Building capacity

 

How do I build capacity for meeting experience and fear?

How do I build capacity for allowing experience, and then notice I already am the field of experience?

I find I build capacity in several ways…..

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Familiarity

What happens when I get caught up in resisting experience?

What happens when I meet and welcome the experience and fear?

How is it to open my heart to it?

Through familiarity with meeting experience, there is trust.

I see and feel that it’s OK to meet and embrace experience.

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Inquiry

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Some simple questions.

Is it true this experience is not OK?

Is it true fear is not OK?  Is it true resistance is not OK?

Is it true something terrible will happen if I meet or welcome it?

What happens when I meet and allow experience?

And…. Is it true this experience is not already allowed?

Is it true I am not already it?

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Underlying beliefs:

What’s behind the fear and resistance?

What does the fear/resistance say?

Here is what comes up for me now:

If I allow experience, I’ll die.

I can’t take it.

It’s too much.

I’ll explode.

I won’t be able to function.

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Inherent discomfort in trying to escape experience:

Is true escaping experience is easier than meeting it?

What happens when I try to escape experience?

What do I hope to get out of it?

What do I actually get out of it?

Through inquiry, I see and feel the inherent discomfort in trying to escape experience.

I get familiar with the futility in it. What I try to escape is still here in the background and surfaces again.

And trying to escape experience is based on a belief that the experience is bad or wrong, which is inherently uncomfortable.

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The sense of an I or doer:

What appears most as an I or doer to me here and now?

How does it appear in each sense field?

Can I find it outside of the mental field?

What happens when it’s taken as solid and real?

What happens when it is seen as an image?

Exploring the “I” trying to do all of this, I get to see that this “I” is a figment of imagination. It’s quite literally an image. It’s part of the field of awareness, part of the play of awareness as appearances. All of this – the impulse to escape, the desire to meet experience, the struggle and drama, the turmoil – it’s all happening within and as awareness. It’s all the play of awareness as appearances.

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Just sitting / basic meditation

How is it to allow what’s here as it is?

What happens when it is allowed as is?

Is it true experience is not already allowed as is?

What happens when this is noticed?

Basic meditation is one of the ways of gaining familiarity with allowing experience as is, or noticing that experience is already allowed what is – and notice what happens when it’s noticed.

This familiarity makes it easier to allow experience when it get’s intense and is tied up with beliefs that initially seem very real.

As my first zen teacher said, it’s like putting money in the bank – which is then available when it’s needed.

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Prayer

How is it to pray for inner and outer support, falling away of blocks etc.?

What happens with me when I pray in this way? Is there a reorientation?

How is it to pray for Your Will Be Done?

I notice that when I pray for inner and outer support, falling away of blocks etc. there is a reorientation.

I find right here and now what I pray for.

And when I pray for Your Will Be Done, it’s a reminder that in a conventional sense, what “I” can do is very limited, and in a more real sense, it’s all already God’s will – including a sense of an I, struggle etc.

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Giving it over to the divine, see/feel it’s all God’s will

What happens when I try to do it all myself?

How is it to give it all over to the divine?

Is it true it’s not already all the divine?

Is it true it’s not all already movements within the divine?

(What arises, resistance, meeting it etc.)

Through familiarity with giving it all over to the divine, and noticing it’s all already God’s will (including the shifts between getting caught up in resistance and meeting experience), there is trust. I see it’s OK. For instance, I initially fear that this human self won’t function if it’s all God’s will, and yet it still does.

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Anchoring attention in sensations

Where in my body do I find most sense of safety? What happens when I put my hand and bring my attention there?

Or – what happens when I bring attention to the sensations of the breath in the heart area?

Can I allow feelings to flow through?

Is it OK to allow the feelings to flow through?

Bringing attention to the breath/heart and allowing feelings to flow through, I see it’s OK. It’s changing all the time. And anchoring attention in sensations and the heart makes it easier.

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Exploring the sense fields

(a) What happens when I label what’s happening as sensation, thought etc., and I continue this labeling?

What happens when I notice the fear – or what it may be – as a sensation, and disidentify with it through ongoing labeling?

(b) How does it appear through each of the sense fields? What’s there in sensation? What’s there in the mental field?

What happens when I bring attention to the sensations?

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Reframing

It’s easy to view fear and intense emotions or pain as a problem, and get caught up in fear, beliefs and resistance.

