Leonard Cohen: Dance me to the End of Love

 

It’s curious how songs begin because the origin of the song, every song, has a kind of grain or seed that somebody hands you or the world hands you and that’s why the process is so mysterious about writing a song. But that came from just hearing or reading or knowing that in the death camps, beside the crematoria, in certain of the death camps, a string quartet was pressed into performance while this horror was going on, those were the people whose fate was this horror also. And they would be playing classical music while their fellow prisoners were being killed and burnt. So, that music, “Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin,” meaning the beauty there of being the consummation of life, the end of this existence and of the passionate element in that consummation. But, it is the same language that we use for surrender to the beloved, so that the song — it’s not important that anybody knows the genesis of it, because if the language comes from that passionate resource, it will be able to embrace all passionate activity.

Leonard Cohen in an interview 

As Cohen suggests, there is a universality and passion in the lyrics that apply to a wide range of situations and that each listener will understand and relate to in their own way. 

One way to understand it is as mystics would. 

The end of love is awakening. An awakening out of ordinary ideas about love, romantic love, and love as an experience or feeling. 

Dance me to the end of love is a dance to awakening. 

God (existence, the Divine), sooner or later, dances us to the end of love. It dances itself to the end of love. 

The Divine dances itself to the end of love in all the ways we experience and live life. And we can even include romantic love here. Sometimes, the pain of romantic love helps us heal and wake up. Sometimes, we may find a romantic partner who is also a conscious partner in awakening and healing where we dance each other to the end of love (or at least some of the way!). 

As usual, I feel I need to add a few more things. 

Most forms of romantic love happens as an experience. It happens as a feeling combined with ideas. This is a beautiful form of love, but there is another form of love. It’s the love we discover in awakening, the love that comes from the One recognizing itself… as all there is without exception. This love is independent of any feelings or ideas. As someone said in Zen, it’s the love of the left hand removing a splinter from the right. Love may still come as a feeling, but the ground of love is here with or without the feeling of love. 

The love we have for a family member, friend, or lover is what we most often mean when we talk about love. When this type of love is mixed up with separation consciousness and emotional wounds, as it often is, it takes the form we often see in the world and in movies and books. It’s the love that comes with possessiveness, reactivity, and drama. When there is more awakening and healing, it comes with less of the possessiveness and drama. It’s more of a clear love where we genuinely wish the best for the other, even when it doesn’t conform with our very human wishes and preferences. 

I should add that the love we have for family, friends, and lovers can be dependent on a feeling, but it’s often not. Even if the feeling of love comes and goes, the love is there, perhaps more as a commitment and steady caring. 

When I see the end of love as waking up out of our ideas about love, it also means waking up to love as the One recognizing all as itself. And it allows any feelings of love, although with less drama depending on how clear the awakening is and how much of our human self is aligned with it. 

Ariana Grande: thank u, next

 

I know they say I move on too fast
But this one gon’ last
‘Cause her name is Ari
And I’m so good with that (so good with that)
She taught me love (love)
She taught me patience (patience)
How she handles pain (pain)
That shit’s amazing (yeah, she’s amazing)
I’ve loved and I’ve lost (yeah, yeah)
But that’s not what I see (yeah, yeah)
‘Cause look what I’ve found (yeah, yeah)

There isn’t too much to say about this song because it’s all there in the lyrics.

It’s about gratitude, impermanence, and self-love. 

Everything passes – all our relationships to anything in the world, to people, things, situations. And all we can do is learn from it and say thank u, next. 

Except, one relationship doesn’t pass and that’s to myself. I can find a good relationship to myself. I can treat myself as I would want to be treated by someone important in my life. I can treat myself – and anything coming up in me, all my experiences – with love, kindness, respect, as a good friend or lover. 

It’s an important pointer. In some ways, it’s the secret to life. And it’s beautiful to see it in pop culture, and especially when aimed at younger women as I assume this one is. Although the pointer is equally valid and essential independent of our gender or age. 

This song is completely aligned with the insights we find through The Work. I won’t be surprised if this will be a regular song at future Schools. 

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Ram Dass – Fierce Grace & Going Home

 

I love Fierce Grace and Going Home, two documentaries about and with Ram Dass. He shows how we can use life challenges to humanize ourselves, to become more deeply human, to embrace who we are as humans more fully with flaws and everything else, and realize it’s really all about love. Any desire for awakening, healing, maturing, humanizing, freedom from suffering, or whatever it may be, is really about love.

