Join us! Regular Non-Duality & Spirituality Meetings Online and In Person

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Why not join us? We meet in person (London, UK) and online most weeks to discuss non-duality and spirituality. All are welcome, no prior knowledge is required.
Click here for more details or click on the ‘meetings tab above.

The problem with Satsang

broken glass enlightenment satsang
Beautifully flawed

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.

The remedy

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.

Join me

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

Poetry: Unplug Yourself

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Unplug yourself:
For the one caught,
Hard and fast,
In the snare of society,
A period of sustained abstinence is necessary.

Unplug yourself:
From the media
From television
The radio.

Unplug yourself:
From naratives
In films
In books
In magazines.

Unplug yourself:
From idle chatter
From gossip
From social status.

Don’t believe the Hype.
Don’t believe the promise of a future happiness,
That lies outside of yourself,
Just around the corner,
In that Ferari,
In that person,
In that experience,
In that object.

Let go,
Let go of egoic desire,
Let go of that future promise of pleasure,
Let go of the pull of sensual desire,
Do not be afraid to feel that pain.

Be open,
Be open to your feelings,
Do not be afraid to think your thoughts,
Do not be afraid of what is.

Unplug yourself:
For the one caught,
Hard and fast,
In the snare of society,
A period of sustained abstinence is necessary.

Unplug yourself:
from your thoughts and mind.
This is the real unplugging:
Being unplugged from thoughts and mind.

I repeat:
This is the real unplugging:
Being unplugged from thoughts and mind.

Immerse yourself in Pure Consciousness,
Devoid of Mind, Body and World,
Ever-Free,
Joyous,
Full of love and light.

Remain here,
Until what has to be done,
Is done.

Remain here,
in Lovingness and Light,
Until what has to be done,
Is done.

Poetry: O! Murderous Heart!

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Allow the mind to sink,
down down down,
down into the Heart.

Allow the mind to rest,
allow the thoughts to still,
and allow the Joy and Bliss,
(which is none other than the purifying Heart itself)
to well up.

Allow this to happen,
quite naturally,
unforced,
and paradoxically with no expectation.

The mind quietens,
and temporarily,
the self-centred egoic process does not exist.

With repeated cessation of the mind,
the self-image-centred ego is submerged,
then through time it is weakened,
and eventually it is consumed by the Gracious Heart.

Then all is left is Purity,
just Purity Purity Purity;
the resplendent Heart,
Bounteous,
Over-spilling with Joy.

The Energy,
seemingly boundless,
everywhere and everything…

…How can you speak of this?

My words are uttered in poetry,
not prose,
destined two fall upon the attentive ears
of one who has already discovered
the intoxication of the Self.

O! Murderous Heart!
You have smothered me,
Warmly and tenderly,
In the heat of your Love,
Where am I to be found?!

O!Words cannot describe Your wonder,
Your effulgence,
Your light,
Your love…

…words fill me with glory
Yours and Mine;
our glory is but One Glory:
it is Me,
and it has nothing to do with me;
it is Mine,
and yet it is not mine;
it is here,
but it is no particular thing;
it is everything,
but not even everything.

Yes…words cannot touch this,
yet these words spew forth,
like an idiot talking to a drunkard,
somehow it all makes perfect sense.

THIS THURSDAY ONLINE MEETING: The Structured ‘Enlightenment’ Teachings

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Hello everyone

This Thursday in our ONLINE meeting we start another run through ‘The Structured Teachings’. As many of you already know, this way of teaching is proving to be highly effective with several attendees already ‘getting it’ in recent months, ending their seeking and watching their suffering slip away…

We start with the basics and gradually build up from there. Eventually we go beyond all verbal teachings. The aim is to create crystal clarity, dispel the confusion that exists in the spiritual market place, and allow each and everyone of you to understand and realise the Freedom that already is here for yourself. Not to just have a conceptual understanding, but actually have a genuine lived realisation for ‘yourself’.

There are many ways to this, beliefs are not required and you can discover all of this for yourself. The Structured Teachings take you through this, step-by-step.

When:

Starting this Thusday 20th July online (8pm UK time) and the following Thursday 27th July in Kingston UK (7pm)

For more details of how to join see the meetup site: www.meetup.com/Non-duality-Kingston-London

For more details of the teachings see www.TomDas.com

Hope to see you soon

With love and friendship

Tom

 

This post was taken from here: www.meetup.com/Non-duality-Kingston-London/messages/boards/

Can you teach enlightenment? The energetic shift of enlightenment and driving a car

Being Fearless non-duality

I’m really pleased to say that the way I am sharing these teachings seems to be working. Several people who have either been attending my meetings or having 1 to 1’s with me are waking up to what is being pointed at here, and having a first-hand realisation of the Freedom-that-already-is for themselves. Their suffering is melting away and the Freedom that is already here and non-different from everyday life is patently obvious to them.

