Prayer for receptivity, transformation, alignment

 

I find myself with a quite serious and lasting (at least so far) health condition (CFS), and although I sometimes do pray for assistance with my health and for my health situation to transform, there is another prayer that’s closer to my heart.

And that’s a prayer for receptivity, inner transformation, and alignment with truth, reality, and love.

If my outer situation, in this case my health, doesn’t change, something in me needs to change. How I see it, relate to it, how I am in relation to it, needs to change. It’s an invitation for me to align myself consciously more closely with reality and love.

What I eat

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Life 101: Notice + allow

 

I sometimes write about a basic form of mindfulness which can be translated into notice + allow.

Notice what’s here in the sense fields, allow it to be, and perhaps notice it’s already allowed to be here.

In daily life, there is an additional emphasis I find very helpful. And that is to notice sensations, and especially those sensations that fuel and give substance to stressful thoughts and identities.

When these sensations happen outside of conscious awareness, the thoughts they lend their apparent solidity to tend to seem real, solid, and true. And when they are brought into conscious awareness, and the way they combine with certain thoughts and identities to lend them a sense of solidity is brought into conscious awareness, it’s as if we peek behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz and the illusion falls apart.

It’s easiest to discover this through inquiry, and especially the Living Inquiries. And then notice it while taking some time out and having space and time to notice. And then, after a while, we can bring it into daily life.

For me, this is one of my favorite explorations these days. I notice my mind is caught up in stressful thoughts or identities. (I notice the typical symptoms like stress, tension, blame, mental complaining, feeling like a victim, feeling I need to protect something, a compulsion etc.) I bring attention to the sensations in the body and allow them to be as they are. And I specifically look for and give attention to the sensations giving the stressful thoughts a sense of solidity, reality, and truth.

And that tends to break the spell. It creates space to notice and allow it all, and not be so caught up in it. It shifts the mind out of identifying with the stressful thoughts and identities, and into that which allows and is it all.

And that gives space for relating to what comes up in me more intentionally, and the triggering situation in life more intentionally. It opens for a slightly more mature and kind way of being.

It is fascinating how such as simple mechanism creates our stressful beliefs and hangups. We have thoughts which, in themselves, are innocent questions about the world. The mind then associates these with certain sensations in the body, and may even tense up muscles to create sensations it can associate the thoughts with. The sensations then gives a sense of solidity, reality, and truth to the thoughts. And the thoughts give a sense of meaning to the sensations.

As long as this happens outside of our conscious awareness, the thoughts seem solid and true, and we perceive, act, and live in the world as if they are true. As soon as we “peek behind the curtain”, the illusion falls apart, it loses it’s grip, and we can relate to it more intentionally.

In my imagination, in a future society that’s a little more mature, this is Life 101. This is what children learn along with riding a bike, reading, writing, and singing songs.

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Brief pointers

 

My writing here tends to consist of brief and simple pointers.

Why? I suspect it’s a combination of reasons. Perhaps it’s because that’s what I seem to benefit the most from myself. Perhaps because it requires less effort. Perhaps because it leaves more room for own exploration and discovery.

And for others, and for me at other times, I know that something else may be more interesting and helpful. Perhaps more flowing and personal writing. Or more poetic and heartfelt writing. Or more detailed and comprehensive writing.

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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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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 the 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.

TRE for muscle pain

 

In the context of therapeutic trembling, the body releases tension and trauma whether we think it belongs to the mind or the body. The body doesn’t really differentiate between the two.

I was recently reminded of how valuable TRE can be for releasing physical trauma. I pulled some muscles in the lower back a few days ago, and have done TRE daily since.

When done gently and after the acute phase is over, therapeutic tremoring can heal and release the injury more quickly, and it feels very soothing.

It would be interesting to do a research project on using TRE for these types of injuries.

