I mentioned holding satsang with parts of me to a friend familiar with the Big Mind process, and it reminded me of some of the slight differences between the two.
When I hold satsang with parts of me, it’s with what’s already alive here, for instance fear, frustration, pain, joy and so on. And it’s largely nonverbal (felt, visual). In contrast, the Big Mind process is often done with what’s not immediately alive here and possibly more abstract, and it emphasizes the verbal more.
In a way, it’s the difference between an approach that’s more masculine (the Big Mind process) and one that’s more feminine (holding satsang).
No wonder I am drawn to the more feminine approach right now. The one that’s more nonverbal and felt.
It relates more to the belly center, and it’s also the one that connects more easily with the infant and and small child in me.
A part me has the belief that it will take time.
The dark night process will take time.
Recovering from CFS will take time.
Stabilizing in a more clear seeing/loving/feeling of reality will take time.
And so on.
So I can hold satsang with these parts of me.
And I can bring these parts of me to the light field, the light of Christ, in my chest/heart area.
Denial is one of those things that (a) may not be quite what it looks like and (b) has an undeservedly bad reputation.
What is denial really? Any belief includes a form of denial. As soon as an image or thought is held as true, there is a “denial” of (i) the validity of its reversals, (ii) the limited validity of the initial image or thought, and (iii) what reality really is, which is quite different from what any thought can point to (alth0ugh it could be said to be awakeness, presence, God).
Denial is inherent in any belief, in mind identifying with any image or thought, and it comes from an innocent with to protect this me, the image of a me as a human self in the world. It comes from love for this image of a me.
Denial also serves to portion out seeing so it doesn’t all come at once. It holds some things at bay until there is a readiness to take a closer look and address it.
So denial may not be exactly as it first appears, it may come from innocent love, and it serves to portion out seeing.
Adya said somewhere (in part one or two of The Ground of Infinity?) that if an opening or awakening happens relatively early in life, it tends to happen at age sixteen. And that’s how it was for me.
In my fifteenth year, there was an absorption into witness. The world seemed very distant, and “I” was only awareness. I went to many doctors that year, and nobody found any answers.
Then, in my sixteenth year, Spirit revealed itself to itself as all there is. All is God, all is consciousness, all is infinite love and wisdom. Without any exception.
I assume it tends to happen around age sixteen because our identity tends to be quite fragile at that age. We are no longer children, and not yet quite adult. We are faced with living an adult life we don’t quite know how to live. (A thought says I still don’t!) And with this fragile and shifting identity, identification has less of a solid anchor to attach to, and it can more easily release. Revealing God to itself, and all as God.
For me, this was followed by a quite intense reorganization of my human self, including at a physical level, thoughts trying to make sense of it (I had been an atheist before this happened), and figuring out how to live from this. This lasted for about ten years. I now see that the year preceding the initial opening was, in a way, a dark night of the senses. The world withdrew from me, along with it’s pull and promises. And following the initial ten years or so, there was a gradual onset of a dark night of the soul, inviting the belly center to be included along with the head and heart.
When I look at any thought, I see no command to believe it.
- Scott Kiloby
Where is the command to believe the thought that’s here?
Can I find it outside of other thoughts saying I should, or that something terrible will happen if I don’t?
What’s the reality of it? What do I find when I take a close look at those thoughts and what they tell me?
There are many layers to the topic of getting what I want.
The obvious one is to act in the world to find or get it, and this includes visualization and other “law of attraction” approaches.
I may also inquiry into beliefs saying it’s not possible, I don’t deserve it, something terrible will happen etc.
Another is to follow the wish or desire back to what it really is about, as far as it goes. This is a way to clarify strategies and needs. For instance, I may find that my strategy is to act so others will like me, what I really wish for is love, acceptance and approval, and there may be other ways for me to find that that are more satisfying and reliable.
To investigate this further, I can also inquire into any thoughts around this that feel stressful, such as:
I need…. (more money, her/him, this job, health, to live in that place).
