Set aside looking for God and explore your own experience instead

There are many paths to God, and the two main ones may be devotion (prayer, surrender) and inquiry (investigation). Each one may be important at different times in our process. Both are equally valid and important. Each one offers something unique. And each one can be medicine for the other.

The statement above reflects the inquiry approach, and how the inquiry approach can be medicine for some of the potential pitfalls of an exclusively devotional approach.


If we are exclusively on a devotional path, we may look for God as something far away and out there, unfamiliar and extraordinary. We may get caught up in ideas about God, reality, and ourselves, and perceive and live as if they are true. And we may miss out on recognizing how our mind creates its own experiences.


One medicine for this is inquiry. Through inquiry into our own experience, we may clear up a few misconceptions. We may explore what we more fundamentally are in our own direct experience, and find something we can call Spirit and qualities we associate with the divine.


We may find ourselves as what the world, to us, happens within and as. We may find ourselves as oneness and the oneness the world, to us, happens within and as. We may find ourselves as without any inherent characteristics allowing for the experience of any and all characteristics and experiences. And so on.

We may realize that our nature is already what we can call Spirit, and it has always been what’s the most close and familiar to us, and for that reason also the most ordinary. We may find that all we have ever known is our own nature since the world to us happens within and as what we are.


Clearing up this, we may still enjoy a devotional approach. The two are not exclusive.

As they say in Buddhism, devotion and inquiry are like two wings of a bird.


We can also find this in the reverse. An exclusive inquiry approach can be one-sided and a devotional approach can be the cure.

And there are some general orientations that guide and support both devotion and inquiry: Receptivity, curiosity, sincerity, diligence, authenticity, and so on.

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Giving it all to the divine

Visualize you are giving everything – your body and mind, your life, the world – to the divine. Feel you are giving it all to the divine.

This is one of the very simple practices that can also be quite transformative.

It’s a practice that opens to surrender. And it’s a reminder that all already belongs to the divine.

In reality, there is nothing to give to the divine because it already belongs to and is the divine. But we don’t know that, or parts of us still in separation consciousness don’t know it, so it can be very helpful to do this practice. It helps us reorient to reality in yet another way.

It helps more of us to open to the divine, and reorient with reality.

An additional benefit: noticing what in me is not aligned with giving it all over to the divine

One of the benefits of most spiritual practices is that we get to see more clearly the parts of us not quite aligned with it. When I do this practice, is there something in me that’s uncomfortable with it? That wants to hold onto the illusion of separateness and control?

If so, that’s completely natural and understandable.

I can notice this part of me. The fear behind it. The wish for control in order to protect me and deal with the fear.

I can say: Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me. I love you.

I can relate to this part of me with some understanding, kindness, and even love. It comes from love, and seeing that makes it easier for me to find love for it. All of this helps it relax and feel safer.

I can also explore this scared protective part through dialog or inquiry, I can reorient to it through tonglen or ho’oponopno, and I can help heal what’s behind it through a variety of approaches – in my case and these days mostly Vortex Healing.

How can I support surrender?

Surrendering isn’t always my strong suit. There has been and still is a bit too much fear in my system for a peaceful surrender to what is when that fear has just been triggered.

Choosing to surrender and then make it happen doesn’t seem possible. But it may be possible to invite in surrender in different ways. For instance, we can mimic surrender and create a new habit for ourselves, and we can explore what blocks surrender in us.

First, what is surrender?

I am probably not the best one to write about it, but I’ll give it a go:

Surrender is when “my will” is God’s will. When I am open to what’s here. When I recognize it’s too late to do anything about it, and struggling with it only creates suffering and distracts from more clear, kind, and proactive ways of dealing with the situation.

What’s God’s will? It’s what’s here. We can call it life.

Why are we not already surrendered?

Because of a sense of separation, and identifying as an object in the world.

In reality, to ourselves, we are what our experiences happen within and as – all our senses and thoughts, including what we label as this human self and the wider world.

If this is clearly seen, and it has gone through our whole human being, there is nothing to struggle against since it’s all what we are. We may not like what’s happening, at a human level, but we also know what’s going on and that struggling is ultimately nonsensical and futile.

This is part of the play of life, or existence, or the universe, or the divine. It’s life etc. exploring itself as also this. It’s the infinite taking itself to be finite. Oneness taking itself to be separate.

How can I support surrender?

Through discovering and becoming more familiar with what I am. The more I get familiar with what I am and explore how to live from it, the more surrender tends to come in. They are two sides of the same coin. Headless experiments and the Big Mind process are approaches that can give us a taste of this relatively quickly.

Through healing as a human being. Unhealed parts of me are by definition caught up in separation consciousness and unexamined and unloved fear. As these heal, it feels more safe to surrender.

Through dialog with surrender, I can get to know (how I imagine) surrender. I can dialog with surrender, hear how it sees this human self, and ask for advice. The Big Mind process is one way to do this.

Through inquiry, I can identify and explore what in me resists surrender. There will be a lot of identities and beliefs here. And at the bottom, unexamined and unloved fear.

Through devotional practices, I open myself up to what’s larger than this separate self. I open myself up to all of existence, to the divine.

Through prayer, I can align myself with surrender. I can sow the seeds of surrender, for instance with the prayer “let Your will be done”.

Through gratitude, I open to the obvious or potential blessing in whatever is here in my life. This can be supported by a conventional gratitude practice or an all-inclusive one. An all-inclusive practice helps open the mind for the unknown and the potential gifts in what’s happening that I don’t like.

Through a more open heart, invited by different heart-centered practices, including tonglen, ho’oponopono, metta, prayer, devotional practices, and so on.

Through giving it all to the divine. Visualize you are giving everything – your body and mind, your life, the world – to the divine. Feel you are giving it all to the divine. (This is a form of surrender and a reminder that it all already belongs to the divine.)

Through asking for surrender. Ask the divine for surrender, for being surrendered.

Through being honest with ourselves. As Adya says, real honesty feels like a confession. It’s humbling. It opens to surrender.

Through service. To the extent this is done sincerely, we will have to gradually surrender more.

Through following ethical guidelines. We are surrendering to how we (likely, roughly) would act if we were more clear.

Dialog with surrender

Can I speak to surrender?

Yes. I am here.

Who or what are you?

I am something some humans aspire to, and they can open to me and bring me more into their life. Everybody has me in them since surrender is their nature. But I am usually covered up by fear, identifications, beliefs, and so on.

How does P. relate to you?

He knows I am good for him, and he wants to bring me into his life, but he is struggling. A big part of it is some deep fear and trauma in his system, including survival fear. It makes it difficult for him to trust. He feels he needs to be in charge to stay safe, and he sometimes feels he needs to struggle to stay safe.

What advice do you have for him?

See if you can find a way to relax and be less hard on yourself. You are doing well. You have gone through a lot over the last few years. Also, see if you can find more trust in life. Bring attention to all the things you have and what is going well. Surrender is a process.

Thank you. Can I speak with Big Mind?


What is surrender to you?

I am surrender. There is nothing outside of me. The more I recognize myself, and do so locally as you, the less struggle seems useful and the more surrender happens naturally.