Adyashanti: Imagine that your existence is in no way a mistake

 

Imagine that your existence is in no way a mistake. Imagine that you are here in your life, in your incarnation, as an act of love. Because only by being completely willing to be here as an act of love can you redeem all the hidden and painful places within your being.

– Adyashanti

Another way to say this is that we are here as an act of love. Existence is an act of love. That anything exists at all is an act of love. And when we align with that, and our fighting against it falls away, a more profound healing is allowed to happen.

Love and fear

 

Some will tell you that fear is the opposite of love. And in this teaching the war begins. But love has no opposite, for it is whole and without division. Love is the field in which all form comes and goes, including the temporary, wavelike appearance of fear. It is the vast, tender space in which all emotions, feelings, and physical sensations arise, play for a short while, and then dissolve. Just like passing clouds could never taint the purity of the sky, the temporary dance of fear could never stain the majesty of what you are.

Matt Licata

What’s the relationship between love and fear?

I agree that fear is the opposite of love, when we buy into that fear. When we are caught up in fear, it tends to mask love from us. And we may very well act in ways that seem anything but loving.

I also agree that love encompasses fear. The love we are already allows and even is fear, as it allows and is any experience.

And I even agree that the fear vs love idea is the beginning of war, when it’s misunderstood. If we see fear as wrong or bad or something to avoid or eliminate, that’s a war we start with reality. And that’s painful, futile, and somewhat misguided.

What is love?

 

Here is another topic I tend to revisit.

What is love?

The simplest may be to look at it in terms of what and who we are.

What we are is that which all experience happens within and as. (Variously called consciousness, awakeness, Big Mind, Spirit, Brahman etc.) Here, love is what we are. This is not neccesarily a felt love. But it is the love of the left hand removing a splinter from the right. They belong to the same whole, so nothing is more natural than helping out as appropriate. And that looks like love.

Who we are is our human self. Here, the love from what we are is filtered through beliefs and identifications, and that means it can look like love in an ordinary human sense, and also a lot of other things. Ordinary human love is often mixed in with a sense of lack, need, wants, insecurities, compensations, and more. Felt love is often from some of these filters.

Going one step further, we see that even what doesn’t at all look like love (in a conventional sense) comes from love. That too is filtered love.

For instance, lack comes from care for our human self. It comes from a wish, or attempt, or impulse, to take our our separate self. And that’s still love, but in a filtered form. The same goes for fear, anger, wounds, trauma, greed, insecurities, and a lot more that from a conventional view looks like anything but love. And still, when we examine it more closely, all of it can be traced back to love. It comes from care for our human self, and an attempt to take care of our human self. It’s love filtered through all sorts of beliefs and identifications.

Who and what we are go together and are inseperable. That’s why the two forms of love mentioned above are largely inseperable and mixed together in our actual human lives.

In an opening or awakening, the first one becomes more clear, and it can be lived to some extent. The more we examine and clear up beliefs and identifications, the more it is revealed and the more we tend to live from it in more situations.

Also, the more we examine filtered love, the more we reognize it’s from love, and the less we tend to battle it. And that removes a layer of additional filtering which is also helpful.

As usual, there is nothing wrong with this filtering of love. It’s just how life plays itself out through us. It’s also inherently stressful and uncomfortable, and we eventually get to a point where we wish to find another way. And that’s where we can start to find a different relationship with the filters (more kindness towards them which tends to allow identification with them to soften) and also find ways to invite them to clear and release.

An important part of this process is to find more peace with and kindness towards the filtering. We see that nothing is wrong. We see it comes from care for this human self, and love. Identification with the filtering tends to soften and even release, partly from finding more kindness towards it. And, in general, everything feels a bit easier. It doesn’t mean that the filtering is all gone, or that all identification with it is released, but it does mean it generally is a bit easier.

It’s an ongoing process, and it tends to become more enjoyable and lighter as we go along. And from the outside, it may look as if we live more and more from the what-we-are type of love. The one that’s like the left hand taking care of the right. And it also tends to look sane in a very ordinary way, and deeply human.

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Why is God love?

 

 

God is love.

Why? Why do we often experience God as love when there is a spiritual opening or awakening?

