Rocking the boat


I participate in a group that has a tendency to opaqueness and inconsistent rules (including with finances), and I am in the process of rocking the boat to see what will happen.

Some interpersonal tensions are emerging, and it is a great opportunity to explore those things. How can I communicate and act clearly, fairly, and with integrity? What can I do on my own to work on this?

What I am doing on my own includes mostly projection work and heart centered practices, in different forms.

What beliefs are behind how I am reacting in this situation? The organization should be transparent, especially with finances. Is that true? Exploring this, I can at the very least gain some empathy and understanding of where they are coming from, and also some release from blindly being in the grips of that belief.

I can be with whatever emotions come up. In this case, some fluttering and occasional frustration, anger (not being heard) and fear (what will happen with me in relation to that group?) By being with these emotions, in a wholehearted and heartfelt way, they are revealed as something else.

I have used tong-len practice, to take in whatever distress comes up in the others, and send to them whatever equanimity and clarity is here. This works both in terms of projections, in finding in myself what I see in them (rigidity, stuckness in old patterns, opaqueness, favoritism) and the other way around (clarity, compassion, wanting what is best), and for opening my heart. It evens the field containing all of us. There is a shift from a sense of split in the field to seeing it as seamless.

And I also visualize myself as them, one at a time. I see myself as their physical form, then personality and lives, and take time to allow a felt-sense to emerge. This too helps in working with projections, seeing in myself what I see in them, and in softening and opening my heart, opening for a genuine love for them as they are.

Well-wishing and fear


The practice of well-wishing, in any form, has many effects, and one of these is a sense of trust and reduced fear.

When there is a lack of well-wishing for others, there is often a caught-upness in stories about them, which includes different clashes between stories of what should be and what is (a.k.a. criticism, judgment). In the absence of an open heart, these stories tends to come more easily in the foreground.

This creates a sense of uneasiness in many ways.

First, engaging in a general atmosphere of judgment and criticism spares no-one, including myself.

Then, a discomfort in engaging in these thoughts about them, without them knowing, and what they would say or do if they knew.

And finally, discomfort from projections in two forms.

One is simply an assumption that since I engage in judgment of them, they will do the same towards me. I cannot help but to see in the world what is alive here and now. I own it, and it colors how I see the world.

The other is judgment arising, not fitting with my image of myself, and then seeing it in others and not so much in myself. I disown it, and project it on others and see it as directed towards myself. In both cases, it creates a sense of others judging me, which brings up uneasiness… and fear.

And fear also comes up in another form here: a fear of what would happen if I didn’t engage in criticism and judgment. A fear of becoming like them, or of the parts in my that shouldn’t be there, according to my stories about them, taking over.

When there is a well-wising for others, this all reverses. The same mechanisms play themselves out, but now with opposite effects.

I inevitably include myself in this atmosphere of well-wishing, and I see it in others – either as already there or at least as a potential. In my well-wishing for others and myself, as see all of us as we can be, as whole, with an open and receptive heart. This creates a sense of well-being, and a sense of basic trust and reduced fear.

And even if the surface manifestation is different, I know that this is how we all can be, and are when knots unravel. As Byron Katie says, I know everyone loves me, I just don’t expect them to realize it yet.

Engaging in well-wishing, my heart and mind become more receptive.

My heart opens to myself and others. There is empathy, recognition, finding the universally human in what comes up in any of us, and a sense of the health and wholeness of each of us – at our human level – when knots are allowed to dissolve. (Knots are created by shoulds and narrow identities, creating the appearance of splits at our human level, and these are allowed to dissolve through an open heart.)

And my mind opens as well, becoming more receptive to the views of others, and the (limited) truth in all stories and views, so I can more easily meet people where they are at.

The empathy and recognition of an open heart invites an open mind, and the receptivity of an open mind invites the empathy and recognition of an open heart.

Relativism revealing the heart


I see more and more how a thorough relativism opens for a guidance by the heart.

When there is a thorough relativism at the levels of views and stories, a sincere investigation of each story and the truth in its reversals, there is a release from attachment to any of them. There is a freedom in how we relate to them and use them in our daily life. They become only tools of temporary and practical value. An aid for this human self to navigate and operate in the world.

And when there is a release from stories, it allows the heart to reveal itself.

An attachment to stories closes the heart. It creates beliefs and identities to be protected, it creates a sense of absolute truth and false at the level of thoughts, it creates a sense of contraction and constriction, it creates rigidity, it closes our heart down towards people and situations that do not conform with what our stories tells us are desirable. It splits the world down the middle, and closes our heart to one half of it.

So when there is a release from this attachment, the heart naturally opens to include what was previously left out.

There is a natural guidance from the heart, and the views – now liberated from beliefs – are in its service.

