Enlightenment Dudes http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home Video Reviews of Spiritual Enlightenment Books & Movies Thu, 13 May 2010 00:02:34 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 James Swartz, How to Attain Enlightenment – Video & Text Review http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/2010/05/11/james-swartz/ http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/2010/05/11/james-swartz/#comments Tue, 11 May 2010 18:46:36 +0000 Administrator http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/?p=189

Would you like to learn how to attain enlightenment?  Well regardless of the semantics of whether enlightenment is something to be attained, welcome to the enlightenmentdudes.com review of “How to attain enlightenment” by James Swartz.

This really is a handbook of enlightenment.  He covers what enlightenment is not, such as not an experiential state, and then gets into what enlightenment is.  He talks about qualifications, or a background of spiritual maturity the seeker needs to have.  And he explains what self inquiry really is.

(Click on video below to watch or to just keep reading scroll down)

Swartz also spends time debunking enlightenment myths and exposing the inaccuracy of the teachings of neo-advaita (primarily western) instant enlightenment spiritual teachers.

The book reminded me of how it is to enter a relationship.  It started off well, but then you reach a point where you ask yourself whether you want to go on.  There was a period where I was wondering what kind of point he was trying to make and if it was actually going anywhere.  Like weathering a relationship through the tough times, I went on, and I’m glad it did.

Swartz is very funny in parts of the book, and it was refreshing to see a guy write in a fashion that uses descriptive terms that don’t have you reading the words consciousness, awareness or pure being in every paragraph.  There are too many spiritual books full of that crap, and Swartz is a very pleasant departure from that.

The writer has a very keen understanding of self inquiry and other methods on the spiritual path, and he discusses the benefits of each.  Swartz spent considerable time in India learning self-inquiry and has a chapter dedicated to questions about Ramana Maharshi.  Swartz’s teacher was not a Ramana follower so there are areas where he differentiates from Ramana.  He also discusses how one’s lifestyle has a major impact on enlightenment and he differentiates terms awakening and enlightenment as being two different things.

Overall, if you can get through the slow parts, this is an excellent and comprehensive book.  You’ll realize when you get through it that slow parts actually were part of a plan and have importance.  Enlightenmentdudes.com highly recommends this book, and gives it an 8 on our infinity scale.

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11 Tips to Acting “Spiritually Enlightened” on Facebook, Blogs, & Forums http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/2010/05/11/11-tips-acting-enlightened/ http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/2010/05/11/11-tips-acting-enlightened/#comments Tue, 11 May 2010 15:44:12 +0000 Administrator http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/?p=152

Hello Friends,

The team here at enlightenmentdudes.com thought we would have a little fun with everyone and do a sarcastic (but good natured) blog post about this subject. So no offense.. hope you all enjoy. If you like this our hate it, feel free to leave comments at the bottom, share, and/or subscribe.

Tip #1 Change Your Name

If you are getting frustrated because no one wants to sign up for your $25 an hour Virtual Satsangs, maybe you should try a name change? Make your name sound exotic if possible. Even better say your enlightened guru gave you the name of “angry tiger” or “moldy peaches.” Everyone knows that “John Smith” doesn’t wake up, but “Sri-Sri Super-Swami Ganeshahnto Arunachala” sure the hell does. Even better change your name to one word like Madonna did! You will have people flocking to your blog to collect your pearls of wisdom in no time.

Tip #2 Trace Your Linage

Look, if you want to gain Enlightenment “street cred” then be prepared to trace your teacher to another teacher- to another teacher-back to some famously Enlightened Being. Because we all know when you get to the gateless gate they are going to ask to see your papers. In today’s fast paced-online word, waking up has nothing to do with the deep arduous work of self inquiry or ego-death. It is all about who your teacher’s, teacher’s, teacher was. It is kinda like a “get out of ego ” free card. Very handy.

