I am now taking private clients. If you would like a Skype session, please contact me. I am experienced in working with clients in a professional setting, and I usually use a combination of Living Inquiries, Vortex Healing, and sometimes Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE). I am certified in these and have a graduate degree in psychology. See testimonials from clients.
Welcome to Mystery of Existence.
These writings are a record of my own explorations, and will perhaps be of interest to you too.
Feel free to share your insights and comments, or ask questions.
June 2015 update: I am working on an eBook with a selection of posts from this blog. To help my selection, I have added a rating system. Feel free to rate. Thanks!
November 2015 update: I have the book idea(s) on the back burner for the time due to health and other life circumstances.
For some reason, some folks like to set working on global hunger and thirst up again space exploration.
I have never quite understood it. Obviously, we could use the money used for space exploration in that way, but it’s a tiny bit of just a very few countries public budget, and a great deal more money is spent on things like war, the military, pet food, products used once or twice and then thrown out, and even celebrity magazines. Knowing that, why use space exploration as an example of supposed waste of money?
To me, alleviating and preventing hunger and thirst comes from a similar place as space exploration. For humanity and Earth life to survive for any significant length of time, we need to become a multi-planet species. Being limited to one location makes us far too vulnerable. We are Earth exploring space and contemplating seeding itself onto nearby planets and perhaps even further out.
That’s also preservation of life, and if we think preserving individual lives is important (which I do), then preserving whole species and ecosystems over longer time spans is equally important.
To mention a few more things: Space technology and exploration has also allowed us to get a much better overview on the Earth as a whole in terms of science, sustainability, and in our minds (we are the Earth seeing itself from the outside, and that has tiny but profound effects for humanity). Space technology and science have helped us down here in many ways. And it’s inherent in us humans to explore and space is one of the current frontiers. (It’s not the frontier since there are many, and it’s also not final.)
Most body contractions are associated with certain imaginations, certain stories. The two go together.
They are held in place by certain stories, and they also make these stories seem real and charged.
There are three main ways of finding stories connected to a body contraction.
One is to rest with the sensations. Notice and allow them as they are. Feel the physical sensations. Take time. And notice what images and words surface, and then look at these.
Another is to ask mining questions. What does it mean? What is my earliest memory of feeling this?
A third is to explore it through bodywork. Massage the contraction. Tap on it. Use vibration. See if any images or words come up, and then write them down to look at them later, or explore them here and now.
When these stories surface, we can look at them and explore them through inquiry questions. And these may bring us back to sensations again – whether it’s the same contraction or something else, which in turn may bring up more images and words. It’s helpful to keep going until no more images or words surface, until the images and words have little or no charge to them, and the body contraction doesn’t seem to mean anything anymore. This
It’s helpful to keep going until no more images or words surface, until the images and words have little or no charge to them, and the body contraction doesn’t seem to mean anything anymore. This may not happen within one session, but it will happen if we keep exploring it.
I should also mention that I find Vortex Healing very helpful in exploring body contractions. It can help soften and dissolve the contraction. It can help heal the underlying issues. And it can help bring images and words to the surface so we are aware of them and – if we wish – so we can explore them in inquiry.
Ho’oponopno is one of my favorite practices. It’s simple. It works.
Here are the short instructions on how to use ho’oponopno:
I am sorry.
Please forgive me.
I love you.
Say this to anyone or anything in your world that bothers you or seems like a problem or an enemy. Repeat until there is a softening and the sense of separation dissolves. Then continue a little more and see how it deepens.
I find it works, and it works very well. So how it works doesn’t matter so much.
Still, a part of me is curious. Noticing how it seems to work can be helpful. It gives me some insight into how my mind operates.
What I find is that ho’opono allows for a healing of my world. I heal my experience of the world. I heal my relationship to my the imaginations that makes up my experience of the world. And that’s a big deal. That has ripple effects through my life and beyond.
