Wisdom

 

There are many ways to define or talk about wisdom, each one revealing our own personal bias on what is important in our human life.

One way to define it is that wisdom happens when head (view, insight), belly (felt-sensed nurturing fullness), heart (love), and action (skillful means) come together.

Or said another way, it happens when there is receptivity and engagement at each center.

At the head center, there is receptivity to the truth in the reversals of any view and perspective, there is engagement in actively exploring these, and the freedom to use any one of these more actively in a situation.

At the belly center, there is a receptivity which allows for a sense of nurturing fullness. The emotional level goes from reactivity to a stable sense of nurturing fullness, and of trust.

At the heart center, there is receptivity to all of existence, however it shows up. Our heart stays open, or at least can be invited to open.

And our actions reflect skillful means, from experience and brought forth by the receptivity at the three centers, engagement in situations, and the freedom to stay engaged without getting blindly caught up in whatever happens.

Of course, this all gets hopelessly abstract to the point of being pretty useless. But there is a real experience behind all of it, and each of these points can be explored in more detail so they come more alive for us. We can find it in our own life, even if it is only a tendency and not caricatured and full-blown as described here.

When I look at my view, I can find many times there were rigidity there, and with a rigidity of view – attaching to one particular view as true and denying the truth in its reversals – there is not much wisdom. If my view is more fluid, and I actively explore the grain of truth in each reversal, there is sometimes a sense of wisdom, especially if the heart is included, and even more so if there is a sense of nurturing fullness, and it all is reflected in actions.

Looking at my heart, again I see that when my heart is closed, there is not much wisdom available to me. I act from habits at best, and more likely also from reactivity. But if my heart is open to life – to myself and others involved – there is sometimes a sense of wisdom there, especially if the view is included, and even more so if the nurturing fullness and actions are there as well.

In terms of the emotions, I find that when there is reactivity there, there is most often reactivity in view as well, and my heart is closed off. None of those allows much wisdom to be present. But if there is a stable nurturing fullness there, this fullness and the sense of trust that comes with it allows for receptivity at the other centers. My view can be more fluid, my heart more open, my actions more receptive to and engaged with the situation.

The same with my actions as these reflect what is going on at the three centers. If my view is receptive and fluid, my heart open, my emotions nurturing, and this comes out through actions informed by experience and whatever skillful means available to me, there may be some wisdom reflected there as well.

Of course, wisdom is relative to where we are at in terms of insight, receptivity of heart, nurturing fullness, and experience. It reflects how healed, mature, and developed this human self is. Sometimes, we act from less wisdom than what is available to us, and other times – when these centers are more receptive and engaged – we can act more from whatever wisdom is available to us, wherever we are in terms of healing, maturing and development.

We can always go further. Whatever we do, there is always room for improvement. And I guess that is another aspect of wisdom: acknowledging that we are acting from a limited insight and set of experiences, and looking out for feedback to learn from. Here too, in terms of learning from our actions, there is receptivity, engagement and freedom of the three centers.

A felt-sense of ordinariness

 

See and knowing and recognizing that everything in me is universally human is one thing, loving it is another, and to have a deeply felt-sense of the same is again something quite different.

I see it more clearly, especially as I do different forms of inquiry, and there is often even a love for it. But the felt-sense is often less clear. Sometimes it is there, sometimes not.

Different forms of body oriented practices seems to help with a deepening into this bodily felt-sense of universality and ordinariness, and I have most recently noticed this through the transformational breath work.

After the sessions, and when I do it on my own, there is sometimes a dropping into a deep felt-sense of all of this being completely universal and ordinary, with no exception and no possibility for an exception.

With it, there is sometimes some fear and panic that comes up. There is still identification with an identity as someone intrinsically different, which seems to be an identity that is inevitably formed when there is a sense of I and Other, and this deep bodily sense of ordinariness goes counter to that attachment, which brings up some fear and panic.

For me, there is almost a sense of drowning into it when this deep bodily sense of ordinariness is there… a drowning of that particular identity as intrinsically different.

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Flavors of being with experiences

 

Initial draft… 

Some flavors of being with experiences…

  • Wanting it to stay. When attention is wholeheartedly with what is experienced, there is sometimes an accidental (and innocent) shift into wanting it to be there. It has been resisted for so long, so now that there is a wholehearted allowing and being with it, an impulse comes up to allow that to continue for a while. For instance, there is pain, resistance to it, then a shift into wholeheartedly being with it, a noticing this shift and the shift of experience itself, and then an element of wanting it (what initially appeared as pain) to stay. This element of accidentally and sincerely wanting it to stay seems to propel it on even faster. The initial experience, and even what it shifts into, moves along quickly. (Almost a form of reverse psychology.) If I notice this pattern and try to use it consciously to make something go away, it is not likely to work very well. I am only digging myself further down into resistance that way.
  • As if would never go away. Being with an experience, as if it would never go away. This invites resistance to it going or staying to fall away, since it will always be there. There is just a simple being with it, as it is. Complexity, other motivations, and strategizing, tends to fall away, leaving it more simple.
  • Wanting it to go away. Being with an experience because there is a wanting it to go away. This one is an identification with a belief and resistance, so the being with is half-hearted at best. There is an identification with a part of the content of experience (the belief, that which wants something to change), and a resistance to another portion of the content of experience (pain, emotions, etc.) so the split between the two seems very real. A half-hearted being with is not going to change this much. I have to be willing to let go of identification with any content, including these beliefs and identities, even if it is only for a moment. If I take myself to be one portion of content of experience, something else will be Other, there is inevitably resistance (wanting it to stay or go away) and so not a wholehearted being with of the whole field of content of experience. There can only be a wholehearted being with experience when there is a willingness to release identification with what I initially identified with.
  • From the three centers...
    • Head. This is a being with coming from seeing, from awake clarity. This one tends to be a dispassionate seeing.
    • Belly. A felt-sense being with, one that is felt in the body. There is a felt-sense of how it is to be with that experience, and how it is when it is not seen as Other anymore.
    • Heart. A loving being with, coming from the heart. When the being with includes the heart, there is a more wholehearted allowing of the content of experience as it is, without wanting or needing it to change. There is also a healing element here, allowing it to change and heal as it needs to, now in the absence of being resisted.
    • All. A heart-felt being with, often starting with seeing and a felt-sense, which tends to invite the heart to join in.

All as gift and the three centers

 

Seeing all as gift is one of the many practices that makes it easier to be who we take ourselves to be (this human self) and also mimics Big Mind and makes it easier for Big Mind to awaken to itself.

When I explore it for myself, I find that the practice of seeing all as a gift opens the three centers: head, belly and heart. It opens for a seeing, feeling and loving of all as God, as God’s will, good, and beyond the boundary of I and Other.

It is a wonderful practice, if it is a guideline for investigation for myself.

As with anything, it can also be used in less than helpful ways. For instance, if it remains an abstract belief, it becomes a battle against myself, trying to convince myself all is a gift when it certainly doesn’t feel like it. And it becomes heartless if it is used to justify what happens to others.

At the head center, it helps shift the view from split, from I and Other, to finding the wholeness beyond this imagined boundary of I and Other. It helps shift from a belief in a separate self into Big Mind noticing itself.

At the belly center, it helps shift from emotional reactiveness to an allowing of emotions without blindly engaging in them, either through resistance or impulsively acting on them. It helps me find a stable sense of fullness and nurturing. And there is a shift from a felt-sense of a basic distrust in life, to a felt-sense of trust in life, independent of how it shows up.

At the heart center, it helps shift from a heart closed to certain situations and qualities, to an heart open to all of it. There is a shift from a half-open and ambivalent heart, to one embracing it all.

In more detail, at the head center, it is an invitation for me to actively explore how this situation may be a gift for me. Can it help me discover my empathy for others in similar situations? Can it help me discover the friction between my stories about what is and what should be, and then investigate these stories? Can it help me notice the difference between engaging in resistance to my experiences, and a more heartfelt and wholehearted allowing? Can it help me notice different parts of myself, recognizing in myself what I see in others? Can it help me bring out new aspects of myself, as the situation seems to call for? Can it help me actively work on my relationships with myself and others?

At the belly center, it is an invitation to wholeheartedly and in an heartfelt way be with whatever emotions I am experiencing. More fully allowing them, relating to them as an afraid animal or child that only wants to be seen and held, in a heartfelt way.

At the heart center, it is an invitation to see in myself what I see in others and the wider world, and notice the empathy that comes from this recognition. We are all in the same boat. Everything in us is universally human.

Three centers, two levels, and coming home

 

When uncomfortable memories, scenarios, sensations and emotions come up, they are like our poor cousins knocking at our door, wanting to be acknowledged, accepted and allowed. They want to be seen, felt, and loved for what they are, as they are.

And we can do this at each of the three centers (head, belly, heart) and at our two levels (who and what we are, human self and Ground).

At the head center, we allow whatever arises to “come home” by examining our views holding them at bay, and finding the truth in the turnarounds of these views. At the belly center, we do the same by allowing attention to be with whatever arises, in a quietly heartfelt way. And through this, the heart center seems to open naturally to what arises.

In this way, we allow whatever arises to come home at the level of our human self. By not resisting we (a) see that what arises belongs to this human self, and (b) that even if it was triggered by something seen in the outer world, the trigger mirrors something right here. We learn to own our own reactions, and also to own the qualities we see out there, in the wider world, as also in here.

And we allow whatever arises to come home also at the Ground level, recognizing it as awareness itself, as awakeness and form together, inherently absent of an I with an other. It is all life or Existence or the Universe or God or Big Mind manifesting in its form aspect. What appeared as split into an I and Other, is now revealed as already and always free from that split (even when the split appears to be there).

There is a seeing, feeling and loving of whatever arises as me, as this human self, owning the reactions and responses coming up here, and also seeing everything in the wider world as mirrored here. And there is a seeing, feeling and loving of all as life itself, as Existence manifesting, as God, as Big Mind, before and beyond, free from and independent of an overlay of I and Other.

The first one, the owning of it at our human level, allows for a more finely tuned, mature and effective human self in the world. Before Ground awakens to itself, this makes it easier to be who I take myself to be. And after Ground awakens to itself, it allows for an easier way of expressing Ground awake to itself, and also invite Ground to wake up in others. After all, the characteristics and maturity of this human self is what all skillful means boils down to.

