Gradually richer

 

Our experience of the world is expressed in every aspect of our life and activities.

And our experience of our inner world is reflected in our experience of the outer world.

When we bring more of our inner world into awareness, we slowly experience ourselves more as a seamless whole. Through this, we gradually experience the outer world more as a seamless whole. And the inner and outer world as aspects of a larger seamless whole. Our experience of no separation is deepened and brought into our daily life and activities.

And there are many tools for this transformation to take place…

Projections

An essential tool is projections. Every quality we see in the outer world, in people, animals, nature, the Universe, fantasies, dreams and movies, are also there in the inner world. We can use the outer world as a reminder of inner qualities. And the way we relate to these qualities in the outer world, with attraction or aversion, reflects how we relate to them in ourselves. Which in turn reflect some of the ideas we have about the world, often learned from culture and family.

One specific technique is to visualize ourselves as whatever it is in the outer world that expresses a certain quality. This helps us experience it more fully and integrate it into our awareness.

As more qualities are brought into awareness, we become more familiar and comfortable with them. This opens up for increased fluidity (less rigid self-image), deep empathy with others based on recognition, and more effective choices since we are less blinded by emotions.

Meditation & Body Oriented Practice

Meditation helps us open up for all our experiences and qualities. We create a container where they can freely surface and unfold, and in the process be brought into awareness. A body-oriented practice (Tai Chi, Yoga, Breema) is also invaluable in experiencing the larger whole that the body and mind are only aspects of.

Contemplation

Contemplation and study is another essential aspect. We explore the different connections in the world, and how the seamless whole is expressed in a multitude of ways. Systems theories is one of many possible avenues.

Life Situations as Teacher

 

In contemporary psychology, and in particular cognitive psychology, there is an emphasis on bringing the thought processes to “neutral”. From thought processes that are not aligned with reality, and brings depression, anxiety etc., we learn to bring them into a more neutral way of perceiving the world.

Buddhism and other practices takes this further. Instead of neutral, they bring our view into one that is similarly aligned with reality, but also opens for deep compassion, gratitude and sense of belonging and meaning.

A few examples…

Buddhist mind training, lo-jong in Tibetan, helps us to use difficult situations to open our mind/heart.

Tong-Len is a dynamic visualization practice where we take in other’s suffering as our own (integrating projections), and wish for others to be fully free from suffering, through awakening wisdom and compassion. This also opens up ourselves for what we wish for others.

Bowing to our adversaries is a powerful individual or group practice where we develop genuine appreciation for what our adversaries help us recognize in ourselves.

Dreams

 

The Real Boss [last week]

I was back in my first job here in Eugene, engaged in community networking and related projects. My boss walked up to me and said it was time for me to meet the real boss. I did not know that there was another, and it turned our that she was a very tall woman (20-25 feet tall and solidly built). She gave me some instructions and guidance. Her qualities were a combination of strength and masculinity, and earthy femininity. She had native american features and a mysterious and numinous quality.

Active imagination: I tried active imagination several times, which each time ended in a sense of mystery. She seems to be a goddess.

My Father [last night]

I visited my parents in their apartment in an old beautiful building in Oslo (they live in Ski in real life). As it was time for me to leave, I felt some disappointment that we had not connected more deeply. My father, surprisingly, gave me a long and heartfelt hug, and then proceeded to give me some healing in my stomach/lower back region. He displayed deep, soulful qualities, and was deeply comfortable with it (as was I). I asked him what had happened. He said that during a healing process after an illness, he had time to explore other qualities in himself, and found a new way of being in the world. More at ease with his inner richness, and deeply caring and human.

The qualities he displayed are the ones I experience in Breema. Deep, soulful, caring, nurturing, deeply human, and beyond/embracing dualities. There was a strong sense, as I woke up, that this is my inner father – as he can be when unfolded/accessed. I also realize that these qualities are there in my real father, but not openly expressed as he may not be completely comfortable with it.

I was also struck by the connections between these two dreams. My real boss, the goddess, expressed a mature integration of masculine and feminine qualities, with an emphasis on the masculine. She was the real master behind the scenes and gave me directions/guidance. My father also displayed a mature combination of feminine and masculine qualities, with an emphasis on the feminine – the deeply caring and nurturing.

