For the past two nights, I've dreamed of fire. The first night, it was a wild fire. And it was headed straight for the house I was in. This house was in the woods. It was my parents' house. Not their house in waking life. Another house. And there was a wild fire headed straight for it. But nobody seemed to notice or care, except for me. And just when I put my foot down and said we had to leave, as I looked out the window and saw the flames approaching and shadows of trees, just as it seemed we were too late and the house would soon be engulfed by flames, the fire went away. Changed direction. Or died down. Disappeared. And we were safe.
I woke up thinking this must be significant. I never dream of fire. I never dream of fire, and yet it happened again last night.
Last night I dreamed of fire in the heating ducts of a mansion that I was in. And again, it seemed it was up to me to do something about it. It seemed there was some threat, some danger. But in the end, nothing bad happened. Everything was ok.
It's interesting to me that one night the fire was big and out of control, and the next night it was more contained. And in both dreams I was concerned and trying to take action, but in the end, it turned out no action was needed. Nothing burned up. No damage. No harm.
And then I end up on a phone call with one of my teachers, Shakti Malan, and the main point of today's lesson is about just being with the contraction without feeling the need to take action. Committing to awareness and the expansion of consciousness.
[sigh of relief] I take a deep breath.
And then I go online and see this reference to fire, and once again a reminder to pause:
When your emotional world is on fire and you are burning for resolution… pause, touch the earth, and slow way, way down. Set aside the demand for relief, for just a moment, and cut into the hardwired sense of urgency. Something is emerging out of the unseen, dark rich soil of the body, longing to come back into the vastness. See clearly whether it must be shifted, transformed, or healed… for now.
Depending on the unique configuration of your early history – and the specific nature of the relational field around you – you learned to care for yourself by employing one of two strategies. In the face of surging vulnerabilities, you learned to deny, repress, or shut down – or, to react quickly to resolve the burning, scrambling and spinning out toward the world and toward others to regulate the intensity for you.
While it may be tempting to pathologize these early strategies, seen with eyes wide open, they are revealed to have been intelligent, creative, and necessary at the time, to prevent overwhelm and disintegration in the tender brain and raw nervous system of a sensitive little one, who was utterly dependent on the holding field of others.
But here you are now. It is 10, 20, 30, 40 years later – and the same feelings, emotions, and sensations are erupting. The neural pathways of repression and relief are alive and well. The fragrances of fight/ flight/ freeze are inviting you into the old grooves of denial and acting out. The long-lost pieces and the orphaned vulnerabilities are still looking for you, yearning to be allowed back home into spacious being.
And you are here. Now. With capacities you once did not have. With awareness, with compassion, and with loving presence, you can rewire the pattern of self-abandonment with the radical groove of presence, of self-care, and of kindness. You no longer need to abandon yourself with the ancient strategies of repression and relief, but to update your holy nervous system with the commitment to staying close, to practicing intimacy, and to the sacred process of metabolization by love.
But please remember that this new groove is of the unknown, it is unprecedented, and will take practice to implement. It is the neural channel of love, emerging out of the unseen to reorganize the entire known world.
No matter what is surging now in the inner and outer landscape – no matter how invalid or unworkable your present experience appears to be – you are in the perfect place to begin. You can just start right here and right now. And ignite a revolution.
~ Matt Licata
There is so much more I could write about my internal state and external world over the past few days and how it related to these dreams and these messages, but it doesn't matter. The point here is about pausing. About not feeling the frenzy that can be brought on by the fire of transformation. About being present and still enough to hear what is a true call to action rather than a fear-induced attempt to deny, change, or otherwise control things.
So, my dear reader, what can you take away with you from this? Do you need to pause too? Do you need to slow down? Touch the ground? Be quiet and still enough to listen to your Heart? Patient enough to allow the natural evolution and unfolding of whatever process you are in? Trust and faith that you'll be ok, that you are safe?
And as always, I welcome your comments and questions below or via email.....
© 2015 Rebecca Clio Gould. All rights reserved.
A few days ago, I saw Jesus. Not in the clouds. Not in a water stain. Not in a piece of burnt toast. Not in a dream. Not as some crazy guy walking down the street. I just saw him come to me during meditation. I saw him within my mind's eye. I felt his presence. And this wasn't the first time.
In fact, the first time I ever asked for help while meditating, it was Jesus who came. This surprised me, since I'd never really been down with Jesus-- until then. In that moment, I let go of all my conditioning and judgments, all my preconceived notions and ignorance. Christianity and churches had always made me feel uncomfortable, and I had hardened myself to that, and so also to Jesus.
