Working with contractions: a puzzle where we find the shapes that fit

When we work more initmately with our contractions, it’s a kind of puzzle where we try out and find the right shapes.

I experience a contraction. I bring attention to the physical sensations of the contraction for grounding, while being aware of the images and stories connected with it.

From here, it’s really quite open. What holds the contraction in place, will be a little different for each contraction. And that means that the remedy, the puzzle piece that fits, will be a little different for each contraction.

At the same time, there are some universals, and it may be good to go through a set of universals to see what the contraction responds to and what’s needed.


When there is a contraction, there is usually a part of me not welcoming it. The remedy here is to intentionally welcome it. To help shift into this, I can say to the contraction: You are welcome here.

A variation of this is that parts of me likely don’t want to allow the contraction. So here, I can intentionally allow it. And I can also notice that the contraction is already allowed. It’s allowed by mind, space, life, and I can more consciously align with the allowing that’s already here.

Parts of me likely wish to contain the contraction. So I can allow the contraction to uncontain itself. I can say to it: Get as big as you want.

Parts of me may see the contraction as a problem and up to no good. The remedy here is to recognize that it’s here to protect me, to protect the imagined separate self. It’s innocent. It’s a bit confused. It comes from care and love. It’s confused love. (This step may require some additional exploration first, unless we are very familiar with this terrain and have explored a lot of other contractions before and regularly found this.) To help connect with this, I can say: Thank you for protecting me.

Similarly, several parts of me may not genuinely love the contraction. When I see it’s innocent, here to protect me, and comes from love, it’s easier to find genuine love for the contraction. Thank you for your love for me.

The contraction has an unexamined stressful story. It’s created and maintained by one or a set of stressful stories. It can be helpful to identify and examine these, either in the moment or more thoroughly through structured inquiry.

The contraction has needs and wants, and comes from a sense of lack. What are those needs and wants? What is the lack it comes from? Can I give it to the contraction here and now? If it needs and lacks love, how is it to give it love? If it wants and lacks a sense of safety, how is it to be a safe harbour for it? If it wants and lacks a sense of acknowledgment and being seen, how is it to see it here and now?

Typically, there is a part of me that resists contractions. This part wants it to go away in any way possible, through distraction, pushing it away, trying to fix it, pretend it’s not there, and so on. This resistance is innocent, comes from unexamined and unloved fear, and is another contraction. So it makes sense to explore this contraction in the ways described above, and to do this relatively early in the process.

In general, it makes sense to check if I come from a contraction when I explore a contraction, and explore this contraction first.

Even if there is a general or global kind of recognition of our nature, I may not recognize the nature of the contraction. So how is it to recognize its nature? What happens if I notice its nature? What happens when I notice the different aspects of its nature? That it happens within and as what I am? That it’s part of the seamless whole of the field? That it has no real substance? That it happens within and as what a thought may label consciousness? That it is stillness and silence taking that particular form? That it is love taking that particular form? How is it to rest with and as this noticing?

Similarly, the contraction may not notice its own nature. How is it to invite it to notice its nature? How is it to invite it to rest in and as that noticing? What are you really? Do you know your nature? Do you know what you are made of?


Trying these and more out is like trying out puzzle pieces. Which one fits in this spot? And usually, it’s a set of different pieces.

There are also some orientations that are helpful here. For instance, sincerity, respect, curiosity, receptivity, playfulness, and a sense of adventrue.

It may also be that what worked in the past, doesn’t seem to work anymore. Perhaps life is asking us to become even more intimate? To explore a bit more closely? To find another angle that’s a bit different from what we are used to?

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The different parts of us have real needs, and we are the one in position to give them what they need

We all have many subpersonalitites or parts, and these are often operating from a need, want, and sense of lack.

When we identify with them, we feel that we have those needs, wants, and lack, which is not wrong since these are parts of us.

We often try to fulfill the needs and wants through something in the wider world – love and acceptance from others, success and status, and so on. This is also not wrong, ahough it’s precarious and doesn’t really give these parts of what what they need and want. And it doesn’t resolve the sense of lack.

We are the only one in the position to really give these parts of us what they need and want, and help them find a deeper resolution for the sense of lack.


