting with Isaac Shapiro, I have almost all of those meetings on video, tape and on my website. If you take the time you can see my whole developpement.


Really, you can see me cry and everything.


But the most impressive one was eh, the impressive thing about this guy is that, before the outburst came,
[my outburst during that meeting], he said: it feels as if you have been waiting for this your whole life and that was  absolutely true.  (see footnote 1)


He knows this before it’s evident, it’s a strange form of clairvoyance. Impressive. What happened was, you spoke about the elephant in the room, what I found out was, eh,
I was sitting in the chair and it was the most deep sadness that coyoted out,uaaahhh. And the words were: the people who raised me, my educators, my parents, my surroundings, they have used God, the highest, the widest, to narrow me down. So God was the elephant, we call it the rhinoceros, the elephant in the room. Invisible, you couldn’t speak about it, you couldn’t ask questions, because then they were offended in their belief, wohhh, and that happened already to me when I was a boy.

Yes, yes, yes,

And I saw this forever and that has confused me completely and it still does. Because I thought about our happening: in a way you say, you said, when you see or acknowledge that you are This, you lose interest in the world. This is not my experience. And even, ….. I feel offended, I feel that my creation is put down when I got to lose interest in it. And there is a loop with this old idea of God.

Ja ja.

I mean, if This is Me, why put it down like having no interest? I am totally curious. I’m phantastic. It is also a way to hide, but

Not to lose interest in the creation, but to lose interest in the one who identifies with the creation.

Say that again. Here is my confusion. Somewhere.

Yes, and that is partly because

Wait, let me say one more thing: you talked about this mountain as gratitude. I see myself, eh, I am coming here now for nine years, and for nine years I said: for me this is just a hill. Uhm, but I’m coming back every year. This Ramana Ashram, I hardly set one foot in it. Because for me it feels Protestant, whooo, and that’s where I come from.


How many years ago did you walk into dr. Murthy.

About fourteen years ago.

Forteen, wow. I walked into dr. Murthy nine years ago. But that’s a whole story. It is funny, I thought about this like, eh, my first meeting with dr. Murthy was that I walked in with a totally psychotic German woman that I had picked up from the street that was given up by everybody. She was crossing the street, the main road, stopping busses because this antenna mast was telling her. So the whole sangha was like: huhhhh, not killed again. But no, she was so unapproachable, no one even tried anymore. And at some point I made contact with this woman and she walked me into the office with dr. Murthy and she laid down on chairs and, well, she was ill and had infections and blabrrrrrrah. And at some point dr Murthy said Dear Sir, can you please take this lady out as gentle as you brought her in, because she is a nuisance to the office. Okay. So, I took her out, and los ther and then that night I went to dr. Murthy who I just had met only then. With the question whawhawhawhat to do? What? And he said: the best advice that I can give you is leave this woman alone and go do what you have come for. And I heard myself say ‘I have no clue what I came for, maybe I came for this woman’.

The next day I see this woman again, she recognized me. She was really totally nuts. And she was a nuisance to the office because she was going more nuts every year. And bothering the ashram. And I made contact with her and in between the nonsense that she spoke, she said ‘I have a ticket for tonight. A ticket what? To Germany? An airplane ticket? Yes. Do you want to go home? Yes. Okay, when you really want to go home I am willing to help you. That night at three I came back from the airport of Chennai with a taxi. She was on the plane. She had to make a landing (switch flights). And she came home. So I was in one time famous around the chai shop. They still remember. Because, everybody was convinced that I saved her life. At the same time it was, eh, it all comes back with this big heart and the wounded heart. Eh, my first thing with dr. Murthy was ah, do your own thing and I went for this. And I couldn’t help that that happened. It was as if all my possibilities, all my capacities came to one focus and I got her to the doctor, to Kumar, and emptied her room out and went to the airport and made a story out of it with a wheelchair, I got medicines from the hospital. Only in India a doctor can tell you: sorry that can not be. Psychofarmaca and sleeping pills do not go together. And I said that I needed it. Than I have to consult with my superior doctor. They just tell you. And she did! I came with all this medicines and I handed her over to an official. In that time you could still touch people when they had checked in, you remember? So she was at some point iside with a wheelchair and I gave her this really short motivational course that I had never given before.


