Saturday, March 10, 2012

On Awakening

You can find a number of traditions that seek to support awakening, many of which are from the eastern cultures where the issue of awakening has been a tradition for a very long time.  These can provide the needed structure and support a person may need during the journey or process.  They bring an awareness of ourselves as being more than mere body but also energy.  This goes beyond many western expressions of our being and deals in a much more direct way with the issue of our multi-layered or multidimensional nature. 

In Chinese medicine and practice, there is a subtle body that can be effected by acupuncture, movement disciplines such as Thai Qi and Qi Gong (also spelled "Gung") that help to keep energy from becoming blocked, and which those traditions observe confers health and perhaps even longevity.  There are currents in this subtle body which have been mapped by these traditions, and are steadily finding a greater and greater niche in more traditional forms of medicine.  In India, there are similar understandings, too, and a lot of what we know has come from the east as it relates to the subtle energy body.  These traditions have their own form of expressing the same fundamental sense which depends on the cultural "turn of mind."  The problem for some people is that they do not feel a connection to these other cultures.  For as much as the East meets West process has brought us from the 60's and 70's, there can still be a disconnect.  For some people, its like a long lost home and very western individuals will dress and appear to be very eastern in habit, practice, and belief.  Certainly there are kundalini yoga teachers who are very much western who look and dress in an eastern way, which is testimony to how these traditions "speak" to their sense of knowing.  All of this is certainly valid for the self seeking, but depends on where you are in the process of becoming.  The self will find any means that it can to fashion a boat and get across the waters, and my feeling is if it gets you there, then it has served it purpose.  Sometimes the problem becomes that once used, the boat becomes a kind of shrine, and we have to let go of that shrine or else we become stuck in a sense with ritual magic that does not push us to move froward into the next explosion into realization.  I am increasingly realizing that there is no one way that we must go about this.  If you are active in your process, you will tend to find some interesting resources coming to you.  This is because I know there is more than the intellect and mind involved in the game, but also the presence of a higher form of consciousness, entirely connected to you moment by moment that can and will begin to guide you in its own way.  Many will often gloss this part over because they themselves are very western in their approach, which gives a good deal of lip service to the intellect and mind.  But there is far more to it than that.

Awakening is a process of stripping away a lot of the conditioning that you have grown up with and perhaps consider your most cherished notions about who you are and your life here.  While many stop here, I go a little further, because this does not merely stop at the individuals' awareness level.  This moves into the larger waters of your being, and this is the great prize in all of this, the thing we so ardently chase after when seeking spiritual fulfillment of one form or another (whatever we may think this means at the time).  The magic in all of this is not just stripping away conditioning, but understanding just what this conditioning is to begin with. 

Let's take the idea that your conditioning comes from how you grew up.  When we think of our early lives, we tend to think that we had no control over how the stage was set.  We think in a very materialistic way, in a way that also relieves us of any responsibility in a larger sense over the matter.  Everything that happened to us was a result of what we were tossed into in our early life.  Whatever is wrong with us is the fault of our parents, or our family, or even society.  Everything happens TO us, but we never dig deeper beyond this to consider a still larger truth, which has to do with the Law of Attraction.  While some will want to waive this off as so much mumbo jumbo, I can say without equivocation that the Law of Attraction is huge, and if you can begin to learn to shift what it is you are attracting by changing yourself you WILL change the outside contents of your life.  The seeming solidity of the world will form itself around you in an new way.  What you thought was not possible will become possible, and it can become possible as soon as you make the change within yourself.  It really does happen that quickly.  We do not consider sometimes that what happened early on was the result of issues from other lifetimes which had not gotten resolved, and as in ANY book that ends with some lack of resolution, the issue has to be resolved in a subsequent chapter in order for the story to make any sense.  We think this is all just accident.   Its not.  So if you want to know what your karma is, look at your childhood, look at those conditions that existed in your family and there you will find a mirror of your own karma in them.  If you do this, you can go from being victim to realizing that this is all a play put on for your benefit, with people and events coming in and out of that play as your teachers, mirrors, helpers in an unusual way.  If you can begin to see in this different way, you can begin to see into the fabric of your own being, and deep into your past in order to find a better present now. 

