NDM: Can you please tell me about your awakening? How this came about
and what was going on in your life when this occurred?
It's funny - I can't count the number of times on my Journey that the
thought, "I am just trying to get back to what I intuitively knew when I
has crossed my mind. But like most, I was quickly groomed and
conditioned to adhere to a certain set of beliefs that well-meaning
family, religion, education system and society in general thought was in
my best interest. And so, I tried. I tried to adhere. I really did.
But I couldn't silence this voice in the back of my head that
continually whispered to me, pointing out the cracks in these systems of
beliefs and expectations that I had been brought up in and integrated
into. Good thing, too, because it was
through these cracks that I finally crawled, dusted myself
off, laid down my rose colored glasses and saw the world for the first
time in a much less filtered way. And I was finally back on my Way.
Or so it felt, but the Truth is, we are
always and at all
times on 'our Journey'. We can't
escape our Journey. Sometimes we choose a new path, or
follow a little detour for a bit, but we are still
always on our Journey, seeing what we need to see. But at
the point where I consider myself 're-beginning' my Journey with
conscious intent was at a
point where my life had fallen into shambles. Bedrock beneath my world
had crumbled in all directions, and in impossible ways. My finances had
flipped. Relationships on all sides had suddenly turned toxic.
Everywhere I looked lay debris and ruin. My landscaped had nearly
completely changed, and the only things I seemed to have left in my
pocket were the things I knew I
didn't want: Anger, hurt, fear and disappointment. A very
sad, bleak picture.
But funny things happen when you seem to no longer have much to lose.
In fact, in retrospect I count the demolition of my world as a HUGE gift
because it is when everything has been stripped away that we finally
have the opportunity to
really see ourselves. Unless we scramble to
find metaphorical figs leaves to hide behind (and sometimes, some of us
do), we have little choice
to see - not only ourselves but the time and space we occupy, because
now there is nothing left to distract us or to hide behind.
We're naked, or very nearly so, and this nakedness is a remarkable gift.
And this is what happened to me. My little self-indulgent world as I
knew it was demolished. My metaphorical orchard that had been handed me
and I had so carefully tended all these years had been bulldozed. I was
stunned as I looked at this nothingness, at all my well-worn paths and
habits, now conspicuously irrelevant.
Nothing much was left. But in exchange,
could begin to see clearly for the first time. And that's
where it all begins. Seeing
NDM: What happened when you saw this "nothingness" and began to see for
the first time? What did you see exactly?
Standing there with nothing much left, I could finally see
I had allowed myself to be defined by relationships, obligations,
expectations, labels, job definitions, and past events not to mention
religious and family influence. I could finally see how hard I had
worked to contort myself to accommodate these patterns and behaviors.
It felt like I shed layer after layer of thick sweaters, and for the
first time in a long time, I could see
me. Without all that, I
could feel me here, in the moment. In the NOW. I didn't realize
before that I constantly lived in the past and future, and rarely stood
in the NOW. And I had certainly forgotten how good the NOW feels, as
well as the sweet clarity that now I realize it always brings.
And I found something else I did not expect. I found that in the midst
of my panic and sadness, buried under my anger and outrage, there was
this seemingly inappropriate little curious voice of
growing inside me. How odd ! It could barely be heard over the
din of my pain and outrage, but it was definitely there. And it grew.
It was a feeling of freedom; of being released from chains that I had
no ideawere chains. In fact, these were things I
defended things I cared for, polished and held dear. I never saw
these soft fetters for what they were before now, never realized how
neatly they held me in place.
But perhaps most important, it was at this point that I did something I
had never done before, and it was a powerful turning point: This little
voice whispered into my ear that it was
my choice whether to lay
this anger down or continue to carry it with me. I could embrace my
anger, and I would certainly collect a landslide of sympathy and
condolences. The thought of it felt very satisfying, and I knew I could
wear it like a badge. This visualization was shattered, however,
because I could suddenly see how it would become part ofwho I
was. Even though people experience anger all the time and refuse to
let it go, for the first time I saw how
poisonous that act is,
not only to whoever I would direct it towards, but even more so,
I saw I could instead forgive, move forward, and
these new vistas that the demolition had opened by the removal of all
that once held me in place. And so, somehow, I chose to genuinely
forgive on all counts.
To onlookers, it probably seemed a sure sign that I had either lost my
mind, or had become a doormat. But that was not the case, though I
didn't know it at the time. I was just following that little
voice inside - I honestly didn't know
what would happen.
So it was to my complete and utter surprise I discovered that I had made
was a very powerful choice a choice set things in motion that I
had no idea would move. Though I didn't consciously realize it at the
time, my act of sincere forgiveness had declared
I do not lack
and I am strong enough to love you even when you do not act loving
towards me. Very powerful declarations. Who knew? Not me. At
least, not consciously.
And on the other hand, I could now see how choosing to nurse my outrage
would have made opposite statements silent declarations of I am
vulnerable and I lack" and "I am injured. Worst of all, this
experience would have to queue back up again, and I would be faced with
it once more somewhere down the road and given the opportunity to choose
again. And I certainly didn't want to go through all
again. I was glad I chose to forgive.
