Sunday, September 17, 2017

We are here to explore humanness

After we realize we are not at all the characters
we thought we were,
the stories we thought were our life,
the body we associated with so dearly...
After we realize all we see is not outside,
the others we thought were separate, are not,
after we realize all that in the experience of Awakening,
we are here to explore humanness,
the uniqueness and vulnerabilities of the character,
relations, love and compassion.
It is no less fascinating journey to find and play
your own unique note
that can only be heard
by resonance.




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Monday, September 11, 2017

We return to simply be available

What comes from a fully and throughly lived wisdom in the middle of the ordinary life, relations, dealing with circumstances, is humbleness acquired through compassion to ourselves. We rise and fall so many times: we see the truth, and we fall into identification with the roles we play, we remember who we are when “life flows as a sweet song”, and we sometimes forget when “life comes as a ton of bricks". Living life’s vicissitudes, we shed all the traces of superiority and arrogance in every aspect of our being. We go through all the stages of the mind clarity, we can talk to anyone on their own level of understanding, always seeing the light of their being. We return to the marketplace with all the humbleness we learnt on the way, with deep compassion to human ways. We return to simply be available, if life asks us to help someone through our presence, our work, creative expression, simple advice, or guidance.

We start to live from the heart of our being, where our unique authentic expression reside. Mind gives a way to Being. If before responses to life’s events and circumstances were mostly given to us by the mind, now these responses come from the being, they are raw, unedited by the mind’s stories and unaltered in their expression. We become beautiful, like every little child is, un
compromised, true and spontaneous. 

From "Authentic living" chapter of the book on Integration of Awakening I am writing...

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Integration of Awakening: Personality Conflicts. Untying family/ancestral energetics

  

From the book I am writing.  I don't usually post it on my blog, but this might help someone in post-awakening.  Please write to me if you have questions by email BuddhaOnABull@gmail.com.  



Personality Conflicts. Untying family/ancestral energetics

As consciousness projects itself into a form, now energetics of this projected plane start to take place, where human mind get’s a center stage.  It get’s conditioned by the certain environment it interacts with, and the particular orientation of the human life is formed out of this interaction.  Researchers of consciousness field, like Stanislav Grof, whom I met at Esalen Institute, spent over 60 years in the field of psychiatry/psychoanalysis and studies of altered states of consciousness, talks that mind hold impressions, what we call mind conditioning, even before childhood, at birth, and even before the birth.  This conditioning that already present in a brain at birth, bring together all the necessary events, circumstances and people to confirm and reinforce itself through the lifetime.  This default conditioning that creates certain direction in life may be called life scenario, and based on it the decisions will be made in life, the directions of actions will be chosen.  Just like in a movie the character acts and behaves in accordance with the storyline of the movie. 

In a very early childhood we are constantly adjust in a circumstances to ease our discomfort. In a life of a little baby, going through the birth process, or a child in the early years of life discomfort of the spirit means contraction of it in some form of unconscious belief that will take over for the rest of our life. If at the moment of discomfort the little one found a solution, to hide under the table, for example, and we felt relief, we felt a little bit more safe, immediately certain neurological passages were created in the brain matter.  This complex matrix of neurological responses that is set for life will be activated in a brain in all similar circumstances, the neurons will fire in the same grooves that were cut in a brain an early years, playing the same scenario over and over again.

People change, circumstances, events are different, but if we look closer, we might notice the same theme, same scenario plays out.  Even though people are completely different, but we find ourselves behave and react in a similar manner with them.  We change jobs and partners only to find ourselves again and again in a similar relational dynamics in a similar mind state.

Executing the same old conditioned response unconsciously done by our brain, as if a developer would create a computer program to perform some task, and computer will just run the program, reading from the same code every time this program is called by the computer system.  If the program said: “Close all applications, if the application X is running”, as soon as computer execute application X, it also  will close all open applications that were running previously.  Computer simply execute the program written by developer.  I presented this example just to show how simple the programing is, and how not easy to really see it when one’s own life is involved. Programs are firing in the brain in a high complexity, and we sort of doomed by living it in an unconscious way.  Basically we become a matrix of these conditioned responses from the depth of the very early childhood contractions in the mind, or even ancestral contractions inherited through the genes.
 
It was believed that neurological passages developed in an early childhood made for a lifetime, we all heard saying “You can’t teach an old dog a new trick”, but research in the brain science field in the last decade confirmed what meditative practices knew long ago, that brain change absolutely possible in any stage of life. We know now that it is possible for neurons create new passages, abandon an old ones, and start firing through the new grooves.  This is called neuroplasticity of the brain, the possibility of change of the old behaviors, old conditioning, and corresponding life scenarios.  The science now agree with spiritual methods of un-doing mind programming which based primarily on awareness, mindfulness practices.

Awakening to pure awareness usually does not magically fix interpersonal relationships and certain dynamics, but it can clearly point to the faulty mind conditioning, and with time and intention of full liberation we might clear these default unconscious believes.  This is why awakening is only a beginning of a very complex un-doing of the mind’s conditioning. The first years of this process often very intense and involve a lot of life circumstances and living structures changes.  As the programs are seen one by one as an automatic response to something that is not even exist in the present moment, they let go of it’s grip.

And for some of us years after awakening we may encounter a wave of what mystics called the dark night of the soul: as closer we get to the depth of the spirit, the truth of being, the more discomfort we might feel.  This discomfort arise out of the conflict between who we are as limitless pure awareness and the programing that runs the show as us which is extremely limited, executing the same life scenario.  Feeling of the great discomfort is not in any way a regression!  This is a new spiral in shedding all that does not belong to the being we are.

