Divination and wanting to know the future

 

I discovered I Ching in my teens and read it over and over for the insights and wisdom in it. (This was the Richard Wilhelm translation and I think I got into it because it had a foreword by Jung.) 

I also occasionally used it as an oracle although I quickly realized it mostly reflected my mind at the time of asking and less the situation I thought I asked about. 

At times, I have also consulted psychics. The good ones often have good insights and pointers and pick up on what’s happening in the situation. They may also get something about the future but tend to not emphasize it, partly because it’s less useful and partly – as Yoda said – always in motion is the future

And I too have a knowing about which choice to make. Mainly, it’s from the quiet inner voice and sometimes it’s a sense of how bright different options are. And I have seen that it works out best (more aligned, more flow) if I follow the quiet inner voice, the voice of the heart, and the brighter options. 

My experience with oracles and psychics is that, at best, they can point to what I already know and help me trust it. They may also help me look at an aspect of the situation I have ignored or not taken seriously enough. 

What they cannot do is tell me what to do or what will happen. And that’s as it should be. There are many benefits to the future being (mostly) unknown to us and always in motion.

One is that the future doesn’t exist apart from as images in our minds. (And these images will always be based on very incomplete sensing and information.) Realizing we can’t know the future, and that what’s here now is all there is, helps us align with reality and “live in the moment” in the sense of knowing that our images about the future, past, and present are all images in our mind.

Another gift in an unknown future is that a big part of human life is making choices, experiencing the consequences, and learning from it. That’s how we mature and grow. Also, if we knew the future the suspense would be gone. It would take a lot of the spice out of living. 

Of course, we know the future in a limited way. I know that if I stub my toe, I’ll most likely experience pain. If I am kind to people, they are most likely kind to me. If I save money, I’ll have money in the bank for when I need it.

Ideas and images about the future are essential for us to function as individuals and society. It helps us plan, and it helps us mentally test out different futures and chose to invest in the ones that seem most sensible and attractive. And it really helps to know and remind ourselves that these are images. They are not an actual future. They are not “real” apart from as images. We can act in ways that make the ones we like more likely to happen. And investing these images with emotional energy tend to eventually create suffering. (Life often won’t conform and everything passes.) 

All of this brings us back to ourselves. I am the one who has to make my own decisions. I have to live the consequences. I have to steer my own ship. It won’t be perfect. I’ll make choices I would have made differently with what I know in hindsight. And that’s the human experience. That’s how this life is set up. It’s inevitable so I may as well make the best out of it. I may as well enjoy it…. the unknowing, the suspense, the surprises. 

Any source of information about the consequences of different choices is helpful, including my own knowing and the quiet inner voice. Any images of the future are just that, images. And embracing the reality of this, the inherent unknowing, makes it easier for me to enjoy it all. 

And that brings me to perhaps the most important aspect of this. Where in me does the impulse to want to know come from? If I feel compelled to know, or find safety, or have others decide for me, where does it come from? What do I hope to get out of it? What are the emotional issues behind it? What beliefs and identifications fuel them?

These are often quite deep-seated and central issues in our lives so it’s good to acknowledge and explore them. The more I find clarity around and healing for these issues, the less compulsion there will be to know, the less paralyzed or stressed I will feel, and the easier it is to notice and follow my own knowing. 

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Using the new to heal the old

 

When a current situation triggers old wounds, it’s a valuable opportunity to find healing for the old. 

For instance, I have a loss in my life. And it triggers childhood wounds around loss. (It could be from specific situations, or it could be from family patterns and insecure attachment.) 

It doesn’t really matter if what comes up is “new” or old. (Although if what comes up in me is strong – stronger than I would expect from the situation, and it’s a familiar feeling or pattern, it probably means that the new triggered an old wound.)  

In either case, I can meet it with kindness, respect, and patience. I can feel the sensations, rest with them, breathe consciously. Notice and allow. 

And I can explore and invite in healing in any number of ways. For me, usually through inquiry and Vortex healing. 

In this way, I use the new to find healing for the old. My current situation becomes very valuable to me even if it’s painful and not something I would have sought out. 

See, feel, love even this as the divine

 

I keep returning to this. 

I have gone through what we can call a dark night of the soul for the last few years. I won’t go into much detail here since I have written about it in other articles. But what keeps coming up is what seems like a central invitation. And that invitation is to see, feel, and love even what’s most difficult to see, feel, and love – as the divine. 

In my teens, the divine revealed itself to itself as all there is. It was easy to see and love all – or almost all – as the divine, and even feel it as the divine. 

I said “almost all”… Some things were not so easily recognized as the divine, especially what this human self strongly dislikes, and especially strong emotional pain, and – to a lesser degree – discomfort in general. 

My dark night phase has been a series of losses – of health, relationships, money, opportunities, belongings, identities, ideas about the future and more. And that has brought up things in me. It has brought up what hasn’t yet been seen, felt, and loved. And what hasn’t yet been seen, felt, and loved as the divine. It has brought up emotional wounds, trauma, and cherished beliefs and identities created for protection and safety (as all beliefs and identities are). 

When unprocessed psychological material comes to the surface, it’s often painful. And there are often reactions to it. If I get caught in my reactions, it’s even more painful. And if I relate to it is with kindness, respect, and patience, it’s easier. It’s a relief. It can even bring a bittersweet feeling, a sense of wholeness, and a sense of returning home. 

Meeting it with kindness, respect, and patience is the portal to seeing the unseen, feeling the unfelt, and loving the unloved in me. And that, in turn, is the portal for the divine to recognize itself as even that, even the discomfort, even the pain, even the reactivity to it. To see, feel, and love itself as all of it. 

There are different types of dark nights, and even within any of our mind-created categories, each one is unique. And yet, they all seem to be about removing veils. Wearing off identifications, beliefs, and ideas about who or what we are.

In my case, one of the many beliefs life seems to wear out in me is the belief – held deeply in me and not aligned with my conscious view – that some things in my experience are not the divine. That this emotional pain, this dread & terror, this discomfort, is not the divine. That it’s somehow inherently wrong. Alien. A mistake. The child in me still reacts to it as if it is all of these things. 

There are no shoulds here. But there is an invitation to see what happens when I get caught in the reactivity to what comes up (amplifying the discomfort), and what happens if I instead remember to meet it with kindness, respect, and patience. And perhaps see the unseen, feel the unfelt, and find love for the unloved. And perhaps then, allowing the divine to recognize itself as what’s here – the emotional pain, the reactivity to it – as itself. As a local and temporary expression of itself. 

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Healing on behalf of life

 

When I invite in healing for myself, it’s on behalf of life.

