FORGIVENESS

“FORGIVENESS IS TO RELINQUISH YOUR GRIEVANCE AND SO TO LET GO OF GRIEF… FORGIVENESS IS TO OFFER NO RESISTANCE TO LIFE — TO ALLOW LIFE TO LIVE THROUGH YOU… THE MOMENT YOU TRULY FORGIVE, YOU HAVE RECLAIMED YOUR POWER FROM THE MIND.”

–Eckhart Tolle

In order to fully understand forgiveness, begin to consider its impact through embodied experience.

Forgiveness organically activates physical, psychological, and emotional healing by permeating all layers of our Being, i.e. re-connecting us with our core essence.

Eckhart Tolle astutely observed that forgiveness is premised on letting go of inner-held grievance patterns. Whether or not we are consciously aware, grievances transmit and amplify our past embedded energy from emotional states that have remain trapped in our body’s tissues. Renewal of energy is stoked as we replay our old grievance patterns that constantly act to reinforce and expand our “pain bodies” (i.e. embedded memories of pain). Every repetition of a past grievance further devalues our sense of Being, progressively shifting us from a state of ease through to dis-ease (i.e. living in near-constant “pain-memory”).

Pain is an inescapable experience along the journey of life.

Pain alters the transmission of otherwise vibrant energy pathways, challenging to block vital the energy flow radiating from our undisturbed state of Being. External conditions that disrupt our inner-connection to Self cloud our most basic awareness of truth, i.e. our Being. A threatening sense of disconnection throws our GPS off-balance, arousing our deepest vulnerability.

A prevailing sense of not feeling oneself is typically experienced.

Secondary emotional experiences (i.e. arising from feelings beyond our essential loving nature) can assist us by drawing our awareness to those lower frequencies let loose by uncontrollable events. While neither good nor bad in of themselves, lower energetic frequencies serve to alert us of some “alien” force within our scope that threatens to hijack our personal energy field. Experiencing dissonance from lower vibrational frequencies ensures that our capacity to thrive under higher frequencies may be readily restored . Innately, we respond to any assault that challenges the perfection of our undisturbed Being via spontaneous physiology that seeks to re-establish homeostasis.

External events that enter our sphere require processing at all levels (i.e. physical, emotional, and psychological). This may be achieved within the short order of several seconds to minutes.

Through practices of non-judgment and acceptance, we are able to release by way of flow, the low frequencies associated with pain incurred without harmful residue. This naturally self-clearing process facilitates embodied learning by extracting only what is meaningful from painful events. Just as healthy digestion promotes maximal absorption of nutrient substances (i.e. those physical elements that serve to enrich us), we incur practical lessons through experiencing our pain. These become embedded elements while we let go of those that are merely distractive. Full integration at multi-levels thwarts all effects contrary to wellbeing.

The more thoroughly any event is metabolized, the more stable we become through a dynamic state of flow.

By remaining undisturbed (i.e. in our natural state of Being) our lens of perception remains wide open, permitting us to sense the world with minimal distortion.

Maintaining maximal clarity enables our most suitable moment-to-moment response at any given time.

Our physical body recalls past lessons that have been embedded for the benefit of our wellbeing (i.e. not to touch a hot stove). Recall is free of limitations and/or distortions that might otherwise be derived from indiscriminate ‘ad hoc’ associations.

With clarity of mind, our moment-to-moment perception remains untainted, ensuring we avoid unnecessary suffering. 

We need not relive lessons already learned (i.e. repeatedly touching a hot stove). A razor-sharp mind operates with maximal proficiency, extracting every opportunity to facilitate thriving. Our rational mind quickly discerns between relevant and random associations (other sights, sounds, conditions) of past painful experiences. Fear by association (i.e. ad hoc imagery) occurs when a faulty internalization, (i.e. “false-knowing”) is activated via neuro-circuitry gone out of control (i.e. hyper-vigilance).

Lacking the healthy capacity to process painful experiences lays our system’s default switches wide open.

Partially metabolized features add layers of threat to be imposed upon a precariously fragile sense of safety. Hyper-vigilance (once a protective mechanism) casts its net too wide, joining up adjacent swaths of healthy neuro-circuitry to ever-expansive fear networks. Like a cancer, fear may spread its reign unchecked. The evolved thinking mind is prone to be eclipsed by more primitive survival modes, including dormancy (freeze mode) or overdrive (fight or flight mode), as our perceived sense of threat grows out of control.

We create an inner-environment of self-harm through any grievance that presents us in a light of self-righteousness that confuses our sense of “right to feel” with “truth”.

Through mindfulness, we may choose to limit our exposure to events causing unnecessary disturbance to our Being. In doing so, we choose to avoid suffering beyond life’s inescapable painful events, taking each event as it arrives.

We may choose to acknowledge and accept each experience of pain, as it is.

Through acceptance, we separate our sense of Self from our experience of pain. This step assists in our ability to fully metabolize pain as it occurs. We begin to feel in control of re-establishing our inner-sense of peace and ease, i.e. our natural state of Being in increasingly short order. As each challenge of fear, anger, distrust, betrayal, and anxiety arise; we aspire to acknowledge each for what it is, allowing its energy to flow through us and release itself.

