|Abby Eagle's Diary|
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I took a risk at 'Inner Discovery' - my meditation and hypnosis class - and decided to add a more spiritual theme than usual. The reason why I have held back in the past was from a concern that if was authentic I might scare people away. Anyway the class was great and I had a huge smile on my face at the end - as did some of the participants - but then I had so much energy I found it difficult to get to sleep - so after an hour in bed I just turned down my internal dialogue then did some hypnosis until I fell asleep.
During the next evenings meditation at home I found a deeper space of silence in my mind - and then I am not sure if it was during the meditation or when I got into bed but I I saw myself the next day dancing naked in the local shopping centre. I wondered about any post hypnotic suggestions that I could be making so I added shoes and then bathers to the image of myself - just in case...
When I got into bed I decided that I would not have anymore internal dialogue until the next morning. I woke up about 2:00am to find that there was virtually zero internal dialogue. I felt a little concerned so I decided to try and get the thinking going again. I found that the internal dialogue was now so quiet that I could barely hear it. I explored my state to see if I still had normal functioning of my intellectual faculties. Everything seemed to be in order - just that there was no random thinking - just my own directed thoughts... except for one thing... a song was playing very gently in my mind, which seemed to have some relevance to the state. I then brought my attention to my sense of 'I' and back to the awareness itself... then I went back to sleep.
When I woke up in the morning there was random thinking which I witnessed and brought under control. During my morning walk around the streets it was so quiet. Just the sound of a passing car and then silence again. Just seeing... zilch thinking... just sensing... I passed a group of people and I had to focus in on them to try and sense something... there was not the usual reaction to strangers... my experience today is very different... a strange experience... new... little mind... just seeing...
There are so many concepts that are used to describe the many facets that make us up that it becomes quiet confusing at times. Some of the concepts used are physical body, mind, conscious mind, unconscious mind, ego, self, soul, spirit, higher self, awareness, witness, witnessing consciousness, consciousness etc.
We try and be watch the mind, but who is watching? Is is the pure witnessing consciousness or is it the mind? Is it a little bit of witnessing and a lot of mind? We bring our awareness to the internal dialogue. The internal dialogue disappears. Did it disappear because we brought genuine awareness to it or did our mind comply and stop the internal dialogue? How can we be sure that our awareness is getting stronger and that we are not just developing a sophisticated ego?
It is easy to get lost in the mind. We can imagine that we float out of the body to look at our self. We can imagine that we are watching the mind. We can imagine that we are bringing awareness to our behaviours. The problem is the imagination of the helpful mind fueled by the ego desire to achieve spiritual enlightenment. The mystics tell us that we are not the mind, body or emotions - that we are just a pure witnessing consciousness. But how do we come to an authentic existential understanding of that?
Imagine a container of water. Add salt, sugar, fruit juice, vinegar. Each of those substances has the ability to dissolve in the water. Each fills the container.
Your body is analogous to the container except that the body also has substance that fills the container. The mind, conscious mind, unconscious mind, ego, sense of 'I', the self, consciousness, the witness, the awareness are like the salt, sugar, fruit juice and vinegar dissolved in the water - they all occupy the same space. So you can imagine how challenging it is for the sugar to be aware of the salt when their atoms occupy the same three dimensional space.
But how strong is the sugar? How strong is the desire? How strong is the salt? How strong is the awareness? Desire might be strong and awareness small but with time the awareness can get stronger. The desire might remain the same in strength but the fact that the awareness grows stronger helps free us from the desire.
When we bring awareness to a bad habit, just the act of bringing awareness should be enough to finish with the habit. Sometimes it is but other times the habit continues. Either the awareness is not deep enough or else it is pseudo awareness, in that the mind thinks that it is being aware of a behaviour. Or the desire that fuels the habit could be very strong. Another possibility is that we have partial witnessing, that is partial awareness. A little bit of awareness and a lot of unconsciousness.
In addition the goal oriented mind likes to think that by bringing awareness to a bad habit that the habit will just disappear without having to make any changes. In this case we probably have pseudo awareness - that is awareness that comes from the mind. In addition why should a bad habit disappear just because we bring awareness to it? For change to occur we may still need to reprogram and recondition the mind and body. We still need to set a positive intention for change to occur. Maybe the awareness needs to be very specific to the bad habit and to the triggers? General awareness is rarely enough to bring about profound change.
Osho tells us that what we can be aware of we are not. Hence if you can be aware of a desire then you are not the desire; if you aware of the ego then you are not the ego; if you are aware of the mind then you are not the mind. However a difficulty arises as to whether it is really the witnessing consciousness that is aware of something, or is it the witness plus an aspect of mind.
