It seems ridiculous to even consider writing a book, but there is a pull there, or perhaps a calling. I still don’t know what it would be about. And it seems strange to consider it since (a) so many good books have already been written, and (b) so many are more familiar with whatever I would write about than I am.
And still, it’s good to follow a consistent calling, and I also know that each one of us may share something in a way that is just right for someone else. That has nothing to do with someone else being more knowledgeable or insightful, and a great deal to do with the match between communicator and recipient. Also, to be helpful, its sufficient to be just one or two steps “ahead” of someone else in terms of experience and familiarity with the topic. We don’t need to be world experts or authorities for it to be helpful for someone else.
So here are some chapter ideas:
You already know, be your own final authority.
Somewhere, you already know what you are.
You already have the wisdom you recognize in others. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to recognize it.
Be your own final authority. Don’t give your authority away to someone else. Use your own best judgment. You have the final word in your own life, whether you admit it to yourself or not.
What’s it about?
Living from / as love. For one’s own sake, and that of others. Makes life easier, more fulfilling. Love is what we want, and it’s really our own love.
Curiosity. Noticing what’s already here. Consciously aligning more closely with reality.
Naturalness. Finding what’s already natural.
Different surface motivations: (i) Wanting relief, peace. (ii) Wanting love. (iii) Wanting to fill a perceived hole or lack. (iv) Wanting to live from love. (v) Wanting to align more consciously with reality. (vi) Wanting to serve…. life, love, reality. (These tend to change over time, perhaps becoming more simple and about aligning with what already is, and inviting this human self to mature and live an ordinary life of service.)
Phases and facets on the path.
Initial attraction. Initial interest, draw, calling, curiosity.
Initial opening and awakening. Initial revelation of reality. (All as consciousness. All as love. All as Spirit. etc.)
Deepening maturity. More familiar with the terrain. Maturing of who we are, as a human being. (In the best case.)
Continues to reveal itself. Life, who and what we are.
Finding love for anything in your experience. (a) Others. (b) Parts of yourself.
Forms of love practices. Ho’oponopono. Tonglen. Loving Kindness.
Natural curiosity. Find or notice what’s already here.
Forms of inquiry.
(a) Is it true that what I am seeking is not already here?
(b) The work.
(c) Living inquiries.
Identifying assumptions. (i) Any question comes from a set of assumptions. Identify and explore these. (ii) Any stress comes from a set of assumptions. Identify and explore these.
Practice stable attention.
Helpful for just about any activity in life, including these explorations.
1st, 2nd, 3rd person relationship to Spirit. Prayer is 2nd and 1st. (KW.) (Also, 0 person relationship.)
(a) Show me the way. Loving Kindness.
(b) Similar to Natural Rest etc., and Natural Rest can be a form of prayer. Any practice can be a form of prayer, be done in a prayerful way.
(c) Opening to something larger than the human self. (Opens for awe, gratitude, humility.)
Gratitude lists. Daily practice. I am grateful for….
Either what’s easy to find gratitude for. (May start with this.)
Or all inclusive gratitude practice. Including anything in your life… what it’s easy to find gratitude for, and what it’s not so easy to find gratitude for.
Allowing and noticing.
Notice what’s here, this experience, is already allowed. Consciously align with that more closely.
The world is a mirror. With any stories I have about what’s “out there” in the world, I can find examples of the same in my own life – often right there and then when the story comes up.
Projections as guidance. If use them to find what’s here.
Projections as pitfall. If blinded by them.
(a) The world as a mirror, finding here what I see out there. (b) What does it say about me? What type of person….? (Living Inquiries.)
Subpersonalitites. When recognize as parts, then already some disidentification. Not fully identified with anymore, and can relate to more consciously – with love, kindness, patience, understanding, curiosity.
Satsang. Holding satsang with parts of ourselves. You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. I love you. What would satisfy you forever. What are you really. (May find that even reactiveness etc. comes from a wish to protect the imagined self, and from love, worried love.)
Big Mind process.
Body, nature, relationships.
Combine with body-inclusive practices.
Exercise. Walks. Strength. Physical play. (Find something enjoyable and playful to do, so you are using your body in a fun way.)
Yoga. Tai chi. Chi gong. Breema. TRE. etc.
Spend time in nature.
Relationships. It’s all about relationships…. to yourself, others, the wider world, life.
Easy and attractive.
Find something that fits where you are at, what your interests are.
Find situations, or set up situations, so what you would like to do becomes easy and attractive.
Make it fun. Follow your passion and interest.
It’s all something that’s very natural. Any practice is about finding/refinding something that’s already here.
Triggers and wounds.
Life in general, and any practice, may trigger unloved and unquestioned fear.
An opportunity to meet with love. And then explore with curiosity.
Life will trigger wounds, reactivity, defensiveness. (Protecting an identity.) How do you relate to it? Do you recognize it as a wound being triggered? Do you meet it with presence and love? And then curiosity, inquiry? (If not right away, then at least later on when the storm has quieted a bit?) Do you apologize?
Wounds & Trauma.
Be kind to yourself.