I remember crying a little that day, a few years ago, as I softened in his presence, so grateful for his assistance during that meditation despite my cold shoulder over the years. At the same moment I wanted to apologize, I knew there was no need to. Shhhhhh. It's ok.... All was forgiven.
I opened up to what I knew deep down now Jesus was really all about-- not Christianity, not organized religion. But Love. Peace. Harmony. Oneness. Divinity. Ascension.....
So, yes, I saw Jesus the other day, and I wasn't the only one. I was at a 4-day Sheng Zhen workshop with Master Li Junfeng, and one of the main forms we were focusing on was Heart Mind as One; these standing movements and poetic contemplations had come through as messages from Jesus. Several forms within Sheng Zhen were gifted by various avatars, such as Jesus, Kuan Yin, and Hanuman to name a few. But this has nothing to do with religion. You can be any religion or no religion to practice Sheng Zhen.
During group meditation at these workshops with Master Li, the qi is so strong. The energy of Love is so strong. It's not uncommon for at least some of us to see, feel, or hear one or more of these avatars visiting us. But it probably sounds strange to others. It's not something I usually talk about, at least not when it comes to Jesus.
Why is that? I've had no hesitation to share about my experiences with Kali, other than that sometimes it's just hard to put into words. But the thought of saying, "I saw Jesus" or "Jesus told me...." still felt uncomfortable. Until now. Well, maybe there's a little teeny tiny ounce of hesitation. But it won't win out here.
I'm not crazy. I'm not religious. I'm just a highly spiritual person who is also deeply grounded, sharing my experiences. And the more I open up as a clear channel, the more I meditate, the more I burn through blockages and restrictions, the deeper I go, the higher I fly, and the easier it becomes to share these things with others. And to see what further insights and questions arise through this process of writing it out and sharing with others. So on that note, I'm curious:
Is there someone or something about which you have strong, negative opinions? Someone or something you hate? Someone or something to which you have a strong aversion? Someone or something to which you've closed off your Heart?
Sometimes there's a very good reason if your answer is yes. We don't have to like everyone or everything, that's for sure; I certainly don't. But are your facts straight? Is the contraction misguided or based on a misunderstanding? Is it based on fear? Fear of the unknown or fear of getting hurt?
And what are your thoughts about this situation? What do you say about it? Your thoughts and words have power. Are your thoughts and words about others, or yourself, a form of hatred? A form of violence?
Perhaps it's time to identify what judgments, assumptions, and/or stories are creating negativity and contraction in your life. In some cases, you just might find you can soften and open and even connect to the pure energy of Love, even if there remains a dislike. Even if there remains a need for physical distance in order to maintain healthy boundaries and to honor your preferences and intuition.
In Sheng Zhen we talk about using Love to dissolve hatred and separation. This is very important. Not only to your well-being, but to the well-being of all and to the planet.
If you need help tapping into this energy of Love, if you yearn to live a loving life with an open Heart, a life where you feel more peace and learn to "become rooted in the bliss at the core," Sheng Zhen Gong can help. If you'd like to learn, just ask.
And I'll leave you with that. For now....
Please comment below or email me at email@example.com.
© 2015 Rebecca Clio Gould. All rights reserved.
When you're ready, it's easy. When you're ready, there's no question. No making up judgments, assumptions, or stories as to why not to.... It just feels right.
Although this could apply to so many things in life, these are the words I heard in my head a couple of nights ago while voraciously reading Tantra: The Path of Ecstasy.
I'd purchased this book by Georg Feuerstein on a whim a few months ago. I was at Half Priced Books, and it caught my attention. I knew I'd only really been skimming the surface over the past couple of years-- sure I'd been diving deep with my Sexual Awakening for Women studies (and teachings) and some other workshops and readings here and there-- but what about the foundation and origins of Tantra? I'd pretty much skipped right over that.
I knew there was much more to Tantra, and it was time for me learn what exactly that "more" was.
And yet it wasn't. It wasn't time for me. Each time I picked up this book, I could never get into it. I'd read a page or two or three or four here or there. But it didn't grab me. It felt too dense or technical or dry or something. Something that made it feel difficult to read. I even started thinking I didn't like the author, didn't like his writing style.
But now? Now I know I just wasn't ready. It just wasn't time. Almost. But not quite.