The difficulty arises because 'everything' occupies the same space - the witness and the mind occupy the same space, and the mind has the ability to fragment itself so that a small portion of the mind can act as-if it is the witness. Add to this the fact that body, mind and soul are designed to operate in harmony, it then becomes challenging to differentiate between them. It would be nice if you could separate them and see clearly that this is the ego, this is the self, this is the awareness, but that is not going to happen. But there is a way... and it requires understanding.
When we clear a negative emotion using an NLP technique what gets the emotion to clear is the development of understanding. Unless we help the client to come to an understanding at the level of the unconscious mind then the negative emotion remain. As a generalization what gets every personal growth technique to work is the facilitation of an understanding at the level of the unconscious mind. This is an important distinction because conscious understanding only takes us so far, however it is the understanding that arises at the level of the unconscious mind that brings about profound personal transformation.
So referring back to our concepts of conscious mind, unconscious mind, ego, 'I', self, witness, awareness and consciousness - we know that the identification needs to shift from from body, mind, emotion to that of the pure witnessing consciousness, but because they all occupy the same space this is challenging. We can't take hold of the awareness or get a clear image of it and say, "This is who I am". Because as soon as we do so we are back in the mind. We can gently encourage the silent witnessing consciousness to become aware of itself but there is still something missing in assisting the total shift from the mind to the witness and that is understanding.
When we love we have understanding, in fact Osho says that love is understanding. When we are kind and compassionate we have understanding. Overtime understanding naturally arises, or should do. What we need to do is identify with the understanding. That is something that we can do. It does not rely upon any mind concept at all. As one of my clients (Punitama) said years ago when I helped her to clear a negative emotion, "All there is, is understanding, pure understanding." So all we need do is put ourselves in situations where understanding can naturally arise and stay with the understanding - not with the understanding that relates to a specific topic but stay with the process of understanding and hold it in our heart so that we can then bring understanding to life in its totality.
The realisation needs to occur (according to me) that we are the understanding, so bring understanding to the understanding. This is the same process of the awareness becoming aware of itself. Bring understanding to the mind, the body, its desires, its needs and wants and the behaviours. Nurture the understanding and let it grow. Let the understanding become aware of itself. Look at the world with understanding. Look through the eyes of understanding. Be the understanding.
I was reminded of this after a discussion with a couple of friends. Everyone is searching for something but they look outside of themselves for it. So people buy things and enroll in workshops because they believe that it will give them what they are looking for. Then they discover that it did not give them what they were really looking for - and they may be left with a feeling of disappointment.
The spiritual marketer preys on the emptiness within - which has been created by the priest and society. Society says you can be anything but who you really are. You can aspire to be anyone except yourself.
It is easy to see how religion and guru's exploit the emptiness and promise to fill it with their products, services, beliefs and activities. All designed to keep the mind busy and avoid facing the reality that their life is actually empty.
The aim of meditation and religion should be to help you become authentically yourself - but then you have to take responsibility for your life. Most people don't seem to be willing to do this but would rather that others direct their life for them.
Once just needs to bring awareness to the neediness, the desire and the ego greed - come back to yourself, face yourself, face the negative emotions and the fear, the despair, etc., and discover who you really are. As Osho says, it takes courage to gamble everything for the truth.
So how does one deal with emptiness within?
Start by bringing awareness to the internal dialogue and note that it disappears. Why? Because it has no substance in reality. When you bring enough alertness - an intense awareness to the internal dialogue it will slow, get quieter and disappear. Bring awareness to any psychological component of mind and it will disappear. The actual, the real is the sensory based memory of what occurred - pictures, sounds, feelings, smells and taste. The false, the psychological is the the belief, your emotional reaction, the projection, the meaning that you gave it, the illusion that you wanted to believe. Try an experiment now. Take something that you believe to be true then bring an intense awareness to that belief, and it will dissolve. What will arise and remain is an understanding.
So bring intense awareness to the need to believe in the spiritual marketer. Bring awareness to the emptiness and the despair and beautiful things will begin to happen.
Mind is like a computer. You sit in front of a computer. You know that you are not the computer. You use the computer to access information and build things. You use the biocomputer to access memories, information and construct an imaginary future.
You, the consciousness just sits in front of the computer and 'sees' - 'watches' - observes. When you use the mind you should take the same approach but during the first four years of life an ego formed at the centre of the mind - it is false centre. The ego knows that it is not real hence its fear and its vulnerability to criticism. The ego has to fight for its existence.
Osho gives an explanation of mind and ego as follows: From the time that we are born we take in sensory information, in pictures, sounds, feelings, smells and tastes. This forms memory - forms mind. In addition an infant is dependent upon its parents for the first four years of life so whenever it cries for attention an adult is there to take care of its needs. The result is that the infant gets the impression that it is the centre of the universe. This forms the ego.