We actively participate in releasing our Selves from whatever is, by mindfully not attaching to any of it.

To heal the suffering of past wounds, we only need invite our full attention through ‘presence’ by feeling and releasing each embodied sensation as it occurs. By consciously inviting ourselves to let go of energetic challenges that threaten our wellbeing, we are better able to stay in the flow of our innate sense of peace.

Over and over again, we permit ourselves to return to the organic state of freedom that exists within.

Past unreleased emotional patterns detract from our ability for unconstrained learning. Thus, only well-serving events are committed to long-term memory. Through mindful awareness, we dramatically alter the interference of past distractive thoughts. Our conscious attention is diverted towards fully integrating all past experiences. By observing each emotion as the neutral response to a life event, we gain authority to value each life experience for the learning it offers.

Conscious acts of forgiveness allow our brain to release the grievances we have attached ourselves to from frozen or hyper-vigilant states of being.

Releasing past grievances from our physiology removes their ability to act as catalysts for further suffering. As each new event occurs, ongoing emotional states flow through the conducive state of present-moment awareness. Any resistance to being in the present moment impedes natural flow. Connection with Being is all that is required to re-enter the innate state of peace and ease that delivers us into unbridled freedom.

Forgiveness is both the means and end to a life of freedom.

I know this much is true…

Sitting by the graveside, as I visit the final resting place of both my parents, I am overtaken by a sense of peace and love and tranquility that transcends all sadness of how much I miss their physical beings. I miss the feeling of stability that comes of sensorily connecting to the wellspring of my physiology. Believing that my biology is in many ways my biography, I feel the responsibility of evolving my biography to reflect not just the pain of the past, but more importantly the effect of love in providing limitless hope that serves to conquer despair.

Life goes on, even once we lose those who brought us into life… but it’s never quite the same, despite connecting to love in new and different ways. In some ways, love becomes less encumbered without the triviality of day-day minutiae and hence it can be felt more completely than before. None-the-less, it is experienced differently.

This is my personal reflection on what I have learned from my parents as I sit in the total silence of nature amidst the tombstones; my father having left my side over 2 years ago, my mother having only left 6 months ago…

I envision your two souls side by side once again. I hope you are now where you both belong, united again with those  you were once connected to through love; sharing a new understanding and perspective through the wisdom acquired over your life times in the physical realm, now departed. I hope you are now without the pain and suffering you endured over your lifetime, and rather than seeing all the personal loss as you once did, I hope you see the truth of our temporary nature here on Earth. I hope this now seems a gift in service to the development of our true spirit nature, as we inevitably return to spirit carrying the riches of insight acquired through living our physical experiences.

I know beyond any doubt, that you both would protect me from suffering and pain if you could (as you so often tried to shield me in life), and yet you must now see its impossibility so long as we cling to the limitations of understanding life through our externally driven senses. In truth, these deceptive devices that we become conditioned to accepting are highly overrated. They are deficient in accessibility to that which lies beneath the surface nature of things, constrained from reaching into the depth of seeing things as they truly are.

I have much gratitude for the benefit of wisdom gained through both of you up until the present moment, as well as my being guided towards great teachers whose words resonate as my own truth… I am the vast space of growing clarity, seeing every day how much more always lies beneath the surface of things as they seem to be.

There was so much you did not dare to share through words, and there is no shame and no blame in my realizing that your suffering was too enormous to ever permit you to fully let down the barriers erected to protect your vulnerability. You each did this in opposing ways, and maybe this was a crucial lesson; i.e. there is no single way for humans react to the circumstances they encounter, but many. Whether it was dad who acted from a pillar of strength, i.e. a place devoid of personal needs… or mom, who acted from a place of fear, i.e. a place of perpetual neediness; neither being primary emanations of the heart, but rather serving as the protective shields over the heart’s gentle radiance. Either polarity serves the heart by shielding its fragility, but only the language of trust, self-compassion, and self-love set it free.  The language of the heart speaks ultimate truth, and this longing to be released continues to exert its energy. The language of truth must be spoken for the soul to have demonstrated its purpose. As the inner barriers of self-protection came down in your later days of life, you delivered what your soul longed for and I became a beneficiary of your rites of passage.

Dad, I am truly sorry that I found it so difficult to bare your most profound moments of self-expression. I know your life’s desire was to shield me from suffering. I fell down on my capacity to hold your suffering; instead I mistakenly took it on as my own. I now know this was your soul’s long-repressed opportunity for self-expression. I only hope that I didn’t disappoint you too much by my momentary engulfment, as I was taken off guard at witnessing your pain. I hope I didn’t restrain your ability to release what wasn’t serving you in those final moments before passing on. I’m certain you knew it was the immensity of my love for you that urged me to contain your further suffering. The wisdom of your soul recognized far greater suffering had been previously endured. All that remained to be done then, was final surrender. I pray you achieved your final self-less act, as I found each act of your life to be self-less. I hope that our last conversation only moments before you passed, reflected my readiness to let you go… and you felt set free without regret of any unfinished business. I hope that in any small and wonderful way, I manage to bring a grain of honor to your life through my own . You continue to inspire my every effort to commit positively to this world. I aim to share some aspect of what I gained by loving you with all who avail themselves to my support. I hope to instil the dignity of validation with each encounter I share. Doesn’t everyone merit to recognize their worthiness of love, and don’t all deserve to have their voice heard? The human craving for validation can only be satisfied through risking an open heart. To risk opening our self at the point of greatest vulnerability, requires vast courage. I hope to become a vessel of safety, permitting others to open themselves up to the flow of love through the truths they dare to share.