How do we find these parts of us, identify what they need, and give it to them? And how do we help them resolve the sense of lack?

Finding the contraction

I notice a sense of unease, a contraction, or a need, want, or sense or lack. I can also bring this up by reminding myself of a situation that triggered it in the past, or through words resonating with something less than peaceful in us – for instance, “I am alone”, “I won’t have what I need”, and so on.

This is how I find the contraction.

Noticing the physical sensations

Where do I feel it in my body? What are the physical sensations? How do I experience it? (How is it to find some curiosity about it?)

In this way, I anchor my attention in the bodily sensations, while still being aware of the mental images and words connected with it.

Allowing and welcoming

I can say: You are welcome here. Stay as long as you want. Get as big as you want.

I can also notice it’s already allowe – by life, mind, space. It’s already here. All I am doing is more consciously joining with that allowing.

This helps shift out of any habitual pattern of wanting to push it away.

Finding the need and want

I can ask: What do you want? What do you need? What would make you content?

I can also explore some of the triggering situations to find what it wants and needs.

And I can go through some of the universals – love, safety, acceptance, and so on – and see which one resonates and helps it relax.

Giving it what it needs and wants

I then give it what it wants and needs.

How is it to…. Give it love? Be a safe harbor for it? Welcome and allow it? Accept it as it is? Or whatever else it may want and need?

How is it to give it to it, as I would like to receive it? As I would give it to a frightened animal? A scared child?

Finding the lack

What’s behing the need and want? What’s the sense of lack?

What’s the story in that sense of lack? What’s the painful story?

What’s my first memory of feeling that? Of having that story?

Is it true? (We can also take this to a more thorough inquiry.)

Seeing it’s here to protect me

At some point in this process, perhaps here, I notice it’s here to protect me. It’s innocent. It’s often from a child’s view on the world. It was created to protect me.

This helps me welcome it more genuinely, and it also helps me find more genuine love for it, wish to be a safe harbor for it, and so on.

Finding its nature

I notice the nature of what I am. I find myself as capacity for the world as it appears to me. I find myself as what my sense fields – including this human self, the contraction, and the wider world – happens within and as. I notice it’s seamless. I notice the inherent stillness and silence in it, and how that stillness and silence takes all these forms.

What’s the nature of the contraction? How is it to notice it? Rest in that noticing?

I can also ask the contraction: Do you know your nature?

I can allow the contraction notice it’s nature and unravel and rest in and as that noticing.

This part of the process can be supported by headless experiments (Headless Way, Douglas Harding) or a quick dip into the Big Mind process.


This process helps us find healing for our different human wounds, and it can also help us heal out of separation consciousness.

And the magic happens in doing it and exploring it. These are just pointers and medicines for specific conditions. What works for me may not be what works for you. And what works will change a bit with each process, and we’ll discover more as we keep exploring it.

It’s something we do here and now, whenever these suffering parts of us come up. (Or as soon as we have the opportunity.)

And over time, it becomes a new orientation and a new habit. It becomes a new way of being with ourselves and these facets of life. It becomes second nature, although it will always require some attention – especially when more ingrained suffering comes up.

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Full circle: back to what’s more simple and natural

During the initial awakening shift in my teens, everything was very clearly the divine (the label I put on it then). If a contraction came up – a belief, hangup, emotional issue – that too was recognized as the divine, the divine taking that particular form.

That shifted how I, as this field, related to it. And, in a sense, it allowed the contraction to notice itself as the divine, to unwind and to relax into and as it.

It’s very simple and natural. This happened long before I found books about spirituality or started any formal spiritual practice. It was the naive approach of the novice.

Some years later, I did get into spiritual practice. Tai chi and chigong were completely compatible with this, as was prayer (Christ meditation and heart prayer), and basic meditation. As time went on, I got more into different traditions and practices, and it all got more complex and complicated.

I lost trust in the initial naive, simple, and natural approach I had found early on in the awakening. None of the teachers or traditions seemed to speak about this very simple approach, and they instead said I should do all sorts of more complex practices, apparently often aimed at people operating more from separation consciousness.

I felt I lost my way, in a sense, and remember talking about it with friends. At the same time, I wanted to trust these teachers and that they knew what they were talking about.