And she made it home. So since then I go every year say hi to dr Murthy and only three days ago he invited me for lunch. Haha, this is my story with dr. Murthy.

That same first year I met a girl, 8 years old, in the garden of Ramanashram and we played together. The next year I come, in the dark, I turned around and looked at that little girl, with the bicycle of her mother walking and she also looked and recognized me in the dark. Later I had the thought  ‘maybe I can do something for her’. It’s a long story, but through Kumar and the Shanti Children Project I pay for her education since eight years now. And she will be seventeen in August. And so, this is how, haha, I got stuck to this terrible mountain.

Yeah, yeah.
Laughter is happening. ;—))

Pffffff. This, this, this wanting to do, this eh, let’s say this confusion says; ‘I am solidair with bodhisattva, I want to be there for the world. But at the same time, so I am willing to give up the idea of wanting to get there. Who the f*ck cares. Cause, I am not unhappy, but basically there is a very unhappy layer in this. In This.

Right! So it isn’t a matter of getting anywhere. It is really about uncovering that layer. And finishing that layer. Not even uncovering it, because you don’t even need to know it’s there.

How can you? Eh, confusion again. How can you uncover it when you don’t know it’s there?

No, you said you know it’s there.

Oh yeah. No, I can feel it. There is a layer that I am avoiding, or, not avoiding but, eh, there is a layer in me that is not happy.

And so, why is it still there, staying as an unhappy layer? If you know it’s there and you know that it’s not a part of your happiness, what keeps it there?

Deep sigh. That’s the old image of God again. It’s this Protestant thing. Born a sinner.

Ah, disbelief. But is that true, from your own experience?

No. But. No, but. Out of insecurity I have to say something in between. Who says this?  Some silence ….. Swami Atmananda, did you meet him?

I know of him, I never met him.

Swami Atmananda said, eh, I was asking again something about eh, I am allergic for eh, I mean when you spoke about destroying the ego, eh, destroying part of creation?! I get upset. And when you say that destroying is not a good word, you should say lalala, then I expect that you never use the word destroy again for this. And there is my tendency to educate the world to more specific language.

Yeah, and what is wrong with this?

No, eh, but, that that’s, that is my involvement in the world, in Maya. And I also believe that you can improve the world.

Okay, just understand that there is only one small difference between you saying it and my saying it the other day. Only one small difference. You think you are saying it,


With me the experience is, it’s just being said. And if it is inaccurate, it can easily be corrected. Nobody is saying it. And nobody is correcting it.


It is just what comes.


So, even, something is said in a particular way that doesn’t quite gel for someone, you know, it does not quite hit the nail on the head, then it is very easy to say oh ja ja, you are right, we can say it that way for sure. You see, there is no ego involved in it, there is nobody saying it. And if it becomes more precise it becomes more precise to everyones benefit. So there is just this recognition.

Ja ja ja.

But there is not anybody who needs to change anything or save anybody or,.. Even when I am sitting there in satsang, there is nothing that is wanted, I am not trying to give you anything, I am not expecting anything. We’re just in this conversation, which is the conversation of the Self, through the mind at that moment we know, through the mind. And we are using words and we are using context. But the underlying thing that you are feeling, that’s calling to you, is: there is nobody there.

Mmmmhuhu. But I also see that this, when you see it as a standpoint, a point of reference, then I also see this, oh, nobody is seeing this used as a reference to not take responsibility for what’s mistakenly said, for instance.

No, this is one point of view about that.


