Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things – vol. 45

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.

OCTOBER 14, 2023

SUPERSTITIONS WE ALL ENGAGE IN

There is a solar eclipse today where I am, and someone told me to not go outside during the eclipse because it will damage my health. Apparently, that’s what some in India think.

To me, with my Western mind, it doesn’t quite make sense.

If it were true, we would see an upswing in illnesses following a solar eclipse, which would be picked up by the healthcare system. And I am not aware of that. There is nothing in the medical journals, apart from a predictable upswing in eye damage. (There is a small change that there is something in the data that nobody has explored statistically in connection with eclipses, or that there is a delayed manifestation of the illnesses.)

Also, it doesn’t quite make logical sense. A solar eclipse is just the moon getting between the Earth and the sun for a brief period, so a shade is cast on the ground. I don’t see how that could influence us. (Unless there is something in the brief line-up that has nothing to do with the eclipse itself as we experience it with an occultation of the sun.)

To my Western mind, this seems like a superstition someone started to reduce the cases of eye damage at a time before easy access to eclipse glasses. They noticed eye damage from people looking at the sun during an eclipse and started and propagated this rumor to shape people’s behavior. In some cultures, I assume it would be reasonably effective.

Or it’s just the typical old-fashioned superstitions where people make up stories around phenomena they don’t understand. (In this case, where they made up stores before science explained it to us.)

Of course, we still do that. We still individually and collectively make up stories about things we don’t fully understand, whether it’s about ourselves, others, the behavior of someone in our life, the world, or anything else. We try to make sense of things, so we make guesses about the world. These guesses are more or less grounded in solid logic and data. And the world is always more than and different from our stories about it.

OCTOBER 16, 2023

STORIES ABOUT HEALING & AWAKENING

Our minds seem to love to make up stories about healing and awakening, and especially of those we are invested in one way or another.

This session was so powerful! My old issue is completely transformed. This transmission shifts your system in that way. This awakening is forever. And so on.

Personally, I am happy to entertain the possibility of all these things. But I also know that I don’t know. I cannot know for certain. A lot of different things can explain what I observe. And it’s very tempting for the mind to create happy stories so it can feel better about itself, life, and what’s happening.

I also realize that early in the journey, and perhaps with some things, it’s comforting to hold onto desirable stories about what’s happening. And, at some point, it’s more comfortable to hold hold it lightly.

For me, what’s more honest is that I don’t know. I notice I am draw to something, and I do it or don’t do it, and that’s enough. I receive healing sessions from certain people for certain issues at certain times, because it feels right. And that’s enough. I don’t need to create a lot of others stories around it.

HAVE TO / WANT TO

I removed “have to” from my vocabulary a long time ago.

In our culture, “have to” is something we use to make it look as if we didn’t make a choice. Don’t blame me, I am doing it because I have to!

For me, it’s more honest to say that I want to. I don’t “have to” do anything. But I want to do some things.

Someone points a gun at me and tells me to do something, and I choose to do it or not. I pay taxes because I want to, not because I have to. I emerge from diving underwater because I want to breathe air, not because I have to. I rest because I want to, not because I have to. I do things to keep this human self alive and comfortable and avoid too much trouble because I want to, not because I have to.

[Read on for more of these.]

CHRONIC FATIGUE AND FILLING UP THE ENERGY RESERVOIR

I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and have learned to manage my activity and energy levels to some extent. I rest before, during, and after an activity, and extra. I recognize the symptoms of needing to rest, and rest. I minimize or avoid situations where it may be difficult for me to find rest when I need to. I do any activity in smaller chunks. And so on.

Another side of this is to charge the battery extra. It’s tempting to use whatever energy I have when I need it. And that does not give me much buffer if something unexpected happens. Or for my body to have extra energy to heal itself. So it’s good to charge the battery extra.

This is similar to having money in the bank. It may be tempting to use whatever money is there right away. But that doesn’t give me any buffer if something unexpected happens. And it also doesn’t give me savings I can later use for bigger projects. (In this case, the bigger project is actual healing.)

Will my body heal itself with extra energy and extra metaphorical money in the bank? I don’t know, but it doesn’t hurt to give it its best chance and see what happens.

I should add that there have been periods for me when resting doesn’t seem to help very much. It doesn’t seem to charge any batteries. Whatever energy is here just seems to run out like water in the bathtub. Here too, rest is the medicine and often we don’t have any other options. And it may also mean we need something more – support for better sleep, more nourishing food (bone broth?), nourishing herbal medicine (Siberian ginseng), energy healing, and so on.