Note: Therapeutic trembling is the natural trembling mechanism in all mammals. In our modern western culture, we are often trained to think that this trembling is a sign of weakness or that we are out of control, or we don’t understand what it does, so we learn to suppress it. At first, we often need something more structured to allow it to operate again. And Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) is one way for us to find our way back to this natural trembling mechanism.

My worldview

 

A friend of mine is interviewing me within a couple of weeks to determine my level of maturity or adult development…! It’s part of his certification using the work of Robert Keegan.

It made me reflect a bit on what my worldview is. In some ways, it hasn’t changed much since the dust had settled from the initial opening in my mid-teens. And in other ways, more in the details, it must have changed – or matured – some. Here are some essays I wrote which reflect my teens/early twenties view on – or rather experience of – the world.

Here are some highlights of how I experience/view the world these days.

Lila. Life is existence expressing, exploring, and experiencing itself in always new ways. Or we could call it God, Brahman, Buddha Mind, Big Mind, Spirit, Allah, or whatever word you prefer for the divine, or life, or existence. It’s all the play of the divine.

I experienced it this way very clearly in the initial opening, and many years later learned it’s called Lila in sanscrit. There is nothing new under the sun, at least not when it comes to our perception or understanding of basic reality.

Integral view. When it comes to maps, I have been drawn to Ken Wilber’s integral maps and framework for understanding the world. It makes a lot of sense of me, and did even back in my teens and early twenties. I typically don’t refer to it explicitly, but it’s there informing how I mentally map things.

View and perspectives. These are ways to mentally understand and map the world. In the best case, they help us navigate and function in the world. And the drawback is that it’s easy for us to take them as some absolute and final truth, and that tends to create stress and distress.

A thought is the same as a view or perspective, and there is some truth to just about all of them – if we look for it. The type of validity or truth may vary, and it’s helpful to learn to sort these as best and honestly as we can.

Physical matter. Matter is – to us – an experience. It’s sensory input with an overlay of thought telling us what it is. As anything else, it’s “unfindable” in any final or absolute sense. We can say it’s an experience in awareness which is awareness itself, and awareness too is really “unfindable”.

And yet, ideas of matter and awareness can be very helpful in helping us orient and function in the world. If they are recognized as ideas and held lightly, they are even more helpful.

Awareness. Any content of experience is happening within and as awareness, or awakeness, or consciousness, or Spirit. It’s what we are expressing, exploring, and experiencing itself. It’s real in that it’s a real experience. At the same time, it may not be as real or substantial as it initially appears.

Physical senses. The diversity of lifeforms – perhaps including life other places in the universe – allows life to express, explore, and experience itself in a rich and always changing and evolving way.

The different Earth species is Earth and life expressing, exploring, and experiencing itself in a rich and changing way, through different physical senses and different perceptions.

Earth. Earth is a living and evolving system. Everything “on” Earth is part of the living Earth and this living system, including humans – and our consciousness, culture, society, technology, hopes and dreams, and everything else that’s part of human experience.

We are a part of Earth, we are the Earth’s local eyes, ears, senses, and awareness (to paraphrase Carl Sagan). Our experience is, in a literal sense, the local experience of Earth. And the local experience of the universe, and life, and Existence, and Spirit.

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Using spare attention for noticing, resting, healing

 

Through the day, there are many periods where I have spare attention. It may be after I wake up and am still in bed, before falling asleep, when I walk, shower or cook, when I use public transportation, when I rest, and so on.

During these periods, I often use my spare attention intentionally. I may notice what’s here – sensations, thoughts, sight, sound, taste, smell. I may intentionally rest with – or as – what’s here. Nowadays I often use Vortex Healing for myself or others. And in the past (going back to my teens), I have often used heart prayer (Jesus prayer), ho’oponopono, or tonglen.

Sometimes, I just let the mind do what it does in the moment and gently notice it.

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Deeply healing one issue will tend to impact other areas

 

Everything is connected. And, really, everything is movements within the same seamless whole.

