Waking up to the wonder of your true self
|This is a really fun and insightful workshop. If you get it, your life will never be the same, guaranteed.
Why is that? Because we all live in a hypnotic spell to one degree or another. We have a self-created sense of self that separates us from who we really are in our essential nature. We can call this a self sustained sense of separation. It is the cause of loneliness and our aching sense of need. At its root is a painful sense of loss that feeds many negative beliefs and emotions that cause further suffering in our lives.
And what is it we have lost? Reality. We are out of touch with what is actually real: the essence of our self, innocence of being, openness, joy in just being alive, a deep sense of wonder, safety, and most of all healthy Love and freedom.
No wonder our deep heart holds such pain. We are grieving our alienation from all we most truly value and are.
So we have a true self that is as we actually are in our essential nature, and a false, self-created sense of self that cannot help but be dysfunctional because it is not ultimately real and must die away. It can be confusing using the same word "self" for false self and true self.
In Christian teaching they are called the old self that is alienated from God and the new self that is in Christ. In fact Christ is said to be the essence of the new, or true self. Transformation comes when the old self dies away as the new self is "put on" or realized in experience.
In Hindu teaching the false self exists in maya, or illusion and the true self is the luminous Atman, our divine self that is in Brahman, the great Ocean of the Divine.
In Buddhism the soul wanders through endless rebirths in samsara which is pain and illusion until it wakes up as Anatman, or No-I, (no sense of separtness) and becomes free in the state of bliss beyond form, or Nirvana.
However it is concieved on a mental level, when the essence of yourself is realized you will know it by the sense of Light, peace, purity, Love and freedom that radiates through your being. There is an amazing, life-filled sense of waking up to what is actually real. Where is this self? Where else could it be but in the deepest part of you which is your fountain or source of existence?
"Out of your innermost being will flow a river of Life." Jesus
To experience this we must open our awareness to this deepest level and the pure essence of self that is there. This workshop will take you through a simple series of exercises that can lead you to your own experience of this essence of Pure Being, naked of all the clothes of thoughts and emotions you have clothed it in. Do them once; then again and again until you have your own experience. You are digging for one of the most healing, enriching experience you can possibly have.
And what about God? Is "self" God? No. Of course not. Is an ant the world? And yet... yes too. God is infinite. We are local unique beings: beloved souls as taught by middle eastern mysticism that undergirds Christianity, Judiaism and Islam. But, you are in God. So am I. We are here, in the same Ocean of Love together. The essence of God is the essence of Pure Being. In our essence, we are made of nothing but God: pure consciousness, pure Love as Life. This is Atman in Brahman, True Self in Christ, our actual Soul in the Beloved Source of all. So, self cannot really be realized as separate from God. Each of us is like a tiny ice cube in an infinite sea. If we melted, we would be the sea. When you discover your real self you will know you are home in limitless peace and Love. Out of your heart will flow pure Love for the Ocean of Love in which the Universe exists.
|Exercise 1: STOP AND GO DEEPER
What is deepest within you is forever innocent and free. Deeper than feeling. Deeper than thinking. Deeper than childhood terrors that may still lurk within you. Go deeper. Go deeper.
In this exercise you will just say two things to yourself: "Stop" then, "Relax and Go deeper."
First, get comfortable in a place you will not be disturbed. Relax your body as much as you can before you start. You may want to do some exercises and stretching. Warm up, like an athlete. Get the tension out of your body. Then settle down and take several deep, slow breaths, breathing out slower than you breathe in. For example, breathe in to the count of 4 and out to the count of 6 to 8. Don't strain. Keep it very relaxed.
Once you feel calm, listen to your thoughts. Let them come. Don't fight them, rather listen to them, as if you were listening to a radio.
Once you get a sense of just listening to your thoughts rather than being them, then think the word, Stop, and imagine big, red stop sign.
|Stop! See if your thoughts don't suddenly stop. Then, say, Relax and go deeper and imagine the words as you think them. See each word. Make them big and bold. After that, listen to the space of silence that is created. Rest in it for a while, simply breathing.
When you hear thoughts again, listen to them a bit, and then repeat, Stop, seeing the red stop sign, and then see Relax and go deeper, and listen.