Now I am loving this book. I feel that it's so easy to read. So fascinating. So digestible. So right for me right now.
And this brings me back to timing and readiness. Imagine if I had tried to force myself to read this sooner and when it wasn't feeling right. I probably wouldn't have gotten nearly as much out of it. Would've gone in one eye and out the other. And it certainly wouldn't have been as enjoyable. It would have felt more like some sort of obligation or something I should do because blah blah blah.
But instead, I didn't force it. I remained open to the possibility that at some point in time I'd read this book. But I wasn't attached to the when or even to it happening at all. And then? One day it finally happened. Right timing. Resonance. Ease. Flow.
It feels so delightful now, and all because I had let go. I had let go and remained open. And when I was ready, it all worked out.
I want to remember this. I want to remember this anytime, in any situation, where impatience or force or pressure, where trying to micromanage or control an outcome or timing, are wreaking havoc-- and they always do. I want to remember this.
And now some questions for you:
What in your life do you feel you might be trying to force?
Are you willing to just let go?
Ooooh, and this makes me think of a related topic-- the topic of getting over the resistance to getting into a daily practice. This has come up with friends, clients, and students a lot lately. What's the difference between discipline and force? Perhaps it's that feeling of devotion I wrote about the other day? Perhaps it's a question of alignment? Please feel free to comment below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to see your thoughts.
© 2015 Rebecca Clio Gould. All rights reserved.
My eyes are heavy and starting to close. Perhaps I'll let them, as I continue to type. Perhaps that's the best way to get this written. This is my third attempt today....
This is my third attempt to share more about yesterday's quadruple dose of meditation. This is my attempt to tell you how the day progressed. How I progressed. How I was struck with divine inspiration. Filled with an easy air of devotion that fueled me, propelled me into an 11pm yin yoga practice followed by my 2nd round of an SRF guided meditation on Peace, before drifting off to sleep. And the insights that came to me throughout the night and in the morning....
But sometimes it's hard to put into words. Or the moment passes. The moments pass. They're gone. Does it even matter any more? Does sharing it here, or elsewhere, do any good? Does it help anyone? Does it help me? Does it drive it in? Make it more real?
Yes. No. Maybe so.
Maybe I'll just have to break it down like this, provide a little structure for what feels so formless:
1. I woke up, rolled out of bed, opened up my iPad, clicked "play" on the SRF Peace meditation. I'd done this the previous morning too. What was different this time? It was easier to focus my gaze upward to my third eye, but couldn't consistently hold it there. And I kept seeing an image of Yogananda, a black and white image, and I don't remember seeing it in a book, in a movie, or online. He was sitting on some steps outside, his hair about shoulder length or maybe a little longer. Seeing him helped me focus, helped me relax.
2. I taught a Union of Three Hearts meditation class a couple hours later. And when I asked the students if they had any intentions for this meditation, they all said Peace. I smiled and then weaved the theme of peace in and out throughout the Sheng Zhen meditation, inspired and guided by my earlier morning practice.
And then? Then I spent the next several hours not feeling at peace. I spent the next several hours in some sort of time warp in which nothing was accomplished. And that's not even true. I did do some things other than stare into space. But the feeling I had was that it wasn't enough, that I should be doing more, that if I'm not going to do something "productive" such as working on my book or my business, then the least I can do is meditate, practice Sheng Zhen, or take it to the yoga mat. What is this resistance to doing? What is this attachment to doing? Is it my ego getting upset with me over this non-doing? Or is it my soul?
3. A bath and a long talk with a good friend helped me release these and other annoying thoughts in my head, including thoughts about isolation and loneliness on this path that I'm on, as well as questions about if I am spreading myself too thin with the various practices and studies calling to me now.... And then a few students showed up for a 7pm Union of Three Hearts meditation at my house.
The previous week, there had been a request for the room to be darker, so we tried that. And I don't know if it was the darkness, or the state I was already in, but I dropped deeper into my own meditation than normal while teaching. Usually when I teach, I enter into the Sheng Zhen state, a meditative state, but rarely this deeply. I kept my eyes closed for more of the time than usual, only opening them to check the time a few times instead of also to periodically scan the room and see what's happening for my students; this time I just felt into the field. I could see without looking. And truth is, I could always see without looking, but I didn't always trust it, and so I would look too... But now I know. Now I trust....
As for my own meditation experience while teaching, I felt the qi building up strong in my dantian. I felt the qi traveling up and down in the zhong mai between the dantian and niwuan. And then when the qi remained in the niwuan, this is where I went in the deepest.
