Trauma, Healing, and the Spiritual Heart

8 April 2017

Like most people attracted to spirituality, my own inner journey has been one of looking for something that would help me deal with, and heal from, deep seated trauma, emotional pain and an overactive mind, that at times almost drove me to suicide.

I tried many different approaches along the way including a variety of new age stuff, 5rhythms dance, yoga, 12 step programs, therapy, and over a decade studying and practicing Tibetan Buddhism.

I met many beautiful teacher's, guides and therapists on workshops, courses and festivals. All of this helped tremendously and I am deeply grateful for it all.

However it wasn't until I discovered heart based non duality that I knew this was the truth that I had been seeking.

What made this approach so very different from everything else I had previously tried was its very direct and immediate questioning of the identity upon which all of the stories and mind based dramas are based.

It encouraged a completely fresh and naked approach, and a very radical shift in who and what I had been taking myself to be.

It also encouraged a facing and embracing of all aspects of the human condition, and an allowance of everything to be as it is, without becoming identified with any of it.

It was very refreshing that there were not too many learnt practices, stiff disciplines, or secret techniques to undertake. Just a simple willingness to be still, and quiet, and introspect.

It felt natural, genuine and in many ways very pure. With no emphasis on beliefs or learning but simply upon self discovery. It felt very clean to me.

I was also able to consolidate the teachings I had heard by looking at the various mystical branches of the major world religions and discovering that the mystics of Advaita, Sufism, Zen and Christian mysticism were all speaking of a very similar thing.

There seemed to be a very particular and consistent thread that ran through all of these traditions, a timeless invitation that superseded race, organised religion and cultural backgrounds.

'You are not what you are taking yourself to be, Find out who you are' See through the veil of the false mind made ‘egoic’ I and come to rest as the true ‘I’ as presence, as awareness, as the Self. This was the message.

Many years down the line as I reflect on this journey of self discovery that began some thirty years ago, I can see that it has been a path of less and not more, a path of taking away and not adding, a path of becoming more simple and less complex.

It has not made me special or more spiritual but more ordinary, more natural, and ultimately more real.

I love the term ‘everyday enlightenment’ because that is what it feels like. Walking in nature, drinking a cup of tea, watching a sunset, being in silence, spending time with loved ones, these things are precious.

I wish I could say the journey had gotten rid of all of the trauma and pain. I wish I could say I never ever get triggered anymore, but that simply wouldn't be true. There is still a deep sensitivity in this body and I am ok with that.

In fact I can see that the trauma and pain are very much part of the journey. They are the main reason that the search began at all, and even today they keep something within me very humble and sincere. I know that without the indwelling presence, I would either be dead, in jail, or medicated in some way.

Ultimately this journey has given me only one thing, the understanding and realisation that whatever arises within me takes place against an unchanging background of space, stillness and silence and I know myself to be that silence.

I also know that the true spiritual heart, which is Presence, can be with everything, including the most painful emotions.

This is the main reason that i teach and hold meetings these days. To support those who are called on the path of self discovery. To offer encouragement, guidance and proof that it is possible to be at peace within yourself even when having to deal with very strong personal conditioning. In fact without the personal struggle there would be no push for self discovery.

There are no promises of specialness, no secret teachings, no hidden practices. Just an open invitation to embrace our humanness from the light of awareness.

Here the journey continues, the willingness to embrace my humanness continues, the willingness to stand as Heart Presence continues, yet it does so without a false self dictating proceedings.

In essence the journey continues, without the idea that the destination is anywhere other than right here, right now.

Special thanks and heartfelt gratitude to all those who share the journey, who attend meetings, either online or in person. Who help with their support in setting up meetings and retreats, who have expertise in technical areas, with making the meetings more available.

Thanks also to those who invite me to stay in their houses, who invite me to speak at events, who help with editing videos and books, and who ultimately remind me that this path is one of self honesty, simplicity, and naturalness.

Is god enough?

27 October 2017

Something that comes up regularly during meetings and retreats is the question 'if I realise my true nature as unbound awareness and shift my consciousness into the true self should I still continue to work on my personal self or is that just an illusion and therefore a waste of time'?

This is a very important question. It is also one that cannot be answered hypothetically with a 'one answer fits all type response' because what may be true for one person may not be true for another. What is always encouraged however is the absolute willingness to continue to be deeply honest with ourselves so that we do not using our awakening as a way to hide from our humanness.

We may well have had a very deep seeing into the reality of things. We may well have had a profound realisation into the state of pure being. We may have come to places of absolute bliss, love and self recognition. Yet within us we may also still have very deep unresolved trauma, divided energies, or internal conflicts that pull us back into deep unconscious behaviour.

