I understand what a real heartbreak it is to feel like you had it…the sweetness of clarity, a pure moment of bliss, a taste of unfiltered reality…and then feel like you lost it.
Lets have a look at what this is all about…
The first hitch here is the notion that “you” had something. I know it sure feels like this is the case, but the thing about your true nature is, you are already it. It’s not something “you” can get. But it’s very innocent to conclude that “you” did something to create this opening into grace. Perhaps it’s easy to conclude that all the books you’ve read, all the silence you’ve sat in, etc, created this gorgeous present awareness. Heck, I have even heard,”I did this breath thing for three exhales, and all this expansion opened for me!” So I understand the conclusion that “you” did something.
However, it’s much more precise to point out that you are something, and that your true nature does not reveal itself because you sat for twenty hours, held your breath for three minutes, got a hug from Amaji, did 50 sun salutations every morning for a month, and sat two sessions of Vipassana in a row. Now any of these things are wonderful in themselves, and are wonderful ways to get space, or to saturate in some blissful energy, or witness the goofy and painful mind spinning out, or just get a break from your crazy life. But to assume “you” did any of these things just right, at just the right time, and then an awakening happened to you, briefly, is not completely true, is not entirely correct. Because that would assume that what you are is actually only available via something the “you” does. Which is not the how the nature of reality works. And this is good news, because essentially, ” I got it! I lost it!” is an incorrect conclusion to what you are experiencing. This may appear to be semantics, but it’s not. A very precise definition of what is occurring can save you dozens of years of confusion, and self condemnation. The conclusion that you had something, but then you lost it suddenly, is, in fact, your mind coming in and defining its role in your sudden loss of bliss. But who is this “I” that is defining how it evoked your true nature, and then fucked it all up again?”
Which brings me to: “I” did something to lose it. It’s awful to feel this way. Luckily, it’s not actually true. A more precise definition would be to know that what you are, your true nature, is always present, yet core beliefs and/or karmic pain eclipse our experience of our real nature. It’s simply eclipsed because that very present and blissful reality is always the most consistent part of us, it’s true nature. So, “what is blocking it?” is a more precise inquiry, not what “you” can do to evoke it.
So, yes, we can get space from those core beliefs and/or karmic pain in any of the above mentioned ways; a hug from Amaji, a month of Vipassana, time on the meditation cushion, or about a million other options. Sometimes we can get enough space, (often called “getting quiet”), that our true nature is no longer so profoundly eclipsed by these core beliefs, (what are often called “stories”). And it’s important to note that your true nature is never, ever, going to be lost to you. It was never lost to begin with. It was eclipsed. And that eclipsing force can suddenly burst one day (my personal experience), or can be chipped away at with skillful practice, or be glimpsed in all its glorious darkness (this is often the way of ingested products), and by seeing it all, a kind of clarity of what might be more true begins to unfold, etc.
Whenever someone comes to me with this, “I had it, I lost it” dilemma, I always ask them, “Has the clarity left you?” I don’t mean the direct experience of that spacious bliss, or the “nothing else mattered and I was sooo present.” But the clarity you felt, the truth, the deep knowing. Did that leave you?
Usually, the answer is “no”.
But I understand the “feeling” of the “expansiveness” or “spaciousness” has shifted. So I like to point out that it does that, that’s kinda the nature of it. That’s the thing with true nature, the direct experience of it can change on a dime. Because it’s essentially love, and the funny thing about love is that it’s a very malleable energy. For example, remember back to a time when you fell deeply in love and everything around you seemed so rosy and spacious, and things that irritated you before suddenly and simply didn’t, and you were suddenly so much sweeter to everyone? The world seemed very sweet. Then say, about two years later, you don’t really feel that same way, you still love your partner, in fact it’s likely you love them much more deeply than when you first met, but you don’t walk around all rosy and spacious. And then ten years in, it feels really, really different; life comes in and eclipses the love, things like the bills, the kids, other family members, jobs, etc. But you still love your partner ( most days) and the love is way deeper than when the relationship was new.
You get my point. Love doesn’t always feel the same way. It is malleable energy, but it never goes away. One doesn’t actually fall out of love, as this is just not the nature of love. Rather, the experience of love shifts. So, long-winded way to say…yup, it doesn’t always feel the same, and it can suddenly change on a dime, especially when the pain or beliefs are suddenly activated again, as can happen, until they are fully dissolved.
Another really key point about love, or say true nature, is that it serves. Love serves. So as soon as you get some space from the eclipsing forces, and love is radiating out un-obstructed, that love heads towards the eclipsing pain. I always say, if we invited love to our party, love is not going to hang out and be totally groovy with everyone, meeting everyone, hanging out feeling all bliss and planning a group road trip. Nope, love is going to head straight for the crying child in the corner, and help out. It’s just funny that way. Love serves. So, once you get some space from the eclipsing forces and the love begins to shine, it heads straight back to the eclipse, to assist with the pain. That is why you sometimes feel cycles of clarity and silence, then as quickly get overwhelmed with your old stuff again, your suffering. Each of those still moments is going to initiate those days of suffering, bringing it to the surface to be healed. The nature of love doesn’t resist, repress, run or avoid. So, often you get a sense of ” I had it” and then fear, anger, trauma, grief, suddenly whelms up and wham, your clarity is eclipsed, and you’re identified as fear. What happened? Love headed straight for the crying child in the corner, as in, your fear, etc..and up that pain comes, and without skillfull management, suddenly and swiftly this awareness that you are identifies with the pain. The pain was always going to come up anyway. That is why healing is essential and mandatory on the path. The pain and/or painful beliefs are anchored in three places in your system – mind/emotion/body – and are what is eclipsing your true nature. Here is a promise: if you had little to no pain, and little to no painful beliefs, a couple of really good, deep inquiries about what is really going on here, and you’d be radiating your true nature. Not unlike the very natural inquiries that the average 16-20 year old has. And look around, there are a few of those guys teaching, more than
So, love is your true nature, it’s always present, and it’s profoundly eclipsed by core beliefs, trauma and pain.
Another really important aspect of love, or the profound, spacious, blissful experience of your true nature, is that it jolts your primal survival system. I will write more about this next month, but for now, enough to say, if you suddenly get enough space from your eclipsing forces, terror is going to show up, and it’s not a “problem”. Essentially, your primal survival system is wired to those core beliefs, wired to being a separate person, a separate body, and wired to all those painful stories – “no one loves this separate body, I have to protect it, I am not safe in this scary, hard world” etc. And when your true nature becomes less eclipsed, and the non-identified love begins radiating un obstructed, it doesn’t feel like such a hard, scary world, and the primal survival system gets a big jolt. That feels exactly like terror. So, it’s not something “you” did. It’s your true nature jolting an ancient survival system that is wired to pain.
Clarity is here. It’s available, and as I like to say, everyone has equal access to what they are, in every moment. That’s the thing about true nature – it’s the most consistent thing about you. What eclipses it is your core operating program, or core belief systems, and/or pain and trauma in your system. And in reality, that funny, painful, aggressive, separate “you” cannot actually “get it”, nor “lose it”.
Now, who’s up for a seven day yoga marathon?