As this is the first little effort in 2011, I thought I would just muse a little – in a roundabout way of course; when was I ever different – about the value of the work for me.
I have in the past written on the “Teaching not the Teacher” but these exchanges, lifted verbatim from a course in 2009, rather nicely amplify those thoughts from embodied experience.
Make of them what you will; there may be resonances.
NB The names have been arbitrarily changed for confidentiality purposes.
Mike: Jasmin, do you have anything you would like to share?
Jasmin: Just a deep gratitude to you all for letting me see myself a bit more clearly. [long silence]
Felicity: I have something that I feel like sharing with the group, if that is okay?
It’s kind of two things. I feel nervous, maybe it’s the coffee. I woke up last night and Siobhan woke up as well and we had this brief exchange. Anyway, out of that came clarity, and this clarity continued for two hours. It was fantastic, but part of me was saying, ‘Go to sleep! … go to sleep … you’ve got a long drive tomorrow.’
Basically, what I realised is that when I am at an edge and not feeling comfortable it is because I want something, and there is often fear that arises with that wanting. Sometimes that is in the background, and sometimes the fear is very much in the foreground. The insight that came to me which I have had in the past but this time felt bigger was that want I want is always love. It is always one thing; it is always love. There is no point in my analysing it, or thinking about it, or labeling it; it’s always love. Whatever disguise it has it comes down to the same thing, and the thing I want is love. And if I am able to surrender to the ‘wanting’ and know where it is located in my body, I am able to totally surrender to it. The surrendering can happen and I don’t fall apart; I don’t become nothing; I truly am. I hope this is making sense for everybody.
Mike: Yes, it does.
Felicity: This especially comes up in relationships with my family or with a loved one. Sorry … [gently crying] And for me it is just remembering or feeling the love that is there, rather the ‘wanting’ of the love that I am perceiving is not there. If I feel the love that is there then I receive it and the ‘wanting’ is not present, or if it is present it is minimal.
The second part of this is that when I am in stillness and empty of my stuff, I am fairly open to receiving. I also enjoy the cheeky, active, fun, and interactive part of me. That is very much part of me and who I am. However, I realise that when I am in that cheeky, fun, taking the micky space, it feels like more of a giving rather than a receiving, and sometimes in that giving I haven’t left any room to receive. My energy is kind of like that; coming out of me rather than in me, or open just to the receiving. When I am in that giving space it can be felt quite differently by different people at different times, and sometimes that’s okay and sometimes it is not. It can bring up a lot of stuff.
So, the insight I have had is that I am both of those things, and the middle way is to find a place in myself where I am both, so I can be receiving and giving at the same time.
Mike: Thank you, Felicity. That’s very beautiful. Don’t bother with any books!
Felicity: You know I gave up reading on my training, and I think it was such a good idea.
Felicity: Phew! I am sweating…
Mike: Anybody else?
Murdock: I’d like to thank everybody for the overpowering amount of love that I have felt here from all of you. When I was sitting on the lawn this morning doing a little meditating trying to decide if I was going to defy you and go out onto the island in middle of the pond or not, I stretched out, and I couldn’t feel the bars of the cage, and so I didn’t need to defy you.
Mike: That’s beautiful, too. When we stop telling our story and putting bars in place, we find there aren’t any bars.
Siobhan: It feels quite different doing three modules. Modules sounds such a cold word, doesn’t it? But having three separate parts to this course is great because I remember doing the last blessing of insecurity course here last year, and it’s quite sad to leave that. So it is lovely to know that all the relationships that we have here are just going to deepen. And I am aware that I haven’t really made contact yet with some of you fully, but that is so nice to know that that will unfold. It is quite a joy to know that so I feel joyful today to be leaving knowing what we have started here.
Mike: Yes, a lot of things come in threes, don’t they? The trinity: spirit, father, and son. Another way of putting it is body, mind, and spirit. Lots of trinities. I can think of another one which is perhaps useful to us which is ingestion, digestion, and elimination. [laughter] You can’t have one without the other! They are all part of a very important package. The body is such an intelligent way of understanding almost anything, because it is right there. It is not you separately studying something; you are it. You are the trinity, not either this, that, or the other. We are it. There is no separation.
You might like to think of that when you are having your lunch, because fundamentally that is the course; what is going on right here.
Rebecca: I am looking forward to the next one…
Felicity: …but it’s important to remember that we haven’t left yet, and I say that because on my cranial training the clock would strike midday and I was like a rabbit in the headlights. ‘Right, time for me to go!’ I don’t have a need to do that today so that’s good.
Mike: Would anybody else like to add a little more flavouring to the stew, or is that it?
In that case, I am just going to make a slightly paradoxical, I suppose, statement. Teaching these courses, or facilitating these courses is where my learning happens, that is what I have found over the years. Anything I have to offer has come from the joint practice in these groups, so I deeply appreciate that. As my closest observer, my wife Barbara, has noticed over the years. If I start getting a bit ratty, she’ll say, ‘Oh, for god’s sake, go and teach a course!’ Then I get better. It comes precisely from the work doing the work.
There is a very strange thing that happens that I found hard to believe in the beginning, that courses can exponentially do deeper work one after the other, eve though there has been no obvious external relationship between one and the other; they may even be in different countries. I have no doubt that it has got something to do with fields of morphic resonance as Rupert Sheldrake describes it. It is something about energy fields because they are subtle like CAT scans. Rupert Sheldrake’s stuff helped to explain it intellectually but of course the explanation isn’t it, it’s the felt sense of it that is so important. I have that.
We all do in some miraculous ways get expanded by the work, and we expand the work at the same time. Because that happens to different degrees, we have changed somewhat. I know we are all changing every second but we’ve changed slightly more exponentially in the last five days, than we might have done if we hadn’t all got together. And it may be that other people that we go home to who have not been in that particular field, at least not obviously, just may find us slightly different which they can’t put their finger on. People assume they know other people, don’t they? And it’s a bit of a shock to find someone you have lived with for thirty years isn’t quite the same as you thought they were. So, because we are the ones that have changed, we also need to be the ones that are a little more aware and compassionate, and just hold the thought that they might find us a little difficult until they put us in our box again. Do you see what I am saying?
So, go carefully and mindfully. There is no end. The work goes on and the work will go on and the Tide will come in and the Tide will go out. There is always change. And, above all, I love you all, every one, and there is no difficulty in that. It just is. I think we will stop there, but before I do that I will repeat the words of that wonderful, twenty first century philosopher, the Governor of California, Arnie Schwarzenegger, ‘Hasta la vista, baby!’ [laughter]