Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things – vol. 44

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.

FORGIVENESS

Why would I want to forgive? For me, the answer is that it feels better.

Does forgiveness mean not having boundaries? Not at all. Forgiveness and boundaries go hand in hand.

How can I find forgiveness?

One answer is specific approaches like understanding, heart-centered practices (tonglen, ho’o, metta), inquiry like The Work of Byron Katie, and so on.

Another answer is more general. I find it through finding forgiveness for myself. The more I can forgive myself, and live in that forgiveness, the more I can find forgiveness for others.

Is it easy? Not necessarily. Wounds can go deep, and wounds make it difficult to find genuine forgiveness. Healing opens up for forgiveness. Those two too go hand in hand.

SEPTEMBER 1, 2023

BRAIN FOG

How do I experience the brain fog?

It has several aspects.

It feels like cotton in and around my head.

It makes it difficult to remember.

It makes it difficult to take in information. (And my brain gets tired quickly.)

It makes it difficult to process information.

It makes it difficult to string words together and communicate.

In general, the more drained and exhausted my system is, the less energy there is for my executive cognitive functions. (Thinking, talking, making decisions, intentionally relating to what’s coming up, etc.)

It really seems that life wants to experience brain fog through and as me these days.

The baseline brain fog is from the onset of CFS in my teens, following a mono-infection.

When the CFS dramatically worsened 10-15 years ago, following severe and long-lasting pneumonia, it got a lot worse. My memory got a lot worse after Covid last year. (Teflon brain.)

And I suspect severe Lyme some years ago and septic shock last summer also play a role.

CFS MIRACLE CURES?

There is no lack of stories about people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) who found a miracle cure.

What’s going on? What about all the other people who tried a huge number of approaches with no such success?

I think a few different things may be going on.

Some self-diagnosed their CFS and they had something else. They had a kind of burnout. Or food intolerance or allergy. Or something else. And they happened upon something that cured it.

They were misdiagnosed, had something else, and found something that cured it.

Some attributed a cure to what they did, and it was correlation and not causation. There was another reason for the cure, perhaps unrelated to anything they did or what they assumed cured it.

Some had a temporary improvement, told the world about it, and then relapsed.

Some indeed had classic CFS – perhaps with a viral trigger – and found something that helped them. That particular cure may work for some but not all in the CFS category. (Likely because many different conditions fall into that category.)

Some with CFS who think they “tried everything” didn’t. For instance, they may have gone gluten or wheat free, but didn’t exclude all grains. They may have tried something half-heartedly and missed out on a possible cure.

I assume the answer is a mix of these and likely more.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2023

A FEW PODCASTS

Here are a few podcasts I listen to these days. Mostly just entertainment and random info, and very little about healing or awakening. (I haven’t been able to take in or process much on those topics for the last decade or so.) Not in order.

A Way with Words – about the English language
The History of English podcast – a chronological exploration of the English language
Word Matters – from Merriam-Webster
Big Picture Science – well-produced and interesting topics
Science Friday – well-produced and good current-science topics
Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda – good conversations on interesting topics
Outside podcast – from Outside Magazine
Judge John Hodgman – fake internet court with John Hodgman and Jessie Thorne
Lateral with Tom Scott – often fun and interesting odd facts
No Such Thing As A Fish – the QI elves
Witness History – from BBC
The Unmade podcast – two Australian guys talking about podcast ideas (always entertaining)
Planetary Radio – from the Planetary Society (have listened to this since they started twenty or so years ago when it was “just” online and before podcasts)
Patented: The History of Inventions
In Our Time – history
The Unexplained – occasional interesting episodes but a lot of “anything weird is interesting”
The Delta Flyers – Star Trek podcast
Richard Lang: The Headless Way – good interviews etc.
Buddha at the Gas Pump – very good interviews but haven’t listened for a few years
Love is the power podcast – The Work of Byron Katie, good topics but don’t listen so much

SEPTEMBER 19, 2023

CFS AND GIVING MY SYSTEM AN OPPORTUNITY TO HEAL ITSELF

I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), and it’s very easy to fall into a pattern of spending energy as soon as some energy is available. After all, there is so much I want (and need) to do, so when I can, why not do it?

