THIS THURSDAY ONLINE MEETING: The Structured ‘Enlightenment’ Teachings

tom-das-meetings-heart-flower

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/

Total Freedom

Freedom from suffering is a total freedom.

Which means you are free to suffer.

Suffering is ok. When it’s ok, it’s no longer suffering. Just sensations, some more comfortable than others, the body-mind organism naturally responding to the feedback provided by the senses.

It’s just what ever is happening.

What is.

Q: I know there is no doer, but I still keep on getting lost in thoughts and worrying about things

Think of it this way: there is never a doer, even when thought says there is one. This knowledge can set you free. Don’t worry if it seems like you’re a doer. It’s just like the sun rising and setting – it seems like the sun is orbiting the earth, but the knowledge is there telling us that it is the earth that is orbiting the sun.

Don’t worry too much about the appearances or whether or not you get lost in thoughts. Sometimes, in fact very often, thoughts needs to express themselves, and in expressing themselves you can learn about yourself on the human level/level of the mind. A bit of worry can be quite good, as it helps us prepare for future events.

The ugly duckling didn’t need to become a swan. It was already a swan.

swan reflection

The ugly duckling didn’t need to become a swan. It was already a swan.

Contemplate the following points:

  • Freedom is here already. Totally here. (You don’t need to achieve it)
  • No separate doer-entity is already the case. (You don’t need to remove anything)
  • Awareness already accepts everything that happens within it and is already unattached from objects/untouched by objects. (You do not need to let go)
  • Awareness, in our direct experience, is ever-present and constant. It is the essence of who we are (experientially speaking). (This is the basis of emotional security: all emotions come and go but our essence remains untouched).
  • Reliance upon (limited) objects to give lasting happiness results in inevitable suffering. (There is no need to compulsively chase subtle or gross objects)

Look, investigate, and see things as they are.

Various teachings can help you along the way, but in essence, what more needs to be done?

Note, it can take time for all this to be seen, and thankfully for the seeker, there are a set of teachings that can guide one through this process. I call these ‘the structured teachings’, and it forms the basis of the way I share this message. Please see tomdas.com/events for further information or the video below for an introduction.

Q. I find I am unable to practice genuine acceptance in my life. Lots of resistance keeps on coming up. Can you help?

Tom: Practicing acceptance is a powerful teaching, but ultimately if you think this is about accepting or not-resisting, then you are identified with the body-mind entity, as it is the mind that accepts or resists.

See this: acceptance and resistance are both objects that appear spontaneously to you. There is no need to change anything, no need to accept or reject, no need to imagine there is a separate doer-self there.

What is, is. Simple.

Is enlightenment an experiential or energetic shift?

hills and pool

Often enlightenment is taught as being some kind of experiential shift. But is this true? This post will attempt to explain and illustrate how it all works. So is enlightenment an experiential shift? Yes and no. The essential factor that changes occurs in the mind. Fundamentally the experience doesn’t change. What changes is the way experience is understood. Understanding is the key.

Let me illustrate this with an example:

eg. If you realise that Father Christmas doesn’t exist, and that he never existed, it will dramatically change the way you experience Christmas: the days before Christmas will feel different, it will feel different going to bed on Christmas eve, and it will be a different experience seeing your presents in the morning under the Christmas tree.

Now, is this an experiential shift?

Well it may seem that way, but actually what has happened is that a belief/thought that was once taken to be true is now seen to be false, and that understanding in turn has changed the way we experience the same set of events.

I italicise ‘same set of events’, as the raw sensory experience of life remains unchanged both before and after enlightenment. All that changes is understanding, and that change is at the level of the mind/thought. Understanding is the key.

To put it more simply perhaps, the experiential shift, if it occurs at all (it may not), is a symptom of right understanding, which is the essential underlying cause.

How this affects teaching enlightenment

Now, if a teacher who is genuinely enlightened does not understand what has happened to them, then they may teach that enlightenment is some kind of experiential shift. Because that’s how it can feel. This may happen if if they have not come to this realisation through a teaching such as Buddhism or Vedanta, both of which explicitly emphasise understanding on the level of the mind as being central, or if the teacher has not sufficiently analysed their experience well enough in order to teach it effectively. When the latter happens, the results is often a very vague teaching which is imprecise and difficult to understand. This reduces the effectiveness of the teaching.

This brings me to another point: just because someone is enlightened, doesn’t mean they can teach effectively. A comparable example is just because you can speak English, doesn’t mean you understand the grammar, syntax and other rules and techniques that are often very useful in teaching someone else English. This understanding of grammar, for example, greatly increases the efficiency of the teaching.

The same goes for enlightenment, the end of suffering: there are many beautiful techniques and lovely teachings that mean that the teaching works much more effectively at sharing this wonderful Understanding.

Dare to question, and more…

Here are some recent quotes from my Facebook page:

 


It should be obvious that something is not necessarily true just because it is written in a sacred text or spoken by some great authority/teacher.

History and experience shows us that even highly intelligent people capable of great logical thinking can often have bizarre irrational beliefs


There is never a feeling of doership. What is called the feeling/sense of doership is just a cluster of sensations that is interpreted by the mind/thought as indicative of doership.


