Journal of Enlightenment
Origins of the Enlightenment Intensive
From the Heart of Gitesha
As we climb the ladder to Heaven ..
The capacity to discern truth from falsehood, to discern the beneficial from the detrimental continues to get stronger and clearer.
We become less and less affected by external stimuli, until at a certain level we reach immunity and are completely beyond it.
The rate of happiness is completely related to the level of consciousness.
Our Life force and true power increase exponentially.
We move out of the vibrational fields that make us susceptible to stress, illness and suffering, and move into the healing fields of great lovingness, wellbeing, joy and peace.
Whatever Choice we’re making – and we’re making a choice every moment – a choice between Love or Fear, between what calibrates above or below 200, between what serves us and what doesn’t. EVERY SINGLE CHOICE is affecting the entire picture of our life, of our wellbeing.
So the endeavour is:
The Quickest Way
Recall the essence of an enlightenment experience and let it expand within you, either in meditation, in contemplation, in communicating it with another, or whilst watching the breathtaking wonder of existence in a sunset over the ocean or in the eyes of your beloved in intimate embrace.
Let it be alive within you
With love and gratitude to you all,
Pre-Enlightenment Intensive Retreat Newsletter
Dear Friends and Lovers of Enlightenment,
You will soon be participating in the Enlightenment Intensive Retreat.
If you haven't already been doing so, may I suggest that you initiate a daily practice of meditation, even if it is for only 10 minutes a day. If you already do so, great. Stilling the mind will serve you well at the EI Retreat and in your daily life.
Keep your meditation simple. You could use the breath to focus your attention and simply stay open to witnessing reality or existence just as it is. Just as you find it. There is nothing complicated about observing what you are conscious of. Simple observance without trying to do anything about it is the way. Yes, you may want to close your eyes. That's OK.
Alternatively you can keep them open and simply observe. It can help to be in nature. Like watching a sunrise or sunset. Or the ocean or a tree or the sky and clouds.
Breathe, relax, stay open and witness.
If thoughts arise, just witness as if they were the clouds passing in the sky. Non-attachment. You need not try to make the thoughts go away. Simply bring your attention to witnessing what you are conscious of. Let go of any inner struggle or anxiety of trying to make anything happen.
Breathe, relax, stay open and bear witness to the play of consciousness.
The self enquiry meditation that we use at the Enlightenment Intensive Retreat is either 'Who am I?' or 'What am I?'
The self inquiry 'Who am I' or 'What am I' is ultimately NOT A QUESTION.
At first it seems like it is because the first stages of self enquiry are intellectual. And an intellectual enquiry 'Who am I?' demands an answer. But there are no answers to this enigma.
The Enlightenment Technique of contemplation on 'Who am I' is the same as the ancient Zen Buddhist traditions of meditating upon a riddle or 'koan.'
There are hundreds of Zen riddles such as 'What is the sound of one hand clapping?' The riddle is meant to collapse or implode the intellectual mind. It brings you to your "original nature that cannot be understood by logic, spoken by words, explained in writing or measured by reason," writes Hui Neng, an enlightened master who lived hundreds of years ago.
In the same way, the Enlightenment riddle, 'Who am I' has no logical or intellectual answer. It's fulfillment is you consciously directly knowing who you are. And that is not intellectual, it is DIRECT and absolutely subjective. It is your personal truth.
You will make more progress if you do not 'think' of the contemplative riddle, 'who am I', as a question. It is a self-enquiry. A wondering into the nature of your self.
blessings and love
Transmission of Truth by Charles Berner, 1981
Being a Master
Being a master is a very difficult subject to talk about; about all I can say is, “Be a master.” But I'll talk a little bit about what a master is, what a master does, and what a master has.
A lot of people have the world backwards, They think that in order to be a photographer, for instance, you need a whole set of cameras. They think that in order to be a photographer you have to have something. This is not true. Some people think that in order to be a photographer you have to take pictures. Once again it’s not true. To be a photographer you only need to be a photographer.
Some people wait until they have a certificate; they have to have a certificate before they can be something. The certificate says that they're a photographer, so they think, "Now I can be a photographer." One of your inherent capacities is to be or not to be. You can be a photographer right now, without any cameras, without any certificate, without any external situation.
