Sat Sep 6 20:17:55 2003
FIRST THREE WITH TWO EUDEMONIES
I'm just starting a new essay with the working title:
"The Eudaimony 'Plateau' Effect" in which I want to discuss
why people operate on such low levels of 'well-being' as if
'that's all there is' instead of opening themselves up to
more -- or at least the realization that what they receive
every night asleep -- dissolving into union within the
great ocean of self - if reached consciously while awake,
would realize their deepest desires and awaken the
understanding that infinite love and consciousness is their
true self - Sat-Chit-Ananda - and not tradeable commodities
on the Schlock Exchange.
This theme grows out of two of my own experiences: one,
with my personal 'method' for achieving higher levels of
eudaimony (seizing the tip of my tongue the very instant I
awaken and nursing on it and the uvula/soft palate area --
an exercise I describe in some length on my developing
website) I find that I basically reach my personal bliss
tolerance level and then 'overflow' back into sleep or else
'drift' into an awake 'project' -- 'time to get up and make
coffee, etc' that moves me away from the exercise. Curious,
no? I have a method of nursing on my heart as if it was the
Divine Mother's breast and I reach satiation too soon, in
the sense that I know I could go further into wider
understandings and realms, so to speak. In other words, I
drop away before I can claim any permanent abiding in THAT.
The second experience is that, despite my best efforts,
only a very few of my friends seem to have any idea of what
can be experienced via the tongue/uvula nursing exercise.
So perhaps either this is a very personal path, or else
they too are hitting a bliss tolerance level set too low
because of their life experiences, their growing-up,
whatever. Even the word 'bliss' these days has been so
messed up that I hesitate even to evoke it.
I do not mean to imply that my own current state of
being is not so fulfilled that I am not extremely grateful
for it. I am indeed one of the luckiest guys around, but I
do at the same time feel that my ‘job’ in this lifetime is
to achieve a permanent seat ‘at the table,’ to continue
the metaphor, and to prove to my own satisfaction as well
as a positive example to others that the classically
defined states of Union and Awakening can be achieved
within one lifetime by a perfectly imperfect, happily
married with wonderful kids and a favorite dog, ensconced
in a fulltime job sort of guy. Nicht wahr?
Any suggestions, advice, critiques of the topic, etc.
are very welcome! Love from your Older Bro, Ramon
The beginning of the autumn season has kept me busy at work
as well as with family-friends at home, so my Salvia meditation times
have been far and few. Also, the sun has moved behind the plum
tree from my favorite 'bucket hammock' seat in the garden, so now
I'm working out other sitting sites or perhaps going back to night
time use (also very inspirational!).
The main thing my 12 or so Salvia experiences have shown me
is that if all lateral tension is hummed or 'om'd' or sung out
of the body, then one's speaking voice begins to resonate fully all the
way out to fingers and toes during one's consensus state of mind.
I now continue working on the 'snarl-purr' in-out sound, which
I produce most easily when I hold a very wide smile and snore
on the inhale, and 'gargle' on the exhale. What's interesting about
this mouth position is that I can purr in and out without changing
anything, allowing the lips also to vibrate a little on each in and
I'm now trying to subvocalize this with a less wide smile so
that I can do it anywhere any time without anyone thinking I'm
weird (I am weird, but I'd rather not spread it around in public).
Once I get it going, I find I can relax the smile and keep the
same 'purr' happening, but it's still resonating at about the same
volume as a light snore. I can get away with this in bed at night
when my darling bed-sharer is asleep without awakening her,
but I'd like to make it totally silent. I find that if I then frame the word
"ALL" in the back of my throat silently, on both in and out
breath, I can sort of keep the same energy moving through my body.
Is this where the God name "ALLAH" evolved?
Now I'm trying the ALL as "AL-LA-LA-LA," moving the tongue
quietly in 'La-la's' inside the mouth.
Now if I can just avoid from the plateau effect when I reach
my bliss tolerance ceiling, and break through to new levels!