If you drift into your thoughts, the moment you realize you are identified with them and have gone somewhere else then being wholly here, being the listener in this exercise, do the same thing again, Stop, Relax and go deeper, and listen to the silence.
This little exercise is training you in at least two important things: a sense of detachment from thoughts and a simple awareness of inner silence.
Regarding detachment, you are being the listener for a while. Therefore, if you are the listener to your thoughts, then "you" must be deeper than thinking. Who are you? Who is the listener really? Ask yourself this? If you have never considered this before, something will start waking up.
Regarding inner silence, most of us are so identified with thoughts and feelings that inner silence is foreign to us. And yet, all creation exists in perfect silence. Everything is bathed in silence. Without a "listener" the Universe is composed of silent energy waves moving through silence. You deepest being is completely, peacefully, silent. This is not your "soul". Soul (in a middle eastern sense) is the ground in which experience happens. Life, form, colors, feelings, the world and all the rest happen in soul. All your life experience is woven like a living tapestry into the fabric of your unique soul. But soul itself is being experienced by Pure Being, hidden within the Light of Life shining in you.
Stop, relax and go deeper: be the listener. Stop! Relax and go deeper. Make friends with silence. This is foundational for a deeper awakening.
|Exercise 2: OPENING A PATHWAY
Our deepest self is honey in our own pot. It is the place that innocent delight arises. It is a fountain of fresh waters, a breeze that carries the sense of spring. Jesus said it is a treasure hidden in a field.
And yet, if we stop and feel our inner being, perhaps we will feel only clouds, oppression, turmoil. This is why so many people are addicted to entertainment and noise. It is a form of escape from an inner life that is crying out for attention.
Our unconscious is like a garden. It needs conscious work to plant good seeds and to pull up the weeds that choke it. It needs our own loving attention to open up channels through layers of dullness into the open, spacious places of freedom we are all born to know. If we want to be free, we need to learn how to eat the honey out of our own pot; how to open up room within us for this secret joy of our real self.
As with other exercises, relax. Breathe deeply. Now, feel your entire body, all at once. Your body is in your field of awareness. In a real sense, your body is in you as much as you are in your body. Feel exactly what is happening in your body right now. Don't interpret it, such as, I feel pain, or I feel good. Rather, just feel as much nerve information about your body as you can.
Included in this sensation may be a sense of "yourself." If not, think about yourself. Observe any feeling of yourself that is in this field of body sensations. Feel it. Where is it in your body? Locate it.
Is there anything tense about it? Breathe into it. Fill it with breath to relax it. See if you can imagine this sense of self not as an image of yourself as you might normally do, but as a round, pure energy sensation that you are breathing light into in order to relax it and melt its tension away.
Now see if you have a sense of self that is observing this feeling of self you had. This self that is working with self. Can you? Is it tense? Breathe into this. That is not true self either. See what fun game this is. Boxes within boxes...
Now ask. If I can sense self, and even a deeper sense of self, who is this I that is sensing my sense of self? Stay with that question.
The essence of self is always beyond all we experience because of this essential reality: it does not exist in creation. If it did, it would be a "thing" that can be done and undone. It is no more a "thing" than God is. It is the One who is no thing that can be experienced. It is hidden in God. There are no atoms, no molecules in your Pure Being. So every sense you have of self is not it, but may be a reflection or emanation from it, as the moon reflects the sun at night, or light shines from an unseen candle in the next room.
The one who seeks is not the one you seek. The real self is not ego. It is not your sense of self, for that is a temporary creation in soul. It is Pure Being, pure Peace, pure Light and lightness, utterly selfless and free.
If this is so, then, why seek for what cannot be directly found? In a sense, our seeking is a process that creates open channels for the influences of Pure, naked Being to arise into experience within the body and soul. It is a necessary process to go through. It opens our purely spiritual sensing of this deepest level.
Seek and you will find...
When you are ready to move on, put your attention on the physical area of your heart, more exactly the center of your chest. Place your hands over it, close to your heart but not touching it, and feel deep within your body. Do you have any sense of yourself there?
Breathe into this area. Be aware of the open feeling your breath makes in your chest and feel for the "space" between this and your two hands. Sense the spiritual, or energy space that is created between these three points.
|Stay with this a while.
