Relative & Absolute

TAT Virtual Spiritual Retreat Weekend
November 7-8, 2020

What do you want to become?
What are you trying to hold onto?

"The Buddha nature to me is nothing more than the vein of the absolute that's in every human being. But what will it take for it to be conscious, for the person to be conscious of it? What it amounts to basically, I maintain, is that everybody is unconscious; and when a person realizes the Buddha nature then the small-s self and the large-s Self are both conscious of each other for the first time."
~ Richard Rose, "Relative and Absolute," part 2 of a talk given at Ohio State University in 1978

November is the 20th anniversary of the TAT Forum e-zine. The contents of the Nov. 2000 issue were: Interview with Richard Rose (part 1 of 6) | Poems by Shawn Nevins | Dust Storm in the Desert by Bob Cergol.

Bob and Shawn will be doing the opening and closing sessions of the virtual gathering respectively.

Other sessions will include a breakout session each morning and a panel discussion each afternoon, three brief Richard Rose topic discussions each afternoon, a presentation by Anima Pundeer, three interview sessions with recent presenters, and a yoga/stretching option during the second half-hour break each day.

Saturday, November 7, 2020 (US ET time zone; 4 hours behind GMT)

  10:30 to 10:40 AM: - Welcome

  10:40 to 11:10 AM: - Bob Cergol presentation + Q&A: What do you want to become?
All of humankind aspires to be. Not just this or that, but first and foremost, to be—as an individual. Inherent in this aspiration is a great conundrum: who exactly is that individual, what is its nature, and what is its place in the world? Humans are not born with this knowledge, yet all are compelled to define it—to themselves. The universal human condition is that we find ourselves alive in the world, with the strong sense of being alive as us, yet without knowing who or what exactly that is, or means, while at the same time we are keenly conscious of our vulnerability and fragility.
People spend a lifetime answering this question of what to become, and struggle with the “How?” Perhaps the best starting point is to examine Who-wants-what? We do not possess desires. We are possessed by desires, and our thoughts and actions move in their wake as a leaf blown by the wind. This session will explore how you determine what you think you want to become and what has that to do with finding the Absolute.

  11:10 to 12:30 PM: - Group Self-Inquiry Breakout #1 What do you want to become?

  12:30 to 1:00 PM: - Break (chat room open)

  1:00 to 1:15 PM: - Richard Rose topic #1 (mini-presentation + Q&A): Vectors and energy transmutation, from "Psychology of Miracles" in The Direct-Mind Experience.

  1:15 to 1:30 PM: - RR topic #2 (mini-presentation + Q&A): ): Energy and tension, from Energy Transmutation, Between-ness and Transmission. Where is energy moving, and where is there productive tension?

  1:30 to 1:45PM: - RR topic #3 (mini-presentation + Q&A): ): Self-definition, from public talks at colleges, in The Direct-Mind Experience.

  1:45 to 2:30 PM: - Panel discussion #1: Effort & Commitment

  2:30 to 3:00 PM: - Break: Yoga/stretching optional

  3:00 to 3:20 PM: - Interview #1 – Dan McLaughlin

  3:20 to 3:40 PM: - Interview #2 – Tess Hughes

  3:40 to 4:00 PM: - Interview #3 – Tyler Tarrant

  4:00 PM: - Closing

Sunday, November 8, 2020 (US ET time zone; 4 hours behind GMT)

  10:30 to 10:40 AM: - Welcome

  10:40 to 11:10 AM: - Anima Pundeer presentation + Q&A. Getting your house in order: preparing the relative mind for the Absolute. Is it necessary for the seeker to understand and adjust his apparatus? Inessential tendencies of the mind, do they need to be seen and adjusted such that the mind is conducive and open to Self-Knowledge? Is what you find dependent on what you are looking for?

  11:10 to 12:30 PM: - Group Self-Inquiry Breakout #2 What are you trying to hold onto?

  12:30 to 1:00 PM: - Break (chat room open)

  1:00 to 1:15 PM: - Richard Rose topic #4 (mini-presentation + Q&A): Complexity, from "Psychology and the Truth," in The Albigen Papers.

  1:15 to 1:30 PM: - RR topic #5 (mini-presentation + Q&A): More to reality than we know; tension and energy transmutation, from Energy Transmutation, Between-ness and Transmission.

