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When I connect with my inner child, seeking to heal and grow, I sometimes wonder, who is really doing the healing? Am I saving my inner child or is he saving me? Have the skills, resilience and experience that I have gained as an adult, come at the cost of childhood’s long lost qualities?
Qualities like Spontaneity, courage, wonder, trust and curiosity. The thirst to learn and experience new things. A purity of spirit, sensing life as an enchanted and magical experience. These all still existwithin the deepest part of my being, my uninhibited and unrepressed self. In connecting to my inner child, I am looking not just to reassure and reconnect with what may be a lot of fear and repressed emotions but also, to reconnect with the wonderful simplicity of being a child and bringing that essence into my adult life.
I was never a ‘difficult’ child. I was not a troublemaker, but I was a rebel. I questioned authority and power, even when, with great resistance, I would comply with demands and instructions.
I would do as I was told, eventually, but often my inner disagreement remained. In school, I was excellent at subjects I enjoyed, but crap at those that I found too demanding or simply boring. I would confront teachers and staff without hesitation if I felt that I was being called out for irrelevant or pedantic issues like school uniform or losing interest in their mind-numbingly boring classes.
Perhaps, being raised by very alternative thinking parents, instilled in me a sense that the whole education thing was about conditioning me to become a pawn in society’s game and was something to be wary of, something to push back against, to preserve my natural dignity as a perfect being. I don’t know.
What I do know is that it did not win me many friends. In fact, I suffered chronic bullying all through my school career, due to my being an unusual type of person, with a different take on life, living in a fairly provincial, small minded environment.
I have always loved my rebellious nature. It feels intrinsic to me, something that I brought with me into the world. I did not learn it or cultivate it. It is a part of what I am. Honestly, I have always had this feeling that I am somehow meant for greatness. Destined for something meaningful and important. For better or worse it has had me on occasion, act with an entitlement and audacity that can leave those around me a bit shocked. I’m not saying that I am special, but somehow I act as if I am. I admit it, I fancy myself big time and yes, I have come down crashing on many occasions. I have to really work at accepting criticism and often fail, especially if I feel judged as well. But at the source of that is a strong energy. A force of wisdom and understanding within me, my inner child is not going to take any nonsense and I love him so much for that because, often he did have to take it and just put up with being abused, accused and targeted.
Born of this innate quality, there has arisen in me a realisation; an understanding that has changed my inner state, more than any practice, epiphany or insight ever has. It takes the form of an intention. A statement. I have decided that I am through with feeling scared about life. Yes, I learned to feel fear as a child but I also learned to find courage in the challenges of youth.
As a ten year old, I remember the first time I jumped from the highest diving board at my local swimming pool. I recall having to mentally force one foot in front of the other as I slowly approached the edgeof the board, looking down at the water and just freezing with fear. It was so much higher from up there. My heart thumping, feeling totally petrified. One half of me frantically trying to find a way to back out without looking a coward in front of my friends, the other half knowing that this challenge was actually doable and that I would survive.
I had to do it. But how could I gather the courage? In the end it came down to a moment – a single moment of commitment. I had to push myself to go beyond the point of no return and just trust. With my toes touching the edge and looking down at the distant water, I knew that all I needed was to feel strong enough and brave enough for just one second in time. One instant to change everything!
Forcing myself forward, fighting against my survival reflex, I jumped. Dropping… gasping in as I pinched my nose shut.
I slammed in to the water, a chaotic bomb of bubbles and noise. I sank all the way to the bottom, pushed off and headed back up. The moment I surfaced, fear was replaced with an elation and empowerment that only comes with a major victory against a perceived limitation. Almost like a birth – a new part of me. A released capacity, a new self-appreciation. The realisation that I can do this thing and from now on, I will always be able to do this thing!
That memory and many others from my childhood and teenage years have helped me to understand more about how fear moves in my life today. How it affects the choices I make and the consequences of those decisions. It has become such an essential tool for breaking out of my comfort zone.
So I cultivate and encourage this two-way relationship within me. As much as I seek to heal that young boy, I also seek his council, his courage and together we push through our barriers. It is not a denial of fear or a delusion that I have no fear but more of a joyful rebellion. It’s a bit like calling the bluff on the automatic fear response. When it comes, I immediately connect with the boy. I reassure him that all is well. I talk to him with tenderness and love, never criticising, never judging, just loving and accepting. Then my inner child gets his face on. He steps up and says, “Is that all you’ve got? Bring it on!”
