Felt-sense of all as one

 

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

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

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

Including more of our being

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

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

Three centers

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

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

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

Vulnerable animal

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

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

All is Spirit, reflected in the physical body and emotions

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

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

Head only, or including belly

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

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

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

Taking care of what we are, and who we are

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

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

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

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

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

Unified heart, and world as split or Spirit

 

I keep repeating this, and many other things, so I must need it!

Three centers, unified individually and together

When the heart is unified, open to all and everything, it invites the head (view) and belly (emotions, feelings) to be unified as well, and all the three centers tend to function in a more aligned way. (From the little I know about Gurdjieff, I think he talked about something similar, and it is one of the main guidelines in Breema as well.)

Three centers formed within a sense of I and Other, or all as Spirit

Heart, view and emotional patterns formed within a sense of I and Other naturally tends to function in a split way. The heart is open some times and towards some people, and closed other times and other people. The view is split, seeing Existence as inherently divided in various ways. The emotions are reactive. The three centers are often not very well aligned.

Heart, view and emotions formed within a sense of all as Spirit naturally tend to function in a unified way. The heart is open to all situations and people. The view reflects more of a nondual realization. The feelings gives a sense of fullness, nurturing and support. The three centers are aligned.

Daily life

This is very much alive in my daily life. I notice my heart closing off towards someone or something, and the view and emotions automatically follow. The view becomes more dualistic, gives a stronger sense of I and Other, and becomes more rigid and inflexible. The emotions are reactive. And I experience not only the world as split, but my individual self as divided as well.

But if there is the intention of well-wishing, maybe even in the form of prayer for the other person (for all the best unfolding), it changes. My heart becomes unified, open to the world. The view is less split, seeing myself in the other, and all of us in the same boat. My feelings become full, nurturing and supportive. I experience the world and my individual self as more unified.

Other aspects

There is of course an infinity of things happening when our individual self is organized within a sense of I and Other, and then reorganized within all as Spirit.

For instance, when there is a sense of I and Other, there is also resistance, and this resistance is reflected in each of the three centers. The heart is closed. The view sees a split between I and Other, and resists certain ways the world is and certain experiences. The emotions are reactive.

When the centers are reorganized within all as Spirit, the resistance gives way for receptivity. The heart is receptive and open. The view is receptive and more fluid. The feelings are receptive and nurturing.

These seed patterns are reflected throughout our being, including our physical bodies. Within a context of I and Other, our body becomes more rigid, tense, defensive, inflexible, and armored, just as the rest of us. And within a context of all as Spirit, or rather a felt sense of all as Spirit, it becomes relaxed, receptive and supple.

This happens over time, making our bodies a literal embodiment of our sense of the world. And it also happens instantaneously. I close my heart off, and immediately, my muscles tense up (for me, especially the calves.)

Our body, as every other part of us, naturally reflects a sense of the world as split, or of all as Spirit.

Composting, Breema and endarkenment

 

What I experience as composting seems to have two inseparable aspects.

Aspects of composting

There is the feeling into whatever arises (usually some form of resistance, or the fruits of resistance) as is.

And there is the feeling into it as Spirit, as fullness and emptiness, as alive luminous awake emptiness and form, as fullness and awake space, or however it appears.

When both are present, it seems to allow whatever is felt into to unfold and transform. There is a healing component here, allowing reactive emotions to transform into a sense of quiet nurturing fullness.

Breema, composting and endarkenment

This is actually quite similar to what they talk about in Breema. Bring the attention to the body, and feelings will join, which I experience also there as a sense of quiet stable nurturing supportive fullness, centered in the belly region.

My sense is that Breema is quite a bit about the endarkenment, although they don’t talk about it that way. There is an emphasis on the hara region, the belly, and there is certainly a transforming of emotions into giving this sense of warm full quiet stable nurturing supporting fullness.

It seems that for me, Breema set the stage for the endarkenment shift, along with shadow work and other things I have done for a while, and the endarkenment diksha allowed me to fall into it, opening up for a whole new dimension of being.

Two phases of endarkenment

Again, there seems to be two phases or aspects of the endarkenment.

There is the energetic and attention components, which are centered in the Hara, the belly region. Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Zen, Breema and many other practices activates the Hara and gives a sense of energy activity there, of warmth and nurturing fullness. It seems that this is an early taste of some aspects of endarkenment. This energetic work, and the dipping into it, is a form of pre-endarkenment.

But the shift into endarkenment is quite different. It is a shift into a whole new dimension of being. It seems stable, deep, full, a whole new way of being and experiencing existence. It is a dropping into a full rich quiet darkness. And it unfolds and deepens from here on, which includes allowing the emotions to reorganize in even deeper ways.

The pre-endarkenment is like dipping the toes in the water. The shift into endarkenment is jumping into it. And the process of unfolding is to swim, dive down into and explore in many ways this whole new realm of being.

