This is one in a series of posts with brief notes on healing, awakening, and personal things. These are more spontaneous and less comprehensive than the regular articles. Some may be a little rantish. And some may be made into a regular article in time.
ULTIMATELY ALONE, AND NOT
One of the discoveries of life is that we are ultimately alone, and not.
We are alone in that we need to do some things on our own – learning, exams, work, making decisions, and so on. Although we can find support from others and be in a community, we are ultimately alone in all of this.
We are also ultimately alone in experiencing our own experiences and relating to our emotions and thoughts. Nobody can do this for us, and nobody can fully understand how it is for us.
We are our own final authority, even if we may try to tell ourselves otherwise.
There is a loneliness in all of this.
And there is also a kind of loneliness in oneness. (Although I feel some make too much out of this one.)
At the same time, we are not alone. We have (hopefully) friends and family. We can find support from others. We can receive guidance.
We are part of humanity, the Earth community, and the universe. We are the local eyes, ears, thoughts, and emotions of the universe.
Within oneness, there is an immense richness. Although there is a certain loneliness in oneness, we are certainly not alone within oneness.
There is an immense richness within us, in a conventional sense (psychological) and as oneness.
MULTI PHASIC SLEEP & SEASONAL SLEEP
Our industrial clock-oriented society has trained us to go to bed a certain time and wake up early to go to work. This is, fortunately, changing with more people working from home, but it’s still pretty ingrained.
I feel fortunate that I, most of the time, can more follow my natural rhythms and the seasons. I go to sleep relatively early. Often wake up around 3am and am up for about an hour having a cup of tea, perhaps read something simple, and I may do a few simple things, and then I sleep for a few hours more. It feels very good and natural. And it also fits relatively well with our modern society.
In the summer, I tend to be up later and wake up earlier, and in the winter I go to bed earlier and sleep later, and that too feels good and natural.
In my early twenties, I used another form of multi phasic sleep. I would sleep half an hour four times every twenty four hours, and it was plenty. Each time I went to sleep, I quickly went into deep and nourishing sleep. And it freed up a lot of time for painting, drawing, photography, reading, studying, being out in nature, and so on.
The drawback was that I needed to follow a relatively strict schedule for it to work, and that wasn’t always so easy for social reasons.
NOVEMBER 1, 2020
WHY DO WE ASSUME THOUGHTS ARE IN THE HEAD?
In our culture (I don’t know about other cultures), we assume that thoughts are “in our head”. Why is that?
I suspect it has to do with how we physically see and speak. Our thoughts are in the form of mental images and words, and these mimic physical seeing and speaking. And that all happens in the head.
From inquiry, I also notice that when I visualize mental images, I half-way imagine seeing the images with my physical eyes. And when I think with words, my throat makes subtle movements as if I am – nearly imperceptibly – mouthing the words. And it’s all happening in the head.
Intellectually, we tell ourselves that thoughts are created in the brain, so that may be one reason for the expression and the sense that our thoughts are in our head. But I suspect the more immediate reason is the sense of seeing our mental images with our eyes, and subtly mouthing our word thoughts with our throat.
IS AWAKENING BINARY?
Is awakening either/or, or is it more nuanced? As with so much, it depends on our definitions and what we mean by awakening.
I like to think of it more as a process. Yes, noticing what we are – or what we are noticing itself – can happen suddenly. But becoming familiar with it, discovering how to live from it, and allowing all the different parts of our psyche to align with it, is a process. It’s ongoing. There is no final endpoint.
We may have had a glimpse and which then was taken over by old conditioning.
We may notice what we are, but what we are may not notice itself (which means there is still identification that’s not seen through).
What we are may generally notice itself, but occasionally and in some areas of life be caught in conditioning. (Especially when old wounds and emotional issues are triggered.)
What we are may appear to generally notice itself, and yet – to someone else – remaining beliefs and identifications may be obvious. (Especially to someone from another culture or subculture, or someone who has done more work on some areas of life or some types of beliefs and identifications.)
So is awakening binary? Yes and no. There can be sudden shifts. And yet, mainly, it’s an ongoing process.
NOVEMBER 7, 2020
Attachment is one of those words from (the English translation of) Buddhism that I don’t use or resonate with.
Why? Because it seems to reflect a slightly superficial understanding about what “attachment” is about. And because it sometimes comes with connotations of judgment and “shoulds”.
For me, what “attachment” refers to has more to do with emotional issues, unexamined beliefs, habits, culture, and attempts to find safety and fill perceived “holes” in ourselves. It’s innocent. It’s understandable.
Judgment and “shoulds” cannot do anything about it. But love, clarity, and healing can.
SOME WORDS FROM SPIRITUALITY I RARELY USE
Some words from spirituality I rarely use:
Attachment. Soul mate. Twin flame. Light worker. Karma. Letting go. Nonduality.
