Shift from half-hearted to whole-hearted being with

 

I woke up in the middle of the night with a sense of panic around a particular issue. At first, there is a half-hearted being with it, and it is very uncomfortable. Then, a conscious shift into more fully being with it, and a sudden peace.

It was a clear reminder that being with an experience is incompatible with being caught up in the content of an experience. As long as there is an identification with beliefs (ideas, stories, identities), as long as we hold onto them as true, there is resistance, and it is impossible to fully be with an experience. This means that there is still struggle, drama and discomfort there.

To fully be with an experience, to allow it all, there has to be a surrender of identification with the content of the experience, a surrender of beliefs, of holding onto identities as absolutely true. There has to be a surrender of identifying with one realm of the content pitted against other realms, and – maybe most importantly – of wanting anything in the realm of content to be different.

A half-hearted being with resolves nothing, and there is as much discomfort there as before. Only a whole-hearted being with allows for a surrender and release of identifications with the content of experience, and for resting in and as peace – noticing, and finding ourselves as, the ground that already allows it all.

Noticing all as (already) God’s will

 

Again, I see how I just need to notice that everything is always and already God’s will… Anything arising as this human self – the body, emotions, thoughts, choices, behavior, and anything arising as the wider world – other people, their behaviors, the landscape, the cityscape, what’s in the news… It is all God’s will, every bit of it. There was never any individual or personal will here, only the appearance of it, only a belief in an idea that made it appear so.

God’s will = everything as having infinite causes = any manifested as local expressions of the movements of the totality

Surrendering wants, shoulds, identities, beliefs

 

Surrender is an ongoing process… partly surrendering similar things over and over, and also surrendering new layers of resistance, wants, shoulds, identities and beliefs. And this blog is part of the process… surrendering any wants, shoulds and identities around it, of not wanting to say the obvious, not wanting to repeat myself over and over, not wanting to write in such a terse and fragmented style, wanting to bring in more juiciness and fullness into it, wanting to make it more real and embodied, wanting to be more genuine and authentic, wanting it to look a certain way, present a certain image… All of that, also surrendered. Allowing whatever comes up to come up, to have its life, including all of this, and everything that does not fit all of these compartments.

Surrendering resistance, even to resistance

 

I read parts of Letting Go of the Person You Used to Be by Lama Surya Das a couple of days ago, and although the content is very good, something also bugged me. I got a sense of a hardness in the writing, of boundaries, which may or may not be there. (In any case, it says something about me now, that there is a sense of hardness and boundaries right here that I am invited to take a look at.)

Gradually, it dawned on me that the sense of hardness that bugged me (in myself, and possibly in the writing) seems to be a resistance to resistance itself, to suffering, to boundaries. And this is still a resistance, a splitting of the field into I and Other, a creation of boundaries in the boundless space, a not allowing of what is to be. Resisting resistance is resistance as much as resistng anything else.

Some of the ways resisting resistance shows up is in an identity as a good practitioner, as someone who wants to learn from suffering, as someone who wants to grow and mature and even evolve spiritually, as someone who wants to be a good student or teacher. All of this has the stench of Zen as they say in those circles. It makes one’s practice just another way to redefine, create and prop up identities, creating a boundary, an I and Other, a hardness towards Other, a limitation of what is allowed to surface in experience, of who or what I am, and as a human being, an artificial limitation on how I can live and what I allow to surface in this life.

So whether this really is in the writings of LSD, I can easily find it right here. And it is something I want to take a look at.

Whenever resistance comes up, this sense of hardness, of pushing something away, of I and Other, can I allow it? Just be with it? Drop resistance to it? Befriend it? Allow it as it is?

Aspects of resolution

 

For all of us, at least until awakening to realized selflessness, there are times when old patterns come up, there is a definite identification with them, and there is a deep wish for some sort of resolution.