Seeing and feeling all as Spirit

 

With enlightenment, even an early form of it, there is a seeing of everything as Spirit. This is not necessarily a literal seeing (although it can be that too, in seeing the energy and consciousness aspect of all physical forms), but more of an immediate recognition of everything as emptiness and luminosity. Something arises, and it arises as Spirit and to Spirit. It is Spirit arising to itself.

Endarkenment seems to allow for a feeling of everything as Spirit. I have noticed this over the last several days. In addition to seeing it all as Spirit, to various extents (through for instance shifting into Big Mind), there is a feeling of it all as Spirit as well. And it is most noticeable in situations where the feelings have not been aligned in this way in the past.

When everything is seen as Spirit, that of course also includes emotions. There may be a situation, say somebody being noisy (a good example for me!), an emotional reaction, and everything here is seen as Spirit, as emptiness, awakeness, luminosity and form. It doesn’t change the emotional reaction or the emotional patterns, and in a sense, it doesn’t have to. It is all Spirit anyway, so it is all OK.

But the endarkenment do seem to allow the emotional patterns to change. So for instance yesterday, when I was doing things in different parts of town, there were situations that triggered some emotional reactions now and then, probably especially since I was quite sleep deprived and “raw”. At the same time, there was a clear feeling of it all as Spirit. The situation, the people, their behavior, everything was felt as Spirit, deeply, fully, richly. In an earthy and nurturing way, with the same sense of smooth fullness. I noticed I could allow this feeling of all as Spirit to envelop everything more fully. The emotional reactions were still there, to some extent, but now arising more as echoes of old patterns. And all of this is of course a process, something that unfolds over time.

Fertile darkness as metahpor and direct experience

 

I have looked through some books on the dark goddesses and fertile darkness, including the Jungian Dancing in the Flames: The dark goddess in the transformation of consciousness and the Buddhist/shamanic The Fruitful Darkness: Reconnecting with the body of the Earth.

I read lots of books of that nature in my early twenties – Jungian views of the goddess, ecopsychology, ecospirituality, deep ecology, and so on, and found a deep resonance even then. It made sense on all the usual levels, and it was an experiential reality as well in different ways.

Yet, what strikes me now after the early endarkenment awakening is the difference between metaphor and direct experience of this fertile darkness.

Fertile darkness as metaphor

At the one hand, the dark goddess and the fertile darkness is a metaphor that works well at many levels. It is the yin, the earth connection, the body connection, lived and experienced. It is yin complementing the yang: the fertile darkness complementing the luminosity, the earth complementing the heaven, the relatedness complementing the detachment, love complementing wisdom.

And there are so many ways of working with this, including shadow work, body work and rituals, each one allowing us to deepen into it, allowing it to be more alive in us.

Direct experience of fertile darkness through endarkenment and belly awakening

The endarkenment awakening is certainly related to all of this, and what I have done in these areas have probably helped set the stage for this belly awakening, for this new shift.

At the same time, the endarkenment awakening is also very different, at least in my experience. It is an awakening clearly centered in the belly, and in the consciousness realm rather than the energy realm. It is an awakening where there is a direct and immediate experience of this fertile darkness, of the velvety blackness, empty and full at the same time, a ground of form.

The darkness is no longer just a useful metaphor, but a lived experience.

And this darkness can envelop anything arising, including anything arising in this personality. It makes it all OK, and seems to over time allowing it to heal and knots to unravel.

Enlightenment and mind, endarkenment and emotions

In a way, the endarkenment seems to do for emotions what enlightenment does for the mind.

Enlightenment clarifies the mind, allowing it to reorganize to the new awakening of everything as Spirit.

Endarkenment soothes the emotions, allowing them to reorganize to the new awakening to the fertile dark ground of form, to everything as the goddess and Spirit as well.

All as empty luminosity, and dark fullness

Also, in the initial awakening in my teens, everything was experienced as empty luminocity, including this physical body. Every cell in this body, and all form, was empty luminosity, golden, as a hologram with form and no substance.

Through the endarkenment awakening, there is a sense of the dark fullness of everything, a fertile loamy fullness of all form. There is a sinking into and as form in a very different way.

And this is, of course, just another form of transcendence and immanence, ascension and embodiment.

Light Sensitivity

 

For a while, I have been doing eye yoga now and then, using the Bates Method as outlined in Natural Vision Improvement and other books and videos. In a short time, I went from being near sighted and needing glasses to perfect 20-20 vision, to my eye doctor’s great amazement.

The one thing that didn’t change was light sensitivity. I have been using sunglasses while driving in sunshine, and also at other times while being outdoors. Without sunglasses, there was a lot of squinting and general discomfort.

I mentioned this to a eye yoga teacher who was at the Breema intensive a couple of weeks ago, and she mentioned her own story about light sensitivity which involved resolving her fear of death.