Tip #3 Put “Things” in “Quotes” a lot

Since other online Enlightened Beings always try to bust you for talking about “you” or “yourself” you need protection yourself from this. The best thing to do is put tons of things in “quotes” all the time.

See the two examples below:

incorrect = My approach to awakening involved a combination of meditation and my own form of lucid journaling. I found this was the best practice for my path at the time.

Correct= “My” “approach” to “awakening” involved a combination of “meditation” and “my own” form of lucid journaling. “I” found this was the “best” practice for “my path” at the “time.”

Tip #4 Refer to Your Self in the 3rd Person

So for example, I would say something like this in a blog or forum – “Jim experiences the world in a different way. I sense that there is a “Jim thing” but no experiencer to speak of.”

Tip #5 Deny You Are Enlightened

This is one of my favorites, say things like…I am not awake because there is no “one”  here to BE AWAKE!

Tip #6 Have NO sense of humor

We all know that the people  that are the most Enlightened also seem to have no sense of humor online about anything! They are easily offended when you mention their teacher, practice, group or style in a humorous light.

Tip #7 Put on lots of White Robes

In old westerns the good guys have on white hats, but in the realm of awakening you gotta rock the white flowing robe. You may want to invest in some trinkets or medallions to go along with your new outfit.

Tip #8 Go Vegetarian

This one is easy, no one ever ate a steak and woke up and no one ever will!

Tip #9 Tell Others to Stop Seeking

Most of the popular Neo-Advaita folks go with this approach, it is very trendy and has a long and misunderstood history in Zen also. But tell people that they are already enlightened BAM! it is all here and now you are done! Forget about the destructive and life altering work, experiences, processes, that the masters all had to endure, all YOU have to do is DROP THE SEARCH AND “BE.”  It makes me want to slam one of those Staples Easy Buttons -that was easy. Done! Instant Enlightenment.  It was here all along and I never knew it – wow! I bet the Buddha wishes someone would have told him that before the months of pain and fasting or all those dudes who almost died up in caves some place to wake up.

Tip #10 Talk in Slow Hushed Tones, Look Around In Bewilderment

How you act in public will be judged by your followers so I am going to tell you how to act. Talk very slowly and look around with your eyes very wide open, now you must have a slight, but goofy smile on your face. Also talk as quietly as a mouse, you have seen BEYOND and into to void, so start acting like it, people pay for your retreats, so give them a show.

Tip #11 Constantly use The Terms Consciousness and/or Awareness

Telling people on a blog or spiritual group that “everything is the infinity consciousness of awareness being aware of itself and its of own aware consciousness” or whatever, is like talking to a bunch of fish at the bottom of the ocean about how everything seems to be pretty wet. What’s the point? A term that is everything means absolutely nothing in a conversation online.

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Jed McKenna, Spiritual Enlightenment the Damndest Thing – Video & Text Review http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/2010/05/10/jed-mckenna-book1/ http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/2010/05/10/jed-mckenna-book1/#comments Mon, 10 May 2010 20:49:36 +0000 Administrator http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/?p=115

Hello everyone today we are going to be looking at a book entitled Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing. It was written in 2003 by an author named Jed McKenna. This is book one of a three part trilogy written by Jed.

All three books are written in a narrative format.

(Click on video below to watch or to just keep reading scroll down)

This first book takes place in an Iowa farmhouse where Jed is an Enlightened teacher and he is working with a number of students. All the students are representative of the various places we can all get stuck, you see many of them represented here. The guru worshiper, the young “New Age” seeker or a person in the middle of their mid-life crises coming to terms with the infinite reality of their own existence. Jed interweaves this with an overall story (much of it involves him writing this book.) At the same time he mixes in a variety of approaches & strategies and in particular he spends a lot of time talking about what does NOT work. The places you can get stuck.

What you will find here is a blueprint for the war on EGO. This book has a lot more to do with what is false then what is true. Jed leaves those conclusions up to you. I have had a lot of friends who have been turned off by this book, with Jed talking about “I’m the enlightened guy” I’ve had other friends that have had a problem with the fact that Jed (or whoever Jed is) decided to remain anonymous.

