Key interventions | Chin in

 

Sometimes, we find key interventions that reorganizes the whole system towards health.

I have explored different adjustments for my posture. For instance adjusting the angle of my hip rotation (bottom forward), shoulders back, leading with the belly or chest, imagining a string pulling on the top of the head etc. They all help to some extent but each one felt a bit contrived. (My posture is OK but – as anything – it can always improve, and especially through a wide range of daily life situations and circumstances.)

There is a simple pointer that really works for me: bring the chin in. When I bring the chin in, my whole posture adjusts and falls into place. It feels natural, organic, and comfortable. It creates a natural and easy whole systems change. The curve in my neck becomes a bit more shallow. My shoulders go back. My chest out. My belly in. My hips rotate forward at the bottom, allowing my lower back curve to reduce a bit. My stance and walk feel more comfortable. My mind becomes a bit more alert.

And I can use it in any situation, whether I walk, sit, stand, ski, or whatever I may be doing.

This is what seems to work for me right now. Perhaps not in the future. Certainly not for everyone. But for me, right now. And that’s what counts.

It made me reflect on key interventions. Sometimes, it seems we need to work on a range of issues and approach something from many different angles. And other times, we find a key intervention that allows for a relatively easy whole systems change.

And sometimes, the first may lead to the second. We may approach something from many angles and perspectives, and that ripens the system for a key intervention. Or in the process of exploring a range of approaches, we happen to find (what turns out to be) a key intervention.

In this case, the intervention is very simple and just a little nudge. And yet, it leads to relatively large and comprehensive changes through the system.

(more…)

Donate to Mystery of Existence

 

Due to a relatively high volume of visitors to this site, combined with having chosen to not put any advertisement here, it does cost more than I expected to host this website.

So, if you find the content here helpful or interesting, or something you would like to see around so others can benefit from it, would you consider making a donation? Any amount is welcome.

Thank you in advance! And, of course, I appreciate you as a visitor either way.

Donate through PayPal!

Embodiment

 

What does embodiment mean?

An awakening can be lived from to different degrees in different situations and areas of life. And embodiment is the process where we learn to live from the awakening in more situations and areas of life.

How do I invite in embodiment?

Healing. I invite in healing for parts of me that need healing. When something in me is unhealed, it tends to operate from reactivity and (unmet) fear. And when it’s healed, it’s more receptive to the awakening and living from awakening. When I say “healing” I mean healing of emotional issues, wounds, and traumas – small and large.

Maturing. Maturing in an ordinary human sense allows for a different and more mature way of embodying the awakening. When we live from awakening, how we live from it partly depends on our ordinary human maturity. And how do we mature? We mature through experience, living life, healing, and receptivity to maturing.

Familiarity. Embodiment also comes from familiarity with living from awakening. As we live from it in different situations and areas of life, we gain familiarity and experience. And that allows us to live from it differently.

Intention. Intention is crucial. An ongoing intention to embody the awakening in more situations and areas of life.

The two most important ones are probably intention and healing. The maturing and familiarity tend to come over time when the two first ones are in place.

I realize I have glossed over what awakening means here. I chose to let it go since it’s addressed in other posts.

(more…)

A simple logic

 

The world exists in and as time & space.

Something time- & spaceless must allow for it.

Both make up reality.

And that’s what we are.

It’s a simple logic. It has a mathematical simplicity.

And it’s also something we can explore for ourselves – in immediacy.

The easiest way I have found is through the Headless experiments and the Big Mind Process.

Note: When it’s said so simple, we see that calling it “spirituality” is too much. It’s much simpler than that. Much more immediate. Much more fundamental. And there is also a risk in making it so simple and so logical. The mind can tell itself that since it’s simple and logical, it gets it. But that’s not really getting it. Getting it is to find ourselves as the time- and spaceless that’s full of the world, and is the world. To find it in immediacy.

(more…)

All is grace

 

All is grace.

That’s often one of the things revealed in a spiritual opening or awakening, as it was in my case.

And then the mind can come in and differentiate out different ways of talking about it.

All is grace.

All is an invitation for healing, maturing, awakening, and embodiment of that awakening. This is at our human level. We can use anything for any of those. There is an invitation embedded in everything and every situation, if we are ripe and ready to make use of it.

All is the divine, it’s the play of the divine. All is inherently grace, as it is inherently consciousness, love, awakeness.

And in a different way, some things are more grace than others.

In a more conventional sense, we often use the word grace about something our minds like and that we feel we didn’t work that much for, or somehow didn’t deserve, or we had worked on for a long time but nothing happened and then it did. Examples here may be healings, good fortune, ease of life, a spiritual opening or glimpse, or a more stable awakening.

So in one sense, all is grace. At a human level, any situation is an invitation for healing, maturing, awakening, and – if there is some awakening – embodiment. As what we are, all is already the divine so it’s inherently grace. And in another sense, some things are more grace than others.

And some additional ways to talk about grace:

We can talk about fierce grace which really falls under the first category. Something happens that our minds don’t like at all, and we then find the blessing in it. And that happens when we are receptive to that blessing, and perhaps go looking for it, and sometimes when we actively make it into a blessing.

We can say that anything our minds like about our lives is grace. That anything exists at all is grace. That we are part of this amazing living planet is grace. That we were born is grace. That we have a certain measure of health is grace. That we got on a spiritual path is grace. Any spiritual opening or awakening is grace.

We can also say that if everything is grace, then nothing is really grace.

Also, grace is just a concept created by our minds. It’s not really inherent in reality. But it can certainly be a useful concept. It can help us open for it, look for it, and make it happen. And if we do, that too is grace.

And there is some usefulness and truth to each of these perspectives.

(more…)

The Man With No Head – Douglas Harding Documentary (video)

 

A documentary about The Man With No Head, Douglas Harding. I love the headless experiments and Douglas Harding’s way of talking about who and what we are. The documentary is created by Richard Lang.

No self, self, and Self

 

Some in the non-dual world talk about no self, conventionally we say we have or are a self, and some even talk about Self with capital S.

What if there is some validity to each of these?

Human self. There is certainly a human self in a conventional sense. A self made up of this body, sensations, thoughts, senses, behavior and so on.

No self. There is “no self” in a few different ways. All is a seamless whole, all is the divine, all is consciousness, and we are that, so there is no separate self within this. There is no independently existing separate self. Although there certainly seems to be when there is identification with and as that self. The self from above appears as a separate self, and what we are, when there is identification with and as it.

Self. And there is a Self with capital S. A Self that’s the divine, consciousness, love, Big Mind, what everything happens within and as.

The no self view can be understood from a systems view. Or as Carl Sagan said, “we who embody the local eyes and ears and thoughts and feelings of the cosmos….”, pointing to the wholeness of existence as our real or deeper identity.

And how do we taste it? We can taste it through various forms of inquiry such as the Big Mind process, Headless experiments, and sometimes Living Inquiries.

How do we invite identification to shift out of the self and into the Self? That’s perhaps most reliably done by examining the different identifications the mind has, allowing each one to soften and eventually release. We can do this from the consciousness side through inquiry (Living Inquiries, The Work), and it can also invite these to release from the energy side (Vortex Healing).

