FAQ on the State of Allowing

Posted on by Sen.



Based on the emails I receive and the queries posted via comments, I’ve compiled a list of a few frequently asked questions/clarifications with an explanation for each.

Is the state of allowing the same as watching thoughts?

No, the state of allowing is not about being stridently aware of one’s thoughts, rather it’s a state of being free of any form of a strict observation or control. “Allowing” implies that you are open to just letting the mind be (allowing it to think if it wants, allowing it to be silent if it wants, allowing it to have any movement), it’s also about being totally open to any emotions that arise. Basically, there are no rules in this state, but initially it’s helpful to just sit, close your eyes, and allow, almost as a “meditation practice” but without any form of effort or force – just sit and allow, keep it simple. However, it’s the simplest pointer that’s usually never accepted by the mind which always wants something more complex to work with, so it keeps asking am I doing this right? Shouldn’t I be trying to be aware? Basically, the mind doesn’t trust the simple state of just allowing without the need to do anything else.

To be aware of one’s thoughts, as a practice, is called “mindfulness” or the practice of detached awareness, especially in Zen tradition. This practice has some value initially in helping you grow in the ability of your being to be more aware, rather than being lost in the mind like a drone, or a zombie, moving in a dazed state. The practice of detached awareness lets you see yourself as being independent of the mind, and hence gives you a sense of your “beingness”. However, this practice by itself can just become another mind game if one starts trying to gain some form of perfection at it. This step is just necessary for you to awaken from being lost in the mind, and that’s all its purpose is – don’t make it into some life long practice. In fact, a lot of people are already highly aware of their mind and emotions, for them this step is not even needed. They can directly just move into the state of allowing.

Isn’t the state of allowing also another technique?

It depends on how you want to look at it, from one perspective it’s definitely a technique because you need to gain some understanding about it to execute it. From another perspective it’s not really a technique because it’s about letting go of all strategies or techniques you may be employing to control or suppress your mind/emotions. It’s best to start off practicing the state of allowing as a “practice” for 20-30 mins a day, whenever you find it convenient, where you just sit without any distraction (on your own) and just allow the mind/emotional movement in you. By doing it as a practice, for a while (say a couple of months), you will be able to find a grounding in your being, and get a sense of the openness that is required to be really allowing. Once you find this grounding you will automatically start feeling a desire to deepen in your being, and from there on this stops being a practice and starts becoming more of a movement in you.

Basically, the deal of practicing the state of allowing is to just sit and let go of trying to control anything within you – you don’t need any further understanding. You will notice that it may feel highly uncomfortable to you to let go of control, especially if you’ve been a highly controlling person all along. Also, you will notice a barrage of emotions, or thoughts, coming up (as a part of the release/detox process that starts happening) as you start becoming more and more open in your being, as you deepen in this state of allowing. So if you are expecting that the state of allowing will immediately bring you to a state of bliss, you will be in for a rude surprise – the state of allowing causes a release/detox to take place, and like all detoxes it does feel uncomfortable; however, just by knowing this you can stop being concerned/worried about the surge of negativity that might arise as a part of the release, and just allow a free movement, within you, so that it can ebb away.

How long will it take before I reach bliss?

Basically, what you reach is “balance”, and I find that the term “balance” is more realistic in terms of what you experience rather than the term “bliss”. The word “bliss” can create all kinds of imaginations in your mind about some extraordinary state that you are hoping to achieve, and this by itself will become a hindrance towards really allowing the balance to take place within you. The simple pointer is to realize that you will come to “ordinariness”, a simple state of balance between your dark and light nature, it’s a very different experience than what your mind might be imagining the state of balance to be. I also use another word – “wholeness”, to describe the state you reach as you come to a completion of the release cycle. Wholeness, as the term implies, means to “encompass all”, which means to encompass the dark as well as the light – so wholeness is not just some light natured state of frolicking joy, it’s more akin to a state of stability, an unwavering inner peace but not the kind your mind imagines. This is the reason why a lot of teachers who talk about the state of inner freedom suggest that you should find out for yourself what it is like instead of trying to imagine it.

And how long will it take? It totally depends on you. It depends on how much mind/emotional momentum you have going within you and it depends on how “allowing” you are towards the release. Gaining a good understanding of this process will ensure that you are far less resistant to it, and hence allow the release to happen more seamlessly, thus reducing the time it takes for you to hit balance. I can give an approximation based on my own experience and the experience of people I’ve interacted with, that it can take anywhere around 6-8 months for you to start sensing an inner stability coming in, and from there on it can take a few more months for you to feel stable in your inner stability, basically coming to a state of balance/wholeness within. Actually, the time shouldn’t really matter when you know that this process is just inevitable when you feel a calling towards it.

Shouldn’t I try to control my mind/emotions rather than letting go?

Basically, there are two streams of teaching that have been prevalent for a while – one talks about taking control (disciplining) and the other talks about letting go. The truth is that you can’t take control until you let go, that’s the paradox. You can either spend a lifetime trying to keep controlling your mind’s negativity or the emotional surges, or you can spend a small phase of moving into a state of allowing, causing a release of the momentum permanently – once the momentum of your mind/emotional-energy is totally released you don’t need to work on “controlling” it, it’s a huge relief and in practical terms it saves a lot of energy in you that you can use for creative pursuits. “Letting go” (or the state of allowing) is not some state of becoming a “drifter” for life, it’s just a temporary phase that you move into, for a while, to allow a release of the mind/emotional momentum in you so that you can live more freely in your physicality. Rest assured, that you will have a deep sense of inner control when you are done with releasing your mind/emotional momentum, you won’t feel disoriented or clueless.

