Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Time to Dream

Dreaming....


A quieter time arrives for the northern hemisphere. Its deep fall; a time of dying, of unwinding, of slowing down, or change. There is suddenly much less light and the temperatures drop. And this causes some emotional upheaval... 




Its very natural to be feeling a bit emotionally fragile, a bit sad or depressed. The secret is to allow for some down time, without indulging the sadness or depression. A friend once told me the secret to the rain, that people from rain forests all know, and is why they just love the rain, is that you need to be introspective without being melancholy. And that is really the secret to the Fall season; allow some slow, mellow days for introspection, without becoming melancholy. Become cozy and dreamy, not obsessive and sad. Play folk music, not the blues. The secret is to remember that the empty feelings that naturally come around with the cold and dark are not scary nor signify the end or dying, but are the perfect conditions for something new to begin.

Creation needs stillness, quiet or empty conditions for inspiration. True inspiration, not the mental obsessing or planning kind, but the spontaneous dreaming that surprises and delights us needs spaciousness. All artists know this, late at night when the world is dark and quiet they are in their studios, dancing, painting, sculpting, recording, writing. The unknown road before you is not a dying or stuck, empty, fearful place. It's an essential quieting, so something beautiful and new can come about.

So the secret is to take this time to meditate on what you would like that creation to be. Taking extra time to hangout and day dream, carving some down time to let yourself be surprised by what inspires you. Be willing to give yourself lots of room for creating....instead of playing tapes of fear, and hopelessness...instead of becoming so busy you can't feel the darkness and emptiness. I like to imagine the trees dream of new buds and flowers, new branches and fruit, even as the leaves change color and drop, as the energy is spent and its time for rest and renewal is here.


What are you dreaming of ?
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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Irritation



This layer of resistance is a nasty bugger. Its game is to activate a high level of discomfort in you. It can feel like pins and needles inside of you, like you can't stand to be in your own skin. Or like your skin is itchy, or your head is going to explode, or your heart. Or suddenly you're so cold, or so hot, or that you're burning up. Or it feels like the noise outside is so loud! The kids are driving you nuts! Your partner is driving you batty! It feels like you can't take it, or it's too much. It feels like anything at all would be better than this irritation.

It's a good one...very strategic at hooking you, a very captivating layer of resistance. If aggressive mind and invisible cloak don't hook you, this one just might. Irritation is an intense version that plays on the hypochondriac in all of us, plays on the impatience in all of us, plays on the stress in all of us, plays on the deep seated fear that there is something very, very wrong. It's got a good game going.

Which, like all the resistance layers, is actually an insane game. It actually creates what it proposes to help us avoid.  Irritation, however uncomfortable, won't actually harm you.  But its usually really effective at driving us straight into our compulsions, addictions, and distractions, which often do.

Until you catch on to it.

If you are aware that this is what is going on, and that it's only a pattern of resistance, you can dive for the source of what's initiating it. You can dive towards the physical sensation in the body, usually a dense or tender place that feels like an energetic block.  Or, you can direct your awareness towards what is going on that is triggering all this resistance, all this irritation. Then the irritation is no longer fully captivating (as it's primary power is you believing it's true). This involves not only seeing the pattern at hand, but understanding that if you are aware of it, you are not it. You are the awareness of something moving in your system is all. When you really get this...then you can go see what is moving in your system to create this layer of resistance. When you get to the source you can bring some tenderness to it, and begin to unwind it.

Sometimes in a private session, I will suddenly hear:
" There is something really wrong, I think my head is going to explode."
" I am so cold, so cold, it can't be okay, something is really wrong."
"My skin and scalp are so itchy...I am so, so itchy."
"My stomach is aching, I'm going to be sick."
"Ahhhh, I can't stand it!"

And what we do is dive towards the sensations and meet it tenderly in awareness. Then check in with clarity, to see if the irritation is coming from buried pain, or if indeed you are having a heart attack, for real. It's usually very obvious. Clarity feels like a simple knowing; you just know if it's a heart attack, it's usually quite calm and sure. Fear, however, feels catchy, grabby, panicky. And that panic is usually bogus, like 99.999% of the time, but lets just say 100% because anything you ever really need to know will come via clarity, and nothing good or essential or even interesting comes from fear. For real.

