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.)

Natural Rest, Love, and Healing

 

I am healing – from CFS, brain fog, (what looks like) PTSD, and many losses – and see that the next step for me is to meet what’s here with love. Meet the symptoms with love. And meet my reactions to it – mainly fear – with love.

I can do that through natural rest. Resting with the sensations, and the images and words. Allow and notice. And notice it’s all already allowed. This is a form of love. I can also ask simple questions about the sensations, images, and words, to clarify that that’s what they are, and clarify what they are not. This may support resting with what’s here.

I can do it through ho’oponopono with the symptoms and the fears.

I can do it through holding satsang with them. You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me. What would satisfy you forever? What are you really? 

Seeking as a way to avoid pain

 

One reason for seeking – whether it’s seeking enlightenment, money, love, insights, the perfect partner, sex – is to avoid pain.

Or rather, to avoid the experience of pain. We are, at least in our culture, trained to avoid the experience of pain. We are in the habit of avoiding pain, and teach that to our children through our example. We teach that that’s how we live here.

And one of the ways we avoid pain is to medicate it with….. any number of things, including seeking insights, clarity, and enlightenment. It’s all innocent. It’s worried love.

There are a few ways of exploring this. Here are some I find helpful:

Meeting the pain, and the part of me wanting to escape it, with love. Ho’oponopono can be helpful here. I can also hold satsang with it. (You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me. I love you. What would satisfy you forever? What are you really?)

Looking for the pain. The seeking. What I am seeking. The one in pain. The seeker. Can I find it, outside of images, words and sensations? How is it to look at each image and word that comes up around this, and feel the sensations?

When we examine this, meet what’s here with love, and feel what’s here, something shifts. We see it’s possible to experience what’s here without escaping it. And it’s actually more satisfying. Far more satisfying. And if we can do this individually, it’s at least conceivable that we can create a culture where this is the norm, and this is what we teach – through the way we live our life – our children.

I love you

 

Another simple exploration is I love you.

I can bring any part of me to mind, and say I love you, and especially those parts previously or habitually unloved.

Here is a couple of variations:

You are welcome here. I love you.

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

And….

What would satisfy you forever?

What are you really?

Often, being met with love is what these parts really want. Some of them have been rejected, dismissed, and seen as wrong or bad, for a long time. As they are finally met with love, something in them may soften and relax.

When I feel unloved, it’s because a part of me feels unloved, so I can turn around and meet it with love. And this turning around is in two ways. First, by turning towards this part of me. And then by turning from rejecting or ignoring it, to finding love for it. This also helps me see that it is a part of me. It’s not the final word about who I am as a human being, and it’s not who I am as a whole.

By welcoming it, I may notice it’s already allowed (by life, awareness), and there is a more intentional alignment with this allowing. By thanking it for protecting me, I may find that it’s there to protect me, or an image of me, a literally imagined me. Asking what would satisfy it forever, allows me to find that in myself, for this part of me. And asking what it really is may help me see what it’s made up of, which a thought may call awareness, or presence, or even love.

Thank you for protecting me

 

I notice that fatigue and brain fog sometimes still feels wrong, a problem, or even an enemy.

So I can hold satsang with it.

You are welcome here.

Thank you for protecting me.

Thank you for your love for me.

What would satisfy you forever?

What are you really?

This helps heal my relationship to it.

From perceiving it as a problem, there is a shift to befriending it, see how it protects (the imagined) me, and see it as love…. confused love.

For instance, I see how the fatigue and brain fog protects the imagined self by allowing it to rest, and even isolate and not be out there in the (potentially dangerous) world. That may not be why the fatigue or brain fog is there, but it is one of the functions it serves.

Wishing to protect me comes from love, confused love.

What would satisfy it forever is wordless, although translated into words it’s being intentionally allowed, held in quite presence, recognized as love, held in love.

What it really is, is also wordless, although can be translated into awareness, presence, even love.

It can be welcomed, because it’s already allowed – by presence and love.

And really, this is not a formula and there is no destination. It’s a quiet curiosity. What happens if I welcome it? Is it true it’s not already welcomed? What happens if I thank it for protecting me? Is it true it’s not here to protect me? What happens if I thank it for its love? Is it true it’s not already love? What would genuinely satisfy it forever? What is it really? (more…)

Evil, confusion, love

 

We can say that something is evil, or appears evil to us, or we chose to label it evil. (Which is learned from our culture.)

We can also say that what appears evil is really from confusion, it’s misguided, it’s from unloved and unquestioned fear, wounds, trauma, beliefs and identifications.

We can say that this, in turn, comes from an attempt to protect the imagined self, and so can be seen as love.

