The Hard Nuts

The Hard Nuts

Photo by Caio Basili

As we shift into a greater awareness of our energy and feelings, we can find all sorts of contractions and resistance. But over time, simple awareness allows us to experience, release, and resolve whatever we discover.
But usually there is some crusted areas like the heart chakra, covered for “protection” but thus constrained and made less conscious.

There can also be some hard knots or nuts that are more so. Often quite old, these are very tight contractions. They can be so tight they become inflamed, much as a star can light up from intense gravitational forces. This inflammation is a fire of destruction that feeds negativity.

One would think such drama would be obvious to us but because they have thick crusts and layers of protection and obfuscation in shadow, we can be completely oblivious to them.

And yet that energy will drive reactivity, negativity, and bad habits while consuming energy. The ego, wanting to feel in control, will make explanatory stories to justify our behaviour and life, further obscuring what’s going on.

Relationships can be valuable in discovering our blind spots. Others may see more clearly and can call us on our stuff. Once conscious, we can process and release. When we’re willing and able to see, the contractions can resolve surprisingly easily. Our fear of facing our fears is often greater than the fear we’re avoiding.
This is much easier after awakening when there is less entanglement. However, it’s still valuable beforehand to help prepare the ground for a clear and sustained shift in consciousness.

We’ve often been carrying these hard nuts for many lifetimes, giving expression to them through each embodiment. Others we can inherit through our family line. I cannot overemphasize the value of surfacing and releasing this baggage – for quality of life, escaping the wheel of karma, and blessing the generations to come.  

But it takes patience, a willingness to look at our shadows, and a willingness to let go.

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  1. Jim

    Thank you, David – Fascinating stuff, as even stress expresses itself through natural laws. 🙂

    Your title sounds like a rock band from about 1968 or so. 🙂 Al “Monde”, Wall, Brazil, and Pea [Nut] make up the quartet.

    Yes, I recall seeing these stress points as reflective spheres in the awareness, which hides them all the more effectively because they mimic normalcy.

    As you say, and counter intuitively, in every single case in which I have seen through one of these, the fear of facing it was way out of proportion to the discovery. Relief and reorientation in every case.

    Of course the resolution of contrasts becomes a lot easier if physiological acceptance is there; complete flexibility of body, mind, and consciousness.

    Funny how availability of consciousness makes the most difference, because if we can flow in any direction without judgment or obstruction or fear, having the mind and body reflect this is then easy.

    1. Al Monde is the front man with Pea on drums. Brazil is the exotic on Bass. 🙂

      Good point. Contraction feels normal because we’re used to it – until we let something go. Ahhh…

      And yeah, consciousness makes the difference. Otherwise out of sight, out of mind. (laughs)

  2. Jim

    Excellent matches. Wall [Nut] on synth and keyboards?? Either that, or he is the percussion guy… purple sneakers, Hawaiian shirt, pork-pie hat, shades, and an earring…

    Yeah the insight was that the ego makes the surface of persistent hard nuts reflective so they are quite difficult to see and penetrate. But the subtler areas of awareness can see them, or at least catch their outline in negative space, though it takes some cultured silence.

    1. 🙂 I was thinking Wall would be stoic but with well-developed technique. A virtuoso.

      Reflective – interesting. I’ve thought shadowed, but a good observation.

      And yes, then one day, they become obvious and we can work on cracking and melting the nut.

      1. Jim

        Excellent choice for Wall! ha Ha. Perhaps from Berlin?

        Yes, it is more than shadowed, their false image is integrated almost fully into our sense of self. It is just through transcending that they are discovered and seen through.

  3. Guru

    You hit sixer every ball. what struck me hard is relationships reveal our blind spots. I confess I have experienced this on my awakening path. Whenever i felt enlightened, my spouse used to show me my place. This helped in getting grounded. Awakened means we are able to shift gears effortlessly or playfully. Thanks.

    1. (laughs) Yes, our spouse can be our greatest love and our greatest challenge.

      Just be careful not to lay a bunch of stuff on what awakening”means.” That’s the mind making meaning. Awakening is an event beyond the mind – when the shift takes place. But it is also very much a process. It take time to become integrated, embodied, and clear.

      We also don’t want to make awakening into a high ideal we can’t reach.

