Tuesday, 16 June 2009

How to Use the Wisdom Gained from the NSE

This is the method of using the NSE (Near Suicide Experience - see previous post) as a root experience to draw from to overcome psychological suffering. In this sense, the NSE is valuable, because it is a reference point to draw from that people who have not undergone the experience will not have. If you use this in combination with any of the releasing methods - the Sedona Method, the Complete Acceptance Process, EFT, Inquiry, ROLCE etc. - you will find a greater willingness of your awareness to become fluid and open, thus releasing and bypassing the pain.

The process then:

1. Pain - When you experience psychological pain, it is up to you to notice. With reference to the NSE, make sure you remember how the pain came before the struggle, and see if you can catch it before serious struggle develops. If you do not, then it will follow the NSE experience development described in the previous post. However, this method can come into play at any point before the Mad Point i.e. before you find peace the hard way!

2. NSE pain perspective (Price Tag of Attachment) - Meditate briefly on how quickly pain can escalate into exposed insecurity, struggle, withdrawal, the suicide point/victimhood and fatigue. If you learn to do this soon and often after the NSE experience, you will gain valuable insight into the impermanent nature of "reality" because it shows you the huge pain of attachment. This is Key Advantage #1 NSE-ers have over non-NSE-ers. They have seen the price.

3. Release/Surrender/Tiredness Point - Before you have to go through all that nonsense leading up to the Mad Point, release. Of course, not all life situations will force you all the way through even the Suicide Point, and most will just result in minor struggle. However, the power of the NSE is that it shows you how far the furthest will go, and if you have survived it, you can draw directly from the power of the Mad Point for every situation. What is the value of this? The minor struggles won't even happen, and for the major ones you will be able to quickly move through the releasing process and thus bypass all the pain and suffering. I call that a good bargain.

Another way of looking at it - you never know how big a struggle is going to become, and you will waste huge amounts of mental resources figuring that out. I advocate the idiot's approach - simply assume the worst for every situation and apply the best technique - this one - directly. It's actually also the most effortless and efficient technique, so why would you even bother with others?

The Tiredness Point is Key Advantage #2 for NSE-ers. Meditate and sit in the energy of how it was to feel so completely tired of mucking about with struggle, retreating, running, the Suicide Point and all that rubbish. If you can find that feeling again and evoke it, it will quickly enable you to let go. This is like learning not to leave your hand on a boiling kettle. Others learn it because they are taught. NSE-ers have burnt their hands. Learn from it, and let go before the kettle boils. So the tiredness is very efficient. It cuts through all the struggle because it says, "I know the pain that is developing. I know what will happen if I fight. So why bother? I give up and let go."

NOTE: This is NOT giving up on life, and NOT about giving way in the physical world in any way. It is giving up the struggle mentally to force things to be one way or another. It is about intentionally losing the battle to protect one's insecurities, and to let them be completely exposed. The NSE teaches you that the apparent pain of exposing one's insecurities is much, much preferable to the pain of going through the struggle. You can be doing a tough negotiation and still be totally detached from the outcome. That is what this is about. It is not about avoiding a stance. It is about taking a stance, but ignoring the outcome. Then you can enjoy the fight!

This also tells us that this technique is not painless. In fact, it may well be painful, especially at first, as you jump into the insecurities and pain. And don't expect all the pain to just fade away. Sometimes they will and sometimes they won't. But if you sit in them long enough, they will. Give it time - you develop psychoses over years - they may not exactly go in one day. Learn to enjoy the fear of being totally exposed and mentally defenceless. That is your ultimate defence, for not to fight mentally is to win. The Feeling Exercise of Arnold Patent becomes very particularly effective when you meditate upon this point.

4. Mad Point - Not usually necessary if you did step 3 right. In fact, I add this on as an extra. Meditate on this point of the process to remember the meaninglessness of it all. And through this meaninglessness you find meaning, for you realise that everything is what you make of it, and so you can choose how you make meaning of the world, and thus liberate yourself to true empowerment. This is also where the Turnaround from The Work becomes particularly effective, especially for the ones which normal society would consider madness - for example, "Your son should have died."

Byron Katie promotes The Work, but there is a deeper meaning to her experience that not all get. She understands the point of great emptiness, the ultimate meaninglessness of it all. That is the Mad Point that the NSE-ers experience. This is why people who come close to suicide and survive are transformed. They come in touch with the Mad Point, which is also the divine connection, and are transformed by it, whether they know it or not. Sitting in the Tiredness Point perspective, the cutting aspect of The Work (i.e. the Four Questions - the education part of The Work) on thought becomes effective. Sitting from the Mad Point perspective, the pacifying aspect of pure awareness automatically reveals the falseness of thought, and it becomes irrelevant.

The Turnaround has a re-framing aspect to it, which speeds up the re-organisation process. However, for those who sit in the Mad Point and do nothing else, the change is automatic. It is no coincidence that Master Chunyi Lin says that when you reach emptiness in your meditation, just let the whole thing go and be in it. It takes care of everything else.

Naturally, this point is Key Advantage #3 for NSE-ers.

5. Get on with life. Sitting in the Mad Point forever is boring, and no way to live life. For it to reveal its brilliance, you need to get on with life. Or you could stay in it and vegetate. Your call. The important thing is that it is the end of suffering.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Brief Notes on Touchstones to Emptiness via the NSE

Before you ask - NSE = Near Suicide Experience. And no, I haven't been hanging off any cliffs thinking of jumping lately. The subject came up in conversation recently and for those who are interested these are some of the basic touchstones along that path. I believe the touchstones are basically the same for everyone who treads this path, but I could be wrong. The corresponding Buddhist path is the Hinayana, and it is written from that viewpoint, not the ultimate view.