In truth, this conditioning from your family was a self-chosen set of conditions your own soul was attracted to.  This is karma.  This is how all energy works, and consciousness IS energy.  You probably have karma with the people in your family, old "debts" to repay or issues to resolve.  So that draws you together, but even more than that, these debts are the result of a given attraction to behaviors, to emotional and egoic attachments that you have.  Its less that you are attracted to a group of people for the past debts that must be repaid as the quality of their energy, the place they are at, that can attract you.  Certainly the issues of some past debt will draw you, but so will the nature of the energy attract you.  So families will represent on a broader soul level, issues that each are working through in a common fashion with slight variations from person to person.  No person will be exactly alike, obviously, but many of the lessons to be learned can be. Seen in this light, the old forms of conditioning can emerge as part of something larger in your own being, and these become the issues that are pushed up from the psyche and subconscious to be dealt with in an awakening.  Learning how to release these things, this karma, is a very important way of digging out the weeds of your own inner garden.

How do we release karma?

This is a tricky one, because very often, we simply do not have the inner perspective necessary to see into ourselves to know what it is that is working in us.  We look out into the world and away from our own selves.  IN the background, deeper within, are all those old things that we have shoved down because they were the result of hurt and pain.  On the one hand, this serves as a survival mechanism. On the other hand, awakening brings all this back up to the degree that the individual is willing to see them.  This is why, most often, the chaotic environment of the self at the end of their rope offers such promise in change.   The ego is one tough nut to crack.  It will often hold on for dear life, obstructing the view of your own inner awareness to understand what was wrong to begin with.  Sometimes when one is at the end of their rope, there is a breaking point that leads to a solution.  This is only one way that this can be done, and there are other ways, other solutions, but most often it seems that in order for the individual going through this process in a solitary way to learn how to let go of ego, it involves extraordinary pressure.  We just don't seem to be very good at knowing how to let that ego go. 

What is the solution?

There are many solutions.  In much the same way that there are many traditions that deal with awakening, there is no one way that will absolutely be said to work.  In Christianity, there is a great and effective way of dealing with these impossibilities of the self; handing it over to God.  Calling upon a higher power to deal with it can be a very effective way for the ego to let go of whatever it has been battling or hanging onto.  Its a mechanism that can work, and does call upon the higher self for that a deity or some great teacher such as Jesus or Buddha.  Another method that seems to be present in every single person is the Observer.  I had never heard of this part of the self until I experienced it directly as part of a release of a particular karmic thread this past year.  I was at the end of my own rope and reached a place where I simply gave up trying to work it through.  I was emotionally distraught and "little me" was quite upset, while some other part of me simply came forward in the moment to help me to feel into all of this turmoil in a different way.  See, this part of us, I suspect, is a part of the larger self or at least a part of us that we often tap in times of great turmoil when nothing else seems to work.  A car rolls over onto a loved one and while distraught, we find ourselves in a sudden state of absolute clarity and calm.  Then, somehow, the physical body is able to tap incredible strength to move the car.  This has and does happen. I see it less as miraculous as suggestive of what we are all capable of if we can marshal the right suite of qualities within.  If you can feel into this Observer (which I called "The Watcher" until I found out it actually had a name), it can help you to find a measure of detachment from the impossible emotions that you are feeling in the moment.  Feeling these emotions can be the very thing that keeps you IN the karma, IN the attachment to this way of feeling or being.  Going into the hardness of loss or lack of love does not solve the problem, though, it only keeps you in the consciousness of the karma.  Remember, this is about learning how to pluck out the briars in your garden that gave rise to such problems in the first place.  You don't take those briars and make a shrine of them, because if you did, you still have the briars present to tangle you up at some point.   In a very real way, its realizing that this way of feeling or being just no longer works.  You give up trying to rationalize it.  You give it over to god or Jesus, or you pray to some higher being to come take it from you.  You let go, you surrender.  Your little self says "I can't figure this out...its just too much..." and something will shift and change as a result of that so that the issue does not rattle around inside of you.  You are done fighting with it.  You are ready for some kind of relief.  If that kind of magic works with your belief system, then it has a very good chance that it will work. In order for it to work, you must be ready for it to work, and this might mean being at the end of your rope.  Nothing else has worked, so you are going to give this one a try.  And in so doing, you invest your attention and belief and HOPE into the situation. And you let go.  You let go of all of it in that moment in a way that is not something you even need to analyze.  Ultimately what gives you the means to release these patterns is what works and what is perfect. 

