Loosening My Grip on My Worldview

In the spirit of true confession, here are some things I have believed about the world we live in:

  • There is a massive conspiracy in place, a conspiracy so vast and convoluted and evil, that it is beyond the ability of most people on the planet to comprehend.
  • These families care nothing for the welfare of the human race, and are only interested in control.
  • They will use any means necessary, including chemtrails, vaccinations, genocide, wars for profit, disease, heavy metal poisoning, weather control, political manipulation, etc. in order to dumb down and kill as much of the population as is necessary to achieve their goals.
  • Mass media is owned and operated by corporations under the control of these families, and is operating as their propaganda arm. Next to nothing you see, read or hear on the news is to be trusted. Its main goal is to instill fear and misinformation to the general population.
  • The events of 9-11, the Kennedy assassination, the World Wars, and so many other gigantic events were orchestrated and carried out by our own governments, in order to amp up the fear factor, to give a further excuse to perpetuate the growth and inevitablity of military activities around the world, and to create monetary profit for the ruling families and the corporations they control.

I could go on and on. You can get as detailed with this as you want to get. Once this world view is adopted, you start to see invisible hands everywhere. Nothing is how it once appeared to be. The reason I started investigating all this in the first place was because I was so desperately looking for a way to explain and make sense of the world the way it is, with all the ills with which we are so familiar. Once I happened upon the so-called “conspiracy theories,” things began to make sense.

However, I am now in the process of loosening my grip on these beliefs, and seeing through even this level of “reality.” Mostly, this is due to an experience I had a couple of weeks ago. I was looking for a book to read amongst the shelves of the house where we are currently staying, and I found my thoughts drifting into the realms of what I have described above. At that point, a window opened, and a realization simply dawned on me that, basically, all of what I believed about the world was simply bullshit.

I trust what I was shown in those few seconds more than I trust all my reasoning power, or the evidence for this world view as voiced by many of the experts in the field. I can also unequivocally add that this revelation was not that what I see in the world is to be taken at face value. It was on the level of, “Look deeper, beyond appearances. All form is illusion and empty at its core.”

I won’t shut my eyes to anything that I see going on in the world. But I have not been heeding my own advice of holding my beliefs loosely, knowing that in due time they will all be wrested from my clutches.

The Living Inquiries have also shown me that behind all my wanting the world to be different than what it is, lies an emotion that I haven’t wanted to feel. Once welcomed and appreciated, these emotions are free to pass through, stay, or whatever, and I am fully able to allow them to be in the infinite space of who I am.

It always seems to boil down to feeling whatever it is we haven’t allowed ourselves to feel. Issues that seem planetary may in the end reduce themselves to some trauma-induced emotion we haven’t been willing to face.

So I am now officially loosening my grip on all my beliefs of how and why the world is the way it is. My eyes will remain open, staying alert to what I will next be shown. In the meantime I will support certain causes when it feels right, and to note resistances when they appear in my body/mind. After all, I am simply providing the space for all this to arise.

On Leaving the Kiloby Center

Reflections upon Leaving the Kiloby Center

I’ve been working as a facilitator at the Kiloby Center for Recovery since early September 2014. My last two days at the Center are coming up, as my wife and I are moving to be closer to family. I wanted to share some of what I have learned while working at this most wonderful place.

For those of you who feel hopeless, stuck in an endless parade of patterns from which there is seemingly no escape, I do not offer hope. There is a way through, however, and it is the road less travelled. Feel the hopelessness. Welcome it. Love it. Thank it. Appreciate it. Feel it in your body. Give it an invitation to stay as long as it likes. This gives this wave (and it is a wave, not a permanent condition) permission to move and eventually return to the infinite ocean from which it came. Who knows, it may leave gifts as it flows through your being.

We have learned many cutting edge techniques at the Center, some designed to deal directly with the contractions in the body that have been with us from childhood, perhaps very early childhood. Techniques aside, it is our readiness to actually be present to whatever is happening in the body which will alleviate our suffering. It is the exact opposite to what we have learned growing up and throughout our lives, which is, “Oh, you’re feeling something uncomfortable? Well, think positive thoughts instead. You can fix yourself so you never have to feel that feeling again. Maybe reach for something to distract yourself. Partake of some substance or activity to make yourself feel better. This feeling is uncomfortable, so don’t feel it.” For those who still follow that particular programming, the way to end suffering is not around – it is through.