From a human perspective, we can experience God as love for a few different reasons.

When there is an initial opening or awakening and all is revealed as Spirit, there may be an experience of love towards ourselves, others, and everything. It feels like love. God feels like love.

When that realization is lived through us, we act as if from love. All is one, so helping others – as and when appropriate – is as natural as the left hand helping the right. It looks like love.

And when that realization is more stable through situations, we may realize that all is good as is. All is Spirit. What happens is Spirit. There is an infinite wisdom and intelligence behind it. Nothing is out of place. And that, to us, looks like love. The world looks like love.

The first is a felt sense of love, and the two others look like love but are not dependent on any feelings of love. And that’s why we may experience, and say, that God is love. Of course, love – and these three points – are all human concepts. It’s a human attempt at putting words on something.

The first one tends to naturally fade over time. I suspect it’s more a byproduct of an initial opening or awakening. And the other two tend to deepen over time.

Note: The photo is one I took at sunset at Venice beach in 2012.

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Behind anger is fear, behind fear is caring, and behind caring is love

 

This is something that becomes clearer over time, especially through exploring specific issues through inquiry.

Behind anger, sadness, and compulsions is fear. Behind fear is caring. And behind that caring is love.

Said more succinctly:

Behind identifications (beliefs, velcro) is fear, and behind that fear is caring and love.

The pitfall in saying to so simply and succinctly is that the mind thinks it gets it and that such a superficial and intellectual understanding is sufficient. The benefit is that it can serve as a question to explore, and a guide when we work on ourselves and clients.

A few more details:

Identifications (holding a thought as true) is what creates stressful experiences such as struggle with anger, sadness, and compulsions. (Anger, sadness etc. can also just be here without any struggle.)

Fear is what holds identifications in place. It may be what created the identification in the first place, and it’s often what comes up when the mind considers not having that identification.

Behind fear is a deep caring. A caring for oneself and others. And caring is just another word for love.

When we see the behind all this is love, there is less of a struggle with it. And less struggle means a bit more space around it, which helps soften and release the identifications in and relating to it.

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Falling in and out of love – intentionally

 

I saw recent research where they found that people can intentionally fall in or out of love depending on what they focus on in the other person.

It’s seems pretty intuitive, and something we all (?) use more or less intentionally. When we focus on lovable aspects, we fall more in love. And when we focus on unlovable aspects, we fall more out of love.

This has several practical applications.

One is when we lose someone we love. If we idealize the person and only focus on the lovable and amazing aspects, we amplify the pain of the loss. And if we intentionally identify and include the unlovable, troublesome, and annoying aspects of the person, we get a more realistic picture and it can lessen the pain. It can help to make a list and do it somewhat regularly over time.

Conversely, if we are in a relationship and find ourselves falling out of love, we can rekindle the love by intentionally remind ourselves of the lovable aspects of the other person.

Another is self-love. Self-love can be allowing our current experience and meet it with some kindness. And it can also be finding and remind ourselves about lovable aspects of ourselves. The first focuses on the presence aspect of what we are (context), and the second our human self (content).

This also goes for life. If we focus on the less desirable aspects of our life and life in general, we tend to fall out of love with life. And if we focus on the lovable aspects of life, we tend to fall more in love with life.

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Love addiction and polyamory

 

Love addiction comes from not feeling loved sufficiently. We typically have an identity as someone unloved or unlovable, and we are also unable to love ourselves fully and in a satisfying way. We are unable to sufficiently find love and kindness towards our own emotions, emotional and physical pain, painful thoughts, and general discomfort and unease.

We were not shown how to do this as babies and children. Our parents were perhaps unable to give us sufficient unconditional love, and they were unable to do it to themselves as well. So we didn’t learn it.

What we did learn was to seek it outside of ourselves, from others. Many of us spend a lifetime trying to find love from others, to fill that hole in us through the love of others. It works to some extent, but not completely. It may not be sufficient, it may be uncertain and withdrawn, and since the only real remedy is to give it to ourselves it will never be enough when we try to get it from others.

I was reminded of this when I talked with a friend who is in a polyamory relationship, somewhat against his preference. Polyamory may, for some, be a strategy to find that love. We get it from multiple sources, and we always have one or more backups if one should fail.