I lost something valuable to me. I lost what was most important to me.
If I don’t get (….) I’ll be miserable. I’ll be unhappy. I won’t be fulfilled.
This is my last chance.
I can also hold satsang with these impulses in me – the ones wishing for something, the ones afraid I won’t have it, the ones experiencing and grieving loss and so on.
You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your deep devotion to me, your love for me.
How would you like me to meet you?
What would satisfy you forever?
What are you really?
And I may find that what “the ego” really wants is Spirit. Any desire goes back to a desire, wish or longing for Spirit to notice itself, and for this human self to soak in that noticing, align with it, and live from it in the world.
This is nothing new, and is also experienced as new (and that is familiar too).
All is clearly Christ – the whole field of experience including what thoughts may label the wider world, this human self, and me and I. It’s what a thought may call Christ, presence, infinite wisdom, love.
And at the same time, as part of that, is this flailing human self afraid of everything. Wounded. Hurt. Sometimes confused. Sometimes content. Sometimes happy.
I keep noticing these parts of me, and hold satsang with them:
There is a fear of being trapped – in a relationship, work, place. A fear that if I go into something, I will have to stay in for the rest of my life.
There is a fear of being alone (unlovable, unloved). A fear of missing out.
There is a fear of being paralyzed, numbed, by these two other fears. A fear of not being able to move on (resolve it, heal it).
So I can hold satsang with each of these, one at a time.
Note: This is also a reminder that parts of me comes in pairs, as parts of a polarity, and that there is also a part watching it with it’s own concerns. All of these wish to be met with respect and love, they wish for their own healing and alignment with reality.
Hameed Ali: The process of inquiry is one of the safest methods of spiritual reveleation 22May13 | 0
The process of inquiry, on the other hand, is one of the safest methods of spiritual revelation. What determines your inner movement is your own openness, your own application of your will, and the fact that you are not trying to get anywhere. Since you are just trying to see where you are, inquiry is responsive to your own needs in the moment and is naturally considerate of your own capacities and limitations. Inquiry is a gradual, guided approach that each does at his or her own pace. And because the guidance is attuned to you personally, what will arise and how much your true nature will reveal to you at any particular time will depend on your capacity and your situation. Nobody is pushing you to experience something in particular. And you are not trying to manipulate your own experience to channel it one way or another. These are the safeguards implicit in methods such as inquiry that are not oriented toward a particular goal and that are responsive to minute to minute changes in personal experience.
- Hameed Ali, Spacecruiser Inquiry
It’s a bit idealized, but the gist of it fits my experience. For most of us, including me, there is pushing and goal orientation involved in inquiry, and that’s a good thing. That too is something to bring to inquiry. For instance, I may have the thought that inquiry will get me something, and I can identify and inquire into that thought. Some beliefs here may be: Inquiry will make me a better person. God will be pleased with me if I do inquiry. Doing inquiry shows I am a sincere and good person. Inquiry will give me peace. Inquiry will give me enlightenment. It’s better to be clear than confused. It’s better to be enlightenment. What I am seeking is not here.
One of the secrets to always being found is, there must be a complete willingness to be totally lost. [....]
This is a real key to being as a verb. [....] There is being as just being. Relaxation. Stillness. Silence. The great fullness of no-thingness, the great fullness of no-bodyness. The beauty of that. And then there is being as a verb. Now you got to do being. That’s when it gets interesting. That’s where you get to see anywhere where your mind can trip you up. Anywhere your mind thinks, hey, you need me, you need your belief system, you need your ideas about things, you need your judgments to do this thing called life. Any place where the light of being hasn’t penetrated through, it will show up. And you will feel it. And it doesn’t feel good, does it? [....]
So when you feel the intensity of disharmony, the first thing is, can I completely allow this feeling of disharmony? Remember, whatever you resist you are stuck with, just because you resist it. The mind or ego doesn’t want discomfort to totally be. It’s modus operandi is discomfort, I am out of here. How do I fix it? How do I change it?
