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Kasha's Notes for March 24, 2005

  1. Introduction
    1. Listen to song How Could Anyone? by Shainia Noll.
  2. Childhood.
    1. Perpetuating the myth of cruelty  

i. The violence continues.  When you were growing up, perhaps they called you a name, perhaps they said you were stupid and maybe now sometimes when you make mistakes, like everyone does, you say to yourself, " Oh ,that's because I'm stupid".  That is self violence: perpetuating the myth of cruelty that was perpetuated upon you.                      

  1. Domestication of humans.
                                            i.      We are born with a capacity to learn how to interpret the world but we need to be taught how to interpret the world in a way that our society does.  The interpretation has so many rules that we need to hook the child's attention and introduce these rules into his or her mind.  Mom, Dad, schools, friends, and religions all teach us how to interpret the world through repetition—that is how we learned everything we know.
                               ii.      Attention is the ability we have to discriminate and to focus only on that we want to perceive. By using our attention, we learned a whole reality.                   
                              iii.      We learned how to behave in society, what to believe in and not to believe, what is acceptable and what is not acceptable, what is ugly and what is beautiful, what is right and what is wrong.  All that knowledge, all those rules about how to behave in the world are taught to us by everything around us. As soon as we agree to participate in the interpretation, we are living in blind conviction.                             
                                iv.      Don Miguel Ruiz, the author of The Four Agreements, called this the domestication of the human.  We are taught language, behavior, and how to judge ourselves and others. Children are domesticated the same way we domesticated a dog or cat. We train our children much the same way we train any domesticated animal: with a system of management, punishment, and reward.  When we went against the rules we were punished; when we went along with the rules and we got a reward.  We were punished many times in the day, and we were also rewarded many times in a day.  Soon we became afraid of being punished and also afraid of not receiving the reward.  The reward is the attention that we got.  We soon develop the need to hook other people's attention in order to get the reward.  When we fear not getting the reward, we pretend to be just like everyone around us—a carbon copy.                                 
                            v.      Pretending to be that which we are not, just to please others, just to be good enough for someone, just to receive the reward.  We pretend to be what we are not because we are afraid of being rejected.  Eventually we become someone who we are not.  We lose total contact with our true selves.  We become a copy of everyone around us.  All our normal tendencies are lost in the process of domestication.  Domestication is so strong that at a certain point in our life we no longer need anyone to domestic us.  We are so well-trained that we are our own domesticator.  We are an auto-domesticated animal.  We punish ourselves when we don't follow the rules according to our belief systems. We reward ourselves as well.
  1. What the Bleep. 
    1. Neuro-net pathways and emotional peptides.
    2. Emotional addictions and habits.
  2. Self-violence
    1. We will look at how subtle and pervasive a state self-violence is and how we are taught to live in that state almost continually.
                  i.      One way we violate ourselves is to base our choices on either what other people tell us we should do, what society tells us we should do, but our fears tell us we should do.  Instead we'd like to base our decision on how they match our ideals, values, and goals and how much of what has meaning, and value and passion for us.                  
    1. What if how violent we are as human beings was measured not by the violence we perpetuate on others, but our level of self violence? 
                   i.      That's the best and most accurate way, because the extent to which you are violent with yourself is the measurement by which you have the potential of being violent with others.                   
    1. What is the difference between judgment and discernment?
                  i.      When does self-violence build up enough to be acted out on others? An individual is self-violent when he is strict, difficult, harsh, and cruel to himself in every way.  When it builds up inside, he must distribute his self-violence to someone else.  He will attack someone and the process of the attack will drop the attacker's internal self-violence level for a time (whether the other person defends himself or not, even if the victim beats back the attacker and he suffers). But it will rise again if he does nothing to change his ways of being self-violent.                                
                               ii.      That is why repetitive attacks take place; it is the mechanics of how these things work.  Also, this is how violence is passed on from one generation to the next in a family, or how old feuds are passed on, or why individuals are attacked for the way they look or act, or simply because they are handy.
    1. How do you motivate yourself?
    2. Self-violence showing up as dis-ease.
                  i.      Self-violent diseases such as cancer or other diseases that can be transformed when we had know about self-love and self-violence.  Doing things like the Dance of Self can release our bodies from the accumulation of self-violence they are holding.  The disease of the body is really your material mass saying it cannot tolerate the physical experience of such self-violence.  That is why people die of disease.
                                ii.      Many of us have thought for very long time for we are mental bodies--that's where our focus has been, that the physical body is just something in which to carry the brain around.
                                iii.      There's been little awareness of the body having needs.  As we gradually learn what the physical body is about and how to understand its language and its feelings and what those feelings mean, and we can take action.  And once we start taking action, our physical bodies can breath a sigh of relief and say "now I don't have to give you such dramatic messages like getting sick or feeling pain".    