It can be just another way to avoid facing the pain of feeling unloved or unlovable, and to avoid the challenge and discomfort in learning to truly and more consistently meet our own experience with kindness and love. The other side of it is that it can provide a setting for us to learn to love ourselves, just as any other setting – whether we are single, in a conventional relationship, or in an open or polyamorous relationship.

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Love hurts?

 

Some say love hurts.

In my experience, love is love. It’s kindness to my own experience, others, and life.

What hurts is the very human parts of us that sometimes get caught up in it. The beliefs, wounds, identifications, expectations, insecurities, longing, and so on. Anything in us with a charge on it.

The two – the love and the human parts – are often intertwined in our life and experience, but they are actually distinct from each other. And we can unwind these two.

Eventually, we can more and more often allow love to be love, and our human hurts and hangups to be just that and be met in that love.

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We are love?

 

Some say we are love, and I would say that too.

Sometimes, love is felt. And always, love is what we are.

Say we are this presence that all experience happens within and as. Then acting from love is inherent in us. It’s as natural as one hand pulling out a splinter from the other.

The feeling of love comes and goes, as any experience does. And what we are doesn’t come and go. It just is unnoticed at times, when the mind is temporarily lost in its own self-created drama.

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Kindness to the resistance

 

There is often some resistance to our experience, some fear, some wish for it to be different.

There is unmet, unloved, and unquestioned fear about some part of our experience, and that takes the form of resistance and wanting it to be different. It’s completely innocent, understandable, and nearly universal. It may happen for most of us most of the time, even if it’s subtle.

If the resistance is not noticed or explored, then there is often unconscious identification with it. We take on the perspective of that resistance and the fear behind it, and we may not even notice it’s happening.

The remedy is to notice and have some gentle curiosity about it.

Is there any restlessness, any wish to be somewhere else or do something else, any compulsion to think or do something else? Is there any wish for parts of my experience to be different?

Where in my body do I feel it? Rest with those sensations. Notice the space it’s happening within, and that’s also within the sensations. Notice any images or words connected with the sensations, rest with these too, and return to the sensations.

Rest with it in kindness.

You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me.

I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you. (Ho’o.)

We can also do some gentle mining.

If the sensation could speak, what would it say?

What do the sensations mean?

What’s my earliest memory of feeling that way?

Often, I will just rest with the sensations and whatever images and words come up. If it seems helpful, I may ask a few simple inquiry questions just to clarify what’s here. For instance, an image may come up, I sense it feels like a problem or a threat, so I can ask if it is.

When the fear underlying the resistance is unmet, unloved, and unquestioned, there is that unconscious identification with it and its scary story about my experience, myself, and the world. As soon as the resistance or fear is noticed, there is some distance to it and some disidentification. There is room to relate to it more intentionally and with kindness and curiosity. There is room to give it what it wants, which is often to be met with kindness, allowed as it is, held in presence, understood, treated with respect.

Note: I realize I took the reasons for exploring this as a given, and only addressed it indirectly above. I see two reasons. One is that being unconsciously identified with scary stories means I perceive through this filter and live as if these scary stories are true, or at least somewhat true. That can create some problems in my life. I may live and act in ways I wouldn’t if there was more clarity around the fear. Also, being identified with scary stories is in itself uncomfortable. Resting with what’s there, and see more clearly the components making it up, allows it to soften and relax.

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All as Spirit, and a deeper layer of what needs healing

 

When I was 16 and had the initial opening or awakening, all was recognized as Spirit and Love. The divine woke up to itself as everything without exception, and as consciousness, love, and the void it all also is. This was quite strong for several years.

At the same time, I knew that there was still a lot of healing needed for my human self and that the remaining unloved and unexamined parts of my human self created a pull for identification. I worked on this as well as I could, but it was difficult to access as deeply as I felt was necessary.

So what happened was a dark night of the soul. And that brought that material up to the surface without much filtering and without much opportunity to hold it back.

There are many ways to talk about this and many angles to approach it from. Each one with it’s own validity and value.

These parts want what I want, which is to be met in presence, kindness, patience, and understanding.

These parts do not yet know all as Spirit and love. They seek to know.

They seek to know their own deeper reality, which is presence, love, and even void.

Said another way, Spirit seeks to know itself as these parts of me. And to know these parts – the trauma, pain, sadness, anger, fear, grief – as presence, love, and void. As the divine and the play of the divine.

