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Are you driven to know who you really are?


If so, then you’re right where you need to be. The SKILLFUL MEANS Series will help you recognizing True Nature, and Satsang will help you to accept what you’ve seen and orient toward living as Awakeness.

Fred Davis has been interacting with spiritual seekers internationally since July of 2011, when he started the original “Awakening Clarity” blog. Many hundreds of people have discovered their True Nature while talking one-on-one with Fred—in about an hour! However, this Teaching has grown so much over the past year that having one-on-one Awakening Sessions remain the flagship is no longer possible. 

In the summer of 2020 we held the first SKILLFUL MEANS Awakening Series. We’re now announcing #5. The vast majority of people taking these series woke up in their first session. It’s been even more successful than I imagined it would be. The presentation is nearly identical to what was formally offered for $1,095 to individuals. If history is any guide, then most attendees will wake up in #5 as well.



Fred Davis, Founder, The Living Method of Spiritual Awakening



nonduality satsang, live online nonduality satsang, best online satsang, best nonduality satsang

Every Sunday at 2:00 pm Eastern (New York Time)
 Click here to find out more about Satsang


“Statistically, the rate [at which] you have been instrumental in

helping others to awaken is almost unparalleled in history.”

~K.C. Oon,
Veteran Meditation Teacher



Click below for numerous


Dear Fred,

I know you receive lots of emails. I hope this is not one too many. :o) Having said that, I hope you’ll understand that these words just needed to be said.

I just wanted to thank you from the depths of my heart for you and your teachings.  As I have mentioned, I have been around non-duality in one form or another for almost 30 years, similar to most of your clients/students.

I have been on countless retreats and talks. Been to India 3 times (yup, been there, done that. :o) Spent much time with several different traditions. Was fortunate enough to spend one-on-one time with some amazing teachers over the years (Eckhart, Adyashanti and others).

But none of them offered as direct a teaching of the nondual truth as you, Fred. My heart is bursting with gratitude for you and your teaching.

My wife, Kim, asked me right after this morning’s session how it was. I looked at her and burst into tears of gratitude – much like the lovely woman you had recently shown in one of your short videos. I couldn’t stop – not that I wanted to. :o)

I had errands to run today, and as I went about my business, I was spontaneously overwhelmed with waves of gratitude several times.  For you, certainly, but often it’s been simply pure gratitude. Not of something in particular, just a welling up of immense gratitude. It kind of feels like a release of some sort. 

I don’t quite know how to explain this, but it’s like there’s also a deep, sweet, and simple innocence to all this as well.

The weight of the (non-existent) egoic mind being suddenly and spontaneously lifted (not completely gone, but certainly diminished). Oh, my god, Fred, it’s like the most beautiful gift that Life gives to Itself – the simple recognition of Itself everywhere, and as everything. Gratitude is welling up again now as I write these words.

One of the biggest surprises for me is how simple this actually is. We’ve all heard various awakened teachers say, “It’s the simplest thing there is.” Or, “It’s closer than the breath.” And that’s always made sense intellectually. But now I truly see why!

There is no one to “wake up.” There’s only Awakeness or Oneness waking up to Itself as everything (and No-thing). As This. Words fall short. The only two words that seem to have any substance at all right now are, Thank You!

Much gratitude to you, Fred. See you tomorrow. 

All love,


“I look crazy but I’m not. And the funny thing is that other people don’t look crazy but they are.” 

~Eden Ahbez


Dear Fred,

This guy was a long-time seeker, and the shift happened with one of your videos. I realized this is not my hand; there is no evidence it is existing just because i can feel the touch.  Liberating “feeling.” Then in the practice i opened my eyes and saw the space or oneness and my room in it. 

After lots of laughter and quiet wandering, i went for a walk to get a coffee ( i found an open place!). It was like i am walking in the effortless life. I saw this oneness everywhere with a million leaves, bricks, ants and things in it. When i was stirring my coffee, i see my hand and it was a hand in the space moving and i had nothing to do with it.

This emptiness or whatever nameless fabric we call life contains all we know or not know. It is evident there is nothing to do with my ego or self since they are not existing or there is a place where all my accumulated thoughts are sitting in the emptiness. I feel and know there is nothing to add to this and it is timeless. It’s new to “me” relatively, but no uncertainty about it.

All that you and other “teachers” are saying is the same and i can see it now. Sorry there is no other way to explain it, or is there? English is my second language. I might have some  questions. My ego or self comes to the “front” and acts as it always did (at work, interactions with people, etc.). Then the emptiness goes to the background or I’m just not noticing it in the now.

I know i cannot be better in it; perhaps i can just manage to stay there consciously and aware even when my self is active.  I have practiced martial arts for many years. I cannot practice now due to the virus, but the understanding of it has already changed a lot; I can’t wait to see it in practice. Maybe this is a bit long, but the experience is timeless and, in my case, overwhelming. I had a very bad night; can’t really sleep, but i was too tired to be there or here.

So life goes on.  Cannot wake up more, but being awake is something completely different…

The other you,



I am compelled to write you. I have been searching for all of my adult life, and in more retrospect, ever since I have been aware as a child (I am a 60-year-old unit – lol). I have always felt I was different and have experienced an extreme life & tragedy in many areas. I have read and studied Joel Goldsmith, Eckhart Tolle, Adyashanti, Rupert Spira, Jean Klein. The list goes on and on.

This past weekend I listened to your audio book Awaken Now. Half way through it, I realized that I was already awake and my search was over!! I actually cried several times with the clarity and resonance of your message. It was like everything came together and in focus. It was the most amazing realization that I have ever had. The next day I was filled with conditioned confusion and frustration, which passed fairly quickly. I just finished listening to The Book of Undoing and I feel like I am home for the first time.

I realize that I have more work to do to keep clear, but I know now where not to look!!  Your teaching and presentation is like no other. I am so thankful and grateful to you.

I look forward to booking an ‘Awakening Series’ with you.


Steve M.

Dear Fred,

Here’s another poem, rough draft, that perhaps will have a ‘listening’ from you…so much of the theme is resultant from your teaching (e.g., the limitations of our human brain, the impossibility of a unit “knowing,” etc.).  Rubbing against the “membrane” of the nondual, the void and the void beyond the void, etc. Funny how it can inspire awe and joy and love somehow.  Thanks and blessings to you and Betsy.  I had an awakening session from you many months ago and it set in motion a significant shift. The ceiling fan is still spinning but slowing down enough to see into the marvelous inexpressible realm that we all are born from, eh?   Paul Hedderman calls these glimpses “free samples” – hence the title.

Tom C.


We’re All God Pretending to Be People


This morning in sweet, early sunlight,  as one step followed another across the forest floor:

“I am not the lofty, smokeless, flameless effulgence of infinity—

my little brain—no!  I am a young boy, still, perhaps 8 or 9,

complacent, happy (unconsciously), rather weightless.”

Within that thin shell of gray matter that thinks, is that

vast spaghetti of white circuits that control the tiny metabolism of every breathing cell

and recapitulates the ancient ontogeny of our juicy existence.

(That ephemeral shell of concepts has fashioned for itself an aging citizen

with weighty responsibilities and solemn concerns).

“Yes, under all these concepts and ersatz sophistication, I am in essence that boy:

Immaculately and perfectly free.”

Glory to the gods for this glimpse of the flaming ordinary!

Every rock, pine needle and gnat singing a self-assured and meaningless hallelujah.

This.  Just this. Plenty enough.

Indeed we are the stuff that dreams are made of and

no one (no one!) knows where this came from

or where it’s going, or why our little lives, indeed, are rounded with a sleep.

A little terrifying perhaps,

and also stunningly beautiful.

