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The field resisting itself Sunday, December 31, 2006 |

This is getting very repetitious, but it is what is alive for me these days, and comes up over and over, and also with a sense of it as always new.

As soon as there is an identification with resistance, as soon as it is made into an I, as soon as resistance is resisted, the field is split, there is a sense of I and Other.

The field resists one aspect of itself, and by necessity identifies with another - apparently opposed - aspect. The field is split, in its own experience of itself. There is an identification with one form aspect, apparently opposed to other form aspects, as I and Other.

And this resistance is ultimately the field resistant to itself as a field, a field of what's here, of seeing and seen, of awake emptiness and form, inherently absent of a separate I, absent of a Center of I, already and always absent of I and Other.

By resisting anything, including any resistance, the field splits itself in its own experience of itself, it sees itself as finite in time and space, an entity in a world of entities, by necessity involved in drama and struggle, a struggle that, when it comes down to it, is experienced as a life-and-death struggle.

A great deal of effort goes into this resistance, and maintaining a sense of I and Other and the identities which clues us in to how to split the field into I and Other.

And it is also easily released, simply by being with whatever is, as it is, including any resistance, any impulse to want it to change, to want it to be different from what it is right now. Just being with whatever is, as it is, as it arises. It first releases the struggle, then it releases the sense of I and Other, allowing the field to notice itself as a field.

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Four combinations of emptiness and form |

There seems to be four main forms of combinations of emptiness and form, in the way they show up in my experience.

Emptiness in the foreground, and form as absent or mainly emptiness

One is awake emptiness in the foreground, with form absent (for instance when there is awareness in dreamless sleep) or far in the background. Here, I am emptiness, and form, if present, is also clearly and mainly emptiness.

Fusion of emptiness and form, with emptiness in foreground

Another is awake emptiness in the foreground, and form present but slightly in the background. There is a sense of being emptiness and form, and of form happening on its own, including this human self functioning on its own, absent of any doer. There is a fusion of awake emptiness and this individual soul and human self, with emptiness slightly more prominent.

Fusion of emptiness and form, with form in foreground

A third is awake emptiness slightly in the background (as a context) and form in the foreground. This is another flavor of fusion, where I am most prominently an individual soul and human self, not separate from the rest of world of form, and I am also awake emptiness. There can be either an absence of a sense of separate I here, or a vague sense of I placed on this individual soul and human self.

Form in foreground, and emptiness not or barely noticed

And the fourth is through the typical ego filter where form is in the foreground, and awake emptiness is so far in the background that it is usually not noticed. There is mainly or only an identification with this individual human self, and the rest of form, and sometimes even awareness, as Other.

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Crystal clear and crystallizing |

I wrote an entry on a sense of crystallizing yesterday, and see that I use a similar term in two different ways.

One is for the sense of crystal clarity of emptiness, and form as emptiness, that sometimes come to the foreground.

The other is for the sense of crystallization of subtle energies and consciousness during sitting practice, and in periods in daily life. A sense of a crystallizing in terms of organization, becoming highly organized.

So one is for the crystal clarity of emptiness, as fresh mountain air. The other is of a sense of crystallization within the world of form.

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Dream: hanging out and belly seal |




I hang out with Fred, one of the teachers at the Center for Sacred Sciences. He is very friendly and easy going as usual. We go for a walk. Being with him, I notice how I also shift into a clearer sense of selflessness. Towards the end, I see a large golden seal, with some inscriptions and patterns on it, on his stomach.

The seal is similar to the gold band on some cigars, and it is clear that it seals the belly awakening, allowing it to deepen and unfold but not to revert.

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No way out |

There is no way out in several ways...

When there is a sense of I, there is no way out. We'll always run into a wall, the one of a split within the field, of I and Other. There is always and only temporary solutions.

The only way out is to realize that there is no separate I here in the first place. That is the only way out of the drama of I and Other, of the split within the field. But even here, there is no way out in the sense that the world of form continues, it goes on (although now revealed as awake emptiness and form, with no I as any aspect of itself, and the only "I" as all of it).

There is a way out of the suffering, but not of the world of form. And there doesn't have to be. Without the filter of I and Other it is OK as it is. It is more than OK.

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Surrendering resistance to sense of I Saturday, December 30, 2006 |

One aspect of surrender is surrendering resistance to any sense of I. To just be with it, as it is, and notice how it arises as an aspect of the field, as a thread in the tapestry.

Resistance is what produces, and maintains, a sense of I.

And this means that resistance to a sense of I does the same.

So allowing this sense of I to be as it is, and allowing even the resistance to be, is what allows the field to reveal itself, to itself, as a field.

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Identity and surrender |



Identity keeps coming up for me. There is this unified field of what is happening, of the seeing and the seen, of awake emptiness and form, and any identities placed on top of it filters it into I and Other. And this identity is any sense of separate I, of I and Other, fleshed out with any sense of I am and I want, as opposed to I am not and I don't want.

First, there is a blind identification with this sense of I and its identities. Then, they are seen as just an aspect of the field, threads in the tapestry, arising as anything else, no more a separate I than anything else.

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Belly center, fear, nurturing, and surrender |

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

Body Centers and functioning

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

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

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

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

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Beauty of outer space... |
















mirroring the beauty of inner space. Take some time... can you find it in yourself? You recognize the beauty of there, because it is right there in you as well, as a closer reflection of this outer beauty than you can imagine. (And any ugliness as well, but that is for another time.)

More here at Best Space Images of 2006, Space.com

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Sense of I |

Just some of the more obvious things about a sense of I, one that is separate, placed on an aspect of the field of the seeing and seen, creating a sense from I and Other.

It comes from, and perpetuates, a sense of I and Other, a split in the field.

It is usually placed on aspects of this human self.

It is fleshed out by various identities, of being this and not that, wanting this and not that.

It comes from a belief in the idea of a separate I, and the identities added onto it comes from beliefs in other thoughts (I am/want this and not that.)

It works in space and time, creates an I and Other within space and time, and a sense of being finite in space and time.

The finality of it brings up fears of nonexistence, and also of pain and suffering since I am to a large extent at the mercy of the whims of larger whole.

It is fluid, always changing moment from moment.

The sense of I is placed on the most likely candidate arising in the moment, often what is familiar as an I.

It is made up of conglomerates of sensations and identities.

Right now, I notice a sense of I floating around. It is placed on a set of sensations in the neck/head area, creating a sense of I here, as a center, and Other out there, in the periphery. It is associated with identities of wanting the current comfort to continue, of liking the music I am listening to (Salvatore), of enjoying the softness of my sitting surface and the warmth, of wanting to be clear and at least moderately perceptive, and so on. Infinite identities, filtering the field of what arises into I and Other, and splitting in my own experience.

Since what arises is mostly OK with the identities fleshing out this sense of I, the sense of I and Other is not so strong. But as soon as something happens to threaten these identities, a disruption to a quiet evening, then the sense of I and Other becomes stronger, and there is a desire to reinforce identities and change circumstances to not threaten identities, including all the wants embedded in them.

