Enlightenment as a Skill — Part VI: The Uniting Practices
Important: It is critical that you are adept at Imbuing before practicing Uniting. Please see the previous article Enlightenment as a Skill — Part V: The Imbuing Practices.
Uniting the Personal and Impersonal (Yin)
In a quiet location, sit in front of a small, target object. A flower or a houseplant is preferable. In these examples, we’ll use a flower, but any small, pleasant object will do.
Through sight alone, imbue the flower with your being. This should feel no more difficult than reaching out and touching it. If it is not that easy, please go back to the Imbuing Practices above. Fill the entire flower with your being.
Now close your eyes. Think of something you take very personally. The more personal it is, the better. Something that bothers you. Something you take seriously. Something that contracts you into this hard, quivering lump of mortal flesh.
See that “bothersome something” as a mental concept — as a distinct, mental image. Visualize lifting your arm up, reaching into your head and grasping hold of it. Visualize pulling it up and out of your head and dropping it to the ground.
Now open your eyes and imbue the flower with your being.
As you are imbuing the flower, monitor your self boundaries. Feel them expand. Feel your “self” and the flower become one. Try to maintain this sense of expansion. Try to maintain this sense of oneness.
Repeat the above. Use the same personal issue or a different one. Whichever feels appropriate. The more personal and bothersome the issue, the better.
What you are doing is using the emotional issue to activate the personal side of your brain. As you “pull it out and drop it,” the emotional component creates an “afterglow.” This keeps the personal side “lit.” By quickly imbuing the flower, you are simultaneously activating the impersonal part of the brain. Both parts active equals Witness consciousness. This is why being able to imbue is so important, if it takes effort, the delay will be too long between the afterglow and the imbuing. Only one side of the brain will be active at a time.
A word of caution: If the issue is too personal, you may not be able to pull it away (at least, not yet). Try to find the most personal, yet still “discardable” issue you can. If you are not able to grasp and discard the issue, do not imbue the flower with it. You don’t want to fill the flower with your issue, you want to fill the flower with you-whatever-that-is. You want to fill the flower with your essence, not the issue. It won’t hurt the flower, it just defeats the purpose of the exercise: becoming one with the flower.
So the practice goes like this: Sight imbue. Close eyes. Personal issue. Grasp and discard issue. Sight imbue. Monitor self boundaries. Feel the Oneness. Repeat.
Uniting the Personal and Impersonal (Yang)
The Yang practice builds on the Yin practice but in a much more reactive and spontaneous manner. It is more dynamic and real-world than the controlled environment of the Yin/flower practice.
Take a walk among people. As you feel self conscious (I’m too fat. I’m too thin. I’m not dressed right. …), visualize the thought as a mental object, reach in, pull it out and drop it to the ground. If you don’t feel self conscious, use whatever thought is currently “contracting” you out of the feeling of oneness. Alternatively, intentionally dress weird or inappropriately to make yourself feel self-conscious.
As you drop the me-contraction to the ground, immediately imbue your being into everything you see. In one broad stroke, fill all the people with “you.” Imbue all the buildings, all the trees, all the clouds and the entire sky. Fill everything with “you.”
Make it personal. Don’t fill everything with some idealistic concept: “I’m filling everything with Love.” That is too impersonal. Fill it with your felt sense of self. Fill it with your essence. Fill everything with you.
Feel the self contraction. Pull it out and discard it. Imbue everything with you.
Feel yourself expanding. Feel yourself opening. Feel everything you perceive as inside of you. As one with you. As you.
If it slips away, as you feel yourself contract back into the little me-me-me thing, just do it again.
Repeat and repeat and repeat.
The more often you do this practice — all of these Witness practices — the easier they become. You are rewiring your brain, and that takes time. You are training the personal and the impersonal parts to communicate. You are becoming more skilled at Witness consciousness.
You are learning to ride.
Soon — just like hopping on a bicycle and gliding off — you’ll be able to access Witness consciousness whenever you want.