The reason why people get scared of the term “letting go” is because they think it’s some kind of a renunciation of physical living, or some kind of an escape into caves, or becoming some kind of a recluse. However, the practice of letting go is a highly practical deal to ensure that you have a freer experience of physicality in terms of being free of your mental/emotional momentum and thus not feel like a prisoner to your mind or emotions. It also brings you to a state of inner fearlessness, basically because you are no longer influenced by the fear-based movements of the mind (since it has no momentum to it), and thus allows you to live your natural expression freely, and confidently.

I find it difficult to sit and allow, my fears are too gripping, what do I do?

Fear is not “infinite”, it’s a very limited force. It’s just that we immediately panic as soon as fear arises in our body and hence we fail to see its limits, and hence we constantly stay in the fear of fear. It’s helpful to just practice being totally aware of this energy of fear, just feel it in you, watch it in you, like the way you observe a phenomenon happening, like a scientist. Basically, you need to stop acting like a child and be an adult in the way you observe fear; a child, involuntarily, is afraid of fear, but as a adult you have the capacity to just be aware of the energy of fear (even though it’s uncomfortable) without fearing it. If you have the mental capacity to read and understand these words, it means you have enough awareness to see through the energy of fear. All that’s needed is that you see through the limits of the energy of fear, what’s the maximum level of discomfort it can produce? Is it worse than feeling an electric shock? Basically, it’s just that you are repeating your childhood based patterns of being afraid of fear, without realizing you’ve actually become an adult now with a higher capacity for awareness.

If the mind produces a thought of fear, just allow it instead of contradicting it. If you contradict the mind, you are entering into a fight with it, which just means that you are giving far too much importance to what your mind is implying – and this interest on your part will keep fueling your mind’s momentum. Instead, if you simply allow the mind to have its fears, and not contradict it, the mind momentum starts ebbing away and you’ve already gained freedom from the mind. For example, if the mind says “you are going to get a fatal disease” or some other fearful thought like that, instead of contradicting the mind by saying “no I am not going to get a disease, nothing will happen to me” or some other form of trying to convince the mind, just allow the mind’s fear, basically be okay with the possibility that you might end up with a fatal disease. When you become okay with the fear that the mind is projecting you defeat the mind at its game of working on your fears – basically, anything you fear will keep you a prisoner to the mind. If you want to be free of the mind’s influence, you have to be okay with everything that the mind projects as a fear.

Basically, people imagine that if they become okay with a fear then it might really happen to them – this is just a fear by itself. The truth is that you being okay with a fear ensures that you no longer give it any further momentum in you and thus are free of it. You being “not okay” with a fear does not do anything at all except to fuel the mind’s momentum and keep you a prisoner to the fear. Just because you are not okay with a fear projected by the mind does not mean anything – to continue the example above of the fatal disease fear, just because you are not okay with getting a fatal disease doesn’t mean that you won’t get it, and just because you become okay with the possibility doesn’t mean that you will get it – all that happens when you are not okay with a fear is that you stay a prisoner to that fear, and keep obsessing about that fear, and this keeps you in a constant negative state of being which just ends up building your momentum of negativity (which just causes a negative experience of life). When you become okay with a fear, your mind loses its “blackmailing” capacity with regards to that fear, and hence it loses its momentum. You can’t defeat the mind by opposing/contradicting it, you will only fuel it further.

I seem to feel confused and disoriented when I am in a state of allowing, is this normal?

It is quite normal to have these feelings come up as you deepen in the state of allowing, but it’s just a temporary deal and is a part of releasing your fear of “not knowing”, or fear of uncertainty. The mind can go into a state of worry about not having clarity, and start creating fears about the uncertain future, and this can cause feelings of confusion, disorientation and guilt in you – basically, you need to realize that this is part of the release process and it’s just a temporary phase, just allow these fears to happen without trying to suppress them. If you just continue to stay allowing the clarity will start emerging from this cloud of confusion, but don’t try too hard to find clarity and don’t depend on finding clarity to feel secure – get comfortable with confusion, get allowing of the uncertainty, this is very important if you want to transcend the grip of your mind’s fear-based pull. If you are not okay with confusion, your mind will use it as a means to keep you in fear by constantly crying about being confused – the moment you become allowing of confusion, your mind loses its grip on your being in this aspect, and thus loses its momentum.

Remember that the bottom-line of the process of allowing is to bring the mind/emotional momentum to “zero intensity”. As long as you understand the purpose of this process you will know that you are moving towards a growth, even if it feels as if you are just stuck for a while as you release the mind momentum – the phase of release can make you feel stuck, as if nothing is changing, this again is a part of the detox process to help you release the fear of being stuck. Develop the trust to know that life has your back, and you are just moving through a temporary phase of coming to an inner freedom – the process of release will come to an end, and you will start feeling highly functional soon enough. Don’t get too worried when you are in the middle of a release wondering when it will all end; when you are in the middle of a storm you can’t know when it will end, but it always does end, everything has a finishing point – your mind/emotional momentum has its limits, and soon it will run out of fuel.

How do I know if I am doing it right?

