This is one in a series of posts 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 rantish. And some may be made into a regular article in time.
AWAKENING MAKES (OUR OWN) SEPARATION CONSCIOUSNESS MORE PAINFUL
Separation consciousness is inherently painful.
And when there is some awakening in our system, it becomes even more painful. The gap and contrast seems to bring the pain up and make us more acutely aware of it.
Why do many struggle during parts of the awakening process? One reason is that what’s left of the separation consciousness comes up, and that we feel the pain of it more acutely.
In our western culture, we often have the idea that there is nature and us, and animals and us. We see ourselves apart from nature.
The obvious reality is that we are nature. Everything we are – as individuals and collectively – is a product of the evolution of this universe and this planet. It’s all, including our cities and civilization, emerging from the universe and this planet. As Carl Sagan said, we are the local eyes, ears, thoughts, and feelings of the universe. We are the universe locally bringing itself into consciousness.
Why is this important? Seeing ourselves as separate from nature allows for mindless destruction of nature, and it also alienates us from the parts of us we see as more nature – our body, feelings, instincts, sensuality, sexuality, and so on.
To the extent we see ourselves as nature, feel ourselves as nature, and live as part of nature, we are more likely to care for the Earth, future generations, and embrace and find comfort with the more primal parts of ourselves. It also opens for a deep sense of belonging – to all life, to this Earth, to the Universe, to Existence as a whole.
There is nothing new here. Many have pointed this out for a long time. And there is perhaps some general social movement in this direction, but it’s a good reminder.
Click READ MORE for more of these brief(er) posts.
Why are we drawn to drama?
Drama is created when we believe a thought. Or, more accurately, when we believe a set of thoughts that together create drama.
And beliefs are created when the mind associates a thought with sensations. The sensations makes the thought seem solid, real, and true, and the thought gives a sense of meaning to the sensations. Together, they create a belief.
Our mind is drawn into its own beliefs. They seem real. They seem to tell us something important. And they create drama.
In a sense, we are not really drawn to drama itself. We are drawn to thoughts that seem real because they then seem important. And that dynamic creates drama.
There is also more to it. Drama serves as a distraction from feeling sensations we don’t want to feel, and, more importantly, a distraction from being reminded of the stressful beliefs connected with them. Drama can help us reinforce familiar and apparently comforting identities. Drama can temporarily pull us out of a numb and/or (apparently) boring life.
I AM NOT NEEDED!
When I had to reduce my involvement in sustainability and community work for health reasons, one of the things I had to face in myself was the idea that I was needed.
It seems obvious now, in hindsight. It’s clear that I am not needed. And that’s a very good thing! There are others doing what I wanted to do or perhaps would have done. There are new generations of passionate, intelligent, and loving people.
Even if there wasn’t, I still wouldn’t be needed. The world goes on without me.
There is a beauty in that none of us are needed.
THE MOTIVATION BEHIND SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
It seems clear that the surface motivation behind spiritual practice and wanting to awaken often is avoidance. We want to avoid our discomfort.
Depending on our approach, we seek to transcend this discomfort, wish for it to go away through an imagined future awakening, pretend it’s not there or doesn’t impact us through nondual ideology, make it go away through healing it, make it easier for us through befriending it, and so on.
This is natural and understandable and there is nothing inherently wrong with it. But it is good to be honest about it. This honesty can help guide our approach.
How can we explore this?
One approach is, perhaps ironically, the most basic of all forms of meditation. Notice what’s here. Allow it. And notice it’s already allowed, whatever it is. (Basic meditation, Natural Rest.)
Feel the sensations as they are. Notice and allow.
Another is to examine the scary thoughts associated with these sensations. (Living Inquiries, The Work of Byron Katie.)
Another variation is to befriend what’s here. The discomfort. The subpersonalities. Get to know them. Listen to what they want us to know. Find some understanding for them. Respect. Perhaps even love for them, as they are.
And we can also use heart-centered practices towards the discomfort in ourselves and what triggers it in the world. (Ho’oponopno, tonglen, metta etc.)
What happens when we explore our discomfort?
We may find more comfort with it, as it is. It may take away some of the drive behind our compulsions, including for spiritual awakening. And that, in turn, is very good news. We get to see if there is still a draw towards spiritual practice and/or awakening, and we can then engage in it in a more grounded way.
WHY DOES EXISTENCE APPEAR DIVINE IN AN AWAKENING?
Why does existence appear divine when we notice – or even intuit – what we are?
One answer is that we notice all happening within and as consciousness. Matter is not matter anymore as we experience it in separation consciousness. It’s far more dream-like in the sense that it’s all consciousness. It’s form without substance. It’s something happening within and as nothing.
The world, as it appears to us, happens within and as what we are – as consciousness. All is this, without exceptions.
When we notice what we are, and what we are notices itself as all, it opens for love and a particular form of wisdom. In a sense, all is not only consciousness but also wisdom and love.
So it makes sense if we want to call this – and all of existence – Spirit, God, or the divine. It’s ephemeral. It’s nothing appearing as something. It’s dreamlike. It’s consciousness. It’s love. It’s wisdom. Nothing is left out.
IS OUR PURPOSE TO HEAL?
When we are in the healing phase of the awakening, it’s easy to feel or think that our main purpose is to heal. After all, life is bringing up a lot in us to heal and it’s an essential part of the awakening and embodiment process.
It’s not necessarily wrong. It is what’s coming up, and there is an invitation there to actively engage in the healing process.
But it’s not the whole picture. The main “purpose” of life – or Spirit or existence – is to explore, express, and experience itself as it is here and now. We can consciously join in with this and enjoy what’s here, as it is.
THE CONVENTIONAL & AWAKENING
One of the nice things about awakening is that we don’t need to abandon the conventional. We may hold it lighter. We may see it in a different context. But we don’t need to abandon it wholesale.
An awakening is noticing what we are. We wake up out of the exclusive identification with this human self. The context changes. But the content doesn’t need to change. It often does, since the context changes and we hold our ideas more gently, but it doesn’t have to.
In what way may the conventional continue within an awakening?
It may continue in several different ways. We can still aim at being good stewards of our own life. Treat ourselves and others with kindness. Be engaged in whatever social issues draws us. Have preferences. Have dreams and goals. Use conventional guidelines for how to behave. And so on.
Why do some think it’s required or appropriate to abandon the conventional?
I am not sure. It may come from hearing non-dual teachings and taking it literally or as an ideology (rather than as questions and pointers for own exploration). It may come from being “stuck in the absolute” for a while, for instance through identifying with (an idea of) the nothing everything happens within and as. It may come from realizing no thought has any final or absolute truth, and so going too far in the other direction and wanting to abandon any conventional pointers.
Isn’t it appropriate to abandon some of what’s conventional?
Yes, certainly. For instance anything that directly goes against our heart and oneness. That’s why I wrote “hold it lighter”.
THE MATRIX AND OUR WORLD
[made into regular article]
HOW DO I WORK ON ISSUES THESE DAYS?
I write a lot about inquiry here, so is that the approach I mainly use these days? Not really. It was my main approach for the last 10-15 years, and I still use it in an informal way in daily life.
So what is my main approach? And why don’t I write about it more?
I don’t write about it so much because I don’t quite know how to write about it, and I also don’t know how useful it would be to others.
In short: I help the issue – as it appears in my mind – awaken and notice itself as the divine.
An issue comes up. (I recognize the usual symptoms: physical contraction, mental contraction, defensiveness, insistence, and so on.)
I notice and allow the sensations. I may use some additional things to help shift this, for instance “you are welcome here” (to the sensations), “feel it as a flavor of the divine” (to me).
I notice it’s all happening within and as space. I notice it’s all consciousness. I notice it’s all what I already am. I notice – to use more poetic words – that it’s the divine, it’s Spirit.
I invite Spirit to recognize itself as the contraction. As the ball of separation consciousness. As the ball made up of sensations (physical contractions) and the painful stories connected with it.
I stay with it for a while. I may return to it later. I often revisit it several times over a few days.
I may also find my first memory of feeling it, or the time in my life it was the strongest (almost always childhood or teens), and then be with myself as I was then, talk with me, listen to what I have to say, and help the one I was then awaken to the issue and help the issue awaken. This is subpersonality or parts work.
AWAKENING ISSUES – HOKEY OR PRAGMATIC?
When we talk about awakening our issues, it can sound woo woo but it’s in reality pragmatic.
To me, my own issues – and the world as it appears to me – happens within and as consciousness. Often, these issues live in a “separation consciousness” bubble. They operate from separation consciousness, and that’s why they are still unresolved.
So when I work on myself, I can invite in a more “awakened” view into these bubbles of separation consciousness. I can help them align more with a bigger reality, and that’s how they heal.
Is yoga support for awakening and embodiment? Or is it for stretching and feeling good?
It’s of course both. It just depends on what we want to get out of it, and the context we are practicing it in.
We can certainly use it as support for spiritual practice, awakening, and embodiment. It can help us get in a better space for meditation, inquiry, and other practices. It can also be a support – one of many – for us to notice what we are, and live from it.
And it’s completely fine to use it for relaxation, stretching, and feeling better.
OCTOBER 6, 2020
HEALING, AWAKENING, AND DISILLUSIONMENT
Disillusionment is central to both awakening and emotional healing.
When we are caught in a trance – whether it’s taking ourselves to ultimately be a separate being or an emotional issues – we are not consciously aligned with reality. We are caught up in painful stories and hold them as true.
So healing from emotional issues requires sobering up, as does awakening.
A part of us wants to hold onto the illusion. It’s familiar. It may seem safe, in a weird way. It may be supported by others around us and, sometimes, our culture. And it seems to feel good, in the moment, even if it also comes with discomfort and suffering.
It doesn’t really feel good, and seeing that is one of the keys to release. The key is to take a sober and close look at what’s actually happening when we indulge in illusions.
I find it’s much easier to redefine a concept for myself than pretending to reject it.
Perfection in a traditional sense means being and acting a certain way. If we adopt it as a should for ourselves, we’ll be in constant struggle with ourselves and we’ll struggle with presenting a certain image to others and ourselves. It’s a recipe for unhappiness.
So why not redefine perfection? For me, perfection is what is. It’s being a flawed and messy and lovable human being. It’s being someone who has all the universally human in me. It’s being me as I am.
I can do that.
DARK NIGHTS, DEEPENING & STRIPPING AWAY
There are different types of “dark nights”. We can go through one in regular life for whatever reason. They happen as part of an awakening process. And we can also say that they happen, in miniature form, in daily life for most of us.
AVERSION TO NOISE
I have had aversion to noise since early childhood. This is a combination to aversion to loud noise (machines, music etc.) and the typical misophonia aversions.
Right now, as I write this, the closest neighbor is about to tear down the house and build two new ones. It will be several months of construction noise ten meters away from where I live. (I am often bed-bound because of my health.) In this normally peaceful residential neighborhood, it’s been near constant construction for ten years now.
