In the growth process, service, devotion, and contemplation help drive our process forward. There are a number of other words we can use to mean the same, like surrender, inquiry, karma, and so forth. But these words describe natural tendencies rather than formal techniques we should adopt and apply religiously.
They are natural ways of being. Does service or contemplation come naturally to you? Then give it space in your life and allow it to unfold. Formal techniques of this type encourage attempts to manage or control our experience. Then it’s just ego. But the right approach will find us less bound and more settled. We’ll be acting from who we are rather than what someone said.
The style and combination of approach will be uniquely ours as will what we discover through it. While we’ll reflect a common reality, our perspective will always be a little unique.
At a certain point, our experiences come with understanding or clarity. While our attention directs the unfolding, it also becomes clear we’re guided. Our growth is supported and directed.
The experiences and understanding also have to be digested. And that digestion process can open new avenues where we notice something is unclear or unseen. To unfold that we bring a natural dose of devotional surrender, active service or contemplative inquiry.
Such exploration drives some of the articles on this blog. While I could talk of my own particular take and experience, it’s more universal to talk about what I’ve learned from that. Certainly the result will be filtered through this lens but I find the learning more important than the passing experience.
Of course, this means observations on this blog are notations in time. If you’ve been reading for awhile or read some of the earlier articles, you’ll see how the observations have changed. The older observations don’t become wrong – they describe that part of the process. Rarely have I needed to edit anything of import because the wording turned out to be off. But it is certainly relative to the time.
While we all enjoy one reality, there are many, many perspectives. Together, all perspectives in all time reflect the whole.
Last Updated on June 16, 2016 by
One of the confusions I have at times is “processing” vs. “wallowing”. My path is primarily prayer (I consider it prayer but on reading some of your posts I was tickled to see that it could be considered effortless meditation). Sometimes, the resolution is long in coming for even minor transgressions. Going through one event now. Seems to take for ever. There are very suggestive dreams – for e.g. showing excavations under the floor. I am assuming that these are pointing to the subconscious. Sometimes there is crying during prayer. This crying is not in my control and is spontaneous. My question is why with even these helpful signs, is it hard to root out the discomfort from this one transgression which was actually minor and happened when I was young and unskilled. What determines the ease of uprooting, processing and resolution? Am I just wallowing? How is wallowing different from processing? Is it different?
Well – the key difference is the driver. Processing is something that is happening and we allow it to digest and complete. Wallowing is investing in an experience of the past, perhaps dwelling on an experience we’re processing. That can interfere with processing.
We can also be inclined to invest in a story about an experience and hold on to a charge to prove ourselves right. eg: ‘He hurt me’. We retain the hurt to justify the story. We thus block it’s resolution. It can’t resolve as long as we’re holding onto it. So we have to let go of the story to release the charge.
This doesn’t mean make the story wrong – that just creates a story about a story that leads to repression.
This has the element of ego and identification in there. It’s about mine and me. If we’re practicing processing, then we’re more inclined to get entangled because we’re trying to manage it.
Bringing attention to it innocently can help facilitate the processing and release but what really helps is detachment. When we stop seeing it as personal. Then it just becomes a process we allow.
I don’t tend to pay attention to dreams or read meaning in because they’re largely just processing themselves. I wrote about that prior.
Sometimes resolution takes time, not because of the minor issue or a story about it but because it touches on something deeper. A point of identification, or resistance. This can give you a flag for something deeper to see when you’re ready.
Spontaneous releases like crying are very beneficial. Something deep. But again, not something to wallow in – just allow to complete.
Keep in mind that we’re processing through decades and lifetimes of backlog. As we wind down the reactivity, we make faster progress. As we unravel the identification, it can get very fast. But it can feel like peeling an onion. Layers and layers…
Yes, love this, processing like onions.
~Ogres are like onions not cakes…like Shrek(the movie)…”they have laaaaayers”…lol!
Just thought to throw in a little humor…to help my own processing…
Thank you for the gentle pointer that there may be something deeper underlying the hard-to-resolve issue. I backed off from aggressively wanting the resolution after reading this pointer. I accepted that there was something underneath that I was not seeing. Finally, after just praying, there was more clarity and understanding of the issue at a deeper level. The issue seems to be finally resolving – after many attempts in the past. Perhaps there is more, I don’t know. But at least there is a significant relief for now (though with some soreness like something was extracted). From my Hindu perspective, praying to Shiva sincerely, brings about clarity.
Right, K. It’s not something we control but rather something we allow. By letting go and being open, we give the chance for that deeper seeing.
Yes – deep change can sometimes leave some discomfort but that usually settles out as the change is processed and integrated.