Mom, the gifts you shared in the last few years of your life were the gold treasure I had forever been seeking, even without knowing I was worthy of so much. Through you, I was bestowed the gift of clear sight… seeing beyond the most impenetrable surface, to what lies beneath. Through life’s depth and the darkness, we gain access to meaningful treasures. The bounty buried below is nothing less than the beauty of the full heart, radiating its bright light to illuminate all it surroundings. Your beautiful, tender, maternal heart shone fully once you were no longer threatened by the self-limiting beliefs. Your past mantra, “No one knows but me” was magically transformed into “You know so much…” as your heart softened and the bridge of love between us finally announced its presence. In your final years, you gave me the act of grace I needed most. You opened your heart and revealed the truth of what lay buried there. The wisdom behind your truth set free your immense love for me, and with this barrier dropped all weapons were rendered obsolete. Your loving spirit provided new terms that opened me to becoming a better person. How fitting it seems that you were not satisfied to leave this world in any lesser way. Perhaps your final selfless feat of ego sacrifice was enabled through the alter of dementia, the mind burning up all that stood in the way of love before, leaving me standing in its infinite power. Today I am assured that love is the only truth that exists; all else are lessons that point us toward this discovery.

I salute both of you, my beloved mom and dad! There are no finer examples of parents anywhere on Earth, each having been perfectly flawed humans who were dedicated to elevating me to my fullest human potential. There will never be a limit to my gratitude. I remember you today… and every day, as I think of my two shining examples of love. Through your loving spirits, my heart radiates new light every day. Every ray of light I brings forth is a direct tribute to you both, my dear and cherished parents.

REFLECTIONS ON MOTHER’S DAY

There is no love like a mother’s love

 

Today I view Mother’s Day differently from all past Mother’s Days. This first Mother’s Day since my mother has departed; I feel a new reverence, a new sacred energy for paying tribute to the one who brought me to life; creating and nourishing me in so many more ways than failing me. Today I am strong, I am living from my centre, I am independent minded and not easily swayed by a crowd. I am a lover of life, and am learning to be tolerant of all those who have not yet experienced fulfillment available through risking the vulnerability of a fully open heart. Today, I no longer believe in multi-tasking, as I understand the merit of focusing exclusively on one thing at a time without distraction, so as to be fully present to all that moment has to offer. I have not always been capable of such convictions.

And today has offered me yet another moment of truth, as I suddenly realize that the desires and expectations I have unwittingly placed on my own children are little different from those my mother placed on me. I have wanted too much of them in terms of their demonstration of loyalty and devotion. I have resisted feeling from my centre that these attributes are already implicit in our relationship and it is only for me to live from my endless love and devotion to them.

I am fortunate to have gained the privilege over the last several years of repaying the debt owed to my mother; caring for her as she ailed, loving her fully and completely without judgment. Throughout her illness, her vulnerability provided a latent foundation for the softening of my heart towards the weakness and/or deficiencies I too long held her accountable for. I see the parallel of my own children also regarding me through the role of Archetypal Mother figure. From that amplified vantage, I am sure to disappoint them. I am today buoyed by knowing they too will see when their time arrives, that there is nothing so great as a mother’s love. A mother’s love courses deeply through her arteries and veins, inextricably attached to the blood cells that nourish her being. Just as the mother lion, we too exemplify our relentless commitment to our offspring by willingly sacrificing our needs, energy, and when called for, even our lives for the greater cause of ensuring their ability to thrive.

Mother… co-creator of life; there is no greater gift to offer than life itself. It is through life, that all opportunities are created. We are after all, spiritual beings living a physical existence. That we forget this truth at the moment we come into being is no one’s fault. Many a woman is not yet awakened to recalling her true spirit nature… until the first moment the miracle of childbirth is experienced. In that moment, she is thrust back into the divinity of her true spirit nature. No mother can deny the overwhelming heartfelt emotions felt in that awesome moment of bringing new life into the world. In that single definitive moment; along with child, we too are delivered… back into our spirit nature. The state of awakening infuses our soul, but often only for a matter of moments, hours, or weeks. The spell is inevitably broken, as once again we fall into mundane reality. We are shaken back into the delusion of physical reality by sleepless nights, diapers, and the endless demands from children whose very purpose it is to separate their existence from ours. We are plunged backwards into darkness, as our spirit nature resumes a back seat in the production of our lifetime. Just as the wake-up call comes, it inevitably goes. We fall back into forgetfulness.