And this was the first big
lesson I learned from facing this stripping away - Not at all what I
expected. But having seen this beautiful, unexpected movement in
action, it made me wonder What else am I overlooking? And I began to
inquire further. I began to pay attention to what happened in my life,
and for the first time I truly began to see that there were
coincidences, nothing left to chance. We were all part of this
magnificent cosmic dance, calling the partners we need to us, so that we
may perform our next step in this eternal dance.
NDM: When you said you "could feel me here, in the moment. In the
NOW." Who or what is this me? How did you sense or see this "me”?
The 'me' I sensed wasn't the 'me' I had come to believe was 'me'.
'me' was suddenly seen as a jumble of crudely connected beliefs and
The 'me' I now sensed for the first time since I was a child wasn't as
much a localized
being (which beforehand, I was quite
certain that I was)but rather an
awareness that is always difficult for me to effectively
describe in words. In fact, I realize it may sound quite silly or a bit
esoteric, but whenever I try to find words to relay how it felt to be
uncovered after all this time, the analogy that always comes to mind
is the experience of suddenly drawing in a breath of crisp cool, rushing
air. Refreshing, clarifying and bracing, it was a sharpened awareness
filled with quiet joy and constantly alert to the fact of my innate
oneness with absolutely everything I encountered, both seen and
unseen. It was an absolute knowing of this utter unity - The proverbial
"I am the vine and you are the branches" come to 'life'......well,
except in 'your
world', where you
are the vine and I
am part of your
branches, should I appear. :-)
NDM: Have you spoken to anyone else about this who is also in this same
space as you? Someone who is also this vine, and if you have what is it
like when oneness recognizes oneness?
always recognizes oneness, even if they do not consciously realize what
is happening. Most people are usually surprised to find themselves
feeling very intimate with me right away. Sometimes it confuses them
because they can see no obvious reason for feeling such affinity, but
should they open the topic with me, and many do, I have the opportunity
to explain that it is the 'them' in 'me' that they sense and are drawn
to - the One recognizing 'themselves' in another seeming manifestation.
It is true 'Namaste' in action.
NDM: Do you still experience anger or sadness or other emotions like
do experience blips of excitement, and occasionally flashes of anger,
but it is nothing like I experienced before. Now, there is an
effortless evenness about my temperament. But every now and again
(pretty rarely, actually) I might experience a flash of anger, but it is
like a match being struck in the wind - it effortlessly goes out on its
own before it even has a chance to ignite. And excitement is the same
way - I am pretty happy all the time, but if something does especially
excite me, the daily joy I experience might accelerate momentarily. But
these are like waves on my surface really - the waters beneath remain
smooth and still.
NDM: When you said, "I am strong enough to love you even when you do
not act loving towards me."; do you feel this unconditional love
with all people?
I absolutely do. This unconditional love is an effortless, natural
byproduct of this awareness. When we truly grasp that we are one, who
is there to feel competitive with? To fear or be angry at? No one.
Every one is you, wearing a different face, and everyone you meet in
every circumstance is like an amazing homecoming where you get to
experience a transient intimacy with this seemingly separate fragment of
you. It's beautiful. And fun.
NDM: What about desire, suffering, fear or aversion; do you still
experience any of these states?
unASLEEP: Transiently, yes,
sometimes - but only briefly, and here's why: This is a wonderful
example of what I am pointing to - This is where toggling between
perspectives, between facets of our awareness, is at perhaps its most
useful. And it is this blending, this toggling, that I hope to point
out for your consideration.
Because when we have gained the ability to toggle, then we can walk
around in this experience that we call life in our Ego-Self/Projected
self, and enjoy an unspeakable, first hand intimacy of exploration.
However, should an experience occur that we have difficulty navigating
as our Projected Selves (such as suffering or fear), then we switch
perspective over to our 'Higher Self' (or whatever label you prefer)
where we immediately gain the larger perspective needed to navigate the
And switching to this perspective is no big deal, no more
complicated or alien than passing something from your right hand to your
left. Once we become open to this ability, we soon do it reflexively.
And it would be silly to ask "who or what other hand are we passing this
to?" because it is always OUR hand. It's not really going anywhere -
just to another part of us, to just another facet.
Thinking otherwise is a bit of a trap, and before we know it, we
get all tangled up in words and concepts (often adopted as we
transiently affiliate ourselves with certain schools of thought) and we
spend all our time dicing or labeling things that
no dicing or labeling because
are just facets of the same thing.
This is the point of my video series 'Seeing' (See below) -
what we will think
of something is directly linked to our
prevailing perspective at that moment, but it hasn't really
changed. It's all One. And the sooner we permit the reintegration of
these facets, the better. Then we gain spiritual dexterity that we
cannot have otherwise, and our interaction with things both seen and
unseen becomes a much more fluid cooperation.
Leaving our Projected Self behind on the table is like chopping off
our arms because our feet seem to carry us where we want to go more
quickly. But what happens when we want to eat chocolate? We have no
choice but to label the chocolate as 'bad' so that we can live with the
choice we made to remove the part of us that would have allowed us to
taste the chocolate. :-(
Or, we can just be whole-y, and complete.