That means I am often living right on the edge of what I have energy for, and sometimes it tips over and I crash. (Although much less often than before, I have learned to manage my energy levels and life better.)

There is also another side to this. The more I can live well within my energy means, the more energy is available for my system to potentially heal itself.

When I live on the edge, there is little extra energy available for anything other than basic functions and whatever activities I engage in.

And if I live well within my means, there is energy available for my system to work on healing itself.

This is something I need to remind myself of and something I can get much better at.

How much can my system heal itself given the opportunity? I don’t know, but I would like to find out.

SEPTEMBER 29, 2023

STILLNESS & FLOW

I talked with a friend yesterday who is interested in some of the same the things I write about here, and said he comes at it more from an intellectual / mental side and not so much a direct noticing.

That contrast became clear when he brought up the topic of stillness and flow. How can you reconcile the two? How do they combine or co-exist?

I understand that the question may seem perplexing if you come at it from a mental side.

But from noticing, it’s not really a question at all. It’s so simple it’s difficult to capture in words.

I am stillness, and I am flow.

To myself, I am what thoughts may call consciousness, and the world to me happens within and as what I am, within and as consciousness.

As that, I am stillness. I am what forms itself into any and all content of experience. As that, there is stillness.

And as content of experience, I am flow.

When I try to put it into words, it sounds complicated and convoluted.

The simple way to say it reflects a direct noticing, and is easily understood by others who may notice directly. But I assume it doesn’t do much for those who don’t notice directly, or are unaware that they are noticing. (I assume everyone does notice, they may just not be aware of it.)

The more convoluted way is an attempt to bridge that gap, but it does get convoluted. It feels like a word salad. It’s not very satisfying.

FULL AND UNSURPASSED?

I read the foreword of an (admittedly strange and seemingly misguided) book where a youngish woman described an awakening shift and said: “I knew I had reached full and unsurpassed enlightenment”.

To me, that seems a bit odd. How can you know? That’s just a thought coming in telling you that. How do you know that the thought is not fueled by a part of you that wants it to be that way? That wants to tell itself that to feel better about itself?

For me, it seems more like an ongoing unfolding. It changes. Some things may clarify. Some unprocessed things come up. Maybe there is some apparent healing. Maybe some parts of our psyche and human self come a bit more on board with it. And so on.

It seems an ongoing process. Even the idea that the awakening becomes clearer and our human self gradually comes more on board with it is an idea. That too seems a bit like wishful thinking. It’s easy to interpret whatever happens in that way. It seems like the idea of progress that’s so ingrained in our culture, and that our personality often likes to attach to since it seems comforting.

To me, it seems far more comforting to admit I don’t know. It’s more honest. All I know is change. It’s all changing. And what it all happens within and as is here through all those changes.

FEARLESS?

Someone in a FB group asked what fearlessness means to us.

To me, it’s something that’s undesirable. Fear has an important function in human lives. It’s here to protect me. It’s a form of love.

It means something that I can acknowledge and that doesn’t need to stop me from moving forward and taking actions that make sense to me. (And that may even, through grace and a miracle, come from inner guidance and seem wise and kind.)

To me, the idea of fearlessness seems the fantasy of someone who is scared of fear. Someone who hasn’t befriended fear and made it into recognized how it is already an ally.

And, of course, if I want to answer in a more generous way, I can say that being fearless is to be more free of the fear of fear.

MATURITY ON THE SPIRITUAL PATH

What does maturity look like on the spiritual path?

I cannot give any final or universal answers. I can only share how it looks to me now.

I CANNOT KNOW ANYTHING FOR CERTAIN

Mainly, we know that we cannot know anything for certain. All our ideas about things are really questions. Their function is to help us orient and function in the world. They are different in nature from what they point to. They cannot hold any full, final, or absolute truth.