Upon visiting the cemetery today, my soul made a lucid connection with my dear mother… I felt her loving presence as she acknowledged the truth I always knew. We are connected; as we were even when there was a chasm between us. I see clearly now that the gap was only a delusion created by the dense veil of physical limitations. There is no separation in the vastness of our heart space that opens us to the domain of our soul; there is only oneness, love and communion. These are the only truths that penetrate our soul.

I am content to know that even as my children love me today, in time they will discover what I have discovered; there is nothing that separates us in spirit. We are immutably connected through the heart. Our spirits exist in communion, with or without their tacit knowing. Separation is merely the delusion that ebbs and flows through the physical world. The delusion is as temporary as corporeal existence, soon to be forgotten while the legacy of love lives on forever.

THE SHADOW

We carry our past with us, to wit, the primitive and inferior man with his desires and emotions, and it is only with an enormous effort that we can detach ourselves from this burden. If it comes to a neurosis, we invariably have to deal with a considerably intensified shadow. And if such a person wants to be cured it is necessary to find a way in which his conscious personality and his shadow can live together.   – Carl Jung

Today I feel a deep, profound and abiding sense of love that acts as a healing balm to all old wounds.

In the middle of her life, my mother developed an aversion to sunlight. It was an allergic response that manifested itself physically through welts on exposed areas of flesh, especially about her face. It was as though her body took offence to the very healing nature of sunlight itself, rejecting the source of all things; of truth and life itself. I see now that it may not have been the sun itself, but rather an essential byproduct of sunlight that results as it is casts its light down on us from up above. There can be no shadow without sunlight… and other than one peak moment of high noon, there can be no sun without shadow. At closer look, they appear to be two sides of the same coin. Without sun, there can be no life. Without shadow, we bypass the awareness of our true nature and lose the ability to see our inner truth as we return to our essence.

As Jung and other early trailblazers of human psychology have offered, human nature is a complex algorithm of the nature of all things. To see our wholeness requires self-awareness of all that lies beneath the surface of our conscious mind. In the subconscious and unconscious mind lies all our fears, doubts and misgivings; not only from past days of our own experience, but also a result of all days throughout time, recalling the collective experiences of all humanity. Some events are much closer to us than others. Certain past events affect us in ways too profound to register within the proximity of time, our already too fragile consciousness exposed to its max.

And so it was with my mother. How heavy and oppressive the shadow side of life must have been for her. How necessary it became, indeed the very feat of her survival depended on her ability to leave her shadow undisturbed, away from her sensitized mortal eyes. It was her eyes that first revealed her unspoken truth. They swelled like balloons into two puffer-fish like features that obliterated her vision for days, as a mediator by way of an allergic response to the foundation of life, set in. “You shall not see what you need not endure for a second time, for you have already endured it once and it took its heavy toll on you”. Everyone has a limit and for my mother as well as innumerable others who have suffered more than their fair share, this limit was long ago breached. The wisdom of nature itself determined that the shadow-land of this human being must never rear its head, preventing its re-inscription from reaching up to the surface of consciousness. And so her body’s perfect alibi obliged, loyally manifesting as an allergic reaction to the very sunlight that might awaked the sleeping shadow.

I have for many years had a deep fascination with my own physical shadow. I look upon old photos and see numerous photographs I took of my own shadow, finding a mesmerizing perspective through their elusive reality. I did not know how or why this force of nature attached itself to me until this moment. I see now that it has become my obligation as well as my privilege to carry on the work of past generations; to embrace the shadow that those before me could not.

I cannot say it has been easy work, or that I could have been willing or prepared at an earlier time, until gaining the necessary tools. But now, unveiling the mysteries suspended within no longer seems threatening to me. I view each insight as it reveals itself to me as a gift. I see fear, pain, sadness and numerous other disquieting emotions; the multiple human emotions we face along our journey, each aspect another representation of our collective human experience. I can begin to see now how it is that only by experiencing the full spectrum of human emotions, can we be in harmony with nature itself.  Yet through our aversion of discomfort, we too often remain unconscious of the gifts locked deep within, shunted away from awareness.

The maximal force of inner havoc is wreaked by the steady grip we exert through our effort to block out these difficult emotions. Who amongst us would choose freely to live from fear, anger or sadness? Who amongst us would choose deliberately to live from anything other than our true nature of love?

We are too easily dissuaded by the discomfort evoked by the emotions we experience, preferring instead to keep them safely locked within and thus denying our selves of their healing gifts. Each new day, there are new opportunities to unearth the trove of withheld emotions, enabling us access to healthy responses that may flow forth freely to be released. In choosing to flow with nature, we become free to witness the world in all its splendour, full of order and chaos alike. Just as the natural world is constantly seeking to move itself to a higher order of energy, we too are free to be one with the universal flow.

Each of us is but a small part of the whole universe, but each small part is innately sufficient to contribute its profound influence towards elevating humanity. In choosing to evolve towards becoming the highest potential expression of who we are, we elevate not only our selves but also the entire universe. Understanding Einstein’s laws of energy conservation, we are compelled to agree these laws must serve everyone equally. We are one and all connected through an invisible thread of energy, and thus so long as one aspect of self changes, the whole is impacted.

