am thoroughly enjoying the book you have written, particularly those aspects dealing
directly with the sorcery techniques of don Juan and their correlation to other
esoteric methods. It is of course the techniques of don Juan I am interested in.
I have flirted with other esoteric methods, but it was the force, directness,
beauty and profound simplicity of Castaneda's works which ‘hooked’ me if you will.
There is a muscularity and manliness to don Juan's way of life which I have never
sensed in the eastern esoteric methods (the obvious exception of course being
the martial arts). For many years now I have tried to integrate don Juan's teachings
into my life, but your work has been expanding my intellectual appreciation of
these teachings in relation to other esoteric methods.
George B. Shaw
you for the great work that you put into The Four Yogas. I'm halfway through,
taking it slowly.
What I most appreciate
about the work that you have offered is your broad spectrum exposure to vantage
from. Although I have been a student of the works of Carlos Castaneda for about
10 years now, having read and reread the series several times, I am more involved
with it in mind than in actual transformative practice.
writings and exposure to other masters is now spurring me into action, into practice
of meditation, into realizing what I mostly know about only intellectually, what
I have been longing for but not sober enough to do.
began studying Tibetan Buddhism just a few years ago. I am certain the timing
is just right for your arrival on the scene to help integrate the teachings of
don Juan with the teachings I have gained during the past 7 years. I left my teacher
relationship in July, '99. How good it feels to have that open space filled with
something really wonderful.
like the clarity of your writing. With certain books, I have the feeling of an
‘over voice’ speaking. It is as if I am reading the words, yet a voice is speaking
in an energy way that puts me on full alert. The ‘over voice’ is not saying the
same as the written words. The ‘over voice’ carries the deeper meaning or intent
of the words, and it moves into my mind/body in a very different way1
than books that do not carry this ‘over voice’. The Four Yogas carries this ‘over
am so thankful to you for your journey, and for your writing of your book.
Castaneda experienced this heightened awareness when in the presence of the Nagual
don Juan. The Nagual's blow to the assemblage point, and especially teachings
delivered from the transcendental position of awareness have this extraordinary
effect. The Four Yogas empowers this shift in awareness. The emergence of
is a prelude to the development of fearlessness, serenity, wisdom, and ultimate
and insight are the essential requirements. Tranquil absorption is the foundation
for insight into the nature of mind and ultimate reality. When thought projections
are cleared the mind becomes stable and immobile. Just as salt dissolves in water,
the mind dissolves into its intrinsic nature.
A method to yoke or join egoic or worldly mind to transcendental mind.
A state of awareness beyond the doings and teachings of worldly mind. Paradoxically,
samadhi is the unseen yet ever present ground of consciousness, revealed
at the juncture of meditative absorption and discerning awareness.
feel a deep sense of gratitude. Because of your book, which I'm reading again,
and through our email conversations, I am experiencing such an exciting desire
to get on with it, to engage the true work that opens through meditation. I find
myself taking moments otherwise engaged in thinking or reading to get still and
have read so many books about the transcendental and have experimented with some
power plants that cause a shift in the assemblage point, and through that have
been in this place of wonderful timeless stillness that I have called Ground Zero1;
where even my breathing stops and everything is just suspended, just present awareness.
My soul has longed for something that I could never quite put my finger on. I've
gone to different gurus, teachers and channels and stayed with these only for
brief periods because the people and the rituals, the dogma that surround these
for the most part seem counter productive.
my gratitude is that something is now Clear. It is for your straight talk. For
your courage to walk this path and then talk about it to us. Again, for your willingness
to be in communication and the sense of you as a real person in real time, knowing
the freedom to break the bonds of person and time.
Love - Respect & Gratitude,
shift in the assemblage point experienced with entheogens (psychoactive power
plants, i.e. marijuana, peyote, etc.) is awesome and temporary. It may awaken
the soul to an unspecified longing, the place where everything
is just suspended.
This is the position of the assemblage point where don Juan noted the world stops.
Over time, as the apprentice becomes more proficient in meditative absorption,
attention stabilizes at center, Paul Huff's Ground Zero. Eventually, without relying
on entheogens, the awakened meditator effortlessly resides in meditative absorption,
the samadhi of the nonmeditation yoga.
Juan instructed his apprentices from a position of the assemblage point he referred
to as heightened awareness, the equivalent to meditative absorption. In one of
the most delightful of Castaneda's books, La Gorda and Carlos Castaneda consider
seeing the luminous mold of man:
you ever see the mold, Gorda?”