From a conventional view, we can see that a systems view is accurate. It’s all the universe or life exploring and expressing itself in all of these ways, including as selves taking themselves as separate selves. But it may seem a bit far-fetched for center of gravity to shift into this larger perspective. And yet, mystics from all traditions describe just that, sometimes as glimpses, and in other cases as a more stable shift in (or out of) identity.

When that happens, our human self is still here and it continues to operate more or less as before. But what we experience as our “real” self is all of existence, including the void it all happens within and as. A thought can describe it as consciousness, love, wisdom, appearing as all of existence, and that’s what we actually are.

So each of the three views has validity to them. There is a human self here. That’s not what we ultimately are. And what we are can be called Self with a capital S, as some traditions do.

And all of that are words with their inherent limitations. It will be misinterpreted, and that’s OK. Until this shift happens, and there is little or no need to talk about it. (Although we try anyway.)

(more…)

Shadow material surfacing in an awakening process

 

It’s common – or perhaps inevitable – for shadow material to surface in an awakening process.

What’s shadow material? Anything in us that’s unhealed, unmet, unloved, unrecognized as the divine. Anything in us we are unaware of, or deny, or see in others and not in ourselves. Anything in us we live from and react to without openly recognizing that’s what’s happening.

Why does it surface?

The mind’s ability to push it down is weakened or gone. In an awakening, the mind opens to all as the divine. And that opening is also an opening to whatever in us is still unseen, unprocessed, and unhealed.

It surfaces with an invitation for us to recognize that too – the most painful and unwanted parts of us and our experiences – as the divine and what we are. That is another piece of the puzzle. Another phase of the awakening and embodiment process.

It comes to be seen, felt, met, healed, and loved, allowing for a fuller embodiment of the awakening. It allows the awakening to be lived in more situations in our life. When life triggers something unhealed or unprocessed in us, we may respond by reacting to it. When that’s healed, we are more free to respond from clarity and kindness.

And what about the role of identification? The more identified our mind is with how it reacts to the surfacing shadow material, the more it tends to struggle and suffer. But it can’t just decide to not identify. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn’t. What we can do is notice what it all happens within and as. We can invite our center to shift somewhat in that direction. And although it may not make it any easier in the moment, we can remind ourselves that the cycles of identifications are part of the process. It’s part of what allows the mind’s tendency to identify to gradually burn out.

What can we do when we are in a phase of surfacing shadow material? Here are some thing’s that’s been helpful for me, at different times.

Go for walks. Spend time in nature.

Notice and allow. Rest with the noticing. Notice the space it’s happening within.

Invite it – and my reactivity to it – to heal through whatever approach works for me. In my case, inquiry, dialogue (kind, respectful), ho’oponopono, TRE, Vortex Healing etc.

See if I can find a way to meet it – and my reactivity to it – with kindness, respect, patience, allowing. Befriend it. Ho’oponopno, dialogue, and tonglen can be helpful here.

Find and talk with people who have gone through it themselves. People who understand and shows us we can get through it.

It can be a very painful process. It can feel unbearable and overwhelming. It can feel like it will never end. And yet, it does. At least the intense phase does, in my experience. And as more shadow material is seen, felt, healed, and loved, it does create more space and opening in our system for living from the awakening in more situations in life.

Note: I added the “dark night” tag to this post since an intense phase of shadow material surfacing is one form of dark night. It’s one of the things that can happen in an awakening process that the mind doesn’t immediately like so much.

(more…)

What teachers of meditation and spirituality need to know

 

A meditation practice can offer surprises, as can any spiritual exploration or path. And it’s good for whomever guides us to know about these.

What are some of these surprises?

Some are specific to a spiritual path, for instance…

Meditation or a spiritual opening leading to the lid being taken off unprocessed psychological material. This can be scary and overwhelming.

Energy system fried or destabilized. In or after a spiritual opening, high energies can run through the system and fry or destabilize it.

General psychological disorientation and destabilization.

Other wrinkles are well known from regular psychology.

Chasing states. Get a taste of a state and try to recreate it while missing the essence of a spiritual opening or glimpse.

Inflation. Seeing oneself as better than others due to spiritual openings, insights, or abilities.

Projections. Blindly projecting things out on others and overlooking them in oneself.

Giving away authority. Giving away ones own authority to a spiritual guide or organization.

When we chose spiritual guides or coaches, it’s wise to chose someone who has knowledge of these and knows how to prevent and recognize them, and can help people navigate through it or know who to refer to.

At the minimum, people who teach meditation or similar approaches (prayer, inquiry, yoga etc.) should be trained to minimize the risk of these, recognize the signs, and know who to refer to. And those who help navigate people through these should be familiar with the terrain from their own experience.

Since the second category is well known in mainstream psychology, quite a few guides have some skills and familiarity with how to work with those.

But in my own experience, not many teachers are educated or equipped to deal with the first category. For instance, when I needed guidance for grounding and stabilizing in the early awakening phase, what I found was teachers who were mostly or only trained to help people further open – which wasn’t what I needed at the time. Fortunately, I knew that I needed grounding and not further opening so I found my own way.

When I later went through the “lid taken off” phase, I was fortunately in a different situations and did find some who could offer guidance and support based on having gone through it themselves.

And I should mention that none of these wrinkles or hiccups are wrong in the big picture. They can be confusing, scary, uncomfortable, and destabilizing. But they are not inherently wrong. If they happen, they become part of the path, and – as anything else – are fuel for healing, maturing, awakening, and embodiment.

Note: There are, of course, no real “shoulds” here and no real “need” to know. I just decided to use a more conventional language. It would be more accurate to say that if people seek out teachers with this insight and experience, they can be guided through it more easily if some of these wrinkles happen for them. And teachers who familiarize themselves with it will similarly be better able to guide others, or at least recognize the signs and refer to someone else.

(more…)

Projections helps us find in ourselves what’s projected

 

Again, a topic I am revisiting from a long time ago (my teens).

Does projections have a function? Yes, they help us make assumptions about others and navigate in the world. And they help us, eventually and if we are open to it, to find in ourselves what we see in others.

We cannot see something in others if it’s not first in ourselves, at least at a very low level. So we have a quality or characteristic in ourselves. We use our familiarity with it – even if that familiarity is not acknowledged – to see it in others. That helps us make assumptions about others and navigate in the world. (This is imperfect but works sufficiently well in general.) And if we are open to it, we can use that to find it in ourselves.

So we have something in ourselves and are familiar with it here. We then see it in someone else or anything “out there” in the world. We use that to navigate and function in the world. And we can then use that projection to refind it in ourselves.

For instance, I have a bully dynamic in myself (as we all do) I am mostly unaware of or don’t acknowledge. I think Trump acts like a bully. I see the bully in him. And if I am open to it, I can use that to find how I act as a bully – perhaps in how I see him and in other situations in life. For instance:

In my mind, I call him names. (Idiot. Bully. Imbecile. Infantile. Egomaniac.) That’s a form of bullying.

