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. 

Nature mysticism and me

 

Nature has played an important role on my spiritual path and in my life in general. 

It feels strange to write that because I am nature, and I and humans and human civilization wouldn’t exist without nature. All of it is nature, and all of it requires the whole universe which also is nature. So to say “nature has been important to me” makes very little sense. 

As a child, before school age, nature – and especially sunlight filtered through the leaves – sometimes brought me back to life before incarnation. I had flashbacks to a life where all was (golden) light, beings and everything were formless, and all was infinite love and wisdom, and profoundly home. 

When I was around ten, I slept under the stars by Sølen, a mountain in Norway. There was a sense of infinity of the night sky, and also of the landscape stretching seemingly endlessly into the horizon. I looked at the stars and the satellites passing over, and it opened a profound sense of oneness with it all. I was the universe experiencing all of it. I was a local expression of the universe experiencing itself in its endlessness. Again, it came with a profound sense of being home, of not only belonging but being it all, and a deep sense of quiet joy and gratitude. It changed my life. 

Age sixteen, between Christmas and the new year, I walked along a gravel road at night. It was dark, the sky was full of stars, and a big wind moved through it all. This time, there was an even more full blown opening. The divine woke up to itself as all there is, without any exceptions. Even the divine locally and temporarily taking itself to be something exclusively local and temporal – a separate being – was seen as the divine, the play of the divine. This too changed my life, and even more profoundly. 

When I was 24, I went to Utah to study at the university there. (And, without knowing it in advance, to live at the Zen center there for a few years.) When I first went to southern Utah, I took my sleeping bag and walked into the desert on my own and slept under the stars and the milky way stretching from one horizon to the other. Again, there was a profound sense of being home and a quiet and deep gratitude and joy. This time, there was also the most profound sense of belonging to that particular place and landscape. (If we have several lives, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if one or more of mine where in that area – the Four Corners area – of this planet.) 

I still often feel a profound sense of belonging when I am in nature or see the night sky. A deep sense of quiet joy and gratitude. And it’s always there, low level, in the background. 

As a child and in my early teens, it was probably more of a genuine nature mysticism. A sense of the divine in nature, or – more accurately – nature as divine and sacred. Later in my teens, it became very clear that all of it – all there is – happens within and as the divine, and that that is what we and everything already are. It’s all the divine expressing, exploring, and experiencing itself as all of this. Including when it locally and temporarily takes itself to be separate and a separate being. 

The nature mysticism element is still very much here and it plays a beautiful role in my life, but it happens in a different context. 

Note: When I say the divine, I could say consciousness, and love, and even a quiet bliss, because those labels also work. And there is the small and big interpretation of all of this, as I have written about in other posts. But I wanted to keep that side of it simple in this post. 

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One invitation in the dark night: more thoroughly see and feel all as the divine

 

One invitation in the dark night of the soul, and really any time after an initial spiritual awakening, is to deepen in seeing and feeling all as the divine.

In the initial opening or awakening, all is often and inevitably seen and recognized as the divine. All is the play of the divine. The deeper identity of all beings and everything else is the divine, sometimes temporarily and locally taking itself to be a separate being.

This can be recognized and seen quite clearly, and yet the invitation is to see and feel this more thoroughly, more consistently, in more areas of life, and in more situation.

And especially to see and feel the divine in and as what we, as human beings, tend to not particularly like. As illness and symptoms. Sadness, anger, and dullness. People we have a reaction to. Losses. Noise. A society apparently bent on self-destruction. And so on.

For instance, I walked home from downtown just now and passed some very noisy construction on both sides of me. I asked myself what if this is the voice of the divine? Can I find it for myself? This shifted my experience in the moment. I could find where it was the voice of the divine. The divine as noisy construction sounds. And also the divine as this human self reacting to it and sometimes feeling like a victim of noise.

Since I have done inquiry and some healing work on my reactivity to noise, it was much easier to notice it as the voice of the divine. It required just a small shift. And I was also reminded of how my very human reactivity to the noise comes from deep love and caring for this human self. It’s natural, innocent, and beautiful. (And painful when the mind gets caught in it. And that pain is also an expression of the divine.)

The noise. The construction. The reactivity in me. The discomfort. The getting caught in it. The not getting caught in it. All of it is an expression of the divine.

What do I mean when I say “the divine” here? It’s a shorthand. A pointer. And it refers to recognizing all as happening within and as awakeness (aka consciousness). As insubstantial. Here and yet not here. And as the wisdom and love that seems inherent in this awakeness.

As a side note, I can mention that I, of course, know it’s a projection. In my experience, everything is this awakeness. It can’t be any other way. It’s that way for everyone, although many don’t notice. (They haven’t had it pointed out to them, and haven’t investigated it for themselves.) This is a tricky topic since, yes, it looks like a projection. And yet, the idea of projection and a mind or being projecting it all happens within and as this awakeness.

In my immediate experience, there isn’t really anything that will absolutely determine if (a) I am awakeness (or consciousness) connected with a separate being and projecting this awakeness onto everything so everything appears as awakeness, and this mind then calls it the divine. Or (b) if everything actually is the divine, as it appears.

Another note: What have I had to learn to see more thoroughly and feel more deeply as the divine? For me, it’s been chronic fatigue symptoms (fatigue, brain fog, emotional instability), emotions such as fear, anger, and sadness, and even the situation I have found myself in. I have known and seen it as the divine for a long time, but when faced with life situations that I – as a human being – don’t particularly like, I have had to more thoroughly see and feel it as the divine. And it’s an ongoing process.

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Dark night as a bloody train wreck?

 
Montparnasse derailment

I saw this classic photo and was reminded of something a friend said a few years back. After I had shared my experience with the intense phase of the dark night of the soul I was going through, he – having gone through a similar phase in his own life – said, yes, it’s a bloody train wreck. 

It really is, or can be. 