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Crystallizing |

This is something I have noticed since my teens, but not written down before. It is the sense of a transition between a slightly disorganized field and a crystallizing field.

It is especially tangible in sitting mediation, where the transition usually happens within the first few minutes, and it is also tangible in daily life, where the sense of crystallization is more or less present depending on how much sitting practice I do and other things going on. (During the couple of months last fall where any sense of I fell away, the emptiness itself took on a crystal quality.)

It shows up as a tangible sense of crystallization (or not), and also visually in the energy fields of myself and others. When there is no or less crystallization, there is also less awareness of the energy field and what it represents. As it is brought more into awareness, the crystallization also takes place.

So again, it appears to be more literal than it may be taken by many. There seems to be a literal reconfiguring of the subtle energies which is experienced, and seen, as a crystallization.

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The drama of awakening |

Over the last few days, I have been reminded of the drama of awakening, and how the sense of drama is connected with the sense of I. There is an I here that wants to be awakened, is not yet, and goes through all sorts of adventures in the process. The drama of awakening is part of the drama of a sense of I.

At the same time, there is a real drama of awakening, in a different sense. In the sense that the unfolding of Existence in all its many ways is a drama. The drama of the birth of the universe, organizing itself into atoms, molecules, clouds, galaxies, solar systems, planets, life, humans, culture, everything in our daily lives. It is the drama of the unfolding, evolution and development of the form aspect of Spirit.

And when the drama of a sense of I falls away and Spirit awakens to itself, it can appreciate this as a drama of unfolding, absent of the filter of the drama of I and Other.

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The three centers and the chakras |




A question about the relationship between the three centers and the chakras came up for me after the phone session. I don't know much about it yet, so all of this is from a very limited experience, and not aligned with anything I have heard or read so far.

The three centers and the chakras do not at all seem the same, but they are also obviously connected.




Three centers allowing the chakras to reorganize

It seems that the three centers allows the chakras to transform and reorganize, along with the human self in general. The belly center allows the three first chakras to reorganize within all as Spirit, within and allowing a deepening of a felt sense of all as Spirit. The heart center allows the heart chakra to reorganize to loving all as Spirit. The head center allows the 6th and 7th centers to reorganize. And my sense right now (which will probably change) is that all of the three centers together allows the throat center to reorganize.

The chakras setting the stage for soul center awakenings

It also seems that working with the appropriate chakras can set the stage for an awakening of the soul centers, inviting an awakening of the centers to take place. And, as mentioned above, that this awakening in turn allows the chakras to reorganize within this new context.

The relationship(s) between the hara and the belly center

For instance, Breema or other hara-oriented practices can reorganize the hara chakras (2nd, or 3rd, or as I experience it the three first) allowing a drop into endarkenment, which in turn continues the reorganization of the hara chakras within the new context of endarkenment, of a felt sense of all as Spirit, which in turn deepens and more fully embodies this felt sense of all as Spirit.

There must be many individuals out there who have explored this in far more depth, for instance in the different yogic traditions (maybe especially Taoist yoga) and it seems that Almaas too probably have some insights here (although I haven't gotten that far in reading his books yet.)

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Summary of phone session on three centers |

I did a phone session again this morning, following the knots and allowing them to unravel, and some themes emerged from all the details...

The three centers

The belly and the head centers showed up similar to before, although the heart center now has a red color. There is the warm fertile blackness of the belly center, allowing the body and emotions to relax and reorganize within a sense of safe nurturing holding. The heart center, warm soft and deeply red. The head center, with its golden light. There is a luminosity at each center, black at the belly, red at the heart, and golden at the head.

The darkness of the belly center first came up as a black pearl at the belly center, which revealed itself as the black pearl of the whole of existence, while also remaining there at the belly center. A little later, a luminous full red appeared in the heart area, then flowing down into the belly and up to the mouth, allowing speech and expression to come from the fullness of the belly and the heart. Then, the black and red co-existed throughout the body, apart from the top of the head which was a luminous gold. Staying with this for a while, the fluid golden light dropped down into the body, into the belly and down the legs, then shifting into the heart, and then to the tongue along with the red and black.

The black and red coexisted throughout the body, as a field, with the golden light softly streaming through it.

Essence and frontal personality

Another theme was the relationship between the frontal personality and the essence, especially as it shows up through the belly and heart centers. I saw how this personality was created in early childhood from a sense of separation, with armor in the form of identities, fears and so on. And how essence allows this personality to soften, reorganize, as it allows the body and emotional level to reorganize.

Surrender

And then the continued theme of surrender. Surrendering any contraction coming up, any identities, fears, hopes. Surrendering anything familiar. Surrendering it to God, Spirit, essence, presence, the soul.

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The hard work of fluid identities Friday, December 29, 2006 |

In spite of how it seems sometimes, our identity is quite fluid. That is one of the reasons we have to work so hard at making it appear real to us, real and stable.

When I look, I see that my identity shifts from moment to moment. Right now, it may be as someone who wants to be as clear as possible. A moment ago, it was as someone who didn't like the current music selection at Last.fm. Earlier tonight, as someone who was willing to pay $7.50 for the current issue of WIE? As I started reading it, as someone happy to see them writing about diksha, taking it as a confirmation of my own identity as someone who benefits from and appreciates diksha. Before then, during a conversation with an acquaintance, as someone who wanted to be perceived as responsible (the topic was on a project I have allowed to be mostly fallow for the last few months, and this could threaten that particular identity). Then during a few minutes of sitting practice, as someone who wants to awaken in all directions - including to all of me as a human being, and in particular the shadow.

There is just the field of awake emptiness and form, absent of I, yet believing in the idea of I, so whatever arises in form is scanned for a good candidate to place this sense of I on. Usually, it is some aspect of this human self that fits our more elaborate identities.

Whatever then comes up as I is where my identity is, and it changes always, from moment to moment.

So as Bhagavan says below, whenever a question comes up, and we identify with the question, we are that question. To ourselves, in our own experience, we are that question. The question "who am I" arises in the field, there is an identification with it, it is seen as I, and everything else is seen as Other. Right there, the field splits itself into I and Other in its own experience.

Questioner: I was so lucky to receive a life review today. At the end of the journey I was asking, ‘Who am I?’

Bhagavan: On a psychological level, you are that question. There is no answer. If the question goes, you go. It is by continually asking that question that you perpetuate yourself. When you become enlightened, the question goes away, and so do you. You are nothing but consciousness, a witness.

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Released from identification |




The field of awake emptiness and form, of the seeing and seen, is already and always absent of an I, there is just a sense of I there sometimes, usually placed on this human self, and it takes a lot of work and energy to uphold this sense of I and its associated identities.

So whenever there is a distraction from this process of manufacturing and maintaining the sense of I, or there is not enough energy available to engage in it, then the field can sometimes pop into awareness of itself as a field.