I’ve seen many clients come to the Center and see the value of what is being taught here. They have managed to not only refrain from using when they return home, but through making practical use of what they have learned, have seen great changes emerge in their lives. I use the word emerge deliberately, as it isn’t an efforting that relieves the suffering; it is a relaxing of all the effort we have applied in order not to feel uncomfortable feelings. This allows our true nature to emerge, and we get to watch it permeate our present experience.

Working with Scott, Julianne, Per, Kay, Chad and Paul C. has been a terrific experience. In all this time, I have not witnessed a single instance of anyone losing their composure or behaving in any way that would indicate that they aren’t living authentically. It is a constant reminder to me to notice whatever is happening in my experience and be with it. It has been an honor working with this crew. This goes for all the silly moments also, of which there have been many.

If you’ve ever wondered what it is like to work with Scott, I can say he is a pleasure to be around. He is indeed a very peaceful person, and has a great sense of humor. I am so appreciative of the time spent with him, exchanging ideas and listening to his newly created approaches to helping our clients. His experience, compassion, focus and dedication are readily apparent to all of us.

Julianne, well, I always refer to her as the gold standard when it comes to facilitations. Because of our schedules, I didn’t get to work alongside her very much. But so many times I have heard clients speak of how deep she was able to take them in their inquiries. I’m not surprised. The Center is so fortunate to have her. Plus, she’s great fun to be with, and I’ve so appreciated her support.

I do know that the clients are very aware of the opportunity before them, and most of them have taken advantage of their time at the Center. There are times when I’m speaking with them in a group, or one-on-one, when such love and appreciation for them almost overwhelms me. It takes a certain degree of readiness, but also courage, to come here and face what they have always been running from, and instead turn towards it. Their willingness to do so is inspirational to all of us.

I also wanted to thank my wife, Juliette, whose patience and understanding has afforded me the chance to work creatively with others. I have been so desiring this opportunity, and she has facilitated this for me. I so appreciate her presence in my life.

As for the Living Inquiries and the community, I plan to stay involved, working “electronically” and perhaps with groups and individuals in person. We shall see where this goes.

In the meantime, for all Living Inquiries facilitators and to those who are simply curious about them or involved in any way, know that the home planet, The Kiloby Center for Recovery, is alive and well, and in the best of hands.

A Holy Moment

Working at the Kiloby Center for the 10 months has enabled me to get in touch with what I now call a Holy Moment. When people feel triggered in any way to partake of a certain substance, behavior or other habitual reaction to a feeling they don’t want to feel, more than likely it may already be too late to refrain from reaching for that something. This of course simply prolongs the suffering, something we all know quite well.

But there is a moment, even a tiny sliver of a moment, where we can actually become aware of an alternative to our habitual behavior. That alternative is to simply stop, even for that sliver of a moment. This is a very tiny interruption in the normal course of events that lead to partaking. That moment is what I am now calling a Holy Moment.

Why use the word Holy? As I tune into that moment right now, I feel the infinite space that moment presents. Infinite space, infinite emptiness, all possibility. Yes, even the possibility of just being with the feeling that has so blatantly commanded us to do anything but feel it, the avoidance of which has lead so clearly to our destructive behavior.

The more you can remember to simply pause, even for a second or two, before reaching for that substance, or engaging in that behavior, the more elongated those moments become. Something happens as those moments become longer and longer. The craving can die down, become less intense. You might even have the wherewithal in that moment to actually feel the feeling you have been running from seemingly forever, and ask it, “Where is the command to use?” You might be in for a surprise, in that your craving might have diminished enough to where you might actually refrain from using.

I’m not downplaying the intensity of the cravings that are present when you are in the midst of using drugs, alcohol, sugar, cigarettes, etc. Letting your mind list all the reasons those substances are bad for you, well, we know that doesn’t work, as it just activates the craving. We’ve seen much evidence to that effect at the Center. There needs to be a certain level of readiness to finally turn around and face the feelings that have been driving the cravings in the first place. Many clients at the Center have reached that readiness point where they are prepared to look. Taking that moment, even for one second, before using can be a first and giant step toward putting that readiness into play.

Once we have noticed that we can indeed take moments of rest even during a craving, these Holy Moments can become opportunities for feeling what we have always avoided feeling.

The Enneagram has been a very useful tool for our clients, as it can help identify the particular flavor of the patterns we fall into. These patterns are the result of our reaching outside ourselves for comfort, for love, for purpose, for fulfillment, for meaning in our lives, as opposed to looking within. Once identified, we get to watch the parade of patterns in which we have engaged, and it takes some fortitude to do this looking. It can be very sobering, to borrow a phrase, to face how inauthentically we have been behaving. We get to see the many ways we have been employing in order to avoid facing the feelings that are arising in any given moment.

