Dream: Robbed my famous Danish artists

 

I return home and see the door open and a group of Danes there. I realize they are robbing my place and talk to them and explain my situation. (My health situation, don’t have much income and only the most necessary belongings etc.) The ones I talk with seem to understand and they return some of what they have taken. After they leave, the neighbors over me say they recognized one of the men as a famous artist and the others as part of the community around him. I also talk to someone who recognized them because he has studied and written about their art. He tells me who they are but is not willing to testify. As he leaves, the art scholar points to a painting that hangs in a gallery across from my place. It’s large and is a kind of ice berg made up of colorful cubes.

Earlier in the dream, I live somewhere else than I do in waking life, perhaps somewhere in Europe. When I return home and find them in the process of robbing my place, it’s where I live in waking life. And when I talk with the neighbor and the art scholar and writer, it’s in Denmark, probably Copenhagen. The painting is good but not the type of art I resonate with them most.

My home is robbed by artists. They haven’t taken much, and they return some before they leave. They seem reasonable and friendly enough. I get the impression they have some anger against the ones they perceive as bourgeoisie. When I talk with them, they realize I don’t really fit into that category as they see it, so they soften a bit.

Also, it’s interesting that artists rob me since I was an artist in my late teen and early twenties, thought that would be my life path, and have some moments of slight discomfort when I remember and what may have been.

As I am about to wake out of the dream, I sense that it’s the artist parts of me that are resentful because they are rarely in use in my life now. They rob me to get attention. I didn’t get the sense that they robbed me because they needed to. It was more out of resentment of the person they thought I was – more bourgeoisie.

I wish to bring the artist parts of me more out and in use. And I am aware that I appear more bourgeoisie – in clothing and otherwise – than I am.

When we are authentic, we natural straddle the conventional and the more unconventional and even radical.

How my meditation practice changed when the CFS got stronger

 

I had a long meditation practice before the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome got significantly worse some years ago. I found I couldn’t continue my practice as before, and struggled with it for a while, until I started to find my way.

So how does it look now?

I do a very simple basic meditation of noticing and allowing. Notice what’s here. Allow it as it is. Notice it’s already allowed as it is. Adyashanti has some very good guided meditations on this, and Natural Rest is another way into it that works well. It’s also the basic meditation found in Buddhism.

I find heart-centered practices very helpful, including tonglen and ho’oponopno. This helps shift how I relate to myself, others, situations, parts of myself, and existence in general.

Pointers for noticing what I am are helpful, especially Headless experiments and (a simple version of) the Big Mind process.

Sometimes, I also do some inquiry, especially simple pointers like the ones from Adyashanti. How would I treat myself right now if I was someone I deeply care about? How would truth and love view this situation? And so on.

Beyond this, I sometimes do more in-depth inquiry, for instance through The Work of Byron Katie and Living Inquiries. And I do some somatic work, especially Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) and Breema.

In general, I have found a more relaxed way of doing these practices. And it’s more about noticing what’s already here than creating anything or going somewhere.

Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things XVIII

 

This is one in a series of posts with brief notes on healing, awakening, and personal things. These are more spontaneous and less comprehensive than the regular articles. Some may be a little rantish. And some may be made into a regular article in time.

USING INSIGHTS TO FEEL SAFE

Someone on the periphery of my life came to my mind, and I thought: She is using her insights to feel safe.

She is someone who does have some insights, and her job is to consult and give advice to others.

At the same time, I have noticed that she latches onto a small piece of information and jumps to one her insights as a remedy, without having a fuller sense of the situation. She tends to insist that the other adopts her particular solution. And she does this uninvited.

So although I don’t know the full picture (!), I imagine she is using her insights to feel safe. She may latch onto them to feel safe, and she tries to get other to agree and adopt them so she feels it’s supported by others.

And, of course, this is me. I do this too. It’s a different and perhaps slightly amplified version of how I am.

I sometimes latch onto insights – aka ideas – to feel more safe. I am happy when I find others who agree and – sometimes unwittingly – support me in latching onto these ideas for safety. And I sometimes give unsolicited advice, perhaps not so often in real life but certainly in my mind.

Click READ MORE for more of these brief notes.

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Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things XVII

 

This is one in a series of posts with brief notes on healing, awakening, and personal things. These are more spontaneous and less comprehensive than the regular articles. Some may be a little rantish. And some may be made into a regular article in time.

NORMALIZING BELIEF MAKES US LEAVE REALITY MORE EASILY

When we normalize belief, we normalize leaving reality. We normalize saying that my opinion is as valid as yours, even if I know next to nothing about something and you are a scientist who have devoted your life to studying it.

We in the western world live in a Christian culture, and this is a culture where belief and faith is normalized.

In Christianity, we are asked to believe what someone tells us without having the ability to check it for ourselves. We are asked to take things on faith. And this belief and faith is praised and encouraged.

From there, it’s a small step to do the same in other areas of life.

A clear sign of this is that it’s common to use the word belief outside of religion, even when the topic is clearly something that belongs to science and not opinion or belief, or it belongs to expert advice and not opinions of random non-experts.

For instance, someone asked me do you believe in climate change? It’s not a matter of belief. It’s a matter of science, and just about all climate scientists – people who have devoted their lives to study it – agree on. It’s happening and it’s created by human fossil fuel consumption.

Another example is the question do you believe in UFOs? It’s phrased as if it’s a matter of belief, as if our belief somehow is important or relevant. In reality, UFOs are a question for science – or experience – and what we personally think or hope or fear or imagine is irrelevant. (Unless we take a psychological and sociological perspective, in which case it’s an interesting question.)

Would we see this era of conspiracy theories and fake news if Christianity hadn’t taught us to abandon rational thinking and instead believe? I am not sure. I can’t help wondering if it plays a role.

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Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things XV

 

This is one in a series of posts with brief notes on healing, awakening, and personal things. These are more spontaneous and less comprehensive than the regular articles. Some may be a little on the rant side. And some may be made into a regular article in time.

THE SUPERIORITY OF HUMANS?

His work is contentious, he says, because it calls into question the superiority of humans.

– from The secret life of plants: how they memorise, communicate, problem solve and socialise in The Guardian

Even since I was a kid, I have found the idea of inherent human superiority a bit (or a lot!) ridiculous.

The idea comes from our culture, and perhaps many cultures around the world. It comes from a power-over orientation and is used to support this power-over orientation. It’s how we tell ourselves it’s OK to imprison non-human beings, use them as slaves, eat them, torture them, and destroy their natural habitat.

The reality is that we are one species of animals among many. We happened to be one that developed symbolic language, technology, and more. And we are able to control and make use of other species for our own apparent benefit so we do, and we have found ways to justify it so we can pretend we feel better about it.

That’s about it. There is nothing inherently superior about humans. We are one of many species. We are a part of the living seamless whole of Earth as everything else. We are the local eyes, ears, feelings, and thoughts of the universe, as many other species are in their own way.

Last but not least, any sense of superiority comes from an idea of superiority. It’s not inherent in life or reality.

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My early longing: a longing to return home to the divine

 

As a child, and I remember this best at elementary school age, I had a longing. I would wake up in the morning, feel this longing, and not know what it was for. I had my favorite food – cornflakes or bread with strawberry jam, I read my favorite comics (Carl Barks’ Donald Duck stories), I read my favorite books (Jules Verne, Sherlock Holmes, Hardy Boys, Famous Five), I spent time with my parents, I played with friends, and nothing did it. Nothing helped alleviate the longing.

When the awakening happened age sixteen, I finally understood what the longing was for. The longing was for coming home – to all as the divine. To recognize all, without exception, as the divine and the play and unfolding and exploration of the divine.

I imagine the longing had a more human element as well. I longed for a deeper and more real relationship with my parents. But a large part of the longing, perhaps fueled by this more human longing, was for coming home.

This longing was fulfilled, and is being fulfilled. It’s a process. Returning home is something we don’t need to since we are always here. And it’s also an ongoing unfolding process and exploration.

There are two ways to talk about this. One is that the longing is to return home to what I am – as capacity for the world as it appears to me, as what all my experiences happen within and as. The other is that this is a longing for a return to the divine, a return to recognizing all – without exceptions – as the divine and the unfolding and play of the divine. The first is what I call the small or psychological interpretation of awakening, and the second the big or spiritual interpretation of awakening. The awakening itself is the same, it’s just how we talk about it that’s different.

Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things VII

 

This is one in a series of posts with brief notes on healing, awakening, and personal things. These are more spontaneous and less comprehensive than the regular articles. Some may be a little on the rant side. And some may be made into a regular article in time.

DOES AWAKENING HAVE TO TAKE A LONG TIME?

Yes and no.

The taste or glimpse of what awakening is about can happen within minutes, for instance through the Big Mind process and Headless experiments. Most people can find it pretty quickly and many can even learn to notice it in daily life.

And the process of clarifying, learning to notice in more and more situations in daily life, and exploring how to live from or within it takes time. It takes (at the very least) a lifetime and is ongoing.

Is a glimpse of what we are – through inquiry or something else – really awakening?

Again, the answer is yes and no and it’s a bit more complex.

The noticing is often real. And there may be more to clarify and notice and certainly more to stabilize and living within it to do. Although that’s how it often is for any awakening.

The image many have about awakening is something that comes suddenly and perhaps without much forewarning. Those certainly happen and they tend to be more dramatic and often with bells and whistles. The drama and bells and whistles are side-effects. They not essential for the awakening and can even be distracting.

