"I'd come to realize that if a man is ever going to grasp anything it won't be by learning. His being has to change. You are what you do, not what you know. A man never learns, he becomes. To become, you must find ways and means to change your entire state-of-mind. This in turn will lead to a change of being." ~ Richard Rose
Take meditation into the world of action, rather than just imagination. It will then lead to a change of being, rather than just new patterns of isolated thoughts. For meditation to help us, to bring about a change in being, we need more than just thought. We need to put our lives on the line. We need energy as well as concept, transmutation as much as conviction.
Does this scare you? It should. Do you still feel a longing? Good, you're not just in your head.
If a fear of death, and a longing/remembrance for something better are within you, you're heading in the right direction. If not, for you think you've solved the problem and are at Heaven's doorstep, you've become too clever. Are you heading farther into the head and the imagination, playing it safe, sleeping in the superior position of your dream?
On the other hand, are you wallowing in your fear and self-pity? The inferior position of the dreaming ego isn't the right direction either, is it? Sensitivity and cleverness can become enablers to our self-love, just as much as laziness and self-complacency. This can happen when we ignore our guts, not realizing that transmutation, and the resultant change in being, depends on generating and saving energy. Meditation shouldn't happen just in the imagination. We transmute energy through exercise, from doing what we say, not being afraid to sweat and be uncomfortable, from facing our faults and mistakes: going against ourselves. Action as well as thought. This can't happen if we remain soft and secure, yet collapse like a house of cards when push comes to shove. If every time things get rough, we cop out to distraction and escape instead of standing tall and clear, we'll never generate and save enough energy for real change.
Transmutation through meditation also needs a vector, a direction. It needs applied wisdom, a will, to direct the saved energy. Saving and directing our generated energy can transmute our cleverness into insight, our sensitivity into self-awareness, our self-indulgence into strength. This is the result of a change in the direction of our love, from love of self to a new found love for our higher potential. A faith in things unseen but felt, insight and intuition: allowed, carefully reasoned, and acted upon.
~ Bob Fergeson has been a TAT member since 1991. He wrote the above essay for the participants in a 6-week meditation practice discussion project. Bob shepherds a group of seekers in Denver, CO. See his Mystic Missal, Nostalgia West, and Listening Attention websites. Bob and Shawn Nevins have a second volume of their collaborative work of photos and poetry, Images of Essence, nearing publication by TAT Press.
TAT Meeting News
Register now for the April TAT weekend, featuring Gary Weber, Paul Constant, Shawn Nevins, and others.
The date and location of the November TAT gathering have changed due to the Penn Scenic View property being for sale. The November TAT meeting is now scheduled at the Claymont Society Mansion in Charles Town, WV on November 20-22, 2015. See the Current Events page for additional information.
Local Group News
Update from the Raleigh, NC self-inquiry group: We recently made an adjustment to our meeting structure that does seem to have improved things a bit. Since our meetings are not structured as confrontation* meetings, the meetings had a tendency to get a little too heady and intellectual at times. So, we now begin each meeting after the twenty minutes of silence by doing a brief "check-in" with everyone in the room. This serves to "ground" the meetings by making them more personal and direct, and does seem to help prevent them from getting too abstract. Those who might not usually speak that much have a moment to "break the ice," loosening up inhibitions, and making it easier for them to share throughout the meeting; those who might tend to dominate conversation exercise listening, which also carries into the rest of the meeting; and saying something personal from the start (and listening to what's personally vital for others) helps establish the meeting in a mode and mood of directness and intimacy, protecting us to an extent from the overly intellectual. [*Note: Confrontation refers to a friendly self-inquiry questioning approach recommended by Richard Rose.]
Update from the Philadelphia, PA self-inquiry group: Our group uses a very structured meeting format. The format involves taking the available time and dividing that by the number of participants, and giving each person that amount of time to work with their issue. We also ask that participants reflect on their issue prior to the meeting.