The most important thing is, the freedom of what we are is free enough to not feel free. It’s free enough to have the experience of bondage. And as soon as there is a total surrendering to the feeling of bondage, you can’t be bound. As long as you resist bondage, it owns you. When there is a clear seeing, an access to the reality of what we all are. And then there is the other phenomena, I got it and I lost it, and you resist that. I know it’s not true. [....] How can I do something that I know is not true? [....]
And so what do we do? We try to control it, and that doesn’t work either. [....] So this is the freedom to experience a moment of discomfort, even of illusion. Because as soon as you can do that, you are not stuck in that place that says I know, I have a deeper knowing in me, and this little mind state, I know it’s not real.
If you are really free, you don’t need to hold onto freedom. If you are actually free, your consciousness can go right into that mind state that’s not free. It’s not afraid of it, only your mind is afraid of it, only your ego is afraid of it. It can go right into that mind state, because over here where it’s all clear, fine, it’s clear. But what about where it’s not clear?
To shine a light from the outside on it doesn’t necessarily make a big difference. You got to shine a light on the inside of it. You got to let go of the part that goes I know this isn’t real. You got to go into that place where, wow, now I am in the mind space where it seems very real. And I am not running back out to my clear place. If I am really free, I don’t need to keep doing that.
By the way, what’s doing that anyway? What is it that is holding itself up in heaven, and is trying to resist everything else. And it uses everything at its disposal to do that. [....]
- Adyashanti, The Ground of Infinity, part 3, 21-28 minutes.
I don’t need to take anyone’s word for it (and if I did, it wouldn’t do much for me, it would just be another place to escape to in an attempt to find security).
What do I find if I investigate this for myself?
For instance, what do I find when I investigate some of my beliefs about this?
I know it’s not true. What I really am is clarity (not confusion). What I really am is non-identification (not identification).
Freedom is better than bondage. There is freedom. There is bondage.
Clarity is better than identification. I need to escape from identification. Identification is bad (scary, wrong).
I need to “fix” identification. I need it to change. It’s better if there is no identification.
As with much else, holding satsang with parts of me be a little formulaic.
And it can also be very sincere. For me, I notice it seems to become more sincere over time.
Here are some examples of how I find sincerity:
You are welcome here. (To the part.) It’s already welcome, it’s already allowed. When I notice that, it’s easier to find a sincere welcome. It’s a conscious alignment with reality.
Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your devotion to me. Thank you for your love for me. When I notice it’s here to protect me (an image of me), and it’s deep devotion to and love for me, it’s easier to find genuine gratitude for it.
How would you like me to be with you? This gives a sense of balance between the “two” of us, a sense of mutuality. The question tends to evoke in me how it wishes me to be with it, and it feels good. It feels respectful and kind.
What do you long for? What would satisfy you forever? This question tends to evoke what it longs for, and it feels good. There is a relaxation. Contentment.
Thank you for your strength. Your strength is welcome here. There is a strength in these parts of me, and noticing that, there is a natural gratitude and welcome for it.
What are you really? This is an invitation for the part (subpersonality, aspect of my psyche) to explore what it really is. And again, this exploration feels good and what’s found feels good. There is a relaxation here.
Another aspect of this is notice when fear comes up (a thought may label it resistance, hesitation, insincerity), and hold satsang with that fear as well.
This satsang is mind (Spirit, awakeness, presence) meeting itself. Exploring itself. Inviting itself to take a closer look. Inviting itself to meet itself with kindness and understanding, and notice what it really is.
Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.
- Jesus, The New Testament, Matthew 8:20, Luke 9:58.
Again, this describes an immediate experience and (nearly) as directly as is possible.
We may seek nests and dens through identifications with images and stories, and it does give the appearance of a home, somewhere secure. And yet, it’s not really secure, and it’s not really working. We all know these identifications are as ephemeral as mirages. They are temporal. They can be shot down by a single word from someone else, a single of our own thoughts, any shift in our circumstances (no longer supporting our identification). There is no image or thought we can make into a solid and lasting nest for ourselves.
