THE ENLIGHTENMENT INTENSIVE
Some Preliminary Thoughts on Enlightenment
You don't really need to get enlightened. Very few people actually get enlightened and life goes on. Oh, we venerate those great souls who have achieved great enlightenment; whole religions have come into being resting on their teachings. But we could go through life without enlightenment and survive it just fine. It is optional and the choice is yours.
But enlightenment does indeed exist. It is not an illusion or fantasy that crazy or ignorant people have come up with. This should not be a surprise, because enlightenment is defined as "direct experience of truth", and, if you think about it, there is nothing but the truth, since the truth is what is. The problem is that we experiencewhat is in a very indirect way. We experience what is as information, and as it comes into our consciousness, either through our senses or through our rational thoughts and concepts, it gets changed. We end up thinking the self, life, or others are something different than what they actually are. It is as if we are not in touch with the truth. Acting on this false impression of reality, we go about doing all sorts of stupid things and getting into all sorts of trouble. This is especially troublesome when it is our own self nature that is confused.
That there is a way it is, an absolute reality, is not too far fetched. You may not be what you think you are, but you are. To be self-enlightened is to be conscious of the absolute truth of yourself without your knowledge of that absolute truth being changed by your thinking mind or your feelings. Direct experience is where you, as a conscious being, and the truth are not separate. Self-enlightenment is not an intellectual idea about yourself, nor a decision, nor is it a feeling. It is your own pure awareness of yourself.
One can cultivate direct experience. One can learn how his perception works, how the mind works, how the body works, all the pathways, and can learn how to be truly open to reality. It requires a willingness and dedication to relate to the truth of how things actually are. It requires a willingness to be directly conscious of our own natures, the nature of life, and the nature of others.
Most people feel that they are in touch with reality. They think the reality is the reality their senses report and the accumulated opinions and attitudes they hold in their minds. And this works to a degree; we get along. But our senses, in fact, lie to us all the time. For instance, our senses tell us that the world is flat, that we are standing still, and that the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening. The world, though, is round, we are moving at an enormous velocity through space, and there is a much better way of modeling the motion of the Sun besides its "rising and setting".
In addition, we get our opinions and attitudes, which are states of mind, mixed up with what is. We get the symbols mixed up with the actuality. It's not that there is a "deeper reality" because there is just one reality. But there is a potential for an experience of reality that is direct and has no distortion.
To engage in this work, one must be willing to change his perspectives and his behavior. He must be willing to wake up to a new sense of what is. When one wakes up from the false reality of indirect experience he will probably find that, in his own estimation, some of what he has been doing is inappropriate and he has to make some adjustments to live in accord with his deeper sense of the truth. Those who embark on an enlightenment journey want this change. They want a better life based on how it really is.
One of the key things to go is our denial of others. Just as our experience of the self brings us fully into life, another's experience of the truth of their own being brings them into life too. When enlightened, we present our true natures to each other. This has a profound impact on how we treat others and offers a path for resolving all of our interpersonal problems, not to mention the joy and love we experience from living the truth with each other.
People have been devising ways to bring about enlightenment for millennia. What people seem to have settled on is separation. You go away on a retreat of some sort. Meditation is a kind of going away, though it is done internally, not necessarily externally. Going away from our regular cares and concerns quiets the mind and increases the opportunity for direct experience. Detachment is encouraged because it makes this going away easier and supports letting go of fixed attitudes. Fixed attitudes in the mind get in the way of changes we need to make to have a change of state.
Along with separation, another essential element is putting conscious attention on the truth. One does not go away to just fool around. One goes away to ponder a basic truth. "Who am I?" is a classic focus for self-enlightenment. One focuses attention on self with deepening absorption until the whole conscious mind is on the self and nothing else. It takes profound concentration, clarity, and intelligence to grasp the self directly. Or, if one puts his attention on life, another, or love, he will become more and more conscious of the untruth in these areas, discard it, and eventually become enlightened about life, others, or love .