Most or all of the tools I explore work in this way. They heal my world. They heal my relationship to my imaginations that makes up my experience of the world.
Last fall, I found myself sitting in a coffee shop, feeling the familiar stress from someone reading the newspaper nearby, and taking it to inquiry. I asked one of my favorite mining questions: What’s my earliest memory of feeling like this?
I was brought right back to elementary school. Sitting in the classroom with my classmates. Feeling stress from taking a test. Hearing the rustling of paper. The stress I experienced now, sitting in a room with several other people, hearing the rustling of paper, mirrored the stress I felt back then. I experienced the situation as threatening then, and I did the same now. The rustling of paper, which to most would be a completely neutral or even comforting sound, to me was a threat. At a deeper neurological level, it even felt like a life and death situation. Seeing this, and doing more inquiry on it, greatly reduced the stress I experienced in those situations. (There is still more to look at.)
I can’t help wonder if not misophonia – in many or most cases – have these type of origins. Early in life, we experience threat and stress, a particular sound is associated with the situation, and whenever we hear that sound later in life, it triggers the original sense of threat and stress.
I should mention that feeling stress and a sense of threat from the sound of rustling paper wasn’t limited to coffee shops. The stress I experienced – and partly still am experiencing – came up whenever I heard the rustling of paper, or I was sitting down in a confined space with people (train, bus, airplane), and especially when the two were combined.
Sometimes, when we get frustrated with our own conditioning and patterns, it can be helpful to remember that this was in place long before me.
These human dynamics, patterns, conditioning, beliefs, and identifications were in place long before me. They were already in place in humanity, culture, society, in the family. And as I was born and developed, I took on more patterns that were already in place.
It’s much less about me than it seems. It’s much less personal. And at the same time, it’s all about me since it’s happening here and I am the one who can relate to it more intentionally now.
Of course, this is the case for others as well. Whatever I see in them – and me – was in place long before any of us. It was in place in culture, society, and previous generations. And even for those previous generations, it was in place before them.
Three people, two women and one man, are traveling on trains and planes. It’s the 1920s. They are dressed in very fashionable clothing, and out on adventures in South America and the Middle East.
This is one of those dreams that almost seems more like a movie than a typical dream. I don’t think “I” was in the dream, apart from as an intimate observer and experiencer of what was happening. There were a lot of details in the dream, especially in the interactions between the people, that I don’t remember. I only have a memory of the richness of it.
Now and then I have dreams like these. Most of my dreams have an “I” as a dream figure. These other ones are more movie like, although no less rich and intimate.
As we go through our trials and tribulations, outer circumstances seem to be exquisitely put together specifically to test each part of our realization. These trials and tribulations will also occur from the inside. Your unconscious at some point will start to reveal itself. In the unawakened person, the unconscious never fully comes into conscious awareness, but with awakening our means of suppression and denial are either torn apart completely or wounded so severely that we can’t repress as much.
The unconscious elements of our mind come into conscious awareness, and that is another kind of trial. What’s being asked of you is to meet all of that inner material from the standpoint of divine being, from the standpoint of eternity – to meet it, to understand it, to resolve it. That may sound quite easy, but when it’s actually happening it’s a little more gritty and real than the description suggests.
You could think of these inward and outward trials as a form of purification. You’re purifying the vehicle: body and mind, the same body and mind that you woke up out of when you awakened. Now this vehicle has to undergo its own purification so spirit can fully embody your humanity. And this is where the story of Jesus again provides a powerful mirror, because Jesus is someone who embodied in his humanity the divine impulse, divine being.
– Adyashanti, Resurrecting Jesus
This very much fits my experience.
Their conclusion: Acetaminophen, the most common drug ingredient in the United States, can reduce a person’s capacity to empathise with another person’s pain, whether that pain is physical or emotional.