One of the many paradoxes of awakening is the more conscious one becomes the more we open to facing all that was able to hide inside us by naturally bringing it into the light of consciousness. Awareness always goes after every part of itself.

What impresses me more and more with those called to the spiritual realm these days, is not only the moments of bliss, love and ecstasy that we often hear about, but the way people deal with their very human struggles that arise in their lives.

The way people open to themselves in the face of tremendous pain and suffering. The way people embrace very deep trauma and wounds that would push most into suicidal depression or addictive behaviours. The way people stay open to their inmost truth when others have long given up on them. The way people stay conscious in the face of very deep collective unconsciousness.

Ultimately the invitation always comes back to this, can we stay open to our humaneness in the light of God, so that we are allowing any healing process to take place within us from that place which is already whole, perfect and complete.

Self deception

7 October 2017

One of the most extraordinary traits of human beings is our tremendous ability to deceive and hide from both ourselves and others. This trait is so common that it is often considered to be normal. It may even be one of the many ways that we learn to cope with life and the various situations and challenges that we all have to face.

Many of us found out the hard way that telling the truth and being honest wasn't always the best policy, especially when we were dependent upon the love, approval or material support of those around us.

Self deception is widespread and happens on both a large and small scale. Large scale self deception happens when we stay in relationships, jobs, or situations that we have long outgrown. When we live double lives. When we pretend. When our inner world and our outer world don't match up anymore.

Small scale deception happens when we are not honest with ourselves and others in day to day situations.

Maybe we are out of touch with our needs and feelings. Maybe we find it very difficult to express ourselves. Maybe it is impossible for us to disappoint another and be true to ourselves. Maybe we are afraid of change, or rocking the boat.

Maybe we have bought into the cultural conditioning of a society that tells us how we should act and behave. Maybe we are completely lost and have no idea about anything anymore. Almost certainly we are out of touch with our spiritual heart.

Almost certainly we have lost touch with the quiet inner voice of wisdom which guides us back to ourselves. This voice is unconditioned and sees and knows with absolute clarity, so it will not allow us to stay in situations that suffocate our spirit and spontaneity for very long.

This may explain why so many people are afraid of connecting and listening to it. They may be afraid of getting in touch with their inner voice because if they do it becomes much harder to deceive ourselves, and the truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

Finding our essential self is the beginning of the end of all self deception. It is the beginning of the end of all internal lies and division. It is the beginning of the end of putting anything else at the forefront of our lives other than authenticity, honour, and truth.

Following our inner guidance may not always be easy, it may even cost us friends, jobs, money, and opportunities, all the things that the world values, but what it won't cost us is our own wholeness, our own fullness, our own inner peace, and ultimately these are the only things that are truly worth having.

The Child

May 2017

The inner child who feels so afraid, so misunderstood, so over responsible, is yearning to be held by you.

She is yearning for true rest. She is yearning for true relaxation. She is yearning to let go into the reassurance that you can hold her when she is afraid.

She is wise. She is sensitive. She knows the conditioned inner parent cannot be there for her in that way.

What she is yearning for more than anything else is for you to know yourself to be Conscious Awake Presence.

Then she can rest deeply in the knowledge that you can meet and hold her unconditionally from there.

Walk Gently Beloved

Facebook post May 2017

Walk gently Beloved,
Walk gently 
through the vast open fields 
of our shared humanness
.
Trying to do ones very best 
not to harm anything 
or anybody 
along the way
.
And yet at times
If we do unwittingly hurt another
may it be deeply known 
that inside our own Heart
it was never ever intended 
to be that way
.
And so may forgiveness
understanding and compassion
be the crops
that grow abundantly 
in these fields
.
Walk gently Beloved
Walk gently.

Rejection, abandonment and the spirtual heart

11 November 2017

At some point in our lives we have all likely felt the heavy heart of rejection, of loss, of abandonment, of unrequited love. Of having very deep and intimate feelings for someone or something, and that love either being taken away or not being returned in the way that we would have liked it to be. In the way that honoured our deepest feelings of loyalty, affection, and intimacy.

Unrequited love can come from many sources; from parents, carers, teachers, partners, jobs, friends, lovers, groups, organisations or communities. It can come from anyone or anything that we have opened our hearts to. Sometimes our love was turned down gently, sensitively and respectfully with clear boundaries, honest reasons and good intentions. At other times our love was taken away without any warning or clue of what was coming up. It left us feeling exposed, in pain, and unable to make any sense of a situation. Sometimes our love was used against us for emotional, psychological or financial reasons and led us to feelings of confusion, betrayal, and a closing down of our trust in life for fear of ever being hurt again.