But a warning: it takes more than what you've got to get enlightened. The enlightenment experience is not a willful act. No amount of concentration or dedication or desire for the truth is wholly sufficient. You cannot get yourself enlightened by just your own efforts. You see, the truth is beyond the reach of your ego desire. The way it is is the way it is no matter what you want or think. One must surrender a bit to allow a fact beyond oneself to come in and must surrender completely to directly experience absolute reality. There is some otherness to the truth, and union with this otherness is not under one's control. It has its own choice. You must do your part in the openness and surrender, but you can't do it all.
Some people believe that you should not talk about enlightenment. Since you cannot communicate the experience of enlightenment to another (though you can communicate about the experience) they prefer not to talk about it. In addition, people often get into arguments, hurt each other's feelings, or stir up their intellectual minds when talking about these things. In some circles, it is even forbidden to talk about your inner experiences. On the other hand, there are thousands of books written by enlightenment masters or their devotees that go into great detail about these experiences.
Actually, it is not only OK to talk about enlightenment, it is a great benefit. When contemplating, an indirect experience that you believe is the truth (but is just an idea of it) can arise and you can get stuck for literally years on that thought. However, if you communicate it to someone else, and they receive it cleanly, it tends to clear from the mind, allowing you a new opportunity to go deeper with your work. Communicating what comes up as a result of contemplation clears the matter from the mind. One's progress is greatly enhanced by this.
When you deal with communication, you deal with what goes on between two individuals. There are many ways a communication can fail, either because of something the sender does or does not do, or because of what the listener does or does not do. For communication to support enlightenment work, the flow between the two individuals can't be a casual social conversation. It needs to be a special disciplined relationship that is set up to provide the best chance of real understanding. Ideally, an enlightenment technique would allow for and encourage communication of this kind.
The Enlightenment Intensive Format
The Enlightenment Intensive is a three (or more) day residential retreat dedicated to enlightenment. During that time, one works only on his enlightenment. All other goals are set aside for those three days and one keeps his attention one-pointedly on an enlightenment question for the entire time.
The questions are basic: "Who am I?", "What am I?", "What is Life?", "What is Another?", "What is Love?". You choose one question to work on for the entire time. Which one you choose is not important, since they all lead to the same enlightenment. The "Who am I?" and "What am I?" questions are called "Self-enlightenment" questions. "What is Life?" is used to get what we call "Life enlightenment". "What is Another?" is used to get "Other enlightenment", and "What is Love?" is for "Love enlightenment". Although all enlightenments are the same, how one talks about an enlightenment afterwards is usually in terms of their question.
Although there are meal breaks, solitary meditations, a physical exercise period, and a short lecture, the bulk of each 18-hour day at an Enlightenment Intensive is spent in two-person dyads. You choose a partner at random from the group and work with him for 40 minutes. After a short break you get a new partner and continue working on your question.
In the dyad, one person is the receptive partner and one is the active partner. The active partner contemplates by asking himself the question and then being open to truth. He then communicates what came up from that contemplation, being careful not to add anything to or take anything away from what he actually experienced. The receptive partner keeps his attention on the active partner and listens without judgment or reaction. The receptive partner never comments on what the active partner says. When one complete message from one contemplation has been sent by the contemplator and understood by the listener, the receptive partner gives a simple neutral "thank you" and then they reverse roles. The focus is maintained; there is no chit chat. Each partner gets to spend about an equal time being receptive and active.
Having a receptive partner helps to keep the active partner at the task of trying to experience the truth. We have found, by communicating what comes up, this material is made to vanish to the degree that it is received and understood by the other individual. Untruth vanishes, the truth remains.
The leader of the Intensive is called the master. The master isn't thought of as your master (like you are a slave and have to submit to him) but as one who has mastered the art of running an Intensive. The master helps by providing a supportive environment conducive to enlightenment. He or she inspires the participants to give it their all, to stay with it, and helps by carefully guiding the participants in doing the dyad enlightenment technique. If barriers arise, the master will help the participants face them and get through them rapidly.
In addition to the master, there are usually a few other staff people, their number depending on the size of the Intensive. There is usually a chief monitor whose job it is to keep the Intensive site in good shape and to handle any emergencies that might come up. He's the master's assistant. There are, of course, the cooks who make sure that good food arrives on time when the meal and snack breaks occur. There are one or more monitors who can help participants with particular questions or problems in their process. And there may be a de-odder, someone who sits in dyads when there are an odd number of participants so everyone has someone to work with. Everything is taken care of so the participant can devote all of his energy and attention to his Enlightenment Intensive question.
