Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things – vol. 36

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 made into a regular article in time.

WHY DO SOME NOT LIKE PSYCHOLOGY OR THERAPY?

A long time ago, I mentioned to my father that I planned to study psychology, and he responded: “People who study psychology or go to therapy often get weird”. He likely meant that they often live a life more free of shoulds and social norms, and are less invested in following shoulds and social norms. And that seemed threatening to him.

To me, weird is wonderful. (As Adya’s mum told him.) And being free of shoulds and social norms seems like a good deal as well. I can be free of them, or more free of them, and still follow my inner guidance, what makes sense, what seems most kind, and so on.

In general, why do some not like psychology or therapy?

I assume there may be many reasons.

They may be familiar with approaches to psychology that reflect a cynical view of humans. In that case, I would be cautious as well. These approaches tend to be outdated.

They may know that they harbor unprocessed psychological material they are not ready to face, and even the thought of psychology or therapy seems scary to them. That’s completely fine. There is a time for everything. And it’s also good to be honest about it.

They may suspect it can bring about major life changes, and they are not prepared to make those changes. They prefer to live their life-lie. Again, this is completely fine. There is a time and place for everything.

They may, as my father, see therapy as a way for people to be freer from shoulds and norms, and if they are invested in shoulds and norms and have made an identity and ideology out of following them, then that can seem threatening.

They may assume that therapy involves the therapist imposing a different way of thinking, feeling, and living on them, and they want to keep their autonomy. Some therapists may try to do this, but good ones don’t. They invite you to find your own way and what works for you. They support you in becoming more you.

Just to be clear, I don’t think therapy is for everyone, and any one approach to therapy is certainly not for everyone. But I do think it’s helpful to clarify these things and be reasonably honest about it.

WHAT I EAT

I prefer to eat local, seasonal, organic, and low on the food chain. And to minimize highly processed foods (with ingredients that sound chemically), although I will eat some occasionally.

In general, I think about what my ancestors would have eaten, or what people traditionally ate where I am, which is local, organic, seasonal, and simple foods, and try to follow that.

I also aim at not being too strict since that tends to create a backlash. It’s about what I mostly eat, not perfection.

I drink a lot of water, mostly in the form of herbal and spice teas. (I try to vary these since they, like all foods, have medicinal properties.) I mostly drink this in the morning and early afternoon, and less in the evening since I don’t want to have to get up during the night.

I have bone broth daily or regularly since it gives a sense of deep nourishment and it noticeably helps me. It stabilizes my energy and brings it up a bit.

I eat slowly since that’s more comfortable and I get a better sense of how full I am. I eat until I am around 3/4 full since more is uncomfortable.

If I have my own schedule, I usually eat between noon and 6pm, with some fruit in the morning. It feels better to limit the hours I eat during the day.

And most of all, I follow my inner guidance. What would feel good for my system now? What among the non-processed foods would feel good for my body now? (If I sense I need processed foods, then it’s usually cravings speaking and not actual and wiser guidance.)

MAY 27, 2023

BIZARRE THINGS AT THE ZEN CENTER

I lived at a Zen center in Salt Lake City for a while in the ’90s, and loved it thoroughly. I loved the practice. I loved the schedule. I loved many of the people. I loved the teachings of the teachers. I loved SLC and Utah.

And there were also some things I found bizarre.

For instance….

When the teacher got married, his wife immediately got on the board for the Zen center and started making decisions for the center, even if she had very little experience with Zen and even less experience running or managing anything.

The main teacher loved going to the exercise studio, so many of the students did the same. (I can understand they wanted to do something with him outside of the center, but I saw it as kissing ass and preferred hikes and yoga in the park instead.)

When the main teacher went through a difficult period (a dark night) and got irritably and grumpy, some of the senior students took that as an invitation to act on their own hangups and anger and treat junior students as shit. (The main teacher never did, as far as I know.)

A new student happened to have a high position in society in SLC, and very quickly was promoted to teacher even if he clearly was out of his depth and there were many students with far more experience and insight than him.