When I heal a part of me, it obviously benefits myself, my future self, and those around me. It may also benefit future generations and all life. And I am doing it on behalf of my ancestors.

So when I do healing for myself and it feels challenging, I can remind myself of this. I am doing it on behalf of life. And, in a sense, I have the support of all of life in my healing process. 

How is this true, more specifically? 

When I find emotional healing for myself, it benefits me and my future self. It’s an act of solidarity with my future self. I’ll be better able to make good decisions and fully enjoy and live life. It may also benefit those around me since I’ll be more free of emotional issues and reactivity, less annoying, and perhaps more understanding. 

In the same way, it may benefit future generations. If I have children, they will benefit from my healing and pass it on, and at the very least not pass on the unhealthy patterns that ended with me. 

And I am doing it on behalf of my ancestors. Many unhealthy emotional patterns are passed on through generations and through our culture.  And even if my ancestors and previous generation were not able to find healing for the patterns passed on to me, I may be able to find healing for what they couldn’t (due to different times, awareness, support, skills). 

My healing can also help the wider living whole. Healing means contentment and less reactivity, and contentment allows for less (harmful) consumption, and reduced reactivity allows for kinder and more informed decisions and way of life. A way of life that takes into account the well-being of all of life. 

In these ways, all of life is an ally in my healing. When I imagine all beings as kind and clear, I know they support my healing. And I can remind myself of this and this implicit support, when my own healing seems challenging.

Beyond just reminding myself, I can call in and ask for support from ancestors, future, generations, and all of life for my own healing process. 

Note: I say “heal myself” which is partly true, but it’s more true that life heals itself. “I” am not doing it and cannot do it. Life does it. Life invites in healing for parts of itself and heals itself. 

My health: An update (Vortex Healing)

 

I thought I would give an health update in the context of Vortex Healing. 

I have had chronic fatigue (CFS) since my teens, with a long period where I functioned much better, and then a return of strong CFS some years ago. And I have also had Lyme for several years (for certain since 2015 but I and others suspect much longer). 

Here is a brief outline of my healing journey since Vortex Healing found me near three years ago. I won’t go into all the details as it would take too much time and probably be tedious to read (and write!). 

I was initially very skeptical to Vortex Healing (VH). Although I know very well that we can channel divine energy and consciousness for healing, VH sounded a little weird and I have had unfortunate experiences with other energy healing modalities. 

The first session – in February of 2016 – was amazing. I felt the energy and consciousness work in me, and a lot of problems with my belly and digestion went away after the first session. When I woke up the morning after, I felt much lighter and had a taste of how I was before the return of the strong CFS. 

For a while, I mainly received sessions – and after my first class gave myself VH – to balance and bring up my energy system. I also worked on emotional issues with good effect. 

Since my first VH class, I have done VH for myself nearly daily with a few periods where I needed a break energetically. I am now at Jewel level. 

When it comes to my fatigue and brain fog symptoms, VH has helped a lot in periods but my system has then reverted back to a (low) default state. I assume this is because the Epstein-Barr virus (CFS) and the Lyme and Lyme co-infections all still were active in my system. 

Over the last year, it seems that a few VH sessions have been able to remove the Epstein-Barr virus behind the CFS and the Lyme and co-infections behind the Lyme disease. These have been sessions with teachers and senior students. I assume these are out of my system since re-checking brings a negative result (which is good!). 

More recently, I have worked on supporting my body detoxing using VH and herbs (dandelion tea and more). The VH sessions from others and myself have mostly focused on the lymph system, liver, and general detoxing. My body’s detoxing has been slow and sluggish and feels better now, although there is further to go. 

I have also worked on emotional issues behind or at the center of the CFS and brain fog. I assume there is an emotional component to the CFS in my case since that’s the case for most or all long-term illnesses. Among these is an impulse to want to hide from life and seeking refuge in illness. 

I am also working on core childhood issues using VH and inquiry. This makes sense no matter what (for general quality of life), and they may play a role in my health in general and with the CFS in particular. Childhood issues often impact our health. 

My general experience now is that my system is in far better shape than it has been. (My system used to feel like a bathtub with the stopper removed so any energy drained out immediately. Now, there is a sense of some reservoir of energy again.) My energy system feels OK and much more balanced.

And yet, my fatigue and brain fog symptoms are still here, and I spend most or almost all of the days still resting. 

When I check in with my system, what seems most off currently is my head. There is an energetic block between my head and the rest of my body. And the energetic bodies seem a little disembodied from my physical head. Energetically, my head area feels fuzzy, unfocused, and disembodied. Over the last couple of days, I have started working with VH on my head/rest-of-body connection and the brain.

A psychic friend of mine says she sees an image of the nerve endings in my brain fried and curled up, and says my brain needs to create new pathways. As she sees it, this is the reason for the continued fatigue and brain fog. According to her, I will return to full health but it will take some time.

If this is the case, it makes sense to me. My system got fried during the initial awakening in my teens, and that was when I initially got CFS. There was another awakening that happened just before the return of the strong CFS, and this may also have fried something in me. (I also received diksha during that time, and I wonder if that did something with my brain.) 

Right now, it does seem that the VH sessions are getting to core issues behind the fatigue and brain fog. It is puzzling to me that I don’t function better in daily life even after the removal of the pathogens and the energizing, clearing, and balancing of my system. But the head issues may be a clue to what’s going on. And I am sure working on any emotional components will give my system a better chance to recover. 

I plan to follow up with updates. 

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Spirituality in Norway

 

I have lived several years on the US west coast (Oregon and California) and am very comfortable with the more mature spiritual communities I find there. They draw on decades of experience with exploring spiritual traditions and practices, and combining them with western approaches to therapy, bodywork, and healing. 

In Norway, where I grew up and find myself right now, I haven’t found any communities where I feel at home in that way. And, if I am honest, not many – or perhaps any – individuals I resonate with in that way. Of course, there are many spiritual communities and even more individuals I don’t know about and haven’t yet met. 

What I have found is less experience, less variety of experience, and overall less maturity. It feels a little provincial. And for good reasons, since the contemporary spiritual community in Norway is provincial. It’s not as rich or old as in some other places. 

Of course, this sounds a little arrogant. But it’s also real. The US west coast is unique in this way due to its unique history (partly because of the large Asian population and the counter-culture of the 60s and 70s). 

What I have found more of in Norway are people being more dogmatic about the one approach they have found and are familiar with, or people with a lose grasp on reality who seem to want to believe anything that’s weird (and the more weird the better). Again, this is perhaps to be expected since contemporary spirituality is relatively new here, and it’s perhaps also a not entirely fair description. 