And we can say that it’s all awareness, it’s all happening within and as awareness and love.

Either of these are valid in their own way. And it can be a relief to find the three last ones in own experience, through specific examples.

Practically…..

If I talk with someone who seem to see the first of these, I wouldn’t jump to the third or fourth. I would perhaps suggest that it comes from fear, wounds and trauma, and that it’s an attempt to protect the self.

And for myself, I explore what’s here. I can hold satsang with what’s here in myself, and see what’s there. You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me. What would satisfy you forever? What are you really? (Each of these are gentle questions. Is it here to protect me? In what way is it protecting me? What is it protecting?)

(more…)

Currently

 

I thought I would give a brief update here. There is still a lot coming up for me, of previously unfelt, unloved, unseen material, and it’s sometimes challenging and sometimes quite moving. It’s all coming up with an invitation for it to be met, felt, loved, seen as what it is – in form and as the same as everything. Things keep falling apart in my outer life as well, perhaps as a reflection of a dismantling of inner patterns as Barry suggests. It’s also because I get caught in what surfaces and live it out, to some extent, and what surfaces is sometimes quite wounded and very young.

Some practices I find helpful these days:

The Living Inquiries. I am in the LI training program, so do the LIs most days, and sometimes several times a day. I find it very helpful, and it’s an approach that makes it easy to explore what I previously have looked into through more traditional (Buddhist) sense field explorations.

Tonglen & Ho’oponopono. I use both of these on anything that my mind takes as an “enemy”, wherever in my world this apparent enemy appears – subpersonalities, physical symptoms, emotions, resistance, life circumstances, other people, a dream figure or anything else. It helps shift how I relate to and see these. There is a curiosity and a question in this. Is it really an enemy? Is my perception of it as an enemy as true as it first appears? What’s my perception of it as I continue exploring it through tonglen and ho’o? (Maybe it’s even revealed as – what a thought may call – awareness and love?)

Holding satsang. I also hold satsang with subpersonalities and whatever else is here (anything can be taken as a subpersonality). You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me. What would satisfy you forever? What are you really? 

Heart flame. I find and fan the flame of the heart with my attention and gratitude. Then – in my mind – place my whole body and being inside of this flame, allowing it to burn away anything that’s not similar to itself (clarity, love). It burns away any trance, any illness.

Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE). I continue inviting in neurogenic tremors, often throughout daily life – when I sit in a chair, stand waiting for the tea water to boil, lie in bed etc. Sometimes, I also bring something stressful to mind to invite tension around that to release through the tremors.

The Work. I sometimes use The Work too. Right now, I have to admit I am more drawn to the Living Inquiries, although I see them as equal and complementary. They are both forms of inquiry. They both invite beliefs to be seen through and soften or fall apart. And yet, the Living Inquiries work on images, body images, and sensations more specifically, which I find helpful now. It’s as if it more directly goes to a more primal part of the mind.

Rest. Whenever I remember, I intentionally rest, allowing any experience to be as it is. Noticing the sensations, allowing them as they are. Noticing the sounds, images and words coming and going. Noticing it’s all already allowed. This is an alert form of resting. More accurately, it’s a resting from being caught up in images and words. They come and go, and are noticed as objects instead of being identified with…. and taken as a subject, as what I am. This is also called Shikantaza, or natural meditation, and it’s part of the Living Inquiries.

Stable attention. I sometimes also take time to bring attention to the sensations of the breath at the nostrils, or at one nostril. This invites attention to stabilize, and it becomes more pliable and a support for any activity in life (and just being). I am just getting more back into this, and wish to do it more again.

Prayer. I pray for guidance. For seeing through the trance. (Victim etc.) For support seeing through the trance. For support in meeting what’s here with love. For support in any way that’s most helpful for me. For support in living from love and clarity. For support in giving my life over to God (Spirit, Christ, Buddha Mind) wholeheartedly. For support in meeting any fear in me with love and clarity. For my life being in service of life.

Additional. I have also done some EFT and TFT. I go for walks in nature.  I make sure to drink plenty of water, usually in the form of different types of herbals teas, so my urine is pale or almost clear. (This really helps with any sense of energetic stagnation in my system.) I take some herbs and similar things (chulen, rhodiola, eleuthero, echinacea). I get plenty or rest and sleep.  I do things that sparks my passion (photography, drawing, reading). I connect with friends. (As or more important than much else here.) And so on.

(more…)

Notes about meditation

 

It looks like I’ll teach (show, guide) meditation for a group of teenagers, so I thought I would go over the basics again here, as a reminder for myself.

There are three basic forms of meditation: Stable attention, rest, and inquiry.

