Archive for the ‘Insight’ Category


I downloaded an eBook written by Edward Muzika entitled “Awakening and the Descent of Grace as part of my enquiry into awakening experiences, it turned out this guy has an internet presence operating as Edji.

When I started to read his eBook this jumped out at me “The awakening and deepening experiences are closely related to the experiences of the teacher; that is, you will experience awakenings similar to that of the teacher” [p5 of 82]. It is connected with my concerns over 5 Gateways which I reiterate is good stuff. 5 Gateways has a framework that I discussed here, I was worried that the framework creates the type of awakening experiences. This is exactly what is contained in Edji’s quote.

This made me consider teaching methodologies in the spiritual world. In the spiritual world I remember this interaction. At one stage I was close to a monk who was running a useful “Buddhist church”. He regularly delivered Dhamma talks that I used to attend – standard format, meditation, the Dhamma talk where the audience listened in silence, questions at the end – not usually any and if there were they appeared not enquiry but for the sake of having questions – fill the time.

We were close enough that he invited me to interview for a job teaching monks maths, they were attending a monks’ university and would probably end up teaching. Whilst up there he invited me to attend one of his “lessons” on the dhamma to the young monks. I thanked him and suggested that I do a teacher observation and evaluation, something that I had done regularly with good feedback from teacher colleagues in my department; I wanted some value from observing his lesson – watching only had little value. The lecture/lesson was good, the rapport with the students was good, but his reaction to my evaluation was poor. I began with the two positive comments just stated, and then pointed out minor issues (presented as such) in a 6-page report. There were no thanks. Professional teachers are expected to work with such evaluations and accept professional advice in a good interactional environment. With me they always seemed to, with this monk there was no response then.

There was however later. The monk ran a blog for his “church”. As a blog it was excellent, usually informative and well worth doing. However he made a mistake. On his blog he discussed a book by Tony Blair in which Tony had discussed Iraq. His blog bought what Tony had been peddling, and I sent a polite post questioning his stance. There was a polite response in which he made it clear that he did not wish to pursue discussion of Tony and his book – he did not retract the blog or make any personal retraction to me. Within the blog there were slightly bitter references to me as an educationalist. His church was worthwhile, pursuing the matter any further in public would only have been divisive and detrimental to the church, it was clear he was not interested in pursuing the matter privately; I did not attend the church again and he did not contact me to ask why.

To me the reaction contained ego, and also contained a failure to recognise professional teaching experience in the education system as relevant to his work at the monks’ college.

I had a similar interaction with a macrobiotic counsellor but the details are much hazier so I won’t go into them. What I got from the counsellor was that my professional experience as a teacher had no relevance to his counselling.

When I read Edji’s quote I began to think about teaching methodologies in the spiritual world. Professionally, do they stand up?

Here is the person I most consider my teacher, Ajaan Buddhadasa, giving a talk to western students:-

His teaching style is very formal, he gives a dhamma talk in silence following on from meditation (or meditation at the end).

This style would be typical of Theravadin monks in Thailand – he was Thai. Ajaan Buddhadasa is not connected with the Forest Sangha but many western Theravadin monks are connected with the Forest Sangha – as is Harnham Buddhist monastery. I have stayed at Harnham and the style of dhamma talks is typified in this picture. The abbott there introduced Dhammasakkacha in which people connected to the monastery (such as me) wrote a page on a topic such as renunciation – nekhamma that he briefly responded to. These stopped.

Here is Brad Warner, a zen monk that I used to follow, giving a talk:-

There is no doubt that Brad tries respectfully to break through many traditions. My interpretation of his dhamma talks is that they are not traditional but that they are dhamma – I liked that. I have never attended a talk of his nor have I been on a retreat with him but it is my understanding of his methodology that he talks to the group, and he has individual consultations.

Eckhart Tolle sits on stage and gives talks. He did an education thing with Oprah in which he discussed each chapter of his book “The New Earth” answering viewers’ questions and more.

I have attended gatherings with Krishnamurti. His talks appeared interrogatory in that he took a theme and explored it by asking questions and hoped that the gathering would explore themselves by asking the same questions. But he was on stage with an audience of hundreds – the questioning was rhetorical although I genuinely felt he wanted people to come up with answers for themselves.

Now here is Edji reclined in a comfortable chair giving a dhamma talk to a group of “students” connected to him by “video-conferencing” (I assume) – hence the computer on his lap.

Ed also uses the occasional expletive, and in this talk encourages people to be their own gurus.

I have attended talks given by Thich Nhat Hanh. In one his microphone wasn’t working properly and his English could not be heard, the Thai translation was clear. His dhamma is excellent but how could that have happened? How could he not have mechanisms in place to ensure that people could hear him? Something happened on stage, and I interpret it as this – I don’t know how true. Part way through a nun came on stage and tried to do stuff with the mike, I could see her trying to talk to him but she was summarily dismissed. She left with extreme embarrassment.

So a typical dhamma talk is didactic – a lecture in silence.

What am I getting at?

I begin by asking questions. My interaction with the monk makes me question that monk and points to questioning monks in general to accept advice from appropriate professionals, in this case professional advice on teaching methodology.

Where does learning occur? At the dhamma talk only minimally. It occurs when you sit and meditate. Learning is understanding when there is insight, when an idea is internalised. This might happen at a dhamma talk or it might happen in meditation. I described the monk’s group as a church. I attended that church for a while, and as with the catholic church I attended as a child there appeared little enquiry. It was worthwhile that this group met, that was sufficient.

I used to have what might be called dhamma conversations. In a non-silent retreat you might be chatting with a monk or others, and in that conversation you gain insight. Or on the road I have met other aware travellers, and there have been meaningful conversations, insight, learning and moving-on – the wonders of travel broadening the mind. I would describe these conversations as dialogue with the intent to learn or intent leading to a mutual conclusion (most conversations have no such intent).

