Remember how long you’ve been putting this off,
how many extensions the gods gave you,
and you didn’t use them.
At some point you have to recognize what world it is
that you belong to; what power rules it
and from what source you spring;
that there is a limit to the time assigned you,
and if you don’t use it to free yourself
it will be gone and will never return.”
Roman Emperor & Philosopher,
GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT GETTING CLEAR
Before I get into the post proper, I’ve had four remarkable Awakening Sessions in a row, two yesterday and two today. Everyone woke up, which is not unusual, but each one was a standout for some other reason. I want to touch on three of them, and the main post is about the fourth.
I had the pleasure of working with a couple of really serious clients yesterday. Of course I work with dedicated clients all the time, but sometimes people really stand out. Here are a few that did.
My morning appointment on the 24th was an Awakening Session with a young man in Australia. I work with a lot of Aussies, and a number of Kiwis, too, and it’s always a little tricky because of the time difference. This guy figured he had the best chance of getting through a session undisturbed if he waited until everyone at his house was fast asleep. Thus we started our session at 2:00 a.m. in the morning! (His time, not mine!) We finished up about two and a half hours later.
Think about that for a minute. This guy stayed up all night long so that he could do inquiry with me. I wonder how many people are willing to go to such lengths to be free? Our egos are simply wonderful at talking us out of actually making a move that might end in an authentic awakening. As Marcus Aurelius said, we find an excuse to put it off until “the time is right,” which often ends up being never. Many more pilgrims start this journey than finish it.
This Aussie, however, is a guy who’s really serious about getting clear. On this trip. In this life. No excuses. My friend came to know his True Nature about 3:30 a.m. We talked for another hour, meaning the session ran long, because I wanted to give a guy like this everything that I could. His dedication actually affected me.
Commitment, sacrifice, results. Funny how that works.
My afternoon session on the 24th was also an Awakening Session, with a thoroughly charming woman in Hawaii. She’s a person rather like me, someone who’s been on a hell of a relative life-ride; a person who’s made some money, and lost some money; ridden high, fallen low; someone who has seen life from a whole lot of angles and levels in numerous areas—financial, spiritual, physical, emotional.
This lovely woman is not riding high just now. That’s the way the cookie is currently crumbling. Nonetheless, she borrowed the money and booked a whole session package, which in my tax bracket and hers is a pretty serious statement. Like my morning guy, she woke up about 90 minutes into our inquiry.
Commitment. Sacrifice. Results. Are you clear? Go reread the opening Check yourself. Give it some thought.
One more person I want to mention is the guy from Japan that I talked to this afternoon, Saturday the 25th. He’s been on the spiritual path a little more than a decade. For the past four years he’s been involved in a Zen teaching. He’s been taught some theory, and done a lot of zazen (sitting meditation) in the hopes of experiencing kensho, which is a Zen term for an initial awakening. So far he’s had no results of that type, which left him just desperate enough to try something as far out of traditional spirituality as what I do! So he booked an Awakening Session.
We had no video feed. I gave him the option of rescheduling, or going ahead with just audio. He asked my advice, and when I told him he had a very strong chance of awakening no matter what we did, he elected to go audio only. I really felt like I was on top of my game. I was right. But more important than how I felt, this guy was loaded! Talk about ripe fruit! After telling me a little of his spiritual story, we went straight into inquiry, and he started waking up in the first five minutes.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen anyone respond so readily. In fact, I may never have seen anyone respond so readily! He started laughing right from go, and I asked him, “You’re already seeing this, aren’t you?” He laughed and sputtered out ‘Yes.’ At that point I laughed and said, “Well, I guess the pressure is off of me for this one!” And it was.
He never missed a trick. He was another one who would verbally sum up what he’d just taken in, and I never had to correct him. He saw it from go, and he never strayed. By the end of our session he was clear as a bell. Now, that present clarity is almost surely going to dim today and brighten tomorrow, and he’ll need to continue to work, but that long-sought-but-never-caught initial awakening thing? Done.
My Japanese friend was honest enough to evaluate what he was doing and change horses in midstream if the first one wasn’t producing the results he wanted in the time he’d allotted it. It’s important to recognize that he needn’t actually give up the Zen horse, he just brought in a specialist horse to run a certain part of the distance. He can continue to use Zen, but for clearing, not awakening.
Many traditions, teachers, and practices can help clear us up. Far fewer have the real power to wake us up. I remember hearing Adyashanti recommend that seekers do a Consumer Reports-style review of their path. I second that.
THE SECRET KEY TO THE MATRIX
I wonder how many of you have seen the Wachowski Brother’s classic motion picture, The Matrix? A lot of you, I am sure. If you haven’t seen it, then check it out. Whether intended or not, it’s widely reputed to be a metaphoric representation of how Nondual reality—and awakening—could work. If nothing else, it’s a terrific science-fiction adventure, and I highly recommend it.
I quote here from Wikipedia:
“It [The Matrix] depicts a dystopian future in which reality as perceived by most humans is actually a simulated reality called ‘the Matrix’, created by sentient machines to subdue the human population, while their bodies’ heat and electrical activity are used as an energy source. Computer programmer ‘Neo’ learns this Truth and is drawn into a rebellion against the machines, which involves other people who have been freed from the ‘dream’ world”.