REGRET & LOSS

Change and death have been up in my system lately.

My parents don’t have much time left.

We are selling my childhood home.

I am uncertain about the land and house in the Andes, for several reasons. It doesn’t feel like a place I where I have solid footing or can expect to have solid footing.

A friend and mentor from the ’90s died recently. (Brian J.) Another mentor and kindred spirit died a few days ago. (Michal D.) A non-dual teacher I had a deep resonance with and a good connection with died last year. (Bonnie G.) All of them completely amazing human beings I feel blessed to have known, and who will be with me always.

I think my system is coming more to terms with the possible end of civilization and humanity, perhaps within our lifetime. (Some will say likely.)

I see how much regret I have in my life. My life got completely sidetracked during my first marriage. I left just about everything that meant the most to me. (Drawing, painting, a PhD in clinical psychology, a sangha, friends.) I missed out on several relationship opportunities that felt deeply right to me because I was too shy, and really too scared, and too certain I was not worth it. (And that they deserved better, even if another part of me knows that’s just a painful illusion.)

So often, there has been an amazing start on something, and it abruptly falls apart. So often, I have had amazing opportunities I have not taken. There is so much I didn’t even get to try or live.

My health is not good. I suspect it collapsed partly from feeling so profoundly off track in my first marriage. There is so much I would like to do that I am unable to.

And still, life is amazing. And it has been an amazing life, in many ways.

All I write about here in these articles is important in my life, and helpful in different ways. And yet, it doesn’t touch acting from kindness, love, and integrity, and following my inner guidance. That’s where contentment and a feeling of deep rightness come from. (And when I don’t do it, that’s where regret and a sense of being out of alignment comes from, and no amount of healing and inquiry will change the essence of that.)

OCTOBER 22, 2023

ADYASHANTI RETIRING

Adyashanti retired from in-person teaching a few weeks ago, and I see people talking about it and how it impacts them.

For me, it’s less of an impact, although I did feel a little sad after his last regular online talk. What he has produced is still out there in writing, audio, and video, and the content is timeless although obviously also colored by our times and culture. He is not retiring from teaching. He will likely still write books, record audio on certain topics, and he may even create workshops and classes on specific topics. It’s just the regular in-person teaching he will retire from, and I completely understand that it may be a relief for him to do that and leave it to others.

Who knows what he will be moved to do in the future. Retiring in this way opens the space for something else, and neither he nor us may know what that is yet.

In general, it’s just another example of impermanence. Some of those who had a big impact on me earlier in my life have died: Arne Næss, Bonnie Greenwell, and so on. Some are still alive: Fritjof Capra, Jes Bertelsen, Genpo Roshi, Joanna Macy – but they are getting up there in age.

Death is the price we pay for life. Death is the price anything pays for existing for a while. Death is how anything exists at all. Death is how we are here.

[Made into a regular article]

FREE WILL?

I have seen articles about a guy who spent decades arriving at the conclusion that we have no free will.

With these types of things, it’s the process that’s interesting, not necessarily what we arrive at.

And yet, to arrive at us not having free will doesn’t need to take decades.

Everything that happens has infinite causes. We can always find one more, and one more, going back to the apparent beginning of time and stretching out to the widest extent of existence.

So where is there room for free will?

Also, the experience of free will only seems to happen when there is identification with and as the mental representations of an I, doer, free will, and so on. When this identification. issoftened or released, and our nature recognizes itself more clearly, our human self happens within content of experience as anything else. Our human self lives its own life. It’s happening on its own. There is no experience of free will. Similarly to above, there is no room for free will. The idea of free will or not seem irrelevant.

We may have the experience of free will. Our mind uses mental representations to create a sense of I and free will and a me that operates according to that free will. That requires a lot of mental gymnastics, but it can appear convincing. This human self does something, and there is a thought saying: “I did that”. There is the experience of free will, but that doesn’t mean there is free will.

At the same time, it seems good for us to think and experience that we have free will. I imagine that helps many of us to be slightly better stewards of our lives.

[Made into regular article]

OCTOBER 24, 2023

WHY DO I WRITE HERE?

Why do I write here?

It’s not because I think my ideas and views are more important or valid than those of anyone else. (Although I do have more experience than average in some areas, so it may have a little more weight there. Conversely, some others have more experience than me in those areas, so their views have a little more weight than mine.)

It’s because it’s one voice in literally billions, so why not share it?

It also helps me organize how I look at things, and it invites me to look a little more closely. For me, writing is exploration. And it invites exploration in my life.

