Elsbeth Meuth and Freddy Zental Weaver continue our February theme, “The Struggle is NOT Real,” with “Tap Into Vulnerability and Access Bliss.”
This “talk” is electronically transcribed. Please excuse any errors or omissions.
Freddy: Good morning.
Audience: Good morning.
Freddy: Yeah. In keeping with the theme, the struggle is not real. We want to look with you today at how to transmute vulnerability into bliss, so for this moment, if you could just close your eyes and put your hand on your belly. We’re going to do a little belly meditation breath for a moment.
Freddy: Letting your thoughts come and go. Follow with your awareness your breath into your nose, trachea, lungs, extending down into your diaphragm and belly like a big balloon on your inhalation. Following with your awareness your breath back up and out through your nose in own pace, depth, and rhythm. Letting your thoughts come, letting your thoughts go. Feeling the rise of your belly on your inhalation filling your hand, really extending it out there, following with your awareness your breath back up and out through your nose in your own, pace, depth, and rhythm. You are your own witness to any thoughts, conversations, interpretations or meaning, for now just breathing and being.
Freddy: Stay with it. Breathing into your nose, trachea, lungs, extending down into your diaphragm and belly like a big balloon on your inhalation. Following your breath back up and out through your nose in your own pace, depth, and rhythm. Ahh. Yes. That’s it.
Elsbeth: And with your eyes closed, following your breath, take a moment and notice how you’re feeling right now. Notice how your body is feeling. Notice any sensations in your body or the absence of sensations. Just noticing there’s nothing to be done at this very moment. Being with yourself and witnessing the way you feel at this very moment, and then thank yourself for being here today and connecting with yourself, and then come back when you are ready, no rush, by opening your eyes and noticing where you are in the space. Thank you.
Elsbeth: So what’s vulnerability? Vulnerability as we use it here is a state of being open, being authentic, being available, unarmed, unmasked. And what’s bliss? Bliss is a heightened state of peace, of joy, of contentment, a sense of fulfillment. So while we all desire feeling bliss, being in a state of bliss, I mean, really, what else is to be in? However, to access bliss, we want to clear what may be in the way, and what may be in the way has to do with opening up to vulnerability.
Elsbeth: Now why is this so? Most of us really avoid feeling vulnerable, and that has something to do with that we associate vulnerability with feeling weak, feeling powerlessness, feeling helpless, perhaps feeling humiliated, feeling not respected, shamed, frustrated, confused. Now who would want to feel like that? I mean, I don’t want to, you know? So I want to share you with a story about myself where I really was thrown into intense vulnerability.
Elsbeth: It was not too long ago. Last summer, I was informed by my doctor that I needed a hysterectomy, and within a couple of minutes being in this doctor’s office, I got very clear that this was given to me by the universe to clear my body. So I prepared myself for the surgery in peace, with ease. The surgery itself went miraculously well. The recovery, the healing just flowed. However, there was one thing that I did not expect, which was a ——– into immense openness and raw feelings post surgery.
Elsbeth: Now, how I hold it is that what happened was by the clearing of the flesh, an access to cellular memory was availed, and in this availing of memory, what came to me was this two-year-old girl. Can we get the two-year-old up? Yes. So this two-year-old little girl, she grew up in Stuttgart, Germany in a family of 10 children, and at two years old, I felt so in love with my dad, so in love, and I had this feeling that he felt the same heart-to-heart. However, he was not able to express it. Now today, I would call it my dad was emotionally illiterate. Back then, mm-mm (negative). I felt like not loved, not paid attention to, rejected, ignored, and my heart was open and raw, and I couldn’t make sense of on one hand that deep connection I had with him inside. However, on the external, in the external world, it was not expressed.
Elsbeth: So living in this dichotomy, what I did in order to protect myself was I muted myself, so I had this inner world that was blissful, and then the old outer world, I did not know how to deal with me. So that stayed with me, this longing for love, for this connection with my dad for many, many years, many, many decades. What also stayed with me was a sense of helplessness and powerlessness that I couldn’t change it. I couldn’t change my dad, and I so longed for his love.
Elsbeth: So that was reopened during the phase post surgery in such a raw way, and instead of closing it off again, of protecting myself, of pretending it was not there, I allowed myself to feel it, to go there. It was like crying days on end, sadness, and my beloved was holding space here for me every day to an extent where he said, “Darling, do you want to get some medication?” and I said, “Darling, no. I am going towards it, and however long it’s going to take, I want to clear this. I want to free this,” and the curious thing for me in this whole phase was that I thought, “I have this beautiful man by my side who loves me deeply. Where does the longing come from?”
Elsbeth: So I followed it, I meditated on it, and it occurred me that this feeling of longing has brought forth the most gorgeous music in human history. When we think of a Frederic Chopin nocturne or this song by Billie Holiday where she sings about these two lovers who are parting, and she sings, “I’ll be seeing you in all the old familiar places.”
