Low Life

 

I am reading Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York by Luc Sante, and find it a facinating story of the underbelly of New York in the 1800s and early 1900s.

It puts our contemporary western society into perspective, and is a reminder that what we see today in countries with unrest, corruption and barely functioning legal system is what was here not too long ago (and still is, to some extent, especially in the US).

It is also a reminder that Spiral Dynamics red (red in tooth and claw, power, late egocentric, here seen in gangs and organized and unorganized crime) eats Green (egalitarian, nonviolence, worldcentric, seen among sustainability folks, hippies, and political greens) for lunch, as Michael Dowd likes to point out.

Green is typically not the right tool to deal with red, and orange is barely so. As the story of New York shows, it took strong blue (law and order) to tame red. And then it can move on.

Currently into…

 
  • A. H. Almaas
    The Void, Essence. The beauty of acknowledging and working with the seamlessness of human, soul and nondual levels, and of following one’s own process while being aware of parallels in many traditions.

  • Ken Wilber
    Integral Spirituality. The beauty of genius and integration.

  • Adyashanti
    True Meditation and more . The beauty of clarity and simplicity.

  • Joel Morwood
    Talks. The beauty of clarity and finding parallels in many mystical traditions.

  • The Work
    of Byron Katie, over phone and on my own. Unraveling beliefs, undoing the knots.

  • Big Mind process
    Exploring the ways the mind works at personal and transpersonal levels, and seeing that there is no I anywhere in all of this.

  • Breema
    Instructor training. Deepening and exploring being/soul level connection.

  • Diksha
    Catalyst for awakening. (Amazingly effective, in my limited experience.)

  • Process Work
    Facilitating myself and others, and taking classes/workshops at the PW Center in Portland. Unfolding the process behind, and finding the gifts in, symptoms (anything coming up as a disturbance or anything interest goes to).

Recent

 

Just some random recent things, for the record. Or, really, just for my own sake right now – allowing it to pass through by writing it down.

New body

Recently, there has been many periods of experiencing having a new body, or even a new human self. After my acupuncture treatment Monday, I certainly felt that my whole human self was new and different. And it also happened again last night while watching the Papaji movie, and many other times. All of these have been pleasant experiences, so not anything to resist.

It reminds me that I also have other phases where it feels like a different human self, and not so comfortable – if I am seriously sleep deprived, stressed out, have eaten something my body reacts towards and so on. At these times, there is often some resistance – unless I consciously allow the resistance to fall away, consciously stay with and fully experience whatever is going on.

These are of course just more noticeable variations of what is happening all the time. This human self and everything else is always new and different. Everything dies as it is and is reborn as something else, continuously. The stream of content is continuous death and rebirth.

Seeing and seen

There are also times when the whole seer-seen dynamic switches. From having a sense of seer in/around my human self, it shifts to whatever this human self is looking at. I see myself from the eyes of the person this human self is talking with. I see myself from the plant this human self is looking at. I see myself from whatever this human self is looking at. And that is not even quite accurate. There is just what is, the usual content, although now clearly beyond and including seeing and seen, or distinct and free from seeing and seen – and free enough to allow even that overlay sometimes.

Dullness

 

Since the seventh diksha weekend where we focused on the crown chakra, I have woken up most (all?) mornings with an acute sense of a dullness in me – in the body and/or head area. Sometimes, it shows up as a gray sheet. Other times more as a deadening. There is a sense of it being brought into awareness so it can reconfigure/realign.

Energy Stories **

 

In looking at the energy drawings from some years back and yesterday, I see that the main difference is in the absence of an oval around the body in the current one.

The earlier ones all did, as far as I can remember, and they were made before the dark night of the soul phase. The few I have doodled more recently are oval-free, and are post (or at the tail end of) the dark night phase.

I wonder if the oval somehow represented a subtle sense of I. There was a sense of accomplishment and arrogance that went with that awakening phase, although I could see it clearly and that it came from delusion. There was also an attachment to phenomena in the form of a certain magical atmosphere and bliss.

