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Hypnosis and You

We have become so technologically advanced today that we easily communicate and commune with each other across times zones and oceans and that too live! Unfortunately many of us have lost true communication with ourselves. We have forgotten what it is like to simply commune with nature and we have lost touch with our own individual instinct. We have learnt to make that little voice in our head mimic everyone else and their opinions and expectations, and in this process we have lost our real “little voice”.
Hypnotherapy is a sure fire way of getting in touch with yourself, the real you and your own “little voice”. This will help you to deal with the reality of life around you and many times we know very instinctually exactly how to heal what ails us. This is the so called magic of hypnosis or hypnotherapy.
Factually speaking there is no magic, it’s just You communing with Yourself, with a hypnotherapist holding your hand, because you have seemingly lost yourself and need a professional guide to find that lost destination “Yourself”.

Under hypnosis, you are totally aware of your surroundings and completely in control. The difference is that you are now in a totally relaxed mental and physical posture that your hypnotherapist guides you into. Under these very specially relaxed conditions or hypnosis, all your thoughts, reactions and memories are in a continuous flow and you begin to change your perceptions towards the very same same thoughts and memories that have bogged you down. Slowly but surely, with a skilled hypnotherapist your mind set becomes more positive.
Let me give you a simple example. As a normal person you know (have learnt) that a fresh chilly is hot. So when you pick up a chilly you will fear it and handle it carefully, and almost always not bite it directly. Syour reaction to a chilly is fearful. You will automatically turn away from it even though I place a very mild chilly for you to bite. The same happens with life- learnt events. We react with old taught/learnt memory towards new happenings in our life. The event that we are currently facing is not the same as the event we faced before, but we will react to our present event with the memory of the lessons learnt from the past event we faced. This is also why past life can be visited to feel and understand memories that make us react a certain way towards present events.
Going back to the chilly memory, under hypnosis, the memory does not change but the reaction does. This is because you are in a completely relaxed mental and physical posture. Your trust level is high and under Hypnosis the amygdala in our brain, which stores our ‘flight or fight’ response based on memory, is shut off. In all probability when you come out of hypnosis your reaction to that fiery chilly has changed. You will certainly have an instinctual response of the “heat” of the chilly, but you will also be able to see the attractive colour of a chilly, its spice properties and how it can enhance your cooking .
You have more positive reactions to that same chilly with an understanding of its nature.
Now this is a major change of perception and can happen very fast with many of our stored memories that we have of this life and perhaps in lives before. As a therapist I help you and guide you through this maze of memories and help you to see the positive and colourful aspects of the most vicious memories that your mind and body might have stored and is currently reacting to.
The reactions may be in the form of physical illnesses, habits, addictions, allergies and much more.

As I said before, there is no magic in hypnosis just true understanding of what is actually happening around you and your reactions and how you deal with life situations. You are taking small steps with the hypnotherapist in helping yourself. You are making your brain and mind work with your body.
Hypnosis could be called the art of using your own mind to strengthen your own body, mind and soul. It feels like magic, because we have lost that infinite resource that we have within ourselves, and when we get in touch with it, a sort of real magic, if that is possible, happens.

An Emotional Beggar

An emotional beggar is one, who begs for “attention”.  He is not able to define himself as a person; he is like a homeless soul, always searching for another soul imagining that another soul will be his succor to becoming a whole person

Sometimes the fear of the emotional beggar is so high he believes that he will just disappear if he doesn’t have another person for constant support. He hates himself and the other for this situation.

He is thus caught in a paradox situation. His begging bowl fulfills his emotional security, but he craves the independence of standing on his own emotional feet without the bowl.

He craves attention or sympathy constantly to fill his bowl. What he does not recognize is sympathy or attention does not equal love. Love needs no bowl to be filled, it is just there. A person has to first start loving himself very deeply; inside out, good and bad, the evil within and the goodness outside.  Only then will his bowl fall by the wayside…  It sounds very simple but this is the toughest part for an emotional beggar to come to terms with. We have to recognize and understand that we all have similar emotional attributes, just like we all have 2 hands , 2 legs, 1 nose, 2 eyes and so on and so forth.

Our emotional makeup is all the same. We all have a dose of good and a dose of bad within us. It is society that defines the good and the bad. The more we try and define ourselves the more we tie ourselves in knots. Loving ourselves just the way we are, is what makes an essential difference to ourselves. Acceptance of this in a wholesome way is true bliss.

Understanding and admitting the evil within is the most difficult part. We believe that a person should only be good… that’s like expecting a person to be born with just a body and a mind, no soul.

