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The Bliss of Infinite Patience

By Scott Kiloby.  

I now sit in bliss

A bliss that is built into the very fabric of my being

How this bliss came about is almost too unbelievable to explain

It defies the usual rules and understandings of society

While others were running away from the pain and discomfort in their bodies

I was sitting with mine, letting it come fully into the space of present awareness

While others were medicating their emotions and sensations

I was bathing in mine – naked and vulnerable

While others were chasing or following their bliss, I stayed with pain

As they passed me, I asked them, “Did you find your bliss yet?”

Mostly they would say, “no,” and then continue on their path

I did not follow that path

I sat down on the road, exactly where I was, refusing to move

I desired no bliss at all, instead I desired only my pain

I desired only what is

The pain oscillated from extremely excruciating to mildly annoying

I let those descriptions burn up in the fire of presence so that I could feel the pain more deeply, without the overlay of labels

I sat with infinite patience, in wordless wonder, and without expectation

I watched a million others pass me by, headed down the road, chasing the prospect of a future bliss that would eradicate their pain

Many of them seemed to find a bliss in worldly things, only to find that it was temporary

They would become weary again and would keep moving down the same path trying to recapture it over and over

I questioned why I was just sitting here many times

The answer came as a very quiet, intuitive voice. It simply said, “Sit with infinite patience.”

As I sat, I let every emotion and sensation be as it is, welcoming it more and more

The more painful it became, the more I loved it

Every now and then, I had to take a reprieve from this pain, for I am human like everyone else

I had to indulge and run from my pain like everyone else does

I did this to survive, like everyone else does

When shame, guilt and self-judgment arose out of the act of indulgence, I let those stories burn up in the fire too

Each time I returned to the pain and discomfort of my body, I returned with infinite patience

I desired the pain and discomfort of my body to stay

I made a home for it

I loved it absolutely and without reservation from a place of pure silence

I uttered very few words to it, so that I could fully hear what it had to say

I let it speak and then I just listened and observed, letting its song be heard and then vanish into thin air, line by line

In the rare moments of speaking to my pain, I simply asked . . .

“When were you created?”

“Where does this hurt come from?”

“What are you protecting?”

Those words evoked stories which then burned up in the light

Each time my body became more painful or more uncomfortable

I went more deeply and more silently into it, trying to keep the pain and discomfort there through pure observation

Each time I felt the desire to resist or reject it, I loved the pain instead, and then loved the resistance and rejection of it

It spoke for years

It had a long story to tell – about childhood rejection, not being loved, not being good enough, not feeling safe, needing to protect itself

As each story burned up, I nurtured the sensation of pain as if it were my very own child

I sat with it for literally hours on end, never leaving its side

I did this while others were out in the world, finding ways to avoid their pain

I had the thought, “Am I missing something out in the world?”

That thought burned up too

I let my pain move freely and uninterruptedly within the stillness of the moment, with only the desire for it to be exactly as it is

And then there was a dawning . . .

A rebirth in which I realized that my pain and discomfort were gone

Like children that had been loved and nurtured for years, the pain and discomfort left the nest

They transmuted into presence

Now I sit in bliss

And I shall never follow the rules of society again

I shall never run from my pain and discomfort again

If I do run from my pain and discomfort, I shall be perfectly kind and loving to myself

I shall indulge in that reprieve and in those pleasures fully, letting any shame, guilt or self-judgment come fully into the light

I shall return with infinite patience

For my self, my body and the world move more freely now within this infinite patience

The limitations of self, body and the world vanish in this

Creativity flourishes here

Love and joy are natural here

No one could have told me that this infinite patience would have paid off in this way

I wouldn’t have believed it because it defies all human understanding

It goes against everything I have learned

I know the truth of this not because I was persuaded by others and not because I followed society’s way

I know this truth not by following all the others who were running away or chasing their bliss

I know this truth only by trusting this inner intuitive voice that said, “sit with infinite patience.”

I know this truth simply because it is my own experience

And nothing is more trustworthy than that.

This post is republished from the previous Living Inquiries website

Mining: The Greatest Gift My Body Ever Received

By Scott Kiloby.