And if someone gets something out of it, even if it’s just one person once, that in itself would make the sharing worth it.

THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS BELONG TO THE WORLD

I was on a Headless Way Zoom meeting for the first time this Sunday, and Richard (Lang) mentioned what someone else had said: Thoughts and feelings belong to the world.

That’s one of the things I love about finding my nature as well.

Thoughts, feelings, sensations, and anything connected with this human self, belong to the world. It’s out there in the world. It’s part of what comes and goes.

It’s part of the field of experience.

What I more fundamentally am is not touched by any of it. I am what allows it all to come and go. I am what momentarily forms itself into all of it. It’s all happening within and as what I am.

[Made into a regular article]

OCTOBER 25, 2023

LIFE IS LIKE A DREAM

The world is like a dream in a few different ways.

In our experience, life is like a dream. Every moment, it’s new. What was here is gone, just like a dream. At best, we have a vague memory for a while, and then that’s gone too.

To ourselves, we are most fundamentally consciousness, and the world – to us – happens within and as that consciousness. That too is like a night dream. Night dreams and waking life happens within and as the consciousness we are.

It looks like this universe and existence itself is like a dream. Every moment it’s new. What was here is gone, just like a dream. And it’s possible that all is happening within and as consciousness. (AKA Brahman, God, Spirit.) Life is the dream of this universe. Life is, perhaps, the dream of God, the divine, Spirit, Brahman.

[Made into a regular article]

CONSCIOUS THROUGH DEEP SLEEP

In the mid-2000s, I set the intention to see if consciousness (the consciousness I am) could be conscious through deep sleep and throughout the night.

It worked. Consciousness – the consciousness I am – observed this human self fall asleep. There was consciousness through the night, including through the deep sleep. It was not aware of anything in particular – apart from perhaps a very faint (subtle) content of experience. There wasn’t much time. Nothing much happening. Then some dreams, and then the waking world.

It was fun but I didn’t see much use for it, and this human self prefers awareness to be “gone” during the deep sleep, so I didn’t pursue it further.

This is similar to a few other things.

When I was little, maybe five or six years old, and set the intention to be aware that I am dreaming while dreaming. That too worked. I dreamt I was in a big barn (US style for some reason), and a large group of people with pitchforks were chasing me. I ran out towards a steep drop. I also knew I was dreaming, so it didn’t matter so much that I had no escape. Knowing it was a dream was escape enough.

I sometimes am consciously aware of the dreaming process while awake, which I wrote about some days ago.

And it’s similar to my apparent memory from between lives. Here too, there wasn’t too much content of experience. (Apart from the golden light and some occasional communication with other disembodied entities.) There was very little awareness of time – it seemed very far away. (This memory came as occasional flashbacks when I was very little, before school age.)

I hardly ever talk about these things since it’s not much to talk about, and people tend to see it as weird. But I do talk about it if I meet someone else who has similar experiences. It’s fun to explore and compare notes.

[Made into a regular article]

THERAPEUTIC SONGS

Traditional songs have many functions. They may pass on wisdom or knowledge. They may pass on a certain worldview and set of values. They may be entertaining. They may poke at authority figures.

Some are also therapeutic.

I love Rosensfole, the album by Agnes Buen Garnås and Jan Garbarek of Norwegian folk songs with contemporary instrumentation.

Right now, I am listening to Margjit og Targjei Risvollo. Leaving aside the supernatural aspects of the text, it’s about a woman who gives birth to twins outside of marriage. The father is not her fiancé. Her fiancé takes the babies to be Christened, and returns to tell her they are dead. It’s unclear if they died naturally or if he killed them to avoid trouble. (There is more to the song but that’s the essence.)

I imagine many women at the time experienced similar and equally traumatizing situations. The song gives them a sense of fellowship with others who have experienced similar things. It gives them an opportunity for comfort and perhaps even healing.

OCTOBER 28, 2023

LIVER WORK

I apparently lived with the Epstein-Barr virus in my system for more than thirty years, which contributed to (or caused?) the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). This virus was removed by some of the teachers in Vortex Healing a few years back (2018?).

This chronic infection likely impacted my whole body and many organs and systems. For instance, my kidneys were in very bad shape and still need more work. I have also received a lot of sessions for my energy system in general. All of it has helped but there is further to go.

I have received several sessions for my liver over the last two or three weeks. It was at a six out of ten in terms of its functionality and is now around nine which is quite good.

