Meetings in Toronto

Meetings are on hiatus right now, as I complete a farm job until October. Internet stuff always available, email at or skype me at michaelthielmann if you want to chat! Facebook name Michael Thielmann.

Last satsang till October

March 12 Meeting

January 29 Meeting

Saturday Jan. 15 Meeting

November 2 Meeting

Email at for a One to One. (skype or phone).

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A response about Love

I recieved an email from someone who asked about love. This was probably the hardest thing to come to terms with, and indeed impossible for "me." The search damn well does not feel like love, or even "like." It feels like crap, most of the time. To hear people speak about unconditional love that embraces everything, including the search, is maddening. Unfortunately for me, these people were absolutely on the money. The love is always there, on the sidelines maybe, but still there. It wrote this sentence, and read it as well. It sought for itself, and found that it never left. It gave up on the inquiry, and got drunk instead. Love yells at the teacher who patiently points to Home. Love forgives the seeker, for it IS the seeker. There is nothing that it is not. This is yet another potentially frustrating message. All I can say is, "where is this one who doubts unconditional love?" Where is this seeker, who feels as though this is not the beloved? I was asked to look for this person, who feels so isolated, seperate, and unworthy of the Lover. It could not be found, and it was the lover who was looking, pretending, seeking, finding, and all the rest of it. There could only ever be That anyway, so perhaps some relaxation is in order.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Advaita Paparazzi

During the search, I looked at those who expressed the message clearly as celebrities to be imitated. I saw my friend Charlie sharing on youtube and thought: "I wanna be just like him!" I went to a residential with Tony Parsons in Germany, and followed him around to try to absorb his enlightenment energy. It felt like being part of the advaita paparazzi, talking with others about how great this teacher was, telling tales of wonder about being with these people and trying to get a piece of their apparent "success."

When the spiritual search got started, all the previous conditioning went into it. So even when the message that "there is no one" came through, I turned that to mean, "I know there is no one, therefore I am enlightened." Those non-selves seemed so much happier than me, and overall just better, so I pretended to be like "them." I tried imitating the mannerisms of my favourite teachers, thinking about how they would react in certain situations. "How can I act enlightened in this scenario?" I sucked up to those that shared this message, trying to gain approval and encouragement on my path. "Please, Mr. Advaita Man, give me something I can call my own."
Those that were honest would have none of this crap. There were no celebrities to be made special by my paparazzi act, just honest expressions dedicated to dispelling my illusions. I thank them for their unwillingess to budge, and for not buying into my fanciful advaita stories.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Don't give up, just surrender

During the search, there were times when I just gave up. By this, I mean that I said "screw this, there's nothing I can do, I might as well..." (get drunk, mope around, kill myself) The spiritual concept of surrender, on the other hand, is a collapse of the one who could either give up, or keep going. Of course, the notion of surrender implies one who could surrender of their own volition. (And why wouldn't I have surrendered yesterday!) But rather than a volitionary thing, surrender merely points to what is, as it already is. Surrender is the seeing that what is, can't be meddled with. Giving up is being at war with what is, and trying to justify a miserable existance. The paradox of surrender is that it's the end of the one who thinks they could either choose, or not. Of course, if there's the belief in a "me", it will not want surrender, since that is the end of it. Giving up, on the other hand, is a great way to keep "me" going. Instead of listening to competent pointing, I indulged my suffering and my inability to do anything, "since there's no self to do it." Instead of looking within, I settled for moments of pleasure. Rather than earnestly inquire as was suggested, I hoped things would resolve themselves "someday." Suffering was the only honest teacher I had, when I rejected the pointers of the ones that I knew deep down were trustworthy. My suffering was directly proportional to the ammount of my own bullshit I believed. No bullshit=no suffering. Surrender is the natural state of what is, rather than a task to be undertaken. Giving up is a popular tactic of the "me-sense", and can keep the search going indefinitely.