So, how to work with it? This is not about the noise itself, obviously. It’s about me. It’s about trauma and stressful beliefs.
Sometimes, I go into the stressful reactions in me and get caught up in it.
Sometimes, I explore practical solutions – noise cancelling headphones, going somewhere else for a while.
I release tension through therapeutic trembling. I identify and investigate stressful thoughts and underlying assumptions (mental images and words).
I notice the contraction and issue in me, recognize it as what I am, and invite it to align with reality (oneness).
I take the situation to encourage healing and awakening.
I notice the sounds are, almost literally, the voice of God or the divine. The sounds are the divine. My reaction is the divine. It’s all happening within and as the divine.
WHAT AWAKENING IS ABOUT IS MORE FUNDAMENTAL THAN SPIRITUALITY
It’s easy to think that awakening has to do with spirituality, however we see spirituality. It’s not wrong. But it’s also not entirely right.
Awakening means to awaken out of the trance of taking thoughts and mental images as true. It means to notice that what we are is what all our experiences happen within and as. It means for what we are to notice itself and wake up out of the trance.
And that’s not exclusive to any spiritual tradition or spirituality in general. It belongs to life. It’s more fundamental than any tradition or anything humans do or talk about.
OCTOBER 14, 2020
IF YOU COMPARE, YOU LOSE
As soon as we get into the game of comparing ourselves with others and assigning inherent worth based on those comparisons, we lose. We may find someone we are “better” than, according to the ideas we have. And we’ll also find others – many – that we are “worse” than, according to the ideas we have.
Although it may temporarily feel good to compare ourselves with others, it’s a false comfort. It’s a losing game. It’s a game that’s rigged for us to lose. And that’s a very good thing.
THAT’S HOW SHE REALLY IS?
Someone said about someone else, in response to their trauma-behavior: That’s how she really is.
I don’t see it that way. Trauma behavior may take up a big part of someone’s life, or it may come to the surface now and then, but it’s not how someone “really is”. It’s trauma behavior. It’s a way for that person to cope with their trauma and pain. It’s relatively superficial when it comes to who and what we are.
We may want to tell ourselves “that’s how she is” to protect ourselves. But it’s more aligned with reality to see it as trauma behavior.
The way we “really” are is a whole human being (who we are), and what all our experiences happen within and as (what we are).
20 OCTOBER, 2020
WHAT TRE DOES AND DOESN’T DO
For trauma, it can be very helpful to learn TRE (Tension & Trauma Release Exercises). This is a way to access the inbuilt trembling mechanism in the body, which helps release tension related to stress and trauma out of the system. It’s as if you remove the fuel for the issues. It’s not necessarily a quick fix, but it can be a part of everyday life (initiating the trembling while sitting or lying down, not necessarily the exercises), and it can – or will – make a big difference over time. It’s important to start small and with guidance from someone who is trained in it.
I wrote this in an email and I see this as an important point about TRE.
In itself, it doesn’t necessarily resolve trauma. But it does remove the fuel from it, and that’s a big help and can make it easier to work with other approaches that are more aimed at resolving the roots of the trauma.
DARK NIGHT OF TRAUMA
[made into regular article]
OCTOBER 22, 2020
WE ARE A PIECE OF DIVINE REAL ESTATE
We are a piece of divine real estate that we are put in charge of.
We are divine property we are invited to be a good steward of.
Of course, it’s all the divine – our human life, who or what we take ourselves to be, and so on. There is no real difference between the two and they are not really two. But this pointer can help us reorient to be more kind to ourselves and take better care of our life.
HEALING FROM ONENESS
In the awakening in my mid-teens, all was revealed as Spirit or God or the divine. Any sense of being a separate self or being was revealed as Spirit temporarily and locally taking itself to be just that, as part of the play of Spirit. Within this, I also noticed that “I” could do healing for myself and others, and this healing happened within and as oneness.
I have done this form of healing off and on since, and have recently explored it a bit more intentionally.
How does healing from oneness look?
It happens within noticing all as Spirit.
One aspect is recognizing what’s healed as Spirit. It’s a flavor of the divine. A temporary form of Spirit or consciousness or what I am.
Another is to invite Spirit to wake up to itself as what’s healed. Spirit can wake up to itself as that.
Both invite in forms of healing.
There are also two ways to look at this.
To me, I am consciousness and all the content of my experiences – including this human self, any sense of an I or me and so on – happen within and as what I am. I can notice this generally and “globally”, and there are still bubbles of separation consciousness in me. (Beliefs, identifications, emotional issues, trauma etc.). When these come up, I can recognize these as what I am, I can invite them to recognize themselves as that, and I can invite them to realign within a more conscious noticing of what they are and oneness.
This is a healing of myself, and it happens within a noticing of what I am to myself. I am that which all my experiences happen within and as, and if I am to label it I can call it consciousness. (Or awake emptiness full of the world, or something like that.) This makes sense within a small or psychological interpretation of awakening. All I am saying something about is my own true nature, as it appears to me.
Beyond this, we can talk about the true nature of all of existence. Is that too the same? Is that too consciousness? Awake nothingness full of the world? Yes, that’s how it seems. And distance healing seems to fit this big or spiritual interpretation of awakening.
When I do healing for others – whether it’s for an emotional or physical issue – I also do healing from oneness. I connect with the issue. Recognize it as Spirit. Invite Spirit in the temporary and local form of the issue to recognize itself. And stay with it for a while.
Why haven’t I written about this more before?
As usual with these things, it’s a little difficult to put it into words. But that’s not the real reason. I am not exactly sure why. Perhaps it’s because it’s been very natural for me to do it this way, and I haven’t heard so many others talk about it, for whatever reason. So I have also chosen to not speak about it very much.
OCTOBER 27, 2020
I WILL DISSAPOINT YOU
If we idealize, we’ll sooner or later be disappointed. It’s built into the process. And it’s a good thing since it’s an invitation for us to notice several things. It’s an invitation to notice that we idealize. When we idealize. That the idealization comes from us and is not inherent in reality. That reality is more messy than the ideas we have about it. That we idealize for a reason, perhaps to find a sense of safety in relying on something outside of ourselves. And that we already are our own final authority, no matter how much we would like to tell ourselves otherwise.
When we notice someone idealizing us – whether it’s a student, client, partner, or even friend – it’s good to point it out and let them know that we will disappoint them. That’s our job. We can’t help it. And it’s good to know it will happen, why, and what the benefits of it may be.
FROM SUBJECT TO OBJECT
An important part of healing, maturing, and waking up, is the shift from taking something as a subject to relating to it as an object.
This something may look like many different things, but the essence of it is a thought. We can identify with a thought and its viewpoint and live as if it’s true and what we are. And we can then notice the thought as an object, relate to it more intentionally, and recognize that although it’s happening within us it’s not what we ultimately are.
This shift supports and is a vital part of healing, maturing, and awakening.
ULTIMATELY ALONE, AND NOT
One of the discoveries of life is that we are ultimately alone, and not.
We are alone in that we need to do some things on our own – learning, exams, work, making decisions, and so on. Although we can find support from others and be in a community, we are ultimately alone in all of this.
We are also ultimately alone in experiencing our own experiences and relating to our emotions and thoughts. Nobody can do this for us, and nobody can fully understand how it is for us.
We are our own final authority, even if we may try to tell ourselves otherwise.
There is a loneliness in all of this.
And there is also a kind of loneliness in oneness. (Although I feel some make too much out of this one since there is also an immense richness in it.)
At the same time, we are not alone. We have (hopefully) friends and family. We can find support from others. We can receive guidance.
We are part of humanity, the Earth community, and the universe. We are the local eyes, ears, thoughts, and emotions of the universe.
Within oneness, there is an immense richness. Although there is a certain loneliness in oneness, we are certainly not alone within oneness.
There is an immense richness within us, in a conventional sense (psychological) and as oneness.
WHAT IS EMPTINESS?
In Buddhism and some other traditions, they talk about emptiness.
What is this emptiness? Here are a few things:
I am no-thing full of the world as it appears to me. My true nature is what allows it all and what’s allowed. I am emptiness allowing it all to be here, as it is.
Since, to myself, I am consciousness, all my experiences are consciousness. They are inherently empty of substance. They are like a dream. (Although it still hurts when I stub my toe.)
There is no final separate self anywhere. Everything is empty of any separate self. It’s all happening within and as what I am.
No thought holds any final truth. Thoughts are empty of ultimate truth.
AWAKENING IS DIFFERENTIATION
There are many things to say about awakening, and one is that an important aspect of awakening is differentiation. In order to find ourselves as what we are, AKA oneness, we need discernment and seeing things a bit more clearly.
In an unawake condition, we often conflate several things that are distinct. And from a more awake space, we are able to better discern and differentiate.
One aspect of this is a more “global” awakening where we find ourselves as what all our experiences happen within and as. The other is a more “local” awakening to a specific thought. I’ll give some examples of both.
The most basic example is perhaps what we take ourselves to be. If we are unawake to it, we may take ourselves to ultimately and finally be something within the content of our experience, whether this is our human self (most often), a doer, an observer, an idea of being consciousness, or something else.
If we are more awake to it, we may find ourselves as that which all our content of experience happens within and as. We are able to differentiate thoughts and what they refer to (all happening within content of experience) from what we really are (that which it all happens within and as).
Another example is our relationship with our thoughts. We may conflate our thoughts with reality or truth and live in an unawake relationship to them. We see some of our thoughts as unquestionably true even if they are not, and that creates stress for us. In a more awake relationship to a thought, we recognize it as a thought – as a question about the world – and not holding any ultimate truth or reflecting any ultimate reality. We are able to differentiate thought and reality.
There are also many slightly more peripheral and yet still important examples.
For instance, I have images and words about the future. If I assume they are true, I hold them as if they were the actual future. I tend to put energy into hopes or fears about the future, and that’s inherently stressful. If I am able to differentiate the thoughts about the future from the future itself, and recognize them as separate and distinct and that I cannot know for certain about the future, there is more peace and I have a more awake relationship to these thoughts.
Note: I had a conversation in the mid-2000s where I mentioned that, for me, awakening has a lot to do with differentiation. He said “no, it’s about oneness”. Perhaps he came from an idea about awakening as oneness and hadn’t explored it much further. To me, discernment seems essential for finding ourselves as oneness.
MULTI PHASIC SLEEP & SEASONAL SLEEP
Our industrial clock-oriented society has trained us to go to bed a certain time and wake up early to go to work. This is, fortunately, changing with more people working from home, but it’s still pretty ingrained.
I feel fortunate that I, most of the time, can more follow my natural rhythms and the seasons. I go to sleep relatively early. Often wake up around 3am and am up for about an hour having a cup of tea, perhaps read something simple, and I may do a few simple things, and then I sleep for a few hours more. It feels very good and natural. And it also fits relatively well with our modern society.
