Added on 5/10/2016
The following testimony has been written after two months of e-mail exchanges with the teacher:
Of these two months of very dense exchanges, what stands out in particular the notion of body consciousness, perceived as the blank page on which the words can be written (the sensations, the perceptions, etc.). The blank page has no characteristic (neutral = without characteristic) but it allows for any characteristic to be written. When I read, the attention goes automatically to the words, the sentences, the sense of the story. What is asked here it is to pay attention also on what is before words and what allows the words.
Another point which struck me, with regard to self-observation, it is the multiplicity of the internal voices. And the incoherence of the whole. A real tragic comedy. The incomprehensible reactions of a (multiple) identity which takes itself for the axis of the world. The internal observation that arises is neutral, without judgment, sometimes even friendly. It gives way to observations that are both astonishing and shocking.
Then, what I find essential, it is the distinction between necessary suffering and unnecessary suffering. Psychological work is interested most of the time in unnecessary suffering, by trying to analyze it, to find the causes, to express it, to improve it, etc. Here the aim is different, it is not a question of staying at the level of the personal story with all its rehashing and projecting, but of welcoming the necessary suffering which is just behind. Welcoming necessary suffering de facto sends back to our own powerlessness. It is out of our mechanic reactions. It is in this sense that the negative feelings are not either to be expressed, or to be repressed (a real koan the first time I read that). The negative emotion is an indication that there is a necessary suffering to welcome. If we remain submerged in it, it is a pretext not to welcome the necessary suffering, and it is the usual paddling, because the unnecessary suffering maintains the victim and vice versa. When an unnecessary suffering emerges, all the art is to fall over, in body consciousness, towards the necessary suffering. There is this suffering, naked, which is felt, there is a feeling of powerlessness, and the impression that something wastes away or falls to dust. At the same time: solitude, humility, integrity.
I am profoundly grateful to this process, because for few years I had fallen in the cauldron of the “contemporary non-duality” (Neo-Advaita). I was able to notice an inconsistency which aroused a lot of questioning. I realized that “what is” can become a concept believed through faith just like any other concept. We can easily use it as a slogan to undertake nothing, and to leave things as they are, and that means staying asleep. By beginning this work, I saw that “what is” is not untouchable, nor even does it ask for hegemony. NP
It is a wonderful adventure which had (and still has) all the ingredients worthy of a good suspense novel, suffering–too often useless and necessary suffering that advances the “schmilblick” at great speed, humor and giggles
and above all a great love… A feeling of total surrealism but which nevertheless was more real than anything I had ever lived before.
What is overriding in my experience, is the confidence in the Teaching as well as in the Teacher, who guided me from the start and never left me even in moments of personal doubt and most intense discomfort. I knew deep within me that whatever the stories my mind told me, I was in my place in this group of “searchers/seekers” and that the force that emanated from the group allowed me to go to beyond my illusions and my conditioning.
What emanates from this Teaching is an operative aspect, very practical, which allows me to express myself from my essential value in an extremely natural and simple way and it is training to live from what is bigger in me, in my daily life. This last aspect is very important to me because it is not about living privileged moments during the few days that we share together or during email contacts, and once back home to forget and continue living on our old bases, no, it’s a total commitment that includes our entire life.
I was taken to meet this teaching to please my husband! I sought nothing, was bad about myself without having ever spoken to anyone; I knew very quickly that I will follow this teaching until the end… without knowing what would be the end. The tools allowed me to update the way I functioned and how much of my life was pathetic.
At the same time these same tools allowed me, by putting them into practice, to disidentify myself from beliefs that I was wearing, to have behaviors appropriate to the circumstances. All this and many other things have been lived in pain and the courage to face the reality that I was living. That courage was enabled thanks to the feeling of total confidence in the teacher and I always felt myself accompanied by him. He demonstrated a great capacity for listening continuously, whatever the level of awareness, vocabulary, expectation of each one.
The group also provides nourishing exchanges by the reflection that it can generate and the mirror effect.
Recently, I discovered most widely body consciousness accompanying the silence of the mind; forcing myself to be alert, remembering that each day I pledge to be vigilant, the mind gradually takes the place which is due to it: where is the butter? Life is both surprising and at the same time when I am ready to live it as it presents itself to me, I find it consistent with what I am in the momentum of that which I am, simple. And finally I want to testify from the many laughs that punctuated and still punctuate our meetings.
I started to follow this teaching in 2000. I did not know at that time that it would take me this far. I felt in this group sincerity and freedom that touched me and called me. I wanted to share the existential questions seriously, to the end. The teaching surprised me, provoked doubts, but slowly, gradually, my beliefs, my hierarchies crumbled.
