Cotswold Non-Duality Group Papers

Jenny Beal

Jenny Beal

Cotswold Group was originally formed in 2012 to teach the Fourth Way system as reconstructed by Dr Francis Roles. In 2014, Jenny Beal began to study the Direct Path under the guidance of Rupert Spira, a former student of Dr Francis Roles who had subsequently studied with Francis Lucille. She discovered in this teaching the possible source of several aspects of Ouspensky’s system that were not explicitly covered in the Advaita Vedanta teaching of the Shankaracharya tradition.

After some months, Jenny began introducing what she had learnt and understood from Rupert alongside the traditional Fourth Way teaching, on an experimental basis, to discover whether an exploration of some of the key Fourth Way concepts might be useful as initial preparation for following the Direct Path. Whether any such preparation is generally needed remains an open question. Either way, these papers can be seen as tracing the journey taken by the Cotswold Group towards an understanding of non-duality.

The papers that are available here fall into two groups: papers from June 2014 up to July 2015 covering both the traditional Fourth Way teaching and the Direct Path; and papers from August 2015 onwards focusing on the Direct Path as taught by Rupert Spira and Francis Lucille. The earlier Cotswold Group papers from September 2012 to May 2014 are not included as the material they contain is covered more comprehensively elsewhere on this website and in Gerald Beckwith’s book Ouspensky’s Fourth Way.

The Books section gives details of further suggested reading on the Direct Path. There is also a Facebook Group where you can ask questions.

Introduction to the Direct Path

Those who are not familiar with the Direct Path may find the following introductory material helpful, before embarking on a study of the papers:

  1. The Direct Path to Happiness – a magazine article introducing the Direct Path, aimed at readers who have previously followed a traditional path towards self-realisation.
  2. A video clip in which Rupert Spira explains what self-remembering is and how it is practised: ‘What is meant by self-remembering?’
  3. A set of video clips covering key concepts from Rupert Spira’s teaching: Introduction to Non-duality

These papers or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever other than for private study without the express written permission of the publisher.

Papers: June 2014 to July 2015 – Fourth Way and Direct Path

20140617 The Direct PathThis paper introduced the Direct Path to the group.
20140708 The Enneagram and the mini-ladderAn introduction to the enneagram that also illustrated the concept of the Absolute being present and available at every moment.
2014 SUMMER PROGRAMMEPractice and holiday reading for the summer break. Seeing the resistance that arises from deeply-held beliefs.
20140909 Resistance Openness and QuestionsResistance to what is currently appearing in awareness is the main barrier to realising our true nature.
20140925 TimeExploring the illusory nature of Time.
20141016 From Self-Observation to Self-discoveryA scientific approach to self-discovery.
20141106 The Illusion of the Separate SelfSeparating pure experience from superimposed concepts of ‘I’.
20141127 From Attention to Self-rememberingFocused attention, passive attention and self-remembering in practical life.
20150108 States of ConsciousnessConsciousness is present and unchanging throughout waking, dreaming and deep sleep. Mandukya upanishad.
20150129 ThoughtWhat should we do about the incessant flow of thoughts? Differences in approach between the Fourth Way and the Direct Path.
20150226 Negative EmotionTrue positive emotions have no opposite. Different approaches to dealing with negative emotions.
20150326 MeditationThe Direct Path approach to meditation - a simple method of self-remembering.
20150416 The Laws of NatureHow does the universe come into existence? What is the nature of the laws that appear to govern it?
20150507 The Six Activities of Man - Part 1The triads of refinement, growth and creation. Practical examples in the Direct Path.
20150528 The Six Activities of Man - Part 2The triads of invention or healing, destruction and crime. Practical examples. Choosing the ‘right’ triad.
20150702 How things happenThe Law of Octaves. Does free will exist?