As we uncover aspects of our shadow and increasingly reveal our hidden truth, we enable all aspects of self to be released from their tomb within, and mobilized. Energy blocked is transformed into energy in motion… thus, e-motion. The freedom we experience is real. We instantly feel lifted, lighter, and increasingly aware of an abundance of light surrounding us. We begin to dissolve our long held shadow simply by exposing its elusive contents. We have the ability to do what those who came before us could not.

Today, I honour my mother and father, and all past generations who have generously granted me this lifetime. I choose to take this opportunity to expose another aspect of my shadow. May I become increasingly free to represent all those beloved souls who contributed to my bounty. May their memories be a blessing to others as well as myself. Through their assistance, may I continue to be given the opportunity to shine a light to transform shadow and uplift others throughout the world.

Warriors Of The Light

 

A Warrior of the Light knows that certain moments repeat themselves. He/she often finds himself faced by the same problems and situations, and seeing these difficult situations return, he grows depressed, thinking that he is incapable of making any progress in life. “I’ve been through all this before,” he says to his heart. “Yes, you have been through all this before,” replies his heart. “But you have never been beyond it.” Then the warrior realizes that these repeated experiences have but one aim: to teach him what he does not want to learn.

– Warrior Of The Light, Paulo Coelho

Upon losing my mother less than 48 hours ago, I cannot help but reflect on the nature of my personal loss as also amounting to a loss to the world. With no allusion of self-importance, I feel the souls of all individuals who have suffered beyond the limits of human imagination in their lifetime, merit our fullest respect and deference. My parents were two such individuals; chosen amongst the last living souls lifted out of the pits of despair, to be sanctified by the ashes of their loved ones directly by the grace of God.

The singular, surreal atrocity that was the Holocaust endowed those who survived its hell, as well as those who perished, the first-hand experience of horrific suffering that we have been spared. For this reason alone, my mother and father, along with all other righteous survivors are owed an eternal place in the heart of all humanity and particularly, in the hearts of those as myself, who have merited living directly amongst these mortal heroes and heroines.

In spiritual study, there is a common theme that the universe is organized through a multi-dimensional framework. The purely physical plane amounts to little more than a platform for the embodied experiences of the higher spiritual plane, enabling our humble human existence to give expression to the soul; that which was, is, and always will be a part of the eternal cosmos.

According to this model, the soul belongs to a realm outside of time and space; giving ample opportunity for it to experience its limitlessness through multiple human occurrences. Each lifetime offers a cumulative trove for acquired wisdom with which to serve in its own evolution.

All lifetimes and experiences point back towards a singular centre, just as each spoke of a wheel points from the periphery back to its hub. In this manner, each embodied experience we live brings us one step closer to the ultimate objective of returning to our central essence, that is love. The experience of the soul is the hub that we eternally serve.

At the soul level, one primary truth exists. All lifetime experiences serve to remind us that love is the central unifying nature of our being. This truth is reflected by our longing and affinity for human connection from the moment of  birth, our vital inter-connection with all sentient beings, and our wholly dependent relationship on Mother Earth. Every experience serves to brings us closer to realizing this one ultimate reality… “Only love matters in the end”.

The present generation of Holocaust survivors is quickly coming to an end, yet their legacy must never die in order that the unfathomable suffering that they endured, was not in vain. We owe a debt of gratitude to each of the courageous individuals; not merely by remembering them, but also in honouring their legacies of love that served to sustain them.

  • May we know through them, that a world without love is bleak and desolate.
  • May we remember that when the essence of our humanity is separated form the heart’s domain, only misery remains.
  • May we merit to realize that ultimate wisdom is reflected in the precious gift of life; the physical embodiment of love.
  • May we live with constant reverence and awe for all that constitutes life.
  • May we each recall with every breath we take, that we are equal custodians to an infinite cycle of souls that are continually reaching towards the most exalted state of love.

In this way, may we protect the future of our collective humanity, mitigating the onus of further suffering for all generations.

YOU ARE EVERYTHING…

THE STYLISTICS – YOU ARE EVERYTHING

https://www.google.ca/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=stylistics%20you%20are%20everything%20youtube

love-brainThe Stylistics may have had it right when they sang, “You are everything and everything is you”. In their hit song, “You are everything”, this single line expresses the central epiphany of human love… that under its influence, one experiences our true SPIRIT nature, i.e. our ability for feelings of unity and oneness with all things.

Ongoing brain studies try to elucidate what constitutes love… scientifically. We are gaining information through studies in “brain mapping” of neurons lighting up as they are “turned on” by an experience of love. Scientists have mapped many aspects of this complex system, precipitated by the activation and release of a mixture of reward chemicals such as dopamine and bonding transmitters such as oxytocin and vasopressin. However, all findings to date neglect to fully explain a substrate of the oneness that defines the spiritual dimension that is love.

