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Heat Exhaustion & Brilliance Monday, July 31, 2006 |

After a summer with days of 40 degree weather and no problems, I had a case of (medium severity) heat exhaustion yesterday. I allowed myself to be less vigilant because of the cooler weather, so I was dehydrated in the morning, skipped a meal, and then got heat exhaustion in the afternoon - during a hot ride to Crater Lake.

Brilliance, and human self in trouble

It was an interesting experience.

On the one hand, there was the brilliant clarity and space within which and as everything unfolded.

On the other hand, there was also the seeing of this human self not functioning very well, especially cognitively. The thinking apparatus was mostly far in the background, and the small moves it made did not always make much sense in the situation.

There was an almost complete absence of identity or identification, although the possibility of access to personal info if anyone had asked for it.

It was just what is, the brilliant clarity and space within which and as everything happens and unfolds. It was quite beautiful in a certain way.

In the noticing of this human self not doing so well, there was also the recognition of patterns which seems similar to dementia, retardation, delirium and so on. There was noticing of the mental level operating in ways which matched these, and yet this too within and as the brilliant clear space.

It is all OK

There was also the noticing of it all really being OK, even if this human self ceases to function (a possibility, but not likely, yesterday) . It is OK. The brilliance is timeless. It is that which the world of phenomena - including space and time, and this human self - arises within and as. It all arises as waves in an ocean, and there is no need - or possibility - to hold onto any particular wave.

I often hear stories of people with hyper- or hypo-thermia, saying it is all OK, that it is OK to leave them alone. This is how I experienced it yesterday, and I wonder if the other cases are similar to this one.

When the center of gravity shifts into the brilliant clear space - the Always Already, the Nature of mind - then it is revealed as OK. This human self continues to live for a while. This human self dies. It is really all OK, in the context of the nature of mind revealed to itself in this way.

Not OK and OK

Of course, in a conventional view all is not OK. The body needs urgently to be cooled down, it needs water and salts, it needs rest. This is where "it is all OK" is a sign of delirium. (It may come from a place where the human level is not seen as significant anymore, and exclusively so). Yet, "all is OK" is perfectly accurate when seen from the Ground of the brilliant clear space.

So the delirium of heat exhaustion is very real on the human level. Others typically need to take care of the person since she/he is not able to - or really not interested in, doing so for her/him self. At the same time, the center of gravity may shift into clear brilliant space, the nature of mind, allowing it all to be recognized as perfectly OK as it is.

Always here

The ground of the clear brilliant space is always here, right now.

The ground of the clear brilliant space is that within and as the world of phenomena unfolds, right now.

The ground of the clear brilliant space is sometimes in the background, when there is an identification with particular phenomena. And it is sometimes in the foreground, when it becomes aware of and recognizes itself.

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Currently into... Sunday, July 30, 2006 |

  • A. H. Almaas
    The Void, Essence. The beauty of acknowledging and working with the seamlessness of human, soul and nondual levels, and of following one's own process while being aware of parallels in many traditions.

  • Ken Wilber
    Integral Spirituality. The beauty of genius and integration.

  • Adyashanti
    True Meditation and more . The beauty of clarity and simplicity.

  • Joel Morwood
    Talks. The beauty of clarity and finding parallels in many mystical traditions.

  • The Work
    of Byron Katie, over phone and on my own. Unraveling beliefs, undoing the knots.

  • Big Mind process
    Exploring the ways the mind works at personal and transpersonal levels, and seeing that there is no I anywhere in all of this.

  • Breema
    Instructor training. Deepening and exploring being/soul level connection.

  • Diksha
    Catalyst for awakening. (Amazingly effective, in my limited experience.)

  • Process Work
    Facilitating myself and others, and taking classes/workshops at the PW Center in Portland. Unfolding the process behind, and finding the gifts in, symptoms (anything coming up as a disturbance or anything interest goes to).

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Israel & Lebanon |

I usually don't mention current affairs here, but want to write something about the current atrocities in Lebanon. It is astonishing to me how the international community can watch, mainly in silence, as Israel is attacking, bombing and killing large numbers of civilians in a neighboring country - possibly even using chemical weapons in the process (hardly mentioned at all in the international media).

It is just another example of what we all do - justify or accept behavior by "friends" or "us" that we would never accept by "enemies" or "others". In this case, the western world sees Israel as "us", and watches in silence. While Muslims and Muslim countries are still "other", so their lives are implicitly seen as less valuable and important, and their actions treated with far more skepticism and criticism, and far less patience and tolerance.

For me, one of the lights in this is seeing the reactions in Norway (my home country) which is far more critical to Israel's actions than what I see in most of the western world. There seems to be a tradition in Norway to take a more deeply human view and also to side with the underdogs, relatively independent of who they are, and in this case the underdogs are Lebanese civilians.

So as I see this behavior of the Israelis - an almost insane cruelty and violence, and the behavior of the international community - complacency and silence, then the question is - how does this show up in my own life? How is this alive in me right now, as I see this, and how is it alive in my life in other situations?

As I watch and see my own reaction to the behavior of the Israelis, I see the same violence and cruelty in me as I see in them. For me, it is directed towards the actions of the Israelis, and for them, it is directed towards Lebanese civilians. I relate to the Israelis as I see them relate to the Lebanese.

As I watch and see my own reaction to the behavior of the international community, I again see in me what I see in them. I find the same complacency in myself as in them. After all, what am I doing about it? Hardly anything. I am passively watching as I see them passively watch. On another level, I see myself sometimes passively watch my own reactions, without investigating them. There is war right here, created by my beliefs and their clash with reality, and I am passively watching without examining what is really going on.

And I can just note this. Just see it. Take it in. It is information. There is no need to add an additional layer of drama to it, by adding stories about what I see in myself. And if I do, then that is just something else to see, to take note of.

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Good Integral Opportunity Friday, July 28, 2006 |

I received an email from the Integral Institute with an offer to join conference calls with Ken Wilber, where he will answer questions about each of the chapters of his new book, Integral Spirituality.

Beginning August 12, Ken Wilber, author of 24 books, including Sex, Ecology, Spirituality, A Brief History of Everything and Grace and Grit, will be discussing Integral Spirituality, his upcoming book, by live conference call with members of Integral Spiritual Center. Ken will do one call for each of the ten chapters of the book—plus the appendix!

Sounds good to me. It is a great way to dig into the material a little furthen than I normally do - breezing through the text just to get the gist of it, if that.

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Traditional & Eclectic |

Whenever I talk with someone who is deeply committed to a particular practice or path, a double response comes up in me. One voice says "ha! I know approaches that can resolve those things in a flash!" and another says "I am not that committed, I'll never get anywhere because my focus is too spread out and I jump from one thing to another".

