Love as a reason to learn…

So what would motivate a person to engage in a learning process where the subject is he or she?  Why learn about ourselves?  Consider love as a reason.  Love, as a reason, gives practicality and grounding to self inquiry.  Love is practical in the form of care.  Caring for any living being fosters growth, a sense of connection and, in an atmosphere of care, life flourishes.  The feeling of love not only motivates action, it also provides grounding in the body, as through the body, we feel.  So how does a person love him or herself by learning?  Let’s look at loving a thing, say a car.  So when you love a car, you find out all kinds of details about it.  These details are used to keep it looking and running good.  In the same way, one aspect of loving ourselves is to learn details about ourselves.  Details like what do I enjoy, dislike, want, need and do.  Learning what I do, especially as I interact with other human beings, is an important detail to learn.  Some of what I do I’ll find very repetitive, much like Pavlov’s dog where something will happen, someone will say or do something and though it may not be salivation, there is a repetitive action.  We may or may not like this action, for now, knowing, in the sense of being aware, brings truth to the action.  Back to the car, if we notice it begins to run roughly, we take action to find out what the problem is and repair it.  As we observe ourselves in action, we begin to notice patterns of thought and actions that leave us feeling not okay.  So how do we fix ourselves?  Here’s where the beauty of love comes into play.  Consider love as an action and a feeling?  The action is acceptance and the feeling is joy!  Yes, acceptance may seem like inaction since it is an inward movement rather than an outward one, but what happens when you accept.  Consider something that happens outside yourself that you do not like, perhaps even hate.  Certainly at first there may be anger, upset and turmoil but as you accept it, what is your change of feeling?  Depending on how deeply you accept the way it is, joy may be what you end up feeling or gradations of joy like feeling okay.  What happens next is very important, by accepting the way it is, the mind clears of the turmoil and a path to action shows up.  Apply this process to yourself.  Cultivate awareness of yourself, accept what you become aware of, and act from feeling okay and perhaps even joy.
Christians around the world know the commandment Jesus gave to love your neighbor as yourself.  Learning to love our selves through joyful acceptance frees us to love others.  This process breeds compassion for oneself which opens the doorway to compassion for others.  God knows life on earth can use more compassion.  So, love gives each of us a reason to engage in an active process of self awareness.  What stops you from taking a step in that direction?

About feelings and sensations…

With the “details” unique to each of us, feeling and sensing are common human experiences.  Somewhere along the way, people created agreement about what to call many of these phenomena of existence and so words such as pain, pleasure, anger, happiness, joy, sadness, hate, fear, love and excitement begin a list.  Some think it matters what the feeling or sensation is called, but it may not matter.  Playing with words a little, it does take matter to experience feelings.  If the Source of life comes from no thing, then when the Source does not live through a body, there is no sensing and maybe no feeling.  By creating the form of the human body, Life feels, senses and is aware it feels and senses.  Does this matter?  Well, it is literally part of the matter of Life.  I know, playing with words again or as my friend, Karl would say, “you are over thinking it.”  Yet, intuitively I feel it is an important realization, especially in this modern day and age.  Hiking with my daughter the other day, she commented on how vibrant and colorful the leaves and foliage of Fall appeared to her.  Her senses entertained her.  The natural world needed no enhancement to brighten her day.  How is it people end up bored?  It’s possible, instead of being in touch with their senses, much of their time may be spent lost in thought.  E. Tolle actually encourages people to simply watch their process of being bored.  He feels if a person gives their full attention in the moment to being bored, a shift will occur.  A space within may open up and in that space boredom may not exist.  Having done this, yes, I find myself being attentive to what I sense in the body.  In other words, I end up filling the space with the content of my senses.  He’s very clear, the moment of now he talks about is not the content, and for this human being, moments of space seem to fill.
I recall a statement, “Nature abhors a vacuum.”  Perhaps this accounts for the space filling within, however, I have “fallen into” moments of deep quiet.  That’s not a literal description and, it points to the experience.  Perhaps there is a connection between drawing a blank such as trying to remember something and creating space or quiet within.  This could potentially shed a different light on being forgetful. This idea needs more time to percolate.
Having had several inner-light filled experiences, I felt like I had a mental connection with the Source of my life, however, it did not feel very connected.  I had not related feeling and sensing as direct connections with Spirit.  I came across a seminar or workshop founded on the idea that in a body a human being lost a connection with God and their seminar assisted each participant regain that connection by feeling the loss.  On feeling the pain of the loss fully, a person then feels connected with Spirit and the celebration begins.  During the experience, I found myself lost in a sensation of deep sadness and the touch of another human brought me back to outer awareness.  This experience left me feeling very open and vulnerable.  The encouragement to bond with the group and their “way”, (a similar experience when I attended a practice management workshop with a Scientology group) gave me encouragement to get the hell out of there, which I did, leaving in the middle of what appeared to be a church like ceremony.

