More on transition experiences

 

I wrote a long post on transition experiences, but decided to make it short and simple. Some details goes out, but the essence is maybe more clear.

Here are a couple of points from the longer post that may be interesting…

  • What we are, is a field of awake emptiness and form, absent of a separate I. This means that what is alive in each of ours awareness here and now, is realized to be nothing other than awake emptiness itself. This room, the cat, the sound of the cars, the lamp, computer, thoughts, sensations, it is all awake emptiness. An awake void, temporarily taking these forms. And it is all without a center, without any trace of a separate self.
  • When we take ourselves to be an object in the world, we filter awareness so it appears to be only here, associated with this human self, and not out there, in the wider world… with the exception of being there, in theory, in other people. We don’t notice emptiness much, everything seems quite substantial and real. And there is certainly a sense of a separate self here, in this human self.
  • So in the transition between the two, what we are breaks through within the context of what we take ourselves to be. There is a growing sense of no separation, glimpses of the wider world as somehow inherently alive and awake, a diminishing sense of the solidity of the boundary between I here and the rest of the world out there, and so on.

As Ken Wilber and others have pointed out, this transition mirrors what we find in nature mysticism (nature, all objects, as alive), deity mysticism (all as God), and finally realized selflessness (one field, absent of center and separate self.)

All of these transition experiences can be experienced and interpreted in different ways. I am sure there are many more than I wrote down here, and each of them will take on different flavors for different people at different times.

One experience I have heard recently, from a friend, is an experience of walking in nature, and everything suddenly appearing aware… the trees, stones, ground, landscape. Another, is of objects smiling back at you (having awareness, being somehow alive, able to make a connection.)

Of course, these are all just experiences and states. Nothing to be too caught up in. Just carrots, and sometimes distractions (!), within our process of exploring what we really are – in our own immediate awareness.

And that is the ground of awake void, and forms as no other than this awake void, all absent of a center and separate self. It is all emptiness dancing. A depth of awake emptiness with a thin surface of form.

Briefly: transition experiences

 

What are some common transition experiences during awakening?

Here are some I have noticed for myself, and also heard from others:

Within form…

  • A sense of no separation between “I” here and the rest of the world out there
  • A sense of oneness with all of Existence. I am here, yet one with all.
  • A sense of the world of form as a seamless whole, with no separation between this human individual and the wider world
  • Noticing synchronicities – the outer world mirroring the inner, as if one seamless field.

Within awareness…

  • A sense of “I” as awakeness, as witness, pure awareness, pure seeing.
  • A sense of awakeness out there, in the wider world… in plants, trees, objects, the universe. it all seems mysteriously and inherently awake somehow.

Within emptiness…

  • A sense of awareness itself as a void, as empty, insubstantial.
  • A sense of all forms being insubstantial, transparent. Almost like a dream.

With the sense of a separate I…

  • The sense of a separate I weakens, becomes more transparent. There is just what is, content of experience staying much the same, yet with an absence of a separate I. And this becomes gradually more clear.

And it makes sense.

If what we are is awake emptiness and form, inherently absent of a separate I, then that is what comes through, in different ways, during the awakening process. We may take ourselves as an object in the world, but what we really are breaks through… as an intuition, a sense, a glimpse.

It is Big Mind gradually becoming more familiar with itself, as it already and always is. Only temporarily filtered through taking itself as an object within form.

The field filtered through the head and belly centers

 

I have written about this before, but it is still alive in my immediate awareness, and wants to be explored further…

There is a perfect (slightly asymmetrical) symmetry in how Existence is filtered through the head and belly centers.

Head center

Through the head center, it is awake emptiness and form. Crystal clear. Empty luminosity. Awake emptiness in the foreground, and form as nothing other than awake emptiness. It is transcendent. Detached. Free. Absent of any separate self. Full of the whole world. Masculine. Yang. Solar. The Ground of all form, and all form as no other than this Ground. Impersonal. It is the traditional enlightenment.

Belly center

Through the belly center, it is luminous blackness. Velvety. Smooth. Fullness. A full void. Nurturing. Giving birth to and holding all form. That which all form arises within, as, and that which is in all form. Immanent. Absent of any separate self. Nurturing this individual, allowing it to deeply heal, mature, soften, be more rounded, become more deeply human. It is feminine. Yin. Lunar. The ground of all form and that which is the context for, is, and is within all form. Deeply personal. It is the endarkenment.

Difference in emphasis

The head center gives an emphasis on awakening as awake emptiness, and as form which is no other than this awake emptiness. It gives freedom. Transcendence from identification with any segment of Big Mind, including this human self. But alone, it is detached, aloof, impersonal.

The belly center gives an emphasis on the deep transformation of this individual. A deep healing, untying of knots, maturing, softening and rounding of the personality, deepening into the human.

The coolness and nurturing of the belly center balancing out the fire and the impersonal of the head center

Having been familiar with the head center awakening (spontaneously in my teens, and deepening over several years), I now deeply appreciate the belly awakening as well. It gives a new depth, richness, sense of peace, of being deeply nurtured, of a coolness to balance the heat of the head center awakening. In addition to what I have described in other posts on this topics, I have, over the last few weeks, also had glimpses of an amazing (to me) new depth and richness of being, far beyond anything I have experienced before.

New realms of being opening up through the belly center awakening

Through the head center, this whole universe is nothing other than God, an alive presence behind and as everything, and without any separate self anywhere. And through the belly center, there another facet of the void and selflessness, but also new realms of being – of this individual – revealing themselves and deepening. Even the few glimpses I have had so far, over maybe just minutes or hours, are far beyond anything I had ever imagined.

Heart center

I should also mention a few words about the heart center. Existence filtered through the heart center seems to have two aspects: Big Heart and the indwelling God.

Big Heart is a love and compassion that is independent of any particulars of form. As Big Mind, it has no beginning, no end, no form, yet can take any form. It is both impersonal and personal, when expressed thorough an individual, but the impersonal tends to be in the foreground. It is the love and compassion that comes up spontaneously and naturally when Big Mind awakens to itself while still connected, and functioning through, a human being.

The indwelling God is an alive presence, located in the physical heart area. Infinitely loving, intelligent, receptive, and responsive. A most intimate guide. It is an aspect of God, placed in and for this particular individual.

While Big Heart is connected with Big Mind, universal and slightly impersonal (although can be made personal when expressed), the indwelling God is experienced as intimately personal, an alive presence in the heart area of this individual.

In both cases, it is universal, and this is in the foreground with Big Heart, and in the background – or as a context – for the indwelling God. And in both cases, it is personal, and this is in the foreground for the indwelling God, and a possibility – when made personal through a human self – for Big Heart.

Again, when the indwelling God became more alive in awareness around Christmas, it was something new opening up (yet also very familiar somehow.) An infinitely loving, intelligent, receptive and responsive alive presence, in the heart area. An aspect of God, for this individual. A most intimate guide.

Source of tension and how we deal with it

 

I went to our local The Work group Monday evening, for the first time for several weeks, and was reminded of the tension that arises when we hold onto stories of how it should be, how it is, and how they two should align. (Of course, without the third it would be fine, but the third is there as long as the first is there, and even as long as the second is there.)

It is the basic tension in our life, showing up as physical and psychological tension, and also as tension between ourselves and others and the wider world.

Ways of dealing with the tension of what is and what should be

In general, there seems to be four broad ways we deal with the tension.

The first is by trying to not notice, by ignoring it, denying it, distracting ourselves.

The second is by changing our stories, or adding stories that modify the initial ones. We can change our stories about what is, about how it should be, and about the meaning of what is.

The third is to change the situation. (This is also another strategy for changing our story of what is, by changing the situation, we then can tell ourselves a story about it that conforms more with the story of how it should be.)

And the fourth is to inquire into the stories themselves. Are they true? Can I know for sure they are true? What are the consequences of holding onto these stories? Who or what would I be, in the same situation, without them? What are the grain of truth in the reversals of the stories?

When we act in the world, and are still caught up in our stories about how it is and should be and the tension between the two, we often act from reactivity and lack of clarity. When we bring the stories into awareness and inquire into them, finding what is already more true for us, there is naturally access to more clarity, receptivity and responsiveness, which comes out in our actions.

The tension between what already is more true and the beliefs

This reminds of another level of tension, besides the one between stories of how it is and should be: the tension between what is already more true for us, and what we tell ourselves through the stories.

The simplest aspect of what is already more true for us, is the grain of truth in all the reverse stories. (To believe the initial stories we deny the truth in the reverse stories, so the reversal truths naturally tends to be obscured. There is a sense of rigidity, of a fixed view and identity, and of tension between “my” position and the other positions, and between what is already more true for me and the story I hold onto as the one truth. When these other truths are brought into awareness, there is a sense of more fluidity and release of tension.)

Another aspect of what is already more true for me, is the difference between the contracted state of believing in stories (or working hard at believing them), and of who/what I am without those beliefs.

When this is clear, and without the stories, I find myself as Big Mind awakened to itself. And when it is somewhat clear, I find in myself, or myself as, some of the qualities of Big Mind awakened to itself, such as peace, ease, clarity, receptiveness, being home, sense of less or no separation. It is a foretaste of a more clear awakening, a whisper of something still slightly over the horizon. Just enough of a carrot to keep me going.

Corrections: desire, fusion and shadows

 

Some of the recent posts have been more than a little approximate…!