This happened for me yesterday, and by the end of the day I found myself in a coffee shop writing down what I know, from experience, about resolution, and how to relate to these recurrent patterns. Looking over the list, I found two broad categories which (it so happens…!) correspond to the two broad categories of Buddhist meditation practice: samata and vipassana, or calm abiding and insight, or natural meditation and inquiry.

Dropping resistance (Samata)

This is about dropping resistance to experience, including resistance itself. To allow the field of seeing and seen, the whole tapestry, to arise and rest in itself as it is here and now.

This allows the field to recognize itself as a field, and the sense of I and Other within the field becomes more transparent, fades, and may even fall away in a more complete way.

There is a release from being blindly caught up in ideas and interpretations, of the whole story we weave around I as a separate entity, and so a release from much of the suffering created by this.

This field may even recognize itself as awake emptiness and form, and everything arising as awake emptiness and form, which takes even more of the charge out of whatever arises. It becomes less substantial, more of a dream, passing images.

This is the transcending of any issues in our human life, by seeing them as expressions of the field, which is inherently absent of I and Other, and as no other than awake emptiness and form.

It is the ultimate yang approach to dealing with irresolvable problems: transcend, and include. Transcend, find yourself as Big Mind instead of just this human self, realize that there is no separate I anywhere in all of it. And then include all form as Big Mind, include your human life, life your human life within this new context, now with a sense of ease and released from identification.

In a way, it is an escape, but it is an escape from a temporary misidentification to an immediate recognition of what we always and already are: the field of seeing and seen, of awake emptiness and form. This field of everything arising, which is inherently absent of an I anywhere, absent of I and Other, and where the only I is as the field as a whole, as an I without an Other.

Learning from (Vipassana)

Then there are the many ways of learning from problems…

I can find the gifts in the situation. What are the gifts of loss, failure, pain, disease? I can find a deeper empathy with others, a deepening compassion for all beings, seeing that we are all in the same boat. I can become more familiar with surrender. I can become more familiar with impermanence. I can discover my own beliefs and identities, and explore ways to surrender these beliefs and identities. I can find a deeper motivation for self-inquiry in its many forms, including those that lead to realized selflessness.

I can open my heart to what arises, including to myself and others who suffer from a similar situation, or any suffering at all. We are all in the same boat here. As long as there is a misidentification, we suffer. And through my own suffering, to seeing and feeling into it, I can open my heart and deepen my compassion, understanding and empathy for others. The more intense my own suffering, the more it can break open my heart, if I only allow it (or can’t resist it anymore.)

I can use it to find myself in the other. To see and feel, becoming more deeply and intimately familiar with in myself what I see in the other (if another person is involved.) And through this, to awaken love for it (hold it in love), in myself and the other.

I can allow the symptoms and experiences to unfold, following the trail of crumbs, allowing it to unfold and harvesting the nutrients in it through for instance Process Work, some variation of active imagination, or similar approaches.

I can learn about impermanence, become more familiar and intimate with it, and with the (freeing) consequences of seeing and feeling into impermanence.

Everything in the world of form is in flux, always fresh, new and different. Seasons, this , youth and health, success and failure, fame and infamy, art, science, nations, cultures, civilizations, the Earth itself, this solar system, this galaxy, the universe itself, it is all in flux, it all comes and goes, it is all impermanent.

Seeing and feeling that all is impermanent places my own life in a different and wider context. It means that we are all in the same boat, it is the great equalizer.

Impermanence also means that any fixed beliefs, any fixed and limited identities, any holding on to anything, brings suffering. And if everything in the world of form, including this human self, is flux, then who or what am I? I seem to not come and go in that way. What is it that does not come and go?

Impermanence allows me to explore surrender in all its many forms. Surrender of beliefs, identities, wants and wishes, who I take myself to be, anything I (think I) know.

The gifts of impermanence then includes seeing that we are all in the same boat, loosening my grip on beliefs and identities, and nudging me towards awakening – finding myself as that which does not come and go, and that which comes and goes.