Stable attention / samatha. Attention can be trained. Untrained, it may easily be scattered and unruly. Trained, it can become stable and pliable, and a stable attention is helpful for almost any activity in our lives – from relationships to sports to learning and working. One way to train it is to bring attention to the breath, for instance the sensations at the nostrils as the breath naturally goes in and out. Attention may wander, and when that’s noticed, bring attention back to the breath. The noticing happens as grace.

Rest / shikantaza. Allow everything to be as it is. Notice it’s already allowed to be as it is. Notice what’s here – the sensations, sights, sounds, smell, taste, words and images. It all comes and goes. It lives it’s own life. Rest and notice what’s here. Even notice any resistance or trying. It’s all happening within and as the field of what’s here. There is nowhere to go and nothing to do. Just notice what’s already here.

Inquiry / vipassana. Insights into what the mind is, and how it works. These happen, to some extent, through the two previous ones. And they also happen through guided inquiry or exploration. such as sense field explorations, the Living Inquiries, The Work, the Big Mind process, and also holding satsang with what’s here.

Mutual support. Each of these support the others. A stable attention makes it easier to rest and do inquiry. Familiarity with rest makes it easier to explore a stable attention and inquiry from rest. And inquiry gives insights – and a release of identification with words and images – that supports a stable attention and rest.

Support of life. All these forms of meditation are in support of life. And there are, of course, many things that supports both life and meditation. Physical exercise is one, including forms of yoga (tai chi, chi gong, Breema), endurance and strength. Precepts is another, guidelines for how to live our lives. These give a preview of how it is to live from more clarity, they shows us what’s left (fears and beliefs that prevents us from living from clarity and love), and they support an easier and more stable relationship with others and ourselves. Different forms of therapies can also be very helpful in allowing our human self to align with clarity and love.

(more…)

Welcoming the one enjoying misery

 

I notice there is a part of me enjoying misery.

It’s perhaps not surprising since there is still a draw to drama and misery here. With that draw comes enjoyment, and with the enjoyment of it comes the draw. And it all comes from a set of beliefs about reality which may be innocently misguided.

As long as I push away this part of me, it will continue to operate on its own.

So I can instead meet it, welcome it, see what’s really there, and find what’s more true for me.

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

What would satisfy you forever? What are you really?

I can look for the threat, and the one enjoying misery. What are the words? Images? Sensations? Is there a threat in each of these? Is there someone enjoying misery in each of them?

And I can also examine the verbal beliefs. I shouldn’t enjoy misery. I need to stop enjoying misery. I will create misery if I continue to enjoy it. I am a victim of the part of me enjoying misery. I need drama. I need drama to feel alive. Drama is juicy. Drama is more enjoyable. I’ll miss out without drama. 

(more…)

Getting to know a knot: I can’t have what I want

 

I noticed a somewhat familiar background belief today:

I can’t have what I want.

And more specifically:

I can’t have a good education, job, house, family life.

There is also an early memory associated with this:

My father seems very competent (with work, house, family life) and it seems mysterious. I have no idea how he does it. It seems unreachable to me. My father didn’t include me in how he did it. He didn’t train me. He didn’t mentor me. I picked up (and have to deal with) his shadow.

That I have already had all of those don’t really impact the belief. It’s still there at a more wordless level, at the level of images and emotions. And I sense that there is something there that the verbal beliefs I have found so far don’t quite touch.

So I hold satsang with this part of me, and myself as a child thinking/feeling that my father’s competence seems mysterious and out of reach to me.

I can also do ho’oponopono with it, and shake (neurogenic tremors, TRE) on it, and plan to later today.

Holding satsang and ho’o helps me become more familiar with it. It helps me befriend it, soften my relationship with it. It goes from being an apparent enemy, something I wish to push away and see as wrong, to something I can befriend. It’s less of an “other”, or not at all an other anymore.

Neurogenic tremors – while bringing this part of me to mind, and also the childhood situation – helps release tension associated with this, which in turn helps me befriend it, and meet it with curiosity.

All of this prepares the ground for inquiry. It feels helpful for me now, it takes some of the charge out of it which makes it easier for my mind to find curiosity and stability for the inquiry. And I also know I could very well go straight to inquiry.

First, I explore it with the Living Inquiry:

I can’t have what I want. (A good education, job, house, family life.)

Look at the words and letters. Put them, in your mind’s eye, up on a large billboard. Notice they are words and letters. Is there a real, not imagined, threat in those words and letters?

If yes, where do you feel it in the body. What are the images associated with those sensations? Put those images, in your mind’s eye, in a frame and up on a wall. Make it big. Is there a real, not imagined, threat in that image? (Then repeat the previous step.)