But that’s not the point of this book, it really has nothing to do with it. This book is about one thing, it is about the READER. Its’ about ego death as a means to no self.

In my opinion this is one of the most important books ever written about the spiritual awakening process. Now the process described by Jed is in no way pleasant. It defiantly won’t involve any hand holding, vegetarian eating, white robe wearing, or sitting around meditating all day. Your not going to see a lot of that in this book, you are going to see a lot of hard work.

Jed’s form of journaling he calls spiritual autolysis. But at the core of this book you will find one simple message, think for yourself. Find out the one thing that is front of you, that is blocking your path to advance, destroy that and move on. Don’t get stuck in concepts and comfortable places.

I really enjoyed this book…we here at enlightenmentdudes.com decided to give the book 8 infinity symbols out of 10 making – HIGHLY recommended for your process.

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Wayne Dyer, Your Sacred Self – Video & Text Review http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/2010/05/10/wayne-dyer-sacred/ http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/2010/05/10/wayne-dyer-sacred/#comments Mon, 10 May 2010 18:35:32 +0000 Administrator http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/?p=95

Do the writings of Dr. Wayne Dyer, the self-help guru frequently seen on PBS, have anything of use to the serious spiritual seeker? Listen on as the enlightenment dudes review his 1995 book Your Sacred Self: Making the Decision to Be Free.

Hello Dudes, this is Scott, with enlightenment dudes. com

(Click on video below to watch or to just keep reading scroll down)

Wayne Dyer is seen by many serious seekers as the “light beer” of enlightenment. He’s always on PBS selling something, and he’s great at it. The guy lives on Maui and has an awesome dream life with many revenue streams of generated income from his books, talks, and tv and radio appearances.

The enlightenment dudes are here to help others, so you won’t hear us talking a lot about ourselves. So this review will be a rare exception. “Your Sacred Self” was a book that shifted my perception. It was really a book that left a lasting impression. I was permanently changed by it.

I had just un-addicted myself after 20 years of substance abuse. I was not a spiritual seeker, but had seen Dyer on tv and decided to pick up one of his books when I saw it at the local library. Considering some of his books would have been meaningless at the time, I picked up the right one.
What I discovered in this book was a shift in consciousness to something I always had felt was there. It started out as a kind of positive thinking book – which is what I thought I had picked it out for.

Overcoming past negative beliefs was certainly a place I felt I needed to be. But then Chapter 5 came around – Cultivate the Witness. This was really an awakening into seeing things from Truth. This was an opportunity to see Prior to life itself. This book is really about self-awareness.
Dyer uses a collection quotes from a variety of traditions to help emphasize his points.

There are also a lot of helpful “how to” suggestions and exercises for releasing past pain that may serve as roadblocks on the spiritual path. The book is written in very easily understandable language and is in no way esoteric. Dyer uses examples from his life as well as others he has worked with of how accumulated past pain keeps us from really experiencing who and what we are.

I’m not promising everyone who reads this book will experience a shift in consciousness. Hell, it could just as easily happen to no one. But books and teachers come along at the right time, and the time might be right for someone to read this.

Now I know given this glowing review that you will expect me to give this a 10 on the infinity scale, but I am not. There is still a lot of separation in this book. There is still the perspective of a “you” who has a sacred self, when in reality there is no “you” to begin with. For that reason, this book needs to be taken with a grain of salt or maybe enough salt for the rim of a margarita glass. But there is some good stuff here, and for that reason, I give it a 7 on the infinity scale of 1-10.

The enlightenment dudes hope this review has been helpful. For more reviews and information, check us out at enlightenment dudes.com

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David Carse, Perfect Brilliant Stillness – Video & Text Review http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/2010/05/10/david-carse/ http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/2010/05/10/david-carse/#comments Mon, 10 May 2010 16:13:35 +0000 Administrator http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/?p=73

Perfect Brilliant Stillness, sounds beautiful doesn’t it?