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Dream: village elder

 

I am in a Native American village, and have a close relationship with the village elder who is about to die. He has deep wisdom, compassion and humanity, and is also very familiar with the spiritual realms and Ground. He chooses me and another young man to take care of his body and perform the rites after he dies, which involves removing the skull and treating the remaining skin of the head in a particular way. This is also a test of seeing what is clearly, without overlay of stories and attachments to them. There is a sense of deep belonging, humanity, compassion, wisdom, earthiness and familiarity with the spiritual realms throughout the dream, and in my human self’s relationship with the village.

This dream shares many elements with the previous dream, where I led a village in the Middle East (Kurdish village in Iran?). This time, the village elder and I share a very close relationship, and I am chosen to take care of his body, perform the rites, and then set up to continue his role in the village, possibly with the other man.

The way we take care of his body brings up some beliefs in stories in me and a discomfort with dealing with the bodily remains in such a matter-of-fact way, yet there is also a clear seeing in the midst of it.

The wide embrace, wisdom, compassion, earthiness, familiarity with the spiritual realms and Ground, are all very similar to the previous middle-eastern dream, as is the theme of leadership and of taking over after the village elder who is either incapacitated or died.

I view Native Americans and Sufis as groups that are more likely to embody this earthy spirituality – which includes all three centers and individuality & community, so it is no wonder they both show up in my dreams on these themes.

The dance dream a few days ago also shared these same qualities of earthy spirituality and individuality & community, although then without the leadership theme…. Earthy spirituality, individuality & community, then leadership forgetting about the real leader, then leadership being passed on in a more conscious way.

Dream: a new dance

 

I am visiting an old friend in Norway (JGH), someone I haven’t seen for many years. He lives in a nice apartment in Oslo, and there is a dance there in the evening. Lots of people come over and the dance is something I have never before seen or experienced.

It is a group dance, but also individual. The group moves almost as a school of fish, with one person initiating a slight variation of the moves and many or all of the others following. The new patterns ripple through the group in a very organic and playful way, and it is clear that everyone is enjoying the dance deeply – both what comes up for them individually and what moves through the group in such a seamless and playful way.

I am struck by the atmosphere which is intelligent, playful and soulful at the same time, and which allows such an individuality yet also forms such a seamless flow of patterns on a group level.

I also notice how there is a wide open field embracing and going deep into polarities such as individuality and group, receptivity and initiation, slow and fast, rhythmical and playfully breaking of rhythms, sensuality and intelligence, and much more.

It is clear that this is a mature group, and one that is intimate with themselves, each other and life, in a way I have rarely or never seen before.

I realize that what is different is that they move, in a mature, intimate, playful and effortless way from the three centers and with an emphasis on the belly center.

It is completely different yet also intimately familiar, as something I have for a long time been looking for, yet had not thought I would find. A deep gratitude comes up for me, and a longing and desire to stay and join in on their weekly gatherings.

During the dance, someone mentions that there are groups doing this form of dance in New Zealand, Australia and Europe, but not in the US because it doesn’t fit into their culture.

Afterwards, my friend shows me a book called “God as WE” and asked me if I know of other authors on that topic. I see that it is an anthology with writings by Adi Da, Andrew Cohen, Saniel Bonder and others, and realize that this is an area that is close to my heart yet has been neglected over the last period of time. The only other author I can think of is A. H. Almaas.

This is a big dream as Jung called it, one that made a big impression and seemed to have more significance than most dreams. It is a dream that shows me a whole new different realm of being and life.

A being and living, in a mature, playful and effortless way, from and as the three centers, and especially the warm nurturing felt-sense fullness of the belly center.

The atmosphere in the dream and the dance was very similar to Breema, yet also more dynamic, playful, and with ripples of patterns at a group level I am not used to.

It is a bringing of the belly center qualities into the group level, in a more mature way. It is God exploring itself as WE through an inclusion of all three centers, and especially the belly center.

There was no coincidence that the dream was set in Oslo since the qualities of this dream were more alive for me when I lived there… the soulfulness, playfulness and intelligence all together at a group level, with my friends there.

In the dream, someone pointed out that there were groups doing this form of dance in New Zealand, Australia and Europe, but not in the US because it didn’t fit into their culture. This reflects my ambivalence about living in the US, enjoying many things here but also longing for the intelligent and playful soulfulness I find more easily in Europe.

There was also a synchronicity here: At the end of the dream, I talked with a woman for a while. I remember the quality of her presence and looks, but not the content of the conversation. This morning, a woman came over to look at a room we are renting out, and she was a very close math to the person in the dream. (Not many are.)

Three centers and nothing to protect

 

As there is an disidentification with our human self, and then finally with the belief in an I with an Other, there is also less and less sense of any beliefs or identities to protect. Ultimately, it leads to an absence of even needing to protect this human self, because that too is something that is just happening as anything else… as the clouds, sounds, trees… with no I placed on it.

At the same time, there is no stupidity here. In the space between awake void awake to itself, and this human self that this awakeness is expressed through, a natural love and wisdom comes up, and this wisdom and love is expressed as a care for any life including that of this particular human self.

As there is a falling away of identification with stories, there is less need to protect particular beliefs or identities. But there is still a protection of life, of living systems at any level from beings and up to ecosystems and planets, even while seeing that there is no separate I anywhere in all of it, that it is all fluid form expressions of the awake void.

This is expressed at each of the three centers. At the head center as an disidentification with any particular stories and objects of these stories, a seeing of stories as just stories and a fluidity among them, a recognition of all as awake void and form absent of any I with an Other, and a seeing of how there is temporary identification with stories and forms which creates a very real sense of suffering. At the heart center as love for all that arises, as the form aspect of this awake void, as the temporary form manifestations of God. And at the belly center, as a deeply felt-sense of trust in life independent of how it shows up, a felt-sense of all as the form aspect of God (and the emotional level as a steady nurturing fullness instead of reactivity).

So on the one hand, disidentification and a seeing/loving/felt-sense of all as God. And on the other hand, a recognition of the suffering that happens through temporary misidentification, and a natural impulse to alleviate the suffering… even if that too is just one of the temporary form aspects of the awake void, God’s play.

And the alleviation can be temporary, in helping changing circumstances for someone, or go more to the core, in guiding them to find what is already more true for them – helping the awake void wake up to itself through them.

Receptivity, generosity and the three centers.

 

There are many facets of the deepening into who (individual humans) and what (awake emptiness) we are, and one of these is generosity.

A deepening into who and what we are involves receptivity at the three centers, and the other side of the coin of receptivity is generosity…

  • At the head center, receptivity takes the form of sincerity, an interest in the truths of each of the different reversals of any statement, and also a noticing of the inherent neutrality of any situation. And the generosity here is in not staying with any fixed view or perspective, but sincerely exploring the truth in whatever views and perspectives come up in others. The views of others are very often some variation of the reversals of the stories that more often come up in ourselves. There is a generosity in sincerely acknowledging the truth in the views of others, and including that in our own view, allowing ourselves to be more fluid among the different reversals of any story.
  • At the heart center, receptivity takes the form of recognition and empathy, and this too is a form of generosity. There is a generosity in finding ourselves in others, and others in ourselves, and allowing empathy come up from that recognition. And there is also a generosity in seeing all as Spirit, as God’s will, as the fluid form aspect of God itself.
  • At the belly center, receptivity takes the form of a deep felt-sense trust in life and existence. And here too there is generosity, in its sense of deeply nurturing fullness and abundance (and in the absence of the core fear, reactivity, and a separate self to protect).

In terms of activity in the world, this receptivity and generosity is expressed in the ways mentioned above, and also in terms of generosity of time and energy. As there is less and less of a sense of a separate self, fever and fever stuck views, fever situations and people the heart is closed towards, and less emotional reactivity, there is naturally a life lived for life itself… in whatever ways that come up in the situation.

Our circle of care, concern and compassion widens, the boundary between the health and well-being of the larger (social/ecological) whole and ourselves (as this individual) dissolves. Our actions becomes, naturally, more and more self-less (without a reference to fixed views and identifications), as we realize more and more that there is no separate self here.

In the absence of identifications, life is expressed in our own life as love for itself – as love for life.

Three centers and skillful means

 

One way of looking at the three centers, which fits nicely in with Buddhism and other traditions, is through Ground awakening and skillful means.

The head center awakening, when it is full, is Ground awakening. Awake void awaking to itself, as awake void and form, inherently absent of any I with an Other.

And the heart and belly awakenings, the loving and felt-sense of all as Spirit, is part of the skillful means, how this Ground awakening is expressed in the world through this particular human self.

Before head center awakening, the heart and belly awakenings makes the shift into Ground awakening a little more likely, and also makes it easier to be who we take ourselves to be. After a Ground awakening, they become part of the skillful means in how it is expressed in the world. In either case, it is part of the unfolding evolution of the form aspect of God.

Belly center and nurturing fullness

 

From the previous post:

If the head and heart centers awaken, it gives a clear seeing and loving of all as Spirit, and if the head center is fully awakened, a realized absence of any separate I anywhere. But if the belly center is not, there is no deeply felt-sense of all as Spirit, and also no deep reorganization of the emotional level. There will still be fears and so on triggered by the usual situations, only now seen and loved as Spirit. So it is of course OK, although still limited.

This was the situation here following the initial awakening – a nearly full awakening of the head and heart centers, but definitely not of the belly center. There was a clear knowing that it was missing as well, that it could be quite different. And when the early belly awakening happened last fall, a knowing that this was one of the missing pieces of the puzzle.

Two things that seem to allow for this reorganization of the emotional level is the belly awakening itself (invited in this case through Breema and then shaktipat), and also The Work – allowing beliefs to unravel through the system including the emotional. I am sure there are many other out there, but these are the two I have found so far.

When the belly awakening runs its course and the emotional level is reorganized, the old patterns of (emotional) reactivity unravel with it. Fear, anger, sadness and so on are not triggered in the same way anymore. There is just clarity (head center), love (heart center), and a sense of nurturing fullness (belly center).

In short, the emotional reactivity which is still there when only the head and heart centers are awakened, is exchanged with a felt-sense of nurturing fullness when the belly center awakens.

It is still possible to trigger any of these old emotions, although now in a conscious way and arising as wisdom energies.

