10 Questions Series: Hale Dwoskin

August 31, 2013 by Chris Grosso

Hale Dwoskin

 

NAME: Hale Dwoskin

BIO: Hale Dwoskin is the New York Times best-selling author of “The Sedona Method,” and is featured in the movie, “Letting Go.” He is the founder of Sedona Training Associates, an organization that teaches courses based on the emotional releasing techniques inspired by his mentor, Lester Levenson. Hale is an international speaker and featured faculty member at Esalen and the Omega Institute. He is also one of the 24 featured teachers of the book and movie phenomenon, “The Secret,” as well as a founding member of The Transformational Leadership Council. 

 

Q: Who and or what, do you attribute the person you are today to?

 

A: Several things. First of all though, I am not a person. What I am is the same thing you are which is the presence of awareness, which is living through both of these body/minds. If I was to attribute who influenced me however, it would be a series of people. Most importantly my mentor, Lester Levenson who I worked with for eighteen years and who’s work I continue as it continues to evolve and I’ve also been influenced by other contemporary teachers such as Robert Adams, Francis Lucille, Sailor Bob Adamson and John Wheeler. It’s really hard to say which has been the most influential as they’ve all contributed in their own unique way.

 

Q: What are some of the musical albums or musicians/bands that have impacted your life and in what way?

 

A: The main artists I listen to now are Snatnam Kaur, Miten & Premal, and Acoustic Alchemy. We live in a digital age and what I usually do for music is listen to Pandora and have several stations there that are actually compilations. I mostly listen to chant however.

 

Q: What is one of the most shocking experiences you’ve ever had?

 

A: I think probably the most shocking experience I’ve had is when I first started noticing that what I had spent my whole life searching for, I already was, that was pretty shocking. It was such a surprise to discover how close the truth has always been and how far away it appeared and the dichotomy just continues to dissolves.

 

Q: What is one of the most beautiful experiences you’ve ever had?

 

A: I believe there’s an underlying beauty that we all experience. In the west, it’s more of an experience or sense of beauty. I had a beautiful experience on 42nd street in Times Square in New York City even before I was clear about the truth of who I am. I’ve had many moments of very profound peace and one of the early ones was when I was walking in Times Square before they cleaned up and noticed there was a profound peace despite the fact that there was all this turmoil surrounding the body/mind. That was in 1977 I believe. I also remember as a child being struck by the beauty of sunsets, clear ponds and nature in general. Also, some of my most beautiful experiences are when I’m with an apparent other and the sense of separation dissolves for both. As I live what’s a relatively normal life, I’m not always focused on non-duality but people do ask me non-dual questions, so the non-dual awareness takes the foreground and there’s always such exquisite beauty as that happens. A lot of those experiences have happened at the seminars and retreats I lead but a lot of them also happen in everyday life, going for a hike or hanging out with my sweet wife. I never really know when a wave of beauty if just going to wash over this body/mind.

 

Q: What is one of the most defining moments in your life and why?

 

A: Nothing really comes to mind because to me, right here, right now is the defining moment. The past in my experience does not define what’s being experienced in this moment, it only does so in appearance, but in this moment, all is dissolving and all is being defined and yet, it’s much more than that.

 

Q: What do you believe are the benefit, if any, vs. the dangers of mind-altering drugs?

 

A: My experience is that people are way too uptight about drugs. I think a lot of the spiritual teachers on the planet have probably had inklings about the truth of who they were from a drug experience and I’m not different. I remember a trip that I had in college where I’d just read Autobiography of a Yogi and for hours I had a living experience of everything that had been described in the book. So that got me interested in finding out more about what this whole direction was about. The problem is that because we repress and restrict drug use so much, it’s gotten totally distorted. There’s also a lot of drugs I don’t think have any real benefit like the more addictive ones including cocaine and heroin, though I have heard of someone having an experience of someone else being given opiates and them waking up from it. There’s a whole book about that but the title escapes my mind right now. The person was mugged in the Middle East and the way they were mugged was that someone slipped them some strong opium or opiate and their sense of separate identity never came back. Again, I don’t remember the title but I do remember reading it. So I think if everyone relaxed about drug use and allowed it to be part of life, along with everything else, the whole world would be in better shape. The United States could probably use some of the money they could make if they legalized some of the more benign substances that they crack down on.