So a more apparently mundane noticing – with the help of inquiry – has some upsides. It’s less dramatic and that is, in a way, its advantage. It helps us notice what it really is about and that special or unusual states are not a requirement at all. We can notice it in daily life, in our most mundane states. We are less distracted by drama and states and bells and whistles.

DRAMATIC AND QUIET AWAKENINGS

To continue a theme from the previous post: Awakenings can be dramatic or more quiet, and we often go through both types at different phases in the awakening process.

Each one comes with upsides and downsides.

What’s the upside of the more dramatic awakenings? They certainly get our attention. And they can create lasting and big shifts in how we perceive ourselves and the world. (As can any other form of noticing.)

What’s the downside of the dramatic awakenings? They come with side-effects, including the intensity, strong awe, bliss, and so on. And it’s easy to be fascinated with these side-effects and states and seek to experience them again. We can even take the awakening to be about these side-effects.

What’s the upside of the quiet noticing and awakenings? It’s easier to notice that what it is about is what’s here independent of states and experiences. It’s a simple noticing of ourselves as capacity for ourselves and the wider world. Our ordinary mundane experience is perfect for us to notice what we are.

And what’s the downside of the more quiet noticing? It can be almost too ordinary and quiet, especially if we have an image in our mind of it needing to be more dramatic to be a “real” noticing and awakening. If we have this conditioning, it can seem too simple, ordinary, and unremarkable and we may dismiss it or see it as not it. (This comes from a lack of maturity and may fall away with time.)

One is not “better” than the other. The dramatic ones can get our attention and may be just what we need in some parts of our process. The quiet ones helps us notice what we are through any states and experiences, including the apparently very ordinary and mundane ones, and is exactly what we need in other phases of our process.

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Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things VI

 

This is one in a series of posts with brief notes on healing, awakening, and personal things. These are more spontaneous and less comprehensive than the regular articles. Some may be a little on the rant side. And some may be made into a regular article in time.

AWAKENINGS AS EXPERIENCE OR NEW CONTEXT

When we discover ourselves as capacity for the world – for this human self and the wider world – it can be more or less clear and stable.

When it happens, it may seem it will last forever. After all, it seems so obvious. And time and space and the world happen within it so it can’t really be lost. Right?

And yet, it may pass. Our mind may get caught in old identifications and beliefs again, often when an emotional issue gets triggered.

If it goes away, it can seem like an experience and we may call it “awakening experience”. It’s something that seems to have happened in the past and perhaps something we wish to happen again.

If it doesn’t go away, then it becomes the context for our continued human life.

When the awakening passes, it seems like we are in time and the awakening happened in time. When it becomes a context for all our experiences, then we realize that time happens within us.

This makes it sound very clear cut but it’s often far more messy.

We may shift between the two for a while. We may assume the awakening is a state since that’s all we consciously knew before this happened, and we may chase it as a state. After a while of going through all sorts of states, we may realize that what it’s about is not a state. It’s the context of all our experiences. It’s noticing ourselves as capacity for our experiences, and this capacity noticing itself. And we can notice this independent of changing experiences and states. It’s not dependent on any particular experience.

We can notice it as well in an apparently ordinary and mundane state, and perhaps easier here since there are less fireworks and distractions.

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Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things IV

 

This is a post in a series of posts with brief notes on healing, awakening, and personal things. These are more spontaneous and less comprehensive than the regular articles. Some may be a little on the rant side. And some may be made into a regular article in time.

HEART PRACTICES

If I was going to recommend one practice, what would it be? Inquiry? Meditation? Body-oriented practices?

It depends on the person and their situation and what they are looking for.

But, in general, I would say heart-centered practices.

Heart prayer. Ho’oponopno. Tonglen. Christ meditation. Or something similar.

Practices that helps us reorient in how we relate to ourselves, others, the world, and existence in general.

To the extent we allow these practices to work on us, they can be deeply healing and transformative. They also support awakening, and they support living from – and as – this awakening.

CHRIST MEDITATION

I have gone back to heart prayer (Jesus Prayer) and Christ meditation over the last few days.

The heart or Jesus prayer is simple and from the Eastern church. Say in your mind a simple prayer, for instance: Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me. Synchronize it with the breath so the first half is on the in breath and the second half on the out breath. And then synchronize it with your heart beats. (Lord Jesus Christ _ Have Mercy Upon Me.) Keep saying the prayer through the day.

It may be easiest to start with the words, then add the breath, and finally the heart beats. After a while, it becomes second nature. And after a while, it’s as if the prayer is saying itself. There may even be a sense of it continuing during sleep.

Give yourself over to the prayer. Allow it to work on you. Notice and allow.

A good informal introduction to this prayer is The Way of a Pilgrim. Some of the descriptions of the effects of the prayer may seem fanciful but most (all? I don’t remember anymore) are accurate from my own experience.

The Christ meditation is also from the Eastern church. Visualize Christ in whatever form works for you (for me, as light and consciousness) in your heart, in front and behind you, and over and below you. Perhaps 1.5 meters outside the body. Rest with this. Allow it to work on you.

And if Christ doesn’t resonate with you, use any expression of the divine that works for you. This practice is also found in other traditions, for instance in Tibetan Buddhism where you use your Guru or an aspect of Buddha Mind.

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My own story: Before and after initial awakening, and the awakening itself

 

I thought I would write a few words about the initial opening or awakening that happened relatively early on in me – aka this human being’s – life. For context, I have added some short notes on what went on before and after.

First, some background

Before school age, I had flashbacks to the time between lives. It would often happen when sunshine was filtered through moving leaves. It was a memory of a formless world made up of consciousness and golden light and love, and an infinite sense of being home. I had not labels for this. And although this was alive here and now during these moments, I had a longing in my heart through my childhood.

In elementary school, we had one class on Friday about Christianity. This quickly made me into an atheist although I didn’t know anyone else who were. (My parents were and are open-minded agnostics.) I thought Christianity – as presented in those classes – seemed stupid. Why would you believe what other people told you to believe? Why would you believe something you can’t check out for yourself?

During elementary and middle school, I was very interested in parapsychology – ghosts, ESP, UFOs and so on.

Age fifteen, something happened that was deeply puzzling to myself and others. It felt like “I” was removed far from all content of experience, from my human self and the wider world. Later, I realized that the center of gravity of what I seemed to be had moved into observering. This lasted for about a year. Before this happened, I had experienced the not uncommon teenage angst and stress, and also social anxiety.

Then the awakening

Age sixteen, I walked up the dark gravel road to the house under a dark sky full of stars and a wind blowing through it. From one moment to the next, everything opened up. Everything without exception was revealed as God. Any sense of me or I was seen as a local and temporary appearance of God.

Everything – the stars, sky, wind, gravel road, houses, this human self, thoughts, feelings – is awakeness, love, and consciousness. Everything is the play of God. Everything is God even if it looks like something else to most humans.

On the one hand, this was shocking and completely surprising. After all, at my human level I had very little interest in religions or spirituality. On the other hand, this was more familiar to me than anything else. It was like finally coming home after several years of having forgotten it.

Why did it happen at that moment?

Who knows. I suspect the previous year – of having been absorbed into or as the “I” or observer – prepared the ground. And the night sky, the stars, and the wind reminded me of the infinite and that’s what woke up to itself in that moment.

This didn’t go away. It lasted. And in the years since, I have learned to be more familiar with it.

For the next few years, several things happened.

There was a sense of huge energies running through my system. It felt like high voltage running through regular housing wires.

I started seeing energies – first around leaves on a tree against the blue sky and later around everything. I also discovered I could sense what was going on in the system of others and invite in healing for it.

I had a huge amount of insights, often non-stop during the day and when waking up during the night. I filled several notebooks. (Similar to this blog.)

I had a lot of inspiration for music and art. Compositions and art came to me ready-made and I did my best to translate it into something physical.

Since I had nobody in my life even remotely interested in this, I kept it to myself. I wrote. And I looked for others who had discovered the same. I read a lot of books, and saw that some Christian mystics and others seemed to write from the same discovery although often slightly obscured by tradition and perhaps other things.

I did find two who recognized it in me right away – my friend BH and the then-wife of Jes Bertelsen HB. (I just noticed that their initials are reversals of each other.) They recognized it by looking at my energy system, as I tend to recognize it in others.

The intensity mellowed out over the next ten years or so and it all became more familiar and normal.

And then what went on after, what some call the life within God

From age 24 and on, I lived at a Zen center for a few years, then moved and worked with sustainability, and I had some years without much involvement with spirituality (apart from passion for sustainability). Then, the interest came back and along with it a more clear and peaceful shift in the awakening.

This was followed by several challenging years – aka a dark night of the soul – with loss of health, loss of ability to work, loss of marriage (which was very good), loss of house and money, loss of (some) friends, and a lot of old trauma surfacing.

And no, the awakening didn’t clear out all human hangups and emotional issues, and it also didn’t clear out all identifications. I still had and have hangups, emotional issues, and trauma, although I suspect a lot of charge in much of it has been released. There are still identifications here. And yet, all of this is recognized as the divine and expressions of the divine.

The awakening itself as an awakening out of taking ourselves as an I or me or human being, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot left to be cleared up. It’s an ongoing process of clarification, healing, maturing, learning to life from it, and supporting the different parts of me still living from separation consciousness to align with reality.

Am I special to have had this happen? Since it’s the divine waking up to itself as all there is, it’s just what we are and what everything is waking up to itself. It “forgot” itself locally and temporarily and then noticed again. That’s not really special at all. Also, it’s not the human self waking up. It’s reality waking up out of taking itself as exclusively that human self. At the same time, it’s true that it doesn’t happen through all humans but that’s also of the play of the divine. As someone said, it’s the divine playing hide-and-seek with itself. Nothing is wrong. One is not inherently better or worse than the other.

