BILL HARRIS: Hello. This is Bill Harris, and I want to welcome you to the Masters of the Secret Series. Tonight’s guest is my good friend Hale Dwoskin. Hale is one of the stars of the hit DVD movie, The Secret, and is also the President of Sedona Training Associates and author of several books, including Happiness is Free. Hale is quite an amazing person, and I think you’re going to really enjoy this conversation. Hale, thanks for being here.
HALE DWOSKIN: Oh my pleasure.
BILL HARRIS: Why don’t you start off just by telling people a little bit of biographical information about who you are and how you got to where you are now and then we’ll take it from there.
HALE DWOSKIN: Oh, sure, sure. I’ve been doing this work around the Sedona Method since 1976 when I met my mentor, Lester Levenson. And Lester was a physicist engineer, who back in 1952, was sent home and given a few weeks to live after having a secondary coronary. I mean, a second coronary, and the coronary was just one of many physical and emotional problems that he was dealing with. He was a physical and emotional basket case, but rather than give up, he decided to go back to the lab within himself and he started a process of self-inquiry, which led him to a series of radical discoveries. And the two that were most profound to me and to the vast majority of people that have been studying his work since then, is that we are all unlimited and we are limited only by the concepts of limitation that we hold in mind. And these concepts of limitation manifest for most of us consciously as our thoughts and feelings and our beliefs. But what Lester also discovered is that this way of thinking and feeling and believing is not immutable. We all have this natural ability to let go of these unwanted emotions, these unwanted thoughts and feelings and beliefs quite easily. And when he discovered this, he used it intensely on himself, and over the space of three months he went into a state of profound peacefulness that he lived in another 42 years after doctors just gave him weeks to live.
BILL HARRIS: Wow that’s pretty amazing. Was Lester at all interested in Eastern philosophy? I mean, what he came up with is described almost exactly the way he describes it in Buddhism and Hinduism and Taoism and a number of other mystical ways of describing reality. Was he aware of any of that or did he come up with it on his own?
HALE DWOSKIN: Well the interesting things with Lester is, he was an ardent materialist, a physicist engineer before this whole experience and he had purposely avoided those type of studies, because if he couldn’t prove it in a lab he didn’t even want to discuss it. But his view changed 180 degrees, well, actually 360º. Just turned around after he had this experience and afterwards, what was the most solid to him were the things that they referred to in the East as the underlying truth of our being, and afterwards that was much more solid than his solid, physical reality was up until that point. So, he actually said that he was fortunate that he didn’t have a lot of background in all of these Eastern teachings, because he may have understood them intellectually, but not had them experientially.
BILL HARRIS: Well, you know, there have been a number of things that I have intuited or discovered or ﬁgured out that I later then read in Buddhist writings or something and I thought, “Oh, somebody else ﬁgured this same thing out.” So, I just wondered if Lester had the experience and ﬁgured out a way to describe it and then later, like I did, read about it in some sort of Eastern text or if he was even aware of those things.
HALE DWOSKIN: Oh yes, what happened was actually is that Lester was not part of any lineage or had never studied metaphysics or spirituality before, and he had no language to even describe what he was experiencing just being at rest or at bliss all the time. So he did start asking people to try to help him to discover a way of describing what he’d discovered. And the ﬁrst place he looked was the Bible and that was short-lived because he couldn’t ﬁnd adequate language in the Bible. There were some things that he felt were really accurate, but there were other things that he thought had been codiﬁed or hidden. But as he kept exploring, he came to the conclusion that what he had discovered was the closest to the teachings of teachers from the East, like Ramana Maharshi and Paramhansa Yogananda and also very similar to Buddhism. But this was after the fact that he discovered that his discoveries so paralleled what the teachers in these other traditions had discovered.
BILL HARRIS: Now, you mentioned that he had discovered that we were all unlimited and we were limited by the mind essentially. In Buddhism and Hinduism they talk about there being this pure awareness or pure unity with God, or something that’s kind of a background to everything and that’s who we really are, but that people don’t generally perceive that or have that experience because their mind gets in the way. They create a conceptual map of reality, is the way that I describe it, and as long as they are focused on that map, they don’t see the unity that’s behind it. Is that similar to what...?
HALE DWOSKIN: Yes. It’s highly similar. The way that Lester used to the describe it is most of us are so busy trying to eat the menu that we never get to the meal.
BILL HARRIS: Exactly and that is...
HALE DWOSKIN: And what the Sedona Method does is it shows people how to let go of all the conﬂicting thoughts and feelings that are distracting from this underlying unity and also distracting from the harmony and abundance and joy and all of the good things that are available to us, even in living. Even when we are focused on the diversity of life, most of us experience a tremendous amount of unnecessary suffering because where the unity always is there to support and guide us and to help us have whatever our genuinely positive desires are, but we obstruct that through the noise of the mind. So, what the Sedona Method does is as you use the Sedona Method, it continually quiets your mind to the point where your mind is quiet most of the time whether or not you are even doing the process. It very much has the same effect as maybe an hour meditation sometimes in minutes once you really perfect the process because these underlying limitations, thoughts, feelings and beliefs are what keep the mind from being at rest. And so, what the Sedona Method does is it takes those things out of your awareness, actually, it shows you how to do it, and then it allows you to just be more and more aware of this underlying unity or whatever else you want to call it. There are so many terms and none of them I think are particularly accurate. They’re still at the level of map or menu as opposed to the actual experience.
BILL HARRIS: Well and there’s really no way to describe that unity experience really because it’s really the words, the concepts, all of those things, that get in the way of having it. So to step back into the words and concepts to try to explain it really removes you from it.
BILL HARRIS: You know, because it’s like trying to tell somebody in detail what it’s like to eat a strawberry, but it is the eating of the strawberry that’s really the only way to ﬁnd out and as soon as you start talking about it again, you’re not in the experience of eating it.
