Hello, everybody! Welcome to Awakening Clarity, whether you are new to the site, or a longtime veteran. We moved past the two-year mark now, which is remarkable, not for how long it’s been, but how short a time it is to hold all that’s happened. It continues to be a rocket ride, so hold on!
I want to take a moment to introduce you to a fine new community resource, Nonduality Network Talk Radio. It’s a weekly radio show broadcast on CKDU 88.1, from the campus of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It’s being co-hosted by my new friend, Mandee Labelle, a yoga teacher, and my old friend, Jerry Katz, who is surely our club’s leading impresario.
It’s an open mike radio show where anyone can call and talk to the hosts about this teaching that has brought us all together. The show is a very cool new Nondual outlet you can enjoy for the low, low price of zero. In order to underwrite this extravaganza, I can only imagine that Jerry sold yet another vehicle from the fleet of classic Rolls-Royce motorcars his followers have given him over the years. What a guy.
It comes on every Wednesday at 12:30 EDT. I called and talked to them this week and it was a hoot! Jerry is always a keenly dry and funny guy, and Mandee, a yoga teacher, was about as charming as a man can stand.
Here’s a link to this week’s show. My little segment comes up at about the 27 or 28 minute mark, and runs for 15 minutes. It crushes my heart to say it, but I might not even be the star! Why not listen for the whole hour and judge for yourself?
After such a light-hearted intro, let us now move gently into a deadly earnest post about the most important thing of all: coming to find out who we really are.
THE LIVING METHOD OF DIRECT POINTING
A New Nonduality
Waking Up Suddenly, Clearing Up Slowly
The models left to us by the great spiritual traditions are at core strikingly similar. We start in the dark and advance through egoic ignorance and dogmatic immaturity as we slowly move toward the elusive, yet intoxicating goal of true knowledge and mature understanding.
That’s the basic model. It’s rather like climbing a set of stairs.
From one tradition to another, not only the steps themselves, but also the description of the compulsively desired top landing, differ considerably. Yet the starting point of bottom, and the direction of upward are common to all.
We all hope (even suspect!) that we are going to be the Exception to the Rule, the spiritual lottery winner. No seeker ever takes a pilgrimage under the assumption they will fail. What I notice, however, is that most pilgrims die on the steps.
Most pilgrims die in transit, shall we say, in the journey from the awfully muddy Here, where the truth supposedly isn’t, to the glistening There, where the truth supposedly is.
Only a remarkably small percentage of adherents of any tradition I’m aware of, including Nonduality, ever actually “make it to the top,” and wake up. The numbers may be large, but the percentages are alarmingly small.
Let me share my own case for a moment, because it’s an example I’m intimately familiar with. I was a seeker for almost a quarter of a century. That, my friends, is a long time. It is, shall we say, damn longenough. Now, here’s the sad part. If I mentally go back to the very first teacher I had, I can remember one night when she and I had a discussion and she told me the truth.
That was in 1983. I had my first large awakening in 2006. Why the twenty-three years of seeking after I had heard the truth? My teacher had done her job those many years before, but I couldn’t do mine. And therein lies the rub. I couldn’t hear her.
Jesus said, “He who hath ears, let him hear.” I had no ears in 1983. None of us do—until we do. So the truth goes unrecognized until it doesn’t.
So that’s the way things have always been, but is it the way it has to be from here on?
When I woke up, I discovered that despite my years of study and practice, the only thing I was missing was the only thing that counts:experiential knowledge of our true nature. Study and practices are good things. I’m not pooh-poohing them.
All of the context that came before my awakening was finally quite useful. The veil dropped further and faster because of it. The years devoted to independent Zen study, and zazen practice, had not been wasted. Neither was the tedious inquiry which I really didn’t understand how to do.
Yet no amount of study or meditation; no ritual or chant, no bell or gong led me directly into realization. And it never would have.Because it can’t, not directly. It may prepare the mind and perhaps even the body to some degree, but where all of that stuff becomes most useful is in the post-awakening clearing process. In the end, it was my awful, can’t-live-like this/can’t-not-live-like-this life story that really did the job.
I call that place of hopelessness The Vise of Suffering, where spontaneous surrender arises. And it works when it works. It worked to get me sober, and then six years later it worked to wake me up. The Vise of Suffering has surely caused more awakenings than any other factor.
Yet The Vise is not a sure thing by any means. It doesn’t work all the time. It doesn’t even work most of the time. It only works when it works, and there’s no way to predict it, or court it. Fortunately it’s not necessary to do so.
