135. Ilona Ciunaite and Elena Nezhinsky

Ilona Ciunaite and Elena Nezhinsky are the founders of Liberation Unleashed, an international network of people dedicated to guiding people to awakening from the illusion of separation. Both Ilona and Elena have seen through the illusory nature of the apparent separate self, which is nothing more than a mental construct—a concept that when thoroughly questioned clearly reveals that there is nothing behind the word ‘me’ at all.

Ilona CiunaiteIlona was born in Lithuania and now lives in the UK. She has a degree in psychology, but has never worked in the field; instead she works as a tattoo artist, running her own studio together with her husband. She is a simple and ordinary human with a mind set to focus on freedom for herself an those who find her. Her blog, “Marked, Eternal“, is collection of articles and conversations that demonstrate how easy it is to see that there is no self when one is ready and willing to look. She has always been interested in the ‘mind’ as such and enjoyed studying the subject from different angles. Observing her own mind led to a deep understanding of how the mind works, how to overcome confusion and free it from feedback loops. She has been a seeker like many others, but had never attended a retreat or satsang until after awakening.

Her work is inspired by Pamela Wilson’s methods and is a fusion of various methods she has picked up over years of inquiring into the mystery of mind. Her main focus and work is helping people end their seeking by inviting them to question their fundamental assumptions and look at their own direct experience. She does not give answers, but only questions. In this way a seeker may see what is going on for themselves, and free their minds from conditioned patterns, to explore whatever comes next. She has been guiding people at no charge through email and at TheGate forum for over a year, with great success, allowing seekers to clearly and deeply see for themselves that there is no separate entity, no ‘me’.

Elena NezhinskyElena Nezhinsky met her close friend and a senior teacher of the Gurdjieff Way in 1998, and since then began a serious investigation of the mind and feelings, and searching for the truth of being. The sudden death of her teacher brought her to a Vipassana meditation practice of mind purification, which she did diligently for 7 years in frequent silent retreats. After leaving Vipassana she found Adyashanti, and spent a week in retreat with him, which made her ponder that there are other ways to awakening. In 2010 Elena woke up to the reality of “no self” with the help of Direct Pointing. Since then she has been helping others to awaken and see the truth of anatta – no self with the same method.

Elena lives in New York City with her grown-up son Daniel and her dog Zenji. Her blog “Complete Humanity” is a collection of her work with people and personal writings. She is very transparent in sharing her journey of awakening and on-going integration.

Ilona and Elena met in London, which started the wave of guiding people through the gateless gate. Utilising the skills of other members of the LU group, they published a book called Gateless Gatecrashers, which is a great resource for those who are still seeking to end the spiritual search.

Liberation Unleashed is a rapidly expanding, international project that brings seekers together with those who have awakened and are dedicated to guiding or simply share experiences in a community that is based on honesty and love. There is no greater joy than bringing joy to other hearts and celebrating the gift of freedom.

Interview Recorded 8/18/2012

Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

158 thoughts on “135. Ilona Ciunaite and Elena Nezhinsky

  1. Thank you, Ilona and Elena, for a delight-full interview.

    I particularly enjoyed hearing about Ilona’s experience of working with Advaiat folk (46 minutes into the interview) and Vipassana meditation practitioners (47 minutes into the interview).

    Vipassana mediation is rarely mentioned in these quarters. You gave it some welcome light.

  2. Rick, although I am not a follower of Tony Parsons, I had a beautiful direct seeing experience in which it was clearly revealed that there is no karma and no reincarnation. Then for the past several month, I have been getting a clear constant message within “no judgment!” which has actually transformed my world. If there is only consciousness then judging someone would in effect be judging oneself. Furthermore, consciousness includes the good, the bad and the ugly and whatever someone teaches, however wrong it may sounds to one may very well be of benefit to another. This “no judgment” thing alone has opened my heart incredibly and brought me unbelievable peace and compassion and the transformation is palpable and continuous. Even today, I had to laugh when I realized that what I believed upon seeing someone for the first time was totally the opposite. My inner guide has an incredible sense of humor!

  3. whether one identifies with this concept of a separate self or not, at the end of the day, what does it matter? the one identified as a self may experience personal suffering where the one that does not may experience deep pain in the moment. so what? to see thru the supposed mirage of the self and go on with life as a body mind organism that simply does things as life unfolds does not change the misery and horrible situations that millions of people find themselves in. so they dont suffer or feel personally repsonsible but the incredible pain they continually feel in the moments that unfold in their lives is no refuge from a lack of suffering related to a self concept. whether one is attached to a self concept or not, this will not change the immense pain that most people on earth endure daily in their struggle to simply survive.

  4. Two things I noticed in the interview was one they seem confused about their message and also that they mentioned Jed as an influence but hid under the rug that both of them were “liberated” on the Ruthless Truth site which is where the methods they use come from. It is curious that they feel a need to hide that fact.

  5. During this inquires they do at best people have an intellectual understanding, at best. True liberation is another thing. The inquire might create a state for a couple of days because all the excitement and because they tell you you are awakened and liberated now. This is not real awakening. Last January I have been in the forum they have and crossed the gate ( this is their way to say that people see that there is no self) in less than a week and they told me I was liberated. Well I am not! And if I believe I am -like some of them believe- I just fool myself.

  6. Ok, so I wanted to bring up a few criticisms about the The Gate forum, the approach, the language….
    I actually enjoyed the interview and found both to be quite clear and genuine. But I never really know either way.

    So in a nutshell, I find that they are pulling the classic neo-advaitic stunt, knowingly or not, of watering down what awakening and liberation really are. They believe that what they are doing on the forum is fundamentally new and critical for humanity:
    “We believe we have broken new ground in the transmission of real liberation.”
    “…critical development in spreading liberation.”
    “We are trying to do something new here..”
    They believe, that of the 700 or so who have gone onto the forum, maybe half have “passed through the Gateless Gate” (will get to that in a moment)
    There is a very liberal notion (to put it mildly) of what liberation is and who is liberated in their eyes.
    They have a colour code system actually:
    “Green – Ready, those who came here ready to end their search, to look, to see the reality of the absence of self.
    Blue- Liberated, those who have looked and seen that truth.
    Red- Liberators, guides that have helped someone to see the truth.”
    How cute.

    My sense is, there is nothing new here, except perhaps the scale to which people, including the guides perhaps, are being deluded into thinking they are Awake. I can invite 10,000 strangers into an auditorium, and walk them through the typical Who am I sequence. I’ll bet you that 80% would report that they could not locate a me. This is not awakening. And it is absolutely not liberation. For the vast majority, it will be a momentary kind of intellectual seeing and it will vanish. That is not “stream entry” in the Buddhist sense, or any other sense.

    I would suggest, that their success rate, their reason for thinking this is new, critical, and unprecedented, is because they have either misunderstood the teachings, or they have explained it to themselves in such a way that it appears correct. I also underwent the process a while back, with an open mind/heart, and found it to be rehashed, dry, and surprise, quick to jump to conclusion based on some reports. Now, I’m not saying it isn’t “helping” people. I’m not saying some may not actually be waking up. I’m saying Truth is being misrepresented, and in the process, several hundred and counting are not being guided wisely, in my opinion.

  7. @ulisses Like I said during the interview, if you strike a match in a pitch-black room, it can dazzle the eyes. You may think the room is illuminated. But to a person accustomed to true illumination, it is still quite dark. Extending the metaphor, the match burns out pretty quickly.

  8. I’m starting to see something I’ve been doing for a very long time, which came up at the beginning of this interview. (haven’t watched all of it yet.)

    What I’ve been doing is constantly trying to define “enlightenment” for myself and set it as a goal. I have very often lost sight of the fact that things are really pretty good RIGHT NOW. And, the universe is a pretty safe place. Everything is allready taken care of, including my “journey.” So it’s O.K. to just relax.

    And it’s fun to play with ideas of what might be waiting just around the corner. What about Divine Bliss, always, forever with no more “bad stuff.” Well, many people say that is an unreal expectation, it is not the way it works. And yet, my friends, I love to think about that possibility! It is so enjoyable, so much fun, and I also get to view anything uncomfortable as just a temporary interruption on the road to Divine Bliss. I really like this, and as long as I am thinking about it and buying into it, THAT IS MY REALITY!

    I’m done intellectualizing about enlightenment. It’s any way I want it to be as far as I’m concerned, and I have no intention of letting any learned theories spoil it.

    So, anybody who wants to jump in and design their own enlightenment – come on in, the water’s fine!

  9. Just one more thing – don’t want you thinking that I try to ignore suffering. I know it from the ground up, and I think it sucks. If I see someone suffering I want to try and help. If I can’t help I want to stand next to them and at least try to show solidarity.

    I was in a dark place part of yesterday. That sucked. When I suffer I hate it too, and will do whatever I can think of to end it.

    But – I’m not buying into it any more. I believe it all ends in Bliss, and that’s where we’re headed. I see it growing in my life. I meditate a lot, try to stay in touch with people like Jill and Pamela. That all helps, a lot.

    I want to be happy. I want you to be happy. That’s why I’m kind of letting go of theories that don’t support Bliss and happiness.

    The Gurus and Holy people I pay attention to seem to support this idea that finding God is blissful, and that’s where I want to be. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Yogananda. Anandamayi Ma. Ramana.

    Anyway, it appears to me that we can just go for it, without any apologies or self- consciousness. Cheers.

  10. Stages of zen seeing:

    1. Mountains are mountains.
    2. Mountains are not mountains.
    3. Mountains are mountains.

    I wonder whether the same can be said about the “self” (small ‘s”, personhood). Yes, literally, there is not a “person”, individual self. Yet we just had a wonderful interview with an “Ilona” and “Elena”. What is “that”? (I can’t wait till we get to the third stage so we can stop talking funny. 🙂 )

  11. This is not merely intellectual realization. This touches the being on all levels, and as we say the process of “Falling” starts – integration of the realization in the whole being, including falling off conditioning, clear seeing of feelings arising, penetration through various fears, opening of the heart…It may start with mind awakening, but its more then that only. For integration of the awakening in the whole being I have only one suggestion – dive into your life without holding back, without trying to loose realization, without any reservation. It may seems at times that there was no realization, because one is so immersed in life, but the un-winding of the conditioning structure is happening, even if its not seeing. Sometimes this unwinding/”falling” happens very rapidly, and one becomes “Good for nothing”, as Robert Adams said. Then fear can arise that no realization happened, and something wrong is going on. In fact, Robert said that when “you become good for nothing” it points to a genuine process of awakening in action. This stage will pass, it may take some time, and can bring some fears and doubts. The only way is to live what is, we can freak out or choose to trust the process.

  12. Probably there will be many negative comments, especially on youtube, its classic :), as there were many negativity for LU (Liberation Unleashed) in the beginning, because people see it as too simple process. People were investing in teachings for so long, invested so many years in mediation and various satsangs, and now we claim that we awaken people on Internet. This is shocking and unconventional for mind to accept as something that can be worth investigating. And of cause some will fight for what they invested – time, money, identity. I know how it feels. I remember i was angry at first that I had to go through all these years of hardship, physical and emotional pain in Vipassana retreats and Gurgieff meetings, and then somebody comes that never searched before and have realization. Yes, these times now are amazing, and realization happens all the time with various people in so many ways. I had an identity of the “hard-core spiritual seeker”, and it took some time to let go. But one comes to understand that what one went through was absolutely necessary to come to this particular step, and everybody’s journey is different. There is a lot of appreciation for the journey then arise, and resistance drops. From this – humbleness arise, and you stop reaching back for your old identity with “hard-core zen or vipassana meditator, someone who was a student of so and so for 20 years”, etc., and now you can meet anybody as an ordinary human being.

  13. I also wanted to clarify here that Vipassana meditation of cause, also leads to anatta. This is one of the “attainments” on the path. For me, that was the time to leave, but for some maybe Vipassana is the spiritual path, and thats perfectly fine, just like any other journey. In fact, I bumped into Adyashanti before I went to Vipassana, I bought his first recordings from Sounds True. I liked it very much, and it resonated with me, but I remember the feeling of fuzziness I was, there was no clarity in me. When I ended up in Vipassana retreat, I felt – this is it – so clear, so simple, systematic, just what my mind could process. But then, 7 years later I remembered about Adya, and by ver auspicious chance ended up in his retreat in 3 days. I was amazed by the clarity in my mind and resonance with every word he was saying. I was ready. I was ready for direct message, for direct pointing. Since Adya has 300 people in his retreat I didn’t get to work with him directly, but I sat and did the process he suggested asking the mind “Where is my hand?”, “Where is my leg?”, “Where is I?” By the second round “I” was gone. I was sitting in the state of Unity – Kensho, that lasted on and off about a month. The difference with what we do with Direct Ponting is that I had no idea how I actually ended up in that state, and when state subsided, I was reaching for it into the past. In Direct Pointing we guide mind to distinguish what is real and what is illusory. When mind see it, its realization, it’s not merely disappearance of the self structure and getting into the state of unity. In fact, Awakening is not being in a state of Unity, as many think. Many people think that Awakening is a state of unity prolonged in time indefinitely. That is why people with this expectation later are very disappointed and think that no realization happen. I can accept that we can make a mistake and confirm somebody prematurely, but in most cases our process is very tough to pass without real seeing. And if one have expectations of being in peace after that or loose conditioning totally, of cause he/she be disappointed. I would suggest do practices that clear conditioning: anything that allow one to see and let be as it is. It called equanimity. Developing awareness with what is arising and equanimity purifies mind from conditioning. This can be done with so many techniques: meditation, mind/body work and etc. Awakening is waking up to the reality as it is, its in no way loosing all conditioning of the mind overnight or being in samadhi continuously. Many people, including Rupert Spira (I spoke to him about it) said he didn’t really had much of spiritual/mystical states experiences. Awakening is simply know that there is no separation, seeing there is no separate entity, its just a construct in the mind. Rupert Spira has very good exercises to guide people into seeing that time and space are just constructs in the mind as well. I recommend his teachings too, especially if one already seeing the illusion of the self.

