I have been working as a musician for 30 years, doing all the gigs and orchestra-to-solo playing that one does, but about 10 years ago became more aware of huge insecurities (which I also felt more in my social life too) and suffered enormously during and after performances. I'd learnt to deal with the pre-concert nerves and also the way to 'behave' on stage (or socially) which always gave people the impression I'm extremely self confident. So there I was feeling dreadful and hearing that I was wonderful and no idea which one I was? Could I be both? How to bring the 2 together?? In the end the tension was too much to bear and I retreated from the stage, teaching more and more (which I LOVE).
But I was lucky and found your website and Douglas. H. For more than a year I've been 'practicing' the seeing. My favourites are the bottom line (while practicing the cello) and the one 'in motion/not in motion' while jogging, sitting in the tram, walking anywhere and of course the 'single eye' which is always there whatever. I feel like there are parallels with cello practice, because it really IS the practice that counts. One just does it and what happens 'on stage' is actually not something we DO anymore, it is the goal we work towards, but approaching that goal we LET GO OF IT!
Well, I can only write that last sentence because having said no to every engagement for 3 years I suddenly got asked for some chamber music and said yes. And I built practicing seeing into it all. What an experience!! Now words fail me. I'll be going out on stages again though, practicing hard and 'seeing' what happens. My social life has changed too, not in an exterior way at all. I suppose for me it comes down to the 'placing' of things. I wrote to you ages ago with a question about pain and what to do with it. Of course there are still the moments when it feels so huge that I really think I'm just this blob in agony, but they come less often and the pain is less central. It has its place, but it's not my whole world. Sometimes I've found it fun to 'see' when I'm feeling really good, also seeing that in that moment the capacity is endless for what is seen and heard and felt, and that in the end it's kind of irrelevant whether what's felt is nice or not nice . . just simply irrelevant!!!
The other huge change in my life is that I spent years searching and reading books on the subject of becoming a better, happier person. Hundreds of those books! And the search felt terribly urgent. It was always present and always in my mind, like I HAD to get somewhere else as fast as possible because where I was (all internal) was unbearable. This has stopped! I feel like the seeing has given me THE most enormous gift. The direct access to . . .I can't describe it . . . But all the words in all those books didn't do it. Some I 'understand' differently now, but that could be diluted down to a couple of sentences probably. Anyway the most amazing thing for me is that I have phases of forgetting to look . . . . and that simply doesn't matter. It occurs to me then again sometime and then I look. The whole stress is gone! Thank you! !
Many thanks for all the fantastic knowledge and the wealth of spiritual inspiration I am getting from your site and Douglas Harding's books - it is really life changing for me. Peter.
I have just received Reflection #6 and I can't wait for the next one to arrive. Needless to say I am no longer the person who received Reflection #1. My old head is busy dissolving and I see no need to invest in a new one. A few weeks ago I felt like the old Israelite's who had been wandering in the wilderness for forty years - that is how long my spiritual search had endured - and there seemed no prospect of ever crossing into the Promised Land. It seemed so easy for everyone else yet I just could not see what it was that was blocking me. In the midst of this depressing despondency I kept recalling that book
title: "On Having No Head" (I could not recall the authors name) which I had seen in South Africa in the early seventies even though I don't recall ever having read the book. I thought it was formal Zen but decided to follow the intuition anyhow. All I can say is that the person who Google'd the title is not the one writing this letter. One dip into the Headless site and I knew this was the breakthrough I was searching for. I was almost trembling with excitement and anticipation - and a fear that it might be another dead-end. So far it has all seemed very natural and not at all supernatural. It is still early days but so much that baffled me now seems simple and obvious and spiritually quite delicious. My level of well-being and spiritual confidence has risen considerably and the quiet desperation that haunted me most of my life seems to be slowly slipping away into nothingness. It seems you have helped me find the Silence that thunders... Bless you and thank you. Steven.
Thank you so much Richard for this interview with Judy which I found particularly helpful. I reckon all of us are at a different stage in our path and so some interviews "talk" to us more than others... Kind regards, Caroline
I just had a cool experience this morning. This may be one of the experiments I haven't done yet, but, in any case it was fun to discover it: Closing my eyes my awareness was dark spacious emptiness, (though there were the light shapes and colors that always occur when my eyes are closed.) Turning my head far to the right, the back far to the left, I noticed that my awareness stays still, and I can feel the sensations in my neck with my head turning, but my awareness stays steady. It doesn't move. To my mind it was a dramatic experience of the difference between the physical sensations of what other people call my head and my awareness. Even right now, I am sitting on a couch with a high back, and with closed eyes, I can bounce my head against the leather, turning it to get different sensations, but remaining in the still unmoving center of awareness. Kat.
I discovered yesterday, when noticing my face in the mirror, that I can be empty for my own face, too.
This is more profound than it might seem as I believe what is true for me is true for a lot of people, that it's easy to see things to love in others but difficult to see that in yourself.
After reading something of Douglas Hardings in which he said the head in the mirror he was holding at arm's length could not be his as the size is wrong, it's too small for his shoulders, and it's looking the wrong way to be on his shoulders, and the person in the mirror is in a seperate room to the one he is in, though they look alike, I tried this idea out and found it disconcerting, to look at the face I'm used to seeing there and feel disconnected.
But when it came to me to look at that face in the mirror as if I were looking down that paper tube that had a different face at the end each time, I saw with the fresh eyes of an exploring child, a face like others but different, unique, and then I felt connected.
So now I am 'Face to No Face' with my own face, and that feels good. Kind regards, Hilda
I had a lengthy browse through your website last night, including a quick look at all the experiments, a couple of essays, the photos, all of your recent series of interviews (Anne Seward, Colin Oliver, Bill Garside, Hieme Wise, etc.), and I loved everything I saw. I think you have a great mix of experiments, pictures and diagrams, quotes from tradition, Douglas's quotes, your commentaries, and ideas of numerous other Seeing friends! Thank you!
I like the fact that the God word is not overplayed. This is just my take on it, but I was totally non-religious, non-spiritual, not a spiritual seeker at all, when I came across Douglas' books. But I came to it at the right time: 'Head off Stress', Douglas' most secular book, was my cup of tea. It took more than three years for me to begin to appreciate the word spiritual in relation to Seeing; and indeed at least ten years for me to feel comfortable with applying the word Source to the boundless and all exclusive/inclusive Nothingness that's vividly on show now, here on my side of the computer keyboard. It took a long while for the term 'the One' to make perfect sense to me. This term still has ambiguities for me. I need to come to the meaning of it afresh on each occasion; and my 'understanding' of this term is never complete.
When I first took to Seeing, and this happened immediately I did my first experiment, the experience of seeing the Nothing - Everything here was actual factual, and not spiritual experience at all. I know this is not unique to me; and I know our reactions are determined by our backgrounds and current interests. The spiritual power of Seeing has come with the development of my understanding of the meaning of the Experience. The many quotes from tradition I came across in Douglas' writings were highly influential here; together with his verbal-pictorial ideas, and his reasonings, coupled with me doing more and more experiments, ongoingly playing around with and practicing Seeing (more or less of the time) as I and read and mulled over more and of Douglas and his 100's of friends (most of whom were dead), and they, coupled with my Seeing and my day to day life experience, gradually won me over. But not till I tested it over and over in the living of it did I came to trust the boundless and ineffable Nothing at Centre here, as the Ultimate Resource that is worth trusting. I found Douglas' books and essays highly encouraging, and great reminders, to keep up the Seeing, and highly interesting and a great joy as brilliant verbal-pictorial literature.
I do not always I want to think theologically about the Seeing experience. Other times my thinking about it is more sociological (to do with Seeing being such a great solution for confrontation), or psycho-therapeutically: I have inside experience with all the main approaches, and I know of no valid psychotherapy other than Seeing; and there are other ways of thinking about Seeing as well, to do with spontaneity, problem-solving and so forth. Essential this is a spiritual path, but my appreciation of this has taken a long time to arrive; hence my statement: I like the fact that the God word is not overplayed (on the website). I love what I've seen of your website right now. Robert.
Today I was out and about with my 3 year old daughter. I thought I"d get her pointing to see what happened. Upon pointing to her face I asked her, "What's there?" and she replied, matter-of-factly, "Nothing". Graeme.
Several hours after the Skype meeting I received a call from a local person saying there were two acupuncturists coming to our town to give free mini sessions. This was mainly for people who were affected by the flood. [North-east USA.] I was the first to show up, and after settling down with the needles in my ear I found myself telling the acupuncturist about Douglas Harding. I showed her the pointing exercise, using my finger. I talked about being capacity, and no-face to face etc. This took all of 3 or 4 minutes. She fully understood me, and had to stop a moment to realize what this means. Being busy with more people coming she wrote out Douglas Harding and Headless. I'm sure she will follow up and do more of the exercises. Funny how life gives these opportunities..... I had no intention of speaking about this--yet the words came, and it felt right! Burma.
A friend was sorting out his attic and came across a poem that an old acquaintance of his had given him more than 20 years ago:
I Trust You With My Face
We looked out at the world
So full of colour and shapes,
Sensations and sounds,
A symphony of emotions,
And then we looked back
To where we looked from
And all was quiet
All was clear
And then I looked into your face
And realised it must be mine,
The one I had looked for
All this time,
And I caressed it with my eyes
And held it in my mind
As a precious gift
Describing my identity.
And as you looked at me
My face was yours
From that clear and open place
And in that silent space
You were me
And I was you
With all the universe.
The room has a sense of quietness and stillness when headless seeing is engaged. Sometime I feel like I'm interacting with the room as if it's a picture on the wall at an art museum. As I see it I know that the world always arises like this. I'm hoping I can, or my awareness can, see clear always. The space behind me is now in front of me, however it contains that which I see. And I'm currently enjoying what I see. (As what I see is enjoying it). George.
To quote Jim Clatfelter: "Seeing is not believing!" 17 of us gathered in Coventry today (Aug 20) with Richard Lang. Richard joked that the skype group who meet up from around the world "have nothing in common... or they have no-thing in common." Outwardly how different we all are yet inwardly we ALL have no-thing in common! Richard gently led the group today in a very open sensitive way. Leaving room for each person's Seeing to unfold in their own unique way. One immeasurable size does fit All in Seeing or Headlessness and allows for endless explanations of the unexplainable! I particularly liked the insight that being the open non-judgemental space for other faces is a very courteous way of being. May we all notice we have no-thing in common! Steve.
I had an MRI scan today (nothing serious). You have to lie still in a fairly tight tube and even with earmuffs on, the noise is incredible. Plenty of potential for claustrophobic distress during the twenty minutes or so it takes to get the scan -- they give you a panic button to press if it all gets too much. Being headless and essentially unconfined made it such a doddle I actually dozed off! The radiologist said she's never seen that before... ;o) Sam.
This was meant to be a simple thank you for sending me months of potent reflections. Instead, I find myself searching for the right words to expand my comments as I think you deserve some feedback.
This approach of accessing reality seemed right from the start. The conclusions appear to concur with most revealed wisdom as evidenced by the many quotes and extracts you have collated. Even so, I accepted it somewhat timidly as I have previously explored various avenues with great enthusiasm at the start, only to find my impulse waning when expectations were not forthcoming or another interesting avenue presented. In this respect, modern technology has enabled a means of regular reminders. The encouraging drip of stimulating thoughts and their anticipation, fed my interest until habit and familiarity had cut a new groove.
By comparison with formal meditation, which requires time and space to be wrested from the days flow in a structured manner, the act of seeing can be ongoing in scope because it automatically includes the full display of the outer world. I have found it appealing that I don't need to become quiet and shut out the world but can dip into that space whenever or wherever I am. Remembering to "see" causes a stepback so that the focus is totally in the now moment from where ( I have read ) the seat of reality abides. It allows an overview from a calm centre with obvious benefits.
Other avenues have generally led me to expect and to work for a result and to be somewhat dissilusioned when nothing tangible turned up to mark my anticipated "progress". Although I have not yet "seen" in the manner described by some commentators this does not seem to matter to me. I appear to have relinquished seeking because I accept that this point here is where it's at. The space here and the attendant potential is that indescribable suchness. I realise that I am "seeing" all the time even if I am mostly absorbed in the fascinating display projected on the outer side. At each moment I am infallibly in the ground of being and it only takes the pointing of a finger to jog the mind to remember. This feels right and it satisfies. I probably need the paper bag over the head to tip the scales and get that aha moment but, as explained I am not concerned.
The forum was very useful. Reading others experiences and suggestions was encouraging. Also the interviews with your long time friends are valuable as they describe how seeing has influenced their lives.
I find that my mind now constantly turns to seeing, sometimes in the most unlikely moment and quite often when I am driving looking at the road merging in to me.
It has been supporting to be attuned to others of like mind. Somehow it helps to take it out of the esoteric intellectual arena in my head and ground it. It also helps me to believe I am not too odd!
Thank you for your work. Brian.
Last night I was sitting at the Zen Center. The first two rounds were more of an intentional meditation, using Silva Method techniques. My mom is quite frail and may enter an assisted living apartment next month. So I was working on that issue for quite a while at my laboratory level.
For the third round, I was ready for good old shikantaza (you know, "just sitting") for most of the 35 minutes. I entered shikantaza from a position of headlessness. There I was, eyes slightly open, observing my body, but of course not my head. All this without any thought or analysis, just straight observation. After a moment, I experienced, without "actively experiencing," boundless capacity. That is because I had the openness in me for the Source to flow through and benefit others. It is impossible to describe with words, but Ajahn Chah spoke of "still water that flows, and flowing water that is still." It was like that, I guess. The trick is not to get all caught up in it, or it will go away. There is where discipline is critical.
People relate to people. So if I can make a connection with a person, for even a moment, and if I can remain headless for that interaction, then the Source will reach that person. Some people feel it at once and say something; others just smile; still others appear completely unaffected. Regardless of the outcome, this is my life's purpose, and I am committed to being a "sieve" for the benefit of humanity.
Someone said to me recently, "We are mostly a bunch of empty space," meaning the space between the cells, molecules, atoms, particles and energy that give us form. By focusing on the space rather than the mass, my own life has become much more meaningful. Being headless is key. And there is a great bonus that I had not realized before: being a headless sieve helps me to let go of attachment and grasping, which is greatly liberating! Of course, I am only human and am grateful to have a lifetime to work on that issue <smile>. With gratitude, Steph.
A friend of mine from California, and I (from Michigan) have just completed a very intense two year program of instruction and guided meditations in the Buddhist Vipassana and Tibetan Buddhist Pure Awareness (Dzogchen) trainings. Prior to which trainings, most of the participants had been practicing these disciplines for many years. While my teacher is quite grounded and accomplished, and other students seem to "get it" far easier than is true for me, I have struggled to achieve a workable practice. I have a grasp of all the elements involved, but have not been able to put it all together so that everything falls into place.
