Analogies

 

My first sense of the magic of Existence came through watching Cosmos by Carl Sagan. It gave me a deep sense of the mysteries of existence, and of the Universe as a seamless whole. My own existence is integral to that of the whole Universe…

In terms of human exploration of our existence, there is a parallel exploration of the outer and inner aspects of the world. We explore the human mind, and we explore the Earth and the Universe. Within the natural diversity – different emphasis for different cultures and from individual to individual – there is a parallel exploration process.

From a Jungian perspective, we can possibly see the exploration of the Earth as a whole (systems perspective) as an analogy of a discovery of the Self – or the Centaur level in Ken Wilber’s terminology. We are growing into an awareness of Earth as a whole, and of ourselves as a whole, beyond and including body, energy, emotions and cognition. To emerge into this awareness, we must let go of fixed ideas and identities, and be willing to see both ends of all polarities (and each quality/characteristic) in both the outer and the inner world.

The exploration of the solar system and the Universe as a whole, can be seen as paralleling an emergence into a more cosmic/transdual consciousness. Only a few humans live on that level currently, and the exploration of the Universe is also in its early beginnings.

SETI is an interesting example. The search for life (awareness) in the outer reaches of the Universe may be a parallel to awakening of awareness of “peripheral” areas of the mind – going from small to big mind. (For me, Contact – a story of the exploration of awareness in the outer Universe – beautifully captures some of the awe, mystery and bliss I have experienced in explorations of the inner Universe).

The Universe is awakening into awareness of itself as a whole, and it manifests in what we experience as the outer and the inner world. And into an awareness of the seamless whole of Existence, beyond inner and outer.

Beyond Choice & Conditioning

 

Humans have a natural interest in choice/freedom and conditioning/restraints. And as with everything else, we experience it differently according to our basic world experience/view.

Dualistic
When we operate from a blindly dualistic view, we experience the fragments and poles and not the wholes and polarities. The world is fragmented and consists of separate entities, and we are concerned with how we relate to these entities and how they relate to us. Freedom and choice comes from being able to control these relationships.

Complete control is of course not possible, so there is a natural tension and stress in this way of operating. Eventually, we realize that this way of operating does not quite work… The world is too complex for us to have the amount of control we need to be “safe” and “free”.

Awareness
Still in the somewhat dualistic and control mode, we realize that we can control how we relate to the inner/outer world rather than the inner/outer world itself. We can bring energy and focus to awareness, and work with different mind training techniques. There is a sense of freedom from our past conditioning, through creating a new pattern of conditioning(!). We repattern ourselves so we relate to situations in a way that nurture rather than drain.

Eventually, we come to a point where most situations/experiences are fuel for compassion, gratitude and humility. There is a stream of bliss, even in the most difficult and painful situations.

But even this view contains some discontent. There is a sense that it is not complete, and there is an impulse to move to a more complete view…

Transduality
From a fully transdual view, we see that Existence is a fluid and seamless whole. There is no freedom, and no restraints… It is all movements of the seamless whole.

And since it is a transdual view, we also appreciate the reality of the previous ways of experiencing the world. The world is composed of parts that interact in various ways, and we have some amount of “control” of how the world plays itself out on this level. And we can nurture our awareness of how we relate to the inner/outer world, repattern ourselves, and relate to the world in a more nurturing way. As long as we are human, all levels are present.

Changes

 

During the first half of the Breema intensive, I experienced many changes and effects including a strong experience of fire in the hara (clear borders and effects throughout the system). During the second half of the intensive, there were fewer obvious changes – although the Breema atmosphere deepened still.

Now, after the intensive, I have a strong experience of the personality (including body) being fluid and spacious. There is fluid personality, and space and timelessness, and there is no separation. Manifestations and the absolute are fluidly woven together… Space, awareness, body, personality – all there, fluid expressions of Existence.

Dream

 

I received Breema from Jon Schreiber, and experienced myself in a new way. It was profoundly natural, simple, fluid, no seperation. All crystallizations of the personality melted away into fluid and responsive manifestations. There was no seperation between the absolute and the relative – awareness and inner/outer phenomena. All of Existence was a fluid and seamless whole.

Projections, No Separation & Breema

 

A direct experience of No Separation, either low level or full blown transdual, allows projections to integrate. We have a direct experience of any characteristic or quality in both the outer and the inner world. One becomes a reminder of the other.

