This is a post with brief notes on healing, awakening, and personal things. These are more spontaneous and less comprehensive than the regular articles, some may be a little rant-ish, and some of them may be made into a regular article in time.
I noticed that more and more of these snuck themselves into the reflections on society posts so I decided to move them here. That’s why most of these have an older date than the main post.
Divine energy healing as a form of prayer
Depending on who I talk to, I will sometimes call divine energy healing – whether it’s a more free form or something more structured like Vortex Healing – a form of prayer.
In what way is it similar to or a form of prayer? In some forms of prayer, we have an intention, give it over to the divine, and it’s the divine that does the work. And that’s also how it is in divine energy healing.
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When Genpo Roshi developed the Big Mind process – by adding “transcendent” voices to traditional Voice Dialog and finding questions to help people into those voices – some of his long-term Zen students were not happy about it.
People new to Zen or anything spiritual would get into Big Mind within a matter of minutes, speak as Zen masters, and resolve (some) koans very easily. Koans that these older Zen students may have wrestled with for weeks or months or even years.
In short, they were miffed that new students would have realizations and insights they had spent years working towards and perhaps never even had so clearly.
So instead of saying “I feel hurt because I spent so much time and energy on this, and this new approach allows new students to get there almost immediately”, they said “this new method sucks”.
The main criticism I heard was that it didn’t give people “real” awakening. In some ways, that’s true. But it does give people a taste of it and the realizations people have through the Big Mind process are real. They are real realizations and insights into their true nature and the true nature of everything.
Genpo Roshi was very clear that that’s exactly what this process does. It gives people a taste.
It gives people a taste of awakening. It gives them a direction. It helps people understand the teachings and pointers better. It helps us better understand what the traditional practices are about. And it helps us explore how to live from within awakening.
April 28, 2002
It’s not uncommon for people in an awakening process to experience periods where an unusual amount of electronics around them become fried. I went through a period like that in my early twenties, when I had just moved to Salt Lake City to study.
If I were to guess what’s going on, I would say it’s partly because of higher levels of energies running through the system from the awakening process. Perhaps sometimes combined with increased stress levels. That fits my experience – being in an awakening process combined with the stress of having moved half across the world to study – and it seems to fit what others have shared with me.
What can we do about it? I assume grounding and de-stressing in general is helpful. With Vortex Healing, there is also a lot we can do with energetic structures put into the electronics and balancing and harmonizing the energy system of the person.
April 27, 2020
I thought I would give a snapshot of what’s going on with me now since it highlights a few things.
There is a stronger-than-usual sense of divine space and light in my system these days, and my system as that. When I do energy healing / divine healing, it feels more powerful and with more light, energy, infinite space, consciousness, and intelligence.
At the same time, old emotional issues come up – sometimes apparently because I am working on them and sometimes on their own. There is a deep sense of gratitude for life and the gifts in my life. (And it’s all gifts whether I like something or not.) And my physical body is fatigued and has a range of symptoms (brain fog, numbness in the arms and legs, etc.) related to CFS.
All of this is happening simultaneously. Nothing excludes the other. This is how life is – a crazy mix of all sorts of things at the same time and in succession. And it’s also how it is in an awakening process, and perhaps even more so!
Sanity vs parts caught up in an issue
Right now, I am exploring an emotional issue I have been aware of but not examined before. I haven’t really had to until now, in a new life situation. (The trigger is a certain behavior some people engage in. In the past, I have avoided being exposed to it but now I am a little more so it’s time to address the issue.)
It’s interesting to experience a relatively strong emotional reaction to something and seeing all the reasons my mind comes up with to support it, while I notice and am aware that this is an emotional issue.
A part of me is caught up in the emotional issue and the insanity that’s part of any emotional issue. And a part of me is sane, observes, and is fascinated and curious about it.
When we use absolutist words – like always, never, everyone, no-one, constantly – we are mostly out of alignment with reality. It’s fueled by emotions. And it’s stressful. It reflects and reinforces anxiety, victimhood, compulsions, and more.
April 26, 2020
Sensing without knowing in advance
In an online community for Vortex healers, people post photos or videos of things they have put something energetic into. Sometimes, they even post before and after photos. And people can sense into it.
Almost always (I haven’t seen an exception yet), they will say which is before and after, and what they put into it. And that’s – of course – what people sense.
