Scott Kiloby: Glance at a mental picture that seems to torment you for three seconds

 

Glance at a mental picture that seems to torment you for three seconds. Look directly at it, notice the open, empty space around it simultaneously. Often, but not always, a three second direct glance is all that is needed to unhook from identifying with it. Then gently feel the emotion/sensation if there is one.

This is especially effective for addictive and fearful thoughts. Do it all day today and tomorrow and see if you don’t notice a difference in your degree of overall well-being.

– Scott Kiloby

 

Scott Kiloby: Changing the Paradigm around Awakening

 

Changing the Paradigm around Awakening – Our Desire Not to Feel

I do wonder if the search for awakening or enlightenment is really about something different than what it is often made out to be.

Every time I have watched someone use this kind of work we do to start resting with and making all emotions conscious, letting them be as they are, inevitably the spiritual seeking begins to wind down right alongside that practice.

I think it is much more than a coincidence.

It would seem to be that it might drastically change the entire conversation about enlightenment or awakening if we all began to experience that this is indeed the case, that the mechanism of avoidance and escape of feelings is very much behind the drive to awaken. It seems the conversation around awakening would be much different, more pragmatic, if we began to view the search to awaken as merely an extension of our desire to avoid or escape painful emotions. It would no longer be about being special or being “those who are awakened” or any of that. And really no more about gurus. There would be a very practical view of it, helping everyone to reorient themselves systematically and begin addressing this desire to avoid and escape what is quite natural – emotions.

It seems that identification with thought itself diminishes greatly, once these feelings are owned fully. The Kiloby Center has become a lab for me to test out this theory. And it seems very accurate.

The focus for those who search for awakening often centers on the notion of awareness as something prior to the arising of thought, emotion. The focus is often on thoughts themselves, or identification with them. The idea is, “If I identify less with thought, I will recognize my True Self as this Awareness.” Ok, fair enough. But what will that give you? What will that show you ultimately? Is there something about the human experience itself that is driving this idealized search for something beyond? Virtually every mature awareness teachings says that even awareness (as something prior to thought and emotion) falls away at some point. So recognizing an Awareness prior to phenomena is not even the final frontier. It seems to me that recognizing awareness ultimately must come with a full-on acceptance and allowance of all phenomena to be as they are – all thoughts and emotions. And this results in less identification with thoughts and emotions. Could it be that it is our relationship to thought and emotion that is the key factor here – not some transcendental notion of awareness?

In the last few years, I have been focusing much more with people on the Velcro Effect, which is the experience of thoughts being stuck to emotions and sensations. The Inquiries undo this stuckness, not through avoidance and escape, but through the bare naked present allowing of all emotions, both conscious and unconscious. And at the Center, when clients become adept at this skill, their spiritual seeking fades. They come naturally into alignment with the present moment and the natural acceptance of all that arises. Identification with thought decreases with the undoing of the Velcro. And although many report a shift into present awareness, it ends up being not something prior to thought and emotion. The whole idea of “prior to” starts looking like an escape or avoidance of thought and emotion. As the Velcro Effect is undone, even thought and emotion are totally ok. Everything is allowed. And so the whole paradigm of awakening is blown out of the water. The word “awareness” and all the other words thrown around about awakening begin to seem silly and unuseful.

What people actually come to see is that they just didn’t want to feel. And they had spent their whole lives trying not to feel. As feelings are fully felt and the velcro is undone, life looks different.

There is no longer a state in the future that looks so appealing, either as a state of only positive bliss or a state in which emotions are absent. There is nothing to seek. There is nothing to avoid or escape. There is no specialness to this. It’s a matter of simply reorienting themselves to emotions that were stuck to thoughts. Learn to undo the Velcro, and the avoidance and escape stops. Therefore the seeking stops.

– Scott Kiloby

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Scott Kiloby: A stuck sensation dissolves when there are no words or mental pictures containing it

 

A stuck sensation dissolves when there are no words or mental pictures containing it, only pure space surrounding and permeating it.

– Scott Kiloby

Yes.

Although it’s not important in this context, a brief note about space:

Space here can be experienced as physical space, but it’s really something slightly different. It’s spaciousness (for lack of a better word) with an added image of 3D space added onto it. Our experience is space is partly that spaciousness or boundlessness, and partly the overlaid image of a three dimensional space. It can be interesting and helpful to explore this in immediate experience. I notice the spaciousness or boundlessness. (Literally, without boundaries.) And I notice my own images of three dimensions overlaid on it.

Scott Kiloby: The five most helpful points for awakening

 

The Five Most Helpful Points for Awakening

1. Notice that thought? – Look at it, let it be all by itself.

2. Notice that feeling? Feel it, let it be all by itself.

3. Notice that there is an awareness that seems to remain no matter what thought or feeling is passing through. Notice that this awareness will not save you from having thoughts or experiencing feelings. So just go back to #1.