In the past year I’ve had a couple of hundred people wake up while they were talking to me either in person, on the phone, or the largest percentage, on Skype, which I adore. I work mainly on Skype, and large portions of most days of my life are spent on camera either waking people up, clearing people up, or both.
This post is simply to declare the truth of what’s happening here. A few years back, I didn’t even know it was happening. I had no idea that there was a pattern to what I was doing. But there was a pattern, which I only came to notice when I wrote Beyond Recovery.
Once I realized there was pattern, it was a huge wake-up call. Years ago, long before I woke up, when I was sober but still crazy as a bedbug, I told my then-girlfriend, now-wife, “Betsy, it’s all aboutpatterns. If I ever wake up and see the truth, I know it’ll be all aboutpatterns.”
And it is.
The incredible dream we call day-to-day reality is not only all aboutpatterns, it is in itself a sort of meta-pattern. No need to go into all of that here. But the part I didn’t know back then, which I most certainlydo know now, is that the way we can unwind the dream’s hypnotic hold, effectively on demand, and in just a couple of hours, is by consciously weaving and utilizing another pattern, a living template.
Enter The Living Method of Direct Pointing. Once I realized that I had some kind of loose method of helping people wake up, I started out to test it. It was a pattern of questioning which is rather like the offspring of some mad coupling between Eastern philosophy and Plato’s Socrates.
I was getting email from people in response to Awakening Clarity, which found readership early on, and then began to mushroom in the late winter and early spring of 2011. So I had no lack of potential victims. Instead of writing emails, I began to ask people to call me, for free. I started trying out my method in earnest.
It was rough to begin with, because there was a hitch between spontaneity and thoughtfulness as I came to approach the pattern knowingly. Eventually spontaneity won out, hands down, and it’s been getting smoother and more sophisticated ever since.
A high percentage of clients woke up with me even very early on, when I had no real clue what I was doing. As the method began to finesse itself, the numbers slowly began to grow. By this winter I was waking up about three out every four people I talked to, which in my eye is not just remarkable, it’s miraculous. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I didn’t even know such a thing was possible.
I could ‘miss’ on the next ten people I talk to, I can’t know. I could wake up tomorrow morning and never be helpful in bringing about another awakening for the rest of my life. I can’t know, because I don’t do it. It just happens. Yet within that “just happening,” there is a structure that has evolved, and I think this method is teachable.
What do I mean when I say ‘method’?
As I said earlier, there is a pattern to my teaching. Think of it as a template with hard edges that holds something alive, something that flows in its own way, without need of thought, direction, or correction.
I start in the same place in every Direct Pointing Session, which I usually abbreviate as DPS. Yet not even the first five minutes of a DPS is universal. The client will respond to the initial inquiry in theirunique, snow-flake way, and the living, flowing, interior of the template will move on its own to meet them right where they are.
Clients will tense up in fear, and the pattern will immediately move to meet that and relax them. The client’s ego will begin to rise and challenge, and the pattern will quickly, sometimes even sharply, move it to send it back down the rabbit hole. Clients get lost in their story, and the pattern moves to efficiently redirect and reestablish cooperative flow.
The facilitator does none of this; it just happens. If they’re going to work, these sessions have to move quickly and smoothly–there’s no time for personal involvement. We don’t challenge one thing in these sessions, we challenge everything. The mind becomes disoriented. Long held assumptions are seen through. Lifetime beliefs collapse.
Basically the client is seeded with doubt, and then clobbered with it. Relentless repetition helps this new seeing be driven deep into the client’s mind. When there’s been enough sureness uprooted, and enough doubt brought into play, I will tell them my magical story. They will love it. Everybody does.
The story I’m referring to arose this past May, shortly after I wroteThe Book of Undoing, which is about this process. I was doing a DPS with a guy who’d spent much of 35 years traveling around the globe in search of enlightenment. He’d been deeply affected by his study and travels, but for all of that he was not awake when he got to my house. In the middle of the DPS this story began to fall out of my mouth. I trusted it, followed it, and half an hour later my new friend was wide awake.
Now my DPS are structured around that story, because it’s the single most effective thing I’ve ever seen, or heard of, when it comes to helping people recognize their true nature.
I’ve had people compare The Living Method to Ramana’s work, and Douglas Harding’s. Yet it’s not like either. And I’ve never had anyone compare the story to anything. It is completely unique, and it rocks.Very few people can resist that story. If someone really wants to wake up, that story allows them to drop all objections to it.
