As this newsletter goes out, the Guide is writing volumes on how to get out of the conversation in conditioned mind that causes so much suffering and get into the moment where connection and communion are truly possible.
Here are some of the responses from Classes 4, 5 and 6 in which we practiced:
- A behavior change in communication that did not enforce the identity being maintained by “my” communication style
- Listening as a way to step out of the interpretations and projections of the ego identity maintenance system
- Drawing Out and Clarifying as a way to transcend the assumptions that are the operating bedrock of conditioned mind
When attention isn’t on maintaining ego – “caring” about not looking bad (as if no one can tell that’s what we’re doing!) – the focus is on being present to hear what Life is dropping in to say, and to hear what Life is saying through the other person. R/L
Anyone who has ever been around a little kid “being sneaky” knows what ego looks like when it’s being “stealth.” There’s egocentrickarmicconditioning/self-hate, completely self-absorbed, lost in a conversation of “I, me, my” fooled by it’s own “publicity.” Ego pretends to be interested in someone or something else—like the other person in the conversation, for instance—and ego is the only one falling for the crapola! Self-absorption is not pretty and it’s not easily hidden. Presence is so much more attractive, isn’t it? Gassho
This assignment drove ego crazy. Interesting to see the fine line between being my authentic kind loving joyful expression and where it turns into an ego identity designed to get approval from others. The signs of the shift seem to be an over enthusiastic high energy presence. R/L Gassho
The truly gratifying piece of that report is the laser sharp focus you’re obviously bringing to the exploration. You’re right HERE, watching, noticing, seeing, and realizing. That’s practice and that’s the WAY to freedom! Gassho
Resentful about friends being habitually late. Others seemed lighthearted. Decided to practice being warm/loving - let go grudge. Identifying with judgment (being "right") takes me out of love/lightheartedness/keeping things in perspective. Love/lightheartedness communicated when step out of egocentrickarmicconditioningself-hate maintainance. R/L
That is such a good catch! Here we are getting together with friends, people whom we love, and when they’re late egocentrickarmicconditioning/self-hate goes into a blaming, withholding love, judgmental rant about how “I” am the right person and they are WRONG. They are WRONG. They are unworthy of love and must be punished!!! Let’s us see what those same voices are so eager to do to us, doesn’t it? Gassho
Listening as though I were going to reflect makes egocentrickarmicconditioning/self-hate yell that I won't be able to "manage the situation" properly. Also noticing that when I have something I "really have to say", I refrain because I'm listening. Both are a struggle, but it turns out way better. R/L
And, as I suspect you well know, it’s only a struggle for egocentrickarmicconditioning/self-hate. Yes? Anytime egocentrickarmicconditioning/self-hate is excluded from an interaction it’s way better, and as we learn to relax rather than attend to ego’s gyrations we’re free to simply enjoy all that’s going on. Gassho
Practicing listening fully brings more sharply into awareness the constant chatter of the voices. Even though they are still talking, seeing them like this already feels like a big step out of them. Communication is more relaxed and I seem to have much more patience listening this way. R/L
Another essential point: The voices of egocentrickarmicconditioning/self-hate are still talking, but you’re “seeing them” rather than “listening to and identifying with them.” That is huger than enormous! We call that big step out of the chattering voices “disidentification,” and it is essential to learn to do if we hope to be free. Keep it up! Gassho
Wow,so interesting to look at who is listening. I have gotten a glimpse of what it is like to listen from center and it is a dramatically different experience. Peaceful and relaxing. I never thought communication could be relaxing. Just so great to recognize anxiety and/or agitation as egocentrickarmicconditioningselfhate. R/L
I had to bold that last line of yours because it’s something we all REALLY need to get. People take all sorts of “medications” (the quotes because some of those are prescribed by a medical person and some are prescribed by a voice in the head) to “cure” a “condition” that is nothing more complex than egocentrickarmicconditioning/self-hate being allowed to run roughshod over a person’s life. Learn to direct attention and all that “anxiety” is a thing of the past. Gassho
Drawing Out and Clarifying
Mom says, "Are you coming over this weekend?" I assume she is meaning, yet is too proud to say, "I'm hurting and want you to visit". I'm grateful to learn about drawing out and clarifying, and am struggling with how to, in this kind of circumstance. Gassho. R/L
Our “how to” is always practicing. You “assume” what your mother means. Based on that assumption you reach a conclusion. But you don’t really know, do you? You might ask something (lightly) such as, “I have XXX this weekend. Will you be devastated if I don’t come over?” See how she responds. Perhaps it’s, “No,” with a sigh, “not devastated. I was just so hoping you’d come over.” To which you might respond, “I know, I would love to see you and if I can (you say whatever is true for you about your wishes for the weekend) it would really take care of me.” Just stay in the conversation, watching what’s going on with you, listening to your mother, checking things out—could be the intimacy she’s hoping for in a visit! Gassho
Such a habit to think I know what the other is saying...lots of arguments ensue. Much more fun to find out about another with "beginners mind"...no right or wrong there just learning and meeting one another. Seeing more and more how ego creates separation which hurts.
YES! Ego IS separation. It is a separation from Life. Life unfolds in the moment and a couple of beats later here comes ego to steal the show. Great catch! Realizing how much pain and suffering that process causes inspires us to get present and nip ego in the bud. Gassho
A strong impulse to interrupt, urgency, impatience. The impulse itself is interesting because the response is rarely compelling, necessary or authentic. They speak and the human disappears. Rarely is there full presence. More practice is necessary.
Always! Not just for you is more practice necessary; more practice is necessary for us all. Your statement “They speak and the human disappears” is all the incentive we need, isn’t it? We can be HERE and fully human or we can be lost in ego suffering. Gassho