Fodder

 

Everything I take in is food for my mind/body. What I take in, combined with how I relate to it, influences how it is digested and nourishes me. This is true for air, food, surroundings, conversations/relationships, reading, music and more.

Reading

  • Comfortable with Uncertainty

    Pema Chodron. Excellent anthology of mind training reminders. Very powerful.

  • The Path of the Human Being

    Genpo Roshi. Deep and profound, as well as simple as it is from direct and lived experience.

  • The Essential Ken Wilber

    Ken Wilber. I have read most of his books, and this one is a good highlight refresher.

  • Wild Fermentation

    Sandor Ellix Katz. Wonderful book on just that.

  • The Mustard Book

    Jan Roberts-Dominguez. Made a wonderful garlic mustard from a recipe from this book.

  • Books on monasticism/monasteries in different traditions
  • Books on anthroposophical architecture and communities, and intentional communities in general

News

Other

Baraka

 

I have seen Baraka several times, and again today. It is a deeply moving movie. One of the few that opens us up for an experience of the Earth as a seamless whole, and a deep sense of us all – all life – being in the same boat… It opens up for deep recognition and deep compassion.

Radical

 

Erik Bye said he became more radical with time. That is my experience as well, although I am not nearly as old (yet) as he was.

It seems that if we live our lives with open hearts, our views are bound to become more radical with time, as we learn more about the world. The alternative is to choose to become numb…

Today, and maybe at most times and places, it is radical to have a life-centered view. To want justice, human rights, the deeply human… Not just the comfortable and going along with the mainstream, which will always be what the priveleged have set up to protect their privelege.

Bad ideas flourish because they are in the interest of powerful groups.

Paul Krugman

This priveleged group happens to include me this time. So there is even more reason for me to speak up against it…

Erik Bye

 

Erik Bye died a few days ago. He was one of the most prominent culture personalities in Norway – working/living as a singer, poet, actor, composer and reporter.

He is an example of someone fully human, recognizing in the inner world everything he saw in the outer. It opened him up for his inner richness, and deep and lived compassion for others.

Throughout his life, he consistently gave voice to the voiceless. And as his own heart was open, he invited others to listen with an open heart.

Identification

 

It seems obvious, but may be a good reminder…

As Walt Whitman said, we are all multitudes. We all have all qualities in ourselves that we see in the outer world. Some unfolded and obvious, others as only potentials. And the unfolding and expression of these qualities is a mysterious process, partly dependent on our life experiences and situation.

Still, there is a tendency in our culture (maybe universal) to identify people with what is expressed in their lives. And not only what is expressed, but what we are aware of as being expressed.

So from the vastness of potential, we select out a small portion. And from this portion, we select out an even smaller portion. And we identify others and ourselves with it.

There are of course good reasons for this, and mainly an evolutionary one: People do tend to follow certain patterns, at least over shorter time spans. And it is good to know about these patterns so we can make appropriate choices.

But there are also two serious flaws in this that we need to keep in mind.

Time

Everything is in flux. Nothing stays the same. And this seems to be true for all phenomena. We all change. None of us are the same as what we were. This is true for all of us, whether we try to hold onto fixed images or views or not (and we all do to varying degrees and in different areas).

Space

We are all multitudes. What is expressed at any time is only a small fraction of the multitudes of qualities in us. We can at any moment choose to express different qualities, if we have the awareness and experience to do so.

In practical terms, an easy place to start is to not identify individuals with their work. Instead of saying, “I am a baker” we can say “I bake pastries for a living”. Instead of saying “She is a medical doctor” we can say, “she works as a medical doctor”. It opens up our awareness of the larger potential in each of our lives. It also reduces distress when we no longer have that particular work – we are already used to thinking about ourselves in a larger way.

Research

 

Some research ideas…

Breema & addictions

I have found that Breema meets deep needs in me that I sometimes attempt to meet through addictive behavior (food etc). A study could include a group of people in treatment for addictions, where half receive regular Breema sessions and the other is a control group. Is there a short term and/or long term difference in the groups?

Breema and well-being/quality of life

Randomly assign people to Breema, Tai Chi, Yoga, swimming, no special activity, etc. Is there a difference between the groups? If so, what?

