- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Monkfish Book Publishing (January 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0972635718
- ISBN-13: 978-0972635714
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #610,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Enlightenment Blues: My Years with an American Guru Paperback – January 1, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
I once knew an American who was a direct disciple of Ramana Maharshi. In the late nineteen forties he flew to India at age 17 and arrived at Ramana's ashram unannounced. The Maharshi was in the meditation hall sitting on a slightly raised dais, as always. He greeted the american kid warmly, asked some questions about his hometown of new york city (for example: "Are the buildings really that tall?") The Maharshi already had advanced cancer and could only hobble around painfully with a cane, but he personally got up, took the kid's hand, and led him to a dilapidated cabin where he could bed down. Having made certain the kid was comfy, Ramana left. My friend then practically fainted from exhaustion (trans-oceanic flights then were still endless propeller-driven marathons).
The kid was awakened nine hours later by a soft tapping at his door. He opened it. There stood Ramana, all alone, holding a palm leaf filled with food. Ramana sat down, like a good dad, and watched the half-starved boy scarf the meal. Apparently satisfied that the boy was recovering, Ramana Maharshi slowly stood up and limped back to his seat in the meditation hall.
This is a true story.Read more ›
As long as "enlightenment" is viewed as an object to be obtained or won, there will always be con artists to pimp the idea that you either have it or you don't, that I have it and I can give it to you (and take it away just as easily). It too easily becomes nearly impossible, then, not to conflate "enlightenment" with said con artist's (always increasingly paranoid) judgments. So how "enlightened" you are with Andrew Cohen, for instance, means how "powerful" or "revolutionary" you make his words seem when editing them (on his website, Zen teacher Brad Warner makes a nice point about this: something like, "Andrew, you oughtta try writing your OWN book. Some of us do it that way, y'know").
Andre van der Braak is a very sincere seeker who got hooked by a professional. It's also true that van der Braak wanted a kind of Daddy, someone to love him unconditionally, to give him "enlightenment". This happens, of course, and a true teacher would've held up a mirror, would've deflected such adoration, and would've helped van der Braak learn to stand on his OWN feet. Someone like Cohen, however, starts licking his lips and shopping for real estate in Massachusetts.
After reading it, I ventured to some of Cohen's websites, expecting to find a particularly charismatic schlep. But I don't understand the attraction: he's just a schlep. I viewed an "engaging" clip of him and Ken Wilbur "in dialogue".Read more ›
Van der Braak describes his meeting of Cohen as something akin to falling in love. Along with many other students around the world, Cohen's simple and powerful message that enlightenment is available to us all the time was very persuasive. More importantly, Cohen seemed to perfectly embody this truth in his very presence.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Andre van der Braak writes with candor and personal humility First, he gave us the context in which he and his friends
learned of, and then met Andrew Cohen. Read more
Enlightenment Blues is a chronicle of eleven years with Andrew Cohen. The author came to a place in his spiritual search where he was disillusioned with his Buddhist meditation... Read morePublished on May 18, 2007 by Jerry Katz
I opened this book expecting yet another juicy expose of a corrupt cult leader who got rich ripping off his followers, seduced all his female followers, etc. Read morePublished on April 26, 2007 by earthworm
Reading this book, I was taken aback at the sheep mentality of the followers of Andrew Cohen. It's shocking the degree of authority that people will allow others to wield over... Read morePublished on December 5, 2005 by K. Jackson
I can add little to what "rain cloud" said. This is an extremely well-written, introspective, balanced memoir that deserves a far wider audience. Read morePublished on June 15, 2005 by John Rosevear
While reading the book (enlightenment blues) of Andre van der Braak an energy of emotional inspiration came over me. Read more
This book is the unfolding of a spiritual journey, a confrontation with self in the dynamic play between teacher and student. Read morePublished on April 11, 2005 by stacy
Andre does not really say how the members created the mess, and they still do as poster yamahavas from Colorado does with the promotion of a censored blog. Read morePublished on March 20, 2005 by what-enlightenment-uncensored
If you want to know what could go wrong on the spiritual path this book is for you. It is a long list of stories that are meant to prove that people are mistreated in Andrew... Read morePublished on February 8, 2005 by Marcus F. Schluper