I do that with others as well. If I go into reactivity, I sometimes put people down, make them into cardboard cutouts, and call them names in my mind. I bully them in my mind. (At least until I catch on and get on another track.)

I sometimes cut off people close to me if I don’t want to listen or engage in conversation or dialog about something. Instead, I could say “can we talk about this later” and mean it.

So projections have very important functions. And they make life more interesting.

Note: Our minds project whether it’s conscious or unconscious. Sometimes, what we project is something we are well aware of in ourselves. And sometimes not. And the former is usually more comfortable and allows us to function better in the world.

Making projections conscious and “owning” what’s projected in ourselves helps us heal and mature as human beings, and it also helps with embodiment of whatever awakening is here.

I should also mention that what’s projected is universal. It’s not really a question of whether something is here in us or not, but how and when it’s surfacing and expressed – even if at a very low level.

(more…)

In the world but not of it

 

When we talk about spirituality, the words and view often speak to a particular phase of the awakening process. It comes from a particular place too, which sometimes is the same and sometimes not.

I was reminded of this when I heard the phrase in the world but not of it.

It speaks to minds identified as a human being, but in the threshold of finding itself as something more than that. It’s an invitation to notice what we are beyond form. To find ourselves as consciousness, awakeness, Spirit. Here, there is still a duality and that’s fine. It’s a more transcendent approach and emphasis.

When this is a more stable noticing, other pointers may be more helpful. For instance, noticing that we are that which any experience – including our human self, our human experiences, and the world as this human self experiences it – happens within and as. The One noticing itself as all there is. This is more of the Big Mind and Oneness approach.

Of course, we can go directly to the Big Mind approach and many do. It just depends on inclination and what’s available to us in our culture and place (nowadays, geographic limitations are less of an issue, of course).

(more…)

Using oneself as template for others

 

This is something I see now and then.

A spiritual or healing coach or guide use themselves as a template for others. It’s as if they think “it was that way for me so it must be that way for others” or “it works for me so it must work for others”.

It’s natural and necessary to use one’s own experience when we guide others. But we are not in any way a template for others. We all have our own path. Our path unfolds in a unique way. What works for us at any one time may be different from what works for others and at other times.

So the best guides tend to help people find their own aims, path, and approaches that work for them. And when we speak, we speak from our own experience and make that explicit. “This is how it was for me, this was my path, this worked for me, and it may be different for you. But if you want to try something that’s within my experience and my arsenal, let me know and I’ll be of assistance.”

(more…)

Witness, then oneness

 

I thought I would make a quick note about the shift that happened in my mid-teens.

At the time, I was consciously an atheist although I was also very interested in parapsychology and research into parapsychology. I probably intuited there was something to it while also seeing the nonsense of organized religion.

When I was 15, there was a shift that was hard to describe at the time. It was as if the world became far away. Now, looking back, I realize that what happened was that I was absorbed into the witness. I became the witness function or aspect of consciousness. Or, more precisely, identification was released out of content of experience and into the witness or observing function. It was quite unsettling to my mind and I went to a range of doctors to see if they could find anything. Not surprisingly, they didn’t.

When I was 16, almost exactly a year later, there was another shift. This time, it was a shift into oneness. The One woke up to itself as all there is. Senses and thoughts etc. were still connected to and from this particular human self, but Spirit woke up to itself as all there is including this human self and anything going on with it. This lasted and there were quite a few side-effects such as huge amounts of energy going through the system, “downloads” of information, and so on.

When I later found Ramana Maharshi and Adyashanti, I saw that they described this very clearly, and they were the first ones I found who did. They even used some of the ways of describing it as I had done for myself early on. Others else seemed to cloud it over through remaining veils and ideas.

From what I have heard, the sequence of being absorbed into or as the witness followed by oneness is not atypical. I am sure it can happen in many different ways, and that sequence is probably also not universal. I am sharing it here just to have recorded this one example.

And, of course, this was just the beginning. I learned to live with and from it. I had a honeymoon phase that lasted several years. I did self-healing and embodiment work. I had a dark night of the soul. And it’s all an ongoing and always changing process.

(more…)

Discovering that troublesome parts of me are actually on my side

 

Again, a topic I am revisiting in life and here.

Some dynamics of the mind can seem like a problem, an “other”, and even an enemy. It may be uncomfortable emotions, distressing thoughts, compulsions, pain, or something else.

Seeing it as an enemy tends to create additional struggle and discomfort. So we can explore the triggering part of us. How is it get to know it? What happens if I befriend it?

I tend to use ho’oponopono or tonglen to befriend, and also dialogue or inquiry (The Work, Living Inquiries).

When I dialogue with this part, I tend to ask a series of questions. For instance: (a) What do you wish for him (me)? (b) What happens when you do as you do? (c) How could you do it differently? How can you do it in a way that helps you achieve what you really wish for him? (d) What do you want me to know? How can I be of assistance from my side? (The wholeness of my human self.)

What I find is that all these apparently unhelpful or uncomfortable dynamics are here to protect my human self. They are here to be of service. They are here out of kindness and love. The way they do it may be a bit unhelpful, but their intention is protection and care, and comes from love.

When I get to see that more clearly, perhaps through additional questions and explorations, I can genuinely say “thank you for your protection, thank you for your service, thank you for your love” to these dynamics.

On thing that happens here is that I see – and feel – that these dynamics come from a wish to protect and serve my human self, and we are on the same side. Before, they may have appeared as an “other”, a problem, or even an enemy. And now, I see that we are actually on the same side. We have the same intention for my human self. That in itself is a big shift. It’s a relief. It’s a new beginning. It’s a starting point for us – the dynamic and me as the wholeness of the human self – to work together in a more intentional and coordinated way.

Note: Are these really “parts” of me? In one way, yes. It can help the mind create an image of it when it’s called a part which can make a dialogue easier. They are more habital dynamics. Movements more than a thing.

Also, are they unhelpful or uncomfortable? Not inherently. They just operate as they do, and our minds says it’s helpful or not. And the minds struggle with it, with these parts of itself, is what creates the discomfort.

And this is something we tend to rediscover over and over, each time one of these dynamics surface. We often need to rediscover it with each new surfacing dynamic, although as we get more familiar with it it tends to be easier and quicker each time. Our system gets used to this new way of operating.

(more…)

My relationship to death

 

What is my relationship to death?

Here are some influences:

In infancy, it seemed I would sometimes float around and check things out instead of being in my physical body. Perhaps it seemed more familiar and comfortable. (I later checked some very specific memories of what I saw with my parents, and they were accurate.)

In childhood, I had flashbacks to life between lives. Infinite love. All as golden light. Infinite sense of being home. Infinite wisdom. Somewhere between timelessness and a faint sense of time. Wordless communication with formless beings expressing deep love and wisdom. And, when I could put words on it later, all as happening within and as the divine.

In my mid-teens, there was a classic awakening. Spirit woke up to itself as all there is, and of all life as the play of itself. Any sense of being a separate self was a temporary experience of the divine as part of that play. (This continued and there was an intense download of information and insights over several years.)