We know we cannot know for certain where we are in the process. How the nature of existence itself is. What’s going on for others. And so on. We know that our memories are images and ideas about a past, and they too are questions.

We don’t assume that what works for us works for others. What works depends on the person, the phase they are in, the situation, and what our aim is. We also know that what seems to work now may not work in the future. We hold all of that lightly.

SHARING CAN BE HELPFUL

At the same time, we know that it can be helpful – for ourselves and others – to share our experiences.

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY

We take responsibility for how we relate to others, ourself, and the world.

We take responsibility for our life. We try to be good stewards of our life.

Beyond that, we recognize that our world is our world. My world is my world. It’s not a world out there. (Even if it makes sense to assume that my word imperfectly reflects a world out there.) We take responsibility for the world as it appears to us.

EMBRACING IMPERFECTIONS

We realize that we are imperfect beings. These are guidelines, not a statement of how we are all the time or in all situations.

Whatever I see in others, warts and all, reflects the same characteristics in me. If I look, I can find specific examples of how I do the same as them. It’s inevitable.

I have parts of my psyche and human self that are wounded and hurt. They have hangups, are immature, reactive, and so on. Even if not actively triggered, they still color my perceptions and actions. And sometimes, they are more strongly triggered and may even hijack me for a while.

THE WORLD AS MY MIRROR

The world is my mirror. If I have a thought about someone or something out there, I can turn it to myself and find specific examples of how it’s valid.

Whatever I see out there, I have in myself. It may take a different form, but the essence – the characteristic and dynamic – is the same.

This is beautiful. It means I can learn about myself through what I see in the world. It means we are all, in a sense, in the same boat.

THE OTHERS ARE LIKELY LIKE ME

It’s not wrong that I am this human self in the world with all sorts of characteristics, identities, and so on. And yet, when I look, I find I am more fundamentally something else. I am more fundamentally what this field of experience happens within and as. I am what the world, to me, happens within and as. I am capacity for it all.

A thought may call this consciousness. To myself, I am consciousness and the world to me happens within and as the consciousness I am.

And that’s likely the same for others as well.

If a creature “has” consciousness, then to themselves they ARE consciousness. And the world, as it appears to them, happens within and as the consciousness they are.

The only difference is the particular body-mind this consciousness operates through and as. It may be another human being. It may be a bird. It may be an insect.

To me, this is very beautiful. Even if they may not consciously recognize their nature, I can recognize it. I can imagine it based on what I find here.

ORDINARINESS

Noticing our nature can seem remarkable, especially if it’s a sudden shift. Our psyche responds with seeing it as remarkable, and perhaps special.

As we mature into it, it seems more and more ordinary in several ways.

Our nature noticing itself through daily life becomes ordinary.

Living from it, and noticing all the ways we are caught up in old wounds, becomes ordinary.

We recognize ourselves as ordinary. Our nature is ordinary. It’s all we have ever known. It’s what any “conscious being” is. As a human being, the world is our mirror and we have in us whatever we see in others.

Our life tends to become more and more ordinary. The need to be special or different tends to wear off.

THE VOICE OF THE DIVINE

I am in a place with more traffic noise than I am used to.

My personality doesn’t like it very much.

And I am also exploring something.

What if this is the voice of the divine too?

Can I find it as the voice of the divine?

How is it to notice it as the voice of the divine?

How is it to find it as the divine expressing, exploring, and experiencing itself as that too? As the traffic noise. The traffic. This human self responding to it.

[made into regular article]

“THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR PHILOSOPHY”

Someone I know, who set himself up as a non-dual teacher, responded with this when I shared something I wrote that I asked for his input on.

To me, the response seems a bit odd.

Of course, anything is philosophy as soon it’s put into words.

At the same time, whether something appears as philosophy or not to me completely depends on how I relate to it.