Lo-Jong/Mind Training and Empathy

Explore the effects of Buddhist mind-training techniques on empathy, quality of life, etc.

Effects of meditation on personality etc.

Study of long-term meditation practitioners, compared to non-meditators and new meditators. Possible flaw: difference to begin with between those motivated for long-term practice and those not.

Meditation and well-being/quality of life/empathy etc.

Is there a connection between meditation and well-being, empathy, etc?

Acupuncture and Psychology

Effects on acupuncture on well-being, reduced depression/anxiety etc. (using control groups)

Meditation/Breema and Youth

Teach meditation and/or Breema to high-school students, and see if there is an effect (socially, quality of life, academically, etc).

Near death and/or mystical experiences

How many has had near-death and/or spontaneous mystical experiences? What effect, if any, did it have on their life?

Cancer and personality/coping approaches

Continuing along a line of existing research.

Of course, for many of these topics the challenge will be to sort out any cause/effect relationships. Is it possible to randomly assign people to Breema, mind training, etc. and expect them to do it with sincerity? If people are self-assigned, then how can we sort out personality from practice effects? Maybe personality/initial motivation is a key factor and random assignment is a mistaken approach?

Natural Wisdom of the Body

 

I notice that the more comfortable I become with/in/being body, the more the natural wisdom of the body comes out. It is expressed in (a) taking my needs more seriously (taking care of myself better), (b) food choice (my food needs change all the time, so abstract ideas/guidelines are not much help), (c) grounded intuition when making other choices as well.

I have also noticed that the animal wisdom of my body seems wiser than my mind in many cases. This became obvious a few weeks ago when there was a day where I was unusually mentally stressed. That same evening, I had a Breema class. The moment I began receiving the first Breema sequence, my body relaxed and soaked it up while my mind still held onto the stress-inducing thougth patterns. My mind only joined some minutes later.

The Goat

 

I saw The Goat by Edward Albee a few days back at Lord Leebrick Theater.

Although it was quite predictable on a certain level, in wanting to shake people in the few remaining taboo areas in our culture, it did have some memorable qualities. The main one was that the characters all were intelligent and mature, and – more importantly – able to hold several emotions and reactions at the same time.

Of course, we all do. We all have a multitude of emotions, reactions and thoughts on any subject. And when we expect this, and realize that this is a natural expression of our rich and transdual nature, we can hold it. And mature and deepen our humanity.

Unfortunately, we live in a culture (especially in the US) where a more one-dimensional human being is expected. So seeing it so clearly in a play is sometimes a rarity, and a very welcome rarity.

Addictions

 

I am looking forward to joining a process work group focusing on addicitions, although I have few or no “traditional” addictions.

Media

I do sometimes spend more time on the internet than I would like to.

Media addictions, and internet included, are – on the surface – perpetuated by intermittent reinforcement (which is most resistent to extinsion). Most of what we find on the internet, or are exposed to in the more passive medias, is not interesting. But occasionally, something very rewarding comes along, and that is enough to keep us coming back. Realizing this is one key to having more of a choice. Another is to eliminate exposure to the media all together, as I have done with TV for many years, and more recently also with newspapers (except a few online).

Culture

The addictions I am more interested are the ones tied to our culture. An addicition is a behavior that is repeated although not (completely) desired by the person, and one where we seem to have little choice in the matter.

This is the case for me in terms of many cultural assumptions and habits.

——————————————————

First Day – October 6, 2004

It is wonderful to be back into process work. It is such a fluid and profound work.

Some of the insights around addicition…

  • We all have a deep urge towards transduality – to live from the view beyond all dualities. And we are often stuck in small mind (aware of differentiation but not unity, and even less aware of the transdual). Addictions is one way we cope with this situation. We seek a sense of connection, looseness and bliss through various addicitions.
  • Addictions often comes in pairs and compensate each other. I have an addictive tendency to sugar, which gives me focus and energy, and dairy, which gives me a sense of softness and relaxation.

Dyads

I worked on my sugar and then dairy addictive tendencies in a dyad…

  • Dairy

    The quality I seek in dairy is the deep relaxation, the womblike experience, comfort, softness, gentleness, rocking, full body contact, natural, fluid, soft, connection, no separation….

