Essays listed in chronological order starting with most recent. For archives, please see previous volumes below.
  • Rudy Bauer

Muktananda Retreat

By Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D., Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, A.B.P.P.


Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D. Author, Karen Ferguson, Editor


1. Being around Baba Muktananda was a bit like being in heaven, or as yogis say, samsara and nirvana become one.  At times, it was not easy.  Being with Baba was challenging, but nonetheless, it was heaven; happiness within lots of drama, the divine embrace within humanness. How could this be?

2.  Swami Muktananda was a master of TRANSMISSION.  Of course, as you and I know, people transmit all the time.  We can transmit our unhappy minds, unbearable affects, unhappy experience; i.e., what we cannot bear, we send and we discharge to another.  But, we can also place and transmit goodness and well being into the other. We transmit all kinds of stuff, you name it, and we transmit it.  This happens in couples, in families, it happens with children, in groups, in the generational field, in institutions and in countries.  Humans transmit…even to their cats and dogs and birds.

3.  What did Baba transmit so directly and pervasively?  He transmitted his own state, he transmitted his own experience of his innermost awareness, his own experience of consciousness, he transmitted consciousness. Not simply his mind but consciousness itself.  He loved giving this experience to everyone, this experience of luminosity and everyone (all kinds of people) felt this givenness, this generosity.  He could extend his own awareness field into everyone around him, this field of felt spaciousness and unboundedness, this field of light and the field of shakti, the energy.  He could transmit the sense of oneness and bliss.  He was master of great compassion, which actually is the transmission of true love, pure love…the heart essence or Hridayam.

4.  He could transmit through speech, he could transmit through touch, he could transmit through his heart and through his mind.

5. He could amplify the intensity of the field of divine consciousness, so intense at times.  He could pacify the energy; he could magnetize and bring forth this experience from within a person, from within the hiddenness inside a person.  He could summon the awakening of awareness, the awakening of the kundalini.  And, he was person who loved this function and loved bringing forth this capacity in everyone.

6.  Baba was his own person and he loved the guru.  Once I asked him this question. "Baba, I have a problem.  I love you and yet I am cynical about the guru.  Can you help me with this dilemma?"

7. "You love me…you love me….so what? Do you see signs saying,' love Baba' here?  Is that what you understand?  Loving Baba will get you nothing, absolutely nothing." Then, he paused a long time. "The criticism you have of the guru is the criticism of your inner self.  The guru is your innermost self." Then he paused again. "You know, you should get beyond your mind.  You should get beyond right and wrong, better and best, good and evil and even truth and falsity, and then, you will live in the oneness of the self forever and ever, life after life and death after death."

8.  It was a great moment. It was a moment of true empowerment.  I began to slowly come to know that the guru was not a person but awareness itself, divinity itself in me and in others, not simply by what he said, but in his saying, he transmitted the experience.  Just a bit of what he was saying to me about self revelation and self recognition, that authorship became my own. Slowly but surely, one senses the guru in ones self, as ones self.  The guru is within situations and the guru is within others. That is why Baba would so often say, "Wherever I am, I only see only the guru". He also so often would say, "The bliss of samadhi is the bliss of the world.  God dwells within you as you.  See God in each other. Welcoming you is my highest practice."

9. There is a poem from the Siddha tradition that goes like this:

Ah…my own awareness is the guru… In self recognition I take refuge The awareness of self liberation is always present in everyone….though momentarily hidden The primordial guru is always so pure And this knowingness gives protection in every event and in every moment. When the widespread purity and oneness of existence and appearance manifest The blessing of direct perception takes places…direct knowingness…gnosis…jnana. The differentiation of the meditater and what is meditated upon dissolves The always existent truth of my innermost awareness being the guru, Provides abiding stability in the vastness of the all pervading essence of events My own nature as consciousness purifies and dissolves the very lack of knowingness. My body, my speech and my mind are the very manifestations of this divine consciousness Just as they are And the essence of all events are free of failure and success And free of rejection and acceptance In this awareness everything is the play of the essence, the play of consciousness Repeat the mantra guru om, guru om, guru om And you will experience the body of light which is the great transmigration guru.

10. One of the great pleasures of being with Baba was sitting in large room with hundreds of people.  In the darkness Baba would slowly walk and touch everyone, saying the mantra, guru om.  In this way, he invoked the experience of the guru, the guru as shakti, the guru as unbound openness, as pure love, pure presence. Slowly but surely, over time, one integrates ones mind and body into this experience of the light of awareness.  One integrates thinking and judgment, feeling and sensation and memory and fantasy.

11.  Baba was once asked what realization is like.  He said that it is like you alone exist as oneness itself, in everything and everyone. So, with this understanding, we will meditate on the guru as our own awareness.

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Washington Center for Consciousness Studies

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