My system tends to respond and react strongly to healing sessions, whether it’s Vortex Healing or something else. Often, I end up in bed for one or more days, and sometimes one or more weeks.

I am wondering if that’s partly because my liver was unable to clean out the body efficiently. It will be interesting to see if it changes in the coming weeks and months.

I know my system is also very sensitive in general, so that’s likely another reason.

A small digression: The upsides of this sensitivity are many.

I can immediately sense how certain foods impact my system, even before I eat it.

I can see energies. I can sense what’s going on, to some extent, with someone’s system at a distance.

I quickly notice the effects of spiritual and healing practices, and the effects are quite strong.

I seem quite attuned to non-human beings and seem to understand, better than most, how they experience the world.

I love to live a simple life in tune with nature: Getting ready for sleep when it gets dark. Getting up at dawn. Eating unprocessed simple foods. Enjoy silence. And so on. (Of course, there are exceptions. After all, I live in this civilization.)

OCTOBER 29, 2023

CHOCOLATE AND INTUITION

Last night, I had some chocolate-covered cacao beans.

And later, I noticed what I typically notice after eating those things.

It’s difficult to connect with my inner guidance. It’s difficult to connect clearly with anything.

That goes for chocolate – and to some extent sugar, caffeine, and refined foods – and it depends a bit on what it’s combined with and if I eat it on an empty stomach (worse) or not.

It’s good to notice.

CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME VS DEPRESSION

Someone in a CFS group on social media asked about the difference between CFS and depression.

The most simple and clear difference may be post-exertion malaise (PEM). With CFS, we get worse and may crash after activity, and not so with depression as far as I know. Also, I think many of us with CFS have a lot of desires and wishes for our lives, but we can’t do it because of our physical health.

The two can also co-exist, which can confuse the picture at first glance. For instance, living with CFS – and how our mind responds to it – can lead to depression. But we can still separate out the two, especially by looking at PEM.

It’s worth mentioning that it is possible to adjust and find and even enjoy a new life within the context of CFS.

MISSING COMMUNITY AND EXCHANGES

My whole life, since the oneness shift in my teens, I have missed a real sense of community around exploring our nature. I have joined several groups and enjoyed the social aspect, but never found a real sense of community where I feel safe to talk about it openly and freely with others.

That’s more about me than the communities.

It’s because it did not feel safe for me to speak up in my family. If I spoke my sincere truth, at least on some topics, it would be met with anger or dismissal, and it’s still that way. And the same happened in school from elementary through middle school.

After the oneness shift at age sixteen, I similarly found I couldn’t speak freely or openly about my experience and what was happening. People didn’t understand. And some reacted with strong anger to what I thought was an innocent sharing of my own experience. (This was before the web so I couldn’t find a community that way, and I grew up in a small town in Norway where nobody I knew – and likely very few in general – had any interest in these things.)

This developmental trauma is quite deeply ingrained in my system. Speaking with others brings up fear in me, and I am unable to express myself very clearly.

I noticed this earlier today in a Headless Way Zoom call. (My fourth one so far.) I love that approach and the community, and I deeply wish for a sense of community. And there too, I freeze and when I speak, it comes out unformed and incoherent and not in any way as it would be if I wrote it down.

I understand that too. One of my coping mechanisms has been to present myself as a beginner in the different groups I have been involved with. That puts far less pressure on me, and I can take the role of a listener and someone asking questions rather than someone genuinely sharing my experiences and my own path. (I love listening to how people express it, so that side of it is not a problem.)

That strategy is very understandable based on my childhood and teenage years. It does help me avoid some unpleasant experiences. And it also comes with obvious downsides. It prevents me from engaging with others on these topics in a genuine and deep way, and in a way that could help me mature and grow. (Maybe it could be of interest and help to them too, who knows.)

OCTOBER 30, 2023

I TOLD YOU SO

I often find myself in an “I told you so” situation.

Some years ago, I told my parents that an obvious and big mistake by their municipality would lessen the value of their property, and had a lawyer ready to go on the sake. (She said it was a clear case and they would likely get a significant compensation.) They denied the situation and refused to go further with it. Now, it turns out I was right and that we should have done what I suggested back then.

In building the tiny house, I told the others involved that it would be better if I did the initial design, and then get a local architect to look it over, suggest any changes, and draw up the final plans. (I have lived and breathed architecture my whole life and have done an MA training in architecture at one of the best universities in the US.) They refused and wanted a local architect to do it all from scratch. That ended up being a disaster, and we are now looking into rebuilding the house to fit my initial design which they now agree would have been much better.