I can use it to explore the many aspects of emptiness. As mentioned above, I can explore the transitory nature of anything finite in space and time. Is anything fixed?

I can try to find the boundary between seeing and seen. Where is this boundary? Is the content of awareness anything other than awareness itself? Is form anything other than awake emptiness? (See below.)

Who or what is experiencing? Is there a separate I here? (See below.)

I can use it as material for self-inquiry. First and simplest, and related to the dropping of resistance: Can I be with what I am experiencing right now? And then…

What do I need to let go of to find peace with this? Which beliefs and identities do I need to let go of to find peace with this situation? Who or what do I need to be to find peace with it? What do I need to let go of to find peace with it, even if it would never change?

What are my beliefs around this situations? Are they true? What are their consequences? Who or what would I be without them? What are the grains of truth in their reversals? (The Work.)

Who or what is experiencing? To whom or what is this happening? Am I the always changing content of experience? These sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, thoughts? What is not changing? Am I what is not changing, this awareness, the seeing of it? If so, where is the boundary of I as seeing and Other as seen?

Belly center, fear, nurturing, and surrender

 

Searching Google for “belly center” I found several references to the Jelly Belly Center (on Jelly Belly Lane of course), some to this blog, and also this at almaas.com

Body Centers and functioning

Yes, usually the belly center has to do with embodiment, with the capacity to sense oneself. However, the belly center is also the will center. In a sense, the ultimate function of the will is to surrender to what happens, surrender to the now. And to surrender to the now means not to hold onto something. The true function of the will is complete surrender to what is happening without holding on. That is will. The essential self, like all essential aspects, can function in any of the subtle centers. When one is being the essential self, its location is usually the heart center. However, when the essential self is functioning in relation to identifying or disidentifying from any content of experience, it becomes associated with the belly center. The essential self is more like a potential for experience, and it also manifests as the capacity for identification. One of the results of the capacity for identification is embodiment. Embodying something means you are identified with what is happening. An essential state is present. You are embodying it if you are it. The true self has the capacity to identify with something you are experiencing, but it doesn’t have to. It has a choice; it has the freedom. When you are the true self, you can become completely what is there — one hundred percent. If truth is present, you are truth — “I am truth”. But the moment something else arises, you become that. There is no holding on. (Diamond Heart Book 3, pg 79)

It is interesting to note how the belly center seems to have to do with basic fear, basic sense of fullness and nurturing, and also surrender as Almaas points out here. Surrender has come up for me a lot since the early belly awakening some weeks ago, but I didn’t make a connection with the belly awakening until I read this.

From a sense of separation, there is a basic fear, possibly also manifesting as an energetic hole in the hara region. And this fear and basic mistrust makes any form of surrender difficult.

When the belly center awakens, there is a deep sense of fullness and nurturing, of being held, of every cell in the body and also the emotions relaxing, reorganizing to a felt sense of all as Spirit. Realigning to the felt sense of a nondual realization. It allows for a basic trust at the bodily and emotional levels, no matter what else is happening. And this basic trust allows for a deeper and easier surrender to what is.

Cycles and surrender

 

I notice the usual cycles happening, of what I can see as ups and downs, light and dark, and of weaving it all together, journeying through it to discover the larger whole they all are parts of.

For a day or several days, there is luminosity, clarity, awakening related dreams, a clear sense of selflessness and this I as just a figment of the imagination.

Then, for a day or several days, there is dullness, aridity, with or without the sense of selflessness, shadow dreams, and sometimes also being caught up in the patterns of personality and the sense of I.

There is a sense of bringing the light of awareness into those areas excluded from awareness through all the many forms of resistance, such as identities, fears, hopes, attractions, aversions, habits and so on. There is a sense of journeying through the wider landscape beyond any identities, becoming familiar with it as the wider landscape.