Hello Dudes, this is Scott, and Perfect Brilliant Stillness is the title of today’s book review from the enlightenment dudes.   The book is by David Carse and was published in 2006.

The thing I like about David Carse is he isn’t trying to sell you anything.  No satsangs, or retreats into silence and stillness, and no offer for buying a book and getting a 20% discount for a one-on-one chat with David.

(Click on video below to watch or to just keep reading scroll down)

This guy doesn’t even have a website.  He’s a carpenter in Vermont who wrote a book and went back to his craft.  Frankly, during my search, I was always leary of gurus who stand to gain something from keeping their followers asleep.

For Carse, his awakening happened to be spontaneous or without any spiritual practice.  It took him a while to figure out what had happened to him.  His book chronicles his experience and what he found out after awakening.  Because he was so interested in finding out what happened to him, he has collected an excellent number of quotes from various spiritual teachers and traditions, and presents many of them throughout the book.

Because Carse’s awakening was spontaneous and was brought on by no effort, he has no method of practice to recommend in his writing.  However, the real value here is in what he imparts in how he sees and experiences the world following his trip to the jungle in South America, where his awakening occurred.

In many ways this book demystifies enlightenment.  At the same time, he also represents it as a happening which cannot be forced or purposefully replicated.  Such is the paradox of the spiritual search.

The enlightenment dudes give this books 8 Infinity Symbols, which represents it as highly valuable………..

For more reviews and conversation, please visit us at enlightenment dudes.com

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Jed McKenna, Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment – Video & Text Review http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/2010/05/10/jed-mckenna-book2/ http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/2010/05/10/jed-mckenna-book2/#comments Mon, 10 May 2010 15:08:35 +0000 Administrator http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/?p=55

Hello and welcome to the enlightenmentdudes.com review of Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment, by Jed McKenna.  This is the second book in McKenna’s Enlightenment Trilogy.  Because there are references to his first book, Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing, it is helpful to have read that book before reading this one.

Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment has lots to offer.   While this book is written in a narrative, and still has Jed’s unusual interactions with a cast of ego bound characters, there is also a lot more “how to” in book 2.  The reader is able to see Jed’s inquiry method called Spiritual Autolysis at work in the form of the character Julie.  She was a journalist for a spiritual magazine, and interviewed Jed in his first book.  Apparently she realized she was living a lie and journeys off to a cabin in the woods for over a year.

(Click on video below to watch or to just keep reading scroll down)

Spiritual Autolysis involves writing until you finally write something that is true.  Julie sends Jed emails of her ramblings and he shares them in the book.  This is something every seeker can identify with.  She uses the analogy of an attic filled with “her stuff.”  And it is jammed full.  Seeing  the process she goes through in this book in itself is worth the buy.

One word of advice is to actually buy the book, not the audio book.  For one, the book is filled with some excellent excerpts from U. G. Krishnamurti Mark Twain and others, which in themselves serve up as a resource, and secondly the voice of Julie on the audio book is extremely irritating….and I’m not kidding.

Another subplot to this book is Jed’s long stay near a New England whaling village with a lady who has spent her life researching the book Moby Dick by Herman Melville.  Jed realizes after reading through the pages of Moby Dick that there is a deeper story there that no one has figured out and written about in the more than 150 years since Melville penned this classic.   This was not a story about a lunatic named Ahab, but about a guy who knew exactly what he was doing when he took the battle to the white whale, a metaphor for ego.

According to Jed, anyone other than an enlightened being would have not been able to recognize this.  In his words, it is like having a master painter use all of the brilliant colors and then having his work reviewed by a color blind critic.

Whether anyone would really believe that Moby Dick is a book about awakening isn’t really the point.  The connection is masterfully done, and Jed’s explanation is really a pointer in the direction of what kind of monomania one needs for self realization.

