Falling behind the Functions of the Mind

Dear Wise Women,

Our Circle of Presence is about giving space to whatever arises, exploring it and witnessing it compassionately from the ground of our being. We do this work individually and collectively, and its valuable work. Tonight we explored how to DO from a place of BEING, how to witness the activity of the mind without getting hooked into the problems created by our thoughts, and how to bring present moment awareness into all of our interactions and activities.

This is an ongoing practice and one that is best carried out in a practicum setting (i.e. our daily lives). Doing dishes, washing laundry, tending to children, typing an email, driving, doing our jobs…the list goes on and on. Pay attention to the thoughts you are having during these activities, notice when they are out of alignment with what you are doing and compassionately invite in flow and balance into all that you do.


The Belly of Compassion meditation

Last week I shared this meditation in an audio form with you, and this week I will share the written. I just love this meditation and sense we will be doing it quite regularly. Practicing it as a group is so powerful as together we liberate the holding, grasping and protecting of the belly.

Bring your attention into the sensation in the body. Just feel what sits here. Feel this body you were born into. Allow awareness to come to the level of sensation in the body.

Gradually allow your attention to drop into the abdomen. And begin to soften to the sensations in the belly. Softening the belly to receive the breath. Softening the belly to receive life. Softening to any resistance. no holding. No grasping in soft belly. Letting go of the hardness in the belly. Practicing “merciful belly”.

Moment to moment softening the belly. Moment to moment making room for your life.

Don’t try to grasp or trap the breath, to shape or control it. Just let it be.

Surrender to the breath, softening the belly from moment to moment.

In soft belly is the release of the posturing of a lifetime. All the grief hidden hard in the belly. Have mercy. Letting the hardness float in the belly.

Levels and levels of softening. Levels and levels of letting go. Levels and levels of letting be.

The belly fatigued with its holding, with its mercilessness to itself. Have mercy. Just for this moment at least, soften to this ancient clinging. In a new mercy. In a new willingness to heal. Have mercy on this mercilessness.

Each in breath, belly rising. Each out breath, belly falling. Rising and falling, let your breath breathe itself. Letting go of control, trust the breath to breathe all by itself.

Each breath breathing itself in soft belly. In soft belly we have room for it all. Even room for our pain. Room to get born, room even to die in soft belly, in merciful belly.

Levels and levels of softening. Levels and levels of letting go.
— Becoming Kuan Yin by Stephen Levine

Our meditation today, travelled from the belly into the heart and eventually up to the mind. Today, I shared Pamela Wilson’s offerings on the nature of The Mind.

 Pamela Wilson’s book (an endearing glimpse into human nature as told from the perspective of her golden retriever, Honey.

Pamela Wilson’s book (an endearing glimpse into human nature as told from the perspective of her golden retriever, Honey.

THE MIND

I notice my human friends seem to have trouble with their Mind. *
* We dogs rely on the nose that Knows!

The Mind is very simple...
and a mischievous genius

All creative and practical,
a Supreme Intelligence.

Its nature is Silence.
Surprising isn’t it?

What agitates the mind is not
Circumstances,
but being contained.

The Mind is vast
and
it is in too small a space...
your head!

In school, the mind was trained
To Focus, Contract.
To pull its vastness in and
concentrate. Ouch!

So, let’s liberate the mind.
Take a moment and really honour it.

Endlessly giving,
offering,
wish fulfillment, protection,
comparing, separation,
judging &
other role play services.

It’s
a coach, worried Love,
director, script supervisor.
So many functions!

Ask it to look behind its roles and functions.

Who are you really, Mind?

It does not need to know or get anything right.

Whatever it says
Or does not say
is okay.

Give it all the timelessness it needs.
Reassure it that you don’t want it to go away.

Its practical creative intelligence
is needed!

It might feel its functions
Are all it is.

Ask it to look behind
the known,
all its ideas about itself.

What is noticed?

There might not be much there.
Reassure it, and ask
if it notices it has not lost any intelligence
when it rests!

Be with it as the mind explores
its naturalness.
Here is its strength, in its Being.

Pure Intelligence. Unconditioned.
Unlimited.

Now, ask it to let you feel or see
its vastness.
Wouldn’t it like to live as
Soaring Presence?

And if its willing, ask the Mind
To let you feel its majesty and dignity.

Please honour this moment.
It’s so rare that a human mind
unveils its bright, shiny nature,
its innate freedom.

Now, under pressure it may return
to habitual thinking,
worrying or strategizing.

Notice that and reassure it, and invite it
to rest back into its constancy.
Your respectful, kind presence
allows it to discern and relax.

Eventually, The Mind lives unwaveringly
as quiet strength, clarity
and benevolent practicality.
Its very existence is divine!
— Pamela Wilson, "A Golden Retriever's Guide to Joy, Helpful Hints for Humans"

Pamela’s description of the mind is beautifully poetic and invites in such a sublime experience. If you prefer a more concrete pointing, you may be more drawn to Michael Singer’s discussion. I didn’t share the following passage in its entirety today, but I welcome you to take it in now.

♥ Consciousness is pure awareness of being, an intuitive sense of existence.

♥ Consciousness is that that notices all the experiences. Our consciousness is the one who is experiencing the experience.

♥ By its nature, consciousness has the ability to focus. The essence of consciousness is awareness, and awareness has the ability to become more aware of one thing and less aware of something else.

♥ The difference between a conscious centered person from a person who is not so conscious is simply the focus of their awareness. It’s not a difference in consciousness itself. All consciousness is the same.

♥ If you step back, you will clearly see that objects are constantly passing before you at all three levels: mental, emotional and physical. When you’re not centered, your consciousness invariably becomes attracted toward one or more of these objects and focuses on them. If it concentrates enough, your sense of awareness gets lost in the object. It is no longer aware that it is aware of the object.

♥ When you are centered, your consciousness is always aware of being conscious. Your awareness of being is independent of inner and outer objects you happen to be aware of.

♥ You come to realize that the outside world and the flow of inner emotions come and go, and you, the one who experiences these things, remains still.

♥ You realize that you’re not who you thought you were. You realize that you’re not your emotions, you are the one watching them. You realize you are not the voice in your head, you are the one who hears the voice in your head.

♥ Your voice and thoughts are created by the mind, which is part of you, but it is not you, it is only a function of you.

♥ The mind creates a model of your reality and then incessantly filters and processes the outer world to fit within this model. It does this to make you feel safe and comfortable, and it never stops. The problem is not the activity of the mind, the problem is that we identify with the mind we think it is who we are, and because it is constantly trying to control our experiences, we never rest.

♥ The more you are willing to just let the world be something you’re aware of, the more it will let you be who you are – the awareness, the Self, the Soul.


Ask yourself, Who Am I?

“I am the one who sees. From back in here somewhere, I look out, and I am aware of the events, thoughts and emotions that pass before me.”

If you go very deep, that is where you live. You live in the seat of consciousness. You effortlessly look outside and see all thoughts, emotions and outer form. Behind it all, there you are.

From that seat, you are aware that there are thoughts, emotions, and a world coming in through your senses. But now you are aware that you’re aware. The great mystery begins once you take that seat deep within.
— - excerpts from Michael Singer's book, "The Untethered Soul"

Fellow Wise Women, may you courageously venture into your week with a sense of optimism and joy and celebration of your BEING!

With so much respect and love,

Patti

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