Here is a non-learning situation that might arise. Sankhara diarrhoea or sankhara block – I think this particularly applies to western students (I have read similar from eastern teachers). Western minds especially fresh from education are so full of this and that, there is no way in for new stuff. I have often discussed this as intellect excluding insight.

You need empty silent minds to learn, not minds full of mental proliferations.

Many of the above giving talks claim to be Buddhist yet my interpretation of the Kalama sutta is that the Buddha said not to believe anything he says learn for yourself. When a talk is given what is expected of the listener, what is it that the listener is expected to learn?

What are the motivations of the listener? Ideally I would say that the motivations are connected with learning and experiencing what the Buddha taught. However as a Christian church wats are not places this happens. It is a social expectation to attend, and some, but few, move beyond. I chose the word church for the Bangkok monk, I did not feel spiritual drive.

The motivations of a learner are different but above I see motivations of a “teacher”. This requires analysis. One of the big problems with teaching is that teachers want to teach and they don’t always have sufficient emphasis on the student’s need to learn – I have met this often. It is not they don’t want the students to learn but the emphasis is on what they do and not what the student learns. Within education teaching methodology on this is changing, but in spiritual circles the main methodology is shut up and listen.

I had a discussion at Harnham. Learning to be a monk took 5 years. Potential learners went to the monastery and worked with the abbot for a while until they could accept that they would be “apprenticed” for 5 years. If they dropped out during the 5 years they were never allowed near the monastery again. There is good learning in this. But the emphasis is on learning to be a monk. This brings in the institutional question, are all monks seeking genuine truth? Are there institutional limitations? Retreats were offered, learning retreats as well as “being there” retreats.

But what is the objective of all these methodologies? And I offer a very dangerous answer – getting the learner to reach the inner guide. As I said this objective is seriously dangerous because it demands an integrity of the inner guide, and whilst a genuine inner guide has that there are so many selves and egos that could get in the way that this is a very dangerous objective.

What usually happens with the above methodologies is that the teachers present a right view (4NT one of the 8-fold path). But how is it received? Does the teacher demand insight, do they demand the necessity of the subjective? No, they can’t so what they are presenting is dogma, the right view of dogma, the safe view of dogma. And when it is dogma, how can there be inner guide?

There is a saying “Give a person a fish, s/he is not hungry that day, teach that person to fish and s/he is not hungry for life”. Dogma is words, words that might rest the “soul” for a day but the inner guide is a path for life. How many of the above teaching methodologies give an inner guide for life?

I have attended a number of dhamma talks and I cannot recall an emphasis on the inner guide – maybe I didn’t hear the emphasis. Some of Buddhism demands a guru. This makes a lot of sense, an inner guide without a guru has the potential to setup all kinds of egos and go in all kinds of wrong directions, but ultimately the guide has to surpass the guru. But for how many gurus is that the objective?

My awareness of inner guide as the teaching methodology came about as part of my recent home retreats – bhavana. But I first experienced my inner guide early in life. Following the path became a “mantra”. However whilst following the path I became a drunk, had dubious sexual encounters and various other selves that were clearly not “spiritual”. Yet I had an inner guide. Reaching the inner guide is not enough, there needs to be processes in place to make sure the inner guide is adhered – mindful processes. One obvious process is a guru promoting the inner guide, for others it is becoming a monk, but for most the inner guide emerges and the individual flounders around – much like I did. Yet reaching the inner guide has to be the objective. I have met recently a number of people whose life has been dominated by seeking. They have found gurus but not the inner guides nor any process that maintains the integrity of the inner guide. Without the guide it is difficult to see where they are going.

When you examine the teaching practices in the world of spirituality there are questions to ask. I contend the objective is to help the seeker find the inner guide but with that help ensure that the seeker has mechanisms that support the inner guide. Is that what is on offer?

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

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An odd weekend and home retreat.

I stayed up all Friday night, I was getting tired at 6 am but as the cleaner was due I just about stayed up. After she left the day was taken up with sleeping through Ally McBeal and then in the evening watching and dozing. 12.30 went to bed and got a melatonin hour but that was it.

At 04.00am I decided to meditate mainly about reformism and conditioning – too much sankhara, and then slept for two or three hours. Meditated again, and this was devastating. Since Edji I have an unfinished blog about spiritual teachers and methodologies. Thinking on this I came up with “reaching the inner guide” such a dangerous approach. I discovered huge personal arrogance connected to this, and I fell on the bed and slept nearly 4 hours. I meditated again but stopped after 34mins because the rain was loud on the car leanto. Dozed again till 4.00 pm but at least Benny was there for food.

Inner guide is so dangerous.

I have always talked about the Path but only recently recognised the Path is a mechanism (at the end of this long blog). For the time I lived by the path it was substantive in my life, in a sense it was guiding me. Beyond saying that I felt close to the path or not I cannot explain more but it was a real guide. Following the path fizzled out after Peyton Place because I turned to politics – even though I would always say I was a political activist to enable developing spirituality. I turned to Buddhism after my mid-life review, I don’t know whether that was path or an inner guide. Once I meditated I have always felt a guide telling me what to study next espeically after retirment.

What is the path/guide? Kamma? Dogma – if you remove the I and mine from the 5 khandas then there is just sunnata. And sunnata guides. Somewhere within the morass of BillZ’s egos and selves sunnata managed to designate a path, something that the morass managed to discern as path. But basically calling sunnata a path is a human mechanism but somehow we need to try to find this path, this inner guide.

That is the conclusion of this blog on spiritual teaching methodologies but there are huge dangers to an inner guide. BE WARNED.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

My recent Bhavana continues to have drastic repercussions. The blog “living as no self” set the roadmap but it left much that was vague. A recent effort to return to a normal routine day left me with a surface normal day yet sleep occurring throughout the day without sufficient sleep at night – 11-6. Throughout the efforts at sleep there was clear evidence of self attached without any understanding of why – living as no self was not enough for understanding and change.

