Clear out the Dead Wood

“If your heart is thirsty for Love  then turn around now and go back to where you came from back to the simple ground of your origin inside the inside of this flowering and Radiant Emptiness.”

Adyashanti – My Secret is Silence


” I am having to deconstruct my life in all sorts of ways and I have voluntarily exploded my social life. The familiar people I was surrounded by, especially dear old friends and family are unwitting co-conspirators in this unconscious dance and without realising it, they help to keep old patterns in place. Often they have the same patterns themselves and we all keep each other stuck in unconscious roles. When one breaks a familiar pattern it makes both parties feel uneasy. For me, a temporary break at least is required from people who keep the old story  going. I manage this by being there as much as possible for them, and I keep my distance. Minimal social interactions and a social life online is the result at the moment. Socialising with strangers is also quite fun too, no history and fewer expectations”.

It is with this intention that Don Juan instructed Carlos Castaneda to spend several years doing nothing but recapitulate all the meaningful events in his life and then wipe out his personal history. Becoming an apprentice to Don Juan meant burning all bridges to the past and the people he knew and starting afresh. While this is too extreme for me, it makes sense. Our old programming is ingrained and it takes time to allow and accumulate new habits of being present and able to watch and observe without acting on our old emotional habits.

During this time of transition, waves of uncertainty and fear arise as unfamiliar ground is entered upon. It is a delicate time requiring great patience and copious self encouragement. In my experience it is not helpful to be surrounded by people who stimulate old well worn neural pathways. 

‘If you think you are enlightened go and spend a week with your family’. Ram Dass

I have noticed in myself that I can ‘fall’ into having a gossip about somebody, reacting with emotional drama, trying to get approval from my mother, or getting over involved with some drama they are having, taking sides in some story being told (we are of course expected to judge severely the baddy in their story). These things are a normal part of most people’s conversation. Afterwards I go over what I said, how I felt, how I responded and I feel sad that I behaved like that. And then I give myself compassion and I resolve to not forget myself so easily next time. Most interactions can be dealt with using detached loving kindness towards people and ourselves.



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