So Much More Than "Just" A Story!

Yes, there are narrative elements to our sense of self, but in a real dimension of reality. Narrativity is simply part of the nature of what being a person is, and saying  just a story is used as a means of belittling, trivializing it, and of course having a negative attitude towards it, more accurately this language is used to de-realize it. Taking on this reductionist connotation to "story," and applying it to the entirety of what oneself and others are, is a powerful way to shift your perception and experience, to suddenly experience ontological dis-reality in a radically jarring way that can have lasting consequences, some positive and others extremely negative. A key to my own unbecoming of “just a story” has been understanding the nature of what is meant by "story," and its synonyms (narrative, language, ideas, concepts, constructs, etc.) in a new way, in which I no longer view any of these as ontologically “false” constructs, but real  ones that exist on the

On Healing the "true"/"false" nature split

       I want to suggest to those who have gone deeply/dissolved into a so-called "prior," transcendent-only immateriality, or "absolute" "pure" Beingness, and taken that as (their) "true nature," with everything else being "false" or less real... that this split leads to a partial experience of reality, while convincing us of an absolute wholeness. That it keeps us from a beholding  all  of what that primal Beingness is, now . And I want to support people who would like to end this true nature/false nature split inside and outside of them that either/or nonduality inevitably creates. Who no longer want to experience a palpable split between a "true self" (good, correct, or better self) and a "false self" (bad, wrong, or lesser self) that are fundamentally at odds with one another. In my life, I could only do this by healing a hidden fundamentally  dualistic  rift that either/or non-dual perception carved between see

Tim Frekes' Glorious Path to the Both/And!

In this excerpt from Tim Freke, who I'm ever-grateful for because of how he’s helped me evolve beyond radical self-negation and a non-relational and humanity-trivializing either/or non-dual worldview into a profoundly humanistic, both/and view (and experience) in which we don't disappear into oneness, and every individual person is a precious and really real evolving expressions of the entire universe, of the ground of Beings' becoming, whereby we get to be in relationship with what & who we're one with, which is an experience of being what Tim calls, uni viduals. I hope others will be inspired to make a similar journey! "I started off with a spontaneous awakening when I was 12, in the West Country of England, while sitting on this hill, and my sense of it is now is that I was always profoundly struck with how mysterious life is - I still am every day, just this profound sense of how enormous and breathtaking the mystery of existence is -  I grew up feeling ve

Dangerous Side of De-Activating the Default Mode Network

Self-referential thought (and the Default Mode Network activity it's tied to) can be a source of suffering, but it also plays an essential role in empathy, memory, and moral decision-making!      You may have heard people in the spiritual world glorify diminished activity or even deactivation of the the DMN, since it diminishes our self-referential thought, and this is seen as the holy grail in much of nondual spirituality for example where the goal is a permanent loss of self and self referencing. You may not have heard however that research (see below) shows that DMN inactivity also can lead to decreased empathy, memory impairment, capacity for moral decision-making, and is even implicated in conditions like psychopathy.      This highlights the importance of not glorifying the loss of self-referential thought as the holy grail of spiritual attainment, a panacea for freedom from suffering, the most advanced level of evolution, or the pinnacle of human well-being. While there are

The Universe's Past: A Portal to Presence!

One of my favorite spiritual practices now, portals to presence and wonder actually involves tuning into the past! looking back to experience the now more deeply, in the light of Beings' journey of  becoming, (be)coming all the way to THIS nowness and right hereness  😱 the ground of Being has a past, and a quite extraordinarily EPIC one at that! S hining a light on it reveals the splendor of this moment it has become... can bring you to feeling astonished and deeply moved by the present... looking back to the beginning of the universe, feeling into, visualizing what it ONCE WAS, those early days of the ground of Being beginning its' journey of becoming... becoming cells, atoms, molecules, water and earth, chickens and eggs, mountains and lakes, becoming....HUMAN...becoming god, the o ne becoming MANY to see what it has become, what it is right NOW, a dimly lit room, dancing and drumming, strangers drawn together to celebrate the staggering mystery of our coinciding liv

Holding Our Struggle in High Regard

"We can keep our dignity even within our imperfections and failures by having a high regard for our own struggle . When we develop this attitude, we begin to experience other people in an entirely new way. Our life and their lives intersect and touch in the most intimate way. We become more human." - Jason Shulman Having a high regard for our struggle is not self-pity, clinging to victimhood or obsessing over what's wrong. It is something very different. It is self-compassion. And most importantly, it is not abandoning ourselves in our suffering. It is turning towards our pain, whatever it may be made of, and whatever it's source is. Resistance, guilt, shame, agony, depression, you name it. It is practicing not always resorting to turning way, to rising above, to illusorizing, to going stoic with a radical attitude of neutrality and zooming out into an overly detached witnessing so as to look at it, but be unphased. It is no longer resorting to only mechanizing our

The Glorious Both/And Means...

separateness and oneness uni dual not non dual and uni viduality the one and the many the one is the many - a oneness of multiplicity the One as two "Unless the many are seen as holy as the one, then we never arrive at the great secret: that the many and the one are a single thing." the absolute and the relative They do not exist apart from one another they're intertwined like lovers “No relative only, no absolute only. We don’t need those traps. They are not opposed but benefit from each other, the way sound and silence dance, making music.”- Jason Shulman unity and diversity unity  of diversity = diversity without division being and becoming Being is becoming The ground of Being  blooming! the Shadow and the light the light can illuminate , without needing to negate the darkness they have one another joy and sorrow intertwined suffering and freedom not freedom from, freedom to  (be fully human) heartache and love the heart broken  open the personal and the universal