Where Inner and Outer Worlds Meet

I had grown very tired of my own inner dialogue concerning world events. I had and still have my own beliefs around what’s going on in the U.S., and these beliefs tend to range from dark to darker. My inner state was spilling over into my overall demeanor, and that was what I was growing so weary of. There is no telling when this particular brand of madness will end, but I needed to check out what was going on inside me, so as to bring some equilibrium and balance into my life despite what is swirling around in my head.

That morning, my wife asked me if I knew what was underneath the magnetic quality of my own attachment to my beliefs. I didn’t know, so I decided to find out.

With the help of a very gifted and patient facilitator, (Helen Luce) I finally sat down and checked out what was going on inside my gut. Most of the sensation was located in my gut, as many of my more intense sensations seem to be. At a certain point, after inquiring into many words and sensations, I was presented with a visual of what was going on. I could actually see a mesh-like field that was a representation of this magnetic quality and attachment that drew me into this swirl of current events. Now comes the humbling part. This mesh was my wanting to be right about these events, what was driving them and how they would play out.

And what was even below this mesh-like field of attachment to being right? Fear. There was a small ball of fear at the very core of my gut. At the time, I didn’t know what this fear was about, just that as I thanked it for being there, and offering it to stay as long as it liked, it didn’t seem to want to leave. So I have continued to allow for its presence, not wishing it away, but becoming more aware of it as I go about my days. As I write this, I can feel it stirring, and I can feel its primal nature. Paradoxically, as I sat with all this later on that day, I realized that seeing this about myself made me more compassionate towards myself and others. Wanting to be right seems to be the ego’s prime directive, and in that we are all in the same boat. It’s a good reminder not to be negatively judgmental towards myself, as I simply carry that into my experience of “others.”

So has my inner work made any difference in the world? I have no idea. In fact, I really have no idea what is going on in the world, despite all the opinions racing through my noggin. I’m actually tired of thinking that I know what’s going on. I can say it has made a big difference in my own inner world. There is more space and openness in my inner environment. I am quieter inside. That alone made this exercise worth doing.

When these strong feelings arise within, I consider it an act of self-love to give them their due, invite them in and ask them some “mining” questions if called for. It’s the resisting them that causes suffering.

Life seems impossibly poignant right now, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Unraveling

This is no joke, this seeing;
This seeing of patterns
      of habits
      of coverups
      of selfishness
      of internal compromises
      of dishonesty
      of not honoring inner truth

We know about this shedding of ego-based existence,
But this morning I heard the phrase, “Say Goodbye,”
      and felt its implications

This is not a game to attain something
      to accomplish a task of some kind
      to achieve a spiritual milestone
      or to look good in our own eyes
      or the eyes of others.

This is an annihilation of who we think we are;
and to face that, well, humbling doesn’t even begin to say it.
But it is humbling, and fearsome, and tender,
      and in this we are most vulnerable;
As what we used to do to cover all that up
      no longer serves.

For those of us who have somehow found ourselves
      in this process of unbecoming,
My deepest respect goes out to us all;
This is indeed not for the faint of heart.
We can tend to overlook the courage this takes
but I will overlook it no longer.

Tears are never far away,
melting my pretenses.

Let the unraveling continue.

Living Life with an Asterisk

So there I was, lying on a gurney, my nose and mouth covered by an oxygen mask, unable to speak, while being subjected to an EKG. While I was in this position, I had a clear view of the treatment room in this small, interior of British Columbia hospital. To my left the nurses and doctor would come into the room occasionally to check on the EKG machine and to see if I was OK. To my right, my wife was sitting with a friend and having a conversation.

What I saw during that interval changed my life.

It was so clear to me as I was lying there, that the nurses and the doctor were acting. It was like a soap opera – their acting was that bad. Nothing they did or said was in any way authentic. It all seemed scripted, and they were doing an unconvincing job of reading their lines.

I was totally amazed and astonished by what I was seeing. I so desperately wanted to ask my wife, “Hey! Are you seeing this the way I am?” But with the oxygen mask over my mouth, I couldn’t speak. I just kept looking at this in wonder.

Meanwhile, to the right of me, my wife and friend were also acting, but they appeared much more genuine, much more convincing in their roles than the actors to the left of me. I could still see through the acting, but I believed them as they played their roles. The contrast was unmistakeable.

