Resolution

 

If I am honest, I see that the reason I explore these things is I want some form of resolution.

This resolution can come in many forms.

I can resolve my relationship to whatever bothers or disturbs me. From seeing it as an enemy or a problem, I can befriend it. This in itself is a very real form of resolution. There is a sense of relief here.

There are also many variations here, for instance, I may see that an emotion, reaction, or pain comes from a wish to protect me, and that it comes from a deep caring and love. I may also dialog with it and listen to its perspective and experience so I better understand it and have empathy for it. I may rest with it. And more.

I can inquire into how my mind creates its experience of it. This tends to release or soften the charge in it, which also can be experienced as a very real form of resolution. I get to see that what seemed so solid and real is actually created by my mind through combining sensations (lending charge) and imaginations (lending a story).

It can be recognized as presence. Whatever bothers me is actually presence itself. It’s presence taking this particular appearance. It’s substance and what it’s made up of is presence. The bothering thing and what it bothers (me) both happen within and as presence.

Each of these is experienced as a form of resolution, and the sense of resolution goes deeper if two or three of these come together and are included.

Of course, seeking resolution often comes from seeing something as a problem or an enemy, not having seen how it’s created by the mind, and not recognizing it as presence. That in itself is something that can be explored in these ways so there is a sense of resolution about even wishing for resolution. Seeking resolution can become a bit less compulsive this way, more gentle, and coming more clearly from kindness.

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Bubbles of pain surfacing

 

At some point in a healing and/or awakening process, it’s as if the lid has been taken off the emotional pain that previously was safely tucked away. That happened for me some years ago, and the pain that surfaced was intense and felt overwhelming for quite a while.

The pain still comes up strongly at times, although there are more calm days and when it surfaces it tends to be less intense.

Today was one of those more painful days, and it was triggered by a situation that in itself was very minor.

I sometimes feel like a little kid when small situations are enough to trigger this deep pain in me. Although it’s also something to be grateful for since it’s surfacing to be met, felt, loved, and gently looked at, and why not have it surface based on a smaller situation. In my case, it often seems to be a disappointment and crushed expectations that are the trigger.

So how to relate to this emotional pain when it feels overwhelming? Here are some ways that are helpful to me:

Talk with a friend who can meet your experience with kindness without buying into the stories.

Sit with a friend who can hold space.  Sit in silence. Allow and feel the physical sensations of the emotional pain.

Eat some protein and nutrient rich food. Drink plenty of water.

Go for a walk. Use the body. Get fresh air. Spend time in nature.

Rest with the physical sensations. Notice if images or words come up, and rest with them if they do. Return to the physical sensations.

Notice any wish for the experience to be different. Find where you feel it in the body, and rest with and allow those sensations.

Identify and write down the painful stories connected to the emotional pain. Take these to inquiry. (The Work.)

Relate to yourself, the parts of you in pain, and the painful sensations, with kindness. Use ho’oponopono, tonglen, or something similar as a support.

Let the painful stories be true for now. Allow and feel the emotions surfacing.

Remind yourself about what’s happening. The pain is old and not about the current situation. The stories come from the pain and have only a very limited validity.

Ride out the pain. It’s a storm passing through. Look at the pain when it has subsided some and it’s easier to feel the sensations and explore the imaginations connected with it. With time, your capacity to do this will grow and you can do it while it’s more intense.

Treat yourself as you would treat a dear friend, child, or animal in pain. Treat yourself with that kindness.

Treat the pain as you would like to be treated when you are in pain. Meet it with presence, kindness, patience, respect.

Sometimes, like today, it’s often a combination of going for a walk, getting fresh air, eating a nutritious meal, talking with a friend, sitting with the feelings and sensations in silence with support of a friend, resting with the sensations on my own, identifying stories for inquiry, and also riding it out some.

It’s a humbling process. Apart from the healing that can come if I meet the pain with presence and patience, there is also a deepening sense of universality about this emotional pain. We are all in the same boat here. We all experience it at some point in our life.

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Keep coming back 

 

In a guided rest, I’ll sometimes say:

See how it is to shift from thinking to noticing thought.

If you notice attention gets caught in thinking (in stories, content of thought), then gently shift to noticing thought, notice the mental images or words.

The invitation is to keep coming back to noticing.

And that’s the invitation in daily life as well. I get caught in thinking, notice it, and can shift into noticing the images and words. I can even have some gratitude for the noticing, which happened on its own. I may also notice that the noticing seems to happen more easily and frequently if it’s supported by an intention of noticing.

More generally, I can keep coming back to resting with what’s here. Notice it. Noticing the space all content of experience happens within and as. Even noticing it all as presence.