Attachment reflects a superficial understanding. I find it more helpful to talk about unprocessed fear, emotional issues, unquestioned beliefs, or an attempt or perceived need to find safety.
Soul mate and twin flame reflect assumptions about something we cannot know for certain. It imposes ideas on a relationship, or possible relationship, that can prevent the relationship to move in a more natural and free way. The ideas are unnecessary, and they can create added stress.
Lightworker makes it sound as if light is better than dark. Who said it was? There is equal beauty in the dark as in the light. They are both sides of existence. They both reflect what’s in me. If I am a lightworker, I am also a dark worker. I am someone who explores the metaphorical darkness in myself (e.g. the shadow) to recognize it as part of who and what I am, and find the beauty in it and in how it fits into the whole.
Karma is another word for cause and effect. Everything has innumerable causes. If there is karma in the Eastern sense, we all most likely have infinite amounts of karma of all types. We cannot know for sure. And it seems an unnecessary term.
Some folks say “let go”. Is holding on inherently wrong? And can we chose to let go? Can we let go just because someone tells us to? The answer to both is no. To me, it’s more about addressing – and befriending – the fear behind holding onto something. As that fear softens, we may not need to hold onto something as tightly.
What about nonduality, isn’t that a useful word? Yes, sometimes. But it’s often used as a too-easy shorthand. It makes it sound as if we already get it, and as if the solution to something perhaps is easier than it is. Yes, reality is one and nondual, and at the same time many and with lots of differentiation. And our discovery and exploration of that is ongoing. It never ends.
NOVEMBER 15, 2020
ONENESS HEALING: NOTICE + INTENTION
For me, oneness healing seems to include two important aspects.
One is to notice that whatever I focus on – an emotional issue, physical issue, or a physical object – is the divine. It’s the divine locally and temporarily taking this form. It happens within and as consciousness.
The second is to intend for this expression of the divine to wake up to itself. For the divine in that local and temporary form to wake up to itself as the divine. Sometimes, this happens relatively quickly. Other times, it can take time.
A nice thing about oneness healing is that nothing needs to change, apart from the divine waking up to itself. And that, in itself, tends to lead to a change.
It’s as if the divine wakes up to itself, and says to itself “oh, I have taken this form”, and then explores ways to do it a bit differently.
The waking up is sufficient in itself. It often leads to some shifts and healing, but that’s not the main focus and it’s not even really an expectation.
NOVEMBER 16, 2020
HEALING ACROSS TIMES
When I work on myself, I often do healing for myself as some point in the past, whether this is energy healing, dialog, tonglen, Ho’o, prayer, or something else.
Why? Because the image I have of myself in the past is part of me now. That past person is a part of me, so I do healing for that part of me.
Similarly, I sometimes access myself in the future – perhaps more wise, mature, insightful, awake, and so on – and ask this person to inform me now or do healing for me as I am now.
Why? Because this imagined future me – that’s wiser and so on – is a part of me now. This wisdom, maturity, clarity, and more is already here in me, and I can access it by connecting with this imaginary future me.
Why would I do ho’oponopono for another person?
Partly to improve my side of my relationship with that person in the world. It makes sense in a conventional pragmatic way.
And partly because that person is, in a very real sense, me. That person happens within and as what I am, and he or she reflects who I am. When I do ho’o for another person, I heal the image I have of the other in me, and I heal my relationship to the sides of me that person mirrors. I do it for my own sake.
It may also be that doing ho’o for someone helps that person in the world, but that’s not necessary or really my business.
ONENESS HEALING AND OWN NATURE & NATURE OF EXISTENCE
I have written about this before but thought I would briefly mention it again.
When I do oneness healing, I notice the nature of what I am doing healing for – whether it’s an emotional issue or something physical and whether it’s in me or someone else.
What is its nature? To me, it’s happening within and as what I am. To me, it’s what thought can label consciousness.
When I do oneness healing for myself, it’s easy to see the essence of how it works. Any emotional issue I have happens within who and what I am, and noticing this – and having the intention for consciousness taking the form of the issue to wake up to itself as what it is – is, in itself, healing. All that’s required for this to work is to acknowledge my own true nature. To myself, what I am is consciousness and all my experiences of myself and the wider world happens within and as that.
When I do oneness healing for someone else, it’s both similar and different. I still notice the true nature of what I am doing healing for and invite it to notice itself, to wake up to its own true nature. One aspect of this is a healing for myself since it’s all happening within and as what I am, and the only thing necessary to understand this is to acknowledge my own true nature. Another aspect of this is the actual healing that happens for the other person, and to explain this the simplest explanation is that the true nature of reality as a whole is the same as my own true nature. It’s all happening within and as the divine, and that’s what allows this form of distance healing.