What’s the most baffling thing in all of this? That anything exists at all. That there is an existence – a divine – that can play this game with and within itself.

I rarely talk about the initial awakening so it feels good to finally write it here.

And yes, I still remember the spot I stood on on the gravel road when the initial awakening happened, and the date give or take a few days. (It happened between Christmas and New Year.)

A note on perspective: I chose to write this mostly from the perspective of my human self. I could have written it more from the view of the divine or Big Mind and may do that later.

And a synchronicity: I had written “view” in the previous sentence with quotation marks around it since Big Mind doesn’t really have a view. It has all and no views. I decided to remove the quotation marks to not confuse the reader unnecessarily, and thought to myself “Big Mind doesn’t really have a view”. As I did this, the lyrics of the song I was listening to said:

You know well what I’ve been through
Living there without a view

– from Moonshine by Caravan Palace

Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things V

 

This is one in a series of posts with brief notes on healing, awakening, and personal things. These are more spontaneous and less comprehensive than the regular articles. Some may be a little on the rant side. And some may be made into a regular article in time.

IS THE UNIVERSE CONSCIOUS?

I have seen this article floating around for a while: The universe may be conscious, say prominent scientists

The first that strikes me is that if the universe as a whole is conscious, that’s not more weird than individual beings is conscious. What’s really weird is that anything exists at all and that consciousness itself exists. How and where it exists are just minor weirdnesses within a much bigger weirdness. Or minor questions within this much bigger mystery.

Also, this ties into what mystics of all eras and cultures describe. To ourselves, we are consciousness and the world – as it appears to us – happen within and as this consciousness. From here, all of existence definitely appears as consciousness. To us, it appears as consciousness.

If it – in itself – is consciousness is another question. It may well be.

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Reality vs spiritual traditions

 

Reality is always more than and different from what any spiritual tradition can capture. That’s why any sincere exploration has to go beyond the confines of any one tradition, and even all of them combined.

That doesn’t mean that traditions are useless. They can be very helpful.

They can be a good place to start and – for some – can be a good support throughout the process.

They can give us pointers and practices helpful in our own exploration. Some of these may be helpful at certain phases of the process and some – the more basic ones – throughout.

They give us a community of fellow explorers. In the best case, we feel less alone, can share experiences, and find support.

They have guides who can give us practical support in our own exploration.

As for myself, I didn’t belong to any religion or spiritual tradition as a kid. So when the awakening happened in my teens I was free to explore any and all traditions to find fellow travelers, pointers, and guides.

I did naturally seek out traditions at first. I found glimmers of real wisdom from mystics and teachers in the past, and especially from Taoism and Christian mystics. But as for what I found in person, it was mostly disappointing. Mostly, I found people without any real experience or awakening repeating what someone else had said.

The real insights and personal experience was something I found in people outside of the traditions. I found it in a dear friend (BH) who has remained a close friend. And I found Jes and Hanne Bertelsen from Denmark who clearly spoke from experience and awakening and draw from the wisdom of several different traditions.

Later, I found it in Adyashanti who was trained in Zen but does his own thing. I belonged to Center of Sacred Sciences in Oregon for a while and they draw from all the different traditions. And when I earlier – in my twenties – lived at a Zen center, there was a mix of traditional practice and a more innovative approach – specifically the Big Mind process developed by my teacher there.

I am profoundly grateful for the traditions. They pass on wisdom and experiences by innumerable awake and clear people. (And sometimes things less from clarity!) They offer people a place to learn and practice. They offer a community. They offer guides. I have gotten a lot out of practices, pointers, guides and more from traditions. And I admire people who are happy within a tradition and stick with it for the long term.

At the same time, it doesn’t seem to be for me. For me, it makes more sense to draw from whatever I find and delve deeply into one thing at a time and then keep exploring. Reality is more important than any tradition and I also know that traditions offer valuable support in this exploration.

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Nature spirituality in a oneness context

 

Nature spirituality is seeing – or experiencing – nature as divine. As an expression of the divine. The creation of the divine. Or as the divine.

This can be more of a thought or feeling. It can be a sense or intuition. Or it can be a direct and unmistakable experience and perception.

It can happen as a phase of the awakening process. Or it can happen within a more clear awakening.

It can happen outside or inside of traditional forms of religion or spirituality. Either way, it borrows language and ideas from the culture and tradition(s) we are familiar with.

A more nature oriented spirituality is perhaps especially important today since it helps us find love for and a wish to care for nature and Earth.

Some who are into nature spirituality may see humans as special and somehow apart from the rest of nature. Others see humans as an intrinsic part of the Earth community and all of nature as “us”.

Nature spirituality may focus on untouched nature or any nature. Or it can include humans and human culture and civilization. These too are – in a very real sense – nature and an expression of this living planet and of divinity. (Culture and civilization currently have an ecologically unsustainable form but that doesn’t make it less of an expression of Earth and divinity. It just happens to take this form right now and it can change.)

How does nature spirituality look in a oneness context?

It tends to happen as part of a more general awakening process, as I have hinted at above.

It can happen within separation consciousness with some glimmers of oneness. These glimmers can come as a sense or intuition of nature as the divine or an expression of the divine, and there can be an early sense or glimpses of oneness.

It can also happen within a more clear perception of oneness. Here, there is a recognition that all is the divine and nature is one expression of the divine. And one we chose to honor and emphasize, either from personal inclination or because we realize it’s important as part of the culture change we need in order to survive as a species.

Whether it plays out within mainly separation consciousness or oneness depends on the usual factors in awakening. For instance, a sense or glimmers of oneness and a gradual “thinning of the veils” and wearing out of identifications.

Since I have written several articles about the awakening process in general, I won’t go into it here.

How can we cultivate or open up for nature spirituality?

Several things may put us on a nature spirituality path. It may be an experience or glimpse of the divinity of nature. It may be a deep love for nature, perhaps from childhood experiences. It may be something we read or heard that sparked something in us.

We can cultivate it by being in nature. By finding a community of others exploring nature spirituality. By engaging in rituals and practices like the practices to reconnect by Joanna Macy. By investigating any beliefs and identities standing between where we are and a deeper connection with nature. By exploring and inviting in awakening in general.

My personal experience

After writing this, I realize I can add a few words about my own experience to put some flesh on the bones.

When I was little, I loved nature. My parents took me on many outings to fish, pick berries, hike, and ski. We spent many weekends and vacations at the cabin in the mountains or near Oslo. I often played and explored in nature, in the forest, and by and in lakes. When people asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, I often said zoologist.

In late childhood, perhaps around twelve years of age, I was mesmerized by Cosmos by Carl Sagan and would walk outside, look at the stars, know that I was starstuff looking at the stars and the universe locally bringing itself into consciousness, and feel a strong belonging to all of nature and the universe. Around the same time, I slept under the stars in the mountains in Norway and had a profound – and life changing – experience of belonging to the universe as a whole.

The spiritual opening happened in my mid-teens and this was an awakening to oneness. It happened when I walked along a gravel road under a dark starry sky with a strong wind blowing through the sky. It was as if the vastness of the universe – the infinitely deep darkness, the stars, and the big wind – opened up something in me. All was revealed as God, as consciousness, as Spirit, and nothing was not this. It was Spirit waking up to itself locally and through and as this human form. During this time – for the next many years – there was a profound sense of the divine as all there is – the stars, the wind, nature, humans, and human culture.

Eventually, all of this normalized. Now, all matter and nature and anything else is clearly consciousness – or the divine. There is an inherent sense of awe in it. But there are no bells and whistles. It’s familiar. It is, in a sense, ordinary. Something extraordinary and ordinary at the same time.

For the sake of transparency: During this time, I could see there were some identifications left and a slight sense of “I”. At the same time, I knew these didn’t point to anything ultimately true or real and I largely saw through it and saw it for what it was.

A confession

As I started writing this I got lost in describing the different elements of nature spirituality and more or less forgot about the oneness context. My brain is working less well today, probably as part of the usual brain fog and fluctuations that comes with chronic fatigue. I decided to just leave this article as is. Perhaps there is something of value in it anyway.

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My experience of myself and the world

 

The way we experience the world often seems ordinary and unremarkable to us. We may not pay much attention to it. Although when we are on an awakening path, this tends to change. The question of how we experience ourselves and the world comes more into the foreground.

What’s the context of my experience?

It’s relatively easy for awakeness to notice itself and that content of experience happens within and as what I am. (Another label for this is oneness.) In daily life, particular content of experience is often in the foreground for practical reasons but that it’s happening within and as awakeness is always here and easily noticed.

There is also a noticing of the void all happens within and as, including the awakeness all content of experience happens within and as (!).

Is there a sense of a me or I?

Yes and no. In daily life, it’s easy to know that this human self is “me” and the one other people take me to be.

I notice a slight tension in the forehead and the roof of the mouth that feels a bit like “I”. I recognize it for what it is, and there is probably more for me to explore and see through here.

When I get caught in emotional issues, there is a stronger sense of a me and an I, although there is also an awareness of what’s going on. This too is happening within and as awakeness, it’s a temporary and local appearance, and not any ultimate truth. (Although if it’s strong, I may feel, experience, and even act as if it is.) This is something I am aware of and keep exploring, and I typically work on the emotional issues that come up.

Is this awakening?

This isn’t awakening as a state or somewhere to arrive. But it’s a snapshot of a particular phase of an awakening process. The process is ongoing and it seems unlikely to have an arrival place. There is clearly a lot further to go in clarity, healing, and embodiment, and that’s more than OK.