This allows for a deeper healing. And it allows for a deeper and more thorough alignment of more of my human self with reality. This is one of the ways an opening or awakening deepens.

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The love you make

 

The love you take is equal to the love you make.

(a ) When you live from love, kindness, caring, then it’s likely to come back to you from others.

(b) When you find love, caring, kindness in yourself, you experience it, you give it to yourself, independent of the apparent target in the world.

(c) When you  find love, kindness, and caring for you own experience you experience and receive that love.

(d) When you find yourself as love, you both “make” and “take” that love.

In each of these ways, the love we make is the love we take.

 

Jeff Foster: When love cracks you open

 

Love does not always feel safe because love is pure potential and pure presence and in pure presence every feeling and impulse is welcome, however gentle, however painful, however inconvenient, however fierce.

So when you let someone matter to you and you let yourself matter to someone and you are not ruled by fear your heart will have no choice but to crack to the hugeness of love and you will not be able to control the results and that’s why the ego cannot love.

Safe, unsafe. Happy, sad. Certain, uncertain. Afraid, fearless. Fragile, powerful. Worthy, worthless, and everything in between. There is so much life now trying to fill you up, and you can barely contain it all. You are full of life, penetrated by life, pregnant with life.

They lied to you about love, you see, they said it was always supposed to feel good and warm and happy, they said it was something you’d be given, something you’d have to earn, or deserve, they said it was all butterflies and angels and light, but really it was always you, naked, raw and alive, cracked, whole, vulnerable, shaky but real, inhaling a cosmos, exhaling euphoria and the darkness and the grief and the joy of humanity and sometimes not knowing what the hell you’re doing or how you’re still alive.

Good. Breathe. All is unfolding beautifully, here. Love is not only gain, it is also loss. The beloveds will die and the loved ones will vanish, but love will not. She will simply make you rise, you see, and fall again, and wonder again if you will ever rise. She will open you and close you and break you and humble you and laugh at your childhood fantasies of love.

But it is all natural, and it is all for you. You will come full circle before long, back to yourself, the Origin. You were only ever seeking your own Heart, and its multitude of reflections.

Love is here. Love is always here. Somewhere between the euphoria and the darkness she found you. And the very ground you stand on is blessed, and you are safe.

So cry, laugh, shake, vomit; you will never be abandoned by the Heart.

– Jeff Foster

Be present with love itself…. in addition to what or whom I love

 

There is a love polarity. One end is love itself. The other is what or whom I love, the object of love.

The first is what I am. It’s a facet of presence. The second is transient and will inevitably go away.

If my focus and attention is solely on the object of love, it will create suffering. And while that suffering is an expression of love, it’s also quite painful.

So why not bring attention to love itself? Why not notice it? Be present with it? Find myself as it? Notice it’s a facet of presence? Notice it’s divine love? (If we want to use that word.) Notice I am presence and love?

This can be a very helpful and even enjoyable practice. I notice love for something or someone. And that’s a reminder to myself to notice love itself. Notice presence as love. Notice myself as presence and love. Rest as presence and love.

It’s not only helpful for me in aligning more with this reality. It also helps my relationships with whom or what triggers this love. There is less of a sense of neediness or (illusory) ownership, and more of a sense of appreciation, gratitude, and giving the object its freedom. Including its freedom to come and go. If I find myself as presence and love, the comings and goings of the objects of love are a little easier.

In a practical sense, this can be quite simple. (a) Love (or joy, contentment, gratitude) comes up, perhaps triggered by an external circumstance. (b) I notice it. (c) I am reminded to shift my noticing to the love (or joy, contentment, gratitude) itself, to how it feels in my body. I am present with these feelings and rest with them.

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Abandonment

 

Often, a current situation triggers an old wound.

For instance, we felt abandoned early in life. It felt life threatening. All encompassing. It made a deep impression. And the current situation triggers this old wound.

What we often do is to abandon the abandoned part of ourselves. We abandon the part of us that feels abandoned. We abandon the abandonment wound. We repeat the initial situation.

The remedy is to not abandon it. To be present with it. Patient. Kind towards it. As we would a scared child or animal. Presence, patience, and kindness heal. It makes this part of us feel held, supported, understood, met. It gives this part of us what it needs to relax, heal, and feel more comfortable.