I am talking about dark night of the soul in the old-fashioned sense here, as a phase of a spiritual path. The dark night of the soul that, as Evelyn Underhill described it in Mysticism, tends to come after the initial awakening and honeymoon phase (illumination).

First, there may be a phase where we enter the path in a conventional way (I skipped this one). Then, an initial spiritual opening and awakening and a honeymoon phase (for me, lasted for several years). And then, a dark night of the soul. A phase where “everything” seems to go wrong. Loss of health. Relationships. Property. Reputation. Ability to stay centered and meet whatever happens with equanimity. And so on. It can seem like a relentless series of losses in all areas of life (as it has been for me). 

We tend to lose what we relied the most on, and what was most precious to us. 

Did something go wrong? Did we make a mistake?  

No. It seems to be a relatively common phase of the path. At least common enough for many to have written and talked about it, and for me to have found others who have been or are going through it themselves. 

So why does it happen? It seems to be a deepening. 

The illumination phase can be short or long. It gives us a direct taste of the divine and often of all, without exception, as the divine. If it lasts for a while, as it did for me, it can be a wonderful phase of discovery, bliss, and things falling into place in our life in amazing ways. It helps us familiarize ourselves with all as the divine. 

Then, we lose that footing. That which seemed like it never would go away does. Where things fell into place in amazing ways, things may now relentlessly go wrong in equally amazing ways. It can feel immensely painful, overwhelming, and as if it’s never going to go away. 

A few things seem to happen here. As Underhill mentions, it’s a very human process. It doesn’t feel spiritual at all. Just as we are faced with losses in our life, we are faced with what this brings up in us of emotions, reactions, painful memories, and more. And this is an invitation for a few different things. 

It’s an invitation for healing what’s unhealed in us. It comes to the surface with an invitation for us to find healing for it. 

It’s an invitation for healing our relationship to life and the life situations we find ourselves in, and also our relationship to what it brings up in us including the pain. Can we befriend it? Can we find it as a support for our healing and maturing? 

It’s an invitation for giving it all over to the divine. Let Your will be done. I give it all over to you. We deepen in this orientation while also being engaged and taking care of our life in an ordinary sense and as best as we can. 

It’s an invitation for more thoroughly seeing it all as the divine. The life situations, and what it brings up in us. Can we meet it as the divine? Can we feel it as the divine? Can we even find love for it as the divine? 

It’s an invitation to surrender to it. To notice, allow, and rest with it, and to do the same with whatever it brings up in us including the pain. To see that, as much as something in us would like it to go away, it’s actually OK. 

It’s an invitation to befriend our humanness. The messiness. Confusion. Embarrassing. Humbling. Immature. Angry. Sad. Reactive. The universally human that we too have and are. 

With all this is an invitation to notice. To notice what’s going on. And to notice the effects of how we relate to it. It can even be an invitation to explore various spiritual practices and healing modalities. We can learn a great deal of practical value in this process. 

It’s an invitation to allow the process to work on us. Notice we don’t know what’s actually going on. Find some trust and patience with the process. 

As we heal as human beings, we are better able to live from the clarity, kindness, and wisdom available to us. And the same goes for more thoroughly recognize everything, without exception, as the divine. (If we still have a theistic orientation, we can say it’s from the divine.) 

The overall invitation is to deepen in healing, clarity, and heartfulness. In that sense, it’s the greatest gift we could receive. It’s not what we, at a human level, would choose. But it can come with great gifts. 

There are other types of dark nights. In contemporary use, it often refers to a difficult time in our life whether or not there is a (recognized) spiritual context. In a spiritual context, it seems to happen when life or the spiritual process rubs up against remaining identifications. It can feel dry, empty, disorienting, and so on. 

Flame above crown of head

 

I usually don’t write about things peripheral to awakening, embodiment, maturing, and healing. Mainly because it’s often a distraction. But I’ll make a few exceptions since it could be helpful for a few out there.

In my late teens and early twenties, I had a period where the Christ meditation and heart prayer were my main daily practices.

The Christ meditation is where you envision Christ 2-3 meters in front of your body, behind, on either side, above, below, and in the heart (in all six directions and the center). I usually envision Christ as a light. Rest with this visualization for as long as you want, usually from a few minutes to an hour or two. (I was pretty gung-ho and often did it for 1-2 hours at a time, mainly because it felt profoundly like coming home.)

The heart prayer is where you say “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me” with the breath and heartbeats. (I have given more details in other articles, and it can also be found in books and other online articles.) This is often done for dedicated periods, and also throughout the day. Over time, it becomes an ongoing prayer and it can even continue – as an intention and energetically – through the night and sleep.

Before this, I had noticed I could see auras and energies. I initially saw it around leaves of trees, and then around everyone and everything. Even nonliving things have an aura, although it’s simpler than for living beings. For people where there is a higher level of awakening, the aura becomes very subtle and extends out indefinitely. These days, I usually use it to see where spiritual teachers are at.

In the periods where I engaged in the Christ meditation and heart prayer, I noticed a light above the crown on my heart. (Yes, surprisingly enough, auras can be seen in the mirror.) And I then realized that this is exactly how the descent of the Holy Spirit is traditionally depicted, as a flame above the head. It was quite astonishing and created even more of a sense of connection with the (alive) Christian tradition and early Christians.

So, at least in my experience, what art historians and others may see as a symbolic representation may actually be meant as a literal depiction of what is going on in the aura of those with a strong connection with Christ, and which can be seen by those able to see energies and auras.

Note: This article on Women at Pentecost has several beautiful depictions of this flame. The mosaic above this article shows the flame a bit higher up than how I experienced it. It’s really touching the top of the head.

Since the paintings depict Pentecost and the disciples, it shows a group of people with this flame. And that reflects how it’s not limited to a few select people but accessible to (I assume) anyone with some sincerity and dedication, and it’s more about a community of people with shared aim and connection than separate individuals.