Say a person has worked for Time magazine for thirty years as a staff photographer and one day he loses his job, his certificate, and his cameras. Do you think he would still think of himself as a photographer? You bet he would. He'd know he was a photographer. He wouldn't need a set of cameras. He would say, "I just don't happen to have my cameras at the moment." Someone might say, "Well where's your certificate?" and he'd say, "I don't need a certificate I am a photographer because I am a photographer. I know I'm a photographer. What are you talking about?" This comes from a subjective attitude.
There are two ways to be something. One is to wear the robe, and the other is for you and the beingness to saturate each other, which you might say would be you having conscious union with that beingness. Conscious union or conscious identification with a beingness enables you to be it. It should be conscious, however, When you're unconsciously being something, you're the victim. But when you're consciously being something, then from that state of being you can act and you can have. This applies to Enlightenment Mastership, To be a master of an Enlightenment Intensive you just be it. You don't have to have a certificate, you don't have to complete a course, you don't have to have anybody's stamp of approval, you don't have to have Charles Berner's ok, you don't have to have a place to give Enlightenment Intensives, and you don't have to have people to give them to. You don't even need to know anything in order to be a master. Being a master or not is entirely and solely up to you. All you have to do to be a master is to be a master.
You might say, "I don't know what to do, If I knew what to do I'd be a master." It's the other way around. You be the master, then you'll know what to do. I tell you that if you take the approach that you're not an Enlightenment Master because you don't know what to do, you are on the wrong end of the train. The world is backwards. You'd be better off to go by the way things actually are, which is that beingness comes first and then doingness and then havingness.
You might say, "If I had a perfectly designed building, a staff of eight and a budget of $400,000 I could put an intensive together." That's backwards. I had no place to give an intensive, nobody to help me, thirty dollars in my pocket, a family to take care of, and nobody to come. What I did was I went out and said, "We're going to have an Enlightenment Intensive on the Fourth of July holiday." This was back in 1968. People said, "Well what's it going to be?" I said, "I'll let you know." Twenty-six people showed up and we had the first Enlightenment Intensive. You just go ahead and be it and from that state of being comes the plans and they generate the action, which generates the interest, the people, the money, the place, and so on.
In terms of time, you have to be an Enlightenment Master before the intensive, not when it starts. For you it starts at the moment you decide to be a master. And you think, "When am I going to do this intensive I'm going to do?" Unless you take the attitude that you are a master you'll not think of when it's going to be; you'll think, "Am I going to be allowed?" Being allowed is a God-given right. No humans can give that to us. It's already in your heart.
So I'm going to talk a little bit about what an Enlightenment Master is so that you'll know what to be. You be it first, and the abilities you need will come, such as the capacity to concentrate. If you take the approach, "Well, I'm not qualified, I'm not qualified, I'm not qualified," you'll never be qualified. You might say, "But I'm just being grandiose if I pretend to be a master." I didn't say to pretend you're a master, I said to be one. Be a master.
The same principle, by the way, applies to any kind of thing you're going to get involved in but we're using it in this application. It is true that as you practice you'll gain a few pieces of information from somebody else who's been a master. This may shorten the period of time of your development, but you need to take the approach of being a master; then concentration will come much more easily. The concentration drill will work very quickly, because a master can concentrate. He just has to clear a few things out of the mind to open the path.. But if he's not being the master, what's there to clear from what?
A master has certainty. He has the certainty that he can help people get enlightened. If he thinks, "I don't know whether this technique works or not," that can be a problem. One thing that will help you to be able to have certainty, if you need help with it, is to have deeper enlightenment experiences yourself. But that's not the only way. You can just be it. Good grief, somebody had to be one first.' I just became an Enlightenment Master and gave an Enlightenment Intensive. I wasn't enlightened, at least not from this technique. I had had some experiences, but not from Enlightenment Intensives. But it seemed to me that this technique had a lot to say for it and I just wanted to do it. People said, "Oh, you're going to give this?" I said, "Yes," and it wasn't a bluff. I knew I had a hold of something. I wasn't pretending either. I told them it was the first one and they knew I was up front about it and they knew I meant to do it even though no one had ever done one. I wasn't saying, "Well,it's the first one so I don't think you'd better come."
You be an Enlightenment Master ahead of time otherwise nobody's going to come. There was only one time that I didn't be that; I was sick and I was busy flying all over the country doing another job and I just didn't want to do the intensive. So I decided internally, "I just don't want to do this intensive and I do not want to be an Enlightenment Master." One person showed up. There were about twenty people signed up for the intensive and one person came. He looked around and said, "Where is everybody?" I said, "Everybody? Oh, Enlightenment Intensive? Yeah well, why don't you come the next time?" He said, "Yeah I think so. I'm the only one here right?" "Yeah," I said, "it really makes sense to do it the next time." Just this one person came. That tells you something. You be an Enlightenment Master and people will come. They're attracted automatically.