The Enlightenment Intensive was developed in 1968 by Charles Berner. It was an outgrowth of original work he was doing on interpersonal relationships with a group called the Institute of Ability which he founded several years earlier. He gave 99 Intensives, retiring from that activity to devote all his time to his sadhana. He was given the name Yogeshwar Muni and was given Shaktipat Diksha (initiation) by his guru, Swami Kripalu. He now lives in South Australia where he continues to practice Sahaj Yog.
Since 1968, upwards of 50,000 people have experienced the Enlightenment Intensive. Anywhere from about 10% to 35% or more of the participants on any particular Intensive attain some degree of enlightenment or have a significant spiritual experience. Each year, in the Fall, an Annual Intensive is held in Northern California, bringing together a large group of "old timers". In addition, other Intensives are irregularly held throughout the year in Northern California, Vancouver, Arizona, Toronto, several countries in Europe, and in Australia.
A Spiritual Experience October 30, 1983
When I went to the Intensive, I remember that I was programming my mind to be open to a real change in my life.
For a day and a half it seemed like I slowly descended into a watery dark world of confusion and sleepiness. My eyes would hardly focus. I was in a dream world most of the time.
Then, on the third day, it cleared abruptly and I felt a sense of clarity about my question. 'What is Life?'. I was suddenly conscious of the truth of Life. It was like a deep acceptance. But I also felt a distinct sense of separation between me and Life.
I worked through some things, one at a time, and felt some minor progress. Then, in the late afternoon, I worked with a partner whom I felt I could trust. An older woman, she asserted over and over that her idea of the truth was hers and everybody keep out. For now, she wasn't going to listen to anyone. Somehow this inspired me.
During my turn, I suddenly noticed how I was holding back. It was obvious I was afraid of being invalidated. It was as if I would only look at Life. Then, I threw that aside and plunged ahead, "into the absolute", before I could think or make a plan. It felt like diving into a deep mental hole. It felt like my mind was completely denied no thought allowed. My body quickly began to react. My breathing was filled with tremendous energy and I tried not to resist it.
Then I felt like I pierced something in myself. My sense of myself as a separated individuality vanished, no self-thought existed. Some kind of sweet rapture began, flooding my head and heart. Something burst and an intense scream came out, then many intense screams, one after the other. I wasn't upset, I didn't have much emotion, but emotion was coming out with tremendous energy. I laughed and cried and shrieked. It was like a dam bursting. In the middle of this I saw my most private stuff fly out of me.
Wave after wave of the hidden truth about myself came out, along with silvery white light. Rays seemed to stream out of my arms and feet. My arms and legs tingled like they were being shocked with a strong electric current (probably a result of hyperventilating).
Wave after wave, more and more of the truth was there. Then another shift: the truth, God, and my own nature became fused. Nothing was hidden, nothing was denied. That's what it was for me.
But my experience was that this contact with the truth, so direct, was meeting with tremendous blocks. These blocks would keep pushing me out of the experience of this Absolute. I spent about an hour and twenty minutes in a state where I was facing impurities inside of me at various levels of intensity and going in and out of the union experience.
Every once in awhile the whole thing would quiet down. Some relief there, as I was getting emotionally exhausted. Then, I'd ask the question again and the energy would intensify and I would have another purging.
Finally, I sat up straight and willed that the resistances that I was feeling in my body and were causing me to twitch, jerk and cry out should go away. I felt I just had to handle it. What resulted was more radiant light from my body. My body filled with light, a smooth glowing radiance; I radiated beams, rainbows, white, yellow and clear light, and felt a peaceful joyous delight. I glowed like this for about 10 minutes, I think, until the people started returning from the late afternoon break period.
I sat up with a new partner. He was interested in what was happening. I was newly aware of the huge amount of blockage and false considerations I have about my relationships with everyone and started weeping again. I felt that I could not face others. It was too hard to look them in the eyes. I looked down as I worked, but I forced myself to say things that were difficult to say.
