Lester Levenson (1909-1994)

Lester-In-Samahdi                                   lesterlevenson

Rise and Expand

Raise your level of consciousness
As the mountains rise above the plain
And the eagle soars above the storm
Knowing no bondage to wind and rain

The rains must come to the narrow earth
The storms are a part of its life
But we can find within our souls
The peace and beauty above the strife


January, 1952

I was told by the doctor not to exert myself, that I must live a sedentary life, because I could drop dead at any moment. This scared me almost to death! After several days I said to myself, “I’m still alive! Drop this useless fear and instead use all you’ve got to see what you can do about it.”

I resolved that either I get answers or I’ll take me off this earth, that no coronary was going to do it. And I had the wherewithal, enough morphine to do it–and in the most pleasant way. The doctors allowed me to have morphine to use when I would be overtaken by a kidney-stone attack.

The major thing I did after my coronary thrombosis was cut myself off from the world, one hundred percent. Formerly, I had been very active socially in the arts, opera, jazz, ballet and theater, whenever I was in New York. It was my necessity for escape. However, for three months I stopped all social activity, did no dating, and even cut out the weekend visits to my sisters and their families. I also cut off the phone.

It was a total cut-off from the world. I isolated myself, right in New York City. I’d only go out to buy food between 2:00 and 5:00 A.M. when the city streets were the emptiest. Stores were open all night in Manhattan; I saw no one except the grocer.

I was all out, hell-bent on getting the answers.

* * *

I had spent over forty years of my life, mostly very unhappily. Friends would tell me, “Gee, Lester, you’ve got everything.” I felt I had nothing.

I had a nice family and an unusually loving mother. I was given a good education. I was living on 116 Central Park South–and in the penthouse. My friends were many. But my life was unhappy and sick. I had suffered twenty years with hay fever, fifteen years with ulcers and a half-dozen perforated ulcers, enlarged liver and kidney stones. About twice a year I’d get jaundiced. I developed migraine headaches. Then heart trouble. And fear, anxiety and frustration all my life.

After my coronary I was told I might drop dead any minute. “Don’t climb a stair unless you absolutely have to,” I was warned. That was in 1952. I was forty-two years old.

I was desperate. This fear of dying scared me more than I’ve ever been scared in my life. But after a few days of fear of dying, I resolved that there was nothing I could do brooding about it. I started thinking of a way out. I sat alone in my apartment, just thinking, thinking, thinking.

* * *

“What is life? What is it that I’ve been looking for? Just a little happiness, that’s all,” he answered himself. “Okay, then, what is happiness? How do you get it? Where do you find it?”

First, he looked in the dictionary for definitions of happiness and life. They didn’t tell him anything he didn’t already know. Next, he went to his library of books collected over the years. There was Freud; could there be anything useful in that? No, he’d tried Freudian analysis for four years and it hadn’t helped. He’d also read every book Freud had written that had been translated into English and hadn’t found the answers. No, Freud had no answers for him.

He went on to others: Watson’s Behaviorism, Jung and Adler; nothing for him in those, either. Then there were the philosophers. He began taking books from the shelves, putting them in a pile. He’d read them all, cover to cover, more than once, but maybe he’d missed something. After all, he thought, he hadn’t then had specific questions. Taking books to his chair by the window, he began to read. He skimmed through one after the other, stopping to read paragraphs or pages here and there. His head began to feel clogged with information, and his thoughts were spinning. More and more impatient, he went back to the shelves for other books, books on medicine, physics, engineering.

He had books on everything and he looked through them all over the next two days. The room was a mess, books piled everywhere, some lying open on the floor where he had thrown them in his frustration.

* * *

I had a problem and had to get the answer. So I sat me down and said, “Lester, you were considered smart. You were an honors student in high school. You won a scholarship when only three scholarships to Rutgers University were awarded through competitive statewide examinations. You were an honors student in college.” But for all of that, I was dumb! dumb! dumb! I did not know how to get the very elementary thing in life—how to be happy!

* * *

He would have to look somewhere else, and he thought he knew where. He would put all that useless knowledge aside, disregard everything he’d learned, go back to the lab and start from scratch. The problems were within him, he reasoned. It was his body, his mind, his emotions. The answers must be within him, too. That was his lab and that’s where he would look. He went to his chair and began.

“Okay. Well, what am I? What is this world? What is my relationship to it?” he asked.