NDM: What are your thoughts about the "ego", meaning the identification
with a sense of a personal individual self? Do you believe that the ego
can be forcefully overcome?
glad you asked these, because I think this is a
important, but largely overlooked Truth that is going to clear up a lot
of issues when it hits the mainstream, not to mention help to dissolve
all these different 'camps' or 'schools of thought' that we still tend
to migrate towards.
Before we begin to awaken, we see ourselves as individuals. We are this
person who we think somehow materialized on this planet and are subject
to birth and death. We have a family, a history, and (we hope) a
future. We pay taxes, accumulate possessions, and attend churches as
well as little league games. We think we are subject to fate, or
chance, or coincidence. We worry about our jobs, about getting ahead,
and about staying on top.
And then somewhere along the line, we begin to ripen. One by one, we
begin to awaken, bit by bit. In both my personal experience as well as
what I have observed in others, this thing we call "enlightenment" is a
door that swings ever wider, as long as we care to look. (quote from my
video (see below) It only opens as quickly as we allow it to.
So somehow, one day we begin
to question who we are, and why we're here, and upon deeper
contemplation, typically see that much of our perceived trouble is due
to what we often come to call our ego-self and all his seemingly
insatiable desires and reactions. He's like an out of control teenager,
and we have a great deal of trouble with him. In fact, we don't really
know quite what to do with him or how
to curb his impulses. So, the way
with this is to initially seek help within a religion or school of
thought that advocates
divorcing ourselves mentally from this seeming troublemaker in one way
or another. Luckily, these schools are pretty common, and
so we do this, and this divorce does indeed settle our world right
down. There is no longer anyone doing 'donuts' in your mental parking
lot anymore. :-) And when all of that nonsense stops, life feels
downright blissful. No more ups and downs - now we can be Steady Eddie,
taking life as it comes. It feels good.
And this seems to be a natural evolution for some, a very, very common
path that we can travel. Actually, this intellectual sleight of hand
where we mentally divorce ourselves for a time from what we like to call
our ego-self could be seen as a smart move. It's like walking
away from an argument that has escalated into a screaming match and is
going nowhere. And by walking away, by becoming quiet,
we can usually find a resolution, a balance, and this balance feels
And this is what we are doing when we mentally divorce ourselves from
this ego-self who has given us such headaches: We are putting our
selves (literally) into 'timeout'. We are
interrupting his out-of-control scenario, and giving us room to cool
down and regain our balance. And it is a very welcomed relief. For the
first time, we are able to watch what unfolds in our life without
worry. We are able to disconnect from the overworked nerves that our
ego-self pumps. And we slide into the back seat. Whew.
In fact, it feels so good, so right,
that many assume 'this is how and where we're always supposed to be'.
And for a time, many of us believe that with all our hearts because at
that time, that is as far as our awareness extends. But somewhere along
the way some dastardly person like myself (or even better, the Voice
within) ruins this fun ;-) and whispers to us that "This
isn't all - Can't you feel it is only one side of this coin?" And
for those who are ripe, the Truth begins to leak in around the corners
as this conceptual shell that we unknowingly formed around our selves
suddenly feels a little tight. Cracks form, and the Light once more
begins to pour in and we awaken a little further and see "How can
there be repose without movement? Inflow without outflow?"
Now, those who are not quite ripe will attempt to deflect such an
inquiry and maintain hold on this warm and cozy spot they have found by
attempting to challenge this arising awareness with "Who or what is
there to do this?" Their vision is still completely fixed upon the
oneness, and they have not yet opened their eyes and looked around or
acquired the tolerance to encounter anything other. And there is
nothing wrong with this - it is just a sign that, like an unborn child
who hasn't fully formed yet, they have not ripened to the point where
they are prepared to step outside of their single-sighted association
with That Which they arise from. They are still embedded in the womb,
enjoying the transient period when there is nothing for them to do but
'be', and grow in ways they are not consciously aware of. And grow they
Because for every thing there is a season. One day, we are reborn.
We still see the oneness in the flower, the kitten, and the annoying
neighbor - We have not lost our knowing that they are
facets of the One, that there is no separation. But now we
see further, too. We see that even though we have been enjoying our
ride as a leaf on the river of life, we suddenly realize that
are also this river. And with this knowing, see that
there is no such thing as passively experiencing anything. Yes, we are
the leaf. We've embraced that for a long time. But we are
this river. So, everything
done by our hand. There is no such thing as passiveness. After all, if
not our hand, then whose? And we see the river and the leaf are
facets of the One, and they are
It is our perspective at the moment that determines which we associate
our selves with. But they're both us.
And knowing this, we finally see that this ego-self isn't someone to be
shunned, but rather is
facet of the One. And with this awareness, we begin to
function more fully spiritually. Lights and bells we didn't realize we
had begin to come on as we learn to toggle between these two
different facets of awareness. So, sometimes we are the leaf, enjoying
the ride. Other times, we are the river,
creating all that the leaf experiences. Because we are
BOTH. We are meant to be BOTH. The next step in our collective
evolution is to gain our balance, our muscle, our comfort-level in
toggling between these two perspectives of the One.
Because the ego-self isn't 'bad'. He is our 'player', our 'avatar' in
this expression/dimension. He is an intimate expression of YOU. When
you were out of control, so was
When you became quiet as you transiently mentally divorced your
consciousness from him, he
settled down as well. And now, you can approach him, saddle
him, and ride him. He is you, and now you can come to him as is
appropriate and useful. Here is a video I did that further expresses
what I am pointing to here (see below), and may make what I say here easier to consider.
