Once Upon a Time. A time when I was living in a pre-christian medieval church, high atop a mountain in Northern Italy, surrounded by castles in the sky, the vision for this website began appearing in my mind's eye. Beginning with Botticelli’s painting of Venus, the Goddess of Love and Beauty, a dreamtime collage began unfolding, reflecting images of life, gems of wisdom medicine realized from my life journey, a journey of the Heart; revealing the primal transcendental mystery and ultimate simplicity of the “art” and yoga of living & loving.
Understanding comes from the “manure” of life experience and with awareness comes the realization that familiar habitual life patterns repeat themselves, at times there seems to be no end to them, unless we stop, look and listen and begin doing something different. When old patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.
"There comes a point where we need to stop pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they are falling in."
- Desmond Tutu
May you have the courage to break the patterns in your life that are no longer serving you.
I was willing to go very deep, all the way to the root of whichever thought was causing a painful reaction.
That which we do not bring to consciousness..
appears in our lives as fate.
What Is a Saint in the Buddhist Tradition?
A saint in the Buddhist context—for example, Padmasambhava or a great being like the Buddha himself—is someone who provides an example of the fact that completely ordinary, confused human beings can wake themselves up. They can put themselves together and wake themselves up through an accident of life of one kind or another. The pain, the suffering of all kinds, the misery, and the chaos that are part of life, begins to wake them, shake them. Having been shaken, they begin to question: “Who am I? What am I? How is it that all these things are happening?” Then they go further and realize that there is something in them that is asking those questions, something that is, in fact, intelligent and not exactly confused.
—from Crazy Wisdom
by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, page 5
Self identity is so important to our ego and our ego will defend the information and actions that our ego identifies with. Our ego is a part of our own mind that constantly tries to justify and maintain its sense of self. Our ego attaches itself to the information and concepts we adopt in life, and if anyone or anything challenges those ideals we will feel turbulence and cognitive dissonance. Our willingness to adopt new ideals and patterns helps our ego to become more flexible, and don't worry the more you practice allowing your ego to let go and adjust to new information the easier it will become. Sometimes we try and get other people to identify with the same information that we identify with just because subconsciously we are looking for a scenario to justify our ego. Trying to get another to accept and embody that same information that you identify with is just a ploy the ego takes to make itself feel more powerful and solid.
Our higher selves know that each and every path is righteous and time will heal all wounds, and to remain patient with those who choose other paths that you do not choose. Our higher awareness is at peace with other people's lives and choices because we can unconditionally love in all situations and in all people. To allow all people to live and make their own choices so they may have their own experience that is the true way to evolve. The ego tries to control and manipulate others for its own self validation. The higher self holds space and allows others to grow freely without personal attachment to how, when, what, where, and why. The ego projects, compares, labels, and confuses while the higher self embraces, loves, unconditionally supports, and understands. The ego will try to course correct and control someone else's experience in life due to a limited perspective of right or wrong. The higher self accepts and allows one to experience their own life in their own personal way.
"Sometimes, just before achieving deep inner quiet, we experience grief from having to let go of the props of identity. We experience the feeling that we are nobody at all. We find ourselves crying, yet we do not feel sad. We simply allow our bodies to cry as they give up feelings of attachment to the old props. Now they seem to stand naked and defenseless before the mighty Cosmos. Then this passes and we feel relief. We are in harmony with the Cosmos. A great weight is lifted off."
~ Carol K. Anthony
"There is an abandonment, a relaxation that gets deeper and deeper. Letting go without wanting to gain anything. I let go with humility, because I begin to understand that I am nothing on my own, and at the center of this humility appears trust, faith. In this moment I'm cool I'm at peace. When the body enters a state of no tension, I feel the beauty of the feeling of stillness. It's like the birth of being. I get to experience an extraordinary feeling of existence."
- Jeanne of Salmann
As soon as you see something, you already start to intellectualize it. As soon as you intellectualize something, it is no longer what you saw.
– Shunryu Suzuki
We Live in Our Minds
"We spend so much time buying nice houses, decorating them according to our desires, making everything look very nice. We keep them clean, well-furnished, and beautifully decorated, and we show them with pride to other people. But actually, we don’t live in our houses, we live in our minds. If we go somewhere else, we leave our house behind. We don’t carry it with us; we are not snails. But our mind we carry with us everywhere; we live within our minds."
~ Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo
Illusions of Familiarity
"Samsara is difficult to escape from not because we are imprisoned by demons or some such, but because we hold on to its familiarity, and to our misunderstanding of self, and because we don’t know how to rest in discomfort in order to go beyond the identity we’ve spent a whole life time building up."
- Dungse Jampal Norbu
"Many people are addicted to, and identified with, being the separate and unique victims of the tragic dramas of their lives. People so often form the deepest bonds with one another by sharing the painful and tragic episodes of their lives, as if those episodes define who they really are.
Many people really see themselves as ‘the one who has struggled,’ and ‘the one who is struggling now.’ Others struggle to hold onto a more positive, fixed identity as a good, successful, or spiritual person. However, most people cling to both negative and positive self-images, creating an endless struggle between contradictory identities that have no fundamental reality to begin with. Is it any wonder that so many spiritual seekers remain so confused?
The most insidious and unconscious way that spiritual seekers struggle is by struggling with practices and techniques that are supposed to help them stop struggling. But who has the biggest investment in these practices? The sense of a separate self, or ego, does. Only the ego asks how to stop struggling because all how-to questions lead to further struggle. This mechanism of maintaining struggle is how the ego maintains control.
Struggling only ceases when you passionately inquire into who and what you truly are deeply enough to awaken from the dream of being a personal separate self.”
~ Adyashanti, The Impact of Awakening
”There is a great momentum of suffering and confusion that every spiritual seeker encounters. It is the momentum of ignorance which manifests as the experience of conflict and confusion and which causes suffering. In order to discover the perspective of liberation, which alone transcends this entire movement of ignorance and suffering, one needs to let everything end. "Letting everything end" means to stand in the moment completely naked of attachment to any and all ideas, concepts, hopes, preferences, and experiences. Simply put, it means to stop strategizing, controlling, manipulating, and running away from yourself--and to simply be. Finally you must let everything end and be still.
In letting everything end, all seeking and striving stops. All effort to be someone or to find some extraordinary state of being ceases. This ceasing is essential. It is true spiritual maturity. By ceasing to follow the mind's tendency to always want more, different, or better, one encounters the opportunity to be still. In being still, a perspective is revealed which is free from all ignorance and bondage to suffering. From that perspective, eternal Self is realized. The eternal Self, the Seer, is recognized to be one's true nature, one's very own Self.
This is an invitation to let all seeking end, all striving end, all efforting end, all past identity end, all hopes end, and to discover That which has no beginning or end. This is an invitation to discover the eternal, unborn, undying Truth of being. The Truth of your being, your own Self. Let the entire movement of becoming end, and discover That which has always been present at the core of your being.”
”Instead of trying to let go, which can end up in a tug of war with your mind, notice that the nature of your own awareness is already, and always is, in a state of complete openness.
Awareness is in a state of letting go, whether or not the mind has let go. So just feel and sense your way into the already open quality of awareness. This will give your mind something to let go and relax into."
