129. Trip Overholt

Trip OverholtOn the heels of an awakening experience in 2006 not unlike that of the many avant-garde sages Trip Overholt would later interview, intense interest in the nature of this present reality persisted without let up.  This led to an opportunity to co-host a  radio show, Conversations With Avant-Garde Sages, show casing the wisdom and experiences of unknown sages in our midst. After three years and about 80 interviews, favorite conversations were edited and compiled (by co-host John Troy) into a free Ebook available at  TheWizardllc.com.

A “happiness pragmatist” Overholt’s paradigm shift from the material to the non-physical “spiritual” essence of reality has borne three delicious fruits he’d like to share.  First, there is a comfortability in his own skin, not there prior that has led to more rewarding relationships across the board.  Secondly, radiant causeless joy is available when attention is merely turned inward.  And finally, there is a capacity for seeing the divinity of all others and of the world that allows for more complete engagement of whatever shows up in the present moment.  Heaven on earth is possible here and now and it is Trip’s calling to be a rock of conviction of that possibility for others who find themselves on the pathless path back to themselves.

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Interview recorded 7/7/2012

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

53 thoughts on “129. Trip Overholt

  1. I like the open ended option. For those that need gurus, gurus are there. For those that need to be misled, faux gurus are there. For others no guru is necessary. It does seem though that cases of spontaneous awakening without association with a realized soul is uncommon. Still there does seem to be a kind of explosion in the numbers of those that are awakening like it doesn’t take as much as it used to. The Hare Krishnas focus a lot on a saint, I think Chaitanya, who purposely chose to remain in the devotional relationship. If someone wants to, why not let them?

  2. Paulk,

    Of course what you say is true. All of those sorts of relationships with gurus happen and so they are all perfect. The main thing about a guru, it seems to me, is their self perspective. Does he or she think of herself as a teacher with some sort of useful information to convey? I would say the real guru does not accept that role. Ramana Maharshi did not. The guru understands there is really nothing to be taught outside of what life is already teaching. Being established as THAT is being seamless with what is happening “externally” and radically accepting one’s own responses internally – whatever they might be. Could be sticking a knife in the throat of the person that is carting off one’s child to a sex trade or allowing it to happen. One doesn’t know until it is taking place. Thus, a guru has nothing to teach per se because we can never know our responses ahead of time. She has no code of behavior to teach and she has no symbolic information to impart that begins to capture reality. Her gift is her unclouded reflection, her seamlessness with the unfolding NOW and her utter acceptance of her own responses that also unfold naturally. That teaching could be conveyed in silence. Why is it so many students are hanging around their teachers more than a year or two? Could it be the teacher gives them the impression there is a lot to learn? That “enlightenment” is something only available to the few who have passed through the eye of the needle? If the student is ripe and ready, whatever is to be gained by the association can easily be gained in a year. If he is not ready it just goes on and on and on. It is not in the economic best interest of teachers to have graduates. So there is a potential conflict there.

    If Ramana Maharshi were alive today, would it be best to go visit with him for a couple of weeks and soak up his presence and come back to one’s life whatever it is and simply be? Or is it better to hang around Ramana for the contact high years on end. I cannot say, but I will say Ramama eventually kicked his main devotee out of the Ashram for being too devotional to his form.

    I don’t have any answers. All I have is my own experience and it is very limited. I didn’t spend hardly any time at all with someone that considered himself my teacher. I have spent a lot of time with a person that considered himself my friend and simply shared with me. That was so highly productive, I feel an obligation to share that with others.

  3. Zortacular, I get what you’re saying. I too like it when hierarchy is not allowed. Friendship sounds more relaxed than devotee and perhaps that quality invites surrender. But maybe this is a Bhakti versus Jnana thing. Some say the humility generated in the deciple/guru dynamic leads to dropping the ego. The Bhakti thing is kind of inexplicable. One can have this deep longing that comes from nowhere. I like the Ramana example though where he wouldn’t let the devotee be too attached to his form, but I would guess that was specific to that guy while others might have been allowed to stay.

  4. Just a word about Masters – an excerpt from James Sloman’s, classic, ‘Nothing’…

    “A Master is not necessary for the true master is inside us..But the inside master is, in a sense, still asleep, so the outside master is needed..She simply creates situation after situation until we begin to wake up and become aware, until we begin to see the true nature of our situation..She surrounds us with a fragrance to arouse us out of our slumbers and dreams.”

    “Once we begin to become aware, then she assists us to avoid the various traps and attachments that can arise…And a true master eventually assists us to see into the nature of perhaps the greatest attachment of all – the attachment to the master..Ultimately, even the master must be transcended”..