I saw the cosmos within my head, within my consciousness. It didn't feel like the qi had expanded out and beyond and like I'd traveled out or merged with some cosmos "out there." No. This was inside of me. This felt contained and yet vast. And instead of pulling myself out of there, as I sometimes do when teaching, I simply relaxed into it, opened my mouth, and said, Allow yourself to get lost... in the blackness,... in this pure consciousness, or something like that.
It was awesome. I felt at peace again. I felt grounded. I felt relaxed but also energized.
4. But not too long after my students left, I went back to contemplating whether or not I have "too many" practices (and from different schools of thought). I read something online that made this less of an issue, something that helped me get out of my head and back into my deep knowing. Rather than quote it here, this is my own translation and elaboration:
If you are in alignment with the practices to which you've committed, if you know they bring you closer to God (Source, Spirit, whatever you want to call it) and in doing so bring you Peace and Joy, then you will gladly wake up earlier to do them; you will easily, and with pleasure, find the time for them in your day rather than feeling overwhelmed, over-committed, or too lazy or tired for practices and related studies.
And instead of just being words of some sort of abstract concept or "should," this time it was like a wake up call. Literally. I'd been fighting off sleepiness most of the evening. And although I felt awake right after Union of Three Hearts, I had come back down and was contemplating sleep instead of a late night yoga practice and another round of meditation.
But suddenly I had a burst of energy and a feeling of needing to sit and meditate again. Not "needing" in a way of "shoulding" on myself, but needing to because I felt a strong love for this practice and a deep knowing that meditating right before bed would be good for me. So I started cleaning my room to prepare the temple, so to speak. And as I cleaned my room, I noticed my body crying out, yearning for me to spend some time on the mat. I'd skipped yoga the previous day. And the day before that, I had cut my practice ridiculously short. So although it was nearly 11pm, and I am NOT a night owl, I found myself back out in my living room for a Yin Yoga practice.
I felt truly and joyfully devoted. I felt fueled by this pure love and devotion. And it felt amazing. So easy to drop into the poses and rest into it so late at night. And knowing that next I would get to sit and meditate? Yes, please.
5. So back to the SRF Peace meditation....
This time, this third time, was even easier. And several times when I brought my attention back to my 3rd eye if my attention had wandered, especially if not picturing it as a blue circle with a star in it (the image described on SRF's site), but instead just seeing more of an actual eye there, I felt little jolts of energy pass through my spine.
I also saw that same image of Yogananda from the morning, but this time in sepia instead of black and white. An image of an old Chinese sage came in a few times too. And then I was surrounded; in my room I felt the presence of deities and avatars from all these various traditions. I was not alone. This was especially significant in that earlier in the day, I'd been noticing a lot of feelings and thoughts regarding loneliness, and specifically the words I'd heard from others so many times regarding spiritual path: "It's a lonely path."
Part of me wants to say Bullshit. You are never alone. And the more you meditate and feel this sense of connection to the divine and a sense of Oneness with all, the less lonely you will feel. But.... There's a "but" here that is too much of a tangent to get into right now. So perhaps I'll return to this topic another time....
For now, I just want to wrap up this longer-than-usual blog post by saying that I woke up a couple of times in the night with some deep insights that weren't just thought in my head, but felt in my body. Deeper understandings about being part of the cosmos and about "not being your body." This statement "you are not your body" has actually often bothered me a lot over the years, but last night it didn't. Last night I got it on a different level. And getting that resulted in some insights about desire. Attachment. Suffering. Peace. All that good stuff.
I want to write more about this "not your body" thing and what followed from there. But I make no promises. We'll just wait and see if inspiration comes for a follow-up post....
In the meantime, I encourage you to check out those SRF guided meditations. There are also some great meditations specifically for sleep over on the Nestmaven site. And if you want a personalized guided meditation, I'm here for you.
© 2015 Rebecca Clio Gould. All rights reserved.
Rebecca Clio Gould is a Certified Sheng Zhen Teacher and Holistic Wellness Coach. Her specialties include self-love, embodied joy, women's sexuality, spirituality, surgery preparation, and trauma recovery. She is also a Supreme Science Qigong Instructor, Essence vs Form Coach, and Award-winning Author of "The Multi-Orgasmic Diet: Embrace Your Sexual Energy and Awaken Your Senses for a Healthier, Happier, Sexier You."