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5 May 2016 4 Comments

Manage Your Energy Part 80: Spiritual Retreat Experiences with My Teacher, Part 2

Manage Your Energy Part 80: Spiritual Retreat Experiences with My Teacher, Part 2

I entered one of the two dance circles as they were forming during afternoon practice session. I wanted to stand beside my Teacher—W—but allowed others to enter the circle between us. If one interferes with the natural flow to be close to him, W invariably moves. A few people dropped out of the inner circle into the outer, leaving us side by side. I then heard that this would be a partner dance. I did not turn toward W since that would have been clingy. The woman with whom I partnered whispered that I would get a chance to dance with W as the dance progressed. W—who was talking to the group at that moment—immediately moved into the outer circle.

The Dances of Universal Peace honor all spiritual and religious traditions. It was Easter. In acknowledgement, our next few dances evoked a profound sense of the blessings of Christ. One involved blessing one another with light, with our hands; pulling the energy of blessing up from the earth through the body and out the heart and hands, and pouring it into the heart of the dance partner.

I longed to experience what W’s energy looked and felt like as he did this, since I like to attune myself to him to accelerate learning. A few times I started to crane my neck to find him, but my next partner would appear before me, and respect required complete attention.

The next lovely, melodic Dance had several parts. It used Arabic names of God related to death and resurrection, and a focus on touching the wounds of others to heal them. It contained a phrase from Jesus, “Lo, I am with you always.” Dancing it, I was thinking not only of not only of the Divine, but of my link with my Teacher in connection with my spiritual Lineage.

A healthy relationship with the Teacher is both personal and impersonal. Feeling deeply connected with one Being, as a stand-in for All Beings, with the intention of learning to connect with All, is a way to start learning to feel spiritually connected with the Divine in All.

A zikr/dervish chant part of the dance formed a rousing and joyful counterpoint to the more personal partner part. It encouraged experiencing Unity. My heart sprang to embrace this joy. In the moment before the dance moved on, my glance unexpected joined with my Teacher’s from across the room, a shared flash of Version 2light and heightened emotion.

As the dance ended, I noticed one of the musicians was in tears. He had been going though a painful transition. I noticed an exceptionally sweet flow of loving compassion coming down through me and out my eyes and hands. My heart overflowed and my eyes filled with tears. I was startled to realize that the vibration of Christ was coming through me. I had gone into the open-handed, relaxed stance associated with Jesus.

The moment I became aware that it was happening I started to become self conscious and to censor this. To my surprise, my eyes were drawn like a magnet to the spot I did not yet know my Teacher was standing. Light streamed toward me, his eyes full of tears. He was experiencing what was happening within me—and feeding it.

Earlier, the group had done a walking practice, seeking to attune with Christ and allow that quality of mercy and compassion to move through our bodies. We next practiced the walk of Mary. W said that Mary did not need to pull away from people’s wounds or conditions, but could stand with people in them.

Seeking to bring these qualities through one’s self into expression takes courage. To do so genuinely instead of acting, and to allow something powerful and impersonal to express through us can feel embarrassing or strange. The work requires a safe and respectful group container.

Practicing different walks, including energies of elements and planets, requires vastly different placement of attention and energy in the body, sensory experience, motivation, and intention. The specific material is less important than the ability to fluidly express positive energies.

That evening I went into a blissful state. I had to work hard to stay grounded and remain connected with the group instead of flying off; to balance self management with merging. I sensed something pulling at me and turned half way around to discover my Teacher watching me from the outer circle. He looked mildly concerned. I copied his attunement, and pulled myself down and in without shutting down.

Sometimes I hesitate to share encounters to which many of you may not relate. Exposure to a wide variety of circumstances and possibilities can advance insight and keeps us flexible. Feel free to share experiences or responses.

If you would like to hear this Dance, with some narration by the leader and W, here is a link.

29 April 2016 4 Comments

Manage Your Energy Part 79: Spiritual Retreat Experiences with My Teacher, Part 1

“This work can’t be taught—it has to be caught!” SAM Lewis

Finding myself having a spiritual Teacher something that happened about a decade after I had given up the search and decided I did not need or want one. The fact that he was indeed my Teacher was unequivocal, and I had both to adjust to the notion and work diligently to bring it about.

