Tuesday, August 22nd 2017

How a spiritual teacher learned to let go of his last desire

A man at a crossroads stumbled upon a mind-body technique called the Sedona Method. It spawned leading spiritual teachers and made him one, too

fishbowlsmall1GUEST COLUMN: NIRMALA — In 1997, I was busy attending naturopathic medical school and, I thought, happily married. And then out of the blue my wife told me she was leaving me for another man.

The intensity and types of feelings that surfaced in response were unexpected.

I was aware of feeling equal and opposite feelings: amidst an overwhelming and paralyzing fear was an extreme excitement over all the new possibilities created by the space that had opened up in my life.

The yin and yang of emotions

My problem, however, was that I felt like I was being torn apart or stretched because of the power of these feelings; I couldn’t contain all the disparate emotions. Upon reflection, I realized that in every experience in my life I’ve always had equal and opposite feelings. That’s just the nature of feelings; they’re always present in opposite pairs, and when they are intense it becomes difficult to contain them.

By luck or by grace, I heard about a thing called “The Sedona Method,” which is a technique for releasing emotions. The Sedona Method starts off with letting go of any uncomfortable emotions. As a result, what is revealed are the more positive emotions, which this method suggests you also let go of.

Letting go with the Sedona Method

freedom1small1One day, while practicing this technique, I had a moment when I followed it all the way—I just let go of everything — all the painful emotions as well as all the peace, happiness, and joy.

I just let it all go, and became aware of an incredible silence I had never experienced before. I was simply out for a walk and, suddenly, I was so present to everything outside myself — the trees, the sidewalk, the sky. I was so moved by this experience of silence; I immediately went home and signed up for a Sedona Method workshop. I thought I’d get more of this wonderful technique, which, for me, proved a profound form of stress relief.

Learning from Lester Levinson, Pamela Wilson and Neelam

What I didn’t know at the time was the origin of this method. The Sedona Method had been developed by a man named Lester Levinson as a tool for awakening to one’s true nature as limitless freedom. There are whole communities of people who spend years using this method in an effort to become awakened, or truly free.

pamela-wilson1Eventually one of these people (other than Lester, who had died a few years earlier) had “made it.”  Her name is Pamela Wilson, and she was co-teaching the advanced Sedona Method course. When I arrived it was obvious that she had a remarkable presence of pure happiness and freedom.

It also happened that Pamela (pictured at left) had made arrangements for a spiritual teacher named Neelam to come to town to hold satsangs, or gatherings, for spiritual truth. Every day we practiced the Sedona Method and every night we went to satsang with Neelam. This undeniable sense of freedom that I had felt in Pamela was even more present in Neelam.

Realizing our most fundamental desire: freedom

In one of the meetings, another instructor, Hale Dwoskin, presented a chart of “wants.” The last want, the most fundamental desire, was the desire for freedom.

He spoke about this desire for freedom as the desire that burns away all the others, which you also must ultimately let go of. So, later that night when I was alone, I thought I’d skip over all the other desires and focus on letting go of the desire to be free.

First, I just got very quiet and asked inside, “Can I use this shortcut to become free?” The answer that came was: “It’s not up to you. There is nothing you can do to become free.” At that moment I knew this was true beyond a shadow of a doubt — there was absolutely nothing that “I” could do about it. It was simply not up to me.

The fact that I couldn’t do anything about it was a completely devastating realization because, in that exact same moment, I also realized that I wanted Freedom more than I had ever wanted anything in my life. And I burst into tears because I realized there was absolutely nothing I could do about this thing that I wanted more than life itself.

Next: Nirmala travels to India to find ultimate freedom and his soul’s code

nirmalaNirmala is a spiritual teacher in the Advaita tradition of nondual spiritual teachings. He is the author of several books, including Nothing Personal: Seeing Beyond the Illusion of a Separate Self. More information about mentoring sessions and downloads of Nirmala’s free ebooks are available at Endless Satsang.

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4 Comments on “How a spiritual teacher learned to let go of his last desire”

  1. Thank you, Nirmala, for this description of your wonder-full journey. Early on, you said "by luck by grace". I think we both know that it is Grace, a word that describes this amazing "Consciousness" that guides, nurtures, nudges, and sometimes pushes hard, to move us on our purpose to enlarge consciousness itself. Thank you for being brave enough to follow through, and thank you for sharing this with us.


  2. Yes David, it is all Grace.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Warmly, Nirmala

  3. Thank you for your courage, and openness and originality. This piece of your heart is why we host this site. Paul

  4. There are two methods which are inspired by Lester Levenson - the Sedona Method and the Release Technique. The Sedona Method is taught by Hale Dwoskin, the Release Technique by Larry Crane. Even though they are both inspired by Lester Levenson, they are different and the teachers are different.

    I use the Release Technique and to me it is just phenomenal. I have been in personal development for many years and I have never found a technique more profound and complete than the Release Technique.

    I totally recommend it.

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