The Journal

The Journal

In my 20’s, I discovered Buckminster Fuller. He had a profound effect on me, partly because he was modeling the universe the same way I was but had taken it further. His focus was different but he had found the same principles.

One of the things Bucky recommended was to make your life an experiment and thus to document your process. I began journaling then, recording current states, progress, roadblocks, and so forth. This lead to writing as well, although my early writing got me in trouble, so I shelved it for many years.

In a discussion over on another post, Ben spoke of the challenge of finding words to describe one’s experience. In some ways, finding the words brings us another level of clarity and acceptance, in the mind. That can be why reading others process can bring clarity.

A number of spiritual teachers talk about the value of inquiry. In his recent book, The End of Your World, Adyashanti talks of his personal practice of inquiry.

He describes the tendency of thoughts to stick, like velcro. He also observes what he calls “spiritual bypassing“, the tendency to dismiss thoughts and thus miss the moment of reidentification.

He began the process before waking and continued on through, clearing the points as they arose. If he noticed some identification arising, he would go to a coffee shop with a pad of paper and write about it. Write about the thought, what the feeling was behind it, and step through it. Of course you want to follow the feelings. Otherwise it’s just a mental exercise that can be self-justifying. This can lead to understanding but nothing is cleared.

He also talked about considering what the belief was that lead to the thought. Again, he follows the feelings. He asks “How does this feeling see the world?” He found that “each thought and feeling contained a world in and of itself, a whole belief structure.” In being seen, this will crumble. He goes on to describe how to tell if the structure has been released.

Of course, writing is not necessary in this process but it can be useful to try.

What I’ve found is that just noticing the feelings will flag me of an issue that’s active. I notice the mind is thinking about a subject but has a resistance with it, a certainty in the internal statement or a negative tone. By certainty in the statement, I mean absolute words like “always”, “never”, and “only”. These exaggerations are the signposts of drama. But it’s the emotional tone that’s easiest to notice.

I tend to journal after the process, recording what occurred. But I have had places where I wrote through the process, where the writing was the process. Indeed, the  process of writing a book awhile back was intimately connected with the opening that was taking place. As the book came together, so did the next awakening.

I’ve also used drawings or flow charts. If you are so inclined, you might find drawing better suits you. Sketches of the drama and the players and the feelings. A drawing of the experience. Don’t be surprised if it’s much like childhood drawings. A lot of our holding began then.

Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you journal, the better you’ll be able to find language for your experience. It’s not about a perfect English essay or recording for posterity. It’s just for you, in this moment. It’s simply a way to process and integrate what’s taking place.

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  1. Pingback: Grace or Practice « In 2 Deep

  2. Pingback: The End of Your World Overview « In 2 Deep

  3. Davidya

    Hi Albert
    Yes. I’ve found memory undependable and highly revisionist. In writing, it’s right there. Also, the act of writing seems to help organize it and make it more concrete. It can kind of solidify it.

    I suppose it mirrors the process of creation. We’re bringing a subtle experience into form.

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