At our last workshop, my friend John was watching a video of your experiments, and explained them to me as equivalents of the Tibetan Buddhist "Pointing-Out" instruction, an esoteric, teaching, given in secret, whereby the Guru gives precise, personal directions to the student to discover his own natural mind (Your Observer). Intellectually, I grasped the implication (the video was only the Part 1b), and immediately attempted to integrate it in my practice, but it had no appreciable effect. Only when I returned home and viewed your entire 4-part presentation, that all the pieces fell into place and made sense for me. All the converging points illustrating the presence of an observer who witnesses through, but is distinct from the ego and which, eternal and selfless, resides in a dimension other than space-time, synthesized in the most simple way, a problem I had made unnecessarily complex for more years than I care to remember.
So I wish to express my gratitude and appreciation for your excellent efforts to bring this important information to the interested public, and for having done it in such a pleasant manner to facilitate effortless understanding. I have already referenced your website to other interested friends of mine. And I send my beneficent intentions for your continuing success in changing the world for the good.
For me, it is not one flash, but rather a growing awareness, and gladness and happiness. So thankful to you and your co-workers. Jos.
The interview of Colin and his wife is wonderful. This experience of more than 50 years touch me. They have no will of sharing, only to live it. It's very simple, very nice. From the deep of my heart, thank you. Philippe.
Comments on video Interview with Colin & Carole Oliver:
Beautiful interview Richard. Thank you, Colin and Carole, for sharing with us. Janet.
Beyond beyond; an epiphany; I so appreciate Richard, Colin and Carole sharing the ineffable experience here and now. For the Love As It Is I am so thankful! Colin describing his fingers disappearing into the space - priceless... so tangibly intangible. Thank you Douglas Harding for referencing and sourcing, as Carole puts it, "the authentic way To Be".
I am soo touched by this - thanks sooo much for sharing this - I can feel the LOVE that IS there... meeting in the boundless space - where name and form are - and are not - at the same time... All blessings to you. Matthias.
Yes!!! Me too, so touched by this! Huge gratitude to Richard, Colin and Carole, for sharing this real real-ness of their lies like this. So tangible the tender love here. Cattis.
I can now look at my hands again as I did 76 years ago, as a baby. Wonderful experience. Things seem to loosen up. I mean, the world - it feels more like playing, lighter, airier... Thank you very, very much. Jos.
I've just read your Advaita interview with Paula and found it so good I had to tell you. Something to do with being grounded and confident in both public and private perspectives, I think. Thanks so much for sharing it. Colin.
This is a very sincere thank you for all the support the Reflections have given me in the last few months. After more than 70 pearls of wisdom, to single one out and say it was the best would be to somehow diminish the others. They have all been like old friends gently reminding me where I need to be seeing from, constantly living from, at every moment. Bless you. Graham.
I've had an experience with an aching knee recently and noticed one afternoon while out walking with my dogs that the ache in my knee was there and I was here. Just prior to that, I didn't think I could go for a walk at all. But all of a sudden there seemed to be a distinct recognition that I wasn't in pain, that I was OK. My knee hurt, but I didn't - I could feel the ache, yes, but it didn't seem to have much effect on my outlook - I really enjoyed the company of my dogs and the walk we were on in the woods. I still thought I probably shouldn't start running or anything like that. However, putting my attention on the observation of the ache and noticing that I, the observer, didn't ache, was very comforting.... The other night, my wife was standing behind me with her hands on my shoulders as I sat in a chair at my desk. I leaned back, tilted my headlessness all the way back and looked up at her face as I was nearly upside down. Instantly I noticed that I wasn't upside down at all, I was perfectly upright and perfectly on center. We both laughed as we commented on each others funny looking upside-down faces - yet facelessly we were right side up! Charlie.
My experience is that the seeing creates a container for what troubles me. It can boil up in that bigger container all it wants without overflowing into the world. That may seem a slight advantage, but it is in fact a large one. I used to create more suffering. Now I do not. Mack.
Your experiments are magnificent, Richard, and the sooner they spread all over the world the better for the world. They are actually clearer on video than at a live workshop, which I have attended with Douglas, though Douglas does have that charming sense of humor which is unique to him. I think of Jesus saying, "I am in you and you are in me". Does he not mean "I am in your space and you are in my space"? He did not have the language to express what he knew in the Jewish religious tradition. Also, when Jesus says, "I am the resurrection and I am the life, he who believes in me will never die" - translates as "I am aware alive capacity, he or she who entrusts themselves to this reality, will never die." What do you think? Myles.
I've just watched your interview with Camilla. It had a lovely light touch which made the substance of the interview all the more impressive. I heard Camilla talk at a Summer Gathering a while ago and met her there. What was new to me was her talk about seeing through the masks of her captors to what they intrinsically are, and this has a deep resonance for me. A decade ago, before I started work at the residential home where the young men lived out of a past which was often unbelievably abusive and damaging, I knew this was exactly how I should view them: being myself there and not there, thrown back on my essential being, and seeing through them - especially when they were frustrated and angry and violent - to what we share at heart and which is intrinsically and wonderfully clear and light. How moving to hear how Camilla had access to such an experience and insight in those truly terrible circumstances. How she refused to be a victim. I'm so very pleased that her story is being told and heard. Colin.
Hello Richard, thank you so much for sharing Camilla's story. It made me think a lot and although I haven't been practising Seeing nearly as long as she has, and even though I've never found myself in such a terrible situation as the one she talks about, I can certainly relate to many of the things she says. But I guess what struck me the most was not so much what she said as her expression in saying those things. In fact, even when she speaks about her being raped while in captivity, which is one of the most terrible things that can happen to someone, her eyes and her whole expression are totally open... And it's not just that she might be in total denial, because in fact she does speak about the rage she has felt towards that man; it's more than that... And I guess in my own life, in my own "quite normal" circumstances, I've had that feeling: which is the complete certainty that although one part of you might have been badly hurt either by someone, by a loss or by some form of "accident", although at times you might feel terribly angry or scared or depressed.... there's another part of you (the real part, so to speak), which by the way is as big as the sky, which has never ever been hurt at all... And I guess that's the only place where true and lasting strength and resilience can come from. At least that's what I've experienced... I guess this struck me because I've been in therapy for quite some time and although I've learned many things about myself as well as many ways to keep certain recurrent feelings, fears and thoughts "on a leash", most of the time, it still felt as though it was a battle, it still felt like work, kind of like swimming upstream... And after I learned about seeing... it's so different... Now I feel like my being is as wide as the ocean, and maybe on the surface of that ocean, there are a few stains left from an oilspill. Sometimes they might go away and sometimes the tide might bring a huge stain, but if I compare them to the ocean, they're tiny, and most importantly, they're not the ocean... It's not as if I don't feel bad sometimes anymore, but in my core, I am not overwhelmed, I just brace myself and wait until the tide changes... So I'd like to thank you and Camilla for sharing this uniquely wonderful take on a very sad event. Ana.
These experiments are so elegant and accessible. I have a long-held memory from childhood of looking in the mirror and thinking about the vastness of the universe while the 'me' that exists in both places became one. I had no language for this experience that could adequately explain what was happening to 'me'. But I never forgot and now having discovered your website and Harding's work, I am truly blessed and in awe of being able to recall this experience and of the implications this has for all humanity. Thank you for putting these teachings together in a beautiful way. Elaine.
Thank you for sharing this amazing video. It is so encouraging to hear of people's experiences of the power of the open space that we are, and in which we experience our deep connection at the core. Like Camilla said: "He was in the same space I was" and "There is so much opportunity in that space". I loved it! Thank you for the "spacious good news" that you bring to our world. With much love and gratitude. Mabel.
What a great interview, Richard. Such a brave woman through such a horrendous ordeal... Then she uses that experience to help others with her talks and with The Forgiveness Project. Did you really teach her the 'seeing' methods when she was 12? Where were you when I was 12??? Thanks for posting. David.
This experiment and the experience is changing my belief system very fast towards good results. Also I am finding it easier to relate to the description of God given in Hindu and Jain scriptures. I have checked Upanishads like Atma Unpanishad, Kaivalya Upanishad etc., all point to same. In Hindu scriptures God is described at various place using various names and mythological pictures. The hidden meanings of description of God is becoming clear. What I am seeing is how it all relate to this experience!! I am quite amazed!!! How could I ever express my gratitude to you for making it so SIMPLE for me. To me it's the best thing of my life. If there is anything I could do for spreading it, please let me know. Because I see it as essence of all religions and scriptures. People spend their lives to have self realization. Here in India it is considered with great respect. And you have made it so simple. Scriptures sing about it. So many thanks. Nidhi.
Dear Richard, I live in Japan. The age is 57-year-old man. It is necessary to listen to my story for a little while. And, there are some questions. I obtained the same intuition as Douglas when I was young. It was not found though I looked for the person who had the same experience. At that time, there was no internet yet. I looked for the person of the same experience after the internet had spread. And, I finally discovered Douglas. It was a surprise. The experiment of Douglas clarified my intuition. I think Douglas to be one of the modern most excellent mystic. And, you also. I want to share this simple, easy, strong experiment with friends. Then, it is a question. May I do the workshop of this reformative experiment in my friends' small circle? Is qualification and your permission necessary to hold a workshop? I do not want to do the business in this workshop. I want people to recall the clear consciousness that people are missing. And, I want only to share the joy with the rediscovery. I have a respect in Richard's great work. And, your activity is respected. Carlos. [I replied: yes, please share as widely as possible! No permission required!]
A student/friend found your site and suggested I peruse it. I was loath to waste my time on any more ‘spiritual bullshit’ about how to awaken. But to my incredible surprise I found the truth I know to be true awakening. Nothing more need be said. Douglas Harding has it nailed. Like a laser to the brain, this IS IT. I so appreciate the ‘scientific-ness’ of this explanation. As a Texan, raised on Christianity, I knew nothing of Eastern cultures, traditions or spiritual teachings when I spontaneously awoke two years ago. I didn’t even know what had happened to me. I simply KNEW that there ‘I’ was, alone in the void of spaciousness, KNOWING that I was all there is and at the same time KNOWING that I was in some strange way a part of all that was. It has taken me now 30 months into a daily study of everything I can find that can help me understand what occurred. I was not comfortable with the woo-woo explanations so often written by gurus and spiritually enlightened folk. There was no doubt that many I read shared my experience, but I had trouble believing the mystical aspects of how to arrive there. I never did any spiritual practice. I was just living life and one day I suddenly saw a new perspective of what I had formerly known as reality. My reality shifted to an alone place (‘source’) that separated me from the Jim I had always thought was ‘me’. To find this explanation of what awakening really is – a simple, easy to prove to anyone, endless spaciousness Douglas calls ‘Capacity’ is a revelation as large as awakening itself. I hope this simplicity of the message of this website reaches the entire planet. Such truth has to. Jim
I came to your website through a search engine. I am an Indian living in city of Pune (India). I conducted experiments and found amazing truth. And it is breathtaking for me. I am in constant thoughts of this only. The feeling of being such a supreme being, I mean I can't express the feelings I am having. The years of inferiority complex is just fading away. So I express my deepest gratitude to you. I conducted these experiments out of fun... I am very very much interested in making it a way of my life. Shubham.
You have helped me more than anyone else after nearly 20 years of searching. I now realise that I don't need to search any more (relief!), just deepen the awareness. Andy.
Douglas Harding's message has changed my inner life, and I have dedicated what's left of it (I'm 55) to continuing on this path. Even in my dire straits, I can look at my unfavorable circumstances and my undesirable reactions to them from SPACE, and all is manageable. I've been through fundamental Christianity, agnostic debauchery, 'name it and claim it' reality creation, Buddhism, then Zen Buddhism - never find that place, that SPACE, that locus of peace and power. I have found it with this in-looking. I don't obsess on it, though it is now my life path: I just look IN every time I remember to. And with each passing day I remember more and more. T.
Ever since I started Seeing, remarkable things have happened. Much of my old self-beliefs have dropped away, and I feel happier and lighter than ever before. The most significant things to have fallen away were the intense self-hatred I carried around since teenage years, and acute self-consciousness when in social situations. More recently, the belief that I am an unlikeable and un-approachable individual has been seen as totally false. I still struggle with remaining beliefs, and still suffer, but I have faith in the Seeing. I don't See all the time, but when I do it is a relief to find that I am beyond the suffering and the thoughts that cause it. Thank you Richard, for this wonderful site. I haven't read any of Douglas Harding's books, but just reading the experiments and articles on this site have brought forth the desire to see things for myself, and consequently, have helped me See. Yours truly, Nike.
Thanks for the great site. Your site is a welcome step for humanity to move towards it ultimate goal - realization of true Human Nature. Mangesh.
The Seeing was a revelation. My mind is fighting to dismiss this. But there is no place to grab, hold. This is non sticky! What a difference when with other people and taking my head off! I put it under my arm and enjoy the dance. This space is alive. Fear dissolves in this. Stephane.
One of my prize possessions is my grandmother's old cuckoo clock which hangs in my dining room. It doesn't keep very good time, and I'm constantly having to adjust the weights and pull them up or else the clock stops. Every time I do though it reminds me that time is just a concept and that the only thing that is real is Now. It reminds me that the One Here is not in time, and that eternal life is available now. Douglas has written that it is the nature of the Timeless to manifest in time. My cuckoo clock is a good example of that. When I was a child I used to smile at the cuckoo bird when it came out on the hour because I thought it was funny. I still smile today, but for a different reason! Bill.
I found your site and have been reading the Reflections for quite a few weeks now. For some reason these Reflections link me directly to the experience of looking at myself in the mirror of my dressing table in my bedroom back in England when I was 7 or 8 years old. "Who and what am I?" was the very intense feeling I remember. It was a physical experience and I became quite frightened but exhilarated. the excitement made me feel a bit nauseous - like I was standing on the edge. That feeling has come and gone throughout my life at odd times. When I read the Reflections I go straight back into that place within in front of the mirror but now all the fear has left me. I fall into "The Country of Complete Peace". I am amazed at how these words totally encapsulate that place. It is an enormous relief to know others know that space too. Thank you so much for all your work and effort. Glynis.
It occurs to me that headlessness is a just for fun kind of a thing. I feel particularly headless while I'm outside taking a stroll. I've been an exercise enthusiast for thirty five years now. For a long time I participated in that joyless march to fitness that you can see on some people. My body just got tired of being pushed, tired of the stiffness. I used to walk in straight lines. Now I meander around and off the beaten path. There's so much to see, the sky, in winter bare trees against the sky, hawks and geese - the cold wind blowing. The sensation that is so much fun and so interesting is that I am just transparent. There's the wind against my face, my no face. The openness of it is just so much more fun and interesting than being a person with a body to be pushed to some ideal of fitness, and someplace that it needs to be. Mack.