Note 2: When I mention the “alive Christian tradition” I mean the thread within Christianity that’s alive in a spiritual sense. Christianity as a whole is less alive in that sense but there are many exceptions.

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Trauma-related dark nights

 

Dark nights or challenging phases of a spiritual path come in many different forms.

What’s common is that life rubs up against our remaining identifications with some of our identities and beliefs. Often quite central ones, and sometimes previously un-noticed ones.

One type of these dark nights is the trauma-related dark nights. As Adyashanti says, the lid is taken off some of our remaining traumas. Our mind opens to the divine as all, or as the One, and that sometimes means it also opens to what’s unhealed in us.

Another side of this is that it happens so these parts of us can be met, seen, felt, loved, and healed to some extent. And that’s required so the awakening – whatever clarity is here – can be lived more fully in more situations in our everyday life.

As long as traumas are left, they’ll be triggered by life situations and we’ll tend to react to these traumas rather than responding from whatever clarity and love we have access to.

So there is love behind this dark night, as there is love behind any dark night. It comes with an invitation to clarify, heal, mature, and live more fully what’s realized so far.

It doesn’t mean it’s easy or painless. It often feels unbearable. It can seem like it will never end. Our minds may even tell itself that it has “lost” God or the awakening, or that something has gone terribly wrong. This may especially happen if we don’t have a guide who has gone through it on their own, or if we don’t have a community around us who understand what’s happening and support our process. And if we don’t, that becomes part of our process and comes with its own gifts.

As others have pointed out, it’s a very human process. It doesn’t feel “spiritual” at all. And it’s deeply humbling and, if we allow it, humanizing.

I am writing about this in a more general way here, but it comes from own experience. I have gone through this for the last ten years or so. First, there was an initial awakening or opening. Then, a honeymoon phase. Then, another form of awakening. And then health challenges and a trauma-related dark night (what some may call a dark night of the soul).

It has gradually become easier but I am still not quite out of the woods. Life wants more in me to be seen, felt, met, loved, explored, allowed, and perhaps healed. At the very least, there is an invitation for me to heal my relationship to it, and that’s as or more important than the healing of the issues themselves.

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Resolving misophonia: my case

 

Misophonia is a bit of a mystery. At least in the mainstream, and when it comes to explaining what causes it and how to best resolve it.

I have had it for as long as I can remember. Certain sounds – especially chewing and turning newspaper pages – create a good deal of discomfort in me. And, perhaps related, I also have sensitivity to certain forms of noise. Especially loud talking and machines, and especially machine sound I experience as aggressive.

It’s clearly selective. The sounds of children and animals are OK and even enjoyable. I can listen to animals eat loudly and be completely fine with it. I can listen to a loud waterfall or a storm and enjoy it very much. And there is a clue right there. Most likely, there is something about my thoughts about and associations with certain sounds that create the distress in me.

When I first encountered The Work about fifteen years ago, I used it on my reactivity to certain sounds. I found my thoughts about it (she is loud, she disrespectful, she is mindless, he is crude, he is inconsiderate, he takes her anger out through being noisy etc.), questioned these thoughts, and found what is more true for me. That helped. But it didn’t completely resolve it.

Now that I have Vortex Healing, I have begun exploring how to best resolve it through this (very efficient and thorough) healing modality. Since it’s a long-standing issue for me, I need to address it from several different angles to be more thorough.

The obvious is the surface examples of sound irritability. I am addressing specific themes and instances, for instance, chewing, newspaper rustling, loud talking, loud machines (lawn movers, construction near my house etc.). Addressing this takes care of the surface layer.

Then, I asked myself, what’s my earliest memory / memories of being annoyed or distressed by sound? Or – when I feel distressed by certain sounds today, what’s an early memory of feeling like that? The answer is, not surprisingly to me, the sound of my mother nagging my father. I remember this from early in on life, and it was quite distressing to me as a kid (and later). So this is another one to address as a theme and through specific instances.

And even deeper is not just the sound of my mother nagging my father, but my own emotional issue around her nagging my father. This is an even deeper root of my sound sensitivity. And it’s an issue that, most likely, influences me and my life in a lot more ways than just reactivity to certain sounds.

This is an example of how addressing underlying causes of something that, on the surface, can seem quite trivial, can bring healing to many areas of life, and sometimes in surprising ways. I assume that when I have resolved these issues in me in a deeper way, some of the ways this healing shows up in my life may be quite unexpected.

I’ll report on how this goes later, when I have worked on it a bit more and have had opportunity to test it in a variety of real life situations.

Is misophonia completely, or in all cases, rooted in early sound-related distress? I don’t know. I assume there may be a genetic predisposition, as there is with most things. And some epigenetics at work. And perhaps something else. But I am pretty sure that addressing it through, for instance, a combination of inquiry and energetic healing can be quite helpful and effective in most cases.

Note: When I use Vortex Healing on this, I use – among other things – denetworking (to denetwork the issue from related, intertwined issues), clearing the energetic blueprints, and generally clearing the conditioning around it.

Update: As I have explored this in smaller chunks over a few days, I notice another branch of what may be behind the misophonia. I have a reaction to younger men who speak loudly and with (false) bravado. As a teenager, I strongly disliked teenage boys who behaved with this false bravado. I had value-laden judgments about them. I didn’t want to be like them. I didn’t want to be around it. And even now, I notice a reaction in me to hearing loud people with this kind of (apparently false) bravado. So that’s another branch to explore and invite to resolve. And it’s an example of an issue that is directly related to my reactivity to certain sounds, and probably impacts my life in other areas as well. So I get double benefit from working on it, and it may help my life in people I don’t expect. (Also, I will probably be less of a bother to others in these situations.)

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Hooked on a feeling: a byproduct of awakening

 

I am listening to Arvo Pärt’s Miserere and inevitably had memories of the time after the initial awakening in my teens and early twenties.