Illuminating our understanding for the higher dimensions of “spirit realm” requires an awareness of how various brain centres work together to create a felt sense of inner safety together with a sense of inter-connectedness with others and our environment. Brain studies on the impact of our neuro chemical pleasure/safety system, demonstrate that when our safety and connectedness circuits are satisfied, we are better inclined to access vast swaths of unexplored brain tracts. When our perceptions of fear are quieted, we may enter a higher state where new focus on creative endeavors is enabled. Entering into a higher state of awareness opens our capacity to discover new, unexplored channels of neuro circuitry. As we continue forwards through our species’ cognitive, scientific, technological, and other yet-to-come revolutions, it appears our capacity for love may best predict the direction of human evolution.  

There seems an implicit link between existing in a state of “love” and entering the higher domain of spirit, where new neural landscape is available to our elevated vibrational energy. The spirit realm (as it exists outside of time and space) is lighter, brighter, and more effortless. It offers to enhance our odds for fulfilling our unique and vast inner-potential. From spirit, we co-create our destiny relative to the inter-relationship with each other and the environment. 

Spirit realm allows us to glean the meaning behind, “You are everything and everything is you”, as it implies “You are me and I am you, and as such we together are united with all that is”. One is wont to know this, without exposure to the effects of neurotransmitters and chemicals responsible for opening up new pathways. These channels of “love” await our discovery, deep within existing brain centres.

Anyone who has experienced the headiness of being “in love” (a significant difference from a more pragmatic definition of love as caring for another through ethical obligation), immediately understands the implicit nature of entering an altered realm, where all ordinary things are elevated to a new level of meaning infused with beauty, awe, and reverence.

Fear And Shame – Part II

Perhaps, the intractable pain and suffering carried by all past generations is an old legacy that can provide new meaning.

Perhaps, it is now time to acknowledge our struggle in effort to break free; purging ourselves of primal shame and returning to our original state of bliss.

How do we begin to address our painful legacy of buried shame?

Shame exists as an abiding sense of feeling flawed, deep within our being. Often regardless of our actions, we feel inadequate, imperfect and unworthy. It is no easy task to uproot long-held self-perceptions that are deeply entrenched in our circuitry. There will be no quick fix.  Building a new positive self-image can however, be achieved step by step through the intention of, and commitment to acquiring the skills of true self-awareness. Our dedication to self-compassionate inquiry clears our habitual patterns and cultivates within us a new awareness of appropriate responses that spawn endless new possibilities.

The quest for a better life begins through acknowledging the “possibility for change”. We are then free to accept personal responsibility for achieving self-empowerment through knowing “we alone can make right only that which is ours to control”.

By taking full ownership of our deeds, we confront our past inclination for denial of truth. Self-acceptance is a basic prerequisite for freeing our selves of the need for denial as a cover for our pain. We shift gears to establish our way along a new path; one where we are better able to convert shame that overwhelms us into healthy guilt that we can deal with. We move towards absolving our selves of past, self-limiting misdeeds by first facing them. As we separate our actions from our identity, we access truth by seeing our selves with clarity. We are indeed, so much more than the mistakes we have made. We begin to see the wholeness of our who we are, with compassion. By feeling true remorse for our misdeeds, we can then choose actions to restore faith in ourself, thus beginning a new chapter of compassionate behavior towards all.

Awareness, acceptance without judgment, and actionable responsibility are the key ingredients to enable positive change.

Even the smallest steps along a newly self-aware mental landscape will provide giant strides forward for ourselves, as well as for humankind.

The Garden of Eden awaits our return. We have it within us, we only need to rise above our human legacy of shame that implicitly separates us from truth of our birthright. It is time to take back our rightful place in the narrative of creation, radiating our inner-light over all beings.

 

Fear And Shame In The Garden of Eden

God then turns to Eve and asks her, “What is this you have done!” Eve replies, “The serpent duped me, and I ate.” 

Immediately after God fashions woman as a mate for man, from his rib as he lays sleeping… “The two of them were naked, the man and his wife, yet they felt no shame.” Their experience of ‘no shame’ occurs prior to the appearance of a serpent that soon tempts Eve to eat of a particular tree that God warned against doing. Eve informs the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the other trees of the garden. It is only about fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said: ‘You shall not eat of it or touch it, lest you die’”. Her pronouncement of God’s decree implies that fear is restraining her. The serpent remains undeterred, and insists it is in Eve’s interest to have her “eyes opened like a divine being” through eating of the tree of wisdom. Compelled by temptation masked as rationale, “she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave some to her husband, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they perceived that they were naked; and they sewed together fig leaves and made themselves loincloths”. Presumably, shame caused them to cover themselves. This then prompts God to first address Man, asking him “Where are you?” Adam sheepishly answers, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.” His shame has not been averted by the use of a fig leaf. God then further asks, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat of the tree from which I had forbidden you to eat?” God then turns to Eve and asks her, “What is this you have done!” Eve replies, “The serpent duped me, and I ate.”