His courage and audacity empowers me to take the next jump.
Now, in the work I do in The Trinity Process, using the extraordinary tools that Osho created, I find the greatest joy and fulfilment in helping others to build this special relationship, to both heal and be healed by the child within.
From Seriousness To Sincerity!
JoinThe Laughing Rebellion!
Do we have to be angry to have strong feelings?
Do we have to be upset to show that we care about the madness of the world?
And do we have to inhibit our humour and joy, to show that something is really important to us?
This tension, this apparent contradiction in our lives, when we feel the pain of those suffering, both around us and in distant lands, and yet we know, that to dive into that space, makes us feel dark and contracted, heavy and negative. We feel guilt and shame and frustration. So we look away, we scroll down or we switch off and get on with our lives. But inside, we still care, we still ache.
It is only human to feel empathy, to go into an experience of another’s pain, in order to know it and be there for them. It is a loving act but, it also feels like it spreads the pain out. It expands the very suffering that we anguish over.
This vicious cycle can be so overwhelming, that many of us choose to avoid or ignore the reality of life as it is for us as a global village, as a species, sharing our beautiful little blue ball hanging in infinite space. Its just too much to let it all in. The corruption, the cruelty and torture, the suffering and the despair of our fellow humans and creatures of this paradise.
We struggle to even work out how we got to this point, let alone where we go from here.
What we do know is that we are in a serious situation.
But are we served by making that state of affairs our state of being? Is our seriousness actually empowering us? Or does it send us into a state of collapse, of defeat, of resignation?
How can we not cry tears of sorrow? How can we not hang our heads in despair?
When we face our greatest fears, the loss of our life or the lives of our loved ones, the loss of our liberty or maybe even worse, the loss of our very hope, then what are our choices? Where is our power?
What happens if in that moment, we decide to let go of seriousness and yet, remain deeply sincere in our truth? What if we can stare fear in the face….and begin to laugh, really laugh, to know that at our deepest core we see the truth and choose to remain free?
Laughter is so often seen as a lack of capacity to understand the gravity of a situation.
Its frivolous, its selfish, its a sign that you’re not getting it!
But when we really try to understand laughter, when we get real about what laughter and a sense of humour actually is, then we begin to see that it is, in its purest form, the greatest expression of understanding that we have. Laughter is our bodies reaction to a moment of ultimate clarity, it is how we express the recognition of truth itself. It is what makes satire both deeply funny and deeply moving all at once.
This is because laughter is Intelligence! It is the ultimate expression of rebellion!
A rebellion against guilt, against shame and self doubt. A rebellion against fear itself.
A rebellious person is a dangerous person. Dangerous to the system, to the status quo. They will not be easily controlled and they will not be easily silenced.
Un-hindered by the fear of condemnation and judgement, the rebel is not playing by the book. Not keeping to the script. A rebel will laugh in the face of their own fear, even their own demise. But an intelligent and awakened rebellious and joyful person is always, always sincere! They are led and guided by a bigger picture, a bigger perspective. and that creates an immense freedom. The laughing rebel lives a liberated life. They live an authentic life and a life of courage and truth. Laughter relaxes us, it unites us, it connects us and it heals us.
That is why we must move from seriousness to sincerity. From emotional enslavement to personal power, where we can care, more than ever before!
We can desire and fight for justice, equanimity, and dignity for us all and we can stand strong against the headwind of corruption, against the mass insanity and indoctrination, that would have us on our knees in a state of futility, worn out by the sheer size of the challenge.
The dark forces of this world want us to take it all very seriously.
When we are serious, we are open to their message of hate and division. Open to the script of tribalism, nationalism, religious separation and isolation. When we are serious, we are open to dis-ease and disinformation. We can be controlled, because seriousness is fear. It is blind faith and blind action. The serious and scared are easy to control. They are easy to manipulate and indoctrinate.
So if we want to be a part of creating a new world, a new way of living, then we have to renounce seriousness and embrace the power of humour and laughter as a force of vision, of perspective and as an expression of our true authentic being.
Laughter is the expression of this powerful state. It is the manifestation of our deepest truth. That is what the sages and great mystics of history have always taught. Laugh in the face of fear, celebrate, dance and sing in gratitude, because that generates power and conviction in ourselves, it engenders individual thought and values and right now, more than sorrow, more than sympathetic sadness, this world needs sincere, laughing, courageous rebels!