      Awakening doesn’t make all our problems go away or give us a sudden mastery at being human. It’s advantages are more subtle than that but also more far-reaching.

      1. Jim

        Yes, I think of Awakening as a fetal stage in our embryonic spiritual development within Creation. It is an essential beginning, culminating in our birth from the placenta of consciousness, unbounded awareness, into living Brahman.

  4. Herwig

    I suppose overcoming the fear of our fear is the main key. Another one is non judgement. Fear, of course is an extreme form of negative judgement.
    “Others may see more clearly and can call us on our stuff.” This may be true, but in order to work it requires a high degree of integrety in the one who mirrors us and a very trusted relationship.
    Telling somebody else or being told by others that one is an asshole always tends to have an aspect of insult. Admitting it when confronted by others is difficult. Admitting it to oneself, however, can be quite easy. Provided, it comes along as a simple and objective observation and not as a judgement.
    Our present day politically correct zeitgeist is so full of moral reproaches, which frequently rather aim at creating feelings of guilt rather than purification, that it has become counterproductive.
    Morals and ethics have their merits as a guideline for future action. In retrospective they can obstruct the clear vision or even be used as a weapon in psychological warfare.
    After having given up the habit of bad conscience it becomes easier to look at oneself. When it comes to the hard nuts, this may hurt bitterly.
    But after having accepted that all this is part of the game, it becomes easier to accept the dark sides seen in others as well.

    1. Hi Herwig
      I’d say letting go is the key learning. Then we go beyond our fears and they seem smaller. We take baby steps and let go of some of the little ones. Then we come to some of the bigger ones. In the end, it all turns out to be distractions created in a kind of self-defense because we didn’t know better and didn’t know how to deal with whatever at the time. But now, as adults, easy-peasy.

      Actually, I’d disagree. Judgement is a function of mind-identified intellect making things right or wrong. Fear is a much deeper, more primitive survival impulse. But they become entwined when mind judges something bad and we learn to fear it, even if some of that is bollocks.

      Yes, you don’t want to put weight on other peoples judgements. That’s part of the issue. I refer to people who know us well and are offering constructive feedback. Not insults nor confrontation. That’s venting their stuff not mirroring us.

      Once you step out of the mind deeply enough, all of that is just seen as noise. Including a large % of modern media. It’s not personal so can just be ignored.

      Rules are created because people are too dense to be sensible. When you connect more deeply with life itself, with the flow of nature, rules have much less meaning and it’s clear what the right steps are.

      And yes, when you can move past the stories of guilt and blame, it’s much easier.

      I’ve not found that hard nuts hurt, except we may recognize how they’ve been hurting us when they become conscious. But now we can process them away.

      Yes, in some ways life is like a stage play. It’s for our enjoyment but we’ve gotten a little off track. 🙂

      1. Jim

        Regarding fear, there is a lot of talk about eliminating our fear and confronting it, etc.

        Fear is simply a protection, like training wheels while we gain purity and clarity. Without it we would be in big trouble. Once the physiology is clear enough and pure enough, there is no fear. It cannot be supported by a clear nervous system/bodymind.

        Certainly we can become aware of completely irrational fears also and reason through them, but the total elimination of fear is a natural process that finds its place when Brahman is lived.

        We don’t need to define our fear, or notice fear and work on it. Simply living Brahman rids us of it completely and naturally. No ignorance or separation remains, hence fear is obsolete.:-) Good riddance too!

        1. Hi Jim

          A good point. It’s not about fighting fear, it’s moving beyond it and it falls away.

          However, here I’d distinguish psychological fear from physical fear. When we become established beyond psychological fear, the mind no longer falls back on it.

          Yet physical fear can still arise as a biological reaction. It takes a little longer to let go as its denser. We see a tiger approaching, the body will move into flight or flight mode automatically. At first, fear will come with it. But when there is no longer any fear for the body, that will fade too. It just takes a little longer. 🙂

          I explored the topic in more detail here:

          1. Jim

            Hi David, Thanks. Yes once I read your referenced article I saw the discussion we had at the time.

            Certainly there is such a hierarchy of fears, and yet Brahman is insulated from all of them, even that of a violent or sudden bodily death by a wild animal.

            We gain complete control of our destiny in Brahman. Resolution of karma is one reason, and another is the refined state that the body attains, an indication of us working at our peak efficiency, perfectly in tune with the Divine. For example, breath suspension during sleep and meditation become commonplace.