What are the images associated with this fear? [There is an image of me as a kid looking at my father. An image of me unable to arrive at or reach a good education, a good job, a good house, a good family life.] Look at each of those images. Put them in a frame up on the wall. Is there a real, not imagined, threat in each of the images?

Where do you feel it in the body? Look at the sensations that lends a sense of validity and truth to the previous images and words. What images do you have of those sensations? Is there a real, not imagined, threat in those images?

Bring attention to the sensations. Allow them to be there, and notice they are already allowed to be here. Is there a real, not imagined, threat in those sensations?

 Later on, I can also take specific beliefs to The Work.

For instance, I can’t have a good job and house. Is it true? What happens when you believe that thought? Who would you be without it? What is the validity in each of the turnarounds?

(more…)

Heartache

 

I am reading Kundalini Vidya: The Science of Spiritual Transformation, and find it interesting and helpful. It is, of course, a story, and it can also be helpful in a limited way, especially when recognized as a story, as imagined. I see that for me, what they call the Makara point may have been reached a few years ago during a period of six months of clarity. This was followed by chronic fatigue and some serious unloading (of wounds, trauma, anything unresolved and sticky) and what they call restoration and renovation of the subtle body. I also see that the particular path that this may have taken for me may have been the Hrit process. For me, the unloading has centered around the heart, and that seems typical for that particular process. The Hrit process also seems associated with Christ and Christian mystics, they say that the purging process may be sudden and difficult if there are heavy vasanas left to unload, and that also seems to fit for me. And I am aware that I really don’t know. At most, it’s a story to hold lightly.

I have another sleepless night with things going on in the heart area. A thought calls it heartache. It seems connected to early childhood experiences (perhaps my mother being less available, relaxed and loving than I needed/wanted) and also the incarnation and (apparent) loss of the complete satisfaction between incarnations and before this one. There are also present circumstances which brings this up.

I hold satsang with it.

You are welcome here.

Thank you for protecting me.

Thank you for your love for me.

What would satisfy you forever?

What are you really?

I stay with each of these for a while, allowing it to sink in.

Then…..

Heartache. Put the words up on a billboard. H-e-a-r-t-a-c-h-e. Is there a threat in those letters? In the word? If yes, what’s the images associated with sensations lending heartache substance? Is there a real, not imagined, threat in these images? (For me, these are more abstract images.)

What are the images associated with this heartache? Take each image and put up on the wall (in your mind’s eye) in a frame. Make it big. Notice it’s an image. Is there a real, no imagined, threat in that image? (For me, some are images from the past and future, and some are more abstract.)

What are the sensations associated with the heartache, lending a sense of reality? Notice and stay with these sensations. Is there a real, not imagined, threat in those sensations? Allow the sensations to be here. They have been pushed away for so long, now is the time to allow them, to notice they are already allowed. Notice how they change.

I notice that any sense of threat and reality in the heartache comes from words, images and sensations coming together into one apparent unity. When they are recognized as distinct and separate, and examined for threat, I see that what’s really there is quite different from the initial appearance. It loses it’s sense of reality and stickiness.

I can continue this exploration, looking for the “me” who has a heartache, or who has lost loves, or is unloved, or is unlovable.

For me, right now, what seems most helpful is to find that the heartache is love. It’s worried love. Here to protect (the image of) me. And also to notice that the label, images and sensations each are innocent, harmless. There is no threat there. There is no “me” with a heartache there, no “me” who has lost loves or is unloved or unlovable.

Notice: The first is from Pamela Wilson, the second is the Living Inquiries from Scott Kiloby. I am very grateful to both.

Identification as love

 

I am listening to the livestream of Love Your Enemies: Robert Thurman, Sharon Salzberg and Uma Thurman, and it reminds me of how identification is love.

Mind identifies with an image or thought, and it shows up as fear, anger, sadness, and also what a thought may call greed, egotism etc.

It does so to protect the image of a me. And that comes from and is love. It’s worried love.

And I can explore this through inquiry and holding satsang with what’s here.

First, love appears as identification, the effects of identification is resisted because it’s uncomfortable, and that too is love. It’s all worried love. Love not recognizing itself as love.

So when love does recognize itself as love, there is a relaxation. Love meets itself.

Love as identification is recognized as love, and met by love.

(more…)

Satsang with the unlovable

 

There is a part of me – and probably for (almost?) everyone – that feels unlovable. It’s formed by and made up of the thought I am unlovable, when this thought taken as true. Most of us have experienced situations in childhood where this thought came up, and was taken as true. And unless it has been actively explored and met with genuine and deep love, it may still be here as a(n apparently) wounded part.

So I can hold satsang with it.