Because in the same way, sometimes we are the leaf, floating
along in what feels like a passive stance, taking life as it
comes, with a broadened viewpoint, focused upon all harmoniously working
as One with no little or no need to directly create. As the leaf, we
are the Experiencer of all we create. As the River, we are defining and
bringing forward what the leaf will experience. And we are both this
leaf and the river, and we should not forsake one for the other, because
they are the yin and the yang of existence in this
It's like this: Sometimes we use our close-up vision, and sometimes our
distant vision. We would be missing huge parts of the picture if we
only used one or the other, wouldn't we? And it is the same with being
the leaf and the river. We should go further into this new awareness
and become comfortable toggling between both perspectives,
they are the interplay of the All.
And this is how we truly do away with what is commonly called the
witness. When we've reintegrated all these facets, the Higher Self, the
Ego Self and this experience we call Life. When we do this, THEN you can
ask me the question Who or what is there to see this? :-D And there
one. :-) But we don't do away with the witness by cutting
ourselves off from any perceived part of us. There is nothing
superfluous. All facets are healed, reintegrated into their rightful
The witness disappears when TRUE oneness is achieved, and all parts are
reconciled. Nothing is discarded, except our belief in this un-whole-y
"When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner as the
outer, and the upper as the lower, and when you make male and female
into a single one, so that the male shall not be male, and the female
shall not be female: . . . then you will enter [the kingdom]." - Gospel
of Thomas, Saying 22
NDM: Are you at this place where "true oneness and all parts are
reconciled" or do you see this as a work in progress?
unASLEEP: Yes, I am. But sometimes I still have to remind myself. I'll
get all caught up for a moment or two from the perspective of my
Projected Self, and forget to toggle over to my 'Higher Self' where I
have a much better view of the situation. But the more we toggle, the
more reflexive it becomes, even though it is quite natural to us.
We often do something very similar in emergency situations where
our toggling causes time to seem to slow down and we gain the impossible
overview of immediately seeing 50 different factors all at once so that
we may attempt to better handle the experience. We already do this.
So, though the thought that we ought to toggle may seem to be a new idea
to some, the
ability to toggle from one facet of our perception to
another is something we already do. It's an innate part of each of us,
and I hope more of us begin to consciously explore it and use it. Try
it on. Walk around it. Does it fit? Only you will know.
NDM: In your video, "Rebirth of the Ego-Self" you state that
without him, meaning the "ego", you could not appear in this dimension
as you are accustomed to. Then you go on to say “if you pull his plug,
you pull your own plug in this dimension”. What or who is it that is
pulling this plug?
unASLEEP: Well, that would have to
be the 'who or what' that is asking this question, wouldn't it? ;-)
The Ego-Self, or the Projected Self, as I prefer to call him,
is like our avatar in this realm of senses. He is our intimate,
personal projection. We can view him as a particular vehicle of
perception, an interactive 'program' that can either be left in
the troublesome teenager stage where he seems to drive us nuts,
or refined into a
magnificent tool. Too many of us have made habit of just walking away,
never experiencing this refinement, and this is unfortunate because he
is a facet, an expression of the One, and if we pull the plug and remain
disconnected from him, then we are walking away from the ability to
experience this facet.
If we remain
mentally divorced from him, as many schools of thought advocate, then we
have detached ourselves from what his experience brings us. He is not
superfluous, or bad. We just use him badly - At
first. And that's the point I would like to make.
example of what I am trying to point to: Our Ego-Self/Projected Self
is somewhat like a car. Imagine that no one has even taken the time to
understand how to interact or drive a car. Instead, we usually all take
planes, useful in some instances, but very inappropriate when, for
example, we want to buy groceries.
we haven't taken the time to learn how to interact with cars, every time someone gets behind the wheel, it's a mess - nothing but tragedy and
loss (not to mention we never made it to the store to buy groceries).
So, we decide to stay the heck out of cars. To us in our current level
of understanding, they seem nothing but trouble. Besides, though planes
may leave us exploring the world at a distance (not to mention robbing
us of the Direct Experience of direction), at least we aren't locking
fenders with someone at every turn.
this sound silly? Cars are useful tools for certain ventures, and it
would be crazy to never learn to use them. But this is how some of us
come to treat our Ego-Self/Projected Self, not only steering clear of
him, but wrapping this action in congratulatory concepts so that we
actually consider it to be wise and appropriate to do so. And maybe it
was - for a while.
Until we took the time to learn.