The basic sequence is:

Pain => Vulnerability/Insecurity Point => Struggle => Retreat/Withdrawal => Suicide Point => Fatigue/Tiredness => Total Loss Point => Mad Point => Boredom Point => Courage/Anger Surge => Pattern Breakdown => Breakthrough

I'm not going to elaborate because if it's not pertinent to a person they aren't going to bother anyway, but if it is they'll be able to figure it out.

Pain = The journeyman feels pain, real or otherwise. It is a reaction to a situation that he believes is coming to him. This is not physical pain, although that may be present, but psychological pain.

Vulnerability/Insecurity Point = The pain, if explored, is an emotional reaction to an insecurity, a fear. Lester Levenson of the Sedona Method would call this wanting approval, wanting survival or wanting to control.

Struggle = Means what it says on the label.

Retreat/Withdrawal = The person consciously or unconsciously gets beaten into a mental corner. Strategies that worked in dealing with life fail. He or she shirks into the mental dungeon, unwilling to give up struggling for mental space, but the pain caused through the struggle is causing the flinching.

Suicide Point = Also known as the Self-Pity Point. If they are going to do it, this is when they will do it.

Fatigue/Tiredness = If they hang about Suicide Point for too long, tiredness or fatigue will overcome them. This is not the fatigue from the struggle. It is the complete collapse of the mind. Danger of suicide is over - they are too tired to hurl themselves off the cliff.

Total Loss Point = Here they give up. Not necessarily willingly. In fact, most will be beaten and hit and kicked in the stomach until they finally let go. It's the mental equivalent to torture camp.

Mad Point = For a very brief moment, everything stops making sense. Very important point. In fact, the key point, but I'm too tired to elaborate on it. We'll call it "A Glimpse of Emptiness". Next.

Boredom Point = When things stop making sense, there is a brief moment of peace. Then it gets boring, at least to the journeyman from a Hinayana viewpoint.

Courage/Anger Surge = So there is a sense of "nothing more to lose", which leads to a sudden outward burst of energy - spiritual, mental and physical.

Pattern Breakdown = Old mental patterns break down as this energy starts afresh and is reborn. Phoenix emerging from fire and all that.

Breakthrough = End of crisis. The ones who didn't pay attention get up, dust themselves off and walk away. The ones who did learn a very valuable lesson about how to initiate the self-destruct sequence before life forces them to, and thus attain liberation from suffering.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Meditations on Meditation - the Purification of Karma

Source: Wikimedia

Meditations in the western sense do sometimes spill into the arena of brainwaves - how and what meditation does is measured by what it does to the brain. Typically, there are the four brainwaves - delta, theta, alpha and beta.

Delta - deep sleep
Theta - deep relaxation
Alpha - daydreaming
Beta - normal waking consciousness

Recently, we also have gamma - the superfast brainwave which penetrates every part of the brain. I have written about the details of the fancy brainwaves elsewhere but here I intend to focus on the basic brainwave sets.

In traditional western training, alpha is the first, and possibly the only goal. It is because at this level, daydreams and mental programming may be controlled and altered, and sparked interest into using it to affect reality (manifestation) in one way or another, from sealing business deals to better sex.

Interestingly enough, the yogis of old, and in fact most of the major traditions, did not emphasise these aspects as much. You will see this spirit in this article on Yoga Nidra. The four levels of consciousness listed correspond to the four brainwave sets. Now, if you were someone who was interested in brainwaves, you would know that we cycle through the brainwaves every 24 hours. The question becomes:

Why should we be interested in being able to consciously accessing these states?

An interesting enough question, and one whose answer, I suspect, has turned the whole western tradition subtly away from karmic purification. That is not necessarily a bad thing - I myself began my training all those years ago in western roots. The western approach is the question:

How can I use this brainwave to improve my life?

The answers to that question have brought about huge leaps in western understanding to the processes of the subconscious mind and how it affect life. However, it is now time to look a little more deeply. Let's examine the eastern version of this question:

How does this state impact life?

The difference is subtle, but the resulting insights profoundly different. The difference lies in the western presumption that "I" know what is best. Do not tell me to change my position - just tell me how to get what I want. Forget why I want it. And that is part of what eastern practitioners sometimes lack - the going for things and holding a position. However, they did also discover something rather interesting - when you go into a meditative state of be-ing (as opposed to the western do-ing), you get an altogether different experience.

What happens is that the meditation changes you. This is the answer of the deeper states of theta and delta. The "I" that we normally associate with ourselves disappears, or is severely muted. Sitting in this silence, the fears and worries of normal every day life also become muted. Not necessarily do they disappear, but they become more quiet. That, I suspect, if what the respected yogi in that article means by "purifying the samskaras". For as the mind becomes accustomed to living at a deeper level of truth, the mad probings of the more form-related states dissipate, leaving room for peace.

But western meditation also includes delta and theta!

Indeed, they do. But again, the difference in attitude is what makes the difference. As long as the mind goes in "wanting" something, trying to achieve something, the purification effect does not kick in, for the ego stubbornly holds onto that which the meditation is seeking to purify. Rather hopeless endeavour, on the whole. On the other hand, if you sit and abide in the deeper levels of awareness, then the sense of emptiness arises. Ultimately, you realise the falsity of all thoughts that plague the outer levels. And because that level is free, you can afford to be compassionate. When you meet the plaguing samsaric thoughts with kindness, yet sitting firmly in pure awareness, they disappear. This is what it means to be kind to yourself.

So, I propose that there are deeper applications of the states, which need to become available if people are to be truly free.