Big Mind does not desire, but is desire (when it arises)

For instance, in the posts on desire and insatiability, the distinction between Big Mind and desire is not quite clear. To put it simply, Big Mind does not desire (there is no Other to desire, and in its formless aspect it is free from form). Yet it also is desire, when desire arises in an individual. At that moment, Big Mind arises as desire.

So when desire arises in an individual for a full human life and awakening arises, which seems to be our deepest desire (at least for me), then Big Mind is free from it, yet also arises as the desire.

We can say that Big Mind is the desire for it to experience itself through and as a full human life, and also as Big Mind awake to itself.

In a very approximate (and anthropomorphizing) way, we can say that Big Mind (or God) desires to experience and explore itself as finite, through and as an individual human life. And not only that, but as finite in the form of this universe, as galaxies, solar systems, planets, planets becoming alive, ecosystems, social systems, cultures, industry, subcultures, neighborhoods, families, couples, and so on.

The formless desires to experience itself as form, and form desires the formless. The infinite desires to experience itself as finite, and the finite desires the infinite.

It is a catchy and poetic way of putting it. It sounds good at that level. But it is also very imprecise. It gives the impression that God (or Big Mind) desires, yet when there is only the I without the Other, there is no desire. Only rest. Peace (even in the midst of the worst storms and the strongest desires).

Fusion

In the same post on desire, the word fusion is used, and this fusion is just one of the relationships between Spirit, soul and human self. Ultimately, it is all Spirit, all God, the centerless and selfless field of seeing and seen.

But within this, there is a fusion of the three, an infusion of Spirit awake to itself into the individual, and an infusion of soul into the human self. The previous post is on this topic.

Collective shadows

And then the post on a journey into collective shadows. Collective shadows? No. Again that is just a poetic, a little more catchy, and very approximate way of talking about it.

My journey was very much through my own individual shadow, of the many and varied dark characters that puts a face on what is there.

But this individual shadow is formed within a culture where most people put many of the same things into their shadow. Even if there is individual variations, there are also many commonalities, and that is where the idea of a collective shadow comes from. Even for humanity as a whole, across cultures, many of the same things are put in our individual shadows.

And the faces put on what is in my individual shadow is of course influenced by everything I have experienced, including dark and shadowy characters from my own culture and many other cultures.

So the immediate experience of the journey is one of journeying through our collective shadow, the shadow of humanity. But, realistically, it is of course just this individual one reflecting what is out there, in our world culture.

It doesn’t really matter for the impact the experience has on me. What was important was the experiencing of each of these dark creatures from the inside, living and breathing their life, and at the same time seeing that it is the one transcendent I which is the I of all of these.

But it is still good to make the distinction.

Distinct, fused and not two

 

We can split what and who we are into two, and then three.

Spirit, then individual

First, what we are as Spirit, the field of awake emptiness and form absent of center and separate I. This is what is absent of I, or the I without an Other.

Then, who we are as an individual, which in turn is an individual soul and human self. This is the individual self that is inherently selfless, as the rest of the world of form is inherently selfless. It is that little speck within the form aspect of Spirit that it, somehow, mysteriously, is functionally connected with, its vehicle in the world of form.

In other words, we can say that what and who we are is Big Mind (Buddha Mind, Brahman, Tao), soul (alive presence) and human self (personality). And all of it is inherently selfless.

In my own experience of this, I am struck by how these three are simultaneously distinct, fused, and also not two.

Distinct

Each of these three are distinct.

Spirit is this field of clear awake emptiness and form, with no center, no separate self. It is a what. Impersonal. Universal. The I without an Other. The field of seeing and seen, as a field, without any center.

Then there is the individual soul, which is experience as an alive presence and can be filtered in many ways. As infinitely loving and intelligent. Infinitely receptive and responsive. As luminous blackness. As the indwelling God, an alive presence in the heart region. As the alive full presence around and in this physical body. And so on.

And then this human self. This body-mind, functioning within the world of physical form, and with a particular personality. This brings the joys and stress of being physical, including the longing, seeking, wanting, fear, happiness, sensual pleasures, contractions, hangups, and much more. It is the little vulnerable animal trying to make its way in the world.

Fused

In addition to being experienced as distinct, they are also fused.

Spirit infuses the individual soul and human self, especially as it awakens to itself as Spirit. It realizes that all form, including the individual, is no other than itself. The blind identification is taken out of the individual, allowing the individual to reorganize free from the burden of being identified with and in the context of all as Spirit.

The soul, the alive presence, infuses the human self, allowing it to untie knots, heal, mature, and develop in a far deeper way, into a more mature, whole and rounded human being. Ironically, the soul presence, brought into the human self, allows the human self to become more deeply and thoroughly human. It gives the safety and sense of nurturing which allows the human self to relax, to give up some or all of its struggle with itself, and to become more familiar with all of what it is, and embrace and own it all.

And the human self is infused with Spirit awake to itself, and with soul, working on and within it.

Not two

At the same time, there is no I and Other here. These are not two, nor three.

They are all just Spirit, the field of awake emptiness and form, arising as Spirit awake to itself, and functionally connected with this individual soul and human self. Already and always centerless and selfless.

Trinity

These three are a trinity, such as the trikaya of Buddhism. One yet distinct.

And with the potential of being more deeply fused, placing our individual soul and human self under the influence of Spirit, and our human self under the influence of the soul.

The gifts of off-days

 

One of the things I appreciate, usually in hindsight, about off-days is how they help me notice things about myself I usually don’t notice, or don’t want to notice, or at least don’t want to explore in much detail.

These off-days are like the ghosts of Christmas showing Scrooge his life, and especially those parts he didn’t want to see. The parts he needed someone else to show him. It may not be comfortable to go through, but it can also lead to a shift, if we allow it to.

For me, seeing what I don’t want to see about myself especially happens when something is off physically. There is less energy to maintain a desired persona, and maybe even less energy to try to change it, mask it or disengage from it by using a technique or practice.

Yesterday

Yesterday, I certainly noticed some of these (often well hidden) patterns such as going into a state where everything feels utterly wrong (my life, my day, etc.), and some family patterns around a martyr role: the noble quiet suffering, silently blaming the world for my misery.

I guess that is very Norwegian…! The quiet noble suffering, bearing it without complaining too much, and then often not even consciously blaming the world for it being that way. Just bearing it… until it – and my life – is over(!). No wonder that is kept safely in my shadow.

Three effects of physical problems

I also see how physical problems usually have one of three effects for me…

With pain, or apparently heat exhaustion, I tend to find myself as awakeness, as crystal clear awareness. Not by trying, it just happens on its own. I guess the misery is too intense and sharp, so there is a shift out of (exclusive) identification with it and into awakeness, the crystal clear witness of whatever is happening.

Physical reactions to certain foods (food intolerance) or exertion brings out the shadow, in the ways described above. They tend to lead to contractions and reinforce a separate-self sense.

And sometimes, when I am in a phase where headlessness or Big Mind is more strongly in the foreground, then whatever happens to this body-mind just happens, as Big Mind.

A spectrum of what we can find ourselves as

Writing it up this way, I see how these three reflect the span of what or who we can find ourselves as.

At one end of the scale is pure awareness, awake emptiness, crystal clear awake space. The crystal clear awake space is in the foreground, and when form arises (as it often does), it arises within and as this awake space, but as distant, just a small speck within the vastness of awake space.

Then, we can find ourselves as Big Mind, as awake emptiness and form, the awake emptiness arising as form. Here, awake emptiness and form are equally pronounced. Form is emptiness, emptiness is form.

And at the other end of the spectrum, form is in the foreground, and the awake emptiness is in the background, sometimes so far distant that it is not even noticed. There is usually an exclusive identification with our human self here, a forgetting of everything else that we also are. It can be great – fun, ecstatic, an adventure, but it is also where we can feel trapped, confined, helpless, without control, in misery. We are at the mercy of an exclusively finite existence.

Cycling through, inviting greater familiarity

And for me, at least now, there is a cycling through of each of these. One after another, presenting themselves, inviting me to find myself as each of them, to become more familiar with each, more intimate, to know each of their landscapes in more detail.

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.. or as (the transcendent) I?

 

Hm… When I look at the title of the previous post, I see that there is quite a difference between all as one, and all as (the transcendent) I. What I wanted to convey is all as the transcendent I, but I wrote “one” instead to avoid the misunderstanding of all as the ego-I, which of course is quite different.

Ego-I and transcendent-I

The ego-I is the sense of a separate I, placed on this individual.

And the transcendent-I is the I of Big Mind, of awake emptiness and form, absent of any separate I anywhere.

All as ego-I is massive inflation… insanity. But all as the transcendent-I is the supreme sanity…

In the dream, what was – and is – alive is all as a felt-sense of the transcendent I.

All as one

All as one is the soft version of it, as it allows a sense of a separate I which somehow is not separate from anything else. It is all a seamless field, but there is still a vague sense of I here placed on this individual soul and human self.

This is the safe ground, where we get the best of both worlds. I get to feel not separate from anything else, which is good, and then I also get to maintain a sense of I here placed on this individual. It feels good, without rocking the boat too much. It is still relatively familiar, and my identity doesn’t change that much.

All as transcendent I

And all as the transcendent I is very different. it is far more radical. It does away with the separate self-sense all together. It completely eradicates any sense of a separate I placed on this individual self. It is the I that transcends the formless and all form, it is the one I everywhere and always.

It wipes out anything familiar, any identity at all. Nothing is left. Just this one I, everywhere and always, no more present in this individual than in any other (although it is functionally connected with this particular individual, for the time being).