It was about a month after he’d begun his self-search, and he was looking into the question of happiness. He’d already eliminated some answers and once again asked himself, “What is happiness?” The answer that came this time was, “Happiness is when you’re being loved.” That seemed simple enough. He went on. “Okay, would you say you are happy now? Do you feel happy?” The answer was no. “Okay,” was the conclusion, “then that must mean you are not loved!” “Well, that’s not exactly true,” came the rebuttal. “Your family loves you.”

And there were women, too. He could think of more than one who would marry him in a minute if he asked. He knew this was so because they had asked him, and had broken off the relationship when he refused. There were men who loved him, too, as a friend. These were men he had known all his life, real friends who had stood by him through all kinds of difficulties, who still called regularly just to say hello and see how he was doing, who enjoyed spending time with him. They loved him. It came as a shock that with all that love, he still wasn’t happy. It became obvious that being loved was not the answer to happiness.

He threw it out and tried a new approach. “Maybe happiness lies in accomplishments,” he thought. He remembered when he’d won the Rutgers scholarship, when Kelvinator had increased his salary, when he got his first apartment, when he opened his first diner, when he made the coup in Canadian lumber. Proud of himself, yes. But happy? No, not what he would call happy. “Well, then,” he asked himself, “have I ever been happy and if so, when?”

The first part was easy; of course, he’d been happy sometimes. But when, specifically? He began to look at it. There were the summer times years ago when he was camping out with the fellows. He had been happy then. Oh, not every minute, of course, so what were the specific moments? The first thing that flashed into his mind was a picture of him helping his friend, Sy, put up his tent one summer. Sy had arrived late in the afternoon and one of his tent ropes had broken. Lester had helped him, both of them laughing, pleased with their friendship, feeling good about themselves and each other. He had been happy then. He chuckled at the memory. He felt good even now, thinking about it. “What were some other times?” he asked, and the next thing he remembered was how he felt when his friend, Milton, had eloped in college. No one was supposed to know about it, but Milton had told his best friend, Lester. He had been very happy then; was it that he felt special because Milton had told him a secret? Upon reflection he saw that it wasn’t that. No, it was the expression on Milton’s face, talking about his beautiful new bride and how much he loved her; they just didn’t want to wait until after college. Lester had felt a twinge of envy for a moment, but then had looked closely at his friend’s face beaming with love and he knew he had definitely been happy for Milton. He felt the happiness well up in him even now, after all the years, as he sat with eyes closed, reviewing the scene in his mind. Yes, he had been happy then.

* * *

I began reviewing it again and I discovered that when I was loving someone, then I was happy. Conclusion: my happiness equates to my capacity to love.

* * *

He had to laugh, it seemed so ludicrous. To think that someone else could make him happy seemed like the funniest thing in the world. He knew, better than anyone, that no one could ever make him anything. He’d always been very proud and stubborn and self-sufficient, sure that he never needed anyone or anything. “What a joke!” he thought. The truth is that the whole time he’d been dying inside for want of love, thinking he had to get it from someone. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he laughed and laughed at the realization that what he’d been looking for all his life was inside of him. He had been like the absent-minded professor, looking everywhere for his glasses which were on top of his head the whole time. “What a shame,” he thought, wiping away the tears. “What a shame that I never saw this before. All that time, all those years wasted, what a shame.”

“But wait a minute!” he thought. “If happiness is when I’m experiencing love for the other one, then that means happiness is a feeling within me. And if I felt unloving in the past? Well, I know I can’t change the past, but could I possibly correct the feeling now inside myself? Could I change the feeling to love now?”

He decided to try it. He looked at his most recent unhappiness, the day he left the hospital. “First,” he asked himself, “was I experiencing a lack of love that day?” “Yes,” he answered aloud. “Nobody gave a damn about me, not the nurses, not the orderlies, not even Dr. Schultz. They didn’t care. As sick as I was, they threw me out, sent me home to die so they wouldn’t have to watch one of their failures. Well, the hell with them! They can all go to hell!”

He was shocked at the vehemence in his voice. His body trembled with rage and he felt weak. He really hated the doctor–he could feel it burning in his chest. “Oh, boy,” he thought, “this sure isn’t love. Well, can I change it?” he asked. “Is it possible to turn it into love for the doctor?” “Hell, no,” he thought, “why should I? What did he ever do to deserve my love?” “That’s not the point,” he answered himself. “The point is not whether he deserves your love; the point is, can you do it? Is it possible to simply change a feeling of hatred into a feeling of love, not for the benefit of the other person but for yourself?”