"Society prepares you for the life that it wants you to lead; it prepares you for the role that it wants you to have. But the spirit within you, unhappy at being confined, can compel you to lead a true life, a significant life full of the vitality of spirit."
"Spirit is the symbol for transformation. So when we open to spirit, we’re opening to transformation: we’re not going to be the same person that began the journey and we’re not going to see ourselves in the same way ever again. When we open to spirit, we’re not adding a new layer of identity. Spirit is that which throws off all identities and casts them all away. Spirit has no form, no ideology. It is eternal wholeness and completeness.”
"No spiritual teaching is a direct path to enlightenment. In fact, there is no such thing as a path to enlightenment, simply because enlightenment is ever present in all places and at all times. What you can do is to remove any and all illusions, especially the ones you value most and find the most security in, that cloud your perception of Reality. Let go of clinging to your illusions and resisting what is, and Reality will suddenly come into view.“
“Freedom is something that’s right in the midst of this moment. When we begin to surrender our demand that life change, that life alter itself to suit our ideas, then everything opens.”
Who Am "I" ??? Feel it In Your Body
"We may ask the question—“What am I?” or “Who am I?” or “Am I this thought?”—and the question, of course, originates in the mind. But once we’ve asked the question, it’s very important that we do not stay in the mind. We must turn our attention to the neck down. We have this whole beautiful thing called a body and this kinesthetic sense of being, and that’s where inquiry really happens.
...What is it like to feel in your being that you don’t know what you are? What’s it like when you look inside to find out who you are and you don’t find an entity called “you”? What does that open space feel like? Feel it in your body; let it register in the cells of your being. This is real spiritual inquiry. This transforms what might have been just an abstract thought in the mind into something that is very visceral, very kinesthetic, and very spiritually powerful."
~ Adyashanti, True Meditation: Discover the Freedom of Pure Awareness
"We realize--often quite suddenly--that our sense of self, which has been formed and constructed out of our ideas, beliefs and images, is not really who we are. It doesn't define us, it has no center."
-- Adyashanti, The End of Your World
"Become at ease with the state of 'not knowing.' This takes you beyond mind because the mind is always trying to conclude and interpret. It is afraid of not knowing. So, when you can be at ease with not knowing, you have already gone beyond the mind."
- Eckhardt Tolle
“Our mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it. Beyond the pairs of opposites of which the world consists, other, new insights begin.”
― Hermann Hesse
Life Requests More Comprehension ...Then "Knowledge"
Sometimes people, because they have a little too much knowledge, or believe they have it, find themselves entitled to underestimate others.
A rose is a rose is a rose. By any other name,
smells just as sweet.
Be Silent and Listen
“Be silent and listen: have you recognized your madness and do you admit it? Have you noticed that all your foundations are completely mired in madness? Do you not want to recognize your madness and welcome it in a friendly manner?
You wanted to accept everything. So accept madness too. Let the light of your madness shine, and it will suddenly dawn on you. Madness is not to be despised and not to be feared, but instead you should give it life...If you want to find paths, you should also not spurn madness, since it makes up such a great part of your nature...Be glad that you can recognize it, for you will thus avoid becoming its victim.
Madness is a special form of the spirit and clings to all teachings and philosophies, but even more to daily life, since life itself is full of craziness and at bottom utterly illogical. Man strives toward reason only so that he can make rules for himself. Life itself has no rules. That is its mystery and its unknown law. What you call knowledge is an attempt to impose something comprehensible on life.”
― Carl Jung
Saying who we really are can be something relatively easy, that's why it is common to create a pleasant self-image for our eyes and especially for the eyes of the other.
To be who we really Are, that is, requires from us a gigantic dose of honesty, self-knowledge, and a lot of acceptance, to see ourselves with everything that composes us is an almost cruel act, as you need to shave off the paints, strip layers and layers of skin, but it is an extremely necessary attitude to have for a peaceful relationship between: our true Self, and the world around us.
NATURAL PRIMORDIAL PERFECTION
Sahaja is one of the four keywords of the Nath sampradaya along with Svecchachara, Sama, and Samarasa. Sahaja meditation and worship was prevalent in Tantric traditions common to Hinduism and Buddhism in Bengal as early as the 8th–9th centuries. The British Nath teacher Mahendranath wrote:
Man is born with an instinct for naturalness. He has never forgotten the days of his primordial perfection, except insomuch as the memory became buried under the artificial superstructure of civilization and its artificial concepts. Sahaja means natural... The tree grows according to Sahaja, natural and spontaneous in complete conformity with the Natural Law of the Universe. Nobody tells it what to do or how to grow. It has no swadharma or rules, duties and obligations incurred by birth. It has only svabhava - its own inborn self or essence - to guide it. Sahaja is that nature which, when established in oneself, brings the state of absolute freedom and peace.
The Last Achievement of Thought
Intuition is Knowing Without "Knowing"
Life is a Mystery Not "Knowing" is Your Natural State
I am life, I have no name, I am as the fresh breeze of the Mountains.
To say "I know" is to say, "I" stop here.
You will never know what life is. Nobody can say anything about life. Life is a mystery. You can give definitions but those definitions have no meaning. You can theorize about life but that is a thing which is not of any value to you. It cannot help you to understand anything. When the question burns itself out what is there is energy. You can't say anything about that energy. It is already manifesting itself, expressing itself in a boundless way. It has no limitations, no boundaries. It is not within or without. It is not yours, not mine. It belongs to everybody. You are part of that. You are an expression of that. Just as the flower is an expression of life, you are another expression of life.
Energy is the Real Substance
Behind the Appearance of Matter and Form
There is nowhere to go and nothing to do but to be what you Are, is all there is. Be yourself and thereafter, whatever potential there is within you will flower naturally.
It is not the end of the physical body that should worry us. Rather, our concern must be to live while we're alive - to release our inner selves from the spiritual death that comes with living behind a facade designed to conform to external definitions of who and what we are.
- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
''Awareness born of love is the only force that can bring healing and renewal. Out of our love for another, we become more willing to let our old identities wither and fall away, and enter a dark night of the soul, so that we may stand naked once more in the presence of the great mystery that lies at the core of our being. This is how love ripens us - by warming us from within, inspiring us to break out of our shell, and lighting our way through the dark passage to new birth.''
You Cannot Become Happy You Can Only Be Happy
Many years of seeking experience and knowledge, either through skydiving, travel, money, food & sex, and endless workshops, therapies, Guru's and spiritual disciplines, ultimately revealed to me, the illusory nature of my neurotic, hungry, fear-driven MIND. The Realization that "I" AM, "nobody." Radiant, all-pervading & un-Knowable. A 'state' of sublime surrender that transcends ignorance, experience and knowledge. Unborn, timeless, formless and spacelike, with no requirements, ZERO. The way you, stripped of the machinations of thought, are also functioning.
Who AM I BEFORE "I" Was BORN?
"In the womb the unborn doesn't know what the mother is like. It knows the mother only in the sustenance. In our quest in this world for all our questions about the source of creation, we live in the second womb, where the only proof of the creator is in the sustenance that we receive and experience through our bodily senses. My questions about God have reconciled to this in the sense that you, and I in my lifetime, will know about the creator only as much as the fetus knows about the mother".