A turning point was taken when we committed concretely, through the management of a home, to work together several times a year for several days exposed to each other in a relentless requirement and boundless kindness. There are intense moments of life offered to all who come (exchanges, suffering, laughter, fatigue, silence, etc.) For me, everything happened gradually and smoothly, but I see that these moments have completely permeated the whole of “ordinary” life and they are a constant reminder.
Today, I continue this walk, and it is more simple, more concrete and deeper.
To me the teacher has always been a true friend. I longed for experiences of “enlightenment” and going beyond ordinary experience. I longed to be somehow aligned with the universe, to be free of suffering. In my seeking he saw the kernel of longing for what is true. He watered the seed of truth and helped me differentiate between the mind weeds and the crop of essence. He helped me strip away the superfluous, accumulated baggage I picked up in all my years of seeking. When I stumbled along the path he was there to remind me of the way.
As I was to find out through dialogues and exercises the desire to “go beyond” is a starting point. However you got to the starting point doesn’t matter. Once you’re ready to begin, drop what you were holding onto. Not easy. Along with the pain and bliss that got me to the starting point were ideas of me being somehow special. “Drop it,” he says. He says it like it’s easy; like it’s something under my control. Actually, I find that I can drop it. And drop it again each time it tries to reassert itself. And so it goes with belief after belief.
He insisted that I deal with the mundane chores of life as if they were equally important as the big things. “What?”! I thought he was crazy. “I’ll do that stuff later. I’m busy expanding my consciousness right now.” It turns out that to seriously engage in inner work, I had to kill the procrastination snake that had a strangle hold on me. That worked out fine. I was always meaning to get rid of procrastination; I just never got around to it.
This teaching is accessible to the average person. It’s not some complicated system of understanding the universe. It’s a straight forward, hands on, method of self-discovery. You learn the tools and get feedback on how you are using them. Do not to lie to yourself, it’s pointless and if you do, you will rapidly have to decide to make your way elsewhere. Being sincere to oneself is a basic requirement here.
This teaching is Grace in action. I’m eternally grateful.
What I remember from the early years, was the discovery of the original belief and the essential value. On the original belief, I could see how much avoiding it confined me in my choices in daily life, and how accepting to enter into the associated necessary suffering rather than avoiding it at all costs was a major change. In parallel, there has been a thorough understanding of certain mechanisms, for example, my tendency to be “mismatch,” that is to say, to focus on what does not stick rather than the rest. For the essential value, it was more difficult. Once identified, I could see that I did not express it a lot, probably because I was too afraid to “jump into the void,” to trust life, and give expression to it.
After several years of denouncing the false and asserting the truth, I had the impression of living in what we called “the uncheerfulness”; there was no more really a suffering (so I was able to accept with serenity my father’s death), but also no strong momentum, and sometimes the impression that I was living like a zombie.
My motto: Do not believe anything a priori, but experiment to make my own conviction.
One of the major turning points has been the purchase of a property with the group. It was an opportunity to move from a group that worked only with communication, to a confronting commitment, in the real life, with all its aspects and all its friction. I went into this adventure with still many concepts in mind, but saying myself that I had to at least try to live what I had learned from Osho: “Be realistic, plan the impossible.”
It is always difficult to remember what was and what has changed. I remember a phase of doubt when I wondered if I should not stop this teaching that brought nothing to me and it was my wife (who doesn’t follow this teaching) that made me notice I was not objective because she could witness many positive changes. Still, it’s as if an essential key was missing. As if I progressed at the psychological level but the deep transformation was not done. I continued to have fears and doubts, among other things about the teacher.
An important trigger occurred during an exchange about procrastination. I believe that with the commitment not to procrastinate anymore, I could finally live fully the transformative power of the welcoming of necessary suffering. Not procrastinating anymore meant to do the right thing when it was called, when it was my responsibility, and this meant to do unpleasant tasks, and even welcome them. I felt the strength that it generates in me. And it also confirmed another essential point, the work is not only on major life decisions, it is above all the little things: the train is late, the computer that plant, criticism of another, just when this is not the time. In practice, most of the time, nothing special, and occasionally there is this event that something that is an opportunity for vigilance and awareness, and should not miss, like a soccer goal who would have only 3 stops to do in a game, but for whom those stops are crucial…
Very recently, a new stage was reached with the deepening of the body consciousness and the realization of a non-doubt space in me, a space where the unity of the whole becomes obvious…
And returning to me today, I can see how the group was an invaluable support to denounce my blind spots and my shadows, and also, to validate certain aspects. We live in such a crazy and sick world that it is extremely difficult to find alone what is natural within ourselves.