There are 3 identities – Wai Zandtao, Matriellez and Bill Zanetti; what are they? This question gives the answer to the selves. Wai Zandtao is the writer, this is almost all there is now – writing, and learning for writing. Then there is the Matriellez teaching – giving back. Where is Bill Zanetti? I now understand why monks have monk names, their birth and society selves have gone. Bill Zanetti is now sanna – memory – only. Bill Zanetti led his life, worked, learned, and has provided for Wai Zandtao to write and Matriellez to teach and write. Maybe Wai and Matriellez will need to draw on Bill’s memories but otherwise there is no need for Bill.

Bill has life patterns and life-styles. When Bill was teaching and drinking Bill watched too much TV, now this TV self is impacting on Wai and Matriellez from being – from writing and teaching. Bill’s selves need to disappear. These are what is keeping the body awake. Bill has learned a way for the body to be healthy, these ways are now not Bill’s, they are Gaia’s. And Gaia has what used to be Bill’s body to enable Wai (and Matriellez) to be.

Bill interfered with Wai (and Matriellez). Bill was angry that people did not listen when he explained various understandings – primarily included in Zandtao Treatise. Bill was frustrated that knowledge and understanding that Gaia Sunnata had granted Wai (and Matriellez) did not give him recognition. These were selves.

Wai (and Matriellez) are simply Gaia Sunnata. Write and teach is all there is – apart from learning for writing. Trust Gaia Sunnata, the writing and teaching comes from Gaia – that is enough. Gaia will decide.

Trust Gaia and no self – no Bill Zanetti (except sanna when necessary).

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Living as No Self

Posted: 24/09/2017 in Insight
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I have finally worked through what all this talk of awakening is about. I spoke of two childhoods. Let’s examine the first childhood, the system childhood, the outer childhood. In this childhood my contents of consciousness were filled with all kinds of stuff they wanted to fill it with – mainly academia but also system compliance. And how did that childhood end? By hitting bottom and “awakening” – following the path. There was a system “I”, an “I” that had been formed in my childhood (actual) that had been based on my upbringing. This “I” had attached to all the conditionality, become arrogant, and had to be knocked on the head before starting the path.

So what has happened during the second childhood? Instead of taking the opportunity to live an unconditioned existence, my “I” took on new selves. I started with compassion, and through that compassion “I” was allowed to take on a teacher “self”. That compassion then moved to beyond teaching and started to take on a political “self”. In addition throughout this second childhood period there have been insights. But what happened to those insights? “I” has appropriated them. What started as insights from the path became thoughts (sankhara) that self appropriated leading to a second conditioned “I” that needed to be knocked out of existence. When I was focussing on awakening it was the path telling me to remember what happened in the first childhood, and get rid of the conditioned second childhood “I”.

In some ways this is harder to do. Hitting bottom and coming through experiences on the other side was rapturous but unconscious. It was a time to be grateful for – however unhinged I was. But this second “I” with an accumulation of teacher, political ideology and insights is more difficult because it can only be dealt with consciously – mindfully. I have tended to rely on the fortune of following the path, and have not applied mindfulness to my second childhood allowing the selves to condition a new “I”.

There is only mindfulness as a way out – mindfully living as no self. In this world of spiritual and systemic inimicality/delusion/conditioning, it can only be through the recognition of continually emerging selves and the need to continually release them that the path can be followed – that I cannot accumulate again.

Finally a special word for the political self that I have to be especially conscious of. Much of the above is bog standard Buddhism, and whilst it is good to have such a body of knowledge it is also an institution with all the entity problems of an institution. The biggest such problem is that of avoiding politics because by such avoidance the institution can survive and have greater influence. As an individual there is no need for such avoidance, in fact it is an important part of awareness and the end of conditioning not to avoid such institutional compromise. But when an individual has to be better than an institution like Buddhism that contains much wisdom, there is a big danger of ego. There is no doubt that I have attached to a political self, and so ideology is perceived. I cannot alter the perceptions of others but I have to continually be aware of the potential for self-accumulating.

Accumulating is a good word to describe the 1%-system but it is also a good word to describe the khandas. Aggregation is the natural process, accumulation is attachment, mindfulness means aggregate but not accumulate – mindfully living as no self.

Just a final caution. Whilst I might have reached this insight concerning mindfulness – living as no self, it does not mean I will do it. Hopefully I will keep trying though.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.


Having recognised that in my following the path there has been two childhoods, there has to be a recognition of implications.

I have described these childhoods as system and spiritual. We could describe the system upbringing as conditioning, education or miseducation, and likewise for spiritual. Firstly let me state that these childhoods did not follow one from the other but ran in a sense in parallel. However hitting bottom and following the path was primarily although not exclusively concerned with the system conditioning …. in my case.

Even though I describe the consequence in spiritual terms – following the path, awareness of the process at the time was concerned with systemic education. It was based on the rejection of academia and the rejection of the world of work that academia had led me into. But immediately I rejected the academia, I began to follow a spiritual path. Following the path led to experiences, led to consideration of what spiritual life meant, and led to a removing of systemic conditioning or moving beyond systemic conditioning – mostly.

In this blog I discussed two conditionings perceiving difference between East and West. Yet I also say in the blog that there is only one conditioning, that the systemic conditioning is contained within the spiritual conditioning. In spiritual terms (Buddhist) attachments, to desire – greed – and a false theory – the 1%-system, create a miseducation that conditions us into the way of life the system offers – that benefits the 1%. Included within these attachments are intellectual adherence to academic knowledge and an acceptance that we should compete for more money as a rationale for working. Yet this is not all that is in our upbringing. Whilst I consider this as miseducation, this upbringing as education teaches us organisation and basics without which we could not function in any society. But why our education should teach us to function within a 1%-capitalist-system is purely a matter of exploitation – conditioning and miseducation, and is not concerned with our human development in society or spiritually – compassion.