It can happen in nature, during rituals, dance, drumming or chanting, through drugs, sex, and rock'n roll, through prayer and meditation, through physical efforts such as the athlete's high, and also through physical, emotional or mental fatigue and illness.

And most of the time when it happens, we enjoy it and may even seek it again, while also not quite recognize it for what it is. It seems too unlikely that there is not really any I here, but when it slips in, it is certainly enjoyable - a relief from the usual drama and struggle that a sense of I brings with it.

For me, it happened last summer when I had heat exhaustion. My human self did not do very well at all, yet the field of awake emptiness and form did as well as always, and recognized and rested in itself, released from identification with the human self. The same tends to happen whenever I am physically sick, although not quite as dramatically as then.

It is as if the field says well, enough of that, I'll stop pretending to be limited to this human self for now and can always come back to it later when it is doing a little better. There is a safety valve there, when it gets too intense.

I was reminded of this through Ken Wilber's descriptions of his recent health crisis, which he - fortunately for him and all of us - seems to be able to recover well from.

During the three days and nights that I was unconscious, there actually was quite a bit of conscious activity going on in me -- half of which was quite familiar, and half of which was just plain weird. On the one hand, there was ever-present Big Mind and an awareness of one's True Nature. On the other hand, I kept dreaming that I was in this really strange room of blue and pink pastels done up in a rather wretched aesthetic.

Of course, it helps to have a solid meditation practice and a familiarity with the terrain of Big Mind, as Ken Wilber certainly has. It creates grooves and habits which makes it easier for the whole field to fall into, and recognize and rest in, itself as a field.

Btw: it is interesting how his personality was still in the picture in his description, with its identification as someone who has a particular sense of aesthetics, and someone for whom that particular sense of aesthetics is important. I don't know how much that happened at the time, and how much is added afterwards for effect.

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The simplicity of being with and being |

There is a simplicity in being with, and then just being, whatever arises.

Being with experiences, then just being

Something comes up, I notice a resistance to it, and can then just be with it all - the experience and the resistance to it. It is simple, quiet, without drama or stories. And there is a sense of an energetic shift from confusion to something that is more organized and has an almost crystalline structure, which I also notice when I do sitting meditation.

In just being with experiences, as they are, there is also the being with any resistance coming up. The resistance becomes part of the field. And eventually, the resistance to the field itself is included, allowing the field to arise to itself as it is, as a field with no center, inherently absent of I and Other. There is just being, the same field but now revealed as already absent of I and Other, of someone being with something else.

From second to 1st or zero person

It is a process from a 2nd person relationship, of a sense of I being with experiences, of the seeing being with the seen, to a 1st or zero person relationship, to just the field absent of I and Other, which is no relationship at all of course. It is just the field being with itself, as seeing and seen as one.

It is first person, in that the field as a whole is an I to itself, and it is zero person in that there is an inherent absence of I as any part of the field.

Habit of identifying with resistance

It is so simple. So available. Yet also so difficult sometimes. The habit of identifying with resistance is so ingrained. Resistance arises, there is an identification with it, a sense of I is placed on it, a sensation is associated with this resistance and serves as an anchor in space for this sense of I, what is resisted is made into Other and at another location in space, and from here it is fleshed out with all sorts of additional stories. The stage is set for drama, and it plays itself out very well.

Soft docking, and everything the same yet different

At the same time, just being with it all, simply, quietly, meeting it as and where it is, as a soft docking, changes it all. Everything is the same, as it is, yet also completely different. From a sense of drama and confusion, and the sense of reality of I and Other, the field arises to meet itself as a field, already and inherently absent of I and Other, with its crystalline structure and clarity.

Even the discouragement of seeing habitual patterns coming up, over and over, can be included. That too is OK when it is revealed as just a part of the field, already and always absent of I, just the field of awake emptiness and forms unfolding.

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Cycles and surrender |

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

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

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

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

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

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Adyashanti on The Awakened Way |




One of the most clear, simple and beautiful descriptions of an awakened life I have found, from Adyashanti.

While the world is trying to solve its problems and everyone around you is engaged in the same, you’re not. While everybody around you is trying to figure it out, trying to arrive, trying to “get there,” trying to be worthy, you’re not. While everyone thinks that awakening is a grand, noble, halo-enshrouded thing, for you it’s not. While everybody is running from this life right now, in this moment, to try to get there, you’re not. Where everybody has an argument with somebody else, mostly everybody else, starting with themselves, you don’t. Where everybody is so sure that happiness will come when something is different than it is now, you know that it won’t. When everybody else is looking to achieve the perfect state and hold on to it, you’re not.

When everybody around you has a whole host of ideas and beliefs about a whole variety of things, you don’t. Everyone on the path is getting there; you haven’t gotten anywhere. Everyone is climbing the mountain; you’re selling hiking boots and picks at the foot in the hope that if they climb it and come back down, they may be too exhausted to do it again. When everybody else is looking to the next book, to the next teacher, to the next guru to be told what’s real, to be given the secret key to an awakened life, you’re not. You don’t have a key because there’s not a lock to put it in.


When you’re living what you are in an awakened way, being simply what you’ve always been, you’re actually very simple. You basically sit around wondering what all the fuss is about.


When everyone is sitting around saying, “I hope that happens to me,” you remember when you did that. You remember that you didn’t find a solution to that. You remember that the whole idea that there was a problem created all of that.


When you’re being what you are, when you’re living the awakened life, there’s nobody to forgive, because there’s no resentment held, no matter what.

The truth of your being doesn’t crave happiness; it could actually care less. It doesn’t crave love, not because you are so full of love, but because it just doesn’t crave love. It’s very simple. It doesn’t seek to be known, regarded highly, or understood. When you’re living what you are in an awakened way, there’s no ideal for you anymore. You’ve stepped off the entire cycle of suffering, of becoming; you’re not interested.

[...]

And finally, when you’re just living in the awakened way that you really are, you’ll never form an image again of what it’s like. Even as it’s happening, you won’t form an image because you’ll know they’re all images, dust. The way it was yesterday won’t be the way it is today.

Full text

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Big Mind, Big Heart, Big Belly Thursday, December 28, 2006 |

If we map the three centers onto the Big Mind framework, we get Big Mind, Big Heart, and then also Big Belly.




The head awakening gives serenity and wisdom, as shown in many traditional Buddha depictions. It is the seeing of all as Spirit.





The heart awakening gives love and compassion for all beings, independent on who they are or what they do, and is reflected in depictions of Avalokitesvara, Kuan Yin, Chenrezig, Kanzeon. It is the loving of all as Spirit.





The belly awakening gives a deep sense of all as Spirit at a physical level, with the whole body and emotions, a deep sense of safety, nurturing and comfort. This profund sense of physical well-being (in the midst of whatever else may be going on) is reflected in Hotei, the big bellied laughing Buddha. It is the feeling of all as Spirit.

