Enlightenment, Spiritual Awakening:
The End of Seeking and Post-Awakening Sadhana
"You are not 'someone' who is conscious, it is Consciousness itself that is conscious. You are not 'someone' who sees, it is Awareness itself that sees. Your body/mind is a vehicle for Reality to experience itself. Don't mistake the vehicle for your true nature. You don't exist separately to everything else, you are Existence itself. Taking life personally you create a person at the effect of life. Not taking life personally opens you up into the freedom you truly are which also happens to include the apparent person.
Learn how to truly see by first seeing what you're not, what you've mistaken yourself for all this time. I invite you to join me for the ancient practise of Svadhaya, or what I like to call Training in the Art of Seeing."
What is Svadhyaya?
Svadhyaya essentially includes all the activities that lead to a greater understanding of one’s self.
It is the sum of our patterns, stories, conditionings, emotions and psychology that create the sense of being a separate self. Thus the more we can see these mechanisms that we habitually operate from, the more opportunity arises to see through the illusion of there actually being a separate self and thus realise the One Self.
This is a "neti, neti" ("not this, not this") process, for, in seeing the phantom identities we have mistaken ourselves as, we slowly begin to realise that we've been looking in the wrong places for that which is eternal. We've been looking from what we've been looking for all along.
Realising one is seeing from a narrow aperture (an identity or belief) is key to the dropping away and dissolving of those veils of perception preventing the realisation of the Reality of One Self.
Discover all that you are not—body, feelings thoughts, time, space, this or that—nothing, concrete or abstract, which you perceive can be you. The very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive.
The clearer you understand on the level of mind you can be described in negative terms only, the quicker will you come to the end of your search and realise that you are the limitless being."
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
What is the goal of Svadhyaya?
Continuing the skill of svadhyaya after awakening leads to deeper levels of embodying the realisation of One Self in your unique expression, your character's actions in the world. The process of "not this, not this" changes to "and this, and this" and you welcome and embrace life as a totality, the true sense of the word 'holy'.
Awakening is possible in this life time, if it is your priority.
You have to value truth above all else.
Afterall, it is not your impulse, it is Reality's impulse to awaken to itself.
“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.”
- William Blake
That “something” is our belief in being an identity, a separate someone.
Our minds have been programmed/conditioned, through our life experiences, to habitually operate out of that conditioning rather than our natural state. And as our “biography becomes our biology” (thank you Caroline Myss), in order for the body/mind to be transparent to reality, we must relax and deepen into its very cells and transform the residue of separation that lies embedded there. The residue is the result of all those times we resisted the reality, the what is, of our experience.
The more we are in the conscious presence of One Self, the quicker the body/mind gets clarified and the better able we are to embody our deepest realisation. Each moment presents us with the opportunity to realise the Truth that transcends and paradoxically includes all moments.
This intensive is about learning a skill, or more accurately a way to see. The skill helps us to be able to cleanse the doors of perception. We can learn how to identify (to see) the unique ways that we lose ourselves and misidentify with an emotion, a belief, pattern or conditioning—from the gross to the more subtle ways we live in the shelter of thought, thus apparently taking refuge from Reality.
We can train ourselves to reside and operate more and more from the Reality of One Self rather than suffer the story, obsessive thinking and worrying that comes with misidentifying as 'the person life is happening to'.
It takes brutal honesty with ourselves and full responsibility. It takes diligence coupled with a deep longing and Love for Truth. This is Sadhana - spiritual practice. Life is your Sadhana.
This 6-week intensive, which you can undertake from wherever you are in the world, is a virtual bootcamp for those who feel a deep longing and urgency to prioritise their spiritual life and bring their lives into alignment. The two aren't mutually exclusive.
- How can we re-orient ourselves to see the gift in every moment?
- How can our lives become a training to accelerate the opportunity to awaken?
- How do we call back the energy we have invested in our projected world?
- How do we recognise the patterns and conditioning we're operating from?
- What does it really mean to love oneself?
- See how you perpetuate the game of separation.
What we are seeing,
is what we are seeing with.
Svadhyaya Self-Study 6-week Intensive includes
My commitment to you:
Weekly One-to-One 1 hour Skype sessions - Resting as One Self. This is when we both rest as One Self - the direct path - by this I mean acknowledging from the get-go that what you're seeking is eternally present. The more we can rest as One Self, the more it has the effect equivalent to dropping an ice-cube into warm water. The ice-cube, representing our sense of separation, and the warm water, representing the amplified presence, with the water in both ice-cube and warm water representing One Self. Remember, we are always metaphorically immersed in and made of the water of One Self!! But we appear to live in a world where being the ice-cube has become the default setting. Resting as One Self together heats the water of the One Self, or as Jesus put it: "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." Meaning, when we gather with Truth as our focus, that Truth is amplified and thus more easily realized.
