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Contacting the Spaciousness Within


Welcome to tonight’s guided meditation.  I’m going to lead a sit for an hour. You’re going to be sitting for an hour,  and then after that, we’ll see if you have any questions or comments or reports or whatever. As usual with this hour of guidance, you don’t have to do it! Just do your own meditation if you want,  but if you want some guidance, I’ll be leading things along. My only real request is that you try to sit without moving. That’s it! If you have to move, try to be very, very quiet.


So let’s begin simply by asking yourself the question, What’s it like to be me right now? And then looking.  Not assuming you know the answer, but actually reflecting inward and seeing the state of your mind, the state of your emotions, the state of your physical body. Just in general what does it feel like to be you in this moment. So again, instead of thinking you already know, actually look. Maybe it changed since the last time you looked. And then whatever that’s like, let it be that way. Don’t try to change it. Let go entirely of the idea of trying to change it and instead see if you can just let it be the way it is.  Let’s just do that together for a little while just keep kind of tuning in and allowing.

Very good. Now I simply want you to notice that awareness is already present without you doing anything at all.  You’re not somehow now going to be aware and you weren’t before. It’s already there–it’s always been there. So just notice that that awareness is already present, and it was already present. There’s nothing to do to make awareness happen–it’s already on. So just notice that. 

What are you noticing? You’re noticing that noticing is occurring. You’re noticing that an experience is happening. You’re noticing that metaphorically the lights are on. In experience there’s stuff happening that’s the awareness that’s always present no matter what. So just notice that that’s always present no matter what it’s already on. It’s already happening. You didn’t have to flip a switch or tighten up or try to concentrate or do anything–it’s just there.

And just to play with that a little bit, I want you to try to become more aware.

Now, try as hard as you can. Work really hard at it–struggle struggle struggle struggle struggle effort effort effort. Become more aware right now–do it,  do it. Become more aware.

Good luck with that. Now that you’re exhausted, I want you to turn awareness off, okay? Just make it stop. Seriously, do it, stop awareness. That didn’t work either, did it? Notice that you can’t make it more and you can’t make it less. It’s just there regardless of anything you try to do to it. It’s just there. So, in a meditation practice like this, where the main thing we’re doing a lot of the time–not always–but the main thing we’re doing a lot of the time is resting in awareness, there’s not a lot to do because you’re already as aware as you’re going to get. We’re just being that awareness. We’re just coming from that awareness. So let’s rest as the awareness that’s already present for a little while together.

Notice that when resting as awareness that’s already present, there’s really nothing for your mind to do at all. It might keep doing stuff–blah blah blah blah blah–doing stuff, doing stuff–but it’s not actually helping with the meditation at all. It’s not making awareness more present. Awareness isn’t something you have to focus on because the thing that’s focusing on the awareness is the awareness so you just rest as awareness you rest as experience itself–just stuff happening. 

So don’t try to control your mind. It might be busy and thinking a lot–that’s okay. Or, it might be trying to control, but it can’t really control. So the stance here is we’re just not going to give it any encouragement. It’s like there’s a guy at the state fair with a truck and he’s trying to sell really awful corn dogs. He’s doing this to get you to buy the corn dog, and then has great advertising, and then has really good graphics, and then they have colored swirl corn dogs now and stuff like that.  Just all kinds of horrible ways to get you to buy a corn dog that you don’t want. But if you just never give them any money for his corn dogs, he’s going to pack up and go home eventually. So we just don’t encourage him. But neither are you trying to make the mind go away, or stop it or anything, you’re just not giving it any attention. Instead, awareness is just resting in awareness itself.

If you find yourself caught up in thinking, that’s buying a corn dog! Just set the damned thing down and back away. 

Notice if you just rest here a little bit, you start to tune into some real openness. Awareness itself outside of the thinking process is very very wide open. Awareness itself is like the sky. It’s just broad and simple–wide awake, unimpeded. It welcomes everything–rejects nothing. 