He is a facet
of you. Sometimes it is appropriate to direct our perception so that we
see out of the eyes of the Leaf, and other times it is appropriate to
direct our focus to our being the River. We must learn to toggle
between the 'two'. And we may as well, because divorcing yourself from
one or the other is really just an illusion. We are
And this is
what our next step is - to begin to move beyond religions and schools of
thought (which should only be used as transitory tools) and begin to
shed thoughts and theories that limit us and toggle between all our
wonderful facets, because they are
offers us wonderful colors and views that we will not directly
NDM: This brings to
mind, a Zen monk, Genpo Roshi who also
talks about another state, which he calls the "apex state”. His
theory is kind of complicated but I'm paraphrasing him here, he says its neither
being trapped in the non-dual or dual state, but one that transcends
both of these states. It’s a fluid place where one has a choice to
navigate from one to the other at will. It includes these states, the
dual and the non-dual. He refers to this as the ego-less ego.
unASLEEP: Bingo. I haven't read
Genpo Roshi, but this sounds like it may be very similar to what I am
trying to point to here. (And apparently, he did it with far less words
than I. :-D )
NDM: As with the Zen saying, before a person studies Zen,
mountains are mountains and waters are waters; after a first glimpse
into the truth of Zen, mountains are no longer mountains and waters are
not waters; after enlightenment, mountains are once again mountains and
waters once again waters.
unASLEEP: This is true.
So if this is true, why
would you want to maintain this identification with a mirage when all
this will bring is suffering, anxiety and keep one stuck in "samsara" as
the Buddhists call it? How can
one even be limitless, timeless non dual awareness when one is trapped inside the bubble of the egoic
self like an air bubble in a glass of water?
unASLEEP: I would have to disagree
- That is not all it brings, nor are we 'trapped' by anything other than
our own thoughts. To believe that this facet of ourselves only brings
suffering or that we are somehow 'trapped' in some way is a slice of
well-known, parroted dogma from the perspective of few particular
schools of thought, I'm afraid.
- It is,
for whomever believes it. This IS what you will experience if you never
learn to drive your 'car', and instead rely on the words of another that
experiencing life 'up close and personal' will only bring suffering and
grief. Sadly, that
will be your truth as long as you believe it. When you go
beyond leaning upon the words of another, you'll find something
Some non-duality (neo advaita) people say that without a personal sense of a self being there,
there is no longer suffering, desire, fear or aversion?
unASLEEP: Well of course. That's
true. When we are 'living
beyond the illusion of this personal "self" or 'mentally
divorcing ourselves from our 'Ego Self'' (as I like to term it), the
room does indeed get pleasantly quiet. No one has disputed that.
what is the cause of suffering, if it’s not identification with this egoic
unASLEEP: Suffering, desire and
aversions seem to quickly dwindle away because we have distanced
ourselves from our facet that would have normally experienced those
things. This is our motivation for the 'divorce'. It provides us with
a sense of 'room' where we can regain our innate balance and peace. The
only trouble comes from forgetting to
reintegrate this facet.
reason our Ego Self/Projected Self was running around, doing
this and that, and seemingly causing so much suffering in our life in
the first place is because he
didn't realize who he was.
Until your awareness expanded to the point where you truly began to
grasp the Truth of Oneness, he (you) thought
what we all originally think - that we are basically in this all alone
with only whatever we manage to cobble out in this cruel world to help
us. And that
is where our suffering comes from - running about, trying to handle
things and make sure we do or don't do whatever we think we need to.
Because no matter what we do, we can never seem to find what we need or
are looking for, and this
causes our suffering.
know how to relate evenly to the contents of this world, he hasn't found
his balance, and we blame him harshly for it. And since we can't find a
way to do away with the world,
we do away with him.
And since his banishment now places our world at a distance to us, we
must console ourselves and say that the experiences of the world
only bring suffering. Kind of like in Aesop's Fables where the fox was
separated from the grapes, so he tells himself that they are probably
bitter anyhow, not worth having. But that isn't true. With just a bit
of balance, no separation is necessary.
For example, eating chocolate causes no suffering (in fact, you can
count on quite the
opposite experience, in
case! :-D). But eating too
much chocolate might, as well as
worrying if you will be able to get your hands on more
chocolate again. But the experience of eating chocolate is completely
without suffering. It's our
interaction that is uneven and causes this suffering. And
our interaction is uneven because we have no idea who we are, and what
we may truly need, or not need. Do you see?
So, to transiently cope with off-balanced situation, some (like
yourself) find it useful to disavow their 'Ego Self' or 'Projected Self'
for a time while they regain their balance, and then come back to him
later. Others (like myself) never really disassociate themselves with
him - we find it easier to just
educate him along the way. Either way works, and here's
Once the Ego Self/Projected Self
knows who he is, he is no longer afraid. He quits running around like a madman.
And we say goodbye to suffering...
....just like you are experiencing right now, but
without having to keep your Ego Self/Projected Self (and
therefore much of the experience of Life) at arm's length. You can be
up close and personal again, without the suffering.
Does this mean that the Projected Self/ Ego Self will never again
seem to suffer with an illness? Lose a loved one? Get fired? Probably
not. However, now he knows how to correctly view it, and so it is no
With his new awareness of
his is and what
that means, he no longer suffers. Things come, and things
go, and he is not unduly troubled. He does not worry.
neither is he detached from their coming or going.
them. He tastes them. He experiences them for what they seem to be
without losing sight of the Oneness, that these 'things'
him, as well as their act of their coming and going. There is nothing
that is not him, whether that be others facets of his psyche, other
seeming entities he meets - everything he encounters is all One. And
with this new education, he becomes a relaxed and well-behaved man, and
we no longer have to exclude him in order to maintain peace in our
We can enjoy experiencing the world through his eyes once more.
It's what this unique facet is for.