Whenever I write these type of posts, I am very aware that they reflect my own hangups and wounds. I am holding up a mirror to myself. I find myself in how I see the US west coast and in Norway. I have the more mature, inclusive, and innovative forms of spirituality in me, and also the less mature versions. And those projections come from beliefs, identities, and wounds that I can explore through inquiry and find some resolution for through a variety of approaches. 

Irrational emotions? No

 

Are emotions irrational? 

Not in my experience. They do their job perfectly. And that job is to follow our beliefs, including beliefs we may not realize we have, and conflicting beliefs. 

We can say that the emotions are always “rational” in that they do their job. It’s the beliefs that not always are so rational. Although they made perfect sense at the time our minds created them. They made perfect sense in that situation and with the inner and outer resources available to us. Since most of them were formed when we were children, they made perfect sense to our child self at the time. 

In that sense, even the beliefs are rational. Although they may not always appear to make sense to us and others now, in our current situation. 

How do we identify these beliefs? And how do we invite them to resolve so we can live in a way that makes more sense to us now? Inquiry – The Work or Living Inquiries – are effective ways to do this, although it does take intention, sincerity, work, and often patience. And the guidance of someone familiar with how to use them effectively. 

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Beginner’s mind: What it is and isn’t

 

We are all “just starting” our spiritual journey. To believe one has advanced, by even a step, is to erase one’s own footprints before they are trodden. ?

A comment in an online group. I assume it was in response to me posting a link to The Way of Liberation by Adyashanti, and commenting that it’s a book helpful both to beginners and people further along the spiritual path. 

If spirituality is about truth and reality, then ideology doesn’t mix very well with it. We may start out with different ideologies, but we have to abandon each of them at some point. And that includes non-dual ideologies. 

The quote above is from an online group I am a member of and illustrates a non-dual ideology common in some circles. We hear something that has truth in it, and take it on as an ideology and over-apply it. 

So what is beginner’s mind? To me it’s receptivity, sincerity, curiosity. A willingness to let cherished views go when we encounter something that seems more aligned with reality.

And also, keeping an eye out for where we hold onto fixed views – usually for comfort and safety. Knowing that any thought or idea can help us orient and function in the world without having any final or absolute truth in it. 

And what is it not? It’s not being stupid. It’s not pretending we don’t know what we know (in an ordinary human limited somewhat flawed sense). It’s not discounting our experience. It’s not discounting that people have different levels – and types – of experience, maturity, clarity, wisdom, and skills. 

Ideologies can seem comforting and safe. But if we are sincere, we need to look a little closer. We need to find what’s more true for us, including that it may and probably will change as we gain more experience. 

There is truth to the quote above. We are just “starting” on our spiritual journey as there is always further to go. As what we are – that which allows and is this content of experience – we don’t advance. And our footprints are always erased as past, future, and present are ideas and not something tangible we can find anywhere. It has truth in it.

And yet, it’s not true in the sense that we don’t gain experience, and we are at different levels of insight, clarity, skills and so on. It’s also not true in the sense that all books are equally helpful to beginners and more experienced people. Books are pointers, and pointers can be seen medicine for different conditions. They apply to some people in some situations, and not to others in other situations. You wouldn’t give a Microsoft programmer a beginner’s introduction to programming. And you wouldn’t start a beginner out with the most advanced books. 

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My story with seeing energies (aura)

 

I have a few of these posts where I talk about more esoteric topics that are less directly related to healing or awakening. 

I don’t remember the exact timeline anymore. When I was 15, something happened for almost exactly a year where I experienced the world as far away. Looking back, I see that the sense of “I” was pulled into or as the observer and separate from what was observed. I didn’t understand what was happening and went to doctors who also could not figure it out. About a year later, there was a more full blown revelation of reality to itself. Everything was revealed as the divine and experienced by the divine. 

Somewhere in that period – I think it was the summer when I was 15 – I sat outside reading a book. I remember looking up at the trees and noticing a brightening outside of the edge of the leaves against the clear blue sky. I didn’t think much about it and assumed it was an optical illusion. 

Later, I kept seeing this light around plants. And people and animals. And also around inanimate objects. I would have assumed it was an optical illusion if there wasn’t for one thing: The light area around objects was different for different types of objects. It was quite simple and not so alive around inanimate objects. It extended further out and was more alive around plants. It extended further out and was more alive and had layers around animals. And it extended even further out and was more alive and more layered around humans. 

It was, and is, easier to see it against a plain and light background, but it’s not essential. It can be seen independent of background and lighting. 

From noticing the difference in the field around inanimate objects, plants, animals, and humans, I realized that the field reflects the degree of consciousness, self-awareness, and awakeness of whatever or whomever it’s around. 

Over the next few years, I met two women who themselves were relatively awake and saw auras. They both helped me feel more comfortable with it, and less crazy…! One was Hanne Bertelsen (she since changed last name), and she also helped me notice the cells in the aura. When I focus more directly on the aura, I see that it has cells. The other was my friend BH whom I met in a Tai Chi class. I remember sitting with her at the train station, looking at people’s auras, and comparing notes. We saw the same. 

Early on, I realized that people who see energies tend to see different aspects of it. We may tune in to something slightly different. And it can also change over time. (I only once has seen colors clearly, and it was in a Tai Chi class.) 

For me, it’s easiest to see how awake the energy field is, how awake it is to itself, and how far it extends. For most humans, there is some self-awareness reflected in the field although much of it can be relatively dense and not awake. In an early awakening phase, after some big openings, the energy field is more awake and can be very bright. Later, as the awakening clarifies and matures, the field becomes more subtle, awake throughout, and it extends out indefinetely

This can be helpful when meeting a spiritual teacher. I get a sense of how awake they are (yes, I know, it’s not a “they” to be awake), how mature the awakening is, and sometimes what type of practices they have used. (For instance, meditation tends to bring the level of awakeness up through the energy field. And more body-oriented practices tend to brighten the layer closest to the body.)  

It can also be interesting to see the effects of certain things on the energy field. For instance, during Vortex Healing classes, the energy level in and around people and in the room as a whole is off the chart. And as I keep doing Vortex courses, I notice a very clear difference in my own energy field – it’s more subtle, brighter, and more awake. 

One of my favorite things about seeing auras is that it’s an immediate reminder that all is divine, and all is the divine. Inanimate objects, plants, animals and humans are not only divine, but are the divine. 

This is also one of the things I rarely mention and only a few know this about me. (The ones who do are mostly people who see energies themselves.) Why don’t I mention it very often? Because it’s usually not relevant. It’s not necessary. In mainstream society it’s seen as weird (at best!). And if people know about it they may see people who see auras as special and that too is unnecessary.  