Far from nihilism, a true relativism leads to actions that are likely to be seen as wise and compassionate, especially if combined with some worldly maturity and wisdom.

The fluidity of views rests on the steady heart.

In real life, it is usually not as clear cut of course, but this is at least a pattern we can glimpse every time a belief bites the dust, and one that is revealed in its fullness when Ground noticed itself more clearly.

Heart-felt being with


I just finished a bodywork intensive, and will write down a few things that came up over the last few days. One of the themes lately has been heart-felt seeing of what comes up at the human level, or a heart-felt being with. This is a being-with where the three centers are all included… the head (seeing), the belly (felt-sense) and the heart (loving, empathy).

Yesterday and today, a sadness came up, and if I try to push it away it becomes an “other” that is unpleasant and uncomfortable, an apparent hindrance. But if there is a heart-felt being with it, it is revealed as a sweet tenderness, which is also experienced as a nurturing fullness. From being an unwanted and uncomfortable distraction (when pushed away) it becomes a sweet nurturing supporting fullness.

Beyond this, I can of course explore the beliefs behind the sadness (my life should be different, in a specific way), tracking the process behind it, and so on.

Small talk and the heart


The process of going from the absolute and back to include the relative happens many times and at many scales.

As with so much else, it is clearly seen through The Work where we start out with a belief (a story taken as true, and clashing with what is), examine it to thoroughly which allows the attachment to naturally fall away, finding the freedom and spaciousness on the other side of the belief, and then finally being free to play with the story again – now without taking it as more than just a story.

It can also happen as part of our deepening process into what and who we are (especially into what we are). At some point, all the usual dramas most of us are caught up in do not seem so interesting anymore. We see through them, knowing that they all come from attachment to stories, and that what people try to find through them (lasting fullfilment, freedom from suffering) cannot be found that way. During this phase, it may be difficult to engage with these stories both in our own life, and also when it shows up through others.

But then, as the process moves on, there is again the freedom to engage with these stories as they emerge through others. Now, we do it from the heart, through our heart connection with others.

The stories themselves may not be so interesting, yet they become a great tool for connecting with others at the heart and human levels.

This also happens after the void awakens to itself… the void shows up in the form of a human being interacting with this human self, and the heart opens up – especially if there is suffering there, and the connection happens in any way available, including through small talk. The fullness comes through the heart connection, not from the content of what is being said. Or anything being said… the connection can be there even in silence, people together doing their own quiet things.

And it is really what is already happening. Connections between people are very often an attempt to connect at heart and human levels, and the content is less important. The weather, what was on TV last night, or gossip about a neighbor will do just fine.

If it looks, at the surface, as anything else than am attempt at a heart and human connection, it is usually because beliefs gets in the way. Beliefs that makes it appear as if something that is should be different, which creates resistance, drama and struggle – within and among us. She shouldn’t support Bush. I need to make a good impression. I need acceptance. I need that raise. He reminds me of my uncle who I am not on very good terms with.

Three centers


These are some things from preliminary explorations of the three centers… or rather, how Spirit is filtered through the three centers, and then in turn filtered through this human self. (As it is alive in immediate awareness.)

How Spirit is filtered through each…

  • Heart… as alive presence. In general as a field of alive presence, in the heart region as the indwelling God, this alive presence specifically for this individual.
  • Head… as awake luminous void, and all form as this awake void, inherent absent of an I with an Other.
  • Belly… as smooth velvety round full luminous blackness.

Each of these are a field… what form arises within, to and as. Each one, transparent to the Ground, and no other than Ground itself. Each one, impersonal and personal (specifically for this, and any, human self) at the same time. Each one, infinitely loving, intelligent, receptive, and responsive to this (and any) individual.

When these centers are awakened, even in an early phase, it allows for a seeing (head), loving (heart) and feeling (belly) of all as Spirit (Big Mind, Brahman, Tao). It is Spirit filtered through each center, and then seeing/loving/feeling itself through them.

At the human level, an awakened (even partially) center, allows for…

  • Heart… receptivity, seeing myself in others, recognition, empathy, sense of intimacy, no separation.
  • Head… receptivity, seeing stories as only stories, seeing the grain of truth in all the reversals of any story, revealing the inherent neutrality of the situation.
  • Belly… a felt-sense of deep trust, safety, allowing for a deep reorganization and healing of the human self, especially at the emotional level.

The three centers are really one system… the deep felt-sense of trust from the belly center invites for a receptivity of the heart and head centers. The receptivity of the heart centers invites a receptivity of the head center, and also a deepening felt-sense of trust and safety. And the same goes for the head center.

The beauty of Spirit filtered through these three centers is how it allows for the impersonal aspects of Spirit and also the personal, the ones specifically for this and any other individual. It naturally and effortlessly seems to allow both into the foreground of awareness.