This happened almost ten years ago. The vividness of that awareness stayed with me for some weeks, and has shaped how I have looked at life from that point onward. It has allowed me to come to certain conclusions, as I have observed myself and others over the previous ten years.

We are all acting. We are literally giving the performances of our lives.

We are playing a character that has a name, a story, a life along a timeline, but that is not who we truly are. It is a role we are playing.

But this play we are engaged in is so convincing! It seems so real – the thoughts seem real, the feelings, emotions, sensations seem so real, all these other actors seem very real. Our stories are very persuasive in assuring us that the character we are playing is indeed real, has a history, a present, and a future.

Regardless of the degree of authenticity in our acting, and no matter how persuasive our storyline, one thing is certain. We are not the characters we are acting out. We are something far grander, and no words are up to the task of describing it.

That’s where the asterisk comes in.

What do I mean by living life with an asterisk? Whenever we come across an asterisk in whatever work we may be reading, we know that there is more to the story of what that particular sentence or paragraph is expressing. So we find the asterisk at the bottom of the page, and read the additional information that wasn’t expressed in the sentence in question.

In living our lives with an asterisk, the additional information always has the same theme. It reads something like this: *Remember who you really are, which is the Absolute, the I AM, the Oneness, what is beyond description. What your character is going through right now does not touch this Truth. You simply ARE, and the separate self doesn’t even exist here. This field of Oneness is never separate from you, no matter how much turmoil, emotional or physical pain, or seemingly unsolvable dilemmas your character is experiencing. Take a breath, take two or three seconds to rest in that Truth, and then be with whatever you are experiencing. Continue playing your role as best you can, knowing that it is a role, and not the ultimate Truth of who you are.”

Those are my words, but you can ascribe whatever words you want to the asterisk’s appearance. The asterisk doesn’t even need words – it can  be a reminder to simply stop for two or three seconds to remember the I AM, and to feel the total lack of attributes of pure consciousness.

The asterisk can be a reminder of this for you in whatever way works. I carry this asterisk around with me wherever I go and whatever I am doing, and at the very least it reminds me not to take my character too seriously. This isn’t always easy, especially when physical or emotional pain is seemingly present.

At the same time, it is also a reminder to play my role to the best of my ability. My character has been given certain attributes that I can use as I will. I can check in with my body as I go about my day, and see how it is reacting to how I am playing my role. My body will often react with certain sensations which can alert me to the fact that my character needs to pay attention to what is going on, and whether I am playing my role as authentically as possible.

The thoughts and feelings that come up are there to be noticed, and provide ample fodder for inquiry. This inquiring helps to expose the programming and patterns that have ruled our character’s behavior, and reminds us that there is no greater “technique” than simply noticing.

Just last week, I had a session with a fantastic facilitator, and as I watched the video recording of the session, I was taken with how authentic we were both being within the play of the facilitation. But there was a moment when I looked at myself and saw a thoroughly inauthentic reaction to something we were discussing. It was very humbling, and in fact, I even turned my head away from the screen. What terrible acting! My body felt acute embarrassment, and it gave me something to sit with, allow and inquire into.

Our thoughts can be so convincing. We have given them so much weight over the years, that it takes our focus and intent to remember not to buy into them. Where is it written that all our thoughts are to be believed? Where does it say that we are our thoughts? Are the thoughts even our own, or a combination of elements of our programming, or something else entirely? Do you notice how certain thoughts seem to always bring up certain feelings? Does that make those thoughts any more true simply because they produce a feeling? Where is your mind anyway? Can you even find it? (I lost mine about ten years ago.)

These thoughts are simply more variations in the play we find ourselves in. Nothing, not even our thoughts, are true in this play. It is simply a part of the play.

When we are going through a period where thoughts are nagging at us, or are particularly bothersome, remember the *. Let that remind you to take a few moments to stop and be with the I AM, the infinite oneness. (Really, words don’t do it, do they?)

Each time you do, the * can become more and more second nature, and even as you are in the busiest and most turbulent of times, you can just remember the * and know that nothing, nothing, nothing can effect what that points to. All else is part of the play in which you are engaged. Does this make your particular dilemma go away, or make it easier? Maybe, maybe not. But maybe you will be less identified with your circumstances.