In this culture, we look askance upon having a Teacher. As with the rest of life, the spiritual scene includes a lot of misguided people doing strange things together, running the range from mutual but well-meaning confusion to blatant power games and various types of abuse. I find myself wanting to share the simple joys of my own experience.

The spiritual lineage with which I am connected has a very natural way of interacting with our teachers. We P1000563love and honor them, yet we all understand that they are playing the role and figuratively wearing the mantle of Teacher. They are not held out to be better human beings than their students. Teachers are appreciated in that they help to inspire others to sense and express divine energies.

Naturally, I bring a unique type of attention into my relationship with my Teacher. (I’ll call him “W” for ease here.) It is a connection like no other, infinitely personal yet impersonal at the same time. It is about energy and essence instead of personality. W openly receives and reflects real Love, but actively and consistently pushes away any shred of attachment.

W shows amazing internal freedom and mastery. He is humble and self-effaced, and yet fierce—sometimes even startlingly abrupt if one verges into stupidity in his presence. At the same time he is one of the two people I feel the safest around. He reveals me to myself, challenges my limitations, and also subtly protects me when I am truly open and tender. He is usually grounded as a mountain, yet open and sensitive, expressing a vast array of subtle and powerful qualities of energy.

I would like to describe my experience with W over a several hour period at my retreat. The non-accidental element builds and builds:

The group did a partner dance (Dances of Universal Peace, originated by my Teacher’s Teacher) practice during which one person radiates like the sun while the other receives like the moon. Then we reverse roles. Last we go into a balanced Unity between both attributes and persons, before moving to the next partner.

I got to partner with W at one point. During the Unity part of the practice I intentionally sensed into the light at his crown chakra, sought to match mine to it, and placed my stream of light inside of his. (One’s spiritual Teacher, lineage, or the Divine are the only influences one should allow into one’s crown center, since this connection allows for direct influence.)

Smiling together as we turned in dance, we whirled on a pivotal axis of shared light, in a loving and comfortable unity. This was totally magical—a peak experience for me. This was so joyously and unequivocally mutual, feeling and noticing together without the sense of distance between souls—the painful underlying separation—that marks most human contact. It felt Divine. I removed all walls and veils and felt utterly safe and totally “seen.”

Being able to to enter into loving Oneness with all of life is a wonderful spiritual goal—yet it’s challenging to be so open. I honor W’s inner strength, being solidly enough inside himself to melt into a sense of Unity with many different types of people. I still find it hard to experience Unity with those who are not yet open to experiencing it themselves. Feeling it with one person, even for a few moments, helps me to contemplate our human potential to experience Unity consistently and with All. This ‘teaching’ occurred without words, through direct experience.

Have you had anyone in your life with whom you have experienced the joy of a spiritual and intuitive sense of Unity without being in an intimate relationship?

What brings YOU into an experience of Unity?

9 April 2016 4 Comments

A Spiritual Poem

A Spiritual Poem

Below is poem I wrote on spiritual retreat.

The word “Hu” is a name for God in the most intimate and personal but not embodied form. I used it as “Who” in my poem:

It snowed when I wasn’t looking.
I emerged from sleep to inhale the morning,
sunny and smiling; all innocent.
Birds whistled as if nothing
had happened. Hu spoke that into Being—
and why does it surprise?

Earth pushes mountains from her belly.
Planets whirl. Continents and cathedrals
crumble to Ether through a long breath out both nostrils.

Hu is watching?

In the heart of God I watch the universe
recreate Itself as breath returns.
Infinite points of frozen light,
I swirl through space, interlace vast
limbs of pine and softly settle,
a blanket of white, melting into Service.

P1000528

25 December 2015 6 Comments

You Do Not Deserve God’s Love ;)

You Do Not Deserve God’s Love  ;)

We have it backwards: “You don’t get love by being good, you get good by being love.” ~TD

Issues about whether or not we deserve love are relics from childhood. Divine Love is not earned. Some might call it a birthright. I agree—but with prejudice. “Birthright” language evokes entitlement, which is often toxic. It also presupposes that we are separate from Source. Having the right to something brings Cosmic Teaup the sense of not having it, and having to demand it.