It is important to see how instinct fits into this conditioning. Instinct is nature’s survival, we cling to our mothers, we have a procreational instinct, and generally have survival instincts. Over time these instincts fall out of necessary use, or at least are intended to, but this does not suit the 1% who benefit from manipulating a social imbalance that propagates these instincts. Particularly the sex instinct continues far beyond its natural end integrated with socialising that connects wealth, fame, sexual imagery and exploitation.

Spiritually, what does our upbringing do? Fundamentally it creates I. Using the 5 khandas (aggregates) as that which constitutes a human, then our spiritual miseducation conditions us into attaching to these khandas, and through that attachment creating selves that during our upbringing we aggregate as I (in Buddhism this is generally discussed as anatta). Within this attachment and aggregation is an acceptance of greed and the 1%-system of war and wage-slavery.

By moving beyond our systemic upbringing, we can see the conditioning into the competitive money ethic and the world of work as a process of creating a delusion that we adhere to. By moving beyond our spiritual upbringing, we see that the conditioning that creates attachment and ultimately the self creates a delusion where we are trapped in I. By moving beyond the spiritual conditioning we can experience genuine freedom, by moving beyond the systemic conditioning we can see that this war and wage-slavery now function for the benefit of the 1%. Moving beyond systemic conditioning does not mean we then become free from spiritual conditioning, hence why I consider I had two childhoods. I described the childhoods as one following the other but after hitting bottom and starting to follow the path there was still much systemic conditioning to remove and I hadn’t really begun to think about spiritual conditioning.

What do these conditionings mean? Discussion of 1%-conditioning is common-place usually using rhetoric such as capitalist exploitation – or the like. However spiritual conditioning is rarely discussed generally except in Buddhist or similar circles. How does this esoteric discussion of anatta impact on people? Eckhart Tolle discusses the pain body regularly, this is an attachment to pain – creating a pain self that impacts on our thinking. I regularly harp on about the intellect or an intellectual self, people especially academics cling to this self, expect compliance to intellectual processes, and do not see the importance of higher mental developments (bhavana) such as insight or other benefits gained as described in Anapanasati pp79-81 [8) What is the benefit of concentration?]. The intellect through its own need to survive cannot conceive of thinking higher than its own, a typical characteristic of self. Following the path helps us understand the impact of these selves, moving beyond “spiritual” conditioning helps us to deal with these selves.

Previously in discussion I tend to have been associated with awareness of systemic conditioning – being against the 1%. In reality I am arguing against all conditioning including the conditioning by selves – that above I have called spiritual conditioning. Politically I have promoted compassion as a unifying approach (blogpost and Unity Platform), in this context compassion means freedom from suffering brought about by conditioning (the spiritual that includes systemic). Recognising two childhoods means a change to looking at conditioning rather than just the system, and even more sees the importance of compassion as a benchmark.

Finally it is interesting to consider conditioning. It is normal to perceive an agency that conditions – such as the 1%-system. The 1%-system has a clear purpose – conditioning for profit. But what is the purpose of spiritual conditioning? Who gains? It is nature’s purpose – Idapaccayata. By recognising the suffering caused by conditioning, we can enjoy the happiness that comes from moving beyond conditioning – spiritual including systemic. This is why we follow the path. Further by recognising that all conditioning is part of “spiritual” conditioning we learn how to be free of it, it is attachment – just let go. Don’t buy into it, just let go.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Terminology Warning

Posted: 15/09/2017 in Insight
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The use of the word awakened was a mistake, there was too much ego.

Ego tricks us (me) so easily in its efforts to survive. There was a simple concept I was trying to illustrate, and that was waking up from conditioning. I specifically never use the term enlightenment, and defined the word awakened as the simple idea of waking up from conditioning. To me, and my ego, that sounded reasonable.

Yet I was aware that the word was used differently by very many people, that should have been enough to warn me off. But I got stubborn holding to my definition. But many who use the word bring the process of awakening from conditioning into disrepute, that should have been enough to stop me using the term but my ego got stubborn.

I have been recently concerned about people who have experiences associated with moving beyond conditioning. It is my view these experiences should be celebrated, and as such there is a danger of ego. I risked that because these experiences were so important and pointers to a better way of life beyond conditioning.

I was aware of ego dangers but still fell in.

I am going to change terminology to a much more neutral description. After I hit bottom I started following the path, my second spiritual childhood began then. After my second childhood I matured as a writer. I thought of the two childhoods as an awakening with sporadic experiences, but I now just want to describe this as following the path.

Celebrating these experiences, I follow the path.

What happens to adults, they get older and die. What happens to mature adults, they get older and die. But how is their maturity affected? This leads to the real question, how does their spiritual maturity develop?

How does a mature person develop spiritually? How does a person following the path develop?

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

When I was writing the last blog I was conscious of the word conditioning. In Buddhism there are causes and conditions often associated with the teaching of Dependent Origination. In the West conditioning is much more associated with indoctrination, yet in the West we also have the dual educational understanding that there is a need for education and there is education as indoctrination. Going beyond conditioning means only having the positive aspects of these processes.

Let me begin with Buddhism. Buddhism tends not to examine the political aspects of what is. For example the first of the 4 Noble Truths is that there is suffering; it then goes on to say that there is an end to suffering by not clinging to desire and describes the 8-fold path as a way to do this. But clearly part of that suffering is caused by the political situation, it is not simply clinging to lust, for example – an important problem nevertheless. Buddhism talks about the Unconditioned and the conditioned as that which is not unconditioned so conditioning is far more than political indoctrination. It is seen as far more than education for wage-slavery for example.

