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).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

How enlightened am "I" today?

Waking up in the morning as a 'seeker' wasn't pleasant. I had to deal with the whole enlightenment or liberation thing for another day, as well as deal with all 'my' day to day activities. Since nonduality had become my most important preoccupation, I had to make sure I had things lined up to make sure that my trek towards liberation was on course. The focus was always within this "me" idea, and my enlightenment happening or not happening, and what "I" could or should do about it. Scott Kiloby pointed this type of thing out quite nicely, how the focus always seems to be kept firmly in self centred notions, which create the idea of a search in the first place.

I set up little markers for my 'self' about where things were in terms of liberation happening or not happening. Good feelings generally meant good 'progress,' and bad feelings were indicative of losing presence, or enlightenment power, or some equally ridiculous notion, arising in thought. Of course, what I failed to really look into was the whole notion of the seperate self, it-self.

Instead of looking into the shaky platform of "me-hood", I wanted to reinforce the platform by throwing some cool ideas about nonduality on top of it, which actually made it shakier still. What I really failed to do, was get down and busy with looking into this directly. It isn't necessarily fun or pleasant to challenge these notions. Becoming enlightened sounds so much nicer than seeing through the self that would become enlightened. Unfortunately, there's no 'self' in any case, so the issue is rendered moot. If there is still a trace of a self, just look for it, instead of paying lip service to concepts in the way I did for months. Thanks for reading, you can check out my Kilologue with Scott at

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Good feelings for "me", please.

My modus operandi for most of my life was basically, "let's get good feelings for me, right now." Life was lived in a sort of unstable pendulum, where things were good if "I" felt good, and things were bad if "I" felt bad. What I didn't notice was the lack of contentment that was present even if the mind was judging something as "good." It seemed like even in the moments of peak pleasure, there was a knowing that it would end. This was true of both physical pleasure, and the much sought after "spiritual" pleasures as well. I didn't realize that what I really wanted, was not having to seek feeling better. Wanting to feel good seems to be just a natural part of conditioning, for humans and animals alike. Once this "me" notion gets going, feeling good becomes a sort of all-encompassing obsession, since the apparent seperation is experienced as quite unbearable. (At least that's how it was here!) Moments of pleasure seemed to be all that life was about, along with an insane and vague hope that one day I would "make it," and be alright forever.

Even in my field of counselling, I wanted to make myself feel better, by making others feel better. Everything came back to this sense of a seperate self, that wanted to suck something out of the situation for its own good. I felt sort of like a complex parasite, that went along looking for better food to keep itself going, even though I loathed my own existence a lot of the time.

Once the message started hitting home, and the investigation happened, I started to deconstruct the whole hedonistic attitude I'd been living under. "What's so important about feeling good?"
"Who am I that needs to feel good?"
"Who am I that feels bad?"

In getting right up close and personal with this stuff, it's seen that there are really just movements of energy, and thoughts happening. No self in the midst of the chaos, just the chaos happening in emptiness. It seemed like I had to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and get down to the bottom of the "want-er." Just a simple and earnest looking reveals the absence of this irritating and irritable 'self' that always wanted something from the "other."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Nothing for you here

Hello, if there's someone reading this, then that someone will be disappointed. Any self that reads these words will undoubtedly be looking for something in them, a hidden meaning, something to grasp hold of, a new belief system. There are no such things here, the self reading and writing isn't even acknowledged as real. The SELF that we are, though, is being pointed to as ordinary basic awareness. It reads this before "you" are even there to monkey with the message. Love doesn't need a "you" or a "me", it does fine without us, thank you very much. All of this self-perpetuating craziness is just like an attempt to put an errupting volcano out with an ice cube. Love can be red hot and fierce, burning away all our feeble mind tricks and tired resistance patterns. The reason there's nothing for you here, is because there isn't a "you" here anyway. This isn't about being cruel or hateful, it's about love reclaiming what seems to have been obscured. In my arrogance, I thought I could win the game, beat the system. Love patiently wore me down, until I gave up what I never had anway. This isn't about you, me, or anyone else. There's nothing for you here, but there's nothing for "me" either. Love is an equal opportunity destroyer.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Why am I me?!

My life was full of why questions, as I've discussed already. The core of this dilemma, is "why am I me, why am I seperate?" That was the question I wanted my parents to answer when I started to experience myself as an entity apart from What IS. Instead of seeing the root of it directly, I settled on asking more roundabout questions, like why is the sky blue, or why does daddy go to work. The answer I was really seeking, was why does it feel like paradise has been lost, in favour of "me being me." The concept of a seperate self seemed to become more apparent in experience, and I soon found myself in more complex versions of "why." The content doesn't matter, the root of it was always the same. Waking up in the morning sometimes had a terrible desperation about it, as if to say "Why am I still me?!" The experiential seperation was always the motivator for my actions, and all the actions were about making me feel better. The honest answer I could give anyone about why I did anything, was that "I want to feel good, and who cares about anything else?"