There are many sides to surrender, as hinted at above. Some practices mimic surrender and helps us find it in ourselves. Other practices helps identify and remove blocks to surrender.

Some, like prayer, are a more second-person form of surrender. While others, like Headless experiments, are more of a first-person form of surrender.

They all support each other and the process.

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Defeated by life vs actual surrender

There is a difference between being defeated by life or a particular situation, and being surrendered to it. And we can also think we are surrendered when there is more left.

Say I have an ongoing health issue (as I do).

I can be defeated by it. Feel hopeless. Sad. Hopelessly angry. Give up. At the surface, this can look like surrender but it’s really just being defeated by the situation. I still see it as terrible, I still fight it in my mind, but I have given up doing something about it.

I may think I have surrendered. I may also think I have surrendered because I hope for it and it looks like it has happened, while the surrender is temporary or one of several layers. I can also fake surrender. I can pretend I have surrendered. I may have all the right words. I may see the benefit of surrender. I may wish for surrender. But I am still secretly fighting life. I still secretly see my situation as terrible.

And there can be a more real surrender. My resistance to the situation has worn off over time, perhaps through a lot of struggle. And sometimes it’s supported by inquiry, whether the natural inquiry we all engage in through living our lives, pondering our situation, and talking with others about it or a more structured inquiry. I may have seen through my stressful beliefs about the situation and find what’s genuinely more true for me. I may have identified and seen through my cherished identities that don’t fit my health situation, and again found what’s more genuinely true for me. I may have found the genuine gifts in the situation for me and genuine gratitude. I may have found that what I really value in life, myself, my relationships, and my role in life, genuinely isn’t what this illness impacts. I may have come to a place where I openly allow my grief, anger, sadness, gratitude, joy, and anything else that sometimes come up in me around it.

Often, there is a mix. Some parts of us struggle with it, and we struggle with these parts of ourselves, so we don’t fully allow them. We may think we have surrendered (perhaps in a particular way or area of life) and there is still something left which surfaces later and in another situation. And sometimes, in some areas of us and our life, there is a more genuine surrender through clarity, allowing, and an open heart.

How can we invite in a more genuine surrender? Mainly, it comes in its own time. We cannot decide for it to happen or will it to happen. If it happens, it’s often because our resistance wears out through (futile) struggle. What we can do is prepare the ground. For instance through basic meditation (noticing, allowing), heart-centered practices (prayer, ho’oponopno, tonglen, metta), inquiry (The Work, Living Inquiries, Big Mind process, headless experiments), therapy with a wise, skilled, and heart-centered therapist, and most of all receptivity, sincerity, and authenticity.

I notice I rarely write about surrender although it is an important topic. It’s not something we can choose or will to happen – it comes through grace. There is a difference between surrender as a temporary state and a more genuine and complete surrender, and it’s not always so easy to tell the difference (unless we wait to see). And there are always more layers. Surrender is a not something we achieve, it’s at most something we can invite in. And it’s an ongoing process.

There is also a bigger picture here. A lack of surrender is life resisting itself. It’s life locally and temporarily taking itself to be separate from everything else and engaging in an ongoing struggle with itself. Surrender then is life recognizing itself as all of it and giving up the (identification) with the struggle. The struggle may still happen because that’s conditioning. But life recognizes itself as all of it – this human self, the wider world, the situation, the struggle – and identification goes out of it. All of it is recognized as the play of and within life and not something that happens to an actual separate self.

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Adyashanti: At a certain point we need to grow up; we need to look inside ourselves for our inner guidance

At a certain point we need to grow up; we need to look inside ourselves for our inner guidance. There are things most human beings know; they just don’t want to know them. They know deep down that certain things in their lives are working or aren’t working, that certain parts of their lives are functional and others are dysfunctional. But sometimes, as human beings, we don’t want to know what’s not convenient. So we pretend not to know.

What is most important is to come out of pretending. There is a time and a place for everything. There’s a time to make effort and to be disciplined. There is a time to let go and realize you cannot do it alone, that it is up to grace, that effort and struggling and striving play no part.

But understand one thing: the trajectory of our spiritual lives—no matter what our path, whether it’s a progressive path or a direct path, whether it is a devotional path or otherwise—the trajectory of our spiritual lives and of all spiritual awakening is toward surrender. Ultimately, that’s the name of the spiritual game. Everything we do spiritually is leading us to a spontaneous state of surrender—to letting go. That is where it all leads, no matter what the path is, no matter what the practice is. Once you know that, you notice that each step along the way is the next opportunity to surrender. It may take effort to get there; it may take effort to get you to the point where you are willing to let go into grace, but ultimately the whole of spirituality boils down to letting go of the illusion of the separate self, letting go of the way we think the world is and the way we think it should be.

We need the willingness to lose our world. That willingness is the surrender; that willingness is the letting go. And each of us has to find what that letting go means for us, what we need to let go of. Whether it’s easy or difficult doesn’t matter in the slightest. It is the letting go that is ultimately important.

– Adyashanti, The End of Your World

Love = surrender = action

I listened to an interview about awakening and illness, and was reminded of love, surrender and action and how they are related.

When I find love for what’s here – illness, symptoms, brain fog, fatigue, the words, images and sensations making these up – there is a sense of surrender. It’s a surrender of holding onto identification with all my stories about these things. A surrender of the struggle. A surrender of the appearance of victim, duality,  suffering, illness and whatever else is here.

And this, in turn, allows for natural action. A more kind and wise action.

This is also a very practical way of exploring “unconditional love”. I tend to not use that word since it seems a bit grandiose and have some unfortunate associations for many. But that’s really what this is about. As I find love for what’s here – for the pain, discomfort, enthusiasm and the words, images and sensations that makes up any part of my experience – then I am exploring unconditional love. And this is a love for any part of my experience, whether a thought (or image) calls it “inner” and belonging to “me” or “outer” and belonging to “others” or “the world”.

So a very practical approach – finding love for what’s here in immediate experience – is an exploration of unconditional love. It’s a form of surrender (of identifications). And it allows for a more natural, kind and perhaps wise action.

The interview mentioned above was with Karen Richards, done by Conscious 2.


The simplest surrender may be a surrender to what’s here.

This can happen through……

A guided meditation, similar to what Adyashanti often does.

Noticing what’s here is already allowed. Notice the “surrender” is already here.

Asking for support in surrendering to what’s here. Asking for guidance. (Asking life and Spirit. Asking people who may offer helpful pointers.)

Inquire into our assumptions about what’s here, including words, images and sensations. What do I find when I inquire into stressful assumptions?

Inquire into fears about what may happen if we surrender to what’s here, including apparently unpleasant sensations.

Feeling sensations as sensations, with the support of inquiry into associated words and images.

When I wrote “notice the surrender is already here” I meant that what’s here, including apparent resistance, struggle and escape, is already allowed. It’s already allowed by life. The surrender is already here. And most of the time, for most of us, it’s not noticed.

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Adyashanti: Surrender

There is a very strange thing that can occur at exactly the point where you realize that there is no escaping the imaginary world of your illusions. You bare your heart open to illusion, surrender your eternal struggle against it, and admit to being bound by its cunning imagination. I don’t mean that you become despondent or resigned to your fate. I mean that you truly let go in the face of your utter defeat and stop struggling.