And I notice how the only way “out” is to surrender any resistance, as a continuous practice. To surrender any resistance, any sense of I, any identities, fears, hopes, attractions, aversions, goals, wishes. To allow it all to go. To surrender any attachments to anything familiar, anything known, any wishes, any intentions apart from surrendering it all, and then surrendering that one too.

Dream: the feminine face of God

 

I am shown the feminine face of God, as a continuous stream of always something completely new and unexpected. Always doing something beyond what is familiar. Always completely beyond anything that can be grasped by any knowing or expectation.

It shows its nature of cycles, from infinite to finite, light to dark, familiar to unfamiliar.

It goes to infinity, blowing away any identifications. It is the finite in an always entirely new way. It shows itself as an infinity and richness of flavors, textures, dimensions, realms of being.

It is always and continuously entirely new, different, beyond anything known, anything intuited, any identities, anything familiar. It is a wild ride, completely impossible to keep up with in terms of being able to figure out or predict. Any attempt to hold onto anything familiar is exhausted. There is only the surrender to the always new faces of God, the continuous stream of new realms, textures, flavors, unfoldings.

The stream is so continuous, and always so completely unexpected, that there was is choice but to surrender to it. This is the feminine aspect of God, the world of forms, infinite finiteness (!) It is the Self-Realization aspect of awakening, which is infinite, without end, always unfolding in always new and surprising ways. It is the yin awakening, the dance of the infinite fertility of God. It is the perfect and most intimate complement to the yang awakening, of realized selflessness.

It is the always deepening embodiment of realized selflessness, allowing for a more complete abandon to the newness of God, the always utterly surprising unfolding of the infinite fertility of God.

In Ken Wilber’s terminology, it is vertical awakening, the continued development of this human self and essence/soul, as an aspect of the continued evolution of the world of form as a whole. It is the complement to horizontal awakening, to the field of awake emptiness and form awakening to itself, to realized selflessness.

And this realized selflessness is exactly what allows for a deepening into the wild ride of the world of form, always fresh, utterly unexpected, always surprising to itself.

It is what allows God to continuously surprise and be astonished by itself.

I also see how appropriate it was for this dream to come on what we celebrate as the birthday of Jesus who embodied God awakening to itself in such as deep way, and also knew that this deepening would not end with him. (You will do far greater things than I. John 14:12)

Death and resurrection

 

This dream is a direct reflection of what happened as I fell asleep, where I continually surrendered anything and everything to the alive luminous blackness: any identities, all knowing, anything familiar, any remaining toeholds.

There is a real sense of fear here, of death, of complete annihilation. But it is needed, and I feel ready for surrendering it all, completely, over and over. There is no other way. I know deeply that it is the least painful way. Holding onto anything is suffering, and there is no way out except for surrendering it all.

Death and resurrection

Since this came up related to the Christ meditation, I also thought of how Jesus (the man) mirrored this process in his own life. He went through a process of awakening, then a death, and then resurrection.

At some point, we are invited (a polite term!) to surrender it all. To die to all that we know ourselves as. We surrender all identities, all knowing, anything familiar, any remaining toeholds. It all has to go. And it really is experienced as a death, with all the fear and terror that can come up around that. And through that process, that complete willingness to surrender it all, we do die as anything we know ourselves as, and are resurrected into a new life.

Although it isn’t really an invitation. It is a process that goes far beyond our intention or will. We are just swept along with it, almost helplessly. The only thing we can do is to willingly surrender to it, which makes it a little less painful.

And it may also happen many times, in many different ways. Each time surrendering new layers, dieing to current identities and familiar ways of living, and being resurrected into something new. Over and over.

Deaths and resurrections within realized selflessness

Even in the midst of realized selflessness, there are these deaths and resurrections.

There is the realization of everything as always fresh, different and new. There is a deepening into realizing and living from realized selflessness. There is a deepening into new realms of being.

Each of these involves a continuous dying to anything familiar, and a continuous resurrection into a new life.