How is the content of my experience these days?

It keeps changing as any content of experience does. My system has a lot of fatigue right now so I notice the fatigue and rest. Sometimes, contentment is more on the surface with some low-grade other things in the background. And sometimes, different emotions are more in the foreground. When that happens, I pay attention to what it seems to be about and often explore it through informal inquiry and do some basic Vortex Healing for it.

Do I always explore what comes up?

Yes and no. I explore it in the sense that I notice it and make a mental note that this is something to continue to explore and perhaps find healing for. Sometimes I go more in-depth right away or within a few days. Sometimes, it goes on the back-burner and I know I may address it more in-depth if or when it comes up again in the future.

In general, how is this different from how most people experience themselves and the world?

I assume the essence is the same. The awake space everything is happening within (and as) is here whether we consciously notice or not. And our content of experience always changes and includes all the usual human experiences.

What’s different between this and most people’s experience?

The main difference may be that here, the awakeness – what all experience happens within and as – notices itself a bit more than what seems average these days. (And that can change – both here and in the world.)

So there isn’t that much of a difference between awakening and no awakening?

Again, yes and no. The awakeness is here and all our content of experience happens within and as it. In some cases, this is noticed – or it notices itself, and in some cases, there is identification as a me and I within this content of experience.

It seems somewhat fluid. I assume everyone has moments where they live more from the oneness (flow states etc.) and then a thought comes in saying “this human self is who I am, try not to forget it too often”.

There is a spectrum from what we are noticing itself to being caught up in identifications, and we are probably not aware of how far the spectrum goes in each end.

There is also a spectrum to how this is reflected in our life. At one end is a human life thoroughly reorganized within oneness noticing itself as all there is. This typically involves a lot of healing of emotional issues. At the other end is the extreme of living from separation consciousness and emotional issues and traumas. Most of us are somewhere in-between and shift somewhat fluidly along the mid-range.

What’s the main difference between my teens and now?

It’s actually not terribly different from my teens, following the initial spiritual opening or awakening. (Age sixteen.) The main difference is that there is more peace with the whole process now. Back then, it was intense and at time overwhelming and confusing. Now, it’s more familiar and – in a sense – ordinary.

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Initial awakening phase: strong energies and lots of noticing

 

For a few years after the initial awakening (age 16 to mid-twenties), there was an experience of huge amounts of energy running through my system combined with an equal amount of insights and noticing. The essence of just about anything I write about here, and more, was first noticed and brought into awareness back then.

People sometimes talk about “downloads” as part of an awakening process. I understand why. In some ways, it feels like a download. The combination of huge energies and an enormous amount of insights can make it feel like something is downloaded. But that’s the mind’s interpretation.

It seems far more likely that there is a huge amount of noticing – and insights coming out of this noticing.

In terms of the energies running through my system, I thought of it back then as high voltage running through regular housing wires. It felt overwhelming in many ways. And it went along with seeing energies, ability to sense and heal at a distance, inspiration for art and music (I would see and hear it ready-made), and more. I also sensed my physical body – and anything physical – as space and light.

In terms of the noticing and insights, it would come so fast that I sometimes wasn’t able to write it all down. I would try to write down one or two sentences for each one throughout the day and also sometimes during the night.

Memory from between lives

 

Since it seems slightly unusual, I thought I would mention it here. (I have written about it briefly before.)

As a child, I sometimes had vivid flashbacks. It seems they were often triggered by a sunny day and sunlight filtered through the moving leaves of a tree. The flashbacks felt like memories from before this life.

I feel profoundly at home, living in and as a golden light, living in and as profound wisdom and love. There are formless beings here and wordless communication and knowing. All is happening within and as an infinite sense of being home, a gentle bliss, and infinite wisdom and love.

All is Oneness filled with a golden light, infinite wisdom and love, and some formless beings I can wordlessly communicate with. All is happening as timelessness although with a slight sense of time.

The words don’t nearly do it justice. And I didn’t have those words back then, of course.

I had these vivid flashbacks up until about school age.

From then on, I would sometimes wake up in the morning with a deep longing that nothing could satisfy. I tried all my favorite things – spending time with my parents, eating strawberry jam sandwich, drinking hot cocoa, reading Carl Barks stories, playing with friends – and nothing could satisfy the longing.

When the initial awakening later happened (age sixteen) and everything without exception was revealed as God – I realized what the longing had been for. The longing had been for all as the divine. For home.

The home I had flashbacks to as a kid and that was revealed to me as always here when I was sixteen.

About the same time, I also realized that the flashbacks – and the initial awakening – in some ways were similar to near-death experiences. I have always felt a kinship with people who have had near-death experiences although I haven’t had any myself. The effects on my life seems similar to how people describe the effects of near-death experiences.

There is a second (and third) part to this which I may write about later. I have also included the initial draft which includes a few paragraphs about it.

In short: In the initial awakening (which never went away), there was a more clear memory of the time between the lives. Specifically, I remembered being “told” by about a dozen formless beings that it was time for my next incarnation. I was shown some general things about this life. (Mainly, that it was important for me to incarnate now because humanity was going to go through challenges and a transformation and I could help.)

I was also asked if I wanted to incarnate into this life. I said “yes” although parts of me meant “no”. It seems to have created some trauma in me and this lack of clear communication reflects a pattern in my life that has been painful. When I have gone back and replayed it differently, I found that I could say “I know it’s right and good, and yet I don’t want to leave”. I would be met with deep understanding and love, and felt I could do it from a more wholehearted yes.

Note: When I say “formless beings” I mean that they were beings without physical body or any body with a form. I assume they must have had energetic bodies. And they and everything else happened within and as Oneness, within and as the divine.

Note II: This was initially written March 20, 2017 but I didn’t publish it for whatever reason. I decided to rewrite it slightly and publish it today, April 6, 2020.

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Birth mark reflecting an injury from a past life?

 

I tend to not write so much about classic “paranormal” topics here. I don’t doubt much of it is real, and I have ongoing experiences that confirms seeing auras, sensing without using the physical senses, life after death, and so on. Still, there are two reasons I tend to not write about it: It can unnecessarily push people away. And I prefer to write about things that are more practical and pragmatic. So here is an exception.

I am reading Surviving Death by Leslie Kean and it’s a well written introduction to serious research on what may happen after death. Most of it has been familiar to me for a while except one little detail that caught my attention.

People who have memories of being shot in a past life sometimes have birthmarks where the entry and exit wounds were.

During the initial awakening in my teens, I had a very vivid and strong dream of being a Russian anarchist in 1850s Russia. Somehow, I had knowledge of his full life and all the details belonging to that life.

He was an intellectual and spent time in Paris. He loved literature and art. And he was part of an informal anarchist group that had some members who wanted to use violence. Since he saw the use of violence as counterproductive, he said he would alert the authorities if others planned to use violence. Unsurprisingly, this was not well received.

In the dream, I ran over a frost covered field and knew I would be assassinated that morning. Shot through the head. It seemed very much like my most recent past life, and when I have checked with people with psychic abilities they have agreed.

When I shaved my head for the first time a few years ago, I noticed a birth mark on the side of my head. Until I read that paragraph in Leslie Kean’s book, I hadn’t made the connection between that birth mark and the apparent past life. The birth mark is exactly where that exit wound would have been.

So it may be that the dream did reflect a past life. And that the birth mark reflects my traumatic death in that life. Who knows but it’s an interesting connection, especially in light of the research Leslie Kean writes about in her book.

Note: This was initially written March 20, 2017 but I didn’t publish it for whatever reason. I decided to rewrite it slightly and publish it today, April 6, 2020.

Out-of-body experience when I was a few months old

 
Me when I was 8-10 months old, excited about a rabbit

I see my parents and older brother walk on the sidewalk to the house I grew up in. I am in a stroller. It looks like spring. I see it all from 20-30 meters up in the air. We continue walking up the gravel road to the house. Something large, rectangular, and white is in front of the house. Inside the house, I see that the walls in the large bedroom has old dark wallpaper.

This is my earliest memory and seems to have happened when we moved into a new house in the same small town they lived in before I was born. Everything is in a birds-eye perspective, apart from when I was floating around in the house and checking it out.

This apparent memory was very vivid and I never really questioned it. It just seemed to be what happened. When I asked my parents about it in my mid-teens, they confirmed everything. They had walked from the old house to the new. I was in a stroller. It was an early spring day. The white rectangular thing in front of the house was the moving van. The old wallpaper was there and they painted over it almost immediately.

I don’t remember any other out-of-body experiences. It may not have happened at other times. Or this one may be the only one I remember since it was a big milestone in my young life. I may have been three or four months old when this happened.

Could it have been just a regular in-body memory? It’s possible but seem unlikely. Why would I convert a regular in-body memory to an out-of-body memory? The birds-eye perspective was unmistakable, and I did see the moving van from above.

Why do I remember it? Perhaps because it was an out-of-body experience? Perhaps that makes it more easy to remember?

Could I have imagined it all? Not likely since my parents confirmed everything.

Warrior and CFS

 

This is something I am in the middle of exploring so my insights around it are not so clear right now. (Of course, it’s a pitfall to assume that our understanding about anything in life is ever very clear!)

There is definitely a biological component to CFS (Epstein-Barr infection prior to onset of CFS etc.) but that may not be the whole picture.

I have long suspected there is a connection between suppressed warrior archetype / energy and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), at least in my case. Part of this suppressed warrior archetype is suppressed anger. And it has been suppressed because of adopted family and cultural norms and patterns, and more specifically through people-pleasing and sacrificing my own needs and passions in order to please others.