And when all the struggle ceases, we realize that the prison of our mind cannot hold us in anymore, because the prison was all along something we imagined into existence. And imagined things aren’t real, they don’t exist.But we could never really see this as long as we were fighting the phantoms of our minds. We needed the one thing that our imaginary minds could not bring about, could not fake or create: the genuine surrender of all struggle.

In the blink of an eye, we are no longer confined within illusion nor our attempt to avoid illusion. When all struggle ceases, there is nothing to bind us to a distorted perception of existence and we can finally see. What we see is that we do not simply exist within existence, but all of existence exists within us as well. And although everywhere we look we see the endless diversity of life, we also now see our own true face in everything under the sun.

– Adyashanti, from Everything Under the Sun

Barry: If you truly give your life to God, you no longer are at the controls

The bottom of things is always the hardest.  The insanity of the separate ego mind is incessant before it dissolves away. At this part in my journey all that was left was to throw myself, mind, body, soul and spirit into God’s/Christ’s hands.  I gave ever breath, each heart beat up.  I disavowed any doing on my own and to wait even unto death until I was prompted what to do next.  That kind of radical surrender is almost always the only way through.

There is no future for any of us…What we conceive of as our future is only mental images projected into the screen of the infinite Now.  If you closely observe, it is only when the mind is doing that that there is suffering.  Their may be pain, discomfort in the present, but there can be no suffering, which only occurs when we are not fully here, with our experience.

I would continually give my life to the Divine and be fully present to your experience not trying to do anything but experience it with an open, available mind as we did in our session work.  If you truly give your life to God, you no longer are at the controls.  Easier said than done, but the truth path of the Christ. Love, B

– Barry, in an email to me

Cathy Woods: Enlightenment and surrender

Enlightenment is commonly believed to be a state of “all-knowing,” whereas surrender is relinquishing oneself into the unknown. One senior student describes surrender as “devastation, annihilation, utterly and totally disappearing.” Once cannot surrender oneself, but can only be surrendered by a greater force.

– Cathy Woods in Surrender and Service

And I can look for each of these – enlightenment, surrender, the unknown, devastation, annihilation, disappearing, oneself, a greater force.

Can I find each of these, on at a time, in words? In images? In sensations?

Can I find a real, not imagined, threat (or promise) for each of these in words, images, sensations?

Can I find a me that fears (or wishes for or has) each of these in words, images, sensations?

Is the word surrender a real and not imagined surrender? Is the image of surrender the real surrender? Is the sensations associated with it the real surrender? Can I find surrender in any of these? Is there a threat in the word surrender, the images associated with surrender, the sensations? Can I find a me that can or should surrender in these words, images, sensations?

Quote: Unless you’ve surrendered to the Will of God

You can come up with a very clear and concise articulation of nonduality, and you can speak of it over and over again, and you can attempt to align your activity to that articulation. But in fact, organically, unless you’ve surrendered to the Will of God, which is movement but in the domain of nonduality, any state of nonduality is not mature.

– Lee Lozowick or Matthew Files

Surrendering to the will of God as what is, as it is, here and now. The sensations, images, thoughts, identifications, experiences that are here and now. And questioning any fears and beliefs that prevents this surrender.

Also, surrendering to the inner guidance, to the heart. And here too identify and inquire into fears and beliefs preventing following this guidance.

And surrendering to what is, as it is, including any apparent difficulties surrendering and following the inner guidance.

Recognizing that what’s here is love makes it easier.

Swami Vivekananda: I have attained my present state of mind

I have attained my present state of mind as a result of much suffering and pain. I now realize that without trials and tribulations one cannot resign oneself to God and depend on Him absolutely.

– Swami Vivekananda

This resonates with me right now. I have some very basic wounds surfacing – around the victim identity and heart ache – and I find that it does lead me to resign myself to God. No “technique” seems to do it, apart from a more clear noticing of what’s here and giving it all over to God. And “God” here could also be called unidentified mind, love, presence etc.

I also see that the “trails and tribulations” and resigning to God (a) is an idea. (b) The turnarounds have validity too. For instance, without ease I cannot resign myself to God. And (c) he describes his own path as it appears to him, there is nothing necessarily universal about it. Also, I see that the “state” I wish for is a state of noticing and of finding love for what’s here.

Reality demanding more than we can give

At several points on the spiritual path, we may experience that reality asks more of us than we can give.

And this recognition may be especially acute after a good deal of practice, after the bulk of the work seems done, and after our attention is a little more fine-tuned.

The demands of precepts may seem unreachable. I can get there mostly, but I am always a little off, and there is a whole string of instances where I am clearly off the mark and it seems impossible for it not to be so.

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Clarity and surrender

There is a beautiful relationship between clarity and surrender.

As soon as there is clarity about a story we take as true and its supporting stories, it is no longer attached to as true.

We see that it is a story only. There is a grain of truth to it. There is a grain of truth to each of its reversals. There is suffering when it is taken as true. There is clarity and more room for wisdom and intelligence to function when it is not taken as true.

As Adyashanti says, if we thought 2+2=3, and now see that it is 4, the initial story is surrendered on its own.

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Seraphim Falls

I watched Seraphim Falls yesterday. It is a simple and elegant movie, and although it may not seem all that profound or sophisticated on the surface, it does illustrate something most movies don’t touch upon.

The grace of exhaustion.

Or more precisely: What happens when we have the receptivity to allow the shift that exhaustion invites in us.

When we persist in our folly, have nothing left to lose, and get exhausted enough, there is an invitation for a shift. And in this movie, the two main characters show the receptivity to allow that shift.

I persist in holding onto a belief. If there is enough friction from life, I get exhausted. And in that exhaustion is the invitation for a shift. An invitation to shift out of that particular belief, to see it as just a story. If I am receptive enough, I allow that shift. If not, I will get even more exhausted and there will be other opportunities.

The friction, the exhaustion, the invitation and the receptivity is all grace. As is the initial belief.


I have been enjoying the simple prayer of Let Your will be done lately, throughout the day.

(I say it in my native language since that seems closer to my heart. And sometimes, the prayer is a little longer: Kjære Gud, la din vilje skje i Jesu Kristi navn, Amen.)

What is surrender? In this case, it seems to be a surrender of identification with stories.

A surrender of being caught up in stories, and having it appear that there is an “I” here at odds with the rest of the world.

As with so many other practices, that simple prayer – to the extent it is sincere and heartfelt – invites in a sweet surrender to what is. Receptivity. A more fluid view. A more open heart. A nurturing fullness. A sense of being home here now. A shift into allowing experience as it is, including any resistance to it. Noticing all as happening within and as the timeless present.

It is a surrender to noticing what is. To see that all is already God’s will, including whatever is happening to – and within – this human self.

It can be very simple. Sweet. No matter what is going on in this human life. (Such as headaches, congested airways and a construction project at the house gone awry!)

And within this surrender, my human self can function from a little more clarity.

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Personal and God’s will

There is of course thoughts, choices and actions, and when a story of a separate I is placed on it, there is also the appearance of a doer.

What was just thoughts, choices and actions, happening on their own, now has become the appearance of a separate self, and someone thinking, choosing and doing. There is now the appearance of an individual, or personal, will. And this personal will appears to sometimes be at odds with life itself.