For myself, I notice that seeing this – in concrete and specific situations and with concrete and specific images and thoughts – may bring up some temporary fear, and it also brings a huge relief. I don’t need to try to find a den in images or thoughts, because they don’t really work. There is another security in this, a sense of coming home in a different and more real way.
Another way to describe this, again as close to experience as possible, is as a free fall. The astronauts in Earth orbit are in a constant free fall (zero g) and yet they never land (as long as they are in orbit!). And that’s a quite fitting image of this experience.
The “ego” wants Spirit. It wants what it is. Innocently.
(a) The “ego” is another name for identified mind, and specifically for (i) the tendency of mind to identify, taking images and thoughts as true, and (ii) what happens when mind identifies.
(b) Identified mind wants something. It wants money, a partner, a nice house, a nice job, respect etc.
(c) When these wants are traced back, I find what identified mind really wants is very simple. It’s love, trust, safety, connection, contentment etc.
(d) The only way to really find this in a satisfying way is for what we are to notice itself. For Spirit (awakeness, presence, love) to notice itself as what’s here. This may happen through recognizing this field of experience as awakeness, and then that what’s noticing it is awakeness itself.
(e) This means that “ego” – identified mind – is really seeking Spirit. And since identified mind is Spirit too, this is Spirit (i) temporarily forgetting itself, (ii) seeking itself (in all the ways mind seeks), and (iii) possibly/eventually finding itself.
It’s all quite beautiful and innocent. Identified mind is really Spirit seeking itself, and sometimes “forgetting” that’s what’s happening.
About half a year ago, I started exploring the heart space above and to the right of the physical heart. At first, there was a cave there with a flame, and I could put my human self in the flame, allowing it to burn away anything not aligned with reality, and so on. After some weeks, the flame went into every cell and molecule of the body, and the cave appeared empty. Now, the cave is filled with the light of Christ – in a very way that’s very simple and ordinary.
There is also a sense of a mix of the head and belly centers there, and even of the golden and black luminosity. Placing my human self in the light of Christ, I notice how space itself – anywhere – is this light of Christ. Combining the passion and clarity of the head center, and the deep nurturing blackness of the belly center. I sometimes invite this light of Christ – infinitely wise and loving – into the darkest areas of the psyche and this human self, into the space and molecules of this human self, inviting it to work there.
And in this, there is also a noticing that the light of Christ is already there, and that what a thought may label a confused area of the psyche already is Christ, whether that’s noticed or not, and whether these areas of this human self are more or less consciously aligned with it.
Transformation of the personal will. That seems to be one facet of what I am going through now.
What does it mean? What is it about? What’s the next phase for me here?
Here are some things that come to me:
(a) It’s a closer and more whole hearted alignment with my inner guidance, with the quiet little voice, with the voice of the heart. A large part of this includes noticing identifications – appearing as beliefs and fears – around following this guidance, inquire into these, and find what’s more true for me.
(b) It involves finding love for what is, as it is. Finding love for God’s will, even when it’s different from my own preferences as a human being. Here too, an important aspect is noticing and inquiring into identifications, beliefs and fears.
And it involves other forms of inquiry:
(c) Explore and notice that what a thought may label my will and God’s will both happen within and as awakeness, presence, love.
(d) Inquire into thoughts (fears, complaints) about my will and God’s will, and the labels my will and God’s will.
(e) Explore and notice that what a thought may label my will or personal will is also – as anything else, including identifications etc. – God’s will.
(f) Explore and notice the dynamics of the personal will. How what appears as personal will that’s opposed to God’s will is all created from identifications, from mind holding images and thoughts as true.
(g) Explore and notice the innocence in it all. How a personal will opposed to God’s will comes from a wish to protect this me, comes from deep devotion and love. How it wishes to be met with respect, love and understanding. How it wishes for a deep sense of trust and love. How it is awakeness itself, as anything else.
