Wednesday, September 14, 2005

A Conversation with Mark Walter

Last night I had a discussion with Mark Walter from the Eternal Awareness blog. Here is a transcript of what was said. Mark's been on the spiritual journey for some time now, and he provides wonderful insight and guidance to everyone who visits his blog. When you've finished reading, be sure to check out his page!

13 September 2005

In so many ways you seem to be wide open... in the sense of being highly expressive. That is a wonderful attribute. You also come across as having the kind of enthusiasm that can be infectious, that can inspire others. You have very strong determination. You also have a lot of depth. You have obsessive qualities that are being directed into positive forms, which is very hard to tame and do. These are easy things to say about someone, and can come across as generalities. But, your blogs and older websites are revealing. And I get a strong sense that you have gone about consciously developing your self in past lives. To me, it is very apparent, just as apparent as how you are going about doing the same thing right now.

You know, I have a question (or 3 or 4) for you. Your new blog header says, "I long to be enlightened. On my journey I seek a Spiritual Teacher who can help me find my way."

What are you looking for? What do you want to know or realize? What is your question? Your heart's desire?

I don't mean to intrude, so please understand that. But... you are kinda putting it out there, you know? I think heaven is hearing you.

You can ask any question you want to. I'll be totally honest.

Well, I want to know who I am. I want to know what will happen to me when I die. I want to know what the world consists of. I want to know why there are bad things that happen in this world.

These things are do-able. I've experienced them myself.

Do you mean you've experienced wanting to know the answers to these questions? Or you've experienced the answers themselves?

I've experienced the answers.

Well that's what I'm looking for. That's what I want to do - experience the answers. I hope that doesn't seem selfish. I guess there is such a thing as spiritual selfishness?

I see something like this as spiritual aspiration. We will need to do some talking about this stuff. It isn't a one-two-three thing.

I've slowly come to realize a lot of this stuff takes work. I can't even tell you how many books I've had recommended to me. I'm a slow reader and it would take me a lifetime to read all the recommended books!

It's not something you can learn in books. I guess that's good news.

A sigh of relief! It's very good news, actually.

These things are the domain of the so-called mystery schools.

Like the Nine Gates Mystery School?

I don't know what that is. I mean it in a traditional sense, like the esoteric schools, the rare schools that really do understand, and can truly teach the inner path and understandings.

Ah I see now. Well, I didn't know what the Nine Gates Mystery School was anyway. :)

You know, I'm curious, too, about previous lives. It is entirely possible that we've run into each other in the past, and that is why we have something in common now, something that drew us together.

I think it is interesting too. Very interesting, actually. Maybe someday it will reveal itself. It's not really all that hard to do.

There are some past life regressionists out there. Maybe one of them can tell us the answer. I wish I was trained in reading past lives.

Some regressionists are trained to take you into the past of this life. Some have deeper skills and can take you into former lives. It is very rare to find someone who can take you into the time between lives. And the rarest is the one who can take you over to the other side in real time.

I definitely want to pursue it.

If this is something you want to pursue, try to find a transpersonal hypnotherapist, and then ask them the depth of their skills, i.e., how far in or back can you guide me? Also, the hypnotherapist is not able to bring you deeper than they are developed (as a soul) their self.
Does one have to be in the same room as the hypnotherapist or can it be done over space and time?

It can be experienced either way. Best if you are together though. It takes a very experienced and seasoned practitioner to do something this deep in the first place, so you really need a quality hypnotherapist to do past life over the phone. I would recommend it in person. You don't really want to be holding a phone in your hand while you are soaring into heaven and eternal realization.

There are other ways, too. One is a method that we call ‘morphing’. It involves looking at each other, looking into the eyes with a particular gaze. You begin to learn it by concentrating on the forehead, just above and between the eyes. It works best when the novice is with someone experienced, because there is a narrow band of frequencies that this resonates on, and it helps to have someone that can hold that for you, kind of like a setpoint to zero in on.

It can also happen in group meditations. It just depends on what it is. I have found that I am able to do some of this spontaneously and in dreams, but some of my deepest experiences have been in group therapies/meditations or in clinical hypnotherapy.

I'll probably post more of our conversations as they continue. Check back for more!


Anonymous said...

