Rue Anne Hass, M.A.
For me, healing is not necessarily about “getting rid” of the pain, whether it is physical or emotional. I believe that healing is about learning to develop a state of mind and being that can hold the storm on the surface of the ocean at the same time as it holds the powerful stillness deep down. Having both at the same time. Having a choice about where to put our attention.
This reminds me of a story. It is not a fairy tale, it is a true human tale, and no less magical for that. (which is not to say that fairy tales aren’t true….)
In 1957 in Bangkok, a group of monks from a monastery had to relocate their massive, ten and a half foot tall, 2.5 ton clay Buddha from their temple to a new location to make way for a new highway being built through the city. They used a crane to lift the idol, but it began to crack, and then rain began to fall. The head monk was concerned about damage to the sacred Buddha, and he decided to lower the statue down to the ground and cover it with a large canvas tarp to protect it from the rain.
Later that evening, the monk went to check on the Buddha. He shined a flashlight under the tarp, and noticed a gleam reflected through a crack in the clay. Wondering about what he saw, he got a chisel and hammer, and began to chip away at the clay. The gleam turned out to be gold, and many hours later the monk found himself face to face with an extraordinary, huge solid gold Buddha.
Historians believe that several hundred years before this, the Burmese army was about to invade Thailand, then called Siam. The monks covered their precious statue with an 8 inch layer of clay to disguise its value. Very likely the Burmese slaughtered all the Siamese monks, and the secret of the statue’s golden essence remained intact until that day in 1957.
We are all like the golden Buddha, in some way. We are covered with a protective layer, often so well covered that we have forgotten how to remember our true value.
Here is the same story, in a way, from a scientific perspective.
I have heard biologist Bruce Lipton say that genes used to be thought of as programs that controlled how we developed, but now it is known that genes respond to our perception of the environment, and that is what controls how we develop and grow.
We tend to think of ourselves as a single entity, but really we are a community of 50 trillion cells, each of which is a living entity.
As Lipton says, when the “leadership” of the community is off, it creates a disturbance in the cell population, which can lead to disease.
This is what a cancer is, he says—there is no leadership that supports the vitality of the cells, and so their growth pattern is distorted. When we change our perception, we change the leadership within our cells, and this has everything to do with our health and well being. My imaginal and spiritual translation of this image is this: When we keep our golden inner “buddha self” free of mud and shined up, we are providing leadership for our cells to generate wellness in us.
Tapping can be a wonderful way to restore leadership in our cells, mirroring back to another person the golden self within him or her, or finding the golden self within ourselves.
Try this Truth Story Tapping Exercise:
1. Describe your best memory of yourself as a child. If you can’t think of a real story, make one up. Use your imagination to give your made-up child self lots of bright shiny credit. Hold this best memory in the backgound of your mind while you do the next steps.
2. Now, imagine standing in front of a mirror, and talk to yourself about what you see.
(Leave out standing in front of the mirror if that is too uncomfortable)
What is your favorite self critical line?
What is a specific situation recently where you had an opportunity to use that line on yourself?
Go ahead and say all the awful things that may come up…
It might be good to tap through the points, or tap on the side of your hand or on your chest while you are doing this, or hold the TAT pose.
3. Tap for having this “favorite,” often repeated critical thought, and where it might have come from.
“Even though I feel like I am not good enough….I accept myself anyway, and I realize that this could be just a story I have been telling myself that I got from my past somehow.”
“This is my old story…
This is the story my family told, and I believed them.
This is the story my culture tells about people like me, and I never questioned it.
This is the story my church tells, and I wonder what parts of it are true?
I got this story from advertising…
I got this story in school…
I got this story from somebody I looked up to…
I got this story from_________________
And maybe it is not the truth of me…”
4. Tap for the emotions that come up in you when you hear that story line.
5. Tap for how it makes you feel in your body when you hear that story line
6. Imagine letting that old story fall away again.
Ask yourself, “Who am I under this old story? What is really true about me?”
If specific memories come up, you could tap in the same way, to change the story that you tell yourself about what that experience meant about you.
Tap for letting that story fall away, with curiosity about what might be under it, hidden.
Feel into who you would be without that story.
Listen for the “Yeah but’s”—tap for them.
Listen for voices talking about what you would lose if you dropped the old story. Remind yourself that these voices are telling a story too. Let it fall away…
7. Keep repeating this process, letting yourself go deeper each time.
Imagine that you can let the old story fall away. Notice what is there in you, under it.
Keep practicing listening to your old story, and letting it fall away, like veils, or layers of mud, or whatever image come to you.
Keep wondering, “What is there in me, under that familiar story? Who am I without this story? What is my essential beingness under and beyond this old story? “
Don’t worry if old story stuff keeps coming up—it will!—just keep wondering…“What is here, in me, without this story?”
One person who did this process found that her old story kept falling away, relatively easily, until she eventually got to a place where she said “I feel empty. It is really scary.” We tapped for, and then talked a bit about the fear of not knowing who you would be, how you would be in the world without your story. That is scary.
But then I asked her to think of that fear as a story too. Let it drop away too…what is under that?
Under under under the fear story, the woman in the session found that the emptiness inside her actually began to feel like a room that had been cleared out and cleaned, filled with sunshine… quiet, expansive and spacious… it felt really good to rest in this place…
This is the place we try to get to in meditation, if we are meditators, but then after that nice half hour we go back into our lives telling the same old stories to ourselves. Practicing this exercise for just a few minutes several times a day begins to clear away the mud on the surface, create new neural pathways, new thinking patterns, until soon it becomes automatic to shine as our golden self.
So if you find yourself feeling sad, or angry, or stuck, ask yourself, “What was I telling myself just now?”
And imagine that story dropping away, until you find again that open well-lighted place inside YOU. It is there. It may not look or feel like this woman’s “clean empty sunshine-filled room,” but it will look and feel and sound like YOU.
Just you, the true golden essence of you, just present here, feeling good in this moment, without a story.
With my love and blessing to you,