The three centers in the Big Mind process

 

The three centers can be included in two different ways in the Big Mind process:as voices to explore, and maybe even more importantly, as alive throughout the process (as a meta-skill as they call it in Process Work.)

As voices to explore

As voices to dialog with, they are the familiar Big Mind and Big Heart, and also the new (for the Big Mind process) Big Belly.

It is the seeing, loving, and feeling of all as Spirit, allowing our individual view, heart and emotions to reorganize within this new context.

As meta-skills

When they are alive throughout the process, they allow us to see, love and feel each voice… as they are right now, and as Spirit.

There is a felt-sense of each voice, in our bodies. There is the allowing and loving of each voice, as serving the self (although sometimes a little misguided) and as Spirit. And there is the seeing of each voice, as they are right now, serving the self, and as Spirit.

Bringing all three into the process – the felt-sense, the allowing and loving, and the clear seeing – seems to allow for a deeper connection and unfolding… Each voice feels acknowledged in a more real way, allowing them to soften and reorganize to serve the self in a more fine-tuned way.

It creates a more full-bodied container for this to happen, for the vulnerable animal and all its voices to relax, feel safe, heard, understood, acknowledged, appreciated, honored, owned. Which in turn invites and allows them to reorganize to serve the self in a more finely tuned way.

Felt-sense of all as one

 

When I woke up from the detective (lila) dream, I took some time exploring the felt-sense of I and Other, and also what happens when I bring in quality of many as one – from the dream.

I went through a parade of people, from those I know personally to those I know from the media, and those there is an attraction towards and aversion towards. What happens if there is a felt-sense of the two as one, as one character playing many roles, as it was in the dream?

What I found was a physical and felt release of tension, of deep relaxation, of fullness, ease, a felt sense of one as many… appreciating the diversity, yet also knowing that there is only one I.

Including more of our being

Putting it in words, it may sound very similar to seeing all as Spirit, as in the Big Mind process. And that is one aspect of it. But to feel it, to have a felt-sense of it, bodily, is quite different.

There is a whole other realm of fullness here, of being it more fully, of the basement being included (the client & target from the dream was in the basement when I found him, maybe for that reason… It was all about the felt-sense, the body, the belly center, the first few chakras.)

Three centers

Through the head center, there is a seeing of all as Spirit. Our view is reorganized within a nondual realization. This is Big Mind in the Big Mind process.

Through the heart center, there is a loving of all as Spirit. Our heart is reorganized within all as Spirit, open to all forms independent of how they show up. This is Big Heart.

And through the belly center, there is a felt-sense of all as Spirit. Our physical body feels all as Spirit, and our body and emotions are reorganized within all as Spirit. This could be called Big Belly (Hotei). It opens up a whole other realm of fullness, depth, nourishing, substantiality, groundedness, lived reality of all as Spirit.

Vulnerable animal

It is our individual human self, the vulnerable animal, that is reactive, contracted, fearful, blinded, hopeful, lashing out, clinging on, fearing death, feeling a sense of lack and something missing… It organizes in this way within a context of a sense of separation. It is a vulnerable (and wounded) little animal, and reacts in all of these ways as all animals do.

And the felt-sense of all as Spirit allows it to reorganize, to relax, to soften. It allows the little animal to feel safe, to gradually heal, to feel nourished, a sense of fullness, of nothing missing.

All is Spirit, reflected in the physical body and emotions

Of course, even here it will take care of itself in all the common sense and practical ways, through food, exercise, getting out of harms way and so on. But it will do it within a felt-sense of all being OK, of nourishment, fullness, a deep safety beyond conventional safety and danger.

This felt-sense of all as Spirit, of nourishment, fullness, of being held, of all being OK independent of what happens to the individual, comes from Spirit – not from the individual. It is Spirit awakening to itself, reflected deeply in the individual, in the body and emotional levels of the individual. And if deepened in that way, then they are there, no matter what physically happens to the individual.

Head only, or including belly

If Spirit is filtered through the head center only (or head and heart), there is a conventional awakening. Spirit awakens to itself as the ground of seeing and seen, and there is no I anywhere (or all as I). The individual is reorganized in this context, to some extent, but may also have wounds and hangups left. These too are also recognized as Spirit… Spirit arising as wounds, so in an absolute sense, it is OK.