But what if I instead view it as an opportunity, a gateway into what I really want?

What if opening to the fear and pain is opening to what I really want?

What have I found in the past?

When I have opened to fear and pain, what did I find?

Did what I fear would happen really happen?

Or did something else happen?

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It’s not personal

Where do I find similar dynamics of fear, beliefs and emotions as I experience here?

Do I remember seeing them in my family? In my culture? Are they universally human?

When fear, beliefs and reactive emotions surface, it can feel very personal. Is it really?

I may find that these beliefs and patterns come from family, culture, thousands of generations, from humanity itself.

It’s not personal. It just happens to be experienced here, and it may feel personal when I believe it is.

Remembering and noticing that it’s not can help me meet and open my heart to the experience.

In a quite real sense, these dynamics of fear, beliefs and emotions are here now with an invitation to be seen, felt, loved.

So many have rejected them and tried to chase them away, and they now have an opportunity to find release here.

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Emotions don’t reflect reality.

Emotions may reflect a belief, but not reality.

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It will pass

Has this happened before, and then passed?

When I remind myself that this too will pass, it’s easier for me to meet/welcome the fear and the experience.

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Body Oriented

What happens over time when tension and trauma gradually releases out of the body?

Stored tension and trauma in the body makes it easier to get caught up in fear, beliefs and resistance to experience.

When this is gradually released out of the body – through yoga, Breema, tai chi, cho gong, neurogenic tremors/TRE etc. – the tendency to get caught up in fears, beliefs and resistance softens.

There is more availability to meet experience, notice I am the field of experience, see and feel it’s all already God’s will, inquire into beliefs.

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Trust in safety valves

Is it true it’s not OK to sometimes escape?

Is it true safety valves are not OK?

I see it’s OK to use these safety valves. It’s OK to intentionally distract myself, because what I try to escape from is still here. I’ll still have an opportunity to meet and embrace it. Knowing I have safety valves and that it’s OK to use them, it’s easier to take time to intentionally meet and welcome experience.

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Is it true I don’t already know this?

Is it true I don’t already know this?

How is it to acknowledge this?

How is it to live from this?

Perhaps most important is honesty with myself.

I already know I can’t escape experience. I already know it’s easier to meet and welcome it, and notice I already am the field of experience.

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Eventually, more painful to resist than meet the experience

Is it true it’s more painful to meet than trying to escape experience?

I notice an important shift that seems to happen over time here.

Initially, it’s more painful to meet experience than try to escape it, simply because of my own beliefs and fears around meeting experience.

And eventually, it’s more painful to try to escape experience than meet it. As this shift happens, there is an experience of increased capacity to meet and allow experience.

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Stepping stones

Many of these examples include stepping stones.

It may be easier to first meet and welcome experience, and from there – notice I already am the field of experience.

I already am capacity for whatever happens.

Similarly, it may be easier to first give it all over to the divine, and then notice it’s all already God’s will – including the struggle, the sense of an “I” doing it etc.

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Note:

When I rewrote this post, I rephrased most of it as questions and inquiry.

That’s what it is anyway – any pointer is a question – so it feels better to do it that way.

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Additional questions

Do I need to contain it?

Does it need to change?

How is it to say YES to this?

Each of these may be helpful when it get’s intense.

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  • building capacity
    • familiarity, trust
    • inquiry
      • the dynamic of trying to escape, inherently painful
      • underlying beliefs
      • the “I” doing it all – trying to escape, meet, struggle etc.
    • prayer, giving it over to the divine
    • visualizing allowing it, sinking into it
    • attention to breath/heart, allowing feelings to flow through
    • safety valves
    • at some point, more painful to resist than allow
    • stepping stones

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– initial aw. – easy, inevitable, like pull of gravity
– dark night – “lost it”, “lost” the capacity, have had to rebuild
………………
………………