This evening, I used Vortex Healing to prevent kidney stones. (I had an experience with it about ten years ago.) I noticed the energy working in the kidneys first, then moving up the spine and higher in the chest, and then working in the belly. (There was a lot releasing there, judging from all the physical movement). There was a clear sense that the belly healing and releasing had to do with preventing kidney stones. And a reminder that deeply healing one issue includes healing underlying issues which in turn may have several surface manifestations. In this case, I had the sense that healing the underlying issue of the kidney stones also meant healing an aspect of my belly and digestive issues.

Vortex Healing for my brain

 

Some years ago, I received several diksha sessions that were very powerful. They led to samadhi during meditation and a non-dual type awakening where any sense of separate self fell away. This lasted for about six months and was followed by CFS and a collapse at all levels. During the early CFS phase, I noticed a sense of energetic emptiness in the forehead and temporal area. It has gradually filled in as I gradually healed and got stronger again.

When I encountered Vortex Healing about ten months ago, I noticed the energy worked a great deal in my forehead area. It did when I received the first sessions. It did in the weeks before and during my first vortex class. And it worked on my forehead area whenever I ran vortex for several weeks or perhaps even months. After my second class, the energy has worked on my forehead whenever I use the global healing grid – whether it’s for another or myself. Just now, I received a vortex session on the collapse, and the energy worked very strongly on my forehead and temporal lobes during the whole session and after.

My sense is that the diksha did something to my temporal lobes especially which led to the awakening and the following collapse. Vortex Healing seems to work a lot on healing whatever happened. (It’s also possible that my life situation, and going against my knowing on an ongoing and major life decision, contributed to the collapse and the energetic emptiness in that part of my head and brain.)

Using Vortex Healing for myself through the day

 

Especially on days that are more open, I’ll sometimes work on one issue for myself through the day. I’ll check in while still in bed in the morning, find something to work on for myself, and then I work on it through the day – either in the background as I am doing something else, or more fully while walking or when I am not doing anything else. It feels good to do it this way right now, and it seems that it can go quite deep. So far, I have worked mostly on the physical body (organs, digestion, brain, any infections, any inflammation) and energetic system (energy pathways, chakras), although also some emotional/identity issues. I still have a reasonably long list (literally) of things to work on….!

Working on oneself

 

At a small gathering of Vortex healers, the senior healer mentioned that she rarely works on herself and added, “I don’t have time, too many clients”. A few things came up for me about this:

This is – in my experience – not typical for the Vortex Healing community. Most I know use Vortex Healing to work on themselves quite extensively, both as maintenance and to clear deep personal, ancestral, and karmic material.

Saying “I don’t have time” – as most of us do now and then – is a polite way of saying “I don’t prioritize it”. I try to make it a practice of being honest about this so when I notice the impulse to say “I don’t have time” I change it to “it’s not a priority for me”. I may not say either out loud, but I say it to myself so I can see what’s going on. It can feel harsh, but it’s honest, and the truth shall set us free.

Finally, I tend to be drawn to approaches that benefit both myself and clients. Tools I can use for myself and others, and that benefits me even as I work with clients. Vortex Healing is a good example of these type of tools. Now that I have some time, at least for a few weeks, I find myself using Vortex Healing for myself for several hours each day. (So far, I have worked on chronic fatigue, clearing energy pathways, digestion, possible infections, possible inflammation, misophonia, lungs, throat chakra, shoulder tension, karmic hooks, and a few other things.)

It’s important to find a balance between working on oneself and the rest of life, and now that I have more time, it feels like a valuable opportunity to take some time for myself.

How does Vortex benefit me as I work on a client? The energy flows through me so my system opens up and is energized. Also, there is an element of service, of doing what’s needed in the moment.

Unable to muscle through, so get to face what’s there

 

Earlier in life, I had strong “will power” and was able to muscle through and get things done in spite of whatever fears, hesitations, hangups etc. were there. I could override it. I was very good at it.