In the summer, I tend to be up later and wake up earlier, and in the winter I go to bed earlier and sleep later, and that too feels good and natural.
In my early twenties, I used another form of multi phasic sleep. I would sleep half an hour four times every twenty four hours, and it was plenty. Each time I went to sleep, I quickly went into deep and nourishing sleep. And it freed up a lot of time for painting, drawing, photography, reading, studying, being out in nature, and so on.
The drawback was that I needed to follow a relatively strict schedule for it to work, and that wasn’t always so easy for social reasons.
NOVEMBER 1, 2020
WHY DO WE ASSUME THOUGHTS ARE IN THE HEAD?
In our culture (I don’t know about other cultures), we assume that thoughts are “in our head”. Why is that?
I suspect it has to do with how we physically see and speak. Our thoughts are in the form of mental images and words, and these mimic physical seeing and speaking. And that all happens in the head.
From inquiry, I also notice that when I visualize mental images, I half-way imagine seeing the images with my physical eyes. And when I think with words, my throat makes subtle movements as if I am – nearly imperceptibly – mouthing the words. And it’s all happening in the head.
Intellectually, we tell ourselves that thoughts are created in the brain, so that may be one reason for the expression and the sense that our thoughts are in our head. But I suspect the more immediate reason is the sense of seeing our mental images with our eyes, and subtly mouthing our word thoughts with our throat.
IS AWAKENING BINARY?
Is awakening either/or, or is it more nuanced? As with so much, it depends on our definitions and what we mean by awakening.
I like to think of it more as a process. Yes, noticing what we are – or what we are noticing itself – can happen suddenly. But becoming familiar with it, discovering how to live from it, and allowing all the different parts of our psyche to align with it, is a process. It’s ongoing. There is no final endpoint.
We may have had a glimpse and which then was taken over by old conditioning.
We may notice what we are, but what we are may not notice itself (which means there is still identification that’s not seen through).
What we are may generally notice itself, but occasionally and in some areas of life be caught in conditioning. (Especially when old wounds and emotional issues are triggered.)
What we are may appear to generally notice itself, and yet – to someone else – remaining beliefs and identifications may be obvious. (Especially to someone from another culture or subculture, or someone who has done more work on some areas of life or some types of beliefs and identifications.)
So is awakening binary? Yes and no. There can be sudden shifts. And yet, mainly, it’s an ongoing process.
NOVEMBER 7, 2020
Attachment is one of those words from (the English translation of) Buddhism that I don’t use or resonate with.
Why? Because it seems to reflect a slightly superficial understanding about what “attachment” is about. And because it sometimes comes with connotations of judgment and “shoulds”.
For me, what “attachment” refers to has more to do with emotional issues, unexamined beliefs, habits, culture, and attempts to find safety and fill perceived “holes” in ourselves. It’s innocent. It’s understandable.
Judgment and “shoulds” cannot do anything about it. But love, clarity, and healing can.
SOME WORDS FROM SPIRITUALITY I RARELY USE
Some words from spirituality I rarely use:
Attachment. Soul mate. Twin flame. Light worker. Karma. Letting go. Nonduality.
Attachment reflects a superficial understanding. I find it more helpful to talk about unprocessed fear, emotional issues, unquestioned beliefs, or an attempt or perceived need to find safety.
Soul mate and twin flame reflect assumptions about something we cannot know for certain. It imposes ideas on a relationship, or possible relationship, that can prevent the relationship to move in a more natural and free way. The ideas are unnecessary, and they can create added stress.
Lightworker makes it sound as if light is better than dark. Who said it was? There is equal beauty in the dark as in the light. They are both sides of existence. They both reflect what’s in me. If I am a lightworker, I am also a dark worker. I am someone who explores the metaphorical darkness in myself (e.g. the shadow) to recognize it as part of who and what I am, and find the beauty in it and in how it fits into the whole.
Karma is another word for cause and effect. Everything has innumerable causes. If there is karma in the Eastern sense, we all most likely have infinite amounts of karma of all types. We cannot know for sure. And it seems an unnecessary term.
Some folks say “let go”. Is holding on inherently wrong? And can we chose to let go? Can we let go just because someone tells us to? The answer to both is no. To me, it’s more about addressing – and befriending – the fear behind holding onto something. As that fear softens, we may not need to hold onto something as tightly.
What about nonduality, isn’t that a useful word? Yes, sometimes. But it’s often used as a too-easy shorthand. It makes it sound as if we already get it, and as if the solution to something perhaps is easier than it is. Yes, reality is one and nondual, and at the same time many and with lots of differentiation. And our discovery and exploration of that is ongoing. It never ends.
NOVEMBER 15, 2020
ONENESS HEALING: NOTICE + INTENTION
For me, oneness healing seems to include two important aspects.
One is to notice that whatever I focus on – an emotional issue, physical issue, or a physical object – is the divine. It’s the divine locally and temporarily taking this form. It happens within and as consciousness.
The second is to intend for this expression of the divine to wake up to itself. For the divine in that local and temporary form to wake up to itself as the divine. Sometimes, this happens relatively quickly. Other times, it can take time.
A nice thing about oneness healing is that nothing needs to change, apart from the divine waking up to itself. And that, in itself, tends to lead to a change.
It’s as if the divine wakes up to itself, and says to itself “oh, I have taken this form”, and then explores ways to do it a bit differently.
The waking up is sufficient in itself. It often leads to some shifts and healing, but that’s not the main focus and it’s not even really an expectation.
NOVEMBER 16, 2020
HOW THE WORK WORKS
How does The Work of Byron Katie work? There is likely a lot happening that I am not aware of, but here is some of what I am noticing.
Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet (JYN): Identifying our stressful beliefs is helpful in itself, as is admitting to ourselves that we are judgmental about others and what these judgments are about.
Question 1: Is it true? This question opens our mind to the possibility that our stressful thought about something or someone isn’t true. It puts the question in there. It allows us to notice the part of our mind that already knows we cannot know that our thought is true.
Question 2: Can you know for certain it’s true? Again, helps open our mind to the possibility that we cannot know for certain the stressful thought is true. It’s a reminder we cannot know for certain, even if we tell ourselves the thought is true and it feels true in the moment.
Question 3: What happens, how do you react, when you have that thought? This helps us explore and notice the real consequences of holding the stressful thought as true. Often, we are half aware of it. Here, we get to explore it more thoroughly and systematically. We get to see all the unpleasant consequences of the belief, and this makes it easier for the mind to answer the following questions more sincerely and it also opens the possibility for “letting go” of the belief since it’s more clear that it doesn’t really help us.
Question 4: Who would you be without the thought, in the same situation? Again, it opens the mind for another possibility. How would it be if the belief didn’t exist in me, in the same situation that previously triggered the belief? Would I be more at peace? Does it open for more clarity? Kindness? Would I still be able to take care of myself?
Turnarounds: The previous questions make us available to look more honestly and sincerely at the turnarounds. In what ways is each reversal of the initial stressful thought equally or more true? Can I find specific and concrete examples, even if they seem small? Can I find in myself what I see in the other? This helps the mind loosen its grip on the initial stressful belief.
When we use The Work, it helps to be facilitated by an experienced facilitator. This person can help us stay grounded, close to the experience and what’s true for us, and they can help us look at it from angles we would otherwise miss.
HEALING ACROSS TIMES
When I work on myself, I often do healing for myself as some point in the past, whether this is energy healing, dialog, tonglen, Ho’o, prayer, or something else.
Why? Because the image I have of myself in the past is part of me now. That past person is a part of me, so I do healing for that part of me.
Similarly, I sometimes access myself in the future – perhaps more wise, mature, insightful, awake, and so on – and ask this person to inform me now or do healing for me as I am now.
Why? Because this imagined future me – that’s wiser and so on – is a part of me now. This wisdom, maturity, clarity, and more is already here in me, and I can access it by connecting with this imaginary future me.
Why would I do ho’oponopono for another person?
Partly to improve my side of my relationship with that person in the world. It makes sense in a conventional pragmatic way.
And partly because that person is, in a very real sense, me. That person happens within and as what I am, and he or she reflects who I am. When I do ho’o for another person, I heal the image I have of the other in me, and I heal my relationship to the sides of me that person mirrors. I do it for my own sake.
It may also be that doing ho’o for someone helps that person in the world, but that’s not necessary or really my business.
ONENESS HEALING AND OWN NATURE & NATURE OF EXISTENCE
I have written about this before but thought I would briefly mention it again.
When I do oneness healing, I notice the nature of what I am doing healing for – whether it’s an emotional issue or something physical and whether it’s in me or someone else.
What is its nature? To me, it’s happening within and as what I am. To me, it’s what thought can label consciousness.
When I do oneness healing for myself, it’s easy to see the essence of how it works. Any emotional issue I have happens within who and what I am, and noticing this – and having the intention for consciousness taking the form of the issue to wake up to itself as what it is – is, in itself, healing. All that’s required for this to work is to acknowledge my own true nature. To myself, what I am is consciousness and all my experiences of myself and the wider world happens within and as that.
When I do oneness healing for someone else, it’s both similar and different. I still notice the true nature of what I am doing healing for and invite it to notice itself, to wake up to its own true nature. One aspect of this is a healing for myself since it’s all happening within and as what I am, and the only thing necessary to understand this is to acknowledge my own true nature. Another aspect of this is the actual healing that happens for the other person, and to explain this the simplest explanation is that the true nature of reality as a whole is the same as my own true nature. It’s all happening within and as the divine, and that’s what allows this form of distance healing.
BLAME VS DEEPER UNDERSTANDING
If we believe the thoughts passed on to us from our culture, we may go into blame – of others, life, ourselves.
And if we have a deeper understanding, we know that blame is a sidetrack and we may even have compassion with ourselves and others.
So what is this deeper understanding?
It has several facets, and here are a few.
A major one comes from knowing from ourselves what we see in others. I have done that too. I have reacted to my own stress and pain in ways that’s been unwise and painful to others. I have acted on my fears in ways I wish I hadn’t. We are in the same boat.
We are responsible for our own actions, and yet each of our choices and actions have innumerable causes. It comes from our culture, family, ancestors, biology, and much more. Our actions are, in a very real sense, the local actions of the whole of existence. When I see my own and others actions, I can have compassion knowing they have innumerable causes outside of the person. And, for my own health and sanity, I still need to take responsibility for my own actions.
If I feel a need to blame someone, I am – most likely – reacting to my own pain. I am trying to reduce my own stress, pain, or fear by blaming someone else. It doesn’t really work.
Any assumptions I have about the other are just that, assumptions. Through inquiry, I may find that I don’t know, the reasons may be far more innocent, and that I am just like what I see in the other.
“I AM GOD”
When I lived in Oregon, a message in the local permaculture group came through saying “I am God”. Someone had apparently had an awakening of sorts, or at least a glimpse, and interpreted it as “I am God”.
It’s not wrong. It’s literally true, in a sense.
