Non-duality

An Undivided Wholeness of Flowing Movement

My dear friend and mentor, Will Johnson, has just written this:

flowing-movementAn undivided wholeness of flowing movement. What a delicious phrase! And it neatly encapsulates much of what I teach in the long sitting retreats I lead. Most of the time we experience ourselves as irrevocably separate from everything we can perceive to exist outside of ourselves, but when we truly awaken the body and start surrendering to a breath that can indeed “breathe through the whole body,” we gain access to an alternative dimension of consciousness in which our conventional sense of separation gives way to a ground state of union and undivided wholeness. And the way to this awakening of body—and the doorway into this entrancing dimension of undivided wholeness—is through relaxing so deeply that the body stays in a condition of constant, subtle, flowing, amoeba-like movement in resilient response to the breath. When the physical body stays moving in this way, the current of the life force can be felt to flow freely through as well.

An undivided wholeness of flowing movement. I wish I had come up with that phrase myself, but it comes from a far superior source. It’s the shorthand phrase that the quantum physicist David Bohm came up with to describe how he believes the universe is constructed. Bohm was one of the most respected quantum physicists of the last century, and toward the end of his life he began to intuit that our understanding of how reality is constructed needed a rather complete overhaul. For Bohm, there are two fundamental dimensions of reality, what he called the implicate and explicate orders. The implicate order (which he felt had been completely overlooked by science) was like a unified ground state or source out of which the entire explicate order—with its gajillion of stars and universes and atoms and subatomic particles, all of them constantly moving, twinkling, and shimmering—was projected, somewhat like how a complex holographic image is projected from a single light source. For Bohm, everything is constantly moving back and forth between both these dimensions, but at such a rapid rate that the world of appearances still manages to look solid and stable.

The Heart Sutra, one of Buddhism’s most revered texts, in an almost exact reflection of Bohm’s dual vision of an explicate and implicate order, tells us that everything that exists partakes of two dimensions—one of conventional physical form, the other of a deep underlying emptiness—and for me, one of the goals of spiritual practice is to have a direct experience of the simultaneous existence of these two dimensions. The easiest way to grasp this mind boggling understanding is to remember that, even though we look at people and recognize them by their very solid looking face and body, we don’t experience ourselves as particularly solid. Rather, we feel like some kind of openness or space that somehow pervades and permeates our very solid looking head and body. And if this dual condition of an apparent solidity permeated by an underlying intangible openness is true of you and me, why shouldn’t it be true of every other physical object as well? The ground dimension of undivided wholeness is very real, but the only way we can directly access this dimension is to make sure that our entire body remains in a condition of constant, flowing motion. If we remain stiff and frozen in our bodies, this extraordinary dimension will never appear to us, and we will completely miss the joy of wakening to its presence. So . . . flow on, and remember two things: 1) that constant flowing motion is what connects you to the source of all things, and 2) combining a simultaneous awareness of both—the dimension of undivided wholeness and the condition of flowing movement—takes you directly into your natural state.

I love Will Johnson — he embodies his work, and his work helps us experience the body the way the Holy Spirit in A Course in Miracles does — just in different language. I find different points of view and the fresh use of language are potent mind-openings. Hope you feel the immediate benefits of this wisdom. For more of Will’s work, visit embodiment.net

Today’s Miracle: Bill Free and I got to interview Rupert Spira yesterday!

Watch for yourself, and let me know if you experience new clarity around Course ideas. I’m still on retreat and need to hustle to breakfast before the morning meditation, but would love to hear from you. Email me: miracles@amytorresacim.com

Today’s Miracle: Do We Choose Our Thoughts?

This 16 minute video from Rupert Spira helps to clarify how ego thought functions and what Freedom really is.

Today’s Miracle: The Body of Presence

What a joy to discover Ellen Emmet’s work, dissolving the identification with the body.

Copyright © 2016 Amy Torres.  All rights reserved worldwide.

A Great Yogini

This is a mesmerizing story that Mooji tells and which you, too, may love and use well.

Yogini

The Yogini painted by Mooji

A great Yogini was deep in meditation.  Suddenly, beautiful and melodious sounds could be heard, appearing as if from nowhere and everywhere simultaneously.  It was like nothing she has ever heard.  She felt: this music is truly wonderful but it cannot be what I am, for I am here to hear it.  The music faded away.

Next appeared the most exquisite colors, like no painter could paint; nor could any flower display it for it was not of this earthly realm.  She thought, “This is, indeed, astonishingly beautiful.  However, it cannot be who I am nor can it be real for it cannot appear if I were not here to perceive it.”  This phenomenon, too, she ignored.  Shortly afterwards, it also vanished in the presence of her deep and unmoving silence.