Why do I mention it here? For the sake of completeness and filling out the picture, to normalize it a bit, and it can be helpful for others who just noticed they can see it. 

And can everyone see auras? I suspect it’s something most of us or all of us can to some extent, especially if noticed and trained. I am not sure. 

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Brené Brown: We’re hungry for more joy because we are starving from a lack of gratitude

 

We’re a nation hungry for more joy: Because we’re starving from a lack of gratitude.

– Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Yes, this is very true in my experience. Gratitude fills me up. It makes me content. And when there is less gratitude and contentment, I crave a variety of things including joy. 

I think this is craving is widespread in contemporary societies, and perhaps especially in the US. Modern media and advertisement intentionally instill a sense of lack and entitlement. I don’t have what I need, and I am entitled to it. And this creates a hole that needs to be filled with products, status, and experiences – including joy. Gratitude is the antidote. And not only an antidote, it’s what we really wish for. It’s what creates a more satisfying and real sense of contentment and being filled up. 

We can’t fake gratitude, and we can’t tell ourselves to be grateful. But it’s close by, and we can invite it in and more in the foreground of our experience. Some of my favorite ways are ho’oponopono, tonglen, and all-inclusive gratitude practices. Natural rest or basic meditation is another way to invite in gratitude, and really… we are “just” noticing the gratitude that’s already here and that we are. (Which is huge.) 

Leonard Cohen: Reality is one of the possibilities I cannot afford to ignore

 

Reality is one of the possibilities I cannot afford to ignore.

Leonard Cohen

I am not sure in which context this was said, or what Cohen meant by it. 

For me, it means that this reality – as it appears to me and others – is something I cannot afford to ignore. Consensus reality is something I cannot afford to ignore.

I want to live according to it which means to be a good steward of my own life (as Adyashanti says), be a good citizen, be a good member of the ecological community, and be a good ancestor for future generations. At least, as much as I am able. 

Even within awakening, this is the case. Within awakening, we realize that all is the play of the divine, and that consensus reality is created by our ideas in our own minds. And yet, we still wish to live according to it. (Unless wisdom, kindness, and experience tells us something else is better which sometimes happens.) 

Sometimes, there an early glimpse of reality can be followed by the mind telling itself I can do what I want, nothing stops me, I can ignore silly human conventions. This is a pitfall of early phases of awakening, or a childhood disease. If we decide to listen to this voice we soon get the consequences and hopefully learn from it and become a little wiser and more mature. If Cohen had something like this in mind, he wanted to point to this pitfall and how to avoid it. 

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Thomas Keating: The spiritual journey… is a series of humiliations of the false self

 

The spiritual journey… is a series of humiliations of the false self that become more and more profound.

Thomas Keating?

Yes. This is not the usual sales pitch of spirituality, but it’s real and true. It’s what we realize after a while on the spiritual path. 

What he calls humiliation is what I see as life rubbing up against any thought we hold as true, any belief or identification. These are the ones that create a sense of being a separate being, so these are the ones that gradually go. It’s not a comfortable process. It’s not what many think spirituality or awakening is about. But it’s what happens. It’s what’s needed for life to wake up to itself more as it is, without the filter of identifications and taking itself to be separate in any way, or anything else than all there is living a local life as this human self. 

The truth will set us free

 

and the truth will set you free

New Testament, John 8:32

This is true in many ways. 

It’s true in relationships, in society, and in terms of social justice and sustainability. We need the truth, and to be honest about it, for change to happen. 

It’s also true in healing. And, as Jesus referred to, it’s true in awakening. 

For emotional healing, we need the truth. Truth = reality, and consciously aligning more with reality = emotional healing. 

For awakening, we also need truth. Truth = reality, and awakening means to consciously align with reality. 

And then there is fear of truth. Most of us have a fear of truth to some extent, in some areas of life, for several different reasons. It’s important to honor this fear, and explore it with some gentleness, kindness, and curiosity. 

I have written about each of these more in depth in other articles so I’ll leave this article brief.  

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Ariana Grande: thank u, next

 

I know they say I move on too fast
But this one gon’ last
‘Cause her name is Ari
And I’m so good with that (so good with that)
She taught me love (love)
She taught me patience (patience)
How she handles pain (pain)
That shit’s amazing (yeah, she’s amazing)
I’ve loved and I’ve lost (yeah, yeah)
But that’s not what I see (yeah, yeah)
‘Cause look what I’ve found (yeah, yeah)

There isn’t too much to say about this song because it’s all there in the lyrics.

It’s about gratitude, impermanence, and self-love. 

Everything passes – all our relationships to anything in the world, to people, things, situations. And all we can do is learn from it and say thank u, next. 

Except, one relationship doesn’t pass and that’s to myself. I can find a good relationship to myself. I can treat myself as I would want to be treated by someone important in my life. I can treat myself – and anything coming up in me, all my experiences – with love, kindness, respect, as a good friend or lover. 

It’s an important pointer. In some ways, it’s the secret to life. And it’s beautiful to see it in pop culture, and especially when aimed at younger women as I assume this one is. Although the pointer is equally valid and essential independent of our gender or age. 

This song is completely aligned with the insights we find through The Work. I won’t be surprised if this will be a regular song at future Schools. 

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Genpo Roshi: Life is very fragile, very precious

 

Life is very fragile, very precious. Realizing this, we have more willingness to face whatever gift life brings us. The experience of doing that over and over again gives us faith and courage to keep going. Taking life as it comes, not knowing what will happen next, we can be fully present each moment to experience whatever it is. If it is suffering, we suffer; if it is pleasure, we have pleasure.
— Genpo Roshi

Incarnation trauma

 

From early childhood, I seem to have had a clear memory of life between lives. An profound sense of all as love and wisdom, an infinite sense of being home. 

And along with that, formless beings and communication without words. The other memory I seem to have is of when I knew I would incarnate again. It was shared with me by a group of a dozen or so beings, I was shown the life in broad strokes, and I was shown I would incarnate along with many others needed in this phase of humanity’s and Earth’s evolution. 

I was also asked if I would. Being a good boy (soul), I said “yes”. And yet, it wasn’t honest. I wanted to because I knew it was the divine movement and there wasn’t really a choice. But the rest of me deeply and profoundly didn’t want to. I had spent a long time in this place that was partly timeless although also touching on time. (My previous incarnation may have been in the second half of the 1800s.) 

Saying yes when so much of me wanted to say no seems to have been traumatic. It created a deep wound in me. It was dishonest. And it was pointless dishonesty since these beings knew everything about me anyway. 

