What Is “Awakening”?

Worth Reading Off the Web – The author, Scott Kiloby is an international speaker on the subject of freedom through non-dual realization, a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor/Registered Addiction Specialist.

EveningofLight

EveningofLight

Awakening is a living, breathing, constantly unfolding moment-by-moment adventure.

The Head-Awakening

What gets passed off as awakening is a certain shifting that happens, where one sees that they are not the concepts in their heads. In awareness-styled awakenings (there are different awakenings that look and feel differently in different traditions – awareness-styled is just one), the shift usually involves some sort of non-conceptual realization of awareness, being, presence or no self that seems to be an end point at first. It can be a sudden or gradual shifting, but people generally report this kind of change in perception. Things are seen to come and go within awareness inseparably or things seem to come and go but there is no self to be found.

Because this opening reveals a profound seeing that separate things, including a separate self, are not really there, it is easy to see why the proclamation of “I’m done”. In many ways, one is done – done with seeking as a self in time and in thought. But this is only a head-awakening. Even in a head-awakening, it can feel as if the body is open and transparent at first. But given time, areas of the body that are dense with the feeling of separation start to become conscious.

There are at least two other big areas to be navigated after a head-awakening.

1. The baggage of mental concepts around awakening itself.

2. The body.

Let’s start with the mental concepts. In my experience, there is a desire in many people to grasp mentally what has been realized. There are elaborate conceptual frameworks devised to “make sense” of awakening, just as this writing is a conceptual framework. There’s nothing wrong with having a conceptual framework, until it becomes the new mental prison. Just as there is a rush to a head-awakening, there is often a rush to neatly place the realization into certain conceptual boxes. There are many boxes. All the buzzwords you hear in awakening circles can be imprisoning boxes, including:

• “we create our own reality”
• “everything is just a concept”
• “nothing is true”
• “life is a divine mystery”
• “oneness is the ultimate truth”
• “no self”
• “awareness”
• “I AM”
• “all there is, is THIS”
• “The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao”
• “The Middle Way”

People can spend years after a head awakening endlessly identifying with all sorts of mental stuff around the awakening. This is the time when people desire to be teachers. I went through it. It’s really very innocent and comes from good intentions. But what gets passed off is only what a teacher has realized, nothing more. And many times what gets passed off are ideas about static, fixed things that are taken to be objectively true and real. Spiritual experiences and realizations get concretized into doctrine or dogma or “this is the only way” type thinking.

Eventually, what becomes important is the living of the realization itself, rather than the conceptualizing and understanding of it.

Conceptualizing goes on, but things are held a lot more lightly and non-seriously. The Living Inquiries were born out of my experience of being first immersed in certain boxes and then turning attention towards the moment-by-moment living and seeing.

The Body

The body has its own say in the matter. There are other chakras – not just the crown and mind’s eye. The heart can feel heavy, dense and closed for years after a head awakening. So can the root chakra, the sacral, the stomach and the throat. The result is often an arising of addictions, anxieties, self-limiting thoughts, grasping after understanding, issues with money, depression, big ego trips, issues with control and jealousy. I found this out by proclaiming that I was done too early. My issue was the continuation of certain addictions long after the head awakening. In my conversations with other teachers, they reported similar things. It takes a while, sometimes years, after a head awakening to fully see the darker, denser aspects of the body that remain closed. This is why becoming a teacher right after a head awakening is not a great idea. It’s like the blind leading the blind.

Adyashanti speaks eloquently about the post-awakening dilemma. Somewhere between 3 to 7 years after an awakening, the other shoe drops. Everything that was held in the mind and body and that was not seen through in that awakening will come up and bite you. It’s like it all wants to be seen and released. And it can be painful. You can even wonder why you started the awakening process to begin with. The body awakening doesn’t happen through seeking. It happens just from remaining open and working with those energies in skillful ways.

Try working with a therapist on this “Shadow” self. It is the doorway to greater and greater levels of evolution and freedom.

Article Source: http://kiloby.com/premature-claims-to-awakening/

Being Real

U R OK

Right? ;)

What does “being who you are” mean? 

It starts with monitoring less, being less anxious about making mistakes, and less apologetic about other people’s opinions of you.

