Just some rambling to help me see my own patterns and where I am stuck. For sure, it says something about own stuckness. And there may also be other things to learn from it as well.
For the last few months, I have had weekly phone conversations related to an early westernized form of some eastern practices. I did it partly because I am always interested in exploring new approaches, and partly because it is tied to another practice I am engaged in which I have found deeply rewarding.
Early on in the phone conversations with my designated contact person, it became apparent that the interactions between us left something to desire – but I decided to keep going although the knot only became more complex as we went on.
Some rambling notes about my experiences with it…
- Sometimes, I brought up specific oncerns with the aim of finding a resolution for myself. And a typical response was “what happens if you come to your breath?”. My sense was that it was taboo to address the content of certain concerns.
- I was told that it was completely different from anything else, and particularly different from zen since I happened to mentioned that I had done some of that in the past. I was looking for something different, since that offers something else to explore and discover, so that itself was fine with me.
The problem came when my experiences with the bodywork and this practice, from the beginning, were very much similar to my experiences with zen and other practices. On the one hand, I had my immediate and quite clear experiences, which appeared very similar to what others reported (I would say just about the same). On the other hand, I was told it was supposed to be very different. So what to do? It was a double-bind situation, especially since there was no apparent answer to my questions of how it was different – so I could have an idea of where to look.
- I heard reflections back (whenever they happened, sometimes some weeks later) where the words were quite different from what I had used – and would probably ever use, and where the intention reflected was often completely different from what was alive for me, then and now. I experienced it as a great deal of distortion.
- Apparently, these conversations were reported to the “headquarters”, which I initially found somewhat amusing since I could only imagine how different these reports were from what I had tried to express.
- They use a very specific and quite unusual terminology, which I naturally am unfamiliar with. This too created problems right away since I had every intention to learn the terminology, but had to begin somewhere in describing my experiences and my own comfortable terminology was not kosher or acceptable. So again, a double bind since I was not allowed to speak from my naive vocabulary, and did not understand how to use theirs.
- I wanted to talk with somebody else to see if I could find a resolution, but the others I know who are doing the same said it all had to go through this one designated person. Again, a double-bind since that is exactly where I am experiencing the difficulties.
- I also experienced that when I talked about hangups I noticed in my human self, it was often misinterpreted. My intention was to be completely sincere about what comes up for me, and communicate that I am very aware of these hangups and that they are from the particular preferences of this human self and not anything “absolute” or anything to blindly believe in. My impression was that it was often taken differently (although I couldn’t quite make out how), rather than just a noticing and a desire to move beyond and find a resolution.
- I also partly used the conversations as a way to explore and identify hangups, which I later did inquiry on, and my experience was that this too was misinterpreted. (It may be naive to assume that others experience the same freedom in playing with these beliefs as those who are familiar with the BK inquiries).
- As this went on, I began to distrust my own experiences in this area, including with the bodywork. Quite predictably, my former and consistent passion for the bodywork also took a nosedive – to the point of not even remembering why I initially was so passionate about becoming an instructor.
- This all culminated yesterday when somebody from the headquarters called and told me I could not do the instructors training which starts in two days (and I had organized my life around in the short and longer term). Apparently, their decision was based on the reports they had received. They also apparently see the problems as having to do with my relationship with the practice and not, as it has appeared to me from the beginning, the chemistry between me and the person I talked with on the phone.
So, there is obviously a great deal of material for inquiry here. Right now, there is still too much reorganization and realignment happening to see clearly the particular statements and inquiries. The energy goes into adjusting to the new situation of not going to the intensive and of most likely scaling back my involvement.
Some preliminary statements to work with…
- They shouldn’t judge based on second-hand information.
- I should have had someone else to talk with.
- I should trust my experiences.
- They should have told me earlier (so I could have gone to their general training a few weeks back instead).