Eli Jaxon-Bear was born Elliot J. Zeldow in Brooklyn, New York, in 1947. His eighteen-year spiritual path started in 1971, when he was a federal fugitive during the Vietnam war. In 1978, Kalu Rinpoche appointed him the president of the first Kagyu dharma center in Marin County. In 1982, he was presented with a Zen Teaching Fan at ChoShoJi Zen Temple in Japan. After a search took him around the world and into many traditions and practices, his path and his search ended when he was pulled to India in 1990, where he met his final teacher, Sri H.W.L. Poonja. Confirming Eli’s realization, his teacher sent him back into the world to share his unique psychological insights into the nature of egoic suffering in support of self-realization. Eli infuses the teaching with his teacher’s living transmission of silence. He presents a unique map of egoic identification as a vehicle for ruthless self-inquiry and final realization of true freedom. He dedicates his life to passing on the transmission of his teacher. Eli currently meets people and teaches through the Leela Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to world peace and freedom through universal self-realization. He is the author of Sudden Awakening into Direct Realization, (New World Library), The Enneagram of Liberation: From Fixation to Freedom, (Gangaji Foundation Press), and he is the editor of Wake Up and Roar: Satsang with H.W.L. Poonja, (Sounds True).
Eli on youtube
Gangaji shares a simple message –This is an invitation to shift your allegiance from the activities of your mind to the eternal presence of your being.
Born in Texas in 1942, Gangaji grew up in Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Mississippi in 1964, she married and had a daughter. In 1972, she moved to San Francisco where she began exploring deeper levels of her being. She took Bodhisattva vows, practiced Zen and Vipassana meditation, helped run a Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Center, and had a career as an acupuncturist in the San Francisco Bay area.
Despite her successes, Gangaji continued to experience a deep and persistent longing for fulfillment. She pursued many paths to change her life including relationship, motherhood, political activism, career, and spiritual practice, but even the greatest of her successes ultimately came up short. In the wake of her disillusionment, she made a final prayer for true help. In 1990, the answer to her prayer came unexpectedly, taking her to India and to the meeting that would change everything. There on the banks of the river Ganga, she met Sri H.W.L. Poonja, also known as Papaji, who opened the floodgates of self-recognition. In this meeting, Gangaji’s personal story of suffering ended and the promise of a true life began to flower and unfold.
Today, Gangaji travels the world speaking to seekers from all walks of life. A teacher and author, she shares her direct experience of the essential message she received from Papaji and offers it to all who want to discover a true and lasting fulfillment. Through her life and words, she powerfully articulates how it is really possible to discover the truth of who you are and to be true to that discovery.
We invite you to read The End of All Excuses by Gangaji an in-depth article by Gangaji about her spiritual path and essential experiences.
HWL Poonja, lovingly referred to as Papaji, was born on October 13, 1910 (or possibly 1913 according to some sources), in a part of the Punjab that is now in Pakistan. He had his first direct experience of the Self at the age of nine. After travelling India searching for God, he met his Master, Sri Ramana Maharshi, in 1944. After spending some time on the holy mountain Arunachala, playing with images of Krishna, Papaji returned to Ramana to say his goodbye. Ramana asked “Where have you been?” “Playing with Krishna” replied Papaji. “Where is Krishna now? What comes and goes is not real. Find out what does not come and go. Find out who you are.” This was Ramana’s teaching. Papaji realized the Self in the presence of his master.
He continued to work and support the many members of his extended family until his retirement in 1966. After his extensive travel Papaji settled down in Lucknow, India, where he received visitors from around the world. Papaji died on September 6, 1997.
“Thoughts are impediments to seeing your own face. Don’t give rise to any thought, and discover who you are.”
Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi is one of the 20th Century’s most celebrated saints. Born in India in 1879, he spontaneously awakened to his eternal nature at the age of 16. Confronted by the fear of his own death, he lay down on the floor and faced it consciously. In that instant, he knew himself to be that which cannot die. Shortly afterwards he travelled to Tiruvannamalai, where he spent the rest of his life in the presence of the holy mountain, Arunachala. After keeping silent for a number of years, Ramana began to speak of his realisation. Many came to him, and he answered their questions. Today many people still visit his cave on the slopes of Arunachala to drink in his silent presence. The name Ramana, which was given to him by his disciples, means that which resides in the heart of all being.
“‘The World is true’; ‘No, it is a false appearance’; ‘The World is Mind’; ‘No, it is not’; ‘The World is pleasant’; ‘No, it is not’ – What avails such talk? To leave the world alone and know the Self, to go beyond all thought of ‘One’ and ‘Two’, this egoless condition is the common goal of all.”
– Ramana Maharshi, from Reality in Forty Verses