                                 iv.      The bodies last resort message is pain.  If you have not listened or are unable to understand the message, a body will try to communicate via pain. The body is not being violent with itself, as it sees it.  If your body has to produce pain, it is expressing passion and feelings, but it is the message of last resort. 
                                  v.      It is going to give the message in that way because you have been unable to understand the message any other way.  When you feel pain, you are more likely to take action, ask for help, do something.  We should always to wonder what does the pain mean?  Even our occasional headache or other pains, should invite from us a question of what it means.  Just going to see a massage therapist or her acupuncturist are taking an aspirin is not the total answer.
    1. Take a moment to make an ordered list of which essence gets most of your attention and energy.   (Body, Mind, Heart, Soul)
                   i.      When you neglect to listen to one of your essences, are not even aware that it really needs to be sleeping or eating because your mind is caught up in something and you are neglecting and abusing the other parts of yourself at the expense of the one.  Our minds get much more attention than our hearts, bodies, etc.             
                                ii.      One of the most pervasive ways we violate ourselves is not to listen to our essences.  By essences I mean: body, mind, heart, soul, and energy. Paying attention to the health and balance of each aspect of our essences is important.                   
                               iii.      As an example, let’s focus on self-violence of our bodies. Examples of this are:  Going on reading past the time when your body in clearly needs to be moving into sleep.  Self-violence includes starving yourself for some body image that is preached to you by society and media or over-eating because of your own emotional frustrations and moods.                  
                              iv.      In countries like Spain or Italy that have older cultures, the people may not be as self-violent.  If they are tired during the day, they take a nap.  If they want to have a fun dinner time with family or friends, they don't sit down and bolt their food down in 20 minutes so they can rush off and do something "constructive".  They take their time, they enjoy, they have many courses, they talk amongst themselves, they share their opinions.  It is a social gathering, what would perhaps be called a happening over here.
                             v.      Your body needs to have fun.  If you are working or studying too hard or have too many responsibilities, lots of the tension you feel doesn't have to do with the immediate work or study, but with the body's need to have fun. The body wants to play.  We make play into work for our children.  We want lessons that teach children how to play competitive games, unconsciously given by people with the best of intentions, hoping to make the children good competitors and good business people someday--or good soldiers--but they also teach the child that play is wrong to play if it doesn't incorporate work.                                 vi.      That's how children learn that being themselves, which is their nature--wanting to play--is somehow wrong.  Not because an adult come along comes along and says, “that's wrong”, but because the well-meaning adult encourages the child to do play that is competitive or work like.  It is understandable why we do this.                     
                                vii.      It is the beginning of the child losing itself and feeling like there is something wrong with her or him.  And when we grow up into adults, is harder for us to find ourselves, our true natures, our ways of being, our own feelings.  We have learned to hide it because it is was not safe to show it.  We remember as a child unconsciously.  It is not safe to show ourselves to others, is not safe to demonstrate it to ourselves, because you might be seen to be doing play that isn’t work.  As a result, you hide it so well that you can’t find yourself no matter how hard you try. If you are an adult, you feel that you ought to be doing this or you ought to be doing that.  That is a standard way of being for most adults.  We need to seek our lost innocence, our lost ability to play.
                              viii.      As your feelings become stronger, their passions stronger, your love and your need for love will be stronger.  In other words, you will be emotionally more powerful and you will need to interact more on the ceiling level.  There is nothing psychological about this; it is a physical thing.
    1. We will ask ourselves for clarity on how we currently abandon, judge, and violate ourselves.
    2. Not listening to our inner voices.
                   i.      Supermarket.
                                            1.  A child in a shopping cart in a store with his mother notices a very colorful box and wants to show it to her.  He says mommy look.  She is too busy looking at her list and the products on the shelf to hear him.  So he repeats it a little louder in mommy.  Then when she doesn't hear him and he repeats it again a little louder until he is throwing a tantrum in the store. 
                                             2. By the time his mother turns around and pays attention to him, he has lost the original thing he wanted to communicate, and is now worried about how have I been forgotten, am I not important, have I been abandoned?  His mother will need to respond to those fears to reassure him that he is valued and that she is there with him.  In fact, he may not even remember what the original request was about. 
                                             3. If his mother responds by scolding him for throwing a tantrum instead of reassuring him that he is important to her, she will be perpetuating and responding to something that is not the meat of his current distress. 
                                            4. In fact he will not get the message that he is valued or important, rather he will get the message that he is a burden on her or is not desired.  That response will lead to more tantrum cycles in their future relationship as he continues to seek reassurance that he is loved.