No way out, no way in

When I started looking into this whole enlightenment business, I felt like a poor man looking for a way into the rich man's house. I saw these people speaking about liberation, and I wanted to join the club. In addition to that, I wanted OUT of my present circumstances. When I phoned my friend Charlie Hayes, he told me something like "you can't get into it, and you can't get out of it." This started to remove the idea of a special state for "me" to dwell in, with all the other enlightened people that I was sure existed. (lol, in retrospect!) It also facilitated the seeing that the state that was presently arising, (thoughts, emotions, or whatever,) was not something to get out of or be rid of. Again and again it was hammered into the brain that the trouble lies in the "me" concept, rather than not being in the correct state of consciousness or having the right circumstances present. In the search, I felt like Houdini, a sort of escape artist with all sorts of tricks up my sleeve. Everytime a pointer tried to hit home, the "me" seemingly built up a safe house for itself, and tried to lock itself in. When good times came, it tried to stay in them and keep the good times rolling. When bad times hit, it tried to run for the hills, and push everything away. It tried to get into "enlightenment" and away from "suffering" both of which were concepts that it seemingly defined for itself. Of course, to speak of this "me" as though it is an entity with self volition is erroneous. The process I described suggest a sort of enemy, the bad "me" who's running from the Truth. Actually, the 'me' is the truth in fancy clothes, parading for itself for its own enjoyment. Since there's no in, and no out, this right here is it. Houdini tried to hide, but he had locked himself up into what he was running from!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Meaninglessness- Depression or Freedom?

One day I woke up, and realized that my life was totally meaningless, and would never ammount to anything. Not surprisingly, this gave rise to a lot of depression and despair. My antidote to this was to create some meaning in my life to feel better in the short term. Unfortunately, the best meaning I found was to try to do more drugs in order to glaze over the sense of lack and limitation at the centre of my being. As was pointed out later by my first teacher Charlie Hayes, the trouble was that I had made it mean something that my life was meaningless. Furthermore, there was still a belief in "my life" as some sort of seperate thing that needed to be micro-managed and somehow dealt with properly. When distractions and sidetracking myself no longer worked, I began looking more deeply into my experience. Instead of trying to make myself feel better, I just kept staring into myself, and there was a deconstruction of the concepts that seemed so real before. Meaninglessness is actually absolute freedom. There's no longer the sense that things are going anywhere, my life is a sort of resting as what is. There's no reason I woke up today, and there's no reason for anything that gets done in the appearance of the world. What is, is enough, and it means nothing. Paradise is the end of an impossible search, which was never really happening. My life never meant anything, but life itself needs no meaning.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Love? That can't be it!

Growing up as a young man (apparently) I developed an aversion to the word "love," and what I thought it meant. I wanted to be tough, fearless, and self-sufficient, and in no need of something as tender and mysterious as love. When my seeking really got going, the last thing I would have thought to look for would be love, but I couldn't ignore the ache deep down, that no self-endeavour could fulfill. This turned me onto religion, and I sought the love of God, who I felt was withholding the full extent of his love for when I became worthier. The unconditional love that is pointed to here and in nonduality writings elsewhere is far simpler and far more frightening to the individual than any conception of it I had before. When this was first encountered, there was a seeing that this would be the end of "me", and everything I thought was important. There was no God to please, and no one to please him. No other to fulfill my needs, and no person here who needs fulfillment. All is this love, even the things I judged unworthy in my ignorance and arrogance. This love doesn't demand anything, nor does it bow to my every whim. It is not the clingy, watered-down version I was accustomed to, it is pure and open, like the blazing sun, yet tender as a warm breeze. It's the most cliched word in our culture, and yet we all yearn for it. I didn't find love, because I am love. There's nothing more to say about it, the lover is more obvious than the backs of my hands as they type this. I didn't think love could be it, now I don't know what love can't be!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Let's get my life working (please?)

Come on world, why aren't I happy? Do your job and make me feel better, already. Please, just let my life work. I'll tell you what, I'll give you this, this and this, if you make everything OK for me. No? Alright, now I'm mad, so I'm going to take those things away, until you make me whole again. Now I'm too tired and frustrated to deal with you, world, so I'm done with you. I don't need you to make things work, I can find the answer myself. I'll just shut myself away, and ignore that nagging feeling in the back of my mind. Damnit world, I said to leave me alone! Why are you still coming at me? I can't deal with you today, come back tomorrow. Who knew that the annoying, persistant world of circumstances was actually the lover in disguise? Who kept missing the pokes and jabs of the beloved, and mistaking them for some personal vendetta? Who am I, that needs to make my life work, if Life is already in perfect working order. (Despite what thoughts about "me" might say!)

