• Articles,  Conversations & Questions

    Conversations & Questions: 08/08/20

    Q: I’ve been a seeker for many years, and am getting simply tired and exhausted with it … I’ve had my share of spiritual experiences that their memory has kept me going in feeling that the “Self” is not a charade created to soothe the aching soul of us. So I just sat with your kind Divine Light Transmission. Thank you, greatly appreciated what you are doing. I must confess I kind of gave up on any hope for this life … I’ve suffered a lot internally. I get confused when I see some hope like you “transmit”. It’s sometimes easier to keep ones head down and push till the end of this one and hope that we are just matter and that we don’t have to thru this again and again or if we do — just get the next phase of it. I felt you are a kindred soul and might have some words of advice in these turbulent times which my internal life seems to reflect. 

    [Note: This is a shortened version of a message I received with all the personal details taken out.]

    Imogen: I would say it’s less hope and more love, freedom and the seeming paradox of fullness AND emptiness that is being transmitted and then recognised by you, in you; the unconditional love and acceptance of life. The human mind, the human conditioning, comes up with all sorts of weird and wacky conditions and expectations that it sets on life, none of which are truly true in the greater context of life, the context of consciousness. They are partial and fleeting relative truths that our mind takes to be something all together more pervasive, and this causes an awful lot of suffering, discomfort and discontent with life.

    For me it’s been very much a path of dropping all expectations, conditions and limits of any ‘shoulds’ and coming to be with life in the present moment, entirely innocently and honestly almost like a curious scientist observing the happening of life moment by moment without drawing conclusions, just experiencing life with almost a child-like wonder. This allows for the inclusion of all and the rejection of none which brings a great sense of liberation from the confines of life as we thought we knew it.

    To me awakening isn’t some grand big ‘other’ state or thing to ‘get’, it’s not spiritual experiences in themselves either. It’s a dropping into this moment fully. It’s the recognition of it all as an appearance in consciousness that gives rise to the entirety of life, the good, the bad AND the ugly. When you really see this (experientially) there’s a sort of surrender that comes around. A union WITH life, AS life, rather than a constant striving and war with life.

    You mention a giving up or an exhaustion with seeking…. To me this is actually a good thing believe it or not! The ego/mind has exhausted itself and it’s need to control and find, next and next and next. The search for something other than THIS. It becomes recognised in your very Being and also felt in the body (exhaustion) that the seeking mind leads down yet another road that is oh so familiar, another endless dead end of more searching. The seeking mind is the opposite of the peace and contentment that is found when one surrenders TO LIFE and falls in love with WHAT IS, exactly AS it is, moment to moment.

    Awakening isn’t a flashy ‘spiritual experience’ (although they can show up along the way too) it’s to become aware of, to awaken to what life is, what you are, awareness-consciousness. It’s to see that you are the sky and the clouds (or content – including the mind and all phenomena) are doing as clouds do, passing in the sky. Sometimes there are thunderstorms, sometimes there are clear skys. But not once does the sky try to hold on to any of it, it simply experiences it all, has room for it all, accepts it all, as part of the play of life. To me this is the love of life, this is the freedom of life, when you’re not identified as being the clouds, but the clouds being IN you!

    Practically speaking my small tidbit of advice would be, find and root out where your shoulds or expectations of life lie… is there a gulf between those and the reality of life? Where is your loyalty, to your imaginations and therefore conditions of what ‘should be’, or to life as it is? When you allow yourself to really and fully let go of expectations and shoulds, do you find that a space of ease opens up? Drop thoughts of future or past, be present to this moment without limits or conditions on what this moment ‘should’ contain with in it…. Do you find there is still a ‘problem’ or discontent with this moment? Do you find that life allows and has room for all that is arising to be there, without exception?

    I guess all this is to say, from this perspective do you feel like you are at war with life, or are you ALL that life IS?

     


    The ‘Conversations & Questions’ series comes from snippets of conversations taken from emails, 1-on-1 sessions, group meetings or in-person conversations. I take out any personal or sensitive content, but often these conversations have a universality to them that can be helpful to more than just one person. Feel free to get in touch via email, social media or even post your question in the comments below and I may answer them in this way…

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  • Articles,  Conversations & Questions,  Divine Light Transmission

    Conversations & Questions: 21/04/20

    Q: How does one receive a transmission? How does one receive anything?

    Practically speaking nothing need be ‘done’ to receive a Divine Light Transmission (Shaktipat), other than a general ‘yes’ and open-heartedness to life’s possibilities – I’d say this is true for receiving anything, from love to physical gifts and help, or even hard lessons in life. To receive is to be open and humble to receive.

    A Divine Light Transmission doesn’t require your belief or faith per se, more an openness (even just a little will do) that goes beyond non-belief as this can deliberately close you off energetically to the potential spiritual growth that can come through a transmission – or any other form in life for that matter! I myself was incredibly skeptical, but still open to the possibilities transmissions before my own direct experience became the testimony for its potency and lasting transformation in my life. It took me by surprise, and often still does…

    But I get the sense you’re asking a different kind of question here, a deeper more existential one that requires a more nuanced response.

    Transmission from the non-dual view of reality

    So… how can one ‘receive’ a transmission if this is all a singular non-dual reality of consciousness?

    It’s a good question, one I have frequently found myself contemplating because the idea of ‘transmissions’ seems to be inherently dualistic, predicated on the idea of a separate giver and a receiver. But I always find myself coming back to this – that there are ‘working’ explanations and understandings of life from the relative view, i.e. the appearances or content arising IN consciousness – me and you. But ultimately all is only truly resolved at the level of unity or the absolute view, i.e. that the non-dual reality of consciousness is all there is – all else is an appearance IN and AS that.

