Methods of Awakening

Here are some of the classic ways of extending awareness and realising your wider life:

To become a whole and happy person you need to accept all that you are.

Here is an interesting example of someone finding this:

Example: One person, “looking for herself, came upon a tightly closed box. Tearing it open – in her fantasy – she found inside a lovely rose, and realised that she had been enclosed in a box of Puritanism, of self denial and physical shame. The outer petals of the rose, pink and mauve, seemed to whirl and dance; they sent her fancy spinning off like a ballerina into flowered landscapes of delicious femininity. The inner petals were shaded from the light, obscure and mysterious. Here the colours darkened to deep crimson and velvet purple. They reflected her deep animality. These she avoided, until she realised that it took both the light and the dark to make a lovely rose. She could not have one without the other. Gradually the rose became a nourishing symbol in her life and growth.”

The walls which shut us out from our own wholeness can be made of fear, or as in the dream, Puritanism, shame and self denial. It takes all of us to be whole and beautiful, the lights and the dark. Only when they merge can we see the wonder that we are.

Jung suggested that to begin this we should watch how we continually edit and block our thoughts and feelings, and learn to allow them. He said “I have often seen individuals who simply outgrew a problem which had destroyed others. This ‘outgrowing’, as I called it previously, revealed itself on further experience to be the raising of the level of consciousness.”

He added, “What then did these people do in order to achieve the progress which freed them? As far as I could see they did nothing but let things happen… The art of letting things happen, action in non action, letting go of oneself, as taught by Master Eckhart, became a key for me… The key is this: we must be able to let things happen in the psyche. For us, this becomes a real art of which few people know anything. Consciousness is forever interfering, helping, correcting, and negating, and never leaving the simple growth of the psychic processes in peace. It would be a simple enough thing to do if only simplicity were not the most difficult of all things.”

A way of “letting things happen” might be learned by using the Life’s Little Secrets also see Arm Circling Meditation

A powerful means of dealing with emotional pain or feeling stuck

We are often held back because we are holding back on ourselves. Your voice is one of the great ways of expressing what might be held back.

This is a very simple way of encouraging the flow of self expression. Although simple it can be very satisfying and helpful to do. Have plenty of space for this. You will need room to pace about without feeling restricted. So comfortable clothes are also important. The length of time can be anything from ten minutes at the minimum, to an hour, depending on how absorbed you are in what arises.

1 –        Start by walking around your space. Aim to get an easy flowing pace without having to worry about where you are walking or having to change direction.

2 –        When you feel easy and relaxed in your pacing start thinking what you feel or what you want to deal with in you life. Now see if you can make any sound that connects or expresses what you feel. Let it come from the place or feeling that senses it in your body, or from what you are exploring, and let it come out strong. If it is an animal let out any sort of sound that feels like animals. Whatever comes to mind, whatever arises spontaneously, allow it to flow through into the sounds made and the pacing. This will probably mean that what you express and feel will change as time passes. It may become very emotional. Don’t be frightened of your emotions. Remember that we often shut ourselves out from our own wholeness with fear.

3 –        It is important to have something of the ‘keyboard’ open feeling in yourself as you use this approach. Let whatever ridiculous, beautiful, painful or meaningful things you feel about yourself during the practice be expressed as fully as you can in the pacing and the expression of your voice. The Keyboard Condition

Love for what you are

I dreamt I was looking at a large and beautiful beast, and as I looked at this beast I noticed that its eyes were being hurt. Arrows were being fired at its eyes, and javelins thrown. I wondered who could be doing this, and stepped forward to take out the javelins and the arrows.

I wondered what the arrows and javelins could be, and was it I throwing them, firing them? Gradually it clarified that we continually injure this wonderful process in us. Being aware is a special state that acts in all manner of ways for this great ancient being or process is that behind our existence. It is the process of life which is there with us as we go through our conception. As that we are simply a mass of cells, which then slowly evolves into an aquatic creature with gills, and slowly on to form a body that can breath air. So we are very much an animal who has only recently become self aware. Consciousness is its eyes and ears, its fingers and mouth, its means of experience, and its way of learning.

And whatever we feed back to that fundamental part of us is deeply felt. Perhaps this is not a very accurate description, but it is like a loving and willing dog that out of its instinctive being tries to do all that we ask of it, tries to grow, tries to learn. But it is so sensitive, so when we are angry with it, or frustrated, or direct criticism at it, it cowers, it feels failure, its exuberance diminishes. So also with this great wonderful beast within, this mysterious process of life that is at our core. It withdraws. But we can also call it out into further expression, enabling it to extend beyond its previous capabilities, by loving it, by acknowledging its wonder, by calling it forth.

That is a wonderful way to lead our inner being forward, by loving it and working with it toward being more that we were.

