The approaches I find especially helpful, their unique contributions, and how they work together

 

I have found a few approaches especially helpful to me: Breema, inquiry (The Work, Living Inquiries), Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE), and Vortex Healing. I am also certified in Breema, Living Inquiries, TRE, and Vortex Healing.

It doesn’t mean that I think these are the best approaches out there in any general sense, or that they are right for everyone in all situations (they obviously are not). But they are the ones I am most familiar with, and they do work well for me.

Here are some of the unique contributions of each, and some of the ways I notice they are in mutual support of each other.

Breema. Receiving and giving Breema gives a deep sense of nurturing and wholeness. We find the health that’s always here, and within which conventional illness and health exist. As a practitioner, it also helps me explore the wholeness of who I am as a human being, what it all happens within and as (presence, awakeness), and how to shift back into noticing and living from that noticing. In general, Breema has a full and nurturing quality.

TRE. TRE helps me release tension out of the muscles, and that reduces anxiety, depression, and compulsions. It helps the body and mind heal and operate from a more healthy and dynamic state. It can also help us be less afraid of trauma since we know there is a through it to health.

Living inquiries. Living Inquiries helps release the charge out of charged thoughts (fears, identities, compulsions). Through exploring how thoughts (images, words) and sensations combine, and how thoughts give meaning to sensations, and sensations give charge and substance to thought, the association between these loses its strength. Sensations are more easily recognized as sensations and thoughts as thoughts. The sense of substance and reality of fears, identities, and compulsions is reduced or falls away more thoroughly. This form of inquiry also gives a variety of insights, both into general dynamics and patterns of the mind, and into specific issues (e.g. their roots, how they relate to early experiences and identities).

Vortex Healing. Vortex Healing can be used for general or very specific issues, from energizing or healing physical issues to working on specific traumas or identities.

Mutualities. There is a great deal of mutualities between these.

Breema offers an important sense of nourishment and wholeness.

TRE releases the charge out of anxiety, depression, and compulsions (especially when used over time). TRE can also bring up emotions or memories which then can be explored in inquiry or Vortex Healing.

Living Inquiries can bring insight into issues and identities, and help us recognize the healing qualities of presence and resting with (and as) any content of experience.

Vortex Healing can be used on body contractions identified through TRE or Living Inquiries, or any issues or identities that surface through the other approaches.

Very simplified, I find that Breema offers nourishment and a sense of wholeness. TRE releases tension deeply and quite thoroughly (over time). Living Inquiries offers insights and takes a sense of substance and solidity out of stressful patterns, thoughts, and identities. And Vortex Healing can work on just about any issue and identity.

Healing and awakening. Each of these approaches also acknowledges the connection between healing (as who we are) and awakening (as what we are). They each support healing and awakening in their own way.

(more…)

Shaking with a specific situation in mind

 

I find it very helpful to shake (neurogenic tremors, TRE) while keeping a particular stressful situation in mind. It doesn’t matter whether it’s from the past, future or present, or from a dream or images of a past life, or something out there in the world in the lives of others. It can also, as I have explored recently, be a situation where I procrastinate.

As with so many approaches, TRE seems to go very well with a number of other approaches.

Through neurogenic tremors, tension and stress created by certain beliefs is released. And when there is less tension and stress around a specific situation, there is also less of an  impulse to recoil from the emotions and thoughts associated with it. It’s easier to open to the emotions, let them have their life, allow them to move through and discharge. It’s easier to write a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet from the situation and do inquire on it. It’s easier to have a more stable attention while doing this. And how I relate to the situation – or similar situations – in my life changes as well. I am a bit more relaxed, a bit more kind to myself and others, a bit more home in myself.

(more…)

Heart intelligence

 

I keep coming back to the mutuality of view, heart and belly. I notice the dynamics in daily life, and get curious about it… how does it look when I explore it a little more closely? 