I don't believe in these sorts of things. There can be a lot of danger involved.
If you ask me, why not concentrate more on the present?
If you really want to be enlightened, you have to forget the past and think more of what is going on now. All the best teachers say this.
The past is some kind of heavy ballast that keeps you from exploring reality in the present. If you throw it away, it can catapult you into deeper understanding.

Sophia said...

Hi Anonymous,

Just like history, the past can teach us things that we can use in the present. Besides the apparent entertainment value, learning from the past helps us grow. We can learn from our mistakes.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that's true! But we never learn from the past. We're still the same agressive and violent people we are, inspite of religions and two world wars.
Knowledge of the past doesn't make us peaceful and harmless.
It make us more afraid and cunning.

Sophia said...

If I touch a hot iron, I know not to touch it again. I learn from the pain that I don't want to experience it again. That pain is a lesson. True, I may be more afraid of the iron than before, but that fear helps protect me. Don't you agree?

Anonymous said...

That's exactly what I mean. We're always protecting ourselves. That's why we can't think clearly.
No matter. You're right about not being afraid to find the truth.
That's a good starting point.
I don't know the truth. And maybe it doesn't matter very much. If enlightenment exist, it's not really about truth. Truth has no place in it. Truth is something in your mind. It's not the same as reality. Reality can destroy truths.

Anonymous said...

I read a book called "The Warrior." Which is some kind of an interpretation of Juan Matus' ideas as it was explored by Carlos Castaneda. Read most of his books a long time ago when I was a schoolboy back in the Philippines. Don't know much about it anymore, as I am not into shamanism.
Anyway, I was tempted to explore it too, as it sounded very familiar with me. I was little bit into "Bushido" as apart of my martial arts practice. But somehow I've lost interest. It can be a bit frightening sometimes! Somehow I got the idea that it resembled my own philosophy. But I didn't want to be sidetracked for fear of losing touch with reality.

Anonymous said...


I see you giving your power away to someone else as if they know so much more...the questions you arre asking can be asked of yourself...but you need to be willing to be completly honest. The truth is all there is, just keep your eyes open and you will see it.

Is it possible that the past and the future are all here now? Has your love for the racoon vanished when he fled into the woods. Is your love for the turtles still there? Where does that love begin and end..or does it?

And lastly, do you HONESTLY, "admire those who are different"? Or is it that you, "ave tolerence for, or an understanding or empathy or compassion for"? That's the truth that will light your way and you are as capable as anyone else if you are willing to really look and honestly see.

Gretchen Coleman said...

Stacey, I would like to share a particular past life experience with you. To help support your statement that knowing the past can help you now.

In this life time I have a real issue with public speaking - hate it. To the point it used to make me physically ill and I would go to unbelievable lengths to avoid it.

Without knowing the subject matter was going to be speaking (opening the throat chakra) I had a regression. Well, it took two regressions to get to the bottom of it. Interesting aside - I had the two sessions several weeks apart and went right to it the second time - this doesn't always happen. But it was obviously something my soul wanted to work on.

Anyway, without going into all the details, there were many, I went back to the lifetime where I developed this loathing of speaking out. It was during Roman times and I had been murdered (reliving that was a trip - I could physically feel it in real time) for narking to the people of my village about a dastardly plot the Roman senate was cooking up.

After this regression, and some other activities that exercise my "voice" (like playing in the orchestra), I have improved a thousand times over in the public speaking arena. In fact, I gave my first presentation for a project a couple of weeks ago (I am usually in a support role in these interviews) and we actually got the project.

So, my point is, looking into your past is not a waste of time, you can learn from it. In fact, building on what knowledge and experience you have gained in the past is very important on your spiritual journey. Its just sometimes it takes a little help from someone more experienced to access that information.

Aliashesh said...

I find it amusing. For me the truth is that I encompass the whole of the experience of the whole of mankind in my being. That is what makes me appreciate Shakespeare and Wordsworth, far removed from me in time and space. Why not try reading any of the classics? They would be as sure guides to your past as any.

Sophia said...

Anonymous 1,

If we can't think clearly because we're always protecting ourselves, what would happen to us if we weren't protecting ourselves? Wouldn't we be far worse off? We would be vulnerable to anything.

Sophia said...