HALE DWOSKIN: Oh absolutely and just a little aside because you asked a little about me. How I got involved in this work, back in 1976, I had eaten a lot of strawberries on the path. I had experienced a lot of teachers both in the East and the West. I’d done a lot of seminars and done, sat with Muktananda and a lot of both Eastern and Western teachers and tools. But what happened when I met Lester, he was such a living example of what so many teachers were only talking about or aspiring towards, that I just knew I had to at least ﬁnd out what he did and the only thing he said was you sit around a table and release. I had no idea what he was talking about, but I knew if it could give me only some of what he was a living embodiment of, I had to at least check it out. And while I was taking the course, before I was even done, I intuitively knew this was what I was going to dedicate my life to and that was back in 1976 and I have been doing that ever since. I lead trainings all over the world. I have written several books and I create the audio programs. And basically I have dedicated my life to sharing Lester’s teachings, because before he died in ‘94 he had already passed all his copyrights and teachings to me and asked me to continue the work.
BILL HARRIS: Well, and I have seen you present the Sedona Method several times and you are a fantastic and very effective teacher and I have to say you are an embodiment of what you teach too, unlike some teachers. So I just want to give you that compliment I guess. You know, most people when they ﬁrst encounter what you do, when they ﬁrst encounter releasing or the Sedona Method, most of what I hear is people are concerned about the fact that they suffer from a lot of unpleasant emotions and the Sedona Method is a way of letting those go. And people have this idea that, somehow people really have this idea that those emotions are very substantial, that there is something very real and substantial about them, but if you were to chunk up this, it’s really more than just getting rid of emotions that you don’t like. It is really kind of showing you really who you are when you get the mind and all the problems that you create in your mind out of the way.
HALE DWOSKIN: Yes. That’s absolutely true. And the interesting thingiswhere a lot ofpeople ﬁght inthe beginning, is that most of us are used to making things extremely complex. Walt Whitman once said, “Truth is simple. If it was complicated everybody would understand it.”
BILL HARRIS: Yeah. (Laughter.)
HALE DWOSKIN: And, so, one of the powers of the method, but it is also a tripping place for people in the beginning is that it is incredibly simple. It’s something that you can do on the go, in life, right in the very situations that ordinarily would be ﬂooring you or really overwhelming you or causing you to feel uncomfortable. You can let go right then without even needing to get out of the situation and literally in seconds later, you are comfortable, relaxed and open and more at ease and more effective again. And so, it gives you the ability to really move quickly and that also frightens people. A high percent, we only get about ﬁve percent of the audio programs that we sell back, but I would say that at least a third of people who return our audio programs are returning them because the method is working so well, that life is changing for the better so quickly that it actually frightens them a little bit. It’s like, “Oh my god! I don’t know what today is going to bring.” Most of us would rather be certain of suffering than have the uncertainty of being open to things getting radically better. And so, we do have some people run away from how powerful it is. But anyone who is willing to stick it out has found that it really does accelerate whatever other process that people are involved in. You and I both get this feedback all the time, when you combine for instance, the Sedona Method with the Holosync® process, the results are phenomenal because as you go through the Holosync process and your mind gets reorganized, it brings emotional content to the surface and some people will stop doing that because they don’t know how to deal with that content. But when you combine it with releasing with the Sedona Method, what happens is that they can let it go easily and they are willing to go deeper and deeper. And again, the method quiets the mind and so does Holosync, so the combination is extremely dynamic.
BILL HARRIS: Yeah and we’ve heard all kinds of great feedback from people saying that very thing. That they work very, very well together. Let’s see, I had a thought here and I just lost it.
HALE DWOSKIN: That will happen. (Laughter.)
BILL HARRIS: Yes. I know these CDs that you can listen to that are supposed to improve your brain. (Laughter.)
HALE DWOSKIN: (Laughter.) I have heard of them. Yes.
BILL HARRIS: Well, I’m going to release my attachment to remembering what I was... Oh I know! I was going to talk about this idea that people are really very attached to their suffering.
BILL HARRIS: But it’s even more than that. People are attached to the identity that has been created through their mind. You know, if you go to a Zen teacher, well, first of all, if you go to a Zen teacher, the whole premise of you going to him for help is that life is a problem and it has to be solved and you are assuming that this teacher has a solution to the problem. When all is said and done though, the realization that the Zen student finally has is that it isn’t that life is a problem and he has figured out the solution, it is that there never was a problem in the first place. And that’s really what the Sedona Method, and Holosync too for that matter, that’s what the Sedona Method points out to people. So when you start to release on various things, and especially when you get past just the surface emotional content and you begin to release on more, I don’t know what the right word is. I was going to say substantial, but that’s not exactly the word I want either, but the more fundamental aspects of yourself. You begin to release some of the ways that you are attached to the identity you’ve created. There’s nothing left to hang on to really. A lot of Eastern spiritual practices really sort of pull the conceptual rug out from under you. So that all the concepts, all the roles, all the internal maps, all that stuff that people hang on to, it dissolves and you don’t have anything to hang on to. And, of course, you don’t need anything to hang on to because you’re everything. Alan Watts used to say, “From the moment you are born, you’re in free fall and grasping at the other things that are falling along with you is not going to help.”
HALE DWOSKIN: No. (Laughter.)
BILL HARRIS: And so I think one of the reasons why someone might, and we have about the same return ratio that you have, and we have people that return it for the same reason that you mentioned and I think it’s because it really does take your mind out of the picture to a great degree and all the things that you were holding onto as who you are, get taken away and some people ﬁnd that unsettling at ﬁrst. If you rest in that for awhile, you realize that not only is that real instead of illusory, but it’s the place where you are happy and you are peaceful and where all these problems that you thought were so terrible actually disappear.
HALE DWOSKIN: Oh absolutely. Again, the nice thing though, and again that’s why the combination I guess is so good, is that the nice thing about the Sedona Method is that you can also release the fear of the free fall that you have always been in. And also, you can release the attachment to the persona that you’ve developed around your suffering. Again, most people are afraid to let go to some degree because they don’t know who they would be if they weren’t the one suffering.
BILL HARRIS: And there’s some unspeakable, unknown disaster that will happen if you don’t hang on to something, but it’s like swimming. You know, if you’re swimming and you try to grasp onto the water and hang on to the water somehow, you’ll drown, but if you just let go and ﬂoat then you are ﬁne.
