Then you’re in the right place.
Spiritual awakening is the single most important event of our lives.
It is the dividing line between fantasy and authenticity, between what isn’t and What Is.
Awakening is the invisible bridge that leads you from hope into fulfillment.
For the last five years Fred has worked internationally with seekers at all levels of development.
The vast majority, regardless of previous beliefs, came to recognize True Nature in about an hour.
He doesn’t tell you about enlightenment, he takes you there and actually shows it to you.
Fred then helps you begin to accept the truth of realization, thus moving you more deeply into it.
He pulls the curtain on the very mechanisms of the dream itself, thereby reducing their pull.
Whether you’ve had a series of awakening experiences, or you’ve yet to have your first,
The Living Method of Spiritual Awakening will almost surely work for you where nothing else has.
If you genuinely want to quit seeking and take the leap into immediate discovery, this is for you.
Come join the hundreds and hundreds of beings who’ve found freedom through The Living Method.
Book These Sessions to Wake Up for the First Time, or the Last Time
(1) 90-Minute Awakening Session
(2) 60-Minute Clarity Sessions
Please pay now. I’ll confirm your payment as soon as I see it, and then my wife Betsy will write you
within a day to help you get set up. I am frequently booked several weeks in advance. Clients
are financially responsible for no-shows, or appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours notice.
Because Awakening Is More Than Just an Event
Clarity Sessions are available to those who honestly believe they are already presently awake.
The post-awakening state can be very confusing. The impact of these
open-topic, spontaneously arising, one-on-one sessions
can be tremendous. The focus is always on meeting clients
and students where they are, to skillfully encourage
increased clarity and thus accelerate the movement
toward what we usually term abidance and embodiment.
60-Minute Clarity Sessions
All Sessions Are Online Only
Sessions take place via Zoom video.
You will receive a link by email at the time of your appointment.
Please make checks out to Awakening Clarity Now and mail to:
754 Poinsettia Street
Columbia, SC 29205
Morning meeting begins at 11:00 am Eastern.
Midday meeting begins at 1:00 pm Eastern.
Afternoon meeting begins at 3:00 pm Eastern.
Late afternoon meeting begins at 4:30 Eastern.
The Eastern time zone EST/EDT is the zone where New York City is located.
Schedule can be adjusted slightly to accommodate clients who live in distant time zones.
Link to easy time converter: http://www.worldtimebuddy.com/
~Come join us for two full hours of satsang on most Sundays~
~Affordably connect with a clear, approachable, accessible teacher.
~Everyone is welcome, some members are already awake.
~Meet Fred in person and ask those burning questions.
~Get confirmation on “where you are now.”
~And guidance on “where you are going.”
~Find out what can be done to deepen and accelerate your awakening.
It’s not enough to just “wake up.” We have to “clear up” as well.
Satsang is held three times a month at 2:00 pm New York time.
Click here to find out more about satsang
Please click HERE for details.
(This program is currently full. Please write us to be put on the waiting list.)
Are you presently a spiritual teacher?
Do you want to learn how to be more helpful to your clients and students?
Would you like to learn how to actually wake people up?
Let me help you help them.
Write for rates and availability.
“Statistically, the rate you have been instrumental in
helping others to awaken is almost unparalleled in history.”
20-Year Meditation Teacher
“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.”
“I hear from Fred Davis that you are soon to be doing an interview with him, so I just wanted to let you know, (and I am happy for you to mention this is your interview) that yesterday I had a two-hour Skype session with him where he put me through his unique “Living Method” of inquiry. And I just wanted to tell you, Rick, that it was absolutely fantastic. It was the clearest way of directly pointing to the I AM of my Source that I have ever experienced. I think he is an amazing Teacher. I already felt that I was pretty well awakened and clear about who I AM NOT and somewhat clear about who I AM, but since his session I have huge clarity about who I AM.”
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!
I got so much out of working with Fred. I got everything and nothing! There are three main reasons I would recommend a session with Fred.
First, it’s FUN!!!! I met Fred for the first time on our call and it felt like I was talking to an old friend just having a really good time. Over the course of the meeting there was a lot of laughter and joy. My absolute favorite is when Fred cracks up over something he says. It’s a blast.