~ Mahua Sen (Artist)
"Only two kinds of people can attain self-knowledge: those who are not encumbered at all with learning, that is to say, whose minds are not over-crowded with thoughts borrowed from others; and those who, after studying all the scriptures and sciences, have come to realize that they know nothing."
- Sri Ramana Maharishi
Excerpt from “I AM” by Jean Klein
"The root of all desires is the one desire: to come home, to be at peace. There may be a moment in life when our compensatory activities, the accumulation of money, learning and objects, leaves us feeling deeply apathetic. This can motivate us towards the search for our real nature beyond appearances. We may find ourselves asking, ‘Why am I here? What is life? Who am I?’ Sooner or later any intelligent person asks these questions."
You Become What You Meditate On
The world appears so overwhelmingly real, because we think about it all the time. Stop thinking about it and it begins dissolving into thin mist.
The dream is not your problem.
Your problem is that you like one part of the dream and not another.
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
"Many times we want to get something from practice, but enlightenment means to lose everything—not to get anything. You don’t get anything, you lose everything. You have to be prepared for that. You have to be ready to really lose everything, to lose all illusions about yourself. That’s not easy. We don’t like it. We want to keep at least a little illusion, to have at least something, some little thing to hold onto so we can feel secure. But, if you have a clear direction then your practice will be non-stop, 24 hours a day. But for many people the question is, what do I want? Why do I practice? To get what?"
—Zen Master Bon Shim
Once we have seen that we are dreaming, we begin to wake up. But we don't see, because we want the dream to continue! A day will come when you long for the ending of the dream with all your heart and be willing to pay any price; the price will be the loss of interest in the dream itself.
End of Your World
"This one question “What do I know for certain?" is tremendously powerful. When you look deeply into this question, it actually destroys your world. It destroys your whole sense of self, and it's meant to. You come to see that everything you think you know about yourself, everything you think you know about the world, is based on assumptions, beliefs, and opinions, things you believe because you were taught or told that they were true. Until we start to see these false perceptions for what they really are, consciousness will be imprisoned within the dream state."
Since you don't recognize your own I AM-ness, the Self beyond words, you refer to various books, ideas, Gurus, relationships, social status, educational and professional background, experiences, race, gender, age and a variety of cultural concepts to get an "I" D -- entity. Identity is not what you are, it is a form of "marketing" that appeals to a particular "target audience."
A rose is a rose is a rose by any other name,
smells just as sweet.
You have to ask yourself the question, "Who am I ?"
This investigation will lead in the end to the discovery of something within you which is behind the mind. Solve that great problem and you will solve all other problems.
~ Ramana Maharshi
Identification with experience is identification with the mind. We think that we Are our experience and that ultimate Happiness can be achieved through some form of "experience" in the body. Money, sex, power, drugs, love, adrenaline, exercise, yoga, religion, meditation, Guru transmission, or any external thing that brings pleasure to the body. Longing for the past or anticipation of the future is felt as "mind" induced sensation in the body. A perpetual state of seeking that never gets fulfilled.
Stop paying attention to the mind and it simply disappears.
"The search for reality is the most dangerous of all undertakings, fore it destroys the world in which you live.
Until you are free of the drug (of self-identification), all your religions and sciences, prayer and yoga's are of no use to you, for, based on a mistake, they strengthen it.
You are asking, "Who am I?"... and you are not going to get an answer, because the one who will get the answer is false.
You may have an idea, a concept, and you will think you have found yourself, but it is only a concept; you can never see your Self.
Why play with ideas? Be content with what you are sure of and the only thing you can be sure of is "I AM." Stay with it and reject everything else. This is Yoga."
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj ~
"So the secret is just to say 'Yes!' and jump off from here. Then there is no problem. It means to be yourself, always yourself, without sticking to an old self.
Life and death are the same thing. When we realize this fact, we have no fear of death anymore, nor actual difficulty in our life."
~ Shunryu Suzuki ~
"Until man can free himself from false identifications, from pretensions and delusions of various kinds, he cannot come face to face with the eternal verity that is latent within his own self. What the mind invents, the mind destroys. But the real is not invented and cannot be destroyed. When you are very quiet, you have arrived at the basis of everything. That is the deep, dark blue state in which there are millions of stars and planets. When you are in that state, you have no awareness of your existence. There is no separate identity. There is no more involvement with the play of consciousness, you are in the state of no return, the eternal state. This is the eternal dwelling place, where you swallow the entire Universe."
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
The Immensity of Solitude
"When the mind is free of all of its content, all of its conditioned thinking, it enters into the solitude of silence. That silence can only arise when one sees the limitations of one’s thinking. When one sees that his or her thoughts will not bring truth, peace, or freedom, there arises a natural state of silence and inner clarity. And in that silence there is a profound solitude, because one is not seeking a more advantageous relationship with thought or with the accompanying emotions that are derived by thought.
In that solitude all ideas and images are left behind, and we can intuitively orient ourselves toward the unborn and uncreated ground of being. In that ground we find our true being; and in the same manner in which our being is uncreated, it is also undying. Therefore, all that we will ever be or can be is found in our solitude (within ourselves) and is timelessly present in its fullness and completeness, now and eternally.
It is within our deepest solitude, where we take leave of every image and idea of ourselves as well as of God, that we come upon the fullness of our being. And in that fullness of being we recognize the divinity of all things and all beings, no matter how great or small. For divinity is not something earned or given, but lavishly present within all. To have the eyes to see the divinity of all beings is to bring light into this world.
So we are given this one small task: to cease being what we are not, and to be what we eternally are. Such a task would seem to be a gift of Love, but how often is it denied in favor of the blind security of conforming to the dictates of our fear and blame? If we would only see that all limitations are self-imposed and chosen out of fear, we would leap at once into the arms of grace, no matter how fierce that embrace might be.
It is Love that leads us beyond all fear and into the solitude of our being. There we find our utter aloneness because we stand free of all the false comforts of illusion and find the capacity to stand where no one else can stand for us. We are alone not because we have isolated ourselves behind an emotional defense or false transcendence, but because we are no longer held captive by either the mind or fear.
To stand alone in true solitude is to stand in the recognition of the absolute completeness and unity of all manner of existence. And from that common ground, where nothing and no one is foreign to you, your love extends across the magnitude of time and embraces the greatest and smallest of things."
"Stop all delays, all seeking and all striving. Put down your concepts, ideas and beliefs. For one instant be still and directly encounter the silent unknown core of your being. In that instant Freedom will embrace you and reveal the Awakening that you are."
Not "Knowing" is Our Natural State
The unknown can never be known. The absence of the movement of thought which recognizes and names things is your natural state. "I don't know anything" is an expression of that state. Understanding is the absence of the demand for understanding. Understanding is dualism. If that division is not there, there is nothing to understand. Your wanting to understand anything is only for the purpose of you wanting to bring about change there. And at the same time you don't want to change. That has created the neurotic situation in man, wanting two things, change and no change. That is the conflict that is there all the time. Something there determines that all is not right. That's why you want to bring about change. And who is responsible for that demand to change? Culture, society, has placed the demand before you; namely, that you should be like that, you ought to be like that and you have accepted that as a model for yourself.