For me attachment is key to understanding conditioning in Buddhism. Here I will talk of the 5 khandas – rupa-body, vedana – feelings, sanna – perceptions and memories, sankhara – mental formations, vinnana – consciousness. Without some khandas there is no human being but if we identify with these khandas then we are not true. There is no anatta, no insight, just conditioning that comes from this identification. This atta-self-identification tends to be the dogmatic approach of Buddhism in describing conditioning. Within this identification is all the conditioning that the West tends to discuss such as conditioning to wage-slavery, but there tends not to be the same emotional reaction when we say we are not attached to the 5 khandas as there is to being educated as wage-slaves.

Instinct arises as part of these 5 khandas, and instinct is necessary. Instinct is nature’s way of survival when human consciousness has not developed. But at some point we must let go of the mother’s breast or we are clinging. Instinct falls away when consciousness arises but consciousness can attach to instinct if we are not aware. Instinct is natural in its place as are the khandas, it is not natural to create selves – to create the self, I.

However being attached to the 5 khandas says far more. There is a tendency not to see the positive value of education when there is so much indoctrination and educating for wage-slavery. Yet education does teach organisation and necessary basic skills needed to survive such as language. Another way of describing this basic education is that we would be educating for the 5 khandas without attachment – necessities. But conditioning creates attachment, and we then have the conditioning that is more associated with what the west describes as conditioning.

But the western view of conditioning is limited because it does not see the conditioning that is the identification with these khandas as self. The standard western response to conditioning is dichotomy. There are those who accept conditioning and those who reject. This tends to be fought out on an outer level in which political systems are counterposed. For example Marxists use his theories to show how the 1% are exploiting working people through wage-slavery. But those same Marxists do not see the importance of self as being attached to the 5 khandas as they themselves are attached to the political theory that is part of sankhara. The revolution that comes from awakening by moving beyond all conditioning (including self) is the revolution that is permanent, within that permanent revolution would of course be the compassion that rejects wage-slavery and demands an end to all wars.

Moving beyond conditioning is awakening and anicca, western conditioning is still self – not anatta and is only temporary.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Terminology Warning – awakening


Recently I have begun to consider my awakening again, and it has left me completely re-evaluating my life. Now I understand I am a writer whereas previously I have seen myself as a teacher, similar but distinct purposes. This was discussed fully in the awakening section of my mid-life review.

My first childhood was the conditioning childhood we all go through to a greater or lesser extent – conditioning by family, conditioning by school, community and society. For me this conditioning was so repressive – dukkha – with no conscious pain, that it led to hitting bottom and the beginning of an awakening. But at that stage I wasn’t mature, and it took a second unconditioned childhood to come to terms with the inimical environment this part-awakening put me in. It was necessary for me to grow in this unconditioned environment before the awakening could be considered in some way complete – and that I am seeing as a spiritual or unconditioned childhood.

I describe the environment as inimical, it is worthwhile to consider why. Throughout this second childhood my awareness was based on an awakening that had seen through the systemic conditioning – the part-awakening. But whoever you are you live within conditioning – even in communes there is only less conditioning. And the primary means of maintaining that conditioning is wage-slavery, the need for money. After a couple of years my awakened compassion saw teaching as a vocation, my motivations for teaching were based in compassion. However teaching is an important part of the conditioned 1%-system, education is conditioning. And to make sure that you continue that conditioning process a teacher is controlled as a wage-slave – for details of that control see Matriellez.

Here was my situation. Through part-awakening compassion had chosen education, but education is a lynch-pin of conditioning. The awakening process has to be concerned with removing conditioning yet I had chosen a central conditioning environment – education; this was inimical.

Unfortunately I chose to cope with this enmity by turning to drink effectively slowing down the awakening process. Once I stopped drinking life pushed me into travel and working internationally. Whilst still being a wage-slave being in other cultures had less conditioning as you were physically detached. Being in Africa for a few years led to a completion of the awakening as discussed in the mid-life review until I eventually removed myself from the conditioned environment as much as I possibly could now being a writer with sufficient personal income from teacher pensions.

I have a good deal of control of my life now. Through awakening there is no conditioning, and through survival means (income) I can live a mostly unconditioned life – an awakened life – a mature life.

This reframing of my life as two childhoods is significant, because it removes incongruities from my awakening. There were questions that crossed my mind, how can a drunk be awake? How can awakening not be a conscious process? During the second childhood following the Path was an act of surrender but there was always some conscious awareness of being on the Path, and the need to change to start following again. Compassion chose education yet how can an awake person work as a slave and be truly awake? My teaching life was one conflict after another as I attempted to stand up for genuine education. How can I be a teacher when I don’t choose what I teach? How can an awakened person not have sila? It took retirement for me to see that I lacked silamy first blogs. How can an awakened person not take care of their body? It took retirement for me to begin my natural health. These are all decisions of a mature person, decisions that are hard if not impossible to be made in the conditioned environment of wage-slavery.

I developed into being a writer, it was an involuntary Path. I might well have developed into a teacher by choosing what I taught but I never made a decision to do that. I began writing in two ways. Firstly I wrote to expunge myself of the teacher-slavery and in some way help contribute to what might be genuine natural education – Matriellez. But I also wrote as I learned more about Buddhism – blogs. But at the same time I was writing me – firstly as the Treatise and then the novels. As I come to terms with what my awakening has been, I am writing – not teaching.