AL-LA-LA-LA on the heartbeat, on the in and out breath!!!
Very strong! The word "AWE" also works well, by the way.
Speaking of bright guys, there's a book I just finished
you might enjoy: "Rational Mysticism: Dispatches from the
Border Between Science and Spirituality" by John Horgan.
He has a website you might check out, and also links to
yet another that seems chuck full of interesting folks:
The latter grew out of John Brockman's 'Reality Club'
> I've also been thinking of writing; perhaps the great
Not much has been written about the hippie days,
all those communes sprung up like mushrooms. A lot of
good material just waiting for the right person. T C Boyle
just did a huge disfavor to the whole open-door hippie
ranch movement in his latest one, "Drop City." And he did
me the dis-favor of using my last name for the leader --
not that I really care that much in the long run -- I'm not
out to buff up the persona. I had a few e-mails back and
forth with the guy. He tries to be pleasant, but really
comes across like a total narcissist. A bunch of us tried
to rebut his Zap Comix portrayal in various places,
http://www.hippiemuseum.org/dropcity.html and then an
article came out in the Sonoma County local press:
city-0320.html You already write very well. There are
online courses you can take -- my wife Judy got a lot out
of several she took with Gotham Writers Workshops, and
might be able to recommend a specific teacher. I know there
was one she really admired who was working on a Hemingway
biography. I used to 'interview' my characters as if they
were real people, about their family, their growing up,
their likes and dislikes, acually building a dossier for
each one of them. I've got the interview questions on my
hard drive somewhere, if they'd help. My way of starting
usually was to take the original 'inspiration' as far as I
could go in a first draft - sometimes just short story
length, sometimes further. Then I'd write an outline for
the book where I THOUGHT it was going. This served me as a
skeleton to continue writing on, but sometimes -- and this
I always encouraged -- the characters had their own idea of
where the story was leading. I's sure you know that the
road to publication is a crapshoot, and the Catch-22 is
that you can't get a literary agent unless you're
published, and a publisher won't look at your ms. unless
you have an agent.
Now you may be one of those top .02% who actually get
'discovered' for the quality of their prose and by sheer
dumb luck. If so, then New York (if you are lucky and don't
just fall into the 'lower end of the list that we won't
promote)' will print a quarter million copies, plaster your
sweet face all over the subways, put you on every stupid TV
and radio talk show to inflate you to celebrityhood. The
innate schizophrenia built into the career is that you have
to be a hermit to get the writing done -- or at least I
can't do it without multiple in-sequence hours (not just
one here, one there) -- and then -- shazam! -- suddenly
you're in front of the TV eye trying to perform like a
trained seal. The one time I did a book tour I was a
complete wreck for six months afterwards -- maybe longer --
and it also ruined my relationship. I really began to
believe that my soul had been 'stolen' by being the
recipient of millions of viewers' put-down thoughts. On the
other hand, my dear friend Gerald Rosen who's published six
books (three novels) loves the talk show circuit. It
reminded me of a story Gurdjieff tells in his hilarious
"All and Everything" about the man whose job it was to ring
the bell in the morning that awakened the townspeople. He
told his teacher how awful he felt after ringing it. His
teacher told him that, before ringing the bell, he should
shout out a curse on all within bell-hearing distance. "You
sons of misbegotten camels, may you suffer terminal
dingleberries, may your teeth fall like rotted grapes, etc.
etc." He followed his teacher's advice and immediately felt
much better after ringing the bell.