I asked. “Sure, when I became
complete again. ....The Nagual (don Juan) said that sometimes if we have enough
personal power we can catch a glimpse of the mold even though we are not sorcerers;
when that happens we say that we have seen God. He said that if we call it God
it is the truth. The mold is God.”
Second Ring of Power, Carlos Castaneda
stopped the world, the apprentice studies consciousness itself, aided by the enlightened
songs of master seers. As the mysteries of awareness unravel the nature of the
soul's longing is resolved in the emergence of the Spirit. From the witness-position
in consciousness it is seen that the self is a dream arising in consciousness,
and that the true nature of consciousness is the Divine Self of God.
[literally - God within; God or spirit facilitating] a psychoactive sacramental
substance; a plant or chemical derivative taken to effect religious experience.
the editor at the Hans-Nietsch-Verlag and just read your book, The Four Yogas
Of Enlightenment. To say the least I'm impressed.
Editor in Chief
Classen is the author of Carlos Castaneda und Das Vermächtnis des Don Juan
(Carlos Castaneda and The Legacy of don Juan).
is the publisher of the German edition of The Five Books Of The Adidam Revelation
by Adi Da Samraj.
of all I just want to congratulate you on a superb book, beautifully written.
Such a refreshing change, writing that is specific and truthful, as opposed to
some of those nebulous books out there that never really do it for me!
the last couple of days, I have noticed a change in my meditation. My mind is
making less effort to interfere with my focus, and I have reached a point of consciousness
yesterday that I don't think I have ever been to. I was very calm and did not
have to make an effort to concentrate.
wonderful book provides me with inspiration everyday. Thank you so much.
Sao Paulo, Brazil (April 2000)
happened or the first time today, that experience that it says in your book when
you are in a state of complete clarity...like a bird flying across the sky1.
It felt like I was on the crest of a wave, perfectly balanced not needing to affirm
that things are arising, but just knowing in an effortless way. It is so simple!
Why does it take so long to get to this place of natural mind?
is like each feeling or sensation, or thought that arrives gets dissolved by the
emptiness. I am amazed at how incredible it feels to be in that place, I am afraid
that I won't get there again!! Is this the beginning of the one pointed
yoga, and it is just a question of continuing and practice?
Many, many thanks for your replies.
Sao Paulo, Brazil (February 2002)
trackless consciousness, like a bird flying across the sky.1a
Meditation by the great Tibetan sage and teacher, Gampopa, for maintaining the
unmodulated, natural state of mind.
purpose of this meditation is to maintain undistracted mindfulness while remaining
aware of the nondual nature of consciousness. By stabilizing the mind in tranquil
absorption, while simultaneously studying the abiding nature of mind, we can embark
upon the path of self-realization.
experience of this state will lead to the first or one-pointed yoga, which is
designated as a single pointed awareness of the mind's essential nature. The meditator
will have gained insight into the simplicity of consciousness, which while manifesting
itself uninterruptedly is detached from transitory thoughts.
The Four Yogas, Ch.
11, p. 127. Gampopa (1079-1153), Tibetan Kagyü lineage
began reading your book years ago. I've been absorbing it, little by little, ever
since. I've just gotten around to emailing you about it. Well, it's great. It
has moved me, and changed the way I look at the world. Every single word has meaning
and rings true to my spirit/intuition. Thank you so much for giving it to us.
All the other spiritual books in the world could disappear, and as long as we
had a copy of The Four Yogas of Enlightenment, we would be complete.
K. J. Clark
am on the spiritual path for more than 30 years now. I started with an initiation
into Kriya yoga by Paramahamsa Hariharananda, went on with 10 years work of Bagwan
(Osho), then Tibetan Buddhism (Kagyü lineage by Jigme Rinpoche), followed
by an initiation into shamanism by Don Agustin Rivas from Peru, who works with
ayahuasca. The energy I got contact with on the latter was so strong that my assemblage
point broke loose, and it took me 3 month to stabilize a new cohesion of my world
perception. I feel near to formlessness, but have not manifested it in total until
My chakras are floating free, except
a block of energy over my head. I am solo auditing on OT 2, but I am not in the
Scientology church, but the technique to handle stuck flows is incredible. I also
do Tensegrity, since I have studied Castaneda for about 25 years now. I have had
some glimpses about the totality of self (Tonal-Nagual, Samsara-Nirvana, the physical
universe - the beyond) but I have the sharp realization, that I have not yet reached
one can effortlessly attain and maintain the witness-position in consciousness
(the nonmeditation yoga or moksha-bhava samadhi), it will seem to the meditator
that there is something left to be reached.
marijuana, peyote, and other mind altering substances, shift the assemblage point
away from its customary position, the self or ego. Once the shift away from self
is accomplished, awareness often feels ecstatic in its newfound liberation. Of
course, when the effect of the substance wears off the meditator is once again
confronted with the self. If the meditator is unable to attain the witness position
in meditative awareness, he/she will remain entrained in whatever state arises.
