Edited by Jerry Katz
The portal to Scott Kiloby‘s work and projects is www.kiloby.com
My co-host is senior facilitator of Scott’s work, Lynn Fraser.
In this interview, Scott begins by defining nonduality and talking about how nondual inquiry led to his work on addictions. Main points discussed:
- The Kiloby Center for Recovery as mirroring Scott’s recovery.
- Defining addiction and recovery in an open way.
- Readiness for doing this work is a conversation not a judgment made upon a person. Everyone has the right to not be ready. Readiness points to a spark of awareness that says one doesn’t want to live with addiction anymore.
- Feeling safe doing these inquiries and facing difficult feelings. There’s a workability to the inquiries that gives a grounding and makes you feel safe.
- How the inquiries deal with fear, desire, and ignorance. Noticing more and more of what’s aware.
- A good facilitator meets what comes up in the moment. The framework of the process is flexible. It’s not about the approach, rather the client, so the approach bends.
- Noticing how we try to protect ourselves from feeling pain.
- Natural rest.
- Scott’s enthusiasm for this work.
- Scott spends about 15 minutes giving us an example of looking at our experience and seeing if there’s a way to be with it differently.
Preparing for this interview, I purchased and listened to a live telecast by Scott from the Kiloby Center. In this 3½ hour audio, Scott explains and takes you through the new developments at the Kiloby Center that are helping people with addiction, anxiety, depression and spiritual seeking. In this audio Scott guides you experientially, and in some detail, through the approach at the Center. The price is $25. LINK
I took ten pages of notes from this audio. Here are some of my notes:
The work is tailored to each person.
Meet in group of 5 or 6 in the morning.
Two private sessions with everyone. Traumatic events brought up. Tapping plus inquiry are used.
Why are you here, is asked. “Because I’ve always felt this way about myself, … or something that can’t be stopped.”
May do a field trip to liquor store or supermarket to trigger the compulsion to get the person to feel what doesn’t want to be felt.
Intense program within a peaceful, compassionate environment.
THE CENTER: it’s not a joyride, intense pain seen. Running out of the building. Dealing with the deepest pain and restlessness that can be felt. They teach people to be with that pain differently.
First a person has to find out if the center is right for them. Sometimes detox is required first. Costs have to be considered as well as the ability to take time off.
Some come for a couple days and others need a week, two weeks, a month. Based on finances, commitment, ability to take off from their regular job.
At center you get to share their life, eating, sleeping, relationships, functioning. Lunch becomes important. We look at what parts of experience are still unconscious.
There’s so much momentum behind how we experience negativity/anxiety. We learn how to suffer, how to cope with what we don’t want to feel, and society enforces that.
As an attorney Scott thought he could meditate in the morning and night and everything would feel into place, but the law career still imposed difficult stresses. The real work has been being conscious as much as possible, aware and awake as much as possible, not about an experience or about doing a session.
Being awake means to be aware but not to identify with what’s coming and going.
You can have conscious awareness no matter what’s happening. The Center is about finding natural rest and freedom in your own life.
Readiness. The readiness conversation is a hot topic among facilitators and addiction treatment centers. It’s a conversation, not a judgment. We want to know that you’re ready to stop your addiction. Scott says he was addicted to things for 20 years and still wasn’t ready.
Readiness isn’t a decision, it’s more like a shift in perspective in the midst of a story. You see it’s possible to be free of stories. Meanwhile, another part of you says ‘no’ even though you may not realize it. Without even knowing it, we slip into stories of being unlovable, inadequate, weak. There’s a clumsiness to this readiness because it’s a conversation not a judgment. There isn’t someone at the Center judging whether or not you are ready.
We get something from suffering. Talking about it opens up what you want to inquire into.
Honesty: am I really interested in quitting? Do I really want to end the spiritual search? There’s something in it for us. Honesty is a part of readiness. Tell the truth of our experience as much as possible. I don’t want to feel what I have to feel if I stop my addiction: this aligns us with honesty and removes us from self deception.
WHAT IS NATURAL REST: Scott leads the listener in great detail so that you may experience living inquiry and get quite a full taste of what your experience would be like at the Center or with a facilitator either in person or via Skype.
The dynamic occurring is one of a shift between resting as awareness and looking at what arises in the forms of words, pictures, and sensations with regard to a story that is affecting your life (e.g., I’m not good enough, I’m hurt, I’m not lovable, etc.).
Listen into the still quietness around you and between sounds. Note how still and quiet everything already is. We notice space and color, which relieves us of the responsitiblity of anything other than seeing color and resting.
Notice how none of the colors are seeking anything. Green is not seeking to be blue. Look at the floor, it just is, not seeking to be the ceiling.
Stop and notice how everything is still and quiet at the basis of life. Do this often.
Feel sensations of body and notice how they float in space. Even uncomfortable sensations, let them be as they are in the quiet space without trying to change anything.
If for three seconds you can let the story fall, it’s a big deal, given that we think we are the story. That’s natural rest.
Sensation in space is just being felt, they’re not telling a story. The stories cover the experience of being. We are just aware and awake.
Notice that there’s something that is aware. Focus on being aware or being what is aware and looking. Notice that what is aware is not a deficient self, it’s just aware. Feel yourself as what’s aware. Know that you’re aware. Rest as what’s aware instead of as a story: give that to yourself more often. Notice that you’re already aware: resting is that.
Let any feelings be felt, they too are in the awareness. You can look at a color without naming it, same as a feeling, feel the vibrancy. Feelings are just happening like colors and sounds. Something remains: presence. Does it have to name itself? It’s what we already are.
Key is to be conscious of what is arising. Be curious about the feeling, do less with it, acknowledge it, and it goes. 90% of what is done at the Center is not inquiry, just resting. Noticing what is aware when something goes: aware without that thought.
The recognition of being: I wonder if we give ourselves the gift of that, Scott says. This being is what you are, not the addictive thoughts. This feels natural but you have to experience it, otherwise its just words. That’s part of the readiness.
If you hear a thought, it’s like a bird singing. Do nothing with it. It vanishes. What remains is awareness which is not concerned with being free or anything. “I love that aspect of doing nothing,” Scott says. “The less I do with feelings, the better.”
The more things are allowed to come and go freely the less suffering there is, but only always.
The key is shifting. Notice how we experience words, pictures, sensations. Acknowledge that our sense of self comes by way of words and pictures. Identifying with words and pics are the culprit when it comes to suffering. Sensations can only be felt. Pics can only be seen. Do nothing with the sensation. See that it’s a feeling being felt. That takes identification out of the thought.
This skill is about being conscious of how you experience things.
The more I’m aware of feelings directly, the less I suffer, Scott says. Most of us are experiencing life from the head up.