As the thought crossed his mind, he felt something break loose in his chest. A gentle easing, a sense of dissolving, and the burning sensation was gone. He didn’t trust it at first. It seemed too easy so he pictured again the scene with Dr. Schultz in the hospital. He was surprised to find that it brought only a mild feeling of resentment rather than the previous intense burning hatred. He wondered if he could do it again.

“Let’s see,” he thought, “what did I just do? Oh, yes. Can I change this feeling of resentment into a feeling of love?” He chuckled as he felt the resentment dissolve in his chest. Then it was totally gone and he was happy. He thought of Dr. Schultz again, pictured him in his mind and felt happy, even loving. He saw now, reliving that last meeting, how the doctor had hated to tell him the things he had to say. He could feel the doctor’s pain at having to tell a young man in the prime of his life that his life was over.

“Doctor Schultz, you son-of-a-gun,” he said, grinning, “I love you.” “Well, it worked on that one,” he thought. “If my theory is sound, then it should work on everything.” Eagerly he began trying it on other moments, and the results were consistently the same. Each time that he asked himself if he could change the feeling of hostility or anger or hatred to one of love, the dissolving process took place. Sometimes he had to repeat it over and over until he felt only love for the person. At times, the entire process would take only a minute or two; at other times, it might take him hours of working on a particular person or event before his feelings were only loving, but he would doggedly stay with it until it was completed on each person and each incident.

* * *

Then I went through a very keen process of trying to love others. I would review my past behavior, and where I thought I had been loving, I saw I wanted to be loved. For instance, when I saw that I had been nice to a girl only because I wanted something from her, I would say, “You son-of-a-gun, Lester. Correct that!” Then I would love her for what she was, not for what I wanted from her. I kept on correcting this until I could find no more to correct.

* * *

One day he started thinking about his college sweetheart, Annette, how she had broken off with him and married someone else, and he was overcome with grief. He felt the old pain of ulcers starting up again in his stomach and realized with certainty that the ulcers had started that last day with Nettie. He’d drunk the beer and thrown up; that had been the beginning. He wished it had been different. More than anything else in this world, he wanted to change what had happened. He wanted to go back and live it over again the other way, with Nettie choosing him, with them getting married and being happy forevermore.

“Well, you can’t change it, stupid,” he shouted at himself, “so you might just as well stop trying to.” That jolted him. He saw that he was still trying to change something that had been finished more than twenty years ago. “No, it can’t be finished,” he cried. “I won’t let it be finished.” His throat hurt now and he felt like screaming and smashing things. Then, like instant replay, he heard what he’d said, “I won’t let it be finished.” That was the source of his anguish. He’d wanted to change it all these years and so he kept it alive inside himself, the pain buried deep, eroding his happiness.

“Well, the hell with that,” he said, almost flippantly. Suddenly, with that decision, the whole thing was gone. He couldn’t believe it. He felt for the hurt, the pain, the despair, but it was all gone. He thought of Nettie as he remembered her, so young, so beautiful, and he simply loved her. There was none of the old painful feeling left.

He realized that the cause of his ulcers was that he had wanted to change everything, starting with his nearest and dearest and extending out to the rest of the world, including the United States, other countries, government heads, the weather, endings of movies he had seen, the way businesses were run, taxes, the army, the president; there was nothing he could think of that he had not wanted to change in one way or another. What a revelation! He saw himself subject to and a victim of everything he wanted to change! He began dissolving all that. When he thought of something that caused him pain about a person or situation, he would now either correct it with love or dissolve wanting to change it. This added a new dimension to his work, and his progress accelerated. Sometimes he felt as though he had hold of a chain with many links of incidents on it that needed correcting. Once he got hold of the chain, he would follow through, incident by incident, until there was nothing left to be corrected.

* * *

What is my mind? What is intelligence?

There was a certain greater freedom I felt. It was easier to concentrate because of it and I began to look more closely at my mind. “What is my mind?” I asked. “What is intelligence?” I suddenly got a picture of bumper-car ride at an amusement park. The steering mechanism is constructed to be oversensitive, so that the more a driver tries to control his car, the more erratic becomes the action. They were all getting their electrical energy from the wire screen above, through a pole coming down to every car. The power above was symbolic of the overall intelligence and energy of the universe coming down the pole to me and everyone else, which we were all using and bumping into each other instead of driving along together in harmony.