In my teens and twenties, I explored my relationship to death through exercises, for instance, those in The Tibetan Book of Death and Dying and in an excellent university course I did on death and dying (University of Utah). Later, I explored beliefs and identifications around death – of others and myself – through inquiry, the Big Mind Process, Process Work, and more. More recently, I have used Vortex Healing to clear conditioning around this.

I am sure there is still a good amount of universal human conditioning in me around it, in the forms of old beliefs, wounds, trauma etc. Some from this life (family and culture), some from ancestors (genetics and epigenetics), and perhaps some from past lives. I am not aware of much, but it’s probably there.

I have done Vortex Healing on people who have passed on, and got a sense of how they experience the new situation. Some days and weeks after passing, they can still be connected with and sensed even after shedding the physical body.

Since my childhood and early teens, I have been fascinated by and read university research on reincarnation, near-death experiences, and similar. Most recently, I read Surviving Death by Leslie Kean.

So this – and probably much more – influences and makes up my relationship to death. From own experience, I seem to know something about how it is between lives. I know I am not this body. I know it’s all the play of the divine. I have the usual human conditioning around death, and I have worked on and cleared some of it. My relationship to death and dying is a mix of many influences, as for all of us.

And whatever my relationship is, it’s good for me to identify painful beliefs that are still here, and invite in some healing for them.

How can I find these? For instance….

I can ask myself what I fear the most about death is…. what I fear the most about my own death is…. what I fear the most about the death of my loved ones is…. and make a list for each of these. (For the last one, make a list for each specific loved one in my life.) I can then take these beliefs to inquiry (The Work).

I can use therapeutic trembling (TRE) to release tension and stress around death. While I tremble, I bring death images, beliefs, fears, and scenarios to mind to invite tension and stress to release out of these.

I can continue to do Vortex Healing for those who have passed and get more familiar with how people pass.

I can do Vortex Healing for myself to continue clearing conditioning around death and dying.

Why would I want to do this? It helps me have a more clear, healthy, and responsive relationship to death, and be there for others when they deal with death. It may reduce some of my own pain when people close to me die. It may reduce some stress around my own death. It’s good for society to have people who have a more healed and clear relationship to death. It’s interesting. It heals and clears issues in me, and this that may be helpful for me living my life in general.

(more…)

Altered states: We are already living it?

 

I personally have not been very interested in “altered states” in a conventional sense. Perhaps it’s because I define it differently for myself.

So how do I see it?

We are always experiencing altered states. Our experience is always new, fresh, different. And, at least as I experience it, obviously so. It’s inevitable and doesn’t require us to do anything.

From another perspective, altered states seem easily induced by ordinary experiences, including food, nature, engagement in current activity, and so on. For instance, I just had a cup of hot cocoa and ginger (nothing else added) and it significantly changed my state and experience of myself and the world.

And from yet another perspective, the ultimate altered state is our ordinary human experience. The base state for existence is awake oneness. So when life (the divine, Spirit, the One) moved towards experiencing itself as separate, it created the ultimate altered state for itself. We are already living it, just by having the ordinary human experiences. As do Spirit when it temporarily made itself into innumerable beings – as part of this planet and possibly elsewhere – and the temporary experience of being a separate being.

So we are already living altered states. It’s inevitable. Our experience is always new, fresh, and different. Any activity creates a different and new state and experience. (We just need to notice.) And our ordinary human experience is the ultimate altered state for the divine, and all is the divine.

The only reason we would seek an altered state – as the term is used conventionally – is if we don’t notice the magic in our ordinary experience. And, of course, we are set up so many of us overlook that magic. That too is the divine experiencing itself through an altered state. That too is the play of the divine. That too is the divine expressing, exploring, and experiencing itself in always new ways.

Note: I am aware I wrote this from a slightly arrogant view. But, somehow, that was fun. I may do that more. Others sometimes point out that I often make myself small, so writing in a more direct way and revealing myself more is interesting.

(more…)

Healing for those who have passed on

 

When I do healing (Vortex Healing) for someone who has passed on, I sometimes know in advance they have died and sometimes have not yet been told. Either way, I tend to sense that’s what happened since the “anchor” of their physical body is not there and that’s relatively easily noticeable in these sessions.

Here are two contrasting experiences from these sessions. One was a man in Oregon I knew, and I read about his cancer on Facebook so I decided to do a session for him. I noticed he seemed to have lost his body and he seemed quite confused, reeling, and close to panicking. I focused on helping him find peace, center, and adjust to the new situation. Another was the sister of a good friend of mine I had done a few session for. When I checked in after she had just passed, she seemed relieved, peaceful, and feeling deeply at home.

I don’t know exactly why they seemed to have such different experiences. But I suspect the first may not have consciously familiar with his timeless existence and was confused after passing on. He may have been temporarily scared until he got used to it. And he may have had strong attachments to what he left (as I suspect many of us have), and perhaps he was scared for those he left. And in the second case, I knew she had a strong spiritual life so she may have felt relief from shedding a diseased body, peace from arriving home, and she may have had less strong attachments to what she left behind.

Note: I don’t have any reservations about using the word “died”. It’s often the most appropriate and direct word. But in this context, passing on seemed more appropriate. When talking from an ordinary human perspective, I usually say died. And when I talk about the parts of us passing on, saying just that seems more natural.

(more…)

My experience with Vortex Healing awakening courses

 

I thought I would make a brief note about changes I notice after each of the Vortex Healing awakening courses. It’s by no means complete, just the effects I especially notice or that are surprising to me.

Core Veil, Dec. 2017. A sense of tying up lose ends in terms of the basic awakening. Relief. Something found rest in my heart area. The healing energy seems to engage deeper in the client’s system when using the healing tools. Clearer sensing, including a sense of temporarily becoming whatever is the focus of healing (e.g. an organ or system).

Inner Veil, February 2018. A sense of being space. Of being awake space. More spacious energy system.

 

Silence or not during group meditation?

 

Having a Zen background (I lived for a few years at Kanzeon Zen Center in Salt Like City), I am used to silence during the sitting periods. If someone makes repeated sounds, it wouldn’t be unusual for the monitor – the senior monk monitoring the Zendo – to shout “sit still!!!”.

Silence allows for easier centering, inner silence, and focus, at least in my experience. And having to sit still also requires me to find a way to allow and give space to my own restlessness and discomfort instead of distracting myself through sounds or movement. That’s perhaps the greatest benefit and one of the reasons the silence-norm is in place.

When I first took a Vortex Healing class, I was surprised by the sound level. People seemed to move around and make quite a bit of sound (breathing, sighing, coughing, pulling in snot, moving, opening bottles, even reading through notebooks!) during the transmissions or meditations. It’s distracting, but the benefit is that I get to see my own reactivity to it, and it triggers some emotional issues (rooted in trauma), so I can then work on and clear those. In fact, due to my own discomfort from the noise level in the group, I am motivated to work on and clear those issues. I want to get a good portion done before next class…..!

So there are benefits to each approach. I also guess Vortex Healing has more of an Indian and Hinduism connection with it’s higher tolerance for noise (and chaos!), so that’s why they do it differently.