My appointment this morning, Saturday morning the 25th, was with an engineer, an Indian by birth, who lives in California.
This is a serious guy, very bright, but with a great sense of humor, and the uncanny ability to sum up deep insights about five seconds after he’s witnessed them. It happened over and over in today’s session. I would lead him, he would follow, then he’d see the lesson, and then he’d restate the whole experience in a sentence or two.
It was quite remarkable. There were several places where he disagreed with me, or simply failed to buy my presentation of Truth, so to speak. At those junctures I would back up and guide him through it a second time. He’d inevitably see the error in his thinking, and immediately acquiesce without the slightest resistance. He was more interested in being free than he was in being right. It’s a shining example of that rarest of commodities—genuine humility. Oh, if I could only clone him!
Once my friend saw a thing, he saw all of it. That’s when he would restate the insight, I think partially for him to absorb it better, and partially to test his understanding in front of me. Once again he was willing to be corrected if it meant that it would bolster his growing understanding. But I never had to correct one of his restatements. In fact, he used some descriptive lines along the way that I immediately promised to steal, but sadly I’ve forgotten most of them.
One, however, really struck a chord. When we were done, and he was brightly, clearly, beautifully awake, he said, “My God, you’ve discovered the secret key to the Matrix!” As soon as he said it, I knew he was right. For the first time ever, I knew what was going on here, what I was doing, why it worked, and why it is so different from everything else.
That’s essentially what The Living Method is—a special key that opens a back door into the workings of Reality. And although it is centered around coming to know our sacred True Nature, the method itself is not a spiritual method. It’s just a key, a thing, like a living skeleton key. I’m in awe of it, but I don’t feel like I need to burn incense, or put on a funny hat, or take on a new name in order to use it. It’s a wonderful tool. It makes more sense to me now why such a guy who has been such a poor example of skillful living (me) ended up with it.
It’s a odd Truth, but I’ve discovered that Reality can be talked about virtually forever without necessarily fostering a breakthrough. Articles, books and videos can all be helpful, and sometimes they even work. Satsang and retreat sometimes work. Having a near-death experience can work. Or we can be visited by Grace and just “get it” out of the blue. But none of those things are reliable. None of those things are consistent.
My Indian friend and I spent some time talking not just about awakening and Reality, but about The Living Method itself. Every once in while I get a client who’s completely taken with it, who sees the enormous power in it, and wants to talk about the potential ramifications of it. It has the potential to turn everything on its head. I’m not saying it will, but I’m saying it could. I haven’t the slightest idea about what will happen, or God forbid, what “should” happen! But I’m not blind to possibilities.
For some reason, this metaphor of the Method as a key to the Matrix really cemented things for me. It took the remaining spiritual hoodoo out of it, and made it acceptably ordinary. It’s extraordinarily ordinary, I grant you that, but it really helped free me of the uncomfortable concept of myself as “spiritual teacher,” although I’ll continue to use that convenient phrase in the name of linguistic efficiency. I don’t have to throw the baby out with the bath water.
But it’s changed how I see things. In fact, you may have noticed that I changed out the home page photo today to a Matrix-style digital keyhole. This amazing session is why.
The Living Method is a do thing, not a believe-in thing.
My engineer friend is typical of many of us. He’s been around quite a while. He’s read a lot of books. He lives in the Bay Area, so a lot of high powered spiritual teachers are local to him, and he’s availed himself of them by attending satsang with a couple of famous teachers. He already had a head full of Nonduality when we met today. He had a lot of answers, which reminds me of something I told a client recently, which is, “The one who knows all this stuff? That’s the one in the way.”
We know, we know, we know. But what’s our EXPERIENCE? Who really cares what another person does or does not know, or think they know?
I don’t know very much. I don’t have a lot of answers. But I have an endless number of wonderful questions. You’ve probably heard the old adage that, “We come to spirituality to answer our questions, but we begin to make real progress once we start questioning our answers.” I’m in full agreement with that. Let us undo. Let us unknow.
I’m not a high-powered spiritual teacher. I’m just a lucky stiff who, like Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit, stupidly got himself into an awful jam, and then stumbled upon a magic ring, or in my case, a secret key. Yes, I studied and practiced for a long time prior awakening, and I was awake for quite a while before hitting on the Method, and I study daily even now, in an attempt to honor this thing, and to be the best teacher that I can besince that’s ended up being my given role anyway.
But I don’t know how much of that was, or is truly helpful necessary. I just did what I did and do what I do—I have no idea why!
Never fool yourself: Truth is hiding in plain sight. It’s just your view that’s skewed, nothing more. You do NOT need to have a showy spiritual experience in order to wake up, and I’d count you as blessed if you didn’t have one. They are more trouble after the fact than they are enjoyable during the event.
There is nothing but Truth. Where once I couldn’t find it at all, now I can’t find anything else. I meet people who are willing to look at it, and people who are not. There are people who really want to wake up, and people who really want to talk about waking up. I’m fine with both, but I don’t like working with the latter.
Regardless, everyone I meet already is It, whether they choose to notice it, or want to pretend to be one of the Wise Monkeys. I wish you luck. And I send you love, because I have nothing else to offer you.
Fred Davis 1.25.14
Photo Copyright © 2003 David Monniaux, courtesy of Wikipedia.