At times a good discussion on a spiritual topic arises at the beginning of the meeting. At such times a challenge arises: to allow the discussion to continue, or bring to the attention of the group that we came to do our agreed-upon process. It seems that many of us, myself included can opt for a discussion rather than taking the opportunity to look more deeply into ourselves and our beliefs.
Another temptation arises as we listen attentively to the speaker. Often we will find ourselves giving suggestions or advice to the speaker, instead of asking questions to clarify our understanding of what the speaker is experiencing.
Update from the Galway, Ireland self-inquiry group, which held a daylong retreat recently. Colm Heaney writes: The workshop with Tess on Saturday was great. The format for the day worked well and it was great to meet some folks from previous retreats as well as a few new people. The format Tess used was excellent. It was a bowl with 100 self inquiry questions she had written on pieces of paper in it. We took turns at selecting a random question from the bowl. We then read the question out and reflected on it before giving an answer. This was then followed by the group and Tess asking you further questions on your response.
I think this was a really good format and it worked really well. I found that in discussing questions for someone else, I automatically applied the question to myself too so in effect every question picked was asked of everyone else. That's how it seemed to work out and so I found it very productive.
Although familiar with self inquiry, one of the things I felt I wanted to get from the workshop was a clearer understanding of how self inquiry should be done. This format and process really helped to clarify that for me. All in all a very productive and useful workshop.
Peter O'Doherty adds the following personal comment: I have known enormous fear in my life. I have been at war with it every step of the way. It has ruled my life. My fear of fear has dictated everything about my life. It has been like my shadow and no matter how much I tried I could never escape it. But since I met Tess and through her the Richard Rose and TAT teachings this life I call mine has slowly moved to a place where that fear of fear no longer paralyses me. There are no words I could ever use that would do justice to the gratitude I feel to Tess and TAT for how much you all have helped me, and I feel these words fall hopelessly short in expressing that gratitude, but I would like to share them with you if for no other reason than I would just like to give something back. Anything, even if it is only a few moments of my time to try to express my gratitude to you all. Thank you so much for what you all do.
2015 TAT membership dues are now due. For those who have renewed their membership or are new members of TAT, thank you your continuing support helps TAT remain a place where serious seekers can meet in a spirit of cooperation and friendship in the search for self-definition. The membership of $40 per calendar year includes discounted attendance and lodging fees during TAT meetings. A $20 associate membership is available for those who are unable to attend quarterly meetings but would still like to take advantage of our benefits and make an invaluable contribution. A lifetime membership of $500 is also available. The dues help cover TAT's operating costs, including the TAT web site and TAT Forum, insurance fees, supplies, etc. Most importantly, you will be helping the TAT Foundation to continue offering opportunities for a circle of friends to give and receive help in the spiritual quest.
Amazon and eBay
Let your Amazon purchases raise money for TAT!
An easy way to contribute to TAT is to click one of our Amazon links. Next time you want to make any purchase on Amazon, simply visit the TAT Press webpage and click any of the Amazon links. It doesn't matter what you purchase, TAT will receive from 4 to 6% of the purchase price of the item. It costs you nothing extra, and helps TAT. Try it now.
Beyond Mind, Beyond Death is the latest of TAT's books to be converted to the Kindle ebook format. All of the TAT Press books are now available on Amazon in a digital format.
TAT has registered with the eBay Giving Works program. You can list an item there and select TAT to receive a portion of your sale. Check out our Giving Works page on eBay. Click on the "For sellers" link on the left side of that page for details.
There's more background information in the TAT Homing Ground section below.
Your contributions to TAT News
TAT founder Richard Rose believed that working with others accelerates our retreat from untruth. He also felt that such efforts were most effective when applied with discernment, meaning working with others on the rungs of the ladder closest to our own. The TAT News section is for TAT members to communicate about work they've been doing with or for other members and friends. Please your "ladder work" news.
"An Old Has-Been"
~ From Rhymes & Riddles of a Country Teacher, a book of "rhymes and riddles for children with inspirational poetry to create an impressive collection for all ages." Judy, who taught in public schools for 30 years before retiring, has always enjoyed playing music, reading and of course writing. She has a husband, Larry, and two dogs which they rescued from a local pound; 3 grown children, 6 grandchildren plus 5 great grandchildren. You can contact her by . She keeps a supply of her books at home and will be happy to provide details about ordering an autographed copy if you're interested.