Some beliefs behind these may be...

"They should know what I know", "I know better", "They are not using the most effective approach", "They should be more open minded"

And "I need to stay with one thing to get anywhere", "I am not staying with one thing", "They are more dedicated than I am", "My focus is too spread out", "I am not sticking with tried and true approaches".

Of course, both the traditional sticking-with-one-thing approach and the more eclectic and integral one have their value and merit.

One is tried and true, well formed, clear, giving predictable results. Although it is sometimes a little narrow, not making use of tools and techniques from outside the tradition which may work well for them. It is a little like a horse with blinders - focused but partially blind.

The other is wildly eclectic, using whatever works, cross training through combining practices, willing to modify, let go of, and adopt practices depending on what is available, experience and what seems to work the best. At the same time, it is definetely not a tried and true approach, it is more risky and often less proven by time, it can be a little scattered at times. There is a wide view, yet also maybe not a clear path.

A pretty safe way may be to (a) follow a traditional practice over time, with the guidance of an experienced teacher, and (b) add onto it various other techniques which may help in specific areas. The main course is solid and stays the same, while the side dishes and garnish change according to what is available, what seems to work, and just plain curiosity and sense of adventure.

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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.

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What I do not have within me |

The Gospel of Thomas is known to be more esoteric (in the sense of reflecting a mystic's approach) and closer to Eastern philosophies than many of the other gospels, both those included in the New Testament and not.

One of the sayings in the Gospel of Thomas is...

What you do not have within you will kill you.

This seems closely related to the being eaten by time vs. eating time topic. And it is another topic that can be explored with the Big Mind process, even if what is (Big Mind, Buddha Mind, Spirit) has not yet completely awakened to its own nature.

Identification as a fragment

If there is an identification as a fragment of what is, then whatever is "other" can (and eventually will) harm me - at least in my own experience.

Identification as Witness

If there is a belief in the thought I, now referring to Witness, to pure awareness, then I find myself as a mirror for the world of phenomena. The world of phenomena, including this human self and anything else, is arising within me and I am not touched by it, I am stainless. The world of phenomena is a seamless whole, including this human self and anything else. It is absent of I and Other. There is nothing outside of me to harm me.

But there is still a belief in the thought I, which does create a sense of Other. I am pure awareness, the world of phenomena is Other. There is a subtle sense of subject and object. There is still an identification with a fragment, even if this fragment is timeless and pure awareness. There may be an experience of oneness, intimacy and no separation with all there is, yet within a context of a(n apparently) subtle I and Other. So there is still something outside of me which can harm me, and it will so I can have an opportunity to see this.

If there is stuckness here, there can be a fall from grace allowing the remaining belief in the thought I to wear down and off (the dark night of the soul). Immediate experience is out of alignment with the belief in the thought I, so existence shakes things up to allow even this belief to erode and fall away.

Absent of beliefs

When there is an absence of belief in thoughts, including the thought I, there is really no inside or outside, no subtle I remaining to create a sense of a subtle Other. It all is, as it is. Or we can say that the whole field is I, beyond any sense of subject or object. There is nothing outside to harm, and no "me" to be harmed. It is all just emptiness dancing.

Projections

Another way to look at this is in terms of projections. Whenever something is perceived as only or mostly "out there", there is a blind projection going on, and this can and will (apparently) harm me.

There is a belief in a set of thoughts, creating an identity, and whatever does not fit into this identity is experienced as "Other". As long as these are seen as Other, there will be a sense of struggle, a sense of war with what is, an experience of stress and even suffering.

As what is seen as Other is gradually included in I or me, there is a gradual and progressive sense of wholeness, of being at home, of being at peace with what is.

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Eating Time |

One of the instructors at the Breema Center talked about eating time, rather than having time eat us. It is a snappy metaphor.

If I am exclusively identified as something within space & time, as an aspect of the world of phenomena, as a fragment, then time easily becomes an enemy - at least sometimes. I am at the mercy of time. I am at the mercy of change and eventually death. Time eats me.

If I find myself as Witness - pure awareness, or as Big Mind - beyond and including all polarities, then space and time is within me. I am timeless, and that in which time and space happen. I am that within and as which all phenomena unfolds - all births and all deaths. I am eating time.

Talking about it is of course not very useful, other than for the person doing the talking (an opportunity to explore and clarify my own experience and put words on it). But this is something that can be explored by anyone in ones own immediate experience, through for instance the Big Mind process.

First, how does time look from the voice of for instance the finite (an enemy, something that brings me my death, something that threatens my very existence). And then, how does time look from the voice of non-seeking mind, timelessness, Witness or Big Mind (something unfolding within and as me, as waves within the ocean, I am the mirror in which time and space unfolds).

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Dream :: Mirror |

I am talking with a young woman whom I experience a deep connection with. She is mature, wise, and youthful at the same time. I notice that when there is an easy connection with myself, our connection is easy and strong as well, and when I lose the connection with myself our connection weakens. Intimacy with myself seems to automatically be mirrored in an easy intimacy with her, and moving away form intimacy with myself is mirrored in moving away from intimacy with her.

The woman in the dream is not anyone I know in waking life, yet she seemed more familiar to me than anyone I know - as a lost sister or soulmate. She is me, although a feminine and more mature, evolved, whole, wise and spirited version of me. And it was clear that my connection with myself is closely mirrored in my relationship with her.

When I do inquiry, I explore this intimacy with what is really true for me - distinct from all the beliefs. Also in daily life, I notice a continuous flux in moving closer or further away from this intimacy with myself. This experience is at the core of the dream, this continuous monitoring of intimacy with myself and the consequences of moving closer or further away.

The woman in the dream can be seen as my anima, or also as my soul (the middle level of human self, soul and nondual). The relationship with myself and with her mirror each other exactly, because they are two expressions of the same relationship.

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Pretending * Thursday, July 27, 2006 |

It seems that the lens of inquiry leads to some shared insights...

  • Thoughts leads to emotions
  • Discrepancy between beliefs and what is leads to stress
  • or - Discrepancy between what is already true for me and my beliefs lead to stress
  • The world is my mirror
  • The world is my teacher
  • Even beliefs that almost everyone agree upon fall away when questioned, such as I am a human being, I am, I
And maybe most surprisingly for many, the whole human drama appears as simply pretending.

There is the pretending of believing in thoughts. The pretending of taking the consequences of beliefs as real, including the emotions, confusion and actions that come out of it.

What is
, distinct from any stories about it, is already alive in immediate experience - just temporarily and apparently covered up by beliefs in thoughts. And since this is already alive here now, there is simply just the pretending of believing in thoughts. There is the attempt to believe in thoughts, and a great deal of energy goes into this attempt.

