“… I have to report that at this stage I can see everything as “me” …” ~ Jimmy Hurley
In this part 2 of the series, we continue the exploration of Jimmy Hurley’s writings about nonduality, our True Nature … the series is in support of his GoFundMe campaign to raise $90K for his stage 4 prostate cancer treatment …
… in Part 1, we took a peak at Jimmy’s unpublished book Zero Distance that’s about “A paradigm to understanding WHO YOU ARE And finding lasting happiness and peace” … and “partook” some of his poetry which overflowed in him during “… periods of intense reflection ...” with Francis Lucille …
… and here’s Part 3, Nonduality & the Sedona Method …
… Jimmy is a long time Stillness Speaks community member and a generous supporter … our “call to support” him began in our most recent newsletter (Sep 18th), which was an appeal to our subscriber community … and thanks to their generosity, approx. $5200 has been raised by them, in a week, towards the goal of $90K (total raised is $16,555 as of the publish time of this post)…
Greg Goode wrote the following opening for this post as part of his support for Jimmy …
In Support of Jimmy Hurley
Jimmy Hurley is probably my longest-lasting friend in the New York City area. We met during the satsang fad of the mid-1990s. Back then, satsang teachers began visiting at the clip of three or four per month. Jimmy and I became friends after seeing each other at events from Gangaji, Neelam, Arjuna, Prasad, Yukio Ramana, Wayne Liquorman and Francis Lucille. I began having alternative satsangs to keep some momentum going. I called them “Nacho Satsangs.” We met each week at a restaurant, and Jimmy was a constant attendee. After a quarter of a century we still do those satsangs, under the guise of “Nondual Dinners.” And Jimmy is still there.
Jimmy has always had an infectiously shining personality, a huge heart, and a love of spirituality. He’s always thrown himself wholeheartedly into the activities of the day. One guru used to nod off in the middle of his own sentences. Jimmy asked, “Where did you go?” The guru said, “I was communing with the Absolute.” “Jimmy said, “Next time you go, take me with you!”
Another time, Jimmy was having an turbulent time with the notion of God. The very name “God” gave Jimmy a stormy mix of approach and avoidance feelings. I could tell he loved God, but felt a strong antipathy at the same time. Right about then, the teacher Leonard Jacobson came to town. At his meeting, he arranged the audience in a circle around a pair of facing chairs in the center of the room. Leonard sat in one chair. He asked how we were feeling right then, and we went around the room giving our reports. He invited anyone to come join him whose present moment was felt as less than perfect.
Jimmy being Jimmy, he volunteered. “I feel unease, maybe anger, about the idea of God,” he said. Leonard beckoned Jimmy to the center and told him that they would be receiving special help that day. Leonard had brought a clairvoyant to the event. He announced that her role would be to give psychic insight into people’s issues.
She listened to Jimmy and gave a pensive look. “Hmm, let me see,” she said. “I’m getting you … back in Biblical times. You were … an ancient prophet. You loved God, served Him, and ended up being martyred for Him. As you died, you felt betrayed, as if God had abandoned you. But He hasn’t. His love showers upon you even now.”
“Yes, YES,” Jimmy said. “That’s IT!” From that moment, Jimmy’s love for God was cleared, totally unclouded by darkness or unease.
Jimmy’s enthusiasm expressed itself in everything. Late in the pre-Internet 1990’s we flew to Germany for a Ramesh Balsekar retreat. We didn’t know what we were doing. We had almost no details, only the date and a town name. Landing in Stuttgart, we rented a car at the airport and proceeded to take turns driving hundreds of miles down the Autobahn. We drove with the understanding that there was no official speed limit. I was fairly cautious, topping out at about 80 mph.
Not Jimmy! As he drove down one long stretch, my knuckles were turning white. Jimmy looked over and smiled. “Did I ever tell you that I have only one working eye?!” (He had told me. He’d lost the other eye many years ago., during childhood as I recall.) As I peered over at the speedometer, I saw that we were going 120 mph!