If a client wants to wake up more than they want to keep dreaming, they’ll wake up when they talk to me. Every time. Counting resistant clients, The Living Method works right out of the gate on about 90% of the people I talk to. I’ve had one person who required two, but there was six months between the two sessions, and the first one was from back when I was still a bit sketchy.
My toughest successful client to date, a woman who continued to press for a breakthrough took a DPS and three Clarity Sessions, but she got there. I think it took her a while before she could become willing to see the truth. She was all over it the first time we talked. And those are the hardest: the people who give you all the right sounding answers, but who just can’t let go. It’s hard on them, and it’s hard on me.
I want everyone I talk with to wake up. I’m not married to the idea, mind you, but don’t think I don’t have my preferences. I do. I want everyone to wake up who does. And until the session is over and they don’t wake up, I want everyone to wake up who doesn’t.
In the end, of course, I know better than to argue with reality. I will always end up in agreement with what is, and I will usually start out in agreement with it.
Let me make a few things clear. I only get the tough cases. If they weren’t a tough case, they wouldn’t be sitting in front of me. They’ve already tried a lot before they’ll try The Living Method. Fred Davis does not have the cocktail cachet of an Eckhart Tolle, Adyashanti, or Byron Katie. Fred who?
But what I’m doing works.
I have worked with people from all of the great traditions, as well as a lot of people from no tradition at all. I have worked with seekers who have been on the spiritual path—dedicated people, mind you—for ten, twenty, thirty, even forty years without finding out who they really are. They come here, and they wake up in two hours. Over and over again.
Only smart people call me. I’m not saying that everyone in Nonduality is a genius, but I’ll tell you that it’s pretty much the genius crowed who are attracted to me. The profession that accounts for the largest percentage of my client base is the mental health profession, whether it be clinicians, researchers, or educators. I spend a lot of time with the Three P’s: psychiatrists, psychologists, and professors. They wake up. They are blown away.
I have worked with a broad array of physicians, with lawyers, with an engineer, a physicist, mathematicians, professional life coaches galore, loads of high-flying entrepreneurs, and lots of just regular folks like me. I’ve worked with people in their 20’s and people in their 80’s. My average client is probably in their fifties, very well educated, and fairly well-to-do. It’s about a 50-50 split between the sexes.
My house, so to speak, is generally the last house on the block. Most people call me when they’ve run out of options. They can’t really believe what I say here—I wouldn’t have been able to either, I get that completely—-but they want to so badly to believe that The Blessed Event really and truly, maybe, just maybe could happen for them, and so they call, often against their better judgement.
They wake up. I am amazed every time, it’s always fresh, and they join me in that amazement. I have danced around the edges of bold declaration for a year now, and I’m not dancing any more. This is the real deal, and it has the potential to turn Nonduality on its head. This could be a real game changer. It’s not my game changer, damn it, but a real turning point.
This is the only teaching I know that starts with enlightenment. We don’t start you at the bottom of the stairs with The Living Method, we start you at the top, we start you at the landing.
Once you’re awake, which is the norm, and you actually see things the way they are, then we point you down the stairs, allowing you to gain context and experience to allow your awakening to both deepen and broaden.
Clarity and stability, the movement toward abidance and embodiment, can take a long time. But why not spend that time sharpening your true seeing instead of trying to get to true seeing? Why die on the steps?
First there is the explosion of awakening. That’s the initial event. Then there is the working our way toward clarity. That’s the initialprocess. And finally there is living as what we truly are, the vast, clear, open, shining No-thing that births everything. This is theopening that never ends. Come find your true identity. When you change where you’re looking from, what you’re looking at changes.
If you’re in a tradition, in any kind of spiritual organization, how many people around you are actually waking up? Not seeking, but finding, knowing, and living from their true nature? My guess, and I think I’m being generous, is 10% or less. So 90% don’t wake up. Here, 90% do. It’s a complete reversal.
I am not shopping for followers. I don’t care about having a bunch of followers. Once you wake up, you may want to clear up via your old tradition, or a new one; with your old teacher, or a new one. You’re welcome here, but you’re certainly not required to use these teachings as the only path to clarity.
If you want to hang, hang. If you want to go, then go with my gratitude and blessings. But once you’re clear and stable, use what you’ve learned to clear up others. Our planet is in big trouble folks. We need an efficient mechanism to bring about a quick, large change in our fundamental approach to living, to our relationships with each other, and our relationship with Earth itself.