HALE DWOSKIN: Right, right. Well life is very much like that. We’re basically all in the stream of life being carried effortlessly towards our goal, but most of us are busy kicking and screaming and trying to swim against the current and grab onto every rock we see and we get really beat up by life because of that. As you let go with the Sedona Method, you naturally allow the current to carry you and you notice that it even avoids the rocks if you let it. You don’t have the bang into every obstacle along the path. The more you let go, the more you naturally ﬂow around and through the supposed opposition to greater awareness or greater freedom or greater abundance. And so, it makes it a lot more fun too. And the other thing is that a lot of people don’t realize is that a lot of us have turned freedom, or unity or whatever you want to call it, into an object. And in my experience, it’s not something that you can possess. It is the ultimate subject. It’s that which you are and you don’t need to hold onto yourself because you can’t lose that essence of who you are. It’s always there.
BILL HARRIS: And it’s not something you have to attain. It’s already there. It’s just something that people are unaware of, the fact that that’s who they are. I sometimes say, “If you’re tall, but you don’t know that you are tall, you’re still tall. If you’re everything and you don’t know that you’re everything, you’re still everything.” And so, it’s when people take their focus off of all those ideas they have about who they are, all the concepts, if they stop focusing on that, the other becomes apparent. And the Sedona Method is certainly something that causes the mind to stop constantly creating that alternate reality that everybody thinks is real. One of the things that I think sometimes shocks people about the Sedona Method is when you start talking about releasing positive emotions.
HALE DWOSKIN: Oh right. (Laughter.)
BILL HARRIS: Can you talk about that a little bit?
HALE DWOSKIN: Oh sure, sure. We have a lifelong tendency to grip and hold on because we think we can actually stop the ﬂow and we actually think that that’s desirable to stop the ﬂow somehow. That if we make all our life choices and we are in control, then everything is going to be better. But part of the reason that life can be so unpleasant is because of our attempts to maintain control. So, what happens is, as you let go, everything gets better and the tendency is when we are feeling good is because we come, ordinarily, we come from a place of scarcity about our good feelings. We don’t have enough of them so we try to cling to them or hold on to them when we have them. And what happens, because of that they simply slip away. The good feelings that we naturally achieve as we let go or that naturally come up in life, we try to hold on to and that actually gets rid of them quicker, but when you allow yourself to let go, even when you are feeling good, two things happen. You are weakening this tendency to hold on and to hold yourself back and keep yourself in constriction. And two is, as you let go of even the good feelings, the sense of scarcity disappears and you discover that the only thing that’s ﬁnite is your sense of limitation and your unwanted emotions, but your good feelings are inﬁnite. And the more you let go when you are feeling good, the more and more positive experience you have, the more good feeling you have. So it really accelerates the progress if you’re willing to let go of even what you would judge as good.
BILL HARRIS: Wouldn’t you say that it’s almost like there’s two varieties of good feelings. There’s the good feelings that are the other side of the coin of bad feelings and you can’t have that kind of good feelings without the other kind of feelings being part of your life too. But there’s, you know, for want of a better term since we can’t really talk about the transcendental good feelings or the good feelings of knowing who you really are as being one with the universe, those good feelings are not good feelings in contrast to bad feelings. They’re another variety of good feelings and they are only available if you give up the limited kind of good feelings that are part of that polarity.
HALE DWOSKIN: Yes. Absolutely. Anything that has an opposite is holding the opposite in your awareness and so you’re holding the opposite in your awareness if you’re holding on to it. Like human love for instance comes with a human hate. So if you are trying to hold on to human love as a feeling, you are also pulling hate into your awareness. So if you let go of both the hate and the love, you start to discover the unity which some people also call love, but it’s really beyond both. So, I guess the third value in letting go of even the good feelings is if they have any apparent opposite then they’re just a feeling and if you let go, you can go into what some people confuse as a good feeling, you actually don’t just go into it, you actually experience it more. It’s always here. You actually experience more of the feeling of perfection. The feeling of unity. The feeling of all is well and everything is unfolding as it should. And again, you can’t let those go because you are that. And so, letting go when you’re feeling that way simply opens you more to that experience. It relaxes you more into it.
BILL HARRIS: Yeah. One of them is conceptual and has opposites and involves, if you use the word love for instance, loving an object. Loving something that you think is outside of yourself. The other one is not conceptual. It’s beyond concepts and it does not involve the subject/object type of love or attachment.
BILL HARRIS: Now, you know, that’s all very heady...
HALE DWOSKIN: (Laughter.) Sure.
BILL HARRIS: It’s an attempt to describe something that’s not describable by sort of dancing around it but that’s, you know, is unfortunately... Even people that have had this experience are chatter boxes and want to try to describe it. You know...
HALE DWOSKIN: Sure, sure. Well again, Lester Levenson, the man who inspired this work, used to say, “The highest teachings were the silent teaching.” But here we are, we are on the phone, we’re talking. This recording you are listening to it. If we were just sitting here in silence, you would probably hang up.
BILL HARRIS: Yeah. It probably wouldn’t really be that worth it to people, although, I remember Alan Watts starting a talk about Zen by saying, “Now if I was really going to give a real talk about Zen we would sit here together in silence for about ten minutes and then I’d get up and leave...”
HALE DWOSKIN: (Laughter.) Right.
BILL HARRIS: ”...but you might feel cheated.”
HALE DWOSKIN: It is a conundrum. It is a conundrum, but the nice thing, too, about going in this direction is that as you let go, that sense of silence that often we don’t appreciate or even notice unless we are in, there’s the absence of noise, in other words, there’s no words and there’s no external sounds and internal sounds. That silence is our natural state and that silence becomes more and more real and more and more palpable even when there is extreme turmoil going on around you. As you use the Sedona Method, because you’re uncovering the naturalness of who you are every time, you let go. And so the silence becomes something that you become more and more a part of and aware of as you just simply are present with what you are experiencing and do your best to simply let go of what you don’t want.