My wife and I were sorting through an upset that arose the day before when she asked if it could be possible for me to see her input as a 'loving expression' of someone who loved me dearly, instead of as a conflict or confrontation. Fortunately because we were doing our best to sort it through, I was as much connected with who I really am as I was with being Bob, so I heard the query from a greatly expanded perspective. I saw, quite instantly, that providing a loving expression was not only what my wife had been doing but that it was the ONLY thing the universe ever did. I noticed that standing still as Capacity allowed for that expression, in whatever form it arrived as, to move to me and through me, much like the highway does when I appear to be driving. I further saw that I don't 'have' experiences, there is nothing of ownership available, but instead that experience is delivered and that if any choice is even part of the picture it is simply the choice of willingness of open participation or noticing. For this one, this newer view is a gift, of which I am blessed with many, for attending to what's Here. I very much appreciate your ongoing efforts to share yourself, your insights, and Douglas' work. Your Reflections and reading Douglas' books have been such support for my interest in building ordinary persistence into seeing clearly. Thank you so much. Bob.
Comment on Reflection #24: This is such an essential reflection. To realise that the seeing isn't experienced or felt as anything in particular, but is the ever-present openness which is indivisible from any appearance or disappearance. To me, that's complete relief and peace beyond understanding... to rest as this that can't be lost, the home I never left. Thank you! Cattis.
Since the workshop I have been experiencing this seeing on a more or less constant level. I have the urge to go out, not stick my nose in a book like I usually do for entertainment, but go out, look at all the people, interact, from this new perspective. I want to see how it is now, this dissolving in favour of the other person, and I'm fascinated by what reactions come up in me. I am moved to walk around town and watch from my stillness as the world moves around me, as objects and people arise in my consciousness. And, in a juicy parallel development, reactions in my character that were once unconscious are now presented at me to stare at in the most objective way! I am seeing every single reaction I have in daily life and thinking gosh, that's interesting.
And the really funny thing is - I know this already. I have seen it before, I just didn't realise that this was all there was to get! I remember a few years ago a terrible boss I had doing his infamous tyrannical shouting at me, that day's allocated scapegoat, and whereas I would have been cowering inside usually, all at once I became like Lao Tzu's "empty boat", a sieve through which his rage passed cleanly, no fear attaching to me at all. As his anger went straight through me the core of me was still. In that instant I saw the fear in him that caused him to act that way, I saw his inner trembling with astonishment, and not only that, he saw that I saw it, turned tail and went to hide in his office. That moment of insight changed our working relationship from that moment, as I was no longer afraid of him. The seeing then was the same as the seeing now. Empty boat, headless-ness, it is the same thing!
Thank you so much, Richard, for working to promote this incredibly important insight, which comes not a moment too soon for our planetary development. Best wishes, Thursa.
These simple experiments give foolproof evidence and experience, leaving nothing to 'fanciful' ideas, thus giving rigour to the understanding. My immediate experience after witnessing that I am 'nothing and everything' is to feel a palpable 'aliveness' in my body and the world that I see. Meike.
Up in the middle of the night, for no particular reason... but certainly there arise those times when only the most audacious outrage will do... like pointing right at it! To look for oneself, the absolute breathtaking boundless centrality of it - well, is it really empty? Clearly, just now, pointing 'both ways', a world of light, color, sound, and sensation explodes in one half of an endless edgeless depthless, breadthless space without end, and in the other half? (Although there is nothing that divides these 'halves' whatsoever)... Oddly enough it appears to be not exactly empty, nor is it filled merely with that riotous explosion of light, colour sound, sensation that is manifest in 'the view out', but it seems to be filled with a light of its own somehow, an endless expanse, deeper than deep, clearer than clear, and filled with a light that has never been learned, taught, described, dimmed, brightened, extinguished, changed or conditioned in any way. There is a sense, not knowing, but deeper than knowing, that it is that light, not separate, that is both cause and effect with respect to all the light, color, sound, sensation in the Universe... Cold raindrops do no land 'on the back of my neck'. I have no neck! Only cold raindrops... It is not simply to look, but to look and to See, and then more a falling into What Is. Chris.
I just read Reflection 24, You Cannot Lose It, and I can certainly relate to Rebecca's experience. About a week ago, for no apparent reason, I found myself floating on air for several days. My mind had pretty well shut down and I was able to stay in the present moment without the usual effort. Everything seemed to be in slow motion, even when I was driving. The experience was also accompanied by a feeling of immense well being. In the last few days my feet have touched the ground again, but there is still a lingering feeling of "everything's just fine". And yes, the Space is still there. Graham.
I'm practising and have been linked with Tibetan masters for more than 30 years and I'm fascinated by the very practical and deep approach of the Headless Way created by Douglas... a very precious gift on my Way! Jean-Louis.
Looking in the mirror is the strangest of face to space experiences. I look and wonder who the hell is that. It isn't my experience at all, the experience of space. Mack.
I applaud your work and enthusiasm in sharing your insights. It seems strange to me that this work isn't seen as classic along with Plato, whose work seems to be the footnote to all study in academic Philosophy. Can I ever see the mental blocks that arise when I share the headless way with the Professors in Philosophy! who rather than believing what they see, see what they believe. All this despite most of them agreeing that what they introject will be projected to their students. Nevertheless, I have to to appreciate their loyal opposition in that they seem to protest too loud, as in extreme defence of their beliefs. In a nutshell, I am seeing myself being cured of 'what I believe' phobia in that what I see through the headless way has no beliefs. Keep up the good work. Frank.
I gave a little talk that was very well received recently. It is just so simple and easy. Mack.
This experimental approach is right what I need right at this time! Simple, direct, and I can do it anywhere. Plus you don't have to wade through all the word riddles or "advaita shuffle" of the nonduality-type teachings... though those were helpful as well and I most likely needed all those words to confound me in exactly the way they did. Jack.
I want to thank you for this opportunity. It opens my consciousness and gives me a great lightness. It's so simple... Thank you, Dora.
One of the things I like to do with the mirror is to take the round cardboard cylinder the toilet paper is wound around when it is time to change it, and to put it up to the Space here, and then look in the mirror. Pressing against my single eye Here, I see my appearance there, with a black hole where one eye should be. I can see the emptiness beyond my appearance, which is nothing. On this side of the mirror though is an emptiness full of what is before me, an alive emptiness full of life. When my appearance dies, there is nothing left. Living from Here though, I learn to live from a place where death can't enter. Bill.
Thanks for the emails. [Reflections.] It is astonishing, isn't it, to find out what is so obvious. The irony is that what is right in front of our face is the best kept secret of all!! How did we get lost from our basic essence? I'm glad to be back to zero once in a while and your notes are great reminders. Florence.
Well, that was a great day yesterday, Richard, [Saturday workshop, Oct 23]. Thank you so much again. As well as sharing the silence and the recognition of oneSelf, some interesting points were raised, the question of language at the end, importantly. This is one of Douglas' and your gifts, I think, in having found a way to use language to express something that verges on being inexpressible... Many non-duality pointers/teachers say you can't DO anything. But here it is. You can do much to remind your self of your Self. This too is the great value of the workshops. Though the joining together is also very powerful. Lynn-Marie.
I watched your new movie and shared it with my friends. It helps me stay in touch with headless seeing. I like this video very much, it's really great, you can't miss it - it's a very strong and direct pointing to this free space which includes my laptop and this video and everything. I feel very grateful that you share it with us in so generous a way. Lana.
I just wanted to send you a short thank you for continuing to send the Reflections. Things are very busy here and quite difficult now my father has had to move in with us... At times of maximum difficulty, when little in Dad's behaviour makes sense, for example, I find the perspective that the headless way gives is invaluable. Entering that space, that spaciousness, gives me a level of compassion that I would certainly otherwise fail to find, despite my deep desire to help Dad. For that, I thank you.
I gently pointed a family member to your website a few months ago. She has recently let me know that she has also found it of great help, in a new situation for her. C.
Hi Richard. Read your article on paying attention to the place we're looking out of... the headlessness of our beings. I love this experiment... Grace.
Hello Richard! I just want to thank you for these beautiful days in Moscow. Love, Natalia.
Hi Richard, We had such a beautiful and important time together. Thank you for being open for us, your Russian friends. Rada
It is amazingly simple and effortless! From the center I see when I point inward, clarity in thought isn't far down stream. Open capacity to experience = true freedom. Paul.
Hi Richard! Fantastic job you are doing. The photos from Slovakia are really encouraging. Seeing is really spreading thanks to your work. Love and my best wishes, Olof.
Great talk, loved the Zen story. Douglas.
Many thanks for the revealing and fascinating 'inputs'. I am already circulating them around here in Slovakia. Zora.
Excellent Richard. Just got around to the new video. I particularly liked your "...everything comes with you". I'll pass it around to the group. Love, Alan.
Grateful thanks for the regular reminders in the form of the Reflections to live from the Real Self. I'm enjoying being headless immensely, it is so..o..o..o freeing, s..0..0..0 light. Graham.
Such great beauty - thank you Richard - thank you Douglas. Sperry. "Within our impure mind the pure mind is to be found." Dajian Huineng (638-713 AD)
I just added a film on the website - Stepping into the Void. Some feedback:
Wow! I think that's the strongest thing you've done on video so far. Truly marvellous and moving. Sam.
Thank you, Richard, for a very calm and truthful move into the spacelessness of NOW, the invisible placelessness of being right here, right now. This Awareness is already present, awaiting discovery. It isn't a becoming... It's already BEING. And the world is recognized as included. Trudy.
Beautiful story with the woman thank you! Your practices are really great...kinda intense! Thanks so much for sharing these with everyone! Yogisrock.
Thanks for the reminder to step into the void over and over again! Blessings, Aloka.
I so look forward to the materials you point out to us. What a joy to read and remember who we are at zero point! Florence.
Thank you for mentioning that you don't always get a peak experience, but sometimes you just see your no-thingness. That's helpful to know... Sometimes though, I get a small headrush when I see how I am space and not a thing! It's having such subtle effects, like feeling more open to strangers I pass by in the street. Thursa.
Thank you for your great website, The Headless Way. What you are presenting is what I have been seeking for many years. You are providing a valuable service, and I for one am extremely grateful. I discovered your website and enrolled in your e-course, "Seeing Who We Really Are," less than a week ago. I started doing the experiments and I was especially struck by the one called "Spinning the World." It has been on my mind ever since I first performed it. I am intrigued with the idea that we do not travel in the world around us but, instead, the world revolves around us! We are essentially only observers! Warm regards, Gerry.
What I like about headlessness is that it has no dialect, just space. For me it makes the essential difference between this and the non-duality paradigm. Whilst I think people like Scott Kiloby, Jeff Foster, Unmani et al are, possibly genuine embodiments of a new way of being, so many people seem to ape the language and feel that that in itself is an expression of emancipation. As soon as that happens it just becomes another ideology, as restrictive, divisive and oppressive as any other. The headless vision has no such restriction: it no-faces life with astonishing courage, open-mindedness and humility. It doesn't shy away from anything. I always come back to this: Douglas Harding was a true genius, showing us the way, and Richard is doing the same. Whilst others pretend to be 'democratic', saying they aren't gurus, in effect they are exactly that: Douglas and Richard are never anything other than human, and never allow headlessness to be anything other than immediately accessible. Rupert.
Thank you so much Richard. Not only were these [film] clips incredibly thought provoking but the way the whole thing was presented was so clear and delivered with such understanding and compassion. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Jill.
Dear Richard, First of all I apologize for my English. I’m Italian and it is not so easy to find the right words to express what I would like to say, really it is not easy to find words…
Thank You very much for the immense gift I’m receiving from You from Your writings and especially from Your experiments. It was by chance that I find the link to your website in Facebook.
It is a lot of time I'm interested in “this thing”. I have read a lot and also met masters and I can say that I already had glimpses (very important to me anyway) of “who I am” before doing Your experiments. But Your approach to this is really fantastic!!!!!! Before it was not so clear, I mean it was clear but not so present (come and go). Now it is!!!!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you…. I can’t stop to say thank you. The pointing experiment is so clear that it would be enough to know even if all the other information and experiments really help me to clarify the entire picture…
I’m so thirsty and I am reading your information and instructions every moment I can be free during the day and the most important thing is that at anytime I can be present to this more and more, not just glimpses, but it is only a matter to pay attention and immediately I got it, always present, always available.
It is so easy!!!! Why the ancient masters haven’t talked so clearly before? May be it was not the right time to talk and people were not prepared to received such a beautiful news to accept such a discovery??!! Anyway now there are the right “tools”!
Everything is so clear that I have no questions for the moment. Anyway I will write You again for sure not only for questions but also to share all this I'm discovering now. Lots of love. Shanti.
Dear Richard, I'm very happy, touched and thankful for your video experiments, because I'm always looking for the simplest way to enjoy and to show the only truth. Now I wished, that you could give us your wonderful DVD in German language too, how we can see that on "you tube"? My best wishes for your "both" identitys and thank you very much... Vivian
Thank you for this. It is very interesting. I have to admit some of the exercises made me feel a momentary panic, nausea, fear - of what am I frightened? Letting go of my false idea of self I assume. I wasn't prepared for such a reaction. When I am faced with it, actually faced with the reality of no-thing, I panic! I wonder if others have this reaction? But I love it, I just love what you are sharing, and I will keep going with it. Thank you so much. T.
It is available with German subtitles - yours, Richard.
Hi Richard. This is really an amazing breakthrough. I have followed a lot of good speakers who all use the language of 'pointing to the truth', but this pointing to yourself explains it all without words and in a very direct and profound way. I look forward to doing all the experiments and will get back to you with my findings...
... I have practised lots of different things from Celtic Spirituality to Zen, Tai Chi and back again. More recently checking out the ideas on Advaita and I listen to Mooji who is very good. Eckhart Tolle is of course top of my list after the Dalai Lama. What struck me was they are all talking about pointing to THAT... but no one thought of pointing to where it is... one's own self. I guess pointing is not a polite thing to do in the first place... but it makes a lot of sense now. Thank you, Richard, for spreading it around. Mary
Hi Richard, just to let you know that your new videos are great - really. Many thanks for this! Frank.
For many years I have been interested in Eastern Spirituality and I remember coming across the Headless website a few years ago in my spiritual journey. My first response to headlessness was of joy but when that died down I forgot about it and returned to my Eastern Spirituality in the form of a Chan practice. Recently I entered into a state of depression and my Chan practice was not helping. One of my friends said that when things were tough he would look at them from a 10 degree angle. By doing this he found most of his problems disappeared. When he said this, I remembered Douglas' way which was to look at things from a 180 degrees, i.e. back at the self that was looking out. I returned to the website and reread my Headless books - On Having No Head, and To Be And Not To Be - and rediscovered that initial joy. This time, however, I have continued to follow this way and I have found living from this central peace has helped me immensely. My confidence has come back and continues to grow and grow and, as a result, I am enjoying life again. I am very grateful to Douglas. Nick.
I knew you'd be pleased that I found great joy in my drawing class today because of my awareness of there being nothing here but capacity for what I am drawing or looking at. What freedom, Richard, to toss out the whole self-criticism, and dialogue about how good my drawing is compared to anyone else or how accurate or anything. What a relief! I could see the vitality of what I was looking at without the burden of self-consciousness. Thanks, to you and dear Douglas. Florence.