Substituting one illusory state, the ego, for another, the mind altered drug induced
state, will not be resolved into the freedom of awareness of enlightenment. The
cycle of drug induced apparent liberation may result in habituation unless shamanic
or yogic intervention takes place.
the warrior has sufficient personal power to stop the world (savakalpa samadhi)
in yogic or meditative awareness, the self is seen as a nondual, illusory, nonbinding
projection in consciousness, and entrainment in the self is severed.
With further practice a turning about in the seat of consciousness occurs, and
enlightenment is permanent.
the fourth yoga, the nonmeditation yoga, or moksha-bhava samadhi, it is seen that
there is nothing to attain or reach. Consciousness configures the dream of being
in a field of appearance and emptiness. Ultimately and eternally consciousness
precedes matter. There is no out there beyond consciousness. You are
Always and Already.....the One.
said to them,
"When you make the two
when you make the inner like the outer
the outer like the inner,
and the upper like the lower,
when you make male into female into a single one,
the male will not be male
and the female will not be female,
when you make eyes replacing an eye,
a hand replacing a
and an image replacing an image,
then you will
enter the kingdom."
The Secret Teachings
Four Gnostic Gospels, Marvin Meyer
perfecting this nonmeditation stage
The meditator attains naked, unsupported
This nondiscriminatory awareness is the meditation!
the duality of meditation and meditator,
External and internal realities,
The meditating awareness dissolves itself
Into luminous clarity.
It is without the duality of equipoise and postequipoise.
Such is the quintessence of mind.
Tibetan Kagyü lineage
On that day you will realize,
that I am in my Father,
and you are in me,
and I am in you.
I Am The Secret Of The Heart
I Am The Heart Itself, Revealed.
What You Must Realize Is This: I Am You!
I Am The Heart Itself,
Revealed To You,
and To Be Realized As You.
Dawn Horse Testament: The Testament of Secrets
of the Divine World-Teacher
and True Heart-Master,
Avatar Adi Da Samraj
work is extraordinary. I am astounded by its clarity. I found you because of Hubert
Benoit (The Supreme Doctrine: Psychological encounters in Zen thought). He has
long been a mentor of mine. I had been floundering in my own process,
trying to organize the profusion of material and processes.
don't have to reinvent the wheel the inner voice said. Then, I got a hit
that I was supposed to look up Benoit's name on the internet...and there you were.
I cannot begin to tell you what a pleasure your book is bringing me. It is the
next step I very much needed...a map of the myriad things I had accumulated and
confirmation of much of the process.
feel very privileged to have the opportunity to study The Four Yogas...and to
make it part of my own process.
a note to let you know I'm reading your book in more detail now and find it even
better than I did at first. It's interesting that it begins about where my own
book ends. Further, if I had your vocabulary, I'd be dangerous.
from East Meets West - Towards a Global Mysticism, by Judy
day there will come an American who will pick up the ancient Maya contacts, adapt
them to modern needs, and express their forces in an initiatory ritual which shall
be valid for the civilization to which he belongs.”
Kennedy: I've thought long and hard about what
she says there, and the first thing that immediately came to mind was the works
of Carlos Castaneda. In the past few decades, much research and analysis has gone
into his books; perhaps the most revealing being the work of Edward Plotkin, who
has documented the similarities between the complex teachings of the Yaqui sorcerer,
Don Juan, and the more esoteric tenets of Tibetan Buddhism, such as Tantra and
enjoyed visiting your website and found what you had to say in your book about
Carlos Castaneda, Buddhism, and Adi Da to be fascinating and perceptive.
have attended the public workshops now being given by Carlos Castaneda himself
under the auspices of Cleargreen Inc. of Santa Monica, California, and what he
teaches there works well together with your book to prove what you have accomplished.
Los Angeles, California
have completed retreats with Bokar Rinpoche (dharma heir to Kalu Rinpoche1)
and Lama Surya Das (Western Dzogchen teacher2),
and meditate in the very hierarchical, but profoundly intelligent Shambhala Dharmadhatu
path3 (Chögyam Trungpa legacy and sangha4).