BILL HARRIS: Well, certainly one of things that happened to me as I meditated, including the years of meditation I did with Holosync, is that my mind became very still and I only engaged my mind when there was some task that required that I engage it. And the rest of the time it is just in neutral and not that much is happening. Whereas most people, their whole life and their whole identity has to do with all the stuff their mind is doing all the time and they don’t see that if the mind was still, there is something behind that that’s much more substantial and much more fundamental and many, many people have come to us, and I’m sure it’s the same with you, they are complaining about all this stuff their mind is doing. And they act like their mind is like a wild animal that they have no control over too. That my mind, you know, my mind keeps giving me these ideas. I keep having these thoughts. I keep, as if it was something that they had no control over.
HALE DWOSKIN: Well, honestly. Most people have lost, given their control to the mind. If you forget the fact that you aren’t your thoughts and feelings, you simply have them, and you also don’t know there’s something you can do about the way you’re thinking or the way you’re feeling, then the mind does become the master as opposed to the servant. But as you allow yourself to let go, what happens is you recognize more and more of the time that thoughts and feelings are arising in consciousness. You’re simply that which allows for this to happen, but it’s not personal. It has nothing to do with you and the more you feel that way, the more capable you are of maintaining equanimity with the comings and goings of the thoughts and the feelings and the more able you are to let go of all the content that you don’t feel is constructive.
BILL HARRIS: And sometimes people worry that if they don’t have their mind engaged all the time, that somehow they won’t get everything done or they won’t get the ideas they need to do their job well or handle the different things that are going on in their life. And I’ll tell you, that I have found, that I’m sure you’ll back this up, I have found that the quieter my mind is, the more that everything I need intellectual or otherwise just automatically comes to me and I don’t have to spend a lot of effort figuring things out. That life just becomes effortless.
HALE DWOSKIN: Yes. Yes. (Laughter.) That is also a universal report for people who are using the Sedona Method is that ﬁrst of all, as the mind gets quieter, you become more and more capable and your intuitive knowing and your clear reason become more and more available to you and whenever you ﬁnd that you’re obstructing the pure reason or intuition you simply let go. If it’s a feeling or a reactionary thought, it just disappears and you see that clearly what the correct action or correct understanding is. And you also ﬁnd that the more you let go of wanting to understand and wanting to know, the more knowing presents itself.
And this makes life a lot easier, a lot easier. And also, it’s not boring. There’s a lot of people who get into the type of work we do and they’ll think, “Oh my god. Quiet mind? You know, I won’t be creative. There won’t be any juice or I won’t enjoy my life.” But it’s the noise of the mind that’s obstructing us from being fully engaged and enjoying every moment. And so, the things that you enjoy the most right now, you’ll probably enjoy a quantum or two more. I mean, radically more. And the things that you actually dislike right now as you let go, you’ll ﬁnd that you actually start to enjoy those too, because if you take away all of the reaction then there’s just presence in the moment. And almost anything can be enjoyable if you are being present with it, if you’re just here and now. And again, that’s a natural offshoot of the releasing process.
BILL HARRIS: Well, one of the things that I often tell people is that it’s not what you’re resisting that causes you to feel bad, it’s the resistance itself. Which is kind of what you were just saying. When you stop resisting something, that you thought was intrinsically unpleasant, you realize that it’s not unpleasant at all, it’s really neutral and along with everything else in the universe, it is just as much a source of contentment and peace as any other thing that you might encounter in your life.
HALE DWOSKIN: Yeah. That’s absolutely true. Plus, to the degree we are resisting anything, we resist everything. So, if we are resisting those things that we think are unpleasant, that feeling of resistance is almost in our bones. It’s in our body. It’s in our mind. It’s in our awareness and it’s like trying to move forward with the brakes on. And so, it not only stops us from doing the things we have to do or must do or should do, it also stops us from enjoying or doing the things that we love to do because that feeling of resistance. For instance, if you love to swim, but you’re feeling resistant because you had to do something earlier that same day that you really didn’t enjoy, you might skip swimming too. Even though you love it. And so, as you let go of the feeling of resistance, which again is just a feeling, it frees you to have, be and do
If you forget the fact that you aren’t your thoughts and
feelings, you simply have them, and you also don’t know there’s something you can do about the way you’re thinking or the way you’re feeling, then the mind does become the master as opposed to the servant. But as you allow yourself to let go, what happens is you recognize more and more of the time that thoughts and feelings are arising in consciousness. You’re simply that which allows for this to happen, but it’s not personal. It has nothing to do with you and the more you feel that way, the more capable you are of maintaining equanimity with the comings and goings of the thoughts and the feelings and the more able you are to let go of all the content that you don’t feel is constructive.
whatever you choose with greater ease and alacrity.
BILL HARRIS: Yes, absolutely. I have found the same thing to be true. Let’s talk a little more mechanics of this, because I’m sure people are wondering. I’m sure some people listening do know what the Sedona Method is, but talk a little bit about the actual how to of it.
HALE DWOSKIN: Oh sure. Do you have a pen or a pencil, Bill, you can pick up?
BILL HARRIS: I do. I have one right here.
HALE DWOSKIN: Good. So for those of you listening at home or wherever you are listening to this...
BILL HARRIS: It is a very nice pen, too, and I am very attached to it.
HALE DWOSKIN: (Laughter.) Oh well. At any rate, for the sake of this analogy, this pen or pencil, whatever you’re holding in your hand, represents your unwanted emotions, thoughts and beliefs, and your hand represents your gut or your awareness. Now take the object, either pen or pencil, and grip it really tightly with your hand.
BILL HARRIS: I’m doing that.
HALE DWOSKIN: Good. Now if you did this long enough, it will start to feel really uncomfortable and then really familiar because this is what we are doing all the time with our emotions. But, now open your hand.
HALE DWOSKIN: Just roll the object around in your hand. Now, is this object attached to your hand?
BILL HARRIS: No it isn’t.
HALE DWOSKIN: Right, but if you think about our language, and the way we feel, we actually believe that we’re attached to our emotions, and our beliefs and our thoughts. We think we are them because we have been gripping it for so long that we have forgotten. But every problem, every feeling, every thought that we have is as attached to us as this object is as attached to our hand. And even in our language, we don’t usually say, “I feel sad.” We say, “I am sad.” We don’t say, “I feel angry,” we say, “I’m angry.” I am the emotion. Now grip the object lightly with your hand and turn your hand upside down and just drop it. Now, be careful Bill, I don’t want you to hurt your pen.