When you are ready, imagine a tunnel through your heart that opens into a place of pure Light and open spaciousness deep within you. You are making a conscious connection to your deeper energy levels through the subtle powers of imagination, or "the eyes of your heart," as St. Paul called our inner seeing. Once you imagine this, continue to draw your breathe deep into that place. For a while, draw the breath in through your open mouth. Make your lips like you would to whistle. This way you can feel the cool air entering your warm body. Let your feeling of breath flow into and out of it.
Now, feel the difference between this deep place and what you sense in the rest of your body. Can you feel the open space in the midst of your body's energy field? That is much closer to what is real. Our body is actually an energy field in open, empty space. 99.99% of us is empty space according to the discoveries of quantum physics.
Any sense you have of open spaciousness created through breath and imagination is making open spaciousness in your being for something beyond your sensations and energy to move through. Now imagine this open tunnel running into this place of Light and that the Light is just in back of you, wrapping your whole body in light. Rest your awareness back into this radiance that is in back of and all around you. You are actually in this radiance and this radiance is in you. Your imagination and sensing are in harmony with what is real on your deeper energy levels. Therefore there will come a response.
When this beautiful essence of Pure, Spiritual Being arises, it will cause all kinds of sensations, like the invisible wind makes a tree shimmy and dance. You will realize your true nature. It is an unmistakable experience.
Open your heart. Open a window in it. This is a true center to rest in. Wisdom flows from here. True intelligence born of Love flows into Creation from here.
You have a earthy body for a while. It seems solid but, again, realize it is almost entirely open, empty space. This space is nothing but luminous consciousness. This is why your body is so intelligent. It is full of conscousness. You have a soul, the one who goes out into the dark and comes home again. Your Pure Being is deeper. It is always at home. Go deeper. Sense the freedom. Relax. Let it arise.
BREATHE OUT PURE BEING
Now breathe this open sense out through your body into the outer world. Open your hands as you breathe out as if you where opening your heart to all of life. Do this repeatedly, bringing your hands back in close as you breathe in and opening them as you breathe out. Wish Love out into wherever you are. This will consciously harmonize you with the pure Love in this deep inner spacious place. Do this for a while. Exercise your ability to breathe out Love and peace from this deep center opening within you. The Light within you is arising into every cell of your body, every synapse of your mind. This is incarnation.
Note: It is possible for Pure Being to actually be seen. But what has to happen to experience this is for all sensation from both mind and body to stop. Then, in a deathlike state, without any simulation from within or without, the "pool of consciousness" in your mind stills and becomes a mirror of your true face. The silent watcher sees itself and the pure Light of God it is within. St. Paul may have been referring to this experience when he said, "We behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord and are being transformed by that glory into that glory." It is not something to seek to experience. It is a rare experience. If it happens, it is a gift of grace. You do not need to see your true face, "the face you had before the world was made," to quote W.B. Yeats, in order to express it through all your being. Rest in your openness. As the Light arises through your practice, it will naturally shine out.
Exercise 3: GOING IN AND OUT
Human wholeness comes as we develop a free movement of our awareness into the sacred place at the center of our Being to take a bath in Light and Love and then move back out into the world to live fully, right here, feet in the earth, in our good bodies, bringing more of what our deepest self is into expression.
Self is realized both in making an open space within through which we may let it arise and the expressions we grow to give it. It is known in the harmonious nature of Pure Love through relationships, words, songs, ideas, creativity and actions.
So, this third exercise is just this, today, live fully from this place you are opening in your heart. As you go through the day remember the Divine Ocean of Pure Being, remember your deepest self hidden in open, spacious places beyond thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and your feelings of self. When you speak, rest your attention on your heart, breathe into it and speak from there. When you are thinking about what to do, also say Stop, Go Deeper, and listen to your heart. Think from there. Practice being centered in the essence of self deep in God, whose influences can flow out through every level of your being to sweeten your world.
|Oh, beautiful being, oh mysterious traveler, oh divine radiance, oh mortal human, you are known and accepted and loved more than you can possibly imagine!|
If you have not experienced the other workshops, please try them. Each one works towards this same goal of your growing wholeness in the reality of Divine Being and Pure Love. Each one gives you different tools. By trying them all out, over time, you will either find an approach that works the very best for you or through the process invent your own.