After the dyad was over, I was more down to earth. I also had a number of proud feelings about having had such a strong experience (which was embarrassing.)
What I experienced might not be an enlightenment. It was something very important to me though, because it revealed to me so much of what goes on inside me. This graphic experience of my limitations and of me temporarily overcoming them I prize very deeply. Also, my sense of life changed. For the first time, God is real to me. I know how I'm separated and I know there is a path back. Little by little I will wear down those resistances.
Tea For the Lama
by Steve Cavin
I packed the things carefully; two bowls, a whisk, dipper, spoon, bell, and of course, the tea. Everything fit snugly, wrapped in cloth napkins, into a small rugged toolbox. Only the dipper, a bit too long for the box, faced alterations. The handle had to be sawed and sanded. It looked rather trim and light now, just making the diagonal in the box.
I was going to Nepal. All my life, I had wanted to see the Himalayas and Mt. Everest. And now I was going to walk for two weeks, with a compact tea set in a plastic toolbox, to a Tibetan Buddhist monastery at 13,000 feet to do Tea Ceremony for the high Lama.
It took 13 days walk to reach Thyangbouche, largest monastery of the Khumbu. We camped at the top of the hill, just beneath the stupa. That night, I saw Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, and the back ridge of Everest lit by the full moon. At 5:00 AM, the monks in the temple began blowing horns and clanging gongs and chanting. It was bitter cold.
In the morning, I told the first monk I saw that I wanted to give some pictures to the high Lama (some mandelbrot drawings I'd made with my computer). He led me to a small courtyard. I presented the pictures to the Lama, and he studied each one carefully, murmuring prayers and rubbing some beads between his fingers. I told him I wanted to do Tea ceremony for him. This he did not understand, and he sent me back down to get a monk who could translate.
The monk looked puzzled, but when I opened the Tea set a dozen or so monks gathered about, handling all the implements, passing them back and forth, and chattering excitedly to each other. The monks laughed and ran like children, and when they looked at me, they were utterly fearless. One of them took some of the tea and smeared it on his tongue. "Good", he said, and we headed back up.
I sat on the stones before the Lama, hot water was brought in a bowl, and I made the tea. When I passed him the bowl, he looked at me fixedly, and drank some. He looked me a second time, so deeply I felt he was looking right through me, and drank some more. "Good tea", he said, and passed me the bowl! When I looked at him, he looked back, completely conscious of me and completely unconcerned about me, and that was all.
I asked him his name, and he said, "Nawang Tenzing Jungpa".
The essence of unconcealment of what is belongs to being itself -- Heidigger
The Four Dharma Worlds
by Forest Dalton
I took a trip to Japan in 1961 along with a dozen or so friends in search of Eastern wisdom. While we were in the Nara area we heard about a school of Buddhism that had managed to put it's entire written philosophy into ten words. The ten words were organized into four chapters called the Four Dharma Worlds. Practitioners of this school spent a lot of time ferreting out the deeper meanings of these four expressions. I thought you might enjoy playing with them, so here they are:
JI means "thing" a chair, plant, person, or other object in the ordinary world.
RI means "essence" or "true existence" perhaps like Plato's ideal form, or maybe some kind of spiritual source.
MU means "no" or "not". GE means "difference" or "separation". So in the Third Dharma World you don't find any distinction between something's ordinary existence and it's spiritual origin, or between your ordinary self and your real self.
When you finally feel at home in this Third
Dharma World, you are ready to throw yourself into the Fourth Dharma World,
I worked out this chart while sitting in the bathtub a couple of weeks ago. I had observed that there is a pattern to the steps one goes through when resolving a basic life problem by clearing the mind of fixed attitudes and stuck emotions. This chart summarizes the steps I've seen.