Pretty soon it simply becomes automatic that nothing you are going through will be taken at face value, and the I AM will permeate your awareness as you play your part more and more authentically. For me, I don’t live in fear that some uncomfortable emotion will come up that will make my character unhappy or afraid. If and when I do feel that fear, or any other “negative” emotion, I just refer to the asterisk again, and I am reminded of my true home. This doesn’t mean the feelings immediately go away, it just means you can be noticing them from a different place than we are used to.

It is within our power as characters to remember that we are playing a role, and to find our inspiration, our refuge and the Truth of who we are in the field of I AM. Just look over your shoulder and notice the * just sitting there, reminding you of your true nature.

An Experience of Deep Release

This is a story about me and what I went through, but this may be about many of us. This is fairly lengthy, just so you know.

Every time I have come to the Hawaiian Islands, and Kauai in particular, I have always felt that I was coming home. Not necessarily an earthly home, although I have lived on Kauai for ten years, off and on. But along with that, it is more the feeling that being here engenders, the feeling of home that many of us have probably felt at one time or another. Kauai has also been a place of refuge, deep rest, and great healing, no more so than this particular trip. My connection to the land and ocean here has never been more pronounced, and it was that deep connection that brought about this latest healing.

A group of us were taking a hike to a spectacular lookout on the North Shore in an appropriately named community called Sea Cliffs. The views all the way up to the lookout are spectacular enough. But upon reaching the lookout area itself, as I was overlooking the ocean expanse, a searing pain went through my being, and I was brought to tears. I attributed this to not only how much I love it here, but also my reluctance to leave the island, as we were scheduled to leave in less than a week. I allowed this pain to be there, but as we were in a social situation, I didn’t give it its complete due.

As we walked down the trail and back to a friend’s house for lunch, I noticed that I was becoming more contracted, angry and just plain off, which was a puzzlement to me at the time. Over the lunch period and the entire next day, I remained contracted and very guarded, which was a very real trial for my wife Juliette, who bore with me as best she could.

The next morning, we were scheduled for massages with Ocean, a friend who is a very gifted massage therapist. Juliette asked me if I wanted to cancel, and I said no, I needed to do this. As I write this now, I can feel in my body the keen sense of anticipation I felt at the time, despite knowing that massages can often be painful events for me. I knew there was a lot of stored pain being held in my body, and had been stored there over the years. Despite this, I wanted very much to go, knowing it was an opportunity to actually let go of whatever this contracted mood was. Little did I know what was in store.

Immediately upon lying down on the massage table, I started sobbing. I have never before experienced this kind of sobbing, as my entire body was trembling and shaking as the tears flowed. It would come in waves, as a certain thought or a word spoken by Ocean or by me would trigger the crying again. During an early wave of this releasing, I could sense that a window was opening into the unconscious (thank you Christopher Moon), that deeply buried memories and information was now available. So as my body went through its process of releasing and spasming, many realizations came to me. I will recount them as best I can.

I could see that the sadness I had been feeling about leaving the island was more about another life I had lived on the island, and that the details of that life were not going to be shown to me at this point in time. It didn’t matter, as I well knew what had happened to the native Hawaiians in the past, both near and distant; the only detail that was important here was that my heart was broken. I could feel many, many hearts being broken along with mine, and I could also feel so many broken hearts in present time. I have been carrying so much heartbreak into this life, without being consciously aware of it. In fact, I was shown that my personality had been formed in large part to protect me from feeling this heartbreak. So many personality quirks, mannerisms, qualities that I thought were just how I was in the world, were shown to me to be compensations for deflecting my awareness from this deep sadness and heartbreak I was now feeling acutely. The key here is that until this window opened, I was quite unaware of any of this.

My body was still sobbing, shaking, releasing, and I could no more control that than I could physically move a mountain. A timing mechanism had gone off. This was my time to release the armor I had been carrying around for this entire life, and other lifetimes as well.

I could sense my connection to Juliette during that past Hawaiian life, and I saw the face of another good friend as well, revealing the depths of our connection. I also was seeing the wisdom of what Scott Kiloby, author and founder of the Kiloby Center for Recovery where I worked for 10 months, has written and said so many times – that our bodies carry around a lot of unfelt pain, and until that is addressed, all the mental understanding of spiritual principles, non-dual concepts, deep realizations and years of meditation will not bring a person the freedom from our patterns that will come when we can release this pain from our bodies. Well, through whatever miracle of timing was occurring for me in that massage, I knew that this was my body, in its own wisdom, dropping its load, its armor, its shielding.

