Living Relationship with Scott Kiloby
Living Relationship is the latest e-book by author/teacher/international speaker Scott Kiloby.
In this book, Scott is using innovative methods to penetrate self-limiting beliefs as they show up in relationship. “In relationship, we tend to focus outward, seeking outside ourselves and trying to change or control others.” states Scott. Within these 252 pages Scott invites us to turn our attention to the deficient self that is running the show in those moments, and to see through that self using one of three inquiries in the book.
Join us as we speak with Scott about the book and all of his latest projects for 2012!
It’s been four or five years in the making, and probably one of the most thrilling and interesting discoveries I’ve been involved with. I started writing the book long ago and kept dropping it. It seemed I had nothing new to say about Relationship and there were already so many books on the subject. My inspiration, originally, for the book was J. Krishnamurti’s line, “Relationship is a mirror.” But I didn’t want to just talk endlessly about that. Instead, I wanted to develop an inquiry that actually revealed how the mirror works and then penetrated through the belief in self and other very effectively. It wasn’t until I studied with Greg Goode, in both Direct Path Advaita and Madhyamaka Buddhism that it began to come together. I owe a large part of this work to Greg and his patience and wonderful way of talking about “inherent” selves and others. The book is not [directly] either one of those paths. It is its own method, influenced by my work in those areas. This has been one of the most effective discoveries for myself and for those I’ve worked with in private sessions. It amazes me how deep these inquiries really go.
How does this differ from your last e-book: Living Realization?
Living Realization is a book about recognizing non-conceptual reality and seeing through the belief in self, just like all my work. It deals specifically with allowing emotions, sensations, states, and experiences to arise and fall naturally and spontaneously, so that one does not identify with those appearances. It speaks very little to relationship. Living Relationship is, of course, all about relationship, and the mirroring effect (how we define self in relation to other) and then seeing through the most deeply held beliefs about ourselves that keep triggering us in relationships of all kinds (our relationship to others, to situations, to objects, drugs, alcohol, awakening, etc). Living Relationship is definitely rooted very directly in non-dual realization, but it’s focus is relationship and more specifically, the belief in a deficient self and how that belief creates and maintains seeking, conflict, and disharmony in one’s life.
Are these companion-style books or totally different material?
Yes, but totally different. Living Realization is direct pointing to non-dual recognition. Living Relationship is a book of inquiries about relationship, delving into the sticky areas that continue to pop up for people in relationship, duality.
It seems more and more authors have adopted the e-book method or P.O.D./delivery, what is your take on that VS printed books. Will your latest books be available for those who still prefer to hold a book [laughs]?
Self-publishing leaves a lot of room for an author to do whatever he or she wants to do with regard to getting the book into the hands of people who will benefit. Sometimes, publishers will put an author at the bottom of the list. With self-publishing, there is a lot of freedom, less dependence on a third-party. And with the internet, the book can be made available very easily. All the books will be in print and kindle form within the near future. We are working on it.
I know you are totally self-published and I respect that—not many are able to successfully do that.
I’m not totally self-published. The new addiction/recovery book “The Natural Rest” is being published by Wisdom Culture from California.
Any advice for other speakers/teachers or writers out there who may be thinking about self-publishing?
Yes, don’t be afraid to turn publishers down when they make offers. I did. If you get blindsided just because someone has offered you a publishing deal, you may not see the other opportunities out there. And one is self-publishing. Traditionally, the mark of a successful writer is, “I’ve been published.” Sounds good to ego. But when that tagline really doesn’t matter to you anymore, you are able to look at different approaches, not being swayed just because someone offers you a deal and not searching for a publishing deal as if that is really the Holy Grail of writing. The Holy Grail of writing is the writing itself for me, the creating, and then working with that creation in a way that allows real freedom. I can sit and do nothing with regard to marketing or I can put it out there. Either way, the freedom is retained, without having to answer to a third-party.
I’ve heard great things about the online/interactive meetings for both Living Relationship and Living Realization; what’s the latest with those projects? How do these differ from your in-person meetings, workshops or live talks?
One of the benefits is that no one has to travel! The meeting happens [right there] in your own home, on your computer. It’s a matter of just clicking on a link and suddenly you are IN the meeting. With the online meetings, there is also the ability to follow-up with people and create a relationship with them, answering questions or listening to their feedback about how the meetings work well or don’t.
We are constantly changing the format to make it more accessible and to offer benefit, with as little hassle to people as possible. With in person talks or meetings, a teacher arrives in town and is then gone within a few days, so if someone has a follow-up question, there’s no one to respond to it. And given the nature of the “Satsang hangover,” where one experiences some level of “high” during a meeting, but then crashes on Monday, it is helpful to have someone there explaining “it’s just a high followed by a crash.” And then I can point to how the search is often really a search for pleasure and avoidance of pain. That kind of follow-up talk puts things into perspective more.
You recently gave a keynote presentation at the PARADOXICA Conference in Canada. How was that experience? Was there anything new being presented and or what did you notice as far as current topical matter in the non-dual/spiritual community.
Paradoxica is a top-notch organization. Gary Nixon puts on the conference each year. The presentations are unique, and something you won’t see at other conferences. Tom Crockett and Chuck Hillig both put on really great presentations that were “out of the box.” Lots of other good stuff there , too many to mention. I highly recommend people attending next year, if you can make it up to Canada in June 2013.