(Sound of pen dropping and laughter.)
HALE DWOSKIN: Okay. So that was really easy to do.
HALE DWOSKIN: That’s how easy it can be to let go of even long standing emotions because it’s just a choice, it’s just a decision and the more you can get a sense of that, the more and more you’ll choose to let go in this moment. And there are a series of very simple questions that we use to start to bring you into the experience of letting go.
Now these aren’t the whole Sedona Method, but they’re enough so that just using these questions will help you to start to really make radical differences in your life because you’ll be tapping your natural ability to let go. And that’s an important point before I give you the questions. Releasing is natural. Children, for instance, do this from birth and we actually train them out of it, but when you get in touch with this natural ability as an adult, you can never lose it again. So, the questions we’ll use so you can start to get a sense of the Sedona Method is all about, the ﬁrst question is, “Could you let it go?” And that just means, are you capable of it? Now, if you successfully dropped the object just now or imagined dropping it if you weren’t doing the exercise. If you succeeded at that, then I know you can let go. Unless you are completely different than the hundreds of thousands of people that are doing this all over the planet. The next question is, “Would you let it go?” And would you just means, are you willing to? And if you are ever struggling on your own with this, you can ask yourself, “Would I rather hold on to this problem or this feeling or would I rather be free of it?” And if you’d rather be free of it, you’ll ﬁnd yourself spontaneously letting it go. And then the last question is, “When?” And when is an invitation to decide to do it now. Just like you decided to open your hand and your hand opened and the pen dropped. So, let’s do a sample process right now just so people can get a sense of it and then they can start using this on their own if they’d like, and of course, you know, we’ll talk more later about if they want more how they can do that. But at any rate, allow yourself to think of something in your life, and Bill, you don’t have to answer this out loud. I’ll be working more with the people listening, more than with you directly. I know you know how to do this. I’ve watched you. You do this quite well.
BILL HARRIS: Well thank you.
HALE DWOSKIN: You’re welcome. But at any rate, so allow yourself to think of a situation in your life right now that isn’t going the way you would like it to. That you are wanting to change. That you have some emotion about and you can do this process whether or not the emotion is strong. So could you just welcome however you feel about that situation in this moment? And now I am going to ask the questions. So could you let that feeling go? Just could you? Would you? When? Okay. Now, I’m going to go through it a couple more times, but I just want to remind you of something or tell you that yes or no are acceptable answers to the questions. The only important thing is to be as honest with yourself as possible. In our seminars, most of the people will say no and they will get huge releases anyway. So, just answer yourself quietly, just doing the best you can to get in touch with this ability to let go, but know there are no right answers. So, again, focus on the situation at hand, the situation that you were focusing on before. Notice how you feel now. You may already feel a little lighter, but there still may be some feeling there. And whatever you’re feeling in this moment, could you just simply welcome it? Let it be here? And then could you let it go? Just could you? Would you? When? And focus again on how you feel in this moment. And again, could you just simply welcome it? Let it be here? And then could you let it go? Just could you? Would you? When?
Okay. Now if you were doing this on your own, you would keep going through those simple questions until you got the level of relief that you were looking for. And if you were persistent, you could let go of anything that you have been holding onto. Also, when you are working on yourself, you could say, “Could you or could I?” “Would I or would you?” Whichever you prefer. You could do it in the ﬁrst or the third person, but to just give you a sense of how powerful this process is. A couple of years ago we released the Sedona Method in book form in order to reach a much broader audience. And a woman read just the introduction and the ﬁrst chapter and the ﬁrst chapter goes into these basic releasing steps, was scheduled to give a public presentation that evening and she had a life-long fear of public speaking and because of it, a life-long hate for public speaking. She absolutely avoided it as best she could. In fact, she hadn’t spoken in front of a group for 15 years because she was so busy and so easily avoiding speaking in front of a group, but what happened is she really cared about her children’s school, so she allowed herself to be nominated and then she won the election to be the head of the PTA. And then, I guess she forgot she was going to have to speak in front of groups because of that. So that evening she was scheduled to speak to the parent body of the school and she was petriﬁed, she was having a panic attack and then she said, “Oh well. I’ll try these questions and see if they actually work.” And she asked them of herself for less than ten minutes. And in that ten minutes, she went from a state of extreme panic to a state of feeling excited and happy about giving the talk. That night she gave the talk, no fear and the ﬁrst time in her life with no fear, and for the ﬁrst time in her life she actually enjoyed public speaking. And because of her position, she has given many more talks to the group and in fact, several other groups as well without any fear and enjoying them all.
BILL HARRIS: Well Hale, why do you think this works? I have my idea but I’ll let you go ﬁrst.
HALE DWOSKIN: Well, again, the main reason that I think it works is because we are going, we are riding the horse in the direction it is already going in. We are always doing something with our emotions. We are either suppressing them, in most cases, or escaping them like using drugs or alcohol or you name it, to move away from the feelings so we can push it back down, or we are expressing them. We’re angry, we’ll yell, or if we’re sad, we’ll cry. And this, of course, is being free to express, is necessary for therapy, but it is also necessary to really have a true, intimate relationship, but there’s a balancing point between these two which is what we call the Sedona Method or releasing or letting go. And because it’s natural, it’s relatively easy as an adult to get re-intouch with this natural ability and because everything that we’re holding onto that is a limitation is like a pressure cooker, where it’s all squished inside of us, in our subconscious. And because of that, there’s a tremendous amount of energy trying to expend itself, trying to be freed. And what happens actually when you let go, is you are simply not really letting go of anything, you just stopped holding on. And in the process of doing that, the energy just dissolves and the negative twist of the energy dissolves and then you discover you have inﬁnite energy always available to you just below the surface and, again, this is so natural that it is pointing yourself in this direction that you uncover it really easily. Another way that we do this naturally is that any time we have genuine laughter, a genuine belly laugh about anything, what happens is this is one of the ways that releasing is still built into our physiological, emotional system, but what happens with the Sedona Method is you get to learn how to do that without even needing to smile.