While the verbal guidance shared during our time together may be useful in untying knots of confusion (consciously or unconsciously), the real gift of sitting together lies in the loosening up and burning off of conditioning (the melting of the ice-cube). This is why there is a need for both: the sitting in silence, resting as Being, and cultivating the ability to discern when conditioning or habit is being operated from. Developing the ability to see conditioning in action, one becomes more conscious of the choice that's always available in life: to either perpetuate conditioning or to let it dissolve and move into a new way of being in the world.
Together, we can assess the areas where you need to gather yourself in, if necessary. We can begin by taking inventory of where you have left the throne of your Being, that is, where you have anchored your well-being in the projections in your world. It's important to mention that we're not looking for these, we simply assess what is currently showing up in your life, for that which is showing up is what is calling for attention - the reality or the "what is" of each moment. Anything else would be to keep the illusion in play. Our focus is always on the One Self and what is covering it, or preventing your realising of it. To keep going after past issues, stories etc, is to miss the point and opportunity for realising what is always and already here. This is a re-orientation process. Re-orienting your world from outside-in to inside-out to ultimately: the world happens within you, the One Self.
Your commitment to yourself:
1. A daily meditation/sitting in silence practice. You may be guided to use mantra meditation, depending on the busyness of your mind. We can discuss your relationship with silence in our sessions together.
2. Daily contemplation. You may journal your contemplations, or just sit and meditate deeply on them - whatever works for you, but the outcome of your contemplations may be discussed in the weekly sessions.
3. Consciously slow down your life for our 6 weeks together. I call it slowing down to catch up with Being. This is a time of Return to Self, not seeking and searching 'out there'.
4. Take full responsibility for whatever shows up for you. This may sound easy, and something you take for granted, but you'd be surprised by the ways in which we abdicate responsibility to the projections in our world. Our time together will be a time for especially noticing where we can be victims of our world.
Remember, this is your commitment to you, not to me. I'm here to facilitate this deep dive, this re-orientation home to Being, but it is your discipline, your conviction to seeing the truth that will determine how much you transform during our time together.
This is feet on the ground spirituality.
What this is not
- This is not "energy work". This is not a psychic reading.
- This is not about spiritual highs or experiences, this is about realising the One Self and learning how you keep missing what's already, always here.
- This is not an accumulation of knowledge, even though you will develop a greater understanding of how you operate in the world and how you activate a "separate self". This is knowledge that breaks down rather than builds up a false self (a 'knower'), and so it could more accurately be called a dismantling skill for the process of enlightenment is truly a process of dismantling.
- This course gives no guarantee that you will wake up, but by judiciously following the guidance and going deep in contemplation you will get clearer and clearer about when you are operating in separation.
- This is not emotional processing, navel-gazing or re-hashing past stories. This is seeing when we use these aforementioned practices to avoid an uncomfortable feeling or truth in the present moment.
Who is this for
- Your priority is the Truth, you want to wake up more than anything.
- This work is ideally suited for those who are spiritually mature, and by that I mean those who have seen through, or are beginning to see through a lot of the offerings in the spiritual marketplace, realising that they have just been leading you around in circles or that they have been selling the fruits of awakening but not actually leading to a transformation of Being.
- You are willing to put in the work and commit to looking freshly and deeply at where you may be guilty of hiding out. By this I mean you are willing to look at your beliefs, all of them, particularly the ones you hold dear.
Working with me is in no way a substitute for proper medical, psychological or psychiatric care if that is what you need right now. I'm not a medical doctor, nor am I a psychologist. To enter into this work means to take full responsibility for what shows up and to seek the appropriate support if needed. I reserve the right to cancel our commitment at any time and refund the appropriate funds (less the number of sessions used and Stripe payment fees) if I deem that you are unsuitable for this kind of training at this time, or if continuing with this work appears to be putting you under undue psychological pressure. I also reserve the right to space out our meetings if it seems you need longer than a week of integration between sessions. This is for your own benefit, our nervous systems are all unique, and we need to honour them in this work.
The Story of Louise Rooney
Fourth of eleven children, I always felt like an outsider to my life and never quite got "the game". With devout Catholic parents, the spiritual imprinting began at an early age. Something deep within, or even beyond, the Christian teachings spoke to me. I read about the lives of Saints and their stories resonated deeply. I studied marketing at college, not really sure why I even chose the subject. It was just after college, in 1993, that my spiritual search began. What started as a trickle, reading books here and there, soon developed into a torrent and perhaps what one could probably call an obsession with the truth. Enlightenment became the only possible answer to the question that stalked me, what's it all about?
It was also during this time that I gave birth to my precious son Kobe in 2009, and it turned out that, very surprisingly, motherhood was second nature to me. Circumstances lead me to become a single mother from very early on when Kobe was only 7 months old. It was in those early years of Kobe's life, where the combination of sleep deprivation, PTSD, and over a dozen acrimonious court proceedings that most of what created the identity of "Louise" was chiselled away. It took such a combination of adversity to chip away at the shell of identity and the hold the world seemingly had on me.