  • building capacity
    • for meeting, allowing experience, notice i already am the field of experience
    • facets
      • familiarity, trust – see it’s ok through experience
      • insight
        • see/feel the discomfort inherent in trying to escape, see/feel the futility in it
          • what try to escape is still there in the background, will surface again
          • trying to escape is based on a belief that the experience is bad/wrong, life is bad/wrong – which is inherently uncomfortable
        • notice what i fear may happen doesn’t, or is OK (“I” will be gone)
        • …..
      • simple inquiry – there and then
        • is it true this experience is not ok?
        • is it true something terrible will happen if i meet/welcome it?
        • is it true fear is not ok?
      • give it all over to the divine (the experience, resistance etc.), see it’s already god’s will
      • inquire into underlying beliefs – especially about the experience, what may happen if meet it etc. – what the fear/resistance says
      • attention to breath/heart, allow to flow through + write down the beliefs behind it, what the fear/resistance says and inquire into
      • safety valves – see it’s ok, and also that it is a safety valve, temporary release – any form of distraction
      • at some point, more painful to resist than not resist (as long as more painful to not resist – b/c of fears/beliefs of what may happen – then still caught up in resistance)
    • two sides: (a) already am the field of awareness/experience, already am/have capacity for it, (b) building capacity, ability/habit to meet + notice already am
  • …..

– is it true I can control this?
– is it true I need to contain it?

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draft…..

How do I build capacity for meeting and allowing experience, and then notice I already am the field of experience?

Through familiarity with meeting experience, there is trust. I get to see it’s OK to meet and embrace experience.

Through insight, I see and feel the inherent discomfort in trying to escape experience. I get familiar with the futility in it. What I try to escape is still here in the background and surfaces again. And trying to escape experience is based on a belief that the experience is bad or wrong, which is inherently uncomfortable.

Through simple questions, there is a shift. Is it true this experience is not OK? Is it true something terrible will happen if I meet or welcome it? Is it true fear is not OK? Is it true resistance is not OK? What happens when I meet and allow experience?

As I give it all over to the divine, and notice it’s all already God’s will (including the shifts between getting caught up in resistance and meeting experience), there is a familiarity with what happens when I do. I find trust. I see it’s OK. I see I fear that this human self won’t function, and that it still does even after giving it all over.

As I inquire into underlying beliefs, I get to see what happens when I get caught up in them and also what’s more true. What’s behind the fear and resistance? What does the fear/resistance say? For instance: If I allow experience, I’ll die. I can’t take it. It’s too much. I’ll explode. I won’t be able to function.

As I explore the “I” trying to do all of this, I get to see that this “I” is a figment of imagination. It’s quite literally an image. It’s part of the field of awareness, part of the play of awareness as appearances. All of this – the impulse to escape, the desire to meet experience, the struggle and drama, the turmoil – it’s all happening within and as awareness. It’s all the play of awareness as appearances.

As I bring attention to the breath/heart and allow feelings to flow through, I see it’s OK. It’s changing all the time. And anchoring attention in sensations and the heart makes it easier.

As I use safety valves, I see it’s OK to use these safety valves. It’s OK to intentionally distract myself, because what I try to escape from is still here. I’ll still have an opportunity to meet and embrace it. Knowing I have safety valves and that it’s OK to use them, it’s easier to take time to intentionally meet and welcome experience.

Perhaps most important is honesty with myself. I already know I can’t escape experience. I already know it’s easier to meet and welcome it, and notice I already am the field of experience. How is it to acknowledge this? How is it to live from this?

Finally, there is an important shift that happens over time in this process. Initially, it’s more painful to meet experience than try to escape it, simply because of my own beliefs and fears around meeting experience. And eventually, it’s more painful to try to escape experience than meet it. As this shift happens, there is an experience of increased capacity to meet and allow experience.

Many of these examples include stepping stones. It may be easier to first meet and welcome experience, and from there – notice I already am the field of experience. I already am capacity for whatever happens. Similarly, it may be easier to first give it all over to the divine, and then notice it’s all already God’s will – including the struggle, the sense of an “I” doing it etc.

…………….

It’s not personal

Where do I find similar dynamics of fear, beliefs and emotions as I experience here?

Do I remember seeing them in my family? In my culture? Are they universally human?

When fear, beliefs and reactive emotions surface, it can feel very personal. Is it really?

I may find that these beliefs and patterns come from family, culture, thousands of generations, from humanity itself.

It’s not personal. It just happens to be experienced here, and it may feel personal when I believe it is.

Remembering and noticing that it’s not can help me meet and open my heart to the experience.

In a quite real sense, these dynamics of fear, beliefs and emotions are here now with an invitation to be seen, felt, loved.

So many have rejected them and tried to chase them away, and they now have an opportunity to find release here.

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