When I am intentionally in contact with my inner warrior and anger, I feel stronger, more solid, more authentic, more real, more grounded, and I have more energy. I seem to be able to do more without crashing.

I should say that the energy behind anger is, in itself, a more neutral energy. It can be expressed in many ways, including as determination, focus, and authenticity. It doesn’t have to be expressed in what most people think of as anger, although that can be appropriate as well. And if it’s expressed as anger, then the more we are free from beliefs and emotional hangups around anger, the more we can express it in a healthy and constructive way.

I should also mention that several people (senior Vortex Healers and teachers) have said that I seem to have had several lives as a warrior and that the trauma from these lives is still with me. It seems that this has especially surfaced the last few years in order to find healing. I don’t know, but I can easily see myself as having had several warrior lives in the past. And some of the trauma I have explored in myself definitely fits war trauma. Whether it’s literally true or not, the image definitely highlights something in me that needs attention.

In German New Medicine, they see feeling off track as connected with CFS. That also fits my experience. When I first got CFS, I was fifteen and felt lost and off track in life. The CFS symptoms subsided in my 20s and 30s, perhaps because I felt on track and had a strong sense of purpose in life. After several years in a marriage where I felt I couldn’t be myself I similarly felt off track and the CFS returned, and this time stronger.

Why did I feel off track? A major reason was people-pleasing and that I set aside – and didn’t embody or make use of – the warrior archetype in my life. If I had, I would have made very different choices and I would – very likely – have felt much more solid, authentic, and on track in life.

Of course, I don’t know if this had anything to do with the onset of CFS, or the maintenance of it, or what role it will play in healing from it. But I will certainly continue to explore it and do my best to bring the warrior back into my life.

What does the warrior archetype mean to me? It means being more real, authentic, honest, determined, passionate, and being a good steward of my life and – as best I can – the world. It means to stand up for myself as needed, and for others and the world. It means to use the energy behind anger and channel into all of this – authenticity, realness, honesty, determination, passion, and anything else.

How do I work with it? I can easily access the energy of the warrior and just being in contact with it – and use it for daily life activities – helps a lot. I am also actively working on any issues holding me back from living more from the warrior, and this mostly means fears and beliefs that it’s dangerous. (Which it is but that’s OK, that’s part of the game.)

In terms of approaches, work with it using inquiry, dialog, and Vortex Healing (especially choice points has been helpful) and so on.

Why do I say “the energy behind the anger”? Because what’s experienced and expressed as anger is something else before it takes that particular form. It comes from a more neutral and primal energy. And this energy can be channeled in different directions. It can be suppressed. It can be expressed as healthy or unhealthy anger. It can be expressed as clarity, determination, authenticity, honesty, groundedness, fearlessness (not allowing fear to stop me), and action.

Why do I chose to work on it? Because it can’t hurt. At least, it can give me a better quality of life. And it may even free up resources in my body so it can more easily heal itself.

If there is a connection between the warrior archetype of CFS, what may it be? It may be that suppressing the warrior (through people pleasing etc.) somehow sets up the system to be more susceptible for CFS. For many, a mononucleosis infection (Epstein-Barr) lasts a few days, is over, and has no long-term consequence. For some, it precedes CFS. The difference may be a combination of genetics, personality / emotional issues, ongoing and acute stress, and perhaps more. And in the personality / emotional issues category, we may find suppressing the warrior and anger. Who knows. At the very least, it’s worth exploring and see what happens when I free the warrior. (As I did in my late teens and twenties when my health was much better even though I still had CFS.)

Updates a few days later…..

Family background. I thought I would add a few words about how this pattern was created in my life. My father is a warrior by nature and has used that energy in his work and life outside of the family. But in the family, he suppresses his anger, emotions, and warrior. His motto is: Don’t speak up about anything. Don’t rock the boat. And especially when it comes to my mother. I was distressed by this dynamic even as a very little child and spoke up about it, but was told – as I was in many other situations – to be quiet and pretend nothing is going on. I adopted this pattern, by necessity, and unfortunately learned to not speak up, not stand up for myself, and instead be a people-pleaser. (Enneagram nine.)

The regrets I have in my life come from times when I didn’t speak up and didn’t stand up for myself when I needed to and it was appropriate. In other words, I learned to hide my inner warrior. I learned to hide my warrior nature. And – as mentioned above – this may be connected with the CFS. At the very least, going out of this pattern and standing up for myself more regularly will help me a lot in my life and improve my quality of life. And, who knows, maybe it even will help bring me back to a more robust health.

Spiritual dark nights and warrior. When I went to Nepal and India in my twenties, I wished for some kind of spiritual transformation. Instead, what I got was learning to stand up for myself. And that is a spiritual transformation. It’s part of embodiment.

When I occasionally mention the dark night I have been going through for a few years, most people think the transformation has to do with learning about or discovering interconnectedness, compassion, empathy, living for the larger whole, and so on. But for me, it’s the reverse. I did all of that in my teens, twenties and thirties. What I didn’t learn was to stand up for myself consistently and when it was needed in life. (Of course, I need to deepen in the oneness side too, but for now, what seems more important is to learn to take care of my human life with more consistency.)

The dark night obviously has had to do with healing old traumas and emotional issues, and seeing and questioning remaining identities and beliefs. But a big part of it is exactly this: learning to stand up for myself. Learning to be a good steward of my own life. Learning to take care of the individual side of the individual vs. collective/oneness side of the equation.

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Owl synchronicity

 

I lived in the countryside outside of Madison, Wisconsin, in the late 90s. At the time, my then-wife and I went to the Unitarian Society in Madison on Sundays. (This is the Unitarian building designed by Frank Loyd-Wright.)

One winter Sunday, the minister talked about Grey Owl, the British man taking on a Native American persona in Canada and giving talks and writing as if he was a born Native American. (If I remember correctly, the talk was about how he was authentic in feeling and living like a Native American although others saw him as a fraud when his English background was publicly revealed.)

The talk impacted me deeply since I have always had a deep admiration for and resonance with the Native American cultures. On the way home, driving along a silent winter road in Mount Horeb, we saw a large Snowy Owl sitting on a branch over the road. It seemed like a scene in a movie with the beautiful freshly snow-covered winter landscape and the owl sitting right over the road in front of us. We stopped the car and watched the owl for a while in awe. The owl then silently and majestically dropped off the branch and glided along the road and out of sight.

It was a powerful synchronicity and the talk and Snowy Owl experience made a deep impression on me. It started a phase in my life where I delved more deeply into Native American literature and the Native American world. (I had always been drawn to it, since early childhood, but this gave me an opportunity to go a bit more deeply into it.) I watched the movie about Grey Owl. I read his books. I read any other books I could find written by Native Americans. I read Native American stories and mythology. I took part in sweat lodges led by a Sioux holy man. And it generally deepened my earth-centered spirituality and appreciation for the Native American cultures.

Lucid dreaming and waking life: all happening within and as consciousness

 

A friend of mine (JL) mentioned that he wants to explore lucid dreaming. Although I understand it can be fun, I have to admit I don’t quite see the usefulness of it.

When I was little – perhaps 7-10 years old (?) – I decided to try lucid dreaming for myself. Before falling asleep, I set the intention to realize I was dreaming while dreaming. It happened and was mildly interesting (I became aware of it as a dream while being chased by peasants with pitchforks!), and I haven’t explored it since.

Of course, there is one side to lucid dreaming that is interesting and somewhat useful. Both in a dream and in waking life, all of our experiences happen within and as consciousness. Perhaps for some, it’s easier to first recognize this within a dream and then notice it in waking life.

For me, noticing all as consciousness happened spontaneously when I was sixteen so I haven’t felt the need to explore this through lucid dreaming. It may be a useful approach to some. Although it may also be a detour from the more direct approach of noticing it in waking life, for instance assisted by inquiry.

Note: I intentionally kept the language more conventional when I said “noticing all as consciousness”. It’s more accurate to say that consciousness notices all as itself. And even that is not so accurate since “consciousness” is a label and something the mind easily can understand as a thing or object, and it’s not a thing or object. The most accurate way I have found to talk about it is that what we are – that which all experience happens within and as – notices or wakes up to itself. And even that is just a pointer. A temporary guide or springboard to finding it for ourselves. The words themselves are not worth anything apart from as a pointer.

Vortex Healing experience: birds at night

 

Since Vortex Healing is the modality I explore the most these days, I thought I would share a few everyday snippets of experience related to Vortex Healing.

When I took the my first Vortex Healing class (Foundational) in April 2016, I was in Rancho Mirage in Southern California. The night before traveling to the class, a large flock of birds settled in a bush right outside my open French doors and – loudly and enthusiastically – sang and chirped in the middle of the night. It started perhaps at 2am and went on for a long time. It was very unusual – I have not experienced anything like it before or since – and it seemed like a kind of synchronicity.

Starting on the Vortex Healing path was a new chapter in my life and the remarkable experience with the singing and chirping birds in the night seemed to mark the beginning of this new chapter.

Since February that year, I received several VH sessions from a senior Vortex healer. And for about a month before this first class, I very clearly noticed the VH energy working on me. Mostly when I was already quiet and resting, mostly in my head, and especially in my temples and the third eye/sixth chakra area. It seemed that the divine energy worked on me in preparation for the class and this is a not uncommon experience for Vortex students.

A few words about my personal relationship with Vortex Healing

 

I thought I would write a few words about my personal relationship with Vortex Healing.

