a journey in the unknown
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What follows are the real details, nuts and bolts of emotional clearing practice or, as we use to call it, “Emotional Release Work".
Part One is for working alone on yourself. It's kind of like “homework support" for solo clearing and very well supports a daily, weekly or other regular practice.
Part Two is for facilitating emotional clearing for others using charge/discharge techniques. Using charge/discharge techniques is necessary before you've learned how to give a first-class “Healing Maha Mudra" (formerly called Bodyhan).
1. There are three ways to begin an emotional clearing session.
a) With dialogue by asking yourself (or a partner) what is present about the intention that you are working on and verbalizing, out loud, the voices, emotions, body sensation and pictures that come present.
b) With Mahamudra by giving permission for anything and everything that inner guidance wants you to express.
c) With the orgasm reflex breath by doing the four movements until sounds or words spontaneously come present to express. The four movements are:
- On the inhale: Arms up, head forward, mouth closed and pelvis back.
- On the exhale: Arms down, head back, mouth open and pelvis forward.
2. Set an intention for the session. Remember that an intention is in the present, not in the future and is open ended rather than closed. Meaning that an intention is not a goal. For example, a goal would be traveling to Rome. An intention would be traveling south.
3. The magic is in the sound. When you connect a sound or a word to a feeling somewhere in the body, it is like a circuit closing and energy can flow. No sound and no words keeps the circuit open and energy can't flow. It is much more difficult but still possible to clear with sounds and words only in your head but the sounds and words must be very clear and precise just as if you were saying them out loud.
4. There are only three basic types of emotion to clear. Fear, sadness and anger.
- When working with fear: Find the part of the body that wants to shiver, shake, tremble or vibrate. Give permission. Let it happen. Connect a sound to it.
- When working with sadness: Scan your body for tense, tight or rigid areas. Relax or soften them. Use words and sounds until you can cry.
- When working with anger: Bring the energy to the hands, feet and voice. Hit with the hands, stamp or kick with the feet and swear, cuss or shout with the voice.
5. Feeling stuck or in pain almost always means you are not giving permission for something that wants to come present. Sometimes feeling stuck can mean you have not set an intention.
6. Intense pain requires softening and relaxing of the body. Use KIS (corpse position) and slow the breathing.
7. Many times it will seem like there are two emotions present: Examples: Feeling angry at your fear or feeling angry at your pain or loving and hating something or someone at the same time. Disgust is primarily fear combined with some make wrong. To clear the two emotions: Give permission to go back and forth between them as fast as you need to. You are actually only clearing one at a time but letting them change back and forth rapidly.
8. Hatred is a passionate “not-want:" You can't clear hatred directly. If you keep expressing the hatred or not-want there will be more and more hatred and not-want! You have to change the not-want into something that you want. Meaning you need an intention to have an intention. The trick is to verbalize some hatred and then set an intention. If the hatred is too strong to set an intention then verbalize a little more hatred and try again to set an intention. Keep going back and forth between verbalizing some hatred and trying to set an intention until you can get a clear, positive intention to work with.
9. Emotions work in pairs: Fear and trust or excitement. Sadness and happiness. Anger and love or appreciation. The difference depends on what interpretation your ego-identity is making about the energy. Emotional energy, just like energy in general, is neutral. Whether you experience fear or trust depends on whether you ego-identity is interpreting danger or safety. Whether you experience sadness or happiness depends on whether you ego-identity is interpreting getting what you want or losing what you want. Whether you experience anger or appreciation depends on whether you ego-identity is interpreting that you like something or dislike something.
10. Check to see if you are blocking the “good stuff." People block love, joy, appreciation, gratitude and happiness just as much as they block the “bad stuff."
11. Feeling “It's too hard" means you are trying to go too fast and you are probably focused in the future. Slow down and get present. Then get present to what is coming present.
12. Feeling “tired" means one of two things. Either you are authentically sleepy or you are resisting what is coming present. Let go of everything and see if you fall asleep. If you don't fall asleep within a few minutes then you are resisting something.
13. If you get “lost" then let go of everything and go back to basics. See number 1 above.
14. If you are feeling “confused" about what is present:
Ask yourself: “What is the danger?" to see if it is fear.
Ask yourself: “What did you lose?" to see if it is sadness.
