Wheeler, May 2004, Santa Cruz
I first became aware of John Wheeler when I saw a flyer of his
posted on the bulletin board outside the Herb Room/Food Bin in
Santa Cruz (a highly recommended herbal/natural food store combo).
It was somewhat standard advaita fare; he'd studied for years, but
got it quickly and finally from Bob Adamson. He was holding weekly
satsangs at the Pacific Cultural Center, $10 dollar donation. All
the dates on the flyer were past, but I made a mental note to see
if I could check him out some time. When I looked for him on the
web I didn't find anything, even Sarlo had no listing for him. Six
months later, he appeared among Sarlo's new adds. I went to his
website and saw that he was still doing weekly satsangs at the PCC,
so I went to the next one I could make.
It was held in the "Dining Room", the Center's smallest
space, which rents for $16 an hour. John Wheeler's satsangs are 90
minutes long. When I arrived, a couple of minutes early for the
half past 6 starting time, a small circle of about eight folding
chairs was set up. John sat in a chair where he could see and
greet newcomers. He was already engaged in conversation with a
man, and after introductions I just sat down and listened for a
while. Not really listening though, because I had come with my own
question prepared. I wanted to ask his advice. What do I do? I've
studied nondualism for thirty years, I have a firm intellectual
grasp of it and it makes sense to me. But I also know that none of
the logic and reasoning conveys that actual "certain
knowledge" which nondualism promises is possible. Would he
tell me just to wait, that it would happen when it wanted?
After listening for a while to John talk with his friend about
"thinking you've lost it", the feelings of doubt that
surface, etc. I got the impression that the friend had made the
realization, but it wasn't stabilized or something, like I say, I
wasn't really listening.
After a few minutes John's attention moved to me and he asked me
why I'd come. So I framed my question for him pretty much as I
have here, and he replied by telling me what Bob Adamson had told
him (actually, asked him). Bob asked him if he knew what
Nisargadatta was talking about, what Ramana was talking about, and
John, after 15 years of studying the stuff, had to admit that the
answer was no, not really. As John was telling me about it I had
to make the same admission to him. Then Bob had asked him, and
John asked me, "Do you exist?" I had to agree; it seemed
like the only thing I knew for sure. Then Bob/John asked, "Do
you have awareness?", and I was immediately conscious of
spacetime, of the room, of my body, of my consciousness, and I had
to say that yes, I have awareness, and Iím aware of it.
"Thatís it!" Bob/John declared, "Thatís what
theyíre talking about." I was enlightened by this.
John continued on talking to me after that about something or
other, but what else is there really to say. Iím enlightened. I
donít need advaita chitchat any more. After a few more minutes
another fellow entered and was introduced; I took it as my
opportunity to try to gracefully exit, though it surprised them
nonetheless. I heard them laughing as I went out. "That must
be a record!" one said. Later on I found this in Sarloís
review of Bob Adamson, "Nisargadatta told him the greatest
help that can be given to anyone is to take them beyond the need
for further help." Thanks John, for the greatest help. Bob
should be very proud of you.
[Sarlo: and a Dec 2009 PS from another
visitor to John:]
Just found your site and went to the John
Wheeler listing. Regarding the story [above] from the man who
"got it" from / thru John Wheeler also happened to me.
I met John last month. Sat there and listened for 5
minutes and BOOM! I am SO grateful to him. I jokingly
refer to him as my "five-minute guru."
* Ė This
is an expandable set of pages. If you've been to see any of my
listees and would like to offer an "objective" report, ie
from one not already "attached" to the teacher in question
or full of ideas based on attachment to a "competing"
teacher, send it in (Feedback)
and i'll be happy to put it up. Other Reports