Ha ha! Ha ha haaaaaa!!!
Most would claim that Meditation, (commonly imagined as sitting silently, becoming aware of the present moment or of ones breath), brings about a greater sense of calmness, clarity, serenity, and contentment. A break from the incessant chatter of the unstoppable inner voice clanging around in our heads. This of course is absolutely true. And then, there are all the benefits to our health, like reduced blood pressure, stress release, increased oxygen levels… it’s a long list, and all of it good stuff.
But what happens when we leave the cushion? When we roll up our mat? When the commentary in our heads starts running again? We are back in our thoughts, anxieties, and judgments. How quickly we lose our serenity and sense of ‘one-ness’. How easily we return to business as usual. Here is where we could be missing the greatest benefit that Meditation actually has to offer.
Let’s use the analogy of going to the gym or doing yoga, martial arts, or whatever physical pursuit scratches our itch. We do our workout, our practice or exercise. During and just afterwards, we often feel a nice warm rush in our bodies. Our bloodstream is flooded with yummy dopamine and we’re glowing and maybe even a bit high. Great feeling, but we know that it is not this immediate ‘hit’ that motivates us to keep going. What really gets us to commit to our practice is an understanding that over time, we are building and training our muscles to feel stronger, our heart and lungs to be more effective, increasing our physical ability and developing our body to work at its optimum. Making it as capable as possible of handling what modern life throws at it. We know we will be more able to deal with unexpected physical stress and strains, we’ll have less aches and pains.
We can dance all night, and do…other things.. all night. We feel less fatigue, more awake, sharper and fitter. In short, we become healthier and have a better quality of life.
Applying this understanding to Meditation is what will give us the secret superpower that is almost always overlooked.
When we meditate on a daily or very regular basis, we are in fact strengthening our ‘presence muscle’. That is to say, we are building our capacity to become present and aware when we really need it most – not on the mat or cushion, but when our sore points, our vulnerable places, are triggered in our ‘normal’ day to day activities.
When all is smooth and wonderful in life, we are mostly content, happy and connected. But when the shit hits the fan, when we are triggered, by our parents, our partners, our children, friends or work colleagues, it is in these moments of ‘reaction’ that we ‘lose consciousness’.
This moment is where we snap. It’s where we defend, rationalise, attack, manipulate and either act ‘out’ in aggression, or act ‘in’ through passive anger, punishment or just total shut down. This is when we actually feel the sting of abandonment, resentment, envy and fear in real-time and space. This is where we damage ourselves and others.
Meditation’s greatest gift, is that it can train us to expand that moment. It allows us to stretch that nano-second of time, just as we are triggered, offering to us an extra split second of hard-won presence and awareness. A capacity built over time, as we cultivate our ability to witness our thoughts and emotions from a higher perspective.
This little gap, this fleeting blink of an eye, is where the practice of Meditation manifests its most profound benefit.
In that extra interval lies the greatest power available to us. The capacity to choose how we will deal with the rush of pain, fear or anger welling up inside. It gives us the capacity to slow down time, take a breath and allow the emotional charge to subside, so that we can make a conscious decision about how we want to respond. This shift enables us to move from automatic conflict, towards resolution. From judgement to compassion. From anger to forgiveness. From fear to love.
It should though be understood, that this fundamental ability, this knack, is by no means easy, nor is it always welcomed by those around us. When we develop this capacity, we become uniquely empowered, as we step out of ‘character’ and no longer follow the scripts that have been playing out in the theatre of our lives. Others who are used to being able to trigger and control us, are suddenly left having to deal with their own thoughts and feelings, because we are no longer playing along and feeding the fire. We have learned to take each moment, each criticism, each comment that once had us lashing out in desperation and rage, and see it for what it really is…someone else’s inner world, their reality, not ours. We no longer take it personally.
This does not mean that we are no longer capable of hearing a valid criticism or are unable to receive feedback about where we can change, learn and grow.
We can in fact, remain more receptive, more discerning and better placed to make a healthy judgement as to whether we take on, or dismiss what comes our way from others.
With less fire and smoke comes clearer vision and understanding.
In the coolness of presence, we respond from our deepest, true nature.
This is real inner power.
This is ‘spiritual fitness’.
This is the secret superpower of Meditation!
Ive been just a little frustrated by the somewhat passive approach of the anti-bombing Syria movement at the moment.