"Whatsoever the society has done to you has to be undone so that you can be your natural self again, as you were before you were born. Zen people call it the original face -- and that is your song, that is your bliss, that is your truth."
Once you know with absolute certainty that nothing can trouble you but your own imagination, you come to disregard your desires and fears, concepts and ideas and live by truth alone.
~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
"Self-realization is not knowing anything or becoming anything.
There is no greater mystery than this, that we keep seeking reality though in fact we are reality. We think that there is something hiding reality and that this must be destroyed before reality is gained. How ridiculous! A day will dawn when you will laugh at all your past efforts. That which will be the day you laugh is also here and now."
~ Ramana Maharshi
Natural human beings turn the common sense values of society on their heads, rejecting wealth, fame and prestige as worthless nonsense, and instead value simplicity, humility, and natural instincts. Intensely individualistic, often confronting, and sometimes plain rude, they say what they want to say regardless of social niceties. They exude a feeling of limitless freedom, great depths of compassion and an irrepressible sense of fun. Outwardly the natural human being seems the same as everybody else. Inwardly however, their distinctive trait is that they have no goals, but simply allow life to un-fold, unconcerned about where it is going. For them, effort, cunning and purpose are the results of having forgotten ones true nature.
~ Ancient Chinese Wisdom
People are afraid, very much afraid of those who know themselves. They have a certain power, a certain aura and a certain magnetism, a charisma that can take out alive, young people from the traditional imprisonment. They cannot be enslaved -- that is the difficulty -- and they cannot be imprisoned. Every genius who has known something of the inner is bound to be a little difficult to be absorbed; they are going to be an upsetting force. The masses don't want to be disturbed, even though they may be in misery, but they are accustomed to the misery. And anybody who is not miserable looks like a stranger. The awakened are the greatest danger in the world; they do not seem to belong to anybody. No organization confines them, no community, no society, no nation.
In the beginners mind there are many possibilities, in the experts mind there are few.
~ Shunryu Suzuki
When the child was a child, it didn't know that it was a child, everything was soulful, and all souls were one.
~ Peter Handke
One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. "Which road do I take?" she asked. "Where do you want to go?" was his response. "I don't know," Alice answered. "Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."
~ Lewis Carroll
How long is forever?
The White Rabbit:
Sometimes, just one second..
Somewhere out beyond our sense of right doing and wrong doing there is a field … I'll meet you there.
But do not ask me where I am going, As I travel in this limitless world, Where every step I take is my home.
Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
A Place in the Heart
The One Who is at Play Everywhere says,
There is a space in the heart, where everything meets. Come here if you want to find me. Mind, senses, soul, eternity -- all are here. Are you here? Enter the bowl of vastness that is the heart. Listen to the song that is always resonating. Give yourself to it with total abandon. Quiet ecstasy is here -- And a steady regal sense of resting in a perfect spot. You who are the embodiment of blessing, once you know the way, the nature of attention will call you to return, again and again, answer that call, and be saturated with knowing, “I belong here, I am at home."
Renderings of the Vijñāna Bhairava Tantra
Take What You Need & Leave the Rest
Feel Your Way into Being
"Love says: 'I am everything'.
Wisdom says: 'I am nothing'. Between the two my life flows."
Unexpressed emotions will never die.
They are buried alive and will come forth in uglier ways.
- Sigmund Freud
Narcissism: Denial of the True Self
Out of the Fog: Moving From Confusion to Clarity After Narcissistic Abuse
The Sublime Life and Songs of Drukpa Kunley
by Jeff Brown
Truth is not just a concept. It's a felt experience with embodied consequences. When we live a lie, our bones know. So do our tissues, our cells, our organs. It takes a considerable amount of energy to uphold a fake life. It debilitates us and makes us more prone to disease. By contrast, we recieve an enormous surge of energy when we finally live our truth. The body breathes a deep sign of relief, delighted that it no longer has to carry the weight of the lie. It begins to move easier and gravitate towards experiences that nourish it. It comes back to life! So next time you postpone making a bold leap into making a more truthful life, think again. Truth is the elixir of what ails you.
Truth is what you're made of.
by Jeff Brown
Depression is frozen feeling. It’s not a disease of the ‘mind’. It’s a disease of the heart. It is sourced in unexpressed, unreleased, and unhealed pain that is held deep within the physical and emotional body. You can talk about it in therapy to soften its edges, you can medicate it in the hopes that it becomes more manageable, but the real work has to happen somatically, deep within the body itself. The frozen material has to be thawed out, worked through, released. Our shadow is not our enemy. Repression is. Unfortunately, we still live in a world that is afraid of the source material. So we shun it, bury it, ‘manage’ it with dissociative spiritualities, medications and analysis (‘excessive analysis perpetuates emotional paralysis’). All of this merely perpetuates and concretizes the problem.
The only way to heal depression is to get to its roots. To get right inside those frozen feelings, and to thaw them out somatically. We felt the initial pain in our bodies. We must go right back inside of our bodies to feel and resolve it. No more damming up of our emotions. No more defenses and denials. THE FEEL IS FOR REAL. Let's feel our way back to life.
- Jeff Brown, from his book Hearticulations
“Too many of us move through our lives with our true selves buried below layers of repressed emotion. With so much energy channeled toward sustaining the repression, there is little left over for the deeper questions. The consequences of our evasion are profound. Our stockpiles toxify into a cache of weapons that turn inward against the self: quick fix, long suffering. As Rumi said, “Most people guard against the fire, and so end up in it.” This is the power of then. If we don’t deal with our stuff, it deals with us.”
― Jeff Brown
by Jeff Brown
"People who can’t find ecstasy in the heart of daily experience, often seek it outside themselves. I see this everywhere I look. There is often a directly proportional relationship between one’s hunger for bliss and one’s degree of emotional toxicity. The more extreme the internalized pain, the more extreme the quest for externalized bliss. I call them, ‘bliss-seeking missiles.’
Often trauma survivors on the run, they try any drug, or extreme experience, in the hopes of tasting from the ecstasy tree. They want it and need it that badly. They are looking for proof that there is more to this life than darkness. They are seeking evidence of essence, anywhere they can find it. It all works out well, if they take the energy that emanates from their adventures to come back down into their bodies to work through their stuff.
To clear so much emotional and energetic debris that they can one day feel ecstasy naturally, in the heart of daily life. It doesn’t work out well, when the quest becomes an entrenched way of being that floats them further and further way from themselves. Because ecstasy doesn’t mean a thing if there isn’t an intact self to come home to. The real ecstatic alchemy begins and ends within the self-itself. Centered. Spacious. Ecstatic in the heart of the everything."
- Jeff Brown
by Jeff Brown
At some point on the journey, you may reach a point where you want to ease the throttle of transformation. Not where you stop growing, but where you stop utilizing your will to affect personal change. You’re still growthful, but it’s different. It’s gentler, and it’s more about accepting what is, than changing it. You reach a place where you are more embracing of who you are, and of how far you have come, and you feel ready to work with what you’ve got. It’s important to notice this moment, if it arrives. Because there is a real peace in that tender self-acceptance. And, ironically, it may ignite the most profound change of all.