But understand what I just said to you completely. And that is that, if there is nobody there, then what is gets said gets said in the way it gets said and this may have a deep impact on someone around the room that you do not see. But then someone else will say but that doesn’t quite resonate with me or this doesn’t make sense and this is the way it sounds to me, or this is the way I can say. And then the same one can say oh yes, absolutely, you are right. For him, or for her.


There is no resistance.

Ja ja ja. I can see that

If someone else speaking what is true for them at that moment and acknowledging it and saying okay.

But I have many experiences that when I would say something like hey this resonates for me like this that there was eh,     I have once spoken to a teacher that his way of nagging about other teachers was painful to me,


And his reaction was: people that can not stand this kind of criticism are not qualified for Advaita Vedanta. How nuts can you get!

After a few words not understandable: But you see, someone else, there was a time when you weren’t there, there was a woman who was very minded, a Chinese woman, she went through this whole thing and I had a long conversation with her with everyone watching. And then she started over and said this is the way it is and my teacher in China taught me and I simply looked at her and I said yes, I understand that and I bow to your teachers. If this is your way, this is your way. And then I looked up and said: this is not the truth.

Hohohoho. Referring to what?

This path that she was laying out.

Jajajaja. Okay.

This path was very complicated and very complex, you had to earn all this merit and build all this and this was going to take lifetimes and lifetimes. And this is so antithetical to Advaita and you know, I came out of twenty years of the Buddhist tradition, so I know this way. In someway I know this thinking very clearly.


So it had to come, it just had to come to say I bow to you, I bow to your teachers, continue on your path and on your lineage and then to say to everyone else this is not the truth.

Hohohoho jajajaja.

If you want the long way around our teacher knows this. (?).

Someone taught me Vipassana. So, Vipassana has been in my life for long. But I left the guy who taught me because, I told him, the people around you are so sheepish, I have to go. And later he appeared to, he was one of those Buddhists they have this idea about marriage like ah okay, you shouldn’t be married but if you are married you should slow down your sexuality. So all this women from the couples in his sangha were starving and he would fill the gap, I found out later. Waaaah, I was gone right in time. I’m allergic for this. I was with Osho, eh, I was in Rajneeshpuram once, you know probably the story of Sheela. I was there one week and I told to the sannyasins with whom I was, I was the only one in blue, that she is not speaking on behalf of, eh, she is lying. They laughed and didn’t believe me. And a year later she was in prison. I have had for fifteen, twenty years a knot in my stomach because of the idea that something like this could not happen around someone that was considered to be enlightened. And it is just one thought. And it took twenty years before someone unravelled it. So, back to the sinner. I asked yog, ah no, Yogi Ramsuretkumar, haha, I mean Swami Atmananda. I asked him a question about the impurities of the mind: why is anything in the creation impure? I mean, I object. It’s like, I was raised, there is the creation and I was a sinner. And then he explained and then he said, about one of those avatars in India who also knew Christ and had done Christianity knowledge-wise, and had said: when christians keep calling themselves sinners, they will end up being sinners. And I think there is something in this, in me, left.

Maybe this happened inside you, but this is not the truth. (???inaudible).

It’s clear, now it’s clear. But I made a sideway, I was going to, eh, the first time I met you, you said about, eh, the shortcut is Who is aware of this. One of the things that I, I eh, the flipside of being a sinner and objecting it is that I was raised in this totally crazy world with suppressed sexuality and incest in the family and eh, meaning that as a line in my life I have been a consumer of pornography, up till now, basically. And I now realize that this keeps confirming this idea that I am a sinner. Because, haha, and I rationalize it, yeah but it is, my goodness, it is the main addiction of the world. So, figuring out how it works, cause that is also what I do, is a blessing for humanity. And sometimes you get in a loop. When you say I’m an expert on pornography, you have to be a consumer. I mean, when you write about Westerns you watch Westerns, right? So, I ,I ,I, I need to do this figuring out how this works, really on the minute details. And when I met you I was in a loop of lost in watching porn. And then you said this and tak, gone. So that was the practical thing. But now I realize that this whole interest is connected with this ‘you’re born a sinner’. And that’s weird. And that’s how it is.