What is, distinct from any stories of it, is alive in awareness right here now. Yet, there may not be awareness of this awareness. The pretending is alive here now, and in the same way there may not be awareness of this awareness. That is the mechanism that allows the pretending to go on for a little longer, until there is the inevitable (?) waking up.

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Inquiry Aspects |

Some aspects of the Byron Katie inquiry...

Using pen and paper, or being facilitated by someone else, provides the container for the inquiry. It provides some stability and focus. It has a similar function as shamata in Buddhist meditation.

Question no. 1 and 2 - can I know it is true, can I absolutely know it is true - allows for a beginning detachment from the story, it opens the door for allowing attachment to it to fall away.

Question no. 3 - how do I react when I believe that thought - is similar to catharsis (allowing it all out) and allows for simple and clear seeing of it.

Question no. 4 - who would I be without the thought - is similar to shikantaza, just finding myself as clarity and whatever happens, without being caught up in stories.

The turnarounds is similar to projection and shadow work, and also allow for more fluidity of mind. From the prison of believing one perspective and rejecting other perspectives, there is more fluidity and freedom, allowing thoughts to function more as what they are - innocent questions.

And each of these, and all together, is a form of insight meditation - providing insight into the dynamics (content) and nature (ground) of mind.

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Perfection |

Whenever I believe in a thought, I become a perfectionist. I make up an ideal of how the world is and/or should be, and experience stress when reality don't match up to it.

In the release of these beliefs, another perfection is revealed. The first perfection is the conventional one, needing its opposite for its existence. It is the world divided into perfect and imperfect, good and bad. The second perfection is what is, revealed when beliefs in stories about it falls away.

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Night Watch |

During the Breema intensive in Oakland, I ran out of t-shirts and went down to a second hand clothing store to find a couple - until I had access to a washer & dryer. Among these was a black one with a mix of russian and english words, saying Night Watch 6-26-06 on the back. I thought that whatever it refers to, it probably fits, and was curious about what it would turn out to be. After all, the world is my mirror - reminding me of what is already right here.

Looking it up in an idle moment today, I found that Night Watch is a Russian science-fiction movie, and the date refers to the release date of the computer game.

Living among normal are the 'Others', who possess various supernatural powers. They are divided up into the forces of light and the forces of dark, who signed a truce several centuries ago to end a devastating battle. Ever since, the forces of light govern the day while the night belongs to their dark opponents. In modern day Moscow, the dark Others roam the night as vampires and other evil nightmares, while a "Night Watch" of light forces (among them Anton, a kind of seer and the movie's main character) try to control them and limit their outrages. [source]

And yes, that indeed fits. According to conventional views, and really any view that divide the world into "good" and "bad", I can find both of those in me - and it is often hidden, often masked by politeness. Which ones govern fluctuates, as day follows night follows day. Nothing new there. The movie is, as any movie, a portrait of me. (How clearly and thoroughly I see it and allows that seeing to inform my life is another matter.)

The night watch itself mirrors shadow work, including in the form of inquiry - which is catharsis, shadow work, and insight meditation rolled into one.

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Living Without the Drama Wednesday, July 26, 2006 |

I see over and over that inquiry is to live without the drama, and for those tired of the drama.

There is nothing wrong with drama, but at some point there is enough familiarity with it for us to want to move beyond. Drama is interesting for a while, then the interest moves to that which is beyond drama. To the ease and clarity on the other side of drama. To living an ordinary human life with less and eventually absence of attachment to stories, which are really all just the stories of I.

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Saturday, July 22, 2006 |

Lack & Void *

I am enjoying reading The Void by A. H. Almaas, where he outlines a process of: sense of lack > experience of hole in body image > awareness of space > awareness of the emptiness of space > awareness of the fullness of space.

Space is often initially experienced as "other" and the experience of it is resisted, then after resistance falls away or is reduced, space is more immediate and still "other", then - the process of dissolving conventional identity starts, space may be experienced as "I", and eventually there may be just the emptiness and fullness of space with no I anywhere.

This is of course a variation of what mystics from many traditions say: our conventional sense of emptiness, lack of meaning, or lack in general, is a yearning for awakening - for finding ourselves as not lacking anything.

Somewhere, there is the knowing of what we are. Yet, our conventional identity prevents us from seeing this. Everything we are which does not fit into this identity is placed "out there" by a story added onto it. And in the awakening, we see that we already have - or rather are - everything we are looking for.

All of this - the nature of who (or rather what) we are - is already alive in our immediate experience. We already know ourselves as it. But then we place a number of stories on top of it, creating an identity of an isolated "I", an identity of this not that, and it is temporarily obscured. So no wonder there is the conventional sense of lack and emptiness. We are missing a conscious knowing of who we already are, in our fullness. We consciously know ourselves only as a little fragment of what we are, although the rest is right there under our noses. As the Sufis say, we are like a fish looking for the water - which is already there surrounding it.

Simply said, we are everything arising right now - in this very moment, absent of I anywhere. This is the divine mind, Buddha Mind, Spirit, emptiness dancing, right here already. Right under our noses, yet appearing so far away when there is the holding onto an identity of "I" as a fragment of this.

I also find it interesting how Almaas is using an approach in unfolding the initial, conventional sense of lack and emptiness into an awareness of ourselves as space. It is very similar to the unfolding process in Process Work, although PW has not (yet) gone quite as far into the nondual. They are still at the edge of it, exploring the edge in different ways, peeking occasionally over at the other side, curious about it. (They seem to be at the edge as a group, individuals may well go further).

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Language & Awakenings |

Going to Breema intensives is a good opportunity for me to explore the connection between language and awakenings, or rather how the world appears and what language we tend to use at different levels of awakening.

Centaur awakening

The first level of awakening beyond the conventional (where the center of gravity seems to be for most people) is an awakening as a psyche/body whole. This is the F6 or centaur level in Wilber's framework. It is a significant shift from being identified as a fragment within this whole, and we may say that I am that whole of which psyche and body are aspects. It certainly gives a sense of wholeness, fullness and of being more at home as a human being. There is still a sense of I, placed on this human self, so that in itself is inherently stressful - although within a different context than before.

Soul level awakening

At F7/F8 levels of awakenings (soul level, nature/deity mysticism), there is often a language of unity, no separation, intimacy, oneness and so on. All are words which reflects that there is still a sense of I there, although an I one with everything else. It is all God, Spirit, the Divine Mind, yet with a sense of I placed somewhere within it.

