Hello Douglas. I am S. who was in your workshop. The girl who was pregnant. Yesterday at one o'clock in the morning I gave birth to a little girl, and now I'm of course still in the hospital. And I wish to thank you, because you've really helped me so very much to get through the work and pains in my child's birth. It was just marvellous. Even the nurse who assisted me and my boyfriend were astonished about the way it all went.
Thanks to you I sort of knew what was wanted and needed all the time, namely Nothing! That is to say, I realized that all it took to bring the baby out was to be present in doing it. It was my body working all by itself, and it did the best work as I didn't resist it. I did not need to do anything else but be there. I can easily imagine the trouble people may create for themselves by resisting what is happening to them or in their surroundings. What usually takes at least ten hours for a first-time mother went in three hours for me. And I had no drugs except for love.
Have you ever looked into the eyes of a new-born baby? My A. is telling me everything about life. When she opens her eyes and glances at me there is timelessness, eternal wisdom and peace, a completely pure space, to rest in or create whatever in.
I admit that there have been some problems now and then during the two days I've been here, but when I get off making trouble there is no thinking but merely thanking, because what I experienced in your workshop I've been experiencing again during these last days which have been the most ups and downs ever in my life in such a concentrated form. S.
Just now I stood at my kitchen window and looked out on the natural scenery I have the good fortune to find there - and that's exactly how it felt - my "is"˜clothed' by the world; dressed in the ten thousand things. C.M. Australia
I've always liked the image of 'wearing the world' like clothes. Having no shape of my own, no colour, I take on the shape and colour of the present moment. It reminds me of Thomas Traherne: "You never enjoy the world aright...till you are crowned with the stars." What a wonderful wardrobe we all have! R.L. UK
The other day I was sitting, solidly, in a dentist's chair (it's the patient's chair after all, isn't it?), while two people occupied themselves with the usual poking, prodding and stuffing of sucking, wheezing, whirring, and boring instruments into my mouth. Not exactly fun, but then I recalled that I didn't have to perceive it all that way, and gave it up. Then there were just these two odd people sticking their hands and all that gear into some void on my lower horizon, apparently, and with a near comical seriousness of purpose (although thank God for that!). T.P. Denmark
I once had a powerful experience of first person-hood in the dentist's chair. My mouth was full of long-handled instruments which seemed to me to be patently coming out of Nothing - a void which also contained the faces of the dentist and his assistant hovering in it. ''But of course'', said Douglas, ''they were filling your Cavity''! A.R. UK.
Haircut: Andy did mine. At times Andy's hand and scissors disappeared into the Void here; then his whole arm; then both hands and his head. Several times his whole arm; then both hands and his head. Several times his whole body went, leaving only his voice. And sometimes not even leaving that. Then he would appear again perhaps without a hand and without scissors. Finally he became smaller and stood making satisfied expressions. Never has having a haircut been so enjoyable or so enlightening. R.H. UK
Just came back from the hairdresser who cut and arranged nothing! And the funniest thing is that she thought she did. And what is even more weird is that I paid her for it. Isn't that crazy! M.M. Corfu
I was home in Ireland in the summer for a family wedding. I videoed the wedding on a camcorder. At the time it didn't mean anything to me but later while watching the tape on TV I completely lost my head. Everyone spoke to the space that was me, but on TV I wasn't there, so they were speaking into the void. Then I got another lovely surprise. At one point I stood in a corner to video everyone leaving the church. They would come up to the camera (me) and walk by, straight into the void. I'm sure anyone with a video camera could get a moment of headlessness from this simple experiment. D.W. UK
A couple of evenings ago two friends came round for dinner. N is a photographer. We talked about Seeing, and did some experiments - the Card and the Great Storehouse. I found N's reaction fascinating. He said that his job means that he is continually framing things when he looks at them - how they will fit into a photograph. But this Seeing meant having no frame. The picture got wider and wider until there were no limits. "It's like throwing away the camera!" R.L. UK
A very interesting experience the other night. There was a moment that I was sitting in some sort of container, and I observed thousands and thousands of tiny bright creatures flying directly toward my face, only to disappear about 18 inches from my face (for those who use the metric system, that is about 18 inches worth of centimeters). There was also a pair of luminous dots somewhere in the distance in front of me, that seemed to be fiery in nature and color. These dots were side by side. One of the dots, for just a few moments, alternated between solid fire and fire mixed with a bright amber color. Then the pair of dots seemed to grow closer together and move to my left, and then out of sight. All of this time there was a very strange sound, a rhythmic repetitive sound that kept disrupting the otherwise constant drone I was hearing inside this container. Lastly, there was a point when these thousands of bright tiny creatures were flying sideways, from my left to right. This lasted about 30 seconds, then they started flying toward my face again for many moments to come.