Awakening is a catalyst in this journey of a human spirit to come back to it’s original rest. This process invites us to open the heart fully and develop deep compassion to ourselves and our fellow brothers and sisters.  Great discomfort brings us to our knees, and therefore strips us from any idea of control, even very subtle. We are humbled by the majesty of life itself, we become truly a courageous and transparent instrument of life, as we are not blinded by ideas and any images of ourselves, and silenced by fears.  We become a wave, a constant movement that is not bound by previous experiences, previous beliefs, but a fresh movement at this very moment.

Very often un-doing old behaviors happens in the middle of life itself, in a social circumstance, in relations with people. We still secretly wish that spiritual methods that worked before to awake us, will continue to work to ease our discomfort we feel from a conflict of our personality.  We might continue to hold on to the methods that helped before, but now they become an obstacle on the way to full liberation.  Trungpa Rinpoche, Tibetan master of the mid 20th century, called it “spiritual materialism”, when one tries to escape conflicts of the personality by diving into meditation, energy practices, by using psychedelics, instead of looking into the conflict directly in the eye with bare honesty.

Here is the difficulty. Many teachers do not work with personality conflicts, some of them even deny it completely, as something not existent in the awakening perspective.  We all teach from our own experience.  Teaching about the truth of being, Dharma, is the same, but filtered through our individual experiences Dharma brought to the world differently.  The beauty of life is in the diversity, and in the spiritual guidance we also have limitless diversity.  I encourage everyone to use your own judgment what is most helpful for you to look into.  Trust your natural curiosity, and explore fully what draws your interest. If you notice that you simply react in the same old way, and you find yourself in the same situations over and over again, maybe you should explore this directly, instead of trying to mask the inner conflict with more meditation, more psychedelics, or continuing discussing consciousness in support groups just to avoid to look into behavioral issues.

Briefly I will tell you an example of the struggle I encountered in my own integration.  As deeper I went into the being, the more I felt the discomfort between the knowing of who I am and the situation in life that I was facing. For several years the conflict only escalated. I was living the scenario of suppression, in which in the certain circumstances the brain would run old programming, reinforcing old behavior of conforming to others.  I have to honestly say here, I had no idea what was going on, I only knew something was very uncomfortable, and since I am always curious in the mechanisms of mind’s creation, I looked in different ways.

I often say to people that your natural interest, curiosity to how things work, and awareness to discomfort is already enough.  The truth may be simple to uncover, or will take some time, but the indication that you are on a right path is your own honesty with yourself, almost as holding a flashlight and lighting your own way.  You will encounter many who will try to tell you that you are lost, not awakened, please keep flashlight of inner honesty on and move into direction of your curiosity.  Of cause, the path will not be straight, we do not know exactly what it will be, but the orienteer is always the same, it is your own conscience.

As far as I remember my own intention always was authenticity. It is almost as I always felt inauthenticity in my behavior.  This kept itself going even after awakening. The grip of scenario that I called: “Don’t be yourself” was very strong.  How it was developed in the early childhood, or before, this does not really matter.  What matter is that it became absolutely clear to me how this program runs itself now.  How mind, executing the old program, would create a role for me to participate in, unconsciously! The role with a package of feelings, sensations and thoughts, the complete holographic character that would take over. 

See, for the field of consciousness it is really doesn't matter what life scenario is playing out, just like the screen holds any movie, or a mirror holds any reflections. For pure awareness it doesn't really matter what role to animate. With awakening we expand to this very knowing, we see how mind create these roles and characters that we used to identify with, but now we can participate in them consciously. Mind itself, the tool for creating illusions, can become an ally, a tool in clear seeing, in exploring old mechanisms.  As soon as the flashlight of the awareness shines on the mind itself and it’s illusory creations, the old mechanisms and behaviors dissolves in that light.

I was in the middle of the social circumstances when the light of awareness illuminated the mind’s creation, and mind opened all it’s cards right there.  I will tell you, it wasn’t pretty, it is usually not.  It’s enough embarrassing to see our own inauthentic face when we are alone, but with others around it is absolutely painful and utterly confusing. This is why the mind will fool you with anything possible to keep the old story going.  It will explain to you in detail why you should keep the relationship that is not satisfactory, the job that you don’t like, old behaviors and addictions to continue, it will give you any options to put your attention on, and will keep you in line with the same story, scenario.

When mind consciously used as a tool to look into the emptiness of it’s own creations and it’s mechanisms, it is absolutely liberating experience. For some short time mind still was trying to explain what happened in a linear manner, just to fool me again, but the clarity that opened up and felt sense of liberty were stronger then the stories that mind kept presenting, at the end it capitulated and relaxed. 

With that capitulation the mountain of suppressive behaviors fell off.  Scenarios “don’t be yourself”, “be nice”, “don’t rase your head” that were  enrolling me in unconsciously, slowed down.  Almost like the movie ran out  of the tape, and eventually the movie with suppressed character in it stopped. The projector reloaded itself with a new movie. Life continued. The energy that was caught up in the suppression story was freed for creativity, joy, playfulness, even renewed zest for life, vitality.  Life freed itself for more creative living.