But the consciousness made an 'error' in identifying with the mind and the ego in the first place, and the mind can identify with all sorts of things - identities, beliefs, knowledge, etc. But the consciousness is not the mind, body or emotions, it is just a pure witnessing consciousness. Identifying with the mind is like the consciousness putting itself in a prison. To free yourself you need to disidentify with the mind and realise that you are just the witnessing consciousness.
At one time you learned how to walk and talk. Most likely you learned how to drive a car. This required thinking to help you learn the behaviour. Once you know how to drive the car - and the program has been installed at the level of the unconscious mind then there is no need to think about how to drive. But the identification with the mind gives the idea that you are the mind and that the mind is driving the vehicle.
Sitting in front of a computer you know that you are not the computer - to think that you are the computer would be absurd - yet this is what you are doing right now. Thinking that you are the mind. Just understand that you are the witnessing consciousness in front of the computer. If you were the computer you would feel vulnerable because you know that the data can be lost, through a hard drive crash, and that you would cease to exist. You would try and maintain an identity separate to other computers. The computer hardware, software and data can be lost but 'you' remain. Who remains? The consciousness.
In your mind you store information. Some information you identify with, some is the opinion of another person, some is just information. When someone challenges the information that you identify with then you react to that challenge and fight to maintain the sense that you are right. Identification with that information is the error. You are not the information. You are just the witnessing consciousness. You can still have information that you agree with and information that you disagree with but when someone disagrees with you it should not cause a reaction. You should not fight for your beliefs. The reaction comes from the ego identifying with the information. The ego knows that it has no substance hence its fear. The consciousness is independent of the information, the mind and the ego.
Practise bringing awareness to every occurrence of ego. Be aware of the need to be right -whether this makes you feel good or bad; of the nourishment you get from behaving according to society or religion. Be aware of hooking into the point of view of someone else and feeling gratified, of feeling self righteous. Ego can be very subtle.
At the Zen Satori Meditation last night I did the Bliss Technique on the question, "Who am I?" - on the feeling in the body not the words but as I put the question out to the horizon I saw the words printed in space. As soon as they disappeared towards the horizon large words printed in space came back, "You are God."
Accepting that there was nowhere else to go with that I decided to play so I took an image of myself and put it directly above myself. I moved through a lot of imagery - a lot of layers. There was an image of two angels reaching down to lift me up to heaven. I went higher - the higher levels were much the same as the lower but were more refined and beautiful.
Then I got a large image of the Osho tarot card, 'Searching, seeking, questing' This card is about a story written by Rabindranath Tagore. Finally after many lives of searching he comes across the house of God. As he walks up the gold inlaid steps to the front door he has second thoughts. On the door a sign plainly reads, 'This is the house of God.' Realising that his quest is now over he quietly turns around and tiptoes down the steps. He then runs as fast as he can away from the house of God. Rabindranath Tagore says that he continues to search for God but now he knows where not to look.
I moved through the image of card and went even higher. Once again there were angels reaching down from heaven to help me up - they were even more beautiful but I continued to move even higher. Then I arrived at a point above the mind. There was an abstract image of an arc of a sphere with a tiny hole at the top. I had moved beyond the sphere of the mind to beyond. It was like having moved to beyond infinity - to the outside of the Universe. I clearly understood that I had moved beyond the mind. Not wanting to lose this 'state' I attempted to familiarise myself with it. Then I took the image and moved it down in front of me - while I remained on the outside. I moved the image below me so that my perspective could remain above the mind...
After running a Zen-Satori Meditation yesterday I dreamed I was in rural USA. Running through a backyard. Ran through spider webs. Did not scare me as usual. Frogs, like green tree frogs jumped out and attacked my feet. One big green tree frog about twelve inches high - seemed to be missing a neck. The frog stood vertical. (I spoke to a green tree frog on my balcony before bed last night.)
A young wild cat. Like a tabby cat / puma. The body about two feet long. Beautiful. I was not scared but she attacked me. I tried to hold her so that she would not bite and scratch but she was too strong to get a handle on. Then there was another wild cat, a little smaller with a beautiful palemeno type coat. I tried to hold her head so she would not bite but if you have ever tried to hold a cat you know how their body can move inside the skin, and she was able to rotate her head almost 180 degrees in each direction. She was very strong and beautiful.
(The cat in the dream was triggered by a woman in the meditation. The beautiful palemeno coat by a blanket that she had with her. I try and remember her name but it does not come to me. It is only sometime the next morning that I can remember her name but the name feels irrelevant. There is a feeling of not knowing.)
Later in the dream I woke up in the night. It was dark and I could feel three small animals. I think they were dogs - puppy dogs - and they were very friendly. They kept on licking my face. I did not seem to mind. __ © Author Abby Eagle
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