This is the complete death of any individual self-sense, of any fixed identity. This is what differentiates sticking the toes in the water, and taking the plunge. It is what separates a dabbling in awakening as Big Mind, and taking the full consequence of it.

Why one, and not transcendent I?

So why did I write “all as one” and not “transcendent I”, although that is what was – and is – alive for me? Partly to not confuse it with the inflation of the ego-I, but also partly because the fear of taking the plunge is real… It is a real fear, a terror… It is the ultimate death of any sense of separate I, of any continuous identity. A plunge into something beyond all of this, something unknown, and also very familiar.

I know, at several levels, that taking the plunge only leaves behind what has always been an illusion anyway, and that what is plunged into will be strangely and intimately familiar… Yet, there is also a hesitation here, a holding back… Am I ready? Willing? Will it happen even if I make myself more consciously available to it?

Two ways of being with: meditation and healing

 

There are (at least) two ways of being with experiences…

Atemporal being with

One is atemporal, here and now, just being with and allowing whatever is. This is also a being with whatever resistance arises, which allows a disidentification with this resistance, and this in turn allows for the sense of a separate I to erode and fade, possibly into the field noticing itself as a field, already absent of a separate I. There is an intentional activity here, which is the activity of being with what arises, and that is it.

Temporal being with

Then there is the temporal being with, which is a being with what unfolds over time… Seeing where it leads, what wants to come up, surface, be seen, felt and loved…

Allowing whatever comes up to soften, be held, unravel. Just by seeing, feeling into and love what comes up, there is a deep healing of it, and an unraveling of knots.

And in addition, almost as an afterthought, there is also an insight into patterns (although not always, and not always necessary), which can offer an additional level of healing and unraveling.

Two aspects of the same process

These two are aspects of the same process. The first one is more a meditation, the just sitting type of mediation known as shikantaza in Zen.

The second one is more of a healing process, similar to Process Work, Somatic Experiencing, shamanic work, and many other forms of healing and exploration forms.

And each one contains the other, more or less, depending on the situation and intention.

Within the unfolding of a process is the being with, just as in meditation. And within meditation can be a feeling into and possibly also a loving of whatever arises, depending on the circumstances and intention.

Both as inquiry

And both are inquiry.

Being with whatever arises is really an exploration of who or what am I? It leads to the field (of seeing and seen) to notice itself as a field, already absent of I and Other. Sooner or later, this will happen, and if it hasn’t been a conscious inquiry, it certainly becomes one at that point.

Allowing knots to surface and heal is also a form of inquiry. It is an inquiry into seeing, feeling and loving the knots surfacing, and also into the dynamics of the whole process… of knot-making, knot-unraveling, and what is revealed when knots dissolve… which is new layers of who and what we really are, until the same field awakens to itself also through this process.

The onion is peeled until the empty center is reached, and everything is revealed as always and already awake emptiness and form, absent of a separate I.

Both leading to the field awakening to itself

The atemporal being with leads to the field noticing itself as a field, here and now, independent of content.

And the temporal being with leads to an unraveling of knots which leads to the same place: the field awakening to itself as a field, again independent of the particulars of the content.

The individual as a filter for Big Mind, and more or less healed and mature

The individual is a vehicle for Big Mind in the world of form, and also a filter for Big Mind. No matter how awake Big Mind is to itself, it will still be filtered through the particular individual it functions through… its flavors, and its level of healing and maturity.

The atemporal being with is the classic spiritual path, leading to Big Mind awakening to itself. In the process, there is often a healing of the human self, both before and after this awakening. But there is no guarantee that there is a healing of the human self, of how thorough it is, or that this healing and maturing continues.

And if Big Mind functions thorough a distorted human self, with lots of knots and hangups, it will function in the world in a distorted way as well. The output is no better than the filter. (Instead of garbage in, garbage out as they say in science, is is Gold in, garbage out, if filtered through the garbage of the individual…!)

The temporal being with is a healing and maturing of the individual, and this goes on before and after Big Mind awakening to itself. It allows more and more areas of the individual to heal, reorganize and mature, in always new ways. There is no end to the process. The human individual can become a fuller, richer, more and more fine-tuned instrument for Big Mind in the world. More and more deeply human. More and more deeply Spirit awakened to itself, functioning through and as a human self.

Both needed

As with so much else, it seems that both are needed, and that they are two ends of the same polarity.

The atemporal form is very helpful in clarifying the awakening, for Big Mind to recognize and become more intimately familiar with itself.

And the temporal form is essential for a deeper and more thorough healing and maturing of the individual, which is a vehicle and filter for Big Mind in the world of form.

Big Mind and indwelling God

 

Since the shift into a more alive presence of the indwelling God around Christmas, I have been interested in the relationship between Big Mind and the indwelling God. They seem to be mirror images of each other, and two ends of the same polarity.

Big Mind

Big Mind awakening to itself reveals itself as a field of awake emptiness and form (allowing any content, including what arises here and now), and the realization that there is no separate I anywhere in all of this. There is just the one I of the field as a whole, and no separate I, no Other. Big Mind is impersonal, and emphasized and in the foreground in nontheistic traditions (as far as I can tell.)

Indwelling God

The indwelling God is on the other hand very personal. In my experience, an alive presence, infinitely loving, intelligent, receptive and responsive, a guide, teacher and healer, and present in the heart region. And this seems to fit with how others describe it, including among diksha folks where this indwelling God, Antaryamin, is sometimes talked about.

It seems that the indwelling God is emphasized and often in the foreground in theistic traditions, such as Christianity (and probably Islam… the Sufis certainly seem to emphasize the personal quality in our relationship with God.)

Impersonal and personal

So where Big Mind is impersonal and everywhere, the indwelling God is personal and right here, in the heart space of the physical body. The experience of it, at least for me right now, is of a fragment of God for this particular individual soul and human self, and a fragment that includes and reflects the whole of God. It is not diminished in any way, yet also right here and for this particular individual.

Theocentric and Christocentric

I sat at a coffee shop for lunch and made a couple of notes about this, before reading a little further in the intro to Mystics of the Church by Evelyn Underhill. And a little further down the page, she wrote about just this (I can’t remember having read anything about it before, but I also may not have paid attention before, especially since the indwelling God has not been in the foreground much before.)

In a Christian terminology, a Theocentric orientation is a focus on God as Big Mind, and a Christocentric orientation is a focus on God as the indwelling God. She describes the two in very similar ways to what I have found, especially in terms of the impersonal and personal qualities, and the indwelling God as an alive presence, infinitely loving and intelligent, infinitely receptive… infinitely active when invited, and functioning as a guide and master.

Both are equally important, and one tends to be in the foreground for some people and during some periods, then the other, or they can both be very much alive and present at the same time.

Selfless individual

As a point of clarification, it is probably good to mention that even if there is an individual soul and human self here, and an aspect of God for and placed within this individual, there is still no I here. This individual, as all individuals and everything else, is inherently selfless. And that is exactly what Big Mind, and the Theocentric orientation, reminds us of – and make abundantly clear when it awakens to itself.

2nd, 3rd and 1st person relationships

With both Big Mind and the indwelling God, the three forms of relationship – second, third and first person – are each very much possible, and there is often a fluid shift among the three (and sometimes two or all three present at the same time.) Big Mind can be experienced as Other or You, and then as I, and then as It when we talk about it. And the same is true for the indwelling God… it can be You, then I, then It, and maybe two of those or all three at the same time.

Embracing both ends of the polarity

There is a very clear difference between Big Mind and the indwelling God, although they share – and are of – the same essence. To use some metaphors, we can maybe say that the indwelling God is a holographic fragment of the totality of God (Big Mind), or that the indwelling God is the drop and the totality the ocean.

And it is also clear how perfectly the two complement each other. Big Mind is impersonal, everywhere, all revealed as Spirit. The indwelling God, a very tangible alive personal presence, for this (inherently selfless) individual, a guide, receptive, active when invited.

One without the other leaves us only with half of what is possible, and half of what is already there… since they are both already there, waiting to be discovered, to awake consciously to itself.

Already here, and evolving

Both are already there, waiting to be noticed, but also evolving… in different yet related ways.

Big Mind is always already awake emptiness and form, independent of the particulars of form. At the same time, it evolves as form… in all the ways described by science and probably many more.

The indwelling God is similarly already here, as a fragment of God in and as this individual. And at the same time, this indwelling God seems to evolve as it is invited into our lives more consciously. More and more aspects of it is revealed. The dual relationship of the indwelling God as You and I is revealed in increasingly more depth. It evolves and changes as it is invited in, and as our individual soul and human self develops, matures and evolves. (At least, that is how it seems now.)

Big Mind and belly center

 

As I walked along a street earlier today, there was a shift into clear Big Mind, and this time including the flavors of the belly center. There was a sense of ease, clarity, of everything arising as awakeness and form, and all with the luminous blackness and fullness of Spirit filtered through the belly center. It is interesting how even Big Mind can have so many different flavors, and this one was particularly enjoyable, with another level of depth and grounding.

Released from identification

 

The field of awake emptiness and form, of the seeing and seen, is already and always absent of an I, there is just a sense of I there sometimes, usually placed on this human self, and it takes a lot of work and energy to uphold this sense of I and its associated identities.

So whenever there is a distraction from this process of manufacturing and maintaining the sense of I, or there is not enough energy available to engage in it, then the field can sometimes pop into awareness of itself as a field.

It can happen in nature, during rituals, dance, drumming or chanting, through drugs, sex, and rock’n roll, through prayer and meditation, through physical efforts such as the athlete’s high, and also through physical, emotional or mental fatigue and illness.