And I admire the patience and kindness of the instructor who knew constantly to reinvent himself by bringing all kinds of tools and creating many opportunities for me to discover my true nature. I am eternally grateful to him.
Finally an accessible master who has humor. Non ceremonial…
I immediately appreciated his requirements, his integrity, his ability to recognize “the false”, to point out unnecessary suffering…
Inviting us to observe ourselves constantly…
Giving us tools to identify in ourselves, and denounce the false, the beliefs, the identity games.
Each person in the group is a revelation for the others. It is an interactive teaching one might say.
The meetings, several times a year, have gradually expanded after the group decided to find a permanent place for meetings.
It has become a great place for teaching.
So we meet 4 times a year for periods of 10 days.
This teaching is alive and at every meeting, there are surprises: emerging topics, always related to what is happening in the moment.
The teacher is not the same either… In retrospect, I realize he always acts precisely at the right time according to circumstances. Each time, we have a challenge, not the same, to confront us with reality. Each time, surprises lead us to awareness.
This teaching is done simply (but strongly) through works for the maintenance of the place, the logistics around the management of a group (meals, cleaning, laundry,…) and meetings/exchanges. At first, everything seemed to me subject to friction generating awareness.
More and more I experience, unusual in everyday life in society, of life through the impersonal, the essential value of each one expressing itself.
I learned what is my essential value, what is my original belief…
Cross our original belief to turn this necessary suffering into something else.
This teaching allows me, when I return to my daily life, to take every event, large or small, as an opportunity to get rid of the superfluous, and to live in body consciousness.
The path is long and slow for me, but every meeting is like a training, even though I did not realize it at first.
remove identification through self-observation:
unnecessary suffering from the inner considering. For me “self- pity”, thought reading; …
procrastination with its lazy habits, avoidance of necessary suffering, comfort through personal interest; …
personal interest and the concessions it lets me do…
everything is equally important,
the necessary suffering,
the circumstances that life offers us, without restraint, whatever they are,…
my responsibilities towards the commitment I made to this teaching, and to myself.
Since my childhood, a life’s journey marked by “intimate experiences”, experienced as gifts of life, an opening of the “possible”, unexplainable and difficult to share. Which sent me into a deep loneliness, and a questioning of the very meaning of life, without an answer appearing.
A recurring question accompanied me in what I had to understand to know what I should do with that. Sometimes confused and helpless, it came to me to think: I ask nothing, myself, and said: to give is to give, to take back is to steal… in a breath of ironic despair… faced with these lived perceptions, felt like messages to be decrypted, to which I did not have the access codes, and which sent me back to my inability to find the key.
In the total ignorance of any possible search for an “existential caregiver”, from the very idea that I could “steal” myself, and that it is useless to want to understand to know, but that it is only when we know that we can then understand… On the path of “I must deal with it alone”, I clung to keep my feet “planted” on the ground, following the conviction of the certainty in myself to be more a “seeker” than a researcher and in my way I’ll find the expected answers through unexpected encounters, rather than risk losing myself to look elsewhere…
In the 90s, the opportunity to follow a vocational training aroused my interest, which also could be used professionally, seemed to me to be a caregiver and personally profitable to detach myself from what encumbered me and try to find solutions in myself to direct the actions.
The meeting with “the trainer”, without knowing or suspecting the possible teaching, was decisive in the first exchange of glances. I immediately connected within myself at that moment a certainty of recognition, along with a total confidence, and deep intuition of a real encounter (with a) “caregiver”, more than in what I had to do but in what I owed to myself to make it. I discovered then, beyond certain defense mechanisms, humility.
Humility, without understanding or knowing, agreeing to take his outstretched hand, to not resist in doing what he asked me to do, to give my trust to the one who knew from me that I ignore myself, and to be guided in all I knew about everything I ignored, in the rhythm of the consciousness of the meeting with myself.
This commitment, one must know, requires 100% total commitment to and with oneself, which implies a 100% total confidence that is necessary to get rid of everything you think you know to elude the constructed unnecessary suffering, including to die to oneself.
A 100% commitment to re-born from the encounter with oneself, constantly renewed to avoid falling into oblivion, knowing that only the “necessary” suffering grows the awareness of the discovery of the true life from an I that turns into I am, in affirming ones full commitment to (saying) yes to everything, a yes where everything is equally important, a total yes to life that runs through us and animates us, to being only at its service.