  14. When one becomes ordinary, mountains are mountains again. Ha!

    I left many replies here, because I am going away for couple of weeks, and probably won’t have Internet connection in the mountains 🙂

    I also wanted to appreciate all the comments here and what will be coming. Anything. Bring it on! We are big community. There will be always somebody who can answer the question. Thank you for watching the video, with some technical problems we had :), and taking the time to comment here or post a question.

  15. One of the big problems with LU’s official “Awakened Person certification” system is that many people want to earn it so bad and at the same time want to please their “liberator” that they may end up saying what they know they should say. They have people on there complaining about how they have been meditating and searching for a year already and still haven’t become enlightened so of course it isn’t very hard for someone like that let themselves fall into the belief that they have really seen something.

  16. @ Rick and all the others.
    Just to finish the story:
    After they told me I was liberated they led me in a group for the aftercare to work with some residual beliefs. This was the last joke: lots of people talking about various things , lots of very strong opinions about everything and there is nothing worse than the bs ‘fake liberated people say.How could they believe they are liberated is a mystery, may be people are so desperate that they buy into this! Just a complete waste of time.
    Also it is not true that people stop searching after the so called ‘gate’ as they state in the interview. They still search, even more, they go to satsang, meetings, they do The Work of Byron Katie, they read books..they still search and they still suffer. I will never repeat this enough IT IS NOT TRUE LIBERATION, it is at best an intellectual understanding. Which is not a bad thing in itself but it doesn’t have the implications of a true awakening. They shouldn’t say that IT IS LIBERATION, they shouldn’t label people ‘awakened’. It is not true. The ‘no-self’ they speak about it isn’t really lived, embodied,it becomes another belief. This is clearly seen in the facebook group.
    Someone I know went through the same process, we spoke a few days ago and he had the same experience, he was ‘liberated’ in a couple of weeks, of course for him too was an intellectual process, nothing more than this. He also realised how these groups are just a bunch of personal opinions on everything.

    So my point is just to be honest with words, they use these terms Liberation/ Awakening with a lot of superficiality, it is an hook for people.

  17. I am glad people are saying this. I thought I was the only one who didn’t make it! I agree, it’s just an intellectual understanding. I joined the forum and engaged in a one on one with a guide, a nice fellow, after a few days of answering his questions he said that I was at the gate (!) and that I was ready for some final questions which I replied at my best. He was very enthusiastic of my answers and other guides too, according to what he said to me. I told him I didn’t feel particularly liberated but he said that this was just the beginning, he was sure I was liberated. I thanked him very much for his time and went on with my life. I am following Mooji now and I recommend him, a real awakened guy. I find it funny that those people at Liberation Unleashed are in the same page here as Mooji or Adyashanti. I thought this was a site for awakened teachers.

  18. While looking inside it is evident for me that no ghost in the head can be found. I see this experentially, not only intelectually.

    But, what does it help if I still operate as if I was an an entity limited to the boundaries of the body. Questioning, inquiring, witnessing has not stopped it yet.

    To my mind the believes as voice in the head are not that problematic and only cause for that. It is something rooted deeper which generates the feeling and emotions in the body.

  19. Ulisses, thank you for your comments. it is true, that people who genuinely see through illusion stop seeking. if you haven’t stopped seeking then you haven’s seen it. after ‘the gate’ seeking stops, exploration starts and that has a whole new flavour. sounds like you haven’t been completely honest on the forum as you have led everyone to believe that you realized that there is no self. This was an opportunity for you to clear your own thinking, no one else can do it for you. and if you expected bliss and complete liberation after just the first step, then, man you are deluding yourself. your own honesty with yourself is the only judgement.

    yes, it is easy to make a mistake while confirming someone, because believe it or not, everyone arrive at a different place. some people have a grand experience, others so mild and subtle shift that it may easily be missed and can only be seen after a few days. if you have got disappointed with your LU experience, it does not mean that it’s the same result for everyone else. it only shows that you expected something delivered for you, and it wasn’t. your freedom is your own responsibility. if you continue to moan instead of looking at your own beliefs, then here you are- not so liberated indeed.

    words are only pointers. whatever words are used are only pointing to something. word liberation points to freedom, but not necessarily from something, but to. freedom to experience life with acceptance, whatever comes. even suffering and other not so wanted feelings. guess what, life goes on…

    intellectual understanding and seeing it is NOT the same. no. it is easy to accept a new belief and convince yourself that you are seeing. this is where honesty is necessary. our facebook aftercare groups are perfect place to address whatever doubts come up. unfortunately years of conditioning does not dissolve over night. ( surprise! ), so reading books after or watching videos, going to satsangs is not a bad thing. whatever helps to clear the mind of old rooted beliefs. there are many tools and byron katie’s work is only one of them. maybe you should give it a go. 🙂

  20. My background and experience with LU is as follows:
    Background – buddhist meditator (breathing and metta practices) for many years. Also Qigong/tai chi experience. Professional scientist.
    Experience: signed up to LU (having not read much background on it) out of curiosity (and admittedly, I was skeptical). Went through gate (i.e. saw no-self) in a few days – NOT just an intellectual understanding (that had happened before). There was a complete shift in perspective and a shift in the body also – had a headache / felt light headed for about 10 days after. Then had a wobble – a lot of negativity came up. This was quickly seen through and emotions / the mind calmed down. A few weeks on, there is no desire to seek/gain anything (there was a heck of a lot before). Things are now just unfolding on their own. I am not in a permanent ‘state of bliss’. This is fantasy. LU offers lot of help to see through the illusion of ‘self’ or ‘me’ as part of your journey through life. Life here and now is all there is. Further ‘deepening’ / development can occur – there is no end of life experiences. Ego will sometimes flare up. Is is quickly seen through on the whole. I still meditate and enjoy sharing ‘spiritual’ stories. But there is nothing to gain. Thanks to Elena and Ilona and to Rick !

  21. If it may not be a “full stream entry” in some people´s opinion, at least it is “putting in the toe”. ; )
    And that´s how first steps start. : )

    Still a true quantum leap!

    After having seen a lot of intellectually/”spiritually” pavonine teachers respectively having observed the misuse of psychological power due to guru-status for i. e. financial, sexual etc. benefits, I feel a deep gratitude for this very down-to-earth, non-hierarchic, non-profit initial approach to “liberation” – which itself may be a life-long process as frankly said in the interview. : )

    Thank you, Ilona & Elena!
    And thank you, Rick, for the excellent moderation!

  22. When you place more trust in someone else to either validate what the experience of X is all about or gauge your progress towards it…

    you reduce the trust in yourself to perform that discernment.

    Consider: you may know what’s best for you better than any external authority figure.

  23. Although I liked the interview, like kittylove I wondered why they didn’t mention RT. After all, they got ‘liberated’ there and it was Ciaran Healy who created the method they are using now. Why not state this truthfully and give credit to RT and Ciaran Healy?

  24. @ Ilona Ciunaite.
    Please stop teaching me and others. You say that you are not teaching and you do it. You know when people have a real realisation or not, you know what happens after. Do you realise how many things you know? I was very open and honest when I came to the forum, I couldn’t find a self, so what? This is not liberation. IT IS NOT LIBERATION. Please stop deluding people. The worste ones are those who think they are awakened now, so many posts on your groups, everyone knows it better, what a joke to see all this no-self people expressing their opinions as if they really know it better. You, Ilona, look humble and shy but you are very arrogant.You have an image of yourself like the ‘warrior girl’ that liberates umanity ,no bad for a no-self !
    The ‘inquiry’ you do might bring the attention a bit closer to experience, but from here to say that someone is liberated there is a big difference. You take for granted that if one cannot see/found a self in his experience he ‘has seen it’. I mean he is done and so he begins to be part of the liberated ones! But for the most part of people there is only an intellectual understanding of this. Please see this, consider this. I have been part of the group enough to witness this. In the so called aftercare group this is very evident. It depends also on how much vanity one has! Some people like to be defined ‘awakened’, some other are simply just naive.

  25. I think the question is just because something is done with good intentions and for free does that make it a good thing? Another question is does whatever good it might do outweigh the harm it causes?

  26. Have anyone in any LU group ever told you that now you are done? Isn’t it ‘done’ when the body goes to feed the worms? Hmm, you do realise that first step is not complete liberation and yet you are upset that seeing that there is no self has not set you completely free from suffering. There is no magic happy ever after, no magic pill to dissolve all your conditioning all at once. Do I really need to tell you this?

    In case you missed this, here is our welcome leaflet for those who have been confirmed. http://liberationunleashed.com/PDF/Awakened.pdf hope it will be of some use for you.

  27. Lovely, thanks for answer back.
    Have anyone in any LU group ever told you that now you are done? Isn’t it ‘done’ when the body goes to feed the worms? Hmm, you do realise that first step is not complete liberation and yet you are upset that seeing that there is no self has not set you completely free from suffering. There is no magic happy ever after, no magic pill to dissolve all your conditioning all at once. Do I really need to tell you this?

    In case you missed this, here is our welcome leaflet for those who have been confirmed. http://liberationunleashed.com/PDF/Awakened.pdf hope it will be of some use for you.

  28. From Ilona’s above-referenced-to welcome leaflet:

    “The most important thing to realize at this point is that this is not the end of the road; it’s the first step of an awakened, authentic life. While the belief in a separate and real ‘you’ may be gone, chances are a big part of the structure built on top of that belief is still in place. How big, only you can find out. It is likely that at some point there will be doubts, phases of felt identification with a person you know doesn’t exist, reactions that may be considered “not useful”, and (possibly deep) negativity.

    All these things used to cling to and be fueled through the idea of self, which is now seen as an illusion. So whenever thoughts or emotions come up that are judged as negative, don’t avoid, don’t fight, don’t argue. Just stay with them and watch them happen and nfold. Fear will try to divert your attention away. Use it as a pointer, look towards and through it instead and you will
    likely find a hidden belief without any basis in reality.”

    I don’t see any claim that someone is done, once and for all, once the apparition of self is acknowledged to be an apparition.

    Instead, Ilona asserts that the adventure of belief deconstruction only begins.

  29. Ilona, interesting if the first step is not complete liberation why do you call it liberation?

  30. Kittylove, good question. Partly because we inherited it from RT, but mainly because it attracts seekers. A tabloid that reads- liberation unleashed is more visible than first step only. Those who seek enlightenment and spend years looking for it are not interested in first step, I wasn’t. I did not even know there was a first step till I read Jed’s books. and even then I did not connect first step to no self thingy. The keywords that we use are not what you get. That can be labelled in many ways and it will still only point to something, that is underneath all words. No matter how precise or poetic they may sound. Liberation is a label. No need to be hooked on it. Language is limited and will never do anything more than point to the meaning. so to sum up liberation word sounds good, it is attractive and it points to freedom.

  31. I haven’t watched this video but LIBERATION UNLEASHED….seriously?

    Why not “Get liberated in 30 days or your money back” ?

    Jiddu Krishnamurti (“Truth is a pathless land”) must be turning in his grave.

    The West has to commoditize & package everything into a steps oriented course…even Liberation.

    I am getting a little fatigued from listening to some of Rick’s guests….esp the kind who start with “I have no story ” ..OR “I am not interested in my story”….but are able to enthusiastically recall every single detail about their life thus far.

    Would much rather hear from the “really ordinary” people who are struggling on this path, the one who are “popping in and out of awakening”.

  32. I, on the other hand, applaud Rick’s management of his virtual buffet table to include an incredible variety and assortment of dishes… trusting that every diner will pick and choose what is most digestible and nutritional for him or her.

    Living in a location that is known for its incredible buffets, I will encourage you to move past the dishes that don’t appeal to you, and have a feast with those that do.

  33. @ulisses:
    “what a joke to see all this no-self people expressing their opinions as if they really know it better”

    Exactly right…something like….I am awakened…I have no self and no ego…and I can prove it to you…you idiot!! 🙂

  34. @rick,

    I have been watching your interviews since Jac O’keeffe. Who I think is my sweetheart,albiet maybe onesided,lol. I think you do a fantastic job. So I feel like I know you that is why I joked about the cameras.
    Also like you for years I have started my day looking at APOD pictures and if a good one comes up I set it as the background on my computer. I don’t know about yall,but the more the process, process’s me the more I feel like a baby.
    doug

  35. I met Elena earlier last year on Twitter, and she pointed me at Ciaran’s blog, “Ruthless Truth”. I actually got a lot out of one of his posts, it encouraged me to take that decisive good hard look at myself, which was a very worthwhile thing for me to do.

