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Non-Attatchment Via Secure-Attachment to Unity & Wholeness

Updated: May 16

Two primary building blocks to form a secure attachment in relationship involve emotional connection and breathing room. Two of the key ingredients for achieving this are “empathetic attunement” and healthy “mirroring” (Winnicott; Kohut). Empathetic attunement involves focusing on the internal experience of another person, in a supportive manner. Healthy mirroring happens when somebody responds to us by accurately reflecting our own experience back to us. These are the ways we are hardwired to learn.

When our parents fail to meet us with empathetic attunement because they never received it themselves, the unrecognized aspects of our self will fail to develop and remain unavailable to us. If we do not experience these qualities as a child, we are often not clear how to feel empathetic attunement as an adult. Even with a partner who does appreciate us, we can still harbor wounding that prevents us from fully receiving their loving support. We also may not be capable of overtly expressing and transmitting the feeling of love, even though we may love important people we care about dearly.

To understand how to heal the wounding that causes this, it is important to recognize that our evolving-self learns from our “unchanging-self” (embodied unified consciousness) in much the same way we ideally learned from our parents. Healing involves an internal relational process between these two dimensions of our self, which I call “whole being enbrace.” This is important to pay attention to because the relationships we have in life are the primary way we learn (Cozolino; Shore). This is true even if it is an internal “intra-personal” relationship.

As a child, we often perceive the parent as uninjured in order to secure a sense of support and safety, even if we need to make believe this is true. As we grow older and differentiate our self from our parent, we often realize the parent is sometimes injured and is guided by fear and defense, rather than openness and authenticity. Our need to have an orienting experience of something we can trust is accurate, even if we need to make believe this is true, highlights the value of having access to the nondual dimension of existence as a body experience.

The qualities of the nondual unchanging-self are not created as they are with our changing evolving-self. Instead, they are a pre-existent innate ground of our being. Our unchanging self is experienced as an uninjured wholeness. It lies deeper than our injuries and is reliably, always available when we look deep enough. As a result, our unchanging-self is a natural source of healthy “mirroring” and non-judgmental empathetic presence. This source of support comes from an untainted, content-free, inherently benevolent source within us, rather than an injured parent. I sometimes refer to this source of support as “nondual mirroring.” The depth, clarity, and benevolent presence of our unchanging-self, soothes and supports us with its mere presence in the way we may have needed from other people for our personal growth, but never received.

In embodied nondual meditation, we become open and receptive to feeling how the nondual qualities of our unchanging-self, pervade our evolving-self's mind and body. This is an experience that goes beyond the duality expression of the physical, emotional, and mental. We experience this as the bliss that naturally accompanies wholeness of being. As bliss, we feel this as a nondual sensory (subtle), motor (stillness), temporal (timeless), and spatial (unity) experience that pervades us. We increasingly have moments when these nondual qualities of self provide a reflection, or mirror, for our evolving-self to become more self-aware and able to let go of our relationship trauma and the self-sabotaging habits that result.

These nondual qualities are feeling-tones of wholeness that become available when we refine our senses. They provide us with a form of empathetic attunement by their mere presence, as unconditional love, stillness, unity, etc.. In meditation, we can feel we've received healthy “mirroring” when we are witnessed in this way. With this feeling of wholeness, the constrictions that form our sense of fragmentation from not receiving accurate mirroring and empathetic attunement dissolve. We feel understood by a greater knowing and respected by our unassuming unchanging-self. Our unchanging-self is naturally observant, understanding, and non-judgmental. Plus, true to the Bhagavad Gita account (14:6), our body experience of the unified relational field of consciousness gives rise to “happiness” and “knowledge.” These are all important experiences to have when it comes to healing trauma. It takes all we’ve got to know how to overcome being flooded with fear and shame. Finding out we have a part of our self that is inherently “good” and that is always available, can be powerfully transformative.

One of the primary consequences of nondual mirroring that arises in whole being embrace with our unchanging-self (as discussed in my 2023 book), is that we learn a whole new way of experiencing our relationship struggles. As we embody the nondual qualities of our unchanging-self, we come to know how to be alone and feel connected and how to be together and sustain a sense of autonomy. The unified field of consciousness provides our highly sensitive and reactive, wounded inner-child, with an ultimate degree of connectedness and breathing room. This communicates directly to the heart of our relationship trauma.

Since the nondual qualities of our unchanging-self are uncreated and timeless, they also give us access to a sense of our immortality. We feel that our body is mortal, but our consciousness is immortal. We recognize a timeless truth that we are a part of the consciousness that pervades the universe, which is immortal. So often, we feel that we are a finite consciousness that emerges out of nothingness and vanishes into nothingness. It is tragic to not recognize that we have always been here and will always be here. Part of the tragedy of Western secular culture is that we are separated from our eternal divinity, which so often makes our ability to process the idea of death difficult and even traumatic.