In each case, Big refers to that which leaves nothing out. The nondual view embraces and goes beyond all polarities. The open heart is open to all beings without exception, and to all forms no matter their specifics. The belly awakening is an awakening into the fertile darkness that is the ground of all form, the womb of all form in its infinite richness.

The view, love and fertile darkness is the seeing, loving and feeling all as Spirit, as awake emptiness and form, beyond and embracing all polarities.

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The three centers and the Big Mind process |

A few more notes about exploring the three centers through the Big Mind process.

First...

Different forms of embodiment

We can see the three centers as different forms of embodiment.

The head center is seeing it all as Spirit, as awake emptiness and form, absent of I. This human self is just part of that, and Big Mind does not require a functional connection with a human self. Big Mind is grounded in emptiness, seeing all forms as no other than emptiness, and the awakening of the head center allows our view to reorganize within a nondual realization.

The embodiment of Big Mind is to live from seeing all as Spirit.

In the heart center, we move slightly into the realm of I and Other, still within the context of all as Spirit. From here, compassion naturally comes up. Big Heart is about compassion, gratitude, pain, joy, bliss - all of which require a sense of I and Other. These are grounded in subtle energies, and the awakening of the heart center allows our heart to reorganize to all as Spirit, to stay open to all forms Spirit takes.

The embodiment of Big Heart is to live from loving all as Spirit.

The belly center has everything to do with the physical body, of sensing and feeling all as Spirit on a physical and emotional level. It is grounded in the physical body of this human self, allowing every cell of the body and the emotional level to reorganize to all as Spirit.

The awakening of the belly center is to live from feeling all as Spirit.

Exploring the three centers through the Big Mind Process

In the standard version of the BM process, the head and heart centers are explored thorough Big Mind and Big Heart, but the belly center is included only implicitly, if at all.

For each of the centers, we can explore its (a) aspects, flavors and characteristics, (b) how existence appears when filtered through the center, and (c) how to live from it.

Big Mind (a) has formless and form aspects, (b) existence appears as awake emptiness and form, absent of any I, when filtered through the head center, and (c) we live from the head center with detachment, transcending any identification with any particular aspects of Big Mind.

Big Heat (a) has active engaged yang and receptive holding yin aspects, (b) we love all forms as Spirit, and (c) we live from this love of all forms, independent of their particular expressions.

Existence through the belly center (a) is dark, fertile and a ground of form, (b) we feel, in every cell of our body, all as Spirit, and (c) we live from this sense of quiet, deep nurturing blackness, with less or no emotional reactiveness.

We can also explore the difference between how these centers operate within the context of a sense of separation, and within an awakening to all as Spirit.

The view goes from fragmented and dualistic to being informed by a nondual realization. Our heart goes from being partially open and partially closed to being open to all form aspects of Spirit, independent of their characteristics. Our body goes from being tense and rigid to being more relaxed and supple, and our emotions goes from being reactive and fearful to giving a sense of nurturing fullness.

The Big Mind process is already well developed for exploring the two first centers, and it does not seem too difficult to expand it to include more explicitly the belly center.

What happens the body of this human self when all is felt as Spirit? What happens with the emotions? How is it to live from feeling all as Spirit? How is it right now? Allow this human self to marinade within seeing, loving and feeling all as Spirit, and notice what happens to it.

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Big Mind process and the belly center |



The head and heart centers in the Big Mind process

The Big Mind process is in a way a simulation of an awakening of the head and heart centers. We get to taste, to dip our toes into, how Spirit reveals itself through the head center (Big Mind) and the heart center (Big Heart). We get to taste how it is to see and love all as Spirit.

The belly center in the Big Mind process

In the process, there is the inevitable taste of feeling all as Spirit as well, of Spirit filtered through the belly center, although this one is almost an accidental side-effect.

To amplify this taste of Spirit filtered through the belly center, we can allow the human self to feel how it is to see and love all as Spirit, to feel into it, sink into it, marinade within it, allowing the body and emotions to reorganize within this context of all as Spirit.

How does it feel in this human self, in the body, when all is seen and loved as Spirit?

How does the body change? Does it relax? Soften? Does it melt away rigidity?

How do the emotions change? Do they relax? Soften? Go from reactive and fearful to giving a sense of nurturing fullness?


Big Mind, Big Heart, and Big Belly

In addition to Big Mind and Big Heart, there is now also Big Belly (!) It is the feeling, the sensed feeling, of all as Spirit. Of all of Existence as a Big Belly, soft, warm, nurturing. A cosmic womb, dark and fertile, allowing the body and the emotions of this human self to reorganize within all as Spirit.

Dipping the toes, diving into, and deepening within

The Big Mind process itself, of course, only gives us a taste of Spirit filtered through these three centers. We are just dipping our toes in the waters.

And becoming familiar with it in this way, simulating an awakening of these three centers, and allowing our view, heart and feelings to begin to reorganize within this new context, sets the stage for a larger shift, for a more full-bodied diving into the water, and then for deepening within it.

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Simplicity of connection, and cycles Monday, December 25, 2006 |

I notice that there is an immediacy, simplicity and sense of deep quietness in the connection (and communication) with the alive presence, which is everywhere yet also centered right here in the heart. And also how there are the usual shifts between 2nd, 3rd and 1st person relationships with it, from You to describing it to I. Often nowadays, there is the sense of doubleness, of being both the familiar personality and this alive presence, of both as 1st person (and 2nd, and 3rd) at the same time.

I assume this doubleness is characteristic of one phase of the process. First, there is a center of gravity in our familiar identity, usually connected with the personality, and the alive presence is experienced as You. Then, the doubleness, being both at once. Then, the alive presence comes into the foreground, as a new sense of identity, and the personality goes into the background and is transmuted in this process, becoming more and more in service to the presence.

Throughout this overall process, there is also the shifts between 2nd, 3rd and 1st person relationships with the presence, as cycles within cycles.

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Spheres of blue light |

Since the dream last night, the small spheres of blue light seem very tangible, placed in each vertebrae close to the spinal cord. It is like a cool quiet awakening happening there, an awakening of the intelligence of the vertebrae as the guide in the dream told me. A quiet cool intelligence coming alive, at 24 (or so) different points along the spine. (And the quality of the brilliant cool blue intelligent light is really quite similar to the cool blue of the stars in the Pleiades.)

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Antaryamin and the three centers |

From the past, I am familiar with God as the field of awake emptiness and form, always and everywhere. This seems to be Spirit filtered through the head center, showing up in its impersonal, transcendent, yang aspect.

More recently, filtered through the belly center, it showed up as fertile darkness, and also as the alive luminosity, and now as alive luminous blackness. Intimate, deep, fertile, alive, infinitely loving, intelligent, receptive and responsive. Spirit filtered through the belly center, showing up in its personal, embodied, yin aspect.

And what happened last night may have to do with Spirit filtered through the heart center, as alive presence, as an aspect of God awakened and present in the heart region. The experience of it is really of an aspect of God right here, alive, present, right here in the heart region. Responsive, infinitely loving and intelligent. And something to communicate with in a very direct, simple, quiet way. After being with this for a while last night, I mentioned it to my partner, and then realized that this may be the Antaryamin, the indwelling God, mentioned frequently by Bhagavan.