An initial awakening often comes with a certain feeling, and the mind then associates the feeling with the awakening. For me, this feeling would be enhanced by certain music which I listened to at the time: Arvo Pärt (Miserere, Tabula Rasa, Passio), Philip Glass (Akhenaten), Palestrina, Victoria, Rachmaninov’s Vesper and more.

The downside of this is that we may focus more on the feeling than the essence of awakening. We may end up chasing a feeling instead of noticing that which allows and is any experience – including any feelings and moods – and that we and everything are.

The upside is that it may hook us into continuing our exploration of spirituality and the awakening, and it comes with an invitation to differentiate any content of experience from the essence of awakening.

After a while, the feeling may subside. If we have learned to differentiate feelings from what the awakening is really about, this is no problem. It may even be a relief. If we haven’t, we may think and feel that we have lost something important. The mind may even tell itself it has lost the awakening…! This can lead to a type of dark night, and this too comes with an invitation to learn to differentiate any experience from what the essence of awakening.

I went through the sense of loss and then the noticing came back independent of any feeling. When I listen to this music now, I still appreciate it but it doesn’t evoke the feeling it used to, and that’s a relief and nice freedom. There is no need or wish for it to evoke the same or any particular mood.

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A higher self?

 

A spiritual path or an awakening process can have a number of odd features. One of these is the experience of a higher self, and then perhaps the falling away of this.

Here is my story:

When the initial awakening happened in my mid-teens, it was the most basic one where all was revealed as Spirit, any apparently separate beings were local expressions of Spirit, and the basic identity of everyone and everything is Spirit. There are no separate beings or selves that, in an absolute or final sense, are separate or even a being or a self. It’s all the divine taking on these temporary masks.

At the same time, in the first couple of years following this, there was a clear sense of a “higher self”. A non-physical self that seemed located a few meters above my human self. As mentioned above, it was clear there was no final or absolute self there. It was more of an intermediate self, one that somehow, in a certain way, seemed to mediate (guidance, information?) between Spirit as all there is and this local expression of Spirit.

After a while, this fell away.

The upside of this sense of a higher self may that it serves as a lure or hook for continued spiritual exploration. And it may also point to something real. Perhaps there is something there at a more subtle energetic level? Perhaps it does mediate some types of information? I am not sure. Also, as usual, it comes with an invitation to discern the essence of awakening (all as Spirit) from temporary manifestations, including temporary manifestations of Spirit such different temporary selves.

The drawback is the usual one. We can become overly fascinated with it and it may distract us from the essence of the awakening, healing as human beings, and living from whatever clarity, wisdom, and kindness is here. This is part of the awakening process, and it’s part of the play of the divine (lila), so it’s only a drawback in a very limited sense.

In any case, since there is nothing ultimate or final about this higher self, it does probably fall away at some point. And before, then the interest in or fascination with it may fall away. (As it did for me within a couple of years.)

Note 1: I was reminded of this since it fits something they talk about in Vortex Healing. There is a set of energetic structures that allows the divine to experience itself as a finite and separate being, going from very subtle to more coarse. And some of the intermediate ones can be experienced as a “higher self” and located from immediately to a few meters above the head. At some point in the awakening process, these energetic structures fall away. All of that fits my experience.

Note 2: I may abandon calling it an “initial awakening”. In some ways, it was, since it was the first time in this lifetime the divine revealed itself to itself as all there is – in an unambigious, strong and clear way – and it happened when this human self was more mature and could reflect more on it. At the same time, the essence of what was revealed wasn’t really new. It was something that had been with me in early childhood, and – if flashbacks and memories are accurate – before this particular incarnation.

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Revisiting topics

 

I tend to revisit topics here.

Most of the articles are one in an informal series of articles on a similar theme. Why? It helps me explore topics from what’s alive in me in the moment, and I may use a slightly different angle or add something I left out in previous articles. And since any topic is fresh for me in the moment, it comes with an impulse to write a few words even if I know I have written about it before.

And it goes back further, to a time this website didn’t exist. I am revisiting topics I wrote about in my paper journals in my teens and early twenties. The essence is much the same, although the wording and how I write about it has changed a bit. There has been an inevitable maturing and I refer more to different approaches and sometimes traditions.

Going even further back, I am revisiting the essence of what was alive for me as a child. The flashbacks and memories of between lives: oneness, all as consciousness, all as love, any being an expression of this oneness. That essence hasn’t changed.

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Awakening with or without soulfulness

 

I am not sure how universal this is so I haven’t written about it before. But I thought I would share some of my own experiences with this.

The initial awakening was an awakening to and as Big Mind, and within that, there was a strong sense of the soul and soulfulness. Just as the human self happens within and as Big Mind, the soul happens within and as Big Mind. It’s a vehicle for the divine to experiencing itself as an individual self. The human self is physical, and the soul is made up of “soul matter” for lack of a better term. I recognized the soul as similar to the human self. Something that’s here but not ultimately what I am.

The human self, the world, and the soul, are all part of the always changing content of experience.

For me, this soul emphasis took expression through a strong urge to make art and music, and generally diving deep into the arts. It was also expressed through a strong resonance with nature mysticism, ecospirituality, ecopsychology, deep ecology, community, and sustainability.

Gradually, over time, this soul emphasis diminished. There was still Big Mind, but with less of the soul and more just neutral clarity. That’s another way for Big Mind and the divine to experience itself. It’s not better or worse than having the soul more emphasized. And I think it’s natural for these shifts to happen, also because it makes it more clear what’s here independent of any changes in content of experience.

I wouldn’t mind having the soul experience return more strongly but I am not sure if it will. It may have been cleared out. Who knows.

I know that in our culture, soul and soulfulness are highly valued so many would think it’s better if it’s here more strongly. But I really don’t know. I see both as equal.