    So later on, I invited Elena (and she in turn invited Ilona) to a vipassana forum I was active on at the time, called the Dharma Overground – the Ruthless Truthers were doing some kind of forum gatecrashing thing back then, and that led to quite a few interesting discussions and demonstrations of their direct pointing.

    Well, it’s nice to see them on batgap now. Hi there, Elena and Ilona! Nice to see how your pointing has developed.

    Cheers,
    Florian

  36. @ Peter.
    Thank you for posting Mooji’s video, it is even more clear now the difference from fake, artificial laugh (Liberation Unleashed sharing Joy!) and real authentic laugh (Mooji).
    In fact when you see the LU video you don’ t wanna laugh at all, actually you can feel a bit depressed, when you see Mooji you laugh with him.
    Very good example of fake versus real. See where the words fail, laugh doesn’t.

  37. You’re well-come, ulisses.

    Besides laughter, what other areas do you look at through the lens of fake versus real?

    I’m suspecting quite a few.

  38. I have a slight concern for the more then a few seemingly clinically depressed people that go to the site and being helped by someone not qualified to deal with such a case leading that person thru a depersonalization process.

  39. @Ernest – It is ironic that you talk about forgetting labels but go on to indulge in exactly that.

    I am a long time Buddhist Vipassana meditator myself – and I will aurgue that at the core it is classic Advaita in action – awareness of sensations without identifying with it….seeing the transient for what it is (Anichcha).

  40. Since we row in a similar row boat, vairagya, a clarifying question, please.

    When you say “awareness of sensations without identifying with them”, do you mean awareness of sensations AND any identification that may accompany them?

    I found that being aware of the identifications, which often accompany some sensations, loosens the bond between the sensation and the identification.

    Has this been your experience as well?

    TIA

  41. @peter. MANY THANKS for the wonderful video of mooji and others laughing. i got totally caught up in the laughter, quite unexpectedly, and it was a great, cleansing release. blessings…

  42. You are most well-come, samudra.

    Laughter, sans the mind’s evaluations, is a rich experience indeed.

  43. as for the interview, these two young ladies seem sincere. however, i agree w/others who find what they’re offering to be pretty lightweight, especially in comparison to most of the other teachers interviewed on this site…as well as my personal experience w/several of them. also, as has been said, different strokes for different folks…so far be it from me to say what benefit their approach may or may not provide for some.

  44. Vairagya, yes, guilty as charged on the labels “Buddhism” and “Advaita Vedenta”. (I was mainly referring to the other labels mentioned in the list since these terms now have been overused, issues I now prefer to avoid in favor of just finding the truth.)

    But even more so, I was referring more to the article cited in the link. There are a lot of similarities between the two traditions. But the article gave me pause as the final endpoint.

    I once had a professor, a practicing Tibetan Buddhist, a published Buddhist scholar, who made the explicit point of NOT confusing the enlightenment of Buddha with the Self realization of Ramana Maharshi. This was in a class of spiritually minded people (including myself) who thought “it was all the same” when one bypasses the intellectual stuff, the culturally conditioned religious traditions and philosophies, and focus only on the experience.

    Personally, what is at stake is the primacy of consciousness, awareness, and Self. I expressed in other posts my self doubt about these, since they still feel like it’s “something”. Where I might question the article is that it doesn’t feel like I’m “attaching” (mechanism of identification) myself to something for the sake of survival. The Self feels more like something that has revealed itself, something I’ve fallen into, including a kind of “richness” that is tangible even in the body via Shakti. Still, it is phenomena. And I have my doubts about consciousness, even in deep dreamless sleep, the claim that there is still “something” there, something that knows the void. (The neuroscientist would say, of course dummy. You’re not dead. Some neurons are still firing, even though very faintly.)

    I’ve listened to some of the LU videos of people who have “awakened”. The “feel” is very different than some of the other Advaita teachers (e.g. Mooji). (Of course, there are other Advaita teachers who also come off as very “intellectual” to me.) I also miss some aspects of the Catholic tradition, the contemplative mysticism, aspects of the heart, and of devotion. When Rick interviews Anita Moorjani, her near death experience (NDE), this will reveal yet another reality, the primacy of Love.

    Maybe it’s all the same in the end. I don’t know. But we get some clues from what people choose to emphasize.

  45. ‘ Spiritual practice, essentially is trying to get back and reclaim the lost sense of identity…it’s the process of rewiring…the cognitive process needs to be rewired…without this rewiring – without this gut-to-brain cortex process being rewired – there’s no true self-realization… this current excitement, kind of euphoria in current non-dualist circles, because people think that just through a ‘mental shift’, somehow, create the conditions, whereby all these processes have been dismissed, and one can abide in the state of recognition of one’s own essential nature as that of Shiva – if you are not from Indian tradition: the “Absolute”, “Being”, “That”, “Nothing”, “Void”…whatever is one’s cultural traditional preference…but it’s not going to happen, you know, because your physiology is going to take over, because is linked, the link is there at all times, you may temporarily may have that very clear, palpable sensation, palpable inner recognition…and yet, the physiology is not separate, you cannot just discard physiology, you cannot just say that “It happened in my mind, the body will follow”….very often, the relationship is actually the other way around…’
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jazhUlb3zbY&list=UU9fBUt92Z2MW0hbsvVN3QMg&index=2&feature=plcp

    what if many westerners are having glimpses of awakening through the “head zone” window of awkening – (being the contemporary western culture heavily focused in that area)..then embracing the jnana yoga (heavy focus of the neo-advaita wave, dismissing as “lower” or “unreal” the “heart area” and the “gut area” windows of awakening (recognised in different wisdom lineages)…
    my vote for an interview with Judith Blackstone..
    “…the fixations that obscure nonduality are not just conceptual. They are also rigid holding patterns throughout the whole body, limiting our capacity for emotional responsiveness and physical sensation. By embodying nondual consciousness, we can let go of our fixed patterns of self and other, so that they actually dissolve. When spiritual teachings do not recognize the transformation of the body, the result is, at best, a partial, imbalanced spiritual openness….”
    http://www.nondualityinstitute.org/Realization-Process.html
    http://www.judithblackstone.com/

  46. @Ernest – have you studied “A Course in Miracles”? It is also Advaita Vedanta – if you ask me.

    @Peter – you worded it more accurately than I did. Yes, Vipassana is awareness of sensations and also awareness of our identification to the sensations – and the best part – doing nothing about it. Vipassana is such a simple & beautiful technique – because it does not require us to consciously change anything – be aware & be equanimous. No big intellectual erudition, No big philosophies. Once the torch of awareness is shone – the grip of our identification with our body/mind automatically loosens.

  47. “Vipassana is such a simple & beautiful technique – because it does not require us to consciously change anything – be aware & be equanimous. No big intellectual erudition, No big philosophies. Once the torch of awareness is shone – the grip of our identification with our body/mind automatically loosens.” – vairagya

    I blissfully resonate with your observation, vairagya. That is my experience as well.

    Gonna enjoy this blissful resonance while it lasts too; knowing full well that it, like all things, is temporal and impermanent.

  48. Rick, the link to Elena’s blog appears to be pointing to Ilona’s blog. Nice interview by the way, appreciated.

  49. i found LU just after a vipassana retreat in the tradition of sayagyi u ba khin.
    there, we were exploring impermanence – one of the three universal characteristics of phenomena in the buddhist tradition. the other two are lack of a self / essence (anatta) and unsatisfactory character (dukkha). we were told that deep insight in either of these three will generate, in time, insight in the other two, as well. and “full liberation” is impossible without full insight in all three. but we should focus, at first, only on one of them.

    so, when i came home, i decided to explore anatta more deeply (there is a thai tradition of vipassana, in the lineage of achaan naeb, which focuses heavily on anatta at first). and i found LU.

    i was beautifully guided – by ilona, btw – and the inquiry at LU (which basically is looking at ALL aspects of experience in order to see if there is any self to be found – the same way the type of vipassana i was practicing is looking at experience in order to see its impermanence) showed, without any trace of doubt, that a “separate” self is a construct, in any way we interpret this term.

    and the “moment of realization” was when i saw the deluded character of my previous concept of enlightenment. before the interaction with ilona, i thought “elightenment” is what happens to a “me” and changes it, makes it happier, more loving, etc. but, if there is no “me” to be found anywhere, how can a “me” become enlightened? is there any “me” who suddely appears at the moment of enlightenment, and was nowhere to be found before that? really? 🙂

    and this insight is one i think any “seeker” should have as early as possible.
    when elightenment is perceived as something that can happen to a separate self – we are bound to seek for ever. and never find it.
    and this is the indispensable “first step” necessary for any genuine realization to happen (although, probably, one can also start from impermanence or suffering – but seeing clearly that there is no self to be found anywhere in reality is capital.)

    so, after this insight, search relaxed somehow – and i was more acutely aware of the relationship between thought, feeling, desire and action – and the fact that they just happen, without any self to control them – and the self appears just as a character in a story about experience, a story created by the brain in order to make sense of experience – but no separate self is encountered in reality.
    there is no more complusive seeking of a personal enlightenment – just attentiveness to what’s happening, and a clearer seeing of what is, less clinging to beliefs and to prefered outcomes, almost no resistance, no hate, almost no judgement of the “other” (because there is no “self” to be judged – just action, just behavior).

    and, a few days ago, i started meditating again – spontaneously, without telling myself “now i should meditate” – and maybe it will fall off again after a few days, maybe it will stay – we’ll see 🙂

    so, basicaly, after this insight in the absence of a separate self, “i” – as a body / mind organism – became more comfortable with life just unfolding as it unfolds, without the illusion “I” can control anything or can be affected by anything (including “my” chronic headaches – which just happen, as pain felt in the body).

  50. I once gave your idea of an underground vault some consideration, Dennis. But because chlorophyll pulses through my veins and arteries, I can’t deny myself access to the sun for too long a period.

    So alternatively, I now venture out with a sign hanging from my neck:

    “Caution: Egoic structure demolition at work. Interaction with this apparition may cause significant discomfort and emotional disarray.”

    The only problem with wearing this sign is… it lacks a Spanish translation.

  51. Thank you, khoraa, for sharing your experience with us.

    That’s one of the beautiful fruits of being aware of being aware. The act of meditation proceeds on its own, without requiring an intender to create the intention for meditation.

    Thanks again.

  52. Uli, thank you for bring our attention to the physiology of it all, with the both links you’ve shared.

    ”… you cannot just say that “It happened in my mind, the body will follow”….very often, the relationship is actually the other way around…”

    and he (Igor – Vamadeva) continues:

    ”our mind has created this body in the first place, because our body is a reflection of this mind, but then in the incarnated state we follow that body… because we follow all the habits that are stored deep within… that cannot be dismissed… ”

    Igor Kufayev ~ Vamadeva, The main theme of Live Webinar, June 30, 2012.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jazhUlb3zbY&feature=plcp

  53. Heat Seeker, that is true, ’emptying’ yet if we understand by that ‘the progressive purification or withdrawal of Prana’ (courtesy of my my teacher) than the process is not as simple as it seems.

    Those who are in the midst of it are living examples of that process, including those who have lived in the past (like this site favorite Ramana had physically undergone full cycle of pranic withdrawal from the age of 16).

  54. ”Just another belief system” ? Crashed course in neurophysiology will shed some light on what is behind all belief systems.

  55. Uli, thanks for the Igor K’s video on the Heart. I resonate with the points on the heart, physiology, beauty, alignment of both individuality and the divine. It is in kind of the tradition closer to the concrete, the appreciation of the esoteric anatomy of “embodiment”.

    HS, thanks for the simplicity of you statement on emptying so the True can shine through.

    I resonate with both.

  56. In my opinion, finding the truth should be priority one and all the bodily stuff is secondary. Otherwise, one is “putting the cart before the horse”.

    To extend the metaphor, you probably can “put the cart before the horse”. But this a hard way to go, i.e., work on the physiology first (or Kundalini) to “find God”. Start with the God given physiology you already have and trust that the Divine will lead the way. This is not to say that some level of mental stabilization and calmness isn’t helpful, such as meditation. Much of what Igor K describes isn’t something one “can do”. It is given. It is a consequence of something else. All that rewiring and integration is a consequence of something else. It is an expression in the body-mind, not an end in itself.

    Here Rick’s prescriptive vs. descriptive distinction can be helpful.

  57. Igor has the privilege of responding to your concerns, Ernest. And I’m sure that he will exercise that privilege.

    But with regard to this comment of yours…

    “This is not to say that some level of mental stabilization and calmness isn’t helpful, such as meditation”…

    I’ll grant you that mental stabilization and calmness are objectives to many who meditate. But they don’t have to be the only ones.

    Attention and awareness are siamese twins, in my experience. Fine tune one and the other is fine tuned as well.

    Meditation can also be an exceptional tool for fine tuning your attention, with a commensurate effect on awareness.

    And the quality of your attention/awareness has a direct effect on what you are able to (ap)perceive.

  58. ”Just saw this comment somewhere:
    I went through the process with Liberation Unleashed. A long email exchange resulted in a group of moderators deciding after some consideration, that yes, I had seen through separation and the false I. Nonsense. I almost believed it myself. Here I am one year later. Maybe I am the only one that didn’t `get it` but my suspicion is that many who they published in their book went through the same as I did. Some however, may be too embarrassed to come out of the closet.”
    This is what happened to me too, more and more people are saying this….