I should also add that the awakening of the three centers can happen (relatively) independent of each other. If there is only an awakening of the head center, there is a clear seeing of all as Spirit and an absence of any I with an Other, but it also feels a little cold and arid, lacking empathy. If only a heart center awakening, then a loving of all as Spirit, but less of a clear understanding. If only a belly center awakening, a felt-sense of all as Spirit, but missing the seeing and loving, at least in a more fully unfolded way.

And before a more full awakening of each center, they can certainly awaken to different degrees. In terms of the belly awakening, Breema seems to be a good way to invite in the sense of nurturing fullness, and The Work is great for unraveling beliefs throughout the system, taking emotional reactivity with it.

Emotions

 

Another simple minded look at a topic that comes up for me… emotions.

Some of the ways I use to explore emotions…

  • Being with whatever comes up, for instance by asking myself “can I be with what I am experiencing right now?” Or being with it in a heartfelt way, including the heart and belly centers (being with it as a vulnerable animal or child).
  • Allowing whatever comes up, fully. This includes allowing any resistance that may come up, which takes the identification out of it (resistance goes from a subject to an object, from I to it).
  • Noticing the sensation component of the emotion, and being with the sensation as just sensation. In this way, I see that the emotion is a gestalt formed by a sensation and a story about the sensation. Seeing the sensation as sensation, and the story as story, allows the gestalt to fall into its components.
  • Identifying and exploring the belief behind the emotion, allowing the attachment to the story to unravel throughout the system. Seeing what is already more true for me in this way has the side-effect of the emotion no longer being triggered by the same or similar situations. Instead, there is differentiated clarity. (The aim here is to see what is already more true, not to change anything else, although that happens as a natural consequence.)
  • Noticing the emotion directly as awake void itself. As fleeting and transparent to Ground, without substance, and only given the appearance of substance when identified with and a story about it is attached to.
  • Shifting into headlessness or Big Mind, seeing the emotions arising as not only God’s will, but awake emptiness itself.
  • Using the Big Mind process to find the love in the emotion. Specifically, how the emotion is designed to protect the life of this human self and those within its circle of care and compassion. Fear gives protection from dangerous situations. Anger gives energy to get things done, and to overcome fear and hesitation. Sadness is an invitation to find in myself what I thought I lost out there. Desire prompts the human self to get what may enhance its life. Aversion prompts it to avoid that which may not enhance its life and well-being. Each of these are in their essence expressions of love, of protecting and supporting life. (Seeing this makes it easier to allow any and all emotions, and also disidentify from them.)
  • The process of exploring the love in the emotions can also continue into exploring how each emotion is expressed and valuable in the context of Big Mind and Big Heart more awake to itself, as wisdom energies.

And then there is the early belly awakening that happened here a few months back, and is still unfolding and reorganizing things (energetically, emotionally, physically) in the belly area.

The belly center seems to filter spirit as the divine feminine, for now, and in this case, as a velvety smooth round luminous blackness which in its impersonal aspect is revealed as the ground, within and arising as all form, and in its personal aspect is a nurturing womb healing and reorganizing at the emotional level. It allows for a felt-sense of all as Spirit, as God’s will, as God, as the divine feminine, and this brings a deep and deepening felt-sense trust in life and existence independent of how it shows up.

When there is a lack of a felt-sense of trust in life, there is also reactivity at the emotional level. Some situations are OK, other trigger (emotional) reactivity. And this reactivity in turn tends to trigger a deepening split at each of the three centers. There is a reduced receptivity at heart and head centers, a closed heart and mind, and lack of empathy and rigidity of views, dehumanization and a certainty of being right.

The deepening felt-sense of trust in life, and all as Spirit, reduces reactivity at the emotional level, which in turn allows for an easier disidentification with whatever emotions comes up. In general, it helps to reduce the sense of split at the three centers, allowing the heart to stay open in more situations and towards more beings, and the view to be more flexible and inclusive. It helps to shift the whole system towards Big Mind/Heart awake to itself, into a place where a more full and stable shift can happen (and reduces the amount of reorganization needed after the shift).

More about the background of this post after the jump…

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Three centers and Buddhas

 

laughingbuddha.gif

I wrote another post on this a while ago, but wanted to revisit it (as with some many topics here) to see what comes up now.

The three centers – heart, belly and head – each filter Spirit, Existence, life in different ways…

The head center is the seeing of all as Spirit. When the view is split, it reflects and creates a dualistic experience centered around a sense of I and other. When the view is of all as Spirit, it reflects a more nondual realization.

The heart center is the loving of all as Spirit. When the heart is split, it too reflects and creates a dualistic experience of I and Other, us and them, the situations and beings our heart opens to and those it closes to. When the heart recognizes all as Spirit, the circle of care, compassion and concern effortlessly leaves nothing and no-one outside.

The belly center is the felt-sense of all as Spirit. When the felt-sense is split, there is a sense of comfort and relaxation in some situations, and discomfort and (emotional) reactivity in other situations. In general, there is a lack of basic trust in existence and life, a lack of feeling deeply nourished and held by life. When there is a felt-sense of all as Spirit, of all as God’s will and God itself, then there is that deep feeling of being held and nourished by life, independent of circumstances.

An awakening (even an early one) of the head center reorganizes the view, from rigid and dualistic to more receptive, inclusive and reflecting a more nondual realization. An awakening of the heart center reorganizes the heart from being often closed to being more receptive and open in any situation. And an awakening of the belly center reorganizes the emotions from reactivity and unease to being deeply nurturing and a deeply felt sense of trust in life, independent of how it shows up.

There is also a mutuality among the centers. The movement of one in the direction of a deepening split, or of reflecting all as Spirit, tends to be reflected in a similar shift in the others. For instance, when there is reactivity in the belly center, the view tends to become more rigid and deepen the sense of I and Other, and the heart closes down. When there is a deeply felt sense of nurturing in the belly center, the view tends to be more receptive and inclusive, and the heart more open.

In terms of practices for each center, inquiry works well for the head center, revealing what is already more true for us. Heart center practices include gratitude practices, rejoicing in others fortune, well-wishing, tong-len, heart centered prayers, and so on. And the belly center practices include any body-inclusive practices, and maybe especially Breema which seems to very clearly open for a deeply nurturing felt-sense of trust in life, and all as Spirit.

And each of these centers also have Buddhas associated with them, as an image reflecting their qualities when all is seen/felt/loved as Spirit.

For the head center, Manjushri Buddha. For the heart, Avalokitesvara. And for the belly, Hotei, the laughing Buddha.

(For some reason, the belly Buddha is often left out in Buddhist teachings, as the belly center is often – although certainly not always – left out in spiritual teachings in general.)

Hotei is a particularly good image for the belly center.

He has a big belly, drawing attention to that center, and also reflecting the sense of rich, full, nurturing abundance experienced in the belly center when it is more open, when there is a felt-sense of deep trust in life. (He sometimes has a big sack that never empties, reflecting the same sense of abundance.)

And he laughs… when there is a deep felt-sense trust in life, independent of how it shows up, and there is a deep sense of a nurturing fullness and richness coming from the reorganized emotional level and the belly center, it is naturally expressed in an heart-felt laughter.

Hotei is often seen as a more folksy and naive representation of Buddha and is left out of the more formal teachings in the different Buddhist traditions. But, at least in the context of the three centers, the image of Hotei is as profound and significant as those of Manjushri and Avalokitesvara.

Heart-felt being with

 

I just finished a bodywork intensive, and will write down a few things that came up over the last few days. One of the themes lately has been heart-felt seeing of what comes up at the human level, or a heart-felt being with. This is a being-with where the three centers are all included… the head (seeing), the belly (felt-sense) and the heart (loving, empathy).

Yesterday and today, a sadness came up, and if I try to push it away it becomes an “other” that is unpleasant and uncomfortable, an apparent hindrance. But if there is a heart-felt being with it, it is revealed as a sweet tenderness, which is also experienced as a nurturing fullness. From being an unwanted and uncomfortable distraction (when pushed away) it becomes a sweet nurturing supporting fullness.

Beyond this, I can of course explore the beliefs behind the sadness (my life should be different, in a specific way), tracking the process behind it, and so on.

Receptivity and the three centers

 

A change in one of the three centers invites a corresponding change in the other two…

  • Receptivity at the head center invites a seeing of the truths in the reversals of any stories, and of all as Spirit. And this in turn invites a sense of connection with others, and a felt-sense of life as safe and OK.
  • Receptivity at the heart center invites a sense of connection with others (with anything seen as other), and a loving of all as Spirit. This invites more fluidity of view, and a felt-sense of all as Spirit.
  • Receptivity at the belly center invites a sense of safety, nurturing, and trust in life, and a felt-sense of all as Spirit. This invites fluidity of view, a sense of connection with other, and loving all as Spirit.

Similarly, practices at each center influences each other center either directly or indirectly…

  • Head center practices invites us to see more clearly what is already more true for us.
  • Heart center practices invites an open heart, empathy, gratitude, loving all as Spirit.
  • Belly center practices invites a felt sense of safety, deep nurturing, trust in life and existence, and of all as God’s will and Spirit itself.

These changes allow us to deepen into who we are as individual humans and souls, making it easier to be who we temporarily take ourselves to be, and inviting a continuing healing, maturing and development of our human self. And they make it easier for what we are to notice itself, for Big Mind to awaken to itself, even while functionally connected with this human self.

It all goes together, threads in one tapestry.

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Ragged guests

 

Sometimes the guests that come through are pretty ragged… (Guests here meaning any content of experience, including emotions, reactivity, wounds, etc.) And if we try to push them away, ignore them, call the police, pretend they are not there, or end up wailing or running frantically around with them, they stay ragged.

The other option is to be with them in an heartfelt way, to allow whatever comes up from them, listen to it, feel into it, and even love it. That is how people in our life often can heal, and that is often how these guests can heal as well.

Again, nothing new here. We know it from our own life… seeing it in the world of humans and other beings, and the inner world of emotions, reactivity, wounds, and so on. At our human level, the outer and the inner mirror each other.

We can explore it quite simply in this way… just being with what comes up, in an heartfelt way. And we can also explore it more in detail through for instance voice dialog or the Big Mind process. Listening to disowned voices, the ones that are hurt in different ways, allowing them as they are, not needing them to change, not using them as something to manipulate or as a gateway into something else. Being interested in who they are, their history, being receptive to them, respecting them as they are, seeing and allowing them, feeling into what they say, and even loving them as they are. Even shifting into Big Heart and embracing them from Big Heart.

