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Thursday, November 25, 2004 |


All our views are maps of the terrain. And as all maps, they highlight some features while leaving other features out. And ultimately, they are wrong. The terrain is the terrain and the only "truth". A map is always something else.

Realizing this can help us relate to our maps/views with more flexibility. When new information comes along, we can modify our maps. And we can choose our maps according to their effects on our life rather than their ultimate "truth" (as long as they correspond relatively well with the world in other respects).

Some examples:

Helps me keep the long view and the golden principle in mind. Whatever I send out to the world will come back. This view helps me relate to others as I would want them to relate to me if our roles were reversed.

Bodhisattva Checklist View
When I see my life as if I chose it, it helps me to take responsibility for how I relate to my life. I no longer blame others for my own experiences. And I am more open for the gifts in each experience. How can I use it in a way that enriches my life and makes me more deeply human?

The World as a Gift
Another related view is the one of the world as a gift. Every situation is perfect as it is, exactly what I need to mature as a human being. What is the lesson in this situation? How can it help me live with more awareness? (of course, the necessary complementary view is that there is room for improvement in every situation).

Wednesday, November 17, 2004 |

All the Pain in the World

I did a three-day Breema workshop over the weekend, and a shift happened after I went to bed Sunday night. I felt that all the pain in the world was inside of me. It was a raw and intense experience mixed with a lot of sweetness... My heart openend, accesible to the pain in my own life and the world.

I felt very shaky the whole day Monday and Tuesday... Litterally shaky, and shaken emotionally and in my whole being - shaken down to the "foundations".

These two days of being all the pain in the whole world...it has been a sweet and terrible experience at the same time.

Monday, November 08, 2004 |


Jen and I facilitated a small informal workshop Saturday evening, using the Practices to Reconnect developed and collected by Joanna Macy.

It is a reminder of how important it is for us to connect with...

  • Our despair and pain that comes from our intimate connection with the rest of the world. When we do not acknowledge it, it paralyzes us and leads to burn-out. When we do acknowledge it, it leads to an open heart, energy, enthusiasm and a realization of our interconnectedness.
  • The larger view - the Earth as a whole and past and future generations. In our work towards the Great Turning, we can experience support from past and future generations and all non-human beings.
  • Our sense of meaning and mission in the world. What makes my heart sing? Where do I receive energy and feel nourished? Where is the intersection between my own needs and the needs of the larger world?

Dream :: Intention + Body/Mind Together = Change Saturday, November 06, 2004 |

A council generated proposals that would either pass or not pass. When they were named 22, 24 and 25, they did not pass (blocked). When they wanted a proposal to pass, they renamed it number 23, and it passed easily and quickly.


There are several associations to this that all seem to point in the same direction

  • From my time reading I Ching and daoist literature, I remember...
    2 = body
    3 = mind
    2+3 = body and mind together (living from the larger whole)
    When body and mind are brought together, everything flows.

  • 23 is a prime number. One that is complete in itself, and prime - primary. When I am clear about my priorities, and place emphasis on what is of primary importance, I can more easily make a decision.

  • And 23 was a year where I felt everything coming together: relationships, mind/body work (tai chi, chi gong, Tibetan meditation practice), art, studies (psychology at UiO).
Intention + mind/body together = change


Wednesday, November 03, 2004 |

Empathy - from rants

Without empathy, there is little room for us to change our perspective.

We cannot experience in ourselves what we see in others. We cannot taste how others may experience their situation. We loose fluidity. We loose our ability to mature as human beings.

Empathy comes from allowing ourselves to stay with our own experiences. To hold them, allow them to unfold. And express them as appropriate.

When we do not allow ourselves to stay with our experiences, we cut ourselves off from our connection with others, humanity, ourselves, and our own potential for maturing as a human being...

We are stuck in rigidity. We live in fear for facing what we cut ourselves off from. We live in fear for being exposed. We stay with the narrow and comfortable. We may adopt ideologies that justify our rigidity.

George Bush, unfortunately, may be an example of the latter. See this essay taking a Jungian perspective on his way of being.

[Bush in Black and White - by Donald Williams]


Breema & Zen

The principles of Breema and Zen are very much aligned. When I do Breema, I experience it as Zen in motion.

Still, there are some differences.

The main one may be that in Breema, we deal with difficult situations (any situation actually) by coming back to the weight of the body and the breath. This allows us to be here, now, and relate to the situation from a space of centeredness.

In Zen, we are encouraged to take difficult situations as a koan. To stay with it, contain it, go fully into it, become it, live it, to throw everything - energy, emotions, thoughts - into it. Through this, we live it fully and allow it to work on us. There is no separation as our life becomes the situation or issue. We contain in from spaciousness - no matter how large it seems, it is still experienced as only a small part of the spacious mind. And we can relate to it from Big Mind - the view that embraces everything and is beyond dualities.

Process Work is a third approach, where we pick up any symptom and follow the process behind it. The symptom can be any characteristic of our experience (inner/outer world), and the process is followed in any channel (taste, smell, hearing, visual, movement, relationships, larger world). It allows us to process it in another way than Zen, although the outcome may be similar.

Zen allows us to go fully into and live the situation and our experience. Process Work helps us unfold the process behind it. And Breema allows us to relate to it from centeredness and grounding. Each is an invaluable tool.

My experience so far tells me that the Breema approach - if used alone - could set up a shadow situation. Some aspects of our experience may be put aside and not processed sufficiently. Although going deeper into Breema may resolve that. It is after all a profound practice where the non-separateness of existence is deeply experienced, and where we relax and melt into our experiences - no matter what they are.