Andrew Holecek: Perception Is Creation: Discovering Emptiness

    —
August 18, 2020

Andrew Holecek: Perception Is Creation: Discovering Emptiness

Andrew Holecek August 18, 2020

Andrew Holecek is an author and spiritual teacher whose longtime study of Buddhism blends ancient wisdom with contemporary knowledge and insights. He is renowned for his expertise in lucid dreaming and the Tibetan yogas of sleep and dream. With Sounds True, he has published the books Dream Yoga: Illuminating Your Life Through Lucid Dreaming and the Tibetan Yogas of Sleep and Dreams of Light: The Profound Daytime Practice of Lucid Dreaming. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Andrew and Tami Simon discuss his latest book, including: the traditional three-step approach to the practice of illusory form, seeing the world in a more authentic way and connecting to what’s real, uncovering the roots of human suffering, the intersection of neuroscience and the world’s wisdom traditions, and much more.

Andrew Holecek is an author, speaker, and humanitarian who offers seminars internationally on meditation, lucid dreaming, and the art of dying. He has studied sleep yoga, bardo yoga, and other traditional practices with living masters in India and Nepal. Andrew’s books include Dreams of LightDream Yoga, and Reverse Meditation. His work has appeared in Psychology Today, Parabola, Lion’s Roar, Tricycle, Utne Reader, Buddhadharma, Light of Consciousness, and many other periodicals. He hosts the popular Edge of Mind podcast and is the founder of the Night Club community, a support platform for nocturnal meditations. Learn more at andrewholecek.com.

Author photo © Abby Stern

Listen to Tami Simon's interview with Andrew Holecek: Dream Yoga, Part 1 »

600 Podcasts and Counting…

Subscribe to Insights at the Edge to hear all of Tami’s interviews (transcripts available too!), featuring Eckhart Tolle, Caroline Myss, Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, Adyashanti, and many more.

Meet Your Host: Tami Simon

Founded Sounds True in 1985 as a multimedia publishing house with a mission to disseminate spiritual wisdom. She hosts a popular weekly podcast called Insights at the Edge, where she has interviewed many of today's leading teachers. Tami lives with her wife, Julie M. Kramer, and their two spoodles, Rasberry and Bula, in Boulder, Colorado.

Photo © Jason Elias

Also By Author

Andrew Holecek: Reverse Meditation

Your mindfulness practice worked! You calmed your mind and felt the deep, inner bliss that meditation brings. But, asks Andrew Holecek, what do you do with these beatific states when your world is falling apart? Where’s your meditation practice then? 

In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with Holecek about his new book, Reverse Meditation, and how we can move toward a more complete spirituality that welcomes all of our experience. Illuminating the four steps of reverse meditation and much more, their conversation explores: how pain and hardship can accelerate the spiritual journey; why mindfulness “sedates but doesn’t liberate”; the cultivation of “industrial-strength” meditation; repairing an adverse relationship to unwanted experiences; the practice of open awareness; bringing the unconscious into the light of consciousness; investigating our personal “super-contractors” such as anger, fear, or anxiety; shifting from reactivity to responsiveness; the OBEY acronym of reverse meditation: observe, be, examine, yoke; three attitudes for practice: kindness, patience, and curiosity; establishing the right view; the anti-complaint meditation; and productive thinking.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

Turn your understanding of meditation inside out and u...

Meditation has found a home in the West. Countless scientific studies tout its benefits, and a multitude of students proclaim its life-changing value. I am one of those students. For over forty-five years I have practiced this ancient art, and I continue to reap its remarkable rewards. While I remain a follower of many wisdom traditions, and believe that no one has a patent on truth, thirty years ago I took refuge in Buddhism. The adage “Chase two rabbits; catch none” points out the necessity of commitment, and the dangers of spreading yourself too thin.

My passion for meditation led me into the traditional Tibetan three-year retreat, where I became a monk with robes and a shaved head, meditating fourteen hours a day in a remote monastery. I even slept sitting up in meditation posture, practicing the nocturnal meditations of dream and sleep yoga. Three-year retreat is like a meditation university, providing the opportunity to practice dozens of meditations in the most nurturing environment. It remains the most transformative experience of my life.

Of the many practices I was introduced to in retreat, one meditation stands out: the quirky, intense, multifaceted, and revolutionary practice of reverse meditation. I learned these practices within the context of Mahāmudrā (Sanskrit for “great seal”), a lofty tradition in Tibetan Buddhism that explores the nature of the mind. This was over twenty years ago, and since then these radical meditations have become a cornerstone of my spiritual path.

They’re called “reverse” meditation for a number of reasons. First, these practices are the opposite, or reverse, of what many of us associate with meditation. Most people think that meditation is about feeling good, getting “Zen,” or otherwise chilling out. But this is just one small aspect of meditation. Complete meditation is not about feeling good—it’s about getting real. And getting real requires dealing with the reality of difficult situations.

Second, these unique meditations are designed to reverse our relationship to unwanted experiences, which means going directly into them instead of avoiding them. In so doing we can discover the basic goodness of whatever arises, which is deeper than interpretative goodness. Basic goodness refers to the ineffable “suchness, isness, thatness” of whatever occurs—good or bad.