My “mistake” in it all was to not trust what worked for me, and what seemed to obvious and so simple.

Of course, I learned a lot from all these practices. I got to investigate some of the dynamics of the mind more in detail. And I got to see that one of my hangups is to not trust myself, and instead just do what teachers and traditions say even if it doesn’t always make much sense to me. (And often still don’t, seen with the benefit of hindsight. It often seems as if they applied remedies and medicines without first checking that they are appropriate for the person and where they are in the process.)

Now, I seem to find back to the wonderful simplicity of the first years. Back then, the noticing of all as the divine (I mostly use different words now) was unavoidable. The noticing was turned up to 11. These days, it’s still easy to notice although it requires a little more intention.

I notice my nature – as what a thought may label capacity (for my field of experience), oneness, stillness & silence, love, or consciousness, or even the divine.

A contraction comes up, and I “anchor” my attention in the physical sensations of the contractions while being aware of the rest (the mental images and words).

I notice the nature of this contraction and see it’s the same as what I am. (It can’t be anything else since it’s happening within and as what I am.)

I rest with this noticing.

I invite the contraction to notice its own nature. I may even focus this through a simple question: Do you know what you are? Do you know what your nature is? Do you know what you are made of? How is it to notice your nature?

I allow that noticing to clarify, and the contraction to unravel and rest in and as that noticing.

It has a wonderful simplicity. It’s natural, intimate, and has a feeling of essence. It’s what many of the more complex practices seem to circle around.

Why don’t more teachers and traditions talk about this? Some do, of course, and the ones I know about are outside of any tradition. And some essential practices, like basic meditation (notice and allow), do invite and allow this noticing and natural transformation and unwinding. It’s rarely if ever talked about, but it’s what often happens.

In general, spiritual traditions seem more aimed at bringing people from strong separation consciousness to perhaps a little milder version of this, and generally not so much more. And that’s fine, of course. That’s their function, and it is helpful for many.

Note: I know this is not about a feeling. At the same time, when I do this again now and rest in and as it, there is often a sweet feeling. A feeling I remember from this time in my teens and twenties when I did this naturally. When it seemed the most obvious thing to do. (It’s even a bit blissful, although I typically don’t use those words since this is certainly not about bliss.)

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Waking up issues: medicines for a condition

In the process of healing from separation consciousness, we use medicines for particular conditions. We use pointers and approaches to help us unstick from stuck places.

We use certain medicines to heal from separation consciousness as a whole and in general, through noticing what we are and exploring how to live from it. The main medicine may be basic meditation combined with certain forms of inquiry, supported with a range of other practices (prayer, other forms of inquiry, heart-centered practices, and so on.)

And we use medicine to help different parts of us to join in with this general noticing, and helping them heal from the separation consciousness they operate from and are stuck in.

Even if we generally notice what we are, we likely still have parts of us operating from separation consciousness – parts that don’t notice their nature and are caught in painful beliefs, identifications, emotional issues, traumas, and so on.

I’ll here focus on the second part: awakening issues.


What are some of the conditions that keep parts of us operating from separation consciousness? And what are the remedies for these conditions?

I have gone into this more in detail in other articles, so will just give an overview here.


The first several ones help us befriend the issue, get to know it, allows it to relax, and make it easier for us to notice that it has the same nature as we do.

Rejecting and struggling with an issue holds it in place, so instead, we welcome it.

Instead of trying to make it go away, we allow it.

Instead of trying to contain it, we invite it to get as big as it wants.

Instead of getting caught up in the sensation-thought mix, we bring attention to the physical sensations.

Instead of avoiding or joining the stressful thoughts within it, we examine them.

Instead of secretly hating the issue, we find genuine love for it. We notice it is here to protect us, and typically was created early in life and from a child’s view on the world.

The issue has neediness and comes from a sense of lack, so instead of trying to feed it through other people and life situations, we directly give it what it needs (love, attention, safety, etc.).

Instead of getting caught up in resistance, we notice and examine the resistance. We may find we sometimes, without noticing, identify with and act on the scary stories within it. And we may find that behind the surface form of the resistance – distraction, frustration, anger, hopelessness – is unexamined and unloved fear. We meet it as another contraction and scared part of us.