    The relative or dualistic view of life contains wisdom and truth if taken on its own level of understanding, but ALL conceptions and descriptions (even notions of duality vs non-duality) eventually collapse into silence if taken far enough. Fundamentally I feel life is a mystery to the limited human mind and so any attempt at codifying and explain it falls short of capturing the ineffable wholeness of the experience. Yet as a species, throughout time we continue to try to… go figure ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    So yes, in absolute terms there is only consciousness. No me, no you, no transmission, no awakening, and so how could one ‘receive’ a transmission and spiritually awaken from said transmission?! And yet life plays out in this and infinite other ways. Consciousness forms differentiated undulations and textures of existence forming a ‘giver’ and a ‘receiver’ and the appearance and effects of a transmission all in the name of waking up to and knowing itself.

    So as far as transmissions go, sometimes the story of spiritual awakening turns up in this form along a person’s journey or path. Is there really giving and receiving? Well, if you take it as a description of the apparent duality nested within the context of the ultimate unity of consciousness, appearing in myriad forms – sure. For my part I’ve seen the direct effects of Divine Light Transmissions enough times now to see the validity and reality of it in terms of its potency for awakening on this relative plane of existence.

    Simply put… it’s both true and untrue to talk of ‘receiving’ a transmission. On the relative level the giving and receiving of a transmission takes place as a means to awaken one to their nature as non-dual consciousness, which then gives way to the recognition that all is just appearances OF consciousness, TO consciousness, IN consciousness, and AS consciousness.

     


    The ‘Conversations & Questions’ series comes from snippets of conversations taken from emails, 1-on-1 sessions, group meetings or in-person conversations. I take out any personal or sensitive content, but often these conversations have a universality to them that can be helpful to more than just one person. Feel free to get in touch via email, social media or even post your question in the comments below and I may answer them in this way…

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  • Conversations & Questions

    Conversations & Questions: 17/1/20

    Did I Miss My Chance for Awakening?

     

    Q: I feel like it’s too late for me, I missed my chance of awakening.
    Too late… too late for what and for who? These are fears born of the mind, see this and you shall be free of this fear. “Too late” suggests awakening only happens in certain circumstances under certain rules and conditions, that you only get one chance at it, or that it’s only available for a finite few who deserve it. These are ideas and implications built from the mind (or learnt from others) about what awakening is or isn’t and allowed to run free with the fear of ‘missed chances’.
    But awakening doesn’t happen TO the person, awakening is FROM the person. It’s not anything the person DOES to achieve. It is the seeing through the facade of the person and in many ways it’s Grace that places that insight in the heart of you. Awakening is the description of consciousness waking up to itself, of consciousness knowing itself. But you are already consciousness whether your mind sees this or not.
    It really only comes down to a pernicious belief stuck in the mind and taking false ownership over this all that leads us to believe we are a person in a world of separate persons. Awakening is a living breathing continuous unfoldment of seeing this, not a static knowing… every moment fresh and new. Not an opportunity to be missed because of this action or that action, because of worthiness or unworthiness.
    Awakening or the realisation of conscious-awareness as the ground of your existence is your birthright and it’s available in this very moment as it’s already present in your current experience. So where is your attention in THIS moment?
    Right in this moment, release and put down any thoughts of past or future, right or wrong. Just BE here NOW. Have your loyalty be to this moment – Nothing to do imagination, nothing to do with past, nothing to do with future, just here, right NOW. Don’t be tempted to pick anything else up… let it all come and go as traffic passing you by. Don’t mind the mind, let your place of repose, your refuge be this present moment that includes all and excludes none – don’t get caught in the limited trappings and imaginations of the mind. Transcend AND include the mind and it will be seen as just another appearance in life, nothing to take too seriously.
    It’s the mind that says “I’ve missed my chance” but life is infinite chances, infinite moments, infinite love.
    Fall in love with THIS moment again and again and again. Have no thought of tomorrow, let your loyalty be to NOW. Let LOVE sink into the very fabric of this moment because in love there is room for it all – all missed opportunities, all failures, all strivings, all chances.

    The ‘Conversations & Questions’ series comes from snippets of conversations taken from emails, 1-on-1 sessions, group meetings or in-person conversations. I take out any personal or sensitive content, but often these conversations have a universality to them that can be helpful to more than just one person. Feel free to get in touch via email, social media or even post your question in the comments below and I may answer them in this way…


    Share
  • Articles,  Conversations & Questions,  My Spiritual Journey,  Post-Awakening

    Conversations & Questions: 19/09/19

    Post-Awakening Integration &  Releasing Old Conditioning

     

    Q: I’m fearful of what will happen as I continue on this journey of awakening. It’s coming up right now because working with you these past weeks I finally experienced a shift into Unity Consciousness and see the integration deepening as well. But the fear is mainly there because after my initial shift into non-duality a year ago I had a pretty traumatic time of instability and integration where I couldn’t function in the world very well. I don’t want to go back into that unstableness and overwhelm that came with that first major shift. I’ve felt this sense of “My God what is coming next, what if it’s like the other time?” And while it’s not been like that at all this time so far, I still have a little bit of fear of “how will this be?” I feel I can’t make plans because I don’t know how I will be in the coming weeks and months and this scares me.

    That you will hit against a major period of instability is an assumption and definitely not a certainty at all. What I can say is that you will go through what you need to go through, but it rarely looks exactly the same. Especially once you’ve gone through something all the way to the bottom and it’s done. The next time it’s got it’s own flavour and shape to it, but it’s never the same.

    So on the topic of stability I can’t offer you any guarantees, but I doubt it will look the same as it did a year ago. You’ve been through a lot since then, and a lot of wisdom has been embodied and a lot of trauma released and integrated.

    But in the broader sense it’s also a good lesson for life really, that actually we can’t plan and we really don’t know what life will throw at us at any given moment. In many ways life gives us what it needs to give us for our evolutionary and spiritual growth. In some ways we are at life’s mercy and any plans are pretty futile unless they are just seen as a sketch.

