Getting Naked: Dropping Versus Resisting

The Road Ends At The Water

The Road Ends At The Water

EAGLE LAKE, CAMichelle’s concern of “what you resist, persists” and a number of emails I’ve received in the last 24 hours tells me I need to clarify something.

When I say, “Push away your thoughts” or “Pull away and drop the you-thing” or words to that effect, try to see it from my point of view: Thoughts and the Wayne-thing don’t feel like me—they don’t feel personal. To me, they feel a lot more like clothing than anything else.

Just like the ego (the sense of a personal self) clothes can feel very intimate and important.

But clothing isn’t you.

So when you are sitting in Radiance and trying to slide into Emptiness and you feel the Love flowing through you-as-the-portal (ego/self shell) and I say, “Pull away and drop the portal,” think of it as pulling away and dropping your clothes and revealing your True Naked Self.

You aren’t gaining anything. You aren’t taking on a new You. You are just becoming aware of what is: You are already beautifully, wonderfully, perfectly Naked under all those hot, heavy and stuffy clothes.

The Subtle Senses Of Self

The Many States of Being

The Many States of Being

SOMEWHERE IN THE SIERRAS, CA—Some thoughts I’m fleshing out. Hopefully this will be enough theory for awhile. Sorry for the long posts.

Instinctual self: Our genetically hardwired sense of self responsible for self/species preservation.

Ego: The imaginary self consisting of a persistent belief that we are our thoughts, past memories, and current roles.

Mortal self: The body, thoughts, emotions, and experience.

Soul self: Consciousness which transcends the body, but is still individualized.

Radiant Self: Consciousness still separate from the surroundings, but with a powerful sense of Love (TaoGodHer as other) flowing through you and into everything you see or experience.

Emptiness Self: The pure Witness when the sense of separation from the surroundings vanishes. Everything feels as one/you/consciousness.

Witness, Transcendent Self or just Self (capital S): When the ego is dropped, that which is experiencing events.

Personal self or just self (small s): Any combination of the above selves which you identify with.

No Self: When the Witness is no longer identified with. Clunky phrasing, but to say something like “when you no longer identify with the Witness,” is completely contrary to the experience. Everything is One Thing (nondual), and there is no “you.”

A couple key points:

  • Self is all about identity… who or what you believe yourself to be. Not rationally, but experientially.
  • Self seems to fall into one of three broad categories: Ego (me, me, me), Transcendent (I Am), No Self (???). Hat tip to Adyashanti.
  • Most people’s personal self is the ego.
  • Mortal and Soul selves are more individual based (solid self boundaries), and thus most egos identify with a combination of these.
  • Radiant and Emptiness selves are ethereal based (subtle self boundaries) and thus most people who have “woken up” tend to identify with a combination of these.
  • Though Emptiness and No Self seem to be the same, Emptiness still has a subtle sense of identity (the Witness).
  • The instinctual self has a great influence on pulling the “self center” temporarily lower (toward Mortal).
  • TaoGodHer (the nondual Intelligence), subtly pulls the “self center” higher (toward Her).
  • My experience of No Self is limited, but the instinctual self seems to affect the No Self too—it contracts the identity into one of the lower self stages because of having a physical body.
  • I have yet to identify with the ego (imaginary self) since “waking up” back in 2009. However, I often (inadvertently) contract (solidify/harden) to the Mortal and Soul levels. In other words, I no longer experience myself to be my thoughts or my history or the roles I participate in, yet I still sometimes take thoughts seriously (Mortal) or see myself as an immortal individual (Soul).
  • When I talk about the Wayne-thing (or the me-me-me), I’m talking about my Mortal self and/or instinctual self (thoughts and/or self-concerns). For most people, the Me-thing is their ego (imaginary self).

This all came about because of two “knots” I was contemplating on my birthday:

  • Knot 1: Why does my sense of self, which tends to be centered in Radiance, shift between the other levels (Mortal, Soul, Radiance Emptiness)? Insight/Whisper: The shifting of the me-center is influenced in an upward direction by a “Divine pull” (TaoGodHer) and a downward direction by the instinctual self. Not like a tug-of-war pull, but more like a unified, yin/yang, moon/ocean, tidal-like experience… a flowing.
  • Knot 2: Why do I need to identify with anything? Almost identical to the box technique mentioned here (“Right now, do I need the ego?”), but on the next level up (not ego to Witness, but Witness to No Self).