So, yup, resistance sucks. Get out of it ASAP! Head straight for the source, and don't be distracted by these resistance layers. Be sure, simple and direct...go for the source of the pain, not the distractions.  Or, believe resistance. Get suckered by it, act from it, and visit hell for a spell. HELL I tell you...but sadly, I don't need to, because most of us have spent quite some time there already.

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Resistance: The Invisible Cloak



I loved the Harry Potter stories.  I especially loved the description of all those magic objects they used throughout the years. How fun to hear the descriptions of all these fantastical, magical tools. Harry was given a cloak that he could put on and become invisible, so that when he was in the room, nobody could see him. How awesome would that be?

And that is just like one of the tools our friend resistance uses to hide out.

Again, resistance comes from our primal survival system, is throughout the body, and is just part of life in these human forms. The survival system is made up of all kinds of things: part nervous system, part vigilance center in the brain, part solar plexus and root chakras, even parts of our immune system. It's just what comes with our bodies. And that survival system does a lot of nice things, and a lot of pesky things. One pesky thing is a strict order to keep you away from being aware of pain in your system...which is wacky, because it often uses another kind of pain to keep us distracted. But, it's a very primal, ancient system, and therefore can only use primal techniques.

The first primal tool this resistance uses was the focus of the previous article "Aggressive Mind". The second tool is what I lovingly refer to as "Invisibility Cloak".  Yup, it renders pain invisible. It's like that old story about the guy who goes to the doctor because his head hurts, and the doctor asks, "Could it be because of the knife in your head?"  It's obvious to everyone but us, because invisibility cloak is activated, and so to us, it's invisible. 

So, somewhere in your body, there is a dull ache, or throbbing pain, or dense energy, and you've been feeling it in the background for many, many years, maybe your whole life. But when you try to focus on what is bothering you, it suddenly disappears. It's just not there anymore. Nothing is there.

That's one way it shows up.

It can also manifest so that it appears to you that there is nothing going on, you're all good.  But to your family and loved ones, there is obviously something going on.  Maybe your actions or your movements seem off, but you don't notice anything. It's very irritating to have folks comment on something you don't notice yourself. Total drag.

This is different than denial. Denial is when you know something is up, it's not invisible. You know darn well something is up, but you are pretty attached to ignoring it.

Another version of this resistance is the shapeshifter invisibility cloak. You know there is some pain, it is clearly in your head, or hip, or throat, but when you spend a moment really taking a look, it's suddenly throbbing in another area.  The shapeshifter version of invisibility is at work, distracting you away from the pain. Its task is to wear you down, make you feel overwhelmed or confused, and meet its goal of getting you away from the pain. It's the same devil, the same system of resistance, making the source of the problem invisible.

Another way it shows up is that you might notice your actions or movements are seemingly out of sync, or you have "weird" responses to things, but you don't know why. This happens a lot in cases of child abuse, sexual abuse, and traumatic stress. The survival system is amazing at fully blocking the source of the issue, yet you're very aware of your seemingly odd responses. You have a hunch, or you have some very challenging stuff going on, but you just can't quite get to the source of why your system is reacting as it is.

I'm so crazy sensitive that I usually catch a lot of this stuff, but folks argue me right out of it all the time.  I get a lot of "you're just hearing things, there is nothing going on. There is no problem, it's just like that!" Man,  if I had a dollar for how many times a day I go through this...

But the invisibility cloak is pretty convincing, and there is nothing we can do about it, except recognize and know about it. Because what it's hiding from us, only we can access. Only we can be available for this information, regardless of the invisibility, or our friends and family, or healers and psychics etc, pointing it out. It's truly an inside job, and can only be rendered visible from the inside.

And note: projections are not going to be helpful, so don't go there.  In other words, it's not going to work if others start projecting their ideas of what's going on with you, or a healer tells you, or you start guessing.  It's far more helpful if you learn how to listen.

So all we can do is notice if we feel any resistance.  We just have to identify that energetic imprint. It's kinda like a "no...I don't really want to know," or a tension, or a feeling of effort, or a feeling like you're holding on to something, or running from something.  It feels kinda like that.  And then you can choose to honor that, and be honest about it. You can accept that is what is happening for you right now, and that you're okay with that.