    To me this is where faith comes in – the trust and love of life itself to show us the way. This is why I use the word Grace so much, because to me, it’s all Grace and it’s all a gift. There’s an assumption generally that gifts are nice. But gifts are not always nice, nevertheless they are gifts because they show you something, they give you something or they teach you something. Life doesn’t give us anything that we can’t handle and the human capacity is phenomenal. It blows me away to constantly see the resilience and capacity of human beings.

    But I understand that fear and while the appearance of fear in your experience needs to be fully acknowledged rather than ignored, I also encourage you to question whether that fear is actually calling on something in you to go into it, rather than away from it. Our mind plays all sorts of tricks and what-ifs but what’s happening is not necessarily any of the things that you fear it will be. Often the presence of fear is actually fear of the unknown itself. The mind wants certainty but life inherently can’t provide that for the mind.

    Recently I’ve been getting many people coming to me with similar stuff. They’ve already awakened and have stabilised in that recognition and yet they’re struggling with integrating aspects of life to varying degrees. Some struggling on little things and some are struggling in a big way. But the answer is the same – going into the experience, not away from it. There’s a subtle assumption that all prior ‘issues’ will be solved upon awakening. It’s not true! Sometimes there’s even a feeling of “I shouldn’t be dealing with this stuff anymore, I should be done with it, I thought I’d be done with all this ‘personal’ stuff.”

    Q: Yes I’ve noticed there are quite a few people that are struggling so much with this, “I just can’t deal with more and I wanted it to go away, I want it to f**k off. Really, I just can’t deal with this.”

    I recently talked with someone who post-awakening everything’s been going great for a good while and then they hit this similar sort of thing. There was still a sense of, “Okay, so this is arising and I can sit with this for X amount of time but at some point, okay, now it needs to be done.” And so sitting together we came to the discovery that there was this sense in them that “Okay, now I should be done. Now you need to go.” And it’s actually at that point I believe, it’s the learnt conditioning that’s still present kicking in and is saying that something shouldn’t be the way it is.

    And that’s the point at which they needed to hold it closer, get more intimate with whatever is arising. Not in terms of “I need to keep this” but in terms of, if there’s a sense arising of, “Okay this needs to be done” that’s when the most self compassion and attentiveness needs to be present. That’s when the most space, the most attention, the most acceptance, and the most love needs to be felt because that’s actually the call inward right there. It’s the call out of the head and into the heart of awareness. Into the subtler, a-conceptual nature of life where the call of acceptance for all that arises is heard. But the conditioned mind has a tendency to go, “Right, I’m going to throw a stone in the bush, and I’m going to distract you”. This is because it feels the attention and the sense of control slipping away from itself (the mind).

    To me that’s a handy little hint indicating that you need to break out the ‘inner child compassion’. Where you go, “Okay, all right, you want to be done but that’s just a subtle form of rejection. We can sit here for as long as you need to be here. You can be present and you are free to go when you need to go as well. But I am not going to give you any rules to live by.” I won’t sugar coat it, it’s really hard to break that particular conditioning. To break that cycle of feeling like, “Okay, now I’m done. I’ve been at it for a couple of years. Now is the time to get my reward, time to get the good stuff. Now it’s time to be done with all of this”.

    But it’s actually when you lean into that feeling that the space of emptiness opens up. And that’s the space of love and the fulfilment of all the things that we’re searching for. That’s where you find all of life, all of love and it’s not a goal, it’s just the natural fragrance and emanation of it.

    Q: How is it for you when these things come? Because I know you also struggled lots with this initially post-awakening.

    I still do occasionally. This is the thing people don’t get and so I try to be really honest with this because there’s the assumption that I don’t struggle is in of itself an idea that perpetuates the idea that “It’s just my problem. No-one else deals with this. (S)he’s got it all sorted out. (S)he’s done. I’m wrong, I’m broken. When I’m ‘awake’ I’ll be fixed.”

    And it’s not true. Not true at all.

    Q: But does it arise in the same way as before?

    I would say the intensity, length and the frequency are much less, mainly because when I see it arising, there’s not a breath of hesitation in that I know what this is. I’ve been through it enough times. I’ve been there, I’ve done that, I know what needs to be done now. So I hit up against these pockets. They’re like coal seams in the way that you’re going along in life and you hit up against a pocket. These pockets in life show up sometimes, it’s not like you have to go digging for them. It could be a new situation that you hadn’t bumped into before, or an old school friend, or any number of things. But now I recognise it, it’s familiar and my body recognises it. It’s not even to do with the mind anymore, it’s just that I physically recognise it and I allow and greet it like an old friend.

    Not only do I allow it or put up with it but I love it too. And I don’t mean I smother it in love, what I mean is I accept it, I allow it and I am compassionate to that aspect in myself that is arising. I don’t try and reject it, I don’t try and push it away, I’m compassionate with it and I give space to it. Whatever’s coming up needs to be there and it’s calling for my attention. The way I respond to it is almost with the attitude of that’s the least I could do – not because I should but because that’s what feels most true and loving. That I can give it my attention in the moment, that’s the least I could do. So I give it my attention and my love. I give my attention to all these other things in life, why can’t I give that thing that is coming up the same level of care and attention?

    Q: Yeah, so true. And when you do that do you feel it doesn’t take long for you to move through it?

    It depends. It depends on the level of intensity or the size and depth of that pocket. Sometimes it’s a tiny little thing and I barely notice it even before it’s gone, it’s only a momentary something. But sometimes it might be a couple of hours or even days that are needed to attend to what’s coming up. They’re much less frequent now, those kind of big pockets. But they do come up. But also I haven’t got the attitude of ‘needing to move through it’ anymore, as if what’s showing up is wrong. I accept it fully as part of the current of life.