In further dis-assembling these events, we may observe that the entire series of actions begins with God observing that man was lonely without a mate. Averring this was not good, he fashions for him and out of him, a mate. Loneliness is the first documented human emotion ascribed TO man by God, even as he is in the midst of creation. As soon as God creates woman, we are told they “felt no shame”. Emphasis on what they felt not, seems to infer what we would otherwise expect. We are being primed to understand shame as an intrinsic experience of human nature, one that may quickly assert itself between individuals. Its nature is implied to be so overwhelming, that the only two naked human beings in the Garden of Eden succumb to it immediately. Shame makes its appearance as a readily activated, awe-inspiring, primal emotion.

Subsequent to the first revelation of shame, desire and fear arise as the serpent tempts Eve to take fruit from the tree that God has warned against. The warning, “lest you die” evokes fear in Eve, though it is quickly eclipsed by her newly awakened desire. In response to a single moment, fear and desire are irrevocably entwined. At the discovery of Eve’s transgression, God becomes angry and turns to Adam for accountability. Adam’s fear registers as he recognizes God’s rhetorical question, “Where are you?” to be an implicit fall from grace in His eyes. Adam’s fear causes him to respond by casting blame, “The woman You put at my side—she gave me of the tree, and I ate”. Now fear, desire, and blame are stirred together as one, diminishing our human capacity for self-awareness for all time. God finally turns to Eve and demands, “What have you done!” It seems her newly activated shame causes her also to deny responsibility, escaping her discomfort as she casts blame away from herself onto the serpent that she laments, has duped her.

Does Eve ever experience guilt, i.e. true regret over her actions, or is she merely stuck in her more primal shame response??

It is critical to understand the difference between guilt and shame. Sincere regret is the underlying experience of guilt. It can be affirmed by an authentic effort to recompense for a wrongful act. Shame is more difficult to allay, since it is an overwhelming sense of “being guilty” rather than feeling guilty over a particular self-limiting action. Being guilty has no beginning or end, as it resonates through to our core as being intrinsically flawed by nature. There is no easy remedy for this, thus a mixed sense of helplessness and grief readily follows. Eve makes no effort to repent for her misdeed, choosing blame instead. It seems that God’s anger at his most beloved creations evokes their shame rather than guilt, as it is inseparable from their very being. God, the Judge demonstrates his punitive character as He grants them little compassion for their wrongful act. He banishes them from His Garden (i.e. rejection), casts eternal pain through childbirth on (all) woman (dissociation), leaves (all) man to toil throughout their lives in order to eat (i.e. abandonment), and curses the very ground that supports and sustains humanity by bringing forth thorns (i.e. alienation).

The story of Genesis demonstrates that God’s punishment is meted out to the first man and woman for their first “misdeeds”; creating humankind’s earliest template for “action as inseparable from identity”, through the “incursion of shame”. More simply put, judgment causes shame.

Loneliness, desire, fear, anger, rejection, dissociation, alienation and abandonment morph together to evoke a deeply felt, intangible sense of shame. This cornucopia of emotions has become intimately infused into our human nature, inseparable from our truth since the story of Genesis.

The utter abhorrence we have always felt towards the experience of shame continues to mobilize our need to escape through self-denial. In running from the truth of our feelings, we forsake responsibility for our actions and seek blame elsewhere. The false security of denial is seductive. It is the fuel of all addiction. Our unacknowledged preference for internalized pain and suffering is reinforced, as the age-old template of shame perpetually erodes our spirit.

Understanding Yog-cho Therapy – Part 2

“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”   – Being Peace, Tich Naht Hanh 

 

We begin by stopping our familiar patterns of activity. We take the time to acknowledge there is a life force within us. Our life force emanates through our connection to awareness. Breath connects us inwardly, allowing us to regain consciousness of what has become elusive. Life is dependent on breath… the inhale and the exhale. Breathing requires no conscious effort or attention on our part. “Unconscious patterns” of attention and avoidance are self-protective, geared to enhancing survival odds. Gaining mind-space to seek novelty outside, we begin to be pulled ever farther away from consciousness. Yet, we retain an ability to over-ride the system… Welcome to the practice of conscious breathing.

From the moment of our first conscious breath, we begin making the unconscious, conscious.

This reversal of fortunes begins our journey back to Wholeness.

First Protocol:

NOTICE – Start by sitting quietly in a space that is likely to be without interruption… Let go of any expectations or preferences for what the process may offer…Letting go is the first step necessary to permit openness to something new. We must first become unstuck to enable “shift to happen”… How does one begin to let go if they are unaware of what they are holding??

 

Take a moment to feel. Feel as though you are blanketed by a source of warmth and safety. Turn your mind’s eye inwards, and begin to notice your breath.

  • What does it feel like to breathe in fully?
  • Where do you notice the breath as it enters the body?
  • Does it feel easy or encumbered?
  • Repeat this series of steps for several more breaths.
  • Now, gradually shift your attention from the in-breath to the out-breath.
  • Notice that the air escapes without effort, being spontaneously released as though pulled by gravity.
  • Does it flow smoothly or is somewhat ragged? Is it deep or shallow?
  • Without trying to change anything, just become a witness and observe.
  • When the breath is fully emptied, do you feel an immediate urge to gasp for the next inhale breath?
  • Is there a feeling of safety rather than urgency between breaths?
  • Repeat for several more breaths, and notice subtle things you may have missed.

