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Lester Levenson's teachings

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  • Lester Levenson's teachings

    Hi,
    I have asked something similar a few weeks ago in another category but I think this question is better asked in a new thread.
    Thank you in advance.

    I have recently read a few books on Lester Levenson and his teachings.
    In one of the books, Lester himself talks about happiness, realization etc. and included questions and answers with his audience.
    I was very surprised to know it was very different from the Sedona method (method wise - probably ultimately the goal is the same).

    I'm familiar with Non-duality teachings (mostly from India), and I was really shocked to know what he talks in the book is almost identical as Sri Ramana Maharshi's teachings. Lester says there are two ways to get to realization, and one is to get rid of the negative (subconscious mind) and the other is put in the positive, desiring only to reach realization(true happiness). He says the latter is stronger. And he says the best way to do so is doing meditation. He also says the best mediation method is to hold the thought "Who am I" or "What am I" and then if some other thoughts emerge then ask yourself "to whom are these thoughts?"

    If you read Sri Ramana Maharshi's books (or books on his teachins), it is obviously clear that what Lester talks about is almost the same as what he (Sri Ramana Maharshi) teaches. Both say that keep asking the question of "Who am I" and "to whom are these thoughts?" is the ticket to realization. When I read Lester's book, I felt like it was deja vu but I realized it was Rmana Maharashi's books that I'm having the deja vu from.

    It may not be that surprising because I read somewhere that Lester said the closest of what he teaches is Non dual teachings and if I remember correctly I think he even mentioned Sri Ramana Maharashi's name. But now, why did Lester focus on releasing in TSM when he was teaching that mediation with the thought "what/who am I" is the best way to realization and it's faster than getting rid of negative thoughts/feelings? Also, in spite of his emphasis on mediation(or "enlightenment"), it does not seem it was mediation he reached to realization from his biography...why did he teach non-duality mediation techniques rather than his own methods? According to his biography, he went over a lot of his life events and replaced every negativity with love, and when he couldn't do it he let go of wanting to change them - it seems close to TSM but not totally the same, and it is not really the same mediation with the thought of "who/what am I."

    If you have any thoughts on this or actually know anything about it ("Lester was saying..." etc.) it would be really appreciated.

    Thank you!

  • #2
    Hi Terrym

    I see that nobody replied yet, and I guess it's because there aren't any "exact" answers to your questions. Only Lester himself could give them, or those who continue his teachings.

    Here are my thoughts, and I try to be as short as possible:

    I am not familiar with all the material by and about Lester. But if I recall correctly, it wasn't easy for him to describe or explain his experiences and the knowledge he gained, to put it all into words that his audience would understand. In Eastern teachings he would find descriptions closest to his own experience.

    Just imagine the first thing he would tell his New Yorker audience was to sit down, meditate and ask themselves the questions you mention above - a lot of people would probably have walked out. Or if he told people to just love - to someone who didn't really know what that means - without telling them how they could do that. He was talking to people of very different levels of consciousness, and very different lifestyles or views on life. And he really wanted to help people to experience what he had experienced, and offered different ways to get there. And also, whatever he said, he said it in different contexts, and over 42 years, i.e. the way of expressing himself may have changed over those years.

    In a nutshell: His teachings contain something for everybody on every level of consciousness and of every lifestyle. They are very practical for us Westerners, it's a "how to" get there, step by step. How fast you want to go up "The Stairway to Heaven" is up to you (by practicing, by attending advanced courses and retreats, and of course depending on where you are). And many people are just content with having a tool to feel better and happier, to be able to manager their life better, not necessarily wanting to reach the ultimate state. And Lester's teachings offer all that.

    Also, those who continue his teachings (Hale Dwoskin with The Sedona Method, and Larry Crane with The Release Technique) do it with their own personal touch. "Same same but different". And that's really great, because that way Lester's teachings reach more people. Hale may explain something and you don't get it at all, and someone else uses a slightly different approach, and you do understand it, and suddenly what Hale says makes total sense. Just like the coaches may have different ways to work with people, or to explain something, and you get it from one or the other, it "clicks" (like the "wanting" in your other post). And all of it is based on their own experience, on what worked best for them.

    To some point it is helpful to understand some concepts on an intellectual level, it can encourage you to continue this path, but what finally really matters is your own direct experience.

    I've always been very analytical and used to get quite upset when I didn't understand something, or if I noticed some kind of contradictions. I was looking for 1 straight line to ... (whatever). Well, there isn't. As Hale says in his book, "there are many rays that lead to the one sun". And where I am now on my path, and through releasing, I'm fine with that. Also, I've always kept myself (and my mind) busy busy busy, often doing stupid stuff. The many attempts to learn/practice meditation didn't get me anywhere, but through TSM, and just be (consciously) without trying to empty or quiet the mind, has helped enormously, it just happened naturally. My next "challenge" is to remain there longer...

    Does this "answer" at least a tiny bit of your questions? Or, in other words, could you be fine with not having an answer to all your questions, if nobody else contributes to your thread?