But where would we demand Love from? This again smacks of childhood wounding.

From an energy perspective, to invite higher Love we need to resonate with it. To resonate with Divine Love we become it. This means finding, sensing and feeling the quality of such Love inside—and amplifying it. Doing this is an act of creation. This does not mean it relies on fantasy. Fantasy is a sidetrack. The path is to locate the resonance of Love inside by learning to focus and call it forth from within. Then we blow on that like an ember. This takes spiritual work. Anything that stands in the way must be embraced—but not allowed to stand as a distraction.

When we have something, we can give it away. If we do not have it, it is not ours. Having Love means receiving it first. When we seek that in other people we are bound to be disappointed, as we probably were in childhood.

We do need to generate love for ourselves—but we need to catch the perfume or resonance of it somewhere in order to really grasp just what it is we are seeking. Finding Source can be very abstract. Most of us need one or more human role models to get a sense of how to ‘run’ that Love in our bodies.

The role model we choose is less important than learning to bring forth Love. Since I am writing this on Christmas eve, I would be remiss not to say that Christ could be one such model. Owing to various conceptions and experiences, that name aggravates some people, and many have belief systems that cause them to recoil from religion.

A current of Love and truth underlie and run through religions, but codes of belief do not in themselves produce the miracle called Love. Whether or not we are attracted to one or more religions, we take great benefit in identifying someone, somewhere, some time, who represents to us the possibility of being a human who is capable of experiencing and expressing the vibration of Divine Love. The word “God” can be too abstract, and also laden with freight. “Source” is abstract as well.

From where do we receive the impressions that stimulate in us true inspiration?

This is a wonderful question to ponder in this inward time of year, when we long to bring forth true joy, blessing and generosity.

Ideal Love will be a little bit different for different individuals, depending exactly which vibration of the rainbow of all love is key for that mind, heart, and soul to take the next step toward becoming it oneself. The being, saint, prophet, person, spiritual teacher, or element that inspires us may even change as we develop. It is important to learn to identify and allow our hearts to be impressed (like soft clay) by real Love when we see it, and to own as our privilege in being human, our right to enjoy and express that Love.

Having God’s love (change the g-word if it bugs you) means having it flow through us to others and into the world. It is not something we earn and then receive like an award for being a self or being good. It is something we cultivate and practice over many years or even lifetimes. Seeking to GET it enhances ego issues about deserving. We get more of it by giving. I am not talking about over-giving, driven by old wounds, I am talking about expressing from your heart.

No matter what is going on with us it is okay to allow Divine Love to come though us. If this depends on mood or being in a particular way, we will withhold it. When we let Love touch us despite our shortcomings it will help us to move beyond them, gently over time. Even if we do not move beyond them, our lives will have meaning and value because we have been vehicles for Love. There are no prerequisites. Concentration, attention and intention invite it. Noticing and making room for it when it comes helps sustain it. These are aids. There are no prerequisites.

Please feel free to comment.

I send you love in this traditional time of calling forth Light.

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4 December 2015 6 Comments

Managing Your Energy Part 69: The Power of Place & Time

Managing Your Energy Part 69: The Power of Place & Time

I was initially tricked into going to Maui. At twenty-one years old, I had no interest in what I considered a tourist-trap where people went to indulge themselves. As it turns out, Maui could be considered my spiritual home.

When I landed in Maui at twenty-one, my boy friend was supposed to meet me. He taught Greek, and courses on raw foods, fasting, and intestinal cleansing. He was exceptionally smart. He could talk anyone into a paper bag and back out of it—but he was emotionally cowardly. After exhorting me to meet up with him, he left the island the morning of the day I flew in. His best friend Tim met me at the airport. Tim had studied healing with tribes in Africa. I think he was wearing Western garb instead of his loin cloth—which he’d been wearing the first time I’d met him. He had almost white hair, down to his waist, almost ice-clear pale blue eyes, and was quite darkly tanned.