So much goes into trying to make my life better, or get it working properly. With all that effort and struggle, we miss the perfect harmony that's already reading this word. I haven't missed my opportunity, I am the opportunity itself. The world doesn't have the answer, I am the world and need no answer to be who I am. There is no world coming at me, and no "me" to come at. All is seamless wonder, and I am That. No need to get life working, dont' fix what ain't broken.

Monday, September 21, 2009

What was that really important thing again?

For years, I had the sense that there was a really important thing I was forgetting. When walking out of a room, I would think I had left some important item behind, like my wallet. There was sometimes a nagging sense I had forgotten to do something important. The content of it shifted, but always I was left with a feeling that there was something vitally important that I was overlooking. When I became interested in religion and spirituality, the important thing was labelled as "God". This was broken down into things called "how to become closer to God." It became important to remember to pray, meditate, chant, and fellowship with other "believers," (of whatever doctrine was called "my truth" at the time!) It wasn't until later that it was pointed out that the important thing I was forgetting wasn't my lost wallet, or even God. It had nothing to do with words at all. It seemed like That which was forgotten was so near to me, that I kept it far away with concepts and distracting activities. That really important thing is simple Beingness, and it doesn't seem important to remember it anymore. Nothing seems important to remember, now that the forgotten has been recalled.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Centre

I must be at the centre of this, without me, what's left? I must be in here, making it all happen. I'm the guy at the control centre, pulling the levers and turning the dials. I make things happen, it's my life, damnit! Things happen to me, so I have to be on my game to make sure those things work out. If I'm not here, all hell breaks loose, life wouldn't work too well without me. But what is the "me" anyway? Do I even know for sure what I am? How do I know that I'm at the centre?

Life's not working too well, even if I am at the centre, in control. Maybe I don't want to be the centre anymore. Can you be the centre of life for a while? Here, let's have life happen to someone else for a change. You be alive for me, maybe just for one day. Not working? Good thing there is no centre anyway. No one here, no one there. Life is just a big space, where complaining about life can happen. When the complainer is seen to be just a complaint, life doesn't need to complain about itself.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's THIS, not that

It's the reading of these words, not the next ones.
It isn't the end of this sentence, it's THIS word.

It's the space before these words, and the space between and after.

It's this! The mind always creates a better that, but the funny thing is, this is also that.

When will it happen?!

When listening to certain teachers, there may be an emphasis on special moments of enlightenment, complete with fireworks and deep insights. As a seeker, it seems like there is someone there who has had something special happen to them. If there is the notion suggested by the teacher that enlightenment has anything to do with the person, or any personal experience, the only advice would be to grab your wallet and walk briskly out of the room. As a seeker, I focused on certain experiences that seemed to indicate that "enlightenment was coming soon." The trouble was always the notion of time being brought into the equation. Even when practicing teachings like "Being in the Now," there was always the notion that by being in the now, I was accumulating "Presence points" towards my future enlightenment. I would try to be in the now, in order to make something happen. Time is an insidious belief, but just a belief nonetheless. When will it happen? It's happening now. When will it happen for me? It will never happen for me, because me isn't happening at all.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It MUST be special

When I heard people talk about the ordinariness of awakening, I didn't want to hear it. They said it was nothing special, and completely natural, and so on. I wanted my special awakened state, the glorious enlightenment for ME. I thought it would make me happy to be in a distant and far removed sort of space, and see all the poor suffering seekers, and take pity on them. I always tried to make ordinary Being into a special object. A glimpse of Being would be translated as a special milestone on my path to enlightenment. I figured the moments of clarity would add up to some big fireworks explosion, and people would turn their heads and say "I think that guy just got enlightened." Being ordinary is far easier than being a special enlightened person. I'm not sure how to be an enlightened person, but I'm sure it's quite hard work. I tried it for a while, and I could fool quite a few people. I could be enlightened for you, but I couldn't be an enlightened ME. Trying to be special, for myself, when I'm just alone. There's no one around, and yet I need to make myself into someone. Why be special? Being is enough.

What's wrong with not knowing?