And then a couple more directly about noticing the nature of the contraction, and inviting it to find it for itself.

Instead of distracting ourselves from noticing the nature of the contraction, we notice the nature of the contraction. We notice it has the same nature as we have – capacity, oneness, love, stillness and silence. We rest in this noticing.

The contraction doesn’t notice its own nature, so we invite it to notice its own nature. We allow it to notice and find peace and rest in it, and unravel and realign.


We can do this with any part of us, not just issues.

For instance, I have symptoms from the CFS (and possibly past Lyme), so I do the same with these symptoms. I notice the physical sensations. Welcome and allow them. Notice they have the same nature as me, and invite them to notice and rest in that noticing.

We can do this with any part of our body, energy system, or anything else.

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Why don’t more people and traditions talk about waking up issues?

When we find our own nature, it seems that one of the most natural things is to invite our issues to wake up.


I notice an issue in me, a contraction that has psychological, physical, and energetic components. I may notice the contraction in any of those areas: as a psychological contraction (defensiveness, reactivity, obsession, going into ideologies, etc.), as a physical contraction, or as an energetic contraction.

I notice it operates from separation consciousness. I may also notice that although I notice my own nature, and all of my experiences – in general – as having that nature, I may not notice that this contraction as having the same nature. I still struggle with it. I tend to join with it and identify with it, or I struggle against it.

The remedy here is to notice it has the same nature as me and everything in my experience, and to rest with and as this.

I may also notice that the contraction itself is not aware of its nature. It operates as if separation consciousness is all there is. So I invite the contraction to find its own nature. I notice its nature, have a gentle invitation for it to find it too and rest with it.

It can take some time, although there is movement. And typically within some minutes, there is a shift. I find it’s helpful to stay with it longer so it can deeper further. And sometimes, it’s good to revisit it, especially if it’s a deeper and more central issue.

There is also several other things we can do here to ease and support the process. Basically, we notice how the issue is kept in place and do the reverse. Instead of rejecting and struggling with it, we welcome it. Instead of trying to make it go away, we allow it. Instead of trying to contain it, we invite it to get as big as it wants. Instead of avoiding or joining the stressful thoughts within it, we examine them. Instead of secretly hating the issue, we find genuine love for it. Instead of getting caught up in the sensation-thought mix, we bring attention to the physical sensations. The issue has neediness and comes from a sense of lack, so instead of trying to feed it through other people and life situations, we can give it what it needs directly (love, attention, safety, etc.).


This seems very natural, so why isn’t it talked about more?

It may be that some who discover who they are, don’t have a heavy issue load. They may have cleared much of it up through years of different types of spiritual practices, or they never had a very heavy load.

Many teachers and traditions may reserve these types of instructions and pointers for close students who clearly notice their nature. It may not be part of their public information.

Some traditions and teachers, for instance within Zen, may wait for the students to find it for themselves.

Some traditions and teachers may rely on the more standard practices – basic meditation, prayer, heart-centered practices, service and so on – to do the heavy lifting. They don’t see the need to emphasize this approach.


Today, and in our culture, it may be different. We like to have it all out in the open. We like to give people any information, pointers, and tools they may need.

We also have access to tools and pointers that can give people a relatively quick access to noticing their true nature, and these are also out in the open. (Headless experiments, Big Mind process, Living Inquiries, and so on.)

So we are seeing more transparency about this. More people are talking about this and exploring it for themselves.

Let it breathe

When a house or room is stale, it helps to air it out.

And the same with our mind.

When something is stale in us, it helps to air it out. To bring attention to it, notice the space it happens within (and as), allow it to expand and take up as much space as it wants, see what it is about, notice it’s nature, and invite it to notice its nature.

Our tendency is often to keep it enclosed. To join in with stale areas in us and reinforce the containment. Or to react to it, and reinforce the containment that way. To get caught up in guilt and shame, and contain it for those reasons. To get caught up in our fear about it, and contain it.

And sometimes, we may not even know how to air it out. To bring sun, wind, and the open space into it. This is where it can be helpful with a more structured process, or at least a guide who can lead us through it. Until it gets more familiar to us, a new habit, and eventually second nature.