BILL HARRIS: Well. One of the things that occurs to me is that most people are under the mistaken impression that it is the external circumstances around them that create these feelings that they are having that they don’t like. And in actual fact, the external circumstances are entirely neutral and the feelings are something that we create in ourselves using our mind. And so, if it is something you are doing, you could do something else. You could stop doing it. But most people don’t see that connection. That it is something they are doing and that they could stop doing. That it’s not coming from outside and that really, the creation of emotions is really something you are doing mentally. And that makes it pretty easy to not do it once you notice that.
HALE DWOSKIN: Sure. And again, I didn’t say this and use this analogy before to describe releasing, but it ﬁts right into what you are talking about. Have you ever been around a young child and watched them fall down and then look around to see if they need to be upset?
HALE DWOSKIN: Yeah. So what happens in that process is that the child looks around, and if there is no one watching that they can get a good rise out of, they simply let it go. Or actually, they don’t even create the issue. But if they think they can get a rise out of their parents especially, then they create upset on the spot, use it to try to get some attention, you know, “(Crying) Mommy, Daddy kiss it.” And then one kiss, they let it go again. So, we are actually creating our own internal reactions to anything that is going on in our lives and we just forget that. We actually, after awhile, believe we are the victim of circumstance. We don’t realize that we can decide anytime we choose to, to change the way we react or to not react at all. And not by suppression, by actually letting go. And to ﬁnish the story about the young child, there’s a funny joke that illustrates why we end up in the mess we are in as adults, is because for the ﬁrst couple of years of life, everyone is trying to get us to walk and talk. And then for the next 18 years or so, they are trying to get us to sit down and shut up. (Laughter.) And while they are trying to get us to sit down and shut up and behave like adults, we lose touch with our natural creativity, our exuberance, our aliveness, our ability to even move. And we also lose touch with this natural ability to let go, but again, the good news is, with the hundreds of thousands of people we have been doing this work with all over the world is that, when you get re-intouch with this natural ability as an adult, you cannot lose it again. And so, it’s natural and as you let go, it gets easier and easier to do. The more and more you want to do it.
BILL HARRIS: And some of us just refuse to sit down and shut up.
HALE DWOSKIN: (Laughter.) And that’s okay.
BILL HARRIS: I’m one of them. So, I’m sure you have people who look at you like you’re crazy and say, “What do you mean just let it go? My car was just totaled and I don’t have any insurance. What do you mean let it go?” What do you say to those people?
HALE DWOSKIN: Well. It’s very simple, and of course, we do get that occasionally, but what happens is, what we usually do in life is we usually add insult to injury. And what I mean by that is, something happens in our lives that may be moderately bad or it may be horrendous, and so we’re doing whatever we can to deal with the situation and that may require a lot of time, energy and attention, but what gets in the way is our reaction. So to use your example, your car was just totaled. You could be really devastated about that, or you could see what you can do to rectify the situation because no matter how extreme the problem you’re facing is, there’s always a solution when you get yourself out of the way. And, you don’t need to add the unnecessary suffering of, “Oh my god! I should have gotten insurance and what an idiot I am for not having insurance. And if I had only slowed down before that intersection this wouldn’t have happened and what am I going to do?” And on and on and on. We prevent ourselves from simply recovering, moving on and ﬁnding a solution.
BILL HARRIS: And again, the way I describe this is there are consequences to everything. So if your car was wrecked, there are consequences to that. You don’t have a car. You’ve gotta do something to get it ﬁxed. Whatever. You might have to go to court because you got a ticket. Whatever they are, there are consequences. If you resist the fact that that happened and go into all kinds of reactions, then you add additional consequences, which involve suffering, that are totally unnecessary. And, you know, most people have known someone who, no matter what happened, was able to remain happy and even joyful about it and there is really no trick to doing that.
HALE DWOSKIN: No. There really isn’t. None whatsoever. It’s natural.
BILL HARRIS: You just have to decide that you are not going to add additional suffering types of consequences to whatever is going on. And people initially think, “Well that is crazy.” Anybody, I hear this all the time, anybody would react to what just happened to me. You know, I mean, and people will think of the most horriﬁc, you know, what if my child was killed. You expect me to be joyful then?
HALE DWOSKIN: Well you know actually, last year I was leading a seminar at Jack Canﬁeld’s once a year retreat, and I only got a chance to cover a couple of hours of the Sedona Method, not the whole program, which is eight or nine hours of audio program and it’s a whole weekend when we teach it live. And her daughter had died, well almost died, because of the incompetence of a doctor, and she had been stuck for a couple of years just really angry at the doctor and really, really upset and really concerned about her daughter’s health and on, and on and on. There was a whole story behind it, but what happened that just from the beginning stages of the Sedona Method, she was able to truly let go of the anger at the doctor and also, what happened is her daughter, that something the doctor did, damaged her daughter’s heart enough so that she needed a new heart, and she also ﬁnally could express and feel the gratitude she had towards the person who had donated the heart so that her daughter could live. And she wasn’t able to do that before either because she was so lost in the turmoil of what had happened. So, again, it is not to deny the importance or the signiﬁcance of any life event, but it is so that you don’t have to get lost in the suffering and the story about it. You can go about your life and take appropriate action, but not just keep recycling over and over and over again through the same suffering.
BILL HARRIS: Yeah, there are some people that go into denial when something happens and say, “Fiddle-de-de, I will worry about that tomorrow.” And they are just, that is not the same thing as releasing and letting go of something.
HALE DWOSKIN: Oh no no. No, no. It is totally different. In fact, denial is part of suppression. It is a part of what we do when we are not releasing and it has an extremely detrimental effect. If we are denying our emotions about anything, as apposed to simply letting them go, it takes a physical and emotional toll. It’s like having more and more programs operating in the background on your computer. You know that if you open enough programs and leave them running, all the other programs you are trying to work with slow down and eventually the system crashes. And that’s the same thing that is going on when you are pretending something didn’t happen, but the reaction is still there, you are just not looking at it and it is taking its toll whether you pretend it is there or not. And so when you face what’s there and let it go, you are freeing the memory of your whole system. You are not having this energy being sucked into these open issues from the past. You are simply letting them go and moving on, so it gives you more and more energy and aliveness available to deal with and enjoy whatever you are experiencing.