Hi Fred!

We haven’t met, but I read Awakening Clarity and have watched many of your YouTube videos, and I just wanted to send a THANK YOU your way. Everything you say resonates with me very strongly. I feel much more clear as a result of absorbing your content.

In particular, the videos “What’s the quickest way to move from knowing It to GETTING IT?” and “Challenging the I Am the Body Idea” inspired me to write to you.

In the first video you said that intellectual understanding is underrated and compared it with crossing the street and getting hit by a car. It really struck me that yeah… I only need to understand that intellectually to live accordingly. Thankfully I don’t need to get hit by a car just so I can have an experiential understanding.

Then in the second video you did something I’ve never seen anyone else do: clearly state the relationship between “sense of being” vs “I Am” vs identification (I am *that*). You gave the simplest and clearest explanation I’ve come across, even after studying the teachings of Ramana Maharshi, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, and other present day teachers.

So I just wanted to thank you, and share my appreciation for your words of clarity. Best wishes to you, and I hope you and Betsy are doing well despite this pandemic we are in.


If I could afford it, I would not hesitate a second and book an awakening session with Fred RIGHT NOW.
Thank you Fredness and thank you ‘awakees’ for sharing this. So beautiful.
Love, Gregor

Hallo Fred,

I watched the self-Isolation video 3 times and it is the strongest message I ever got, it was like speaking to my self.
I have sent a copy of it to all friends and others, most of them will think I am completly mad, so be it.

I hope they will not start to shoot/worship you like they did with Jezus, Buddha, etc, etc; because that what units
like to do, shoot the messenger and forget about the message.

As for me, it feels like I am sliding in, out, in, out, in.



This is a back and forth with Joanna in South America. She’s very clear, but one day she forgot. I asked her one question and she remembered. 

😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 UNDERSTOOD 😂😂😂😂


El 4/04/2020, a las 4:05 p. m., Fred Davis <> escribió:
WHO is this “I” of which you speak?
Just a quick note to say that years ago I read Nisargadatta and became confused and discouraged. After awakening, I dusted off “I Am That” and am drinking every word as nectar! You are so right. There is no path to awakening. Only after awakening is there a path of clearing up. Love you! Awakeness appearing as Doug

Hey Fred,I found you or you found me, someone posted a video in a Facebook group.

Two things you said stuck with me in these videos.

One was to own the awakening and the second one was that it too fecking smart for it’s own good.

So I came back to the simplicity of it all.

Thank you for that 🙏.

I know ‘I’ feel a sense of warmth when people tell me that they have found something in something I’ve said.

I’ll soon be booking a clarity session just thought I’d send you some energy.



Dear Fred,
I have been seeking for more than 30 years. I always thought that awakening was a difficult process and a rare occurrence. A few days ago I chanced upon and purchased your Audible book, Awaken Now.  I listened to it twice and began to wake up. I then visited your website and purchased the Self-Realization video course. I watched it in a single day and woke up. I really appreciated the clarity sessions and realize that I will need the ongoing clarifying that you offer through your satsang meetings. I cannot afford to attend live sessions for as long as I’d like. So I am going to purchase the recordings of the satsangs in order to get more bang for my buck. If I eventually have a burning question, I will attend a once-off live satsang. The work happening through the Fredness is simply miraculous!
In gratitude,
Doug M

Hi Fred, just a short note to say that even in the currently unlikely scenario of this unit catching the coronavirus, and the even less likely scenario of this unit perishing, this life has been redeemed.  Even one day lived in the grace and recognition of this homecoming–of this that cannot perish–is enough to have restored the balance of the karmic ledger.  To have had these past months of deeper and deeper dissolution into the formless ocean of Self is to have been given an overflowing cup.  No desire here to pass from this realm, no desire for this body to go, and yet there is a trust that the curriculum handed down, come what may, is a custom fit.  May this body and and all bodies continue to flourish and find years of good health, good company, and the peace that calls all Being into recognition of its own radiant and timeless abode. Deepest love and gratitude for the support and guidance,

From one of my T3 (Teacher-to-Teacher) Students
Hi Fred,
I want to thank you so much for this “un-teaching”.
These sessions are so priceless and I’m just so appreciative.
Have great week and I hope to be able to join live satsangs soon.
And please send my love to Betsy, what a sweetheart.
Thanks again,

If I could’ve i would have jumped thru the screen and hugged that Fredness 😊so appreciative of everything that was shared!!!!!!



Currently watching and rewatching your Vimeo series.
The best 50.00 I have ever spent.

Thank you.


This is from one of my T3 (Teacher-to-Teacher) Students in Canada. I now send this out with every serious inquiry about the teaching program.


Hi Fred,

Here’s my testimonial.  Hope this helps!

Have a wonderful Monday!



February 24, 2020

T3 Curious?

For any fellow Satsangers who may be interested in a perspective about what it’s like as a trainee teacher in the Teacher to Teacher Training course, or T3, I’m 75% along and here’s my experience from the inside.

First, there’s a lot. Fredness is profoundly generous in the giving of this teaching and there is much gratitude here in the receiving. I could record the sessions but instead choose to draft copious careful notes (careful in content only, they look like chicken scratch). Transcribing my notes is a helpful way for me to review and delve in again at my leisure. Ideas examined within the format, to name just a few, include: meeting the client where they’re at; skillfully bypassing the ego to get in through the back door; how you can know whether the client did or did not wake up; and, how to effectively handle resistance. Lately, the course work seems to be all coming together as a kind of greater synopsis appears to be emerging. I’m coming to appreciate and marvel at the beautifully cohesive simplicity of this pedagogue as a whole as well as how it so effectively enables Oneness in a very skillful synthesis of pointing, lift Itself out of the wheel It was never in.

Throughout the T3 program, clarity continues to accelerate. Well, that suits me fine. Also since I can’t not be the unteacher I am, whether directly involved in session work or vibing in the grocery store or hanging in my “cave,” this is helpful. But, interestingly, I am aware of a budding nudge, soft and true, prompting me to an alertness around somehow offering this unteaching that I’ve been further ungrowing into throughout T3. Hmm, this is welcome news to me.

If you’re a little curious about T3, like I was, I offer an affirmative recommendation. It really helped me to decide when a satsang friend gave me their affirmative and I hope I can help you by passing along mine. Once I found myself asking Fred about it, he promptly sent the info via email. After reading it through and sending my “Yes,” I was looking forward to getting started. Now, I can share with you that T3 exceeds my expectations.


Warm Regards,


Kim Carmichael

This happy lady is referring to The Looking Glass video.

Wow wow wow!
Thank you Fredness! So powerful.
Big hugs from Oneness to Oneness
aka Dee (Deirdre) H

Wanted to attend today but have a bad cold. Just wanted to let you know I woke up to non-separateness listening to the Awaken NOW Audible book a couple of weeks ago. It is so simple and as I’ve often heard – not what I expected. Everything is within what I am. Not flashy for me at all. As you say awakening clarity is the path forward.

Looking forward to spending some time with you all on upcoming Sundays.




Dear Fred

After the session, “I” walked out into the sun and drifted through the street playful and light; “rebirth” is the term that comes to mind.  Many fantastic experiences that day for the body/mind.  Just easy, timeless, free; surrounded and enveloped in the warm safe glow of presence.  Ran through the golf course in the evening for the pure joy of running.  It has been weeks now since the body ran and years (decades?) since it ran without an agenda.  No arriving, no destination, nothing anywhere just running and the body’s love of movement.  There is nothing and nobody here, anywhere…ahh that just feels nice to write that.  Cartwheels.  Spontaneous laughter, shirtless, dogs excitedly run to the unit, now petting, ahhh, sweet life.  A thought occurs, “eating just happens; running just happens.”  No distance, no abstraction, just this, here, now, clear.