And notice that at least part of the awareness is quite still. A lot of stillness in that.  In the lightest way, while not working at it, just remaining nice and open.  Tuning into awareness that’s always been there. Just just very lightly notice the stillness that is at the center of that. In the core of it there’s just deep deep deep stillness together with spaciousness–very roomy, very open, very pleasant–still and spacious.

If you find yourself interacting with the thinking, just set that down. Again, you don’t have to stop the thinking, just don’t interact. Come back to just this openness and stillness that is already there. You don’t have to make it; you don’t construct it; you don’t cultivate it: it’s just there.

If we keep physically moving it’s very difficult to get in touch with this stillness. The physical movement will cause the interaction with thinking to really kick up, so we stay physically really still, but it’s very relaxed loose soft gentle stillness, not rigidity. Not tight or stiff–very loose.

Now, just like you could be resting in awareness and you could have a stomach ache, or feel really good in your stomach, or have a tight muscle or have a loose muscle. In exactly the same way, as we’re resting as wide awake wide openness feeling this stillness, we can allow the machinery of the mind to get really dull–or not.  If you’re finding yourself going to sleep or getting dull, sit up nice and straight. You might even open your eyes, if that works for you. We just want to not let the dullness of the machinery of thought take over. Just as if you had such a bad stomach ache it just kind of took over the experience, in the same way, if you’re letting the thought activity part get really dull and sleepy and start to go into hypnagogia or whatever, it’s going to kind of take over the experience. It won’t make the awareness less aware, but it will obscure it.  So, we sit up straight; we stay nice and alert. We have the intention to have interest in awareness itself.

Very good. Now tune into body sensation. That can be breathing, that can be just the feeling of sitting, whatever, but tune in into body sensation–all those feelings of the body. Not letting thought activity about the body take over but simply feeling the body. 

And you may notice, especially as thought activity about the body is not engaged with, you may notice that the body starts to feel a lot less like some kind of bag of guts and bones, but much more like feels like energy feels–like vibration and movement and tingling and energy. That’s what the body feels like when we’re not overriding all that with thoughts about the body. The mind’s image of the body is like it’s a car or something filled with parts that do things, but the body doesn’t see itself like that. The body, when it’s just experiencing itself the body’s sense of itself is just a field of energy. It’s very strong. It’s very beautiful, actually. It’s a wonderful feeling, to just let the body feel like itself for once instead of masked by the mind’s ideas about the body. So, feel all sensation from the body’s perspective. Feel that buzziness, that tingling, that energy, that continuous upwelling of life. It’s very pleasant on its own. Notice that when we leave aside the mind’s ideas about the body, notice that the boundaries of the body might not be what might not feel like what you think they are. They might not even feel like the shape of a body. So, just feel all that energy, whatever we call it–there’s no good word for it–I’ll just call it energy. Just feel that life surging in the body–all through it, everywhere. It’s just radiant with this feeling of life. Again, that’s what the body feels like when we’re not experiencing it from inside thinking. It’s this delicious flow of energy. 

And now, notice inside that energy and all around that energy is just space–lots of spaciousness–lots of openness–lots of awake awareness and tremendous stillness. So, even all that movement, all that energy is happening against a backdrop, or infused with, tremendous spaciousness and awakeness. And that spaciousness and awakeness is not the energy but it’s also not not the energy. And it’s also not not not the energy! So just feel that. Rest as wide awakeness, feeling the body and noticing this tremendous space and really rather beautiful energy.

Stay wide awake. Sit up straight. Maintain interest. It’s not nap time, yet.