BILL HARRIS: And it doesn’t leak out as anxiety or depression or illness, cancer. All of those kinds of things happen when people are in denial or suppressing emotions or their reactions to something.
HALE DWOSKIN: Oh, exactly.
BILL HARRIS: One of the Sedona techniques that I particularly like is the Holistic releasing because it really acknowledges what we were talking about in the beginning of this conversation about how all concepts have another side to the coin. There is a polarity between good and evil, here/there, acceptable/unacceptable, happy/ sad, whatever. And as many people have discovered, these two sides of the coin, so to speak, really arise together. They imply each other and it’s really actually an artiﬁcial distinction. And once you... They sort of collapse into each other when you really look at them realistically.
BILL HARRIS: So, explain this Holistic releasing.
HALE DWOSKIN: Oh sure. Well basically Holistic releasing is based on what you just said. Everything that arises in life, whether it be real or imagined, arises in pairs or in duality. You can’t have in without out, right without wrong, good without bad, happiness without sadness. They mutually arise together and deﬁne each other. And what most of us do is we spend lots of time and energy trying to hold what we judge as good as far away from what we judge as bad as possible. And it just sucks us of our energy and it makes the things that we don’t want persist. Cause we are resisting them. So what happens is, when you embrace both sides of any of the polarities that you’re experiencing in life, they simply neutralize or melt into each other.
It’s like bringing matter and antimatter, a positive and negative charge together, and it is done very, very simply. What you do is you just focus on one, then you focus on the other, and you just keep going back and forth until the differences between the two dissolve and they actually just collapse. And I will give you just a very concrete example. In this moment, you probably feel, well Bill, you probably feel relatively relaxed, but those of you listening to us, I hope you do too, but there may be some tension and it may not be related at all to the conversation we have been having, but no matter. Tension and relaxation arise together. They are part of the same continuum. So even when we are feeling tense, there are parts of our body or there are parts even in the same spot that are feeling relaxed. And so, why don’t we just simply demonstrate, I will demonstrate, the process. So in this moment, could you allow yourself to feel as tense and contracted as you do? And you don’t need to make it stronger. Just as much as you do. And then could you allow yourself to feel as relaxed and expanded as you do? And could you allow yourself to feel as tense and contracted as you do? And then could you allow yourself to feel as relaxed and as expanded as you do? And as tense and contracted as you do? And as relaxed and expanded as you do? And as tense and contracted as you do? And as relaxed and expanded as you do? And now if you were doing this on your own, you would keep going back and forth until they dissolved each other. But if you’re like most people, you probably noticed that no matter what your level of relaxation and expansion was, when we started, it has probably gotten a lot stronger and the tension and contraction has gotten a lot weaker and they may have already simply collapsed into each other.
BILL HARRIS: Well, every time I have done this, I ﬁnd that I go back maybe the third time I shift, I lose the ability to tell the difference between the two. You know, you realize that they really are the same. They really are one thing. I mean, let’s take another example involving having or not having, because a lot of times, you know, people really think that having is important and is much preferable to not having, and so they get into a lot of upset over the fact that they don’t have something they want to have. Can you give an example?
HALE DWOSKIN: Oh sure, sure. And the interesting thing, too, is as you let go of the feeling of wanting, but not having, the universe seems to take that as cue to shower you with abundance.
BILL HARRIS: Give it to you anyway. Yeah.
HALE DWOSKIN: Right. Exactly. So, allow yourself to feel as much scarcity as you do in this moment. As much lack. And then could you also welcome, as best you can, now, this might be a stretch in the beginning, but as best you can, could you welcome the sense of abundance, the sense of having? As best you can. And then could you welcome whatever remaining sense of lack or scarcity you have? And then could you welcome the sense of abundance or having? And then could you welcome the remaining feeling of lack or scarcity? And then could you also welcome the sense of having or abundance that is always here, always now? And then check to see if there is any remaining sense of lack or scarcity. Could you just simply welcome it? And then could you also welcome your sense of having or abundance? Again, this is something you do at your own rate and as many times as you need to.
BILL HARRIS: Now, you are doing this in kind of a general way. But for instance, if someone had just lost an important relationship in their life. They could get into the feeling of really, all the negative feeling they have about feeling that loss, and then they could go to the other side. How would you frame the other side for them?
HALE DWOSKIN: Well, interesting. When we are feeling estranged or lost or sad about the ending of a relationship or the ending of anything, it cuts us off from the goodness and the love and whatever beneﬁts we thought we were getting from the relationship. So by letting go of the sense of loss, we feel the connection again. So one of the things you could do, was “could you allow yourself to feel as at a loss as you do, or as grieving as you do,” and then “could you in this moment, just simply open yourself to the love and the connection that you felt while the relationship was going on.”
BILL HARRIS: And you might only be able to feel a little bit of that in the beginning, but as you go back and forth, you do ﬁnd that it becomes more and more difﬁcult to make any distinction between the two.
HALE DWOSKIN: Absolutely.
BILL HARRIS: And the whole problem collapses. And the reason it collapses is because when you get your mind out of the way you realize that it never really was a problem, but you are whole and complete with or without the relationship.
BILL HARRIS: And that allows you to get in touch with that. You know, Alan Watts used to say that people are playing a game in life called the game of black and white. And the main rule of the game of black and white is that white must win.
BILL HARRIS: And, so when people want everything to be up or everything to be on or everything to be good or everything to be, any side of a duality, of a polarity, they set up a problem that really isn’t there, because it is a nonsensical problem. Because everything can’t be up and everything can’t be good, and in fact, these distinctions really don’t even exist. They really are just conceptual distinctions. So, the Sedona Method is really just a way for people to fall into that place where you realize what’s really true.