In this case, what I shared was my experience with a situation (involving a non-dual teacher we both know) that was a bit puzzling to me. He could just have said “thank you for sharing your experience”.

And, in general, if I just stay at a mental level when I read something, then it’s a philosophy.

And as soon as I use it as pointers, it becomes something else.

I can use the words as pointers for something in me. Whatever words point to is something I can find in me.

OCTOBER 3, 2023

SENSING MY SYSTEM

I am having Vortex Healing sessions for my liver these days. It’s in pretty bad shape, likely because of living with the Epstein-Barr virus in my system for more than thirty years. (I eat a lot of fresh food, organic when I can, drink a lot of water, and don’t drink alcohol or take drugs, so my lifestyle is not enough to explain why it’s so bad.)

The poorly functioning liver (seems to be about 6 out 10) may also be a reason why I have strong brain fog and have had it since my teens.

When I sense into my system, I notice two energetic “holes” – one is my liver and the other is my brain. I cannot sense them. It’s as if they are not there.

Maybe that will change as they get more energized and hopefully healthy through Vortex Healing.

In any case, it makes sense to work on the liver first of those two. If my liver is unable to effectively clean up the blood and my body, it will obviously impact my brain.

OCTOBER 7, 2023

LIVER WORK

I have had some deep liver work done this week and a lot of things are coming up, which is good. I find myself looking back at some patterns in my life and see how
I am not always my own best friend. I often get it my own way when something feels right, and stop myself from pursuing it or following through.

I have received Vortex Healing sessions using the full organ protocol for my liver. Three sessions so far, and one more later today or tomorrow. Each session has been 2-3 hours if not longer. And it has brought up a lot in my system from stronger brain fog, disorientation, discomfort, nausea, headaches, and sweating to anger, frustration, and looking at how I haven’t always been the best steward of my life in the past and even now. I have trouble speaking and standing up for myself. I give in to the views and wishes of others and end up abandoning me (my inner guidance and knowing) and the path that feels right for me.

It seems that the functionality of my liver has gone from six to closer to eight (out of ten), which is very good.

OCTOBER 8, 2023

DREAMS HAPPENING WHEN AWAKE

This is something so common for me, maybe for my whole life, that I don’t see it as something unusual or noteworthy.

I notice dreams happening even when I am awake. I notice my mind producing dreams the whole time. Often, it’s in the background. And sometimes, my conscious attention goes to it.

I imagine that night dreams are just these ongoing dreams taking the form of night dreams.

(Made into regular article]

THE WINDOW

For the last few weeks, I have been in a Latin American city, much of the time sitting in a comfy designer chair looking out over a park.

It’s kind of amazing to look at life unfolding in this way, and it has opened up more empathy in me.

I see people living their lives as best they can. I see people making the best out of a sometimes difficult situation. I see people doing their exercise in a tiny park with heavy traffic on all sides. I see farmers selling their produce on Saturday morning. I see people selling tamales on the street. I see taxi drivers waiting for passengers. I see people driving – to deliver goods, for work, to visit someone, to do errands. Living their lives.

It’s all obvious in a way. And yet, it’s changing something in me.

CONSTANT LOSSES

Life is change, and that means loss.

In my life, I have frequently lost what’s most important to me.

Sometimes comes into my life that seems good and my personality really likes, and just as I get into it and get more familiar with it, it’s gone.

That happens with relationships, careers, health, home, belongings, and so on.

It’s again happening.

It’s tempting for the mind to try to find reasons for this.

I can tell myself that life has something better in store for me. (Doesn’t seem to fit my experience so far.)

I can tell myself the divine wants me to get comfortable with impermanence and rest more fully in my nature.

And, in reality, I don’t know.

What I know is that I can use it to find healing, rest more fully in my nature, and so on.

I also know a part of me feels tired of all of this.

I know that this is universal. Life is change. This is how it is for everyone.

I know it seems to happen more systematically, frequently, and dramatically for me than – apparently – for most others.

And I know that may very well have to do with my own traumas and wounds.

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