– life’s a siesta
– our identity
– our environment
ASCHOUVING – THE HAPPINESS PRACTICE
– nothing to do just be
– aschouving for yourself
– aschouving for others
SUGGESTED PRESENT MOMENT PRACTICES
– conscious being
– conscious smiling
– conscious breathing
ORIGIN OF THE NAME ASCHOUVING
SUMMARY – ASCHOUVING IN A NUTSHELL
So this is it. The end of all Q&As. All that you perceive right now, there is nothing else. These words sensed within, creating ripples through all the cells of your body and beyond to the mysterious and unknown. In this flow there is everything, all that you feel you need, the opportunities to go with the flow or resist the flow. Within the flow we find all our emotions, body sensations and thoughts, everything from happy to sad, and also all the tools we feel we need to navigate our way against or with the flow. The whole notion of having to attain something, get somewhere, be someone other than who we are, is so engrained in our psyche, so habitual that we spend most of our lives distracted, looking somewhere else rather than at ‘this’. There are easier ways to live. So, take a deep breath, smile and know that you have everything you feel you need, right now.
INTRODUCTION • LIFE’S a SIESTA
‘I am more and more convinced that our happiness or unhappiness depends far more on the way we meet the events of life, than on the nature of those events themselves.’ – Wilhelm Von Humboldt
All the events of my life, my experiences, bring me to this time and space and the sharing of thoughts garnered therefrom synthesized to this ideal which I call ‘Aschouving’. One might call it my life story. My life story, any story of course is just the result of how I have perceived life through my senses. It makes sense, or it doesn’t make sense. My conclusions are based on nothing other than my senses. By senses, I mean more than the traditional 5, a very old classification attributed to Aristotle. Updated definitions are more difficult to find consensus on. But recent discoveries point towards the whole body as one complete sensory organ. The skin and the heart have sensory capacity, every one of the 50 trillion cells in our bodies have sensory capacity, and it’s a mechanism that never stops, (well, not until we pop off, humanly speaking). As a result of this perceiving, the body naturally and effortlessly responds.
‘ For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.’ (Newton’s third law of motion).
A response is the emotion, sensation (body sensation) or thought, which I will refer to as the EST, that arises as a result
of how we process what we perceive through our senses, which in turn lead to the actions we take. So the information you perceive, flows through your Senses and Inwardly responds by producing your EST and outwardly manifests in any subsequent Action, summed up in the acronym SIESTA. Information is a very personal thing. You may say, ‘well my teacher taught me that’, ‘I heard on the news that’, ‘the encyclopaedia says that’, ‘He saw it with his own eyes’, no matter where you get your information, remember always that it is only your very own personal data as it has been filtered through your senses, just as it has being filtered down the ages and continues to be filtered through the billions of others that perceive the same information in different ways, day by day, minute by minute, second by second, creating and evolving this simultaneous solo and collective experience we call reality
If you accept, ie., if it makes sense to you, that information, or knowledge, is personal, then someone’s opinion is always ok, always fine, it is just what it is….another opinion. It can’t be either right or wrong. The criteria of right and wrong applies in a world that says there is a common code, a code of best practice for living. When it comes to the mysteries of existence and the myriad of unanswered questions we human face each day, most of which fill us with fear and anxiety about unknown future and dubious past events, maybe it’s best we just, relax, smile and bring our attention simply to those things we can perceive, the things that we can be more certain about, those things within us that we sense in the present moment. Let’s start with the simple obvious things, the things we hear and see, taste, smell and touch. Give the rattle tattle of the conscious mind a break. It’s doing a great job, but it’s overworked, in danger of exhaustion and in many cases has collapsed altogether. The far more powerful subconscious is working away, rain, hail or snow, keeping the bodily functions on track and the deeply embedded beliefs, well….deeply embedded! To live fully and happily it seems to me, you need to get in touch, become aware of and accept both aspects of mind. Thus in awareness and honesty we can respond with more ease, conviction and power, accepting all opinions unconditionally. No opinion can be considered as greater or lesser than any other. Opinions or judgements are but aspen leaves blowing in the wind. You can only listen and accept. Any other response is futile for you and everyone else. There is only one truth for you and that truth is you.
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” – American Standard Bible (NASB) ’95
‘If you believe you can, or if you believe you can’t, either way you’re right’ – Henry Ford
Life is a constant cycle of perception and response, a wonderful SIESTA, millions of bits of information flowing in and out of our bodies constantly, even in stillness, constantly flowing, even in silence, in darkness, constantly flowing, even now as you perceive my words, a 24/7 ultra fast soul-core processor. Though it is not possible to be definitive, neuroscientists suggests that the conscious mind can deal with 1 to 3 events at any one time, using approximately 2000 bits of information @sec. The subconscious, on the other hand, has an estimated whopping 400 billion bits @sec at its disposal, allowing us to deal with thousands of functions at any one time. It is suggested, in fact, that the mind has the potential to create endless neural connections, dealing with endless amounts of information at lightening speeds. You as a separate individual did not start this cycle and you cannot stop it, yet, you have it appears, being given some control, some tools that can make the whole show much more enjoyable and entertaining. These tools are the essence of ‘Aschouving’. We are lost in a never-ending flow of information, asleep in our SIESTA. Aschouving helps you to wake up from or, to put it more accurately, to wake up to this SIESTA, by bringing your attention to your ESTs and accepting and allowing all you experience. We are response-able only to the extent that we can truly ‘relax’ within this SIESTA. This enables the responses to all we perceive, our ESTs and actions, to arise and flow effortlessly.