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Witness, then oneness

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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My relationship to death

 

What is my relationship to death?

Here are some influences:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How can I find these? For instance….

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

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

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

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

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

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My experience with Vortex Healing awakening courses

 

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

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

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

 

Currently: Tying up lose ends

 

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

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

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

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

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

For now, here is a brief personal update:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How awakening is perceived by others

 

How is awakening perceived by others?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Dread & Terror – befriending & inviting to heal

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Brief update

 

I just returned from Core Veil in London, a Vortex Healing course with Ric Weinman. I feel it helped clear, stabilize, and perhaps deepen a lot of the haphazard openings and awakenings from my pre-Vortex Healing days. And the course seems to also have strengthened my system considerably.

Over a couple of tea-breaks, Ric took a look at my chronic fatigue (CFS) and brain fog. He said it seems that a CFS (inducing) virus is still hiding out in my system (which would explain a great deal), and did a couple of brief treatments to clear it out. It will take some time for my system to adjust to a potentially virus-free existence. We’ll see how it unfolds.

A few words about viruses and CFS: There are probably many things that fall under the CFS label, including undiagnosed known illnesses and various subgroups of “true” CFS. Sometimes, CFS is called Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome which is fitting since it often comes after a viral infection. (For me, mononucleosis in my teens.) Many of the symptoms associated with CFS fit a viral infection. For me, it feels like having a flu – sometimes strong and sometimes less so – without the fever, runny nose, or cough. The brain fog and wooziness is there. The fatigue and tiredness. Worsening condition after exertion. Brain fog and inability to focus as before. Unusually sensitive to noise and sometimes light. Wanting to lie down and rest. (Or being unable to do anything but lying down.) And a rest that often doesn’t feel restful or nourishing. All of that is similar to having a flu or a similar infection.

If there is/was still a virus in my system, it also explains why any energetic work seems to actually work – in clearing and energizing pathways and chakras and doing many other things – but it doesn’t significantly change my overall health situation. The virus holds it back. So we’ll see what happens if a hidden virus was the key and the virus now really is gone.

Remembering heaven and being atheist

 

I rarely write or talk about this, but I thought I would share something since it’s part of my life, and it may be similar to what others have experienced.

As a child, I remembered how it was before this life. I remembered in flashes now and then, especially when outside with the sunlight filtering through the moving leaves. And in those moments, it was like being back. Then, I never spoke about it. Perhaps I knew people wouldn’t understand, and I didn’t have the words for it. Now, I may find some words.

All of existence was infinite love, consciousness, wisdom, light. There were beings – including me – that also were this infinite light, consciousness, and wisdom, and had no bodies. There was a profound sense of being home.

When I started school, these flashes were less frequent and then went away. What remained was a longing. A deep longing for this profound sense of being home. I would sometimes wake up with this deep longing, and do all the things I enjoyed the most to see if I could find what I was looking for. I would read comics (Carl Barks) and books (Jules Verne, adventure books), eat sandwiches with butter and strawberry jam, drink hot chocolate, go to my parents, go outside to play, play with friends. Nothing worked.

I didn’t consciously connect it with God or heaven. I had no framework for it. And when people did talk about God or heaven, it seemed to have no connection with my experience. I wonder if that’s why I, at a young age (in elementary school), decided to identify as an atheist. Religions made no sense to me. They seemed to be just made up by people. If there was some reality or truth to it, it was covered up by what was man-made.

When the initial spiritual awakening happened at age 15, I realized that this was it. All without exception was revealed as Spirit. As consciousness. As infinite love and wisdom. Any experience of a separate self was just that, an experience with no actual reality to it. It’s all – all of existence without exception – Spirit expressing, exploring, and experiencing itself. This is what I had flashbacks to as a child. And this knowing is why I had dismissed religions since they couldn’t begin to touch it.

I don’t really think of it as heaven but I see how that word can be used. And that heaven is here. We never left. We “just” need to notice. All of existence already is heaven. And it can appear as mundane or hell through our perceptual filters. Through our beliefs and identifications. That’s part of the play of the divine. That’s part of the divine expressing, exploring, and experiencing itself. That’s part of the divine playing hide and seek with itself, as some have put it.

Note: The phrasing I have used here intentionally fits the flashbacks I had a child. In the awakening or spiritual opening in my teens, it was a little different. Here, Spirit awoke to itself as all there is, as all of existence, through this human being. Any sense of an “I” was seen as human- or mind-created, a temporary illusion which allows Spirit to experience itself as temporary and limited.

TRE helped me go from back pain to a healthy back

 

I have had scoliosis in my lower back since my teens. And I used to have periods of very strong back pain. I would typically wake up in the morning, perhaps every few months, and be unable to move for the rest of the day.

Some years ago, I discovered therapeutic tremoring. It’s the tremoring that our body initiates on it’s own, and most of us are familiar with it through seeing it in other mammals. For instance, dogs may tremble after stress. They shake out the stress after the stressful situation is over. It’s something that all mammals do and it’s built into us through evolution.

The reason most of us humans do not do it, especially in our modern culture, is that we have learned – from an early age – to stop it whenever it is about to start. We don’t understand it, or think it’s a sign of weakness. So we have learned to prevent it from happening.

Therapeutic trembling one of the greatest gifts given to us by evolution and our ancestors. It’s a mechanism that releases both physical and mental stress and tension. And it gives us a chance to get back to a healthy and balanced state, both in our body and mind.

Since we have learned to stop it, we need and initial structure to allow the body to tremble again. And TRE – Tension and Trauma Release Exercises – provides just such a structure. It’s a set of simple exercises which initiates and allows the therapeutic trembling.

When I started with TRE some years ago, my back was initially very sore. All the tense muscles there received a good massage and I experienced it as soreness for a while. Then, as much of the tension was released and the muscles (and fascia) returned to a more healthy state, the soreness went away and so did the recurrent back pain. Now, my lower back feels amazingly healthy and supple.

