Appearing to go backwards

 

labyrinth_chartres_lg

Walking a labyrinth, it is clear that it involves a walking away from the center or the goal. At least apparently.

This happens in smaller ways, for instance when I go into beliefs to examine them, or allow uncomfortable experiences as they are and with kindness. Before these smaller shifts, it may seem that going into beliefs and allowing experience is a backward step.

It also happens any time islands of insanity surfaces to be seen, felt, loved and examined. This can happen throughout the day, and also in different phases of the process – maybe even after (and in response to) other phases of a more clear awakening. There is more clarity, so these islands of insanity take the opportunity to surface and make good use of the clarity. (The resistance falls away, allowing these islands to surface and be seen.)

During dark nights, we may also appear to go away from the center. The clarity, energy and ease of an awakening may be covered up, and is replaced by a sobering friction with life that invites identifications to soften and release.

And just in living a regular life, there are times where we may appear to walk away from the goal, often due to circumstances outside of our control, but if there is some receptivity there it is (also) a process of maturation.

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One taste and island practice

 

When I explore One Taste, I see that it can have many aspects or flavors.

Even the basic One Taste has several facets.  Everything happening is happening within and as awareness itself. It is the dance of emptiness, of no thing appearing as something. It is play, reality exploring itself in an infinite diversity of ways, included as confused. And even that is saying too much, trying to clothe the wordless mystery beyond what is possible.

Going beyond this basic One Taste, I see that I can find it in the mental field, in the realm of images and stories. An overlay of images creates the appearance of objects, humans and things in the wider world, a me as this human self with particular roles, identities, likes and dislikes, an I as a doer and observer, relationships among all of these, shoulds about objects and their relationships, drama when stories are taken as real and true, and so on.

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Practices emerging

 

Practices often emerge naturally from where we are, as response to a situation or as medicine for a particular condition.

For me, these are often practices I am already familiar with. Other times, I may have heard about them but not practiced them before. And sometimes, these may be practices I cannot remember having practiced or heard about before, although they are (most likely) found in one or more traditions.

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Island practice and fear practice

 

My main practice these days is island practice and fear practice.

I notice islands of density, of contraction, identification with viewpoints and images. Then a shift into allowing them as they are, and as if they would never change, and with heart and kindness. And then noticing what they really are. How do they show up in the sense fields? Is it really what it appears to be? Is it solid? Substantial? Lasting? When I bring attention to them, can any label easily be put on it? Is it anything else than awareness itself, awake no-thing appearing as something?

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Islands of density II

 

I wanted to explore these islands of density a little further.

What are they made up of? I find sensations and an overlay of images. And these images include images of a location in space, an outline of the islands – roughly defining their shape and size, and labels and interpretations of these islands. And also images of a me with certain identities and viewpoints, relating to these images in certain ways depending on how they fit with these identities and viewpoints. Images of a doer acting in certain ways. And an image of an observer observer all of this.

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Islands of density

 

the_world_islands

My experience since the initial awakening is that “everything” is insubstantial and awareness itself. Whatever I see is God.

But this “everything” is only a rough everything. It leaves something out: smaller islands of density.

These function as anchors for a sense of I located in space, on sensations, and created through an overlay of images. There is a sense of a doer and observer located in and around the head area, located on sensations there (in my case and right now, created through a slight muscle tension in the upper neck and through the tongue slightly pressing against the back and upper part of my mouth), with an overlay of images of a doer and observer, images displacing some of those sensations so the sense of an observer is more around and outside of the head, and – crucially – images and stories telling me that is what I am.

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