Don’t get caught up in this question. Let go of the fear of doing it right, be okay with the fact that you may be doing it all wrong – that’s what allowing is, that’s the paradox. Remember that anything you fear will keep you in the trance of the mind, including the fear of doing it right. The state of allowing is simple, it just means to allow whatever that arises, including this thought that “I may be doing it all wrong”; just allow this thought, allow the fear. When you a reach a point where you can allow a mind’s question without looking for an answer to assuage the fear of “not knowing”, you’ve basically reached the point of total allowing – to be okay with “not knowing” is a big step towards finding freedom from the mind’s grip; if you fear “not knowing” the mind will always find something to keep you in a seeking mode all the time. I am not saying stop desiring to know, or stop trying to understand and gain knowledge, I am just saying stop being afraid of “not knowing” – it’s a very obvious fear when you sense it in you.

The state of allowing is about finding total freedom from the mind (and emotional pressure) so that you are no longer moving from a place of being a prisoner to its negativity or imbalances. This freedom will allow you to stop fueling the imbalances, and hence allow a balance to come into being in your mind. None of this is some conceptual realization, rather it’s a very physical state of being where you sense that your mind/emotional-energy has completely lost its momentum/intensity and hence is no longer a disturbing force in you. You will always know it, when the momentum fully stops.

(You can also read the post – Reaching a place of total allowing, for more insights)




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62 Comments

  1. Elmir

    Hello, I have two quick questions. When you sit in a state of allowing, I find that my mind wants to react to thoughts is that suppression if Im not reacting to those thoughts. I also find that when I sit in a state of allowing my mind will have alot of noise then some periods of silence then noise again whats going on? Thank you and love the articles.

    1. Sen Post author

      Elmir, allow the mind to react the way it wants, allow it the full freedom to think the way it wants – just like you would allow a free-running computer. In this place of allowing the mind will eventually run out of its past-gathered momentum, and come to a place of zero intensity. It’s natural for mind to have periods of silence and then periods of noise, the intensity and emotional pressure created by its noise is due to its momentum. Once the momentum of the mind reduces, its noise will lose the disturbing quality.

  2. Gunda

    Sen,

    Thank you.

  3. MJ

    Sen, very good article thanks a lot for clearing some of my doubts on allowing. During the phase of allowing, when I am suppose to think deliberately like solving some problem, thinking of a strategy how that works? I still need to use my mind and that would be deliberate and solving some of the problems are time-bound or with time constraint. What are your suggestions

    1. Sen Post author

      MJ, there is not need to stop the mind from “thinking” about problems, or thinking about strategies – just allow the mind the freedom to do this. You will notice that when you stay allowing your thinking can become totally “effortless”, it just flows without resistance at its own pace. Also the state of allowing lets your mind be in touch with your being, and hence is guided by the intelligence of your being to find more prudent solutions.

  4. eighty90

    Hi Sen – Some interesting things in this post. It’s funny, but I never thought of meditation as trying to “control” my mind, rather a time set aside where I could begin to see (feel, understand) just how much control my thoughts had over me. So much so that at the beginning it was bewildering that, say, as my body simply walked down the street for a few blocks, my mind was traveling everywhere in the past and future, here and there, positive and negative… and the “reality” was, that I was simply walking down the street. The “technique” of focusing on my breath and when I notice that I’m thinking, smiling and saying (to myself) ‘thinking’… kind of did feel like the process of “allowing”. But, maybe for most of us who spend much of our lives in this “fantasy land”, this isn’t a quick fix. It does take practice. I can only speak for myself, but true “allowing” is likely found in first becoming aware that left to their own devices, my thoughts rarely leave me be, and then “allowing” my thoughts to do whatever they want (like “noisy children playing in the yard”) while I clearly experience that my thoughts in any given instant, regarding any given person or topic… are not in control of my life. Thanks so much for all of your writing here. A lot of thought-provoking stuff that I read regularly now 😉

  5. Jak

    Hi Sen,

    Great article! funnily enough it was just what i needed at the time of reading it, i was just going through a state of feeling really bizarre, confused, scared and anxious. Very strange combo! and i’m currently trying to allow all of this, but it feels as if something is telling me to fight these feelings or ignore these emotions, but i have to keep this total state of fearless allowing. It’s hard at the moment but i know it will come to an end. Like the saying goes ‘Nothing good comes without a struggle’…. well i just made that up, but it felt appropriate lol 🙂

    Just one question though Sen,

    I feel like i’m constatnly in a state of allowing, is it good to keep allowing through most periods of the day or just to allow in 30 minute meditations?

    Because i’m wondering that if i’m allowing all the time that i could be running before i can walk, is this correct or not?

    Thanks a lot

    Jak

    1. Sen Post author

      Jak, once you gain an understanding of what the state of allowing is about, it’s upto you to use your own inspiration on how you practice it – 30 mins or whole day, it depends on your inspiration. Basically, there is no need for “struggle”, you can take as many “breaks” as you want, and be totally easy on yourself. Yes, the surges of emotions created during the release can be exhausting and you need to follow your guidance to rest and relax as much as possible.

  6. Casey

    Best.blog.yet!

    Thanks Sen. You just helped me realize that worrying about “how long is it going to take?” is yet another example of how I try to control. You answered some more questions today.

    You’re a great teacher.

  7. abet

    The best teacher in the world! In terms of simplicity of the teaching and the way the words resonate so easily and beautifully , sen has helped me more than eckhart tolle, mooji, adyashanti, etc all put together.

    I am not completely sure but I think a big part of it has to do with the way he breaks down the message in small bits and gives the info little by little, . A message of this depth can be almost too much to handle if given all at once

    Just saying…

  8. Hope

    Dear Sen,

    I just want to comment on the section relating to “gripping fear.” It make me think of the conundrum I face, and maybe others do too. This concept of allowing stands in direct contradiction to many of the thoughts/theories associated with “creating your own reality” and “using the mind to focus specifically on picturing what you want in order to obtain your desire.”