  59. Ernest, I feel you are mildly missing the main point of Igor’s message. Especially when you saying that Kundalini is working on the physiology. In his 2-nd interview it was clearly stated that Kundalini as Prana conducts all responses, including mental, motor, cognitive.

    As far as I understand it, there is no such thing as mind separate from the body. It is so intricately interwoven that ‘finding God’ take place nowhere but here.

    It is true, Igor does not ‘prescribes’ but what he ‘describes’ helps many of those who are struggling to make sense of what awakening is often unleashes.

  60. P. S. To the ‘cart and horse’ metaphor there is another one, with five horses and the chariot. Horses are the senses. Chariot – the body. The chariotee is the soul (atman). Ataman is Brahman.

    Yet up until the horses are running the chariot there is a fat chance for knowing that.

  61. To Jane40:

    Consider the possibility that as long as you place your faith in someone else to confirm or validate a particular experience in you…

    you will dis-cover that no one else can do for you that which you can only do for yourself.

    When you will know, you will know. Ad you won’t need or wany anyone to confirm that for you.

  62. I never thought I would write this but it seems many posters here should think about going over to LU and if not at least get awakened get some crisp clarity to replace all the as Ilona has called it fuzziness in their brains. So many lost in concepts and ideas. I guess LU can do some good after all.

  63. Sat in Silence most of the afternoon as NYC was chaotic after the shootings..and some of us wanted to lend some quietness and balance..We missed being in the middle of it all by 20 minutes..Grace of God that I somehow left home late this morning….
    Khoraa –
    Just wanted to jump in and tell you how much I enjoyed your post today…I don’t know anything about LU – and methods don’t interest me – as it’s all Grace however it occurs – but I know if an opening is true..and this was genuine..and so well described- recognition of non authorship -the end of compulsive seeking – no control – being carried – pain but no suffering – all authentic..but apart from what was said, it was the ‘feeling’ coming through…lovely…

    Of course there’s more to come as the realization becomes more embodied – more insight -greater clarity – more love – more surrender – ever deeper – until we know ourselves as that Love which has no end…
    but yes yes – just wanted to confirm..each awakening is our own – so we rejoice in that..

    Sunny –
    Who are we fooling? Seriously? We’re just adding to the confusion here on batgap.. Someone has got to say the Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes with regard to these videos..The one on the spiritual heart was almost indecipherable…
    .
    You must know that knowledge is not wisdom..self-realization is not Self Realization..The Self when known, speaks with clarity and simplicity..It can speak extemporaneously with great clarity because nature is organizing its thoughts..Otherwise, we shouldn’t attempt it as it turns into a confused hodgepodge..maybe just go the lecture route and speak from notes..

    I’m not hearing the Self speak at all in these tapes….One who is Self Realized and at rest in the spiritual heart – can recognize if another is speaking its universal language. What is being put forth has nothing to do with true awakening..We might as well just dig out our Maharishi tapes from 40 years ago..same difference..

    Practical knowledge is useful and arises when needed for the enlightened, but the true spiritual journey is toward unknowing – of deconstructing – of dis-illusioning – not of piling on more and more textbook concepts…Good intentions do not a guru make..

    Perhaps you want to take a listen sometime to the sutras that Adya speaks or the profound simple wisdom of Mooji or Pamela or Neelam just for comparison…These are embodiments of wholeness and Love..who can actually transmit Silent Mind to others……
    You are caught in the yogic web of mind my friend.. wake up..

    Ernest –
    You are way ahead of the game..the opening has already occurred in your neck of the woods so more concepts are not what is needed from outside sources..waste of you time…I love that you said to trust the Divine to lead the way in your post…

    Believe that, and believe that the body has its own wisdom – The energy that you are – can’t be controlled or cajoled..but it knows its way Home..

    And also believe with all your heart that there is nothing to fear in surrender..This separation anxiety keeps returning..it needn’t..I tell you true, the individual and the Divine are seamlessly lived in the liberated state -with no thought to which takes precedence…they are One..
    The only difference is that the Life is lived without grasping or avoidance – the root of all suffering – which brings bliss…

  64. Jill, could you please specify what videos, and please use the names. It was Uli who posted a long quote from Igor’s webinar, I’ve only added an embedded link for the actual video.

    While it is not for me to defend what you perhaps are not capable to understand, but let me tell you this: your reaction is predictable when it comes to someone who does not comply to your framework of thinking.

    It is now official that you have a BIG problem with what Igor has tried to share here, right from his 1st talk with Rick. I’m not going to tell you why, it is for you to work it out.

    In addition and for your record, Igor has people come to him who sat with both Mooji and Adayshanti for years. I do the bookings for his private sessions and help him to organize Webinars. When you’re ready to come down of your pedestal to get some help, you are welcome to join. I’m sure Igor would say the same.

    Oh, with Love to you always

  65. Hi, dear Florian! I am so glad to connect with you again here! So much love to you and Daniel Ingram. I spoke to him some time ago, and he gave me permission to post his write up about direct pointing (in fact, that is you or Daniel who helped us to define the process by giving this name on Dharma Overground. It was perfectly resonating, and we adapted it 🙂 And yes, we remember well our work on your forum, it was such an epic time! We appreciate you very much, and Vipassana/Dharma Overground people rock! <3

  66. About Liberation word we use. Liberation from what? We help people to liberate mind from the illusion of the separate entity. This is what we mean. I said it very clearly in the interview. And we do not confuse classical Liberation with the liberation from the illusion of self.

    There is an article on out website by classical meditator, teacher, I will post it here for those who are interested to read about classical liberation and what is our part may be:

    By Shane Wilson:

    “The Classical Approaches to Liberation
    Many refer to the various Buddhist practices, as well as the eastern non-Buddhist practices, as the classical approaches to Liberation. In many cases, this is seen as the only way. The primary tool, along with morality and wisdom, in reaching the reward in these classical approaches is the practice of meditation. Meditation allows one to go within and begin the work needed to better understand what is happening with the mind and body. Throughout the Buddhist discourses, we can find teachings that point to ultimate reality. This ultimate reality is the understanding of Anatta or non-self. In an early Buddhist discourse called the “Anattalakkhana Sutta” [SN 21.59], translated as non-self characteristic, the Buddha clearly points out that there is “no self” or no ownership of the body, our feelings, perceptions, thoughts or consciousness. He made it clear that if we actually owned these things, we would be able to control our emotions and also have the ability to fully control sickness as well as stop the aging and death process of the body. Since everything is in continual instability, impermanent, and in a constant state of change, there cannot be any control outside of being free from the desire to be in control in the first place.
    In the “Anattalakkhana Sutta” the Buddha said the realization of non-self brings about a series of mental events that lead to Liberation. This results in freedom from the desire for control. This Liberation is our freedom from suffering. The Buddha stated that once non-self is seen, there is disenchantment with the body and mind. This turns into a dispassion that produces a release. This release is the un-fettering or un-chaining from the very things that have been preventing freedom. This is the release from the attachment to the self. With the ending of the attachment to the self, comes the ending of striving for completion or for the personal fulfillment to become something other than what we presently are.
    There is a simple saying that goes like this: “No self, no problem.” This is a true statement in the respect that when problems arise and are confronted with an absence of self, these so called problems are seen more as a situation and furthermore as simply an experience and nothing personal. The result is that it is much easier to be a part of this thing called life.
    The Buddha obviously wanted everyone to realize non-self and to see through the illusion of the self. This was his life’s work. He did this work for fifty years. He had many methods of pointing this out to people. He knew some people had to sincerely practice meditation to help them see this realization, and he also had his very effective direct approaches. It is mentioned in the “Bahiya Sutta” [UD1.10] that at one time while the Buddha was in a hurry, he was approached by an ascetic called Bahiya who had asked for a teaching that would liberate him. The Buddha then quickly said only what was necessary to awaken Bahiya.
    “Then, Bahiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bahiya, there is no you in terms of that. When there is no you in terms of that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress.”

    In the Buddha’s quick instructions is a method for realizing non-self. Through hearing these words, Bahiya was liberated. He got the “push” that was needed at the proper time. Getting the push at the right time seems to be the key for many practitioners. People are “Waking Up” as if they were on a razor’s edge, teetering between confusion and Liberation. Many people only need a push in the right direction to fall onto the side of clarity and truth and a realization of who they are or are not.
    Each of us has a duty to fulfill. This duty is to move toward Liberation from the bindings of the identity with the self and the problems this false identity causes. This can be a part of whatever practice you currently have. Meditation is a wonderful method to prepare one for Liberation. It seems to clear the way for selfless reality as it unfolds. Many long-time meditators report “Waking Up” quickly and suddenly by the mere insight that arises from that push in the form of a proposed question or during a dialogue. The practice of meditation seems to help the process, but some feel it is not essential since people have “Woken Up” without any prior practice of formal meditation.
    Contemplation and inquiry, whether in or out of formal meditation, seems to be very beneficial, and there are likely many other practices not mentioned here that help prepare one for Liberation. It must be said at this time that the biggest deterrent; the greatest thing that prevents Awakening, is the belief that it cannot happen right now! With this false belief, you will not stand a chance.
    Liberation, it can happen. It is happening, and it is available now.”

  67. And this is the write up about what we do – direct pointing- from Daniel Ingram:

    “In response to the notion that this is anti-traditional or that this is not fundamentalist Theravadan stuff in some way: if you look at the old texts, the practice instructions for insight again and again are: “That is not self, that is not me, that is not mine, that is impermanent, that is causal, that is empty. This is not self, this is not me, this is not mine, this is impermanent, this is causal, this is empty.” Again and again, they were asked to observe this, contemplate this, experience this, know this directly for everything, exactly as these Direct Pointers are onto, and more power to them.

    I don’t know what people are doing in vipassana, but if it is something other than seeing the Three Characteristics, of which two are strongly emphasized by the Direct Pointers, then I would say that isn’t vipassana, and is something else being sold as vipassana but isn’t.

    I like this very immediate, very hardcore, very straightforward approach. I have this feeling that there are levels to it beyond the obvious, but this is a discussion for another time. Regardless, good stuff.”

    Daniel Ingram – http://www.interactivebuddha.com/index.shtml

  68. And if anyone has questions directly to me, please write and mention my name. I am traveling right now, and from tomorrow going deep into the mountains, not sure if I will have Internet there, but I promise to reply, either in my travels, or when I come home. I also did answer some questions in the beginning of this thread. Please hit “older comments” arrow couple of times to go to the beginning, and look up under my name. Thank you!

  69. Pop quiz:

    What does the experience of Annata (no self) have in common with the experience of Atman (self)?

    They both require an experiencer.

    An experiencer… to experience either Annata or Atman.

  70. Ergo, and for the person experiencing Annnata (no self), a question surfaces:

    who is experiencing Annata?

  71. @ Elena Nezhinsky and the other ‘awakened guides’ hehe!

    So many people – I know at least 10- have gone through your process and felt tricked by it. I would say they felt tricked by the terminology you use. Your group in fb is called ‘Enlightenment Now” ( I can only laugh at this), then you have the forum ‘Liberation etc” then you call yourself ‘awaken guides’. YOUR ARE NOT ENLIGHTENED or LIBERATED or AWAKEN. None of this. As I already told you I have been for a while in your fb aftercare group to witness enough.
    In the interview with Rick you state that you are not suffering anymore, you are lying because just a couple of months ago I saw in your blog a post (that you have now cleverly removed) of a conversation with Ilona Ciunaite a kind of technique used to stop suffering or something similar, and one could see that you clearly were suffering a lot (BTW hope you are better now), you were saying you were scared, you were feeling alone, vulnerable and you needed help. Why did you LIE to Rick? Why did you take that post off? Do you have the courage to put it up again and be sincere?

    This is what happen when I look for your post but when you click it says it has been removed.

    Elena and Ilona: Its one Love. Processing strong emotions.
    completehumanity.blogspot.com/…/elena-and-ilona-its-one-lo…Share
    Block all completehumanity.blogspot.com results
    29 May 2012 – Elena and Ilona: Its one Love. Processing strong emotions. 9:49 PM | Posted by Elena | | Edit Post. I woke up and feel very vulnerable, Ilona …

    You also said that you are not judging anymore, another BIG LIE. I have seen many posts of yours where you were judging a lot. I removed myself from the the groups on fb after I read your ferocious post against Scott Kiloby, you were saying that he was a liar a dishonest man, you insulted him. I don’t care if you are friends now. That post said a lot about who you are. You want to give an image of yourself very different from what you really are, that is to say a ‘non liberated’ woman with a lot of problems who is still searching.
    You are trying to show an ‘image’ of yourself.But please cool down, be sincere, ‘you don’t exist’ as you always say to people. Elena can you see that your awakening is not experiential? Can you see that you are lying to yourself? Can you see that you have a ‘self image’ to defend? Can you see that all you have is just an intellectual understanding of there being no self? STOP USING WORDS/LABELS WHICH ARE INAPPROPRIATE FOR WHAT YOU DO, STOP MISLEADING PEOPLE!

    You and the ‘awakend ( yeah…) guides’ !

  72. I feel that the two ladies are treated unfairly here in the comments section. I’ve been in the LU forum (being guided) for quite some time, so I speak from experience. I certainly don’t expect any enlightenment or liberation to come out this, to me it’s just an expression of my ongoing autolysis process. In the LU forum, I have the option to get the feedback of a guide, who supposedly has gone through this. So why not? Nothing to lose like that.