As with anything else I write about here, please contact me for more information – including who to contact if you would like to try these approaches out for yourself.

Dark forces or something much simpler?

 

Our stories about ourselves and the world has a big impact on us and our life.

When I shared something about the “dark night” phase I seem to have gone through, and how it has been a period of repeated losses and things going “wrong”, a psychic friend of mine said that “dark forces” want to prevent me from living my potential. It was meant well, and it was also a reminder of the power of stories.

At least on the surface, the “dark forces” story puts the responsibility “out there” in the world, into something mysterious and intangible, and it makes the person – in this case, me – into a victim. It’s a story that easily can trigger passivity and hopelessness.

I prefer stories that are closer to what’s here, that are about something I can check from my own experience and that trigger engagement.

The story that makes more sense to me, at least right now, is that I went against my clear inner knowing and guidance on a major and lasting life decision. It brought a sense of getting off track in life. It led into a “dark night” phase that gradually got stronger.

And although I wish I had been clear and healed enough to follow my guidance rather than my fears back then, I also see the tremendous and very real gifts in what happened. The “dark night” phase has brought what’s left in me to the surface. It has brought up remaining beliefs and identifications, and unhealed parts of me, and made it very visible to me. It has given me an opportunity for deep healing.

I created it. There is a valuable and real gift in it.

No “dark force” story is needed to explain what happened.

Although if I wanted to include the “dark forces” story, how would it look in this context? It may look like this: If there are “dark forces” at play, the reason they are at play is because they mirror what’s already in me. They mirror unhealed parts of me, and perhaps enhance dynamics already created by these unhealed parts of me. If anything, they are – really – part of the gift.

I should also mention that the content of the story has an impact on our life. And equally much, or perhaps even more so, does the extent we see through it. If we have examined the story, and it has lost much or all of its charge, the story is a much more useful tool for us. We hold it lightly and use it to the extent and in the situations it seems practically useful.

That often takes some work and investigation. For me, what seems most effective is a combination of inquiry (Living Inquiries, The Work) and Vortex Healing, approaching the story and how I hold it from the consciousness and energy sides.

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One type of dark night: From early awakening

 

There are many forms of dark nights.

In general, a dark night happens when life strongly challenges what we hold as true about ourselves and the world. That’s why the term “dark night” is sometimes used about ordinary challenging life situations, and sometimes in a more technical sense about parts of a spiritual path and process.

One type of a spiritual dark night can happen following an initial opening or awakening. With a spiritual opening, there is an opening to all as Spirit, and sometimes also an opening to previously unprocessed psychological material. As Adyashanti says, the lid is taken off and it comes to the surface. And that can be challenging in the best of circumstances.

In this type of dark night, we find ourselves in a difficult combination of (a) unprocessed psychological material coming to the surface, and (b) being unable to consistently see through it, or see it for what it is, since our clarity is not yet thoroughly clear or stable. There can be a great deal of difficult material coming up, from this and perhaps past lives. And since we are still “baby Buddhas” our clarity hasn’t deepened or matured sufficiently for us to clearly see everything for what it is. We still get caught in what comes up, at least at times.

As Evelyn Underhill and others point out, this is a deeply human process. It can be humanizing. Humbling. Painful. And it’s a pretty ordinary part of the process for many people. And we do get through it, whether we fight it (painful) or learn to go along with it (a little easier). It’s what I went through for a few years after the second opening (relative nondual clarity for about six months).

See below for a more detailed initial draft.

 

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How I have treated my Lyme disease

 

I got Lyme disease a couple of years ago and had the red ring, the classic symptoms,  positive test results, and diagnosis from a few independent specialists. Although some treatments helped for a while (antibiotics, hyperthermia etc.), the symptoms always returned.

So far, two treatments seem to help me the most.

Vortex Healing. Highest level Vortex Healers use a Lyme protocol that seems to make the Lyme go dormant. From what I hear, it may also clear it completely although that may take several sessions.  (I know many are skeptical to energy healing but it has worked for me.) Until I started with the essential oils, I needed to repeat the VH Lyme treatment every half year or so.

Essential oils. A friend of a friend recommended essential oils for Lyme, and specifically, something called the Doterra protocol. (See details below.) She treated herself for a year or so, became free of any symptoms, and have so far – about two years later? – not had any recurrence.

I should add that I know people who report becoming Lyme free through using either Vortex Healing OR the essential oils, so the combination is clearly not necessary for everyone. With something as serious as Lyme, I personally tend to choose simple combinations of the best candidates instead of just one approach.

It’s hard for me to say how much my Lyme symptoms are reduced, if I am actually symptom-free, and if the Lyme is gone or not, since the Lyme symptoms are very similar to CFS and I still have CFS. The senior Vortex Healers I have checked with say they can’t find any indication of active Lyme in my system, and possibly also no dormant Lyme. I am still using the essential oils and will for perhaps a total of 1 1/2 years. I keep an eye out for the typical Lyme symptoms (for me, numb arms, legs, and face, stronger fatigue and brain fog, and emotional instability), and plan on scheduling another VH session if I notice them.

How I use the essential oils.

This is just how I use the essential oils. It’s not a recommendation or prescription. (Some say it can be harmful to take essential oils internally over longer periods of time.)

I use Doterra oils in OO (medium size) capsules.

In each capsule:
12 drops On Guard
6 drops Oregano
2 drops Frankincense
= 20 drops total in a capsule

I take one capsule a day for 14 days. Then 14 days break where I apply 2 drops of lemongrass and 1 drop of oregano on each foot daily. Repeat the cycle. As far as I understand, it’s not good to indefinitely take essential oils internally so I plan to stop after a year or so, or perhaps 1 1/2 years.