Now, with the fatigue, I am unable to do it the way I used to.

So now, even small fears, beliefs, identifications, hangups, wounds, makes it difficult for me to take charge and get things done. Small bumps topple the cart. (En liten tue kan velte et stort lass – Norwegian saying.)

It’s true that it’s related to the fatigue and lower executive (higher brain) functions, but it may not be directly caused by it. It seems that it’s more cause by a reduced ability to override and muscle through.

There is a gift here. I did ask to be shown what’s left, a few years back, and this seems to be part of me seeing what’s left.

The remedy may be the usual one:

Rest with what’s coming up, including the fears and wounds, and my reaction to it.

Meet it with patience, kindness, even love.

Question assumptions behind the fears. Explore the velcro. See what’s really there – the images, words, and sensations making up the fears and reactions to what’s happening.

See if I can find what’s stopping me. Can I find it in images, words, sensations? (This helps me see how it’s created in my mind.) Can I find it outside of those?

Seeing that there is a gift in it helps me befriend it more. And it also helps to see that both the the fears, and the reactions to it, are there to protect me. They come from deep caring, from love.

Even the fatigue and poor executive functions may be there to protect me, and comes from deep caring and love. In the healing process, the organism seems to prioritize physical function and lower brain functions over the higher brain functions, and that’s a way of protecting me. And the reduced higher brain functions allows me to rest, which is also a way of protecting me.

Note: Some may call what’s stopping me “resistance” but to me, it’s more unquestioned and unloved fears, beliefs, identifications, wounds and even hangups.

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Loving the unloved, question the unquestioned

 

I have had old unloved wounds surface lately, along with the unquestioned stories that creates them and holds them in place. Much of it has to do with leaving my guidance when I got married, feeling derailed since, regretting lost opportunities, and being unhappy about where I find myself now.

When these old wounds come up, it’s easy to turn away and neglect them again. After all, that’s been my pattern for most (or all?) of my life. It’s easy to follow the groove created over years and even decades. It’s easy to repeat what’s most familiar.

And yet, the remedy is to do the opposite. To turn towards it. To rest with it. To meet it with love and quiet attention. To question the assumptions that creates and maintains these wounds.

I seem to still repeat the pattern of (a) getting caught in old and habitual ways or responding to these wounds (avoiding them), and (b) shifting into resting with them, finding love for it, and noticing and question the assumptions behind them.

And that too is something I can rest with, find love for, and where I can notice and question any stressful assumptions.

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Podcasts

 

Some podcasts I listen to regularly:

Science Friday (NPR)

Witness (BBC)

This American Life (WBEZ)

Big Picture Science (SETI Institute)

Science Weekly (The Guardian)

Science in Action (BBC)

The World in Words (PRI)

A Way With Words

The History of English (Kevin Stroud)

Planetary Radio (Planetary Society)

And in Norwegian:

Språkteigen (NRK)

Museum (NRK)

Ekko (NRK)

Some I listen to now & then:

NRK Gull (NRK)

To The Best of Our Knowledge (PRI)

The Larry Meiller Show (WPR)

From Our Own Correspondent (BBC)

Documentaries (BBC)

Språket i P1 (Sveriges Radio)

Studio 360 (PRI)

Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me (NPR)

The Work of Byron Katie

Buddha at the Gas Pump

TRE and fatigue

 

There may be many reasons for chronic fatigue (or not), and many ways through it.

For me, Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) is one.

I assume that chronic tension binds energy that otherwise could be used for healing and living life. And it may also block energy flow, in a more eastern view, with a similar result.

At the very least, it certainly takes a lot of energy to hold tension in the body. (As it does to hold beliefs, identifications, and velcro. This is what creates the mental and physical tension, which is why natural rest and inquiry is apart of this exploration for me. I want to go to the root of what’s happening, and TRE alone doesn’t do that.)