    This is what I find in Breema, and when I do Breema for several hours a day, my addictive tendencies falls away. There is no charge there anymore, because my needs have already been fulfilled.

  • Sugar

    And the quality behind sugar (for me) was first an intensity and shaking, then opening up to a Masai dance. It opened up to spaciousness, centering and deep grounding, as well as the primal, tribal, free.

Internet

Fluid, dynamic, trance, connected to the whole world (an image of the world).

Libraries

The wastness/richness of human experiences – all there.

Culture & Assumptions

 

Human Bias

The universe is a seamless whole and everything is part of the same larger process: galaxies, our solar system, Earth, culture, our experiences. There is no separation.

The Universe can be seen as a holarchy: systems within systems, processes within processes. Everything is simultaneously a whole and a part.

Our experience of the inner/outer world is influenced by the holarchy we are embedded in.

  • The characteristics/processes/habits of the Universe as a whole
  • The characteristics of this solar system and the Earth
  • The evolution of the Earth and our ancestors (going back to the first organisms)
  • The evolution of humans
  • Our culture
  • Our personal experiences

Culture

Each human being is raised in a culture, and absorbs a large number of basic assumptions of the world. We then use these to survive and guide our choices in a complex world.

This is essential for our survival. And it can also cause problems if/when some of these assumptions are not appropriate for our current situation.

In the western world, we are still transmitting and operating from cultural assumptions that were developed hundreds or thousands of years ago, in a quite different situation from that we are in today. And a number of these assumptions are unquestioned and operate below awareness for many of us.

As we are facing an increasingly urgent need for deep culture change, it becomes increasingly more important to bring these assumptions into awareness, explore them and possibly develop alternative strategies.

What do they tell us about the world and our role in the world? How do they guide our choices and actions? What are their origins? How well do they serve us in our current situation? What may happen if we change them or replace them with other assumptions?

Some cultural assumption I am aware of and their consequences…

  • There is a discontinuity between humans and other species

    Through science, we understand the similarities and continuity between humans and the other species. But we are still stuck in a perception of separation between humans and other species in terms of ethics and how we relate to humans and other species.

  • There is a separation between egotism and altruism

    We do not expect there to be a congruence between what is good for oneself and the larger whole. This would change if we operate from an assumption of no separation.

  • We are separate from the larger whole

    We do not perceive ourselves as embedded in the Earth and the Universe. We may understand intellectually that there is no separation, while still experience the inner world (experiences, sensations, thoughts, emotions, etc) as discontinous with the outer world (plants, animals, rocks, clouds, stars, galaxies)

  • [many more]

Activity

I participated in an activity yesterday that again brought these issues up for me: In the Miwok creation story, Silver Fox is lonely and visions up Coyote. Together they dance, sing and vision up the whole world.

If this was our creation story, how would we experience the world? What would it mean for us?

Some possible answers: The world was created through visioning, play and joyfulness. So too can we create in our own lives. And animals are our partners and teachers, not below us or essentially different from ourselves.

Breema & Healing

 

Some reflections related to Breema and healing:

Self-Healing Processes

Self-healing is a characteristic of any living system, including humans. And it seems that there is one thing that often gets in the way of our healing: ourselves. Or rather our patterns (emotional, cognitive, behavioral) and our attachments to these patterns. Breema helps me as a giver and a receiver to get out of my own way, and allow the self-healing processes to unfold.

Rhythm

It seems that the rhythmical and gradual qualities of Breema bodywork allows me to deeply relax. The whole Universe is pulising, including the womb we all started our lives in.

All Levels

Breema allows healing on all levels: physical (gentle leans/stretches), emotional (comfort, safety, connection, acceptance), mental (letting go of attachment to ideas), and spiritual (opens up for a transdual experience). Mainly, it allows the self-healing processes to unfold on all levels. It opens up for whatever needs to happen.

Beyond Altruism & Egotism

 

Existence is a seamless whole. How could it be otherwise?

My life is seamlessly integrated into the life of the Earth and the Universe. It is one system. One body.