Same with praying – gratitude and openness are key. Making demands tends to be about control. 🙂
This may be well-known to most people – but this whole processing and resolving mechanics are surprising. For e.g. I had to back off and let go and allow for insight and clarity to come about prelude to resolution. I was pretty grateful for the insight. However, all of a sudden ongoing resolution of the incident seems to have uncorked or unmasked other memories around the situation and now I am dealing with those by yelling mentally at other people who caused difficult circumstances for me which caused my transgression in the first place. This mental yelling at people (though warranted) is completely surprising – and I am not sure if it helpful and if such things can be considered processing. I guess I should wait this out as well with patience. It is harder to pray while yelling at other people mentally!
No, they’re not at all known to most people. Until more recently, only long term meditators ran into much of this and mostly during their practice. But times have changed.
A surprising number of world events are being triggered by similar things in group consciousness but people have not learned to process smoothly, so they act out and make it worse or withdraw, etc.
So yes, it takes a little discrimination to get familiar with whats processing and release, whats just noise, and whats a true impulse. And it takes some practice to get better at allowing it to run its course.
New experiences are processed but releasing is another type of processing.
And yes, peeling the onion sometimes uncorks some “hard nuts”. Often we have stuff that’s layered and resolving the first layer reveals the next.
The key is to allow the feeling or energy aspects to be there and not engage them too much with the mind (around the stories and memories). Kind of favour neutral observation, to the degree it’s available.
So while we may feel warranted and have strong thoughts, its the charge behind that that you want to allow to complete. If you expose the actual charge, it will flare up briefly with a wave of some emotion, then be done.
If it’s very strong, you might find some light yoga and a little extra rest are useful to allow the adjustments to complete. It’s kind of like a drain got unplugged and so the sludge that was backed up is suddenly flowing again. But its flowing out, so let it go.
It can sometimes feel nuts to open ourselves to stuff we’ve been holding in for years. But when its released, it will no longer shadow you, and the energy it took to keep the cork in is freed for living life. Sometimes it will feel like a big load has been lifted.
Even shouting can be a form of prayer. 🙂
Thank you for the sludge metaphor. Most accurate and helpful description!
My favorite observation here, Davidya, is “acting from who we are rather than what someone said.”
Teachers matter so much. Up to a point. Okay, they can matter enormously.
We, the students, who we really are and what resonates for us as truth: That matters too.
By acting from who we are, and what’s personally interesting to us, we make that teacher’s knowledge our own.
Maybe delight a true teacher, too!
I’ve found we can very enraptured with a teacher when we discover one we resonate with. But over time, our relationship should mature. We’ll notice their humanness, points we disagree on, and so forth.
But if we stay stuck in the first part, we will tend to hinder our growth, fall into magical thinking, and so forth.
A teacher who encourages that? It’s called co-dependency and is not healthy in any number of ways.
But a good teacher will revel in their students growth.
I keep coming back to this post – I read your posts on Sedona method and the embedded link and also a small book on Sedona. Here is my understanding, practicing Sedona too soon on a feeling may undercut processing. Processing seems to be a natural impulse. Whereas Sedona seems to be encouraging an end to processing. What do you think? The issue/transgression I had mentioned in my earlier post, kept showing new insights until I felt “enough already” with this and started practicing the Sedona method on it. Then a new issue popped up and I considered practicing Sedona again but somehow I was not ready to do that yet. Appreciate any thoughts. Thank you
To be clear, I’ve not used the Sedona Method. I mentioned it a few times some years ago because others I know recommended it and it seemed decent.
For the most part, I learned to process stuff myself. I’ve written extensively about that but have not formalized a process and named it. More recently, I’ve written about Rose Rosetree as she teaches a much wider range of skills for healing things Sedona doesn’t.
But broadly, you want to experience life as it is and not try to manipulate or technique it constantly. You will naturally process life experiences through your day and sleep.
Where techniques come in is handling the old backlog. It’s useful to have effective techniques but to use them at discrete times, living your day-to-day life the rest of the time. There may occasionally be an instance where a big nut is being released during your day where it can be useful to rest and facilitate the process.
But you don’t do that by manipulating it with techniques. You do it by allowing the experience and giving your attention to it in healthy ways.
In a sense, techniques are just a way to learn what comes naturally.
Sometimes “enough already” means it’s time to just stop and rest. Let the process finish. So yes, if a new thing pops up, allow it to be there but don’t try to engage it.
Most of this is quite natural. The main lesson is in letting go of the tendency to try and control the experience. Just let it process and allow the attention to go where it needs to go to facilitate that.
With a bit of practice, it becomes second-nature.
Just keep in mind that it’s all about balance. Favour what brings balance.
Thank you – I am getting it – slowly, I know, but it is seeping in. 🙂
That’s quite normal. This is new territory for most people. It takes experience to shift concepts and techniques into ways of being.
I sometimes joke about “stumbling towards ecstasy”.