– Popular painkiller ingredient can reduce empathy, study finds, The Independent, May 12 2016
Recent research shows that common painkillers reduce empathy. Having worked with clients who are on different types of medication aimed at reducing emotional or physical pain, I am not surprised. It seems that reducing our ability to feel physical sensations reduces our ability to feel emotions as well. And that’s what we would expect knowing that sensations are an essential component of emotions and any experience that we experience as having a charge.
As I have mentioned in other posts, sensations lend charge and a sense of reality and solidity to imaginations. They make the content of stories seem real, true, and charged, whether these stories are just a label (sadness, anger, happiness, pain), or a more elaborate story about the world, others, or oneself.
I assume something similar is happening with muscle relaxants. Body contractions are a part of anxiety, depression, trauma, and addictions, so when the body contractions soften, the intensity of these emotions and cravings are likely to soften as well.
No wonder people get addicted to painkillers and even muscle relaxants. They help us not feel feelings we would rather not feel.
Painkillers and muscle relaxants numb us. There is nothing wrong in that. For some of us, it may be the best solution in the situation we are in. And it’s also not a lasting solution. It doesn’t solve the underlying issues which is that we take our experience as real and solid, we take our painful stories as true, and we fight and struggle with our painful stories and how they make us feel. For that, we need to address these underlying issues more directly. For instance through inquiry.
Be kind for everyone we meet is fighting a battle we know nothing about. Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
– Dalai Lama
This is such a beautiful quote. Simple. Clear. Direct. Practical. Doable. And the essence of any spiritual teaching.
This is what we seek for ourselves. This will give us what we seek when it’s applied with sincerity and heart.
Rejoice, you’ll be dead soon.
That means that every moment from now on is more precious, more worthy of your full attention, your loving presence, your gratitude.
The dream of ‘more time’ can make us complacent, send us to sleep.
The shock of realising our absolute impermanence can wake us up.
Come on. Be sillier today. Let your heart pound and be penetrated today. Make a fool of yourself today. Give up the hope of finding happiness in the future, and break open into the happiness of this holy day, this only day.
You don’t need more time to be present. You’ve been given another day. Life is a gift.
– Jeff Foster
Any image of the future is an image, and that’s the only place I can find the future. When these images are invested with energy – when they are unconsciously associated with sensations in the body – they seem real. They make the future seem real to us, and a particular future seem real. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s understandable and is even helpful to some extent. And at some point, we are invited to take a closer look. When I recognize that my images of the future
First, I may recognize that my images of the future are images while they still have a charge to them. They may be seen as images, and felt as more real and solid than that. Then, as I separate out the images and the sensations, and examine each at a time (and take time to feel and allow the sensations), the two may separate more naturally and the charge of the images lessen or releases more completely. My images of the future are recognized as images, and since the charge is less or not there anymore, they also don’t feel so real and solid, or they don’t feel real and solid at all.
This is an ongoing exploration. Images about the future come up. They may feel real or have a charge. I explore them with gentle curiosity. Something shifts and something in me becomes more aligned with what’s actually there. (Images and sensations.) And then something else may come up I am curious about, including images about the future.
I also wanted to say something about “the dream of ‘more time'” that can make us complacent. When our images of the future seem real and solid, it’s easy to put off things into the future. When they are recognized as images, it’s actually easier to do things right now. After all, that’s all I have. If I want to love an unloved part of me, there is no time like the present. There is no time other than the present. If I want to rest with what’s here and notice it’s all already presence, there is no time like now. And that’s the same with anything else. Of course, this goes along with a trust that if something is important, and it’s not happening now, it will happen in “another” present. (Aka in the future.) And if it doesn’t, that’s OK too.
Kidneys. For many years, I have noticed a weak kidney energy. Initially, it seemed like an energetic “hole” in the kidney area/lower back, and then – especially through Breema – it started filling up. Since then, it’s been quite weak although it fluctuates. (It may have to do with fear and/or trauma, and I have also had kidney stones which may be related.)
