Thursday, April 24, 2014

Finding Fulfillment with Intuisdom: Chapter Four: Becoming The Natural Self in the Natural World (p2)

Finding Fulfillment with Intuisdom
(Original publishing date: November, 2009)


…The sage is guided by what he feels and not by what he sees…
~Lao Tzu

Chapter Four: Becoming The Natural Self in The Natural World (p2)
 

Emerging Awareness

At some point resonance transitions from feeling something to consciously knowing something about the nature of reality without using cognitive processes. This can appear to happen spontaneously or it can come in stages. The appearance of emerging awareness is the endpoint of resonance and the defining point of moving into the natural self in the natural world.
A warning, however: If emerging awareness illustrates a profound and life-changing new understanding while you are driving on the Long Island Expressway, do not attempt to write it down or text it to your significant other! One of the most important features of truth is that it is always there. It will come back to you, don’t worry.
There isn’t much else that needs to be said about emerging awareness—you’ll know it when it shows up!
Here’s the key: Resonance and emerging awareness are the primary aspects of the perceptual mode of the natural self. It is useful to practice resonance actively at first, but it will become simply a way of life after some time. Emerging awareness is the conscious recognition of the nature of reality by the natural self.

Meditation

One of the most fundamentally important exercises you can do toward becoming your natural self in the natural world is a form of single-point meditation. This exercise immediately allows you to distinguish the false self from your first conscious experience of the natural self; through practice, you learn to further release the false self to become more and more the natural self. Keep in mind that you are already your natural self—that the false self only obscures it. This means that meditation is only orienting you to what already is, rather than taking you somewhere else.
Now, we have told you that this practice is simple and that it is about orienting you to your natural self, but we need to spend just a moment to distinguish this style of meditation from so many others by being clear about what Intuisdom meditation is not.
Intuisdom meditation is not about peace, love and happiness. It is not about imagery, colors or better places. It is not about holiness, angels or guides. It is not about life lessons, plans from before you were born or past lives. It is not about hope, prayer, belief or faith. Intuisdom doesn’t necessarily reject anything specific about the above lists, but opening the doorway to the natural self must be done with a minimum of abstractions (certainly including expectations) and a maximum of direct experience.
It bears repeating one more time that Intuisdom meditation is about orienting to your natural self; and when this occurs, the natural self begins to allow the natural world into your experience, and you and it emerge together. The focus is on opening the door, not what might come through it. When you open the door, it will come to you.

Exercise: Intuisdom Meditation

Now, before we begin:
Find a relatively quiet place to sit that is free from normal distractions and where you know you can keep quiet for at least 20 minutes (no TV’s, phones, etc.). Sitting on the floor or ground with a cushion for your posterior will be best, but using a chair or sofa is fi ne, as long as you are not tempted to mistake this new state you will discover as time to go to sleep!
Your posture should be relatively straight, with the spine and head erect, but the body relaxed. Allow your hands to rest comfortably in your lap—you might even use a pillow on your lap during meditation to rest your forearms and hands if you find your back hurting after meditating a few times. Breathing should be done with the diaphragm fully engaged so that the belly distends on your in breath.
Close your eyes and allow your thoughts and other abstractions to dissipate. You may at first use your breath or some other internal physical sensation as a focal point, but eventually your focus should be the space between thoughts and other abstractions. This space is your first glimpse of the natural self and is what you are aiming directly for. At some point this will become your comfort spot, the place you go naturally, even if it takes a little more time on some days than on others. This is your doorway to your natural self.
Allow the thoughts and abstractions to come and go, never pushing them away, just letting them fl oat away or even just be. A dog barking outside, for instance, is just what it is and nothing more. Even an itch will go away if you bring your focus back to the natural self. Bring your focus back to the space between the abstractions…again and again.
When you are done with your meditation, you can write down what you experienced, if you wish, but try to avoid over- analyzing it and therefore making what shows up too abstract. What is real will always be there—allow it to be. I personally have immense amounts of notes I jotted down after meditations, but I almost never read them after they are initially writ- ten (more on this later in the chapter on engagement).
Meditating is helpful even if you can only do it for five minutes at a shot, but try for a minimum of twenty minutes at first and gradually work your way to an hour or more if you have the time. If you can’t do it every day, just do it as you can—but return to it. Your progress toward your natural self has everything to do with how much you put into it. It can be very slow and it can be very quick—it is up to you.