Or, you can acknowledge that things feel a lot better when they are healed, and consider what it's costing you to continue colluding with this resistance. Then, make a decision to be unobstructed, and point your awareness straight at that source, which is always in the body, always a physical sensation.  Let your awareness be unmovable until it begins to reveal itself...which it will. And you know, or sense, where that source is because part of you has been aware of it for a long time; perhaps not fully conscious of it, but aware of it on some level.  This option takes patience, courage, and ripeness.

But that is what you get to do. And you will be surprised at how easy it becomes to access once you're on to the "invisibility cloak" defense mechanism. Because you can sense when pain is not resolved, and it's just hiding out.

From my point of view, about 70% of the hell you feel is resistance itself.  Sometimes that is worth knowing.


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Friday, May 2, 2014

How to deal with a loud and crazy mind! Warning:Graphic Content.








Aggressive mind.
That very captivating, very strong thought pattern that is excellent at yelling at you, and convincing you that it's true, that you're a problem, you can't handle this, it's never going to change, you're a failure, and you really shouldn't/don't want to be here.








Everyone has their own unique flavor of this voice.  For some of you, it's very aggressive and loud and judgmental.  For others, it has a flavor of panic and helplessness, or a cloudy, depressive feeling of futility.  Regardless, you know it because it's been the same voice most of your life, saying the exact same things.

Know what I'm talking about?

In my life, this was a big player. I had a lot (a lot!) of aggressive mind. Aggressive mind is one of the tactics your primal survival system uses to distract you from pain. In my case, I had a lot of trauma and abuse in my life, and my aggressive mind was off the hook!  One time as a teen, I had to take a 5 hour plane ride, and the man next to me molested me for a good amount of that time. I was frozen, paralyzed in terror, small and voiceless, I could not ask for help. My aggressive mind was there the whole time with one mantra: "I want to die."  Not so great, not so helpful, and it blocked out the impulse that may have gotten me to a very available safety.  But at that young age, I was fully captivated by aggressive mind.  Note: My life and my situations are very extreme.  It's what makes me a helpful teacher.  Direct experience, nothing like it.

Even if your life situations haven't been as extreme, still it's likely you know a kind of pain that is so bad, you can't feel anything, let alone feel silence or presence, or the quiet space of your own heart. Let alone touch into the body from where the pain is radiating. And regardless of what I say, or Adya says, or Mooji or other teachers say, to find peace is like mission impossible.

And when this happens, your mind is going to be working its A+ game to distract you from the pain to get you as far away from the body as can be. It's going to be so convincing. It's going to say, "I can't do this. This is too much. This is too hard, I can't be here. I'm a failure." And maybe even "I just want to die." And if you don't know this is NOT true, and don't recognize this as the voice of resistance, you are going to believe it and follow that voice, maybe into distraction, maybe into deeper harm. For you, it may become very appealing to hang out on line, get busy into some errands, or distract by helping other folks. Or you may go to booze, smokes, pot, food, sexual attention. Something, anything to numb from the pain. Or if the pain is extraordinary, like mine, you may just freeze and wait for someone to kill you.

So, bottom line, this aggressive mind, this tactic of resistance, is not helpful. It's not actually distracting you from pain, and if you really look, it's actually amplifying the pain, keeping it on rewind. It's not helping you to get away...not really... and it's not bringing clarity or support. It's a movement of primal survival, and its called 'primal' for a reason.

Here is the truth. You are the awareness that is aware of the pain. You are the awareness that is aware of the aggressive mind. And the good news is, awareness is effortless! As effortless as the awareness that is reading these words. Awareness doesn't effort to be aware. It's always, only, effortless. And that effortless awareness is capable of being effortlessly aware of anything.  Even pain.  No problem, no preference—awareness itself is very cool about what it's aware of.  But it's not neutral...it's very compassionate, very loving, and also incredibly intelligent. It will find solutions, it will get you safe, it will take care of you, it will love you, it can meet you, exactly as you are. It will come to your pain, your suffering, and meet it, and that will eventually bring you right home to the peace in your own heart. 

