Rupert Spira, is an international teacher of the Direct Path method of spiritual self enquiry from the Advaita Vedanta tradition. He is author of several books on the Direct Path including The Nature of Consciousness, Presence Volume 1: The Art of Peace and Happiness, Presence Volume 2: The Intimacy of all Experience and Being Aware of Being Aware. Rupert was introduced to The Study Society and to his first spiritual teacher, Dr Francis Roles, in the mid 1970s. Under Dr. Roles’ guidance he learned mantra meditation was introduced to the classical system of Advaita or Non-Duality. This formed the foundation of his interest and practice for the next 25 years.
During this time he read everything available by Ouspensky, and learnt the Gurdjieff Movements. During the late 1970s he attended Krishnamurti’s last meetings at Brockwood Park close to his childhood home and was deeply impressed and influenced by his intellectual rigor and fierce humility. Throughout these years he also studied the teachings of Ramana Maharshi and Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj on a continuous basis. Towards the end of the 1980s he had a brief encounter with the teachings of Da Free John whose early writings made a deep impression on him.
However, he had always felt that ‘something was missing’. A turning point in the mid 1990s led Rupert to an American teacher, Robert Adams, who died two days after he arrived. However, while visiting, Rupert was told about another teacher, Francis Lucille.
Several months later Rupert met Francis. Over the next twelve years Rupert spent all the spare time that work and family commitments would allow with Francis, exploring the sense of separation as it appears in the mind in the form of beliefs and, more importantly, how it appears in the body as feelings of being located and limited. Francis also introduced Rupert to the Direct Path teachings of Atmananda Krishnamenon, and the tantric approach of Kashmir Shaivism, which he had received from his teacher, Jean Klein.
Of the essence of these years, Rupert writes, “The greatest discovery in life is to discover that our essential nature does not share the limits nor the destiny of the body and mind. I do not know what it is about the words, actions or presence of the teacher or teaching that seem to awaken this recognition of our essential nature as it truly is and its subsequent realization in our lives but I am eternally grateful to Francis for our friendship.”
Dialogue on the Differences between Ouspensky’s System and the Direct Path
This dialogue comes from a retreat that Rupert Spira held at Garrison, New York on 13th October 2018. A questioner who has been studying in a Gurdjieff/Ouspensky group for the last four years asks Rupert to explain how the Direct Path approach differs from the methods taught in Ouspensky’s system. The dialogue includes a description of Rupert’s time at the Study Society, Ouspensky’s instruction to search for the source of the System, and an explanation of Self-remembering. Rupert explains how he recognised that the Direct Path method of self-enquiry is the true source of Self-remembering, and that this method is very simple. There is also discussion on immortality as the goal of Ouspensky’s System, and Rupert explains how the Direct Path starts from immortality – the recognition that our true nature is immortal – rather than undertaking practices that go towards immortality.
This dialogue is made available here by kind permission of Rupert Spira.