I am reading 'The Light That I Am' by Amberchele. After more than 30 years of spiritual reading, meditation etc. I found it to be the definitive book that answers practically all my questions. Now it is just up to me to SEE! What an incredible book! Marco.
Thank you, Richard, for writing 'Seeing Who You Really Are'. I previously thought maybe I am a little slow at getting it. Perhaps my mind has been conditioned by Zen which says it takes years to discover one's True Nature. But now I realize that I just have to do the exercises and be patient. Keith.
The more that I do the pointing experiment and experience the clear and border-less space, the more this awareness appears spontaneously. Eva.
This is amazing, how much 'head' way you are making with this! It's exciting to see all of this magic happening! Thank you for keeping me in the loop! Curt.
Richard, I did a workshop with you many years ago in Melbourne, Australia. I'm now in Byron Bay, Australia. Just a short and quick note - of 'thanks'. Thanks for keeping up this network. The workshops. The 'headless circles'.... Thank you for the reminder of spaciousness, timelessness, and love. Hanson.
Dear Richard, Thank you so very much how freely you share. Such beauty could only come from the Source. I have seen over and over how we are experiencing the same, but using different words to try and explain (via creating a symbol) for others to look at and hopefully understand. Christ spoke in parables. May your journeys all be productive as you fish for other headless beings who don't yet realize they are headless. Sending Love, Edna.
I have recently been exposed to material about non-duality and I find no conflict with Douglas' and your teaching. I am reading Joan Tollifson's books and have recently read an excellent Advaita summary written by 'Sailor' Bob Adamson, What's Wrong with Right Now unless You Think About It? Next in line is Leo Hartong's Awakening to the Dream, the Gift of Lucid Living, and his From self to Self. The overriding message seems no different than yours and yours is a bit quicker to understand. The 'As Is' world is real and ONE, the world of convention is a mind or mental world of hopeless inquiry. The more we can live in the 'As Is', the more aware we are of what Douglas says, we really really are! Let the thoughts go by and they will take care of themselves! Henry.
Today I was worried by the different problems I'm facing, but then it came back to me, who is facing it? I'm no face, just space. Then I just smiled, and did what I had to do. Joyful greetings, love Jess.
Many thanks for posting that long excerpt from Douglas' talk in Australia. Wonderful to see and hear it. Rob.
Dear Richard, I Am So Very Grateful You are Translating Your films into Many Languages! The clip from Douglas's 1991 Melbourne Lecture is Truly a Precious Gem of his and our Loving/Joyful Free Spirited Being. Thank YOU so much for gifting Us ALL with such a Beautiful Present Richard. With Love Always, Sperry.
The Closed Eye Experiment is the one that helped my 19 year old son have an awakening experience! He was about to enter the Army and this 'knowledge' of who he really is has helped him deal with being in the military! Thank YOU Richard!
Richard, an opportunity to say a heartfelt thank you for all the work you are doing, introducing us to Douglas' way. Since attending your workshop last October, Seeing has become such an important part of my life - the recognition was immediate, and deeply transformative. Learning to live the implication is an amazing and exciting challenge.
I'm sad not to have been able to see Douglas while he was alive. Such an inspiration, a true hero that I hope will be recognized more widely for the profound change that he has brought to the lives of people and to the world. I wish you all the support and strength in keeping his legacy alive. Warmest regards, Gadi.
Hello, Richard! I'm really enjoying your series [Reflections]. I've gotten to where I actually stop what I'm doing (the unit stops what it's doing) and read your messages as they arrive. It does make a difference. I've been using them in conjunction with Adyashanti's advice to just pay attention to my ordinary, every day consciousness. My Real View is changing now. Thank you so much. Fred.
We watched the whole series a week ago and absolutely loved it. The whole segment about my thoughts "being" in the same place I am looking at has truly (and it's not the first time) shaken some notions for me. Thank you. Stacco.
Regarding the experiments video with Spanish subtitles:
¡Extraordinary! Thank you , Richard, for such a wonderful gift. Manuel.
Congratulations and thank you very very much! Many Spanish people will be able to understand more deeply about this inner and transforming headless outlook performed by Douglas Harding. Thank you again, Albert.
Dear Richard, Thanks for the link to the subtitled video. I've sent it to many of my Spanish speaking friends here in Mexico and in El Salvador. It's great to have the resource. In friendship, John.
Regarding this year's Summer Gathering in Salisbury:
Dear Richard, Just a few words to thank you for your contribution in making the Summer Gathering a truly wonderful event. Although a little apprehensive before arrival it was a relief to find the group to be the most warm, friendliest people you would ever wish to meet and in a fabulous setting. I have to confess that on the first evening I felt like the solitary little kid who can't swim, while his mates are all having fun splashing about; getting the pointing experiment was not my problem, it was the feeling that everybody appeared to see more. The next day, however, through the workshops and chatting to people in the group, I really began to get an insight into what Seeing was all about.
Since arriving home I have watched the DVDs of Douglas' workshops in Sweden and Melbourne and one of the points he made was the need to practise Seeing. In 'Face to No-Face' he says 'The second step is to go on practising it till it's natural to be natural.' Being aware of Seeing for all the waking day is quite a task but I have been quite successful in the last few days. It is really just having the determination to succeed, and keeping the momentum going. Ray.
"...illuminating and rare days". Olof.
"The air of the Gathering was very sweet. How the heart opens..." Colin.
I have read four books by Douglas Harding and while I did most of his experiments and can see (literally) his point, that seeing has not caused any particular improvement in my life. I wonder what is lacking in the method proposed. I suspect that there must be a reason why most mystics have devoted time and effort (meditation etc.) to reach their exalted level of being. Marco.
I work part-time as a mediator. Yesterday, I mediated a divorce case for a couple that has been married for over 40 years. Lots of tension and friction in the room as they were both present with their attorneys. I made a conscious effort though to be capacity for them and to not get caught up in all of the feelings. I was space for the conflict, yet remained free and empty myself. After our joint meeting, I separated the couple and continued to meet with them individually, working towards a mutual agreement on division of their property. Eventually, we reached an agreement, and I am convinced that by attending to the space I find myself to be, I was able to convey this openness to the couple I was working with. What a tremendous way of being, Face to No-Face, provides us not only in conflict, but in all situations. Thanks Richard for sharing this. Bill.
Just wanted to write you and tell you what a rewarding experience it is to be continuing on the headless path. Lately, I've really been internalizing the experience of not moving while moving, which I think is amazing. It has made my work so much more efficient because I'm using so much less energy than before. And, you know, when I taught classical piano years ago, I used to tell my students that they could make the piano move by turning this way and that (they probably thought I was crazy!), which makes a profound difference in playing (as opposed to attacking a still, unmoving object, a piece of furniture - the piano actually dances with you as you play), but I never transferred my experience at the piano to my everyday life. Douglas Harding's teachings fill in all the gaps, don't they?!
I love the quotes associated with stillness that I see in the various books published that deal with headlessness. But there is one I'd like to add that I've never seen associated with this wonderful realization - that we are always, at centre, home, we never go anywhere, we never move, always at peace, utterly still, and alone. And yet, there is no loneliness here because we all share this empty space, room fulfilling. The quote is from Matthew: "If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain 'move from here to there' and it will move." I don't think there is any question, for me at least, that Jesus was referring to this wonderful power! John.
I have been a student, albeit slowly, of "Having no head" since I met Douglas in 1986. Thank you for this beautiful gateway into the truth of what is. With deep gratitude and blessings, Chuck.
I am still finding the reading of the Reflections interesting, enjoyable and profitable. I am also coming to the end of Head Off Stress, which I find very radical, enjoyable and optimistic. Warm regards, Maurice.
I am finding this concept very powerful. In fact, in all the years of seeking, the pointing exercise created an instant shift. I could see it all. Christine.
I recently came across your website through a link on Stillness Speaks. I want to thank you for your beautiful and clear way of expressing truth. I have been reading a lot on nonduality, over the past 12 months and I found your experiments, videos and writings to simplify all. I am sharing your site with many... I am deeply grateful for all that you are sharing. Thank you. Kyla.
I honestly don't think I have got anything so quickly and profoundly. Just point at your face to see there is only the all there. (Message sent to Kyla)
I've just seen the experiment videos on the site. I have to say they are very good. I think the ones dealing with thoughts and their location (out there!) are really useful, as it seems to be thoughts that cause all the trouble. Anyway, well done. Michael.
Hi Richard. I particularly enjoyed this Reflection (#58). The Peace which surpasses all understanding! FREEDOM in it's purest sense. There is a state beyond Joy, beyond contentment, beyond Mind - it's called Spiritual Essence, or what I like to call Freedom. Not freedom (with a small f) but real Freedom. Not just the absence of everyday concerns or worries, but total and abiding FREEDOM within the Self. Peace, my brother, George.
Thanks so much for these Reflections. I really look forward to receiving them. The Closed Eyes Experiment is one of my favorites. I use it as a morning meditation, which I consider as practice time. By practicing this sense of emptiness/capacity and 'I Am-ness', I find I can better live it during the day. It is as an athlete takes batting practice (in baseball terms), or does any other drill. It is not to be good in the practice itself, but to carry the practice into the game. Through Seeing, life becomes not a burden but a great big game we can all play and enjoy. Bill.
Thank you for sending these wonderful videos of your presentation of the experiments. Thanks for taking the time to make them. I appreciate them. Keep them coming. Joe.
Reflection #102 was a beautiful reminder of the peace that one can experience at center no matter what seems to be happening in the illusory outer world. Than you once again for your continued love and support in helping me to remember and to see my no face. Blessings, Michael.
Hi Richard, Just a line to thank you for the continuing transmission of the Reflections, and to let you know that I am still interested and enjoying them. I am also reading Head Off Stress and Religions of the World with much satisfaction. Regards, Maurice.
I always appreciate the sense of peace that accompanies these Reflections. In this one I particularly appreciated the reminder of the necessity for acceptance of the lack of perfection in the human condition and that lack of perfection being no barrier to that ever present and ever available sense of Peace. Warm wishes, Carol.
Always here: "I attend to what is nearer to me than my breathing..." How perfect! How simple and transformative. Thank you. Sending love. Edna.
I finally watched the film today. It is very well done. A.C.
I just finished watching your 4-part video presentation. It has had a calming and centering effect on me that leaves me feeling expansive, empowered and peaceful and not necessarily at the effect of the world anymore. I now see that I encompass the world in a way I never have before. The message is made more powerful because one experiences what you are talking about within one's own awareness... right then and there... real time. The world flows within my awareness. Is this technique taught to school children? I can see it helping them be less fearful of what can seem to be an overwhelming, predatory, hostile, and confusing world. Once done, the resultant feeling of peace can be easily recalled because one is always at the centre of one's world. Thank you for this. Fred.
This is the most wonderful website I've come across. I refer to it daily. As a child, I remember, they called me by a name until I responded, and of course now they won't stop. I didn't like the name. But, over time we all become accustomed to our 'given' names, and begin to think that personality actually exists. After all, everyone is playing the same game. Eventually we cede to the lie.
The experiments give one the opportunity to experience the truth. I've known the truth for some time, but it isn't the same as experiencing the truth. I believe experienced is essential. It's one thing to know the stove is hot to the touch, it's another thing to get a blister from the learning experience. Mere knowledge has no impact. Fondest regards! M.
I just watched your Youtube experiment video clips. Great work. They are fantastic. The whole planet will be converted to Seeing in no time... MC
I've had the immense pleasure of knowing Douglas. I met him about four times, and I twice spent a whole week with him, in a workshop in France. What he says is very deep, but only now I realize you have to 'rehearse' the experiments regularly, in order to deepen the insight... V.F.
This morning while driving down a country road on a lovely spring day, I clearly thought, "It's Sunday. Today is the day a sane-making message awaits me from Richard and Douglas. Hooray!" Thanks so much for your caring work. To the best of my abilities, I listen to and very much appreciate it. Katherine M.
Thank you so much for what the "headless way" has meant in my life: a well of unimaginable depth of pure joy, which I know I've barely begun to discover. Sincerely, AP.
I discovered Zen and the Rediscovery of the Obvious, way back in the 80’s. It was a stunning insight. I got “headlessness.” The thing is I forgot about it somewhere in the late 80’s. Then over the next 20 or so years I would think on it but for some reason I wouldn’t take up the practice to develop inward seeing. Lately I’ve been focusing on inward seeing/no-headedness (often accompanied by chuckles and laughter). There is something that occurred the other day that was a new thought for me that I wanted to share with you. In Zen Buddhism it is said that Bodhidharma sat staring at a wall for 30 years. And Zen monks practice by sitting and staring at a wall. It occurred to me this was a “headlessness” teaching. Here’s my reasoning: Bodhidharma attained “enlightenment”. It is said that Bodhidharma sat staring at a wall for 30 years. Zen monks take this literally and follow his teaching by physically sitting and facing a wall (eyes half closed, looking downward). But maybe the Bodhidharma story is misunderstood. Maybe the “wall” Bodhidharma was looking at was flat, deep, clear, unmarked, unchanging, ageless space that is seen through no-headedness. Garry.
I do not know how to thank you for pointing me to the great treasure which is always with me but overlooked. The exercises just clicked and did the magic. I now truly understand the true teachings of Ramana, Nisargadatta, Atmananda and other Advaita masters. It's wonderful. If I look back and observe, I have always been that. I am the background, I am the subject-object and the world. In me is everything and the appearance of everything is dependent on my existence. Now it makes sense of transcending even this state (which we do anyways in dreamless state) to abide in our original nature, which is being, existence and bliss. I can relate and understand with pristine clarity what these teachings are pointing to.
My happiness and love needs no boundaries. I am love. You have to be in the state to experience. I do not even call this an experience, as you need an experiencer which in this case it is completely dissolved and left with pure space like awareness. Being in this state does not require any effort and no knowledge is necessary to validate as I include all this. My regards. AB.
Starting as a child, the questions, "I Am what? What AM I? Why Am I here? have always been in the forefront of my life. This led me to read as much (and I still read) as I can on the subject of enlightenment. Out of all the stuff I read, headlessness (Buddhism is a close second) was the easiest and best way to help me comprehend "the big questions" I carry with me. Harding's teachings cuts right through all of that Ancient rhetoric that holds us back and gets right to the point. Too cool! T.M.
Thank you so much for the Reflections course. Each email is a welcome reminder that there are it seems, many, many others living from this view. Although ultimately I am alone, on the human level, it's heartening and reassuring to be reminded that there are many knowingly living as this Love. And in this, 'we' are 'all One'. Peace and gratitude. Siobhan.
I just found this clip on Youtube in which Richard clearly disagrees with other non-dualist speakers, with regard to the existence of the 'private' self. I find this so refreshing! When I read other non-dualists speaking about the non-existence of the (little) self, I almost feel 'guilty' for not feeling 'One' the whole time (of course they do not intend to make me feel guilty, but that's the effect). I find this approach far more realistic: yes, we are 'One', but we are 'Many' also. Nothing has gone wrong! Thanks, Richard!!!