During the rest of the massage, Ocean was the perfect guide, using her intuition to give me some of her feelings on my process, using various essential oils, and basically being the perfect companion for this journey. I stopped sobbing when my body was finished with its releasing. Again, it was not up to me – a greater wisdom was at work here.

Afterwards, I slept for a bit, awakening when Juliette was finished with her massage. I was aware that I felt different, although the words to describe what I was experiencing were still unclear. That I had dropped a load was certain, but what this would mean for me was still integrating. It has been three days since that massage now, and many realizations have settled in.

I knew during the massage that in some mysterious way, what I was going through was for many of us, not just me.

My gratitude to my body for its innate wisdom, its courage and its strength is profound.

I have noted the absence of my defense system, and now when someone says something or does something that I would previously have defended myself against, I feel a neutrality instead.

My heart is so very wide open now.

I am very primed right now to meet each sensation in the body when it comes, and not defer feeling it to a later time. I also am not taking these sensations personally.

That despair is a feeling that lies deep within so many of us, and when we can get in touch with that, and actually feel it, miracles can occur.

I also want to reiterate that so much of how we behave in the world is actually our defense system making itself known. If we can simply notice  that, and not judge ourselves around our thoughts and the ways we may behave, then this defense system can weaken. We may also become more compassionate towards others as a result of seeing this in ourselves.

I feel that this despair that lies so deeply buried in the unconscious is at the heart of our addictions, be they to substances or behaviors. Until our time comes, we can only be as ready and willing as possible to seize the opportunity to release this deeply buried feeling when it arrives as a miracle on our doorstep.

And speaking of releasing addictions, and miracles, my sweet tooth has been totally inactive since that massage. Those of you who have known me for a while can fully appreciate the enormity of this. That’s right – no cravings, no desire for chocolate or sweets. Now that my defense system has been dismantled to the extent that it has, maybe I can enjoy and appreciate sweets when it is appropriate, not when I need them.

How long this lasts is unknown to me. My appreciation for the peace and freedom that has awakened inside of me is off the charts.

In closing, I wish to express my deep gratitude for this event in my life.

Loosening My Grip on My Worldview

In the spirit of true confession, here are some things I have believed about the world we live in:

  • There is a massive conspiracy in place, a conspiracy so vast and convoluted and evil, that it is beyond the ability of most people on the planet to comprehend.
  • These families care nothing for the welfare of the human race, and are only interested in control.
  • They will use any means necessary, including chemtrails, vaccinations, genocide, wars for profit, disease, heavy metal poisoning, weather control, political manipulation, etc. in order to dumb down and kill as much of the population as is necessary to achieve their goals.
  • Mass media is owned and operated by corporations under the control of these families, and is operating as their propaganda arm. Next to nothing you see, read or hear on the news is to be trusted. Its main goal is to instill fear and misinformation to the general population.
  • The events of 9-11, the Kennedy assassination, the World Wars, and so many other gigantic events were orchestrated and carried out by our own governments, in order to amp up the fear factor, to give a further excuse to perpetuate the growth and inevitablity of military activities around the world, and to create monetary profit for the ruling families and the corporations they control.

I could go on and on. You can get as detailed with this as you want to get. Once this world view is adopted, you start to see invisible hands everywhere. Nothing is how it once appeared to be. The reason I started investigating all this in the first place was because I was so desperately looking for a way to explain and make sense of the world the way it is, with all the ills with which we are so familiar. Once I happened upon the so-called “conspiracy theories,” things began to make sense.

However, I am now in the process of loosening my grip on these beliefs, and seeing through even this level of “reality.” Mostly, this is due to an experience I had a couple of weeks ago. I was looking for a book to read amongst the shelves of the house where we are currently staying, and I found my thoughts drifting into the realms of what I have described above. At that point, a window opened, and a realization simply dawned on me that, basically, all of what I believed about the world was simply bullshit.

I trust what I was shown in those few seconds more than I trust all my reasoning power, or the evidence for this world view as voiced by many of the experts in the field. I can also unequivocally add that this revelation was not that what I see in the world is to be taken at face value. It was on the level of, “Look deeper, beyond appearances. All form is illusion and empty at its core.”

I won’t shut my eyes to anything that I see going on in the world. But I have not been heeding my own advice of holding my beliefs loosely, knowing that in due time they will all be wrested from my clutches.