To me, it would be far more interesting to post without giving any of that information and then see what people sense. It would give people an opportunity to sense without preconceived ideas. And it would also give us an idea of how good people’s sensing is in general.
April 20, 2020
A more personal way of doing healing
During the initial awakening in my teens, I discovered “I” could invite in healing – at a distance. I could also sense what was going on for others, and what was needed for a shift and healing. (Mostly in images and often visual metaphors.) It worked well and sometimes even seemed to have miraculous results.
After starting with Vortex Healing, I became focused on following the protocols and using the VH tools as prescribed.
And now, I am finding back to a more natural and organic way of doing the healing. A way that’s more similar to how I did it initially but with the added support and tools of Vortex Healing and with the increased capacity of my system from taking VH classes.
A while back, I heard someone (CGP Grey on HI) say he had tried mindfulness but didn’t get much out of it, partly because it was all “obvious”. As an example, he mentioned that the mindfulness teacher pointed out that “we are not our thoughts” and CGP Grey thought that was obvious.
At a conscious level, it’s of course obvious. He may think he is a human being and not his thoughts. The thoughts happen as part of him, just like emotions or sensations.
And yet, somewhere in us, we do often take ourselves to be our thoughts. As soon as we – at any level – hold a thought as true, we identify with the viewpoint of the thought, and we – in our own experience – become the thought.
It seems that CGP Grey didn’t discover that. Perhaps he didn’t do the mindfulness practice long enough. Or he didn’t have the right tools or pointers to discover it. (Many can have a taste of it within minutes using, for instance, Living Inquiries.) Or, equally likely, he told himself it was obvious so he didn’t investigate with sincerity.
Intention to clear completely
Whenever I work on an issue – in myself or a client – and whatever approach I use, my intention is for it to clear completely. It’s not a pushing or forceful intention. It’s just an intention that gives direction and signals to the mind – or the divine – that I wish the process to go all the way through.
If this intention is not there, then the process is more likely to flounder and get sidetracked. And when this intention is present and clear, then it’s more likely to go in that direction, move towards clearing completely, and eventually do just that.
Perhaps this seems obvious. But sometimes we forget what’s obvious, or it’s not obvious to us yet.
April 17, 2020
Sane or not?
When we are into things that’s outside of the mainstream, and things that cannot so easily or quickly be verified by others, a question may come up. Is this sane? Am I sane?
How do we determine what’s sane? Obviously, just because something is outside of the mainstream doesn’t make it not sane. (And some things within the mainstream can be seen as not really sane. For instance, religious fundamentalism. the way we treat non-human beings, creating and upholding systems that are not ecologically sound, and so on.)
For me, it has to do with how we relate to ourselves, the world, and whatever we are into. Do we relate to it with grounded sanity? Or are we a bit crazy?
For me, the following things are signs that my relationship to it – whatever it is – is more sane. The main thing is perhaps to hold my ideas about it lightly.
And also…. being intellectually honest and have some intellectual humility. Know what’s my own experience and don’t try to generalize (too much) from it. Not feeling I need to defend it. Use a relatively simple and grounded language. Not giving away my authority to others. Know that my advice is for myself and not (primarily) for others. Being aware of how it and I may look for others and have some peace with it. And, as mentioned above, hold any assumptions about it lightly.
I can be fully engaged while holding my assumptions about it lightly.
Solutions and problems
All solutions come with their own problems. And that doesn’t mean we need to reject a solution if it still makes sense to us.
Many of these problems are ones we didn’t anticipate, and that’s part of life. We learn as we go along.
A child’s wisdom
Children can be very insightful and wise. Often, this reflects their parent’s wisdom. And it may also reflect the innate wisdom of all of us regardless of age.
Our three-year-old said tonight that the problem with Donald Trump is that he doesn’t realize that he is actually connected to everyone in the world.– from ML, a social-media friend of mine
When we have a reasonable amount of energy and health, many activities take energy without us noticing. It’s only when our energy levels go down that we notice. After getting stronger CFS some years ago, I have been very aware of this.
For instance, it takes a surprising amount of energy to process the storyline of movies and also emotional responses to movies. And it takes a surprising amount of energy to read physically compared to listening to audiobooks. It also takes energy to relate to any form of noise.