    If we use the example of a fatal disease then to simply allow the thought and not to picture health (as a creator of reality would recommend) does two things 1) it makes us step away from the creation of reality principle (at least for the time being) and 2) it stifles subsequent thoughts that are more practical such as – “I am going to the jungle and I don’t want a fatal disease – sooo…. I will get vaccinations and learn about sensible precautions.” It removes us from the “game” of societal principles in many ways. For example, I could use a similar train of logic regarding my job, i.e. if I am afraid of getting fired I can simply allow the thought or plot out ways to reduce this potentiality.

    This is really a conundrum because while I understand the activity of allowing is an exercise, it becomes tangled up with the basics of practical existence where we need to “not be stupid.” It is difficult to untangle for me and provides one more area of fixation that maybe should just simply be allowed :-).

    I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your posts and how much they have made a positive difference in my life. I have been searching for a long time and am grateful to know that I can look forward to your posts as a way of helping me cope with life’s challenges and grow into the person I want to be.

    1. Sen Post author

      Hope, the process/practice of allowing is simply for the sake of releasing the mind/emotional momentum in you. It does not make you into an impractical person, rather it allows you to make “wisdom-based” choices, instead of making “fear-based” choices. Would you like to jump a job based on a sudden panic attack that your mind had (under the grip of your mind’s fear), or would you prefer having an inner stability that allows you to make a change from a place of a balanced wisdom? And how does the state of allowing prevent you from taking precautionary vaccinations? You can allow the fears of the mind, and can act out on a wisdom required for the situation – by not taking a “required action” you may just be playing into another mind game of trying to deny practical wisdom, all of this is just a play of mind’s tendency to go from one extreme to another. The space of being, in its wisdom, is not an “impractical intelligence”, it’s highly practical and when you are driven by this inner guidance you allow for your highest well-being.

      The state of allowing is just an “inner work” of releasing the mind/emotional momentum – it’s not about trying to ignore life, or trying to deny a practical problem, or avoid executing a solution. Basically, when the mind has a momentum it keeps creating emotional pressure in the body to the point where it disconnects you from inner wisdom, for example a mind with high momentum can take a thought of fear can create so much emotional pressure of fear in the body that you just blindly venture into some impulsive/unwise actions under the pressure, thus blanking yourself from wisdom.

  9. Laura

    After reading the article, It was very interesting to realize that is not about “comforting” our thoughts by thinking “everything will be alright” but about accepting the fear that things might go wrong. Many thanks for this.

    This topic also made me think about the difference between allowing my thoughts and letting my mind control what I should do or shouldn’t do. I’m talking about self control. Sen, what do you think about self control?

    1. Sen Post author

      Laura, the state of allowing is about letting go of trying to control the mind/emotions, however it does-not mean that you will become reckless in your external actions. The presence of awareness/consciousness, in the state of allowing, ensures that there is a constant presence of wisdom which allows for wisdom based actions. Basically the state of allowing is about releasing the mind/emotional momentum, and it’s totally an inner work – it’s about allowing the mind/emotions a total freedom of movement within you, in the space of your openness, so it’s about letting go of any form of suppression/control inside you. This does not automatically translate to losing control of your actions externally, the presence of awareness ensures that your actions are regulated from an inner wisdom.

  10. cihan

    Absolutely agree my friend. There is not other solutions out there. Humanity has been looking solution i mean psicological security, 10 thousand years and still in confusion, fear, anxiety and depression. Since human nature really attached to find solutions to the mind questions are end up being prisoner of mind and live in misery. There is no psychological security. physical security let say outward security like food, shelter, protections from danger are necessary. We need physical security to survive. But psychological security is not permanent, this is mean we have been looking always to comfort, to assurnce our mind and since then problem is still there and we end up being more miserable, ugly human being.

    Cihan

  11. La'gurl

    Thank you so much for this blog!! I’ve come along way on my journey, and I’m just so grateful that I began seeking inner balance when I did. I’ve learned to allow all my minds thoughts, positive and negative, and understand that some thoughts are complete bogus and when I just allow them without fearing, everything works out. I have certain moments where my negative ego will tell me I’m doing everything wrong and I need to freak out and dwell when my mind produces a fear, but I’ve learned that is extremely counterproductive. I’ve been practicing relaxed awareness, and I’m so grateful that I’m beginning to feel the balance within. Somedays are easier than others, but I do sense the balance growing within my being. What would be your advice for those days when my mind momentum randomly increases out of nowhere and when i try to remain allowing I get scared and confused?

    1. Sen Post author

      It’s not “increasing”, it’s just releasing faster as you are now open in your being, and not suppressing it. The pointer would just be to deepen in your capacity to “allow” even the confusion and the feeling of fear about the intensity of the release. Every time you feel “I can’t take this”, it’s just a pointer to deepen in your allowing – it’s just the mind that says “I can’t take this”, and if you buy into this thought you become more resistant and the release feels more painful, rather if you simply continue staying allowing there is less resistance in you and the release happens more seamlessly.