Second, you feel like you’re dancing with Fred, or more so, he’s dancing with you. He makes it so easy. You can’t get anything wrong. Wherever you go with your questions, it’s the right way.
Finally, and most importantly (but without significance), you WILL GET IT! Fred has a way of really giving you access to seeing what there is to see so you own it for yourself.
It was a great experience and I highly recommend it. Thanks Fred!!!
listed further down, and also here.
January 30, 2016
Today I worked with the son of one of my favorite students, a woman who woke up with me last year, and who’s doing really well. Today’s Awakening Session had its own set of challenges, as all of them do, but in the end he woke up clearly. We then ran long, because I really wanted to “get him established” within Awakeness, and I did just that.
By the way, his “being established” today doesn’t mean there won’t be any oscillation tomorrow. He’s already familiar with the I-got-it/I-lost-it movement–he’s had numerous glimpses before, but none of them could ever stick due to some very common, but tricky, reflexive conditioning that he was believing. I helped him see through all of that, which freed him.
It makes a huge difference to wake up in the presence of someone who’s already there, and who’s been there for a long time. When I was a seeker I chased every red herring that’s available for seekers to chase, both before and after awakening. Thus I generally know what a newly awakened being’s mind is going to tell them before their mind even begins its destabilizing trickery. Guided penetration of the character’s story is often the difference between “seeing/being truth” and looking past it, which is pretty much what everyone ordinarily does.
Anyway, as soon as I signed off with him, I immediately emailed his mother, Patti, to give her the good news from my end. The subject line of my email read, “I have a new friend!” And I do.
A few minutes later I got this note back from her.
Just got off the phone with him and he said: “Wow! Thanks Mom, Fred is amazing and absolutely the right teacher for me!”
He filled me in and I’m thrilled for him. It’s the exact right moment/time/space for him to be where he is! Not surprised he’s been oscillating for all these years. Now he can really BE.
Thank you Fred. I really enjoyed listening to you point the way home. The understanding is taking root and I feel the way is direct and accessible at all times.
This fall, I felt inspired to guide mindfulness walks with friends mostly. We walk for 45 minutes, paying attention to body sensations, smells, sounds, and sights, then we spend 15 minutes meditating on a bench along the wooded path. The experience brings us great joy, and the feeling of Being is very pronounced after walking with focused concentration. I experience this alongside the person I am walking with. Several people report feelings of oneness or loss of body contact. I don’t set out to achieve any particular state, so I’m always surprised when my friends describe what sounds like an awakening experience.
With each walk I feel a little more rooted in reality. Experiencing oneness as oneness, not as much Tanya. I get the sense that this is the role I’m to play as this unit.
Fred, I honour your humility and honesty. Your message is clear, funny, direct and conveyed in a compassionate manner. I feel a real trust in you as a spiritual guide. I still have two clarity sessions to use up, but I’ll wait to let this steep and hope to connect with you further down the path.
Much love and appreciation for all that you do to bring about a shift in human consciousness and “a new earth.”
I’ve been on a long journey of seeking, and certainly not devoid of struggle and suffering, clawing my way. I had recently read several books about enlightenment, consciousness, mindfulness, awakening, well you name it, I read it, workshopped it, YouTubed it. When searching for the next book out of a list of hundreds, what got picked, The Book of Unknowing, by a Fred Davis.
Fred has a unique, playful, accessible way of awakening a wide, diverse range of people like myself. He dissolves all untruths. He goes right to the heart of the matter with clarity and compassion. I can tell you without a doubt what Fred does during an Awaking Session, IT WORKS!!! In two hours or less? YES! I can truly say for the first time I experienced a profound, deep gratitude for Everything, Life. I cannot describe in words my sense of awakening. Thank you, Fred, your passion, heart and love are truly genuine.
~Barb, Seattle Washington, July 2015
I kept putting off taking Fred Davis’s online Living Method Awakening Session until I…finished another book….was at a more spiritual place….was a little bit more prepared….was not as distracted by my day-to-day life… Then I realized that I could wait myself out of this opportunity. (What if something happened to me? What if something happens to Fred?) So I finally took the plunge, and I am so glad that I did.