As I said, I’m still fleshing this stuff out so it’s all a bit rough, and quite honestly I’m about sick of it (I’m much happier just living it rather than explaining it), but I wanted to post it somewhere so you guys’ll have a better idea of what I’m talking about when I use that little four-letter word self.

Thanks for putting up with me (whoever that me is). 🙂

Feeling and Sharing Divine Love

Lake Shaver

Lake Shaver

FRESNO, CA—With the weather expected to be a mix of rain and even snow for a couple days around Lake Shaver, I decided to head down to Fresno. With libraries, movie theaters, coffee shops, hardware stores, cheap supplies and all the other benefits that modern-day Sprawltowns offer, it beats the hell out of hunkering down in a van on a cold and drizzly day.

Being around people is also a good time for me to test out new spiritual practices. One I’m working on is a slight refinement of my typical Radiance practice.

I put the details of it—of experiencing and sharing the Love/Light of TaoGodHer—in the forums to make it easier for future readers to find as well as a central location for discussions about it.

You can find the practice here. You don’t need to sign up to read it, but to comment on it you will. (To keep things organized I’m turning comments off on this post.)

An Experiment And A Possible Mistake

The Empty Await

The Empty Await

CLINTON, MS—I signed up with a course with Adyashanti called “Experiencing No-Self” which is about adapting to life after awakening.

Last night was the first video and, as with most teachers, he uses a different terminology for similar terms: His Transcendence is my Radiance, his No-Self is my Emptiness, his Infinite is my Her.

While last night’s video was mostly a clarification of his terms, one of the things that “twerked” me during the video was maybe I’ve been integrating Emptiness and Radiance backwards.

I’ve often said that in Emptiness, there is no reason to do anything—there is no motivation—since in Emptiness (no boundaries, no “you”), everything, being one, feels the same. Nothing needs to be done.

So in order to operate in the world, I have always “dropped back” into Radiance, and used the portal like a car to drive about in the world. This allows the She/We/I to function in everyday life. (Note: Before Emptiness, the portal is “you,” after Emptiness, the portal is just a mental contraction.)


The “twerk” I felt was maybe what I should do (at least it’s something I’m going to experiment with) is from within Emptiness bring Radiance—less the portal—into the Emptiness. From a very theoretical point, this would translate into letting the Light/God/Her be the motivation. To let Her run everything. No Wayne-thing (portal/ego-tool), just pure Intuition/Whispers/Surrender.

I mean really, why not?

I’ve only been playing with it for a few hours, but it feels a lot like what I used to call (back in 2009) the Enlightenment of Oneness but with a much stronger Divine component inspiring action/direction.

Rather than, “doing what She says” (as has been my current form of integration), it feels more like, “riding the winds.”

My mind says, “Don’t post this yet,” (I had written Adyashanti a question about the flip/flopping), “wait to see what he says first,” but screw it, that’s just mental fear.

If anything, I expect this experiment will reveal any residual ego-knots—knots which could probably use a good massage.

What Goes On In My Head Is Not Important

Fungi on the Forest Floor

Fungi on the Forest Floor

WINGED DEER PARK, JOHNSON CITY, TN—With this new lifestyle, with this directionless state, with this stealth sleeping, all these new experiences have stirred up a far noisier mind than I’m used to.

This is a good thing as it is a powerful reminder of one of the key things that woke me up in the first place, and everything you need to know to step through the Gateless Gate:

What goes on in my head is not important.

Nine words, which when sincerely believed and taken to heart, will enlighten you.

That’s a powerful claim, but it is true. If you stop taking your thoughts seriously, if you stop identifying with your thoughts (believing that you are your thoughts), then you will wake up.

If you’ve been practicing Radiance—seeing yourself as a portal with Light/Love shining through you, then make those nine little words your mantra while visualizing lifting and dropping away the you/portal/me-me-me-thing.

What goes on in my head is not important.

Tell yourself this throughout the day. Remind yourself of this when you are feeling self-conscious or anxious or self-serving or overly desirous.