Now, resting as wide awake wide openness that’s always been there, listen to the sounds–all around. You might hear some humming of various machinery, you might hear some hissing of various sorts, you’ll hear my voice now and then, you’ll hear people moving, even though they’re supposed to be super quiet. Hear all kinds of stuff. Listen carefully, as if there’s no body there at all, there’s just listening, as if you’re sound-transparent. There’s nothing within you that impedes the sound in any way there’s just hearing. Just tune into the field of sound. It’s almost like you’re sitting at the bottom of an ocean of sound and the currents of the ocean of sound are just moving around without bumping into anything at all.  If you listen to the sound outside of the mind, outside of thinking, not labeling it, not trying to tell what it is or what it isn’t, simply listening, it just becomes a field of vibration. A field of energy, just a bunch of movement, a bunch of buzziness, very similar to the body sensations in a way. Sometimes the vibration gets louder or softer. Sometimes larger waves move through it. Sometimes it’s more patterned, sometimes more entropic. Just a bunch of buzziness, that actually is rather soothing and pleasant. 

Good. Then notice within all this buzzy sound is just silence surrounding it. Infusing it is tremendous silence, which is just another kind of stillness. See if you can hear that silence. It won’t make all the sound go away. The sound is still there, but within it, around it, is tremendous silence. Notice how that is very similar–maybe even almost the same as–the stillness in the body.

Very good. If you want to go further with this–you don’t have to–if you want to go further with this, open your eyes, and without staring hard at anything, keeping your eyes rather relaxed and soft, notice the room around you. Notice the whole scene, but stay out of thinking about it. So it’s not “oh, I’m looking at this,” it’s a bunch of light and colors and shapes and patterns and highlights and shade and all of it is moving. If you stay in your mind, it will seem real still, but if you get into the actual experience you’ll notice that there are no straight lines. All the lines are kind of wiggling and there’s a lot of movement and a lot of colors and textures and lights and darks. If you really relax your mind, you’ll notice that this brightness and colorfulness of the visual field is related to the sensations in the body buzzing and tingling and the sounds of the room buzzing and vibrating. It’s a kind of visual vibration–very apparent if you relax. If you stay in your mind, it will be invisible, because your ideas about what you’re seeing are so rigid and fixed. If you drop out of the ideas, it will immediately become slithery and wriggly and vibratory. 

So, just with your eyes open, relax your gaze. Let the whole visual field just vibrate and wriggle and move and be vibrant. It’s that same aliveness; it’s the vibrancy; it’s filled with energy, very pleasant energy, very beautiful energy. So just be aware of that.  I’m talking about the normal visual field, not that you’re going to see some lines of force or laser beams or something. This is just a regular visual field when you relax your concepts about it. It is entirely in motion. Move your eyes back and forth and notice how the whole scene keeps moving but your thoughts about it will be well everything’s staying still but that’s an idea. The visual field is moving like crazy. Tremendous movement, change, vibration, energy, beautiful pleasant energy. Really you could just sit like this just noticing this. It’s very lovely.

But, as usual, I want you to notice that behind and within all this visual vibration, this riot of visual exuberance, is total darkness, total stillness, total silence, and that both are there together. You don’t have to imagine it. I’m not asking you to picture darkness. Just see it the way the whole visual field is like painted on a black glass plate. At the same time, tuning in to the silence in the auditory field, tuning into the stillness in the body.

Very good. Now let’s do the same thing with what we’ve been setting aside, which is that machinery of thought, the mind itself. Just notice that the activity of thought is just a lot of movement–a lot of change, like waves of vibration. It’s actually vibration in feeling. There’s a way it feels to think, that’s the deep part of thinking. It’s not the words and the pictures, it’s a feeling. If you tune into that feeling of thinking, it’s a flow, a vibration–a series of waves that move through sensation that eventually pop out as words and images but, deeply, are more a kind of feeling. And again, just as always, if you tune into that flow of thinking, it feels really nice. Many of us have kind of an aversive relationship with our mind, but actually, the flow of thought feels really good.  The energy of thinking is pleasant. It’s interesting here because I’m asking you to contact the energy of thinking, but not from within thinking. You’re still coming at it from just being spacious awareness. You can’t think your way into this: it won’t work. You have to simply feel it and then, as always, notice within that energy of thinking, around the energy of thinking, behind the energy of thinking is just spacious silent stillness,  darkness, enormously vast dark silent stillness. 