“I Can’t Meditate”

We hear this so often it’s almost funny, but it’s not. This mistaken notion keeps people from using meditation as the powerful tool it is and what can come from it. It’s a bit like saying, “I can’t lift weights because I am not strong enough.”
When we ask people what they mean by this, they almost always say something like, “I always start thinking about something or find something uncomfortable about my body or a noise that keeps me from concentrating.” In Intuisdom, meditation is the practice of allowing abstractions to dissipate from your consciousness, leaving only the natural self. It is not the practice of being able to be completely clear of abstraction all the time. It is about recognizing the false self attempting to reassert itself and redirecting your perceptions back to the natural self over and over.
Here’s the key: Intuisdom meditation is about orienting to the natural self by recognizing abstractions (the false self and the false world) and allowing them to dissipate. If you are practicing this process over and over you are meditating, despite how many times the abstractions return. Meditation is not a perfect state—it is a state of practicing by repeatedly retraining your focus over and over again.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Finding Fulfillment with Intuisdom: Chapter Four: Becoming The Natural Self in the Natural World (p1)

Finding Fulfillment with Intuisdom
(Original publishing date: November, 2009)

…The sage is guided by what he feels and not by what he sees…
~Lao Tzu
Chapter Four: Becoming The Natural Self in The Natural World (p1)
 

At this point in the book we have softened the hold the false self in the false world has on you by making you aware of its existence as falsely representative of what reality really is. But you will begin to experience the natural self more fully as you orient your moment-to-moment perceptual mode to it. With the practices of exploring resonance, recognizing emerging awareness, single-point meditation and exposure to natural rhythms, you will start to actually shift into the natural self as your primary mode of perception.

Resonance


Resonance is one of the two primary aspects of the perceptual mode of the natural self. It is how we sense what is real and what is not. Resonance is the sensation of something existing that is not accessible by your other senses. It might help if you think of resonance as the first sense instead of a sense that exists after the so-called primary senses.

Active and Passive Resonance


Just as with your other senses, there are different components to resonance and to developing your use of it, starting with two main types, active and passive. Active resonance is defined by the conscious intention of putting it into motion, of consciously using it to learn how it works, as well as to achieve glimpses of your natural self. Passive resonance is achieved when enough blocks are removed from your moment-to-moment experience and what comes through you from the natural world does so primarily of its own accord.

Active Resonance


Active resonance is practiced by simply sending your awareness through your own body as if it were a small wave of water that starts at the top of your chest and moves quickly to the base of your pelvis. Just practicing active resonance is beneficial, as it brings a heightened consciousness of what your body feels like, something many of us completely ignore. But what we are really seeking here is the occasional reflection that comes back to our awareness, a sign that something is there you weren’t aware of.

At first, the reflections just provide location information—where in the body you feel it—but as you get better at it, other aspects of what you are sensing will show up and you will become aware of the nature of whatever it is. It could be something that needs to be released (e.g. particular abstractions) or it could be an aspect of the underlying structures or dynamics of the natural self or natural world.

Now, once you start to sense these things your first response is often to try to attack this curiosity you have discovered within yourself by analyzing it. Using what you will learn from meditation, let this impulse go. Once you have made direct contact with your natural self, it will start to release itself into your consciousness and experience. This is one of the most beautiful aspects of this path—that once the doorway is opened by your own actions, the natural self will begin to reveal itself more and more actively and then the natural world will begin to reach through that natural self into your experience.

Confirming


Confirming is simply checking what you have found or observed using resonance by letting the sensation disappear and repeating the process. Finding the same feeling again lets you know there is something legitimately there. Once again, the act of confirming is not about attempting to analyze what you found—just acknowledge it and it will begin to take care of itself.

Passive Resonance


Passive resonance is simply the awareness of what you are, what your potential is, what your relationship to reality is, what the nature of reality is and what is passing through you without abstraction. It is experienced across a spectrum of quantity and quality, from little bits to torrents, from things that don’t make any particular sense to things that are deeply meaningful. A bit is just a small piece of a specific awareness that appears in your consciousness, while a torrent is a huge stream of awareness that may erupt within you like an eloquent and extemporaneous poem, beautiful, concise and unquestionably real.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Finding Fulfillment with Intuisdom: Chapter Three: The Natural Self in the Natural World (p2)

Finding Fulfillment with Intuisdom
(Original publishing date: November, 2009)

Only in the last moment of human history has the delusion arisen that people can fl ourish apart from the rest of the living world.
~Edward O. Wilson
 
Chapter Three:
The Natural Self in The Natural World (p2)