This is not a sit-on-you-ass-with-you-eyes-closed practice. This is a get-out-there-in-the-world-and-do-it practice. This is Life lived from the Source.

You are not what goes on in your head.

You are not your thoughts.

Important: Don’t try to define what you are (that’s just more “in my head” stuff), just realize…

What goes on in my head is not important.


The Frog Master knows. He knows that what goes on in your head is not real.


Life Before Self. Life Before Mind.

Wood and Metal

Wood and Metal

WICKHAM CP, FL—Not to get too hung up on the camper project, some recent dialog with Michelle:


Sep 17, 2013

“At least I am seeing through the patterns of mentally berating myself.”

You are NOT berating yourself.

Your MIND is berating your MIND.

Radiance, the Light, shines through the Portal, but it also shines on the MIND.

The Frog Master knows this because the Frog Master isn’t troubled by the Mind or the Me or the Thoughts. 🙂


Sep 18, 2013

Point taken. 😉 I saw that at points today… The bright place was not responsible for the negative thoughts and deeds. My flaws are not me.


Sep 19, 2013

Keeping track of how the self helps or doesn’t help. Usually it doesn’t. Just sucks attention into a vortex. Forces thoughts to orbit around it. Unconsciously messes things up due to a false sense of security/self-preservation. Without it i relax and can love in the radiance around me. Centralizing around the self traps. Funny thing, when I can lapse into not self, the other layers (soul, radiance) naturally are optimized.


Sep 19, 2013

Listening to music: Joy upon feeling much more joy well up from the music when “I” fade into the background. Because the music isn’t serving my purposes conceptually, it just is sound I can hear and it’s more beautiful. If that makes sense…


Sep 21, 2013

It makes perfect sense, even if it is hard to express. As the self fades, as the judgements and conceptualizing stop being so important (Frog Master lesson), then Life/Her/God can be heard and seen unfiltered. The less there is of you, the more there is of Her.

And it is so very beautiful.


Ignorance and the Spiritual Adventurer

The Chair and the Picture Frame

The Chair and the Picture Frame


For it is the ignorance … that so often propels us into that vast realm of wonderful possibilities. – Glenn Morrissette

My buddy Glenn wrote a great post on the power of ignorance—in which he responded to the query that if he had to do it over again, would he take on his VW-to-Adventure-Vehicle conversion.

Ignorance—and embracing the fear that goes along with it—is one of the keys to explosive, breaking-out-of-the-box growth, whether it be on the path of the open road or the path of Mystical Oneness.

While research is useful, too much of it (often unconsciously and always rooted in the fear of failure) leads to stagnation and conformity.

By living as a Soul, you dramatically weaken fear. By living from Radiance (surrender) you stop trying to win all the time. These two traits make traveling in the Great Unknown so much simpler.

Moreover, it is only in the Great Unknown that serious spiritual growth (and serious adventure) can be found.

Giving up the life as you know it is scary—there is simply no way of knowing what will happen—but for the devote spiritual seeker, it is the only way.

To paraphrase Spiderman’s uncle: With great ignorance comes great adventure.

Go. Step into the Great Unknown. Learn firsthand the deepest truths of Life.


The Contraction and the Light

Contracting out of the Light

Contracting out of the Light

WICKHAM CP, FL—From the Emptiness, I contract. My sense of self forms out of the Nothingness/Everythingness and I become a thin-but-solid frame through which the Light shines forth (Radiance).

I’ll hear a question and I’ll contract a bit more and my sense of being becomes more personal, but still eternal and my values become less compassionate and more centralized (Soul).

Then my mind kicks in with its conditioned sense of self awareness and it asks “What does this person think of me?” and I’ll contract further into this body and false self and now the world is me and revolves around me and everything in my life is about me (Mortal).

But the Mortal contraction—in comparison to the Light—feels so dark and ugly and hard and selfish and self-centered that I quickly grow disgusted with it.

And in this disgust—in seeing this darkness, this me-thing—something reacts and the self-contraction softens and loosens and unclenches and I feel my boundaries expand and become less substantial and the process of contraction reverses to one of expansion and the Light returns in all its shining glory and I fade and dwindle and disappear and She becomes the Everything.

