Sunday, June 1, 2014

Joseph Koudelka: "This whole thing is a desperate game until it is truly seen as the wonderful game that it is"

Joseph Koudelka:

"You visited me in a dream last week, you were a blue fairy, a beautiful azure blue. This was actually a couple of days before this dialogue started. But I had been to your website and watched a video and knew of you. I did not actually expect to dialogue with you. I am a lucky dog. :)"

by Josephkoudelka » May 11th, 2014, 7:30 pm

My name is Joseph Koudelka. Forty plus years of meditation and sadhana. Began trying to identify the Thinker behind thoughts at age of 6. Love being alone. Practiced Zen in Soto and Rinzai lineages. Completed several hundred koan, including Mumonkan and most of Blue Cliff Record. Moved on to study Dogen with a Zen master who is recognized as pre-eminent Dogen teacher internationally. Attended countless sesshin. Saw many times that there is no basis for a self. Discovered I AM THAT a few years ago, and had teacher visit me in a dream and tell me to investigate waking, dream, and deep sleep states within the Advaita Vedanta lineage of Sri Sankarcharya. Dropped out of society, lived homeless since 2007 to investigate the truth and find liberation. I have been free for a few years now and am really interested in finding new ways to express this. I would like to be guided through this process, and enter into it wholeheartedly, fresh.

by Elena » May 12th, 2014, 1:01am Hi, Joseph

Thanks for making it to here. What exactly you are interested for us to help you with? You said you want us to guide you through the process...what you expect from this process to get/become that you are not yet?
Thank you!

by Josephkoudelka » May 12th, 2014, 6:17 am

The end of self referential thought pattern.

by Elena » May 12th, 2014, 2:10 pm

Explain in details what it means for you. Explain in a way that anyone can understand what you mean by that, like you are talking to a neighbor...You mentioned in your entry letter you are standing here "fresh". Give it "fresh" here...

by Josephkoudelka » May 12th, 2014, 5:51 pm

These are the thoughts that are almost whispered when everything, just as it is, is accepted. These thoughts are an ongoing storyline that create a sense of a "separate me". ...and others. These particular thoughts have been recognized, over time, to be exclusive to me. Meaning that I know that no one else can cognize these thoughts. They are my own.

Sometimes they create an other, such as the thought, "I wonder if Elena will like me." In this thought, a self is implied, me. Now another thought pops up, "look behind the curtain, you(me) know there is nothing here to call your own. It is a spontaneous fractal out of the emptiness." But this very dialogue seems to reify itself as separate, and contract the space it appears in. Thus dissatisfaction creeps in.

In another way, simpler, any "I wish" or "I hope" thought that occurs privately to me. These seem to have a pressure response in the body that then reinforces that I am not just a separate mind but a body too.

Whatever "I am", all thoughts have their source in me. Even the words being read and interpreted on this page occur only within this me, "I am." So the very recognition of data occurring only to me seems to reinforce there is a me.

by Elena » May 12th, 2014, 6:01 pm

Joseph, thanks very much for your explanation. I like you regardless! Just because of your last name! :)

Sorry to bring you back to your first post, we will come back to what you wrote now too, but can you please explain to me in the same detailed way what did you mean by "Discovered I AM THAT" ?

I would like to add here some things that I always thought were essential, and it proved so too in this work. I don't need to ask you to engage with me seriously, I know you are, but I would like to ask you to refrain from reading anything pertaining no self, I Am and all that, including here or on Facebook. Its enough of all that practice you undertook and enough reading and churning thoughts in the head. We came here and want to be "fresh", I like you said that. But we can find that we are pulled to read, because its what we did before, and there is a momentum. So maybe think how you can break that momentum, for example watch it, or go exercise, walk, well you probably walk a lot anyways! Let me know if there is a strong pull to read or you can drop it easily...For the purpose of our work together being as much unconditioned as possible, I am not responding to your friend request on FB, but I will as soon as we done here.
With love.

by Josephkoudelka » May 12th, 2014, 7:46 pm

On the eighth day of a ten day Rohatsu sesshin, I clearly resolved that a "memory thought" was just another thought like any other. The memory thought was sticky for me, in that it seems to reference a past event, thereby proving the existence of time, and a me within that period of time. For awhile, I had been doing what the Buddha purportedly recommended, which was to look deeply a the five skandhas, or five senses(taste, touch, sight, sound, smell), in all it's aspects. To go to the source of each and see what is found there. It was crystal clear that at the base of each of these, there was nothing at all. Only the knowing of their respective arrival and departure. Once I was sure of this, I was left with the mind and it's internal functions. Interestingly, intellect too, creates a sense of self when compared to others. But at its source, it appears and disappears, with nothing orchestrating it. Finally, memory. And after reading Ananda Woods cogent description of memory, and examining my so called "own memory" during a deep dive into the empty space, repeatedly for eight days, I was sure it wasn't so special after all and that I was giving it more credit than it was due. I meditated for about eight more hours that day and could say only one thing was certain, that there was a presence, an awareness, that ran through it all, a background upon which the story played. It was the least thing, and I was That. I had been returning to this certainty since a sesshin in 1997, which, when it asked my teacher about it in dokusan, he replied, "that's not it. Don't let yourself be distracted by this", whereupon he rang me out of the room.