Though I wanted nothing more to do with the group, although I would have maintained friendships I had made with individuals, I had experienced something profound which I then got the opportunity to integrate into life.  Let me bring this back to the previous post on aliveness.  When I read Tolle’s point of view that aliveness expresses our connection with our Source, it resonated clearly within me as feeling and sensing are experiences of aliveness.  Where I’m going with this is living a spiritual life is well, simply living.  Children express this idea directly as they live their unique humanity with vitality, lightness and ease, as long as basic needs have been met.  The song, “Greatest Love of All” sheds a wonderful light with the lyric, ” I believe children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way.”  One of the issues with this manifesting stems from a lack of agreement about the meaning of “teach them well.”

……Since writing the above blog I have read, Anita Moorjani’s book, “Dying To Be Me”.  In this book she writes that during her near death experience, she felt what other people in her life were feeling.  So, my point of view written above that Spirit needs a body to feel appears to have been an inaccurate assumption, at least based on Anita’s experience.  The message she came back to share with us is fearlessly be yourself as she realized letting fear move her through life played a major role in the cancer that ravaged her body.  Returning to using children as teachers, a child whose needs are met physically, mentally and emotionally are fearlessly themselves.

If I’ve not been clear in my blogs so far, I’m an advocate of active learning that assists a person to enhance, expand and/or deepen a person’s self awareness.  Engaged in this process with self honesty, a person can discover his/her human patterns and with acceptance and compassion life can be lived with vitality, aliveness, peace, joy and health.  Sounds simple, keep in mind for most of us, it is a process.  Most likely it is a life long one, although some like E. Tolle, have an awakening experience from suffering, and then share their experience with the rest of us.  In my next blog, I share a reason to engage an active learning process.

Aliveness

Thanks to Eckhart Tolle for the word “aliveness”, it gave me a label for an inner awareness I had been attending to for several years.  After my first “workshop” experience where I noticed feeling very alert, very sensitive, very in touch with my feelings and very clear such that decision making happened with relative ease, I knew aliveness without naming it.  As time would pass, I would notice this state of being decrease.  At times it seemed to give way to confusion, feeling heavy, a lack of sensitivity and almost feeling sleepy.  Once I noticed the change, I would begin looking for a step to take towards more aliveness.  Sometimes exercise would do it, other times consistently meditating, and generally I had my attention looking for a “workshop”.  Thus “aliveness” lead me to several of the experiences I’ll share as this blog continues.

Early on when I first became aware I was aware, I thought having a spiritual experience meant having a vision, like seeing Jesus, Buddha or an angelic being.  These thoughts came from my conditioning as a Catholic and some of the reading I did like Autobiography of a Yogi.  Nothing like that happened for me until I passed out during a dyad process in a workshop, (I was screaming, this was not the assignment, I had gone rogue).  What happened though wasn’t a vision of someone, just the dark became light.  When I woke up and spoke I said, “I’m okay,” and for the first time since I was a child, I meant it deeply.  Several years and many experiences later I read E. Tolle’s words and realized a vision was not necessary to have a spiritual experience, I am having one now, meaning life always and only happens now and I’m feeling it happening with Life/Spirit sourcing the experience.  That’s a very wordy way of saying Spirit is the life I feel.