My personality still has reactions coming up (aversions) to people who are noisy from lack of awareness. It means that my conscious identity not yet has expanded to include these characteristics. I see them in others, and not in myself. And I relate to these qualities with aversion in both the inner and outer world.

I am practicing placing myself in situations with noisy/boisterous/unaware people around, and asking myself “can I experience these qualities in myself?”. It is painful, but also expanding. I have a stronger/different sense of no separation when I do this. More qualities in the world are included in the no separation, and my sense of this personality expands as well.

Breema is a wonderful support in this process. I can stay with body comfortable and no extra, while opening myself to experience in myself what I am seeing in the other, in this Now…

Contractions & Openings

 

For the human mind, life is a continual dance between contractions and openings. These dynamic processes and tendencies goes over lifetimes, years and months (macro level), and over the course of the day and between every changing Now (micro levels).

What (characteristics)

Contractions

  • Crystallized pride and seriousness.
  • Resisting our experiences (life as it unfolds in the Now).
  • Breaking down during intense experiences.
  • Crystallization/rigidity on all levels: body, emotions, cognition etc.
  • Going/identified with the thoughts, emotions and sensations, and reduced choice in how we relate to the inner/outer world.
  • Attachments to ideas and identity, and rigid ideas/identity. Reduced awareness of that which is experiencing makes the ideas and thoughts themselves of prime importance.
  • There is a sense of strong separation between the outer and inner world. Qualities and characteristics are seen in one and not the other, and there is a strong identification with the (conscious) processes of the inner world.
  • The view tends to be fragmented and blindly dualistic.
  • Thoughts tend to be critical. Emotions reactive. There is a strong identification with both.

Openings

  • Deepening gratitude, humility and empathy.
  • Relaxing into our experiences (Existence as it manifests in the Now).
  • Breaking open during intense experiences.
  • Increased fluidity/flow on all levels: body, emotions, congnitions etc.
  • Awareness of and space around the thoughts, emotions and sensations. Increased choice in how we relate to the inner/outer world.
  • Direct experience and awareness is as important as, or more important than, the shifting content. More fluid ideas/identity, and reduced attachments to ideas/identity.
  • There is an awareness of the changing processes of the inner/outer world, and a sense of no separation between the two. We see all qualities and characteristics equally in the outer and inner world (the one reminds us of the other).
  • The view is of no separation and seeing the polarities as well as the poles.
  • Thoughts tends to be receptive, emotions supportive. There is awareness of both (space rather than identification).

How (tools)

Contractions and openings are an integral part of human existence. Still, we do have a choice in how we relate to our experiences, and have tools to invite contractions into openings.

  • Awareness
    (a) Of all relative phenomena (inner/outer world)
    (b) Of awareness as different from relative phenomena (different, yet no separation)
  • Being in the present
    (a) Coming to the body and breath
    (b) Being with our current experiences
  • Relaxing into our experiences
    Can I be with what I am experiencing? This helps us open up, let go of resistance, and truly benefit from our experiences independent of whether they are comfortable or not.

  • Breema (tai chi, chi gong, yoga, etc)
  • Meditation
  • Lo Jong: Mind training
  • Projections

Breema Intensive

 

I just returned from an eight day Breema intensive in Oakland. Some experiences/reflections…

Atmosphere
The Breema atmosphere is very alive and the same no matter where I do Breema and which class/workshop/intensive I go to. It is a wonderful support to come to the present, to deepen my connection with the body, to be more deeply comfortable with all experiences, and to work with the nine principles…