Someone looking on says, bemused, “Well, look at this dog whisperer.”  Everything is awake.  No thinking happening, anxiety is minimal.  This body/mind (“unit” in Fred’s language) has been ignored, abused, discounted for so long.  Suffered such confusion and pain.  It is finally sensing a moment to come back to life.  Like a sweet child long frightened into hiding finally coming out to play.

It feels like the only task that remains is relative and is something like healing and learning to enjoy life.  What feels supportive and right for this little Wesley unit.  To discover what this body/mind actually enjoys/prefers.  To stop the abuse of constant outward search and coercion into unpleasant doing.  There is nothing to achieve, nowhere to go.  Just be a good caretaker for experience.  How simple really, how practical.  A little bit of exercise, some food, a little money, right now a lot of therapy, a Fred or Gangaji video…

The following day the anxiety returns with a vengeance.  Surprising thing that.  Nightmare, horror-show anxiety.  Totally disabling.  And yet, blessedly, there is no problem.  The anxiety is there and boy, is it ferocious.  It just belongs to nobody.  It is the physiological/psychological response to causes and conditions, to a lifetime of hurts lived in a 33-year old unit.   Just like a plant grown in depleted soil conditions will bear the marks of its environment, so too this unit.

The mental health struggles–strong anxiety, intense frequent panic attacks, heavy depression, depersonalization/derealization–are also a response to a major trauma this dear sweet body/mind experienced 3 weeks ago.

The details of the experience are too much to write and to be honest, feel frightening and overwhelming even now to bring to mind, so I won’t do that.  The recovery has been horrific.  Just truly awful.

Yet I feel it is important to share this.  I want people to know it doesn’t matter to awakening how broken the body/mind are.  Or at least it didn’t here.  If you are reading this and feel too compromised, broken-hearted, wretched, damaged, or lost to wake up, don’t believe it.  Who you are is not compromised.  Awakening is not tainted or damaged or broken.  And the good news, the fantastic news, is that awakeness is who you are.

Another thing about this suffering, hellish as it has been, I never would have arrived here to this teaching and come home to this great unknown if not for it.  Amazing grace.  Fierce, amazing grace.

Waking up did not resolve the negative conditioning.  I can report it is not eternal sunshine. It is nothing like the mind imagines.  What is revealed is there is nobody here–no Wesley self.  No self, no guilt or problem.  Who could be guilty?  Who could have a problem?

Ego is still intact.  Wesley wakeness video on YouTube!!  Oh boy, that is an ego feeding frenzy.  “Now I have really achieved something.” “Let the teaching begin!” “How many views?” “Comments?” “Thumbs ups?” “How does this view count compare to others?” “How will I act in satsang to demonstrate this enlightenment?  Better rehearse!”  And, then, “Oh no, see, the ego still in tact.  Must have lost the experience??  What if I can’t talk?  What if I lost it?  What if I say the wrong thing?  Sense I am a phony?  Oh, how dreadful…can’t let the others see that and disappoint Fred.”  Ego/conditioning doesn’t die through awakening. Again, the difference is, who can that belong to?

I have always wanted to have a hit YouTube video.  Did it have to come on the day of THAT haircut???  And, wow, that is one ugly cry!  Ha ha, the old inner judge…lol.

Some sayings spontaneously register, “Before enlightenment (whatever that is!) chop wood, carry water.  After, chop wood, carry water.”  Nothing has changed.  There is nothing special about this.  And believe me, that is a huge relief.  It means life can be lived with greater clarity, more energy, more intelligence.  No more burden of apparent seeker lost in an unending search.

This unit is still going to therapy, still surfing the mental health struggles, still making oatmeal, still pulling weeds.  There is just no-thing here, that’s all.  And what is here is not known.  It is un-known.  That is it’s very essence, the unknowningness, which is no essence at all.  Who writes these words?
September 2019

I just wanted to thank you for the awakening/clarity session I had with you last week. It really did help bring things into greater focus & clarity. I can now understand why ongoing meetings and inquiry are important in keeping awakeness awake to itself!

I also had something I wanted to report to you, but forgot to mention during our session. This was a very brief experience that occurred about a week before our session. One evening, I had been watching some of your videos and came across one where you went through the “Standing As Awareness” exercise; I found that the exercise brought greater clarity.

The next day, as I was walking my dogs, I was contemplating being awareness and the concept of oneness. In that moment, there was suddenly an experience of intense bliss and a feeling of deep connection to everything. Although nothing I could see had changed, everything looked different in a way I can’t really explain. The experience only lasted maybe 40-45 minutes and for some reason I didn’t quite realize that I had had an experience until the next day. Very odd! 

I’m planning on attending satsang this next Sunday (12/1519). Thanks again!


Dear Fred,
I just want to thank you from the bottom of (my)heart  for our session yesterday.  I have been walking in daze ever since.  Very quiet and peaceful here!
After so many years of trying to get it, and yes, trying to wake up the character, it has become so clear and obvious.  The silly thing is, is that I knew this.  I just needed Fredness/oneness to really spell it out and remind  oneness it had been looking in the wrong direction! 
Your perfect way with words and your sense of humour (i laugh so much listening to you) cuts through all the waffle that has confused me up until now.  Clear, direct and simple.  This is what  has been sorely lacking so far on my spiritual quest.  Now I’m home. Right where I started.  
I’m so glad my alarm  finally went off and that  you (me/oneness (ah words)) were th e one to remind me!
Thank you, thank you, thank you, and lots of love (arohanui as they say in New Zealand) 

Dee xxx


Hello Sir Fredness,

Just a quick report to say how privileged I feel to be your student.
Every time I watch the recordings of our sessions I get another layer
of the depth and a hit of the simple magnificence of this teaching.

I don’t know if you ever saw the BBC series “Connections” many years 
ago, but James Burke (?) would take you through all the things that needed  
to happen for something in history to occur.  

For instance, you couldn’t sail across the ocean to discover the New World
until you had an accurate timepiece, so you knew where in the ocean you were.
And you couldn’t have an accurate timepiece until you could properly temper metal
to make a reliable spring.  And you couldn’t temper metal until the glass makers
could create a furnace that burned hot enough to do it.

So, you couldn’t sail to the New World until glass makers made a better furnace.

So with Fredness, doing what Fredness does…  The master salesman, the AA sponsor,
the natural comedian,running in nonduality has created a “new” presentation that I’m pretty sure has ever been 
around.  And it’s remarkable in its effectiveness.  And it’s what the seeker is so desperately 

And “yes,” it is different.  Thank Oneness, it’s different!  After a couple thousand years of meditating for Enlightenment, Oneness gave us a Fredness, so we could reliably laugh our way there.

All Love,



Dearest Spiritual Teacher,

You are a magician.
I am HERE, exactly where I should be.

With much love –

~Joyce [long-term student and friend – ed.]

Dear Fred,
I think I never thanked you for putting my little ‘Boy with hole inside’ story on your site.  It was so kind of you to do that and it has had a curiously empowering effect on my ‘me’.  Inevitably my ‘ego self’ felt some self importance about seeing it on the world wide web.  But somehow it seemed to help the ‘unit’ have confidence that it deserves to own its innate awakeness.  Something like that.
In any case I’m thrilled lately because the ‘awakening’ seems to be continuing apace.  Simply recognizing that I am a product of the miracle of awakeness, there’s a quiet recognition of the insubstantiality of my deeply conditioned personality and a recognition of the silent ok ness that underlies everything.  Nothing flashy, but oh so ‘liberating’.  No mirror/no dust.  I could go on and on.  But after years of searching, to finally have a release from that compulsion to search.  Wow.  Pretty big sense of relief.
I know you know what Im talking about.  Especially since your teaching catalyzed the occurrence.  So I’m pretty sure these reports add to the fire of awakeness in which we ‘live and move and have our being’  and help us all recognize our unity.  Being in the ‘healing’ trade, that recognition is probably the ultimate healer.  I know I feel pretty profoundly relaxed and happy and unworried lately.  I wish it for all my fellow units!
So, continuing thanks and I’ll schedule a clarity session pretty soon and intend to join a satsang sometime (I care for my disabled son on weekends so 2 out of 3 Sundays are a little challenging).
Love and blessings,

Dear Fred,

Thank you so much for the most wonderful 90 minutes yesterday.

