Whaow, this was an amazing talk. I like that ET says that anxiety/fear is a catalyst for spiritual transformation and I can see that I have this opportunity ahead of me. I recall hearing Marijke say that you wish for a panic attack which is radical to my mind. I can also see how the chemistry in the body can be transformed and I like that ET refers to it as alchemy. I love this. I like that he says that everyone has one thing in their life that colours it and I can see that anxiety has been a very big one of mine. I feel excited about this journey into anxiety and into me. I also like that ET talks about meeting anxiety as a spiritual practice and so I get the chance to practice over and over again. I am looking forward to what I might find. I feel excited about panic attacks and I have never ever ever had this thought!
I’m so excited about your excitement 🙂
I also loved this video, and have watched it several times. Each time something different stands out to me.
I find it interesting how he describes that we can keep a feeling of fear from rising up and taking over our thought processes, which seems very different from what Katie asserts, that feelings arise from thoughts. I don’t think that their assertions are actually in conflict, but maybe just focusing on different elements of a fear response (as Tolle speaks of energetic patterns that may be passed down from our parents or others and Katie doesn’t really speak to that kind of thing). In any case, I find it useful in my experience of waking at night with sensations I have called anxiety. Usually I try to identify a thought to take to inquiry, and this can be very helpful when I can manage it. But it also feels very true, what Tolle says about a feeling rising up and taking over our thought processes, for I have felt that is what happens to me at night. I wake and don’t know why, then feel something in me, and then in an instant find that my mind is searching for an explanation for the feeling (and concludes that I’m doing life all wrong in any one of myriad ways).
In those moments it can feel very helpful to stay right with the feeling, rather than trying to pick one of the swirling thoughts. I like that he repeats how unpleasant this approach can be, how difficult it is to shine the light of awareness on a feeling that comes continually. It IS very unpleasant! And also, it cannot harm me.
As I have been practicing meeting myself in the dark moments in the middle of the night this week it has felt more accessible to go into the body and welcome whatever it is, to meet it with the light of awareness, rather than to track down a thought. I am often not quite awake enough to stay in inquiry, and don’t want to sit up to feel completely awake. But from my position curled up under the covers I can go within and meet the feeling, without even needing to know what is causing it. It doesn’t matter if it is a current thought or an ancestral pattern. My job, or my opportunity, is to meet it in the moment as it moves through me.
Indeed, I may look like BK and ET are coming from different point of views and I consider them talking about the same thing. BK said in the quote of our first session: “[…] The thought you’re believing happens so fast that you have no way to track it; you’re aware only of the physical or emotional effects.” I also think that believing a basal, unconscious thought like: “I am aware” can already provoke anxiety. In the end, even “I am” is a thought that can be questioned… 😉
I can relate to what you said Michelle, about feeling excited for the panic to come. I also feel excited now when I think about waking in the night. I look forward to those private practice sessions when I get the chance to meet myself and whatever shows up in me.
I used to dread those wakeful hours and long for the daylight to come when I could just get busy with the activities of the day. Now I find myself looking forward to waking at 4am so I can see what is there in me that wants to be seen. I’m finding that the monster under my bed is my new best friend! 🙂
I love that you have found a new best friend under your bed!!! <3
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