4. When you think you are still seeking, go back to #1.

5. When you think you are awake, go back to #1.

– Scott Kiloby, Facebook

Scott Kiloby: Are you having a problem today?

 

Are you having a problem today? Start with feeling the fear underneath the thoughts directly. Welcome it so fully that the feeling is the only thing happening, all by itself. As the feeling vanishes, see if you still have a problem.

– Scott Kiloby, Facebook

Of course, there may still be things to take care of. But the uneasy feeling around it may be befriended, or gone. It may not seem like a “problem” anymore.

Scott Kiloby: how to ascend the stages of enlightenment

 

Here’s my method for ascending through the various levels of enlightenment that are proposed by certain methodologies and philosophies. Here’s a “how to.”

Simply place yourself on whatever level you think you are truly on. Look at the people above you. Find out what story of deficiency they mirror back to you. See that this story is not you. Then look at people on levels below you. Look at what stories of superiority they mirror back to you. See through that story. 

When you see that there are no levels, see through that story too. Then go see a movie or enjoy life in whatever way shows up for you, and never concern yourself again with any of that!

– Scott Kiloby 

Yes, yes, and yes 🙂

Scott Kiloby: What happens between sessions is really the most important thing

 

What I’d like to say is this: trauma, addiction, anxiety and the host of other things people deal with have been developed over a lifetime. We are conditioned into this way of responding and relating. Sessions, by themselves, are really not enough. It takes a moment by moment looking and opening up to the perspective that one is not trying to fix his or her experience, but rather allow it, love it, explore it, without agenda. It takes time to ease into this perspective, giving our desire to fix or feel better. Most attempts to fix or feel better bring the personal will into it, which creates a cycle of the ego trying to get rid of the ego, rather than a natural resting with what is, and allowing it. This is really not directed specifically to the post by X. It is something I speak about every day at the center. I see it in many people. I saw it in myself.

We created these movements of fear, craving, deficiency over a long span of time. They don’t always come undone just from looking during sessions. What happens between sessions is really the most important thing. Let me repeat that. What happens between sessions is the most important thing. skills training is key. Skills training is noticing what one’s disposition is towards experience and learning to accept, notice, be gentle, inquire without expectation. No one wakes anyone up, in a session or otherwise. It is my responsibility to learn skillful means and use those until it becomes automatic in experience and everything begins to be allowed as it is. No one can do it for me. Those with experience can merely provide important tools. I must pick up and use those tools on my own.

– Scott Kiloby on FaceBook

Scott Kiloby: Dissolving Inner Fists With Gentle Attention and Loving Kindness

 

Once these contractions were seen like little fists, just gently bringing thought-free attention to them in the moment they began to contract was very helpful, and very loving. For years, I was highly unconscious of these little fists. They were essentially ignored. I was in my head mostly. But bringing awareness to these little fists whenever they contracted was a loving gesture.

I remember spending hours each night, before sleep, resting attention very gently in those areas where contraction was felt. This felt like the most loving thing I had ever done – to care enough to pay attention to these little fists.

Paying attention, along with the Living Inquiries, conscious breathing, some Tong Ren and Acupuncture, was really all that was needed to dissolve these little fists.

It took time. Some contractions didn’t dissolve for months, or even years. Infinite patience was part of the love. To be infinitely patient is not to wait in time or forever, with the idea of some future moment when everything will dissolve. It is to rest right now with whatever is there.

To rest without expectation that anything will happen is truly a peaceful and loving way to work with these little fists. I often work with clients at the Center on these contractions. They want a quick fix. They want them to dissolve immediately. This is a natural inclination. We live in a culture where we are taught to look for quick fixes.

But these contractions were often formed long ago and solidified through years of unconsciousness. They usually don’t dissolve right away for that reason. And whenever we are applying pressure to the contractions as a way to dissolve them, they often just stay contracted. Infinite patience, loving kindness and paying attention directly is just the right medicine.

– Scott Kiloby, Contractions: Dissolving These Little Inner Fists With Gentle Attention and Loving Kindness

Scott Kiloby: The Intention to Willfully Manifest Isn’t Needed

 

The Intention to Willfully Manifest Isn’t Needed – It Happens Naturally When We Become Clear

As I peruse through the new age spiritual teachings, I am struck by the inclusion of so much language and so many practices designed to manifest something. The conscious intention to manifest, as an act of will or an act of seeking, died for me many years ago. And that’s about when a lot more really wonderful things manifested in my life. This manifestation of an abundant life just didn’t come from trying to make it happen. It came from getting clear on who I am and who I am not. I am not an unlovable self, a person who isn’t good enough or a victim. I am not a teacher, an author or a director of a treatment center. I am not a musician or an artist. I am not any of those things.