As his teacher explained, every morning after he rang
the bell he was the receiver of all the curses of his
listeners, who were saying, "Oh that imbecile of a bell-
ringer. May he rot in hell for awakening me to yet another
I suppose he who curses first laughs last?
trying to get a second edition of a book together and up
on a Publish on Demand site, and instead avoiding the
grunt work for the more seductive fun of putting new
> Is it hard to publish a novel once you have one
> written? Is it better to write stories (or essays)
If you're trying for a 'track record' to impress a
potential publisher/agent, of course a list of
essays/stories that have been published helps. If you're
interested in the story of how my first novel got de-
published, check out: http://www.raysender.com/logbook.html
I guess it was my own attempt at a 'hippie novel,'
although structured as a future fantasy in an alternate
dimension. A lot of the characters are real, however,
either friends or 'celebrities'. I discovered that friends
just LOVE to appear in one's book, even if you put words in
their mouths. Same fascination as appearing on camera, I
guess. Anyway, I wrote two sequels, and have a third in
outline format, but vowed I'd never write it until the
three previous ones were in print. So I think I'll wait a
Meanwhile, I'm re-issuing my non-fiction book (out of
print with the Univ. of New Mexico Press) a family memoir
focused on my mother's story in Spain, as a "Print On
Demand" book via http://www.greatunpublished.com who seemed
to have the best deal ($300 to them, and I get I think 40%
of each book sold). I was also invited to submit a
manuscript for an e-book start-up called
http://www.pulpbits.com that also offer a large royalty on
sales, so I figgered 'What the hell? It's better than
having the manuscript sit in the drawer.' So I sent them
one that my agent couldn't sell anywhere, although he liked
it a lot. He himself has retired, so I'm once again agent-
less - and must confess that he was totally unable to sell
anything of mine anyway, dear man though he was, and with
impeccable publishing credentials. I don't think he liked
my fiction, however.
Actually, all I want is to be able to merge with the
universe up to and beyond my ability to 'contain' it any
time I want, no matter what's going on. And I think for
myself, personally, I'm getting close. Although the last
time I confessed it, Universe immediately inundated me with
various tests: a dead battery, a dead emergency booster
device, the current nursery school cold with an effing
cough I couldn't shake for two weeks and FINALLY had to go
to a damn AMA MD who prescribed what AMA MD's always
prescribe: an antibiotic "for the virus," he said (!!!) and
an ADVAIR puffer that is probably a steroid. Antiobiotics
and steroids are basically what I get whenever I venture
into one of their germ-laden lairs.
> It actually sounds like a familiar hindu
>method, where "nectar" is produced through sending the
>tip of the tongue back down the throat.
Yes, the Kechari Mudra - reversing the tongue. Taken to
its extreme, you slice the - frenum? - the ligament under
the tongue so that it will reach further down the throat.
I'll avoid that. And what I find is that in the Kechari
Mudra, as I 'plateau' out, I lose the mudra and my tongue
slips back into position. I 'hold' longer with the tip
between my teeth. I noticed that my spiritual teacher,
David Spero, used what looked like one of those teeth
guards during meditation. What I inquired, he said that he
was having 'problems with a tooth.' But heck, I'm gonna try
it. although I have a stripped-down pacified (just the
rubber nipple) I can hold nicely on top of my tongue as a
I have a method of nursing on my heart as if it
was the Divine Mother's breast and I reach satiation too
soon, in the sense that I know I could go further into
wider understandings and realms, so to >speak. In other
words, I drop away before I can claim >any permanent
abiding in THAT. Dumb, eh?
> I am very much into
>simplification, and have little interest in the
>proliferation of methods.
So am I -- which is why I keep looking _beyond_ or
perhaps _below_ the standard advaita instructions that,
simple as they are, are basically beyond the reach of the
average person. (My 'Poohbear's Advice to Eeyore' essay
more or less tries to address this).
> On a personal level, constant, chronic pain are an
>everyday and immediate issue for me.
I'm truly sorry to hear that, T. But at the risk of
repeating myself, and irritating you thoroughly with my
stupidity, I REALLY have found that stimulating the nerves
around the tongue -- example: how one naturally 'bites the
tongue' or 'bites the lip' when anticipating -- pain -- can
overwhelm painful sensations from other parts of the body.
Of course, when I pinched a sacral nerve that triggered
shooting pains in one thigh, I didn't do so well and ended
up at the chirpractor... But maybe next time...