NDM: Please correct me if I'm wrong but what you seem to be
indicating here is becoming psychologically detached from this egoic
self. Denying it, mentally divorcing yourself from it. Or even
forcefully suppressing it. What I'm infering to is something very
different. I'm referring when someone says this ego drops away and there
isn't a sense of a personal self at all. There is nothing to divorce
yourself from, to suppress, or to still. When you look inside,
this personal reference point has completely disappeared?
unASLEEP: If you
disassociated yourself as completely as you seem to be pointing to here,
there would be no 'you' to make these inquiries. How could there
be? I sincerely have no intention to step on toes, but it
seems that those who believe they have done this so completely are only
pulling another sleight of hand upon themselves, possibly because still
believe the 'self' to be 'bad'. He is neither. He is your
player, your avatar here in this dimension. And if you have a name
and live somewhere, collect a paycheck, have coffee, if you are still
'here'.....then so is
he. He may not be running the show all the time, but
he is still here because you
are still projecting him. Cease your projection,
your projected self, and you will still be 'here', but not as you are
accustomed to. Let's put it this way: You aren't going to
need a hat. :-D
NDM: Going back to Genpo Roshi and the apex state, he says that the only
way to access this apex state is by first transcending the non-dual
state. The only way to get to the non-dual state is to transcend the
dual ego state. You can’t access the apex state without passing through
the non-dual stage. In essence, if there is a sense of a person there,
you can’t get to see this apex state because this ego will be in the
way. It’s only when the ego is gone that one can then visit this
unASLEEP: Interesting, because
without knowledge of Genpo Roshi
the specific teachings of the Buddha that he derived his "apex concept"
from, I (have attempted to) explain in detail to you
very same thing. And from my experience, there was no
'death', but rather, an
education, moments of clarity I suppose, where I saw that
this 'me' was really my shadow, my reflection. But I
disassociated myself from it. I saw no need. I just 'shushed' it (over
and over, I might add), and stopped letting it run the show all the
time. And if I am sometime shushing it, then it stands to reason that
someone needs to be behind the wheel, so intuitively I found
myself toggling back and forth between these perspectives, using
whichever was more appropriate. And that's how it happened.
I mean, anyone can take this natural evolution/education and make
it all very complicated and state this and that about it and outline
supposed parameters and requirements, but I can tell you that I knew
nothing of these, and still found myself there. It is
We're like salmon swimming back upstream. It's up to you - You can
stop and buy all the maps you want from salmon stands along the stream
who say they have been there, and these instructions may or may not be
useful to you, it depends. But you already have what you need to get
there. It's hardwired in. We just need to get to the place where we no
longer believe route and measure are so important, because they
aren't. We like them, though. We feel comforted when we
are surrounded by maps and measures and instructions, and we cling to
them until we have tried so many or for so long that we can finally give
our inner compass a turn.
Then things really start to happen.
Is your mind still active like before or do you experience long periods
of silence with no thoughts or emotions at all?
unASLEEP: It's funny
because I rarely think at all anymore, and this is coming from someone
who heavily relied upon an intellectual relation with the world. It was
quite a surprise to suddenly realize that somewhere along the way, I
switched from 'thinking' (where I weighed and deduced things), to
'knowing' (where answers arise without the normal, prerequisite
mentations). And I will not lie to you - it's pretty darn cool,
NDM: Do you
mean as with "gnosis”, intuition, and do these answers come in words,
pictures, or the sound of a voice?
unASLEEP: It can be
literally anything - occasionally it has seemed to be a nearly audible
voice, but many times it feels like I suddenly had a really fantastic
idea pop into my head out of nowhere. But it could also be a sound, or
even like a picture or short movie.
Or if I am having a hard time hearing a thought or answer I am
seeking, it often pops into my head first thing in the morning, just as
I open my eyes, or
just as I drop off to sleep at night. And (this may sound strange) but
I have even attended 'instruction classes' in my sleep - dreams that
repeat over and over (4 seems to be the magic number of repetition) and
are very much like a little seminar. So, I never know how this
non-thinking information will occur.
Also, the thought or message can be very concise - like one word,
OR, it can be a tremendous amount of information that seems to download
all at once into my awareness.
NDM: Also, has your sensory awareness become more heightened?
Yes, it has. There has been quite a bit of this, but it would take too
long to go into here, and would probably raise more questions than it
addressed, so maybe we'll save the details for another day.
NDM: Do you spend more time in the body or the mind?
unASLEEP: Oh, the 'mind',
fer sure. Guilty. :-) But that is something I have worked on
balancing since I more fully realized that not only were the body and
mind utterly ONE, but that THE DOOR SWINGS BOTH WAYS. A verrrrry useful
thing to know.
Inother words, our body is the projection of our mind, the
outward reflection of what we contain 'within'. It's not just a
somewhat random collection of dna and environmental influences, pushed
into this world by our Mothers. It is
us - manifested
here. As above, so
below. Makes sense. It is the common localization of the Projected
Self/ Ego Self.