            That being the case, it becomes a case of Cosmic economics – With the status of Brahman, we become too valuable to interrupt or disable. In fact, all of Creation works on Our behalf. No possibility of fear at all.

            Also living Brahman, it is difficult to determine sometimes whether we are dead or alive as we permeate everything. This also disrupts the fear mechanism. Not a startling realization though quite unusual.

            Thanks again for your wonderful series of essays and discussions. 🙂

            1. Interesting.
              I have observed that after the Brahman shift, people get increasingly distinctive and unique. But I can’t say their experience all matches this.

              I have watched major karmic threads wind down since the BC shift but don’t see that all karma has. And I know others having karmic challenges post-Brahman. Some have not even cleared some emotional contractions yet.

              To my mind, there is a parallel process of purification along with the stages of unfolding. But it varies widely how far along the 2 sides each of us are. There’s a large multi-life process in play and it depends on the effectiveness of practices and where we where when we came into this life.

              But I do agree it moves towards this over time.

              Although I’m not sure about being dead. (laughs) Everything feels alive so where is there death? 🙂

              You’re very welcome. Thanks for your contributions.

              PS. I recall getting a tshirt once that said “I’d rather be immortal.” But then I realized the experience of continuity of the soul had caused fear of apparent death to fall away. I used a marker to cross part of it out to say “I am Immortal” 🙂

              1. Jim

                Thank you – You have me laughing over the t-shirt. Love it. Yes, no death possible.:-)

                Yes, the process of purification along with the stage. I agree. I (or someone, anyway) have been living Brahman now for a little while and it has definitely been a journey of continued purification and refinement.

                I am seeing its place in our human existence more clearly, though since I am alive and Brahman is alive, life in all of its wonder and grand mystery. continues. I especially like being shown the science behind so called miracles and learning how to do them myself. An ongoing investigation that is proving quite fruitful!

                Thanks again for this unique place in all of the world where the Reality of enlightenment can be openly and clearly expressed. 🙂

            2. michael

              Hi Jim,

              i have to agree with David here.

              I have met people in BC and they still had major immaturities (mother father issues uncleared) and the fear! to face these, even some traumas…and other karmic stains, their elements were not even beginning to clear (speaking about no karma….that would be a very high place and would mean a complete transmutation of the body, like a rainbow body).

              Cannot say for the breath stop during sleep…..i had phases where i needed just one breath per minute even during excercise…but would not say that indicates a full karmic clearing just a reconnection to source.

              best and thanks for the input! 🙂

              1. Jim

                Hi Michael – Glad to make your acquaintance.

                Thank you for sharing your experience also. No doubt there are those resolving karma when they enter Brahman, though such a state of life provides all of the tools needed to quickly clean up, so to speak.

                I don’t understand from my experience of Brahman how fear can still be present. One has mastered all of the dynamics of consciousness, and simultaneously gained conscious immortality, so where could fear possibly reside?

                As far as the ma and pa issues, that also would be something to resolve prior to Brahman, as it exists within the ignorance of the dynamics of consciousness.

                Thanks 🙂

                1. Hi Jim

                  This comes down to the Atman/Sattva distinction. If there is balanced development, then the purification is keeping up with the stages. But I’ve seen 2 people go from waking to BC in under 6 months. Such a person is likely to have a great deal of unpacking to do still. They won’t have mastered the dynamics of consciousness yet either.

                  Or framed another way, there’s a big difference between an initial shift and a mature, embodied shift.

                2. Jim

                  Thank you David. I must say that without mastering the dynamics of consciousness, Brahman is uninhabitable. I am not sure what people are substituting for it, but it is not Brahman without such mastery.

                3. I’ve described Brahman as having stages. For some, they experience a shift out of consciousness but it’s unknown what is here now. In time, that becomes more clear.

                  If there is little refinement, there is nothing to know what is more subtle than consciousness.

                  But this is the same with all the stages. For example why you have some describing Self Realization with words like no-self and emptiness vs Self and fullness. There isn’t just the openings but the capacity to see.

                  You’re more blessed than you know. 🙂

  5. Herwig

    P.S. This reminds me of the most lovable quotation of Che Guevara that I know:

    “Todos los días la gente se arregla el cabello, ¿por qué no el corazón?”
    — Ernesto Che Guevara

    Every day the people do their hair. Why not their hearts?