I now pull energy up the spine via a combination of
mulabandha on the inhale with the kechari-nursing movements
of the tongue.
> If people were to realize the implications of
>nonduality and the nonexistence of ego, I don't think any
>of the spiritual activities would be of any further
>interest. Thus, realizing those implications *is* the
>method, and everything else is more or less a distraction,
>in my view.
Of course you are, 'bottom line', absolutely correct.
But for most people, this realization is completely
inaccessible due to the armoring of their bodies, their
psyches, their souls. To get an easy 'flow' going that can
wash all this away and uncover the core truth is what I'm
interested in, which is why I keep coming up with odd bits
and pieces, some of which I know for sure are 'hidden' or
'whispered' teachings that traditionally are only shared
with the initiated disciple.
> I can readily fall into a meditative state
>myself, but generally, as you say, disappear into it.
>Seems only natural.
Yes, and then... Ken Wilber claims to remain in nondual
awareness even in deep sleep. That seems like a positive --
although 'unnatural' state.
> You seem to be a happy guy, and if you want to
>suck on your toes it is fine with me. I think any
>individual can simply invent "methods" which work for
>them, out of simple association. Rumi has a poem about
>that, featuring a cat who always hung around a certain
>mousehole because once he caught a rat there. Many
>people associate bliss with various things they have
>done, because the events coincided in time. So now they
>use the same techniques, and they may even work. I don't
>think any of them have any intrinsic meaning to them,
I view the whole 'non-dual' journey on one level as a
regression backwards through one's life to one's original
infant self, this time 'conscious' however (the infant is
THAT but unconscious of being THAT), and then through the
embryonic states, the zygote, and then -- whoom! -- out
through the moment of conception, but trailing a 'silver
thread' so you don't blow the body. Of course this could
all be metaphor, a 'method,' but it seems to correlate
well with so-called NDE's and some other altered state
The second experience is that, despite my best
efforts, only a very few of my friends seem to have any
idea of what can be experienced via the tongue/uvula
nursing exercise. So perhaps either this is a very
personal path, It sounds pretty personal. or
else they too are hitting a bliss tolerance level set too
low because of their life experiences, their growing-up,
whatever. Even the word 'bliss' these days has been so
messed up that I hesitate even to evoke it.
>I don't use it either. One sees very little present tense
> bliss. Suffering is much more common. Thus it is the
>end of the suffering-bliss continuum most people are
>interested in. Only the sick need a physician.
>Only those in pain feel any urgency. The 'wellness' end
>of spirituality is probably a small group, because people
>are obviously lost and confused, surrounded by misery,
>dishonesty and corruption.
> I see two aspects only to spirituality. First, to
> live up to the implications of being one organism with
YEAH! Pure Awareness.
> Second, to see clearly what is going on around us.
>These two activities may not seem like much, but they
>could take up all your time, and engaging in them may
>show other activities to be something of a waste of time.
> Again, you seem to be a happy guy, and that is
>certainly important. I raised my children to be happy
>people, and now they are a pleasure to be around. Of
>course, they don't need much spiritual assistance, but
>that the way it goes.
Same with my three sons. But I figure over time each
will find what they need, and perhaps whatever positive
examples I can offer -- or have offered -- will be helpful.
Of course I made some huge mistakes also, but they seem to
have forgiven me.
> If your methods help others to be happy, I can't
>see any harm in it. But my own tendency is to get to the
>roots of things, deal with neurosis, self-deception, the
>desire for self-esteem. The root in each case is the
>"self," the non-existent problem.
I've found the book "Halfway Up The Mountain: Premature
Claims To Enlightenment" by Mariana Caplan not only a
sobering read, but very helpful.
> Many spiritual methods - perhaps most, if they
>are not specifically designed otherwise - actually
>reinforce the so-called ego and the personal desires
>associated with it. A good number even 'admit' that the
>ego must be reinforced before it can be dropped, a slick
>endrun around the problem of getting people to accept
>their teaching. My friend, if you advertize your method
>to your friends and/or potential customers as a way of
>making "I" a happier person, through exercises, it may
>actually appear to me as something which further enmeshes
>them in ignorance.
