Recently, Rose Rosetree had a 2-part conversation with Jeffrey Chappell on enlightenment. Part of the debate was that they use the term slightly differently. Jeffrey relates more to the awakening of Self Realization. Rose, to enlightenment as being clear of energetic debris, balanced chakras, and the divine shining through – broadly a more established version of it.
In the second part of the conversation, Jeffrey brought up the value of entrainment, what is typically known as darshan. I sometimes call it resonance here. After that article, Rose posted another discounting the value of darshan in her experience.
Again, part of the issue is she’s focusing on enlightenment as a healed and established form of awakening, not the shift itself where darshan can be key. Energy healing is much more important for the refined values she looks for. But she does make some valid points. Chasing teachers to get their vibes is just a spiritualized version of celebrity chasing. It also tends to focus on the person and personality of the teacher rather than where the darshan is coming from. There is no real openness taking place. Rather, it’s another form of grasping.
For example, many people will go to a satsang or spiritual talk to hear something to entertain or satisfy the mind. When Lorne Hoff does similar, he suggests the listener put aside the mind and instead listen from silence, let the Self listen to the Self speaking. If the Self speaks but only the mind listens, the mind may grow but not the presence.
If we can listen from silence/ presence, its much more likely to enliven that. That is the real value of sitting with someone awake we resonate with.
But more deeply, depending on our own process, that darshan can be key to the awakening itself. The Self within wakes up to itself through this apparent form because it recognizes that lively Self in another we resonate with. This is why Jeffrey used the term entrainment.
This would not be true for everyone. I’ve noticed 5 typical styles of shift. But for some who are ripe, presence of another may be all it takes. Another may wake up to a certain word spoken in that open place. Another may be enlivened by the presence, then shift later on their own when it “lands”. And there are other dynamics I’ve touched on elsewhere.
It doesn’t matter if a person is devotional or not, there is a moment of letting go or surrender. The degree or depth of that and the clarity at the time determines how deep the initial shift is. For some, it is very clear and complete. For others, very subtle and unfolds more slowly. For others, somewhere in the middle.
In spite of this, we should again not see the person as the means. This puts awakening as being controlled by something outside of ourselves. But it is only ever ourselves that wake up to ourselves. Presence is just the catalyst.
I don’t recall anyone who woke with darshan alone. If it’s a major focus of the practice, it means spending some years in retreat with the teacher. How many teachers are available for that, that also have the prominent presence to do the job? Again, it can be the catalyst for someone ripe but they need to ripen first.
And of course, there is the old saying that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. We may feel more than ready. But this is not a process the me is controlling. It is a process that happens by grace, organized with a perfection that is beyond comprehension.