Now here I am, 12 years later(2009 different teacher), and I am certain that this is all I or anyone am. I returned to my room, I lived there at that time, and did a search on the term "I Am That", as a lark, and BAM!, google returned a book of dialogues on the very subject. Thus I discovered "I AM THAT" by Nisargadatta. For me it was confirmation that I was on the right track. It's just that I had heard so much confusing bullshit from teachers that I was confused before that moment. That is also when it became clear to me that I needed to leave the teacher I was with at that time. I had already begun sewing my okesa for priest ordination and wanted that badly, but it would not work out. Five months later I left hitch hiking west across the country.

Anyhow, I have had countless small enlightenments and quite a few big ones too. Some carried me for several years. They all came and went. They were in time.

The only intent that arises endlessly here is the desire to be clear about Reality, I'd been teaching long ago, but it felt disingenuous when there was still a doubt left. In the old days teachers would visit many other masters as part of the post enlightenment process to knock loose any remaining "nails or pegs". That is my intent now.


I can't rely on memory.

I know nothing.

No books, no lectures.

Fresh like a newborn fawn.

by Elena » May 12th, 2014, 9:04 pm

Joseph, I very much respect your lifelong practice, determination and focus.

Please take your time on contemplating. I will stay with you as much as needed, I will not ring the gong, since I am not a zen master and we are not in a dokusan room :)

Please describe this for me:

how you see yourself: how you look, what you do, feel, think, see, know, etc. if you are "clear about Reality"?

Imagine you are "clear about the Reality"

what that would look like?

what is on the way to that?

by Josephkoudelka » May 13th, 2014, 6:59 pm


This. Tap. Tap. Tap. Letters appear as words and are interpreted by this presence that is aware of the words being typed. The seeing of this apparent object named "ipad". The tactile sensation of a finger on the glass. Sounds are also present. A quality I call attention seems to alight upon different aspects of this vista. This too is present Now. It occurs out of nowhere, as this present awareness brings attention to itself, there are no objects here, words stop, forms are now a single substrate, no form at all. Speechless!

This is Reality now, that again includes tap, tap, tapping out words in response to Elena.x

Joseph Koudelka

by Josephkoudelka » May 13th, 2014, 7:29 pm

I would like to add that all of this happens effortlessly until I begin to analyze it. At some point it becomes more conceptual and it seems to split into me and it. It being objects and me being the presence that the objects are in. But in reality there is no in and out here. No locus whatsoever. Without a reference point it collapses and is just happening exactly in the only way it can. This doesn't have any intention at all.

At least that is how it seems here. :)

by Elena » May 14th, 2014, 2:17 am

experience that "happens effortlessly" = "clear about Reality" ---- who is clear?

“happens effortlessly until I begin to analyze it”

- you can't analyze it. there is no you.

what's exactly happening when you say "I begin to analyze it" ?

by Josephkoudelka » May 14th, 2014, 10:52 am

Elena wrote
"who is clear?"

Haha! The mind always wants to know. self preservation. "This" is already clear.

Elena wrote:
"- you can't analyze it. there is no you"

Yes! You are correct. There is no you. lol!

Elena wrote:
what's exactly happening when you say "I begin to analyze it" ?

Just a thought, almost a sensation of attention focusing on itself and then a spacious opening of pure beingness, followed by a return of focused attention on the being-existence, almost like a stream back and forth bubbling, and then the desire to just relax into the beingness. It is very subtle until it's not.

Now there is the thought, "so what, this is just what is happening."

by Elena » May 14th, 2014, 12:27 pm

joseph said: “Now there is the thought, "so what, this is just what is happening."”

Apparently this thought is not enough for you to relax. There are other thoughts that tell how it should be and the drive to seek continues...

You can repeat "there is no you" to the end of times, the drive to find it or to get rid of it still there...

Do you do the drive?

by Josephkoudelka » May 14th, 2014, 2:18 pm


by Josephkoudelka » May 14th, 2014, 7:12 pm

Since responding earlier today I am experiencing a deep fear of death accompanied by a dark sense of foreboding and depression. I am not doing it, it is like a dark cloud. Intense.

by Josephkoudelka » May 15th, 2014, 7:32 am

Intense fear gave way to an energetic sort of excitement. All these things occur but I am not touched by them.

Interestingly, during the past several months I have had 5 eye surgeries to prevent me from going blind in my left eye. Two emergency surgeries in the past week. There isn't a story about this. The mind is not preoccupied by it. At this point it seems the doctors are much more attached to my eye than I am. If my eye has sight or not is not up to me.