Anonymous 2,

Maybe we're already not in touch with reality. Perhaps we just think we are. It could be this so-called reality is just an illusion. I'm not for sure what reality is, but I hope to someday find out.

By the way, I've only read the first Carlos Castaneda book, but I hope to read more. I really enjoyed _The Teachings of Don Juan_.

Sophia said...

Anonymous 3,

I'm not really giving my power away to anyone else. We are co-conspiring in a way, each of us, to find the truth. We all have experiences we can share with one another that might help the other take further steps on the path.

To answer your questions: My love for the raccoon hasn't vanished, and my love for the turtles is still there. This suggests that yes, there might not be a beginning or an end to love - it could simply have always existed.

And yes, I HONESTLY admire those who are different, but at the same time I "have tolerence for, or an understanding or empathy or compassion for" those who are different.

Thanks for visiting the blog.

Your questions are very thought-provoking.

Sophia said...

Hi Gretchen,

Thanks for stopping by.

Did you have someone else do your regressions or did you do them yourself? I find your past life very interesting, because I too have a very bad fear of speaking in public. I once had to give a presentation for work and I literally almost lost my mind. I had never suffered from so much anxiety before. We are alike in that way. :)

Sophia said...


Yes, the classics are also an excellent way to connect with the past. I enjoy reading them, but haven't read one lately. My favorite novel is considered a "classic" - Wuthering Heights. But I will admit that Shakespeare is difficult for me to understand sometimes.

PJ said...

Hi Stacy,

I think it very cool that you have created this space and so much communication is going on. So many different opinions on what the truth is and how to find it and how you should feel about finding it......

I feel a bit wary of 'M'. It appears that he is setting himself up as the guy with the answers...

I am curious about something though. What do you think that enlightenment is? Will you be different in some way when you are enlightened?

How would you know if someone else was enlightened?


Castor said...

Sorry, about all that anonymous comments! From now on you may know me by the name of Castor.
I am sorry too about giving you some advice. I'll try not to do it again. About past lives and reincarnation, I know nothing about. But I know a little bit about fear of public speaking.
Here in the Netherlands, we call it a symptom of "sociale phobie".
It manifests as self-consciousness, shyness, timidity, fear of criticism, lack of self-confidence, sometimes more acute in certain situations or circumstances, depending on your state of mind. I'm not a psychologist, so I can't tell you a lot more.
I also suffer a bit from it especially in difficult situations like public speaking, performing in public, and being the center of attention in the office or at the party.
From the point of view of spirituality, it seems to come from the feeling of separation, all of us have, except the most stupid or the most enlightened people on this planet.
To become enlightened probably means losing this feeling of separation and self-consciousness. But the question is how does one lose this feeling. In short how does one become one with everyone, with everything, or with reality, so that one loses his sense of separateness and painful self-consciousness?

Castor said...

You're right about that. Reality is something we're not sure of.
It is the great unknown!
This is the basis of J. Krishnamurti's philosophy, if I am not mistaken. But I don't believe in J. Krishnamurti. I believe in the Unknown.

Castor said...

"If we can't think clearly because we're always protecting ourselves, what would happen to us if we weren't protecting ourselves?"
Nothing! Nothing will happen to "us", because we are an illusion.
Illusions exist but they are illusory. We are just thoughts in the mind of the Universe.

Sophia said...

Hi PJ,

Thanks for stopping by. I welcome you to this blog. It is a place for all.

About Mark, he is a wonderful man who claims to be nothing more than your average guy. He calls himself the "student". He hasn't claimed to be enlightened; he's only claimed that he, too, is walking on the path. I much prefer that people who have been on the journey open-up and share their experiences. There is nothing good about walking on a path without any illumination. It would be like walking in the woods at nighttime without a moon's light.

You've asked me, "What is enlightenment?" Enlightenment is the absense of darkness. I believe that enlightenment is the awakening to the light within, the truth that lies within. Enlightenment is liberation. Enlightenment is the final goal. I believe that when one reaches enightenment, there are no more goals to achieve, and therefore life loses its meaning. It is then time for that life to merge with the Universal One. Enlightenment is awakening to the true Self - the One.

Will I be different in some way once I'm enlightened? I will be a completely different person on the inside, though on the outside I will remain the same. I will no longer be disillusioned with my ego-self.