And most of the time when it happens, we enjoy it and may even seek it again, while also not quite recognize it for what it is. It seems too unlikely that there is not really any I here, but when it slips in, it is certainly enjoyable – a relief from the usual drama and struggle that a sense of I brings with it.

For me, it happened last summer when I had heat exhaustion. My human self did not do very well at all, yet the field of awake emptiness and form did as well as always, and recognized and rested in itself, released from identification with the human self. The same tends to happen whenever I am physically sick, although not quite as dramatically as then.

It is as if the field says well, enough of that, I’ll stop pretending to be limited to this human self for now and can always come back to it later when it is doing a little better. There is a safety valve there, when it gets too intense.

I was reminded of this through Ken Wilber’s descriptions of his recent health crisis, which he – fortunately for him and all of us – seems to be able to recover well from.

During the three days and nights that I was unconscious, there actually was quite a bit of conscious activity going on in me — half of which was quite familiar, and half of which was just plain weird. On the one hand, there was ever-present Big Mind and an awareness of one’s True Nature. On the other hand, I kept dreaming that I was in this really strange room of blue and pink pastels done up in a rather wretched aesthetic.

Of course, it helps to have a solid meditation practice and a familiarity with the terrain of Big Mind, as Ken Wilber certainly has. It creates grooves and habits which makes it easier for the whole field to fall into, and recognize and rest in, itself as a field.

Btw: it is interesting how his personality was still in the picture in his description, with its identification as someone who has a particular sense of aesthetics, and someone for whom that particular sense of aesthetics is important. I don’t know how much that happened at the time, and how much is added afterwards for effect.

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.

Forms of identity

 

Some forms of identity…

Conventional

The conventional identity for our human self helps it function in the world, and it can be more or less rigid and exclusive.

If it is rigid, exclusive, either/or and absolute, there is also a relatively strong sense of separation between persona (daily identity) and shadow (anything that does not fit this identity), and an investment in maintaining a stable conscious identity through maintaining a strong border between persona and shadow. I am a man, and that’s it. I vote democrat, and republicans just don’t get it.

If it is more porous, fluid, both/and and inclusive, there is more of a dance between persona and shadow, more space for any quality to be represented within the main identity. I am a man, but also include traditionally feminine qualities such as caring and making food. I vote democrat, but understand and agree with republicans in some areas.

Big Mind form aspect

This is Big Mind in its form aspect, which is all inclusive of all form. Whatever arises is Big Mind, or the Self, or Brahman, Spirit, Tao, in its form aspect.

Big Mind formless aspect

This is the formless aspect of Big Mind, the awake emptiness.

In itself, it is completely free from any identity. Stainless. Untouched.

At the same time, it is the awake emptiness of all form. It is the emptiness of form, taking any sense of absoluteness or substantiality out of whatever arises.

All together

All together, there is (a) the conventional identity of our human self, typically of the more inclusive and fluid variety. It is there only as an aid for functioning in the world and there is nothing absolute in it. (b) There is the realization of all form as Big Mind, as Spirit, as the Self, the all-inclusive “I”. (c) And the realization of freedom from any identity as formless awake emptiness, and the awake emptiness of all form – allowing for a lighter touch.

Mars rovers and identification

 


Our human self is, in some ways, like a Mars rover.

In both cases, there is no I inherently there. In both cases, it serves as a vehicle in the world of form. In both cases, it provides sensory input for awareness, for pure witness consciousness.

Imagine a NASA scientist or engineer who identifies completely with one of the Mars rovers. He or she would experience and talk about the rover as “I”, experience mortal fear whenever it is in a dangerous situation, completely dreading the day it dies, and so on. This would at best be seen as weird and an eccentricity, and at worst as insanity.

Now imagine the same for our human self. If there is an exclusive identification with our human self, there is the same experience of it as “I”, the same fear whenever it is in danger, the same dread of its death.

So what is the difference?

The Mars rovers are an extension of our own bodies and senses, and they are mechanical and far away, so it is relatively easy – even for the most involved scientist, to maintain the “I” at his or her human self, and see the rover as either “it” (third person) or “ours” or “mine” (second of first person possessive).

Our human self is different. It is the primary and immediate vehicle in the world of form, so it is far more understandable if it is seen as an “I”. But this too is a mistaken identity.

If we explore it a little further, we see that there is only the seamless field of seeing and seen, and no I to be found anywhere in it. This sense of I, placed on our human self, comes from a belief that there has to be a separate individual I somewhere, and since the most likely candidate is our human self we place it there.

Waking up from this happens spontaneously, either out of the blue or following some diligent explorations of all of this. Is there really an I here? Where is it? Is it in the seen, in the stream of forms and experiences, always new, fresh, different? Is it in the seeing? Where can I find the boundary between the seeing and the seen? If the I is in the seeing itself, in the pure witness consciousness, where is the boundary between I as the seeing and Other as the seen?

And when we pass through this gateless gate, we see that there never was an I anywhere. It was all innocent, a temporary mistaken identity. There wasn’t even a gate to pass through, it only seemed that way as long as there was a sense of I there. And although it is understandable when there is an identification with this human self, it it still about as weird as being identified with a rover sitting on a little hill on Mars.

Now, the human self is a me and mine, for practical and conventional reasons, as an aid in navigating in the world and for communication, but clearly absent of any I anywhere. The drama goes out of it. There is just the Ground and field of seeing and seen, awakening to its own nature of no I anywhere, yet still functionally and temporarily connected with this particular human self, as a me or mine.

This human self arises as anything else – thoughts, emotions, feelings, choices, behaviors, personality, clouds, trees, people, situations. It all happens on its own. There is doing but no doer (apart from the doer as the whole of the world of form.)

Is it possible to make a mistake?

 

Here is one way of looking at the question of mistakes from different filters…

Ground and Big Mind

Ground is inherently free from any notions of mistakes or no mistakes. It allows any forms to come and go as Ground itself, as emptiness dancing.

Big Mind, as Ground as emptiness and form, is similarly absent of any notions of mistakes. It is beyond, yet includes, any ideas of mistakes or no mistakes, and anything these ideas point to.

When Big Mind awakens to its own nature, there is the realization that any and all forms are inherently free from mistakes/no mistakes.

Spirit exploring itself

Moving slightly into the relative, yet informed by the absolute, we can say that everything is Spirit exploring and experiencing itself.

I eat icecream, I stub my toe, I sleep, I miss a deadline, I get praise, I forget the name of a Breema sequence when teaching, I decided to stay in the US instead of going back to Norway, I get sick and can’t do much for a couple of days, I fail a test of some sort.

All of these, and anything else in any human life and existence as a whole, is Spirit manifesting, exploring and experiencing itself – as emptiness and form, experiencer and experienced, seeing and seen.

And this happens independent of the particulars of the content. No matter what form is doing, it is still Spirit experiencing itself. There is no mistake there. It is inherently free from the possibility of mistake.

Beliefs

The sense or experience of mistakes only come in, and is inevitable, when there is a belief in thoughts. Existence should look this way, so if it conforms, it is no mistake, and if it does not, there must be a mistake somewhere: you made a mistake, I made a mistake, God made a mistake.

Freedom filtered

 

Some of the many ways to filter freedom…

Big Mind: absent of freedom and no freedom

Big Mind, beyond and including any polarities, is absent of freedom and no freedom, yet allows for and embraces each. It is emptiness dancing, distinct from freedom or no freedom. It is all Brahman, all Spirit, all God. There is nothing to be free from.

This is freedom with and within the world of form, as it arises. It is the freedom of Spirit to manifest in the myriad ways it does, including as awakening or delusion, as realized selflessness or a sense of I.

(In the awakening process, when Big Mind awakens to its own nature, there may for a while be a sense of freedom from exclusive identification with any aspect of what arises. It is freedom from blind identification, from a sense of I and Other, and from the drama that comes with it. Yet as it matures, the Ground of realized selflessness and a sense of I allows for either freely.)

Oneness

(Here, there is still a vague sense of I, yet also a taste of the larger whole, or the Ground, of seeing and seen. There is a freedom from a blind identification with seeing or seen, although not quite yet the freedom of Ground, of emptiness dancing.)

Seeing

When Big Mind identifies with one of its aspects, there is freedom from and to something.

In this case, there is an identification with seeing, so there is freedom from the seen. There is a freedom from this human self and its circumstances and anything coming up in this human self. There is a freedom from the personality, and there is a freedom to rest as the impersonal seeing.

This freedom is somewhat precarious as it depends on resting in or as one aspect of what is: the seeing, as opposed to the seeing.

Seen

Identified with the seen, with the aspect of the seen that is our human self, the sense of reality of freedom and no freedom is even stronger and takes many more forms.

Freedom can be freedom from constrictions of this personality, or freedom from pain and suffering. It can be freedom for this personality to have its way and to live according to certain identities and beliefs.

This freedom is even more precarious as it is dependent on circumstances inherently outside of the control of the personality or our human self.

The many faces of love

 

Somebody sent me a question about love, pointing out (accurately) that I don’t use that word much here.

Here are some of the things that came up for me…

Jnana and bhakti

There are two main approaches to spirituality: jnana (inquiry, insight, wisdom) and bhakti (love, compassion, devotion).

Over the last few years, jnana has been more in the foreground for me, in the form of various ways to do inquiry. Before this, there were several (pre-blog) years where bhakti was in the foreground as a practice and lived experience.

Both are fine of course. And at different times in our lives, one may be in the foreground for a while, and then the other, and then maybe neither, and then both.