Ask yourself: “What do you want?" to see if it is anger.
15. If you are feeling “crazy" there is an intense feeling coming present and you are telling yourself that something is wrong. Live your enlightenment. There never was anything wrong. There is nothing wrong now and there never will be anything wrong.
16. If you are feeling “violent" then give permission for it. Violence isn't bad or wrong, it just destroys things. And you can't destroy anything unless you have an intention to destroy! There is a world of difference between feeling violent and intending violence!
17. It is a myth that “negative" feelings will manifest “negative" things. What you manifest is a function of of what you are intending not what you are feeling. If you don't set an intention then your ego-identity will set one for you and that is where the difficulty of “negative manifestation" begins.
18. When in doubt get more present!
19. The biggest problem is always the lack of self love. Look in the mirror and say out loud “I love you."
Over twenty years ago the one, magnificent and most beautiful soul, Tantra Teacher Extraordinaire, Bodhi Avinasha asked me to show my emotional clearing system to her Tantra teacher trainees and teach them how to do it for themselves and potentially for others that they would facilitate.
She was acutely aware of the need for such a system given the powerful energies that were routinely accessed in normal Tantric practices. She, of course, knew about “Osho's Dynamic Meditation" but also knew that was clearly insufficient.
These powerful stirred up energies, without sufficient emotional clearing, had been historically known to cause great difficulties. And they could potentially stir up equally difficult pressures and tensions in her students and more generally in Tantric practitioners most everywhere. See: “Transformation Underground" for some first hand experiences of these potential difficulties.
What follows are my Tantra Teacher Training notes that I used and gave the teacher trainees pretty much in the original form. They are actually quite good and clearly have stood the test of time.
To truly master the general emotional clearing systems for both one's own practice and the facilitation of others it is necessary to become very proficient in the “Inner Guidance" practices. These used to be called; Solo Latihan, Group Latihan, Bodyhan and Tantrahan. I now call them various versions of Mahamudra. See: “Mahamudra: The Spiritual Non-path" for new explanations and a practice audio.
1. If you only take one thing from this it should be that your most important function is to let whoever is working on their feelings constantly know that it’s okay to let go and express them.
2. Ideally, one gets comfortable enough with emotional release work to integrate it completely with making love. As Tantric lovemaking goes to higher energy levels, stuff will come up and being comfortable and familiar with emotional release allows you to let go easier if it’s your stuff or hold the space for your partner to let go if it's their stuff.. Of course, it's usually a combination of both.
Building A Charge
1. Ways that charging occurs: Orgasm Reflex Breath, the various levels of Cobra Breath (Kundalini Activation), Fire breath, Dynamic Meditation, certain types of massage, higher levels of sexual energy, Maha Mudra.
2. The identity/small self/ego/etc. is like an energy matrix that has a structure held in place by emotional blocks. Charging perturbs the structure and then after the discharge or clearing or emotional expression there is a breaking down of this structure and the result is re-forming of the structure at a higher energy level. This is experienced as relief, new realizations, usually some new freedom or relaxation in the body, new awareness -s, possibly some new empowered intentions.
What Happens And What to Do
1. What will happen is a transition from voluntary movement and expression to spontaneous involuntary expression. The sounds, verbalization and body movements are generated from within. The body starts to feel like it is just naturally expressing old thoughts and feelings that are stuck and slowly beginning to break free and move out.
2. What to Do: Have the worker stay present - maintain Witness Consciousness and just experience the thoughts and feelings as they are occurring.
3. Use the Surfing Metaphor - “riding the wave of your feelings and what is present". “Be persistent without forcing"; “Be gentle without avoiding".
4. The magic is in the concept of the “Connected Sound". Virtually nothing happens without sound, words, vocal expression etc. Finding and expressing the connected sound or words is the art of emotional clearing.
5. Observe the stuff: Three basic emotion pairs: sadness/happiness, fear/trust, anger/love and appreciation. And, their 3 basic experience corollaries: pain/pleasure, blocking or allowing receiving, blocking or allowing giving.
1. Blocking of feelings is accomplished by either a holding/tensing of muscles or by reversing one of the Energy Discharging Movements and doing it backwards or by remaining silent.