I know one chap who trained a little bit to be an Enlightenment Intensive Master. He tried and he tried and he tried and he could never get anybody to come to his intensives. He'd announce them and nobody would ever sign up He was not being an Enlightenment Master. Finally someone else got all the people together for him and told the people at the last minute that this fellow was going to be the Enlightenment Master. About halfway through the intensive he decided he could be a master. After that he'd announce an intensive and people would come. But he had to be told by the participants that he was a master by their behaviour of following his instructions. And once he had that evidence he thought, "Oh, I must be a master. Gee, I tell them to do something and they do it, they're letting me be a master." You can put any conditions you want on being a master or you can put none. In the end you just be a master.
We give Course Completion certificates here and when I think someone is a qualified master, he'll get another certificate, and that's ok. But it is not a certificate to be. The certificate simply says, in effect, "You are it," We're acknowledging the fact that you have already been a master. You be it first and we'll say, "You're that."
There's another kind of certainty that goes with being an Enlightenment Master which comes only from the state of being itself. I call it authenticity. This means that you're not just mouthing what Charles Berner said, There's nothing wrong with what I say about Enlightenment Intensives, but you should make it your own as a master and speak from you. By being it, it comes from you. When you're practicing things maybe you're a bit clumsy; you trip and fall and that sort of thing, but suddenly you be a master, When some of you are doing your practice intensives here, you stumble for the first two or three minutes and suddenly you become a master. Certainty starts to come out of your mouth. You speak louder. You have intention behind your words. People can understand what you're saying, and they think, "He said to do it and I'm doing it, Instead of you saying, "Well I would like to have you maybe think about the possibility that if you haven't got anything else to do, you might just kind of think about doing this technique a little bit." A master doesn't say that. A master is a master of something. So included in this beingness is the certainty of mastership. You say, "But I haven't mastered being a master yet." You'll never master being a master unless you be a master, that is, someone who's mastered it. And it doesn't mean bluff. You can say, "Oh God, you put me in this role. Let the words come out." I'm like that; I may not be perfect, but at least there'll be some certainty. And the people will respond.
People are quite cooperative for the most part. I've terrified you a little bit about the awesomely difficult things that come up and we'll be dealing with some more of them. But there's one great virtue working for you in the situation: the people are there because they want to be there, because they want to get enlightened. You and they are together on the same side. It's a war between you and them on one side and their unconsciousness and inferiorities on the other. You and they are on the same side, and they'll respond to you.
Another quality of the Enlightenment Master is commitment. You are committed to those people. If you get sick, you go on. No matter how difficult your participants are, you just go on. You'd better be committed, and not throw up your hands and say, "Forget it. You're hopeless!" Don't accuse them of that kind of thing. There must be a commitment on your part as a master. This is where perseverance comes from. The persistence, the perseverance, comes from your commitment. You know in your heart that these people want to get enlightened and therefore you're committed to them totally. If in truth they don't want to be there, and they don't have the faintest intention of working on getting enlightened, they don't belong on the intensive. But if in the beginning they say they want to be there and later on say that they don't, it doesn't apply. The only way that they can get away from your commitment is to leave the intensive. As long as they stay you assume they want to get enlightened, and there-fore you're right there with them. You be behind them every inch of the way. No matter how tired you get or how uncooperative they may appear to be, no matter how great their impurities and difficulties, no matter how sleepy and nervous they get, and no matter how many times they say, "I can never get enlightened, I'm not the type," you don't accept any of that business. You see to it that your commitment is absolute.
I remember a German test I took in college. Before the test I tried to remember all the grammar rules and vocabulary and everything, but the teacher gave us some very difficult German to translate, She gave us Schuller and there wasn't any way I could translate Schuller. But I just became somebody who knew German and wrote out the translation. I passed the course, It was annoying to the teacher. She said, "You don't know this much German but I had to pass you," and she was right, I was this guy from Colton, in Southern California, who didn't know much German, but I became somebody who knew German.