HALE DWOSKIN: True. You know, and not only that, Lester used to say, also to just take off of what Alan said is, “Life is neither black nor white. It is gray.” Most of us think it has to be one way or the other, but it is always a combination. So, when you accept that, yet again, it frees you to embrace the part of the combination that is always there that is the most nurturing and that creates the most freedom and aliveness and possibility in your life. If it isn’t black or white, it is gray. So there is no winning or losing.
BILL HARRIS: Yeah. So this method is just really a very simple way of experientially pointing out to yourself what is already true.
HALE DWOSKIN: Yes. Exactly.
BILL HARRIS: It’s elegantly simple and in fact, it’s too simple for some people. They stumble over the fact that it can’t be that simple because they are so attached to all the things, all the ideas, all the conceptions, all the distinctions they have made in their mind, that the idea that all that stuff they have been living by is really not real, really throws them. It is kind of like the border between Canada and the United States, there is really nothing there. It is a totally conceptual distinction. You can not take the border and tie up a package with it.
HALE DWOSKIN: Right. Exactly.
BILL HARRIS: You know, you can’t throw it to a drowning person so that you can pull them ashore. It is entirely an imaginary line and all of these other distinctions that we suffer over are imaginary too.
HALE DWOSKIN: Yes. Yes. And, you know, a lot of us understand that intellectually, but as you let go of the charge that we have attached to this, we see it experientially. And when you see it experientially, it has a lot more usefulness. So, the wonderful thing about the Sedona Method is it’s a tool for helping you discover a lot of what you already know intellectually on an experiential level in a way you can actually productively use it in life.
BILL HARRIS: Well, you know Hale, one of the things that happens, as you know, when people listen to Holosync, is that the two sides of the brain begin to communicate with each other more. There is a brain synchrony that is established, and in that brain synchrony, you also see how these seemingly divergent polarities really are one thing. And it just occurred to me that I would bet, if you had somebody hooked up to an EEG machine while they were doing releasing, you would ﬁnd bursts of theta and possibly even delta waves, alpha, theta and delta waves in their brain while they were releasing. In other words, that the brain was synchronizing when people were releasing.
HALE DWOSKIN: Yes. I would love to do some direct study of that because I am certain that is true. I have only been attached to one of those brain machines once, and I forget what kind it was. But, I was actually at a PR event for someone who wrote a book in the UK about being calm, and the guy was anything but calm, but that’s a whole other story. But, they had this technology there and so they hooked me up to it, and in my waking state, I could simply produce any brain wave I wanted to simply by letting go. And it kind of blew the person running the test away because generally it would take a really long time and a lot of effort to produce the same kind of waves that I could simply let go and it would instantaneously create on the screen.
BILL HARRIS: Well, you know, you need to get to know this Dr. Jim Hardt that I mentioned in the Transformational Leadership Council Meeting that we were just at, because he has spent the last 30 years using biofeedback to show people how to get into different states, and he is, as far as I can tell, really the world’s greatest expert on what you might call ‘spiritual’ states, and their brain wave correlates. And I know he would love to do a little investigating about this and we’ve just asked him to join this Transformational Leadership Council, so you will be able to meet him.
BILL HARRIS: But he has the most sophisticated equipment for measuring this sort of stuff and I actually had a somewhat similar experience with him when I went to one of his trainings as to what you just described. Well, we are getting to the point where we are pretty much out of time. Can you tell people a bit about how they can get involved in the Sedona Method or ﬁnd out more about you and so on?
HALE DWOSKIN: Oh sure. There are two ways you can get in touch with us. First of all, you can go to our website which is www.sedona.com, just like the city, S-E-D-O-N-A.com and there is a tremendous amount of information about the process and how it works and some samples on how you can start using it right away and 40, 50 different areas it can affect and it is a very complete site that will give you a lot of information. Plus, you can get a free DVD or CD there, actually it is a DVD and CD that you can obtain just by paying shipping and handling and you can get more information. Or, you can simply call our ofﬁce, which is (928) 282-3522 or toll free in the US and Canada at (888) 282-5656 and if you do get in touch with the ofﬁce, mention that you heard about us through Centerpointe and we will give you a special discount.
BILL HARRIS: Well that is generous of you. You know, one thing that we forgot to do that maybe we can do before we end. The Sedona Method really applies to a huge list of subjects or life areas. Could you run down the list really quickly you think, that this applies to?
HALE DWOSKIN: Oh sure. Sure. You could use the Sedona Method to make more money, to lose weight, to stop smoking, to improve your relationships, to have more radiant health and well-being, to get rid of things like anger and depression and anxiety, grief. And honestly, I could spend the next two hours with making a list, but the reason that this one simple technique could impact so many different areas is that all of us are our own either worst enemy or best friend. And, our emotions dictate in this moment whether we are being friends to ourselves or our enemy. And so, when you learn how to effectively let go of any unwanted feeling on the spot, it radically changes your point of view. It radically changes your relationship to your surroundings and to your life. And it enables you to create whatever you choose. You could have, be, or do whatever you desire simply by letting go. So, the possibilities for change and improvement are endless.
BILL HARRIS: Well that sounds like a good place to stop. Thanks so much for being here Hale and for all of your wisdom about this and I look forward to the next time that you and I are together and to everyone listening, I look forward to the next time that we are together too. So, I thank all of you for being here. Everyone be well.
Thank you so much for listening to this conversation with another of the Masters of the Secret. I know this information will help you to master The Secret yourself— the fact that what you focus on is created in reality. To thank you for listening, I have a very special free gift for you. As I’ve worked to master The Secret and implement it in my life, one of the most powerful tools I’ve used is Holosync audio technology, which, when listened to using stereo headphones places the listener in deep states of meditation, literally at the touch of a button. In addition to many mental, emotional, and spiritual beneﬁts, Holosync creates an ability to focus your mind so powerfully that manifesting what you want becomes easy. I’d like to send you a free Holosync CD so you can try it yourself, along with a free Special Report explaining how it works and all the amazing beneﬁts it has created for the nearly 300,000 people who have used it in 173 countries. To get your free Holosync CD, just go to:
Thanks again for listening, and I look forward to being with you again next time.