The River of Feelings

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“There is a river of feelings within us, and every drop of water in that river is a feeling. To observe our feelings, we sit on the bank of the river and identify each feeling as it flows by. It may be pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. One feeling lasts for a while, and then another comes. Meditation is to be aware of each feeling. Recognize it, smile to it, look deeply into it, and embrace it with all our heart. If we continue to look deeply, we discover the true nature of that feeling, and we are no longer afraid, even of a painful feeling. We know we are more than our feelings, and we are able to embrace each feeling and take good care of it.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh
Photo: © Yvonne D. Williams

For some reason this Thich Nhat Hanh quote stuck in my head when I read it because I know what he is referring to—I’ve felt it myself—the stepping out of intense feeling, no matter how painful it may be, and simply watching it flow over us as we remain sitting on the bank in silence before the enormity of the water passing through on its journey elsewhere.

If you aren’t sitting a part from it on the bank, that “River of Feelings” is a flow we continually ride—sometimes in a kayak gliding above the water and sometimes in an inner-tube with half our body immersed into it.kayakriverswirl67.jpg

So for us to say that we do not “feel” something emotionally is to say that we are riding the kayak as we skim the waves while still feeling the froth of turbulence. We may bob around a bit with emotion, but we’ve elevated our heads above the water and as long as we remain upright, we know that we won’t drown.

Inversely, when we are immersed in the feeling, we become the feeling and may struggle for our lives; clinging tightly to our inner-tube to keep our heads above water—for fear it drowns us with wave after wave of intense, gut-clenching emotion.

tube on river67Grief is an inner-tube type feeling. So is rage. It’s easy to be swamped when you immerse yourself in those feelings.

Some would say depression is such a feeling, but I believe that depression isn’t really a feeling as much as it is the result of losing the inner-tube completely and accumulating body fatigue from continually treading water without relief in sight.

So what is the difference between riding the kayak and sitting on the bank?

The kayak provides an experiential option for riding the feelings we naturally have during the course of our lives. It gives us buoyancy and distance from the worst of the emotional waves sloshing about us.

The bank is an entirely different perspective on emotional impaction. From the bank you do not participate in the feeling, you only observe it as it comes and goes, and try not to judge its rightness or wrongness; its power or onriverbank45.jpgaffectation on you.  You acknowledge it as it impacts you and note what is being felt, but you let it go—you let it move on and away without clinging to it—without wallowing in it or calling it back to re-experience, over and over.

It’s not easy sitting on the bank and observing your own river of feelings; and sometimes it’s hard to even find a kayak from which to navigate the powerful river of emotions that we feel.  At times when life takes a tumultuous turn for us, we feel fortunate enough to simply have that inner-tube to help keep our heads above the overwhelming waves.

What I think Thick Nhat Hanh was saying in this quote is that observing from the bank (meditation) is the far safer option for dealing with intense feelings, because it allows the greatest perspective on the river of emotion itself that we must experience over the course of our lives.

As humans, we will have good days and bad ones—people will come to us and then leave us through disagreements, grievances or death.

During the course of our lives, we make efforts to achieve or acquire what we do not have, and those efforts are sometimes successful and sometimes not.

We love and we lose love.

We agree and disagree with others, and feel both great joy and great fear at many aspects of life, including our own mortality.

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But during the course of our lives, that river of feelings flows on and on, over familiar ground or new ground—but it keeps moving onward until we individually feel no more and merge again with the Great Ocean of Consciousness that logs “all feelings” as simply a part of the living experience.

So keep your inner-tube always handy, and find a kayak when you can do so to keep your head higher above the waves; but if possible, try instead the view from the bank for its safer, broader perspective, and simply allow that emotional river to flow on by without judgment or clinging.

I know—easier said than done—but it IS possible to do it. Trust me on this one.

