Awakening Bentinho Massaro
The Awakening of Bentinho Massaro
Update: In february 2022 the Volkskrant (A Dutch newspaper) published a long article about Bentinho, with interviews from several people who belonged to his inner circle. They report abuse of power, manipulation, sexual misconduct, dubious financial transactions, and traumatizing psychological sessions. You can find that article here. Once again - the claim of awakening does not justify illegal or unethical behaviour. Enlightenment is possible, but it does not make you special, and it does not mean that you could, for example, transcend the laws of physics. Nor does it make you an expert on psychological trauma, or a good therapist. You're still an ordinary guy or girl. But you had an awakening. If you did, keep it alive, keep on meditating, and please, stay humble. And if you're still seeking: stay critical. Enlightenment does indeed transcend all categories, including "right and wrong". But behaviour and speech does not.
I started seeking actively for (as I called it then) 'Enlightenment,'Self-Realization' or 'True Knowing' around the age of 16. I was driven by an intense desire to know the source of life, for as far as that would ever be humanly possible.
I one day figured that all this dancing around that I was doing, all these everyday things I was chasing after and exploring, were meaningless and powerless if I didn't know the true meaning of life in my own direct experience. I had this instinctual impulse to get to the source of everything, to attain some kind of mastery over myself and all my abilities, to acquire a deep knowing in which all else would be understood immediately and in its proper place.
In other words: I desired to find 'the truth that doesn't change', so that I could make sense out of everything else from that space of clarity.
Before this moment of really wanting to know the source of my being arose, I had already been playing around a bit with discovering the hidden capabilities of our minds. As a child my parents offered me to follow a Silva Mind Control course, which was basically an introduction to meditation and using the mind's full potential. Throughout high school I forgot a bit about the passion I felt for that mystery of life, but at some point, as described above, I was fed up with the uselessness of learning and doing common things that don't really seem to make a difference or provide anyone with much meaning.
Everyone just seemed to blindly follow the laid out paths of the societal system. Nobody seemed to ask any meaningful questions. I desired to break free from that cycle and discover truth, or at least something of existential meaning, for myself.
The Journey & The Desire to Share
I'm not sure where to begin without turning this into a fuzzy book, so I will try to keep it concise and extract from my 'seeking-history' that which seems to have led most obviously towards developing Free Awareness.
I was pretty intense in my seeking. Even though I lacked discipline to really concentrate on practices that didn't feel right to me, I was intense and persistent at finding an effective way to whatever it was I was looking for. I wanted to know the truth directly, as quickly as possible, without all the whistles and bells.
So I tried meditation, yoga, reiki, NLP, EFT, Personal Development, Self-Hypnosis, Affirmations, Transformations, reading plenty of 'spiritual' books, on how to journey, how to awaken, how to be in the now, etc. I went on searching and discovering myself in India, met many teachers and teachings there as well, discovered I had the ability to be completely depressed, scared like a hopeless little kid in a pond full of alligators, completely lifeless, unmotivated to do anything whatsoever, "For what's the point in doing anything?? Nothing ever works anyway!" - and what not.
From the very beginning and throughout all this seeking and the experiences that came with that seeking, a desire arose and developed to create something efficient for the rest of the world. Something that would actually make sense and be accessible to everyone, regardless of background or interest. I noticed that my mind started to dissect and 'order' everything it could get its hands on in order to compile a most effective 'structure'.
Every book, course, teaching and teacher that I came in contact with, got analyzed, compared to the rest of my knowledge, and tested for a while. My mind was insanely fierce and active about trying to figure out 'the best way' and trying to sort out what was true and what was false. I was intellectually 'mapping' everything and tried to fit every piece of the puzzle in there in it's correct place. I wanted to get the whole picture, and find a way that would actually work directly, quickly, efficiently. Preferably for everyone!
After a while it developed into this insanely complex, conceptually accurate, but intensely burdening mental understanding. At the same time, though, there was a natural depth I could intuit. Something that remained stable throughout all my seeking and all the experiences. There was some innate knowing going on all the while. Sometimes this became more apparent then at other times, but it was always there 'in the background'.
I remember vividly realizing one day that I always felt much more in tune with this deep sense of peace before I walked into a meditation class or teaching, than I was while on the cushion or while listening to complex theories of different levels of spiritual evolution or personal development.
Gradually I noticed how no matter what I did, heard or achieved, I always arrived back at where I always was anyway. Like the famous saying goes: "Wherever you go, there you are."
This started to become more palpable and for a while it resulted in a conflicted state: "Should I trust this natural presence, or should I trust in these teachers and in this insane conceptual understanding that I've gathered in my mind that tells me to achieve all kinds of states and experiences?"
A Shift of Allegiance
The moment I started to trust more in this natural presence, something happened. Most of all I became more at ease by the day, and additionally books and teachers of a more direct nature started to cross my path that 'confirmed' the way of direct trust in what's naturally here. Each of these books and teachers still got analyzed and mapped automatically, but simultaneously they helped me to let go more and more of that intellectual structure that was still very active and convincing at times.
Ever since my allegiance shifted from 'thinking' and 'other teachers' towards trusting in this intuitive sense of natural presence, that simple and always already present awareness has become more and more obvious in this experience.
This natural presence reveals the unity beyond all ideas and concepts and there is nothing that ever affects it. It's completely stable, ever-present and unchanging awareness. Yet it is not 'out of this world' or 'detached' in any way. In fact, it allows us to be completely engaged in life, for the first time really, without fear for our thoughts and emotions or those of others. There is a loving freedom present in and as every experience, without exception.
Experiences come and go, but they all come and go within that which is effortlessly aware of them. When this awareness becomes obvious to us, than not only is it discovered to be unaffected by whatever appears within awareness, but the unity of experiences and awareness is gradually (or suddenly) revealed.
This then neutralizes the power that experiences seemed to have over us, and there arises a natural freedom, love, wisdom and joy in the midst of every experience.
With Free Awareness, I hope to be able to provide some sort of simple and accessible structure, that can support you in directly awakening to that which is already wide awake at all times.
With gratitude and love to Life itself, in all of its self-benefiting appearances
Original story here