    But as an example, I had one come up a few weekends ago. Some situation came up and I recognised it was something that I hadn’t dealt with since almost the beginning of mine and Martyn’s relationship. It had been in the background all this time, so much so that I hadn’t even noticed it was still there because it hadn’t actively come up in so many years. And then this big pocket came up and, whoah, the intensity of that was so vivid, so raw. I spent a sleepless night just sitting with it very intensely. I was watching this process of the mind and the body literally trying anything it could to get out of this situation that it found itself in. Any excuse to not sit with it and include it, integrate it or embrace it, and to instead run far away from it. But I found myself saying to myself, “Okay, all right, it’s okay, you’re trying to get out of the situation and I hold the space for that even.” Even in that desperate mind-body attempt to avoid the crap that was being felt, I was present and holding enough space for that. So yeah, it still happens for sure.

    You see I’d done very little ‘work’ before awakening compared to the depth that I discovered was needed to be held, healed and integrated post-awakening. The intensity of what I felt a couple of weekends ago was what it felt like pretty continuously for many months initially post-awakening. I’m amazed I got through it in those early days, but I did, even though there were times where I felt that I might not make it – quite literally. It was quite unexpected, the level of intensity for me. It’s probably why I put so much focus on helping others in this way now.

    Q: It’s the same for me. It’s so much less and not so frequently now than a year ago.

    These things do pass in really a relatively short period of time but we think that it will last forever when we’re in the midst of it. Even the intensity of those first few months and year(s) post-awakening, when it feels like it will go on forever, in time it’s seen as only a small part of your life story.

    I feel the processing of these pockets could almost be likened to when you get just a little bit of a song stuck in your head. Round and round the same chorus or the same couple of bars of music or something and you cannot for the life of you get it out of your head, no matter what you do. You have to be finally willing to play the song all the way through to the end, otherwise what happens is you get stuck on the little brain worm of a couple of bars or the chorus over and over again.

    And so the willingness to do that has to come about. And it’s not something you can force because sometimes you’re just not ready to go there and do that. But eventually whatever is coming up has to be played out, and when it’s played out fully, it’s done. Then in the future, when something comes up, it may be very similar but it won’t ever be the same thing exactly.

    So surrender is actually what is required. It’s that surrender and freefall into the allowing of the full song to be played out. I feel it’s actually the only way eventually.

    But sometimes we’re like “No, no, quick, quick, I want the song to be done”. But the song has exactly the right amount of beats, the right amount of words, it’s got its rhythm, its pace. It’s the full length of the song and you can’t speed the song up and end it any quicker, you also can’t slow it down and keep it going.

    So the recognition of this process brings an ease to it in itself actually because then you get to learn your rhythm. You get to learn the rhythm of this song playing out, and then it becomes less alien. You’re no longer thinking “Oh what is this?” And I think that’s the thing that comes in time is the recognition of, “Oh, this is what’s happening. This is nothing to be afraid of”. It’s actually old stuff that’s coming up that needs to be processed. It needs to be gone through instead of trying to push against it.

    Q: Yeah, I can’t do it, even though I’m trying to escape it for sure unconsciously, and sometimes consciously. But it’s impossible. I have to stay with it.

    Yes.

    And maybe you’ve also noticed the more you don’t listen to life, the louder it gets. Learn to actually listen to that intuition and trust it. For me, I feel it in my gut, but I think other people feel it in different places in their body – but it’s never the mind! If I ignore that intuition, and the more and more I ignore it, the louder and louder the lesson gets.

    Q: Yeah. Before awakening I could only see the results of ignoring my intuition later, maybe some days, a week after. But now it’s instantaneous.

    Yes, it’s keeping you right there in the present moment process. It’s life’s mechanism for keeping you honest and truthful to yourself. Sometimes those intuitions go against every rule, go against every idea that society has about what you should or shouldn’t be doing. But you cannot not listen to it because it is the right thing for you. Even if seven billion people tell you it’s the wrong thing, it’s the right thing for you and only you will know that. Being centred in your heart and not your conditioned mind you’ll know if it comes from a true and honest place of Self intuition or if it’s coming from layers of conditioning and ego. Awakening certainly makes it easier to see those distinctions.

    Once you let go of those layers, or once those layers have dissolved and gone, each of us has the answer to life in this moment. Not the answer that it ‘should’ be, but the actual natural, spontaneous answer to every moment. It’s comes from truth, your truth, not my truth, not anyone else’s truth. Just truth, your truth.

    I feel we are conditioned into so much shame and wrongness with our experience. It’s very difficult to go against that conditioning or break it, but it’s very simple in terms of the work that needs to be done. So the reconditioning, or the deconditioning of that shame and that wrongness is a big part of the post-awakening work and embodiment in many ways. Because it’s going away from the ‘shoulds’ and into the ‘what is’. But you really physically feel that shaming, that wrongness in your body, and it’s hard to ignore.

    So I think wrongness is a big one to get over for most people. When we have a conditioned sense of wrongness for whatever’s appearing in our experience, there’s a voice that says “This is wrong. This isn’t correct. I shouldn’t be feeling this. I shouldn’t be going through this. I shouldn’t be, shouldn’t be, shouldn’t be”. When we recognise this to be false the release that we feel is that relaxing into the sense of “Okay, this isn’t wrong. This really isn’t wrong. None of it is. It’s all perfectly as it is”. The release of any sense of wrongness is to me so powerful.

    I feel there’s actually no such thing as ‘wrong’ experientially speaking. Because the idea of wrong automatically creates a sense of separation between something correct in consciousness and something incorrect. But if it’s appearing, or happening, surely this IS consciousness, this IS life too!

    Q: Yeah. I’m doing wrong, I’m being wrong, and the shame of many different things.

    For most it’s been a lifetime of that, this is why it takes time and it can be a difficult one to fall away. We talk about there being no time, yes, it’s all now. But at the same time, in the paradox, there is time too, and it takes time for these things to unwind and unfold. It takes great patience and great forgiveness of oneself.

