I’d like to talk about commitment. What does it mean for everyone here to be committed? And how did it happened for you: did it happen gradually, by decision, by intuition, is it a concretization of something?
For A., for example, this was not planned. As you said in your testimony: “I came to please my husband.”
Yes, that’s right! (laughs) And the first weekend was like a grenade to the brain, such an amazing thing! I wasn’t looking for anything at all, I was just very unhappy, that’s all. And then I found what I wasn’t looking for! (laughs) I’d say it was the first commitment. With a lot of fear! A week before the meetings, I already had a knotted stomach, it was something that kept reoccurring during the two or three years of NLP training in a group. Then, as far as the commitment here is concerned, you proposed it to me and I immediately said yes. I got involved without knowing how I could keep my commitment, it was very strange. And beyond that, I’m really bound, but willingly bound to keep coming here. I think I could dump husband, house, children, lots of things… And at the same time, I don’t feel like I’m making sacrifices.
Whether with Osho or with you, it went always by small steps, slowly, passing one fear, then the other, then the next. There was no force of evidence. And with you, I came because I was looking for something, but there wasn’t evidence of anything either, then little by little it was built. When we started in this place, it was 50/50, and then the confidence leaned towards 51/49 so I tipped over, and it continued to build. Then I took on more responsibility and I could let go of the doubt more and more. And today, do I have zero doubt? In any case, there is a kind of force of evidence, yes.
And no doubt, yes or no?
When I am in the force of evidence, there is no doubt. But I think the mind is capable of coming back in and finding new arguments to create doubt.
It’ll always be like that. You need to switch completely into the force of evidence.
Yes, that’s right. For me now the important thing is to function in this force of evidence, what I try to do at every moment or every opportunity.
As far as I’m concerned, a friend of mine called me back then and said, “Do you want the awakening for a hundred francs?” (laughs)” Oh yes! All I had to do was to buy a book “NLP and Beyond,” and the book purchase gave me the ability to go to a weekend meeting with the author of the book who had a method to wake up! Of course, I gave my hundred bucks, I read the book immediately, and I went to meet the author. When I met W., I liked it because he was quite normal, there was no fuss around him, it was important to me. Then he said that what had “fallen on him” has always present but that he could not know for tomorrow. I really appreciated that honesty.
Then, he proposed exercises in relation to the original belief to show how he practiced. I had not seen anything so interesting in a long time. Before, I had tried some practices that didn’t lead to anything, where it was easy to get lost or to feel extraordinary things, but that actually didn’t make sense.
For me, the commitment was clearly made before I met W., I knew that there was something behind the life I lived, without knowing what it was. I had read that it was called awakening, but I didn’t really know what we were talking about. I saw that there were clues, and in some traditions, I had recognized commonalities: Buddha, Jesus, and others. I felt this commitment: “This is where I have to go,” and I was fortunate enough to find a way forward in this direction. When I recognized this in W., it was obvious. But it is clear that the deep, original, initial commitment is to myself, and only then I engaged in a teaching. But it’s also personal, I never liked going in multiple directions, preferring to follow only one path. Later, I had to reaffirm my original commitment, which was not lost, but sometimes I needed to do it to get through some difficult times.
For me too, the commitment was made first with myself a long time ago. Then the commitment in the group and with W., it is a concretization of this original commitment. First there was a spiritual search where seeds were sown and the magnetic center was formed. Then I decided to give up everything and got rid of all my books, thinking that from now on I was going to live a normal life. I got married and we had a daughter.
A few years later, I heard again a call, the siren song, initially imperceptible, and increasingly loud. While searching on the internet for the subjects that interested me, Advaïta and non-duality, I stumbled upon W.’s site. I read everything in detail, including the books he recommended, and finally I contacted him. Then here, in the teaching with W., there have been times when I needed to re-engage, because in the concrete experience, when there is suffering and conflict, sometimes doubt is raised, doubt which is a form of defense of the ego. When I felt this happening two or three times, I re-engaged, going back to what I had experienced at the beginning, that initial clarity.