Whatever I am, it is not a body mind organism. Self referential thought patterns have their own apparent lifetime. Even in identification with them, this identification occurs and is known by me yet I remain untouched. Nothing needs to be done. It is abundantly clear that there is no doer here. And knowing this, there is the greatest ease.

by Josephkoudelka » May 15th, 2014, 8:23 am

Ultimately, there is no enlightenment, no liberation. All there is, is This. This has no need of freedom, freedom is its essence, it's very nature.

And minds are like clouds in an empty sky.


by Josephkoudelka » May 15th, 2014, 8:49 am

If I could edit... lol. I have no need for freedom, freedom is my very nature.

by Elena » May 15th, 2014, 8:20 pm

Oh honey, loved it! :)

Greatest ease indeed! Thank you!

by Elena » May 15th, 2014, 8:28 pm

Have some questions for you, your own time, simple and fresh...

by Josephkoudelka » May 16th, 2014, 11:42 am

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

No. No, a separate self is a misunderstanding.

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.

It is difficult to find the illusion of separateness right now. But it starts with a thought at the moment of waking from sleep. At first, all there is is Awareness, then a flood of memory such as, "where I am, who I am, why it is that I am in this particular space... what happened yesterday, what needs to be done today, are there any problems that need my attention, lol, oh no problems, what a relief, what's for breakfast?" Once this happens, the illusion of a separate self autopilots and now there is a Joseph suffering the affairs of the world. But it is not real. It is all mind stuff, a total illusion.

3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.

Nothing needs to be done, nothing is hidden. It is all happening effortlessly and takes care of itself. There are no objects here. Names for forms are no more real that the Joseph illusion. This is what is... no location at all. Complete ease.

The difference is there is no doubt about it. Doubt is only a confused thought. I know doubt but am not touched. It is a marvelous apparition and it is only myself, winking at myself. Doubts are ridiculous here. :)

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?

Well, there was that stick, " - you can't analyze it. there is no you", which gave a jolt for a moment and then it was hilarious. Then you followed with, "what's exactly happening when you say "I begin to analyze it" ?", and the seriously good student kicked in and began analyzing what happens when analyzing is taking place. Ouch.

Then you responded with a particularly dire prognosis, "apparently this thought is not enough for you to relax. There are other thoughts that tell how it should be and the drive to seek continues... You can repeat "there is no you" to the end of times, the drive to find it or to get rid of it still there...", and followed with the question,"Do you do the drive?", which brought me back to the fact there is no me. So "Do you do the drive?" Pushed me over.

Overall, it was important that I dialogued with someone other than my own mind, who was completely clear with regard to their identity or non-identity, if you would. Quite a paradox, lol. :)

This whole thing is a desperate game until it is truly seen as the wonderful game that it is.

5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.

When there is hunger, eating happens. When a decision needs to be made, an answer arrives and it happens. I am not responsible for anything. Who is there to take responsibility? The ramifications for this are astounding. This is where Love, if I were to choose a word, comes in. Nobody is doing anything whatsoever. Everyone is my Self. Everyone is not everyone. There is only life happening. No need to exploit, no need to withhold, no needs. Everything is provided, and with that a tremendous sense of peace, thoroughly permeated with gratitude, saturates the atmosphere.

Someone asked, "if there is no doer, how do you cross the street?", to which I replied, "the same way you do, without any worry at all. The intelligence here takes care of itself. Why should I get in the way?"

Regarding intention, it happens, I have nothing to do with it.

I don't know how it works, I don't think that it works. No free will. Nothing.

Control? Why? It is an illusion. Total delusion.

6) Anything to add?

I am extremely grateful for this time you spent with me.

Also you visited me in a dream last week, you were a blue fairy, a beautiful azure blue. This was actually a couple of days before this dialogue started. But I had been to your website and watched a video and knew of you. I did not actually expect to dialogue with you. I am a lucky dog. :)

The other thing I want to say, is that the freedom of no self is so absolute, that I can express it as easily as drinking a cool glass of water. This does not need a special language to be correct. I can use the pronoun I. I can refer to others. They are no others than myself. I can anthropomorphize, wax poetic, speak or sing this mighty hallelujah til the end of time. Every single word is only a pointer, a sign indicating that which is beyond all words and phrases. There is no right way to express This. That would be like me looking over my own shoulder, what freedom would there be in that? I don't need the reins back, I never had them in the first place. There is no doer!

In the absolute sense, this isn't doing anything at all. It is the mind that thinks it does things.

I have no clue as to who I am. Everything I know is borrowed, it has never been mine from the very start. This life is a gift.

With love. Endlessly. With love.

by Elena » May 16th, 2014, 1:53 pm

I love you so much, Joseph... sending you warm hug: (( Joseph )) !...So fairy worked! Magic! :) hehe

by Josephkoudelka » May 16th, 2014, 2:29 pm

I love you too Elena, thank you so much! Magic :) yes!