I don't view myself as teaching any method, but more as
a cross-country traveller trying to leave 'markers' that
_could_ perhaps be of use to others. Occasionally I fall
into the core self and have then to remind the donkey
Eeyore (Io, Ego, Yo) that he is merely the 'caballo' that
She is riding, She Who Manifests First and Cleans Up Last,
as I fondly refer to Aditi-Eesees-Oma-Whatever Name You
> Most of the people of the sufi-mystic list are
>actually kindly people who want to help themselves and
>help others, and accomplish *only the reverse*. They
>praise each other for their skills and kindness, and they
>are only doing each other damage. I can see this clearer
>but pointing it out only makes people upset and angry.
?If it didn't make them upset and angry, I wouldn't be
>making my point at all. So even while I like the people
>and want to be kind to them and try to be kind to them, I
>often hurt their feelings. For some people, it is much
>worse. I recently wrote of the 'teacher' being like a
>mirror. The 'teacher'-mirror has a nice wood frame with
>carved flowers and leaves, and looking at the frame, you
>see nice craftsmanship and pleasant work, and you like
>it. Look at the mirror itself, however, and you see only
>yourself, what ever you have brought to the party.
Wilber, quoted in a book I recommended earlier,
"Rational Mysticism" by John Horgan): "You get this
experience: 'Oh my God! I am one with God! Oh, this is
amazing! Nobody's EVER had this experience in the entire
history of the universe!' But the personality that you had
before you got your satori is the personality you're stuck
with. If you're a geeky little toad, then you're gonna be a
geeky little toad that thinks he's God. And then it's going
to be really hard to get rid of your geeky toadness,
because nobody can tell God what to do... There's nothing
wrong with having a healthy ego [Wilber ought to know! -
R]; it helps you get things done in the world. But when
gurus proclaim themselves to be perfect masters no longer
bound by human ethics, things start to get very, very ugly.
It happens all the time. Not SOME of the time. ALL the
> Note, Ramon, that it is very rare than any of
>these so-called spiritual people actually speak of a
>dedication to God, to doing God's working and acting in
>Her service. I don't use the word God much myself
>either, because it relates to the word "ego" - both are
>ends of a continuum of Self-nature.
Almost the same letters in the words. EGO-D?
> But my point is that it is ego-gratification which
>motivates most people, even on spiritual lists. For these
>people to discover this, that they are not only not
>working for God, but actually being used as an agent for
>his enemy, the devil - for them to look in the mirror and
>see a devil-face, misleading and bragging and gaining only
>in selfishness, it can be a painful shock, and one they
>are likely to deny, declaring it to be no mirror at all.
> Conversely, a person truly on the Path wants
>>nothing more than to see themselves and their environment
>more clearly. They look for mirrors and delight when
>they find them.
ANYWAY, T, you're about the
brightest guy I've had any correspondence with, so I
thought I'd ask your input, if this topic interests you
>Thanks for the compliment. I'm really
>not sure what you are asking me, but I have probably
>disposed of it anyway.
I always appreciate your input, T, and would only add
one final thought: I like to think of the ego as a domestic
animal that needs to be trained to 'sit,' to 'lie down,' to
understand that it should not dominate with its demands
just the way my dog Riqui will bully his way into an alpha
position with a guest if allowed to. Actually Ego, just
like our dog Riqui, LIKES to be dominated, put in its
proper place, because then it feels secure. Someone else is
'in charge' and it doesn't have to be 'on the look-out.'
Alpha status is tough, if you observe it in other species.
You're a pretty paranoid guy, always on the lookout for the
other younger male eager to take over the harem, the
territory, the CEO of your company. Hard on the nerves,
hard on the circulatory system, all that adrenalin which is
sort of draining but at the same time so addictive. The 'in
love' high is somewhat similar. Observing it in a friend
with manic-depressive tendencies recently was quite
educational. Suddenly he was transformed! Oh man, did he
feel great! On top of the world! Sunny side up!