-- Jeff Brown, Grounded Spirituality
Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving
Psychiatric Aspects of Extreme Sports
Unbalanced Flows in the Subtle Body: Tibetan Understandings of Psychiatric Illness and How to Deal With It
Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously
Courage is not the absence of fear, says Osho. It is, rather, the total presence of fear, with the courage to face it. This book provides a bird’s-eye view of the whole terrain–where fears originate, how to understand them, and how to find the courage to face them. In the process, Osho proposes that whenever we are faced with uncertainty and change in our lives, it is actually a cause for celebration. Instead of trying to hang on to the familiar and the known, we can learn to enjoy these situations as opportunities for adventure and for deepening our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. The book begins with an in-depth exploration of the meaning of courage and how it is expressed in the everyday life of the individual. Unlike books that focus on heroic acts of courage in exceptional circumstances, the focus here is on developing the inner courage that enables us to lead authentic and fulfilling lives on a day-to-day basis. This is the courage to change when change is needed, the courage to stand up for our own truth, even against the opinions of others, and the courage to embrace the unknown in spite of our fears-in our relationships, in our careers, or in the ongoing journey of understanding who we are and why we are here. Courage also features a number of meditation techniques specifically designed by Osho to help people deal with their fears.
Coragem: a alegria de viver perigosamente
The Transformation of Desire
“What we do not realize is that within each one of us is an unlimited source of both male and female energy. So many of our problems arise because we are either ignorant of, or we suppress, what we have within us. Men try to hide their female side and women are afraid of expressing their male energy. We do not feel whole and therefore turn expectantly toward other people for the qualities missing in ourselves in the hope of gaining some sense of completeness. As a result, much of our behavior becomes contaminated by insecurity and possessiveness. In fact, all the problems in the world, from one person's anxiety to warfare between nations, can be traced to this feeling of not being whole.
If necessary, great yogis and yoginis can spend years in solitary isolation without feeling lonely. Yet we may feel unbearably lonely if we are separated from our boyfriend or girlfriend for even one day! Why is there such a great difference between ourselves and the yogis? This has to do with our own internal male and female energies. As long as they are fragmented and unbalanced we will remain desperate for the company of others and incapable of being satisfied. If our internal male/female mandala were complete, however, we would never experience the pain of loneliness at all.
Tantra provides powerful methods for getting in touch with our essential wholeness. Tantric art is filled with potent symbols of the unity and completeness characteristic of our fully realized potential. The image of male and female deities in sexual embrace is a symbolic portrayal of the inner unification of our own male and female energies. On a deeper level, their embrace symbolizes the aim of the very highest tantric practices: generation of a most subtle and blissful state of mind that, by its very nature, is supremely suited to penetrate ultimate reality and free us from all delusion and suffering. On this level, the male figure represents the experience of great bliss while the female is the symbol of nondual wisdom. Thus their union has nothing whatsoever to do with the gratification of the senses but rather indicates a totally integrated state of blissful wisdom that completely transcends ordinary sense desires."
~Lama Thubten Yeshe
("Introduction to Tantra: The Transformation of Desire")
YAB-YUM IMAGES: THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL FORM IN TIBETAN TANTRIC BUDDHISM AND ITS ART
International Journal Tantrik Order Vol V No 1 Tantrik Order In America
Yoga Spandakarika: The Sacred Texts at the Origins of Tantra
Being and Doing - Anima and Animus
Cloud Hidden Whereabouts Unknown: A Mountain Journal
Rolfing: Reestablishing the Natural Alignment and Structural Integration of the Human Body for Vitality and Well-Being
Call of the Wild: How We Heal Trauma, Awaken Our Own Power, and Use It for Good
Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
In Spacious Body, Jeffrey Maitland brings his knowledge and personal experience of Buddhism, phenomenology, alchemy, psychoanalysis, and the bodywork system of Rolfing Structural Integration to bear in forging concepts adequate to an understanding of embodied experience.
Spacious Body: Explorations in Somatic Ontology
On Spiritual Bypassing and Relationships: The Non-Dual Mistake
By John Welwood
"Spiritual bypassing is a term I coined to describe a process I saw happening in the Buddhist community I was in, and also in myself. Although most of us were sincerely trying to work on ourselves, I noticed a widespread tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks.
When we are spiritually bypassing, we often use the goal of awakening or liberation to rationalize what I call premature transcendence: trying to rise above the raw and messy side of our humanness before we have fully faced and made peace with it. And then we tend to use absolute truth to disparage or dismiss relative human needs, feelings, psychological problems, relational difficulties, and developmental deficits. I see this as an “occupational hazard” of the spiritual path, in that spirituality does involve a vision of going beyond our current karmic situation.
Trying to move beyond our psychological and emotional issues by sidestepping them is dangerous. It sets up a debilitating split between the buddha and the human within us. And it leads to a conceptual, one-sided kind of spirituality where one pole of life is elevated at the expense of its opposite: Absolute truth is favored over relative truth, the impersonal over the personal, emptiness over form, transcendence over embodiment, and detachment over feeling. One might, for example, try to practice nonattachment by dismissing one’s need for love, but this only drives the need underground, so that it often becomes unconsciously acted out in covert and possibly harmful ways instead.
I’m interested in how spiritual bypassing plays out in relationships, where it often wreaks its worst havoc. If you were a yogi in a cave doing years of solo retreat, your psychological wounding might not show up so much because your focus would be entirely on your practice, in an environment that may not aggravate your relational wounds. It’s in relationships that our unresolved psychological issues tend to show up most intensely. That’s because psychological wounds are always relational — they form in and through our relationships with our early caretakers.
The basic human wound, which is prevalent in the modern world, forms around not feeling loved or intrinsically lovable as we are. Inadequate love or attunement is shocking and traumatic for a child’s developing and highly sensitive nervous system. And as we internalize how we were parented, our capacity to value ourselves, which is also the basis for valuing others, becomes damaged. I call this a “relational wound“ or the “wound of the heart.”
There is a whole body of study and research in Western psychology showing how close bonding and loving attunement— what is known as “secure attachment” — have powerful impacts on every aspect of human development. Secure attachment has a tremendous effect on many dimensions of our health, well-being, and capacity to function effectively in the world: how our brains form, how well our endocrine and immune systems function, how we handle emotions, how subject we are to depression, how our nervous system functions and handles stress, and how we relate to others.
In contrast to the indigenous cultures of traditional Asia, modern child-rearing leaves most people suffering from symptoms of insecure attachment: self-hatred, disembodiment, lack of grounding, chronic insecurity and anxiety, overactive minds, lack of basic trust, and a deep sense of inner deficiency. So most of us suffer from an extreme degree of alienation and disconnection that was unknown in earlier times— from society, community, family, older generations, nature, religion, tradition, our body, our feelings, and our humanity itself.
Being a good spiritual practitioner can become what I call a compensatory identity that covers up and defends against an underlying deficient identity, where we feel badly about ourselves, not good enough, or basically lacking. Then, although we may be practicing diligently, our spiritual practice can be used in the service of denial and defense. And when spiritual practice is used to bypass our real-life human issues, it becomes compartmentalized in a separate zone of our life, and remains unintegrated with our overall functioning.