I have been using Vortex Healing on this weak kidney energy. Right now, I am especially drawn to running Vortex to clear and energize the energy pathways in and related to the kidney area. I notice that the energy seems to be working on blockages. and there is some discomfort coming up. This discomfort is something I have noticed before related to the weak kidney energy, and it seems to have an emotional component. I may ask to be shown what is is about. And I plan to add to this as I discover more or things shift.
Update: After doing this for a morning, there was a shift. The energy in the kidney area/lower back feels softer and more full now. I have been drawn to run Vortex on the tissue in the area since. (I do it off and on as I have time and remember.)
Brain fog. For a day or two, I have used vortex on my brain fog. Initially, the energy worked in the frontal lobe/forehead area. Now, in the evening, it’s working more in the lower brain/brainstem area. I’ll keep running the energy.
I asked P. to do a Vortex Healing series with me on long-standing chronic pain in my abdomen. I felt immediate relief after the session. Although the pain returned for a short period of time after the first session, within a week, the pain never returned. More than that, the series of sessions appeared to have opened up some deep emotional/energetic blockages for me that were associated with this pain. It feels as though energy moves much more freely up and down my spine now. I highly recommend P. to anyone with such blockages. I don’t know exactly how Vortex Healing works, but it does!
I keep coming back to this these days.
Whenever a scary story comes up…..
Let it be true.
I am unlovable. It will be a disaster. I will be homeless. I will be alone. This pain will last forever. It will never go away. Whatever it is, let it be true.
This approach seems very counterintuitive to most of us.
Our mind is trained to try to negate or ignore these type of painful stories. We tell ourselves, oh it’s not so bad, I am actually lovable, I don’t know if it will happen, it will pass. That’s understandable and comes from kindness. And yet, it creates a struggle within the mind between the scary stories and the negating stories and that struggle is painful. And it doesn’t get to the root of the pain that our mind creates for itself. It tends to cover it up and it returns at a later time.
Negating or avoiding doesn’t really work, so why not try the opposite? Why not explore what happens if we accept the scary story and let it be true?
When I let it be true, the struggle relaxes. That in itself is often a huge shift and relief. It also invites the mind to shift out of its fascination with the scary and negating stories and makes it possible for it to recognize itself as what it is, that which these stories and all experience happens within and as. That which the mind may label presence, awareness, or awakeness.
I also get to meet and see more closely what scary stories are there. This is very helpful for exploring them further in inquiry – whether simple and natural inquiry or a more structured inquiry.
So next time a scary story visits, why not invite it to be true? Why not try and see what happens?
We can change our relationship to uncomfortable experiences, or we can see it for what it is.
Changing our relationship to it. From seeing an uncomfortable experience as an enemy, a problem, something to be fixed, changed, or avoided, we can instead meet it, find peace with it, even befriend it. That in itself makes a big difference. It may still be there – whether it’s physical or emotional pain, a bodily contraction, an emotion, a story – but we experience it differently. Our relationship to it, and how we experience it, is different and more friendly. We are more kind towards it, so experience it in a more kind way.
By befriending it, our relationship to it is changed, but we may still see take it – the emotion, story, discomfort – as meaning something that’s real, solid, and true. So that is something to examine.
Seeing it for what it is. How does my mind create its experience of whatever seems scary, threatening, a problem, and real and solid? What imaginations (mental images and words) and sensations make up this experience? What happens when I isolate out and examine each of these components? What may happen is that I see – and get at a more visceral level – that my mind creates this experience for itself, and it’s not real and solid in itself. And sometimes, the charge may lessen or go out of it, although that’s not even necessary for this shift to happen.
These two support each other, and they are also aspects of the same.
Mutuality. Changing my relationship to it may make it easier for me to see it for what it is. It calms my mind down enough so I can meet it and investigate it more closely. And investigating it and seeing it more for what it is inevitably changes my relationship to it. When I recognize – again at a more visceral level – that it’s not as solid and real as it appeared, I naturally relate to it in a more relaxed and kind way.
