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Monday, September 13, 2010

The "Phantom Pain" Pane

Window sitting has become an exploration of the deeper caverns of more intense feelings; sitting and breathing into these hidden hold-outs; moving through these feeling portals into greater awareness. But it has not been easy facing these phantoms of the night - trying not to push them away from the window. They seem to create a barrier reef, keeping me from the harbor of Stillness.

My friend “D” (from Shadow Dance Window) came back with intensity this weekend – and not just at the window. She kept tugging at me throughout the day, requiring my attention - like a needy toddler. It seemed the shadow dance of awareness the other day was not enough. It felt more like I must actually *sit* with her, pay attention to her more closely, listen more deeply, and allow her to be *felt* and heard – like a toddler. It was quite an intense dance with this shadow-self.

Sitting with “Depression”, or any feeling for that matter, is not about “suffering” or wallowing – in fact it alleviates “suffering.” Suffering is what the mind does when it interprets the feeling as pain, as bad, as wrong. In dropping the labels for feelings, however, there is just the experience of the feeling. I am not depression, I am “depressing” or angering, or fearing, etc. - as one would say, I am understanding, or I am feeling. Feelings are not our identities. Feelings are ripples or waves in the larger context of Being. And when we “sit” with them, I mean that we sit *as* the Beloved, with awareness – seeing, holding, experiencing the feeling.

When I sat with “D” I discovered that what I call “depression” is really a bolus of many feelings: sadness, grief, anger, frustration and anxiety. I sat with this bolus of emotional turbulence several times over several days and allowed it to reveal its contents – through journaling and meditating. It was actually very enlightening – and visceral - feeling this bolus of emotional pain in my gut as energy, as vibration, as sensation. I willingly went deeply into the bolus to explore it with an innocent sense of curiosity, like a scuba diver on a dive. The deeper I went, the more intense the experience and the more I resisted. I had to keep reminding myself to come back to the breath as I followed the feelings.

In these patterns of anguish that were felt and experienced, I noticed that there is a thin line between conscious feeling and unconscious feeling; between noticing and indulging – becoming entangled and entrapped within feelings; between allowing the feelings and being controlled by feelings. And there was a tendency to get caught up in, or fixated on the feeling – making a story of how I suffer. But it was recognized that these patterns of feelings are phantoms of the “me” function that are part of the totality of Existence. As I allowed myself to *see* these feeling phantoms the intensity lessened.

It was noticed that if all there is, is Being-Self, Buddha Nature, Awareness, Consciousness,- as the spiritual teachings say - then no feeling has to be denied or suppressed, as nothing is separate from That which always IS. Everything is allowed within the context of Beingness. There is total freedom to feel and experience everything – authentically - feeling the feelings without censor or judgment.

Thr0ugh this experience it was understood that we *are* Being living life! - feeling life - being touched by life - expressing life -- through feelings. Beingness ItSelf experiences life through this “me” function that senses, that sees, that touches, that feels and expresses feelings! They are one and the same – inseparable. The Ocean and the wave. The wave cannot be a wave except for the movement of the Ocean.

In seeing this, there was release, and a realization that these feelings will continue to come and go as part of life.

We are all Beingness experiencing ItSelf – otherwise known as “persons” – as “mes.” We *are* the experience of the One Being – feeling it all – experiencing it all – being it all.

In seeing this there was a return to the Harbor, into the Stillness that is Home.


The ‘me’ organism is not other than an expression of Consciousness.
Consciousness is the thinker, [the feeler].
Life is expressing *as* the ‘event.’
The Source and ‘substance’ is Life.


This post is not meant to imply that there are simplistic solutions
for serious mental health conditions that require medical treatment and therapy.
It only reflects my own recent experience with “feelings.”



  1. AS! Love that word! :)


  2. If I get through and 'in'to - 'AS' - the deep meaning of this post I will surely be free. Please keep this one up for a while. Take a vacation!! I may be e-mailing you with helpful hints as to how to befriend those demon monsters.
    There are hints at seeing that "...thin line between conscious feeling and unconscious feeling; between noticing and indulging – becoming entangled and entrapped within feelings; between allowing the feelings and being controlled by feelings."
    At what point are the feelings -- these or any feelings/thoughts/emotions -- seen AS the Awareness that they are?

  3. Hi Leslie ~~

    Sure, email those "helpful hints for dealing with demons." :)

    I write because it helps me to *see* :)

    You asked: At what point are feelings/thoughts/emotions seen AS the Awareness that they are?

    My experience is: When they are followed all the way through to their "essence" - to the Stillness at their core - the "essence" of all Existence. Everything is *seen* as the Still, Awake, Aware Space at its core. Also, When we know that we are That as well. And when we know that all there is, is That - our True Nature - Spacious Awareness...

    It appears to be a continual unfolding of this seeing here. Not a once and for all seeing...

    Hope this is helpful...

    Love, Christine

  4. Hey Maria! Thanks for stopping by the window :)

  5. Thank you for this post Christine. I'll be referring back to this until I see these thoughts of anguish as their Source.
    Warm hugs of gratitude for this deep well of kindness.

  6. Leslie ~ All the spiritual teachings that I have listened to have said that all that is really necessary is to keep bringing your awareness back to the Self - the True Nature; what Eckhart Tolle calls the 'Inner Being". When I have practiced this I have felt a sense of equanimity about what is happening in my life, with its attendant feelings and emotions. I keep forgetting this, so I keep practicing it :) This inner Stillness really is the safe Harbor where everything can be experienced.

    Love, Christine

  7. Dear Christine,
    Is there never any awakening?

  8. Leslie ~ If you are aware, you are awake... And you *are* Awareness ItSelf - therefore.... :)

    It's not an event, it's a way of being...

    Just BE... :) C

  9. Okay...thank you Christine. THAT explains it!


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