Awakening is so important, it means being completely independent of any conditioning – moving beyond conditioning. Undoubtedly there are people in this world who just develop “beyond conditioning” – Ajaan Buddhadasa. Especially in the West this process of awakening is going to be associated with dukkha. Conditioning creates pain, in my case the pain of repression, and my awakening started when I rejected all that conditioning and what that conditioning had in store for me. But I was still immature, and it took a second childhood to mature. This awakening process need not be an instant. Here is Eckhart Tolle’s instant in detail:-

“One night not long after my twenty-ninth birthday, I woke up in the early hours with a feeling of absolute dread. I had woken up with such a feeling many times before, but this time it was more intense than it had ever been. The silence of the night, the vague outlines of the furniture in the dark room, the distant noise of a passing train – everything felt so alien, so hostile, and so utterly meaningless that it created in me a deep loathing of the world. The most loathsome thing of all, however, was my own existence. What was the point in continuing to live with this burden of misery? Why carry on with this continuous struggle? I could feel that a deep longing for annihilation, for nonexistence, was now becoming much stronger than the instinctive desire to continue to live.
“I cannot live with myself any longer.” This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar thought it was. `Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the `I’ and the `self’ that `I’ cannot live with.” “Maybe,” I thought, “only one of them is real.”
I was so stunned by this strange realization that my mind stopped. I was fully conscious, but there were no more thoughts. Then I felt drawn into what seemed like a vortex of energy. It was a slow movement at first and then accelerated. I was gripped by an intense fear, and my body started to shake. I heard the words “resist nothing,” as if spoken inside my chest. I could feel myself being sucked into a void. It felt as if the void was inside myself rather than outside. Suddenly, there was no more fear, and I let myself fall into that void. I have no recollection of what happened after that.”
Introduction to Power of Now.

The 5 Gateways movie also discusses awakening instants.

I know little of the spiritual game, there is a whole industry of teachers and charlatans. There is a whole industry based on aspirations – desire for awakening and learning, but are the people involved always genuine? It is hard to tell because in this inimical world awakened people are forced to find money. I consider Eckhart genuine – as far as I can know. Money has come to him from doing what his awakening decided – spiritual teaching, he appears independent. Are all such teachers independent? Are the interests of the spiritual writers the same as those of the publishers? Before I became concerned with his transcendence beyond conditioning, I followed Brad Warner quite closely; whilst I consider he was genuine (within the transcendence concern) he was always battling with survival to be independent; mostly I think he achieved independence.

Awakening is so important, hold onto it. Seek validation – creative people are good sources of this. Genuine creativity has an awakening but it has not matured. Such awakened people are usually involved in survival issues. They are also in the process of fully awakening, as partial awakenings can be seen in the lack of sila – moral integrity. Genuine spirituality can be a source of validation but my limited contact with spirituality is that much is about dogma and not experience. Religious institutions contain many who have started awakening but they don’t appear to be controlled by the awakened. Institutions are dominated by the same problem of all entities – the need to survive, in a financial world survival comes at a price of independence. And mature awakening must be independent.

Nature has much to offer but is there much better than awakening?

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Terminology Warning – awakening

I have just placed Chiswick in my life’s context and timeline, the experiences of that bedsit were the genuine awakening. The total awakening was hitting bottom, running home but not really progressing, returning to Chiswick where the process completed and gave me the real awakening.

I had no idea what was happening to me. I was completely immature as a person by society’s standards, and then this happened. To this day I might still be floundering (exaggeration) but I connected with the people of the Arts Centre. They were huge in my life. The connection was Wendy but how that synchronicity happened I have no idea. What I recollect is people ratifying my experience, and while I was wandering around questioning all around me seeking new experience in life they were ratifying this. They were saying this is what should be done in life. After years of academia, then a short time in the rat race, and even after hitting bottom hiding myself in the Hounslow cubicle, all of this was conditioning – what the 1%-system wants you to do, but it all had so little meaning – other than paying for what mattered. The meaning was the “guys in the Chiswick bedsit”, but to know this was the meaning I had to be told by the Arts people. The meaning was not the system but the creativity of the writing and the compassion of the Mongol kids on Chiswick Common (?).

I am so happy that my memory has placed the timeline in order because it highlights the importance of these people. From Eckhart’s account of his awakening, there was a limbo “I knew, of course, that something profoundly significant had happened to me, but I didn’t understand it at all.” I can’t say I understand it now, it just is, but without these people ratifying it I would have just been a fish out of water forcing myself to sit in my Hounslow cubicle and going home to “the guys”. They made me give meaning to my life. As I said in my last blogpost I became a teacher and the creativity went on a back burner – coming out at times but mostly now. My creativity was not active so eventually I lost touch with the people, and I now feel a sadness about that.

But people affirming the experiences – the presence – this is so important.

Buddhism doesn’t do it for the experiences. A few years later I got into searching spiritual stuff with theosophy. All very interesting. But these people were not celebrating the experiences – the presence – the muse. It was a church. They were nice people who could talk the theory but in no way were they there to celebrate experience. I touched Buddhism but that was also drab. There was an excitement about having been fortunate to experience this awakening, but apart from the Arts Centre the spiritual people were not exciting. Somehow that is wrong. There ought to be a club where people go to celebrate these experiences but that would be all too easy. Instead we wander around the globe looking to touch base with each other whenever possible.

Now I see the importance of the Buddha’s teachings, I see the need for detachment. But back then it would have made no sense. In the end my addiction to the booze gave me some sort of excitement – I am lucky I wasn’t attracted to worse drugs. And by 36 I had come sufficiently to terms with how I could live having had these experiences, I was able to stop the booze – although that wasn’t the rationale.

Because the majority of “successful” people have no idea what this blogpost – experience – is about, so much human potential is lost. Such experiences are ridiculed if not worse. Maybe it is possible to go out East and find places where such are valued. I am out East, deeply value the experience, but have never had such validated here.

Instead it has all helped me learn to live alone, to love nature, and be thankful for what I’ve got. There is a deep frustration that people are not listening, but are they listening to Eckhart? Can they hear?

Eckhart said “It wasn’t until several years later, after I had read spiritual texts and spent time with spiritual teachers, that I realized that what everybody was looking for had already happened to me.” Can this happen to everyone? I don’t know. This is the problem with spirituality, people listening to Eckhart want it to happen, people following gurus want it to happen, but can it? This is the detachment of Buddhism, it can’t happen unless you are detached. I had no clue what was going on, it wasn’t something I wanted – it was something I couldn’t control. It happened. I could not teach someone to be in the situation I was in at the time.