A beautiful wintry photo by Francie Ivy & companion to Judy's poem
We're hoping to present humor created by TAT members and friends here. Please your written or graphic creations. Exact sources are necessary for other submissions, since we need to make sure they're either in the public domain or that we have permission to use them.
"Divinity Is Upon You"
Divinity is upon you.
~ Thanks to Rachelle, a TAT member since 2014.
The Forum staff solicited commentary on TAT Press's first book, Beyond Mind, Beyond Death, published in January 2009. It contains a compilation of TAT members' favorite items from the first seven years of the monthly TAT Forum issues.
Beyond Mind, Beyond Death is a treasure trove of spiritual dynamite. It is a compendium absolutely packed with every form of writing that could be of use to the sincere person seeking completion: poetry for stoking that longing; guides addressing practical approaches; essays stretching the limits of the mind with pointed and probing questions; bite-size quotations challenging the reader to think, and pointing to something beyond; anecdotes from fellow seekers, and those who once traveled the path, giving hope and a sense of camaraderie; jokes to help us not take it so seriously; and on and on. It's an incredible bargain, given the amount, scope, and quality of the content. ~ Luke Roberts
In recent years, my mind and approach to finding my answer have toggled between an honest attempt to solve the problem through meditation, and a seemingly more active approach of working with beliefs, confronting fears.
In the opening chapter of Beyond Mind, Beyond Death we find a thought experiment. You are asked to "focus your attention not with worded thought but with direct feeling of this sense of being you." There follows a series of questions that unsettle me to the degree I am honest and actually do the experiment. The questions disturb my usual pretense of knowing.
I recommend this book and work with it as part of a regular practice, to provoke thinking. ~ Eric Clark
Richard Rose described a spiritual path as living one's live aimed at finding the meaning of that life. Did you find anything relevant to your life or search in this month's Forum issue?
Please send us your brief reviews or feedback on something that stood out for you in the TAT Press book The Celibate Seeker for next month's Reader Commentary.
Ama Dablam, Khumbu Himal, Nepal - photo by Lerian
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Zen Is Action (Part 2 of 6)
Continued from the February 2015 TAT Forum:
Do we have a true picture of nature?
When we appreciate nature as being beautiful, is such appreciation of life, or of death?
How much of what we consider beautiful is the ebbing and flowing of life?
One time a fellow came to my house and it was springtime. The birds were chirping and the grass was beginning to grow, and everything looked promising and wonderful. I said, "Did it ever occur to you that they might be screaming?" They're eating each other out there while they're doing that. They don't lose a meal, you know.
Have you ever watched the war that goes on in a drop of water, or in a cancerous tissue?
How many protozoans are required to sustain the world's metazoans?
How many protozoans are eaten alive every second?
How many microscopic metazoans are eaten each second by larger metazoans?
Is death painless for these beings? Do they scream?
How many small metazoans are needed to feed one worm or one insect for a day?
How many worms or insects die every minute to feed the birds?
How many worms or insects are needed to feed a pair of birds and their fledglings each day?
How many worms or insects are needed for one hen's egg?
In the summer we hear the hum of many insects. Is the hum beautiful, orchestral, or a bedlam of screaming?
Are not trees more attractive in autumn when dying?
Which is the true destiny of all beings: a growth into individual eminence, or a means of energy-food for higher beings? meaning predators.
Now this is what I call a theological section:
Should self-definition have priority over concerns for health?
Is the idea of personal immortality before such an idea has been proven by experiencing immortality any more than an egotistical idea?
What are the mechanics of divine healing?
Should the search for God have precedence over using an unidentified divinity as a healing utility?
Some people are searching for God, but some people are just able to learn how to heal and they ascribe that to God. Or at least they think they've got a toe-hold on God because they healed somebody, and they call it divine.
Is God a gigantic gestalt?
Why are we here?
