Real Power: Givenness To Love In The Midst Of Polarity

Q: I’ve recently experienced a restedness within and I know there’s new life there. I feel I’m stepping into something of the weakness you speak of. Would you speak more about weakness and real power?

John: From within the conditioning in our selves, we relate to power as what gives us advantage: an advantage over vulnerability, an advantage over weakness, an advantage in being taken advantage of, an advantage in unfairness, having an advantage in being liked, being loved, being cared for. It’s all an abuse of power: the use of power that doesn’t come from within nurture, the use of power that has its relationship to lack, the use of power that perceivably gives remedy to lack. It’s all the illusory power of separation. 

Real power is the capacity deep within, fundamentally as awareness, from within our forms, to empower what is just a little bit deeper than what affects our selves. It’s the giving of our power from within our selves to the heart, while our selves are affected by others and by circumstances. 

Real power is the power of givenness.

Real power nurtures present subtle connectivity.

Real power is what enables the subtle movement of humanness in the midst of difficulty and pressure.

Real power is the quiet givenness that enables love to be freed from within in the midst of polarized circumstances, in the midst of polarized experience in our selves: love being freed into a polarized nervous system. 

Real power is awareness relaxed in forms of difficulty.

 

What Is Real Forgiveness?

Q: I want to talk about forgiveness. We’re often told to forgive this and forgive that, but if we’re really coming from our heart there is no need for forgiveness. 

John: Yes. When you hold a grudge, or when you’re closing and hardening towards someone because of how they’ve treated you, it doesn’t matter how wrongly you’re treated, you’re not right in closing or hardening. So in that way no one has a good or a real reason to close and harden. 

We can close and harden when we’re mistreated, and what we understand in ourselves is that ultimately we need to come to a place of forgiving, forgiving the other. What that’s really based on is that we need to come to a place of openness and softness of heart concerning how we were treated. When we move in that beingness there isn’t the need to forgive, and what passes away with the need to forgive is also being above others by forgiving them. In a way, as we forgive someone, there’s something in ourselves that’s condescending. 

When we’re just opening and softening within toward how someone has treated us, there is no beingness that brings us in any way to being condescending. What there is, is an extension of openness and softness – a movement of love. For anyone who’s identified with themselves, it’s a simple way to point to the heart by encouraging that one to forgive. But as soon as you begin to go deeper within than your self, you don’t need to relate to forgiving: what you come into is the beingness that moves in the value of forgiveness. 

What makes forgiveness real, and gives it its value, is a deeper beingness. 

 

My Mother Is Dying …

Q: My mother is very ill. She’s likely to die very soon, and in my self I’m panicking. 

John: When she dies, she will be so fine. 

Q: In my heart I know everything’s okay, yet I feel very alone with it.

John: Then that’s that. What is real is right there. You go to your heart and stay there: not just concerning your mother dying but concerning your whole life, concerning everything. You will, a little bit, turn into what she will be after she’s died, and your life – what you have left of it – will not continue to just pass away. 

Lucky for you that she’s dying, because her dying brings you back to what matters. In her dying, a little door is open for you. It won’t stay open for very long – just long enough for you to realize and to enter. That will be the change of everything that has mattered in your self, the change of everything that has mattered in your life. In a tiny way, you get to follow her and a little bit of her change will be yours. You lucky man. 

The opportunity is fleeting. As it passes, familiarity in all of your self resumes its course. You’ll continue to be busy with so many important things. You’ll continue to be consumed with all that matters so much, but it won’t include what matters in this tiny little door of opening. 

As she dies, all you have in her is your bond with her. Everything else you don’t need. It’s within your bond with her that you can even see her. You’ll see her as she goes, even if she can’t see so well until she’s gone. 

 

 

 

Finding Safety In This World: Enjoying The Goodness Within

Q: I feel out of control in my life. Something seems to affect my work and personal life and I don’t know what to do about it. It’s as if I’m influenced by an archetype and keep becoming a scapegoat. I find it difficult to belong to the human race, to be a part of mankind. What happens, for example, is that I start a new job and I’m friendly with everyone, then things start going wrong. I’m ostracized and then fired. Now it’s happening again and I love my job! I’m being ostracized and I’ve been warned not to put a foot wrong or I’ll be fired. It shakes my foundations: I don’t want to lose my job and have no money coming in, but unconsciously I must not want to belong to this group. I don’t want to keep doing this to my self, John. My life feels so fragile. It’s as if there’s no safe place; I have nothing to hold onto.