So we feel the vibration of body sensation and feel this vast stillness. Within it, hear the vibration of sound of the world around us, and notice the vast silent stillness within it. See the vibration of the visual field all around us, the exuberant display, and notice the dark silent stillness within it, around it, behind it. Even our thoughts, even our mind, our imagination, our verbal thoughts, our visual thoughts–it’s all vibratory flowing energy and within and around and behind that is just spacious stillness, silence, wakefulness, wide awake wakefulness.  

Within and around and behind and at the center of everything is this abyss. A terrifying total abyss that is also tremendously pleasant. But we can turn it around, too, and that’s even more interesting. From this abyss of stillness– silence–spacious awareness, the energy of thought bubbles forth, and becomes all our dreams and plans and ideas and neuroticism and stories and everything. It vibrates into everything from this silence–stillness–wakefulness. It bubbles forth the beautiful vision of the world around us, in all its complexity. Creativity–riotous activity–is pouring forth out of this chasm. It vibrates into all the sounds we hear–every sound your mother’s voice, the air conditioner, a jet overhead, a dog sniffling your ear–all sound is bubbling forth out of nothing.  

The feeling of your body, all the sensations of your body, the energy of your body, the energy of feeling alive, the energy of movement, of your heartbeat, of breathing, of a crick in your neck, of arthritis pain, of the pleasant sensation of having eaten, surges forth out of wide open stillness and silence. And it’s the surging forth that is all experience. Even your worst moment is just more exquisite surging forth of experience from nothing. A total miracle resting on nothing. A sense of deep love and appreciation bubbling forth from the void. Everything is infused with this primordial purity of absolute awakeness. Can you feel it? Look, it’s right there. Can you feel it? It’s not anywhere else. It’s not any other time. It’s right there. 

Now, let this expression, this vibratory, vivacious, exuberant brocade of experience, reflect back on its own stillness, silence, darkness that is both its origin, its destination, and its current existence, and just feel grateful. Feel gratitude for this experience. Gratitude that anything is happening at all. The most unlikely thing in the world is that anything is happening at all. Gratitude for this moment.

Very good. Feel free to move and stretch. 

Dharma Talk, Q&A

So I’m a big fan of imaginal stuff. The imagination is very underrated in our society but it’s an awesome thing. Here, though, I’m not asking you to imagine all this stuff. We’re not doing an imagination thing because I could see how you might sit here and hear what I’m saying and then try to imagine it. That would be a reasonable response. However, that’s not actually what I’m asking you to do. I’m asking you to notice it because everything I’m describing is right there to experience directly without imagining. Imagination is one of the things you might notice, but it’s not the main thing we’re doing. We’re just tuning into what’s there to see. So, if you get used to seeing in this way, it’s very apparent, and after a while, it’s super apparent. You don’t have to try very very hard to do what we were just doing. It’s just obvious. 

So if you’re spending the whole time trying hard to imagine what I’m saying it’s not that that’s some giant mistake. It can help, but that’s not what we’re doing. Instead, it’s exactly what I was describing. It’s like, okay, notice the feelings of your body, okay, feel something in your body and now let go of thoughts about it, because the thoughts about it are going to tend to make it into an object. That is that’s the imaginary part–your thoughts about it–and it keeps it in a certain box. If you let go of that, though, you’ll start experiencing the thing, for example the sensation in your body. That immediately presents itself in a different way when you’re not inside thoughts about body sensation. The body sensations are vibratory. They’ll feel like long waves, maybe really fast waves, and everything in between in cross currents, but it won’t feel like bones and meat and veins and stuff. It’ll feel vibratory, and that’s just directly experiential. You just have to be able to set aside your thoughts about it, which might be the hardest thing I’m asking you to do. I’m not saying don’t think about it, just don’t come from those ideas. They can be there, but you’re just coming from a different place. Just experience it, just feel it. That turns out to be hard to do at first, but once you get the hang of it, then it’s super easy, and you’ll just feel the buzzy tingliness of the body.