 

Unrequited love may be one of the most painful emotions that human beings experience. It is a very deep breaking of the emotional heart and all the structures that support it. It makes us question; Can i ever trust my heart again?

It creates wounds that in turn build solid walls of protection and isolation around them. A secure fortress that no one can break into, that no one can enter. The walls keep us safe but at such a cost to our well being and potentiality for living a full life.

 

Some people live their entire lives behind the fortress walls, unable, unwilling, or not knowing how to face, embrace and heal the wounds that keep them bound. Their unmet pain often becomes the root cause of addictive and dysfunctional behaviour and co-dependent relationships. Yet within the heartbreak there is a potentiality. There is a possibility that the pain of rejection becomes the gateway to the spiritual realm, to the spiritual heart, to the sacred place inside us. The pain opens up the potentiality of finding something which cannot abandon us, something that can never reject us. Something that brings tremendous healing and redemption. Something that is able to face, embrace and heal; The spiritual heart.

 

Our experiences help us to discern the difference between the spiritual heart and the emotional heart and the wisdom to know the difference between them. Our struggles help us cultivate the willingness to engage sincerely in spiritual practices that strengthen our connection to this wisdom such as meditation, yoga, self inquiry, and surrender.

As our presence deepens, as our spiritual heart awakens to itself we will begin to feel a deep inner peace. We may still have to face situations that bring up the pain of rejection, and we will still feel that pain deeply, yet within the sadness of rejection we are reminded; 'Don't reject your own Presence'. We may still face the pain of abandonment when someone or something that we love deeply leaves us without warning, or is taken away without reason. We will still feel the hurt and pain of that, yet we are reminded; 'Don't abandon yourself'

 

We may still encounter those who want to misuse us for their own gain, we may still mistake their love and kindness for truth, and when things turn sour we will still feel the disappointment in that, and again we are reminded; 'Don't betray your own spiritual heart'. Like this our spiritual heart becomes our reference point. It awakens to the fullness of itself each time we come back to it. We still continue to feel our humanness yet we are not defined by it.

We are finally embracing our humanness from the light of consciousness. Embracing our heartbreak from the place that can never ever be broken.

  

 

Healing from the Inside

Facebook post May 2017

Many people experience a condition known as Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) I am one of them. The effects live in the body as tremendously intense, sensitive, and raw feelings which sometimes get triggered by similar types of situations that created the initial trauma.

In my many years of spiritual teaching and personal development work I have sat with and held these uncomfortable feelings of trauma both for myself and others many many times.

I have brought the feelings into the light of conscious awareness and met them in stillness, acceptance and pure love. In that oppeness I have experienced a tremendous lessening of their intensity and the often overwhelming side effects of living with these types of feelings. I have in essence experienced a tremendous healing within myself.

What has enabled me to stay open to these uncomfortable experiences and not get lost inside blame, bitterness and my own personal victim story has been the willingness to genuinely look, inquire into, and question the identity that was getting caught inside these feelings. I now see that it no longer does. In that there is the willingness to not close down to, or avoid my own humanness when these feelings arise.

I have also found that being sensitive in this way is a tremendous help when working with others who have experienced similar types of trauma. I never feel that the the feelings have got to go, but the one identifying with them does need to be looked into, and that can only happen when we begin to discover who we are beyond our conditioned self.

That is why heart based self inquiry is so very healing. We start from where we are whole and complete rather than where we are broken. We start from the place that does not need healing. We start from the beginning.

In that a realisation comes that no conditions are needed for us to be at peace. Nothing needs to change or be other than how it is right now. Just an openness to discover what is unbreakable and ever present, and from that place of unwavering clarity and recognition allow our humanness to arise from there.

This is true and radical healing. This is healing from the Inside.

The End of the Meditator

December 2014

There is often a part of ourselves that believes that if we meditate hard enough, pray hard enough, chant hard enough, do spiritual Sadhana hard enough then enlightenment will some day happen to us.

Yet the report of those who have come to a place of inner stillness is not consistent with that view. It is often reported that a clarity and confirmation is made within that sees that the part of our-self that was exerting so much effort to awaken is also seen to be appearing inside a deeper consciousness which is already completely awake inside itself.

This discovery opens a profound exploration and introspection into the very core of our being. Who truly am I?