Yes of course, of course, that is just how it is. And when you see it, that it is just as it is, then it loses its weirdness in some way.


You can see that tie and now you also can put it down. And see that there was a tie in it that wasn’t yours and now I don’t have a need of it. I don’t have a need of it in it’s current expression and I don’t have any need of it all the way back to where it started. Because in some way now I see that is wasn’t true.


It was just believing a story from someone else that was implanted and grew into this flower.

Ja. Jajaja.

And now it’s finished.

I’m reading a book, called Auschwitz mon amour. And, when I want a discussion, haha, I put the book on the table. And eh, it is partly a fresh up course on Freud. And Freud did a lot about sexuality and what he says, and basically that is what I always have felt, like all the story about sexuality is uh, let’s say: exploiting the system of procreation for other reasons. And in that sense this whole thing of sannyas and not having sexuality at all makes sense. Hey, when you stick to the original meaning, the function of it, then you have sex when you want a baby. And actually Freud calls sexuality only sexuality when it happens from this seeking to bridge the separation. And eh, in that sense this whole story with pornography, erotic literature, and language as such.
I mean, the moment you have language you’re already in the duality and eh, on this  level that fascinates me limitless, almost.

Yes, and this is the difficulty with it in the long run, because it does fascinate limitlessly.

Yeah, and there is no end.

There is no end.

There is no end, yeah.

You know, so it’s never about wether it is the right thing or the wrong thing, if it’s the good thing or the bad thing. It’s only around the question of, and when I say you lose interest in it, I don’t mean you lose interest in life itself or in the creation. I mean  you lose interest in the details of it.
Whatever the details are for you, because for every being, you know this has been your way.


For you that’s been the way. And that’s not to criticize it or to say that it is right. It is simply been accepted as the way it has been. But another person has no interest. So, all this shows us is that whatever we take an interest in, we perpetuate and we support.


So, and this is true, if your only interest for instance is advaita, let’s use that as an example cause that’s what we are talking about to some degree. If you say this is the only interest I have, actually what’s happening is that you are perpetuating that way of being. You are thinking about it and you’re giving it space in your life and that is where you are directing your attention, you necessarily limit your attention to all these other things. Because you have lost interest in them. So that is not to deny them, it’s just to say no, I am not so interested. And this is true of anything. So, the question is, if you have an interest in spirituality and it becomes interesting, you simply say, well then, so, what’s the point of spiritual life? If there is a point in spiritual life, or this is what you have been doing with your whole life, that’s where your interest lied. Does that validate it, and it validates everything else? Not necessary.

No. It’s interesting what you say. This whole idea of eh, spiritual life it, let’s say, for instance this whole group of people around this very young buddhist monk that taught me vipassana, eh, they were having this spiritual life and I am allergic to it. Because the moment you put six people together with the idea ‘we have a spiritual life’, they are special, you have to behave,

Not really, that’s not the definition I use.

No, no, but that is what I see happen everywhere. So in a way I am rather alone then, eh, that’s basically how I live already.

But you have to understand, that, that, ………. We use these terms relatively, but they do have meaning, different meaning to different people. If you were to look at Papaji’s life, now here is someone who said: ‘I am only saying these things to you because I am too old to run away.

Haha, jajaja.

Beforen now I was always running away, now I’m needy, my knees don’t work anymore, I can not walk like that, I can not run away anymore, so I am here, I’m having this conversation. They said Papa, we want to buy this property, we want to build this ashram and he said no no, when this is finished this is finished.

Ja ja,

So, this is also spiritual life. To be mature, in spite of our opinions, we have to take a view that is much larger. So, anytime we use a term, we want to take the largest possible, the most expensive view of that term. Because otherwise what ends up happening is, we do run into al this resistance that comes from the mind about having been born in a repressive culture, in a repressive religion and we try to come out. And this is true whether we are talking Protestantism, or Buddhism, or even Vedanta.


