Siva

Imagine you are on your deathbed, looking back over your life.  Imagine all your dreams have come true.  What do you see when you look back?  How has your life unfolded?

This was Frank’s answer to that question:

Oct 12, 2009, in my 62nd year, was the big wakeup call when I became alive.  Maharaji was teaching me everything.  The initial recovery took a few months, the intermediate phase took longer.  I spent some time in India at Maharaji’s ashram where I got the message of what I needed to do for the rest of my life.  It became a dance at that point, an analogy I got from my dance instructor mother.  I learned to treat everyone I meet as a dance partner.  From that point on I danced through the rest of my life.  I gave up a lot of the constrictions I had when I was married.  I became an accomplished yogi that helped others learn how to listen to and follow their own inner path.  This continued for many, many years, accomplishing the things Maharaji wanted me to accomplish.

What a beautiful life dream!  What’s yours? If you are like most of the rest of us, you probably keep your hopes focused on your dream coming true, and part of that strategy involves not giving any energy to what might happen instead. While you know that there are many things in life that are out of your control, such as having an accident, being the victim of a crime, or catching this or that disease, if you are like most of us, you don’t think much about what you can’t control and instead focus on what you can.

For most of us, most of the time, that’s a good idea. We focus on making it through the day as best we can: putting food on the table, keeping a roof over our heads, providing for our loved ones, and paying our bills. However, we run the risk of losing our dream, sleepwalking our way through the more or less mindless routines of our daily lives or getting bushwhacked by an unexpected catastrophe. What to do?

Integral Deep Listening invites you to imagine your catastrophic expectations to surface your fears so that you can listen to them, respect them, and use them as allies in your development. This was the next question we asked Frank, who had just got smacked with a major life wakeup call: a diagnosis of stage IV cancer:

Now imagine that you are on your deathbed, looking back over your life.  Imagine that NONE of your dreams have come true; in fact, all of your fears have come to pass.  What happened?  How do you feel?

I follow what everybody else tells me to do.  I do what doctors tell me.  I did the chemo, I went to the Prostate support meetings.  I got involved in drug trials, testing new drugs.  The more I did it the fewer people were around me because I didn’t have the energy to be in their lives.  I ended up going into nursing homes because I couldn’t take care of myself.  The money I had got drained away and I died a pauper in pain.

If those feelings had a color (or colors), what would it be?

Black and red!

Imagine that color filling the space in front of you so that it has depth, height, width, and aliveness.

Now watch that color swirl, congeal, and condense into a shape. Don’t make it take a shape, just watch it and say the first thing that you see or that comes to your mind: An animal? Object? Plant? What?

An anvil and hammer.

Anvil and hammer, would you please tell us about yourself and what you are doing?

“I am a standard large anvil, solid steel, weighing at least 500 pounds with a point on one end.  I am almost immovable, powerfully built.  As the hammer, I am good and solid.  I work with my partner to bend things that are very hard, like steel. We are dependable, strong. We know what we’re doing. We can bend and shape things. However, we have crappy social lives!  No one comes because they want to hang out with us.  They are only around us because we are tools. We are not desired in and of ourselves.  People don’t quite understand us. They think that if you hit an anvil hard enough it will break. But the hammer is what breaks, not the anvil, if something is going to break.

We personify Frank’s base chakra stuff. Things he’s used for so long.  However, it’s more than that.  It’s any of the chakras.  He knows how to bend things.  He knows how to make things move.”

“On a scale of zero to ten we score ourselves a ten in confidence and witnessing, and a five in the other four qualities, inner peace, acceptance, compassion, because everything gets bent to the goal, which is more important than compassion.  You just do it. There is a five in wisdom because I don’t learn from the mistakes of others. If Frank scored a ten in compassion he would use us much more judiciously.  If all you have is a hammer and an anvil, then every problem is a horseshoe…However, what he forgets  is that the hammer can beat out gold as well as dross, and shape it finely. If he scored a ten in wisdom he would look at other people! See how they are screwing up and learn from that! He would accept that he can be different and be wise about it! Regarding inner peace, he would be doing the art of goldsmithing rather than working on raw iron!  It would be more gentle and effective!”

