Adders and Subtractors: What can you do in the moment of suffering?

by Dan McLintock

The next time you start to suffer deeply about something, stop for a moment as soon as you realize what’s happening. Right after you recognize that you have been emotionally triggered by some person or event, ask yourself:

“Did I just choose to start suffering”?

If you somehow initially get a “yes”, stop again. Check and see if you can truly stop the suffering in that very moment. See if you can very quickly start “not minding”.

If you’re honest with yourself, and are anything like most people, you won’t be able to just spontaneously “snap out” of emotional suffering.

You will recognize that the suffering started ‘on its own’; like a conditioned response. And that’s exactly what it is.

For years we have all been bombarded by beliefs- conscious and uncounsious- that were borne of our experiences in life. Now it seems to be coming to a point where we can’t tell the difference between who we actually are and the heavy belief-based conditioning that has been controlling us. When this programming gets activated by just the right triggering situation it literally takes us over in body and mind and we suffer. No wonder some folks think that demons exist – it truly feels like we’re being possessed by our pain when the trigger comes.

The problem with the demon/evil concept is that once we start believing that these things are real (and possibly outside of us) it becomes just another belief/concept/idea that compounds (and probably intensifies) our suffering and confusion. It is the same for any and every other belief. They’re just like that… they create suffering and separation (even the seemingly ‘good’ ones). The suffering happens because in those moments, we have added something to what is – to reality.

I’ve developed a wise wariness of anyone who’s trying to ‘add’ and not ‘subtract’. The adders typically are anxious themselves and have an agenda. Most subtractors I know just want what I want – freedom. For themselves, me and all.

Furthermore, if I put the problem or “evil” outside of me the solution changes as well. Suddenly, in order to relieve suffering, I must change external circumstances so that I can be ok.

Has that ever permanently worked for any of y’all? Just checkin’ cuz it hasn’t here.

Oh and see if you can remember who it was that explained to you what demons/evil were…how did you feel about them? Were they trustworthy, happy and sane? Mine weren’t any of the three… but maybe yours were?

A Course in Miracles states “I’m never upset for the reason I think”. In my experience this has proved to be true over and over again. I used to get triggered deeply anytime I perceived that anyone was “manipulating me”. After doing enough inquiry into that toxic belief, I realized that the belief, “They’re manipulating me”, has been one of my most sacred ‘religions’ since I was at least four or five years old and I experienced lots of manipulation from adults who had been conditioned by adults who had been conditioned to manipulate. Hello generational trauma.

So next time you get triggered by someone or something, and come to terms with the fact that you have no choice about the suffering in that moment, try asking yourself “what am I believing about this situation?” – “what do I perceive as the most basic ‘facts’ here?” It could be something as simple as “They don’t like me”, “I’m not safe“, or “I’m alone”. Right when you identify the belief you’ll know it because you’ll feel a sense of trueness in your body as a contraction/pain/tightness/emotion etc.

Sometimes I’ll go straight to Byron Katie’s 4th question from her work (which you ought to at least check out) and ask “Who would I be without this thought?” And then really try to sense/feel the answer.

Who we’d be without the thought (or any thought for that matter) is pure, unconditioned, loving awareness just like how an infant or a dog or cat operates and/or views the world – without any filter of programming, story, or suffering. Doesn’t that sound more appealing than attending the church of “they’re angry with me” or “they’re watching/judging me” much of the time? If it does hit me up! Or any of Scott Kiloby or Byron Katie’s facilitators up and get some freedom goin’ over there.

"Working with Dan has been nothing short of transformational. His open heart, honesty about his personal experience and permission to be real and not hide have helped me unlock those qualities in myself. And that has been a total game changer. I've been truly blessed, not only to have him as my KI Facilitator, but also as my mentor. Without a doubt, working with him has helped me to show up authentically, helped sharpen my tools and made me a better facilitator than I would've been on my own. I can't recommend him enough."
Darby Totten
Certified KI Facilitator

Dan McLintock is a Certified Facilitator, Trainer and the Co-Developer of the Kiloby Inquiries method/approach the New Model of Recovery along w Scott Kiloby. 

A Jacksonville, Florida native, Dan graduated Flagler College in 2004 with B.A. in Theatre Arts and English Literature and has played music professionally in bands for over 20 years. But his true passion lies in sharing the context, possibility and practicality of healing, awakening and release. 

Dan has worked one-on-one with clients in and out of the Kiloby Center since 2017 and has an unconditionally loving and earnest approach to healing trauma, dissolving the drivers of addiction/suffering and unhooking long-held toxic beliefs about ourselves, others and the world at large. 

He’s also worked intensively, side-by-side with Scott Kiloby for the past three years to develop the transformative tools of the Kiloby Inquiries as well as the principles and approach of the “New Model of Recovery” rooted in unconditional love and non-judgment. Much of this approach was borne out of Scott and Dan’s work with each other on their own personal traumas as well as their work with clients at the Kiloby Center. 

Scott and Dan have simplified, demystified and condensed some of the principles and practices of eastern/non-dual spirituality into an easily accessible set of tools most anyone can understand, learn and utilize to free themselves from their own suffering. 

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Valerie Vinger is a thriving survivor of life’s painful challenges and growth opportunities. She has worked with 12-step programs and is currently a 13-year stage-III cancer survivor. Her cancer recovery journey started with the traditional “cut, poison, burn” approach but eventually led her down a natural path to healing her body, her pain and suffering, and her buried emotions.