John: Accept enjoyment. There’s always a safe place within enjoyment, the enjoyment of settling in your body whether you have a job or not. Beingness is enjoyable. It is profoundly nurturing, profoundly safe.

Life may not seem safe to you, but within life there is something that’s higher than life. Instead of you being confined by life in the midst of life, you can be in where life comes from: you enjoying the source of life. You have limited your perspective to your past experiences, so you are controlled by what has been.

When what you most deeply know within controls you, then there’s peace. If anything else controls you, there is no peace. Let what you most deeply know within receive you. Let tenderness within receive you. Regardless of what corner you find yourself pushed into, the innermost of that corner is tenderness. Let tenderness rearrange your perspective. Let tenderness change how you think.

First, get it right with tenderness by letting tenderness receive you. Then get it right with work. Don’t neglect the little, the little that is in everything, everywhere. Remember the little and you’ll remember where you came from. Remember the little in everything, and you won’t be caught by anything big. Let your perspective within come from the little while you are within what you think is big. The big in your life is just unrealized little. You alarm yourself with the capacity to alarm yourself.

Q: Do I need to understand all you say, John, or just let it in?

John: Has any of this warmed you? Then it’s already in, warming you. You cannot get it out of you; you can only neglect it. Enjoy the goodness within. It is in abundance everywhere. Find that goodness in your work. When you find it, work for that. When you are walking, find the goodness in your walk and walk in that.

It is the goodness in life that you belong to. That is the tender little that fills everything. Remember the little.

 

Relationship: Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

Q: I have a burning question about a relationship with a man I’ve been with for some time. I dread being with him, basically. I shut down, and I don’t know if that signifies an ending. When I’m away from him I have space and feel light again. I don’t know if to stay or go, or whether this is some kind of mirror for me.

John: In your self you’re finished with him, and that’s a limiting kind of self. It reveals that you’re in relationship on the terms of your self.

Q: That’s good to hear. I was thinking that leaving is a bit hasty – a cop-out. I’m not even really clear about my purpose in being with men. I told him I’m here for love otherwise I’m going, and he thought that was a bit drastic.

John: Then you’re here for love and your kind of self is going. It will be through relationship that you’ll be moving past your self, not using the experience in your self as a gauge for what is right for you. What is actually right for you isn’t going to be appealing to your self.  

Q: I know I need to stay with what’s deeper than my self. This is what happens in my relationship with men: I go into my head and start thinking instead of staying with what’s more like my being.

John: In relating to your self, with how your self is patterned, you won’t be inclined to give your whole heart to another. It is that that will separate you from what a profound relationship is.

Q: I feel confusion and a barrier inside me, particularly in my chest, as you speak.

John: It’s the confinement of being in something for your self instead of being in something for what you know the truth of. In that, your self will change. Your self will change because you, as awareness, are evolving.

Q: I feel the expansion and I can also feel the self. That confinement is like a rat scratching in a cage.

John: Give that confinement neither voice nor movement. As soon as you give it something, you strengthen its patterning. You’re having a deeper seeing than you have in your self and, in your self, you’re not prepared to let go of your relationship with your self for that deeper seeing: you have a deeper seeing and you’re taken with your self.

As awareness, like not learning the hard way.  In all things, favour delicate knowing within. Learning the easy way will be costing your self. It will keep costing your relationship with your self.

The deeper knowledge that you have, within, isn’t like what your self is like.

 

Making Ready For Ultimate Truth

Q: I am ready for the ultimate truth.

John: What makes you ready is you being gentled and quieted in your heart, unconditionally, in every relationship you have with everything, everyone, and your self – all of that at any personal expense. It readies you for what is ultimate because it clears you of everything that isn’t ultimate. That level of deep inner quietude, in the midst of anything, cleans you of your beliefs, your core beliefs. It cleans you of your subconsciousness.

Q: For a character like me that sounds very challenging.

John: You’re asking for the ultimate truth.

Q: Yes.

John: What prepares you for that is the most basic truth, the truth within of what is just beneath the surface, and being that within everything on the surface. That clears all of the self-importance on the surface, leaving the presence of purity of heart available in the midst of anything: nurturing simplicity of heart quietly present in the midst of all complexity.

Purity of heart is when your heart – all of your heart – isn’t occupied with what you think, what you feel, what you want and what you need. What fills your heart is just presence of openness and softness: the deep inner quietude of having need of nothing in the midst of all of the doing in your life.

