Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things XIX

 

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

AWAKENING MAKES (OUR OWN) SEPARATION CONSCIOUSNESS MORE PAINFUL

Separation consciousness is inherently painful.

And when there is some awakening in our system, it becomes even more painful. The gap and contrast seems to bring the pain up and make us more acutely aware of it.

Why do many struggle during parts of the awakening process? One reason is that what’s left of the separation consciousness comes up, and that we feel the pain of it more acutely.

BEING NATURE

In our western culture, we often have the idea that there is nature and us, and animals and us. We see ourselves apart from nature.

The obvious reality is that we are nature. Everything we are – as individuals and collectively – is a product of the evolution of this universe and this planet. It’s all, including our cities and civilization, emerging from the universe and this planet. As Carl Sagan said, we are the local eyes, ears, thoughts, and feelings of the universe. We are the universe locally bringing itself into consciousness.

Why is this important? Seeing ourselves as separate from nature allows for mindless destruction of nature, and it also alienates us from the parts of us we see as more nature – our body, feelings, instincts, sensuality, sexuality, and so on.

To the extent we see ourselves as nature, feel ourselves as nature, and live as part of nature, we are more likely to care for the Earth, future generations, and embrace and find comfort with the more primal parts of ourselves. It also opens for a deep sense of belonging – to all life, to this Earth, to the Universe, to Existence as a whole.

There is nothing new here. Many have pointed this out for a long time. And there is perhaps some general social movement in this direction, but it’s a good reminder.

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Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things XVI

 

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

SPOCK: WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE NO LONGER EXISTS

What happened before no longer exists. What will happen next has not yet been written. We have only now. That is our greatest advantage. What we do now, here, in this moment has the power to determine the future.

– Spock in Star Trek: Discovery, S2:E11 Perpetual Infinity

This is undeniably true, even from a mainstream view. And, to the extent we take it in and allow it to inform our life, it’s profoundly liberating.

This is an example of how we know what’s real. Most of us know that the past and future doesn’t exist and that our ideas about it are our ideas. And yet, we often perceive and live as if the past and future exist. We mistake our ideas about the past and future as an actual past or future.

Not only does the past and future not exist outside of our ideas about it, these ideas are often biased and inaccurate. Taking this in and allowing it to inform us is one of the most healing things we can do. It can help us heal our past. It can help us be more flexible in how we approach the future. And it can help us see that our ideas about the present are also our ideas and not the present itself.

It’s also very good to see this in mainstream TV series and movies. It can serve as a reminder, plant a seed, or ignite curiosity about how our mind creates its own experience of the past, future, and even present.

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Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things XIV

 

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

THREE JEWELS

When we are uncomfortable or anything unpleasant happens, we look to take refuge in something. Usually, we turn to food, alcohol, sex, drugs, money, power, or relationships. But none of these things give us the lasting protection or satisfaction you’re looking for.

When you understand you can’t find lasting happiness in Samsara, then the desire to find true refuge becomes strong. In Buddhism, we take refuge in the three jewels—the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

The Buddha is like the doctor who understands your disease and knows how to treat it; the Dharma, his teachings, is the medicine he prescribes; and the Sangha is the spiritual community that helps you to take the medicine. To take refuge is to finally seek protection from suffering in a way that can really help you. When we think about the ultimate nature of reality and what causes us to suffer— this is the true meaning of refuge.

–  Keanu Reeves in Discovering Buddhism module 7, refuge in the three jewels, 2004

This is beautifully and clearly said, and it applies to awakening in general – not just Buddhism.

In a broader and more universal sense, the Buddha is any skilled and insightful coach who knows the terrain of who (human self) and what (Big Mind) we are. The Buddha is also what we are, Big Mind. The Dharma is any pointer that helps us navigate this terrain for ourselves and discover what we are. And the Sangha is any fellow explorers in this adventure.

Buddhism is one system aimed at helping us discover what we are and explore the terrain of who and what we are and how to live from and as it. There are many other systems. And there are many paths outside of any system. This noticing is not dependent on any system.

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Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things XIII

 

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

COMPLETE HEAVEN

I am at our family cabin by a lake in the forest east of Oslo. It’s sunny, warm, a light breeze, and I can shift between warming myself in the sun, sitting in the shade, laying down in a cool and dark room, and going for a swim in the lake (24 degrees celcius). It’s complete heaven for this physical being to be able to shift so easily between all these situations. I can very easily be comfortable.

And then there is the nature, the birds, insects, flowers, trees. The beautiful sky. The amazing evening and morning sky. The light at night. Feeling a deep sense of belonging to this Earth community with all the other beings and the rocks and lake and sky and sun. It feels deeply nurturing and healing.

I know it’s an amazing privilege. On the one hand, it’s the type of environment we are made for and our ancestors sought out and lived their lives in. On the other hand, and especially today, it’s not at all a given to have this opportunity. I know I am privileged. I know how much I have to be grateful for, even in a very conventional sense. (And in spite of challenges and a challenging life situations due to health problems.)

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Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things XII

 

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

OPINIONS & IDENTITY

Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge… is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self kind of understanding.