Knowledge comes with and as a result of being. You be it and you have the knowledge. Still there's value to familiarity and data; they make it easier to be. We have you do practice intensives, short ones at first and later in the course they'll be up to four hours, and then you give a student intensive. This gives you an opportunity to run an intensive where it's not going to be disastrous if you fail at being a master. It'll give you a chance to get into being an Enlightenment Master. Somewhere along the line it will happen and suddenly life will be breathed into your intensive and you will have consciousness of what to do instead of being blank-minded and trying to remember. What to do will just come to you naturally and everything will fit and everything that I've been saying to you will make sense.
From this state of being a master you have certain jobs to do. One is to encourage and inspire your people, This is much more valuable than you might imagine, You have to clarify the technique, the rules and the schedule and that sort of thing. It is quite a job to clarify the technique. Above and beyond that clarification of the technique you have to inspire and encourage and support. You have to stand behind your participants in fact. You have to mean it. When they get faint-hearted and their intellect starts to come up with all kinds of reasons why they can't do the technique, why they can't last in the intensive, and they can't stand the pressure and they don't know what to do and all the thousand and one things that they come up with, you are there to support them in pursuing the Truth, It's inevitable that those things will come up. If they don't come up against barriers like that, by the way, they're probably not doing the technique at all. They're just goofing off all the time, You must in fact stand behind them and know in your heart that you will not abandon them.
The ability to stand behind them stems from commitment. That's part of being a master and your ability to encourage and inspire them comes from that. A lot of times the people are doing the technique fairly well. They couldn't do it any better even if you clarified it again. They come in for an interview late on the second night, they're eyes are bloodshot and staring and they're just sitting there. If you're being a master, what to say will come out naturally. Sometimes I'll just kid them a little bit, "Come on fireballs!" They think, "Uhhhh... If he's got it, I've got it. If he's got the energy then I can do it too."
As master, it is your job to instruct, support and inspire these people, and you have opportunities to do this during the initial talk and the afternoon talks that you give. These talks shouldn't be just dry academic explanations of the technique. No doubt there'll be some of that. But try to spike them with examples and stories of people trying to get enlightened and their trials and tribulations and how they make it through. This is often very encouraging to them. I've thought up lots of stories and some of them I've learned from other people. You can make up stories. Most of mine are based upon actual experiences, but I cast them into some kind of story form because people like to listen to stories. Tell the stories with some enthusiasm and emotion and feeling, and they'll listen. Dry explanations are a little tougher for them. The dry explanations are all right but they have to be short. You can often do that when you've brought them back from the five minute break and you've got them ready to go for the next exercise. You explain some aspect of the technique. The next time you explain another aspect. But it only takes a minute or two to do this.
When giving information, don't throw too many things at them at once. First say, "Do this," and you get that all explained and they say, "I'm going to try that." It doesn't help them to say, "Now do this and do that and do that and remember to do this and remember to do that and remember to do this." Give one instruction at a time. Make one basic point.
Sometimes people won’t get enlightened because of bad karma. They feel they don't deserve to be enlightened. There are three ways you can get them over it. One is to have them just sit there and torture themselves long enough in enough Enlightenment Intensives. When they feel they've paid their debt, been a good partner long enough and done their service, then they'll feel that when grace comes they can accept it, and they'll let themselves get enlightened . Or you can tell them to do it because the world needs more enlightened people even if they don't feel they have it coming. Sometimes they'll respond to that necessity, that value. Other people will respond to a direct request on your part. They'll do it for you. It's a bit of an emotional thing but it's perfectly valid because what's stopping them is not being in contact with others, not knowing that somebody wants them. You can say, "I want you, not your personality, so do it for me." Some people will rise to that in spite of their karma and they'll let it be overridden. Of course, you have to mean it. You can't just be giving a fake talk. It doesn't work to mumble to the chief monitor as you're walking out of the room, "Well I guess that'll fix ‘em. They caught Captain Video doing that one time. He had a live microphone on and at the end of the program as he walked off he said, "That'll fix the little buggers.” That was the end of Captain Video. He didn't mean all those sweet little things he had been saying to those kids. So if you don't mean it, you're not being a master because a master not only has an analytical contact but he also has an emotional contact and an investment in his people. When they fail, he feels it. And when they succeed he feels it. Non-attachment doesn't mean unconsciousness and unfeelingness. It just means when they fail and you cry, well, they failed and you cry. Non-attachment does not mean that there's no contact. Anybody can isolate themselves and be theoretically unattached. But as a master you're involved with these people. Their lives have become your life. Their consciousness is your consciousness and their heart your heart. Nobody likes to see anybody who has to suffer and struggle through the dogawful, mental, physical, and emotional pain that these people go through. On the other hand, being weak doesn't help them get through those barriers. So see what a nice balance you've got there? Certainty, knowledge, support, contact, firmness, concentration, commitment, the capacity to clarify, and empathy.