 

Q: What are some films you’ll never forget seeing for the first time and why?

 

A: Forrest Gump, but it wasn’t so much about the film as it was the timing. I watched the movie after one of my very first experiences of the truth of who I am and I remember being moved from the very first scene with the feather drifting down from above into the scene because I felt like I was the audience, the feather and the film, all of it because my filters had dropped away.

 

Avatar was another film I enjoyed because I thought that it was a good representation of what we’re doing to planet earth.

 

Star Wars is also a classic. I still like “May the force be with you.” I’m actually teaching a course in a few months and one of the things I’m teaching is basically how to surrender to the force. I always try to have fun stuff in my courses so that spontaneously happened while I was working on the workbook.

 

Q: Does God exist and if so, in what capacity? If not, why not?

 

A: God & Goddess are a concept and they’re very much misused and abused but at the same time, most people would have a hard time denying the presence of awareness that they are. They know that they are and they know that there’s something more than just their story, their body/mind, the world, and that something more, which gives life to all we’re experiencing, to me, that’s God & Goddess. God & Goddess are very limiting terms though because they’ve been very misused. So on one level I don’t believe in God or Goddess because the way many people define them. I don’t believe there’s a man or woman in the sky passing judgment on us but on the other hand there’s definitely an intelligent energy that gives life to the universe and that’s very much a part of my living experience. I also think that sometimes it takes more of a female energy and others, more of a male energy and sometimes it’s beyond male and female all together.

 

Q: What do you think your greatest contribution to humanity is?

 

A: I don’t think I’ve made a contribution to humanity. If this body/mind has made any contribution at all, it’s been a vehicle for living truth to reach more of a mass audience. This body/mind knows how to talk both from a non-dual space, and a completely dual self-help space though I’m surprised that the dual self-help space hasn’t fallen away, but it hasn’t. The gift of The Sedona Method and all the work that’s done at Sedona Training is that it bridges the gap between working on your life and discovering that it’s not your life, and the two are in harmony, they’re not in opposition. Most people think you have to choose and one is right and one is wrong but they are neither right, or wrong, they just are. So I don’t feel like it’s my contribution. I think it’s coincidental that this body/mind is being used in this particular way but I do think that is the thing that seems to help the most.

 

Q: What does the human experience mean to you?

 

A: The human experience just means a celebration of what’s here and now. Every human being, on some level, is making their own unique contribution to life because there is only one life. The Life living through all the body/minds that appear in this omniverse is the same life. So the human experience is as simple as smelling a flower, having a cup of coffee or making love and it’s that life, energy and awareness that allows for all experiences. I feel deeply grateful to have the human experience and at the same time feel deeply grateful that I’m not limited by it, as none of us are. I see the human experience as quite exquisite even when it can be exquisitely uncomfortable. I think we’re all lucky to have this particular planet as our home world and I hope that we all learn to live together in harmony, peace, love, caring and compassion and start to really treat our home world like it’s our home, as opposed to it being something we can just rape, pillage and plunder. One of the things I focus on every morning is that the human species learns to live in harmony, peace, love, caring, cooperation and compassion with each other, the biosphere and all its species, that is something that I would love to see. It’s the direction a minority of us are going in, but hopefully someday, the majority will follow.

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Chris Grosso is a public speaker, writer, recovering addict, spiritual director, and author of Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality (Beyond Words/Simon & Schuster) and Everything Mind: What I've Learned About Hard Knocks, Spiritual Awakening and the Mind-Blowing Truth of it All (Sounds True). He writes for ORIGIN Magazine, Huffington Post, and Mantra Yoga + Health Magazine, and has spoken and performed at Wanderlust Festival, Yoga Journal Conference, Sedona World Wisdom Days, Kripalu, Celebrate Your Life and more. Chris is passionate about his work with people who are in the process of healing or struggling with addictions of all kinds. He speaks and leads groups in detoxes, yoga studios, rehabs, youth centers, 12-step meetings, hospitals, conferences, and festivals worldwide. He is a member of the advisory board for Drugs over Dinner.