If you feel any resonance with what was said here, fear not.  Yes, you might loose people in your life who won’t be able to accept you without your conforming mask, or any other mask they rather have a relationship with, but not your true authentic face.  These relationships are based on projected images of each other, not true intimacy, and as you find your true face, everything not true will be left behind.  This will be almost as an indicator of a true relation, based on the intimate relation in the immediacy of the moment, or the relation based on the projected rigid constructed image of oneself and the other - the creation of the conceptual mind.  Different roles goes in pairs: domineering character needs conforming character, the victim role need a rescuer role, and vice versa, and there are no real winners in the movie.

How to even recognize that you are living unconscious old programming, certain life scenarios?  You can honestly ask yourself these questions:
“Am I happy with myself?” 
“Am I happy in my relationship with my partner?”
“ Am I happy with the work I am doing?”
“Am I completely open, true, intimate with: 
my partner, 
parents, 
children, 
my close friends?”
“Am I at peace with myself?”
“Do I feel empowered?”
“Do I have any addictions I can’t let go of?”
and any question of this sort that is simply about your life now.

These are simple, but powerful questions.  We have a tendency to run away from simple questions about our life, mind will try to hide it’s own creations behind grand spiritual ideas, bigger identities it will re-create for you to believe in, it will hide it’s tricks, like a source code for the computer program is hidden from the user.  User clicks on the button, and computer perform many tasks at once that can look like magic. So is with the mind.  Mind creates elaborate illusions, and we believe in them, because we do not see the source code, and in the very beginning of each mind’s programs is a creation of the identity, an image of yourself. 

If you hold on to any idea of yourself,  judgment about someone else, any fear, LOOK at this very fact: to judge ourselves or others we have to first re-create an image of ourselves, recall some previous experiences, then and only then we can have judgment of someone else, or psychological fear of any kind.  At this very moment, without yourself as any image, any identity, there is only pure awareness.  Pure awareness does not have any judgments to life that is happening.  The conceptual mind does.

Please do not be discouraged by conceptual mind.  It’s only doing it’s usual responsibilities it knows: it run the programs that was given to it long, long time ago.  Can you see how innocent it is? Can you see how innocent you are in any of the roles?  Can you see that you do not need to try to be any different then you are?  Trying is always mind’s solution that is not liberating in nature, it is always deceiving and in the best, pacifying. It is not the mind which decides to change and shed the programing!  It is a human spirit, the flame of recognition of who we are, the awakening to the truth of our being.  Being itself will carry liberation forward, not conditioned mind.  The limited mind doesn't know what is needed for it’s freedom, the being does. Trust in that.  Trust that any circumstance, how small, big, important or unimportant, weird, crazy, ugly, and unexplainable - it is from the being itself.  We all know the abilities of the body to heal itself, it’s unmatched wisdom.  Can you see that being is in a constant primordial movement of harmonizing, and conceptual mind has very limited view what is needed in each and every moment for the limitless harmony?  Mind is an automatic processor that only knows programs it knows, and outside of that limited knowing, it knows nothing more. 

Did you ever hear “Go into directions of your fears?”  Did you ever thought about it, why it is even suggested? I bet you did, and me too.  Fears are like indicators where our mind doesn't want to go, because long ago it already made all the neurological passages necessary to run itself smoothly in the same illusory scenario.  So what is happening when psychological fear comes, the one that says: “Do not speak up. It is better to avoid.  It is  dangerous. Let me give you some excuse that will comfort you”?  You suck on that excuse like on a pacifier for a baby,  and neurons keep firing in the old grooves of avoidance.  The danger is gone, you feel better, the scenario got another shot of reinforcement. The character in the scenario got affirmed one more time. This is an addiction to be someone, addiction to the created old image, and we all know how strong addictions are.  Many of us struggle with various addiction through life, but the addiction to one’s own constantly created self image is the strongest of all, it is a true reason for any other addictions.  Our inability to clearly see this addiction, and therefore identify with the product of programming of our mind, is a source of suffering. 

Fears point to an unchartered territory, the space that is not classified by mind as safe.  The real dangers are very rare in the world now, but mind still gives us warnings if we only about to attempt to do something that is outside of the current programming.  This is why it is absolutely beneficial to turn our curiosity to fears. They are like a light in a dark tunnel we got in unconsciously, and made it our home. 

We can live all life with strongest personal conflicts, and not know it. We identify with the mind’s programmed character as us.  We never really look that it’s not really one character, but hundreds of them, not one I, but many different kinds.  We change them seamlessly, like clothes, and get used to this constant change. What make us notice this inauthenticity is an experience of complete authenticity.  Awakening, getting in touch with the being itself, pure awareness, is the beginning of uncovering our authentic face. 
If before we unconsciously and innocently assumed a certain role, a mask, after stepping into full authenticity of being, even once, we feel great discomfort in a role we used to wear without a problem.  At first we might not understand where this discomfort comes from.  This happened to me for several years.  Great discomfort and no clarity.  I tried to compensate for it in different ways, and surely these were the ways mind knew: retreat even more, learn even more. I immersed myself in studies of behavioral psychology, ancestral and family constellations, human design, and etc. only to come to realization of continuos compensation of conforming personality that was taking the main stage. I had to shed my own blinders, basically clearly see my life scenario that still was playing out the suppression that was formed in a very early childhood in an unsafe environment. Everyone has their own programming, and you will have your own way of recovering your authenticity, and certainly it is not express overnight delivery.