Then, there was an invitation to radically let go of any attachments to these ideas – to the remaining idea of I, to any atmosphere, to bliss or absence of bliss. And this invitation took the form of a long dark night of the soul, where all this was – apparently – taken away from me. Where I was plunged into the absence of all this. Where there was no material for any sense of accomplishment or arrogance. Where there was no magical atmosphere and no bliss.

Now, at the tail end of this phase, the oval does not show up – at least not in the few doodles so far. There is the physical body, the energies of grounding, the clear energies going through the heart area, the mental aura, a vortex some feet above the head, and that is about it. There is just clarity and an absence of any borders outside of the human self.

(Maybe the earlier drawings reflect an F6-F9 awakening – centaur, nature mysticism, deity mysticism and witness awakening. They were all definetely strongly present, and with a relatively clear seeing into the nondual. And the newer doodles reflect more of a nondual awakening, although it is definetely not quite emerged and popped yet.)

Who knows. These are all just stories anyway. The drawing are energy stories. These interpretations are also just stories. Just abstractions added to the simplicity and clarity of what is.

Doodle

 

I used to do doodles like these (usually in color) to get a sense of what is going on in the moment. It may or may not be an accurate representation of what is really going on energetically, but in any case says something about what is going on (as much as any dream, any set of current stories about anything, any story coming up while watching clouds or inkblots, and so on). This one happened while I facilitated someone over phone earlier today(!).

What comes up when I look at the drawing: I find an attraction to the solid and fluid lines flowing up/down through the ground (would have continued down if it wasn’t for the writing right there), the lines – similar to wings – spreading out along the surface of the ground, the line coming up from the center with the vortex 7-8 (?) feet over the head, the fluid lines coming in/out from infinity and going through the heart area.

Currently

 

Hearing other’s reports of how they experience themselves help me see what is going on for me. They reflect what has been for me, what is alive now, or what may be.

For me over the last several months, there has been a phase of a sense of neutrality and space. Mostly, there is just space – within which everything happens. There is little or no boundary between this human self and the rest of what is happening, it is just one field of space and phenomena – none of which appears solidly as I, or Other for that matter.

For this physical body where there are just a few disjointed sensations appearing here and there in space, some emotions now and then, and some thoughts now and then. There is a vague sense of center around the head and upper chest area, but it goes away when I look at it – it is just revealed as phenomena arising in space just like everything else. If I don’t look, there may be an equally vague sense of “I” here at this “center”, and if I look, both vanish – literally – in space.

Whenever I do Breema, either giving or receiving, there is a similar sense of space and a few sensations. The whole from which I can find a body and psyche is very clear, as a whole – as space within which sensations, feelings, emotions and thoughts arise (although it seems that only the sensations seems localized in space, the feelings, emotions and especially thoughts just seem to happen – nowhere in particular in space, not really connected with this human body or not).

The word fragmentation came up in a conversation this morning, and I realize that I cannot find that so easily in my own experience now. There is just space and then everything happening within and as this space. I can see that I can heal, mature, develop and so on as a human being, but it is also beyond fragmentation or no fragmentation.

Over these months and within this space, there has been a sense of dryness and flatness, of neutrality, a sense of fatigue, and punctuated by periods of watching stressful thoughts and images arising, and other periods of seeing some of the old exitement coming up.

Experiences of the body, now

 

During my initial awakening, I experienced my body as consciousness and luminosity. Every cell was consciousness, every cell made of golden light.

Now, during this recent “neutral” phase, I experience my body as space… with some sensations briefly occurring here and there and even those sensations as space.

Current experiences of the body, in more detail…

  • Clear light in/around the body. A tremendous clarity and presence of light.
  • Space, with sensations arising at various locations in space, and even the sensations themselves are space.
  • Also, an experience of dryness, lack of passion and engagement, movement towards neutrality, and content moving through quickly.