Aspects of the same. When I change my relationship to something in my experience that appears as an enemy, there is also a change in how I perceive it. My beliefs about it changes as do my identifications. There is some shift there. And, as mentioned earlier, when I see how my mind creates its experience of something, my relationship to it changes with it.
How do I do it? How do I change my relationship to something in my experience that appears as an enemy? For me, ho’oponopono, tonglen, all-inclusive gratitude practices, Breema, TRE, inquiry and more helps me change my relationship to it. And how do I see it more for what it is? For me, inquiry – whether it’s The Work, Living Inquiries or something else – has been most helpful. It really helps to have some structure and guidance – from a structure and ideally an experienced facilitator – in exploring this. (And that facilitator can – with time, guidance, and experience – be yourself.)
Healing and awakening. These explorations support healing and awakening. How do they help us heal as human being? When we struggle with or own experience, it tends to keep wounding, trauma, and discomfort in place. And when we befriend it more, it tends to heal. And how do they support awakening? They help the mind see how it creates its own experience of separation. In this case, separation between an apparent self and an apparent enemy, problem, or discomfort. The experience of both is created by the mind, as is the apparent separation between the two, and the pull of attention into these stories and away from what we really are – which is that which all experience happens within and as. (Aka presence, awareness, consciousness, awakeness, and the emptiness all of that happens within and as.)
In practice. How can it look in practice? (a) Something is uncomfortable to my mind, and I notice something in me wants it to go away or escape from it. From here I can (b) either explore changing my relationship to it (as described above) or explore how my mind creates its experience of it (inquiry). Often, I do both. I may explore ways of changing my relationship to it within an inquiry session, or do them in separate sessions.
And we who embody the local eyes and ears and thoughts and feelings of the cosmos we’ve begun, at last, to wonder about our origins. Star stuff, contemplating the stars, organized collections of 10 billion-billion-billion atoms contemplating the evolution of matter, tracing that long path by which it arrived at consciousness here on the planet Earth and perhaps, throughout the cosmos.
– Carl Sagan, Cosmos, episode 13
Sometimes, despite your best efforts and intentions, despite your incredible ‘spiritual progress’, you just feel like shit.
So, feel like shit! Where is the problem, in actuality, when you dive fearlessly into the heart of that unique experience?
Feel like shit, but consciously so! Dive in, knowingly!
And discover that ‘feeling like shit’ can be the most spiritual feeling of all, a fresh (and much misunderstood) gateway to grace, as sacred as the most profound joy, as alive as the creation of a universe. No self-pity, no drama, no justifications, no seeking, just a raw, broken-open heart, a fresh wound re-opened in love, and no desire to escape it at all. You forge a new spirituality with your courage to remain in that broken place, infusing the sadness with your brilliant light.
Perhaps this will save the world: brothers and sisters courageous enough to feel like shit consciously, without numbing themselves or turning away from the pain.
Warriors of shit. Shit warriors. Let’s start a revolution.
– Jeff Foster
For most of us, this goes against our familiar patterns and it can seem quite scary. Do it anyway. Do it as an experiment.
What happens if I allow myself to feel like shit? Notice how I feel. Feel it. Allow it. Notice any fears or resistance coming up. Feel that too. Allow that too. Allow all of it as it is. Do it even for a moment. For a few seconds. Perhaps a few minutes. Try it out.
As Jeff Foster says, there is a relief in this, opening to joy, aliveness, and grace. There is an alignment with reality and what we are which opens for all of this. What we are – and reality – already allows how we feel and any fears about it. When
There is an alignment with reality and what we are which opens for all of this. What we are – and reality – already allows how we feel and any fears about it. When we consciously align with it, there is a deep relief.