    A Master is not necessary, but desirable..For while we’re asleep, we’re always dreaming that we’re awake..To dream that we’re awake is the best way to stay asleep..The mind’s best defense is to imagine that it’s already gone, that we’re already awake or enlightened..Without the disturbing fragrance of a master, our slumbers may continue for quite a while”..

    “What’s the master doing? Actually he is not teaching at all, for there’s no doctrine or body of knowledge to convey..That is why a master never really gives an answer, but simply destroys the question..Because he is not out to teach us some knowledge..Instead he is out to destroy our mind”..

    “The effort of the master is to pull all supports out from underneath us until the mind has no place left to stand..All answers just fill our mind again so how can a master give us answers? And since he’s not giving answers, he’s inexhaustible, he can go on forever..A body of knowledge is limited, but a master is unlimited..He knows nothing; he has attained to perfect ignorance, so he can keep on talking for all eternity and never exhaust the subject.”

  5. Very true Steve- THIS is not ‘necessarily’ found in satsang with Pamela or Neelam or any of the quality teachers of today…What they are, are just excellent conduits for Grace – a more direct way to meet Ramana or the Christ Consciousness within…..

    As HS said, in the end, it’s the sincerity and honesty of the seeker that brings a body to whatever is needed to awaken..and as long as we stay open to whatever opportunity presents itself, we’re good..

    I think you’d enjoy Sloman’s ‘Nothing’ book…It’s a brilliant yet simply written truth.. about all the ways the mind tries to deceive us…James simply and clearly deconstructs the ego’s insidious and systematic attempts at survival…whether it’s having us run from teacher to teacher never committing, or clinging to practices and teachers out of misguided loyalty or fear – or even just resisting all teachers and outside help….

    The truth is, the mind never wants to get rid of itself -and in fact, it actually can’t..no technique, however beautiful, is up to the task of doing so..because an illusory object like the ego/mind can never really affect anything..so who and what will attempt the annihilation?..That’s when practice ends..in that preliminary realization..

    The transmission of Silent Mind, which stops the mind in its tracks – stops it from spinning out tales of woe or bliss – is what can actually outwit the mind and beat it at its own game..An alchemical reaction takes place between teacher and student when this Vast Silence is shared…IT does the work and no teaching or practice is really necessary..

    This Final Silence which is pure Grace, is the only thing more powerful than mind..As long as we think we can do this ourselves, we haven’t seen through the mind’s deception..The eyes cannot see themselves..We can come to a heightened Self-Awareness through practice, but that’s not enlightenment..

    Of course there’s no such thing as individual will or ‘willfullness’ to force us to go anywhere or do anything or see anyone, but there is such a thing as ‘willingness’..This willingness is not born of the will which is another name for mind or ego -It’s actually a gift from Grace.. It’s the clarity and humility to realize – I can’t do this alone – please help me God…That’s why suffering has been such a great teacher for many of us – it brings us to our knees so we can at least be willing to surrender into the unknown…….

    I’ve found along the way, that whatever we are resisting mightily, is exactly what we need to go toward..
    Sending love to you my friend..

  6. Stevearino-
    no pressure here..sorry if it sounded that way – You’ve said many times that you don’t believe an outside teacher is necessary and I was just sharing that often it is a huge help.. certainly was for me even though I was pulled from within..needed both the unmanifest and manifest guru to go all the way..as did most of the teachers I know..in fact, all of them..

    We’re not all Ramanas unfortunately, so sans mountain – and in case anyone was listening who was sitting on the fence about contacting a final teacher, I just wanted to make the case for it as I always do…that’s all…

    I’m very happy that you’re happy and for what it’s worth, I see a wonderful change in your posts recently.. less quotes from Ramana – and more Steve – and only want to encourage you to deepen more and more..however that occurs..

  7. Interesting thread. I asked to be copied and I’ve been following the posts. I like what Jill wrote:

    Is there still conditioning being resolved? Yes. Is there any confusion between what that is and who I am? No.

    That sums the point being made in the interview. I know what I am. It took a few years to fully accept it but it’s rock solid now. The persona does what it does. Doesn’t stain the mirror. So I don’t need a teacher. It’s all about conviction. It’s true, if fate intends it, close, prolonged association with an established mentor sometimes bears fruit. But weekends/retreats with Adya are not that. The value of the association with the established mentor is that the alchemy takes place in the most ordinary of moments, over a prolonged association. These associations happen when they are meant to happen.