Currently…

 

Reading

Luminous Night’s Journey – A. H. Almaas

Spacecruiser Inquiry – A. H. Almaas

Anatomy of Miracles – Subagh Singh Khalsa (Sat Nam Rasayan)

The Healing Art of Sat Nam Rasayan – Guru Dev Singh

Classical Five Element Acupuncture Vol. III – J.R. Worsley

Listening to

Aerial – Kate Bush

Ancestral Voices – Carlos Nakai, William Eaton

Voices from the Distant Steppe – Shu De

Orphan’s Lament – Huun Huur Tu

Egypt – Yossou N’Dour

Glassworks – Philip Glass

Unfolding – Axiom of Choice

Niyaz

Portals of Grace – Azam Ali

Himalaya – Eric Valli

Blue Idol – Altan

Morimur – Bach (Hilliard Ensamble)

Die Kunst der Fuge – Bach (Keller Quartet)

Byron Katie – dialogues

Joel Morwood – talks (Center for Sacred Sciences)

Practices

Byron Katie inquiries, daily in periods

Atma Vichara – inquiry into what appears most as “I” and seeing that too as empty of any I, just appearing within space as everything else

Breema – Self-Breema and bodywork, daily

Facilitating Big Mind – couple of times a week

Kundalini yoga – weekly classes, simple exercises a few times a day (breath of fire and more)

Sitting practice – shikantaze, now and then

Deeksha – monthly hands-on deekshas, and inviting in at any time

Sat Nam Rasayan – weekly classes, sometimes during the day

Being with whatever is – going into experiences, especially uncomfortable ones

Water (80+ ounces a day), diet, some strength, walks, biking

Offering to the divine – any perceived problems, my human self, my whole being, my relationships, the house and material goods, community, earth, universe

Intention – to have resolved/cleared whatever prevents… (awakening, living a fuller live)

Veils and Crystal Clear

 

Transparency

Right now, the center of gravity is mostly in transparency.

There is the familiar vague sense of an I placed on parts of my human self – usually a “tube” from the crown down to the throat area of sensations, feelings, emotions, thoughts and attention, and also vaguely on the seeing of it all, the pure awareness. But when I look, when I examine it, there is no I inherent in any of that – or anything else. It is all just happening.

Fog

So when the center of gravity is in transparency, I also notice a veil of fuzziness in my experience. There is a layer of fuzziness on top of everything.

There is the noticing of what is happening – of everything arising in the present, in the field of what is outside and inside of my human self. And it is all arising within a fog, a substantial atmosphere of some kind. Contractions still happen here of course, and there may or may not be an identification with them – depending on how much clarity is present.

Fog and sense of I

My sense is that this cloudiness, this fog, this denser atmosphere, goes with the transparency. It comes from – and is in a sense, the vague sense of I, the habitual belief in I placed on a segment of what arises.

I also see that this fog can be taken as the ground, in this state. It is all pervasive, and everything seems to arise within it. But this fog too is within the world of phenomena. It is all-present, but no ground.

Fog and identifications

And this fog also allows for temporary and exclusive identifications with contractions. Habitual contractions come up. Sometimes, when there is more clarity, they just come and go within the field of what is. They are just part of the landscape. No need to identify with them more than anything else. Other times, there may be less clarity and the vague sense of I sharpen and is placed on the contraction. “I” go on the inside of the contraction, and the sense of I and Other appear in a sharper way.

Popped ground/selflessness

The popping of the ground last fall – for a couple of months – allowed some further explorations of this.

The center of gravity was shifted from a vague sense of I to a clear realization of selflessness and the groundless ground. Everything was just happening, with not even a trace of I anywhere. Every forms was revealed as the groundless ground forming itself into all these things. Emptiness dancing.

All of this was familiar to me from my initial awakening, but two aspects were new to me.

Ordinary

One was the sense of it being completely ordinary. There were no bells and whistles. No nothing. Just a shift in context from a vague sense of I to the complete absence of it.

There was no need to talk about it. No need to do anything about it. Everything just happened. My human self continued to operate just as before, and others probably did not notice much or any difference. The only difference was that there was a complete absence of any doer (apart from the whole of what is).

Crystal clear

The other difference was the crystal clarity of it all. The ground was revealed as being a diamond clarity. As diamond space.

And the usual fog, typical for transparency as described above, was revealed as clearly belonging to the world of phenomena. Temporary. Just one form among many.