You are welcome here. I notice it’s already allowed. It’s already allowed by existence, life, mind.

Thank you for protecting me. Is the intention behind it to protect me? What is it protecting me against? What do I fear would happen if it wasn’t there? Is it really protecting me? What’s this me it is protecting? (I see its intention is to protect me from being hurt. From trusting, hoping, expecting, and having my hopes crushed. The me it’s protecting is an image of a me. I also see another belief here saying that being a victim will make people care and love me.)

Thank you for your love for me. I see it’s from love, and is love. And that makes it easier for me to find love for it. Genuine, deep love.

What would satisfy you forever? What’s your deepest longing? I notice that these questions evokes what it longs for, and it’s what a thought would label love and safety.

What are you really? (What a thought may label love, awakeness?)

I also see that when mind identifies with this part, there is a sense that “I am unlovable” and I experience, interpret and live my life as if it’s true, and I try to get love from others. There is also a struggle with this part, a push (trying to push it away, ignore it, make it go away) and a pull (holding onto it, trying to get its needs met from the wider world).

When the unlovable part is met in satsang, it’s recognized as a part, as universal, and I explore how it is to give to this part what it really wants – love, a sense of trust and safety, understanding.

(more…)

Healing and identification

 

I keep being reminded of this too:

When there is a wound here, a few things can happen.

(a) There may be a healing of this wound. I meet it in satsang, recognize it as coming from love and being love, and find genuine and deep love for it.

(b) It may be revealed as something quite different. (i) I invite it to notice what it really is, and it may find itself as (what a thought may call) love and awakeness. (ii) I inquire into the painful stories creating the (appearance of a) wound, and find that what I thought happened didn’t.

(c) There may be a release of identification with the wound. (i) I see that the wounded part of me is just a part, and it becomes an object for me rather than something I am. (ii) I meet it in satsang, and again it becomes an object to me rather than what I am. Instead of me feeling deficient and trying to fill the hole through people or situations, I can meet this part of me and give it what it really wants.

Each of these address a different facet of the wound. Each is valuable. Each offers something different.

Note: It’s possible to see these as different levels or stages. I use “facets” since it seems to fit my experience better. One is not neccesarily before any of the other. They all go hand-in-hand. They each address something slightly different. (a) If there is only healing, the underlying assumptions may still be unquestioned. There is still something unresolved, and the underlying beliefs are still there and may or will be triggered again later. (c) If there is only a release of identification, the wounded part of us may still hunger for love, and it may still not recognize for itself what it really is. (b) If there is only inquiry, it may actually include healing/resolution and release of identification. It’s the approach that may include or lead to the two other ones.

Wounds and identification

 

Some things about wounds and identification:

Wounds from beliefs. A wound comes from a belief. I thought that something wrong happened, that I am not enough, etc., and mind taking that thought as true. This gives the appearance of a wound, and “wound’ is also a thought, a label, which can be taken as true or not. Something terrible happened. My mother didn’t love me. I lost the person who completed me. I am not enough.

Dormant wounds. It’s possible for wounds to be here and not be noticed much. They may be below the surface, not triggered.

Identification with wounds. When these wounds surface, the default may be identification with these wounds. They are created from identification with certain stories, so when they surface, mind tends to identify with them.

Intentionally meeting wounds. I can meet wounds, for instance by “holding satsang” with them or inquiring into the stressful thoughts making them up. Here, a couple of things may happen.

(a) There may be a sense of healing or resolution of the wound. I may see that the wound is here to protect me, it comes from love, and I may find love for it. Or I may see that what I thought happened didn’t.

(b) There may be a release of identification with the wound, and this may happen in a couple of different ways too. (i) I see it’s a wound, a part of me, it’s not who I am. (ii) Or there is a release of identification with the wound-thoughts through seeing they are not true.

So wounds are created from taking certain thoughts as true. They may lay dormant for a while, untriggered. They may be triggered, and there may be a tendency to identify with them at first. And they may be met in a more intentional way, through for instance satsang or inquiry. This may lead to a healing or resolution of the wound. And it may also lead to a release of identification with the wound-thoughts, either by seeing that the wound is just a part of me, or by seeing that the wound-thoughts are not true.

 

Meeting the disappointed one

 

What do I think I want? What are the wants I find in myself?

What I want, is….

More education. A nurturing and rewarding job. Abundance in terms of money. A beautiful house. A wonderful and deeply nurturing relationship. Passion. Enlightenment. Following my guidance. Following my heart. A life in integrity. Nurturing friendships. Mutual support. (And I have some of this, and really all of it when I look.)

What I really want, is….

Love for what is. Love for my images and thoughts. Recognizing what’s here as love. Meeting it as love. Inviting to recognize itself as love. Inviting it to recognize what it really is.

