Journal of Enlightenment 1
1. The practical aspects of achieving peace of mind are quite simple.
2. Don't insist on your ideas about how the world should be.
3. Avoid thinking of events as good or bad.
4. Don't condemn or praise the fortunes or actions of others.
5. Don't worry about your own personal loss or gain in dealing with others.
6. Be happy with whatever comes to pass.
7. If it appears someone has done you harm, repay the injury with kindness.
8. Don't be in a hurry to get anywhere or achieve anything.
9. Don't think too much or put too much energy into achieving your goals.
10. Rest a lot.
I have been involved in spiritual development for many years and my conclusion is that in the realm of self-discovery, there is nothing that tops the Enlightenment Intensive. Techniques which have a purpose other than self-discovery may be more effective at achieving their particular purpose, but for the purpose of self-discovery I've not run into anything which comes close to the effectiveness of the Enlightenment Intensive. This is especially true in the middle phases of one's growth. An individual's evolution goes through three basic phases.
The 3 Phases of Growth
First, one is in the realm of innocence, the Garden of Eden. They are like a child, very innocent and fairly helpless.
The second phase is one in which they learn to exert their will and live by law and discipline and be responsible. They get their life together or try to. This is the phase in which most of humanity is in today.
The third phase is the phase of surrender, where one abandons willful acts and surrenders to Truth completely. At the end of this phase, the ego is gone, the individual is in union with Truth, and their evolution is complete. They no longer are a seeker of Truth, they are the Truth.
The key to making the transition from the second phase to the third is self-discovery, the direct experience of who you actually are.
In the second phase, you can get by all right living from personality, beingnesses, and mis-identifications. It won't be very satisfying but you can get by. But with the discovery of who you actually are, you can achieve a level of satisfaction and effectiveness unavailable to one who is unconscious of who they are. You can fully enjoy the fruits of your disciplined living. You can make real progress toward real goals and actually be happy because it is now you living your life rather than a personality or something with which you have become identified. Also, you can take any growth technique or religious practice and make real and on-going progress with it because you can bring to bear your own personal power of choice to be open and grow. Because of this consciousness of self you no longer just grope around going through the motions, doing things simply to pay the bills and get by. Eventually, living from this direct experience of self, you inevitably find yourself moving into the third phase of growth in which the fulfillment of life is possible.
BrainWashing or Direct Experience
The Enlightenment Intensive is also a valuable tool for those relatively few individuals who just want the Truth. An Enlightenment Intensive points you at the Truth itself and for someone who just wants the opportunity to go for the Truth and experience it directly, this is the best short-term technique available today. Such a person can make great progress on Enlightenment Intensives and achieve many levels of enlightenment in a very short period of time compared to traditional methods. For such people, Enlightenment Intensives are like a rocket tied along side whatever daily method they practice.
An Enlightenment Intensive can be tremendously inspiring. It can turn a person on to Truth and the actuality of that Truth in day-to-day life. A person can discover that there is more to life than just gratifying the senses; that this whole business of life is not just some random occurrence with no direction or purpose. One can make these discoveries not as ideas but as living facts. Such discoveries fundamentally alter one's life.
There is a lot of value to be gained in just taking an Enlightenment Intensive regardless of whether or not you have a direct experience. An Enlightenment Intensive builds contact and openness between people. It builds a person's capacity to engage in that contact and openness. You may have noticed how open people can get on an intensive. This openness is essential for a person's capacity to be satisfied in life and evolve their relationship with others. Also, as a side effect, people gain communication skills almost without realizing it, especially with regard to receiving another's communications without evaluating or interrupting. Real communication is one of people's greatest stumbling blocks in life and on an Enlightenment Intensive they can make significant gains in this ability just by participating in the intensive.
One purpose: Enlightenment
In short, the Enlightenment Intensive is a powerful method which produces remarkably consistent results. The method has been developed thoroughly, tested all over the world, and participated in by thousands and thousands of people. It is the most effective method for self-discovery which I have ever seen, and it is one which can be used by almost anyone.
