When I first started to teach, I taught in a satsang style that is typical of many teachers of non-duality in the West, and increasingly in the East too: we would meet in a group, maybe have a bit of silence at the start, maybe a quick introductory few sentences from myself. Then someone would ask a question, and I would answer. Another question, another answer, and so on.
Afterwards many people told me about how good they felt being at the meetings, how wonderful the energy was, how appreciative they were of me and of the support from the rest of the group. And I liked it too. I enjoyed sharing the teachings with people who were genuinely interested.
So, why did I stop?
Because it wasn’t working. Simple.
Sure – people felt good. Sure – people felt they were getting answers. And sure – people felt they were ‘progressing’. But as they say: ‘the proof is in the pudding.’ Feeling good and getting the answers are great, but for me that’s not enough.
The teachings needs to penetrate to the core of you and lead to a genuine realisation, a lived realisation, and not just empty concepts that don’t actually free us from suffering. That’s what I want for you, genuine Freedom, and I hope that’s what you want for yourself. Settle for nothing less.
People were not getting the teachings. And I thought I was explaining it all perfectly (lol!). Why were they not getting it? Why were they not listening? They seem to be listening. They seemed to be trying to listen. Yet the words didn’t seem to be working, falling on deaf ears.
The power of ignorance
I started to realise just how powerful and pervasive the root ignorance was, how tricky and slippery it was. Whatever answer was being given was turned into a tool for perpetuating the ego. No matter what answer was given, it was heard by the ego, gobbled up and the ego got bigger. Ignorance was not cut asunder at the root, it was actually often being fueled.
I started to realise that there were some basic mistakes that people kept on making, and no matter how many times I explained it to them, for the most part these mistakes were not being corrected. There wasn’t just one mistake, but a whole series of mistakes that were being made by most seekers. I began to spot patterns emerging and designing remedies for these mistakes.
Don’t get me wrong. Satsang is and can be a wonderful and powerful tool for genuine realisaton. The teachings given are both verbal and non-verbal. But my experience was that Satsang alone, for most people, isn’t enough. Not unless you are already very ‘ripe’or ‘ready’.
The ignorance is too deep rooted and strong. There are too many misconceptions and false assumptions that can be answered in a simple Q&A format. Instead a more careful study is required. Instead the mind needs to be exposed to a structured teaching that has been designed to remove the ignorance at the root. A teaching that has been structured in such a way that it makes it more difficult for the ego to take it and turn it into a way of perpetuating itself. A teaching that, as much as possible, is accurate and makes sense. A teaching that is clear and removes confusion rather than increases confusion…
‘The Structured Teachings’
As I designed the remedies for the mistakes that were being made time after time in the seekers I came across, I realised that I was simply re-creating re-existing technologies. Suprise suprise, someone had already done this before me. As a seeker I had spent many years trawling through the original texts of various spiritual traditions, often in their original language, trying to decipher what it all meant and discover the truth for myself. Along the way I had conceptually learnt about a large number of teachings and techniques. Now I was starting to appreciate many of them in a much deeper way. They all started to make more sense. I began to see how certain teachings worked together against specific mistakes that seekers were making. The structured teaching were being born – I was stealing many of them from existing traditions, especially vedanta and buddhism, and giving them my own unique twist, updating them for today’s world.
I now teach the structured teachings both online and in person in Kingston Upon Thames (London, UK). They have proved to be very successful in that several people have ended sometimes years of seeking with these teachings and made a genuine discovery of the Freedom-that-already-is for themselves.
If this interests you, why not join me? See tomdas.com/events for more details