How will I know when I am enlightened? Since I am not currently enlightened and do not know what it is like to experience enlightenment, I cannot currently say how I will know.

How can I know if someone else is enlightened? I believe the only way to know this would be by experiencing true bliss in their presence.

These are all very good questions, entirely thought-provoking.

Thanks again for your visit and I hope you return.

Neal said...

Hi Stacey,

I want to echo what PJ said, "I think it very cool that you have created this space and so much communication is going on."

And I like the way you answered PJ's question, "How can I know if someone else is enlightened? I believe the only way to know this would be by experiencing true bliss in their presence."

I'm not into gurus either, but I have to admit that last night I went to see an Indian guru. His name is Shivabalananda, and he's a desciple of Shiva Bala Yogi Maharaj (believe me, I had to look that up to post it). Well, according to your definition, he was enlightened indeed. Very cool!

His message was simple, and speaks directly to Castor's question, ". . . how does one become one with everyone, with everything, or with reality, so that one loses his sense of separateness and painful self-consciousness?"

In a word, meditation.

In a few more words, he said, "If you ask a question to a hundred experts in any given field, they will give you a hundred different answers. If you go within in deep meditation and ask that same question, you'll always get the same answer, because it's coming directly from God."

Needless to say, even this claim could be debated. But anyway, here's the technique: Focus your attention on your third eye - and practise for an hour a day. After six months, you will truly be a different person. If everyone did this, the whole world would be a different place!

Sophia said...

Hi Castor,

I'm glad you've emerged from the "anonymous" state and have a name. :)

I do not mind you offering your opinions at all. You are more than welcome to post anything. I believe that we all don't always have to agree on everything.

I agree with you that if we lose that sense of separateness, we'd be less likely to feel anxiety when it comes to giving a speech or presentation. We'd have no one to impress but Ourself! :)

Sophia said...


Even though you don't believe in J. Krishnamurti, have you studied him? I haven't, but he's been recommended to me several times by different people.

Sophia said...


I like this - "We are just thoughts in the mind of the universe."

Sophia said...


I find it hard to understsand what the Indians' names mean. They're hard to spell, let alone know what they stand for! When I address one of them, I never know if I'm doing it correctly. :)

There is sad news for me - I am lazy when it comes to meditation. When I do meditate, I lay in bed with meditational music on my headphones. I know this is probably not the way. I haven't been trained the proper form of meditation. This is why I think teachers can come in handy.

Castor said...

The technique sounds very simple. But little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. I found that out a long time ago. There is more to it than you are aware of. Some meditation teachers prescribe some protective principles, or measures to counteract some negative effects that may come from wrong reasons for meditating and wrong practice. And of course the chance that your practice becomes mechanical is also present. Even very experienced teachers may not know all the possible complications that can come from these.
There is also the question of the thing called conscience playing its role. If your a natural sociopath or psychopath, which they say nowadays is something in your genes, you may become worse by meditating.
On the other hand, if you have a very sensitive conscience, you may acually end up being more sensitive or morbidly too conscientious. This is probably the strongest reason why you need a good teacher or teachers, or not to begin at all.
Anyway, I don't believe in a particular technique, or method.
There is probably a different way or ways, where technique is not necessary or is not the most important thing.
I am convinced that by simply listening to very enlightened people, teachers or no teachers, one can become a bit enlightened.
The rest is up to you.

Castor said...

"To be exploited is to exploit others" This is something you need to think about.
The whole business of spirituality or meditation like religion, can become a form of exploitation for many people. This is something you musn't get into. Many people follow a particular way, teachings, methods, practice, or discipline in order to get the necessary credentials to become a teacher.
I think this is especially true of traditional systems and religious sects. I won't tell you too much. But try to think about it.

Castor said...

I don't pretend to understand J. K.'s ideas. Actually the man is paradoxical and full of contradictions. If you try to learn from him or just study him, take note of the time or date when he said or wrote about something. I think his ideas kept evolving everytime. Of course, I could be wrong.
I honestly believe that a lot of what he says is true. In short, he's right about a lot of things.
And of course, anyone can say one thing and do just the opposite.
One advice I can give you: Try what he is saying and see if it works. And above all else, think for yourself!

PJ said...