For years, I carried those labels around and they felt heavy, like luggage. Trying to manifest almost always comes from a sense that you are something in particular and that you must live out that role. This is restrictive and limiting. It presupposes what you are supposed to do in this life, who you are supposed to become, what you are supposed to have and not have. It’s like living within a box and trying to expand the box, so that the future creates a better version of the box.

I used to think that I was an artist and musician. Along the same lines of that story, I thought my purpose was to write music. Because I identified with those roles, I was not very prolific as a songwriter. Too much self-judgment and doubt. I was trying too HARD to be something. As soon as I saw that I was not an artist or songwriter, it was like this amazing burden had been lifted. I then became four times more prolific, writing music just out of the love of creating – rather than from an identity or some intention to become something.

The same is true for my presumed role as a teacher. I have never walked around thinking of myself as a teacher. The teacher label was placed on me after writing several books and creating websites. When one believes he or she is a teacher, it is automatically a confining box. The belief that one is a teacher can easily come with some pretty extreme views like, “I am a savior,” “I know the truth,” or “I am here to save the world.” I am not here to save the world. The books and other writings and tools you see from me came from the pure joy of creating in the moment. Gone is any baggage about being a teacher. Inflated self-importance almost always follows the belief that one is a teacher.

The same kind of thing happened when I opened the Kiloby Center. My intention was not to create an identity as an addiction specialist or a savior in the world of addicts. Sure, I went to addiction specialist school. I did all that was necessary to open the Center. But the entire venture was an act joyful creating in the moment, one step at a time. It was a labor of love. Had I begun to think that I was driving the ship, that would have brought about the luggage again – the box.

The reason the Center is doing well is not because of any willful intention to manifest some future thing. It came from the act of joyful creating in the moment. And like all good creations, the center was co-created through lots of folks who also love enjoying creating. It is never one self that does anything.

When you love what you do and carry no identity around it, you just do what you do. You create what you create. It is purely a free-flowing movement. If anything, whenever I contemplated the future and whether the Center would stay afloat, I merely looked at all hopes, commands and threats and saw them as empty. This placed me right back in the present moment, creating for the pure joy of it.

When I see these teachings talking about the need to consciously manifest something, I am dumbfounded. Why put so much burden in the minds of people? Why get them to try, try, try and then feel bad when they don’t manifest what they are trying to manifest.

Where does that come from? Does it not come from a present sense of lack or deficiency? Who would have such a notion? And isn’t fear at the root of that intention, the fear that we won’t get what we want?

If you really want to manifest some great things in your life, drop all desire for the future to be a certain way. Drop all perceived threats. Drop all your strict adherence to life turning out a certain way. See through the command that tells you that you MUST manifest something in particular. And then see what ACTUALLY happens when you are out of the way completely.

We don’t know the future, nor do we have any control over how it will actually unfold. But if we see that these identities of lack and deficiency are not who we are, we will manifest in the world exactly as we manifest. We will be surprised at every corner to see what happens, both the ups and the downs.

We will be truly living in the mystery instead of living our lives according to a program that says we are in control and we must direct the course of our lives. This programming is culturally given. Freedom includes going beyond what our cultures say is the right way to do things and the right attitude about making those things happen. The American Dream has been downloaded into our systems. And yet the Dream is really a dream of control, a dream of limitation. We haven’t seen this yet as a culture. But you don’t have to wait for your culture to see it. You can inquire or investigate now.

If the center closes down, I lose all my precious musical instruments, I go off Facebook, shut my sites down, take my books off the shelf, I will be ok. Perfectly fine. These things are not who I am. New things will arise. And whatever arises will be perfectly wonderful.

If you can see that it doesn’t matter what happens, you are already free in the moment. You have not confined yourself to how you think life should unfold. Therefore, you are open. Completely, completely open. Manifestation happens. We can’t help it. We can’t stop it. And we don’t need to be in the business of directing it. Watch what happens…. Love you all.

– Scott Kiloby on FaceBook

Scott Kiloby: On spotting bypassing

 

A Note from the Kiloby Center on Bypassing. www.kilobycenter.com

Here are a few tips on spotting bypassing in a teacher or teaching, in which case you might pick up those habits if you aren’t aware of how and when they appear:

1. Avoiding the negative and only desiring the positive. Although this sounds like a positive thing, addiction -as one example – is the ongoing, repetitive experience of reaching for something positive as a way to cover up or avoid the negative. It is easy for this kind of addictive thinking to find itself in spiritual teachings. Promises of this or that in the future are very appealing to a mind that is already locked into that kind of seeking and to a mind that thinks the “self” is deficient and lacking and needs something else to happen later to experience true fulfillment. Once you start to peel back some of the positive affirmations people are clinging to, they begin to face the real pain they have been avoiding for years. Do you really want a teaching that helps you avoid?