Not only was it incredibly enlightening, it was so much fun. If I had sides, they would have burst from laughing.

I had always dreaded my autopsy, but it turned out to be surprisingly enjoyable.

I have so much more clarity on who I really am. You are truly an artist. Or would be, if you actually existed.

I really look forward to the link to the satsangs, joining one in the near future, and speaking with you again.

With much love to you and Betsy,

UFKAP (Unit Formerly Known As Phil)


Dear Fred,

Such a joy to be with you. Not only have I experienced significant shifts, but also have a fresh and deeper understand of The Heart Sutra as well as many other Prajnaparamita texts.

A Zen master each morning would be overheard by his students speaking to himself:

“Master, are you awake?
Yes, Master, I am!
Don’t be fooled by appearances .
Don’t worry, Master, I won’t!”

Won’t be able to join you next week, but will catch up the week after.

Infinite gratitude.



Hey Fred,

It’s funny how the worst things at a certain moment lead to the best of things in a later moment. When I emailed you a while back ago to ask you whether anti-depressants were a hindrance to awakening or not it was because I was starting to recognize that this unit was failing at the thing which the voice in its head thought to be its last hope. Its education. Of course, at the time I didn’t see it as a unit. I saw it as me.

I had failed at pretty much everything prior to starting my education. I had no relationships with women and wouldn’t set myself up to a situation where I might be rejected by one. I avoided most social circumstances since they triggered what I call social anxiety. I never had a career, since I had no education, I just took what I could get. What kept me going for many years was my interest in bodybuilding. I put everything into that. Which included needles in this unit’s ass for three years straight. That approach doesn’t follow the recommended protocol, but I just wasn’t about that. It was all in or nothing for me. I even told myself a story about how I didn’t care if it kills me, I don’t have anything else going for me.

I think our units might have that all-or-nothing attribute in common. It can be incredibly destructive, but applied to the right areas of life, it can also be a blessing.

I eventually had to give in to the fact that I had failed my education and now had to go back to my old life. The same old town, the same people asking about what I’ve been up to and I’d have to start looking for the same old jobs. I knew that life too well, and I just couldn’t stand the thought of going back into it again. I started to really fantasize about the idea of not being anymore. The thought didn’t scare me that much any longer and it felt more like not being would be liberation. But if I was really honest with myself I knew I didn’t want to die. I had a strong suspicion that I had found a blessing in this teaching and I didn’t want to just throw that away and I had seen enough to know it to be true. I just always had a story that said I was going to wake up in the future. Well future better be here soon, I hoped.

It was around this time I booked my awakening session with you, Fred. In my mind an awakening session with Fred Davis was the last stop on the seeking route. I mean if I didn’t wake up with the guy who wakes up 90% of his clients, then I might as well just give up. I could see that I wouldn’t have time nor energy to keep seeking much longer after such a meeting.

The awakening session itself didn’t satisfy Emilio. He still wanted the big thing. But the end of the session was the beginning of starting to accept that I was already home. Can it really be that simple?

Today I’m back in my old town again and to Emilio’s disappointment he’s unemployed sharing a small apartment with a flat mate. But that all-or-nothing attitude I mentioned earlier is now applied towards clearing instead. So although Emilio might be unemployed, awakeness is not. And it turns out being unemployed is the best job I’ve ever had.




Dear Fred and Betsy,

What a lovely trip you two offer people.  I sure enjoyed mine, and I feel the ‘space behind myself’ more easily accessible than ever.  
I trust you will continue to grow inward and rejoice in our presence.  And to have fun, as you seem to be doing!
With this recognition, over and over and over again, can I expect to experience less resistance and less of the one expecting to experience less resistance?
Is this all that’s left to do?  
Who asks the question…
p.s.  Thanks for the Lightenment, Fred.  Grande Abraco:)



Just a note of immeasurable gratitude. Thank you for making such a great difference in my and others’ lives.






Just sayin’…that was one helluva session, WOW, and I’m feeling mighty grateful.  Thank you so much.

Much love and much gratitude,



Hi again Fredness,
Thanks a lot for the luminous satsang today.
Yesterday I couldn’t stop laughing when listening to your video, I Understand All This Intellectually, It’s Just Not My Experience. Real giggling.
Just a word on other videos from you (great Zen & divine slaps):
– Repetition is the mother of clarity.
– What is born and dies: “the sense of identity” (conditioning).
– I was the laughing Buddha at the video about “oneness”, I Understand All This Intellectually, It’s Just Not My Experience.”  Emoji
Love from two-ness,
Nataching EmojiEmoji
Not awake nor asleep but Aware Awareness Awakeness Oneness

Dear Fred,

Thank you so much for the most wonderful 90 minutes yesterday.

Not only was it incredibly enlightening, it was so much fun. If I had sides, they would have burst from laughing.

I had always dreaded my autopsy, but it turned out to be surprisingly enjoyable.

I have so much more clarity on who I really am. You are truly an artist. Or would be, if you actually existed.

I really look forward to the link to the satsangs, joining one in the near future, and speaking with you again.

With much love to you and Betsy,

UFKAP (Unit Formerly Known As Phil)

Hi Fred,
I have listened to The Looking Glass..Audible version [at the end of The Book of Undoing] … so often now that I just about know it off by heart…❣️
It never fails to de-contract and expand awareness … It is brilliant! … inconceivable that a human being wrote this…..?…
Thanks, Fredness, for allowing the ink to flow…??

Jenny Wade 3

“Forget serious teachers and even crazy wisdom teachers! Fred Davis is enlightenment’s court jester, reformed rake, televangelist, and grits-talking magus all in one.  He’s the real deal–and I should know, after a career researching consciousness, seeking, and having my own satori and nondual experiences. From years of headbanging to recapture the awakening I’d lost through a severe drug reaction, I stumbled across him–and I awakened.

“Fred’s simplicity, directness, humor, rapscallion past, oddball humility, and Southern accent tell exactly how to awaken. His no-nonsense approach is stripped to the essentials, with plain talk that’s right on point. Just do it. If you follow Fred’s instructions, you will come home to yourself. He’s the world’s most accessible teacher, and you’ve got everything to gain.”

~Dr. Jenny Wade
February, 2015


Long-time English Nondual Teacher Mandi Solk writes Rick Archer of BATGAP



February, 2016

Dear Fred,

A week ago today you guided me to a deeper realization of the truth of who I am. I say “deeper” because the sense of knowing was already there, but your guiding drew a much clearer picture in a live, more open way for sure. Thank you!

Since then, I can honestly say that nothing has changed — yet everything has changed. It wasn’t a big light-filled event or anything splashy, but rather you helped me ease into it as you skillfully drew the pictures of what I am not, and then what I truly am. Again, thank you!

I finally paid attention to your message I had read or heard previously to the session to drop any expectation of what it might look like, of what to expect. And, well, the following couple of days as I sort of fumbled and stumbled around to get my new footing, the truth of that opened me up further to let go of all expectation — even in this so-called subjective reality, too. It seems that releasing expectation is in itself the awakening. What is, what is right here right now, is the truth that guides.