I notice some disappointment in me when I see this. It seems less glamorous. Less amazing. So I can meet this part of me too. I can begin with this part of me.

To the disappointed part, the one disappointed that what I really want seems less glamorous:

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

What do you really want? What would satisfy you forever?

What are you really?

(more…)

From identification to sage II

 

I keep noticing this:

When there is identification with a part of the psyche, then I think that “I am sad”, “I need her/his love” and so on, and I try to get it from others and the wider world.

When I notice it’s a part, I become the one who can give to the part what it needs and is looking for. It comes so I can meet it as a sage, with love, understanding, availability.

Sadness comes up. When identified with, I think I am sad and I may try to alleviate or change it through activities or spending time with other people. I use the wider world to try to deal with the sadness. When I meet it as a sage, I see it’s from love, it is love, and I can meet it with love. I become the one giving it what it’s looking for.

Uneasiness comes up. When identified with, I think I am uneasy and try to alleviate it through mental or physical activities. I try to use the world to alleviate it. When I meet it as a sage, I can find in me and give to it respect, love and understanding, that which it deeply wishes for.

Love, power, masculinity

 

The word love can be used in two main ways. It can mean love in contrast to hate or indifference. And it can be used to mean finding love for the parts of us thoughts label hate and indifference, and any other emotion, image, thought, sensation – anything in our field of experience. The first one is quite precarious and dependent on circumstances. The other one is more stable and can be found independent of specific circumstances (apart from the circumstance of grace to find this love).

The same goes for a variety of other characteristics. For instance, power can mean power vs weakness or powerlessness. And it can mean the natural and simple “power” that comes from finding a deep love and understanding for both power and weakness/powerlessness in ourselves. And it’s similar for masculinity, and strength.

The second form of love and power comes naturally when there is a habitual meeting of what’s here – any aspect of the psyche, any experience – with curiosity. You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me. What’s your deepest desire? What would satisfy you forever? What are you really? 

The labels love and power doesn’t really fit since what it refers to is inclusive of both end of the polarities, and yet it also does fit as a lightly held label or question, an expression of curiosity of what this is and how it is experienced and lived through this life.

Note: This form of inquiry can be used for a wide range of concepts. For instance, pleasure can be taken as what’s opposite of pain (or boredom). And it can also be a deeper pleasure that includes pleasure and pain. A deeper pleasure that comes from finding genuine love for what’s here. A deeper pleasure from following my heart and guidance. And a yes can be seen as opposed to no, or it can be that Yes to what’s here – the Yes that’s already here – which includes the ordinary yes and no.

Note 2: If I want to find my strength, my real and deeper strength, I find it through meeting and finding a deep and genuine love for the weak and feeble parts of me, and the strong parts of me. And the same for power, masculinity, love, and just about anything else that’s a quality of who I am when there is a deep love for what’s here.

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From identification to sage

 

I keep noticing this, and today with loneliness:

1) Loneliness comes up.

2) There is identification with this loneliness, this part of the psyche. I am alone. I am sad. I will be lonely in the future. I am a victim. I need others so I am not alone anymore. I need him/her to make me not alone, to make this experience (part) go away. There is discomfort, and a struggle with loneliness. Loneliness means something terrible has happened. It means there is something wrong with me. I am not lovable. I want it to go away.

3) Through grace, there is a shift. I find the role of the sage, and meet this part of the psyche in satsang. I recognize it as a part, a guest, a visitor. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your devotion to me. Thank you for your love for me. I love you. What would satisfy you forever (what is your deepest longing)? What are you really? There is a softening. Gratitude. Appreciation. A more open heart. Receptivity.

When there is identification, I am at the mercy of others and circumstances. I need something from others, and it’s up to them – and life – if I get it or not, and how and for how long.

When there is grace and a shift into the role of the sage, I give to this part of the psyche what it longs for.

Note: (a) All of this is grace. Identification is a more gritty form of grace. The discomfort inherent in it shows me that something is not recognized, the conscious view is somewhat out of alignment with reality. There is struggle. Shifting into the sage is a perhaps more obvious form of grace, and still not any more or less grace than identification. (b) Giving this part of me what it deeply longs for (in this case giving loneliness love) doesn’t preclude enjoying the company of others, and appreciating and taking in their love. (c) Thanks to Pamela Wilson for the terminology and details of this approach, and to the many who have explored parts and subpersonality work now and in the past.

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Identification = love

 

I keep seeing how identification – to any particular image or thought – is love.

It’s there to protect the imagined me. It’s devoted to this me. It comes from love of this me. It is love.