And because mind
and body are
one, not only can our
thoughts change our
bodies (i.e. - Our thoughts instruct our body not to eat as
much chocolate, and so we lose weight)
world (I think will practice more compassion and make my world a better
place) etc., but what I didn't consciously realize at first was that our
BODIES could change our THOUGHTS. Literally. I mean, try smiling even
when you don't feel like it, and sure enough - you quickly somehow feel
happier. Your body can show your mind things, and in very surprising
ways because the door swings both ways. I could go on and on about
this in much more detail, but maybe we should also save this for another
NDM: Have you ever experienced your mind being completely still, with no
thoughts at all? Not just when meditating, but the rest of
Yes, I have. It is an indescribable state.
NDM: Can someone still push your buttons, do you get irritated if
someone questions or challenges you?
but as I mentioned, it's like a match lit in the wind - it goes out
before it barely catches. I wouldn't see someone as 'challenging me'
anymore because these are not 'my' thoughts or theories, nor am I vested
in supporting them. I am only interested in Truth, and would drop a
belief in an instant if I suddenly saw it was incorrect. In a lesser
way, I do this all the time as I see
deeper and deeper layers of the Truths I currently hold in my
awareness. There is a constant refinement.
Do I sit and argue? No, I have nothing to sell you, and have no
'team' to tally points for. I'll share what I have with those who wish
to hear what I have to say, but I have absolutely no interest or
motivation to argue or debate or try and convince. But as long as
someone is open, I'm usually happy to answer any questions they may have
about whatever I am pointing to.
You also indicated earlier that there is a choice in this matter?
choose everything we experience. Who or what could be doing this
choosing for you? ;-)
NDM:Yes I watched this video clip about perception. As Ramakrishna put
it, "everyone thinks only their clock tells the correct time." Do you
mean this as some kind of evolutionary awakening of sorts?
unASLEEP: "Some people think only
their clock tells the correct time." Hmmm. I'm honestly not quite sure
how that is relative to my response. However, if that
the case, then I would have to say that "those people should refrain
from asking others what time they have,
shouldn't they?" ;-D
What I meant was is that your
video was about perspectives. You say in it "each one has their own
perception, they are certain that what they see is all that there is".
This brought to mind Ramakrishna’s quote everyone thinks only their clock tells the correct time." which is
very similar to what you said.
mean this as some kind of evolutionary awakening of sorts, that people
are becoming enlightened?
unASLEEP: I mean, we already
what we are.
'Enlightenment' isn't something you attain, per se. It's not like
before you are one then, and then turn into another. Like before you
were enlightened, you were an alligator, and after you became
enlightened you became a buffalo. Or more closely, before you become
enlightened you were this crude entity, and afterwards you are this
luminous being. You were
always this luminous being. You just were not consciously
aware of it. Enlightenment is simply becoming aware of who you are.
What about the shadow self. The deep unconscious blind spots, imprints
and aspects of the egoic self as well as what some eastern traditions
refer to as samskaras, vasanas. Meaning karmic imprints, likes and dislikes.
Habits and so on?
unASLEEP: To me, the
consideration of samskaras, vasanas, shadow selves, etc are more an
indication of perhaps attempting to align our awareness with a
particular school of thought than anything else, and I do not advocate
that you follow any
school of thought, or take
anything that another says as true unless you have
experienced it firsthand.
NDM: Do you believe it’s possible to be enlightened and still be
unconscious of one’s shadow self
how this shadow self is projecting itself?
Creating all kinds of elaborate and subtle ego defenses and mechanisms
to sustain itself out of fear of annihilation?
unASLEEP: This thing we call
'enlightenment' is equally available to all. If there is special
knowledge you needed to know, you will innately already have this
knowledge. All you must do is bring it forward. Uncover it. And you
will. This 'uncovering' is what we call our Journey. My video "Dorothy
and the Deserted Island" (see below)might
be useful in trying to see what I am pointing to here.
Because all methods/schools of thought/etc are really no more than
man's attempt to recapitulate this innate information into a form that
they can hopefully understand from their 'unenlightened' state, but much
is lost in the process. Much. Not to mention, it is tedious to
acquire. And in the end, you will discard it, because it is (at best) a
crude representation of what is being pointed to.
Sometimes these schools of thought are somewhat useful in a
transitory sense, to take us to a certain point. But they should be
used like a hammer - used while they are useful, then laid down at the
first opportunity. Because what everyone is trying to see is not fully
contained within any
school of thought or religion. What everyone is trying to see is well
beyond those doors, however hallowed.
NDM: Did you
use any kind of method, meditation, and spiritual practice, prayer to get to this place of
unASLEEP: No, I didn't rely upon any
particular method or concept
to get to where I stand today, other than two things: 1. Direct
Experience and 2. Listening to the Voice within.
NDM: Do you teach?
unASLEEP: No, I don’t officially teach right now. I do have a website that
I sometimes post things at (www.unasleep.com), as well as nearly
80 videos on YouTube (
www.youtube.com/unasleep) that people often find helpful or inspirational. I have
thought about it, though, as well as perhaps writing a book, but quite
honestly, there are deeper areas that are taking my attention right now,
and I just can’t seem to tear myself away. :-)
NDM: Did some kind of energetic shift take place in the body/mind
when this enlightenment occurred? Did you experience any unusual
phenomena in the mind or body.
unASLEEP: Yes, I have experienced notable phenomenon as I pass through
certain doorways, and still continue to do so. But I'm always a bit
hesitant to discuss them specifically because there tends to be a
disproportionate amount of interest in them. But yes, it seems to be a
natural byproduct of acclimating and integrating certain Truths.