(more…)

Healing as a motivation for awakening?

 

People who express a desire for awakening typically have a range of motivations, some of which they are conscious of and some not.

One of these is healing. We wish for healing. It may seem a tall order. So we wish for something as apparently dramatic as awakening to cure us. And, again, this may be conscious or not.

How do we identify our deeper or original reasons for wishing for awakening, or anything else? One is to follow the chain of “what do you hope to get out of X”. What do you hope to get out of awakening? Peace. What do you hope to get out of peace? etc.

And what if healing is a central motivation for wishing for awakening? If we identify that motivation, it can help us reorient in a couple of different ways.

One is to find and use approaches that invite in healing and awakening. I tend to take this approach, which is why I have spent time exploring inquiry (The Work, Living Inquiries), heart centered practices (ho’oponopono, tonglen), therapeutic trembling (TRE for healing and embodiment), Breema, training a more stable attention, natural meditation (notice and allow), and more recently Vortex Healing.

If we find that healing is our main motivation, we may change our focus to healing and leave the awakening aside for a while. It may be more likely to give us what we really want, and perhaps the awakening interest returns at some point or not. Either way is fine.

In either case, it’s helpful to clarify our motivations and reorient accordingly. What do we really want? How do we most effectively invite it in? And that’s an ongoing process.

Also, we may find that some of our motivations for awakening come from fear or a sense of lack. If so, we can explore these and invite in healing for these parts of us. In my case, I have used the approaches listed above, but there are many helpful approaches out there.

(more…)

Why so passionate about healing and awakening?

 

Why are some of us so passionate about healing and awakening? Why are we, in the words of someone I talked with earlier today, spiritual terriers?

It may be that I need the healing. That I know the liberation on the other side. That I wish for a clear and deepening awakening because it’s like coming home to what I already am. That I see healing or awakening as a way to escape discomfort. That I have developed a compulsion around it because I don’t want to face my pain. Or any number of other reasons.

In reality, I don’t really know. Why do we develop a passion for anything? Why do some of us develop a passion for music, or chess, or a sport, or drawing, or anything at all?

We can say that it makes sense evolutionarily. It helps the survival of our species for some of us to develop passions for skills, understanding, and certain experiences.

We can say that it’s a confluence of innumerable influences, stretching back to beginning of time and the widest extent of the universe, and it’s impossible to account for all of them or even a significant fraction of them.

We can say that it’s the divine passionate about experiencing and exploring aspects of itself.

And although there may be some truth to each of these, we don’t really know. But it is something we can make use of when it’s here. It adds flavor to life. It can give a sense of meaning and purpose. It can sometimes be used to support our own life in terms of making a living. It can be used to support other people, in this case – of passion for our own healing and awakening – in aiding their healing and awakening.

I should add that when it comes to any compulsion, including in spirituality or awakening, it’s good to look at where it comes from. Is there a belief? An unexamined fear? A sense of lack? Those are all helpful to look at and invite healing for. Then we can approach it with a bit more clarity and sanity.

(more…)

Fearless

 

A snowboarder, Ester Ledecka, won gold in women’s Super G in the winter Olympics earlier today. As I watched her run, my mind thought fearless – that’s why she won. (In addition to technical skills and lots of practice, of course.)

What does fearless mean?

Does it mean without fear? Not really. We can act fearlessly even if there is fear. As some say, courage is to do something in spite of fear.

Does it mean not being stopped by fear? Yes, certainly. That’s a pretty good definition.

And how do we get there? How do we get to a place where we don’t stop ourselves when we experience fear? Here are some ways:

Inquire into the beliefs around fear. What are my stressful beliefs about fear, or situations triggering fear? What do I find when I investigate these beliefs? (The Work.)

Inquire into how the mind creates its experience of the fear, and the threat within the fear. Allow the bond between the sensations and thoughts (images, words) making up these charged experiences to soften and fall away. (Living Inquiries.)

Change my relationship to the fear. Dialogue with the fear. Explore how it’s here to protect me, and how it has a function and comes from care and love. (Voice Dialogue, Big Mind Process.) Use heart centered practices to befriend fear and what the fear trigger in me. (Ho’oponopono, tonglen.)

Rest with the fear. Notice and allow the sensations. Notice and allow the images and words. Rest with noticing it all. Allow it as is. Allow it as it’s changing. Notice the space it’s all happening within and as.

Use therapeutic trembling (TRE) to release tension and trauma related to fear and the fear-triggering situations.

If we have access to effective energy healing, like Vortex Healing, we can use that as well. We can invite emotional issues around fear, and reactivity to it, to clear.

And, of course, it helps to not have (too strong) expecations and something to live up to. In other words, to have investigated beliefs and identifications around that too, release the charges, hold it more lightly, and invite our relationship to it to change.

Fear has a function. It’s put into us through evolution to make us appropriately cautious. And when emotional issues and reactivity to it is released, that’s when we can relate to it with more clarity. That’s when it won’t hinder us inappropriately yet still serves the function of making us take appropriate action. It helps us not take too much of a risk. In the case of Super G, it may motivate us to develop the skills needed, and make sure we have the right equipment, to give it all on the way down.

Currently: Tying up lose ends

 

Although what I share in these articles is directly from my personal experience and journey, it’s written to emphasize the universal.

I tend to not flesh out the personal very much. Perhaps I wish to maintain some privacy. Perhaps I am a bit embarrased about the messiness of it. Perhaps I imagine it may be boring or tedious to read.

And yet, I know that personal and potentially embarrasing and messy details are what gives flavor and realness to writing, and what makes it more human and interesting.

Who knows, perhaps the wrinkles of my experience will match of up with the wrinkles of whomever reads this? So it seems a shame to leave it out.

I actually don’t know if I will include more of the personal and messy. Perhaps I will, slowly.

For now, here is a brief personal update:

Some years ago, on a major life issue and out of unloved / unmet / unexamined fear, I acted against my guidance and inner knowing. It was the beginning of a phase I can call a dark night, and in this phase, I felt more and more off course and more and more things fell apart. Eventually, it reached a phase where I lost my health, marriage (which was a good thing to lose at that point), house, and more. My life continued to go off kilter in many areas. (I have written more about this in earlier posts.)

This was followed by a phase of finding footholds which I then lost again.

And now, it feels like my life is stabilizing somewhat and I am starting to get some ground under my feet. It goes slowly, but perhaps that’s how it needs to be. And there is also a sense of tying up lose ends – in terms of my life (practical things), health, and the awakening process. And Vortex Healing is what has helped me the most in tying up these lose ends, especially in terms of my health and the awakening process.

Since I was introduced to Vortex Healing about two years ago, my body has stabilized and gradually gained core / basic strength. I have healed some central (universal) emotional issues. And things that went a bit awry in the awakening process feels cleared up and lose ends tied up. So right now, I am especially grateful for Vortex Healing having found me, for something in me responding to it, and for having had the opportunity to pursue it in terms of receiving sessions, taking courses, and applying it for my own healing.