Purity of heart means that in your living, in all of your day, in all of your relationships to everything and everyone, that you are not taking your self to heart; that in your living, your heart is filled with what deeply matters more than your self, and this quiet meaning-filled heart is what fills your self. It is the presence within your feeling, your thinking, your will, your emotions, and all of the ways in which you configure that to do things in your life. The doing isn’t for any personal sense of accomplishment. It isn’t for the improvement or the betterment of any kind of identity. The doing is all an expression of what you are deeply being inside.

It’s like the innocence of a child moving about in its day. Innocence loves doing and in everything it does there’s the expression of that deep, inner innocence, the purity: being clean of one’s self, filled with being, all expressed in one’s self, expressed in every kind of doing.

Q: Thank you.

 

A Deeper Level Of Parenting: Awakening Your Child’s Interior

Q: I have a question about my eleven-year-old son. He has some difficulties in school. It seems that regular school is not right for him and I’m looking at others. How do you see the importance of the school years? Am I doing more than I should, or not enough?

John: The deeper the level of your parenting, the less it makes any difference what school your child goes to.

Q: But he is only there for half a day and he suffers there!

John: If he suffers in school, he’s suffering from a lack of parenting: not a surface kind of parenting, but a depth of parenting.

If your parenting doesn’t include the realization of the depth of his own interior, then he’ll have a lack within his interior when he goes to school. In his experience, it will be about his environment. The truth of it is that it’s not a lack in his environment, or a lack of match between his environment and himself. It’s a lack of awakening within his own interior.  

Q: It’s true. I’m not sure how to get this through to him. Is it just by being this myself?  

John: Yes: by you deepening in your interior. That means that your interior can no longer be about what you think, feel and experience in your self. Your interior needs to be about what you know in your heart, and about your own being. That opens up the levels of your interior that pertain to your heart and your being, and these deeper levels begin to have mastery of the surface levels of your interior. As this takes place in you, your son sees how you are in your interior and that enables him to directly realize the deeper levels of his interior.

Q: So looking for other schools, trying to fix things or getting him a therapist are just meaningless?

John: They are not meaningless. All of those things help, and all those focuses are not the answer.

Q: The change has to come from me, then, rather than through him? Is that what you’re saying?

John: Yes. When you come from a depth of your own interior, when you are with him you’ll be with him from a greater depth of your interior. That activates a greater depth in his interior.

What’s The Right Job For Me?

Q: My question is about a job. I don’t know what kind of job is right for me and I’m always wondering what it is I want for my life: where to go, what I need.

John: The deeper levels of you are not able to even relate to a job. The deeper levels of you do not need a job.

Q: They need money!

John: The deeper levels of you do not need any money. The deeper levels of you don’t need shelter, don’t need food, don’t need water, don’t even need physical life.

Q: I want family, I want children and I want work … it’s my life and I love it!

John: The responsibility of having a job and being active in this world belongs to the surface level of you. It does not belong to the deeper levels of you. There are many of you, and having a job belongs to only one of you.

What really matters is that this one of you that’s responsible to have a job, does a job and has a job for all of these other levels of you. Then it’s clean. But if you have a job for the surface level of you, you separate because there isn’t just the surface level of you: everything that you do on the surface belongs and is given to what’s deeper. So when you do your job – and it doesn’t matter what job you do – you go to work and you’re at work for all of these other deeper levels of you. When that’s genuine, all of these deeper levels of you live and shine in your job.

What shines of the surface level of you in your job is that you are there for all of these deeper levels of you. In your job, the surface level of you is in a love-flow of givenness: not givenness to the job but givenness to everything that you’ve awakened to while you do your job. If you look to the deeper levels of you for what job to do, all of these deeper levels of you would look at you and, in a sense, they would all be saying that it makes no difference what you do. It doesn’t matter what job you have. It doesn’t matter what career you have. It doesn’t matter how much money you make. It doesn’t matter whether you like your job or not. All that matters is: have a job and do your job. Do it given to what’s deeper.

Q: I don’t know if this is my life.

John: It’s not your life. You’re drawn to this being your life just as long as it doesn’t cost you too much. You’re drawn to this being your life as long as you can also, on the surface, have the job you like, be comfortable and have everything else that you like. But that can shift. You can be a flow of givenness to this deeper life while you’re comfortable and uncomfortable, so that it doesn’t make a difference to you anymore. You could have a job that you don’t like, or you can have a job that you really like. Either way, you are equally given to this deeper life within, while you do your job.

