The Daily Now – Nov 2011

This blog is to give people the opportunity to share experiences and observations related to teachings presented in The Daily Now.

The Daily Now is a collection of quotes from teachers in nondual wisdom.  The teacher include Eckhart Tolle, Michael Brown, Scott Kiloby, Rupert Spira, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Peter Dziuban, and Kip Mazuy.

This is a link to The Daily Now Archives.



The Daily Now – Nov 2010

This blog is to give people the opportunity to share experiences and observations related to teachings presented in The Daily Now.
The blog is moderated and the guidelines for blogging are:
  1. Share from personal experience.
  2. Advice giving is held in check.
  3. Speaking is from a place of ‘not-knowing’.
  4. Cross-talk is generally avoided although on occasion it’s kinda fun.
  5. There is no ‘one’ who knows.

Open yourself up to the fullness and aliveness of who you really are

Michael Brown’s 2nd edition of The Presence Process, is an amazing work. In this book, Mr. Brown explains what’s happening in the human experience at the deepest possible level and he gives a very effective, practical tool to make it better. With The Presence Process, we are able open ourselves up to the fullness and aliveness of who we really are. What could be better than that?

Granted, this book isn’t for everyone. To be ready to take this journey means that you will have to have convinced yourself that what you’ve been doing to feel good and get what you want out of life hasn’t worked, if indeed it hasn’t. And, you would have to be willing or able to really experience the uncomfortable feelings and emotions that the whole of human race has been avoiding for generations.

As an EMDR psychotherapist, I strongly recommend this book to all my clients. Not to ‘read’ it but to ‘do’ it; which means to ‘feel’ life as it is showing up in each moment! The only thing I see missing, in this teaching and in all spiritual/psychological teachings, is effectively addressing a means to resolve the neuro-biology of how emotions, body sensations and beliefs-about-the-self are stored as limbic memory. Indeed, this is how EMDR therapy dove-tails nicely with the method of emotional integration and resolution that Mr. Brown is revealing to us.

Having read the 1st edition and done the 10-week presence process twice, and now reading this edition and doing the process again, I’m really just starting to get it. For one thing, Mr. Brown is writing on many levels. For me, each time through The Presence Process has been like reading an entirely different book!

Repetitious? Yes.

Indeed, his repetitions can certainly create dissonance for the mind, which is a meta-teaching in itself. When that happens, notice the resistance to, “He’s, telling me this again”, release the messenger (frustration towards the author), get the message (“this uncomfortable feeling is me”), and then ‘feel’ it without condition. In return, insights, new understandings, and emotional resolution can slip unnoticed into awareness, often bringing with them a new perspective and way of being in life.

This book offers movement and direction towards emotional freedom, which comes through facing internal emotional discomfort head-on. Presence is used as the solvent for receiving what is showing up in our lives as what-is-required and learning to effectively be in that state of apparently negative emotional felt-resonance overtime is the Process; hence, The Presence Process – it’s a life changer.

Feelings without connection

I had an insight or realization today that I’m sure I’ve read before, several times (in The Presence Process), but it hit me different this time.  Which is, that I always try to make ‘sense’ out of what I am feeling.

Something will happen, like yesterday a prospective new client scheduled a session and then canceled after going to my website.  When I read that in the scheduling notes, it felt bad.  I could tell myself a story about the person or me and how I present myself, but still the feeling felt like a dull knot in the stomach.  These days, of course, and for the past few years, I feel the feeling (sensations, disappointment, or whatever) and I let go of the story.

But then when the dull knot reappeared this morning I thought, “maybe it’s not about the cancellation, maybe it’s just a feeling coming through the form and there is no connection to anything.”  I noticed that.

That was good and it opened me up to the possibility that perhaps that is true about all feelings, all the time.

And if it is true, what does that mean?

The Daily Now – Oct 2010

This blog is to give people the opportunity to share experiences and observations related to teachings presented in The Daily Now.
The blog is moderated and the guidelines for blogging are:
1. Share from personal experience.
2. Advice giving is held in check.
3. Speaking is from a place of ‘not-knowing’.
4. Cross-talk is generally avoided and not invited.
5. Observe and allow.
6. There is no ‘one’ who knows.

Squinting through the eyes of God

I remember, as a kid, sitting in dad’s little church on Talcott street in Sedro-Woolley, squinting my eyes during the ‘pastoral’ prayer, trying to see God.  That was usually one long prayer.  Dad wasn’t afraid of using an extended period of agonizing silence for the lead-in; and sometimes during the talking part, in his deep reverend voice, he’d get on a roll.  After all, it was pastoral and he was talking to God.

