Again, a very simple pointer, but that’s OK. It is how it is applied that matter.
I can create the conditions for whatever happens to nurture growth. To go from being a problem to support.
And it is all in how I receive it and relate to it.
I can allow experience as is, with heart. Can I be with what I am experiencing now?
I can notice and inquire into beliefs, to find what is more honest for me than the initial belief.
And I can live from the most juicy turnarounds, and in general live from more integrity.
When I resist experience, I support and strengthen a rigid position. I act from a belief about the experience and what it means, without giving myself the opportunity to find what is more honest for me. There is a sense of stress, tensions, separation, disconnect, an “I” here fighting an “Other” over there.
When I allow experience as is, with kindness, I allow it to work on me. There is a release out of a rigid position, and an opportunity to find what is more honest for me than my initial beliefs. There is a sense of coming home. Of fullness. Of being nurtured by experience, independent of its content. Sometimes of being “purified” by experience, since allowing it means a release out of habitual and rigid views and position. Whatever is in experience is allowed as is – whether it is emotions, pain, other symptoms, sights, sounds, taste, smell, sensations, images, stories – and that includes the sense of a me as this human self, and an I as a doer or observer. That too is part of experience, it happens within the field of experience as anything else. Here, there may even be a release out of the position as a “me” or “I”, and it is recognized as content of experience as anything else.
When I take a story as true, I am identified with a rigid position. I act as if it is true. I resist experience, as mentioned above, and act on it in many other ways as well. This too creates stress, tension, a sense of having to defend a position, and so on. I can take those symptoms as an invitation to find the story I attach to as true, explore it, and find what is more honest for me than that initial story. And here too, there is a sense of coming home. Of fullness. Relief.
And I can then live from the most juicy turnarounds, and in general with a little more integrity. It all comes into focus through my life.
This is very similar to the alchemical vessel. Instead of fighting or fleeing from experience (which is impossible, but I try), I allow it to be as is. It becomes a greenhouse for growth, or – as they said in previous generations – a vessel. And instead of fighting or fleeing from what is more honest for me than my initial belief, by acting on that belief as if it was true, I can notice it as a belief and inquire into it to find what is more honest for me. And again, it becomes a greenhouse, or an alchemical vessel. Finally, I can live from this in daily life, which again becomes a vessel for allowing, noticing, and inviting in healing and maturing.
When I resist experience, and first shift into allowing experience, there may be a – often slight – sense of dread. And the same slight sense of dread may be there when I take a story as true, and initially shift into inquiry, and also when I shift into living from more integrity. This is the nigredo, the darkening. As I allow experience, inquiry into the belief, and live from more integrity, there is the whitening, the albedo, the “purification”. And this invites in the fruitioning (not in my spell checker!), healing and maturing, the reddening, the rubedo.
I should also mention that although it is one process, using the same vessel, there are also two distinct facets here: First, healing and maturing as who we are in the world. And then, reality noticing itself as what it is.
The last one is very simple, so simple it is quite difficult to speak about. One way is to say, as above, that the sense of “me” and “I” is recognized as content of experience as any other content of experience, and identification releases out of it. What is, is this play of awake no-thing as form, sometimes identified as a human self, a doer, or an observer, and sometimes not.
There are of course lots of ways to invite in such a vessel. Allowing experience, inquiring into beliefs, and living from integrity are just the three I am most drawn to right now, and perhaps most familiar with.
Note: The growing and waking up is one process, happening within the same greenhouse, because these three tools – allowing, inquiry, and living from more integrity – invites in both. Some other approaches may focus more on one or the other, which is fine too. It all depends on what we are drawn to, where our calling is.
- it’s not what happens to us, but what we do with it
- create the conditions for whatever happens to nurture growth, to support us (go from problem to support)
- it’s all in how we receive it, relate to it
- allow experience as is, w. kindness – can I be with what I am experiencing now?
- notice and inquire into beliefs
- live from integrity
- similar to the alchemical vessel