Shawn Zemba is a spiritual master. His spiritual name is “AdiBalantu.” In Sanskrit Adi=Primordial Bala= Force, Power, Strength and ntu=bija meaning manifestation. A spiritual name is the closest human way to describe the experience of a soul, which is beyond definition. Each name has many interpretations. The primordial experience is God. The primordial power is love. Ntu refers to what is present to be experienced. Several interpretations of AdiBalantu are “Primordial Force Manifestation,” “Original Loving Creativity,” “God, Powerfully Experienced,” and “God’s Power Incarnate.” Some refer to him as Adi, but mainly he goes by his social name, Shawn Zemba. The reason is that most of his audience is occidental, and he wants to teach the importance of acting in the world, and being divine in a human way.

Shawn was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania on November 3rd, 1984. After birth he was witnessed in the viewing area holding a push-up position. 6 months later he spoke his first words in an adult voice, greeting his parents: "Hi Jeff, Hi Wendy." After this he did not speak, even in infant tones for quite some time.

In his first several years he had various unusual experiences such as, extreme memory, often viewing from outside of his body, breathing while submerged in pool water when he was trapped in an inverted innertube, and remaining unharmed when holding his bare skin to lit light bulbs for prolonged periods. He remembered pre-birth experiences like Jesus as a beautiful white stream of consciousness, and another being as a fantastic blue stream. He had great faith at this time, often lying in bed and singing loving improvised songs to God.

When he started going to school he was physically weaker than girls two years younger than he was. This would in part lead to the conditioning that allowed many years of bullying and isolation. Despite the cruelty shown towards him, he never disliked his tormentors, or wished them harm. He understood from where their actions arose. He often suffered from intense chest pains that he never spoke about for fear of being thought of as a sickly child. Shawn felt that he had to survive because he had to do something important one day. There was a profound experience of faith that allowed him to endure.

He was quite young when he observed that those around him, like himself weren't very happy, and at best often lived with a sense of dissatisfaction. Everyone always seemed to be waiting for happiness. "I can be happy, after the bills were paid, after this test, after graduation, etc." But that fulfillment never lasts, and often, never arrives.

He used this as inspiration to begin to search for a solution. From this point on he invested the majority of his time and resources towards finding an answer. It started through books and eventually he was able to find some material online as well. He had begun his search for fulfillment.

By the time he was 13 he had already been bullied for years, but much more stinging, he had experienced the deaths of a number of relatives and pets. Being that he was always very emotionally sensitive, each loss was crushing. The day-to-day torments were all heart-breaking, but these losses were earth-shaking. This pain made him doubt God and he made it his goal to erase his emotions so that he would always see clearly, but most importantly, never suffer again. By age 15 he became so skillful at distancing himself from life that he didn't feel any suffering upon watching the years' long death of his beloved grandfather.

When he was 16 he had found his first spiritual teacher: a well-meaning and extremely powerful man, but immature, and immersed in suffering. Shawn gained a lot of valuable experience in the 4 years of study with his teacher. But several misunderstandings became anchored in his heart. Concepts such as: the only experience in life is suffering, God is an enemy that must be destroyed, to exist is to struggle until you no longer can, and the only wise thing to do in life is to gain enough power to not be pushed around. Under the unskillful guidance of his teacher, he endured beatings, bullying, having loved ones threatened, and various forms of psychological torture. This perspective led Shawn to view life through a very dark lens adapting the mantra “Forsaken by fate, life is not meant for me.” He saw himself as a loser at best, and a monster at worst.

During this time he went through many of the common heartbreaks. Relationships ending, a dream job dissolving, unemployment, intense feelings of inadequacy followed him. In reaction he hurt many of his loved ones. Then he would chastise himself with angry fists to the head, and deep condemnation of his actions. Each time he lost control it just served to confirm his juvenile observation that he was a monster.

Shawn continued to study whatever he could. He began to attend seminars with people in many fields: athletics, martial arts, business, healing, self-help, spirituality, etc. He invested all of his money in courses and guidance from various teachers. He even took advantage of his parents’ generosity and greedily spent many tens of thousands of their dollars running from one course to another, thinking this new one would save him. He used their hard-earned credit which was linked to his as a tool to extort them. However, regardless of who he studied under, no one ever demonstrated the level of supernatural power as his first teacher, so he was always somewhat skeptical of their teachings. Regardless, he continued to learn and developed a powerful understanding of human conditioning and universal mechanics.

It was during this time that he understood a basic truth. Every path leads to the same destination. The principles in different religions, occult philosophies, and systems of personal success were always the same. People wanted to be happy, they wanted fulfillment, and they wanted to ease or stop suffering. These different groups may have used different words, or their particular emphasis may have been different, but the experience behind it is the same.

It made sense.

After several years of application of these principles, he believed he liberated himself from his dark past. He created a new self-image. He felt happy most of the time. He reconditioned his outlook and behaviors. He thought he had found the solution to life’s problem. Simply recondition yourself, and you recreate your world. This was the majority of his teaching approach in the early days.

