The Delight of Being
by Juno Burger, 30-Nov-2016
The Delight of Being
A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her cross to the other side.
The two monks glanced at one another because they had taken vows not to touch a woman. Then, without a word, the older monk picked up the woman, carried her across the river, placed her gently on the other side, and carried on his journey.
The younger monk couldn’t believe what had just happened. After re-joining his companion, he was speechless, and an hour passed without a word between them. Two more hours passed, then three, finally the younger monk couldn’t contain himself any longer, and blurted out “As monks, you are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that woman on your shoulders?”
The older monk looked at him and replied, “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river, why are you still carrying her…”
This little Zen story reminds you how on one hand you may carry the charge of past experiences if you hang on to your points of view and on the other hand that you can live life fully and free and not be adversely affected by it if you let be what life presents.
What is alive in me now?
One of the most relevant questions you can ask yourself any moment of the day is ‘What is alive in me now?’ This immediately connects you to authenticity. Not to some story from the past or about the future but the naked truth of this very moment.
Bringing awareness to thoughts, feelings, emotions, physical sensations, images, virtually anything, instigates the rediscovery and relearning of a unique language; your body language. You can view your body as an interface between spirit and matter, allowing for a unique human experience. Your body is a never failing and a brilliant bio-feedback device that is continuously feeding back to you how you have been conditioned to deal with phenomena in and around you.
Your present conditioning is a complex make up, coming from many factors like genetics, social and environmental influences and possibly past life experiences. The polarised nature of your present conditioned state is a key factor in the creation and recreation of the ‘reality’ you may find yourself in. It is very likely you are not even aware of your co-creative powers. You suffer the consequences of subconscious conditioning but there is no awareness of the part you play in the game of life. If you do not consciously connect to these shadow aspects of your personality you will see the same old over and over again. This is a tragic yet magic reminder from life that there is still stuff to deal with, to become aware of.
Me, me, me…
It is believed that around 2,5 years old the brain develops what you could call a veil that is pulled over your eyes which gives you the sense of being separate from life. Out of that comes an individual perspective that looks out into the world and takes whatever is experienced personally. This event is extremely important because it marks, as Buddhists say, the root of all suffering; your sense of being separate.
This sense of separation is associated with a contracted energy in the body, which pulls your experiential world into the physical reality and makes you believe it to be yours. It is completely convincing and hardly ever questioned! If I would ask people who they believe their thoughts, emotions, feelings and physical sensations belong to, they all say ’to me of course’. ‘I experience them so they must be mine, right?’. I suspect it to be one of Life’s brilliant strategies that allows for a personal human experience. Before this marking point in your life there is just living in the moment, experiencing the interconnectedness of life without separation. When separation starts a whole series of phenomena become relevant to the experiencer: time, space, cause, effect, karma and responsibility.
Taking life personally has a tremendous impact on who you believe yourself to be. The very moment you believe that you are or have the phenomena you experience by saying I am of I have, the brain flushes a cascade of neuropeptides, informing the body where to put its energy. The membrane of the cell is covered with receptors that can receive these messages. Now, when you continually identify with, let’s say, anger, you tell your body that it needs to puts its energy in that direction. Now with that need the new cells that develop have more receptors for the input of anger because that’s where it has been told to put its focus. If you continually do this, depending on the time and energy put into the belief that you are really angry, the body literally becomes angry. It has now become manifested in the body, something that started with the belief ‘I am angry’. And because of manifesting that reality in your body you see anger around you, increasingly when it becomes more manifest in yourself. This is the nature of quantum physics, you throw a pebble in the pond and you create ripples at first, and once the stones get bigger you create waves and eventually tsunamis. The pebble is the metaphor for the energy you put in the quantum field of possibilities, which come to Life as the experience you have. Now the tragedy is that you suffer the symptoms from this process but you don't see that you are the co-creator of that reality, literally!
So rather than saying ‘I am angry’ or ‘I have this anger in me’, say: ‘anger is being felt’. This word trick creates a gap between the feeler and what is felt, helping not to identify with the feeling.
With the sense of I, or individuality comes a seeking energy. And that seeker has go out on a search, looking for something other than this. The strategy behind this search is to keep the story of the individual going. What the seeker fears most, is its own absence and, at all cost, it will try to keep the story alive and going. I suspect that the concept of a soul might even be a very clever and sneaky survival strategy from the seeker, even after death, to keep the sense of individuality alive. Explore this for yourself. To what extend are you attached to your soul?
With your continuous identification with phenomena you build up energetic charge around that which you experience. Buddhists say that the feelings, emotions or anything you can be aware of is neither good nor bad, positive or negative. It is neutral, uncharged, however full of potential. Which aspect of that potential comes to life depends on the experiencer. For example, fear can be very functional in case of life-threatening danger but in most cases fear is very destructive because what people fear is completely unrealistic looking at their current situation.
The charge you carry and create by your on going identification with what you experience is stored in the body as stress. This stress is toxic information; it is like an infection. The body wants to get rid of the alien stress and will make an effort to make you aware that something requires attention.