Meet it more intentionally

 

A few days ago, I had a sense of dread and fear in my belly.

I recognized that feeling from going to elementary school. I sometimes had it walking to school in the mornings.

Back then, I didn’t know what to do about it. Nobody had shown me.

And now, somebody has shown me and I can relate to it more intentionally. I can meet with presence, kindness, allowing, patience. I can give it what it really needs and wants. I can meet it as it wishes to be met. And that makes all the difference.

It’s such a simple shift, and it changes the situation from feeling victimized by that dread to befriending it.

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Let it be true, and relaxing of the struggle

 

I keep coming back to this these days.

Whenever a scary story comes up…..

Let it be true.

I am unlovable. It will be a disaster. I will be homeless. I will be alone. This pain will last forever. It will never go away. Whatever it is, let it be true.

This approach seems very counterintuitive to most of us.

Our mind is trained to try to negate or ignore these type of painful stories. We tell ourselves, oh it’s not so bad, I am actually lovable, I don’t know if it will happen, it will pass. That’s understandable and comes from kindness. And yet, it creates a struggle within the mind between the scary stories and the negating stories and that struggle is painful. And it doesn’t get to the root of the pain that our mind creates for itself. It tends to cover it up and it returns at a later time.

Negating or avoiding doesn’t really work, so why not try the opposite? Why not explore what happens if we accept the scary story and let it be true?

When I let it be true, the struggle relaxes. That in itself is often a huge shift and relief. It also invites the mind to shift out of its fascination with the scary and negating stories and makes it possible for it to recognize itself as what it is, that which these stories and all experience happens within and as. That which the mind may label presence, awareness, or awakeness.

I also get to meet and see more closely what scary stories are there. This is very helpful for exploring them further in inquiry – whether simple and natural inquiry or a more structured inquiry.

So next time a scary story visits, why not invite it to be true? Why not try and see what happens?

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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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Give it all over to presence

 

In natural rest, we give it all over to presence.

Notice what’s here. Allow it to be as it is. Notice it’s already noticed. Notice it’s already allowed.

Notice the space it’s happening within. Notice the presence it’s happening within and as.

When we give it over to presence, we are really just noticing and acknowledging that our current experience – all of it – is already happening within and as presence.

Another way to say this is that we are giving everything over to God. In this case, God means the presence that’s already here, that’s everything we experience, and inherent in what we are.

A variation of this is more of a second person relationship to God. We give everything over to God through intention and prayer. I give everything over to you, God.

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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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What is self-regulation?

 

Self-regulation is often mentioned these days in mindfulness related contexts.

What does it mean?

For me, it means to go off auto-pilot, to intentionally do something different than our habitual response. These habitual responses are often rooted in wounding, trauma, identifications, and painful beliefs, and the outcome of these responses tend to reflect their origin. (Acting on pain and wounding tends to create more pain and wounding.)

How do we self-regulate?

We self-regulate by noticing what’s happening in us, by noticing any reactions, contractions, emotions and so on that come up. Then, by relating to it intentionally. Often with presence, kindness, love, patience, holding/noticing space, and so on. This helps the old habitual responses lose their steam, and it creates a new pattern. It’s the seed of a new habitual response.

Example #1 – hurt & left out. Say a feeling of hurt and being left out comes up. My habitual response may be to eat comfort food, watch a movie, talk with a friend, distract myself in any number of ways. In this case, none of these are terrible, but they also don’t help me shift how I relate to this hurt and feeling of being left out. These parts of me remain unloved, unfelt, unexamined.

When I instead meet them with presence, kindness, love, and curiosity, it not only shifts the habitual response (reducing the charge of the old response and creating a new), these parts of me receive what they really want which is presence, love, patience, and understanding.

Example #2 – TRE. Another example is self-regulation in TRE (Tension & Trauma Release Exercises). Here, the body’s natural trembling/releasing mechanism releases tension, which in turn may trigger old memories and traumas. Self-regulation again means presence, kindness, and curiosity. And this takes the form of noticing and allowing sensations and imaginations, doing TRE for quite short periods so less is released at a time and there is less chance of overwhelm (and re-traumatizing), and taking a break as soon as we notice discomfort and signs of overwhelm (stretch out the legs, walk around, drink some water, talk with someone, squeeze someone’s hand etc.).

Example #3 – anger. Another example is when I get frustrated, worked up, or angry. I notice. Recognize what’s happening. And may do any number of things to help self-regulate: Recognize that behind the anger and frustration is fear. Jump up and down and shake my arms and hands. Breathe deeply and consciously. Go for a walk. Amplify and release. (Amplify the anger and frustration for 10 seconds, release, let go, and breathe for 10 seconds, repeat a few times.) Identify and feel the physical sensations, setting imagination (mental images, words) aside for a while. Do EFT/TFT tapping. After I feel more present again, I can more easily see what the kind and sane response to the (previously triggering) situation is and do that – or do nothing if that seems more appropriate.