Here is how I have done it:

I got the Doterra oils. A bag of empty OO capsules. A regular dropper bottle. And a dropper with a milliliter scale. (The oils from eBay, the capsules from Amazon, and the dropper bottle can be found at any pharmacy or online.)

I fill the dropper bottle with 6 parts On Guard, 3 parts Oregano, 1 part Frankincense, and mix it by gently shaking it. (For instance, 15ml On Guard, 7.5ml Oregano, and 2.5ml Frankincense.)

Each morning, I fill a capsule with 20 drops from the dropper bottle and swallow the capsule with water right away. (The oils melt the capsules after a few minutes so the filled capsules can’t be stored.)

Thanks to Zora for sharing the Doterra info with me!

I plan on giving an update after a few more months.

P.S. The reason these are specifically Doterra oils is because of the On Guard mix. The other two oils can be from another company, although it should be a company with good quality oils.

It’s not what we are?

 

In non-duality circles, it’s popular to say that our emotions, thoughts, identities, body etc. is not who we are.

That’s true enough, but also a little simplistic and possibly a bit misleading.

First, there is typically an identification as (some of) our thoughts, emotions, and identities. We have stories that tells us that some of these are what we are, and there are sensations associated with these stories that give them charge and lend them a sense of substance and reality.

Then, we may realize that it’s not what we are. Emotions, thoughts, identities and everything else comes and goes. It lives its own life. It’s not what we are. We are not any content of experience. We are what it happens within.

And then, we may realize that we actually are it. What we are is what any content of experience happens within and as.

The first is identification with thoughts saying we are some emotions, thoughts, and identities. There is a duality where thoughts and sensations tells us we are this particular human being, and not the rest of the world. Looking at how people talk about it, we see that even awareness or consciousness (or “soul”) is seen as others. There are a lot of contradictions in this duality which are pretty easy to point out.

The second is still a duality. We are that which content of experience happens within. And this content is other. This is a more clean and simple duality.

The third is more aligned with reality. We are all of it – awareness and awareness taking the form of its own content of experience, whether we call this content this human being or the rest of the world.

So when nonduality folks say it’s not who (or what) we are, that’s partially correct. It’s a pointer that’s useful in a particular phase of the process. But there is no absolute or final truth to it. It does reflect a duality. And if held too tightly as a truth, it may temporarily prevent us from noticing that we actually are all of it. None of it is wrong at all. It’s all typical parts of the process.

For me, this process has been slightly unusual in some ways and typical in other ways. And that’s typical too (!). When I was 15, center of gravity was pulled out of identification as this human being and into consciousness as the witness. There was a clear and simple duality between what I experienced myself as, which was the observer or witness, and the rest which was this human self and the rest of the world. It was very strong and slightly disturbing. I went to a great number of doctors and specialists to see if they could figure out what was going on. I was convinced something was seriously wrong. (At the time, I was an atheist although I had a long standing interest in parapsychology.)

About a year later, there was a shift into everything being revealed as consciousness (Spirit, God), love, wisdom, and home. Everything without exception, although there was still a thin thread of identification as this human self and there was an awareness of that remaining identification still being there.

I had no interest in spirituality at the time, and although it was very clear that all is consciousness/Spirit/love/wisdom and it was profoundly familiar when it was revealed, it also took some adjusting at a human level. Both shifts were very sudden. The first happened over a few minutes January 1st around noon when I was out in the sun. The second happened at night, walking along a gravel road with the bright stars above me and a big wind blowing through (I think awe of the wind and the stars somehow triggered the shift.)

Since then, I have mostly just tried to learn to navigate and live from it. And over the last several years, there has been a “dark night of the soul” with a lot of unprocessed psychological material surfacing to be seen, felt, loved, recognized as Spirit, and healed.

And that too is a typical phase or part of the process.

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Om meg: spiritualitet og healing i norge

 

Selv om jeg har levd det meste av mitt voksne liv i USA (mest i Oregon og California), så er jeg norsk og bor for tiden i Norge.

Her er en kortfattet bakgrunn:

Barndom: trygghet, minner og lengsler

Jeg er født og oppvokst i Ski syd for Oslo. Ikke det mest spennende stedet i verden men trygt og idyllisk, og med lett tilgang til både natur og storby.

Som barn, og særlig før skolealder, hadde jeg minner fra før livet. Det beste jeg kan beskrive det som er en tilstand hvor alt er lys, hvor alt er en uendelig kjærlighet og visdom, og hvor kommunikasjon med andre vesner foregår direkte og uten ord. Mest var det en følelse av å være uendelig hjemme, og når disse minnene kom – often når jeg var ute og sola ble filtrert gjennom bladene på trærne – så var det en lengsel.

Når jeg ser tilbake var det også en ordløs erkjennelse av at alt er Gud (eller bevissthet, kjærlighet, visdom) og at ethvert vesen var del av dette og hadde som sin natur Gud. Men dette var ikke overført til tanke eller ord på denne tiden.

Senere i barndommen hadde jeg ofte denne lengselen men ingenting – hverken foreldre, lek med venner, lesing av Donald Duck eller Hardyguttene, eller brød med jordbærsyltetøy – kunne tilfredstille denne lengselen.

Tenårene: fra ateist til oppvåkning

I sen barndom og tidlig tenårene var jeg interessert i parapsykologi men samtidig ateist. Jeg syntes Kristendommen som jeg fikk den presentert virket rar og mest der for å tilfredstille folks følelsesmessige behov mer enn å dreie seg om noe virkelig.

Da jeg var 15 fikk jeg en tåkefølelse og utmattelse etter den første og siste gangen jeg drakk mer enn minimalt med alkohol. Dette varte i omtrent ett år og ingen kunne finne ut av hva det var.