In my thirty+ years of exploring approaches to awakening and healing, I have not found anything as powerful as Vortex Healing. Each approach has its own strength, and they complement each other, so I am not abandoning anything. But I use Vortex Healing as my main tool these days because it’s most effective and versatile.

I can use it to clear and energize my energy system, work on organs and systems in the body, clear emotional issues and identifications, facilitate life situations, and more. And for each of these, it’s generally more effective than anything else I have found.

I trust it because I notice the effects when I work on myself. I see the effects when others receive sessions. I can see the energy that’s channeled and the effects reflected in changes in the aura of the one receiving it. I compare what I sense with other VH practitioners, including when I work with someone else on a client, and it’s typically a close match.

When I first encountered Vortex Healing, I was very skeptical. I know that distance and energy healing works. I have done it on my own since my teens and seen the effects. But the more formal approaches to energy healing I have found has often left me unimpressed, and I have seen and experienced unfortunate consequences of receiving a session. (My system has gone haywire after receiving sessions from some modalities).

So when I was offered a free session, I initially said no. Looking at the website only confirmed to me that I wasn’t interested. But after talking with the VH practitioner a bit, seeing that he seemed to have a grounded and balanced approach to it, and him emphasizing that there is a built-in balancing and harmonizing aspect of Vortex Healing, I decided to give it a go.

The session was amazing. I felt the energy working in me and moving from one area of my body and the energy system to the next. I felt much better after the session. And when I woke up the following day, I felt like a new person. Or – in a way – more like my old self before I had my more recent stronger phase of CFS. My digestion was also much better.

It felt like such a good match, and so much like what I had been looking for and knew had to be out there, that I decided to sign up for the next foundational class given in my area.

When I did my first VH class for awakening, I was similarly skeptical but again was very impressed. For me, the class helped my system settle and it cleaned out and harmonized some of the things that had gone a bit haywire in my system during the initial spontaneous awakening many years earlier.

So that is, in a nutshell, my experience with Vortex Healing. I am sure it will change and evolve, as everything does. It may not even be something I’ll do for the rest of my life, or it may not be the main approach I use for the rest of my life. But for now, I am very grateful for it in my life and use it (nearly) daily for myself and others.

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Training the eyes

 

In our culture, we train our body, we train skills, we even train mindfulness and more stable attention.

So why not train our eyes and our visual system? It seems to be – pardon the pun – a blind spot in our culture. And a big opportunity for future business. (Free business idea.)

I got into training my eyes and visual system in my twenties, first through Feldenkrais exercises and then through the Bates Method and especially the Janet Goodrich version.

Here is my journey in a nutshell: I first got glasses in my teens. Took a series of Feldenkrais classes in my mid-twenties. In one class, I was the only student and had done it regularly for a year or so, so my instructor decided to do something for the eyes. At some point during the class, I had a surge of very uncomfortable emotional energy, and it seems clearly connected with the eyes. I assume it was some sort of release.

Within a couple of weeks, I sat on my (antique!) glasses and they broke. I scheduled an appointment with an optometrist to see what eyeglass prescription I needed. She said: “your eyes are fine, you don’t need glasses”. I asked “does it happen that the eyes improve or heal themselves over time” and she said, “no, it can’t happen”. Although, obviously it did happen. I then got into the Bates Method and used that off and on for a while.

I don’t know if I can say much that’s not covered well by others. I find the Janet Goodrich exercises especially appealing and fun, more like playing than exercising. It seems helpful to explore any emotional issues that may be connected with vision problems and invite in healing for these.

And it seems obvious that we can train our eyes and visual system, similar to how we can train our body and mind in general.

Personally, I have just started to work on my vision more systematically with Vortex Healing and Living Inquiries. With Vortex Healing, I energize the visual system, clear conditioning contributing to poor eyesight, and explore and invite in healing for any emotional issues contributing to poor eyesight. I may also explore these issues with Living Inquiries.

My eyes are still pretty good, even if it’s been some years since I did the Bates Method regularly. I don’t need glasses. I see what I need to see. Although my vision is slightly fuzzy at a distance, and I notice that my vision goes a bit blurry when I am more fatigued.

Note: I should mention that it’s mostly the most common forms of blurry vision that can be helped by training our vision or sight. Some eye or sight problems obviously need other approaches, perhaps even surgery.

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Chronic fatigue retreat in Norway

 

After being officially diagnosed with chronic fatigue (CFS) in Norway, I was offered to participate in a four-week course for CFS. I think of it more as a CFS retreat, and I thought I would share a few impressions from it here.

THE SETTING

The retreat is held at a rehabilitation center in southern Norway specializing in, among other things, chronic fatigue. The location is by a lake in a peaceful and beautiful valley. Everything was paid by the government, including transportation to and from the center. (I like that we collectively in Norway contribute to these things and decide it’s important.)

We have our own rooms (spacious, clean, quiet), four healthy and delicious meals a day, and there are several common areas. For those with food intolerances – which is most of us with CFS – they prepare special meals. They also have a quiet room for those who needed peaceful meals.

The CFS staff is professional, personable, kind, and with a very good understanding of CFS and its challenges, and what typically helps people with CFS.

The schedule is gentle. Four meals a day. A class (workshop) three times a week following breakfast. Mindfulness. Mindful movement. Some gentle activities in nature.

We can have the food delivered to our room if we feel it’s too much to do it ourselves. And we can ask to have someone change our sheets and towels.

I had special meals (without wheat or dairy). And I prioritized the classes and sometimes rested instead of participating in the mindfulness.

There will be a follow-up two-week retreat sometime next year.

OVERALL IMPRESSION

When I looked into the different locations for CFS-courses in Norway, this one stood out. Past participants gave it almost exclusively positive reviews. And I have to say I am very impressed by the staff, the place, and what I have gotten out of it. I am very grateful for having been given the opportunity to be here.

AVOIDING WORSENING

I know some people experience a worsening after participating in a CFS course, although I suspect it happens less often here than other places. The staff call potential participants in advance to screen them and make sure (as well as they can) that they have a high enough capacity to participate and get something out of it without worsening. (Or, at least, not more than we can recover from relatively quickly.)

During the course, the staff strongly encourage us to pay attention to early symptoms of doing too much and stay within what we are able to do without risking crashing. We are encouraged to create a schedule for ourselves we are comfortable with. (I am on a reduced schedule.)

And whenever we say no to an event because we need to rest, we receive strong positive reinforcement for doing so. After all, learning just that is one of the reasons we are here. And by resting instead of overdoing it, we set a good example for the other participants.

WHAT I GOT OUT OF IT

For me, what I appreciated the most was to be understood – by the staff and my fellow CFS participants. So I felt normal. I didn’t have to explain. I didn’t have to worry I wouldn’t be understood. I didn’t have to worry about what they would think when I had to choose to rest instead of participating in an event or social activities.

Most of the content was familiar to me, but it was very helpful to go through it, have conversations about it, and have the importance of it reinforced.

In the long term, I hope to learn to stabilize better and avoid frequent crashes, especially since this is essential for giving my body enough rest so it can gradually heal itself.

MAIN EMPHASIS

The main emphasis is to learn and use strategies that improve our quality of life and give our body the best opportunity to gradually heal itself.

Stay within a level of activity so we avoid crashes. (Taking the elevator down to the basement.) Sometimes, we may choose to do a little more, but in general stay within a range that gives stability. This gives the body an opportunity to gradually heal instead of frequently having to use resources to recover from crashes.

Notice the early signs of needing to rest and take these seriously. If we had diabetes, we would take insulin as soon as we needed to. It’s the same for CFS. As soon as we notice we need our medicine, which is rest, then take it. Prioritize it.

Reduce stress, including in the following ways:

(a) We learned to recognize stressful thoughts and what they do to our emotions, symptoms, and behavior. And replace these with more realistic thoughts that are more kind, calms down our system, and lead to behavior that helps us rest and take care of ourselves.

(b) We found and prioritized our personal values (what’s important to us), and learned how following “shoulds” create stress while following our values calms the system.

(c) We learned basic mindfulness and noticing and allowing thoughts, emotions, and sensations, and that we are not any of those. And that fighting discomfort and reality create stress while noticing, allowing, and befriending discomfort and the reality of our situation calms our system.

(d) We explored that we are all 100% valuable independent of what we can or cannot do, and what we think and feel about how valuable we are. We all agree that babies are 100% valuable even if they can’t do much and create work for others, so when do we lose that value? It’s only in our thoughts and feelings we reduce our value, while in reality, we keep our 100% value.

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The etheric body: how it looks different depending on our practice

 

I started seeing energies when I was fifteen. And when I started doing tai chi and chigong in my late teens, I noticed that the etheric body – the part of the aura that is closest to the physical body – was bright, strong, and relatively dense for people who had done a lot of tai chi, chigong, yoga, and similar practices.

Now, when I use Vortex Healing for my etheric body, it has a slightly different result. My etheric body is more clear, less dense, and extend a few centimeters further out from the physical body.

One is not “better” than the other. Through movement-oriented mindfulness practices, we become more aware of our physical body and embody it more fully and more consciously, and that’s reflected in the brightness and density. Through Vortex Healing, we clear and optimize the etheric body, which makes it look a bit different.

When it comes to how far from the physical body the etheric body extends, I would say 1-1.5cm through body-centered practices, and 2-3cm after Vortex Healing. That’s just what seems typical and what I have noticed from my own system.

Not knowing which part of the field I am

 

Right now, as I am sitting here, I see two arms and hands, the screen on a phone, a table, a cup, flowers, a lake, and a few other things. And I notice a low-grade effort telling me that, for practical purposes, “I” am this body sitting here writing on the phone. (I am not all the other things in the sense fields.) It’s something that’s added to what’s happening and it helps me function in the world.

