A Non-Duality Teacher’s Perspective

I wanted to share with a bit of my perspective on ‘teaching’ or ‘sharing’ non-duality, if you will permit me to phrase it that way. These are some things I have noticed over past few years that I did not necessarily realise before I started to teach/share.

For those of you who have been following me for a while, you will know my expression does vary a fair bit. This variance seems to depend on who I interact with. The teachings seem to pour out of me spontaneously in response to interactions with seekers and their energy. Sometimes the response is absolute and uncompromising, other times it delves into the body-mind-world-psyche. Both can be deeply transformative, depending on where the seeker is at.

One curiosity is that in many ways I am actually not that interested in sharing this (if you can believe that!) but the sharing continues, for now at least. I find it is the seeking energy and questions that ‘pulls the teachings out of me’ and keeps me turning up to my own meetings. Even this post was written only due to certain interactions with seekers/seeking energy.

Interestingly (to me at least) when people express a simple and pure gratitude and love for ‘my teachings’ and for what ‘I share’ without putting me on a pedestal (please don’t do that!) I have noticed it often energetically impacts my body-mind and draws my body-mind to ‘teach’ more, even though at my core I don’t really care for gratitude or praise. I have often wondered if this is why traditionally gratitude and devotion to a guru is often encouraged. Even though I feel a strong devotion to Ramana Maharshi, devotion to a guru/teachings is something that I am very cautious about in general (and I don’t encourage it for the most part) due to the potential for abuse from the guru. However I never saw this aspect of the interaction until I started to share/teach myself and it is another thing that surprised me, so I thought I’d share it with you.

I must warn you that I have no idea what I am about to say a lot of the time, lol! But the feedback I often get is how I ended up saying the exact right thing at the right time. It’s continually surprising to me that what I express can be so helpful for some. I really don’t know how it all happens but am continually humbled and amazed by it! Often I hear ‘my teachings’ for the first time as I am saying them and think to myself ‘wow – that’s a great teaching!’

In addition to the verbal teachings, I have noticed there seems to be immense benefit that can occur with a direct interaction in the meetings that is beyond the words, irrespective of what is said. There can be a certain transformative energy in the meetings. Again, I’m not really sure how it works – to me it is like magic, a magical mystery! I’m still learning about this and how it all works, watching it unfold in front of me – I don’t think this is something I will ever understand, nor is there a need to understand it really (I’ll let you know if I figure it out). It is just the way things are, just what apparently happens – as I said, it’s a mystery.

I hope this post doesn’t come across as me being arrogant in anyway. I am not saying how great I am, but rather that these teachings I share are not really mine at all. They are magic! I’m sure I’m not that special in this regard, and perhaps many of you have also had similar experiences in sharing this or similar things? I’d be interested to hear from you about this. Yet I cannot deny the apparent value of what I share for one apparently stuck in illusion of duality and for the one who appears to be suffering.

On one level, no teaching is needed at all, as we are already whole and complete, lacking nothing, and the ‘I’ that is seeking is an illusion, as is the teacher and teaching. On another level, many have seemingly benefited from interacting with me – at least that’s the feedback I get – I am frequently told that peace comes forth, suffering and egotism drops away and liberation is realised, slowly slowly, wonderfully wonderfully. Often people approach me having had awakenings and spiritual experiences but remain deeply troubled or have seemingly endless doubts, but in just a few exchanges during meetings or 1 to 1s doubts are cleared and insight and illumination springs forth. What may have taken months or years of scraping around in books, YouTube videos and Facebook posts can sometimes be cleared directly in a relatively brief direct personal interaction. Amazing!

So, if you resonate with what I share, I do encourage you to come along and join me in one of my meetings. And if you do resonate, I encourage you to keep on coming back for as long as you need to and not turn away when the ego-mind says ‘I’ve got it now and so I don’t need to attend any more’. I try to make myself available through online meetings twice a month (the next one is this Thursday at 8pm UK time – see my timeline for details which I will post shortly), and also through online 1 to 1 sessions and in-person meetings in London twice a month.

That said, I am also sure there are many who probably gain very little from what I share and feel very little resonance. I guess this is just the way of things, and different (apparent) people resonate with different (apparent) teachers. So I make no promises – you were warned!  And I trust that you will be discerning enough to find the teacher/teaching/path (or non-teacher/non-path!) that is right for you at any point in time – listen to your heart – the quiet unspoken voice-feeling in your heart – it will guide you – it is always guiding you 

I wish you well whatever your path and journey, and invite you to attend a meeting with me, but only if you are drawn to do so. The hope is what I share is of benefit to you in reducing suffering and inviting and actualising Liberation.

Wishing you Love beyond love and Peace beyond peace
(ie. what you already are in Truth)

Namaste and with thanks

Tom
🙏

Neo-advaita myth: The ‘me’ is an energetic contraction

There are several problems with the teachings of what is called by its advocates ‘radical non-duality’, and by its detractors ‘neo-advaita’. Personally, I quite like these teachings, and ironically* I think they have great value to the apparent seeker of liberation, but there are some issues too, which if ironed out, in my view make the teachings more effective.

*ironic as, according to the dogma of radical nonduality, these teachings are not teachings, they have no value, and everything is meaningless

water-interference
Hello? Anyone there?

Neo-advaita myth: The ‘me’ is an energetic contraction

This is not true. Contraction or a contraction of energy is not the issue. A contraction doesn’t create the sense of ‘me’. A contraction is just a contraction, nothing more. It’s a phenomena that may arise and fall from time to time, and may even persist for a while. There is no problem in this. The issue is that thought/the mind interprets the contracted energy and labels it as ‘me’. Without thought wrongly interpreting perceptions, there can be no me. So the issue is not energy not being open enough, or something being wrong with what is, but a wrong interpretation of what is. And interpretations are mediated by thought, not by energy.

 

 

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.