062. Paul Hedderman

Paul HeddermanPaul has been involved with the recovery community since 1988, and has been leading workshops and holding talks for 18 years.

He has been with assisting those with addiction problems over many years. The 12 step program has some very potent ‘pointers’, which, by chance or some by other means, has assisted a few to go beyond the 12 steps.

Even when asked to contrast his very direct pointing, with the long lasting appearance of some “momentum” that won’t budge from old familiar feelings and a familiar sureness of a separate condition, no matter how clear that pointing, Paul doesn’t waver.

“Whatever arises in my mind, I don’t let it vouch for me.”  “Any form of looking that focuses on an object, (such as an object called the power of the illusion) is missing the opportunity to directly be the seeing, and not concentrate on the object.”

Paul’s site, ZenBitchSlap.

Interview recorded 3/26/2011

Audio and video below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

26 thoughts on “062. Paul Hedderman

  1. “He was famous for debating the exponents of other spiritual perspectives, often resulting in many becoming his disciples.”

    Which infers that he was willing to accept disciples. An interesting revelation, in it of itself.

    I contrast that with a couple of folks, whose paths I crossed, who desired no disciples, shooed away many who who wanted to be one, and felt no urge to campaign for one particular road map to “awakening”/”enlightenment” over another one.

    If I were open to receiving disciples, I’d probably feel that I have something to teach them. Which would be an interesting core belief in the first place.

    I also find it interesting, Rick, that some folks feel inclined to view Shankara as the father of advaita.

    Our parents often are the chief culprits for conditioning us to unquestionably vest authority in an external source. Or to look outside of ourselves (and often to someone else) for the truth.

    It’s a conditioning that receives its roots in childhood; and, more often than not, extends itself into adulthood.

    “Someone else must have the right roadmap for me to use to get to X. Now, if only I can find that person with the right roadmap.

    Ah, I think that I may have found someone. They call him the Father of Getting to X. I’ll just use his roadmap then. Since many of my fellow sojourners vest him with so much authority.”


  2. “For most of us, If our parents or teachers tell us that corn flakes are such and such, then chances are we will believe it, or at least until we grow up and make our own such judgment. Or if our peers or media tell us otherwise, we may choose to believe them instead. And so, one could say that parents, teachers and culture in general are simply the purveyors of a given set of beliefs, that are not inherently good or bad, right or wrong, real or not real, etc.”


    But the most insidious part of this social conditioning, to me, is the dependency that is sought and co-created on external sources.

    Parents coerce their young ones to see things as they do via punishment and reward. Teachers pass and fail their students. And the government jails you if you don’t subscribe to interpretations of right versus wrong.

    Coercive authoritarianism is often the tool that creates your dependency on others for their judgements and approval.

    Which probably explains why I am so fond of the invitation to question authority. Including spiritual ones.

    And I’ll even opine that the invitation to self-inquire is an offshoot of the the invitation to question the authority of what you may believe to be true.

  3. “a 2 year old is constantly conditioned by her parents
    slowly for years.
    it takes 2 years to know 50 words-
    learning is slow up to that age.”

    More importantly, a 2 year old is also conditioned to identify (underscore identify here) himself with the words and thoughts that are conveyed by parents who identify with them as well.

    What child doesn’t like hearing any variation of “you are smart for saying that” or “you are wonderful for doing that”.

    It’s the identification of who we are with the thoughts we harbor that lays the foundation for the continuation of that trap into adulthood.

    And trapped parents generally cultivate trapped children.

  4. “criticism helps to nudge the brain a nutch from the habit
    of accepting”

    If a habit is simply a predominant, reoccurring response, Tim, then there’s a good chance that the habit of accepting will accept any criticism that is placed on its plate.

    It wouldn’t be a habit if it didn’t, now would it?

  5. Rick:
    “There’s a difference between being locked into a narrow judgmental perspective and using a refined intellect to discriminate between subtle points of knowledge, or even to evaluate the merits of a teacher.”

    Right. Was trying to convey this but was all over the board. Thanks to Rick for the clear, concise, comments here.

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