Fred Davis really did it! He woke me up and I haven’t looked back! He has a treasure trove full of techniques and skillfully guides you down the garden path to awakeness — this is the guru we’ve been looking for. I am “eternally” grateful. Thanks Fred!!!!
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
I was a seeker for many, many years and feel much gratitude to Fred and his teaching techniques for guiding me to realize my Awareness. Fred is a Master Teacher and a kind human being. It was a pleasure to work with him and I am thankful to my friend who recommended him to me. He said, “You say you want to wake up. Contact Fred.” Thank goodness I followed his advice.
Elaine, Ithaca NY
November 12, 2014
I woke up to find this email in my inbox this morning. I wrote the author, and Scott has given me permission to print it. Just below his email, you’ll find the comment Scott refers to below, which I’m also reprinting. I was just on the radio with Jerry Katz and Gary Falk, and Gary, also a successful Living Method of Awakening client, summed up his experience with these words: “The Living Method delivers.” Thanks to Scott, Jerry and Gary for your help in promoting global clarity.
One more note. The seeker lifestyle that Scott mentions is one of the biggest and most common traps out there. I deal with it regularly. Take a look and see if you’re clinging to that. The chief problem is, once you become a finder, you no longer fit in the seeking circle. However, just as soon as you bypass your awakening in favor of another spiritual experience, you’ll once again fit right in. Are you looking for comfort, or freedom?
(Also see Scott’s additional comments directly under his letter.)
Hi Fred –
It’s Scott from Seattle, grew up in Palo Alto. We had a session on October 18th and I just wanted to thank you again. I went to the retreat in California that I mentioned, but I left early. It felt wrong, off, something wasn’t right. I found myself surrounded by hippie-type women hoping to awaken the goddess within – in other words, perpetual seekers. I have no interest in seeking as a lifestyle; my interest lies in seeking in order to end seeking.
Our session still resonates with me. Specifically the parts where you broke down the body to locate self and, wonder of wonders, it wasn’t there. And getting up into space and disappearing to realize the constant awareness that we’re all ALL that is. My small mind is still fighting for survival but its grip is loosening, in no small part to your work. Yesterday I had the thought that merely to think “I am not Awake” is a fallacy on its face. That which can declare such a statement must come from the small mind, that which is not our true self, ergo, the statement must be false! I’m pretty sure you said as much during the session which leads me to believe the seeds are sprouting.
I’ve been watching your videos as prescribed and I’m enjoying them very much. Your down-to-earth approach is a breath of fresh air in a non-duality world that overflows with ambiguity. In my estimation, this isn’t spiritual work, it’s reality work. Your common-sense ability to dispel the “mystery” of true self is very refreshing. I put a comment on the testimonials page that I hope captures the essence of what I’m saying here.
Thanks again –
~Scott from Seattle, WA
Comments on “TESTIMONIALS”
Just to say a most sincere thank you for your wonderful guidance yesterday – I sensed your alertness to the way I was responding to you, and the choices you have at your disposal –the “tools” to make that guidance most effective.
I am “all one.” This is such a revolutionary approach you’ve shown me – a bridgehead / foothold into Reality; a subtle, but revolutionary way of looking at Everything – by 180 degrees, in fact! Also, there are wonderful videos to watch for prompts and inspiration – please don’t stop those videos!
May you continue in your unique way, with your wisdom and humor, forever, here and now. Bless yourself!
…and thank you once, again – love you, Fred,
Michael R., Bangor, North Wales, UK
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
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
CLARITY WORKSHOP REVIEWS
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!!!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!!
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!
Thanks for the wonderful satsang yesterday! I was excited to hear you have slots open for your continuing students program–
if they haven’t been snatched up already, I’d be happy to join!
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.
“The life which is unexamined is not worth living.”
These meetings are for spiritual connection,
and are not intended as a substitute for psychotherapy,
addiction therapy, medical care, legal, or any other technical advice.
Please consult a licensed professional in all of these matters.