The sole purpose of The Enlightenment Intensive is to give the participant the best possible opportunity at having the deepest Direct Experience of Absolute Truth possible - the deepest Enlightenment Experience possible. And so what is that? Well, it's indescribable in a sense, but I'll try.
It is when you and your experience are one and the same. It is Union. It happens through no process at all, in a timeless instant. It is also called Self-Realization - realization because nothing is gained other than an awareness or a realization of what was already the case.
The truth always is, always was, and always will be. What else could there ever be? Does something that's not true but false exist? Of course not. What existed was a false perception of the truth, and once Enlightenment occurs, one sees through the illusion, to the Truth Itself. But "seeing" isn't quite right either. There is a Seeing, but there's more to it. Directly Experiencing isn't even quite right, because the word "experience" implies the duality of someone experiencing something else. The nature of Truth is Union - All Is One and One Is All - there is no separation. This is sometimes referred to as "non-duality".
One aspect of this "experience" that is commonly realized and can perhaps be understood with some ease, is that rather than identifying with thoughts, one comes to identify with who or what is conscious of the thoughts.
If you are serious about your personal Awakening, about making progress on your own spiritual path no matter where you are on it, toward that which is Infinite and Eternal, an Enlightenment Intensive is a GREAT place to go.
In everyday language, an Enlightenment Intensive is a spiritual awakening retreat in the purest sense of that phrase. It is spiritual because the work is aimed at that part of us that is beyond mind and body, beyond personality and ego - that part of us that was never born nor will ever die, often referred to as "spirit". Awakening refers to this being a "breakthrough" process. We set out to shift into an undeniable higher level of consciousness (but always by way of the truth as it is for each of us in each moment). It's a retreat, not a workshop or course or seminar. Those things are fine, but that isn't what this is. This isn't a place to go to gather information from someone or something outside yourself, nor is it a place where you will work with others in any sort of "social" way, as takes place in workshops. This retreat will remove all societal distractions and social interactions that you find in daily life, thus greatly increasing the opportunity for you to retreat within yourself. An Enlightenment Intensive is highly experiential.
One wonderful thing about an EI is that it is something the vast majority of people can do. It's not easy, but it's very simple in a sense. Because the majority of work is done in dyads (more on dyads later) whereby you are sitting with another participant, taking turns expressing yourself and listening, in that sense it's a natural thing for humans to do. You don't have to sit perfectly still in a meditation posture while being silent for hours and days. You aren't under the influence of a plant medicine that you have absolutely no control over. You aren't asked to engage in extreme physical activities that can seem impossible to some. (And again, all those experiences can be amazing. I've done them all myself! :-) This isn't to say that an EI is easy, but to say that the work is accessible to a broad range of people from all walks of life and with a wide variety of abilities. Turns out that what makes it so accessible is also what makes it so effective: authentic relating. It starts out as a kind of good old fashion, honest, heart-to-heart sharing with another human being, however that looks. Some are bubbly and gregarious, some more careful and reserved. As the intensive moves along, and progress is made, communication becomes more raw, real, and honest, as trust builds. There's nothing quite like it. Many say they never experience that kind of sincerity when relating with others anywhere else. Eventually, some may even begin to literally flow forth as "the living truth".
In form, the Enlightenment Intensive is a container, a vessel, a safe and sacred space. You might think of it as a ship, a Self-Discovery ship, built to boldly go where no one has gone before. We're never quite sure what we will discover, but we know that whatever it is, it will be just that, and that will be the truth. She's one of if not the best ship in the galaxy, with the most advanced shield and weapons system, and warp speed. And all on board are like the crew of the EI Enterprise, some highly experienced, others making their first voyage. But all are fully committed to the search for Truth.
There are agreements we all make... to follow rules, a schedule, and a common aim: the truth. This is a silent retreat. Except for communicating to the listening partners in the dyads, participants do not speak to each other. But the staff are always available to talk to. We are formally trained and deeply devoted to supporting you through your struggles and in the direction of your truth and the Truth Itself. We are there for you 24/7, no-matter-what.
Participants begin to sense this safety, this sacred space created. They start to let down their guard, to speak their mind and pour their heart out... to release what weighs them down. They simply tell the truth. Though it is not therapy, it is highly therapeutic. At some point, often on the second day, the sincere and hard-working participant will put all their story behind them, and in the face of fear or whatever else arises, they dig into to this thing right here and now: reality itself. Things often start to get quite interesting at this point. Communicating one rising experience after another, letting nothing (including nothing) stop them from the business at hand, this participant stays steadily poised in pure self-awareness... noticing what's true, communicating that, noticing... communicating... all the while opening and intending to Directly Experience the Absolute Truth.
In essence, the EI is a journey... an adventurous, exciting, challenging, and wonderfully rewarding journey within. We are all in it together, set out for this heralded realm called Truth. And yet, the journey is our very own.
There is no doctrine or teaching to believe in. The only thing taught is a technique that points the participant directly at the truth of who or what they are, and also how to get through the barriers that will come up as a result of doing the technique... because in that process - that pursuit - beliefs, baggage, and the entire array programming picked up throughout our lives is confronted. It is literally "run into" as a result of going directly for the Truth of You. Or perhaps it's all around you, like quicksand. Or it seems it permeates you. However it seems, it's in the way of progress. Maybe it seems like it's you at the time, but you just don't know because you can't quite put your finger on it. It's sometimes elusive and unknown to you. It's a barrier between who or what you identify as or indirectly experience yourself to be and You Realizing Who or What You Truly Are. By inquiring deep into who or what is experiencing this, persisting with determination and/or devotion, (however it is for you), and opening to it, eventually it surfaces and becomes known to you.
Then by expressing it to your dyad partner so they too know what it's like for you, now yours and another's combined light shine on it, and it's true nature becomes fully revealed. If it's true nature is illusory, then it is now known as that, and thus it just dissolves because it's not true. But if it's true nature is Truth, then it expands, and this is a very beautiful, powerful thing to both experience and witness. Time and again, we express what we become aware of to another, in a dyad.
When considering the many modalities of spiritual seeking created by humankind over millennia, The Enlightenment Intensive has broken new ground. It is on the cutting edge of seeker technology. It's effectiveness at fostering "breakthroughs", Direct Experiences of Absolute Truth, is such that you could call it a modern wonder. The "dyad" format - two practitioners sitting directly across from one another, amplifies the consciousness at work exponentially. The principle of "the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts" transpires.
In the dyad, two seekers team up against one mind. Two together, have the sum power of perhaps 3 or 4 or many more working apart. In solo meditation, one simply watches the thoughts, feelings, sensations, etc, rise up and pass on, often to return. In the dyad, the contemplator expresses what comes up to the very attentive listening partner, who simply watches, listens, and tries to understand, without responding or making gestures, and without judgment. When true understanding between two individuals occurs, mind is released, and is much more likely to stay away.
For most of us, our stories, our thoughts, feelings, hurts, frustrations, beliefs, perceptions (and on and on) run through our minds in perpetual patterns or even keep us stuck in a "state" of some sort (state of worry, state of lethargy, state of irritation, etc.), keeping us from being present to our life here and now. These bits of information, like mail on an office desk, just sit there, either never opened, never replied to, never understood, or just simply never tossed in the trash. Our "inbox" is stuffed and overflowing with incomplete communications, leaving a burdensome feeling about the unfinished business that awaits us.
It is the power of two conscious beings working together, the inquiry into truth, and the clearing of old baggage through conscious communication and understanding that sets this practice apart. It is the experience of many lifelong spiritual practitioners, that in the gamut of modalities aimed at shifting oneself to a higher consciousness, nothing comes close in speed and depth as this arduous pursuit of truth inside the safety and profundity of an Enlightenment Intensive. Yoga Masters, Zen monastics, psycho-therapists, disciples who have spent years with gurus in ashrams (all valuable experiences for sure) have agreed that nothing else quite measures up to an EI. Many masters, teachers and healers of such various backgrounds have found the EI so effective that they've added it as a regular part of their programs. If you're looking for what you might call "the real deal" in the realm of spiritual seeking, you owe it to yourself to try an Enlightenment Intensive.
The schedule includes contemplation periods outside of dyads where one can be silent with themselves. They include a silent sitting contemplation, two 1 hour walking contemplations, eating and tea contemplations, an afternoon rest contemplation, and possibly others.