But when the belly is included, it allows this individual, this vulnerable little animal, to reorganize at a deep level… Deep wounds are invited to heal, all these wounds created from a sense of separation… All the fear, desire, longing, terror, dread, cruelty, hopes, wishes, clinging… All of the ways the vulnerable little animal reacts to protect itself, when it lives from a sense of separation. These are all invited to heal, in a deep way.

The wounds soften, melt, gradually heal, gradually reorganize to reflect a felt-sense of all as Spirit. And as this happens within form, there is no end to how far this can go. There is always one more bit to heal, one step further to go, new ways to reorganize within a felt sense of all as Spirit.

Taking care of what we are, and who we are

Another way to put it is that we not only take care of what we are, but also who we are.

When Big Mind awakens to itself, as awake emptiness and form absent of I anywhere, and becomes familiar with itself in this way, while still being functionally connected with an individual human self, we take care of what we are.

And when we allow our individual self to deeply reorganize within this new context, through the head, heart and belly centers, we take care of who we are. And this is an unending process, there is always further to go, a continuous deepening, healing, reorganizing, maturing.

It is a process of deepening into what we are, as Spirit awake to itself, and who we are, as an individual soul and human self, reflecting Spirit awakened to itself.

What we are offers the realization of selflessness, of an absence of I anywhere. And who we are offers the opportunity to live and explore this in and as form.

Big Mind, Big Heart, Big Belly

 

If we map the three centers onto the Big Mind framework, we get Big Mind, Big Heart, and then also Big Belly.

The head awakening gives serenity and wisdom, as shown in many traditional Buddha depictions. It is the seeing of all as Spirit.

The heart awakening gives love and compassion for all beings, independent on who they are or what they do, and is reflected in depictions of Avalokitesvara, Kuan Yin, Chenrezig, Kanzeon. It is the loving of all as Spirit.

The belly awakening gives a deep sense of all as Spirit at a physical level, with the whole body and emotions, a deep sense of safety, nurturing and comfort. This profund sense of physical well-being (in the midst of whatever else may be going on) is reflected in Hotei, the big bellied laughing Buddha. It is the feeling of all as Spirit.

In each case, Big refers to that which leaves nothing out. The nondual view embraces and goes beyond all polarities. The open heart is open to all beings without exception, and to all forms no matter their specifics. The belly awakening is an awakening into the fertile darkness that is the ground of all form, the womb of all form in its infinite richness.

The view, love and fertile darkness is the seeing, loving and feeling all as Spirit, as awake emptiness and form, beyond and embracing all polarities.

Big Mind process and the belly center

 

The head and heart centers in the Big Mind process

The Big Mind process is in a way a simulation of an awakening of the head and heart centers. We get to taste, to dip our toes into, how Spirit reveals itself through the head center (Big Mind) and the heart center (Big Heart). We get to taste how it is to see and love all as Spirit.

The belly center in the Big Mind process

In the process, there is the inevitable taste of feeling all as Spirit as well, of Spirit filtered through the belly center, although this one is almost an accidental side-effect.

To amplify this taste of Spirit filtered through the belly center, we can allow the human self to feel how it is to see and love all as Spirit, to feel into it, sink into it, marinade within it, allowing the body and emotions to reorganize within this context of all as Spirit.

How does it feel in this human self, in the body, when all is seen and loved as Spirit?

How does the body change? Does it relax? Soften? Does it melt away rigidity?

How do the emotions change? Do they relax? Soften? Go from reactive and fearful to giving a sense of nurturing fullness?

Big Mind, Big Heart, and Big Belly

In addition to Big Mind and Big Heart, there is now also Big Belly (!) It is the feeling, the sensed feeling, of all as Spirit. Of all of Existence as a Big Belly, soft, warm, nurturing. A cosmic womb, dark and fertile, allowing the body and the emotions of this human self to reorganize within all as Spirit.

Dipping the toes, diving into, and deepening within

The Big Mind process itself, of course, only gives us a taste of Spirit filtered through these three centers. We are just dipping our toes in the waters.

And becoming familiar with it in this way, simulating an awakening of these three centers, and allowing our view, heart and feelings to begin to reorganize within this new context, sets the stage for a larger shift, for a more full-bodied diving into the water, and then for deepening within it.