In seeking, there was always something to be known. I needed to know if I was on the right track, if I had the right idea about these concepts, and what I would be like when the search was "all over." If there was the notion that I couldn't know something, I would feel very threatened. The things I knew, became belief systems. I believed in religious teachings, I believed "I'm not the doer," and I believed that I'm not here. Every time I "knew" something, life would come along to show me that I really don't know. Everything I took on board, was thrown out, since it wasn't mine to hang onto in the first place. Right now, I don't know what's happening. I never did, in fact, but my knowing created my suffering. I put my knowing against your knowing, and I knew that I had to know better! When I knew who I was, with the mind, I was always in danger of losing my precious self. I don't know who I am anymore, in the sense that I used to. There's no identity to cling to, and no identity to get rid of. I see children playing, and they don't need words to know who they are. I used to pity them, because they didn't know. Then I used to envy them, because I was tired of all my knowing. The mind "knows that it knows something," but it can never know happiness or peace. What's wrong with not knowing? The mind doesn't like it, but it never knew, anyway.

Relief for me, or relief FROM me?

In seeking, the main goal or aim is to feel relief from suffering. If I take myself to be this small, defective character then there is usually suffering, interspaced with small bits of Ok-ness or relief from suffering. The relief comes from getting something I wanted, or being free of something I didn't want. The strange thing is, that in looking deeper at these moments of being OK, the self isn't there. For a moment, the movement of self subsided, and there was a feeling of wholeness or being OK. Once the self-momentum begins again, there is an obsession with a particular experience to recreate the feeling of relief. The irony is, is that the self that wanted relief isn't actually there, and relief can only come in seeing through the false self, or in having it subside for a moment. The cycle is maintained when the self is taken to be real. A little investigation into the nature of this self reveals its ephemeral nature. The relief that is felt, doesn't belong to anyone, as there wasn't really anyone there to begin with. When the trouble maker is seen to be a ghost, the haunting is over.


Living as this assumed "me-identity" I find myself becoming addicted to things, in some form or another. These are interchangable and subject to constant fluctuation or revision, but always it is the same: More pleasure, for me, right now! Or the flipside, less pain, for me, right now! There is a desperation behind this, and a grim willingness to do whatever it takes to make myself feel better, at the expense of any other aspect of experience. (the wellbeing of others, future consequence, etc.) Of course, this experience can vary in degree or intensity, but the basic mechanism remains the same. In looking at addiction more closely, it is seen that "I am" the addiction. My own false sense of self, is an addiction unto itself. Once this primary addiction is seen through and "abstained from", all other addictions whither and die, as the addict has been found to be absent.

Fear and lack

As a "me", the general condition could be summarized as a state of fear, as I am always vulnerable and at the mercy of my larger, and seperate environment. Essentially, I could die at any moment, and so I am afraid for my very survival. As my identity becomes more complex, the fear of physical survival may also become a fear that is mental or emotional in nature- I need to protect my viewpoints, ideas, and beliefs about myself and how I see things. More subtly, there is a "feeling-sense" of myself in the body, that is taken to be a vulnerable centre, the thing to which things happen. This creates a very convincing illusion that there is an entity "in here" that has distinct and seperate properties from its environment, and is continually threatened by some "other." When I am not experiencing myself as afraid of something, I often focus on what I am missing. It feels as though there is a deep, dark, unfillable hole in the centre of myself, which I need to do something about. I attempt to take things from the outside, and put them into this hole, so that I may feel better for a moment. This sense persists, regardless of what I attempt to do about it. Upon investigating this whole mechanism or way of being, it begins to fall apart. Things are seen as they really are: thoughts moving, patterns of energy or emotions moving, and no central entity to whom they belong. Fear and lack do not apply, if there is no one home.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

It's real for ME

During the search, everything was so real. The suffering, the problems, the need for enlightenment. It was all real, because I took myself as real. If the tree is taken to be solid and real, the branches and leaves seem that way as well. When the tree itself began to die, everything else started going with it. The root of the tree was uprooted, and the whole thing began to whither away, because it wasn't there in the first place. None of it is real, in any case. It seems real for the "me" but if that concept isn't valid, what else could be? In looking for this "me" the whole conceptual structure collapses. If the one to have the problem isn't to be found, problems aren't really problematic. If the suffer-er isn't home, the suffering doesn't belong to anyone. All is resolved, whether this is seen or not. In looking deeply for this seperate entity, freedom meets itself in intimacy. The personal platform falls apart, and love explodes into Being, for no one. This is already the case, and the person is already the lover, wearing a pretty convincing costume. Whatever is seen, is it. Whoever is seeing it, is it. If there seems to be something that isn't it, what else could there be? Who would dare to claim to be other than totality? The "me" game is over, no winners or losers. No one was even playing.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I wanted it for ME