Expansion to Contraction to Expansion. The Light to the Self to the Light. The cycle repeats over and over and over as it has done for countless millennium—sometimes taking seconds…

Sometimes taking lifetimes.

How Do I Know If I’m Enlightened?

The Wall and the Water

The Wall and the Water

WICKHAM CP, FL—This is my response to an email query. When I get questions that I think can help a wider audience, I tend to publish them.

My response with minor edits:

I am taking your word that you have been living as a Soul and are stable there. I don’t have a “Soul Evaluation Questionnaire” yet so we’ll go with what you say. Only you can know for sure and you’d be cheating yourself (dramatically stunting your growth) if you aren’t stable there yet.

Your question is, “How do you know if you’ve dropped the personal self?” I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but if you have to ask the question, then you haven’t. It has a very distinct quality. Don’t feel bad, in my seeking years, I often asked the same question. Was I there? Is this Enlightenment? There is simply no analyzing or questioning needed. The term realization is very appropriate.

It is like leaving a dark, crowded, noisy room and stepping out onto a vast and open plain. You turn around and look for the doorway you just stepped through and there is nothing but a vast open plain. The phrase gateless gate is very accurate and that was the first thing I thought of when I initially stepped through it. I’m certain this is why a goofy, involuntary smile forms on everyone’s face upon the moment of illumination.

Don’t hold onto the term enlightenment. That’s just the ego that wants it. Practice, practice, practice.

I am just starting to blog about Radiance and will do more over the next few posts, so watch for them. Open. Surrender. Let go. Feel the love flow through you and if you don’t feel it (be very very very honest with yourself) then look to see what is blocking it. Your ego (along with every other spiritual seeker’s ego) wants enlightenment, but it hates surrender. It fears its own denial and will do everything in the book to fool you. That’s why I am so adamant about living it and not just contemplating or analyzing the theory.  Live the practice, live the theory, live your beliefs. Living it is the fastest way of finding the knots that are holding you back.

Practice flowing with Life. Feel your sense of control as a “contraction” out of Her/God/Life and release it. The desires to control are the desires of the ego. Practice, practice, practice.

If you found these words of use, please follow tradition with a gift of alms (donation). If you found nothing of use, simply ignore this email and be at peace. (This text is placed at the end of all Wisdom for Alms emails)

Radiance and Beyond

The Light Through The Clouds

The Light Through The Clouds

WICKHAM CP, FL—A follow up to the previous post.

Michelle is firmly established in the Radiant Level. Her sense of self (her identity) is but a thin outline of her former self.

Her focus is on the Light (the movement of God) through her, and on the surrender of control (trying, winning, making things happen).

Really, at this point all she needs to do to experience the Emptiness Level is to get a good ‘grip’ on that thin outline of her false self (I experience this as a mental ‘contraction’ and see it as a portal through which the Light flows) and drop it away. By ‘grip,’ I mean to see the portal/personal self as ‘other’ (not ‘me’) and visualize grasping it and pulling it out of the Light so that nothing remains but the Light shining out of and into Itself.

At that point (Emptiness), there is no ‘Michelle’ (sense of a personal self) and only God/Light moving through the Michelle-body-thing.

Once the ability to slide back and forth between Radiance and Emptiness is relatively effortless (the personal self is seen through yet even Emptiness/Enlightenment isn’t clung to), then integration of all the previous levels will allow the Michelle/Her-thing to function in the world: Mystical Oneness.

Important Note: Unlike the traditional “all-or-nothing” approach where the student jumps directly from the Mortal level to the Emptiness level (what they call ‘Enlightenment’), the student of the path of Mystical Oneness (Mortal to Soul to Radiance to Emptiness) needn’t be concerned when she slips out of Emptiness (as is to be expected) because she naturally slips back to Radiance since her conditioning has been firmly established there. From Radiance, it is quite easy (once Emptiness has been experienced) to slide back and forth between Emptiness and Radiance.

The “all-or-nothing” student—who has had no experience with the “softer” levels (Soul and Radiance) slips all the way back to the Mortal level from which they came. This results in the relatively common satori experience—a glimpse of Emptiness—but sadly and all too often, no ability to return to it. ‘Enlightenment’ for the all-or-nothing student becomes a matter of (odds-defying) luck.