Resistance, dark night and purgatory

 

Over the last few days, the birth of the seed resistance, the effects of identities, and the difference between resisting and fully experiencing these effects have been even more acutely up for me. I also see how resisting the effects of a sense of I and identities is a dark night, while allowing myself to fully experiencing these effects is purgatory. It allows the sense of I and its identities to gradually burn away.

Seed resistance, giving rise to a sense of I and its identities

First, there is the resistance to what is as inherently absent of I. This resistance gives rise to a sense of I, and of I and Other.

This sense of I is fleshed out through various identities. I am this, not that. I want this, not that. And this gives rise to resistance to various aspects within form.

Resistance to the effects of the sense of I and identities

Then, there is resistance to the effects of the sense of I and the various identities. There is resistance to the experiences of loneliness, fear, anger, attraction, aversion, confusion, and so on.

When there is this resistance to the effects, the sense of I and its identities tend to seem very real and substantial. We act as if they are real, so they tend to appear as real.

When the resistance to the effects is dropped, when we allow ourselves to fully experience the effects of a sense of I and various identities, they tend to appear less substantial. They may even erode over time and fall away.

Resisting experiences vs. fully experiencing

In practical terms, it means that when we resist experiences, the sense of I and its identities appears as more real to us. They become solidified.

Many of these experiences arise when the world is filtered through a sense of I and its identities, such as fear, anger, loneliness, and so on. And resisting these experiences only makes them proliferate. We pour gasoline on the already existing fire.

When we allow ourselves to fully experience, the sense of I and its identities appear as less substantial and real. Eventually, they can burn out completely.

Fully experiencing allows us a glimpse into what we really are, awake emptiness and form absent of I, and this gives a sense of coming home, and even of bliss.

Resisting experience is hell. Allowing the resistance to experience to fall away is bliss.

Dark night and purgatory

I notice for myself that this is also the difference between an experience of dark night and purgatory.

When I resist experiencing the results of a sense of I and various identities, it is hell and an experience of a dark night.

When I allow myself to fully experience the results of a sense of I and the various identities, there is a sense of fullness, being held, coming home, and even bliss. There is also an experience of the sense of I and its identities burning away, of purgatory.

Put another way, resisting God’s will is hell and a dark night. Surrendering to God’s will is heaven and purgatory.

Stream of form as God’s will II

 

These days, practices surface on their own and seem to live their own life. And one of the current ones seems to be seeing the stream of form as God’s will.

There is an inner and outer situation, and it is all recognized as God’s will. There is a situation, for instance somebody talking very loudly on a bus making it difficult to read, and there is a reaction in this human self, maybe irritation and a story coming up around it, and it is all – the whole field of from arising – recognized as God’s will.

It takes the identification out of the whole situation. It brings a release from identification with this personality and its reactivity and habitual patterns, and it brings a release from a sense of being caught up in it. There is a surrender of identification with any aspect of form, and it is all given back to God.

It never was anything else than God’s will in the first place, and now it is recognized as that as well. As somebody said, when “I” goes out of it, God remains.

Stream as God’s will

 

From a certain perspective, the stream of phenomena is God’s will.

It is the stream of the world of form – of sensations, sounds, sights, feelings, emotions, thoughts, personality, behaviors, situations, the world, unfolding in space and time. And it is all God’s will.

It is a field of God’s will. God’s will unfolding, clearly, here and now.

Even resistance to this stream is God’s will. Trying to hold onto some aspects of the stream, and pushing other aspects away. Even that is God’s will, unfolding.

Seeing this brings me right into headlessness, into the seeing, or even a taste of the Ground of seeing and seen, absent of I anywhere.

It is a surrender of self-will, of wanting the stream to be different from what it is. Of thinking that I know better than God. Of wanting God, as it unfolds in and as form right now, to be different. Ultimately, it is the surrender of the idea of I, the story of I, the drama wrapped up in the sense of I. It is a surrender of (the attachment to the idea of) I as a fragment of the whole, a fragment of the seamless field of the seeing and the seen inherently absent of any I anywhere.