In terms of the three centers, there is receptivity at the head center (seeing), belly center (feeling, felt-sense), and heart center (love)… in short, a heartfelt seeing.

When we resist them (identify with the resistance), we not only rehearse the (apparent) split between I and Other but the guests also stay as they are, in misery, coming back later wanting to be let in.

Compassion includes guests in any form and shape, whether they show up in flesh and blood or in the form of emotions, reactivity, frustration, grief, sadness, anger, irritability, restlessness, wanting to be somewhere else.

Divine feminine

 

mellonmadonna.jpg

During the retreat, there was a shift into an immediate and very personal second person relationship with the divine feminine, one that reveals the divine feminine in its universal and intimately personal aspects.

In the past, second person practices has been more directed to the divine masculine, but now, probably from the shift and deepening into endarkenment, there is a deepening intimate second person relationship with the divine feminine.

None of this has been from choice, or from any conscious views, as I have for a long time been interested in and appreciated the divine feminine as well as the divine masculine. But the direct connection happens at a different level, outside of conscious views and choices.

So some of the second person relationships with the divine that are alive now are…

  • The divine masculine, with its sense of clarity, luminosity, and detachment, with void and luminosity in the foreground.
  • The divine feminine, with its velvety smooth, round, full, luminous blackness, and a sense of a gentle embrace and holding of all forms… including this individual and everything within this individual. Here, smooth fullness and gentle embrace is in the foreground.
  • The indwelling God, with its alive presence in the heart region, for this particular individual, with alive presence in the foreground.

The divine masculine is related to the head center, and filters Spirit (itself) through the head center as void, detachment and luminosity. The divine feminine is related to the belly center and filters Spirit as the smooth full luminous blackness. And the indwelling God is related to the heart center, and filters Spirit as alive and infinitely intelligent, loving, receptive and responsive presence. Each one is noticed through (even a partial) awakening of their respective centers, and each one filters Spirit in a particular way through this center.

All of these share the same qualities of infinite intelligence, love, receptivity and responsiveness, in their universal and personal flavors.

Each one is void, transparent to the void, a manifestation of the void, and also within and as all forms. For the Indwelling God, it is its quality of alive presence which appears within and as all forms, although now with a more universal quality.

Each one has universal and personal aspects. They are revealed as universal, as void, and within and as all forms. As impersonal, as void and a manifestation of the void. And also as uniquely and intimately personal in their immediate relationship with this particular individual.

Each one is explored through second, first and third person relationships… as a you, I and it. And also through a zero person “relationship” with an absence of I and Other.

(For me, each center, and the impersonal and personal aspects of what is filtered through each center, have been revealed at different times, which allows for a clearer differentiation within all of this… there is a benefit to resistance and blocks which reveals Spirit one piece at a time…! If it had all happened at the same time I may not have been able to differentiate it in this way, and that would have been OK as well.)

A few days before this shift, I bought a used book and found a picture of a beautiful icon of a Black Madonna with child stuck between its pages, and I put it up on the wall. It perfectly illustrates the experience of this immediate second person relationship with the divine feminine.

(When I just now looked up icons of Black Madonnas, I found it as the Russian 18th century Fedorovo icon. The picture above is a different one.)

Three centers

 

These are some things from preliminary explorations of the three centers… or rather, how Spirit is filtered through the three centers, and then in turn filtered through this human self. (As it is alive in immediate awareness.)

How Spirit is filtered through each…

  • Heart… as alive presence. In general as a field of alive presence, in the heart region as the indwelling God, this alive presence specifically for this individual.
  • Head… as awake luminous void, and all form as this awake void, inherent absent of an I with an Other.
  • Belly… as smooth velvety round full luminous blackness.

Each of these are a field… what form arises within, to and as. Each one, transparent to the Ground, and no other than Ground itself. Each one, impersonal and personal (specifically for this, and any, human self) at the same time. Each one, infinitely loving, intelligent, receptive, and responsive to this (and any) individual.

When these centers are awakened, even in an early phase, it allows for a seeing (head), loving (heart) and feeling (belly) of all as Spirit (Big Mind, Brahman, Tao). It is Spirit filtered through each center, and then seeing/loving/feeling itself through them.

At the human level, an awakened (even partially) center, allows for…

  • Heart… receptivity, seeing myself in others, recognition, empathy, sense of intimacy, no separation.
  • Head… receptivity, seeing stories as only stories, seeing the grain of truth in all the reversals of any story, revealing the inherent neutrality of the situation.
  • Belly… a felt-sense of deep trust, safety, allowing for a deep reorganization and healing of the human self, especially at the emotional level.

The three centers are really one system… the deep felt-sense of trust from the belly center invites for a receptivity of the heart and head centers. The receptivity of the heart centers invites a receptivity of the head center, and also a deepening felt-sense of trust and safety. And the same goes for the head center.

The beauty of Spirit filtered through these three centers is how it allows for the impersonal aspects of Spirit and also the personal, the ones specifically for this and any other individual. It naturally and effortlessly seems to allow both into the foreground of awareness.

I also see how they each have come through in different phases of my life, allowing for an easier differentiation of each one. During the initial awakening, the head center awakened allowing for a seeing of all form as awake luminous void, inherently absent of any separate self anywhere. Then, the heart center awakened strongly, allowing for a loving of all as God, as Spirit. Then, over the last few months (partly through Breema, and partly through the endarkenment shift) the belly center, revealing all form as luminous blackness, velvety smooth, round, full, allowing for a deep sense of safety and trust for this human self, and a reorganization especially on the emotional level.

Heart center + head/belly flavors

 

I have been exploring how the heart center combines with head and/or belly centers for different flavors.

When the head center is included, there is the usual empty luminosity and clarity of the head center there. A very yang brilliance (compared with the smooth fullness of Spirit filtered through the belly center, it is stark, almost a desert quality).

And when the belly center is included, there is the smooth, round fullness of the belly center, which allows a felt-sense of the heart qualities.

And together, there is even more sense of fullness and richness… the love of the heart center, the empty luminosity of the head center, and the velvety smooth round fullness of the belly center. The loving, seeing and feeling of all as Spirit.

I also notice, as I did early on with the belly center awakening, that bringing in the head and belly centers together invites the heart in as well. Although it is certainly possible to start with any one, and bring either or both of the others in.

Of course, there is not really any “bringing in” of anything… all three are there, but it is possible to invite one or more into the foreground of awareness… shifting each one more into the foreground or background.

Hara area

 

Since the shift into endarkenment a few months ago, there has been a great deal of activity in the belly region, especially along the spine and in the kidney area. Since my teens, I have been aware of an energetic hole there which corresponded to a twist on the spine (L3-4). The twist (scoliosis) has gradually improved since then, and the energetic hole has filled up a great deal, partly through Breema and even more so through the endarkenment.

I have also noticed how the hara seems to be connected with a felt-sense of a basic trust in life and of being held by life and existence. The energetic hole seemed associated with a lack of this felt-sense, and as it is filling up, this sense of a basic trust in life and Existence is becoming more embodied, there is a felt-sense of it, the body knowing it in its cells.

The initial awakening was filtered through the head and heart centers. There was a clear seeing of all as God, as consciousness, beyond and embracing all polarities, and a loving of it all as well. But the felt-sense of it was not there, it was not (yet) filtered through the belly center. This made for a lot of stress happening on a physical level.

More in general, I see how this felt-sense of basic trust, of being held by life and Existence, allows for more fluidity of views, more receptivity of heart and mind, and more transparency of the sense of I and Other. Where a lack of this trust makes for rigidity of views, a closed heart and mind, and a deepening sense of I and Other, the trust allows for an reversal.

A felt-sense of the intimacy of opposites

 

The mountain dream still stays with me, in spite of its very simple content. There is something about the very intimate combination of opposites in it that reflects what is going on in general right now.

During the initial awakening, I saw clearly that what is, is beyond and includes any and all polarities (to the point of being completely unable to say or write anything about it for a while after it happened). But that is exactly it, I saw it… It was filtered through the head center (and heart center, which was also blown open) only. Not the belly center. The deep felt-sense of it was not there.

But now, there is a deepening felt-sense of it that I didn’t anticipate. I may have intuited that it was possible, but to drop into it is always different than just seeing it from a distance.

In the dream, the sun and the luminosity of the landscape had a smooth, round, full silvery quality to it. The brilliancy of the sun was combined with the coolness of the moon. The crystal clarity of the light and the mountain air, combined with the smooth, round, fullness of the velvety blackness. The empty luminosity of a head center awakening, with the smooth fullness of the belly center awakening.

And this is coming up in many other ways as well, including in the shift in experience of senses. Initially, I saw and dropped into, was held by, and found myself as the smooth velvety luminous blackness, but it was seen and experienced through the eye of the soul, to put it that way. Now, it has shifted into the physical senses. I literally smell, taste and feel it, with my ordinary physical senses. And there is nothing subtle about it… it is as if I am on a different planet… one with air and water that is velvety smooth round full brilliantly clear… and warm and cool at the same time when sensed over the skin.

How to see all posts on endarkenment and related topics

 

Note: This relates to Blogger, before the move to WordPress, but you can still check out the links.

As mentioned in the previous post, when you display posts with a certain label, only the most recent 20 are shown.

To get around this and see all posts on endarkenment and related topics, go here:

The older posts are at the bottom of the page. Also note that many of these posts will show up under more than one label.

Dream: snow on fire

 

I see a snow covered mountain landscape with the snow on fire. A voice also says “snow on fire.”

I woke up from this dream image, and when I fell asleep again, it came up again, with the same voice saying “snow on fire.”

The snow covers the whole landscape, apart from some peaks, and is fresh and white. The flames are clear, calm, tall and stable.

This reflects what comes up in daily life these days: passion with a depth of clear calm peace.

This depth of peace is partly the void, ground, emptiness, which is the depth of anything arising, and it is partly the luminous blackness (two aspects of the same.) It is the nurturing peace of Spirit filtered through the belly center, balancing out the fire of the head center.

More about this:

After a long period of dryness and lack of passion during the dark night, there are now more moments of passion surfacing, a passion with a deep calm depth, beautifully reflected in the dream image of snow on fire. The passion is the fire, rising out of the depth of peace, void and stillness. (I am amazed of the creativity of what they in Process Work call the “dream maker”, the source of the dreams. This is an image I would not have come up with consciously.)