Senere skjønte jeg at dette var CFS (kronisk utmattelsessyndrom) ut ifra et konvensjonelt medisinsk syn, og også en absorpsjon som vitne. Jeg opplevde at jeg var bevissthet og vitne, og at alt – kropp, sinn, tanker, følelser, og resten av verden – foregikk langt borte som noe som ble observert. Verden ble delt i en enkel dualitet. Dette skal være en ikke uvanlig fase før oppvåkning.

Ett år senere, jeg tror det var tidlig januar, gikk jeg langs en grusvei opp til huset. Det var mørk. Stjernene var strødd over hele himmelen. En stor vind blåste gjennom alt. Og alt åpnet seg. Alt viste seg som Gud, som bevissthet, kjærlighet, og visdom. Det var klart at enhver opplevelse av å være et adskilt vesen, eller et vesen i det hele tatt, var Gud som tok den opplevelsen for en kort tid.

I de følgende månedene og årene gikk enorme energier gjennom kroppen, og hver natt – og ofte i løpet av dagen – var det en enorm nedlasting av informasjon. Mye av det jeg skriver om her er erkjennelser som først kom på den tiden. Nå har jeg selvfølgelig andre ord jeg kan bruke, og jeg kjenner også mer til hvordan andre snakker om det.

I lang tid kunne jeg ikke snakke om det eller sette ord på det i det hele tatt. Ingen ord kunne nå eller beskrive dette. Jeg kjente heller ingen som hadde erfaringer med dette.

Senere i tenårene og tidlig 20-årene: stabilisering og fordypning

Noen år senere møtte jeg to som skjønte ut ifra egen erfaring og gjenkjente det i meg med en gang (som jeg gjorde det i dem). Dette var Jes Bertelsens daværende kone (Hanne) og Birgitte H. som var nærmere min egen alder. Det viste seg også at hun hadde vokst opp i samme nabolag som meg i Ski.

I tillegg til nedlasting av informasjon og erkjennelser var det også nedlasting av musikk og bilder, som jeg overførte til musikk (litt) og som jeg også brukte i tegning og maleri. Jeg kom inn på høstustillingen med et selvportrett i kull som jeg tegnet som 16 åring.

Jeg var også svært interessert i systemteorier (Fritjof Capra), Ken Wilbers integrale teorier, Jes Bertelsens bøker og praksiser, og CG Jung. Jeg så at alle disse hadde lignende erkjennelser som det som var i meg.

Jeg brukte mange år på å utforske kristen bønn og meditasjon, buddhistisk praksis, taoistisk praksis, psykologi (dybde- og økopsykologi særlig), og mer. Jeg likte særlig tonglen, taoistisk meditasjon og energiøvelser, Kristen hjertebønn, taichi og chigong, og arbeide med projeksjoner.

Tidlig i 20-årene studerte jeg også på universitet i Oslo og var elev av Odd Nerdrum.

20-årene: USA

Da jeg var 24 flyttet jeg til USA for å fortsette psykologistudiene og bodde på et Zen-senter (Kanzeon under Genpo Roshi) noen år.

Jeg ble gift – noe som avsporet studiene litt – men istedet utforsket og anvendte økopsykologi, dypøkologiske praksiser, og mer gjennom arbeide i bærekraftig utvikling (Sustain Dane).

I den følgende tiden utforsket jeg Process Work som kommer ut av en kombinasjon av dyppsykologi og sjamanisme, ble Breema Bodywork instruktør og utøver, var med Center of Spiritual Sciences i Oregon, oppdaget og møtte Adyashanti, og lærte og brukte The Work. Jeg fortsatte også min utforskning og arbeide innen bærekraftig utvikling.

Udramatisk ikke-dual oppvåkning og påfølgende opprenskningsprosess

Etter en tid hadde jeg en udramatisk ikke-dual oppvåkning hvor enhver opplevelse av et adskilt selv falt bort. Noen måneder etter fikk jeg tilbakefall av CFS og det ledet til en dypere helbredelses- og opprensknings-prosess som jeg har beskrevet i artikler her.

I de senere år har jeg arbeidet med Living Inquiries, og også Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE). For tiden utforsker jeg mest Vortex Healing som er kanskje den mest effektive metoden jeg har funnet så langt. (Selv om de alle utfyller hverandre og fungerer svært bra på sine egne områder.)

Generelt har jeg utforsket og brukt en lang rekke metoder fra en rekke tradisjoner, og særlig de som er spesielt effektive, og hjelper med både helbredelse på et vanlig menneskelig plan, oppvåkning (oppklaring, stabilisering), og å leve fra den erkjennelsen som er tilstede. En hovedinteresse er å hjelpe med støtte og stabilisering i en oppvåkningsprosess.

Ta gjerne kontakt

Ta gjerne kontakt om vi har felles interesser.

Jeg tar også klienter og bygger så smått opp en praksis i norge.

Initial I Ching experience

 

I was introduced to I Ching by my first mentor (Aake Y.) when I was 17 or 18 years old. It was the Richard Wilhelm translation. My mentor threw the coins when we were on the phone, asking about me in general, and got Chien (Heaven / The Creative) transforming to Wu (The Wanderer). Within a day or two, I got the same book, asked the same question, and got the same two hexagrams in the same sequence.

During this time of my life – in the years following the initial opening or awakening – my life was full of amazing synchronicities, and this was just one of many. I probably needed it to learn to trust, and trust more deeply. It seems that the chances of this happening – both of us getting the same two hexagrams on the same question – is about 8,192 (64 x 64 x 2) to one.

I seem to need “big” experiences, for instance with the initial awakening, the synchronicities, some dreams, and my first experience with Breema and Vortex Healing. Perhaps it’s because I am a bit stubborn.

Besides using I Ching for synchronicity type guidance, I found the content fascinating and read it repeatedly for the following months and years. It reflected what had been revealed in the initial opening or awakening, and the “download” that followed.

I am visiting my parents right now, and they still live where I was born and grew up, so some of these memories come back to me and I may write a few more here.

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