To me, it seems far more accurate to say that everything and everyone is God and that what I am is God. And perhaps that we are the local eyes, ears, thoughts, and feelings of the universe (Carl Sagan).
Why this distinction? Because saying “I am God” can easily be interpreted by the mind to mean “this sense of separate self is God” which is an unhealthy delusion. Yes, it’s one of a myriad of manifestations of the divine. It’s the divine locally and temporarily taking itself to be a separate self. And yet, that’s it. Any sense of separate self comes from a temporary and local delusion. A game.
So it’s safer and more accurate to say “everyone and everything is God”, and “even a temporary and local sense of being a separate self is the play of the divine”.
SCIENCE OF NATURE, SCIENCE OF MIND
To me, science of nature and science of mind go hand-in-hand. After all, they are two ways of exploring aspects of the same reality.
How do we explore the mind? Through conventional western science, and also through our own explorations.
Many of the approaches and orientations are the same for both. We need sincerity. Thoroughness. Testing out things to see what happens. Noticing patterns. Curiosity. Seeing we don’t know anything for certain. A willingness to shift our approach and interpretation if something else makes more sense. And so on.
THE DOWNSIDE OF THE IDEAS OF SOUL MATES, TWIN FLAMES ETC.
I have never felt particularly drawn to the ideas of soul mates, twin flames and so on.
Because they don’t seem necessary. They seem like an unnecessary overlay of ideas on life and something that’s far more mysterious, rich, and fluid.
They can create unnecessary constraints, expectations, and influences on a relationship. Why not allow it to evolve more fluidly without this overlay of ideas and expectations?
And also because they can create stress and unhelpful behavior.
So to me, these ideas seem unnecessary, constraining, and potentially quite stressful.
THEISM AND PARENTS
This one is pretty obvious and pointed out by many:
If we have an image of God as a person, we tend to see this image as a parent. (And that may happen no matter what type of image we have for God or the divine.)
Our relationship with our real-life parents may and will influence how we see and relate to God.
And we may use God as a replacement for our real-life parents. We may try to get something from God that we didn’t get from our real-life parents.
This is all understandable, and none of it is wrong. But it is good to be aware of it.
WE ARE MULTITUDES
When Walt Whitman said I am multitudes, he spoke for all of us.
In what way are we multitudes?
As a human being, have innumerable parts and subpersonalities. Anything I can put a name on, I can find in myself and dialog with.
As a human being, what I see in others and the wider world – and even in fiction – all reflects something in me. Whatever words I use to describe something outside of myself also fits for me, and I can discover this if I am sincere and look for concrete examples.
As what I am, I am as rich as the world as it appears to me. To me, the world happens within and as what I am. I am, quite literally, the world as it appears to me.
As what I am, I am infinitely more rich than the world as it appears to me. The world always appears in new ways to me, so there is an infinite capacity for richness.
As what I am, I am no-thing that something – everything – happens within and as. I am what allows for the richness of the whole world as it appears to me and I am this richness.
RECEPTIVTY TO FEEDBACK
An inquiry facilitator I indirectly know recently wrote a post on social media mentioning that several of her clients felt uncomfortable with her frequent swearing and crudeness. The essence of the post was “I am enlightened and can do what I want, and those people don’t get it”.
This seems a bit misguided. If one person gives you feedback, it’s worth taking it seriously. And even more so if several give you similar feedback.
Also, if you take on the role of inquiry facilitator, your job is to be of service and do what works best for your clients. If swearing and appearing crude doesn’t work for your clients, then taking that feedback seriously – and making appropriate changes – takes priority over your own personal preference. Last time I checked, swearing and crudeness were by no means essential for inquiry.
What’s happening here may that she satisfies one side of herself through swearing and crudeness, and this takes priority for her over being a helpful facilitator. It may also be that she has ideas about being “enlightened” and that it justifies this type of behavior.
COMFORTABLE WITH DISCOMFORT
This is one of the keys to healing and awakening, and life in general.
How can we be more comfortable with discomfort?
It’s not about machismo or pushing ourselves.
It’s about finding comfort with it. It’s about noticing, allowing, and befriending the discomfort. It’s about noticing it’s already allowed and that we are that which already allows it. It’s about discovering, befriending, and finding a resolution for the issues we have around it. It’s about discovering and seeing through the beliefs we have about it. It’s about noticing what’s really going and finding the discomfort as who and what we are.
Mainly, it’s about befriending the fear we have about discomfort. And finding ourselves as that which it happens within and as.
Why is this useful?
EXPERIENCE OF TIME
Our experience of time is largely influenced by the mental overlay we have and how invested we are in it. This means that our experience of time will, inevitably, change over time and be somewhat different between people.
For me, these days….
I notice how ideas about the past and future, and the specific content of the past and the future, happen within my mental field here and now. (Unless there is a charge on specific mental images, which makes it seem a bit more real until I look at it a little closer.)
Past events seem simultaneously like yesterday and infinitely far in the past.
Last night, my sleep was deep and nourishing. It felt like it went by in the blink of an eye, and at the same time, it felt like my mind was doing a thousand year’s worth of processing. (Perhaps because I am currently in a two-day Vortex Healing class.)
My memory of many things in the past seem to be fading. I am not sure if this is because of CFS and brain fog, or because it doesn’t seem important to remember it so my mind lets it go. (Also, as there is less charge on memories, the mind tends to hold onto it less.)
I wrote a couple of posts where I used the term “oneness healing”. What does oneness healing mean? Isn’t everything oneness?
Yes, it’s actually a poor name so I may not use it very much.
That said, here are some things that can be called oneness healing:
The main thing is that it happens within noticing all as oneness. And that, in itself, can mean many things.
It can mean working from the idea that all is one. Or the memory of having noticed it at some point.
It can mean working from the context of noticing all as happening within and as what we are. And that working can look many different ways.
For me, when I have used the term here, I have used it to refer to: (a) Noticing all – including what we do healing for – as happening within and as what I am. And (b) inviting what I am doing healing for to wake up to itself as it is. (AKA inviting the divine to wake up to itself as what I do healing for.) And noticing all of this – the object of healing, me as a “channel”, the divine doing the work etc. – as happening within and as what I am.
As many of us are aware of, relationships can be a great catalyst for healing and awakening.
If we are open to it, relationships can show us what’s left to work on.
Relationships help us see where we can develop better skills, where we can find more clarity, where we still have hangups and emotional issues, how we relate to our own hangups and fears, and so on.
It shows us where we can communicate better, and that better communication with the other goes hand in hand with better communication with ourselves – awareness and insight into what’s going on with ourselves.
It shows us what we are resistant to seeing and working on in ourselves. As we find more trust and love for what’s here, change our relationship to our fear (from apparently enemy to befriending), and get more familiar with the dynamic of resistance=pain and working on it=relief, it becomes easier and more habitual to notice resistance and then take it as a reminder to work on whatever comes up in us.
RELATIONSHIPS AND FEAR OF LOSS / ALONENESS
Many of us have a fear of loss and being alone, and that colors and impacts our relationships.
For instance, we may – in subtle and less subtle ways – act out of fear in order to maintain the relationship. We may subtly manipulate. We may not be fully honest. We may abandon our own inner guidance and what’s important to us. And all of this creates stress for ourselves and in the relationship.
So one of the universals it’s helpful to work on in ourselves is just this: fear of loss and fear, fear of abandonment, fear of being alone, and any related issues.
To the extent we have found peace with these fears in ourselves, we can be more fully ourselves in the relationship and more authentic, and this strengthens a good relationship. (And may lead to the end of relationships that are less of a good fit for us.)
“WE ARE HERE TO AWAKEN FROM THE ILLUSION OF SEPARATENESS”?
We are here to awaken from the illusion of separateness.– Thich Nhat Hanh
This is one of those apparent feel-good quotes that I don’t resonate with so much.
First, is it true? Obviously not. In the case of the wast majority of humans, life – or the divine – apparently wants to experience separation. The one wants to experience itself as separate, locally and for a little while.
Second, is it helpful? Not really. When I imagine that I take that statement as true, I experience a lot of pressure and stress. It easily becomes just another “should”.
THE VIEW OF THE WHOLE VS PART
As a society and culture, we can say that we have one general view and orientation as a whole, and yet there is a lot of variations within this.
And that’s similar to how it is to us as individuals. We may have a conscious view and orientation to ourselves and the world, and we have many parts that have their own views and orientations. And to the extent these are wounded and exiled, they tend to be different from the global view.
At some point in our healing process, continued healing often consist of allowing these parts of us to join in with our more healthy global view. (And also adjust this global view as we discover more and learn from these parts.)
And at some point in our awakening process, it’s the same. The continued awakening consists of allowing more parts of us to join in with the awakening. Parts of us still stuck in separation consciousness are seen, felt, loved, recognized as the divine and love, and invited to wake up and join in the general global awakening.
DECEMBER 5, 2020
A MORE DIRECT WAY OF WORKING WITH DREAMS
Just before waking up this morning, I had a dream where I felt lost. Lost in life. Aimless. I don’t experience it very much in daily life, but it does sometimes show up in my dreams.
There are several ways to work with dreams. We can use some form of dream interpretation. We can dialog with the figures and elements in the dream. We can use active imagination. And so on. This can give us some insights that we can take to heart and bring with us in our daily life.
Each of these can be interesting and even helpful. Although I often prefer to directly work on any issue(s) presented in the dream.
In this case, it’s feeling lost. After waking up, I explored it using a simplified version of Living Inquiries. (Isolating out the physical sensations and the mental images and words, spending some time with each, and noticing how the mind brings the two together to create an experience for itself of being lost.) And I then explored it using Vortex Healing. The first I noticed here is how it’s connected to fear and dread in the belly.
Of course, this approach of working directly with the issue(s) presented in the dream requires that we have some effective and direct tools. Any of the ways of working with dreams requires some skills, and in this case, skills in working with issues.
Note: As I explored the feeling of being lost, I noticed that this issue seems to go back to childhood, to a feeling of not understanding the adult world and feeling a bit lost and confused. I still don’t really understand the adult world, but now I know it’s because humans operate as much – and sometimes more – from conditioning and issues as they (we) do from sanity and clarity.
EXPLORING BOTH SIDES OF THE POLARITIES
We humans often like to imagine one quality in ourselves and the opposite in someone else. It can be apparently comfortable in that it can help us maintain an imagined identity, but it’s not accurate and not helpful if we want to find more of our wholeness and find some resolution to emotional issues.
For instance, one polarity is that of victim and victimizer. We may identify with the victim side of the polarity and work on that, and imagine that the victimizer mostly or always is “out there” in the world – as a person or situation or even life itself.
And yet, if we want to find real peace around the issue, we need to find both in ourselves.
It helps to see that my experience of the world – of this human self and the wider world – all happens within and as what I am.
It helps to see that any images and ideas I have about myself and others – including the labels of victim and victimizer – happens within my mental field. These stories don’t exist inherently in the world. They all come from my own mental field overlay.