One may call this a philosophy or spiritual modality. I’ve called it a practice and yet, although it has no plot in the traditional sense of the word, I also like to call it a story, a fairytale that creates a scenario in which people are encouraged to seek and explore, moving through their own fairytale delving deeper to a lighter, more obscure truth beyond, a mystery, a dream. It doesn’t give answers to the great questions of existence. Instead it paints a picture, one to which you may be drawn intuitively. I share it with you, because writing, talking, singing and presenting this story/picture/dream in many different ways is what I like to do. This ‘story’, is essentially the best way I have found to live life to the full, using the tools available to us to sing in harmony the sweet music of life.
‘Aschouving’ has been inspired by the practice of ‘Clearing’ developed by Eric Dowsett, to whom I am very grateful. The 2 modalities are essentially the same. Giving it the name ‘Aschouving’ encapsulates for me what lies at the core of the practice. Writing about it allows me to describe the practice as I see it and lets this interpretation flow as energies prompt me. You can only tell a story from your own unique universal point of view. There is information on the origins of the name ‘aschouving’ towards the end.
INTRODUCTION • OUR IDENTITY
The day responds to the night as summer dances to winter, the black responds to the white as the earth sings to the heavens. We humans however, don’t sing and dance as effortlessly as all this. How could we possibly ever hope to adequately respond to anything when our minds are so habitually distracted from the present moment. The cycle of life, this energy flow, encompasses equally all information, everything from fear to love, rough to smooth, good to evil. It’s our conscious and subconscious all rolled up into one. All is in perfect balance. Trouble is perceived only by the individual, who has attached a personal link to the idea of trouble, ie., ‘I am in trouble now’ or ‘I will be in trouble if I don’t do this or that’
‘There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking that makes it so’ – hamlet
‘Men are not disturbed by things, but by the principles and notions which they form concerning these things’ – epitetus 135 ad, translation matheson 1916
So trouble is a product of the mind. So also happiness is a product of the mind. Just as information arises from the constant flow of balanced energy, we ourselves too have arisen from this same energy, have been born from it. It is our essence. With identification, ie., feeling that something is ‘mine’, like ‘trouble’ for instance, we begin the process of building around us the walls of a personality, subscribing to the notion of a separate individual. It is a process of accumulation of things outside of ourselves, ‘our belongings’ : a name given to us by others; a family, its history and expectations; physical attributes and all the responses they will elicit; a place of birth, its history and expectations too. If these become the totality of who we think we are, then we become pitted against the other, in a constant unending battle of who has the greater or lesser characteristics and belongings. We have turned our minds away from SIESTA, the everlasting flow of energy from whence we came and are still a part of, to become a separate individual who must fend for him/herself, protect ones walls and keep supplies topped up. In a world view of ‘lack’, conflict is inevitable. Some things are so engrained in us, it is difficult to see them as not being anything other than ‘me’. Yes we are our name, family, physical characteristics and place of birth, we are intimately connected to these, yet there is more. Your eyes can gaze further, can gaze beyond and see that at one and the same time we are intimately connected to all names, all physical characteristics, all families, all places of birth, to all the energies that continue flowing all the days of our lives. Let me create for you a scenario that draws together all the identities you and others have created around you, the story of your life, your fairytale, in which you can move and explore, moving through the scenes and backdrops, delving deeper to a lighter truth beyond, a mystery, a dream. Here in this oneness, this sea of consciousness, in this energetic soup, there is complete openness to everything. In this clip, quantum physicists and others discuss this ‘sea of consciousness’. Different opinions and points of view are proffered, all ‘correct’ of course!, yet it’s the overall thrust of the presentation, the dream state in which we live, that I wish to highlight here.
These are not new insights. But they show how science is establishing new links with spirituality. Many mystics, have for centuries addressed these unanswerable questions, these mysteries. Jesus said:
‘No one will say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’; because the Kingdom of God is within you’ – luke 17:21 good news bible ’79
The message of Aschouving is essentially the same: Notice what’s arising within, allow it and be at peace. Even amidst all the science, all the opinions, all the modalities and techniques: Notice what’s arising, allow it and be at peace. This is our essence. Yet we continue to build up the walls of a separate identity. I do not know why this is the case and it really doesn’t matter. What matters is that, in this moment happiness is present and accessible for all. Walls are generated by fear, fear leads to anxiety for our future and we are lost in the identity that we are in trouble if we do not defend. The over identification with trouble leads to more trouble and the balance is disturbed. When we realize that we live our lives constantly fending off, yet inadvertently attracting more trouble, we begin to turn back towards peace. This awareness is the first strand of aschouving, and may very well be your first step back to happiness.