You will know you have really let go of something when you are not obsessing over it, are not affected by it the way you used to be.  This is not simply ignoring something or hoping you are done.  You are DONE. Being hopeful is very important, but the issue of letting go is one that has a kind of absolute nature to it.  When something leaves your field of awareness, it represents a shift in your own consciousness, in what you feel invested in. I will tell you that when I let go of one thorny issue within, I had someone who was wanting to buy my house.  They had not dealt in a way that was anywhere near being realistic in terms of price.  It was laughable, actually, and it resulted in my ignoring the offer.  I had no communication with this person for months and when I let go of this old energy, I had a new offer the following day in my mail box that had the price increased by $100,000.00.  The block, by the way, had to do with my own feelings of self worth and an old guilt I had carried that had made me very much a scape goat most of my life.  With the stuff I was carrying around, I was a perfect mark.  But I was ATTRACTING this, ever since I was a kid and even into my adult life.  It resulted in my getting blamed for a lot of stuff that simply wasn't mine.  Once this left me and was resolved in totality, everything changed along a certain avenue. Because I ran from my own inner truth, others were free to interpret my own truth however they wanted.  It attracted all sorts of people who would hurt me, blame me, and treat me in less than above-board ways.  But as soon as this left me, I was free.  I KNEW what the truth was.  I had changed the magnetism of the energy and this in turn stopped short all sense of energetic attraction to the old energy and set up a new pattern. When the energy that was clustered around my heart that had created great pain during my awakening had vanished, I had a sense that my own inner truth was that much clearer.  Say what you want about me, but I knew I was worth something!  While the new offer was itself still not where it needed to be, it was a vast improvement, and the timing was perfect as it related to my own inner events.

Affirmations may also be one way that you begin to put space between you and this old karmic attachment.  Doing this in the right way can begin to supplant old ways of thinking and feeling with new programs, and these begin to have an effect on you, inching you ever closer to that territory within feeling where genuine and permanent healing can happen.  Its a bit like cultivating the earth around those briars until you reach a place where you can simply pull the weed up for good because the new programming has sunk in deep enough.  This is a regimen that I suspect will take some time in order to change how you think and feel. Just as simple breathing exercises can train you how to learn how not to respond to some stressful situation, it also serves to train you to recognize the area within yourself where you will always find greater peace and contentment.  Knowing you have this option or space within is a huge first or even second step.  Your consciousness has to buy into it, and you need to remain engaged with it.  From everything we know about self-help and cognitive functioning, you have to believe it will work.  Sometimes hope can be the gateway.  It can serve to adjust your insides enough so that you are much more susceptible to change later. 

Do I need a Teacher?

There is a lot floating around that suggests that you do, or that having such a person who can help bring a larger perspective can be of some benefit.  I think a teacher can be a very helpful element in your awakening, but I also know that in the end, its up to the individual.  I think we are made to work through this in relationship. The teacher, though, can come in many forms.  Ultimately the power of awakening will be your single best teacher.  It can guide you to where you need to go, and a teacher supplies a sense of support in hard times as well as a few good tips for you to try.  Being able to draw on others' experience can sometimes, not always, help you to point out pitfalls that you yourself can avoid.  Absent a teacher, you might have books or other sources, which we have a great deal of now with the advent of the internet.  These can all be very helpful in their own way, but realize that due to the nature of karma, to emotional attachment, we will all tend to attract that which is where we ourselves are. 

If you have a lot of issues overhanging your life, you will naturally be attracted to those sources of instruction that will reflect those same attributes in yourself.  Remember the Law of Attraction?  You will also be attracted to those passages in a book, say, that speak to your own experience....and for a time you may feel a strong attachment to a given passage  until you grow and change and begin to see that this one so very important passage becomes largely meaningless later on. Its not to minimize it, but this is a process, a journey, and as you remove these old layers from you, the world will feel and look much different.  Money back guarantee.  As long as you are genuinely removing material, things will look and be different.  The pieces from a given teaching will be seen for what they were in hindsight; important to you at that point in time, but in no way does it mean it carries some huge truth necessarily for the rest of the journey through this.  This is not to say it can't, only that chances are, you will simply see it differently later on.  I'll give you an example...