All souls are inherently good and bad, we like to recognize them as black and white, never understanding that they are all made up of myriad colours, and as we spin this wheel of colours it will always appear white and pure.

The emotional beggar needs to understand that attention, and sympathy and what he falsely recognizes as love cannot come from emotional begging. Rather than begging he needs to develop the strength in himself and recognize his own colourful soul.

He can start this by coming to terms with the evil within, hidden in many deep layers of fancy clothing, like false pride and hypocrisy. He needs to embrace his goodness too and accept himself as a whole… We think of ourselves as “unique” but we are not, we are just as equal as the person beside us. He has no less and we have no less or more of emotional anguish. It all equals when the spin-wheel is spinning. It is white, pure and reality. We can love ourselves.

Love is strength; strength to accept the spin-wheel. When we have accepted all those colours ((emotions)) of anger love hate and joy; all those actions of good, evil, selfish and loving; when we ASSIMILATE these into our very being ((our souls)) then we stop spinning, we are all white, pure and love radiates from us; we become grounded.

The emotional beggar ceases to exist.

When I embarked on my journey to my soul the word meditation was a beacon. I truly felt that mastery over my mind would lead to this wonderful state of bliss and contentment.

As I trudged along this path, I realised that any mastery either over your mind or over your breath to reach a blissful contentment was impossible. Firstly true mastery was virtually impossible in the environs of a daily human life. I could hardly go and live in isolation amongst the mighty Himalayas or take sanyas. Secondly, any mastery necessarily meant control and control without deep knowledge was a sure fire way to reach a state of agitation. As I desperately tried to gain control over my mind and over my breath I moved farther and farther away from the feeling of contentment.

There is a mysticism attached to the word meditation. It looks and feels simple enough. All one has to do is breathe, focus on your breath and perhaps reach nirvana? “Concentrate” tell us most master’s books. On what would I concentrate? I would ask myself. Many random thoughts ran through my mind. There was no let up at all. Then I read “focus” on your breath. Yes, I did and watched it go in and out of my system. It would certainly relax me, but then so does counting sheep!!

This was not the way. I was sure there was much more to meditation and concentration. It was a form of deep inner knowledge. This is where meditation needs to take us. Understanding our deepest thoughts and where the direction of these thoughts and feelings are headed is the true key.

Any ‘action’ we contemplate always has a ‘thought’ behind it. This thought has a reason and more importantly a ‘feeling’ attached to it. We can ‘feel’ what another being ‘feels’, this is our ‘empathy’. A human being has a Spiritual Dimension. For an animal the feeling turns to reason and invites action instantly. Let me state an example: Like a lioness hunting for a ‘kill’. She hunts the weakest prey has no feeling of ‘guilt’ attached to it. The lioness feeds her cubs and has only hunger attached to her action which is her ‘reason’. Yet she feels pure love for her cubs and none for the prey or the mother of the prey she killed?

This led me thinking as to what is our difference? My intellectual understanding of being able to identify with other beings’ thoughts was an electrifying revelation to me. Perhaps this is what the masters’ meant by control over the mind. It was actually a mastery over ‘understanding’ that our mind’s thought reaches another being constantly. So acting in full awareness of our senses is a state of contemplation/meditation.

This is what I feel Osho refers to as ‘no mind’ or some others refer to as ‘mindfulness’ both terms are a deep understanding of the thoughts generated from the mind.

To put it another way; I gossip about someone who wears pretty but revealing clothes to attract men. This might have started as a thought in my mind which changed to reason, “she deserves it” or “let me warn others of what she does” and the action is the gossip.

Let us examine the feelings associated with the thought. We don’t wish evil on the object of our gossip but we simply want to warn others so we gossip. At this stage the thought feels pure.

Let’s examine this more closely. If I get to the real base of this thought then I can admit reluctantly to myself that I also want to harm the object of my gossip because ‘she deserves it’.

Let’s get even closer. I am actually envious of the attention the woman draws . This is much more difficult for me to accept.

Let’s get even closer. The woman in question has the same feelings that I do. This is virtually impossible for me to accept even with heightened awareness. Because I feel ‘she’ is different from ‘me’.

Even further is acknowledgment that her feelings are my feelings and if I hurt her I hurt myself.

In a state of mindfulness ‘I’ will automatically empathize with ‘her’ since the realization that ‘she’ has ‘feelings’ as much as ‘I’ do.