When I do TRE, I feel relaxed, whole, and more myself. And as I do it over time, chunks of tension soften and gradually release, starting from the legs and hips and moving up the body.

For me, now, the main tension sits in my shoulders, and that’s also where – in my throat – I notice a consistent body contraction. My hip area and lower back feels much more soft and open, and it seems that it’s largely due to the TRE.

Emptiness

 

When I wake up in the morning, I often experience a profound sense of emptiness. It’s been that way for the last few years.

It’s not emptiness in the Buddhist sense. The Buddhist emptiness can be taken as absence of a real separate self inherent in reality, or absence of experience of being a separate self. (Absence of identification as a self – or with images or words which tends to create identification as a self.)

It’s not emptiness in an ordinary psychological sense, meaning an unfortunate sense of lack of meaning or richness in ones life.

It’s more of an “energetic” emptiness. An absence of movement. A deep silence and stillness. It scares my mind still, since it projects it into my human self and the future. It creates images of an inability of this human self to function in the world, and complete lack of initiative. I often take time to experience the emptiness, and sometimes meeting and feeling the fear. Thanking it for protecting me. Thanking it for it’s love. Finding love for it, as it is. As soon as I get up and start doing things, this sense of emptiness goes into the background. (Although I can still find it, even now.) As soon as I can find genuine love for this emptiness and the fear that comes up in response to it, something may shift. I suspect I may notice everything as this stillness more and throughout the day, and also that what’s noticing is the stillness itself.

Without knowing, I suspect that the Buddhist emptiness may refer to two things. One is the absence of a real separate self anywhere, and the realization of this. Another is the deep stillness which comes into the foreground as all there is. The stillness recognizing itself as all there is. (This may be what’s happening in the mornings these days.)

Befriending flatness

 

Over the last few days, I have experienced a sense of flatness and dullness, and also a sense of emptiness and nothingness. There has also been a relatively quiet mix of a wide range of feelings and emotions experienced all at once.

I notice how a part of me sees this flatness and dullness as a threat. It feels wrong, unfortunate, even a hindrance. And a thought says it’s always going to be that way.

It may also be that I have set aside and pushed away this feeling of flatness and dullness most of my life, and it’s now surfacing to be included, befriended, and met with love and understanding.

This flatness and dullness is also an experience, as any other experience. Why not befriend it? Meet it with curiosity? Find love for it? How is it also to befriend my fear of befriending it, and any shoulds behind befriending it?

What’s the worst that can happen if I befriend it? What actually happens?

How does this experience appear in images, words and sensations? Looking at the images, one at a time, is it flat or dull? Are the sensations actually flat or dull? What’s actually there?

San Francisco

 

For twenty years or more, I have had a clear calling to live in the Bay Area. It hasn’t happened yet, apart from some stays from a week to a few months. And the reason it hasn’t happened may partly be that I left myself, as I have written about in other posts. On a crucial life decision, I acted on fear and shoulds over my guidance and knowing.

Yesterday, I talked with a friend of mine about how clear the calling is for me. Later that day, another friend contacted me saying she is visiting SF and was convinced she saw me there….! Interesting synchronicity.

Currently

 

A brief update:

Currently, there is a clear “yes” to a few things: To continue and hopefully finish the Living Inquiry training. To go for walks in nature here around beautiful Totnes, Devon. To read books on spiritual emergencies and dark nights. (I have a big stack next to me, mostly read.) Sometimes write on this blog, as a way for me to explore and perhaps clarify things for myself. And, perhaps most importantly, rest, heal, and allow Spirit and my soul to work on me.

 

Rhythm

 

I see a cycle in my life these days, and it goes from resistance, to meeting, to rest.

(a) Wounds surface. There is resistance to what’s here. Complaints. Trying to push away. Distractions. Tantrum.