 

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Kaypache Lescher on “The Great Mystery of the Divine”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zhcn__6FWUg&feature=share

What is my life about?  Why did I incarnate?345kaypacha1-400x400 (1).jpg

At present, Kaypache is into the shamanic astrology of Peru, where he is traveling.   I’ll just paraphrase a few of his statements here rather than use direct quotes:

In this video, he expounds on receiving direct transmissions from nature and the cosmos—letting Spirit speak directly to you or through you.  Spiritual awakening involves being taken out of this existence—of our returning to our Source—exploring our multidimensionality—witnessing the infinite universe—experiencing actual transcendence.  But it is spiritual awakening without using substances to do so—no hallucinogens—no ayahuasca—simply natural spiritual awakening, slowly and gradually.

He also believes (as I do) that it takes time to evolve and awaken.  You need patience, perseverance, endurance, … because true spiritual awakening happens very slowly—and it SHOULD BE slowly revealed because brief, powerful glimpses of the Divine can be more disrupting than slow, steady emergence into a higher state of being and emergence into the Bliss-field.

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But does my life have meaning? you still ask.

Well, similar to Alan Watts declarations, Kaypache says there is no meaning to our lives other than living—existing—you have NO particular purpose for this life—life existed prior to you and will exist long after you.  What we create in our lifetime is what we gain from life.

We aren’t here to find ourselves but to create ourselves.  We must go within and close our eyes and tap into Source or the Divine that wants to emerge out from us and be birthed into this world through our existence.  Or maybe NOT.    (Again he sounds very ‘Alan Watts’ here to me, but as I mentioned earlier, Alan Watts videos are resurging again which makes sense since Kaypache talks about that 51-year cycle beginning again now.)

When you can simply sit still, the truth is revealed, the mystery unfolds—all things come to whoever waits for them.

345kaypacha1-400x400 (2).jpgThis is the equinox point of the 51-year cycle of Chiron (the wounded centaur healer—the Master Teacher)—very powerful cycle for finding the deeper purpose in your life experience.

Chiron is also associated with crisis—like a physical health crisis.  That health crisis sits you down to reflect on your very existence.  This reflection time on our own mortality helps us to gain greater understanding of the archetypal energies of which we are only a part.

Kaypache’s parting words are: Take your time—be still—and in the stillness, the mystery of your life will be revealed.

 

“I close my eyes and what do I find,578AbsoluteBliss.jpg

My body, my Soul, and my mind,

Revealing to me when I’m ready to see,

The Great Mystery of the Divine.”

 

 

Eckhart Tolle on “The Dark Night of the Soul” Experience

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mpybTfz6rU

tollemictalk.jpgIn this short video, the questioner asks about his personal experience with ‘the dark night of the soul’ (which I thought was the most powerful part of this video and the main reason that I listed it here) and his sudden spiritual awakening because of that complete reality break.

The questioner then asks Eckhart about that ‘merging into Allness’ experience that he was suddenly immersed in where he lost his sense of identity and watched himself and his thoughts as they arose, as though they were separate from him.  Eckhart briefly mentions his own DNOS experience and then comments on the aspect of mind expansion into Allness and total awareness.

Eckhart then comments with a well-used quote on the nature of awareness itself: “The Tao that can be spoken of is not the true Tao.”

Awareness is indescribable, incomprehensible.  We experience only minute portions of the pool of total awareness.  Our personal comprehension of awareness pertains mainly to sensing our own life experience—how we perceive the world around us and ourselves in relationship to that world and to all the aspects of it, living and non.mysssarknightquote653

The thoughts we have about our personal experience are only our ego trying to make sense of its existence within the matrix portion of awareness that our human sense-making organ (our individual mind) can comprehend.  When we surpass our personal boundaries and tap into the Greater Awareness, we no longer THINK—we simply observe and ride the flow wherever it goes.  We don’t compare experiences for goodness or badness. We simply observe them as they arise.

We input without judgment or expectation or anticipation or attempts to define anything.