Are we accidents of evolution, animals that accidentally evolved upon a planet that accidentally evolved?
The chances of accidental evolution seem unlikely in view of the complexities of protoplasm, such as the ability of the cell to produce millivoltage components and to possess memory. Can we say that all this came about by an immediate or instantaneous teleological prompting which had to take thousands of years to develop, after the million years needed to evolve less-specialized cells similar to plant cells?
Look at the time between these. If it's a theory that we evolved from ketone enzymes, how many million years for that type of evolution? And you look at things like synapses in the human brain and neurotransmitters, very delicate chemicals how would these very delicate chemicals evolve?
Were we created by a skillful biochemist?
If you look at a building or an airplane and you see the components of it, there had to be some skill there, rather than evolution.
What is the process that would result in the evolution of synaptic voltage?
How would we bring it about if we tried to synthetically?
Is it possible that all life is a dream?
If so, is it not a very detailed and consistent dream, showing few variations, seeming to strictly adhere to a blueprint?
Is man manufacturing this blueprint, by setting up a rough paradigm and creating details such as brain chemistry as he goes along?
That's what Chilton Pearce thought, that we were doing it ourselves. A lot of people think that we're making this a nicer world to live in and all this kind of stuff. But can they? Is it possible?
If so, has man lost control of his creation if he cannot find an alternative for disease and death?
When our lusts reach a certain peak, it seems as though new diseases come along to keep us busy.
What are the odds for an accidental synthesis of a ketone enzyme?
What is the significance of common denominators? Are they valid for evaluating religion and behavior?
We use this thing of common denominators to evaluate a truth in mathematics. Can we say that because themes exist in great numbers they must be important?
Is there a body-manufactured force?
There are two windows, states of mind, which are not consistent with each other: they are the daytime view and the nighttime view. The latter, with its dreams and horizontal speculations, upon awakening forms a strange field of thought and threatens the convictions of daytime. How do we balance this force?
What bearing do these often morbid night states of mind have upon violent acts?
Is there any value in speculating on the genesis of biological or human life, weighing the value and importance of slow evolvement against possibly a perfect instantaneous creation? And weighing the suffering and dying against perfect or unchanging immortality?
"Don't worry," they say, "you'll be born again." So you suffer a little, pay your taxes.
Are ecologists possibly trying to thwart the ordained directions of the engineer who designed the evolution of life?
Sanity and syphilis are they both approved by democratic vote?
If man did not cause himself, then that which caused him is invisible, meaning not apparent in this dimension. What reason would a superior engineer have for creating life as seen on earth? all flora and fauna.
How rational are some of the reasons given for the acceptance of the creator-concept, and a set of morals presumed to gain tolerance from that creator?
What is talk? Why is talk necessary?
What causes different perspectives?
What liabilities are incurred with unavoidable states of mind?
What is a state of mind?
I'm dead serious. I'd like for you to know. Because these are the things that move every human being: states of mind. They're not in the psychological glossary.
Are our perspectives rooted in valid bases and definitions, or in indefinable feelings? which may be as valid or meaningful as definitions.
Does a given color cause the same reaction in all people?
Why do some perfumes enchant one person and cause nausea in another?
What is beauty?
How do perspectives which are influenced by feelings affect science?
Do they help or hinder?
Can a scientist totally rule out feelings of judgments?
Did the scientists of Columbus's time feel that the earth was flat, or know that the earth was flat?
How about some of them today then?
What is wisdom?
Is it foolishness or wasted effort, unless it is restricted to objective or materialistic values?
Is all wisdom unbiased?
Is a wise man just one who gets along with his fellowman? (We'd like to have that belief.)
Is wisdom just adaptation, symbiosis, or blending with others to a point of losing personal identity?
Is silence a trademark of wisdom even if the silence is caused by cowardice?
Who or what is the authority in regard to human essence or nature?
Does a man love, or is he incapable of loving?
Does a man desire to be loved while pretending to love others?
Does a tick love the host, or the blood of the host?
Is love of every kind programmed and projected onto us?
Is there only one dimension?