To summarize what I’ve heard so far, commitment to oneself and commitment to stay and continue here, it’s at the same level.
It’s on the same level, yes.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have felt a commitment to fighting personal lies. So, I looked for tools, alone, to work on it, to denounce the personal lie. I also felt that there was something else, but what? A friend told me that the NLP was an interesting tool. When I met W., I knew it was right. And there I was profoundly marked: W. had made a drawing with two circles symbolizing the functional and existential. And it brought me back to the strong feeling that there was something else behind the functional. I didn’t know what, and I didn’t even know the word awakening. But it really appealed to me, this “unknown,” and then I felt that to find what I was looking for meant a I had make a commitment with myself. Then my life followed that path but, I also knew I needed help to stay on the path.
How did it happen for A.?
I was already interested in the subject as a teenager. For a while, I was active on internet groups NLP, and one day I came across the announcement of a weekend of NLP in Germany, of existential NLP. It was clear that this was what I had been looking for, for years, so I signed up. Until the last day, we didn’t know if there would be enough participants for the training to take place, but for me there was no doubt it would happen. Finally, the number of people registered being sufficient, the training started and I followed the whole course. And then I stumbled upon something… or more exactly it stumbled upon me! We were offered the exercise of the timeline. I had some doubts about this exercise, because it was presented as a tool for reprogramming one’s past, and I thought it was a bit dangerous (laughs). But in doing this exercise, when I turned to the past, I had the vision of the common thread of my life and it confirmed that everything was in order, and that it couldn’t be otherwise. I lived there something very profound… but I just touched it, a little glimpse of the river bed of my life.
And has the level of your commitment changed over the years?
In which direction?
In the direction of living my essential value, more and more.
One hundred percent committed?
As far as I am concerned, I would say that I have always been engaged since I was born. I had the extraordinary chance to have an exceptional father who showed me what it means to “be human.” Although externally his behavior was quite confusing for people and he was very difficult to live with. I didn’t know what I was looking for, but I always searched. I always knew that I had to deal with the question of religion. It wasn’t so much a question of spirituality because I didn’t know what that was. My father was a believer and I was concerned about it. But he was really very discreet, and he never proselytized. It was something very intimate, very personal. I knew that someday I’d have to deal with it, so I confidently waited. In fact, it came as a surprise to me and it took me a long time to figure out what it was. It started with Stephen Jourdain. Each time I was searching for one of his videos, I stumbled upon W.’s site I was saving it in my favorites, for later. While doing a little cleaning in my internet files, I realized that this site was in all the favorites! Intrigued, I started to go through it, and there were four questions when one wanted to contact him. At first, it seemed impossible to me to answer these questions. But one night it came to me, and I sent the answers. When I reread them later, I couldn’t understand who had written that! Then W. answered, and I was immediately hooked like a fish! I didn’t know why or how, but I was getting started. Then the commitment, it was every day. But I can’t really say that there was a point in time when I made a commitment. I feel like I’ve always been committed.
How do you know you were committed?
Because I felt guided, sort of. There was something compelling in me, that is to say that it was above everything else, whereas it was just an exchange over the Internet. And I know intimately that no matter what happens, I will do this work to the end.
Is there a feeling of this commitment?
I can feel it, yes! It’s not at all at the heart level. It’s really in the guts.
Can we say for you “I’m committed = I am”?
Yes! “I am committed = I am”, it goes straight to the heart.
And your commitment, L?
I had read all of Arnaud Desjardin’s books because one of my friends was involved with him, and it helped me a lot at the beginning of the journey. I even met him. I had seen Stephen Jourdain at a conference, and I liked him very much, but he wasn’t teaching, so I was a little disappointed. And then I met Luis Ansa, and also Amma but their meeting did not speak to me to the point of engaging with them. However, I knew I couldn’t move forward on my own and I was looking for someone. Through one of my students, I read your book, and I was immediately interested. At the first meeting, I really appreciated your simplicity: a next-door-guy in slippers, as ordinary as possible. I immediately trusted you, and it was this confidence that kept me going.