    On the other hand, every sane mind should realize the monstrosity of the enlightenment business. I’ve just came across a pdf of Trip Overholt’s transcribed interviews, and at some point it says “The younger sages such as Jeff Foster, Benjamin Smythe, Bentinho Massaro, Morgan Carraway, Lisa Cairns, Ilona and others were fabulously in touch with the intimacy of “suchness” this “no-thing” this Now”. Now? Now, PUH-LEASE!!! Those “modern sages” are nothing but kids, folks. Most of them are enjoying the luxuries of a middle-to-high class western living, and talk about “no suffering”. Essentially they know nothing about life, at least no more than you and me. Life has nothing to do with the Disneyland lovefest they preach in their satsangs. Life has quite a lot of options to bring you down on your knees. Try your “no suffering” satsangs then, and see what you get.

    What’s my point? That yeah, essentially all those gurus and sages are nothing but charlatans because invariably at some point they will start claiming way more than they know or are capable of. However, this charlatanism is effectively caused by all those (us) who follow those Buddha claimants. And so the enlightenment monstrosity gains momentum. So we should not attack anyone for not standing up to our exaggerated expectations. It’s a grotesque theater, this awakening-liberation circus. Fasten your seat belts, and enjoy the show. If you don’t get enlightened at least it’s gonna be a damn good show.

  73. just to add this: take what you think is valuable from anyone that has it, be THANKFUL to him/her, and ignore the rest. But there’s no need to get personal or pass judgements. Just enjoy they circus 🙂

  74. @ulisses, since Elena is in the jungle, i will answer your question about suffering.

    what is suffering? can there be painful sensations without suffering – yes. i tattoo people and there is always pain involved, but not many seem to suffer. because suffering is in the mind which is expressed trough thoughts about why this is experience is wrong, why this should not be happening. these thoughts invoke feelings of poor me, i’m a victim here, this needs to end, i’m hopeless, i want to die… that all goes into a vicious circle from which is difficult to break free, because the more you try, the worse it gets.

    once it is seen that there is no owner to which these feelings and thoughts happen, they can be easily observed without judgement. no one said that after seeing through illusion of self you become a blissed out peace forever zombie. no, life goes on, and all kinds of feelings and emotions come up. it actually feels more intense, then before. from my own experience, i never felt sadness as deep or love so intense, then before. all feelings are seen as something that rises up and passes away without suffering. see, intense emotion is not suffering. the thought-feeling loop that this is wrong and should not be happening is suffering. there is freedom to feel whatever comes up fully and see it as a gift, rather than punishment. and that is what we talk about here- there is no sufferer.

    your judgement about who feels what and how it looks is not what happens for someone else, so saying that elena is suffering is your story in your head about elena.
    can you see that? it’s fiction.

    when resistance to what is ends, there is natural surrendering and that has delightful sweetness in anything experienced, including emotions that currently you name as unwanted. thoughts are meant to be noticed and feelings are meant to be felt. no psychological suffering is necessary. and if you are not there yet, i can only say, that there is the way out- stop trying to end suffering. noticing resistances releases them and emotional energy can pass freely without making a lot of fuss.

    have a great day.

  75. It is actually very simple and not as confusing as it seems at all:

    This “direct pointing” is a very powerful tool, if you really give it a chance. If one is honest (http://ruthlesstruthdotcom.blogspot.cz/2010/09/how-to-be-honest.html) it brings him to the edge, to “the Gate”, rather quickly. This is the intellectual understanding that many of you think LU can deliver at best, and nothing more will come out of it. But that’s not the case, because few things might happen then:

    1) It stays on the level of an intellectual understanding and is seen as such, and people wander off, knowing they didn’t “make it.” They come back or not or see some time later without further pointing.

    2) People convince themselves they really did see it and they are wrongly identified by guides. I would leave out this last step totally, it just makes a mess of things. One knows when he’s done, as someone said earlier. This is mistake on both sides, guided and guiding. It happens. For you all crying here they told you you’re done and you found out you are not: you are lazy, and you are very dishonest. Really. No-one can get you through, they can only point the way, and they did; you just didn’t have the courage to really look if it is true that there is no you. At least have the courage not to blame others for that.

    3) One just goes thru; it might have happend through suffering, through meditation, through NDE, self – inquiry, whatever – happend through LU or Truthstrike or Ruthless Truth – doesn’t matter, not up to us anyways.

    It even doesn’t even matter if it’s “complete liberation” or “first step”, because even if it was just a first step, it would be more than what most seekers “achieved” in years with other approaches.

    Ilona and Elena don’t seem to know what to say few times – but that’s just because they are not satsang parroting brainwashed zen light-made fairies, they are just normal humans, and yes, they may not be “fully liberated” by your scale, but they are probably more liberated then you.

    They were not firm enough and with their english not being top-notch, their message may appear weak. But it’s not. It’s what others deliver without bullshit. What most teachers are saying makes 1000% more sense with “no-you lense on”. But they don’t emphasize that enough and it’s crucial. Mooji’s all like: “That is your problem. You identify yourself as your identity. But you are not your identity. You are the self that observes it all.”

    Well, yes. But with the sense of “you” still being there, you think YOU are the SELF. But that doesn’t do anything at all; YOU are NOT, there is NO YOU is just better formulation of the same, but it penetrates deeper into conditioning. It really does.

    Anyways, I recommend ruthless truth blog, that is a fun read that will last you for weeks.

  76. @ Ilona.

    Ah there you are teaching again! I didn’t ask you a lesson on what is suffering, did you read my post?
    Frankly I don’t need your wise advices you can keep it for yourself Ilona and for the people who needs you ‘help’.
    Furthermore you are stating what everyone already knows, so please spare us from your predictable wisdom teaching.

    So let’s go back to my post. If someone says- like Elena was saying in his conversation with you- ‘I feel scared’, ‘I feel alone’,’I need help’ it doesn’t look like he/she is very happy, isn’t it? In my book I call it suffering, the person is believing thoughts that make her suffer. It is not in my head. It was in plain view until Elena, for diplomatic reasons I presume, took the post away from her blog…and then she goes to batgap saying she is not suffering anymore= bullshit, she is not judging anymore= bullshit, she is not searching anymore = bullshit. No wonder she is in the jungle now may be on a healing journey, shamanic rituals, ayahuaska . Ok fine, good for her. I hope she will find what she is looking for= searching/ life as it is is not good enough let me search a bit more….

    Please don’t lie to people, don’t say things that aren’t true.
    What you offer is not liberation, it is not appropriate to use this word!
    There is nothing wrong with saying that you offer an intellectual insight in seeing that the separate self is a construct,that it’s a thought.

    Real liberation is felt experientially, energetically any moment. The people there in Lu don’t feel this they have to think that there is no self, they don’t feel this.

    Have a great day you too and please try to be a bit more modest, real modesty!

  77. Elena:
    So for you, Liberation means freeing the mind of the illusion of ego/I.
    I would say, based on the number of people you usher through, the feedback, my experience there, the language you use….
    It’s would be more accurate to say the following:
    Liberation is the person seeing/understanding that they are not the mind/body. However briefly, however deeply, however intellectually.
    I think this is more accurate for you guys.
    And if this is so, some of your key language, like the word Liberation, is flat out misleading and inaccurate. And there doesn’t appear to be much effort in distinguishing your language from the conventional usage, which is convenient for drawing people and making them feel special.
    I’m sure there are some people in the group who are genuinely awakened. Even in spite of the confusion. But the vast majority are likely anywhere from asleep to who knows. And I’m guessing many are feeling (or will be) confused, misled, dry, resentful, etc; Some we have certainly seen here. Of course some of the responsibility is on the seeker as well. Like I said before, I think it is more harm good. And by no means a critical new path for transformation, as you claim.

  78. Peter:
    I know you like to remind people that leaning on teachers can be trouble and all we need is within. But I like to remind people that in spite of the examples to the contrary, there are plenty of genuine teachers who can really help the seeker to awaken and Realisation. I’d say there are more examples of Gurus than no Gurus. Even Ramana, who some say had no Guru, was an especially devout student of Arunachala Shiva. I would say more profoundly and deeply than most stories I have heard. Shiva (as Arunachala) clearly Graced him with his awakening as a teenager. Shiva called him to his feet. More like summoned or drew him there with loving force. Shiva oversaw his Sadhaka there. And then kept him close, in His bosom, for the rest of his life. He circumambulated his Guru whenever he could, wrote verses of love and devotion and sang them with tears flowing. If one can see that Shiva, as the mountain, was every bit a Sat Guru (if not more) as an old bearded Indian man, than his story is one of the most profound, amazing, Guru/devotee stories available to contemplate. So I hope that he will no longer be used as an example of a great Sage who had no Guru and did it on his own.

    But getting back. Most won’t be taken over by Shiva like that. But doesn’t mean we’re on our own. I fully agree with Jill, that it can be extremely worthwhile to seek out and spend time with the genuine teachers out there. Who have been named many times in these BATGAP corridors. I agree, there will be those that lean too heavily on the Guru. But even that, if there is honesty, will work itself out. Yes it’s all here. But if that is not fully Realised, there can be a false sense of unfolding or even completion. The outer Guru simply guides one to the inner Guru, and they work together to ease the mind down into the molten lava cavern of the Heart. Ok, I’ll work on that one. But you get what I’m saying. I hope.

  79. meander:
    It’s odd that you rip into a bunch of teachers, but then ask that people not be critical of these two teachers that you are with? This is a forum where we can express our opinions in a relatively civilized manner. 🙂 Expect things to be said about your teachers and their teachings. It might bother, but it won’t bite. And of course, you are free to speak your mind, your opinion, your truth. For me, I don’t have a problem with discussion, heated or otherwise. Others do. Or they may feel its not spiritual, or whatever. I love that the myriad forms of expression can chime in here. But….I will say, from being around for a bit, that there’s a fairly accurate odour meter here when it comes to so-called teachers, and also commenters. For which I have been on the receiving end on occasion, and deservedly so. It is a batgapian processing of all that is put before its attention. Ok, I’ll work on that one too.

  80. mark_tywharton says that “Nobody knows what the fu*k is going on” (which btw I will agree to) but in the same breath he goes on to imply that llona knows what is going on.

    They say when the student is ready, the guru appears.With this ‘Liberation Unleashed’ thingie however – it would appear that its okay for the student to be not ready – he just has to pass through that gateless gate (whatever that is) and liberation will be unleashed.

    I will also reiterate that folks in the west use words like “liberation” and “awakening” way too liberally – confusing an aha moment of understanding with liberation.

    Again – just an intellectual understanding that smoking is injurious to health does not make a smoker a non-smoker.

  81. To each is own, but in my experience, If its that much work to digest and soak in, its just too much!
    The Best is easiest assimilated.
    Good luck intellectualizing the whole process.
    Next, please!

  82. “But you get what I’m saying. I hope.”

    Of course, I do, HS. Your posts are always helpful and insightful. Thanks for that.

    There is a difference, though, between giving me fisn when I am hungry and teaching me how to fish.

    Validating or confirming that I am experiencing X, is giving me fish. Teaching me how to do that for myself, on the other hand, is teaching me how to fish.

    As a homeschooler, I try to “teach” my daughter how to teach herself. I’m very sensitive to her developing a learning dependency on others, including me.

    That same modus operandi of mine is extended to other arenas as well.

  83. first of all – peter, snowleopard, jill – thanks a lot for your warm welcome 🙂

    there are some points i’d like to make, in the context of this discussion.

    first of all, “intellectual understanding” seems a bit pleonastic to me – the intellect’s job is to understand things, so an understanding is intellectual by definition.
    of course, this understanding can be embodied, can be felt, it can change the old patterns of the mind – or not, it depends on a looot of factors.
    so, all this talk about “intellectual understanding” seems a little bit empty.
    i think that people here mean by it “just agreeing with the statement of the teacher” – but one can take them as true even without understanding, as this usually happens. just translating them in terms which make sense for us – and thus missing any opportunity of waking up 🙂
    so, for any insight, an intellectual component is unavoidable. otherwise, it’s not an insight.

    and second, regarding practices.
    the biggest shift in this regard after undergoing the process with ilona is that, before, i perceived practice as something which can take “me” to a different place – a “better” place. and there was a deep urge to go to that place.
    but after that, this urge relaxed.
    because there is no “me” which can go to that place.
    there are just processes in the body and in the mind.
    and practice is one of these processes which can happen.
    and, when they are done – there is no intention to “use” this practices to go anywhere. they just feel like the right thing to be done now. and there is no tension, no complusion to do them, and no lust for results, and no disappointment if these results don’t appear.
    and this – at least for me – is a biiig difference.

    and regarding suffering and pain – these just arise, they are natural phenomena.
    but they are seen for what they are, and the mind doesn’t create much fuss around them, as it used to do. when suffering is encountered – a loss, or the sadness of a breaking up – it is fully felt, not rejected, because that is what’s happening, that’s how things are unfolding right now. and to reject what’s happening is folly 🙂
    when pain is felt (cluster headaches i suffer from, for example), it is felt – as pain in the body, a naturally occuring process.
    to reject these feelings is to reject experience, to reject Life, as it is unfolding right now, for this organism, in these circumstances.
    so, they are dealt with – and then the organism carries on doing its job 🙂

    i hope this clarifies it a bit

  84. @Heat Seeker
    yes, I admit I was inconsistent. It was hard to avoid it while trying to fit everything I’d like to say in one post. So, let me rephrase
    1)I’m in favor or Ilona and LU in general. I respect their effort and time they give into it.
    2)Their ‘verification’ process through some questions is downright retarded. Everybody can pass it if he learns the catchphrases. HOWEVER! this is is something they do for the practicalities of the forum functionality, and I accept it as such.
    3)It’s the responsibility of the seeker to decides if he’s done or not. If he depends on the feedback of some guru, then he’s an idiot.
    4)That’s how it goes: teachers start quite normally and down to earth, then their egos (ironically) start to inflate. I’m sure this has happened to some degree with Ilona, Elena and pretty much anyone else interviewed here.
    5)Due to 4, I would treat every claim they do with much skepticism. However, I wouldn’t condemn them for that. I understand that this is a byproduct of the enlightenment circus, and I am among the seekers who add momentum to it. So I just try to keep what’s real and useful and ignore the bs (eg discussions about “suffering” – please, don’t get me started again…)

    I feel that those ladies are treated unfairly because they are accused of certain things, maybe rightly so, however I believe that if that’s so, then the “big names” are also guilty of the same accusations. It’s just easier to attack the “small guys” while treating the “big stars of enlightenment” with awe. That’s not right.