What are these stale parts of us? It’s anything that’s unresolved. Any painful belief. Any limiting identity. (And any belief is ultimately painful, and any identity we identify with is limiting.)

It’s what happens when we don’t notice our nature, as capacity for our world, as what our experiences happen within and as, as oneness, love, and stillness and silence. It’s what happens when we don’t notice the nature of our contractions and experiences, and when these don’t notice their own true nature.

It is fully possible to air it all out, especially with some guidance from someone familiar with airing all this out.

And nature, literal fresh air, and physical movement all support this process.

Inviting contractions to find what they are / waking up issues

There is a simple and relatively direct way of inviting in healing. And that is to befriend our contractions, notice their nature, and invite them to notice their nature and rest in that noticing.


What’s the essence of healing and awakening?

One answer is supporting our conscious view, and different parts of us, to align more with reality. That’s where real healing happens, and also where we notice what we are.

And one way to do this with parts of us is to invite contractions to find what they are. Contractions are created from separation consciousness and operate from separation consciousness. They are created and maintained by (painful) beliefs, identifications, emotional issues, hangups, and trauma. (All words pointing to the same dynamic.)


These are some elements of the process, and some or all can be used at different parts of the process. They are not in a strict sequence. We may visit each of these several times in any one session.

ORIENTATION. Respect, allowing, welcoming, kindness, curiosity, patience.

CONTRACTION. I can explore any contraction already here, and I can use elements of the process to get to know it. I can notice the sensations, welcome it, invite it to notice what it is, ask it what it needs and wants. In this way, I get a sense of what it’s about, and there may be layers to this until I find something more essential.

I can also evoke a contraction, by reminding myself of a situation triggering it, or using words and sentences. For instance, I can remember a time I felt alone, and I can use the words “I am alone”.

SENSATIONS. Contractions consist of physical sensations and mental representations, and I find it helpful to ground the process by bringing attention to the physical sensations. Where in the body do I feel it? How are the sensations? I find some curiosity about it.

ALLOWING. Since my old tendency likely is to struggle with the contractions, I can intentionally do the reverse to shift out of this habit, create a new one, and allow the contraction some space.

I can notice it’s already allowed, by life, space, mind. I can notice the (endless) space it’s happening within. I can explore how it is to intentionally allow it to be as it is, and give it space to change in its own time and in its own way.

I can say to the contraction: You are welcome here. Make yourself as big as you want. Thank you for protecting me. (They are all here to protect me and the separate self.) I love you.

NEED/WANT: I can ask the contraction: What do you need and want? What would make you content and happy? This is usually something essential and universal we all need and want, at a human level.

I can also explore this more in detail, and ask: How does P. (me) relate to you? What would you like from him? What advice do you have for him?

INVITE TO FIND WHAT IT IS. I can then invite the contraction to find what it is. What are you really? Do you know what you are?

These contractions have the same nature as what I am. They are capacity for themselves, they are oneness, love, stillness and silence.

When they find themselves as this, they can rest in and as it. They can sink into what they are, rest, unravel, realign, and align with their own nature.

To do this, I first notice my own nature. I find myself as capacity for my experiences, as what my experiences happen within and as, as love, oneness, stillness and silence. And then, notice the nature of the contractions – same as mine, and I invite the contraction to find their own nature and sink into it.

RESISTANCE: In this process, there is likely some resistance. It’s good to notice and do this process with the resistance first. This is also a contraction, and meeting this first can, in itself, release a lot from the initial issue and contraction.

The resistance can be in the form of discomfort, anger, frustration, distractions, and so on. And the essence is typically fear. A natural and innocent fear, here to protect us and the separate self. It’s confused love.


This is about finding what the contractions are in more than one sense.

We find what at a human level, y these contractions need and want. What do they need and want? What’s the sense of lack they come from? What do they need and want from me? (In this process, through how I meet them, they are given what they want, and that’s part of how they are able to relax.)

We find their nature, and help them find their nature – as capacity for themselves, oneness, love, stillness, and silence.

And yet another is to recognize their role in this human self. They were created to protect this human self, often from a child’s view of the world. They are an expression of confused love.


