John’s profound depth and breadth of awareness is rare and extraordinary. He speaks and connects at the highest, deepest and finest levels on any issue.
Recently I visited 5 spiritual teachers in San Francisco. It was delightful to attend their satsangs and interact with others in the audience. I had sat with most of these teachers 12 years before, so it was especially rich to see them again. Each one offered real value in their meetings and I’m grateful for the contribution they make to people’s spiritual development. Being with Canadian spiritual teacher John de Ruiter for 12 years, I was curious how I would experience John after my San Francisco journey. It was truly clear that, for me, John, is ‘The Teacher’s Teacher.’ He has the most profound depth and breadth of awareness. Sitting in meetings with him, I often marvel at how he can speak and connect at the highest, deepest and finest levels on any issue. At the satsangs of the teachers in California, I often thought how they would find great enjoyment in discussions with John about truth. When John is speaking about the most subtle topics of ‘communion,’ ‘pure you,’ ‘purity of heart,’ he emanates what he speaks. He is being all that he speaks. He “is” his teaching. I’m humbled at the beauty of his heart again and again and how it touches and pulls on the heart in everyone. John often reminds me in meetings that I know what I am at the core. He says, “In your heart you know what you’ve come from.” Each of us clearly knows something much deeper and more subtle than our surface self. John says the surface self is a cover we have created to provide us with our wants and needs and protect us from feelings, especially feeling vulnerable. In those moments, when I am humbled by John’s heart, I deeply know the truth of this. Attending a meeting with John is like taking a dip in deep waters. The room is very, very still, and a thick, restful energy fills the space. John silently connects, making eye contact. It is easy to feel his tenderness, kindness and sensitivity. The invitation to drop deeper and deeper is always present. In meetings with John people often wonder why there are so many silences. John uses stillness, silence, as a master of evolution. Deeply connecting with each person sitting in front of him, he sees what is next for that person to become more of who they are. He holds a space they can step into for greater evolution. Amazing. It is incredible how, after sitting with John, ways of behaving often change, improve, transform. I believe this is a result of my stepping into a space John holds, moving forward into what is next in my evolution. Another question people have after meetings with John is, “Why does he use such unusual language?” His language is very unique. It is astonishing how he can speak about a similar concept again and again, each time using new language, new metaphors, always expressing newness. He defines everything in a totally fresh way so I don’t have the opportunity to drag the past forward and stay comfortable in old concepts. It encourages leaving the familiar concepts behind, allowing people to step into their next. For me, the purpose of attending meetings with John is to relate to the breadth and depth of who I truly am. He gives the opportunity to directly relate with someone living the potential of our human beingness. Experience an event with John in Edmonton at the College of Integrated Philosophy, 10930 177th Street, Edmonton. Friday evenings at 7:00 p.m. Sundays at 1:30 p.m. and again at 7:00 p.m. Also Mondays at 7:00 p.m. Cost is $8 at the door.
I have been seeking deeper meaning since 1988, and have traveled far and wide in my search. Arriving in Edmonton in 2000 to attend meetings with John de Ruiter, I felt like I had come home, that my search was over.
Today, I love the learning, growing and deeper seeing that occurs being with John de Ruiter and becoming a part of the Edmonton community that has grown up around him. And I am grateful for the opportunity to know and love who I truly am.
Being successful in business and able to retire at 40, I realized I could keep giving my life to achieving and acquiring more on the surface, but that deeper meaning may never be found. There must be more, and if it wasn’t available on the surface, it must be available within me. So the search began. I learned meditation and received my Master’s degree at a meditation university in the Midwest. Then on to becoming part of a spiritual teacher’s community in San Francisco. Realizing she wasn’t my teacher, I began searching by sitting in satsang with everyone who came through the Bay area. I enjoyed it all but didn’t find a deep connection with any teacher. And then, I met John de Ruiter.
Within a year, my husband and I moved to Canada to become part of John’s weekly meetings. I knew he was the living example of the “more” within me, of what was most deeply real. I naively believed all I needed to do was be in his presence as often as possible, and, in time, grace would deliver my awakening.
I noticed that some people were quickly deepening into the “more” with John. It was amazing to watch them open and soften and their experiences of the deep increase. I saw much change and transformation, far more than any spiritual group I’d been part of. And as for me, there was some softening, more openness, occasional experiences of something deeper within, but no quick transformation.