Witness awakening

In an F9 level awakening, as Witness, there is similarly a sense of I remaining, and language such as I am not this body, emotions, thoughts, etc. The world of phenomena here appears as a seamless field, there is no inside or outside. But there is a sense of I as observer, as Witness, as pure awareness. There is a sense of I as a clear mirror for the world. Itself absent of any preferences, and merely watching the preferences of this human self. There is also a taste of doing without doer at this point, the human self is just operating on its own as everything else. It is all just happening.

Nondual awakening

In a nondual awakening, where everything is revealed as inherently absent of any I, the language again changes. And it becomes even more clear how inadequate language is to describe the way the world appears from these awakenings. Everything just happens, I am That, Suchness, absence of I, emptiness dancing - none of these are very helpful, yet do make sense when the awakening happens. And it is completely clear that everything is just happening, including the activities of this human self. There is doing, and no doer anywhere.

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Anatomy of a Thought Friday, July 21, 2006 |

If thoughts - or rather believing in thoughts - sometimes create so much problems for us, it seems interesting to look at how thoughts appear in my immediate experience.

In looking at thoughts, all I can find is a (mental) image, sometimes associated with a sound. And that is all. Not much, if any, substance there. They are fleeting, ephemeral, inherently innocent, almost nothing at all.

Yet, they can have major impacts on our lives when they are believed in.

And what is a belief? It seems to be a thought about a thought. A story about a story saying that it is real, substantial, something to be completely trusted as a guideline in spite of indications otherwise. It is a story of another story saying that it can be taken as real. It is a story saying that the map (the story) really is the terrain (what is). And that seems pretty crazy, yet it is happening for most of us.

And when this story about a story is seen through, thoughts are liberated.

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Adventures of Space |

This last winter and spring, there were several months where everything was experienced very clearly as space. It is not a new experience for me, but this time the "volume" of it was turned high up. This body and everything else was clearly just space. At the same time, there was a sense of all dials going to zero, of being held by complete neutrality. And there was also a sense of profound fatigue, of inactivity (maybe inviting me to see something I typically don't want to see).

Now, the space is still the same - everything as space. Space is still in the foreground, yet a little more subdued. And the energy and engagement is coming back, yet now within a context of neutrality.

For instance, when I bring attention to the experience of this body, it is space and even the few fragments of sensations arising and fading away are themselves space. Sensations come and go, here and there in space, but they in no way make up a "body". They just arise within and as space, as everything else.

I should also mention that during this period, things got dredged up for me - some deep and stressful beliefs and their corresponding emotions including despair. The intensity got to the point where resistance had little or no chance of working. There was little choice but to surrender to and just allow the experiences. This resistance and surrender happened over and over, and I saw the pattern of resistance=suffering and being with=the experience itself transforming, including finding a quiet joy in the midst of it.

I also see that the word "space" is a rough aproximation. More accurately, it is emptiness, void, nonexistence arising as existence. And then there is a story on top of it making it appear as space and extension, just as there is a story of it as time. And neither of those are really there.

At the time, and now looking back at it, it seems that this was part of the process catalyzed by the diksha.

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Thursday, July 20, 2006 |

Inquiry & Motivation

I find several typical motivations for doing inquiry...

One is the motivation to change circumstances through inquiry. I want to change through inquiry so people will like me more. I want physical symptoms to go away. I want to be more engaged in the world through resolving belief knots (draining energy). And so on.

Another motivation is to find peace with whatever is, independent of external and internal situations.

And yet another motivation is simply to see what is going on. Simple curiosity. Simple interest in whatever is happening.

For instance: What is happening around beliefs - the effects of beliefs, and what happens without them. What seems more true for me around a certain situation or issue. How I respond to looking into beliefs and what is really (already) more true for me. How it is to allow cherished beliefs to fall away through finding what is more true for me, and allowing it to sink in. How it is to allow identities to unravel along with beliefs. And so on.

It seems that all three are often present, in different mixes that sometimes change through any one inquiry process. And just seeing that is good information. None of these is an enemy, and if it seems that way then that is just another statement to take to inquiry(!). Simply seeing this is food for the natural, effortless intelligence of the mind, allowing it to reorganize on its own and in its own time.

Over time, there is also the seeing of the different consequences of the different motivations. The first one - seeking to change the circumstances, may often lead to a sense of it not being completely resolved. The second one is OK. And the third one is more peaceful and simple, allowing a deepening into peace and simplicity - independent of circumstances.

And this too is another story. Another overlay of what is.

Examples of Projection |

I feel in need of rest, notice restfulness right here, place a story on it making it appear to come in the future, and notice the story and the restfulness right here.

I notice clarity and insights here, place a story on it making it appear out there on a teacher, notice this story and projection, and find the clarity and insights right there.

I notice death right here, place a story of it being in the future or for someone else, and notice it right here - as the nothingness, the void, the nonbeing, nonexistence, right here in immediate experience.

I notice discomfort right here, add a story of it being in the future, and notice the discomfort right here - including the discomfort created by believing the story.

I notice a conscious attitude which is not aligned with what is more true for me, place a story on it which makes it appear on someone else (he is wrong), and notice it right here - as holding onto a story not really true for me. I am the one who is wrong, according to what is more true for me.

I notice anger right here, place a story on it making it appear as being in another, and then notice the anger right here, alive in the present.

The process

For each of these... (i) The first noticing of the quality is not or only partially conscious. (ii) A story is added onto it appearing to place it somewhere else - in the past, future, onto "others". (iii) This is noticed (as a projection). And (iv) the quality itself is noticed right here, alive in the midst of the story about it.

Between (i) and (ii), there is a reason for a story being placed on it making it appear "out there". The main reason is that the presence of the quality right here now does not fit a story we believe in. Or we could say that it does not fit into our conscious worldview or identity.

I believe a story saying I am only tired right now, so see restfullness in the future. I believe a story of how I am not clear and insightful, so I see it in a teacher. I believe the story that I am alive, not dead, so death is in the past, future, and for others right now. I believe a story of discomfort being in the future, so don't see the discomfort right here. I believe the story that I am right, so somebody else is wrong. I believe the story that I am not angry, so I see it in somebody else.

The overall process comes full circle, from noticing the quality and back to noticing the quality, although the quality itself is made more conscious through the initial projection. Sometimes it is easier to see it out there first, and then right here, where it always is.

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Projections Noticed ** |

To follow up on the previous post...

Whenever I notice a thought (or sense) of anything in the past, future or "out there", I know a projection is involved. Whenever something appears "out there" somewhere, it is a clear sign and reminder to look at the projection.

So I can simply see that the quality appearing "out there" is already and immediately right here. In the middle of the projection, in the middle of the story about it, in the middle of the sense of it being "out there", it is already right here. It is already alive right here, in my immediate experience.

