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What’s hiding in YOUR shadows?

Tuesday, 30 December 2008 by

During my 30+ years as a teacher, I’ve had the opportunity and good fortune to get to know and in some cases spend significant time with many of the top personal and spiritual growth teachers in the world.

If there’s one quality these top teachers share it’s that they’ve developed their awareness.

As difficult as it might be to believe this, you might even say that awareness holds the answer to nearly all personal challenges. Awareness is closely connected with both intuition and creativity. The more aware you are, the more obvious the solution is to any problem, and the more the daily problems and challenges of life automatically sort themselves out.

The less aware you are, the more it can seem as if there is no solution to the challenges in your life—and, the more likely it will be that you’ll unconsciously attract people and situations into your life that you don’t want. Zen master Genpo Roshi once said to me that what you’re unaware of will inevitably be the place in your life where you’re stuck. Becoming more aware, then, is an extremely valuable undertaking.

It’s all about awareness…

Monday, 24 November 2008 by

What would it be like to have significantly more choice about how you feel in each moment? What if you had more control over your behavior, or more choice about the people and situations you seem to attract into your life, or become attracted to? Wouldn’t more choice and control in these areas significantly change your experience of life?

I’ve been helping people with their personal and spiritual growth for over 30 years now, and I’ve noticed that these three areas—how you feel, how you behave, what people and situations you attract or become attracted to, and what meanings you assign to the people, things, and events in your life–make up most of our experience of life.

Most people assume that their feelings “just happen,” that feelings come and go without much if any choice on our part. For that reason, most people assume that there’s little that can be done about their moment by moment feelings. Have you ever lost your temper, despite the negative consequences, or found yourself feeling sad or depressed without being able to get yourself out of it?

As I’ll explain in a moment, you actually can exercise a great deal of choice over how you feel. There’s no reason why you need to feel bad for more than a few moments, but exercising this choice involves becoming more aware of exactly how you’re creating the way you feel in each moment. Meditation have proven to be one of the most effective ways of increasing awareness and Holosync meditation increases awareness at least four times faster than traditional mediation. Either way, it’s through increasing your awareness that you can take charge of your internal experience of life–and your external results.

I also frequently hear from people who say that they know what they need to do in order to get the results they want, but they often can’t get themselves to actually take the actions they know they need to take. They attend a seminar on how to make money, where they learn a step by step formula. They go home motivated and excited, but despite their best intentions fail to put it into practice. Or, they learn about relationship communication skills, but when the chips are down and they really need to use those skills, for some reason they don’t use them.

Why does this happen? Why are we sometimes unable to be in charge of how we behave? I want to explore this question, too. And, as you’ll see, once again the key to success is increasing your conscious awareness.

Let me ask you something else. Are there areas of life where you seem to get the same negative result over and over, no matter how hard you try? I used to get involved with the same woman, but each time in a different body, over and over. Then I’d experience the same relationship issues and have the same fights and the same bad feelings that I’d had with the previous partner.

Is all the financial turmoil — not to mention the already-existing political/election and terrorist/war stress — getting to you? We’re all connected to the financial system, and though many people have become complacent again after the bailouts, and because no huge institutions have failed in the last couple of weeks, many experts say the worst is yet to come. So what can you do? Are we facing a depression like the 1930s? How bad will it get? The real question, though, is how can you prepare yourself, financially and emotionally, for what might happen. I’d like to offer my advice, for whatever it’s worth.

Almost everybody is looking for some sort of help. Let’s face it, being a person isn’t easy. There’s plenty that can go wrong. You can get sick, or injured. You can fail to make (or keep) friends and end up feeling lonely. You can make a mistake and lose money, or not make any in the first place. No matter who you are, you’re going to feel bad at least some of the time. Sometimes you have to put up with people who are annoying or hostile and who certainly don’t have your best interests at heart. You try to get what you want, but sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you get what you don’t want. And even if you get what you want, you can lose it, it changes, or it falls apart. Or, you consume it and it’s gone.

I’m not saying that life doesn’t have its joys, because it does, but everyone at some time feels helpless, alone, and confused in an unpredictable world with a lot of problems and plenty of suffering. We wonder, then, what we can do about this Problem of Life?–which, to make matters worse, includes death, since the fact that we’re going to eventually fall apart is inevitable, not only for ourselves but for those we love.

So what are we going to do? Is there any way to master this situation? 

First of all, I want to apologize for the long time between posts. I’ve been incredibly busy with various deadlines, traveling in and out of town speaking and presenting in various places, and so forth. Finally I’ve come up for air, so here are my latest thoughts.

Before I get to one of the most fascinating topics I’ve written about so far–how (and why) resources automatically flow to those who already have them, and away from those who do not, and how you can get on the receiving side of this equation–I want to make a few brief introductory remarks about Holosync.

I find it interesting when I consider the different reasons why people use Holosync. Some are drawn to Holosync because it creates a remarkable acceleration in meditation and spiritual growth. Holosync meditators, I’ve noticed, seem to progress somewhere from four to ten times faster than traditional meditators in terms of experiencing improvements in well-being, inner peace, a surrendering to what is, a lessening of self-created suffering, an ability to experience life from the transcendent, and an ability to become incredibly aware (more about this below).

Many of you have asked that I write about Holosync, so beginning with this post, your wish is granted. There’s so much I could say about Holosync that it’s difficult to know where to start.