It’s a simple life. It’s a life of givenness. It isn’t a life of getting and having. It isn’t a life of keeping. It isn’t a life of personal ownership. It’s a life flow of givenness.  

 

 

Living Past-Life Free

Q: I have been deeply trapped in a vicious circle my whole life. For thirty-five years I was addicted to heroin and cocaine. Although the drugs have stopped, the addiction has continued. It was covering up a deep grief and sadness coming from my last life when I apparently lost a child, and which I know from Vipassana I could not overcome.

John: What do you mean that you have apparently lost a child?

Q: I have seen clearly, in talking with my  teacher, that I became addicted in my last life because I could not overcome that shock.

John: What shock?

Q: Losing a child, as a mother, in my last life. I became addicted in this last life, and this addiction, the grief and the sadness came with me into this life. For as long as I remember I always felt that I had a twin which my mother lost.

John: Don’t believe what you don’t directly know the truth of.  It doesn’t matter what anyone tells you. Don’t believe what someone tells you just because it sounds interesting or just because it fits something. If you don’t directly know the truth of it, don’t believe it.  

Q: But I wasn’t told. I experienced it in Vipassana, and my experience was so extreme I went to talk with the teacher and he said: “Well, obviously it’s not from this life so it must belong to your last life.” 

John: That’s a deduction. Don’t deduce the truth of anything. It’s important, because what you deduce of the truth, you put together in your psyche and it holds. If it’s deduced, it’s fabricated.  

Q: Well, for the first time I feel that this addiction and the underlying sadness has gone, but I’ve been tricked so many times in my life by my mind telling stories about being healed. I just want to check with you if it’s really happened this time, or if there is still any residue left which needs to be looked at and transcended.

John: The residuals are all there and they don’t need to be looked at; they don’t need to be sorted through. As they come up, don’t engage them, don’t address them. Engage no process with them. Give it no thought: just quietly open and soften in your heart in the midst of what comes up. It isn’t about what comes up; it’s all about what you are being in the midst of anything that comes up.

What comes up in your experience forms an internal environment. That environment doesn’t matter much. What matters is what you are being in it. What matters everything, what matters first, is that you are opening and softening within the quietude of your heart in the midst of any internal environment, any outside environment, without needing to work on any of it. Your real beingness accomplishes, in your self, what your self is incapable of.   

Whatever you experienced in your meditation, as powerful as it was, believe the part in it that you directly knew the truth of. Give your experience no interpretation; give it no story.  If you give it interpretation and a story, you empower a false covering on it. Whatever was real and true in that experience remains in you, and on its own continues to reverberate as long as you’re not putting something to it. Whatever you put to it, put on it, whatever you conclude and form around it will also continue to reverberate, and then you’ll have a mix of the two: the real and the false.

When you are deeply gentled and quieted in your heart, there you are past-life free – whether past lives exist or not. Deeply gentled and quieted in your heart, right there, you are yester-life free, yester-year free, yester-day free. There is no past of any kind that is able to hold into openness, making profound openness your key into you.

Authenticity of being circumvents every holding, every form, every process. With authenticity of being, within, available in your heart, you really are what you really are. There’s nothing else required. Add anything to that and you engage a process: difficulty.  

Q: My God! (crying) Thank you.

 

How Can I Connect With My Family?

Q: My question is about family. How can we be with family in our hearts when we feel very different from them?

John: When you’re in your heart, you’ll see in the others what isn’t different. Your whole sense of meaning in being together will be based on what isn’t different, enabling the differences to have a brightness of color without a sense of polarity. When you’re in your heart toward the others, their differences – how their personalities and selves are different from yours – become dear to you, enabling your love for them to not be based on what they are being to you and how they’re behaving.

As you live from your heart in the midst of family, unconditionally, what you’ll develop toward the others, regardless of how they behave and what they do, is heart understanding. You’ll learn to see from a deeper place and you’ll not easily be taking things personally anymore. In that way, the deeper the level that you’re coming from within, the more you infuse family with meaning. There’s no performance in that. You won’t be performance-oriented. Instead of performing or working for love or acceptance, you quietly receive it wherever it is. You’re not dependent on it for you to be what you really are, and to move that way toward the other.

No one else in your family needs to come from their heart – just you. As soon as you need someone else to be in their heart, that means that you’ll be in your heart as soon as they are.