Exploring it more consciously, I see that the peace has two distinct (although closely related) aspects. One is the void, ground, emptiness, which is the depth of anything arising. The other is the fertile darkness (composting) and the luminous blackness, with the same void, ground and stillness, but also nurturing. Both allows passion to arise, with a depth of peace.

The field filtered through the head and belly centers

 

I have written about this before, but it is still alive in my immediate awareness, and wants to be explored further…

There is a perfect (slightly asymmetrical) symmetry in how Existence is filtered through the head and belly centers.

Head center

Through the head center, it is awake emptiness and form. Crystal clear. Empty luminosity. Awake emptiness in the foreground, and form as nothing other than awake emptiness. It is transcendent. Detached. Free. Absent of any separate self. Full of the whole world. Masculine. Yang. Solar. The Ground of all form, and all form as no other than this Ground. Impersonal. It is the traditional enlightenment.

Belly center

Through the belly center, it is luminous blackness. Velvety. Smooth. Fullness. A full void. Nurturing. Giving birth to and holding all form. That which all form arises within, as, and that which is in all form. Immanent. Absent of any separate self. Nurturing this individual, allowing it to deeply heal, mature, soften, be more rounded, become more deeply human. It is feminine. Yin. Lunar. The ground of all form and that which is the context for, is, and is within all form. Deeply personal. It is the endarkenment.

Difference in emphasis

The head center gives an emphasis on awakening as awake emptiness, and as form which is no other than this awake emptiness. It gives freedom. Transcendence from identification with any segment of Big Mind, including this human self. But alone, it is detached, aloof, impersonal.

The belly center gives an emphasis on the deep transformation of this individual. A deep healing, untying of knots, maturing, softening and rounding of the personality, deepening into the human.

The coolness and nurturing of the belly center balancing out the fire and the impersonal of the head center

Having been familiar with the head center awakening (spontaneously in my teens, and deepening over several years), I now deeply appreciate the belly awakening as well. It gives a new depth, richness, sense of peace, of being deeply nurtured, of a coolness to balance the heat of the head center awakening. In addition to what I have described in other posts on this topics, I have, over the last few weeks, also had glimpses of an amazing (to me) new depth and richness of being, far beyond anything I have experienced before.

New realms of being opening up through the belly center awakening

Through the head center, this whole universe is nothing other than God, an alive presence behind and as everything, and without any separate self anywhere. And through the belly center, there another facet of the void and selflessness, but also new realms of being – of this individual – revealing themselves and deepening. Even the few glimpses I have had so far, over maybe just minutes or hours, are far beyond anything I had ever imagined.

Heart center

I should also mention a few words about the heart center. Existence filtered through the heart center seems to have two aspects: Big Heart and the indwelling God.

Big Heart is a love and compassion that is independent of any particulars of form. As Big Mind, it has no beginning, no end, no form, yet can take any form. It is both impersonal and personal, when expressed thorough an individual, but the impersonal tends to be in the foreground. It is the love and compassion that comes up spontaneously and naturally when Big Mind awakens to itself while still connected, and functioning through, a human being.

The indwelling God is an alive presence, located in the physical heart area. Infinitely loving, intelligent, receptive, and responsive. A most intimate guide. It is an aspect of God, placed in and for this particular individual.

While Big Heart is connected with Big Mind, universal and slightly impersonal (although can be made personal when expressed), the indwelling God is experienced as intimately personal, an alive presence in the heart area of this individual.

In both cases, it is universal, and this is in the foreground with Big Heart, and in the background – or as a context – for the indwelling God. And in both cases, it is personal, and this is in the foreground for the indwelling God, and a possibility – when made personal through a human self – for Big Heart.

Again, when the indwelling God became more alive in awareness around Christmas, it was something new opening up (yet also very familiar somehow.) An infinitely loving, intelligent, receptive and responsive alive presence, in the heart area. An aspect of God, for this individual. A most intimate guide.

Indwelling God and Big Heart, again, and some more

 

I had tea with a friend from the diksha group today, and it (not surprisingly) turns out that we have been going through a very similar process lately. And one of the topics that came up was the importance (in each of our process) to include the soul level, the alive presence, in addition to the Big Mind and human levels. This alive nurturing luminous presence, which shows up in so many different ways when filtered through the three centers, unfolds over time, and infuses this human self.

And the importance for both of us in including the indwelling God in addition to Big Mind/Heart. The alive presence, in the heart area, as a fragment of God for this individual, infinitely loving, intelligent, receptive and responsive. Just waiting for us to ask for guidance, for knots to unravel, for maturing into a deeper and more full and soul-infused human life, and for awakening (and anything else for that matter.)

For both of us, these are living realities, filling out the picture of just our human self (the whole of us as human beings) and Big Mind, rounding it out, allowing more soulfulness – even in the conventional sense of the word.

We also found that we both, as part of the process, have been sleeping a lot, probably to process everything happening, and also have been watching a good deal of movies. For me, the movie watching allows things in me to surface, evoked and mirrored by the movies, and then be composted in the fertile darkness, the nurturing darkness of essence filtered through the belly center.

And also the deepening sense of intimacy between this individual and the wider world, both as a field (Big Mind), but also in terms of its specific content, through a steady unbroken stream of synchronicities throughout daily life.

And much more as well.

I attended a self-Breema class this morning, then had this conversation later in the afternoon, and the wholeness and depth of being was very tangible. Then, I went to a talk at the Jungian society on alchemical symbols (which was excellent and very interesting), got into my head (which is a form of resistance to what is), and afterwards felt more fragmented, and lacking the same width and depth. Interesting how something intended to invite us more into wholeness can actually do the opposite, if it is mainly presented from the head and processed by the receiver by the head. I’ll do a whole day experiential workshop tomorrow, on the same topic, and intend to use my Breema principles more actively – to bring my body and more of my whole being to it.

Aspects of seeking, longing and wanting

 

Another rambling post, this one of some of the things that come up for me when I explore longing in my own life…

Resolved at three levels

Seeking, longing and wanting can be resolved at (at least) three levels.

First, they can be met, and partially and temporarily resolved, at our human level.

Then, they can be met, and more deeply resolved, at our soul level.

Finally, they can be ultimately resolved at our Spirit level.

And these three are in no way mutually exclusive.

What we seek

Some of the things I find myself seeking include sense of belonging, sense of home, intimacy, love, acceptance, allowing, wealth, abundance, fullness, peace, rest, excitement, being fully alive, experience and live life fully, freedom from suffering, joy, happiness, fulfillment, understanding.

Examples of resolution at three levels

So how is any particular longing resolved at the three levels?

A longing for intimacy

Is partially and temporarily met and resolved at my human level in three ways: through intimacy with others, with the larger whole (nature, earth, universe), and with myself. It can take the form of friendship, intimate relationships, physical intimacy, transparency, sharing of more of all of me, connection with nature, exploring and embracing more of what I am.

At my soul level, it is more deeply met and resolved in two ways. First, when the alive presence surfaces as 2nd or 1st person (you or I/me) there is inherent a deep and profound sense of intimacy there (I am not sure how to describe it more clearly, but it is certainly there.) Then, as there is an awakening of the soul level, there is also a deep and profound sense of intimacy with the wider world as well, with others, nature, the universe as a whole. It is all shimmering with and as alive luminous presence. And this alive presence, right here, in this individual, this personal presence, is of one piece with the alive presence out there, the personal alive presence of others, and the impersonal alive presence everywhere throughout nature and the universe.

And as with any other longing, it is ultimately resolved at the Spirit level. It arises from a sense of I and Other, of separation, which gives a sense of lack, of something missing (which is true.) So when the field of what is, of seeing and seen, of awake emptiness and form, when this field awakens to itself as a field, without any center, without any separate self anywhere, then any longing is resolved. There is only identification with longing when there is a sense of separation. In the absence of separation, there is also an absence of identification with longing (it may still arise, but without identification.)

A seeking of a sense of belonging

Is partially met through all our human ways we find belonging, such as belonging to a place, a community, a landscape, a family, a culture, a nation, a planet, an universe.

Is more deeply met and resolved through awakening of soul as alive presence and all the other ways it arises. In second person, there is a deep sense of belonging, and as first person, it deepens even further. There is a recognition that this is who I really am, at an individual level. In my immediate experience, am far more truly this soul, this alive presence, than I am this human self and personality.

And again, at the Spirit level, there is a more ultimate resolution. Here, I find myself as awake emptiness and form, and as the Ground of all form. It is complete. There is no Other anywhere that can add to it. There is no Other that can provide any further sense of belonging.

Soul level

I could go through a large number of longings, and the ways they are resolved at our human level is pretty obvious from our own experience, and the way they are resolved at Spirit level is always the same (absence of I and Other)…

But the ways they are resolved at our soul level is more interesting to me right now, maybe especially since my formal background is mostly from Zen, and this seems to be largely left out of Zen.

At our soul level, either finding soul as second or first person, all the longings I have explored so far, for myself, are naturally resolved. The many qualities of the soul is exactly what I long for…

The alive presence seems to be filtered through the three centers in different ways, as light split through a prism. It is filtered through the belly center as fertile darkness and a luminous blackness, deeply nurturing, holding, allowing anything in this human self to be composted. It is filtered through the heart center as an alive presence in the heart, infinitely loving, intelligent, receptive, responsive and personal. It is filtered through the head center as clarity, awake emptiness, form as no other than awake emptiness.

Through the belly center, there is a deep sense of stillness, nurturing, healing and maturing. Through the heart center, a deep sense of God as personal (whether second or first person) and infinite love. Through the head center, nondual wisdom and a release from suffering.

Together, there is a deep sense of aliveness, belonging, nurturing, acceptance, allowing, peace, rest, stillness, fullness, wealth, richness, excitement, intimacy, understanding.

Embracing all three levels

The alive presence – in all its many aspects, as this individual and the wider world – really fills all my needs, it is everything I ever was looking for. And yet, it does not preclude also finding it at my human level, and it does not preclude finding the ultimate resolution at the Spirit level.

There is a deeper longing which is the embrace of all three levels, of finding what we seek at our human, soul and Spirit levels. Why leave anything out?

And some other aspects of this…

Surrender

There has to be a sense of surrender at each of these levels.

