What the different approaches do

 

Some things I notice about some of the approaches I am familiar with:

Tension and Trauma Release (TRE). What it does. TRE does something very simple. It releases tension from the body, through neurogenic tremors. This, in turn, helps release contractions and the “fuel” for anxiety, depression, frozenness, reactivity, anger, cravings, addictions, and more. We also learn to trust the innate wisdom of the body, since the release is guided by the nervous system and the body. (And we see that it works, and the intelligence behind it.) What it doesn’t do. It doesn’t address what creates this tension in the first place. It doesn’t address how we perceive the world. (Only indirectly does it address this, since a more relaxed body invites the mind to follow.)

Natural Rest. Natural rest is resting with what’s here, as it is. Notice. Allow. Notice it’s already allowed. This brings us more consciously in line with how it already is. Mind (awareness, life) already allows what’s here, as it is. It invites a shift from thinking to noticing. And a shift from identifying with (and being caught by) thought, to identifying with what experience happens within and as. (The ground, or even “ground of being”.) Natural rest is also a form of love.

Living Inquiries. Living Inquiries helps us see how the mind creates its own experience. It helps us see how sensations seem connected to images and words, creating charge and a sense of solidity and reality to the conglomerate of sensations, images and words. That’s how identification is created, and also a sense of threat, or a deficient self, or compulsions. Through the Living Inquiries, we get to see images as images, words as words, and feel sensations as sensations, and the charge softens or falls away.

Stable attention. Training a more stable attention benefits everything else on this list, and just about anything in our lives. Most simply, we can train a more stable attention by bringing attention to the breath – for instance stomach and/or chest, or the nose, or the tip of the nose. Here, we also get to see how attention is easily drawn to stories we hold as true, and the grace that allows us to notice and bring attention back to the object, for instance the breath.

Love. Meeting what’s here with love is a very significant shift for most of us. We are trained to want some experiences to go away, so we try to push them away, reject them, ignore them, distract ourselves from them. We struggle with and bully some of our own experiences. We are doing this towards ourselves. And that creates a sense of split, discomfort, and unease. (Which in turn may fuel this struggle.) When we instead do the opposite and meet what’s here with love – including the struggle itself, we may notice that a large part of the discomfort was in the struggle.

This is similar to natural rest, although with a slightly different emphasis or flavor. It may also make inquiry and stable attention easier. Most importantly, it’s a shift out of the inner division and into – most consistently – meeting any experience with love, and sensation, any image, any word. And when we don’t, when it’s too difficult, it’s an invitation to instead try something else, for instance meeting the resistance with love, or even shift into natural rest, or inquiry, or take a break and come back to it later.

Meeting what’s here with love is befriending ourselves. It’s befriending our experience, as it is here and now, which is what we are. (Can I find myself outside of this field of experience, as it is here and now?) It’s aligning more consciously with what we already are.

As a support in meeting what’s here with love, we can explore ho’oponopono, tonglen, loving kindness, holding Satsang with what’s here, or any number of other heart-centered practices.

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