Heart Centered Practice: Fullness, engagement and embodiment


I used to focus on heart centered practices – mainly the heart prayer, Christ meditation (visualizing Christ in the heart and about 5 feet away in all six directions), and gratitude (for everything happening, through for instance repeating the word “thanks” as a mantra) – and it seems that they are slowly coming back. There is a quite different embodiment that comes from heart-centered practices, a different sense of engagement in the world.

There are many ways of talking about this, and I am only scratching the surface here as with everything else (and am obviously far behind many others who have explored this).

Where inquiry and basic sitting practice gives insight and clarity, heart-centeredness gives engagement. The first is a zero/first person relationship with God, and the second a second person relationship with God. One gives the context, the other the content. One gives clarity and space, the other fullness and richness. One gives equanimity, the other joy, gratitude and compassion.

And both seem needed, at least in my case.

There is a continuing deepening into the heart and living from the heart possible, before and after a nondual awakening.

The Simplest Way


The simplest way to Enlightenment/God Realization is to see everything as Buddha Mind/God. Every phenomena is the manifestation of God/Buddha Mind.

Whatever we see as “not God” is exactly where we are stuck. Whenever I resist an experience, there is suffering. When I fully experience it, it reveals itself as bliss.

It is very simple, but not easy. When awareness is exclusively identified with the small self, it naturally functions dualistically – which creates a filter preventing us to directly experience Existence. When awareness awakens to its own nature – and (often later) to Big Mind – it is free to function in a more transdual way. There is no separation and a perception of the radience of all phenomena. And this more transdual view is brought into more and more areas of life, until everything is revealed as God – in all situations.

This gives us a good guideline for long-term and everyday practices.



The practice of saying “yes” is suggested in several traditions – one example is Chogyam Trungpa.

I notice that right now, even that is too much. It is extra. When I drop the “yes”, I am where it is pointing to.

Footnote: This of course is always changing. What works in one inner/outer situation, is extra in another. Right now, just being the experiences as the arise, unfold, fade, is sufficient. It is beyond simple. No extra is needed.

Tools & Situations


Any tool is of value and use in certain inner/outer situations, and of less use in other.

I find that many of the tools that were useful for me in the past, now often seem crude – they seem extra.

Counting the breath has been a useful tool. Now, it is often too noisy. It is extra.

Being with my experiences was a useful tool into letting go of resistance. Now, being with is too much of a separation. Why be with when I can be the experience.

Saying “yes” to Existence as it manifests here/now may be useful. But for me, it is extra. It is an effort that brings me away from just being the experiences here/now.

Doing it for Myself


As I mentioned in a previous posting, it has become very clear to me that everything I do, I do for myself. Always. I can make up a story that I am doing it due to external circumstances, but when I look into it, I see that I am doing it only for myself. This is a liberating realization.

Some examples…

  • Paying taxes
    The story is that I pay it because I “have” to. “They make me do it”. The reality is that I choose to do it, because I don’t want the trouble that comes with not doing it. I do it for myself.

  • Doing someone a favor
    The story is that I do it for them, and there can be a substory that I “have” to do it even if it is inconvenient for me or I don’t want to. The reality is that I do it to either avoid trouble (unpleasantness in the relationship) or because I experience a connection with the person and it gives me joy to do something for her/him. I do it for myself.

  • I give free Breema sessions
    The story could be that I do it for them, that I am selfless and noble. The reality is that I do it because it gives me so much – both during the session and in connecting with people. I do it for myself.

  • I go to an event I don’t want to go to
    The story is that I go because I “have” to go, it is expected of me. The reality is that I go because I either don’t want the possibly unpleasant consequences by not going (disapproval etc) or because I expect to get something out of it. And I have judged this to be more important than the drawbacks of going. Again, I do it for myself.

Of course, for some of these – such as attending an event we don’t really want to attend – the choice may be different when we realize our real intentions. When we inquire into it, we may choose a different action. In other cases, inquiring just clarifies why we do it and dissipates any sense of ambivalence that may be there.

There is an exercise from Nonviolent Communication that can be very helpful here, along with Byron Katie’s inquiry process…

  1. Make a list of your top ten least favorable things to do
  2. Write a sentence for each one of these in the format “I have to … because …” (this is the story you tell yourself).
  3. Write another sentence for each in the format “I choose to … because …” (this is reality).

And from this, there are three typical outcomes…

  1. I see that I really want to do it, and the sense of ambivalence is dissipated. I stop blaming circumstances and see that I do it for myself. My attitude changes.
  2. I see that my reasons for doing it does not hold up, and I stop doing it. My action changes.
  3. I find another way of doing it that is more aligned with what is comfortable for me. The way I do it changes.



I was reminded of how we are always in partnership with Existence, whether we recognize it or not. Even after we realize the seamless whole of the inner and outer world, there can be a sense of partnership – because there are still distinctions.

For instance in a spiritual practice/deepening, there is always a partnership between what we perceive as “me” and the rest of Existence. We make ourselves available to Existence, and can recognize the nature of mind (spacious awareness) and move into a more transdual view – into Big Mind. This is the case whether it appears that we are doing it “on our own” (as in Zen) or whether it is supported by “transmission” (as in Waking Down or through the deekshas).

In either case, Existence makes it available to itself. And in either case, the realizations has to be clarified, deepened and lived through this life.

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

Evolutionary Process?


Living here on the West Coast, it definitely seems that we are at the cusp of an evolutionary shift – more and more people seem to have different forms of life-transforming awakenings. They may not be full blown and stable awakenings into/as Big Mind, but a taste and an opening in that direction.

And there are so many techniques that really works…

Waking Down In Mutuality

Most people have their “second birth” within a year, from what I am told. For me, the shift happened only a couple of months after engaging in it more fully. There is an awakening to the Absolute, the nature of mind, and a rich, sensual, intimate sense of no separation with all phenomena. It seems permanent, and it is definitely unfolding. It is not anywhere near a full Enlightenment, but it is a taste – it is a little opening into it.

Byron Katie’s Inquiry Process

A simple process of inquiring into our beliefs, which makes it impossible to believe in them anymore. We are freed from thoughts and ideas and the confusion believing in them brings about, and can live from the nature of mind – from effortless spacious clarity, wisdom and compassion.

Big Mind Process

An exploration process of the different ways the mind can manifest, on personal and transpersonal levels. It leads us into the transpersonal – Big Mind – view, and helps us see that it is always available. A little shift is enough. The Big Mind process can be used in many different ways, from healing on a personal level to connecting with and exploring Existence from the view of the Buddha Mind.


A practice that takes the form of bodywork. It allows us to connect with Big Mind, in a very rich and full way.

And among the many other techniques and approaches, here is one that I just heard about….


This seems quite similar to Waking Down in Mutuality, especially in terms of the shift – and the speed and way it occurs.

This is definitely a cultural shift and transformation, and may even be an evolutionary shift for our species. Who knows. I am about to read Translucent Revolution which is about just this topic.

What this means is that the leading edge may consist of more people – at least in terms of the states they are dipped into if not the level they are consistently (yet) at – although the majority of humanity will still operate from red (egocentric), blue (absolutism) and orange (modernism) levels in Spiral Dynamics terms.