Filters

Another thing about love is that it is used in many different meanings, and also can be filtered in different ways.

It can be filtered through a generally egocentric or ethnocentric or widening worldcentric way of being. Being exposed to people living from the two first of these, it is fine if I am inside of their circle of concern, but not so nice if I am outside of it. (Ku Klux Klan really do love whites, and I am sure it is a genuine love, but I if I am black and on the outside of that love, I may not appreciate it so much.)

Love, even world-centric love, is also filtered through beliefs. For instance, I may love somebody, but also think they should appreciate me, or be with me, or give me money, or generally behave the way I want. Love is then mixed up with much else that may not be so comfortable for those at the receiving end.

The view and emotion of love

There is also the view and emotion of love.

The view of love is Big Mind, or any views that approach Big Mind such as deepening and widening worldcentric circles of concern, a sense of no separation, of oneness, of recognition, and so on.

If I act from these views, my actions may be interpreted by others as coming from love. In reality, I am just acting from a sense or view of no separation, or recognition, or Big Mind, but it certainly looks like love, and I may even experience it as love – or not.

Which brings us to the emotion or experience of love. As with any content, the emotion or experience of love comes and goes. It is sometimes strong, sometimes, less strong, sometimes absent, sometimes mixed up with all sorts of other emotions. It is maybe not the most reliable basis for action.

But the view can be more stable. Unravelling beliefs, or finding myself as witness, the world of form is a seamless field and there is no absolute separation of I and Other anymore. From here, I will naturally live in ways that looks like love. And when the emotion is there to create a fuller and richer experience, that is the icing on the cake.

Impersonal and personal

A final thing that comes up for me is that love can be experienced as impersonal or personal, by either the giver or the receiver.

On the one hand, love in its essence is completely impersonal – embracing everyone and everything.

On the other hand, if my whole being is participating (present, engaged, wholehearted), and I am transparent and receptive, and interested in the other person as a human being, it tends to be experienced – by both, as more personal, more alive, more rich and full.

The universe gawking at itself

 


This beautiful photo of a nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia is an example of the universe gawking in amazement at itself, in the words of Brian Swimme.

The universe forms itself into matter, galaxies, nebula, solar systems, planets, life, awareness organs (living sensing beings), culture, technology, science, computers, telescopes, rockets…

And it gawks at itself… It is amazed by itself. It brings itself into awareness in always new ways.

The universe forms itself into the seen, the technology used for the seeing, and the organisms the seeing occurs through. And all of this and the seeing itself arises all within and as Ground, as Big Mind, Spirit, Brahman, Divine Mind.

Finer Detail

 

Even when the Ground awakens to its own nature, and is functionally connected to a particular human self, the way this human self talks about and expresses it varies a good deal. The particulars of the vehicle determines how it comes out. This means that the descriptions of the awakening and the awakened realization comes out with varying degrees of precision and clarity.

Various forms of inquiry, including the The Work and the Big Mind process are powerful tools here, allowing for finer and finer levels of exploration and insights.

The strength of The Work is in its uncovering of (a) what happens when there is a belief in a thought, (b) the contrast to who/what we are without the belief, and (c) exploring the (relative) truths in all the turnarounds of the initial statement, allowing for different perspectives and insights we may not otherwise have noticed.

The strength of the Big Mind process lies in exploring all the various ways the mind functions, on personal and transpersonal levels, all the various dynamics and interactions, just about only limited by the imagination.

Having these tools available means that people not operating from a full awakening can have far more clarity and insight around certain issues than those operating from an awakening. This is not surprising. Our levels of knowledge and skills are independent of awakening, and so is – to some extent – our insights into how the mind operates on personal and even transcendent levels. It is very democratic that way.

Meditation in Action *

 

There is no doubt that it can be very helpful to take time out of the day for regular meditation/practice sessions, and also to take several days out of one’s schedule for a retreat.

And then there is meditation in action, practice distributed throughout our daily life. To me, this form of practice is more interesting right now, especially as it does not necessarily require any time beyond what I am already doing (in a way, it is practice for lazy and impatient people, for those of us who may be reluctant to set aside a lot of time every day, and especially don’t want to wait for these periods).

Some practices that I find very helpful in daily life, first those that do not take any extra time at all…

Headlessness

Douglas Harding’s headless experiments can be included and explored throughout daily life, during any activity. I work on the computer, I am on my bike, I eat, I am in a meeting, I watch a movie, I do Breema, and I can easily explore headlessness – notice that I am already headless in my own immediate experience. I am capacity for the world, that within and as which the world of phenomena – including this human self, happens. This shifts the center of gravity from the human self to seeing and beyond, into a taste of selflessness.

Labeling

Another practice that can be seamlessly integrated in daily life is labeling. I note sensations, tastes/smells, sights, sounds and thoughts. And sometimes just sensations and thoughts, allowing each to live their own life. And sometimes just personality. That is the personality reacting, with its likes and dislikes, its habitual tendencies.

Seeing sensations as sensations, and thoughts as thoughts, allow each to live their own life. They don’t conglomerate into something else. And when they do, for instance into personality, then that can be labeled as well, at its own level.

All of this shifts the center of gravity from the human self to the seeing of it. It gives a sense of more space, of liberation from being blindly caught up in it.

Can I be with it?

Yet another practice which can be included seamlessly in daily life is asking myself can I be with what I am experiencing right now? I experience something that could be labeled pain, or sleep deprivation, or hunger, or stress, or confusion, or spaciness, or joy, or excitement – can I be with what I am experiencing right now?

Again, this shifts the center of gravity into the seeing, allowing the content to life its own life, to unfold in its own way. The experience is one of getting out of the way of the content.

Coming to the body

This shift also occurs through simply bringing attention to the body. To noticing the weight, movement or breath of the body, as it happens right now.

Of course, for each of these practices – headlessness, labeling, being with whatever is experienced and coming to the body, it does help to set aside some time in the beginning to become familiar with the process, and even to do so at any point where there is a break in the day.

Then there are practices that very much use the content of our daily life as fuel, and do require some time set aside, although often not much.

The Work

The inquiry practice from Byron Katie is one of these. Whatever happens during my daily life is fuel for finding clarity. The whole world is my mirror, in a very real and practical way.

Big Mind Process

The Big Mind process similarly uses our daily life and everyday mind as material for insights, for seeing what is already alive right here now, and how it is all manifestations of the Buddha Mind, Buddha Mind at work.

Eating Time

 

One of the instructors at the Breema Center talked about eating time, rather than having time eat us. It is a snappy metaphor.

If I am exclusively identified as something within space & time, as an aspect of the world of phenomena, as a fragment, then time easily becomes an enemy – at least sometimes. I am at the mercy of time. I am at the mercy of change and eventually death. Time eats me.

If I find myself as Witness – pure awareness, or as Big Mind – beyond and including all polarities, then space and time is within me. I am timeless, and that in which time and space happen. I am that within and as which all phenomena unfolds – all births and all deaths. I am eating time.

Talking about it is of course not very useful, other than for the person doing the talking (an opportunity to explore and clarify my own experience and put words on it). But this is something that can be explored by anyone in ones own immediate experience, through for instance the Big Mind process.

First, how does time look from the voice of for instance the finite (an enemy, something that brings me my death, something that threatens my very existence). And then, how does time look from the voice of non-seeking mind, timelessness, Witness or Big Mind (something unfolding within and as me, as waves within the ocean, I am the mirror in which time and space unfolds).

Compassion

 

I went to Powell’s bookstore in Portland today and asked for An Interrupted Life, the journals and letters of Etty Hillesum. The person behind the desk looked it up, and asked if it was about the holocaust. As I said yes, I noticed compassion and sadness come up for me, and how the atmosphere changed. I also noticed how much I like that experience of compassion and intimacy.

And I saw clearly how it all comes from a story.

Without the story, there is just clarity. Jesus and Hitler is the same. There is ruthless equality.

With a story comes compassion and sadness. People shouldn’t do those things to each other. It is so sad that such a beautiful young woman, with so many talents, had to die so young and in such a way. And so on.

It is a beautiful story in a way. And as I said, I noticed a great deal of attachment and comfort in the compassion it gave birth to. Yet, it is only a story. Only another delusion. Another veil.

Who wants to hear that? How can it be expressed?

At the same time, I see that conventional compassion has a content, a particular feeling associated with it. And transcendent compassion does not. Transcendent compassion, Big Heart, just acts. There is suffering and the desire of I in the form of you to be relieved from suffering, and it acts. It is the left hand helping the right. No hesitation. No dependence on any particular feeling. It is the ruthless equality of Big Mind appearing as love in action.

Small & Big Peace

 

I had a NAET treatment today, this time for gluten. As the chiropractor began to stimulate the acupuncture points, I noticed a quite significant energetic shift – from my system feeling scattered and somewhat out of alignment to a sense of fullness and deep silence.

As I walked out of the office, I saw how this deep sense of silence in/around my human self was still a small peace. It is temporary, can be disturbed by whatever else may happen from within or outside of my human self, and so on. It is a taste of peace, but that is all.

The Big Peace is different. This is the peace of realizing the nature of what is, of awakening to everything as absent of I. It is a peace that comes through context – a shift from a sense of I to noticing the absence of I everywhere. It is a peace independent on content. It is unshakable because anything that could shake it is also just Ground manifesting. And it is not really peace, it just is. It is Big Mind waking to its own nature, while still being functionally connected with a particular human self. Big Peace can arise as any content, including conventional peace and disturbance, silence and noise, stillness and movement. It contains – and is – supernovas, bombs, screaming, war, violence, destruction. None of these are Other. None of these are resisted. None of these are a disturbance.