I see now, some twelve years later, that I wanted to hold onto my surface self, and have awakening, truth, serve me. Hmmmm. John warned about that. From there, from a place of self-interest, no go. The “more” of who I am is available only if there is a whole hearted willingness to know it and live it.
Strange waiting so long to fully step in while having much opportunity to be with John and hear his teachings weekly. Finally there is a deep readiness and commitment to live what I know, to take responsibility for my own inner knowing.
John’s main message is that we know more than what we live in this surface life. Yes, that I knew years ago when I began searching for “more” within. John explains how we can resonate with the “more,” “When you left your first self, the resonance of the reality of your first self remained with you. It remained clear in your heart because you didn’t harden sufficiently to cover it. In your heart you know what you’ve come from without your being able in your self to remedy the separation. It’s because of your openness of heart that the pain in your having left, stays. Within the pain remains the resonance, the resonance of what you were in your first self....”
The resonance John speaks about is very present in his meetings. For me, sitting in meetings, the room becomes full of a thick, deep energy. Easy to resonate with that energy, I often move into my heart. My mind becomes quiet and I taste a tiny bit of the “more” within.
So if I follow the resonance in my heart, and meet all of life with an open and soft heart, I can return to the “more” of who I am. It sounds so clear and simple until I think about being open and soft the next time someone criticizes me or wants to control my actions. What do I do then? Something touches an old well-worn pattern and I am off, returning to my surface life. John explains that the surface life pulls us because it is dense form. The “more” is subtle and formless. When I begin feeling intense emotion and spinning, I find if I remember to open my arms wide, let everything in, feel it and let it move wherever it does, there is new possibility. If I’m willing to be open, tender and soft in my heart, and willing to feel everything, and let the feelings move wherever they move, there is an amazing new experience. First, it seems to take me much deeper within so I know the “more” with greater intimacy. Secondly, the more I open and let all the feelings in, there seems to come a clarity of seeing that allows me to be much more at choice with how I respond next in the situation and also in the future. It isn’t comfortable in the beginning, but the discomfort is short lived if I just stay present with my feelings. I don’t know how it works. It just does.
I love how John talks about it. “The movement of your heart isn’t to be determined by what you’re experiencing in your self. When the experience of your self determines the movement of your heart, then depending on what you’re experiencing, you will close and harden or you will open and soften....Take everything that you experience in your self lightly, regardless of the strength of the experience. So instead of relating to what you experience in your self, direct all of your relating to openness and softness of heart. You know how to let your heart open; you know what it means when you open your heart. You know what it’s like when your heart softens, and you know how to let your heart soften.”
So, how can it be said more clearly? John points to our knowing the “more” and how to return to what we truly are through opening and softening our hearts. Through openness and softness of heart receiving all of the myriad experiences of life, we begin the return to our true self. And in that return we create a new self, a self expressing our true nature.
Now the question comes, am I willing to let go of the control and the protection I’ve created around my heart to realize this first self? That’s a big part of why I am writing this piece, to declare and deepen my commitment to step in, to be openness and softness in everything.I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to share my commitment with you.
According to John de Ruiter, the “more” is the tiny-est little bit within that we know, the weakest weakness, the subtle, the formless, the profound. We can be the “more” by loving it and believing it. But how do I find it? Where is it? What is it?
My deepest knowing of the “more” was an experience I call, "The Goldenness." It is a subtle realm of pristine clarity, delicate fineness, tender weakness, awesome power, endless depth, and most of all purity. In recalling this experience, I see an iridescent goldenness that is a touchstone for the deepest I've awakened to.
What I do daily to love and believe the “more” is to follow John’s suggestion to plant my feet in it. I plant my feet in the golden light I see around John and others. And once my awareness is in the golden-ness, I give attention to radiating that same light. Just planting my feet in “The Goldnness” takes me deeper within, to what is more subtle. Often my mind is still and I quietly watch my surface life and interactions with others.
Also, the best news is you can listen to free podcasts on John’s website www.johnderuiter.com, or you can meet John by attending meetings in Edmonton. Meetings are held at the Oasis Centre, 10930 177th Street, Edmonton, Alberta. The cost of meetings is only $8, and they are usually 2-3 hours in length. If you haven’t seen John, I encourage you to attend a meeting, connect with your heart’s resonance and see what you discover about you.