I can remember reading about Gopi Krishna's trials with his own awakening.  He was convinced he had only awakened only one side of the kundalini, which was the masculine side.  When I was going through my trial by fire, I could totally relate.  I was having incredible bursts of hot Qi in my body, I was feeling amazing pressure in my body and a lot of physical pain.  It all seemed incredibly real.  I felt like I had to DO something. What wound up happening, though, was I learned how to surrender.  I also learned, slwoly, how ot divest more ego from the moment.  At the time, big small things had become incredibly big. I though this was what kundalini was doing.  I was convinced of it.  In some way, this was right, but I suspect what is more true is the ego was making everything seem bigger than it actually was.  This took some time to realize.  It didn't happen overnight.  It was part of a process of coming to understand by creating some distance from that event in the rear view mirror.  I had to get out of it enough to see it more clearly.  At the time I could only say what it felt like.  It was not good.  However, what  realized later was that in a way Gopi was right and in a way he was not right.  The masculine and feminine, I knew, move together in all of this.  We simply respond based on where we are with it.  Its less that the feminine had to be brought up in the energy, but brought up within him so he could mirror this larger energy that was flowing through him.  A big A-ha moment ensued.  the same was for me. I had to mirror all aspect of the higher aspects of my being in order to feel any kind of peace.  this is an upward spiral happening in us, a kind of change in vibration that we wake up to one day and it begins to reveal to us all the things that do not harmonize with this already developed consciousness within our being.  This is one reason why many masters and sages and gurus will say that this process is not of becoming something, but rather undoing what you thought you were in favor of what you already are underneath all that stuff.  Its a very beautiful thing, really.  So not surprisingly, I saw Gopi's own "breakthrough" not as a mental effort on his part, but in truth a surrender to his feminine side which helped him find peace once I got through one chapter in my journey.  Because his own belief structure meant that he would feel the cooling current of the feminine balancing his energies, he experienced this.  Looking back, it all looked much different to me than it had just a few months previously.  I noted, too, that he was also at the end of his rope.  The ego really is that hard of a nut to crack. It seems that when the chips are down, we dig deeper than we have ever dug before, and its this kind of effort that serves to get down to the root of things and marshals all our inner resources, whether we know what it is we are marshaling or not.  By saying this, though, I am not suggesting that this is going to be the way for all people.  Its just one aspect of the experience based on certain character traits. You can be very different.  It can be easier, much easier for you.  It just depends on what you have thus far divested yourself of in order to get down to this essential self or higher being that is and has always been a part of your present awareness.....just maybe pushed to the side enough that you were not able to feel into it in any significant enough way.  Otherwise, you may have had an awakening sooner than you have, or sooner than you would otherwise.  The point here is that we can latch onto some things and believe they are the end-all be all when in truth, its a step along the way.  Ego can get into this game, too, assigning it greater importance than it needs to have.  Being able to be more open to the possibility that there is a good deal more yet to go through and learn (its limitless actually), is I think a very good way to keep your own inner landscape tilled and loose so it does not solidify into some concretion of what you THINK is going to happen.  This is where you learn to let things happen.  This isn't easy with ego, but there is an art to stopping worrying about HOW things will turn out, how things will be.  Your soul self has all this under control if you will but stop struggling against it.  You will lose things, yes, but understand they were never for you if they are going away in this context.  I don't mean wanton disregard for what will serve you, but rather how shifts in us can result in people behaving differently around us, events in life changing so the old opportunities simply no longer come along.  You are changing, and you are also changing what YOU attract.  This sounds like misty-eyed mystical talk, but I promise you that it isn't.  I can write an entire blog entry just on how this alignment happens and the wild events that can happen that reveal just how this law of attraction works. 

