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Someone asked me a great question regarding my post titled, “More about the power of awareness”. Though I gave a quick reply, I’m writing an expanded version here.

Here’s the question, and then my (expanded) response.

Hi Bill,

I’m convinced that watching with awareness will integrate any shadow material, but I don’t understand why Ken Wilber in his many books is stating otherwise. Terry Patten, Adam Leonard and Marco Morelli wrote in Integral Life Practice [a book recently published by Integral Institute]: “If I meditate, and meditate very deeply, what can happen? I can watch my fear and sadness arise as objects in my awareness. I can relax my ‘identification’ with them. (…) But unless I do shadow work in addition to meditating, I probably won’t truly face my shadow.”

In one of the editions of Mind Chatter [Centerpointe’s now-defunct newsletter/magazine, which was replaced by this blog–hence the name, The Blog that Ate Mind Chatter] you said that you were going to ask Ken about Shadow work versus Watching with awareness, aka witnessing. You wrote that your own experience and many others showed that witnessing can resolve shadow material.

Have you ever asked that question to Ken. If you did, what was the answer? If you didn’t, will you ask it? I’m just curious about this topic. I know that shadow work can be useful, but the method you are proposing is a lot faster, easier and more effective than 3-2-1 process [a process taught by Integral Institute for re-owning shadow material] or any other type of therapy.

This is a great question. Here’s how I see it. [If you aren’t clear on what a “shadow” is, you might want to read my previous post, “What’s Hiding in Your Shadows”.]

Awareness, as I’ve said before, is your best shot at a solution to life’s problems–at least those problems that have a solution. With enough awareness, you either see how you’re creating a problem, or you see that there’s nothing you can do about it. Both are valuable.

There are certain problems you can’t do anything about. There’s no way to change the fact that everything in this world is impermanent and will eventually come to an end or fall apart. You also can’t escape from the web of cause and effect that you’re a part of. The solution, if you want to call it that, is to stop making these things into problems. In other words, stop resisting what cannot be resisted.

You can, however, avoid or minimize some of the problems of life, and awareness is the key to doing this. If you’re aware, you can exercise choice regarding the way you enter into and engage the world of cause and effect. Though you can’t control everything raining down on you from the world of cause and effect, you can exercise enough control to substantially improve your life.

There are two ways to approach life: you can live automatically, on autopilot, or consciously, with awareness. Unfortunately, nearly all people live with little awareness, on autopilot. What’s more, if you’re living on autopilot, you won’t even know you’re on autopilot, unless someone tells you. That’s why they call it autopilot.

News flash: There’s no escape.

Thursday, 02 April 2009 by

Stop for a moment and think of all the people you know–friends, relatives, people you work with, people you play with, and people you see from time to time as you go about your business, but don’t know well.

Also think for a moment about all the people you know about, but don’t know personally–politicians, celebrities, leaders, and so on.

All these people have one important thing in common: they’re all doing their best to make sense of what it means to be a human being.

Think about it. Here we are, on this spinning rock ball, in the middle of endlessly vast space, in a thin and fragile protected environment absolutely necessary to us if we’re to stay alive. We come into the world, and then, after an undetermined amount of time, we’re gone. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

(Actually, if you think about it, it would be more accurate to say that we come OUT of the world, like an apple comes out of an apple tree, but that’s another story, for another day.)

When you think about it, doesn’t it strike you that this whole business of being a person is quite weird? I mean, what’s it all about? Why is it happening? Is there any purpose to it? If so, what is it?

“You are worthwhile. “

“You are full of promise.”

This post is going to be a bit different than the others you’ve read or listened to here. I want to tell you about a friend of mine–an amazing man, Bob Danzig. This post, more than any of the others, is a must-read.

Because of Centerpointe’s huge success, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet many amazing people. Bob Danzig is certainly one of the top two or three. Just spending time with Bob Danzig leaves you feeling good about yourself and more confident about your own value and what you can accomplish.

One reason why Bob is so amazing has to do with his sad and difficult childhood–and his amazingly successful and inspirational adult life. For twenty years Bob was CEO of the entire Hearst Newspaper Group, a multi-billion dollar company, working his way up from office boy in a small newspaper in Albany, New York. Considering where he started, his story shows how anyone, with the right encouragement from people who care, can create a life that matters.

Bob never had a family. Instead, he grew up in a series of foster homes. In one home, he slept in an attic with no lights. The family he lived with would leave his dinner on the bottom step of the attic stairs. He ate in the attic, alone, in the dark.

Self-fulfilling prophecies and you…

Saturday, 17 January 2009 by

In all the posts I’ve made here, I’ve emphasized that awareness is the key to improving your life, whether that improvement is spiritual, emotional, or practical. To the degree that you are unaware, you respond automatically, based on certain beliefs, premises, habits, and so forth, most of which you developed as a child.

This “automatic response” way of living often creates outcome you don’t want and didn’t intend. It limits, or even eliminates, choice. The more aware you are, however, the more choice you have—and the less likely you are to unconsciously create or attract people and situations you don’t want into your life.

Unless you’ve been with me for a while, the idea that increased awareness provides the solution to life’s problems might be a new and foreign idea to you. Using Holosync and the other courses and resources we’ve created here at Centerpointe, we’ve helped nearly a million people in 173 countries all over the world expand their awareness. As awareness increases, emotional problems fall away, mental abilities improve, stress diminishes, well being increases, and unwanted people and situations stop showing up in your life.

Meditation is the most powerful way I know of to increase awareness, and Holosync meditation increases awareness even more quickly than traditional meditation. If you then use that additional awareness to observe the part of your mind that generates your feelings and behaviors and causes you to attract or become attracted to certain people or situations in your life, you gain a tremendous amount of choice over your life. The more aware you become, the more difficult is it to do something that doesn’t serve you.

Post before last, we looked at the internal representations you make, primarily your internal dialog and the internal pictures you make. I suggested that you practice observing these internal representations because they (along with a few other internal mental processes) directly create your feelings and other internal states. These internal states then generate your behaviors and the people and situations you attract into your life.

Watching these internal processes is challenging at first, as you may have discovered if you tried to do it. You won’t master the ability to do it in just a few weeks, so keep working on it. As you get better at it, you’ll see some incredible positive changes in your life. (My Life Principles Integration Process online courses will take you, step-by-step, through this learning process. You can hear a free preview lesson at www.centerpointe.com/life/preview)

In my last post, I asked you to become aware of your shadows, aspects of yourself you’ve disowned or pushed down into the basement of your awareness because someone taught you that they were wrong or bad. Many, if not most, problems in life are actually an unconscious expression of these disowned parts, and becoming aware of them and re-owning them allows you to end the most stubborn life-long problems.

In this post, I want to look at another aspect of how your internal processes create most of what happens to you in your life, and all of your experience of and reaction to what happens—beliefs. A belief is a collection of internal representations about something you think is true in a certain area of life—a generalization you’ve made about life, about people in general, or about yourself.

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).

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