Describe a little more about how you feel the commitment.
I have the impression that it’s very physical, I feel something very strong, like an anchorage.
Is it also for you “I’m committed = I am”?
I don’t know, I never knew if “I am,” so I can’t say that. But when I think of commitment, I find this centering, which I have felt more strongly over the years. There has been a first commitment here, then an adjustment with a second commitment, and I reiterate that on a regular basis.
Is that a common thread?
Yes, there is something that has been around for a long time and is getting stronger.
To go towards?
Towards what I am.
And you S.?
Commitment, I’ve been feeling it in me since I was a kid. At the beginning, it turned out to be an interest in fantasy and science fiction, always with the feeling that there is another reality in the background. But it was blurry. At that time, I was more of a “doer.” I started doing martial arts, and through it, I discovered Taoism. Then I practiced chi gong and internal Taoist alchemy. Then, through a friend of mine, I came across your site and I felt really called upon. I absolutely had to write to you! And we started an email correspondence that was very important to me.
And I begged you to teach me individually, but you said, “No, there’s a group dynamic.” And I didn’t want the group! I was with my old scheme: the Taoist pupil who will climb the mountain and find his master in the cave! Then I read your book and several passages clicked for me, while others remained incomprehensible. I’ve reread it at least three or four times. I was taking notes, it was getting clearer and clearer. It became clear, but at the same time you were talking about something I felt but didn’t see.
I came to the first meeting and asked a lot of questions about your book. I was advancing a little bit in unknown territory, because I had never read a non-duality book. I used to think it was intellectual masturbation, nothing concrete, just philosophy! However, I didn’t quite understand what you were talking about, but there was a strong feeling.
And when did you feel that your original commitment became concrete?
It was then that I told my wife, when we didn’t have a penny and the kids were in their infancy, that I was going to take the training over two years. I knew we didn’t have the money to take this training. I didn’t know how to do it, it seemed impossible, but I knew it was going to happen. I had an incredible “luck” because shortly after I got hit by a car and spent six months in hospital with several fractures and a brain hematoma. When I got out of there, just in time for the first year of training, a girlfriend gave me the name of a lawyer. I was never a procedural man, I didn’t want to call him. But I went there anyway, and that lawyer got me a lot more than the insurance offered. Thanks to that, I was able to pay for the training! And apart from some big omissions, I didn’t have any after-effects.
And how has your commitment evolved? Has your commitment to the training strengthened your commitment to yourself?
I was sure it was the way I had to go. Later on, I discovered that there were a lot of teachers in this field, but I wasn’t interested. For me it was all or nothing, and I was sure that with you it was all.
So your commitment has gradually grown stronger. And it also confirmed that your intuition was the right one.
Yes, yes. For me, in a way, it was really a matter of life and death. It was the chance of a lifetime.
Yeah, I felt it too. Despite all the family constraints.
M., your commitment?
I have always committed myself to myself, as far back as I can remember this search was dormant. When I was twenty years old, I struggled during a few years and confronted the problem head-on. And since I’ve been here, I’ve recognized that I’ve already been instinctively working on myself but didn’t realize it. This sincerity with myself was really the heart of the work, even in the lie. I knew that somewhere there was always a bit of a lie in me, but I was working on myself. And then I lost this. I think I got my hands on a really liberated “state”, where it seems to me that I might have found the original belief: there was evidence that, in retrospect, explained everything I had experienced so far.
According to your vision today, at that time you had already met your original belief?
I’d say so, yes.
Through the circumstances?