 A few years later, watching a movie where a woman was getting stalked, my body began to go into my habitual PTSD response: paralyzed, waves of panic, frozen terror, no voice, etc. However, this time I was not captivated by the aggressive mind, even though it was screaming at me. Instead, I was simply aware. And I stayed aware and ignored that captivating, trance inducing voice, regardless of what it had to say, and how loud it had to say it. First I was aware that I was very tense, so tense my arms hurt from the grip. Then I was aware my jaw was clenched and painful, and I could not speak at any cost. I was aware that I was somewhere very small in my body, and then I was aware that usually this triggered a lift off, out of my body, which usually preceded some blacking out...sometimes a few hours, sometime a few days. But instead...awareness.  I noticed I needed support, I needed to leave and go somewhere that I felt safe. And that awareness is what got me out, got me home, got me supportive kindness, got me grounded again, and then got me to peace.  It was not the aggressive voice in my head. That voice was not helpful, not supportive, not kind, not creative, not clear, not full of solutions. And especially, what it had to say was not true.

So, when you hear the voice boot up, don't follow it.  Flag it and notice that you are the awareness of this voice, you are not the voice itself.  And then let awareness take the lead.  It's not true that this is too much, or that you can't, or you are a failure... it's not true that you will never get there, never heal, never find peace, it's not true that you have been doing this for a hundred years and nothing has ever changed and maybe is only getting worse.
NONE OF THIS IS TRUE.
What is true: THIS IS THE VOICE OF RESISTANCE AND IT'S LYING!!!
You are awareness. And it's well equipped and on the job.


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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Resistance...Friend or Foe?



















I'm sitting here at my desk with a dandelion root tea in my hand, because it helps me stay sharp, because I didn't get enough sleep last night. I was awake much of the night rooting out old bits of pain and emotion. I was doing healing work in the middle of the night because, when I cleared my schedule last night to sit down and do the said healing work, my pal resistance showed up, and I got distracted. The distraction felt foggy, a 'not sure what I want to do, maybe some internet would be good' kinda fog.   I am usually awesome at seeing through the voice of distraction.  I'm a pro, distraction rarely gets the best of me!  But last night, my dear friend resistance was playing an A-game, trying to keep me away from an old jaggedy bit of trauma rattling around in the system for way too long, one recently activated by my life situation.

Life situation: My neighbors have been doing some construction, and because of the incompetence of the contractors, I have lost my power, my water, and my heat (it's winter while I write this), and yup, I find myself getting swept up in wanting to kill the contractors.  So, while it's a real bummer of a situation, wanting to actually kill them....well, that has charged up old pain written all over it.

In my past, my childhood, there was an awful lot of hell going around.  And due to the incompetence of the adults, my basic needs were completely unmet, ignored, or stomped on, and often my safety was jeopardized. When the renovation issues started up, what I felt was the rage and fury of a child in torment. And that rage means it's time to make time for some healing. But yesterday, instead, I researched a million trivial funny things online. Sound familiar?

And it cost me... it cost me a good night's sleep. In the middle of the night, I awoke to the full fury. And this time, distraction was not going to work. 2am. Awesome.

So, resistance, we all know it.  Sure, it's a bitch. It's hard to deal with, and it's usually much more bothersome than the actual pain.  So, I'm going to write a few articles in the coming weeks outlining the games that resistance plays.  I'm going to support us in getting wise to the programs of resistance.  For now, just to lay some ground work, remember that our friend resistance comes from fear. As I mentioned in the last article, fear comes from our primal survival system. And our friend resistance is a movement of fear. Even though it feels just like anger, it's actually fear.

What happens is that, when we are small,we get traumatized. It happens. Our systems are still trying to figure out this whole 'how-to-live-in-peace-and-freedom' thing. Little people feel the traumas in their bodies. They are too little to emotionally process pain, so the body is the front line of defense.  The body's primal survival system steps up to the plate to take care of that gyrating trauma. It grabs the vibrating ache and buries it in the body, and then encodes it to stay there. That encoding is resistance.