That it had an emotional component made immediate sense to me. I went into the emotional component of my light sensitivity, which was readily available and had a distinct texture and quality. Staying with this, a memory of nightmare from my childhood came up: I dreamt that somebody used thin metal rods to go into my eye sockets and pull out my eyes (!). The same emotional texture is also related to a slight phobia I have to the visual appearance of needles (they sometimes brings up a discomfort in me, somehow connected with my eyes).

I stayed with this for the rest of the day and as I fell asleep, and I had a range of intense dreams that night which had a similar emotional tone to them.

Two days later, driving our car for two hours home in brilliant sunshine, I noticed to my surprise that I didn’t need sunglasses. My eyes seemed perfectly fine without, even in the stark sunshine here in Oregon in the summer. I asked my partner if the sunlight was somehow less bright that day, maybe due to forest fires or haze or something similar, but she said it was as bright as it gets.

Since then, I have not had any need for sunglasses, even in the consistently sunny days here before the fall rains.

It seems that my system had a readiness for shifting out of light sensitivity, and did so only with a little nudge – by allowing the emotional component of it to surface, be seen, be stayed with for as long as it was there.

Emotions, Needs & Stories

 

For a while, I have been curious about the relationship between Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and The Work.

I went to a workshop with Marshall Rosenberg a while back, and also did a NVC class, and found it intriguing and quite useful – especially the distinction between needs and strategies to meet those needs.

What I didn’t want to see for a while is that there may not be any relationship between NVC and The Work. The Work seems to undercut everything that NVC is about.

Doing inquiry for a while, it becomes clear that emotions is a story, and needs is a story as well. There is no substance in either.

I am hurt. I need love. I feel angry. I need food. I am sad. I need appreciation.

They are all stories, and so obviously so.

I may not have food, and may die from the lack of it, but I still don’t need food. It is impossible for me to need anything.

I may not receive appreciation (according to my story about it), but I still don’t need it.

There may be sensations and then a label on it – hurt, anger, sadness, exhilaration, but those are only stories too. There is a sensation, and that is all. It is impossible for me to know what it is about. And staying with a sensation without the story, it changes to the point where it is impossible to place any label on it even if I wanted to.

It is so simple. So clear. So much ease.

Stories Before Emotions

 

Through the inquiry lens (and other similar ones), it is clear that beliefs come before emotions. Doing the Byron Katie inquiries, I see that over and over.

I have a belief. A situation comes up which does not match that belief. And there is an emotion coming up inviting me to look at that discrepancy. What is the belief that is out of alignment with what is? I see it, examine it, and it falls away.

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.

Positive and Negative

 

The words positive and negative are used frequently in our culture, with positive referring to a desirable and negative to an undesirable situation. They are of course not an accurate description of any situation, and may be used mostly from convention and habit.

Arbitrary

First, they arise from a comparison between a situation and a particular standard, and this standard is by necessity arbitrary. Our perceptions of the world is far too limited to even come close to any absolute truth. And we will also never reach a complete agreement about which standard to use. We filter the world in too many different ways.

And even if we could be confident in and agree on a particular standard…

Aspects

Any situation is complex enough to have desirable and undesirable aspects, depending on how we look at it. One aspect of it may seem desirable, another undesirable.

Changing into its opposite

The situation will always change. What first appeared as desirable may now turn and appear as undesirable, and it can turn again into something desirable. This is described well in the Chinese story of the farmer and his horse.

Turned

And finally, any situation can be turned depending on how we relate to it.

A seemingly undesirable external situation can be turned into a desirable one, if we relate to it in a particular way (e.g. with gratitude and as a teaching). Gandhi was thrown off a train in South Africa, and this was the trigger that set him on the course of speaking up for the underdogs in South Africa and later India.

And a seemingly desirable situation can be turned into an undesirable one if we relate to it in a different way (e.g. with strong attachment). A person may win a large sum of money in a lottery, which – through lack of experience with dealing with this amount of money – may lead to a great deal of misfortune.

Dissolving

So – as with most abstractions – when we look into the terms positive and negative, their apparent substance dissolves.

Emotions

A particular interesting way the term positive and negative are used is in describing particular emotions. Some are “positive” and other are “negative”, as if some are more valuable or useful than others.

From an evolutionary view, it is a relatively safe bet to assume that all of them have an important survival function – they would not be here now if they didn’t. From a voice dialogue view, we see how each voice on a personal level – including each emotion – is essential for the survival of humanity as a whole as well as for us as individuals. Even now, in our current inner/outer situations, they all convey important and essential information to us. And from a wider view, they are all expressions of Existence – in its inherent perfection.

The Western (European) culture is relatively strongly dualistic. There is a strong separation between body and mind, humans and nature, creation and creator, good and evil. And there is a value judgment attached to each end of these polarities – one end is “good” the other “bad” or “evil”. In this situation, it is natural that this view extends to and includes emotions, so that some are labeled as “positive” and other labeled as “negative”. Independent of whether it contradicts sense and inquiry or not.