Want to get enlightened? Want to know how? Are you thinking: enough of this suffering already, just give me the prescription, recipe or detailed map to the gateless gate. There’s gotta be an easier way than years on the meditation cushion, yoga mat or at the feet of a guru.
Well, good news, there is a more economical way than a never-ending spiritual practice. It’s called direct pointing, and it’s a simple matter of someone who has been liberated from the illusion of self (even recently), pointing you in the direction of truth. Direct pointing is the flipside of inquiry. Where inquiry poses the question “Who (or what) am I?” direct pointing asks you to investigate who you are not. Like peeling the onion only to find there is no core, this approach strips away the layers of thoughts and belief about self until you see the inevitable: there is no separate self; there is no “I.”
Ever since spontaneously waking up to no-self (https://theawakeneddreamer.com/2011/11/17/hello-world/), I’ve discovered there’s plenty of material on the internet about non-duality, Advaita and enlightenment, literally thousands of websites and facebook groups devoted to this stuff. I’ve also realized that there seem to be awake folk blogging everywhere (see my blogroll), an apparent tidal wave of everyday people seeing through the illusion in what Adyashanti calls a “shift of perception.” Most websites are devoted to enlightenment theory and opinion, but very few are about applied enlightenment. A lot of them tell, but few of them show.
One of these practical sites, Liberation Unleashed (http://www.liberationunleashed.com/), offers a free ticket through the gate. Run by “awake” international volunteers, the Liberation Nation Forum provides one-on-one guidance in several languages. The forum works like dokusans (private meetings with a teacher for satsang inquiry) but it happens online and in plain sight, in a thread devoted to you and your guide. The interesting thing is that this experiment is working. People are waking up every day through the site and then going on to become guides themselves.
Now, I can hear protests from the hardcore Zen, Advaita and Yogic types. What about the wisdom of a guru? What about the need for discipline and years of effort? All I know is my own waking up was gentle, simple, profound, unexpected and undeserved (if measured by disciplined spiritual practice).
What some enlightenment experts will try to tell you is that these easy awakenings will not last (non-abiding in their lingo), and are just peak experiences. Or they will say it’s not the real deal, it’s enlightenment ‘lite’. But consider the possibility we’ve had an uptick in awakened teachers, that this last century alone has produced Yogananda Paramahansa, Osho, Krishnamurti, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Eckhart Tolle, Ganga-ji, Mooji, Shinzen Young, Byron Katie and many more. American teacher Adyashanti noted that when he began teaching he imagined having at most one student wake up. Instead it has numbered in the hundreds.
So, if you are curious about waking up, entertain a visit to Liberation Unleashed. As Rumi says so beautifully, “Be crumbled. So wild flowers will come up where you are. You have been stony for too many years. Try something different. Surrender.”
At the very least, you’ll take a trip on the pathless path up to the gateless gate. And all you have to lose by trying, is you.
Awareness is Here!
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12 thoughts on “This Way to Liberation”
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Joel, just listening to the following “Exercise”, see if it points directly -empirically- to what the experience is:
“LU Enlightening Quotes – 07 – Exercises”
From a series of experiences there is not the slightest doubt in undersigned that the Being that is our true Identity is a loving Charity greater than anything imaginable beyond the wildest dreams.
The story of God appearing in this world, knowing beforehand that in comparison with the original state of perfect happiness incarnating was a descend into a crucifixion and living death in hell- is all about Who our true Being is, and What as such we all have done for the humans we experience being in this virtual reality.
As God we wanted to share our bliss, which had to include the knowledge that Who we really are is so completely unselfish, so infinitely altruistic, that as It we were willing to be devoured alive by the most scary predator imaginable. A creature that would kill our original awareness and entailing Heaven, constantly accusing us of endless wrongs, and even when praising us, would keep it within the cell of being a marvelous animal. Like praising someone for being a beautiful cockroach, a sublime scorpion, a lovely “Alien” as that most scary creature in that symbolic film.
We gave our Life for these humans. And this is but a weak reminder of the Divine Truth, expressed with poor words.
The awakening from a nightmare begins by no longer identifying with self one seems to be and have, and the secession of believing things are the way they appear.
Listening to that LU “Exercise” it becomes clear that it is helpful by pointing at how things actually are experienced without the story of a merely human self. Not a bad beginning for many of us.