Seeing this – over and over, with particular identifications and in particular situations – I find a deepening gratitude and love for identification. It’s not an enemy. It’s not an “other”.

It’s what a thought may call awakeness, what a thought may call love, and what a thought may call protection of an imagined me.

If I believe that identification (aka “ego”) is a problem, other, or enemy, mind will fight itself and this easily leads to a sense of stalemate.

When I see that identification is love, and identification recognizes itself as love and awakeness, there is a softening. It can allow itself to relax.

There is an easier recognition that mind may be identified with an image or a thought, and not identified with it, at the same time.

Bodhicitta and holding satsang with what’s here

 

In Buddhism, bodhicitta, “enlightenment-mind”, is the mind that strives toward awakening and compassion for the benefit of all sentient beings.
Wikipedia

A simple way of exploring this is holding satsang with what’s here, with aspects of the psyche.

Fear comes up, or anger, or contraction, or numbness, or spaciness, or physical pain.

You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your devotion to me. Thank you for your love for me. What would satisfy you forever? What are you really? 

As this becomes more of a stable and habitual orientation, it’s also how I relate to other beings.

The way I relate to my inner beings is how I relate to beings in the world. And they are all my “inner” beings in that they appear in my field of awareness. They are all me in that sense. They are all this awareness taking a certain form, and it feels good to meet them in this way.

 

Meeting resistance

 

I sometimes experience (what a thought would call) resistance, especially when it comes to getting certain projects done.

When I look more closely, I see that there is fear here.

And I can meet this fear in satsang.

You are welcome here.

Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your devotion to me. Thank you for your love for me.

How would you like me to be with you?

What is your deepest desire? What would satisfy you forever?

What are you really?

As long as I have beliefs about this apparent resistance – it’s bad, I need it to go away, it stops me from getting things done – it’s held at a distance, and it’s difficult to meet it with interest and curiosity. Holding satsang with it this way, it’s revealed as something quite different from how it initially looked to me, when it was filtered through my beliefs. It relaxes. Melts. Is revealed as coming from love, being love. Is revealed as awakeness, just as this apparent me it’s happening to/for, and this I observing and relating to it.

Jeff Foster: When you think about yourself

 

When you think about yourself, you think “I am this” or “I am that”.

But if you are the self that you think about, the self that you speak about, write about, sing about, worry about, like or dislike, who is the one who knows that self, recognises that self, remembers that self, talks about that self?

Are there two of you, two selves, the self that you know and the self that knows it? The self that is liked or disliked, and the one who likes or dislikes it?

If you can be aware of ‘the self’ as it comes and goes, changes, evolves, grows, appears and disappears to you, can it really define – or be – who you are?

Even when you feel “I have lost myself”, who is it that feels that? Whomever or whatever that is, hasn’t been lost, cannot be lost, and is forever found, here and now, in the immediacy of life itself.

– Jeff Foster

I can hold satsang with the image of a self that is observed and related to, and the image of a self that’s the observer. And any other images of a self as a center, a doer, even awareness.

You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me. How would you like me to relate to you? What’s your deepest desire? What are you really?

What the fear wants

 

Holding satsang with what’s here, I have seen how what’s here – whether it’s fear, anger, regret, grief, physical pain, fatigue or something else – wants something I can give it.

When for instance fear is rejected, pushed away or seen as undesirable, it feels rejected, isolated, uncared for. And as any being that feels that way, it becomes contracted, stressed, and either hides or strongly demands attention. And since this is a part of me, I feel this way.

When it’s met in satsang, all this shifts. It feels respected, understood, listened to, loved. It can relax. It doesn’t have to hide or demand attention as before.

I also see that what it wants and needs is something I can offer, it’s something I can give.

It’s very simple. It’s something any one of us, at least if we have a minimum of wherewithal, can learn. And it becomes easier and a new habit over time.

It’s also something I can easily imagine including in any early schooling and any therapy.

 

Holding satsang with

 

Some parts of me I explore holding satsang with:

A sense of weakness, fatigue, lack of grounding, spaciness.

An energetic sense of something that hasn’t quite “landed” in and around my head, that’s afraid of landing.

Small, incompetent, weak. Feeling small with male authorities, disappointed with female authorities.

Out of integrity, afraid, avoidant, not open.

Fear of meeting what’s here.

The part of me stressed, fearful, by the thought of having what I want. (Relationship, education, work, income, place to live.) The part thinking what I really want is too good for me.

Restlessness. Rootlessness. Fear of rootedness. Fear of what’s good. Fear of an easy, good relationship. Fear of an easy, good life.

Healing my world of images

 

There are a few different “layers” to holding satsang with what’s here. For instance….