INTRODUCTION • OUR ENVIRONMENT
In this SIESTA, where does all the information came from? We are spirit, energy beings, information is energy, all is energy perceiving itself and responding to itself. Let me be a bit more specific. Dr. Bruce Lipton has pioneered scientific analysis on how we as humans pick up information and use it. His research at Stanford University between 1987 and 1992, revealed that the environment, operating through the membrane, controlled the behaviour and physiology of the cell. The body is an aerial tuned to the frequency of our ESTs, the ESTs of others and the environment. It translates the information it picks up and converts that information into neurological transmissions which spread through the nervous system, converting into chemicals, which look for receptors on all of your 50 trillion body cells, tuned only to their specific individual frequencies, which translate into thoughts, conscious and subconscious, physical sensations, emotional feelings and actions. As a result of the separate identities we spend our energies maintaining, we find ourselves increasingly disconnected from the environment around us, separate from it and all living creatures that dwell therein. Our antennae, those tuned to the frequency of the present moment, have to a large extent become weak and in many cases dormant due to lack of use.
‘No matter who we are, where we live, how much or how little we have, healthy or not, happy or not, this idea that we are separate from all other creation is all that stands between us and omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence’ – Eric Dowsett
Dr. Lipton tells his ‘story’
W o w! Our identity is everywhere and lives on though the body may cease to live. Aschouving is my way of incorporating all the information I perceive from this wondrous endlessly expansive reality and using it to create health, harmony and happiness in my life. It brings me back in touch with myself, my environment and all its living vibrancy. By giving yourself the time and space to come back in touch with what’s happening in your present moment, conscious and subconscious, you begin again to exercise the full powers of your antennae. The more you aschouv, the more antennae you activate, the more frequencies you pick up, the more your senses wake up, the more your subconscious becomes conscious, the more aware you become, the more you are able to accept and allow.
Aschouving requires moment by moment awareness or, the openness and willingness to constantly bring yourself back to moment by moment awareness. The part of the subconscious assigned the task of establishing and maintaining your limited ego, with its brilliantly constructed defences has laid many traps, many slides back down the ladder. Practices are suggested in the following lines, but always remember as you read on, the path to or away from happiness is all in your mind.
ASCHOUVING • THE HAPPINESS PRACTICE
In this chapter, I describe the practice in as concise a manner as possible. It requires no fees, no subscriptions, no handbooks or courses, no special equipment, no certificates, diplomas or degrees. It can be practiced in almost all situations, alone or in a crowd, in quiet, in noise, in calm and busy places. Beginners are encouraged to consider attending a workshop to aid establishing a personal approach to the work, but this is entirely up to them. Allow your heart to guide you. The practice is now laid out under the following 3 headings:
A. Nothing to do, just Be
B. Aschouving for yourself
C. Aschouving for others
A. Nothing to do, just Be
In its balanced state, this cycle of life, our SIESTA, is beautifully smooth, calm and peaceful, equally embracing all information, everything from ease to disease. Everything is perfect just the way it is, here and now in the present moment. This introduces the first 2 strands of Aschouving: Your Attention in the now and Allowing all of life, ie., saying YAA to life. You are perfect, just the way you are, here and now in this present moment.
‘Since all things are naked, clear, and free from obscuration, there is nothing to attain or realise. The everyday practice is simply to develop a complete acceptance and openness to all situations and emotions. And to all people – experiencing everything totally without reservation and blockage, so that one never withdraws or centralizes onto oneself ‘ excerpt from a Maha Ati text translated by Trungpa Rinpoche
B. Aschouving for Yourself
So you accept that you’ve everything you feel you need right here and now. And you have found great peace and happiness in life and say YAA to all that you experience and then you meet someone, someone passes a certain or maybe an event is imminent and suddenly tension arises, fear, the body is uneasy or the heart begins to beat fast. If all these emotions are unconscious to you, tension, fear and unease will become more embedded in your life. If somehow you are aware (and I do not know where this awareness comes from) then this is a wonderful moment, for you, for you are tuned into the choice of continuing in unease or opting for happiness.
‘The moment you become aware is the moment of choice’ – Eric Dowsett
This is the bread and butter practice of Aschouving. Your stabilizer in the storm. Tune into yourself and switch to present moment mode. Tuning in simply means bringing your attention to your ESTs. It’s simplicity is misleading. All peace and contentment, creativity and fun dwell in the present moment. Here too is the best place to bring to your conscious mind, any unease you may carry. So right now, you can tune in and allow your antennae to tune back to the frequencies that support you. There are lots of different ways of giving yourself time and space to go ‘deeper’, or as I say, to ‘TEST’ yourself. I will explain what I mean by ‘TEST’ shortly. If you find you are coming up against unease, this is an opportunity for you to go deeper into this unease and heal it or as I say Aschouv it. To Aschouv unease I make a wish, just like in any good fairytale, which is made up of 4 strands:
THE 4 STRANDS OF ASCHOUVING
Tune into YOUR
(1) ATTENTION on what’s happening in the now
(2) ALLOWING what’s happening in the now
(3) KNOWING your identity is boundless and encompasses the openness to aschouv any unease that maybe arising and
(4) INTENTION, the clear intention to aschouv your EST as you see fit.
These are the 4 strands of Aschouving. Tune into Your Attention, Allowing, Knowing and Intention, YAAKI for short!! YAAKI is nothing other than a particular frame of mind. For Happi get YAAKI !!!
