Thursday, January 3, 2019

Intelligence within the wound

In the alchemical and tantric traditions, it is believed that our wounds contain information and if we eliminate the hurt places, we will lose contact with the intelligence within them. Though the complex may never be fully eradicated, our relationship with it can change profoundly. Even though it may continue to arise, it does so within the context of enormous space and while perhaps still frustrating and painful, it is no longer able to throw us off center in the same way and tends to dissolve in shorter and shorter periods of time.

For example, a difficult conversation triggering cascading shame, rage, overwhelm, and abandonment that once took an hour (or more) to digest and metabolize, may lose its charge in 30 minutes, or 15, or 5. Eventually, in some situations, we may even notice that the activated material dissolves simultaneously with its arising, as we are able to infuse arising experience with new levels of curiosity, warmth, and awareness.

In certain meditative experience, while challenging thoughts, feelings, and sensations continue to emerge in moments of activation, they lose their charge almost immediately, where the process of arising and dissolution co-emerge, revealing not two processes, but one. If we observe carefully we may not be able to separate the arising-dissolving cycle. This is something we can each experiment with, slowly, for a few seconds at a time, within the fire of our own direct experience.

And in this embodied investigation, we might come to realize that we need not get rid of or purge certain thoughts and feelings in order to live a life of freedom, spontaneity, creativity, and aliveness. But tend to the fire in a new way, reordering our perception, and infusing the material with a wild sort of love.

My most recent book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The next book, A Friend of the Breath, will be published by Sounds True in early 2020, details to come

The next event is The Healing Shame Retreat: Spiritual Awakening and Transforming the Core Wound of Unworthiness, April 24-29, 2019 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado, with co-facilitator Jeff Foster