With the framed-almost-photo of the long-haired blond-headed Western-looking Jesus hanging on the wall behind me on the right, I was certain that if there was a God, he’d appear here, now.  “Must be here somewhere,” I was thinking as I’d squint and gently turn my head from side to side.  Had to be careful, though.  Didn’t want anyone to see me – looking – couldn’t do that.  But usually it was safe.  It was a serious crowd of Presbiters and they seemed to be getting into it – heads nodding, up and down.

What I didn’t figure out then and, in fact, only just realized this morning was that the ‘seeing was in the looking.’

That is, that what was ‘looking out’ is what was being ‘looked for.’  The instrument of perception – the eyes – were actually the vehicle of awareness itself.

In other words, I wasn’t not seeing God because he wasn’t there.  S/he was there!  Just not as an object of awareness.  Godness was in the ‘seeing’ that was ‘looking’ because, Lord only knows, the seeing that was looking through the squinting, was looking through itself.

Addressing Women Returning to Their Abusers in DV Relationships

The conversation about women who stay in DV relationships, with average of 6 or 7 times to leave, is one I’m familiar with.  I believe it’s probably true and it also seems true that our ability to impact their leaving is weak, at best.  There are lots of reasons, I know, to include that it may be in the woman’s best interest to stay because she could well get killed if she does leave.

However, from the nondual perspective, I would suggest that the problem is that we are not impacting the ‘causal point’ of her dilemma.  (The ‘causal’ point is where the ’causes’ for something to happen come together.  For example, where the cue ball hits the other balls and ’causes’ them to scatter, is the causal point – and we aren’t impacting that.)  The causal point usually happens outside of awareness because it happens in the present-moment and we’re all stuck in our minds (me included) in the past or future – missing the present moment.  By the way, talking about being present and actually being present in our lives are two different things and one doesn’t necessarily lead to the other.

There are three ‘bodies’ – the ’emotional body’, ‘mental body’ and ‘physical body’.  Helping her move to a new location is physical body stuff; teaching her to think about it differently is mental body stuff; and resolving the ‘feelings’ that are generating her returning time and time again are ’emotional’ body stuff.

True, they are all important.   DV Women Shelters (physical) are important; teaching her to write letters about the abuse she has suffered (mental) and ‘addressing-her-feelings’ (emotional but mostly mental) are all important. But the one that is the driving force (again from nondual perspective) is the emotional body; and to the extent we don’t address effectively her ‘negative emotional charge’ then her external behavior (how her life is showing up in the dream) won’t change, i.e. she keeps going back because there is an emotional resonance that is drawing her back to her abuser.)

Another way to say this, lovingly, I suppose, is that cognitive-behavioral therapy is ineffective because it is in the mental body.  Thinking that getting better at doing cog-b to solve the problem is like thinking we can drill more oil wells to solve the energy crises; again, it’s not addressing the causal point, although it may be the best we can do for the time being.

So, how to address the causal point?  That is, how to impact the ‘causal’ point?  The answer is to work at the level of ‘felt-perception’.  And, what’s the best, most effective way do to that?

Well, it’s not ‘talking-about-feelings.’  If we ask client, “How did it feel when you left? (‘feel’ meaning both emotional (fear/anger/grief) and/or physical (body sensations) and they say something like: “I had a knot in my stomach and was afraid but could really feel how much he loved me” then that is fine.  But, the minute we start ‘talking-about-that-feeling-awareness’  (‘knot-in-stomach’, ‘fear’, ‘love’ ) then we are going into the mental body and moving away from the causal point which is where the ‘felt-perception’ is pointing.  We are close but no banana.  Talking ‘about’ feelings (embellishing the story) and thinking we are doing something is just another way to masturbate.  Making mental causal connections – e.g. “your dad abused so you found a husband to abuse you” is okay on one level, but it does not address the energetic knot that is binding the woman to the abuser.

So, we use the EMDR protocol to awaken the felt perception (make a picture, what does that tell you about yourself, what are you feeling, and where do you feel it) and then invite them to sit with the discomfort and if we’re trained in EMDR then we use bi-lateral stimulation, if we’re not trained in EMDR then we don’t us bls, but we still sit with them in the resonance of discomfort.  We let the ‘felt-perception’ inform us, (me, the therapist and her, the client) and not the other way around!  (I would use the same strategy with the abuser, as well – but NEVER, of course, with them together.)

Hey, I made it all the way to the last paragraph before saying EMDR.