There is a completely different way of existing that we can shift into, where we are a container for receiving the world rather than something that is actively being in it.
This creates a whole new world of freedom for the Universe to express itself through us and is one of the deepest awakening shifts that I have gone through.
When we open to our inner world fully, it becomes like a fourth dimension. It is a whole world of meaning and metaphor where we have much more freedom to express our reality and play with it. Lots of the practices I use connect with this aspect of experience.
I use these practices in an interpersonal way. I guide people through them and ask people lots of questions about their experience as part of the practice. The power comes from people freely expressing what is inside of them. By being there with them, I can hold people through the process and help them open to new aspects of themselves.
I have written up the practices that you can do on your own here. One of the most important things with these practices is to let go of outcomes. In this space we aren’t meditating with a specific end-goal in mind, it is more of a creative space that we can play and explore in. We can allow things to be as they are – whether that be incredibly joyful and happy or sad, tired and painful, for example.
Practices You Can Do on Your Own
Receiving Your Eyes
This is a really straight-forward practice that allows you to feel into the difference between looking and receiving.
Stand or sit in front of a mirror and notice the difference between what it is like to look into your eyes and what it feels like to receive your eyes.
Play with this so that you can remember a sense of what receiving feels like.
This can be an incredibly emotional process – opening to receive the fullness of who you are.
Meditating to Music
This is one of the practices that I recommend to people most often. It has a whole load of benefits, including that it can open up practice by bringing a sense of joy and lightness to it.
It is also perfect for sensing into a receiving way of being.
Choose a piece of music, let it wash over you and notice what it evokes in you – body sensations, emotions, thoughts, imagination, heart-opening. You can allow the music into your experience and just let it do whatever it does to you.
You don’t need to control the experience or direct your attention, you can go with the flow of it and let it take you on a journey. You may find that you are carried off into the imaginal or other aspects of experience, allow this to happen and come back to the sensation of the music washing over you and into your experience when you are ready.
These self-inquiry questions reframe the world as if we are here to receive it. You can drop them in to your meditation practice…
‘If everything is happening by itself, how does your body feel right now?’
‘If everything is happening by itself, what emotions are present in your experience?’
‘If everything is happening by itself, how would you describe your heart right now?’
‘If everything is happening by itself, how does your mind feel?’
When working with people, I would use these as a spring board for exploration and often go into some guided imaginal practice to explore aspects of experience in more depth.
I use the term imaginal practice very broadly here; it is any sense of allowing your being to express itself in a creative way.
With imaginal practice you aren’t creating the content, it is being shown to you, like in dreams. This allows us to drop into the receiver mode.
Developing a sensitivity in your energy body can help you access imaginal practice. I have recorded a talk about that, which you can find here.
It is worth saying that lots of people experience ‘imaginal practice’ in a range of situations without ever having meditated. It is one of our bodies natural ways of experiencing and making sense of the world, but it is often repressed in our society.
Imaginal practice can be very broad and open – just allowing content to come through. I’ve written a detailed blog post about this here.
Or it can be used as a way to creatively explore different aspects of experience. Its super power is in reframing the relationship to suffering. It can transform something from a part of experience that we are contracted around and resisting to something that we can integrate back into our being, as part of becoming imperfect and whole beings.
These are some of the questions I use for this process. You find a part of experience that feels like an abstract concept, something like ‘pressure to succeed’ or ‘love for all beings’, and use these questions to bring that concept to life for you, get more of a sense of what it means to you and integrate it into your being.
Where do you feel it in the body?
What shape is it?
What colour is it?
What is it doing?
What does it want to do?
I love connecting with people and guiding people in this way and I use these tools a lot in my coaching – I’ve had a lot of amazing feedback about how helpful it can be for opening new ways of being and a new sense of ease in people.
Having someone guide you through and open up new parts of experience for you is incredibly powerful and a lot quicker and easier! If you would like to experience it, you can read more about how I work here.