Monday, July 4, 2011

Have you Questioned your own Thoughts? Are they True? How Do Your Thoughts Make You Feel?

So much has happened since the beginning of the year – and, since my last blog post – now six months ago, a time frame gap I never would have chosen intentionally--however, due to unforeseen circumstances---.which I will discuss.

Much has happened in the global scene – the Middle East, countries finding their voice against long-standing oppression. And, in the U.S. we struggle with our own political dramas between Republican and Democrat representatives--one side tearing the other side down with fault-finding, criticism and stone-walling that maintain the status quo or set us on a backward course rather than exploring means of finding common ground and benefit for all.

And, in my own life my sense of security was shaken by theft of personal identity documents, a lap top, cell phone involving an intrusion into the safe space of my home. Even after a renewed ability to access a computer, I've found it difficult to connect with what I truly find meaningful to express from my heart until now, just over two months after the burglary. Since such random 'bizarre' events are unfamiliar in 'my world'... and, it WAS bizarre... the window of opportunity was only a half-hour - where someone got in and got out of my home! ... knew right where to look... I continue to sit with the question: 'What does this experience mean?'

These times are challenging for all. These times demand quite a bit from us. Each of us is experiencing her or his own story--an opportunity to observe the way in which we move through the condition. We may move through these experiences with more conscious awareness or less consciousness. What will sustain us? My experience shows me that help cannot be found on the same level as the “problem”. Sustenance appears to be key; this question is what I propose for the subject of this post.

In the last several months I have been exploring, deeply, family constellation work and continue to find myself ever amazed at the phenomenon from the invisible world that emerges as information, direction and possibility for opening to a new mental image for the seeker of the so-called 'problem'. We tend to hold an image—of an idea of a person, a problem—well, of everything in our lives – we hold an image of it – how we 'imagine' it to be.... of course, to us, that image is absolutely REAL! Then, we come to expect things to be the way we, unconsciously, imagine.The difficulty is, we are unconscious to this pattern of Thought; and this is how we continually carry the past with us--caught in Time-- unconsciously--be it in relationship, with issues around money, health, weight, food as well as emotional patterns of disappointment, anxiety, depression, feeling unappreciated, abandoned...

Working with family constellations, we may have an opportunity presented to receive a new image that arises from the invisible, phenomenological world. This new image has the possibility of working deeply within--allowing what is not real to fall away.
We may also develop a new way of being in the Present Moment... perhaps only for a few seconds at the start.

Recently, I have been also exploring an author's work on non-duality and find myself most resonant with his expression of the ideas of application. I am feeling moved to share both the constellation work and the way of working with non-duality in daily life as we are in a critical time of human consciousness—these collections of crises—banking, debt (global, national and individual), housing market, energy, ecological, lethal weather patterns -- contributing to the threat of human existence and bringing us to a tipping point when enough humans perceive the need for a shift in consciousness.
The challenge:   Either we don't see these crises because of their gradual progression– or the crises have become so much a part of the background noise in our culture we simply tune the bad news out -- and most of us are so busy trying to simply survive, day-to-day.

Because we are ruled by thoughts, we are caught up in beliefs – we “believe” in the past and in the future – so, how do we become Present in Awareness in the present moment--basic awareness? We are troubled by the past, or want to block it out, or we are looking forward to the future, tomorrow, or some day when... we finally have our degree, when we meet that special person, when we have the house paid off, when we retire, when we can finally be out of debt...  These are all Thoughts... we attach ourselves to them, these thoughts separate us from our Present Moment.