Resistance is like a staple that will keep the raw pain pinned in the body. And that staple has 4 layers, or about 4 different codes. I will go into detail about each code in the coming articles, but for now: let's call the first layer 'aggressive mind'. It's perfectly built to distract you away from the pain in the body.  Then we have 'invisible cloak', just like in Harry Potter, causing pain to disappear the instant we go to find it.  Then we have a highly irritated layer or 'I can't be in my own skin' kind of jitteriness. It can sometimes feel like 'I am going to die, have a heart attack, or I maybe I have a brain tumor.' And then my friend from last night, the foggy brain/confusion layer. It sounds like, "um, what was I doing?"

 The cool thing is that resistance only has these few plays, and they are really consistent, and really noticeable if we know how to spot them.  And once we are on to them, we can get out of their sticky grasps. Because no matter what resistance throws at us, we only have one simple and effortless thing to do: find the physical sensation and love the shit out of it.

Now, that old jittery bit rattling around last night was really old, and has deked me out for a number of years. I knew it was there, yet I let a play of resistance grab me, that foggy confusion. So here I am, underslept, perhaps going on way too long with you guys, tea in hand, gotten by the old coding of primal survival. And did I mention I'm shivering cuz those dudes haven't figured out how to turn the power back on? Yah, awesome.


Friday, February 28, 2014

A Mighty Beast.

Fear. It's a very potent emotion. And ironically, a devoted spiritual practice can sometimes bring us an awesome amount of experience with this emotion.  And a full-fledged awakening can open the doors to an overwhelming face plant into the bowels of it. Raw deal, eh?  Very rarely does the meditation hall hand out this warning.

Fear is an emotion that is cranked out from your primal survival system. It's called primal for a reason: it's old, it's crude, and it's coming from a bunch of false beliefs, an ancient system of beliefs that you are a) a separate body/mind and soul, b) separate specifically from a harsh and scary world and c) needing protection from said harsh and scary world. And, it can get any number of add-ons from your family-of-origin's belief systems.

However, they are false beliefs. For instance, you and I can see that if we hold up our hand, there are fingers and a palm. It can seem that the fingers end and the space between them begins. But does it? Where exactly does the energy stop? Is the energy actually separate? When exactly does it separate and become the space between the fingers?  Really? Can energy separate? Superficially, it can appear that way, but all we can really say is that it's different looking; the space between the fingers looks different from the fingers. Because if we really look, we notice it's all energy, it's not really separate. And you might notice that the energy just continues on to include everything, it's not separate from anything at all.  And you might notice that the fingers don't need to protect themselves from the space between the fingers, for instance, set up a system of defend and attack, thumbs unite against the space between pinkies. That would be silly, but that is the basic operating order of your primal survival system.

And okay, that survival system will make you jump when a car suddenly crashes through the living room, or a mugger puts a gun to your head. But, luckily, you do have a much more sophisticated survival system helping you out. Just before the car comes through the wall, a better survival systems sends a strong impulse that makes you want to get up and get out of the room. Perhaps you feel like getting a glass of water or you suddenly feel like going to ask your neighbor if they would like to come for dinner. It's a deeper movement, a feeling, an intuitive sense.  A sudden sensing that you don't really want to walk down that dark alley just now. Sadly, most of us have been conditioned to ignore those strong sensibilities, and we walk right into danger. But those instincts are there, and that's your true nature, offering all kinds of protection, before the danger is upon you.

So, our primal survival system is the primary source of fear.  We don't need to throw it out, but we can double check to see if the more sophisticated system, our true nature, is in sync with it.

 And, my point, and the irony of the whole business, is that almost everyone who sits in a lot of silence, or listens to hours and hours of satsang, or reads a ton of very well written spiritual books, will begin to experience fear. Some folks get very stuck here, and that is most unpleasant. Others experience a glorious spaciousness from core beliefs and pain, and begin to stand in true nature and "wake up," and then terror descends.