March 22, 2010
I think it's so interesting all the different ways "It" is experienced. When I first made conscious contact I used the word "nothingness and emptiness" to describe "It". Now "it" is so alive, full and vibratory. All inclusive. Life. It tickles from within. And no matter what words I use to describe "It", "It" doesn't change! Gratefully It's always here.
I am so appreciative of the simplicity of the Headless Way. I was listening to a well-known spiritual teacher's radio program on Thursday and the verbal pointers used made "It" sounds so mysterious and difficult to "get". No wonder so many spiritual seekers don't find. I like the finger pointers best!
March 21, 2010
The book 'The Science of the 1st Person' is an excellent read, to go deeper into the truth. Douglas inspires us to look at many different aspects of life and see the truth. And as you know... the truth will set you free! Guido.
March 18, 2010
What I love about the Headless Way is that there is nothing that needs to be believed or for the mind to try to get. It shows me a snapshot of what is now without anything made up. What Grace. With Love, Barbara.
Thank you Richard, for helping to re-awaken me. I was introduced to Douglas at his home in Nacton by a neighbour of mine in 1985 and was astonished by the results of that visit. I returned to informal gatherings a number of times over the next couple of years and practised losing my head and finding that peace and stillness where it had been. When my wife and I moved on I seemed to forget. On reflection, it was like returning to sleep. I think I have mostly slept for 25 years, until I found the website. Once again I am awake! Thank you. I will look forward to these Reflections from now on. Charlie.
You have found a key to something of absolute importance, I think - I have been walking around all day feeling a bit like the Cheshire cat, my smile appearing from an invisible space. I find your approach immensely refreshing. Rupert.
Last week, by complete accident (or is anything ever a complete accident?) I found a link to the Headless Way website. It sounded whacky... but being a fairly experiential person, when I read the world 'experiments', and knowing I had some idle moments, I decided to give them a go.
Exercise 1 - the pointing exercise. I point at the walls of my boat, at the table, at my knee, at my hand. I take in the shape and form, the edges and boundaries and the space between. I really look. And then I turn my pointing finger towards myself, towards my eyes. I feel my eyes going cross-eyed, trying to turn my eyeballs backwards to look at myself. Then... WHAM... I'm looking into unbounded space. I am unbounded space. I jot down these notes as I look:
I see... like... amazing... inside me is unbounded space, the universe. Infinity... I am both the person looking and the unbounded space, the looker and the being looked at the same time. Shakti and Shiva. Clear mountain stream clarity, infinite, but not cold, the universe...
I find I can access this unbounded space at will (although it takes some conscious choice to do so, and as yet is difficult to combine with everyday life). It is no longer an either/or - it's an 'AND'. Fantastic! I am me as my body and physical being, AND I am the unbounded space. I do not have to choose, or long for the unbounded space, or regret I am in my body. I can look inwards and see myself as unbounded space, and outwards and there I am in the physical universe. I can move at will between these perspectives. I am full of joy and calm and peace... Yours, in quiet amazement, Carol.
Hi Richard, I just received your 2nd Reflection thru my email at yahoo. I would like to express my sincere gratitude for giving us the opportunity to take your e-course. I happen to see the headless way about a week ago and upon reading the experiments, without a second thought, I immediately take this course without a doubt in my heart that this center, is my true nature, Buddha nature, my original face before my parents were born. Seldom that this kind of teaching is given naked without any icing whatwoever. It's so accessible to anybody to solemnly abide on his/her real self anytime and anywhere of the day amidst the daily struggle in one's own daily life. I just keep looking at my center and thus remember who I really is, go on normally with my daily routine in ease. Best regards, J. (Philippines).
Hi Richard. Thank you for compiling the Reflection newsletter and also for the informative and attractive Headless website. Some time ago you came to give a workshop... I was at the workshop and benefited from the experiments and liked the practical down to earth (or down to nothing) approach. Although I always had the experience in the background of my life and occasionally referred to it, I didn’t persevere on a day to day basis with the experiments and so didn’t receive the full benefit of it. Recently I found some spiritually-based videos in the loft and amongst them found the Douglas Harding interview you did. I watched it again and was totally enthralled by Douglas’s enthusiasm and was inspired to start doing the experiments again, this time daily.
What I am most excited about is that other spiritual teachings I have read now make sense. Having this practical easy way of seeing our true nature has helped me to accept and understand all other ways of realising our true nature, and remarkably quickly. I have been exposed to many teachings: Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadata, Sai Baba, Krishnamurti, etc, as well as more conventional religious movements. While I have appreciated the teachings, often they were too obscure to sink in, or written concepts beyond my intellectual capacities which often left me more confused and spiritually frustrated than before. With this unique practical way of seeing as a reference point, all other teachings now make total sense to me, which has expanded my expanded my experience of living, and loving. The experiments are also helping me to overcome acute self-consciousness, which I have experienced on and off most of my life. Thanks once again, M.
Many times I am looking at your website doing experiments, reading articles etc. And waiting for your Reflections with comments which are very often telling of the same impressions, feelings and reactions I have. For all these excellent work you did and you are still doing I would like to thank you very, very much. It is wonderful to be free and to come home when ever I like to. To become capacity, space for all the world in a headless life.
P.S. I am 74 years old. Many years I practised meditation every morning... In July 2009 I decided to give away most of my books about Buddhism, Spirituality etc. to the library of our city. My daughter and my son in law were very surprised about this. But I told them, I like to become free of all. I don't believe that these books will help me to become enlightened anymore. They accepted. Surprise! Few days later my son in law gaveme a book, translated to German, edited by David Lang. (Face to No-Face). That was it. I could not stop reading. 50 years of searching for this very moment to have a look at the Nothingness, to see Nirvana. From that very moment onwards I did all your experiments on your website. I have changed my daily procedures in the morning to become more and more familiar with two way seeing, spinning the world and other wonderful experiments. G.
I went for my morning walk today. Birds were singing, I couldn't say exactly where - inside or outside. But that was wonderful! I closed my eyes for a second - there was nothing, yet everything was going on outside. I thought - it's fascinating to KNOW I am nothing and BE everything at the same time. Irina.
I was lying in bed this morning in awe of the nothingness and everythingness. Perceiving thoughts as having "edges." Seeing from that which has no boundaries. Such Peace. Barbara.
Living here on the coast in Southbourne, near Christchurch, UK, I have many amazing things to be capacity for. These include stunning sunsets over the Purbeck hills to the West and equally beautiful panoramas of the sun tinged white cliffs of the Isle of Wight to the East. All magically appearing in this crystal clear wide open space. All the real Me (which could sound selfish to the untrained ear but of course is not at all, really!) Such an amazing miracle. Samuel.
Dec 29, 2009
I want to say THANK YOU for sharing your experiments with us! For years of my spiritual search I was always attracted to simple things and still am. It is amazing how simple things work and do their great effects on changing my understanding of life and who I am.
I've been practicing dervish dancing for months in groups and always felt disappointed - too much movements, to much nausea and so on... and finally I gave up. Yesterday I tried your Movement & Stillness experiment - and that was IT! Simple changing of direction of finger point... and I got IT! Stillness always was right HERE, right NOW! It was me, who desperately tried to find it in wrong place.
Since my spiritual search started I was spending pretty much time among supportive friends, with teachers and on seminars and never realized how important was it before I moved. Now I live in beautiful, peaceful area, among nice people and I really glad I got a chance to meet new friends to share thoughts and headless atmosphere. It is very important to me! Thank you for doing your job on it. I really appreciate it. Irina.
Dec 25, 2009
Thank you, Richard, for coming to Moscow - these were great, emotional, warm and very 'headless' days. Natalia.
Dec 10, 2009
I never thanked you for the CD. It's brilliant. You have such a calm, reassuring voice. I listen to it in my car (I'm careful, you can be sure...) and it's helping to make things clearer to me. Such as riding in the car and having the feeling that the world is moving and I'm not... it's moving through me. It's such a shift in perspective. Dave, Boston.
Dec 9, 2009
I have been exploring the life and teachings of the great Tibetan master, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. During a documentary on his life there is a short video clip of a teaching he gave on compassion and in it he said that compassion is none other than the awakened mind, Buddha Mind. Quick as a flash my mind made the connection between what Rinpoche had just said and the Face-To-No-Face experiment where one experiences the awesome fact of being capacity for the person you are talking to. Being capacity for that person, and the world, is that very same compassion Rinpoche was talking about, which comes from this knowing of one's Transparent Being, this universal no-thingness that we all are. I was filled with deep gratitude for the presence of such profound teaching from Douglas and Rinpoche. Aloka, Buddhist monk.
I read "Open to the source" over and over again. It is so rich and inspiring. Pointing directly back to the Source. And I can tell that "my" search is over. Now I can See. Daniel.
Oct. 10, 2009.
I look up at the huge Buddha image and become the capacity for the awakened being the Buddha was and stands for. Buddha face there to no face here. And then I make the aspiration to always be that capacity, to be this transparent being I am, to merge and disappear into pure awareness, the Tathagata, and to strive to be that capacity through every waking moment of the day. Energy ripples flow up through the body with joy and gratitude. Thank you Douglas Harding. Aloka, Buddhist monk.
Oct 6, 2009. Terry
I enrolled in college and started May of this year. Being 52 years of age and not having been in an academic setting for many, many years I was extremely nervous about my being able to do the work. One day as I was walking up the sidewalk to class (I was literally shaking in my shoes) I looked "in" and discovered the Capacity for what was going on and found that Silence that is always there and settled into "it". My focus changed and I "became school" and let go of the "nervous person" that was walking to class. Now when I walk the sidewalk to class I remember - Silence. The classes now fly by with a smile. College is a joy to attend and my grades have been surprisingly good.
Sept 28, 2009. Michael
Thank you, Richard. My spiritual teacher has been trying to have the class perform this exercise for a while now, but in another manner. Mr. Harding's pointing back at yourself exercise is much easier to use. Thank you!
Sept 27, 2009. Michael
Thank you for this website, Richard. I finally "got it" this past spring after studying Tony Parsons and Sailor Bob Adamson. I have been with my teacher for eleven years and could not release the mental concepts of the little self. My journey would have ended quicker if I had found these wonderful teachings by you and Mr. Harding. Thank you!
September 11, 2009, Jim
I want to thank you for your continuing and high level of dedicated enthusiasm for this important work. Douglas Harding's perspectives have been hugely important in helping me arrive at a more balanced view of who I am and we are.
September 11, 2009. Brooks
The Headless Way has been a blessing in my life.
September 9, 2009, James
I've been reading Face To No-Face, and like it very much. I'd spent a long time looking for a way to realise what the mystics and perrenialists talked about, but only this year, when I read On Having No Head, did I really get it. And I mean that, not just to have a feeling, or an idea, of what these amazing people were talking about, but to find that where I really am, I am it. I'm sad that I can't meet Douglas face to no-face, but I'm grateful for all the work he did, and I'm grateful to you for keeping his message out there.
August 25, 2009, Ninette
Dear Mr. Lang, Words cannot express how grateful I am, after years and years of searching and practicing and trusting and so much more... Last night I viewed a long-forgotten DVD, one we had never even opened, that lay hidden in our collection of DVDs, it was one of a workshop of Mr. Harding's in Sweden, back in '92. I'm telling you, today I'm walking around, I have no more head, and I gained the entire world. I am so grateful, this is so beautiful, it takes my breath away. I bow deeply to the grace that was extended. And I thank you too. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
July 31, David
Dear Richard, it has taken me some time to realize how profound the work Douglas and yourself present. I notice little by little how this headlessness is the gateway to freedom. Thank you for your work and passionate expression of this most important re-discovery of naturalism.
July 22, Bob
The most recent Reflection was awesome and it got me through a couple of incidents about the mind sack I carry around sometimes. It brings me back to perspective. Thanks loads.
July 22, 2009 Tony
Richard, Thank you for the gift of your recent visit to Dublin. My sense of the experience nearly two weeks later is that you have demonstrated to me the destination of my spiritual quest and provided me with the tools to access my true self at almost any time and for that I am most grateful.
July 22, 2009 Mike
I just finished The Trial Of The Man Who Said He Was God. Wow! Douglas Harding's books deserve a wider audience! Maybe, in time, they'll get one. At the moment I am really enjoying the fact that I am willing EVERYTHING that happens. Can't go wrong once you realise that, really!
July 15, 2009 Tara
Hello Richard, I would like to say many thanks for the continued Reflections. Whilst I never feel compelled to respond most of the time I just wanted to let you know how valuable they are in my daily life to remind me and bring my awareness back to that which I feel unable or even unnecessary at the moment to describe and talk about.
July 13, 2009 Charon
Richard... THANK YOU ... the teaching is profound and usable. As groundwork for 'openness to oneself' there is no greater gift. Further to this, may you be blessed; I consider myself fortunate to receive these insights.
July 5, 2009 Birgit
It is amazing how the Seeing is stabilizing Itself. It is impossible not to "See". Life goes on but it is smoother and friendlier.
July 5, 2009 Jane
Seeing is a spiritual thing and yet it has such practical implications. It has changed my life utterly. I am an imperfect student as I can only sustain my headlessness for short periods and there are times when it is much harder than others to access. But I can always bring myself back to the awareness when I am driving and walking so IF I remember this, I have daily practice. It still makes me smile when I walk around our village and the screeching swifts burst into the nothingness or when I look down and see that the space just moves towards my feet. And I always know that I am held safely in this nothingness even if I am not at that moment accessing it.
Seeing has enabled me to deal with the death of a loved one and to be a far greater support to friends and family when they have needed it. It was not that I didn't try to do this before but that I wasn't head to no head with them. I still have to fight to keep this perspective though at times, for instance when my daughter has been ill. But I can now bring myself home.
For myself I continue to get frustrated with the third person, she is still shy and tongue-tied at times, or says or does the wrong thing etc but I can now hold her/Jane in the nothingness and forgive. It is an easier relationship.
Throughout this year the Reflections teachings have been invaluable. When I have been lacking focus they have brought me home, when I have struggled they have lifted me up and when I have needed my horizons expanding they have guided me. It is always good to be reminded to keep doing the experiments. I look forward to receiving them each week.
Like so many others I cannot begin to thank you enough for all you do to make us aware of Douglas and his practical way into everlasting wonder. We are all blessed that you have the heart and mind, skill and love to do this. Thank you, Richard.
July 5, 2009 Ingrid
Hello Richard, thank you for sharing what I have found so far to be the simplest and most direct way of experiencing Space, No-Self, Awareness, Capacity, whatever you want to call it. I have investigated many different approaches and find Douglas Harding's pointing to be the most effective and most uncomplicated. Some other approaches, if you will, end up engaging the mind, threatening the mind, observing the mind, trying to still the mind, going beyond the mind etc. etc. etc. and can end up being so full of effort and so complex, with one concept leading to another concept and even so called pointers seem to end up as yet another concept. It requires tremendous work to get beyond all the concepts. I find those approaches can be exhausting. I'm not denying that they can "bear fruit", however with simple pointing I find somehow the mind is not even engaged. There is an immediate experiencing of unlimited space and freedom that is so immediately apparent that somehow mind has no way of getting there first to distort or misinterpret what is occurring. Truly an effortless way. Thank you.