One form of surrender has to do with impermanence…

At our human level, it is obvious. Everything is in flux. Things happen. I may seek something particular, and it doesn’t come along. I have what I want, and it goes away. Something comes along I don’t want. That is just human life.

And so it is also at our soul level. The alive presence may be very much present in some phases in our life, and then retreat and seemingly be completely gone. That is the relationship with our soul, at least in the early phase.

The same is the case for the Spirit level. We may have glimpses of various clarity and duration, and then they are gone. Again, this is our relationship with Spirit, until it awakens fully to itself.

Another form of surrender is of what we take ourselves to be…

At my human level, I may find myself as more than or different from what I thought I was, and particular identities are surrendered. I may have ambitions that do not come to fruition. I may find in myself things I didn’t want to see. I may have gifts I didn’t know was there. Ways of being I was not aware was there come up in different situations and emerge over time.

Finding myself as soul, my exclusive identity as a human being (and with the personality) has to go.

And finding myself as Spirit, any identifications has to go.

Each of these is a death, and a rebirth. We die as what we thought we were, and are reborn as something else.

Adyashanti’s inquiries: tracing back, and not already here?

It is helpful to clarify what we seek and long for, and one way to do it (recommended by Adyashanti) is to make a list of everything we want, from the most grand to the most petty, from the most spiritual to the most mundane. Then, go through each item and ask what do I hope to get from this? And continue until you find the seed want (for me, it usually ends up as happiness, and freedom from suffering.)

Then, ask yourself is it true that this is not already here? Usually, I can find it present, at least as a grain, at each of the three levels. Any longing presumes that it is not already here, so this is a way to notice that it may already be here.

Spirit, soul and human self

If we awaken to ourselves as what we are, as Spirit, then everything is rest, peace, even in the midst of great activity and turmoil. There is the I without the Other, so automatically rest, a sense of completeness, of nothing missing. No matter what happens at our individual soul and human levels, the peace and sense of completeness is there.

If we awake to ourselves as soul, to any degree, then there is a continuous sense of alive presence, of profound and vibrant aliveness, nourishment, richness, fullness, sweetness, intimacy, being home. And this infuses our human life, no matter how this human life shows up (if it goes bad, this gives comfort and relieves some of the suffering, and if it goes well, this gives an added sense of vibrancy and aliveness.)

Journeying: hardness and energetic hole

 

I did a journeying (for lack of a better term) this morning, after waking up. I noticed a sense of hardness in me, and stayed with it to see what (if anything) would happen…

Hard shining black pearls

There is a small black pearl in my heart area, although a little behind my back. Now, many small black pearls throughout the heart area, of slightly different sizes and forms, all hard and shining. Then a very large one, with a center in the heart area but going far beyond this physical body.

All of the pearls are hard and shiny. They seem far too hard. They are inert, with no interaction with the human self or anything else. I am staying with this hardness.

Sinking into dark crumbly soil

The large pearl sinks into a dark crumbly soil, which is from the belly down. It is slowly softening.

Luminous black infinity

Then there is a sense of unbelievable vastness everywhere, as a luminous blackness, somehow centered in the heart region. It is black, shining, everywhere, infinite, in all directions. It has the shiny black quality of the initial pearls, but is also a void, empty, allowing anything within it.

Fear of nothing to hold onto

Fear and disorientation comes up. There is nothing to hold onto in this infinity, no ground, nothing fixed.

Attention stays with the fear, and it shows up as a knot (or a fist) in the belly. I stay with the knot.

Space below, and dark crumbly soil

After a while, it softens and expands. There is a sense of space in the belly area, the whole lower area of the torso. A soft expansive space.

The space opens up below, allowing the whole of earth… Soft, crumbly soil. Dark, quiet, nourishing, earthy. It is like a womb, nurturing everywhere.

There is an incredible sense of spaciousness and fullness below. Dark, nourishing, spacious and full.

Infinite luminous blackness, and my human self torn into pieces by the infinity

Attention goes back to the infinite luminous blackness, everywhere yet also centered in the heart area.

There is an image of my human self floating in this infinity, and being torn in all directions by the infinite. Fear comes up again. (I see how my identification with this human self, with something decidedly finite, prevents me from going into the infinite luminous blackness, finding myself as it. Being identified with my human self, there is a sense of it being torn into pieces when I go into the infinite.)

The fear is a form of resistance to this infinity, to finding myself as this infinity.

An image of armor comes up, as an armadillo, a Japanese warrior, a tank. (This is the resistance.)

Lower spine

Attention goes to the spine in the lower back, from the tailbone to the end of the ribcage. There is a sense of an energetic hole there, a weakness, impoverished, depleted of energy. The center of the hole seems to be just below the navel (tan tien area.)

I stay with this weakened spine area. (I am also aware of the vast, spacious crumbly soil below, and of the infinite luminous blackness everywhere.)

[I get up an shower, then take a few minutes to go into this again.]

Specks of golden light, and nurturing full blackness

I continue staying with the energetic hole in the spine. After a while, numerous small specks of golden light start working in the spine area, reorganizing and healing. Then, the soft nourishing blackness fills the same area, nurturing the spine and everything else there.

I am with the golden specks and the nurturing full blackness, and sense the fullness and healing in a very tangible way.

After a while, a light gray inner lining of the spine is pulled out through the bottom of the spine. Where the lining used to be, a luminous golden blackness comes up. Healing, working.

[to be continued]

Themes

The dark crumbly vast soil below, from belly down, and somehow centered in the belly.

The luminous blackness everywhere, infinite, and centered in the heart. (The black pearls with the same quality as this luminous blackness, and revealing themselves as this infinite luminous blackness.)

The energetic hole in the lower spine, centered in tan tien.

The working on this energetic deficiency by innumerable specks of golden light (active, moving around) and the nurturing full blackness (nurturing.)

Noticing

I notice how the belly center darkness is vast, dark and nurturing, as crumbly soil. The heart center darkness is a luminous blackness, a void, infinite, combining the alive luminosity and the empty blackness. And what works on the spine is active golden specks of light (yang), along with a nurturing full blackness (yin).

The initial too hard quality of the pearls seems to be connected with a resistance to finding myself as the (luminous black) infinity. And this fear and resistance, taking the form of a hard armor, comes from being identified with this human form.

A more full-bodied being with

 

One way of being with experiences is to just see and allow them, as they are, as they unfold, change, morph, transmute.

The other is to bring in all three centers.

To see, feel and love them, as they are, and as Spirit.

To see them, allowing them to unfold within awakeness. To have a felt-sense of them, bringing the body in. To love and allow them. As they are, in their unique form aspect. (And as they are, in their form and formless aspects, as Spirit.)

Head center only

Bringing in the head center only is very valuable in itself. It releases the suffering in the situation (which comes from trying to push away experience) and it can even allow Big Mind to awaken to itself, as what is.. the seeing and the seen, as one field, already and always centerless and selfless.

All three centers

Bringing in all the three centers changes the situation… Now, whatever arises is not only allowed and seen, but also felt into and held in love.

So the stress is released as when the head center alone is included, and Big Mind can still awaken to itself, but in addition to this, there is also a healing taking place within content. There is a healing of the individual self. The vulnerable animal feels held, safe, relaxes, allows the deeper patterns behind knots and contractions to unwind and reorganize within this new context.

I assume that some of this healing takes place just by seeing, but to me, it seems that it happens at a much deeper and more thorough level when all three centers are included.

Healing of the moment and of the patterns

In a way, it seems that only including the head center (the seeing) allows the moment to be healed, it allows the stress of the moment to be released, and also Big Mind to notice itself as already centerless and selfless. But it may not touch the deeper patterns of this individual so much.

And bringing the three centers in allows not only the moment to be healed, but also the deeper patterns. It reaches into the deeper patterns of this human self, allowing them to reorganize within this new context of deep allowing, of seeing, feeling and loving what is as it is, and within this new context of all seen, felt and loved as Spirit.

Seeds and fruits

I also notice some seeds and fruits here.

When I see and feel into what arises, the heart seems to come in. It allows and invites the heart to come in. So the seed is to see and feel into what arises, and the fruit is the heart.

The other seed is to see, feel (and then love) whatever arises as it is, which seems to allow and invite a (spontaneous) seeing, feeling and loving all as Spirit.

More simple and doable

And this makes it all much more simple and doable: My job is only to see and feel into what arises, as it is.

This invites and allows the heart to come in, with a spontaneous love for what arises, as it is.

And this in turn invites and allows a spontaneous seeing, feeling and loving anything arising as Spirit, as awake emptiness and form.

As made up of God stuff. No other than an aspect of God itself.

The seed of many fruits

Trying to do it all at once may be too overwhelming, especially in the beginning, but I can allow, see and feel into whatever arises. That is well within what is possible for me. And it is the seed of many fruits. (It may be best to simply allow these fruits as well, in whatever form they take, without having too firm expectations of anything.)

Felt-sense of all as one

 

When I woke up from the detective (lila) dream, I took some time exploring the felt-sense of I and Other, and also what happens when I bring in quality of many as one – from the dream.

I went through a parade of people, from those I know personally to those I know from the media, and those there is an attraction towards and aversion towards. What happens if there is a felt-sense of the two as one, as one character playing many roles, as it was in the dream?

What I found was a physical and felt release of tension, of deep relaxation, of fullness, ease, a felt sense of one as many… appreciating the diversity, yet also knowing that there is only one I.

Including more of our being

Putting it in words, it may sound very similar to seeing all as Spirit, as in the Big Mind process. And that is one aspect of it. But to feel it, to have a felt-sense of it, bodily, is quite different.

There is a whole other realm of fullness here, of being it more fully, of the basement being included (the client & target from the dream was in the basement when I found him, maybe for that reason… It was all about the felt-sense, the body, the belly center, the first few chakras.)

Three centers

Through the head center, there is a seeing of all as Spirit. Our view is reorganized within a nondual realization. This is Big Mind in the Big Mind process.

Through the heart center, there is a loving of all as Spirit. Our heart is reorganized within all as Spirit, open to all forms independent of how they show up. This is Big Heart.

And through the belly center, there is a felt-sense of all as Spirit. Our physical body feels all as Spirit, and our body and emotions are reorganized within all as Spirit. This could be called Big Belly (Hotei). It opens up a whole other realm of fullness, depth, nourishing, substantiality, groundedness, lived reality of all as Spirit.

