During the initial awakening shift in my teens, everything was very clearly the divine (the label I put on it then). If a contraction came up – a belief, hangup, emotional issue – that too was recognized as the divine, the divine taking that particular form.
That shifted how I, as this field, related to it. And, in a sense, it allowed the contraction to notice itself as the divine, to unwind and to relax into and as it.
It’s very simple and natural. This happened long before I found books about spirituality or started any formal spiritual practice. It was the naive approach of the novice.
Some years later, I did get into spiritual practice. Tai chi and chigong were completely compatible with this, as was prayer (Christ meditation and heart prayer), and basic meditation. As time went on, I got more into different traditions and practices, and it all got more complex and complicated.
I lost trust in the initial naive, simple, and natural approach I had found early on in the awakening. None of the teachers or traditions seemed to speak about this very simple approach, and they instead said I should do all sorts of more complex practices, apparently often aimed at people operating more from separation consciousness.
I felt I lost my way, in a sense, and remember talking about it with friends. At the same time, I wanted to trust these teachers and that they knew what they were talking about.
My “mistake” in it all was to not trust what worked for me, and what seemed to obvious and so simple.
Of course, I learned a lot from all these practices. I got to investigate some of the dynamics of the mind more in detail. And I got to see that one of my hangups is to not trust myself, and instead just do what teachers and traditions say even if it doesn’t always make much sense to me. (And often still don’t, seen with the benefit of hindsight. It often seems as if they applied remedies and medicines without first checking that they are appropriate for the person and where they are in the process.)
Now, I seem to find back to the wonderful simplicity of the first years. Back then, the noticing of all as the divine (I mostly use different words now) was unavoidable. The noticing was turned up to 11. These days, it’s still easy to notice although it requires a little more intention.
I notice my nature – as what a thought may label capacity (for my field of experience), oneness, stillness & silence, love, or consciousness, or even the divine.
A contraction comes up, and I “anchor” my attention in the physical sensations of the contractions while being aware of the rest (the mental images and words).
I notice the nature of this contraction and see it’s the same as what I am. (It can’t be anything else since it’s happening within and as what I am.)
I rest with this noticing.
I invite the contraction to notice its own nature. I may even focus this through a simple question: Do you know what you are? Do you know what your nature is? Do you know what you are made of? How is it to notice your nature?
I allow that noticing to clarify, and the contraction to unravel and rest in and as that noticing.
It has a wonderful simplicity. It’s natural, intimate, and has a feeling of essence. It’s what many of the more complex practices seem to circle around.
Why don’t more teachers and traditions talk about this? Some do, of course, and the ones I know about are outside of any tradition. And some essential practices, like basic meditation (notice and allow), do invite and allow this noticing and natural transformation and unwinding. It’s rarely if ever talked about, but it’s what often happens.
In general, spiritual traditions seem more aimed at bringing people from strong separation consciousness to perhaps a little milder version of this, and generally not so much more. And that’s fine, of course. That’s their function, and it is helpful for many.
Note: I know this is not about a feeling. At the same time, when I do this again now and rest in and as it, there is often a sweet feeling. A feeling I remember from this time in my teens and twenties when I did this naturally. When it seemed the most obvious thing to do. (It’s even a bit blissful, although I typically don’t use those words since this is certainly not about bliss.)
Teens, contractions, noticed their nature as my nature, all happening within and as what I am
Later, when started learning about different approaches, nobody talked about it for whatever reason, so I abandoned it
Now, finding back to it, the simplicity of it