And it helps to find how I fit whatever I associate with each end of the polarity, in this case victim and victimizer. I can find a specific situation where I identified as a victim, and then find specific examples of how I also was the victimizer. Perhaps I victimized someone else, at least in my mind? Perhaps I can find how I victimized myself, how I made myself into a victim in that situation? (Perhaps by not standing up to myself, or just by labeling myself as a victim and feeding that identity.)
Whatever approach I use – whether it’s inquiry, dialog, Vortex Healing or something else – I can explore and work on each end of the polarity, one at a time and then the polarity as a whole.
DECEMBER 6, 2020
WHAT IS LOVE?
What is human love? As with so much, it’s both simple and complex.
The simple version is that human love is a mix of what we are – Big Mind, Big Hear, Love, and who we are – this human self with all its wild messiness and complexities.
We are love. Love for all of existence. Our world happens within and as what we are, and that’s love right there. We may not notice it. It may be covered up by our human conditioning, wounds, neediness, and more. And it’s still what we are, it shines through our human messiness, and it shines through more clearly in some of our relationships, in some areas of life, and in some situations.
As the old Greeks said, there are different types human love – the love of a parent for a child, a child for their parents, the love between friends, the love between lovers, the love of passion, the love for God, the love of God for us (which also happens within and as us), and so on.
And as mentioned above, human love is often mixed up with our human messiness, and our human messiness is sometimes called love. We may feel unlovable. We may desperately want and seek love. We may seek safety in relationships. We may seek comfort. We may seek predictability. Human relationships are modeled by our parents and we, to some extent, internalize the dynamics of their relationships. We are influenced by our mammalian biology and the need for safety, community, and procreation. We are programmed by our culture. And so on and so on. The list is endless.
None of this is wrong. It’s all natural and human. Our relationships are inevitably a mix of all of this and all of who and what we are.
And if we take it that way, our relationships are an amazing opportunity to get to know ourselves, heal, mature, and even awaken. (Although they can also be an opportunity to reinforce and deepen our hangups, wounds, and habitual coping strategies.)
STAYING HEALTHY IN OLD AGE
How do we stay healthy in old age?
And how does unhealthy aging happen?
Since my teens, I have seen unhealthy aging as a product of lifestyle and not addressing emotional issues and conditioning.
An unhealthy and physically inactive lifestyle obviously leads to a lot of accumulated problems over the years. Anyone who eats a poor diet, is physically inactive, and so on, will have problems over time. It’s not inherent in aging, but it is inherent in a lifestyle lived over time.
And not addressing emotional issues and conditioning does the same. If we live with emotional issues over long periods of time, it will obviously impact our life dramatically. It leads to physical and psychological rigidity which, in turn, leads to a smaller life and possibly even a downward spiral in our physical and psychological health.
So how do we stay healthy in old age? The obvious guidelines is keeping a generally good diet (one that works for our body and the climate and place where we live), staying physically active (including yoga, tai chi and so on), and taking care of our health in general. The other side of it is addressing our emotional issues and traumas in whatever ways work for us.
REDUCING THE DENSITY AND WEIGHT OF AN ISSUE
When I work on an emotional issue in myself or someone else, I often have a dual aim.
First, to help shift our relationship with the issue, for instance through insights, clarity, compassion, and heart-centered practices.
Then, to reduce the density or weight of an issue, for instance through Vortex Healing, inquiry, or therapeutic trembling. This helps us have a different and more conscious relationship with it, and it makes it easier to see it as an issue (an object) and be less identified with (or as) it.
It’s typically an incremental process. We chip away at it. It shifts little by little. And, at some point, the issue becomes more manageable and we find more peace with it. It doesn’t necessarily need to go away completely, although it can if we keep working on it. Sometimes, it’s OK to just leave it when it’s manageable and focus on other remaining and bigger issues.
We can use just about anything to distract ourselves from uncomfortable sensations and (really) what the mind tells us they mean, and we can use a wide range of things to fill perceived holes or deficiencies in us. This means we can get addicted to just about anything. Including love.
If we feel fundamentally unloved or unlovable – through experiences early in life – we may later in life compulsively seek to feel loved and lovable through love from another human being. (We may also seek love from a non-human being or the divine.)
As with other compulsions and addictions, it comes with costs, and the particular costs depends on how we go about fulfilling our compulsion.
So what can we do about it? The first is to recognize and acknowledge what’s going on, and also take a sober look at the (perceived) benefits and costs.
DECEMBER 7, 2020
TERROR & KARMA (?)
The main Vortex Healing teacher talked about karma, and how the karma of inducing terror in others in the past may be to experience terror now.
I don’t know if that’s accurate or not. Somehow, it seems a bit too simplistic to me.
But if it is accurate, it does shed interesting light on my experience some years ago. Following a shift or deepening in awakening, I had nine months of intense terror and dread come up. I was mostly unable to sleep or function, and I couldn’t understand where it came from. The most obvious would be some trauma in this life, and perhaps a lot of fear that had been suppressed over time. But it didn’t seem to explain the intensity and duration of what came up. It felt completely overwhelming and unbearable, and even after the intensity lessened somewhat, it still went on for years after. At the same time, several have told me that they sense several past lives for me where I was a warrior, and that’s my sense too. So if instilling dread in others may lead to the karma of experiencing terror and dread now, that may explain it. The dread and terror I experienced may reflect the dread and terror I instilled in others in past lives as a warrior.
Who knows. It doesn’t really matter since working on it now takes the same form no matter what.
And any ideas of images I have about past lives reflect something in me now. The past is not about the past. Our images and stories about the past – or future – are here now, and they reflect what’s here now.
DECEMBER 11, 2020
WAYS TO SEE REBIRTH
Rebirth is an interesting topic to me, partly because of the question of rebirth itself, but mostly for what it says about us.
We can take a scientific approach to rebirth, as some do. We can study cases where people seem to have memories from past lives, and sometimes even check with historical information. Leslie Kean explores this, among other topics, in her book Surviving Death.
We can look at what a belief in rebirth does to individuals and subcultures and even cultures. What effects does it have? What effects do different understandings or takes on rebirth have? This is a more sociological approach.
We can also look at how we view and take the idea of rebirth.
Do we blindly reject the possibility because it doesn’t fit our worldview? If so, it comes from reactivity and isn’t very scientific.
Do we accept its existence just because it’s part of some worldviews and some talk about it as if it’s real? If so, why do we want to think it’s true and real? What do we get out of it? Can we know for certain? How would it be to hold the idea of it more lightly? How would it be to acknowledge that we don’t know for certain?
How do we hold specific images and stories about what could be own past lives? Do we accept these as true? Can we know for certain? How would it be to hold them more lightly and as a gentle question?
How do we use images and stories about what could be our own past lives? Do we use them to feel special? Do we use them as a way to open our minds to something beyond the mere physical? Do we use them as a mirror for what’s in us here and now? Do we use them to identify and work on emotional issues?
So how do I fit into all of this? I completely support a scientific investigation into the possibility of rebirth. I am completely open to the existence of rebirth, and also that it’s not that way and that something else is going on.
I recognize that any specific ideas and stories about possible own past lives happen within my own mental field. I cannot know if they are actually true, in a literal sense, or not. They mirror what’s in me here and now. Mainly, I use them to identify current emotional issues and work on them.
December 15, 2020
CHILDHOOD MEMORY: THWARTING DESTINY
When I was quite little (5-7 years old?), I became fascinated with the idea of destiny. I felt my life was destined, and wanted to see if I could escape this destiny. I walked down the hallway outside my bedroom as if I was walking to the bathroom, and half-way suddenly turned around to see if I could trick my destiny. Then I realized that doing just that probably was my destiny and I couldn’t escape it. This is probably a weird idea and exploration for a little kid, but it does say something about my early interest in the type of things I have since explored and write about here.
CHILDHOOD MEMORY: AWARE I AM AWARE
Here is another childhood memory: I am sitting in a leather chair by the west window in the living room, looking at a Donald Duck comic book. (I don’t think I knew how to read so I was probably around five years old.) Suddenly, “I” was aware of awareness. This consciousness is aware of all these things. It was completely astonishing to me and this memory is still clear and vivid.
Again, it says something about my early interest in the things I continued to explore in my life. In my childhood and early teens, it was a passion for parapsychology and UFOs. In my mid-teens, it turned into a passion for systems theories, eastern philosophies, and so on.
LOTR: HOW DUALISTIC STORIES CAN BE HELPFUL ALSO WITHIN NONDUALITY
I started re-watching Lord of the Rings and was reminded of a few things.
The story obviously comes from a quite simplistic dualistic view on good and evil.
At the same time, as with any story – and especially one with a lot of archetypes – it reflects me. It mirrors what’s in me here and now, and I can use it to explore these dynamics in me. How do they play out? Where and what are the wounds? How do I relate to these wounds? How and when do I get caught up in them (and “evil”)? How and when am I able to relate to them more consciously and act more from clarity (“good”)? What do I find when I explore the wounds? How can I relate to them more consciously? How can I invite in healing for them (and make it a little easier for myself)?
In this way, even stories reflecting dualistic views can be very helpful whether or not our conscious view aligns with the dualistic view of the story.
DECEMBER 20, 2020
SENSATIONS THROUGH MY WHOLE BEING
When I got into – started exploring – tantric sex in my teens, I read about the difference between local and global/whole-body orgasms. For me, it was a surprise that not everyone experience them as global.
The way I experience anything – sensations, taste, smell and so on – is through my whole body and being.
Why is that? Perhaps it has to do with noticing ourselves as consciousness, or – more accurately – consciousness noticing all its experiences as happening within itself. Any experience happens within oneness. It’s both local and global. Any sensation happens in a particular location, and it also happens as what we are and throughout what we are.
DECEMBER 22, 2020
INTERNALIZING THE DYNAMICS BETWEEN OUR PARENTS
When we work on our own healing and maturing, there is one specific dynamic that’s central and that’s the dynamic between our parents. In addition to the usual ways it happens within us, it’s something we often have internalized. We have the dynamic between our parents within us, and it often colors our life in more ways than we initially notice.
I have explored my own internalized “inter-parental” dynamic more lately and notice how it has colored just about all areas of my life through my life.
How have I gone about that process? I have looked at the dynamic between my parents, the role they each (typically) play, what beliefs may be behind it, what childhood traumas and circumstances may have incubated these patterns, and so on. I have then looked at the same in me, how I have acted from it in situations in my own life, and how and when I treat myself as they relate to each other.
THE WORLD AND WHAT & WHO WE ARE
Everything we see in the world happens within us.
The world – as it appears to us – happens within and as what we are. We can notice and explore this through, for instance, Headless experiments and the Big Mind process.
The stories we have about it – labels, meaning etc. – happens within our own mental field. We can explore this by noticing what happens within our sense fields and how the mind combines them to create its experience, and we can do this in a more systematic way through, for instance, Living Inquiries.