I’m finally starting to get why you laugh all the time. I find myself saying, “Huh,” a lot. Anyway, thanks again!




May, 20

 Dear Fred

I want to thank you for such a wonderful Awakening Session last week.

The ability to be able to see myself as a player on the world’s stage, within the awareness of all that is, without limitations of time and space, conquered my fear of death and the unknown.

This is a huge step in awakening for me and the end of my seeking at long last…calm abiding!

I now understand why you laugh so much – because of the absurdity of it all.

I have not laughed so much for ages and the humour is still with me.

Oh yes, I recognise that it comes and goes…and this is how it is too…thoughts arising from within the form is emptiness and emptiness is form.

Thanks a million, Fred.

In gratitude from the Pete unit!

Pete B., Australia


Recently, I had a direct-pointing Awakening Session with Fred Davis. Prior to that, I spent many years reading and studying everything from Buddhism to Tolle. And while study and experience provided a few awakening glimpses, it didn’t prove to be permanent.

Not too surprising, considering that we’ve spent our lives believing that life is what it appears to be, and that we exist in it as separate human beings. But it also appears that more and more of us have begun a process of questioning what the truth is, what life is, and who we really are.

We can search for decades, and even think we’ve reached an intellectual understanding, but we unknowingly stop ourselves from finding the answers we seek by waiting for something outside ourselves to happen, some event or experience that will bring enlightenment. The truth is, what keeps us from enlightenment is our belief that we’re not there yet. We’re on an endless search for something unfindable, because we’ve simply been looking in the wrong place.

But we can do whatever we want. We can read everything we can find, meditate or chant for 20 years, or suffer until we just can’t do it anymore. And continue to wait for some future event of enlightenment. But if none of the books, seminars, or disciplines have awakened you, and you want to have that experience, then I might suggest a shortcut. Have an Awakening Session with Fred Davis.

It’s not so much that Fred wakes you up, or gives you that last piece of information you think will complete your understanding. Fred simply looks to, and guides you to, direct experience. He does this by leading you to answers that you are ready to give yourself, by helping you remove what we are not and seeing what remains, and by stripping away all else that is false until only what is true is left. Not that your journey is over, but once you see the truth, you can’t not see it.

Amazingly, it takes about two hours of Fred’s effective guidance for you to see through what is not true, to see what you are, and see that you are already awake. And when that happens, you find that you are already at the destination you sought, that you are actually what you have been seeking, and that you were in fact already home.

~Robert Sandman, Houston, Texas



FRED MY FRIEND IN THE DIVINE COMEDY and announcer of the play itself!-
From the endless realms of the heart that we share, I offer my gratitude and love.

I am basking in the joy of what is! And the universe even arranged that I would have a night without funny teen-age antics so that I can just be, imagine that!

Thank you for your profoundly honest sharing and for being so aware of the mechanics of the mind so that you can work your art so seamlessly. That’s what you are…a mind mechanic! It’s amazing that not too many things need adjustment, or so it seems ?

Blessings to you and your sweet wife for her role in all of this…the feminine can recognize the subtleties of the feminine’s important part. I just want to acknowledge that.

In love and laughter (so great sharing those ripples that wanted to roll out with you!)

~Susan Burleigh, Madison, Connecticut




MORE EFFECTIVE THAN PSYCHOTHERAPY and it takes much less time. My entire life is re-framed in less than two hours!

So deep & so all-encompassing. An amazing, wonderful & fun experience. I’ve experienced nothing like this in 73 years. My unit thanks you so very much, Fred.

My very best to you,

~Bill Puett, Dahlonega, GA




FIRST, THANK YOU SO MUCH for giving of your time on Friday (my time!!) for our conversation together. At all times I felt in safe and loving hands. I cannot recall at what time you sensed that I had “got it” and I never had that “Oh my God” overwhelming feeling, but your floating me off the chair and taking things away until there was nothing more to take away, leaving just the body-less “me” and Being, the “I am”, was the lightbulb moment for me with the quiet realisation that “I am Being” and that all things thereafter were arising in me. To that point, while I had read that, it hadn’t resonated, wasn’t “owned”. With each “giving back” in your story, I saw with increasing clarity that every ‘thing” is an arising in that which I am. The final piece of the jig saw – at least, the final piece in this section of the jigsaw fell into place.

For that, more thanks than I can adequately express.

Mike Leahy, Orange New South Wales, Australia




I just wanted to say thanks for your initiation. I needed your help and got it. No fireworks, just like Layman Pang, an ordinary fellow…

When the mind is at peace,
the world too is at peace.
Nothing real, nothing absent.
Not holding on to reality,
not getting stuck in the void,
you are neither holy nor wise, just
an ordinary fellow who has completed his work.

-Hõ Un (aka P’ang Yun, or Layman Pang); 8th century China

Mark, New York



DEAR FRED, The teaching and the approach you use is so natural, simple and clear (certainly to me) that it is a living miracle. Two days after our session and that first ‘seeing’, I am still getting used to staying with That and not getting caught up with the older perspective. That is what you and others have been pointing out and it has been very useful to have that information. What I’m finding is that the sense of being is both subtle (in the background of activity) and at the same time solidly present behind all activity. It has been very useful to view your videos, especially those that deal with a post awakening state. It feels a bit like being a baby learning to take his first steps! At the same time, I know what I am, What Is and ‘what is not’. Let me also say that I felt safe and ‘at home’ during the session, experiencing a sense of joy and love, especially after realising that the world ‘out there’ is not separate from Me. I’m keen to stay in touch.

~Tony Crivelli, Canberra, Australia




HI, FRED.  Thank you so very much for our Direct Pointing session yesterday! It was so clear and powerful; you have such a gift for directing attention to what is luminously ever-present, and for not allowing the mind to wander in with its ‘But what about …?’ questions. Just what is Here and Now. Wow. And it was lovely to meet you, too!

~Colin Winborn, West Yorkshire, England




THANK YOU, FRED, I appreciate very much [what] you do, it was a most revealing extraordinary experience!

~Joo Tay Teck,




EVERYWHERE I GO, and every group person I see tells me that they were blown away by your talk*. We would love to have you back whenever you could come.
With love,
~Duke Warren,
Charleston, SC




HI, FRED, Just wanted to thank-you for yesterday’s session… was awesome! Sorry about the camera….I still have to figure out what was going on with that. But I was happy that I could see you (even if you couldn’t see me); it wouldn’t have been as entertaining!
Interestingly enough, there was an incident that happened last night that would have normally “triggered” “me” into feeling very very bad about myself. And it did actually trigger me, but only for a moment. I felt this bodily sensation, rising up within me, almost out of habit. And then something just said “what me? that’s not me” and that bodily sensation was gone. Like instantly! And what was left was just open space. It was quite remarkable. I’ve never had a bodily feeling dissipate so quickly before. It used to take a lot of talking myself down.
One of the most important things I think I took away from our session was the ability to stop seeing myself as a “seeker” and just feel myself as a “finder”. Because it’s here. This is it. Right here, right now. Nothing more and nothing less. No fancy words or expressions or catch-phrases. Just a genuine understanding that this is all there ever really is. And you took me to that place. Now I understand why you laugh so much. Everything else is ridiculous!
Thanks again, Fred!
With much love and gratitude,

~Phyllis Famiglietti,
New York City




HI FRED, I wanted to tell you that I had an incredible experience yesterday. All and I are experiencing the fluctuation. The cosmos story was……..I have no words to describe what it was to/for me. Putting the cosmos back in was profound. Thank you and I look forward to our next meeting.
~Gary Franks,
Charleston SC