So if my thoughts hurt her they will also hurt me. This cycle happens to us many times over and over in a day, and in our subconscious  we carry that feeling of guilt or fear or anger or hurt that the other has felt.  Then to relieve ourselves of the burden of our thoughts we act and get caught in another cycle and another. Hindu mysticism calls this the law of Karma.

That which we have unknowingly thrust upon another being and in effect thrust upon ourselves is the true realization of mindfulness and deep self inquiry. This is where contemplation and meditation leads us.

It is not at all easy to understand. This process too requires time and time alone with oneself. It can start as simply as an extra breather before coming back home, perhaps a walk in the park. A long session with oneself at a park bench, even a crowded railway station will do. Here is where a guru comes in. A Guru is one who helps us to explore our deepest thoughts, and who is a sounding board for our actions without an obvious guidance. I say this because guidance trains us to ‘think’ and not ‘feel’. A true ‘feeling’ is worth millions to a ‘thought’.  A ‘feeling’ frees us whereas a ‘thought’ binds us.

Let me also talk about ‘time’ here. I realised that time too binds us in the human context. Time is actually an infinite concept yet we try to harness it. True, one needs time and energy to be harnessed to live in the world reality that exists around us. But when one is deeply contemplating then time becomes an open infinite concept and there really is no need to rush through thoughts and feelings. Just letting thoughts and feelings ‘be’ where they are is an enormously freeing concept. It means I stopped trying to figure out when all this is going to lead to ‘contentment’.

This is not a fatalistic concept. It is a combination of mindlessness and mindfulness that can happen in deep contemplation. It’s possible to live in a state of world reality and yet operate from the state of contentment and that to me is dynamic contentment.

We live at all levels of this journey simultaneously. Uncovering feelings slowly becomes a natural part of your soul and is endless. This is the dynamism. There is mystic TRUTH AND JOY here as we connect equally with feelings of other beings. This is the contentment.

Fear of Anger

Anger…….

What does the word ‘anger’ conjure up? To most it is a wild dark and uncontrollable picture.

We do not like to face this picture for ‘fear’ of what it will unearth.

So are the words ‘anger’ and ‘fear’ both negative words which we do not want to face?

Anger and fear are both primary emotions like love and joy. We are made up of these primary emotions just as surely as we have physical features. Unfortunately for many years we have been subconsciously trained not to accept either emotion. Since these are primary emotions they are not emotions with which we can reason.

When we experience ‘fear’ our instinctive response is ‘flight’ or ‘fight’. These defense mechanisms help us to survive.

When we experience ‘anger’ we also feel pain. It is a pain which is felt at a very very deep subconscious level and it remains within us because we do not know how to express our anger and exhaust it.

Most of us respond to anger with a ‘fight’ response. If we dig deeper into this response, we realize what has really happened is that our true response to anger has been sidelined. We begin to ‘fear’ our own anger because society has conditioned us to do so. The instinctive response to fear is also the ‘fight’ response. By lashing out at someone or ‘revenge thoughts’ all we do is acknowledge our fear of anger. This leads to further frustration within ourselves and we get caught in the same vicious cycle of anger without really dealing with it.

How does one deal with anger? Anger is a sort of an unadulterated rage at our helplessness at being unable to deal with a situation. Many of us are in a state of ‘passive anger’ where the feeling of anger is masked by an unseemly calmness at dealing with life. Underneath that calmness is a burning fury of anger.

The first step to dealing with anger is to acknowledge it. The source of that anger is what is of primary importance. The source might be very trivial and may seem unjustified from a societal point of view. What we need to correct within ourselves is that anger is right and anger leads to pain. It is the Pain that we have to deal with ourselves. Anger does not mean giving pain to somebody else.

How does one acknowledge anger? This is a difficult question because anger surfaces at the smallest of pretext. Sometimes there is no pretext and there is just anger. Once we start recognizing that anger exists within us and is part and parcel of us, our mental make-up and all that we stand for then it becomes easier for us to acknowledge anger. The more we push anger away the more it turns to fear and the more is our ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ (passive aggressive) response.

Let’s look at anger visually from the moment of birth. A baby is born and cries. The primary emotion is ‘fear’ and ‘anger’ at being thrust out of the warm womb, though this is an act of nature. The baby acknowledges fear by flaying its arms and legs wildly but it doesn’t get anywhere. Then the baby acknowledges the anger by crying loudly. Why does the baby cry? The baby understands the pain coming from the anger and reacts with grief. The baby feels the helplessness of being thrust from its cosy womb by an act of nature. The baby instinctively understands that anger comes from its helplessness. The baby is in touch with both these emotions. Later the baby is held and fed. It feels joy and contentment when it is fed and love and happiness when it is held. As we grow up all these emotions mature and evolve just like our physical features do.