The Natural World

The natural world is the world as it is after the false world has been recognized; at the very least a vast and probably indefinable stretch of something that is far more dimensional and interconnected than space or time as we are taught to perceive them. It contains a subtle symphony of rhythms and flows we are extremely isolated from in the false world.
The false world creates a small, distorted pocket within that vastness that is definable because we have made it abstract by the very act of defining it. Envision the false world as a small, hollow egg we live within, thinking that the inside of the shell is the edge of the world, the edge of reality, everything that defines what we can and can’t do, can and can’t be, can and can’t feel. The natural world is everything without abstraction.
The Relationship Between the Natural Self and the Natural World
It is very important to understand that the natural self is an extension of the natural world. As such, it is simply an instrument of localized consciousness, an organ of expression of the natural world. The rhythms and cycles that flow through the natural world also flow through the natural self and inform it of where it is, what it is and what its relationships are. As you use the simple practices included in the next chapter, you will find that the natural self is a dynamic conduit through which consciousness is experienced at whatever level you allow it.
The natural self and the natural world sit nested together and function as parts of the same whole. If the natural world were a mountain, the natural self would be a river fl owing from it. If the natural world were a patch of earth, the natural self would be a flower rising from it. If the natural world were a star, the natural self would be its light.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Finding Fulfillment with Intuisdom: Chapter Three: The Natural Self in the Natural World (p1)

 
Finding Fulfillment with Intuisdom
(Original publishing date: November, 2009)
 
“Only in the last moment of human history has the delusion arisen that people can fl ourish apart from the rest of the living world.”
~Edward O. Wilson
Chapter Three:  The Natural Self in the Natural World (Part One)

The Natural Self


When we strip away the abstractions, the false self that we have held as real for so many years and the so-called primary senses of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing, what is left other than simple consciousness? At first, nothing at all seems to be left; but as we relax into this nothingness we begin to become aware that it has its own properties, chief amongst them a deep fertility. What remains may be thought of as a purer state or a simpler mode of experiencing, but it is a critical one to achieve to find fulfillment and everything that lies beyond fulfillment. Welcome to the natural self.

Once we are beyond perceiving just these basic properties of experience that lay underneath the false self, we start to sense interesting shapes, flows and rhythms. And even more importantly, we begin to sense potentials and opportunities, the aspects of the natural self and the natural world that beg to be enjoyed and brought into our lives with action. Indeed, these aspects of the natural world are actually shared with the natural self, and their presence within the self brings us to the realization that there is deep common ground between us and the outside world.

The natural self is fertile, expansive, connected, dynamic, subtle, emerging. The natural self is what shows up when the false self is gone.

Perceptual Mode of the Natural Self


The natural self experiences neither abstractions nor the processing required to distill meaning from abstractions. It experiences through resonance and learns through emerging awareness. While the false self experiences abstractions in place of reality, the natural self experiences reality by being part of it. The natural self learns by observing the shapes and flows moving through it and allowing them to emerge into consciousness.

This perceptual mode is deeply informed by natural rhythms around us and through us if we allow it. The natural self resonates with these rhythms and we find our place within them.

In the next chapter we will define the perceptual mode of the natural self more fully and discuss the primary methods of orienting to it.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Finding Fulfillment with Intuisdom: Chapter Two: The False Self in the False World (p5)


Finding Fulfillment with Intuisdom
(Original publishing date: November, 2009)

The only way to find the limits of the possible is by going beyond them to the impossible.”
~Arthur C. Clarke


Chapter Two:  The False Self in the False World
(Part 5)

Simple Exercise: The False Self vs. the Natural Self


Take two sheets of blank paper and lay one on top of the other. On the top sheet, take a long time to write everything good and bad about yourself, how you measure up, how you fail, why you have failed, why you have succeeded, what your hair color is, what your weight is, what your IQ is, what your job is, what your ambitions are, what your age is, crimes you’ve committed, wrongs that have been done to you, relationships you have and have had, how much education you’ve had, and so on, until every last drop of what you know about yourself is on that top paper. Go ahead and write in the little spaces that are left—just don’t write on the bottom sheet. Continue reading when you are done.

When you are all done, look at that top sheet as a totality of you and take it in for a few minutes. Now, lift up just the corner of the sheet to see what is underneath. Wow, a blank page. Now put the top sheet back over the bottom sheet for a minute and consider the layer of blank page underneath with a layer of everything you know about yourself on top. Now, remove the top sheet and safely burn it or otherwise destroy it, leaving the blank sheet. (If you are worried about destroying some of what you are symbolically, realize that whatever is really you will always be really you; it can’t be folded, spindled or mutilated.) So, what’s left? Just the you that is waiting to emerge.

Now, before we leave this exercise, let’s consider the blank page one more time. Is it empty or just not marked on with symbols that reflect, but aren’t, you? It is really just what it is, with all its potential intact and ready.