The impetus for beginning the biography was to help others better understand Tisziji’s function, to try and encourage those who misunderstood to look more closely and to see beyond their own perceptions of how a master, teacher, musician, son, brother, uncle, husband, father, yogi, writer, healer, and genius should be, and open to what one could be, or what one, if chosen, already is. Perfectly aware of, but unrestricted by the roles most of us identify with, Tisziji has transformed and transcended all such definitions without shirking any of the real responsibilities that come with the territory, exhibiting grace and insight along the way. And even though many things have changed over the years — names, surroundings, associates, the condition of the body — Tisziji’s commitment to Spirit has never wavered. Even now that Tisziji has numerous books, musical releases and videos that may offer some insight into who Tisziji is, as a creative intelligence he remains impossible to describe. He is not dictated to by time yet his sense of urgency remains intact. His patience is tested to an infinite degree and yet he remains a diligent taskmaster. He is blessed with an altruistic spirit and yet is an eccentric individual. He is a fearless and gentle spirit. The quality of his love knows no bounds.

Tisziji’s Heart-Fire Sound speaks to me like no other. The Master’s Dance has graced us all, and I hope that in this work you find creative insight into your own Master Dance.

— Nancy Muñoz (Subhuti Kshanti Sangha-Gita-Ma)

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Part 1 – Childhood

From his earliest memories of infanthood through a turbulent childhood and rebellious adolescence, Tisziji has been aware of certain spiritual forces shaping his consciousness. For him, supra-natural experiences have been a natural lifelong occurrence. Tisziji, deeply in tune with the sound current from birth, has been exploring the musical realms since infancy. Having been strongly influenced by a Catholic family’s spiritualist practice that was ordinary by some standards and unconventional by others, Tisziji’s childhood was filled with great trials and tribulations, which strengthened his inner sensitivities and gave him many foundational lessons about suffering to draw upon in later years.

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Part 2 – Military Service

By the age of 17, Tisziji had experienced the spiritual dimensions of consciousness, endured tragic family karma, and had realized the beauty and power of music, while recognizing the ugliness of the music business in general. He survived the lessons of the street and tasted the bittersweet illusory promises and dangerous pitfalls of romance as manipulative bondage programming created out of self-pleasing seduction and deception mechanisms.

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Part 3 – Doctor of Music

Tisziji: “After the initiatory self-death experiences in the Army, neither relationships, commitments, nor obligations felt the same anymore. Attachments and values took on a totally different quality. They had become less like realities and more like things to let go of, and therefore less emotionally intense. Spiritually, my obligation and commitment to military discipline and service was complete. The good spirits had contacted me and revealed to me that it was time to move on, that I had learned what I was supposed to learn, and that such lessons were only a step in a progression of many other transformations, shocks, breakthroughs, openings and awakenings into radical self-liberation.”

In April 1969, at twenty-two years of age, knowing that he was destined to briefly live in Canada, Tisziji moved with Ellen, Michael and his newborn daughter, Ananda (born December 13th, 1968) to Toronto, the “city by the lake” revealed to Tisziji in the dream state. The move, guided by Spirit, was a critical one, as Tisziji expanded beyond the limitations of the Army and opened to deeper spiritual and musical possibilities.

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Part 4 – Who Are The Real Christians?

Having temporarily removed himself from the worldly phase of musician servant, Tisziji, transcending jazz structure and culture, was moving into the realm of spiritual servant. His personal contact with jazz music masters in Toronto was being replaced by contact with spiritual masters, whom Tisziji accessed through their written works and through psychic, meditational, spiritual, or direct personal contact.

Destined to become a teacher, Tisziji assimilated a vast amount of wisdom from many of the world’s great spiritual teachings. This awakened the need to re-examine the Christian roots and core teachings of Roman Catholicism, and find out for himself who a real Christian was, apart from Jesus Christ. While Tisziji’s research of such teachings was of significant value to his progression, he was already transcending these works and creating his own unique, free of all schools, ‘the no school’ teaching and practice.

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Part 5 – The Cosmic Master Peace of Spiritual Realization

Fulfilling his next step of training in mastership, Tisziji had to open wide his mind and heart to the wisdom of the universe, the wisdom of the universal Spirit, and the wisdom of transcendent free Soul. Thus, in 1970, while in Toronto, Tisziji decided to engage in a respectful consideration of some of the great world religions, schools of spiritual practices, and levels of world teachers. Tisziji was not interested in the ideas of traditions for the sake of ideas. He was more interested in where these ideas were failing to promote genuine “suffering-free realization,” giving him specific evidence of areas of darkness to illuminate and burn with his own teachings. Therefore, he was determined to create and share universal common ground with other practitioners and adepts from other schools of thought and intuitive realization throughout the world, and this he did.