The atmosphere is also one of deep sincerity and a pure and open heart…

More

  • I experienced the infitine richness in every detail and every changing Now… There are infinite worlds in the smallest details.
  • When I am present, all Existence is right here now. There is no separation. No resistance.
  • I experienced the structure that the Breema Center sets up (during the intensive as well as for practitioners and instructors) as deeply supportive and from deep wisdom and a truly open heart.
  • I could more easily map the Breema terminology onto my own experiences (and the maps I have from Buddhism and Ken Wilber).
  • I experienced clearly that each phenomenon has a personality (relative), and the same essence (absolute). And that I can shift my focus from the personality to also include the essence, especially with the support from Breema – the bodywork, self-breemas and the principles.
  • I deepened my experience of how Breema is deeply transformative on all levels – body, energy, emotional, cognitive, etc. How it transforms my relationship with the inner and outer world, with Existence.
  • I deepened my experience of the dance between contractions and openings, and how simple awareness gives the space to invite contractions to become openings.
  • I deepened my understanding of how I can move from the idea of doing to resting in the experience of allowing it to happen.
  • I see how my personality has likes and dislikes, and that I can make choices from awareness rather than the likes/dislikes. Instead of only practicing the sequences that my personality has an affinity to, I can practice sequences independent of my preferences and allow myself to discover what each has to offer.
  • I renewed my experience of how, when my personality reacts with aversion to another personality, it changes when I (a) get to know the person and especially (b) when I exchange or do Breema with the person.
  • I experience the personality & body as fluid – with space within and around.
  • I deepened my understanding of (a) how experience comes before verbal expressions, and also (b) how verbal expressions can deepen the experience. Experience and expression support each other.

Most Amazing

 

The most amazing, the most profound mystery, is that anything exists at all.

How can that be? What did it emerge from? What went before? Where does space come from? These are questions natural for humans, but they only reflect our limited perceptions of the world. We are finite creatures living on a small time/space scale. Our brains are developed for dealing with our human situation, not for a clear overview of the universe.

And still, we can experience existence from a transdual view, from a more inclusive “big picture”. From this view, we see – directly experience – that everything is beyond dualities. Beyond existence and nonexistence, mind and matter, subject and object, and beyond any human concerns of good and evil, right and wrong, truth and false. Existence is beyond all polarities, and embracing all polarities. There is no before and after. Everything just is.

And from this view, it all makes sense while the mystery is only more profound.

How can it be that anything exists at all?

Dream

 

I saw myself in the future – as I can be. A deep and detailed integration, with a full transdual awareness (through the whole universe) deeply integrated into the physical body. It was a whole new way of being, another stage.

The integration had a fractal and textured/granualted quality: it occured on innumerable levels from large scale to infinite details. It was simple, grounded, integrated and ordinary.

Health & Quadrants

 

For any healing process to have deeper and more lasting effects, it has to be holistic. If we use Ken Wilber’s model, the approach has to take into account all four quadrants.

  1. I >> Individual Self and Consiousness
  2. It >> Individual Organism
  3. Its >> Society and Ecology
  4. We >> Collective Culture and Worldview

Any comprehensive approach to health must take into account the structures, processes and relationships in each of these quadrants.

Even if we focus on healing on an individual level, we need to address how this person relates to all four quadrants. What are the relationships, and in what ways do they contribute to (or hinder) health and well-being? Any approach that only focuses on one quadrant is bound to have limited effect and usefulness.

Some approaches, such as meditation, Breema, Process Work, etc. works on the whole person, and do have effects far beyond. They seem to be truly transformative practices and tools.

Other approaches, such as acupuncture, may have more limited effects and use. For instance, if acupuncture only focuses on balancing out all levels of the person (mind, body, spirit), but do not work actively with the awareness of the person, the imbalances will most likely return. It is just a band-aid. A temporary fix, and of limited usefulness.

For real change to occur, it has to go through awareness. We have to bring our habitual patterns, and our relationships with all the four quadrants, into awareness – and a deeper transformation has to occur through insights and realizations. A deep transformation has to occur in how the person relates to all quadrants in their everyday life.

Tools that Work

 

There are several tools that work well in terms of helping us find contentment, fulfillment and happiness. It seems that the most valuable lesson for anyone to learn is how to apply one or more of these tools – it is worth more than any external wealth…

  • Rejoycing in other’s happiness (lo-jong)
  • Asking ourselves “can I be with what I am experiencing right now?” (R. Cushnir)
  • Using our own difficult situations/intense experiences to break open rather than breaking down, through being with what we are experiencing (letting go of resistance, experiencing it fully)
  • Using our own experience of pain to deepen our empathy with other’s suffering
  • Coming to our bodies and the present through yoga, Breema, tai chi, etc.
  • Clarifying our mind through meditation practice (under guidance of a qualified teacher)
  • Exploring and choosing actions that benefits others as well as ourselves
  • Softening – letting go of attachments to habits, ideas, etc. through Breema, meditation, etc.
  • Bringing more of ourselves into awareness through working with projections. Whatever I see in the outer world is also there in the inner world. When I experience attachments to anything in the outer world (attraction or aversion), I can use it as a reminder to explore and become familiar with those qualities in my self and my own life.
  • Deepen our awareness of how we relate to the world. The way we relate to the outer world is also the way we relate to the inner world. The patterns I feed in how I relate to others, are the patterns strengthened in how I relate to myself. If I relate to others with empathy and compassion, I relate to my self with empathy and compassion. If I seek to benefit life, I seek to benefit others and myself. There is no separation.