I have been looking at my particular patterns very intently these past several months. My number nine patterns have been made quite evident to me, as well as my powerlessness in trying to behave differently. There is only one way out of this predicament, and that is through; through the overwhelming and oppressive feelings that are with me now. We have a phrase, The Thank You Phrase, that we use at the Center, and it has become a daily part of my life. When I can feel that I am resisting a feeling, I say to the feeling, inwardly or out loud, “Thank you for arising. I love you. Stay as long as you like.” It is a very useful phrase, as it allows us to become completely aware of the feeling itself, and if we are still resisting it, to feel the resistance and be with that. You don’t even have to mean it at first – you might be tempted to say, “Yeah, stay as long as you like, as long as it isn’t more than 5 minutes.” Just keep using it despite your reservations. You might be surprised at its effectiveness.

In this moment, as I write this, every thought that arises seems to intensify this feeling, even those that are totally unrelated to one another. I woke up this morning with this feeling, carried over from yesterday, and the blessing today has been that whatever thoughts might have been velcroed to it are not sticking. I know it’s only about me sitting here and feeling this, even as it feels un-feelable in its intensity. I’ve been asking for this, to be able to move more authentically through this life, and this is what has presented itself.

Holy Moments, Holy Opportunities. Opportunities to discover our unique expressions and creative aliveness, and to live our lives in the infinite space, possibility, and flow of life.

A Blast From the Past

I found an old spiral notebook today, and in the spirit of recycling, perused its contents to see if there was anything in it worth keeping. What I found was a great source of laughter and wonder – a poem I wrote almost seven years ago, before I had delved into the non-dual world.
I mention that non-dual reference because I simply didn’t remember that I was even thinking along those lines at that time. Seven years ago I was still undergoing chelation for mercury poisoning, which was very difficult physically (that’s an understatement), but literally the answer to a prayer on other levels.
This is also one of the few poems I have ever written in which I made a conscious effort to include rhyming into the mix. The rhyming herein is one of the causes of my laughing out loud at what I have written.
Anyway, without further ado, here is what I found in this otherwise very recyclable notebook:

Can you steer me sir, and point the way
in the right direction,
that I might arrive, without fail,
at my final destination.

I’m most anxious, sir, to reach path’s end,
to stop traveling and at last arrive,
and glory in having found
that place where I might thrive.

Tell me, son, if I might ask,
what will you find upon arriving,
that you haven’t found here
where you are now living?

When I arrive at that locale,
after years and lives spent searching –
my dreams come true, my problems solved;
no more will I go yearning.

This pain I feel inside my soul
I’ve long been paving over,
with all manner of distractions;
for that I do seek closure.

When I reach that promised land,
only Beauty will I feel;
Faith and Compassion will be mine,
on Love’s altar will I kneel.

No more pain, no more anger,
woes will return no more;
no fear will ever plague me
when I reach that distant shore.

I long to know the Truth of things,
to see all life converging;
a samadhi in the truest sense –
a view of atoms merging.

A master I long to be,
to see my truth take form;
to teach other to do the same,
to save themselves from harm.

Your eyes tell of having found
Peace and journey’s end;
can you please advise me, sir,
as to when my path will end.

I see a world filled with sorrow,
hate and fear abound;
I long to use my mastery,
to bring these ills to ground.

This world can change, and change it will,
when all of us decide
to use our gifts and turn to Love,
and forever there reside.

There have been times, if truth be told,
I’ve been beaten by despair;
blackness reigns and hope has gone
that I would ever get there.

When these moods strike, I ask aloud,
why continue breathing?
I’ll naught succeed, nor reach my goal;
all’s left is conceding.

But then I find one such as you,
one that does embody
all that seems so right and true,
who in my eyes is worthy.

I’ll tell you what I can, my friend,
though what I say surprises;
this path your on has no end,
from all of my surmises.

All your seeking is doomed to fail,
not ’cause you’re not able;
from words that you have sent to me,
you’ve bought into a fable.

Even if you were to find
an ending true and fair,
you’d be surprised to look around,
and see that you’re not there.

All that which you say you need,
your wants and true desires,
this “I” that you have told me of
can’t find to what it aspires.

This “I” is false, I tell you true,
from lessons painfully earned;
This seeking you’ve embarked upon
will see your ambitions spurned.

The search won’t end, be design,
it never was the plan;
it’s purpose is to keep alive
the seeking if it can.

If there’s something in my eyes you see,
perhaps an inner glow,
it’s the certainty I possess,
that there’s little that I know.

