Are you familiar with the work of Byron Katie? Her book, Loving What Is, has been quite helpful to me and other members of my family. In a nutshell, she teaches that we can reduce our suffering by resetting our lenses of perception to see things the way things really are. The first steps of her process are to ask the questions, “Is that true?” and then “Is that really true?” The reason for this is that so many of the things we do and the suffering we experience are based on our colored or skewed perception of the world.
This short article will try to address this same complex topic, first by helping you to identify the source of your perceptual difficulties and then by providing you with a handy technique for removing that source of difficulty, based on concepts from Hawaiian mysticism.
What is your source of day-to-day suffering?
Chances are, it is linked to your baseline emotional state (the default state that you tend to drop into), which is so familiar to you that you don’t notice it anymore. For example, in my husband’s case, he often has an internal sense of urgency; he always feels he has to get tasks done as quickly as possible. I liked to call him “the squirrel.” He rushes about and quickly (and effectively!) gets everything done and put in its place. He can wash dishes, tidy up a closet, and organize a file cabinet or computer system so fast that it’s like some magic elves are helping him! He suffers, however, when his “stack of tasks” becomes onerous. Watch out if you ask him to do something at that point! Even if many of the tasks on his stack don’t have to be done quickly or ever, they nag at him. His lens of perception is skewed by an overly heightened sense of necessity.
If you think about it, the source of much of our suffering is rooted in either an overly heightened or overly lowered sense of something in relation to reality. What is your experience? Do you fear or worry about things too much? Too little? Are you the opposite of my husband and have an insufficient sense of urgency and never get anything done? Do you trust people too much? Too little? The possibilities are endless.
So take a moment to think. What is the most typical nature of your suffering if you could describe it as a single or very small set of feelings? Write it down. Just a few words at most.
Now comes the hard part. Can you find the root of this feeling?
For almost everyone, this root will be found sometime in your past, usually before ages 8-10. That is the period of time in which the Basic Self (which I have written about extensively before) holds sway. The Basic Self might be viewed as your subconscious self or emotional self, but really is a full blown energetic part of you that stores all memories, is the primary controller of your physical body, gathers your mana or vital force, is the source of psychic perception, and much more. I often identify it with the human astral body, which I also discuss at length in my book Active Consciousness.
Can you find some events or relationship pattern (usually familial) that occurred before the age of 8 or 10 that created or repeatedly reinforced this emotion in you? Was it something your parents or siblings or teachers reinforced in you?
For example, I tend to fall back into an emotional undertone of worry/fear that “something bad is going to happen suddenly.” This was created and reinforced by events in my childhood — several sudden deaths, as well as occasional incidents of anger and violence that were sudden and unpredictable to me.
If you can identify some of these roots, the last step is to “cut the cord” that binds you to them.
As I discussed in my article about the Aka Meditation, all of reality is interconnected by cords of aka, energetic linkages that I believe are the same as what physicists are now calling entanglements. An aka cord can form from touching something, seeing something, or even just thinking about something. That is why dwelling and dwelling on something that troubles you wraps you deeper and deeper in its web — a literal web of aka cords! Naturally, the aka cords that link you to your family and childhood are very strong. And unfortunately, they can be cords that bind you too.
One of the very powerful Huna rituals that some adepts use is to remove all the cords that are connected to them, leaving them completely fresh and unencumbered. Don’t worry though! Any cords that you cut can be quickly reestablished — even by a simple thought.
To cut some of the aka cords that bind you, try this simple exercise. Begin by trying to identify the part of your body that you believe is connected to the target event or person. Next settle yourself enough so that you feel centered. Then perform some arm/hand motions that, for you, symbolize the cutting of the cords. As you do, imagine that the cords are being cut. You can use this technique to help you stop thinking about something or someone too.
You can cut the aka cords that bind you as much and as often as you feel is necessary. In my experience, it can quickly help you to feel lighter and less encumbered. And if you remember to cut the cords whenever you feel that all-too-familiar sense of suffering within you, you might eventually elevate your habitual baseline state to one that is more joyful and full of grace.