THIS IS___________________ (awareness of the EST that is arising)
When you are overwhelmed or underwhelmed, it’s hard to be coherent, to be clear about what’s going on. So to be able to use one word to describe what’s happening can be very powerful. This confirms your awareness and commitment to stay with something even though it feels uncomfortable or really debilitating . As I’ve said, this requires moment by moment awareness, or the openness to bring yourself back to moment by moment awareness. You must come back to go beyond. So give yourself all the time and space you feel you need. Sometimes it may not be readily available, this is just more information you are receiving from the flow, another message for you, something else for you to be aware of and allow.
IT’S FINE (allowing the EST that is arising)
All information, all thoughts and ideas, all opinions, all looks and stares, all body language, all communications, all events and situations, all persons and groups we find ourselves in, all have ‘been sent as a guide from beyond’. It is all pure energy. We are pure energy looking at our own pure energy. Smile and breathe. Trust your inner guide. This doesn’t mean you say yes to everything. If you don’t like broccoli, well then you don’t like broccoli. It’s when someone might ask you if you want broccoli and you’ve told them a thousand times you don’t like broccoli….well, what are you going to do now…are you going to make a big deal out of it or smile?? Acceptance is an intuitive thing. It has to be, otherwise you would never be open to this practice. As far as your limited ego is concerned there is absolutely no way, that you should justifiably, have to remind this person again, that you….just…. don’t….like broccoli!
IT’S NOT MINE. (knowing you are not the EST that is arising)
The EST you experience belong to you as a separate individual but not to you as the formless magnificence that you really are. The awareness of issues arising begins to switch the perception from wanting to find distraction from the unloved parts of you, to noticing the miracle of life around you and more especially within you. Initially one can regularly feel trapped, a feeling of very little space to breath, very uncomfortable. As I have highlighted earlier, the limited ego uses those things outside of ourselves, chiefly our name, physical attributes, family, place of birth and belongings, to keep us distracted from who we really are. What we are beginning to notice is the hurt we create within, by the over-identification with our limited ego. The limited ego is fine; it’s the over-identification with it that creates the difficulties, the imbalance. Noticing is the first step, being able to stand back, bringing your attention to the bigger picture and at the same time observing what’s happening for you. Then, holding that level of awareness without judgement for as long as you can, look at it, feel it, stay tuned to it and start seeing yourself not as separate from it, but in your heart and soul, a being who dwells in a space where all things including these apparently difficult issues, are greeted with love, openness and equanimity. You can do this alone, but at times like this, when you are a beginner, support from others can help speed up the process and lighten the experience with fun and laughter.
Say to every harsh experience
‘you are but an appearance and absolutely not the thing you appear to be’
– epitetus 135 ad,
I WISH TO ASCHOUV MY PERCEPTION OF___________(Setting your intention clearly)
Set your intention clearly, this will focus you in a positive direction. Remember it’s not what is arising that creates the problem, it is your perception of what is arising. The problem is all in your mind. Define your position as clearly and concisely as possible. Know that your essence can easily cope with any EST that may arise. This is when your intuition, your own inner guide, is now seen as a wellspring of healing. It may be uncomfortable and embarrassing, but if you stay with it, it does get easier. Try to bring your attention away from analysis and asking such questions as why. Instead focus on what you’re feeling within. At all times the intention is to move the focus from the distracted mind of yesterday and tomorrow, back into the mind of the present moment, delving deeper into all parts including unloved parts, afraid though they be to show their faces. This is where love dwells. Let the unease settle back to calm as much as possible in whatever time is available to you. Take all the time you feel you need. If you still have questions, be alert and awake and you will find a resolution of some kind, somewhere, some when.
THE 4 STRANDS OF ASCHOUVING, YAAKI, IN ONE WISH
1. This is ___________ (Attention)
2. It’s fine, (Allowing)
3. it’s not mine and (Knowing)
4. I wish to aschouv my perception of __________ (Intention)
For example, if say, you feel a rush of anger, then taking all the elements above, I would say:
‘This is anger. It’s fine, it’s not mine and
I wish to aschouv my perception of anger’
It is very helpful to repeat this every time unease arises. When you are beginning, I feel it is good to have a regular practice of tuning in. Here’s my suggestion:
TEST YOURSELF : Begin a regular practice of Tuning in to your EST, TEST. Everyday for 5 to 10 minutes is a good start. Aim to tune into all 3 simultaneously. We have been educated, in the western world at least, to over use our mental energies. So this is tuning into thoughts in a lighter way, without judgement, without taking them seriously. I am not suggesting that you need to lose your thoughts, ie., come to a state of ‘no thought’, in order to find the peace you feel you don’t have. As I have said, it’s not the thoughts that are the issue, it’s your perception of them. Also I wish to add, when you simply tune into thought alone, it’s quite isolating, there’s still that underlying tendency to use thought to heal thought, which is about as useless as peeing against the wind! Tuning into all 3 together, the E, the S and the T, fuses all our energies into a wonderful synthesis of unlimited power. There are many tools for bringing your ESTs to awareness. The choice is yours. I have however outlined in the next chapter ‘Suggested Present Moment Practices’, some of the tools I have used which you might find helpful
Gradually, if you are open to regular ‘tuning in’, you will be able to merge this practice with your everyday, everymoment activity, so that eventually, at your own pace, your whole day is spent in awareness. It will become as ordinary and life-giving as breathing in and out. When you are feeling ‘stuck’, know that this is a propitious moment, an opportunity to heal the unease caused by your perception of some relationship, issue or whatever
‘But for me all omens are favourable if I will, for, whatever the issue may be, it is in my power to benefit therefrom.’