(b) It shifts into resting as what’s here. Meeting it. Feeling it. Perhaps seeing through it. Inquiry. It can also take the form of giving it all over to the divine. Or any other way of meeting, feeling, finding love for what’s here.

(c) This shifts into rest. Peace. A period of quiet.

And then it repeats.

It has a natural rhythm. It’s so easy to “forget” this cycle when I am in (a). And being a nine on the enneagram, it’s also easy for me to see (c) as some sort of “goal” or end point, and resist (a) when it comes up again.

Currently

 

I thought I would give a brief update here. There is still a lot coming up for me, of previously unfelt, unloved, unseen material, and it’s sometimes challenging and sometimes quite moving. It’s all coming up with an invitation for it to be met, felt, loved, seen as what it is – in form and as the same as everything. Things keep falling apart in my outer life as well, perhaps as a reflection of a dismantling of inner patterns as Barry suggests. It’s also because I get caught in what surfaces and live it out, to some extent, and what surfaces is sometimes quite wounded and very young.

Some practices I find helpful these days:

The Living Inquiries. I am in the LI training program, so do the LIs most days, and sometimes several times a day. I find it very helpful, and it’s an approach that makes it easy to explore what I previously have looked into through more traditional (Buddhist) sense field explorations.

Tonglen & Ho’oponopono. I use both of these on anything that my mind takes as an “enemy”, wherever in my world this apparent enemy appears – subpersonalities, physical symptoms, emotions, resistance, life circumstances, other people, a dream figure or anything else. It helps shift how I relate to and see these. There is a curiosity and a question in this. Is it really an enemy? Is my perception of it as an enemy as true as it first appears? What’s my perception of it as I continue exploring it through tonglen and ho’o? (Maybe it’s even revealed as – what a thought may call – awareness and love?)

Holding satsang. I also hold satsang with subpersonalities and whatever else is here (anything can be taken as a subpersonality). You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me. What would satisfy you forever? What are you really? 

Heart flame. I find and fan the flame of the heart with my attention and gratitude. Then – in my mind – place my whole body and being inside of this flame, allowing it to burn away anything that’s not similar to itself (clarity, love). It burns away any trance, any illness.

Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE). I continue inviting in neurogenic tremors, often throughout daily life – when I sit in a chair, stand waiting for the tea water to boil, lie in bed etc. Sometimes, I also bring something stressful to mind to invite tension around that to release through the tremors.

The Work. I sometimes use The Work too. Right now, I have to admit I am more drawn to the Living Inquiries, although I see them as equal and complementary. They are both forms of inquiry. They both invite beliefs to be seen through and soften or fall apart. And yet, the Living Inquiries work on images, body images, and sensations more specifically, which I find helpful now. It’s as if it more directly goes to a more primal part of the mind.

Rest. Whenever I remember, I intentionally rest, allowing any experience to be as it is. Noticing the sensations, allowing them as they are. Noticing the sounds, images and words coming and going. Noticing it’s all already allowed. This is an alert form of resting. More accurately, it’s a resting from being caught up in images and words. They come and go, and are noticed as objects instead of being identified with…. and taken as a subject, as what I am. This is also called Shikantaza, or natural meditation, and it’s part of the Living Inquiries.

Stable attention. I sometimes also take time to bring attention to the sensations of the breath at the nostrils, or at one nostril. This invites attention to stabilize, and it becomes more pliable and a support for any activity in life (and just being). I am just getting more back into this, and wish to do it more again.

Prayer. I pray for guidance. For seeing through the trance. (Victim etc.) For support seeing through the trance. For support in meeting what’s here with love. For support in any way that’s most helpful for me. For support in living from love and clarity. For support in giving my life over to God (Spirit, Christ, Buddha Mind) wholeheartedly. For support in meeting any fear in me with love and clarity. For my life being in service of life.