Three Dimensions

 

Waking Down does a good job of mapping out three essential components of any comprehensive spiritual practice…

  1. Waking Up

    Opening to a transdual experience of the world. We directly experience Existence as beyond and embracing all dualities, and we continually deepen our experience of both the absolute and the relative, and the dance between the two. Both ends of all polarities are seen as integral to Existence, one no more important, spiritual or real than the other.

  2. Waking Down

    (a) We ground and integrate the transdual view into our everyday life. We explore how to live continually more fully from this view.

    (b) We explore our psyche, and especially the areas we see as “other” – those we, for one reason or another – have closed ourselves off from and fragments our world. This includes a good deal of projection work: seeing in ourselves what we see in the outer world. And the guideposts for this work is attractions and aversions to qualities in others and the rest of the world, both of which tells us that we are not as familiar with those qualities in ourselves as we could be.

  3. In Mutuality

    And all this is company of others on the path, both guides – those a little further along – and companions. We explore our own path in the company of others, through guidance, conversations, rubbing against each other, and in honest exploration. Our Sangha is our laboratory for clarifying and for testing out how to live from a more transdual view. What does it mean in our everyday lives? How can I live it in company with others? Where are my blind spots? Where are my wounds that need to be brought into awareness.

Relaxing Into

 

In Buddhism, Breema and Waking Down, there is an emphasis on relaxing into our experiences.

Relaxing into them as they are right now, independent on how we habitually relate to them (push away or cling to).

This helps us go beyond our regular blind dualism, where we fragment the world and ourselves. Where we, based on ideas of “right” and “wrong”, choose to cling to some aspects of ourselves (identified with) and push other aspects away (shadow, identify others with).

When we relax into our experiences, there is no separation. We bring it into awareness, as part of ourselves – as part of our shared humanity. And we can move beyond. We create a situation where we can mature as rich and whole human being.

And we find the gold in what we used to push away – through increased empathy (seeing in others what we recongnize in ourselves), energy (released from not having to push it away anymore) and clarity.

Update Jan 31

I read Raphael Cushnir’s book “Unconditional Bliss” yesterday (sitting in the sun by the river), and it gave a quite beautiful and simple outline of the process. (a) Bring into awareness your experience right now, and (b) ask yourself “can I be with what I am experiencing now?”.

As he mentions, reality is as it is. Resistance only drains energy.

And when we relax into our experiences as they are, we gain both energy and clarity. No separation gives rise to – ironically – some distance and perspective. We are in a better position to relate to our situation in a more fruitful and constructive way.

Breaking Down vs. Breaking Open

When we resist intense and/or difficult experiences, we can break down. When we relax into them, we break open.

Magic

 

When I am present, I experience the magic of life. And I can become present through a variety of ways including regular meditation and/or Breema practice, and long walks in nature.

When I am present, the timeless is right here now.

Chairs & Floor

 

In Western culture, it has been important to emphasize the difference between humans and other animals. One way of demonstrating this difference is through chairs. No other animals sit on chairs.

Sitting on the floor, on the other hand, emphasizes our connection with the earth and the soil. It also reminds us of our similarities with other animals. When we sit on the floor, we are on their level.

I have for a long time wanted to set up spaces for sitting on the floor, and Breema has given me an excuse. We now have padding under the carpet in the livingroom (in front of the woodstove/fireplace), and have moved the coach over to the side. I find that sitting and lying on the floor while reading, talking and relaxing is far more pleasureable than even the most comfortable coach or chair.

Breema & Transdual

 

Breema seems to open for a genuine transdual experience.

For me, Breema opens up for a direct experience of…

  1. No separation

    Mind/body, myself/other, me/universe

  2. Newness

    Everything is experienced as always new (always in flux/impermanent)

This experience emerges initially at a bodily and low intensity level, and it is continually explored and deepened as I continue with my Breema practice. How far it can take a Breema practitioner, I don’t know (possibly not to a full blown transdual state, but who knows).