Shortly after this, there appeared several beings shaped as if from pure light, floating through space and smiling lovingly at her in a welcoming manner.  She felt profoundly touched and filled with loving emotions but inwardly, she somehow kept her composure.  “How profound,” she felt, “but this also cannot be what Is the unchanging reality, for, were I not here, who would see them?”  As soon as this insight occurred, the figures vanished.

Her mind entered her heart and could no more produce any effects.

A deep silence prevailed as her mind merged inside her indivisible, unconquerable and essential being — a state know to the Yogis as Nirvikalpa Samadhi.

If you are ready, the tale of the Yogini can help you resist temptation when the ego uses spiritual experiences to try and maintain its hypnosis over your Mind.

Copyright © 2016 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Mooji: Thunderbolts of Truth and Blessings to ACIM Students

“At a certain stage it will stop seeming auspicious to be a person. It’s a kind of grace that few will appreciate.” ~Mooji

On a rainy Saturday in October, with a feeling of baptism in the air, Mooji met with me in the breathtaking Ramakrishna Yurt which is perched on the edge of a precipice and has a view that silences the ego mind instantly.

Sri Mooji is a true Master, the living Christ, and points to the simple truth that you are, also. If you desire the deepest Truth, this video is for you. Mooji and I speak about Course concepts and his insights reverberate like thunderbolts! See for yourself.

You may also enjoy the conversation Bill Free and I had on his new internet radio show, Pure Presence.  If you missed it live, here’s the link: https://www.unity.fm/episode/PurePresence_100215

Copyright © 2015 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

The Challenge of Physical Pain and Disability

One of the challenges expressed during the recent Weekend of Freedom Retreat was the issue of pain and physical Skull Firedisabilities.  This deserves more attention and clarification than we had time for over the weekend.  It is also relevant to many, many people.  So let’s look more closely at how the ego consumes us with fear about pain and physical disabilities, and how to douse the flames of this ego fire.

Mooji smilingContemporary mystic Mooji asks, “Are you suffering your experience or experiencing your suffering?”

When you suffer your experience, you are identified with pain and helplessness.  Not only is your mind focused on the unpleasantness of what you are feeling, it is also fearing the future and imagining the worst possible outcomes.

When you experience your suffering, there is detachment from pain, helplessness and future outcomes.  There is also a knowing that all is well no matter what your circumstances.  You rest in God.  Having placed yourself in His Hands, the body is now used for His Purpose, as a communication link tuned in to His Channel.  Pain may be felt as sensation, in varying intensities, but when unidentified with, it loses its psychological power.

Physical pain may seem different from psychological pain, but it is actually a variation on psychological pain.  From A Course in Miracles perspective, all pain boils down to psychological pain.  It is the meaning you assign to pain that makes it seem real, important, and a valid distraction from finding out Who you really are.  If you use pain as a reminder to turn to God, it can be an accelerated path to awakening!  Ego will tell you that the pain is all-consuming and overwhelming, but the clue that this is not true is that unless you are unconscious, no matter how agonizing the pain, it is observed.  This Observer is the Holy Spirit, your Inner Teacher, Who is always here for you to choose instead of the ego.

violet lightI am not minimizing your physical experience; I am empowering you by inviting you to turn your attention away from righteous immersion in the pain and back to your Source.  Again, you may protest that you want to turn your attention away but you cannot.  This is why I use the word “righteous.”  Righteousness may be disguised as helplessness or self-pity, but it is really a way of maintaining ego identity.

You may also feel ashamed or guilty about no longer being physically healthy and independent.  This, too, is the ego talking.   There is no greater power than God and when you depend on Him, He will assuage your fears about human dependencies.  Many enlightened masters encountered physical pain and suffering as part of their karma.  Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj both died of cancer, as did Helen Schucman.  Don’t cop out by telling yourself that you are no enlightened master.  Jesus tells us in the Course that we are no different than he, “There is nothing about me that you cannot attain.” (T-1.II)

Remember, the most meaningful prayer is to request to recognize what you already are — not a request for physical healing.  Use the ACIM forgiveness practice to give all pain to the Holy Spirit.  This empties you of false personal identity and restores the connection with your true Self.  The natural outcome is Peace and Freedom no matter what the condition of the body.

yogi jcJesus tells us in Chapter 9, “An individual may ask for physical healing because he is fearful of bodily harm.  At the same time, if he were healed physically, the threat to his thought system might be considerably more fearful to him than its physical expression.  In this case he is not really asking for release from fear, but for removal of the symptom that he himself selected.  This request is, therefore, not for healing at all.”  It may be hard to swallow that you selected your symptoms, but Jesus means this in the general sense that we all chose to believe we are separate from God.