Does not the possibility of multiple dimensions weaken our significance and our pretended potential for controlling the environment?
What is God?
What are his dimensions?
What is the soul?
Are these just aberrated ideas?
Why do people use words like God or soul without going to some effort to define them?
What is an idea?
Is there a thinking self, or only an awareness that witnesses reaction, and possibly witnesses a pseudo-ego or self?
Can a man have spiritual or essence clarity and be psychologically confused? [He repeats this for emphasis.]
The savant idiots, the starets of Russia plain nuts, they say.
Are we an individual, or a conglomerate of several selves?
If man is such a conglomerate, how is the real Self isolated?
Have we just now isolated the real Self by taking the position of an external questioner?
Is thought a possession or an obsession?
What is the relationship between thoughts and glands?
What is sanity or insanity?
Is sanity only somatic healthiness?
Are unpopular people insane? Or outside the normal curve?
Could sanity ever mean that state of mind with perfect understanding of all problems? A state of mind from which the altering lens of ego has been removed from mental vision or perception?
Would such a version of sanity imply the need of perfected logic, or perfected intuition?
Intuition is another item that is not seen much in our psychological texts.
What is intuition? How does one arrive at it?
Is thought a reaction to an electrical stimulus?
This seems to be the biochemical idea of thought, that it's an electrical stimulus caused by voltage, leaping across the synapse.
If we cannot willfully think, do we ever make decisions?
Or is it possible that only the people who realize that they cannot enforce decisions are the ones who eventually may find ways and means to make things happen?
If we think about thought, is thought then objective and separate from the thinking self?
Is thought an entity, or an emanation of sorts?
Can sanity be gauged by logic? (It should be.)
Is behavior considered normal by virtue of its percentage of incidence?
Is all such "normal" behavior always logically excusable?
In other words, if fifty-one percent of the people in this country become murderers, it will be normal. Is that logical?
Is sanity a way of measuring the skill of survival?
Or is sanity also involved in the skill of checking factors such as motivation, correct reasons for living, quality-control of morality, and the control or evaluation of environmental factors?
Would our behavior be the same if we discovered by logical or even common-sense means that our environment were greater or less than we previously believed it to be?
In parenthesis I have "More mind dimension." The sanest bird cannot outwit the rifle, much less the higher technology of poisoning.
Would we behave the same if we discovered beyond speculation that there was no life after death?
If we really got that proof someday absolutely nothing but oblivion how would that affect our behavior?
Are we not caught somewhere between, and is not this materialism a bit of fence-riding, that says on one hand we can accept only that which we see, while refusing to look for new factors not immediately accessible to our senses? Or new truths which would give new definitions to life and new meaning to existence?
Psychiatry contains opinions rather than pure scientific findings. Has psychology become a cult?
Does psychology or psychotherapy rule by edict rather than by reason?
If the high priest says, "That's it," then that's the law.
Is there any science in the modus operandi of these current mental therapies?
Is it safe to allow psychologists to monitor our lives if they are only cognizant of body-survival and would program us only for that?
Are psychologists who work in advertising and promotion a boon to mankind, or are they manipulators without proper respect for the victims of selfish or spurious interests?
Can the psychiatrist produce sanity in a person if he has not adequately defined sanity?
They have nothing but words for their stock in trade and they can't define the words.
If he defines sanity, should the psychiatrist not be required to bring sanity to every patient who is to any degree insane?
Now they admit that they're insane, because they've got to get their money. But lately there have been lawsuits when somebody runs amok after dealing with a psychiatrist, and I presume that that's a proper thing. They should either be a good witch doctor or no witch doctor.
What does behaviorism prove?
What do the tracks made by an animal prove? Do they tell you about the essence or purpose of that animal?
Does a normal curve define normality and morality?
Can we study the mind by ignoring brain chemistry and behavioristic testing?
I call that introspection, structure-less.
Is it more important to know what a man is thinking or capable of doing, than it is to know who is thinking or doing, and what is thought?
Are the conclusions reached by introspective thinking corroborated by sciences such as brain chemistry and the statistics of behaviorism?