– Bill Bullard

This is expressed in a somewhat judgmental way but it does point to something important.

When I interact with others, what’s my main purpose for the interaction?

Is it to connect? If so, any topic is fine. I can set aside my opinions and focus on topics that help us connect. Perhaps about something shared or not so charged. Even better, I can ask questions about the other and get to know them. For instance, what does he or she love or love to do? What’s meaningful for them? What are they passionate about?

Is it to get to know the other? If so, questions are most helpful, and perhaps especially questions about what they love, find meaningful, is interested in, and so on. (My own opinions are not so relevant.)

Is it to explore a topic? If so, our experiences, orientations, and opinions may serve as a starting point and we can engage in an exploration that moves beyond our starting points. We may find a way to look at it that includes more experiences, orientations, and viewpoints.

Is it to display my identity and get a sense of the identity of the other? If so, then putting out our opinions is useful.

These questions can be very illuminating. After a conversation, we can ask ourselves these type of questions to see where we were coming from. And also where we would like to come from in future conversations. And what may derail us.

What derails us? Do we miss or lose sight of our deeper intention? Do we fall into a familiar pattern? Do we get caught in some insecurity, fear, and wanting to be liked?

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Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things XI

 

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

THE HIGHEST ACHIEVEMENT: TO BE AN ORDINARY HUMAN BEING

I wrote an imagined dialog with someone who has lived for eons, and one of the things that came up – from all those lifetimes of experience – is that the highest achievement is to be an ordinary human being.

Many of us try to be someone special, to set ourselves apart – at least in our minds, and live up to a certain image of ourselves. All that is ordinary, of course. But to intentionally be an ordinary human being is different. This means to see through all these shoulds we put on ourselves, and allow them to wear off. And then discover who we are when we are a little more free from them.

It’s not so easy. It can take a long time to discover and see through these images and shoulds and allow them to wear off.

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Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things X

 

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

THE EGO TOO IS THE DIVINE

The ego is a name for what comes from holding a thought as true. It’s the perceptions, thoughts, emotions, and actions that come when a thought is held as true.

Some talk about the “ego” as opposed to the divine. Some see it as something standing in way of finding or meeting the divine or awakening. Some even use a war metaphor for talking about the “ego”: it needs to be conquered and so on.

I understand where it comes from. Taking thoughts as true is what brings identification with particular content of experience and makes it difficult for us to notice what we are. It makes it more difficult to find ourselves as capacity for this human self and the wider world and all our experience.

At the same time, seeing it as a problem or even something that needs to be changed is part of that dynamic. It sets up the perception of a duality that’s not so helpful. These are ideas that come from separation consciousness and although they may be useful at a certain phase of the process, they also tend to reinforce separation consciousness.

We can say that they are half-true so they are half-useful. At most, they are useful as a stepping stone early on in the process. (And not really necessary even then.)

So what’s a more helpful way of looking at it?

Why not look at it more from within a oneness context? Or the context of all as the divine and the play of the divine? Or just in a more finely-grained way?

First, it’s helpful to drop the idea of “ego”. It’s much more dynamic and less of a thing than that.

Then, why not meet the parts of us that operate from separation consciousness? Why not get to know them? Explore? Listen to what they have to say? Thank them for protecting us? Find a genuine love for them?

Finally, through different forms of noticing and explorations, we may discover more about these dynamics that happen when the mind holds a thought as true. We may discover they come from innocence. They come from a wish to protect our human self. They and understandable and natural. They are universal. They happen within and as what we are. 

At a human level, they come from love. They are a way for our mind to protect our human self. And as what we are, they are what we are. They are love. 

They are not an obstacle. They are not a problem. Yes, they create suffering. And yet, it’s innocent. From the context of what we are, it looks different. There is a natural forgiveness. A natural relaxation. 

A natural welcoming of whatever parts of us still live in suffering and operate from within separation consciousness. A natural welcoming of them as always having been what we are – as human beings and capacity for the world. 

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Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things IX

 

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

AN EXERCISE TO DEAL WITH REGRETS AND NOSTALGIA

Sometimes, we get a bit stuck in longing for the past or what could have been. There is one simple exercise that can be helpful in these situations.

Make a list of all the genuine not-so-good things about the situation or what could have been.

For instance, say a relationship ended and we long for what was. It’s easy for the mind to paint a rosy picture of what was to support this longing – and torture itself more effectively. Was it really so rosy? Make a list of genuine examples of what you didn’t like. What were the things that were not so easy? What did you wish was different? What was the reverse side of the rosy image?

Do it honestly and sincerely. Take time with it. Take it in. Be gently brutally honest with yourself.

We can’t trick our own mind so find genuine examples. You can also ask someone else to help you find things you missed.

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Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things VIII

 

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

POWER-OVER VS POWER-WITH IN HEALING AND AWAKENING

A power-over orientation is one of domination, use, discarding, and valuing oneself over whatever it may be – nature, women, children, other ethnic groups, or our body.

It seems that pre-agricultural societies had a more power-with orientation. They lived with nature and in a more egalitarian way. The power-over orientation may have come to prominence with agriculture, accumulation, and a more hierarchical society.