We use this intelligence in life and we just bump! bump! bump! That was the first picture I got of life and intelligence. We all have a direct line to that infinite intelligence up there and we are using it blindly, wrongly, and against each other.

I began to examine thinking, and its relationship to what was happening. And I saw that whatever was happening had a thought behind it at some time prior, and that the reason I had never before related the two was because of the element of time between the thought and the happening. But I did discover that with everything that was happening to me I’d had a thought of it before it happened, and I felt that if I could grab hold of this concept and find a way to use it, I could consciously pre-determine everything that would happen to me! Thereafter I took responsibility for everything that was happening to me. Looking for it, the initiating thought would come up in mind, and being conscious of it I would then be able to drop it.

I was letting go and undoing the hell I had created. By squaring all with love, trying to love rather than trying to be loved, and by taking responsibility for all that was happening to me, finding my subconscious thought and correcting it, I became freer and freer, happier and happier.

For the first two months I was getting answers to, “What is happiness, intelligence and love?” As the answers came, I was gradually being unburdened of my miseries and tensions. I felt freed from the subconscious compulsions that I had to work, I had to make money, I had to have girlfriends. The feeling that I was now able to determine my destiny, that I was now able to control my world, lightened my internal burden so strongly that I felt there was no need for me to have to do anything.

* * *

It was during the third month that he ran into an old adversary, one he had seen out of the corner of his eye again and again throughout his life. It had lurked nearby, always on the periphery and he had never before been willing to meet it head on. It was the fear of death. Now he recognized it as the basis of every single feeling he had ever had. He began to coax it out into the open, wanting to take a good look at this biggest foe of all, which had so very nearly won the battle only a few months ago. He began to lure those feelings into the open and to dissolve them. And it worked! He got to the place where, with great confidence, he laughed and laughed and laughed at this foe that had kept a fire lit under him his entire life so that there had not been one moment of real peace, ever. This last of the monsters turned out to be, after all, only a feeling.

* * *

The very first insight was on love, seeing that my happiness was determined by my capacity to love. That was a tremendous insight. It began to free me. Any bit of freedom when you’re so plagued feels so good. I knew that I was in the right direction. I had gotten hold of a link of a chain and was determined not to let go until I had the entire chain.

Then I saw that my sum-total thinking was responsible for everything happening to me, and that gave me more freedom. I could control my life by undoing the compulsive behavior, all of which had been determined in the past and was now subconscious.

The third phase was discovering and recognizing who and what I really am. I began to see that we are infinite beings with no limitations; that all limitations were only concepts in our minds, learned in the past, and being held on to.

When we see what we really are, we can see that we are not that limited being that we had thought we were, and we can then easily drop the limitations.

Working on those three things, I became freer and freer. My heart became lighter. I was happier, more at peace. My mind got quieter. Then my curiosity took me all the way. I said, “If this is so good, I must find just how good it can get. I’ll go the limit.” I’d had a life mostly of misery. So when this wonderful thing of happiness began coming in, I wanted all of it. I doggedly kept at it.

And then all of a sudden powers fell in on me. I could know anything anywhere. I saw there were people just like us on endless numbers of planets. Then I took a look across the country to Los Angeles. I called up this friend and said, “In the living room there are three persons,” and so on. I started telling him what was going on. Silence! Suddenly I realized that I had frightened him; I had to cut the conversation short.

I was amazed at the very pleasant sensation of watching divine laws in operation. The fascination was not the powers themselves, but the watching and witnessing of the divine laws operating. I really didn’t feel like the doer. I knew these things were not to be latched on to. I knew that if I got interested in them, I’d stop progressing. I had seen by this time that this world is a mentation, a dream, so to get interested in the dream again through interest in powers would trap me back into what I was wanting to get out of.

Toward the end of my period of seeking, I saw one day that, my gosh! this whole thing is like a dream in my mind, just like a night dream! And it’s a dream that never really was–any more than a dream you had last night was. Was it a real thing, that dream you had last night? No. It was only in your mind. But of course until one awakens out of this everyday waking state, it seems real to you.

The new reality was that I am, and that’s all there is! That my beingness is the changeless essence of the universe. Of course, I was punch-drunk, slap-happy, and in a state of euphoria. In this state the whole world looks perfect. Looking at my body, I also saw this body as part of that perfection. This instantly corrected all my ailments.