    Q: What do you think the difference is between dealing with these things post-awakening and pre-? Is it easier? Is there less resistance?

    Before awakening it’s difficult to really deal with and see a lot of the conditioned behaviours because the ego-mind strategy and structure is working against this in many ways. Functionally it’s protecting the mind and self image from going into the depths of held beliefs where it all begins to fall apart and be seen though. But a certain amount of ‘work’ can be done as you go without a doubt. I personally just wasn’t very successful at this, or rather I should say my mind was very efficient at building structures to avoid this! Post-awakening a lot of these false structures and identities dissolved or at least were seen through, so this is when there was true openness to have it all arise. The brakes came off, so to speak.

    Generally I’d say after awakening what happens is that there’s an acceptance of whatever is arising. There’s nowhere else to go, there’s nothing to be done that isn’t already happening, it’s just what is arising in consciousness. And so the human experience is very raw in that way because you’re faced with whatever’s coming up in your life. So that’s where I’d say there’s lack of resistance – you can’t hide from life, it’s just happening.

    Even in that recognition and acceptance, resistance or fighting against something can still show up. But the meta of that is that there’s a complete acceptance somewhere in there, maybe deep down even, there’s the acceptance that “Okay, this is what’s happening”.

    This sounds like a very ordinary and obvious thing, which it is, but it’s the full acceptance of the recognition that there’s nothing else other than this. This is what life is presenting right now. This is what is showing up in me. And so therefore it’s not wrong.

    But that can take a little bit of time to come to trust this as old conditioning still plays out that says otherwise. So initially this can feel very groundless and there can be a lot of fear that can come up with that. The rules of right and wrong in regard to experiences get thrown out and you’re just left with the suchness of life.

    If you’ve been conditioned to believe that the feeling of groundlessness is wrong, that you’re a broken human being if you experience that, then that can bring up a lot of embodied trauma and fear of uncertainty. You can intimately feel that sense of groundlessness, the emptiness, the void; but the mind interprets the lack of control and the lack of anything to hold on to as threatening to itself. It can feel like life or death to the conditioned mind, and this can take some patience and courage to work though as life gently guides you to see that it’s actually not true; that groundlessness is the ground of your Self and it’s nothing to fear.

    But even in this post-awakening process of unwinding old conditioning and integrating the current lived and embodied experience, fundamentally there’s a recognition and acceptance that whatever is showing up simply is. It’s not even right or wrong, it just IS. And what is is not personal, it’s just an arising in consciousness.

     


    The ‘Conversations & Questions’ series comes from snippets of conversations taken from emails, 1-on-1 sessions, group meetings or in-person conversations. I take out any personal or sensitive content, but often these conversations have a universality to them that can be helpful to more than just one person. Feel free to get in touch via email, social media or even post your question in the comments below and I may answer them in this way…

    Share
  • Articles,  Conversations & Questions,  Post-Awakening

    Conversations & Questions: 28/1/20

    Post-Awakening Expectations and

    Staying in the ‘Only Don’t Know’

     

    Q: I can’t say that there have been any significant noticeable changes from Cosmic Consciousness to Unity Consciousness, is this common in your opinion? I guess it’s hard not to be waiting for some unmistakable shift?

    Imogen: Yes, looking for certain experiences or markers post-awakening can get really tricky and can be counter productive, particularly if your awakening has been a slow unfolding process over many years like yours has been. It could be likened to you sitting in a warm bath and getting used to it, thinking it’s gone cold, then when you wiggle your toes you recognise it’s not cold you just adjusted to the heat.

    Here’s maybe a tip for you…. Get curious, play and explore; in doing so you bump into life. Look more at the absence of stuff (triggers, old habits and patterns, old concepts and assumptions that have fallen away or been seen through) rather than a particular experience. Also those around you can be a wonderful mirror to show you what has changed in yourself.

    Awakening is not an adding to, but a desolation of old conditioning, concepts, false identifications, and misunderstandings of the nature of reality to reveal the underlying nature and wisdom of your Self – conscious, awareness. It’s also NOT about experiences; spiritual experiences while lovely, are just like more shiny content. Awakening is the recognition that it IS content and YOU are the awareness/consciousness to which that content appears. It would be better described as the clearing away of the veils of ignorance into clear seeing.

    But post-awakening the dawning recognition of this clarity can be likened to the power being cut to the ceiling fan but the fan is still turning for a while afterwards. For some it takes more time for the recognition of what has/hasn’t changed than others, especially if it’s been a slow burn so a lot of ‘work’ has been done before. You could still have some strong beliefs or habits stuck in your system that are making it hard to recognise a shift in a dramatic and obvious way. Awakening is slippery and subtle, and certainly not what the seeker expects it to be.

    For me it was easier because I had Martyn as a reference point and we had many hours of conversations – I had a post-awakened mentor on tap which was very very useful! This is why I encourage post-awakening sessions to others because it was so invaluable for me. It can clear up a lot of confusion and doubt that still might be running in the system.

     

    Q: I think you are probably right about having some strong beliefs and habits that are stuck in the system. For one I think that I keep going into the mind for verification.

    Imogen: Yes looking to the mind for verification…. that will do it!!!
    The best piece of advice I can give you right now is…. stay rooted in the ONLY DON’T KNOW.
    What I mean by that is… don’t try to figure anything out. It will ALL be revealed in it’s own sweet time. Any answers, any realisations, any recognitions will dawn in their own time, like the sun naturally rises in the morning to clear the morning mist away.

    Consciousness doesn’t need to ‘figure out’ anything… it emanates wisdom naturally just like the dawning sun. It’s the mind that wants to know, wants to figure out, wants to have certainty, wants to have answers now, now, now. The habit to look to the mind takes time to disperse post-awakening. Seeing that tendency for what it is, an old habit, helps… then when it happens there’s a remembrance of “oh you again”. There’s no need to get rid of mind (thoughts), just a vigilant eye and a recognition of the mind’s nature to try and pin down. The mind hates nothing more than ambiguity and not knowing.