Experiencing our immortality is a profound shift in perspective. It gives us access to an inherently benevolent, open, unattached, and non-willful state of enduring presence of being. Our life becomes not only a preparation for death but also a celebration of eternal life. As this becomes an ongoing experience, we learn to integrate what this means in regard to the developmental stage in which we suffered our deepest injuries and trauma.

In part, integrating our experience of unchanging-self is similar to how we internalized a parent as a child. As we attune and entrain to our unchanging-self in meditation, the evolving-self recognizes, entrains to, and integrates each of the nondual qualities of our being as an experience of wholeness. It feels as though we awaken the feeling of being respected and supported by the presence of our internal “mirror neurons” (as discussed in my 2023 book). This undivided ground of our being allows us to feel disturbing thoughts, emotions, and gut-wrenching sensations without activating the habitual ways we protect our self. We let go of our fragmenting defenses that constrict each of our senses of perception (touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste).

The more we let go of how we constrict and fragment our senses, they begin to function together as a unity. Our habitual fragmented ways of organizing our self in relationship dissolve, and we perceive the world directly with all our senses. We become able to more clearly think, feel, see, hear, smell, and touch at the same time, with our whole body and mind, without fear of censure or distortion. These basic abilities are robbed from us when we have unresolved injuries and trauma. The more we feel we function as a unified presence of self, each present moment becomes a single vibrational pattern, experienced with all our senses at once, omnipresently. This helps us not lose touch with our internal sense of wholeness and unity when challenged and stressed by what we experience.

Our behavior naturally becomes more authentic and spontaneous. It increasingly happens as a result of the still, spacious, and unified nature of our unchanging-self, in the present moment. We increasingly feel that our actions are self-generated (which is an expression of being self-referent with a kind of self-agency that is not based on will). This happens when our evolving-self’s expressions and actions spontaneously arise out of the stillness, unity, and wholeness inherent to the unchanging-self. This is not a willful self-generation but rather an effortless, spontaneous one. Our evolving-self fully receives the unchanging-self’s presence and, as a result, becomes more cohesive, integrated, and authentically expressive. (I explore how this leads to healthy emotional boundaries in relationship in chapter ten - twelve.)

Our unchanging-self shows up for our evolving-self, reflects and pervades us with its presence of being, leaving us with the most profound sense of wholeness-of-being and pure unconditional love. This “nondual mirror” reflects back to us a powerful antidote to the fragmentation of our mind, body, and emotion. Our body experience of these nondual qualities becomes a part of the psychological mirror for our evolving self. We undergo a kind of psychological rebirth into wholeness as a human. This often includes spontaneous compassion for our self and all we have been through, resulting in a profound sense of self-love and acceptance.

This mirroring process is much like how, ideally, as a child, we develop a secure bond with our parent and a secure sense of self when a parent expresses delight in who we are. Child psychology has well documented that the experience of a parent delighting in us is crucial to the formation of a healthy sense of self (Brazelton, Winnicott). Contact with our unchanging-self awakens as an expression of our own essence and what sage Valmiki calls the infinite nature of “great delight.” Even though our nondual unchanging-self is already internal to us, our evolving-self’s contact with it becomes a relationally delightful one. This relationship is much like Shiva and Shakti’s sacred communion, reproducing the contactful nature of how our psyche is hardwired to learn via relationship.

The unchanging-self so patiently helps and inspires our evolving-self to let go of our defenses, discover our unique abilities, and broaden our identity. Our spiritual awakening involves the progressive realization and acceptance that the nondual attributes we can tangibly feel are the actual essence of our own being. Clarifying this recognition and progressively owning this experience in meditation forms a secure attachment that provides healing for our evolving-self. We increasingly become more adaptive, resilient, open, and receptive to experiences of all kinds.

I believe that healing our injuries must include an inward process of remembrance, self-examination, and self-insight, that has a relational orientation. Wholeness-of-being (and its inherent feeling of unconditional love) fosters feelings of secure attachment and self-worth, yet rather than being attached to an external source, we attach to what is already within us. We establish a secure bond within our self, intra-personally.

Our nondual quality of self is a potent source of information or "knowledge" (jnana). When we refer to this form of knowledge in yoga, it implies a knowing that brings us closer to what lies beyond conditioning of any kind. “Knowledge” here is not conceptual but is rather an experience of knowing that naturally accompanies unified consciousness while in the uncensored presence of our evolving-self’s growth. This offers an alternative to methods, such as Internal Family Systems, that helps us heal by inviting communication between the different parts of our evolving-self. By awakening to ultimate wholeness, love, connectedness, and breathing room inherent to our unchanging-self, the injured parst of our self recognize a much broader perspective that is transfors us from the bottom up.

In embodied nondual meditation and then in the rest of our life, we deliberately can reparent our wounded inner-child with the nondual mirror that was absent when the wounding happened. With practice and some discernment, we come to inhabit the whole internal dimension of our body as the qualities of nondual experience that we need most to become whole. In this way, we own this experience as a dimension of our self and wake up to our innate self-worth, even if we did not develop self-esteem as a child. I invite you to embark on this healing journey.



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