What we are already allows and is whatever our experience happens to be, including feeling like shit. When we get caught in ideas that our experience should be different, we get into struggle with what we are and reality. So when we instead allows it as it is, and consciously align more with what we are and reality, there is a deep relief. And it opens for aliveness, joy, gratitude, receptivity, a deepening into our humanity, a deepening connection with ourselves, and all humans and all life.
I am still early in exploring the different facets of Vortex Healing.
One thing I am curious about is how my own state influences a healing session that I am giving.
For instance, it seems that if I am clear and alert, my sensing and intention are more clear. I get a better sense of what the energy is doing and where it is going or wants to go. I am also better able to keep a clear intention during the session, which seems to help the energy to be more focused and go deeper.
If I am tired and less clear, my sense is that the energy is about equally strong and it’s still guided by divine intelligence. What’s missing may be a clear sensing of what the energy is doing and where it wants to go, and my own intention may also be less clear and less able to direct the energy.
It’s not necessarily a huge problem since the energy is mainly guided by divine intelligence, but I definitely am going to try to avoid scheduling sessions when I suspect I may be tired and wiped out, for instance immediately after a long day at work.
Many of us have traumas and areas of the mind that seem scary and dangerous to approach. At the same time, we would like to be free from the painful dynamics these tend to create in our lives.
How do we work with these issues?
One approach is to plunge directly into trauma and the scariest areas of the mind, overriding any natural and understandable fears or resistance to doing so. That tends to retraumatize and creates a lack of trust between the facilitator and client. And that’s understandable since this is not a very skillful way to do it. Such an approach tends to come from inexperience or from a belief on the facilitator’s side that the client should plunge directly into these things while ignoring fears, resistance, and red flags.
A more skillful approach is to fully acknowledge the fears, resistance, and red flags. We take them seriously. We explore them. We see what’s there and perhaps their roots in early life experiences. And from there, we see where to go next. We may continue exploring related issues such as fears, resistance, and identities. After these explorations, we may also find that it seems safer to explore these traumas more directly. There may be a readiness to do so.
In the Living Inquiries, how do we approach inquiry in these situations? A common approach is to initially look at one or more of the following:
(a) The fears of entering the traumas or other scary areas of the mind. How does the mind create its experience of these fears? What imaginations and sensations make them up? What’s really there? (These may be fears of being overwhelmed, not being able to deal with it, that healing is not possible, we are broken beyond repair.)
Conversely, what fears are there about not entering or exploring these areas? How are these fears created by the mind? What’s really there? (We won’t ever heal, we are missing out of an opportunity.)
(b) Any commands to enter these areas or to not enter these areas. How are these commands created by the mind? What imaginations and sensations make them up? What’s really there?
(c) Any identities related to these traumas and scary areas of the mind. What does the traumatizing situation say about me? What do I fear others would say about me? What’s the worst someone could think about me in that situation?
Each of these is often easier to explore than entering the initial trauma head on. And these inquiries tend to get at core issues relating to the trauma. They may also reduce the charge sufficiently so we feel comfortable facing the trauma more directly, allowing us to see and explore what’s left of the trauma related charge.
In the Living Inquiry world, there is an emphasis on Natural Rest (notice + allow) and Living Inquiries, sometimes combined with bodywork to explore body contractions.
What’s missing is a training of a more stable attention. This is something that’s very helpful for natural rest and any form of inquiry.
How do we train a more stable attention? The simplest is to focus on the sensations of the breath, perhaps starting with the movement of the chest and belly and then narrowing it down to the sensations at the nostrils.
Even just a few minutes of this a day can make a big difference, and it can support a wide range of daily activities from work to play to exploring our relationship to ourselves, others and the world.
I tend to do natural rest and inquiry in any position and just about any situation in daily life. And when it comes to practicing a more stable attention, I find it helpful to do as they recommend in most tradition: Sit upright, perhaps in meditation position, and use this to support an alert and relaxed mind.