It’s as though we are all responding to David Cameron’s seven-point plan with either acceptance or rejection, without much detail of what we should be doing instead.
There are a few vague references to the Vienna negotiations around Syria’s future and some doubt about ground forces that will confront Isis.
I do not understand why the main opposition has not formulated and laid out a very clear alternative to air strikes both in Syria and Iraq for that matter.
What I am interested in is a new plan, a new narrative, clearly laid out by the those that seek an alternative to fighting fire with fire.
Cameron’s plan is at best incoherent and at worst, a blatant admission that he is not a leader but instead, is bound by those who put him in power to ensure that their interests are met at the expense of any common sense. The industrial military complex on both sides of the Atlantic are setting the agenda, closely followed by big oil and finance. This is why and how wars are generated, financed and exploited. We know this. The last 20 years has seen the opposite of everything our leaders have told us would come from aggression in foreign lands. They claimed we were in danger when we were not and that we would be in less danger if we intervened, which also we are not. Instead, we have destabilised, radicalised and exploited these regions to such an extent, that we are now in more danger than we were before 9/11. Why does David Cameron think that the British people don’t get this? The truth is, he knows bombing in Syria or Iraq or anywhere will do nothing to make us safe and tragically, that is what this government actually wants. Our insecurity is exactly what they are seeking. I insert here a quote that illustrates this political strategy.
“Naturally, the common people don’t want war, neither in Russia nor England nor in America nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.”
-Hermann Göering- (during the Nuremberg Trials)
Through this paradigm it becomes patently obvious that this government, like Russia and the US are set on using the middle east as a landscape for real life war games and the local population as the guinea pigs for their weapons. With such huge military industry at work, how can these massive super powers keep the economic wheels turning if they are not despatching these weapons somewhere? Without war, what will fund the endless building of more weapons, jets, missiles and drones? As the metal band Megadeth’s 80’s album cover so clearly puts it, ‘Peace sells but who’s buying?’. We know that no matter how accurate a bomb or missile can be, ordinary, vulnerable people get slaughtered. Fathers and mothers lose children. Children lose their parents, brothers lose sisters. Real lives, real people- destroyed. To keep us ‘safe’? The claim that our missiles are so accurate that they can get through a window may be true but what if its the wrong bloody window? To say that our added weaponry will ‘save lives’ is so appalling and dishonest – it is simply outrageous!
So, as it seems that most of our MPs have been dragged like mindless sheep to another slaughter, I put forward here, (based on my best but limited understanding of the current and historical situation), MY seven point plan to make our streets and the Middle East a safer and more peaceful place.
Point One: All western nations including the US, the UK, and France should immediately accept the legitimacy of the Assad Government.
Reason a: Although Assad is a butcher and total sociopath, he is the current leader of a sovereign nation and is secular in his beliefs. No country has the legal right to remove him from power regardless of his crimes. This would also bring a ceasefire closer as Western governments end their support of disparate groups fighting the Syrian army.
Reason b: If the argument of brutal regime change is to have any credibility, then we would also have to remove the Saudi Royal family, along with the leaders of Kuwait, and several other Gulf states, and then of course, North Korea, Brunei, Egypt, Israel, Iran etc etc. This argument against Assad is utterly hypocritical.
Reason c: Once Assad sees that he would be recognised by the international community, he would be far more likely to respond to calls for more democracy and more benign governance. This is what is happening in Burma and Iran and it can happen in Syria too. Humiliating sociopaths only serves to make them even more sociopathic. Lose/lose.
Point Two: Immediately establish the Turkish and Saudi governments’ role in aiding and abetting ISIS through weapons/drugs supply, loose borders and the purchase of oil from ISIS-held territory.
Reason a: If found guilty of these acts, then Turkey’s application for EU membership should be cancelled and a full review of NATO membership undertaken.
Reason b: Saudi Arabia, if found to be supporting and promoting ISIS ideology, should have all economic and diplomatic ties cut by all western nations, regardless of their financial interests in the EU and the US, which should all be frozen.
Reason c: If they are found to be complicit in helping ISIS then the blood of all their victims in the region and Europe is on Saudi hands. They are the enemy.
Reason d: If they do support ISIS (and much evidence suggests they do), then by selling arms to them we are turning those weapons on our own pilots and civilians.
