United We Stand, Divided We Fall
In this age of individualism we have fallen away from deep personal relationships with each other. Casual, superficial connections abound, being facilitated and driven by various forms of electronic media. But something vital goes missing when depth is ignored: how to simply and truly be with another human being in ways that support openness, honesty, vulnerability, and freedom to change.
The first step to reclaim this capacity is to deepen the relationship with yourself, facing the multifaceted nature of your own psyche, with all its puzzling and tangled inner relationships. By affirming your worth and offering all parts of yourself compassion and unconditional positive regard (attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection, and allowing), something remarkable begins to happen. Defenses become visible, knots loosened, formative memories recalled, and present moment awareness strengthened. Welcome to a path toward reintegration and wholeness, or, if you will, transcendence.
It just so happens that this practice is best done in shared company with another trusted person who is interested in doing the same. In this way you practice being with yourself while your friend practices being with you and vice versa when roles are switched In essence you and your partner (or your group) learn how to simply and truly be with each other in ways that support openness, honesty, vulnerability, and willingness to change. Find out more about this process and how to adopt it in Books/Resources.
Installing a new mindset takes time and diligent practice
It is becoming quite apparent that the old mindset built upon survival instincts and driven by insecurity fears has reached its dead end. Fortunately the brain turns out to be more able to be rearranged ("rewired") than scientists previously believed. Many wisdom traditions have known for centuries that regular mindfulness practices can, over time, result in dramatic shift in consciousness. Our rapidly paced world makes it a challenge to devote the necessary time and energy toward attentioning our selves (and supporting others) in this manner
Yet we are essentially left with no other choice. We human beings must learn and embody the wisdom of mindfulness practices within the next few generations or be supplanted by technological creations designed to exist without devouring or destroying the planet. Fortunately we posses some vital qualities that make transcending old ways of operating quite possible. The most important ones to exercise in this effort are conscious awareness and experiencing without judging. Instead of living life limited by beliefs and stories of who we think we and others are, all of which are based in the past, we can learn to direct attention and awareness to present moment experience. Instead of wasting enormous amounts of energy trying to avoid, create, or manage our thoughts, feelings, and responses, we can step outside of the insanity and have compassion for the suffering mind. By so doing we can discover the infinite flow of gifts offered to us from the mysterious life energy coursing through all.
OUR PERSONAL DEFENSE BUDGET
All our "defenses" arise from the creative "source" of being, what I prefer to call "life energy." Each is a reaction based on instinct, past conditioning, beliefs, judgements, etc., and represents an attempt to protect from any possible security threat(s), often associated with "uncomfortable" feelings. Dwelling inside, beneath layers of defense, lies profound vulnerability, which, when compassionately contacted, reveals the fearfulness of non-being, i.e. loss of connection with being alive. So, in essence, our defenses, adopted to support us, are just as much an expression of "life energy" as any other manifestation of being human. When defenses are acknowledged, accepted, and appreciated as such, something fresh can happen. Oddly, there seems to be less energy devoted to opposing it.
Interested in learning more? Download a PDF of ï»¿I Simply Am ...not who I think I amï»¿ or view it as a slide show in Books/Resources
THE MYSTERIOUS NATURE OF BEING YOUR SELF
If we as human beings are not built to create and live out our individual lives as though we are characters in a story, then what are we? "Who or what am I" is the most profound of all questions. Why? Because there is no way that it can be answered in words. The I that asks the questions cannot be converted by thought into some objective answer that adequately represents Truth. Hence the non-answer "I simply Am" allows the mysterious nature of who we truly are to unfold without limitation.
The invisible, immeasurable, and intangible Life Energy that brings forth, constitutes, and permeates all existence defies limiting definitions imposed by the mind. It is, after all, the "source" of all. Every one of us human beings is a unique manifestation of It in every moment. So if who I am is not simply a character in a story, perhaps there is a way to go beyond story, to experience self and others on a much deeper level, to become, in each moment, uniquely inspired and fueled by Life Energy.
The great news is that we human beings are, indeed, built to go beyond the limitations imposed by defining ourselves via ingrained thought and feeling patterns developed and elaborated over many years. A simple, proven path to self becoming is outlined in my recent Ebooks, viewable in Books/Resources
DISCOVER WHOLENESS WITH RADICAL ACCEPTANCE
My previous Journal entry, Suffering Happens, may seem to be rather dark and dense, and leave one hanging. Well, that is exactly where Survival Mind (a mindset built on fear and insecurity) leads. Kind of a dead end, of sorts, for many individuals and communities of human beings. Adopting a secure, unconditionally loving mindset might seem like a complete fantasy or just another form of self deception based in simply thinking positively, thereby exiling 'negativity' into the shadows of the psyche, bound to rise again subconsciously in some form.
Instead, what is being proposed is an empathic, loving attitude that encompasses and transcends both negative and positive (dualism). This may be hard to grasp, so think of it this way: There is nothing inherently negative about any thoughts and feelings. Just the fact that thinking and feeling is happening inside us is miraculous and inherently good. But, built for survival first, our minds instinctively create positivity and negativity, from which we construct a sense of ourselves and others (personal identities).
By regularly observing inner processes with an attitude of curiosity and wonder, seeing how every part of oneself arising into awareness operates to inform, we can begin to unravel and untangle the complex narratives and stories unconsciously adopted to define (and therefore limit) ourselves and our expression of life energy. The practice of observing our selves (and others) without judging starts the process of liberation from such identifications, revealing the power of being ever more present.
TRANSCENDING PREOCCUPATIONS WITH SURVIVAL
This life we human beings lead is a strange thing. On the one hand, we are just another mammal that has been designed to survive a wide variety of environments, with a set of instinctual responses and drives that resemble other mammals in many ways. What we have in addition seems to be an extraordinary capacity to analyze, conceptualize, manipulate, and alter surrounding environments in order to ensure our survival. This requires constant mental as well as physical attention, preparation, and work. So we are born into a world as vulnerable creatures that need to recognize threatening conditions and react quickly. So fear, anxiety, uncertainty, suspicion, wariness, pain, guilt, pressure, urgency, loss, concern, anger, greed, jealousy, and even shame and embarrassment, are felt as forms of discomfort that call the body to do something to address the unsettling conditions that are perceived to cause them.
Although extremely helpful to facilitate our survival, responding to cues based in discomfort is not very helpful when survival is not an issue. In fact, the success of this way of functioning in the world has resulted in our degrading environments worldwide, with no end in sight to our seemingly insatiable needs to produce and consume without regard to maintaining any balance with other forms of life or sense of humility. So here we are spiraling downward, suffering in many ways from our built-in mindset seeking out and reacting to the slightest perceived deficiency and insecurity.
Yet, foremost, we are spiritual beings in human bodies with which we are so strongly identified that we often lose sight of the fact. Not only are we built to survive, but we are also built with the capacity to transcend our preoccupations with survival and experience the mysterious unfolding of nature and our selves in the moment. This transcendence of the false identification with "survival mind" delivers us into a new form of aliveness where we can discover and witness over and over, infinitely, the mystery and miracle of being fully human. The great news is that this is possible, with a little discipline and practice. Find out more in ï»¿ï»¿Books/Resources
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All 5 A's Discovering Life Before Death Discovering Wholenesss Identity Mission Statement Radical Acceptance Practice Redefine Life Expectancy Self Image Suffering Happens Thoughts-feelings Transcending-suffering