Know the Truth Now
By Adrienne Parker-Morano
When people contemplate enlightenment they often think of the Buddha. Jesus, Rumi, or Muhammad among many others may also come to mind. What specific aspect of character did these personalities possess that makes their greatness so obvious? I imagine that each of them experienced a fundamental shift in consciousness that allowed them to directly experience the truth. In other words, they were enlightened beings.
Regardless of your cultural and spiritual influences there is only one kind of enlightenment. There is not one enlightenment for the students of Zen, another one through practicing yoga, one that is attainable by chanting Hindu japa, and yet another that is arrived at through meditation and prayer. Enlightenment is enlightenment. The truth is the truth.
Some consider enlightenment as a rare reward, attainable by only a few individuals who are willing to give away all of their earthly possessions, separate themselves from family and friends, and spend their lives meditating in a cave or monastery. But enlightenment is available to anyone who chooses to pursue it and such sacrifices are not necessary or appropriate for everyone. The paths to enlightenment are varied, each suitable in different ways depending on a person’s walk in life.
“O God, my God, what shall I do? And if every way is closed before you, the secret one will show a secret path no other eyes have seen.”—Rumi
One path to enlightenment is the Enlightenment Intensive, which was developed in 1968 by Charles Berner (1929-2007), also known as Yogeshwar Muni. Yogeshwar had studied humanistic psychology for years and worked extensively with individuals, helping them to improve their relationships through communication. As his interest and studies in accelerating the process of self-discovery grew, he developed the idea of combining Western-style dyad communication work along with a Rinzai Zen style of contemplation using various Zen koans, such as “Who am I?” or “What am I?” The results were that his students started describing personal experiences that were identical to the enlightenment experiences described by people who have sat in silent meditation for years and years.
The three-day Enlightenment Intensive is a residential workshop that combines the age-old practice of reflective contemplation with verbal communication. During the retreat, all of your basic needs are provided for in an environment that is free from the distractions of your daily life. There is no belief system for you to follow and no one attempts to tell you what the truth is. The combined contemplation and dyad communication technique allows you to move past mental constructs, memories, ideas, insights, traumas, and false identifications in an accelerated fashion. This process empties the mind, making it possible for you to break through into enlightenment and directly experience the truth.
A direct experience is different from the usual indirect methods we normally use to understand something via our senses, thinking, reasoning, feelings, believing, and so on. A direct experience is self-evident and beyond doubt. The truth is that which actually exists apart from and not dependent on what we sense, think, reason, feel, or believe.
The enlightenment that many participants experience on an Enlightenment Intensive is the same enlightenment that Buddha experienced. No doubt Buddha’s enlightenment was extraordinarily deep, but the direct experiences of truth are the same. So although the extent of Buddha’s enlightenment may have been greater, there is only one type of enlightenment, which is conscious, direct knowing of oneself.
People with direct experience of the truth have a deeper understanding of self and others. Their relationships, along with the overall quality of their lives, improve. They tend to communicate more skillfully and to create more personal happiness in their lives.
Although we can’t force enlightenment to happen, an Enlightenment Intensive is a powerful and easily accessible opportunity in which the perfect environment is created for a direct experience of the truth to arrive, through grace, for those intending to know it.
“Separate from yourself that which separates you from others.”—Bawa Muhaiyaddeen
Enlightenment Intensives are not part of any structured organization or belief system. They are a tried-and-true technique, made available by trained individuals throughout the world. Some books describe the process in detail and many websites are also dedicated to this practice. One of my favorites is www.sandoth.com, which also provides a list of Enlightenment Intensives scheduled throughout the United States. You can also simply Google “Enlightenment Intensive” and/or “Dyad Communication” to pull up lots of information.
Adrienne Parker-Morano and Patrick Cole are holding an Enlightenment Intensive in the Chico area May 1-4. You can contact them for more information by going to their website at www.knowthetruthnow.blogspot.com. They also hold Dyad Communication Evenings on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month, which are free of charge and open to the community.
You may contact the author at 530-321-6148.