Somewhere along the way, the Living Inquiries facilitators and I developed the process of mining. I can’t even remember how it started, but I’m so glad it did. It’s truly been the greatest gift.

Mining is a process within the Living Inquiries of pulling out unconscious words and pictures, one at a time, from an emotion or sensation and then letting those words and pictures be seen, allowed, and then letting them dissolve away naturally.

I remember giving talks years ago and people would ask about dense and persistent emotional energy or sensations (e.g., contractions). The question was usually, “What do I do with this?” The standard nondual answer of “do nothing, just feel it, be aware of it,” was great. After all, sensations and emotions tend to persist because we remain perpetually unaware of them, placing our attention instead either outside ourselves or in the mind as a way of distracting. Many of the denser contractions in the body seem to have formed from years of turning away from the inner awareness of our bodies. These energies then crystalize into dense matter, contributing to addictive seeking, depression, pain, anxiety and a host of other states and conditions. They are often directly linked to unresolved trauma. But the pointer, “do nothing, just feel it and be aware of it” often resulted in people unknowingly “sitting with velcro” instead. Sitting with velcro means that a person believes they are just feeling or being aware of pure energy, sensation or emotion, when in fact they are sitting with unconscious words and pictures stuck to that energy, sensation or emotion. The Living Inquiries are all about undoing this velcro effect. And mining is an even more precise way of pulling out these unconscious words and pictures.

Let me give you an example of mining from my own experience. Many years ago, I visited an acupuncturist to help ground and release some dense energy in my sternum. He said, “I can do acupuncture in that area but the best thing to do is be aware of it.” Without even thinking, I said, “That’s easier said then done.” How can I be aware of something that is largely unconscious? The contraction in my stomach did not exist in a vacuum. It was there for a reason, as a result of feeling as though I had to protect myself from some perceived threats out in the world. Simply sitting and being aware of that contraction would have been like entering a cave without a flashlight. The density was there because of what I could not see.

While lying in bed one morning, I began breathing slowly into the sternum area. I could feel the density. It was painful. It felt too overwhelming to face. But slowly certain elicitation questions began to naturally arise. In the Living Inquiries, an elicitation question is any question designed to elicit unconscious mental material from a stuck emotion or sensation. The first question was, “What am I afraid of?” Once the question was asked, pictures of being bulled in sixth grade arose. I looked at them one by one. I stayed with each picture, gently watching. I saw that the pictures had a theme. I had been mostly afraid of people – certain people who had bullied me. I asked to each picture, “Is this picture a threat?” This is a question from the Anxiety Inquiry. Seeing that no single picture was a threat, each one of them dissolved, one by one. Eventually as the pictures ran out, the sternum sensation dissolved. Then I began to feel dense sensation under that, down in the belly area. At that point, a different elicitation question arose, “What am I ashamed of?” A storm of pictures began to arise, and some words. I gently watched each arising, asking “Is this the shame?” Seeing that no single picture or set of words was the shame, each one dissolved one by one. Eventually the mind became quiet and no more pictures or words arose. The belly sensation then naturally dissolved.

I remember thinking, “Wow, that was easy.” What makes a process like that easy is having the right set of skills. Had I not had this process of mining, I might have sat with those sensations for many, many years – like being in a cave without a flashlight. Sensations like that are persistent only when we lack the requisite skill to mine out the unconscious material in them.

These days when I’m working with people at the Kiloby Center, I never assume that just sitting with sensation is the answer by itself. Chances are, there is unconscious material embedded in that sensation. Asking the right elicitation question is key. But it isn’t rocket science. Usually any of the following elicitation questions will work:

• What does this sensation mean?
• What are you afraid of?
• What are you ashamed of?
• What is this sensation connected to?
• When was this first created?
• What is this protecting you from?

Asking the right question is like having a magic key to a door that has remained closed and locked for years. The right question naturally elicits a lot of unconscious material. Once that material starts to arise, the key is just to watch the words and pictures, one by one, and maybe ask an inquiry question.

Never again will I go into the cave of my body or another person’s body without a flashlight and a good key. I invite you not to enter blindly and unskillfully either. The right set of skills can make the difference between suffering for many years and liberating the body from a lot of unconsious material. “Being with” or “sitting with” is often just not enough. Use skillful mining instead.