April 9, 2020
Human longing & spiritual longing
I read a lot of autobiographies and biographies of people on the awakening path in my teens and twenties, and I discovered a possible pattern. Many of them had lost their mother at a young age, and it seemed that the longing for a mother’s love became a quest for divine love and awakening.
I assume we don’t need to physically lose our mother. Sometimes, it may just be a longing for a mother’s love even if she is or was physically present.
This pattern is obviously not always the case. For instance, Adyashanti says he grew up with loving parents. But it may be a pattern that happens more than average.
Avoiding boredom or discomfort?
A current BBC article says we’ll do anything to avoid boredom. I am not sure if that’s exactly true. I think we’ll do almost anything to avoid discomfort. And boredom – silence, lack of activities – puts us face to face with our own discomfort.
Is there a God?
For me, the question doesn’t really make sense since reality – as it is, however it is – is God. It’s not something to believe in but to explore.
Also, from a conventional point of view….
God has to be bigger than what can be captured by religions or any one religion. It doesn’t make sense that any one religion has the final truth or a monopoly on truth.
God is obviously beyond gender, although has what we can all feminine and masculine qualities. To say she, he, or it are all equally valid – or invalid.
We create God in our own image. All our ideas about God are projections – created by our thoughts, reflecting the qualities and characteristics of our culture and ourselves as individuals.
I belonged to a spiritual group (CSS) some years ago. When I initially joined, I was not allowed to join their retreats because they wanted me to do the year-long beginning course first. That’s understandable, but I was a little surprised since I had done many longish (weeklong, monthlong) retreats for fifteen years before coming there, and I was familiar with just about everything in their intro course. It seems they had a fixed system that didn’t allow for flexibility and adapting the approach to the individual.
Similarly, when I initially spoke with the main teacher, I mentioned something about how I experience the world. He asked me questions clearly aimed at detecting the signs of the initial side-effects of an awakening. Since the awakening had happened a long time before, these side effects had gone away. His questions seemed generic and not adapted to the situation.
In both cases, their approach seemed based on assumptions that are understandable but not always appropriate. And they showed a lack of flexibility to adapt to the situation.
This is just a reminder that we are all human. There is no point to expect perfection of anyone, whatever our idea of perfection is, including spiritual teachers and organizations.
Personally, it was useful as well since it did trigger my old emotional issue(s) around not feeling seen and understood.
Clarifying goals and strategies
On the topic of the spiritual group in Oregon, I am reminded of the importance of clarifying goals and strategies. Many who explicitly seek awakening actually want something else. They want a sense of relief, comfort, coming home, self-compassion, and so on. And there are more direct and faster ways to find it than single-mindedly seeking awakening. Especially self-compassion and heart-centered practices can be effective here, along with regular therapy and working on emotional issues.
The experience of working on emotional issues with Vortex Healing
I worked on a core childhood issue earlier today using a tool from Vortex Healing (Vortex Therapy). At some point, strong emotions and physical discomfort surfaced, and these went away after one or two hours. After, I noticed that the issue seems less dense and heavy, and I see it more as an object than something I am. In other words, a good deal of the identification with it had released.
All three of those seems quite typical. The issue comes more to the surface for a little while, although not always. It feels less dense, solid, and heavy. And it feels more like an object I can notice from the “outside” rather than something I “am” and live from the “inside”.
Vortex Healing ideas
Vortex Healing can be used for a lot more than healing physical or emotional issues, or support awakening. Although I haven’t heard of people using it in this way, it can most certainly be used to support athletes, businesses, business meetings, and supporting the growth and health of plants on a large scale.
April 8, 2020
A center for people going through a spiritual crisis?
Ever since the awakening in my teens and the following years of intensity, I have had a dream of starting a center for people going through different forms of spiritual crisis.
As far as I know, there are not many center or communities focusing on this.
A lot of spiritual teachers and organizations don’t know how to handle it. They don’t have the experience, the training, or the understanding to help others through it.
It’s clearly needed. Many people around the world is going through some form of spiritual crisis and many don’t have the support needed.
How would it work?
I imagine a kind of community where people stay for different lengths of time, from days to weeks and perhaps months. In most cases, it takes time to get through a spiritual crisis but it can also help a lot to be in a place – even for a relatively short time – where people understand what you are going through and you find kinship and support.