The concept of non-doership roots out the concept of doership. Then both concepts are let go of and neither concept exclusively operates in the mind.


Most seekers I work with are consciously or unconsciously seeking a subtle object and think lasting fulfillment will come through that. ie. They are seeking enlightenment as an experience. Much of my teaching is simply dispelling that notion in such a way that the seeker clearly sees.


Another way of putting it is that the feeling of doership can continue but that doesn’t mean you are a doer.


Oneness is also a story…a nice story, but a story nonetheless


What is, is. Accept it and move on. This doesn’t mean that you just passively accept things such as injustice…

Do you get what I’m saying?

There is no doer here, there never was one 😮


I don’t buy the whole ‘there is no time’ thing. When you look at it, time is just a way of describing movement.


The key is to see through the separate doer.

(Can you find a separate doer-entity? Where is this autonomous entity that supposedly authors thoughts and actions?)

When that is seen, what more can be done?

This is the whole purpose of atma vichara (self-inquiry)


The whole world is your guru, each and every experience, constantly emanating pure-teaching-essence beyond words.

Just be open and listen


Yes, that’s one of the reasons a genuine living teacher can be so useful – to indicate the total normality of this. Ramana himself said this many times…
Q: How can I attain Self-realisation?
Ramana Maharshi: Realisation is nothing to be gained afresh; it is already there. All that is necessary is to get rid of the thought ‘I have not realised’.

Silence of the mind (relative silence) allows us to notice the Silence that is ever-present, the Silence that is beyond both noise and (relative) silence.

It is the Silence of our very being, the Silence of where we are looking from.


There seem to be a lot of people on Facebook saying silence is the best way and that silence is the highest form of teaching


Ramana’s lineage? Ramana had no lineage. Ramana never gave authority for other’s to teach in his name, not even his closest disciples. Many teachers have been deeply affected by his teachings, myself included, but this is quite different to saying you are in Ramana’s lineage.

Debate, critical thinking and constructive criticism are important parts of spirituality and are to be encouraged. Who’s with me on this?


To say there is no one here is like saying there are no waves on the ocean. There is no separate self, just as there are no separate waves, but I am here, just as (I assume) you are.


The concept of a wave is a fiction, but also points to something true: the phenomenon of a wave.


Q: It’s all about ONENESS
Tom: For me that’s another belief. It can be a useful teaching, until it’s not.

Freedom, beyond all concepts and all stories, embracing all concepts and all stories.


How can we know something has no limitations?


Being ‘okay with that’ is freedom

If you think you are definitely not the body or that the world is definitely an illusion, you have probably stumbled into the world of beliefs.


This much I know: it happened the way it happened. All else is speculation (not that there is anything wrong with speculation).

The desire to improve can be very healthy


We think we chose to read or hear the teachings and apply them. When we understand the teachings more fully, we realised that the teachings came to us, they were a gift to us, that they chose us, and they work their magic on us.


Most do not go far enough and remain caught up in words, beliefs, teachings and spiritual-sounding slogans


Inquiry is only needed to remove ignorance (belief in the doer). When ignorance is seen to be non-existent, where is the need of inquiry?

Know your limits. Be honest. Be humble. Do not cling to beliefs. Admit and know what you don’t know.


Perhaps freedom itself is not conditional, but the realisation of the unconditional freedom is conditional.


What in ignorance is taken to be the subject,
in Understanding is seen to be an object.

 


No need to surrender.
Just ‘what is’.



Pointing out mistakes

The following is an excerpt from: Who cares about Freedom?

We can go a little further too: we can also point out mistakes in our thinking. If we think Father Christmas is real, we can notice and point out there is no conclusive evidence to support that, despite appearances to the contrary (eg. presents appearing beneath the tree on Christmas Day). Any happiness or pleasure we derive from believing in Father Christmas is similarly based on our wrong notions/illusion.

Similarly, if someone takes themselves to be a doer, an entity that is free to choose and take credit and blame for its actions, then we can point out that there is no evidence to support this position, despite appearance to the contrary. All suffering that results from belief in doership is similarly based on illusion.

THIS IS IT

Anyone else think that your personality has to be perfect and that every pore of your being has to exude an energy of loving kindness in order for the Freedom that already is to be realised? What a prison!

With respect to seeking enlightenment, what’s wrong with THIS, right now?

Freedom is already totally completely here.

Stop all this worrying and obsessing over the apparent individual and here it is, full and complete. No need to improve the individual or the world. Then things start to right themselves naturally, according to natural law. Not that you care. It’s just the way it is.

No need to judge and evaluate apparent ‘teachers’ – that’s more obsessing about the apparent individual, the individuality you project onto them.

Now there is nothing wrong with desire to improve oneself or the world. It is quite natural in certain circumstances. The desire to change something happens by itself when it happens. It too is Spontaneous Arising, a part of ‘what is’.

Look! See! Notice! All these phenomena are empty of any independent doer-self-entity.

Freedom is already here. What does it feel like? It feels like THIS. No need to seek a new or better experience, although that too is allowed. THIS IS IT.