The pathway to this transdual experience is mostly likely through bringing me to the present. To my breath, body and mind right here now. Free from attachments to ideas. With a receptive mind and supportive emotions.

Blind Spot

 

This is one of my major blinds spots:

I am aware of (and experience to varying degrees) existence as seamless – everything has the same source. All beings, and everything else, are manifestations of Spirit/God/Buddha mind etc. All sounds are the voice of Spirit/God/Buddha mind.

At the same time, I have hangups when it comes to sounds, especially human made noise in its many manifestations: machines (leaf blowers, lawn movers etc), slamming doors, load music, eating noisily… Any noise that seems unnecessary, “extra”, and born from a certain amount of unconsciousness. It seems that at the core of it, it is the unconsciousness I react towards.

So I know, and experience, that all sounds are expressions of Spirit/God/Buddha mind. At the same time, there is sometimes a strong discomfort with certain sounds, and I allow it to overwhelm me. Instead of relaxing into the experience, allowing it to unfold and give it space, I sometimes resist it which leads to an escalating cycle of resistance, emotional reactiveness and mental justifications.

This tension is a natural part of human existence. It’s a tension we experience in many ways every day, and at the core – it seems to be the tension between the transdual and the dualistic. The seamless whole and the parts. And it is a tension that brings our attention to itself, and a path towards the more trans-dual and integrated.

We can continually deepen our experience of both poles of the polarity, and of the polarity itself.

Breema

 

I went back to my files, and found some feedback I received from Breema recipients (I gave about 60 hour-long free Breema sessions last July, August and September). Beyond being nurtured from giving, this is an additional reward.

Thank you for your Breema sessions. No matter what my state of mind going into them, I often find myself feeling present, relaxed and back in balance afterwards. I especially appreciate your professional and focused approach which has me feel at ease, trusting and open to the process. I look forward to doing more Breema with you and have no doubt that what you are offering is a great gift!

– RR

I so appreciate your Breema sessions! You are able to create a wonderful atmosphere of nurturing, comfort and something more that I find hard to define! Afterwards, I always feel renewed, relaxed and rebalanced. And it’s all so effortless on my part! Thank you for sharing this healing gift with me.

– PL

I wanted to say thank you for the Breema sessions. You bring calming and sweet energy to your work. What a great way to help heal humanity.

– BR

A quick note to most deeply thank you for the wonderful relaxation you allowed for during the Breema session. Can I drop off some greens from my garden for you guys?

– SC

You are a gifted Breema practitioner. Your presence and support gave me the feeling of deep peace, as if the whole of the universe were still. It was so wonderfully relaxing!

– TM

Dear Per,

Thanks so much for letting me experience Breema. I had no previous exposure to the practice and came eager to see if it might help relieve my chronic problems with emotional anxiety and back stiffness.

Generally I have a hard time keeping my mind focused and not wandering off into distraction, which is very frustrating. I found the gentle, rhythmic motions of Breema helped me keep my attention on my breath without drifting away (except the couple of times I was so relaxed I dozed off!).

I felt you were transmitting peace into me, sending a peaceful signal directly to the core of my being. A kind of floaty and ethereal sensation—very nice. I definitely felt mentally and emotionally calmed, and at the same time I came away from each session also feeling enlivened and much more present in my body, more attuned to the moment.

I appreciate the special accommodations you made for my back problem by using knee pillows and adding an extra stretch at the end of the session. My back is bothering me a lot less in the mornings now, which I attribute to the Breema treatments.

Your firm gentleness, your strong hands, your accepting and caring approach, all helped me let go and relax. I found you to be very warm, respectful, unobtrusive, and caring. I especially appreciated your nonjudgmental attitude about my size and weight, something I’ve learned can’t always be expected.

Thanks very much,

SS

Vision Improvement

 

We know that all muscles in the body needs exercise to stay fit and healthy. We also know that the brain is remarkably responsive to training – creating new pathways and connections.

We have a cultural “blindspot” when it comes to vision improvement. Most of the common vision problems are connected to (a) muscles related to the eye and/or (b) how the brain interprets the signals. Still, few engage in active excercises to keep their vision healthy and improve poor vision.

Many techniques have been developed, and most of them are quite similar to each other. Some come from Taoist and Indian yoga, other from the West (the Bates techniques, Feldenkrais, etc). As with all techniques and therapies, they work very well for some, relatively well for many, and not so well for a few (in this case, about 10-15%).