(h) Holding satsang with my personal will, befriend it. See it’s innocence. It’s love. It’s real nature.
As so much else, it’s an exploration of the nature of illusion – the dynamics of taking images and thoughts as true, and the nature of reality – the real nature of all of this.
Note: I wrote this without much of a plan, so it’s a bit rambling. I could probably easily organize it into three or four categories. (a) Alignment with inner guidance, the voice of the heart. (b) Finding (noticing) love for what is. (c) Inquiry into beliefs and fears around this, including what comes up when I consider following my inner guidance or finding love for what is.
The “ego” is just a convenient – and somewhat misleading – name of what happens when images and thoughts are taken as true.
And what is this ego longing for, what are these dynamics longing for? When I trace it back for myself, using specific examples, I find it’s something very simple: Love, trust, a sense of safety, connection, being at home, and so on.
The ego, the dynamics created when images and thoughts are taken as true, is looking for what it really and already is, Spirit, and it’s longing for Spirit to recognize itself, and for that being the next context for the life of this human being in the world.
The ego is longing for what it really is, for this to recognize itself, and for what’s revealed when this happens.
The ego is innocent, and comes from and is love. It’s innocent in that it’s the natural consequences of taking images and thoughts as true, and these images and thoughts are held as true because that’s what others do in this world. It comes from love in that it wishes to protect (the image of) this human self. And it is love since it is – it is made of – awakeness, presence, love.
In looking out upon the world, we forget that the world is looking at itself.
- Alan Watts
Don’t be too careful, you may hurt yourself.
- Byron Katie
When we heal ourselves, others are healed. When we nurture our dreams, we give birth to the dreams of humankind. When we walk as loving aspects of the Earth Mother, we become the fertile, life-giving Mothers of the Creative Force. When we honor our bodies, our health, and our emotional needs, we make space for our dreams to come into being. When we speak the truth from our healed hearts, we allow life abundant to continue on our Mother Planet.
—Jami Sams, The 13 Original Clan Mothers
Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
- Brendan Gil
At first, it may seem an absurd statement. I notice my own automatic thoughts about this, surfacing somewhere in my mind: Of course life is serious, at least for some and in some situations. This is something that only privileged and self-centered people cay say, unaware of the circumstances of many people, animals and ecosystems in the world.
And yet, where is my evidence? What is my best evidence that life is serious?
People die. People suffer. Things go wrong. There are wars, poverty, inequality, injustice. We are destroying ecosystems we are completely dependent on for our own wealth, well-being and life.
Religions and philosophy tells us life is serious. The news and commentators tells us life is serious. My parents and teachers tells me life is serious (sometimes).
Yes. And where is the evidence? It’s not inherent in life that it’s serious. It’s all in my own images and thoughts about it. I cannot find it outside of these images and thoughts.
It may feel that way. I may interpret the world that way. I may live as if it’s true. Others may say it’s true. And all of that comes from taking it as true in the first place. Innocently, and from love (for myself, others, life). It doesn’t mean it’s actually true, that it is some final or absolute truth, or somehow inherent in reality.
I woke up several times last night, briefly, noticing activity in the center of my belly, the tan tien area.
There was a sense of an intelligence working on a central knot in the belly.
I had asked my angels/guides to support me the evening before, around a specific topic. Perhaps there is a connection.
In any case, it’s interesting., and it’s all just a story – images in my own mind offering innocent suggestions about what it may be, what it may mean, etc.
Real longing is usually for some deep emotional place, happiness, peace, forgiveness, love. Even our mundane desires are connected to longing. If I get this thing, I will feel this way. You don’t want the thing, you want how it will make you feel. [....] Longing comes from an absolute fullness. The longing comes from its completion, it comes from absolute abundance…. that you are unconscious of, however. Longing is sent into consciousness, it’s a way of pulling you back into your own fullness. It comes from fullness and pulls you back to fullness, if you follow it back from where it came. It brings you back from where it came. And you find, it came from fullness. The longing for happiness came from happiness. The longing for enlightenment came from enlightenment. The longing for peace came from peace.