It can be an amazing experience of peacefulness and lovingness.  And it can also make you feel like you are losing it completely.spiritawaken67

So I like to temper my descriptions of the spiritual awakening or the Kundalini awakening experience with bits of how disruptive it can also be to your normal daily affairs and relationships.  If you listen to Eckhart, it took him years to come back to our mutual-consensus reality, and even then it was never fully back to the life that he once knew.  He was forever changed—for the better maybe, but let me tell you from my own experience, getting to that BETTER may not be an easy slog.

So be careful with your own spiritual awakening practices. Make sure you have a support team around to help you back from your space launch so you don’t burn up in the atmosphere on reentry.  Yes, some ‘dark nights of the soul’ (if they don’t kill you) can lead to kundalini awakening and reunion with the Oneness and Allness from which we emerged. But they can also be grueling, gauntlet-running, sanity-testing, limits-of-your-endurance experiences that are handled best if not faced alone.  ramdassdark night.jpg

I think in today’s world the hazards of sudden spiritual awakening are more broadly understood than a few decades ago, but there are few who have not personally experienced it for themselves who will ever relate to how bad it can get before it gets better. So if you are going through your own ‘dark night of the soul,’ look for others who can best help you through it.

That’s why I’m writing about it now.

 

The Pretender

Sure, I could SO go there!

The obvious reference to this title would be the brooding hulk occupying the oval-office desk chair; when he’s not on the golf course, that is.anatomymiraclebookcov.jpg

But I was actually referring to a Jonathan Miles book I had just completed called Anatomy of a Miracle: A Novel*—The True* Story of a Paralyzed Veteran, a Mississippi Convenience Store, a Vatican Investigation, and the Spectacular Perils of Grace (with TRUE being the questionable descriptor in this story because it is, after all, a novel—meaning a work of fiction).

So my biggest question at the end of the story was is the book actually based on verified facts or is it simply fabrication pretending to be based on actual accounts?  I still can’t determine that, but I’m guessing it is fiction that reads like fact because we want it to do so.

jonmilesauthor.jpgAs the NY Times review suggested:  “…the genre that Miles is aping applies fiction’s methods to real-life stories, “Anatomy of a Miracle” offers the Victor-Victoria frisson of watching a novel impersonate a work of journalism impersonating a novel. It’s a difficult balancing act that Miles for the most part pulls off, and his book is best appreciated as a highly entertaining literary performance.”

Personally, I thought it was an astounding character study exploring the ulterior motives of everyone involved in the telling of a paralyzed vet’s miracle of suddenly rising from parkinglotstorefronthis wheelchair after four years of confinement to it–and doing so in the parking lot of the Biz-E-Bee convenience store in Biloxi, Mississippi while he waited for his helicoptering sister, Tanya, to purchase their daily smokes, beer, and Cap’n Crunch.

I’m always in awe of a skilled writer, and Miles is so gifted: intellectually, philosophically, and linguistically. He makes me want to study his techniques for topic exposition and subject exploration—how he carefully weaves the plotline into the unraveling research directions of the phenomenon; not to mention what an amazing perceiver/recorder of human nature that he is.

Then I went to the Amazon reviews of his book and was astounded by the depth or more appropriately, lack thereof, in the reviewer’s comments on it, and thought can people really be that shallow that they missed the point entirely?

biloximisscar.jpgA novel is far more than plotline. This was social comment all the way. Anatomy of a Miracle was an astute observation on what makes an unexplainable, sudden change in the human condition considered a miracle—with the word “miracle” implying an intervention by a force greater than ourselves.  Even the Vatican gets involved in considering the incident as such primarily because of reasons far too shadow-dependent to call it a holy vindication of God’s possible hand in the healing process.

But what does this sudden life change mean to the protagonist who has supposedly received this amazing proof of God’s Divine grace now bestowed upon him? And how vetchairflag.jpgdoes it likewise affect all those closest to him? As the camera pans out from the now-standing vet with the twitching legs, to how everyone around him interprets what has happened to him, and most importantly—how each proximal character determines in their own way what this supposed miracle means to each of them—how others try to use this strange phenomenon for their own personal motives—use it as their own vehicles to a personal lifestyle change for themselves also—use it to substantiate their own faith or belief in the possibility of miracles existing; and how this phenomenal  situation benefits/affects individuals, institutions, and cultural trends in general as it becomes simply the commercializing of miraculousness.

money god miracles.jpgOne of those key questions seems to be:  “What’s the quantity of dollars you can make from a miracle, directly or peripherally?

