Now THAT’S a good question…
I tremendously enjoy teaching and interacting with people to help them become more aware, and improve their sense of well being and the quality of their lives. I interact with people as a teacher in three main ways: at public events I do from time to time, on this blog, both by posting these articles and by responding to selelcted posts, and also through the questions students ask me by email as they take my Life Principles Integration Process online courses.
In this post I’d like to share a REALLY good question I received from someone taking my online courses, along with my answer, and a second great question I received on this blog, along with my answer.
I suspect that you’ll find these two questions extremely helpful to you.
Sent : Tuesday, February 9th 2010
By : Nicolas D.
Thank you for the course. And for Holosync (I just started Awakening Level 2).
I am an outwardly very successful young man (29). I graduated from an Ivy League law school and landed a high-paying job in a prestigious law firm in Manhattan a year ago. I am fit and good-looking (I am told) and I have a gorgeous and very supportive girlfriend. I credit these achievements in part to Holosync and the work I have done with the Sedona Method over the past 3 years. With these two things I have experienced sometimes extended glimpses into the Oneness, the perfection that exists every moment.
Yet I still spend a lot of time being miserable (that’s why I am in the course). I function much more easily now than I did a year ago, but I am still miserable overall. I have tried to make internal representations of being happy or having a more meaningful job, and it works some, but it also triggers brutal surges of anger and sadness. Writing out my beliefs, I noticed that at some level I like my misery (that was an interesting realization but guess what it did to the anger). I am furious that everything seems to be going so well, I have so many people who love me, and yet I am miserable. My girlfriend does not understand it; my parents don’t understand it; I don’t understand it. I don’t know what internal representations would make me happy or what I need to create because I hate even the word “happy.” I feel like my whole castle is built on clay.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
You’re asking a very intelligent and interesting question. Believe me, you aren’t the only one who feels this way.
First, if you aren’t a reader of my blog, there are many articles there that address some of your questions in more detail than I can go into here (as do future lessons in these online courses, for that matter). In particular, read the posts, The Five Stages of Enlightenment and So, There You Are, Enlightened. Also, What If There’s Nothing You Can Do to Change, and News Flash: There’s No Escape.
What I say in this course is absolutely true: what YOU DO in your Internal Map of Reality creates your experience of life. The basic vocabulary of that Map consists of the internal representations you make (internal pictures, internal dialog, etc.), moment by moment. All the other things we’ll cover in this course (beliefs, values, strategies, etc.) are made up of internal representations. In a simplified sense, when the internal representations you make are of what you want or what you think is possible, you feel generally good, and when they are of what you don’t want, what you’re afraid of, what you’re worried about, or what you want to avoid, you generally feel some sort of unpleasant feeling (as you describe feeling about your life).
Each person has his or her own method, you might say, of automatically and unconsciously deciding what internal representations to make in response to various sensory triggers (what you see, hear, feel, touch, etc). Though learning how to do this continues throughout life, most of how we do this is learned during childhood, and traumatic experiences–which don’t have to be huge earth-shattering events, and which we all have many of–teach us that certain things in life pose a danger, or a potential danger. When something happens that reminds us of that danger, we automatically and unconsciously make internal representations of what we don’t want, and then we feel bad in some way (and, if we do this often enough, we give the mind what we don’t want as a goal, which causes us to attract or create more of it).
All bad feelings are created by making internal representations of what we don’t want.
Trying not to make internal representations of what you don’t want (the will power approach) is only marginally successful. First of all, we’re unaware of nearly all our internal representations, and they go by very quickly. And, more important, as long as the underlying belief that this or that danger exists, trying to change the internal representations you make is really just treating the symptom.
Let’s say that there’s something you see as a danger–say, social situations, just to make up an example. Because they’re difficult for you, when you’re in a social situation you’ve decided that you’re going to make internal representations of everyone liking you, you being charming and interesting, and so forth. But here’s what happens: when you make these internal representations of what you want, they actually remind you of the danger you want to avoid. Focusing on what you want just reminds you of what you don’t want, which instantly shifts your focus to avoiding it (which involves making internal representations of the danger)–as long as your belief in the underlying danger continues to exist.
So the way out of this isn’t to use will power to change your internal representations. I suppose that if you did this long enough you might create a new habit, but personally, in helping nearly a million people with this sort of thing over 30 years, I haven’t seen that approach be successful to any great extent.
Here’s what does work, though: doing whatever you’re already doing, making whatever internal representations you’re already making, but doing it with awareness.