Normal homes encourage the ‘love’ and ‘joy’ process of evolution but deny the ‘anger’ fear’ process of evolution. We have left evolving and maturing these emotions far far behind. Suddenly one day we wake up and find that many things in life cannot be handled. That is because 50% of our emotional makeup has been left at the baby stage!!

How do we start acknowledging the 50% of ourselves that we have left behind?

Meditation is a sure way to reach that sublime state but what is meditation? Meditation has different processes just as cooking has. Like cooking leads to making food  palatable and satisfies our hunger, meditation leads to stilling the mind which leads to satisfaction of our spiritual hunger. Just like we need to cook and eat food every day we need to meditate everyday too.

Meditation can simply mean intense concentration. Meditation can also mean reflection. Concentration on the divine to the exclusion of all else is naturally the path of “bhakti yoga” and this is the path that most religions of the world uphold and beckon us to follow. Perhaps it is easy for some and not so easy for others. Concentration on the path ahead, that which You have chosen to the exclusion of all else is “karma yoga” and this is the path many people follow too. “Jyana Yoga” is reflection and understanding of the knowledge that is inherent in this Universe.

Whichever path we choose in this journey, which is our life, all meditation comes to naught when we meditate with  the expectation of an outcome. If we consider the ideals of “bhakti yoga” the great saint Meera Bai comes first to mind. She steadfastly carried on in her bhakti to Lord Krishna (the divine, if you don’t like iconography) unminding of the consequences and neither expecting any fruit from that bhakti. Many great scientists follow the path of “karma yoga” they just carry on in their chosen field completely trusting the intuition they carry within. Neither do they expect success will come to them, neither do they get dettered by the obstacles that come their way. The theories they have finally propounded have changed the Universe as we know it literally. Finally a “jyana yogi” is one who reflects the universe in his own mind. Many “Jyana Yogis” abound in the world. Jesus was one of them and in India in living memory is Parmahansa Raman Maharshi. Tantra is definitely a path of “jyana yoga”.

Jyana Yoga is the process of self-inquiry that leads to the divine.  When ‘I’ go into the daily process of experiential meditation and catch my thoughts, then an automatic cleansing begins, because every thought is identified with an action. I understand this and then the thought changes into knowledge, this is a process of self-inquiry.

This process diffuses the ‘feeling’ connected to the thought and my action which otherwise might have been enacted stalls. The ‘feelings’ “I” experience might be pain, hurt, anger, fear, resentment, desire, covetous feelings, jealousy; whatever. Many feelings are very covered with reasoning and many times feel righteous and sanctimonious. My action will be hurtful talk, sarcasm shown, and impulsive action like shopping or over eating. My action is a defence mechanism to the “pain” “I” feel while experiencing these feelings; because deep inside the feeling lingers even after the action to quell the pain of that expereince has been enacted.

Once my identification with the thought is understood the ‘feeling’ disconnects and knowledge or ‘truth’ connects. This leads to a feeling of “let go” and later contentment, sometimes even though “I” have not been able to stop that action earlier. But reflecting about that “thought” and action is an experience that automatically humbles me and this leads to my connection with the divine.  Very often the reflection of my action and the thought behind it brings a powerful surge of “oneness” with the “other” on whom my action was projected. This means we can feel the other person without judging him or her and expereince what they are feeling. This is what humbles me and without a self righteous morality I can continue with my life feeling deeply connected with the other.

“Jana yoga” stills the mind by refelecting my own thoughts continously, how can a mind, full of chatter and movement reflect anything? So the mind stills to reflect.

Let me explain more easily; for instance, just plain gossip.  You think nothing of this action and slowly it becomes part of your life. You begin to ‘judge’ people unknowingly. But somewhere within you, you are carrying a burden that leads to  the compulsive action of speaking ill about another one again and again. Every time you do this you build up more anger. You also carry the hurt the other is carrying due to your unknowing action of gossip.
When ‘I’ can realise that the gossip is a projection of my anger it’s an understanding. Then ‘I’ can also realise that my ‘I’ carries a hurt inside ‘me’ for the projection of the anger to happen. Later when the hurt is questioned then ‘I’ realises its own contribution to the hurt and by this time the thought has turned to knowledge and the hurt feeling inside ‘me’ has disappeared and the action of speaking ill never happens.
This I feel is the process of self inquiry (jyana yoga) which is like a sword for me. It cuts through my thoughts and feelings and brings forth only knowledge, or truth. It opens my ‘self’ without any vulnerability because through the truth I have already accepted my ‘self’ just as it is.