It is simple when it is lived. And there is now end to how complex it can get when I try to sort it out within thought. 

For instace, I notice how an open heart supports a more receptive view. 

First a few general things about views

When the view is receptive, there is fluidity, curiosity and innocence (the don’t know type) there. Receptivity to find the practical validity (grain of truth) in any story, including the reversals of familiar ones. There is a sense of not needing to defend any story or identity, because none of them are taken as really true. They are at best temporary and practical guidelines. 

When the view is closed, there is rigidity and identification with stories and identities. There is a sense of needing to protect certain stories and identities. To enhance and defend them, and shoot down any story (or situation) that appears to threathen them.

(more…)

Mutuality of stability and insight

 

There are several ways stability and insight work together.

Stability practice itself, such as counting the breath, inevitably gives some insights. The first one is usually how active the mind is, and how easily attention is distracted and lives its own life outside of conscious control. Then other things, such as how distractions has to do with attention getting absorbed into stories, and how beliefs related to these stories makes it more likely for attention to be absorbed into them. (They seem more real, more important, and they are also identified with so not recognized as just thoughts very easily, until maybe afterwards.)

Stability of attention also helps more explicit insight practices, first by allowing attention to stay wherever it is put for longer, and also by generally calming the activity of the mind so there are fewer hooks for distraction.

And insights allow for more stability of attention. We learn to see through how beliefs are created, as it happens, and recognize thoughts more easily as just thoughts. And this lessens the tendency for attention to get absorbed on the inside of thoughts, which in turn allows attention to more easily stay where it is put.

Buddhism is not about becoming good, yet is

 

A good topic over at Thoughts Chase Thoughts: Buddhism is not about becoming a good person, but becoming a human being.

And really, it is about both. It is about deepening into our humanity, as it is, and as it reveals itself and matures when not resisted. And it is about living from ethical guidelines, from the empathy that naturally emerges from embracing the fullness of our own humanity, and from the inherent goodness revealed behind narrow beliefs and identities.

By deepening in our embrace of the fullness of who we are, as human beings, there is a release of resistance to any of it and also a release of beliefs and identities. This opens for a recognition of our shared humanity, and of ourselves and others, which in turn tends to lead to a natural empathy which spills over into our lives. And this release of beliefs and identities also invites us to notice what we are.

Exploring what we are, untouched by stories, there is a fuller allowing and a wider embrace of who we are, as human beings. And there is also an uncovering of the inherent compassion and wisdom in what we are, this awake void and form, noticing itself, even while operating through this one particular human self.

And by following ethical guidelines throughout this process, we are more likely to stay out of trouble and be less of a nuisance to others in a conventional way, and it also helps us deepen into who and what we are. Ethical guidelines helps us notice what is happening, what comes up in us and how we relate to it. They serve as a pointer for recognizing our shared humanity and ourselves in others. And they mimic how we naturally live our lives within the context of Big Mind/Big Heart awake to itself.

(more…)

Breathwork and mutuality

 

I have done two transformational breathwork sessions with a friend so far, with another one scheduled in a couple of days.

It is pretty obvious how breathing patterns reflect emotions and beliefs. As soon as there is a clash between how life is and how it should be, according to my stories about it, muscles tense up, there is a change in breathing patterns (for me, often more shallow) and emotions come up as well. There is a whole system of beliefs, emotions, muscle tension, breathing and behavior which all contribute to maintain a particular pattern. They are all mutually supporting of each other. It is their job, and they do it beautifully.

That also means that we can unravel that ball from any of those sides. We can investigate beliefs, be with emotions, allow muscles to relax, change behaviors, and we can also work with the breath. If a shallow and held breath contributes to those knots, then a more free, open and full breath allows the knot to begin unravel.

While those promoting transformation breathwork often have quite elaborate models of what is happening, what seems clear – even from my own limited experience so far – is that knots unravel. In a way, that is all I need to know. Breathe, and knots unravel.