The understanding will be the most important. That’s what helped me the most when I went through my most intense spiritual crisis / dark night. Nothing has gone wrong. It’s part of the awakening process. There are people who have gone through it and came out on the other side. And there are people who understand.
Some pointers can also be very helpful. For instance, set labels and thoughts aside for a while and focus on the sensations in the body and rest with them. Explore ways to be more kind with yourself and what comes up. Spend time in nature and with animals. Support your health.
We can also address more directly what comes up. We can help people reorient towards what’s happening (befriending, reframing, understanding). And when old or primal emotional issues surface, we can address them.
Other approaches, like Vortex Healing, can also help a lot in calming and repairing the system, help us relate to what’s going on, and resolve old issues surfacing.
Where would it be?
In my mind, I have seen a physical center and community. (Perhaps in a small village in northern Italy or Spain).
More realistically, it would be online with a lot of different types of interactions. That would cut the cost down and we could still gather occasionally physically.
What is a spiritual crisis?
The broad definition is a crisis that happens as part of an awakening process.
It can take many forms. It may be disorientation or a feeling of going crazy. It may be dealing with strong energies running through the body. It may be a feeling of having “lost” the awakening or connection with the divine. It may be a lot of unprocessed emotional materials surfacing to be seen, felt, loved, and healed.
Whatever it is, it’s often something that feels strong, overwhelming, scary, and disorienting, and many – or most – won’t and can’t understand what we are going through.
March 28, 2020
Something – I don’t remember exactly what – reminded me of the endless causes. Anything in me – including insights, confusion, reactivity, awakening – has endless causes. Causes that go back to beginning of time (if there was on) and to the widest extent of space. We can always find one more cause, and one more. And any chain of causes we can find is a tiny drop in the vast ocean. What does that leave for “me” to take credit for? What does that leave to call a separate me or self? I am more like a swirl in a river than anything separate or solid.
How do we relate to fear? Do we see fear as a problem and enemy and try to push it away or ignore it? Do we react to fear in a fearful way and act on that reactivity? Do we believe what fear tells us and stop ourselves from doing what our guidance or heart tells us to do? Do we acknowledge the fear and follow our guidance anyway? Do we listen to the fear and include its grains of wisdom in the bigger picture?
Fear is amazing. It’s here to protect us. It comes from love. It has something to tell us and it’s worth listening to. We can take the grains of wisdom that are there, include it in the bigger picture, and act on the information we have and what seems the most kind response in the situation. We can listen to our heart and guidance, and make the best choice we can in the situation.
We can even come to love fear. We see it comes from love. We see it as an advisor with some grains of wisdom. We can include these grains in the bigger picture when we make choices.
Love in the time of Corona
My partner and I are temporarily separated because of the various pandemic lock-downs. And it’s a wonderful opportunity to look at what comes up, and also do a deep dive in any issues that may be there but hasn’t surfaced yet. What types of issues may come up when you are separated from your partner (or child, family, friends)? Some examples are abandonment, loneliness, co-dependency, and feeling unloved or unlovable.
March 26, 2020
I met my old tai chi / chi gong teacher (PH) again a few years back, after not seeing her for a couple of decades. I am very grateful to her and love her, but was also struck by how stiff she seemed. It was as if she had swallowed a ruler and felt she needed to be intensely aware of every little movement she made.
It seemed to be the contrary of what tai chi – in my limited understanding – is about. For me, it’s about fluidity and freeing us up. Not making us into stiff robots. Of course, I don’t really know what’s going on with her.
One guess is that she has been using tai chi as an ideology and refuge from discomfort, and although I am sure it has helped her a lot, it may also have become a kind of prison for her. Anything can become a prison if we make it into a ideology and a place to take refuge from discomfort.
March 21, 2020
It’s of course easy to focus on what we don’t have. So the remedy is to do the reverse. To count our blessings. To find the genuine upsides in what we want and don’t have, and what we don’t want and have. To be brutally honest with our thoughts. (Inquiry is a good way to reverse our thinking and find what’s genuinely true for us.)
My mind goes into complaints sometimes – especially around loss and my health. And yet, I see that in reality, my life is full of blessings. I have most of the things that’s most important to me. (Shelter, food, warmth, friends, family, partner, living in a peaceful country, time, awakening, and so on.)