I just ran into that clip a few minutes before finding this blog. On the Google page it said something about Liberation Unleashed being a cult… that sure drew my attention.
But it might actually be more like part of the cultivation of a new… words come short of It. No concept can do It justice in the least. But it was fun to try anyway here. ; )
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Pingback: This Way to Liberation by Lori Ann Lothian | Standing in an Open Field
“Trying” to get enlightened means we don’t know we are already enlightened, even if only for an instant. We have too many words and actions that are only pointers. We think too much in this dream – like state. God is Oneness. I (we) am One. No work required. Hearing this from the right Teacher(s) still leads to the same answer that we may be afraid to accept.
Speaking in metaphors slightly here but I am starting to think there is a huge void within us that shines like a diamond and is multi-faceted.
You could say “It’s all music” of which there are many different manifestations, yet at the end of the day it’s all sound.
Adyashanti, Eckhart Tolle, Gangaji, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Paul Hedderman, Osho, Tony Parsons and many more?
All these teachers have experienced, yet approached melody by different means.
What makes it even harder for the seeker is the lack of consistent terminology across genres.
A bass guitar is a bass guitar is a bass guitar in music, but Satori is not Satori is not Satori.
Buddhism, Hinduism and Zen label positive states by different dreams.
So avoid listening to negation. This is not it, that is not it, the other is not it, because there is only this.
Even Charles Manson is enlightened if you listen to him in a certain way.
You may be interested in something I wrote some years ago on why ‘gateless gate. is a hopeless mistranslation: http://biroco.com/gateless.htm
As for ‘Liberation Unleashed’, this is a persuasion cult. We will persuade you that you are awakened, and you will believe it. Job done. We will publish the dialogue. It will look like we have got results. We will not publish your subsequent confusion, rather we will immortalise your hypnotised gaze into the Void and imagine we have accomplished something. In time, it will start to seem lame and we will drift away, the dregs of yet another false alarm left around on the web to confuse newcomers.
Sure, what some call ‘awakening’ is very simple, But this takes the simple and glues it in place. No longer simple. Something to be maintained. This is a simulacrum that doesn’t have the depth of experience to recognise that fact. But gradually what was supposed to have been realised and reality will part company. Some, foolishly, will regard this as ‘losing enlightenment’, when actually it is reality showing them what was so all along, that they have realised nothing, they have just made an object of something they supposed they saw. In practice, only years of losing and finding can eventually persuade one of the truth, that nothing was ever lost. It’s better not to let awakening make you into the kind of dope that makes you think people are awakening everywhere, instead see that what you suppose you have realised is no deeper than what they suppose they have realised.
I was awaiting your comment, knowing it would be, well, something for readers to chew on. Thank you for your candor and perspective. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at your wording here and there (hypnotozed gaze into the void/dope etc). You are likely right. Or maybe partially so. But I’m okay being the dope, for now. Okay later, saying “what a dope I was.” Optimism is here, even if it seems naive–that was a Lori Ann trait that is stubbornly ever present.
Looking fwd to tea one day,,
and thanks for the link to the gateless gate mistranslation, will check it out.
Awaiting my comment? Ah, that’s either fame at last or what a cliché I have become. I was thinking, on the Tube back home, how happy I am, for no reason at all. And laughing, looking around, at the stories etched on every face. And, walking home, how I know every crooked paving stone, and love them so. And how, switching the damned machine on again, how that Lori is bound to have come up with a comment worthy of someone who isn’t as stupid as most of them. And good for her, since I wouldn’t be anything if I wasn’t a little bit of a test over toast at teatime.
“What some enlightenment experts will try to tell you is that these easy awakenings will not last (non-abiding in their lingo), and are just peak experiences.”
This has been my experience with peak experiences. They definitely keep the spirits up by giving us a glimpse, but although they do change us they do not retain their potency. I’ve heard some people call such breakthroughs the beginning of a “pink cloud period.” In other words, after the initial insight there’s a floaty period where everything seems wonderful — rather like the way one feels when one has fallen in love and the whole world seems okay.
Let’s come back to this blog post in one year and see if you feel the same way. If so, please send me an email if I’m still alive. 🙂
I would not say everything here feels wonderful, just still, quiet….thought-free…emotionally unreactive. But yes, of course to be discovered in a year what remains.
thanks for reading!
thanks just went over there — what a brilliant idea : )