You know, the Brahmanic way is very repressive. For other casts. For women. It’s very repressive. And somehow this is religious and spiritual life you know. So, if we talk about spiritual life we take the broadest view, which is, in some way we could say is the Advaita view, which is: everyone is free.


So now we are not repressing anybody. We’re simply talking about only one thing: ‘do you identify the ideas, concepts, thoughts in the mind, the actions, lack of actions and so on in the body, and do you call this me?
Now you are not free, but if there is mind and body, and thoughts and actions and deeds and all of this and you do not call that me, whatever form it takes, you are free.


So this is the broadest possible definition of spirituality.

Laughter is happening. ;—))

And so, you are right, we shouldn’t really talk in this context about something like spiritual life, because of all the misconceptions around it. So we should just call it freedom.

Ja, but even then, haha.

Yes, but even then. It is a word, it has a limit. And my sense of what I mean by that word is going to be different from what your sense of it is. No matter how much we try to talk about it. So, that’s the only thing I would encourage you to do now at this point in your life, is to take the broadest possible view.


And end your resistance to anything. So that you can see what’s already here in it’s own free nature.

Mmmmhuh. I’ll go for it.


Yes. Do you have a website? You just started? You give satsang. Is it the first time, or? That is my impression.

This is the first time.


This is, it is the first time as an organized thing in India. That’s why it’s not very organized, haha.
Laughter is happening. ;—))
Because I have been giving satsang for a long time, but I became very ill. But this satsang before was an outgrowth of spending twenty years in Buddhism and then coming here for seven years. And really not talking to people here, just living all around the other side of the mountain and just remaining silent. I spent, you know,  the first year or so closely related with Ramana Ashram and then I knew it was time to go. Then moved around to the Annamalai side. Spent basically a few years in silence there.

Wow. You lived here the year round?



And so, I was never teaching anymore. After I stopped being a Buddhist teacher I (???inaudible). But then I started to become ill here and I needed medical treatment. And my insurance was in New Mexico so I went back there. I lived there before I came to India, so I went back there and, you know, spent a year just to find out what was going on with the body. But during that time, there was a group of Ramana people who were in the area where I was living. And they heard that I was there, so they said, this guy that just has spend six and a half years living in Tiruvannamalai (and many of them had been here, years ago)

Yeah, yeah,yeah.

They said, you know, let’s come together and have a meeting once a week or once a month. So that was kind of how it started. And this grew to about thirty people.
And then I was diagnosed with cancer. So I went into treatment and had several surgeries, lost the ability to talk, cause I had throat cancer. So I couldn’t speak. I was just sitting with them, quietly. But also was very sick and had quite a lot of surgeries. I had a feeding tube. I couldn’t feed myself, couldn’t swallow. So I was just there. And then even after that I got, just being that energetically involved with that many people, as sick as I was, the body was just not capable of maintaining it, so then we just quitted completely.


So then it gave me about a year and a half, in and out of the hospital, hooked up to machines, not able to eat, for about a year not able to speak. So this was the finish, this was the finish. And I was not, it was not like a moment were, you know, it wasn’t like a big bang,


It was a continuous looking, like Ramana did. The body is dying and yet there is the full force of I. I can feel this. But the body is dying, it’s wasting away. So I don’t know how much you weigh, you’re a pretty big guy. I was down to hundred and twenty pounds, which is like fifty five fifty six kilos. Nothing here bodywise but still and very clearly living with ‘this body is dying’.


Period, this body is dying, this is finished.

Jajaja, and the bliss was? Growing.