2. Self-issues that are being overlooked in the teacher. For example, if a teacher is getting triggered by students a lot or in other relationships, but does not look at those triggers when they arise….how can the teacher help you look at them?

3. Overblown self-images. If you find a teacher who says, either explicitly or implicitly, that he or she is fully awakened or more advanced than other teachers, question that teacher on which thoughts are being believed and not being examined. Just as a great pianist can stay in his or her head about who or what she is (which gets in the way of the freeflowing of the playing itself), a teacher can do the same thing. Be interested in teachers who are exactly the same – whether they are on stage teaching or sitting and eating a sandwich.

4. Watch out for grand concepts that are very alluring. If a teacher says “you can experience your true divine nature by following me,” he or she has chosen words that appeal to a part of your brain that is tantalized by language. This is the same mechanism of the brain that is seduced by just the right language in a commercial. But what is actually being delivered? Did you actually find “happiness” when you bought your last car, after watching a car commercial that promised that? When the words are peeled off or seen to be just words, what exactly is being offered? If there is some realization that can happen, surely it is not those words themselves. Because language has such a seduction to it, always examine language being used very carefully. Ask a teacher why he or she insists that you use the same language as he or she does. Ask him or her to question his or her own spiritual ideas as much as he or she is asking you to question what you believe.

5. Watch out for teachings that don’t speak to the body. The body/mind connection is an important one. What about all that stored pain that many of us carry in the body? Will seeing that I am not my conscious thoughts actually release that pain, which is usually highly unconscious? We are thinking, feeling, sensing beings. And the feeling and sensing shows up primarily in the body. When something was too painful to feel earlier in our lives, we may have suppressed or repressed it (e.g. trauma). Yet it is still there running the show. Avoiding the topic of the body entirely and focusing only on the mind is very partial in our view.

6. Watch out for language that speaks to pure non-conceptuality. Notice how many books the teacher has written that contain tons of concepts. Concepts are a part of life. States of pure nonconceptuality can happen. But when concepts arise, the question is whether they are believed, followed, treated like religions, etc. Daily triggers don’t happen in those moments of nonconceptuality. They happen the moment a concept is believed or identified with.

7. Watch out for any teaching that claims to take care of all suffering by itself. What we are learning more and more at the center is that integrating is most helpful and that most approaches, even the best approaches, are partial. Methods or teachings rarely speak to the entire mental, physical, emotional, relational aspects of our lives. They promise this, while ignoring that. Adjunct therapies or methods that fill in the hole left by the nondual teaching you follow primarily can be helpful. For example, no matter how present you are or how well you are manifesting great things in your life, there may be physical issues, past trauma, shadows that aren’t being addressed. Sometimes a simple change in diet makes all the difference.

8. Awareness can be used to bypass. For example, there is often a strong inclination to identify with certain core stories, such as victim or “I’m not good enough.” Simply being aware of those stories may be a way of not actually looking in a more penetrating way at the thoughts, emotions and sensations that make up those stories. There are ways to undo the velcro of those thoughts from the emotions or sensations that arise with them, so that the stories are truly seen to be empty. The mind has a way of rationalizing bypassing by saying, “I’m aware of it” or “It’s all happening in awareness.” But if you keep seeing these same stories arise, it could be that awareness is being used as a “safe space” from which you don’t have to actually inquire into what is being believed. There are many reasons not to look – wanting to be right, wanting to maintain the self-identity, wanting to claim being awakened prematurely, not want to actually feel pain, etc.

Take what you will from this. It’s just that we feel at the Kiloby Center that we have a good view of what often gets missed in nondual teachings, as a lot of our clients are seekers who have been on the path for years. The Center is a laboratory where we examine these issues on a daily basis, all day. That level of support is rare in the spiritual circles. We just want to report back what we are seeing.

– Scott Kiloby, The Kiloby Center

Scott Kiloby: My relationship to blockages

 

My relationship to blockages of energy in my body has been love/hate on virtually every blockage. A quiet game of waiting…

I have started out hating it, thinking of it as an unwelcome guest, like an entity I needed to get rid of. “Screw this, I never signed up for this on the spiritual path.”

None of that worked.

I tried to “no self” it away. “It’s not happening to anyone” “It’s just happening in awareness.” “it’s impersonal.” None of those ideas worked. The relationship to it was still one of clinging on some level below conscious thought.

Then came the resignation – “there it is and it isn’t going anywhere, might as well stop trying to get rid of it.”

Then came the quiet acceptance of it. “Hey, it’s not so bad, might as well make a friend out of this.”

Then came the feeling into it and the softening to it, the exploration of what I never wanted to feel (which is why the blockage was there in the first place)

Then came the loving of it. “I don’t even want this to go away.”

Then came the disappearance of it.

Not everything on the spiritual path is quick and easy. It’s not always about NOW. Love sometimes takes time.