As consciousness projects different forms to interact with each other, it is a divine play, and every encounter, every circumstance is a right one at this very moment, the right one for all involved in this encounter.  The weaving of white, red and blue yarn creates a certain pattern where each of the yarn’s color is absolutely essential.  Same with circumstances.  Every detail in it is essential, every detail in it rightfully beneficial for everyone involved.  Every circumstance in our life is a projection of the mind state.  Can you see that by not caring around an image of yourself, and not re-creating it right now, you can see the circumstance as impartial?  Can you see that any judgment of the previous relational experience can only arise if we got an image of ourselves with all it’s attributes and memories re-created in the conceptual mind along with the resistance to the re-created image of the other?  We therefore missing this very moment of life where no judgments belong, only pure perception and responding to life from immediacy of the moment.  This is where true relation happens.

Mind becomes a very useful tool when it looks at itself.  In the middle of a situation the mind which would usually create a self image, suddenly would look at itself, the very image it created.  This moment, the very moment of mind uncovering it’s own truth of illusory creation, is a liberating moment.  Awakening the mind to it’s own creations is a very deep inner work that is done by Being itself.  These life-changing insights take birth in the love for truth and authenticity and can’t be fabricated or calculated by the mind.  Trust life and continue it’s own inquiries as they present themselves.  Use growth of compassion and humbleness and dissipation of life scenarios as a yardstick that you are walking the right path. Have a wondrous attitude toward life, find your most authentic way of living and facilitate the same for others. 


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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Belonging and Conscience


Belonging is a very big thing for human beings.  We like to belong. We like to be a part of the tribe, this is an ancient conditioned preference carried through millennia.  As a tribe we survive.  As a tribe we also help each other and rejoice together.  


True belonging is a rare phenomenon.

Any community is a field, and the only way to truly belong in the community is to resonate with the field: the values, the structure, people, and etc.  If we do not resonate fully, then we bound to bend, even a little here and a little there.  When we bend a little, we shrink a little.  We are not anymore whole.

At some point of our lives the depth of the spirit itself shows us if what we involved in, with whom we belong is true for us or not.  If before we could bend a little and justify to ourselves this in different ways,  after a certain life lived, we can't do it anymore. G.I. Gurdgieff, a mystic of the beginning of 20th century, called it conscience.  Somewhere in the depths of our being is something that does not belong to a conceptual mind which tries to take over us.  It can obscure the truth with it's constant input in a form of stories and believes.  But if we are going deeper with our living inquiry into the nature of being, the mind does not hold a grip on us anymore, and the truth, like conscience, can be strongly felt.

Conscience is the best orienteer, the best navigation system.  It will let you know every time if you are in congruence with it, or you are lying, even if it is a little, or it is excused by the mind as something good to do.  Conscience will give you clear input, without downplaying.  With having access to conscience you just simply and gently aware if it is true for you or not, without a doubt, without looking at anyone else for support, without hiding behind fears. This in itself is a very good sign of maturity.

We all have conscience, it is in the very fabric of our being, but only when we are truly here and now, in the naturalness of our being, we have an access to it, otherwise we are a subject to thoughts, beliefs and concepts of the mind.  Just make sure you clear the way for it, study the mind's trick-a-treats, investigate all the human phenomena what it is really, so you are not fooled into it's games.  Conscience itself will take care of the rest and you always enjoy your belonging, because it will be true, within yourself, relationship, or community.  





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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Truth of oneself prior to any labels

We wear so many different labels: a man, a woman, a mother, an accountant, a biker, a teacher, a son, a daughter, handsome, skinny, bold, sad, busy...and so on....The amount of labels we assign unconsciously all day long, all life long, are endless.  They become our identities, our prison.

Did you notice how some labels change in a matter of minutes, hours, like sad, busy, excited, hungry, cold, and some labels keep for longer like daughter or son, for example, until our parents die.  Then these labels not used that often, maybe even never again.  Did you ever noticed that along all the changing labels through days, months, years, there is always something unchangeable, prior to any labels, the one that actually can notice this very changes?  The pure being that simply exist. Now. The existence itself.  The very fact of existence of you.  Prior to the labels, short lived or long lived - any of them!  They do not describe you fully.  Each of them describe only tiny part of you, maybe some describe a bigger part of you, but not one of them describe who you actually are.

It is easy to know who you are.  Look at any label that you attach to yourself and see that it is temporary. Even the most stickiest ones: "female" and "male" dissolve with going to sleep.  See what never dissolves, what silently exists, holds any labels.  Notice this pure beingness you are. This is simple and hidden truth of oneself,  but we are so overloaded with labels,  they hang on us like the drowning man hangs on the rescuer - with a grip of such a strength that the drowning man can easily take the rescuer down with himself.  This is a strength of the labels, identities.  They take us to the depth of the illusionary world and make us believe it is real. But still, it is also imaginary strength, and any moment we can lift the label off and see the truth of us.

The label will stick again in no time, this is the mystery of this world, but now we know.  We know who we are when we are naked, we know exactly who we are, and what are those sticky words, names, descriptions are.  They will never fool us to take them as truth of us.  They just mostly here for a ride with us, short or lifelong ride, but it's a ride!  Enjoy the ride, and know you are not stuck in it for eternity.  




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Take a closer look at your life scenario!



We live certain life scenarios, but until we see it clearly, we don't see what's ruling our psyche automatically, we can't look at it honestly, we think it's not relevant to us, maybe it's true for others, but not for us. This is the case with many people, and hiding behind awakening is a great way to avoid seeing anything not wanted to be seeing. It serves as a shield from looking deeper into one's own programming. But sooner or later we all have to look at our dirty clothes. We all have them, some admit it honestly, and get a closer look, and some are blind to it themselves, but it is obvious to everyone else around.  