Tim and I shared a tent for a few days. We maintained celibacy, despite the outrageously intense energy that practically crackled if we touched. I swear I could see spots of light where his tough, bare feet hit the ground when we hiked. Totally grounded and in the moment, Tim moved very evenly and rarely spoke. After a few days he managed to shake me off because I talked too much.

Over the next week I ran into Swami Sachadananda—who was a big deal in those days—by a waterfall. We hugged and I felt Light. Two days later, I went on a walk and discovered some people sitting on a hillock that had been hidden in brush, listening raptly to an Indian speaker. I sat down among them. The speaker was Krishnamurti. I also made a chance encounter with the person who set me on my spiritual path. Visiting later, on his land, I accidentally interrupted the man who thirty years later became my spiritual teacher. He was in the last day of a forty day retreat, and was not happy to see me. (For my part, I was shocked and trying to escape.)

I was intellectual and abstract up until this point in my life, averse to spirituality. In that location and at that timing I went through a marked change from the energies and influences to which I was then exposed.

My recent Maui trip gave me the opportunity to spend time with a number of developed healers and spiritual teachers, both during and after the scheduled event. I ran into Ram Dass the morning I left.

Ram Dass 11/2015

Ram Dass 11/2015

We have different options and experiences in different places on the globe. Each place has a different energy influence. Different days and periods of time also hold different possibilities. We tend to treat hours and days like empty containers, all the same size and shape. They are not.

What is possible in one moment is not an option in another.

Likewise, we tend to approach places expecting to be much the same person with the same interests, relationships, and values. Yet each place maintains a mystery of influence, sometimes trivial and at times profound. The influence and extent depend on our chemistry with the place. The timing at which we are exposed to the place amplifies, dampens or mediates its influence. The longer we remain at a place the more influence it exerts.

Learning to sense when to be where is life-changing.

Practice paying attention to the impact places have upon you.

Learn, if you can, to absorb the energy at places that have a good influence.

Practice sensing the best time for you to be somewhere. This can be as simple as leaving to go to the store at a moment when the energy supports it, instead of being automatic, or as challenging as feeling into the best time for a trip, an interview, a gathering, or time alone. Optimizing place and time improves life experience.

What places exert an impact on you, and what is it?

In what ways do you optimize your timing? Is this based on energy you perceive, intuition, logical considerations, feeling, or a combination of cues?

30 October 2015 2 Comments

Managing Your Energy Part 67: Decompression in Nature

Managing Your Energy Part 67: Decompression in Nature

At a spiritual camp in Maui, I spent most of the week compressed into spaces full of people, owing to hard rain, I needed time being mobile and alone. Riding a bike down Haleakala Crater sounded fun, but since the energies of the day presaged some potential danger, I decided to hike up there instead. I headed up as soon as the weather cleared.

I had the uphill road to myself. Scores of cars and their drivers were returning from sunrise vigils. It was great to drive at my own pace, park easily, and walk into the Crater with few people to shatter its deafening silence.

The alien landscape in the Crater is not just silent, it is also desiccating, and thumbing with energy. The living, intense silence sounds like a high pitched Tibetan bowl from a long way off.

When I walk alone in nature I find myself spontaneously doing spiritual practice on my breath. I also feel out my intentions and guidance for moving forward along my life’s journey. If I have any emotional “stuff” in the background of awareness, or energy I need to clear, I work on myself. The rhythm of movement helps me process and aids inspiration.

As I traversed my way through miniature gravel and small volcanic rocks I was enchanted by the way light played on the varied colored earth of bare slopes and mounds. The bowl edge of the Crater helped me gather in big, loving, life energy, which I then sent deep into the ground. An enormous, vital rush of energy pulsed back to me, IMG_3342pleasurable and magnificent. My fields felt huge. Being up at 9000 feet with nothing around but earth and air felt like being an antenna. It brought me back to essentials.

My mind wandered for just a moment. I slipped, spraining an ankle. I sat in the screaming silence, holding my ankle in my hands and having a little talk with it. I have my own way of talking with my hands, moving a few tendons into place, checking the range of motion, and so forth. I told it that it was going to need to stay mobile until I could get out of the Crater. It hurt some, but I didn’t give it a chance to stiffen or inflame.