Additional. I have also done some EFT and TFT. I go for walks in nature.  I make sure to drink plenty of water, usually in the form of different types of herbals teas, so my urine is pale or almost clear. (This really helps with any sense of energetic stagnation in my system.) I take some herbs and similar things (chulen, rhodiola, eleuthero, echinacea). I get plenty or rest and sleep.  I do things that sparks my passion (photography, drawing, reading). I connect with friends. (As or more important than much else here.) And so on.

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Energy drawing

 

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Another energy drawing. As I have mentioned before, I don’t take these as “literal” depictions of my energy system (it’s also not possible to directly translate these things into the physical) but more as projections. This one feels quite open and energetic, while also more grounded. It feels like what’s behind the confusion that sometimes is on the surface of the mind these days.

Currently

 

Laying in bed this morning, I noticed some familiar fragmentation  in my mind, and also some frozenness, and I see how it prevents me from living a full and rich life following my guidance and integrity. I think it’s all from childhood (and really, from right now), and I want to take care of it. I may do a couple of more sessions with Bill (the local trauma guy), I plan to explore it with inquiry, pray for guidance and healing, and also bring it to mind while shaking. I have noticed the fragmentation also when looking at body images – there is one image of my physical body, then two images of my body that are not completely aligned with my physical body. I wonder if those are there because they feel safer somehow. I also notice several images of “me” in the head area – one of the physical head, one that’s in the same location only larger, and one behind my physical head. It will be interesting to see what happens when I recognize more clearly that these are images and not “me”.

I wrote this earlier today. I see I can take several things here to the Living Inquiries: Trauma. Wounds. Childhood. Fragmentation. Frozenness. The various body images, which seem to come up naturally in the Living Inquiry sessions across a range of topics. The command to be healed, to not have trauma, to not have wounds, to be whole, healthy and unblemished. The command to resist any of these. The threat in wounds, trauma, frozenness, fragmentation, healing, wholeness.

Things to do when there is contraction

 

I am in a phase again where there are occasional strong contractions. My mind contracts into beliefs (complaints, self-pity), my breath gets shallow, I resist the contraction and think I am doing it wrong, and when it goes far enough, I partly forget and partly don’t want to use any tools in my tool box. At this point, time is what seems to help the most.

Here are some reminders to myself of what I can do.

As the contraction starts

  • Notice the trigger, the situation and beliefs
  • Give mind/body over to the divine, including the contraction and resistance to the contraction
  • Drink water (herbal teas, beef broth), take Chulen
  • Use the body. Shake, neurogenic tremors / TRE + walk outdoors
  • Breathe and stay with the sensations/feelings
  • Rest, notice what’s here is already allowed

As it happens

  • Walk outdoors
  • Notice sensations, and beliefs about what they mean, take to gentle inquiry
    • Is it true this sensation means I am doomed?
    • Is it true this sensation means something terrible happened? Is it true it means something terrible will happen?
    • Do these sensation say anything about what’s real?
  • Breathe and stay with the sensations/feelings

When it’s lighter

  • Inquiry on triggers and the contraction itself
    • Some beliefs: I made a mistake, I lost what’s important to me, my life will be miserable
  • Set intention to remember these things when the contraction starts
  • Pray for guidance and support
  • Training stable attention (attention on the sensations at the nostrils)
  • Rest, allow what’s here + notice it’s already allowed
  • Bring attention to the heart flame, put mind/body in the flame, put contraction and resistance to it into the flame

Misperception

 

Being misperceived seems to be a theme for me now.

I remember some instances from childhood where this happened. My older brother said I had done something he had done, I got the blame, and was not believed. School mates told the principal I had done something I had no connection with, was called in, and again not believed. There are also other instances.

And now, this seems to happen more frequently again.

What’s really going on?

I see how my words can be misperceived.

If I notice that the person I am talking with seems to have a rigid and one-sided view on a topic, I’ll often take on and defend the other end of the polarity, even if I don’t agree with it in a conventional sense. Something in me feels it’s important for any view to be acknowledged, appreciated and included. And I often don’t explain what I am doing. I see how that can be misperceived, especially by those who (a) don’t know me very well, and (b) tends to see things in a less fluid way (or ar not used to differentiate between conventional truths and what’s there when we look more closely).