- Adyashanti, The Red Thread of Desire, disc 2, sections 7 and 8. (Slightly edited for clarity.)
Silence is something that many say they seek or wish for, especially among those into meditation and similar things.
And silence can be understood in different ways.
First, it’s the everyday notion of silence. It’s what we find in nature, or on a quiet day indoors. It may have the sounds of nature – of wind, waves, birds, and it’s mostly free of the sounds of civilization – cars, machines, the “dragon breath” of the city.
Then, there is another silence. The silence that’s always here. The silence that’s what we are. The silence that appears as the conventional silence and noise. The silence that cannot be disturbed or interrupted by conventional noise. Although it can be noticed or not, and it can notice itself or not (so much).
And it’s similar with relaxation.
There is the conventional relaxation that’s opposed to tension.
And there is the other relaxation. The one that allows and appears as the conventional relaxation and tension that comes and goes.
And there is the first leading into the second. I especially notice this when I hold satsang with parts of my field of experience. It allows these parts of me to relax. They are met with love and understanding. They do their own inquiry, perhaps noticing what they really are. They relax more deeply. And “I” relax more deeply. And this makes it easier to notice the deep relaxation that’s already here. Everything is this awakeness, this presence, this love, and when this presence, awakeness, love notices itself, there is a relaxation. And it’s here, and perhaps even noticed, even as it sometimes appears as conventional relaxation and tension.
Giving it over to Christ. Experience what’s here and give it over to Christ.
That too is a form of inquiry, an experiment. What happens, what do I notice?
I notice some of the beliefs and fears not wanting to do it. The thoughts saying that something terrible will happen if I give it all over to Christ. I won’t be in control anymore. (And that I am in control if I don’t hand it over. That I can be in control. It’s possible to be in control.)
I notice the relief, the sense of coming home.
I notice I still function in everyday life as before, and perhaps from more heart and clarity.
I notice the relief in giving it all over, including what seems the most dense, and the most personal, the most like who and what I am.
I notice it’s a prayer, a meditation. It’s an intention to shift center of gravity from identified to non-identified mind, from being blindly caught up in beliefs to more clarity, from head to heart, from this human self to Christ. (And I notice how all those words seem very clunky, far from the utter simplicity and beauty of it.)
I notice it’s all already Christ, including confusion, frustration, dullness, brain fog, tiredness, anger, what mind takes to be mine, me and I. By giving it over to Christ, it’s easier to notice it’s already Christ.
I notice how it all – the whole field of experience without exceptions – seems more transparent, more alive as awakeness, presence, love.
Resistance is one of those words I don’t use much. It’s useful as a shorthand, and I notice I am more curious about what it really is.
When I look at what a thought may label resistance, I find something quite different from how it initially appears.
I see it comes from a set of belief, and fear. And that fear, in turn, comes from those beliefs, and perhaps also underlying and more basic beliefs.
For instance, a thought says there is resistance to opening to the discomfort that’s here.
When I look more closely, I find a set of beliefs about what may happen if I do open to the discomfort:
The discomfort will get worse. It’s too much. I will meet something terrible. Something terrible will happen.
There is also fear, created from these and other beliefs.
And I see that it’s all innocent. It comes from a desire to protect me (an image of me as a being). It comes from pure devotion and love.
I can hold satsang with this resistance:
You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your devotion for me, your love for me.
I need your strength.
How would you like me to be with you?
What would you like to say to me? What wisdom do you have to share with me? (There is usually/always some practical wisdom there.) Thank you.
What is your deepest longing? What would satisfy you forever?
What are you really?
As long as I see it just as resistance, as a gestalt, and not what it’s really made up of, it tends to seem quite solid and real. And as long as I make it into an enemy, an “other”, a problem, something to fix or push away, it will always remain an “other” to me. It will stay an apparent entity, mysterious, an apparent obstacle.