Awakening also may facilitate an honest look at one's lived life scenarios. There is much more space now to hold and look at any clothes that does not fit us anymore, outdated, or everyday wear that needs to be sent to Salvation Army instead of keeping it in a wardrobe.  

Have a closer look on your everyday life. Do you do what you don't love and keep telling yourself the same excuse why you must keep doing it? Are you in an unsatisfactory relationship and you keep telling yourself same excuse why you must keep it going? Are your children almost repeat the same circumstances and dynamics, just different setting, different people involved, or your life remind you your parents life, even though you really tried to live differently? Do you avoid confrontations and slide into a Mr. nice most of the times explaining it to yourself as being peaceful and loving?

There are many clues to look at our lives circumstances without any stigma, especially after awakening! More freedom, more naturalness, less fear, just pure curiosity and intention for liberation.

This is all we need when we sort that old garb.



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Monday, August 21, 2017

We are not getting older!


I wrote this story recently, recalling the experience of Awakening. I would call this experience also a spontaneous direct introduction to the natural state of being.  These experiences does happen to many, especially in a childhood, but we forget. The mind, coming back to it's usual everyday contraction from such an experience, forgets it completely, especially if we were very young.

If these experiences happen to us spontaneously when we are adults, without proper preparation, mind doesn't know how to interpret it, and it only can assign the meaning it knows: "Wow, I had an amazing trip!"

The experience of the natural state of being happens beyond the usual dwelling of the conceptual mind, which does not have any access to the wisdom of the expansion, therefore all the interpretations by conceptual mind would be at best, incomplete, undervalued, or in a contrary overly emphasized, and in both cases not assimilated properly. I will take you in my story into some of the experiences and try to point to the essence of it.  It may facilitate some remembrance in you, and maybe integration of the similar experiences, or you might simply enjoy the story.


I was in a silent retreat, and most of the days we were sitting in meditation. It was 2009 and I was 42 y.o.  I was 15 years into spiritual search, and I was on a peak of the intensity of the seeking. I left Gurdjieff way and Vipassana meditation behind, and was trying something else.  A teacher named Adyashanti caught my attention, and I ended up in his week long retreat in Omega Institute.

After the mind settled in the first couple of meditations I introduced it to a series of questions.
  “Where is the leg?”, I asked innerly, and I found myself looking at the leg.  “Where is the hand?”, I asked again and found myself looking at the hand.  Surely as the question was asked, the attention went there. “Where is I?”, I asked.  Suddenly, the I who was asking the questions, was gone. The attention pointed me back to myself.  My body was sitting on the cushion, and looking around, and I was everything that sees.  


The state of being aware, cognizant, but not being bound to a character, continued several days. During those days I was meditating, walking in the forest as usual, and o
n one of those walks I experienced very peculiar happening.

There is a story of Buddha’s awakening under the Bodhi tree. The story says that at one point the special faculty of the mind arose in him where he remembered all the lifetimes he ever lived. I didn’t have such an experience, but somewhat similar to it: all the instances of the same mind state of pure awareness, Presence, that I experienced in this lifetime, but forgot, were brought up now as clear visions, one after another.

The scene in an airplane came as a vision, in the identical mind state. I was a baby, I myself don’t know how old I was, and I can’t ask my mom, she died many years ago. But I was definitely younger then 2 y.o, because I remember myself in a crib on an airplane.  The bassinets for babies, little cribs that airline provides have restrictions on the age and weight of the child.  I looked it up, and for some airlines it’s 6 months, 12 months, the oldest age restriction I found for American Airlines is 2 years old.  We were flying on the old Russian aircraft Tu-134, probably their age restriction was on a lower range.  I now assume I was around 1 year old.


We were flying from Kamchatka, the most eastern peninsula of Russia to a Russian capital Moscow.  The flight was very long, and I was sick.  All this my mom told me later. At that time I didn’t know any of it. I was simply looking up, as a baby would.  And now, 41 years later I was recalling what I actually saw. I wasn't a baby. I was looking at my body in a crib in dimmed lights. I was not a baby in a crib, I was aware of a baby in a crib and I was aware of everything.  I was pure unbound awareness in which all these images were taking place. 

After this vision on airplane, still walking in the forest in a retreat, I experienced next instance of a similar mind state.  It was in a hospital this time. I woke up in a delirium. Same state of Awareness, looking: the bleak hospital room, the body laying in bed, under the white cotton sheet that was soaking wet from the sweat. The ill girl was 5.  There were neon lights on some apparatus over the body, and a transparent tube going to the small white arm. Then there was a needle going into the arm, held by white mesh bandage wrapped around it.  As soon as a needle appeared in awareness, the fear arose in that space, and immediately a body reflex jerked the hand.  The needle cut the little arm and red color flooded the scene, soaking the white bandage with blood.  This scene of blood over the hand and a feeling of fear contracted awareness back into the body.  Spaciousness and awareness just a second ago became the form of a little girl with a sharp pain in her arm.

