On this episode of The Indie Spiritualist, Chris chats with Ilona Ciunaite about fear, truth, and helping each other along the spiritual path.
Ilona’s search for truth started in 2002, when for the first time she “experienced the silence of the thinking mind, a sweet sense of being, contentment, peace,” and “feeling at home.” In 2010 she discovered Jed McKenna’s books, which were a shock to her belief system and catapulted her “out of hypnosis” and toward the realization that all she believed was not truth. It wasn’t until the initial deconstruction was done, after months of painful self-inquiry, that Ilona felt at peace: there was an emptiness, a not knowing, a not believing anything about anything. Then the last step was taken and the separate self was seen to be an illusion.
Together Ciunaite and Nezhinsky published a book, Gateless Gatecrashers, that consists of conversations leading to self-realization, and which can be downloaded for free at Liberation Unleashed. Liberation Unleashed is a global movement of people helping others to see through the illusion of self. Ciunaite has had hundreds of conversations with people from all around the globe. Her main focus and work is helping people end their seeking by inviting them to question their fundamental assumptions and look at their own experience. She does not give answers, only questions. In this way a seeker may see what is going on for themselves and free their minds from conditioned patterns to explore whatever comes next. Ciunaite holds live meetings and group sessions in the UK. All of her work can be found on her blog Marked, Eternal and on The Gate forum.
- A Sweet Sense of Being – Ilona elaborates on her 2002 experience where she experienced the silence of the thinking mind, a sweet sense of being, contentment, peace,” and “feeling at home.”
- 2002-2010 – Ilona talks about what her spiritual path consisted of after her “magical” experience in 2002 for the next eight years.
- McKenna – Ilona and I discuss Jed McKenna’s books and the impact they’ve had on both of our lives, including catapulting us “out of hypnosis” and toward the realization that all we believed was not true.
- Liberation Unleashed – Ilona talks about the Liberation Unleashed website, it’s inception, and the free guiding service they offer.
- The “I” Virus – Ilona and I begin our discussion about her new book, Liberation Unleashed, by exploring what she calls “The I Virus,” what that is, the symptoms and who has it, as well as its antidote. Ilona also shares a short practice to help us experience the personal and impersonal nature of everyday experience in relation to “I”.
- Noticing Is Effortless – Ilona and I discuss effortlessness in relation to looking and seeing truth.
- Fear – Ilona talks about fear as one of the two major obstacles that stand in the way of seeing the truth and shares a practice to help work with fear.
- Expectations – Ilona talks about expectations on the spiritual path as the second big obstacle that obstructs seeing truth.
- Concepts, Words, and Stories – Ilona and I talk about her chapter, “Concepts, Words, and Stories Are Not What They Seem” in Liberation Unleashed and the how, why, and what’s behind them in relation to the spiritual path.
- Saying Yes! – Ilona and I discuss our experience with the powerful practice of saying “yes” to what’s in front of us at the moment.
For more on overcoming fear, check out this conversation between Jack Kornfield and Catherine Ingram.