Yeah, this recognition, that watching the body go. The machines going, all these people, everyone else is taking care of the body. Doing nothing but watching and seeing very clearly that this I is so strong. And it’s getting stronger and stronger and stronger. And this light of awareness is getting brighter and brighter. And a nurse and a doctor coming into the room, just to sit next to the bed. Coming into the room in the middle of the night ‘Swami’, they just know that I lived a long time in India, ‘Swami, I have to ask you this question’, you know.
Laughter is happening. ;—))
This one woman, you know, I remember her, she is so beautiful, she is maybe 25, 26

Oh wow,

She spent her whole life raised in a evangelical, a strict evangelical community. And she married her, you know, teenage sweetheart and they are both deeply involved in the evangelical church. And he is a preacher or becoming a preacher or something. And she is a nurse and she is coming in at two o’clock in the morning. It’s completely dark and she is coming in. Swami, I need to ask you some question. And telling me all about being raised in the evangelical tradition, but she feels this power and the force of God, which has nothing to do with the religion. And now she is married to this guy who is going to think that she is satan incarnate if she is going to tell him that God is everywhere, that God is everything, and that God is not narrow.

Yeah, yes, exactly, haha.

So, there I am, giving satsang in the middle of the night, in the intensive care.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, oh wow.

Even I can barely speak. Somehow this light starts being seen in some way.

Ja ja.

And then, as I finally got better, over over time, then more and more people just got coming to the house, knocking on the door: I heard you are feeling better, I want to come,  can I just come and sit, can we talk for a little bit, you know.


Like this. And then there was like eh, can you do start up doing satsang again? Oh no, no no no, I’m not doing that anymore. No, I’m not doing that anymore. Hahaha, well, some month are going by. The yoga centre keeps calling, please Swami, we have a place, we want to put you in this spot, someone has left and will not come anymore, we want you to take this spot, we want you to take this spot. Just like that.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

And then, I came here last year, I was just living here around the mountain, living in silence over at the other side and then wffffuh, something happened. So now I am just coming to spend some time sitting with people.

Ja ja, and I’m pretty grateful that you do and that we met.

And I’m just saying that if it is meant to be it will happen. And then someone offered the ashram where we met and then they said this has gotten too big and it is taking too much time, it’s too many people, we need you to go. And then we moved over to another place.

Ah ja, that’s the one I missed.

And then someone said to me what are you doing? I said I don’t know, they said come in here and do satsang for a bit, you know. And the other said O my God what has happened, they don’t ever let anyone give satsang there. So, I don’t know, it is promising.

Same for the rooftop where you are now.

Yes, and then someone called me and said go and talk to Kumar. I went to see Kumar and instantly he said you go up to see if it is okay, if it’s okay, it’s yours. And here we are, right next to Ramana Ashram and it is quite nice.


So I don’t know, I don’t know what’s happening. But I know that I am not in the way of it. That’s all I know.

Yeah,yeah, yeah.

And somehow this wants to happen. And if they came tomorrow with the police with: you have to stop this or we are sending you out of the country I would say can you book my flight for me?
Laughter is happening. ;—))
Book my flight please and I would just go. And I will go back anyhow, cause now there is a satsang there where I live. And now it is starting to get more people now. People are coming from L.A. and from Northern California. You know, coming for a weekend, just wanting to come.

Yes, the need for this in humanity is enormous.

If there is anything that is frightening to me it is that. That the need is so immense.

Jajaja. What I said, years ago I thought that I was enlightened,

Yes, I did too.

I was sitting with this Shapiro with the idea I’m going to learn my new profession, I wouldn’t miss a comma because I thought I was learning my new profession.


And there has always been something that kept me from doing this. It wasn’t clear, it wasn’t pure, it wasn’t, eh, there would be bluffing and

I think this is really wise though, that’s a sensibly step. Laughter.
It also kept me, for all those years, even living here, you know. If people would come, I would walk to the ashram and then people would see the Indian people, and they would bow and touch my feet. And I would say what is this? Stop it, stop it, stop it. Go bow, go bow over there. I wasn’t because of that, it was because there was this recognition in some way that it was not finished.