Then the next move is to notice that inside or around or behind or within that buzzy tingling, there’s space–you just look and there it is. It will be there. It’s a feeling. I’m saying look,  but you feel and it’s there. If at first you don’t notice that, then there’s the edge of your practice and that’s the place you know go– to the buzzy tingling–and let it and just keep feeling that. Then, eventually,  you’ll notice “oh, what Michael’s asking me to do is like I’m looking at a page of text and there’s words and now he wants me to notice the page. Oh, there it is!”  So you’re noticing the buzzy tingliness in your body and then I’m like notice the space. It’s just right there– it’s just the thing the buzzy tingliness is happening inside, kind of. None of that is imaginary, you’re just noticing it by letting go of ideas of what you think you’re supposed to feel.

It’s the same thing with sounds. We have an idea “oh that’s the sound of the air conditioner, that’s the sound of someone moving, that’s the sound of a car going by, that’s the sound of Michael talking,” and you keep labeling. But no one’s doubting that you know the origin of the sounds; that’s not the thing we’re doing. It doesn’t matter that you can figure out where the sounds are coming from. Instead, let go of those ideas, set it aside. The thing that’s finding the origin can do its thing, but you don’t care. 

What you want to do is hear that all the sounds are just vibration. They’re just various longwave, shortwave, interacting vibrations. It’s a whole bunch of stuff going on and you can just hear it directly. As soon as you’re outside the labeling it will sound like that, especially if you just relax, then you can just hang with that. That’s the energy–whatever that means–it is vibratory. And that’s already a good place. But then, instead of looking at the letters on the page, you look at the page. Instead of hearing the vibration, hear beneath it or around it or whatever. There’s the background of the silence and the spaciousness. It’s right there, it’s not some kind of imaginary thing that we’re invoking. 

So this is direct perception. By letting go of ideas about perception you can go right down. If you do it enough you’ll just keep going into this well of just: Wow! There’s a lot of stillness there. Whoa! There’s a lot of silence there! Whoa! There’s a lot of space there! That’s what I’m calling abyssal or chasm-like. It’s just really there. But that’s just one direction. We can go the other direction, which is kind of the miracle direction: it’s like all this everything is just coming out of that. Why? Everything was, just a moment ago, this abyss, and now it’s all of this–and you can just observe it happening. You might not see the long chain of it happening. You’d probably have to be in a pretty high concentration state to notice that, but you can just–there it is–there it is, and you can sense directly that the abyss is still in it. And so it’s crazy, it’s miraculous, and there’s not a good experience or a bad experience because it’s just all just the same wild experience. There doesn’t seem to be any reason for it. I don’t mean that in a meaninglessness way, I mean it in a wow! kind of way. It’s just happening. 

So, again, we’re not doing an imagination exercise, we’re doing direct perception. Just dropping ideas and just noticing, and we went in and out. The whole thing was: let’s go all the way to just abyss, and then let’s come back out and notice this. And this looks pretty different from that view. If any of those–I’ll call it “moves”, or let’s say, “ways of seeing,” we’ll speak a little in the language of St. Burbea, you know, like Ways of Seeing. So you see it as energy, and then see it as empty, and then go on see it as exuberant expression. All those are just ways of seeing, they’re not adding stuff to it. It’s more like subtracting. Good.

So what about your experience, or questions,  comments, intense vitriolic complaints. Oh, we’ve got a vitriolic complaint!

Questioner 1: I wanted to ask about looking for the dark blankness in the visual field. 

Michael: It’s not a special effect, it’s just there.