And there are many simple life-centered choices that appear to be beneficial on all levels (of course, it depends on what we mean by “beneficial”):

  • Taking care of myself. When I am more in balance, it benefits those around me.
  • Eating low on the food chain and less processed (less resources consumed)
  • Eating local (connection with land, money stays in the community, less resources consumed)
  • Low consumption (simple living > more time for family/friends/community)

Body Comfortable

 

One of the Breema principles is Body Comfortable. As with all the principles, I continue to experience it in new, deepening and widening ways.

Body

Initially, I took it literally (still do). Whenever I remembered Body Comfortable, I would check in with my body’s comfort, and make whatever changes needed to move in the direction of more comfort. I found that I could sit, walk, stand, etc. in always more comfortable ways. And also that what is comfortable changes from moment to moment.

Body/Mind

After a few weeks, I applied it to my whole self. What do I experience as comfortable? How can I be more comfortable right now? It gave me permission to make choices based on what works for me at the moment, rather than “shoulds” and expectations. If I would be uncomfortable doing something, and I would do it based on shoulds and my own or other’s expecations, I can always say “no”. Very liberating. And subversive as well as revolutionary in our culture.

World

Then, I deepened my experience of “no separation” and of human society and Earth as my larger body. And of course Body Comfortable also relates to my larger body. How can I live a life that makes society and Earth more comfortable. There are no “shoulds” and no intellectualizing, just the experience of wanting my life to contribute to the comfort of my whole body. Most of the time, the choices are simple. What is good for my small body is also good for my larger body and the other way around – no separation.

Dreams

 

I have had several dreams over the last weeks, all with variations on the same theme:

I am leading a diverse group of people in a hands-on project (most recently building), and relate to each person individually and differently according to what is needed. There is a strong sense of leading and coordination, as well as (a) differentiation/diversity and (b) flow and unity.

I think the transformation coming from my daily Breema practice may relate to these dreams. I am bringing the diversity of my body/mind into awareness (the animal aspects as well as those beyond dualities) as well as the flowing unity of myself and the rest of the world.

Food

 

Food is another example of how something can be very simple. Still, we often make it more complicated – and in our situation with good help from commercialism (new fads promoted because someone can make money on it).

I have found an evolutionary perspective to be very useful when I make decision in any areas of life. How does it match up with our human history? (eg. the Atkins Diet seems obviously unhealthy since it is so far removed from the food situation we are biologically adapted to).

With food, it is simple:

* Diverse diet

* Less processed and whole foods

* Everything in moderation

* Daily excercise through diverse and daily activities

* Change. Eat with the seasons so no food is eaten regularly year round (give the body a break). Become gradually more intimate with my own mind/body and choose food based on what is needed at the moment.

And there is a strategy that fulfills all my biological needs, as well as my needs for connetion: Eating local food. Local food is seasonal, fresh, abundant, from people and/or places I have personal connections with, less processed, inexpensive – and immensely rewarding on all levels.

Culture & Depression

 

In my own life I have observed when depression tends to sink in: when I am not meeting my deepest needs. When I live a life that does not work for me.

It is very simple.

We have basic and universal needs, and we try to meet those needs through various strategies. Often, we are attached to particular strategies even if they do not work very well, and even if we are not very aware of which needs we are trying to meet through them.

In my teens, I experienced depression alongside with a tremendous exitement about what this world has to offer. I explored Jung, Steiner, Bertelsen, Daoism, Buddhism, sustainability, art and more, and it gave me a tremendous hope as I could see a way out of the habitual patterns I had inherented from my culture and family. Patterns that led to a life where my deepest needs were not met, and depression as life’s way of reminding me that they were not met.

When depression arrives – even in its mildest form – I know it is a reminder: which deep and universal needs are not fulfilled in my life? And I know there are more strategies possible to fulfill them than I – or any human being – can ever explore.

And the simplest strategies are often the most effective.

Life (experience & ideas)

 

I have seen how we humans easily get caught up in ideas rather than the taste and full experience. It is played out over and over again, including in different spiritual traditions.

There is the taste and lived experience, and then there is the ideas around it. The first opens up for life. The second, if by itself, for alienation. An healthy approach emphasizes the experience, and allows the ideas to support it.

And as everything is in change, our experience changes – and our ideas changes with it. There is nothing fixed to hold onto.

