I want to get enlightenment. I meditate regularly but there seems to be no effect on me.
About the Questioner
Hopes and aspirations: I would love to have an understanding husband who is my constant company. I would like to awaken. I find I am solidly bound or conditioned and no amount of any teaching can change me.
I know what you mean about not being able to be alone if you are a woman in India! It was most unpleasant for me in 1983 when I was traveling with Dr. Jean Houston across India.
Every time I needed to get away from my American group and be alone, the Indian men immediately surrounded me. This reality was amazing to me because I have never been in any country were men would not leave you alone.
I am very assertive and I could not get the Indian men to allow me to move through space as I pleased. As soon as I walked off the grounds of the hotel, men surrounded me. They were like glue. So, I gave up and asked them to take me to their homes. One of them did.
There I experienced another surprise. The women, who were serving me tea, would not look at me. When I asked about this behavior, I was told that women were forbidden to have eye contact with me. This was in rural India in 1983.
Thus I know how a woman in India suffers from extreme control and conditioning. India has a long history of sexism and classism. Your culture does not encourage or allow freedom for women. Therefore, the men are not free either.
Freedom is what humans crave the most.
Freedom is what the soul needs in order to flourish.
Yet, from the moment you were born you were controlled and conditioned into being who your family wanted you to be. Your culture, government and religion added on even more control, defining who you "should" be. This conditioning is universal.
However, some counties are more controlling than others. Therefore, give yourself lots of credit for your success. You are working hard to meet your challenges.
You need to know loud and clear that you can unlearn any learned behavior. So this means it is possible for you become free no matter where you live and no matter how controlling your past learning history.
Let me provide some of the missing pieces. To be successful you need to let go of control. This means you need to stop trying to BE something or someone. You seem to be stuck in trying to do the "correct action." Examine your goal...
Escape your body, mind, emotions, and anger?
Make yourself behave a certain way?
Embrace and accept yourself?
Be free and happy?
My definition of ego is unhealthy conditioning. You need to know that it is not just your thoughts that are controlling you. You also have automatic conditioned responses in your body. These conditioned responses in your body are physically inhibiting your forward movement.
You also have automatic conditioned responses in your nervous system. This conditioning automatically inhibits healthy expressions. Therefore to break free you have to decondition these conditioned responses out of your body and nervous system.
Conditioned responses do not go away with meditation, drugs, relaxation or exercise. You need to deliberately become aware of your inhibitions and teach yourself to break free from your chains.
Perhaps you are trying to follow a path that is not yours?
No one knows the correct action for you. Another persons' path may not be the path you need to take. Your heart and soul have your answers, not anyone else. This means you need to listen to your heart and soul in order to find and follow your path.
Currently, you seem to be rejecting your emotional self, which lives in your heart; and your soul, which lives, in your body. The soul is not an abstract idea. Your soul is composed of energy. Spiritual energy needs to be properly anchored in your body.
To say or believe that you are not a body defeats the whole purpose of being a human being. You are here to be a real human being. You are most definitely flesh bound. Incarnate means, in-the-flesh. You are a spirit incarnate.
This means you have a physical body. If you cannot see, feel, taste, smell your physical body, you are in delusion. Without your body, there is no way for your spiritual energy to exist on planet earth.
Your soul has a purpose that cannot be dictated by any outside "shoulds" or "should not's." To know what your soul wants and needs, you need to listen to your emotional self because it is your emotional self that leads to your soul.
Your emotional self is this lifetime's personality that is authentic and genuine. To be enlightened, you must have integrity. This means you must be true to yourself.
Therefore you need to find, heal and follow your emotional self. She is your vital body.
When you learn how to live in your vital body, you will have much more love and light energy in your physical body and energy field. Read past columns on ego, conditioned responses, control, emotional maturity, finding ones' self, letting go of control and last week's column on spiritualizing.
Be very careful mediating for long periods of time if you are not grounded. It is dangerous to keep bringing mental energy into an energy system that is not grounded.
Therefore, instead of meditating, which keeps you in the mental state thinking or trying not to think, move your awareness into your body and heart.
When you get out of your brain and thoughts, you have a better chance of breaking free. If you drop down into your body and heart, you can begin to sense and feel energy. You need to feel the energy inside of you, outside of you and in your energy field.
Feeling these realities will help you become more aware of your conditioned responses. This information will empower you so you can take the necessary actions to break free.
The information you pick up will help you get in touch with physical reality. For example, you will be able to feel the contractions in your body and begin to allow them to relax.
Just as there is not a single diet for everyone at any given point in time, there is not a single path for everyone at any give time. You have to follow your own natural process of transformation. No one else knows the path you need to take.
Let go of your shoulds and should not's. Then you will find, accept and follow your natural process. The results will be more love and light energy in your body, energy field and life. This will make you happy.
- Read Virginia Woolf's book, "A Room of One's Own." Woman across the globe have struggled against sexism for millennia. Virginia Woolf gives voice to solutions in this book. Tell your husband you are reading a book about how to make time and space for yourself so that you can write and be creative. Suggest that he do the same. Have him read Robert Bly's book, "A Little Book on the Human Shadow." You read that one too.
- Learn how to relax. Relaxation therapy helps you learn how to safely let go of control. Once you know how to relax, use your relaxation response to unlearn your conditioned responses. Read the psychology article about letting go of control in the free library at drjeanette.com.
- Feel your emotions. Begin to write in a journal to help you feel what you really feel. Write about how you feel and do not censor the truth. Let all emotions and feelings come out of you. Accessing your emotions will give you the fuel you need to become vital and more alive. More about emotions in this free psychology article.
- Become more assertive. Meet your husband and others as equals. Take an assertive training class or course. There are some in-person courses in India so look around for them. You and your husband could both take the same course. Or take an online course in Assertiveness Training.
Coaching copyright © 2011 Dr. Doris Jeanette
Doris Jeanette, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist and trained, sex therapist with 35 years of experience helping men and women reclaim their body and sexuality. She is available for phone and skype consultations. As director of the Center for New Psychology she mentors and trains professionals in holistic psychology. Visit her website for contact information, free psychology articles and sign up for her free newsletter, "The Vibrant Moment."