When I replay it being honest, it is beautiful. I acknowledge the “no”. I say it out loud for myself and these beings to hear. (Although not with words.) I grieve. And I arrive more wholeheartedly at a yes that’s aligned with this divine movement. 

Going back in my timeline to find me needing healing at different times, this seems one of the more important ones. 

As usual, I am not taking this literally. (Although I am also open for it being an actual memory.) I take it as any dream or vision or apparent memory that can’t so easily be verified. I take it as giving form to something very real in me. In this case, a “no” to life and a trauma around being incarnate, around being a human being in this world. 

That’s what this points to. That’s what may need to be seen, felt, loved, resolved, and healed. That’s where the invitation is. 

Am I awake?

 

Am I awake? 

Not the right question. First, as nondual sticklers will happily tell you, it is – in a way – the wrong question. What we are awakens to itself, not the apparently separate self that we may think we are. This is the smart-alecy answer, and there is something to it. It can be a helpful pointer. 

The question answers itself. If there is an awakening, the question falls away. It’s not important. So if we have the question and it seems vital and important, then the answer may be not yet. Keep looking. 

Yes and no and it depends. I can say it’s yes and no and perhaps depending on the definition. It’s not hard for me to recognize that all is happening within and as consciousness. It’s all one field. And all of that is happening within and as void or capacity for it all. At the same time, my mind does sometimes identify with thoughts. So there is usually a mix of what I am noticing itself and within that the mind partly identifying with some old identities and thoughts. And the tendency for the mind to identify with a wide range of old thoughts and identities is latent in my system, ready to be triggered by life situations. Is that awake? It’s not as awake as it’s possible to be, but it’s also not completely unawake.  

As Byron Katie says, we are awake to the thought that’s here or not. 

Love is what I really want. Also, it’s not terribly important. What’s more important for me is to meet what’s here – my experience – with kindness. To meet it with love. That’s what I really want, more than awakening. That’s what I am craving, and what the different parts of me crave. And, of course, the two go hand in hand. The more I meet my experience with kindness, the easier it is for what I am to notice itself. And the other way around. 

It’s a rich topic and there is a lot more to say about it. 

For instance, we tend to project a whole lot of things on awakening. We project what’s already here, both the awakeness that’s already here, and our hopes and fears and hangups at a very human level. Whatever I see in awakening, can I find it right here and now? (The answer is most likely yes, if I look.) 

There is already awakeness here, and “we” can notice it (it notices itself while still taking itself to be separate from it), and it can also notice itself as all there is (more clear). The Big Mind process can give some people a glimpse of this, as can the Headless experiments. 

The awakening is both a process and sometimes involves sudden shifts, and it’s not as black and white (at least as it looks to me) as it’s sometimes depicted. Yes, we can have openings and phases where everything seems very clear and awake and unobscured by any identifications. The shifts may be very clear and sudden. And yet, over time, there tends to be a mix of the awakening and remaining tendencies of the mind to identify with thoughts.

These identifications can be gentle and recognized as identifications while awakeness recognizes itself as all there is, including these dynamics of the mind. Sometimes, the identifications may take over for shorter periods of time while we in the back of the mind know what’s going on.

And in some cases, the mind may consistently tell itself that a particular identification is absolutely true, in which case the awakening is obscured in that area of the mind and life. For instance, there are classic cases of what seems like a relatively clear awakening obscured by persistent racism. This is an example of clarity obscured by cultural beliefs, and I guess that may happen quite frequently including among contemporary teachers. It’s just harder for us to notice if it happens within our own culture. (And it will be easier to notice for those outside of our culture, probably including future generations.) 

So am I awake? Well, it depends. Yes, in some ways. No, in some ways. And there is also a middle ground of maybes that I feel quite familiar with. 

And I am very open to this changing for me – the way I tell a story about awakening. I would be disappointed if it didn’t. Perhaps in a day, or month, or decade, I would write about this very differently. 

I am also very aware that this way of talking about awakening can be frustrating to some. If our mind tells us awakening is vital and essential, and there is an internal pressure to “have it”, then it may want more certainty. Our mind may want it to be more black and white. I imagine some nondual folks reading this and their minds telling itself “no, he is completely wrong, awakening is this and it’s either here or it’s not, there is no middle ground and no maybes. I know that because this teacher said it, and this other teacher said it too, and my experience tells it to me. What an idiot…!”. And that’s OK. 

Healing and the limits of what happens inside of thoughts

 

When it comes to healing of emotional issues, it’s limited what can happen inside of the person’s thoughts. There is a limit to what can happen through thinking and talking. 

Of course, through thinking and talking, some limited resoling and healing can happen. It can be good to think or talk about something and put words on it. It can be good to have someone listening to it, whether that’s ourselves or someone else, especially when the listening is kind, insightful, and helps us find our own insights and resolutions. 

In the best case, it can help us gain some perspective and resolution. In the worst case, our painful (and trauma-creating) stories can be reinforced by ourselves or the other person. And by entering into something too quickly or in an unskillful way, we can also retraumatize ourselves. 

And although emotional issues may be largely created by us believing our own thoughts about something that happened, the emotional issues themselves go far beyond out thoughts. They sit in our whole system. 

So for a more thorough and real healing and resolution, we often need something outside of thought. As mention above, the main healing factor may be listening with presence, patience, respect, kindness, and invitation for us to find our own insights and resolution. 

Among the many outside-of-thought approaches to healing out there, I am only familiar with a few so those are the ones I write about here. They are just examples, and I don’t mean to say you have to do any of these. The ones available to you, and the ones that work for you are the ones best for you. 

So here is a list of examples I happen to be familiar with: 

Release tension related to and created by the issue out of the body through therapeutic tremoring (TRE). 

Reorient in how I relate to the emotional issue and to the triggering situation through heart-centered practices. (Ho’o, tonglen, all-inclusive gratitude practices.) 

Examine the stressful and issue-creating thoughts, and find what’s more true for me (The Work). 

Examine how the mind creates its own experience, and specifically the issue, through combining sensations and thoughts. Peak behind the curtain. Shine sunlight on the troll. (Living Inquiries.) 

Use energy healing to release the issue, including through releasing conditioning at all levels and invite in new insights. (Vortex Healing.) 

In addition, there are the time-honored ways of healing through touch, movement, loving social interactions, and time in nature. 

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The beauty of parts language, and when to use it and not

 

What is parts language? It’s when we are aware of parts of us, or we can call them sub-personalities, anything in us that are somewhat like their own little beings. And we acknowledge it to ourselves or someone else in words. 

For instance, I may say “a part of me is scared of this!” or “a part of me is angry that it didn’t happen”. 

