Questions, Doubts, Excitement
I attended my first workshop with Douglas Harding in 1970. In the weeks and months following the workshop I had questions and doubts. I could see I had no head, yet this view of myself was so different from the way I had grown up to think of myself – with a head! Although I couldn’t see it, surely I did have a head, a brain, eyes… I needed these things to think, and see… and I could touch my head, and see it in the mirror! Lots of questions, and doubts…
Yet how freeing and illuminating it was being headless! I was no longer imprisoned inside anything – I was boundless capacity
for my own body and mind, for other people, for nature. It was wonderful and exciting. One of the really beautiful things was that I was suddenly seeing I was space to face
with others. Having no face of my own, I was room for another’s face – in fact, their face was mine! No distance! No separation! How had I ever missed this obvious truth? It was the discovery of a very deep kind of love – unconditional love in fact. Being empty
, I became others. The only effort it involved, if effort it was, was paying attention – not overlooking the space here. Of course, to begin with I drifted away from it all the time, being a compulsive daydreamer! But the great thing was that I now knew exactly how to rediscover my true nature whenever I wished – all I had to do was look for my face! What could be easier? It didn’t matter how I felt or what was happening, I could always notice I was looking out of this faceless clearness.
A few months after the workshop I went with my brother to stay with Douglas Harding for the weekend – my brother had been at the same workshop I had attended and was equally drawn to headlessness
. Douglas had invited us (and others) to visit him if we were interested in what he was sharing. Clearly I was very interested. By chance I had found something of immense importance and I wanted to know more. And I had questions and doubts I needed to address.
My mother came with us – I think because she had seen the positive effects of headlessness on her teenage sons and wanted to meet the man responsible. Perhaps she also wanted to make sure we weren’t getting drawn into some kind of cult!
There were other people also staying that weekend and we did more of the experiments together. It was informal and relaxed. I had the opportunity to talk further with Douglas and also with the others present. All of this helped clarify things for me.
So if you have done the experiments and have noticed you are looking out of boundless awake space, but have questions and doubts - about whether or not it’s true, about what it means, about what difference it might make in your life - this is normal. It’s what most people experience.
What do you do, then, if you feel that here is something important, but you have questions and doubts about it?
Look into it further – and keep LOOKING, keep paying ATTENTION to the place you are looking out of, the place you are living from.
Do more of the experiments
on the website if you haven’t done them all. Read the articles
there. Be patient. And if ever you have the chance to go to a workshop or have a conversation with someone who sees and values their headlessness,
why not do that too. Or you can email me
if you like. Having friends on the same wavelength, who understand what is important for you, is a great help. It has helped me hugely, and still does. And of course, keep reading these Reflections
! I’m going to cover lots of ground.
Unlike my brother and myself, my mother wasn’t enthusiastic about headlessness, although she wasn’t exactly resistant to it. I’ll tell you more about her later. As for my father… well, I’ll tell you about him as well!
Hi Richard, thanks for offering this course. I went through all the experiments and I am simply amazed at this totally new idea about being `headless`. It made me realize again that we are taking assumptions for truth, just because of years and years of habitual thinking, which is never questioned. Heike.
So far I find these experiments fascinating. Quite "the eye opener." I can find the "edgeless nothingness" and also the "single eye." I very much enjoyed the theory of how the eye really sees. I find these exercises very simple yet profound. There are areas I do not understand as yet. Thank you, Sandra.
Thank you very much Richard. Although I am new to the "headless" way, I have ten years of experience in various meditation practices, mostly zen. However, using the experiments on the web site, I immediately recognized something (actually a lack of something) that I have missed my entire life, because it was so obvious. Although the euphoria wore off after several days, my "practice" has been changed for good. I wish to thank you very much for setting up the web site and making the information so readily available. Jason.
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