In 2014 I finally kicked the habit of projecting authority to spiritual teachers and so began a process of slowly returning to being. I unsubscribed from all energy readings and forecast emails, all horoscopes, all that I had been following in the previous years that probably had started with the talk of the 2012 shift.
I decided that I would rest within. I moved to the West of Ireland and even stopped offering the energy sessions that I had begun years earlier. I even let meditation go as a doing, as it was becoming more and more apparent that it was how I lived each and every day - not a separate practice. I began to deeply contemplate the nature of reality. Around this time the writings of John O'Donohoe spoke deeply to me. Very gradually something started to change. A peace began to grow. The restlessness that had been a constant companion my entire life began softly to subside.
In December 2015 it was as though a voice spoke to me that said "Rest in the Abiding" and it came with the image of the bottom of the ocean. The message was clear, to rest at the bottom of the ocean of Reality rather than upon the surface of the waves.
From that time on I began to disengage with everything that created a future, even giving up any offers of work, as I could see (at the time) that my work was based on the fear of not having any money. I was going to play chicken with my mind!
On 19th January 2016 I purchased the book "Liberation Is" by Salvador Poe and in it learned a technique called 'having a holiday" - which is just resting as Awareness. That day I also came across a book called "Living Non-Duality" by Robert Wolf. This book dismantled many of the myths of enlightenment. I could literally feel layers falling away as I read the book, they were beliefs and conditionings falling away. Then the following day, the evening of 20th January 2016, twelve years almost to the day after my initiation as a Swami, while reading the same book I came across the phrase by Jiddhu Krishnamurti "the Observer is the Observed", and I stopped and looked up from my computer to contemplate it. All at once I realised "there is no me!!!!" In that instant, "I" woke up and realised the Reality that was always, already here!! A visceral feeling of a veil falling all around me was felt, the dropping away of something. Then an unscrewing was felt at the back of my head at the point the yogis call Bindu. Simultaneously a sensation was felt moving up my spine, like light, and bright lights, floodlights, were felt at the back of the head like the brain was lit up with incredibly bright light. (The feeling of bright light in the head remained for months afterwards.) The following days more and more dissolved, in fact, anything I looked at (with the eyes of Awareness) dissolved. So much dissolved, it was like the scene from Inception with all the worlds collapsing. The relief I felt on waking up was as if I put down a rucksack of rocks that I had been inadvertently carrying my entire life. The joy of realising the truth was experienced as a honeymoon after a life of hard labour.
It was only after waking up that I discovered Adyashanti, whom I now consider my teacher. I find him to be the clearest teacher I have ever come across. I have also recently discovered Jon Bernie, whom I find an equally clear conduit.
Far from being the end, Awakening was really just the beginning, an eternal beginning. What a surprise that was! Awakening marked the end of living as a singular identity (a person). There is much detoxing of the body/mind to ensure the authentic living of the realisation moment to moment - truly a lifelong commitment. Seeing through sub-identities as they arise was a big part of the post-awakening sadhana. Realising that it is Consciousness itself and Reality itself that wakes up was another deepening - thus nothing can be taken personally. And so the realisation constantly deepens as aspects of realisation are experienced directly: from the depth of the void to the dance of ignited living. I offer this body/mind in service to the Dharma, the Truth - whatever that may look like. I experienced a lot on my spiritual path and can relate to so many of the pitfalls and struggles of the spiritual seeker. I am particularly keen to help people who are caught in the misidentification of the subtle-body, a trap I myself fell into with energy/mystical work. I do my best to speak as practically as possible, to share the tricks I've learned for realising and welcoming what is in each and every moment. I'm not special or "finished", I'm a work in progress. I'm committed to the living Truth in all I do. I'm constantly updating this body/mind system and its ability to share the Dharma, or I could more accurately say that life is constantly updating this body/mind system to best serve itSelf. I still sit in Satsang with teachers I'm drawn to, to deepen my realisation, burn off any lingering conditioning and learn from them and how they language particular aspects. It's a little like continuing professional development (CPD)! I keep the 'beginner's mind' attitude so that I remain open to the freshly arising Truth and its guidance.
Everyday, while living in the ashram in India, the Shantipath was repeated:
Here is the short version:
Asato Ma Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya
Myritor Ma Amritam Gamaya
Loka Samastha, Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
It translates as:
Lead me from the Unreal to the Real
Lead me from Darkness to Light
Lead me from Death to Immortality
May all beings on all realms be free
Om peace, peace, peace
I humbly offer my companionship to serve your journey of realisation. I invite you not to lean on me as if I have something you haven't, but to see with me what's already here and patiently waiting to be realised.