When I first heard him speak about it last fall (in a video interview), I couldn't quite connect with it. I have been familiar with the impersonal head center awakening of everything as awake emptiness and form. But here, there is no inside or outside, and it is all Spirit, so the term "indwelling God" does not make so much sense.

But what I noticed in my heart region last night is experienced very much as an aspect of God right there, in the heart center, as an indwelling God.

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Dream: awakening of the vertebrae |

A spiritual guide, in the form of a young man, tells me that this is an awakening of the vertebrae intelligence, not the usual awakening of the spine intelligence. A bright cool blue light is placed, or awakened, in each vertebrae, by the spinal cord. I see swirling light around the whole spine, and especially in the hara and solar plexus area. It has blue and light green colors, mixed in with golden, red and the other colors of the rainbow.

This dream happened after I spent some time before falling asleep connecting with the alive infinitely loving, intelligent, receptive luminosity. (It seems to be most present in the heart region right now.)

Earlier last night, I realized that this must be the Antaryamin, the indwelling God, Bhagavan mentions.

The young man in the dream is a guide, an awakened one, and reminds me of the young Buddha Sakyamuni or Bhagavan's senior male dasa. He is a more mature version of the person who, in a previous dream, helped me climb up the final few feet up a tall building He was very clear that this awakening of the intelligence of each vertebrae is more specific than the awakening of the general spine intelligence.





The small sphere of brilliant, cool blue light placed, or awakened, in each vertebrae, by the spinal cord, has the same quality as the brilliant blue of another dream, and it has come up in waking life through photos of the Pleiades showing up in different contexts (for instance a few days ago when some friends of ours showed us a photo of the Pleiades they have hanging in their bedroom).

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Twin Sunday, December 24, 2006 |

After dropping into the fertile darkness (belly awakening) and then the alive luminosity, there is now a luminous blackness which shares characteristics with both of those.

It is experienced as luminous and infinitely alive, loving, intelligent, receptive and responsive, and in that sense intimately personal. And it also has the universality of the fertile blackness, the ground of all form, the womb of the cosmos.

The last few days, there is a sense of a doubleness, of being two at once. Of being the familiar personality, and the luminous blackness.

(In Hameed Ali's terminology, this fertile blackness is one aspect of essence or presence, and I tend to think of it as soul. It is individual and in that sense personal, but also universal in its characteristics. And when we drop into it, it becomes a guidance for our unfolding as soul and human being, and also a guide towards realizing selflessness. For as with our human self, there is no I in essence either. It is another aspect of the field of awake emptiness and form, inherently absent of I anywhere.)

What is interesting is how tangible the experience of doubleness is. I find myself surprised by it throughout the day: there is this personality, and then the alive essence, both there, occupying the same space, as twins although with quite different characteristics. The personality is made up by identities and habits, formed by family, culture and personal experiences. The essence is something entirely different, and infinitely loving, intelligent and receptive.

I see how attention goes to one or the other, and sometimes both (which is when I am taken by surprise by the doubleness of it). Sometimes, there is being caught up in the personality, riding the familiar patterns of this personality. Other times, there is the surrendering to essence of anything coming up, allowing it to be composted there, becoming fertile soil for something else to emerge.

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Dream: the feminine face of God |

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hara, energetic hole, scoliosis and endarkenment Friday, December 22, 2006 |




I can't remember if I have mentioned it here, but I have noticed for some time the relationship between energetic holes, physical problems, psychological tendencies, and now also the three soul centers.

For me, the main one is in the hara.

Since the initial awakening in my teens, I have been aware of an energetic hole in my navel area, specifically located at and near my spine. At the same area, I had a noticeable physical deformity as well, an odd stacking of the vertebrae diagnosed as scoliosis.

At the time, I did a lot of Tai Chi and Chi Gong, both because I wanted more grounding and embodiment, and also to fill up this region.

A couple of years ago, I found Breema which also specifically works with the Hara region, and I have experienced a great deal of fullness, warmth and nurturing in the belly from Breema. Slowly over these couple of years, the energetic hole has filled up, and the spine has reorganized so there is only a slight stacking oddity now (helped along with massage in that area).

With the more recent belly awakening, the endarkenment, there is a sense of a deep luminous velvety blackness and also a new level of nurturing, and a new feeling of everything as Spirit.

This feeling of everything as Spirit, and the reorganizing of the emotional level within the context of all as Spirit, was exactly what was missing in the initial awakening. The head and heart centers were awakened, but not (yet) the belly one. So although I saw, and even loved, all as Spirit, I didn't feel all as Spirit. The emotions lived their own life, and there was a good deal of turmoil there, partly as a consequence of the intensity of the awakening and its implications.

So there was an energetic hole in the hara region, a physical deformity in the spine at the level just below the navel, and a lack of grounding and emotional turmoil.

This energetic hole then gradually filled in, the physical deformity reduced greatly, and then there was a sudden shift into endarkenment, an early belly awakening into feeling all as Spirit, allowing the emotions to reorganize to all as Spirit, and a new sense of deep nurturing and being held by the velvety luminous blackness.

It is also interesting to note that Hameed Ali (A. H. Almaas) writes about these things in ways very close to my own experiences (although from far more experience and with more precision.)

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Identities, moving beyond and holding back Sunday, December 17, 2006 |

I have been more acutely aware of identities over the last few weeks, seeing them clearly when they come up, and how they filter the world into I and Other, and how attachment to them is holding back what is emerging. They are an old coat that does not fit anymore, too small, wrong cut and color, dusty and old.

These identities is just another way of fleshing out and maintaining the sense of a separate I, and of I and Other. In the field of awake emptiness and form, there is an anchor point for a sense of I (in my case, somewhere near the base and back of the scull), and from here anything and everything else can be made to appear as Other, and the many identities define the relationship between this I and Other. I am this, not that. I want this, not that.

It is so transparent now, so obvious. So old.

There is also a fear in letting go of all of this. All these familiar patterns, these familiar ways of filtering, experiencing and being in the world.

There is a movement beyond all of this, allowing me to see more clearly how identities filter the world into I and Other, a hesitation from fear of letting go, and the intention of allowing resistance to drop and emerge over to the other side.

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Phases of the endarkenment: dark night, Breema, dreams of soul mates and shadows, identities, and sleep and movies |

Just to complete the picture here of the endarkenment process, I should mention a few things about my dreams and sleep.

Dreams of soul mates

Since about July this summer and up to the endarkenment shift, I have had a large number of dreams where I meet my soul mate (always a different one each time!). These dreams stopped after the endarkenment, because what I dropped into was the soul mate, or rather (an aspect of) soul itself.

(I have been embarrassed to write about these dreams here since I am in a relationship in my waking life, even as I know that these dreams reflect a much deeper inner process, not the externals of my waking life.)

