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 Post subject: Asking advice about my chosen path
 Post Posted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:22 am 
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Hey there guys,

I just don't know what to do, i feel an empty void like a black hole that is cutting me off from the world around me which feels all wrong to me. Most of the time this is pushed back into the back of my mind while i get on with my life, we're taught from a young age to just accept the way things are and not question what we're told.

I question everything i see and do, it's always things like how and why do these things work? I believe that i'm feeling empty and cut off because i haven't found my path in this life yet. I'm currently studying horticulture and i feel calm and collected when working with plants but i don't know whether that's just me being busy or whether it's a step closer to my path.

I'm sorry if this is not the place for this, i figured i'd put this out here and see what other people thought about it. It's always a good idea to get another person's perspective on a topic or idea in my personal opinion, this is because it stimulates thought sometimes creativity.

In any case i'm sorry about the venting.

-Hydrassas


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 Post Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:16 am 
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Hydrassas, do not apologize, that is the only thing in your post which has no place here. I am going to meditate on this for awhile before posting again, thoughtless advice leads to empty consequences. Do not give in to your inner void, we are here to help you in any way we can. I will write again soon.


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 Post Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:14 pm 
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When we enter into life we do so with our minds sealed and our eyes shut. We are blind on a road that has no destination. At first we are enamored by the glory of life and this Earth, we are pure and innocent and full of love. Then the darkness before our eyes creeps into our hearts and steals away our will, our strength, our courage. Before we had only our hearts to guide us, and now they have gone silent, how can we keep to this road we cannot see when we do not know where it goes and our guide has abandoned us?

Is this how you feel?


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 Post subject: Re: Asking advice about my chosen path
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:00 pm 
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Hydrassas wrote:
I'm currently studying horticulture and i feel calm and collected when working with plants but i don't know whether that's just me being busy or whether it's a step closer to my path.


It's my inclination to say that it's a step closer to your path. I think that just being busy wouldn't elicit the same calm and collected feelings.

Have you tried meditating on it?


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 Post subject: Re: Asking advice about my chosen path
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:49 pm 
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RiverLight wrote:
Hydrassas wrote:
I'm currently studying horticulture and i feel calm and collected when working with plants but i don't know whether that's just me being busy or whether it's a step closer to my path.


It's my inclination to say that it's a step closer to your path. I think that just being busy wouldn't elicit the same calm and collected feelings.

Have you tried meditating on it?


I've tried to meditate quite a few times over the last few years... most of the time i can't focus and when i try either nothing happens or i get a disembodied voice yelling at me telling me to stop. A couple of years ago through meditation i somehow conjured up a ball of light that really scared me, it was there for a a second or two before exploding without any sound. So no i'm afraid i can't say i've meditated on this current issue.


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 Post Posted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:59 am 
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Hydrassas, if you're feeling cut off, then it's because a part of who and what youg are isn't getting its needs met. There are two 'techniques' or activities I can suggest for you to try.

First of all, the Sit-With technique. Basically, just take a piece of paper and a pen and sit quietly with an idea... maybe about working with plants, or just the idea of where you want to go, what you're missing, what the next step is... just hold the idea in your thoughts but don't think too intently. Then write down any words, sentences, phrases, that come to mind... if you see images, draw them. Give yourself five minutes or so at this, you'll know when it's time to stop. Then walk away, have a cup of tea, relax and DON'T think about it!! When you've let it go, then go back to the paper and look at it. Don't read it, don't take it in. Just let your eyes look at it, and see what jumps out at you.


Second idea, is about listening to your various 'selves.' It's basically the sit-with technique, but used for the different kinds of selves we hold. The physical self, the emotional self, etc. Find the part of you that seems most blocked, and work on this... but do it within the context of the whole. Also sit with your physical self, your intellectual self, etc.. you may find that what you think is a problem on the emotional level, is actually stemming from some other area entirely, and it's just manifesting there. Human beings operate on many different layers, and sometimes the signals go a bit haywire.

Give it a go. Neither require the ability to send your mind into a meditative state, so if you're reluctant to do that, or not sure about it, these methods are still good to help you listen to yourself. That's the first step in healing! LISTEN to what's wrong!


-Ursa


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 Post Posted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:55 am 
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Ursa wrote:
Hydrassas, if you're feeling cut off, then it's because a part of who and what youg are isn't getting its needs met. There are two 'techniques' or activities I can suggest for you to try.

First of all, the Sit-With technique. Basically, just take a piece of paper and a pen and sit quietly with an idea... maybe about working with plants, or just the idea of where you want to go, what you're missing, what the next step is... just hold the idea in your thoughts but don't think too intently. Then write down any words, sentences, phrases, that come to mind... if you see images, draw them. Give yourself five minutes or so at this, you'll know when it's time to stop. Then walk away, have a cup of tea, relax and DON'T think about it!! When you've let it go, then go back to the paper and look at it. Don't read it, don't take it in. Just let your eyes look at it, and see what jumps out at you.