I loved Ken Wilber at the time, and received unpleasant comments about it from the other students when I read his books in the common areas. At some point, the main teacher became friends with Ken Wilber and promoted his work, and suddenly everyone loved Ken Wilber.

AM I SHALLOW?

I heard someone ask: Are you shallow? (To someone else.)

How would I answer that question? Honestly, I feel yes.

What I write about here is what’s relatively easy for me to write about. It’s not something that requires a lot of investigation for me, or going beyond what I have been familiar with for decades.

To not be shallow, I would have to put more effort into it and intentionally go beyond what’s familiar to me.

It’s similar in daily life. I tend to stick with what’s easy for me, partly because of my health challenges. For instance, I listen to the type of music I have always loved. (Right now, Arvo Pärt, and also African, Latin, Mongolian, and so on.)

MAY 28, 2023

INCORRUPT BODY?

There is a story in the news these days about a US nun whose body was found mostly intact after four years in the ground. In the words of the Catholic Church, her body is incorrupt and it’s one of the things that qualifies someone for sainthood.

To me, there is something more interesting going on here. And that is the whole idea of “incorrupt”.

It reflects a worldview where nature is sinful and corrupted, and resisting nature is seen as divine.

And to me, that worldview seems misguided and even dangerous. To me, it’s wonderful that a body decomposes and is made use of by myriads of organisms. It’s beautiful. It’s a gift. It’s a reminder that we are nature. That is the divine as much as anything.

The sky-God view served a role in history, and perhaps in our collective cultural development, and these days, it’s outdated. These days, we need a view that’s more nature-oriented or at least nature-inclusive. We need it for our own survival.

MAY 30, 2023

FOOD

For a long time, I was skinny no matter how much I ate or how much strength training I did. I was typically 65-70kg.

After starting with Vortex Healing, I channeled one day to bring up the weight set-point for my body. Within a week or two, and without changing anything with my diet, my weight went up rapidly, and it’s been 80-85kg since then. It feels much more comfortable for me, and I also sense that it helps bring down the anxiety in my system. (There is a little more to go on which feels more safe at a primal level.)

This also means that I need to be a little more conscious of how and what I eat.

Here are some of the things I have discovered:

If I want to go up in weight, eat cheese and bread. (I typically eat very little cheese and bread, apart from some feta cheese on my salads.)

If I want to go down in weight, I remove cheese & bread and eat just fruits, vegetables, occasional grains (often quinoa), and a small amount of meat and fish.

In general, I eat only when hungry. I eat slowly. (This allows my body to catch up and sense if I need to eat more or not.) And I eat only until I am about 3/4 full. I have done this my whole adult life since it’s the most comfortable.

I also drink a lot of water, in the form of herbal and spice teas. This also feels more comfortable in my body. (I drink enough so my urine is clear or pale, and I drink mostly in the morning and early afternoon, and less in the evening so I won’t need to get up at night.)

If I need a snack during the day, it’s often fruit.

And I follow my guidance. I check with my body what types of food feel right, and I sometimes imagine how my body will feel after eating something. (This seems quite accurate, and I assume it’s based on a combination of past experience and how my body is at the moment.)

[made into a regular article]

JUNE 4, 2023

A FEW REMINDERS

I have been reminded of a few things in different situations recently and thought I would mention them briefly here.

If someone proselytizes, it’s usually because they are not convinced about it themselves. They are trying to convince themselves. They are reacting to (usually very reasonable and intelligent) doubt in themselves. They are not friends with their own doubt and don’t recognize it as necessary, helpful, intelligent, and ultimately kind.

If we reject parts of ourselves – certain feelings and thoughts – these parts of us will feel rejected and unloved. That means we feel rejected and unloved, somewhere in us. And that will color our perception and life. The solution is to befriend these parts of us. They are here to protect us. They come from care and love. And seeing that helps me befriend them and find genuine love for them. And when they feel befriended and loved, we do too.

One of my favorite explorations is to notice what’s most uncomfortable in me (the most uncomfortable sensations), be with it, befriend it, and find love for it.

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