As you have probably guessed, I was driving in my car in a snowstorm. The fiery lights were the tail lights of a car ahead of me that turned on its turn signal and left the road. The snow seemed to fly sideways when I slowed down to go down an exit ramp off the highway.
Douglas often advocates living in a single moment, and becoming aware of what "IS", based only on present evidence. I tried this experiment while driving in the snowstorm and I had marvellous results. It is wonderful to toss out my perception of the snow as I know it and see it anew in a moment as if I had never seen it before. It was awesome. K. USA
This experience first happened to me several years ago and has recurred several times, usually in a social setting such as a pub. I experienced a complete openness or emptiness into which each person spoke, as if this clearness was the centre which drew them to it. I remember thinking as they spoke how weird it was. Since the workshop in Stroud last summer I realize that everything points straight to it"“ if the trouble is taken to look! B.M.
I watch these hands, these fingers with the blue nail varnish (!) moving on my lap-top and I look up my arm to their source and I'm Home. Wow! I'm Home. And it's all of a piece here, encompassing, containing the dualism of that moving changing/yes-no/good-bad stuff. The peace that is beyond understanding. Yes, the place where the questions do stop. The secret place of the most high. The Only One! J.P. UK
Seeing for me is not a retreat from the world into nothingness - it is an awakening to the fact that the nothingness that I am is the world. There are no boundaries, no dividing line.
Last night I went dancing. Dancing from nothingness I found I included the other dancers. I find this a good 'position' to be in. I am not imprisoned in my 'self'. I am open to the whole dance. Having no position, I am open to change - nothingness doesn't have preferences. Of course I have my changing feelings towards people, but as E. says, this is part of the scenery. My feelings flow through this nothingness just as my body and the other bodies do. I find great joy and freedom and peace and creativity in being this central nothingness. It is such a simple small thing, an invisible key, yet it opens the door of every moment. R.L. UK
I was just having a lunch break and doing some "pointing" when I realized what I really looked like. I drew a picture of a body with no head and I "saw" how I am open to everything/nothing and that the "me" that I have been calling myself could stand for "Mind Empty." It was a lovely experience. I like walking around like this. It is especially fun dealing with people and seeing how open I am for them. Joni
The experiments did have a unbelievable effect! At once I could really see what those books are telling about. It's a little strange but from that moment I became more silent. Now there is a deep Silence even when the 'outside' life shows more excitement . Every morning I open my eyes and notice that thinking appears, that my human body gets up and starts the morning routine. Emptiness is looking in the mirror at that face which is different from some years ago and so on. But it's very difficult to go on playing the 'normal life' game. When I see people (Me in different energy combinations) struggling and talking about their struggle, most of the time without words, I want to wake them up out of the nightmare but at the same time I know that it's impossible. Of course this is also a part off my daydream! M.
While it is easy to see the Void which is our true nature, it is also very easy to overlook it it since it is No-thing. I must say that the In-Sights are relatively unspectacular, except a certain peace which accompanies it. No mystical revelation, really. There is just emptiness at the core of everything. L.
I stay in this conciousness almost all the time now and sometimes when I walk I have a very special feeling of almost flying... What a great world. Sometimes when the thoughts of separation appear I start laughing out loud. What a funny story - that it could be possible to be not connected with everything. Susanne.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend your workshop. The experience of oneness was outstanding. Living from zero distance is more and more available to me. Mabel.
I was having dinner recently with a friend when I became aware that "nothing" was looking. It was like a wide open window or blank screen without boundaries seeing Mary across the table talking, eating. A blank screen for Mary. This openness was in the foreground while voice and other sensations were in the background. Wow! A sense of awe registered. I can remember thinking, this is completely different when there is awareness of emptiness looking. Although, I know, it is never not looking, the appearance of "being aware" of this totally open view makes me say wow... This is too kewl! Samantha.
I sometimes lie in bed with my eyes closed and ask myself on present evidence only - what parts of my 'body' exist? I've discovered I'm often relatively legless as well as headless! Eimear.
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