    Keep quiet and take your refuge in ‘only don’t know’. Any wisdom or answers that are needed will come about in their own way, in their own time not through the efforts of the mind, but through the natural outpouring of life tasting life. Only don’t know is the allowing yourself to stay open and not put any stakes in the sand.

     


    The ‘Conversations & Questions’ series comes from snippets of conversations taken from emails, sessions, group meetings or in-person conversations. I take out any personal or sensitive content, but often these conversations have a universality to them that can be helpful to more than just one person. Feel free to get in touch via email, social media or even post your question in the comments below and I may answer them in this way….

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  • Articles,  Conversations & Questions

    Conversations & Questions: 14/11/19

    Q: Can you tell me how to get rid of attachment and aversion?

    It’s not about eliminating (getting rid of) anything but seeing that it’s all arising in you – consciousness. This is awakening. Experiential focus or identity is shifted from the foreground (phenomena) to the background (consciousness). When this is recognised to be true in your experience the need for elimination of ANYTHING disappears. All is accepted as an arising in you, and this is true freedom. From this, peace is found and suffering is eliminated. Suffering is the lack of acceptance of WHAT IS.

    Let me give an example to illustrate why this recognition is actually the most fundamental recognition of awakening.

    Just as the clouds appear and disappear in the sky, phenomena (thoughts, feelings, sensations, etc.) are appearing and disappearing in you. Is the sky any less the sky just because it has clouds, or a storm in it? No. Are you any less YOU if there’s something arising in you? No.

    We become either attached or averse because we mistake the phenomena for ourselves. We believe we are good or bad, right or wrong if we have certain experiences (phenomena) showing up and so we try to keep or get rid of these things. Consciousness makes no distinction, consciousness is ALL that shows up, ALL THAT IS. No separate piles of good consciousness to keep and bad consciousness to get rid of, no separation at all – just a continuous flow and play of life appearing as different forms and experiences.

    It’s only the limited human ego (mind) that judges and says what should or shouldn’t be. If you can see through this and understand experientially (not just intellectually) that this is the futile continuous hamster wheel of the mind, you’ll come to the end of needing life to be anything but WHAT IT IS. You’ll see that the peace, freedom and stability that you seek is in fact right here when the seeking is dropped. When the hands of life let go of the grasping for what ISN’T and accept what IS.

    Keep quiet, let all judgements cease, and what you are left with is what is. If this can be accepted into your heart, then you are free, then even if attachment or aversion show up… they will be seen as yet another phenomena arising in YOU, consciousness YOU. And the beauty of it is… you need nothing to be what you ARE.

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  • Articles,  Conversations & Questions

    Conversations & Questions: 25/09/18

    Q: Is the whole old spiritual paradigm collapsing?
    The old way of doing things may well be, the very strong hierarchical Guru-lead spiritual organisations as an example. But I feel there will always be the search for connection to, or rather awareness of Self (it’s like consciousness forgets itself, just to for the delight and play of remembering itself too!) and those ‘big’ answer-less answers will be searched for as long as there is suffering in the world. What that search looks like, and if it’s so widespread that it’s not to be seen as ‘special’ or different (fringe) anymore… yes I think this world is changing, but then it has done before and it will do again.

    Q: Is it time to truly realize that there is no need to heal, to transmute, to work it out at all? To “heal” others, to “heal” ourselves? Is the healing subject rather antiquated even though it seems to be such a part of mine and others journeys, to attend workshops, classes, …..to give workshops and sessions…
    As long as it’s taken as a personal “I am healing” or “I am being healed” there will be suffering, because sometimes healing happens and we take pride “I did that”, sometimes it does not and we feel pity “I failed”. That’s the ego taking claim and ownership – good or bad it doesn’t matter. Then we get stuck in the cycle of expectations & wanting and avoiding & rejecting rather than accepting what is and that we actually have no control of any of this.

    But in my experience healing happens, things get worked out, attending workshops, retreats and satsangs happens, spiritual practices such as meditations happens, a ‘journey’ or ‘path’ happens. It’s a natural part of life and whatever is showing up is what is meant to happen – the non-personal (egoic) view of life, that this is spontaneously arising. Just as the leaves on the tree grow, the tree doesn’t take ownership.

    As an example… ‘I’ Imogen offer spiritual guidance & shaktipat transmissions, I see benefits and changes occurring with my ‘students’, but ‘I’ don’t take it personally, as ‘me’ doing it, I see that that’s what is happening, that’s what life is presenting in that moment, what life is calling forth. Who am ‘I’ to say it should or should not happen that way? Who am ‘I’ to take claim or ownership over this??

    It’s the two truths thing that in time is integrated and accepted – on one hand we have the absolute view…. consciousness is, no healing, no person, no other, no changing, no need to ‘do’, no past, no future, just consciousness. Then we have the more relative view… things happening, changing, morphing, diversity, differences, experiences, one person giving something to another (whether it be bread or ‘healing’) – the human experience of doing, of living. The relative is the play and display of the absolute. The multitudes of experience are happening IN consciousness, AS consciousness. Do you see? Yes on one hand consciousness doesn’t need to heal, consciousness IS – NO. MATTER. WHAT. … But on the other hand, consciousness plays out on the stage of life, healing and living and growing and changing.