Elsbeth: I kept looking at the moon in my meditation, in my reflection, this longing, looking for you, and in that looking, in that reflecting, what was I looking for? Another? Or was I looking for myself, longing for reuniting with myself, so I put myself into the moon, looking at myself, and while reflecting, while meditating, what came to me was perhaps I’m longing for the universe, the universe that I come from, that we all come from, that shot us into this life. Perhaps I’m longing for reuniting with the universe, and in the reflection, in the being with the longing, what opened up was this circular flow of coming home, coming to peace, coming to joy, and yes, coming to bliss.
Elsbeth: So how can we learn to transmute vulnerability into bliss?
Freddy: Great. Beautiful, darling. The three essential keys to learn to really tap in on a consistent basis to our vulnerability, and then ultimately that bliss.
Freddy: The first key is the belly breath. We started with that a moment ago. We breathe all the time parasympathetically in the upper chest, the lungs. We don’t think about it. It oxygenates the body, we’re good. When we bring the breath down into the diaphragm and extend into the belly, we actually have to think a little bit to do that, so it gives our mind a little space, a little break from the suffering we might be going through or, “This traffic,” or “Why did she say that,” or whatever it might be that’s disconnecting us. And secondly, even more importantly, it oxygenates more efficiently. We produce more endorphins, serotonin, oxytocin. These are the feel-good hormones, so breathing parasympathetically, belly breath breathing, actually puts our body in a chemical state of ease.
Freddy: Key number two, the witness state of mind, where we’re actually watching the thoughts and the stories that create this total felt sense that shows up. We’re into traffic, and now my back is tight, my heart is pumping, and my blood pressure is up. So being in the witness is really the key to watching and shifting how we experience and how we want to create our life. Unlike say a moose walking through the forest. The moose is walking and it’s minding its own business, and a tree falls and it’s startled, and then it sees some berries and it eats the berries on the tree, and then the rain falls, and it lifts its snout and drinks the water from the sky, and when it’s complete, it moves on.
Freddy: Now the human is walking through the forest, and the tree falls. “Oh my God. I could have been killed. What would happened to my 401K and I’ve got a vacation and a business meeting, and it’s raining too. Oh God, why me?” It’s what we do with everything. We’re thinking from beginning to end, and it’s not going to stop, believe me, but we can learn to watch the story, the narrative, without the total felt sense.
Freddy: Key number three is energy awareness, how it shows up in our body, our emotions, and our thoughts.
Elsbeth: So energy is very elusive because we cannot see it, and the curious thing is that none of us really learned about our life force energy in school or college. While we may have learned about electrical energy or thermal energy or nuclear energy, human energy is totally absent from the curriculum. However, once we become aware of how energy shows up within us both on the physical level, the emotional and the spiritual level, that is where the access starts both into vulnerability and bliss, so what about if you get to tap into this right now. Would that be good?
Elsbeth: Yeah? Okay, so if you could just sit comfortably in your chair, really comfortably. Yes, on your butts, right on your butt, and feel your butt resting on the seat, and if you’re leaning back, feel the back of the chair supporting your back. And now find your belly breath by taking in a deep breath through the nose, down into the lungs, that pushes the diaphragm down, and in turn the belly extends like a big balloon, and on the exhalation, follow that breath up your torso and out of your nose again. And while you’re breathing that way, feel that you’re supported by the chair. You’re held by the chair. Held by the floor, by the ground, and by the earth. So there’s nothing to be done right now. All there is is to breathe and following the breath, and allowing ourselves that we are supported by the earth all of us. Beautiful.
Elsbeth: And while you’re breathing in and out with ease, take a look into your life and see if there’s any place, any area, any situation where you feel helpless or powerlessness, where you feel frustrated or confused, not knowing how to move. If there’s any place you connect with, notice what’s happening there and notice how you feel about the situation even just thinking about it, and stay with this feeling just a little longer. Now breathe into that feeling. Let that feeling be instead of trying to make it go away or augmenting it, and now see if there’s a place in your body where this feeling resides. And if there is a place, breathe into that place, breathe into the feeling in that place. Feel, and then imagine if you had a wand, a magic wand, and could wipe away that feeling, that situation, do it right now. If you want to use your hand and wipe with a magic wand whatever is there in front and within you, just wipe it away. Use your hand. Do it actually. Just wipe it away. Wipe it away. Clear the space.
Elsbeth: Then notice with this wiping away, an open space arises, and into this open space, take a moment and notice how you would like to feel, happy, joyful, free with abandon, blissful, loved. Feel into the feeling that you wish to feel. And now notice if there’s a place in your body where this feeling, that pleasant feeling resides, and if there is a place, breathe into that place, open that space within you, and breathe into the feeling within the space within you. And on the next exhalation, let that feeling spread throughout your body, imbuing your whole body with this pleasant feeling that is you at this very moment.
Elsbeth: Keep breathing into the feeling, and if you wish to learn more about how you can transmute vulnerability into bliss, please do join us at our workshop today from 12:30 to 2:30 here at Bodhi across the street, and we’ll guide you with the tools and practices to actually do so in your life, and you will learn practices you can apply daily, shifting from vulnerability into bliss.
Elsbeth: And then place your right hand on your heart center and come back by opening your eyes, and just turn to the neighbor next to you or across a few seats from you, and look at that neighbor, that person, thanking that person for being here today in your presence, and then thank yourself for being here and for being open to bliss, and we’ll see you at the workshop.