I always push meditation as a way forward, meditation can clear the mind, meditation can free the consciousness. Does that lead to experience? Don’t know. Does it lead to a better life? Certainly – maybe the rest will happen. Looking for the experience is a dead end. They are worth it, I am not sure that all the despair and ignorance that goes with it is.

But the real point of this blogpost is to offer succour. Have you experienced such things? Talk about them, get them validated. Seek out people they have happened to. It is important to know they are real.

Beware of spirituality. There are many charlatans, and many followers who will say anything – usually because they want to believe, want to experience.

Non-dogmatic Buddhism is the best guide I have found, but finding what is not dogmatic in Buddhism is difficult.

Few read this blog. If you want to talk about your experiences contact me.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Terminology Warning – awakening

I have been re-engaging with Eckhart Tolle, someone who has greatly helped in the past. I like him because of his apparent lack of dogma, and his similarity of early experience as described in Power of Now (see below).

I re-engaged with him because I was examining pain, and in this talk he speaks of his dogma coming from Buddhism. That statement in itself now says little to me because there are many appeals to Buddhism, and as Eckhart also points out the mind has complicated what is Buddhism – sankhara or as Ajaan Buddhadasa says concocting or proliferations.

I am absolutely certain that Eckhart Tolle is talking beyond dogma, but in doing so he creates his own dogma. But the difference with his dogma is that for him it was insight – personal assessment. In other words Eckhart has moved beyond dogma, come up with his own insights, and then applied his own framework to where he has gone. So for him it is Buddhism that is beyond the dogma of Buddhism. Yet for others it is still dogma.

This paradox of the last sentence illustrates that there is a huge problem in all of this, communication – explaining. Once you move beyond dogma, language is a great limitation because language is the métier of dogma – it is the tool of sankhara. The only way that language has meaning beyond dogma is that if the experience is somehow shared.

Below I have copied Eckhart’s experience, and I want to compare. First I want to explain why. These experiences, awakenings connected to jhanas, are so important, and treated as non-existent by the intellectual establishment – by the intellect. I have only just begun to re-celebrate my own experience mainly through consideration of the 5 Gateways movie – if these experiences interest you listen to the people describe their experiences in the movie. Whilst Buddhism talks of these experiences through jhanas there is a sense of belittlement of them possibly because of institutionalism, the dogma of detachment or maybe simply some monks don’t have such experiences. I don’t know.

But these experiences are so important if placed in life’s context.

My experience was not one full-blown awakening as Eckhart describes his and that was primarily because of the booze. Because of the booze I describe my despair as “hitting bottom”. I think I was not suicidal because of the booze but as my “hitting bottom” was diffused over time by the booze, fortunately there was not the same intensity – the same level of despair.

Another difference, maybe, was that my life had not been intense. My early life been totally superficial, just concerned with academia. Everything had been easy. Get up, go to school, play some football. University was just as superficial with drink thrown in. Starting work was the only form of intensity. Studying for exams had been focussed – although not too successful. But there was a real focus for the job, I had to get up go to work and do the stuff they did; I had to have discipline for something that I found meaningless. And as it went on I had to be disciplined to do the work to get money to drink. I didn’t spend my 20s in despair, I drifted around on the surface getting drunk. When I hit bottom it was like I woke up and found an inner life.

But there was another important aspect of intensity for me, after awakening I spent 13 years getting increasingly dependent on alcohol. This diffused the intensity, I even remember thinking at times that getting drunk burnt off excess energy. Coming to terms with the newfound awakening was tempered by increasingly dealing with alcoholism.

This also meant that I was in no way fit to be a spiritual teacher, I could not control my desires – addiction. But over time in this world you cannot live with the intensity, and over time I eschewed the addiction. By then I had accepted the world path of teacher, and in my personal time I occasionally wrote – although that was not frequent. But once I retired I found my own way. Getting rid of the job by writing – Matriellez, then coming to terms with how I should lead life – Treatise, blogging as a means of clearing the mind – Zandtao, Matriellez and Ginsukapaapdee, until I am now writing stories – Wai Zandtao.

His description of experience sounds so exciting:- “Then I felt drawn into what seemed like a vortex of energy. It was a slow movement at first and then accelerated. I was gripped by an intense fear, and my body started to shake. I heard the words “resist nothing,” as if spoken inside my chest. I could feel myself being sucked into a void. It felt as if the void was inside myself rather than outside. Suddenly, there was no more fear, and I let myself fall into that void. I have no recollection of what happened after that.”

Experiences occurred for me differently. Hitting bottom was obviously brought on by the booze, and booze, as I suspect all drugs – maybe not marijuana?, prevents these jhanas. Immediately following hitting bottom I ran to my parents – I was 22. As usual at my parents’ house I spent much time walking, and I remember wandering around Manchester looking at suits in a Xmas pub thinking “what is this?” Still coming to terms with what was going on I returned to London, and in my Chiswick bedsit finding these experiences happening regularly. I think I was meditating but they just came in, nothing as shattering as Eckhart but there was presence. (Added next day) Exploring memory makes things clearer. That Chiswick bedsit was far more important than the hazy recollection I have of it. It was not special. I remember cooking on a landing in a loft space, having little room but loving it. Getting up there seems almost to have been a trigger for presence. I was stuck in the cubicle of a job, escaped and wandered up and down Chiswick High Road. Then there was the bedsit. Maybe meditation triggered it, maybe just being there triggered it. Can’t remember, doesn’t matter. It happened. That Chiswick time was Eckhart’s “I spent almost two years sitting on park benches in a state of the most intense joy.”