Every Sunday I have a conference call with my two Sisters about how to live from the heart and from what is deepest within. In today's call our discussion was about a recent John de Ruiter talk on living the deepest that you know. John de Ruiter points people to live what they know, to live what is more profound within than our everyday surface lives. And he encourages to come from the deepest that we have awakened to.
So we began Sunday's call with each of us sharing the deepest we know that we have awakened to. The call was amazing. All three of us discovered much about knowing and how to live that.
For me the deepest knowing was an experience I call, "The Goldenness." It is a subtle realm of pristine clarity, delicate fineness, tender weakness, awesome power, endless depth, and most of all purity. In recalling this experience, I see an iridescent goldenness that is a touchstone for the deepest I've awakened to.
For my Sisters, one explained the deepest as an awareness of something so sweet, that it is beyond sweetness. It is subtle softness and also tremendous strength. There is a connection of love always going on. In that place she is connected to everything, especially to Nature, even food, her truck and other inanimate objects.
And for the other Sister, it is peace, a profound peace filled with love where she is at rest within and all is just as it needs to be. She feels that peace whenever she looks at or walks in the trees behind her house.
So the three of us clearly know a subtle place within that is profound and wonderful, and even how to find that place. But how do we stay put, stay grounded in the inner knowing that we love? With the challenges of daily living, all three of us keep pulling ourselves back to our surface lives.
Last week four people expressed concern to human resources, that sometimes when I communicate I'm too strong and intimidating. Talking with John de Ruiter, he suggested that I use my power and emotion to get what I want. And that can be very uncomfortable for people. It can make them avoid me or even lie to me. That was important, worthwhile input. And still, even with such insightful direction, when fingers are being pointed at me and I am seen as the difficulty, how do I stay grounded in my knowing of "Goldenness"?
One Sister's daughter makes fun of her, takes advantage and is critical, arrogant and cold. Her daughter is coming home with her husband and young son to stay for a week. The daughter, who is so hungry for love, resents her Mom showering her son with love. How to stay in that softness, that place of knowing in the midst of their visit?
My other Sister wonders how to be peaceful when she visits her bank to discuss their converting her IRA into a non-IRA instrument. Her bank made the switch without clearly explaining what was being done, and the tax consequences that would occur.
Well, the difficulties in our surface lives are clear. Where are the answers? We decided to look within for them. After a few minutes of silence, one Sister said if she was open and vulnerable, fully feeling her daughter's resentment, criticism or disgust, she believed she could stay in her knowing. If she was willing to feel those feelings, to experience the pain, her own brokenness, maybe she could stay in inner sweetness and strength. Mmmmmm.
In John de Ruiter's talk he confirms my Sister's solution when he says, "As awareness, your first realized relationship is with knowing (with the deepest that you know)....Know what you know. Be what you know. Do what you know."
The Sister concerned about her IRA saw that if she stayed peaceful, without an agenda, while meeting with her banker, that could be her best chance of really hearing the truth while staying with her knowing.
And for me, I learned something valuable letting in the pain and shame of being seen as inappropriate and ineffective with others. I learned that pain, just feeling it and letting it move, took me to a place of clear seeing. I could see how I created this way of using power and emotion with others to cover over the shaming from early childhood. Not measuring up in other's eyes was what I had spent a lifetime trying to control and not feel. Feeling shame, pain, others criticism, I have much less fear of peoples' disapproval. And the best part is that the feelings were a doorway into what I know, into what is deeper and more profound. What amazing "Goldenness." I'm deeply grateful.
Each of us clearly knows something much deeper and more subtle than our surface self. We learn from John de Ruiter that this surface self is a cover we have created to provide us with our wants and needs and protect us from feelings, especially feeling vulnerable. The way we can stay with the subtle, with our deeper knowing, with "The Goldenness," is to let in the feelings that arise in our surface interactions from an open and soft place. Let them go wherever they will, and respond from what we know deepest within. Over time, this will create a new self, a self that reflects our knowing.
John de Ruiter summarizes, "Knowing is what needs to be unstoppable. Made real with your choices in your decisions in it. What will break is the shell on your heart, but it will feel like yourself. You come into all the gold within that you have covered."