* * *

When I started my search, I was a very convinced and absolute materialist. The only thing that was real to me was that which I could see, feel and touch. My world was as solid as concrete. Then when these revelations came to me that the world was just a result of my mind, that matter had no intelligence, and that our intelligence and our thinking determined all matter and everything about it, when I saw that the solidity which I formerly had was only a thought, my nice, solid, concrete foundation began to crack.

A lifetime of build-up began to tumble and my body shook and shook. I just shook for days. I shook like a nervous old person. I knew that the concrete view I’d had of the world was never going to be again. But it didn’t drop away gracefully with ease. For days, I actually shook, until I think I shook the whole thing loose. Then my view was just the opposite of what it had been months previously: that the real and solid thing was not the physical world, was not even my mind, but was something which was much greater; that my essence, the very Beingness of me was the reality and that it had no limits; that it was eternal, and that all those former things that I used to see as me, like my body and mind, were the least of me rather than the all of me. That the All of me was my Beingness.

* * *

I was undoing the subconscious hang-ups, tendencies, predispositions, realizing more and more that I am free, that freedom is my basic nature. I was getting freer and freer and I automatically went into a state where, having undone enough of the mental limitations, the real Self of me began presenting itself to me.

I saw that the real “I’ of me was only beingness, was only existence, and that my beingness was exactly the beingness of the universe. And when I saw that, I identified with every being in this universe. I identified with every atom in it. And when you do that you lose all sense of being a separate individual, an ego.

When I saw that, that I AM the Amness of this universe, I then saw the whole world as just an image in my imagination, like a dream. I imagined or dreamt that I was a body, and I’m dreaming right now that I’m this body.

In reality, the only thing that is, is Isness. That’s the real, changeless substance behind everything. And you are that, too.

* * *

By the end of the month he had slipped into a blissful, joyous state, which he could only describe as feeling like a million orgasms surging all at once through his entire body. It went on and on, and he realized that this feeling, although not sexual, was what he had always been looking for but never found in sex. He began to wonder if there could be anything better beyond this joy.

He was sitting in his chair in the usual position, slumped down, legs stretched out, chin touching his chest. He had the idle thought without expecting an answer, but the answer came. What was beyond this incredible, joyous state that didn’t stop? He saw that it was peace, imperturbability, and he realized with certainty that if he accepted it, if he decided to move into that peace, it would never, ever go away. And he went, slipped into it so effortlessly with just a decision to have it. He was there.

His body seemed small and distant sitting in its chair. He could see it there if he chose, but he felt himself spread across the entire universe. That body was only an infinitesimal speck in the vastness that he was. He was omnipresent. There was no travel: only a thought, and he was there.

* * *

It was obvious to me that I wasn’t that body and mind as I had thought I was. I just saw it, that’s all. It’s simple when you see it. So I let go of identifying with that body. And when I did, I saw that my Beingness was all Beingness, that Beingness is like one grand ocean. It’s not chopped up into parts called ‘drops of bodies’ — it’s all one ocean. That caused me to identify with every being, every person, and even every atom in this universe. And that’s an experience so tremendous, it’s indescribable. First you see that the universe is in you, then you see the universe as you. Then you know the Oneness of this universe. Then you are finished forever with separation and all the hellishness that’s caused only by separation. Then you can no longer be fooled by the apparent limitations of the world. You see them as a dream, as an apparition, because you know that your very own Beingness has no limits!

* * *

Everything was still. He was in a quietness that he now knew had always been there but had been drowned out by incessant noise from his accumulated, uncorrected past. In fact, it was more than quiet: it was so far beyond anything imaginable that there were no words to describe the delectable deliciousness of the tranquility.

It was April 1952 when he made the last tremendous breakthrough into the quiet state. “Can it be only three short months since I was dying?” he wondered. It was hard for him to believe all that had happened to him in such a short span of time. It seemed as though a million lifetimes had gone by and yet it seemed like only a moment. His sense of time had changed radically. When he thought about it, he realized that, from where he was, in the quietness, there was no time. There was an ever-nowness. Time was relative and had meaning only in the world of differences, of separation. Where he was, everything was the same, made up of the same substance, the same inexpressibly beautiful, all-powerful peace which was inherent in every atom of the universe. He was that peace.

* * *

Addendum: Sigmund Freud and enlightenment

In July 1941 Lester was called to work as an engineer for the U.S. Maritime Commission in Washington D. C. Because of this he lost a small chain of restaurants, called the Hitching Post, that he had started in New York. His autobiography continues:

In 1943 I was shifted to Philadelphia. There I got fed up with ships and pipes, and worked my way into the U.S. Engineers working out of 120 Wall Street, getting up plans and specifications for construction at Army installations. I had gotten back home to New York City! That was my plan.