Vulnerable animal

It is our individual human self, the vulnerable animal, that is reactive, contracted, fearful, blinded, hopeful, lashing out, clinging on, fearing death, feeling a sense of lack and something missing… It organizes in this way within a context of a sense of separation. It is a vulnerable (and wounded) little animal, and reacts in all of these ways as all animals do.

And the felt-sense of all as Spirit allows it to reorganize, to relax, to soften. It allows the little animal to feel safe, to gradually heal, to feel nourished, a sense of fullness, of nothing missing.

All is Spirit, reflected in the physical body and emotions

Of course, even here it will take care of itself in all the common sense and practical ways, through food, exercise, getting out of harms way and so on. But it will do it within a felt-sense of all being OK, of nourishment, fullness, a deep safety beyond conventional safety and danger.

This felt-sense of all as Spirit, of nourishment, fullness, of being held, of all being OK independent of what happens to the individual, comes from Spirit – not from the individual. It is Spirit awakening to itself, reflected deeply in the individual, in the body and emotional levels of the individual. And if deepened in that way, then they are there, no matter what physically happens to the individual.

Head only, or including belly

If Spirit is filtered through the head center only (or head and heart), there is a conventional awakening. Spirit awakens to itself as the ground of seeing and seen, and there is no I anywhere (or all as I). The individual is reorganized in this context, to some extent, but may also have wounds and hangups left. These too are also recognized as Spirit… Spirit arising as wounds, so in an absolute sense, it is OK.

But when the belly is included, it allows this individual, this vulnerable little animal, to reorganize at a deep level… Deep wounds are invited to heal, all these wounds created from a sense of separation… All the fear, desire, longing, terror, dread, cruelty, hopes, wishes, clinging… All of the ways the vulnerable little animal reacts to protect itself, when it lives from a sense of separation. These are all invited to heal, in a deep way.

The wounds soften, melt, gradually heal, gradually reorganize to reflect a felt-sense of all as Spirit. And as this happens within form, there is no end to how far this can go. There is always one more bit to heal, one step further to go, new ways to reorganize within a felt sense of all as Spirit.

Taking care of what we are, and who we are

Another way to put it is that we not only take care of what we are, but also who we are.

When Big Mind awakens to itself, as awake emptiness and form absent of I anywhere, and becomes familiar with itself in this way, while still being functionally connected with an individual human self, we take care of what we are.

And when we allow our individual self to deeply reorganize within this new context, through the head, heart and belly centers, we take care of who we are. And this is an unending process, there is always further to go, a continuous deepening, healing, reorganizing, maturing.

It is a process of deepening into what we are, as Spirit awake to itself, and who we are, as an individual soul and human self, reflecting Spirit awakened to itself.

What we are offers the realization of selflessness, of an absence of I anywhere. And who we are offers the opportunity to live and explore this in and as form.

Practices surfacing

 

It seems that many practices surface on their own these days…

This morning, I noticed lots of hangups coming up…. over someone delivering soggy firewood to us, careless housemates, the infernal rain… And then, a very tangible sense of this all coming from the soft little animal. This little vulnerable animal, which has been hurt, scared, confused, lost, so many times over its life (especially early on, when everything was new and utterly confusing.)

So instead of going into the contractions and stories coming up, there was space around it, and also a deep compassion for their source – which is this vulnerable, scared, hurt, confused little animal. This human self, as an animal, trying to find its way in this world, and sometimes being quite reactive and contracted. There was deep compassion for this little animal, and a seeing, feeling into, and loving of it. Holding it in gentle love, allowing it to relax, unwind, maybe even heal a little.

This is what many intentional processes do, such as Process Work, Voice Dialog and other ones, but it is nice when it surfaces on its own, as a spontaneous practice. A practiceless practice.

Another one that has come up for me over the last few days is the question is this worth getting contacted over? So far, the answer has always been no, and a release of the contraction.

Death and rebirth

 

The world is a process of death and rebirth on a wide range of scales, from everything dying as what it was and being reborn as something else, continuously, to the death and rebirth within each of our lives, the death and rebirth of stars and solar systems, and possibly of the universe as a whole.

Since going into the diksha process 1.5 years ago, this death and rebirth process within my life has come to the foreground again… The death of old patterns and identities, and something else emerging in its place. It has not always been a pleasant process (it has been miserable at times), and I see that the misery comes from resistance. Whenever there is resistance to experiencing something that needs to be seen, felt, loved, there is drama and stress. And whenever there is resistance to letting a particular identity go, there is the same drama and suffering… proportional to the resistance.

Journeying I: impoverished skeleton, then infusion of alive, intelligent light

Sunday, during the journeying process of allowing knots to emerge, be felt into, and dissolve or morph into something else, two main themes emerged. One was seeing my spine, especially from the tailbone and up to solar plexus, being in deep need of healing, and then my whole skeleton being in deep need of healing, impoverished and having been devoid of life for a long time, going back to childhood.

After being with this for a while, and also being with the deep sadness coming up over this, there was an infusion of golden alive liquid light into the skeleton, first in the lower half of the spine, then throughout the skeleton. An infusion of alive, infinitely intelligent light, as innumerable particles of golden light around the skeleton flowing into the skeleton, gradually filling it up, bringing a deeply needed nourishment and life to the skeleton.

After a while, there was a very strong sense of a physical change in my body as well, corresponding to the infusion of liquid golden healing light into the skeleton.

The alive, infinitely intelligent, loving, receptive and active (when invited) light, is the same as awakened in the heart area a couple of weeks ago, the indwelling God.

And the liquidy softness of it is the fertile softness of the belly center.

Journeying II: being a decomposing body

Later in the process, I found myself as a decomposing body, as the body, slowly decomposing, into dark fertile soil. The volume of sensory input was turned down during this phase, and there was a deep silence and quietness. My physical body stopped breathing for long periods of time, then took a deep breath on its own occasionally (to stay alive), and then going back into not breathing for a while. It was a beautiful process, being the deep silent blackness.

Dream: body stopping to function

This morning, there was a dream of my body stopping to function, first in the legs and then throughout the body, leading into death and decomposing. Again with a sense of it being completely OK, held in deep silence.

Big Mind and belly center

 

As I walked along a street earlier today, there was a shift into clear Big Mind, and this time including the flavors of the belly center. There was a sense of ease, clarity, of everything arising as awakeness and form, and all with the luminous blackness and fullness of Spirit filtered through the belly center. It is interesting how even Big Mind can have so many different flavors, and this one was particularly enjoyable, with another level of depth and grounding.

Three realms of being

 

Here is one way of slicing the cake of our being, into three realms…

First, the formless… Awake emptiness, capacity for the world. Selfless, timeless, spaceless.

Then, this awake emptiness as form, including innumerable individuals (selfless), unfolding in space and time.

And finally, not less important than the two other, me as this particular individual self, as an individual soul and human self alive here and now, in this little spot of the whole wide world of form. And this is where shadow work, healing, development, maturing, and unfolding as an individual takes place, deepening over time, endlessly (at least as long as this individual is around.)

This corresponds roughly to the three centers…

Spirit filtered through the head center reveals itself as the formless, as awake emptiness, as form as awake emptiness, as individuals inherently selfless.

Spirit filtered through the heart center reveals itself as formless love, and all forms as no other than formless love. It also reveals itself as love for all form, including all individuals, no matter their particulars, as Spirit.

Spirit filtered through the belly center reveals itself as a felt sense of all as Spirit, and as the luminous blackness which, among other things, gives a deep sense of nurturing, fullness and healing for this particular human self.

Each of the three centers include the formless, form and selflessness, although the head center reveals the formless in the foreground, the heart center form – including individuals – in the foreground, and the belly center this particular individual in the foreground.

Resistance as essential for embodiment

 

Resistance seems essential for embodiment.

First, it is what allows the world of form. It is what allows Spirit to not only find itself as formless but also as form. Resistance is inherent in the world of form, as divisions, boundaries, friction. Without these types of resistance, inherent in Spirit as form, there would be no form. Resistance is the mechanism for Spirit to become form… galaxies, solar systems, planets, living planets, individual beings, experiences, thoughts, culture, cities, this universe. It is what allows form unfolding in space and time.

Then, it is what allows Spirit to awaken to itself while functionally connected with a human being (or any other being for that matter, where Spirit awakens consciously to itself.) Resistance is what allows Spirit to fully embody in, through and as a body, conscious of itself. It is the gritty process of embodiment, of allowing everything about our individual self to reorganize within the new context of Spirit awakened to itself… our physical body, our energy system, our emotional level, our heart, our view, our relationships, our life and engagement in the world.

Resistance is inherent in embodiment. It is Spirit exploring itself as formless & form and the unfolding relationships between the two, including what takes place when the form is reorganized within the context of the formless awakened to itself.

So why resist resistance? Why not makes friends with it, embrace it, see that too as God’s will, as God itself, as an essential part of the embodiment process. The more resistance, the more gritty the process is, the fuller and richer the process and the eventual embodiment.

Resistance gives rise to struggle and suffering, and resistance to resistance is no different. It is God resisting itself, so that is not surprising. And allowing gives a sense of release, spaciousness, of all as Spirit.

As with anything else arising, we can deepen into seeing, feeling and even loving resistance as Spirit itself, as always no other than Spirit.

Headlessness and three centers

 

Since hearing about Douglas Harding’s death this morning, I have explored headlessness again as I go about my activities. I notice a slight difference in exploring headlessness, and it seems to has to do with the three centers. It is still quite new so I am sure more will unfold, but for now…

Capacity

Being capacity for the world, or the awakeness the world unfolds within and as, has a slightly different quality since the endarkenment shift. It is somehow softer, fuller, more yin, and has a sense of being a ground in a different way, more as something to just allow, relax into. The sense of crystal clarity is there, yet that too as somehow rounder, fuller, softer.

First and second person

And I also see how the second and first (zero) person views are there at the same time. The first person view is being the capacity for the world, the awake emptiness it arises within and as (although this is really a zero person view, as there is no Other, and it is not even a view, just the ground of everything arising, of the seeing and the seen.)

And the second person is everything arising as love, and as love for everything arising. First person is Big Mind, second person is Big Heart, where everything arising as love is a very subtle second person, and the love for everything arising is a more clear second person.