Finding this allow the projection to fall away. It is seen through. What appeared out there is noticed and found right here.

No fancy technique is needed. It is immediate, fresh.

And it may also come up since I have worked with projections for a while, including through inquiry. Who knows. That too is a story placing the process of unraveling in the past, while it is really unfolding right now.

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Projections ** |

I often experience a particular insight as fresh and immediate. And then make a story out of it, compare it with memories of other stories, and note with some surprise that it seems "old". This story is similar to an old story, yet the experience of what the stories point to is fresh and new.

Insights pointing to exactly where I am stuck

As soon as there is any belief in the label "insight" or the story this label refers to, that is of course exactly where I am stuck.

That is where I create a sense of identity, of I and other. That is where I split the world up in right and wrong, clarity and confusion. That is where I lose myself, where there is a sense of alienation, something to hold onto, something to protect, a weapon to make others wrong.

Projections as immediate

One of these insights is of projections as immediate.

A quality arises and is noticed. A story is added to it, apparently placing the quality "out there" - in the past, future, on others. And I can notice this, and find the quality alive right here.

It is very simple. Very immediate. Releasing the whole confusion that comes with blind projections.

And again, the story I put on this is apparently as the old story of projections, the one I have hold onto since my teens - when I got heavily into Jung and anything having to do with projections.

Yet the experience of it is different, far more immediate and fresh. Without any fancy tools or techniques. Just unfolding immediately and simply, allowing the temporary confusion to unravel.
And even this story of it being an "old" insight is a projection. The insight is alive right here. And I add a story on it appearing to place it (partly) in the past.

What is alive right now is all there is. There is no past, apart from stories about it. And these stories unfold right now.

Already alive here now

The world may agree with my stories about the past, or not, but they are still only stories - unfolding right now.

And the content of the stories, what they refer to, is also (only and already) alive right now, right here. It is all already alive right here now, right in the midst of the stories about them.

It is already noticed right here now, and all I need to do is noticing exactly that.

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Inquiry : They Should See Everything as Included |

A situation yesterday was what nudged the recent Everything Included posting into existence: A housemate received an astrology reading out on the deck, and I decided to do a quick vacuuming before it got dark - with the door to the deck closed. It turned out they were doing a channeling at that time, and asked me to turn off the vacuum. So of course, the thought (really, a belief) came up that...

They should see everything as included. (Or - they should use practices where everything happening is naturally included.)

  1. Is it true?

    Yes. Feels true. Seems... more inclusive, would make it easier on them, fewer things appearing as "other" and a disturbance.

  2. Can I absolutely know that it is true, or that it would be better for their path?

    No. Cannot know that it would be better for their path.

  3. How do I react when I have that thought (and they do not see everything as included, in my story).

    I feel that seeing everything as included is somehow superior to their approach, and identity with this more superior approach. I may mentally run through why it is more superior, also looking for real-life evidence to support it.

    I also try to hide this sense of superiority. I don't want them to see it, partly because I suspect it is not true and don't want my fiction to be blown.

    I experience a sense of separation to them, and to myself as well, a sense of disconnection and distance.

    How do I treat them?

    I am polite and follow their request, but with a slight air of smugness, as if dealing with someone who does not quite get it - yet.

    How do I treat myself?

    As somebody who knows. Somebody who gets it, at least in this one area. As someone set apart from those who doesn't get it.

    When did I first have the thought?

    Probably in my mid teens when I started working with projections. I remember even then viewing friends, teachers, politicians, anyone in the media in this way - as often not quite getting it, as being in the grips of blind projections and not even knowing it. As approaching life in a fragmented way.

    What is the payoff?

    I get to be right, to know, to have access to privileged insights.

    What is the cost?

    Sense of distance, alienation, being cut off from them and myself. In the midst of seeing myself as right, there is confusion and a sense of being lost due to this distance and disconnect. It is uncomfortable. Also, I make myself less receptive to the fullness of the situation. In attaching to being right, I blind myself to new insights and to seeing myself more clearly. I make myself stuck through righteousness.

    What is the worst that could happen if I don't have the thought?

    I would go into their view, forgetting for myself to see everything as included. I would be blind. > Turnaround: I would not forget to see everything as included. That seems more true. In the peace of not holding onto the initial thought, there would just be more clarity and effortless inclusiveness.

  4. Who would I be without the thought? (In that same situation.)

    I would appreciate them looking out for themselves. Taking what is true for them in the present seriously and acting on it, taking care of themselves that way. I would see the beauty in it. The simplicity of it.

    Also, I would see that they may be right, even according to what is currently true for me. For some activities, it may be good to exclude certain things (such as the noise from vacuuming).

    There would be peace for me. Receptivity to the situation. No need for the mental activity of justifying and protecting a particular view.

  5. (a) They should not see everything as included.

    Yes. That is more true. They should take what is true for them in the present seriously, and they do. I can see the beauty in that, and how I want the same for myself.

    What are the gifts for me?

    I get to see a different way of relating to the world, and what comes up in me in seeing it. I get to do inquiry around it, if it triggers stress or discomfort in me. I get to see them as my genuine teachers.

    (b) I should see everything as included.

    Yes, the advice is for myself. In particular, I should see their current path - what is true for them in the present, as included. There is no need for me to mentally try to exclude it through my own resistance to it and my mental gymnastics around it, as described under no. 3.

    (c) I should not see everything as included.

    Yes, also true. I should not think that everything is included in my own insight and understanding (!). It certainly isn't, but if I believe the initial statement, then I behave as if it is, as if my present understanding is complete. I am tricking myself. Short changing myself. Settling for less. Cutting myself off from receptivity, new insights, maturing.
I have been doing most of my inquiries with others lately, often over phone, and noticed a difference this time in writing it down. I noticed that a slight discomfort came up, which seems to do with (a) going more into the mental and not allowing time to soak in the insights, and (b) a motivation of wanting to "get it right" or make it look "good". When I work with another person, it seems easier for me to take time for it to sink in, which also makes it easier to be more precise and sober in seeing what is happening. Of course, this is just another statement for inquiry: I can go deeper in inquiry with someone else facilitating me. Is it true? Probably not.

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Everything is Included * |

I seem to be naturally drawn to approaches which embody the "everything is included" view.

Shikantaza allows every experience to come and go as guests. Any sound, anything going on in the surroundings, any emotion, any thought, any movement, it is all included. It is all experienced. It all unfolds within (and really as) awareness. There is no "other" in the sense of anything that is excluded, anything seen as a disturbance.

The practice in insight meditation of noting is similar. There is a sound, sight, sensation, smell, thought, and just noted as that. Somebody fires up a leaf blower outside the house, and there is just "sound", "sound", "sensation", "thought", "sensation", "sound". Whatever comes up is included. Simply noted.