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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.

How we relate to what we wish to heal

 

How we relate to what we wish to heal, or “see through”, in ourselves, makes a big difference.

We know that from daily life. How someone relates to me makes a big difference in how I feel about the connection, and respond to it.

If someone relates to me with respect, kindness, and well wishing, I tend to relax and enjoy the connection. If someone relates to me with an intention to fix me or change me, I am likely to resist and oppose it with an equal and opposite force.

That’s how it is with what’s unloved, unhealed and unquestioned in us. Those parts of us wish to be treated with kindness and respect, just as we do. And if we relate to them with the intention to fix or change them, they are likely to resist.

Three things seems to help me reorient in how I relate to these parts of myself.

One is to remember how I would like to be treated by others, and then do that. I wish to be treated with kindness, respect, and well wishing, and ideally with presence and some wisdom.

Another is to ask the part of me how it would like to be treated. How does P. (me) usually relate to you? How would you like him to relate to you? What advice do you have for him? What would satisfy you forever? 

Yet another is to have the intention for it to find release, freedom, peace, and liberation from suffering. (If that’s what it wants, which is not unlikely.)

When I befriend a part of me, it becomes more friendly. And it’s all the mind meeting the mind. It’s the mind healing itself from what it has done to itself. It’s the mind untangling the knots it itself has created.

It also helps to see that the wounds and knots are from innocence, from a wish to protect, from deep caring, from love (worried and confused love). The wounds and knots are from (worried) love, and the healing is from (a more clear) love.

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Narcissism 

 

Some people like to talk about narcissism. I am sure it can be helpful as a diagnosis, in some cases.

For me, it’s more a matter of finding it in myself. And when I do, what I see is a part of me that feels unlovable and unloved, and attempts to compensate for it. So I can meet that part of me.

I see how it’s here to protect me. It comes from deep caring. It comes from love.

I can find love for it.

I can hold it in kind presence. I can rest with it.

I can examine my beliefs about it.

I can see if I can find the deficient selves (unlovable one, unloved one), or the threat, or a command to seek love, or affection, or approval from others (for me, especially partners, God).

Easing vs jumping into

 

It’s sometimes wise to ease into it. To work on healing through bodywork, love, presence, and more. Perhaps also to work on more peripheral wounds, or work on more core wounds in a gentle way.

And at some point, we realize we need to jump into it. We need to face the stories holding the more painful traumas in place.

What am I most afraid to look at? Which painful stories are the most true for me? What are my earliest and most painful memories? That’s where the juice is. That’s what may hold any number of other wounds in place.

Also, as a facilitator, I am doing my client a disservice if I let her or him keep avoiding the most painful traumas, memories, and patterns. It’s often wise to ease into it, but not for too long. And it’s also wise to not push. (That rarely goes well, also because it would be coming from hangups in myself.) The most helpful may be to show that what seems very scary is not so scary when it’s met with love, respect, and looking to see what’s really there.

What appears to be there, the scary things that initially appears so real, may reveal itself as something quite differently. That’s how we can ease into facing what seems the most scary, dense, and real.

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Emptiness feeling

 

Many experience a feeling of emptiness. I remember it especially from my late teens and early twenties, and I still have feelings of lack come up now and then (which is a type of emptiness).

I would guess it comes from some sort of neglect early on in life. And most of us have experienced that at some point in time, in one or more areas of life. We didn’t get our needs met. Even if our parents were caring and healthy, we may still have experienced a sense of neglect at some point.

Parts of us feel neglected because they were, usually by others when we were small and felt dependent on them. And these parts may still feel neglected because we continue to neglect them. We try to distract ourselves from them when they come up, because they feel uncomfortable, and we do so through work, entertainment, analysis, food, love, sex, and so on. We continue the pattern of neglect, which continues the sense of lack, or feeling of emptiness.

There are a few different things we can do when the emptiness feeling is here.

We can meet our needs, in an ordinary and conventional way. If I feel alone, I can seek company. If I feel unloved, I can seek out someone who loves me. If I feel un-nurtured, I can do things that nurture me. This is very natural, and very sensible.

Another is to reverse our tendency to neglect this neglected part of us. I can meet it. Allow it. Notice it’s already allowed. Rest with it. See its innocence. See that it comes from love. See it’s worried love. Find love for it.