Here are just a few of the topics we could touch on:

  • How Holosync affects the brain, and how those changes in the brain create changes in awareness and consciousness…
  • The various brain wave patterns and what happens when your brain makes each of them…
  • How Holosync affects what Eastern meditation schools call the subtle body..
  • How Holosync affects dysfunctional feelings and behaviors…
  • How Holosync affects your ability to think more clearly and effectively…
  • How Holosync affects such things as ADD, hyperactivity, autism, addictions, and other such problems…
  • What neurochemical and hormonal changes are created when you use Holosync, and how those changes affect how you feel and function…

In my last post, I took you through the first three parts of what are called the Five Ranks of Tozan. Tozan was a Zen master who lived about 1200 years ago, and his description of the stages of enlightenment are very well-respected and have stood the test of time for twelve centuries. To fully understand this post, I strongly suggest that you read my last post before you read this one, since this is the second of two parts.

So, in our last episode, we left our hero in the third of the Five Ranks, established in the transcendent. This Third Rank is what most people would consider “enlightenment.” In this stage one’s center is no longer a separate self, a separate ego, a separate, agentic “doer.” Instead, one’s center is experienced as being everywhere, and the only doer is the entire universe, the Tao, the entire going on of it all. In the Third Rank there are no boundaries, no beginning, no end. You are birthless and deathless. This is Genpo Roshi’s Big Mind.

In this place all opposites are clearly and obviously one thing. And, you ARE that one thing. You are the background, the ground of being, the awareness out of which everything comes and into which everything dissolves. You are pure awareness, awareness without content. Good and evil, life and death, me and not me, and all other supposed opposites have collapsed into just being–not being something, but just being.

The experience is one of peace…flowing…perfection…oneness. (For a more extensive description of the transcendent, you might want to read my post about the Unitive level of development, two posts back.)

At any rate, there you are–enlightened.

Hello again, everyone. Thanks for all your comments about the article on the Unitive level of development. Judging from the fact that as I write this over 140 people have posted comments, many people found this post interesting. I could respond to your comments, but since there are so many, and because it’s time to move on to something new, I’ll resist the urge. I wish I had time to respond to all your comments, but I have a million other irons in the fire and I just don’t have enough time to do so. I hope you understand.

I do appreciate it, though, when you post a comment. In fact, I’d be interested to hear from you about what you’d like me to write about from this point on. I can’t promise that I’ll write about everything you suggest, but I’d love to have your input. So please let me know what you’d like me to write about next.

Here are a few of my own ideas: a discussion of the ideas of Ken Wilber; or those of Eckhardt Tolle; a series about Holosync (how to get the most from it, why it works, what happens when you use it, how to deal with what happens when you use it, and so forth); a series on the shadow aspects we all have and why dealing with these shadow parts dramatically accelerates your growth.

There’s also a lot I could say about success, how to create what you want in the world, how to make more money, and other related topics. I have a lot to say about how what goes on in your mind unconsciously creates your moment-to-moment feelings, behaviors, the people and situations you attract or become attracted to–and, really, your entire experience of life–and how you can make this creative process conscious and have much greater control over it.

So let me know what you would like me to write about.

Now, on to something else…

Finally, after months of blog posts discussing human development, we arrive at the highest developmental level described by Susanne Cook-Greuter: the Ironist or Unitive perspective. Susanne really doesn’t like the name Ironist (which comes from another researcher), so I will refer to those from this stage as Unitives.

At this point it’s important to understand that the stages described by Dr. Cook-Greuter are not theoretical. They are, rather, derived from actual data from real people. This means that the descriptions of the developmental levels I’ve shared (the different perspectives a person can take as they seek to make sense of who they are and how they fit into the world) come from the analysis of data from real people, compiled over many decades.

In other words, Dr. Cook-Greuter describes a level or perspective only if sufficient data exists and she knows that some number of individuals exist who do see things from that perspective.

Almost certainly there are a few rare individuals who see things from perspectives even higher and broader than those described by Susanne Cook-Greuter and summarized in these posts. As time goes by, and more information comes to light, even higher developmental perspectives will no doubt be investigated and cataloged. Many theorists–Ken Wilber, for instance, and several others–have described possible ways of slicing the Unitive stage I’ll describe in this post into several different stages. As of yet, not enough hard data exists for these levels to be anything but theoretical.

You might say, then, that this is a story without an ending, because those living from the highest perspectives are always breaking new ground and exploring new ways to make sense of what it means to be a human being.

So, with that preamble, let’s look at the Unitive perspective, and see how it differs from that of the Magician.

Last time we looked at the developmental stage called the Strategist in Susanne Cook-Greuter’s developmental model. In this post I’m going to look at the developmental stage after the Strategist, the Magician. The Magician’s perspective is significantly different from that of the Strategist. The Strategist is the epitome of the well-organized, complex separate self, the master of his world. He is able to see and understand a complex universe from a perspective centered on, and in, the self. On the other hand, the Magician, though he has a separate self, begins to see through that self and begins to disidentify with it. His sense of self includes the separate self, but adds to it the infinite number of interconnections he shares with the rest of the universe–not as something he knows about, but rather as something he feels and experiences. As we go further, I’ll explain what I mean by that. The view of the Magician, however, is an entirely new way of seeing oneself and the universe.