July 4, 2009 Leo
When I was 33 years old I joined the Self Realization Society (Yogananda), and after following the course for about a year, I realized that I was pure awareness and I asked the society if this was what I was after and got no satisfactory answer. So I thought I’d check the local library and almost immediately found the answer in Ouspensky’s “In search of the miraculous”. I learned a great deal following the 4th Way and at the same time was reading Paul Brunton, Shankara, etc. I didn’t want all the religious additions and found Richard Rose and Franklin Merrill Wolff and it was on the Richard Rose website that one of the articles stated that there were 3 enlightened persons in the Western world and one was Douglas Harding, the other two were the aforementioned. So this is how I came across your website. I think the exercises are special, the articles not really anything I hadn’t come across over the years. I’m now 73 and use any tool to keep Awake, and the Reflections do that! Thanks again.
July 3, 2009 Mike
Dear Richard, I have recently returned to reading Douglas' books (gone thru 3) and must say his profundity was lost on me before. As I have pursued his words in depth (as well as the experiments) I find him to be a remarkable teacher. I am almost through "Face to No-Face" and some of his thoughts have to be taken in small doses they are so pointed. As an old meditator I have heard many of these teachings but Douglas has a way of piercing to the very kernel. Thank you for pursuing the teachings of this fantastic seer.
July 1, 2009 Sheila
I tend to be a very 'concrete' thinker. I have been working on this via teachers such as Tolle, Byron Katie, etc. I have trouble even doing guided meditations because I can't SEE what they are telling me to see such as white light, etc. While doing the experiments on the web site I find I can't get past this statement, "you are capacity for the world". I can't grasp it's meaning. I also have problems with the no-thing concept. Does anyone know of a way to explain this better?
OH MY GOD! I got IT! Nevermind! I don't need anything explained. The 'closed eye' experiment was the one that did it. WOW!
26 June 09 Simone
I am following your course and I find it interesting. I did some of the experiments and I got some insight of the void. But I prefer to be prudent and let some time pass before saying that I have got true insight. It happened to me a few times in the past to get excited about a certain teaching only to switch to an other one later. But this time I have the feeling that I am getting closer. I am also reading the teaching of Ramana Maharshi and, in my opinion, the two complement each other. Thank you for your work.
26 June 09 Hilde
Thank you again for all your headless work! This Reflection (#170) on being the sole authority is 'one of my favourites'. Douglas, as you and his Seeing friends are doing as well, are pointing out to us all our childlike tendency to listen to anything, anybody outside ourselves, rather than looking and listening in ourselves. (0 cm distance). For me it is so much easier and comforting, to keep my attention only on what's 'outside'. It needs my constant being alert: who is the only authority right here and now? It is an awesome experience. Free to get (what a blessing, these days!) and always available if i dare to look in the right direction.
25 June 09 Maria Teresa
I appreciate very much the lessons I've received. I've found a real help for the search I'm carrying on. I'm thankful for having given me the opportunity to come in touch with such useful tools (so easy and yet so powerful!)
25 June 09 Samantha
When one looks back to see what is looking it becomes clear that we're the light of the world and not a finite individual. Wow!
25 June 09 Angelina
I thought I would take the time to reply to you today to say thanks for all you do. I have read Douglas's books and helped out proof reading some of his old papers a few months back. I'm still an amateur on all this though, even though I do practice the headless way on a regular basis. I do find it a shame not many people can see and understand this beautiful way of opening up and seeing. (They just look at me like I am crazy!)
25 June 09 Elena
I discovered the Headless way by “accident”. I was watching a youtube broadcast about Ramana Maharashi´s life and part of it were short segments of an interview done to Douglas about this wonderful man. I really liked him at that very instant, so cheerful, so honest!!! I decided to “google” him and I found the web site. Immediately I began reading the info in the Headless.org, and let me tell you it was life changing. I have been walking down the path of spiritual search for some time now, reading different philosophers, doing yoga, meditating, and honestly working very hard towards that connection with the divine self that gives us everything. In that pathway I had short and beautiful experiences of awareness, but I fell rapidly again in the day to day mental vortex. When I found Harding’s philosophy, everything that I had studied before was clearer and easier to grasp. Everything made sense and I was able to keep in focus my connection with whom I really am. Life is marvelous, and I really need to thank Harding and You for helping me live this daily. The reflection emails, and experiments are a perfect way to keep me on track.
24 June 09 Samantha
While sitting on the deck I am constantly reminded of Sam Blight's picture of the Headless Way. Though the view is different the open space is clearly the same clear view without obstruction. The view here is looking out at the desert from open space. When the focus returns to what is looking all is perfect, completely free, and with it the experience of instantaneous peace. (The peace is constant, just overlooked with the busy-ness of looking outward.)
24 June 09 Aloka
I recently attended an Insight Dialogue retreat in Ireland. There were several opportunities to practice the Headless Way with other retreatants. One woman from Sweden got the "pointlessness" of the face-to-no-face experiment so well that we pretty much sustained our insight dialogue from this vantage point for nearly three hours!
24 June 09 Steve
Since discovering the Headless Way some 5 years ago now, I have continued to enjoy seeing into the vastness that I am - the Self and all it's contents. This is likely the clearest proof of Advaita Vedanta teachings that there is. Years of 'enquiry' are swept away by the direct clarity of this perfect seeing of the timeless void, manifesting AS IS in the here and now. One thing about headlessness that I particularly enjoy is that this is either seen or it isn't; it's not a question of philosophical debate, the being or becoming discussion. On present evidence, I have no head. Indeed, where once there was a head, now there is only ALL.
Thank you for the great work you do in maintaining this vital teaching and keeping it alive in the world.
24 June 09 Anne
Hi Richard, It's so great to continue receiving updates from you as well as additional headless lessons. I loved the Sam Blight interview! I keep rereading all my books on the headless way and am remembering more and more often to drop back into that space of openness for everything.
24 June 09 Ronna
Hi Richard, I am continuing to remember my own headlessness and recognize the headlessness of others. While walking yesterday I found myself caught up in the stresses of life and "remembered" that I was headless and the shift to the expansiveness was dramatic and so welcomed! Forgetting leaves me in a such a fearful, lonely, tiny and very stressful space and the remembering is blissful and reassuring that "it" is always there I just need to remember to notice.
22 June 09 David
I just watched the Still Point video--it is beautifully done, and I really enjoyed it--easy to follow, professional quality, and right on target. Well done.
21 June 09 Trish
Thank you so much for this site!
17 June 09 Mary-Anne
Thank you again and again, Richard! I have just received Reflection 38 and feel such overflowing appreciation for what you do. Blessings back to you, Mary-Anne.
11 June 09 Mauricio
The endless beauty of an Ash’s bark
mirrors in silence my true face.
I bow in gratitude to the setting sun.
A pair of tired walking boots
finally call it a day by the embers.
It was indeed a strange dream:
He thought himself astray;
but known he was
and his true name was home
10 June 09 MY
Like many others, I have been deep into so-called spirituality since I was 16
years old and it has been more than 20 years since then. For the last couple of years I have had several mystical experiences (I thought I finally got there) but trying to get back to those impermanent states (and apparently not being able to do so most of the time) made me very confused and unstable. Divine and myself were kept separate. I just kept looking outwardly most of the times even after my arrival in the UK. By reading numerous books I knew the importance of looking within but just did not know how to do it (it sounds ridiculous that I have tried so many things such as Ramana's self-inquiry, straight forward zen, Byron Katie's Work, doing mantra, focusing my mind solely on God as Ramakrishna recommended, various breathing method, Dzogchen's pointing instruction, etc., and none of which worked for me).
Early last month I became desperate with my rather rough transition in my UK surroundings (different working environment and language issues in particular). At the same time I came to the conclusion that I would never be enlightened and it is arrogant to even think that I could be enlightened. After all those years of spiritual struggle, I decided to almost give up practicing all those spiritual stuff. One day while I was net surfing without any particular aim, I happened to come across to your website. Reading your Japanese site simultaneously, I did the Pointing Here Experiment without expecting anything (assuming it would not work for me like any other methods), and with my amazement, I found that, by doing the experiment, even I could do "the turning of attention through an angle of precisely 180 degrees". Now what I need to do is to keep "looking at what I'm looking at" whenever I could (am I correct, Richard?).
Thank you and Douglas Harding very much for revealing very practical methods to the public which enable us to "look in two-directions" and I must say I am the lucky one to come across to your website to happen to know these methods. I was not so sure why I happened to come to the UK but it seems like I came here to have a face to no-face encounter through your method which is very convincing to me.
My poor English would not enable me to describe to you the excitement that I feel for your methods. My past experiences indicate that reading would get you nowhere but I feel yours and Douglas' writing are the exception.
10 June 09 Lynne-Marie
I enjoy all of these Reflections and note that no matter the twists and turns that my life story takes or the emotional state I seem to be in when I open them, the message has a constancy that takes me back to that space. Consequently I really enjoy opening the emails in order to be reminded and thus at ease.
10 June 09 J.
Sometimes there is so much happening that I think i just can't take it anymore. Then I remember no-thing, and the tensions drift away. Just space for everything happening is relieving. There may be a lot happening, but the no-thing ain't one of them!
9 June 09 Mabel
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.
29 May 09 Jennifer
In the early eighties I did a workshop with Douglas Harding in Belfast, N.I. He chose me to look into the tube with him. I remember feeling somewhat embarrassed and didn't quite "get it". Now, aged 72 with many years of Yoga and Zen under my belt, at last I am now walking the Headless Way! Better late than never!
25 May 09 Joni
Thank you, dear Richard, for the beautiful Reflections that you send out. I love them all, but # 82 is now speaking to me. A ceaseless Spin-Off!! The flow of Creation, coming from the Creator and the realization that I AM That! This heart is soooo wide open. Blessings to "you" and all that "you" do to remind us.
12 May 09
I came come across the website many months ago, had saved it in my favorites, but my rational mind completely dismissed the experiments as silly. A few days ago I was again drawn to it, did the experiments and it blew my mind away. I have been meditating daily since the mid 1970s, studying Advaita Vedanta teachings for about 3 years now, and just by doing a few of the experiments, I was finally able to see the spaciousness, the clear Emptiness of the Awareness That I AM. What an incredibly simple, fast and effective method! GL.
1 May 09 Rohini
I would like to echo the words of Nelson, below, and say that discovering this headlessness which is always with me, is definitely one of the most meaningful things in my life and always pulls me back to my true self if my mind ever starts to get all ego on me!
Thank you for keeping Douglas Harding's great work alive in such a wonderful and accessible way.
29 April 09 Ian
Thank you so much for providing an extraordinarily interesting and helpful website.
29 April 09 Bachan
Dear Richard, A million thanks to you. I have received todate Reflection #44. It's beautiful. I would like to share my experience. On 28th April I drove my family to see their family friends. They told me to wait for them as they will be back shortly. I was waiting in the car while they were having a chat. As I was looking at the house, I could see the house clearly. It look as though my head area was being replaced by the house. I realize that I had no head and the view of the house, together with my body, was in my awareness. It was fantastic. It was exactly as explained in the works of Douglas Harding. Now, I have made the book, "On Having No Head" my companion. Thank you.
25 April 09 Nelson
Hello Richard, Thank you for your enquiry. Didn't know if it was appropriate or not to send a reflection in return. How is headlessness working out in my life? It is the most meaningful thing in my entire life. I have the deepest gratitude to Douglas Harding's expression of the way and to the continued work you are doing. Your reflections have been wonderful reminders and have clarified a number of things for me.
I read 'On Having No Head' the first time about ten years ago. At that time I was fanatically committed to sitting Zazen at the Zen center, not only daily, but at every sesshin possible. I was trying to find..... I have no idea what I was struggling to find, but I sure was committed to struggling. I was so committed to being a Zen Nazi (as we were affectionately labeled) that I completely poo pooed Douglas Harding's book. Didn't even attempt the experiments. About a year ago, I was leafing through books at the the bookstore and casually picked up a copy of 'The Little Book of Life and Death'. I don't recall the particular phrase I was reading, but in one timeless moment, the world turned on its axis and I found myself staring down at this little book from a completely clear, awake, headless void. Douglas Harding simply pointed out what was here all along. For some reason I was willing to simply look. Ever since, this headlessness is immediately available upon looking. I continuously uncover new aspects of it's implications in daily life. I look forward to reading your reflections which have highlighted some of my own discoveries and clarified others.
I would like to mention/ask about two points. The first is that I still sit in Zazen, but instead of whatever it was I used to do in that posture I simply enjoy resting in this vast, open, silent, spaciousness. I have no particular sitting routine anymore, as this emptiness is available at any time. However I do find that this sitting still, does for some reason, help keep the "flavor" of headlessness with me during daily activities.
Also, I appreciated so much your reflections concerning your parents. When I see my friends (and family) get tied in terrible knots over some small aspect of the passing show, I want so much to offer some kind of wake up call. My experience, especially with family, is that I create the opposite effect. I really appreciate your comments on recognizing where it is that we are not separated at all, as well as Douglas Harding's reminder that we cannot talk someone's head off... only love it off.
24 April 09 Avalon
The other day I was talking to a friend and I said, "Well, when it happens it will happen", and he said "This is happening" and I knew that he meant it. This is always happening, nothing else. Love and Peace from Portland, Oregon.
16 April 09 Samantha
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!
16 April 09 Brett
A little something I use to remind me and that is to ask, "Am I big enough to hold all this?" If the answer is "No" then I know that I have forgotten my true state.
10 April 09 Kyle
There is no one out here any more than there is a head on your shoulders. So why the emphasis on what "you" are doing?
18 Jan 09 MJ
This shows you who you really are. Not just thinking thoughts, and imagining what we are. Great site. Peace MJ.
17 Jan 09 Robert
Hello Richard, I don’t think we’ve met, face to no-face, but I was introduced to Douglas Harding in Montreal, Canada. I stumbled on a flyer about some “teacher” that was going to share with me a “story” about “who I really am”. The meeting was held in a beautiful old Catholic church and “I got it”. I walked around “in a daze” for at least a week after that first workshop, looking, marveling! at my hands and my feet, wondering “why” everything was “going on” with “no one” here doing anything? How I got in my car, “turned the Universe on” and had it, other cars, pedestrians and houses, trees and dogs, whiz by me as I “sat still” in my car. I felt like I had been dropped on this planet and was entranced by all that I now saw and felt and yet, nothing “special” was going on….just another day in eternity. Of course, that “peak” experience faded away, as they all do, and I have attempted through these years to “get it back” (and of course, failed to do so). That was like riding a small row boat on a “tsunami” wave that dissipates into a nice, even, peaceful lake… All was just as it was before the “tsunami ride” but now you’re looking at things from a “water level” that is 20 feet higher - all looks the same and yet different! …The analogies don’t “cut it” but what the heck. Just wanted to share how much I appreciated Douglas, how fond I was of him. The man was a giant and yet so humble and warm… like a sweet ol’ grandpa, with a twinkle in his eye and such playful exuberance in his teachings. Thank you for carrying on his “way”.