I could tell you many more wonderful Jimmy stories, such our week-long competition with the German Ramesh devotees to queue up ever-earlier in the morning outside the auditorium, so as to land the coveted front-row seats. Or the fun we had at Francis Lucille’s Ottawa retreats, cooking breakfasts for 45 people or playing in the evening drum circles. Or walking to NYC restaurants along the echoey midtown streets, hearing Jimmy croon songs from Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett.
But for now, I want to urge everyone to support Jimmy’s health initiative. Jimmy is a wonderful, radiant free spirit, emanating light and love wherever he goes. Let us hope and pray and intend and give towards his long life on the earthly plane!
~ Greg Goode, Sept. 24, 2019
Now we turn to Jimmy’s essay on spiritual identity, titled Release The Releaser, from Greg’s book Real-World Nonduality (published by New Sarum Press) …
Greg introduces his book as “… a book of essays by new writers about how their encounters with nonduality have impacted their lives … I’ll say more about nonduality below, but briefly, I mean the intimacy and inseparability of things. For many people, as well as those psychotherapists, the first encounter with nonduality can feel shocking.
What about the other areas of life? Those areas are what this book is about. The essays here discuss what happens to a wide variety of life situations when nonduality enters the picture: career, parenting, traditional religion, addiction, dis- ease, death, perception, thought, and the very idea of being “enlightened.” …”
And, … this is how Greg summarizes Jimmy’s essay:
James Hurley discusses how nonduality helped him get past a roadblock put up by another path. As a practitioner and teacher of the Sedona Method, James was able to release any unpleasant feelings that came up, but he still hadn’t found the lasting peace he was looking for. Through guidance from a nonduality teacher, James realized how the Sedona Method was a valuable technique for working with feelings, but not the tool to go “all the way.” At some point, even the Method must be released, as well as the “releaser” identity it can create.
Jimmy’s essay/this-chapter is published here with his and New Sarum Press’ generous permission …
Release The Releaser
“Turning 72 carries with it all the wear and tear that happens to any machine over time, meaning things start to break down— only now it’s so much closer to home. It’s my body, not the car or the toaster. I’m smiling inside as I write this, because I suspect some of you who are reading this, if you’re from the nonduality camp, might be saying to yourself, “He’s still identifying with the body. He’s not there yet!” But I have to report that at this stage I can see everything as “me”! And it’s not like that’s stopped the world from doing what it’s doing.”
How it began
This is the story of my pursuit of happiness. I wanted to know what was responsible for the unhappiness and suffering in my life, and how to get rid of it.
Although I’d tried many different approaches, my quest didn’t get started in a meaningful way until I learned the Sedona Method, mainly because of the depth of change I experienced by using it.
But when you really get into something, you inevitably dis- cover its shortcomings. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and in this case, what was missing in the Sedona Method led me to discover what was next, and that turned out to be meeting Francis Lucille and discovering the direct path.
A significant part of my story began when I got into an accident while playing with my best friend and lost my left eye. It was at the onset of puberty, so you can imagine the insecurity and lack of self-confidence my new glass eye caused.
I was not interested in addressing this insecurity through the traditional Western avenues of psychoanalysis and psychiatry. I mean, I already knew the cause of my insecurity. Instead I pur- sued alternate approaches, a lot of which were Eastern in origin, that seemed more holistic to me and that included experiential aspects as well as analytical.
The sedona method
After several years of working with practitioners of Fritz Perls’ Gestalt Therapy, combined with yoga and meditation, and seeking various spiritual teachers as they presented themselves in my search, I was fortunate to meet Lester Levenson.
Lester Levenson’s work was featured in the old Stillness Speaks (pre June 2016) and will be migrated in the future along with his teacher page.
I experienced something different, something special, in that encounter that really got my attention. As we talked, something about the truth and freedom he spoke of struck me. It was more than just an intellectual conversation. I somehow experienced what he was describing. Being there with him, I could feel a strange calmness. He said he’d discovered some- thing that caused his own suffering to disappear completely. But more importantly, he’d found a peace that was so profound that it was totally satisfying, and it had never left him.
Lester said he could show me what he’d found. His approach was holistic, encompassing body, mind, and spirit, and I wanted that. So I joined him, believing I had found what I’d been looking for all my life: a way to let go of what was blocking me, a way to go free. It was called (and still is) the Sedona Method.