Papers: August 2015 to present – mainly Direct Path

2015 SUMMER PROGRAMMESelf-enquiry - a suggested approach and useful resources for the summer break.
20150910 Traditional and Direct PathsEssay by Ananda Wood on the differences. The concept of a jumping off point from a traditional to a direct path.
20151001 Am I a Material Body or BrainFirst of the 5 sheaths that hide the Self - annamaya, the material body.
20151022 Am I the one who makes things happenSecond sheath - pranamaya, life force, that which makes things move.
20151119 Am I My Limited MindThird sheath - manomaya, the moving mind.
20160107 Approaching RealityFurther explanation of the final part of the previous paper. The dream metaphor.
20160121 Behind the Veil of ReasonFourth sheath - vijnanamaya, reason (buddhi). Higher v lower reason.
20160211 The Happiness TrapLast sheath - anandamaya, happiness. Enlightenment is not a state of mind that comes and goes.
20160310 Surrender and WelcomingSaying an unconditional ‘yes’ to all appearances. Dealing with resistance.
20160324 Time, Memory and CausationDoes memory prove the existence of time? How can we live without time?
20160421 How the M5 was builtExploring the presumptions behind our world view. Understanding the implications of Idealism and Realism.
20160519 Another perspective on Self-enquiryThe need to start from a real question, with a strong desire to find the answer. Examining the assumptions behind the materialist scientific model. Living our understanding.
20160616 Name and FormHow mind creates the world. ‘It is what I am.’ Names and forms keep us apart from experience.
20160630 Personal and Impersonal DesiresAre desires a barrier to enlightenment? How to tell the difference between personal and impersonal desires. The desire for enlightenment.
20160721 The Three CasketsThree classes of spiritual knowledge. What is in the golden casket? Transition from the Fourth Way to the Direct Path.
2016 SUMMER PROGRAMMEPractice and non-practice. How to explore our experience. Using the guided meditations.
20161006 What Is EgoHow does ego arise? Do we need it?
20161027 Words, Words, WordsAll language is based on duality. So how can we communicate the inexpressible?
20161117 Questioning our BeliefsTesting our beliefs against our experience.
20170112 The Pathless Path Part 1 - The Vedantic PathKnowing ourselves as the witnessing presence of awareness. The effortless path of openness, welcoming and surrender.
20170127 The Pathless Path Part 2 - The Tantric PathAligning feelings in the body and perceptions of the world with our non-dual understanding.
20170209 Welcoming uncomfortable feelingsMore on the tantric path. Understanding and responding to uncomfortable feelings and tensions in the body.
20170309 Living our understandingDissolving the residues of ignorance in the body and mind, so that our lives express and communicate our understanding.
20170330 Exploring the reality of the unreal worldOur senses seem to tell us that the world and its objects are real. How can it be illusion? Do objects disappear after enlightenment?
20170427 Exploring the Body from the InsideThe tantric approach to exploring the body and feeling that our true body is unlimited and unlocated.
20170511 A Further Investigation into TimeTime is a construction of the mind. Memory is used by mind to construct a separate self.
20170615 The Ever-Present Nature of OurselfThe non-duality teaching says that we were never born and therefore cannot die. How can this be so?
20170629 Objectless LoveIs there a place for devotion and surrender in the Direct Path? How can we love without an object of love?
2017 SUMMER PROGRAMMELines of enquiry. Explaining different starting points for self-enquiry.
20170928 Sleeping, Dreaming and WakingConsciousness is ever-present. There are no levels of consciousness. The focusing of consciousness.
20171019 Being Open to the OpennessDiscusses the essential role of openness in both the inward-facing (vedantic) and outward-facing (tantric) paths.
20171109 The Dark Night of the SoulUnderstanding the fluctuating feelings that arise on the spiritual path.
20171130 Nothing truly veils awarenessHow can we remain abiding as awareness while engaged in activities in the world? How to deal with difficult situations.
20180111 Exploring the Nature of MyselfDiscovering I am that which is aware of mind, body and world. Is there just one awareness?
20180201 Sweet are the uses of adversityDo difficult circumstances help or hinder the recognition of our true nature?