2. Primary locations: pelvis, belly, diaphragm, chest, back, shoulders, neck, jaw, face, eyes. Using movement or touching or instruction to get the blocks to let go.
3. Touching: 4 Types:
a) Relaxation (massage) touching (you can almost always provide some loosening in the shoulders, jaw and scalp).
b) Energy touching.
c) Simple physical awareness touching.
d) Advanced physical tension touching. (Meaning “The Partner or Self healing Mahamudra" or just call it: “The Partner or Self IGM. IGM = Inner Guided Movements)
1. Stay in touch with your inner guidance. It’s possible to feel exactly what they’ are feeling (emotion and location), hear what they need to express and see how they need to move.
2. Look, listen and feel, then act(or speak) and trust.
3. Stay centered. Hold the safest possible space for them to express anything! Take nothing personally!
4. Matching the workers energy: posture (using your body to assist them in flowing their energy), voice (intensity and volume), touch pressure and location. Keeping the witness present. (e.g. voice in the ear).
5. Integrating all of this in to your own Tantric lovemaking. Following the energy. Shifting to Emotional Clearing mode when the sexual pleasure energy stops and stuff comes up. Ultimately being both worker and partner, energy moving and energy mover, God and Goddess in union as one. Meaning, energetically blending to where you can not tell where you end and your partner begins or vice-verse!
Energy Discharging Movements a.k.a Orgasm Reflex Breath
Begin Lying on back, knees up, feet flat on the floor, arms at sides.
1. -Breath in mouth or nose
2. -head moves forward(chin tuck)
3. -pelvis rocks back
4. -arms raise overhead
-jaw relaxes (slight closing)
1. -breath out mouth only
2. -head moves back
3. -pelvis rocks forward
4. -arms drop down to sides
5. -jaw opens
2. -connect sound and words to the feelings
3. -continue nice and relaxed until emotions, feelings, voices, words, pictures spontaneously come up and express them.
CommentaryThese movements are designed to use voluntary motion to assist in letting go or surrendering by moving the body purposefully in the way that flows energy rather then blocks energy.
These movements are used initially and intermittently because once a certain flow or momentum of emotional expression is happening, the body will spontaneously make it’s own movements to express the feelings coming out.
Return to them once the emotional expression slows down. Or, if you are unsure how to get the feelings moving again. Particularly the pelvic movement with a full inhale and exhale. This will bring in more energy to work with and get the process going again as desired.
As the person working (or yourself) becomes more experienced and accepting of moving feelings, these movements will be less and less important. In their place will be just a)energy(through breathing), b)feeling and c)connected sounds/words.
This is primarily to stimulate awareness. The bad news is there really are not any rules. The good news is, when properly developed, your guidance will wonderfully and almost magically provide you with exactly the right thing to do or say.
Problem: Just going through the motions. Nothing much is happening.
Cause: Energy or charge too low.
Action: Fuller breathing.
Cause: Blocking or holding back sound.
Action: Touch tense area or encourage words and sound.
Cause: No permission.
Action: Give permission and encouragement.
Problem: Struggling/trying too hard.
Cause: Reversing one of the movements.
Action: Correct the movement.
Cause: Too much energy, overcharge in head.
Action: Lighten up the breathing. Open eyes. Light massage to scalp and back of neck. Put thoughts on external speaker.
Problem: Persistent Headache.
Cause: Pictures, usually visual memories trying to surface.
Action: Slow or stop movements, slow breathing, give gentle forehead or head massage, have worker say what he or she is seeing.
Problem: Nauseous and quiet.
Cause: Holding back words.
Verbalize. Ask the nausea and sick feelings to speak.
Cause: Holding back sound. Sleepy or Up against something very difficult to express.
Action: Short nap. Slow down, give more permission.
Problem: Hyperventilation/Tetany (locked up muscles typically jaw, face, fingers, forearms).
Cause: Huge overcharge in whole body. Complete holding back.
Action: Stop everything. Check commitment: a)Do you want to be here? b) Are you willing to let go? - If no: stop session, if yes - put thoughts on external speaker.
Problem: Hopelessness/re-signed/loss of faith.
Cause: Loss of Witness. Mind attack. Believing the egos story as true.
Action: Restore witness. Remind worker of God or Goddess within.