Monday, October 03, 2011

Witnessing from the Heart

Gel 1 by Seeking Tao
Gel 1, a photo by Seeking Tao on Flickr.

…the spaciousness of Awareness is a different aspect of awareness. There is also the agape.

I want to try to get down some description of this year’s retreat with Adyashanti. He changed the format a bit from previous years. For one thing he led a guided meditation each day. One meditation I particularly liked tuned us into “the different aspects of Awareness.”

This started with the head – waking up on the level of mind as it is sometimes called, leads to experiencing a great spaciousness - and experience of one aspect of awareness. By contrast, when that wakefulness drops down to be centered in the heart, things feel very different. Before I left for the retreat I was just tumbling to what might be involved. In “witnessing from the head” (or what seems to be what's usually refrred to as witnessing) there is a radical duality of witness and the rest of the world.

In witnessing from the heart, that distance is simply too painful to endure. The heart insists upon closing the gap – a gap cuased by judgments, denials – all the human pettinesses seem to become intolerable and start burning up within this fire of heart ripped wide open… or so it was beginning to appear to me.
As Adya led us into awareness from the heart the experience was much gentler.
I thank Evelyn Rodriquez for these quotes from Adya which give you something of the flavor:

There's a type of awareness that's very connected to the heart. There's an awareness most people are used to that is connected to the mind--it's a sterile, alert awareness. If someone asked us, 'Are we listening?' We'd say, 'Yes I am listening.' But it's a listening from the neck up."

Yes, there is an awareness that’s from the neck up and that’s where most awakening occurs. I like this comment from a reader at Being Ordinary as it speaks of “having a gap instead of a head.” Yes! Here lie the roots of Douglas Harding whole Headlessness techniques.

The ‘Big kaboum’ is recent, 10 weeks now so I like to say that I’m doing my baby steps in a fully awakened life. I had a couple days of doubts after coming down from the Bliss state during which time I could barely function and was literally not in my body anymore. Very hard to describe obviously. I haven’t really gotten back fully into my body in some ways, and I guess that state is common to all of us that have awakened.
The feeling of just having a gap instead of a head.
Tristan’s comment at Being Ordinary

So there is awakening on the level of the mind. And maybe, particularly so these days, with the emphasis on mentally based practice of self inquiry as opposed to let’s a practice sensually focusing on the sound of a mantra. And perhaps Adya is hinting at this too as he points out:
An expert has a hard time opening the heart... To be open is a state of innocence.

But, once awake, awakening can go deeper.
... the heart is opening up as it were and really interacting with what's in your environment or what's going on inside.
It's through the heart that we perceive Oneness.

I like the word Agape. It's a selfless infinite love. It's just a love for what is. It's unconditional.
An unconditional love is also un-caused. There's no reason for it. The reason there is no reason... is because it's an aspect of your being. It's a pre-existing aspect of your being. It's just there. It's the love that's just loving. There's no reason why it's loving. It's just loving. It's an aspect of the truth of what you are.
Love is always there. It pre-exists anything that may happen. Anyone you may meet. A lot of times we don't experience this because we're protecting... some idea or image of ourselves. Or we're emotionally protecting or layering."

Opening of the heart is necessary if we are going to come to the fullest of ourselves.

The deepest forgiveness is realizing there's nothing to forgive.
True forgiveness is not something you create or manufacture - you discover it.

The reason for this is our nature is agape. It's an aspect of our being. If we cut off an aspect from our being--if we withhold it from someone or something or some event--then you're literally severing a part of yourself. It's a way of putting ourselves in a virtual prison. We're withholding our own nature. We're hiding it from ourselves.
For most people this is so unconscious they don't really know what they're doing....
and that's about all I can say for now.