20180222 Dissolution of the WitnessThe journey from I am the witness of all experience to I am the substance of all experience
20180308 Models of ExperienceAll the models we superimpose on experience are limited, and not absolute truth. But objective experience doesn't obscure reality; it shines with it.
20180412 Beliefs and HabitsWhy do old habits which are based on thinking and feeling ourselves to be a separate self, keep recurring after we have realised our true nature?
20180503 Dealing with AddictionWe are all addicted to something - thinking, TV, substances etc. Techniques based on yoga meditation.
20180524 Love Knows No OtherLove is the dissolution of subject-object relationship. How to live that understanding.
20180614 Not DoingIs there a doer? Is there anything we can do to realise our true nature? Letting the moment flow.
2018 SUMMER PROGRAMMEIs practice necessary? What to practise and how to practise.
20180913 Abandoning all BeliefsKeeping the teaching free from dogma. Rupert's approach to answering questions.
20181004 ResistanceAre all preferences egoic? Dealing with resistance in daily life. Resistance to the teaching.
20181025 Is There Anything Outside of MyselfDescribes the steps that follow the recognition ‘I am that which is aware of my experience’. What does Rupert mean by the word ‘God’?
20181108 Instinct Intuition Inspiration and IntelligenceExploring the broader realm of mind. The collective unconscious.
20181129 Letting Experience FlowNo need for effort and no need to manipulate experience. Space and time move through me.
20190110 HappinessWhy do we expect objects to bring us happiness? Discovering the peace that pervades all experience.
20190131 Living in the NowThe effect of the living in the Now. There can be no suffering in the Now.
20190221 Benevolent IndifferenceWhat is 'benevolent indifference'? Is it practical in daily life?
20190314 The Feeling of LocatednessExploring whether I, awareness, is located inside my body.
20190404 The Sense of LackDiscovering the feeling of lack as a sensation in the body. How to respond to it.
20190425 Exploring the Limitations of MindModels of mind. The origin of thoughts. Does mind exist? Free will. The shared world.
20190516 Living in Not-knowingFinding the balance between going with the flow and choosing to respond actively to situations.
20190606 Art Archetypes and the Broader Field of MindWhat is the role af art in the spiritual path? Art from the perspective of the artist and the viewer or listener.
20190620 UnderstandingThe answers to our questions don't lie in words - they lie in the dissolution of both question and answer.
20190711 Thinking Enquiring Contemplating AbidingWhat is the difference between each of these? Exploring points of difficulty.
20190912 The Power of Clear SeeingClear seeing is all that is required to discover imperturbable happiness. Physical illness or depression can only obscure that happiness if we allow it to do so.
20191003 It Is What I AmExploring the substance and reality of mind, body and world.
20191024 Life Without a PurposeDoes life have any meaning? Should our goal in life be to help others?
20191114 Sharing Our UnderstandingHow to share our understanding of non-duality in different types of relationships.
20200109 Four Myths about EnlightenmentMistaken beliefs that reinforce the sense of being a separate self.
20200130 Being MyselfThe sense of being myself accompanies and pervades all experience.
20200220 DevotionThe path of knowledge and the path of devotion are the same path. Relationship with a teacher.
20200312 Why does Consciousness Allow SufferingThe desire for a perfect universe. Exploring the motivation behind unkind behaviour.
20200402 A non-dual response to the COVID-19 pandemicOpportunities for spiritual growth; dealing with anxiety; helping friends.
20200430 Beyond the MindThe role of ‘higher reasoning’ in the spiritual path.
20200520 The Colouring of AwarenessDiscovering the joy of our true nature. Manifestation always has a colouring.
20200610 Exploring the Sense of MeThe process of deepening our understanding. The sense of me is not me.
20200701 Exploring the Sense of OthernessFrom nothingness to everythingness. Why don't I know other people's thoughts?
20200722 Ethics Conditioning and ResponsibilityThe role of ethics. Do we need to get rid of our conditioning? Who or what is responsible for what happens?
20200819 There is Only One RealityExploring the universality of consciousness and reality.
20200916 Post-enlightenment SadhanaWhat does it encompass at the level of the mind and the level of the body? What is the energy body?