Include work on wounds and trauma, especially when they come up on their own. (Don’t need to go looking for it.)
Tension and Trauma Release Exercises. (TRE.) Somatic Experiencing. (SE.)
Can go through one or more challenging periods. Many do, although not all.
Find ourselves in a situation where our old and familiar identities, approaches, views don’t work anymore.
What may help: Love. Inquiry. Support. Guidance. Nature. Good nutrition. Rest. Information, realizing that nothing really “went wrong”.
Types of spiritual emergencies. Dark night of senses. (Identifications as who we are.) Dark night of the soul. (Even more basic identifications.) Kundalini crisis. Losing touch with conventional reality.
Universal: Attaching to, and being blinded by, ideas and identities. All (?) are variations of this.
Shortcuts. Impatience. Thinking you need to be somewhere else, and soon.
Practices not suitable to where you are at, or your constitution. (E.g. too forceful, if you are sensitive.)
(a) Thinking you won’t make it. (b) Thinking you are done. (And believing it, investing the thought with energy and reality.)
(a) Giving your authority away. Not being your own final authority. (b) Not working with a guide. Not working with, and listening to, the ones more experienced with the terrain.
(a) Blindly adhering to a tradition. Setting tradition above what works. Setting your own tradition above other traditions. (b) Blindly rejecting tradition. Not valuing the gems of practical wisdom found there.
(a) Sticking with something too long that doesn’t seem to work. If it doesn’t seem to work, after a while, then consider trying something else. (b) Not sticking with something long enough to see if it works.
With these (a)s and (b)s, see if there is a pattern in your life. Do they reflect a deficient self? A wound? Can you meet it with presence and love, and then curiosity?
Making insights into beliefs. Insights are (initially) alive here and now, and shifts something in us. That’s their function. They may be made into a belief, or a dogma, or a crutch, or a memory, and then they are less helpful.
Stressed because you think something has been lost. If there is a thought that something is lost – an insight, a state – then ask yourself, is it true it’s not here?
Believing it’s about achieving a state, or a stable state. Ask, is it true that what I am seeking (love, clarity) is not already here? Is it true it has to be stronger, or more in the foreground of experience?
Believing that what you are seeking is not already here. Believing it’s in someone else, or in the future, or even in the past.
Believing that what you are seeking is something special, “other”, another “dimension” etc. Overlooking that it’s what’s already here, and very ordinary. (At the same time, it’s not here in a lived sense if it’s not recognized, and it’s not that common for people to realize and live from this.)
“Spiritual” stories can be helpful, in different ways. They may help us reorient, serve as practical pointers, etc. (Stories about reincarnation, enlightenment, arriving at some state, dark nights, kundalini.)
They may also be a source of comfort. They can give a sense of meaning, direction, hope.
It’s good to be aware of. There is nothing wrong with using them for comfort. It can be helpful for a while.
At some point, recognize this. See them as ideas (words, images) that the mind attaches to (associate with sensations) to give itself comfort. Can find love for this part of ourselves, the one that feels it needs it, the one that may feel lacking. Can also question these stories, and the assumptions behind them (including assumptions of lack, deficiency).
When deciding whether to join a group, see how the senior people are. Are they the way you would like to be? (In an ordinary, very human, sense?) Do they seem mature, sane, kind, in a very ordinary sense?
Many will be disillusioned by their teacher/tradition/group at some point. That’s natural, and an invitation to take back your own authority. (And projections, both of what you initially like, and initially dislike.)
The Bigger Picture.
Living a life in service of life….. own life, others life, nonhuman species, future generations.
Can often be very simple. Finding love for what’s here. Questioning stressful/limiting beliefs.
We are the universe bringing itself locally into awareness.
Need to reorganize ourselves – individually, collectively – in a way that’s aligned with ecological realities. So that what’s easy and attractive to do – individually and as organizations, corporations, and society – is also what’s aligned with ecological realities. Go beyond to thrivability, regenerative design etc.
Ecopsychology. The Great Story. Deep Ecology.
Spirituality – different meanings. (KW.)
Phases and facets.
Adyashanti. Bonnie Greenwell. Stephan Bodian.
Byron Katie. Scott Kiloby.
Joanna Macy. Practices to reconnect.
Spiritual Emergencies. Organizations. Books. Movies.
Intro – about me, the aim of the book, what it will cover.
Practices – love, curiosity, gratitude, body/nature/relationships, parts, natural rest.
Wounds – how to recognize and relate to wounds, working with wounds and trauma.
Pitfalls – all coming from various beliefs.
Spiritual emergencies – types, what may help, resources.
Maps – phases, facets, AQAL.
Research – summary + future research.
Resources – organizations, books, movies, websites.
5 thoughts to “Outline for a book”
Please follow the call to write a book. I have found your writing very helpful and inspiring. Your approach has really resonated with me. It would be great if you organized and expanded what you’ve shared on your site in a book format.
Thank you! I appreciate hearing that.
Would you be willing to put together a collection of your posts in an ebook (pdf) format?
Yes, that’s a good idea. I may work on it this summer.
Thank you for considering it. Please keep me posted.