If you’re going into a social situation and focusing on what you’re afraid of, watch yourself do it. Observe what triggers you, observe what internal representations you make in response to the trigger, and observe the feelings and behaviors that directly result from those internal representations.
When you do this you clearly see that 1) the internal representations (not the situation) create the feelings and behaviors, which means that 2) the feelings and behaviors come from YOU, from something you DO, not from the situation, and 3) you see that IF YOU ARE AWARE ENOUGH TO WATCH IN THIS WAY you have a choice as to what internal representations you make. This ultimately involves a realization that what you thought was a danger isn’t really a danger (it doesn’t cause the problem you’re having–it triggers you to unconsciously create the FEELING of danger in your mind).
Most people think it works this way:
trigger–>resulting feeling, behavior, or other result.
It actually works this way:
The choice point is in that second step–which happens, for 99.99% of people, outside their awareness. Anything you do outside your awareness happens WITHOUT CHOICE.
Watching yourself do something that doesn’t serve you (and by watching I mean seeing HOW what you do creates it–in this case, your making certain internal representations of what you don’t want, are worried about, are afraid of, or otherwise want to avoid) makes it very difficult to keep doing it. Your enthusiasm for doing it, if you watch yourself do it with awareness, just fades away. As a result, you stop.
Another way to go at this, from another angle, is to look at the underlying belief that social situations are a potential danger (I’m just making up this example–I’m not saying that you have this particular problem). If you knew that you believed that social situations were a danger to you, and you were going to use enhanced awareness to drop that non-resourceful belief, you’d go into a social situation saying to yourself, “I know exactly what’s going to happen here. Because I believe that I’m going to look like an idiot and cause people not to like me, I’ll do certain things that will help me prove that this belief is true.”
Then you would watch, with great curiosity, to see HOW you do this. You’d watch the internal representations you make. You’d watch which people you interact with and how you choose them. You’d watch what you’re saying, what gestures you make, what facial expressions you make, and so on. You’d watch how you respond (internal and externally, especially watching the internal pictures you make and your internal dialog) to what other people do or say. You’d watch what interpretations you place on what people do or say. Knowing that you are going to prove that you are right about your belief, you’d watch to see how you do it.
As in the other example, if you watch with enough awareness and curiosity to really see how you “prove” that you’re right about your belief, you’ll see that YOU are creating that proof, and that there are other choices. You will, then, automatically stop choosing to sabotage yourself and choose something more resourceful. You won’t have to will yourself to do it–the basic belief will fall away all by itself and you will choose something that does work. In lesson 2 or 3 I tell the story of how I did this with a very negative belief I had about women and relationships.
Being aware of how you create your feelings, behaviors, which people and situations you attract or become attracted to, and what the events of your life mean is NOT the same as “knowing” that you do these things. Most people know what things are going sideways in their life. I’m talking about actually watching the internal processes you use to create these things, as you do them. This is the meaning of awareness.
So what you need to do is to become an expert in observing each part of your Internal Map of Reality as we cover them in this course [for a preview lesson of these courses, go to www.centerpointe.com/life/preview]. Of course, there isn’t really enough time in just the 2 weeks between lesons to do this (though you can go slower if you wish). If I left enough time between lessons to master each lesson, there would be one lesson every six months, or one every year. This is rather something that you can become better and better at over years, and never completely master. I had to strike a balance between leaving enough time to get in some experience with observing each aspect of your Internal Map, and having the new lessons come soon enough to keep people engaged. Many people retake the lessons because they find the second time they get MUCH more from them and can go a lot deeper than they did the first time.
So in your case, one of the things you would pay attention to is HOW you create this feeling of misery–because, believe me, you are creating it by what you do inside. It’s just that you’re doing it outside your awareness, which makes it seem as if it’s “just happening”. When we do that (do it outside our awareness), whatever we’re doing we can just keep doing it for an entire lifetime–and most people do. It’s when we’re able to step back and observe HOW we do it, with awareness and curiosity, that whatever doesn’t work just falls away.
So all you have to do is watch with awareness, and everything adjusts itself, all by itself. No will power is required. (And, I’ll bet you’ve never heard anyone teach this before, but believe me, it works.) Perhaps I shouldn’t glibly say, “so, all you have to do is…” because it takes practice to learn how to watch in this way, and it take expanding your awareness, which is why Holosync is so valuable.
My suggestion is to practice watching your internal representations (mostly your internal pictures and internal dialog) for 5 minutes or so three times a day: when you first wake up, when you turn out the light to go to sleep, and perhaps one other time during the day. Just pick something that happened during the day and think about it. Notice what internal pictures you make, and notice what you say to yourself about it. And, notice how your internal state (which includes your feelings) changes as a result of the internal representations.