He goes on to say, “The Bible emphasizes that all prayer is answered, and this is indeed true.  The very fact that the Holy Spirit has been asked for anything will ensure a response.  Yet it is equally certain that no response given by Him will ever be one that would increase fear.  It is possible that His answer will not be heard.  It is impossible, however, that it will be lost.  There are many answers you have already received but have not yet heard.  I assure you that they are waiting for you.“*

The body has an expiration date.  This is inevitable.  The pain and dysfunction of the body can go on for many years before that date arrives.  The ego uses the time-body to testify that pain is real.  The Holy Spirit uses the body for the purpose of awakening.  Which do you prefer?

Once you choose the Holy Spirit as your guide, pain is tranformed.  It may still be there, but as you give it to your Father, it is used for a healing purpose.  The pain in your body is not only yours.  It is a human condition shared by many!  Be a living demonstration of grace under pressure by surrendering to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  Not only will you be used as a conduit for miracles, you will awaken to Who You truly are.  In this way, you will discover that all is well.

thank you beachFew do it, but it is possible to say “thank you” to pain and physical disabilities.  This “thank you” is a grateful surrender to not knowing anything; in the big picture this pain may be seen very differently than you do now.  Perhaps it is the motivator that forces you to your knees and helps you complete your awakening.  Perhaps it breaks through complacency and personal identity.  If good health had motivated you, you wouldn’t be intimidated physical health issues now.  Therefore, now is a perfect time to open your mind to hearing the answers to your prayers which are waiting for you to receive them!  Let me know how it goes (email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot com)

* * * * *

For more on illness and the body, please visit https://www.facebook.com/ACIMBodyImage.  Also, You may also benefit from reading Ego says, “You need me.” and Body Health Is Not a Measurement of Spiritual Unfolding

*  Emphasis mine.

Copyright © 2015 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Ask Amy: Sexually abused by a priest: are you responsible?

Guy QuestionQ:  As a boy, I was sexually abused by a priest, and it has crippled me as an adult in many ways.  The Course has helped me to forgive him, but I feel like Jesus is blaming me when he tells us to say, “I am responsible for what I see.  I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goal I would achieve.  And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for, and receive as I have asked.” (T-21.II)  How could I be responsible for this priest’s actions, especially since I was so young at the time?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA:  Thank you for your courage in sharing this devastating situation.  Your question is shared by so many people who were betrayed as children.  There are several layers here, so let’s peel them away together.

First, you reveal that due to the abuse you are crippled as an adult.  As realistic as this seems to you, please consider that no matter what your circumstances, feelings, or state of mind, Jesus clearly states in Chapter 1, “You are the work of God, and His work is wholly lovable and wholly loving.”  Somewhere deep inside we all know this is true.  Allow yourself to be a sponge and soak up this loving testament to who you really are, and always will be, God’s perfect child.

Second, you say the Course has helped you forgive the priest.  In the ACIM Preface, Jesus explains that each special relationship holds the “chance to forgive oneself by forgiving the other.”  This could be taken to mean that one person forgives another, but the Course clarifies that forgiveness occurs when you invite the Holy Spirit to take charge and work through you.  The Holy Spirit truly empowers us by undoing projections of victimization no matter how justified they appear.

In the process, guilt may seem to move from “other” back to “self” until it evaporates entirely.  Eventually, we discover forgiveness undoes the identification you have as a person and reveals there is no one to be forgiven.  You don’t have to figure this out.  ACIM is like a Zen koan — it boggles the mind in order to open the mind to its true Identity.

Third, you feel Jesus is blaming you, which reveals you are still carrying guilt.  Not to worry.  Guilt is the glue that holds the ego together.  When you catch yourself feeling as if Jesus is blaming you, be aware that ego-thinking has taken over.  Let this become an ongoing reminder to “choose again.”  Simply say, “Holy Spirit, I choose your guidance. Remind me of my innocence.”  Miracles are guaranteed.

Last, you ask, “How could I be responsible for the priest’s actions, especially since I was so young at the time?”  Notice within your question is the inherent assumption that you are a person.  Don’t fall for this ego trick.  “A pseudo-question has no answer.  It dictates the answer even as it asks.” (T-27.IV.5)  The ego lures us to speculate endlessly about human affairs.  Dismiss this temptation.