In my psychotherapy practice I often work with students who have engaged in spiritual practice for decades. I respect how their practice has been beneficial for them. Yet despite the sincerity as practitioners, their practice is not fully penetrating their life. They seek out psychological work because they remain wounded and not fully developed on the emotional/relational/ and they may be acting out their wounding in harmful ways.
It’s not uncommon to speak beautifully about the basic goodness or innate perfection of our true nature, but then have difficulty trusting it when one’s psychological wounds are triggered. Often dharma students who have developed some kindness and compassion for others are hard on themselves for falling short of their spiritual ideals, and, as a result, their spiritual practice becomes dry and solemn. Or being of benefit to others turns into a duty, or a way of trying to feel good about themselves. Others may unconsciously use their spiritual brilliance to feed their narcissistic inflation and devalue others or treat them in manipulative ways.
Meditation is also frequently used to avoid uncomfortable feelings and unresolved life situations. For those in denial about their personal feelings or wounds, meditation practice can reinforce a tendency toward coldness, disengagement, or interpersonal distance. They are at a loss when it comes to relating directly to their feelings or to expressing themselves personally in a transparent way. It can be quite threatening when those of us on a spiritual path have to face our woundedness, or emotional dependency, or primal need for love.
I’ve often seen how attempts to be nonattached are used in the service of sealing people off from their human and emotional vulnerabilities.
In effect, identifying oneself as a spiritual practitioner becomes used as a way of avoiding a depth of personal engagement with others that might stir up old wounds and longings for love. It’s painful to see someone maintaining a stance of detachment when underneath they are starving for positive experiences of bonding and connection.
To grow into a healthy human being, we need a base of secure attachment in the positive, psychological sense, meaning: close emotional ties to other people that promote connectedness, grounded embodiment, and well-being.
As John Muir the naturalist wrote:
“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find that it is bound fast by a thousand invisible cords that cannot be broken, to everything in the universe.”
Similarly, the hand cannot function unless it is attached to the arm—that’s attachment in the positive sense. We’re interconnected, interwoven, and interdependent with everything in the universe. On the human level we can’t help feeling somewhat attached to people we are close to.
From my perspective as an existential psychologist, feeling is a form of intelligence. It’s the body’s direct, holistic, intuitive way of knowing and responding. It is highly attuned and intelligent. And it takes account of many factors all at once, unlike our conceptual mind, which can only process one thing at a time. Unlike emotionality, which is a reactivity that is directed outward, feeling often helps you contact deep inner truths.
The truth is, most of us don’t get as triggered anywhere in our lives as much as in intimate relationships. So if we use spiritual bypassing to avoid facing our relational wounds, we’re missing out on a tremendous area of practice. Relational practice helps us develop compassion “in the trenches,” where our wounds are most activated.
I help people inquire deeply into their felt experience and let it gradually reveal itself and unfold, step by step. I call this “tracking and unpacking”: You track the process of present experiencing, following it closely and seeing where it leads. And you unpack the beliefs, identities, and feelings that are subconscious or implicit in what you’re experiencing. When we bring awareness to our experience in this way, it’s like unraveling a tangled ball of yarn: different knots are gradually revealed and untangled one by one.
As a result, we find that we’re able to be present in places where we’ve been absent or disconnected from our experience. Through reaching out to parts of ourselves that need our help, we develop an intimate, grounded kind of inner attunement with ourselves, which can help us more easily relate to others where they are stuck as well.
I see relationship as the leading edge of human evolution at this time in history. Although humanity discovered enlightenment thousands of years ago, we still haven’t brought that illumination very fully into the area of interpersonal relationships."
An excerpt from an interview with John Welwood by Tina Fossella, first published in Triycle Magazine.
We are saddened by the death of John Welwood in January 2019. John was a leading figure in transpersonal psychology and in the field of integrating Western psychology and Eastern wisdom. He wrote numerous books, including Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships: Healing the Wound of the Heart; Toward a Psychology of Awakening: Buddhism, Psychotherapy, and the Path of Personal and Spiritual Transformation. He was a practicing clinical psychologist in San Francisco and associate editor of Transpersonal Psychology.
Books by John Welwood
Journey of the Heart: The Path of Conscious Love
Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships: Healing the Wound of the Heart
Health Building: The Conscious Art of Living Well
A lifeline to millions worldwide, many have benefited from "The Big Book" and its simple but profound explanation of the doctrines behind Alcoholics Anonymous.
Alcoholics Anonymous: The Big Book: The Original 1939 Edition
The Complete Yoga of Emotional-Sexual Life: The Way Beyond Ego-Based Sexuality
How to Live with a Huge Penis: Advice, Meditations, and Wisdom for Men Who Have Too Much (EGO)
Siddhartha; Desire and the Cause of Suffering:
Siddhartha discovers Kamala, the most beautiful woman he has yet seen. Kamala, a courtesan, notes Siddhartha's handsome appearance and fast wit, telling him that he must become wealthy to win her affections ..
St. Francis the Italian "Buddha"
Indulged by his parents, Francis lived the high-spirited life typical of a wealthy young man. As a youth, Francesco became a devotee of troubadours and was fascinated with all things Transalpine. He was handsome, witty, gallant, and delighted in fine clothes. He spent money lavishly. Although many hagiographers remark about his bright clothing, rich friends, and love of pleasures, his displays of disillusionment toward the world that surrounded him came fairly early in his life, as is shown in the "story of the beggar". In this account, he was selling cloth and velvet in the marketplace on behalf of his father when a beggar came to him and asked for alms. At the conclusion of his business deal, Francis abandoned his wares and ran after the beggar. When he found him, Francis gave the man everything he had in his pockets. His friends mocked him for his charity; his father scolded him in rage.
Francis of Assisi - Italian "Buddha"
By Maya Luna
"I recognize that it is becoming a popular trend that blissful relationships can be attained through the adoration and exaltation of a man's so called "masculine" traits of leader, provider and protector and that this "masculine devotion" is the secret ingredient for “divine union". But offering your love and devotion to a man based on what he does for you and provides for you is a slippery kind of violence. Yes, appreciation can help any relationship bloom. And: the primary wound of man is that he is valued based on what he does rather than who he is. That’s patriarchy.
Men are worth how much money they make. How strong they can be. How well they can provide. What kind of status they hold. In this system man is a work horse of labor. Valued for what he can give alone. Stroking this wound is not a service to man. And offering your love and devotion as a transaction for it is not an act of reverence. It’s feeding a toxic system where man is a disposable object based on his Do-ing. An objectification equivalent to a woman being valued solely based on her looks.
Ego strokes are like drugs. The high feels “good” yet there’s something yucky about it and the soul weeps. Nothing wrong with appreciation for service. Service is a wonderful thing to give and receive. But when that becomes your temple of devotion you are worshipping false idols. And deepening a massive wound in the male psyche who hopes that he will be loved if he can only finally perform and do enough for you. It’s the flip side of nagging and criticism. Same game, different drag.