Sources:

Association of Vision Educators

Natural Vision Improvement, Janet Goodrich (the book that helped me)

Meir Schneider (book, video, training)

I was moderately nearsighted and had frequent eye related headaches, and through Taoist yoga, Feldenkrais and the Bates method improved my vision from 20/40 to 20/15 and with no headaches. When I feel strain coming, I have techniques that work.

Connections

 

In our current culture, much seems to conspire to prevent us from connecting with ourselves and the world in a real and grounded way.

One way to re-connect is to learn the basic skills for everyday living: growing food, cooking, building, pottery, woodcraft, etc.

It is rewarding in many ways: through the products that come out of it, the connections with others we make in the process (learning and working), the connections we make with the world, and the satisfaction of knowing useful skills and how to make the products we use every day. We will of course not provide for all our needs, but just knowing how to do it is immensely rewarding.

[Photo of a shaker table I made this winter]

No Extra

 

As with all the Breema principles, No Extra can be explored in all areas of life and there is always new insights – or rather more to peal away. What comes up for me these days, is how No Extra also means not putting off what needs to be done. The extra comes in when I put something off, have to remind myself to do it in the future, and experience some stress around it. Doing it now, is No Extra.

Food

 

The many food fads (diets, theories, etc) seems to be a reflection of how disembodied people are in our culture. When we are in touch with ourselves as physical beings, when we know we are body, and can access the wisdom there, we need no books or experts to tell us what to eat. Our bodies tells us, clearly and accurately. We are so diverse, and in so different situations, that our own bodies are the only reliable source of this information.

For me, what I need changes with the seasons and my current situation. In the summer, my body wants fresh and light food. In the winter, heavier and cooked food. And it wants diversity – not too much of anything, and nothing over too long periods of a time. Fermented foods are typically good for me, as are less processed foods. And beyond this, what my body wants changes over the weeks and months, seemingly independent of seasons and other situations.

Current food habits:

  • Miso soup (seaweed, vegetables, miso) – for breakfast, lunch or with dinner
  • Tempeh, slow fried
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Fresh fruit
  • Some nuts
  • Teas (variations of herbal and spice, including green, yogi and chai)
  • Some grains (moderate amounts of any grains)
  • Some dairy (moderate amounts of cheese, mainly feta)
  • Oatmeal (breakfast, some days)
  • Meat (very infrequent, mostly local organic)
  • Wine (infrequent small amounts with food)

Different Cultures

 

I went to Norway over the holidays, and – as usual – had an opportunity to reflect on the differences between US and Norwegian culture. In the big picture, they are obviously very similar to each other, but as a person living in one culture or the other, there are some significant differences as well.

Maturity

The main difference I experience is the level of maturity in the mainstream culture. In Norway, there is a fusion of head and heart in a grounded way. In the US, head is separated from heart, and often not very grounded.

In Norway, they take the side of the underdog and the weak in society. They see themselves as a part of an international community, and have a genuine interest in the international community. They typically use compassion and openness when they view different situations and individuals. Solidarity is a strong value – solidarity with those in Norwegian and international community who are in a difficult situation, solidarity with future generations (they save up billions of dollars in an oil fund for future generations). Politicians are regular people, live regular lives, and look out for regular people. It is respected and seen as a mark of maturity to admit mistakes openly.

In the US, they support the strong and punish the weak. They are not very aware of the larger world. Judgment is rampant. Solidarity and compassion are seen as weakness. Problems are pushed onto future generations (an enormous national debt). Politicians come from the few wealthy and look out for the wealthy. Admitting mistakes is seen as a weakness.

This is of course a somewhat simplified and polarized view, but the general trends described above are accurate as I experience them.

Diversity

There is obviously a reason why I live in the US as well: diversity.

In Norway, the culture as a whole is quite progressive, but the leading edge developments are often not found there or are found only in a very small group of people. This is probably due to (a) the small total population in Norway, (b) the homogeneity of the culture, and (c) that life is typically very good in Norway. Most people enjoy their life and their work.

In the US, mainstream culture is relatively backwards, but there are significant numbers of people working on leading edge insights and tools. This must be due to the large total population (and similar minded people tend to cluster), the diversity of the culture, and that life for many is not so good in the US so there is an incentive to develop alternatives.