DEAR FRED, I’m sorry it has taken a while for me to get back to you. Things are quiet I think things have got quite subtle here now and the shifts are not so dramatic. I do however feel that there has been a further clarification from our talk and the work we did together. I have looked at the first of the videos you recommended and that was good too. There seems to be a marked slowdown. Even before our talk I was noticing an absence of ‘hangover’ from emotional events. Ever since the awakening in 2011 the mind has gone back and forth ‘you got it’ – ‘you don’t got it’. Now I understand I always have it even when I don’t see it. It’s always there. ‘I’ come and go. Blah blah blah and other non dual platitudes. Nothing I can say really except I will keep in touch. I enjoy your teaching very much and I hope it reaches many people. I am an ex-bookseller by the way. I was a manager at Watkins Books, the oldest Esoteric bookshop in London, for a few years. Have you heard of them? Do you sell your book to them? If not, I’ll drop in and make sure they order a few. Once again many thanks and I hope we can talk again soon.
With love,

Tom Radcliffe,
London, England




HI, FRED, Many thanks again for our nice & deep session of this week. Definitely rich, fruitful & supporting in my process of seeing clear…
I am still so nourished from having realized I am without limit / boundaries, meaning there is no separation between “me” and the flower / the world… Only one, only that… Sense of Being / Awareness…
Thanks again & let’s keep in touch,
With Love,

~Yannick Jolliet,
Ticino, Switzerland




HI, FRED. There’s still an inescapable awakening here thanks to our Skype chat. I deeply thank you for that. Best,

~Julz Styler,
Worcestershire, England




FROM “EDNESS” TO “FREDNESS”: Dear Friend, Thank you so much for yesterday’s session! Seekers, you have reached the end of the line on Fred’s site. It’s your time to step out of your conveyance and get in touch with Fred to recognize your true Self. Fred is Non-Duality’s Socrates. His method works, and this unit highly recommends it! All the best!

~Ed-ness W,
Roswell, Georgia




HEY, FRED. Please feel free to use my name and/or location in any manner consistent with ‘passing it on’. A statement of today’s extraordinary occurrences is forthcoming within a couple of days. Yes!!!
Love and Peace,

~Don Bowman,
Forest Hills, New York




IT IS OUT OF A DEEP SENSE OF GRATITUDE and appreciation that I report my experience with Fred Davis’ words of clear and compassionate guidance, both written and verbal, as the gift that they are. After so many countless years of exhausting seeking forays into knowing my True Nature once and for all, it took Fred only a single phone conversation to cut through the knotted mass (mess) of concepts with his sharp sword of verbal pointers, gently nudging me back to what is true-Here and Now. With such enthusiastic kindness and heart, he consistently showed me how I subtly strayed into the many false concepts floating in my mind, thus stripping away those misidentifications that had tripped me up for decades. Fred is a gifted writer as well. His ability to articulate simply yet clearly is evidenced in every paragraph he writes. He’s somehow able to quickly zoom in on the essence of the message of who/what we really are, leaving little room for doubt about how he comes to know and live this for himself. He’s been through the trenches and has emerged a kind, compassionate and gifted guide to all who are ready and willing to stop and listen. Whether one chooses to avail themselves of his offerings in verbal or written form, I would highly recommend them all .With that gracious southern hospitality background of his, Fred will effortlessly guide you back to your heart’s true desire–to know yourself. I’m truly grateful that I didn’t miss the opportunity to spend some time with Fred.

~Melinda Cross,
Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts




HOW DOES ONE MEASURE the effect, or effectiveness, of a spiritual teacher? It’s a pretty difficult task and is, by nature, experiential and subjective. In my own case, I didn’t really know that I was a seeker, but I kept “coming back to the well”…wanting to know more, but somehow unable to really grasp or process the concepts that I so badly wanted to understand. And then Fred came back into my life. His council and his clear, passionate message actually made sense. Like a puzzle for which the elusive missing piece is suddenly found, all of the earlier info I’d accumulated started to fit together. He helped me begin my own private surrender, and for that, I will be eternally grateful. I would encourage anyone interested in moving forward with their journey to at least listen a bit to what Fred has to say. Whether through reading his writing or in a face-to-face setting, it is clear to me that he “gets it”…and his ability to communicate great truths to all levels of spiritual understanding is undeniable.

~Tammy Kelly,
Portland, Oregon




FROM THE FIRST TIME I MET FRED there was an attraction. He has always pointed me towards truth. I’m twice as big as Fred and he has no problem pointing at the truth–hard–as he often needs to with old Vince. Growing up with the problem of ‘trust no one,’ I have trusted him with all my secrets. Fred is a real piece of Love.

~Vince Reese,
Columbia, South Carolina




LUNCH WITH FRED WAS A BEAUTIFUL THING. Like me, Fred was passionate about awakening consciousness. The difference was, his was and mine wasn’t. Over a sandwich, Fred set out to change this. But by this time, I had been searching for many, many years, and was pretty skilled at not finding, so he had his work cut out for him. But he was prepared. Fred himself had once been the seeker, courageously honest with himself about his own tricks, so he was ready for the task at hand. I knew I could trust him. With great compassion and love, and with unwavering dedication, he thwarted my every turning away, bringing me back to this, now. Until suddenly and at long last, I knew. Tears of gratitude arose, quickly followed by peals of laughter at the absurd simplicity of it!

~Iliana Anderson,
Opotiki, New Zealand




FRED DAVIS GETS IT. His admonition is reflective of his single pointedness and intention–his ground rules for lunch, “I’m not here to discuss the weather, sports, or find a new friend. I’m interested in waking up. If you are too, let’s talk.” We spent the next hour and a half the way Fred spends his every waking moment – looking for truth. Ironic, for me, is Fred’s continual use of acceptance and surrender which is brought to bear on my clenching grasp on duality. Ironic in that he is coaching me to use acceptance and surrender to release, let go, and abandon my beliefs in order to see clearly. I didn’t need another or more beliefs, I needed fewer, far fewer. I fully know his teaching is there for as long as I have the will to wake up and stay awake.

~Larry Coble,
West Columbia, SC


  1. Scott in Seattle


Trying to get one’s head around non-duality or awakening can be a mind numbingly difficult task; after all, we are dealing with that which lies beyond our every day experience and, therefore, that which we can readily understand through language. Fred’s gift lies in his ability to hold your hand and take you step by step, specifically and unambiguously, into that which you are not as well as that which you are. Anyone can say “you are not your body and mind” or “you are the ocean from which the wave of your being arises” but Fred doesn’t take refuge in metaphors or concepts. Now, my mind is stubborn and often dictatorial but Fred, in his wisdom, put a check mate on my mind. Even as my mind rose up and said “Yeah, but…”, Fred was patient and clear, showing me (not telling me) the ground of my being and, simultaneously, the ground of all being.Whether your practice involves meditation, contemplation, inquiry, reading or whatever else helps along your path, Fred can only deepen the awareness. Unlike some non-duality figures these days, he reaches across the divide to meet you where you are instead of filling you with platitudes you’ll forget by the next cup of coffee. He is grounded, pragmatic, and understands that the ability to know our true self is as applicable and available to the monk in a cave as much as it is for the office building janitor. Before you go to India or drop thousands on an extended retreat, give Fred a try. I may be a seeker but I have no desire to remain one indefinitely. Fred’s sessions were a huge step to knowing, to the end of seeking, to residing in the place where questions no longer take hold. And there’s a good chance he’ll make you laugh along the way.


Hi Fred,
The Clarity Workshop was awesome, thank you so much for doing it. I love the group setting — even though we don’t interact with each other much, it’s fun to look at and listen with all the different faces. And ultimately we all have the same questions so whoever you’re talking to, you’re talking to each of us.

