26 Jan 10 days with an Enlightened Guru
Dhyan Vimal in white shirt and jeans, flying a helicopter drone with a film camera
I have just finished a 10-day retreat with an Malaysian Guru, Master Dhyan Vimal, who is said to be enlightened. So now I am enlightened too, I am on fire. Feel quite good actually. Sitting here on the airport looking at all the non-enlightened people around me. They don’t have a clue what is going on. But I do. Damn, I’m good.
Hm, I wish it were that simple. However the retreat has been interesting. In one way I feel like I have learnt a lot, in another way I actually feel more ordinary than before the workshop. I guess time will tell how this affects me. The older student and the Master says the effect is subtle, but that I will find myself having a new and easier attitude in situations that before made me struggle internally.
So what did we do? Well, there was no meditation in darkness, release of anger or sexual exercises like in other retreats I have been to. On the contrary we were simply sitting around Master while he was talking to us from 8 in the morning to about 11 in the evening. I guess that sounds quite boring, and sure it was not super exciting the whole time. But it all took place in a nice hotel, on a paradise-like beach on the tropical Malaysian island of Langkawi. I also had time to work out, tan my body (tan is very important) and swim in the sea – so no need to complain. We also danced a bit to celebrate, but there was no party like I am used to from the tantric workshops. On the contrary it was quite formal with prayer in the morning and the evening, inspired by Hinduism traditions.
The beach in front of the hotel.
So how did I put up with sitting and listening for 10 days some may wonder? Well the subject was life, the human psyche and our place in the world, which are my favorite subjects, and the man talking about them was one of the most interesting persons I have ever met. If I could talk about a “person” at all. What does it meant to be enlightened? I have tried to write about it in the Dictionary. One of the things noticeable about this Master is that nothing, and I mean nothing, can get him out of balance. He does not seem to have any personal problems or dilemmas, he is not afraid of anything, he does not need anything and he gave me the impression of always being objective, clear and very, very insightful. He had immediate answers to pretty much all questions, he somehow knew me and things that had happened to me and if there was some area he hadn’t studied he admitted it – but still gave some useful directions about the matter. He had a very masculine approach, as we would say in Tantra.
I asked a lot of questions and the Master liked it. I became somewhat of a mascot sitting next to him and if I hadn’t asked anything for 30 minutes he said things like “Babyface common, this people are boring me. Ask another question”. He was very straight, always speaking his mind right out and sometimes he was quite hard in his feedback – especially to the elder students. He was also talking in incredible flow, changing subject in a second between the most difficult philosophical questions, making jokes about big or small dicks and also joking constantly about himself and all the people around. He called me “pretty boy”, “weirdo” and all kinds of things. But always with a sense of humour and an undertone of care.
He seemed to work constantly, only sleeping a few hours per night. He just finished directing a movie in Kuala Lumpur, so when he was not answering the constant stream of questions from the students he was filming on the beach and coaching his team. He seemed to have a good time ALL the time. Surely an extraordinary man. Since I am not enlightened myself I cannot judge about his enlightenment, but I have never met anyone like him. So I guess he is, I could not detect any trace of a person trapped in worldly problems in him. He simply seemed to be beyond this world, but still taking part in it.
What did I get out of it then? Well my seeking for answers about enlightenment has definitely chilled down. I also got some personal tips for my spiritual practice. A small personal ritual to do whenever I need to become present, to not be trapped in my mind. I also got help to better understand why I am the way I am and he showed me that what I am looking for is actually already happening. One of the big things about my Ego is that I feel a need to be special, but the road towards liberation is actually about allowing myself to be ordinary. I can still do great things in the world, but it must not be derived from the need to prove myself or to live up to others expectations.
These patterns go deep in most of us and we are generally totally unaware of why we strive for the goals we strive for. We are also unaware of the fact that most of our behaviors are copied. So the Master helps us to see the gifts we have and what life we are actually here to live out, to celebrate. The idea is that in doing what we are meant to do (Life’s Purpose), which should be some kind of celebration of life, the “Do:er” or the seeker slowly disappears in this effortless doing. We will step by step become one with our actions and the world we act in, living in love and in flow.
From my tantric workshops I am used to less theory and more practice. I think this has served me and others well. To be, sometimes, pushed through resistance to get out of self-destructive patterns. This Master, for better or worse, leaves it more up to us to use the information given by him to change our lives. Maybe it is less effective, but it is also a more gentle approach. For me I feel there was a lot of wisdom to act on and I am definitely going to meet up with this Guru again.