The time has not been wasted. I have continued exploring deep into different traditions, teachings, teachers, styles, and formulations of the path. I’ve written enough for a book or two, starting from scratch 4 times(!), while collecting a group of awesome individuals – practitioners and teachers – who are closely following my work.
I’m almost ready to share something with you all. Almost.
I have a thesis I am incredibly proud of. I believe it represents a fundamental shift in how we view the path; a perspective that respects what has come before while presenting what could only have come into being now, in the modern age. My thesis leverages what humans have learned through meticulous observations of the world, formalized in more precise and nuanced ways than were ever allowable before the cultivation of math, the modern emphasis and insistence on empiricism, and the discovery of information theory, of thermodynamics – of some fundamental principles of this reality completely unknown, or, at least, undefinable and unconveyable, at the time of the historical buddha.
Sorry for the run-on sentence. I tend to want to pack giant ideas into tiny spaces; a lot of my effort in writing has been on breaking these down into smaller, more digestible bits while preserving the flow, the ever-present sense of interest, and even intrigue, for my reader.
A major delaying factor in my writing, for which I am grateful, is a choice I have made a long while ago – urged and inspired by my teacher Joe Hudson – to only write from a place of joy. “There are enough books in the world written by people who have slogged through the process, Dor”. Indeed. I used to be one of those, “needing to get the job done”, slaving long hours into the night while my body cries in the corner. Thankfully, it has only become easier to do so, as my own practice, and confidence, grows, as I receive positive feedback from people I consider to be at the highest echelon of reasoning (and.. being) on this path, and as joy pervades my own life through and through – especially as I do what is in alignment for me, what is so clearly my mission – bringing this dharma into the world.
Here’s a slice of an intro I’ve been toying with. Enjoy, and see you again soon!
To Awakening and Beyond
Awakening. Fundamental peace. Joy independent of external conditions.
I wish there was a button we could press; get a taste of experiencing this way. Knowing what the endgame looks like would make this journey much easier! Instead, here is a series of visuals and words I think are the next best thing for making the ride smooth and nice.
Figuring this out took me much longer than it should have, than I know it could have.
I want this to be shorter for you.
I see the delays stemming from:
1) Meanings lost in translation from ancient languages, the original words themselves aimed at people with very different assumptions about life and mind.
2) Seemingly contradictory instructions between and within traditions.
3) Not knowing when I’m supposed to do which practice, with esoteric practices sneaking in.
4) Not knowing what the goal of each practice is and how to know I’ve succeeded.
5) The defeatist attitude prevailing most modern, western buddhism about rarified shifts in baseline mind-states.
6) Not having a clear reference manual, having to use rare and precious moments with teachers to harvest wisdom.
I’ve spent long hours and days speaking directly to teachers and leaders of various lineages, reading books from across traditions. I’ve put in months of silent retreat. I’ve had the privilege of being taught and tutored personally by some of the most realized, and wise, beings in the western hemisphere, and still do.
Perhaps most importantly for this endeavor, I have been fortunate to have received a type of interdisciplinary education that has allowed me to continually inspect what I have learned through multiple lenses, quickly creating my own language – composed of what I believe are more fundamental principles describing and prescribing this path. I have refined these principles over thousands of hours of formal practice and research while battletesting my ideas with the best of them.
Privileged and lucky as I am, it still took too long.
And so, I am writing this book to:
1) Provide you with a language you know, utilizing precise, modern concepts you can understand directly – and without compromising on the hardcore nuances of the original formulations.
2) Instruct you when and exactly how to do each practice, how to know you’ve got it down, and when to move on.
3) Discuss what each tradition means by “awakening” while presenting the fundamental principles underlying them all, nullifying the apparent contradictions.
4) Show you how natural this type of mental development is, progressing along the same lines as other complex systems you know from your life; “awakening” becomes obvious, the path elucidated.
5) Give you everything you need to do this from the comfort of your home and get you going as fast as possible.
If we do this right,
Your motivation for walking down this path will skyrocket
Fueled by an understanding that does not yet exist in the west
With a set of the best practices from across traditions and modalities
That you can apply at all times, in all situations
You will understand what awakening is such that all sources pointing at it will enlighten you.
This book is appropriate for anyone with an interest in mental cultivation, from a complete beginner to someone who has practiced meditation for decades. It will help you identify where you are on the path, what the next step forward is, which pitfalls to avoid, and how to know it’s time to move on to the next step.
It works best if you do it with a community of dedicated practitioners, whether online or in meatspace. You’re welcome to join the The Heart Illuminated community here and find friends on the path.
When writing, my slant is very “Karma Buddha”. That is to say, I like it when systems are broken down to their most minute, granular, high-resolution bits – before being re-composed into more efficient, friction-free and robust wholes. And while I also offer some poetic descriptions, emphasize the nigh-ineffable qualities of the heart, and generally enjoy waving my hands around to convey meaning, that is how my brain fundamentally works.
I try my best to simplify things, flesh out the more complex stuff step by step, and skip the unnecessarily obtuse, but this may still not be your cup of tea.
And that’s OK. Some people are better served by other approaches. If you’ve given this a fair shot and it did not serve you, I encourage you to put it down and keep looking until you find the thing that clicks just right.