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Accompanying film to the book 'The Great Misunderstanding'

An intense experiment in conscious living: One spiritual teacher and twenty people with a strong longing for a true understanding of what is real, living together in one house. This film shows the residents in their search for Awakening, with John David (formerly Premananda) guiding them from the misunderstanding of separation to oneness. He explains clearly how we are trapped in our conditioning and points us to our true nature.

Director: John David
Production: Tara
DVD PAL, 67 min
ISBN 978-0-9570886-8-9
Bonus material: Photographs, Audio Film MP3
Subtitles in Englisch English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Danish, Persian and Japanese.

"Nothing is missing!
What is really true is just now!
We have this moment; that's all."

John David


The clouds of the mind part, and you have a clear glimpse of your true nature. The glimpse is so beautiful, so amazingly blissful, that it's impossible to ignore it. It makes you understand a possibility that you didn't know existed before.

Awakening is often seen as something special, something separate from everyday life that happens in a spiritual Meeting or during special "spiritual" practices. The "spiritual" work between John David and the residents arises from everyday contact and situations in which they work closely together.

It is common for residents to glimpse their true nature. These glimpses are reminders of what is possible and are a great encouragement to continue the inner journey. Every insight creates a little more opening so that old structures begin to dissolve and acceptance of what is begins to grow.


Service is when you give something and there's no return, you don't get paid, you don't get something back directly. You just give it for no reason. In the end, when you come into this energy of service, you find that the result is an open heart.

Seen from an outer perspective, life at Open Sky House seems not much different from "normal" life. The community runs a guesthouse, Open Sky Press publishing company, Flow Fine Art Gallery and a seminar house. Books are written and translated and films are produced. Cleaning, cooking, Gardening and all other kinds of day-to-day activities are happening. The atmosphere feels lovely, open and free. Community volunteers and Meeting guests feel that something is different here. In everything that happens, the focus is self-awareness.

All activities in the house are seen as service, which supports the heart to open. An open heart is a key component for looking inward, for accepting yourself and being open to what is offered by the mirror of the community. The overall effect of the individual heart openings creates an incredibly powerfulfield of love.


When you really confront your own silence you begin to see that actually all this talk of the Self is absolutely true. Inside is an enormous sense of well-being, of nourishment, of love.

Regular meditation times support us to consciously sharpen this focus. There is also the silence of Meetings and retreats, but the silence in which the community is most interested is not the silence of doing meditation. It is the deep silence from which everything that is "done" arises, the silence that arises from the emptiness of existence. Working together, being creative, silence or our anxiety. If there is a willingness to look, then the wide range of situations will naturally reveal what is otherwise often avoided.

In 2007 the Flow Fine Art Gallery was established to exhibit art that comes from inner silence. Over the years we have set up art, music and video studios, and once a week we have a concert from the Open Sky Ensemble or other guest musicians. The creative highlight of the year is the Summer Arts Festival in July.


The master is not some kind of dangerous person to who you are, he is a very dangerous person to who you are not. He wants to completely destroy that. So of course he's dangerous to your ego structures and your habits. But he's not dangerous to who you really are.

Living with a spiritual teacher reflects the ego more strongly and honestly than most situations.The teacher-student relationshipis unique. honestly than most situations. The teacher-student relationship is unique. Unlike friends, who Unlike friends, who understand us in our suffering and confirm and support our ego, John David doesn't play this game. He continually creats situations,that shine light onto areas of unconsciousness and expose the workings of the ego.

Awakening occurs in the moment when the ego is seen to be false. When the conditioned mind's usual limitations are released, a great natural energy is exposed. We humans typically use only a very small percentage of our potential, and an effect of the intense activity in the community is that creativity naturally arises. Our creative pursuits are another mirror that is used for self-awareness.


Self-enquiry is a 180 degree turn from always being outside in the world. Instead of grabbing the thought, you go back to where this thought comes from. Thoughts arise and you ask ourself, 'From where do these thoughts arise?' The answer is, 'From me.' Then you ask, 'Who is this me?' That doesn't really have a verbal answer. It's just making a break in this automatic grabbing of the I.

The practice of Self-enquiry is continuously encouraged by with this practice, the process of intensive self-awareness in the community means that in the end there is not much left to separate someone from their own being. In this way you become available for awakening.

John David's new film dramatically illustrates one such awakening from the Open Sky House. Even if people leave before this final realization, they will take into their lifes a greater awareness and clarity. There is no doubt, that the community has served it's purpose for the past nine years. It is a rare ans successful xperiment in conscious living.

John David
Open Sky Press
Open Sky House
Seminar House