Phases of the endarkenment process

As I see it now, the endarkenment process started a long time ago, and has gone in several phases. The first phase was the dark night, preparing the ground for it. The second finding Breema, which has an emphasis on the belly center. The third seems to have been all the soul mate dreams, reflecting a shift that has not yet become conscious. And the fourth, dropping into the velvety smooth darkness, the endarkenment itself. I guess the current one is the fifth, where it continues to deepen and change.

Shadow dreams mixed in

Also, mixed in among the dreams I have written about in this blog has been a series of shadow dreams, of things coming to the surface needing to be seen, balancing, grounding and widening it out in all directions. There has been a pattern of awakening dreams (velvety blackness, alive luminosity) and widening dreams (shadow dreams), much as a wave with peaks and valleys passing through.

Identities

Related to all of these corrective and shadow dreams is identities. I have been more acutely aware of identities over the last few weeks, seeing them clearly when they come up, and how they filter the world into I and Other, and how attachment to them is holding back what is emerging. They are an old coat that does not fit anymore, too small, wrong cut and color, dusty and old.

More about this in the next post.

Sleep

I have also needed a lot of sleep in this period. Even today, I slept more than twelve hours, and could have slept many more. There has also been a lot of processing before falling asleep and after waking up, allowing a parade of whatever comes up to be embraced by the velvety darkness.

Movies

I have also had a draw to see a lot of movies since the endarkenment, in a wide range of genres from science fiction to horror to existential to comedy to thrillers to post modern to documentaries to classical to quiet Iranian movies. It is as if the endarkenment wants as much of me as possible to come up and be embraced by the velvety darkness, and movies is a good way to trigger this.

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Death and resurrection Saturday, December 16, 2006 |

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

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





Death and resurrection

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

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

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

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





Deaths and resurrections within realized selflessness

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

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

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

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Dream: leading me to execution |

I am led by the alive luminous blackness, and it takes me to my execution.

It is very vivid. I follow the alive blackness, and am led to a very physical place where I am to be executed by hanging. There is a real sense of fear and terror faced with death.

See next post for more about this.

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Sequence of unfolding of fertile darkness and alive luminosity |

As I mentioned in the previous post, there has been a sequence of unfoldings of the fertile darkness and the alive presence, in how they appear to me.

First, I dropped into the fertile darkness, a belly awakening, a deep smooth fertile blackness, a feeling of all as Spirit, allowing the emotional level to reorganize.

Then, the alive luminosity, infinitely alive, intelligent, loving, receptive and responsive.

Then, in my dream from yesterday, the luminous darkness, where the fertile darkness took on the qualities of aliveness, love, receptivity and intelligence of the alive luminosity.

And then last night, during the Christ meditation, the soft luminosity, where the alive luminosity took on the smooth deep soft embracing qualities of the fertile darkness.

As I also mentioned, it seems that this is the way the two are revealed to me as not two.

All of these have the same qualities of infinity, timelessness, presence, omnipresence, emptiness yet inseparable from form. It is as omnipresent as space, yet also independent of space and time. And as Almaas points out in his book Essence (which I skimmed through for the first time last night) there is a definite quality of substance to it. An alive presence with substance.

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Christ meditation |

I did the Christ meditation last night, and noticed a new shift and a few familiar things as well.

In the Christ meditation, I visualize Christ in my heart, and in front and behind, on the left and right, and above and below, about 5-8 feet out. Christ can be visualized as a presence, a light, or even in the physical form of Jesus, depending of what resonates the most and gives the strongest sense of presence. For me, a combination of presence and golden light seems to work best.

Soft alive loving intelligent receptive luminosity

The difference this time was the quality of the light. This time, it had a soft rounded quality, as a soft luminous deep infinitely loving, intelligent and receptive luminosity, with an alive presence. It has the deep velvety quality of the fertile darkness, and the aliveness and love, intelligence and receptivity of the alive luminosity.

In my dream that morning, the fertile blackness took on the qualities of the alive luminosity, revealing itself as luminous blackness. And during this meditation, the luminosity took on the deep soft quiet qualities of the fertile darkness. They seem to be revealing themselves as just two facets of the same, in different ways, with one in the foreground, then the other.

Directions

I also noticed the experience of the directions again, as I often do.

The front seems to have to do with my conscious daily life and interactions.

The back with my individual shadows, maybe shared with people in my groups such as culture and nationality, and in general what I tend to be unaware of in my daily life.

The sides with community and relationships with humanity, animals, plants and the Earth.

Above with traditional yang spirituality, such as transcendence and ascension.

And below with deep feminine spirituality, and also deeper collective shadows.

Placing, or noticing, the Christ there allows the light of awareness into these realms, allowing them to reorganize within the light of consciousness.

Unique quality

I also notice the unique Christ quality. It involves the heart center, but so do anything else related to Big Heart, such as Avalokiteshwara (Chenrezig, Kanzeon, Quan Yin). It involves the head center as well, especially the crown. But it also has a very distinct quality, a fiery alive presence that I have not experienced with anything else.

Tongues of fire

I also took the opportunity to look at the tongue of fire in the mirror afterwards (I know this is weird! I am definitely pushing my comfort zone by writing about this.) It looks like a cylinder of very clear light attached to the crown, maybe about 1.5-2 inches wide and 5-6 inches tall. When I move my head around, it follows exactly, as if solidly attached to the crown.

So it doesn't really look like a tongue of fire, but it is very understandable why it may be described - and depicted - that way. It is of clear brilliant light, attached to the top as a flame to a candle (!), and it also has the fiery quality of the Christ presence itself.

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The closest to immediate experience Friday, December 15, 2006 |



I realize that many of these terms, such as fertile darkness, luminous blackness, alive luminosity, crystal clear quality, and so on, can be seen as poetic inventions. In a way, they are, but they are also what seems closest to immediate experience.

There is an immediate experience of the fertile smooth rich darkness, the alive luminosity, the luminous blackness, the crystal clear quality, and more. These are the terms that are most close to how each of these appear, when arising in awareness.

They are metaphors, but the closest to experience that we, or at least I, can get. The words themselves come from the thinking mind, but the thinking mind is only of assistance in putting it into words, as close to experience as possible. It has a secondary and minor role. Experience is primary, putting it into words secondary.

Emptiness filtered through head and belly centers

For instance, emptiness, then filtered through the head center, or even thought about in abstract terms, could be called fertile. But it is a stretch. Its empty quality is in the foreground, and the empty quality of all forms are in the foreground. The experience is that forms are emptiness, that they are inseparable. To say that form comes out of emptiness, and emptiness in that way is fertile, is possible, but a stretch from the immediate experience. It is an intellectualization.

But emptiness, when filtered through the belly center, does have a sense of fertility about it. It is black smooth full rich and fertile, and a fertile ground of form. In our immediate experience, it appears as fertile, as brimming with potentiality.

So to call emptiness fertile is more of an intellectualization if filtered through the head center, and an immediate experience when filtered through the belly center.