In Breema, there is a strong emphasis on the experience. It is one of the reasons why I find it such a nurturing and juicy approach.

Miracle

 

The greatest miracle is that anything exists at all.

Then, that there is awareness.

Then, how the immense richness of the Universe unfolds from simplicity.

We experience the magic in life when we are present, when we have a taste of Existence or God – beyond all dualities.

And I notice how Breema, as my experience of it deepens, helps me open to this taste of Existence and magic.

Summer

 

It has been a wonderful summer.

Breema

I have taken weekly Breema classes, and went to an eleven-day intensive at the Breema Center in Oakland, California. At my return, I sent out an invitation for free Breema session at the Eugene Permaculture Guild email list, and have had 2-4 sessions daily since then. I notice that the more session I do, the better I feel. It has much the same effect as meditation, yoga and tai chi, although two benefits when I do it – not only my self. The personal connections have also been great and have opened up new doors.

Food

It’s been an abundant late summer/early fall, with much food preservation going on (drying, freezing and eventually canning as well). It is great to find more local sources including free ones. I have also gotten back into making foods including mustard.

NWEI

 

When I lived in Madison, Wisconsin, one of the community activities that I found the most enjoyable was to help start NWEI discussion groups (on topics such as Voluntary Simplicity, Deep Ecology, Choices for Sustainable Living, a Sense of Place, etc).

Although the groups use an anthology of readings as background for the meetings, and a way of kicking off the conversation, I found that the magic happened in the interactions among the participants. It is amazing to see the wisdom and experience that is allowed to surface when we have a deep and personal dialogue, and the even richer and deeper wisdom that comes out of the group interaction.

It also became clearer to me how important it is to create a good container for quality interactions. Some of the guidelines: Speaking time is shared among participants, talking from personal experience (avoiding abstract ideas, blaming others, etc), solution focus, etc.

Consumption

 

Much of the mindless consumption in our society are attempts to meet basic human needs. And unsuccessful attempts at that.

Our culture has set up a quite impressive feedback system:

(a) Among our most basic human needs are deep, authentic and meaningful relationships to ourselves, each other and the Earth. These are needs that are not met very well in current western society (in the US least of all places).

(b) We are trained to be unaware of our basic needs. We are also trained to be unaware of how we choose strategies to meet those needs. Most of our strategies are habitual, unconscious, learned from our culture and family, and tragically ineffective in meeting our needs.

(c) We try to meet our basic needs through various forms of consumption. This is the one strategy that we systematically learn from an increasingly young age, and one that is reinforced by our culture.

(d) Our culture is set up to perpetuate alienation through promoting unsuccessful strategies to meet our needs (consumption, nuclear living units, mindless entertainment etc.). These strategies feeds the current (profoundly flawed) economical system and those who benefit from it (although they are as much and tragically caught up in it as anyone else of course). And this in turn is an additional incentive to perpetuate the same unsuccessful strategies.

It is a feedback loop that is doomed to failure, but we need to become aware of how flawed it is to change it. And, as with much change in human life (on an individual or collective level) it may not happen until the alternative (to continue what we are doing) becomes too painful. And the pain may partly come through our alienation, and partly through economic collapse and ecological unraveling.

Simplicity

 

Jen and I facilitated a workshop on voluntary simplicity today. We chose to do it as a discussion group, and is always amazing to see the combined wisdom and experience of the participants, and the magic that comes from the human interactions.

As with any group interaction, setting up the container is essential. And some aspect of that process this time was to give life to the realizations that…

(a) It is a process (no end goals).

(b) It is about intentionality and living a meaningful life – which will look different from person to person and different at different times in any person’s life (there is no one strategy).

(c) There is a wide range of tools available, and which tools are appropriate depends on the situation and person.

(d) Some of those tools have to do with inner simplicity. For instance, NVC helps us identify and clarify our needs, and consciously choose strategies to meet those needs (and flexibility in which strategies we choose).

(e) Most of our needs have to do with relationships and connections with ourselves, each other and the wider Earth community. They can be met simply, and w/o much consumption.