– Scott Kiloby on Facebook

Scott Kiloby: Conscious Embodiment

 

It is well worth it to explore embodiment, to move from identification with the physical body to a sweet and loving inclusion of the entire bodily experience, without identifying with it anymore. Dare I say, it is blissful to take awakening that deeply. If you see that as a carrot, just notice the seeking behind that thought. That seeking is an escape route. Question it. I’m just sharing my experience. Not trying to indulge more seeking and projection.

– Scott Kiloby in Conscious Embodiment

Scott Kiloby: The Present Moment

 

I was told in a million different ways when growing up that the present moment was not enough . .  .

that heaven was a far away place experienced only after death and only available if I lived a good life

that tomorrow will always be better, holding open the possibility of hope and the sense that something is not quite right now

that if I eat this or do that, I will look better and people will like me more

that if I study hard enough, I will be respected and valued tomorrow more than I am today

that sometime later I will meet my perfect lover and live happily ever after

that feelings arising now are bad and should be changed or avoided, so that better feelings can come later

that the past is who I am and the future is who I will become – there seemed like no place for the present to be what or who I am

that, if I got a job and worked hard and made lots of money, I would become happy later and have more value as a human being.

that if I change the way I am and how I behave, more people will love, acknowledge and accept me

that if I take this medication, drink this drink or eat this food, the next moment will feel better

I have been filled with these lies my whole life.

This moment holds it all – everything is here, including thoughts of the past and future. I have everything I need. Everything is perfectly in place – the good, the bad and the neutral.

To want more than what is isn’t even possible anyway, because “more” is a thought happening now.

I am what I am right now. I am however I show up. There is nothing to improve upon. The very notion of improving would merely lead me back into chasing the false promises of future, which have never satisfied.

I know that I am happy because I am breathing, thinking, feeling and that I am aware. This is enough. Totally enough. Perfect actually.

Dear world, take your lies somewhere else. I have lost interest in them

– Scott Kiloby, The Present Moment

Scott Kiloby: Premature Claims to Awakening

 

Yes, awakening happens.

Yes, awakening includes not identifying with thought, emotion, sensation.

Yes, awakening can involve subtle to powerful shifts in perceptions about the nature of reality and separation.

Yes, awakening is about seeing no self.

No, there is not one static event or state called awakening that everyone arrives at in some magical moment, never suffers again, and then holds hands in bliss, light and love eternally singing Cumbaya. Life is way too fluid to neatly fit into those kinds of static myths. That’s the stuff of spiritual poems that are written during spiritual highs. Notice that you often don’t see spiritual poems about the lows of spiritual awakening. It just doesn’t sell.

– Scott Kiloby in Premature Claims to Awakening

Another excellent article from Scott Kiloby.

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Scott Kiloby: Beyond Our Culture of Fixing

 

My answer to her was this:   There is ultimately nothing wrong with experiencing all of these things.  They are merely words, pictures and emotions.  But when we have a belief that we are broken and that we need to be fixed, we are always looking for an end point, instead of really “being with” whatever is arising in the present moment.

[….]

Once we clear away the belief that we are broken and need to be fixed, a change of perception can start to happen.  We move beyond this limited way of experiencing ourselves and into a direct and immediate allowing of everything as it is, without resistance.   This change of perception has the power to profoundly relieve suffering in a way that is different from being “fixed.”  The relief of suffering comes from welcoming the suffering, from moving through it, instead of trying to reach the end of something.

[….]

Get radical:  question the notion that you are broken and that you need fixing.  Throw away the conditioning that your culture has given you, and replace it with a loving investigation of thoughts, emotions and sensations as they come and go.  Notice that, as thoughts, emotions and sensations come and go, there is an awareness that remains unchanged by all that.  It remains stably present regardless of the coming and going of all these things.  In this, there is a deep acceptance of life, no matter how it shows up.

And then, when you are ready, question the notion of awareness itself.  Notice that it too is not something findable.  It is not something you have to hold onto in any way.  At that point, you have lost your ground in a good way.  You are not merely watching the river of experience coming and going.  You are the river itself.  You have jumped in and lost that sense of self that wants to change the river.   You have lost the belief in being broken and needing to be fixed.   You are living and enjoying life, the good, the bad, the ugly and the neutral.  It’s all here for you in the moment.  Live it, love it, be it.  Notice that the river never ends and that you aren’t looking for its end anymore anyway.

– Scott Kiloby in Beyond Our Culture of Fixing

Scott Kiloby: You see the acceptance happening in your own experience and how deeply that changes the whole game for you

 

As a facilitator, tricks can sometimes be helpful to help people really see that something is not a threat or is not who they are. But tricks also can become too heady or even have the effect of continuing to try and change experience instead of letting everything be as it is. To see why letting everything be as it is, is important in this work, you have to look at the nature of seeking and suffering. Having spent years now working with people online and now at the center, one fundamental thing that almost every client has in common is the desire to change how they think and feel.