Walking uphill at altitude was a real workout, even though I’d taken supplements that increase oxygenation in lungs and muscles to help with altitude. I paced my breath with my steps, and with my heartbeat when I took short rests, still standing. I began to work with emotions that came up around hurting my ankle.

I was grateful that I could walk. The crater was still nearly deserted, which I loved. It had become so hot and dry that I that I could imagine expiring quickly in the naked and unrelenting sun. This was silly; the post-sunrise hikers would be along shortly—and they were. I also had water, sunscreen, and appropriate clothing.

Two men came around the corner and stopped, facing me. One beamed at me. He had lovely teeth and eyes and an open heart. He asked, “How ARE you doing?” Given his emphasis and their rapt attention, I told them about my ankle.

The other man said, “I usually bring some poles and just give them to people, but I didn’t today. I’m sorry.” I smiled at these beneficent angels and told them I was doing fine.

Driving down, down, down the hairpin curves on the mountain’s edge, above the clouds, I wanted to get back to the place I was staying, ice my ankle, and connect with a woman who had been staying there before she left. I pushed the speed limit a bit. Two park rangers appeared behind me in Land Rovers. I pulled over and let them pass, along with a small truck, then popped in behind. We rolled down the mountain like a convoy, moving faster than I would on my own. They knew every turn and drove the perfect speed.

I returned feeling expanded and relaxed, despite the sprain.

Do you allow yourself time alone in nature? What is that like for you?

Can you hear the silence in high mountains or deep caves?

2 October 2015 3 Comments

Silence

Silence

Silence

I am in love with silence
even as I fear it in the immensity of star-fanged skies.

I am in love with silence.
I long for it by day and ache for it in the night.
I sigh when it opens cavernous arms for me,
and pine for it when the world steals it away.

Mystics, lovers with nowhere to rest, and musicians
who know sound is nothing without silence
understand the insidious violence of noise.

I search for my silence everywhere,
forgetting to look within.

I am in love with silence,
not just the silence that is the handmaiden of ether,
holding all creation, but the silence that screams
the wild vanilla scent of ponderosa pines
and the lyrical lilt of eucalyptus’ sickle-like leaves
on an upland breeze; the silence that holds
redwoods in majesty, and contains the breathy,
stunned applause of rocky mountain rivers
while reptilian spines of stone stoically witness.

I bathe my essence in silence, which wrests
from my grasp the pain that accompanies
addiction to the world.

In silence I take true rest
as it suffuses me with meaning
in the wee hours, before the lives of men
are stirring and our hearts have forgotten,
for the moment, cares that ensnare.

Take me under sea where silence is translucent.
Expand me into space—silence fills me in the I Am One,
but most of all, teach me the silence of my soul
so I may walk with it always in the world of form.

Teresa Dietze

P1140444

25 September 2015 2 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part #63: Being Highly Sensitive & Dealing Closely with Those Who Aren’t

Managing Your Energy, Part #63: Being Highly Sensitive & Dealing Closely with Those Who Aren’t

“It is of no use to try and prove to be what in reality you are not.” ~ Inayat Khan

“My bare feet! Step gently on life’s path, lest the thorns lying on the way should murmur at being trampled upon by you.”  ~ Inayat Khan

Self recognition and easier relations with others are the purposes of becoming aware of ones level of development. It is not beneficial to make comparisons with value judgments in mind. Ego must take the back seat so neutral observation can drive. Mind uses contrast to learn
discernment. Meanwhile, heart continues to seek Unity with all beings.

The transition from becoming confused about who we are, over-giving, or disappearing in an attempt to fit in with others to learning how to hold our own internal shape and space during personal interaction can be challenging. The focus changes from seeking external support to sustaining internal sources of support. This growth requires being able to recognize our own experience.

Highly sensitive and intuitive people with comprehensive values are often uncomfortable interfacing closely with people who cannot understand our experience. Clear observation of what an individual actually can and cannot do helps to create reasonable expectations and leads to easier interaction.