Notice if it’s already allowed. Is it true it’s not already allowed? You are welcome here.

Notice it’s function. Is it here to protect (the image of) me? Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your devotion to me. Thank you for your love for me.

How would you like me to meet you? Notice what this question evokes.

What is your deepest desire? What would satisfy you forever? 

What are you really? (What a thought would call awakeness?)

And there is a few different “layers” to what I can hold satsang with.

I hold satsang with emotions, sensations, images. I hold satsang with fear, anger, grief, loneliness.

I hold satsang with dream figures, with figures from mythology and stories. I hold satsang with the witch from my recurrent childhood dream.

And I hold satsang with my images of people and situations. I hold satsang with women in my life in situations where I have imagined the witch qualities in them.

Through this, I notice (a) that my world – the world as it appears to me – is my world of images. And I notice (b) that when there is identification with these images or my stories about them, the identification and the images mind identifies with is here to protect (the image of) me. It’s devoted to me. It’s from love. It is love. And that too is an image.

A thought may say this is all about healing my world of images, and I can find where that’s true for me. Another thought may say it’s all about seeing a little more clearly what’s already here. I can find the truth in that too.

(more…)

Satsang with dream figures, people in my life

 

I continue holding satsang with the witch from my recurrent childhood dream, and also with women in my life I have perceived that witch quality in.

It feels very good. I see how my mind has created the image of the witch to protect (the image of) me. I see that what it desires is to be met with respect, understanding and love, to be deeply loved, and also met with gentle firmness (not allowed to wreak too much havoc). I see that this too is awakeness, the play of awakeness.

And I see I can hold satsang with my images of anyone in my life, or the world, and really anything at all in my world. Bullies from school. People who (a thought says) misperceived me. Illness. Politicians I don’t like. Someone who (I tell myself) hurt me. Myself.

These are all images in my own mind. Created by my own mind. And they are here to protect the image of me, at least when identified with.

(more…)

From welcoming to inviting inquiry

 

It’s interesting to explore different facets of holding satsang with what’s here.

I notice that what’s here is already allowed. It’s allowed by life and mind. That makes it easier to find an intentional welcome for what’s here. To more consciously align with what’s already here.

I notice it’s here to protect me. It’s here to protect an image of me (as a being, a human) and I. That makes it easier to find a genuine thankfulness for it’s service.

I notice it’s devoted to me. I find gratefulness.

I notice it comes from love. It is love. I find love for it. I can meet it with love.

I ask it how it would like me to be with it. I notice I have pushed it away in the past, or identified with it. The answer is a shift in how I relate to it now. I notice it wishes me to meet it with (what a thought may call) respect, understanding, love.

I ask what it’s deepest desire it, what would satisfy it forever. I find the beauty in it’s intention and function.

I ask it what it really is. I find it’s what a thought may call love, what a thought may call awakeness. It’s awakeness appearing as what a thought may label [fear, anger, pain etc.]

Each of these facets have their own function. Each contributes to the fullness of the meeting and the curiosity.

Through this, I find the quiet joy in acting as a sage in meeting what’s here. How can I be of service? How are you in service of life?

Behind the image of an enemy, a friend

 

Fear of discomfort is one of our greatest enemies in our quest to give our gift more fully.

I saw this sentence in an online article.

In a sense, it’s valid. When I get caught up in fears – or more precisely, when I believe fearful thoughts – it does stop me from living and offering my gifts more fully.

And it looks different when I take a closer look. This fear is here to protect me. It’s offering it’s services. It’s devoted to the image of me and it’s well being. It comes from love, and it is love. And the same goes for the beliefs creating this fear.

I notice it’s already allowed. It’s already allowed by life and mind. You are welcome here. 

I notice it’s function is to protect me. It’s devoted to me. It comes from love. It is love. Thank you for your devotion to me. Thank you for your love for me. 

I notice I have made it into an enemy in the past, and tried to push it away. How would you like me to be with you? 

I notice it – and I – have not been aware of it’s function. What is your deepest desire? What would satisfy you forever? 

I notice it – and I – have not been aware of what it really is. What are you really? (A thought would call it love. A thought would call it awakeness.)

First, there is an image of this fear as an enemy. A problem. Something to get rid of. Ignore. Fight. Go around.

Taking a closer look, it’s revealed as something quite different. I see it’s already allowed by life and mind. It’s function is to protect the image of a me and I. It’s devoted to me. It comes from love. It is love. It wishes me to meet it with respect, understanding, love. It’s deepest desire is (a) to be met with respect, understanding and love, and (b) a deep sense of trust and safety. And again taking a closer look, it’s revealed as love, and also as awakeness itself – the play of awakeness as this form a thought initially called fear.