Thoughts are innocent questions about the word, but when believed in, and belief in a doer is placed on top of them, they appear to quite often be at odds with what is, with how life manifests. It even looks as if personal will is at odds with God’s will.

Of course, that too is just happening. That too is life manifesting. That too is doing without any inherent doer. That too, is God’s will.

The only way to surrender personal will, is to see that it is not there in the first place. To see, clearly, that any sense of a doer comes from a belief in stories… independent of their content. (Any belief creates a sense of a split, of an I here and Other there, which in turn creates the appearance of a doer.)

Trying to surrender personal will, while there is a sense of a separate self, only adds to the drama. It reinforces the original misidentification. But at the same time, although it comes from misidentification, it may also bring everything a little closer to how it is. If done skilfully, it may nudge the system a little closer to recognizing that there was no doer there in the first place. I surrender my personal will to God’s will, to what is, and then gradually come to see that that’s how it is anyway. It is all God’s will. That is all there is. And this (possibly) sets the stage for a more full shift to happen, where any sense of an I with an Other falls away.

The bhakti approach is to surrender personal will, gradually seeing that it wasn’t there in the first place. And the jnana approach is to inquire into the whole sense of a doer, also gradually seeing that it wasn’t there in the first place.

Meanwhile, it is good to follow any conventional guidelines on this… To align (what appears as) my will with what is good for the larger whole, as much as possible. Exploring and trying out goals and strategies that appear life-supporting and effective at all levels, for myself, those close to me, my community, the larger social and ecological systems, and future generations. (There are lots of them, from eating local and organic food, living close to work, buying used clothes, using bike and public transportation, vacationing locally, to working with beliefs and shadows so we are a little more easy to be around and we see ourselves in others.)

And if my will is at odds with what is, then reconsider goals or strategies, and also find more peace with what is (which happens through both the bhakti and jnana approach).

Of course, any of that too, in whatever form it takes, is also God’s will.

Shift from half-hearted to whole-hearted being with

I woke up in the middle of the night with a sense of panic around a particular issue. At first, there is a half-hearted being with it, and it is very uncomfortable. Then, a conscious shift into more fully being with it, and a sudden peace.

It was a clear reminder that being with an experience is incompatible with being caught up in the content of an experience. As long as there is an identification with beliefs (ideas, stories, identities), as long as we hold onto them as true, there is resistance, and it is impossible to fully be with an experience. This means that there is still struggle, drama and discomfort there.

To fully be with an experience, to allow it all, there has to be a surrender of identification with the content of the experience, a surrender of beliefs, of holding onto identities as absolutely true. There has to be a surrender of identifying with one realm of the content pitted against other realms, and – maybe most importantly – of wanting anything in the realm of content to be different.

A half-hearted being with resolves nothing, and there is as much discomfort there as before. Only a whole-hearted being with allows for a surrender and release of identifications with the content of experience, and for resting in and as peace – noticing, and finding ourselves as, the ground that already allows it all.

Noticing all as (already) God’s will

Again, I see how I just need to notice that everything is always and already God’s will… Anything arising as this human self – the body, emotions, thoughts, choices, behavior, and anything arising as the wider world – other people, their behaviors, the landscape, the cityscape, what’s in the news… It is all God’s will, every bit of it. There was never any individual or personal will here, only the appearance of it, only a belief in an idea that made it appear so.

God’s will = everything as having infinite causes = any manifested as local expressions of the movements of the totality

Surrendering wants, shoulds, identities, beliefs

Surrender is an ongoing process… partly surrendering similar things over and over, and also surrendering new layers of resistance, wants, shoulds, identities and beliefs. And this blog is part of the process… surrendering any wants, shoulds and identities around it, of not wanting to say the obvious, not wanting to repeat myself over and over, not wanting to write in such a terse and fragmented style, wanting to bring in more juiciness and fullness into it, wanting to make it more real and embodied, wanting to be more genuine and authentic, wanting it to look a certain way, present a certain image… All of that, also surrendered. Allowing whatever comes up to come up, to have its life, including all of this, and everything that does not fit all of these compartments.

Surrendering resistance, even to resistance

I read parts of Letting Go of the Person You Used to Be by Lama Surya Das a couple of days ago, and although the content is very good, something also bugged me. I got a sense of a hardness in the writing, of boundaries, which may or may not be there. (In any case, it says something about me now, that there is a sense of hardness and boundaries right here that I am invited to take a look at.)

Gradually, it dawned on me that the sense of hardness that bugged me (in myself, and possibly in the writing) seems to be a resistance to resistance itself, to suffering, to boundaries. And this is still a resistance, a splitting of the field into I and Other, a creation of boundaries in the boundless space, a not allowing of what is to be. Resisting resistance is resistance as much as resistng anything else.

Some of the ways resisting resistance shows up is in an identity as a good practitioner, as someone who wants to learn from suffering, as someone who wants to grow and mature and even evolve spiritually, as someone who wants to be a good student or teacher. All of this has the stench of Zen as they say in those circles. It makes one’s practice just another way to redefine, create and prop up identities, creating a boundary, an I and Other, a hardness towards Other, a limitation of what is allowed to surface in experience, of who or what I am, and as a human being, an artificial limitation on how I can live and what I allow to surface in this life.

So whether this really is in the writings of LSD, I can easily find it right here. And it is something I want to take a look at.

Whenever resistance comes up, this sense of hardness, of pushing something away, of I and Other, can I allow it? Just be with it? Drop resistance to it? Befriend it? Allow it as it is?

Aspects of resolution

For all of us, at least until awakening to realized selflessness, there are times when old patterns come up, there is a definite identification with them, and there is a deep wish for some sort of resolution.

This happened for me yesterday, and by the end of the day I found myself in a coffee shop writing down what I know, from experience, about resolution, and how to relate to these recurrent patterns. Looking over the list, I found two broad categories which (it so happens…!) correspond to the two broad categories of Buddhist meditation practice: samata and vipassana, or calm abiding and insight, or natural meditation and inquiry.

Dropping resistance (Samata)

This is about dropping resistance to experience, including resistance itself. To allow the field of seeing and seen, the whole tapestry, to arise and rest in itself as it is here and now.

This allows the field to recognize itself as a field, and the sense of I and Other within the field becomes more transparent, fades, and may even fall away in a more complete way.

There is a release from being blindly caught up in ideas and interpretations, of the whole story we weave around I as a separate entity, and so a release from much of the suffering created by this.

This field may even recognize itself as awake emptiness and form, and everything arising as awake emptiness and form, which takes even more of the charge out of whatever arises. It becomes less substantial, more of a dream, passing images.

This is the transcending of any issues in our human life, by seeing them as expressions of the field, which is inherently absent of I and Other, and as no other than awake emptiness and form.

It is the ultimate yang approach to dealing with irresolvable problems: transcend, and include. Transcend, find yourself as Big Mind instead of just this human self, realize that there is no separate I anywhere in all of it. And then include all form as Big Mind, include your human life, life your human life within this new context, now with a sense of ease and released from identification.