Surrender

 

Surrender has come up for me recently.

When life kicks us around enough, there is little choice but to surrender – at least to some extent. And I see how the surrendering itself is a gift, independent of whether it helps us through with less stress or not, and what other gifts we may discover through the surrender.

Of course, the surrender itself is just an appearance, although this one too can seem very real.

Resistance and struggle

Whenever there is a belief in ideas, there is resistance to what is, to life as it shows up in the present. And this shows up as struggle, as a sense of I and Other, right and wrong, likes and dislikes.

The totality (Spirit, God, Buddha Mind) temporarily identifies with a segment of itself, with ideas and a human self, and creates a sense of struggle with the rest of itself.

So when the center of gravity is in ideas and the human self in this way, there is a sense of my will as different from, and sometimes opposed to, the will of the world. And there is a living from this as if it is real. There is resistance, and with it drama, struggle and stress.

And even this resistance is the local manifestation of the totality. It is Ground allowing the form of resistance, as it allows any other forms arising. Resistance is inherently total surrender, emptiness dancing, although it is certainly not experienced that way.

Totality awakening to itself

The only resolution and release is when the totality awakens to its own nature and any temporary exclusive identifications falls away. When this happens, there is no longer any my will and thou will. There is no doer anymore, everything is just happening. This human self and everything around it are local expressions of the totality.

Two forms of surrender

In the first case, when the center of gravity is still in the human self, there is a dipping into surrender. Situations arise that are not to this human self’s liking. When they cannot easily be changed and persist for a while, resistance tends to wear down – although not quite to nothing.

In the second case, when totality has awakened to its own nature while still functionally connected with a particular human self, the whole issue of surrendering falls away.

It is, in a way, the ultimate surrendering to what is, to all the many ways the world of form arise. And since everything is just happening as expressions of the totality, absent of any I anywhere, it is also absent of any surrender.

Suction, Emptiness & Surrender

 

I did a Process Work session with myself on a combined feeling of (a) gripping on my shoulders and (b) a sense of emptiness in the stomach/solar plexus region. The gripping has a sense of pushing to it as well, having me lean forward and slouch a little. And the emptiness has a sense of void and suction to it.

Going into it further, I see that the gripping/pushing is pushing me into the emptiness, the void, in the stomach region. I become the gripper/pusher, and want him (my usual identity) to vanish into the emptiness there. And as the void, I see that I pull him into me – allowing him to vanish completely in emptiness.

Going into this vanishing in/as the void, there is first a sense of trepidation, and then tremendous relief. There is a full surrender here, a full letting go, a full vanishing of any resistance – including the resistance of wanting to be someone or something. Everything is let go of. Nothing is left.

And this emptiness then turns into fullness, the fullness of this human self and the rest of the world as it is, although now with an absence of resistance – including the resistance of having any particular identity. Surrender to what is through absence of resistance and identity.

There is a sense of tremendous freedom here. A freedom of allowing everything to be just as they are. A freedom of not having an identity as someone or something. A freedom from resistance.

Intention & Surrender

 

One of the simples and most transformative ways I have found to work with what is happening is…

  1. Intention for it to resolve, clarify, for harvesting nutrients from it
  2. Surrendering it to the mystery, to the divine, to the larger whole, to God, to Spirit, to Source, to Buddha Mind, to Existence, to the deeper wisdom, to my own nature

I connect with Source, and give it over to the divine. And in that, it transforms, unravels, clarifies – in ways I consciously could not have predicted. Whatever comes up, is surrendered. Including any identifications, any sense of stuckness, any insights, any sense of understanding, any sense of knowing. It is all surrendered.

This is another simple path, safe, contains its own directions, allowing it all to move along. It invites the wheel to continue to turn. And it works at any and all levels, from my human self through to the Ground.

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.