"YES!" says Miss Universe
This is what I became conscious of during the Questhaven enlightenment intensive. This is what I experienced directly: The essential nature of the universe is positive (YES!), is eternally expanding, is without limits, has no name, has no form, includes all opposites, includes both yes and no, male and female, right and wrong. This is my Self, what I am. My separate self is an illusion included within the All. I am a wide channel, an upward flowing fountain of positive energy, and my relative self rides on this energy, resides in this energy, rests supported by this energy. I am contained in all beings and all beings are contained in me, and there is no containment. There is no separation. Every tiny portion of the universe is an entire universe so that in my physical body alone exist an infinite number of universes within universes within universes. My task as a human being is to acknowledge this truth as my Self, to allow this positive energy to flow freely through me unobstructed by fear and attachment, to embody and live this truth of what I am. I am not the doer.
Carl sent me an e.e.cummings poem re the YES and the universes within universes I experienced:
love is a place
I got too, and this is quite amazing given the first part, that sexual energy is life energy -- that it is OK to feel sexually alive without closing down. I saw how all of my life I have been subtly or not so subtly closed down around sexual energy -- sexual desire left me gasping and grasping, anxious. Now I am opening to allow sexual energy to flow through me without closing down or making myself wrong. (The closing down response has dramatically diminished as I relax and open to the flow of energy.) I am open to the Goddess and the delicious play of energy with her. The knot in my solar plexus is beginning to dissolve and I can see how healing with my hands is connected with the flow of sexual energy and the release of this knot.
This was allowed to happen because of the interconnectedness
of all of us on the intensive -- because others were able to freely communicate
about sexual energy, I allowed myself to feel and communicate -- and in
so doing the deeper blocks and resistences began to soften. I am feeling
alive and look forward to see how all this will evolve in the coming months.
During the EI, processes with respect to energy and consciousness in the "hara", which I might have attended to if I were more diligent at zazen, began to occur spontaneously.
Tales are told of how break-through experiences have come on
the last dyad. Here's a twist on that, not an experience of enlightenment,
but coming into a state of extremely focused intention. This was brought
about partly due to a particular monitor's impassioned
urging to keep at it to the very end and not slack off. That intention
is with me to this day. Bring on your next EI!
felt very holistic, and issuing from a deep place in myself and others, even when my partners were still on the launch pad. When I was part of a circle of four, I immediately felt the horizontal circle of energy that circulated among us. When it was my turn to speak, I tried using my question, What Am I, but could not find my I ......... it seemed to have dissolved in the mutual circulation! It’s now seven days since I left the intensive, and my energy level is still very elevated. I’ve done some short dyads with Susan and contemplated my question by myself, which has helped. So it feels like I climbed fairly close to the mountain top, and if I had stayed all six days, I well may have hit the summit. But I know What I Am from previous IE's, and of course that doesn't change. Also, loved Joseph’s poetry.
I saw my daily life of canceling a dentist appointment,
paying bills , going to work as my true expression of compassion to all
beings. My life since returning from the retreat has been a little more
joyful, a little happier.
love to everyone
as a result of being at questhaven with you, i am conscious of the following:
i am more open to devotion from and for another, which has effected a greater openness in me to others.
i am more detached from identifying with my possessions; this is making it easier to clear out and move on the stuff and clutter in my life that is ready to go.
i am more conscious of being the Goddess Herself. i am more conscious of being the enlightenment master, and more enabled to show up as that.
i have greater ability to be present in the Now.
more of me is more available to others. i am more freely expressive of my love for others.
the brahma grunti loosened, became palpably more unknotted, around my sexuality and its connections to power. i am aware of having more freedom from my father's negative influence on my psyche.
all of my relationships feel cleaner, clearer and i have a greater acceptance of things being as they are between me and others.
i am aware of a greater ease in me with regards to intimacy,
and a greater willingness to take risks in opening to intimacy with others.
by Joseph Rubano
Don't speak a word of it to anyone
First look into their eyes
Enter when you know it is all right to enter
Choose just the right words
Feed it with your words
When you sense that nobody is watching
If she places her hand on your shoulder
And if a smile grows heavy with tears
It is time to stop talking
Shhh --- don't speak a word of this to anyone.