In the search, I was presented with the possibility of liberation from the false self, or ego identity. The trouble arose from the fact that who I WAS for myself, was the false self, or ego identity. It became about me, finding freedom, for myself. The movement was always a self trying to get away from its unsatisfactory life, into a better state for itself. The abiding sense was also, "I want it" and there was a desire to claim or own things, such as spiritual experiences or insights. The sense was always that there was a need to move somewhere that was better. When the notion came up that this "me" itself was the problem, and that it needed to disappear, I would then begin to start claiming my own level of dissapearance. "I have become more absent than most." I believed myself to be closer to enlightenment, because I was less of a "me".

It is very difficult to get past this idea that there is really no "me" to gain anything. The way I heard it initially was, "I will never get this, it will never happen to me, I won't find enlightenment." The message was continually pointed out that there simply was no "I" or "me" at all. It is a different paradigm entirely, to how I was viewing the whole thing. I was pointed back to the Being that was always there in the first place, before the Me-Sense even got going at all. Obviously, these words are simply not it, but the Beingness to which they point is more real than anything that could appear.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Those that pointed to the clear and obvious

Charlie Hayes
John Wheeler
Scott Kiloby
Annette Nibley
Jeff Foster
Tony Parsons
Bob Adamson
John Greven
Stephen Wingate
Wayne Liquorman/Ramesh Belsekar
The Urban Guru Cafe
Conscious TV
Halina Pytlasinska
Mandi Solk
Eckhart Tolle
Ram Dass

The Dilemma of "Me"

Since about the age of 5, I remember experiencing myself as a limited, defective person with problems. More and more, I experienced the effects of time, and lived in a world of anticipation, dissapointment, hope, and fear. I took myself to be an entity who was limited by this body, a thinker of thoughts, a doer of deeds, and a fear-er of fears. As my ideas about who I am grew, the ways in which I dealt with my problematic identity also began to expand. I tried to get rid of myself by escaping into fantasy worlds, through relationships, and using drugs.

It seemed like there was always a problem, in one sense or another. Like the game "Whack-a-Mole," as soon as I had dealt with one problem, the next one popped up to be struggled with. Usually, the problem was projected onto a particular circumstance, person, or object. Later on, there was a realization that "I am a problem for myself." There was a seeing that who I took myself to be, was a problem for itself. This was around the time I began investigated more introspective, or spiritual methods for dealing with my dilemma.

I finally met a man called Charlie Hayes who pointed directly to the idea of a central "me" to be the cause of all this anguish. He also pointed out my true nature of Being, which is inherently free of concepts, problems, doubts, and so on. The dilemma was clearly exposed to be the "me" itself, rather than all the secondary issues I was trying to correct before. I spoke with Charlie and others like Tony Parsons, John Wheeler, John Greven, Annette Nibley, as well as a great therapist who is intersted in this as well The whole knot of "me" began to unravel and be seen for what it is, and the real nature of existance became apparent.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I sought, and I didn't find

For years, I sought something called enlightenment or self realization. Then I learned that there was no such thing as a person to attain such a thing. I then started seeking the end of the person I took myself to be. I tried to obliterate myself in meditation, self inquiry, and by being absorbed by spiritual teachings. I met a man named Charlie Hayes who encouraged a deep looking into the false centre. I fought tooth and nail against the simple message delivered by Charlie, Tony Parsons, John Wheeler, and many others. It seemed like there were two things happening: A false centre desperate to continue, and the unconditional lover, patiently waiting for "me" to give up.

A sort of earnestness took hold, and there was a sense of being willing to see this through to the end, even if it killed me. (And what do you know, it did!) It seemed like there was a turn around of my self, and I began to look into what I was, as I happened, moment by moment. There was a deep looking into direct experience, and an honesty and ruthless self authenticity to not let myself get away with anything. After meeting Tony Parsons in August, there was a collapse of the belief in the "me" concept as valid. I didn't find anything, because I was never real except as a character, in a dream (nightmare) called "my life." The true nature of what is revealed itself, to itself, as love, joy, peace, and stillness beyond all concepts. My email is Feel free to send a message.