    Which leads me to answer your next question………

    Q: Is an ability such as being sensitive with energies and healing those energies, just a phenomena like painting, writing, or even drinking tea?
    YES. But….just in the same way people have a natural talent for painting or music while others don’t and have to apply themselves diligently to study and learn… the sensing of ‘energies’ is just the same sort of thing, not more ‘special’ just more unusual maybe. There’s no point denying these relative differences in people. So in (your) consciousness shows up all these varieties of human expression, some that are energy healers, some that are painters, some that are engineers. YES it’s phenomena, the experience of existence IS phenomena, without it……….. well 🙂

    Q: Is it a subtle addiction – never be good enough, to keep on seeking and digging? Haven’t I done enough of it the past 20–30 years? Is this an old wheel in me that should stop? All of this “I see this in you” and “I see that in you” over and over again like a ping pong ball. Isn’t that exhausting and separating rather than connecting? Are we are still operating based on old patterns inside of us, many of them so well hidden that we maybe will never be aware of them, or of somewhat “knowing” them. Is this the biggest trap, the need to seek to be ‘better’?
    YES, but that’s what’s happening.
    I’d say… for you… give it a go, drop it all (if you can) see what happens.
    Again I think it comes down to the ‘ego’ person owning that searching vs the acceptance that searching is happening. It seems to me consciousness likes to have a bit of grit in experience, something to rub up against, otherwise why would it be there. It would all be a bunch of nothingness with no point to ‘manifest’ this world, experiences etc. etc. etc. Might as well be no person, no body, no other, no world – nothing. But that’s NOT WHAT IS SHOWING UP… all of THIS is!!! And I think it IS consciousness trying to connect with itself, to know itself, to experience itself.

    Q: Is there a fully integrated awakened being walking at all this planet or is even this a idea?
    Awakening is a total mystery, in fact all of this is a mystery, so who knows!!! That’s why WHY’s are so tricky.
    What does that even mean to be ‘fully integrated’? It’s a subjective value judgment that someone equates a certain set of x,y & z’s to equaling ‘full integration’.

    It’s like saying a ‘fully healed body’ – the body is sometimes worse and needs attention on certain things, but it’s ALWAY changing and growing and better and worse, sick/healed in some parts, sick/healed in others. But we can we can subjectively go… ‘I feel ok’ or ‘I feel terrible’, or roughly judge others “that person looks healthy or sick”.

    Awakening however is about awakening or being en-light-ened to the nature of your essential Self, prior to all concepts and conditioning based in the ego-mind. How that recognition and realisation gets integrated into your lived reality, well that’s a completely unique journey and there are no wrong answers for that one!

    Q: We only have this famous pictures of Ramana Maharshi that has this Aura of “he is this entirely”, yet, what do we know. Is it human nature to still need a saint to even keep on striving after the shift?Quite possibly, something to aim for, yes sounds about right! Isn’t consciousness a trickster and joker!

    Q: Is there only permission to speak and teach once ones reached a certain level of awareness? This will never happen, we are humans. Look around, EVERYONE is speaking in one way or another, spiritual or not spiritual, everyone has opinions and views and they voice those views and beliefs ALL the time. Life gave us the gift of communication… and communication is everywhere and in everyone.

    As for permission to be a spiritual teacher – there are MANY MANY MANY different teachers, teaching many many many different techniques and practices, views and concepts. Some more skillfully than others, some more effective than others. Some more established in their broad and primordial nature of open-awareness. But again… I’m going to sound like a broken record…. this is what’s showing up, there’s no ‘spiritual government or police’ that decides who gets to speak or teach. It’s just life, throwing up a myriad of ways to recognize the nature of itself, some ways more pertinent than others.

    Q: Is there only permittance to speak from the heart, what’s wrong to speak from the mind? Isn’t that still a differentiation between right and wrong? Who is permitting or not. One speaks from wherever speech comes from.

    Q: Isn’t the ultimate liberated love just to be exactly like we are? EXACTLY LIKE WE ARE? YES, but most have trouble to see this, and they suffer this. That’s not to say it’s ‘wrong’ just that that seems to be what shows up, a suffering of this lack of acceptance.

    Q: Isn’t it time to fully accept ourselves and each other YES YES YES YES YES YES!!

    Q: Aren’t we specialists in looking for the “wrong”, after years and years of searching and seeking for the ultimate…better…whatever? haha YES, this is always what I am trying to point you to.. to accept all, to stop making yourself ‘wrong’. Even if, for example you are triggered and reactive to a deep seated fear of rejection… accept that that is what is your experience, it’s not wrong… it just IS

    Q: Is this a human condition in general, as an evolution in our genetics? Is even the pointing and the integration a continuing “wrongness” in the rightness? What’s wrong with drama once in a while? What’s wrong with energies of the past? What’s wrong with all the layers?
    Aren’t we all of that?
    YES WE ARE, THERE IS NOTHING ‘WRONG’ WITH IT. THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING ALL ALONG!!!!!!! Literally, I feel this is pretty much ALL I’ve been saying in our sessions!!! 🙂 Accept, accept all of it, see that it is perfect, just as it is, see that it can both be perfect and completely imperfect all at the same time. See that life is messy and diverse, and complicated and simple, and ugly and beautiful… ALL OF IT, no wrong, no right, just WHAT IS.

    Q: All of a sudden there is a full stop inside of me…
    BEAUTIFUL

    Q: I see all the people in all their beauty exactly as they are
    YES EXACTLY – but that also includes their healing, their journeys, their processes, their ‘awakenings’ – ALL of it. It includes when I sit down with you (or anyone), I don’t see you as broken, I see you as perfect, I see everyone as perfect, all of it. But questions come, answers come, healing happens, shaktipat happens, awakening happens, friendship happens, mentorship happens, teaching happens, LIFE happens. EXACTLY. BEAUTIFULLY. AS. IT. DOES.

    Q: Is even this old structure of student and teacher and helping integration master collapsing entirely? Even if it’s on a face to face friendship base?
    In you, in this moment, this structure is being see through, being seen for what it is. It was always an illusion of consciousness playing out in itself. No student, no teachers, no integration, just consciousness. Just consciousness showing up as student, teacher and integration. Again…. WHAT IS

    Q: Have I forgotten through the years of spiritual search just to talk about normal stuff?
    YES quite possibly… give it a try… lol.