As you can tell this is a book with a lot going on.  It’s really a challenge to get into the depths of this book in a short review.   Jed  McKenna is a controversial character.  People seem obsessed with finding out who he really is, if he is enlightened, etc.  Who really gives a damn?  If anything, it’s better that the guy isn’t trying to sell you on coming to his next satsang, isn’t it?

Overall, if this isn’t the best spiritual book I’ve read, it would be close.  The enlightenmentdudes give the Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment a 10 on our infinity scale.  It is highly recommended.

For more reviews, to contact us with questions or suggestion for other reviews visit us at enlightenmentdudes.com

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Steven Norquist – Haunted Universe: – Video & Text Review http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/2010/05/09/steven-norquist/ http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/2010/05/09/steven-norquist/#comments Sun, 09 May 2010 23:54:22 +0000 Administrator http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/?p=24

This video & text review from enlightenmentdudes.com is going to get a little spooky. Hello dudes, this is Scott, and we are about to take a look at Haunted Universe: The True Knowledge of Enlightenment by Steven Norquist, published in 2009 by Haunted Press.

(Click on video below to watch or to just keep reading scroll down)

Are you ready for a  book full of interesting metaphors?  A book that will give your sense of being a separate self an incredible fright?  Norquist gives plenty of warnings early in Haunted Universe: The True Knowledge of Enlightenment, and I’ll warn you too – there is no feel good oneness and love in this book.  Haunted Universe is an exercise in showing that you don’t exist.  And that is really what makes it a sharp tool and a unique read.

The thing not to be frightened of is the 415 pages.  There literally is only a sentence or two per page – which is really for effect.  This is not meant to be a wordy book.  The simplicity in this work is not to be confused with simplistic.  The few words that are here are powerful.  I don’t want to spoil the effect by giving too many specific details.

For those not familiar with Steven Norquist,  he woke up in 2002, and a year later wrote an essay titled “What is enlightenment, no I mean really, what is it?”  He hadn’t written anything since then until he wrote Haunted Universe.

Norquist has an interesting sense of humor, and I found myself laughing during periods of the book, partly because I could really relate to what he was saying and other than my enlightenment dude, Jim, didn’t really have anyone to discuss this with who knew what Haunted Universe is speaking about.  Norquist is definitely a guy who, as Merlin in the 1980s movie Excaliber exclaimed is a “dream to some, a nightmare to others.”

People who are meditating to acquire mystical experience or are into their auras, and so on probably won’t like this book.  To quote from his 2003 essay, Norquist says “There are all kinds of books on Zen meditation, catalogs, where you can buy all the cool silk clothes, cushion, gongs, incense and a host of other aids to zen breath-watching.  But once you have all that stuff and finally sit your ass down, close your eyes and start watching your breath, what exactly are you doing?  Why are you doing that?  I ask people that all the time and really piss them off.”

Because a lot of people he sent his manuscript of Haunted Universe still had a lot of questions, he came up with an exercise toward the end of the book which essentially is wall-staring.  I’m not sure how useful that is, but his point is to have you do it to the point where you forget your separate sense of self and become Wall – to basically be able to briefly experience that you don’t exist.

I really found this to be a fun book, and I think the result could be one of two things:  make the reader angry, or secondly and most important give the reader a real opportunity out of all of the spiritual books out there to really experience what it means to not exist.

The enlightenment dudes give this book a 10 on our infinity scale as highly recommended.  Thanks for watching.  For more reviews to help on the spiritual path, or to recommend a book you would like us to review or to contact us with questions, visit us at enlightenmentdudes.com

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Enlightenment Dudes Getting New Look http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/2010/05/08/enlightenment-dudes-new-look/ http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/2010/05/08/enlightenment-dudes-new-look/#comments Sat, 08 May 2010 13:58:55 +0000 Administrator http://enlightenmentdudes.com/home/?p=5

To all of our Fans..we are renovating the entire enlightenment dudes web site

we will have everything back up soon!!

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