The stories we have about the world and others equally well apply to ourselves – in the moment and we can find many other specific examples. At a very human level, the world mirror ourselves.
Why is this important? It’s not inherently important but it does seem to be how our world works, and it can be helpful to notice and explore this.
Finding what we are helps release identification with the content of experience – identifications, roles, and thoughts in general – and this can be a great liberation.
Noticing how our mind puts a mental field overlay on our world helps us recognize thoughts for what they are – guesses and questions about the world – and hold them more lightly.
And noticing the world as a mirror for ourselves helps us notice projections and find in ourselves what we see in the world and in others, and this helps us live from a bit more clarity and kindness and less from reactivity.
Some folks in the nondual/adveita world talks about “one taste”.
What does it mean?
I assume it mainly means noticing that all happens within and as what we are. Whatever the experience is – and they are all unique and different, they all happen within and as what we are. In their infinite variety, they share one taste.
How we notice this reflects the awakening process in general. We may have a glimpse. We may notice when we pay attention. We may notice most things in this way but “forget” when some issues are triggered in us, and then notice again when things calm down and we remember.
As the noticing becomes more stable, and as there is a deeper embodiment – AKA we relate to our issues differently and work through more of them – this one taste becomes more and more the water we swim in.
The usual way of thinking that people objectify themselves is when they put body-focused photos of themselves on Instagram etc. And yet, we all do it in a much more basic way.
As soon as we believe a thought, we objectify. We make something into an object in our mind. And in the process, we reduce infinite possibilities down to one or a few.
As soon as we identify as something within our content of experience (typically this human self), we objectify ourselves. We make ourselves into an object in the world. And we do the same with everything else. We perceive and operate from the assumption that the ultimate identity of everything is as an object in the world. (Whether or not that’s our conscious assumption.)
There is nothing wrong with this. It’s natural. It’s part of being human. It’s how life apparently “wants” to experience itself, temporarily and locally, through and as us and this dynamic. And yet, it does come with stress and discomfort, so there is a built-in incentive to see through it and find ourselves as that which all experiences – and the world as it appears to us – happens within and as. That’s the beginning of de-objectify our experiences, whether we typically label it ourselves, others, and the world.
DECEMBER 23, 2020
HOW THOROUGH IS OUR KINDNESS?
About a year ago, Ari Behn, a Norwegian author (I have not read anything by him), took his own life. His family and friends have been very open about the suicide, how he was with friends and family, and how they experience the loss.
A common theme was how kind, encouraging, and interested he consistently was with other people. Several mentioned that he never said a bad word about anyone. And yet, it seems that he perhaps lacked a similar kindness towards himself and his experience. I am not sure, but depression and suicide make it an understandable guess.
The question is: how thorough is our kindness?
How thorough is our kindness at a social level? Does it extend to those who struggle the most in society? Does it extend to non-human beings? Does it include future generations?
How thorough is our kindness at a personal level? Does it extend to our own experiences? To our fears, anger, sadness, pain, wounds, traumas, discomfort, compulsions, and so on? Does it extend to the thoughts we have about ourselves and the world? Does it extend to the ideas and images we have about ourselves and the world?
How deep does our kindness go? Does it go to where it really counts, which ultimately is in our relationship to our own experiences and thoughts?
There are a couple of other sides to this.
One is that if we repress anger, frustration and so on, it tends to build up and can become overwhelming and unbearable. (I am not saying he did this, but some who never say a bad word about anyone do.)
Another is that a precursor to this suicide apparently was chronic fatigue and loss of roles and identities. This is a reminder to hold our roles and identities lightly and perhaps even intentionally question and see through these before we lose them (which we will), or at least do it after they are gone and find some peace with it.
DECEMBER 24, 2020
HAPPINESS, MEANING, CONTENTMENT, LOVE, HOME
There are a few basic things we humans seek.
We seek happiness, which often means that we are free of serious worries and enjoy our life.
We seek to have a meaningful life. This often has to do with a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and connections.
We seek contentment, to be more at peace with our life as it is.
We seek love. It may seem that we want to be loved, and being loved by others is a part of a good life. But mainly, we seek to love – others and ourselves and our experience as it is. And even more basic than that is to discover that we are love. As what we are – that which our experience and the world as it appears to us happens within and as – we are love, although this can be covered up by beliefs, identifications, wounds, and traumas.
We seek home. Often without knowing it, we seek to find what we are – which is, in a very real sense, our true home. We seek to discover the home that we already are.
DECEMBER 25, 2020
THE FEAR BEHIND
When I explore an emotional issue, I typically (AKA always so far) find fear behind it.
When I go behind the layers of reactivity, anger, grief, or whatever it may be, there is innocence and fear. And when I connect with that fear, there is more space around the issue and it’s easier to not get caught up in the habitual surface expressions of the issue. I see that these are reactions to an unmet, unacknowledged, unexamined, and unloved fear.
Most of the issue and the way it’s expressed is reactivity to the fear. It’s a way to avoid the fear. So connection with the fear and getting to know it often makes a huge difference. It allows for space, vulnerability, receptivity, honesty, and a real examination and meeting of the fear.
It’s been a while since I did an “energy self-portrait”, so I thought I would do another one. The first thing I notice is that what’s below is far more interesting to me than what’s above, and I did the above-ground section as a much quicker sketch. This probably reflects my interest in and focus on working on deep emotional and physical issues these days, often using Vortex Healing combined with waking up the issues.
DECEMBER 30, 2020
SOUNDS AND SENSATIONS
Just a quick observation: hearing does a lot more than we (hearing people) sometimes notice.
My right ear was blocked when I woke up this morning, and I notice that when my partner kissed me on the right side of my face, the skin felt numb. When she kissed me on the left side of my face, it felt normal. Sensations combine with sounds – as all our senses do – to create a fuller picture. So in my mind, when the sound was removed and only the sensations remained, my skin felt a bit numb.
Some years ago, I walked down an icy path with my earbuds listening to music. I fell which I normally never do, and realized that without the sound of my feet on the ground, I was missing out on vital information that kept me on my feet. I knew I was walking on ice, but I was missing out on the sound of my shoes on the ground which normally gives me feedback about the type of ice I am walking on.
SENSING AND VORTEX HEALING
I have taken the Vortex Healing Sensing 2 & 3 classes recently, and notice a marked difference. After Sensing 2, I could sense more clearly the divine as the issue and what allows it to unravel and heal. After Sensing 3, there was more of a connection with the “sister realm”. And, in general, I am sensing more while doing healings.
This morning, I did a healing for myself on a core issue from childhood. (Feeling hurt, heart closing down, protection, fear, and so on.) After doing a few preliminary things (structures, Vortex Therapy, de-networking), I worked more directly on the issue and the contractions in my body connected with it.
I sensed how the energy first worked in my heart area (contractions for protection), then followed a path down to the center of my belly (fears) and worked there, then went to the front of the brain (probably thought patterns supporting and holding in place the issue), then to the nervous system as a whole, and then back to the heart to work deeper on the contraction or block there. I also noticed a layer of anger being released, and then a deep sadness in the heart area.
Why is it helpful to sense where the energy works, and perhaps what it works on? Because it allows the divine to guide the process more easily. I can follow along, notice, and perhaps learn. I am less likely to allow my ideas of what to do next to override the natural process guided by an intelligence far beyond my human. I can stay with what’s happening and support it that way. And when I see where the focus is going and have a sense of what it does, I am far more likely to have trust in the process, and it’s far more enjoyable and interesting.
OUR RELATIONSHIP TO OUR EXPERIENCE
When an issue is triggered in me, how do I relate to it? And can I do anything to shift it?
When it’s triggered, do I get caught up in it? Do I identify with the story behind it and perceive and live as if it’s true? Do I notice what’s going on? Do I notice the typical signs of being caught in an issue? (Reactivity, defensiveness, bodily contractions, discomfort etc.). Am I able to see it as an issue and an object happening within my experience? Am I able to relate to it more intentionally and not get so caught in it? Do I have tools to shift how I relate to the issue? Do I have tools to help soften or release the issue? Do I use those tools?
When I notice I get caught in an issue, some of the most helpful things in shifting how I relate to it are simple heart-centered practices, for instance, ho’oponopono, tonglen, or metta. I do these practices to the issue and contraction in me, and that helps shift how I relate to it. There is a sense of more space, I can see it more as an object in me, and I can relate to it more consciously.
RELATIONSHIPS IN AN AWAKENING PROCESS
We can use anything in our life for healing and awakening, including relationships. It doesn’t matter if the other is on a healing or awakening path or not.
At the same time, many of us (all?) long for a partner we can share as many areas of our life with as possible, including our healing and awakening journey.
AN “OPPOSITE END” NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE
I had a kind of opposite-end-of-the-life-cycle Near-Death Experience in my early childhood. Up until about school age, I had flashbacks to the time before this incarnation / between lives.
The flashbacks brought me back to being without a body, a sense of oneness (with a sense of being a separate self too), infinite love and wisdom, infinite light, a profound sense of being home, and timelessness (with some vague sense of time). There was also a sense of communication with infinitely wise also disincarnate beings.
What I remember is that these flashbacks typically happened when I was outside and saw the sunlight on the ground filtered through moving leaves.
At the time, I didn’t have any particular thoughts about this, and I don’t think I mention it to anyone. (I wouldn’t have known how to put it into words, and maybe I thought it was something everyone experienced.) It wasn’t until my late teens that I made the connection between this and the more typical near-death experiences.
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DECEMBER 7, 2020
When it comes down to it, what most (all?) human beings want is love. Not just to be loved by others, but to love. And not just to love someone else, but to deeply and thoroughly love their own experience. And to deeply and thoroughly love our own experience means to love any sensation, thought, and ourselves and the world as it appears to us.
Many of us are unaware of this. And many of us go about finding this love in haphazard ways. We rely on cultural and other conditioning, and on reactivity and reactions to discomfort. That’s why we often end of not finding the love we seek.
It’s not difficult to find examples of this. Trump is perhaps an especially clear one. I assume he too, deep down, really just wants love. And especially to find genuine love – compassion – for himself and his pain. The way he goes about this, through bluster, bigotry, and scams, doesn’t give him what he really wants, but he doesn’t know any other way, so he continues and doubles his effort. It’s a tragedy in the old Greek sense. It’s a setup and he is unable to escape it, at least for now and probably in this lifetime.
So what do we do? Do we chose the Trump approach of doing more of what doesn’t work? Or do we take the more direct route to find love for our own experience – as it is, and perhaps even find ourselves as love?
We are love. That’s why we seek love. We seek what we already are. We seek home. We seek to allow the uncomfortable separation between what we think we are (which comes from thoughts and identities) and what we really are (oneness, love) to be seen through and fall away.
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JANUARY 8, 2020
WE ARE LOVE – WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
When I write “we are love”, what does it mean?
It means that to ourselves, what we are is what all our experiences happen within and as. To ourselves, we are oneness. And another word for oneness is love.