And so on and so on. There are innumerable examples.

In the bigger picture, I imagine this will also be the case with global ecological overshoot and collapse. I have mentioned it since my teens in the ’80s. Most reject it as something that won’t happen. And it very likely will.

Why do I keep finding myself in this situation? It’s a pattern from my upbringing. Most of the time, my family and schoolmates would reject what I said and suggested. (My family still does.) Often, it turned out that my suggestion made a lot of sense and was a good idea. (With my schoolmates, someone else would typically suggest the same a few minutes later and they all said “yes, let’s do it!”.)

I definitely have an issue with not being seen, heard, and understood. A part of me expects it and gives up in advance, so I likely communicate in a way that makes it easier for people to not take it seriously and reject it. This part of me thinks it’s their fault for not taking it seriously, which is not wrong, but overlooks that it’s my responsibility to make sure they understand and do take it seriously.

A part of me has given up on the effort of wanting to make sure others understand and take what I say seriously.

DIFFERENT WAYS OF BEING MET

I have met many spiritual teachers and groups over the last thirty-five years, and also people who are into spirituality. I seem to notice three general types of responses.

One is that they immediately recognize what’s happening in my system. They recognize that my nature recognizes itself, and there is a joyful sense of mutual recognition. This doesn’t happen that often, but often enough. The first time was my friend Birgitte H. in Norway when I was nineteen who recognized it (in a Tai Chi class) before we had met and made connection because of it. The second was when I was nineteen or twenty, with Jes Bertelsen’s then-wife (Hanne Bertelsen). She also recognized it before we had interacted and ran up to me in excitement. It also happened with Bonnie Greenwell, Adyashanti, and others Adya has asked to teach. And it has happened with people who don’t have any particular role. In most of these cases, mutual recognition happens before we talk or interact. This tends to happen with people whose system has a lot of awakeness in it, and who are sensitive to it in others. (For whatever reason, I can see it visually in addition to sense it other ways.)

Another response is receptivity and curiosity. This happens with people who tend to be more mature and independent of awakening or sensitivity in their system. This also makes for an enjoyable and often interesting interaction.

The third response is more uncomfortable for my personality. It’s a variation of being met with strong assumptions, a top-down orientation, and perhaps a strong identification with a teacher role. For me, this creates more of a sense of distance and not being seen. I have experienced this several times as well, for instance with Vigdis G. in Oslo and at CSS in Oregon. (The first seemed strongly identified with the teacher role, the second with an idea that new members have no previous experience.)

How do I respond when I meet others? The first one is definitely there. And I hope I generally fall into the second category of meeting people as friends and with receptivity and curiosity. (Sometimes, I suspect that my social anxiety makes me seem quiet and withdrawn. That happens more often if it’s a larger group, or if I experience the third way of being met.)

[Mae into a regular article]

HOW I EXPERIENCE THINGS

I thought I would share a few examples of how I have experienced things after the oneness shift in my teens. From what I hear from others, it seems that these are pretty universal.

The world moves through me. The world moves through this wide open space. (When this human self moves, walks, is in a car etc.)

When I close my eyes, I cannot find my body apart from some mental images and sensations happening in space. That’s the same with eyes open, with the addition of visual images.

What I see is seamless and I notice mental images on top of it to make sense of what’s there. (The visual field is inherently seamless, just like a photo or painting is seamless, which I assume is how it is for anyone whether they notice or not.)

When I close my eyes, it’s easy to notice mental images of the past, future, and present, and when I open my eyes, I also notice this overlay helping me to make sense of the world.

When I see, there is no distance. It’s all happening here. A mental overlay tells me that there is different distance to different things, again to help me orient and function in the world. (There is no distance inherent in the visual field.)

The world seems like a dream. It’s as if I can put my hand through it. To me, it’s happening within and as the consciousness I am, just like a night dream.

This human self is living it’s own life. It’s happening on its own. Thoughts, emotions, choices, actions are happening on their own just like anything else.

This is here whether it’s consciously noticed or not. Sometimes attention is on it, like now since I am putting it into words. Other times, attention is on something else, usually daily life tasks.

After this shift, I did notice these things and wrote much of it down. That was years before I found anyone else talking about it. It took 10-15 years before I found Genpo Roshi and the Big Mind process which allows us to explore and talk about some of this in community. (I was lucky enough to be there when he developed it.) And it took another ten years before I found someone talking about this even more explicitly – Douglas Harding and the Headless Way. It’s been fun for me to explore his experiments to bring these things into the foreground of attention. Exploring the sense fields, especially through modern versions of traditional Buddhist inquiry (Kiloby Inquiries), has also brought more attention to aspects of this, and it helps more parts of me get it more viscerally.