These thoughts also create a sense that this present moment is Not Good Enough AS IT IS. The result is that we do not feel satisfied in this moment. We unconsciously feel that something is missing. We don't even know, really, what this 'missing' is - however, we feel something nagging, gnawing inside of us. So, then we get really busy in our lives so we don't notice that feeling... so busy that there's never enough time; we shop to make the feeling subside, or we eat, or use other substances, or we're super-productive...busy 'doing', or spending long hours at work. But, being quiet, being still can be rather uncomfortable for many. However, if we trace it back - I mean Really back-track... we will find the origin of the discomfort is in Attaching to and believing in our thoughts...
   This is, in large part, corporate induced...   Notice how advertising presents us with the latest techno-gadget and advises that we must Have It; the latest automobile has different lines in body design; the latest shoes have a distinct change to the shape of the toe; the slacks are looser or more form-fitting... What we currently have is No Longer Good Enough - so we Must Have... or...advertising media asserts that our teeth need to be whiter, or, we need to have a better body, or, improve our performance in the bedroom... and, we believe IT.... Not Good Enough as it is.

             Ask yourself:   Where do my thoughts come from?

  • Can I  state, without a shadow of doubt, with 100% certainty that this thought is True ?
  • How do I FEEL when I Think this thought?
  • Regarding this situation, if I didn't Have this thought - how would I feel in relation to this situation?
  • Must I believe this thought? How important will it be in one year from now?

In dealing with the theft of my identity information, I could not allow myself to project worry into the future. It was imperative that I focus in the present moment and simply refuse to allow thought to project into the future... what if this happens?... what if that?... This focus in the Present prevented me from losing energy through fear, worry and anger that 'this happened to me' and 'what will happen if...".
I would simply bring myself back to basic Awareness of the present moment.

'Presence' is what we are – however, our culture tells us that we are 'I', 'me' – and separate from You. This belief allows me to hate you – and, on our planet – how wars are able to continue – I kill you because we are separate. You are different than me. Humanity at this time is caught up in the belief in external so-called reality as the only reality in existence: the difference in color of our skin; the difference in our religion, of our cultures, the difference in our 'beliefs'...the illusion of our separateness.
Awakening to the awareness that there is No Separation - we are All Connected - this awareness is more than an intellectual construct.This awareness will affect humanity as the notion of separation dissipates - not as an idea, or a thought - rather, as an actual experience. Personally, this would be an astonishing breakthrough for human beings.

Basic Awareness – non-conceptual presence that is here right now – in the present moment.

Notice – when you take a momentary break from 'thinking' – this basic awareness presents things 'as-they-are'. (Can I accept things 'as-they-are' rather than how I want/expect things to be to suit my expectations?--of perfection, of satisfaction)

If we stop thinking for just a moment and glimpse a basic awareness already within -
simply notice.
Notice when thoughts arise, again.
We find that thoughts distract from basic awareness when we get attached and caught up in the thought – which often leads to a feeling – frequently unpleasant: disappointed, hurt, angry, resentful.

It has been said by many teachers – Thought is the source of all suffering.

In fact, the thought we have about an event or experience may cause us more upset than the experience, itself! I may tell myself how horrible a situation is.... Or... that it Shouldn't have happened to me... then, I find myself even more upset by my thoughts. We process our life almost exclusively through thoughts – through our intellect. This fact causes humanity to be caught in various beliefs that limit awareness and cause much harm.

In any present moment, we can bring our attention to our breathing or to the sensation in our body, allowing thought to come to rest and simply 'be' with the space that is left once the thought falls away, momentarily. We can 'be' here in the moment without labeling the experience (which is another thought). 'Be' in the stillness without “struggling” to Stop Thought. Allow thought to float on by. 'Be' in the space that remains. We can experience this throughout our day – increasing our awareness of this present moment of 'what is'.

Personally, I have noticed ... in taking moments of being in the space of presence, of awareness... without thought... while waiting in the check-out lane in grocery store--an activity I strongly found disagreeable to me -- Yet, here, in the moment: simply being -- without thought... and subsequently noticing a sense of diminished feeling of impatience as I go from here to there... noticing more relaxation even when driving!  Increased sense of inner quiet. Do I really need all these Thoughts? Perhaps not...

Your comments, experiences and questions are most welcome to continue the dialogue.