Breema is one of those tools for me, allowing me to connect deeply with myself, other people (when I give or receive Breema), and the wider whole. I have a direct and deepening experience of no separation, I can more easily let go of my attachments to ideas and habits that do not meet my needs, and choose strategies that better meet my needs. Many of the “holes” in my life that I sometimes try to (unsuccessfully) meet through various forms of consumption, are filled through Breema.

Beckett

 

I watched some of the 19 by Beckett plays tonight. It seems he, in many of the plays, pulls out one way we habitually relate to the world and then amplifies it.

In NVC terms, he shows how we are stuck in particular strategies to meet our needs, although the strategies do not always work and although we are sometimes not even aware of which needs we are trying to meet by a particular strategy.

NVC, meditation, Breema, etc. are some approaches to bring these habitual patterns into awareness, so we can relate to them with more awareness and choice.

News as a Tool

 

The daily news is mostly the same stories over and over, with different names, locations and scales.

Still, there is a surprising fascination with these stories, one that goes beyond what is necessary to make choices based on their information.

It seems that much of this fascination, especially concerning events that do not directly impact us, is due to projections. Something in the stories reflect processes and characteristics in ourselves that is not in our awareness. The stories trigger aversions (fear, anger etc) and attractions (admiration etc) that brings our attention to the stories so we can explore them in the outer world. From that, we – hopefully and eventually – recognize and become familiar with the same processes and characteristics in ourselves.

Ever since high school, I have used the daily news as a tool for awareness. Every characteristic I see in the outer world is also there in the inner world. There is no difference. No separation.

And with that, less need to be attached to stories, and less need for blind judgment (blind aversions or attractions). There is only events reflecting the human – including my own – condition. And there is more clarity in how to deal with these situations – how to reduce suffering.

What is left is deep compassion, based on recognition. It is all part of the human condition, we are all in this together. It opens up for a deep sense of connection, and for deep gratitude.

Holistic & Consistency

 

I walked into a massage office today and left within a couple of minutes. The air was saturated with offgassing from new paint and carpets. My initial response was sadness – mixed with judgment – to see someone in a health-centered profession introducing toxins to their work space. It does hardly support the health of those working their nor that of their clients.

I then was reminded that we all do this. Our lives may be (consciously) oriented in a certain direction, but life is rich and beyond dualities. Our lives and actions are by necessity richer than any abstract ideology/wishes, and thus far beyond “consistent”.

In terms of everyday choices, we live in a culture that is doing its job – it sets up patterns that makes some choices easy and others not so easy. With paint and carpets, it often takes more investigation to find high-quality and non-toxic products (unless there is a good store nearby specializing in those products).

In my own life, I consciously want to live in a way that supports life: for myself, the larger society/Earth, and for future generation (no separation there anyway). But my choices are by necessity not consistent. My awareness is limited and interacts with constraints set up by my culture and resources. My choices are relatively well aligned with my conscious orientation in some areas, and not so well aligned in other areas.

And then there is change: Everything is in change – the Universe and our experiences with it. There is nothing fixed to hold onto. My guidelines today are different from my guidelines tomorrow. What I perceive as appropriate choices today will be different from my choices tomorrow. New views emerge from new experiences.

Inconsistency is a part of the richness of life.

Simple II

 

“To be who you are, you don’t need much but you need to let go of much.” – Jon Schreiber, Freedom Is in This Moment.

I have been doing Breema sessions daily this summer, and am experiencing more directly how simple and uncomplicated life can be. It just is.

There is life, but no need for extra. There is discernment, but no need for judgement. There is cause and effect, but no need for “shoulds”. There are some guidelines, but no ideology. There is honesty, and no need for complication. It just is.

And it is grounded in every cell of my body, in my whole existence.

Simple

 

I dreamt that I was in a small US town, and crossed the street behind a moving police car. The car stopped, and a police officer walked up to me and started chit-chatting. I said “I know why you stopped me. It is because I crossed the street without using the sidewalk.” He looked taken back. “Are you not going to try to make excuses?” I said “No. I like it simple. And I like to be honest.”

I then woke up from a grunting racoon family outside the bedroom window.

I noticed how I enjoyed the experience of making it simple and honest. Uncomplicated. (And I was a little curious to see how he would react).

The day before: Talked with Jen about how simple life can be, through Breema (support to let go of extra).