Recently I attended a meeting with John de Ruiter where he spoke about “Doing the laundry of the self.” ‘...as your self enters the wash, the ego is washed out. With the shift to following what you know, the ego has no more hold.’ When John spoke about this, I could imagine when I have feelings, when a pattern is touched in me, rather than reacting in old ways, the feelings could wash through me. That, in fact, I could let the uncomfortable feelings move through, without adding story or emotion.
As feelings wash through, might it be possible to settle into a quiet place within? Could I connect with some deeper inner knowing of what to be or do next? I looked forward to a moment when I might try it out.
Of course, a pattern was immediately touched. My husband made a critical comment about something I did. There it was. I felt the heat rising, a strong firery energy began to move inside and a push to justify myself. And then, somehow easily and naturally, I remembered to let the feelings wash through myself, to not touch them or add to them. While being quiet within, to let the feelings move anywhere.
It felt a bit intense in the beginning, and the more I let the feelings move, swishing this way and that, swirling around, having their way, the easier it was to be present in the feelings. Slowly I was even able to lay my head down in what was going on inside, to quietly and tenderly lay down. As I did that, the feelings became less, and then much less.
Next, spontaneously, some clarity of seeing arose, some deeper knowing about how to respond to the situation. My heart was quiet and without emotion. There was a deep stillness inside. And there was no residue of sticky, yucky feelings to deal with. Best of all, I was able to sweetly explain to my husband what had happened, and the waters were calm and serene between us.
Yes!!! This is good. I realized that letting feelings have a good wash through the laundry of myself seemed to really work.
Ummmm, could I do the wash each and every time a pattern is touched? And from this place of quiet rest within, would clarity appear out of some deeper knowing? Could I trust that simple, clear, good direction would come from within? Could I possibly be free from old reactions, no longer feeling stuck or living in unnecessary suffering?
This experience is an example of what I love most about John’s teaching. He is always illuminating the most direct path to living from what is deeper within. When I apply his teaching in my day-to-day life, it works. Not only does it work, but it also offers an experience of sweetness or nurture. Lucky me. Lucky life to have met John and follow his pointing to being what is deeper, to being my true nature. John is illuminating the direct path--direct relating to what I first am.
Thank you to all of me for loving learning and discovering an amazing teacher who knows all the secrets about doing laundry.
A group of us who attend meetings with John de Ruiter got together to see how we might write about the essence of John's teachings. John is a spiritual teacher in Edmonton, Canada who had a profound awakening when he was 17 years old. And he has continually deepened in his awakening for the last 35 years. Attempting to capture who he is could be a worthy challenge.
We realized a good place to begin was to relate to what is deepest within. That may be our best bet to find within what we know John to be. From that place we could see what arose. Would writing arise? We didn't know.
The phrase "Nothing Happening," emerged from our discussions and seemed to characterize a good starting place to settle into. So a few days later, I sat at my computer, closed my eyes, became quiet within, and let the following express:
So writing from “nothing happening.” What is that, where is that space? When everything within settles, and there is quiet, deep quiet, a quiet space filled with nothing. And then the quiet fills itself with a hum, a pulsing hum. Quiet filled with sound.
Sitting in my big chair at home, looking out the window, the longer the silence, the louder the pulsing hum grows. What arises is nothing or a simple clarity. Simple clarity speaks no loud sounds, yet it seems it can slowly melt emotions and old patterns of habit.
In meetings with John de Ruiter, this silent nothing fills the space with thick energy. Resonating with John’s profound stillness, settling in the quiet, dropping deeper, my mind stops.
Dropping even deeper, an urge arises to catch hold of something familiar, attempting to prevent completely melting and dissolving away. Relax, no need to catch hold, just let melting occur. And then thick nothing drops into greater fineness. Finer and finer becoming a glimpse of, what is it? Is it a sacred golden pulsing?
Staying, not moving, the golden threads become light, then colored light forms, geometrical and exquisite in form, moving and reforming into new shapes and colors. The gold turning into white light, morphing into electric blues, violets and greens and then moving further into nothing-but-blackness.
Now a dog barks shrill sounds like the cry of a hurt child. Its pain touches something deeper than usual within. Is it possible to directly enter the sacred through pain?
The phone rings. Standing up, moving, the surface takes form and what was deeper dissolves. And I ask, “What just happened? Did anything? Nothing happened. Nothing Happening...and Then."