These elements tend to be overlooked by those who have not had such experience:

—The ways sensitivity is accommodated by the body, the including super-sensitive nervous, immune and hormonal systems that accompany super-keen sensing
—How hard it can be to arrive at self acceptance, without feeling something is wrong when one is uncomfortable and others do not understand it
—How painful, expensive, and shaming it can be to seek help and be told that nothing is the matter
—That symptoms are often positive adjustments to inner growth while the body and energy systems shift to support accelerated change
—That symptoms with neurological, energy, or karmic elements do not respond to ordinary measures
—How intense it is to be inundated with external energies and impressions
—What it feels like to have a cascade of hormones and emotions secondary to immune system over-activation
—The hugely varied and odd sensations, experiences, and direct perceptions some of us go through, and the unusual capacities that spring from integrating them
—How tiring and overwhelming it can be to process abnormal amounts of incoming information, and to sort what is valid, important, and meaningful from what is not
—The amount of Inner Work it takes to know one’s self well enough to do the above
—The Direct Knowing that can develop from acutely sensitive awareness of energy
—The comprehensive values that develop from having to do so
—What it takes to develop confidence in a world where one is not in the norm
—The discomfort of continually fielding projections, judgments and assumptions from those who do not understand
—How odd it feels to discover one has developed a new capacity or ability in which one has never really believed
—How confusing it can be to feel drawn through compassion to help others, even when doing so may be draining or harmful to one’s self
—How draining and isolating it can be to try to explain these things to people who don’t get it

Communicating these experiences be frustrating—and is often pointless. Someone without similar experience usually does not correctly assimilate or maintain what one tells them. P1140494They reinterpret what one says according to what they can understand, or suggest ways to fix things that are not problems.

Even with compassion for the person doing so, being given “feedback,” from someone who cannot see what is actually going on can be very annoying.

Speaking now for myself: When someone clueless is actively trying to impose their perceptual boxes onto me, and imagine they are talking about ME, I find this disconnect emotionally painful. I can keep my mouth shut, attune to their needs and limitations, take care of my own needs, or withdraw—but I do not feel close, respected, or at ease.

In a capacity of service, I am pleased to adjust myself to someone else’s world. I respect clients as fellow travelers. Being asked to explain and justify myself when I am off duty is work. Spending time by myself is often preferable.

Integrating spirituality into personal life brings up the kind of challenges we’ve been discussing in the last few posts. Stepping into the generosity of global service by sending positive energy to All Beings is a beautiful way to counterbalance the distress I have been describing.

A brand new spiritual dance using the words from a prayer of Inayat Khan showed up in my head recently: “Thy light is in all forms, thy love in All Beings.” This vision helps me move from discomfort back into Love. It exemplifies a profound respect that does not rely on personality.

How do you feel respond when people who cannot comprehend your experience give you advice that does not serve you?

What do you do to maintain respect for those who repeatedly and unwittingly disrespect you?

5 June 2015 4 Comments

Managing Your Energy Part 48: Energy Practice On the Spot

Managing Your Energy Part 48: Energy Practice On the Spot

At my recent retreat I was doing a sound practice that generates a sense of spacious, eternal power. It was comprised of three different Divine Names, combining their energies. I chose to practice this one fairly loudly, while walking, to bring it into my body and integrate it.

Participants had been invited to use the main hall if it was free. I chose to practice there, to feel contained and focused, with plenty of space to move. Everyone else was practicing outside, or in their rooms.

So here I was, bringing in a quality of divine power, an intense flavor of longing for the Divine, and an attunement with Eternity, trying to ground all this in my body and taking up most of the hall. I heard the door click and feel someone enter. My eyes were open but my focus was IMG_2167right in front of me to eliminate visual cues. I glanced up for a second, saw that it was my Teacher, went “ULK!” inside, skipped a few beats, and went right back into my practice. I had forgotten that my Teacher planned to meet with individuals who had questions in the hall. He had come early.

I am kind of a funny creature. I know that he REALLY SEES me, and accepts me, yet I get awkward or glitchy if he watches me directly during group walking or energy practices. He made himself almost invisible, harmonious with my energies, soft, spacious, and fluid, and crossed the room without a ripple, seating himself in his customary chair. It seemed dumb to run out of there, so I determined continue. I thought he would want me to.