    Well, both requires an appropriate mirror. 😉

  6. Amit

    Interesting topic. During a Vipassana retreat two years back I suddenly felt an enormous tightening in my chest on the fourth day of the retreat ( the day when real vipassana begins ). It never really got resolved and I still feel this heaviness around the chest during meditation ( though I don’t practice vipassana as such). Sometimes it is accompanied by pressure in the head.

    I also have an underlying anxiety that never goes away. By focusing on the actual sensation instead of the thoughts surrounding it I manage to keep it from flaring up, but it still persists below the surface.

    Somehow even after years of regular moderate meditation and witnessing nothing fundamental seems to move.


    1. Hi Amit
      This is why I talk about healing techniques and effortless meditation. They help clearing such things. That said it’s useful to look a little deeper. Something like chest tightening can be one of several things.

      For one, it can be a deep contraction that’s been there a long time but has just become conscious.

      It can be sensations related to the release of a contraction that may or may not be conscious.

      It’s also very common to have a crust around the heart. When the heart starts to expand, it pushes against the restriction and we feel pressure.

      It can be something physiological, but that would be less likely on a retreat. That’s more stress-induced.

      And it can be related to force. Pressure in the head can have similar causes as above, but the most common reason for head pressure during a practice is strain.

      On anxiety, some physiology’s are built that way. Ayurveda calls it Vata (air) constitution. Our culture is very vata so it encourages it. Samadhi via effortless meditation is an excellent way to manage it and much reduce it. Research suggests it’s the most effective treatment for PTSD.

      You have to be careful there is no attempt to control anxiety directly. That wont help. But if you soothe the physiology, it works wonders. Inner peace > inner peace. 🙂

      It does take time to clear things up and deepen our connection to source. But with good practices, results will come. The issue is, what is managing the process is outside of our experience. We don’t see it because we’re in it. (laughs)

    1. Hi Bartosz

      In a sense. But I’d suggest it’s letting go that’s the doorway to awakening. If fear is our doorway into letting go, then yes. But that’s kind of the rough way, along the lines of an ego collapse like Byron Katie or Tolle.

      Much easier is to become familiar with source, then let go into it. 🙂

  7. Olli

    Hi Davidya

    This post speaks to me right now. Witnessing emotions and letting them pass has been a huge part of the healing that’s happening right now. A lot of contractions and resistance feels like it’s physically situated within the chest area. Some of it seems to melt away with awareness and allowing but there’s some thicker mud there as well.
    How you describe there being a “crust for protection” around the heart and inflammation is really accurate. There’s even some physical soreness when I really keep my awareness there. And a feeling of a heavy black stone in the middle.
    Sometimes there’s a release which for a while removes weight from that area but then deeper repressed things surface.

    I’ve noticed that some of the stuff that doesn’t really want to go away has some sort of a “story” to it. I had a stuck feeling which just wouldn’t move so eventually I asked “if it could speak, what would it say?” And the answer was “I want to go home”.
    That sort of thing isn’t relevant to my current life situation so it must be something from the far past.

    I’m also finding out that the daily “neutral” state is often actually a mildly negative state of uneasiness, boredom, apathy or discontent. Even inquiring into that state produces releases, although it takes a bit more awareness because it’s usually much more subtle than some of the “louder” emotions.

    Although healing is this stuff can be challenging, I’m actually mostly finding it really interesting.. even fun. Without identifying with all that what is rising, it becomes like a treasure hunt or a way to find out more about your own past.

    Wishing you all the best

    1. Hi Olli
      Yes, it’s quite common for there to be lots to heal in the heart area, especially for men. As we move to the other side of it, that heavy black stone dissolves, exposing the flame of life and a far greater emotional scale into universal love and compassion. Also God Consciousness and refinement of perception.

      Right, that stuckness is tamas. And the story is the mind trying to justify emotions. It doesn’t like to have emotions “for no reason”. When you dissolve the emotions, the story is left hanging and falls away too.

      Remember that this mildly negative state is actually being more conscious of how it’s been normally, although it can be amplified by purification. Before we were churning over the unresolved emotions and stories. Now you can see them and release them. It simply becomes a game of whats arising to resolve. At some point, you get signs of progress.

      The tone will shift in time.

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