In a way, it is an escape, but it is an escape from a temporary misidentification to an immediate recognition of what we always and already are: the field of seeing and seen, of awake emptiness and form. This field of everything arising, which is inherently absent of an I anywhere, absent of I and Other, and where the only I is as the field as a whole, as an I without an Other.

Learning from (Vipassana)

Then there are the many ways of learning from problems…

I can find the gifts in the situation. What are the gifts of loss, failure, pain, disease? I can find a deeper empathy with others, a deepening compassion for all beings, seeing that we are all in the same boat. I can become more familiar with surrender. I can become more familiar with impermanence. I can discover my own beliefs and identities, and explore ways to surrender these beliefs and identities. I can find a deeper motivation for self-inquiry in its many forms, including those that lead to realized selflessness.

I can open my heart to what arises, including to myself and others who suffer from a similar situation, or any suffering at all. We are all in the same boat here. As long as there is a misidentification, we suffer. And through my own suffering, to seeing and feeling into it, I can open my heart and deepen my compassion, understanding and empathy for others. The more intense my own suffering, the more it can break open my heart, if I only allow it (or can’t resist it anymore.)

I can use it to find myself in the other. To see and feel, becoming more deeply and intimately familiar with in myself what I see in the other (if another person is involved.) And through this, to awaken love for it (hold it in love), in myself and the other.

I can allow the symptoms and experiences to unfold, following the trail of crumbs, allowing it to unfold and harvesting the nutrients in it through for instance Process Work, some variation of active imagination, or similar approaches.

I can learn about impermanence, become more familiar and intimate with it, and with the (freeing) consequences of seeing and feeling into impermanence.

Everything in the world of form is in flux, always fresh, new and different. Seasons, this , youth and health, success and failure, fame and infamy, art, science, nations, cultures, civilizations, the Earth itself, this solar system, this galaxy, the universe itself, it is all in flux, it all comes and goes, it is all impermanent.

Seeing and feeling that all is impermanent places my own life in a different and wider context. It means that we are all in the same boat, it is the great equalizer.

Impermanence also means that any fixed beliefs, any fixed and limited identities, any holding on to anything, brings suffering. And if everything in the world of form, including this human self, is flux, then who or what am I? I seem to not come and go in that way. What is it that does not come and go?

Impermanence allows me to explore surrender in all its many forms. Surrender of beliefs, identities, wants and wishes, who I take myself to be, anything I (think I) know.

The gifts of impermanence then includes seeing that we are all in the same boat, loosening my grip on beliefs and identities, and nudging me towards awakening – finding myself as that which does not come and go, and that which comes and goes.

I can use it to explore the many aspects of emptiness. As mentioned above, I can explore the transitory nature of anything finite in space and time. Is anything fixed?

I can try to find the boundary between seeing and seen. Where is this boundary? Is the content of awareness anything other than awareness itself? Is form anything other than awake emptiness? (See below.)

Who or what is experiencing? Is there a separate I here? (See below.)

I can use it as material for self-inquiry. First and simplest, and related to the dropping of resistance: Can I be with what I am experiencing right now? And then…

What do I need to let go of to find peace with this? Which beliefs and identities do I need to let go of to find peace with this situation? Who or what do I need to be to find peace with it? What do I need to let go of to find peace with it, even if it would never change?

What are my beliefs around this situations? Are they true? What are their consequences? Who or what would I be without them? What are the grains of truth in their reversals? (The Work.)

Who or what is experiencing? To whom or what is this happening? Am I the always changing content of experience? These sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, thoughts? What is not changing? Am I what is not changing, this awareness, the seeing of it? If so, where is the boundary of I as seeing and Other as seen?

Belly center, fear, nurturing, and surrender

Searching Google for “belly center” I found several references to the Jelly Belly Center (on Jelly Belly Lane of course), some to this blog, and also this at

Body Centers and functioning

Yes, usually the belly center has to do with embodiment, with the capacity to sense oneself. However, the belly center is also the will center. In a sense, the ultimate function of the will is to surrender to what happens, surrender to the now. And to surrender to the now means not to hold onto something. The true function of the will is complete surrender to what is happening without holding on. That is will. The essential self, like all essential aspects, can function in any of the subtle centers. When one is being the essential self, its location is usually the heart center. However, when the essential self is functioning in relation to identifying or disidentifying from any content of experience, it becomes associated with the belly center. The essential self is more like a potential for experience, and it also manifests as the capacity for identification. One of the results of the capacity for identification is embodiment. Embodying something means you are identified with what is happening. An essential state is present. You are embodying it if you are it. The true self has the capacity to identify with something you are experiencing, but it doesn’t have to. It has a choice; it has the freedom. When you are the true self, you can become completely what is there — one hundred percent. If truth is present, you are truth — “I am truth”. But the moment something else arises, you become that. There is no holding on. (Diamond Heart Book 3, pg 79)

It is interesting to note how the belly center seems to have to do with basic fear, basic sense of fullness and nurturing, and also surrender as Almaas points out here. Surrender has come up for me a lot since the early belly awakening some weeks ago, but I didn’t make a connection with the belly awakening until I read this.

From a sense of separation, there is a basic fear, possibly also manifesting as an energetic hole in the hara region. And this fear and basic mistrust makes any form of surrender difficult.

When the belly center awakens, there is a deep sense of fullness and nurturing, of being held, of every cell in the body and also the emotions relaxing, reorganizing to a felt sense of all as Spirit. Realigning to the felt sense of a nondual realization. It allows for a basic trust at the bodily and emotional levels, no matter what else is happening. And this basic trust allows for a deeper and easier surrender to what is.

Cycles and surrender

I notice the usual cycles happening, of what I can see as ups and downs, light and dark, and of weaving it all together, journeying through it to discover the larger whole they all are parts of.

For a day or several days, there is luminosity, clarity, awakening related dreams, a clear sense of selflessness and this I as just a figment of the imagination.

Then, for a day or several days, there is dullness, aridity, with or without the sense of selflessness, shadow dreams, and sometimes also being caught up in the patterns of personality and the sense of I.

There is a sense of bringing the light of awareness into those areas excluded from awareness through all the many forms of resistance, such as identities, fears, hopes, attractions, aversions, habits and so on. There is a sense of journeying through the wider landscape beyond any identities, becoming familiar with it as the wider landscape.

And I notice how the only way “out” is to surrender any resistance, as a continuous practice. To surrender any resistance, any sense of I, any identities, fears, hopes, attractions, aversions, goals, wishes. To allow it all to go. To surrender any attachments to anything familiar, anything known, any wishes, any intentions apart from surrendering it all, and then surrendering that one too.

Dream: the feminine face of God

I am shown the feminine face of God, as a continuous stream of always something completely new and unexpected. Always doing something beyond what is familiar. Always completely beyond anything that can be grasped by any knowing or expectation.

It shows its nature of cycles, from infinite to finite, light to dark, familiar to unfamiliar.

It goes to infinity, blowing away any identifications. It is the finite in an always entirely new way. It shows itself as an infinity and richness of flavors, textures, dimensions, realms of being.

It is always and continuously entirely new, different, beyond anything known, anything intuited, any identities, anything familiar. It is a wild ride, completely impossible to keep up with in terms of being able to figure out or predict. Any attempt to hold onto anything familiar is exhausted. There is only the surrender to the always new faces of God, the continuous stream of new realms, textures, flavors, unfoldings.