                                            5. However, if the mother can respond in a way that lets the child know he is truly loved and valued, then he will understand that her being distracted in that moment about something that she has to do is a common occurrence that is not connected to whether or not he is valued. 
                                            6. In the same way, parts of ourselves will throw tantrums when we don't pay attention to them.  The voice that we're not hearing will get in a little louder and a little louder, and then the topic that it's concerned about will be more focused on do you care about me your body, or your heart or your mind or your soul?
                                            7.  And, of course, follow through is important.  The actions that follow the words are what brings about the truth of the words and establishes trust.
  1. Self-love
    1. What stories to you have about why you cannot love yourself?
                 i.      Many of us have come to the conclusion that kindness to ourselves is selfishness.  We have been raised in a culture with many false beliefs, and one of them is that to do a kindness for ourselves is being selfish, or is a sin, or something to be ashamed of.  It is that which holds you back!  Example: When someone says that I should be more nurturing to myself, I immediately feel that "I can't pay attention to that; that's selfish, and I don't have time for it."
                              ii.      We have been raised on that lie. When you are self loving, it is not self-indulgent.  
                              iii.      When you are conscious of self-violence and there are still things that must be done, and there needs to be not only a negotiation with one's physical self, for what needs to follow up on a negotiation: "I must do this now, but later we will do this" and then you must do it.  You need to be able to trust yourself.  Or if you need to do something that doesn't feel self loving, it may be possible to do that thing in a different way that might be more pleasant for you.
    1. It needs to be a feeling experience.
                  i.      We are able to establish a culture of benevolence for all beings when we become loving as a physical experience, not as a thought.  Thoughts are always interpretable, but a physical experience gives physical evidence and is felt very much the same by all.         
                               ii.      Share with the group the heat in the heart experience.  It is a good place to start because it gives you benevolent feelings that you can experience in your body. 
                              iii.      The extent to which you choose to bring up that feeling in yourself will be a measure that you can consider, even with your thought, of how kind you are to yourself compared to how cruel you are to yourself.
                             iv.      You'll discover that while you are feeling the love and heat, and gratitude, that you are incapable of being violent or hurtful or critical in any way.  When the feeling is in your body, you cannot act in opposition to the feeling.  Centering yourself into the feeling of love and speaking it, you can only be benevolent.  It is not possible to do otherwise.
                              v.      Try it as an experiment.  Move yourself into a place where you feel pure love, and then speak aloud to yourself.  What you say to yourself during that time will always come from self-love.  The moment you begin to get critical or question your own value, that feeling will fade or become significantly less.  So you practice until you can talk for a long time, saying nice things to yourself about yourself. 
When you can focus into that love physically and speak in that center to others, you will find yourself saying loving things to others.  Most likely, unless they are in a terribly self-destructive self-violent place will feel the love of your words, not just hear them, not just think about them, but actually feel them.  This kind of truth felt in that way is rarely forgotten!
                                   vii.      The heart feels and demonstrates pain, but it does not create pain; it only gives you the message that pain is present.  The heart produces, generates and disseminates only love. When you hold life to be sacred and treat it as if it is, including your life --perhaps most especially your life--so that you can know that something has sacred, meaning you feel the self-love in yourself and can feel it in others.
    1. We will spend a little time listening to the voices of parts of ourselves that we have not paid attention to for a long time. 
                   i.      Not listening to ourselves is one of the biggest ways we violate ourselves.  That is abandonment and neglect. 
                                ii.      Invite you to join me.  I will just listen without defending or judging.  I want to get to know you.
    1. Listen for a moment to each essence and ask for one thing it wants to share with you.  Ask it what brings meaning to each aspect.
    2. How would I respond to my best friend, child, loved one if it was them rather than myself in this situation?
                    i.      In your self conversations, consider approaching yourself as if you were your own child or best friend.  If your best friend had just come to you and confessed a mistake they made or something traumatic that happened to them, you would not beat them up and tell them how wrong they were, or make them feel small, or ignore what they were saying, etc. You would offer comfort, compassion, understanding, and space to go through their emotional journey with regard.  If you can invite yourself to share with yourself your true experiences and just being there without judgment or defense, in a supportive role, you will be giving yourself love                    
    1. Allow body to fully experience.
                i.      When in the body state of pure love, unable to entertain violence in any form.  
                              ii.      Nina Wise
    1. What new agreements do you want to make with yourself about compassion, acceptance, nurturing, softening, deepening your relationship with yourself.
    2. Things you can do to take this futher...