But there's more than all this nonsense. There's an
inexhaustible source of Being at the core of ourselves, if
we just clean out the accumulated junk. And I also think
there's a built in vacuum cleaner to cleanse the nadis or
the psychic Qi channels or whatever imagery you prefer.
Once you're flowing, then these deep energies can heal you,
and be always available whenever you need them. It's that
Of course I'm not battling serious pain. Serious pain is
a deep yoga, and one almost all of us must face at some
point in our lives. Ramana seemed to have stayed outside it
at the end of his life, so that's a good example for the
rest of us.
From the Me in me that's the same as the ME in you,
Recognition and Love,
P.S. Write that damn book! But why a novel? I think you
could write a great 'On the Path' journal also. Non-
fiction is easier to sell. The basic truth to good non-
fiction: the more personally you write, the more
universally you touch others.
From - Sat Sep 8 20:23:36 2003
I'm very happy to hear from you. I must have
written to you from your website, as I can't find a
copy of my original letter. So please excuse any
I find your suggested exercises very
inspirational, and as I probably mentioned there are
ways they intersect with ones I already practice, plus
add important new insights.
The 'breath of fire' of course relates to
'bhastrika,' and I checked Iyengar's book to discover a
variant he suggests, where the nostrils are slightly
pinched shut. I tried this and it works very well
because the abdominal muscles have to work harder (a
better 'toning') and also the nostrils seem to receive
more prana energy.
The second exercise, jalandhara and mulabandha, also
relates to the 'orgasmic reflex' that W. Reich
discovered - I'm now going to order his books, which I
have not read in years. I find that uttering "Ma" with
the 'jalandhara and mulabandha' in a series of exhales
duplicates not only the Reichian reflex but also a
reflex I've been working with that is the final outcome
of a prolonged bout of crying by a two-year-old (I'm
exploring an early traumatic episode in my own life
when I lost my mother forever at that age).
I see a parallel between moving into higher and
higher states of awakening and a series of regressions
back thru childhood, infancy, the embryo, zygote to the
moment of conception. This may all be just metaphor,
but I have found it useful.
Also, I must confess, I have recently, after a 22-
year entheogen and 'herb' fast, discovered the goddess
La Pastora in Salvia Divinorum. The four or five times
I've encountered her in the past months have been
extremely grace- filled. She totally dissolved me for a
few moments of total freedom once, and then -- well,
it's truly indescribable. One foot in the yogas and one
in the Archaic Revival culture I think is the balance
point I can work with.
Again, many many thanks,
Ramon (Ray) Sender http://www.raysender.com
> My Dear Friend and fellow Traveler, > > Thank you
for the info and your insights. >In regards to your
recent adventures I can only say >that I have traveled
many paths, and I have confirmed, >at least to my own
satisfaction, the truth > of an ancient Toaist saying:
> > "The path from which you can fall- > Is Not The
Yes, that is the truth. But I would only comment
that sometimes we can accept the Grace of a temporary
dissolving into THAT while still conscious in order to
bring a roadmap back with us. La Pastora, the goddess
behind Salvia, seems to allow that.
By the way, many many thanks for the "eee-vam"
mantram. It has been proving very helpful. I identify
it, for my own use, with the name of the primordial
feminine 'Eve/Eva,' which also equates harmoniously
with Salvia's La Pastora, the shepherdess (who is also
a garden goddess). It has helped me sort out six levels
of the mulabandha contraction.
Sincerely -- and thank you for the Taoist quote. I'm
a great admirer of the Taoist teachings.
Ramon (Ray) Sender
Just ME again, the ME that's the same as the ME in
you. I've been practicing the 'croaky voice' that we
used to do as kids -- 'Can you talk like this?' but on
And then the lowest pitch possible on the inhale:
"Can you talk like this?"
"hunhhhhh" on the same pitch exhale.
It's sort of where we humans end