The workshop is aptly named because Oneness shone through us all with greater clarity today. Or at least it did for this unit. It is so helpful to do have a post-awakening resource.

Thank you so much!!!

Much love,


Thank You for what felt like the broadening of the subject matter and at the same time bringing it into clearer pinpointed focus.

Suffice it to say you spoke of the Source and this Unit was all focused as you spoke.

Sharing – one event from long ago after reading from a book of
Either Eckhart or Adya – can’t remember – I began to meditate and all of a sudden I was the void – void and – sense of looking Out and being It at the same time so to speak.

The session this afternoon cleared up and cleared out and brought into focus thoughts this unit was working with and saw them as thoughts, not my thoughts, and not for something to be done with, just thoughts.

It’s like there’s nothing more to work at thinking about.
I thoroughly love how you convey, share and hit home the points that are expressed.

With Gratitude,


Dear Fred,

A very special experience of sharing and being lifted. The workshop was extremely helpful, clear and above all razor sharp without any mystical frills.  I wasn’t  just a spectator to the others’ questions; they became my questions too! Yeah, there’s no me anyway, but that’s the experience of it. You didn’t stop until each and every one of us could see the absurdity of body/mind identification from the perspective of Oneness.

Definitely doing it again. Heartfelt thanks.



Your description of the time you watched yourself from “above” astonished me, for in 1984 I had a similar experience and it was most peculiar.  My body was lying on the kitchen floor, and  “I” was observing the body on the floor, as if from afar.  For me, hearing that today was a “whoa~aha~how cool” moment.  🙂   Through years of studying Tolle’s Now message, the irony is there is no “message,” once, as you define it, the Unit steps aside and allows.  Somehow, the pieces fell into place today.  Thank you. 

I thoroughly enjoyed today’s session and thank you for facilitating the transmission.  To use today’s vernacular, it was awesome!

Kind regards,



Dear Fred,

Well, as you stated in your information and tech sheet sent to us before the workshop, “If you are willing to tell yourself the truth, you’ll wake up…” Yep, that’s what happened during today’s Clarity Workshop.  Oneness moved through this body like a roaring ocean wave, washing CaSandra freely away. Dissolved. Something parted and what was forefront was all soooo clear. Because of computer difficulties, I never was able to ask that burning question. Ha!

In deep gratitude. What a blessing to have been with you and the others.



Hi Fred,

I would just like to thank you for hosting this online workshop today.  It was really very good in spite of the technical problems at the start, and you generously gave us some extra time, so I would thoroughly recommend it as great value for money.  Even though awakening happened here over a year ago, though not with you, questions still arise from time to time, and it is good to know there is a resource out there that can clear them up. My question in the meeting about ‘saving the planet’ (which I also feel drawn to do) was a concrete example of a problem that has recently emerged, namely how to bring the perspective of the Absolute to this Relativity that the units seem to live in (the Dream or the manifestation).  The Robert unit worries that if it gets it ‘wrong,’ it is because what happened was not a full or deep awakening but just partial or perhaps even false–a delusion.  From today’s workshop, I learned that this is a case of believing a random thought, (the thought being something like ‘You are a fraud because you care about people and the planet and Oneness doesn’t.’).

The workshop and your books and videos are helping me to sort this out, but I feel I am not there yet.  Whatever, I plan to sign up for the July workshop, so I’ll see you then.



Dear Fred,

The call could not have been more perfect—from the technical difficulties in the beginning to the dogs barking in the background !!!  It was not so much about a shift, as it was a wonderful review of your teaching, as well as a realization that all of us humans really do have the same issues, even with awakening.  So I can relax knowing that truly all is well, and stabilization will happen when it does.  My favorite part was your outrageous laugh, which is a teaching in and of itself, as well as a reminder that life is, and we are, pretty darn funny!!! How lucky are we to be able to have a “person to person” clarity session for an affordable price!!! Count me in for any future sessions!!



Dear Fred, 

Thank you so much for your generosity & warmth in today’s clarity session.

I feel SO LUCKY to have participated in the Living Method over the last 10 months.

There is NO QUESTION that if it were not for the Living Method, I would be one of the people stranded on the landing of the staircase – from your vision – never making it up the stairs. 

I love how PITILESS the Living Method is, yet you deliver it with such joy and good humor.

I hope your elbow stays immobilized until your surgery, so your pain is minimized as much as possible. 






Thank you so much for the awakening/clarity session.  I didn’t realize we’d had such a long session until it ended.  Thank you for being so generous, as always. 

The analogy you liked was that looking for a point in space where awareness isn’t is like looking for a spot of darkness with a light.  Feel free to steal, as it didn’t come from me anyway.

You’re the best, Oneness!





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More Client Testimonials


Why bother to get a teacher?


SPIRITUAL TEACHINGS ARE TYPICALLY LAYERED. For example, sacred literature, whether it was written a thousand years ago or the day before yesterday, can only reveal to us what we’re already prepared to see. There is a wealth of terrific information and a ton of fabulous pointers in plain sight every day. We can’t see them until we can. We don’t understand them until we do. Yet, once awakening occurs, things that were once overwhelmingly vague and arcane become as clear and solid as glass. Of course, opening never ends; that’s both the nature and the joy of the game. We see more and more and more. We know less and less and less.

SOMETHING SIMILAR OCCURS WITH OUR TEACHERS AND MENTORS. They may be telling us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, but we’re only going to get what we get until we’re ready to receive more. This is what Jesus meant when he said, “He who hath ears, let him hear.” It’s not all up to our teachers; in fact, a great deal of it is not up to them. Nonetheless, they can be incredibly valuable no matter where we are on the path.

WE TEND TO RESPOND TO OUR TEACHERS IN MUCH THE SAME WAY as Mark Twain spoke of his father. The older he got, the smarter his father seemed to get! The longer we pursue the spiritual quest with an authentic teacher, the smarter he or she will seem to get–all because we grew, with their help, a whole new set of eyes and ears. If we want to find water, we don’t dig a whole lot of shallow holes. We dig one deep one. We tend to read and search broadly, but not so deeply. Find what works and stick with it a good long while.

WHILE MY TEACHING IS NOW WORLDWIDE, my overall life experience is mostly with Americans, so I’ll stick with what I know. In the United States, we are a people in a hurry. We are like a nation of cats: we want to be wherever we aren’t. We want to start a practice, or work with a teacher, just so we can graduate. We are doing this so we can do that. We are enduring the here and now just so that we can get then and there.

THIS IS A NO-WIN APPROACH IN SPIRITUALITY. If we’re not established in Nondual awareness and our teacher is, we shouldn’t egoically minimize the theoretical gulf between our experience and theirs. That shuts the Light right off. Patience and earnestness are critical if we want to walk through the Gateless Gate and join them. The good news here is that this apparent gulf simply means the teacher has a lot to offer us. As one of my mentors says, we don’t want to be in the position of following someone who’s twenty minutes ahead of us. Yes, they may be able to help a little, but the deeper the well, the longer you can draw from it.

NOW THAT I’VE MADE THAT FLAT STATEMENT, let me swoop in and take it away as well. Many of us begin as followers of the really well-known teachers. I’ll wager that Eckhart Tolle has reached more people on the planet than just about all the other teachers put together. Followers of the famous Watkins Books spiritual book store in London recently voted him the most influential spiritual personality on the planet. It’s a no-brainer. The only other contender is the Dalai Lama, who was number two.