PJ - What is enlightenment?

Stacy - Enlightenment is the absense of darkness."

PJ -what good is the light without the dark? How long would it take before you longed to turn out the light and get some sleep? More traditional sources speak of enlightenment as a waking up from a dream, being free of illusions...

Stacy - I believe that enlightenment is the awakening to the light within, the truth that lies within. Enlightenment is liberation. Enlightenment is the final goal. I believe that when one reaches enightenment, there are no more goals to achieve, and therefore life loses its meaning. It is then time for that life to merge with the Universal One. Enlightenment is awakening to the true Self - the One.

PJ - why do you want life to lose it's meaning? Awakening the light, the truth, liberation from what? What do you mean? Will you still want breakfast when you are enlightened? Will you still have feelings and emotions?

Will I be different in some way once I'm enlightened?

Stacy - I will be a completely different person on the inside, though on the outside I will remain the same. I will no longer be disillusioned with my ego-self."

PJ - HUH? Inside/outside? How are you different on the inside and outside now? Do you mean guts and skin? or experience vs appearance?
What does disillusioned with my ego-self mean?

How will I know when I am enlightened?

Stacy - Since I am not currently enlightened and do not know what it is like to experience enlightenment, I cannot currently say how I will know."

PJ - Good answer! I don't know either.

"How can I know if someone else is enlightened?

Stacy - I believe the only way to know this would be by experiencing true bliss in their presence."

PJ - Whoa, danger here! Bliss is easy girlfriend. I believe it is a huge mistake to make as important a judgement as enlightenment based on as fleeting an emotional reaction as bliss. Yikes! A good Con man can get you to experience bliss then raid your bank accounts and leave you with nothing.

Stacy, there are literally thousands of people out here who very much want to convice you that they are enlightened. Watch them carefully, watch their is a big deal to accept someone as a teacher. I believe the best teachers will make us very uncomfortable. Letting go of our cherished illusions isn't painless.

So, What is enlightenment? What is it you want? What are you really looking for?



Castor said...

I will no longer be disillusioned with my ego-self."
There is some truth in what you said.
If you mean: Being yourself, no matter who or what you think you are.
I think this is important as it can save you the discomfort or pain of judging and condemning yourself.
You have the right to be yourself, of course. From here, you can go further!

Castor said...

But at this point, if you involuntarily stop your search, then I believe, you are already enlightened!

Neal said...

I suspect that people who have had bad experiences with meditation have stopped practising when things got scary or even uncomfortable. The point of this teacher was, just stay with it.

There's a little more to it, which is that once you have received the teaching, the teacher will continue to work with you in spirit. I'm not going to try to prove that either, but that's what he said.

I think "enlightenment" is a process, not an achievement, or even a destination. Why not choose to be as enlightened as you can be, right now?

Sophia said...

Hi Castor and Neal,

Medititation is and can be very confusing. I think that without the help of a teacher, one can develop a bad habit when they meditate on their own. This is my position right now. I do not know if I am meditating correctly or incorrectly. I am sure there are those who would scorn my use of meditational/relaxational music/sounds during my meditation practice. Also, I use my own posture, sometimes lying down.

Perhaps I should make a post on my blog about this very thing. It would be an interesting discussion to have.

Hope you all are having a good day.

Gretchen Coleman said...

Wow! Lots of conversation on this one. Stacy, to answer your question of me, I study with the same Sensei that Mark does, and he led the regression I told about. I have also had regressions during group meditations, and by myself.

To answer, in a general sense, some of the other questions being asked, like how do you know when someone else is enlightened. You've heard the phrases "it has the ring of truth" or "this truth is self evident". When someone is truly enlightened the words they speak have those qualities to it. It is like BAM, a light goes off, and things start to make sense. And when you have that experience yourself you KNOW it and it cannot be denied. Although some do deny it, even right after they have it. Or they ignore it. It takes more than reading about it, it takes having the experience, and then standing up for that.

And your assessment of Mark is correct - he is a wonderful man and I am truly blessed to have found him in this lifetime. He often is my step-down transformer. He has a higher understanding than I do and when Sensei talks completely over my head, often times Mark can put it in a different way for me so I can understand it. And then I can put it in a way that my step daughter can understand. Thats the way it works.