And when I meet it, welcome it, find curiosity for it, find what’s really there, something shifts. I see it’s innocent. It’s an attempt to protect me. It’s love. I ask it how it would like me to be with it. I invite it to find for itself what it really is. And it’s all revealed as something quite different from how it initially appeared.
I don’t usually mention or think about this. It’s a long time since the words inner and outer had any meaning, apart from as a convenient shorthand in communication.
As soon as this world, the world as it appears to me, is recognized as awareness, the seamless quality of it comes to the foreground. It’s a seamless field, it’s all awareness, whether a thought labels its content a bird, a car, a mountain, a person, a cloud, fear, joy, tension, pleasure, an image, a thought. Inner and outer has no real meaning here. In immediate experience, there is no inner and outer.
And yet, the labels inner and outer can still be useful. They can be a useful shorthand to point to what’s happening in the wider world (tree, person, cloud), or what a thought would say belongs to this person in the world (sensations, images, emotions, the quiet voice etc.).
It was so wonderful when I really understood I was mediocre.
- Byron Katie
A few ways that I am mediocre:
(a) What I see in others and the wider world is also here. The stories I have about the wider world also fits me, and I can find specific examples of how they do. The images and thoughts I have about the world are my world, and they are – quite literally – me. The world is my mirror. In that sense, it’s all balanced and I am completely mediocre.
(b) Everything in this field of experience is awakeness, presence, love. It’s all made up of the same. What a thought may label the world, others, me, I, it’s all appearances of awakeness, presence, love.
(c) In very much in life, I am mediocre in a very ordinary sense. There are innumerable things I am not very good at. And in that, I am just like anyone else.
(d) What I don’t know and am not familiar with is, most likely, infinitely much larger than what I do know and am familiar with. In that, I am also like anyone else.
(d) Whatever is familiar to me is mediocre, in my experience. I may be very skilled in something, and yet, through being skilled and familiar to it, it becomes mediocre to me. There is always further to go.
In each of these cases, it’s a huge relief to find how I am mediocre. It dissolves the appearance of separation. It humbles me in a very good way. It shows me there is further to go.
During the initial awakening phase – the first ten years or so – it was easy, and in a sense inevitable, to…..
(a) Give it all over to the divine, to God, Christ: my whole life, any hangups, confusion, fears, identifications, and the present, past, future. This is really just setting an intention to shift the center of gravity from identification to that which is already not identified, from being caught in a very human confusion to shift into presence, love, awakeness.
(b) Follow my inner guidance, the quiet inner voice. This was strong, and I typically followed it in small and larger things.
(c) Trust in life, in Spirit, that what happens – however thoughts may label it – is the very best that possibly could happen.
(d) Being a good steward of my life. I studied and worked very conscientiously, made a plan for my life, lived (mostly) in integrity, and so on.
Then, during the dark night of the soul, these went away. It all fell away and apart.
Now, there is an invitation to find back to it again, perhaps in a slightly different context. Less as a superman and more as an ordinary human being.
There may be another difference. Then, I said a very sincere “dangerous” prayer: Let me awaken fully, and live it fully in this life, no matter what it will cost. And now, I wish for a more gentle and kind process, coming from a very ordinary kindness towards myself and those around me. And I also give that wish over to the divine.
Some notes from a session with Barry:
Caught in a vicious loop. The core wounding becomes our identity. And the nature of identity is fear of nonexistence when the identity is threatened.
As it surfaces, it wants to be resolved. The ego knows it’s dying. It will hold its projections of its idealized future and life. If it gets those things, will (hopes/thinks it will) feel whole and complete. The seeking, grasping, keeps the circle going around and around.
Wounding and idealized life will go, dissolve. In the end, (there is) nothing external that we seek, or put anything on, that has any sense of joy or fulfillment, because it doesn’t exist.
Mind wants to convince you that your pain will never end. You might question that. I did.
- Byron Katie