Yes, through the circumstances of life, by confronting reality and living with others, by overcoming my fears in everyday life, by confronting myself with situations. Here, at first, I didn’t understand anything, I was groping, it was very hard. It was necessary to conceptualize all this, whereas until now I had been in direct contact by experimenting. All these notions, such as internal consideration, external consideration, among others, had a familiar aftertaste. When I lost that, I really fell to the lowest level. Before meeting you all, I was in contact with a person who was talking about this very issue of suffering, which is really central to me: how to welcome the necessary suffering, how to relax in it. I corresponded with this person for a while because at that time, the need to find a teacher was obvious to me. Alone, I couldn’t do it.
Couldn’t you have continued with that person?
No, that door closed pretty quickly. But I had a strong impulse to look for someone else, with the opportunity to discuss what I had been through, and what I wanted to put my hand back on. It was a mandatory injunction for me. Otherwise life was not worth living under these conditions. While browsing the Internet, I frequented non-duality, and also neo-advaita, but it was still very conceptual. There was a gap between these concepts and my life, and I didn’t know what to do anymore. The lie towards myself had become stronger, and I no longer had any clear-sightedness regarding all those things that I had previously integrated by observing myself, by taking a step back. All this personal work I had forgotten, even though I kept a distant awareness of it. I felt it when I fell into oblivion, and I had issued myself an injunction: “Never forget that you are not what you think you are.” While browsing the site of Stephan Jourdain, I found your email, and that’s how I got here. At first, I didn’t understand everything, and sometimes even nothing, the tools used didn’t speak to me. And then as I went along, by testing on me, by living it, I made links, connections. Body consciousness, it’s been talking to me a lot. Commitment also simplifies things: to get rid of myself and return to simplicity, the innocence that I had lost.
So, you’ve always been committed to yourself?
Has your commitment changed?
My commitment has always remained constant.
So that’s a pretty good point of reference for you, too, isn’t it?
Yes, it’s a point of reference, a common thread, it’s the base that carries me, no matter what happens.
There’s something unshakeable, isn’t there? Something immutable, something eternal even, in your commitment?
Ah, there’s a trap with that! I don’t trust the seeker and his expectations linked to a commitment.
You spoke of innocence, is it still there?
I’d like to find that innocence again.
Find it again. So, there’s some kind of longing?
No, you really have to distinguish between waiting for something and longing. To long for: want something, aspire to. Aspiration for innocence. What if you tie this to the commitment?
It’s the same thing.
There you go. So, there’s no lie there?
So you turn the waiting into aspiration, there’s no fakes in the aspiration. In the waiting, maybe you were smelling fake. The momentum is the same, but there is no longer any waiting, there is simply “aspiration.” And aspiration and commitment, it’s the same for you, it’s always connected?
And can you take that responsibility now? Do you feel ready?
All right, then do it.
It is very comfortable, this innocence, we live it, we feel what is happening. It’s a gift, we live it but we don’t give anything.
Yes, you have to pay now. You got a present, but now you have to pay for it, that’s the way it is. In order to assimilate your commitment even more, make it more aware, validate it completely, actively and responsibly.
When I was a child, I received a transmission, a kind of initiation, from my father and a grandmother who loved flowers, plants and animals. It helped me a lot because I asked questions when I was seven years old when I was in the garden; sometimes I felt a little different from my friends. My father repeatedly told me very strongly: “But this way of being is you!” And it stayed with me, without knowing exactly what it did to my child’s head. I was sure that I had a way to live, which was outlined. I had periods of hospital, special circumstances, but for me it was an evidence that I had to thank, that there were gifts, even if it was sometimes challenges. I even wrote to God, and in this letter, I told him, among other things, that it was not normal, that I was a small child, and that I could not endure trials like the grown-ups. But I was aware that if I had difficulties, I also had the ability to get through them. One day, a friend of mine left me your book: “NLP and Beyond,” I didn’t read it, I put it aside. And then, one evening, I opened it, started to read, and I had an understanding at my level, through the body. I didn’t read everything, but it was very clear to me that I needed to meet the guy who had written this. So, I insisted on meeting you, because I wanted to know if the author was “a real human being,” it was very important for me. And then it was instantaneous, I saw right away that you sent each person back to himself. When we started joking and you burst out laughing, I thought, “It’s him!” To me it was clear, you were a human being. And I committed to the training.