Other ways you might try are:

1) Repeating a word or phrase quickly over and over for at least twenty minutes. The aim of this is not so much to gain understanding of the word or phrase, although sometimes particular words were used because of their associations, but to keep the mind one pointed and to draw it away from wandering into thoughts and feelings. In essence it was a way of quieting the mind and allowing other levels of awareness to become known. For instance you could use the word RAMA as the focus. Do not try to find any meaning in the word, but keep your attention away from the usual wandering mind.

People who have achieved their wholeness have left messages of ways of doing it, a follows:

“The Self is the Self and there is no such thing as realising it. For who is to realise what, and how, when all that exists is the Self and nothing but the Self.” Sri Ramana Maharshi

“Then I was slowly filled with bliss. The bliss wasn’t about anything, it had always been there, the fundamental me, but I had been so full of my searching and hope it hadn’t been apparent. I experienced it now because I had become empty. I realised this was the bliss Buddha spoke about. It was the peace that was beyond understanding mentioned in Christianity. I didn’t feel anything had produced this bliss; it was the self-existent base of me. I could see that it was because I had dared to let go of the things I had felt were so important.”

This life – of enlightenment – is just a describer, and one of the things it sees is that this state does not belong to anyone. It’s not something you can get from someone. It’s who everyone is. From here, the highest volume is the sound of the infinite ocean that we all are. Suzanne Sega.

Since there is nothing to meditate on, there is no meditation. Since there is nowhere to go astray, there is no going astray. Although there is an innumerable variety of profound practices, they do not exist for your mind in its true state.

Since there are no two such things as practice and practitioner, if, by those who practice or do not practice, the practitioner of practice is seen to not exist, thereupon the goal of practice is reached and also the end of practice itself. Padmasambhava

Many people have managed it through the words of T. S Elliot:

I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope

For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love

For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith

But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.

Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So, the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

Some years ago, I tried to do as Eliot suggested; for weeks I gave up doing my daily yoga postures, the hours of meditation and sat without any expectations as I waited for the unknown. It worked.

Liberation is achieved by the practice of non-activity, say the Masters of the Secret Teachings. What is, according to them, non-activity? — Let us first of all notice that it has nothing in common with the quietism of certain Christian or oriental mystics. Ought one to believe that it consists in inertia and that the disciples of the Master’s who honour it are exhorted to abstain from doing anything whatever? — Certainly not.

In the first place, it is impossible for a living being to do nothing. To exist is, in itself, a kind of activity. The doctrine of non-action does not in any way aim at those actions which are habitual in life: eating, sleeping, walking, speaking, reading, studying, etc. In contradistinction to the Taoist mystics who, in general, consider that the practice of non-activity requires complete isolation in a hermitage, the Masters of the Secret Teachings, although prone to appreciate “the joys of solitude”, do not consider them in any way indispensable. As for the practice of non-activity itself, they judge it absolutely necessary for the production of the state of deliverance (tharpa).

They never tire of repeating the classic simile of the two chains. Whether one is bound by an iron chain or by a golden chain means, in both cases, to be bound. The activity used in the practice of virtue is the chain of gold while that utilized in evil deeds is the iron chain. Both imprison the doer.

What then is this activity from which one ought to abstain? — It is the disordered activity of the mind which, unceasingly, devotes itself to the work of a builder erecting ideas, creating an imaginary world in which it shuts itself like a chrysalis in its cocoon. (Quoted from The Secret Oral Teachings of Tibetan Buddhist Sects – By Alexandra David Neal and Lama Yongden).

2) Controlling the breathing in one way or another. It was probably observed that people in sleep, and in altered states of consciousness, breathed differently. My own guess is that these different types of breath were copied to see if they would produce such states of mind and body. Rapid breathing for instance, if carried on for some period of time tends to break down the usual threshold that exists between the conscious and the unconscious, and can be used to enable breakthroughs if you are stuck. Whereas very slow breathing has the effect of quieting the mind and emotions until, as with the repetition of a word or phrase, great quietness exists allowing another level of awareness to be known. This is a little bit like the hibernation that some animals enter into. And in fact the consciousness, or the state of consciousness that it produces, appears to be very similar.

3) Because dreams are projections into waking awareness of the deeper layers of consciousness, exploration of dreams is one of the great methods of extending awareness into the wider ranges of consciousness. I am not talking about interpreting dreams, but of exploring them, as described in Peer Dream Work.

4) Drugs, such as plants and herbs that have mind altering effects, have been used from the very earliest times to transport awareness into other dimensions of experience. Again, these were probably discovered by accident by early human beings, and then felt to be holy in one way or another. Some tribal people such as those in South American for instance and Africa, and others still involved in the shamanic traditions, still use such herbs or plants today.