And it is the same in Breema. I give or receive a Breema session, and whatever happens is included. The phone rings. The birds chirp outside. Somebody walks through the room. It is all part of the session, and also experienced that way. It becomes part of the texture of the experience, part of the landscape of what is happening.

It is also similar in Process Work. Whatever happens in my life is a starting point for unraveling the process behind it. And whatever happens during a PW session is included. It is information coming through the world channel, unfolded as anything else. Leading to a gift, as anything else.

The Work also includes everything. There is stress, I identify the belief behind it, and inquire into it. Again, any of life's circumstances is fodder for insight. The world is my mirror. Even the situations that seemed the most disturbing are revealed as offering gifts. The degree of initial disturbance mirrors exactly the sense of release when there is more clarity around it.

Whatever happens allows me to find myself as the aware space they unfold as and within.

Whatever happens allows me to see it as just sensation, sight, sound, smell, taste, thought, and find liberation from attaching to the stories about it.

Whatever happens is included in the Breema session, and in my life when I bring the Breema atmosphere into my daily activities.

Whatever happens reveals a gift when unfolded. It is revealed as and leads to exactly what I need.

Whatever happens is a mirror to me. It is an invitation to notice beliefs, inquire into them, and finding the ease and clarity on the other side of beliefs and inquiry.

Picking up the Pieces |

I notice a tendency to periodically going into less than optimal states, at least as defined by conventional views. I may stay up late and not get enough sleep. I may eat too much ice cream. I may not do much yoga or meditation for a while. And so on.

It seems that these phases are invitations to pick up the pieces. To find those aspects of myself I often and typically avoid, and bring these more into awareness. To allow the beliefs about these aspects to unravel, or at least be set aside for a while. To be with, meet, experience these aspects, simply, without the stories about them. To include them in my (human) identity. To become more familiar with this territory.

Of course, these come up no matter what, independent of engaging in meditation, yoga, good health practices and whatnot. But this is how it shows up in my life right now.

When I function more optimally, again as defined by a conventional view, I feel good. I don't really want to face those things that seem to disturb this well being. I don't really have to, when I feel good, most of the time.

So to meet the shadow, I engage in practices which are not optimal for my short term well being. And through that, I find another level of well-being, less dependent on content.

This is how our human lives seems to play out anyway. Most of us do some things that are (on a surface level) good for us, and some things that are not. So I may as well find some peace with it and enjoy it. And find the deeper level of well being that comes from just being with the experiences, no matter what they may be.

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Soul & Spirit |

Another rambling post...

In reading The Void by A. H. Almaas, my curiosity about the relationship of soul and spirit comes up again.

Soul, as that part of us that continues between human incarnations, the F7 and F8 levels in Wilber's framework. Bringing this level into awareness gives a sense of richness, fullness, meaning, direction, joy, bliss and so on - all causeless, or more precisely not dependent on conditions apart from bringing the soul level into awareness.

It is individual, seems to evolve, yet also has the same essence across individuals. It has many names, such as essence and being.

Awakening to or glimpsing the soul level opens for nature and/or deity mysticism experiences. It allows for experiences of intimacy with all there is, of everything as God, of oneness and unity, of no separation. Yet, there is still an I and Other here, even within the unity. There is an I placed on the soul level.

And Spirit, as the Ground of it all, Big Mind, the nondual level in Wilber's framework. This is the completely detached view, completely impersonal, allowing it all to be as it is. It is a shift in context, from a sense of I to a clear absence of I anywhere.

Soul, then Spirit, and the other way around

As Almaas mentions, some traditions - such as Buddhism, focus on nondual awakening and then bringing in the soul level. And other traditions - such as Sufis, focus on bringing in the soul level, and then nondual awakening.

Either is of course fine. And as this differentiation appears to us, it is just about inevitable that different traditions will approach the two in a different sequence and with different emphasis.

This is clear in for instance Breema, which clearly emphasize the level of soul, essence, Being, and briefly and indirectly acknowledge the nondual. It certainly makes it more accessible for more people, and the benefits are immediate and clear.

Soul awakening vs. nondual awakening

Yet, any awakening to soul level is bound to be temporary, unless eventually grounded in clear nondual awakening.

A soul awakening not (yet) grounded in a nondual awakening seems similar to the god realm as described in Buddhism - wonderful, possibly long lasting, yet eventually leading to a fall. Some of us learn that the hard way...!

If our sense of identification, our belief in the thought "I", is placed on the soul, it seems wonderful for a while. Until there is a fall. Until that too goes away. And then it can lead to a suffering that easily matches any other form of suffering. We have lost that which was most beautiful to us, most meaningful, most blissful.

Only a clear nondual awakening is "stable" because it does not rely on any conditions within the world of phenomena. And the soul level seems very much within the world of phenomena, just as everything else. Bliss comes and goes. Causeless joy comes and goes. A sense of connection, fullness, meaning, direction and guidance comes and goes.

A Ground or nondual awakening allows any content to come and go. Bliss and boredom. Joy and sadness. Meaning and absence of meaning. Fullness and void. Guidance and no guidance. Everything is clearly revealed as absent of any I. There is an absence of any final or absolute identity.

Soul and Spirit

So bringing the soul level into awareness is more accessible and easily enjoyable than working on the nondual awakening. Yet, it is also incomplete, temporary, inviting to a fall - if a nondual awakening is not also present.

Working on a nondual awakening is certainly more difficult, maybe less appealing, yet also the only lasting awakening. And the soul awakening and development can - and will? - certainly continue within a nondual awakening.

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Ken Wilber Goes to Hollywood? |

I am sure this is one of the hot topics in the integral blogger world right now: Grace and Grit may be made into a movie, possibly starring Jennifer Aniston (!).

Of course, only a few movies at early planning stages come to fruition. But if it is made, it will certainly bring Wilber's ideas and framework out to the masses in a new way.

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Changing Constants |

In a linear and mechanistic worldview, we will typically expect the "laws" and "constants" of the universe - as expressed in current science - to remain constant, unchanging. From this view, the universe appears as a machine. Stable, predictable, the same over time.

But from a more systems, organic or integral view, the laws and constants are often seen as habits of the universe, and they may well be expected to change over time. From these views, the universe appears more as a system, or even organism, than a machine.

A machine does not change, and if it does it tends to break down. But an organism certainly do change over time, in almost every way. In some areas almost imperceptably and other areas more obviously.