March 19, 2020
A part of me want to feel not only that my life has a purpose, but a specific purpose of actively helping and supporting life. And not only supporting life, but doing it by working with sustainability, culture change, awakening, healing, and so on. (Of course, I have done all of that, to some extent.) These days, I am unable to do much of it because of my health.
Sometimes, I fight with my situation and desperately want it to be different.
Other times, I am reminded that any ideas I have about how my life should be are ideas. They are conditioned by my culture. They don’t hold any absolute or final truth. They don’t reflect anything inherent in life itself.
If a tree has purpose, it’s fulfilled by it just being a tree. Perhaps it’s the same for us. Perhaps we don’t need to run around and do a lot in order to fulfill our purpose. Perhaps our purpose is in exactly what’s happening right now, no matter what it is. And no matter whether it conforms to our ideas or not.
And perhaps my purpose, right now, is to question my ideas about purpose. The ideas passed on to me through generations and through culture and family.
Masculine and feminine approaches to spirituality
Any ideas of what’s masculine and feminine are ideas, not inherent in anything. But if we take those ideas and apply them to spirituality, it may illuminate a few things.
What can we see as masculine approaches to spirituality? I would say…. Authority and following authority. Pushing through. Effort. Goal orientation. Transcendence.
And feminine approaches to spirituality? A more egalitarian structure. Honoring the wisdom inherent in each person. Noticing and allowing what is. Following own guidance. Including and honoring the body and Earth. Embodying. Nurturing.
One is not inherently better than the other. But we have lived with the more masculine orientation since – most likely – the beginning of civilization. So it’s perhaps time to include the more feminine approach and find more balance.
How I talk about CFS
I someone asks me how it is to have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), I usually say it’s like having a strong flu without the fever and runny nose. All the other symptoms fit relatively well.
It’s difficult to get out of bed. Any activity can create a worsening. It’s difficult to concentrate including on reading or watching a movie. The body has an “illness” feel. All you want to do is rest. (Although you may want, in theory, to do a lot of other things.)
I like describing it this way because it’s simple, relatively accurate, and it’s relatable since most people know how it is to have a bad flu.
The shift that comes when we have tools
When we have tools for dealing with emotions and whatever else comes up for us, a lot changes. From being at the mercy of what comes up, we can relate to it more intentionally.
If the tool has to do with how we relate to what’s coming up, then this also shifts how we relate to others and the world. Hopefully, we’ll find a kinder way to be with ourselves, which changes how we relate to others and the world in general.
If the tools has to do with exploring and inviting healing for what comes up in us, then anything that triggers something in us is an opportunity to explore and find healing for it. Life shows us what to explore next. Life supports us in finding healing for more and more parts of ourselves.
Timeless and eternal
I once heard a spiritual teacher talk about Spirit (Big Mind, God etc.) as the eternal. For me, it makes more sense to talk about the timeless.
The eternal indicates something that happens in time and for an infinitely long time. The timeless is outside of time, and it’s what time happens within and as. (And it’s what we are.)
How to live with uncertainty
How do we live with uncertainty? And these days, perhaps especially about the future?
One of my tools is so simple that I don’t think I have mentioned it before: Notice thoughts I have about the future. Check them for certainty. And if there is a hint of certainty there, I remind myself that I don’t know and I cannot know. And I shift and lean into that uncertainty.
I also notice that the uncertainty is not inherently uncomfortable. It’s very familiar. I have never known anything else. It allows the future to be open in my mind.
Another is to notice that my ideas about future, past, and present are ideas. I cannot find future, past, and present any other place. It all happens within my own world of ideas.
Yet another is to notice any fears about the future. Rest and notice the physical sensations. And give myself comfort as I would comfort a child: It’s OK. We’ll deal with it when it comes. The future is always uncertain. We are familiar with it. This uncertainty has always been and is our home. I love you. I am with you. It’s OK.
When I want to go deeper, I notice what in me wants certainty about the future (or anything), and explore it. For instance, I identify stressful thoughts about the future and take them to The Work of Byron Katie. Or I explore fears about the future, identities that fear brings up in me, or compulsions the fear brings up, and explore this through the Living Inquiries.
Featured photo: Paul Gilmore from Unsplash