You can also think of something you really want, notice the internal representations you make (and the internal state that is created), then think of something you strongly want to avoid, notice the internal representations you make (which will be of something you don’t want), and notice how your state changes (it will probably change to a negative state). Seeing how you create your internal states begins the process of having choice over them. In doing this you’ll probably also notice (as I said above) that when you’re thinking about an area of life you associate with danger that trying to think about what you want will actually trigger you to think about what you don’t want–an example of why will power doesn’t work.
Let it be okay that this watching isn’t easy at first. Just play with it a little bit every day and you’ll start noticing what you’re doing inside and how it affects how you feel, how you behave, and so on. You’ll see ways that you’re sabotaging yourself by focusing on what you don’t want. As I said, as long as you do this outside your awareness, you can keep doing it, and keep creating bad feelings and negative outcomes, forever. Do it with awareness, though, and what doesn’t work falls away. When you become aware in the way I’m suggesting, many human problems are automatically solved. In fact, if you are aware enough, every human problem that can be solved IS solved.
However, there are certain aspects of being human that have no solution. The two main categories involved are:
1) The fact that everything is, ultimately, impermanent, which means that everything eventually ends, falls apart, goes away, etc. This causes pain for human beings, and there’s no escape from impermanence. You can “escape” from creating a lot of self-sabotaging internal representations about what you don’t want regarding impermanence, but the fact that everything ultimately ends has no solution (other than acknowledging it and surrendering to it).
2) The second thing we can’t escape from is the fact that we’re caught in a huge web of cause and effect, including cosmic and geological forces over which we have no control (the sun, earthquakes, weather, gravity, and so on), and the fact that there are 6.7 billion other people (and a hell of a lot of other living things) that have agendas that often conflict with ours. For that reason, we quite often get what we don’t want or fail to get what we do want. Again, by being more aware you can avoid some of that, but you can’t avoid all of it, and this, too, is a source of pain for humans.
So, to me, the goal is to become as aware as possible, so as to exercise as much choice as possible over the things we can do something about (which includes a lot: 1) how we feel, 2) how we behave, 3) which people and situations we attract or become attracted to, and 4) what we think the events of life “mean”). Awareness creates choice, while a lack of awareness allows things to happen on autopilot, making them seem to “just happen.”
Then, we work on acknowledging and accepting those things we can’t do anything about so as not to resist them (which we do by making internal representations of what we don’t want when we encounter them) because this resistance just causes unnecessary suffering, both for us and for others.
Hope this helps. As you go through these lessons [in the Life Principles Integration Process online courses], work on actually watching (rather than just intellectually “knowing about”) each aspect of your Internal Map, as I cover each of them.
Again, great question.
I had written you a few months back about night terrors I was having, and how I felt holosync had contributed to it and how I felt I didn’t know if I could keep living with them. I did call the support line as you recommended, and found that the night terrors were the dark side of ME! I thought they were coming from outside of myself, such as mean people I had been around etc. But they were coming from the mean thoughts that I was having about the mean people. Imagine that. I haven’t had one since. YEAH, what a relief, to actually own that dark side (voice) and to truly realize and get through to my brain that everything is truly created from inside of me, not outside of me is huge.
Just started Awakening 2 about 5 weeks ago, and all the warm fuzzy feelings I had gotten to when I finished up Awakening 1 are gone, I know that I will come out on the otherside and be warmer and fuzzier, I can’t help wanting it to be now, rather than later.
Thanks for all you do
FROM BILL: From time to time someone contacts us because they are having uncomfortable experiences while using Holosync. We tell them that those experiences are not “caused” by Holosync, but instead are coming from them. Often they are unwilling to acknowledge this, and accuse us of not wanting to take responsibility for what they see as Holosync harming them. I congratulate you on your willingness to look into this more deeply and to acknowledge that what you were experiencing was, indeed, coming from you.
What people often don’t get is that it’s GREAT that it’s coming from you. That means you can do something about it.
This also illustrates two things I’ve been saying non-stop for over 30 years: when you are doing something unconsciously, outside your awareness, it seems as if it is “just happening.” Once you’re able to watch yourself do it, with awareness, and see HOW you’re doing it, it falls away, just as it has with you. As you continue you may discover more things in your life that are like this, but each time you do it is an opportunity to let it dissolve.