This means it’s a part of most cultures around the world today, although it’s perhaps most obvious in the European culture. It influences most or all areas of society. It’s something we absorb just by being part of this culture. We perceive through it and sometimes act on it. And since it’s so old and all-pervasive, it’s often invisible to us.

All of this means it’s an important factor in our own healing and awakening process. It’s important to be aware of it. Notice how it influences us. And see through the beliefs behind it and the beliefs upholding it.

The most obvious may be how we relate to ourselves.

Do we try to push and manipulate ourselves in a certain way? Do we try to manipulate the experience we have here and now? Do we try to avoid it, make it go away, “transform” it, pretend it’s not here? All of that may reflect beliefs that what’s here is not OK, that our experience is wrong or bad, that it’s dangerous, that “we” – as our global whole – know better, and ultimately a power-over orientation.

So how does a power-with orientation with ourselves look?

To me, it has to do with a gentle curiosity and befriending parts of me. Meet them. Allow them as they are. Be present with them. Listen to them. Dialog with them. Get to know them. Listen to what they need. Give them space to heal if they want to.

If they suffer, recognize the suffering. If they are caught up in stressful beliefs, perhaps these beliefs were formed as a way to protect us? Perhaps it’s innocent? Perhaps it comes from love?

Do these parts of us as happen within and as who we are as a human being? Do they happen within and as what we are as capacity for the world as it appears to us?

Power-with means a real partnership with ourselves and the different parts of us. They are all already included so why not consciously include them?

They wish to be met, heard, and understood so why not met, listen to, and find understanding for them? They are already allowed so why not consciously allow them? They come from love so why not explore if and how they come from love?

This orientation is a way into allowing and supporting a vibrant inner community. One that includes more and more parts. One where each one has a voice. One where each one can be met with presence and love.

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Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things VI

 

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

AWAKENINGS AS EXPERIENCE OR NEW CONTEXT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things IV

 

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

HEART PRACTICES

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHRIST MEDITATION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things III

 

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

Allowing things to be

Colonel Brighton: Look, sir, we can’t just do nothing.
General Allenby: Why not? It’s usually best.

– from Lawrence of Arabia, 1962

I love that brief dialog from Lawrence of Arabia. It shows experience, trust, and an effective way of dealing with some situations.

In the particular situation in the movie, the Arab tribes had taken over Damascus without the skills and experience to actually run it. Allenby knew that if left to themselves, they would realize they needed help and that running Damascus was not what they really wanted. He allowed them to arrive at that conclusion for themselves. The alternative, which Brighton proposed, was military intervention which would only have galvanized the Arabs against the British. (I will refrain from commenting on colonialism and colonialist attitudes in history and the movie…!)

Sometimes, we obviously need to take action and get involved. We find ourselves in a situation that – if left to itself – will lead to undesirable consequences and nobody else may be in a better position to take charge, or our participation is required in another way.

But often enough, the situation will run its course without any problems. Our intervention is not needed. We can sit back, watch it unfold, and see it arrive at a conclusion that is desirable or at least not terribly undesirable. And if it should take a surprising turn and our intervention is needed, we can always get involved.

If I remember correctly, Jung would sometimes “accidentally” set fire to a piece of paper in his ashtray to see how his patient would react. Did they sit back and let the small fire run its course – knowing it would burn out without any risks? Or would they freak out and try to control the situation even if it was not necessary?

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Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things V

 

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

IS THE UNIVERSE CONSCIOUS?

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

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

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

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

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Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things II

 

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

Adorable Ludvig as drawn by Kjell Aukrust

Writing from a voice

If I am honest, I get a little bored writing from my regular persona. Or writing from my MoE blog persona. It gets predictable and the writing is careful and not so juicy.

So why not write from other sides of myself? Why not write from Big Mind, Or Big Heart, or as I imagine a specific person from history or fiction would write?

That’s how I can surprise myself and keep it more alive and juicy.

Recently, two stories caught my attention.

Kjell Aukrust, a beloved Norwegian artist and author, would write letters as one of his well-known imaginary characters. He even wrote business letters that way. I am sure he did it partly from playfulness. But he also had dyslexia so if he wrote as one of his characters, spelling and grammar wasn’t so important.

Mr. Rogers did something similar. When he needed to tell his children something difficult, for instance something he was angry with them about, he would do it in character as one of his puppets. The puppet could say some things that he – as their dad – found difficult.

The reason I was fascinated by these stories is probably that I need or want to do something similar right here, in this blog. I need to do it to liven it up and make it more fresh, interesting, and juicy.

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Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things I

 

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

I noticed that more and more of these snuck themselves into the reflections on society posts so I decided to move them here. That’s why most of these have an older date than the main post.

Divine energy healing as a form of prayer

Depending on who I talk to, I will sometimes call divine energy healing – whether it’s a more free form or something more structured like Vortex Healing – a form of prayer.

In what way is it similar to or a form of prayer? In some forms of prayer, we have an intention, give it over to the divine, and it’s the divine that does the work. And that’s also how it is in divine energy healing.

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