Point Three: End bombing of any civilian areas and focus air attacks solely on oil convoys, refineries and supply-routes to and from ISIS-held territory.
Reason a: This action would truly minimise civilian casualties as these targets are isolated, out in the open and slow-moving. Warnings can be given prior to destroying vehicles, armoured columns, installations and supply convoys, allowing conscripted drivers, workers and soldiers to escape safely. This is the only way that bombing is useful and anything close to ethical.
Reason b: Armies march on their stomachs and in the case of ‘salaried Jihadis’, their payments and supplies of free cocaine. Cut off these supplies and soon loyalties will dissolve. Even extremists get hungry and will break ranks if supplies dry up.
Point Four: Instigate a massive UN-coordinated plan of humanitarian aid and support for all displaced civilians in the region.
Reason a: Our priority must be to address the human suffering of innocent civilians that is occurring on a biblical scale across the region. Saudi and the Gulf states are doing absolutely nothing to mitigate the situation and have cynically offered to ‘build mosques’ for the immigrants pouring in to Europe. Really? Thats it?
Reason b: This action would enrage and exasperate ISIS, as the very last thing they want, is for muslims to start believing that Western nations are there to help and care for them. That would cripple their local recruiting strategy at its root.
Point Five: Stop all weapons sales to the entire region. Especially to Saudi, the Gulf states and Israel.
Reason a: Weapons are traded to these despotic regimes under the pretext of ‘defence’ but they are being used as offensive weapons on civilians in local conflicts like Yemen and the occupied territories. It is nothing short of scandalous that we and the US are supplying arms and ammunition to these warring, oppressive leaders.
Reason b: De-militarising the region can only reduce suffering and loss of life.
Point Six: End all financial and military support for Israel until it’s government complies with all UN resolutions and requirements, including a sincere attempt to negotiate a two state solution for Palestine.
Reason a: The end of unconditional support for Israel would be a huge body blow to ISIS and all extremist groups in the region who use the Israeli / Palestinian conflict as an example of the unfair plight of Arab Muslims.
Reason b: This action would dilute attempts to radicalise young muslims across Europe and the Western world and render useless, one of the great levers of indoctrination by hate preachers in mosques around the world.
Point Seven: Instigate a massive regeneration programme of islamic communities to recognise, enrich and upgrade the lives of muslims in cities across the European Union and elsewhere, including the promotion of multi faith co-operation and unity to dilute racism and islamophobia.
Reason a: This move would again infuriate ISIS and severely undermine its ability to radicalise and groom muslim youth to carry out acts of barbarity against their fellow countrymen.
Reason b: A united and just approach to the muslim populations would give the young people in those communities hope and a sense of being valued. The absence of this hope is the foundation of the ISIS recruitment campaign.
And finally one last addition. Following any further atrocities carried out around the world in the name of martyrdom or Jihad, there should be a total media blackout on names and histories of the perpetrators. Absolutely no analysis or background reports. Yes, report on the details of the events but at no point should their pictures or names or nationalities/religion be made public. The current media frenzy to publish these personal details is a huge motivator toward martyrdom for would be gunmen or suicide attackers, knowing that they will be given the attention and ‘respect’ of notoriety they so desperately crave. But to die with no one ever knowing who you were, or what you represented, is somewhat less romantic than imagining yourself across the front pages of the world’s press, hailed by fellow Jihadis. No brainer right? But governments haven’t thought of that one or have they? Perhaps putting faces to the crimes is all part of building our fear, driving a wedge between us and gaining more control.
So, the basic approach is to starve the fire of ISIS and all other extremist groups by cutting off the oxygen. Cut the supply, the funding, the communication, the motives for those to join and the weapons with which to fight.
ISIS can sell oil but cannot grow its own
food or build its own weapons. Because of this, they are dependent on the super powers to keep throwing arms and ammunition into the arena and for supplies to be trucked in. Once that is clearly ended then ISIS would simply dissolve as a force. They will never be defeated as a mass army but they don’t have to be. The fighters would simply melt away into the population or return to their lives and countries. ISIS would no longer be able to be the provider of basic social needs and would lose power.
This to me, is a far more effective way of protecting our own populations and reducing the whole threat of terror around the world.
This seven point plan was not difficult to work out. What is very puzzling is this government’s inability to see this very obvious reality. I fear that they actually do but worryingly, have another agenda that requires this mad dash to join in a global conflict and increase the chaos, the suffering and the danger to us all.