  85. One positive thing about sites like LU, RT, and TS is that they are helping end the silly and useless practice of meditation in the West as seen by the many years long meditaters flocking to such sites, so maybe it won’t be long before utter nonsense like energy healing and angel guides starts coming to an end also.

  86. i feel i have to say something about me teaching. the only teaching that feels true to me is ‘think for yourself’ and this is the only thing that i teach, or to say more precisely, i point to.

    we learn everything by repetition, all schools, universities, religion, everything is based on repeat after me principle. to have a free mind is to be able to think and trust your own mind and experiences. no guru, no teacher can think for you. same like no one can imagine things for you. it is not something that normal human does. opinions are precious, it is something to hold on and defend. when mind is clear, no idea is sticky, there is flexibility and curiosity. when there is nothing to hold on, the whole world is an open playground. life can be experienced without obsessive thinking and it is possible only when mind is clear. practical thinking is useful, but suffering is not necessary. so if i say, look, do not think, this is me teaching you to reach down to your own experience and describe it from seeing, not from learned knowledge.

    if this is teaching, then ok, i am a teacher. but there is no one here to own that label or any other. and if you can learn from me to think for yourself, then my job as a teacher is done.

  87. @kittylove, I’ve sorry to interrupt but my angel guide just called and told me to tell you these stuff are here to stay! Alas, they were here before the meditation hype, and they’re gonna be here after it. This is the nature of the man.

    On the other hand, I can sense some orange tint in your aura, which means you have some suppressed energy, let me channel the loving energy of the feminine side of the healing power of the divine manifestation of the consciously aware presence of the vegetables of the earth into you…

  88. Sunny,
    Please note that we can’t ‘learn’ the Self or ‘teach’ the Self, we can only BE the Self..out of which comes true Clarity..and I might add, Reality..
    Then we don’t have to practice anything, as there’s no mind to be distracted…we see that Presence is forever Omnipresent…We don’t have to then think before speaking or writing or acting…as IT speaks and writes and acts for us..

    Just so you know, I have nothing against Igor as you implied, and have in fact, sent people his way who need some support during the K process..It just would be nice if one were to know one’s limits -and perhaps understand, or at least sense, what we don’t know yet, before we set up shop and begin to teach..

    Igor is well intentioned and honest – that’s obvious – I like the chap – but he is mistaken about what final realization is and how it comes about…To speak the truth of the Self – not the mind’s ‘idea’ of it, the energy has to reach the top floor and then come down to reside in the Self..What he speaks is born of practice and mostly book learning –
    It’s much much simpler than what he expresses – and at the same time, much more vast when it is lived and breathed…..

    Braco recently confided to an interviewer in a book about him that this idea of TIME – taking TIME to know God – was the deepest illusion we as humans carry, spiritually..and that we must get past this as a collective..
    He has come to make that possibility of NO TIME a living reality for all of humanity….saying that we no longer have to carry this burden of waiting for our salvation..of doing this and doing that and trying to purify to deserve God’s Love – that it’s here now..always was – always will be – forever more..
    If we keep perpetuating the idea that awakening takes TIME, we are going against the rivers flow..
    Namaste

  89. i feel so moved by all the emails that i am receiving and messages on facebook. thank you everyone – especially those who came out asking for help to see through that damnedest illusion of them all.

    LU forum is buzzing, our ‘guides’ are working non stop, this interview has generated a lot of interest. thank you Rick, thank you all for comments. we have taken a few points for consideration and adjusting the way we work according to what has been said here. it really has been a gift.

    thank you.

    love to all. truly grateful.

  90. @ Ilona
    Yes feel moved as much as you want,meanwhile
    it would be enough to keep people away from your site by just copying one single page of the discussions going on in the fb group of people that have been ‘liberated’. There is more mental confusion there than in a psychiatric hospital…

  91. @ heat seeker

    You see I am not even angry with them, it is just that I don’t like their arrogance hidden behind false modesty.
    They shouldn’t speak of liberation, because they are not liberate themselves, that’s all.
    I am not going to write more posts.
    I wish Ilona and Co all the best and above all more honesty with themselves.
    Bye everybody, be well!

  92. This, not that.

    No self, not self

    This is how mind keeps a dualistic structure in place.

    This, not that.

    Experience no self, not self.

    The absence of X, not its presence.

    Nothing new here.

    Same play; different characters.

  93. Here’s hoping that Rick asks Tim Freke on September 1st:

    “Are all discussions and considertions of awakened/unawakened, self/no-self, real/not real, etc. just aspects and parts of The Dream?

    And if you are Lucidly Living (as Tim likes to call it) The Dream, do all of these discussions become moot and inconsequential?

    I’d be curious to hear Tim’s response to this..

  94. ”Tell them it’s more real than they think” – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

    By mid 70-s, as collective consciousness was on the rise, more and more people have reported experiencing of Cosmic Consciousness. Around that time the rumor started to circulate in the TM movement, that ‘all this is unreal, all this is Maya, all this is just a dream’. When Maharishi heard of that rumor, he gave that notorious by now reply: ”Tell them it’s more real than they think”

    For those who are not familiar with the term ‘Cosmic Consciousness’, it is a state of Consciousness where the Self is being perceived as separate from the field of action. Or to put it in reverse, the world is being perceived as separate from one’s Self.

    Often accompanied by awakening, CC is characterized by increased sense of duality and heightened state of witnessing precisely because the seer (observer) dominates over the seen (observed) and the process of seeing.

    It would take up to Unity Consciousness to bridge that condition until the seer (subject) and the seen (object) are reconciled in total merging into oneness where only the process of seeing remains, yet there is no one left to see. (For further explanation, please see the Notes at the end of the comment)

    Most of those who have left the TM movement before the early 90-s had ‘missed’ the chance to witness the unfoldment of Maharishi’s teaching in its full glory. For it was than, through his commentaries to Rig Veda (known as Aparusheya Bhashya) and above all else to the principle Vedantic scripture, Brahma Sutra that the full complexity of Great Seer’s vision came to light.

    They (who never had the chance to fully integrate the teaching), are now preaching neo-advaitic notions based on the biased understanding of Ramana Maharshi’s teaching that the world is unreal.

    The notion of Maya, as an illusion was introduced by Adi Shankara (9 c.) to emphasize the veiling of Ultimate Reality by ‘that which is not’ (what it seems). Interestingly enough, Shankara refused to extrapolate on the relationship between Brahman and Maya, which send the course of spiritual discourse into thousand year long speculations on the topic.

    It is in the (lesser known) ‘Hymns to Shambhava’ (Shiva), Shankara, this time around not as a philosopher, but as a poet-devotee has revealed the full glory of integrated state of Consciousness in relation to the perceived polarity (between the Absolute and the Relative) in any intermediate states.

    Furthermore, neither Shankara nor Ramana Maharshi never stated that the world is unreal. The world is ‘seen’, perceived as a dream in the state of Cosmic Consciouses is an intermediate phenomena.

    It doesn’t matter what Ekhart Tolle, Adyashanti, Mooji or Papaji has been saying on the subject. My duty is to relate that the World is not a Dream, it is Real. The World is identical with Brahman. It could be restated with greater directness:

    There is no such thing as the World (full stop) – only Brahman.

    All this is Brahman.

    .

    Now what are the repercussions for the one who has been stuck in the view of seeing the world as a dream? The obvious one is that up until the mind entertains that idea it will act as an obstacle to move onto the higher states of consciousness.

    Less obvious is that the relationship with the world as a dream nehilates any possibility of co-creating existence, simply because it is illogical to talk of the free will of the one who is in a dream. Yet our perception (along with feelings and thoughts) of the world is that most subtlest ‘substance’ with which we shape the world as we speak.

    The perceived notion of the ‘world as a dream’ drove India, once a richest country in the world, into an easy target for all sorts of ‘invasions’ which almost left the Lad of Bharatavarsha bereft of its own legacy. (Just an example: think of the greatest medical system Ayurveda banned in the county, forced to turn into dependency on primitive allopathic medicine, with all the famines that followed )

    Notes:
    The natural conditions of the soul in its total identity with Brahman is where subject, object and experiencing find its complete equilibrium. One can see it in the light of Maharishi’s teaching on Samhita of  Rishi, Devata and Chandas. The natural conditions are when the subject (Rishi) and object (Chandas) merge completely and only experience (Devata) remains. 

    In Avidya (ignorance) the value of object (chandas) dominates over subject and experience.

    In Awakened state (Cosmic Consciousness) the value of subject (rishi) starts to dominate.

    In Unity the seer and the seen are indistinguishable and only seeing remains. Self perceives nothing but the Self.

    This are natural conditions of the soul. Atman is (reversed replica of) Brahman. Human Being is divine instrumentality with which Consciousness contemplates itself as an embodied  idea…

    Additional remark:
    Often in the spiritual discourse, teacher reconfirms the current experience of an aspirant and if that experience is seeing Self as separate from activity, than let it mature naturally until the relationship between the seer and the seen is bridged enough to restate the truth yet again in the light of actual experience.

  95. Thank you Vamadeva. What you said resonates with me.
    “There is no such thing as the World (full stop) – only Brahman.

    All this is Brahman.”

  96. Sunny on August 24, 2012 at 9:23 pm said:

    And Igor’s take on the subject of necessity of practice
    – – – –

    Igor is a delightful, compelling, gentle and superlative master. There is the invincible power of alive and awakened Love behind his persona and his discourses.

  97. yes, here it comes the “egoic demolition brigade” ; ) (although I cannot compare myself with the amazing size of some “non-ego egos…)
    my head/heart/gut feeling is that in the West, so deeply dissociated from feeling, the one and only reference is a biased Vedantic/pedantic understanding , with the (almost exclusively) reference of Ramana Maharshi, elevated to the unfortunate category of “plastic idol”….
    any other insight that “deviates” one milimeter from this dogmatic exclusive understanding is labeled automatically as “lower realization”, etc. …hilarious/tragic…
    I can imagine a scifi movie, “The invasion of neo pedantic/vedantic body snatchers”: more and more people, lost in misery, parroting mindlessly/heartlessly again and again, in conversations, in forums: “Awareness, awareness” and “like Ramana said, like Ramana said…) – by the way, isn’t Ramana that spoke of “the Bliss of the Self”…? isn’t the ancient Indian metaphor to describe the undescribable “Sat/Chit/Ananda” Being/Consciousness/Bliss….not being one aspect or another “higher”, “lower” than the other…?
    What about Love (with capital letter….?
    “No other guide or light/but that one in the Heart/burning bright” -St. John of the Cross (and yes, he also wrote in his journals:”Nothing, nothing, nothing and nothing”)

    David Spero articulates superbly here what I have felt each time I have approached some forum/discussion gravitating around the “advaita” label…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8RxQxqFkl0

    Thanks to the Grace (and practice, both), some very close people I know, have tasted Love/Bliss magnitudes beyond…there are other pieces of this cosmic puzzle, other older traditions that hold other Mysteries…(“final truth=vedantic truth”….?)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGt1L7QXSDw

    please let’s not be stuck in a new one-and-only Church of neo-vedantic/pedantic dogma…spiritual/noetic diversity, as in a healthy ecology – “as above, so below”..

    Love,
    Uli

  98. “Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, a Sanskrit scholar from the University of Chicago:

    Interestingly, she looked at the root meaning of the Sanskrit word, maya, and discovered that it could best be translated as ‘transformation’.

    She writes, ‘To say that the universe is an illusion (maya) is not to say that it is unreal; it is to say, instead, that it is not what it seems to be, that it is something constantly being made.’ ‘

  99. Thank you for reminding us of that, Uli. I find that observation to be a very important one to remember.

    Real and not real are static observations about something that appears to be static. The same can be said about the observation of illusion.

    If all forms are temporal, impermanent, and ever changing, the most accurate observations are also temporal, impermanent, and ever changing.