The stream is so continuous, and always so completely unexpected, that there was is choice but to surrender to it. This is the feminine aspect of God, the world of forms, infinite finiteness (!) It is the Self-Realization aspect of awakening, which is infinite, without end, always unfolding in always new and surprising ways. It is the yin awakening, the dance of the infinite fertility of God. It is the perfect and most intimate complement to the yang awakening, of realized selflessness.

It is the always deepening embodiment of realized selflessness, allowing for a more complete abandon to the newness of God, the always utterly surprising unfolding of the infinite fertility of God.

In Ken Wilber’s terminology, it is vertical awakening, the continued development of this human self and essence/soul, as an aspect of the continued evolution of the world of form as a whole. It is the complement to horizontal awakening, to the field of awake emptiness and form awakening to itself, to realized selflessness.

And this realized selflessness is exactly what allows for a deepening into the wild ride of the world of form, always fresh, utterly unexpected, always surprising to itself.

It is what allows God to continuously surprise and be astonished by itself.

I also see how appropriate it was for this dream to come on what we celebrate as the birthday of Jesus who embodied God awakening to itself in such as deep way, and also knew that this deepening would not end with him. (You will do far greater things than I. John 14:12)

Death and resurrection

This dream is a direct reflection of what happened as I fell asleep, where I continually surrendered anything and everything to the alive luminous blackness: any identities, all knowing, anything familiar, any remaining toeholds.

There is a real sense of fear here, of death, of complete annihilation. But it is needed, and I feel ready for surrendering it all, completely, over and over. There is no other way. I know deeply that it is the least painful way. Holding onto anything is suffering, and there is no way out except for surrendering it all.

Death and resurrection

Since this came up related to the Christ meditation, I also thought of how Jesus (the man) mirrored this process in his own life. He went through a process of awakening, then a death, and then resurrection.

At some point, we are invited (a polite term!) to surrender it all. To die to all that we know ourselves as. We surrender all identities, all knowing, anything familiar, any remaining toeholds. It all has to go. And it really is experienced as a death, with all the fear and terror that can come up around that. And through that process, that complete willingness to surrender it all, we do die as anything we know ourselves as, and are resurrected into a new life.

Although it isn’t really an invitation. It is a process that goes far beyond our intention or will. We are just swept along with it, almost helplessly. The only thing we can do is to willingly surrender to it, which makes it a little less painful.

And it may also happen many times, in many different ways. Each time surrendering new layers, dieing to current identities and familiar ways of living, and being resurrected into something new. Over and over.

Deaths and resurrections within realized selflessness

Even in the midst of realized selflessness, there are these deaths and resurrections.

There is the realization of everything as always fresh, different and new. There is a deepening into realizing and living from realized selflessness. There is a deepening into new realms of being.

Each of these involves a continuous dying to anything familiar, and a continuous resurrection into a new life.

Resistance, dark night and purgatory

Over the last few days, the birth of the seed resistance, the effects of identities, and the difference between resisting and fully experiencing these effects have been even more acutely up for me. I also see how resisting the effects of a sense of I and identities is a dark night, while allowing myself to fully experiencing these effects is purgatory. It allows the sense of I and its identities to gradually burn away.

Seed resistance, giving rise to a sense of I and its identities

First, there is the resistance to what is as inherently absent of I. This resistance gives rise to a sense of I, and of I and Other.

This sense of I is fleshed out through various identities. I am this, not that. I want this, not that. And this gives rise to resistance to various aspects within form.

Resistance to the effects of the sense of I and identities

Then, there is resistance to the effects of the sense of I and the various identities. There is resistance to the experiences of loneliness, fear, anger, attraction, aversion, confusion, and so on.

When there is this resistance to the effects, the sense of I and its identities tend to seem very real and substantial. We act as if they are real, so they tend to appear as real.

When the resistance to the effects is dropped, when we allow ourselves to fully experience the effects of a sense of I and various identities, they tend to appear less substantial. They may even erode over time and fall away.

Resisting experiences vs. fully experiencing

In practical terms, it means that when we resist experiences, the sense of I and its identities appears as more real to us. They become solidified.

Many of these experiences arise when the world is filtered through a sense of I and its identities, such as fear, anger, loneliness, and so on. And resisting these experiences only makes them proliferate. We pour gasoline on the already existing fire.

When we allow ourselves to fully experience, the sense of I and its identities appear as less substantial and real. Eventually, they can burn out completely.

Fully experiencing allows us a glimpse into what we really are, awake emptiness and form absent of I, and this gives a sense of coming home, and even of bliss.

Resisting experience is hell. Allowing the resistance to experience to fall away is bliss.

Dark night and purgatory

I notice for myself that this is also the difference between an experience of dark night and purgatory.

When I resist experiencing the results of a sense of I and various identities, it is hell and an experience of a dark night.

When I allow myself to fully experience the results of a sense of I and the various identities, there is a sense of fullness, being held, coming home, and even bliss. There is also an experience of the sense of I and its identities burning away, of purgatory.

Put another way, resisting God’s will is hell and a dark night. Surrendering to God’s will is heaven and purgatory.

Stream of form as God’s will II

These days, practices surface on their own and seem to live their own life. And one of the current ones seems to be seeing the stream of form as God’s will.

There is an inner and outer situation, and it is all recognized as God’s will. There is a situation, for instance somebody talking very loudly on a bus making it difficult to read, and there is a reaction in this human self, maybe irritation and a story coming up around it, and it is all – the whole field of from arising – recognized as God’s will.

It takes the identification out of the whole situation. It brings a release from identification with this personality and its reactivity and habitual patterns, and it brings a release from a sense of being caught up in it. There is a surrender of identification with any aspect of form, and it is all given back to God.

It never was anything else than God’s will in the first place, and now it is recognized as that as well. As somebody said, when “I” goes out of it, God remains.

Stream as God’s will

From a certain perspective, the stream of phenomena is God’s will.

It is the stream of the world of form – of sensations, sounds, sights, feelings, emotions, thoughts, personality, behaviors, situations, the world, unfolding in space and time. And it is all God’s will.

It is a field of God’s will. God’s will unfolding, clearly, here and now.

Even resistance to this stream is God’s will. Trying to hold onto some aspects of the stream, and pushing other aspects away. Even that is God’s will, unfolding.

Seeing this brings me right into headlessness, into the seeing, or even a taste of the Ground of seeing and seen, absent of I anywhere.

It is a surrender of self-will, of wanting the stream to be different from what it is. Of thinking that I know better than God. Of wanting God, as it unfolds in and as form right now, to be different. Ultimately, it is the surrender of the idea of I, the story of I, the drama wrapped up in the sense of I. It is a surrender of (the attachment to the idea of) I as a fragment of the whole, a fragment of the seamless field of the seeing and the seen inherently absent of any I anywhere.


Surrender has come up for me recently.

When life kicks us around enough, there is little choice but to surrender – at least to some extent. And I see how the surrendering itself is a gift, independent of whether it helps us through with less stress or not, and what other gifts we may discover through the surrender.