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Three centeres as filters |

The three centers of head, belly and heart, seem to be filters for experience in several different ways.

Organized in the context of separation

If there is a sense of I, and the many identities added to this sense, they form in the context of separation.

The view is dualistic.

The heart is partly open and partly closed.

The emotions are reactive.

And each center tends to operate somewhat independently of the others.

Organized in the context of all as Spirit

When the centers awaken, they reorganize to all as Spirit.

The view is informed by a nondual realization.

The heart is open independent of the form aspect of Spirit.

The emotions has a sense of fullness, quietness and nurturing.

Each of the centers tends to be aligned and coordinated with the others.





Aspects of Spirit when filtered through the three centers

When the centers awaken, they not only reorganize to all as Spirit, but also filter Spirit in different ways. The centers filter the aspects of Spirit, such as awakeness, emptiness, luminosity and form, as white light is filtered through a prism.

Through the head center, emptiness has a crystal clear quality, as fresh mountain air. And the emptiness aspect of awakeness, luminosity and form is most noticeable.

Through the belly center, emptiness has a quiet, dark, full quality, a fertile full ground of potential. And the infinitely alive, intelligent, loving and receptive quality of awakeness and luminosity is most noticeable.

The head center is more yang, masculine, transcendent, free, detached, emphasizing emptiness.

The belly center is more yin, feminine, immanent, embodied, engaged, emphasizing a dark fertile responsive fullness.

More about the heart center later, when that comes more into the foreground.

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Alive luminous blackness |

Initially separate, now revealed as aspects of the same

It is interesting how the endarkenment and the alive luminosity came up at different times (the endarkenment a few weeks ago, and the alive luminosity only a few days ago), and as initially separate and distinct.

Now, in the dream and in my awake consciousness, they are merged.

There is a sense of a luminous velvety blackness, where the blackness itself is luminous, as black light. And it has the alive intelligence, love and receptivity that I first noticed in the luminosity.

Luminous Night's Journey

This also reminds me of Hameed Ali's journal excerpts published under the title A Luminous Night's Journey. When I read it this summer, I knew he was describing something in the title that was unfamiliar to me, and it seems that this is it. The alive luminous blackness, velvety, intelligent, loving, receptive.

Belly awakening, fertile darkness and alive luminosity

As described earlier, the fertile darkness seems connected with a belly awakening, and of feeling all as Spirit. It allows the emotions to reorganize within the context of all as Spirit, becoming less reactive, and giving a sense of deep quiet nurturing fullness.

The alive luminosity also seems connected with the belly awakening. Where the emptiness aspect of luminosity is revealed in a head centered awakening, the belly awakening seems to reveal the aliveness, intelligence, love and receptivity of the same luminosity. It has more of a sense of fullness to it, and infinitely alive.

Awake emptiness and form, filtered through head and belly awakenings

It seems that the awakening of each of the three centers, of head, belly and heart, each reveal different realms of the same, different facets of Spirit, of awake emptiness and form.

The awake emptiness and form is there, in each case, yet revealing different aspects of itself in each awakening, as light split through a prism.

In the head awakening, the emptiness takes on a crystal clear quality, as clear mountain air, and the luminosity is revealed with this empty crystal clear quality.

And in the belly awakening, the emptiness takes on a velvety smooth fertile black character, while the luminosity takes on an infinitely alive, intelligent, loving, receptive and responsive quality.

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Dream: Alive luminous blackness |



There is a starfield with strikingly deep velvety blackness and brilliant cool blue stars. The blackness is luminous and alive with infinite intelligence, love, receptivity and responsiveness. A voice says "this is the end of anything organized".


The starfield has the fertile deep black qualities of the endarkenment, and also the aliveness, intelligence, love and receptivity of the alive luminosity. It combines both.

And there is a knowing that the presence of this alive luminous blackness means the end of anything organized, in the sense of pre-structured and planned, coming from the outside or from the mind. From now on, the luminous blackness is a guide for what unfolds.

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Unremarkable Thursday, December 14, 2006 |

It is interesting how the recent shifts all seem so unremarkable. There is the discernment that statistically, it may (or may not) be relatively unusual, and there is certainly a curiosity about it. At the same time, it feels completely unremarkable.

From amazing to familiar

During the initial awakening several years ago now, awakening to all as God, it did seem amazing and remarkable. From perceiving myself as this human self, and the world and universe as dead matter, it was all revealed as a seamless whole of Spirit. And it was experienced as even more remarkable since my conscious view prior to this was atheist (God obviously has a sense of humor) and I had no interest in anything spiritual. Over time, that shift, and other similar ones, become ordinary. The remarkableness burns away with time.

It is what is awakening to itself, just noticing what it already is.

More remarkable: that Spirit can temporarily forget itself as Spirit

In a way, and from the context of Spirit, it is maybe more remarkable that it can be temporarily identified with a segment of itself, with a human or any other form, than that it can notice what it already always is.

Most remarkable: that anything is at all

And, of course, what is truly remarkable is that anything is at all. Everything else, any particulars of how Spirit manifests, really pales in comparison.

In the context of the absolutely amazing fact that anything at all is, all the specific manifestations takes on the same taste. It is yet another flavor of One Taste.

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Courage to explore |

In this shift into endarkenment, I am especially grateful for company along the way.

Among the few traveling companions I have found are Karen and Barry, leading our diksha group, and who have both gone through and are deepening into the endarkenment.

Adyashanti who briefly mentioned the three centers of awakening when he spoke in Ashland, and how his main shift started as a belly awakening.

And also Hameed Ali, who has written about all this in such a clear and detailed way in many of his books, under the pen name A. H. Almaas.

Especially as this seems to be a little outside of the well-worn paths of the traditions, at least what is spoken about openly and presented to a general audience, it is good to find fellow travelers. It gives courage to explore. To dive into it more fully.

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Cycling through 2nd, 3rd and 1st person |

In the shifts into endarkenment and then the alive luminosity, I notice what seems to be a natural cycling through 2nd, 3rd and 1st person relationships with it.

I initially explored the fertile darkness through a 2nd person relationship, as a You, then a 3rd person relationship, as an it, exploring and mapping it through images and words, then a 1st person relationship, as part of the field absent of I, then back to a 3rd person relationship, and so on. Naturally cycling through the three ways of exploring it. And the same seems to happen with the alive luminosity.

The second person relationship takes the form of seeing, feeling and loving it as You, and also prayer and intention. The first person relationship is not a relationship, but the field awake to itself - including the fertile darkness and alive luminosity - as absent of I. And the third person relationship is one of mental exploration, of mapping, writing, reading and talking about it.

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Resistance, dark night and purgatory |

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

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

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

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

Resistance to the effects of the sense of I and identities

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

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

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

Resisting experiences vs. fully experiencing

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

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

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

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

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

Dark night and purgatory

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

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

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

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

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Feeling all arising as Spirit and me |

Throughout the day, and especially when lying in bed before falling asleep or waking up, the practice of feeling all as Spirit and me comes up.