I also see how they each have come through in different phases of my life, allowing for an easier differentiation of each one. During the initial awakening, the head center awakened allowing for a seeing of all form as awake luminous void, inherently absent of any separate self anywhere. Then, the heart center awakened strongly, allowing for a loving of all as God, as Spirit. Then, over the last few months (partly through Breema, and partly through the endarkenment shift) the belly center, revealing all form as luminous blackness, velvety smooth, round, full, allowing for a deep sense of safety and trust for this human self, and a reorganization especially on the emotional level.

Heart center + head/belly flavors


I have been exploring how the heart center combines with head and/or belly centers for different flavors.

When the head center is included, there is the usual empty luminosity and clarity of the head center there. A very yang brilliance (compared with the smooth fullness of Spirit filtered through the belly center, it is stark, almost a desert quality).

And when the belly center is included, there is the smooth, round fullness of the belly center, which allows a felt-sense of the heart qualities.

And together, there is even more sense of fullness and richness… the love of the heart center, the empty luminosity of the head center, and the velvety smooth round fullness of the belly center. The loving, seeing and feeling of all as Spirit.

I also notice, as I did early on with the belly center awakening, that bringing in the head and belly centers together invites the heart in as well. Although it is certainly possible to start with any one, and bring either or both of the others in.

Of course, there is not really any “bringing in” of anything… all three are there, but it is possible to invite one or more into the foreground of awareness… shifting each one more into the foreground or background.

Unified heart, and world as split or Spirit


I keep repeating this, and many other things, so I must need it!

Three centers, unified individually and together

When the heart is unified, open to all and everything, it invites the head (view) and belly (emotions, feelings) to be unified as well, and all the three centers tend to function in a more aligned way. (From the little I know about Gurdjieff, I think he talked about something similar, and it is one of the main guidelines in Breema as well.)

Three centers formed within a sense of I and Other, or all as Spirit

Heart, view and emotional patterns formed within a sense of I and Other naturally tends to function in a split way. The heart is open some times and towards some people, and closed other times and other people. The view is split, seeing Existence as inherently divided in various ways. The emotions are reactive. The three centers are often not very well aligned.

Heart, view and emotions formed within a sense of all as Spirit naturally tend to function in a unified way. The heart is open to all situations and people. The view reflects more of a nondual realization. The feelings gives a sense of fullness, nurturing and support. The three centers are aligned.

Daily life

This is very much alive in my daily life. I notice my heart closing off towards someone or something, and the view and emotions automatically follow. The view becomes more dualistic, gives a stronger sense of I and Other, and becomes more rigid and inflexible. The emotions are reactive. And I experience not only the world as split, but my individual self as divided as well.

But if there is the intention of well-wishing, maybe even in the form of prayer for the other person (for all the best unfolding), it changes. My heart becomes unified, open to the world. The view is less split, seeing myself in the other, and all of us in the same boat. My feelings become full, nurturing and supportive. I experience the world and my individual self as more unified.

Other aspects

There is of course an infinity of things happening when our individual self is organized within a sense of I and Other, and then reorganized within all as Spirit.

For instance, when there is a sense of I and Other, there is also resistance, and this resistance is reflected in each of the three centers. The heart is closed. The view sees a split between I and Other, and resists certain ways the world is and certain experiences. The emotions are reactive.

When the centers are reorganized within all as Spirit, the resistance gives way for receptivity. The heart is receptive and open. The view is receptive and more fluid. The feelings are receptive and nurturing.

These seed patterns are reflected throughout our being, including our physical bodies. Within a context of I and Other, our body becomes more rigid, tense, defensive, inflexible, and armored, just as the rest of us. And within a context of all as Spirit, or rather a felt sense of all as Spirit, it becomes relaxed, receptive and supple.

This happens over time, making our bodies a literal embodiment of our sense of the world. And it also happens instantaneously. I close my heart off, and immediately, my muscles tense up (for me, especially the calves.)

Our body, as every other part of us, naturally reflects a sense of the world as split, or of all as Spirit.

Simplicity of connection, and cycles


I notice that there is an immediacy, simplicity and sense of deep quietness in the connection (and communication) with the alive presence, which is everywhere yet also centered right here in the heart. And also how there are the usual shifts between 2nd, 3rd and 1st person relationships with it, from You to describing it to I. Often nowadays, there is the sense of doubleness, of being both the familiar personality and this alive presence, of both as 1st person (and 2nd, and 3rd) at the same time.

I assume this doubleness is characteristic of one phase of the process. First, there is a center of gravity in our familiar identity, usually connected with the personality, and the alive presence is experienced as You. Then, the doubleness, being both at once. Then, the alive presence comes into the foreground, as a new sense of identity, and the personality goes into the background and is transmuted in this process, becoming more and more in service to the presence.

