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Journal of Enlightenment 1


THE JOURNAL OF enlightenment
Volumel 1

email: yoah@selffoundation.com

Welcome to the first issue of  THE JOURNAL OF enlightenment.
In this issue you'll find the 10 Principles for Achieving Peace of Mind.  There is an article by entitled, The Value of the Enlightenment Intensive that offers some ideas for reflection.  There are some wonderful  participant comments from November's Questhaven Enlightenment Intensive.  And don't miss looking at the poem that Joseph Rubano wrote and read at the Enlightenment Intensive, Don't Speak This To Anyone. 
with love  Yoah
Table of Contents
10 Principles for Achieving Peace of Mind
The Value of the Enlightenment Intensive
Questhaven Participant Comments
Don't Speak This To Anyone
10 Principles for Achieving  Peace of Mind

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. 

What is the Value of  an Enlightenment Intensive?
  by Charles Berner  (creator of the Enlightenment Intensive) 

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
For most of the world's people today, just gaining the capacity to live their life from who they actually are is the most valuable thing for them.  They begin to experience that life doesn't have to be shallow and dull.  They have the experience of waking up in life.   On an Enlightenment Intensive it is a genuine experience of self and not the result of brainwashing or someone telling them who they are  After people's defenses come down and their mind is open as a result of the long hours, the concentration and the contact, there is an opportunity available where a person can either be brainwashed by being told who they are or they can be supported in having their own experience. When the experience of who one is occurs spontaneously and directly, it is a fact for all time and not just another mental shift in beingness. 

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 the end, however, an Enlightenment Intensive has only one purpose: enlightenment.  The primary value of enlightenment itself, as opposed to how one might apply it in life, is its own self.  Enlightenment is its own value because it is the fulfillment of life.  That union with Truth, no matter how brief, is our purpose, and fulfilling that purpose is the highest and most benefit gained from an enlightenment experience.  The Enlightenment Intensive is primarily a technique for awakening, but the direct experience itself fulfills. 

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. 

Questhaven Enlightenment Intensive Comments

"YES!" says Miss Universe

Dear Jack, 

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. 

Nancy aka Miss Universe 

Carl sent me an e.e.cummings poem re the YES and the universes within universes I experienced: 

love is a place
& through this place of
love move
(with brightness of peace)
all places
yes is a world
& in this world of
yes live
(skillfully curled)
all worlds

Divine Goddess
During this last Intensive I became conscious of embodying the divine energy of the Goddess.  With each wave of this divine energy I was aware of loving and accepting all of life.  I was aware of being fed by others beingness and feeding others with the presence of the Divine Energy of total  love and acceptance.  In previous Enlightenment Intensives I experienced being loved by the Divine. At this Retreat I became the Divine Goddess.
Kate Feeley
I Am Feeling Alive
When I close my eyes and feel what is alive in me now - 4 days after the retreat has ended -- I picture, feel, experience the full-bodied presence of many of those I sat across from and what lighted up in me while sitting with them. I sensed how the Christ Being is my Friend and Teacher -- how if I turn my attention toward prayer, then Christ is always there -- always right here. I got that it is OK to acknowledge that Christ is a companion to me and that His Light and Life is my light and life. As I come to know this more and more deeply, something in me relaxes and a smile naturally arises. You see I am never alone and I can no longer pretend that I am or that my happiness and beauty is independent of divine friendship.

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.
Joseph Rubano

On the Questhaven EI, at one point there arose in me a profound process of transforming acceptance. I could not easily explain this to you, dear reader, except in dialogue. In a well known prayer there is the phrase "accept the things that I cannot change" but the acceptance I speak of is one that brings change. It seems to me that this sort of acceptance does occur with us all the time, largely unrecognized. And now it is, to a certain extent, something I can consciously invoke. A facet of openness.

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!
Carl Wilson

During much of the 3 day EI, I became very conscious of the effect of karma in my life. By that I mean, I was repeatedly experiencing being the effect of my early life experiences and having that effect stimulated by my reactions to others in the EI group. I became very aware of how much my internal sense of safety and well-being was affected by the expression of others' feelings, ideas, energy. I felt fear, insecurity, and contraction much of the time and was struck by how compelling my old character structures are. I carry them in my body and mind and can be very attached to them without knowing how to be free of them. I did find that the breakthrough of emotion that came at times in sharing the pain I was holding helped to free me so I could be more open to the present. The struggle just to accept my experience and, in the bigger picture, to accept the human experience of suffering, was challenging. By the time I left I was just beginning to enjoy some deep quiet and full slow breathing. I have been wondering how it would have been to continue the EI from that point. I want to do the full 6 days next time - a glutton for punishment? Since the EI I have enjoyed the feeling of clarity and more openness, especially in my relationship with Jerry. However, I am already noticing the powerful magnetism of old patterns of being. I am bringing gentleness and forgiveness to all of this as much as I can. 
Katharyn Morgan
What Am I
I worked on “What am I,” but did not “break through.” But I became even more aware of the energy involved with consciousness. When I got up morning of the second day, I could feel my energy level climb as I walked to where we were doing dyads. Along with this, my state of consciousness became increasingly altered, so that all the questions 
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.
Norm Don
No Enlightenment and No One to Get Enlightened
I've done many buddhist meditation retreats over the last 30 years, but this was my fist EI.  My wife introduced me to the concept, and I came to the retreat with curiosity and a bit of smuggness.  The retreat was great, I developed significant concentration (joriki), and became truly aware of how deep my buddhist roots saturate who I am.  There is no enlightenment and no one to get enlightened.

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. 
I've bought a book of Hafiz  to nudge me awake often.

love to everyone 
Jerry Barclay

Relaxing Into The Contemplation
My time at the Questhaven EI was a tremendous release.  I finally learned how to relax into the contemplation and enjoy the ride, even when the phenomena took hold.  I found my laughter again and more importantly, I understood not to take all this spiritual stuff too seriously!  I feel blessed to have spent the weekend with such a wonderful group of spirits.
Doug Crane
More of Me Present Now 

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.

Don't Speak This To Anyone

by Joseph Rubano 

Don't speak a word of it to anyone 
Let it ripen inside 
The only way it can fully ripen 
is if you keep it alive 
You can only keep it alive 
by communicating it to another 
Now tell it to the first nobody you see. 

First look into their eyes 
to make sure that nobody is at home 
And when you see the home clearly 
be certain that the door is open. 
Do not knock too loudly 
For she might be asleep. 

Enter when you know it is all right to enter 
Then speak very slowly 
Quietly move about the room 
until your words settle somewhere 
Sit there. 

Choose just the right words 
Listen to how they sound in the open space 
Feel how they move inside your body 
Notice when something starts to grow. 

Feed it with your words 
Water it with your tears 
Bathe it with your longing 
Hold it in your silence. 

When you sense that nobody is watching 
Do not hide anything from her 
Opwn yourself completely. 

If she places her hand on your shoulder 
that is a good sign 
When her whispers seem to come from 
no particular place 
She is speaking to you. 

And if a smile grows heavy with tears 
so that the Sun and the Moon are shining 
in your body at the same time 
It has ripened. 

It is time to stop talking 
To snuggle up real close 
relax into her arms 
and take in its sweet juices. 

Shhh --- don't speak a word of this to anyone.