One of the universal constants that may be changing is the speed of light. I recall reading that in the early days of modern science, the measured speed of light - as independently reported by several researchers - changed over time. Of course, scientist then "knew" that it was supposed to be constant, so they settled the confusion by deciding on an approximate and stable value for the speed of light. It made calculations easier, but did not quite correspond with the data.

At the very least, it precluded much reasearch into the possibility of the speed of light changing over time.

Here is an article from the Guardian on changing views on universal constants, seeing even these as not neccesarily constant.

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Reflecting My Conscious Attitude Tuesday, July 18, 2006 |

One of the reasons I enjoy traveling is the opportunity to have myself reflected back in a different way. The people and culture is different. The landscape is different. The buildings are different. Where I live is different. I find myself reflected back in all of these ways, finding myself in a fresh way.

This came up for me as I just stayed in a different city and different house for a little over a week, and found it both liberating and refreshing. The books in my room were ones I normally wouldn't look at and read. There were no or few memories attached to the house and location.

New places, cultures, people and landscapes all help me find myself outside of my familiar views and experiences of myself. They help me broaden how I know myself, what is available to me.

In returning home, and getting back into house projects, I see how much I have enjoyed living for three years in a house reflecting other attitudes than the ones I typically identify with, including the colors of the walls. I also see some dread coming up in realizing that I am engaging in projects now - tiling, painting walls, changing blinds, which reflect more my typical conscious attitudes. It almost seems a little claustrophobic to live in a place where my conscious orientation is reflected back to me in that way.

On a larger scale, this also goes for our ecosystems. If we only live in tamed ecosystems, which most of us do, it is just another way where our conscious attitudes are reflected back to ourselves. What is reflected back is what I am already familiar with in myself.

Wilderness on the other hand, what is left of it if any, reflects ourselves in a quite different way from our tamed, civilized and controlled conscious views.

Fortunately, life can never be completely tamed, it will always be wild to some extent, so we cannot eliminate it completely - as much as we try.

The larger whole will always come up, reflecting back our own larger whole, and inviting us to become familiar with more and more of the way existence manifest - out there, mirroring in here.

Betrayal of Suffering |

Folks doing The Work over some time seems to arrived at shared insights and experiences, as is probably the case with most practices.

I see over and over that beliefs in thoughts - and the following contractions, function as...

  • Atonement
    See, I also get that this is wrong. I'll make myself miserable so it is clear to the world that I know that what I did was wrong, or that what happened to me was wrong.

  • Blackmail
    See what you did to me? I'll make myself miserable so it is clear to you how much I was hurt by what you did. And unless it changes, I'll continue to make myself miserable.

  • A tantrum
    If I don't get what I want, I'll make myself miserable. I'll get sad, depressed, angry, upset, confused, alone, alienated.
And when this pattern is released, first in some areas of life and then more and more in general, there may initially be a sense of betrayal of suffering. These patterns are ancient, and it feels odd to allow them to disintegrate and fall away. Shouldn't I suffer now? This is another topic for inquiry, and something that also erodes and falls away over time. We see that there is no reason to hold onto the suffering. We function from more clarity and effectiveness without it.

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Synchronicities |

There are innumerable synchronicities daily these days, which is apparently one of the common side-effects of diksha (and was also common during my initial awakening).

There are maybe two especially memorable from the last week.

Coming from essence

One was the dream where someone told me that she liked it better when I come from essence, and then somebody in my waking life telling me the same just half an hour after waking up - without having been told about the dream, and without us having talked about essence before. (Essence is a word I rarely use, so I was surprised when it came up in the dream.)

Reeking of alcohol

Another is from my plane ride from Portland to Oakland, where I listened to the New Year's Cleanse 2005/06 with Byron Katie.

As we approached Oakland, I listened to a dialogue where she and someone else role played a drunk client coming into a counseling session. Katie, as the counselor, asked the client if he had been drinking, she said no, and she said something along the lines of "that is funny - I smell alcohol, there is only the two of us here, and I have not been drinking".

As I listened to this, a reaction came up in me having to do with being accused of doing something I haven't done, based on just such circumstantial evidence - it happened several times as a kid.

And as I got up from my seat to get my duffel bag out from the overhead compartment, I noticed a pool of liquid in the compartment. It turned out to be alcohol, probably from a broken bottle in another bag, and my duffel bag and its content of clothing, smelled strongly of liquor.

As I made my way from the airplane to picking up my suit case, and taking the bus and BART to where I was staying, I reeked pretty strongly of liquor. Just as the client coming into the counselor's office, and innocent of having been drinking - just as in my story about it.

Synchronicities and stories

Synchronicities just are, of course, and we place stories on top of it.

One of the stories is that Existence is a seamless whole, so no wonder there are synchronicities. If Existence is similar to an ocean, then synchronicities are just the various expressions of movements within this ocean - expressed in the various situations in our lives.

For me, they are a reminder of this seamless whole. And they may also invite me to bring attention to something in particular, just as dreams do.

In my case, it helped me pay more attention to essence, to the point of reading Almaas' book on essence. And also see my pattern of reactiveness about being innocently accused of something, which I can take to inquiry.

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Resistance & Stomach Ache Sunday, July 16, 2006 |

I have been exploring resistance more lately, in many different ways and situations.

Some weeks back, I spent a few days in Seattle and woke up the second morning with a terrible stomach ache (from a meal the night before). It was very intense, and there was little - of the obvious things - that I could do to alleviate it.

I noticed that if I brought attention away from the pain, it increased and became almost unbearable. If I brought attention to it - being with it, meeting it - it softened and changed quality.

So with resistance, in the form of bringing attention to something else and telling stories about how it shouldn't be there, it intensified. Allowing the resistance to fall away, the sensations softened and changed - into just a sense of fullness which I couldn't place the label "pain" on even if I wanted.

Just another example of how life is my main (in reality only) guru, giving me what I need. And how the greatest secrets are right under our nose. Resistance to experience = sense of separation, fragmentation, I - Other, stress, discontent and suffering. Allowing resistance to fall away = sense of fullness, spaciousness and a quiet joy.

There are many other aspects to this as well.

Resistance and beliefs

Resistance seems to go along with beliefs. There is a belief that the current situation should be different, and there is resistance to experiences in the form of (a) attention brought elsewhere and (b) another story about the experience and its meaning (often "bad").

So I can unravel the beliefs, for instance through The work. Or I can allow the resistance to the experience to fall away, meeting it with simplicity, asking myself can I be with what I am experiencing right now?

As Bhagavan says, anything fully experienced is bliss. That is certainly accurate in my experience, although the bliss so far - in my limited experience - is more of a quiet joyfulness which goes along with the fullness of the experience.