    Which means that I have no premise to defend or advocate for a particular perspective or observation, about something that is temporal, impermanent, and ever changing.

    Thanks again.

  100. A pleasure!
    my apologies for the heated tone of some of my posts… just to clarify that I have no agenda, no affiliation with any “..anta” or “…ism” .. or wisdom lineages put by some in the category of quasi-religion (chief figure, “gospel”, etc.)…and I dislike any attempt to impose – again – any system as “the Final Truth” (I was born in a land with 3.000 years of memory, regarding this crazyness…and still suffering and in recovery of the psycho-socio-spiritual consequences…)

    The words by Sri Aurobindo’s partner strike me as more resonant than ever..

    “Religions are based on creeds which are spiritual experiences brought down to a level where they become more easy to grasp, but at the cost of their integral purity and truth. The time of religions is over. We have entered the age of universal spirituality, of spiritual experience in its initial purity”.
    —From a talk by the Mother

  101. ”Igor is a delightful, compelling, gentle and superlative master. There is the invincible power of alive and awakened Love behind his persona and his discourses.” – John Manning

    Thank you, John. All I can say the pure heart can see through all this talks.

    Uli, thank you for that wonderful quote from the Mother.

    Here is more on religion:

    ”Spirituality is a recognized necessity for total freedom. Religion is a discipline of the inherited cultural phenomena distilled into community for the sake of a social order. We are now living in time of religious decadence, the time of bankruptcy of its theology and ideology and the hypocrisy of the custodians. Until the critical mass is finally reached, that will be the case and no attempt is going to convert an ignorant christian, muslim or a hindu to recognize the Christ, the Allah, the Shiva deep within one’s own heart. Until that heart is filled with enough silence and enough peace.”
    —Igor Kufayev, On Religion

  102. Take your hand. Put it on the table. Get a hammer. Hit your hand hard. Real or not real? How shall we talk about this?

  103. Take your hand. Put it on the table. Get a hammer. Hit your hand hard with it. Real or not real? How shall we talk about this?

  104. Sorry about the double message. I wanted to make correction and resubmit. But clicking cancel on the browser doesn’t do it. Apparently, the thing fired off even after the browser cancels. Learned my lesson.

  105. How about…

    I’m the Dreamer (so are we all) who is creating the Dream as you describe it.

    Within the Dream, “OWWW!”

    Being aware of the Dream: LOL

    Which is why I get some funny looks when I occasionally laugh after an incident of pain.

    Breaking my right femur, last year, was the most recent case.

  106. Peter, good for you. A usual disclaimer: “Please don’t try this at home. Attempting the stunt can result in serious injury. Sponsors are not responsible for any injury that might ensue.”

  107. HS, you were there with me. I think I prefer Neelam’s formulation “It is all real”. In talking about the “story”, she also distinguishes between “fact” and the “interpretation”, not that it is all “a story” (illusion). So, yes, there is no “doer” (interpretation). There is the rope and the snake. The snake is the interpretation. But the rope is still there. It would be very hard to conduct a class if you can’t use the practical language of asking people to show up on time, do their practice inquiries, etc.

    If one were to get technical, most of concepts, most of our language is a form of “functional approximation”. Literally, there is no “doer”. There is no “ego”, there is no “person”. There is no “free will”. These are static images of a dynamic process. Philosophers call this problem, “reification”, the fallacy of misplaced concreteness. Our language is full of it, starting with the nouns. I mostly take a utilitarian approach to language, not necessarily as the direct truth. (Silence would be better for the latter anyway.)

    But above all, this stuff gives me a headache. I think Presence as the foundation, the beginning, the middle, the end, is a good enough formulation and a good enough focus for spiritual growth and for healing. Also, with normal people, I like to continue talking normal 🙂

  108. Wow that was a wild ride, reading though this comment thread – Uli and Igor – very refreshing to read your words here. And the ‘wise owl’ who’s claiming one’s own enlightenment against the other – should know better. Quite gross to read. Why does one feel the need to do such a thing? poor love.
    Thanks Rick – interesting interview – sheds light on all these ‘quick liberation’ programmes. If you were ‘truly’ enlightened at such speed you’d probably end up in a mental institution. These are strange times. But interesting 🙂

  109. Along with some very profound, meaningful and helpful dialogue on this forum, there is a lot of self-evident, ego-driven annoying noise. I’m sure there’s a lesson in that as well – if one chooses to participate in it.

  110. There’s a clear difference between humor and self-evident, ego-driven annoying noise.

  111. as stated by radically different mystics, the matter is of a disarming simplicity/complexity, the glorious paradox of being human Being… ; )

    “One of the challenges of working with different dimensions is that they move at different speeds and follow different laws.
    The physical world is the most dense and slow-moving of the worlds and appears the most fixed. In the symbolic world images can shift and change, as we know from our dreams. Here we are not imprisoned by laws of gravity or the inertia that governs the material forms of the physical world. A shaman who works here is sometimes known as a shape-shifter; he can metamorphose from one form to another, become an eagle soaring in the sky, a fish, a wind. The plane of the Self is subject to even fewer constraints. It is not constricted by the laws of duality; it functions according to the ways of oneness in which everything is present at the same moment in the same space – the world in a grain of sand. This dimension moves so quickly it sometimes seems not move at all; it is the “still center of the turning wheel”.

    Working with these different dimensions means being able to move freely from one set of laws to another, from one vibration or speed of consciousness to another. It means not getting caught in any fixed understanding of how things are. How things appear in the physical world may be quite different from how they are perceived in the archetypal dimension, and that appearance is even more different from the way they are perceived by the Self, which barely registers separation and multiplicity. And in the planes of nonbeing the appearances of this world do not even exist.

    This does not mean one abandons or rejects the laws of a particular world, however limited and even unreal they might appear from the point of view of other worlds. (..)
    We are here to participate in the many worlds we inhabit; the key is not to get caught in any one of them but to be able to move freely between them, so that we do not limit how our consciousness can be used.”
    – Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, “Alchemy of Light: Working with the Primal Energies of Life”

    http://tomkenyon.com/the-sphere-of-all-possibilities

  112. Uli:
    Who is it that desires to work with various worlds/dimensions?
    I would answer someone who still thinks there is an I and a bunch of worlds to play with.
    A mystic can do all sorts of cool shit.
    A Sage is done.

  113. The description of a Jnani’s experience – the final realization..

    I was undeceived; that is all..I used to create a world and populate it…Now I don’t do it anymore..Now I live in the void beyond being and non-being – beyond and prior to consciousness..This void is also full of love; do not pity me..The mind ceased producing events..The ancient and ceaseless search stopped…I wanted nothing, expected nothing, accepted nothing as my own..There was no more left to strive for..Even the bare ‘I AM’ faded away…The other thing I noticed was that I lost all my habitual certainties..Earlier I was sure of so many things; now I’m sure of nothing..But I feel that I have lost nothing by not knowing, because all my knowledge was false…My not knowing was in itself knowledge of the fact that all knowledge is ignorance…That I do not know, is the only true statement the mind can make..
    Nisargadatta

  114. The way of the group of those who believe in nirguna [unmanifest] alone spreads more wickedness, because these people do not accept the manifest form of Bhagwan [God] and suppose that the nirakara [formless] Bhagwan cannot see or hear. So they do their mind’s desires; they have no concern for what is wicked and what is sacred.

    ~~ Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math and teacher of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
    [Shri Shankaracharya UpadeshAmrita kaNa 88 of 108]

    अवश्यमेव भोक्तव्यं कृतं कर्मं शुभाशुभम्
    ” avashyameva bhoktavyaM kR^itaM karmaM shubhaashubham ”
    ‘One has to endure the consequences of one’s karma, both virtuous and sinful’

    ~~ Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math and teacher of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
    [ShriShankaracharya UpadeshAmrita kaNa 6 of 108]

  115. “I lost all my habitual certainties.” Love this, Jill.

    People talk of “seeing”. There’s still an implicit “seer” here. Perhaps something hanging on to survive. Perhaps the real issues are the mechanisms of grasping and surrender.

  116. yep, definitely a very physical (gross/subtle) re-wiring…
    The Sound of Silence

    There’s one simple detail in Parmenides’ account of his journey to the underworld that’s so easy to miss. During the whole of his journey there’s no mention at all of any noise — apart from one single sound. That’s th
    e sound the chariot makes as the daughters of the Sun draw him along: ‘the sound of a pipe’. . .
    After Parmenides mentions the sound of the pipe he uses the same word again to explain how the huge doors spin open, rotating in hollow tubes or ‘pipes’. This use of the word is extraordinary. It’s the only time in the whole Greek language that it’s ever applied to doors or parts of doors, and scholars have pointed out that Parmenides must have chosen it for a particular reason: not simply to describe what the doors look like but also to give a sense of the sound they make. On his journey everything that moves has to do with the sound or the appearance of pipes. (DPW 126–127)

    The word for ‘pipe’ that Parmenides keeps using is syrinx. It had a very particular spread of meanings. Syrinx was the name either for a musical instrument or for the part of an instrument that makes a piping, whistling sound — the sound called syrigmos. But there’s one aspect of these words that you have to bear in mind: for Greeks this sound of piping and whistling was also the sound of the hissing made by snakes.
    It would be so simple to dismiss as totally insignificant the fact that this piping, whistling, hissing noise is the only sound Parmenides associates with his journey to another world — except for one small matter.
    Ancient Greek accounts of incubation repeatedly mention certain signs that mark the point of entry into another world: into another state of awareness that’s neither waking nor sleep. One of the signs is that you become aware of a rapid spinning movement. Another is that you hear the powerful vibration produced by a piping, whistling, hissing sound.

    In India exactly the same signs are described as the prelude to entering samādhi, the state beyond sleep and waking. And they’re directly related to the process known as the awakening of kundalinī — of the ‘serpent power’ that’s the basic energy in all creation but that’s almost completely asleep in human beings. When it starts waking up it makes a hissing sound.
    The parallels between standard Indian accounts of the process and Parmenides’ account of his journey are obvious enough; specialists in Indian traditions have written about them and discussed them. But what hasn’t been noticed is that the particular sound mentioned by Parmenides also happens to be the sound made by a hissing snake. . .
    [T]he sound of a syrinx was a call for silence. This is something that makes sense even on a very obvious level when you consider how hissing or whistling at people is still a way of silencing them. To ancient mystics and magicians the journey into a greater reality was a journey made through silence, in silence and into silence. The noise of a syrinx is the ultimate password. It’s the sound of silence. (DPW 128–130)

    -Peter Kingsley

    http://www.peterkingsley.org/cw3/Admin/images/SpiritualTradition.pdf

  117. Great input, both Uli and John Manning!

    Even awakening could be ‘demonic’ by definition.

    Pllease read my last three comments in response to recent ones on my initial interview here: https://batgap.com/igor-kufayev/

    Ravana was fully awakened and self-realized Demon, with all the boons from Shiva one can master. Of course we can discard all that as nonsense of the ancient lore.

    Well, there are plenty of Ravanas treating this planet now. And believe me they are not ignorant lost in Maya souls.

  118. Love that, Uli – Thank you..
    “To ancient mystics and magicians the journey into a greater reality was a journey made through silence, in silence, into silence.”
    So true, the final sound is no sound at all – some call it The Unstruck Sound or The Silence of the Heart..so beautiful when we come to rest there eternally….

  119. Which is why I tend to not spend much time with folks that evidence a clinging to whatever story that they are clinging to.

    It’s not the story that is of consequence; it’s how tightly you are inclined to be grasping it (subscribe to/identify with).

  120. Ernest
    The unfoldment takes some time..until all grasping and avoiding ceases..until desire and fear come to rest in the fulfillment of the Heart..

    Yes it’s true what you say – it is this back and forth mechanism between the two poles – that keeps the seer hanging on – just a brief stage in the process -where it tries to take its last gasp.. Just know that Love is more powerful than all of that…and trust that it will lead you home..
    ..
    That’s what I love about Ramana’s teachers – like Pamela and Neelam who you spend time with..There is a gentle Grace there that doesn’t shock the system or give you more than is needed at any one time..

    One of my sons who took Neelam’s 6 month course last year and who had been a TM meditator since the age of four..now 32 -.said to me recently, “Clearly there’s a qualitative difference between the Stillness that I experienced in Program all those years – and the ever present Silence that I am now”..

    He also said – “As I look back over my life I realized that the self never was – not that it just fell away now”..
    .
    I cried….so happy that he and his brother are realizing so young….all glory to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi for preparing them and Ramana for taking them all the way..One seamless teaching….All I can do is bow down in gratitude..

  121. Uli ~ great quote on Parmenides, something Martin Heidegger couldn’t quite conceive, fathom whence misinterpreted it all together.

    Doesn’t that also reminds you what I was trying to relate/explain/convey here in my exchanges with Jill beneath my 2nd talk with Rick –

    on the significance of Pranava which emanates from the Heart, while reverberating throughout the cells of the body into the greater Body of the Cosmos.

    Something some ‘modern sages’ are shy to talk about???

  122. That’s right Snow – it sounds so nice, we say it twice 🙂
    (Vama – [sanskrit] – ‘beautiful’)

    And the only reason why many Masters ‘dismiss’ or ‘play it down’ is because when the awakened is bewildered by the myriads of subtler sounds (various nada(s), unleashed within his/her own subtler body), is that he/she may not assume that this sounds are the ultimate manifestation of Pranava.