While I was still walking in the forest, several experiences floated to the surface of the mind, completely taking me for a vision ride, as soon as I was done with one vision, the other one would change it. I will describe one more of them. Now I was in my early 30th, in a Gurdjieff Way retreat they call “work period”.  As a part of the retreat there were special dances called sacred movements.  This was my first work period, I never done these movements before. I was totally lost with steps, trying to follow everyone else.  The movements were very complicated, and I didn’t feel anything else besides tension and pressure to hurry up with making movements, since I was trying to get at least something right, following legs and arms of people in a row prior to where I was, the last row on the back of the room of all beginners to this practice.  I was totally uncoordinated, and making one movement with one hand and another with another hand, while making also specific steps, was too complicated.  I couldn't even get the directions “left” and “right” right, so I was failing miserably.  Next movement was dervish whirling - a dance from the Mevlevi Sufi order, originated in the 13th century.  After the ordeal with complicated steps whirling came as a rescuer!  There were no steps to learn, no gestures to coordinate, just spin around yourself with your hands open to the sides like two wings.  

As soon as I started to move around myself,  I found myself looking at the whirling body, seeing the flow of fabric making circles, seeing other fabric circles around, the room, the music.  I was a space where the whirling was taking place. Presence. Suddenly in that space of Presence along with the music and movement of the body arose a feeling of compassion to all human beings, who are trying hard in life, just like I was minutes ago trying to follow everybody in a complicated movement.  As soon as feeling arose in the space, I immediately found myself back into the body.  The feeling of compassion to a human condition turned to almost pain and deep sadness merged together in my chest, I couldn't contain it.  I ran back to the room, crawled into my sleeping bag, closed the zipper to the very top, slid down inside the bag, curled in a ball on the bottom of it, and wept.

Walking in the forest in the retreat in the state of pure awareness, recalling in my being all the instances of the same state, 
what struck me the most, and didn't surprise me at all at the same time, that I was in fact, ageless.  

I was not 1 y.o, and not 5 y.o, not 30, and not 42.  I was ageless, unchanging space.  Lucid, transparent, holding everything and aware of everything, space.  There was continuity to “me” which never gets any older.  Almost as I was a silent witness of the movie in which a baby became a girl, and a girl became a young woman, and a young woman became a mature woman.  And in this movie there were various scenes, circumstances and events the female character participated, changing, growing up, maturing.  But I was not this character, not any of the instances of the character - not baby, not a girl, not a woman, I was a space for this movie, a screen on which the movie was projected.  As the movie run, the screen, the space that holds ever changing images, doesn't change.  This is who we are, and I experienced the continuity and never changing quality of that.  We are not getting any older.  We are ageless. We were never born, and will never die.  This realization of agelessness and our unchanging nature that I relay to you can’t be transmitted in words, though we always try, but you must experience it directly in your own being, and in your own unique way. 

The awareness of what is happening always here. It is always present, it is a ground for all the experience.  We just never notice it, we identified with the character we are, day after day, year after year, mistakenly investing our identity in the ever changing character.  


Look at the awareness itself,  point your attention to what is aware of this experience right now.  There is an experience, there are thoughts, feelings, seeing, hearing in the experience.  And there is awareness of the experience, awareness of the thoughts, feelings, seeing, hearing.  Look what is aware.  Turn your attention from the world in front of you to what is noticing, what is aware of the world.  If you find yourself in thinking, turn your attention to what is aware of thinking.  


Keep with your inquiry.  
And arrive to clear knowing of who you are, 
the natural state of being.
Eternally Ageless.




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Thursday, August 17, 2017

What is LU Direct Pointing and does it facilitate the end of the search?

I am one of the co-founders of Liberation Unleashed (LU), and in my own search I went beyond the LU inquiry, which we call Direct Pointing. In this article I want to share with you my findings in a small summary.

