As a facilitator, tricks can sometimes be helpful to help people really see that something is not a threat or is not who they are. But tricks also can become too heady or even have the effect of continuing to try and change experience instead of letting everything be as it is. To see why letting everything be as it is, is important in this work, you have to look at the nature of seeking and suffering. Having spent years now working with people online and now at the center, one fundamental thing that almost every client has in common is the desire to change how they think and feel.
But look at what trying to change entails. It entails a sense of self behind it all that is deciding that what is happening is not right. It entails a kind of violence against what we are feeling in the body. Mostly, when I meet spiritual seekers, what they are trying to do is get rid of something bad in favor of something better. This constant seeking to change experience can go on forever. Many seekers have been at it for 20 to 30 years.
When we guide people in facilitations to be with whatever is, without trying to change or move or get rid of anything, we are showing them how to innately accept and surrender to their experience completely. We are helping them end the game of seeking. We are also putting to rest the deficiency stories that say “there is something wrong with me and my experience.” We are also no longer contributing to their addictions, which are all about changing how one feels constantly. Even with anxiety we are helping them by showing them how to be with what is exactly as it is.
Most of the people that I have worked with around anxiety carry a resistance to the anxiety itself. Whatever we resist, persists. So the anxiety stays around precisely because they are trying to control and change it. They are resisting. Adding in any tricks during inquiry which teach the client to resist, change, be against or get rid of what they are experiencing is helping them continue to suffer. Please be mindful of this when using tricks. Use them sparingly, only when really needed.
Mostly, find in your own experience the sweetness of allowing everything to be and not using inquiry to try and change everything that arises. Notice that in every moment something new is arising. You’d be at it for years. Then, when you see the acceptance happening in your own experience and how deeply that changes the whole game for you, it will be obvious when you are working with clients that anything other than complete allowance is violent and ultimately not helpful to them in the long run.
– Scott Kiloby
It’s very simple, and yet something that can take time to explore and sink into.
We are our field of experience, so any resistance comes from a mistaken identity. It comes from temporarily, and mistakenly, taking ourselves to be one part of this field of experience and then perceiving the rest of the field as “other”. There is identification with a certain identity, and with an I that’s separate from Other.
The resolution, and the “way home”, is to shift into allowing the whole field of experience as it is. That shows us how deeply satisfying it feels to come home in this way, it shows us that nothing terrible happened, and it gives us a glimpse of what we already and really are…. our whole field of experience as it is here and now.
For me, here and now, it is…. a body sitting here by the computer, slight nausea, music, the computer, a table, a bed, a window, apple trees outside the window, cold feet, salt taste in the mouth, a slight headache, and more. That’s all part of the field of experience, when given labels by thought, and it’s all what “I” am now. To take myself as part of this field, and the rest of the field as “other” is an innocent and mistaken identity, and it can be remedied.
It’s not that hard to glimpse what I really am, to revisit it, to gradually become more familiar with it, and for the “center of gravity” to gradually shift more and more into what I already am. There is nothing mysterious about it. It’s very simple. It’s what any baby knows. (Without knowing it.) And it’s what we can rediscover with the added benefit of the experience and maturity of our adult human self.
P.S. From this perspective, all the intricacies of the different spiritual and religious traditions may seem “extra”. Some of it may be helpful stepping stones and pointers. And much of it is about something else, and often about fantasies, entertainment and attempts to escape.