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Q. What do you mean, the class is not the Teaching?
A. The Teaching is that which exists. The class, if effective, will both express and point to that Realness. It must be attuned to and "caught". The words are not the Real Teaching.
Q. If the words are not the real teaching, why should I come?
A. To get both a framework for the Real Teaching and how you may possibly continue from here. (Of course if you "slip" while you are there, you might actually catch something.)
Q. Can you give an example?
A. If you go to a cooking class, that is not eating a meal. Yet the class may point the way to prepare one. The meal - the food - is what you are after; not the words about it. Nutrition is not verbiage, yet if you are in the right class, you will get a sense of how to prepare a meal - beyond the recipe. And if it is more complete, you may even get a taste of the food. So too with spiritual learning.
Q. I am taking a course from another instructor in meditation. It includes some spiritual practices. Will I find harm or conflict by attending yours?
A. There is no conflict if your goal is spiritual experience and learning. There may be a conflict if you only want to experience certain secondary things. Meditation is meditation - by any name you call it. It is a state of being rather than an approach or method. You can use the practices you have learned to continue from there.
Q. Will you provide specific meditation practices?
A. Probably, but that will depend upon the people and need.
Q. If you do, will I be required to do them?
A. No. But what is offered is Universal in nature. You will not find a lessening or taking away from your own practice or point of view by trying them.
Q. I am following the teachings of a certain person. Will I find conflict by trying to follow two people?
A. You will if your are "really" being guided. A responsible guide will not accept you unless you can follow his or her guidance. It is like riding two horses at the same time. But this class is not guidance at that level, nor is it acceptance. It is only a little taste of what may be.
Q. Do you teach people?
A. I guide them.
Q. You say contributions are accepted. What is an "appropriate contribution"?
A. There is no required charge for ongoing classes in Northeast Alabama, appropriate contributions are accepted. That includes all things, including right effort.
The use of these words is very deliberate. The appropriateness of any action is based upon what is really needed in that particular situation. It is not based upon personal desires, aversions, or conditioning. Nor is it based upon a comparison of worth or value. It must reflect the true need and potential - the capacity - of the person and the situation. And this can change for the same person in various settings. Worth, value, and cost are all subjective. We seek the experience of direct knowing to do. This is called "right action". You are being given a test and opportunity to intuit the correct contribution for yourself in this situation.
Q. What about the person with no money or means of support?
A. He or she can still contribute something. If they find they can not, they are not ready to go further. I will generally not turn them away from this setting, but they will not find benefit beyond their greed. As to why I say "contribution", rather than donation, lover offering, or some other phrase; that is because the work is a joint effort. One must contribute to the process. If a person can not, he or she is not a candidate for further progress in this approach.
Q. What kind of approach is this? Everyone does things differently. Isn't this just another example of seeing through someone's "filters"?
A. The "one of Heart", or "one who knows" sees and experiences directly. To that person, experience is not limited to that which comes through the personal filters. This cuts across, is above, and includes all names and forms; and is spoken of as the True Reality toward which all paths and ways point. The purpose of the class is to get a taste of it. Filters, attitudes, and concepts are only small intermediate stages. They are not the Direct Reality. It is that which the Mystic knows and IS.
Q. I have a conflict in time with another commitment. Could I come to only a part of the class?
A. Not with that intention. However you are not held captive. You may leave at any time.
Q. Will I get an opportunity to go further if I want?
A. Yes. You will have an opportunity to ask questions during the class, and meet personally after it. There may be an opportunity to come to further classes. You may have to ask about that.
Q. Are there things I can read or do to prepare for this class that would improve what I can experience?
A. Yes. Read the material on "classes" on this site and as many of the writings as indicated there. Try the practice of breathing love.
Q. I have trouble sitting on cushions or on mats. What can I do?
A. Sit in a chair.
Q. Will there be breaks?
A. Yes. You might want to bring a snack.
Q. Are you trying to espouse a particular religion or path?
A. No. A. No. The Way of the Mystic includes all paths and religions. It is the culmination of them. The great teachers, prophets, and sages are part of it.
Q. So you say it is Universal?
A. Yes. You are part of it also. You just do not recognize or remember it now. By that, we mean - experience and perceive it now. You have only to perceive and be what you are. This is a means toward that.
Q. You say it is Universal. But I say that each person has a way. Why should I accept anything else?
A. Don't. You don't have to. The way for each person may be different; but they all eventually come to the same WAY. If you do not wish to, do not come . No one is forcing you. Each step must be accepted freely.
Q. Will you talk about healing, ESP, spirits, chakras, mantras, the mind, prayer, and things like that?
A. I may or may not. You may ask a question about them if you wish. Come and find out.
Q. Is this class pretty much the sort of thing you do?
A. There are other classes and also days for work. There are practices and effort to extend while not here - which is most of your time. These are generally preparatory to the possibility of more "real" learning and action.
These are considered as "outer classes". If followed enough and the preliminaries are accomplished; and further, that it is both sought and appropriate, this process has the potential to lead to a more real situation. There is no compulsion to do so; however, it will be opened for consideration if correct. "More real" involves and includes the path of Universal initiation and active transmission; and acceptance within the relationship of Guide and Guided. It also includes a life dedicated toward realization and expression of what may be called That Which IS, Truth, Reality, Oneself, the Divine, and by other names; and the fulfillment, through oneself of the purpose(s) of one's life.
Q. What if I do the breathing love practice and read all the things you suggest before coming, and still have questions? Is there anything else I can do?
A. Send an e-mail with your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. I would like to attend a class. How do I get driving directions?
A. Send an e-mail here. Please include your name, mailing address, and a phone number with time to call to reach you if that is needed. This address is: email@example.com.