– epitetus 135 ad, translation matheson 1916
You can start aschouving for yourself right now. You can practice on your own, but for beginners the workshop setting can be a great boost, a fast track approach. In the heightened energy of the collective experience, you up the tempo and are gently supported with clarity and laughter. See ‘Getting Started’ for more details.
C. Aschouving for Others
This is wonderful to do and benefits both you and the person or persons you are tuning in for. The broadening of the energy field that takes place in aschouving for others suggests that this is best learnt in a workshop. Yet, to begin with it is fine to aschouv for one person. Simply tune into that person and ask:
I wish to aschouv whatever is appropriate for _______________ (Name of person)
Tuning in means bringing the person or issue to your awareness/attention. With a clear intention, the benefits can be very powerful. If you, as a beginner, tune into too many people too quickly you may find the energies that arise too heavy for you to carry. So pace yourself. It is recommended to begin aschouving for others in a workshop setting, or guided by an experienced practitioner.
SUGGESTED PRESENT MOMENT PRACTICES
A. Conscious Being
B. Conscious Smiling
C. Conscious Breathing
D. Conscious Being, Smiling and Breathing in Unison
A. Conscious Being
Conscious Being can be described as a meditation. There is a lot of mystique surrounding meditation, yogis in lotus position, floating, hours and hours of hard work and a life time of commitment, etc.. But like a lot of ideas we have gathered over the years, ideas about meditation are changing too. It is becoming much more main stream, accepted as part of everyday activity by individuals, groups and communities worldwide. This is an excerpt from Wikipedia’s current definition of meditation :
‘……The term meditation refers to a broad variety of practices (much like the term sports), which range from techniques designed to promote relaxation, contacting spiritual guides, building internal energy (chi, ki, prana, etc.), receiving psychic visions, getting closer to a god, seeing past lives, taking astral journeys, and so forth, to more technical exercises targeted at developing compassion, love, patience, generosity, forgiveness and more far-reaching goals such as effortless sustained single-pointed concentration, single-pointed analysis, and an indestructible sense of well-being while engaging in any and all of life’s activities. Thus, it is essential to be specific about the type of meditation practice under investigation. Failure to make such distinctions would be akin to the use of the word ‘sport’ to refer to all sports as if they were essentially the same. For example, the overly generic description of meditation as a mere relaxation technique becomes extremely problematic when one attends to the details of many practices………”.
This is meditation as I practice it:
CONSCIOUS BEING MEDITATION
Simply be still and silent for a while, alone or with others. Set on a chair, on the ground, in the classic ‘lotus’ meditation
position or not, the choice is yours. It is good though, to keep the spine as straight as comfort will allow. The spine is the central structural column of your upper body protecting vital organs and supporting the head. It’s the main conduit of the nervous system, vital to our wellbeing and it acts as a major channel of life force energy as it flows through all parts of the body. In stillness, switching off the conscious mind, all that we already know, we give the unconscious mind a chance to reveal itself. Tune to your EST. If unease arises, Aschouv whatever the EST is as outlined under ‘Aschouving for Yourself’
CONSCIOUS BEING MEDITATION AS A MOMENT BY MOMENT PRACTICE
Meditation is not simply a practice confined to the hallowed rooms and halls of dedicated sacred spaces. Meditation in its free-flowing form is a moment by moment awareness and allowing of all that’s happening. Meditation is simply saying YAA to life. You could be sitting on a bar stool looking out on a warm ocean caressing the hot sands of a carefree beach and be totally tuned in, in sync with all that is. That’s meditation. Body sensations for example, are constantly transmitting a wealth of information, which affords us endless opportunities to practice tuning in, ie., meditation. Allow these sensations to guide you throughout the day in for example offering your body all the food, drink and sleep it requires. This not alone nurtures a healthy body, but keeps you alert, mindful and more conscious and open, helping you to tune in and meditate more easily. So the opportunities for awareness and happiness exist all around us, at all times. So mundane and ordinary are our basic instincts we can forget the power they hold inside, bridges to a vast array of deep-seated subconscious patterning
Have you ever, while driving, got into a conversation, and realised at some point you managed the controls, took all the turns, stayed in the correct lane and arrived at your destination without being ‘aware’ of the journey. That’s the subconscious. It regulates body functions, our instincts, our reflexes and easily overrides any conscious intentions it doesn’t agree with. The tape runs on automatic all the time. Yet we are in touch with just a fraction of it’s capability. We are like an iceberg aware only of what’s above the surface. The subconscious mind is filled with all those things we prefer not to deal with, all those things below the surface. It can trigger the ESTs that you consciously constantly resolve to prevent. It’s a dump for the unloved self, increasing in size day by day, year by year, turning into a right mess, if not attended to. Some call it ‘the shadow’, ‘the dark side’. Yet it turns out not to be as terrifying as we are lead to believe. Like some country fraught with difficulty and always in the headlines for the ‘wrong reasons’, the subconscious when you visit it and spend time there, will surprise with the ease in which the difficulties can be healed and the abundance of new opportunities it offers, in fact the limitless possibilities that lie therein.