16 Jan 09 Tony
I vaguely remember encountering the headless way over 10 years. But I did not pay much attention to it, nor did I understand it. I only perceived it as the observation "One can not actually see his face directly". Now it can be interpreted as "That is how one experiences nothingness, or void as a reality". With the way of negation, one can experience the stillness of the centre. One can also think that these sudden rush of understandings are gifts from Divinity, the Source and Destiny of our own voidness.
Gloria in Excelsis Deo!
15 Jan 09 Tony
The void is so wonderfully helpful after a long time of searching for truth. The 'I am' has been helping me all along. Very paradoxically humorous.
14 Jan 09 Mabel
I have been exploring with the headless exercises for sometime now and find them very simple and effective. The pointing to no-face has somehow incorporated into my daily life. I find the headless exercises to be very useful and a shortcut in seeing that there is no holder of a story as a separate entity called me. The exercises miraculously shift perception.
I'm really enjoying the emails and the simplicity of the 'Headless' way. 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!
I’ve done a ton of reading and this that is being presented connects more than anything I’ve been exposed to, to date.
Many many thanks for the course in seeing this year. Much comfort has been had by it. You will be interested to know that during this year all depression and concepts of the way things should be have fallen away and in its place there is this beautiful peaceful space in which everything happens.
I just read Lesson #5. I can't believe we're on #5 already (where did four go :). Anyway, as #5 states, I haven't done all the exercises either, just the pointing and the two way pointing. I have done some others in the past. In the past, they meant something to me, but not as much. I'm not in a hurry to do any more experiments at this time. But something I read on your website after first getting re-aquainted with this teaching (from the Never Not Here TV show/on-line videos) that Douglas said about being decapitated by everything has been very helpful and meaningful for me - it tunes me into the prior awareness and gets me out of the I am the body feeling/trance. Its such an easy and effective way to feel free. You have a lovely teaching and a lovely website. Thank you for everything.
Lovely! The I that is I, acknowledges the Love that is 'you'.
After reading the concept of being headless and the experience of the glasses on your website, it has secured the way my conscious is evolving. Since 20 years, I practice martial arts and Yoga with the experience of intensive practices in extreme situations. In such time it felt the need to be complete. Your way to explain and your will to share your knowledge, reconnected me to these moments. We are more than what we think. I wish your efforts on making this truth to be known to the maximum of people, a complete success as it is a need for our time.
Hello Richard …. I happen to be one of those people that hasn’t done the experiments yet!!! Today’s Reflection is instrumental in showing me that I embodied a fear of-looking … the actual act of looking. This has changed my whole approach to life. Thank you again.
Hi Richard, I just wanted to let you know that I am continuing to practice what I have discovered seeing. I think what impacted me the most was the day I was walking and really saw that there was no "inside me" and "outside there". This has really changed how I think and perceive. I have also learned from reading material on non-dualism. The combination of physically seeing and mentally understanding and then just letting go of all of that and just sensing without describing, labeling is very helpful. I think I went a little overboard with information and I am just allowing it all to settle in. I am still experiencing a sense of inner peace and joy and that is most important to me. It is difficult to remember at times but that is the practice!
Hi Richard, I first experienced headlessness in the summer of 1991. I was 24 at the time and had been studying different spiritual paths intensely. I was actually reading a book called "20th Century Mystics and Sages" which had some of Douglas' experiments in it. I tried one after a hard day at work. I was sitting by the river and started to pay attention to my face and it happened. I fully recognized that I was awareness itself. It was now all so obvious. Awareness itself has never had a head. This body has, but awareness hasn't. It has always been empty awareness. That's what I have always been. I think I had some kind of samadhi and I went in and out of that blissful state for up to 6 months. After that I could never recapture that intensity again. Something just clicked the first time and I could focus completely on my facelessness. I could effortlessly observe all of my thoughts, feelings, sensations, perceptions, etc, while knowing that I was the space in which all of those events occured. There was no separation between the objects of consciousness and the subjective awareness within which they all existed. I identified with the space rather than the objects within the space, yet the space was the objects. The only way I could define myself - the space that I now was - was by the objects within that space. You know what I mean. After 6 months that was all gone and I've chased after it ever since. Almost 20 years now.
I was watching you the other day on Conscious TV. I loved the interview, even though it was funny how Ian McNay didn't get it. The other one with Richard Miller was better though. He seemed to get it. I thoroughly enjoyed your lucid and humble descriptions of being headless. Especially when you got on the topic of allowing a self to be there. Although, when I was headless, it was obviously fine that all that I considered to be my self was allowed to be there, but as time went on I started to wonder why my self wasn't disappearing and this selflessness wasn't taking over more completely. After watching your interviews I think I see where I went wrong all those years ago. I believed the spiritual and erroneous concept that the self shouldn't be there. Your description of allowing the self to be there while still being aware of what's on top of my shoulders brought back glimpses of that intimate spacious wholeness. I also liked your comments on the "wow" factor. I see where I went wrong. Hey, I was young and the glamour of romanticised spiritual experiences impressed me. So, I'm slowly getting back to paying attention to my no-head. I love it actually.
Hello Richard, I just want to thank you for offering the free Reflections course over the internet. I realize the time and effort involved in any project like this. I also appreciate your dedication to the ideas you are sharing with us. And finally, thank you for sharing your time, energy and thoughts with us. The fact that you are doing this to reach as many people as possible, free of charge, is a credit to your wonderful connectedness to the world. Thank you. Jill
Hi Richard, I want to thank Douglas Harding and you, Richard Lang for "Pointing" me to where I've always been. Thank you for enabling one's awareness of the PRESENT MOMENT, "NOW", to be so easy. I, like countless others, have spent years, and many, many dollars, feasting on the self-improvement/self-actualizing buffet, ie, TM, Sedona Method, Silva, PsychoDrama, psychotherapy…,etc. The offerings of the buffet whet the appetite, but never satiate. Why? The why can best be explained by the following; An (for example) obsessive compulsive person, who endeavors to modify his or her obsessive compulsive tendencies, will pursue this goal (regardless of the strategy du jour) in an obsessive compulsive manner. Hence, the self-improvement business will always have repeat customers. Until, of course, said repeat customer becomes HEADLESS. I am 59 nine years old. I have a master’s degree in clinical social work. I have been a student of spiritual writings… Now, for the first time in my life, all my readings make sense. Better stated, makes experience. How exhilarating to experience space, consciousness, the exquisite void, TO BE. Heck, I can't explain it. It just is. Point the finger, and it all just is. Nothing matters in this realm of what is. Problems, concerns, judgement, cease to be, cease to matter in this finger pointing headless moment. WOW! Thank you, Ralph
Thank you for what you are doing! I just happened to find your site while checking out other links. I "got it" right away!!! I have done some of the exercises and got my husband to do some as well because I was so amazed! I watched the two interviews you had with Richard Miller and was again amazed and humoured! I am looking forward to the changes I can see coming, this is quite amazing and I really can't believe that I didn't know about this sooner. I am 54 years old and have been "seeking" since a small child going to a Brethren Sunday School in Victoria BC Canada. I recently read some of Eckhart Tolle books and this led me to Nisargatta, U.G. Krishnamurti and now to here! Well I am sure you have had many emails and letters like mine, thank-you again for putting this information on the web. I have already asked some of my family members to watch the interviews and check out the website. Ronna.
I just got back from a walk in the woods and was practicing "one eye". Before I left I listened to some of the audio tapes on the website and was doing some of the exercises again. As I was walking I was amazed at the the hugeness of the space inside me and that I had never really looked at this space in the way I was doing in this moment. I also was aware that what was "outside" was just as huge and that there was no difference between "outside" and "inside"! I was also amazed at how the "thought" of who and what I was is so utterly different than what I am seeing "myself" to be now! I can see this vast nothingness that contains everything! That old "version" of myself is so small, so isolated, utterly separated. I am in awe! I had a strange feeling first thing this morning and it was fear, fear that this is just another "ah ha" moment that is only in my "mind" and I will lose it or it will just fade away or be replaced by something else or even that this is too simple that it can't be true. As you can see as the day went on I was able to see past this negative thought and I really don't think I could ever doubt what is so clear, and real as this. Thank you again for doing what you do! Ronna.
Dear Richard, the Gathering on Saturday [Fremantle, Western Australia] went extremely well. 16 people again (though not all the same ones) and many of them really getting it and making brilliant contributions. Craig did a great job as "presenter". Next time it's Nav's turn. Nav was saying this morning on the way to work how the monthly Gathering is making Seeing much more accessible for her in everyday life, and that somehow sharing it with others in this way makes it more "real". No need to tell you this of course... (For more information on this monthly gathering, contact Sam.)
I've had a more in-depth exploration of the Headless website, looking particularly at the transcripts of the Sydney and London workshops, the Hierarchy pages and the interviews with Douglas. His expression of headlessness is simply profound and profoundly simple.
Richard, I finally saw the two videos of you and Richard in Chicago. Almost like attending a workshop I suppose. Excellent meditation and especially crucial now that our economies are going down the drain. It's crazy out there, but in here it's calm as always. I haven't been in the tunnel for a while so got mine out, the centerfold of Science of the First Person. Emptiness is full of that face in the mirror and the whole world.
Before I encountered headlessness my heart was closest to Ramana Maharshi -- and now also with Nisargadatta -- but while they take me to the edge of the cliff there was always something missing. I could never quite get it. Until I met Douglas Harding and you. So simple. Just point. No head. Amazing.
I don't live headless 24/7. However, I now know the way home, I have the ultimate escape route from the growing madness out there. I have a pretty good idea of what meditation means -- finally!
Thanks from a rainy and cool Kyoto.
In Buddhism everything is impermanent, yet "no mind" or this "emptiness" seems unaffected by emotions, thoughts, feelings, sensations. So is this emptiness permanent and unchanging? How then do I grow and learn? Why can I not remember my past manifestations? This all is so transformative. I know "I" am full potential and therefore empty-I am.
I'd like to share with you how I am doing since I do the experiments.
I feel totally at ease and very quiet most of the time. It is as if the mirror has been wiped clear, or better said: a lot of old dust just evaporated. The 'eye of God' is just looking. Sometimes a well-known old thought pops up: how long will it last? I then am afraid that I can't hold it. But I know now I don't need to hold anything what is always there; I just then need to refocus, to point at my no-face, and there I am again! So simple.
On my daily life it has a great impact:
- more clarity,
- I just do what has to be done, without resistance,
- my wife can relax more with me now that I live from this peaceful space,
- I respond in stead of react to others and situations; I am the capacity for everything happening,
- I immediately see when a movie is starting up, before unfolding his full potential, I am the witness of rise and fall of emotions and thoughts,
- my mind is much clearer now
- very special: I looked at lots of video- and audiotapes from enlightened men and women. I didn't really understand what they pointed at. Now I see from which space they are talking and I really understand what they mean. ONE HEART.
As a small boy, eight years old, I drew in the wardrobe behind the clothes on the wall, a big Buddha-like eye as you see in temples in India. I never understood the meaning of this. It was my secret. Now I suddenly understand the meaning. This is the third eye, the eye of God which looks through every being. There is just one consciousness. Amazing.
Osho gave me the name Bodhi Surdham - conscious paradise. From the unconscious hell into the conscious paradise, it was so near but I didn't see, until I saw your video with Richard Miller.
Thanks a lot!
I enjoy your site tremendously... I stumbled on it while looking at something else on YouTube... I love the pointing exercises and see that pointing back at my no-face there is spaciousness... no-thingness... exciting to see it... or, rather not see what is expected!
I was reminded this morning (or, shall I say, a thought appeared in the awareness) of while in Occupational Therapy school an instructor said that children have to be taught who/what they are... that’s your nose, ear, eyes, etc... and, while looking in a mirror they do not connect that is who they are... it is learned...
I touched my nose, eyes, and ears this morning as if a child who is being told that’s your nose, ears, eyes, etc... so, a child learns the sensation of pressure in the middle of the no-face is "their" nose... fascinating!
I love all the videos on time, spinning, pointing... and was able to see to what was pointed... this nothingness does not move while spinning for example... I have however not experienced being stationary while walking... there is definitely a sensation of walking and perhaps walking in place... though it definitely appears I am getting closer to what appears further out... I look back at no face but it appears I am getting closer... could be the conditioned mind... any suggestions...
I have been studying non-duality/Advaita for about 7 years and find the pointing exercises can expedite recognizing the openness/spaciousness that we all are (as if a person...ha)... and, I love the suggestion to look back at that spaciousness when making decisions/doing... (though who is really doing the doing?)
I feel very blessed having seen your video. Hearing, seeing, so many satsang teachers in the past, I always had the feeling, 'some chain is still missing for me'. I am aware since a long time of this inner space, and I always doubted: is it this what I am looking for? Since I saw your videotalk this morning, I know now: I am this immense space in which everything comes and goes, including my own body, feeling, thoughts, the others... This will surely start a new way of walking through life for me. I am looking forward to what's going to pop up (no pop up blocker installed!) in this space for me. A great adventure! Thanks a lot! Blessed are those who are able and willing to lead other people to who they really are. You are one of them! Many greetings from a grateful heart. Berend, Germany.
This is a response to Peter, 29 Sep 08: I think it's fair to say that while the first person may be said to have a head, it's nothing like what it looks like to others. To make it like the opaque object I see on another's shoulders requires an act of imagination (admittedly a useful and necessary one). For me it's not a question of looking at the world as if I have no head but Seeing it from the head I do have, which, from the experience given quite concretely here, is boundless capacity containing the entire world, including any sensations I might map onto the imaginary construct of a head as seen from somewhere else (but not HERE). It's actually the shift from "as if" to "as is" that does the trick isn't it?
Hi Richard, the interview with the Never-Not-Here man is really, really helpful! Thank you so much for all your effort! Love here for you here, Heike.
I have just read Reflection #17, looking at the common objection to headlessness: "I can't see my head, but I can touch it ..." In the reflection Douglas Harding goes to a lot of trouble redefining the experience of touching one's head as "touching the void" etc., and I can sort of see what he's saying - restating how the experience of touching one's head actually IS from a first person perspective ... BUT ... I can't really see why he goes to so much trouble to defend the literal concept of having no head - to me the whole wonderful thing about headlessness is not as a biological fact, but simply as a shift in seeing and experiencing, and when, as often happens, friends bring up such objections, I say it's not really that we have no head, but that we can have a new rich experience or insight if we look at the world AS IF we had no head, and this seems to work better than trying to defend literal headlessness.
Thanks, Richard, for the Course, reminding me of the place I often leave.