Why do dark nights happen? Why are they common in an awakening process? As Evelyn Underhill outlined, a typical process consists of an initial awakening and honeymoon phase (illumination) followed by a dark night of the soul. And this dark night of the soul can have several different characteristics. Mainly loss – of health, relationships, roles, status, respect, sense of connection with the divine and so on. It seems that this may be needed, for some of us, to wear out remaining identifications and beliefs, and also so what’s unhealed in us can surface to be seen, felt, loved, healed, and recognized as the divine.

As Adya and others point out, the struggle we experience in a dark night is equal to the struggle we bring to it. The more we resist it, the more painful we experience it as. The more we hold onto identifications, beliefs, and identities that are incompatible with what’s happening and what’s lost in our lives, the more we suffer.

It’s tempting to think that the length and intensity of a dark night is equal to the struggle we put up. That may be partially true, but I don’t really know.

And, of course, the sequence that Evelyn Underhill and others have laid out is just a generalization. It’s something that’s relatively typical and an average pattern. But any one individual path may be quite different. It may have elements of the different phases, but they may happen in another sequence, and elements from more than one phase of the map may happen simultaneously.

(more…)

The veils of perception: a gift or curse?

 

When we speak about our veils of perception – the veils of identifications and beliefs – we can do so from one of two different perspectives.

One is that these veils are a problem. They hinder clear perception, they create suffering, they cause a lot of the problems we experience as humanity. And so, we may think that they are a problem, wrong, bad, a mistake and so on.

Another is that the universe and life is Lila, it’s the play of the divine. And for the divine to experience itself as limited and as separate beings, it created these veils to allow for just that experience. They are not a mistake. They are not wrong. They are part of Lila, the play of life, the divine, and the One.

Both are valid, and there is some truth to each view.

In the big picture, the veils are part of the play of the divine. They are how the divine is able to experience itself as limited and as separate beings each with their own experience, view, and perspectives on itself and life. They are how the divine is able to create an experience of drama and – sometimes – of an apparently very real life-and-death struggle.

And for us – the divine experiencing itself as limited and as a separate being with its own dramas, struggle, and perspectives – these veils are what keeps this perception in place. They do create suffering. They do limit us. They may be seen as a problem. That too is part of the play. That’s part of the divine experiencing itself as limited.

Alan Watts used a brilliant thought-experiment to give us a taste of Lila.

Imagine you can decide the content of your dreams, and that these dreams are lucid – you know you are dreaming as you are dreaming. You may decide to dream about pleasant situations and getting whatever you desire. After a while, that may get a bit boring. You may decide to throw in some challenges to make it more interesting. After some time, you realize it’s still not very exciting because you know you are dreaming as you are dreaming, so you decide to forget you are dreaming while dreaming.

What you dream seems real to you as it’s happening. That makes it more juicy and interesting. But that too gets a bit boring, so you throw in some more serious challenges, perhaps life and death situations and even dying and being born again. That’s certainly juicy, but that too gets a bit monotone in the long run. So you decide to dream that you intuit or realize you are dreaming, and wish for and work toward waking up.

That becomes a new and different challenge. It becomes the new drama. And then, eventually, you wake up. And you realize that the dreams, however real they appeared and however real the actual experiences were, were dreams. They were created within, from, and as what you are. Nobody really was born and died. Nobody was really harmed. The drama wasn’t as real as it seemed, although it certainly seemed and was experienced as real.

And that’s Lila. What we – at least many of us – would choose if we could decide the content of our dreams, is how the world is. And that’s because we are the divine living and experiencing Lila. We are the divine expressing, exploring, and discovering itself in always new ways, including through the drama of life as it is for us humans part of this living planet.

And what are the veils of perception? The expression may sound vague and general, but it can be understood in quite specific ways.

From the consciousness side, these veils happen when the mind identifies with certain thoughts and their inherent viewpoints. That’s how a sense of being a separate self is created. As soon as the mind takes itself to be the viewpoint of any thought, it experiences itself as separate. Instead of being that which any and all experiences happen within and as, including thoughts, it takes itself to be the perspective inherent in a thought, and usually a great number of thoughts. It tells itself it’s a being, a separate being, a certain being, a certain being with certain roles, identities, preferences, and so on.

From the energetic side – as described in, for instance, Vortex Healing – there are energetic structures that make these identifications possible and support these identifications. The divine creates these to allow for identification, and the aspect of Lila that involves experiencing itself as separate, as a separate being, as a separate being with identities, roles, and viewpoints, and so on.

And there are ways to explore both the identifications and the energetic structures, and invite them to unravel when the time is right. That too is part of Lila. That too happens when the divine – experiencing itself as a separate being – is ripe. That too happens through grace, which is another word for the divine being ready and ripe for it. What needs to play itself out for it to happen, has sufficiently played itself out.

(more…)

How awakening is perceived by others

 

How is awakening perceived by others?

Mutual recognition. If there is awakening both places – in both people – it’s often immediately suspected, sensed, or recognized. For instance, for those of us who sense or see energy, it’s relatively easy to see the level of clarity and type of awakening in someone else. (The energy around the person mirrors the awakening – it’s clear, finer, awake, with no apparent end in space.)

To others. If not, it depends. It depends on the level of healing, maturity, and embodiment of the awakening. And it depends on the role the person has in the world. Most often, the person looks quite ordinary and lives an ordinary life. The person may or may not talk about spirituality or awakening, and may or may not have taken the role of a spiritual coach or guide.

If he or she speaks about it, it may appear as an idea or something read in a book. (Since that’s it would be for the recipient.) Or it may appear as coming from direct experience the recipient has been told it’s from direct experience.

My experience. How has this been for me? During childhood, when I had flashbacks and memories of life between lives – and all as the divine – I didn’t talk about it. I just had a sense of nostalgia and a longing for “home”. In my teens, when Spirit as all woke up to itself more fully and clearly, I initially had no words for it and no intellectual context for it. After a while, I did speak my direct experience to a few people but they were either not interested or thought it was just an idea or from a book. Even people I thought would understand and be familiar with it – a few local Buddhist teachers and students – didn’t seem to recognize it and were more interested in traditional teachings.

Eventually, I did meet a couple who immediately recognized it. As me, they saw it in the energy system. One was a spiritual guide (Jes Bertelsen’s wife at the time), and another lived a more anonymous life and became a close friend. And later, I met others who have had a similar path as me and immediately recognizes it. Adyashanty is probably the main one. It felt like communication within awakening, and at a human level as meeting a brother, when I had the opportunity to talk with him for a few hours.

Over time, I also found writings from people who expressed this awakening or at least a view aligned with it.

In my teens, I could see that Jung had an inkling about it although he kept his writing at a human level. Arne Næss was aligned with it, although mostly through recognizing the oneness of Earth. As did Carl Sagan through the oneness of the universe. Fritjof Capra was similarly aligned with it through recognizing how eastern mystics and western science – quantum physics and systems theories – described the same reality. Ken Wilber, through his mapping, had a good understanding of it from an intellectual level and through glimpses. Jes Bertelsen was aligned with it and very important to me in my teens since he was a fellow Scandinavian. Some of the old Daoists expressed it quite clearly and beautifully. Some of the Christian mystics expressed it although filtered through their tradition and a wish to not appear heretical.