NDM: There are many people out there making claims to be
enlightened? How could you know if the person was not telling the truth
or was simply deluding themselves?
unASLEEP: Well, I never really worry if someone is or isn't "enlightened".
I don't argue with people about what they believe. We can only see as
far as we can see at that moment. As for changes to that paradigm, we
will either be on the verge of making the jump to a higher Truth, or
not. Something we experience will either kick us over into this clearer
seeing, or it won't. There's no merit in arguing about it.
Overall, IMHO, whether someone is telling the Truth or deluding
themselves really should be somewhat irrelevant, because we should
never, ever follow
anyone. Don't give weight to
one word (not even from me
;-P) unless it resonates with you. Before you buy into any
thought or concept and take it home,
it on first, walk around in it, see how it works. Does it
fit? Does it work? Is it True? Make the act of Direct Experience your
habit, and you'll never wonder again whether or not something is the
Truth. You'll know.
NDM: Under your video on
youtube, “Rebirth of the Ego-Self”, you say” While I'm rocking
boats, I thought I'd like to rock one more :-) Most schools of
enlightenment advocate the necessity of subduing what has been
labeled our "Ego-Self", with the goal of hopefully vanquishing it
altogether. In this video, I hope to show how the Ego-Self isn't
really what we've imagined him to be, and what we should do to help
him uncover what he really is.”
These various schools of thought have been around for thousands of
years and have produced people like Buddha, Jesus Christ, Sri Ramana
Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Rumi and so many others.
Do you feel that all these peoples’ understanding of enlightenment
were off somehow?
We all transiently move through whatever we need to see to get us
where we can see. But by relaying his experience, Buddha
inadvertently created his own 'school' as those who were interested
in what he was saying tried to capture it. Same for Jesus. He
didn't create Christianity, rather followers created it around him.
Each may have entered this leg of their Journey through an
established school, but quickly began to follow their own paths,
oftentimes building upon these schools so what they were trying to
teach would be more palatable to its listener. AS for the rest, I
personally wouldn't put them in the same category as Buddha or
Jesus, as they do still somewhat bear the stain of a particular
school of thought. But that doesn't mean they don't have wonderful
things to share. They do - I've enjoyed things from all of them.
NDM: Also when you say you are 'rocking boats'.
How has this video been received so far?
As far as rocking the boat goes, so far it has been unbelievably
well received. Even with all my videos, and as controversial as the
topics have been, I think I can still count the number of comments I
have elected to remove on
two hands - and most of those were simply
inappropriately expressing an attraction to my voice.As long as they are reasonably polite (and most times,
even if they aren't)
I like it when someone posts a contrasting thought - it
gives me a platform to reply from and expound upon.
NDM: How did the idea come about
to make these videos?
unASLEEP: The idea came about because I am a bit of a
compulsive writer. It has always been very therapeutic for me to
pull thoughts out of my head and pin them down to paper, where I can
observe them better. Because of this, I ended up with a ton of
spiral notebooks filled with all these poems and writings.
really can't place my finger on what made me want to do them up in a
video and place them on YouTube. I mean, they were my most private
thoughts, largely controversial thoughts. It was nuts. But I did
it. And I KEPT doing it because and whatever magic happens when I
write thoughts down to paper and pin them down where I can seem
much more when I did the videos. The act of creating
the videos added a new life, a crystallization of the concept I was
trying to point to.
NDM: Why did you decide to use this name unASLEEP instead of using your
chose to go by unASLEEP because I wanted to strip the viewer
of as many filters as I could. We all have them, just aren't aware
that we do. After all, I wasn't doing this for fame or money, so
what did it matter? By just using unASLEEP, they were left to focus
on the only thing they could - what I was pointing to. It worked
out well. Until, that is, as time when on, I could tell most of my
viewers assumed I was a man. And I'm not. And that bugged me a
little. Also, I was at a point where I wanted more intimacy with my
viewer, so I began to add voiceovers in my own voice.
I was very nervous, fully expecting to get bad feedback because of
my slurry Southern speech, but to my surprise, people not only liked
it, they really responded to it. And I cautiously admitted it was
me doing the voiceovers. Some of my viewers who assumed I was a man
are still in denial, I think, but it's true. :-D I am woman. Hear
me roar. Or at least hear me drop the hard consonants at the end of
my words. :-D
NDM: Are you working on any more of these videos?
I have quite a backlog of videos that I have written, some have even
been recorded, but I don't know when I'll get to them. I am trying
to see this other thing right now, and it is taking my attention at
NDM: Why do you think people thought you were a man?
I think people thought I was a man because if you look at those
considered worthwhile or revolutionary 'teachers' through history,
there are only a tiny handful of women. So, it is indeed a bit of
conditioning, I think.
NDM: Do you still identify with being a woman or do you see this as
more societal conditioning, habit and so on?
I only see myself as a woman in certain lights (flattering ones,
preferable ;-P). I see myself as a 'person', and I don't really
give much thought to conditioned male or female behavior, and I
suppose that leaks out.
So no, I only am really conscious of being a woman under certain
conditions. I am just 'me', doing 'this'. :-)