    2. La'gurl

      Thank you Sen. It’s amazing that all of our minds deal with this process in a similar way. Your journey of coming to balance and spreading your experience and knowledge is wonderful. If I hadn’t found your blog I probably would still be lost and confused right now. I began waking up from the unconscious pull of my mind due to a change in circumstances in my life, but reading your blogs has definitely made me understand this experience. I have another question, what would be your advice for those moments when I feel extremely confused about why I let myself get into such an unconscious state in the first place? Somedays I get emotional because I don’t understand why I wanted to mentally torture myself believing that I didn’t deserve the blessings of my life and wanting to find an internal/secretive way to punish myself for the joy and happiness i felt. I get really confused because the bad habit started when i was 4 or 5 yrs old and I finally woke up at 17. I guess this is just part of my journey, but I do get sad and confused sometimes. I would assume that it’s normal to get confused after reading this blog entry and understanding that there’s going to be a natural confusion but I’m just wondering if you experienced something similar to this as well?

    3. Sen Post author

      This feeling of “unworthiness”, and also a feeling of anger/regret about the past unconsciousness, its all part of the negativity, and it’s very normal for a person who has lead a life of being self-critical to have these thoughts, and eventually they are just a part of the momentum of negativity going on in the mind. Basically it’s not about trying to sort out these thoughts (or trying to feel bad about having such thoughts) rather it’s simply about allowing them in your awareness, only this allowing causes the momentum to die away because there is no longer the fuel of your identification.

  12. Gunda

    Sen,
    Ive been doing “sitting allowing” for a little while now, but ive noticed lately its really uncomfortable. As in i can feel this energy surge in my body, then sort of like a big elec shock and then it stops. Then it starts again. Its really quite uncomfortable, its usually when there isnt a lot of noise in my mind. Sometimes when i “allow” my mind is really busy and other times very quiet, its during theses times of quiet i get theses energy surges. ( not sure im explaining it properly)

    Its like a surge of energy that goes all through my body and its quite uncomfortable, then i get a bit itchy. The problem is as my mind is quiet during these times i dont know whats bringing it on. In other words i dont know what negativity im thinking that is making it happen? Any suggestions?

    1. Sen Post author

      Gunda, as you move into the process of releasing the momentum of resistance, a lot of suppressed energy can get cleared out, which creates a clearing of the chakras in the body – this clearing can create “sensations” in some people. So it’s not something negative, just the body adapting to higher vibration.

  13. Richard

    My problem is when I stay allowing, I constantly think about what my mind produces and it just brings about more fear. I may stay allowing for a few hours, but after that I feel like I’m just kidding myself and nothing will happen. It’s very much like I feel trapped in my own mind and it’s a scary feeling and I feel like I’m stuck. Wouldn’t you say the process of allowing comes with trust? What about if I don’t trust that things will be back to normal. I’ve had anxiety for two years, it went away for a few months and then came back again. My fear is that if I’m back to my normal life, I could end up with anxiety all over again. How do I build up the trust to allow? I also get really anxious when I see people post things like they’ve had depression for thirteen years and so fourth, because depression is a really scary thing for me, I find this quite terrifying. My main problem lies with attention, once I give my thoughts the slightest bit of attention I suddenly feel bad again, but I can’t help not giving them attention. When I’m having so much fun it’s almost like there’s nothing wrong with me, but when I have free time and I just zone out, the thought of having anxiety comes back and haunts me, it follows me throughout the day too. What would you advice? Another problem is that I ”check in” my mind like every two mins to see if I’m cured and I know this just makes things worse. How can one stay patient if they don’t trust the process of allowing and even when I do trust this process, I still feel trapped in my mind, like I’m being followed and I cannot escape. How can one allow a stalker to constantly follow you around without attempting to resist their presence? It’s very difficult. It feels like my first anxiety experience was so immense that it left an imprint in my psyche that has the potential to allow me to go out of control with the slightest thought and there are other times I think to myself ”snap out of it”. What would you advice regarding my situation? I hate to feel like anxiety is stalking me in the background because it’s hard to allow something that you can feel is present in your mind even if it’s not effective. It’s the thought that it’s there alone that bothers me.

    1. Sen Post author

      Richard, the process of allowing is about real openness to everything that arises – it cannot be used as a technique to get rid of something, because the moment you want to get rid of something you are no longer allowing of its presence in you, and when you don’t allow something you are fighting it and hence fueling it further.

      Right now you are afraid of being negative, you are afraid of the feeling of depression, you are afraid of low states – and possibly you are trying to use the “practice of allowing” (or what you understand about it) to escape from these states and find a way to just keep being “joyful”. However, that’s now what the process of allowing is about – it cannot be used as a technique to get rid of something, rather it’s a way to bring an integration of the light and dark nature in you so that you can come to a place of inner wholeness. Depression can be seen as a dark nature and joy can be seen as a light nature, and when you try to cling to joy and try to escape the feeling of depression, you start living in “fear” of the dark nature (of depression), this fear by itself creates a momentum of negativity in you, and your constant avoidance of the state of depression also creates a higher momentum in the energy of depression (so when it hits it hits hard, and causes you to feel overwhelmed). Suppression keeps building momentum.

      What’s needed is that you develop the freedom to allow yourself to feel negative, to feel depressed, without fighting it or fearing it. Also, it’s not about “trusting” this process, it’s about allowing the feeling of fear created by the “distrust” also. Don’t look for assurance, that’s just a way to avoid the feeling of fear. The paradox of freedom is that it can never come when you are trying to get rid of something to find freedom, if you looking to get freedom “from” something you will always be shackled to it and hence feel like prisoner. True freedom arises when you develop the freedom “to” allow everything – this what I mean by the state of total allowing, which is what brings you to a place of fearless living and inner wholeness.

