Balancing Heart and Mind

I have so much I want to share about what is coming up for me in negative pleasure and negative intentionality, but Monday Morning Coffee Time helped to put this excitement into perspective – to balance heart and mind.

Pat: I am aware of the passing of time. Things are so different these days. When one gets one’s mind into the right place of awakening things are so different. Suddenly I see the preciousness of this life. You and I have been born into an age and circumstance where we can do our personal growth work. We have a chance to be present, if even for just a moment.

Gary: You and I have this coffee time, often 90 minutes, and Sunday it went to three hours, to begin our day in this precious time of reflecting and sharing. We are energized by self-facing times, as I see this time. That may be rare among couples. How has that been made possible for us? Pat: Grace!  It is truly Grace. Just contemplate the possibility of living from your Essence.

I reviewed with Pat much of what I want to blog about regarding negative pleasure. Gary: Going from negative intentionality to positive intentionality, as Pathwork would use these terms, is like rewiring one’s brain circuits. All the patterns that were set up in the brain as we were growing up, patterns set up as defenses against pain. I think this is what Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) developed in the 1970s was all about (though the efficacy of NLP has been challenged in recent times). Or some life coaching techniques incorporate the concept of finding the saboteur as a way of dealing with negativities in oneself. Also the work of Robert Kegan (most recent book: Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization) also addresses this seemingly innate negativity in us that sabotages our conscious positive intentions. Or Tara Brach in her audio Radical Self Acceptance touches concepts so similar to those of Pathwork.

What I am aware of in me is more objectivity and more acceptances of other paths. I have released Pathwork as THE path, and yet realize that it is MY path. Going very deeply into my own path helps me to understand The Path and have a context for all other paths. This deep Knowing is in contrast to surveying many paths and trying to explain how they are alike and different – something very mentally appealing, and something I tried earlier with, of course, no success. Pat, you have gone six years into your Awakening Into Presence and I nearly twelve years into Pathwork. From here we can do a “periscope up” and look around and see where we are in the context of the world.

And yet after all these years we are at only the beginning of our respective deep-dives. This deep diving becomes a way of life, the spiral of the spiritual path. It is not about arriving or even seeking, rather it is just about exploring the Mystery, in awe.

Pat: Yes, like the Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tzu. Gary: And the most recent (Feb. 11) issue of Science News in a feature series on consciousness. This article points out that the “C” word (i.e. Consciousness) has been a taboo topic in science – leaving this topic up to spiritual and psychological/philosophical folks. But now science is embracing consciousness.  The title of the article is Emblems of Awareness – Brain signatures lead scientists to the seat of consciousness. I love the wording used in the article, “After a while, though, researchers developed ways to turn their instruments inward to study the very thing that was doing the studying.” That is encouraging, as long as it gets beyond fixation on the “Upper Right” quadrant of Wilber’s famous Four-Quadrant chart. To limit studies to the right two quadrants would be reductionism that, from my viewpoint, reduces everything to pieces and systems and loses the perspective (and profoundness) of root cause and effect. For me, consciousness remains mystical (ultimate Source?), but with effects that can be seen in brain scans. The phenomenal effects seen in brain scans to me do not seem to be the causes of consciousness. It is a both/and, the oneness of energy and consciousness, to use Pathwork terms and concepts.

Pat: I’m noticing where you are with some of your friends from your “former” life in church and business. You are appreciating where they are, but more importantly you are appreciating where you are – not better-than, not worse-than, just each person being who he or she is, yourself included.

Pat: (very softly approached so I could take in…) You have such a fine thinking mind. But how do you stay in balance in terms of assuring deep listening and spaciousness? Our culture is so obsessed with thinking, and you can get caught in this web if you are not careful. I take us back to Jack Kornfield when he said, Learn to see with the heart that loves rather than with the mind, which compares and defines. You have lots of energy for thinking and blogging, but perhaps equal time is needed for meditation – time in that place of no words, that spaciousness beneath the thinking. Gary: (Pausing to really take in what Pat is speaking, then humbly…) Thank you Pat. I can see how easily I can get caught in my playground of thinking! Pat: Because, you see, we are here to bring forth the deep wisdom. It doesn’t matter if you call it reflection, contemplation, meditation, or prayer. These times need to be here too.

Gary: I again turn to Pathwork Lecture 194 Meditation: Its Laws and Various Approaches — A Summary (Meditation as Positive Life Creation), the paragraph on visualization and feeling. Feeling myself in a space of loving, spaciousness, fulfillment. Pat: Yet, too, your blogging is expressing you. That does need to be there too – it is your “art” that you are sharing with the world. In all things balance.

Gary: To me it is ironic that Buddhism is so much about awakening and presence, and yet the teachings and the endless commentaries on the teachings by all the various Rinpoches (Buddhist teachers) are so complex – 8 of this, 4 principles here, and on and on – my mind cannot begin to grasp all of this. To me these teaching and commentaries are very mental, and the mental is what they say gets us into trouble! Pat: And the Dalai Lama says that Buddhism is a “Science of the Mind.” Gary: And Moira says that Pathwork is a science. So the mental is also important, but a means, not an end.

Pat: So if blogging is your expression, what is mine? Gary: Authentic Movement? Pat: I don’t know. Authentic movement is more a nurturing that informs me. Gary: And I must say that my blogging certainly informs me! Pat: And I can see that Authentic Movement does express something very deep in me, although to only a limited group of 3 to 5 other women. It’s like the commentary on the Buddhist teachings – the “pointing to the moon, though not the moon per se.” “This is what the moon looks like through my being.” So Authentic Movement is pointing witnesses to what is alive in my soul. Authentic Movement isn’t my soul but rather points to my soul.

Pat: But our coffee time is every bit as rich as Authentic Movement, because we are intentful on how our relationship is a transformative edge, an edge to which we are saying “YES!” The Universe loves that! Gary: And meets us there! Pat: That’s what you and I want to do, OK! OK!

Pat: Then fear arises. What am I saying “YES!” to? And still another part of me has known all along that this was what was to come. So if I am on the “Other Side” looking back, I see “Yes, the offering of this lifetime was living the path within the path, living the male/female relationship.”

Pat: When my eyes were opened during our experience in October and I saw the real you – well I value the preciousness of that experience. I don’t have to have more of these experiences, but it offered me a new look. It is wise to feel the preciousness of that experience AND then go back and do our work. Gary: Yes! We are not “here” to be “there.” We are “here” to be “here!” – really here!

Pat: Using your “fine thinking mind” helps us to ground, helps us stay with it into the heart of things – you are able to stay with that until people can begin to see and sink into that space.  And from there they bring forth their own gifts in community. This is Union. This work cannot be done from the thinking mind alone. The heart is necessary. Again, Learn to see with the heart that loves rather than with the mind, which compares and defines.

We pause to take this all in. In gratitude.  In great gratitude.

Shared with love, Gary