I should mention that any time we bring attention to something, as we do in natural rest and inquiry, we do train a more stable attention, so it is built into these activities. And I still find it very helpful to train a more stable attention on its own.
Freedom is the realization that everything and everybody gets to be exactly as they are. Unless we’ve come to that point, unless we’ve seen that this is how reality sees things, then we’re actually withholding freedom from the world. We’re seeing it as a possession, and we’re only concerned with ourselves. How good I can feel? How free I can feel? True freedom is a gift to everything and everybody.
– Adyashanti, The End of Your World
There are different varieties of dark nights in a spiritual process. In some ways, there are as many varieties as there are dark nights since each one is somewhat unique.
Still, there seems to be some general categories or facets of dark nights. One category or facet is a dryness or lack of meaning and enthusiasm. Another is an experience of loss of God’s presence or an expansive state. And one is where the lid is taken off of our unprocessed stuff and it emerges to heal and be recognized as spirit itself.
I imagine that each dark night is really an adaption to a new emerging phase, and it’s difficult to the extent we struggle against it and try to hold onto beliefs and identities not compatible with this new phase.
The type where the lid is taken off our unprocessed stuff is especially interesting to me. It seems that it’s mainly connected with trauma. A lifetime of trauma surfaces to be seen, felt, loved, healed, and for spirit to recognize it as itself. And it’s not only one lifetime of trauma, but several. Trauma from our ancestors is passed on through the generations (behavior and epigenetics) and our culture. Trauma may even be passed on from past lives. No wonder such a process can be intense and feel unbearable.
I find it helpful to think of it in a trauma perspective. It makes it more grounded and concrete and points to some ways we can work on it and ease some of the pain inherent in it.
It does seem that the process needs to run its course and lives its own life. And it also seems that we can work on certain elements of what’s happening and make the process a little easier on ourselves.
I have found the following helpful for myself:
Therapeutic tremoring (TRE) to release tension and trauma out of the body.
Inquiry (The Work, Living Inquiries) to support release of beliefs and identifications. (These create a struggle with what’s happening, and they are also what hold trauma in place.)
Natural rest. Notice and allow.
Heart centered practices. Ho’oponopono. Tonglen. Metta. Towards myself, suffering parts of myself, and others.
Service and work, as I am able to. (There has been times when all I could do was survive, and other times when service and work has been possible and very helpful for my own process.)
Body-inclusive practices such as Breema, yoga, tai chi, and chi gong.
Nature. Good diet. Herbal medicine. Supportive friends. Gentle exercise.
Understanding of the process. Guidance from someone who has gone through it themselves.
More recently, I have found Vortex Healing to be helpful for me in this process and in general.
Why does the trauma surface in this way, and sometimes in such a dramatic fashion? To me, it seems that life is impatient in clearing us and making us better vessels for whatever awakening is here. Any trauma in our system will prevent a deepening and stable awakening, and an expression of the clarity and love that’s recognized in the awakening. It’s also a very humbling process, which means that identifications are stripped off and we become a little more aligned with reality.
Note: When I wrote “categories or facets of dark nights” it’s because these characteristics sometimes seem to appear one at a time (categories) and sometimes several at once (facets).
A true healer does not heal you; she simply reflects back to you your innate capacity to heal. She is a reflector, or a loving transparency.
A true teacher does not teach you; she does not see you as inherently separate from her, or less than her. She simply reflects back your own inner knowing, and reminds you of the vastness of your being. She is a mirror, a signpost.
And love is the space in which all of this is possible; love heals, and we learn best in a loving field, no threat of failure, no punishment.
– Jeff Foster
Make no mistake about it – enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbing away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagine to be true.
– Adyashanti, The End of Your World
Yes, enlightenment is a falling away of our familiar world. Of what we imagine to be true.
Interestingly, for many of us, that also includes trauma. Traumas are created and held in place by what we imagine to be true. So traumas surface so these imaginations we imagine to be true can be eradicated.