In connecting with the subconscious, I do not propose affirmations that counter the attitudes you wish to change, the attitudes you feel don’t support you. Instead I suggest simply moving towards acceptance of all that arises, facing, feeling and being with it and giving yourself all the time you need to return to ease, to live with the issue and be calm and centered at the same. Saying YAA to all of life, the conscious and the subconscious.
For those of you who would prefer an alternative, I recommend this beautifully simple and short meditation from Eckhart Tolle’s book, ‘Practicing the Power of Now’:
‘ When you are unoccupied for a few minutes, ‘flood’ your body with consciousness. Close your eyes. Lie flat on your back. Choose different parts of your body to focus your attention on briefly at first: hands, feet, arms, abdomen, chest, head and so on. Feel the life energy inside those parts as intensely as you can. Stay with each part for 15 seconds or so…………..Then let your (newly energized) attention run through the body like a wave a few times, from feet to head and back again. This need only take a minute or so. After that, (slowly allow this wave to settle and now) feel the (whole) inner body in its totality, as a single field of energy. Hold that feeling for a few minutes……………Be intensely present during that time, present in every cell of your body. Don’t be concerned if the mind succeeds in drawing your attention out of the body and lose yourself in thought. As soon as you notice this, just return your attention to the inner body.’
The 2 meditations highlighted here give you an opportunity to be with yourself, learning to experience what’s happening inside. Carry this awareness of your inner being always, and even in the most charged moments, leave some space however little for connection. If you practice these each day, morning and evening (make sure it’s not a time when you might fall asleep!), you will begin to carry within you the awareness of your own beautiful essence and you will gradually need less and less practice times. Aschouv any unease as it arises. If you find Mr. Tolles meditation helpful, I recommend you read ‘practising the power of now’, particularly the chapter featured here: ‘Beauty arises in the stillness of your presence’. There are lots more meditation techniques out there, some of which you may find are more suited to your needs. Of course if you are at ease and accepting, chilled out and relaxed at all times, there’s no need to practice meditation because you’re living it!
B. Conscious Smiling
Smiling! What smiling?……isn’t that a bit cheesy?……fake and unreal? Well, this is a bit of a dark horse, this one, so deceptively simple as it is. With conscious smiling, I’m not talking about any old smile! A conscious smile becomes self-supportive, when the intention behind the smile is focused in the same as tuning into your ESTs. With the clear intention of say happiness, then the smile acts in the same way as a thought of happiness. As Dr. Bruce Lipton has shown us, it creates neurotransmitters of happiness in the mind, spreading through out the nervous system, converting to well-being hormones in the hypothalamus and flowing through the pituitary, flood the body energizing the well-being receptors of cells throughout the whole body. It brings a smile to your lips, your eyes, your whole face, your whole body smiles and radiates joy. There’s nothing fake and unreal about it!
“This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all. Treat each guest honorably. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” – Rumi
“Remember that you are an actor in a play, and the Playwright chooses the manner of it: if he wants it short, it is short; if long, it is long. If he wants you to act a poor man you must act the part with all your powers; and so if your part be a cripple or a magistrate or a plain man. For your business is to act the character that is given you and act it well; the choice of the cast is Another’s.” – epitetus 135 ad, translation matheson 1916
With so much mystery, so much unknown and out of our control, why take anything seriously, why take ourselves seriously, worrying about ourselves, are we provided for, protected enough, insured enough and what may become of us? Of what benefit is taking anything seriously other than to heap more seriousness upon seriousness, more worry upon worry. So smile.
‘Cause when you worry your face will frown, and that will bring everybody down, don’t worry, Be Happy’ – Bobby McFerrin
Children and animals have a lot to teach us about smiling. This we sense
intuitively; their energy, aliveness in the moment, no distractions from the moment and readiness to play. We take ourselves less seriously and smile when we’re in their company. Get back in touch with the playful side of life.
Jesus said “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. ” new international version ’84
C. Conscious Breathing
Eckhart Tolle tells this story in his book ‘The New Earth’. A friend showed him a prospectus of a large spiritual organization. He was impressed with the wide choice of interesting seminars and workshops. His friend asked him whether he could recommend a course. ‘I don’t know,’ Eckhart said. ‘They all look so interesting. But I do know this,’ He added. ‘Be aware of your breathing as often as you are able, whenever you remember. Do that for one year, and it will be more powerfully transformative than attending all these courses. And it’s free.’
For me breathing is an easy way to get back in touch with what’s happening in the moment. A wonderful gauge of your inner state. All emotions from ease to unease are mirrored in breathe. And all you need ‘do’ is be aware of it, don’t judge it, just be aware of it, no special technique other than just….. to be aware of it and you’re in the present moment.
D. Conscious Breathing, Smiling and Breathing in Unison
Another variation on the above suggested practices for tuning into your ESTs is to develop a practice of using the tools of conscious Being, conscious Smiling and conscious Breathing, ie. your BSB (another acronym!), in unison.
Tune into your EST using your BSB.