There was just the crystal clear ground beneath all forms. That from, in, and as the world of phenomena arises.

Contacting it

After these two or three months, the vague sense of I returned. It seems that these waves are quite typical, and just part of the exploration process and the unfolding. There may be things in the transparency to learn more about and explore. Then other shifts into the popping of the ground, and then back, until the center of gravity shifts more stably into the popped ground/selflessness.

When attention is brought to the crystal quality of space, as I can easily do in transparency, I see that it is always there, always available. It has just not popped into the foreground and remains more as a background to everything happening in the present.

Goodenough & Synchronicity

 

There are synchronocities everywhere.

From our human perspective, they are always notable, amazing and surprising. From the view of the largest whole, they are just what movements within this larger whole looks like from the view of the parts. They are merely movements within this larger whole, expressed through our human lives and the larger whole we are parts of.

A couple of days ago, I spent some hours at a university library reading here and there in transpersonal psychology journals, books on Zen and Christianity, and some of Ken Wilber’s essays in his collected works. I walked quickly through a section of the library to find a chair. And I simultaneously appreciated the tremendously important work Ken Wilber is doing, and also realized that – although I have a similar general orientation and insights – I will never be able to contribute at the level of clarity, detail, research and synthesis that he is. And of course the thought came up that maybe I am not good enough, or what I am doing is not good enough (whatever that may mean). A moment later, my eyes caught the spine of one of the thousands of books, with the name of the author: Goodenough.

And that is of course true. We are all good enough from a certain view. We are all complete, we all perfectly manifest Buddha Mind and God. And the other side is also true, that there is still much work to do and a continuous process of evolution and development.

Music I listen to

 

Note: current list here.  

A selection of music I listen to…

Contemporary I
Arvo Part: (anything) Te Deum, Passio, Arbos, Miserere, Alina, Orient & Occident (ECM recordings) ***
Meredith Monk: (anything) Facing North, Book of Days, Mercy, Do You Be, Turtle Dreams, Dolmen Music ***
Philip Glass: (most) Akhnaten, Satyagraha, Symphony no. 2, Glassworks, Dracula ***
Steve Reich: Different Trains, Music for 18 Musicians ***
John Adams: Shaker Loops ***

Contemporary II
Sting: (anything) Nothing Like the Sun, Ten Summoner’s Tales, Mercury Falling, Brand New Day ***
Kate Bush: (most) Aerial, Hounds of Love, This Sensual World ***
Laurie Anderson: (most) Big Science, Home of the Brave ***
Peter Gabriel: Passion – Music for the Last Temptation of Christ (+ sources) ***

Contemporary III
Stereolab: (anything) Dots & Loops, Cobra & Phases, Sound Dust, Emperor Tomato Ketchup, Margerine Eclipse ***
Jaga Jazzist: Magazine, Stix ***
Kings of Convenience: Riot on an Empty Street, Quiet is the New Loud

Contemporary IV (light & fly-by-night)
St. Germain: Tourist
Gabin: Gabin
Ben Charest: The Triplets of Belleville
Ultra Lounge: Coctail Capers
Brazilian Lounge, Putumayo.
Benabar: Risques du Metier
Django Reinhardt
Sweet & Lowdown (soundtrack)

New Ageish
Carlon Nakai: (most) Carry the Gift, Island of Bows, Earth Spirit, Journeys, Feathers Stone & Light, Canyon Trilogy, Sanctuary ***
William Eaton: Where Rivers Meet **
Music from the World of Osho: This!, Shadow of the Pines **
Andreas Vollenweider: Behind the Gardens, Caverna Magica, White Winds **
The Harmonic Choir: Hearing Solar Winds ***
Naaz Hosseini: Soundpath
Voice of Earth (NASA recordings)

International: Middle-East
Axiom of Choice: (anything) Niya Yesh, Unfolding ***
Azam Ali: Portals of Grace ***
Niyaz ***
Seiur Marie Keyrouz: Chant Byzantin, Canticles de L’Orient ***
Fairuz: Good Friday Eastern Sacred Song ***
Najima: Pukar
Masters of Persian Music: Without You, Faryad ***