There is more to say about abandonment. It helps if we can recognize it for what it is: Created by the mind. Inherently without substance. Made up by energies and imaginations. We can do this by looking at each element at a time, and take time to feel the sensations as physical sensations. That helps the mind see it for what it is and the power drains out of it.

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Love your enemies

 

Love your enemies. 

I keep rediscovering and relearning how healing this is.

What my mind makes into an “enemy” can be a person, a situation, a part of myself, an experience, or anything else. As soon as my mind makes anything into an enemy, there is struggle, a sense of separation, and suffering (even if just slight). It’s uncomfortable. It creates unease. It’s how suffering, wounds, and trauma are held in place.

When the mind finds love for it’s “enemies” there is a relaxation, a healing, a reconciliation, a sense of connection (or no separation at all), and receptivity.

So how can we do this? There are many ways to help the mind shift into this.

Tonglen. Give and take. Visualize the “enemy” – whatever it is. See its suffering as dark smoke. Breathe it in. Breathe out light and see it go into and light up the other. (This can feel scary at first. If it does, do tonglen for the scared part. Include it.)

Ho’oponopono. I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Say it many times towards the other. Repeat until the sense of separation and sense of it being an enemy softens and dissolves. Here too, if there is fear or resistance coming up, do ho’o towards these parts of the mind.

Prayer. Pray for the health and well-being of the other.

Inquiry. Examine any sense of threat and a threatened one, any sense of solidity of the other (and yourself), any command to see the other as an enemy or not. (Living Inquiries.) This will help soften or dissolve any sense of solidity of what you are examining and it tends to open for receptivity, understanding, kindness, and love.

Love seems to be at the core of healing. Love. Reconciliation. And helping softening and dissolving any sense of solidity of the components (threat, separation, commands) creating a sense of an enemy.

As I have said before, to me the love your enemy pointer is more a pointer for healing than anything else. Although I also see how it can be helpful if it’s taken more as a pointer for how to behave.

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Rudy Francisco: Perhaps we should love ourselves so fiercely

 

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Perhaps, we should

love ourselves so fiercely,

that when others see us

they know exactly

how it should be done.

– Rudy Francisco

Yes. And the love is a simple love of presence, meeting what’s arising in me in presence and with love and patience. Meeting whatever is arising in that way, no matter how scary it may at first seem.

It’s such an irony that it can seem scary to meet our own experience in this way. And yet, that fear is the gatekeeper to a life that’s far more peaceful and authentic.

Victim identity: A cry for attention and love

 

For some of us, the victim identity can be very strong. The mind may even hold onto it as if it’s a matter of life and death.

Why is the need to hold onto something so painful so strong? What is the real need or wish within it? It must be something that our minds holds as very important. So important that it’s willing to create suffering for itself in the hopes of getting it.

To me, it seems that it comes from a deep need and wish for love and presence. For attention, understanding, comfort, love and presence. As long as that’s not met, the victim identification will continue to be fueled by the mind. In it’s trance, it may see it as the best or only way to get what it really needs and wants, which is that presence and love.

It works to some extent. When we go into victim identification, other people may give us some attention, understanding, and love. We may even have been trained by our parents that that’s how we get attention and love. And yet, it doesn’t really work. People may give it to us sometimes and not other times. And even if we get that presence and love from them, it’s not enough as long as we don’t give it to ourselves. We cannot truly take it in and experience it until we give it to ourselves.

So that’s the remedy. Our own presence and love is the remedy.

How do we give it to ourselves? There are a few different ways.

Natural rest. Notice and allow. Notice what’s here in experience and allow it. (Notice it’s already noticed and allowed.) Being present with it. This presence itself is a form of love.

Say “thank you for protecting me” to the part of us in pain. It’s here to protect us.

Say “I love you” to the part of us in pain. Say “you are allowed to be as you are”. Say “I am here with you and I love you”. Say “I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you.”. Say any one of these over and over until it becomes a felt experience.

Imagine ourselves, or the hurting part of us, sitting in front of us. Do tonglen. Visualize that person’s suffering as dark smoke and breathe it in on the inbreath. Breathe out light (love, presence) and into the other person on the outbreath. See the person light up. Repeat many times until you really and deeply feel it.

