My first introduction to the non-dual view was through a then-acquaintance and soon-to-be teacher, Elias Amidon. He told me about the Open Path training–nine months of unlearning, I later realized. I don’t recall the words he used, but my heart turned toward this pathless path; I abruptly left my spiritual community of thirty-seven years and entered a fresh, experiential teaching that felt like true north to this soul.
We met–a group of about twenty people–for four days, three different times during the nine months. The first training took place in Holland–since I live in the United States, it was quite a commitment to make those long trips. We were Americans, Brits, Dutch, French, Scots–and we became a family. Between the four-day retreats, we participated in large group conference phone calls–ten or twelve of us on the phone together (amazing–so much silence! no interrupting.)–small group phone calls with three to five people, and one-on-one calls with Elias. We came from different paths or no path at all, and were at different levels of understanding. Elias met each of us with kindness and a wonderful open listening. It was clear that he held no agenda.
People have asked me what went on in the training. What did we do, exactly? That question has stumped me again and again. We did nothing that I could clearly describe. Now I realize that we spent time together in truth–and bathed in that truth, the falsehoods of a life fell away. First the process seemed slow, but soon it became clear to me that it was inexorable, and that I had passed the point of no return.
No going back. Not an easy unlearning–for me, some of it was quite painful–not the training, but the aftermath of unlearning. But now, such joy!
© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2012