Experiences, insights and shifts

Experiences come and go. Joy, sadness, grief, anger, bliss, temporary release of identification, strong identification and contraction, openings, periods of clarity, ease, surfacing shadow material. It all comes and goes.

From this may come insights, and these are a bit more lasting although also transient. I may notice I am what all this happens within and as. I may notice the circle eight pattern of going “up” (clarity, bliss) and “down” (shadow material, wounds). I may notice the effects of identifications and beliefs.

And from this may come a shift – in perspective, noticing, identity, or identification. For instance, there may be a shift into more consistently exploring and noticing that I am what experiences happens within and as. There may be a shift into more consistently meeting what’s here in satsang.

An experience or series of experiences leads to an insight or noticing, and this in turn may lead to a shift in perspective, noticing, identity, or identification.

I see how this is also the case with “spiritual” experiences or openings.

There may be an experience of oneness, all as one. It comes into the foreground of experience, clear, undeniable. As this experience goes away, as any experience does, there may be an insight that all is one even if it’s not experienced directly. Further, there is an invitation to notice this oneness within any experience. Is it true oneness is not here?

There may be an experience of all as awareness, or all as love. Again, it’s strong, in the foreground, undeniable. As it goes away, what’s left may be an insight that all is awareness or all is love, whether it’s noticed or not. And there is an invitation to notice this too within any experience. Is it true this is not awareness? Is it true love is not here? Is it true this is not love?

There may be an experience of selflessness, of no self, and this too may be strong, clear and undeniable. And this experience too shifts and something else is here, leaving an insight of selflessness even if there appears to be a self here. And again, there is also an invitation to see what’s really here independent of any particulars of experience. Is it true there is a self here? Is it true that this, that appears as a self, really is a self?

In this way, the different facets of reality can be an experience (a visitor that comes and goes), which translates to an insight, and with an invitation for it to be noticed within any experience. The first is given, the second may or may not follow from the first, and the third may require some intention, shifts and new habitual grooves.

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What’s insight?

What’s insight?

I find it’s often wordless, and then reflected in images and sometimes thoughts and words.

It’s seeing and recognizing something that’s more true for me than what I initially thought.

It’s an invitation to reorient, to allow the insight to sink in an reorient view, feelings and how I am in the world.

It’s a guest. After the reorientation, it may serve as a question and invitation to look at what’s here, and what I find is fresh and different.

The value of the memory or idea of an insight is as a question and invitation for inquiry. What do I find when I explore this here now in immediacy?

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Something I keep noticing….

When I feel a need to defend against a story, it is because it doesn’t fit with stories – and their corresponding viewpoints and identities – that I take as true. It creates a sense of having to protect and defend certain viewpoints and identities. A sense of separation. Tension. Stress. Reactive emotions. Precariousness. Making some stories true and other false. Making others wrong and myself right. 

When I instead find the truth in the story and allow it to sink in, there is a shift. I find specific examples of how it is true. I take time to feel it. I find appreciation for it. And there is a shift into a sense of fullness. Coming home. Receptivity. Curiosity. Connection. Deep relaxation. No need to defend stories. A sense of shared humanity, of all of us in the same boat. 

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Thoughts as an interface

As with just about everything here, this too is just life 101. But there is still a draw to write it down to clarify it a little for myself, and also so I can move on and don’t feel I have to remember it.

Thoughts function as an interface, and so also in a spiritual or practice context.

They serve as a pointer for attention, such as bringing attention to the breath, the different sense fields, what comes up when I ask a question of myself (The Work), and so on.

They serve as an invitation for a shift, for instance into allowing experience and into one of the voices in the Big Mind process.

And they serve as a guide for exploration, when I explore sense fields, they dynamics around a belief, or what happens when an experience is resisted or allowed.

In these ways, thoughts serve as a pointer beyond themselves. They initiate something that goes far beyond thoughts, the cognitive or any mental field activity.

Thoughts also serve as an interface in the other direction. The mental field filters, interprets and put words (or images) on what happens outside of the mental field.

So while The Work, the Big Mind process or headless experiments from the outside may appear to happen mainly within the mental field, as soon as we actually try either of them, we find that their effects go far beyond the mental field, and also that the mental field reports what occurs far beyond itself.

One obvious example is how The Work sometimes brings energetic shifts, and also an experience of not recognizing oneself afterwards. It is as if the whole human self has shifted and is different, in a very direct and immediate way. Another example is how what we are notices itself in a direct way through shifting into Big Mind and headlessness. And how we can shift into Big Heart, and hold our human self and any other beings within Big Heart, through the Big Mind process and other practices and explorations.

Trigger: A few instances where someone describes The Work as mainly a cognitive process. I tend to be surprised by this since the main shifts in The Work happens outside of the mental field, but I can also understand how it may appear mainly cognitive when seen from from the outside.

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What is not OK about this?

The question what is not OK about this can be used to find underlying beliefs for inquiry.

Another way to use that question is in daily life, whenever I notice even the slightest tendency to resist experience. I can ask myself what is not OK about this? What is not OK about what I am experiencing now? Or, if I see that there is something specific that is resisted, I can ask myself what is not OK about …?

In most cases, I find no reason and this invites in a shift of allowing experience as it is. Including resistance or whatever else may be there.

And if a reason comes up, I can ask the same question – what is not OK about …? And I can also investigate it more thoroughly through inquiry.

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