Three centers

These are also two of the centers. Being capacity for the world is Spirit filtered through the head center. And everything arising as love, and loved, is Spirit filtered through the heart center.

The third, belly, center, is including the body and emotions in this, allowing them to reorganize within Capacity and love. The belly center specifically includes our human self, allowing it to deepen and reorganize, at an emotional level, into the felt sense of this.

Dreams, and thought as servant

 

A dream from a couple of weeks ago:

I am in a car with the actor who plays Monk, a brilliant detective, on TV. He needs some extra money, decides he wants to help me find answers to some existential questions I have, and makes some of the movements Monk makes when searching for clues at a crime scene. It is painfully obvious that he only plays a detective on TV and has no idea how to go about finding the answers. He makes the movements Monk makes, but will not find any answers that way. We are both dismayed.

And one from last week:

I work for a pale, fat, sleazy corrupt man, writing articles for magazines and newspapers. There is some freedom in it, in terms of deciding on the topics of the stories and even the deadlines, but I only get 16% of the profits. I am only doing it because I am not sure if I can make it on my own, in spite of the whole situation feeling unpleasant and corrupt.

Alive presence guiding its own unfolding

Since the endarkenment shift some weeks ago, it has been very clear that the alive presence itself guides its unfolding. My mind, in the sense of conscious thought, can only be a servant in this process.

It does not – and cannot – know where it goes, what comes next, which realms will open up. Any expectations are far too narrow, limited only to what has happened in the past, and these are whole new realms unfolding. It is only a servant, it can help explore, describe, record what is happening, and that is about it. At most, it can find patterns after they unfold.

Habits of the conscious mind guiding the process

At the same time, I have done a lot of inquiry work over the last year or so, where the conscious mind definitely is in charge and guides the process. Also, in our culture, and even in most spiritual traditions, we are used to conscious thought being in charge and guiding the process. We plan something out, or are told to do something, and do it (or not).

It is my habitual pattern, especially over the last few years, so even if it is abundantly clear that the alive presence itself guides its unfolding, and it is taking me into whole new realms where everything is different, there is still the temptation to use conscious thought for guiding the process. It is only that it does not work. The one time since the endarkenment shift where I got into trying to figure it out and guide the process through conscious thought, I got thoroughly stuck (about two weeks ago). And I notice the same in smaller ways daily.

Conscious mind boxes the process in, even with the best of intentions, and this process cannot be boxed in.

Dreams as reminder

And these dreams, of the actor who plays a detective on TV and is unable to be of real help with my existential questions, and the boss who is a sleazeball, is a reminder of this.

Conscious mind is an actor playing someone who knows how to do it. And placing conscious mind as a boss gives a sense of corruption.

Head and belly centers

The three centers seem to filter Spirit in different way. Through the head center, as awake emptiness and form, with no I anywhere. Through the belly center, as fertile darkness, an alive luminous blackness. And through the heart center, as an infinitely loving and intelligent presence, universal and personal at the same time.

So to be fair, I see that the conscious mind can do a very good job in exploring and guiding the process of Spirit filtered through the head center. Through various forms of self-inquiry, we can find ourselves Big Mind, as awake emptiness and form, we can allow beliefs to unravel, and so on. It does a fine job here.

But for the exploration of Spirit filtered through the belly center, it can only be a servant at most. Here, the alive presence definitely guides the process. And this is what is happening for me right now, so one of my tasks is to allow conscious thought to be a servant in this process. Curious, interested, receptive, describing it after it happens.

As there is a deepening into seeing, feeling and loving all as Spirit, there is also an increased differentiation – including in the roles of conscious thought.

Head and belly, and heart follows

 

When I see and feel into whatever arises, the heart seems to follow.

Seeing, feeling and loving

The seeing is the witnessing of whatever is, it is free from what is seen, and can even be a recognition of what is seen as no other than awake emptiness itself. The feeling into it is a felt sense of what arises, it is the body joining in feeling what arises. And the heart is a receptivity and love for what arises.

The head and the belly sees and feels what arises. There is a being with what arises as seeing and feeling, and really as seeing-feeling since when both are there, they are just two aspects of being with whatever is, with the experiences as they are here now, with the content as it unfolds. And this seems to invite and allow the heart to join, to soften, open up for whatever is, here now (with the sweetness and pain, rawness and tenderness, a sense of the universal and personal, that often seems to come with that for me, at least right now.)

The process reflected in stories

Last night, after having seeing these dynamics throughout the day, I wondered how this would be represented in stories and mythology, and if I could find any stories that reflects this process?

The view, seeing, witnessing, is from the head center, and is yang, masculine, transcendent, free from what is seen. The feeling into, the felt sense, is from the belly center and is yin, feminine, embodied, engaged with what is felt. And the heart is the receptivity, openness, love, with equal amounts of yin and yang aspects (which is probably why the Bodhisattva of compassion – Avalokitesvara, Kwan Yin, Kanzenon, Chenrezig – is depicted as sometimes male and sometimes female, and always quite androgynous).

Our lives mirroring the dynamics of head and belly coming together, awakening the heart

So of course, the natural way to depict this process of the head and belly coming together, inviting the heart to follow, is of a man and woman coming together, awakening love. And not only is there no lack of those stories, it is at the core of our existence as humans. Our very lives are metaphors, or mirror, this process.

Also mirrored as Spirit, human and soul

At another level, the seeing is Spirit, the felt sense is the human self, and the love is the soul. So here, we can say that when Spirit and human comes together, love awakens. And this is the typical process of a Buddhist practice where there is an emphasis on Big Mind and the human self, which allows the love (and the soul) to unfold.

Parallels with Breema and Gurdjieff

In Breema, they say that when mind and body comes together, the feelings join. When attention is brought to the body (the movements of the body, posture, tone of voice, weight), the feelings join – as a sense of nurturing fullness. From the little I know of Gurdjieff, it seems that these are the three centers as he described them: head is in this case attention, belly is body, and feelings are heart.

(This is quite different from how I experience the three centers: The head center filters Spirit in its aspect of pure seeing, awake emptiness, seeing all as Spirit. The belly center as feeling, form, feeling all as Spirit. And the heart center as love, loving it all as Spirit. The centers and the dynamics between the centers as described here seems to be similar, but the descriptions – and experience – of them, apparently quite different.)

Unified heart, and world as split or Spirit

 

I keep repeating this, and many other things, so I must need it!

Three centers, unified individually and together

When the heart is unified, open to all and everything, it invites the head (view) and belly (emotions, feelings) to be unified as well, and all the three centers tend to function in a more aligned way. (From the little I know about Gurdjieff, I think he talked about something similar, and it is one of the main guidelines in Breema as well.)

Three centers formed within a sense of I and Other, or all as Spirit

Heart, view and emotional patterns formed within a sense of I and Other naturally tends to function in a split way. The heart is open some times and towards some people, and closed other times and other people. The view is split, seeing Existence as inherently divided in various ways. The emotions are reactive. The three centers are often not very well aligned.

Heart, view and emotions formed within a sense of all as Spirit naturally tend to function in a unified way. The heart is open to all situations and people. The view reflects more of a nondual realization. The feelings gives a sense of fullness, nurturing and support. The three centers are aligned.

Daily life

This is very much alive in my daily life. I notice my heart closing off towards someone or something, and the view and emotions automatically follow. The view becomes more dualistic, gives a stronger sense of I and Other, and becomes more rigid and inflexible. The emotions are reactive. And I experience not only the world as split, but my individual self as divided as well.

But if there is the intention of well-wishing, maybe even in the form of prayer for the other person (for all the best unfolding), it changes. My heart becomes unified, open to the world. The view is less split, seeing myself in the other, and all of us in the same boat. My feelings become full, nurturing and supportive. I experience the world and my individual self as more unified.

Other aspects

There is of course an infinity of things happening when our individual self is organized within a sense of I and Other, and then reorganized within all as Spirit.

For instance, when there is a sense of I and Other, there is also resistance, and this resistance is reflected in each of the three centers. The heart is closed. The view sees a split between I and Other, and resists certain ways the world is and certain experiences. The emotions are reactive.

When the centers are reorganized within all as Spirit, the resistance gives way for receptivity. The heart is receptive and open. The view is receptive and more fluid. The feelings are receptive and nurturing.

These seed patterns are reflected throughout our being, including our physical bodies. Within a context of I and Other, our body becomes more rigid, tense, defensive, inflexible, and armored, just as the rest of us. And within a context of all as Spirit, or rather a felt sense of all as Spirit, it becomes relaxed, receptive and supple.

This happens over time, making our bodies a literal embodiment of our sense of the world. And it also happens instantaneously. I close my heart off, and immediately, my muscles tense up (for me, especially the calves.)

Our body, as every other part of us, naturally reflects a sense of the world as split, or of all as Spirit.

Belly center and feeling into

 

I have started listening to Adyashanti’s Five Truths About Truth, and find his way of talking to be as refreshing, simple and clear as always.

He is one of the few I know who talks about the awakening of the belly center. He mentioned it in passing at his satsang in Ashland, and has probably talked about it in more detail other times (still looking for it).

Feeling into being emptiness

In Five Truths About Truth, I notice that he emphasizes feeling into the experience of being awake emptiness.

In my experience, that is one of the aspects of the awakening of the belly center. It allows for and invites to a deepening feeling, with the whole body and every cell of the body, that all is Spirit, all is awake emptiness and form, and it allows for a deepening reorganization of the body and the emotions within this new context.

Practice, and dropping into it

The difference is that before an awakening (even a very early awakening, as in my case) it remains a practice, something we have to intentionally do. After, it happens on its own, and the only intention is to surrender anything coming up, any beliefs, identities, any aspect of the personality, to it.

Alive luminous blackness

Also, before the belly center awakening the term fertile darkness does not make so much sense (at least it didn’t for me). After, it becomes a living presence, an immediate experience.

It is a fertile darkness, an alive luminous blackness which is the ground of all forms, gives a deep sense of fullness and nurturing, and allows for a deep reorganization and healing of the emotional level. And as Almaas writes, and I have experienced since the (early) belly awakening some weeks ago, this luminous blackness is experienced everywhere, as if “peering out through all forms” as he puts it.

Almaas, and Barry and Karen the diksha givers, are the only ones I have found so far whose experiences with this reflects my own, down into the details, although it must be a relatively common occurrence, it is just that I haven’t explored it before in this way, and not looked for descriptions of it.