  1:30 to 1:45PM: - RR topic #6 (mini-presentation + Q&A): Afflictions to the sense of self, from "The Dawn Breaks" poem, in Carillon.

  1:45 to 2:30 PM: - Panel discussion #2: No self and true self

  2:30 to 3:00 PM: - Break: Yoga/stretching optional

  3:00 to 3:45 PM: - Shawn Nevins presentation + Q&A. What Really Matters: distilling the search and path to its essence. This weekend will cover a lot of ground, and present many voices, each a facet of the ineffable. Where are we now and where do we go from here?

  3:45 PM: - Closing

Join us online for a weekend of insightful talks, small group discussions, and panel discussions as we seek true self-knowledge through the theme of "Relative & Absolute." The virtual event, which includes both audio and video, is being offered for a minimal fee of $35 for TAT members and $40 for non-members. If possible, please consider donating a larger amount (the drop-down menu below has options ranging from $60 to $80). Your generosity will help defray the many costs incurred in preparing the new TAT Center. We deeply appreciate your support!

The registration deadline for TAT's Virtual Spiritual Gathering is Friday, November 6.


  Bob Cergol

Bob was 19 when he met Richard Rose in 1972 and soon after attended the April 1973 meeting at Rose's house in Benwood, WV where TAT was conceived as an organization. He lived with Rose at his house in Benwood, WV, on Rose's farm, and in the local area on and off over many years. Twenty years later, after living in isolation for a year in a cabin he built on Rose's farm, and feeling his spiritual path had run its course, he moved away to pursue a secular life. He married and started a family, but soon gravitated back to the path, participating in group work with other TAT members. That group work led to a series of events that triggered a spiritual realization that for Bob was an absolute, and final answer to the existential questions he had been asking for all those years.

Over the past decade, Bob has delivered a number of poignant presentations during TAT events and has authored numerous TAT Forum essays that were ultimately published in Beyond Mind, Beyond Death, a TAT Foundation Press book. Listen to his story in a podcast interview on SpiritualTeachers.org.

  Anima Pundeer

Anima is highlighted in the documentary film Meetings with Remarkable Women. She is a super busy mother of two who lives with her family in Houston, Texas. Her garden these days only has weeds. If anyone is interested in visiting her, she looks forward to it. She will put you to work in her yard. Of course, water, food, and lots of confrontation will be provided. She strongly feels that if she hadn't come across TAT, meeting her fellow seekers, she would still be a prisoner of her ignorance. Gratitude is not just a word but is an overwhelming feeling that consumes her heart.

Anima is currently working on a book with co-author Art Ticknor, to be titled Always Right Behind You, which they hope to see published by the end of the year. She had to pull out her rusted tool, her mind, that she has not used in a long time ... sharpen it, oil it somewhat ... and after months of trying to figure out what could she say that has not been said already, and much more eloquently, she decided to say whatever she thinks would have been useful to a younger Anima in her words. She salutes Art for his patience and acceptance. She still has a lot to learn from him.

  Shawn Nevins

"Author, filmmaker, poet, podcaster... what's the thread that runs through it all?" asks Shawn. "I wrote a book called Subtraction, which is as close as I could come to illustrating the path to enlightenment. Turning away from the untrue, from the dark, towards that which may seem unknown but is actually the Light. If there's a thread, that's it: finding and living my highest light." See Shawn's work at spiritualteachers.org.

Shawn and his wife live in the San Francisco Bay area.


  Dan McLaughlin

Dan had a heart-opening, mystical experience at age 7 or 8. In his thirties, after 11 years of solo spiritual seeking, he began on a subtractive path and discovered the true meaning of spiritual friendship. After his realization, numerous psychological and physical healings occurred among those who met Dan, although he adamantly opposes promoting himself as a healer or a teacher.

Dan currently lives in Inverness, Florida, where he co-owns a medical business. He lives with his dog, Hailey, and intermittently co-facilitates spiritual retreats with Art Ticknor. To filter out all but the most serious seekers, they charge nothing other than the cost sharing meals and lodging for their retreat.