Each step on the chart below is one of increasing consciousness, increasing communication, and increasing ability. The first three steps are described as "descending" because, subjectively, it feels like you're getting worse as you progress through the steps, even though you are getting better.
||Unconscious of the problem, but one's behavior expresses it. Others may notice it, but he doesn't.|
||Conscious of the behavior but not of the source of the problem. Lives the problem as a problem. Typically one has an attitude that the source of the problem lies only with others.|
|Conscious of one's own part in the problem and works to understand the underlying cause. Flows communication and emotion to others which reduces the problem's "charge".|
||Has insights into the problem. Understands problem in terms of the interpersonal relationship issues. Contacts the core of the problem. Continues to communicate.|
||Becomes conscious of a deeper degree of contact with others that had been blocked by the problem. Chooses the contact over the problem.|
||Conscious of the entire nature and scope of the problem. Can view it in its entirety without being the effect of it.|
||Grateful that he had the problem. Grateful of the new level of relationship with others.|
13th Annual Enlightenment Intensive
This is an account of my experiences in the 1992 Annual Intensive, taken from a series of computer messages to a friend who has never been to one. Richard Waldinger.
THE DAY BEFORE:
I am going to the Intensive tonight. I am getting nervous about it, which means I am making plans about how to approach it. I am afraid of falling in love with women, then not being able to talk about it because I am afraid they are listening. There is a rule against laying trips on people. Sometimes that means that you do not talk about them directly, just sort of anonymously, using the odd phrase "another". Like "Another makes me nervous."
I also get distracted listening to what other people say, especially whatever chosen one I have a crush on. I am driving with a friend. I don't have a crush on her but I sometimes think about having sex with her. Then there is a woman I had an intense flirtation with during and after the last Intensive I went to, a year ago. She might be there. I always seem to settle on someone. It is such a trying situation; I look to women for protection.
I am better prepared for this Intensive than ever before. I am into Zen meditation. I have done more Yoga and Aikido so my body is in good shape. I am used to sitting. They only let you sleep six hours a night but I often do that anyway. I can take naps there too and I will get enough food. It's not like in the old days when they used to starve you in Intensives. I feel funny talking to you about it, as if I were in some weird cult or subculture.
THE DAY AFTER:
I didn't get enlightened at my Intensive but I moved along some. The last three periods I had really good meditation. (They say "contemplation.") I went into what I think of as samadhi -- I felt absolutely still as if my whole body were having sweetness poured through it. I could sit motionless -- a miracle after three days -- and my mind was very still and clear, hardly a glimmer of a thought. It was as if my body was held within some great force.
I worked on "What am I?", as I had planned. The last thing I was getting was that I am absolutely nothing. Not just empty space but the absence of empty space. Although I am nothing I pervade everything, in some way that I'm not quite clear about. So when I have a thought I pervade that thought. When I see a star I pervade that star, so I extend that far. So my self extends to the end of the universe.
I had lots of experiences where I felt blended with my partners. When they smiled I smiled automatically. It was as if we were joined together at the mouth. (I got this especially with women.) I thought about you and got the idea that you and I are different sides of the same coin. When I experience you I am creating you or constructing you, and I guess you are doing the same for me. Some of this is not really experience, it is part deduction. And there are some things I am confused about, like if you and I see a star are we seeing the same star?
There were lots of good sexy things at the Intensive, intensified by the fact that actual sex is not allowed, even between married couples, even masturbation, and also by the fact that one is instructed to report anything that comes to mind, in great detail if need be, that results from contemplating the question. One partner dwelt on sex almost the whole time. In working with me she told me about lesbian fantasies, which got me turned on too. So I told her all about the sensations in my penis and thighs. I had a fantasy of starting an affair with her, which I dutifully told her about. As the Intensive progressed, various women were talking about going down on men, wanting to be raped, or about being very turned on.
There is so much to tell. On the first night, before the Intensive had formally started, I felt myself drawn to a woman who looked familiar. I couldn't take my eyes off her. I went up to her and asked who she was, and it turned out to be a woman I had had a crush on at an Intensive almost two years ago, I just hadn't recognized her. During a dyad, I told her all about my crush on her; all my feeling for her had come back. Two years ago I hadn't told her and it sort of wrecked the Intensive for me. It was something I felt I shouldn't talk about, so it kept coming up all the time. By the end I was completely demented. This time I talked it out, both to her and to my next partner, and it was not a problem. I didn't talk to her again until after the Intensive was over and I didn't dwell on her at all, although I was pretty aware of her when she was around.