This is also a great example of shadow material, and how we’re convinced that it’s coming from others, not from ourselves. You had disowned “meanness” and so you attracted mean people and even manifested them in your dreams. Owning that it was coming from you caused it to disappear. If you haven’t read the posts I’ve done about shadows, you might find them very interesting at this point. I’m sure they will give you further clarity about shadows and how they work in our lives.
Before you go, please check out these two recommendations:
The seats are going fast for the “Technologies of Awareness: Buddhism and the New Mind Sciences” conference I’m speaking at, at Smith College in April. In fact, this looks like the most popular event I’ve done since I first started doing workshops with Zen master Genpo Roshi. If you want to experience this, please act right away. And, we’ve made it REALLY inexpensive.
This is turning out to be so popular that we are having professors from Harvard, Yale, and several other universities calling and asking if they can attend. Also, a number of professors want to require entire classes of theirs to attend, but I’ve held them off, for now, to give Centerpointe people the first chance at these seats.
This is something you should strongly consider attending, but you need to act soon because it is filling up much faster than I anticipated, and I’m going to have to make it available to students very soon.
Here are the details:
If you’re interested in how cutting-edge science and spirituality intersect and affect each other, this is for you:
On April 10 I’ll be participating in a very special, one-time-only event at Smith College in Western Massachusetts, and I’d like to invite you to be there. Wait till you see who is involved.
Several months ago I discovered that famed Buddhist scholar Jamie Hubbard (the Yehan Numata Professor of Buddhist Studies at Smith College in Massachusetts) is an avid Holosync user. We met and spent some time together, and he suggested that we put on a workshop together and invite some of the other “consciousness luminaries” he knows (many of the scientists that have been studying the Tibetan monks around the Dalai Lama, for instance, are his friends, as are other well-known figures in Buddhism and transformational work, such as Dan Goleman of emotional intelligence fame).
So, on April 10th we’re holding a day-long seminar at Smith College in beautiful western Massachusetts, tentatively called “Technologies of Awareness: Buddhism and the New Mind Sciences”.
We’re particularly interested in looking at the newer and more innovative methods of changing consciousness (including Holosync) and discussing how valid (and effective) they actually are compared to the ancient and time-tested traditional approaches.
Smith College is in beautiful Northhampton, Massachusetts, a short hop from New York, Boston, and other parts of the eastern U.S. The area is home to innumerable universities, spiritual centers, and Buddhist groups, where the intelligentsia, scientists, and practitioners of the spirituality of consciousness have congregated, making it a hotbed of ideas.
Jamie will speak, and also moderate the day (you will not want to miss his talk–he is NOT a dry and boring academic), I will speak, Zen master Genpo Roshi (creator of the innovative Big Mind-Big Heart process that Ken Wilber has described as “the biggest breakthrough in Buddhism in the last 200 years”) will speak, and the final speaker will be Andrew Olendzki, PhD., a Pali scholar (the language of the original teachings of the Buddha) trained in Buddhist Studies at Lancaster University in England, as well as at Harvard and the University of Sri Lanka. He’s the former executive director of IMS (Insight Meditation Society), the executive director of the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies (BCBS) in Barre, Massachusetts, and editor of the famous Insight Journal.
But, as they say when selling the ShamWow, “But that’s not all you get.”
And, this, to me, is the most exciting part of the whole thing…
To continue reading, go to www.centerpointe.com/smith-college
One more recommendation:
One of the most amazing things I’ve ever done is to attend Dr. James Hardt’s Biocybernaut Institute Alpha Brainwave Training. Dr. Hardt, who has become a good friend, is probably the world’s greatest expert on brainwaves and how they relate to various spiritual states (which I find extremely interesting). His trainings, among other things, teach you, using biofeedback, how to make the brainwaves of these states–something that can take decades of meditation to achieve–in just a week-long training.
For more information, go to his website, www.biocybernaut.com. This is NOT cheap, I’ll warn you, but if you can afford to do it, it will change your life. Either way, the website is fascinating, and well worth exploring. Many Centerpointe people have done his Alpha I training (and many have done some of his more advanced trainings) and every one of them I’ve spoken to has been absolutely blown away by what happened. This truly is life-changing.
And, by the way, Dr. Hardt has been blown away by the brain waves he sees in Holosync users. I was with him a few weeks ago when a skeptic asked him “So, does Holosync create meditation?” Dr. Hardt said, “Holosync is better than meditation.”
Finally, I want to make it clear that I’m recommending Dr. Hardt because I think you will benefit–I receive no money or other compensation for recommending this (or, for that matter anything else I recommend).
(click the player above to listen to this post)
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