Most of this stuff is unaware, you just don't know how you are conditioned to respond to life’s situations. You do experience the symptoms of that conditioned response but you are not aware of what causes these symptoms. This unaware and hidden mechanism is what Jung calls the shadow, the unloved self. That part of you that is so painful, ashamed and traumatized that it hides in the dark corners of your being. You could see this as a metaphorical backpack you carry around, filled with conditioning and charge, ready to react and explode. A proverbial bomb belt you carry everywhere you go.
The amount of energetic charge you hold in the body determines how strong or conditioned your response is to situations. These triggers happen at all time whether you spent time with yourself, you meet other people or visit places.
This unexpressed charge is massively put into the mind and creates the world you live in and so desperately wants to change. Failing to see that it is you who weaves this reality into being disempowers you but also presents you with the same old over and over again. This is why there can be no peace yet because there is a massive collective anger, fear that needs to be brought into the light and embraced first. Only then we will no longer throw the stones in the pond that create the waves we try to protect ourselves from.
Becoming aware of your conditioning is a major step towards change. To become aware, you need to reconnect to the language your body is speaking to you 24/7. The trouble is that when you hold a lot of charge, the on going triggers and corresponding reactions will keep taking you away with your awareness into the past of future, seeking for answers and solutions. And when you are not here, you have little choice because you are constantly overwhelmed by the chemicals taking over your system.
If you make a conscious connection to your body the emotions, feelings, physical sensations and thoughts will tell you how you have learned to deal with what and who you meet along the way.
By no longer taking these responses that you notice personally, try to understand and fix them, you make your way back to inner peace. And by doing so you enter the domain of the compassionate heart.
The effect of not taking your experiences personally has been researched. It showed that when a person is feeling an emotion and it is clear to that person that what they experience is not theirs, it is not who they are, the body only takes 90 seconds to completely flush the biochemical response of feeling that emotion from its system. There is literally nothing to see in the body that that emotion has been felt. The same research also shows that when people do take their experiences personally, the body recreates the same chemical response over and over again. Something you have seen earlier talking about the neuropeptides. So now you know that when you feel angry for let’s say three days you have taken yourself and the feeling very personally for three days minus 90 seconds!
The compassionate heart
As opposed to the seeker, which moves in time and space trying to figure out what is going on, the compassionate heart is not limited to time and space. It lives in the moment and has the capability and capacity to embrace all of life in its diversity and intensity.
The Institute of Heartmath in the USA researches the energetic aspects of the heart and over the years they have come to see some pretty amazing things;
A few facts
1. The heart’s magnetic field can be measured several feet away from the body and changes according to emotions. This field of the heart is 5000 stronger than that of the brain.
2. The heart is your first contact with the world and reacts to it before the brain does.
3. More signals go from the heart to the brain than the other way around.
4. The heart has a brain of its own, a system of neurons that have both long term and short term memory.
The tiny space in the heart
The old Veda’s speak of a tiny space in the heart, a place where there is no polarity. Because charge is built up and held on to by your polarized consciousness it is quite a relief to realise that you are equipped with this feature! This tiny space in the heart is a place of ultimate compression and ultimate compassion, conflict cannot exist here. In the tiny space in the heart not only conflicting wave patterns are discharged, at the end they come out as Love, raised in frequency. This alchemistic process is called transmutation
Let it Be as a life strategy.
When you bring awareness to that tiny space in the heart, notice what’s alive in you and let that be, energy clearing is the consequence. Simply notice and let it be has three massive benefits:
1. A release and lowering of the amount of toxic charge and pressure in the system. When the charge is released you get triggered less intense and you are less taken over by the chemicals in the body that leave you no choice but to sit it out. That is, if you don't get triggered by another event in the meantime. Most people spent a lifetime in reaction to old patterns. Being less triggered gives you more time and clarity to notice what goes on with perspective. It gives the nervous system a break and thereby the opportunity for rest and healing.
2. A fundamental recondition of the way you deal with life, no longer poisoning the body with chemicals associated with unawareness, identification, perpetuating the old ways that lead to conflict, disease and suffering. In a much more mature way you now embrace that which you previously judged, feared or denied as something that can be fully experienced. When embraced it will no longer hold any negative power over you and it will literally let go of you.
3. The third and most fascinating effect of letting be is that charge around you, either coming from people or spaces is now allowed to discharge in the presence of your compassionate heart. Simply by consciously tuning into another person or a space, you can become aware of how you have been conditioned to respond to those phenomena. When you notice and embrace you are no longer adding charge to the energetic conflict, thereby freeing yourself and allowing the person or space around you to let go of charge as well. The charge people or spaces around you were holding is gently invited and allowed in the tiny space in the heart where it collapses.
By simply noticing and letting be, you do not only restore harmony and balance to yourself but also to your direct environment, be those people, space or the land.
Inner peace can only be experienced in the absence of polarity. Therefor awareness needs to be in the tiny space in the heart. The on going noticing and compassionate embracing of your inner world leads to the deconstruction of the false sense of individuality and separation which lies at the root of all conflict and suffering. Once the seeker for inner peace is no more, inner peace reveals itself effortlessly, having never left you, you just went looking for it…
Let it Be!
Juno has been sensitive to the energies of people and spaces from a very young age. He has spent most of his life looking for ways to live with this sensitivity. For the past 18 years he has been active as an energy therapist, working with both people and the spaces they occupy.