This is not a love that’s dependent on a feeling. It’s the love of the left hand removing a splinter from the right. It’s an expression of oneness recognizing itself. Of different part of the same body working together. (Even if the other parts may not realize they are part of the same body.)
KIDNEYS AND FEAR
A few days ago, I worked on a deep fear behind some layers of sadness and anger. (The sadness and anger was a reaction to the unmet fear.)
When I woke up the following day, I noticed that my kidneys felt energetically cold and a bit dry. The kidney area was also physically cold even if there was no conventional reason for it.
I have noticed this several times when I work on fear.
And it also fits traditional Chinese medicine that associates kidneys with fear. How did they discover it? Probably a similar way to how I discovered the connection. I notice a repeating pattern of working on deep fear and then noticing my kidneys feeling colder and dryer the following morning.
JANUARY 11, 2021
WHY CONNECT WITH THE DIVINE IF WE ARE THE DIVINE?
This is one of the questions we may have if we mainly have heard others tell stories about the divine and spirituality.
In reality, it’s simpler. Yes, all is already the divine. Nothing is inherently wrong or missing.
At the same time, the divine may be used to identifying as this local and temporary manifestation of the divine (this human self). And here, it makes sense to explore our connection with the divine – if that’s what we are drawn to. We may first explore it as a third and second person relationship, and then discover first and zero person relationships, and recognize all of them here and shift more fluidly between them.
That’s part of the divine too. That process is also the divine. It happens within and as the divine.
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JANUARY 12, 2020
THE BACKWARD STEP IN ZEN, AND RELATED BACKWARD STEPS
In Zen, they sometimes talk about the backward step.
I assume it usually refers to finding ourselves as Big Mind. To take the “backward step” from being identified as something within our content of experience, to notice we are that which all our experience happens within and as.
There is another form of backward step I find helpful. And that’s the backward step from being caught up in reactivity to noticing and getting to know the fear behind it.
Any time I notice reactivity in myself – whether it takes the form of defensiveness, protection, anger, sadness, compulsion, or something else – I can find behind it. The reactiveness is a reaction to unmet, unfelt, unloved, and unexamined fear.
When I connect with the fear, the foundation for the reactiveness tends to fall away.
And this allows some space to notice and examine the beliefs and underlying assumptions creating the fear and the reactivity to it in the first place.
There are many types of similar backward steps. We can go from fueling a belief to notice and question it. From reacting to a fear to befriending it. From being caught up in pretending to be something within our content of experience to notice we are what all our experience happens within and as. And so on.
JANUARY 13, 2020
Within existence, there are innumerable possible perspectives. When life shifts into one of these, it’s activated and it becomes one way existence experiences, expresses, and explores itself.
For us, this all happens within and as what we are. It happens within and as this oneness.
We can shift into any aspect of who we are (subpersonalities), we can shift into an imagined view of anyone or anything, and we can shift into any aspect of what we are (that which our experience happens within and as).
I have noticed that spiritual teachers who tend to shift into and speak from – or as – aspects of what we are tend to get a lot of attention. I assume it’s because it seems a bit exotic and more removed from what most are familiar. And I also know it can be helpful. At the same time, if someone is habitually “stuck” in aspects of what they are, they leave out at least half of existence and they leave out the immense juiciness of the interplay of who and what we are.
THE DISCOMFORT THAT’S HERE
I imagine most of us have some slight discomfort most of the time, and it’s especially noticeable if we are quiet in a quiet space. Any form of meditation practice will help us notice it.
This discomfort can be gold if we have the interest and skill in exploring it. What creates the discomfort? How do we respond to the discomfort? Is there where (sometimes slight) addictions and avoidance behavior comes in?
What do I find when I explore…. how my mind creates this experience of discomfort? Any issue creating it? How I respond to it?
For me, inquiry is a very good way to do this discomfort-exploration, either Living Inquiries (sense fields) or The Work of Byron Katie (beliefs).
Another is Vortex Healing, using my current tools (Vortex Therapy, Merlin’s Grace, de-networking, MHG, Issue Transformation Room, Transform Fear Room etc.) to explore the issue behind the discomfort – and separately how I habitually respond to it.
JANUARY 14, 2020
PERFECTIONISM IN HEALING AND AWAKENING
Some of us use perfectionism to feel more safe. And if that’s the case, it will likely also color how we approach healing and awakening.
I notice that in myself. Somewhere in me, I don’t feel I can rest until all the major issues in me – at least the ones I am aware of or reasonably can be aware of – are met, explored, befriended, and ideally mostly healed.
It’s the same with awakening. Some place in me is unable to rest until the healing is more clear and until more parts of me have joined in with the awakening.
And both are endless processes. There is always more.
Perfectionism isn’t bad or wrong. It can be a good driver. At the same time, it’s uncomfortable. It means there is always something we run from. And it means there is something in us – the part that uses perfectionism to try to feel safe – that’s not yet healed and hasn’t yet joined in with the awakening.
So at some point, why not look at this? Why not look at the perfectionism. What’s inside of it? Fear? Stories that I will be loved and accepted and perhaps safe if I do my best to be perfect? That my parents will love me? That life and God will love me if I do my best to be perfect?
How would it be without this story? How is it to take in that I am lovable and loved anyway? How is it to love myself as I am, in all the perfect imperfection?
FOLLOW YOUR BODY? FOLLOW YOUR INTUITION?
I rarely write “follow your body” or “follow your intuition”.
Why? Is it because I don’t find it useful?
Not at all. I find it very useful for myself.
But I also know that for many of us, at least in some situations, it may be difficult to differentiate between conditioning, habits, trauma, and beliefs on the one hand and genuine intuition or inner knowing on the other.
It typically takes time to learn to differentiate the two, and in some situations I imagine it can be difficult for all of us.
And when I connect with my inner knowing or intuition for guidance, I hold it lightly. I know how one or the other typically feels. And yet, I am open for mistaken one for the other, or that I misinterpret the intuition or inner knowing.
THE COST OF GENIUS?
I saw a behind-the-scenes documentary on YouTube about the Queen’s Gambit. In it, one of the creators said the series is about “the cost of genius”.
In some ways, genius can have a cost. If you chose to develop it, you will have to choose away other things, and so on. There is a cost, but in most cases, it’s more than worth it.
If he referred to the personal troubles of the main character in Queen’s Gambit, then it doesn’t make so much sense. In real life, many people have great skill and talent in certain areas and live normally balanced and content lives. In Queen’s Gambit, she is likely troubled from being orphaned and being raised in an orphanage.
In general, the “troubled genius” is one of those unfortunate myths that probably comes from the Romantic era of European history and most know is not true.
THE PURPOSE OF BEING HUMAN?
A friend posted in social media: What’s the purpose of being human?
I didn’t bother to answer since I know that he has a particular answer in mind. (To grow, evolve, etc.)
For me, this has many facets.
The idea of purpose is a human idea. As far as we can tell, it only exists in the human mind. It’s a mental overlay on my experience of the world. It’s a fantasy.
To the extent I have examined this, the idea of purpose is something I can hold lightly.
I don’t need to try to find “the” purpose or any purpose inherent in reality because there is likely none. Even if there were, I likely can’t know what it is. It’s likely something I, with this human mind, can’t grasp. And even if I could, I can’t know anything about it for certain.
So I can examine the idea of purpose. What in me feels a need for purpose –to know what it is or have a sense of it in my own life? What’s the worst that can happen if I don’t have it? What happens when I inquire into how my mind creates its experience of purpose or lack of purpose and what will happen if I don’t have it? (Living Inquiries.) What do I find if I inquire into stressful beliefs around this? (The Work.) What does this part of me tell me? What does it want from me? (Dialog.) What happens if I meet this part of me with kindness and love?
Another angle to this, which is perhaps slightly more superficial, is that the “purpose” of a rock is to be a rock. The “purpose” of anything is to be what it is. The purpose of a human is to be a human. The purpose of anything is what is.
And yet another angle is lila. The purpose of existence is to express, explore, and experience itself in always new ways – as what’s here now.
Finally, even in the context of all of this, I can find my own purpose. It can be one or many. It’s always temporary and up for revision.
HOW TO WORK WITH STRONG EMOTIONS WITH VORTEX HEALING?
Someone asked how to work with strong emotions using Vortex Healing.
Short term, there are a few different strategies. In Vortex Healing, we have MHG, Angelic Heart, Vortex Therapy, and similar tools.
Longer-term, it’s important to work on the emotional issue(s) behind the strong emotions, which may go back to trauma and possibly developmental trauma.
It’s also important to work on how the person relates to the strong emotions – what orientations, beliefs, identities, and emotional issues are there? Are they scared by certain sensations and emotions? What scary beliefs do they have about it? What identities do the strong emotions rub up against?
The short term approaches can help the person in the moment. Looking at the issue(s) behind the emotions can take some of the charge out of it longer term. And looking at how the person relates to the strong emotions – and working on any issues behind it – can help the person reorient and befriend these strong emotions and possibly uncomfortable experiences in general.
If I worked with a client on this topic, and they were committed to working on it, I would use a combination of Vortex Healing, conversation, and some other approaches to help them shift how they relate to the strong emotions – like ho’o, tonglen, and metta.
CONSPIRACY THEORIES, COMPULSIONS, AND TRAUMA
I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a connection between conspiracy theories, compulsions, and trauma. Conspiracy theories often take the form of a compulsion, and compulsions and addictions are often a response to trauma.
We experience the discomfort of trauma, whether it’s a nagging lower grade discomfort or a more full blown discomfort (anxiety, anger, distress etc.).
We seek strategies to deal with this discomfort, and these often become compulsive. Sometimes, the strategies involve denial or frozenness. Sometimes, blame, bigotry, and anger. Sometimes, food, sex, or drugs. Sometimes, ideas like conspiracy theories. And sometimes, the strategy is admitting to the trauma and seeking healing.
Conspiracy theories like QAnon can be an apparently good distraction from our discomfort. We can spend hours reading about it, and there is always more to find. We can create a lot of drama around it – being upset, getting into arguments, and so on. It can be exciting to find more clues and information and see what will happen. And so on.
JANUARY 17, 2020
WHAT ISSUES TO WORK ON?
If we are exploring our own emotional issues – with whatever tools we have available and are drawn to – how do we chose which issues to work on?
I have two general guidelines for myself.
One is to work on whatever is up in my life now. I am bothered by something? Annoyed? Sad? Angry? Anxious? Then work on that. Often, these daily life surface issues lead back to more central and old issues.
Another is my relationship with my parents, now and at any time in my life. I can work on any issues coming up now, and I can also go back the timeline and work on whatever issues were there in the past (chances are, there is still something there to work on).
When we are little, our parents is – more or less – our whole world, and we are formed within that environment. So it makes sense to work on any issues we have with our parents. Chances are, most or all of the issues we have go back to those older and more central issues.