Radical Letting Go

 

Existence itself is a process of radical nonattachment – everything continuously dying as what it is and being reborn as something else. Everything always new, fresh, different. An eternal Present which content is willing to go anywhere, to explore every possibility of manifestation – from galaxies to planets and living beings, from delusion to awakening.

As long as there is any attachment here, to any idea, any state, any manifestation, my works is not done. As long as I am not willing to awaken (for God to awaken to its own nature), and then go into delusion again (as God obviously is willing to), the work is not done. Even the attachment to awakening is an attachment.

God goes into delusion, right now – through myriads of beings. And God most likely goes into delusion again as universes cycle through existence. Of course, when God awakens to its own nature, it is all revealed as the play of God. Yet, there is also the willingness to temporarily experience the delusion from the inside – with all its suffering.

In a way, it is the ultimate free-fall. There is nothing in the world of phenomena to rely on. It all comes (in order) to pass, as Byron Katie says. The only Ground is emptiness forming itself into these always new phenomena. The only Ground is God, Big Mind. Empty of any characteristics so also able to take on any temporary form.

Befriending Shiva

 

My process – as it shows up in dreams and otherwise in my life – is inviting me to radical letting go of attachment to ideas (of past, future, present and anything else). As this has been coming up in Process Work explorations of my life and dreams, I see how helpful it can be to personalize this shift for me.

In its impersonal form, it is a finding peace with the continuous death of everything as it is and its rebirth as something else. The content of the eternal Present is always fresh, different, new. God never repeats itself.

And a radical peace with this is only found in the realization of Selflessness, in awakening to/as the Ground happening as the phenomena in the eternal Present. Awakening to what is, with no I anywhere.

This is all fine – it is a beautiful process in itself. Yet, it also has a somewhat impersonal tint to it.

Absolute and relative

From the Absolute, this all just is.

It is Ground forming itself into the world of phenomena. It is emptiness dancing. There may be distinction of this end (human self) and that end (Ground), of impersonal and personal, but also the recognition of it all as just stories – just labels and a level of abstraction added to what is.

From the Relative, the realm of polarities (and stories) emerge. The process can be seen as personal and impersonal, at this end (human self) and at that end (Ground). And if that is a useful way of looking at it, then why not.

Impersonal and personal at this end

This is impersonal at this end, in that it goes far beyond my human self. The Ground is all phenomena. It is one ocean, forming itself into waves of particular discernible phenomena. It is God appearing as trees, mountains, clouds, dogs, cats, flowers, humans, cities, cultures, planets, galaxies, universe(s).

And it is also personal at this end, in two ways.

This human self is Ground happening as phenomena. Any human self already is Ground forming itself into the appearance of a human self, so the Ground is already personal in that sense.

And this human self can reorganize and mature within the realization of Selflessness. When the Ground awakens to its own nature of no I anywhere, then Selflessness becomes personal in a different way – lived in, through, and as a particular human life.

Impersonal and personal at that end

It can also be seen as impersonal and personal at that end, as Ground.

In its impersonal form, it is emptiness dancing, Ground forming itself in the world of phenomena. Continuous death of what is and rebirth of something else. Always new, different, fresh. A continuous radical rebirth.

And it can also be seen as personal. Or rather, the connection with it can be personalized, as they do in Hinduism and (especially) Tibetan Buddhism. There is already something personal at this end, in the form of this human self. And there can also be something personal at the other – Ground – end. In this case, it can take the forms of Shiva and/or Kali and similar deities of death and rebirth.

Coming from a habitual identification as a human being, this may be an easier way into it. It is no longer a somewhat cold impersonal process, but personal as well – an intimate process of befriending Shiva and/or Kali. In a certain sense, it becomes more real for us that way.

It can be very helpful, as long as we also recognize that this too is only a tool, a story, an abstraction – a way of easing into it. The danger here is obviously that we can take it as more real than it is, that we mistake the map (Shiva, Kali) for the terrain (Ground).

