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
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
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
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 the double
is a prelude to the development of fearlessness, serenity, wisdom,
and ultimate enlightenment.
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 observe.
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
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
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).
Hans-Nietsch-Verlag is the publisher of the
German edition of The Five Books Of The Adidam Revelation by Adi
First 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
wonderful book provides me with inspiration everyday. Thank you so
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.
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 now.
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 it.
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
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
said to them,
"When you make the two into one,
when you make the inner like the outer
and the outer like the inner,
and the upper like the lower,
when you make male into female into a single one,
so that the male will not be male
and the female will not be female,
when you make eyes replacing an eye,
a hand replacing a hand,
and an image replacing an image,
then you will enter the kingdom."
The Secret Teachings Of Jesus:
Four Gnostic Gospels, Marvin Meyer
perfecting this nonmeditation stage
The meditator attains naked, unsupported awareness.
This nondiscriminatory awareness is the meditation!
By transcending the duality of meditation and meditator,
External and internal realities,
The meditating awareness dissolves itself
Into luminous clarity.
Transcending the intellect,
It is without the duality of equipoise and postequipoise.
Such is the quintessence of mind.
Phagdru Dorje Gyalpo,
Tibetan Kagyü lineage
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
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.
Just 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.
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
I enjoyed visiting your website and found what you had to say in
your book about Carlos Castaneda, Buddhism, and Adi Da to be fascinating
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.
Joel Puleo MD
Medical College of Wisconsin
master 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 Enlightenment.
(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 it is.
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, Naropa Institute.
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.
I 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.
I am enjoying your book very much, and meditating on The Four Yogas
everyday to deepen my insight.
you and best wishes.
.....a 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
.....I 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).
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 some time!
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.