So you’ve been immersed in this commitment since childhood. It kind of didn’t change.
It was a compass, yes, there was this sense of the sacred, I think of the initiation received from my loved ones. I also knew I’d have to be patient.
It is also the aspiration, the aspiration-commitment towards the divine.
Yes, no choice. This is my life’s priority.
Who didn’t speak yet: N.?
Since childhood, I have felt this call, this aspiration, without knowing exactly what it was and it is really from childhood onwards that I made a commitment to follow and respond to this call. I’ve read a lot of books, I feel like I’ve been guided in some way, following a common thread. Even in times of forgetfulness, there were reminders. And here, the affirmation was even stronger, something more radical took shape, it took on a new dimension. And every time I come here, the commitment is renewed and strengthened. Because it’s not something that is taken once and for all.
I would say that this call is like the way of the heart resonating through life. But today, something even more subtle is revealed to me, which is in the heart of my heart and unknown to me. It is an absolute decision, an absolute commitment.
And for you, A-M?
Commitment, I have the impression that I was born with it, that it was part of my proportions, my colors, in the form of “aspiration.” My religious education gave it food in childhood. That is to say, through what I heard in the texts, I suspected that there was another world, that there were other laws. There were the laws of this world and there were other laws. And I always wondered what was really true. I remember looking for the real thing. There was a time when, in relation to religious dogma, I no longer knew if this was really true, and then commitment was no longer nurtured. The aspiration was always there, very strong, but it’s as if it had become secret. My field of experience has been through romantic relationships where I have long been confronted with the paradox: freedom, commitment, love and how to reconcile the three? I was convinced that commitment was liberating, that apparently it was irreconcilable but not in reality. For years, I felt this paradox: I was totally committed to my relationships, and I wanted freedom and love; it had to work together. Then I discovered that the absolute was not there, there were plenty of desert crossings.
One day I went completely by chance to interviews given by Yvan Amar and there, it was the proof for me that this research could succeed. Yvan had started to give us tools in the form of conscious relationship and I got involved in my relationships with these tools. After his death, I started my first NLP training with W. a little by chance and rather for professional reasons. At the end of the first year, I didn’t intend to continue, but one day I caught a sentence from O. that said of me: “Oh, I know, she is the kind of the person who doesn’t commit!”
I was stung and to prove him wrong, I enlisted! It’s amazing to see how the important things in life are dependent of such little things! I felt the truth in this group of humans. For me, it was played out through the group, much more so than through the individual relationship with W. who practically did not exist.
For me, commitment is really at the level of actions, which are nourished by this aspiration. This happened in a very progressive way, because I was very busy with concepts, values, and here nothing could answer them. It’s been very difficult to get rid of all this stuff and I’m not completely stripped of it yet! On the other hand, trust in W.’s person has become complete. The great discovery is simplicity, because it’s very simple! Today my criteria no longer fit in concepts, but in shared moments of silence where I feel immensity and gratitude.
J-L, you’ve been caught, I get the impression!
Each testimony resonated with me. And in terms of commitment, I appreciate the courage and perseverance that is needed. Listening to the various testimonies, the walk I was talking about seemed less disorganized. The roads are different but they go to the same place. And it reassured me a little bit, in the sense that it’s always a walk, but not randomly, not because I’m bored or want to be distracted.
Timing was important too. Before it was too early and if I waited, maybe it would be too late, and I have the impression that the meeting came at the right time. I had this idea of a walk, because I don’t feel a directed action, a will to look for something. I feel more like things are happening and I’m answering them or not. The only thing I can do a little bit is be vigilant.
One must become able to seize opportunities.