Also, I tend to notice and give voice to parts of me, even if – or perhaps especially if – they are small and in apparent opposition to my conscious view and orientation. Again, those who don’t know me very well, and are not used to this, may think that what I voice is my conscious view and/or my whole view.

In a therapy or counseling session, I tend to search for and voice beliefs in me, and especially those far from my conscious view. And here too, there has been misunderstandings. I also tend to search for the grain of truth in whatever the therapist may say, even if it’s far from true in a conventional sense. I go with – and agree with – the grain of truth, and don’t make it clear that it may not fit in an ordinary and conventional sense.

These patterns in me work well with people who know me well, and with folks familiar with inquiry and subpersonality work. And it may not work so well otherwise. I keep getting that lesson. I also notice that one reason I keep doing this may be a combination of disappointment (they are not familiar with this form of fluidity and playful exploration), hopelessness (they won’t understand anyway), and trying to find protection in a sense of superiority (I am better than them since I am more used to playful fluidity).

I see that this is an opportunity to give voice to my experience.

When I notice someone seems to misperceive me, I often don’t say anything. It’s so clearly about them and not me, so why say anything about it? And yet, that’s an attitude that has created problems in my life, sometimes quite big problems. When I look more closely, I see that it comes – at least partly – from feeling hurt. She misperceives me, I feel hurt by it, so I’ll punish her by letting her have her ideas and not say anything. It’s more kind to me and the other person to correct it as soon as possible.

I see it’s an opportunity to find the validity in what they say.

In the situations I have in mind writing this, the misperception is clearly a misperception in a conventional sense. And it’s kind to me and others to correct it right away.

At the same time, there is a grain of truth in it. I can always find where it’s true, even if it’s just in a thought or impulse in me at one point, or something I said or did once years back. And if I can find one example, I can find one more. It’s helpful for me to find this. And I don’t need to give voice to it if it may lead to a misunderstanding.

Currently

 

Some of the things happening currently in my life and explorations:

Giving it all over to God. Whenever I remember, I give it all over to God. I give my body, mind, and whatever is here over to God. I give it all over to You.

Holding satsang with what’s here, using pointers from Pamela Wilson.

Giving it all to the heart flame. Find the flame in the heart area, the one that represent the divine, non-identified mind, love, and give everything to it, my whole body-mind and any challenging situations or problems in my life. Allow it to burn away anything not like itself. (This is offering confusion and whatever is here to clarity and love.)

The Work. I do inquiry mainly in the certification context these days, and for myself and my own sake.

Living inquiries. I am using the “night panic” steps from Judy Cohen based on the Living Inquiries of Scott Kiloby (and Buddhism!), have done a couple of  LI sessions, and have signed up for a deepening course.

Breema. I just did a week long Breema intensive, doing bodywork, applying the nine principles there and in my life, and connecting with other Breema people. It feels deeply nurturing.

Herbs, diet and LDN. I continue to take (most) of what my herbalist has prescribed for me. The Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) seems to really help with the CFS. And I have a diet low on wheat, dairy and sugar. (I don’t eliminate it completely as I don’t want to be too rigid about it.)

Tarot Reading

 

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Tarot reading at Spasso Coffehouse in Rockridge with Luna, using the John Holland deck.

Three of swords. Heartache and loss. It’s time to give to yourself the love you have been seeking from others. (Past.)

Empress. Fertility, seeds sprout, fruition. (Present.)

Two of cups. Spiritual union, one-on-one. (Future.)

I have noticed that I Ching seems to reflect my mind state in the moment, and I wonder if Tarot readings may do the same.

I added a card at the end.

Ace of Pentacles. Prosperity Begins. (Additional card.)