You can’t really put this Freedom into words,  but luckily you don’t really need to. Just as to give someone directions to St Paul’s Cathedral you don’t need to describe the cathedral – you just point them in the right direction – eg. ‘go straight ahead and take the first road on the left and you’ll see the big white domed building in front of you’.

One of the reasons the teaching is working so well is due to their clarity and straightforwardness. I’d like to give you an example:

The bumpy car

Let me give you an analogy for enlightenment: imagine driving in a car in which a stone is stuck to the outside of one of the wheels on the car, causing the car to bump up and down as it drives along.

Now imagine that this stone suddenly fell away from the wheel (enlightenment). The passengers in the car would experience a bumpy journey (suffering) suddenly transform into a smooth pleasurable gliding driving experience (no suffering).

An energetic shift

The passengers in the car at the could describe this experience as an ‘experiential shift’ or ‘energetic shift’. One moment they were suffering. The next everything became smooth and aligned and life just felt better. Friction was taken out of the system and the car was able to drive faster and more efficiently. There was an ‘energetic shift’.

The important thing to note here is that while the energetic shift was certainly experienced in this example, it is a symptom or effect of a deeper cause, namely the stone no longer being attached to one of the wheels.

Spontaneous enlightenment

If a person spontaneously becomes enlightened and then goes on to teach, often they will describe the experience of their enlightenment and teach in that way. They may say that enlightenment is an experiential shift, and, even worse, say there is nothing you can do to attain it. If the teacher has not retrospectively analysed their own experience, they will themselves not realise what exactly happened to them. They may say what happened to them is a mystery (and so stopping the inquiry) – instead of simply saying a more honest ‘I don’t know’ (which leaves the door for inquiry and investigation open).

It is just like the passengers in the bumpy car describing what their experience was like, but never opening the car door, stepping outside and investigating what actually happened to them. They  do not realise that it was the stone being removed from the wheel that eased their suffering. For the passengers in our story, the stone spontaneously fell away, but there are also other more purposeful ways of removing the stone which also have the same effect.

Note that whilst this way of sharing may still be effective as it is coming from a genuine realisation/experience, and that can resonate with seekers, but it is a much less effective teaching method as the root cause of the experiential or energetic shift is not actually being exposed and taught.

A structured teaching

What is implicit in the above illustration is that there is a mechanism to enlightenment. I say there is. Enlightenment is a discrete event, it has several specific causes, and it has several predictable effects. Enlightenment is something that happens to an apparent individual. The Freedom that was always present is discovered and recognised. The Freedom is not something that happens – it is not an event and it was always here – but the discovery/recognition is an event that happens.

Similarly Freedom itself cannot be put into words and cannot be contained/understood by the mind, but the pointers towards freedom can be clearly expressed, just as the example I gave at the start of this post regarding directions to St Paul’s Cathedral. Some directions are clearer and more effective than others.

I discovered the underlying mechanics of enlightenment by retrospectively analysing what had happened to me once I realised that I was no longer suffering, and also drawing upon the experience and teachings of countless others as recorded in traditions such as Vedanta and Buddhist traditions. There is essentially a method, in fact several methods, by which we can remove the stone of ignorance, the result of which is Freedom from suffering.

There are various techniques that can be employed, some more effective than others, and some more useful to a specific type of seeker depending where they are in their journey. Some people need lots of conceptual teachings and practices, other people don’t. It depends on where they are.

In the end, all the techniques and concepts that we pick up and use as tools to remove the stone of ignorance are no longer clung to once their job has been done. Just like any tool, we put it down once we have finished using it. The Structured teachings I teach are not the truth, but they create the foundations for realisation and point the way. And they are proving to be effective.

To find out more, please come along to one of my online or in person meetings. This understanding is not so easy to get from just reading, and for most a 1 to 1 real time interaction with a teacher is incredibly useful and can save years of groping around in the dark.

Q. Why collect a structured teaching when you claim that you have already realised your true nature completely?

Q. Why collect a structured teaching when you claim that you have already realised your true nature completely? Why don’t you then just speak from your own heart? I mean even the sages quote scriptures from time to time, but they are not offering any kind of structured teachings.

Tom: I explain the reasons why I’ve adopted this approach in the longer intro (see video below), including the disadvantages with structured teachings.

I want to do what works, and this seems to be working – in the short time I have been teaching several people have already woken up to this understanding through these teachings.

Satsang is good too, but from what I can see, satsang by itself in the Western setting does not work very well, (although it may if you’re lucky), as most seekers do not understand the basics.Once the basics are explained and drummed in, then the teaching flows much quicker and realisation is greatly facilitated.

Many, if not most, sages either taught structured teachings or received their wisdom though one: eg. Nisargadatta’s guru wrote a book setting out his structured teaching. Buddha had a structured teaching. Ramana translated several of Shankara’s structured teachings and he also set out his own in his Upadesa Saram. Even the zen patriarchs recommended reading the suttas first!