The prayer you cite is about a higher power of decision.  There are only two choices: God or ego.  You are responsible for choosing to see with the Holy Spirit’s unifying vision or the ego’s divisive eyesight.  This prayer is neither an accusation nor a law of attraction mantra.  Jesus is not concerned with people improving their personal lives, which only strengthens belief in ego illusions.  Happily, the part of you that reads the Course understands this because it is the memory of God within you, awakening to its true Self.

Try this: “I, the One Son of God, am responsible for what I see.”  Choose peace, make peace your goal, and you will come to feel peace, receive peace, give peace, and know you are peace.  “Everything looked upon with vision is healed and holy.” (T-21.Intro)

Suggested reading:  A Course in Miracles, T-11.VIII. The Problem and the Answer; T-26.II. Many Forms; One Correction; S-1.I. True Prayer, and How to Take Yourself Less Personally.

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the March-April 2015 issue of Miracles magazine.  Miracles is a well-loved staple in the ACIM community.  To get a subscription, email Jon@miraclesmagazine.org or call 845-496-9089.  To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com

Copyright © 2015 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Ask Amy: You Have to Feel to Heal

Guy QuestionQ:  I’ve been told, “You have to feel to heal” and I’m not sure what this means, whether it applies to Course students, and how to do this.  Can you clear this up for me?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA:  “You have to feel to heal” is a saying used by psychotherapist, members of 12-step groups, and many other recovery venues.  John Bradshaw may be the one who introduced this expression in 1986 in his excellent PBS series, The Family.

Normally, in a healthy organism, e-motion (energy in motion) flows unobstructed through the body from head to toe.  Just watch a baby laugh or cry to see this is true.  “You have to feel to heal” means you allow yourself to become aware of emotion that is held in your body.

You learn to stop denying, avoiding, minimizing or blocking emotional pain (and sometimes joy).  You raise your consciousness about how you tense your muscles and restrict your breath in order to not feel.

Lots of people are “living from the neck up,” in other words, stuck in their head, compulsively thinking, without a healthy, integrated flow of thought and feeling all through the body.

What does this have to do with A Course in Miracles?  Well, in ACIM, Jesus asks us to look with the Holy Spirit at the ego and how it works.  This is not just an intellectual process.  On a physical level, you need to locate your repressed feelings in order to heal what has been hidden.  “When what you have dissociated is accepted, it ceases to be fearful.” (T-10.II.1:6)  As you “feel to heal,” you dissolve the fear that makes the ego seem so real.

In lots of families you’re not allowed to be angry, frightened, sad, or even happy.  As children, we learn to get with the family program and bury or split-off taboo feelings.  Some families repress and numb out, other families overflow with emotion.  The excess of feeling (hysteria) is another way of protecting family members from the genuine deep pain underneath all the commotion.

The ego loves to divide and conquer.  Spiritual healing is about integration, and on a practical level it usually involves a lot of breathing to locate old wounds and soften tough emotional scars.  The way to feel to heal is to pay kind attention to yourself.  Be willing to discover your physical holding patterns and develop an appreciation for your defenses.

These blocks were brilliant creative adjustments you made as a young child to cope psychologically with abuse, neglect or trauma (this is not unusual — the ego sets up families to fail, be it dramatic or subtle).  For those of us who are practiced at stoicism or dissociation, it can seem impossible to loosen control.  A “little by little” approach is recommended.

Try body-oriented psychotherapy — look into the Hakomi Institute, Dr. Margaret Paul’s inner bonding work, the Center for Somatic Studies, and yoga psychology by Anodea Judith and Bo ForbesGary Zukav’s book, The Heart of the Soul: Emotional Awareness, is worth reading, and I’ve been told that Raphael Cushnir’s work is very good.

The body is the symbol of the ego thought system of separation.  Paradoxically, embodying your feelings heals the split mind, eventually revealing your True Self — perfect and whole.  “Would God teach you that you had made a split mind, when He knows your mind only as whole?” (T-6.V.1:4)

If you “feel to heal” the guilt-ridden personal self, ultimately you will uncover the Innocent Formless Self you truly are.  Remember, “You are the work of God, and His work is wholly lovable and wholly loving.” (T-1.II.2:3)

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the July-Aug 2014 issue of Miracles magazine.  Miracles is a well-loved staple in the ACIM community.  To get a subscription, email Jon@miraclesmagazine.org or call 845-496-9089.  To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com

Copyright © 2014 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.