To have explored the 'seer' and to be confirmed within that deeper consciousness is not dependent on effort but on a profound shift in perception; from objects to subject, from form to the knower of form, from person to that which knows and observes the personal.

Meditation, prayer and chanting may still continue but there will be no 'practioner' left to make an assessment of your progress. It is the end of the spiritual identity as a 'meditator', but it is not the end of true meditation.

The spiritual seeker is seen to be illusory and the discovery that you were never apart from God is baptised within your own Heart.

Paul Hurcomb ~ Meetings in Stillness

Your own Presence can be with it all.

Your own Presence can be with it all.

Sometimes the most challenging parts of ourselves arise. The parts that we have been most avoiding and are often most afraid of. Those parts in we hoped we could silence, avoid or distract from. The parts we hoped no-one else would see or notice because they feel so dysfunctional, so angry so hurt. The parts we have hidden from the world and hoped someday would simply disappear.

When these arise inside us it is then that we have the greatest possibility of remaining conscious inside our own pain. It is then that we have the possibility of facing rather than escaping from our pain. Very few will do this. Very few will take this opportunity. The pull to go unconscious will be so strong, so overwhelming and with it the desire to distract ; to call someone, to drink something, to eat something, to switch something on, to blame someone, to rant at the world, to make others wrong, to escape.

Stop.

Be still.

Breathe deeply.

Breathe naturally.

Put your hands on your Heart.

Nothing is wrong. You are fully facing yourself. You are bringing consciousness to that which has been unconscious inside you. You are taking full responsibility for your own inner state. 
You are awakening to the real.

Testify for yourself~

Your own Presence can be with it all.

 

Paul Hurcomb

True love

I dont care much for flakey love

the type that loves you for a moment
and despises you the next

I want the love of truth, the love of God
the love that can sit in the cave of darkness
without moving a muscle
the love that allows all to be as it is
including the hatred, the confusion, the madness
the bigotry, the innocence, the betrayal
and loves right through it all
remains still right through it all

I dont care much for flakey love
the type that comes in sweet whispers
and long gazes
if that love ends in bitter breath
and unresolved anger

I want the love of Presence
the love that can withstand pain, criticism, lies and difference
without blame or defensiveness
the love that can stand betrayal 
and walk right through it,
the love that can say I was wrong
that you were right
please forgive me

 

I dont care much for flakey love
the love that is based on you agreeing with me and me agreeing with you
that love is limited, it is so limited
I care only for the love of truth
the love of courage, the love of fearlessness, 
the love of standing up and being counted
the love that may say yes one day and 'no' the next
the love that is so unpredictable
that no-one knows what it will do next.

 

I dont care much for flakey love
the love that is role playing and pretense
that love is bitter sweet
I care only for the love of truth
that is what burns in this soul
that is what gives this life the deepest possible meaning
It is that love that truly gives us the courage
to fully face ourselves.

 

Paul Hurcomb

Hold your ground

By residing in the heart it is likely that strong personal tendencies or habits will arise. If these deeply ingrained vasanas show up there are 2 possibilities, to follow them and act them out, or to hold your ground in the heart. If you are conscious enough to hold your ground a great confidence will develop within you that knows that the spiritual Heart can be with anything, no matter how challenging or ugly it may appear to be. The old habits will put up a fight, they will kick and scream, they may even create an inner tornado but the stillness of the Heart will prevail. When this is confirmed within you, when you know this for yourself, this is the beginning of discovering your own inner freedom.

Meeting in Stillness, the true meaning


To fully meet yourself in stillness means to stop and be still and rest inside your heart whilst allowing every part of the human condition to arise without trying to control or turn away from it in any way. To allow consciousness to meet every part of yourself is to face yourself as you are. It is to meet those parts inside yourself which were disowned, abandoned, or ignored simply because they were too much for us or anybody else to be with. The pain felt overwhelming and so was buried deep inside. However this burial came at a great cost to our well being, our relationships and our life. We may have hoped or prayed for a lover, a parent, or a master to save us but in the end we see that only we can meet ourself in this way. Others can help, others can point the way, others can love us, but ultimately we must discover that place inside us which is able to withstand the attack of the mind and related emotions.

So at the same time as allowing things to arise without preference there is the recognition of the witnessing consciousness, the heart of awareness in which all content and movement take place. The heart of awareness is your refuge, is your resting ground. It can allow all expression to be there and yet remain completely unaffected, completely pure. This is the greatest discovery we can make and the greatest healing we can experience. Our responsibility then is to not re-create further pain through self sabotaging stories and behaviour but to continue to make the heart of awareness our resting ground, our home, our refuge. To fully know ourself as the heart of awareness

This is the well trodden path of authentic awakening. The facing of the relative within the recognition of the absolute.

