Status: Trainee Wisdom Counsellor
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
What set you off on the course of awakening?
I was always interested in spirituality, even at an early age. I went to church with my family and read the Bible. Later on, I read books like the Koran, Autobiography of a Yogi and Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. I always knew I wanted to practice some type of religion or spirituality, but I could never find something that suited me. In the end, I have to credit Eckhart Tolle for finally inspiring me to try meditation. I skimmed one of his books in a bookshop and resolved to try a method he described in the book. I think I managed to sit for a grand total of about 30 seconds before giving it up, but I noticed the space and quiet between my thoughts. It excited me to realize it was there. Leading up to that, I had become frustrated and confused at the barrage of thoughts I was experiencing all the time. That brief moment of stillness kindled a fire in me to try to get more of the peace I felt when I was free of mental chatter for that short time. That led me off on a really long period of searching, which ended with what we're now calling Fountainhead.
What traditions/teachers/practices were you involved with previously?
I think I did what a lot of spiritual seekers do, which is try any and every method that looked like it might offer me what I was after. I read voraciously and tried zazen, mahamudra, counting my breath, body scanning, various ritual magickal practices, and meditation coupled with Reichian therapy exercises. Among many others...
How did you first hear about the teaching/Fountainhead/working with Alan?
A friend recommended me Advanced Magick for Beginners, which led me to googling Alan and finding out about The Baptist's Head, Open Enlightenment and the Desert of Roses books. Reading that trilogy of books confirmed for me that I absolutely had to do a serious, consistent meditation practice and I contacted Alan when I had made that decision.
What is your most significant wisdom/awakening event?
I have had other more intense awakening events, but the following is significant for me because it changed the way I experienced practice, and life, in general. Alan and I discussed what's known as the “dark night of the soul”, which I had been going through again and again in increasingly unpleasant and distressing ways. Alan helped me understand the practical nature of the dark night, as opposed to the ideal nature of always participating in what is. While I have since experienced some unpleasant states while meditating and some phases of frustration or doubt, I haven't been through the despair of the dark night since that conversation and don't think I ever will again. It's difficult to put the power of a transmission experience like I described in this short paragraph into words, but it can truly be a life-altering event.
Do you find easy to sit?
I find it easy and enjoyable to sit because I've become comfortable with the realization that what I always wanted from practice was already there to begin with.
What practice are you currently doing?
I do Awakening Is a Fire for 30 minutes on most days. When I'm in the mood, I do 30 minutes of Heart of My Heart. [Fire and Beloved Analogies respectively.]
Do you find it easy to do a dialectic?
The dialectic is easy in general because it basically amounts to describing something you experienced, but I find it much easier when I work with someone else. Occasionally I'm blind to the most obvious things in my own problems, and having another person's perspective helps me realize things I probably wouldn't if I were working on my own.