Back on 10 Steps to Enlightenment, I note the importance of experiencing our nature and study to understand it. Spirit & mind. But I also mention Housecleaning. Taking a look at our emotional baggage.
I’ve found this a key aspect of the awakening process. While the second unfoldment is around the heart and thus it’s cleansing is critical, I’ve observed that there is often some emotional cleaning prior and after each stage. Some acceptance may be required to let go of the ego in Self-realization and theres the emotional drivers to resolve afterward. The “last stress” can also be emotional. The core fear and BBQ come prior to letting go of the identity before Unity, followed by the falling away of a new layer of shoulds and musts. And so forth. People use the analogy of peeling the onion. It can sometimes seem like you clear some layer, then circumstances bring another layer to awareness. This last year has surprised me with what circumstances have brought forth. (laughs)
I’ve been reading Adyashanti’s new book, Falling Into Grace. While it’s largely a lighter more introductory read, he makes some profound points.
“As a spiritual teacher I’ve seen over and over again that people can have very deep and powerful revelations, even real awakenings to the truth of their nature, and yet at the same time they can still have a deep hesitation or even fear to enter into real human intimacy.”
He described intimacy earlier:
“When we become intimate with another human being – a lover, a friend, or even a stranger we’re simply conversing with – and we actually open ourselves in an undefended way to the other person, we’re doing something that human beings rarely do. We tend to be quite protective, holding ourselves behind some wall of fear, usually a fear of the very thing that we crave – closeness, intimacy, and union.”
“Intimacy with reality is one thing. Actually, intimacy with reality is relatively easy, once you get the hang of it. Once you get the hang of being with yourself, being with your own unknowingness, you realize it’s not really difficult, after all. It’s a process of relaxation, not a process of struggle. But to be very open and intimate with another human being, that’s not so easy, at least initially. To do so requires a depth of insight and a deep willingness to open to fear – to be willing to see those parts of you that don’t want to open. Further, we must come face to face with the whole world of emotion – emotional protection and emotional availability. Through relationship, we can start to see how we often go into a mode of self-protection or recoil, or into various degrees of fear. While much of this resistance is fueled by thought, this whole area of intimacy and availability is something that also takes place on a deeply emotional level. To be open-minded, to be no-minded is one thing, but to be genuinely emotionally open is something deeper, and it touches the heart and core of us in a very profound way. It requires that we stay in beginner’s mind and, more importantly, in beginner’s heart.”
“The most important thing when it comes to emotional openness and vulnerability is a willingness to face our fears, because many of our fears, although they’re created in the mind and memory, are also deeply lodged into our emotional makeup.”
“You can’t run so far, so fast that you get even one inch away from yourself. There’s no possibility of running from yourself. There’s no hope that you will be able to escape yourself.”
“‘Getting close'[to fear] doesn’t mean snuggle up to it. Getting close simply means you stop running away. You don’t have to run toward it. You just have to stop running away. Then you’ll feel an intimacy. You may feel a resistance, but you can choose to stay right there.”
“But when you’re willing to be intimate with your resistance, closer than you imagine, then you will see that your fears are not your enemies; they are your allies.”
“But when you have the willingness to open your heart, to be intimate even with the things you don’t like, with the people and events that frighten you, with the state of the world that may intimidate you, then you will find a way in which the core of you has an avenue through which to express itself. You can express and manifest the very depth of yourself in the outside world, so that there is no longer a division between inside and outside [unity] and there’s no longer a boundary for our love.”
Never underestimate the profundity of being able to express the source in your life. It is the difference between a relief from suffering and a lived embodiment of Being. The step after Self realization is the awakening heart. Adya points to why many can stall a little there. Additionally, many of the treasures of the path reveal themselves when we’re ready to look into our shadows. Our emotions are the home of the so-called veils over truth. Past lives, raptures, celestial perception, new abilities, and shifting into the flow of life all come from a willingness to see what is here.
While it’s not so easy to look, really seeing is the end of the burden and the dawn of the light.
For more on this subject, see the Key Posts link on the right under “Pages”. Look under Clearing and The Heart topics.
PS: Soothing music can be a beautiful way to open the heart. This is one of the reasons I’m a fan of Denise Hagan. Heard her on Sunday again.