The goal of LU inquiry is seeing selflessness. Seeing no-self is in the heart of every path that aims for liberation from human suffering, we call it Enlightenment. Realizing no-self is an essential step on the path to liberation. We can be involved in a lot of practices, be on the path for very long time, but if we still hold an idea that we are the seeker itself, then all the practices we do is only reinforce the strength of this idea. This is why many become very serious in their role of the spiritual seeker, making the identity even more stronger, experiencing even more suffering. No wonder right before realization of no-self the level of fear and suffering raise tenfolds like the pressure raise in a pressure cooker on the flames of the stove! Seeing the selfless nature of being is a very major step, and we created Liberation Unleashed with that very intention: to point to selflessness with very effective method of Direct Pointing. It might be a first glimpse into our true nature, experience of awakening, or it might be more deeper realization in that process in some more mature aspirants, but the main purpose of LU inquiry is to point to no-self. LU inquiry is not really designed to stop all the further explorations that happens in us with release of the seeker identity. It actually facilitates it, it is a first step in a realization of our true nature. Catalytic step. Realizing selflessness is an essential step. We helped many from all walks of life and from all transitions and paths to see that in the middle of the experience of life there is no one who can be found to claim themselves as an owner of the experience, a maker of the experience. Our method is universally applied to any spiritual seeking path. This is not even "our method", we only translated the universal truth into the method of deduction and looking at life with different eyes.
Seeing no-self is a beginning of the deconstruction of the assumed identity and all that it involves itself in. There is no formula to further deconstruction of anything that is needed for this specific organism. As someone said, we all have very different stone that got into our shoe. We know that seeking for liberation stops when the liberation is found. For the true liberation the realization of empty nature of the self and also realization of the empty nature of the world phenomena has to happen simultaneously. Everything that we thought we are, we know, we see and we participate in - the world of phenomena, the world of objects, and the self has to vanish. FULL STOP. In that alive cognizance that is left the truth of being shines in it's fullness and totality. This realization is a clear recognition of who we are. It can happen in any way, in any spiritual tradition. The truth is one. Usually the LU inquiry lead to realization of the self only, and the other part has to be explored further. This is why big majority of LU members went to explore it in a group called Emptiness Teachings and Direct Path which Greg Good created to help with further deconstruction. Also there are other groups, like Buddhist 10 Fetters, all the Dzogchen groups of Jackson Peterson, and etc., some non-duality teachers we recommend, we have a list of such resources in LU. Please use them. LU points to who we are not - not a seeker, not a doer of the experience. It is an inquiry of refuting the self identity. This does not undermine LU inquiry, since we never claimed to lead to full realization, we point steadily through the years to realize emptiness of the self, and it is a big deal on the path of self realization. A beginning of exploration of who we are. Some of the methods, like "Who am I?" inquiry, Dzogchen Rigpa recognition, for example points to facilitate direct experience where it will be clearly revealed of who we are. It doesn't mean that at the end there will be created a label of who we are. Dissolution in this direct experience of clear recognition infuse the being with clear knowing. We use the linear language as communication, and some errors come from the limitation of the language. Everyone who tries to put in words the truth of being hit this limitation. But if any identity still firmly created by the mind, then more deconstruction is needed for subtle grasping. After LU direct pointing often people continue the exploration of who they are, since the old identity is not there anymore, and mind have a tendency to long for some identity. This is right movement of consciousness back into more clarification. Please do not feel as something wrong with you. By this time you should know that if you are not a doer, then it is not you who is continuing the search. But many heard that the main goal is not having any identity, and not seek anymore, and make a mistake at this stage that have some cost. Before we refute identity completely when we are mature in our being and most physiological and neurological processes harmonized, most of us, not having a solid ground without identity, fall into nihilism and many other isms. Continuing the search has not to be seen as a mistake and you supposed to not feel pressure that you are "not relaxed yet by this time", comparing your journey to others'. It simply points to more deconstruction that will arise through practice, inquiry, or life itself. It was my own experience too. LU direct pointing usually does not end the search. Unless the inquiry facilitates clear recognition of emptiness of the self AND emptiness of the world phenomena (aka objects, other people). Usually with pointing to no-self we have experience of awakening happen: recognition of selflessness, and still in the mind is a strong belief in the outside world of objects. There still be a question in the mind, verbal or non-verbal: "Who am I?", and it will be a driving force of the search, or we may call it, "further exploration", we just surrender to it. Realization of no self and realization of world phenomena as empty, as mind creation, instead of an objective world, is a must for the seeking energy to halt. The question of the search is answered in all encompassing totality in the state of realization itself by the very essence of the state. Question is closed after that.  You do not need to ask anymore anyone any question of who you are.  In 2012 I sat long silent retreat, mostly dark, with "Who Am I" living question that culminated with realization experience. I explored further, you have to understand, it's not anyone's choice. It was not my choice that "Who am I?" question became even bigger in me after realizing selflessness. The seeking will continue unless there is a final finding! And at the end of the search everyone come to the same realization: no self, no others, no world. It is ALL mind. God will show the face. And everyone come to this finding in their own way: through practice or no practice, saying yourself you still seeking or lying yourself you are not seeking, but subtly seeking anyways.
Then there is more living, mostly spontaneous inquiry, more questioning old beliefs, thoughts that still arise, old habits, and dismantling them one by one, or in the whole families of them as stories, by simply seeing their empty nature. The question who we are is closed already. We just fall into a dream state sometimes, wake up again sometimes. Harmonizing of all the systems going on, re-wiring of the brain, so no wonder we can't abide in a state of pure alive cognizance 24/7. God came here as a man, and at some point the recognition happened, but then back to life! We know who we are now, not the one who falls asleep, or the one who wakes up, but that which knows both, and we do not hold on to even that, whats the point?! With time we abide more in the being, in our true nature, enjoying the
character, instead of falling asleep in a dream where we deeply identified with a character. I call it integration of awakening. The label may not fit perfectly. Some call it falling, deepening, going further and so on. Who we are do not need any integration, but integration does happen through harmonizing the nervous system, making energetic adjustments, it happens spontaneously, just notice it.

I suggest anyone who pass through LU and still perceive that there are others out there and the world of objects is real, not to stop in LU groups for mostly intellectual discussions or sense of belonging, but really immerse yourself in a deeper inquiry and living life in an investigative way. Instead of hiding in groups, discussing selflessness, invite life to be your teacher and provide you with all necessary events and circumstances to facilitate a living practice of further inquiry. Use any method you resonate with. Don't stop on discussions, or an idea that you are done. Continue inquiry in any way which is more natural for you. LU direct pointing is absolutely precious valuable tool in dismantling the illusion of the self for those who are ready for it, and I am very happy that it continue to be a very important step to self realization for hundreds and thousands of people worldwide. Please use the structures and methods that we created, and also don't be afraid to look into other avenues to clarify further. With much love, Elena

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Heal yourself by being transparent


Heal yourself by being transparent. You do not need to be perfect, but childlike clear. Sometimes we don't even know that we are lying to ourselves, and usually its not a total lie, but a little bit of it, so we can feel alright with that, but that takes a toll on the energy, and eventually on a physical body. Be transparent. Be as you are, feel what you feel, and don't feel inadequate for that.. Acceptance of imperfection of our own character and appreciation of our uniqueness and transparency is freedom.