Empathy, by the way, is not sympathy. Sympathy is falling for their act of weakness. Empathy is taking their point of view and seeing what it's like. Empathy is not sympathy. Sympathy is you becoming like them, wearing their weaknesses. Empathy is you having contact and taking their perspective without being drawn into it. So a master is empathetic without being sympathetic.
A master is responsible for everything in an Enlightenment Intensive; the monitors, the technique, the people's activities, everything that's good, bad, and neutral. He is responsible because he's being a master. He's responsible for everything that happens. If a monitor blows it you may take him into a room and correct him rather firmly. When he's blown something on the floor you don't say, "Well you blew it." No. It's on you because you didn't get the monitor to do it right. There's no blaming someone else. The moment you blame someone else the intensive is gone. You're not the master. You've given it over to someone else. When you give away the power, the responsibility for errors, you've also given away the responsibility for doing things right. They go together. It's two sides of the same coin. When something goes wrong it's on you. You're the one. Don't assign cause to anyone else on an Enlightenment Intensive.
Even though there is a growth in the perfection of mastership, beingness is an instantaneous thing. Either you are or you aren't. If you are, you will grow in the perfection of that state. You may stumble and fall but you're a stumbling and falling Enlightenment Master. You're not stumbling and falling and being some kind of person who is trying to be a master. You get the difference? You can try forever. It's not a matter of putting on a robe. It's not thinking, "Let's see, to be a master I have to do this and do that and remember to look like this and have this expression on my face and pretend to have certainty because he said to have certainty," You can do that but it's not what I mean by being a master, What I'm talking about is having no separation between you and the mastership, You say, "But I haven't mastered it." You be it and the rest will follow.
When you're doing your practice intensives on this course and later your student intensive, don't say, "Well, I'm just a student master, this is just practice." You be it. Those people are really doing that technique. When you have those people in your charge and they're doing that technique for real, you be there. And if you stumble and fall a few times just think, "All right, now I'll be it and that's it." Then your timidness will be gone. Your doubt will go away. And even if you say the wrong thing you'll immediately recognize it, "Well I just said the wrong thing, here's the right thing." Don't try to lie it away by covering it up. Say, "Ok, I blew it.
This is what you should do. Do this." People are very forgiving if you admit it but if you don't they'll take it as their personal assignment in life to expose that cover up that you were trying to pull off. That doesn't mean you have to get down on the ground and grovel, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'll never do it again. I'm sorry." No. You say, "I blew it on that. What you do is this." You have to be real and honest.
I don't imagine that you won't make mistakes. You probably will. I've made every mistake, I think, that is make able, including all the major errors. But I recognized them, admitted to them, and corrected them. Sometimes I made major errors and failed to admit it. I made that error too. I eventually got around to admitting it and correcting it properly. I made all the mistakes but never did I waver from telling the participants, "We can do this." Because that's the essence of mastership, that they can get enlightened. And you should not back off from that certainty. That's the core of being an Enlightenment Master, that commitment, that responsibility, that certainty. They all come together with the state of being an Enlightenment Master.
These are the main things that are involved in being a master. How are you going to get to this point yourself? How do you actually do it? It's strictly up to you to be or not to be, It's in your, power. Maybe you're not meant to be an Enlightenment Master. I don't know. It is not my job to determine that. My job is to teach you as well as I can. I have no investment in whether or not you're to be an Enlightenment Master. It may or may not be. Maybe you're just taking the course because you didn't have anything else to do this summer. Maybe you want to give intensives five years from now. I don't know. Maybe you'll never be a master. Maybe you already are. This is strictly your choice and that's the point I'm trying to make. It is not something that is dependent on any outside influence or situation, how much knowledge you have, how much experience you have, or anything. It's totally in your hands. Anybody can be an Enlightenment Master. There's no limitation of age, educational background, nation of origin, race, color, creed, anything. It’s in each person's power to grasp this or not. It's between you and the absolute; maybe destiny has something to do with it too. But I certainly don't have anything to do with it. My job is to teach you everything that I know and then to help you through what you need to get through so far as learning and applying the information is concerned. As for being an Enlightenment Master, that's between you and the Divine.
Being a Master