AND IF YOU’RE JIM CARREY, OR OPRAH WINFREY, I’m sure Eckhart is a very cool person to hang out with. But how about us? Most of us are neither rich nor famous, and won’t come anywhere near to even meeting Eckhart, much less getting any direct, one-on-one teaching from him. I’m using Eckhart as the example here, simply because he’s so well known, but a similar situation exists with Adyashanti, Gangaji, Byron Katie, and a few other really big names.

YOU MAY GET TO TALK to Adya at an intensive or a retreat, and you might get to sit on the dais with Gangaji or Katie for twenty minutes in one of their meetings, but none of them is going to be able to do much for you directly and at length in the way that a hands-on teacher can. Frankly, a lot of that is show-biz. It’s fine, I get it, I’m even on board with it, and I personally love all of those people I mentioned, but we need to recognize their limitations, too.

EVEN IF OUR TEACHERS ARE A LONG WAY OFF FROM US PHYSICALLY, ultimately there’s only One Thing Going On. Space is just an idea, and Skype has proven to me that it’s an incredibly effective tool for what we’re doing. Ultimately, the difference between walking this path with a one-on-one teacher, with whom you can develop a relationship of candor, intimacy, and trust, and walking it with a big name you’ll probably never, ever chat privately with for an hour, or two, or ten, is beyond large: it’s unfathomable.

I NEVER HAD A ONE-ON-ONE TEACHER until after I woke up, and the cloudy awakeness of those early years cannot compare to the clarity and stability that good teachers have helped me find. If we have a one-on-one teacher, our journey is also less likely to remain one that revolves around ego. Nearly all of us start with egoic spiritual desires. That’s fine, it’s a stage. What matters is where we end up. But it’s critical to realize that in the absence of a teacher, we’re trying to guide ourselves to a place we’ve never even been.

A TEACHER CAN HELP US STAY OUT OF THAT STEW by calling us on unconscious thinking and behavior. Even if we come to realize the truth of No-self, we still inherit one hell of a sticky story. How does my head get me out of my head? Once we establish a friendly relationship with a teacher—and an effective one-on-one teacher should be in a friendly relationship-of-equals with his or her clients and students—then having that teacher yank us back from the dream and into reality is, at least in this teaching, the bulk of the teacher’s function. Otherwise you can wander forever, you really, really can.

IT’S NICE TO GET OUTSIDE CONFIRMATION of what we’re experiencing, and where we are along the path. Is confirmation necessary? No. Is it generally beneficial? Oh yes. For one thing, it gives us confidence that, as I shared with a friend recently, “We aren’t just sitting in our living rooms smoking spirituality.” That’s really easy to do.

EGO IS MORE THAN HAPPY TO GRANT CONFIRMATION of all our grandiose notions of where we are on the path, and what’s going to happen when we’re discovered and transformed into spiritual royalty. From the very beginning of our journey, ego has been looking forward to being enlightened, and is happy as all get-out when it decides it’s gotten there! Oh, the specialness of it! This is always a false reading; no exception granted. That doesn’t mean our seeing wasn’t authentic. It means that what’s currently grasping that seeing isn’t authentic.

THERE’S NO PROBLEM IN BEING either a seed or a sapling. All great trees were once the same. Trouble only starts if a seed or a sapling begins to believe it’s already a tree. I see it all the time. We can do a lot of damage to ourselves and others if we end up in that position. And it’s all too easy to stay there, because the only way we can get out of it is to admit we’re wrong. Who wants to do that? The willingness to jettison “rightness” and “righteousness” is not common, and neither is the humility required to remain in an open, not-knowing space of being. The thing that knows is the thing that has to be jettisoned.

CONTRARY TO MANY POPULAR REPORTS, there are no firm laws in any of this. Awakeness can and does work anyway it wants to, any time it wants to, with anyone it wants to. Having said that, it’s fair to say that the sort of direction handed out by well known spiritual teachers with large followings, however good that advice or clear those pointers may be for that specific questioner, may not work well for us, and almost certainly will not work for us indefinitely. We have to grow those ears.

THE FURTHER WE GO, THE MORE SPECIFIC ADVICE WE’RE GOING TO NEED, well on into awakening. Only ego wants to graduate from the student’s chair. I make an effort to keep myself in it. As Suzuki-Roshi taught us, Beginner’s Mind is an open mind. In this teaching, I live and die by the Law of Large Numbers. What works most often for most people? Almost all of us, if we’re to “succeed” in the apparent spiritual journey, will need a sharper finger pointing at the moon than generalities can provide–one that knows something about where we are on the path and in our lives, in order to do some direct pointing and counseling that’s specifically for us.

THERE ARE PLENTY OF GOOD TEACHERS available if we’re simply willing to avail ourselves of them. Ego, of course, if it’s not going to be groomed by the famous, often wants us to do it all itself, because at least that way there’s no close scrutiny of our thinking and seeing, and we get to magically advance to any level we wish, just as fast as we want to! Sadly, most of us will also get to pay the ultimate price for that, which is magnified delusion and continued suffering.

IT’S CERTAINLY NOT THE FAMOUS TEACHERS’ FAULT that they may ultimately become limited in their value to us. No matter how awake they may be, no matter long their experience, extensive their expertise, and how brilliant their clarity, they are still human beings. Human beings come with limitations, and time is one of them. Having thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of followers may be a good problem for a teacher to have, but it’s no quite so hot for the student.

THE “SECONDARY” LINE OF TEACHERS is where the gold lies. There are a lot of brightly awake, talented and devoted nondual teachers in our community. For the most part, these folks are at least pretty good, and some of them are very good at what they do. With rare exception, you will get more out of an afternoon with a pretty good one-on-one teacher than an excellent general meeting.

DON’T ASSUME THAT LESS-KNOWN TEACHERS ARE “LESS AWAKE” OR “LESS CLEAR” than their better known counterparts. Many of them just as clear. Some of them may even be sharper than many of their better-known contemporaries. Our community is not an island unto itself. Sex appeal, charisma, and the “cool factor” play about as large a role in our community as they do anywhere else. The fact is that any currently awake teacher can help the great majority of as-yet-unawakened seekers who have the luck to spend time with them; there’s no question whatsoever about that.

AND REMEMBER, EFFECTIVE NONDUAL TEACHING IS EASILY MEASURED. We’re awake, or we’re not. Others are waking up around us, thus proving the effectiveness of our teacher, or they’re not. Clarity is the only yardstick worth using. Do we really want freedom, or a charming, attractive star to shine up our self image? Are we really serious, or really not? It pays to ask ourselves these things.

AS WE TRAVEL ALL THE MYRIAD PATHS we find ourselves on during the course of our spiritual career, we want to use our common sense to guide us. We don’t ever “give ourselves up” to a teacher. What’s all that about? In my opinion, we want to look very, very carefully at any teacher who suggests we do so. Again with rare exception, Awakeness would not care about that sort of concession, but ego would be crazy about it. If we are anxious to give ourselves over to a teacher, we are lost before we begin.

IT’S A GOOD THING TO REMEMBER that however wonderful our teacher might be, they are still human beings. Sex, money and power have pulled down many an awake being. We want to be our brother’s keeper in this, too. We are all intelligent people; nonduality doesn’t attract much of anything else. We want to use a teaching to help us cross the ocean, not fall in love with an anchor that holds us stationary, or even underwater.

WE CAN LOVE AND RESPECT OUR TEACHERS without getting stupid. After all, it’s our path; let’s take some responsibility for it.


I have worked with people associated with all the major traditions: Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Transcendental Meditators and Zen practitioners, as well as a whole lot of people with no allegiance to any religion or sect at all. You don’t have to give up your faith to benefit from The Living Method. Come wake up and return to your own tradition with a new understanding and experience of what moved and inspired the original founders of your faith.

“The life which is unexamined is not worth living.”




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