  14. Dina

    My thoughts are generally negative, full of irritation, and I am very aware of this fact. I try to stay in the state of allowing and I find them (the thoughts) oscillating between anger, frustration, followed by guilt and trying to bring about peace. This is very obvious in my relationships. I get angry and frustrated and react accordingly; then feelings of guilt follow and I feel miserable and I try to bring about peace. It tears me apart from within. It is like I am always on a roller coaster.

    My question to you is that how do I handle relationships during this phase of allowing? I find myself very irritable, frustrated, annoyed, anxious for the smallest of things. Although this is nothing new…but how do I let go? Please help – thanks,

    1. Sen Post author

      Dina, right now you need to use the “relationships” as the catalyst that helps unearth the emotional momentum (and mind momentum) in you. Don’t judge yourself for these emotions of anger, irritation and frustration that come up as you interact in these relationships, rather when they do come up just see if you can come to a point of being aware of their presence while you are in the middle of it. Once you are aware, see if your awareness is strong enough to feel more in control that feeling lost to the emotion, see if you can just allow the emotion without feeling the need to take it out on someone. The stronger you grow in awareness the less impulsive you will be in projecting your emotions on others, and the more willing you will be to allow it within you as an energy release. It will take time for you to come to a place of stronger awareness, but the more willing you are to use these instances where you have emotional outbursts as a means to practice coming to awareness (instead of feeling bad about these episodes) the faster you will grow in the stability of your awareness.

      Also, once there is an episode of outburst, see if you can find sometime to be alone with yourself and just sit and allow the momentum of emotions to run dry in a space of awareness, without identifying with the a cycle of guilt or blame.

  15. Kristi

    When you talk about allowing, you say to be open to any emotions that come up, and that doing so is also a form of detox/release. My problem is this, when I try to do this, all the negative emotions well up, and I can feel a catharsis is either needed or trying to happen. When I feel like this, I immediately grab tight control over my mind and body, not wanting to seem like I’m weak, a burden, or from a fear of anyone possibly hearing me and asking what’s going on. I live in an apartment building with admittedly thin walls, so I feel like I don’t have a safe place to let these emotions go. I’m also afraid of if anyone finds out about it, they’ll treat me different or “walk on eggshells” around me. Can you make any suggestions?

    1. Sen Post author

      Kristi, you have to allow yourself to feel weak/vulnerable instead of trying to be protective of yourself, it’s like dropping your armor and letting yourself be pierced by the emotions or momentum that arises in you – this is what total allowing is about. A release does not cause a person to shout, scream or do anything violent, especially when its done “consciously” – so don’t worry about people finding out.

  16. Richard

    I understand what you’ve said, I do, but my problem isn’t so much the fears I have, but rather the feeling that anxiety just follows me everywhere I go, it’s like it keeps poking me and trying to suck me into negativity. If I allow this, wouldn’t this just make things worse? In order to not give into negativity, wouldn’t I have to see the truth behind the thought? My problem is that I feel trapped in my mind and I have tried to just stay a detached observer, but I can only stay in this state for a limited amount of time. I agree, I do try to find instantaneous results and hope that I find success in every new method I learn, but I find it hard to stop this because I hate uncertainty and feeling like ”I’ll be stuck like this forever”. My fears do not bother me the most, but rather the anxiety that I feel is haunting me in the background. Because of this my reality feels unclear, I no longer no what ”normal” feels like. It’s hard to put it into words, but it’s like when I’m concentrating on something my anxiety disappears completely, during this time I feel normal, but then when I finish doing what I enjoy or I have free time, it just appears clear in background and the more I think about it, the more I can’t help feeling I’m trapped in my own mind and the more I think that things will either get worse or not improve. I would say my biggest fear is that I feel trapped. It’s easy to avoid social situations, but you cannot avoid/escape from your mind, you cannot hide or run from your mind. It feels like the only option I have is ”Panic!”

    1. Sen Post author

      Richard, the anxiety you are feeling is more of a “emotion” (energy of past thoughts of fear) rather than any specific thought in the present. Instead of trying to analyse this “emotion” (that comes up everytime your mind is not focused on doing something externally), just allow this emotion to arise fully so that its energy/momentum can start getting released. The panic you feel in the body is simply the sensation created by this emotional energy of “fear” stored up in you from the past. There is no need for any analysis, because it’s a “past accumulation” (possibly even from a past lifetime) – what’s needed is to be open to “feeling” it, instead of trying to escape it. The more you allow this feeling to come up and be present in you, the more it will release its momentum – the more you try to escape it or suppress it the further you delay its release. You can read this post – allowing the release of suppressed energy – for more insight.

  17. Luka

    Sen, I have a quick question for you. While one is ‘practicing’ allowing, shouldn’t there be some level of awareness while doing it? or should you just let yourself completely go? I’m just thinking that without awareness you will just unknowingly identify with the negative thoughts that come up…

    Thanks

    1. Sen Post author

      Luka, the “allowing” I am talking about can only be done “consciously”, this allowing is about letting the mind and emotions arise without being lost in their pull until all their past accumulated momentum ebbs away.

  18. Pippa

    Dear Sen,

    Is there any order in which I should read your articles. like read
    “A Total Inner Independence” first and then “A Wholeness-Based Self” etc. I am new to the site, but like what i have read about ego so far. Would love to read all that you’ve written but don’t want to get lost in there somewhere and then quit reading all together..Thank you

    1. Sen Post author

      Pippa, there is no real order in which you need to read. I give a “link” (the blue links) to any post that requires a reference to understand a certain “term” or context.