The Living Inquiries have also shown me that behind all my wanting the world to be different than what it is, lies an emotion that I haven’t wanted to feel. Once welcomed and appreciated, these emotions are free to pass through, stay, or whatever, and I am fully able to allow them to be in the infinite space of who I am.

It always seems to boil down to feeling whatever it is we haven’t allowed ourselves to feel. Issues that seem planetary may in the end reduce themselves to some trauma-induced emotion we haven’t been willing to face.

So I am now officially loosening my grip on all my beliefs of how and why the world is the way it is. My eyes will remain open, staying alert to what I will next be shown. In the meantime I will support certain causes when it feels right, and to note resistances when they appear in my body/mind. After all, I am simply providing the space for all this to arise.

On Leaving the Kiloby Center

Reflections upon Leaving the Kiloby Center

I’ve been working as a facilitator at the Kiloby Center for Recovery since early September 2014. My last two days at the Center are coming up, as my wife and I are moving to be closer to family. I wanted to share some of what I have learned while working at this most wonderful place.

For those of you who feel hopeless, stuck in an endless parade of patterns from which there is seemingly no escape, I do not offer hope. There is a way through, however, and it is the road less travelled. Feel the hopelessness. Welcome it. Love it. Thank it. Appreciate it. Feel it in your body. Give it an invitation to stay as long as it likes. This gives this wave (and it is a wave, not a permanent condition) permission to move and eventually return to the infinite ocean from which it came. Who knows, it may leave gifts as it flows through your being.

We have learned many cutting edge techniques at the Center, some designed to deal directly with the contractions in the body that have been with us from childhood, perhaps very early childhood. Techniques aside, it is our readiness to actually be present to whatever is happening in the body which will alleviate our suffering. It is the exact opposite to what we have learned growing up and throughout our lives, which is, “Oh, you’re feeling something uncomfortable? Well, think positive thoughts instead. You can fix yourself so you never have to feel that feeling again. Maybe reach for something to distract yourself. Partake of some substance or activity to make yourself feel better. This feeling is uncomfortable, so don’t feel it.” For those who still follow that particular programming, the way to end suffering is not around – it is through.

I’ve seen many clients come to the Center and see the value of what is being taught here. They have managed to not only refrain from using when they return home, but through making practical use of what they have learned, have seen great changes emerge in their lives. I use the word emerge deliberately, as it isn’t an efforting that relieves the suffering; it is a relaxing of all the effort we have applied in order not to feel uncomfortable feelings. This allows our true nature to emerge, and we get to watch it permeate our present experience.

Working with Scott, Julianne, Per, Kay, Chad and Paul C. has been a terrific experience. In all this time, I have not witnessed a single instance of anyone losing their composure or behaving in any way that would indicate that they aren’t living authentically. It is a constant reminder to me to notice whatever is happening in my experience and be with it. It has been an honor working with this crew. This goes for all the silly moments also, of which there have been many.

If you’ve ever wondered what it is like to work with Scott, I can say he is a pleasure to be around. He is indeed a very peaceful person, and has a great sense of humor. I am so appreciative of the time spent with him, exchanging ideas and listening to his newly created approaches to helping our clients. His experience, compassion, focus and dedication are readily apparent to all of us.

Julianne, well, I always refer to her as the gold standard when it comes to facilitations. Because of our schedules, I didn’t get to work alongside her very much. But so many times I have heard clients speak of how deep she was able to take them in their inquiries. I’m not surprised. The Center is so fortunate to have her. Plus, she’s great fun to be with, and I’ve so appreciated her support.

I do know that the clients are very aware of the opportunity before them, and most of them have taken advantage of their time at the Center. There are times when I’m speaking with them in a group, or one-on-one, when such love and appreciation for them almost overwhelms me. It takes a certain degree of readiness, but also courage, to come here and face what they have always been running from, and instead turn towards it. Their willingness to do so is inspirational to all of us.

I also wanted to thank my wife, Juliette, whose patience and understanding has afforded me the chance to work creatively with others. I have been so desiring this opportunity, and she has facilitated this for me. I so appreciate her presence in my life.

As for the Living Inquiries and the community, I plan to stay involved, working “electronically” and perhaps with groups and individuals in person. We shall see where this goes.

In the meantime, for all Living Inquiries facilitators and to those who are simply curious about them or involved in any way, know that the home planet, The Kiloby Center for Recovery, is alive and well, and in the best of hands.