Long Wise Quote – Matt Licata 

“Co-emerging with a disturbing emotion or feeling-state is an invitation into the center, into the alchemical middle territory between the opposites of repression and fusion. 

While the ways of self-abandonment are infinite, the most reliable is to disembody and begin thinking, to shift our awareness out of the surging, pregnant aliveness in the belly and the heart, and back into the numbing flatness of the conditioned storyline. It is believed to be safer here, more sure, and more certain, but there is nothing safe about disembodiment. 

Yes, the voices can be relentless – sticky, loud, seductive, and claustrophobic. “Something is wrong.” “You are not enough.” “You have failed.” “You must escape.” “There is a horrible problem here that must urgently be handled.” “You must improve yourself… and quickly.” 

These are the voices of the orphaned one who is longing to finally be seen, to be met, to be heard, to be felt. Spinning and scrambling to make sense of a misattuned world, she will do what she must to reach you. She wants you out of the fire and back into safety for this is all she knows, an earlier version of you without the capacity to turn into the somatic aliveness and offer the healing rains of loving presence. She is trying to care for you in the only ways she knows… but a new level of care is erupting underneath the surface. 

When you find yourself pulled into the extremes of denying or repressing what has come, on the one hand, or fusing with it on the other, fueling the ancient story that something is wrong with you… the invitation is into slowness, into rest, into a primordial sort of opening into the middle. Nothing need be understood, shifted, transformed, or healed… for now. 

The invitation is into holding, not healing…. for it is from the ground of this embodied, intimate, naked embrace with what you are that all healing will organically emerge.” 


Empty Nest 

Bit more personal processing stuff here. It’s a disorientating time with the ongoing dismantling of the ego structures of a separate self and the tentacles of conditioning and belief wound around those structures. Feel a need to write here to look at it all. 

I have to remember to be compassionate to this human personality which is having what it considers its meaning and purpose removed, no less. I’ve been looking after people, children, pets for decades, and now they are all gone.  I shopped, cooked, ran them around, took them walks, out for dinner, listened to their problems…and so on. I enjoyed all that. It came easily and naturally. This is such a typical empty nest syndrome story going on with me. Big adjustment. 

I see now how much I lent on being useful, being a helper and a rescuer. My son commented tonight on my motives for all the broke friends. We pondered on it for a while, first motive was being a rescuer, and then identified an aspect of power and being control perhaps. Also ambitious materially successful people I found boring. I preferred junkies, poets, writers, musicians and stoners that like rock music and talking philosophy and judge less. Much more interesting. 

Just about all my friends over the last 30 years have been broke with a few exceptions. Including me for long periods of it, but I had parents who supported me during tough times when my kid was small, they gave me a small allowance and a little car. Very generous. I always had access to resources and didn’t want for much, though lack of money was a recurring theme. But I didn’t really want much. Some woodlands, a river and a joint or two. 

And my dad always repeated “the haves help the have nots”. That was a rule for life from him. It stuck too. It’s not a bad rule either. But I did actually take it literally it seems and got very good at finding people who were needy. I didn’t bother much about trying to hold onto money, I shared resources easily. I didn’t really feel much separation from the people, helping them just felt like helping myself. My mum is a major helper rescuer type, so I probably mirrored her. 

So yeah bit unplugged here at this time. Nothing to do, nowhere to go. Everything feels easy, even business. 

It has been a good day today, productive and healthy. I even did weights and treadmill at the gym, followed by a swim, a walk in the park, then gained a new client, answered backlog of emails and calls, sent invoices, and just had an evening woodland walk. 4.5 miles.  Eating very healthy too. Good girl! 

Is this it? What now? Personality really wants to know. It’s freaking out with the realisation that very little entertains it now. Nothing to do, nowhere to go. Noooo! Fuck zen it screams. Is this it, the utter nothingness of the empty truth of existence. Jeezo, this ain’t for the faint hearted, emotionally unstable or depression prone this path. Have another cup of tea. Okay then. See, I’ve started talking to myself. Need to get a puppy before I go mad. I do appreciate you reading this story of mine, it really helps knowing there’s someone listening that I can share with. 

Choppy Waters again

Paddling round the edges of hell this morning. I am being mentally assaulted and pounded by desires to turn away from this solo path, and return to a normal smoking drinking eating socialising life, get myself a husband, and be surrounded by family and friends, feasting and chatting and being in company. It’s nonsense talk of course, and not even all that attractive. But this self imposed exile is hard at times. Thoughts of self criticism are coming, doubting my decision to really follow through on this pathless path. That letting go of friends was a bad idea. Oh and thoughts suggesting I’m alone because nobody likes, never mind loves me, and that’s because I’m not a lovable type of person! You’re a loser, you’re useless, you’re worthless, you’re lost, your life is pointless. So many diverse negatives from different angles at me. Bit a few of my nails right down again too. 