The other key question seems to be “How can I personally cash in on that guy’s ‘miracle’?”

I called this post “The Pretender” not because the protagonist faked the miraculous regrowth of his spinal cord that allowed him to stand up out of that wheelchair in the Biz-E-Bee parking lot, but because during the process of all those people so closely scrutinizing his life, he finally stood up for the person that he was pretending NOT to be all those years prior.

He simply stopped pretending to be something other than who and what he was. That was a miracle in itself.

 

Still Stuck in a Past-Lifetime?

I was listening to a presenter who does some of the same hypnosis aspects that I offer in my own practice—“Past-Life Exploration” and “Life-Between-Lives” experiences.

The presenter was gently explaining to a pltrauma.jpgconfused caller that sometimes the opinions of others might not be as helpful as we wish that they were; and here she was referring to a previous therapist who had told the caller that “she was still stuck in a ‘7-lifetimes-ago’ situation that she could not break out of in this lifetime”.  Hopefully she misunderstood her therapist because that statement was of course, not quite true.

I agreed with the presenter’s response to the misconstruing of what was actually happening to that caller: Whatever you are exploring in this lifetime may have tentacles or energy patterns to other multi-verses and parallel (or past) lifetimes, BUT where you are right now is NOT really about that previous life experience—not at all—you are NOT stuck there in that particular situation—this life experience is all about you recognizing those similar patterns of behavior that you may have exhibited back then (7 lifetimes ago?) that you may be demonstrating AGAIN in the NOW.  You may be stuck in an energy pattern that keeps repeating for you until you clear it, but as for being stuck in that portal windowprevious lifetime itself—NO!  The lingering energy pattern may have originated there in the PL, but you are not actually stuck there in that lifetime.

You are HERE NOW being provided the opportunity to CHANGE that similar pattern of behavior to something more productive for you in your current situation. When I hypnotically take someone to another lifetime, it is to better understand a present-day issue, and to try and heal traumatic energies associated with what might have been created in a past/parallel life situation that still resonates in the present life. Seeing and actually re-experiencing those past-life scenarios with the cast of players who were present then provides the ultimate “example” to a client of how those unproductive patterns of behavior will eventually play out in your present life if you don’t change those same behavior patterns.

I’m sorry if I’m being unclear about any of this, but it is so hard to comprehensively explain much of this more complex stuff that I write about in this blog because one subject is often interconnected with another, such as: Past-lives, Parallel-Lives, Spirit-World—while all within the context of our physical-reality experience—let alone applying them to the concept and context of possibly living in Virtual Reality or HSdatabase of plSimulated Reality, where the applicability of those subjects would make more logical sense. (But to even consider that VR or SR possibility of what our lives may actually be is to threaten our ego’s very existence. And that never goes over well with the EGO, so it often refuses to even consider it.)

And I know that it is sometimes hard to conceptualize the multi-levels of possibility existing to anyone reading this stuff that I write about here. Some folks may get it and some don’t. That’s fine. (If it resonates with you, the words are meant to help spur you to exploring your true potential, period. I don’t have to hard sell anyone on anything.)

But to this particular caller who was a bit upset about what her therapist had erroneously told her about her past-life experiences, I would say that no matter what dramatic situation you may have explored in any dimensional lifetime, you were only playing a role. You may have played the role of pauper or Prince, beggar or banker, mother or child, male or female, warrior or peace activist, brother or enemy, no matter the setting—all of those drama-exploration packages were merely roles that you played in those situations—real or imagined. We play those roles to learn all we can about the human potential for creation and awareness expansion, and to learn the nuances and power of our emotions (which are energy frequencies) that we explore in those lifetimes.

