Words can mean lots of different things to different people. I write in very clear and simple language because mostly I am trying to communicate things that feel grounded and straightforward; however this doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot of nuance behind what I am saying. The words that I have chosen are often incredibly specific.
I talk more about the meaning of words – particularly words that are used in a Buddhist or meditative context – in the section ‘About Awakening’.
To start, here are some words that I use very specifically and in slightly different ways to how other people normally use them. It will help you get a proper understanding of my writing if you can understand these terms as I mean them.
You may have different meanings or understanding of these words in a different context, so it feels helpful to get on the same page.
Embodied Heart States
The embodied heart states are ways of opening to receive the world that are meta to the content of experience. They are grounded in the idea that love is felt, expressed and experienced in the body. They also include all the darkness and challenge of life, they don’t focus solely on the light parts.
The capacity to really feel something; moments of resonance on the full emotional spectrum. Really caring about something or someone in a felt, practical way
For The Benefit of All Beings
The meta heart state that overrides everything else and is an important sentiment of all my writing and teaching. The belief that there is meaning and purpose in the Universe, even in the difficulties, and the willingness to embrace this and meet experience as it is for the benefit of all beings, including yourself
Being able to accept things as they are, even when they are shitty. Opening to allow things to impact you emotionally without blaming yourself, other people or the world
The capacity to retain an open mind and attitude towards someone or something, even when you disagree with them. An alternative translation of Loving Kindness.
The capacity to make space for all of experience, without judgement or prejudice. An alternative translation of Equanimity
A loving, connected quality of experience that can be present regardless of content i.e. one can be joyfully sad
Finding joy in difficulty, by connecting to a perspective that is bigger than you. The two most common examples are being able to laugh at yourself or at the situation as a whole and being happy for others
Taking joy in some of the darker or more absurd aspects of life, for example swearing or sexuality
1. Felt-sense definition: Allowing all of experience to impact you in an open way
2. Objective definition: The process of giving and receiving that the entire Universe consists of; affect
A part of experience that is so alien or cut off from you that even if someone puts it right in front of you, you are incapable of recognising it
The parts of experience that feel fundamentally unbearable. Physical, mental and emotional pain that on a scale of 1 – 10 goes far beyond 11. Unimaginable from a normal state of consciousness
The incapacity to connect with experience due to encountering a shadow or blind spot and falling into hatred, fear and blame of the other
The disowned parts of experience that are too painful to be with or that you will not accept are part of yourself
The process of connecting with aspects of personal or collective experience that you were previously closed to and integrating them into a heartful, direct, open, clear way of being e.g. awakening to awareness, awakening the energy body, sexual awakening
There are a lots of aspects to this, but one important aspect is becoming one with the Universe in a way where your life becomes a meme that is entirely about expression of a force that is here in service to collective awakening
People supporting each other to go through the process of awakening in a collaborative way. Enjoying the process and helping each other to thrive and see the truth. Recognising that all relationships are a symbiosis and that we create each other.
The understanding that everything we experience is grounded in physical reality. Recognising that your physical and energetic body will impact how you see, feel, think about and experience things. Knowing that awakening requires you to process trauma and integrate new parts of yourself in your physicality as much as your mind.
1. Felt-sense definition: The sense of spaciousness, nebulosity and voidness that can arise in subjective experience – creating a greater sense of freedom of expression
2. Objective definition: The realisation that the fixed structures that the mind creates of the world are not representative of reality – nothing conceptual is fixed, the meaning of everything depends on the context in which it is seen and experienced
I don’t really use this word, but if I had to define it I would say it is the process of bringing things that you aren’t aware of into the light so that you can see and feel them clearly for what they are
The process of becoming a full, embodied expression of your true nature, e.g. for me it is embracing my full Rosa-ness, for you it is becoming your full [insert your name here]-ness
The capacity to own your darkness, stand in your truth and act for the benefit of all beings, including yourself. The willingness to see and say it like it is, which looks like accepting people whole-heartedly and sometimes threatening people’s comfort zones.
Dharma should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable
Taking a shadow or part of experience that was not awake in you and processing it through the body, heart and mind so that it becomes a healthy, natural part of your way of being. It will normally take a number of times to go through the process to really integrate the details and subtleties of a lesson or experience. Once it’s integrated it will feel very natural
Everything depends on everything else; everything is connected to everything else
1. Felt-sense definition: a sense of fundamental connectedness between the personal and collective aspects of experience
2. Objective definition: things can’t exist without their opposite, e.g. you can’t have space without solid and solid without space.
A way of opening to the world where you are able to listen to it carefully and hear the subtle notes of experience, without projecting your own stuff onto it
The part of experience that is abstract, that can’t be defined in a concrete way, that is ineffable. The collective story that we are all here to tell – the meaning, purpose and aliveness that we all feel and enact in the world.
Moments that are connected by meaning, rather than time.
1. Felt-sense definition: the capacity to be honest and sincere and to express something that feels meaningfully true to you in this moment in a way that resonates with others
2. Objective definition: things that exist regardless of anyone’s perceptions of them