Something else I keep coming back to…
There is a clear sense of awakening happening at the levels of head, heart and belly, even if those are only metaphors.
And as they happen separately and in different combinations, there is a clearer sense of the qualities of each one.
The head awakening happened for me in my teens, then combined with heart awakening and what I can only call “cosmic consciousness”. More recently, there has been times where there has been a clear head awakening on its own. The head awakening is a clear seeing of all as God. No separate I to be found anywhere. Ground awake to itself. Content of experience awakening to itself as a field, all as awakening, as no thing appearing as something, inherently absent of an I with an Other. This human self is living its life on its own, as everything is. There is no doer. No thinker. No chooser. No observer. No witness. Just the field.
The heart awakening is a love of everything as God. The love of God for itself, when all is recognized as God and this is lived through a human self. This love can be independent of content of experience (of feelings, emotions) and only appears as love when it comes out in actions. This is the love of the right hand helping the left, simply, effortlessly. In addition to this, it can also come out as content of experience, as a feeling, emotion, a bitter-sweet love. Bitter because of the suffering in the world. Sweet because it is love and it embraces whatever/whomever comes up, independent of its characteristics.
In the initial awakening in my teens, the head and heart awakening was clear and strong. But there was also a clear sense of something missing, of it not being complete in how it was lived through this human self. And what was missing was the belly awakening. The felt sense of all as God. The deep felt sense in the body of all as God, independent of how it shows up. A reorganization of emotions from reactivity to a deep sense of nourishment. (For me, there was emotional turmoil even in the midst of the head/heart awakening.)
In the head awakening, there is a depth of seeing. All is seen as God. In the heart awakening there is a depth of love. All is loved as God, independent of its appearances. And in the belly awakening, there is a depth of feeling. All is felt as God, independent of its form.
Over the last few years, there has been a sense of work being doing on the belly awakening, although the particular dynamics are not conscious for me. For me, this Big Belly work seems to happen through a (classic) dark night, through hara-centered bodywork, and through shadow/projection work approached in a felt-sense way. There is a sense of knots slowly unraveling in the belly, allowing Big Belly to be noticed, felt and lived more clearly. (My sense is also that this comes up more for me than many others, because I may need it more than many others.)
And there are occasional (mild) previews of how it may be to live from this belly awakening. Saturday night, while walking in the setting sun along the riverbank in Portland, there was a shift into Big Mind and that deep felt-sense of all as God. Soft. Warm. Deeply relaxed. Deeply in the body. Along with Big Mind, there was Big Belly, with Big Heart more in the background this time – coming up more as a sense of gratitude and appreciation.
This shift has to do with the dark feminine. The luminous blackness. The luminous blackness that is transparent to Ground, is somehow association with the body and belly, that holds emotional transformation, that all form happens within and as, and is distinct from – and complement – the light luminosity.
The only reason I write about this is to (a) record something about the path of this particular human, and (b) because someone else may recognize this from their own path and know that it is shared. As with everything else I write about here, I have very limited experience with it, and have a similarly limited knowledge of how the different traditions talk about and work with this. I assume the Tibetans have a good deal of knowledge about this, and the Sufis as well, and probably many other traditions, especially those more earth/body/feminine inclusive.
2 thoughts to “Head, heart, belly”
Hey there. I appreciate your view on the belly awakening and would enjoy hearing more about your experiences there. It seems to only show up very late in the grand scheme of an individual’s path, but it is certainly undeniable. I have only seen a couple of other folks make note of this belly activity. The only one I recall by name is Duncan Bradford over at thebaptistshead.co.uk
I’ve oft wondered if it has something to do with a final balancing of the “universe,” and/or possibly a bodily reaction to the deep, palpable sense of fear that a person may face as they near the final, total oblivion of the self.
Anyhow, thank you.
Thank you, Trent. I enjoyed reading Duncan’s blog posts, and have to read some more to find the belly references.
I wrote more about the belly awakening some months ago. You can find it by following the belly center, big belly and endarkenment tags above.
My sense is that what I have referred to as belly awakening is what the yogic traditions refer to as an opening/reorganization of the three lower chakras and the hara.
It seems that the belly opening/reorganization mostly has to do with reorganizing the emotional patterns, and yes, it has to do with fear – and reactivity. A relaxing and softening of the fear and reactivity, replaced with what i experience right now as a nurturing fullness. (It is a gradual and slow process for me, and partial so far.)
This is all happening at the human level, as content of experience, so it doesn’t touch what we really are. But it does influence how this human self lives in the world – before and within and awakening.
Writing about it here I realize that for me, it appeared more as a belly awakening since it happened within an awakening process. And it can also, and probably more often does, happen as a belly opening/reorganization independent of any awakening.
Since I am in the middle of this process and there is further to go, there is a great deal here I am not very clear about.