One day in the middle of a therapy session in Poona, I found myself in pain about something (not a new experience for me, to make an under-statement!). Tarika, the therapist, said, “It’s about time you see that you don’t need to continue going through your entire life carrying this wound.”
I don’t remember what my actual response was. What comes to me now is this feeling I had of dumbfounded disbelief and defensiveness, like, “Huh?!! Whaddya mean?! What wound?! I’m not carrying around any wound. This is me!! I’m just feeling my pain. Isn’t this why I’ve been coming to see you for sessions – so I could go through my pain, really feel it and transcend it (well, maybe eventually transcend it after 10 more years of intensive therapy, more groups, and deep meditation marathons)?”
I was so deeply identified with this “woundness” that Tarika’s words pierced me like an arrow. I trust this woman immensely, so I could at least begin to let in what she was saying. Truthfully, though, in that moment, I was so identified with “my wound,” “my pain,” that I was unable to totally comprehend the profoundness of what she was saying. And I had no idea how powerful an effect it would have on my life when it became my own understanding.
I’ve been quite a therapy junkie in this lifetime, participating in a lot of groups and individual sessions – many of these invaluable, deeply healing experiences. Still, I have always carried this feeling of woundedness, of being a victim. Both my parents died before I was old enough to know them, and I was raised by siblings who themselves were essentially children. Love became associated with abuse, pain, and abandonment. I learnt never to expect love, never to expect others to want to be there for me. When anyone did offer this energy I did not really trust it: I was certain that pain and/or abandonment were waiting just around the corner. Eventually I was able to see that I too had been abusive with people I professed to love, pushing them away and making my greatest fear into a self-fulfilling prophecy. I had never learned love.
I’ve spent probably thousands of dollars paying therapists to help me to “transform” myself (or so I thought). I can see now that on a deeper level I was paying them to give me the love and acceptance I never got as a child, something which I didn’t yet know how to give myself. I’m not devaluing these therapy experiences in any way. They were tremendously important in bringing me to the point where this letting go is now possible. And yet it is so valuable now to understand what else (besides my “seeker”) was underneath the surface of my passion for therapy. You see, I always felt that something was wrong with me the way I was and so looked toward therapists to fill this hole of deep lack. I always felt I had to do something to improve myself because who I was was flawed.
All this started to change in that session with Tarika. A few months later I decided to do the Anti-Fischer-Hoffman process (AFH), a very intensive three-week group co-led by Rani, Sudha, and Tarika of the Osho institute for Love and Consciousness. This group was a surgery. It allowed me to take a deep look into the blind spots created by my conditioning. It threw me back onto myself and made clear how awareness is truly a choice I am free to make in each moment.
Shortly after AFH, I did the Transessence process in a group with Tarika, and through this I was able to expand tremendously my budding understanding of how this woundedness, this idea of life as a painful, loveless struggle is learned, is a conditioning. I have spoken these words many times before, but they have never come from this place of strength, of deep rootedness I feel in myself as the words flow out of me in this moment. Previously, I was “understanding” more with my head. Right now it is coming from my guts.
I’d like to share a little about how this process works. What I appreciate most about Transessence is that once you have some experience in doing it, it can be done either alone or with a partner who facilitates. First you get in touch with the difference voices inside, with the parts of your personality that are ruling you around a particular issue. It is like when you feel unworthy but believe you are unworthy. This is identification. Then comes an inner struggle to become different, better. You don’t want it to be as it is. The Transessence process helps to view these patterns, emotions, and beliefs from a distance, reconnecting you to a place of silence, of wholeness, a place where no change is needed.
I am struck by the utter simplicity of this process of disidentifying, which for me is always ongoing. It’s something I can move into with my awareness, and slip out of with unawareness. (I do my best not to judge the many moments of unawareness). My experience is that the less I am identified with this “woundedness,” the more life energy is available for expansion, for lovingness, for creativity, or living authentically and joyously. I am repeatedly awed by many moments of clarity I experience when I “get it”. In these moments, it’s so simple, and often there’s just a hearty laughter.
The last few weeks I’ve been excited that Tarika is coming to Marin in late September to share this Transessence process in a weekend group, “A Step Out, A Step In: The Magic of Disidentification”. My heart had a big YES for organizing one here after doing it twice in Poona. What a gift to able to bring to Marin a delightful taste of Osho’s work, and a method that reflects one of His core messages.
This group and, in fact, all my work with Tarika has had such a deep impact on my life that I don’t want anyone to miss this opportunity. This is a very simple yet powerful technique, which can be used any time we are feeling strongly identified or charged about any life issue. It is creative, playful, often humorous, and always magical in the way it helps people to see clearly through to core beliefs and conditionings and then to step back, to experience that we are not the mind.
What I love about Tarika is her ordinariness. I find her to be very present, communicating with total honesty yet with deep compassion and sensitivity. She makes the transforming of consciousness an artwork, a playfulness, an adventure. You can expect Zenlike clarity alongside a sense of humor. Such a delight it has been for me to work and to play with her, that I am very happy to have her share with us this process of her own creation.