Second idea, is about listening to your various 'selves.' It's basically the sit-with technique, but used for the different kinds of selves we hold. The physical self, the emotional self, etc. Find the part of you that seems most blocked, and work on this... but do it within the context of the whole. Also sit with your physical self, your intellectual self, etc.. you may find that what you think is a problem on the emotional level, is actually stemming from some other area entirely, and it's just manifesting there. Human beings operate on many different layers, and sometimes the signals go a bit haywire.

Give it a go. Neither require the ability to send your mind into a meditative state, so if you're reluctant to do that, or not sure about it, these methods are still good to help you listen to yourself. That's the first step in healing! LISTEN to what's wrong!


-Ursa


Thank you for your suggestions i will certainly give them a shot, i get images in my head all the time... the problem is getting them out. I couldn't consciously draw a stick figure to save my life, i used to do something similar to automatic writing when i felt the urge too in which i'd sit down with a piece of paper and scribble randomly on it. Eventually these scribbles would make up a piece of a larger picture or they'd just be a pile of scribble either way it just felt right to do it. If you're interested i can upload the pictures and offer you some links.


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 Post Posted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:27 pm 
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Its a bit like automatic writing, but more like stream-of-consciousness in words and images. The images/pictures don't have to be masterpieces, they just have to represent what YOU see in your head. The exercise is designed to help get the things inside you into a physical form, so you can look at them a bit more objectively, and try to understand what you're hearing.

Sure, upload the links. My sister recently did some work with a particularly primal deity and ended up repeatedly making marks that weren't "anything" exactly, but were a representation of that deity to her. Symbols are just literal representations of a concept, they don't have to mean anything to anyone else, for them to be significant to you.

-Ursa


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 Post Posted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:59 pm 
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Ursa wrote:
Its a bit like automatic writing, but more like stream-of-consciousness in words and images. The images/pictures don't have to be masterpieces, they just have to represent what YOU see in your head. The exercise is designed to help get the things inside you into a physical form, so you can look at them a bit more objectively, and try to understand what you're hearing.

Sure, upload the links. My sister recently did some work with a particularly primal deity and ended up repeatedly making marks that weren't "anything" exactly, but were a representation of that deity to her. Symbols are just literal representations of a concept, they don't have to mean anything to anyone else, for them to be significant to you.

-Ursa




Here are the links, niether of them were consciously drawn.
http://www.furaffinity.net/view/3757430/
http://www.furaffinity.net/view/3757434/


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 Post Posted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:21 pm 
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Remember, of course, that it is YOUR interpretation and instincts that are going to provide the key to what you're drawing and why. Where do you feel these images came from? What do you think they represent?


Personally, when I look at them, I see a phoenix, so I would ask if you're possibly going through a rebirth cycle just now?

-Ursa


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 Post Posted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:37 pm 
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Ursa wrote:
Remember, of course, that it is YOUR interpretation and instincts that are going to provide the key to what you're drawing and why. Where do you feel these images came from? What do you think they represent?


Personally, when I look at them, I see a phoenix, so I would ask if you're possibly going through a rebirth cycle just now?

-Ursa


I drew those about 3 or 4 years ago now... i don't know what i was feeling when i drew them, i just had an uncontrollable urge to sit and draw


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 Post Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:50 pm 
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Beloved, there is no such thing as not being on your path. Every step you take is on it, as you create the path as you go. The horticulture you adore holds your answers. That nature community holds your allies and teachers. It isn't about choosing one thing over another, but realizing the wealth of what's already there, looking at it with different eyes.

Nature speaks to you. This is where you learn to listen.

Dream well.


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 Post subject: Re: Asking advice about my chosen path
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:35 am 
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Location: UK
Hi Hydrassas!

I read of your situation with interest, having worked for some years with people in this "lost direction" situation - for example I run "empty nest" courses.


"i feel an empty void like a black hole that is cutting me off from the world around me which feels all wrong to me"

I teach my advanced shamanic practitioner trainees techniques for actively entering and working with "THE VOID", but most people encounter it unconsciously via "dark night of the soul" suffering or by simply "losing their way" in life and reaching a place of "blank canvas".

The Void is a very important and useful place of "death and rebirth", paradoxically combining "NO-THING" [emptiness] and "EVERY-THING" [wholeness at both individual and universal levels, "oneness"]. It is the place to actually live the "To all my relations!" dream. A place where we are pure consciousness, liberated from everyday attachments so that "self"-restoration can take place yet with the boundless possibilities of life and the universe on hand.