But going to this experience that I went through before and dying, I actually died on the operating table one time during that experience. And having gone through all of that, there was this recognition. Not because it was a loud voice in me, but that people started coming and I was hearing what was being said, often for the first time,I realized fully and completely: ah, they are coming because this is finished.

Jajajaja, o wow,

I can see this now.


It is finished. And I can clearly see what is happening with each one and I can see very clearly where they can go next, what their next step is.

Jajaja. Your speaking became without thinking.

Yes, I never prepare anything. I never know the minute I start where it is going to go.


I just let it go. It is not me.

I know this. I mean, in  a complete different setting that I would be totally surprised by what I was speaking.

So now, I can just say to you, you know, this business about somehow I can give this to the world and I can change the world and I can show people this, the reason I say to drop this is because this often indicates that we are right on the cusp of ??, is this desire to help the world, this bodhisattva vow.


To help the world. But many people, myself included, sounds like you, have gotten into helping the world prematurely, so you have been calling to do, through this thought.

(Someone joins our table), You know Anandi?

Yes, from seeing. Hi.

This is Hans.

Hans from Amsterdam.

So, understand that you, you can keep quiet now, with all the thoughts coming about the need to help the world. Then what can actually happen, is you can finish it. Then the world will come to you, then you become this big tree that everyone comes to see. I say this only because it is my experience.

Thank you.
Your story about being ill in this hospital reminds me of how I got to India for the very first time. It is forty years ago. I had a job and next to my job I was studying philosophy. And there was one professor who was a bit, eh, he was on the New Age path. He would start his philosophy lectures with doing tai chi. In the University of Amsterdam. He later left. So I was an elderly student having a job following  two lectures per week. And at some point I heard, he had gone to India to some guru, and at some point I heard that he had come back and that he was in hospital very, very, very ill. He had diphtheria or dysentery, something. Later the doctor told him that had he come back a few days later he would not have made it. And I visited him in the hospital, a shy, too old student. I had to wear one of those paper jackets. And he looked like a concentration camp survivor, thirty seven kolo or something. And I looked into this man’s eyes and I knew: “Where you have been, I have to go”.


And I went to India, to Herakhan Baba. I have been there two weeks and then the guy sent me away. And only twenty years later they told me ‘oh, then you would have to go to him and then he would say okay you stay”. But I just went back home. I was so disappointed. But what happened there,

It just means that it wasn’t your way.

No. It was not the time. But only twenty years later I realized that the very first meeting with this man, I was there on the first evening in darshan. Women there, men here, I was sitting next to the middle path in the back. Then it was finished and he stood up and walked and he saw me and he became one big smile. And twenty years later I realized that that meeting made the first crack in this bunker. Whaah.


And it went over the mind: Those people seem to believe that he is God. If they are right, God has laughed at me.

That was his way, he liked to do that too. That was really his way. Yeah, I was many years a rebirther.

Me too!!

I lived in that community, all around America, travelling everywhere rebirthing people.

O wow, that’s how you know Herakhan Baba, you were a rebirther!

I just told to this lady where I was on the rooftop, we spoke about rebirthing and I said, the one thing that my, eh, that I am still proud of, I have been a rebirther and that’s why the link with Herakhan Baba, through Leonard Orr,

I travelled with Leonard a long time. I lived in that community in California for a long time.

O wow. I once did a weekend where he was and I asked my money back.

Tukaram, did you meet with Tukaram, he used to travel with Leonard Orr all the time?



Ah, Tukaram!! Yes.

Tukaram , this beautiful small man.

Hahah, yes, he has stayed in my houseboat even.

Yes, beautiful.

So, to finish my sentence, I told this woman that once a woman said to me after a rebirthing session and I’m still proud of it: you are a man that is giving birth to women.


Yeah, we were both rebirthers.

Well, Hans, we have to call an end to this now.

Yes, yes, thank you very much.

Very great to meet you, to see you, to spend time with you.

Thank you.

Yes of course.

Rishi’s website, facebook page and Youtube channel:

footnote 1.
The mentioned session:

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