Sarlo: may I give you my personal experiences with some of the PapaJi Advaita teachers? By virtue of living in Northern California, I am able to see just able everyone who comes through the Bay Area. I have spent a lot of time with Arjuna Nick Ardagh as he lives close by in Nevada City. I have also sat with Mira, PapaJi's long time devotee and romantic interest; Hanuman; Vartman; Neelam; GangaJi; and Isaac Shapiro.
Although I benefitted from interacting with them all, it is the later two that I champion the most. GangaJi is the sweetest, most powerful teacher. I consider her my main teacher. I have spent a lot of time with her in public satsangs, semi-private meetings, and week long silent retreats. She is of the highest integrity. Virtually every word I have heard her utter in satsang has the special, deep meaning of an Awakened Master, one who is a direct mouthpiece for the Beloved Friend. The Presence at her gatherings, and surrounding her mortal body, is Silent Peace itself.
I had an extraordinary 'experience' of Open Awareness the first time I met her. It was Dec 1997. I had seen one of her videos and was immediately attracted. I had lost some heart in the TM Siddhi program I had been doing for 23 years (why wasn't I enlightened yet, why is Maharishi always needing money for a new project?). My brother had died of cancer at an early age and I had even started drinking over it. I was in a real life crisis.
The morning of satsang day I awoke in an irritable mood with lots of physical discomforts. It was such a bad day I almost didn't go. When I arrived at the satsang venue I was beset with self-criticism and a bad case of 'cranking mind'. I entered the hall, sat quietly will 250 others and awaited her entry.
She came and we all meditated. At first my mind raced even more than earlier. Then it happened...so unexpectedly. Everything STOPPED. No mind, no ego, no body, only I AM. Time and space disappeared. 'I' was so FREE, I never wanted to open the eyes again. Nothing was desired, nothing was needed. At some point she began to speak, with a rare, soft, sweet power to her voice. I opened my eyes and sat mezmerized by her every syllable for the next hour. I had had 'experiences' of Self in TM, but nothing as dramatic and unmistakeable as this.
The Bliss Kiss ended in a few days and 'crap' appeared in experience again, and still does. But my association with her the last 4 years has been so special to me. She has guided me Spiritually deeper and deeper into the True Nature. Now when unpleasantness is happening in the present moment, I am more successful at not resisting, and keyed to sink deeper into Self. I am eternally grateful to her. If you get a chance to see her sometime, it is well worth your time. Even if she isn't your True Teacher, the interaction with the One Heart of the entire room is so wonderful.
I have really rattled on here, but I must mention Isaac very briefly. I just finished seeing him in Berkeley. My 3rd set of satsangs with him. His essence is so sweet...Kapha Enneagram 9...unflappably loving and Present. He is so surrendered to, and dedicated to What Is. He is so inspiring.
It's good that you have GangaJi at 3 units, at least. She is definitely a cut above. But I really would like to see her at 4 units or higher. She is the real thing, the whole thing. And she has a delivery that is very appealing to a wide audience. She is at the vanguard of what I think is a new wave of Awakening. Plus, Isaac deserves at least 3 units.
Well Sarlo, I just wanted to give you a personal report of my experiences. Keep up the good work with your site. I read you and Nonduality Salon very often. Thank you for the website.
Namaste, Cullen Anderson
PS: Arjuna still has a very high regard for Osho.