Of course, the surrender itself is just an appearance, although this one too can seem very real.

Resistance and struggle

Whenever there is a belief in ideas, there is resistance to what is, to life as it shows up in the present. And this shows up as struggle, as a sense of I and Other, right and wrong, likes and dislikes.

The totality (Spirit, God, Buddha Mind) temporarily identifies with a segment of itself, with ideas and a human self, and creates a sense of struggle with the rest of itself.

So when the center of gravity is in ideas and the human self in this way, there is a sense of my will as different from, and sometimes opposed to, the will of the world. And there is a living from this as if it is real. There is resistance, and with it drama, struggle and stress.

And even this resistance is the local manifestation of the totality. It is Ground allowing the form of resistance, as it allows any other forms arising. Resistance is inherently total surrender, emptiness dancing, although it is certainly not experienced that way.

Totality awakening to itself

The only resolution and release is when the totality awakens to its own nature and any temporary exclusive identifications falls away. When this happens, there is no longer any my will and thou will. There is no doer anymore, everything is just happening. This human self and everything around it are local expressions of the totality.

Two forms of surrender

In the first case, when the center of gravity is still in the human self, there is a dipping into surrender. Situations arise that are not to this human self’s liking. When they cannot easily be changed and persist for a while, resistance tends to wear down – although not quite to nothing.

In the second case, when totality has awakened to its own nature while still functionally connected with a particular human self, the whole issue of surrendering falls away.

It is, in a way, the ultimate surrendering to what is, to all the many ways the world of form arise. And since everything is just happening as expressions of the totality, absent of any I anywhere, it is also absent of any surrender.

Suction, Emptiness & Surrender

I did a Process Work session with myself on a combined feeling of (a) gripping on my shoulders and (b) a sense of emptiness in the stomach/solar plexus region. The gripping has a sense of pushing to it as well, having me lean forward and slouch a little. And the emptiness has a sense of void and suction to it.

Going into it further, I see that the gripping/pushing is pushing me into the emptiness, the void, in the stomach region. I become the gripper/pusher, and want him (my usual identity) to vanish into the emptiness there. And as the void, I see that I pull him into me – allowing him to vanish completely in emptiness.

Going into this vanishing in/as the void, there is first a sense of trepidation, and then tremendous relief. There is a full surrender here, a full letting go, a full vanishing of any resistance – including the resistance of wanting to be someone or something. Everything is let go of. Nothing is left.

And this emptiness then turns into fullness, the fullness of this human self and the rest of the world as it is, although now with an absence of resistance – including the resistance of having any particular identity. Surrender to what is through absence of resistance and identity.

There is a sense of tremendous freedom here. A freedom of allowing everything to be just as they are. A freedom of not having an identity as someone or something. A freedom from resistance.

Intention & Surrender

One of the simples and most transformative ways I have found to work with what is happening is…

  1. Intention for it to resolve, clarify, for harvesting nutrients from it
  2. Surrendering it to the mystery, to the divine, to the larger whole, to God, to Spirit, to Source, to Buddha Mind, to Existence, to the deeper wisdom, to my own nature

I connect with Source, and give it over to the divine. And in that, it transforms, unravels, clarifies – in ways I consciously could not have predicted. Whatever comes up, is surrendered. Including any identifications, any sense of stuckness, any insights, any sense of understanding, any sense of knowing. It is all surrendered.

This is another simple path, safe, contains its own directions, allowing it all to move along. It invites the wheel to continue to turn. And it works at any and all levels, from my human self through to the Ground.


The world is my mirror – whether I find myself as human beings and/or as Big Mind.

As a human being, whatever I see out there reflect myself in here.

And as Big Mind, everything arising is me.

Resistance to what is

When I resist this, there is pain. It is the signal that I am excluding in my mind something that is inherently a part of what is and myself.

And resistance comes up when I attach to a thought, as any thought by necessity is different from and more limited than what is.

In other words, when I attach to a thought, I immediately create an exclusive identity, which has to be painful as it conflicts with my nature which is beyond and including any and all polarities.

What is – free from descriptions

What is is – and I am – inherently beyond and including existence and nonexistence, spirit and matter, formless and form, seer and seen, awakened and deluded, living and nonliving, life and death, culture and nature, mind and body, right and wrong, and so on.

What is is – and I am – inherently free from all this. Any name describe me, yet I am free from any name.

Mechanisms of pain

As a human being, the pain comes in many ways.

It comes from a limited repertoire. I am invited to bring out more of my qualities, yet don’t because I am not familiar with them yet or exclude them through holding onto a limited identity.

The pain is also there due to a sense of separation. I see qualities out there and not in here, and the other way around. I see myself as a separate entity. I see myself as variously better and/or worse than what I see out there. I get caught up in seeking something and avoiding other things, in my internal and external life. I get caught up in blind identifications. I get caught up in struggle.

Not seeing in myself what I see out there gives rise to pain in innumerable ways.

At the level of Big Mind, the pain simply comes from separation – from the appearance of I and Other in the field of what is, inherently absent of any I or Other.


So no wonder we have found many ways to help ourselves heal this split in our experience of what is, this fictional life bringing about pain.

  • Being with
    The simplest approach is to just be with whatever is happening. I just ask myself Can I be with what I am experiencing right now? I am with whatever is happening, including the impulse to resist and push something away. And in that way, I befriend whatever is happening. The ficitional boundary between this particular form of I and Other dissolve.

  • Welcoming in
    Going a little furhter, I can actively embrace and welcome in whatever is arising. I see them as lost children wanting attention and warmth, and provide it for them.

  • Inquiry
    Then there are the many forms of inquiry, including The Work. Here, I examine attachments to thoughts and allow them to unravel – and the resistance with them. What appeared as an Other and a disturbance (or worse) is now revealed as a friend. What arises may be the same (or not) but the charge went out of it.

  • Process Work
    In Process Work, I unravel the process behind whatever is happening in the external or internal world. I follow the bread crumbs, and find the gift behind it. In this way too, anything happening becomes a friend – an invitation into exploring aspects of the world and myself that is new to me, and allowing boundaries to dissolve.

  • Giving it over to the divine
    And I can give it over to the divine. That is where it is anyway, so I am really just giving over my experience of myself as an individual separate doer. Everything is living its own life anyway, and this is another reminder.

  • Asking for it to resolve
    As a more active version of the previous one, I can ask for resolution in whatever way it needs to resolve.

    I may also ask to see whatever I need to see for it to resolve. I may ask for whatever in me that needs to unravel to unravel. I may ask for harvesting of whatever gifts and nutrients are in it.

    I see that holding an intention in this way – precise and open ended at the same time – creates a sense of a field within which this unraveling can take place.

Radical Letting Go

Existence itself is a process of radical nonattachment – everything continuously dying as what it is and being reborn as something else. Everything always new, fresh, different. An eternal Present which content is willing to go anywhere, to explore every possibility of manifestation – from galaxies to planets and living beings, from delusion to awakening.

As long as there is any attachment here, to any idea, any state, any manifestation, my works is not done. As long as I am not willing to awaken (for God to awaken to its own nature), and then go into delusion again (as God obviously is willing to), the work is not done. Even the attachment to awakening is an attachment.

