With the Wholeness process, there is a natural and immediate integration with daily living. Our life issues can actually be doorways to the experience of this “vast self” spoken of – or just
a sense of affectionate presence and clarity. And the life issues are transformed in the process.
— Steve Andreas
‘I get so mad when she uses that tone of voice; it sets me off.” My client Jim is telling me about the argument he had with his wife last night."
“And I just… – let’s just say, she pushes all of my buttons.”
“Yeah,” I nod my head and smile. “Spouses get to know each other really well.”
“We do. She does,” he says, smiling back.
“When she does that, where do you feel it, in your body?”
“What do you mean?” He looks puzzled.
“Put yourself back to last night, just like it was then. Be there, seeing her, hearing her voice, feeling what you felt – just for a moment.
I pause – when you ask someone to do something, give them time to do it. “Now, where do you feel that, in your body?” I ask him.
“It’s kind of in the center of my chest,” he says, sounding a little surprised, “maybe a little bit on the left side.”
“Ok. About how big is it?”
“Hmm…about like this.” He holds his hands out to show me.
“Like a grapefruit?” I ask. “Or a softball.”
“More like a softball.”
“And what’s the quality of that sensation?” I ask him. “Is it dense, or light? Heavy? Light? Soft or hard? — what do you notice?”
He describes the sensation as I continue to prompt him: thick, hot, with diffuse edges, kind of greyish.
The Wholeness Process has been recently announced by Connirae Andreas, who over 25 years ago developed Core Transformation and Aligning Perceptual Positions (I use these frequently with my clients, with wonderful results). She developed Wholeness over the past 7 years by modeling the practices of some of the great spiritual teachers, especially Ramana Maharshi. The basic idea is that many of these emotions, like what Mike feels when his wife “pushes his buttons,” are locked in place by what amounts to the “ego” or the “self.” Spiritual teachers from different traditions have taught us that to reach peace, oneness, or wholeness, we must “dissolve the ego,” let go of the self.” But they do not tell us I.
Connirae now shows us a way to actually do this, an important contribution to both spiritual seeking and to change work. Unlike many others, we do not ask what the ego is. We ask where it is.
“Now take a moment,” I say, “to experience Awareness…. You are aware of the sensation you’ve just been noticing, so awareness is there. And awareness is also throughout your body and all around. If a sound happened on one side of you, you would hear it automatically without effort. If a sound happened on the other side, you’d also be aware of it without any effort. And even if your eyes are closed, you can notice a sense of space all around you. Awareness is the capacity to notice, that is throughout your body and all around. And there isn’t really any edge to it or an end to it.
And you can notice it all, simultaneously, right now … .”
Locating the ‘I’
“Jim, we can make the statement...‘I am aware of this thick, grey, hot softball-sized sensation with diffuse edges in the right side of my chest,’...and that’s a true statement for you,
“Yes…,” he replies, sounding a little uncertain of where this is going.
“Now,” I say to him, “where is the ‘I’ that is aware of this sensation in your chest?”
A strange question, perhaps, but after a pause, he answers it: “It’s on the top back of my head,” he says, seeming surprised at himself. I am a little surprised too, though I am finding as I continue to do this process that almost everyone can find the ‘I’.
I have him describe the sensation of this ‘I’ – it is like a small skull cap, just inside, soft and white.
Integrating the ‘I’ with Awareness
“Now Jim, check: “Does the sensation of this ‘I’ welcome the invitation to open and relax… as the fullness of Awareness that’s all around and through?”
Jim closes his eyes; his facial expression seems to relax. “Yes,” he says.
“Now notice what happens, when you invite this ‘I’ to open and relax… as the fullness of Awareness… .”
“You don’t need to do anything, Jim – just allow this to happen in its own way. Just stay with it until things settle and enjoy that sense of relaxation or peace, or flow – for as long as you like.”
I watch him and wait, and after a while he nods.
Integrating Awareness with the Original Sensation
“Now, with that sensation that was in the left-center of your chest … What is it like now?” I ask.
“Hmmm . . . It’s not as big as it was. And it’s lighter, not so tight. Kind of smoky, very light grey.”
“Good,” I say. “Notice now what happens when that sensation is invited to open and relax as Awareness. Again, you don’t have to do anything. Just let it happen on its own.”
After a few moments, he nods again.
Check the Original Situation
“Jim, put yourself again in that situation with your wife last night. What is it like now, being this way?
Jim closes his eyes. He sort of smiles; “It’s different. She’s still doing and saying the same things. But I’m not reacting, or not nearly as much. I just listen to her. I don’t feel like I need to say anything.”
The Wholeness Process is a gentle, straightforward, and above all easy way of changing emotions and behaviors. In the few weeks I have used it to help clients with issues including:
sleep, wanting a cigarette, anxiety, and stuttering. I have used it myself, as a meditation, to transform emotions, relax my nasal passages, and to get to sleep. The changes are often subtle and
non-spectacular (no ascended masters yet!) but significant and steady.