                   i.      Dance of self.
                                          1.       Using our bodies in movement is a very good way to release self-violence.  For example, you might benefit from the dance of the self.  You move freely in expression of your feelings, and in the process, your movements become more and more vigorous until eventually you have pushed off all the discomfort of your negative feelings and eventually begin to feel only your self.  You'll throw out the parts of you that need to be discarded.  You will also throw off the parts of other people who spread their violence and negative feelings to you.  Eventually there will be nothing left to throw off; there will be only you left. 
                                           2.      Then your dance will change.  It will become a dance of symbols and postures that express who you really are.  You can do this to music, you can do it to drumming, you can do it to internal sounds of drumming and music, as you wish.  But doing it will take years off the couch in the psychiatrist’s office, because such physical discomforts are best and most easily dispatched by being physical.  It turns into something that feels good to you and to those exposed to it, because you are expressing your inner, true self. 
                                           3.      You can also do the same thing with your voice, music, or any artistic medium.  Just keep doing whatever it is until you have sloughed off everything and met your essence
                               ii.      Celebrate self – daily.       
                              iii.      Gratitude list.                                                          
                              iv.      When I Love Myself Enough

If you are fairly open and in reasonably good balance or even just relaxed and feeling comfortable, when you come into contact with a person who is violent toward themselves, even if they're not talking to you, you will feel uncomfortable.  Maybe a little nausea, but it will be a familiar feeling of discomfort like that feeling you get that you ought to be elsewhere.  You will often get this feeling if confronted or exposed to something that is a known risk or a known discomfort, yet you can tell if someone is probably self-violent if you feel uncomfortable around them.

Religion has interesting effect on us with regard to self violence.  In the Eastern philosophies religion is intended to be the day to day philosophy of living your life.  Religion is a practice that one lives by.  But in Western societies one could not live by the ethics of religion because it interfered with commerce.  So religion was transferred into commerce-friendly religion.  When religion is commerce-friendly as its first priority, the needs of the people on a daily basis--their lives from day to day--are not met.  This is how you can have people with great wealth and people who are starving and suffering within a society that considers itself free.  Free to the what? 

Self violent, because you are all one: if one amongst you suffers while the others are happy, there is a part of all the others that is suffering.  To the extent that you learn how to have the loving energy within you and to treat yourself more benevolently, when others are suffering you will feel it immediately.  And as a society you will rise up immediately to assist the party who is suffering because you will feel that as a personal pain. So societies become physically loving with the heat and warmth of love, and then they felt quickly the members of their society who were suffering and needed assistance, and gave those people the assistance they needed until all people's needs are served.  The culture comes in to balance and is able to maintain itself as a loving, benevolent culture, nurturing the best out of all individuals and coming quickly to the aid of those in pain, not only to serve their needs, or to keep that pain (also known as self violence) from spreading to others.