After meeting those who pointed clearly and directly, the whole dilemma of "why me" started to be investigated. There's no one that would benefit from the answering of another question, even the most profound spiritualized inquiry of "why is this so?" There's no 'me' to ask why, and no 'me' to obtain any benefit from the answer. Looking directly, there is simply wholeness, with none of the problems attributed to an imagined self. Of course, I also asked "why bother even looking into this?" A good answer might have been "why bother enduring needless suffering?" If there's suffering, it might as well be investigated, until the suffer-er is seen to be another dreamlike appearance. As one friend said: "Why? Because."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

How good is "your" nonduality?

The game of nonduality can become very petty and dogmatic. I compared where "I" was in my seeing with where others seemed to be, and compared the concepts about our various 'truths.' Like many different Christian sects, there seemed to be a splintering off into these different versions of the message. I tried to find the "proper" nondual platform to stand on. I disputed with others about their version of it, and tried to find a safe place for "me," in the correct version. This isn't about any of that stuff. I don't know Jesus, but I would speculate that he wouldn't have suggested that we construct a religion, let alone many religions, around what he was saying. When the words are heard from one who is "clear" on all this, the tendency is to put that one on a pedestal, and construct a set of concepts around the message they deliver. The intention, if there is one, is to deconstruct the pre-existing concepts.

Forget about nonduality. It's not even real, there's no such thing. Instead, check to see who believes in nonduality. Find that one that's so obsessed with this new "thing" called nonduality, or whatever the mind calls it. This has always been about what You and I really are, not about fancy concepts. I don't know what nonduality is, I never did. There's no need to know what this stuff is, because it doesn't mean anything anyway. It's just a matter of seeing into this for ourselves. Who am I, that needs all this crazy stuff? I carried a world of nondualisms, different teachers, points of view, and arguments with my 'self.' Who needs all that baggage? Who would choose to carry such a burden? Just look and see, no need for more jargon. Behind all this craziness the mind becomes obsessed with, I am empty awareness. Just take the "I" out of it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Who would choose to suffer?

Basically, the only reason I got into this nonduality thing was because I wanted to stop suffering. The things I had tried previously gave some relief from suffering: drugs, religion, therapy, and so on. Relief was experienced by an imagined entity, who seemed to need to work hard at keeping the suffering at bay. It seemed like even when these things were working well, there's was a storm cloud of personal suffering, just waiting to strike when my anesthesizing methods wore thin. Of course, what none of these things never got to the root of was the notion of a "me" who could suffer, and who seemed to be choosing to do all these various things. If I were this entity with so much power, control, and personal will, why would I choose to suffer so much, sometimes for no "external" reason? Jeff Foster speaks about how suffering IS the sufferer. I didn't want to let go of identity, so suffering seemed to be acceptable, as long as I could be a "someone." Charlie Hayes pointed out a sort of indulgence or payoff in suffering, which really struck home. The addiction to this misery is the epitome of insanity. Who would choose such a thing for him or herself? It came to the point where I would rather die than suffer anymore. Fortunately, the thing that thought it was born and could die was a total illusion, even calling it a "thing" is far too much substance. JD Hazlewood discusses the invalidity of this "I" notion, and undermines the suffering apparently generated from this conceptual spider web. Suffering is what started the apparent search, and a desire to stop suffering is what fueled it. When competent pointing was come across, the potency was always in throwing the looking back into the concepts, and revealing the absence of the suffering, defective "person." Who would choose to suffer? No one. Who's suffering right now? Check and see, if the suffer-er is found, email a detailed mug shot of it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Who is the authority?

As a seeker, I liked looking for people who had authority, in whatever form they showed up in. As a drug user, I liked people who knew how to live that lifestyle. As a religious person, I liked priests and holy men and women, who were serving God better than I was. In nonduality, I looked for the enlightened ones, that seemed so far beyond my petty existence. All the time, I constructed a mental wall between what I imagined as myself, and what I imagined as the other. The grand words of liberation were too much to bear, since I was quite sure I knew I was 'me', a defective and limited person who had a long way to go. When the idea of authority was looked into, it seemed like conditioned thinking was in charge of things, in determining every facet of what I called real. Investigating the authoritative claims of the mind started a revolution, and the false king was exposed for the fraud he is. Turning the consciousness upon itself, reveals that all comes from a singular source, rather than a fragmented world of conflict and confusion. Authority? Who is it, and who needs it?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Why bother, or why not?

As a seeker, my life was filled with why bothers: "Why bother going to work, if there's no one to go to work? Why bother meditating, if there's no self to do it?" Everything was seen as a means to an end, and a sort of obligation or struggle. Even the pleasurable behaviours were embued with an addictive or striving quality, a necessity to try and feel better amidst suffering. The things enjoyed as a child were cast aside in order for "meaningful and important" things to be accomplished. Even when life was going well, by the mind's standards, there was a sort of low-grade desperation or yearning, a grim attempt to make things even better, or keep them stable.
Life was all about reasons, justifications, and struggling to make it. So much processing went into everything, to determine the possible outcomes for "me." Sponteneity took a back seat to a cold analytical self-seeking. Life was only really enjoyed when I was forgotten entirely, so my activities were about losing myself (on my own terms!) After being exposed to the message and seeing the investigation through to the end, life is a big why not. Like a giant play of possibilities, anything can happen. No-one needs to stand in the way of life with their petty concerns, things can happen as they will, because it's all a joyful meaningless dance of existence. Why not go to work, even though there's no one working. Why not meditate, even if there's no meditator? For a self, there's something to get out of writing this sentence. For no-one, there's just the joy of writing and reading this sentence.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Experiential and Real