How it worked
I became so good at applying the Method, and it had such an impact on my emotional life, that I became one of his first teachers, traveling the country sharing what I’d learned. The brilliance of the Method was that it showed you how to release emotions on a deep level. What Lester discovered was that our struggles with life’s situations that cause us to feel sad, angry, frustrated, anxious, or fearful are due to underlying operating programs—core motivators that are responsible for the creation of our fear, sadness, and anger. These motivators are the basic need for love or approval, the need to control or change things, and the desire for safety and survival. And our emotions are one of the ways we go about trying to satisfy these basic directives.
Here’s an example of how it works. A feeling of, let’s say, sadness comes up in me. I would trace it back to see what its sponsoring directive was. Was I using the sadness to get love or approval? Was I wanting to control or change something? Was I wanting to feel safe? Once I determined which want was oper- ative, I was presented with a choice, which up until this point I hadn’t felt like I had: to continue wanting it or to stop and let it go. Once the source of the feelings was addressed, the feelings would dissipate on their own, as they were no longer needed.
Step one: losing the eye patch
Here’s how I applied the Sedona Method to the insecurities caused by my missing eye. When I first met Lester, I was wearing an eye patch. My glass eye tended to cause irritation, so now and then I would remove it and wear a patch. But this time I kept the eye patch on. I told myself that it was because having the prosthetic was too much trouble, but in reality I was still uncomfortable with how it looked. This, mind you, was mainly in my head. Most people just thought I had a lazy eye, no big deal to them.
But on another level the eye patch was a social aid, an attraction of sorts. Women loved it, like I had an Errol Flynn mystique, so it actually worked as a chick magnet. As for the guys, they were kind of intimidated, afraid of the pirate. Ha ha!
Then one day Lester came up to me and said, “Jim, lose the patch. It’s hindering your growth.” So I took it off, and he was right. All the old feelings—or should I say the remaining feelings—of insecurity showed up on my doorstep.
Step two: losing the insecurities and self-consciousness
The re-occurrence of these feelings was not a problem, because I had the Method, and I was able to let them go, which I did. The Method is unmatched in that area.
It was as easy as meeting someone and making eye contact. Even basic communication between two people involves looking back and forth, from left eye to right eye, stopping arbitrarily on one or the other. When someone’s glance quite naturally landed on my artificial eye, it felt as if they weren’t communicating with me. I was over here, so to speak, looking back from the seeing eye. When this happened, I would even say to myself, inside, “Over here, over here! I’m over here!” It’s laughable now. But then, I experienced the fear of being rejected big-time.
So, applying the Sedona Method, I would see in an instant that I was wanting the approval of the other person. I could let that go! Then I’d see that the encounter made me feel uneasy, uncomfortable, and I didn’t like feeling that way. So, the first reaction was resistance to that feeling, because I wanted to change or control it. Could I stop resisting? Sure! Now I could see the uncomfortable feeling for what it was.
Learning to let go of such emotions felt, at that time, like the most power spiritual technique I could find. I mean, I was able to become free right on the spot from most of the limiting feelings or beliefs that arose, even if only momentarily. But hey, the moment-to-moment ability to be free of what I believed then to be negative, unwanted feelings—I’ll take it!
But something was missing …
And here’s Part 3, Nonduality & the Sedona Method … where Jimmy continues with what was missing that ultimately led him to Francis Lucille …
Again, please do visit Jimmy’s GoFundMe page by clicking here and contribute whatever your heart calls you to …
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Opening Francis Lucille quote & poems: Zero Distance by James Hurley – unpublished book, used with James’ generous permission.
Release The Releaser text: From Real-World Nonduality by Greg Goode, published by New Sarum Press … and used with New Sarum Press and Greg Goode’s permission.
Images: (edited and logo added): Featured and 1) Human eye looking in Universe by Alexis84 – Elements of this image furnished by NASA, 2) Marcela and Jimmy, used here with Jimmy’s permission, 3) Woman Eye and cosmic space by JozefKlopacka. All purchased from depositphotos, for use only on our website/social channels (these images are not permitted to be shared separate from this post).