When there is a mutual understanding of parts language, I find it very helpful. It signals that we are aware of something in us, and we are not so identified with it. There is enough space around it so we recognize it as a part, and we don’t feel compelled to believe what it tells us or act on it. It’s just an acknowledgment of something that’s here that we notice. 

When there is not a mutual understanding of parts language, it can be misunderstood. I have experienced this when I assume someone is familiar with parts language (a psychologist or therapist), I use parts language, and they respond as if they think I am completely identified with the view of the part I am noticing and giving words to. 

It can be quite dismaying. And I have also discovered it can be difficult to explain and clear up. 

For instance, when I went through my process of being officially diagnosed with CFS, I met with a psychologist and used parts language freely. I mentioned several parts I have noticed, and I saw it as innocent and completely ordinary since I am used to using parts language with therapists and the parts I mentioned are universal. Somehow, she saw it as if I was completely identified with these parts (why would I otherwise mention it?) and that they were strong (again, from her perspective, why would I otherwise mention it?). It led to complications and a longish process to clear it up which involved seeing specialists. Fortunately, they realized quickly that she had misunderstood and misread the situation. 

So why do we even mention what we notice? Especially if it’s not necessarily strong and we are not so identified with it? For me, it has to do with transparency. I notice something in me and wish to share. Also, when I put words on it, and especially if I speak it out loud, it removes some of the power and charge out of it. It is named. It becomes an object. Trolls burst in daylight. And it’s also a reminder to myself to perhaps later explore it more fully and invite in healing for it. 

Parts language can be very beautiful and helpful. And, as I have learned, it’s good to not automatically assume that the other understands it even if I a part of me thinks they should because they are a psychologist. I also need to remember that I lived most of my adult life on the west coast of the US (Orgegon and California), so when I talk to people in Norway – even if they are psychologists or therapists – they may not understand. Norway is, after all, often quite provincial when it comes to these things. And, yes, a part of me feels dismayed by it! 

Infatuated with freedom

 

This is a follow-up to the mountains are mountains article. 

In an early awakening phase, whether it’s more stable or through glimpses, we can be infatuated with freedom. We have been released from an exclusive identification as a separate being. We have discovered all is consciousness, or love, or the divine. We have realized it’s all the divine appearing as all this, including for a little while taking itself to be a separate individual. We see that all conventions and ideas are mind and human-made and have no inherent truth or finality to them. 

So it’s natural to be somewhat infatuated with the freedom that seems to be here. We feel free from our old self-imposed and imagined constraints. 

We felt oppressed by the constraints, so now relish the freedom. 

Some current non-dual teachers tend to emphasize what we are and the freedom inherent in it. And that may be the right medicine for people still very much identifying as a separate individual. 

And it’s not the whole picture. It may look a bit different when we mature into it. It also looks a bit different if we have a different orientation going into it. If we have more of an orientation towards wholeness, inclusivity, and realness. 

I tend to prefer guides and coaches who acknowledge both what we are (what everything happens within and as) and who we are (as human beings), and the infinite complexity of the interactions between the two (which are really one). And who do so with honesty and realness, and prioritize the very human messiness of the process over how it “should” look. 

Some of the ones I have found and resonate with are the ones I write about or quote from in these articles…. Byron Katie, Adyashanti, Douglas Harding, Bonnie Greenwell, Jeff Foster, Matt Licata, Hameed Ali, and many others. 

I know this post is a little black-and-white and can seem a little harsh. I notice an impatience in me sometimes when spiritual teachers emphasize the what-we-are side over the human or the interactions between the two. It can seem too idealized, or a bit immature, or even a bit misguided or misguiding.

Of course, it can be a nice carrot to get people hooked. And there is nothing inherently wrong in it. And at some point, we need to get more real. 

Mountains are mountains

 

Thirty years ago, before I began the study of Zen, I said, ‘Mountains are mountains, waters are waters.’ After I got an insight into the truth of Zen through the instruction of a good master, I said, ‘Mountains are not mountains, waters are not waters.’ But after having attained the abode of final rest [that is, Awakening], I say, ‘Mountains are really mountains, waters are really waters.’

And then he asks, ‘Do you think these three understandings are the same or different?

Abe Masao, Zen and Western Thought

First, mountains are mountains. We experience the world as most do, as physical, as made up of separate beings and things, as existing in itself and we just happen to perceive it. 

Then, mountains are not mountains. The illusion is revealed. We may realize all as consciousness. As One. As the divine. We may realize that an overlay of thought creates the experience of separation and of physicality. It’s all the divine locally and teporarily taking itself as a separate being through holding certain thoughts as true. We are like Neo seeing the Matrix as a matrix and created by code. 

At this point, when we are relatively new to it, several things can go a bit haywire for us. We may feel we are going crazy, or we may blame and judge others for not seeing it, or we may go into nihilism and tell ourselves nothing matter and we can do what we want since it’s all illusion anyway. We can fall into some common pitfalls. We can contract some baby Buddha diseases. There is often some arrogance in this phase. (For me, it was that I could deal with anything. I got into and stayed in a bad situation because I told me I could deal with anything.) 

Then, mountains are mountains again. We have matured a bit in our realization. We have lived out some of our youthful follies in the awakening and embodiment process. Our lives now often seem very ordinary and ordinarily human, although also lived from wisdom and kindness. We are happy to follow convention apart from in the few situations where our heart, guidance, wisdom, and kindness says otherwise. 

We know our actions have consequences and may pay more attention to our actions and life in the world than ever before. If we have gone through some type of dark night, we have been more deeply and thoroughly humanized. All the while realizing even more clearly it’s all the divine and the play of the divine. 

Fascination with tragedy

 

It’s normal for humans to have a fascination with tragedy.

It’s built into us since it has helped our ancestors – whether human or much further back – to survive. 

This fascination can take a few different forms. Most commonly, it’s a fascination with tragic news, gossip, and stories of any kind. 

We do need to know what’s happening in the world, and in our local community and those close to us. And grittiness and tragedy is part of that. But a fascination with tragedy isn’t really needed. It’s something we can explore and invite to soften or fall away. 

Another form this fascination with tragedy can take, perhaps especially for some on a spiritual path, is a glorification of tragedy or general life difficulties as fodder for healing and awakening. It is true that the grittiness and challenges of life can be and are fodder for healing, awakening, maturing, and embodiment. But we don’t need to glorify it or seek it out. 

So what do we do with this tragedy-seeking in ourselves?

The first is to be aware of it. Notice. See some of the dynamics. See how it influences our daily life. 