This is the true meaning of 'Meeting in Stillness'.

Check mate

The highest form of grace comes when you have no more moves left to make. You have tried everything yet nothing has brought about your desired outcome. The trusted ways of the mind have fallen on barren ground and there is nowhere left to go.

God waits patiently for this moment and whispers 'Check-mate!'
Life has forced you to stop, forced you to surrender, forced you to be still.

There is now the possibility that a power far greater than the personal self can come into play. A power that is not of your own personal doing, this power is Presence.

Presence is the force inside you which can be with anything, can meet anything, can transform anything. Through the recognition of Presence the situation that forced you into to surrender may or may not change, this is no longer your main concern.

Now you only have eyes for the divinty within. You can only be loyal to that principle which saved you from the torment of your own mind.

This is the highest form of grace."

Paul Hurcomb.

The Natural State

To recognise the natural state is not difficult, in fact it is simpler than simple because it is already so. What is experienced as difficult is the personal attempts to remain 'in' the natural state. That is not just difficult, it is impossible, it cannot be done. You as the person cannot do it. Yet you 'as you are' ~You as the formless being. You as unchanging awareness. That is the natural state, everpresent, ever fresh, ever available, ever free.

Poem

6th of august, 2013

When I know who I am, I know who you are, and there is harmony.
When I forget who I am, I forget who you are, and there is division.

Knowing myself there is stillness. Forgetting myself there is conflict.
Knowing myself there is freedom, Forgetting myself there is bondage.

The advice of the sages is timeless and simple; first recognise the self through enquiry, surrender or devotion, and from there see if anything needs to be done.

Quote

27th of july, 2013

To be willing to fully meet all parts of yourself means becoming comfortable with our own uncomfortableness. This willingness is the start of a deeper introspection within and shows there is a spiritual maturity, a depth in you. It means you have gone beyond the addiction of looking for highs, looking for bliss, looking for love, looking for 'next', looking for something, anything to save you. It means you have stopped avoiding any parts of yourself and your are willing to stop, rest and be still. In this stopping the vulnerability of the human condition will surface, with its beauty, its challenges, its unpredictability. Give space for that sensitivity to air, give space for the emotions to breathe, give space for the full expression of your being. With this complete allowance the protecting ego is rendered unemployed. With this false protection out of the way the vulnerability that has been protected and hidden will arise. Allowing this to arise without trying to fix it opens the recognition of the invulnerable within you. In this allowance you begin to discover that whatever is fully met within you returns to the great silence of Being.

My name is mystery

26th of july, 2013

My name is a mystery......

You will know me by the way I bring natural joy to whoever I meet, by allowing them to be exactly as they are, without trying to change them in any way.

You will know me by the way I sit quietly inside you watching the minds demands, even though it has cursed me a thousand times, I remain unaffected by her attack.

You will know me by the way right action naturally springs through me, and by the way I am in perfect harmony with the environment around me.

You will know me by the way animals and children feel safe in my company, and the way a baby's eyes are the purest reflection of my love.

You will know me by the way I bring peace to the most challenging of situations, simply by recognising the grace that is ever present.

You will know me by my never ending loyalty to those who choose truth. I will never forsake a single one who authentically says yes in my name.

You will know me by my natural simplicity. Just like bad food makes the body sick, I will never swallow the cleverness of the egoic mind.

You will know me by my willingness to meet all emotions in complete stillness, without wavering or faltering in any way. Nothing can intimidate me, nothing can hide from me.

You will know me when the mind recognises i am its source and comes to rest happily in me.

You must know me,

For you are me,

My reflection in human form.

My name is a mystery.......

That mystery is Pure Presence.

One day I stopped

One day i stopped hating people and started loving them.
Not because they had changed, they hadn't,
but to continue hating them, was deadly poison for my own soul. 

One day I stopped blaming others for the unfairness of life,
not because life had become fair, it hadn't,
but to continue blaming others was to remain a victim,
and closed my eyes to the deeper perfection.

One day I stopped projecting my stuff onto others,
not because I didn't have any more, I did,
but to continue projecting outwards
prevented me from ever truly looking inwards.

One day I stopped running from myself,
not because I was free, I wasn't
But to continue running in this way
was something I was no longer able to do.

One day i stopped looking for God out there,
not because God had changed, he hadn't
but to believe that God was a power outside of myself
was to deny my own sacred nature.

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