This is a very intimate process, and it can be difficult at first since we are used to avoiding our uncomfortable experiences. We distract ourselves from them and go into stories as a distraction or some activity that distracts us. We try to make them go away. We try to fix them. And so on.

So it helps to either be familiar with more of the “training wheel” approaches that may be a bit more formal and clunky, but help us get a bit closer to what’s happening in us and approach it in a way that invites healing.

And it also helps to be guided through this, and also have a small community of others for support as we do it and in general. (That community could be just one other person.)


This simple and essential process supports deep healing.

It supports healing of how we relate to our contractions, our human self, and ultimately all of existence. We find a more welcoming, kind, and respectful way of meeting it, and recognize that its nature is – to us – the same as our own nature.

It supports healing of the different parts of our human self. These contractions can be called painful beliefs, identifications, emotional issues, hangups, and trauma. And the real healing comes from meeting them in a more kind way, find the essence of what the contraction is about (a universal need and want), and inviting these contractions to find their nature and rest in and as it.

It supports healing out of our painful separation consciousness. We find our nature and the nature of these contractions, and allow our human self to rest in and as it, and realign with it.

It supports living from noticing what we are. These contractions inevitably color our perception and life in the world, whether they are triggered or not. And when they are triggered, we can get caught in them and perceive and act from separation consciousness. Finding healing for these parts of us allows us to more easily, and in more situations in life, live more from noticing what we are.

If we want to use those labels, we can say that this process supports healing, awakening, and embodiment.


Most practices for healing and awakening mimic what naturally and organically happens when our mind is clear and kind. They come from someone noticing and becoming familiar with these processes and then setting them in system so they could more easily share them with others.

So they are, inevitably, a bit clunky and rigid. They are training wheels, useful for a while until we find a more natural and organic approach for ourselves.

What I outlined here, and many talk about, is an example of how it can look when we find a more natural, organic, and intimate process for ourselves. And it can be even simpler and more essential.

Some of the practices I am familiar with, and that have elements of this process, are: Chigong in working directly with energies. Basic meditation, in practicing noticing and allowing whatever comes up, including contractions. Process Work, in following in a more organic and playful way, what’s coming up and allowing it to show itself, guide us, and unravel. The Big Mind process, in finding what we are and dialoguing with the different parts of us. The Work of Byron Katie, in gently inquiring into stressful beliefs. The Living Inquiries, in exploring what these contractions really are.

And then two people: Pamela Wilson, in using a process very similar to this. And Amy Harwood, who reminded me of all of this through a recent course. She is intimately familiar with this process and very clear on the essence and how to support this process in others.

This is not something that belongs to any particular practice, tradition, person, or group of people. It’s inherent in all of us. It’s a natural way to heal, and even to heal out of separation consciousness.


All our experiences – of this human self, the wider world, and anything else – happens within our sense fields. They happen within and as what we are.

We can also say that we are, most fundamentally, consciousness, and all our experiences happen within and as consciousness.

When we find this, we also notice that our sense field is a seamless whole. What we label inside – in the sense of being our private experience, and outside – in the sense of our shared world, happen as parts of the same seamless field. Any sense of boundaries comes from our overlay of mental images and labels and holding these as more true than they are.

To us, the world is one. We find ourselves as oneness. And from finding oneness, there is naturally a love for it all that’s independent of feelings or states. It’s the love of the left hand removing a splinter from the right.

Since all our experiences have the same nature, there is also inherently a stillness and silence as what we are. Everything is happening, and nothing is happening.

These contractions happen within and as consciousness, within and as what we are. They have the same nature as we do.

They were formed from separation consciousness, and operate from separation consciousness. They perceive and react from separation consciousness. And since they were often formed early in our life, they often operate the way a scared child sees the world.

There is nothing really magical in this process. It’s all pragmatic and understandable.

When we, as a whole, operate from separation consciousness, we tend to struggle with these contractions. We identify with some and take on their way of perceiving the world. We want to avoid others or try to fix them or make them go away. And this identification and struggle is a big part of what holds them in place.

So instead, we can notice them as objects (disidentification), and we can welcome and allow them.