What is happening is that this primal survival system is getting jolted. And as my lovely friend refers to it, fear is a mighty beast. So fear, and it's intensified state, terror, are primal survival being jolted.  All that peace and stillness and ease is oneness not separateness, and your primal survival system gets rather agitated, and begins to put up an aggressive fight. "I am separate, and I need protection from this harsh world! This peace is dangerous stuff...where is my separate stance? Where are the cold, harsh, separate others! ALARM! "

So, here's what you need to do: upgrade the primal system.  Plug the cruder version into its more sophisticated source. Create a network of systems. The primal survival system is its own operating program, so you'll never be able to override it.  Instead, with your truest intentions, check in with fear. Check in to see if it would like to upgrade...say, from this crude unpleasant feeling, to the more peaceful, spacious, softness you sometimes feel in the background, or for some of you, the foreground. Touch the fear with the peace. Let the fear know that peace is really intelligent, so intelligent that it's the fingers and the space between them. It's the car and the driver, and the neighbor, and you, and it loves you all, and knows best how to take care of everyone. Ask the fear if it would like to go from its current crude self, say a 1976 Honda Civic, to its true nature, a new model Jaguar? Nothing has to let go, or surrender...nothing sooo scary like that. Just let fear feel the peace, and join it. And then that peace will tell you when something is off, when something is out of sync and heading towards distortion and pain. Usually 100 times better than primal fear can. And, it feels so much nicer, way easier to hang with.

So, fear, it's a potent emotion, and it helps tremendously to know what is really going on, why you are suddenly flooded with it, and to know its able to join forces with peace.  It needs an upgrade. Practice for yourself letting the fear touch into the peace. It might take a few minutes...upgrades, you know, old cranky things upgrading, take their own sweet time.

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I had it. I lost it.



      I understand what a real heartbreak it is to feel like you had it...the sweetness of clarity, a pure moment of bliss, a taste of unfiltered reality...and then feel like you lost it.

Lets have a look at what this is all about...

The first hitch here is the notion that "you" had something. I know it sure feels like this is the case, but the thing about your true nature is, you are already it. It's not something "you" can get. But it's very innocent to conclude that "you" did something to create this opening into grace. Perhaps it's easy to conclude that all the books you've read, all the silence you've sat in, etc, created this gorgeous present awareness.  Heck, I have even heard,"I did this breath thing for three exhales, and all this expansion opened for me!" So I understand the conclusion that "you" did something.

However, it's much more precise to point out that you are something, and that your true nature does not reveal itself because you sat for twenty hours, held your breath for three minutes, got a hug from Amaji, did 50 sun salutations every morning for a month, and sat two sessions of Vipassana in a row.  Now any of these things are wonderful in themselves, and are wonderful ways to get space, or to saturate in some blissful energy, or witness the goofy and painful mind spinning out, or just get a break from your crazy life.  But to assume "you" did any of these things just right, at just the right time, and then an awakening happened to you, briefly, is not completely true, is not entirely correct.   Because that would assume that what you are is actually only available via something the "you" does. Which is not the how the nature of reality works. And this is good news, because essentially, " I got it! I lost it!" is an incorrect conclusion to what you are experiencing.  This may appear to be semantics, but it's not.  A very precise definition of what is occurring can save you dozens of years of confusion, and self condemnation.  The conclusion that you had something, but then you lost it suddenly, is, in fact, your mind coming in and defining its role in your sudden loss of bliss.   But who is this "I" that is defining how it evoked your true nature, and then fucked it all up again?"


Which brings me to: "I" did something to lose it.  It's awful to feel this way.  Luckily, it's not actually true. A more precise definition would be to know that what you are, your true nature, is always present, yet core beliefs and/or karmic pain eclipse our experience of our real nature. It's simply eclipsed because that very present and blissful reality is always the most consistent part of us, it's true nature.  So, "what is blocking it?" is a more precise inquiry, not what "you" can do to evoke it.

So, yes, we can get space from those core beliefs and/or karmic pain in any of the above mentioned ways; a hug from Amaji, a month of Vipassana, time on the meditation cushion,  or about a million other options. Sometimes we can get enough space, (often called "getting quiet"), that our true nature is no longer so profoundly eclipsed by these core beliefs, (what are often called "stories").  And it's important to note that your true nature is never, ever, going to be lost to you.  It was never lost to begin with.  It was eclipsed. And that eclipsing force can suddenly burst one day (my personal experience), or can be chipped away at with skillful practice, or be glimpsed in all its glorious darkness (this is often the way of ingested products), and by seeing it all, a kind of clarity of what might be more true begins to unfold, etc.

