Being human is complicated. Not only is there a lot going on around us that we have to respond to and interact with, but there is a lot going on within us that influences how we perceive and interpret, and therefore determines how we react and interact.
In this culture we tend to believe that what we are experiencing is due solely to external factors. We haven’t yet been trained to be aware of the inner life and the way that our thoughts and feelings are helping to shape our experience of reality. Further, and perhaps most importantly, we have lost touch with our Essential Self, the Soul, the Consciousness that occupies the body-mind.
The importance of this can be seen in the metaphor of the ‘overhead projector.’ (If you are a ‘millennial’ you may have to google what an overhead projector is ;-) An overhead projector has a brilliant light in a metal box with a plane of glass on top. One puts transparencies on the glass, which are clear plastic sheets with words and pictures, and the light shines through them, projecting the words and pictures up into and through a lens which projects it out onto a screen.
This is a great metaphor of a human beings. At our core is the Light of the Heart, our Soul, Pure Awareness. This light shines through the transparencies of the mind — layers of memories, unresolved emotions, things we learned, meanings that we’ve made up, negative karmas, misperceptions, etc. — which is then projected out onto the ‘screen’ of the outer world. So in this model, rather than our experience being determine by outer circumstances, it is the content of the transparencies, of the mind itself that is the cause of our experience, whatever it might be.
If this is true, then our blame and criticism of the world, and our efforts to control it are a very poor use of our time and energy, and distract us from the work that needs to be done within. When we learn to look within, we see how our conditioning, unresolved past experiences, and cherished stories are influencing what we are projecting out onto the world. Not only is this a better way to change what we are experiencing, but it is the only way to come into contact with the Inner Treasure, the Light of our Soul that waits to be discovered just behind the transparencies.
So in my work with clients, we go within. We attend to the outer circumstances only as a way of learning to discover our transparencies. We come to identify patterns of thinking, defending, avoiding, judging, blaming, and projecting, and see that this is all just a defense against the deeper layers of pain, heartache, guilt, shame, feelings of abandonment and despair that we all carry. Then we learn to bring the Light of the Heart to these layers to heal them. To say it plainly, we learn to contact the deep pain we feel, and connect to it with the Love that we ARE. This accomplishes two very important things:
1. It heals the deep layers layers of pain, fear, and shame because those layers originate from the belief that we are separate from Love, which is our True Nature.
2. It helps us to shift from our identification with pain and woundedness, to identification with the Love and Light of our Soul, which has been there all along, just behind the drama of the mind.
This work takes courage, practice, and perseverance, and requires a set of contemplative skills that, when learned and applied, will heal and transform your life. Then you will find that opportunities will present themselves for you to be of service to the world. You will find that the Light of the Heart shines in and through you in a completely unique way, and that the world is waiting for just this unique expression of Truth and Love that comes through you.
Come, let’s begin.
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