So small peace is what is when there is still a sense of I, typically placed on our human self or parts of our human self. This peace is conditioned on particular circumstances, and is temporary, fragile and shakeable. It arises within the context of I and Other, and Other can appear as a disturbance.

Big Peace is only conditioned on what is awakening to its own nature, of no I anywhere. It arises as anything and everything. It allows anything to arise. Nothing is resisted, so it cannot be disturbed. It is Ground manifesting as the myriad things.

Big Mind & Big Heart

 

As I deepen into familiarity with Big Mind I deepen into familiarity with Big Heart – and the other way around.

Big Mind

When I deepen my familiarity with myself as Big Mind, I find myself as Ground, as that which holds everything, as that which appears as the myriad phenomena, as that which is completely neutral, as that which recognizes all as equal, as emptiness dancing. There are no preferences here. All is. This is the ocean.

It is what is, when it realizes that it is inherently absent of any “I” anywhere.

Big Heart

When I deepen my familiarity with myself as Big Heart, I find myself as love for all, as compassion for everything and everyone. Here too there is equality, no thing – no one – is excluded.

In the yin aspect of Big Heart, there is just the holding of everything and everyone in love, allowing it to unfold the way it naturally unfolds in that space. Allowing it to reorganize and heal in that space.

In the yang aspect of Big Heart, there is more active engagement – inviting into clarity and release from suffering, in whatever way seems appropriate, with whatever tools available. This is the waves knowing they are ocean.

Deepening into both

The more I find myself as Ground and disengagement, the more there is the freedom for a more complete and full engagement and passion. And the more there is engagement and passion, the more it stimulates the exploration of disengagement and equality.

Disengagement without the engagement is without movement, exploration, fullness. Since it is not tested in the world, it can even be a disengagement that only appears when the world of form is a certain way and is apparently lost when the world of form appears a different way.

Engagement without disengagement is easily in struggle with itself and can burn itself out. It is caught in the dualities, without being able to see beyond them. It is caught in I and Other, and its inherent struggle.

Familiarizing myself with one is an invitation to deepen into the other. They go hand in hand.

Befriending

 

The world is my mirror – whether I find myself as human beings and/or as Big Mind.

As a human being, whatever I see out there reflect myself in here.

And as Big Mind, everything arising is me.

Resistance to what is

When I resist this, there is pain. It is the signal that I am excluding in my mind something that is inherently a part of what is and myself.

And resistance comes up when I attach to a thought, as any thought by necessity is different from and more limited than what is.

In other words, when I attach to a thought, I immediately create an exclusive identity, which has to be painful as it conflicts with my nature which is beyond and including any and all polarities.

What is – free from descriptions

What is is – and I am – inherently beyond and including existence and nonexistence, spirit and matter, formless and form, seer and seen, awakened and deluded, living and nonliving, life and death, culture and nature, mind and body, right and wrong, and so on.

What is is – and I am – inherently free from all this. Any name describe me, yet I am free from any name.

Mechanisms of pain

As a human being, the pain comes in many ways.

It comes from a limited repertoire. I am invited to bring out more of my qualities, yet don’t because I am not familiar with them yet or exclude them through holding onto a limited identity.

The pain is also there due to a sense of separation. I see qualities out there and not in here, and the other way around. I see myself as a separate entity. I see myself as variously better and/or worse than what I see out there. I get caught up in seeking something and avoiding other things, in my internal and external life. I get caught up in blind identifications. I get caught up in struggle.

Not seeing in myself what I see out there gives rise to pain in innumerable ways.

At the level of Big Mind, the pain simply comes from separation – from the appearance of I and Other in the field of what is, inherently absent of any I or Other.

Befriending

So no wonder we have found many ways to help ourselves heal this split in our experience of what is, this fictional life bringing about pain.

  • Being with
    The simplest approach is to just be with whatever is happening. I just ask myself Can I be with what I am experiencing right now? I am with whatever is happening, including the impulse to resist and push something away. And in that way, I befriend whatever is happening. The ficitional boundary between this particular form of I and Other dissolve.

  • Welcoming in
    Going a little furhter, I can actively embrace and welcome in whatever is arising. I see them as lost children wanting attention and warmth, and provide it for them.

  • Inquiry
    Then there are the many forms of inquiry, including The Work. Here, I examine attachments to thoughts and allow them to unravel – and the resistance with them. What appeared as an Other and a disturbance (or worse) is now revealed as a friend. What arises may be the same (or not) but the charge went out of it.

  • Process Work
    In Process Work, I unravel the process behind whatever is happening in the external or internal world. I follow the bread crumbs, and find the gift behind it. In this way too, anything happening becomes a friend – an invitation into exploring aspects of the world and myself that is new to me, and allowing boundaries to dissolve.

  • Giving it over to the divine
    And I can give it over to the divine. That is where it is anyway, so I am really just giving over my experience of myself as an individual separate doer. Everything is living its own life anyway, and this is another reminder.

  • Asking for it to resolve
    As a more active version of the previous one, I can ask for resolution in whatever way it needs to resolve.

    I may also ask to see whatever I need to see for it to resolve. I may ask for whatever in me that needs to unravel to unravel. I may ask for harvesting of whatever gifts and nutrients are in it.

    I see that holding an intention in this way – precise and open ended at the same time – creates a sense of a field within which this unraveling can take place.

Flavors

 

Some of the many flavors of how God expresses itself as/through humans…

Big Mind

This is the realization of selflessness, of realizing that there is no I anywhere. It is Big Mind awakening to its own nature. And it is still functionally connected with a particular human self.

All is revealed as God, as Ground spontaneously manifesting as the world of phenomena, as emptiness dancing. There are no human beings as an entity – it is just God playing a game with itself, temporarily identified with something finite – a human being.

Nothing needs to change. There is nothing to improve. Everything is perfect as it is.

This is the Absolute.

And on its own, it can appear cold, heartless, disengaged – because it really is.

Big Heart

Big Heart is a movement into the Relative, into duality, into a split.

Here, we include a more conventional view of I and Other within the context of Big Mind.

And this inclusion of I and Other in the context of all as God naturally opens and fuels the heart. It brings up engaged and lived compassion and love.

Human self

Into this combination of Big Mind and Big Heart comes the human self, with its own unique human characteristics – including its talents, inclinations, health and maturity.

Deluded

And there is of course also the possibility of God not awakened to its own nature, but temporarily identified with the human self and/or awareness – functioning through the filter of I and Other.

Mix

Mixed together, there is an infinite number of possibilities.

Big Mind can be emphasized, as it often is in Adveita and Buddhism.

Big Heart can be emphasized, as it often is in Theistic mysticism – for instance among Sufis and Christian mystics.

And any combination of Big Mind and Big Heart can be filtered through a human self, a unique personality – with its unique talents, inclinations, level of health and maturity. Sometimes it shows up as a teacher, sometimes as an activist, sometimes as one in service to the unfortunate, sometimes as an artist, sometimes as a healer, sometimes as an office worker, sometimes as a plumber.

Each of these are just different flavors – different ways God is exploring itself through awakening to its own nature.

No difference

There is not even much difference between God awakening to its own nature of selflessness, in various ways and to various extents, and God being identified with something finite. Both are just God exploring itself. Both are the play of God.

Both are perfect as they are, although it does not always look that way – especially if filtered through any exclusive identification (with something finite). And that too is perfect as it is. That too is God exploring itself. That too is part of the Game.

Working from Big Mind & Human Self

 

It seems that an awakening to realizing selflessness often appears as a work from two sides: from Big Mind and from the human self. If we split it up in those two, it appears that way. If not, then we see that it is really the same thing.

Any glimpse of selflessness is grace. It comes on its own, in its own time. And it can come completely out of the blue (as it initially did for me), or it can be intentionally invited in through prayer, meditation, yoga, mantras, and so on. It is a gift from the divine. And when it happens, even for only a brief moment, something shifts. It is not really possibly to take this sense of a separate self seriously anymore, even if it is there. And we may also engage in practices to realize selflessness more clearly.

At our human level, there are many practices we can engage in to clarify any glimpse of selflessness, including prayer, meditation, yoga, mantras and various forms of inquiry. None of these can shift the center of gravity into a clear realization of selflessness, but they can prepare the ground for it, they offer an invitation for it to happen.

In most cases, it seems that the two work towards each other. There is the working towards it at the human self level, aligning our human self with a realization of selflessness so that it can function more effectively as a vehicle for the realization of selflessness. And there are the glimpses offered from the divine, which helps us with a taste of it, with renewed inspiration, and also in aligning our human self a little closer with it.

And this seems to often occur over time. There is work at our human level, then one or more glimpses, then more work, and so on. All the time aligning our human self more closely with a realization of selflessness, repatterning at all levels from body to emotions to thoughts and behaviors, and there is also a gradually deepening familiarity with how it is to function from the realization of selflessness. We gradually become more familiar with this territory, so different from operating from a belief in the idea of a separate self or I.

Eventually, our human self is repatterened enough, and we are sufficiently familiar with the selflessness terrain, so it can become more stable. First, maybe as a sense of transparency – seen through a vague although not quite believable sense of I. Then, through “popping” and becoming completely obvious and clear.

And when this happens, there is also the clear realization that it was all a game. It was all the play of the divine, from the beginning – even in the exclusive identification as our human self, as an object in the world, even in the middle of the times when the sense of being lost, separate, confused and suffering was at its most strong.