Learning in its purest sense, is actually stimulus/response data accumulation for training purposes, and that’s what the High Self specializes in. It is the database repository of all lifetime experiences. When I take a client to a previous life experience, I simply ask their High Self to show the client the most appropriate PL example at this time so the client can better understand his/her most-pressing current-life issue. The client’s High Self controls the entire show in my sessions—I don’t. I only ask questions to guide the client through the experience itself.questionsfrom pl.jpg

Unfortunately when some people are told that they have played some particular role in a previous existence (I prefer a client experience it directly for themselves—I never TELL THEM anything about their experience—they tell me what they are seeing, hearing and doing), the current ego steps in and ‘stakes a flag’ in the old drama claiming the role itself as the most significant aspect of the entire exploration. But actually, it really doesn’t matter the role that you played in whatever drama production ran at the time, it only matters what you learned from that other-lifetime role to advance your current spiritual evolution.

If you’ve had a Past-Life Exploration, and you suddenly realize that you are still dealing with similar relationship situations in the NOW and manifesting those same reactive behavior patterns that proved so hazardous to you in the more traumatic past-life, then it’s a good heads-up to the need to change your present-life behaviors to something more advantageous to your present-life survival. (i.e.: Yes, pulling the tiger’s tail can be hazardous to your health.)

THAT is the sole message to take from the PL experience—if I don’t want to keep doing this same thing life after life, motherterrasathen I better change my attitude and behavior so I “get it right this time” and avoid any future replays of this unpleasant energy pattern. That is ALL it means.

But to change a behavior pattern takes not only a certain degree of self-knowledge, it also requires you to take back your power to make those changes for yourself—which is often what much of our life lessons entail.

Many of our life situations are less about fighting with others through power struggles, and far more about learning the nuances of self-control and self-empowerment so you don’t have to fight with others.

Self-knowledge, self-empowerment, and creating the reality you desire with your every thought and emotion (electromagnetic light-wave frequencies)—these are the subjects that I write about, and they’re all connected, lifechallenges.jpgbecause these are the real life lessons we must master, no matter the lifetime that we experience, and no matter where that “life” actually occurs.

 

“The Neurophysiology of Spiritual Guidance”

dr stephanie mines.jpgDr. Stephanie Mines in this TEDx Talk video says that “Clear (spiritual) guidance is an integrated, holistic neuro-chemical phenomenon that forever transforms the individual who experiences it, recalibrating the nervous system.” ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQOAxT8llto )

Mines is a psychologist who describes herself as “an advocate to clearing personal and collective trauma by unburdening the overwhelmed nervous system.”  She has a clinic and offers training in what is called The TARA Approach, which is an energy-releasing practice, such as releasing the trapped energies of shock or trauma for clients.

In this particular TED talk she elaborates on how to become more intuitive and Neuro+Resiliency.pngspiritually guided in your life: “Let your body become the tuning fork for harmonious efforts…(to make this a better world). …  (Spiritual) Guidance will tell you YOUR role …. Let guidance come to you. Accept it without regret. …Track your sensations carefully. … In that space between assumptions and conclusions, something new is waiting—that is guidance.  Guidance will cause you to give up the life you had planned and replace it with the life you are meant to live. …And you will accept that without regret.  And that will surprise you. ..It is in that very surprise that you know that guidance has found you. ”

Guidance is an expansive softening, whereas compulsion is tight and compressive.  True guidance always allows free will and brings a felt sense of spaciousness.  It feels good. …There is joy in the experience of guidanceGuidance is an organic, utterly human phenomenon. It thrives in the presence of creativity and honesty. …”

“Our task is to find it (TRUE Spiritual Guidance) and surrender to it.”