Sophia said...

Hi PJ,

Sorry for taking so long to get back to your comment. I must admit your comments take some thinking on, and I want to make sure I respond when I can actually concentrate on the answer. :)

Spiritually I would always want for there to be light, and no darkness. I don't believe that I would want to sleep. (Of course my physical body would!)

I believe the meaning of life is to determine the meaning of life. And once you have determined the meaning of life, there is no more meaning to yearn for. The process of determining the meaning of life is Enlightenment. But of course this process may take entire lifetimes to pursue, so we won't have to worry about life losing its meaning anytime soon.

I will still have feelings and emotions, in fact moreso than ever before. And as usual I will still like bowls of cereal and an occasional egg or two for breakfast. :)

My outer appearance on the outside will be the same, though on the inside I will have experienced The Experience, and I do believe this can change a person for the better. The whole journey of reaching for The Experience can change a person, even if we don't achieve The Experience (Enlightenment).

Now for the big question. What am I looking for? I'm seeking the answers to the questions that has been asked for time immemorial. There are many different viewpoints as to what Enlightenment is. Some say our spirits go to Heaven, others say it is the cessation of the rebirth cycle and then there are those who believe that Enlightenment is attaining the realization of The One. I'm not entirely sure what happens but at this point I'm leaning towards the fact that we are all One Universal Being that has the illusion of being separated parts scattered throughout the universe. The goal is to get rid of that illusion so that we can experience our True Self.

Sophia said...


If one involuntarily stops, then maybe it can be said that they have become enlightened. But if I continually and voluntarily keep searching, it is true that I am not yet enlightened.

Sophia said...

Hi Gretchen,

We all need a "step-down transformer", someone who can put the big talk in understable terms. It's just like having someone who can explain The Bhagavad Gita in layman's terms. Some of these concepts are so difficult to comprehend, but then someone like Mark comes around and makes the sun rise. He speaks in a clear concise way and he always encourages my questions. It is so nice to have someone who encourages questions!

Ru said...


Look for the people who have no answers. :)

All the best!

Sophia said...

Hi Ru,

Welcome to the blog and thanks for stopping by. :)


Ru said...

Thanks! I searched for "enlightenment" on Google's Blogsearch and am browsing the results.

Sophia said...

I do that a lot, too. I also use and search for things like "enlightenment", "spirituality", etc. is a pretty nice blog search engine.

Ru said...

So I've heard. Well, good luck.

Gretchen Coleman said...

Hey Stacey - great fractals on your more recent posts!

I agree that someone who invites questions is really refreshing, especially when they can answer them! Both Sensei and Mark have so encouraged questions that I find I ask a lot more of them.

I was in a project meeting the other day where we were trying to explore some design options to a problem. Our designer already knew the route he wanted to take and was doing all the convincing he could that it was the way to go.

I knew the owner didn't want to go that route so I just kept asking questions: "have you looked into this, have you considered that." I asked so many questions that I think I finally pissed the guy off. But my purpose was to insight some creativity, break out of the same old design mode that is always done.

And the designer was just shy of overtly trying to make me look foolish. But, one (among MANY) things I have learned by observing Sensei, is to not worry about looking foolish. If your questions support a higher purpose, and someone tries to make you look a fool, it is them who ends up looking the fool.

Anyway - that was a bit long and drawn out - you inspire me to be verbose!

Sophia said...


We couldn't learn anything without questions. For a few months I had a mentor, as you probably remember reading about. He was wonderful but he started discouraging my questions. I don't know his reason. Maybe he had a good reason for doing so, but if I can't ask questions, how am I supposed to figure things out? That's why I feel comfortable talking to Mark. I don't fear him. When someone starts to discourage my questioning, I start to develop a sense of fear. I don't know why. It just is.

fidocancan said...

wow, and thanks, to all who contributed to the discussion. i'm a new entrant at this blogging thing, and really, what an amazing resource... to stick in awareness in technorati and end up here!

stay well

Sophia said...

Hi Fidocancan,

Thanks for stopping by and I'm glad you've enjoyed this discussion. I hope you return! By the way, I visited your blog link that you sent me in email the other day, but when I click on "Fidocancan" here on my comments, it takes me to your profile, and the link to your webpage from your profile isn't working.