This post is based on a reply I wrote to someone on the community earlier this week.
One feeling people sometimes express in a nondual exploration is a particular experiment or aspect of teaching doesn't "land" or they don't "get". We often hear that in the book groups for The Complete Book of Awakening - from different people for different explorations, at different times.
So, from what we see, here are seven reasons we might not relate to a given exploration or teaching:
- It just doesn't resonate with where we are at, how we explore, or what is relevant to us. There are explorations that don't resonate with me - they were just never on my path. But they might be on someone else's path. This element of teaching or exploration might simply be at the wrong level for this moment. Sometimes, that means pushing the limits - is this exploration a stepping stone to something else that does resonate?
- There's some conditioning or design that makes it harder to get through the mental chatter to engage directly with that exploration. For example whilst, "Put your thoughts to one side," makes sense to a lot of people, for others turns into an insurmountable battle. I don't put thoughts to one side, I work with them. Which might sound strange - but if you are like me, you probably have life strategies you can bring in from other arenas to move forward with the thoughts, rather than without them.
- We've been trained out of noticing or acknowledging our emotions. It's why I built an emotion wheel - a lot of us find it helps to re-train ourselves to recognise emotions and be more emotional. Then we we can explore feelings in a supported way, as oppose to being emotionally reactive. This can often be a good step into engaging more knowingly in direct experience.
- We just need to make up our own questions and experiments. Sometimes insight comes through best when we use the tools of exploration to look at whatever is current for us. I know I've found this suits my learning preferences. I still use good science of building and testing a hypothesis, and I still prioritise direct then raw experience over concept. The nondual teaching is so simple that it's the experimenting that matters most. And those experiments need to be real to us in that moment.
- Sometimes it's variety that helps us. Finding different voices, words, listening rather than reading, watching rather than listening. That's why TCBOA has audio options, and our courses are mixtures of video, audio and text. We all respond differently to different delivery - sometimes positively, sometimes negatively (which is also valuable to recognise).
- On the flip side of variety: repetition. Which is very different from brain washing, mantras or ritual. Repetition of a particular exploration, book, video, workshop will bring different flavours and nuances. For example, with many Rupert Spira videos I listened to, I'd play them 20 or 30 times. Not so I could quote Rupert better, but rather until it made sense in my own language and resonated in my own body.
- And, most often, expectations are blocking experience. We have learnt to expect one particular response, and when we don't get we feel like we've failed. But when we discuss our actual experience, we find something really worthwhile.
What do you expect 'landing' or resonating to feel like, and what are you actually experiencing?
Key thing is, if one exploration or element of teaching doesn't land right now, it's not a problem. It's stepping stone into doing it YOUR way, so that it resonates for you. Which is kinda why we wrote the book in the first place!
With Love, Sara