Lets not pretend that praising and adoring the "alpha man" for how Alpha he is is some spiritual pinnacle for honoring the masculine. Reducing a man to a walking wallet and work horse who you love because of what he can provide. If you want to radically serve and honor a man- reflect his soul and worthiness as a Be-ing. Reflect the beauty and power of his existence when he is empty handed."
Maya Luna, Deep Feminine Mystery School
By Mary Allison
"There's a lot of talk regarding toxic feminine behavior in the media right now. This is an opportunity for us to look deeper into the dark or unresolved feminine.
Toxic femininity hides behind veils of victim consciousness, exploiting the raw and vulnerable state of victimhood into methods of pure psychological entrapment.
She is manipulative, yet claims to want healing or to be the healer. However, in her endeavor to be "the healer", there is an air of entitlement, a crusade for control.
She presents herself through different archetypes, the girl next door, the empowered Goddess, the perpetual victim, yet these archetypal roles are just costumes for her to wear, as the energy she emits starkly collides with the roles she ventures to play. Something about her feels hollow or off, this is because she's not living authentically. A mind full of calculations and planning, leads to her gaze appearing empty, as her thoughts run through emotional data, scanning and absorbing the environment around her so she can draw all essences of vulnerability and naivete into a hue of self-serving adornment. She is apathy using empathy as a disguise.
She was wounded once, and instead of seeking true healing or refuge she sought revenge upon the world. She does this by transforming the world around her into a dark altar of sacrificial and misplaced reverence. Where there are psychological weak spots, she coils forth like overgrown ivy, wrapping her essence and hypnotic love around the victim until all the victim can see and breathe is her. Tunnel vision is created and she is the focal point. She will stop at nothing to be seen, to be worshipped, to be in control.
She switches quite often. If one form of receiving attention fails to get her the recognition she'd hoped for, she (very quickly) embodies a new persona. This shows how false her personas are. The fact that she reinvents herself daily, usually from a place of needing to be drastically seen, displays her parasitic approach. Wear the outfit that garners attention, if it doesn't attract enough attention, then change.
She goes wherever she can gain the most control, seeking out partners who offer her a chance in the limelight, forms of recognition she hasn't yet earned but demands to receive.
What put her in the position she's in? Was it hard work? A lifetime of study? Or a sexual prowess that slept its way into positions of power?
We see it in nature all of the time. The praying mantis has sex only to devour the male mantis by beheading it. Though this sounds overly dramatic and slightly obscure, this is the pattern of the toxic feminine. To persuade through love, and once she is let in, to take control of the consciousness of others. The symbol of devouring the head of one's mate perfectly displays the poetic nod of a consumption of power.
Toxic Feminine energy can manifest through men or women, as all of us encompass expressions of both feminine and masculine energy.
What's so interesting about toxic femininity, is it's very similar to toxic masculinity. Both forms of toxicity operate as parasitic patterns looking to exploit their way into power. These parasitic patterns work through the woundings of others as a way to turn vulnerability into entrapment.
One of the most obvious signs of these toxic archetypes is that you will always feel off or unsafe in their presence. If the container you create with another doesn't feel secured and relaxed, this may be a sign that instability is to come. In intimate connections, you should be able to voice all that is vulnerable without feeling like your truth is an inconvenience. In fact, in truly healthy connections, the truth of both partners should be celebrated and discussed, unless the truth is being exploited as a power grab.
Right now the collective is learning that both polarities, the feminine and the masculine, contain spectrums of beauty and darkness, both of which must be met with personal honesty and accountability if they wish to be integrated correctly.
We, as a collective, can take these lessons into our own psyche's, observing our own behaviors and actions as a way of further purifying our relationship with self, and therefore our relationships with others."
By Mary Allison
"There are no conflicts, just misunderstandings of the heart. Almost every single human has gone through a trauma in one form or another. The degree to which this trauma has been experienced is different for everyone. A trauma can be defined as a separation from source, or what feels to be a deep separation from the emotion of love, which includes the feeling of being safe, nurtured, and validated.
Oftentimes, when humans come together, their traumas are awakened within each other. Human connection is all about exploring traumas that must be brought into light, but usually when conflict arises, we interpret this conflict as a reason to emotionally shut down (put up our guard) rather than an opportunity to look within.
The minute we see conflict we run away from the lessons that await us, fearful of the tension that exists to crack us open, for the expansion of our own awareness. When you experience conflict, if you are able to go within and ask yourself, where this triggering comes from, then you will have taken the first step towards healing such pain the triggering arises out of. Once you figure out where the trigger originates from (an old memory, a suppressed trauma, current feelings of inadequacy or abandonment, etc.), then you are able to locate the point of pain within you that requires nurture, protection, and love, while bringing these three modes of healing to your very own heart. You can do this work through active meditation such as journaling, silent meditation, with a friend who you feel safe to be vulnerable around, or in any other circumstance that you feel safe to open up in.
Its important to note, that while we are speaking about the gifts of insight and realization that can arise in the wake of conflict, if the conflict you are moving through is emotionally, mentally, or physically abusive, then you should not, ever, keep yourself in such a situation. Conflict work can only progress if you feel safe to open your heart, and an atmosphere of abuse is never a safe haven.
Much love and many blessings to you on your journey of emotional exploration. This world will be a brighter place, when we decide, individually, to go within rather than point fingers over and over again."
Expansion will be the saving grace for a society that is interlocked in various states of contracted consciousness.
When consciousness (individually and collectively) contracts, it often does so via a disturbance. Contracted consciousness is almost always spawned from a threatening notion of sorts. This threatening notion is catalytic towards the immediate contraction of one’s innate sense of existence and connection to life and personal ethos.
“If you don’t do XYZ, you cannot go to (fill in the blank).”
“If your thoughts create dissonance with the collective, you will be rejected by society as a whole.”
And one of the most classic threats – ”Your family will abandon you if you do not align with their belief system/viewpoint.”
Since human beings rely on human connection to not only survive, but to feel a sense of purpose, the mere threat, or even a subtle emotional undertone insinuating that their entire field of connection will be abolished if they do not do X, is enough to send one’s individual state of consciousness into a state of limited perception (this usually happens unconsciously).
It is through this artificially induced sense of limited perception that toxicity (emotional, physical, and spiritual) grows. Similar to how, if the body is highly acidic, it will create a toxic environment for toxic bacterias to grow and flourish in. Our mental ecosystem, our consciousness, is highly reliant on its own surroundings which manifest through thoughts, beliefs, and emotions, and if one wishes to tamper with another’s mental ecosystem, all they have to do is plant a threatening idea which will shift their normal state of expanded potentiated consciousness, into a deeply condensed state of thinking/emoting, thus conjuring into existence a new and narrow mindset that bends in the direction of social acceptance, over individual thought and freestanding authenticity.
I claim the sense of limited perception is artificially induced, because our limited perceptions are often constructed from entirely false group-thought that materializes from a state of theory rather than absolute truth.
The cure to this artificial, restructuring, of one’s contracted sense of existence, is through the simple concept of expansion. Expansion is easier to master than one may think. It is containing the courage to accept that someone else’s path (often someone you love), through their own life decisions, is diverging from your path. It is having faith in the fact that this does not indicate a life of loneliness for you, but a celebration of momentum.