At times, this effort is even more obvious. For instance earlier today, there was a moment where “I” didn’t know which part of the sender fields I was supposed to be. The bucket of water? The cup? The arms moving? It lasted only a fraction of a second, but I could clearly see the mind working to place a pragmatic sense of I or me on something in the sense fields.

This is a common experience for me. There are things in my sense fields, it all happens within and as consciousness, and often there is no need to put the I or me labels on anything. It’s all just happening and functioning on its own.

“I” can pay attention to what this happens within and as, and notice that this never goes away. In that sense, it seems to be what “I” am. And for practical purposes, “I” sometimes places the I or me on this body and the one others see me as. In both cases. It’s clear that the I or me is just a label put on top of what’s here, in all the sense fields, which is living its own life.

I assume this is common in an awakening process. The mind has to work actively, for all of us, to create and assign and remember the I and me labels. And when there is more awakeness here, that process may become more transparent and visible. And sometimes, “we” notice the mind scrambling for å fraction of a second to assign the labels.

Magical realism in real life

 

Magical realism, magic realism, or marvelous realism is a style of fiction that paints a realistic view of the modern world while also adding magical elements.

– Wikipedia article on magical realism

This aspect of magical realism describes the world as it has been for most humans who have ever lived: an ordinary mundane life intermixed with magical and fantastic elements.

The exception is our modern western society. We have a largely materialistic scientific worldview, and most of us are understandably wary of mentioning any experiences that don’t fit this worldview.

I love modern science. A great deal of good has come out of it. And even more, I love the scientific methodology. It is essential that we stay sober about our experience and our view of the world, apply grounded critical thinking and verify any claims about reality. Collectively, we need to stay sober.

At the same time, we know that the way we individually and collectively see the world is inherently limited. Reality is always more than and different from our view of it.

Different parts of our current scientific worldview are always updated and replaced. And eventually, it’s inevitable that even its basic assumptions about reality are recognized as outdated and replaced with something that better fits the data we have collected.

So why are most of us wary of talking about any unusual experiences we may have? It doesn’t fit our current collective worldview. Often, it cannot easily be verified by others. And we may even be seen as weird, naive, or delusional.

I am talking about myself too. I usually don’t mention these things unless I talk with someone I know or suspect are receptive or understand.

So what types of experiences have I had?

I have seen energies since I was fifteen, around people, animals, plants, and objects. Mostly, with people, I see how awake the field is (or not).

There was a spiritual opening when I was sixteen where everything – without exception – was revealed as consciousness or the divine. (Of course, this can be interpreted in a small or psychological way (to me, the world happens within and as the consciousness I am and any ideas of being a separate being is added to that), or a big or spiritual way (everything, all of existence, is the divine, and it temporarily and locally takes itself to be a separate being until it no longer does).)

I have had periods with frequent and astonishing synchronicities, far beyond regular coincidences.

I experienced a ghost in an apartment in San Francisco that repeated the sounds from the day before. (Running water, the dog’s ball bouncing on the floor, the dog licking water.) This was verified by another and the dog.

I have an old friend who always seems to know what’s going on for me and in my life, and what will happen in very specific detail. And it’s been accurate so far.

Now, with Vortex Healing, I daily experience sensing at a distance, and often sensing that’s verified (by the client and/or another Vortex healer).

Again, what’s typical for all of these experiences is that they are unverifiable for others who were not there or don’t share them in another way. And they don’t fit in with our mainstream worldview. That’s why I rarely mention any of this unless I talk with others who I know or suspect will understand.

I also do my best to relate to and talk about these experiences in a relatively sane and grounded way, and to hold my stories about them lightly.

My stories about them are questions rather than statements.

Note: Magical realism typically refers to post-colonial critical literature speaking up for marginalized groups of people. I love that aspect of it but left it out of the article above. It was too tempting to use the short Wikipedia definition, and the one aspect of magical realism it talks about, as a starting point. But I realize that what I left out is very interesting too.

Magic and the supernatural is an ordinary part of most traditional cultures but is excluded or treated as superstition by western colonial and imperial powers. Simply including magical elements in literature or other art, and treating it as ordinary and unremarkable, is, in a way, a subversive act.

This helps me to see that when I choose to not speak about it, I allow myself to be colonialized by the modem western mindset, and speaking about it is a subversive and revolutionary act, for me too.

Image: The magic carpet (1880), Viktor Vasnetsov.

The saint and the beast: when I modeled for a painting

 
Twins with knives, Odd Nerdrum

Back in the 90s, I was a student (aka apprentice) of Odd Nerdrum and also modeled for this painting.

I knew he saw me, but I was also embarrassed to admit it. I was embarrassed by the knives and that aspect of me.

If people asked me what the knives represented, I would innocently say “I don’t know”.

So here it is, all laid out.

This painting is of a saint and a beast.

The face is that of a saint, and I have that side of my personality.

The arms and knives are those of the beast.

What is the saint-beast dynamic? And what is the beast? It can be seen in several ways.

The first is one I don’t like to admit to so much. I have a tendency to people-please and set aside my own needs, and that comes with suppressed anger, feeling like a victim, reactivity and so on. The face is the people-pleasing, and the knife is the suppressed anger. (This also reflects a family and cultural pattern.)

More generally, any identity comes with a shadow side, and if I identify as good and “spiritual”, what in me doesn’t fit goes into darkness. It’s more hidden. Not acknowledged. And I have spent a lot of time exploring and owning – or owning up to – those sides of me, even from before this painting was made.

The beast also mirrors a ruthless side of me. If something is important to me (awakening but sometimes other things), I can be ruthless going after it.

And that’s related to another way to look at the knives. Swords and knives can represent cutting through the bullshit. Going for the truth and reality, even if it’s uncomfortable (see Manjushri). (This is best applied to oneself.)

I think this dynamic in me is also why I resonate with characters like Hellboy (especially as depicted in the del Toro films). He is born a beast (demon) but has a pure heart.

Why the twins? I am not sure. If this image was in a dream of mine, I would wonder if it represents a division or kind of a split. The saint on one side and the knives and beast on the other. Something that’s not (yet) brought into or recognized as part of a whole. That was more true of me then although it’s still part of me. I am still working on it.

And the primal clothing and setting? It’s typical for Nerdrum (and one of the reasons I resonate with and love his art). And the theme is primal too, whatever the theme is. That too is typical for Nerdrum.

Most of the subjects have a mythic or archetypal feel to them, and we can have a sense of it, but the exact meaning is hard to pin down. My sense is that by trying to pin it down, we miss the point and the power of the paintings. They are meant to work on us at a more primal level.

Here are some comments about the painting from Alejita, my partner.

The painting: They are two. Two parts of you. Although the clothes and the hair are of a mystic, the look of him (especially in the man behind) is bestial. And with the knife, he is opening the left side of your body, your heart. One of them covers the heart of the other. One, the one behind is more beastly than the one in the front. However, most beastly is the one who opens the heart. The force with which he is taking the knife is abysmal. And the horizon is at neck height, splitting your body from your head.

And what she wrote after reading this post:

I feel that the two of you are both a beast, both have a knife, both are ready to kill the “things” are not any more “useful”. I don’t see the two characters as a separation, rather they are the complete image of you. It looks like the two coexist with the beast, there is no separation. The double image is more the feminine and masculine together, living with the beast that is not a third party. It is completeness, union.

I resonate with that way of looking at it. The one on “stage right” is more masculine (this is the original) and the one stage-left is more feminine (he copied this based on the first). And both have the saint and beast together. It’s all one – feminine and masculine, saint and beast.

What is cosmic consciousness?

 

What does cosmic consciousness refer to?

I don’t really know. I assume people use it to mean slightly different things, and perhaps some use it without having a good sense of what it refers to.

When I was sixteen, what I am (and what everyone and everything is) woke up to itself locally and through this human being. It wasn’t as thorough as it can be, and certainly not as embodied as it can be. But it was a start, or at least a kind of milestone in the process.

The way it happened could be called cosmic consciousness. There was a very clear and strong sense – or realization – of the whole universe being one. It was the one waking up to itself as all of it. There was a very strong cosmic sense or flavor to it.

There was no omni-anything. No omniscience. No omnipresence. Just the one waking up to itself as it all, locally, through and as this human self, with the same sensory input and the same thoughts and conventional information as before.

Later, and after several more shifts and movements, this oneness became much more simple, quiet, and ordinary. There is still oneness but without the fireworks and the bells and whistles.

I am wondering if what we sometimes call cosmic consciousness refers to this early form of awakening, the one with fireworks and bells and whistles. The one that hasn’t yet settled and become more ordinary and unremarkable. (Although it is also completely remarkable.)

What were some of the bells and whistles in my case? Mainly, the intensity of it. It was very intense, and the cosmic feeling was very strong and in the forefront. There was also an experience of very strong energies going through my body. (I remember describing it as high voltage going through regular housing wires.) I could see energies around people, animals, plants, and inanimate objects. (The “inanimate” objects were also revealed as the divine or consciousness so not really inanimate.) And I also discovered I could do (sometimes surprisingly effective) distance or energy healing.

There was also an experience of a constant “download” of insights and information, mostly of the perennial philosophy and psychology variety, but also art. I had little to no exposure to spirituality or what I later understood was called the perennial philosophy back then. And I was passionate about drawing and painting at the time.

These are what Adyashanti calls side-effects of awakening. They vary a bit from person to person, and some experience them more than others. They are not really important in themselves.