Questioner 1:  I feel like I see all this like buzzy movement energy glowy stuff.  And then I see that it’s like a little bit like flickering.

Michael:  Okay, so if you put it in that metaphor, the other side of the flicker is always darkness. It’ll flicker into something and go blank and then flicker into something and then go dark. So it’s not all happening at once, usually–it can–blank everything goes out, but that’s kind of a special experience. Normally it’s just kind of “both are there.” You said flickering. That’s kind of an interesting way to go there. Sure.

Questioner 1: It’s like not all flickering at once but like each little pixel is flickering.

Michael: That’s right, but then, if you relax and get used to seeing that, it’s all doing that. What happens is, if you look big, you’ll start to make stuff into stuff. You get inside the ideas of the room instead of the room. So you have to relax back out of the ideas, and then the whole thing is, even just the dots, are just doing that. Okay, so you got the right idea.  That’s a way to go there. 

Questioner 1: Thank you. 

Michael: But notice you’re seeing it, you’re not trying to make something up, right?  It’s just right there.  

Questioner 1: A follow-up question: When I feel like it’s flickering, then I feel like I just have an idea that there must be something in the background–or do you actually see black?

Michael: Look for yourself.  It’s interesting. It’s whatever the other side of seeing is. I’m calling it blackness. 

Questioner 1: Thank you.

Michael: What else? Questions? Comments? Corn Dogs?

Questioner 2: A few of the experiences you described tonight I’ve heard under different names: the land of infinite consciousness, the land of no-thingness. 

Are these related ideas or are these definitively distinct?

Michael:  You’re talking about the arupa jhanas or ayatanas. I usually translate ayatana as sphere instead of land but, okay, land. They’re different. They’re related, but different. We didn’t do no-thingness at all, even the abyss I’m talking about is a little different than the seventh jhana, at least in my experience of the seventh Jhana. So if you think of it as a three-dimensional possibility space, we are somewhere nearby, but it’s not the same point, okay? And that’s okay! In the three-dimensional jhana space there’s a lot of stuff that’s not the jhanas, right? There’s a whole bunch of possibilities. We’re doing something a little different only because the jhanas are kind of hyper-defined. They’re very distinct points in that possibility space and we’re doing something that’s a little more open all around there. Okay, so it might for some people intersect every once in a while, but it’s also not quite that like it’s got to be that one spot, okay?  But, of course, you know, obviously, you could say what I was talking about with the vibration of the body is just piti, and I wouldn’t complain about that. So that was Arupa Jhana right there you know if you really got into it, so I think we’re playing in the same possibility space, but we’re not being quite so this one, this one, this one, about it, okay? 

Questioner 2: Thank you.

Questioner 3: My question is,  I don’t have any problems with the idea of visual blackness if you will, but I don’t know what silence is. I’m not talking about thoughts, I’m talking about actual vibrations that are ceaseless that are just ever present that have always been ever present since my youngest time. So being given the task of imagining silence.

Michael: Don’t imagine it. It doesn’t make the sound go away. If you can see the darkness within the visual field, it’s the same task, just in sound instead of sight. So just play with that and remember, just like when you’re seeing the visual field that way, it doesn’t make vision go away. You can still see. You can still hear the sounds but you’re hearing the stillness behind it also. It’s the same game. 

Questioner 4: You said that the energy in the flow of thoughts is interesting, so I think it’s interesting when I hear an “I love you” or “I hate you,” you know there are feelings behind it. I understand how it’s interesting that flow but what about my flow of thoughts when I’m doing something like paying bills online, there’s nothing interesting. 

Michael: You’re talking about bored thoughts?

Questioner 4:  Maybe, yeah. I mean also with intellectual thinking like work, coding, you know all sorts–there’s no feeling in it.