It’s also good to see that it’s here for a reason. It has served humanity well. Without it, we may not even have been here. It is a form of love put into us through evolution. 

And then there are more specific approaches. Here are the usual ones I currently find helpful. 

Release some of the tension created by it in my body through therapeutic tremoring (TRE). 

Inquire into it (The Work, Living Inquiries). 

Change my relationship to it through heart centered practices (ho’o, tonglen). 

Clear conditioning and wake up the issue with Vortex Healing. 

Vortex Healing is by far the most effective and powerful approach for me now. Although more powerful is a combination of them all. 

The gifts of chronic fatigue

 

This is another topic I like to revisit: 

What are the gifts of chronic fatigue (CFS)? What are the genuine gifts in it for me? 

It supports healing, awakening, and humanizing. Just like life in general, when we are receptive to it. 

It invites a deep healing of the bodymind. In my case, it invites me to notice any stressful beliefs and find what’s more true for me (The Work). It invites me to find healing for anything that comes up and is triggered by the illness and life situation. It invites me to find healing for any emotional issues that may weaken my system (they all do) and contribute to the illness. It invites me to strengthen, clear, and balance my body and energy system in a variety of ways – through food, herbal medicine, bodywork, energy work, nature, and more. 

It invites awakening. It invites awakening to (and out of) beliefs and identifications, and especially those triggered by my situation. It invites noticing what’s happening in me – including the emotional pain – as happening within and as what I am. (Not noticing that is extra painful so there is an inherent incentive to notice what it is happening within and as, and find what I am as that.) 

It invites humanizing, becoming more deeply human. Having a serious illness, and having a lot of unprocessed emotional material surfacing, and also making decisions “out of character” because of it, is very humbling. It can be deeply humanizing. This is all universally human. What I experience has been and is experienced by innumerable others. 

In addition…. 

It invites learning about health and healing, and what works for me in my situation. I have learned about CFS and Lyme and Lyme co-infections. I have learned about what foods and herbal medicines work best for me (I had a pretty good sense of that from before). I have learned about a range of modalities for healing the body and mind. 

It invites deep rest. Not only in a conventional sense, but a deeper rest through healing, awakening, and humanizing. (Emotional wounds, taking ourselves to only be separate, and trying to be better than or different from others is inherently stressful. When we heal, awaken, and humanize, we find relief and a deeper rest.) 

It has given me time to rest, notice, and explore, including to explore these topics. 

It has given me experiences, insights, and skills I can share with others and that may be useful for some others. I have been given a lot from others (everything including my life), and passing on just a little bit that’s helpful for others makes me very grateful. 

And last but not least, my situation has motivated me to seek deep healing, awakening, and humanizing. It has given me an extra motivation and perhaps sincerity. It has made me willing to be extra humble (sometimes) in order to find healing, awakening, and humanizing. 

Would I have chosen to not have had these health problems? Yes. Do I see the genuine gifts in them? Yes. Did I ever have a choice? No. This was chosen by life. It’s happening within and as all of existence. It’s the play of life, or the universe, or the divine. 

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Finding healing for myself at different ages

 

One of the things I like to do is to invite in healing for myself at different ages. I imagine myself as a specific age (e.g. age 5), feel into and look at whatever may have bothered me at the time (issues, uncertainties etc.), and then invite in healing for me / him as I would for any client. If it’s inquiry, I can do inquiry from that age, as if I am myself at that age. If it’s a heart-centered practice (ho’o, tonglen), I do it as if I would for anyone else by imagining him in front of me. And I find it works well even with Vortex Healing. I imagine him (me at age 5) as I would any client, and take him through a session (with some slight modifications) as I would any client. 

I find it helpful to do this through the timeline. I may scan my own timeline, find an age and period where I wasn’t quite comfortable with myself and the world, and spend time with myself at that age and invite in healing. Through presence. Noticing. Allowing. And sometimes inquiry, heart-centered practices, or divine energy healing (Vortex Healing). 

Why do I do this? I find it helpful to do healing for myself at specific ages. It brings certain issues more alive for me. It’s also easier when I see myself in front of me and approach the healing as I would for any client. I can access the issue internally, and it’s also an object I see in front of me which creates a helpful distance and somehow makes it easier for me to stay with the healing process. 

Byron Katie: If you want real control, drop the illusion of control

 

Being present means living without control and always having your needs met. For people who are tired of the pain, nothing could be worse than trying to control what can’t be controlled. If you want real control, drop the illusion of control. Let life live you. It does anyway. You’re just telling the story about how it doesn’t, and that’s a story that can never be real. You didn’t make the rain or the sun or the moon. You have no control over your lungs or your heart or your vision or your breath. One minute you’re fine and healthy, the next minute you’re not. When you try to be safe, you live your life trying to be very, very careful, and you may wind up having no life at all. Everything is nourishment. I like to say, “Don’t be careful; you could hurt yourself.”

You can’t make people moral. People are what they are, and they’ll do what they do, with or without our laws. Remember the prohibition amendment? I hear that it was passed by well-intentioned, moral people, who just wanted to save the rest of us from the temptation of alcohol. Of course it failed, because sobriety can come only from the inside. You can’t force people to be sober or honest or kind. You can say “thou shalt not” till you’re blue in the face, and they’ll do it anyway.

The best way, the only effective way, is to serve as an example and not to impose your will.

Byron Katie, A Thousand Names for Joy

I agree with this, and also see how it can easily be misunderstood.

It’s doesn’t mean not working towards something in life. Or creating the conditions for a happy and healthy society and life. Or being assertive when that’s needed.

It doesn’t mean that anything needs to change. Apart from one thing, and that’s the idea that we can control life, or need to, or that life would be better if we could. 

So how do we arrive at this place of more clarity around control? Inquiry is one approach, including Byron Katie’s The Work. What beliefs and ideas do I have about control, especially when I allow myself to be petty, childish, and uncensored? What do I find when I investigate these beliefs, and find what’s already more true for me? 

And what does she mean by finding real control through dropping the illusion of control? I am not sure, but for me it means that when I see through the illusion of having, or needing, or even wanting control, there is a resting in reality. I, as a separate being, don’t have control over life and never will. I don’t need it and never did. When I look, I see I don’t even really want it, and never did. And, in some ways, that’s control.

At the very least, it’s freedom from the lack of control – the instability and stress – I create for myself when I believe my ideas of needing, having, or wanting control. It’s a resting in and as what is. 

Amor fati

 

I love this Latin term amor fati – ‘love of fate’. Instead of bemoaning your fate – and sometimes our fates are terrible – we love our fate. Amor fati. It’s a way of being grateful. I’m going to love what happened to me because I trust it’s here to remove a veil. I’m going to search what’s happening to me in this time so I can take away yet another misconception.