Wonderful how it works for all of us who are built open to see. Yesterday I passed a child walking down the street. She was about 4 years old and said out loud: "My legs are walking, I am not, it's just my legs walking !" It touched me how bright the girl was. And reminded me of seeing what is right in front of me and of the Seeing experiments. Thank you Richard Lang, for this possibility of sharing on your site, love from Amsterdam.
I tried it with ‘listening to myself’ instead of ‘looking at myself’ – seems to work.
This website is really awesome, Richard. Thank you so much!
Dear Richard, I just wanted to say THANK YOU! I cannot tell you how – but it works! Much love, Petra.
The experiments & teachings of Douglas' are true gifts to the world that reveal the Gift that we really are. Your work on the website, continuing workshops, & general promotion of this Nothing-Everything is also a gift to the world, Richard, from No-thing to Everything to No-thing!
I have read several of Douglas' books several times. I loved them and did the practices. I could get to a certain point, and then nothing. Today is my second day on your website, which I really love. Thank you. 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. Thank you so very much for all your endeavors in bringing this to people.
I had just been showing someone the card experiment - which I have done a lot - when there was only the emptiness of the hole. Then (Reflections 53) there was something about the mind being out there. Another INSIGHT into a familiar truth.
A friend, Brian, sent this short poem. It's by Ibn 'Arabi (1165-1240). It reminds me of our single Eye. This English version is by Reynold A. Nicholson.
When my Beloved appears,
With what eye do I see Him?
With His eye, not with mine,
For none sees Him except Himself.
23-Aug-2008 Stephen Kelly
Hi Richard and friends. Thank you for this wonderful website. I started Headless Seeing in 1975 in San Francisco. I have found it compelling, easy and difficult. I especially find "The Science of the 1st Person” inspiring and practical. It has helped me out of very challenging situations for the last 32 years, including depression and "group re-focusing" whose cycle was over. (eg. 7 years of Paul Lowe Groups). For the past year in Bangkok and Singapore I have included and "expanded" Seeing into a playshop called "Awareness Ecology Art Playshops". The first hour is primarily Headless No-thing Experiments and then an hour of "everything" ecology and then a silent fun time to draw, write and perhaps show and tell what inspired you about Nothing/everything. I would like to include this listing on this website. I have a poster and some Douglas Harding art inspiration there. My website is www.ecovillage510.org (see stephen kelly/mr.fun link). I am now doing these in the San Francisco Bay Area (California) and plan to return to Asia in Dec. or Jan. Any feedback welcome. Thanks. Love Fun Stephen
Thank you, Richard, for whatever your mind has done to cooperate with All-That-Is in maintaining this beautiful ongoing reminder to wandering minds everywhere. We are one in love. George in Ashland, Oregon, USA
Thank you so very much for your Reflections course, please keep it coming! It cuts through so much of the fog. Words so often get in the way whilst 2 way looking cuts like a knife to the core. Ouch! :)
19-Aug-2008 Fredrik Stahlfors
I love the power and simplicity of the headless way! It helped tremendously in facilitating the shift from body-mind identification to the re-cognition of what I truly am. It made the No-thing and Emptiness of Zen teaching jump out of a dusty closet of mere ideas to an alive experiential knowing - a direct knowing.
04-Aug-2008 03:07 PM Jane Moss
Reading today Reflection 6 I was reminded of a recent unexpected, and potentially very upsetting and stressful situation that came my way. As I started to feel distressed I suddenly remembered and did the pointing experiment. I found the stillness and not only was I then at peace but was able to attend to the situation and bring about what has turned out to be a very positive and rewarding resolution. What a blessing it is to See.
02-Aug-2008 09:34 PM Brian Aertker
I AM grateful!
02-Aug-2008 01:58 AM Kit Baker
Thank you for being you and keeping this site going. I'm no longer 'alone' in my headlessness.
What a simple beautiful approach to Reality.
22-Jul-2008 10:58 AM Partha
I still haven't "seen" it, despite two weeks' of trying (off and on). I find everyone's comments here inspiring, including Tom's below: I do believe, but what good is that unless one actually "sees"? I hope to be able to add a positive "yes I've done it too" comment here not too long from now (fingers crossed!)
20-Jul-2008 12:16 AM Tom
I read Douglas Harding's book and practiced all the experiments. I read all your weekly reflections, all 58 of them, and I was intrigued but I just did not get it. Then in your reflection number 59 you talked about two voices in the silence, in consciousness. It just opened up my consciousness. My consciousness just kept expanding until I saw everything inside my consciousness. What an experience. Thank you so much help, your website and weekly reflections.
08-Jul-2008 07:41 AM Partha
There is a catch to these experiments, as I found out right on day one. If you try this out for the first time, the basic pointing experiment, with your glasses on (as I did), then you don’t see your no-face. You see the outline of your glasses, and can effortlessly, from that, rebuild your face. For me that kind of dispersed the magic of the process before it could really begin. I can intellectually follow the experiment, although I haven’t yet actually experienced it myself. What I will do is wait for a few days, then start again, this time without my glasses. I though I’d share this with you, perhaps you could advise those who are just starting out, if they use spectacles, to keep aside their glasses before they start the experiments?
08-Jul-2008 01:32 AM Maria
Wham! I am nothing but space for myself. Reflection 13 says it so eloquently! :)
07-Jul-2008 10:31 AM Jacob Syed
Magnificent. I never even knew it was a science. I thought that I was the only one who can do this. I support fully this.
07-Jul-2008 06:12 AM Partha
Sounds intriguing. I've gone through the website (bits of it), am going through your newsletter as it comes in, and have (although rather perfunctorily and without any ego-shattering consequences) tried out the basic pointing experiment as well. I've dabbled just a bit (not too seriously) in other more traditional forms of meditation as well. I'm sure you have yourself actually done this pointing process fairly deeply for some period of time. I would be grateful if you could tell me, not theoretically but from a practitioner's perspective, a bit about what tangible effect/benefit one can get from prolonged practice. And can you comment on how this compares with traditional Mantra, Breathing or Insight meditation? Thanks
03-Jul-2008 07:23 AM Tim G.
Really enjoyed this site, although I'm 'burning out' altogether on reading about awakening and such. "End of the road" here occurred in January of this year, things are still settling out following the rug being yanked out from under shortly 'after'.
30-Jun-2008 10:46 AM Heike
I just read the comment : Clarifies Scriptures, and must say that I had the experience the other way around. If I would not know Nisargadatta, I would not have understood what is the seeing all about ! Heike
25-Jun-2008 11:26 PM Tina
I really enjoyed your talk tonight in Chelmsford - a very powerful and thought provoking message!
11-Jun-2008 02:49 PM Jeremy
I was so sorry to hear of Douglas' passing. He changed my life when I discovered I had no head 20 years ago. It made me quit my job in Accountancy to follow my passion of whisky (www.quityourjobanddrinkforaliving.com). I have included a page on Being Headless in my own self-help website. With sadness for your loss. Jeremy Bell
11-Jun-2008 12:27 PM Mark Evans
Headlessness is the experience of the hubless centre to which all spokes point. And to know you have always been home, always are home, and always will be home. There's nowhere else! So simple and so much joy. And vindication of all those childhood wonderings which elicited baffled glances and responses from adults. This site is a wonderful resource. Thank you Richard.
09-Jun-2008 04:51 PM Sara
Just wanted to share about a TV commercial that appeared shortly after discovering this website. The scene is a mountain lake with rocks protruding in what may be the shallow end of the lake (maybe not). The scene is moving over the rocks to reveal a body, revealed from toes to torso, with arms extending holding an iced drink. What if Madison Avenue truly did go headless?
16-May-2008 11:37 AM Richard and Maria Maguire
Hi Richard and all I have enjoyed the newsletters, but haven't visited the site for a while. What a beautiful job you are doing, in all respects, the texts, the pointing pictures, the overall design, etc, etc. Douglas, now only present as who he really, really is, must be as delighted as we are. Richard and Maria
30-Apr-2008 06:39 PM Rob Inglis
Wonderful site. I have been reading and practicing no headness for decades. The drawings are priceless. Thanx
23-Apr-2008 05:45 PM Marga Dhun
Interestingly enough just the glimpses of egoless awareness are happening and now I find further exercises to help me keep it this way. Thanx
09-Apr-2008 05:55 PM Berit Schumann
Whose consciousness is this that contains both of us? It is...consciousness. Thanks for Reflection 42, Richard
02-Apr-2008 04:20 PM Joe
Thanks so much for your website and periodic emails. I have been on the "journey" for decades and have seen Douglas Harding's name in passing a few times before. It has become time to "look" deeply into what has been presented. It makes all the sense in the world now. It didn't before. I obtained and are reading many of Harding's books. They are simple to understand... now, after an awful lot of previous work. "When the student is ready...The teacher appears". Thanks, again.
27-Mar-2008 03:42 PM David Lawson
I met Douglas many years ago, when he was the guest at a Meeting of an all Faiths group in Leicester. I was one of the participants from the local Tibetan Center, Karma Ling, which is no longer there. Douglas inspired us all and certainly united the faiths. I remember that evening with great affection and was sorry to hear of his passing. "One light, light that is one though the lamps be many." Something I had come across in a smokey room years before also came to fruition. So this is that Douglas Harding.
25-Mar-2008 04:17 PM Del Martinis
Richard, Did you write that beautiful inspiring story on Daffodils? I was transfixed, and pulled me into the entire feel of what you were meaning! Thanks.
Just a note of appreciation for your most inspiring website. I am blind and depend upon text to voice software and this software finds your website very accessible and easy to negotiate. What is most important, needless to say, is the spirit that is communicated by the beautiful poetry and testimonials of those blessed if only in terms of a glimpse, into the majesty of our shared journey. With robust and heartfelt appreciation.
10-Mar-2008 07:48 PM Maura Schley
Very good website, are there any more workshops coming to London
08-Mar-2008 Bo Hodiak
What a magnificent site! I have a book coming out in Ukraine in two weeks called "The Unknown Christ" and I plan a revised edition in 2010 and in my chapter "Who Are You?" I will mention you site. Blessings to Doug Harding
07-Mar-2008 Lisa Vallon
Thank you for this website! I have been reading E. Tolle of late which I think is a lot like Zen. However, the experiments of the headless way are really practical and have helped me experience (if only a little) the still, alert, spaciousness I AM;-)
I'm glad that you are carrying on Mr. Harding's work and "vision." His books and experiements have had a profound impact on my life and will always be grateful for the Headless Way.
02-Mar-2008 Jim Driscoll
Richard, I am very much enjoying the seeing experience. Do you have a poster size picture of a pointing finger? I would love to hang this is my office as a reminder. Also, just looking at that image does wonders for me!
16-Feb-2008 Berit Schumann
How incredibly true, I can't lose who I really am, thank you Richard. It's always good to be reminded to see for oneself.
Where does "lost in thought" fit into the scheme of "seeing"? Is there a doingness related to moving attention away from thought toward something else? I think that headlessness awakens you to the space in which thought happens. So you are not lost in thought, you are found as the space in which thought happens. Which is the space in which everything happens. (Richard)
13-Feb Berit Schumann
I've never met Douglas in person. But regardless of that I've found the way home through his terrific experiments... Thank you so much. Berit.
12-Feb-2008 Berit Schumann
Yes it is so important to deepen the habit of attending h e r e . And once at home this space remains clear and unaffected, never is tired, angry or anything else. Thank you for keeping sending reflections.
21-Jan-2008 Jim Driscoll
Great site, many thanks!! Its interesting that when I point to myself I feel an incredible release. My breathing slows, my shoulders relax, I feel more open. I guess that is what happens when you touch base with who you really are - you feel better immediately!
I find much of this interesting as I found I had no head a long time ago. I have a problem, however, with references to a supernatural beings, or god(s) found within the practices here. I do not that anything of that description is needed although I do think we as human beings do need each other and ourselves to be wholesome and moral. What morality means is behaving in a healthful way towards oneself and others for whatever that might mean.
Hi, it's fairly recent that I started questioning on the subject of our true Self, and i found my self, naturally, battling with my ego and digging myself into some emotional ruts. After reading Douglas' book "on being headless", i now have a greater handle on these self-conscious commentaries. It's a wonderful thing what you're doing.
Thank you, Richard, for the energy that is flowing into this website. I appreciate it.
Dear Richard, I have been receiving your email and I enjoy them. I should say that it wasn't hard for me to realize the space that considered my face. from time to time I remind myself and look from the space and take in the person or the scene in front of me. However it's not clear to me how this could be considered one is enlightened. For example if you consider the description of the moment of enlightenment described by Ramana Maharshi or the Buddha and even Douglas Harding it seems to me that there is more to it than even experiencing space and emptiness ( one experience all this when one meditates ). So please tell me what am I missing? When teachers say, in the stillness ' truth will reveal itself" I am not sure what that means. perhaps not knowing is ok, and I can continue to see from space. But surely there is more to seeing than seeing one does not perceive one's own head when looking out. What's your advice from here on? I sure don't feel enlightened. Do I sit in silence holding the space?
27-Dec-2007 William H Phillips
Happy New Year, Richard and All. Douglas is more influential than ever. Changing form hasn't slowed him down at all!
19-Dec-2007 Berit Schumann
Dear Richard I'm so glad to receive Reflections. Yes I've done the experiments even before with a friend. The simplicity is the strength in them. And I can see who I am really anytime especially when things are difficult. Reflections keep me on track, so I don't forget, since I'm not yet established in ever present headlessness.
18-Dec-2007 Vidya Devi
Love the web site. Well done.
05-Dec-2007 Kathryn Scott
Love the new site. Great job and a tall order pulling so much into an ordered, user-friendly space. You did a really terrific job. Thank you for taking the time to keep this going. Love, Kathryn Scott
02-Dec-2007 Richard Lang
Here is some feedback I've received today and yesterday. Best wishes, Richard----- Thanks for the URL link to the "new" version of the website. Looks great! :-))---- What a site - so much on it! Congratulations.---- Very nice site, well done.---- The new website is really super!---- I simple love your website and e-reflections. The new look is exciting----so much food for the soul. This little particle of light in the cosmos is blinking with thanksgiving! Thank you, Richard , your website is indeed a precious gift.---- Thank you and congratulations for the super new Web site that I will discover more and more with gratitude, on the headless journey.---- The Web site really looks (and reads) great, Richard--a tremendous resource. Thank you for all your work on it. ----- Site looks great. The best version yet I think, a nice mix of graphics and photo...----
01-Dec-2007 Robert Svitek
thanks for the 'reflections'. I copy them and read them on the bus or other times I have to wait.
I just want to let you know how much I've appreciated these lessons that appear in my inbox every few days. I've been doing Vipassana and other spiritual practices for several years and have benefited a lot from them, but it was Seeing that suddenly made everything that the sages have taught seem perfectly clear. It's been about six months since I first discovered headless seeing and, while the initial novelty is wearing off, it keeps offering startling new insights. And it's something I can practice any time and any where.