Your book is an extraordinary exegesis, and series of signposts in content and
meaning. Thank you for your book.
Medical College of Wisconsin
of meditation practice in the Nyingma Dzogchen and Kagyü Mahamudra tradition,
Kalu Rinpoche (1905-1989) taught extensively in America and Europe. During his
three visits to the West, Kalu Rinpoche founded teaching centers in over a dozen
countries. Mahamudra is an advanced doctrine and practice of the Kagyüpa order
of Tibetan Buddhism, and a foundation teaching presented in The Four Yogas Of
(The Great Perfection) is the consummate practice of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan
Buddhism, and an exceptional path towards the fully awakened state of enlightenment.
Shambhala tradition teaches activities that ‘awaken’
the meditator through mindfulness practices. The three gates of Shambhala are:
Dharmadhatu, for the study of traditional Buddhism; Shambhala Training, which
empowers a fully lived life through the awakening of discerning wisdom; and Nalanda,
a contemplative approach and discipline that explores relating to the world as
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1939-1987) was a Tibetan Buddhist Kagyü meditation master.
Chögyam Trungpa published six books (including Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the
Warrior), established three meditation centres and a contemplative university,
I've just read The Four Yogas and wanted to let you know
it is truly a great book. I've read 12 of Castaneda's books, much of Paramahansa
Yogananda's writings, and 800 pages of the Bhagavad Gita. Your book really brings
these traditions together. Very cool. Many thanks. Everyone should read it at
book is great. I really want to achieve my dream. Please, let me know if this
book is available in the Russian language.
you very much,
want you to know that your book has moved me forward significantly, it is in line
with my own work and personal growth. I thank you from the depth of my heart.
If ever I may be of service to you let me know.
La Jolla, California
read your book cover to cover and was stunned and amazed by its mind-boggling
clarity. It revolutionized my thinking. No longer do I have doubts as to my existence.
However I am left with a strange longing, like I am supposed to meet someone I
will probably never meet. Oh well, that is a bit of a bummer. Nonetheless, I am
now confident I know more about mysterious things than most other people, and
my sense of self-esteem has been delightfully enhanced. When the topics of yoga
and enlightenment come up, I will be well prepared and no longer appear the bumbler.
For this, I am most grateful.
to lightmind.com/daism Adi Da Samraj newsgroup
a lot for everything; The Four Yogas, and your timely correspondence. I carry
a copy of the text in my book bag to work daily. I believe I told you before that
many of the traditions that you have represented were a part of my own personal
study, and you've seemingly lifted each of the major ones (especially don Juan's
Nagualism...which is usually where other people get off the boat) and focused
on them, highlighting their similarities. For this effort, I am truly grateful---if,
for no other reason, only for the kinship of souls who refuse to discriminate
the teaching for the teacher.
you and your efforts.
I've finished reading The Four Yogas of Enlightenment. I want to take a moment
and express my gratitude.
bit of history. Over the past 5 - 6 years (maybe even longer), I have been unable
to embrace the union of emptiness with physical reality. I could not explain this
to anyone! I was beginning to think I was dysfunctional in relationships. Every
time I would get close to someone, my projection onto them, of my ‘stain of emptiness’
frightened me tremendously. It was my sure death! I could not explain what was
going on. I finally gave up!
I understood ‘nothingness’ conceptually and intellectually.
I am a Ken Wilber fan. But this fear was overwhelming, unbearable and stuffed
deep down into my subconscious. I really didn't want to face its reality. Well,
anyway, I really connected with your description of this deep terror. It has been
a very frustrating and gradual process in releasing and understanding this intense
I stumbled onto your book at the right time. I don't think I could have consciously
integrated what was happening to me without your book. Your book allowed me to
step into a process of understanding the void with appreciation.
Once again, thank you.
am actively engrossed in exploring consciousness, and my projections within. I
have been a student of Ken Wilber's The Spectrum Of Consciousness1
since it's publication. I have already learned from your book, just from reading
from a different angle/perspective, which is exactly what you stated in the very
beginning of your book.2 I look forward to the continued study of the
knowledge that your book contains.
Wilber's book presents a synthesis of Eastern and Western paths to enlightenment,
a tour de force in the mapping of transcendental awareness.
awareness is synergistically enhanced through exploration of the teachings of
different masters and traditions. With an understanding achieved in more than
one tradition, cross verification of terms and states of consciousness can be
correlated. Without correlation, progress is exceedingly difficult because there
is no contrasting point of view with which one can glean an intended meaning nor
a deeper understanding.
is one of the best books I've read in years. It clearly transpires both your academic
research work, and what is more important even your personal involvement and experience.