It was just the divine waking up to its own nature, which was always there – although not noticed as long as there was an exclusive identification with something finite, or with any segment of what is.

It was the divine working towards waking up to itself, from the side of the human self and the divine mind. It was the divine tunneling through the mountain of itself from two sides, and meeting itself in the middle. It was the divine facing itself in the mirror, facing away from itself in the mirror, walking away from itself in the mirror, and walking towards itself in the mirror.

Only for you – and me

 

As we explore projections and also Big Mind, there seems to be a deepening sense of it all being only for me, and only for you, and only for each of us.

Projections

In working with projections, I see that the whole world is there for me to recognize what is in myself. Something is in me, I am not aware of it yet, I project it out on something in the wider world, I see it there and can familiarize myself with it there, and can then see it in myself as well.

The world is my mirror, and everything happens just for me – inviting me to see in myself what I see out there.

Big Mind

As Big Mind, we see that this is literally true. Everything out there not only reflects something in me (a quality or impulse at my human level), it also is me. It is all the play of spirit. It is all me, and it is all for me.

For each of us

Going back to our human level, we see that this is true for each of us. The whole world is there only for each of us.

The whole world is there only for me, for you, for him, for her, for each one of us.

It has a center everywhere, and nowhere.

Functional Connection taken as I

 

Center yet no I

After having her center of gravity shifted into the Witness (pure awareness) recently, in waves, Jen mentioned how curious it is that there is still a sort of center in her human self, although it is not an I.

Ways to talk about it…

That is curious. I tend to see it as a functional connection with our human self. There is input from this human self, and it arises within this field of the world of phenomena as it happens in the present – this room, sounds of cars, sounds of a plane, chirping of birds, chill on the hands, tapping of the keys on the keyboard, and so on. Still, it is just one aspect of the field – not more “I” than anything else.

Another way to describe the connection is as a vehicle. My human self is a vehicle for Big Mind in the world of phenomena.

All is Big Mind, yet also special connection

It is tricky, and – yes, puzzling, as everything is Big Mind. All phenomena is the play of the ground – equally. The whole world of phenomena is this dance of the one ground, it is emptiness dancing.

Yet, there is also a special connection with this particular human self. It is temporary, of course – as this human self is appears only for a limited time. Still, it is an important connection.

Identification and disidentification

There is the possibility of identification as and with this human self, or parts of it. And that still happens. It creates – to varying degrees – a sense of self, of a doer, of I and Other.

And there is the possibility for disidentification with this human self, as seeing it as arising as and within the field of phenomena – as one of the fluid manifestations of ground. And that happens too. Here, there is no sense of doer, no sense of separate self, no sense of I and Other.

Appearance of…

Maybe all I can say is that there is a functional connection, and that connection takes the appearance of…

Sensory input from the wider world of phenomena (this room, the outdoors and son on). Sensory input from this body (sensations, feelings, physical correlates to emotions). Input in terms of emotions and thoughts.

And the appearance of output, in the form of behaviors. Although when there is disidentification with this human self – when the exclusive identification drops, then it is all revealed as just happening – as everything in the world of phenomena is just happening. There is no doer, only the doing.

Fine tuning

So while I could say that this human self provides the opportunity for input and output, that is not really accurate. There is not really any output, as the sense of a doer falls away when the identification with my human self falls away.

And what about the input? That does still seem mostly real to me, although I suspect it is not.

The whole idea of input and output, and even a vehicle, is also somewhat inaccurate. That too creates a separation that is not really there.

The most accurate way to talk about it, as it appears to me right now, may be emptiness dancing. It is all emptiness dancing. It is accurate, closer to the absolute. Yet so succinct that it leaves out most of the possible differentiations, most of the possible explorations of it from the relative side.

These other ways of talking about it seem useful as well. Each highlight certain aspects of what seems to be going on. Each one talking about it from a certain overlay of abstractions, at a certain level of relativity.

Path & No Path

 

I went to a Process Work session today, and it brought up the different ways Path shows up when filtered through the different levels.

No path

At the nondual (Big Mind) level, there is no path – the idea of path doesn’t make sense. Or we can say that it is impossible to not be on the path. Everything just is, manifestations of Buddha Mind, God’s play, emptiness dancing. Everything is path.

Paths

At our soul and human levels, there are indeed paths – and they are very real for us.

No path and paths together

As they say in Zen, everything is perfect as it is and there is room for improvement. There is the nondual beyond and including perfection and imperfection, and there is the real of perfection and imperfection.

In terms of our path, we are always on in and we are it at a nondual level. And as guided by our soul or wished for by our human self, we can definetely be more or less on it.

Withouth the pathlessness, we can easily get too caught up in the path – take it too seriously. We are stuck in the relative.

And without the path, we can aimlessly wander around – not caring about what is nurturing and what is not. Being stuck in absolute.

For me

For me, I was strongly on my path while living in Norway and Utah. There was a strong sense of everything unfolding beautifully, of strong and clear guidance, of maturing, of finding my way in the world in many ways. I was deeply on my path at my human and soul levels.

At the same time, I saw that at the nondual level there was no way anyone could be “off the path” – everything is an expression of God so there is no path to be off.

Then, during the dark night phase, there was an equally strong sense of being off the path – at least as I had experienced my path earlier. I was cut off – externally and internally, from everything that had provided such as deep sense of nourishment, meaning and fulfillment.

I felt completely derailed, which was true in many ways. At the same time, I knew I could learn from it – mature through it, see something I earlier didn’t want to see, and through all this deepen my sense of ordinariness and empathy.

Now

Now, there is the beginnings of a release from this dark night and the derailment. The bits and pieces are coming back, gradually – as a slow soul retrieval process. What came so effortlessly earlier, and also seemed so extraordinary, is now coming back in a different way. Through more of an intention and a more conscious process, and seeming very ordinary and simple.

It also seems clear that one of my tasks now is to nurture the soul level far more than I could during the dark night phase, and far more than I did by choice at the Zen center. To allow it back in, with its tremendous sense of guidance, fullness, richness, maturing, deepening, meaning, purpose, calling, and – yes – path. A unique path for me in this life, unveiled gradually.

And some of the simple ways to connect with this more deeply is through what is deeply nurturing for me, such as Breema, drawing, music, nature, good relationships and even planning for the future – exploring deeply nurturing and meaningful, and realistic, options.

Trust :: Basic and Conventional

 

As with so many things, it seems that trust too occurs at many levels.

In – or even after – an awakening to selflessness, a fundamental trust in existence arises on its own. It is all revealed as the ground forming itself into myriad of phenomena, as consciousness, or as God. There is no Other to distrust here.

But there is still the conditioning of our human self, which brings about a mix of trust and distrust. This is not a problem in the context of selflessness, the distrust and hangups and everything else is also emptiness dancing. At the same time, it is also something to work on, in the context of our development, maturing and evolution at human and soul levels.

Meditation is one way to allow this basic trust to sink in at our human level.

And it seems that the many forms of inquiry do the same.

Process Work unfolds the profound wisdom and healing behind what initially appears as a problem. Byron Katie’s inquiry into beliefs does the same, uncovering the gifts within what appeared as a stressful thought. The Big Mind process shows the profound wisdom behind all the ways the mind functions, on personal and transpersonal levels. And a more free-form inquiry, from innocent curiosity into what is happening, seems to unfold the same.

So in terms of the various levels, there seems to be…

Basic trust

A basic trust in Existence – as nondual, consciousness, the many forms of ground, waves on the ocean, the play of God, emptiness dancing.

A deepening trust in existence at our human level, seeing that there is healing within symptoms (Process Work), clarity within stress (Byron Katie), and wisdom within all the ways the mind functions (Big Mind). This is a process that deepens over time, through experience – over and over – with these and other forms of inquiries.

Both of these forms of trust – the transcendent and personal – are basic, not dependent of the specifics of the situation.

Conventional trust and distrust

And then there is the more conventional level of trust and distrust, the discernment, discriminating wisdom. This too deepens and matures over time, through experience. We learn to trust in certain ways and to be cautious in other ways. We learn to trust certain people in certain situations (maybe most), yet remain some caution in other situations.

Coexistence of basic and conventional trust

The conventional level can quite easily co-exist with the deeper level of trust.

It provides an overlay of conventional trust and distrust arising from the specific situation, on top of basic trust in existence which is there independent on the specifics of the situation.

Conditioned and unconditioned

The basic trust is unconditioned in the sense that it is independent of the specifics of the situation. But it is also conditioned – the transcendent trust on awakening, and the personal trust on inquiry and reconditioning (rewiring at our human level).

The conventional trust is always conditioned on the specific situation.

Intrapsychic & Intradivine

 

There is a fascinating parallel – and progression – in the awakening to Big Mind.

First, it can appear intrapsychic. Then intradivine, or whatever we want to call it.

Intrapsychic

We can have a taste of Big Mind, and interpret it as all intrapsychic.

If we have even moderate psychological sophistication, we realize that our experience of the world all happens – well, in our experience of it. The tree may be out there, but the experience of the tree is right here, in my awareness. So everything, no matter what it is or how far away it is, comes alive in my awareness, right here. It is obvious, as many including Kant has pointed out.

So Big Mind, this experience of everything arising within and as awareness – or consciousness, or mind – can easily be interpreted as intrapsychic. At least in our early excursions into explorations of Big Mind, our early tastes and glimpses of it.

At this level, it quite easily fits into the view of modern psychology. There is nothing really remarkable about it. It all fits into our modern models of the psyche. It is just a slightly different twist to it.