It is hard to convey the sound of the room, there is lots of murmuring, kind of subdued, like in the movie "Last Year at Marienbad." Then there are people crying and people suddenly screaming at the top of their voice. One woman would periodically scream "I'm alive!" This was held in the chapel of a Catholic retreat center. The priest was a little nervous but Edrid had a long talk with him. The last dyad was the closest thing to pandemonium I've ever heard.
Although there were lots of sexual things at the Intensive I don't think I got an erection the whole time. The most emotional time I had was the evening of the first day. I worked with one woman who was talking about what a good nurturer she was and how important love was to her. I was not really attracted to her but I became subtly seductive. I talked about how I felt vulnerable and was afraid of being rejected. At the end of our forty minutes I started back-peddling -- I was afraid she would think we were starting a new romance. So I began weaving my wife into the conversation, just so she would know what she had to deal with.
Somewhat disturbed by this experience, I worked next with a young man who was at his first Intensive. The directions are to share the forty minutes roughly half and half, but I developed the idea that he was hogging the time, reporting on one thing and then contemplating another without giving me a turn in between. I got more and more irate until finally I said "Thank you!" at a point when he wasn't quite finished, just catching his breath. He seemed startled and relinquished his turn immediately. Then on my turn I felt so guilty I started apologizing for interrupting him, but I think I managed to convey to him that he had been wrong to report several things on one turn. In fact, it was even more wrong for me to tell him what he was doing wrong. I should have complained to a monitor. Anyway, for the rest of our dyad he made his turns absurdly short, contemplating for ten seconds and then saying four or five words each time.
So after that dyad I felt even worse. I talked to one of my favorite monitors, wondering if I should apologize to the people I had wronged. She thought that would just make things worse. Why didn't I just drop it and go back to the technique? That seemed to work just fine.
Toward the end of the Intensive I started to feel neurotic about whether I would get enlightened or not, something they make a big deal over. In Zen they tend not to talk about enlightenment. Even there it's a big deal in my mind, but it seems to take the edge off it, not talking about it much. One of the obstacles to enlightenment is wanting to get enlightened, like an honor or acquisition. I was getting very pure concentration, and then the thought would come up "Do I have time to get enlightened before the end of the Intensive?" I felt myself getting depressed worrying about going home to Fran and the children and telling them that I hadn't gotten enlightened. In fact, Fran would be jealous if I DID get enlightened.
For a time I thought I had had my experience, when I decided I was a nothing that pervades everything. One of my partners told me he had gotten the same thing as I when HE was enlightened. If you have an enlightenment experience, or think you have, you are supposed to present it to your partners, to the monitors, and eventually to the master, who will check it out. They try to talk you out of it, one of the tests of a true enlightenment being that no one can talk you out of it. Also, that you don't care what people think. I was just the opposite. I wasn't sure and I did care what people thought.
I never did present my experience to a monitor or Edrid. I was too canny for that. I didn't want to be shot down. There are lots of other tests besides being sure of yourself -- lots of people are sure of themselves. The thing about my answer was that it wasn't derived purely from experience, it was partly figured out. I had ruled out everything else, so I must be nothing. The nothing answer seemed to fit. Also I was pretty far along and I was getting lots of phenomena, energy sensations and stuff. I must be enlightened; I wanted everyone to notice.
As usual I felt completely out of place at the closing party, after the Intensive was formally over. Here I was with people I had been very intimate with for three days and I was asking them what was their name and what did they do, as if it were a cocktail party. I did have a nice talk with the woman I'd had a crush on and I arranged to get a body worktreatment from her.
On the way home we were completely spaced out. We got on 880 three times in the wrong direction.
My body still feels the effects of the Intensive. Usually it takes a week to wear off. When I sit still I feel energy moving around in my body, like the after-shocks of an earthquake. Sometimes people get enlightenments after their Intensives are over.
My meditation this morning was disappointingly distracted compared to my great ones at the Intensive. I guess I'll be talking about the Intensive for a while. I feel like I've just come back from a long trip and I'm full of it and am blabbing my head off about it. At least I don't take slides and have slide-shows. Actually, a tape recording would be pretty interesting.