ORIGIN OF THE NAME ‘ASCHOUVING’
This name occurred to me while reflecting on an earlier title ‘exploring your own unique universal vibration’, and I felt I could extend the possibilities of this title thus:
A. Apparently a (if life is just a collection of EST perceptions, what is real and unreal? There can only ever be what there seems to be, what appears to be for you)
S. State of (the practice is an internal one, no one else can do it for you, you’re on your own in this one)
C. Choosing to (there is choice in the realm of all those things we can control, ie, our responses to what arises inside of us and not actions and events outside of ourselves)
H. Home to your (up to now, it seems we continually get so distracted from the present moment and our ESTs, that we need to continually bring ourselves back, bring ourselves home. Home is that wonderful feeling of being at peace, no matter where you are)
U. Universal (it is simultaneously unique as each snow flake is unique and yet universal as it’s part of something so vast, maybe at times only to glimpse, maybe at times to know if we but listen)
V. Vibration (everything is vibration, down to the smallest particle of known life, entraining to all vibrations everywhere even to the furthest expanse of the known universe and beyond to the unknown and mysterious deep within)
Acronym: Asscchouuv, or ‘Aschouv’ for short ….it’s a musical word….it’s fun and playful…. It is pronounced with a musical swing, emphasis on the ‘oo’. Phonetically it is…. a – shoooooo- ving (ving with a bing!). Say it with a smile, a smile will help to bring the word alive!
SUMMARY • ASCHOUVING IN A NUTSHELL
So this is it. The end of all Q&As. All that you perceive right now, there is nothing else. These words sensed within, creating ripples through all the cells of your body and beyond to the mysterious and unknown. In this flow there is everything, all that you feel you need, the opportunities to go with the flow or resist the flow. Within the flow we find all our emotions, body sensations and thoughts, everything from happy to sad. We spend most of our lives distracted from the flow, looking somewhere else rather than at ‘this’. There are easier ways to live. So, take a deep breath, smile and know that you have everything you feel you need, right now. If you find this difficult, and yet somehow you are drawn to explore more, I suggest you practice the following:
• TEST YOURSELF : Begin a regular daily practice of Tuning in to your EST. Aim to tune into all 3 simultaneously, the E, the S and the T. A suggested practice for tuning into your EST, is using the tools of your BSB, ie., your conscious Being, Smiling and Breathing. There may be other tools that work better for you, explore
• PRACTISE ASCHOUVING : So now, let’s say you are practicing being yourself, yet you find unease is still arising. Now is the opportunity, the choice for you to heal or not to heal, to wake up to your glory or remain asleep. This is the moment, as awkward, tense or difficult as it may seem, to ASCHOUV for yourself with a clear intention.
• The 4 strands of Aschouving are YAAKI : YOUR
(a) ATTENTION on what’s happening in the now
(b) ALLOWING what’s happening in the now
(c) KNOWING your identity is boundless and encompasses the openness to aschouv any unease that may be arising and
(d) INTENTION, the clear intention to aschouv your ESTs as your heart promts you. Allow the unease settle back to calm as much as it’s possible in whatever time is available to you.
• THE 4STRANDS OF ASCHOUVING IN ONE WISH :
for yourself ‘This is ___________. It’s fine, it’s not mine and I wish to aschouv my perception of _____________’
for others ‘I wish to aschouv whatever is appropriate for _______________ ‘ (Name of person
• This is a practice that becomes part of each moment of your day, a practice drawing you within, revealing itself to you through your own unique universal vibration. Yet for most people especially beginners, it is recommended to also develop aschouving in a workshop setting.
• ASCHOUVING IN ONE SENTENCE: Say YAA to life. If you can’t say YAA, say YAAKI !
• ASCHOUVING IN ANOTHER SENTENCE: Look within. Know that you have choices in each moment. Choose happiness.
• ASCHOUVING IN ONE MORE SENTENCE: for HAPPI get YAAKI !!
If you wish to ask questions or seek help with a particular issue, then I’m available for consultations, talks and workshops. Contact me at 0872541892 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To view my blog, poetry and listen to my music, visit http://www.fionntain.com
‘Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them.” This quote is not given from a sectarian point of view. It describes a well-known principle. When people gather for a spiritual purpose, consciousness is stimulated and rises. This rising can be experienced as deepening silence and pervading bliss consciousness. This experience occurs in every faith, in every gathering for a high spiritual ideal, in every gathering for truth.’ – Yogani
We all carry different vibrations. Some people will connect more easily to some than others. It is this wide range of vibrational interaction that makes group aschouving so effective, and its good fun too. The issues you may feel ‘stuck on’ are easily held in the vibrational frequency of someone else, or the broader vibrational frequency of the group, giving you a ‘break’, more space to notice it, clearly define it, accept it, not identity with it and set your intention to heal it, to aschouv it. This is a great way to get support from others, especially when beginning. Groups can be a wonderful boost, but they tend to come and go. Think of them as bonuses. Life appears to be in a constant state of change. Be sure to remain centred and grounded as much as you can. This may require no effort from you, but for most people a regular daily practice is needed. Follow your own promptings. For further information visit http://www.fionntain.com
At times, it’s so comical how complicated and convoluted the limited ego makes life. So much time spent chasing our tales, it would make you laugh. Yet as I have shown, there is an easier peaceful life available to all right here and now. There are many ways that we can come to know this. It is entirely possible for this to happen instantly, and I sense this is happening more and more. For most of us, up to now, it has been a slow dawning realisation. A moment may come when all the avenues presented by the independent ego have been travelled and nothing seems to work. You are exhausted. You are depleted and with nothing left to distract you, your inner guide, inner being, your intuition is sensed, somehow from where I do not know, yet always there, waiting for you to turn inward and ask for help. It is now, if it is for your highest good, that your intuition will draw you to this practice. And with your intuition guiding you, and your intention clear, your ego is expanded, transformed and your journey will become more and more joyful and effortless. A moment of unease, is an opportunity for change. These challenging moments are simultaneously our Achilles heel and our gateway to happiness, they are the cracks that let the light in.