Whenever someone comes to me with this, "I had it, I lost it" dilemma, I always ask them, "Has the clarity left you?" I don't mean the direct experience of that spacious bliss, or the "nothing else mattered and I was sooo present." But the clarity you felt, the truth, the deep knowing. Did that leave you?

Usually, the answer is "no".

But I understand the "feeling" of the "expansiveness" or "spaciousness" has shifted.  So I like to point out that it does that, that's kinda the nature of it. That's the thing with true nature, the direct experience of it can change on a dime. Because it's essentially love, and the funny thing about love is that it's a very malleable energy. For example, remember back to a time when you fell deeply in love and everything around you seemed so rosy and spacious, and things that irritated you before suddenly and simply didn't, and you were suddenly so much sweeter to everyone? The world seemed very sweet. Then say, about two years later, you don't really feel that same way, you still love your partner, in fact it's likely you love them much more deeply than when you first met, but you don't walk around all rosy and spacious. And then ten years in, it feels really, really different;  life comes in and eclipses the love, things like the bills, the kids, other family members, jobs, etc. But you still love your partner ( most days) and the love is way deeper than when the relationship was new.

You get my point.  Love doesn't always feel the same way.  It is malleable energy, but it never goes away. One doesn't actually fall out of love, as this is just not the nature of love. Rather, the experience of love shifts. So, long-winded way to say...yup, it doesn't always feel the same, and it can suddenly change on a dime, especially when the pain or beliefs are suddenly activated again, as can happen, until they are fully dissolved.

Another really key point about love, or say true nature, is that it serves. Love serves.  So as soon as you get some space from the eclipsing forces, and love is radiating out un-obstructed, that love heads towards the eclipsing pain.  I always say, if we invited love to our party, love is not going to hang out and be totally groovy with everyone, meeting everyone, hanging out feeling all bliss and planning a group road trip.  Nope, love is going to head straight for the crying child in the corner, and help out. It's just funny that way.  Love serves.  So, once you get some space from the eclipsing forces and the love begins to shine, it heads straight back to the eclipse, to assist with the pain. That is why you sometimes feel cycles of clarity and silence, then as quickly get overwhelmed with your old stuff again, your suffering. Each of those still moments is going to initiate those days of suffering, bringing it to the surface to be healed. The nature of love doesn't resist, repress, run or avoid. So, often you get a sense of " I had it" and then fear, anger, trauma, grief, suddenly whelms up and wham, your clarity is eclipsed, and you're identified as fear.  What happened? Love headed straight for the crying child in the corner, as in, your fear, etc..and up that pain comes, and without skillfull management, suddenly and swiftly this awareness that you are identifies with the pain. The pain was always going to come up anyway.  That is why healing is essential and mandatory on the path.  The pain and/or painful beliefs are anchored in three places in your system - mind/emotion/body - and are what is eclipsing your true nature. Here is a promise: if you had little to no pain, and little to no painful beliefs, a couple of really good, deep inquiries about what is really going on here, and you'd be radiating your true nature. Not unlike the very natural inquiries that the average 16-20 year old has. And look around, there are a few of those guys teaching, more than a few.

So, love is your true nature, it's always present, and it's profoundly eclipsed by core beliefs, trauma and pain.

Another really important aspect of love, or the profound, spacious, blissful experience of your true nature, is that it jolts your primal survival system. I will write more about this next month, but for now, enough to say, if you suddenly get enough space from your eclipsing forces, terror is going to show up, and it's not a "problem". Essentially, your primal survival system is wired to those core beliefs, wired to being a separate person, a separate body, and wired to all those painful stories - "no one loves this separate body, I have to protect it, I am not safe in this scary, hard world" etc. And when your true nature becomes less eclipsed, and the non-identified love begins radiating un obstructed, it doesn't feel like such a hard, scary world, and the primal survival system gets a big jolt. That feels exactly like terror. So, it's not something "you" did. It's your true nature jolting an ancient survival system that is wired to pain.

Clarity is here. It's available, and as I like to say, everyone has equal access to what they are, in every moment.  That's the thing about true nature - it's the most consistent thing about you. What eclipses it is your core operating program, or core belief systems, and/or pain and trauma in your system.  And in reality, that funny, painful, aggressive, separate "you" cannot actually "get it", nor "lose it".

Now, who's up for a seven day yoga marathon?