But through all this period, I was sick mentally with anxieties and depression, sick physically with ulcers, hay fever, gastrointestinal imbalances and migraine headaches.

While I was in Washington I had begun to develop fears of going under a bridge or into a building, thinking they might collapse on me. Even though rationally I knew they couldn’t, I couldn’t get rid of the fear. I was forcing myself to go under railroad bridges.

This made me think I was going insane. And when you think you’re going insane, you really get scared! It drove me to seek a way out. I went into the study of Freud with intensity.

Then I went into psychoanalysis. Four years of it–four times a week–under a former associate of Sigmund Freud. In 1946 I was discharged with the comment that some people cannot be helped. It had done me no good.

Again, after his heart attacks, when he went into his library seeking answers, Lester said that Freud “had no answers for him.”

Researcher Jeffery Martin has noted that it is common for enlightened masters to leave out the most important thing that got them there. Martin says Lester left out the practice of systematically going through everyone you know and cultivating love for each person–what Martin named “The Lester Levenson Love Exercise.” I don’t know whether loving everyone was in Lester’s courses or not, but Lester does dismiss something else that I think is very important, which is familiarity with Freud’s theories and the self-knowledge that he gained from psychoanalysis. Yet the Sedona Method is Freudian: it frees people from the misery caused by repressed thoughts, feelings and memories by bringing them out of the unconscious into consciousness. Things brought into the light of conscious awareness usually disappear, just like a phantom in a child’s bedroom disappears when someone turns on the light.

When we are unconscious of negative thoughts and feelings, they rule us, making us behave in ways that make us miserable, making us dead to ourselves, dead to life. But when we become aware of them, we can easily let go of them, and this is incredibly liberating.

In his essay, “Psychoanalysis and Zen Buddhism” (1960), Erich Fromm discusses some of the similarities between Zen Buddhism and Freudian psychoanalysis:

  1. Freud believed that the individual was of the first importance, and that it wasn’t unreasonable for the psychoanalyst to spend years with a patient if it contributed to the patient’s well-being. “If one takes the position that one human being is not commensurable with any thing, that his emancipation, his well-being, or whatever term we might want to use, is a matter of “ultimate concern” in itself, then no amount of time and money can be related to this aim in quantitative terms.”
  2. The psychoanalyst in some ways resembles a master. He has himself undergone analysis; he serves as a “model” or “teacher” for the patient; he doesn’t give the patient answers but helps the patient to look within himself and discover them for himself.
  3. In the Introductory Lectures Freud speaks of the attempts certain mystical [spiritual] practices make to produce a basic transformation within the personality. “We have to admit,” he continues, “that the therapeutic efforts of psychoanalysis have chosen a similar point of approach. Its intention is to strengthen the Ego, to make it more independent from the Super-Ego [society], to enlarge its field of observation, so that it can appropriate for itself new parts of the Id. Where there was Id there shall be Ego.”

It is this final aspect that makes the Sedona Method so powerful: “Where there was Id (unconscious memories and feelings) there shall be Ego (awareness).

Freud began his career analyzing dreams, and from this he was able to learn how the mind represses thoughts, feelings and memories that a person is ashamed of (because of the Super-Ego) or afraid of reliving because they are traumatic. A psychoanalyst helps a patient to discover repressed feelings through dream analysis or free-association, and simply examining them in the light of consciousness takes away their power to disturb and torment. It frees the patient to be alive to the present moment, to relate to others as they are and not displace repressed feelings about some people onto other people.

Suzuki’s essay, “The Unconscious in Zen Buddhism,” should be read carefully. In it he explains how our channel to the Cosmic Unconscious, as he calls it, becomes blocked when we allow egoic thoughts to invade our unconscious. Additionally, the energy we expend keeping negative desires and feelings repressed, pushing them away, leaves us unable to experience the present moment.

A lot more can and should be said about this. I recommend giving the Release Technique all of your time and energy, as if your very life depended on it.

The Editor


Erich Fromm, D. T. Suzuki, et al. (1960). Zen Buddhism and Psychoanalysis, New York: Harper Colophon Books.

Levenson, Lester (2003). No Attachments, No Aversions: The Autobiography of a Master. Sherman Oaks, California: Lawrence Crane Enterprises.

Italicized portions written by Lawrence Crane, http://www.presentlove.com/lester-levenson/


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