We reach true conscious momentum when we decide to stare our fears in the eyes, some of these fears being loneliness, rejection, and blatant outcasting. When we recognize that our decision to remain true to our own heart, may result in the distancing or complete release of relationships, family connection, and even societal approval, we transcend into a deeper and more expansive leveling of consciousness, by honoring our own light instead of dimming it to feel momentarily accepted.
Revolutionary moments in history are exalted through a group of individuals who are courageous enough to expand their preceptory viewpoint, to contain the power to look beyond the surfaced and seemingly ill-fated threats, to acknowledge the influence that resides in sticking to your own truth while facing adversity.
So go forth and stare those surfaced threats in the eyes while standing in the unabashed truth that emerges from within you. You will be held. You will be guided. And your own expanded mode of awareness will be an intricate and deeply required spark contributing to the revolution of consciousness humanity is hungering for at this time. Expansion says, “There is another way” while contraction yells “This is the only one way.” Expansion will prove itself over time, but we must dedicate inquiry into expanded states of consciousness in order usher the expansion in. The spark that is your own courageous expansion will set fire to free thought, which will in turn be the gateway through which new and revolutionary means of humanic realization will enter.”
My Life Without A Man...
By Maya Luna
"For most of my life I have been addicted to procuring male attention. In the form of a crush. A lover. A boyfriend. Since I was probably 11 or 12 years old. I’ve always maintained male desire. For decades I always kept at least one man in my orbit who was flowing his romantic desire energy at me. I have needed, badly, to be the object of a mans desire. To feel a man choosing me, wanting me, desiring me. I remember at 25 I made the decision to do a year of conscious celibacy. No sex. Do dating. No flirting. Just me, learning to love myself. Learning to be with myself. I knew that deep down my string of boyfriends, lovers and flirtations was masking a giant void that I didn't know what to do with.
I knew that my own tendency to self betray with men, to tolerate what I should not tolerate and settle for what was not in true alignment was born out of the ravenous desperation of this place that lived in me. I was addicted. I needed the sense of safety I received just from imbibing the psycho-sexual-energetic currency of male desire. Of a man choosing me, as the special object in his world. I could never tolerate being single for more than a month or two. And even in my relationships with men I would keep "back ups" in the back of my mind. Just in case this didn't work out. Someone I felt I could fall back on in a pinch. It wasn't always about relationship or sex. Though that was a big part of it too. It was about feeling that a man wanted me. I needed this. I couldn't live long without it. It didn't feel like it was about validation exactly. It felt like survival.
Being the object of a mans desire was like a life raft keeping me safe in some terrifying reality I couldn't survive in alone. I needed a man. Managing this was never difficult for me. And so I hop skipped from lillypad to lillypad of boyfriends, lovers, crushes, flirtations. Carefully skipping over the void in between until I was safely nestled onto the next lillypad in the arms and desire of the next man. My commitment to do a year of celibacy lasted three months. And then whooops. I got into another relationship. Or found a lover. Or started running energy with a crush. I attempted it again. And again. And Again. Each time I would never honor my commitment to myself. Like a true addict, I didn’t actually know how to stop. It felt literally like I would die without having a man in my orbit. Feeding me his desire, love, attention, wanting. That was my anchor. My safety net. My refuge. That was how I kept something alive in me. And I understand now, after working with hundreds of women around the world, how common this is. This existential terror that feels as if I Do Not Exist without a man wanting me.
Right in the core of this survival fear is the echo of the lives our grandmothers and the grandmothers of our grandmothers. Procuring a mans love and desire was a matter of life and death. And we learned how to contort or betray ourselves if necessary. It took me many many years of trying. Many many broken commitments to myself to make it to this day. I have gone over a year without a man. No sex. No dating. No flirting. No exploring possibilities. No crushing. No being seduced or seducing. Nothing. It was at first like quitting a drug. My nervous system and emotional body went through what felt like actual withdrawls. I had never been sober before. Never lived my life without my nervous system and endocrine system taking in the tonic of male desire.
My heart had never sat in the quiet stillness without any psychic energetic threads woven with the heart of a man. My sex had never belonged only to myself. I had to sit and burn in the existential fire of what felt like death. I had to sit and burn through the cultural shame of what it means to be a woman who is not "chosen" by a man. Soon even my desire to hunt faded away. The ever so subtle threads that were constantly scanning for "him". For the next man. I stopped looking for a mans love and desire. Eventually I stopped craving a mans love and desire. And then, even the fantasy dropped away. The fantasy of being fulfilled by some magical beloved of a man. And eventually I experienced being profoundly fulfilled, joyful, peaceful and content without a mans love and desire.
And this is me, now. Actually feeling who I am underneath. I am free in a way I have never been free in my entire life. I trust myself in a way I have never trusted myself before. I feel secure in myself in a way I have longed for for a very very very long time. I quit the drug of male desire. I made it to the other side. And it's funny. Because in all the romance princess stories, they tell you that when you find your man is when your life will finally truly begin. And that's exactly how I feel right now. I finally died to my need for a man. And in that death I was reborn. From Maiden to Mother. Whole unto myself. And I feel like my life is just beginning."
Somerset Maugham and The Razor’s Edge
Enlightenment of the Whole Body
"As above, so below. So within, so without" is a principle that speaks to the interconnectedness of all things in the universe. It suggests that what happens on one level of reality is reflected on all other levels of reality. In other words, the microcosm reflects the macrocosm, and vice versa. This principle applies not only to the physical world but also to the spiritual world.
Duality, the concept of opposites or polarities, is an important aspect of this principle. It suggests that everything has an opposite or complementary aspect. For example, light and dark, good and evil, masculine and feminine, and so on. Duality also suggests that these opposites are interconnected and interdependent. Without one, the other cannot exist.
In our spiritual lives, the principle of "as above, so below" suggests that the spiritual realm is interconnected with the physical realm. Our inner world is reflected in our outer world, and vice versa. For instance, the way we think, feel, and behave internally will manifest externally in our relationships, environment, and circumstances.
The concept of duality in spirituality suggests that we have both a light and dark aspect to our nature. It is only by acknowledging and integrating both aspects that we can achieve wholeness and balance. The principle of "so within, so without" suggests that our outer world is a reflection of our inner world. Therefore, if we want to change our external circumstances, we must first change our internal state.
To attain inner knowledge and unify our consciousness, we must align our energy and thoughts with our emotional truth. This requires self-awareness and the ability to recognize patterns of behavior that may be holding us back. By bringing attention to these patterns, we can consciously address them and move towards a state of higher consciousness.
The principle of "as above, so below" also suggests that we attract others who share our ideologies and resonate with our energy. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the characters we attract in alternate dimensions, as our energy tends to rely on magnetic conditions. By being mindful of our interactions and intentions, we can consciously contribute to the type of energy we attract.
In conclusion, the principle of "as above, so below" and the concept of duality are important aspects of spirituality. They remind us of the interconnectedness of all things in the universe and the importance of achieving balance and wholeness within ourselves. By aligning our energy and thoughts with our emotional truth and being mindful of our interactions, we can consciously contribute to the type of energy we attract and move towards a state of higher consciousness.