My Teacher began to meditate. He was very much in his own space, but probably noticed that I was walling him off. I was afraid I would get glitchy—which was stupid. So I connected, and let his energy in. As we connected it felt like he was enhancing or amplifying the work I was doing.

Suddenly I got so high I began forgetting the words. At first I would get something similar to the word, or reverse and combine two of the words. I was able to stop, feel for the words, kind of reset, and start again. As we flowed together more I lost the words completely. This was odd because I had just repeated those three words at least 500 times! I looked askance at him and said, “Oh no! Now I’m going to have to go get the sheet and read them!” I began to cross the room. He said them quietly, giving them to me.

In retrospect, I should have sat down and meditated with him on the energy behind the words, which was the next step of the practice, but I didn’t think of it. Instead, I resumed practice. I was starting to change it out a little, lightening it up and getting it smooth by speeding up a bit when his assistant showed up. She stayed out of the way as far as the energetics went, but I realized they were about to do interviews and got out of there. Someone was waiting in a chair outside.

This experience felt almost like a mini-initiation because it took so much effort to keep my mind and ego from butting in on the practice while feeling on display. It was also rather humorous, and at the same time staggeringly intimate and precious.

What events have intensified your ability to sense and magnify your awareness and mastery of energy?

How did you feel about these experiences at the time?

29 May 2015 4 Comments

Managing Your Energy Part 47: The Freedom of Spiritual Discipline

Managing Your Energy Part 47: The Freedom of Spiritual Discipline

I recently attended a five day silent spiritual retreat during which most of each day was spent doing intensive practice on one’s own. Each day participants were given specific sound practice and meditations, tuned to suit our spiritual needs.

When I attend such an event, I initially feel confined. The practice schedule allows almost no point in the day to think whatever I might normally think, or use my mind in the ways I usually do. Starting the first retreat or two I actually felt panic. I also doubted whether I might be able to subdue or redirect my mind for the purposes of the retreat.

After several days of intensive spiritual practice, I begin to experience a sense of freedom. By the end of the retreat, I realized that what seemed like freedom in the beginning—like mind chatter, reaction, judging, and the various proclivities of an unfocused mind—are habitual, but certainly not free. Even using my mind intentionally, such as for planning and structuring events, produces a kind of confinement or restriction. Mental filters limit experience.

On retreat I have the opportunity to use my mind in open contemplation and to focus FEELING and SENSING to open to new experiences that have ongoing internal value. The mind is used to direct intention and to stay on track, and released if real mystical experience arises. The experiences that can take place are beyond what we think. BEing this way is ultimately much freer than we are when we let our thinking go along in the ways it generally goes. This freedom requires considerable discipline to access, but it has inherent beauty and value.IMG_2184

The rooms at the retreat center I stayed at have an upper walkway and a lower walkway, with steps connecting to the main building. Considering that everyone there is on silent retreat, and we do not necessarily want to encounter one another, walking around the center seems like moving around inside a huge Escher painting. Everyone is in motion within eternity, in their own universe, yet sensing one another too.

Far from being somber, there is something of delight in the way the group I am in relates on retreat. Anybody who feels like it and wants to will smile, share a glance, or send love on the way by. We can smile, or laugh, or share non-verbal humor and intuitive rapport, or point at what we want someone to pass at the dinner table. If someone is not receptive and keeps his or her energy pulled in, everyone respects their privacy and does not look at them directly. Communication is, mutually, on an Invitation Only status. I love the freedom of that!

It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to wander around in the woods on the property, feeling perfectly safe, and being able to open completely because there will be no encounters with people who do not support deep inner work. For an intuitive, the safety to stay wide open without having to erect social boundaries is a luxury. This allows for a peace that is difficult for sensitive people to achieve among the demands and projections of daily life.

I am coming to enjoy the freedom of spiritual discipline–or is it the discipline of spiritual freedom?

In what way has discipline increased YOUR sense of freedom?

Have you been in situations in which you could be totally open and be yourself without having to be anything for anyone else? What was that like?