I can say I’ve seen this chase,
this path and all it’s trappings,
is itself a hollow shell –
no present, simply wrappings.

I also know that I laugh aloud
at the best joke ever told;
that anyone needs to be enlightened
before they get too old.

This person that you say is you,
who is he, really?
There’s nothing you lack or truly need;
all this I see so clearly.

We’re acting out a perfect script;
we play our parts quite well;
the seeker is one such role
at which we do excel.

This blast from the past ends right here;
yes, a sudden ending;
I probably came up short of rhymes,
so maybe more are pending.

(We’ll see!)

There’s No Cleaning Up This Mess

Today I realized more fully than I ever have before, that I could do The Living Inquiries, do any number of meditation techniques, live in Babaji’s cave for a month, undergo primal therapy, psychotherapy, music therapy, underwater therapy, physiotherapy, or food therapy, past-life regression, future-life progression, or any other type of therapy for the next zillion years, and never, I repeat, never, be able to clean up this mess that has been called my ego.

I believe it was Ram Dass who said something like, “If you think you’re enlightened, go spend time with your family.” Here I am in Westchester County, New York, where I grew up. This particular piece isn’t about all the events that have taken place here, as much as it’s about what I have seen of the absolute mess that is(?) my ego. There is so much disfunction going on in that arena that I could’t even begin to delineate it all, even if I wanted to, which I don’t. Let’s just say it’s hard for me to actually find any authenticity at all in my personality.

This is particularly ironic, given that the title of my website is, “Gateway to Authenticity.”

What I have seen, thanks to The Living Inquiries, is that yes, there are sensations happening; yes, there are emotions; yes, I see images of my memories; and yes, I have seen and heard the harsh words I have been saying about myself. And, I have also seen that all this has been happening to absolutely nobody. That’s what I saw today, that there was no one here who could identify with any of that, all while I was experiencing all of the above, and crying during most of the Inquiry.

So while there isn’t a hope in Heaven of cleaning up the mess of my ego/personality, it is clear that none of that is the truth of who I am. There is really only an emptiness which experiences all of that. Who I am is impossible to find, let alone define. Maybe now I can stop trying to fix the unfixable, unfindable, illusory I.

In closing, here is a short piece by Rupert Spira which seems particularly apt at this point.

First we imagine an ego,
then defend it,
then express it,
then fulfill it,
then try to get rid of it,
then welcome it,
then understand it,
and finally see
that it was non-existent all along.

Maurice Ravel and The Living Inquiries

One of my favorite musical compositions is, “Le Tombeau de Couperin,” by Maurice Ravel. He wrote it not only as a tribute to François Couperin, a French Baroque composer, but also as a tribute to Ravel’s father, as well as some of Ravels’ close friends who died while fighting in World War I. He originally wrote this as a suite for solo piano, in six movements, between the years 1914 – 1917.

Ravel orchestrated four of the suites in 1919, and these are the versions I originally heard and fell in love with. I absolutely loved the themes, the melodies, the ebbs and flows of these suites, and I was so touched by the beauty I felt while listening to this music. Later on, I came across the solo piano versions, and was amazed at the creativity they revealed. Those are a lot of words to describe something I could never accurately describe – let’s just say that this work touched my heart very deeply. It led me on a further exploration of Ravel’s work in particular, and classical music in general, an exploration that has greatly enriched my life.

OK, so what does Maurice Ravel, and in particular, “Le Tombeau de Couperin,” have to do with The Living Inquiries, as created by Scott Kiloby?

The one aspect that I appreciate the most about Ravel’s music is his ability to give the listener the space to feel, as opposed to telling the listener how to feel. This is such a crucial distinction! His music doesn’t dictate, it allows. In this way, Ravel is honoring the listener, and allowing him/her to have whatever experience they are having while listening to his creation.

So too with The Living Inquiries. Each person is allowed their particular flavor of what they might be experiencing, and the facilitators aren’t giving advice or manipulating them in any way (ideally!). All that is happening is that the client is being facilitated in taking an honest look at whatever is happening in their present experience, no matter what words, images or sensations/energies might be present. This not only honors the process, it honors the client, just as Ravel is honoring the listener with the space to feel whatever comes up.

Ravel, being a composer during the French Impressionist period, paid tribute to the Baroque composer Couperin by adopting the Baroque form for these suites. This form is much more structured than what would normally be heard in other music from the Impressionist period (late 19th, early 20th centuries), but within this more structured form, Ravel was able to devise the most intricate, delicate and, well, simply beautiful music. Some of the suites are heartbreakingly beautiful, which is understandable, as each was composed in tribute to a different late friend. Either version, solo piano or orchestrated, is most profoundly affecting.