If we capitulate to our usual avoidance strategies, we push the acute, conscious psychological discomfort of avoidance into becoming a chronic, unconscious mental cramp. The discomfort is still there, but now it’s buried deep in our body-mind matrix, where it works backstage to dictate much of our onstage life. The rejected experience then manifests symptomatically—it becomes an undiagnosed reflection of an underlying discord that expresses itself in virtually everything we do. Our actions then become evasion tactics—reactivity, psychological duress, physical illness, and all manner of unskillful responses to the challenges of life—as we try to skirt these buried, uncomfortable feelings.

The reverse meditations give us the opportunity to relate to our mind instead of from it—and also to establish a relationship to our evasion tactics, which otherwise become obstacles that act like scar tissue to sequester the unwanted experience from consciousness. Relating from our mind, from our reactivity, is no relationship at all. In place of conscious relationship, we respond with knee-jerk reflexes to difficult experience, a reactivity that kicks us out of our feeling body and into our thinking head, and into unnecessary suffering. Instead of dealing authentically with the challenging somatic sensation, we leap into inauthentic conceptual proliferation (confabulating and catastrophizing) to buffer ourselves from the discomfort of our feelings. We run from the honest pain and real news that come with being human, and into dishonest commentary and fake news. The truth is that many of the worst things in our life are things that never really “happened”!

Third, the reverse meditations upend our sense of meditation altogether. They represent a revolution in spiritual practice that turns our understanding of meditation inside out and upside down, and therefore radically expand our practice. Situations that were once antithetical to meditation now become our meditation. Obstacles that previously obstructed our spiritual path now become our path. This means that everything becomes our meditation. Nothing is forbidden. We can enter lifetime retreat in the midst of ordinary life.

Excerpted from Reverse Meditation: How to Use Your Pain and Most Difficult Emotions as the Doorway to Inner Freedom by Andrew Holecek.

Andrew Holecek is an author, speaker, and humanitarian who offers seminars internationally on meditation, lucid dreaming, and the art of dying. His work has appeared in Psychology Today, Parabola, Lion’s Roar, Tricycle, Utne Reader, Buddhadharma, Light of Consciousness, and many other periodicals. Learn more at andrewholecek.com.

Andrew Holecek: Perception Is Creation: Discovering Em...

Andrew Holecek is an author and spiritual teacher whose longtime study of Buddhism blends ancient wisdom with contemporary knowledge and insights. He is renowned for his expertise in lucid dreaming and the Tibetan yogas of sleep and dream. With Sounds True, he has published the books Dream Yoga: Illuminating Your Life Through Lucid Dreaming and the Tibetan Yogas of Sleep and Dreams of Light: The Profound Daytime Practice of Lucid Dreaming. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Andrew and Tami Simon discuss his latest book, including: the traditional three-step approach to the practice of illusory form, seeing the world in a more authentic way and connecting to what’s real, uncovering the roots of human suffering, the intersection of neuroscience and the world’s wisdom traditions, and much more.

You Might Also Enjoy

Rupert Spira: The Quiet Joy of Being

What is the treasure that we all seek? What is it that we are looking for above all else? Contemporary spiritual teacher and author Rupert Spira believes that it’s the feeling of sufficiency, of ease, of peace—or the realization of our innermost nature as being. In this podcast that is at once expansive and experiential, Tami Simon speaks with Rupert about his book You Are the Happiness You Seek and the insights he has gleaned through a lifetime of spiritual exploration and practice. 

Tune in for a liberating conversation covering the practice of pausing or “going back to being”; letting go of resistance and turning toward our unhappiness; bringing a complete “yes” to your current experience; the inquiry, who is the one that’s experiencing?; the pure “I Am”; the original ADD: Awareness Deficit Disorder; the problem with the word “enlightenment”; recognizing the gaps between our thoughts and feelings; why what happens to the body doesn’t happen to our being; the absolute level and the relative level; the practical implications of deepening our recognition of being; love: the felt sense of our shared being; freedom from “the tyranny of ego”; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

David Whyte: Everything Is an Invitation

A good poem, says David Whyte, is revelatory; it takes hold of us and surprises us with new understanding. David Whyte is the bestselling author of ten books of poetry, three works of prose, and the celebrated Sounds True audio program What to Remember When Waking

In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with David about his writing career, his creative approach to leadership, and the conversation with life to which we are all constantly invited. Tami and David discuss the willingness to have courageous conversations; the generativity of “a well-felt sadness”; reframing regret; the seven steps of invitational leadership; “robust vulnerability” and choosing the path we really care about; anguish, anxiety, and being OK with the unknown; letting go; “apprenticing ourselves to our own disappearance”; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

Sah D’Simone: Spiritually, We

Friendship is a vital need. Without caring connections with others, we suffer physically, psychologically, and spiritually. In his new book, Spiritually, We, Sah D’Simone shares a collection of teachings, stories, practices, and techniques to “open ourselves to the dance” of relationship and help end the epidemic of loneliness in our time. 

Enjoy Tami Simon’s conversation with the uniquely savvy and always sassy Sah, as they discuss: cultivating friendships that hold and carry you; transformation through trauma; Somatic Activated Healing® and its application with heartbreak; letting go of our stories and coming into our feelings; freedom from conditioning; discovering your “unstruck goodness”; practicing radical friendliness with everyone; the Spiritually, We liberatory equation; healing through community; shifting from intellectualization to embodied insight; the foundational step—taking personal responsibility; inviting people into your inner world; the power of presence; punitive justice vs. restorative justice; social integration; why “connection is the cure”; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

>
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap