Testimonies from Leela Students


Retreat Attendee

The True Friend weekend did me a lot of good because I felt very safe, protected and seen in the space opened there.

The beautifully sequenced partner exercises were fun. Their exploratory nature made me experience the quality of my habitual responses to the outside world. Openly being there in the attitude of the True Friend, was an unexpected inner discovery of great value. It showed me how purposefully and directly I can dive into the depth of being and how much more truth the experience the True Friend holds. [read full testimonial]


Retreat Attendee

Humbling unfolding seeing with new eyes, with deeper awareness, the ways that the direct experience of fear is avoided.  The slightest movement away, against, toward - the slightest - is to avoid fear.  The slightest movement of resistance, annoyance, self-righteousness, trying to be kind and helpful, being right, hiding, rebelling, knowing, analyzing, correcting, judging - contracting into someoneness in any way - is all to avoid fear and what lies underneath the fear.  Because fear is not really the problem, it is everything below fear that is really terrifying - powerlessness, hopelessness, despair, annihilation.  The contraction of fear, the dread, the sharp intake of breath says stay away, go back up to the head where you can figure out how to stay safe. [read full testimonial]


Retreat Attendee

Hi friends, as I'm writing this report, my wife Traudy and I are on a ferry to New York City to consult with the first of three top aortic heart surgeons.  Over the next few weeks we will try and come up with a solution for a deteriorating heart problem that can not be easily resolved. I have tears in my eyes as I travel to NYC, but not from fear or dread. Rather I am filled with immense gratitude for the freedom I enjoy. Life appears so beautiful that it is touching my very soul. There is a complete lack of suffering, anxiety, or negative thoughts keeping my attention. Instead, I embrace it all and am filled with an ever growing love that bubbles deep within me. I am in awe of the beauty of everything that is unfolding. After my first week at Leela in Ashland, just nine months ago, I knew I had changed forever. [read full testimonial]

Margot Lynn Gedert

Retreat Attendee

Dear Gangaji and Eli,

A letter seems to want to be written, so here it is: a report to let you know how this form is being used, how the Truth moving through this form is being used. Gratitude wants to be expressed over and over and over.

The Leela School has been a profound gift, a beautiful crucible of burning and deepening and a deliciously supportive sangha. Wonderful skillful means to be used. Layers of doubt are dropping and the fire of Truth burns brighter with more and more steadiness and certainty. I love the sessions I do in trade with fellow students from all over the world – beautiful connection! [read full testimonial]


Retreat Attendee

I am so grateful Eli! I am so happy about how this awakening keeps gracefully unfolding in unexpected ways. I am grateful for this life, exactly as it is. Ghosts don't exist and we have nothing to fear. [read full testimonial]


Leela Therapy Training Attendee

Dear Jared and Stevie,

Thank you so much for the recent Leela School retreat. You and Stevie exemplified true friendship so deeply and profoundly I feel we were all and continue to be blessed beyond measure by your devotion and love of truth. Your willingness to be presence and space itself made us stronger in our own awareness, connection and direct realization of Self. I cannot thank you both enough for living the truth with such clarity, it illuminated all our lives so brightly, fearlessly and compassionately.[read full testimonial]


Retreat Attendee

The recent retreat still continues to amaze me. I am repeatedly surprised by not feeling that I am 'contained' in my body or by anything that is going on around me. Presence seems to expand and recede in awareness, never going away....I keep expecting it to! I just keep wanting to be still and be!

In love and gratitude,



Leela Therapy Training Attendee

The Leela School is a different hypnotherapy school from any others that I know. It does not primarily focus on theory, nor techniques though there are many. You are presented with a wonderfully written manual which you can refer back to, again and again. Each class starts with silence so we all start by going within, finding our own inner presence and resources. Eli and the Leela School teachers present each class in a very simple way, and when you start to practice, you get to find out how rich this actually is when drawing out your own inner wisdom.

It’s like life itself, forever simple and complex, but it’s never complicated. The Leela school doesn’t break things into mind-controlling rigid steps, even though there is building-up in its program, so the learning is never something from outside-in, instead, it is always inside-out. For me, that’s the only way that I learn but I was so thrilled to find out finally there is a hypnotherapy school that is doing just that. [read full testimonial]


Retreat Attendee

I had another session with Jared this past retreat (August 2016, Ashland) and saw how deeper patterns of fear are operating. In given full permission and space to own it, to feel it and not project it outward, a deeper capacity for growth and maturity has been revealed. I feel very grateful for this transmission of peace and freedom as it is being spread through the Leela School and through teachers like Jared. This is a rare gift. [read full testimonial]


Retreat Attendee

I have been so blessed to work regularly with Avram over the last couple of years! He has helped me immensely in recognizing the subtle ways that I am deceived by my ego. He is always present to guide me back towards the intelligent Truth in the center of my being. I feel that my self-inquiry has become so much more earnest and fruitful through my time with Avram. I am so grateful!


1st Year Leela School Attendee

I am going home after this first year of the Leela School with an open heart full of love and a burning flame inside my heart, my power combined with my deep love. Ready to meet and face everything and full of gratitude.


Retreat Attendee

Saying Yes to this is the most precious gift. Open to go from fixation to freedom and be free from any trance.



Retreat Attendee

The Leela School = The School of Life.

I STOPPED and now I feel like a clear lake. I am so relaxed and free as in my happy childhood years. I am home and will never leave. Thank you Eli and teachers.


Retreat Attendee

The main lesson for me was that Stillness is the only thing that really matters. Connecting with the stillness gave continuous rise to true love itself. And I realized that in this true self everything can happen and I will find a way to handle it.


Retreat Attendee

From the beginning of the arising of yes being part of the Leela School, I knew I was Home. Surrendering to willingness to burn, it has been deepening right into stillness. Love taking over. Clarity about the mind being a servant, or stopping right in the midst. At the feet of the master, a born to self.

Gary B. Hudson

Retreat Attendee

I am learning to let everything go and expect nothing in return. I have experienced the space and the lightnes of being so I am drawn to know and feel more.


Retreat Attendee

If you want to live in peace with yourself, all your relations and the world, join/visit the Leela School, you are so welcome.

Yolan Biemans

Retreat Attendee

These ten days for me is an awakening to be a True Friend, to be, not doing. To stay in truth. My heart blowing open into the love.

Irma Vogel

Retreat Attendee

I attended Leela School to get to know myself on a deeper level than just what you see in behavior. It became very clear what I want, what makes me happy and how to live my life in a way that happiness and insight never leave. My loved ones also benefit from this. I am so much more relaxed. If you are looking for yourself, this is a great way to discover!


Retreat Attendee

A unique combination, skillful means together with deep, maybe the deepest insights. I experienced this and I will integrate it in Silence. In my life I have been in many groups of people but this group was by far the most upright. Teachers and mentors from which I could not guess in advance that they could give that.


Retreat Attendee

A more than beautiful way to deepen and learn the skillful means! It has been so beautiful, I am so grateful.


Retreat Attendee

I cannot believe how my life has changed since Australia. There has been the most profound awakening to my heart through the grace of our teacher. People are waking up left right and center through true friendship. Just learning how sensitive we all really are has allowed me to realize that this soul is a marshmallow of warmth and gentleness and kindness.[Read full testimony]


Retreat Attendee

Thank you again so much for your teaching. What a gift it is for myself and for so many people. And even if I am far away from your mastership to guide people I am so blessed to have the opportunity to do this, to learn and to see the benefit of this beautiful work. [Read full testimony]


Retreat Attendee

Bouquet of gratitude for Leela School true friend/mentor/teacher Stevie. Affectionately dubbed 'I'-surgeon, his scalpel deftly teases through the illusory egoic fabric of character fixation. Patient steady eyes & ears probe deep & vast ...via a lens that is paradoxically microscopic & macroscopic...as layers of misidentification--incarnations of suffering--peel away to reveal the true 'I' beyond all question & artifice. In the hearing humble hands of this Heart, the bud of Who I Am can only flower. Stevie's on-call-for-life generosity transcends the bounds of du(ali)ty. Welcome to the Leela School of Awakening, where soil meets seed in a garden of true friendship & Self- discovery.


Retreat Attendee

I just finished the Module 1 of the school and I want to share with you what is happening inside. I can't find words, how big the shift is! This isn't nothing less than a paradigm change! I worked with clients as a psychotherapist before, but I did it from a totally different view. I didn't mirror back what the clients are telling me ... That makes such a big difference!!

Now, it feels like everything changed. I knew silence before, but when I worked with people, right away I get involved in trance, believing the whole thing as real. With your work - and this is completely new - the believing in the trance is getting destroyed piece by piece.

I also knew the Enneagram before, but I didn't know, how important it is, stopping the movements. I have a 6 Fixation and now I can see, how often (it feels like the whole life), I am moving away from myself! Now that it is seen, I can't act it out as before! It feels really, that a big layer of identification has fallen away. And I also want to express how much love I have received from all of your mentors and Jared and Lisa.

Full gratitude for your precious gift.



Retreat Attendee

Wow. Observing what is unfolding in this retreat feels like watching alchemy, or magic, or some other such thing. The culmination of so many converging factors: your initial vision for the school to serve the awakening and peace for all beings; your lifetime of work- as beautifully outlined in The Awakened Guide - the transmission of Silence that radiates through you as the current manifestation, along with Gangaji, in form of this lineage...[Read full testimony]

Rebecca Geach

Dear Eli, Jared, Leesa and Stevie, 

I want to thank you from every cell in my being for creating such a profound course where I can feel so lovingly supported to journey into the absolute unknown of living through love. Not a manufactured love through the limitations of thought but a gob smacking love that leaves one speechless in a life-long surrender. 

I want to thank you for... [Read full testimony]

Gila Novack

Dear dear Eli,

The thinker has vanished.

Happiness is here (where It Is always, but the thinker thought she had to pull the right strings; one marionette playing with another -- joke's on me😁).

Love waterfalls through this being now, pouring out of my pores, and laughter is the music.

On the cusp of your enneagram retreat, it feels apropos to share. Bless Leela, in all its forms. 

Traveling lightly, going nowhere (now here), grounded -- truly grounded -- in/as groundless Being

boundless gratitude&love

From the True Friend Retreat with Caroline and Heidi

I experienced the True Friend Weekend as dynamic and playful, yet profound. It was a joy to experience Heidi and Caroline as well attuned to each other, fresh and humorous. I perceived the techniques as simple and accessible and at the same time surprisingly effective to get closer to myself, to be in a true and equal connection with my counterpart and to see more clearly the movements with which I habitually move away from myself. I notice that now I am present with more calmness and clarity.”

Ricarda K.


“Already during the True Friend Weekend I observed changes, for example noticing whether I was being a true friend while writing an e-mail. What I learned is so helpful and I feel so much more joy and fun in my counseling work. And having gotten a notion of deeper clarity and innate capacity ‘knocks the bottom out of the barrel’.”

Martin L.


“At the beginning of the True Friend Weekend I felt very exhausted and burnt out, yet had no clue what was missing. Through the exercises, lovingly and precisely guided by Caroline and Heidi, the veils could lift so that I was able to make my way home full of energy and carried by silence again. What a precious gift for me to have received such support. I am deeply touched and full of gratitude.”

Ralf F.


Retreat Attendee

Dear Eli,

It’s been a few weeks now since our one-on-one meeting and I would like to report to you how immensely happy and grateful I am for this precious opportunity to meet with you!

Yesterday, in trying to describe meeting with you to my brother, I said: "it was like meeting the coolest, most true and most loving version of myself" ; )

And this is clearly not limited to the time I spent with you – it feels like something has opened up and is opening up ever more deeply and in every moment I am aware of a joyful aliveness and light-hearted naturalness that I feel being an effervescent emanation of my natural Self. This feels wonderful! Some of the ways this expresses itself are in fully saying YES to life – just as it IS … in being spontaneous … in being courageous without having to sum up courage … All this appearing in deep, alive Stillness …

Also, I’d like to share with you that I am so grateful for the Enneagram Mastery Course! The last one two days ago again was so powerful – you come through so crystal-clear! Some passages, if not the whole of your exchange with Sascha is so strong – maybe good materieal for a clip? – as well as the last couple of minutes, ending with your invitation to go all the way!

A loving and grateful heart at your feel all the way –

Caroline W.