A 100% commitment to welcome the transmission of a knowledge that asserts itself in body consciousness and divided attention, a consciousness that encompasses everything, and to be only in the action of what is born in the moment. And a daily THANKS, encompassing what he addresses to this outstretched hand to whom I now give mine, with the consciousness of this shared responsibility in gratitude for what life offers, to offer to him the consciousness of the sharing that grows in the awareness that embraces us in his infiniteness, and to just do what there is to do…
I was looking for “enlightenment”, this mysterious thing, a sort of Holy Grail that seemed to “live” in some “Masters”, especially those already dead,… I had heard of Mr. So-and-So, alive, that he “fell into it” when he was young, or another, recently died, who found it, then lost it, then recovered it,… I tried to understand Nisagardatta Maharadj, I had tried to read Alice Bailey, I had tried Qi Gong, I tried Yoga (with a nearly dead Master…), I visited the Buddhist, American Indian, nothing had resonated with what I felt real inside myself. I was stalled.
Then a friend told me about someone who came to a meeting weekend. It was truly a powerful non-shock: I met a normal guy dressed normally, with a slight German accent, which immediately attracted my attention by saying that he could say that he lived far the awakening but he could not know what the future might bring…
The resonance took place, and I went away with him.
What I realized years later is that he teaches permanently. There is no difference between him and his teaching. He also taught me while we were organizing workshops or watching the Grand Prix Formula 1 on tv…
His teaching is alive, in the moment, it uses our own material to knead and transform it. The commitment is total and in life. There is no difference between the teaching time and the rest of the life.
I had to, and still have to, let the superfluous. Sometimes I resisted, but I had deep inside me this trust and I felt accompanied.
In the early years I lived several very impactful moments of “insights” in exercises that he had proposed to us. Significant accomplishments for me, as annihilation of mechanisms, which gave me additional degrees of freedom.
Then the teaching has evolved towards the establishment of a specific place where we met regularly with those who follow this teaching. This commitment gave me the opportunity to meet other sections of limiting mechanisms and separators in me. It was very strong. Very necessary. A huge luck.
The teaching evolves, the group evolves, life makes its way more and more easily through our gardens. Today I live what I live, where I am. Thank you my friend: -)
Already since the start, the teaching has been integrated with my way of living, without imposing itself as something that requires specific changes in how to live or what to do in daily life. The practice is carried out continuously throughout all day. It is internal, and about “being”. Changes in “doing” come with time and quite naturally. I now do less of what is useless for me or for others. I do more of what expresses my true being and what contributes to others and their lives.
Today, the teaching means to me the same as always. The “practice” never ends. Over time, different aspects of or issues in my life show up and become the “work-bench” for a while, that’s all. The “direction” is towards cleaning out more and more useless and unnecessary content in my “life experience”, and instead welcome and accept life as it is offered to me. Eventually, the realization comes that the “practice” is the existential duty inherent in living life as “human being” at its fullest potential. I have lived this teaching for 10 years.
After a solitary personal journey made of researches and times where I put the research aside without forgetting, it was by very lucky chance that I came into contact with this teaching, which has now talked to me and appeared serious and matched what I was looking for, i.e. a relevant teaching to go after oneself, which does not promise tomorrows filled with roses, but gives the tools to get rid of the claws of the ego that keep us in a state of separation.
I have found in this teaching what was announced: no concessions, tools were gradually given in accordance with my pace and although I felt the grace that emanates and is transmitted by every true teacher, it was clear from the start that it is me who do the necessary work, but no stress to move, I had ample time to integrate, understand what I should do. Work such as I experienced it the early years was the Socratic style “know thyself”, learn through daily vigilance to discriminate between what comes from the ego, the acquired personality following infancy and strengthened thereafter, the psychological mechanisms most of time unconscious, beliefs, judgments about oneself and others, and let express what I really am, my inner nature, my essence. Being a hard case full of resistances, it is only through the kindness, patience and grace of my teacher to whom I express my gratitude, that I could make progress on these subtle ways.
It was a lot of work for me to learn to welcome necessary suffering and first to understand what it was, clearly discriminate from the unnecessary suffering that is to be deleted, and the necessary suffering that must be welcomed when it arises or when that life presents us, identify inner considering that have subtle and unconscious ramifications, also took me time, and so with the judgments and beliefs which filled my psychic life.