Throughout this overall process, there is also the shifts between 2nd, 3rd and 1st person relationships with the presence, as cycles within cycles.

Antaryamin and the three centers


From the past, I am familiar with God as the field of awake emptiness and form, always and everywhere. This seems to be Spirit filtered through the head center, showing up in its impersonal, transcendent, yang aspect.

More recently, filtered through the belly center, it showed up as fertile darkness, and also as the alive luminosity, and now as alive luminous blackness. Intimate, deep, fertile, alive, infinitely loving, intelligent, receptive and responsive. Spirit filtered through the belly center, showing up in its personal, embodied, yin aspect.

And what happened last night may have to do with Spirit filtered through the heart center, as alive presence, as an aspect of God awakened and present in the heart region. The experience of it is really of an aspect of God right here, alive, present, right here in the heart region. Responsive, infinitely loving and intelligent. And something to communicate with in a very direct, simple, quiet way. After being with this for a while last night, I mentioned it to my partner, and then realized that this may be the Antaryamin, the indwelling God, mentioned frequently by Bhagavan.

When I first heard him speak about it last fall (in a video interview), I couldn’t quite connect with it. I have been familiar with the impersonal head center awakening of everything as awake emptiness and form. But here, there is no inside or outside, and it is all Spirit, so the term “indwelling God” does not make so much sense.

But what I noticed in my heart region last night is experienced very much as an aspect of God right there, in the heart center, as an indwelling God.

Waking dream: growing a new heart


I wake up in the morning, and want to work on my heart, allowing it to come more alive again. (It shut down during the dark night.)

Christ appears and takes my heart. It is red, small and made of plastic, an artificial heart. He squeezes it an a luminous golden Christ sphere pops out of it. The plastic heart remains. Nothing more is happening.

Later in the day, I ask who can help with the plastic heart. Soil comes, dark, moist, crumbly. The plastic heart goes into the soil and is gradually composted, through intention and time. A new heart is then formed on the surface of the soil, available. The luminous Christ sphere enters the heart and it radiates, ready to be brought into my life.

There is a sense of another phase still in the future, and the composting happening now.

Wholehearted: whole heart


No new insight, but coming alive in a different way for me now:

To be wholehearted is to receive the whole of the world in my heart.

If my heart is open to some beings and not others, to some aspects of myself and not other aspects, to some situations and not other situation, it is split, broken, partially open, or open only part of the time. If my open heart is only available to some beings, aspects and situations, that means it is available to myself only partially, only some of the time. It is available only half-heartedly, including to myself.

If my heart is open for all beings, all aspects, all situations, it is whole. It is available wholeheartedly. It is available to myself wholeheartedly. With its sense of fullness, warmth, connection, passion, belonging, softening, healing, deepening, coming home.

Beliefs is the reason for half-heartedness. A person, aspect or situation arise, I see it as wrong, and close my heart off.

So inquiring into beliefs is one way to allow them to fall away and the heart to open. When it functions without the filter of beliefs, it is naturally open – available to anyone, any situation.

Another is to allow the person or situation into my heart, which in turns allows the belief to soften.

Heart closing and opening from same situation


This, again, is pretty obvious, but worth mentioning as a reminder for myself…

Any situation can close or open our heart.

A simple example from a couple of days ago: I see an abandoned cat at a truck stop, spend some time making friends with it so I can catch it and find a home for it, and somebody – in spite of seeing me and the cat, walks quickly next us, the cat is scared, runs off, and is not seen again.

So here, I can close my heart to the guy who scared the cat off without concern for it. In this case, the compassion for the cat, and for myself, gets caught up in the drama of closing my heart off from the guy. There is a lot of resistance to experience, and discomfort.

Or I can open my heart to everyone involved, to the cat, to myself, to the guy who scared the cat. We are all in the same boat here. We all operate from conditioning. We all want happiness and freedom from suffering. There is no difference here. So in this case, there is no drama, just a heart open to everyone in the situation. There is peace. No need to resist experience.

And this is the case with any situation.

When I notice that I use a particular situation to close my heart, I can see if I can include the person I closed my heart off from in my compassion. And really, the person I am closing my heart off from is always myself. I close my heart off, and it is closed off from myself right there.

So any situation can either open or close my heart.

When my heart is open to some beings and not to others, it opens and closes depending on where attention goes, and there is confusion, drama, a sense of something to protect, and constant work in analyzing the situation, comparing it with beliefs, and then deciding who to open and close my heart towards. It’s a lot of work, and does not give much peace or satisfaction.

When I include everyone indiscriminately, it is much easier, much less work, more peaceful, and gives a sense of fullness and connection. It even helps me to function and interact from more clarity.

I also notice that when I open or close my heart, I mainly open or close it towards myself. I am the one who lives with the effects of it, 24/7.