Being Real means allowing yourself to evolve and change.

It requires being responsible for your own philosophies, opinions, and decisions, and accepting the myriad of contradictions that are part of life… Part of you.

Your Inner Capacity for Growth

“No matter how many scars we carry from what we have gone through and suffered in the past, our intrinsic wholeness is still here. When it comes right down to it, the challenge is to realize that this is it. Right now is my life.

The question is, What is my relationship to it going to be? Does my life just automatically “happen” to me? Am I a total prisoner of my circumstances or my obligations, of my body or my illness, or of my history? Do I become hostile or defensive or depressed if certain buttons get pushed, happy if other buttons are pushed, and frightened if something else happens? What are my choices? Do I have any options? What else contains the scars? None of us has to be a helpless victim of what was done to us or what was not done for us in the past, nor do we have to be helpless in the face of what we may be suffering now.

We are also what was present before the scarring—our original wholeness, what was born whole. And we can reconnect with that intrinsic wholeness at any time, because it’s very nature is that it is always present. It is who we truly are.

As long as you are breathing, there is more right with you than wrong with you, no matter how despairing you may be feeling in a given moment. But if you hope to mobilize your inner capacities for growth and for healing and to take charge in your life on a new level, a certain kind of effort and energy on your part will be required.

It will take conscious effort on your part to move in a direction of healing, inner peace, and well-being. This means learning to work with the very stress and pain that are causing you to suffer.”      
~ Jon Kabat-Zinn, Full Catastrophe Living 
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This is one of the things psychotherapy is good for. As a therapist, I see myself as opening my heart to hold space for the one who is sharing, and then offering assistance in making sense of it all. We often will break down beliefs that have held my client hostage for years – some since childhood. Also, transformation seems to be more profound with a witness … expressing emotions helps you digest them, and then the emotions let you go.
Stay tuned for more articles about the benefits of psychotherapy!
 

All You Want to Know About Therapy

For Therapy to work, you must have a good connection…

and that’s why        

self-help books don’t work.

Our emotional lives, with all their emotional cues, are on board before any verbal or conceptual ability appears. And the consequences of these experiences are unaffected by intellectual efforts to change them.

That may be because emotions, and our most powerful “memories”, seem to be stored in the right hemisphere of the brain. And yet our thinking (or intellectualizingis a left-hemisphere activity.

Books and conversations about why we act the way we do are certainly helpful, but they don’t seem to be enough to effect real changes in our interactions with the world and ourselves.

So how can we make real changes?

Only by recreating as much as possible the initial conditions in which the processes were created in the first place.

We are born wired to seek connection with others. 

You may have heard that your first loves (parents) create the models for every relationship there after. They become our relationship-blueprints. Our experiences, especially with our caregivers, will become unconscious, intuitive memories that form the basis of our emotional life.

So if you want to change the deep, unconscious patterns that define your reactions to life’s events, you need an environment that can mirror those earliest connections, while, ideally, re-writing them (“neuroplasticity”). The result is a more harmonious existence in your current situations.

A powerful way to do this is through a positive connection with a trained professional (i.e., a psychotherapist). Good therapy aims to create a safe connection with the client so that emotional healing can take place.

And there is more to it, of course. Techniques that require direct experience have proven effective, such as working with the “inner child , mindfulness meditations, Journaling and others. I believe these techniques work because they access the right-brain.

When my client opens up to me as much as they can in a session, I know that we are accessing the right-brain. In doing so, the chances for authentic change become possible.

If you’d like to contact me, have a question, or want to chat, please click the link:

Work and contact info

call, 801-252-6754 (private voicemail, 24/7),

or Email me:  JaneLCSW@gmail.com

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What are you stuffing?

hamsterStuff

“New Weight-Loss Trick Revealed!”

 Do something for me – will you? Close your eyes and slowly bring a few fingers from your non-dominant hand to your lips, and gently touch. Leave them there for a few seconds. 

The very first emotionally soothing act since leaving the womb was touching your lips and tasting nourishment. Our initial experience also taught us to “marry” eating and emotional soothing. It’s an imprint that continues to sooth us throughout life.