What is the fastest way to freedom? Not adjusting the character constantly, not making it better, but knowing our true nature, and living from it as much as possible. Sometimes we forget, but if we practice inquiry Who am I?, this is not merely a question, it is a living energy that keeps itself by momentum. It comes on the surface of the mind, even in the darkest night of the soul, it will land to our attention at some point. And we suddenly remember who we are, the truth of being. Don't scold yourself for forgetfulness, it's not your choice really. Just find yourself again and rejoice in the meeting.

What is our true nature? You know you exist. You know you perceive. Before anything, you are already. Otherwise how would you know? That space of being is our true nature. You are. I am. Already, by default. Here.  

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Intimacy

We forget what intimacy is.  Let me re-fraise, I forgot, you might very well know it.  So you can welcome me into it with your open arms.  Like my partner did, who held a space for me to be as I am until I broke all the armors.  I didn't know I have them, I suspected, but how you know what you are missing when you never knew it or completely forgot? You feel inadequacy.  You feel the fragmentation.  And thats what I felt.  I didn't know where it is coming from, this feeling of un-satisfaction, in spite of the clarity of the mind,  what is missing?  My heart was frozen in time, as life went, there were many times when it flash freeze again and again.

My son called me and said "Я тебя люблю!", "I love you" in Russian, and suddenly I felt this warmth I forgot, when I held him so close to my heart as a baby, when I kept hugging him as a child, and as pre-teen.  Last years were brutal, it was hard for me, was hard for him, but we re-united in the heart.  I was missing him, and he missed me, and there is nothing we could do, so we just kept going as we could, knowing we love each other anyways.

It happened simultaneously for us both, I don't know what his journey was, mine was as always though what G.I Gurdjieff, the great mystic of the 20th century, named "conscious labor, intentional suffering" - main ingredients of transformation of a man.  You stay with the pain, and you keep aware, don't settle for less: don't deny, don't hide, don't divert, don't lie to yourself.  Keep honesty, even if it is only within you, even if no-one supports or understands you, even if you are judged and misinterpreted. Please keep this spark of human conscience, it will lit the way back home.










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Monday, July 17, 2017

To be without explanations


Sometimes in life we have these very potent in their transformational quality, but intense, bizarre, unexplainable situations. Most of the times mind will try to analyze, explain, justify. Don’t listen, tell the mind it is ok for you to be without explanations. Then we also try to explain and justify for others to understand us. I will tell you, it never worked for me. The situation was created as a display of the deep mind conditioning. The details don't matter, but mind will try to pick some details and explain through them the whole situation. Never works. People get even more confused about you, and even more alienated from you. Just say it was a storm, a processing, an inner work, however you can name it, and that you leant a lot, and then leave it at that. Let them learn what they need to learn for themselves from the situation. This is more true and more compassionate to yourself and others.

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Just do your work


The first dip into enlightenment, what we call awakening to our true nature, that experience is like starting chemical reaction. Without your participation it re-makes the whole being for years to come. At some point all the unprocessed emotions, attachments, identifications will come to the surface. This is very advanced stage on the path, don't be fooled by your ideas and anyone who expect you to be saintly. Those who done with this stage, see clearly where you are. They have much respect and compassion for your journey and offer unconditional acceptance. Those who don’t accept where you are at the moment, not ready for this work themselves yet, or cowardly. Leave those behind, let them be, and you be as you are. You know exactly what you are and what is your work at this moment. Just do your work.

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Monday, July 10, 2017

The Destructive nature of Awakening



With my brain re-wiring for many years after awakening (7 years in Sept 2017), my old life completely dissolved, there is nothing to hold on to for me anymore, everything from the past is gone, everything.  Every person, every environment from the past is gone.  I shed all I could, though it was not my choice.  

Given a choice, I would choose more gentle and kinder ways for myself, not stripping all to the bare bones. If you think you can control this process, I can assure you, it will be absolutely unexpected way unfolding for you every moment. We project how it should be and in what way.  It is an old thinking trying to secure the place in a journey forward with you, but it will be left behind anyways, you will be amazed how. All the suggestions from all the teachers in the world will not help you at that moment, you would have to face the destructive forces of the enlightenment by yourself, and there is no way to prepare for that.

 People will project on you all kinds of things: their ideas about you, where you stand, and what's going on, but it has nothing to do with you, and you will have to let go of that garbage too.  You would have to stand for your own way of being, in spite of their judgment, their own misunderstanding, that you at sensitive times will take as your own. You would have to drop that transference, and it will involve more judgment and more misunderstanding, but you will have to learn how not to listen to that, and continue to breathe. 

 There will be also body changes involved, sometimes sickness, misbalance, apathy, and you will have to ride with that too, you will learn complete humbleness.  You will be blind for sometimes where you are and where you are heading, and you will make steps in all kinds of directions, that will serve you well or not, but there is no way you can calculate the trajectory.  Sometimes it will seem like you went sideways, and there is no way out, but then you will find yourself breath with full lungs again. 


 You will see all kinds of writings about awakening and enlightenment, and they wont have to do anything with you at the moment you experiencing, please trust what you live, even if it looks like a total disaster, a crucifixion.  In trust you will get clues on your next move, even if it is only a slight move of going outside for a walk, or a fleeting insight descending as a lightning into your being. Even the slightest move changes the world we are completely.  Every moment is a birth of that world.  May we completely die each moment without a doubt, and be reborn in a next one a little closer to the majesty we are.  

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Born in June 2011 out of inspiration to share how to end life long spiritual search, drop the observer, and return back to naturalness we are.

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