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The Essays of Brother Anonymous
Spiritual Essays

Last revised: June 14, 2009.

[I have been asked on CIP if I am being hard on myself or judging myself and the question alerts me to the fact that what I am doing may not make sense to some people. Given that I am not at the moment in my process, I can answer that question and felt I should share it with people who may only be on GRT.]

Hi, XXX,

Let me say just a word on your point, without sending myself into intellectuality, which I don't want to do. But yours is a good question and I'm willing to break my process to answer it.

I am using "pure of heart" in the sense that the Buddha might.

One thing that isn't generally known is that the Buddha set out on his so-called "search for enlightenment" after he had surpassed all the teachers in the land (now don't get me wrong; I am not enlightened at all so I am not inviting a comparison).

In other words, he was already very much enlightened when he began his fateful six-year regimen (unlike me).

The Buddha turned aside from all the techniques that were currently available, which had not brought him to what he regarded as the final point. He used as his guide whether or not he could observe movement in the mind.

If he could observe movement, he would in effect say that his mind remained impure. (I realize that modern Vipassana teachers would tell the story slightly differently than I have.)

I use a modified version of this technique, which is to use my breath as a tool to observe whether or not there is (1) a holding of muscular tension in the throat, no matter how fine, indicative of unfinished business or vasanas, or (2) an actual emotion that becomes manifest on the in-breath.

I once did a rebirthing workshop where I had what they call a "full breath release" so I know what it is like to breathe without holding. I have that as a standard against which to measure where I'm at with the freedom of my inbreath.

What I therefore am doing is breathing in and watching for muscular tension or residual emotion. I am now down to ... well, not the gross holding but the finer holding ... the fine sand-papering.

Nonetheless, when I raise one of these ... what I think of as "seed" patterns ... to the surface, they can be agonizing because when they surface they have as powerful an impact as the superficially-available emotions that I used to go through.

I have no control over what emotion lies underneath what other emotion. I am simply working my way down through one layer after another, naming it and experiencing it completely as it occurs.

I know there will be an end to this, but I have not yet reached that end at any time in my life.

Now, while this is going on, my daily life is occurring and events of the day shake up more emotions, which rise to the surface. Or I am creating new unfinished business.

Experiencing all of this through is what I've said on occasion is _my_ work, _my_ responsibility, the debt I owe life.

What I have described is the way I am spiritually working. Other people will approach, and are approaching, matters in their own way. I fell into this way out of doing Ramana Maharshi's work and Enlightenment Intensives. I find it very amenable to my nature.

So I am using "pure of heart" to signify one who has processed all his or her buried emotions and is ... if I may use the word without a moral implication ... "cleaned out." I am not yet cleaned out. I am as yet "impure" of heart.

There is no call for alarm. I am not judging myself. This process can be agonizing because, instead of stuffing feelings down, it intentionally lets them up and some of them may be very hard to endure, like shame or hate or humiliation. But that is the price of admission.

I am taking a break from the process at the moment. It grabs me every time I lay down and starts all over again.

Why I am writing about it is to give anyone who wishes an idea of what processing unfinished business looks like. I don't expect anyone else to do as I do. Everyone will have their own spiritual practice.

Given that feelings continue to arise with rapidity (granted that I have removed the suppression button some time ago, so they WILL arise with rapidity), I see myself as still having a ways to go before I have finished going down through the fine, fine layers; hence I say that I remain "impure of heart."

I hope that makes things clearer rather than more vague....

Thanks for your question, XXX.



The Essays of Brother Anonymous
Spiritual Essays