Cotswold Non-Duality Group Papers


253 QFH JennyCotswold 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 primarily on the Direct Path. 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.

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.