People who awakened in this guidance: 98/100
Percentage of people who attained awakening in this guidance: 98%
Since April 2014, when I started giving Guidances to Awakening, I have kept statistics which have been visible at the Open Heart-website. My purpose was to gather data from the first 100 cases (4/2014-10/2017) to see how well or poorly the technique, The Two-Part Formula, and the instructions would do. In the beginning I didn't know how the success rate would turn out and whether the percentage of success would be very low, high or something in between. Here are some facts and my thoughts about the statistics from the first 100 cases.
Why compile statistics?
An important reason behind compiling this data was that to me it got old that reliable data about how well or poorly a practice or a system does, is extremely scarce. If you start thinking about it, the field of spirituality is the only one to do so among all other possible fields of human endeavour and expertise. If data about functionable and beneficial applications was not available in science, education or culture, it would be seen suspicious and unacceptable. It is not common to find statistic data regarding awakenings or other levels of attainment (which has also been done in this blog here) but I personally think it should be a standard.
Doing this would illuminate a lot of corners. The most obvious concern is of course whether practitioners of a system do or do not wake up at all. And if they do, the next logical questions are how, within what time range, with how much effort and time put into the practice and how much help was needed from a teacher or a guide. This is simple logical reasoning, isn't it.
Guidances given by myself or other teachers
The statistics include the first 100 guidances that were given by myself or a couple of other Open Heart-teachers. The number of cases done by other teachers were 9 in number which included 7 succesful cases and 2 unsuccesful ones. At their first try (also the teacher's) two persons didn't get awakened through the guidance. After participants had failed to get awakened, I offered to do the guidance with these people for second time through which both cases succeeded. In the beginning, in all arts there are failures until the art is mastered enough for keeping the standards where they should be. This is a natural part of the learning process.
During my first 10-15 guidances I had two cases who didn't awaken. These failures happened due to my lack of expertise in giving guidance with the Two-Part Formula (2PF). Unfortunately I didn't have a chance to do the guidance with them for second time.
Even though the 2PF hits precisely at the core of the selfing mechanism, it requires skillfulness from the guide to both give helpful pointers as well as to intuit what the person needs. Just as peoples personalities differ, guidances differ quite a lot. An advice that worked for one person might not work for another, even though they are using the same technique as the basis for their processing.
Through doing these 100 guidances I've noticed that my way of doing it has changed and developed along the way. I have always put a lot of emphasis on the preparation of the person involved and as a general rule I always require 1-2 weeks of preparation, going through the materials and doing the 2PF on their own, before the guidance begins. One reason for this is that if the preparation is not well done, then the teacher has to work needlessly hard and repeat the same points over and over, from one guidance to another. A more important reason of the preparation is that the responsibility of the process is and always should be on the seeker as it his problem that the guidance seeks to solve, not the teacher's. The person involved needs to understand his responsibility and make the commitment. There were a couple of cases who started the process too casually but who understood the importance and value of the opportunity once it was pointed out to them. The teacher is there only to give pointers, and even though they are crucial, the work has to be done by the person in question.
Three kinds of cases
12 cases of the total awakened without any one-on-one attention from teacher. These people include cases who joined public lectures (30-60 min in duration) given about awakening and the technique (where technique was taught to them) and people who studied the online materials (dialogues found from Awake-ebook and Open Heart-blog) and did the 2PF on their own. All these people contacted me to ask what had happened to them or whether they had awakened. I verified their awakenings, as in all cases, through reading their verbal descriptions and by analysing their photographs.
Some people, perhaps about 15% of the total (15/100), needed very little help from the teacher. When learning about it, these ”easy cases” realised the usefulness of the technique and did the heavy lifting by themselves without much help from the teacher. In these cases the guidances lasted from few hours (the shortest was two emails changed within 6 hours) to few days. The average duration of all guidances was 4-5 days of emailing. The longest guidances, less than 10 cases, lasted for 4-5 weeks, where a break of two weeks was held in the middle.
In the beginning I didn't expect the success rate to turn out as high as 98%. As I also was identified with some of the many mistaken views about awakening out there (that have been extensively discussed in my blog and The Lion-Faced Guru Podcast), I became convinced of the effectivity of the Two Part-Formula and the guidance only after 30-40 cases.
Various aspects of awakening has been covered in my talks, writings and other materials so I will keep this short but I'd like to mention one thing. Resistance and cynicality towards Guidance to Awakening and the 2PF has been extensive, in many forms. While witnessing the peak of people's delusion disappear first hand over and over again, I have come to see this foolish critique as an indication of a very low level of understanding about awakening in our present spiritual culture, whether hindu, buddhist or otherwise. To date, I have not received a single disappointed email from anyone who took guidance or were verified awakened by me, obviously because (one of) their problems was solved for good.
It has become apparent to me that most old traditions who are the main proponents of the whole theme of awakening (!), often actually know very little about it. I have discussed problems related to this here: A Look at Awakening and The Two-Part Formula.
I am genuinely woeful for having to say this as it always upsets people who have invested in the old traditions but I have to speak my mind. I'd like to remind that in my own case it took 8½ years of 8 hours daily sitting, following old ways and views with full dedication, until I woke up. Awakening certainly doesn't replace long-standing practice but I, like many, was a victim of false views of what awakening is, how it fits in the big picture and how it is achieved. I hope it need not be so for future generations.
Thank you to all those who took this teaching seriously, worked hard and burst their bubble of self. Great!
Thank you also to many dharma friends and teacher colleagues who have given their support to my work and Open Heart.
Finally, thank you to Guru Rinpoche, Yeshe Tsogyal and the whole Mahasiddha Family. Jai Guru!
- Kim Katami, 20.10.2017
Open Heart, www.openheart.fi