All this has been possible thanks to the group that took me a while to understand the importance of. Listening and acceptance of the difference that allows all its members a common growth. The inevitable confrontation in a spirit of work on ourselves during our meetings, learning the welcoming of the necessary suffering caused by all group situations during interactions and shared common life situations several times a year, taught me a lot about myself and all the mechanisms which I was filled and allowed me to raise awareness and to grow in this work.
Today after 10 years following this teaching, rid of the coarseness of which my ego is made, I continue the work of letting my essential value and my inner nature to express itself in the here and now, in the whole body consciousness, the divided attention and consciousness of the I am, careful not to let the ego take it over and appropriate the merits of the work, that belongs–I so feel it–to the impersonal in me. The welcoming of the necessary suffering in the daily life, affirmation and self-validation of what I understood and the welcoming of what emerges in the moment without expectations nor preconceived ideas, the commitment to the continuity of the work undertaken with myself are my priorities at the moment in the acceptance of what life will bring.
I first started with this teaching 11 years ago. I can still remember the excitement of the first exchanges and how those first exchanges eventually gave way to a host of other necessary and unnecessary sufferings. It has been a roller coaster ride of a high magnitude, at times difficult, at times impossible, at times simple and easy, just like life. Today, on the particular today that I am writing this, I live this teaching with “effortless effort”. And while it “feels” stabilized, I can only say that it hasn’t always been like this, and may not always be like this, yet this is “it” today. I am relaxed into a mature acceptance of life and all that it brings. Many uncooked seeds have been burned, by life, by the teaching, by myself, and by the teacher. One thing that I can count on is that if another seed may arise, seen or unseen, he will root them out and in his relentless, uncompromising way find a way to present the opportunity for their burning.
If one has the courage, the sincerity, the humility and the openness to welcome grace, then this teaching can provide an experiential “living” of one’s essence. All one needs do is trust and step out of the way.
This teaching has allowed me to discover the liberating nature of what is called the “necessary suffering” as opposed to “unnecessary suffering”, real internal poison… I wanted to live and accept each occasion where this necessary suffering arose, particularly in its most insignificant manifestations that punctuate everyday life. Frustration, irritation, anger…
Meanwhile, I gradually learned to stop producing the “toxic” suffering.
Then I felt the almost physical change that was taking place in me: situations that previously made me switch to tension gradually hardly concerned me anymore! I could finally live in it consciously, in relaxation and acceptance of what was happening.
The tools allowed me to discover some alienating functions: programs “turning in the background” that prevented me from having access to a real choice facing a given situation. And, instead, made me switch, without my realization, into a reactive and automated pattern of repetitions from which I could not free myself… until awareness of their presence in me suddenly defused their mechanism…
This highlighting was often the result of a sincere and deep exchange with the group that is part of the teaching. We should not overlook the importance of these exchanges where, in full freedom, everyone exposes themselves if they wish and where sharpness and intuition allows everyone to update from a limiting identity mechanism, separating… to break free.
After a few years, I came to what seemed like an extreme simplification of myself and to a freedom to be that I’d never experienced since my childhood!
In a few months, without my noticing, probably shaded by this life that was circulating in me, which I did not know how to take care of, and despite the repeated recommendations of the teacher, I walked away from this area of freedom, to encrust myself with new certainties, ideas about myself, stifling claims…
I cried over the loss.
The years that followed, I had in mind only the hope of recovering the experience of freedom described above. I realized one day that I was a prisoner of this expectation, this desire, this return to the past… and all my attempts to put off again the superfluous, perished in this barren sea of comparison with what I had known… I was looking for freedom while remaining attached to that past experience!
Today I feel I have definitely dropped this expectation. This teaching has the feature and the quality not to be fixed, it is alive, evolving, refined, mature, probably resonates with the proper maturation of the teacher. New avenues of exploration are proposed to us, particularly efficient for one who really gives himself to it. The discovery of my essential value and the uncovering of my original belief are two crucial steps and… shaking for the identity/ego. But other practices came then to crown these two realizations, with the aim of deepening the effects and to open more access to our innermost being.
The permanent presence to oneself remains both the objective and the keystone of every day practice. On occasion the teacher, amused, does not hesitate to destabilize all of us with a “koan” an essential AND unsolvable question for the mind, and that short-circuits at last, to break into no-mind.
Today I have the feeling of having finally taken back my way. Thanks to the teacher for his patience, his great intuitions, for knowing how to address each of us where we really are, with respect and determination. For helping us to grow, to become more and more responsible for our choices, our actions, to become ever more free ourselves. To finally express what is most authentic in us and through us… always at the service of life.