    Q: Why am I constantly reflecting?
    Because that’s what’s happening right now, maybe in the next moment that’s not what’s happening

    Q: Why not just living?
    Like I said… give it a go… get a hobby, play, enjoy, live, jump in feet first and see what happens! (If you can)

    Q: Can I even return to a “regular” basic simple life?
    LOL I don’t know…depends on what you see as ‘regular’… for me the jury is out on what is ‘regular’. Again, stop with rejecting one way over another. See that whatever is happening is what is meant to happen. If you find yourself getting a job in the supermarket, then that is what is happening, if you find yourself doing ‘healing’ work that’s what’s happening too. I personally have ZERO attachment to this kind of ‘work’ that I find myself doing right now, I’d be fine if I ended up working in a supermarket tomorrow. Yes we have a life that the majority of people don’t have, but honestly I don’t give two hoots about it, if we suddenly start living a ‘normal’ life and never utter words like ‘spirituality’ or ‘consciousness’ again then that’s what’s happening and I’m totally fine with it. So if the impulse is to go and get a ‘regular’ simple life… see if that’s what happens, see if you find yourself making those kinds of decisions.

    Q: Did the spiritual search absorb me so tremendously that even after ‘the shift’ I am still somewhat searching in the not searching (may sound crazy?) and don’t even know how to operate outside of the ‘spiritual playground’?
    Yes this is possibly quite true. But I don’t think that will last…. the fan is still spinning even though the ‘seeking’ power has stopped for the most part. But who knows….. Maybe this email that you wrote will be enough for you to see that you’re not operating in the ‘spiritual playground’ now… you’re operating in the LIFE playground 🙂

    Q: Is there a global shift taking place where there is this huge awakening and besides this, huge collapsing of ‘wrong-ness’ and ‘not worthy of awakening’. Are these really old structures dying away with such high speed that we just can’t follow?
    We live in a very interesting time (although I’m sure people have been saying that for millennia) and there certainly does seem to be more and more people awakening to their primordial nature, in a much more democratised way, I believe the Internet has played a big part in that. But honestly, I don’t know….time will tell. But I don’t NEED to know either; I’m just present and here to whatever comes up in each and every moment. Any projections of the future and analysis of the current systems and paradigms are just one perspective where another million perspective can be found too.

    Q: Maybe even ‘awakening’ is dying away?
    You can name it however you like, but I do see that consciousness enjoys to find and know itself (right now anyway), maybe that won’t be the case sometime… if so cool… if not… cool too…… who am I to say awakening should or should not be showing up as awakening… it just IS what’s happening in some, maybe everyone… who knows???

    Q: Are we sensing so much going on, that we are just having a hard time to sort it out, maybe we think it is us, yet it’s the world, do you know what I mean?
    Yes… again I don’t know. To me the world IS me. They are one and the same… but if your experience is different…….. take a look and see what you find.

    Q: Dearest….that’s what’s going on???? HAHAHA, there’s the whys showing up again ;P I love the whys… they send one right into a loop of unknowingness and mystery because they can’t ever be truly be answered!!!! BUT IT’S NOT ‘WRONG’ THAT THEY’RE SHOWING UP…. 😀

    Q: I feel so hurt, so vulnerable, so wrong, so right, so confused, so clear, so young, so old, the rejected child, the grown woman standing up for myself, some played out character in this, no ability to influence a thing, an energy arising in all of this, no different from the sun in the coloured leaves outside,
    YES ALL OF THIS… welcome to my world and more!! Accept it, don’t accept it, love it, don’t love it…. doesn’t matter…. but it’s easier and dare I say a lot of fun, if you can. It amazing what life can throw up all at the same time, seeming contradictions and paradoxes all at once. This messy beautiful, human life is so full of life, so full of experiencing, it’s a wonder to behold.

    Q: A fear of being abandoned for speaking up, and yet not to be stopped, it’s shaking the ground, it’s shaky all together.
    Yes there is NO SOLID GROUND OF EXPERIENCE…. it shifts and changes constantly.

    Q: Is this a typical stage of integration?
    It’s hard to say ‘typical’ but have I see it before, in myself and others?  – YES YES YES YES YES

    Q: I feel like walking on the edge between old /before the shift and new/after the shift (no shift and yes shift) and both doesn’t work at all, as both sides even seem to not exist.
    BOTH SIDES that is the key. It’s not one side or another, it’s all. At first we had talk as if moving towards one side (new post-shift) in a ‘manageable duality’ kind of way… now that doesnt work. You’ve moved beyond that even. then it all collapses… and life just becomes LIFE. No awakening, no non-awakening just WHAT IS. But it’s hard to explain this before someone can hear it… I do try to. But ultimately you have to taste the strawberry, not be described what it tastes like from someone else.

    Q: It feels like these very old patterns between women and men are finally pushing through the surface with such force that the dimension is ungraspable. But is even this is a story?
    Yes it’s all a story, doesn’t mean we don’t get into the story, get invested in the plot and the characters, enjoy it, hate it etc. etc. etc.

    Q: Is everything just a story arising in all of this, full of emptiness and yet fullness and richness?
    YES YES YES YES YES YES YES !!

    Q: One moment there is a validity in what’s happening even the integration with you and an apparent path showing up, the next moment it’s entirely gone.
    ALL OF IT, don’t be scared of the apparent paradox and contradictions, it’s JUST WHAT’S SHOWING UP, WHAT’S HAPPENING. Consciousness (for what of a better word) is fine with contradictions and paradoxes, if it wasn’t then they wouldn’t be showing up… do you get what I’m saying yet? 🙂

    Acceptance of WHAT IS is the key to all of this.

     


    If you have a question you’d like to ask me please get in touch via email, social media or even post your question in the comments below. If your question (and therefore my response) could be helpful to others I may even do another ‘conversations & questions’ post (don’t worry, all info connecting to you personally would be removed!)

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