 

  • Can you feel the air traverse the back of your nose and throat, and then enters your lungs?
  • Can you feel the expansion in your chest and rib cage and even belly?
  • Notice the breath rhythm, is it spontaneous, smooth, or with effort?
  • Do you notice any change, perhaps being lulled into a new rhythm that was unavailable to begin with?
  • Are you able to witness the process through the eyes of an observer without judgment?
  • Is there a tendency of mind to drift to old familiar thoughts?
  • Can you detect any resistance through your physical body or mind chatter?
  • How does resistance show up for you?  Notice how it makes you feel in your body?

Know this simple Truth. Consciousness creates life. You must return to consciousness in order to regain the power to create the life your choose.

Reflecting on these questions repeatedly (even for 5 minutes/day) may assist your ability for inner observation. Self-reflection is the first step to move you towards the goal of living in full consciousness of all that you are.

Consciousness is the device that enables you to let go of the obstacles that stand in your way. Once you begin to shine the light on patterns of unconscious thought and conditioning, you illuminate the chains that bind you to old behaviours. In order to break free of the delusion, “Life is what it is…”,  you must let go of all that makes you powerless and no longer seek escape of life’s pain through acts of unconsciousness.

The journey to Wholeness…

the reversal of your hardwiring…

has begun.

 

 

Understanding Yog-cho Therapy – Part I

The Cognitive Revolution is accordingly the point when history declared its independence from biology. From the Cognitive Revolution onwards, historical narratives replace biological theories as our primary means of explaining the development of Homo Sapiens… It (becomes) necessary to take into account the interaction of ideas, images and fantasies as well.

Sapiens, A Brief History Of Human Kind, Yuval N. Harari

This new approach to inner healing combines the ancient wisdom of Eastern traditions with Yoga at centre stage, alongside the newly developing field of neuropsychology. The intersection of East and West helps increase our understanding of the human condition. As we begin to observe the mind and its impact on the brain, we simultaneously witness alterations to the brain that occur through the networks of our mind.

The unified field, that is our “mind” encompasses physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual (i.e. transpersonal) realms. Yoga means union. It can be defined by its aim to illuminate human nature through the integration of all that we are. It offers a mechanism for viewing the Whole of humanity as greater than the sum of its individual parts.

Yoga’s lens of unification is as helpful to increasing self-awareness as it is to harmonizing the differences of all humanity. This understanding is apparent through both Eastern and Western understanding. We each embodied mirror images of the world around us, while scientifically speaking… each cell within us holds the holographic image of all parts of the whole at once. Eastern wisdom sees human suffering as a lack of self-integration or lack of understanding that we are already “Whole”.

“Mis-knowing” the truth of our essence results from the world of delusion that prevents our access to Wholeness within.  The necessity of constraint that is the foundation of our delusion will later be explored.) Spirit nature pervades all humanity and links us to our individual Wholeness as well as connecting us with all other beings. The core of most religious traditions is premised on a recognition of Divine spirit and the understanding of our Divine nature as central to our human experience. In biblical scriptures, Divine Spirit is introduced to humankind through the act of God’s breath. At first consideration, this may resonate as in-credible and unscientific. However, Einstein’s theory of relativity (i.e. E = MC-squared) underscores that energy and matter are interdependent, in fact suggesting the parameters of universal oneness. Robert Lanza’s uses his theory of biocentrism to explain further, the “reality of things” exists either as wave or particle, not both since all matter depends on the state of consciousness of the observer.

As knowledge expands into poorly understood areas including quantum physics and biocentrism, science increasingly affirms philosophical and mystic understanding. Western science is catching up to many ancient Eastern paradigms, generating new understanding of “the centrality of all life”.

 

From his experiences as a Holocaust survivor,  Viktor Frankl devised a system known as Logo-Therapy, as a basis to understanding the conditions of mankind’s most primal needs. The need to find “meaning” in one’s life, was determined as an essential component for enduring the most unimaginable suffering. Frankl discovered a capacity to survive extreme deprivation and suffering, realizing through the observation of those who survived as well as those who did not; that in order to be successful in overcoming one’s suffering, one required the capacity for a sort of faith that led to seeking and finding a purpose to existence. Only a sort of spiritual transcendence would overcome the dispiriting forces incurred through physical and emotional pain. Self-awareness as a basic implement of survival upends Maslow’s earlier hierarchy that asserts that only when basic physical needs are satisfied, is self-awareness relevant. Frankl demonstrated a greater complexity to human needs than understood by Maslow through his ability to harness critical self-awareness as a tool for survival by finding meaning in his own life. It seems our inner-networks of perception offer much more than a small contribution to the resilience that boosts our capacity for survival.

As biocentrism asserts, the universe exists as a result of conditions created through human consciousness; inferring that without consciousness, there is nothing. That life cannot exist in a vacuum resonates quite easily within the most non-scientific amongst us.