“The level of subtlety he would require would be quite pronounced.  Learning the dance is so appropriate for him, dancing with his own self, with the universe, with others. For him to create magic in his life he needs to keep dancing! Keep your mouth shut, don’t think about people, feel them.  When that feeling is prominent, move with the steps that need to be taken…Regarding service, turn it over to Maharaji!  It’s his perogative. Be more open to that. These issues are Frank’s key to hey are the key to a rich and fulfilling life. Using us to turn his life into shaped gold will remind him that there is always a more open and loving way to do things!”

Why do you think that you are in Frank’s life?

We are an important part of who he is.  We are part of his soul.

What do you think about Frank’s nightmare?

It gives his fears a reality that he needs to accept and then choose not to do it.  It can be a choice rather than a destiny.

What do you think about this person’s good dream?

It’s also a choice, not a destiny.

How is this person most likely to ignore what you are saying to them?

Falling asleep!

What would you recommend that they do about that?

Stay awake!!!!   Open your heart.  It provides the right answers.

I think this person created this nightmare because….

He created it.  He has to recognize that it’s a choice that he has to make.

What have you heard yourself say?

Frank: “Bending and turning things; the hammer and anvil have given me a long time perspective.  The decisions I’m making now will affect a lot of people for a long time. That was a surprise to me because my time frame has been so attenuated since I got my cancer diagnosis.  It’s been hard for me to see that the decisions I’m making now have long term implications.  In a past life I was the wife of a samuri in the height of that period in Japan.  I was good with money and kept my husband financially secure.  I was a respected member of the society with money and influence.  I also had a son, who I have met this lifetime.  I spent a bunch of years toward the end of my life as a Zen nun. I need to get out of thinking in terms of one lifetime.  See the big picture.  Go back to understanding that my choices are not for next week, month, or year, but how what I do can have an impact on my soul and future incarnations.”

This interview allowed Frank to frame his life catastrophe in the context of multiple incarnations. It allowed him to experience his evolution over lifetimes as a process similar to shaping gold. This in turn took all the pressure off dying, which we all do sooner or later, and off not accomplishing his dream for this lifetime, which is a probability for most of us, because our dreams are either unrealistic or do not reflect the priorities that are attempting to be born within us.

In our experience, such interviews are a powerful way to help people get out of their own way and to get grounded in a perspective that is both authentic and transformative.

You will find instructions for such an interview here, or you can just follow the format of the following transcript:

What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?

1. How do I create magic in my life and other people’s lives?

2. How do I dance with people?

3. What’s the best way or ways to serve?

Imagine you are on your deathbed, looking back over your life.  Imagine all your dreams have come true.  What do you see when you look back?  How has your life unfolded?

Oct 12, 2009, in my 62nd year, was the big wakeup call when I became alive.  Maharaji was teaching me everything.  The initial recovery took a few months, the intermediate phase took longer.  I spent some time in India at Maharaji’s ashram where I got the message of what I needed to do for the rest of my life.  It became a dance at that point, an analogy I got from my dance instructor mother.  I learned to treat everyone I meet as a dance partner.  From that point on I danced through the rest of my life.  I gave up a lot of the constrictions I had when I was married.  I became an accomplished yogi that helped others learn how to listen to and follow their own inner path.  This continued for many, many years, accomplishing the things Maharaji wanted me to accomplish.

Now imagine that you are on your deathbed, looking back over your life.  Imagine that NONE of your dreams have come true; in fact, all of your fears have come to pass.  What happened?  How do you feel?

I follow what everybody else tells me to do.  I do what doctors tell me.  I did the chemo, I went to the Prostate support meetings.  I got involved in drug trials, testing new drugs.  The more I did it the fewer people were around me because I didn’t have the energy to be in their lives.  I ended up going into nursing homes because I couldn’t take care of myself.  The money I had got drained away and I died a pauper in pain.

If those feelings had a color (or colors), what would it be?

Black and red!

Imagine that color filling the space in front of you so that it has depth, height, width, and aliveness.

Now watch that color swirl, congeal, and condense into a shape. Don’t make it take a shape, just watch it and say the first thing that you see or that comes to your mind: An animal? Object? Plant? What?

An anvil and hammer.

Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor?  It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are this or that character in your dream and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind.  If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say!

Anvil and hammer, would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?

I am a standard large anvil, solid steel, weighing at least 500 pounds with a point on one end.  I am almost immovable, powerfully built.  As the hammer, I am good and solid.  I work with my partner to bend things that are very hard, like steel.

What do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

We are dependable, strong. We know what we’re doing. We can bend and shape things.

What do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses?  What are they?

We have crappy social lives!  No one comes because they want to hang out with us.  They are only around us because we are tools. We are not desired in and of ourselves.  People don’t quite understand us. They think that if you hit an anvil hard enough it will break. But the hammer is what breaks, not the anvil, if something is going to break.

Hammer and Anvil, you are in Felix’s life experience, correct?  He created you, right? What aspect of Felix do you represent or most closely personify?

Base chakra stuff. Things he’s used for so long.  However, it’s more than that.  It’s any of the chakras.  He knows how to bend things.  He knows how to make things move.

Hammer and Anvil, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change?  If so, how?

No, we’re happy with who we are.

(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)

Hammer and Anvil, how would you score yourself 0-10, in confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, peace of mind, and witnessing?  Why?

Confidence: 10

Compassion:   5 It’s all bent to the goal, which is more important than compassion.  You just do it.

Wisdom:   5 I don’t learn from the mistakes of others.

Acceptance:   5

Inner Peace:   5

Witnessing: 10

Hammer and Anvil, if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different?  If so, how?

Compassion: He would use us much more judiciously.  If all you have is a hammer and an anvil, then every problem is a horseshoe…However, what he forgets  is that the hammer can beat out gold as well as dross, and shape it finely.

Wisdom: Look at other people! See how they are screwing up and learn from that!

Acceptance: Accept that you can be different and be wise about it!

Inner Peace: Doing the art of goldsmithing rather than working on raw iron!  It would be more gentle and effective!

How would the life of the person who created you be different if he naturally scored high in all six of these qualities all the time?

The level of subtlety he would require would be quite pronounced.  Learning the dance is so appropriate for him, dancing with his own self, with the universe, with others.

If you could live the life of the person who created you for him, how would you live it differently?

He’s doing them.  He’s changing all the time!

If you could live this person’s waking life for him today, would you handle his/her three life issues differently?  If so, how?

1. Creating magic: Keep dancing!

2. Regarding dancing with more people, keep your mouth shut, don’t think about people, feel them.  When that feeling is prominent, move with the steps that need to be taken.

3. Service:  Turn it over to Maharaji!  It’s his perogative. Be more open to that.

What three life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of his life?

The same ones.  They are the key to a rich and fulfilling life.

In what life situations would it be most beneficial for this person to imagine that they are you and act as you would?

All the time!  There is always a more open and loving way to do things!

Why do you think that you are in this person’s life?

We are an important part of who he is.  We are part of his soul.

What do you think about this person’s nightmare?

It gives his fears a reality that he needs to accept and then choose not to do it.  It can be a choice rather than a destiny.

What do you think about this person’s good dream?

It’s also a choice, not a destiny.

How is this person most likely to ignore what you are saying to them?

Falling asleep!

What would you recommend that they do about that?

Stay awake!!!!   Open your heart.  It provides the right answers.

I think this person created this nightmare because….

He created it.  He has to recognize that it’s a choice that he has to make.

What have you heard yourself say?

Bending and turning things; the hammer and anvil have given me a long time perspective.  The decisions I’m making now will affect a lot of people for a long time. That was a surprise to me because my time frame has been so attenuated since I got my cancer diagnosis.  It’s been hard for me to see that the decisions I’m making now have long term implications.  In a past life I was the wife of a samuri in the height of that period in Japan.  I was good with money and kept my husband financially secure.  I was a respected member of the society with money and influence.  I also had a son, who I have met this lifetime.  I spent a bunch of years toward the end of my life as a Zen nun.

If this experience were a wake-up call from your deepest, truest inner self, what do you think it would be saying to you?

Get out of thinking in terms of one lifetime.  See the big picture.  Go back to understanding that your choices are not for next week, month, or year, but how what you does can have an impact on your soul and future incarnations.