Valerie first stumbled upon Scott Kiloby at a workshop of his in Boulder, Colorado in 2012, which she says is one of the most transformative experiences she’s ever had. She is filled with gratitude for the person she has become through her journey with cancer recovery and with the Inquiries, which she describes as “coming home to myself.” She loves working with people who are ready for relief from their pain and suffering.

Julianne Eanniello is a Certified Trainer and Facilitator of both the Kiloby Inquiries and the Unfindability Inquiries (formerly called the Living Inquiries). She is also a Certified TRE Practitioner, and the developer of the somatic movement process called Natural Flow Movement. She works with clients all over the world on virtually any topic, including spiritual seeking, stress, anxiety, depression, pain and health related issues, traumatic experiences, repression, relationship issues, and general unhappiness with ourselves and our lives. She does this through online sessions, deepening courses, workshops and facilitator certification training.

About Julianne:

For most of my life I’ve wondered who I am and why I am here. As I was growing up, no one else seemed to be talking about these things, or even thinking about them, so I buried it deep inside and tried my best to fit in the way I was “supposed” to, all the while feeling like there was something desperately wrong with me and that I needed to fix it.

In my early thirties, the death of a young relative left me feeling hopeless and helpless, wondering what is the point of life if we’re all just going to die anyway? This launched me on a search. I didn’t even know what I was looking for, I just knew that there was a longing – a desperate longing for something that actually made sense about life. I learned several alternative spiritual and healing techniques. I meditated. I read books and watched videos. I eventually learned of non-duality teachings, and I read more books, watched more videos, and even sat with several ‘awakened’ teachers. Yet I was still searching, something still felt missing. I was looking for the key that would unlock the mystery of me and of life.

In my early forties, I developed a chronic health condition that left me unable to work for several years, and most days barely able to get out of bed due to extreme fatigue, brain fog and pain. I lost my banking job, and eventually lost my home. I saw a multitude of doctors to try to find out what was wrong with me, and used every tool in my metaphysical and alternative medicine toolkit to try to heal myself. My seeking became even more intense, and I was looking for a way to escape my pain.

In 2009, I met Scott Kiloby. Since I started working with him and doing the Living Inquiries, the seeking for enlightenment has stopped, and the question of ‘who am I’ is no longer relevant. My victim stories around my health started falling away. Once I started looking at my experience through inquiry, everything changed. I stopped chasing something ‘out there.’ I no longer seek some future state of happiness or peace. This is not to say that I don’t have problems, or ever experience pain. Quite the contrary. I still use the inquiries regularly, and now there is much less avoidance or resistance to what I’m experiencing. I experience more and more freedom in the present moment, exactly as it appears.

Having trained with Scott, I was one of the first to be certified as a Senior Living Inquiries Facilitator and Trainer in early 2012. In 2014, I moved to CA and became a business partner with Scott at The Kiloby Center for Recovery, where we worked with people suffering from addiction, anxiety, depression and more for the next 8 years.

I can’t imagine my life without these inquiries. They saved me from myself. If you are still suffering, searching, longing… I encourage you to give this a try.

As a young child I saw a picture of Jesus gazing lovingly at some children around his feet. I immediately longed for the unconditional love I saw in his gaze. At the same time, I was being read fairy tales, like Cinderella, and came to believe that romantic love would satisfy that longing for love.

So, I married my handsome prince at age 19. But then, by age 29, I found myself alone, as a single mother, with four young children. I was devastated and convinced that something was terribly wrong with me, to have ended up in such a predicament. 

I had learned to love and please others, but not how to love and respect myself. I was a “good girl,” and repressed my urges to have my own needs acknowledged and met. A wise teacher later told me, “We need to love everyone, including ourselves.” This was an amazing revelation for me!

Learning to meditate helped immensely to bring moments of peace, while I was sitting still, though I was still being triggered regularly in my relationships. Finally, the Kiloby Inquiries taught me how to turn my attention inside in daily life – towards the trapped thoughts and emotions I’d been running from – so that I could face and release them. It was like some tender, lost children began coming home, to take their rightful place in my inner world. 

I am honored and excited to be able to facilitate these wonderful inquiries for others.

Sumitra lives on the Hawaiian island of Kauai with some of her family. She has four grown children and six grandchildren. For many years she lived and worked in a yoga retreat community in California, and has taught yoga, meditation and Compassionate Communication in addition to facilitating the tools of the Kiloby Inquiries (since 2013).

Sumitra also loves working with couples and others with relationship challenges in a simple (though not always easy) deep listening practice that allows each person to be truly heard and acknowledged.

Alina is a certified KI facilitator & a founder of Presence Alchemy – An advance mindfulness platform dedicated to liberating suffering & limiting core beliefs through Kiloby Inquiries & non-dual awareness. Presence Alchemy was born eight years into Alina’s embodiment journey of an inner shift from ego to wakefulness. Alina works one-on-one with clients, hosts online intensives and training, and organizes local retreats & workshops.
Alec Rodrigues has been certified to facilitate inquiry since 2015 and brings a keen sense of intuition to his work. He believes that in connection, the deepest healing takes place, that the mirror of relationship is the best crucible for transformation. Through rest and inquiry, Alec has found the empowerment to meet others authentically and stop running so damn fast from the seeming “ordinariness” of life.

He currently lives in Washington state with his girlfriend and works as a training assistant for the KI Personal Mentorship Program, where he empowers enrollees by teaching them the KI tools.