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Canary,
      Thank you very much for your reply. I really appreciate that time you took to communicate with me on this and also on the other topics.
      It seems like we had a similar path in the past...I was always occupying my mind and body with something all the time, keeping myself busy. I always wanted to understand something and always wanted to be right. It cost me a relationship and got me stuck in life, and I realized something was wrong, then my "search" started (even though thinking back, I was always "searching" something in my life). And this searching led me to all the spiritual approaches for me to try, including mediation, "a course in miracles" etc. and they helped me to a certain degree, TSM made the change much quicker and I am much, much calmer and content now than before. So, I know how effective TSM is. So the surprise was huge when I read the book I mentioned because he taught little about releasing. (By the way, It is "keys to the ultimate freedom" and if you Google it then you can find a full PDF version - I'm not sure how the copyright stuff is working here but it is on the "stillnessspeaks.com" so I am guessing it is "legit")

      It seems like the audience understood what Lester was trying to convey, but you may be right, he might have changed his approach. Maybe he realized it is more practical to release than mediate on one thing for the Westerners (even though he thought the former was the faster way)...I don't know. I thought it was interesting to know this change - and wondered if anyone knew what Lester was talking about it.

      Thank you again for your time and wisdom Canary. Your words on having different approaches/coaches or different styles of teaching made a lot of sense to me.

      - - - Updated - - -

      Hi Canary,
      Thank you very much for your reply. I really appreciate that time you took to communicate with me on this and also on the other topics.
      It seems like we had a similar path in the past...I was always occupying my mind and body with something all the time, keeping myself busy. I always wanted to understand something and always wanted to be right. It cost me a relationship and got me stuck in life, and I realized something was wrong, then my "search" started (even though thinking back, I was always "searching" something in my life). And this searching led me to all the spiritual approaches for me to try, including mediation, "a course in miracles" etc. and they helped me to a certain degree, TSM made the change much quicker and I am much, much calmer and content now than before. So, I know how effective TSM is. So the surprise was huge when I read the book I mentioned because he taught little about releasing. (By the way, It is "keys to the ultimate freedom" and if you Google it then you can find a full PDF version - I'm not sure how the copyright stuff is working here but it is on the "stillnessspeaks.com" so I am guessing it is "legit")

      It seems like the audience understood what Lester was trying to convey, but you may be right, he might have changed his approach. Maybe he realized it is more practical to release than mediate on one thing for the Westerners (even though he thought the former was the faster way)...I don't know. I thought it was interesting to know this change - and wondered if anyone knew what Lester was talking about it.

      Thank you again for your time and wisdom Canary. Your words on having different approaches/coaches or different styles of teaching made a lot of sense to me.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi terrym!

        Lester is a luminary who understands that there is no separation between Isness/Beingness and the world. He teaches folks that experiencing that which is beyond the illusion of the world is not separate from mastering the world. He often asks folks who are feeling bliss if they have accomplished their worldly goals and if they say they haven't he asks "Why not?" And the opposite is also true. He asks those who have accomplished their worldly goals if they are experiencing that which they truly are, limitless love and light, and if they aren't then he asks "Why not?" This is why there are different ways to release. Releasing in all its forms is a process of self inquiry. The different types of questions offer different portals to experience the truth of what we are. And all of the releasing questions lead us to experience out infinitude.

        Warmly,
        Delilah
        Last edited by DelilahCertifiedSMCoach; 01-25-2017, 08:15 PM.
        www.theaccordcenter.net

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Terrym

          Delilah explains Lester's teachings beautifully, in a nutshell.

          Now that you mention the book you were referring to, I understand your question a little better :-)
          I have the book, but haven't read it in depth yet. It was "too advanced" for me at the time and also brought up a load of resistance to a variety of subjects. I'll take it up again soon :-)

          To me it seems that Lester himself answers your questions - at least one of them - at the very beginning of the book:

          Quote:
          ''Who am I?" is the final question that everyone answers, so why not begin with the final question? If you can, all good, all wonderful. But there are very few of us who are capable of using this method of just holding onto "Who am I?" and rejecting all other thoughts that come in. We have gotten ourselves so involved with thoughts that we cannot let go of them and therefore we need other methods, other aids.
          Unquote

          I've heard audios where Lester is talking to his audience - the same or similar way as in the book - and at the end he mentions his releasing method (for all those who can't do it the "fast way"). When Hale (according to his book) met Lester in 1976, Lester said that in his seminar they were going to "sit around a table and release". So it's not really a change, releasing was apparently always a subject, even when he wasn't asking releasing questions but talking about the ultimate freedom that he had experienced. And the ultimate freedom or truth is also a subject Hale talks about on his free support calls (and probably more so in the advanced TSM material, which I don't have yet), where he also recommends meditation, cites Eastern masters, uses the questions Lester used in the beginning, etc.

          What I take for granted is that Lester KNEW what he was talking about, i.e. all he was talking about was something he himself had experienced, one way or another, even if he may have "used" the words of someone else (like Maharshi).

          btw, your mentioning "always wanting to be right" made me laugh, that is soo familiar... and I'm not so sure if I released that to completion... :-)

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you Delilah and Canary.
            I now understand it better and thank you so much.

            I might have mentioned it before somewhere, but I always a bit hesitate before asking a question, thinking it may be "wanting to know the answer," but every time someone or some people answer the question beautifully and I have deeper understanding.
            I really really appreciate it

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi terrym!

              LOL...Well, even if we ask if you can let go of wanting to know the answer we always still answer the question.

              - - - Updated - - -

              Hi terrym!

              LOL...Well, even if we ask if you can let go of wanting to know the answer we always still answer the question.
              www.theaccordcenter.net

              Comment

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