Michael:  Okay, so some thoughts trigger feelings, some don’t. But that’s not the feeling I’m talking about. You’re using the word feeling to mean emotion, which is one of its meanings. But I’m using it to mean physical sensation: non-emotional style sensation. So, just like you can feel the buzzy tingliness in your body, I presume. That kind of feeling. Thoughts–any thought, regardless of the content, the content in this way of working doesn’t matter at all. You just notice the buzzy tingling energy of the thought activity, okay? Because even though we’re strongly conditioned to think that thoughts are spiritual, they don’t have physicality, you can feel it. It’s an energy in your body. That’s what I mean when I say the feeling of thinking.

Questioner 4: I think I’m not probably sensitive enough to feel the buzzing with some sort of thoughts.

Michael: You were talking about the emotion of the thoughts? 

Questioner 4: The energy behind the thought. I feel like there’s no energy when it comes to some intellectual kind of thinking.

Michael: Okay, just keep noticing more with more relaxation and you’ll notice they all have energy, or all are energy. 

Questioner 5: I’m not exactly sure what my question is, but that was very psychedelic for me.

Michael:  Well, I’ve never done any psychedelics [grin], but, yeah, people tell me that it does seem that way.  

Questioner 5: What is that? How could I sit here and listen to you and do some stuff and I’m now I’m tripping?

Michael: You can’t cut open a molecule of LSD and find a psychedelic experience.  It’s just turning off the thinking of things, just like I’m having you set it aside. And then what’s there is what’s there. It’s like doors of perception, Aldous Huxley: you’re turning off the reduction valve and just seeing what’s actually present. So that’s why it starts to look like that kind of experience.

Questioner 5: That is cool so I can just do that?

Michael: Well, you just did! This is what everyone will tell you, just no one believes it, and that is you don’t need that drug. It’s just doing what you just did with a bunch of extra discomfort.

Let’s make that our final question back there.

Questioner 6: Hello! I’ve done one of your meditations before where you kind of like get us to go move our awareness from behind our eyes into our heart chest area. I noticed when I can get there I can really drop in and feel like I’m in this spacious awareness.  But I have a really hard time getting there. I’m wondering if there’s any cues you can use that can help me drop in? Because today I was all behind my eyes.

Michael: What are the cues I give you to come from the heart?

Questioner 6:  I don’t know, just now we’re gonna drop in we’re gonna move the awareness. Sometimes I can do it and other times…

Michael: Do you think the awareness is really centered in your heart when we move it down?  

Questioner 6: When I think about it there it feels different.

Michael: It does, I agree, but when it’s not there is it really coming from your head? 

Questioner 6: I guess it’s not really anywhere.

Michael: It’s not anywhere, that’s right, and so we’re moving around where we’re more aware of. When I say set aside the machinery of thinking, it’s sort of the same move. It’s just saying set it aside and feel your heart, okay? So one way or another I’m going to trick you or guide you or cajole you into letting go of all those ideas and then it starts to open up. So if you can get used to either moving your attention into your heart or into your belly. It does matter where you pretend you’re putting it. If you put it in your heart you will feel more emotionally open, more joy, more love. If you put it in your belly, you’ll feel presence and a lot of just energy, a lot of vitality. So you know wherever we’re imagining it is does affect the experience. But if we’re sticking it up here [head], usually then we’re going to get a lot of ideas happening and so, until you learn to notice the ideas as energy they will just act like gum in the machine, so we want to just step outside that, however you can do it. If it works for you to just feel like you’re dropping into your heart. Can you do it right now? 

Questioner 6: I was trying the whole time, and there was even a moment where I opened my eyes and it was kind of moving like before you even said things were going to move, I was like moving, but then you said it and then all of a sudden I couldn’t do it anymore.

Michael: There’s like a rubber band popping you back. So, snip the rubber band and just sit there, okay?  The only reason the whole visual field looks still–ever–is because you’re using your thoughts to keep it that way, holding it together to tighten it because really it’s going like [vroop] right? Okay?

Questioner 6: So, are you like that all the time?

Michael:  [laughter] Not all the time.

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