At this point Shawn hit his early 20's. He had gained his first really serious student. This inspired him to study more intensely than he had before. To help his student he went back to study with one of his previous teachers: Francois Lepine, was now going by his spiritual name; Maha Vajra (Affectionately called Maha)

Shortly after becoming a disciple of Maha, Shawn had his first major experience of awakening. Realizing the indestructibility of the self, and temporarily breaking identification with the body, emotions and mind. For four days he was in a high. When cooking a meal a few drops of boiling water fell on him and he thought “The skin of the body burns.” Observing in an objective, detached way like he had never experienced before.

Soon after that he developed an infection in his left eye that no remedy could fix. It lasted for 3 months, leaving him blind to varying degrees in his dominant eye. This caused him to spend most of his time looking down, in the darkness. He couldn’t sleep well as the tear duct is related to the sinuses and the infection kept his nose running a great deal. He slept a few hours a night, sitting up. During this time, in the darkness Shawn realized that all of that darkness that he thought was vanquished never went away. It was just lying dormant beneath all of his conditioning. He was so confused. He thought that all he did was a lie.

Maha came down to give him and another student a private class. During this time Maha put his hand on Shawn’s eye. When he removed it, Shawn could see more clearly than he had for a long time, and Maha’s left eye as swollen and enflamed for a minute or two. This intensive training proved to be pivotal in the rest of Shawn’s life.

After one year of intense one-on-one guidance from Maha, he was able to release a lot of the denial he had developed from trying to erase his emotions, and the conditioning that he developed under his first teacher. He had to resolve all of the emotional pressure he was unwilling to face in his life. During this year he would observe suffering for 12 hours or more each day, having no job for much of this time. They refer to this period as “A walk in hell.” Not literal hell, but extremely intense emotional experience that you cannot escape from. Shawn’s concepts about life, and his important dreams and aspirations collapsed all around him, as he saw the suffering and confusion they were built from. But he fault hard anyway to hold on to his beautiful dreams.

During this time Shawn practiced 3-5 hours of spiritual technique a day, and applied the technique of emotional integration for an average of 12 hours a day, as he was unemployed. He was full of hatred towards Maha for showing him all of the darkness inside of him. He felt victimized, rejecting responsibility for his own experience.

He then moved to El Paso, Texas to get a job, change his conditioning, teach a bit more and to study with Maha and his top teachers on a regular basis.

The first seminar after Shawn moved proved to be the end of his walk in Hell. Maha provoked an experience that caused Shawn to quickly become enraged and filled with hatred. Yet, after enduring so much, Shawn fought to apply the wisdom. Maha guided him with kind words, and left by telling Shawn to say the Lord’s prayer a lot. He did just that, and fell asleep sometime during the ordeal. When he awoke, the suffering was mostly over, and Shawn’s mood quickly began to elevate.

At this point Shawn was experiencing constant states of ecstatic bliss and profound love for all beings. Having dissolved so much of the emotional weight he had carried with him, he began to feel the equivalent amount of satisfaction. He was so fulfilled, he started to have many profound spiritual experiences.

During his time in El Paso, he was working, had his own apartment, but he continued his spiritual training. He had many profound realizations during this time. Maha always stressed the importance of having a normal life while being profoundly spiritual.

One time he was driving home from work and started to perceive the wisdom contained in every event. Cones on the road indicated being too passive. Signs on the highway spoke of kindness. Birds, cars, clouds, beams of light all symbolized experiences of Truth.

On another occasion he had a profound experience as he had just finished a session of reading Bhagavad Gita in his apartment. He saw the flow of Karma carrying all beings, pushing them to make this "choice" or that "choice." He noticed that people were no more free than furniture. Everyone just reacted to circumstances, according to their conditioning, which arose from Karma, or dependent upon the Dharma they were facing at the time. As he looked about the room he observed the fan spinning and knew that it spun, at the spurring of electricity, not it's own choice, much like a man.

He completed a session of contemplation when he stood and had the powerful revelation of being the origin of everything. This experience remained strong for days.

Soon after that he was traveling out of the country, and spending the whole day in various planes and airports, he began to perceive the single stream of consciousness that flows through all things. This sensation lasted to a greater or lesser degree for the next four days. It would arise sporadically after that point.

During his training he engaged in many ascetic practices. He slept on the floor for 10 months. He sold or gave away all of his possessions (To facilitate his move to El Paso) he stayed awake for 4 days absorbed in prayer and contemplation. He fasted on several occasions. On another occasion he stayed absorbed in bliss for 4 days straight. He often ate extremely bland food when more other options were available.

In 2011 he moved back to Pennsylvania, and the powerful spiritual experience continued.
During a holiday picnic with his family. He then felt more powerfully than before that apparent reality is a dream, and beneath that dream he observed the Self, operating the experience of what were apparently "individuals." He observed while each person carried their own weight of density and suffering, behind that dream reality existed the Supreme Presence, unaffected by the human drama.