She is also a very vocal ecology advocate: “We all have the capacity to attune to the spiritual forces that are convening now at the crossroads of time. A call has already gone out from the Guardians of the Earth. Can you hear it? Please, don’t let anything interfere with the reclamation of your personal guidance. This is your whole priority.”

taraapproach3While this specific TED Talk video was focused on developing the ability to listen to your higher guidance and act from that direct knowing, I guess I’m more amazed at the multitude of folks working on their own in the world—folks that I was so unaware even existed, just doing their own versions of trying to help others in some way. Evidently Dr. Mines with her TARA Approach, mixes psychology with energy work to help clients get in tune with their own bodies to first recognize and then eliminate the energetic trauma packets still affecting the client’s energy field (and physical body).

As a REIKI teacher and practitioner, I can easily relate to this approach because during REIKI sessions when I am working on someone who tells me of a particularly sore or painful area on their body and I put my hands over that area (and I don’t even have to touch them), I can sometimes feel the flavor of the emotional sensation trapped in that area (like sadness, or fear, or anger, etc.).

I can kinesthetically FEEL them because they are energetic vibrations that my emotional body recognizes, plus I may get visual images in my mind of a scene in which the client and others participated. When I ask the client what this image that I’m seeing means to them, along with explaining the accompanying emotion that I’m feeling with the scene, they suddenly know what that body pain is and who it was directed at.

Then when we work through releasing the stuck energy in that part of the client’s body/energy field, the original pain washes away like magic. It’s amazing. I’ve actually seen it happen.vortex knots

So I understand what Dr. Mines is doing even if I don’t know exactly how she’s approaching it. Trauma and shock are disharmonious energies that are tangled in the client’s energy field that disrupt the natural energy flow through the body. If that energy flow is disrupted long enough, then health problems arise.

The point of the therapy, whether with REIKI or whatever Dr. Mines is doing, is to find the problem area, acknowledge what the client’s association and connections are to that problem, and then to clear them from the client’s energy field and body. Then the body can reestablish a more harmonious energy flow which leads to better physical/emotional health.

taraclimatechangeThe other main thing Dr. Mines seems to be focused on is the ecological crisis at present and to bringing increased awareness to resolving that. To that effort I wish her the best of luck and hope that this renewed publicity of critical ecological situations can get people activated to become climate advocates themselves.

Lots of folks are doing lots of positive things in the world. Why not join them?

 

“To Make You Feel My Love”

BJ song album.jpgI had this Billy Joel song (Bob Dylan lyrics) looping through my head this morning and couldn’t find it in my MP3 files on the computer, so I had to search for the old CDs.

Three searched locations later, I found the Billy Joel set from twenty years ago, which led me to think two things: One, how could I forget where I had last stashed all those old CDs since I have quite a collection? And two, how could they not be on my computer since I know I’ve copied them prior and nearly everything else was there?

By now I’ve forgotten why I wanted to hear the song. It had something to do with the thoughts going through my head when I considered writing this morning: “To make you feel my love.” Those same tuneful lyrics kept replaying between my ears.

Then it dawned on me. I was getting a message from the ethers. This is often how Spirit/departed loved ones communicate with us—in little song snippets.BJ MYFML.jpg

That possibility made me reflective of who it might be. Could even be angels or guides. So I listened closely to the song.

“When the rain is blowing in your face and the whole world is on your case, I can offer you a warm embrace, to make you feel my love.

When the evening shadows and stars appear, and there is no one there to dry your tears, I could hold you for a million years, to make you feel my love.

I know you haven’t made your mind up yet, but I would never do you wrong. I’ve known it from the moment that we’ve met, no doubt in my mind where you belong.

I’d go hungry, I’d go black and blue, I’d go crawling down the avenue. There is nothing that I wouldn’t do, to make you feel my love.

The storms are raging on the rolling sea, down on the highway of regret. The winds of change are blowing wild and free—you ain’t seen nothing like me yet.

I can make you happy—make your dreams come true. There is nothing that I would not do. Go to the ends of the earth for you, to make you feel my love.

There is nothing that I would not do, to make you feel my love.”

3writerssongs.jpgNice message on a morning when I needed it.Adele_-_Make_You_Feel_My_Love

Maybe I just need to listen to more Billy Joel (or Adele’s or Garth Brook’s version).

Maybe we ALL do.