Elizabeth Lesser

I also love amor fati. Love your fate. 

It’s pragmatic. When we fight against our existence and life, we create suffering for ourselves, and it distracts us from making good use of what’s here. When we find love for our fate, we open our mind and heart to possibilities. We are more open to make the best out of it. To make it into something beautiful, both in how we see it and in what we make out of it in our life. So finding love for our fate makes pragmatic sense. 

We can also see our fate as an invitation to heal and wake up. Whatever happens, and especially what we don’t like, shows us what’s left. It shows us where our attitudes are out of alignment with reality (with life, the divine). It shows us what’s left to heal of wounds and trauma. It shows us what we still haven’t seen or the clarity we still haven’t brought into our life. 

In a more general sense, we can say that what happens is an invitation to trust the divine, to look for the genuine gifts in it, to surrender to what’s here, and to say yes to life

So how do we do it? It requires a reorientation to ourselves and life. It requires looking for the genuine gifts in our life and situation. It requires realness and honesty with ourselves. It may require temporary support from a range of different practices including all-inclusive gratitude practices, heart-practices (tonglen, ho’oponopono), natural rest or basic meditation, different forms of inquiry (The Work, Living Inquiries), or energy work (Vortex Healing). It will also be made easier as we heal from our wounds and traumas in whatever ways best work for us (all of the above and TRE).  

An important part of this is to acknowledge the parts of us definitely not loving what happened and what is happening. To notice, allow, see it’s very natural and understandable. See that these parts of us are here to protect this apparently separate self. They come from (sometimes slightly misguided) kindness and love. They want to be seen, felt, respected, understood, met with kindness and patience. 

There is a bigger picture here. The way human life and this universe is set up, as long as our conscious view and our conditioning is out of alignment with reality, we’ll experience friction, discomfort, and pain. We are motivated to find a solution. And the only solution is to heal and awaken, and to keep healing and awakening and living from this healing and awakening.

The divine created this universe to explore, express, and experience itself in always new ways. We can say that it wanted to explore itself, get to know itself, get to know what was possible. We can also say that the infinite wanted to experience itself as finite. Or that love wanted to experience itself as (apparently) not love. Or that wisdom wanted to experience itself as (apparently) lack of wisdom. So it created this universe, and a possibility for itself to temporarily and locally take itself to be separate, a separate being, and – in our case – separate human beings. 

There is a profound beauty in all of this. It’s the play of the divine. A play for the divine, by the divine, with the divine as all actors, the set and stage, the audience, the director, the writer, and the stories played. (And it’s being written as it’s being played.) It’s a tragedy and a comedy and neither. 

Of course, when the divine does take itself – here and now – as separate, it may not seem beautiful at all. It may seem like a tragedy and only as that. And that’s part of the play as well.

The invitation here is to take a small step. How would it be to try to love my fate? If even just a little at first. Perhaps as acceptance of what’s here, and a curiosity about what I can make out of it. These are the ingredients, what meal can I make out of it? What happens if I engage in an all-inclusive gratitude practice for a few weeks? What happens if I try ho’o or tonglen? What do I find through inquiry? How does my life and the world appear to me as I find more healing for my wounds and traumas? 

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Hafiz: Everyone Is God speaking

 

Everyone
Is God speaking.
Why not be polite and
Listen to
Him? 

Ladinsky + Hafiz

Everyone and everything is God speaking. We can realize that when we temporarily break through the veils, or when the veils fall away.

Or, simply, when we notice what everything happens within and as, and we notice that’s what we already are. 

We can also use this as a pointer in daily life. 

What if this is God speaking? This man? This woman? This person I love? This other one I dislike? This animal? This sun? This rain? This ecosystem? This planet? The stars? 

Adyashanti: Rampant thinking is your mind looking for peace

 

Rampant thinking is your mind looking for peace—as if, if you could just think enough and understand enough, your mind could be at peace. But the mind never thinks its way to a lasting peace. In fact, in the mind’s rush to find peace and security, it overlooks the peace that is already present within the presence of awareness.

So contemplate what your mind is trying to run away from, and what it is looking for. And begin to show your mind that peace is available in the present. Literally bring your mind’s attention to the greater peace of awareness. And give your mind something to do in the form of following your breath. Just follow the breath whenever you can during the day, because it will calm your nervous system and give your mind something to do other than to obsessively think. Of course, thoughts may come, but anchor them in the breath. Be patient and kind to yourself. Very patient and very kind.

Adyashanti, The Way of Liberating Insight

Loss and its many gifts

 

You will lose everything. 
Your money, your power, your fame, your success, perhaps even your memory. 
Your looks will go.
Loved ones will die. 
Your own body will eventually fall apart. 
Everything that seems permanent is absolutely impermanent and will be smashed. 
Experience will gradually, or not so gradually, strip away everything that it can strip away. 
Waking up means facing this reality with open eyes and no longer turning away. 
Right now, we stand on sacred and holy ground. 
For that which will be lost has not yet been lost, and realising this is the key to unspeakable joy. 
Whoever or whatever is in your life right now has not yet been taken away from you. 
This may sound obvious but really knowing it is the key to everything, the why and how and wherefore of existence. 
Impermanence has already rendered everything and everyone around you so deeply holy and significant and worthy of your heartbreaking gratitude.

Loss has already transfigured your life into an altar.

Jeff Foster

Loss is a gift in so many ways. 

It’s what allows this universe and anything to exist in the first place. This universe, living planet, and us and all we know is here because the universe is always in transition and changing. What was before is gone so what’s here now can be here. 

Loss – in the form of change – is how life (the universe, existence, the divine) continues to express, explore, and experience itself in always new ways. 

When we take in the reality of loss, we find that what’s here is infinitely precious. It’s a gift. It won’t ever come back in this way. It’s a unique and precious gift. Even that which our personality and mind doesn’t like very much is an infinitely precious gift. It’s how the universe (life, the divine) presents itself to itself here and now.

When we sober up to the reality of loss and change, it’s easier to live with loss. We won’t fight it as much or perhaps not at all. We may even find genuine gratitude for it. It will still break our hearts. It breaks our heart open. 

Sobering up to loss is an invitation to notice what everything happens within and as. And to notice that’s what we are. 

So loss is what allows everything we know. It’s essential to the play of life – Lila. Sobering up to it allows a profound appreciation for what’s here. It makes it easier to live with. It breaks our heart wide open. And it’s an invitation to find ourselves as what we already are – that which all content experience happens within and as. (That which we may label consciousness, or love, or even the divine.)