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Can one really become ‘Awakened’ in 120 hours?

I have a long-standing interest in zen meditation (zazen/ ‘just sitting’). I’ve been meditating on and off (more off than on to be fair) for 10 years or so.

My interest started when I realised that I had stumbled upon/ created a collection of practical truths and precepts that echoed what buddhists (and particularly zen buddhists) had been saying for thousands of years. To give a flavour of that collection:

It’s worth noting that I had previously been very sceptical of buddhism, and of anything at all ‘new-agey’. But on the basis of the above finding, I decided to look more into buddhism, particularly zen buddhism. And more importantly, I decided to start meditation: the central practice of zen buddhism.

Meditation has helped me – I’m a more relaxed, less anxious, and probably just about a happier person than I was 10 years ago. But the early promise and excitement never really took off. Initially, I had high hopes and ambitious aims – to explore Awakening, Enlightenment, non-duality, to understand what zen masters mean by ‘perception beyond form’. Whereas the reality was that meditation became an occasional de-stressor, like going for a walk or having a bath.

Fast forward 10 years, to Spring 2015 … for some time, I had been following the US academic Jeffery Martin, and his Centre for the Study of Non-Symbolic Consciousness with great interest. The approach seemed to fit with my own, in these sorts of ways:

In Spring 2015, Jeffery Martin announced that he would make his programme freely available, via a series of webinars. I would like to thank him for that, since has been the impetus for my attempt to return to those initial ambitious aims – my most serious attempt to explore the true extent of meditation, and what it could lead to. The webinars contained lots of fascinating hints – but despite the billing, it wasn’t a complete revelation of everything in the ‘ONE’ course (‘Ongoing Non-symbolic Experience’). This was a course that costs in the region of $1000: I don’t think I’m being too cynical if I said that a large part of the content in the free webinars was intended to persuade watchers to sign up for the paid course. However, picking through the marketing, and putting some pieces together myself, did allow the outline of a self-written programme to emerge.

In the remainder of this post, I’m going to highlight some of the general features of this programme. Then, I’m going to use two more posts to go into the details of the programme that I put together.

The main elements of the programme towards non-symbolic consciousness – ‘Awakening’ – are:

I have started the programme – I’m about 20 days in so far. My next posts will be to fill in some of the detail from the above points, and I’ll then start reporting back how things have gone in practice.

Thanks for reading.


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2 responses to “Can one really become ‘Awakened’ in 120 hours?”

  1. […] Previous post: Can one really become ‘Awakened’ in 120 hours? […]

  2. […] is the third post in a series of three. In the first post I introduced the ambitious idea that it might be possible to get to ‘Awakening’ in only […]

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