But look at what trying to change entails. It entails a sense of self behind it all that is deciding that what is happening is not right. It entails a kind of violence against what we are feeling in the body. Mostly, when I meet spiritual seekers, what they are trying to do is get rid of something bad in favor of something better. This constant seeking to change experience can go on forever. Many seekers have been at it for 20 to 30 years.

When we guide people in facilitations to be with whatever is, without trying to change or move or get rid of anything, we are showing them how to innately accept and surrender to their experience completely. We are helping them end the game of seeking. We are also putting to rest the deficiency stories that say “there is something wrong with me and my experience.” We are also no longer contributing to their addictions, which are all about changing how one feels constantly. Even with anxiety we are helping them by showing them how to be with what is exactly as it is.

Most of the people that I have worked with around anxiety carry a resistance to the anxiety itself. Whatever we resist, persists. So the anxiety stays around precisely because they are trying to control and change it. They are resisting. Adding in any tricks during inquiry which teach the client to resist, change, be against or get rid of what they are experiencing is helping them continue to suffer. Please be mindful of this when using tricks. Use them sparingly, only when really needed.

Mostly, find in your own experience the sweetness of allowing everything to be and not using inquiry to try and change everything that arises. Notice that in every moment something new is arising. You’d be at it for years. Then, when you see the acceptance happening in your own experience and how deeply that changes the whole game for you, it will be obvious when you are working with clients that anything other than complete allowance is violent and ultimately not helpful to them in the long run.

– Scott Kiloby

It’s very simple, and yet something that can take time to explore and sink into.

We are our field of experience, so any resistance comes from a mistaken identity. It comes from temporarily, and mistakenly, taking ourselves to be one part of this field of experience and then perceiving the rest of the field as “other”. There is identification with a certain identity, and with an I that’s separate from Other.

The resolution, and the “way home”, is to shift into allowing the whole field of experience as it is. That shows us how deeply satisfying it feels to come home in this way, it shows us that nothing terrible happened, and it gives us a glimpse of what we already and really are…. our whole field of experience as it is here and now.

For me, here and now, it is…. a body sitting here by the computer, slight nausea, music, the computer, a table, a bed, a window, apple trees outside the window, cold feet, salt taste in the mouth, a slight headache, and more. That’s all part of the field of experience, when given labels by thought, and it’s all what “I” am now. To take myself as part of this field, and the rest of the field as “other” is an innocent and mistaken identity, and it can be remedied.

It’s not that hard to glimpse what I really am, to revisit it, to gradually become more familiar with it, and for the “center of gravity” to gradually shift more and more into what I already am. There is nothing mysterious about it. It’s very simple. It’s what any baby knows. (Without knowing it.) And it’s what we can rediscover with the added benefit of the experience and maturity of our adult human self.

P.S. From this perspective, all the intricacies of the different spiritual and religious traditions may seem “extra”. Some of it may be helpful stepping stones and pointers. And much of it is about something else, and often about fantasies, entertainment and attempts to escape.

Scott Kiloby: Deep Body Resting

 

I have found that spending a good bit of time each day investigating the sensations in the body with restful, spacious attention has been really helpful for me with regard to recovering from addictions. For purposes of this blog, I’m calling that “deep body resting” as shorthand.

[….]

I would spend at least an hour each day, and sometimes more, quietly and oh-so-gently resting my attention into the denser sensations in the body that seemed to be associated with the reaching for certain substances and activities. During these periods of meditative rest, I would notice the space around each sensation and let the sensation float freely in that space. I came to find that the mind always has an agenda for these sensations. Mostly, it wants to get rid of them. But that is resistance. And whatever I resisted, persisted. So noticing the space around the sensations (mostly with a quiet mind) and letting the sensations float freely took all the resistance out. Simply put, the space around the sensation has no such agenda. It allows and accepts the sensation as it is. This undoes the desire to fix or change the sensation. It takes the self out of the equation. It also undoes the mechanism of repression and avoidance that is such a big part of addiction because during that time of deep body resting, the key was to allow the sensations to do whatever they pleased – get stronger, relax, come back, get strong again, relax again.

Deep body resting was very painful and frustrating at times. These were uncomfortable sensations I spent my whole life trying to avoid. It was also scary at times because as I would wake up the next day, the movement outward towards things would diminish (sometimes in subtle ways and sometimes in palpable degrees) and there was a sense of “Oh no, it’s all being taken away from me.” But as that fear was felt, like any other sensation, those words just felt empty. At first, I thought of deep body resting as like a chore, something I didn’t want to do. Watching TV seemed much more interesting. But after a while, I began to cherish those periods when I could rest without distractions like TV or anything else and just explore these sensations in the most loving, gentle and accepting way. I fell in love, if you will, with this kind of compassionate investigation of the vast universe of the body.