God goes into delusion, right now – through myriads of beings. And God most likely goes into delusion again as universes cycle through existence. Of course, when God awakens to its own nature, it is all revealed as the play of God. Yet, there is also the willingness to temporarily experience the delusion from the inside – with all its suffering.

In a way, it is the ultimate free-fall. There is nothing in the world of phenomena to rely on. It all comes (in order) to pass, as Byron Katie says. The only Ground is emptiness forming itself into these always new phenomena. The only Ground is God, Big Mind. Empty of any characteristics so also able to take on any temporary form.

Befriending Shiva

My process – as it shows up in dreams and otherwise in my life – is inviting me to radical letting go of attachment to ideas (of past, future, present and anything else). As this has been coming up in Process Work explorations of my life and dreams, I see how helpful it can be to personalize this shift for me.

In its impersonal form, it is a finding peace with the continuous death of everything as it is and its rebirth as something else. The content of the eternal Present is always fresh, different, new. God never repeats itself.

And a radical peace with this is only found in the realization of Selflessness, in awakening to/as the Ground happening as the phenomena in the eternal Present. Awakening to what is, with no I anywhere.

This is all fine – it is a beautiful process in itself. Yet, it also has a somewhat impersonal tint to it.

Absolute and relative

From the Absolute, this all just is.

It is Ground forming itself into the world of phenomena. It is emptiness dancing. There may be distinction of this end (human self) and that end (Ground), of impersonal and personal, but also the recognition of it all as just stories – just labels and a level of abstraction added to what is.

From the Relative, the realm of polarities (and stories) emerge. The process can be seen as personal and impersonal, at this end (human self) and at that end (Ground). And if that is a useful way of looking at it, then why not.

Impersonal and personal at this end

This is impersonal at this end, in that it goes far beyond my human self. The Ground is all phenomena. It is one ocean, forming itself into waves of particular discernible phenomena. It is God appearing as trees, mountains, clouds, dogs, cats, flowers, humans, cities, cultures, planets, galaxies, universe(s).

And it is also personal at this end, in two ways.

This human self is Ground happening as phenomena. Any human self already is Ground forming itself into the appearance of a human self, so the Ground is already personal in that sense.

And this human self can reorganize and mature within the realization of Selflessness. When the Ground awakens to its own nature of no I anywhere, then Selflessness becomes personal in a different way – lived in, through, and as a particular human life.

Impersonal and personal at that end

It can also be seen as impersonal and personal at that end, as Ground.

In its impersonal form, it is emptiness dancing, Ground forming itself in the world of phenomena. Continuous death of what is and rebirth of something else. Always new, different, fresh. A continuous radical rebirth.

And it can also be seen as personal. Or rather, the connection with it can be personalized, as they do in Hinduism and (especially) Tibetan Buddhism. There is already something personal at this end, in the form of this human self. And there can also be something personal at the other – Ground – end. In this case, it can take the forms of Shiva and/or Kali and similar deities of death and rebirth.

Coming from a habitual identification as a human being, this may be an easier way into it. It is no longer a somewhat cold impersonal process, but personal as well – an intimate process of befriending Shiva and/or Kali. In a certain sense, it becomes more real for us that way.

It can be very helpful, as long as we also recognize that this too is only a tool, a story, an abstraction – a way of easing into it. The danger here is obviously that we can take it as more real than it is, that we mistake the map (Shiva, Kali) for the terrain (Ground).

Offering Up or Right Here

One practice, common to many traditions – and one that may arise spontaneously during awakenings as well – is offering to the divine.

Offering any perceived problems, a difficult situation, our human self, our relationships and those close to us, our material possessions, our community, earth, the universe, existence. All we do is really to offer aspects of God back to God, and we do it for our sake – to remind us of this, to release our sense of anything being not divine, of anything being separate, of any “I” anywhere in all of this.

In terms of perceived problems – and everything else, it helps us loosen our grip on it and our perceived identification with it.

Some time back when I did this, there was a sense of it being offered “up” to the divine. Now, it just seems to happen in place. This is similar to the shift that happened for me in receiving deeksha, initially experiencing it as coming from above and “outside”, and now as happening right in place – coming out of every point of space. Flowing directly out of the Ground, everywhere.

Bladder Deeksha

Off and on since my teens, I have experimented with healing, and am getting more into it again. The way it happens naturally for me seems very similar to Sat Nam Rasayan, and there is also a sense of connecting the causal energy level – allowing space for the healing to take place. It also seems relatively easy to scan the body and get a sense of what and where something is going on, at many levels. In general, it seems that connecting + intention + space = healing.

When I do this with my partner, it seems that most symptoms clear up relatively fast – whether it is pain, nausea or other things. She has had a bladder type infection for a while, which has come up whenever we have been doing a healing session – and it is quite clear that it does not resolve through the usual way of allowing space, intention etc.

Tonight, I mentioned that I would try something else, and silently invited the deeksha energy (through Bhagavan and Amma) in – offering it all up to that manifestation of the divine for healing. This took only a couple of minutes, and afterwards she mentioned that’s funny, it felt like a bladder deeksha. It was the same energy as when I receive a deeksha for the head.

Offering up

It is also interesting since the offering up part has come up for me again recently – offering it all to the divine. This came naturally during the initial awakening, and as with so much else, it seems that it is now coming back in a more intentional way.

It is all grace anyway, all God, so offering it all to the divine – in whatever form that comes up for us – is just offering it back to where it always was and is. Offering any stress that comes up, any perceived problems, any dis-ease, any illness, any skills, any gifts, any insights, any and every aspect of our human self, any and every physical objects we are temporary caretakers of, any person in our life, our community, this landscape, the whole earth, the whole universe – offering it all to the divine.

There is a tremendous sense of freedom in this, and also a sense of getting out of my own way so a deeper healing can take place.

And there is also nothing new in any of this. It is a regular practice in many spiritual traditions, maybe most clearly so in Tibetan Buddhism.

With the healing, there has been a mix of a sense of “doing” – allowing space for the healing, and also of offering it up. But this was a step further, purely offering it all up – surrendering it back to the divine.

Of course, the only thing that is surrendered is a sense of “ownership” or identification with it, revealing it as an aspect of the divine – as it has always been.

Being Carried

During sitting today, Existence (through the teacher) spoke about the wonder and mystery of being carried in breath. And can we surrender to being carried in breath? Being carried by Existence?

It struck me how we how we always – without exception – are being carried by Existence. Every moment, in every way. This body and breath, these sensations, emotions, thoughts, this field of spacious awareness – it is all carried by existence.

It is beyond doing and not doing. And there is no separate “I” that creates or can take credit for anything. Existence is. A seamless whole beyond and embracing all polarities and dualites.


In any process towards healing (and awakening), deepening sincerity and honesty towards oneself is needed. When we can relax into what is – with all our fears, worries, tension, hangups, attachments, delusion, the pain triggered in ourselves and others by our actions – then it is allowed to transform and heal. As long as we deny it, there is a separation which makes healing difficult… Nakedness – just being a naked human being – is what we are invited into in this process… Just being who we are, allowing the filters of thoughts and ideas to drop… Surrendering to Existence, to what is – as it appears in the inner and outer world.