At some point in the awakening process, these traumas surface to be seen, felt, loved, and held in presence. They surface so we get to examine them and see how the mind creates them. We get to see how body contractions and imaginations create traumas, and we get to see each component for what it is. Sensations as sensations and imagination as imagination.
This can be challenging beyond what we have experienced before. Our habitual reaction is to shrink away from these traumas, and that’s very understandable. Evolution and culture both tells us to avoid what’s painful. And now we are instead invited to hold these traumas in presence. And examine them. We are invited to face what we have spent a lifetime avoiding. We are invited to re-experience the pain of the trauma as we enter into it, and meeting it in a very different way from before.
This is a very real part of the awakening process. It’s often not encountered until we have gone through a honeymoon phase in the awakening process. And it’s often not mentioned in the initial sales pitch for practices that may lead us into an awakening process. Both life and teachers tend to wait with presenting this to us, for good reasons. If we knew, we may not be that interested. Not that we really have a choice. Life will have its way with us, and this is part of it.
A friend of mine was visiting and had me pull a tarot card. It was Knight of Swords.
Here is what the description from that particular deck says:
A born leader, the king governs all the creatures in the foliage around him. The birds represent communication and watchfulness.
Meanings: A moral leader, analytical, ethical, knowledgeable, a strong communicator.
Someone else suggested that it may mean I am charging ahead without presence. Without first being silent and listen, and then move forward. And that fits too right now. (I got scared from being laid off work, and am considering lots of options without first being silent and listen.)
I just wanted to thank you for the great vortex healing sessions you have given me so far. I have experienced many different healing modalities in the past but nothing comes close to the vortex sessions with you. I found myself having big changes in one session that would normally take many sessions in any other healing work. I also thought your ability to tune in and fine tune so to speak what was going on for me was very helpful. Your natural ability as a healer is clear to me and I look forward to working with you again in the near future.
– Mike C.
I have two Vortex Clients who happen to be dogs, and they both seemed to do much better following the sessions. Here is what a friend of mine wrote me after the session with her dog, Blossom.
Blossom has made a miraculous recovery ! 3 legs but barking and running and chewing bones . I think it was you. Thank you thank you.
And the following day:
Whatever happened with blossom is a total Miracle !!!!
After listening to enough mindfulness advice, it’s easy to get into the idea that we “should” be able to be present with whatever comes up. Feel it. Rest with it. Inquire into it.
The reality is that sometimes the best we can do is ride it out, as best as we can.
And then, after a while as it lessens in intensity, we may be able to be present with it, inquire into it, and all the rest.
It’s a storm passing through, and it’s often helpful to remember that. And sometimes we don’t have the capacity to meet it as we would something less intense. And that’s OK.
It’s a reminder that we are human. It helps us see where we are at, which is the definition or real humility.
Meditation is what we are, not what we do.
The separate self is what we do, not what we are.
– Rupert Spira
If by meditation, we mean resting as presence, then yes, meditation is what we are. Meditation is what we are noticing itself, whether it’s presence noticing itself as presence, presence noticing itself as content of experience, love noticing itself as content of experience, emptiness noticing itself as that which allows and is all of that.
The separate self is what presence (or Big Mind) does. It’s the active expression of presence or Big Mind.
As I explore Vortex Healing (VH) more, I see how it can be woven into daily life.
When I do inquiry sessions for myself or others, there are times when VH naturally fits. For instance, to calm the mind and ground at the beginning of the session. As something comes up during the session, including body contractions (run VH on what comes up or the contraction). At the end of the session for integration and calmness.
When I walk, drive, rest, before falling asleep, or after waking up, it’s easy to do some VH on whatever issues are current for me or whatever the intelligence behind it sees as highest priority.
Whenever something comes up in daily life – emotions, deficiency stories etc. – I can take some time to use VH on it. I can ask to be shown what it is about, and also for healing.