It took a while, many months in fact, but eventually those dense, repressed energies began to dissolve and never appear again in the same way. As sensations in various parts of my body dissolved, the addictions that were associated with them dissolved too. All those periods of gentle resting and investigation were more than worth it. They were indispensable on my path.

[….]

– from Deep Body Resting by Scott Kiloby

Scott Kiloby: You might also find a kind of deep self-love

 

People sometimes ask if the point of the Living Inquiries is to realize near the end of the inquiry that there is no inherent self. Well…that is one thing that can happen. But you might also find a kind of deep self-love when you stop using inquiry to change your experience. This paradox of no inherent self to be found and also a delicious loving of ourselves as we are in the moment never needs to be reconciled intellectually. It is just grokked in experience when we stop using inquiry to change ourselves and our experience and merely allow it all, asking simple questions along the way in a non-violent, loving, accepting way.

– Scott Kiloby

Self-love is very simple, and yet not always easy (to notice). It’s a love for what’s here, as it is. A simple, ordinary, quiet love for sensations, sounds, smell, taste, words, images that are here now, as they are.

(more…)

Scott Kiloby: Contraction: Thank You for Arising, I Love You, You Are Welcome to Stay

 

Why was it helpful?  If you showed unconditional love to a friend who showed up at your door, wouldn’t your attitude be, “Thank you for coming, I love you, you are welcome to stay?” Anything else is resistance. And what we resist, persists.

– Scott Kiloby from Contraction: Thank You For Arising, I love You, You are Welcome to Stay

There is a lot to say about this, although what’s important is to explore this in one’s own experience, in a very simple and straight forward way.

When I say “you are welcome here” and the rest (“I love you”, or also “thank you for protecting me”, “thank you for your love for me”)…….

I get to see what in me is afraid of this, and I can meet that part of me with welcome and love as well.

There is a more conscious alignment with what is. What’s here – any discomfort, pain, emotion, thought, experience – is already allowed. It’s already welcomed by life and presence.

Saying “thank you for protecting me”, “thank you for your love for me” comes from curiosity. Is it here to protect me? Does it come from love? (And I get to see that any reactions me – including discomfort, pain, sadness, anger, fatigue, brain fog etc. – is here to protect the image of me, the imagined me.)

As with any basic and perennial practice, it’s a stepping stone, an exploration, a curiosity. It’s a move in the direction of noticing and living what’s already here, and is very simple, ordinary and natural.

Scott Kiloby: Will I get results with the inquiries?

 

This work was created as a way to relax and simply look at present experience as it arises moment by moment – not for the purpose of getting somewhere but rather for the purpose of examining all the assumptions behind the need to get somewhere.  Even though I often talk publicly about this work as having the potential to relieve addiction, anxiety, depression, spiritual seeking and a host of other things, the process of this work itself – the actual looking – is about simply investigating in a very relaxed, present way what is already being believed, what is already here.

– from Will I get results with the inquiries? by Scott Kiloby

Scott Kiloby: People ask me, “Scott, are you happy?”

 

People ask me, “Scott, are you happy?”

Not in the way happiness is often defined in our culture, where I have to think happy thoughts all the time to bring about happy feelings.

But yes, I’m happy, more like the way my dog is happy, who simply lives and enjoys life without having to ask herself “Am I happy yet?” It’s a given, without having to think about it.

Now, excuse me while I go outside and play.

– Scott Kiloby on Facebook

Scott Kiloby: What is Awakening All About?

 

I’ve met some on the path to awakening who believed that awakening would end all their pain with one big monumental experience, only to come across them later, still dealing with the deeper, more persistent strands of suffering that cannot be undone through one magical experience.

I’ve met some on the path who seemed deeply invested in ideas about it, swimming in intricate layers of intellectualism, only to find them simply rearranging those structures over time, never finding a way out of the loop in their heads that constantly tells them “I know.”

I’ve met some who were searching for awakening in order to feel safe, only to find them later still reacting to a world they imagined to be threatening and fighting anyone who invited them to stop fighting out of fear.

I’ve met some who just wanted to feel good enough, only to find them later still clinging to the same low self-esteem. They believed that awakening would make them feel “good enough” instead of seeing that the whole foundation of good enough v. not good enough is a house made of sand.

I’ve met some who were mesmerized by the shiny glow of spiritual teachers. The shinier the glow, the more they were attracted. As the perceived glow would dull itself in one teacher, it would seem to appear in another. I watched them do this for years, never seeing that the glow is already within them. It was never in the teacher.

I’ve met some who were more interested in defending their ideas about awakening than breaking down the fortress of their own defenses. I’ve watched them fight each other in chat rooms for years, never seeing that they aren’t defending awakening. They are defending a self.