Tisziji: “I have always enjoyed sharing my deep appreciation and respect for the great works of other teachers and paths. I have encouraged others to learn from my tolerance of different views and from my insight into the spiritual workings of other paths. I have also encouraged that those who choose to study with me give all teachings and teachers a fair hearing in order that they too may wonder in awe of how great the transcendent Spirit is, and its marvelous universal work, and how strange it often appears in its selection of its channels. Thus, I have also taught to look deeper than appearances, to see beyond the theater of the times, to look into the Heart of the word itself, and to see if the spiritual fire isn’t working to liberate as many beings as possible, through as many forms as possible. See if Spirit’s work as an awakenment agency isn’t working equally through primitive people, sophisticated people, poor people, rich people, Christian people, Native people, Hindu people, Muslim people, Hebrew people, Buddhist people, spiritualist people, scientific people, artistic people, creative people, humble people, arrogant people, disabled people, noble people, warring people, peaceful people, ignorant people, and enlightened people, through each and every one, big and small, high and low.”

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Part 6 – The One or The No One?

Having studied the works of some of the greatest spiritual Masters in history, this next phase brought Tisziji into intense sound and light meditation practice. Tisziji’s return to New York from Canada through Toronto and Vancouver (1973-74) marked the beginning of a very dharmically active phase in his life. He was undergoing intense inner purification and was walking his way, step by step, into deeper levels of practice and world transcending self-realization, leaving his early life family karma far behind.

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Part 7 – Self-Mastery, The Mastership and The Living Master

In 1978, by the force of Spirit, Tisziji began to teach certain beings from his tiny apartment in the Bowery of New York City. This location, which he called Holy Ground, was a gathering point for many working and practicing musicians around the lower east side of Manhattan. As a result of his own practice and unfoldment, Tisziji was able to initiate specific teachings for whoever showed up with an appropriate need. From this, as requested, he completed certain written works during this phase. He also completed his first album, Rendezvous With Now, and began work on another, Visiting This Planet. Tisziji moved gracefully between and through all these works while also raising three children. And it was all done with the help of his mother, Milly (Sat-janami), and his Aunt Gracie (Siddha-ma), who were supporting his spiritual efforts every step of the way.

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Part 8 – The Path of Opened Mindedness

The late seventies and early eighties brought about the completion of Tisziji’s involvement with Eckankar and marked the last of his explorations into many of the important ancient and new age spiritual works. Having absorbed and transcended these teachings, and having received involuntary sacred initiations and empowerments along the way, Tisziji’s spiritual mission began to emerge with more clarity and purpose.

Just as Tisziji’s work was about to take form, Karen (Karuna) gave birth to Tisziji’s son, Just-Hu Rebazar Muñoz, who would prove to be a great musical spirit in his own right. This birth seemed to herald a new beginning as this was concurrent with the time when Tisziji began stretching out as a creative musician and began accepting and expanding his role as a teacher and guiding spirit.

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Part 9 – Tisziji as Progenitor

The creation of The Illumination Society (T.I.S.) in 1980 was the catalyst for Tisziji’s growing body of increasingly profound and complex written works and recorded Satsang teachings. The fact of the relative levels of progressive understanding of those who came to Tisziji for guidance made it critically necessary, in the case of those beings who were suffering and recognized the need to master such suffering, that Tisziji point them directly towards practicing certain, often very specific, self-liberation techniques.

It is in this dynamic and creative teaching environment that Tisziji’s children were fortunate to be exposed to his sound (music) and light (wisdom) works. Tisziji’s children were and are not primary practitioners of the technologies that he offered students. But it is clear to Tisziji that his children were nevertheless positively affected by his yogic practices, which included transforming pain and transcending suffering as these apply to the practices of music, sound, meditation and healing.

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Part 10 – Completing the Great Pilgrimage and Transcending Jazz with McCoy Tyner

The dissolution of The Illumination Society created an opportunity for changes of direction to take place. Tisziji taught that one cannot allow oneself to remain in a static, non-progressing state, that all relations, beings, places, circumstances, and things are to be enjoyed or suffered on a temporary basis, that there is a cycle of fulfillment that seems to complete itself only to begin anew, like the cycle of life and death. The ‘healing’ trips to Toronto, juggling fatherhood, musicianship, the role of teacher, college studies, and absorbing the karmas and suffering of his students were cumulatively affecting Tisziji’s health. These factors, combined with the inherent stresses and pollution of city living, affected Tisziji physically and intensified his need for subtle-body spiritual practice. He found it increasingly difficult to do pranayama, or yogic breathing exercises, at his lower east side residence. It became evident that Tisziji needed yet another major change, and preparations were initiated for a move to Schenectady, a small city in upstate New York, just west of Albany.

Tisziji would also have several death-like encounters that would impact his work as a teacher and musician. In the spirit of transcending all forms of suffering, to include death, Tisziji dedicated himself to channeling his realization, which became the heart-source of his writings. Thus, with these preliminary works, The Illumination Society, as an independent publishing company, evolved. With renewed vision and sense of purpose, Tisziji also completed and released his monumental Visiting This Planet album. While opportunities to play live were less frequent than in earlier years, Tisziji nevertheless played with tremendous power, which reached phenomenal proportions when he led McCoy Tyner and his trio for two nights of great music in May 1989.

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