  Tess Hughes

Tess Hughes, an Irish woman who lives in Ireland, came across the TAT Foundation one Autumn evening in 2003 while Googling an old boyfriend whose name was Richard Rose! This serendipitous event eventually (7 years later) led her to "the golden find beyond the mind" that Richard Rose—founder of the TAT Foundation—referred to. Tess attributes the direction, encouragement, and knowledge she found at the TAT community to forging the way for this transformation in herself. Watch Tess' presentation recorded during the 2017 TAT Spring Conference, or watch her interview on ConsciousTV.

Nowadays, Tess likes nothing better than to pass on to others what she was given. She lives near Galway, Ireland.

  Tyler Tarrant

On his 30th birthday, and while sitting by a pool in Las Vegas, Tyler had a spontaneous and unexpected Satori that transformed a decade-long passive interest in the Truth into an ever-more urgent quest to viscerally apprehend what the great sages are pointing at. After nine tumultuous and trying years, and after coming into a steady and strong rapport with a clear-eyed friend, Tyler recognized his Unborn and spotless nature in, with, and as everything already. Forever a beginner at waking up to what he is, Tyler enjoys sharing his true passion of Self-discovery with anyone who is willing to look and start sincerely letting go.

Tyler lives in St. Petersburg, Florida with his wife and two dogs.

Breakout Sessions

Bob Cergol, Bob Fergeson, Mike Gegenheimer, Tess Hughes, Norio Kushi, Dan McLaughlin, Shawn Nevins, Anima Pundeer, Tyler Tarrant, and Art Ticknor will be monitoring breakout sessions on Saturday and/or Sunday.

Panel Discussions

Bob Cergol, Bob Fergeson, Mike Gegenheimer, Bob Harwood, Tess Hughes, Norio Kushi, Dan McLaughlin, Shawn Nevins, Shawn Pethel, Anima Pundeer, Paul Rezendes, Tyler Tarrant, and Art Ticknor will be panel participants on Saturday or Sunday.

Saturday’s panel will discuss: 1) Why do certain teachers talk about effort and commitment, while others highlight that things like effort and commitment just reinforce the idea of a separate self who could make an effort or have a commitment? What is True, and what is most helpful to finding that Truth for “ourselves?” [15 minutes max.]; 2) Turning and becoming (“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." - Jesus) [10 minutes max.]; and audience questions for the remaining time.

Sunday’s panel will discuss: 1) Why do certain teachers talk about no self and others talk about true self, with each often seeming to think the person on the other “side” has had a lesser realization of some sort? How much of this is semantics, versus being based in a different "experience" or “realization?” How might the answers to these questions change one’s approach to finding Truth? [15 minutes max.]; 2) Turning and becoming (“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." - Jesus) [10 minutes max.]; and audience questions for the remaining time.


Registration Fees

Event registration closes on Friday 6 November 2020. Registration Is Closed.

Please enter your name and email address in the boxes below:



From the drop-down list below, select your registration fee:


You will receive an email with instructions on how to log in to the event. We're an all-volunteer group, so please be patient. If you haven't received an email by Friday, November 6, call (336) 933-0295 or contact .

You may cancel your registration on or before November 6 and receive a refund, minus the PayPal transaction fee. Cancellations after November 6 will not be refunded.

Note: If cost is a serious issue that will make or break your attendance, please let us know. We do not want someone to refrain from attending for reasons of cost.

2020 TAT Membership - $40*

Become a TAT member for $40 by visiting our membership page. You'll receive information concerning our four spiritual retreat weekends per year.

Visit TAT Foundation Press and Other Books Visit the Richard Rose Books web page Visit our TAT Videos web page

Read books and watch DVDs

For more information...

TAT Foundation
P.O. Box 873
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-8873
(336) 933-0295

What is the TAT Foundation?

A group encouraging people to think rather than believe. A group determined to help people find ways and means to answer their deepest philosophical questions. A gathering of friends who are not afraid to be honest with one another. An island of hope and sanity (or at least the hope for sanity!). Last, but not least, TAT is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization chartered in 1973.


Home | Richard Rose | Books & Recordings | TAT Forum | About | Search | Site Map


Keep informed of TAT events and receive our free monthly Forum filled with inspiring essays, poems and images.

Email & Social Media Marketing by VerticalResponse

© 2000-2021 TAT Foundation. All rights reserved.

View Full Site Back to Top