In day to day living, we are largely unconscious. We often behave mechanically, going from pattern to pattern automatically, moving through our days and lives. We live in the liminal spaces, looking forward to life events, or back with nostalgia on the past. We look forward to being in relationships, and almost as soon as we're in, we look back to the past or forward to the next phase in the relationship, or the next relationship. If we're in it, we look fondly back on how it used to be, or we look forward hopefully to how it could be.
In the day to day, we sometimes look up to find that we've made it to our meeting. How we got there, we can barely recall, because the journey was unconscious.
In other words, we are rarely in the present... is it any wonder that life sometimes seems unfulfilling?
The situation would be bleak, if there were not solutions all around us; signposts to our transformation.
We are working to fill these unconscious gaps with conscious awareness, and in that way, to move from ‘mechanical’ action to ‘conscious’ action. Energy that was being scattered, can now be focused on our life's work.
We change identities in an instant. From one context to the next, we show up as different people. Our cells are continually dying and being reborn.
What is the core; the unchanging within us, and how do we act out of that part?
Where do these gaps come from?
The gaps are born as a reaction to some sort of trauma or difficult situation. Emotional or physical trauma. Something painful happens, something that is too much to process completely in the moment, so we 'live around' that experience in our minds and bodies. We isolate it and pack it away for future processing.
I call this the seed of the pattern, and it is surrounded by an emptiness; a void, which acts as a buffer.
This is why, when we tune into the seed during Budden Process sessions, you may notice the tendency to 'go away'... blanking out, losing the train of thought, going into a trance state, etc. This is a sign that we are touching into one of the 'gaps.'
These are some of the most valuable times in life,, and normally, no one is there to point them out. And it isn't easy pointing them out, either. There is often the emotional component that comes up as a defense. Frustration, anger, impatience, disbelief, etc. When you touch upon someone's unconscious pattern, prepare for a unconscious reaction.
I’ve come to see getting ‘lost’ as a quintessential piece of the human experience, balanced and healed only be the process of ‘finding’, rediscovering, remembering, etc.
Mechanical, automatic action versus ‘doing.’
“All energy spent on conscious work is an investment; that spent mechanically is lost forever.” - Gurdjieff
These ‘gaps’ of awareness show up somatically in our bodies. As you go through and scan your body, you might be able to tune into certain areas better than others. Some might seem ‘full’ and others ‘empty.’ They are always linked to a 'gap' of awareness in the mind. The body represents the subconscious mind.
This 'scanning' is a practice that will continually be refined. At first, you may not be able to tune in at all, or you may only notice the most obvious sensations. In time, the awareness remembers how to hone in on the most subtle sensations.
Budden Training Suggestions
Close the gaps: Remember the edges of your being.
Cultivating somatic awareness is an evolutionary process. Engaging in it can bring us to the deepest recesses of our subconscious, and so to our truth. The more adept we become at it, the more there is to explore. It is said the Buddha and other masters reached a level where they could perceive individual cells and, eventually, individual molecules. That is one way to imagine the process. Continual refinement. I certainly experience bones and organs with great clarity when I get into a meditative state, though I am not at the molecular state yet, myself.
There are a few tools we can use to assist the process. One is using the elements (water, wind, sunlight, etc) as bridges back to sensory awareness. The cold wind against your skin, your hair against your neck, the sunlight on your face. In the bath, you can sink into the water slowly, and feel where the skin is sensitive, and where it is more ‘numb.’ You can feel the flow while you’re in the shower, and start to tune in that way.
Touch your body and remind yourself… this is my arm, this is my belly, this my shoulder, etc. Practice it until it clicks. I also find a dry bristle brush helpful (which also inspires the lymphatic system to move). You can rub vigorously until you feel a blooming of energy, and then take the brush away, and see what that energy does, or if it’s filling a void that you didn’t notice before. Notice how you ‘respond’ to certain parts of your body differently than other parts, or how certain parts feel close (connected), and others feel further away.
‘Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.’ Khalil Gibran
For the body, I find it supportive to spend time in reverence. Personally, I sit and tune into various bones and organs.
"Thank you spine, for supporting me throughout my whole life. Thank you for the intelligence you bring to every motion. Thank you for allowing the central intelligence of the body to flow through you. The beautiful work you do allows me to live out my destiny. Thank you for continuing to heal and regenerate, and I apologize for any suffering that I have caused you through my actions."
Many people only pay attention to an organ or body system when it malfunctions, and then complain about it, or about the human condition, or curse it or numb it. An aspect of healing is getting out of the reactionary mode, and into a more positive state.
People often say that 'they can't focus on their healing because of x or y.' Whatever is showing up in your life now, IS the healing process. For instance, if you're torn between caring for yourself, or caring for another; or balancing work and self care, these are the messengers.
During times of healing, our oldest patterns often show up and invite us to dance.