We tend to either act on these contractions or react to them, without getting to know what they really are about. So we can get to know them. Listen to what they have to say. See what they are about. Get to know their needs and wants, and the sense of lack they operate from.

We tend to not give these contractions what they want. Again, we act on them or react to them, and that’s not giving them what they want. We may also try to get what they want from the world – from others, situations, positions, and so on. And that’s also not what they want. It’s too distant and it doesn’t last. We are the only one in the perfect position to give them what they want.

We often try to contain these contractions. By identifying with and acting on them, we make them contract further. And by reacting to them, we also make them contract further. The remedy here is to allow them as they are and allow them to take up as much space as they want and for as long as they want. That too helps them relax and soften.

Contractions are made up of sensations and stories, and we tend to get caught up in that mix of sensations and stories. The sensations lend a sense of substance and reality to the stories, and the stories give the sensations a meaning. So instead, we can focus on the physical sensations. We bring our attention out of the drama created when sensations and stories mix together. And we get to see that these are sensations in the body. Eventually, we get in a visceral way that the sensations, in themselves, don’t mean anything, and the stories, without the sensations, are stories.

Even if we notice our own nature, we may still react to our contractions as if they are real, solid, and scary. One remedy here is to notice that the nature of these contractions is the same as our own, and to rest in that noticing.

In a sense, these contractions operate the way they do because they too don’t notice their true nature. They themselves take their scary stories as true and the final word, and they take their form as all there is to them. By noticing their nature, and resting with them and that noticing, and by asking them what they are, we invite them to notice for themselves. We invite this part of our consciousness to notice for itself, find a deep rest there and unwind and realign within that noticing.

These are a lot of words to describe something far more simple.


The essence of this process happened naturally following the initial awakening shift in my teens. It was generally effortless to recognize the nature of my experiences, and it was a period of flow.

Then, about ten years ago, I asked life (the divine) to show me what’s left in me. Show me what I haven’t seen yet. And within days, a huge amount of primal fear came up. This lasted at a very high level of intensity for about nine months, and at a generally less level for years.

It was so overwhelming for me that something in me shattered. Before this, meditation and intimacy with my experience was my refuge and what I enjoyed more than almost anything. And now, going inside in a very intimate way was difficult because what I met was this dread and terror.

I had to relearn all of this, in a sense. Or, perhaps more accurately, I had to learn what previously had been given to me and that I hadn’t really had to learn.

And that’s where the gifts here are for me. I get to experience how it is to flail and struggle with all of this. I get to learn how to relate to all of this in a more detailed and thorough way, including some of the steps in the process.

Note: I am writing this on my phone while at the cabin, so it’s not very well edited.

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Notice what seems the least like my nature

I find that what I am, in my own experience, is capacity for the world as it appears to me, and what my sense fields – containing this human self and the wider world – happens within and as.

Is that it? Yes and no.


I find that I sometimes notice directly, and sometimes also mistake my mental images of what I am for what they refer to. It’s often a mix.

When I look for them, I can notice these images, and that helps recognize them as images and use them as pointers for what’s already here outside of any mental fabrications.

I can also investigate these images, and my relationship with them, more in detail. For instance, through the Living Inquiries. This helps me recognize the images more easily in the moment, and it also helps release some of the charge out of them.


When I notice what I am – as capacity for my world, stillness & silence, and so on – I can also look for what in my field seems the least like this.

What in my experience, here and now, am I not recognizing as having the same nature as I have?

Usually, these are contractions – made up of mental, physical, and energetic contractions. They are parts of me still operating from separation consciousenss and from unexamined beliefs and unloved fear.

They are bubbles of separation consciousness.

When I first find myself as capacity and stillness & silence, I can notice these as having the same nature. I can rest in this noticing, and invite these contractions to find themselves as stillness & silence. This allows them to rest in it, and realign and unravel.


When I do this, and especially the stillness & silence part of it, I notice it’s a very natural process. It’s so simple and natural it’s even a bit difficult to write about.

I also see that there is no differentiation between healing, awakening, and embodiment here. All three are present in this process.

Inviting contractions to find themselves as stillness & silence is healing in that it allows emotional issues to heal.