Some leading edge developments: holistic health and health psychology, holistic design (incl. permaculture), alternative health (process oriented psychology, Breema etc), Community Supported Agriculture, and much more.

Health & Systems

 

The Universe is a seamless whole, beyond and embracing all polarities. And it can be seen as a holarchy – systems nested within systems, where everything is simultaneously a whole and a part in a larger whole.

Looking at human health from this perspective, we see that all areas impacts our health. We also see that some areas with a significant impact on our health is often given less attention in this context than they deserve. Two of these areas are ecology and economy.

The health of the Earth as a whole, and its various ecosystems, is intimately connected with human health. Healthy (diverse, resilient, large in mass) ecosystems are necessary for healthy humans. We depend on these ecosystems for our lives and our quality of life, on both physical and psychological levels. Human-made toxins released into ecosystems also go into the human body. Unraveling ecosystems is an unraveling of our life support systems.

And the health of our economical systems is also intimately connected with human health. Healthy economical systems (diverse, resilient, fair) are necessary for healthy humans.

And for both of these areas, corporate globalization is the greatest threat, and thus a great threat to our own health and well being. The few benefiting, or appearing to benefit, from corporate globalization, are only postponing the impact. And the many are already suffering.

Comfortable ::: Healing

 

I more and more experience healing as being about being comfortable with oneself. Deeply comfortable with all one’s unique and deeply human experiences and characteristics. Comfortable, in a place beyond and including body/mind… This of course reflects my current process…

Comfort = experience of no separation = inclusion in one’s experience of oneself and the world = healing / making one’s experience of oneself and the world more whole.

It gives a sense of grounding, centering, relaxation. What I see in others I recognize in myself. I don’t need to be attached to having to defend anything, prove anything. I can live my life fully. I experience a deepening sense of connection, meaning and direction. There is no separation.

As they say in Breema: True health is harmony with existence.

And as with everything else, both ends of the polarity needs to be included. We need to experience comfort with ourselves and the rest of existence, with all the flaws and everything else. And we need a vision of where we want to go (even if that is just the process of peeling off the extra).

Views

 

All our views are maps of the terrain. And as all maps, they highlight some features while leaving other features out. And ultimately, they are wrong. The terrain is the terrain and the only “truth”. A map is always something else.

Realizing this can help us relate to our maps/views with more flexibility. When new information comes along, we can modify our maps. And we can choose our maps according to their effects on our life rather than their ultimate “truth” (as long as they correspond relatively well with the world in other respects).

Some examples:

Reincarnation

Helps me keep the long view and the golden principle in mind. Whatever I send out to the world will come back. This view helps me relate to others as I would want them to relate to me if our roles were reversed.

Bodhisattva Checklist View

When I see my life as if I chose it, it helps me to take responsibility for how I relate to my life. I no longer blame others for my own experiences. And I am more open for the gifts in each experience. How can I use it in a way that enriches my life and makes me more deeply human?

The World as a Gift

Another related view is the one of the world as a gift. Every situation is perfect as it is, exactly what I need to mature as a human being. What is the lesson in this situation? How can it help me live with more awareness? (of course, the necessary complementary view is that there is room for improvement in every situation).

All the Pain in the World

 

I did a three-day Breema workshop over the weekend, and a shift happened after I went to bed Sunday night. I felt that all the pain in the world was inside of me. It was a raw and intense experience mixed with a lot of sweetness… My heart openend, accesible to the pain in my own life and the world.

I felt very shaky the whole day Monday and Tuesday… Litterally shaky, and shaken emotionally and in my whole being – shaken down to the “foundations”.

These two days of being all the pain in the whole world…it has been a sweet and terrible experience at the same time.

Nourishment

 

Jen and I facilitated a small informal workshop Saturday evening, using the Practices to Reconnect developed and collected by Joanna Macy.

It is a reminder of how important it is for us to connect with…

  • Our despair and pain that comes from our intimate connection with the rest of the world. When we do not acknowledge it, it paralyzes us and leads to burn-out. When we do acknowledge it, it leads to an open heart, energy, enthusiasm and a realization of our interconnectedness.
  • The larger view – the Earth as a whole and past and future generations. In our work towards the Great Turning, we can experience support from past and future generations and all non-human beings.
  • Our sense of meaning and mission in the world. What makes my heart sing? Where do I receive energy and feel nourished? Where is the intersection between my own needs and the needs of the larger world?