Ram Dass: The universe is made up of experiences that are designed to burn out our reactivity, which is our attachment, our clinging, to pain, to pleasure, to fear, to all of it. And as long as there are places where we’re vulnerable, the universe will find ways to confront us with them. That’s the way the dance is designed. In truth, there are millions and millions of stimuli that we are not even noticing, that go by, in every plane of existence, all the time. The reason we don’t notice or react to them is because we have no attachment to them. They don’t stir our desire system. Our desires affect our perception. Each of us is living in our own universe, created out of our projected attachments. That’s what we mean when we say, “You create your own universe.” We are creating that universe because of our attachments, which can also be avoidances and fears.
As we develop spiritually and see how it all is, more and more we keep consuming and neutralizing our own reactivity. Each time we see ourselves reacting we’re saying, “Right, and this situation too, and this one too, Tat Tvam Asi, and that also, and that also, and that also.” Gradually the attachments start to lose their pull and to fall away. We get so that we’re perfectly willing to do whatever we do – and to do it perfectly and without attachment. It’s like Mahatma Gandhi gets put in jail and they give him a lice-infested uniform and tell him to clean the latrines, and it’s a whole mess. And he walks up to the head of the guards and he says, in total truth, “Thank you.” He’s not putting them on or up-leveling them. He’s saying, “There’s a teaching here, and I’m getting it; thank you.” What’s bizarre is that we get to the point where somebody lays a heavy trip on us and we get caught, and then we see through our haughtiness and we say, “Thank you.” We may not say it aloud because it’s too cute. But we feel, Thank you. People come up and are violent or angry or write nasty letters or whatever they do to express their frustration or anger or competition, and all I can say is thanks. – Excerpt from Grist for the Mill: Awakening to Oneness
Conflict between individuals or groups is inevitable. In the old paradigm, conflict is frequently contentious resulting in separation. Differences become magnified. This awakening process has the potential to transform conflict to an opportunity for healing, understanding and most of all, authentic and sustainable connection.
There are certain personal assumptions in this awakening that are essential for this system to be most effective.
- I am the creator of my own reality. I create my emotions, feelings, judgments and irritations with others.
- I seek to understand and heal myself.
- I desire to be in right relationship with others and myself.
- I seek the highest good for others and myself.
- I surrender the need to change others in order to feel good or safe, I create my own safety.
The main skill and tool for this type of clearing is compassionate curiosity.
This is the ability to be curious about my triggers. I seek to understand myself before judging you.
i.e. ‘I notice that when you did not keep your agreement with me, that I got angry. I am curious about why I have that emotional reaction.’
Guidelines for the Awakening Process
- First, notice what gets triggered in you when ‘x’ does ‘y’. Know the textures, sensations and emotions that arise. Do this within yourself without engaging the other. Notice that the reaction is created by you and it is about you.
- Ask yourself, have I had this patterned response before? What is the ‘history’ of this reaction? Notice how this reaction may create a block between you and the other. Be gentle with it and hold it as an opportunity to heal an old pattern or wound.
- Deeply ground into you. Imagine a bubble around you about 18 inches from your body. Everything within this bubble is ‘ME’; and everything outside of the bubble is ‘NOT ME’. Practice a process of This is ME’ That person is NOT ME’. The ‘other; is just doing their version of their ‘ME’. Grounding is a necessary skill that needs to be strengthened in most people.
- If the triggers does not lesson, you may ask the person whom you are triggered by to hold space while you do your own healing. They are your teacher and are pointing out an area that needs attending to within you. Honor your teacher with dignity and respect.
‘Tom, I want to thank you for helping me get clear. My relationship with you is important. I’ve tried by myself and still feel myself stuck. I know there is something here for me. I want to make it clear that I’m not asking you to change at all but want just to get clear myself. I notice when I perceive the agreement we made was broken that I lose my own alignment with myself and create a block with you. Even now, when I stand before you, I notice my contraction. I know you represent a disowned part of me that I desire to accept and bring back into alignment with myself.