20201007 Residues of IgnoranceDissolving the sense of ‘me’ in the body. Downgrading feelings to bodily sensations.
20201028 Glimpses of TruthPartial and liberating glimpses. The role of investigation and experiments.
20201118 The Path of LoveLove is love of the objectless by the objectless.
20201209 Being Open to the OpennessOpenness to thoughts, sensations and perceptions. Being free from all beliefs.
20210113 ExperimentsThe path of the physicist. Experiments to test whether awareness is universal.
20210203 What is MindMind as a flow of thoughts, sensations, perceptions, and mind as a bio-computer. Artificial Intelligence.
20210224 Exploring Idealism and RealismNon-duality doesn't imply idealism. Realism doesn't imply materialism.
20210317 The Teacher WithinMost of us need the help of an external teacher, but the real teacher is the teacher within.
20210428 Does Time Really ExistInvestigating the possibility that time is an illusion and the past is not set in stone.
20210519 The Role of Yoga MeditationsYoga meditations are designed for investigating the sense of separation in the body, not for getting rid of uncomfortable feelings.
20210609 Do We Have FreedomFreedom ‘from’ and freedom ‘to’. The body-mind has no freedom to choose.
20210717 Closing the CircleExploring the reality of ourselves and the universe. The intuition that there is only one reality.
20210904 The Game of IgnoranceWhy is there evil? No one is guilty. Ignorance is a choice made by awareness.
20211002 The Roots of IgnoranceInvestigating the fear of death and the sense of lack.
20211023 What is MeditationDifferent types of meditation. How to meditate. Meditation as an integral part of daily life.
20211113 Our Real Body is the WorldDistinguishing between the physical body and our direct experience of the body. The role of yoga meditations.
20211211 The Certainty of UncertaintyBeing certain that you can never be certain is enough.
20220115 Chasing States of MindEverything that comes and goes is just a state of body or mind. True happiness is found only in that which is permanent.
20220129 Non-duality and ForgivenessDoes forgiveness have a role in the Direct Path? How to deal with unkindness and betrayal.
20220226 SurrenderWhat is surrender in the Direct Path? Is it something we can make happen? What triggers surrender?
20220326 SilenceWhat is spiritual silence? Is sitting in silence necessary on the Direct Path?
20220416 Being Established in PeaceSteps on the spiritual path. How our understanding becomes stabilised.
20220514 A Thorn to Remove a ThornUnderstanding and overcoming the limitations of language. Use of analogies, metaphors and models.
20220604 Effortless EffortPsychological and physical effort. Love of truth is the only prerequisite for the Direct Path. Ignorance requires effort.
20220618 ListeningListening to the totality of our experience. Listening to the body. The role of listening in teaching and understanding.
20220806 Follow Your EnthusiasmThe role of enthusiasm in the Direct Path. How to make the best use of our time.
20220903 Is There Anything We Can DoThe hot seat at the Gateless Gate to the Absolute. How to investigate and how to meditate.
20221029 Science and beliefAn approach to non-duality through science and mathematics. Mind can never access the ultimate reality, but we can find it in silence.
20221126 After the GlimpseDebunking common myths about enlightenment. Using everyday life as help on the path to establishment.
20221217 Cut the FluffA detailed look at how mind, body and world can become aligned with our understanding.
20230121 The Joyful, Never-ending Path of Not-KnowingExploring the steps on the path of not-knowing. Nondualism vs. non-duality. Practice doesn't end at enlightenment.
20230218 The Pearls of PerceptionThe flow of perceptions is discontinuous. But there is an invisible thread of reality that connects all things.
20230318 Two Conversations on UnderstandingWhat do we mean by understanding? Does AI understand the answers it gives us? The difference between mind and consciousness.
20230416 Welcoming Thoughts and FeelingsWhat can we do if we forget what we are? Facing existential fear. Spiritual bypassing and the shadow.
20230513 Realigning the Body-MindDoes realignment happen automatically or is there something we need to do? Emotions as a starting-point for enquiry.
20230624 MemoryExploring the connection between memory and ignorance. Functional and psychological memory. Dealing with past trauma.
20230722 Flowing with the FlowHow to flow with the flow. Guilt and responsibility. Impersonal action in line with the Tao.