I am immensely grateful for Douglas Harding for putting these things into words so simply, developing and offering the experiments (to bring it into the foreground), and for creating a community of people who share in these explorations. For many years, I felt very alone with this at a human level.

WAITING TO BE SAVED

Hindus have been waiting for Kalki for 3,700 years.
Buddhists have been waiting for Maitreya for 2,600 years.
The Jews have been waiting for the Messiah for 2,500 years.
Christians have been waiting for Jesus for 2,000 years.
The Sunnah has been waiting for Prophet Issa for 1,400 years.
Muslims have been waiting for a Messiah from the line of Muhammad for 1,300 years.
The Shiites have been waiting for the Mahdi for 1,080 years.
Druze have been waiting for Hamza Ibn Ali for 1,000 years.

Most embrace the idea of a “savior” and claim that the world will remain full of wickedness until this savior comes and fills it with goodness and justice.

Maybe our problem on this planet is that people are waiting for someone else to come and solve their problems, rather than doing it themselves.

– Imtiaz Mahmood

Why do we feel a need to be saved? It must be because what’s here is uncomfortable, and perhaps even apparently unbearable. If we envision something as big as divinity saving us, it must be because our discomfort appears equally big. (I am obviously talking very generally here.)

It’s also interesting how our human mind often wants to be saved by something “out there” – somewhere else and/or in the future. It’s understandable, of course. It would be nice. And most of us did experience something similar in infancy so it is perhaps deeply ingrained in us.

There is some truth to it too. We may find something or someone that makes us feel better for a while. We may find some comfort, love, safety, and so on. That’s wonderful.

And yet, it comes with some inherent drawbacks. It won’t last. It’s dependent on circumstances. It doesn’t go quite as deep as we really wish for. And it may not happen in the first place.

So what’s the solution?

I can only speak for myself and as it looks to me now.

As so often, the answer may appear a bit boring and sobering.

The answer is that I am my own savior. I am the one I have been looking for. My mind is projecting this part of myself out there in space or time, while it’s here all along.

Why can it seem like a disappointing answer? It may not seem true to us. Or we may think there is some truth to it, but we don’t know how to do it. Or we try and it doesn’t seem to do much. Or perhaps our mind has invested so much energy into images of saviors out there that anything else seems pale in comparison.

And yet, it is true in my limited experience, and it’s also what others report. (Our experience is always limited, no matter how much we have explored something.)

How do I save myself?

It depends to some extent on the situation.

In some situations, action is required to make a change. In this case, I can (partially) save myself by taking action or asking someone to take action on my behalf.

In some situations, it may be through asking for help.

And parallel with that, it’s in how I meet my own experience.

When I experience distress, I often ask myself: How would a good – wise, kind – parent comfort a child in this situation? What would she or he say? How would he or she meet the child? And then relate to the suffering parts of myself in that way.

These parts of us are here to try to protect me. So I can say: Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me.

I can also say: You are allowed to be here. Stay as long as you want.

I can dialog with these parts of me. How do they see me? What function do they have? How would they like me to treat them? What do they need from me? The Big Mind process is very good for this.

I can do heart-centered practices, including towards myself and these painful parts of me. For instance, ho’o and tonglen.

What I am trying to be saved from is typically stressful thoughts and associated unpleasant sensations, so I can identify and investigate these thoughts (The Work of Byron Katie) and notice and allow the sensations. I can also investigate more thoroughly how thoughts and sensations combine, and how the mind creates identifications out of it, for instance through the Kiloby Inquiries.

I can invite in healing for these parts of me – the wounded, scared, traumatized parts – in whatever ways work for me.

I can notice my nature and rest in and as it. I can notice that these parts of me, the scary thoughts and uncomfortable sensations, have the same nature as me. It’s consciousness, the consciousness I am, forming itself into all of it. What happens if I rest in and as that noticing?

There is usually an immediate shift from these explorations. And my experience is that it also takes time. My system mirrors a culture and family that trained me to look outside myself for solutions. So it takes time to turn the ship. It’s ongoing. But it does seem to get fuller, deeper, and richer over time.

None of these are mutually exclusive. If I find some of what I am looking for in someone or something, I can enjoy that. (Knowing it depends on circumstances and may not last.) And I can also give myself more directly what I need and be my own savior in that way.

[Made into a regular article]

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