Recently I realized I had narrowed “aliveness” down to the good “stuff” as a way of feeling connection with Life enlivening me.  What seems so as I write this, is all feelings and all sensations are avenues of feeling connection with the Life Force, to borrow someone’s label.  This makes biological sense as our bodies use pain to communicate with us and get our attention.  Certainly depression, confusion, tiredness can also be communications from Life.  I realize I’m opening up a big discussion here.  My wife and I go back and forth about this point of view.  For her, when somethings not okay body-wise and it persists, going to an outside source for help makes the most sense for her.  I give a go to be quiet and listen carefully and feel into what’s being communicated through my body.  If I go for help, it’s taking myself to group support to dive deeper within and share what comes up to share.  This movement so far works…although I am getting older and well, the body seems slower to respond these days.  Yet it does respond to positive, quiet attention.  Aches and pains may not go away immediately, sometimes insights occur, eventually though, I can feel a flow of energy restored in me that leads to feeling good.

More about the body communicating comes up for me since my Dad had his appendix out last week.  He’s very good at handling pain, he walked miles on knees that were completely worn out, he did this daily.  Finally when it hurt so much he couldn’t move, he had his knees replaced.  I’m not sure if he had felt pain from his appendix which he tolerated,  I do know he drove himself to two doctor visits and the hospital with a ruptured appendix.  My Dad is 89.  This approach is not the “inner” approach to pain I’m writing about in the paragraph above,  I’m describing what feels like a preventative approach more than a fixing-something-broken approach.  Being sensitive to the bodies communications in each moment and responding with intuition and knowledge would be a better explanation of my approach.  Certainly, extreme pain requires more action than turning ones attention within and breathing into it….although the breathe can certainly help with that process as well.  This takes me to being present when my children were born and assisting my wife with her breathing.  She seemed to experience waves of pain she would breathe through and we have two beautiful daughters now.  Two amazing, life changing experiences, full of sensations and feeling.

More about feelings and sensations next blog….

Let’s begin…

As a Catholic boy, I learned life began with God saying, “Let there be life” to paraphrase the bible.  Later when I learned about evolution, I recall thinking, okay, let there be life and evolution were the same thing, just using different pointers.  It surprised me later to see people think they had to choose sides about this issue.

Now with quantum physics suggesting the universe goes in and out of existence like alternating current, the creation story actually has science to help explain it and of course an evolutionary explanation still can do the overall and long term job.

What I see, having a biology background, is a Source to life where everything comes from nothing, as Nassim Haramein has shown with his math demonstrating how each galaxy has a “Black Whole” (the title of a movie about him and his mathematical observations of the universe both big and little) at it’s center, yet this nothing manifests with awareness, intelligence, power, and intent.  As life emerged on earth a brain developed in the more complex creatures.  Reptiles developed with the intelligence using their awareness to keep them safe as they stay on the look out for change in their environment.  Mammals came along with the urge to care for their young which they birth live into the world.  Humanity emerged with a reptilian brain, a mammalian brain and then our brains developed giving us the opportunity to mimic the awareness, intelligence, power and intent of our Source, thus we are aware we are aware.

The journey I intend to share, tells my story of exploring the gift of awareness.   We know as we grow into our lives that stuff happens.  For some, really “bad” stuff happens.  For others “regular” stuff happens and it gets mixed in with other “bad” stuff a person gets exposed too.  Eventually, a human being can be pushed around by the background noise inside them that sees others as threats or even danger or perhaps just “things” in front of them that must be destroyed.  Unfortunately it feeds the fear based part of us who’s job it is to help us survive, it’s the part of us who thinks we are our story, the part of us that though sometimes it wants to hide, it mostly wants to do what it wants to do.  Kind of like a two year old behaves.  Of course two year old children, with their basic needs met, manifest as full of energy and aliveness.  It’s been my aliveness I’ve used as a guidance for the past several years.  More on aliveness next blog…

Hello world! Thank you Nicole D.

Okay, so this is my first post.  Playing with ideas and concepts has been a fun activity for sometime.  Having had a wealth of experiences in the human potential movement of the 70’s and later participating in several varied programs, some of which I will name, a variety of insights have occurred.  A persistent understanding that these insights may not apply to other people, that other people can have their own insights, sometimes has kept me from sharing mine.  A new friend, Nicole, inspired me to write this blog, here is her address: http://threedeelife.com/2012/09/21/transformational-breathwork-workshop/#comments.  That actually refers to a specific blog about the community experience we shared.

In my next blog, I’ll begin my journey.