MY SEARCH IS OVER
"I am more and more fully human and at the same time I Am more and more Free of being human..."
Before I say anything about my life, I would first like to say a few words about Julie Klopp. Julie has played an instrumental part in developing this website with me and in co-authoring a forthcoming book about how to go from identifying as thoughts and emotions (the ego) to identifying as the True Self - This Spacious Awareness.
As Julie mentions in her bio, we first met in 2007 at a small spiritual gathering that I was facilitating. Since that time I have seen Julie willing to face and move through many difficult issues. She is fully committed to this path of spiritual Awakening and to helping others to Awaken.
I have also watched her assist individuals be free of their life-long emotional struggles and to facilitate small groups very effectively as a Certified Facilitator of Scott Kiloby’s Living Inquiries.
In addition, she is a dear friend and I deeply appreciate all of her energy to support me in my mission to see all beings Awaken. I am deeply grateful for her Presence in my life...
And now back to me… For over 15 years, I have assisted people in working through their lifelong blocks that keep them from knowing the Truth of What they really Are – This Spacious Awareness. I want all people to live free of suffering – as I suffered during my first 50 years or so as this Jeff-character.
From childhood onward fear dictated my life. I tended to be a loner because that felt safer than interacting with others. I had low-grade depression and led what I call a "dead life".
When I was in 7th grade, somehow I overcame my fear enough to go to a school dance, but I stayed at the top of the bleachers looking down at all the kids dancing and having a good time. I envied that, but at the same time, I was too scared to join them because I was afraid that I might embarrass myself. I didn’t want to be that vulnerable. I felt safer watching from a distance. This was the pattern of my life…
Another example was when I was about to return to the University of Florida. I said to my girlfriend, “What am I going to do without you?” She took that as a marriage proposal even though I was just 21 and she was only 17. However, I was too afraid to tell her that wasn't what I meant because I didn't want to hurt her feelings and feel the pain and guilt of hurting her. So I proceeded to get married even though I didn't want to. This inability to communicate what we both really wanted, without fear, led to the eventual dissolution of our marriage.
This fear showed up in all my relationships. I didn't want to be judged by others and thought of as foolish, stupid, inadequate or a failure. I only wanted to appear perfect in other people's eyes and my own.
In 1977, shortly after the end of my marriage, I met Ram Dass. This was a pivotal meeting and marked the beginning of my spiritual search. I didn’t have a clue about what he was talking about and yet something in me sensed the profound Truth of what he was communicating and I wanted to know more. So I went on a 5-day retreat with him.
I was touched very deeply by him on this retreat. So deeply that I bought all of his videos even though I didn’t have a player to play them on. I did buy a player and watched them regularly. Something was drawing me on although I didn’t really know what it was.
Then a few years later I met Richard and Barbara Klein who became my spiritual teachers for 17 years. During my time with Richard, I became of aware of the value exploring the dark side of this human character and also got a conscious glimpse of my True Self.
In the years that followed, I was also involved, to one degree or another, with other spiritual teachers, namely Adi Da, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Adyashanti and Eckhart Tolle.
Then in 1997, when I was 54, I met Gangaji, whose profound guidance helped me to end my spiritual search.
Gangaji assisted me in facing my chronic fear and that changed my life dramatically. In that moment of meeting it, the fear disappeared and revealed This Spacious Awareness - the Truth of What I really Am.
Meeting fear then led to my facing other emotions that blocked my knowing of What I truly Am - anger, sadness, despair, etc. I still sometimes get caught in a story and its accompanying emotions, but I don't stay stuck there - they pass through quickly and leave without a trace. EM&B allows me to see how they just appear and disappear in This Awareness. Now emotions can no longer dictate my life and I live more and more from Freedom, Peace, Love, Joy and Compassion...
Through Gangaji I also met Eli Jaxon-Bear (Gangaji's husband), Solané Verraine Asia, Saleem Berryman and Clare Cherikoff. I attended many profound workshops and retreats where, in addition to deepening in This Spacious Awareness, their guidance helped me in understanding the inner workings of the Jeff-character, including his inadequacies, and those of other people, too. As a result, I have more compassion and understanding for myself and others...
During all these years of searching, I was also exposed to and practiced various meditations like mantra, mindfulness, body scanning, breath work and guided visualizations. Ultimately, I stopped using all of these techniques because they provided only temporary relief from my feelings of fear, low-grade depression and suffering.
I was looking for a more simple meditation or practice that I could do anytime, anywhere, under any circumstance, alone or with people, with eyes open or closed, for a few seconds or minutes; and something that would reveal This Presence That I Am.
The Effortless Meditation & Beyond meditation was informed by, and evolved from, all of those workshop and retreat experiences; my desire for a simple and readily accessible practice; plus This Higher Intelligence, which is an essence of What I really Am and guides the life of this Jeff-character…
In 2003, I began facilitating spiritual therapeutic processes with individuals to help them remove both lifelong mental and emotional blocks and resolve more current issues. In 2007, I began teaching EM&B meditation to prisoners in the local maximum security jail and facilitating small groups. I continue to meet with people in person in the Washington, DC area, do phone and on-line sessions and offer workshop~playshops.
The purpose of these sessions is always to invite and encourage people to directly meet their lifelong issues or short-term problems. When these are met head-on in a loving, compassionate way, then what is revealed is What they really Are. Then a person has the opportunity and choice to live their life more and more as their True Self…
For me, my EM&B practice has provided substantial assistance in Being in Peace and Love while, at the same time, going through my Dad's death, Mom's death, kidney stone attacks and intense family issues. This Spacious Awareness is always Here and helped me, as the Jeff-character, in not getting enmeshed or caught up in the dramas. To actually Be in Peace and Love in the midst of the chaos...
Now as I rest more and more in and as This Awareness, Peace, Nothingness, Silence, Stillness, Love, and True Self, I have more and more Appreciation and Compassion for all of life - my son and daughter, grandkids, other family members, friends, art, music, buildings, mankind's technical/material things, plants, sky, clouds, the solar system, the cosmos, animals, hearing, seeing, touching, smelling, tasting, thinking, etc. - the whole of creation!
What I can say today is that I am more and more fully human and at the same time more and more Free of being human... What a paradox!!
As I rest more and more in This Presence, I am more and more Free of suffering, more and more in Peace, and more and more in Love... How can that be?
And... What has happened for me can happen for you!!!
Finally, words fall short in attempting to express my Gratitude for Gangaji and her consistent pointing to the Truth of What we really Are... How was I so fortunate to have her appear in my life? With unspeakable Gratitude and Love, thank you so much, beloved Gangaji, for your unwavering pointing to the Truth and sharing your life experiences...