What is the Enlightenment Intensive?
The Short Answer
It is a residential retreat for awakening the expanded state of consciousness called enlightenment or direct knowing of the self. The Retreat combines a 10,000 year old self inquiry yoga meditation, 'who am I' with a modern, western listening and communication technique. The increased consciousness and understanding that results from the combination of meditation and communication accelerates the process of enlightenment and brings it into the immediacy of one's life. The Retreat is a safe, supportive environment that encourages honesty, authenticity, contact, understanding and deep meditative self reflection.
The Longer Answer
The caterpillar, in the book, Alice in Wonderland, asks Alice, "Who are you?"
Alice hesitantly replied, "I......I hardly know."
Most people share her uncertainty. People may speculate, think, and theorize an answer to the question, "who am I". They may accept the answers of some psychologist, philosopher or religious leader. They may come to a conclusion or reach a decision or glean an insight. But few individuals have directly experienced their own true nature even though it's been sought after by countless millions of people throughout the centuries. The experience, known as self realization or enlightenment has been a most elusive goal.
What must one do to obtain the treasure of an unshakable certainty of who or what one really is? Must one sit in meditation under a tree twenty hours a day for seven years, as did Gautama the Buddha? Must one leave one's friends and society and live in a cave? Is enlightenment unattainable except by a person with vast amounts of both self-discipline and spare time?
Many people think that enlightenment must be preceded by a long, hard struggle, and available only to a dedicated few. But that has now changed. The Enlightenment Intensive Retreat offers you a way based upon a new western technology that has a record of getting people enlightened within a week-end! The depth of enlightenment may not match that of the Buddha, but the direct experience of self is the same. And those who don't attain the enlightenment experience do make substantial progress and can see that the goal is within reach. It may sound hard to believe even in this age of 'Instant Everything' because the contrast between seven years and three days is startling. But it is true.
The Enlightenment Intensive Retreat is a period of concentrated effort. The key to its success is a western developed technique called the 'enlightenment dyad technique.' You begin the process by sitting opposite a partner who says to you, "Tell me who you are." After you receive the instruction you 'hold' it. 'Holding the instruction' is a process of contemplating or keeping it in your consciousness. Other thoughts and phenomena will occur as you attempt to hold your contemplation. When this happens, you communicate to your partner what you become conscious of. Your partner listens. When you've finished telling him/her what has occurred, you continue contemplating your question: "Who am I? Who? Who? Who?" Whenever you notice something, you articulate it to your partner, trying to get the other to understand what it is. At the end of five minutes a bell rings and your partner says, "Thank you." The roles now reverse.
You say to your partner, "Tell me who you are." While your partner is alternately meditating and speaking, you put your full attention on him/her and try to understand what he/she is going through as well as you can. At the end of five minutes you say, "thank you", and once again it is your turn to contemplate and express yourself. At the end of forty-five minutes you've completed one cycle and the exercise ends.
The one essential factor that has been lacking in all previous enlightenment methods is communication and relating. Enlightenment itself takes but a shattering timeless instant. But what keeps you from that 'instantaneous awakening' are barriers of uncompleted communications. When you succeed in communicating your barriers to another, the barriers vanish. The thoughts, emotions and body-sensations that catch your attention when you meditate, and so distract you, tend to disappear precisely to the extent that you get them understood by another person. It is for this reason, I use meditation plus communication in the form of the Enlightenment Dyad Exercise.
You focus with a single pointed purpose during the Enlightenment Intensive. Everything is arranged to make that possible. Your day is spent doing the Enlightenment Intensive practices. This includes the enlightenment dyad meditations, walking and movement meditations, sitting meditations, breath awareness meditations and physical exercise meditations. There are also three vegetarian meals, two snacks and several lectures on enlightenment and the Enlightenment Intensive practices. The schedule is rigorous but varied to minimise body stress and keep you alert so you can aim at enlightenment. Interviews with me are available at any time so that you can discuss any problems you are having.
The entire Retreat is spent actively contemplating on the nature of yourself and getting others to understand what is happening for you. The vow of Noble Silence is practiced throughout the retreat except during the communication phase of the Enlightenment Dyad technique. It's exciting to communicate your insights and increased consciousness to the others. Within a day you become very conscious of yourself and the other participants and what they and you are experiencing. You can see, feel and experience the increased openness building between you and your partners. It is this contact, communication and understanding that accelerates the process of enlightenment. This single principle of involvement through understanding is the missing link in the field of enlightenment. And it works for everyone. It's effectiveness has been proven in thousands of Retreats in over 25 countries around the world since 1968.