Yes, back into the stormy sea, and once again it comes right after a sublime experience of tranquility and stability, as I described yesterday. Rest, test, rest, test. Well not really test. Relaxing deeply into awarenesss as I did yesterday, it allows everything in me that thinks it is separate to arise. And the ego is sure feeling jittery as this resting in awareness takes a hold. 

Going to France, I wonder if it is partly me just wanting to be normal, and entertained and distracted. That’s not a sin of course! It is however contrary to my goal of a more spartan simple healthy life and saving money for a house. I’d like to buy a place in the country, which I can set up as a bit of an alternative b&b. A sangha of sorts, a refuge. Maybe a direction is forming. 

I was moderate with food and wine when I was away, but I still put on 4 pounds in weight. How little it takes and what a very small amount of food I need each day. It’s disappointing to say goodbye to another fun indulgence!

So now back here in Scotland, I return to my discipline of delicious low carb Chinese soups and woodland walks.  I went swimming as usual today. But I was mid mahamara onslaught. I took my attention to the sensations and the body, but had to keep doing it over and over and over, as the mental assault of desires and regrets was on me even as I swam. Did not relax completely into the moments, too much agitation going on. 

I was and I am watching what is going on inside. 

Tenderly and with care I turn towards the something in me that seems to want to be hurting, that asks for pain to be felt. It’s peculiar to look at that. Reframing it, it’s the old upper limit problem again. Go beyond the limit of health, wealth and happiness part of me believes I deserve, and self sabotage steps in to ‘help’ keep things under control. My family didn’t do happiness very well, so it makes me nervous. They didn’t do close harmonious relationships well and so that makes me nervous too. This is deep and painful to be with. I see how it has led to a mistrusting of peace and stability. The mind thinks there is danger round every corner. I need to be more vigilant it says, not more relaxed. At least when pain is present I can see it, and it’s not going to come unexpectedly to spoil the happiness. This is is the mind’s talk. I’m just watching and waiting this out. A Compassion embrace for us all. 

I visited a friend in a care home yesterday, the one who is paralysed from the neck down after an accident. It touched me deeply. In this seemingly awful situation he is managing to find his joy after being in depression and shock, he has found a way through it. He joked and smiled and chatted. Such strength and courage. Such a teacher. Beautiful and humbling. 

Dawn this morning out the window. 

Just Being

I arrived back from the South of France yesterday. Some welcome warmth and sunshine, medieval architecture, good food, flowers.

I’m going through a stint of trips to different countries, not sure why exactly. Because I can perhaps. Each month a few days in a different place. Next month it’s Hungary. I like being in unfamiliar surroundings for a few days, enjoy being jostled by it inside, and seeing how other countries do things, being a bit uncomfortable, unknown languages, weird food. Then I love coming home. I really like it here. 

Today I just spent the last couple of hours resting deeply into awareness, meditating.  Non meditation I’d call it too. Not doing or trying to achieve anything, just resting. I was fully welcoming any feeling or sensation that might arrive. I kept my attention sensation centred, and awareness in the body the entire time, particularly resting around the heart area though widely scanning the whole body. I had a hand on my heart area part of the time. I lay back half sitting supported by big pillows at my back and under knees, very natural and supported position. 

It was a beautiful experience. Probably due to the non resistance to any feeling that comes now that I am allowing and willing to experience whatever occurs. For this moment anyway, resistance comes regularly too. 

This has been my practice these last few weeks, ever since I spoke to the mindfulness therapist Peter Strong who helped me reorientate so successfully. I had been feeling anxiety, mostly low level but persistent and present most of the time. I didn’t realise at the time, but I had been trying to ignore it, squash it, replace it…anything but be with it. I was scared of that. 

The therapist guy got me to turn towards it, as a kind parent turns towards a child with compassion. The result of doing this was instantly transformative. I was no longer afraid to feel the emotions. He did this by asking me to locate the sensation of the emotion in the body. And this is what I have been doing the last couple of hours. Deeply entering and relaxing. 

Staying in an awareness of the body sensations, relaxing deeply into acceptance of whatever is happening. Allowing it all. This is having the effect of reducing the amount of time I’m caught up in the stories and dramas that my mind likes to generate. Remaining with an awareness of the physical body is making me live in the present moment much more. Where everything is working perfectly fine. 

However, I get tempted away regularly by these little dramas that arise periodically with clients or the staff, maybe some problem or complaint. There is an urgency to solve, a little sharp fear spike, and a temporary engagement of thought as it tries to scramble a correct and perfect response. This is quite stressful. Sometimes I am duped into this, at other times I remember in time to pause, and let life show me how and where to step next.