While in a plane he contemplated his experience as the Creator. He was absorbed in a state of emptiness that was so fresh, so boundless, and so natural; it was obvious that everything arose from it. He saw emptiness, nothingness, utter silence, stillness. It was infinite and eternal. And this most Holy state had the will to be absolutely here, incarnate, manifested, PRESENT.

At work he often experienced the various perceptions of "non-reality" of his coworkers which obscured from them the experience of Truth.

Since his return to the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania many things continued to unfold. As further ascetic practice, he destroyed his most prized possessions, to confirm once more that ego and natural forces do not have power over him. Learning this lesson, he realizes how important it is to function in society. He has a car, a computer, a phone, books, nice clothes, and various things for entertainment.

As Shawn became regularly employed for extended periods of time, his power and compassion developed more. Work caused him to face many issues that he had not had the opportunity to observe in times of unemployment, or irregular work.

Spiritual experience began to awaken more and more at work. One day, while working in a warehouse, memories related to a past life started to flood back. Deep feelings of hurt pride, inadequacy. A strong suffering to show that he was not “#1.” For whatever reason, this started to acutely awaken even deeper memories from the past. Over the next year a pattern of suffering arose unlike anything he had faced before. In the past the emotional weight was very heavy, but he could endure it because he felt that the greatness at the core of his being would allow him to make it through. He had Faith. Yet this time, his faith dissolve, and that feeling went away. This new type of pain seemed to be much more subtle than previous experiences, but like constantly cutting away at the same place, deep inside. Seeing people that he felt were “newer” traveling the world, living his dream, teaching people awakened some old insecurities and doubts giving rise to an existential darkness the likes of which he couldn’t overcome. He tried to observe it. But the clarity of his consciousness faded. He couldn’t see emotions clearly anymore. All he felt was this continually “cutting” deep inside.

Eventually it was too much. Shawn felt he always had a dramatic increase in evolution with suffering, so that is what he wanted. If he could endure trials that no one else could, in his pain, he reasoned that he could evolve like the others couldn’t either, and he would finally rise out of their shadow. He had found a profound source of suffering that he justified, if he could defeat it, he would rise out of his suffering. But really, it was suicide. He found an occult method to destroy the soul, for he didn’t want to have to face the pain again. He was going to employ it. But he went to one last seminar with Maha. He thought “If there’s a chance to get out of this, it’ll happen there. Miracles always happen at these events.”

During one speech, Shawn asked to speak, and illustrated a teaching of objectivity by sharing the benefits of his hardships, and also the benefits of vicious things he had done in the past. He tried to show the wisdom in the tragedy. But people were horrified, and most people distanced themselves from him. He was totally alone. During one speech Maha was giving, Shawn began to write his goodbye note to the Sangha. He was going to disappear soon.

Later that night, there was a celebration which was joyful and energetically uplifting, and the next day Maha gave a speech about Shawn, speaking about his past suffering and viciousness. He guided the room to discover forgiveness. Meanwhile, after years of holding something in, Shawn was finally able to let go of his own contempt for himself that he developed years before. Quickly after that Shawn’s state of being changed, people started to say they were in love with him. He took his place. Maha’s most advanced disciple said to Shawn during a walk: “It’s so good to see you this way. It’s like you have the right to exist.”

Shortly thereafter there was a revolutionary shift in Shawn’s experience. Many people started to see Shawn as a Saint. Students started to reach out from many directions, and receive great benefit. As Maha said to a student of Shawn’s “Every word Shawn says in teaching is a supernatural intervention.”

Focusing on simplicity, virtuous behavior, and dedicated practice, Shawn’s experience transformed rapidly. Continuously he uses the events of life to refine his mastery, and anchor his experience of divinity solidly in his human life.

Stressing severity in application of virtue and wisdom, Shawn’s message offers hope and faith to those who feel lost in darkness. Shawn faces many events that most would see as great problems. To him, he finds such things to be wonderful, for they reveal so much, and every challenge he defeats will allow him to guide more effectively. In seminar he often invokes that he is so thankful and happy for all that he has faced. For anyone who studies with him, his passion and wisdom are undeniable. Shawn’s first-hand experience is so rich, and his approach is so accessible, that even the very busy find tools that they can easily apply and works towards self-mastery with.

Being conscious is a skill that we can develop through practice. Self-mastery is the art of defining your experience, while remaining in harmony with the whole, as it is, rather than as we wish it to be. Every event and aspect of life can be used to bring greater mastery of ourselves.

These days Shawn strives to find new ways to bring people to personal fulfillment and awakening. Having published several books about the "Path of Mastery" years prior, he is now exploring the new potential for connection offered by modern media. He regularly updates his blog, youtube channel, and facebook to bring greater awakening to the world.

 


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