  8. Therefore, looking for a teacher, attempting to get whatever it is that they get, is a contrivance. You get it when you are meant to get it. Theparadigm shift from the material to the non-material happens when it happens. Til then, the best thing you can do is live your life to the hilt. Exhaust your materialism. Then the shift takes place of its own, gracefully. No need for the teacher.

  9. Hi Trip —
    It’s interesting to note that those who ‘apparently’ awakened without a teacher come forth with the notion that a teacher is not needed, and those who have awakened with a teacher, think that’s the way to go..We then teach from what we know..how it was for us, and then others listening resonate with either point of view..
    I think that we can both agree that this thing we call awakening – can happen at any time any place any how…at the bus stop – at the movies – changing a diaper..I’ve heard it all – the 39th step turns into the 40th – etc etc.. – but probability says – when a body is in the field of heightened awareness – around one who is of Silent Mind – where unconditional Love reigns – there is a quickening – an enlivenment of the physiology – so I’d say the likelihood of it happening in that arena, rather than on the bus, is far greater…

    This Silent Grace that the teachers from Ramana or Adya’s lineage or Nisargadattas’s people are transmitting to the world is not some sort of woo woo or something someone is projecting or injecting into another’s body – no one is doing anything deliberately – but if we are familiar with Silence – and not of the walking dead, we can surely feel that something alchemical occurs and it is quite powerful..and I maintain..ultimately transformative.. –

    Even through e-mails or postings on line -if one is sensitive -the Silence of an awake one can be felt..and can awaken a ripe seeker..mysteriously – Up close and personal of course it’s even more engaging..and yes many may need more time spent with Silent Mind on retreats etc – than others, but eventually if the seeker is sincere, IT wins..

    Because the final awakening here happened in the Presence of a teacher – naturally I’m a firm believer in putting oneself as close to the fire of Truth as we dare..Lord knows people don’t have all the time in the world to just hit the local bar and wait..

    and even after awakening – while the conditioning is still dissolving – lest the ego rears it’ head – I think it’s good to drink of the wisdom and clarity that an awake guide is offering – until we are completely empty of self – clear of all delusions – in love with all that is – and all questions are answered from within..

    I’m sure your ongoing association with the Wizard – and his Presence in your life – had a little something to do with your awakening, no?


  10. HS
    I think the ego/mind is capable of asserting itself at any time during the de-conditioning process…We are always vulnerable to this in the space between awakening and freedom..Desires and avoidances arise based on our conditioning that simply do not serve..and the energy brings them all to the surface..to be seen through…not a bad thing at all..

    I wouldn’t exactly call it re-rooting of ego- since it was never really rooted to begin with – just an illusion that fights for survival at times -so checking in with a teacher seems to make sense until there is an automatic momentum in place that is always seeing through the pitfalls..After a certain point, the life’s drama, which is all mind created, ceases..

    I would say from observation and experience that the ego/mind is much less likely to assert itself and cause much trouble post awakening if – A, there’s been a true and profound awakening – and B, the commitment to Truth is strong enough to override any arising..

    I don’t think you my friend have anything to worry about..you are true – and your teacher is – so not a problem..

    On a personal note – when some arrogance arose here from my TM background after awakening with Pamela – and I started questioning whether this was the highest level, blah blah blah – she encouraged me to go to Neelam’s satsang..

    So I did..and one night I raised my hand and started in with my TM blather about higher states of consciousness, and Maharishi said this or that etc etc..Neelam just gave me a look that I still remember to this day…She didn’t say a word, just stared at me for maybe only a few minutes but that seemed a lot longer..The burning was tremendous..throughout the head – and the Silence was profound – I was immediately reminded of who I was and the brief delusion I’d been under…thinking there was anything other than this LOVE…

  11. Jill:
    Really well put!
    I’d like to put it on general or the latest interview so more people will see it.
    Minus the me part.

  12. It seems to me that Trips own words are that he is locked into a view point of how one should proceed that is exploring each others Divinity without a teacher is best. Of course this one view point invites all the differing ones. I have been part of groups that formed from being together with each other in a teachers presence and they did not work very well for very long. Usually imploded into conflict of opinions and judgments after a few meetings. I have found it beneficial to notice how my energy is different in a realized beings presence and looking athttps://batgap.com/wp-admin/profile.php what is really different. Maybe if a number of people in a group are already established in non dual reality then it would be different but then that would not be too different than being with a teacher. Anyone who doesn’t believe a teacher is important to awakening has likely never really worked with one.

  13. Thanks rick the honesty and sincerity of this interveiw was most fullfilling and beneficial for me so far….I love it 🙂

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