It is not a "dreamy", "heavenly" or transcendent place of pleasure, but a place of absolute simplicity and stillness. It cannot be reached via psychotropic substances but only via self-purification and healing - the activities that naturally unfold when we actively and skilfully engage with our "dark night of the soul" experiences. In this still, simple place of the divine inner child our soul can softly "speak" to us and gently guide us forward. Perhaps you get an inkling of this place when you connect to plants, Hydrassas?

THE VOID is the most powerful place for self-restoration and for finding our "Soul Purpose"/"Soul Direction" path and "The Next Step" in our life.


BLOCKS TO ACCESSING THIS SELF-CREATIVE PLACE OF DEATH AND REBIRTH

The "blank canvas" or "lost" experience is a result of treading the path of "disconnection" - constantly turning away from, or denying, the uncomfortable aspects of life and being human, as in...

"Most of the time this is pushed back into the back of my mind while i get on with my life"

We may do this via "keeping physically busy", or we may do it via "being mentally busy" e.g. by excessive analysing, dissecting, "problem-solving" and rationalising...

""I question everything i see and do, it's always things like how and why do these things work?""

We may also do it via becoming obsessed or distracted by the movements of emotionally-energised archetypal forms...

"i get images in my head all the time... the problem is getting them out""

Our investment in "reaction to"/"struggle with" these "inner demons" will just energise them more!


The "blank canvas" disconnection experience can be transformed into the TRUTH/WHOLENESS of the "dark night of the soul" experience via RECONNECTION TECHNOLOGIES e.g. holistic breathwork, mind/body meditation or "movement medicine" techniques. However, before confronting the inner demons [of our past/present and future life] that inhabit this place, it is important to build courage and power and ensure that any necessary support and coaching are available before a possible "Pandora's box" is opened.

NAVIGATING THE DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL

In Tibetan Buddhism, which is partly based on Bon shamanism, the "dark night of the soul" experience is known as "The realm of the beings in hell"...

"Horror and anguish! Madness and despair!
Weltering in floods of fire, or pinioned fast
In ice, they see a leprous sky o'ercast
With gouts of blood, and suffering everywhere.
One torment worst: amidst the stench and glare,
Within the crystal mirror of the past, -
Mirror of Judgement, - they behold, aghast,
How their own deeds of blood have brought them there.
Yet hope still springs, ev'n in the black abyss.
Purging with flame, with water purifying,
The Smoke-Grey Buddha makes the darkness bright,
Shining a silver cloud. He tells them this:
That from hell's depth there runs, the past defying,
A fearful, narrow pathway to the Light.
"
[Sangharakshita


"I've tried to meditate quite a few times over the last few years... most of the time i can't focus and when i try either nothing happens or i get a disembodied voice yelling at me telling me to stop. A couple of years ago through meditation i somehow conjured up a ball of light that really scared me, it was there for a second or two before exploding without any sound. So no i'm afraid i can't say i've meditated on this current issue."

The "disembodied voice yelling" is of course an "inner demon". Our "soul-wisdom" or "higher self" in its range of supportive "spirit guide" manifestations would not behave like this. Contrary to popular opinion, "inner demons" mostly do not require expelling, they just require transforming back to their "natural inner resource" aspect which has become distorted by misuse or neglect.


The first step in transforming these scary experiences which block us from entering "The Void", is to de-energise them i.e. release their energy via emotional expression or cathartic techniques. The second step is to reflect [as mentioned in Sangharakshita's poem] on the thinking/feeling/lifestyle patterns that brought us to this place - this is the work of taking responsibility/control for our life and the work of self-purification].

A SIMPLE TECHNIQUE FOR TASTING "THE VOID" - OR YOUR CURRENT BLOCK!

A quick way to get started with this work is to sit quietly, eyes closed, allowing the body to move/rock [physically ebbing and flowing] with the movements of the in-breath and out-breath. Gently increase the time that you hold the in-breath before releasing and physically collapsing [letting go tension] on the outbreath. Holding the in-breath for a while builds responsibility and control skills and increases the potential for stress-release on the out-breath.

Gently increase the time that you hold the OUT-breath before surrendering to the next in-breath. If you are not living holistically you will find this difficult to do. Be very gently encouraging to yourself to extend this held-out-breath experience gradually as each cycle of the breath comes around. Eventually you will begin to connect to your personal TRUTH of either "soul-darkness" [e.g. a packaging of fear] or THE VOID - the ultimate creative place of stillness, self--restoration, intuitive guidance and creativity. Recommended reading: www.brothermichael.org.uk/resources/stillness.htm.

Thank-you for sharing your journey with us, Hydrassas.


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