You may have noticed that when reading texts from almost every spiritual tradition, from the east to the west, old and new, the question "Who am I?" is often mentioned. It's at the root of all true spiritual practice, and it is the heart of Enlightenment Intensives. It's the question that first time participants contemplate in almost every case. On an EI you are often reminded to "stay with your question." Whether it's your turn to contemplate in a dyad, or if you're out on a walk, or simply folding a blanket, this question is what's kept in mind, and contemplated in every moment as best you can. "Who am I? Who feels the breeze on my face? Who is it that has these thoughts, that feels this way? Who hears the birds singing?" A surprisingly effective technique is taught that brings you into deeper and deeper self-awareness as the retreat moves along.
Many believe that humanity is right now in a powerful time of spiritual transformation, a major shift in our collective consciousness. You don't have to believe this to feel called to this work and to get the value. But if you happen to believe this, or perhaps you even sense it, this method of self-inquiry using questions like "Who am I?" or "What am I?" is known as a "direct path" method for a reason. It's very efficient comparatively speaking. It makes sense that self-inquiry works so well in such a time as this collective shift, and the coming home to our own sovereignty, for as the Hopi elders say:
"We are the Ones we've been waiting for."
Get to know Trevor and his favourite part of witnessing the Truth arising in retreat participants.
*For clarity, referring to the end of the video: there is no "way in".
Enlightenment happens in a timeless instant, through no process at all. And yet, paradoxically, the process participants engage in on an EI greatly increases their chances of having an Enlightenment Experience. On average, 1/4 to 1/3 of participants will.
October 13-17, 2022: 3-Day Enlightenment Intensive
*A 3-Day EI has 3 full days of practice, but takes place over 5 calendar days, with a "Introductory Evening" the first night starting around 7:30pm, and completing the intensive with an "Integration Morning", ending around noon.
Rundle's Mission Retreat, near Edmonton, AB
*Rundle's Mission is a 2 1/2 hour drive from Calgary, 1 hour from Edmonton. We will do our best to get you a ride from the airport if needed.
$797 all inclusive
For help in finding out if an Enlightenment Intensive is for you,
book a call with Trevor by emailing:
with Subject Line: Contact
Include in the email:
- your full name
- city of residence
- cell number and suggested times for a phone call
NOTE: A conversation with Trevor is a routine requirement for all first time participants.
"I'm a 51 year old man, Joe Canadian in many ways. I am not your guru. I just happen to have a knack for this thing called the Enlightenment Intensive. It's a discovery ship in a sense, and I know how to fly it. I find that what it is to be 'spiritual' is often misunderstood and misrepresented. To me, as Shunryu Suzuki put it, it's really "nothing special". You might say it's extra-ordinary. It simply means being aware, authentic, honest with oneself and others, and acting in service to the greater good."
Trevor trained as an Enlightenment Intensive Master and Level 1 Clearer under the powerful tutelage of Lawrence Noyes, the world's foremost teacher of the work of Charles Berner, founder of the Enlightenment Intensive. He practiced as a participant on Enlightenment Intensives for 10 years (before taking his master's training), mainly with Murray Kennedy, a truly loving and authentic Master of over 40 years in this work.
Trevor is honoured to have been appointed Tribe Shaman of the Head Smashed In Division of MDI (mentordiscoverinspire.org), a community of men committed to helping each other become positive & powerful masculine influences for the sake of each other, their families, communities, and humanity.
While being a contemporary and free-thinker, Trevor feels a deep connection to teachers from ancient wisdom traditions, such as Lao Tzu, the Buddha, and Jesus the Christ. He lived and practiced in Plum Village during a six month sabbatical, under the guidance of beloved and world renowned Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, recently passed. R.I.P. dear Thay.
Trevor participated on his first Enlightenment Intensive 20 years ago, and knew then as he does now, that this profound Awakening retreat will always be a part of his life. He has been facilitating Enlightenment Intensives since 2012. This is not as much his passion as it is his calling. He will stand in the fire with you, face your demons along side you, and he will certainly sing and dance with you when the occasion calls for it.
"I will do my absolute best to never sell You out. Knowing the utter fulfillment Truth brings,
I want nothing less for you." ~TMT
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Before making any payments to register, please speak with Trevor to ensure this retreat is right for you. Even if you're familiar with EIs, "let's talk first to see if you connect with my energy and style. I look forward to it!"
If you are donating to the retreat scholarship please feel free to send away and be sure to add a note that this is your gracious donation. The ability to subsidize tuition for those in need is a gift indeed.