Will you be speaking at this years’ SAND (Science and Non-Duality) Conference in California? I really enjoyed your panel with Jeff Foster and Unmani from 2011. It seems like that conference is getting larger every year and the non-dual community continues to flower worldwide.
Yes, I’m doing a panel with Tom Crockett, Chuck Hillig, and Jeff Foster. It should be interesting. We are discussing a topic that might seem controversial to some. Stay tuned…
Scott at the Science & Non-duality Conference
Absolute VS Relative…and why? [laughing].
Ha, with the inquiries we are doing in Living Relationship, it all becomes a moot point. Seriously. There are some great talks by Buddha where he would not answer that kind of question. Not comparing myself to Buddha here. I’m merely mentioning that he avoided those questions for a good reason, saying they were part of the “thicket of views.” He was interested mainly in ending suffering. That’s what my path has been all about and it’s really all that I’m interested in talking about these days. Clinging to views around that subject, itself, can cause suffering.
It seems you were lumped into a group of up n’ coming writers or teachers (if you consider yourself that) a few years ago in which the media labeled: neo-Advaita. What’s your $0.02 on that and it seems that “scene” is kind of dying out or fizzling somewhat.
Perhaps some of my earlier stuff could be called “Neo-Advaita.” But years later, as I sit here, having met with thousands of people in one-on-one sessions, the most effective pointing has been through inquiries and meeting people exactly where they are. I’ve sat in sessions where, for the first thirty minutes, the person just cried, obviously suffering a lot. To tell that person “it’s all Oneness,” “there is no self,” or “all is perfect,” might be something that snaps them out of identification with thought. But mostly it sounds like just more words for people. When people discover for themselves the great insights that are available, by looking into what they believe, and being with the greatest pain, that’s when freedom really dawns. Once I began using the inquiries from the Living Relationship book, I found less reason to even use the big “neo” pointers. It all became irrelevant for people. All they needed to do was see what they believed about themselves, and then see through it. Even views like “no self” or “Life already is” or whatever become redundant if you look deep enough.
You are about to release a book on addiction/recovery. This is something you could help a lot of folks with, tell us about that.
That’s another great topic, and one that touches many lives. If you aren’t addicted yourself, surely you know someone who is! And addiction comes in so many forms such as alcohol, drugs, shopping, gambling, sexual obsession, and even the seeking towards enlightenment. With that book, the object of the addiction is not so important. The book points to the mechanism of mind that is obsessed with objects and pleasures and then provides very direct ways of seeing through that mechanism, into the natural rest of the present moment, where the mind is quieter, the body feels transparent, and all temporary energies, good and bad, flow through without getting hooked into story. The book will hopefully be out this year. We are waiting on some reviews. I work with people in private sessions on this topic.
Can you walk us through a typical [private] session and or give us a snapshot of what that entails etc.?
In the first session, I want to know something about the person, his path, the kind of core story he identifies with, etc. From there, I start by pointing in the simplest way, which is that the search for happiness, enlightenment or recovery, is often a hidden search to find pleasure and avoid or cover up pain. I point to how to see that pain and pleasure are temporary energies that do not arise to a self or that there is no inherent self in anything that arises. Eventually, we get to the inquiries from the Living Relationship book and that’s usually where the rubber meets the road. People pick up those tools and start seeing through lifelong core stories that have been running the show. The goal of private sessions is to free oneself from the belief in self, then from the teacher and the teaching.
Oddly enough it seems that the West is enamored with the Eastern teachings and there seems to be a shift happening where a lot of folks from the East are becoming interested in the Western teachings. The internet affords such knowledge to circle the globe in unprecedented ways in 2012!
Can you recommend any books for “beginners” or folks starting out on some spiritual path?
- Greg Goode’s work on emptiness and the western approach to that is great. There are also some amazing techniques from psychology like shadow work that cut through self-centeredness very quickly. This field is still emerging.
- Living Relationship is a combination of Eastern and Western approaches also.
- Nonduality Press has a set of books from very good teachers. One might look there.
- Tom Crockett has some really fresh things to say about nonduality that I think will appeal to many.
There are so many things emerging. That is only the tip of the iceberg. Good ole’ Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie are great, especially for those who are not familiar with this topic.
I am a big proponent of making the message [of non-duality] simple for the masses. So many teachers, therapists or Satsang givers use specific terminology which has no definite definition (or one def. that everyone recognizes). I think this is a downfall for such talk as it causes great confusion. I know it’s hard to use words/language to convey knowledge or concepts etc. What are your thoughts? You seem to be doing a great job of simplifying this and I applaud you for that!
The more one speaks in a simple, plain English way here in the west, the better. I try not to assume that someone knows what I’m referring to when I say “awareness” or “deficiency story” or any non-dual terminology. I break it down to one’s experience, rather than just more terminology. If you can see it in your own experience, there is less translation to do. The wilder the language gets, or the heavier it gets, the more you are asking the reader to assume the meaning of languages that have been passed down for centuries. It can actually make the mind even busier and not provide a direct experience of peaceful mind, open-heartedness, etc. Always know your audience! Sometimes I am speaking to people who have never heard about this subject. And mixed in the audience are people who are aware of my work. I try to speak to both.
Thank you for your time and service that you are doing in the community.
*Photos by M. Verkoren, E.Goodman and B.McFarlane