May 10, 2017 :: EMILY BARRETT
SOME INSIGHTS FROM THIS SESSION:
- Disembodied states and appropriate functioning.
- Space becomes rubbery: Expansion-contraction in the visual field.
- Review Shinzen's resources on guiding someone through the dying process.
Emily lives in Burlington, Vermont, with her husband, Terry. She’s a Buddhist in the Drikung Kagyu lineage, as well as a mindfulness meditation practitioner à la Shinzen Young’s Unified Mindfulness. She is also influenced by mystics from her Orthodox Christian roots and almost 15 years of self-study in comparative religion, philosophy, and psychology. She began meditating in 1999 in the Hesychast tradition because she wanted to be closer to God.
It worked! The meditation began to pray itself day and night. I felt held in God’s presence as I went about my workday. But I also felt more and more disconnected from people around me. I just wanted to be with God.
She considered becoming a monastic until she experienced hypocrisy during her explorations.
I cried out: “God, only you!” I felt a reply inside: “No! Everybody!” At the time, I was utterly devastated. Looking back now, I understand the joke.
What’s the joke? She has had experiential glimpses or tastes that God/Source is in all beings.
When I begin to feel creeping loneliness, anxiety, depression, drivenness, etc., I remind myself of the concept of interbeing. That goes only so far intellectually. Then I divide and conquer with Focus In.
Emily has studied with Shinzen for nine years, and has worked for him for the last six. Shinzen’s big picture perspective has been the key to unifying her explorations.
Through the lens of Shinzen’s framework, I can break down the who, what, where, when, why, and how of most any religious, philosophical, educational, or psychological system or teaching. This is skillful means.
For instance, with deity yoga, when I’m visualizing Chenrezig, reciting om mani padme hung, and creating loving-kindness and compassion in my body and sending it out to others, I have clarity about why I’m doing what I’m doing and how it “works.”
Whenever I get a whiff of longing for mystical-schmystical transformation, I know I’m in the wrong frame of mind.
In addition to her meditation practices, other practical explorations have brought Emily to a stable, happy place. These include understanding the biological underpinnings of happiness related to food, exercise, chemicals, the importance of grounding in nature, and therapy.
Emily is also studying toward chaplaincy certification. She understands that everyone’s path is different, and she feels a great privilege to be a witness to others on their journeys.
Her favorite Unified Mindfulness technique is to cycle through Feel In, Hear Out, and Hear Good.