And what about pacifiers? They cleverly distract us from our needs, thus creating another mouth/anticipation-that-your-needs-will-be-met coupling. But I’ll get into addictions another time.

If you struggle with weight chances are you are unconsciously stuffing your feelings. You are trying to gratify a need or want that you don’t know how to get met otherwise. When you begin to understand what prompts you to use food as a way to fulfill other needs, you journey into a deeper, more respectful place within yourself. Rather than instantly changing your relationship with food through a new diet (which you may know doesn’t last), get to know yourself.

Are you stuffing anger? Learn about Assertiveness. Not only do you have a right to your opinions, wants and feelings, you have a right to express them. Are you avoiding a decision? The belief that one wrong move can mean a disaster can be paralyzing. Learn how to accept the possibility of making a mistake. I find that most are repairable. Do you feel a need for control? Over what? Is it true that you need this? Maybe you need to learn about authentic responsibility. Pick up some tips from a book about Codependency.

I strongly recommend journaling to better understand yourself. Meet yourself. Listen with compassion. Then get objective. The solution is there.

Therapy can be instrumental, in fact, it can be invaluable. We often need a witness other than ourselves to delve into the unknown aspects of Self. Get the help you deserve, privately and confidentially.

The “secret new weight-loss trick”is finding ways to better satisfy all your hungers — physical and emotional.

Those Familiar Issues…

Pain that seems Stuck on:”REPEAT”

sadness1

As you’ve gone through your life, have you noticed any familiar issues that just keep resurfacing? These are usually said to ourselves as a conclusion, after a disappointment.

Things like, “no one ever takes me seriously” or “damned if I do, damned if I don’t!” Recently my client said, “men always run away from me after a while”, and my good friend says, “I’m obviously not a priority to (them).” Of course you believe it – why else would it hurt so much?

If life keeps leading you to the same conclusions, then it’s about you, not them. What I mean is, you were probably wired/programmed to reach the same painful conclusion at a much younger age. Some people call this Inner Child wounds. Regardless of the name, we all have some of these earlier, mistaken decisions that unconsciously run our lives. Continue reading

Mindfulness Meditation, anxiety and Depression

A Treatment For Depression – As Effective As Talking To A Therapist?

MEDITATION
 Even though a growing body of research has demonstrated the legitimate mental and physical health benefits of meditation, some people still consider mindfulness to be merely a New Age fad rather than a serious treatment option.

Now, a new Swedish study offers more compelling evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness-based practices in treating anxiety and depression.

Researchers from Lund University found group mindfulness treatment to be as effective as individual cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in treating individuals suffering from anxiety, depression and severe stress responses — and it may be more affordable and convenient.

 The research was conducted at 16 health care centers in Southern Sweden. A total of 215 patients with anxiety, depression or severe stress reactions were randomly sorted into either a regular treatment group, in which they underwent individual CBT sessions, or underwent 10-patient group mindfulness treatment sessions. Both programs lasted for eight weeks.

Before and after the treatments, the participants were asked to fill out questionnaires to determine the severity of their anxiety and depression symptoms. Among both groups, self-reported symptoms of anxiety and depression decreased. The researchers noted that there was no statistical difference between the CBT and the mindfulness groups.

While a growing body of research has shown mindfulness treatment to be effective in managing symptoms of anxiety and depression, the new Lund research is the first to show mindfulness to be as effective as traditional forms of therapy.

Earlier this year, a review of 47 studies showed that evidence of a positive effect of mindfulness on managing anxiety, depression and pain had been proven across a number of clinical trials.

“Clinicians should be prepared to talk with their patients about the role that a meditation program could have in addressing psychological stress,” the researchers wrote in a paper published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine in January.

This reduction of symptoms is likely rooted in actual changes in the brain. In 2011, Harvard researchers found that participating in an eight-week mindfulness training program created significant changes in brain areas associated with sense of self, empathy, stress and memory. MRI data revealed that meditation increased gray-matter density in the hippocampus, a region associated with learning and memory, and decreased density in the amygdala, a brain region associated with fear, anxiety and stress responses.

The findings were published online last week in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Original article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/01/mindfulness-depression-an_n_6247572.html?cps=gravity_3405_5015353437465284738