Whatever arises is felt as Spirit and as me. It is awake emptiness and form, and it is me or a mirror for me as a human self.

I especially do this with anything arising that is outside of my habitual identities, such as fear, people I am attracted to or feel aversion towards, fatigue, pain, even countries and the Earth as a whole.

I feel into it as Spirit and me, and along with this is the seeing of it as Spirit and me, which in turn awakens the loving of it as Spirit and me.

Reorganizing the three centers, and allowing anything human to be experienced as me

This helps reorganize the three centers of view, emotions and heart within the context of all as Spirit.

And it helps transform my identity as a human being to be more inclusive of anything human. To feel, see and love anything human as not only it, over there, but also me, right here.

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Dream: destroying the boats |

I have crossed a vast river with a group of people, and we are just settling in. I tell somebody I am going down to the shore to destroy the boats.

The sense in the dream and after I woke up is that the river is the river of Samsara, of blind identification with our human self, with a segment of Spirit, the field of awake emptiness and form. The river is so wide that it forms the horizon. There is a sense of quiet calmness in destroying the boats, we all know it is a good thing to do.

Although it doesn't quite seem that I am on the other shore yet, it seems important to destroy the vehicles that can bring me back in the other direction. These days, I am more acutely aware of the identities I still hold onto which splits the world into I and Other, and the importance of seeing through them.

The dream has a slightly dualistic feel to it (awakening good, delusion bad), but it has a Manjushri's sword feel to it as well, decisively cutting through delusion.

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Three aspects of composting Wednesday, December 13, 2006 |

Looking at composting a little closer, I see that all three centers are involved, much as I have written about earlier in a non-composting context (!)

Something arises, for instance a resistance, which can range from the seed resistance to the field absent of I, to all its many fruits. And it is seen, loved and felt.

It is seen in its form aspect, and as Spirit.

It is loved in its form aspect, and as Spirit.

And it is felt in its form aspect, and as Spirit.

One of the fruits of the seed resistance arises, for instance fear of loosing something. And it is seen, loved, and felt as fear, with its unique texture and flavor, and as Spirit.

There is detachment, from pure witnessing. There is love for it as is. And it is felt into, as is and as Spirit.

This allows it to be held as is, and also to transform in its own way.

It was formed within the context of a sense of separation, and transforms within the context of all as Spirit.

Or we can say that it is composted back into the soil, and its nutrients allows new plants and fruits to emerge in the context of all as Spirit.

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Composting, Breema and endarkenment |

What I experience as composting seems to have two inseparable aspects.

Aspects of composting

There is the feeling into whatever arises (usually some form of resistance, or the fruits of resistance) as is.

And there is the feeling into it as Spirit, as fullness and emptiness, as alive luminous awake emptiness and form, as fullness and awake space, or however it appears.

When both are present, it seems to allow whatever is felt into to unfold and transform. There is a healing component here, allowing reactive emotions to transform into a sense of quiet nurturing fullness.

Breema, composting and endarkenment

This is actually quite similar to what they talk about in Breema. Bring the attention to the body, and feelings will join, which I experience also there as a sense of quiet stable nurturing supportive fullness, centered in the belly region.

My sense is that Breema is quite a bit about the endarkenment, although they don't talk about it that way. There is an emphasis on the hara region, the belly, and there is certainly a transforming of emotions into giving this sense of warm full quiet stable nurturing supporting fullness.

It seems that for me, Breema set the stage for the endarkenment shift, along with shadow work and other things I have done for a while, and the endarkenment diksha allowed me to fall into it, opening up for a whole new dimension of being.

Two phases of endarkenment

Again, there seems to be two phases or aspects of the endarkenment.

There is the energetic and attention components, which are centered in the Hara, the belly region. Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Zen, Breema and many other practices activates the Hara and gives a sense of energy activity there, of warmth and nurturing fullness. It seems that this is an early taste of some aspects of endarkenment. This energetic work, and the dipping into it, is a form of pre-endarkenment.

But the shift into endarkenment is quite different. It is a shift into a whole new dimension of being. It seems stable, deep, full, a whole new way of being and experiencing existence. It is a dropping into a full rich quiet darkness. And it unfolds and deepens from here on, which includes allowing the emotions to reorganize in even deeper ways.

The pre-endarkenment is like dipping the toes in the water. The shift into endarkenment is jumping into it. And the process of unfolding is to swim, dive down into and explore in many ways this whole new realm of being.

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Feeling it all as Spirit and me |

On the bus yesterday, crowded and with all sorts of people, the practice of feeling all as Spirit and as me came into the foreground.

Feeling it all as Spirit. All the many flavors of people, the bus and everything else, felt as Spirit, as one substance, as fullness and emptiness, as awake emptiness and form, as the intelligent, loving and alive luminosity.

And feeling it all as me. Feeling the flavors of people as me, as mirrors on my human level. Feeling into the fullness of humanity, out there and also in here, no matter how it shows up. Whatever is out there is also in here, in its felt fullness.

At the same time, there was a sense of giving it all to the fertile darkness, of everything composting itself within and as the fertile darkness. All the forms, all the flavors of humanity, all the many forms of human life.

Composting it all, through feeling into it and seeing it all as Spirit, as fullness and emptiness, as living awake luminous emptiness and form. The composting seems to happen when both are present. The feeling into the many flavors of form gives it fullness and presence. The feeling into it as Spirit allows it to unfold and transmute.

To put it into more everyday language: composting involves feeling into whatever arises, while allowing space for it to unfold and change. It is very simple. And it is similar to what happens naturally in mediations such as Shikantaza, although there is a slight engagement through the feeling into what arises.

It seems to bring about a healing, especially at an emotional level. From reactive emotions, the emotions gives a sense of quiet nurturing fullness. And it seems to bring about awakening, through feeling into it all as Spirit, as fullness and emptiness, alive awake luminous emptiness and form.

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[initial entry]

On the bus yesterday, crowded and with all sorts of people, the practice of feeling all as Spirit and as me came into the foreground.

Feeling it all as Spirit, all the many flavors of people, the bus and everything else. Felt as Spirit, as one substance, as fullness and emptiness, awake emptiness and form.

And feeling it all as me, at my human level, as mirrors for me. Feeling into the fullness of humanity, out there and in here, no matter how it shows up. Whatever is out there, is also in here, in its felt fullness.

At the same time, there was a sense of giving it all to the fertile darkness, of everything composting itself within and as the fertile darkness. All the forms, all the flavors of humanity, all the many forms of human life.

Again, this is something that goes beyond what is easily conveyed by words. It is easy enough to talk about working with projections on a more mental and felt level. But the composting part is different. I still don't know how to describe that in a way that would allow others to find it for themselves. Maybe it will come with time.

There is a sense of feeling into it, while also seeing it as Spirit, as awake emptiness and form. There is a holding of both, which allows what is felt and seen to transform.

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