Now I've got a point here that I just realized the importance of lately; I throw this out with no indicated partisanship:
Is the photon an intelligent messenger of God?
Is the photon a distraction-being, that dazzles the human eye so that he cannot see the realities found in introspection?
Will you ever be free and at the same time be aware?
That's it. What are the five most important ones?
To be continued....
~ Transcript of a talk given by Richard Rose at Ohio State University, February 1989. Thanks to Steve Harnish for his ongoing work of transcribing spotty recordings of Rose's talks.
 Comparative mythology and religion. See this Wikipedia article on Joseph Campbell for example.
 Author Bulwer-Lytton, 1871: Vril.
 Élan vital.
 See Richard Rose's Energy Transmutation, Between-ness and Transmission for his views on quantum energy in the spiritual search.
Do you have a favorite quote from Richard Rose? Please it along with how you'd prefer to be identified.
For over 35 years, the TAT Foundation met on Richard Rose's farm, where he and the members created "a spot on earth upon which to meet. A homing ground...." TAT meetings, group retreats, and solitary retreats were a regular part of life at the ashram. Rose's desire to help others and to bring people together in a meditative surrounding, influenced two generations of spiritual seekers. Rose's farm was a sanctuary for many years, and a crucible. He once said it was like the desertwhere you go to meet God.
In 2011, Rose's heir decided to use the property for another purpose, and TAT's lease was not renewed. We have since rented facilities for our four quarterly meetings. Yet, the desire to provide a greater service has been a frequent topic. Our dream is to create once again a space that encourages honesty, provides a crucible for spiritual development, and produces the next generation of spiritual seekers and finders.
To that end, TAT is raising $250,000 to find a new home. We envision a semi-rural facility, close to a university town, with a meeting hall seating up to 70 participants, kitchen and bath facilities, and a room for a live-in caretaker. Additionally, the facility would have one cabin for solitary retreats. Ideally, the property would border public lands to provide a buffer of quiet and solitude, and have enough acreage to allow for additional cabins, sleeping quarters, and facilities over time. A resident teacher, week-long retreats and intensives, public events and other activities are planned.
As of the end of January, we have reached 63.6% of the fund-raising goal. Here are some rough estimates of what we could accomplish based on a currently-for-sale property an hour and twenty minutes from the Columbus, OH airport, and forty minutes from Athens University. The property is 18 acres, with a 672 square foot cabin overlooking a pond. The price is $149,900. To construct a brand new steel frame meeting hall on the site, large enough for 70+ people, might cost another $69,000. A small isolation cabin might be another $25,000, which puts the total roughly around $243,900.
Mike's Kidney and Other News:
While our esteemed president, Mike Gegenheimer, has offered to donate a kidney for this project, another idea has been advanced: a TAT auction (not of Mike's kidney, however). Mark Seabright researched this idea after it was suggested at the November TAT meeting, and found that Ebay/PayPal has an online auction program for charitable organizations. Our question to you, dear reader, is: do you have item(s) you would like to auction?
Besides the usual auction suspects like books, clothes, and vintage toys, perhaps you own a business and could donate a free or reduced-price service. Maybe you have a cabin by the lake, or a condo by the sea and could auction a weekend stay? There are many possibilities.
We've registered TAT with the eBay Giving Works program. Check out our Giving Works page. You can list an item there and can select TAT to receive a portion of your sale. Click on the "For sellers" link on the left side of that page for details.
Please us for assistance with the above "community selling" or to discuss direct donation of items for TAT to sell.
Don't forget, just buying stuff on Amazon helps. Every time you want to buy something on Amazon, follow this, or any other Amazon link on TAT's site and a percentage of your purchase price is credited to TAT. It's easy and cost you nothing: Amazon Purchases.
To invest directly in the "Homing Ground" project, mail a check made out to the TAT Foundation (for instructions on mailing a check, please ). Or you can use PayPal (though we lose 2.2% of your gift to PayPal fees) by choosing the "Make a Donation" button below. TAT is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization and qualifies to receive tax-deductible contributions.
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