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Interview with Kenneth Folk, a long-time Theravada practitioner and meditation teacher, who describes in exquisite detail his spiritual journey. It began in earnest at the age of 24, when having done several hits of LSD, he had a life-altering experience that put him squarely on the path of seeking.
ed: i chose to download this audio, as kenneth describes both the buddhist path and his own new understandings of the possibility of avoiding the 22 years of searching, discipline and depression that he went through on his journey to enlightenment. i know i will probably have not represented Kenneth correctly. so listen to the audio for yourself.
Kenneth describes how, during the fist stage of his 4 paths retreat, the buddhist monk holds him back from experiencing a dream state. These long years of various stages, of discipline, of ‘jumping through hoops’ as set out by most buddhism paths and teachers do not necessarily lead to enlightenment. the explanations of the method can be extremely vague, thus frustrating to say the least.
Kenneth touches on this when he mentions ‘mushroom culture’ ie keep them in the dark and feed them sh*t. In Part 2, he says “how is it possible that these teachers are teaching a path that does not require grinding through 22 years of depression” He compares two different methods, describing them as ‘development enlightenment’, a kind of ‘spiritual materialism’ where you are going to get something. and ‘realisation’. realisation does not happen over time. it is not possible. it is not the past, the future the present. there is awareness that is aware of itself. it is possible to go through a whole lifetime and not notice that.
Kenneth says, ‘Realisation’ via the direct path as suggested by ramana maharsi (Who Am I PDF and Who Am I audiobook), Eckhardt Tolle, Adyashanti. Direct path teaching is a kind of awakening which does not require grinding through 22 years of depression.
Part 1 excerpts: “today is a good day to die” the chief in the film Little Big Man ♥ NDE on his deathbed at 24 years of age ♥ ‘as i lay naked beneath god’s foot, i asked god to throw me a bone’ and his cocaine addiction vanished in that moment ♥ ‘my teacher bill hamilton describes 4 paths of enlightenment as a concrete method’ ♥ 3 months IMS retreat ♥ achieves first path to enlightenment ♥
Part 2 excerpts: people speak in hushed tones about whether or not such a such a person had reached a certain ‘level’ or ‘path’ ♥ one day, he had decided he had suffered enough. ‘i turned to an imaginary budhah and said ‘this is what needs to be done. i give myself permission to be enlightened’. ♥ from that day, his depression of over 20 years ‘went away’. the particular cycle which began on his deathbed at 24 years of age had ended. ♥ he walked into his yogi trailer and said ‘i see the elephant’, meaning he sees the whole, not just the parts. ♥ there is an inherent, phyiological process inherent in human beings