The whole world seems to function in concepts. Ideas about religion, therapy, different self help and so on are based in different ideas of the mind. Nonduality seems to be a whole bunch of concepts as well, to be believed or not believed, argued or accepted. The actual SEEING of nonduality is experiential and real, it's what's reading these words. Before this word is read, the experience is present. It is what is there before there is someoneo who can believe or disbelieve anything. It's like the space in which these words were typed. Before I sat to type this, there was just an empty space. That space is like what we are. Blank, open, and empty, yet able to contain anything that comes upon it. It's important to point out that this nature is present and REAL in experience, rather than in concepts. You are that in which concepts and experiences happen. You are that in which personhood and the end of personhood happen. You are the end of the search, right now.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada,
feel free to contact me if there's interest in discussion/meetings

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The right way to speak about something that ain't real

During the search, I put a lot of importance on how people spoke about this "subject." I criticized certain ways of pointing, maybe using the classic advaita police mentality of "too many personal pronouns," or the opposite route of "too impersonal, not enough personality." It seemed like the mind could change gears and make anything that was presented wrong. Avoiding the potency of the aliveness became more and more difficult, and the mind appeared desperate in finding new and creative ways of discrediting the simple message being delivered. Since I believed myself to be a sort of language-based entity, I used words and concepts to defend myself, and blamed those pointing to the Changless for not letting me "get it" on my terms. The thing to recognize was that there's no correct way to speak about something that isn't real. What IS real doesn't need words, and what isn't real isn't even there without words. Right and wrong became vague concepts, and the beautiful aliveness was recognized to be a lot more juicy than my word wizardry. No ammount of language-ing satisfied my appetite. It's a lot easier to recognize reality than to quibble over concepts.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

This is enough, but not for "me"

Basically, the "me" notion can be summarized by the idea that "This isn't it." Either there's not enough of one thing, or too much of another. What is, is somehow an obstacle for my happiness or well-being. Not even the most stubborn or self-deluded individual could deny the isness of what is. The focus is always on the imaginary "better for me" scenario, and what is currently happening is not seen in it's fullness and wonder. The trouble in trying to talk about this, is that it's just too simple. A summary of this could simply be that this is enough, but not for the "me" that wanted more. So this is fullness, but not for the seeker who felt they were lacking. There's no one here who managed to cram themselves full of what they wanted, and push away all the things they didn't. There's no-one here in any case, just fullness talking to itself. When there's suffering, the invitation is always to look back and see who it is that suffers. When it's seen that there isn't anyone there, then what is happening is more than enough. This is fulfillment, but there's no one that feels full. This is enough, because the one who was lacking wasn't real to begin with. This is it, if it's seen or not.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Happiness, or not needing to seek it?

Along the way so to speak, there was a wanting for a constant state of happiness, or undifferentiated bliss. I wanted to feel good all the time, no questions asked! I tried to keep myself in states of emotional well being and resisted moving into what I deemed unpleasant states. It felt like I was an entity, moving towards something that I called "feeling better." I never felt good enough, or "right." I always wanted to tweak the way I felt, even when it was judged as good. When happiness arose, there was the fear that it would slip away, and an attempt to amplify it to get the most out of it while it lasted. Somtimes I felt guilty for being too happy or joyous, and then yearned to feel the joy that I thought I didn't deserve. If I said that liberation is a state of undifferentiated happiness or bliss, I would be lying. However, if I said that it is the end of trying to be happier, that would be more accurate. This feeling is fine, even if the mind would say otherwise. There's no need to try to feel better, since emotions are just part of the show anyway. What we are is far beyond the flux of happiness or unhappiness. Not needing to seek happiness isn't necessarily happiness, but it's a lot less work.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Recognizing the Real, or feeling better for me?

Along the way, so to speak, it felt like being at a crossroads a lot of the 'time': Look deeper into myself, or act out in a selfish way to feel better temporarily. The latter was apparently chosen a lot, which was sort of like using a credit card: benefit now, suffer later. In addition, acting out selfishly to feel better created a sort of momentum, where it got easier to indulge suffering and act to abate it for a while, rather than get quiet and real with who I thought I was kidding. This sounds like a method, but it seems like Grace presented the opportunity at every moment, to either gaze within and see what's what, rather than follow the mind into the road of dead ends. In looking into this moment, the apparent power of the mind is seen for what it is: one thought, arising now. It felt like there was someone listening to the mind, an entity that was apparently enslaved to the stream of thinking and feeling. In looking for this entity, all that is found is thoughts and emotions happening in a vast emptiness. No mind to tell anything what to do, and no one to take orders. No self to need to feel better, just timeless, complete Being.