How do we reach those people who are seriously into real violence and terrorism?  For starters to set a good example.

If you can never escape from that what you must know and understand, you will be immersed in your lesson.  To the extent that you are unconscious of your lesson, you will continually repeat behaviors over and over again.  Yet this is the only way to understand these conditions of self violence and self-destructiveness are not true roots of you true selves, that aberrations associated with your lesson that control is based entirely in fear of the past, present or future, it is not in any way based in the heart.  The heart feels and demonstrates pain, but it does not create pain; it only gives you the message that pain is present.  The heart produces generates and disseminates only love.Running or exercising past the point that your body says stop, because you believed in someone's theory.  To the extent that you do these and other things, including reckless behavior that could injure or kill you, this is how violence on this planet in our society is measured.  If we were to engage in violence based on what you do to each other, it is not so accurate.And consider how you abuse yourself.  Are heart mind body soul. Your heart, mind, body, soul, and energy are constantly giving you messages.You are not at this time capable of assessing your unconscious in a conscious fashion, but lets say you repeat to yourself and create a dogma out of cruel things that were said to you by insensitive or deluded.  Was said to you in such a way that you took it in as truth without question.  Because it feels true, you are not even aware that it is unkind or abusive or violent.


By Jessica Miller

  • when i love myself enough i spend time being creative which brings my artistic talents to the surface
  • when i love myself enough i dont let other's emotions penetrate my boundaries
  • when i love myself enough i listen to what my heart needs
  • when i love myself enough i see the true beauty of everything around me- including myself

by Kim McMillen

  • When I loved myself enough I no longer needed things or people to make me feel safe.
  • When I loved myself enough my heart became so tender it could welcome joy and sorrow equally.
  • When I loved myself enough I came to see emotional pain as a signal I am operating outside my truth.
  • When I loved myself enough I began to see I didn't have to chase after life.  If I am quiet and hold still, life comes to me.
  • When I loved myself enough I redefined success and life became simple.  Oh, the pleasure in that!
  • When I loved myself enough I came to love being alone, surrounded by silence, awed by its spell, listening to inner space.
  • When I loved myself enough I felt compelled to slow down - way down - and that has made all the difference.
  • When I loved myself enough I quit wishing my life looked some other way and began to see that, as it is, my life serves my evolution.
  • When I loved myself enough I quit exhausting myself by trying so hard.
  • When I loved myself enough I began feeling a community within.  This inner team with diverse talents and idiosyncrasies is my strength and my potential.  We hold team meetings.
  • When I loved myself enough I began seeing the abuse in trying to force something or someone who isn't ready -- including me.
  • When I loved myself enough the impulsive part of me learned to wait for the right time.  Then I become clear and unafraid.
  • When I loved myself enough I gave up perfectionism -- that killer of joy.
  • When I loved myself enough I could tell the truth about my gifts and my limitations.
  • When I loved myself enough I began to see my purpose and gently wean myself from distractions.
  • When I loved myself enough I saw that what I resisted persisted.  Like a small child tugging my shirt.  Now I am curious and gentle when resistance comes tugging.
  • When I loved myself enough I began listening to the wisdom of my body.  It speaks so clearly through its fatigue, sensitivities, aversions and hungers.
  • When I loved myself enough I quit fearing my fear.
  • When I loved myself enough I began to taste freedom.

Email re Agenda for March 24, 2005

Subject:  Loving Ourselves

Our Gathering this Thursday will focus on living in a place of Self-Love and eliminating self-violence from our lives.

We will look at how subtle and pervasive a state self-violence is and how we are taught to live in that state almost continually. We will ask ourselves for clarity on how we currently abandon, judge, and violate ourselves. We will spend a little time listening to the voices of parts of ourselves that we have not paid attention to for a long time.

We will dig deeper into the difference between Judgment and Discernment. We will develop new ways to motivate ourselves (other than "beating ourselves up"). We will listen to our hearts, minds, bodies, souls ... touching on what brings meaning to each aspect of ourselves.

We will make some new agreements with ourselves about compassion, acceptance, nurturing, softening and deepening our relationship with ourselves.

Door open at 6:30. Gathering starts at 7:00pm

Looking forward to being with you Thursday evening!



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