It must be remembered that such traditional methods have nothing in common with the drug use today in which most ‘takers’ either seek a pleasure kick or use a drug to avoid real life and become addicts. It is important to realise that such drugs loosen the doorway to our unconscious, and all manner of traumas, fears or the ghosts of them escape. Then it can cause enormous problems for those who do not fully understand working with dreams or a therapeutic process that knows how to deal with the unconscious. It is important to realise that what emerges is symbolic and unless met in that way it leaves the person with even more to deal with than previously. If met as if you are meeting dream images then you can clear and integrate what is being released. So please read such features as -See Mushrooms and Hallucinogens – Different Levels of Your MindEasy Dream Interpretation How it Flows

5) Almost anything that enlivens, excites, uplifts or stimulates the human being has the potential to introduce them to altered states of consciousness. Therefore such things as dancing, singing, athletics, dramatic performance, sex, can all at times lead into a very different experience of oneself and ones perceptions. Probably because of this, love, and the direction of loving feelings toward the unknown, the abstract, or a concept of God, has been used throughout the ages by worshippers in the various religions. I believe what this does is to lead the energy from an outward expression through the genitals or the body, up the trunk into the brain. Here it enlivens parts of the brain that were probably under- stimulated previously, and produces altered states of awareness. One particularly sees descriptions of this method in the writings about what is called in India, Shakti, prana and tantra or Tantric sex.

But dancing, singing or exciting the body is not enough, one also has to develop a particular state of mind or being. See The Keyboard Condition which explains.

6) A practice that one also finds used in various ways in many past cultures is one in which the conscious will is surrendered, and one gives oneself over to spontaneous physical movement, vocal expression, emotions and imagination or fantasy. When the practitioner has really learned to give themselves to this practice, what arises is very much like a vivid waking dream. In fact it is probably the dream process breaking through into consciousness and interacting more fully with the waking critical mind. This method, to act as a power to mature the personality, needs to be interacted with consciously. In other words one needs to penetrate the symbolism of what arises as one does with dreams. This approach is very obvious in early Christianity in the Pentecostal experience. It is also seen in Subud, Seitai, the form of yoga called Shaktipat, and in some forms of psychotherapy such as early Reichian work.

But surrender means just that – surrender of ones body, surrender of ones sexuality, surrender of ones hungers, surrender of ones emotions, surrender of ones vocal ability, surrender of ones thoughts, imagination and beliefs. Thus also the surrender of the belief in God or the disbelief in God. We exist in a state of unknowing to discover the mystery behind our existence. If we don’t surrender, then we are saying we already know.

7) A powerful approach taken from Zen Buddhism and Indian traditions is to simply ask oneself the question, “Who am I?” Of course, this enquiry into self must be continued diligently until there is a breakthrough. It is something that definitely brings enlightenment, but only if one has achieved the Keyboard Condition mentioned above. It is best to work with a partner who ask the question for five minutes, then change, and continue the cycle for at  least 8 hours, or for several days. The idea is not to think up an answer but to watch what you are experiencing each moment and report it to your partner. You can also go to an Enlightenment Intensive – If you want to experience enlightenment try Enlightenment Intensives in the USA or UK it really works. It has for thousands.

8) One of the oldest of methods is that of simple self awareness. I suppose you could call it non-identification. What I mean by this is that usually we deeply identify with our body, with our thoughts, our emotions, and often very deeply with our beliefs. By recognising the passing quality of your body sensations, your thoughts and feelings, you discover a freedom and spiritual life you were previously cocooned within. Usually the central fact of our awareness, the core of existence, is possessed by thoughts and emotions, or the idea that we are our body. That possession falls away as you simply watch your thoughts and feelings and recognise them for what they are. This is not a case of repressing or controlling them, simply recognising them and not being possessed by them.

9) In the practices of yoga one of the paths is called karma yoga. I know that the fundamentals of this are described in the Bhagavad Gita. It is there talked of as a way of living without attachment to ends or rewards. But I would like to describe it from a slightly different perspective. The things I have been talking about revolve around the first subject, the origin of things. As explained there, every tiny particle, everything we see around us, is part of that fragmented body of the original state of things. Everything is an expression of that, holding within it the potential of the source of existence. Nothing arises that is not a direct expression of that almighty creative act. Nothing can stand outside of the impulses and influences that were set in place at the beginning. Therefore, everything in our life is part and parcel of what we seek in a spiritual quest. We do not need to travel away from the ordinary and everyday events and surroundings to come face to face with the holy. We can therefore meet each day with that sense of relating constantly to the divine – and that is a spiritual path.

I have not specifically mentioned meditation because there are so many approaches to it, and in the end they are very similar to the things already mentioned.

And a great and often repressed way

Then the throat pain became unbearable. I investigated it and I became aware of doom. If I didn’t fight it, doom would take over. I was weary of fighting it so I let doom take over and sank into the doom and it was then that I found myself at the foot of the great being and total acceptance of my life. Spontaneously, before I knew it I was offering everything as a sacrifice, including past mistakes and cock-ups, and that I had to do this.

And then there were the images again of clefts: the earth, female genitals, undersea-ocean crusts opening and something, as yet formless, emerging. This, I suspect, is my creativity in the world.

Most people are so terrified of pain they make it long lasting and worse by repressing it.

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