In the past I have worked hard on Castaneda's books and I entirely agree with
your treatment of his work and your cross-correlation of terms.
have been a student of Siddha Yoga for 10 years. In my early college experience
I was an anthropology student and studied Carlos Castaneda works. As a therapist
for 13 years, I resonate with Jungian theory in many ways.
As a seeker, I have dabbled in many areas, trying on this one and that one; not
unlike many modern day explorers. However, it often troubles me that there is
so much information out there, it is so easy to become confused. (One of my life
lessons no doubt) I have been trying to find the golden thread that ties it together.
Thank you once again,
now have the book and it's excellent. I'm very pleased to read how you state the
don Juan material in terms of the 4 yogas - it's really a new perspective for
me. Especially helpful to understand ‘seeing’ better (and to acknowledge that
I've actually had the experience of ‘seeing’ myself and can recognize it, even
if I don't ‘see’ all the time.) Same for what you write re the assemblage point.
I've been dazzled by the ‘special effects’ of the Castaneda books, and did not
understand these teachings quite this way. Also interesting and new for me - how
you present the ally. When all this sinks in a little more I'll write some on
it and ask some questions.
I feel I'm understanding what you're saying in term of Padmasambhava's book on
listening in the Bardo1...The 4 yogas are what the Dhyani Buddhas and
their respective consorts are about - Vajrassattva, Ratnasambhava, Amitabha, and
Amoghasiddhi. The book throws much light on this process, and I feel encouraged
that I can make use of this ‘map’ to navigate my own crossing over...to stalk
enlightenment. It's beginning to seem more doable.
Thank you for your help, and for the tremendous book.
I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who sees that what Buddhism and don Juan
are talking about are not completely different things.
St. Louis, Missouri
Five Dhyani (meditation) Buddhas....Vairochana, Akshobhya, Ratnasambhava, Amitabha,
and Amoghasiddhi, visualized during meditation embody five transcendental wisdoms.
The Bardo Thodol, known as the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and attributed to Padmasambhava,
guides the aspirant towards these transcendental wisdoms, and the resultant spiritual
transformation and enlightened consciousness.
am enjoying your book very much, and meditating on The Four Yogas everyday to
deepen my insight.
you and best wishes.
quick comment, here: I've studied The Four Yogas of Enlightenment and enjoyed
it immensely! Some really hard work went into that document; ....this is top-rate!
to alt.dreams.castaneda newsgroup
visited your site and like it very much. First let me compliment you on your page
design. You've found a way to make frames work for you so that it enhances the
surfing experience. Not an easy task I'd say based on some sites I've visited.
I like the notebook motif.
more importantly, I like your spiritual approach. I have enjoyed a few don Juan
books, dabbled in Siddha Yoga and found something special in Buddhism without
seeing any of those paths excluding the others. I agree with your valuing of cross
verification. If wise men in the Mexican desert and in Tibet come up with the
same truths there must be something there.
An Internet Retreat
was reading an interesting book by Edward Plotkin called the "Four Yogas
of Enlightenment" - it is a book on Meso-American Shamanism, Esoteric Buddhism
and Kashmir Shaivism. In course of reading the book, there were certain sections
that seemed "dry" on the first reading, but oneday, when I picked it
up to read again, there was this immmense clarity of understanding, and I could
visualize that the author was trying to say - I'd say that I feel the Yoga of
Gyana (Jnana) was something of that order. When seemingly convoluted ideas become
clear all of a sudden, and thoughts project the subject one is studying like a
camera (in the mind's eye).
you for making a significant contribution to the understanding of the Great Tradition
of religion as a unified legacy of mankind.
Let me announce where my prejudices lies: as a devotee
of Sri Bhagavan Adi Da, my practice is centered on Ishta-Guru-Bhakti Yoga, or
devotion to my most beloved guru.
I feel I can recommend your text quite highly to those not prepared for submission
to a guru.
Best wishes, and keep me informed
of your future works.
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, England, Finland,
France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan,
Kuwait, Lithuania, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand,
Norway, Panama, Puerto Rico, Romania, Scotland, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa,
Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad
and Tobago, Turkey,
Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States, and Venezuela.
look forward to hearing from you, and thank you for your participation in raising
the worldwide banner of enlightened awareness.