I often think of MH, and a longing arises, I miss his company. The closeness felt. It is gone and yet it is still here. Like everyone I miss, they are still present as well as gone too. Kalinka is still with me, my love and memories of her, we are bonded in unity as we were when she was here. I just can’t touch her. So what? My old friends who are no longer in my current present. The love and compassion still flows towards them, and us all. My sister no longer in contact, she is still present too. Still on the same ocean, just in a different ship now. My lovely son over in Spain. I miss him too and yet it is undeniably perfect that he is there and I am here. We are connected and we are all connected and there is no separation. So what’s the problem? No problem. 

So when I have stressful thoughts, like a complaint, worry or a longing for something not available… as soon as I remember, I just return to the body, I breathe a few times which gives me entry back in. Only a couple though, no fancy practices, just natural and uncontrived. Once I have returned to the body, in this exact present moment, everything is well. The solution appears to all these little dramas, the right response at the right time just happens without my trying or effort. I make space for the solutions to arise, the sweet spot just comes when allowed to. When it’s not drowned out by the noise of fearful reactivity. 

Life is so oddly solitary nowadays, and I’m easing into a greater acceptance of it. I got a little shock arriving back yesterday, after 4 days of continuous company and chat. A huge gulf of silence and aloneness opened up. The realisation that I am back in this again. Then it was fine. Then a sharp twinge of anxiety arose as I thought about the catching up on lots of emails, messages and texts I need to do now workwise. 

But actually, right now it’s Sunday, and I dont have to do anything at all. I can do whatever I wish actually. And with work related tasks, I don’t have to think about anything. I will find myself doing the tasks when that happens. Nothing to think about or fret about. Be here and now instead. Hear the cars sounds as they travel past, the quitetude between car sounds, the sound of the pigeons cooing the seagulls in the distance, see the sun on the branches of the trees out the window and the leaves coming out. Nothing to do, nowhere to go. 

Student of the Tao

It’s 11am, and already I’ve had a swim, walked a mile and a half, visited the guys, spoken to 2 clients and a tree surgeon, cooked a pot of Chinese soup with prawns and Gyoza. Now what. Need a fuckin rest! Pondering on the weekend’s learning and events on the sofa. It’s Easter Monday after all. 

I had a weekend of deep solitude, of looking honestly in and of study. I watched a ton of interviews with awakened and awakening people on BATGAP. I rested deeply too, also watched some fun drama stuff. Needed time out from depth to consolidate too. 

That Kiran lady I mentioned earlier, I found her unique and fresh in her approach. Using her own words mostly and not belonging to any school or tradition, but spanning them. 

One talk I found particularly interesting because I have been venturing there myself more fully the last year or two, and havnt heard anyone talk about what I have been doing. She describes it as finding your “delicious yes” in each situation. It was a delight to hear her take on it. 

I have been making the transition from being fear driven to finding out what my heart wants me to do in each moment. I discovered that each moment has what I call a ‘sweet spot’. That same sweet spot when the ball hits the exact right place on the racket. It has been my mission to find that sweet spot in each situation because it is there that magic happens. “What does the Force want me to do?” I ask it (‘me’ really of course). 

The decision when it’s in alignment, feels fully supported by the universe, it just feels right. I feel aligned with myself and the situation when I choose this place. And what is interesting is that I’ve noticed that it works for all those involved too. It’s a consensual alignment. Sweet spot for everyone, the Tao. Consensus. No government needed if people lived like this. 

It’s quite easy to do too. It does however require no head noise and a lack of fear. And that is the tricky bit, well was for me Stepping through fear, and having a mind quiet enough to hear the Tao. Fear makes it difficult if not impossible to tune in, it’s such a dominating emotion. It’s loaded with concern for a separate self that doesn’t exist. Makes it hard to listen to the more subtle feelings and indications from the Force. 

So for me, I went from being fear driven quite a bit of the time, worrying about not getting things done, making mistakes, neglecting my responsibilities, to saying ‘fuck it’. I’m going to do exactly what I want to do every day. Let’s see how that pans out. And it was terrifying. Part of me expected the sky to fall in, or that I’d end up homeless and penniless. I thought that the fear was protecting me from something bad happening and without it something bad was sure to happen. 

That did not happen. Quite the opposite. It’s been an incredible part of the journey, learning that the more I trust the better things turn out. The less I cling to what I want, the more I get what I want. I dipped in and out of doing this for about 10 years but these days it’s now lodged in and part of my daily life. For some reason it doesn’t work for me when choosing new restaurants though! 

