Another simple minded look at a topic that comes up for me… emotions.
Some of the ways I use to explore emotions…
- Being with whatever comes up, for instance by asking myself “can I be with what I am experiencing right now?” Or being with it in a heartfelt way, including the heart and belly centers (being with it as a vulnerable animal or child).
- Allowing whatever comes up, fully. This includes allowing any resistance that may come up, which takes the identification out of it (resistance goes from a subject to an object, from I to it).
- Noticing the sensation component of the emotion, and being with the sensation as just sensation. In this way, I see that the emotion is a gestalt formed by a sensation and a story about the sensation. Seeing the sensation as sensation, and the story as story, allows the gestalt to fall into its components.
- Identifying and exploring the belief behind the emotion, allowing the attachment to the story to unravel throughout the system. Seeing what is already more true for me in this way has the side-effect of the emotion no longer being triggered by the same or similar situations. Instead, there is differentiated clarity. (The aim here is to see what is already more true, not to change anything else, although that happens as a natural consequence.)
- Noticing the emotion directly as awake void itself. As fleeting and transparent to Ground, without substance, and only given the appearance of substance when identified with and a story about it is attached to.
- Shifting into headlessness or Big Mind, seeing the emotions arising as not only God’s will, but awake emptiness itself.
- Using the Big Mind process to find the love in the emotion. Specifically, how the emotion is designed to protect the life of this human self and those within its circle of care and compassion. Fear gives protection from dangerous situations. Anger gives energy to get things done, and to overcome fear and hesitation. Sadness is an invitation to find in myself what I thought I lost out there. Desire prompts the human self to get what may enhance its life. Aversion prompts it to avoid that which may not enhance its life and well-being. Each of these are in their essence expressions of love, of protecting and supporting life. (Seeing this makes it easier to allow any and all emotions, and also disidentify from them.)
- The process of exploring the love in the emotions can also continue into exploring how each emotion is expressed and valuable in the context of Big Mind and Big Heart more awake to itself, as wisdom energies.
And then there is the early belly awakening that happened here a few months back, and is still unfolding and reorganizing things (energetically, emotionally, physically) in the belly area.
The belly center seems to filter spirit as the divine feminine, for now, and in this case, as a velvety smooth round luminous blackness which in its impersonal aspect is revealed as the ground, within and arising as all form, and in its personal aspect is a nurturing womb healing and reorganizing at the emotional level. It allows for a felt-sense of all as Spirit, as God’s will, as God, as the divine feminine, and this brings a deep and deepening felt-sense trust in life and existence independent of how it shows up.
When there is a lack of a felt-sense of trust in life, there is also reactivity at the emotional level. Some situations are OK, other trigger (emotional) reactivity. And this reactivity in turn tends to trigger a deepening split at each of the three centers. There is a reduced receptivity at heart and head centers, a closed heart and mind, and lack of empathy and rigidity of views, dehumanization and a certainty of being right.
The deepening felt-sense of trust in life, and all as Spirit, reduces reactivity at the emotional level, which in turn allows for an easier disidentification with whatever emotions comes up. In general, it helps to reduce the sense of split at the three centers, allowing the heart to stay open in more situations and towards more beings, and the view to be more flexible and inclusive. It helps to shift the whole system towards Big Mind/Heart awake to itself, into a place where a more full and stable shift can happen (and reduces the amount of reorganization needed after the shift).
More about the background of this post after the jump…
This post was triggered by a conversation I had with a teacher a couple of days ago.
This teacher does not seem to relate to an awakening of the belly center, the reorganization that happens following such an awakening, and how it helps the whole system shift into Big Mind/Heart.
I wonder how typical that is… some teachers acknowledge the importance of the belly center, including Hameed Ali (Almaas), Adyashanti and our local diksha givers. Others seem to not be familiar with it.
He is also not much familiar with The Work (Byron Katie), which allows the belief behind any triggered emotion to fall away, taking the whole pattern with it.
So when I mention how the early awakening of the belly center seems to reorganize the emotional level into a deep trust in life and existence, and how I notice whole patterns of reactivity fall away through The Work, he immediately responds “don’t try to change the content” and gives an explanation of how there can be a Ground awakening and still all those patterns and emotions.
It is of course true, and I know it very well from my own experience. Big Mind can awake to itself, and the habitual patterns of the human self continues – even those of reactivity and emotions.
But to me, that only indicates that the awakening was of the head (Big Mind) and heart (Big Heart) centers, and not the belly (Big Belly!) center…
Through the head center, there is a seeing of all as Spirit (Big Mind), through the heart center, a loving of all as Spirit (Big Heart), and through the belly center, a felt-sense – in this body – of all as Spirit (Big Belly).
Each is one way Spirit can filter itself, and no one is more or less important than (or prior to) the others.
And also, equally important, the reorganization of the belly center, and the unraveling of beliefs through The Work, allows for an awakening of each and all of the three centers. It brings the whole system closer to Big Mind/Heart/Belly awake to itself, to the edge of where it may happen on its own, in a more clear and stable way.
Finally, both help what we (temporarily) take ourselves to be. They are of great help on the level of who we are, as individuals, and also invites an awakening of what we are.
Why choose practices that work only on either the who or the what level, when we can do both?
If the head and heart centers awaken, it gives a clear seeing and loving of all as Spirit, and if the head center is fully awakened, a realized absence of any separate I anywhere. But if the belly center is not, there is no deeply felt-sense of all as Spirit, and also no deep reorganization of the emotional level. There will still be fears and so on triggered by the usual situations, only now seen and loved as Spirit. So it is of course OK, although still limited.
This was the situation here following the initial awakening – a nearly full awakening of the head and heart centers, but definitely not of the belly center. There was a clear knowing that it was missing as well, that it could be quite different. And when the early belly awakening happened last fall, a knowing that this was one of the missing pieces of the puzzle.
Two things that seem to allow for this reorganization of the emotional level is the belly awakening itself (invited in this case through Breema and then shaktipat), and also The Work – allowing beliefs to unravel through the system including the emotional.
When the belly awakening runs its course and the emotional level is reorganized, the old patterns of (emotional) reactivity unravel with it. Fear, anger, sadness and so on are not triggered in the same way anymore. There is just clarity (head center), love (heart center), and a sense of nurturing fullness (belly center).
In short, the emotional reactivity which is still there when only the head and heart centers are awakened, is exchanged with a felt-sense of nurturing fullness when the belly center awakens.
It is still possible to trigger any of these, although now in a conscious way and arising as wisdom energies.