International: Africa
Youssou N’dour: (most) Eyes Open, The Guide, Set, Egypt, Nothing’s in Vain ***
Egypte: Les Musiciens Du Nil ***
Hamza El Din: Eclipse, Escalay **
Oumou Sangare: Moussolou **
Salif Keita
Samite
Natacha Atlas: Ayeshten

International: Europe
Mari Boine: Eight Seasons ***
Agnes Buen Garn�s: Han red den m�rke natt, Rosensfole (exceptional album with Jan Garbarek) ***
Anne Vada & Aki Fukakusa: Solrenning ***
Sinikka: Strengen var av r�de guld
Kalenda Maya
Bulgarian Women’s Choir: (anything) Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares, Ritual, Bulgarian Custom Songs ***
Maria Salgado: Siete Modos De Guisar Las Berenjenas **
Gaelic Voices (compilation) **
Altan: (anything) Harvest Storm, Horse With a Heart, The Red Crow **
Kila: (anything) Tog e go bog e, Lemonade & Buns
Milladorio: Agua de Maio ***
Patric Ball: Celtic Harp ***

International: Americas
Bela Fleck: The Bluegrass Sessions, Tales from the Acoustic Planet ***
Bill Monroe
Flatt & Scruggs
Newgrass Revival
Sam Bush
El Cruzao
Soledad Bravo: Volando Voy

International: Asia
Huun Huur-Tu: (anything) If I’d Been Born an Eagle, Where Young Grass Grows ***
Angelite & Huun HuurTu: Fly Away My Sadness ***
Tuva, Among the Spirits ***
Shakuhachi – The Japanese Flute ***
Tadashi Tajima: Shingetsu ***
Flute & Koto du Japon ***
Ravi Shankar ***
Hariprasad Chaurasia: Chaurasia’s Choice, Rag Lalit, Rag Bhimpalasi

European Classical
Bach: Morimur (ECM label), Die Kunst Der Fuge (Keller Quartett), Orgelwerke (Ton Coopman), Sonatas for Viola da Gamba (Jordi Savall) ***
Rachmaninov: Vespers ***
Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli, Missa Aeterna Christi Munea, Stabat Mater (Naxos label) ***
Victoria: Missa O Magnum Mysterium, Missa O Quam Gloriosum (Naxos label), Cantis Canticorum (Hilliard Ensamble) ***
Allegri: Miserere ***
Masterpieces of Mexican Polyphony ***
Marin Marais: (anything) Pieces de Viole du Second Livre (Jordi Savall) ***
Sainte Colombe: Concerts a Deux Violes Esgales (Jordi Savall) ***
Marais/Colombe etc: Tous Les Matins du Monde (Jordi Savall) **
Couperin: Lecons de Tenebres (Les Arts Florissants)
Lully: Arys (Les Arts Florissants)
Carlo Gesualdo: Tenebrae (Hilliard Ensamble), Madrigaux a 5 Voix (Les Arts Florissants)
John Dowland: Lachrimae or Seven Tears (Jordi Savall)
Canteloube: Songs of the Auvergne (Dawn Upshaw) **
Franz Schubert: Winterreise (Njål Sparbo)
Erik Satie: Piano Works (Naxos label) **

to be continued…

Clarity

 

I have had a new experience over the last couple of days.

Yesterday, during a conversation with a friend, and today during sitting practice, I experienced an unusual clarity in perceptions. It was as if a veil fell away or a light fog lifted.

When I talked with my friend, it seemed that the filters were suddenly removed and I was completely present with him, with no separation. The no separation part is not new, but the clarity of perception was. When the same happened during sitting meditation, it again was an unusual clarity – as if something fell away. In both cases, it seemed so natural and simple – so obvious in a certain way.

Who Am I?

 

I sat with this question this morning – allowing past experiences and expectations to soften and melt away, along with (the temporary identification with) the body, personality, all phenomena. What is left is this awareness. Here/now, as it is. Without any particular characteristics of form, color, beginning, end, time, change, boundaries, outside, inside.