Intradivine

As we continue these explorations, we may have a taste of something else.

Suddenly, it doesn’t all appear intrapsychic anymore. That is too narrow. Now, it seems that the whole world of phenomena – the outer and inner world to our human self, all arises from the same ground. And not only in our personal awareness, but in the divine mind.

What we initially took as our personal awareness, is now revealed as the divine mind – that which the whole world of phenomena arises within and as. And it always was like that, although our filter of “I” made it temporarily appear differently.

The whole world of phenomena, this human self and the universe, is consciousness – as it is, where it is. It all appears as a play of forms within the divine mind, within and as the mind of God.

Progression

The beauty of this is the gradual progression, allowing us to test the waters initially and gradually become familiar with it.

And it also allows those used to a modern western worldview to enter the water and try it out, without seeing it as too esoteric and far out. There is, after all, a way to interpret it that fits our modern western model quite nicely.

Then of course, we may be taken into it a little further. And our modern western worldview shatters, or at least gets expanded quite a bit – into the realm described by the mystics.

Lila

 

I have been listening to more audio of Byron Katie facilitating inquiry with a range of people, and am again struck by how clear she is – and the clarity others arrive at through the inquiries.

It is similar to the Big Mind process in that people with little or no background in anything “spiritual” speak like sages – often arriving a deep insights mirroring what is said by gurus, teachers, sages and saints from many traditions and time periods.

Lila

I am also struck by something else: finding peace with what is, through seeing through our stories and allowing the belief in them to fall away, is only possible when we discover lila. That it is all the play of God.

Seeing through our stories, and discovering lila, are two sides of the same coin.

And when we see through even one of our stories, allowing the belief in it to fall away, we have a glimpse of lila. Seeing through another story, there is another taste of lila. And seeing through the story of “I” – as a segment of what is, we arrive fully in a realization of lila. There is the realization that what appeared as our business, is God’s business – and always was.

There is only God. There is no mistake.

Soul & Big Mind

 

This is of course very basic, but a topic that has come up for me more strongly over the past few weeks.

Among the many ways of slicing the continuum of being is body, mind, soul and spirit.

Body, mind, soul, spirit

The body is our physical body – a fluid and temporary pattern of matter and energies. And this body shows up at our individual level, as our human self, and it also shows up as the whole of this universe – as the body of the divine mind or Big Mind. (F1 in KW’s framework).

The mind is the psyche, the emotions and thoughts at our human level. As with our physical body, these are universal patterns with a unique flavor in each of our case, and in time as well – always showing up in new and fresh ways. (F2-F6)

The soul is that part of us that goes on between physical incarnations. It is that which evolves, matures, develops over longer time spans. When brought into awareness, it gives a deep sense of richness, fullness, guidance, meaning, intimacy – in short, soulfulness. It is the middle ground between our human self and Big Mind. (F7-F8)

The spirit is the ground of it all, and also that which forms itself into all these other phenomena. It is the divine mind, Big Mind, Buddha Mind, Brahman, Dao and so on. It is completely impersonal, allowing all the manifestations to occur within and as itself. (F9, nondual)

Leaving out the soul or not

In Zen and the standard Big Mind process, the soul level is mostly left out and there is an emphasis on our human self and Big Mind. There are good reasons for this, mainly to avoid distractions from realizing Big Mind (selflessness) and living from this realization.

At the same time, it leaves out the deeply nurturing sense of soulfulness which comes from bringing the soul into awareness. When I ask to talk with the soul in the Big Mind process, there is a presence there which is quite different from any of the other voices – including that of Big Heart.

When I lived in Norway, all levels were quite strongly present – including the soul and Big Mind, and there was a tremendous richness of it all. In Utah, living at the Zen center there, the soul aspect got de-emphasized and gradually left my attention and awareness. And now, it seems time to bring it back in. Apart from the fullness it offers, it also gives a sense of responsibility for the evolution of this soul – for allowing it to mature through bringing it into awareness. And through that, participating more fully in the evolution of the form aspect of the divine mind, of Big Mind.

Evolution of soul and selflessness

In some ways, it is easier when only our human self and Big Mind/Heart are into the picture. It does simplify it. It brings attention to the ground awakening, to realizing selflessness and living from that. When the soul is into the picture, it is both fuller and a little more complex.

There is a dual emphasis on the evolution and maturing of this soul, as well as realizing that the soul too is part of the world of phenomena – that too is the temporary manifestations of the divine mind, of Big Mind. That too is ultimately selfless.

Polarities

 

An outline of how polarities may be perceived through dualistic, transdual and nondual views…

First, the poles of the polarity are seen as absolutely different and separate from each other. One has little or nothing to do with the other. One is in here, another is out there. One is bad and should be annihilated, the other is good and should be sought. This is the mostly blindly dualistic view, and occurs if we are exclusively identified with our human self.

A slightly more sophisticated view is that the poles of the polarity are dependent on each other. We wouldn’t experience joy if there wasn’t grief, or wouldn’t know to call something light if we didn’t know darkness, and so on. This is a more conventional view and very early transdual.

Going a little further, we see that all polarities are aspects and expressions of one single process. The universe is a seamless process, and expresses itself in polarities. It is inherent in existence that we cannot have one without the other. It is the way the whole – beyond and including all polarities – expresses itself. This is more deeply transdual.

Eventually, as we awaken as Big Mind – as what is with no “I” anywhere – there is again a different realization of polarities. It includes the previous one, but now we also realize that all phenomena – expressing themselves in polarities – are Spirit, God, Buddha Mind. They are emptiness dancing. This is the One Taste experience of polarities.

Emotions in the context of Big Mind

 

As we find ourselves as pure awareness and then Big Mind, our experience of and relationship with emotions also changes.

Identity and emotions

When I am exclusively identified with my human self – or a part of my human self – I have little choice but to be repeatedly caught up in emotions and other experiences. I try to hold onto some, push away others, and am neutral towards another group. I am an object in the world, struggling with other objects including emotions and experiences, and this struggle is often experienced as suffering.

When I awaken as pure awareness, as the Witness, I allow them all to come and go within space – as any experience and the whole world of form. They all come and go on their own, as guests. I am free to engage with them in various ways (for instance using their energies for action in the world) or not.

And when what is awakens to itself with no “I” anywhere, the whole world of form is revealed as emptiness dancing. As some of the many masks and forms of Spirit. The content is the same as previously – the same forms and experiences – but they are revealed as emptiness, as Spirit.

Emotions, qualities and energy

Another aspect of emotions is how their qualities are revealed and their energy applied.

Exclusively identified with my human self, emotions are seen as good or bad, positive or negative. I want some and try to hold onto them, and don’t want others and try to push them away. In either case, their energy – and the energy “I” put in to manipulate them – often comes out in behavior, and a somewhat “blind” behavior at that. I tend to be somewhat at the mercy of inner and outer circumstances, acting and reacting out of habitual patterns.

Finding myself as pure awareness, I am more free to engage with content – including emotions or not. I can use their energies for action, within the context of space & awareness. There is less reactivity here, or more accurately – there is less blind engagement with reactivity. That too comes and goes as guests, within this stainless space & awareness.

And when what is awakens to its own nature, with no inherent “I” in any segment, then it all becomes emptiness dancing and there is even more freedom in whether to and how to engage with content and emotions.

In the last two cases, emotions can just unfold in space – as they are, or we can actively engage in them and here the qualities of the emotions tends to change.

Anger becomes directed forceful engagement. Dullness becomes resting as what is, with clarity. Jealousy and envy becomes rejoicing in other’s happiness. Attraction becomes a realization of that too as me, at human (in terms of characteristics) and Big Mind levels. And so on.

Fuel

 

I watched the latest Star Wars movie tonight. These types of movies are a good opportunity to stay in spacious awareness, and allow whatever is triggered in the personality to be triggered. The energy in the emotions helps expand, clarify and stabilize the spacious awareness. It is quite an interesting experience – the more habitual emotional patterns are triggered, the more space and presence there is.

When awareness is identified with the small self, whatever is triggered is blindly related to, in terms of fueling it further or trying to push it away. There is no space for anything else. We are blindly caught up in the drama of our own making.

When awareness awakens to its own nature, all the experiences of the personality unfolds within clear space – and the energy fuels this clarity and space. We see the drama, but there is no need to be caught up in it.

Of course, this happens in only some situations at first – typically those we are more comfortable in – and then spreads to more and more situations in our daily life. As we become familiar with the process, it becomes easier to transfer it to other situations.

This allows us to more fully engage in life, as the drama comes from a dualistic view, believing in thoughts and the reactions that arise when external/internal situations do not conform with these thoughts, and the confusion that comes from both of these. We can allow ourselves to experience whatever is triggered in the personality more fully – without fueling or pushing away. And the filters (at least some of them) fall away, and we can engage with life more directly.

Different Emphasis

 

The mystical (practical spiritual) movements within all of the world’s major religions all seem to be able to lead people into an awakening into Big Mind. But there are some differences in emphasis. For instance, it seems that the Buddhist awakening emphasizes clarity and wisdom, although the compassionate aspect is strong. And it seems that the awakening through Christianity and Islam (Sufism) emphasizes the fullness and richness of love and compassion. Buddhism may be more head-centered, and Christianity and Islam more heart-centered. Within Big Mind/Heart, Buddhism may emphasize Big Mind, and Christianity and Islam Big Heart. Buddhism may be more yang, Christianity and Islam more yin. And together, there is an even richer experience.