The higher self in all of this is always present.  It is a broad sense of awareness and being.  It is what I call the Authentic Self, but is also called Presence.  This Presence, as some call it, can be a powerful tool in your transformation.  The more you are open to it, the more aware you are of its potential which also is your potential.  Just in learning how to feel more clearly, being that aware of this presence can begin to stir the pot and drive old issues upwards.  Its quite natural a thing.  However, sometimes, some things simply stay put even though you are aware of this Presence.  It seems that letting the ego drift back some is a very big help.  I wont say you kill the ego because ego remains regardless, and I think ego death is something of a misnomer.  You do, however, find a new arrangement of self because most of this infinite talk is just too much for the ego to deal with.  Learning how to have it do its job without getting in the way of feeling is a very important step.  This being or Presence can actually guide you if you let it.  It is super conscious and IF you can engage with it, it can often provide you with a wide array of things.....which I saw some time ago about the nature of the universe which felt like it opened up to me like a flower blooming.  It can also lead to all sorts of insights and abilities emerging, too.  These things are all part and parcel of the experience....not an important facet, only insofar as they help you to understand that you are changing.  Staying in your hurt or feeling like you are working through something is merely staying in the old behavior.  This is a very grace-filled place where you can find it in you to forgive both yourself and others.  By listening quietly, perhaps even in meditation, you can tap even deeper into yourself for the answer you may need.  Sometimes when you are focused on what you need, it comes.

I have said it before and will say again, the synchronicity is itself evidence of how we interface with the world, how the power of Attraction works, and how through what you wish for can actually become reality.  It is also a powerful way for this higher self to begin to interact with you on  a physical level.  How?  Consider this series of events, all very indicative of how these synchronicities work for me (and others).  I had the impulse based on a feeling from the higher self that I should get to a body of water. I was sitting at a light in the car as this happened.  Instead of wondering what this could mean, I simply paid heed and got to the nearest body of water.  I went to  a pond and walked down the path alongside of this pond.  At a certain point I turned to walk around a tree that was near the water.  It had a big long limb that stuck out shielding a plaque from my view.  I walked around it and saw the plaque.  It was a quote from Teilhard De Chardin about how we as humans can tap the limitless power of love.  I thought how interesting, but didn't give it much thought.  I stayed for about an hour by the water wondering what this was about. I left there and went to someone's house nearby.  As I entered the house there was a book lying on the table that I picked up and there, in the preface, was a mention of this same person whom I had never heard of before.  Later that day, I went to another friend's house for dinner and found myself in an odd corner of the room where I had never been before.  There, tucked out of the way was a book by the same man!  I asked if I could borrow it and as I leafed through it, most of the work was of little interest.....until I came to the section that had the SAME quote I had read at the pond earlier that same day.  There, one page after the quote I read, was a section that dealt with higher order energies, and his discourse on how we can learn to bring these energies through from the higher realms into our day to day experience.  What was most interesting was that at this time, I was actually writing about this very topic, about how the higher self can serve to bring us these things in our day to day through learning how to anchor these attributes that are a facet of our experience here, but that also exist in higher forms seemingly "beyond us." 

This is one example, and I have many more just like this one that all wind up bringing me the resources I need just as I need them.  I am convinced that if you learn to listen to these urgings, that you too can find that these events can bring you resources you could not otherwise have even found on your own.  Supermind meets human mind.  Supersoul meets earthly soul.  These things can and do happen and DO happen with regular frequency!  So, in this way, you can magnetize the events that you most need for that time in your life.  This is one tangible way that the higher self can help you.  The degree to which you block it based on what you believe is possible, is the degree to which I think you experience miraculous events happen.  Consider anything is possible, and it just may well be!

The issue of limiting beliefs plays into all of this in an important way, and often goes hand in hand with your karma.  I wont go into it here right now because this post is long enough, but some people can find a good deal of victimizing energy in some traditions that only serve to make them ever more suspicious, scared, and even paranoid....hardly a good mix in an awakening.  If you are awakening and are convinced this is demonic, you have some very hard days ahead of you.  If you can open like a flower to this, you can actually get past the hardest parts of the trial by fire and find more peaceful regions.  Again, being able to consider what you thought you knew before all this began was limited can be a big help in opening your eyes to the depth of the bliss and beauty that this experience will bring to you, which is authentic peace.


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