  19. Donna Craven

    I wanted to thank you for the Calm Down Mind! It helps me alot! I have a hard time just relaxing and being myself! Donna To Sen

  20. Carlos

    Thank you for your article they have help improve my quality of life. This article clear a lot of doubts and struggles I had.

  21. koera

    dear sen,
    your article has been really helpful to me. i have started becoming aware and can carry the process of total allowing.but i can carry this process only when im sitting idle.when i start doing something productive like studying or while talking with people i can’t carry out the process of total allowing. my exam is very near and neither i am able to focus on my studies nor i can’t focus on the process of total allowing.when i start studying ‘negative thoughts start coming across my mind.and i start thinking that i should carry on the process of total allowing.but when i keep on allowing these thoughts, this process never comes to an end and i start panicking thinking that i don’t have much left for my exams.so it is really troubling me.so please help me what should i do?

    1. Sen Post author

      Koera, give yourself the freedom to take your time with the process of finding balance, don’t make it in another “problem” for yourself. The process of finding balance (which includes allowing a release of past momentum of emotions/thoughts) is a journey by itself, it takes time, it takes dedication and commitment, you would need to choose when you can go into it fully. If there are pressing needs in your reality, which require your commitment, like your exams, you need to take a call on it – you can, for example, simply make the choice to focus on your exams, and your studies, and not worry about the process of “allowing” so much right now. You have an understanding of the process of allowing, and that’s enough for now, you can “use” this understand at any point when you feel you have the time to invest in it. The problem is that your “negative thinking” has a momentum, in your mind, and this momentum can only be released eventually through the process of conscious dis-identification (in a space of allowing). For now, it would be an option to just contend with the negative thinking, and use your “discipline”, or will power, to study for the exams (since you say there is no real time available to you). Once the exams are done with, you can start working with the process of releasing this momentum through the practice of conscious allowing.

  22. Vrajesh

    This article completely describes what i have come to now. I have been depressed(maybe still am dont know) for a almost 6 months time with confusion, mainly due to uncertainties about things that i wanted to figure out in life. These things contained seeking enlightenment, why my relationship ended with my ex-gf and also what my purpose in life was. I surrendered to it and let it be within me. I realized there was no point in figuring out why my relationship ended…because it was causing me stress and anxiety. Then came the point of seeking enlightenment and freedom from suffering because there was a lot of emotional pain due to the breakup and etc… this was intense suffering because i wanted to go on meditation retreats, saw no point in living life and this was the time the depression was the worst… i tried to fight it…but it beat me up instead. I started to meditate and have been meditation for one month, trying to calm the mind down and i slowly realized a few things on how this whole seeking thing was causing the anxiety and kept me in depression. I remember that one night about 3 weeks back where it was so intense and i wanted to leave to some meditation camp or “do” something about that feeling but i could not because school was going to start up again and had no money for transportation etc… i told my dad how i was feeling no “joy” in life and stuff and out of fear of being depressed i started to do things again like play basketball hang out with friends etc…. and just tried to live moment by moment.

    After meditation for one month or so, things started to calm down as i stopped being so impulsive and irrational. Before I gave into every single thought that came into my head….and then thought after thought i would just spiral down again. Meditation gave me the ability to just watch the thoughts and let them be as they are. The dark thoughts and the depressive feeling are still there, although now i seem to feel more of a balance. I came upon this blog randomly through a Google search and it resonated with what i am going through.

    My question is this: I am in a state of allowance as i type, and want to be everyday. The one thing that concerns me is that out of fear of being depressed i started to meditate and then after a month i came to this blog to allow….does that mean i am allowing out of the fear of being depressed?.. or in your words “fear of the fear” I also allow this but just wanted to see what you say..

    Thank you.

  23. Tyler

    Vrajesh,

    If you look closely enough, you can see that meditation can be used as a technique to avoid facing fear or any feeling, and at one point it just becomes an escape mechanism. The same can happen with a state of allowing. The state of allowing can very easily be made into a technique without even knowing it. I remember I had this happen to me as well.

    You have to see what your reason for allowing is. Are you allowing to avoid the depression or are you allowing not to try to get rid of it but just to allow it. For me, when it turned into a technique without me knowing it was basically me trying to avoid pain/depression/fears. For example, I would allow something so that I wouldn’t have to face the pain of it, and this only worked for a bit and wasn’t long until I had to develop the correct understanding.

    Basically the end of living in “fear of a fear” comes when you have the correct understanding of allowing, which is also the same as inner freedom. “Fear of a fear” means you are trying to resist a fears presence (keep it from happening) freedom again means being able to allow it to happen. For you it may be best to determine if you are still trying to resist the depression (run from it and living in fear of it) or if you are allowing it to come up and do what it does even if it never goes away.

    Some articles that may help,
    http://www.calmdownmind.com/the-attitude-required-for-inner-freedom/
    http://www.calmdownmind.com/reaching-a-place-of-total-allowing/
    http://www.calmdownmind.com/the-basis-of-inner-freedom/

    Best of Luck

    1. Vrajesh

      Tyler,

      I understand what you are saying but i am very confused because i sense that i allow it so i can get rid of its fear….ultimately i do not know whats going on. I keep searching is one indicator that maybe i am running away from “whatever” feeling and use that technique and be “OK” with that feeling.

      I sense that the mind momentum is not as high or what i think of it…but i don’t feel whole or the ‘presence’….and there is inner conflict constantly. i will try to get the right understanding of it again.

      Thank you.