There was also a sense of clear empty light in/through this awareness and phenomena.

This awareness is that which is reading these word. When there is effort – as soon as there is a pointing in any direction – I am looking too far away. All that is needed is a relaxing and softening into it, a simpe noticing. It is just what is – here/now – as it is.

A footnote: The dropping away of the body, personality, all phenomena, refers to a dropping away of this in terms of focus… What is left if all these melt away? Who am I if all aspects of this small self – the body, emotions, thoughts – are not there? Of course, this is a dualistic process – separating the world of phenomena from the Absolute – but it does help us differentiate between the two. And when we rest in the nature of mind, in this awareness empty of characteristics, it naturally functions in a more transdual way. Through differentiation we enter into a transdual view.

Current

 

I have listed current practices, so I may as well list some current experiences…

  • Soft, warm energy around/in/through and extending beyond the physical body.
  • A soft wholeness of body/psyche, extending beyond the physical body.
  • “Empty light” in/through body/mind and all phenomena.
  • All phenomena as radiant (vibrating light/energy in/around/beyond everything).
  • Deep sense of sensual, calm groundedness.
  • Spacious awareness distinct from all phenomena.
  • “Emptiness” in all phenomena (form w/out substance, radiancy).
  • Rich sense of intimacy with all phenomena (no separation)
  • Sense of some general sickness in the physical body, mild flu symptoms (last few days).
  • The field beyond/through the body is “empty” as well as rich and full, which makes it easy to be here/now and not get caught up in thoughts (thoughts are few and quiet).
  • Sense of the small self – this personality – as a shell, a vortex in the stream, through which the spacious awareness functions/embodies.
  • General sense of ease and comfort, and how it is beyond simple.
  • Resting in the field of awareness through/beyond the body, seeing the habitual hang-ups as a cloud in the distance and not needing to engage in them.
  • Thoughts are quiet and appear within a much larger space, so there is little opportunity to get caught up in them. (I did get caught up somewhat tonight, for the first time over several days, although it was mild and transient – the center of gravity is stably in the field of awareness through/beyond the body).

I sense that the richness and fullness in this comes from a combination of the recent eight-day Breema intensive in the Bay area, daily self-Breemas and Breema bodywork, some minimal sitting practice, as well as the continuing Byron Katie style inquiries and the recent deekshas.

And my external situation has been pretty good (according to the likes and dislikes of this personality) since I came back from Oakland, so there are not too many triggers around… I’ll enjoy it while it lasts(!). There is a lot more work to be done. What is listed above can appear due to favorable circumstances, so the direction from here is clarification and deepening, and rest in it – the series of russian dolls from the nature of mind, via the field of awareness and energies through the physical body – in more and more situations.

Great Turning

 

Joanna Macy talks about the Great Turning from an industrial-growth society to a life-sustaining civilization.

And an aspect of this turning is the change of worldview.

Currently, we operate collectively from a fragmented and dualistic worldview. We see the world as separate objects bumping into each other, with no inherent mutual connection apart from being in approximately in the same space at the same time. This is a worldview that leads to power-over mentality, and to isolation, lack of meaning, fear, accumulation, insatiability, etc.

A collective more transdual worldview helps us see everything as aspects of a seamless fluid whole. The Universe is a holarchy of nested systems, one within another. We can make distinctions, but within the context of this fluid and seamless whole. There are no absolute boundaries. This is a worldview of flow and connections, and one that sees power as power-with. My own health and well-being is intimately connected with that of all my subsystems and all the larger systems I am part of. From this sense of connection comes a sense of deep belonging to the Earth and the Universe, a sense of meaning, a sense of trust (although not naive or blind), and a sense of fullness and richness. With this worldview, we operate in a very different way.

And we can experience this worldview through experiencing our inner wholeness – of body/psyche – awakened through for instance an integral practice. When we experience the whole that embraces this body/psyche, we also experience being an integral part of the larger whole. There are no absolute boundaries. Everything is part of a seamless fluid whole.

