When we are born, we are the embodiment of the True Self, which is the spontaneous expression of life and the essence of all things.  Quietly, in the privacy of our own mind, the conditioned self develops in response to the experiences we have early in life. By the age of 7, our conditioned patterns are fairly fixed and can be seen through the expression of our personality traits well into adulthood. The social strategies that we most frequently utilize are learned habits, and they are influenced by the core beliefs we hold about ourselves. When we developed our conditioned self, our habits were adaptive to the environment we existed within. When these habits become rigid patterns, we are hyper identified with our conditioned self and typically feel distressed.  

The Ordinary Mind or conditioned self is thought-based, our conceptual knowing. It is conditioned, where our beliefs are held, our separateness is held, and our ego-based identity is held.  It is where our narratives about our self live, where we fully identify with our thoughts and we are hyper-identified with our self. When we hold space from our ordinary mind, life is ordinary. Learning to shift into higher consciousness at will and hold that vibration for a longer duration of time is the practice of sacred space holding.  

The Subtle Mind is where we shift out of thinking and into subtle attunement, it is the direct experience.  We attune to thought, emotion, sensation, and energy and away from identification with the ego.  This is movement towards awareness-based knowing, where we are no longer at the mercy of our thoughts, emotions, etc, and were mindfulness and opening to our sensitivities is accessed.

Accessing the state of awake awareness is a formless dimension beyond energy.  It is more subtle than energy, invisible and seamless.  This is where awareness is aware of itself, the aspect of our Self that is free.  The fundamental essence of our being is awake awareness and it is unchanging, neither good nor bad, it just is.  In this state, we have a lightness of being that is infinite, where the deepest dimension of mind, beyond energy and form, exist.  There is no self.  

In a state of true Self consciousness, we experience spontaneous expression of vital force and a complete recognition of all reality, a loss of separation.  Individual consciousness lets go of a sense of control and dissolves into one mind, one body. We become one with the Source of life.  The True Self can only be recognized by awake awareness, being all of reality.  This is where we experience the completeness of being.  

We must learn to access awake awareness at will in order to shift to True Self consciousness. While it can occur spontaneously, conditioned patterns and identification with the ordinary mind can drown out the energy of the True Self.

4 Keys to Shifting Your Stormy Mind & Resting in Your Infinite Self [see video]

  1. Notice your Ordinary/Stormy mind: the quality of your thinking, don’t qualify, just bring awareness. Notice where these thoughts are seated in your mind, where do they emerge from.
  2. Bring attention to your Subtle mind. Unhook from that part of your mind, bring your attention to your belly, take breathes into your belly. Notice the space here, color, sensations.
  3. Access a state of Awake Awareness. Now Notice your mind again and come back to your belly, shift your attention to your belly. Expand your awareness in all directions at once.
  4. Bring this awake awareness to your mind. Notice what happens when you bring awake awareness to your stormy mind.  Touch the mind from the part of you that is everything.


Alderman, A. (2020). Luminous Awareness Institute. Lecture.

Kelly, L. (2015).  Shift into Freedom: The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness. Sounds True.

Perls, Fritz.  (1973). The Gestalt Approach and Eye Witness to Therapy.  CA: Science and Behavior Books, Inc.

 Resnick, S. (1975). Gestalt therapy as a meditative practice. In J. Stevens (Ed.), Gestalt Is (pp. 223-228). Moab: Real People Press. (week 2)



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