PENDULUM AND ASKING SPECIFIC QUESTIONS
I sometimes use the pendulum to rate the fit or how helpful something will be. (It’s a way to connect with my inner knowing, And I just use my fingers, not an actual pendulum anymore.)
If I get an unclear or neutral answer – or a five out of ten if I use a scale – it often means my question is not clear enough. For instance, I just now asked about a therapist/healer that was recommended to me, and when I initially asked in general how good a fit he is for me, I got a neutral five. When I then specified my question and asked how much he could help my physical health, I got an eight.
JANUARY 21, 2020
Adyashanti, Byron Katie, Douglas Harding
For many years following the initial awakening, I couldn’t find anyone who seemed to express or understand what was alive for me.
I found some who were in the same general area – Meister Eckhart, some Buddhist teachers – but what they expressed didn’t always seem completely clear, and it was often clothed in culture and tradition so the clarity became a bit obscured.
It wasn’t until I first discovered Adyashanti (around 2002) and then Byron Katie and Douglas Harding (Headless Way), that I found someone who expressed the same – or very similar – insights as what had been revealed to me 15-20 years earlier.
For the first time, I heard someone say exactly – sometimes using almost the same words – as what I had written in my journals and occasionally mentioned to someone else if I thought they perhaps would resonate with it.
Some years before that, I was part of the group that first experienced the Big Mind Process (Genpo Roshi, Kanzeon Zen Center), and that too reflected what had been revealed.
Yes, all is one. Yes, the insights are there for anyone to discover. And yet, it does mean something at a personal level to find someone – even if it’s “just” a teacher that you may not even meet in person – who expressed and speaks and acts from the awakening that’s here too.
At the same time, I value immensely the many years of relative loneliness in this. It did help me explore it for myself and learn to rely on myself.
There are no mistakes. There is a value in being “alone” in it for a while, and there is value in being in a community.
I don’t pretend the same clarity or maturity or embodiment is here as is in Adyashanti or Byron Katie or was in Douglas Harding. I don’t know. And it doesn’t really matter. I just know some of what there is to continue to explore here, and that there is always further to go.
JANUARY 23, 2020
“SUPERNATURAL” THINGS THAT ARE PART OF MY DAILY LIFE
In an awakening and healing context, which this blog mostly is about, “supernatural” things are peripheral.
Some may support healing in a relatively obvious way. For instance, it can be helpful to see and otherwise sense energies in oneself or others. And distance healing can be very helpful.
The existence of these things shows us that the narrow materialistic view on the world is a bit incomplete.
And giving it too much attention can be distracting from what healing and awakening really is about.
That said, I’ll mention a few here, from my own daily life.
Seeing energies. During the initial awakening in my teens, I noticed I could see energies. First, I noticed it around leaves on a tree I was sitting under. Then around everything – inanimate objects, plants, animals, and the animal called humans. I met a woman two or three years later who also sees energies (she is a friend now), and we would sometimes sit and look at the energy around people and compare notes. For me, this has mostly been useful in seeing how awake someone is, for instance, anyone in the role of a spiritual teacher. Seeing energies in this way became commonplace for me a long time ago, although I also know that in our society, which has a mostly materialistic world view (matter and energy as described by science is all there is), it’s not.
Sensing at a distance. I have been able to sense at a distance, to some extent, and this has been immensely amplified and focused after I started with Vortex Healing. When I do healing for someone, it’s common to receive information about what I do healing for, and this turns out to be correct. I can sense the energy system, issues, what the healing does, and so on. At least, to some extent. And this can be trained through, for instance, modalities like Vortex Healing. (Not that there are any very much like it.)
Healing at a distance. This is another thing that’s part of my daily life. During the initial awakening when I – this human self – was sixteen, I noticed I could not only see energies and sense at a distance, but also do healing at a distance. This is mostly a matter of connecting with who and what I am doing healing for, sensing, and inviting in healing. The divine does this healing, and “I” am just a channel for it. I am the one connecting and inviting it in. In reality, it’s the divine doing all of it and playing all of the roles. When I got into Vortex Healing, this too got amplified greatly and I found a community of fellow practitioners which has been very helpful.
Pendulum. A pendulum is a way to connect with our intuition or sensing. I learned to use one in my mid-twenties, and would compare notes with the person who showed me how (DT, another friend). When we independently asked questions about the same, we would get the same results. I still use it for some things, often connected with healing, although I do with without a physical pendulum now.
Ghosts. I have had some ghost experiences. The most interesting one was perhaps in San Francisco when I did house- and dog-sitting there. It was a small and modern apartment, and at night – after going to bed – I would hear sounds through the open door and from the kitchen just around the corner and just out of sight. I heard the faucet being turned on and the water running. The dog drinking water. The dog’s ball bouncing on the floor. When I walked out into the kitchen area, the sounds stopped. These were not sounds from the neighbors due to good sound insulation, and the sounds were clearly coming from the same space as I was in. The dog would sit up and bark at the kitchen when this happened, which she never otherwise did. And all of the sounds were repeats from earlier in the day when I had used the faucet, played with the dog using the bouncing ball, and the dog had been drinking water. It seemed like a playful ghost or spirit, somehow. I did some research on the apartment building and found it was built on the place where the largest orphanage in San Francisco used to be, around a century ago. I don’t know if there was a connection. At the time, I had just started with Vortex Healing, so I asked a senior practitioner if she could work on the place. After two briefish sessions, these sounds stopped.
What we are. This is not really “supernatural” but I’ll include it anyway since it goes a bit outside of mainstream views on reality. Most people assume they are, and we are, an object in the world. More precisely, this human self. It’s not wrong. But it’s also not the whole picture. We are also that which all our experiences happen within and as. And when I say “all our experiences” I mean just that – all sights, sounds, sensations, thoughts and so on. The whole world as it appears to me, and this human self too. It all happens within and as what I am. It’s all one in this. It’s all – if we want to label it and reflect it in thoughts – consciousness, or awakeness. When what I am discovers itself, then all – to it or me – is what a through may label one and consciousness.
JANUARY 25, 2020
WHERE ARE PEOPLE ON THE SPIRAL DYNAMICS SCALE?
Since I got into some integral and spiral dynamics group online (many years ago now), I noticed that some seem very interested in where other people are on the scale.
I understand that it can be helpful if we are learning about Spiral Dynamics and how the different levels look in real life.
But it also seems simplistic, and I suspect other motivations sometimes come in.
We all have all the different levels in us – either more explicitly or as a seed. And we all shift between several depending on the situation, whether any emotional issues are triggered, and so on.
And I suspect that if we are very interested in where others are on the scale, and we imagine ourselves at “second tier”, there is something else going on. For instance, we use our – imagined – “elevated” status to feel better about ourselves.
What I see in others is what I have in myself, whether it’s the different SD levels or people using it to feel better about themselves. (I do that too, for instance when I judge people for doing just that!)
And it is a model. It’s a map. It’s imagined. Yes, there may be some validity to it. It may be useful in some ways, depending on how and when we use it. And yet, it’s ultimately imagined.
RELATIVISM AND REALITY
THE VALUE OF THE DARK
In our culture, we are used to thinking light=good and dark=bad.
I assume this has something to do with Christianity. There are plenty of light=good and dark=bad/evil images and metaphors there.
But is it true? What do I find when I look at the different things that are described as light or dark?
White vs black. Often, the color white is seen as pure while black has less favorable connotations. Good guys wear white hats, and bad guys black. The pure bride wears white, while the mourning widow wears black. These are clearly cultural assumptions. In some other cultures, it’s reverse.
Skin tone. This connects with European racism where white skin is seen as good and superior while darker skin traditionally has been associated with savages. Again, this is clearly a cultural assumption – with horrific consequences, and not based in reality. Skin color has to do with human migration, adaption to place, and biological ancestry and don’t say anything about us as people.
Day and night. We are daylight animals so it’s natural for us to favor the day and daylight. The night belongs to other creatures. But even as daylight creatures, we can find value in the night. For us, it’s a time of rest and sleep.
Known and unknown. Some things are in the dark, and we can shed light on them so they are known to us. Again, this metaphor makes sense of us since we are daytime animals. Obviously, it helps us to know things about ourselves and the world. It helps us function. And yet, there is immense value in the unknown. To the extent we take in how little we know, it helps us stay receptive and curious. And it makes life far more interesting since we get the adventure of discovery. What’s unknown may be “in the dark” for us, and it’s as valuable as what we (think we) know.
Healed and unhealed.
Awake and unawake.
Womb. The womb, soil, and early universe all are associated with darkness. And yet, that’s where life comes from. We live our first months in and are born from dark wombs. The soil supports most plant life and land life, including our own. The dark and early universe reorganized itself, over billions of years, into the universe as it is today and it reorganized itself into us and all we know.
As with so much, the more we explore our assumptions, the more we see that they are assumptions and not inherent in life itself.
- day/night, known/unknown, awake/unawake, healed/unhealed, life-centered vs destructive,
- also – soil, womb, early universe
- daylight animals
EXPLORING OUR FEAR OF MEETING DISCOMFORT
THE IMPORTANCE OF ENERGIZING THE SYSTEM
–––– IDEAS ––––
I usually don’t get too personal here, but I’ll mention a few things that I notice with my own internalized “inter-parental” dynamic.
THE DOWNSIDE OF THE IDEAS OF SOUL MATES, TWIN FLAMES ETC.
[may look for, compare with idea, get trapped, etc., may be millions of potential ones, may be different ones for different periods of life – instead, why not enjoy what is, look at what works and doesn’t work etc. – more pragmatic]
THE ANATOMY OF SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES
ALLOWING – FOR SELF, AND THEN OTHERS
INSIGHT IS DIFFERENT FROM HEALING
I have on occasion spoken with spiritual teachers and psychologists who seem to have a very superficial understanding of what they are talking about.
One thing I have noticed is that some seem to assume that if we understand a dynamic in ourselves at an abstract level, that means it’s resolved.
That’s obviously not the case. We can have some insights into a dynamic in ourselves, and it can still be there.
––––– DRAFTS –––––
Our western culture values youth over older age, perhaps because of our quick technological change and development which favors young people’s ability to pick up the new technology quickly. (Cultures with a more stable technology tend to favor old age and their accumulated wisdom and experience.)
In our culture, we sometimes talk about staying young even in old age, perhaps because we value youth.
We obviously don’t need to stay young. But staying healthy in old age is a good thing and we can do quite a few things to stay healthy.
In our culture, we are used to thinking light=good and dark=bad. I assume this has something to do with Christianity. There are plenty of light=good and dark=bad/evil images and metaphors there.
But is it true? What do I find when I look at the different things that’s described as light or dark?
I assume this has something to do with Christianity. There are plenty of light=good and dark=bad/evil images and metaphors there.
But there may also be a more general explanation. Favoring light over dark – and the metaphors that come out of this – is understandable for daylight animals like humans. We evolved with eyes and to function best in daylight. It doesn’t make