This is the best I can put words to what I am experiencing through ‘self’ and many a times powerful surges of love.

Inner Child

Today I’m penning down my thoughts. I also want to share the really beautiful experience I recently had. How I reached this state with self awareness and self enquiry.

In an experiential session with myself  I was able to visit and feel my ‘inner child’. I have this normally vulnerable time with myself following a bath. I tend to lie down and do some experiential meditation ( where the body relaxes and the senses come alive to just ‘be). Then I speak and experience within myself  all the facets of the good and evil( emotions and thoughts and actions) within me.

This is especially relevant to the constant demons within me. I experience all my weakest and most vulnerable moments and re live them. I constantly find the so called good thoughts are actually quite evil below the surface and that’s why our demons. Once I started doing this, in a way I experienced the calcinatio of the alchemical opus and it took me a long time to let the dross burn away.

Later I reversed these feelings and lead myself to experience the pure goodness within, the one that is healing and simply believes and “lets go”. Its really got nothing to do with thoughts I realised. Its not about wanting anything good to happen to another person, its not about being good with another person, its not about good  thoughts, its not about anything except pure belief in your “self” and your “soul” and that which is tied to  implicit faith….its not about wanting to do good to society and any such great and noble thoughts, these are just figments of our human existence…its about something deep within, that which is not human which has no relation to this real world which  is ONLY REAL (TRUTH) when you reach that point.

‘She’ or ‘me’ or my ‘inner child’ was sitting there, vulnerable as ever and when I reached out and touched her and re assured her, it was the most incredible experience of my life. “I” became the observer of “me”. Its not my heart, its not my soul, its something beyond.

Now that I am back to living an every day life, I wonder who touched her, the ‘me’ inside… all along I felt bound by Eric Berne’s theory of the transactional analysis and the parent child adult specs… so I kept telling myself that it was the parent, specially the critical parent that drives the demons within us and it was my parent that reached out and touched her, my inner child. Also many other forms of logical analysis assailed my senses, as I could not quite accept this.

As I went in deeper I finally realised that it was Grace that touched her, my inner child, it was only Grace that could give my inner child the love it needed, the faith it needed, the re assurance that it felt and the exhilaration. Somewhere my fear seems to have vanished! It is truly wonderful feeling loved like this.

The fear I feel now is much more rational, just on the surface and very practical… like how much money I have in the bank, how much is required for any task set up. How much work is required for any incomplete taks, will I finish it? .Etc etc…. the unknown fears which manifest to us in various other ways constantly, especially through our body mind combination seem to have been off-loaded from ‘me’ my inner child.

I am Me

What was this that I feel and express?

What felt different earlier… “I” was different and “me” was different.

How so? Actually it was the reaching out and touching the inner child… it made me feel complete somehow. Even if it was just for a few minutes, and later through the week I can easily recall that feeling and moment of bliss.

I feel as if I have leaped eons ahead suddenly. Funnily enough old insecurities remain; these are the ones where “Maya”… (delusion) is caught. Like I feel old, I feel fat and I feel ugly. 🙂 Yet I feel at peace.

Today I can feel angry about the law, how it doesn’t work and how warped it is… in short I feel all old normal feelings and yet there is a difference. I do not feel bogged down with these thoughts. The thoughts flow through me.

Also I constantly feel a presence around me, like God is with me. Now I catch my thoughts and feelings constantly, especially when I feel envy and most easily I know I am hitting out. I understand every hit that I take, earlier it used to upset me, and it doesn’t now.

When I touched and felt myself; my inner child I felt so whole and complete it was unbelievable. I felt so incredibly loved; as if I don’t need to prove myself to anyone anymore. I felt as if a load of unloving weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Yet I felt utterly and completely ordinary. 🙂 Like ‘I’ am no one and yet ‘I’ am the most special and truly beloved person.

I felt connected with myself and with the feelings I feel, these feelings which were a burden to me and a cross to bear are no more. The pain I had carried. It suddenly didn’t feel as painful as I could actually love myself and feel for myself and feel the compassion towards “little me” my inner child.

“Little me” and “me” as “I” exist today have become much closer, almost one person now.

“Almost” is still the fear factor here. Many fearful thoughts bound in and out of me even as write this but they do not cling to me and some radiant confidence seems to feel as if it will always sort out or it will always teach me something that I have yet to learn. Loads of anger seems to have been ferreted out of my system suddenly.