It is also apparent that The Living inquiries are evolving over time to allow more freedom in the types of questions that can be asked by the facilitators, thereby freeing the creative intuition of each facilitator. When first learned, the Inquiries can seem somewhat formulaic, but as demonstrated recently, these are indeed “Living” Inquiries, expanding and growing as they change to meet the challenges presented by each client. The range of questions that are being asked, and the shifting and evolving of the inquiries, is what gives meaning to the name, “Living Inquiries.”

However, all this takes place within a basic structure, so that we as facilitators don’t lose sight of the purpose of the Inquiries – a sincere looking into present experience. Within this structure, each facilitator can allow their creative, intuitive flow, permitting them to tune in to the client in a unique and responsive way. This is the art of the facilitation. The Living Inquiries are unquestionably an art form, as opposed to a science. I am so enjoying watching how this art form is evolving, with the input of the community that is such an integral part of this process.

In, “Le Tombeau de Couperin,” and many other compositions, Ravel makes extensive use of the dynamics of music, often with dramatic results. He uses the entire range of loudness and softness, struggle and peace, drama and calm, sometimes in surprising and startling ways.

So too, events can unfold in our lives in surprising and startling ways, evoking unexpected emotions,sensations, contractions, words and images. Sometimes these surprises hit us with dramatic force, and we can feel quite overwhelmed. The Inquiries present another opportunity to simply stop, rest, and investigate what is actually happening in our present experience. Much if not all of that overwhelm can be mitigated by having some structure with which to work.

There is something about music that touches me so deeply, and as I’m sure you are aware, cannot be put adequately into words. However, I’ll try a few here. “Le Tombeau de Couperin” seems to unlock that creative impulse that lies deep in the heart of each of us, always present, sometimes dormant, that can fill this One Space which we all are with the most reverent, beautiful and sacred vibration. That is the gift at the heart of music, where the illusory separation between composer and listener vanishes.

The Living Inquiries give us the opportunity to explore our uniqueness in the same way. When the various words, images and sensations/energies are simply seen for what they are, the gifts that have simply been waiting for our discovery of them are unlocked, allowing us to know the truth; that what we have been looking for, seeking for, with all our hearts, has been here all the time.

It is at this point that music, The Living Inquiries, the sound of a rushing stream, the call of the shama thrush, airplanes flying overhead, newspaper headlines, anything you can literally imagine, becomes a conduit for realizing our Oneness with all that is.

[If you would like a major treat, have a listen to the 2nd Movement, Adagio Assai, of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major. Put on the headphones and enjoy!]

A Merry Chase

You’ve led me on a merry chase, you have!
I could never have imagined a more clever foe,
in this ultimate game of hide and seek.
Every possible obstacle, you placed in my path;
Every blind alley, I was compelled to explore;
Your disguises were infinitely creative,
beautifully designed,
to trick me in every conceivable way;
And believe me, they all worked- every one!

Your infinite creativity has had me…
crying,
laughing,
hopeful,
hopeless,
in total despair,
in utter joy;
What emotion has gone unfelt (or unresisted),
by this person called “I?”

Where have I not gone,
seeking after you,
knowing you were right around the corner,
at the end of this book,
at the end of this meditation
in India, in Europe, in Mexico, in Hawaii;
I just knew I could lure you out of hiding,
if I just tried hard enough,
if I found the right path,
if I just meditated long enough,
if I did exactly what the guru/teacher said,
if I was sincere enough,
if I pretended well enough.
But no.
You were nowhere to be found.
I didn’t know how you could have escaped my seeking,
but you did.

And there came a moment in time
when I knew I would never find you.
I gave up seeking.
I gave up.

Now, here you are.
You found the cleverest hiding place of all –
Plain Sight.
You never left home base!
That whole time I was chasing after you,
trying to find you,
seeking for you until I thought I would burst with the longing;
There you were.
Just hanging around home base,
waiting, patiently, lovingly,
allowing me my search,
knowing all the time
that you would never leave me,
could never leave me,
that we had never been, and could never be, apart;
that you were always closer to me,
literally,
than my own skin.
Your sense of irony never fails!

Now that I’ve found you,
I sense you everywhere –
in the trees,
in the call of the shama thrush,
in the news of the day,
in all the appearances in my awareness,
in the faces of my friends,
in the eyes of my wife;
In fact,
where are you not?

I can’t not find you now.
The one I can’t find,
peculiarly enough,
is the “me” who was searching!
We are ever one and the same.
The seeker, the sought and the seeking,
All One.