It’s natural for the mind to be fascinated by them, but that eventually — and sometimes with a bit of struggle – wears out.

The value of the lighter new age approaches

 

When it comes to healing and awakening, I’ll try anything and use whatever works. I have never felt bound by any tradition, and instead used whatever seems useful from each one. I know there is a great value to immerse yourself in one for a lifetime, but that has not been my path this time. And there is equal value to taking what works from wherever you can find it.

I even value the lighter new age approaches. They can be very helpful stepping stones. And calling them stepping stones is not a put-down. Everything, even the most profound, deep, and powerful approaches, are stepping stones. They allow us to take a step in the direction of healing and/or awakening. They put us in a certain direction. They open up something in us.

I was reminded of this when I told my partner about some of the early influences in my own conscious spiritual path. In my mid-to-late teens, I found great value in Shirley MacLaine’s writings (Out on a Limb), Richard Bach, and others. They opened up something in me. I saw that a different way of living was possible. They inspired me. It was just the right medicine for me at the time.

Of course, I was also – and mainly – immersed in more “serious” approaches like Christian mysticism, Taoism, Tibetan Buddhism, depth psychology (Jung), and systems views. I read a lot of C.G. Jung, Jes Bertelsen, Fritjof Capra, and anything I could find on Christian mysticism, Taoism and Tibetan Buddhism (Trungpa, Chöki Nyima etc.). And I practiced prayer, Christ meditation, tai chi and chigong, and tonglen and the basic and preliminary Tibetan Buddhist practices.

Why did I feel a need to add the previous paragraph? I could say it’s because I wanted to make the picture more complete. But more honestly, it’s because a part of me still wants to keep up a certain image. While I was mostly into “serious” and traditional mystical and spiritual practices, it wasn’t so important. But I notice that with Vortex Healing, which some may view with more suspicion (since it’s divine energy healing often done at a distance), I want to be seen as grounded, serious, and using approaches I have thoroughly tested out and know works. (Which is all true.)

How I started seeing energies

 

As I have written about before, when I was fifteen, a shift happened. I was absorbed into or as the Witness, a sense of being the witness of all content of experience whether it was what is conventionally described as “internal” (my “internal” life) or external (the rest of the world). After a year, this shifted into an awakening where all, without exception, was recognized as the divine, that this human self was an expression of and aspect of this divine, and that any sense of being a separate self was the play of the divine, one of the ways the divine temporarily and locally expressed and explored itself.

During this “witness” year, I read anything I could find about spirituality in the library, (Yes, this was just before the internet.) And I remember sitting outside during the summer, reading about the history of western esoteric spirituality (Theosophists, Rudolf Steiner etc.), and noticing a light around the leaves of the trees in front of me.

Initially, I thought it was just an optical illusion. But it grew stronger and was unmistakeable, and I also saw this light around all plants, animals (including humans), and things. And it was different depending on what it was around. Inanimate objects had a relatively simple structure in this light. Something more was going on around plants and the light seemed more alive. And it was even more complex around animals and humans and stretched farther out.

This was the beginning of seeing energies, and sensing energies in general, and also discovering that “I” was able to invite in healing – sometimes profound healing – through sensing and intention, and through divine grace.

A few years later, I met a slightly older woman in my tai chi class. We had an instant and deep connection, and it turned out we had grown up in the same little neighborhood in a small town outside of Oslo. She knew I could see energies and helped me trust more what I saw and sensed. For instance, we would sometimes sit in the train station while waiting for a train, look at the energies around a specific persona, and compare notes. And what we saw was the same. (When different people see or sense energies, it’s often generally the same although we may also pick up on slightly different aspects. For me, the degree of awareness is often emphasized.)

These days, when it’s needed, I typically sense at a distance (and it’s more developed than it was), while seeing energies in the way described above is less important. It still happens the rare times it’s helpful or needed, and I tune into it, but it’s usually more in the background and just part of my daily life.

Premonition dreams

 
Sometimes, “premonition dreams” are coincidences. We have a lot of different dreams, and we experience a lot in daily life, so sometimes a dream we remember corresponds to some experience in the days that follows. And yet, sometimes, dreams do seem like actual premonition dreams. For instance, years ago I lived in Madison, Wisconsin, with a dear friend who happened to be a cat. One morning, I had a very vivid dream of him dying. Most dreams, including stressful dreams, are clearly just regular dreams. It’s the mind processing something. But occasionally, a dream feels different. This one was different. It had the distinct feel of a premonition dream. So my wife (at the time) and I decided to keep him indoors to keep him safe. We did so for a week. And on the first day we let him out again he was hit by a car and died. It was obviously sad, but he did have a full and rich life and knew he was loved. And it did show me that some dreams may be actual premonition dreams.

What I write are pointers for myself

 

We teach what we need to learn.

That’s very clear for me with these articles. The pointers I share here are for me.

If I finish and article without taking time to intentionally apply it for myself, it feels incomplete. And when I do, it completes it.

Of course, what I write does come from my own immediate experience. And I do go into it before writing to make sure it’s alive and I can discover more about the topic, or at least remind myself about it. And yet, it makes a difference when I take the main pointer from the article and intentionally apply it after the article is written.

In The Work of Byron Katie, this is what they call Living Turnarounds. I take the most juicy pointer from the inquiry and apply it in my life. That’s how the work comes alive in me and my life. That’s how my insights ground in real life. That’s how I get to see what’s left.

I sometimes tell myself that if just one person benefits from what I write here, it’s worth it. By applying my own pointers after writing a post, I make sure at least one person benefits from it – and that’s me. And if one other person benefits as well, that’s wonderful. That’s icing on the cake.

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What I eat

 

I thought I would briefly mention the guidelines I use for food.

Eat lower on the food chain. More vegetables, fruits, nuts, and berries. Less fish and meat.

Eat less processed foods. More whole foods. I tend to get the raw ingredients and make my own meals.

Eat local and organic when possible. When I am in California, that’s easy. When I am in Norway, a little more challenging.

Eat closer to how my ancestors ate. My more immediate ancestors lived in Northern Europe and ate grains (oats, barley), vegetables, berries in season, fish, and a little meat. In general, they ate with the seasons, and – obviously – local and organic food, and mostly lower on the food chain.

Follow my body. This is one of my main guidelines. Notice what happens when I eat certain foods, and when I leave certain foods out for a day or a few. Personally, I have discovered I do much better – physically and mentally – with less or no sugar and less or no dairy. I also seem to do much better with less or no yeast products, and less or no wheat and rice. So I mostly leave out all of these and only have a little now and then. I also seem to do much better on cooked food in the winter and fresh and raw food in the summer.

Good for the Earth. I keep this in the back of my mind as well and check my other guidelines against it. I already know that eating lower on the food chain, and local, organic, and with the seasons, is what’s generally best for the Earth and future generations. It’s best for me and my well beings, and generally best for the Earth as well.

Leave fads alone. There are all sorts of fads when it comes to food, both in popular culture and among nutritionists. These come and go. What’s left for me are the guidelines above – eat lower on the food chain, less processed food, and when possible local, organic, and with the seasons, and listen to my body.

Don’t be too strict with any of it. There is no need to take this too seriously or be too strict. I’ll have just about anything now and then, especially if it’s offered to me. The guidelines above are just that, guidelines, and probably influence about 80-90 percent of what I eat. At least when I make my own food.

In general these days, I eat mostly fruits, vegetables, nuts, and berries, with some occasional meat and fish, some occasional grain (the less common ones seem to work best for me), very rarely dairy, and rarely refined sugar. I tend to have a light breakfast (depending on my day), the main meal early afternoon, and I often don’t eat (or only have some fruit) in the evening. Most days, I do a mini-fast through the evening and night and until late morning or early afternoon. It would probably be good for me to do some intermittent fasting as well, for one or two days a week. I drink a lot of herbal and spice teas through the day, so my urine is pale or sometimes even clear. I also find that if I am in the high-healthy range for my BMI, I feel healthier. And I do enjoy food, and especially recipes that are simple, nourishing, and tasty. (One of my favorites is roasting vegetables in the oven, perhaps with a small amount of gourmet sausage – if possible local, organic, and free range.)

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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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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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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. 

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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Floating around: out of body as an infant

 

I rarely write about personal experiences more peripheral to the healing and awakening process. But I realize that it can be helpful to share a few short stories now and then. At least, it may help others who have experienced something similar feel more normal.

Out-of-body experiences are relatively well known and perhaps not that rare. My out-of-body experience (I only remember one) is slightly unusual because it happened so early in life. 

When I grew up, I had a clear memory from when I was an infant. It was a sunny and cool day. I saw my parents and brother walking along the sidewalk to our house, and me in a pram. I saw them walk up the gravel road to the house. I saw something big and rectangular in front of the house. All of this was seen from a birds-eye perspective, perhaps 20-30 meters up (today I would say it was like a drone video). Floating around, I saw the living room, empty apart from a few things on the floor. I saw the very memorable (aka ugly) wallpaper in the main bedroom.

In my late teens, I finally asked my parents about this. It seemed like a clear memory but I also knew that we are not supposed to have memories from this early in life. I gave them the details, and it turned out that everything was accurate. It was in the spring and I was 4-5 months old, and they had walked to the house I grew up in from their previous house. The big white rectangle in front of the house was the moving van. The wallpaper had been in the main bedroom, and they painted over it almost immediately. 

I wonder if I remembered it so clearly because I was out of body. Perhaps that allows for memories from infancy. And floating around like this suggests that I wasn’t all that comfortable being in a body. At least in this situation, I preferred floating around checking out the new place.