    2. Markus

      Vrajesh, as Tyler wrote, meditation or allowing can become techniques. However, this can be a useful thing if your depression really is bad. You still need to live day to day, there is nothing wrong with tools for coping – as long as you know that is what you are doing. Today I need to meditate to keep my sanity; tomorrow is another day, maybe I’ll be ready to face the challenge then. In time, you will reach a stable place when you feel no need for the tool or technique. That is growth, embrace it.

      Your post sounds indeed as though you are running from bad feelings. Knowing this, you “stumbled” upon Sen’s site. No coincidence! Read what draws you and use what you can. Allowing to avoid the feelings is not allowing, that is tricking yourself. Allowing may make the feelings intense – that is the point, you need to feel it to let it go. Good luck.

  24. Tyler

    Vrajesh,

    Its natural to find confusion during this process mainly when one is in the transition phase of it. In the transition phase one does indeed encounter these issues that you have stated (confusion, continuous searching, trying to feel whole/find presence, etc…). Basically, its much more effective to continue on this process, allowing the layers to be released, rather than trying to figure out all these things. Currently, you have released a lot of mind momentum, but also remember that there is a lot of momentum, and it will continue until all of the fuel (past accumulation of the negative energy) for the mind and these inner conflicts will have been used up. Eventually, you will notice a peace in the background (what you call the ‘presence’), but this can only happen when enough of the momentum has been released. Also, you are naturally brought to wholeness, just like you naturally find peace. It all happens very naturally. So it’s best to stop searching for these things and just let this past energy/inner conflicts/depression run on its own until its all been used up. Overall, this process will continue until its all been used up, its just the more you allow this process to happen, the quicker the energy can be released.

    Its true that the state of allowing does allow fear to be reduced in intensity, but its purpose is not to get “rid” of a fear. As long as you are trying to get rid of a fear, you are always running from it. Even if you did manage to get rid of it, you would always fear it’s presence coming back. For example, you can see this right now in yourself, with regards to using meditation to keep the depression away. Even though you don’t have the depression activated right now, do you have a fear that the depression may return again?

    The state of allowing truly points to being open to allow the fact that this depression may return, instead of constantly living in fear and trying to keep it away. What’s meant about being fearless, is being open to see if something (anything) will truly happen or not. It’s just a simple attitude towards the way in which you want to live (which is what all Sen’s inner freedom articles are also about).

    Hope this helps

    Here are some more articles, to help understand the dynamics of the release cycles, wholeness, peace, and state of allowing:
    http://www.calmdownmind.com/allowing-the-release-of-suppressed-energy/
    http://www.calmdownmind.com/an-example-of-dissolving-a-fear-through-allowing/
    http://www.calmdownmind.com/overcoming-obsessive-thoughts/
    http://www.calmdownmind.com/an-unwavering-peace/

  25. Rahul

    Hey Sen,

    You provided a pointer that said to allow a fearful thought and not to contradict it. However, my mind is trying to antagonize me because now that it knows that I’m not “supposed” to contradict thoughts, it keeps trying to contradict fearful thoughts. When I intentionally try to “stop” contradicting” fearful thoughts, I feel like I am suppressing my thoughts. Should I simply allow the mind to contradict fearful thoughts (and by doing so, allow my mind the freedom to do what it wants), while simultaneously just being open to any emotions that arise while doing this? In other words, this is more about letting the mind do what it wants all the time (whether it be allow a thought or contradict a thought), and focusing more on allowing the emotions? And this allowing of emotions, will in turn stop fueling the mind’s momentum as well? Just a bit of confusion here, which I understand is totally normal in this phase of release.

    1. Shiv

      Rahul – the pointer for allowing has two important components to it that are easy to ignore or miss.

      The first is an emphasis to allow only what you are experiencing right in this instant, in this present moment. What often happens is that the focus begins to trail towards thoughts that have already passed and what you end up attempting to allow are thoughts that no longer exist as experience but only as memory. So in your example, when you experience the mind being critical and telling you to stop contradicting a fearful thought – there are two experiences here. The experience of the mind being critical is the present experience. The experience of the mind contradicting the fearful thought is the past experience which is now only a memory.

      The mind has an endless bag of tricks and ability to adapt, it can contradict itself in an endless infinite loop and in fact that is how minds sustain their momentum. Rather than being focused on what the mind is saying ie the content of its argument, see if you can turn your attention to the energy that it expresses when it is saying these things. You will find that regardless of what its argument is, it is essentially just perpetuating the same anxious energy, that same feeling of contradiction and division. That is the energy feeding it. And as this energy attempts to grow it will adopt whatever argument it deems necessary in that moment in order to express itself. Which is why the content of what it is saying is utterly irrelevant. It is like the lawyer who switches from prosecuting in one moment and defending in the next because his real allegiance is with the paycheck rather than the argument.

      Secondly, the core of the pointer for allowing is to cultivate a space between yourself and your mind so you can observe it and its functioning from a bit of a distance. It is something like trying to watch a tv show with your nose against the screen versus stepping a few feet back. Once again, keeping your attention focused on your present experience and the energetic feel of it rather than the content and details of it will allow you to feel more and more grounded in that aspect of your being that is whole and unaffected by the shenanigans of your mind.

      Ultimately, every thought you experience is the mind’s innocent attempt to release an emotion that has been suppressed or incited for too long. Each emotion wants to be liberated. Each thought wants to be liberated. You think you crave liberation from your thoughts and emotions, but what you are really feeling is the liberation that they crave from you.

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