Wednesday, June 18, 2008

No Problems In The Present Moment

I've written a number of posts now about a major tenet of ho'oponopono, namely that all our problems in life come from our memories. This should be very clear to see as we struggle through bereavement. If you open a newspaper from a neighboring city to the obituaries, I'm sure you can find an obit concerning someone you don't know. Do you feel overwhelming sadness about their death? No? Why? You probably feel overwhelming sadness concerning the death of your spouse. But what is the difference? They are both dead people. The difference is, you have no memories of the dead stranger, but you have tons of memories of your dead spouse.

I was reading part of The Sedona Method yesterday, and I found a great section that takes this concept to a whole new level. It also teaches a powerful life skill that I feel will help you immensely in your grief work.

[from pages 268-270]:

Exploration: There Are No Problems

...I'd like to share one of the most powerful perspectives that we've been exploring in Sedona Method Advanced Courses with you: There are no problems in the present moment. I saved this piece for now, because I know this may be hard for you to accept, but — what if all the supposed problems you have right now are only memories? I challenge you to explore this question for yourself and at least entertain the possibility. If you can even partially accept this notion, and work with it as best you can in the way outlined here, it will give you another powerful tool to transform your life radically for the better.

The reason that problems appear to persist through time is that, whenever they're not here, in this moment, we go looking for them. Yes, we actually seek our problems. We tend to filter our experiences based on the belief that we have a particular problem, unconsciously censoring anything from our awareness that doesn't support that belief, including the fact that the problem is not here NOW.

I have worked with this perspective in the background of my awareness for many years; however it has only been in the last few years that I have used it in our classes and retreats. One of the first times I shared this perspective with a group was at a Seven-day Retreat a few years ago. Henry came to the retreat wearing a leg brace and feeling a lot of pain due to torn ligaments in his knee. His doctors had told him that the pain would probably persist for about six months until all the ligaments healed. So, he was quite skeptical when I told him that even pain is a memory. Yes, there were sensations in the NOW, but the pain itself was only a memory. He was so skeptical, in fact, that he spent the next 24 hours trying to prove me wrong. He was certain that if he got completely present with the sensations he was experiencing, he would still feel pain.

The next day in class, Henry shared that he was more than a little shocked that, despite the fact he had doubted what I said, every time he looked for pain in the present, he couldn't find it. He went on to explain that not only could he not find pain in the present, but there was no more pain to be found period, and his swelling had gone down about 85 percent. He also no longer needed his leg brace to walk!

I invite you to challenge your long cherished problems by embracing at least the possibility that they are only memories and allowing yourself to be open to what you discover.

To release the suffering caused by your perceptions, begin by thinking of a problem that you used to believe you had. (Notice that I have purposely phrased this sentence in the past tense.)

If you have a hard time accepting the problem as being from the past, allow yourself to include the last moment as part of the past. Most of us think of the past as at least yesterday, last year, or years ago. For the sake of understanding what I am suggesting, please view the past as anything that is not happening at this exact moment, including a second ago, or even a nanosecond ago.

Then, ask yourself this question: Could I allow myself to remember how I used to believe I had this problem?

The shift in consciousness that follows the question may make you laugh, it may make you tingle inside, or it may simply open the possibility in your awareness that, "Yes, even this is just a memory."

Next, ask yourself: Would I like to change that from the past?

If the answer is "yes," ask: Could I let go of wanting to change that from the past? Then let go as best you can.

Simply move on to the next step if the answer is "no."

The completion question in this series is: Could I let go of wanting to believe I have that problem again? Or: Could I let go of the expectation of having that problem happen again?

As always, just do your best to let go. If you find that you're still clinging to the memory of the problem in this moment, however, repeat the steps from the beginning until you can let go fully.

There are tons of excellent exercises in this book to help you let go of all your problems, anxieties, fears, and limitations. I highly, highly recommend it.

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