    It is to prevent premature assumptions of any kind. Whence the immediate question ”who hears the sound?”

    There are way too many nadas and while its fun to loose one’s mind for a while there, its worth knowing that once Sri Kundalini as Prana Shakti turns gaseous (at the heart level) the sounds become progressively subtler.

    Until the gaseous ‘substance’ dissolves in the ether element, it is than being ‘perceived’ literally as one’s atmosphere… for a while, before the merging of the light with the sound (cranial regions) into one un-interrupted stream of awareness.

    (If than one pays attention, one would discover that the sound doesn’t just emanates from within the scull but much deeper down… It comes from the cavity of the Heart as an echo…

    .

    Yet the ‘Sound of Silence’ is never ‘heard’ (in strict terms of that word)…

    It would not be even correct to say – ‘perceived’… For that ‘Unstruck Sound’ is identical with the Heart and

    from ‘there’ it emanates as one’s perception of the Self…

    Pranava or AUM

    Before it reaches the manifested layers to be perceived as the most refined of all sounds.

    That is why in ancient times, before Vedas were compiled into Hymns, AUM was never pronounced outwardly. There was no need for that. It was always there – ‘perceived’ by the Sages and alike.

    The above is an alternative definition of abiding, given not as an intellectual idea but as direct experience of (at once) Being and Becoming.

    .

    Of course one can take another stab on it, from a more intellectual non-dual perspective. That’s fine as well.

    As long as it resonates with the value of appreciation born of direct relationship between subject~object~experience as one’s current state of consciousness.

  123. No argument there Vama..You are describing the final Sound of Silence which begins and ends the ‘audible’ sound of AUM….the 4th element as it were – which is unheard..the other 3 elements being audible..so yes – both being and becoming contained therein..intimately weaved as One..beautifully said..Ramana would be pleased.. 😀

  124. LOL Snow..but you have to watch those jokes cause the batgap police are everywhere….I can’t believe Dominic hasn’t been taken into headquarters yet..

  125. Ramana? He should be pleased, I’ve named one of my daughters after the Sage, Jill.

    Our exchanges reminds me of Yajnavalkya and Gargi. (to the others, please google)

    Snow ~ I’m not from brahmin family, my ancestors were warriors, better watch it.

  126. Snow ~ I’m not from brahmin family, my ancestors were warriors, better watch it. ~~ Vamadeva

    Now that’s *real* humor.

  127. Vama –
    To continue the Vedic tale – I heard Gargi got way tired of asking all those questions – and philosophizing and dialoging her brains out..One day, blessedly, her little head exploded – and she was forced to return to the abode of the Heart where she found the Silence and eternal Love she had searched for, for so long…and all questions were answered from within.. 😀
    Isn’t that a nice ending?

  128. the unfathomable simplicity…
    “…We sink down into the fertile dark, into the loam and soil of our embodiment, into dark waters, to be adorned by the coming forth of World Soul as a nurturing spiritual presence, a feminized Angel raising our vision beyond ordinary mind into the vast horizons of soul possibility. Uncounted worlds seek to communicate the wisdom of their own transformations made accessible through the collective awakening of world after world. Our collective is not simply one world, one earth,but a multitude of worlds, of heavenly domains and earthly incarnations in a vast network of cosmic proportion still hidden from isolated human vision, but soon to be known, in World Soul awakening.
    The spiritual calling is to embrace not simply this world or planet, not simply our local heliocosm, “our” planets, sun, moons, astral bodies, but to awaken to a living cosmos, to a vast reality of multidimensional being, to the sacredness of life in all forms and in all worlds, stars, galaxies….”
    – Lee Irwin
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/58424699/WorldSoul

  129. Vamadeva…

    Speaking of ‘demons’…
    ‘Demon’ (derived from Daemon)…
    A divinity or supernatural being of a nature between gods and humans.
    An inner or attendant spirit or inspiring force: Socrates claimed to have lived his life according to the dictates of his daimon.

  130. Jill ~ about Gargi’s response to Yajnavalkya, the only limitation of this discussion is that they cannot seal it with a warm hug 🙂 Otherwise, and as the story goes – they’ve lived happily ever after 🙂

    .

    Snow ~ aside from trying for self-deffence what did you really mean, when wrote ‘Vamana’ (Vishnu’s incarnation as a dwarf or rhyming with the name of Ramana?) For I had a sudden flash that we might be laughing at the different joke 🙂

    Vizzyweb ~ thanks for pointing out to the limitations of the language. Shall we go back to the original meaning of all greek-derived words? That will inevitably take us to the mother of all tongues – Sanskrit.

    You’re right I should have said – Rakshasa instead, for even in old Russian ‘demon’ stands for any ‘spirit’. Shall we file a suit against all translators of Ramayana for misusing of the english words?

    What I’m trying to say is – don’t loose the essence of what being conveyed in linguistic particularities.

    ”Ravana was self-realized demon, meaning the being of dark forces, rakshasa.”

  131. What I’m missing many times i contemporary spiritual circles is a deficit of alchemical imagination (not “fantasy”)…kind of dismissing/retreating/dissociating (outwardly/inwardly) from the gross/subtle substantiality of Reality
    http://www.sophiajournal.org/archives4/Sardello.htm

    As if a floating point of light in an expanse of aware, living light, the self-less awareness exists. Here, all awareness connects. All awareness intersects. All knowledge exists within the brilliant, clear, creamy light
    of awareness.
    – Robert Waggoner, “Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self ”

    For Nutrition implies an Augmentation in length, breadth & Depth which extends itself through all the Dimensions of a Body, & seeing this can be afforded & administered to the Philosophical Infant by Earth only, it can in no wise be improper to call the Earth by the name of his NURSE. But this admirable Juice of Earth has a quality different from other kinds of Milk…
    – Michael Maier, “The Flying Atalanta or Philosophical Emblems of the Secrets of Nature”

    Water is also connected with the Milk of Immortality from Persephone’s Breasts, for in the Mysteries She is a Goddess of joyous rebirth as well as grievous dissolution. For example, on the Bacchic/Orphic gold tablets…

    I have flown out of the Circle of Heavy Grief
    and stepped swift-footed on the Circle of Joy.
    I have made straight for the Breast of the Mistress, the Queen of the Underworld.
    And now I come a suppliant to Holy Persephoneia,
    that of Her Grace She send me to the Seats of the Hallowed.
    Happy and Blessed One, thou shalt be God instead of mortal.
    A Kid I have fallen into Milk.
    (tr. after Guthrie with emendations by Zuntz, West & Kingsley)

    This alludes to Thrice-Born Dionysos (the “Kid”), who is the horned son of Persephone, according to the Orphics. Therefore the Bacchic initiate emulates the rebirth of Dionysos by sucking the Milk of Immortality from Persephone’s breasts. An abundance of milk is a standard symbol in the Bacchic Mysteries, and milk is often involved in immortalization rites. Further, many enlightened individuals are described as consuming only milk.
    The Water of Life is found near Persephone’s Tree. Pherecydes (6th. cent. BCE), a mentor of Pythagoras, told how Khthoniê (She Beneath the Earth – one of Persephone’s names) stretches upward as a self-supporting Winged Oak (Hupopteros Drus), with Her Roots in the Underworld, Her trunk climbing through the middle elements, Her crown in Heaven. At the base of the Tree, between Her Roots, is the Outflow (Ekroê), the Springs of Ambrosia (Krênai Ambrosiai), for the Waters of the Underworld flow out from Her Roots…
    – John Opsopaus, ” The Ancient Greek Esoteric Doctrine of the Elements: Water”

    Shakti who is in Herself pure blissful Consciousness (Cidrupini) is also the Mother of Nature and is Nature itself born of the creative play of Her thought.
    Arthur Avalon (Sir John Woodroffe)

  132. It comes to mind the stated “disgust” that Franklin Merrell-Wolf felt towards the Tantric view..when I read that passage something “clicked”: since Merrell-Wolff has been/is a pivotal figure of the Western nondual movement…subtle ascetic disgust, that is something I’ve felt many times in nondual circles…so many people depressed..and then awakening (but subtly keeping that disgust in the back of their minds, so to speak)

    “…the distinction which it draws between the initiate whose Shakti is awake (Prabuddha) and the Pashu the unillumined or “animal,” and, as the Gnostics called him, “material” man. The Natural, which is the manifestation of the Mother of Nature, and the Spiritual or the Mother as She is in and by Herself are one, but the initiate alone truly recognizes this unity. He knows himself in all his natural functions as the one Consciousness whether in enjoyment (Bhukti), or Liberation (Mukti). It is an essential principle of Tantrik Sadhana that man in general must rise through and by means of Nature, and not by an ascetic rejection of Her…”
    http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas06.htm

  133. On man’s trash, another man’s treasure.

    Applies to many things, no doubt.

    Including high drama.

  134. that’s it: the biased “dryness” of many nondual western formulations (echo of an ascetic patriarchy of 2.000 years and then merging with an ascetic lens, when discovering eastern nondualism..?) , instead of the “juiciness” of non biased – not “vinegar face” as ancient Daoists jokingly say – nondualisms… the “juiciness” of being alive, the Bliss so many times dissmissed..the mistrust and permanent suspicion of “enjoyment” (Bhukti), when the ancient description of Reality is Sat/Chit/ANANDA..
    Mukti is Bhukti . Sri Aurobindo

    “the Bliss of the Self” Ramana Maharshi

    I’m saying with a smile on my face and with my heart open…if this is opening a can of worms…well, worms are excellent for composting, oxigenating the earth… ; )

  135. in my words: is holy joy a different path…or a distinct face of Realization that I have felt with many teachers..but strangely absent (in their presence, in their sharings) in many recent “realizers”, many or all of them subscribing to let’s say “neo-advaita” understanding/meta-narrative…..?

  136. I mean, some “realizers” dismissing – even missing – the Bhukti in their Mukti…is that a “different path”…or a “half-baked” person misleading other person with his/her premature stage of relaization…?

  137. HS ~ Nicely put, especially towards the end of your comment. Everyone will uncover the truth within by nothing else other than becoming one with that Truth.

    Even if the term ‘Becoming’ is made obsolete by the term ‘Being’ the two are irrevocably intertwined and do not exist one without the other. Being and Becoming are not complementary values, for that will presuppose incompleteness of one without the other, but rather as degrees of intensity with which One Consciousness can experience Throb of its own Self and know it as such.

    At the same time, I don’t view Uli’s participation here as based on shallowly researched grounds, on a contrary it adds that extra dimension to the flavor of a dialogue which by now had the tendency to become ‘stale’.

    The proximity of Shiva Consciousness to that of the reptilian brain within our scull is an alarming fact if not for being infested with profound possibilities and that’s what Tantra is all about. (And that’s also explains why Tantra would (should) never be popularized ???!!!)

    It is that equation,

    Shiva=Jiva

    is what unites the Advaita and Tantra beyond the supreficiality perceived as opposing views.

  138. splendid comment, Vamadeva!
    gassho

    the wisdom of the Americas speak of the advent of Quetzalcoatl (“Winged serpent”) Consciousness in more and more people…

  139. Either I trust that everyone is embracing exactly the perception that they need to be embracing at the moment, or…

    I don’t trust that to be the case and proceed to convince you that another perception is more worthy your embrace.

    How we respond to a differing perception… can be an effective measure of our trust.

  140. The more we rest in the Self – the more we call forth Love…This is the bliss of Being..It’s just a matter of opening to the Vastness that we are and allowing the unfoldment to deepen..Then we rejoice in whatever arises..

    Speaking of Love – Braco is in NYC for the weekend to gaze upon the city…info at braco.net

  141. Dear All,
    New in these forums and haven’t read all of your comments, though enough to see this was a very controversial interview. What struck me about it when I first heard it a couple of months ago was the ordinariness of Ilona and Elena. I was inspired to try the LU process – I thought ‘what have I got to lose?’ the shift was profound. I wouldn’t call myself enlightened or awakened or liberated, though I do feel liberated from some very burdensome identifications and stories. Most importantly the process helped me experience Being and from this has come a deep sense of rest, peace and trust. Before that I was always ‘trying’ – at war within myself, with many conflicting thoughts. Being able to see these as thoughts has helped me sink more deeply into being and embodied experience with acceptance – rather than seeking an ideal state (whether inner or outer). I am profoundly grateful to Ilona and Elena for creating this forum of ‘liberation’ for the people, by the people, without gurus or experts, but simply a bunch of ordinary humans enquiring together. And deepest thanks to Rick for drawing attention to this free and effective process. I see many very happy participants on the others side of the ‘Gateless Gate’ who’ve clearly experienced profound shifts in their lives. It’s not the end, but the beginning of a whole new wonderful journey. And there are a limitless number of paths home – why do we have to compare or diminish one against another? For me, this was the perfect next step at the perfect time. But then, isn’t that always the case? 🙂

  142. P.s. I saw something in the comments about people being ‘tricked’. The only tricks being played are the ones we play on ourselves. And I’m sure the efficacy of the confirmation process in the LU forum is at least partially dependent upon the honesty of the participant – perhaps one of its weak points as a process – but hey, it’s free and available to all with Internet access. I’m sure other experts and coaches out there might charge 100s or 1000s of dollars for the guiding process gifted here by many generous and often wise individuals. I’m very very glad I found it.

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