I still feel subdued and jet-lagged; it's great. I had decaf this morning to keep the mood as they don't have coffee at Intensives. This afternoon though I had regular.
One thing about Intensives, they seem to underscore whatever my main current problem is. Like when I had crushes on women, it was at a time when I wasn't coming to terms with my romantic feelings. This time I became preoccupied with success and failure, and with sex, which is true in my life right now too.
I feel funny talking to you about this kind of stuff. I'm afraid you'll think I'm weird since you're not into it yourself. People I know who have had enlightenments have the same personalities as before. It doesn't seem to be a cure. Some of them get obnoxious. They look you in the eye and get very spiritual. I hope you don't think I'm like that. I don't like them either, people who are holier-than-thou. I want you to think that actually I am the Buddha but am very modest about it.
During one of the lectures Edrid mentioned that he had been doing this sort of work for thirty years. Someone said "...and you're still not the Buddha!" Edrid assumed a mock-injured expression. Then he came back with "Well, you aren't either!" Nya, nya.
I keep thinking I'm done but I keep dribbling
on. I could probably keep writing forever.
To All My Fellow Enlightenment Masters
I am writing to acknowledge my completion of the Enlightenment Masters Training Course with Skanda in November, and, in December, my first Enlightenment Intensive, which was fulfillment itself!
I am deeply grateful to Charles Berner, Skanda, and all those who supported me with their generous donations, calls, and letters.
My intention is to give as many Enlightenment Intensives as I can manage. I also want to continue serving as a monitor.
Articles and Announcements for the Next Newsletter
One of goals of this newsletter is to serve as a forum for others who are active in enlightenment work. Although there will have to be some judgment as to what is appropriate to print, we are inclined to be open to a wide variety of points of view. We especially want descriptions of your enlightenments.
In addition, the newsletter will serve to announce upcoming workshops and other events.
Deadline for article submissions and announcements for the 2q93 SELF & OTHER is the end of February. If the submission is elaborate, it would be best to get it in even earlier.
To limit the amount of work we have to do here, we'd like to see submissions in computer-readable form. (It doesn't have to be; it's just preferred.) Submissions should be on an MS-DOS diskette.
Microsoft Word for Windows is the WP of choice, but we can accept a wide variety of formats. The body text font is 10-point Palatino (Palamino), headlines are 16-point bold Palatino, but you can use any compatible TrueType font you want. Margins are 1" on top and bottom, 1.25" on the sides, two column, with .5" gutter margin in the middle.
Well, here is the newsletter we've been talking about. I'm a bit new at this, so there was a learning curve to bear, but it wasn't too much work - not as much as I imagined. These word processors do a nice job, don't you agree?
The lead article is about the Enlightenment Intensive. It's mostly for newcomers. It can be xeroxed and given to anyone who you think might be interested.
The format of the newsletter is still taking shape. I hope to have interesting articles about some of the basics such as clearing techniques, the Ultimate Formula, the Five Karma Realms (Categories of Life), Surrender Yoga, Lila theory and practice, and more about Intensives. There should be at least a couple reports of people's enlightenment experiences in each issue. There is one in this issue. I'm also open to arty and playful things as well. Let's have some fun with this.
This is a newsletter so we also include announcements of upcoming events such as workshops, EI's, or other gatherings. "Letters to the editor" will be printed and answered if we get any. There will also be room for newsy personal things from members of our community. [Webnote: News articles have been deleted from the web version of the newsletters.]
How this thing will be funded is still a little up in the air. I enclosed a subscription form. This one is gratis, but any contribution to cover expenses would not be refused. We're not in it for the money, but there is reality.
The plan is to issue quarterly, but I'm open to more often if the desire is there. I'm also considering paid advertising, but for advertising to work really well, we might have to publish bi-monthly. I'd like feedback on this from our readership.
© 1993 Ed Riddle
Published by Tight Item Graphics, 127 Laurel Avenue, Menlo Park, CA 94025. (415) 328-4941
Permission to copy this newsletter is granted as long as it is not altered in a way that misrepresents what is being said or is misleading, and as long as it is not done for profit $$.