Offering Up or Right Here

 

One practice, common to many traditions – and one that may arise spontaneously during awakenings as well – is offering to the divine.

Offering any perceived problems, a difficult situation, our human self, our relationships and those close to us, our material possessions, our community, earth, the universe, existence. All we do is really to offer aspects of God back to God, and we do it for our sake – to remind us of this, to release our sense of anything being not divine, of anything being separate, of any “I” anywhere in all of this.

In terms of perceived problems – and everything else, it helps us loosen our grip on it and our perceived identification with it.

Some time back when I did this, there was a sense of it being offered “up” to the divine. Now, it just seems to happen in place. This is similar to the shift that happened for me in receiving deeksha, initially experiencing it as coming from above and “outside”, and now as happening right in place – coming out of every point of space. Flowing directly out of the Ground, everywhere.

Bladder Deeksha

 

Off and on since my teens, I have experimented with healing, and am getting more into it again. The way it happens naturally for me seems very similar to Sat Nam Rasayan, and there is also a sense of connecting the causal energy level – allowing space for the healing to take place. It also seems relatively easy to scan the body and get a sense of what and where something is going on, at many levels. In general, it seems that connecting + intention + space = healing.

When I do this with my partner, it seems that most symptoms clear up relatively fast – whether it is pain, nausea or other things. She has had a bladder type infection for a while, which has come up whenever we have been doing a healing session – and it is quite clear that it does not resolve through the usual way of allowing space, intention etc.

Tonight, I mentioned that I would try something else, and silently invited the deeksha energy (through Bhagavan and Amma) in – offering it all up to that manifestation of the divine for healing. This took only a couple of minutes, and afterwards she mentioned that’s funny, it felt like a bladder deeksha. It was the same energy as when I receive a deeksha for the head.

Offering up

It is also interesting since the offering up part has come up for me again recently – offering it all to the divine. This came naturally during the initial awakening, and as with so much else, it seems that it is now coming back in a more intentional way.

It is all grace anyway, all God, so offering it all to the divine – in whatever form that comes up for us – is just offering it back to where it always was and is. Offering any stress that comes up, any perceived problems, any dis-ease, any illness, any skills, any gifts, any insights, any and every aspect of our human self, any and every physical objects we are temporary caretakers of, any person in our life, our community, this landscape, the whole earth, the whole universe – offering it all to the divine.

There is a tremendous sense of freedom in this, and also a sense of getting out of my own way so a deeper healing can take place.

And there is also nothing new in any of this. It is a regular practice in many spiritual traditions, maybe most clearly so in Tibetan Buddhism.

With the healing, there has been a mix of a sense of “doing” – allowing space for the healing, and also of offering it up. But this was a step further, purely offering it all up – surrendering it back to the divine.

Of course, the only thing that is surrendered is a sense of “ownership” or identification with it, revealing it as an aspect of the divine – as it has always been.

Being Carried

 

During sitting today, Existence (through the teacher) spoke about the wonder and mystery of being carried in breath. And can we surrender to being carried in breath? Being carried by Existence?

It struck me how we how we always – without exception – are being carried by Existence. Every moment, in every way. This body and breath, these sensations, emotions, thoughts, this field of spacious awareness – it is all carried by existence.

It is beyond doing and not doing. And there is no separate “I” that creates or can take credit for anything. Existence is. A seamless whole beyond and embracing all polarities and dualites.

Naked

 

In any process towards healing (and awakening), deepening sincerity and honesty towards oneself is needed. When we can relax into what is – with all our fears, worries, tension, hangups, attachments, delusion, the pain triggered in ourselves and others by our actions – then it is allowed to transform and heal. As long as we deny it, there is a separation which makes healing difficult… Nakedness – just being a naked human being – is what we are invited into in this process… Just being who we are, allowing the filters of thoughts and ideas to drop… Surrendering to Existence, to what is – as it appears in the inner and outer world.