Maybe most simply, a belief and corresponding resistance to experience creates a sense of I and Other, and this inherently brings up discontent, alienation, stress, unease, suffering. Allowing beliefs to unravel and resistance to fall away, there is an absence of I and Other and a corresponding sense of fullness, being at home, quiet joy.

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Diksha |

It is one year, to the day, that I received my first diksha here in the Bay area.

Initial diksha

During the initial diksha, I noticed an "empty light" which fell into my body as I moved afterwards.

The day after, and for several days, the center of gravity moved to the Witness and there was little or no identification with my human self. There was also a very intense headache, localized to my forehead and temples, although it was OK since there was little or no identification with it. It just happened in space as everything else.

During the following weeks, I had moments of a sense of crystal clarity. And some weeks after the diksha, there was a shift into Ground awakening - into everything happening without any I anywhere.

From a belief in the thought "I" placed on my human self, it was placed on the Witness, and then fell away completely. This lasted for two or three months, after which a vague sense of "I" returned.

During this time, the diksha energy continued to work on me. Initially, in the head and neck area. Then moving down into the upper body. And now in the abdomen and legs.

It also seems that the diksha energy can be invited to turn up the volume, at any time.

Today

The diksha I received today, with the same diksha giver as the first time, also had a strong effect. First, there was the sense of empty light in the body which has stayed since the initial diksha. Gradually, there was a deepening of the now familiar silence and stillness. And then a deep sense of "blackness" within this stillness, which was new.

At some point, it shifted into a much deeper space, and I was also unable to move or talk for quite some time, feeling held immobile by the silence. There was also a sense of a mix of no identity, and of content that didn't match any familiar identity.

Afterwards, the silence continues even as I talk and move around as usual, and there is a sense of deep contentment, fullness and quiet joy.

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Dream :: Bringing Essence to it * |

I am talking with a young woman about how I relate to a particular situation involving someone else, and how I can relate to it from a Big Mind space (nondual, neutral, detached) or from essence (soulfulness and more engaged). She says "I like it better when you bring essence to it".

The woman in the dream is someone from a bodywork intensive I am currently in. And essence is here used in a similar way as in the Diamond Heart (A. H. Almaas) approach, at least when they use it in a more relative sense.

A few minutes after I woke up, a quite remarkable synchronicity happend.

I am carpooling with another woman from the intensive. This morning, one of the first thing she brought up was essence - used in the same way as in the dream, expressing and interest in and attraction to essence. I mentioned the dream to her, and it turned out that the issue brought up in the dream had been on her mind recently as well. We have not talked about essence before, as far as I can recall, and it is not a term I usually use (I tend to prefer soul).

When we talk, there is often a sense that there is one mind dialoguing with itself - an ease of connection and understanding, and this synchronicity is just one example of that sense of one mind dialoging.

The dream reflects a conscious issue that often comes up when I do these bodywork intensives: the relationships between my human self, my essence (soul level) and the nondual. (Although these are of course only what appears when a story is added onto what is).

The soul level gives a sense of fullness, meaning, direction and guidance. The nondual - or rather a nondual awakening, gives release from any identification with any phenomena, including this human self. And this human self is the vehicle in the world of phenomena.

Without the soul level, there is a sense of shallowness and coldness. Without the nondual, there is blind identification with fragments and a sense of struggle and drama. Without the human self, there is no functional connection in the world of phenomena.

For a while now, there is been a need for me to bring the soul level more into awareness and this life - along with the two others. It used to be more present, but has now been in the background for a while. And the dream seems to point to just that.

In Jungian terms, the dream is the anima reminding me to bring the soul - and soulfulness - more into my life.

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Dream :: Cat Brought Back to Life ** Wednesday, July 12, 2006 |

I find a room in the basement, and in it a machine. It brings a cat companion of mine, which died a few years ago, back to life. It is slightly surprising at first, and I see that just about anything else can be brought back - or into - life as well. I explore how to use the room and machine in a more conscious and predictable way, and find that a clear intention is the key.

This dream is similar to Solaris, the science fiction novel by Stanislav Lem (and movie by Tarkovsky) where an extraterrestrial ocean brings people from cosmonauts' past - apparently - back to life. There was a similar image and atmosphere in the dream.

The day before, I had a deepening discovery relating to projections. I was in the bodywork intensive, noticed I seemed very tired, and saw how my mind went to lunch break and the opportunity for taking a nap then - even if this was early in the morning session. I noticed the sense of relaxation and rejuvenation was present, although placed by thoughts into the future, and decided to look for it right here instead. By noticing the same quality of relaxation and rest right here, I was able to bring a sense of being refreshed to my experience. What I was looking for was right there, in the present.

The "new" discovery was how immediate the projected material is, and how easy it is to contact it right here. It is already noticed right here, before being projected onto "other" such as past, future, others, so the only task is to notice it again, right here.
  1. A quality arises and is noticed.
  2. A thought is added to the quality, appearing to place it onto "other" - past, future, other. This most likely happens when the quality being here does not fit with a particular identity or a worldview.
  3. I can notice this projection, and re-find the quality right here.

This seems to be exactly what is reflected in the dream.

  1. The cat is alive in my memory and the qualities associated with him (innocence, open hearted, curious, courageous) are right here.
  2. A story is added to these qualities placing them on him and in the past. He is dead, so the qualities are projected back into the past, appearing there only. (A "there" which is really here, and always is.)
  3. I notice this process as it happens, and see the qualities right here. He is brought back to life, in the sense that the qualities I associate with him are seen right here, alive. I can find them alive right now, in my own experience and life.

This is just another reminder that anything I see "out there" is alive right here right now. The world is my mirror.

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Losing the Moon Thursday, July 06, 2006 |

This blog is on summer vacation, although here is a brief break in the silence.

I walked up to the street just now to put out the recycling, and saw the moon against the pale blue sky and framed by clouds lit up by the setting sun. For a while, there was just pure perception.

The moon was lost - or more accurately any stories about the moon was lost, and what remained was just pure awareness, the moon arising within and as awareness, with no I or Other.

Byron Katie asked are you ready to lose the moon?

And what is lost is only the stories about the moon, the mythology of it, the overlay I place on it: it is a planet, it is romantic, it is up in the sky, it circles the Earth, it has phases, I remember when I watched the moon with my girlfriend by the coast that one time, it is beautiful, humans have traveled there and walked on it (the first time in July 1969), it looks larger closer to the horizon...

What is lost is being caught up in any of these stories about the moon, the attachment to any of them, believing in any of them.

What remains is just the pure awareness. The moon arising within and as clarity, within and as awareness.

And if there is not even the story of I, then that is all. There is the moon arising within and as clarity and awareness. That is all. And not even that.

There is just what is, arising within and as clarity and awareness.

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