Later, in my twenties and thirties, I found others. Genpo Roshi obviously knew what it was about, and his Big Mind process was a good way to help others have a taste of what it’s about. (I was a resident at his Zen center for a few years.) Adyashanti is the one I experience as most clear and aligned with how reality revealed itself to itself in my case. Ramana Maharshi was almost a bit boring to me because it seemed too obvious (!). I really enjoyed Douglas Haring and his clarity, ordinariness, and playful pragmatism. I also enjoyed connecting with Joel Morwood and the other teachers at the Center for Spiritual Sciences which was just down the road from me for several years.

And, more recently, I am grateful for having found Vortex Healing and Ric Weinman. His very detailed descriptions and maps fit nicely into my more general views and experiences. And Vortex Healing has helped me greatly in healing at a physical and human level, and in clearing up and tying up loose ends from earlier awakenings (especially the VH awakening courses).

When I am on the US west coast I regularly meet people who understand and where there is a mutual recognition. But in periods, and mainly when I am in Norway, it’s been more lonely at a human level. I have yet to meet someone here where there is the same easy mutual recognition. Most of the time, it’s OK. But occasionally, I notice some emotional issues around this – and that’s an invitation to meet it with some kindness, patience, and perhaps invite in some healing.

A note about language: As usual, it’s a little hard to find the right words talking about this. An awakening is the One awakening to itself as all there is, and that awakening somehow operates through this human self. So we cannot accurately say that a person awakens, or that someone is awakened. It’s more that the One is awake to itself as all, and that’s expressed and lived through a human being. Our ordinary language doesn’t express that very well or easily. So we have a choice between using ordinary and simple language which is somewhat misleading and inaccurate, or a language that’s more accurate and often more convoluted and awkward, or something in between. I often go for the inbetween option although that too is not always so satisfying.

A note about the One awake to itself as all. I realize that when I write “Spirit / the One awake to itself as all”, it can easily be misunderstood. It’s meant literally. All of existence is awake to itself as Spirit. Even what we experience as matter is consciousness, space, and Spirit. And in this awakening, it’s clearly revealed as that. It’s not an intellectual understanding. It’s an immediate and clear recognition that’s expressed through language.

(more…)

Dread & Terror – befriending & inviting to heal

 

At some point in the dark night phase, I asked to the shown what’s left. And within a week, an overwhelming dread and terror surfaced. It lasted for about 9 months and then gradually subsided over the following years.

Of course, emotions or experiences are not a problem in themselves. They are expressions of life. They are put into us by evolution and have a function. They are expressions of – and are – Spirit, of what we actually are beyond our human appearance. They help us survive as human beings and point us to healing, maturing, and awakening.

And yet, we often struggle with our experiences and perhaps especially so with dread and terror.

The context: How we relate to our experiences. How we relate to our experiences depends on how we experience them. It seems obvious, and yet it’s easy to forget. If we struggle with them, the struggle itself will create discomfort. And if we befriend them, we have an opportunity to relate to our experiences with more clarity and kindness.

Since the dread and terror was with me for months (strongly) and years (in the background and in the heart), I have had ample opportunity to explore my relationship with it. My mind saw it as an enemy, as a problem, as something to get rid of, and created more suffering for itself that way. (And still does, now and then, with other experiences.) So I set out to explore other ways of relating to it.

I reminded myself that the dread and terror, too, is the divine. I found it when I looked.

I explored it and how I relate to it through dialogue. I found how it’s there out of a wish to protect me, out of kindness, and really as an expression of love. (Big Mind process etc.)

I investigated beliefs and identifications in me fearing and struggling with it. (The Work, Living Inquiries.)

I used heart-centered practices to see how it is to shift my relationship to the dread and terror. (Ho’oponopono, tonglen.)

And gradually, my relationship with it shifted. It seemed less an enemy, and more myself, life, and Spirit.

How I relate to my experience is the context. And by exploring it, I may befriend it and see it as myself, as life, as Spirit, and even as love. As something that’s OK as is. Something in me relaxes in relation to it.

The content: Inviting in healing. Within that, out of kindness, I can invite healing. Here are some approaches I found helpful with the dread and terror.

Therapeutic trembling. TRE (Tension and Trauma Release Exercises) has been very helpful for me. It has helped release tension and trauma underlying the dread & terror. It has helped my system relax as a whole. It takes time, and TRE works best if it’s ongoing and regular, and it has worked very well for me.

Notice and allow. Notice the sensations and images / words making up the experience of dread & terror. Notice. Allow. Give it space. Notice the space around and within it. Notice it’s already allowed. The mind – and space, life – already allows it. Rest with it, as is. Also notice and allow any reactions to the dread & terror. Notice and allow the fear, the wish for it to be different. Include that too. Rest with it, as is.

Separate out sensations. Notice the sensations making up the experience of the dread & terror. Rest with the noticing of the sensations. Notice, allow, and rest with the sensations making up any reactions to it as well. Include all sensation. Notice. Allow. Rest with the (noticing of the) sensations.

Inquiry. Identify stressful beliefs around the dread & terror. Inquire into them and find what’s more true for me. (The Work.) Explore how my mind creates its experience of the dread and terror and reactions to it. (Living Inquiries.)

Heart-centered. Explore how it is to change my relationship to the dread & terror and my reactions to it. How is it to befriend it? (Ho’oponopono, tonglen.)

Vortex Healing. More recently, I have used Vortex Healing for these issues. For instance: Do puja 5 min/ day for a while to help it shift. Hold it in the grid. Denetwork any emotional issues behind and related to it. Bring it to the issue awareness room, issue transformation room, meet your pain room etc. Use the main tools to clear conditioning. And so on.

So we have the context, which in this case is how we hold the whole situation. Do I see it as a problem, an enemy, something that really needs to change? Or can I befriend it, see it as myself, as an expression of protection + kindness + love, as life and Spirit? Something that’s OK as is?

And we have the content which, in this case, is a natural wish – out of kindness – for healing. Inviting in healing in whatever ways we are drawn to and have available to us.

The dread & terror was an invitation for healing, maturing, and awakening, as anything in our lives is. I learned about working with these types of emotional issues. I learned about how these things can happen in an awakening process. I learned how the dread & terror came up to be recognized (as Spirit), met with understanding + patience + love, and with a wish to heal. I invited in healing for those parts of me. I got to see and clear some beliefs and identifications around it.

So although it was immensely and overwhelmingly painful at times, it was also – overall – an amazing opportunity for healing, maturing, and awakening. It has genuinely been a precious gift.

As a human, I would probably not have chosen it. But life chose it for me. And in the big picture, it’s a very good thing.

There is another side to this: we rarely if ever make full use of these opportunities. There is always something left to explore, find healing for, and awake to. And that’s OK. There is always more to explore, find healing for, and awaken to. Noticing that is also a gift.