Is this it? I don’t know. I don’t think there’s just one ‘it’. But this is certainly an incredibly valuable resource for those who are ready for it, and it absolutely flexible, and thus capable of working in league with the other skillful resources available. It’s new, it’s fast, and it’s incredibly effective. It’s worth a look.
I’m 60 years old, and this wild, young thing is too important to die when I do. I am the initial recipient of this teaching, and I am the firstteacher of The Living Method, but I am not going to be the last. There is a lot of stuff in the works.
There’ll be a new website soon, it’s already under construction. I have another book I’m trying to write, and could easily finish if I could just break free of my webcam, and my correspondence long enough to get it done.
I’m am working with a brilliant professional, Sharon Desjarlais, about the best way to train DPS facilitators. These will all be people who’ve awakened through The Living Method, and who’ve come through both a clearing process, and a facilitator training process. Requirements will be fairly stiff, but there will be people to meet them, I know that ahead of time.
Sharon, who woke up through The Living Method, is helping me—often leading me—on myriad ways to bring this teaching to the broadest possible audience. It’s too important to be held down or kept back. I mean that from the very bottom of my heart.
What comes next? Let’s find out!
Yours in truth and love,
Footnote, 12:08 pm 8.16.13
I published this post at 1:00 am last night. This morning I helped a Chinese gentleman in Singapore wake up. He’s a perfect example of what I’m talking about. He’s been doing Tai Chi with his now-82 year old master for FORTY FIVE YEARS.
In all that time he’s never once understood what his master was saying. He does now! When we hung up he was laughing and laughing and laughing!! FD
Second footnote: Teck’s thank you note is now, with his permission, in the Testimonials section of the Sessions page. FD
It’s Sunday afternoon, 8.18, and I just got this letter from an excited guy in England. This is Divine Madness at a keyboard!! I will let Pete speak for himself.
Fred, i started reading The Book of Undoing this morning and had an awakening to reality, my true nature/space, hard to describe, feels phony to put into words, but before you would say something in the book i already feel it. It happened for me when you showed Brook how her being was there for all past , present and future experiences and that THAT was who she really was, eternal, limitless being with no edges and no center. i have read a little further and the understanding deepens, like when you describe the space between Brook and the lamp as happening right here, everything arising within the same ”space” etc, but still haven’t finished the book!
i have never had this intense of a breakthrough and i have done just about every thing under the sun for years and years, my most recent foray being into the world of non duality with teachers like Pamela Wilson, Adyashanti, and ”many more” in book form.
i was laughing hysterically about how ”he” what you refer to as ”the unit,” has been searching for so long, i saw all the books all over the place and laughed till i cried, i saw the way i put clean utensils in the dishwasher and laughed hysterically. I like how you describe using the unit to look through to observe the cloudiness when the cloudiness returns, which i have had to do already!
i began to find it hysterical to think ‘i’ thought i had to get ‘somewhere’
and now i know this ‘me’ trying to accomplish an ‘awakening’
that whole process
was just ‘an idea’ in the space of who i really am!
‘i’ was looking in the wrong place!
in fact ‘i’ looking was the problem(!) and irrelevant to the awakening process, 🙂
‘i’ didnt wake up ,
it just happened in spite of ‘myself’ or who i thought i was
an escape of sorts from the box ‘happened”
i have some questions about living life now, the process of creation, accomplishing a ‘goal’ you set for yourself, i am getting now that you can choose to live in the dream the way you want and you will just have a lot less attachment to what it is that you are ‘creating’, etc, etc man, this is exciting what has been created through ‘you’,,,,
therefore, I would like to do a DPS session with you. i just read your recent email on how you are going to create a teachable method, i think that is a great idea actually! So many teachers you sit with, listen, they do some questioning and many people still dont ”get it” This method you use is pretty phenomenal!
i know that there will be a process involved to stabilize this understanding because i have already had fallings back into cloudiness but your ‘looking thru the unit’ process helped immediately and immensely, this is very exciting for me as it creates a oneness rather than trying to ‘separate’ from the ‘little me’
i dont know what else to write, it is hard to put into words and then ‘little me” becomes afraid i will put something down that sounds very dumb and ‘not enlightned’ hahahaha!! man this is awesome!
I will look forward to your reply!
Pete Castellano, Tucson AZ
neness in a Nutshell
Going forward from September 5, I will no longer
be doing sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.
I will, of course, honor those that are already scheduled.
I need some reading, writing, and resting time.
Thank you all for your amazing support,
which allows me to do this.