After that initial Chiswick “reward” they settled down but have been there for much of my life. Usually they occurred late at night in bed, and suddenly this experience would well up inside me and expand. There was no light for me but it was almost like the air itself was visibly vibrating. I remember the Summer I wrote Kirramura, and I spent the days waiting for the late night where I would go to bed, lie down and just wait for “the guys” to come …. and then I wrote. It was as if such experiences were a bottleneck, they would build up and then wait for a chance to come out – a time when I was quiet or meditating. Now they are less because I am old and meditate regularly. I discussed experiences and Buddhism generally here.

Recently I heard of someone watching 5 Gateways and crying because she had something similar. I was unable to follow up. It made me realise that there is a need to celebrate such experiences because in this world such spiritual matters are belittled by academics, and such people are marginalised not celebrated.

Such great joy!!

“I had become a spiritual teacher.” During Chiswick I started writing – Martin Smoothchatter. It was a time when Arts Centre people were so important as they ratified my experience. The cubicle was never for me, and after a couple of months I started taking Mongol kids out on a Saturday morning, I had found a meaning. This compassion turned to child care and then teaching.

And why are these experiences connected with dogma. They are not, because such experience does not happen if all there is is dogma. Dogma is the refuge of the academic mind. Of its nature dogma creates restrictions, belief in a dogma or not. And if there is restriction there is no experience. This is an experience of genuine freedom, and that only occurs if what we are doing is opening doors. By the way institutions cling to dogma, there are not doors opening.

So Eckhart explains his despair, his experience and his expanding consciousness offering his insights. And he says choose to do this without going through pain and despair. Can we choose to do this without despair? Ajaan Buddhadasa did – I think he just grew up being wise and grew older getting wiser, but others? Is there a choice without pain and despair? I hope so.

    This is copied from the introduction of “The Power of Now”.

The Origin Of This Book
I have little use for the past and rarely think about it; however, I would briefly like to tell you how I came to be a spiritual teacher and how this book came into existence. Until my thirtieth year, I lived in a state of almost continuous anxiety interspersed with periods of suicidal depression. It feels now as if I am talking about some past lifetime or somebody else’s life.
One night not long after my twenty-ninth birthday, I woke up in the early hours with a feeling of absolute dread. I had woken up with such a feeling many times before, but this time it was more intense than it had ever been. The silence of the night, the vague outlines of the furniture in the dark room, the distant noise of a passing train – everything felt so alien, so hostile, and so utterly meaningless that it created in me a deep loathing of the world. The most loathsome thing of all, however, was my own existence. What was the point in continuing to live with this burden of misery? Why carry on with this continuous struggle? I could feel that a deep longing for annihilation, for nonexistence, was now becoming much stronger than the instinctive desire to continue to live.
“I cannot live with myself any longer.” This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar thought it was. `Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the `I’ and the `self’ that `I’ cannot live with.” “Maybe,” I thought, “only one of them is real.”
I was so stunned by this strange realization that my mind stopped. I was fully conscious, but there were no more thoughts. Then I felt drawn into what seemed like a vortex of energy. It was a slow movement at first and then accelerated. I was gripped by an intense fear, and my body started to shake. I heard the words “resist nothing,” as if spoken inside my chest. I could feel myself being sucked into a void. It felt as if the void was inside myself rather than outside. Suddenly, there was no more fear, and I let myself fall into that void. I have no recollection of what happened after that.
I was awakened by the chirping of a bird outside the window. I had never heard such a sound before. My eyes were still closed, and I saw the image of a precious diamond. Yes, if a diamond could make a sound, this is what it would be like. I opened my eyes. The first light of dawn was filtering through the curtains. Without any thought, I felt, I knew, that there is infinitely more to light than we realize. That soft luminosity filtering through the curtains was love itself. Tears came into my eyes. I got up and walked around the room. I recognized the room, and yet I knew that I had never truly seen it before. Everything was fresh and pristine, as if it had just come into existence. I picked up things, a pencil, an empty bottle, marveling at the beauty and aliveness of it all.
That day I walked around the city in utter amazement at the miracle of life on earth, as if I had just been born into this world.
For the next five months, I lived in a state of uninterrupted deep peace and bliss. After that, it diminished somewhat in intensity, or perhaps it just seemed to because it became my natural state. I could still function in the world, although I realized that nothing I ever did could possibly add anything to what I already had.
I knew, of course, that something profoundly significant had happened to me, but I didn’t understand it at all. It wasn’t until several years later, after I had read spiritual texts and spent time with spiritual teachers, that I realized that what everybody was looking for had already happened to me. I understood that the intense pressure of suffering that night must have forced my consciousness to withdraw from its identification with the unhappy and deeply fearful self, which is ultimately a fiction of the mind. This withdrawal must have been so complete that this false, suffering self immediately collapsed, just as if a plug had been pulled out of an inflatable toy. What was left then was my true nature as the ever-present I am: consciousness in its pure state prior to identification with form. Later I also learned to go into that inner timeless and deathless realm that I had originally perceived as a void and remain fully conscious. I dwelt in states of such indescribable bliss and sacredness that even the original experience I just described pales in comparison. A time came when, for a while, I was left with nothing on the physical plane. I had no relationships, no job, no home, no socially defined identity. I spent almost two years sitting on park benches in a state of the most intense joy.
But even the most beautiful experiences come and go. More fundamental, perhaps, than any experience is the undercurrent of peace that has never left me since then. Sometimes it is very strong, almost palpable, and others can feel it too. At other times, it is somewhere in the background, like a distant melody.
Later, people would occasionally come up to me and say: “I want what you have. Can you give it to me, or show me how to get it?” And I would say: “You have it already. You just can’t feel it because your mind is malting too much noise.” That answer later grew into the book that you are holding in your hands.
Before I knew it, I had an external identity again. I had become a spiritual teacher.” Power of Now Intro.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.