Examine stressful and painful stories and identities. Use inquiry. (The Work, Living Inquiries. Something else.) This is also a form of presence and love. It cannot be done if there isn’t presence. And it’s a loving attention and examination, which may also reveal love when the painful stories and identities are seen more clearly for what they are.

Take care of the body. Do something soothing. Take a bath. Eat nourishing food. Drink plenty of water. Go for a walk. Be in nature. Be kind to yourself. Do yoga, tai chi, chi gong, Breema, TRE. (All of which are forms of presence and love.)

These are all ways we can shift how we relate to those parts of ourselves in pain. If we suffer, it’s because we tend to avoid or try to push these parts away. They are like animals or children who are ignored, avoided, struggled with, or even bullied. No wonder they suffer and are in pain. No wonder they cry out for our presence and love.

When we meet them in presence and love, they feel seen and honored and can relax. This takes time. We need to stay with it for a while. We need to return to it frequently, especially if these parts of us are used to being ignored or struggled with. An animal or child whose needs have been neglected needs time to learn to trust and relax, and that’s how it also is with these parts of ourselves. Giving our presence and love means giving of our time.

As mentioned above, one way to meet them in presence and love is through inquiry. Inquiry is a form of love. The process of inquiry is a process of presence and kind attention. And the outcome is that we see that what we thought was so solid and real (and painful) may not really be so solid and real. What’s more real and true is also more kind.

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Love your enemy

 

Love your enemy.

I don’t see this as a commandment or even primarily morals.
It has more to do with healing my relationship to what I perceive as an enemy, whether it’s a person, a situation, an illness, a state of experience, or something else.
More accurately, it’s my mind healing it’s own relationship to it’s own imaginations.
When my mind perceives an enemy, there is an imagined separate self and an imagined “other” made into an enemy. And this is painful. My mind is in a futile struggle with itself. (I am not saying that “it’s all in the mind”, I am just focusing on how my mind creates its own experience.)
The alternative is for the mind to find love for it’s own imaginations, independent of what these imaginations are. This allows for reduced struggle and suffering, and relating to life in a more intentional, kind, and even more effective way.
So how can I love my enemy? Or rather, how can I remove the obstacles to love? How can I look through the appearance of an enemy?
I have found different forms of inquiry helpful (The Work, Living Inquiries). Along with releasing trauma from the body through therapeutic trembling (trauma can fuel anxiety and enemy images). And heart-centered practices such as ho’oponopono and tonglen.

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Finding the caring

 

I re-listened to Adyashanti’s Finding the Capacity to Heal yesterday. (Radio Adyashanti, January 28, 2015. Listen to excerpt above.)

What he talks about there is what I have found is a key for my own healing.

When I only feel and see the anger, hurt, pain, sadness, grief, fear, longing, sense of lack, then I am stuck at the level that creates the wounds and pain. And if I recognize and feel the deep caring and love behind all of this, the potential for real and deep healing is there.

It’s very helpful to shift into finding love for what’s here, including the wounds, hurt, pain, anger and so on. And it’s even more helpful when I recognize that all of these come from deep caring and love. They are there to protect me. They are an expression of caring and love. And I can feel that caring and love behind these more surface emotions. Connecting to that opens up the potential for another level of healing.

There are several ways to explore this and get a more embodied experience of it. Parts work is one. I can have a dialog with these parts of me, and see that they are there to protect me, and that impulse to protect me comes from deep caring and love. (The me that’s being protected is an image of me, which is another aspect of this and only incidental here.)

One way I have found helpful is holding satsang with these parts of me, as suggested by Pamela Wilson:

Feel the emotion. (Anger, sadness, grief, fear.)

Thank you for protecting me. (Say several times until you feel it.)

Thank you for your love for me. (Repeat many times.)

I love you. (Repeat many times.)

What would satisfy you forever? (Allow the answer to come.)

This is a form of inquiry. As I say “thank you for protecting me” it’s accompanied by several questions. Is it really protecting me? Could that be true? In what ways are it protecting me? There is a curiosity there and a gentle exploration. By repeating the words, I get to see that yes – it is really there to protect me. I find specific ways it is protecting me. And from there, it’s easier to see that it comes from deep caring and love. Which in turn makes it easier for me to find love for it. And also ask it what would satisfy it forever, and notice that the question itself seems to evoke what would satisfy it (love, allowing, acknowledgment, being listened to).