I can also do explore it through inquiry. While resting with it, I may notice sensations as sensations, the images connected with it as images, and the words connected with it as words. I can ask simple questions about these. For instance, does the sensation really mean what images or words says it means?

 If I only do the first, the neediness behind it may create trouble. If I only do the second or third, I am neglecting some very basic human needs. If I do the second without the third, I may continue to perceive the emptiness and lack as real, solid and true.

Holding in presence

 

The simplest form of healing or befriending – or perhaps curiosity – may be to hold something in presence.

Rest. Allow what’s here to be here. Notice it’s already allowed. Notice sensations. Words. Images. Sounds.

Bring to mind a person or people, or your body, or a body symptom, or anything else.

Rest with this image and the sensations it brings up.

Mini-inquiry. If attention is drawn into words and stories, look at these words as words and letters. Ask some simple questions about them. (Are the words in themselves a threat? Is there a command in them to….?)

Return to resting with the image and the sensations it brings up. Look at the image(s), feel the sensations, in – or as – presence.

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All is God

 

The basic recognition that all is God can be, and often is, sudden. (For me, it happened without warning in my mid-teens.)

Exploring variations of this, and living from it, is a lifetime exploration.

For instance…..

This experience – including physical pain, emotional pain, discomfort, sadness, anger, joy, reactivity – it’s all God (AKA Spirit, love, awareness).

God as love, presence, awareness takes the form of everything in experience, including a me here and a wider world. In one sense, it’s all love, presence, awareness. And in another, it’s all varied with a me and a wider world, and “levels”, processes, development and evolution.

Recognizing what’s here – including wounds – as God (love, awareness), is a healing of how it’s related to, and allows it to heal too.

What bothers me “in here” and “out there” is all Spirit, love awareness, and being bothered is it too. Since it already is love, presence, awareness, it can be met with that too.

Although all is Spirit, love, awareness and perfect as it is, there is a human side. And this human side has its own needs and desires, and it has consequences to ignore that.

I could have, and did, say this even back then. And yet, it’s also an ongoing exploration. It’s a continually humbling process.

Note: In my immediate experience all is love, presence and awareness. It’s possible to think that this is more of a psychological and individual phenomena, and that “the world out there” is perhaps physical and matter and nothing more. And yet, any ideas of a world “out there” that’s different from love, presence and awareness is also the same love, presence and awareness. And there are enough synchronicities and other experiences suggesting that the wider world “in itself” is also love, presence and awareness. Matter does appear, in several ways – in immediate experience, through synchronicities and other experiences, and perhaps even suggested by current science – as love, presence, awareness.

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Open presence experiencing a me

 

First, there is apparently a me – a human self – experiencing presence.

Then, open presence is revealed as experiencing a me, a human self. (And experiencing the world through this human self, through its senses, emotions, thoughts and so on.)

This shift often happens first as one or more glimpses, and perhaps as a sense of “thinning of the veils”. Then, it may become more clear and stable, and there is an exploration of how this “new” realization is lived through our human self in the word.

During the transition, it may at times seem that the realization is “lost”. And here, there is an invitation to find here and now what was realized, independent of specific states and experiences. For instance, it may seem that “I am a me experiencing presence” but is that really so? Isn’t that too open presence experiencing a me?

It sounds simple when put this way, but the transition often involves time, maturing, a deep healing of the human self (bringing love and understanding to the wounds, pain and trauma), and life circumstances that require us to live with authenticity and from love and understanding.

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Relating to deficient selves

 

Some ways of relating to deficient selves:

(1) You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love. (I need your strength.)

(2) Notice how it’s made up of images, thoughts, emotions, sensations. For each of these, I see that what I am, fundamentally, as that which doesn’t come and go, is not that.

(3) Inquire into these images and thoughts, see what’s more true for me.

(4) Notice it’s love, it’s devoted to me, there to protect me. (And it’s strategy may be innocently misguided.)

(5) Notice it’s love, awareness, presence. It’s no different from anything else, including any appearances of a me or I it’s happening to or that’s noticing. It’s all happening as awareness, love, presence.

(6) Dialog with it. (i) Ask it for it’s wisdom. What would you like to share with me? How would you like me to relate to you? What can you contribute to my life? (ii) Ask it for it’s fears. What do you fear? (These can be taken to inquiry.)

It’s all about noticing what’s already here. It’s here to protect me. It’s devoted to me. It’s love. It’s strategy may be innocently misguided. It’s made up of images, thoughts, emotions and sensations. What I am – fundamentally, as that which doesn’t come and go – is not this deficient self or it’s components. It has genuine wisdom to share with me. And it has fears to share with me, which can be taken to inquiry to find what’s more true.

 

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.