It strengthens the habit of finding my own nature and noticing what’s in my experience as having the same nature.

And it supports living from noticing what I am. It supports embodiment since these contractions inevitably color (distort) my perception and life, and when they are triggered, it’s easy for me to temporarily get caught up in them and perceive and live from separation consciousness.

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Waking up issues and more

I’ll write more about this in other posts, but wanted to make a quick note of it here.

When there is some degree of awakening here, this awakeness can be used to wake up other things, including emotional issues.

In my case, I connect with the awakeness (bring it to awareness), I connect with the lack of awakeness in the emotional issue, and I intend for the emotional issue to wake up. To wake up from its painful dream (the reason it’s an emotional issue is that it still lives in separation consciousness) and to reality (all as the divine and One).

When we wake up emotional issues in this way, it’s deeply healing, and it also helps us to live our awakeness in more areas and situations in life (embodiment). Instead of certain situations triggering the emotional issue, there is now more space to live from awakeness.

We can also wake up parts of the physical body or objects in the same way. The divine becomes more awake to itself as and through these objects.

This is the direct way to wake up issues and other things. And there are also other ways, including through a whole range of healing modalities such as Vortex Healing (after Core Veil is gone), the Big Mind process (shifting into Big Mind/Heart, holding a part of us still not awake, and invite it to wake up and align with reality), and different other forms of inquiry (Living Inquiry, The Work, headless experiments etc.)

A few additional notes:

How, more specifically, do I go about waking up issues? In my case, I notice the awakeness of all of existence – as it appears to me and as it stretches out indefinitely. (Some connect to the awakening in their spiritual heart, a little above the physical heart.) I then bring attention to the emotional issue – where I notice a physical contraction (there is a bodily contraction with every emotional issue), and I get a sense of the (stressful, separation-consciousness created) stories connected with it. Then, I intend for the issue to wake up – for the awakeness that’s already here to infuse the issue so it can wake up to itself as the divine. (And also, so “I” can recognize it more clearly as the divine, temporarily confused, temporarily pretending to believe in stressful stories, temporarily creating a “hook” for identification and so on.) And I stay with it until I notice the shift, and a bit longer so it can deepen and settle.

There can be a “general” and “global” awakening, and yet when we have emotional issues, as we all (?) do, these parts of us still remain in separation consciousness. They were formed from separation consciousness and still operate from separation consciousness. And life “wants” these to awaken, so it’s common that at some point after the general awakening, these confused and unawake parts surface so they can join in the awakening. To the extent we struggle with it and don’t know how to deal with it in a constructive way, it can be distressing and painful, and yet it’s an essential part of awakening and embodiment. And most of us learn, over time, how to better and more consciously dance this dance.

As I sometimes do, I have written this in a more ordinary language. It’s more accurate to say that it’s the divine waking itself up. The divine is (somewhat) awake to itself here, and uses that awakeness to wake up other parts of itself (emotional issues, parts of the body, objects in the world).

I should also add that the dynamic behind waking up issues is also why it can help to be in the presence of someone awake. That local awakeness helps the divine nearby (in the form of other people) to ripen and eventually wake up to itself.

And I want to add a few words about why I am writing about this now. I have naturally done this since the initial awakening in my teens, but it has sometimes taken a back seat since many people recommend and speak about other approaches to healing and embodiment. I have re-found courage to use this more direct approach since it’s used (in a slightly different form) in Vortex Healing, and since new people in my life have spoken about it and use it themselves. Another reason is that I overcooked myself a few months ago from giving myself and receiving a lot of energy healing, and I am unable to do much conventional energy healing right now (Vortex Healing). So what’s left is this more direct approach of awakening the issues. It doesn’t tax or strain my system nearly as much.

Awakening the issues can be very helpful and can create a big transformation. It doesn’t necessarily remove the issue, but it becomes lighter and has less charge, and since it’s more awake to itself as the divine it’s easier to relate to it more intentionally and in a healthier way. And any other healing or inquiry approach can be very helpful in conjunction with waking up the issue.

I assume when we wake up issues in this way, they wake up to the extent the “global” consciousness is awake. At the very least, we can wake up issues to the truth that the person is currently aware of and experiencing.