Through doing this, there is an experience of love through and through, and that noticing really needs to change. To the extent I recognize the deep care and love behind the emotions, I find that the emotions can be exactly as they are. They don’t need to change.

I can be with the emotions, feel them, and recognize them as an expression of care and love. (And there, they do tend to soften and there is more sense of spaciousness, even if they don’t need to change.)

Rune Cazuli: Be the love you never received

 

Be the love you never received .

– Rune Cazuli

Be that love for yourself.

For you experience here and now.

For the content of your experience, as it is now.

How do I do it? Through the support any heart centered practice, such as ho’oponopono, loving kindness / metta, heart flame, Christ meditation, heart prayer etc. Through the support of inquiry. Through natural rest, and noticing, seeing, feeling what’s here which in itself is a form of love.

Matt Kahn: Whatever arises, love that

 

Instead of trying to silence your mind chatter, simply love the one who wants to chat.

Instead of trying to shift your emotions, just love the one who can’t stop feeling.

Instead of trying to resolve each fear, simply love the one who’s always afraid.

Instead of trying to let things go, just love the one who still holds on.

Instead of trying to not take things personally, simply love the one who makes life personal.

Instead of trying to prove your worth, just love the one who feels worthless, lost, and alone.

Instead of trying to leap forward in evolution, simply love the one who feels left behind.

Instead of having something to prove, just love the one who came here to play.

Instead of bossing yourself around and measuring your progress through spiritual obedience, simply love the one who refuses to listen.

Instead of trying to believe, just love the one in doubt.

Instead of trying whatever you attempt, simply love the one needing permission to be.

Whatever arises, love that. This is the way of an awakening heart.

– Matt Kahn

Yes. And I have found some simple practices very helpful here, in actually doing it:

Ho’oponopono. Loving Kindness / Metta. Saying “I love you” several times.

Tonglen.

Holding a hand over my heart.

Inquire into whatever stops me from doing this. Whatever fears and resistance surfaces, when I do this. What’s the perceived threat? What do I find when I look for this threat, in images, words, and sensations?

Seeking love, and manipulation

 

When I seek love, acceptance, and appreciation (LAA as Byron Katie calls it), I become someone who manipulates.

I act in certain ways to manipulate others to give me what I want, or what I think I want.

I become nice, avoid conflict, say what I think they want to hear, so they’ll like me, love me, and appreciate me.

Looked at superficially, it doesn’t look so bad. What’s bad about being nice? About being nice to others so they are nice back?

And when I examine it more in detail, it looks quite ugly. I see the manipulation. When I do this, I use others to get what I want. It’s even violent.

That’s what inquiry is about, of course, looking at it more in detail. Seeing what’s actually and already there.

And when I see what’s already here, in more detail, it tends to change.

I can use the Living Inquiries to examine this.

What does it say about me? What person would act in this way?

I am unloved. I lack in love. I need love (from others). I am deficient.

Someone who is insecure. Still a child. Confused. Inauthentic.

Can I find the threat in having someone not like me, love me, appreciate me?

Can I find the threat in X? Conflict. Being authentic. Not acting so people will like me.

Can I find X? (Me, the one who is unloved, deficient, insecure, still a child, inauthentic.)

Can I find the command to X? Be nice. Be loved. Be appreciated. Be accepted.

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Adyashanti: What the universe will manifest when you are in alignment with it is a lot more interesting

 

What the universe will manifest when you are in alignment with it is a lot more interesting than what you try to manifest.

– Adyashanti

Yes, and as usual there is a lot more to this.

In one way, we are always in alignment with the universe. We are the local eyes, ears, thoughts and feelings of the universe. (As Carl Sagan said.) What’s here is the universe feeling, thinking, acting, doing. It’s not two.

In another way, it’s possible to be more or less aligned with the universe. When I am caught up in fears, beliefs, velcro and drama it’s difficult for me to act from kindness and clarity, and follow (the quiet) inner guidance. When there is more clarity, and less trauma/beliefs/velcro/drama, it’s much easier for me to act from kindness, clarity, and guidance.

So there is always and already alignment with the universe. It’s unavoidable. And I can be more or less aligned with the universe, through (a) recognizing what I am (what this experience happens within and as), (b) healing my human self, and (c) relate to what’s here – including unloved fears and unquestioned fearful stories – with love, presence, and gentle and engaged curiosity.