When R/L was introduced to me at my first “There Is Nothing Wrong with You” retreat 11 years ago, I never listened to those recordings again. It was too painful (for egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate).
Yet, I kept showing up for Practice — albeit only doing the Practice opportunities that were “comfortable.” I didn’t know this was what I was doing, but looking back I was saying yes to only those things that egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate told me were “comfortable.” I did the retreats and participated as wholeheartedly as I could, but once the retreat was over the recorder (or cassette tape back then) went into a drawer never to be seen/heard of again.
But like Practice, R/L never went away and I am eternally grateful.
When I began practicing with a Zen Awareness Coach, R/L was suggested again and this time I reluctantly said, “okay.” While it wasn’t a wholehearted “yes,” there was enough willingness to begin.
That first recording was brilliantly pathetic (I say that with ALL the love in the world for the practitioner who did it — because it was enough)! Then I just kept at it, little by little. I sat with the cringing reactions that ego was creating that felt real, but I didn’t yet know weren’t real. (I didn’t know on the surface, but somewhere deep down I did know.)
I just kept showing up.
A few months later, a miracle happened: R/L showed up for me in a way I never expected. I was going through something difficult and I spontaneously chose to do the 2-handed exercise. I spent 20 minutes with the recorder (and the Mentor) and the awful, shameful feelings were gone. They ARE gone! A very painful experience from my senior year of high school that had tortured me for over 20 years…healed!!
That was it. I was and am a believer.
I now know that was Life guiding, but I did not know that at the time. At the time, I was just trudging along, trying my best and not doing it perfectly. Life doesn’t require perfect. It doesn’t require anything, except maybe, to never give up!
Fast forward to now. That experience keeps me inspired when egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate does what it does to try and get me to stop R/Ling. I still get lulled into not R/Ling, and when I wake up to that I can now say “thank you” and pick up the recorder and record that: “Thank You!”
I deeply appreciate the sincere practitioner whose heart is pure and whose dedication is deep to end suffering. I’m grateful for the Mentor, for the love that is moving closer and closer to unconditional and for never giving up!!
When you are having a tough time, pick up the recorder and put it in your right hand. Let the part of you who is having the tough time speak. No censoring. Then take a deep breath and switch to your left hand and press play and listen to that recording. Really listen. Taking another deep breath and keeping the recorder in your left hand, press record and see what drops in to offer that person the love, support, encouragement that she/he needs. Then press play and let yourself receive that love, encouragement, and support. Play with this exercise. Experiment. Let Life guide you. Most important, never give up!