I’ve met some who wanted to completely leave the world behind, only to find out that this actually never happens, for the world as we know it is constructed through thinking. To leave the world behind would be to leave behind the idea that there is someone trapped in this world to begin with.

I’ve met some who were in love with the act of seeking itself, while claiming to want to be free of it. But when the seeking began to quiet, they merely found another way to reignite the spark, postponing their contentment for another two, five or ten years.

I’ve met some who claimed that they had found awakening, only to have pulled the wool over their own eyes. They stopped being aware and started being “people who were awakened.” They seemed more interested in the resume of being awakened than actually being awakened.

But somewhere along the way, I met some who weren’t interested in any of that or who saw the pitfalls in it all. They quietly investigated their experience, through and through, leaving no stone unturned. They sat in this quietness and felt into its magnetic contentment long enough to slowly peel away the layers of pain, over-intellectualism, unsafely, low self-esteem, seeking, psychological self-defense and all stories of being awakened. They burned in the fire of freedom by meeting everything as it arose, instead of trying to move around it or make it go away. They saw that facing their pain directly is the only way to truly be free in the deepest sense, for every act of avoidance makes the pain persist.

They stopped clinging to all the words of a teacher and began deeply questioning the truth of all words, no matter who spoke them. They found that awakening is not a place one arrives at. It is not a resume one posts for the world to see. It is not a denial of the world or a path to get out of the world, but a re-introduction to it, a complete immersion in it, an embodying of it. In that way, the world is not left behind, it is transformed through new eyes and an open heart. It is not a revolution that comes about through fighting, but a deep surrender into an unshakeable peace, even in the midst of conflict. It is not a static place where one claims “all that is true is the changeless space of now” for that would be just another false landing. Life is always changing in that space.

It is not a mental understanding that one can neatly sum up in a book or a post like this. It is a living, breathing, constantly changing realization with a deepening at every corner, an opportunity to look again in the next moment, and the next, to see what is being believed, where the wool is being pulled down once again over one’s eyes. But mostly, it is something for each person to discover. Even this post cannot be the guiding light, for that would merely be, once again, following someone else’s authority rather than trusting one’s own investigation.

The gift that each of these people gave themselves was the openness to continuously relax in the changeless space and allow all changing to happen naturally. The gift is to investigate again and again when the mind clings to its familiar landing points, insecurities or bragging rights. Giving ourselves this gift in each moment eventually gives us the greatest gift of all, which is the seeing that in the end, we don’t know what awakening is. We don’t care anymore. We don’t care about this post. I don’t care. For it too is but a fleeting moment, about to be whisked away into the wind of impermanence like everything else.

In not clinging to what is naturally whisked away, the next moment can arise with brand new possibilities, unencumbered by any of the pitfalls above, and free of all fixed definitions of ourselves, others, the world and awakening itself.

– Scott Kiloby

Scott Kiloby: We only suffer for one reason

 

We only suffer for one reason: we don’t want to FEEL. And so the remedy for all suffering is to feel in the most barenaked, thought-free way.

– Scott Kiloby

Yes, that fits my experience. Suffering is the experience that’s created when I try to run from sensations.

When words and images are, in my mind, stuck on sensations to make them seem scary.

One solution is to try to feel sensations in spite of the stuck-on words and images, or try to set these words and images aside for a while. This may or may not work, and is only a temporary solution.

A more satisfying solution is to examine the words and images stuck on the sensations, one at a time, and see what’s really there. In this way, the glue itself softens or dissolves completely, leaving the sensations as sensations.

Without stuck-on words and images, sensations are OK. They are just sensations. There is no need to run from them. And there may even be a genuine curiosity there, a deep willingness and interest in feeling them.

After all, after a lifetime of running, there is a huge relief in just relaxing with what’s here. Noticing it’s all already allowed. It’s all already OK. It’s all already life.

Scott Kiloby: There is a direct correlation between body contraction and addiction

 

There is a direct correlation between body contraction and addiction. The correlation is so direct that, when a certain contraction in the body (throat, chest, stomach, or pelvic area) is released, the addiction tied to that contraction tends to release.

– Scott Kiloby, in Addiction and Your Body: What Science Can’t Tell You

I am exploring this right now, especially around a contraction in my throat. And I also see some ways this can be researched: For instance, do a pre/post study (with one or more control groups) of people with addictions who receive Living Inquiry sessions aimed specifically at body contractions. Do addictions lessen or drop away? Is there a correlation between the strength of self-reported body contractions (pre/post) and the falling away of addictive behavior?

Scott Kiloby: The relief of suffering comes from the untying of the knot of words, mental pictures and bodily sensations

 

The relief of suffering comes from the untying of the knot of words, mental pictures and bodily sensations that create false identities and beliefs. The inquiries work on anything you can imagine (from ending spiritual seeking, to relieving addiction, depression, or anxiety).

– Scott Kiloby, about the Living Inquiries