A client emails, leaves a message, or the guys or my mum…I answer when the time feels right for me and not a moment before. No ‘should’ determining the timing. The timing of response to everything can be immediate or quite delayed, depending on what Feels right. My heart tells me. It is okay to wait, no need to be afraid of trusting myself any more. I can relax. 

I had a hard one yesterday though. An old friend from 30 years ago who turns up a couple of times a year appeared, ex junky slightly mystic, very rough background, a cackling humorous cynical philosopher too, very well read, a real unkempt William Borroughs type. He appeared and wanted to meet up. I wasn’t sure, I felt crunched up inside about it. I was perfectly enjoying my solitude. 

My mind was loudly protesting the case that I don’t want to go out, far less to mix with druggy smokey slightly smelly old friends, which I don’t do any more. My heart was saying there are exceptions. And it’s not about ‘me’. I have no real idea why this guy is an exception. I know his awful physically and sexually abused history in foster care, and he has done well to live so far. I see his destiny from that background, his life script and course was pretty predictable. He says that my stern motherlyness helped him to give up alcohol over a year ago. (You are going to DIE! I yelled in his face in the car, he got a big fright). He is an alcoholic, an ex junky and ex crack addict, and yet wants to live and to get better. 

I just didn’t know, but he (who is really me) was asking me to do something simple and easy for his support. So I picked him up and we went to a long drive through hills, fields and trees to a country pub for ginger beer and coffee. I listened, bit of chit chat, gave some encouraging words. I dropped him off. It was fine. Not pleasant, not unpleasant. Still felt cruched up inside as I arrived home. 

What of those who come from this sort of childhood? The life script of worthlessness is so deep. What a gargantuan leap is required. I always thought this guy has done really well, all things considered. He is alive, he can write amazingly well, and play guitar. Never had a job, the state provides. Well the state let him down too early on, it owes him. I always looked beyond the junky in him and saw the powerful being in there. 
Only person I saw all weekend actually.  This life is fairly monastic at the moment. No friends! Quite enjoying not having personality friends just now. Don’t have those compromised conversations where I don’t say what I’m really busy with. Historical friends I only know cos I know them. Dear lovely people too, but I just can’t talk to them about everything. 

Talking of friends…..I would like to be part of a Sangha. Those on this journey to nowhere and emptiness travelling together. Thank goodness for the internet, great for mingling with real friends. Good to be able to communicate here this remarkable process. 

More tea. 

Working with emotions 

I was close to getting up, when I noticed an uncomfortable tension and also a tight sensation in my throat. I see that there is the option of just getting up, thinking it might dissipate on its own amid activity when I start getting dressed etc. 

I decide against that I have time, so decide to stay with it for a while and investigate, no big rush to get up. And I don’t want to carry it around in a slightly squished state. Plus a chance to try out my new skill. 

I lie there, I’m in a comfortable position on the back, cushion under bent knees. Hand on heart for emotional support. 

I relax and feel into my body, where do I feel the sensation of it exactly? 

I breathe a few times slightly more slowly than normal. It takes a minute to focus into the body. I take my hand from my heart, maybe not required now and interfering with identifying position of feeling. 

The throat is the most obvious sensation, though I also feel it from my stomach right up to my throat. A tightness, a clench.

I breathe, allow, listen. I turn with a tenderness towards it, with an attitude of kindness. I cradle it in my lap as before. Welcoming it. 

What are you expressing feeling? 

Ah a little fear. Some thoughts there earlier, on the melting of defences ahead that brought a little anxiety and doubt. Thank you, I hear you. Hadn’t noticed I allowed you in. I have been doing a lot of inner work this weekend and dug a bit deeper into conditioning. Including absorbing what this fab awake bright spark has to say, Kiran Trace and watching loads of interviews on Buddha at the Gas Pump

The lap is quite a close location to the feeling as it extends to my stomach, so moving it there didn’t make a discernible difference. So I take the sensation and I move it gently from the stomach/solar pleaxus/throat out beyond my left shoulder. That feels okay. Then I move it to the other side towards my right shoulder. The knotted tight feeling in my body has gone now. Thanks for visiting feelings.

Wise Quote – Mooji

Love does not need an intention or object to love.

It is the highest expression of the being
 in recognition of itself.

It is the unity of being.

Like the fragrance and the flower are one,
 your being radiates this love—effortlessly.

You are the Self.
 

Silence, wisdom and joy are your perfume.

It is here when you leave your luggage outside.

Luggage means identity, desire, memory, projections
— who you think you are and who you want to be.

This beauty awakens in you
 when there is space for the beautiful One.

Surrender.

Be entirely empty of ‘you’.

And the One alone shines in that space, timelessly.
Mooji