Note: I should mention that in my case, a non-dual opening/awakening that lasted for about half a year may have “taken the lid off” of old trauma. That, in addition to my “dangerous prayer”, is most likely what brought up this dread & terror. And the dread & terror, most likely, came from many larger and smaller traumas from this and past lives. If any particular issue was at the root of it, it was perhaps a raw and primal survivial fear.

(more…)

I cry -> there is crying -> life is crying

 

Ordinarily, we’ll say “I am going to the store” and “I feel sad”.

But in some circumstances, we may use a different language. For instance, when identification is released out of being a separate being, and we want to be more precise or highlight a certain facet of life or orientation to life.

We could say “there is crying” or “crying is happening”. When identification is released out of being a separate being, those words are accurate and reflect an immediate experience. There is the experience of crying happening – and not “to” anyone – so those words make sense. It may also reflect a slightly detached orientation. And it’s something we tend to hear more in neo-Advaita circles.

We could also say “life is crying”. Life is all there is, and right here and now it’s crying. It’s manifesting as crying. It expresses itself as crying. It’s experiencing itself as crying. This reflects a bigger picture and emphasizes the fullness and life. It may also reflect a more engaged orientation. Buddhist and mystics independent of traditions seem to use this language more.

Either of these are accurate in their own way. “I am crying” makes sense in everyday life, also because most minds experience it that way. “Crying is happening” reflects that it’s happening on its own and not “to” anyone. And “life is crying” reflects the fullness of life and a more engaged orientation.

From what I understand, for most there is a natural progression from “crying is happening” (detachment) to “life is crying” (engagement, fullness). For me, it went to “I am crying” to “life is crying”. And the “crying is happening” orientation was within the fullness of “life is crying”. Both were (are) there but one was more the context for the other.

(more…)

Byron Katie: The ultimate addiction is the mind believing itself

 

The ultimate addiction is the mind believing itself.

– Byron Katie

This is perhaps the only addiction, at least from the mind side of the mind-energy equation. The mind is addicted to believing its own stories. And from there, the other addictions are created.

The mind is addicted to believing its own stories. It uses a lot of energy and resources maintaining, supporting, and propping up its stories so they seem true to itself.

It does so because it’s familiar, other minds do the same, and it seems scary to do anything else. Who would we be without those stories? How would we function? What would we find?

Also, most minds don’t know how to release its addiction to beliefs. We are unable to, so it often doesn’t even bother trying. Until, perhaps, the pain of believing stories is so strong and obvious that we wish to find another way.

And a few words about addiction.

In a conventional sense, we can say that most addictions come from trying to deal with pain, wounds, and a sense of lack. We try to fill a hole. We try to avoid the pain. We try to find some temporary relief and comfort. And we do so through a wide range of addictions – whether it’s entertainment, relationships, nature, work, music, books, food, spirituality, drugs, alcohol, or something else.

Addiction is the mind’s safety valve. It’s natural. And yet, it can create a lot of additional problems in our lives. And it does prevent deeper healing, awakening, and embodiment.

Addiction is also how we often get on the path to healing and awakening. Eventually, the pain inherent in it is too much. We see it doesn’t work. It’s a dead end. We wish for something else.

The original addiction is believing painful thoughts. That’s how the pain is created that leads to and fuels the other addictions.

So what’s the solution? Of the many out there, here are some I am familiar with.

Rest with and allow sensations, including the uncomfortable ones. Rest with and allow any experience, including the uncomfortable ones. Make this a new habit.

Inquire into the painful thoughts. Find what’s more true (The Work). Allow the charge to go out of them (Living Inquiries).

Release the tension fueling the pain and addiction from the body. (Therapeutic tremoring, TRE).

Change your relationship to the painful stories and what they are about, and the pain itself. Befriend it. (Ho’o, tonglen.)

Release and clear the emotional issues fueling the addiction(s). (Vortex Healing.)

Train a more stable and pliable attention. This is a useful tool for any endavour.

Addiction is a universal human experience. We are all addicted to something in a conventional sense. And we are all addicted to believing thoughts as well. It’s natural. It has a function. And yet, it’s painful and unsatisfactory in the long run. So it’s also a gift that can set us on the path of healing and awakening. And there are ways to heal addictions, especially if we have the right tools and guidance, and motivation and persistence.

Mapping experience: type, strength & frequency, engagement

 

How do we map our day-to-day experience?

It depends on the purpose. But a good starting point may be to include these facets.

The type of experience. Sad, happy, angry, content, elated etc.

The strength of the experience. Is it strong or weak? Overwhelming or barely noticeable?

The frequency of that particular experience. Daily. Every few days. Every hour. Every few years. Never. Once?

The level of engagement. How engaged are we with it? Do we engage and struggle with it and spin it into a number of other stories and emotions? Is it easy to see that it’s just passing and visiting, and allow it as is?

Type, strength, and frequency can be helpful to pinpoint emotional issues to find healing for. And the level of engagement shows us how wrapped up in it we tend to be. If it’s just something that’s passing, it doesn’t really bother or impact us much. But engagement with it may influence our experience and life quite a bit.

In everyday life, there may be faint sadness from reading a story in the news. It’s allowed, passing, and not engaged with. In a conventional depression, there may be frequent and strong sadness that’s strongly identified with. And in a healing or awakening process, there may be strong emotions and thoughts but they are allowed, welcomed, and not engaged with much. They are recognized as living their own life and passing.

(more…)

Identifying topics for exploration, healing, clearing

 

Most of us are satisfied with a certain level of emotional healing. We take a pragmatic approach and just do what’s needed for a good life. It’s a sane and good approach.

Some of us avoid healing. That’s understandable since emotional healing often means facing discomfort and can lead to shifts in how we see ourselves and live our lives. It’s disruptive.

And some of us, like me, has a passion for healing (and awakening). It’s hard to say where it comes from. Why do some get into collecting butterflies, or running, or photography? We are drawn to something, and then make a story about why afterward. That’s how it is with me and healing. I am passionate about it, as are some others, and we don’t really know why.

If we have that passion, how do we chose what to focus on?

For me, it happens in two ways.

(a) I explore what’s up in my life. Life and my mind brings up an issue that needs healing. I take note of it. And work on it the same day. Current examples: Some unrest about an upcoming journey. Slight discomfort when “stuck” in a space with many other people (like train, plain). Slight distress about losses from the past (lost opportunities).

(b) I have lists of universals, own central wounds and issues, and things that come up in everyday life. And I work on these as I have time and opportunity. Current examples: Mother and father issues from childhood (a good universal). Any emotional issues that may contribute to the fatigue and brain fog (a universal for those in my situation).

How do I work on them? In the ways I often mention here. Inquiry. Therapeutic trembling. Heart-centered practices. And these days, especially, Vortex Healing.

P.S. Here are some of the “why” stories my mind makes up to explain my passion for healing (and awakening and embodiment). It’s an adventure. It makes me feel more whole and alive. It brings a sense of coming home. It reduces discomfort and pain. It helps me function better in everyday life. It helps me help others. It gives me experiences and insights that helps me guide others. And really, life is moving that way through me right now and that’s all I need to know.

(more…)