The birds they sang at the break of day
Start again I seem to hear them say
Do not dwell on what has passed away or what is yet to be.
Ah, the wars they will be fought again
The holy dove she will be caught again,
bought and sold and bought again
the dove is never free
Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack, in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.
– excerpt from ‘anthem’, leonard cohen
So this is my fairytale, my happy ever after story, my take on life and the practices that may help you to reveal the happiness already within you. One of the first words I heard from Eric Dowsett were ‘Don’t believe a word I say’ . I offer them to you now and add: Try this practice for yourself and with personal experience, see if you can make it, or part of it, your own.
I wish to thank Eric Dowsett and the worldwide ‘Clearing’ community for all the inspiration, all those whom I have quoted, and all those who have brought some wonderful quotes to my attention. Gratitude also to those in the scientific community who have helped bridge the apparent gap between the conscious and subconscious, assisting the rational mind to dwell in the realm of dream. To the internet particularly, WordPress, Google Search, Flickr and YouTube, what a wonderful resource to have at our finger tips. To all the photographers and artists for their inspiring images (see ‘Image Credits’ below for more details). To my family, friends, acquaintances, fellow human beings and all other beings, who have in any way, influenced these words, these unique universal vibrations……
P.S. – This Dark Damp December Day
I have worked on this publication for most of 2012. During this writing period I read this last quote in Eric Dowsetts Newsletter, which has both inspired and challenged me as I wrote my way through the preceding months. It sums up more than any other quote the essence of Aschouving. It’s the icing on the cake, part of the whole experience, yet giving it a framework, a topping off which presents the work with a certain edge, a sending off which lets the work flow off into the endless eternity from which it has come. I felt all along I couldn’t include it because I didn’t feel it; it drew me to itself, but I wasn’t at ease with it. But here it is now at the end, before I make my final full stop, it rises to purport to have the final say. Like the Fire Dragon of the Mines of Moria in combat with Gandalf, when plummeting in defeat into the depths, life still beating, it’s tail swushing and swirling rises to have the last say when it flicks the foe from safe ground to join him in his endless eternity. It still challenges me but in ever such a delightful way, testimony to my resistance to and total immersion in all things. Like a Hollywood blockbuster, that at its end gives you a taster of more exciting thrilling stories to come, a possible sequel, the ease and unease this quote brings forth in me also suggests more stories to come, there is no full stop, there’s another chapter and another and on and on into the endless eternity from whence they all came
I have acknowledged all quote sources used to date, but in this instance, I feel the source is of no consequence. I leave you with these words:
“Since everything is a product of ones own mind
Empty of meaning like a magicians illusion
Having nothing to do with good or bad – right or wrong
One might well burst out in laughter”
Buíochas le Dia
If you are inspired or entertained in any way by this publication, you may wish to make a donation. All donations are gratefully received
© fionntáin mac b 21dec2012
Image credits in order of appearance
Moon Time by Alice PopKorn, flickr.com
INTRO, Lifes A Siesta:
If Your Looking for a Sign This is it, tumblr.com
INTRO, Our Identity:
Beyond Wonderland 2012 by Caesar Sebastian, flickr.com
Youtube video by Particleze, music by Rachid Tahal
INTRO, Our Environment:
Flow by SB Archer, flickr.com
Youtube video by Pathways Connect, flickr.com
Gutenburgs Kite by Ursula Floresby, flickr.com
Girl on Swing by Cieleke, stockxchng.com
Boy on Step Bike, stock.xchng.com
PRESENT MOMENT PRACTICES:
Bird and Sky by starg82343, flickr.com
Looking downstairs into Stairwell by quapan, flickr.com
Meditation by Evoo73, flickr.com
Thought Clouds by Alice Popkorn, flickr.com
Happiness comes from within by Lynn (Gracies Mom), flickr.com
On the Road Again by Alice Popkorn, flickr.com
Happy Day by ricco – t, flickr.com
Happiness by Sebastian. YEPES, flickr.com
Lilie by Jo*No, flickr.com
ORIGIN OF THE NAME:
Beyond Time and space by Alice Popkorn, flickr.com
Earth, Illustration by DonkeyHotey, flickr.com
Laugh Out Loud Cats # 1103 by Ape Lad, flickr.com
Looking for Reality by Alice Popkorn, flickr.com
Colours by Camdiluv, flickr.com
Laughing Tibetan Woman by Fanz, flickr.com