Footnote: An integral practice can include all our relationships – to the body, energy system, emotions, thoughts, intimate relationships, social and ecological relationships, and our relationship to Existence. Typical components may be meditation, yoga (any form), exercise, nutrition, studies of/within an integral framework, and – for instance – inquiry.

For me right now, it consists of Zen practice, Breema (bodywork and self-Breemas), Byron Katie‘s inquiry, being with/being what I am experiencing right now (Raphael Kushnir), deekshas, studies of/within the AQAL model, walking/biking/hiking, solution focused culture change engagement (initiating NWEI courses, permaculture etc.), and the Big Mind process (facilitating myself and others).

>poof<

 

This last week – after some weeks with Byron Katie‘s inquiry process, an eight-day Breema intensive in Oakland, and the deeksha last Sunday – I have not been able to believe in thoughts very easily.

I am spacious clear awareness, and when a situation that typically triggered contractions come along, I can see the habitual patterns thoughts/confusion appearing in the distance – but there is no need or wish to engage in them. It is much easier to stay in the clarity. They drop like leaves off a tree. They appear in the distance and go >poof

Waking and finding myself as pure awareness

 

There was a very active thunderstorm here last night, which is quite unusual in this valley. I woke up, and for a while was aware of myself only as spacious awareness. It was the drop waking up, not fully aware of being the ocean (but not being unaware of it either), and not quite connected to the small self.

For a while, there was just the perception of the room and the lightning and thunder – without any labels and associations. Without knowing which small self I – as spacious awareness – was attached to, if it was male or female, or even which species it was, and also not knowing which planet or universe this was. It lasted for a while, enough for several lightning strikes.

It is very intriguing – all the ways the mind can function, and the freedom in it. Big Mind is in some ways less of a mystery to me, both when it is centered on a small self and when it does not have a center. But this, how it can become a local awareness – whether resting in its nature as in this experience or acting through a personality as right now – that is more mysterious.

Projections

 

There is often a deepening of my experiences, even of that which I thought I had a good grasp on. The words may still be the same, but the experience different.

During the Breema intensive, there was one particular long body-centered meditation during which we listened to a Breema talk. I sat in the back of the room, and noticed how reactions came up for me triggered by the fidgeting of some of those near me. I had judgments come up and associated emotions, and began to fidget myself. My attention became more dispersed and fragmented. I noticed that my central judgment was “they should pay attention”.

When I turned this around to myself, “I should pay attention”, I experienced a (somewhat dramatic) shift from fragmented attention to being here/now, from discomfort to well-being, from dispersion to containment (myself as one whole beyond body/psyche), from a sense of weakness to strength, from confusion to clarity. I was present, here/now as one whole – breathing, with my weight on the ground, listening to the words of the talk.

What came up as very clear to me, is this process…

1. An impulse arises in me.
2. If I apply it outwardly (as judgments or looking for something outside of me), there is a sense of dispersion, fragmentation, weakness, confusion, impatience, and uneasiness.
3. If I apply it inwardly, there is centering, strength, clarity, direction.

The impulse is a gift from the universe, it is exactly the message I need, pointing out the direction I need to go. If I apply it to something outside of myself, I cannot benefit from its gift. If I apply to to myself, I benefit fully from the richness in it.

The advice is always for me. As Byron Katie says, “I am the one I have been waiting for”.

Integral Practice

 

Current practice…

  • Breema (bodywork, self-breemas, principles)
  • Being with what is (asking myself Can I be with what I am experiencing right now? – from Rapahel Kushnir)
  • Inquiry 1 (nature of mind)
  • Inquiry 2 (Byron Katie)
  • Relationships (friends + intimate)
  • Shamata/Vipassana
  • Deekshas (just started)
  • Work (engagement in the world)
  • Social change work (NWEI courses at workplaces)
  • Nature (hiking, backpacking, some deep ecology group activities)
  • journaling (here and in physical journal)
  • Framework (AQAL model, integral framework)
  • Visualizations (health, well-being, view)
  • Exercise (walking, biking, hiking, backpacking, some strength)
  • Nutrition (whole simple foods, listening to the body)
  • Just breathing, walking, standing, sitting, talking – being and living and experiencing